How to Wait on God
and Benefit from His Purifying Power
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power.
And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words.
Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed.
Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her"
to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear his word.
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving.
Waiting On God
"We go to him, and he rains help on us;
well does this exercise of God purify those who do."
Grace and truth comes by Jesus Christ, , having tasted death for every man, . Jesus made the heart and soul purifying grace of God available to anyone, but we must access that powerful grace by going to God to receive his teachings, convictions, and powerful removal of sin from our hearts. We access the power of God through grace by waiting on Him. Salvation, which is to be freed from all sin, comes to those who wait on Him.
Without the power of God working in you, there is no victory, there is no overcoming. There are three sources to the power of God being released to purify you: 1) power in the true hope and gospel, 2) power in the inward cross of self denial, and 3) the power in the name of Jesus. This power of God works in us, and keeps us through faith to salvation, which is to be delivered from sin. Christendom is without the cross of Christ, without the true hope, and so without the power of God, with only a form (hollow shell) of the original Christianity, without the new life of the new creature, without holiness, wallowing in sin, boasting of their imperfection, perishing, whose end is destruction. For without the power of God released to change a man, his heart remains full of sin and unacceptable to God, whatever his lips may say in the form of worship. The power of God, the inward cross of self-denial, begins by waiting on the Lord, with the hope of the gospel: freedom from sin, entering the kingdom of God while on earth, and union with Christ and God.
To wait on Him is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. Waiting on God is referenced throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Waiting on God is the way those in the early church realized the promises of the true gospel: to be released from the bondage of sin, to enter the kingdom of God, and to be in union with Christ and God.
Below are a few of the many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that speak to the benefit of waiting:
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you.
Wait on the LORD! Be of good courage and let your heart be confident!
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
But those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.
Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gate, waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoever finds me, finds life; and he shall obtain favor of the LORD.
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the LORD;
we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Truly my soul silently waits upon God; from him comes my salvation.
Wait, and hope for, and expect the Lord! Be of good courage and let your heart be confident!
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Therefore return to your God; keep mercy and justice and wait on your God continually.
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
Note! to wait for him is to seek him. Reading the Bible and sect services are not seeking God.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear,
nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him.
Paul quotes the above scripture in 1 Corinthians: "Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, the things that God has prepared for those who love him." The key difference: Isaiah reads waits, 1 Cor 2:9 reads love. So to love God is to wait on Him: we wait on Him to hear His words that teach us, convict us, encourage us, and guide us — that is loving God.
To those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear the second time,
not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation.
Persistent and patient waiting is witnessing Jesus bring you your salvation; what you hear you must heed and obey to obtain salvation: being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him, ; it is by grace that you are taught and changed to become pure.
To wait on God gives access to the power of the Spirit that will destroy the sinful nature within us, by our obedience to the inward cross of self-denial. To wait on God is how to respond to Jesus telling us, "come to me," said many times throughout the scriptures. Click to see them all, below are several:
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and does them, I will show you what he is like:
He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock;
and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it,
because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.
But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words, (obey), is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation,
against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.
Come to me, .. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.
Allow the little children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
We must go to him like little children, in trust, with humility; with faith to silently listen, and faith to obey what we hear.
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry,
and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).
Jesus said: Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you. I am the bread of life, the bread from heaven. For it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. .
All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me;
and the one who comes to Me, I will most certainly not cast out.
No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him
and gives him the desire to come to Me, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Now on the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying,
"If any man thirsts, let him come to me, and drink.
Jesus told us that to sit at his feet and hear his word was: 1) the good part, 2) the one thing needed, and 3) what would not be taken away:
he entered into a certain village, and a woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
Now Martha was distracted with much serving, and so she came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her that she should help me."
But Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.
There is only one thing needed. Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words.
The good part and one thing needed, (to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear his word), is not taken away. Her sitting and listening to God, is a work of love for God; and those works will survive passing through the fire that everyone must endure.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- "We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do.
- God is not found going to services or reading about him.
- Listen to my voice, and I will be your shepherd. Hear the word of the Lord from within.
- Blessed are they who hear the word of God and obey.
- Be slow to speak, quick to listen.
- To hear and obey is hard. Getting quiet is preparation. Think on His name.
- Ears must hear — - Faith within purifies. What's going to happen, you might hear.
- Believe you are hearing the Son of God.
- When you sit and wait, hope for purity, hope for change.
- I will show you the secret sins of your heart.
- The words I speak to you impart life. It is the Spirit who gives life, nothing else.
- Hope releases the power of God to change you. We are saved by hope.
- We live by the restoration of hope.
- The Spirit makes a man holy.
- Salvation comes to those who heed and obey.
- Salvation comes to those who wait.
- Those who sit at the feet of Christ to hear his word — their ground is to wait.
- If we go to him and wait on him, he comes.
- We need to get quiet and ready to listen.
- In humble silence we sit and wait.
- Patiently we wait in humble silence.
- Patiently and assiduously we wait.
- Everyone must submit to waiting on God, waiting in humility.
- We wait for the inward experience.
- Wait for, hope for, the Lord.
- Let Your mercy be in proportion to our waiting and hoping on You.
- When waiting, even if you do not hear for some time,
it will be to your benefit; know that He is at work deep inside of you.
- Without our promises the soul is grieved; with them, the soul settles down to a vigilant tribute to the Lord."
(The definition of a tribute is: something that you do, say, or build to show that you respect and admire.
God is telling us that by vigilance (waiting on God), we are showing our respect and admiration for Him.)
We go to God, we wait on God, we listen for God, we watch for God, we hope to hear him, when we hear him, we obey him; we are centered on God alone. We depend on the grace of God alone, but we must expose ourselves to his commands by waiting on Him. This is not a Do-It-Yourself religion or meditation. To sit in silence while we wait and watch for God's teachings, radically differs from meditations, in which you are to ignore all thoughts and all voices, without a hint of required obedience to what you hear; but unless you obey the convictions and complete commands heard and understood, there is no spiritual progress. Obedience is the cross; obedience is to deny your own will and obey the will of God as he commands us. And the reward for which we strive is not only release from the bondage of sin to have peace, joy, and righteousness in the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth, but after purification: union with God and Christ; to be in fellowship with Christ, the Father, the angels, and the spirits of men and women past made perfect; fellowship in the Spirit with fellow believers; and each of us having an office and function in the Body of Christ and His government on the earth for the rest of our lives here. The Holy Spirit or Comforter or Spirit of Truth will teach you about sin and righteousness, lead you into all truth, and teach you all things — if you wait on God in humble silence, while listening, watching, hearing his spoken words, and obeying his commands.
If I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong [reprove] of sin, and righteousness, and judgment.
Of sin, because they do not believe in me.
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more.
Of judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned.
However when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.
.. and he will show you things to come.
But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit and whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things.
By grace the Spirit will:
From the Word of the Lord within:"The Spirit of Grace both charges and removes, just like Jesus said 'repent,' and also healed.
I stand with those freed from sin.
Those who belong to Christ are through with sin."
Why Seek God, by Waiting on Him, to Hear Him, and Obey Him?
Jesus told us to make seeking the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of God our life's first priority. .
The rewards of seeking God include:
- to be led into all truth,
- to be freed from even the desire to sin,
- to attain union with Christ and God,
- to be translated into His kingdom while still alive on the earth and be there forever,
- to hear God speak to us with His wisdom, which is more precious than silver.
- with resulting purity to see your savior God,
- to then have fellowship with the Father and Jesus, with the Spirits of men past made perfect, and with other saints in the kingdom.
- so that when completed, in true righteousness all our words and deeds are all prompted by God and thus always virtuous,
- so that when completed, our works as ordered by God will show the power and love of God to the world, which will be to His honor and glory and to our supreme joy
- so that when completed, to know all things, including, as the Word of the Lord within said: "to understand this place we live in."
From the Word of the Lord within: "There will be weeping and gnashing outside those who obeyed the Lord."
The Inward Faith
In no way do we diminish Christ's physical life and sacrifice, which made purity and union with Him possible; the benefits of His earthly life are detailed in Why Light? A common fear among people of the deficit sects is that any looking inward is trying to make ourselves a pantheistic God: looking inward, rather than looking outward to God. However the fear is unfounded. Paul confirms Christ within, whom we seek to hear, see, know, and follow.
Do you not yourselves realize and know that Jesus Christ is in you?
Christ in you, the hope of glory
I will dwell in them, and walk in them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.
All things were made by him, and there was nothing made without him. [him is Jesus]
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John came as a witness to the light, that all men through Him [the Light, Christ] might believe.
He [John] was not the light, but was sent to bear witness of the light,
which is the true Light [Christ] that enlightens every man who comes into the world. [Christ is in every man.]
no man knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son,
and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
What may be known of God is revealed in them; for God has shown it to them.
These above is just a few of the many scripture references extracted from the web page, The Mystery — Christ in You.
The faith that the Apostles preached was not an outward faith, but an inward faith. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:
- to concur with history in the Bible that Jesus was the son of God, born of a virgin, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, etc.; that is outward Bible-faith,
- to hear the Word of God, which word is in your heart to obey — this is the word of faith that the Apostles preached. Hearing and obeying Jesus speak to you from within your heart is operational faith, inward faith, faith given to you by Jesus himself. With persistent obedience to the commands heard from God within your heart, this faith within justifies; purifies, redeems, makes righteous, sanctifies, and saves; to give you peace, joy, and righteousness in union and fellowship with Christ and the Father— this is to see and listen to your beloved, living a holy life that pleases Him.
