CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE-TEMPTATION, PURIFICATION!
Failure to read this message from page one to the last pageand from chapter one to the last chapter could cause the reader to misunderstand this message. Please read page to page and chapter to chapter. Thank you and may God bless the reading of His Word. CHAPTER ONE
CHRISTIAN FORUMS-PRAYER REQUESTS-QUESTIONS-COMMENTS!
First Peter 1:3-9, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
The "salvation of your souls" that this scripture refers to is the renewing of the mind. Remember that salvation is the Greek word's "soteria" and "soterion." The combination of the definitions is rescue or safety (physically or morally): deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Defender or by implication defense:-salvation.
The scripture says "if need be." This indicates that it is possible that if someone is prepared or a child is raised correctly by learning everything in the first fifteen chapters they will not have to go through the fire. As I said in the last chapter on the Church, My dream is of a church that is not afraid to teach children from a very early age the complete truth of God's Word. Teach them everything that is in this message. If they are taught at an early age the complete truth about the spiritual realm that is all around them, they will be able to become more than conquerors through Christ Jesus in that realm. It should be as natural to them as eating and breathing to be able to recognize the wiles of the devil and take authority over him and win each and every encounter. The Bible is not a science fiction novel or star wars and we need to help them realize that it is real. They need to be taught to not give the devil place or neither do they need to fear him since he is a defeated foe if they do what God instructs them to do in His Word and defeat the devil at any age. There is no age limit in being victorious over the devil.
But if you are like I was we are now ready to go through the "fire." I needed to get off of the list we studied in chapter six from Galatians 5:16-26, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
God wants us off this list: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The definitions of some of the things that may hinder our Christian life in this scripture with the corresponding Strongís numbers:
Manifest-5318-appear, known, manifest, open(ly), outward(ly). Adultery-Websterís Dictionary-Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse. Fornication-4202 & 4203-Harlotry (including adultery and incest) idolatry-to act the harlot-indulge unlawful lust of either sex or (fig.) practice idolatry-commit fornication. Uncleanness-167 Impurity-physically or morally. From 169-impure, lewd or specifically demonic- foul, unclean. Lasciviousness-766 Licentiousness [Websterís-Lacking legal or moral restraints-especially disregarding sexual restraints] (sometimes including other vices) filthy, wantonness. Idolatry-1495-Image worship [Can be anything-person, place or thing-Stock Market, money, church, oral sex-You make a list]. Witchcraft-5331-magic, sorcery. Hatred-2189-Hostility-by implication a reason for hostility, enmity, hatred. Variance-2054-A quarrel-wrangling-contention, debate, strife. Emulation(s)-3863-Provoke to jealousy-2205-envy, fervent mind, indignation, jealousy. Wrath-2372-Fierceness, indignation, passion(as if breathing hard). Strife-2052-contention(ous)-to stimulate(especially to anger), provoke. Seditions-1370-Disunion, dissension, division. Heresies-139-To take for oneself; to prefer. [Close to sedition, but different in preferring one person over another-causing a division or dissension]. Envyings -5355-Akin to the base of 5351-to spoil, ruin, deprave, corrupt, defile, destroy-ill-will (as detraction) i.e. jealousy, (spite), envy. Murders-5408-(To slay);murder; + be slain with, slaughter. Drunkenness-3178 An intoxicate, i.e. (by implication) intoxication. Revelings-2970-from 2749; a carousal(as if letting loose):-reveling, rioting.
And God want us on this list:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory [self-conceit], provoking one another, envying one another."
Definitions of the condition we need to be in to have a spirit filled Christian life: Love-26-Agape-Affection or benevolence; a love-feast-(feast of) charity([-ably]), dear, love. Joy-5479-Cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:-gladness, x greatly, (x be exceeding) joy(-ful, -fully, -fullness, -ous). Peace-1515-(to join) by implication prosperity:-one, peace, quietness, rest, +set at one again. Longsuffering-3115-from 3116-with long(enduring) temper, i.e. leniently:-patiently, longanimity, i.e. forbearance, fortitude:-longsuffering, patience. Gentleness-5544-Usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (in character or demeanor) gentleness, goodness, kindness.
Goodness-17-A well doer, i.e., virtue-well-doing. Faith-4102-Moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance on Christ for salvation [deliverance]; By extension the system of religious truth itself:-assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity. Meekness-4236 Gentleness; By implication humility;-Meekness. Temperance-1466-from 1468-Strong in a thing (masterful) i.e. self-controlled (in appetite, etc.) /self-control.
Titus 2:11-15, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Second Timothy 2:19-22, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet [worthy] for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work." We, through Godís Spirit, can be redeemed from all iniquity. Iniquity is the Greek word, "adikia", moral wrongfulness (of character, life or act):-iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.
First John 5:18, "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist talking, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; But He [Jesus] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
Luke 22:31-34 and 54-62, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me."
"Then they took Him [Jesus], and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with Him. And he denied Him, saying, Woman I know Him not.