George Fox wrote of this inward faith and focus necessary:
"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."
Further on Waiting, Watching, and Listening for God
The core message of this web site is from the below two teachings of Jesus:
Whoever comes to me, and listens to my spoken words and does [practices, obeys] them,..
He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely built on a rock.
He can't make it any plainer! He said: come to him, listen to his words, and obey. By doing so, you receive Christ.
If a man loves me, he will keep my words [obey me, practice my teachings]; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
Come, listen, and obey what you hear (repentance), be loved by the Father, and He and Jesus then come to you with the Kingdom of Heaven.
There are many scriptures that tell you the value of listening for the Lord's word in your heart to obey; below are a few:
Listen to and obey My voice,
and I will be your God and you shall be my people;
and walk completely in the ways that I command you.
Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed. Mary has chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her" — to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear his word.
To hear his word it to listen to the word of God in your heart.
Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
There is a lengthy web page of scriptures that speak of the benefits in listening to God's voice and the awful consequences of not listening and obeying his voice.
And when you hear Him speak to you, you must obey him to progress. (Click to see the many scriptures on obeying him.)
So you can see that hearing his voice and following him (obeying him) is critical to your future — critical to obtaining life: The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. The promises are: if you listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things, he will guide you into all truth, he will tell you of things to come, and you will know all things.
It is a cross to a man's will to sit silently, struggling to keep his mind from wandering; it is a cross to a man's will to obey what he is commanded and taught by the Holy Spirit; this is the cross of which you must deny yourself and pick it up every day to then follow Jesus. To follow is to obey. You cannot be his disciple unless you pick up your cross daily and follow his orders. Salvation is only received by those who follow the lamb wherever he goes — who obey completely the voice of the Lord, in whatever he commands. Do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. . For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him.
From the Word of the Lord within: "To sit in humble silence, waiting on the Lord, is to bear the cross —
instead of thinking how you might please others." Note, the Lord speaks of humble silence. Your silence shows your respect for God and your humility in approaching him; you cannot go to God as you may have been taught by Christendom with boldness into the throne room presenting your petitions. You are to be confident of his mercy and grace, yes; but do not go boldly, feeling worthy. Below are scriptures that explain humble silence being required.
Be still, and know that I am God.
Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord.
Truly my soul silently waits upon God; from him comes my salvation.
The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
In repentance and rest you are saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving.
Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God. For God is in heaven, and you are upon the earth; therefore let your words be few.
Quotation from George Fox:
"But all of you who are in your own wisdom and in your own reason, you say that silent waiting upon God is a famine to you. It is a strange life to you to come to be silent. You must come into a new world. Now you must die in the silence, die from the wisdom, die from the knowledge, die from the reason, die from the understanding.
So as you come to feel that which brings you to wait upon God, you must die from the other [that resists the silence and feels famished in silence]. It is this [dying in silence] that brings you to feel the power of an endless life, and you come to possess it; in silent waiting upon God you come to receive the wisdom from the above by which all things were made and created, and it gives an understanding and reason that is clearly different from that of the earthly man. This life of God in you is what brings you to wait upon God—and to know God is eternal life.
To you this is the word of the Lord God."
For more understanding on the necessity of learning in silence,
see: George Fox's outstanding Biblical justification and requirement Why Silence?
Jesus came so he could destroy the devil and his works, sin, in us — if we go to him.
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works of the devil.
So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Persevere, and Christ will lead you through repentance to union and the Kingdom of Heaven.
He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him!
(Diligence is defined as: continually attending to and striving to achieve a goal; laboring; persevering.)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. .
The words you hear impart the life of God to you, as they are engrafted into your heart, forming Christ within you, until He is finally formed and resurrected in you.
"If those who hear will obey, their progress will be swift."
How could waiting on God have been lost to Christianity? Just like purity, perfection, holiness, cleanliness, sin, mortifying the sins in your body, crucifying the sinful nature, righteousness, faith, grace, etc., were all lost by Christianity. Waiting became waiting to have your prayers answered and waiting for a one time physical appearance of Jesus to judge the entire earth. Yet the New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. Later Paul, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. His appearance is in the hearts of individual believers who have purified themselves in order to see Him. . It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear, if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
Peter even tells us that we can hasten the day of Christ: While waiting for and hastening the day of Christ. The fact that we can hasten the day of Christ, proves that His coming is a personal experience; and we hasten His coming by spending as much time as possible waiting on God. (There is an entire web page on this site devoted to this second appearance: The Second Appearance of Jesus is Within the Hearts of Purified Believers. )
Each message or revelation that we receive builds our faith, which motivates us to spend more time waiting on God. The miraculous, gradual release from sin also motivates us to spend more time waiting on Him. When we continue in his teachings, word, and light, our sinful nature is crucified with His following promises realized:
This is the opportunity of your lifetime, to give honor and glory to the Father by producing fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness [or meekness, or humility], and self-control. Against these there is no law. . When you have produced the fruit of the spirit, you walk in obedient love to the prompting of God, fulfilling the law; and you belong to Christ.
If you continue to wait, watch, and listen to Jesus, who is the word and light within your heart, you are a true disciple, who will produce the fruit of the Spirit, and who will be guided into all truth, and then will have become free of all sin.
Jesus said, Then shall the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God] shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Let him who has ears be listening, and let him contemplate, discern, and understand by hearing. .
The following extract of letters from the early Quaker notable, William Dewsbury, is an outstanding description of the workings of the Spirit to teach, convict, and lead to salvation, while waiting on the Lord in silence; he particularly relates the process in precise scriptural language:
All people who desire to know the living God,
let the time past suffice in which you have followed
men who have deceived you, and cease from them;
and turn to the true Prophet, whom Moses the servant
of the Lord declared, the Lord God would raise
up, Deut 18:15, his elect and chosen servant,
to raise up the tribe of Jacob, and to restore the
preserved of Israel; whom he has also given for a
Light to the Gentiles, and to be his salvation to
the ends of the earth. Whom Isaiah the prophet
also declared, the Lord would raise up, to open the fountain of life and salvation to all that thirst, Isa 55:1-3, and is now witnessed by all that
hearken to his counsel, who calls,' Ho!' to every
one that thirsts,' come you to the waters, and he
that has no money, come you buy and eat, yes,
buy wine and milk without money and without
price. Wherefore do you spend your money for
that which is not bread, and your labor for that
which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me,
and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight
itself in fatness: incline your ear and come
unto me; hear, and your souls shall live; and I
will make an everlasting covenant with you, even
the sure mercies of David.' " All people, look no longer forth; the glad
tidings of the gospel of eternal salvation is heard within, in this day of the Lord's mercies, in which
he is teaching his people himself, as was declared
by the prophet Isaiah 54:13, and is now witnessed
by all the children of light, whose minds
are turned within to wait on the Lord for his teaching,
to establish them in the covenant of life and
peace, who is performing his promise, which he
declared by his servant the prophet Jeremiah to
all that wait on him; namely,' This shall be the
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel,
in those days, said the Lord; I will put my law
into their hearts, and write it in their inward parts,
and will be to them a God, and they shall be to me
a people; and they shall no more teach every man
his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying,
Know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the
least of them unto the greatest of them, said the
Lord; for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities I will remember
Therefore, everyone that desires to know the
only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, turn your minds within, and examine your hearts,
search and try your ways with the light that Christ
Jesus has enlightened you withal, that shows you
in your hearts what is sin, that pride and covetousness, lying and swearing, dissimulation and
cheating, vain and idle communications, foolish
jesting and unbelief, are sins. These things you
know to be sins in your own consciences, by the
righteous law of God in the heart, that reproves
you for them in secret. There is your teacher, the
Spirit of the Lord within you; which, in this
mighty day of his power, he is pouring upon all
flesh, according to his promise declared by the prophet Joel 2:28-29, and is now witnessed by
his sons and by his daughters, who walk in the
light, and are led and guided by his Spirit within
them, which keeps the conscience void of offence
towards God and towards man. "Hearken, everyone, diligently to the counsel
of the Lord, the light that witnesses for God in
the conscience; give up to be guided by it; then
you will need no more to be taught of men, neither shall your teacher be removed into a corner any
more; but your eye shall see your teacher, and 'your ear shall hear a voice behind you, saying,
This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to
the right hand or to the left,' as was declared by
the prophet, Isaiah 30:20-21, which is now witnessed :—
and that is the living word of God within
you, which has raised desires in you towards
God. Everyone in whom such desires are raised,
wait in the light and power within, which has
raised the desires; and the Lord will then
strengthen you, and give you power to wait on him in the way of his judgments, until the carnal,
earthly, sensual mind, which has led you to delight
in lusts and pleasures, and in created enjoyments,
below God, is cut down and slain by the
word of God within which is a sharp and two-edged
sword, to slay down the first man, which is of the
earth, earthy; and then will you come to witness a
being 'the slain of the Lord.' The sentence of
death will be passed upon the first man that has
led you from God, and on all the strength, wisdom,
and righteousness you had in him; and in the
power of the Spirit, you will be brought, in the
true sense of the poverty of your spirits, to hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God in Christ
Jesus, to prize and love him, and to judge and deny self with his light, and in it to wait for his
power to guide you in every word and work."
The Environment for Success
You must return to your first love, the way you felt when you were first touched by the Lord — on fire. Kindle that fire again. Seek with all your heart. Hate your evil thoughts, profane words, and slavery to your pleasures; they are your enemies. You can't stop your mind from sinning, you can't control your tongue from sinning, but you can control you feet and hands; and you can learn to control your eyes, by practicing looking away from what tempts you. The fear of God is to turn away from evil. If you don't stop sinning by reaching out with your hands to commit evil, and running to evil with your feet, you are not sincerely seeking God — you have failed to repent from the basics under your control. Obedience to what you understand, and what you are able, leads to righteousness. If you deliberately sin, when you could have chosen not to, then you are betraying your sincerity in seeking God; and you can expect to receive little to no help, until you show a true turning away from the evil of which you are able. Dedicate yourself to be rid of you sins once and forever, through the grace of God that will save you completely from your sins. Focus on becoming pleasing to God. Seek God's direction in your life, confident that your life will then be lived to the fullest with the best possible results.
The Lord has told me several times in my journey to "keep seeking peace." He also said for anyone to be successful: "Your motive must be noble and pure." It cannot be to seek financial gain, a more powerful personality, power, religious position, spiritual gifts,* money, or prestige. These are all rooted in the ego flesh, which the Spirit mortifies in the process of grace. You must humbly approach God willing to give up anything asked; eager to crucify your lusts and affections; willing to repent of any evil in your heart revealed; and hopeful of receiving his words, light, spirit and peace in return. Without this motivation, you will receive little, if any, help. If you approach God with reservations about something in your life you selfishly intend to retain, whatever you ask, you will hear little. If you approach God seeking specific answers to questions you have, therefore trying to set the agenda yourself, rarely will you hear.
*Do not seek gifts, seek the giver. When your heart's desire is for a gift, the devil is apt to supply you a counterfeit gift along with his power. To receive a gift before your can speak all words from the Spirit as you hear them, before your thoughts are controlled by Him, before your works are directed by Him, before you can preach the gospel with words from Him; such is a gift that promotes the lies of Babylon, a false salvation, and false Christians. But if you seek the giver, you will be showered with gifts from the true God. William Penn said, "They, who seek power, are those who do not receive Christ in his convictions upon the soul, and therefore, they will always lack power; but those who seek his convictions [His revealing the sins in your heart and His destruction of them], receive power, like those of old, to become the children of God, through the pure obedience of faith."
If you are serious about seeking God, you must make every effort to be honest: no lying, no cheating, no exaggerating, no omission of details that change your statements. If you slip in the moment, which happens even while trying, go back to the person and correct your misstatement; all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. When you are willing to give up anything, so that you can get closer to God, you have nothing to lie about any more; for one lies to gain or preserve, whether it is goods or pride.
This is not a 100 meter dash; it is a 100 kilometer marathon. A command to me, particularly appropriate to the start of your journey is: "Do not despise small beginnings."
Count the Costs Before Beginning
To seek union with God is not always pleasant, especially the crucifixion of self. As Molinos says: "He that would go to perfection by the means of sweetness and consolation, is mistaken. The soul that would be united to Christ, must be conformable to him, following him in the way of suffering on the cross." Jesus said that before beginning, one should first sit down and calculate the cost whether he has sufficient means to finish it. Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete, all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him. Saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' He is telling us to not even start, unless we are committed to going all the way, including death of self through suffering and tribulation. This commitment comes from a deep hunger, a hunger established by God to draw you to him. He already has far too many, calling themselves 'christians,' who never even started, much less finished, building his temple to completion in their hearts. But we can testify truly, that having gone through much suffering and tribulation, the pain is nothing compared to the reward of knowing God. For God has created us to be loved by him and for us to love him. He is pure, clean, holy, righteous, merciful, truthful, faithful, peaceful, full of joy, and abounding in love for us — eagerly awaiting the opportunity to show his love for us. But to be in his presence and receive his love, we must be changed to become pure to able to receive his spirit in measure — our old wineskin can't hold the new wine — we must let him prepare us a new wineskin — so we can possess and enjoy the superior wine. From the voice of the Lord, "Trust him. He will lead you and watch over you continually. He will never leave you."
Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin, so that you should not live the rest of your time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but to the will of God. . Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed.
For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, so that you should follow his steps.
. (There is much more on tribulation later in this section.)
The Lord has told me that "compared to the impoverished, third-world nations, very few in the prosperous, industrialized western world will be willing to completely sacrifice their selfish way of life." Don't sacrifice your eternal happiness for the transient pleasures of your lifestyle, however good it feels. Remember, pride of life results from lust's accumulations. Pride of life is the major problem for the industrialized nations; we imagine that we have the world by the tail. Presumption is the major spiritual error; we imagine that we can please God without crucifixion of the selfish spirit to its death.
His promise was: if you seek, as your FIRST priority, the Kingdom of Heaven and His Righteousness, all your other needs will be met. We can testify to the truth of his promise, that while seeking the Lord as our first priority in life, He has met all our material needs far in excess of our hopes. Rather than accumulation, your focus should be on giving from your excess; for it is more blessed to give than receive. You must practice generous giving. When you see a need that you can fill from your excess, fill it. Just react to what comes in front of you, or you can give to deserving charities such as our favorite: Boys Town. By giving, you are practicing what you seek — love and death of self; but give in secret, receiving no recognition from man. Only your Father in heaven will know, and your treasure will become eternal.
And remember, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money. Rich or poor can love money. Rich or poor can have little regard for money. Remember, it is written, give to the poor, and I will repay you. And, God loves a cheerful giver. Ease of giving comes with practice. Start slowly and build as you feel the joy of giving. If you can't do this yet, wait until he shows you the root of your problem in your heart and takes it away.
Of course, everyone able should be employed, and so be in service to the creation; any honest job is honorable, which includes being a stay-at-home mom. We cannot be slothful, doing no work, living off the government or others' generosity. The slothful is brother to the destroyer.
As long as you are in an honest occupation, remain where you are; don't make any change seeking more income, more status, or more power. The more changes in your life that you make, the more unsettled you become and the less you can hear Him because your mind is racing to accommodate your new circumstances. Don't relocate to a new job, city, country, or house unless necessary. Make as few changes as possible in your worldly life. Wanting more of anything, beyond the necessities of life is covetousness: If we have food and clothing, let us be content. . You are supposed to be seeking God as your first priority in life, even more than food and clothing; if you do that, he promises you will not be without. . From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not be among those who settle for gold."
To single people: If you sincerely desire to seek God, you cannot be seeking a husband or wife at the same time, because that pulls you away from your primary goal. There is nothing wrong with marriage, but you cannot forsake all, while grasping for more; you cannot lose your natural life, while trying enlarge the same. When you attain the clear guidance of the voice of God, if it is best for you to be married, He will clearly tell you whom and when to marry; remember, God destroyed the old world by water because the sons of God were marrying people outside of the faith, to whomever they were physically attracted. Before you begin, count the costs. If you have heard the call, don't be like those who said they were too busy with: a new wife, their business, their farm, or burying their parents. Long after George Fox had attained union and entered paradise, with no desire on his part, he was told by the Lord to marry Margaret Fell, also a prominent Quaker.
As you begin to deny your former evil activities in the world, the basis of your friendships will diminish. As you deny foul language, revelry, excessive drinking, carousing, etc., your friends will become uncomfortable and begin to attack your commitment to goodness. You will no longer have anything to gain from socializing with them. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? Yes, they think it strange that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they speak evil of you. Your former social friendships will necessarily disappear, else they will hate you and persecute you; or worse, drag you back into the world as you seek their approval. Are you trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
Don't make the mistake of assuming you are supposed to love everyone by socializing with them, thinking that Jesus visited sinners and synagogues, and so should you. You are incapable of showing the love of God to anyone until you have been purified and the love of God has been close to perfected in you. Everything Jesus said and did was exactly as he was ordered to by the Father, and when you are clearly under the control of the Spirit of God's promptings and orders, you too will be sent to worldly people, (including religious worldly people), with instructions; but until then, you should withdraw from social contact with the world as much as possible. Friendship with the world is enmity with God; be polite, but don't join in conversations and activities of the world. This doesn't mean that you won't be kind and courteous to those of the world with which your occupation brings you into association; just that you will not socialize with them, because it would be painful and harmful to you. Do not be deceived. Evil companions corrupt good manners, morals, and integrity.
If you are preaching or teaching religion before being perfected and specifically authorized by Christ, to progress spiritually, you must stop. Every word you preach or teach that is not totally correct puts condemnation on you, and until perfected and authorized your teachings will not be true. Don't even talk about God or Christ until authorized by him. See To Religious Teachers and Preachers for more.
Strive to live a quiet and peaceful life. Seek peace with all men. The less conversation, the better. The less time with radio, TV, movies, CDs, MP3s, podcasts, books, magazines, newspapers, web surfing; the better. Video games should be abandoned that are sexual and/or violent. In regard to the latest pastime of our society, social networking: the Word of the Lord within said, "FaceBook is gossip; be angry at gossip;" and this applies to Twitter, blogging, etc., (there are several other readers of the site who have been told to get off Facebook). Whatever conversation you find yourself in, try to talk about love and family. Encourage and congratulate noble activities and good deeds that surface in conversation. Even compliment others for acts of kindness, repressing anger, and politeness. Don’t join unprofitable conversations, avoiding impurity and chatter spoken from pride (godless chatter), for they will increase your ungodliness. If the conversation turns to something profane, immediately leave; spare your ears, voice, and spirit.