And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him: for he is a Galilean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice, And Peter went out and wept bitterly." Peter repented, "metanoia", our ongoing repentance, and you know that Peter had repented, "ametameletos", determined to do things Godís way, even before he had met Jesus.
Jesus knew that Peter was one of His sheep, born again and consequently dead to sin so He could allow satan to sift Peter so that afterwards Jesus could tell him in John 21:15-17 to feed Jesusí sheep. Acts 2:14, on the day of Pentecost after they were filled with the Holy Spirit, "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:" Peter then concludes his message to the multitude with Acts 2:38, the Keys to the Kingdom of God, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 1:1-2, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen:" Jesus told Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren," once he was worthy for the Master's use. He can be seen as a leader of the apostles throughout the beginning of the church. In Acts 5:15, "Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them."
It seems as if God likes to use the worst possible situations to illustrate His point. Let's look at one of them to demonstrate repentance as found in First John 1:9. Luke 15:11-32, "And He [Jesus] said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his Father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And He divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my Father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [Confession]
And he arose, and came to his Father. But when he was yet a great way off, his Father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. [Forgiveness]
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the Father said to His servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand [The ring had the Fatherís seal and was like being sealed with the Holy Ghost], and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. [Deliverance from all unrighteousness]
Now His elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy Father hath killed the fatted calf, because He hath received him safe and sound.
And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his Father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his Father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And He said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."
The story of anyone that has been through the fire and decided to give it up and surrender to God and do things His way. This is not a born again story, but a First John 1:9 story. The younger son had to go through the fire and be cleansed of his old ways by the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost and come back to God. I imagine it is difficult for a child of God that has never had to go through the fire to understand how God can forgive and love the child that has to be turned over to the devil for the destruction of his flesh, but our God is the Master of tough love!
To you that believe this is a born again story and not a story of repentance of a born again person please read the following: John 8:31-47, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
They answered Him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my Word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my Word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's Words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." Ye must be born again to see and understand the kingdom of God and we all belonged to the devil until we determined to do things Godís way and were born again of the Spirit. Luke 15:11-32 is the repentance of a born again sinner scripture and is the story of the son that left his father and then came back to Him and is right after Luke 15:1-10, "Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And He spake this parable unto them, saying,
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
As I told in Chapter One , "I could feel the Lord drawing me to stop and go to church before I was born again as I drove by the church I ended up attending when I was first born again. John 6:44, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." He's an all forgiving God of unconditional love."
Hebrews 12:1-13, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight [the cares of this world], and the sin which so easily doth beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin [temptations of the devil]. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him. For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards [tares], and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness [not the Starter Kit righteousness, but the peaceable fruit of righteousness that comes with the renewing of the mind when we yield to the Holy Ghost] unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We are striving to overcome and be a vessel of honor worthy for the Masters use by overcoming temptation and being purged of our old ways by having our minds renewed. First John 2:14, "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."
Overcome, "nikao", to subdue (literally or figuratively) conquer, overcome, prevail, to get the victory. Revelation 12:11, "And they overcame him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death." Romans 8:37 says, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Jesus] that loved us."
In the book of Revelation Jesus tells us what happens when we overcome:
2:7, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
2:11, "He that overcometh will not be hurt of the second death." 2:17, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
2:26, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." 3:5, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." 3:12, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name." 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and set down with My Father in His throne." In Revelation 21:7 God says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Now doesnít that give you goose bumps all over and make you want to run and jump and shout and dance before the Lord and bring your flesh under subjection. First Corinthians 9:24-27, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
We need to realize that we go through a sifting process. I would have been better prepared for what was happening if I would have known that God does chastise His children and I could have been much more receptive to the purging process. I could have been ready for the Master's use much sooner if I would have had a church to stand with me and help me through the purging process, but I had to rely on the Holy Ghost to teach me and show me what was happening, which is not a bad deal because He truly is our teacher and comforter. I have noticed that there seems to be people around churches that never seem to go through the fire. They either are "bastards" or tares, wooden, finished earthen vessels or have already been through the fire. We are all chastised but we donít all go through the fire. The wooden vessels most assuredly will not and earthen or clay vessels only go through the fire once and then are set. Gold and silver can be refined because they can go back through the fire over and over until all the impurities are gone. I have to be gold or silver, I was still going through the fire today. As we go through our purging, one scripture that really helps is, First Peter 5:6-10, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a little while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Second Corinthians 10:3-5, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ."
Romans 8:1-15, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
During my marriage and many times since I would have been hard pressed to believe that I was in the spirit and not in the flesh. This scripture says that we are in the spirit if the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, lives in us. We must realize that we are in a battle to keep us under condemnation, but we through the spirit can mortify the deeds of the body or flesh. We must realize when we are being tempted that we are under attack and when we yield to that attack we will feel condemned which is exactly what satan wants, but have no fear, God understands our battle. First John 3:20-22, "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us." If we as a church could only realize that most of us must go through a purging, sifting, chastising, scourging or the "fire" and be prepared for it then we could be there for each other and it would be a lot less difficult for the ones that need help through this process. We must learn to draw close to God and humble ourselves when we are tempted and even if we give in to temptation we must trust God with all our heart, because He may be all we have to turn to during temptation. Do not be afraid that He is mad because God is greater than our heart, and knows everything about our battle that is making us worthy for His use.
Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." I have grieved the Holy Spirit of God and I went to First John 1:9 and repented and He forgave me and began to help me learn not to do whatever I did so I wouldnít grieve Him in the future. Being grieved does not mean forsaking because He will never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5.
As I mentioned in chapter nine, the preacher that called Hebrews 6:1-6 those horrible scriptures, told a story of a young man that was a new member of his church that was having difficulty in his marriage and I could identify with his situation. Some of the "elders", the older men in his church, got together with the young man and used Hebrews 6:1-6 to tell him he had fallen away and could no longer attend their church. [That was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. Then God could take him and begin to teach him the truth.] I had always wished I could have gotten up and explained what God was trying to say in Hebrews 6:1-6, but at the time I didnít understand that God is trying to get us to go on past repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment to perfection and not to waste our time trying to crucify Christ again. Whenever I would start wondering about Hebrews 6:4-6 God always takes me to Ephesians 1:13-14, "In whom [God] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom after also that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest [guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory."
John 17:11-12, Jesus speaking to the Father, "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." Galatians 6:1-3, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Romans 12:3, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." James 5:19-20, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." Jude 3, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful of me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." James 5:16, "Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed [Iaomai, to cure (literally or figuratively):-heal, make whole]." Unless we understand the battle that we all are going through and quit operating on self-righteousness, that we are good because of ourselves, we can never really be able to understand when someone confesses their faults to us. We must be able to recognize the battle, the wrestling match we must all go through and keep our eyes on Jesus-The Word of God. If we really think we are working our way to Heaven by being good, then when someone comes to us that is not being "good", we will not only think we are better than they are, we will also be afraid they might send us to Hell with them. They're "bad" might rub off on us and we will lose our salvation. God did not create the church to be selfish and if we become centered on working our way to Heaven instead of our salvation we will never be able to help others to be born again and then help them through the salvation process. My church told me I would have to prove myself again for getting angry during my marriage, but never told me that I had given satan ground to come in and steal and destroy and that I needed to learn God's ways and was going through a sifting process and that the unclean spirits come back with seven more evil than themselves. Second Timothy 2:21 tells us we must purge ourselves of our iniquities. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our deliverance and make turning to the Holy Spirit when we come under attack something that is as normal to us as living and breathing. First John 1:8-10, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." Whenever I do something I know I shouldn't, I ask God to forgive me and then I ask Him to teach me not to do whatever I have done anymore. We need to know when we are giving ground so we don't give it anymore. Remember it is a three-step process, we confess, God forgives, and we and God, through the renewing of the Holy Ghost, cleanses us from all unrighteousness so we can be worthy for the Master's use.
Always remember one of the greatest things God has given us is the ability to loose and bind. Let's review it one more time, Matthew 12:28-29, Jesus speaking, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strongman's house, and spoil his good's except he first bind the strongman? And then he will spoil his house." If we want to we can bind the devil whenever we need to bind him. Even when we are being cleansed from all unrighteousness and are doing things we should not we still have authority to bind the devil in the Name of Jesus. In our study on the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 16:13-19, in verse 19, right after Jesus tells Peter He is going to give him the keys, He also tells him, "And whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven." In Matthew 18 Jesus is teaching the disciples and in verse 18 He tells them, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven." When we, as a church, finally begin to understand our spiritual battle and can confess our faults to one another Matthew 18:19-20 can be one of our greatest weapons, "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them." The prayer of agreement is probably one of the most powerful things we as Christians can do together when we know God's will and then agree in the Name of Jesus. In the Name of Jesus we shall,,,. If we do not know God's will we just simply agree that God's will be done and ask Him to give us wisdom to know His will. I was recently visiting a friend of mine that does Christian counseling and I picked up her guide to counseling that she had on her desk. I opened it to the chapter on sex sins and the definition of fornication that they gave was, "sex between unmarried people." This may be the worldís definition, but using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bibles' Greek dictionary, we find that the combination of the definitions of the words for fornication, as used in the Bible, pornein and porneuo, are as follows: Harlotry (including adultery and incest); fig. idolatry-fornication [oral sex]; to act the harlot; indulge unlawful lust (of either sex) or (fig.) practice idolatry-commit fornication. I could never be delivered from something if I did not know what it meant and when I did learn what it meant I could then begin to learn not to give the devil ground through fornication.