A withdrawal from the world for a period of solitude can be helpful to see the world more clearly as it is, thus to destroy its allure. From the Lord: "withdraw from the world long enough to see the inconsideration and hate within it. Every man should retire to his own house until the foundations of the world are destroyed." Even shutting off the TV for a few weeks will partially remove the insensitivity to evil that your heart has developed. Cease your pleasures and pursuits in the world for a several days of intense waiting on the Lord; give Him every minute you can until He breaks through your heart to show you the world's hate, vanity, injustice, greed, deceit, corruption, and sexual obsession.
Pastimes are not harmful unless giving them up is painful. If you are obsessed with some pastime, like teenagers are obsessed with video games, give them up to progress spiritually. But, even if a pastime is not important to you, to others they are a major indulgence in their life. So, you may decide to, or be asked to, refrain from participating in them to: 1) avoid the appearance of endorsing them, thus being a good example to those who might indulge to their harm, and 2) not offend those of other religious persuasions, who think they are sinful — preventing them from hearing the truth as you practice it. Both cases illustrate the practice of being your brother's keeper.
See Coming Out of the World for more on what you need to do to succeed.
Simple Rules to Follow
Beyond your daily seeking through waiting, here are the starting rules that if you follow, you will do well.
- This was John the Baptist's simple message of repentance, to get ready for Jesus and the Kingdom:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct.
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain.
- Seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness. (Jesus' #1)
Set aside at least one hour for waiting on God every day, preferably in the morning before your day begins.
- Above all things, do not swear (James #1; as in oaths: "I swear to tell the truth.."),
- Above all things have fervent love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. (Peter's #1),
- Flee from sexual immorality, ( in , from the Apostles' Council to the beginning Gentiles) .
Every other sin that a man commits is outside his body, but he who commits sexual immorality, sins against his own body. .
- Whatever commands you receive while listening, record them, review them, and keep repenting.
- Prize your time and the Love of God to you. (George Fox's #1)
- Don't worry, he loves you, doubt it not! (from the Word of the Lord within)
- And don't talk about God or Christ unless he tells you to. Wait until your words are from the Spirit.
- Enjoy the good things of this life with thanks and praise to our to great and wonderful God.
Certainly we have to make every effort to give up the unlawful practices: lying, cheating, swearing, drunkenness, stealing, railing, sexual immorality, etc.
But in our culture
we are immersed in lawful pastimes — sports, TV, movies, web surfing, CDs, MP3s, podcasts, music, concerts, theater, races, bodybuilding, shopping, blogging, etc. So where do we begin? You can't give it all up at once, or you will be an empty shell. What you give up has to be led by him, one step at a time, with him giving more hunger for him each step of the way. Titus 2:11-14 says: grace will teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts — how to live soberly, righteously, godly. Certain things must be turned away from with all your strength, particularly those that lead you to sexual immorality. Pornography addiction is the disease of this age and wherever it appears, it must be eliminated: magazines, calendars, books, TV, movies, video games, web surfing, etc. If you are addicted to web pornography, at least get the sites off your Favorites list. Make it more than one click to failure; install a porn filter, get rid of your credit cards — anything to block your ease of depravity; even get rid of your internet connection or your computer if necessary.
Closely related to pornography is autoeroticism, particularly with males, but not limited to males. Many people have been taught by secular education that there is nothing wrong with autoeroticism, even claiming it is healthy. They are wrong because it harms the spirit when you consent to sin in your imagination, which definitely damages you. Before you are purified by the Lord, you do not have total control over your mouth and little control over your mind; but you do have control over your hands and your feet. So you can restrain your hands from grasping evil and your feet from running to evil. Plus as a believer you have the grace of God to help you resist temptation. Getting rid of all sources of pornography is a prerequisite, as discussed above. Then make an effort to keep your mind focused on Jesus, your hope of perfection, your hope of the kingdom, your hope of union; for if you keep your mind focused on him, he will keep you from these temptations. If you forget and find yourself feeling the urge to indulge in the pleasures of the world, call on the grace of God; pray and sit on your hands until you feel the temptation subsides. The more you resist that temptation, the easier it is the next time; in time it will disappear from your life. Do not make the mistake that you are to do nothing until Jesus swoops down and frees you; you must make every effort yourself to turn from evil, but you also must depend on him as described in the previous sentences. To deny yourself is fundamental to the cross. See Steven Crisp's sermon, The Acceptable Sacrifice, for more on the power of God to protect you.
There is another form of addiction: rights or entitlements. Our governments have legislated and imagined an array of rights and entitlements: the right to say anything, the right to a pension, the right to health-care, the right to indulge in sexual immorality, the right to abortion, the right to not be discriminated against, etc. If the thought of having to part with some right upsets you, then you are addicted to it. The Lord's way is not to insist on our own way, nor to flee to the courts for protection, nor to flee to the streets to protest; we are to accept everything as from the hand of the Lord, for he is in perfect control of all the events surrounding those who have made him their first priority in their life.
But for the non-harmful pastimes: know they eventually will have to go, but wait for the Lord to lead you in their denial, when he gives you strength to comply and more hunger for him to fill the void created when you give them up. As the Lord has told me: "I don't want people to give up everything at once, without me leading them and filling them along the way, or they will end up an empty shell.
Everyone should put away what they are doing for the sake of righteousness."
Regarding sports, bodily exercise that keeps you healthy is important and should not be classified as a pastime, providing you are not obsessed with winning or the resulting pride of appearance.
From A Guide to True Peace:
The love of liberty is one of the most dangerous passions of the heart. If we follow this propensity, instead of true liberty, it reduces us to slavery. As our passions are the worst of tyrants, if we obey them partially, we must always be in a perpetual strife and contest within; and if we entirely give ourselves
up to them, it is horrid to think to what extremities they will lead; they will torment the heart, and like a torrent, sweep all before them, and yet never be satisfied. True liberty is to be found only in him, whose truth shall set us free, and who shall make us experience that to serve him is to reign.
When our selfish nature is slain, we will unite with the Spirit of Christ, so that we will be obedient in our love for God — and our obedience is by choice, God not having taken away our free will. Love never insists on its own way. But our love for God will make our obedience to his wishes to be the joy of our life.
Don't try to force others in your family to do the same seeking as you. If they are interested, great. If your wife or husband goes along with you, that's even better; you have the best of fellowship. But don't pressure anyone. Once they see you change; once they see your peace; they may want to follow. Whatever commands you get are for you only; don't assume you have an obligation to enforce them on your family members.
Don't approach waiting on God with questions that you want to be answered. When you need to know something, He will teach you. Let Him set the agenda for Him teaching you, otherwise you will be disappointed that He didn't answer your questions. He knows what you need to know, and when you need to know it.
Beware of those who pose questions of minor importance. If you are asked pointless questions, avoid answering them. Avoid foolish controversies, and don't get drawn into any argument, especially in regard to religion. . If you have reservations about the Scriptures, don't preach, teach, or talk about them; instead remain silent, waiting on the Lord to reveal the knowledge required when you need it. Trust your Teacher to provide you knowledge when you need it; but you must trust his judgment, not your intellectual curiosity that seeks puffed up knowledge. Remember, many of the early Quakers were shown the details and mysteries of the scriptures by Christ as they entered paradise, the Kingdom of God. Fox stated that he had little knowledge of the scriptures prior to Christ's personally instructing him after he entered the Kingdom. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will open the Bible to you." So seek the Kingdom as your highest priority; you don't need to understand every nuance of scripture to arrive at your goal. Use the scriptures for hope; and until you are being instructed by the Holy Spirit, use the scriptures for your understanding of what is sin, helping you avoid as many as possible. See Stephen Crisp's letter on this subject for more information on how immaterial questions are the tool of the enemy: to create some unimportant controversy, until the weighty matter they should have minded is lost and forgotten.
A KEY teaching that we received from HIM while waiting is: to defer (yield your will) to others — our children, our husbands, our wives, our friends. Practicing this alone can result in your significant spiritual progress. You should do this in all cases, unless it is immoral, dangerous, or of major consequence. This should be especially easy for wives who are to be submissive to their husbands, and children who are to obey their parents. We who are His, are charged to put ourselves last. Everyone should defer to other's wishes, for by doing this, we put to death our selfish will, which wants to put ourselves first. Instead, we put Him and his ways first. Love does not demand its own way.
And to those who say, we are advocating salvation by "works," by listening and repenting, I say, go to the Light and have Him show you what is in your heart; then you will know how much grace you still need. Only God can change us — we are helpless in our fleshly deplorable state — only the unmerited favor of God can rid us of our conditions. It is by grace, and grace only through our faith in Christ that we are saved; but saved, means to die to the flesh and live to Christ — not by imputation, but in reality. You must share his sufferings, die daily, be buried in the baptism of death, and have him resurrected in you. The cross is the beginning. The cross is not "works," it is only obedience, and to those who oppose it, they are headed for destruction, for their god is their belly (lusts and affections).
As evidence of your desire for the Lord to lead you to a sinless state and the Kingdom, you will have to leave your deficit sect. To continue to meet with your deficit sect, is contradictory to the truth and to the true gospel requiring repentance. To continue to meet with any of the deficit sects is to fellowship with people who deny the hope of purity through repentance, union, holiness, and the Kingdom. Instead of repentance with forgiveness, their God only forgives with no help or power for further repentance to help them change. To stay, you will either lose your peace or lose your integrity. If you stay, you are associating with people who think sin is OK with God, as long as they are believers and support their sect; to associate with people who continually demonstrate that evil is overlooked by God cannot help but weaken your resolve to rid yourself of your sinful nature. These people will constantly tell you: "We're OK, and you're OK because God loves us just like we are," still full of sin; but that is a tragic, colossal mistake. By your attendance, you are supporting those same people in their delusions, supporting the false teachings of that sect, and thereby condemning yourself. Come out of her [the false church], my people, so that you do not share in her sins, and so you will not receive her plagues.
The voice of the Lord said, "They must withdraw from their sect to be taught;" and "withdraw from your sect, not out of pride and prejudice, but separate yourself long enough to see its false rulings." To be able to hear Christ's teachings, you must quietly withdraw from your deficit sect because he will not build you up on top of a false foundation. See 'Sect's Services' for more detail. Also see Isaac Penington's writing as to why coming out of Babylon is necessary.
Now don't make the mistake of looking for others of similar views with which to fellowship. Realize that until you or anyone else has been crucified, their and your spoken words come from the carnal mind, which is enmity to God and cannot submit itself to God. . As the Lord said, anything beyond a yes or no spoken comes from the evil one, , the spirit of Satan in you and them. If you and others can speak words heard from the Spirit of God, (only words that you hear immediately before speaking, and only words that you are told to speak out loud), then you are sharing the words of God; but immature people are sharing the words of Satan. From the Word of the Lord within: "It is dangerous for the young to fellowship together." There will soon be a time when meetings will once again be set up by mature, kingdom-dwelling individuals throughout the world, but until a mature leadership has been perfected and formed, the Lord Himself is shepherding His sheep, alone. .
The danger of the young in fellowship together also applies to written communication, blogging, comments on blogs, email exchanges, etc. Anything you read from others, (particularly those still seeking and not authorized to share their specific messages heard, much less their expansive interpretations), is subject to severely distorting your understanding. Shared written communications before being specifically authorized to do such sharing, is prone to subtle errors that you can't yet see; and by sharing them, you are heaping condemnation on yourself.
George Fox spoke further of the true fellowship in the below excerpt from Letter 149, (a fellowship in the Spirit that John also referenced: But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
All Friends everywhere,
Meet together, and in the measure of God's spirit wait,
that with it all your minds may be guided up to God, to receive wisdom from God.
That you may all come to know how you may walk up to him in his wisdom.
That it may be justified of you, and you in it preserved up to God, and be glorified.
And Friends meet together, and know one another in that which is eternal,
which was before the world was.
For knowing one another only in the letter and flesh,
differs you little from the beasts of the field;
for what they know they know naturally.
But all knowing one another in the light which was before the world was,
this differs you from the beasts of the field,
and from the world's knowledge,
and brings you to know one another in the elect seed which was before the world was.
Some people want human companionship. Few seek God only, treasuring His words, teachings, love, convictions, and encouragements, however scant the bread from heaven may be when compared with Babylon's boundless TV, books, radio, music, and meetings.
I have heard from several people who because they cannot quiet their mind, give up trying very quickly, thinking they can read the Bible or watch Christian TV and do better. Everyone has difficulty quieting their mind in the beginning; even after years of waiting, I frequently have difficulty. To wait on God is not to be a casual try; your soul's life depends on your persistence and patience. Keep trying and He will eventually quiet your mind; you may have to struggle for an hour or more, but suddenly you will experience quietness. Use the web site to seize the true hope of salvation, purity, the kingdom, and unity; then spend 90% of your time waiting on God and 10% reading the Bible or the web site for maintaining your hope and motivation.
You just try to be quiet so that you can hear the still, quiet voice. Any thought is on the name of Jesus. It is not a mantra to be repeated. When you find yourself off in thoughts, return to the thought of His name and then try to be quiet. To think on the name of Jesus is access to power:
Let him who walks in darkness and has no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and stay [his mind] upon his God.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous flee into it and are safe.
Not only listen for that small, still voice inside, but watch too, even looking at your closed eyelids, staying aware of your sight. Each time you catch yourself off in thoughts, return to thinking of his name, but don't repeat it over and over. Quietness is the key. His name is access to power and to get your mind back to what you are waiting on, to hear His words or see His understandings.
You can use techniques learned in different forms of meditations; just remember to bring your thoughts back to the name of Jesus. You must listen and obey all commands that you hear, providing they are complete, make sense, and are moral. When you get such a command, stop and write it down, then continue to listen. Other forms of meditation teach you to ignore all thoughts — this is exactly the opposite of what you must do — listen and obey.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke often with one another;
and the LORD listened and heard it;
and a book of remembrance was written before Him
of those who feared the LORD
and who meditate upon His name.
I want to share with you the lessons we have learned in years of waiting I wait on God with my eyes closed. I know others who wait with their eyes open. Eyes closed has the advantage that you see less to distract your mind; the disadvantage is that it is easier to go to sleep. George Fox walked all night alone; walking kept him awake while he listened and received understandings and commands from the Lord.
Sleep Must Be Reduced
Sleep is counterproductive to hearing God's voice. This is difficult to accept and believe because we have been taught throughout our life to get plenty of sleep. The less sleep you get, the more you will hear. For years George Fox walked all night to stay awake, and his revelations received speak for themselves as you read his works. Paul got little sleep. The Lord will awaken you in the early morning hours, and it will get earlier and earlier; this is His call to you to get up and wait on Him. If you persistently go back to sleep, you will be attacked with nightmares. Get up and go sit in your chair. If you fall asleep on the chair, when you awaken, be attentive because that is when you frequently hear. Don't go back to bed; stay sitting up and you will hear more. From the Word of the Lord within: "never fear the loss of sleep." As you progress, the Lord will gradually awaken you earlier and earlier, and your ability to tolerate reduced sleep will gradually increase too.
This is a very big cross to your carnal mind's will, which desperately, from a lifetime habit, wants to stay in bed and sleep. For years, He tried to get me up in the middle of the night; I was resistant and stupid, so my progress was slow. I noticed when I traveled overseas, and got little sleep, I heard messages. Now, I get 3 hours of sleep in bed — being awakened. Until I got accustomed to the schedule, he would clearly instruct to get up when awakened. I reached a point in my waiting where I went to sleep within a few minutes, constantly. Even a lot of sleep did not remedy this problem. What did work, was to dig my thumbnail into the tips of my fingers; this pain (no injury) keeps me awake. Remember he said, the Kingdom of Heaven is forcibly entered... by forceful men- meaning with maximum effort. Coffee is too turbulent for me, both for my stomach and my emotions; but tea and guarana help me stay awake without negative side effects. Whatever works for you. Below are several scriptures that strongly support the need for less sleep:
Do not allow sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids.
Deliver yourself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise;
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provides her food in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep?
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.
So shall poverty come on you like a thief, and your want like an armed man.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the [spiritual] vineyard of the man void of understanding;
And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered its surface, and their stone walls were broken down.
Then I saw, and considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep;
So shall your poverty come as a thief [without warning]; and your lack as [if robbed by] an armed man.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with [spiritual] bread.
(Jesus is the Bread from Heaven, the Word of God, heard from within — this is a strong advisory to get as little sleep as possible.)
Then he came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with me one hour?
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
Blessed are those servants whom the master finds watching when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will gird himself and make them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he comes in the second watch or the third watch, and finds them so, [watching] blessed are those servants.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Wake up and be watchful.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch and be sober.
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be sober, and watch to prayer.
Remember therefore what you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If you do not keep awake and watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and watches.
Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door.
For whoever finds me, finds life, and he shall obtain favor of the LORD.
I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches.
The Lord has recently told me, "Many people are saying, 'I don't have time.' I don't ask you to drop whatever you are doing to come and meditate." He has never interfered with what I have to do in my life; he knows we are busy with our jobs, children, houses, community activities, etc. He only asks you put aside some time for him.
You cannot be his disciple unless you pick up your cross daily and follow his orders.
It is probably best to pick a time in the early morning when it is quiet, before you have the day's activities swirling in you head. Get up an hour earlier than you previously did; use weekends for intense seeking, and make holidays holy days, by spending the whole day or as much as possible in silent waiting on the Lord. If you are busy, setting a time in the evening will be too often missed because of conflicts arising in your day's requirements or because you are too tired. Some can wait on God regularly at night; my wife is like this and can wait for several hours at night. Whatever time you choose, make sure you listen daily. It is best to wait in a chair without a head rest. Sitting up straight, you have less possibility of falling asleep, though still possible; and he can more easily awaken you, because any sleep fallen into will not be as deep as would be in bed lying down. If you try to sit up propped up on pillows in bed, it is far too easy to slink down or just roll over into a lying down position.
Occasionally when I first sit down to begin my waiting, I immediately "know" something he is telling me about myself; I feel it deep within me; it is an infusion. There are no words, but the message is understood in words. Once, as I sat down, I felt very guilty about something I had recently done; as I sat there marveling at this sudden and unexpected guilt that came out of nowhere, I heard his voice say, "consider yourself convicted." As you think about what you feel and know, you can put it into words of thought. It is usually a conviction regarding something he wants you to repent of, which if you own and repent, you will greatly benefit. If it is something you have done wrong, you feel shame and guilt. If it is a command or direction, you feel a strong desire to do that thing.
Quieting the Mind
There are several things I have learned that help to quiet the mind, so that you can more easily hear:
- If your chair has arms on it, rest your elbows on the arms, put you hands together as for prayer, and rest them in light contact with your mouth, chin, or nose.