When I feel as if I am being tempted the powers of darkness use the same old things they always have. Through the grace of God I can remember being enticed by a spirit of fornication [unlawful lust or sexual desire] as a very small child of about four years of age. This was in the early forties and there was no television, no playboy magazine, married couples in movies had to have twin beds and you were not exposed to any and everything then as you are now. Somehow ground had been obtained by the powers of darkness by planting the idea in my mind somehow. I will never know for sure where this came from, but an infant in a crib can understand a whole lot more than we think they can and we need to be very careful around children of any age. My son Michael was about two when he was trying to put his hand in his pocket just like I had my hand in my pocket. Children that look to us for security are trying very hard to please us and think if they do what we do that we will be pleased and that is not necessarily true.
I have already told how I was possessed with a spirit of rejection and fear of rejection from the womb. We must deal with the ground that satan has obtained in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly, before we became God's child and then try very hard not to let him obtain new ground once we are saved, because it makes the purging process much easier to go through. It is very easy to know when we are giving ground in a physical battle, but in a spiritual battle it could be things we have done all of our lives and is acceptable by the general population. Once again we have to not look at the tares or bastards and avoid justifying things that breaks our fellowship with God. I am not talking about jobs, marriages, children, etc., etc., but things that do not line up with the Word of God and do not agree with how God wants us to live. Of course that could include our jobs, marriages or children and we need to seek God and His perfect will for our jobs, marriages and children. When I was going to the Apostolic church I decided to get rid of our television and that was fine with me, but Michael would go to his grandma's to watch television and did not like listening to ball games when he could be watching them. He started going to bed earlier and earlier and God had to finally let me know it was okay to have a television. We not only got a television, but we got cable with remote and had a wider range of shows to watch and we could switch channels when the ridiculous commercials came on. I had fun sitting there and pointing out the works of the devil, which is most of the stuff on television.
Some of the worst things on television are the beer commercials that come on during ball games that are designed to promote a lifestyle that is totally opposite to a Godly lifestyle. They almost always show attractive people having fun and never show the broken lives that result from that lifestyle. We never see the car wrecks, divorces, alcoholism, deaths, liver transplants, fights, murders, robberies, unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions and the countless number of things that can happen when someoneís guard is down by the relaxing influence of alcohol. One night we were watching a ball game and when the commercial came on a stripper started down a ramp and said she was waiting for us at some strip joint. God told a friend of mine, Sam Pope, that television is dead works. I finally got rid of the thing when my son, Michael, moved out because he was getting married. As of March 9, 1996 I have a new daughter named Brandy and on February 2, 1998 she gave birth to my first grand-child Sarah Ann McCracken. And on June 16th, 2003 she gave birth to my grand-son, Shane Evan McCracken. And on May 28th, 2003 my daughter Maureen and her husband Scot presented me with grand-daughter number two, Faith Dianna Haskell and then she gave birth to William Howard Haskell on September25, 2006. I do not recommend that anyone watch television, but you can sure tell where the world, and the church, are getting some of their goofy ideas from, because most of the time you canít tell the difference between the church and the world. satan can use this medium to dictate almost anything he chooses. Matthew 6:22-23, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." Maybe you can watch television and not find darkness, but I could not, plus it waste a tremendous amount of time that could be better used making our world a better place to live. Television and computers are generally used as an escape from reality.
You can use as the subject of your resistance to temptation any area you are having trouble in. My purging centers primarily around fornication, which includes pornography, but also at any time can include almost any of the seven deadly sins, pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed/covetousness or laziness.
PRIDE-pride.htmlis excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
ENVY-is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.
GLUTTONY-is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
LUST-is an inordinate [excessive] craving for the pleasures of the body.
ANGER-is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
GREED-is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
SLOTHFULNESS-is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
James 4:1-10, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that liveth in us lusteth to envy? [Genesis 8:21, God is speaking after the great flood, "And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."] But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resiseth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." The spirit that lives within us yearns to do evil and we must learn to humble ourselves so that He can teach us not to yield to temptation through His grace. Remember Titus 2:11-12, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that," We must realize that although we lust to envy God gives us more grace so that we can humble ourselves and He can teach us through His Holy Spirit. I do not know about you, but humbling myself before the Lord is a whole lot easier once you catch on that He is chastising us, and once we yield to Him we will have the peaceable fruit of righteousness. God is our everything and we are nothing without Him.
Luke 4:1, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil." Hebrews 2:17-18, "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour [help, aid, assist] them that are tempted." Hebrew 4:15-16, "For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
First Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." In Matthew 6:13, as part of the Lord's prayer, we read "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." James 1:14, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." This is decision time and we must make the decision to resist the temptation. God is going to make a way for us to escape and the best way for us to escape is exactly the way Jesus did, take the Word of God and quench the fiery darts of the wicked by telling the devil what the Word of God says. First Peter 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps." Jesus also spent a tremendous amount of time spreading the gospel and helping others because the best defense is a good offense. Second Peter 2:9, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." Remember we were justified by the works of the cross and are being made just by the works of the Holy Spirit and we are not the unjust.