- Bow your head.
- Not only listen, but watch — watch the light on your closed eyelids; or if you wait with your eyes open, stay focused on some stationary object in view. If closed, cut your eyes to the upper right.
- I have also noticed that it helps to focus on feeling the right temple area of my head. It slows the thoughts down.
- I force my breathing to be very slow and long; slow and deep in, slow and full out. You can think of breathing in the Holy Spirit and breathing out your love for God. Both Francis Howgill and Isaac Penington frequently referred to "breathing after the Lord" and "breathe unto the Lord" in their writings; they also refer to the Spirit "breathing forth life" into those who wait on God, much like the first Adam was made a living soul by God breathing into him.
- Close your mouth and breathe through your nose as long as it is clear. Breathing through the mouth makes thoughts easier; this I was taught by the Lord. This is true when waiting or in normal activities. With your mouth closed, holding your upper and lower teeth lightly together helps even more to slow down thoughts.
- Force yourself to smile. Smiling will chase the worries away, which is what 90% of thoughts are. A smile releases endorphins and serotonin, making it easier to relax and drop thoughts.
Just rolling your eyes in the back of your head, moving your eyes to the far right side, and watching the light on your eyelids, can stop thoughts when in a swirl. When you are swirling in thoughts, try it. It might work for you; but there is no one way. Just sit quietly as best you can. "Be still and know that I am God." When you find yourself swirling in thoughts, simply return to thinking on His name; this will be a way to remind yourself of your purpose.
You will eventually notice that you have a thought and then you form the words to express it in your mind. Your thought has already been heard; you are wasting effort trying to express it. Just keep quiet, without forming words to express the feelings or thoughts that pop up, and you will have made a major step. Try not to form words in your mind, even if your thought is bad, just let it be. Your silent feelings and thoughts, without forming words, are the beginnings of worship in spirit and truth.
Start by thinking on the name of Jesus; then go silent. As you progress and become more aware of Christ in you, you can shift to thinking on Christ within you, (per George Fox). From the Word of the Lord within: "Every time you return [your thoughts] to Me, the Father knows it."
Yes, we have waited for you in the way of your judgments, O LORD; the desire of our soul is for your name, and for the remembrance of you.
A book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and who meditate upon his name.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches.
When you catch yourself swirling off in thoughts, return to think on the name of Jesus, and then go silent again. Do not repeat his name over and over again like a mantra. Just remember the name, then go silent as best you can.
Do not be discouraged if you find it difficult to still the mind; everyone does. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated; eventually they will be rewarded with the Lord's grace to help you still the mind. Remember, even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. . For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him.
A common problem is for your mind to imagine preaching to others, quoting scriptures to support the preaching. Some even think this is inspired by God, but it is only your carnal mind judging others and wasting your time of waiting. However good it feels, however righteous it makes you feel, stop it, and go silent as best you can; don't waste your time of listening and watching.
Occasional fasting and less sleep weaken the body and thereby strengthen the spirit. I drink water when fasting; to go without water for more than 3 days is extremely difficult and can be dangerous. There are records of very spiritually advanced people who were able to go without water for longer than three days; Jesus and Moses fasted without water. If you drink water, be sure to add at least 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per day, or your liquid elimination will deplete the body of salt, causing you dangerous dehydration. A juice fast is not really a fast; it is a diet. The Muslim fast of daytime fasting only, eating at night, is not a fast. A fast is to go without food entirely for some period of time. George Fox and many early Quakers frequently fasted. Paul fasted. Jesus fasted. Moses fasted. It is hard, but worthwhile. You may want to wait for the Lord to tell you "Do not eat." If you want to fast, fast. If you want to wait for instructions, wait. I have done both. Fasting in obedience to the Lord's command is easier to sustain because it is not your decision when to quit; if it was your decision to fast, then it is too easy to decide to quit when the going gets rough; but if the Lord tells you to fast [clearly understood, no fill-in-the-blanks, no guessing], you then must wait for him to give your permission to quit.
To often sit and hear or see nothing is part of the process — dryness. For long periods of time, I got one message per month. You will probably do better. You will also get encouragement. This comes just at the right time. He is trying to develop patience. He is developing faith; he speaks at exactly the right time. He knows what is best. Don't second guess Him. He is always there. He will never leave you; this is a scriptural promise. Long periods of hearing nothing are being in the spiritual desert. He told me once "keep crawling through the desert." Don't think the process is not working; know it is. Read John, Peter, Psalms, Isaac Penington, and George Fox for keeping up your hope. You will find your favorites. Whatever builds your hope, read it.
Miguel de Molinos has an outstanding, encouraging writing on meditation (waiting in silence) and the secret benefits of dryness.
In the beginning of your waiting on God, it may take some time before you hear his voice, but your waiting is to be eventually be rewarded. From the Word of the Lord within: "When waiting, even if you do not hear for some time, it will be to your benefit; know that He is at work deep inside of you." My early mistake was to expect guidance as to what ministry he wanted me to pursue and where to move to; questions that could not be answered, rather than simply sitting to be taught about him and myself according to what He, my creator, had decided I needed to know.
I have heard from those who hear immediately. I have heard from others who have not heard for months — but when they do, they are thrilled throughout their being. You don't hear an actual voice with your outside ears; instead it is like a thought inside you, but with a voice accompanying it. He will start with encouraging, kind, statements. He will show you things to come, or show you his power, by revelation; this helps you identify and believe it is the Son of God who is speaking to you. Later he will begin to convict you of your problems, by vision with immediate clear understanding, but in a kind brotherly way, that saddens you of its truth and motivates you to become different; which if you follow your resolve, you will be changed by Him to be different.
Usually, you don't hear from God, or get his guidance quickly. Your sincerity in giving up relying on yourself, and casting all your hopes on him is not to be a casual try, but rather a dedicated effort. It may take months before you hear, but you will hear — if you persist.
Persistence, dedication, and wholly relying on God are the most important. In addition, here is a check list, just to be sure you are not being held back by one or more.
- Be sure you are not holding anything back in reserve that you would not be able to part with if asked.
- Be sure you are only seeking His will for you, not an increase in power, prestige, money, status, etc.; in other words that you are seeking His righteousness and His kingdom as your highest priority in life.
- Be sure you are not rolling over and going back to sleep in the middle of the night when you are awakened by Him.
- Be sure you are not habitually disobeying a command you have heard from Him, thinking it to be unimportant.
- Be sure you have not disbelieved one of His commands that was complete and clear to cease from something you are doing, not wanting to cease it and thus convincing yourself it was your imagination.
- Be sure you are not deliberately doing something evil, which you know you shouldn't be doing, and which you are able to cease.
- Be sure you are in humble silence, aware of his infinite wisdom, power, knowledge, and purity — far above any man. If you go to God, thinking you are saved and special, entitled to privileges, you will not hear — that is not humility. You must go as an unsaved sinner, desperate to be rid of sin, desperate to be able to do the right thing, desperate to be pleasing to God — at any price — but trusting in his goodness and his mercy. Humble silence is the evidence of your humility.
- Be sure you are not still going to deficit sect services, Bible Study, prayer groups, etc.
- Be sure you are not preaching, witnessing, or teaching others, until you are specifically told what to do and when to do it.
- Be sure you are not turning away from those whose physical needs are not satisfied, and which you could satisfy with your excess resources. You must give liberally, to individuals or charities for the poor in order to progress.
- Be sure there is not some obviously immoral habit you are continuing without making every effort to cease it.
Now, some suggestions:
- When you awaken, wait about a minute or two before getting up or planning your day. Try to listen then for a message, which can seem like a thought, except it has no train to support it — it is totally off the subject you may have been thinking on.
- When you are waiting of God, even if thinking, the Lord can superimpose his thoughts and words over yours. You can be tripping along in your thought train, (which you can trace backwards and see how one thought leads to another), and suddenly there is a completely different thought that occurs, which has no trail or train. That is often the Lord communicating with you.
- If you are awakened at night, and feel pretty wide awake, get up and try to wait on God.
- Don't worry about dozing off. Keep sitting up and you will awaken, often several times. As you awaken, then is when you will most often hear. When you awaken, don't condemn yourself for going to sleep; and don't jump up immediately. Sit quietly and roll your eyes up; this is the time you will often hear.
- Finally, try increasing your time. As the Lord once told me: "If the car is going nowhere, press on the gas pedal."
Recognizing His Voice
The voice will come before the Light. But you can have visions, like little dreams, with immediate understandings. This too is the Light's work within you. What you hear doesn't always line up with scripture. You will hear him tell you things about yourself. You will hear compliments. You will hear convictions. But whatever you hear, will never contradict scripture.
You can hear four ways:
- A thought with no voice, or no vision. But the thought is obviously not your own because it has no train to trace backwards. The thought is also immediately understood.
- A thought accompanied by a voice (but not a physical voice — more like a tone and a quality to the thought expressed — like the memory of having heard someone speaking with inflections, tone, frequency, etc.)
- An understanding with a vision, which understanding is immediate and clear — no voice accompanies it usually.
- An understanding that is like being totally immersed or surrounded with the words — not heard, but very strong, and which you yourself can express in words easily. This is rare and wonderful.
The below illustrates how your own thoughts can be traced backwards, to prove whether a thought is yours or if it has been introduced from the spiritual realm:
Suppose I have a thought about Italy. Now I start tracing it backwards. The thought before was pizza. And before that: the favorite food of men. And before that: ice cream. And before that: the favorite food of women. And before that: what my wife and I were going to eat for supper. And before that etc.
At the end of that sequence, suppose I hear or have a thought: "your needs will be provided, provided you stay on the path." Since it is totally out of synch with any previous train of thoughts, clearly that thought originated from the spiritual realm. It is the voice of the Lord because it is peaceful, easily accepted, gentle, hopeful, merciful, understandable — it is wisdom from above:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere. .
But if you heard, "you've got a serious problem;" that is from below because it doesn't even identify the problem; so it is not pure and being incomplete, is not understandable or easily accepted.
It takes time, practice, and patience to learn to recognize the voice of the Lord.
His words are always kind, gentle, peaceable, easily accepted, without sarcasm, without bitterness, without condemnation, without harshness, pure, clean, humble, wonderful. There are never any emotional words, there is never any emotion in his voice; his words are plain, without sarcasm, without humor, easily accepted, always kind, firm, always moral, never contradicting scripture, immediately understood, factual, wise, easily understood, never upbraiding, and never leaving you guessing as to their meaning. The enemy's many voices are emotional, sarcastic, incomplete, condemning, harsh, fearful, and bitter. The enemy uses many voices: yours, friends, relatives, dignitaries, etc. Eventually you will hear the Lord. And once you begin to hear, you will hear with increasing frequency. He has a soft voice. Sometimes, you will not hear a voice, you will just suddenly know something immediately. George Fox called this an 'opening.' An 'opening' can be expressed in words, but it is a feeling that infuses your entire being, as feeling surrounded or immersed in the immediate understanding.
He will tell you things about Himself. He will encourage you. He is kindness. He will tell or show you things about yourself; some will be things that are ugly. But since he is your friend, you know that he is showing them to you for your own good. So you listen and watch. And you don't run; you stand before the Son of Man. And you repent of what he shows you. And sometimes he gives you commands. You are hearing the Word of God, the living Word. And hopefully you will obey his commands and show him you love him by being obedient. Keep pen and paper nearby when waiting on the Lord. Stop and write down what you get. Keep a notebook of commands and understandings received. He told us, "Why should I teach you if you don't write down what I tell you?" Then go right back into waiting. Review them periodically, and keep repenting. You will start changing; not as fast as you want to, but you will change. You will become more patient, less easily angered, kinder, more settled, more focused in life. Your desires for the things of the world will begin to melt away. As you follow his commands, your progress will accelerate. When you see your changes, still conscious of your decreasing failures, you will know, with gratitude, that he is changing you by grace — it is working! Your faith is increasing, because you hear the Word of God and because you are becoming more sure of what you hope for and more certain of Christ making changes in you, even though you don't yet see Him.
Don't Rely on Dreams
A common mistake of many people is to try to interpret dreams. George Fox wrote about dreams in his Journal:
Going on to another place I came among a people that relied too much on dreams for their spiritual guidance. I told them unless they could distinguish between dream and dream, they would confuse them all together for there were three sorts of dreams: multitude of business sometimes caused dreams, there were whisperings of satan in man at night, and there were speakings of God to man in dreams. These people stopped relying on dreams and at last became Friends.
If God speaks to you in a dream, it will be absolutely clear without a shadow of doubt what He is telling you. Any dream that requires you to interpret the events should be ignored; those dreams are deliberately given to you by Satan to tempt you to interpret them, he knowing that you will likely interpret them in a way to justify satisfying your lusts or pride. The same thing applies to visions received in your waiting on the Lord; if the meaning is not totally clear, if it does not make good sense, if it is not moral, if it is not gentle, ignore it. And be very cautious in believing anything someone else has dreamed; neither rely one anyone else interpreting your dreams. Below are scriptures that support ignoring yours and others dreams.
Notice! The Lord has likened dreams to be chaff, but his word to be wheat. Do not depend on dreams in the least.
When you have dreams, in which you indulge in anger, violence, or sex, do not worry about them or try to analyze them; just regret you are still so weak that you submit to those indulgences in your dreams and hope to become more resistant to temptations even in dreams. That resistance will come as you hear more to become more pure.
Recording Your Messages
When keeping a notebook of commands and understandings received, only record the words or immediate understanding you have received.
The temptation is to take a four-word message from the Lord and start writing paragraphs on exactly what He meant, often completely distorting the original message. If you insist on writing an essay on a simple sentence heard from the Lord, write it in a different location because it is far too easy to lose the original message's meaning, even losing the message. The messages you receive from the Lord are like a jigsaw puzzle; each part fits together with other messages, past or future. So that you can begin to see the picture that the joined parts portray, protect the integrity of each message.
Remember therefore what you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. Periodically review your messages so that they remain fresh in your mind, and so you will not forget those commands of repentance you have heard.
Do not share your messages with others unless you are specifically instructed to do so. The messages you hear are for you, not anyone else.
The Lord will often permit you to share messages with those who are in your immediate family if they too are waiting on the Lord and seeking Him as their life's highest priority.
In sharing messages with others there is a danger that your pride will be increased, thereby damaging you; and until you are authorized by the Lord, there is a substantial risk of sharing a message that is not from the Lord, but from the enemy.
The Lord's Watching Over Us
Don't look to the Lord for specific answers to one of your worldly problems; he knows your problems and will guide you if necessary, or he will fix the problems without you recognizing his work. Don't waste waiting time trying to get answers to specific questions in your life. Continue through life making the best decisions you know how, and everything will go well.
While we are seeking, the creator of the universe is watching over us, protecting us, planning for us, moving the world to our benefit, and always there for us. With this assurance, we know that everything that comes our way is his will for us; and whatever happens, even if it appears to be a problem at the time, we know as it is written, all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose; and because we keep his commands, he knows we love him. So we know that everything that happens to us has been willed by God, to help us grow, and we have a peace that is based on the love of God to us. We can cast all of our worries and fears upon him, and depend on him to work everything out to our benefit. We have confidence that he is working for us, even when we can't see how it is happening; we know he controls the whole universe, and to work our life to his union, is effortless for him.
Do not take this watching over you to be safety for participating in dangerous activities by choice. Remember Christ was tempted to cast himself from the top of the temple, with the assurance that the angels would catch him; he replied, 'you shall not tempt the Lord your God.' From the voice of the Lord as a warning to everyone: drunkenness can make you so loose that you kill yourself. Drunkenness can result from drugs or alcohol.
He has to show us each and every problem we have, many that are hidden, and lead us (by moving the world around us if necessary) to feeling the pain of our problems — pain so great that when we are tempted, instead of a trigger to fail, it becomes a trigger to succeed. The sooner you understand that everything that happens to you has been arranged to help you grow, the sooner you will be able to forgive, and the sooner you will be at peace, rather than angry or resentful. This life is an illusion. God is far more powerful and at work around you far more than you can imagine. For those whom he loves and calls, he controls everything around them. (This arrangement of circumstances only occurs for those whom he loves and calls.) And if you have a deep hunger, he loves you and has called you. The hunger is his. It is his way of drawing you to him. So you will starve and mourn, and starve and mourn. But you will eventually be filled and comforted. It works. Trust Him. He created you. He is in you. He knows you much better than you do. He will change you to be like Him, leading you to purity and then to union with Him in the Kingdom within, where you walk by the Light of God.
He told me, "live in the fortress of faith where it doesn't matter if someone gives you a kiss or hits you with a baseball bat," knowing everything that happens to me is totally under his control and direction. So if I get hit with a baseball bat, he is teaching me the necessity of forgiving, to ignore it, despite the pain suffered and wrongness of the person wielding the bat. Your life is an obstacle course, designed by God, for you to crawl over and through, learning to forgive and love despite the pain and injustice. This life is a boot camp to produce a soldier of love, whose weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the living word of God. When you realize it is God who has allowed that person to be rude, ugly, and painful to you, you can easily forgive them because they are just an obstacle of potential resentment, whose offense is to be overlooked, (or if not overlooked, to produce the pain of resentment), thus being used by God to help you spiritually progress.
Do not take his watching over you as justification for going into debt, thinking God will bail you out and wants you to enjoy life on borrowed money; for it is written, "owe no man anything, but to love one another." If your pride gets you into some kind of worldly trouble, he will let you fall, to humble you; for it is written, "when pride comes, then comes shame." But, if humbled, it is his love for you that is still at work disciplining you; just keep seeking with added confidence of having been disciplined. For more on debt, see George Fox's Letter 200.
And as we are seeking, we have his promises to fall back on and be reassured, we have his words of encouragement whispered to us as we quietly seek him, we have his commands to comfort us that we are indeed under orders, we have his discipline to remind us that he loves us and will not let us fail, and we have the changes he makes in us as proof — as long as we keep coming back to Him and seeking him in solitude.
The Ministry of Condemnation
So until you have been purified, until you have crucified the sinful nature, until the love of God has been perfected in you, the Spirit of God, by grace teaches you to deny ungodliness and the lusts of the world. . The Spirit of God searches your heart and shows you the secret sins within, condemning the sins, and charging you with them and then removing them in conjunction with your repentance.
(Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
I the LORD search the heart, I try the mind,
I am he who searches the minds and the hearts.
he [Jesus] who searches the hearts,
You have set our iniquities before you, and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
But all things that are reproved [sins] are made manifest [revealed] by the light. For whatever reveals is light.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and expose the motives of your hearts.
For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful [active], and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner and judge of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was entirely like you. But I will reprove you and set my charges [of your sins] against you in order before your eyes.