James 1:13, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." First Peter 1:6-7, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." God will allow us to be tempted, but the tempter is satan. We are tempted to try our faith and the result is that we will have patience. We should be joyous when we are tempted because we should recognize this as a trial whose end result will be perfection. Mark 1:9-13, "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the Heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: And there came a voice from Heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him." Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, but God did not allow Him to be led into temptation until He was sealed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus had the Holy Ghost and was ready to be tempted because He had been prepared by studying Godís Word.
Remember when He was twelve and was in the temple; Luke 2:40-52, "And the little child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him. Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; And Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man."
God had been preparing Him by His studying the Word of God and He was forever saying, "It is written", just like we should. When you are going through temptation God will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able and He will call the dogs off if it starts getting too rough. The speed at which we go through "the fire", or purging of ground that satan has obtained in our lives through serving him, depends on whether or not we take advantage of God's escape route. God will always make a way to escape whatever temptation we are tempted with, but we are the one's that decide whether or not to take that avenue of escape. It is helpful to know that we need to escape, because we are so used to doing some things that are against God's will that they just come naturally and we think it is natural just because everyone else is doing it. We need the Holy Ghost to convict us and teach us Godís way of doing things so that we can say, "It is written." Remember the definition of faith, Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen." We need to learn not to look at things in the natural world to build our faith on. Our faith needs to come from the spiritual realm, the Word of God and our own testimony about what has happened to us. Revelation 12:11, "And they overcame him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death." Always remember that the tares also have a testimony like the person in Matthew 7:21-23. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? and in thy Name have cast out devils? and in thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
As I told you earlier, in early 1989 a purging began that all I can tell you is it is a period of time you go through when you are tempted with everything that the devil thinks he can tempt you with and we won and we lost battles, but here I am. When you are going through temptation you are constantly bombarded with thoughts or fiery darts of "you are not really saved", but the Holy Ghost always pointed me back to October 18, 1983. Overcoming temptation is something that can not be accomplished without the Holy Ghost, the comforter, that quiet assurance that everything is okay no matter what is happening and, of course, I wasnít saved, I was only born again and filled and sealed by the Holy Ghost. Hallelujah!!!!!!
As we have learned, any temptation we are tempted with begins with a battle that begins in our minds and that Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring every thought into captivity and put it into obedience to the Word of God and as soon as we learn what the Word of God says the sooner we will be set free from the temptation of sin. My sins were things I had been doing for almost 49 years and the only way I could ever be purged was to become dead to sin and not want to do them. Since I was dead to sin, when I did them I was extremely disappointed and would immediately go to God and tell Him I did not want to do them, but like the baby that is told the stove is hot and will burn you, you have to go ahead and do it just to find out for sure. Sin is even worse, sometimes you have to be burned over and over to get sick of sin, but it can not be accomplished without the Holy Ghost and it also helps when you can recognize it as sin and know the definition of fornication. I have learned that fasting food helps us live what I have heard called "a fasted life", because once we bring our flesh under subjection to food it is easier to be temperate in other things. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16, "Moreover when ye fast." Any time a fiery dart enters your mind you have several options. The first thing to do is to submit yourself unto God through prayer and understanding that He knows you are being tempted or you can bind whatever in the Name of Jesus or pray in tongues or the understanding or praise and worship God in tongues or the understanding or ignore it if you can or take the appropriate scripture that applies to whatever you are being tempted about and quote it to the devil like Jesus did and if you do not remember the scripture, just tell him that you know that is not something your Jesus wants you doing and bind him in the Name of Jesus. If you are not sure if God wants you doing whatever, just take a neutral stand until you can find out what the Word says about whatever you think you are being tempted with until you can read your Bible or find someone that you trust to pray with you about it. If you ask God for wisdom in this type of situation He will give it to you. James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth [rebukes] not; and it shall be given him." Do not be afraid to ask for wisdom, God's way is always the best way and it might not be what we want to hear, but it is still the best way. Generally, if it is accepted practice in the world forget it. One last thing you can do, if possible, is flee. The Bible tells us to flee fornication in First Corinthians 6:18, idolatry in First Corinthians 10:14, youthful lusts in Second Timothy 2:22 and evil doctrines, evil questioning, arguing about scripture, envy, strife, people that lie about or blaspheme the Word of God or the people of God, evil thinking, and the love of money in First Timothy 6:1-11. Flee means, "to run away." and praise God forevermore, we can flee to God for refuge. Hebrews 6:17-19, "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,"
Anytime I am having trouble resisting the devil I need to humble myself in the sight of the Lord and ask God to show me where I am giving satan ground that is making it difficult for me to resist him even when I want to resist him. Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place [ground] to the devil." We are back to what we learned in chapter ten, "The Authority of the Believer", about submission. I really do not remember what I was being tempted with, but I am sure it was a thought connected to fornication and since I did not know the definition of fornication it was difficult to be submitted to God in that area. When we are having difficulty resisting temptation in any area we must make sure we understand God's will in that area by checking the Word and by not being afraid to admit we are wrong. It does not do any good to fight being submitted, because the Holy Ghost does not give up. Humble yourself and pray, praise and worship in tongues and the understanding and bind in the Name of Jesus. During my period of intense purging or temptation, it only occasionally involved another person and on one particular occasion, in 1989, I was being enticed and God told me to go to some friends of mine named Benny and Pat Holmes. God just simply said, "Go to Pat and Benny's." One of the reason's I love God so much is that I did not go to Pat and Benny's, and afterwards I could still feel the ever present guiding of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 13:5, "For He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Remember grace teaches, Titus 2:11-15, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." On another occasion I was being tempted and was in an area of Houston that has prostitutes. On the way to this area I knew what was going on and I bound the devil according to Matthew 18:18 from having someone in my path that would cause me to sin. "satan, in the Name of Jesus, I bind you by the authority given to me in the Word of God from putting someone in my path that would cause me to want to sin." Nothing happened and the Holy Ghost spoke to me on the way home and said that we had won. Praise the Lord! The beauty of binding. Any time we yield to temptation we, as dead to sin born again Christians, are going to feel condemned. In Hebrews 12 we read in verses 5-11 about being chastened of the Lord and when the Lord chastens you, you know it. When He chastens you, you want to try very hard to be delivered from whatever temptation you yielded to and not do it again. James 1:14-16, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren." James 5:19-20, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
Hebrews 10:30-31, "For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Romans 8:1-2, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." A person can commit fornication all by themselves. Masturbation is generally the culmination of allowing a spirit of fornication access into your mind. I am not trying to tell someone not to masturbate, but it would be better to marry if you can not control your lusts. Lust is wrestling. Sexual immorality always begins with a fiery dart or suggestion from the wicked and we must learn to control them on a daily basis. We live in a pornographic world full of stumbling blocks, but God has given us the weapons and knowledge to be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.
King James Version
Living Bible Version
First Corinthians 7:6-9, 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
First Corinthians 7:6-9, 6 I'm not saying that you must marry; but you certainly may if you wish. 7 I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are all not the same. God gives some the gift of a husband or wife, and others He gives the gift of being able to stay happily unmarried. 8 So I say to those who aren't married, and to widows-better to stay unmarried if you can, just as I am. 9 But if you can't control yourselves, go ahead and marry. It is better to marry than to burn with lust."
My temptation would always start with fiery darts pertaining to lustful thoughts that would lead to masturbation and when a person yields to those thoughts they will never be totally satisfied. The flesh may be temporarily satisfied but the spirit person of someone that is born again will always be disappointed so we must try to avoid thoughts that lead to masturbation as much as possible. The thoughts will be giving the demons involved ground to come in and put all sorts of thoughts in someoneís mind and I have even purchased pornography when I have been allowing vexing spirits access to my mind and that is exactly what satan wants and even if I throw it in the trash as soon as I get home he has won. There is absolutely no satisfaction in purchasing pornography, because it only opens doors to other demonic spirits to come in with their specialties, lust, anger, fear, grief, etc., etc. I have always told God that I did not want to get married to have a sex partner. First Corinthians 7:2, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." If and when God wants me to marry He will use our union to help other people to be set free from being dominated by the wicked. Certainly a marriage should include sex, but it must be Christ centered and His purpose for the union should be the focal point, not sex.
Remember now, we have learned that the only problem we have is satan and we do not wrestle with flesh and blood. When we are tempted in any area we are being tempted by satan and his evil angels. Deviate sex is not natural, it is a demon spirit of perversion and lust and non homosexuals like to single out homosexuals as an example of deviate sex, but oral sex in any form is fornication-idolatry. Man-woman, woman-man, man-man or woman-woman, they are all the same demon spirits. When satan talks anybody into any deviate sex act they are being drawn away of their own lust and bringing death on themselves. I used to think that married people did not commit fornication since they were married, but I did not know what fornication meant. The Greek words "pornein" and "porneuo", are as follows: Harlotry (including adultery and incest); fig. idolatry-fornication [oral sex]; to act the harlot; indulge unlawful lust (of either sex) or (fig.) practice idolatry-commit fornication. There are forty scriptures in the New Testament that has a form of the word fornication in them so God must recognize it as a problem. I have told how I was drawn away of my own lust and enticed to marry someone God did not want me to marry just to satisfy the desires of my flesh. There were many factors involved in the battle that I unknowingly was involved in and being rejected from the womb did not help and satan had spent a tremendous amount of time to perfect this feeling of rejection and fear of rejection all of my life. I never dreamed that satan could come in and interfere with my relationship with anybody. he can fire a fiery dart, or thought, that is either negative or exalting, into anyone's mind anytime that he gets ready which can interfere with our concentration during the sex act. If he can get us to begin to look for other ways to satisfy our sex partner can you see where he can easily suggest oral sex or any other perverted sex act he can come up with. I had stated earlier that the powers of darkness had manipulated my circumstances for 47 years from my motherís womb to get me to accept his suggestion to allow a demon spirit of perversion to lead me to engage in sexual perversion. We must realize that God knows this and is ready and willing to forgive us for anything we have done in the past, or will do in the battle to overcome the past. satan has used this spirit of rejection or spirit of a fear of rejection against me over and over, even with God.
I try to minimize reading the newspaper and got rid of the television to get away from constantly having to watch or read news accounts of how satan is destroying the lives of person after person in this world. his attack goes unabated, as no church has the teaching or courage to stand up to him and teach the truth. I have been to churches that never mention satan or just the opposite, they talk about him, but do not recognize his wiles whereby he attacks and controls the saints of God. I have heard preacher after preacher say not to give the devil too much credit, but I think God gets too much credit for the things that the devil does, such as the young lady thinking that her 17 year old brother being killed was God's will. God is held responsible over and over for allowing sickness and poverty and death and destruction and I even heard preachers wonder out loud what God was up to by allowing 911. Aren't you glad that we are learning to recognize the wiles of the devil and how to defeat him with the Word of God. John 10:10, Jesus speaking, "The thief [satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." One of satan's greatest deceptions is making people think that what ever they are doing or is happening to them is "normal." "It's okay everybody is doing it." "Preacher so and so wrote a book and said it was okay." "God made me this way." "God understands." "God knows my heart." "God is allowing this to happen to bring me closer to Him." There is even a school of thought that you can do anything in the marriage bed and it is okay with God. This unfortunately comes from perverting Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:" God is telling us that the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled and it goes on and on and on. We need to know what the Word says about our situation so when we are tempted we will know what is normal and be able to recognize temptation and come against it with the Word. I used Websterís definition of fornication and thought it was "normal" until I found out what Godís definition of fornication was.
I did not start trying to be set free from a spirit of fornication until I was filled with the Holy Ghost because I was not fulfilling God's plan for my life and I knew it. Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Remember we are His vessel. God said, "I can't use you" to me when I asked Him why we were not teaching this message, because I needed to clean up my mind by learning Godís ways and become useful for the Master's use. I have finally learned that God is a positive God, therefore satan is a negative god and if a thought or circumstance is positive or constructive it is God. and if a thought or circumstance is negative or destructive it is satan. In this instance, "I can not use you", was a constructive statement since it helped wake me up. In Revelation 12:10 we read that the accuser of the brethren who accused them before our God day and night was cast down when Jesus came on the scene and he is no longer there, he is here. Verse 17 stated that satan has come to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman who are keeping God's commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Remnant is "loipoy", remaining ones:-other, which remain, remnant, residue, rest. What I want you to see is that he is making war against the ones that keep the commandments of God, a righteous, "dikaios" person and he is trying to keep our prayers from being effectual and fervent, James 5:16, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." I know I have said this many times, but praying in the spirit with the language God gave us when we recived the Holy Spirit is probably the greatest weapon we have when we donít feel like or know how to pray effectually and donít feel like praying fervently because of the attack we are under. People that donít pray in the spirit daily are missing out on one of Godís greatest blessings.
Jude 20, "But ye beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." First Corinthians 14:4, "He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifieth himself." Edifieth means "to build up." Romans 8:26-28, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses]; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."Pray in tongues daily!!!!!!
I am now going to include the story of Job because satan loves to convince Christians that bad things are happening to them because God has given satan permission to do to us what he did to Job. In reality satan comes to us to get permission. As we learned God has given us authority over satan through His Word and the Name of Jesus.
Job 1:6-2:7, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto satan, Whence comest thou? then satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the Earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the Earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? Then satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power, only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So satan went forth from the presence of the Lord." And there was a day when his [Job's] sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in his eldest brother's house: and there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. [satan always wants a witness] While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from Heaven [satan was making them believe it was God, when it was really him], and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said unto satan, From whence comest thou? And satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the Earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath he will give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto satan, Behold, he is in thine hand: but save his life. So went satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." As you can see in the story of Job satan used to be able to present himself to the Lord, but he has been cast down from Heaven and is no longer allowed to do this according to Revelation 12:9-11, "
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Verse 17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Job and we, praise our most Holy and righteous Father which are in Heaven forever more, are under two different covenants and ours is much, much, much, much better. satan is no longer in Heaven accusing us before the Lord because his battle is on this earth with us. When Christ moved in, he moved out and he no longer goes to God to get permission to afflict us, he comes to us to get permission. The amazing thing is that he usually gets our okay and it may be by exploiting our weaknesses that we obtained through his wiles or by our ignorance of Godís ways, but unfortunately it does not matter. he will use whatever it takes and he is constantly trying to talk us into or out of something.
We, however, as born again children of God may enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus Hebrews 10:19-24, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" When I was under attack by the powers of darkness, because I had given them all the ground they could possibly desire, I had people tell me I was a modern day Job. If Job would have been under the same covenant we are under he would have had a choice to put up with the devil's mess. If he had been in a good church that taught him a complete gospel, he, of course, would have been filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and would have known to pray and bind the devil in the Name of Jesus over his children. The Holy Ghost has prompted me to pray over my family and friends many times. My son would be out riding around or at school and the Holy Ghost would have me pray over him. Our schools are places where satan rounds up our children and teaches them pretty much what he wants them to know. The Holy Spirit reminds me to pray for a list of people almost daily and we rarely miss a day. When his possessions came under attack Job would have known to bind the devil in the Name of Jesus and boldly approach the throne of grace, the Holiest, and go to the Father in the Name of Jesus and ask Him where he was giving the devil ground in his finances. If he would not have known this he would have prayed in the spirit and let the Holy Spirit pray for him over the situation. When he began to get symptoms that he knew were contrary to the Word of God he would have taken the Sword of the Spirit and told satan that the Word says that by Jesusí stripes I am healed and then gone to the Father and asked Him to forgive him according to First John 1:9 for anything he might have done to give satan ground in the area of his health or finances, because he knew that God said in Exodus 23:25 "I will take sickness from the midst of thee." His friends, instead of being condemning, could have chosen to obey James 5:14-16, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."
God is no longer in the business of allowing satan to do to us what he did to Job and the only way this will happen now is if we allow satan to talk us into allowing these things to happen. We must learn the Word of God and to say "It is written!" and if we donít then is when we begin to be tested and the Lord will use this opportunity to teach us and to purge us of our old ways. It is not necessary for us to go through the purging process if we have a good church to stand with us and/or know what the Word of God says and keep ourselves. First Peter 1:5-6 says, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." If we are taught correctly we do not need to go through manifold temptations or the purging process and if I would have had the correct teaching I would not have had to have gone through what I did.
I envision churches having "coaches" assigned to new converts until they are rooted and grounded in the Word of God and able to resist the devil on their own through the Word of God and then they can become "coaches." Galatians 6:1-3, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
What I went through will be worth it if I can keep you from having to go through what I went through.
James 1:15, "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." This death is literally death and the reason God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that they would die. As you noticed they did not drop dead, but at that moment they began to die and they were separated from God by sin and the more we yield to temptations the faster we are going to die. There is stress involved in sin and I used to think it was fun, but I now recognize it as being stressful. James 1:12, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised them that love Him." The crown of life means what it says, life. A life that is free of sin. Free of yielding to the temptations of the wicked. Free of the stresses, strains and heartaches of sin.
Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." First Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." We need to learn to watch. Watch for an attack of the enemy and then humble ourselves before God and pray for mercy and bind the devil in the Name of Jesus over the situation. "It is written!"
First Corinthians 9:24-27, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. For every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
First John 3:7-9, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed [God's Word] remaineth in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God." First Peter 1:22-23, "Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
I am convinced that the battle of temptation can be won when we as a body, the Church, come together and help each other fight the good fight of faith and overcome the powers of darkness and begin to be an example to the rest of the world. People today are seeking many ways to obtain "spiritual security" or a sense of well being about having control in the spiritual realm and true Christianity is very misunderstood as it takes on many diverse identities and is divided into over 225 denominations. We must come together in the unity of the faith and be likeminded, of one accord, of one mind, perfectly joined together with no divisions among us and all speak the same thing. ******************************************************************************
I am now going to include several scriptures as food for thought and just read them like God is advising us as how to live and conduct ourselves.
Second Corinthians 6:14-18, "Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." "Touch not the unclean thing" goes with Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."
First Corinthians 6:18-20, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
First Timothy 2:8-10, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided [to twine or braid] hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
The older women in Jesus, that have been born again longer and are rooted and grounded in the Word should teach the newer women that have just been born again just like Titus 2:3-5 says, "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober [self-controlled], to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed." They need to act like they are saved.
First Corinthians 7:1, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." Matthew 5:28, "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart." Luke 17:1, "Then said He [Jesus] unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come; but woe unto him, through whom they come." Offence is "skandalon", snare (fig. cause of displeasure or sin):-occasion to fall(of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumbling block.
Philippians 4:8, "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
First Thessalonians 3:12-13,4:1-7, "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you, to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Furthermore then we beseech you brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication [harlotry, unlawful lust of either sex, practice idolatry]. That everyone of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence [a longing for what is forbidden], even as the Gentiles that know not God.
That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness."
First Peter 3:3-5, wives are being told how to win their husbands to the Lord. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands." We need to learn to look good for God instead of ourselves or someone else.
First Corinthians 11:14-15, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man hath long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given for a covering."
King James Version
Living Bible Version
First Corinthians 6:12-13, 12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them.
Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
First Corinthians 6:12-13, 12 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren't good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I'll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can't easily stop if I want to. 13 For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it. But that doesn't mean we should eat more than we need. Don't think of eating as important, because someday God will do away with both stomachs and food. But sexual sin [fornication] is never right: our bodies were not made for that, but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with Himself.
First Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Ephesians 4:29-32, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you."
Ephesians 5:1-4, "Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, or foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."
James 4:4, "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." First John 2:15-16, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Second Timothy 2:19-22, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet [worthy] for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."