When you go to the teacher, at some point, you will see yourself wholly addicted to sex, as I saw myself. I could see how everything I did in life was to increase my prestige, power, influence, image, looks, etc. — all in hopes of making myself more attractive to the opposite sex. Until I was shown it, I would not have believed it.
Fox identified this whole process of conviction to be the ministry of condemnation, which is in itself glorious: For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious, how much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory. . The Lord condemns the sin in you, but He does not condemn you; He never upbraids you, He is never condemning of you, He is never harsh in communicating to you. He only condemns sin: the works of the devil in you. Christ is revealed in our flesh to destroy the works of the devil, (sin), in us. 1 John 3:8. George Fox wrote further of this condemnation of sin by Jesus :
For Christ is manifest [revealed] in the flesh, to condemn sin in the flesh, to all who witness Christ in them, male and female; I say, Christ is manifest in their flesh; he condemns the sin that is in their flesh; yes, and makes an end of sin, and finishes the transgression, and brings everlasting righteousness into them. But first he condemns the sin that is in their flesh, the unrighteousness in their flesh, and ungodliness in their flesh; the liar, the swearer, that is in their flesh; the adulterer, the fornicator, the idolater, and all sin, whatever it is, he condemns in the flesh. So Christ is manifest in the flesh, to condemn the sin that is in the flesh; everyone who witnesses Christ condemning sin in the flesh, that they through Christ, who condemns sin in the flesh, might become God's righteousness, and so God's new person [creature]. But the sin being uncondemned in the flesh, they are of the serpent, of the unrighteous one, of the ungodly one, who adulterated from truth, they are his. But the sin being condemned in the flesh, Christ is manifest in the flesh, so that they become Christ's; they are God's, and are in Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, which are out of truth. And these know the new life, which God is served in; and these know the new earth, in which dwells righteousness; and these know the old earth, in which dwell unrighteousness. And these can bring forth things old and new.
To think the convicter is the accuser is unpardonable, because you will run rather than stand and focus on the light which shows you your condition; stand still and focus on the Light that is showing you your condition, and finally strength will come, and you will be different, stronger in that area from then on. But if you run, you can go back, and not run; you get as many chances as you will take. When the Light shows you a problem, it is never in an upbraiding manner; it is gentle, immediately recognizable, but shameful — shame like a when a friend or a kind father points out a fault you didn't want to know about — but not harsh or critical — gentle, easily accepted, generating regret and sorrow on your part. After you are purified, you benefit from the Ministry of Life and Righteousness, but until then, you must be under the Ministry of Condemnation through the cross. For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious, how much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory. .
If you make mistakes or commit sins while seeking, (and you will), just regret them, resolve to do better, and forget them. Learning is why we are here. Your mistakes teach you. Forget about committing "an unpardonable sin;" that referenced people seeing Christ's miracles and attributing them to demons — how could they ever seek him thinking he had a demon? That's the unpardonable sin, (unpardonable for the duration of your mistake), rejecting the Holy Spirit as a demon. Yes, it is possible even today to think the Holy Spirit is a demon, especially in as you are waiting, watching, and listening; you can mistake the conviction of the Holy Spirit as "the accuser of the brethren," assuming you are already a "brethren," which you are not until you have been purified and made one by Christ.
Many have been taught that because they "believe in Jesus" they are in Christ, and therefore they should not be subject to any condemnation, based on the scripture: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
To walk after the Spirit is to be led by the Spirit in thoughts, words, and deeds. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. . To walk after the flesh is to walk according to your carnal mind and evil heart, before it has been cleansed and purified; until then you are not in Christ Jesus because your are still walking in the flesh — in your lusts, desires, affections, pleasures, pride, anger, vanity, fear, worries, plans, etc.
To be in Christ, you must be through with sin completely. (Click to see the scriptures that prove this).
Secret Sins vs. Obvious Sins
When you are shown your sin, (as in a vision with understanding), that is clearly the Light revealing a sin or sinful habit of which your were not conscious before; the light shows us the secret sins of our heart.
Those secret sins are mostly shown in the beginning of a person's walk.
It has been years since I have been shown a sin in the light, but since then I have received countless spoken commands to repent from something that I can easily understand and accept immediately — there are no surprises when He speaks of something that I must cease.
The surprises, (the secret sins that you are not aware of), are what the light has to show us for it to be received without shock, doubt, or denial. Spoken commands that we hear or recognize can come throughout the day, though the vast majority come while waiting. As we progress, we can more frequently walk and hear at the same time.
There are probably several secret sins still in my heart to be revealed; and when I am ready to see them, I am sure He will reveal them. Some will not be revealed until the last few minutes of our journey when the man of sin is revealed, which will probably be a shock to see the extent of the evil that has ruled us in the past, but which still lives until He destroys it completely.
Removal of Sin
The Spirit by grace not only charges a man with sin, with repentance on a man's part, the Spirit then removes the sin from his heart:
That which shows him his sins, and troubled him for them, would show him his salvation;
for he who shows a man his sin, is the same who takes it away.
In whom you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision performed by Christ.
But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit, and not by the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.
For if you live after the flesh [the sinful nature], you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live.
He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil.
From the Word of the Lord Within:
When waiting on God, and you are shown something ugly about yourself by the Light, don't draw back; realize it is the Light showing you your condition, and He is doing this to help you be rid of it and to become a better person; and that Christ has died for you so that you need not panic. Don't take thought about confessing what you are shown, and don't think about all you will lose; both draw you away from the light; instead remain to focus on the Light that shows you your condition. And then, just when you don't expect it, strength will come; and whatever you have been shown, you will have strength to be different from then on. You may not see the Light. You may only see what the light is showing you. That is all you need. If you can't see the Light, just focus on the fact that the Light is showing you your condition. The Lord told me, "If a vision or understanding makes you sad, look at the cross." This is what George Fox called the first step to peace; he also said this process, repentance in the Light, "is the cross."
When clearly shown an evil practice or desire in you heart by the light, you may think you need to start apologizing or confessing the sin shown; but that will only draw you out of the light and inhibit your progress. It is enough that you do not deny what you see as true, and the Lord knows that you believe what he is showing you to be true without your taking the time to confess; your assent will be noticed by him without a single thought being formed in words. Then he can complete his desire to impart the strength to you to change your behavior from what he has shown you. From the Word of the Lord within: "My true friends take no thought of confessional; don't take the time when you get a clear view."
The Lord has told me: "there is no evil that I have not already had in front of my hands and eyes."
So when you see yourself, don't think you are the most evil person ever to live; you're not.
When you see the extent of your evil, as the Lord said: "everyone thinks he is the worst sinner to ever live."
This is how to mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body that are of the earthly life: fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
From George Fox's Journal:
This is the word of the Lord God to you all; what the light makes manifest and discovers, as temptations, distractions, confusions; do not look at the temptations, confusions, corruptions; but at the light which discovers them and makes them manifest; and with the same light you may feel over them, to receive power to stand against them. The same light which lets you see sin and transgression, will let you see the covenant of God, which blots out your sin and transgression, which gives victory and dominion over it, and brings into covenant with God. For looking down at sin, corruption, and distraction, you are swallowed up in it; but looking at the light, which discovers them, you will see over them. That will give victory, and you will find grace and strength; there is the first step to peace. That will bring salvation; and by it you may see to the beginning, and the "Glory that was with the Father before the world began;" and come to know the seed of God; which is the heir of the promise of God, and of the world which has no end; and which bruises the head of the serpent, who stops people from coming to God. That you may feel the power of an endless life, the power of God which is immortal, which brings the immortal soul up to the immortal God, in whom it does rejoice. So in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty strengthen you.
When you listen to the voice and obey commands heard or understood from the Light, you are acknowledging this Teacher within you as Christ; you have received and acknowledged Christ. Just like when Christ asked Peter, "whom do you say I am," and he said: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' Christ said, Upon this rock I will build my Church — the rock solid understanding that he who speaks to you is the Son of God, which the gates of Hell cannot prevail against.
Whoever comes to me, and listens to My words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely built on a rock; and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it because it was founded on a rock.
He builds his Church on a rock solid foundation. He builds himself in you on a rock solid foundation.
And if you come to him, listen, and obey what you are told to do, you will have a foundation that takes you past the gates of Hell with its storms and tribulations. And when you receive the light, the persecution intensifies, just as it did with George Fox; his temptations and opposition increased dramatically. Remember the former days, in which, after you were enlightened, you endured a great fight of afflictions. .
From the Word of the Lord within: "Whatever you overcome and go back into is far harder the second time to overcome." If you receive a command from the Lord to repent from something, or if you are convicted in the Light for something you have been doing, do not disobey that command or ignore that conviction. To have overcome it, is to have stopped it with the Lord's help, which comes when he orders you to do something or when His light convicts you of something, and you obey continually until you have overcome it completely. Then you would have received supernatural help, and if you decide to return to your sin that you had overcome, it is far harder to overcome that sin again.
Do not confuse what you have decided to turn from yourself vs. what you have overcome in obedience to what the Lord has convicted you of and/or commanded you to repent from. Fleshly efforts of self often fail, and you are not disobeying the Lord unless He had commanded you to stop something. So if you decided on your own to stop something, then you didn't have His orders or help. Since you didn't have His help, you didn't overcome it, you only abstained from it, and that usually leaves you struggling to not repeat it again. Those efforts are commendable and you should do your best to abstain from all evil; but if you slip back, you should not feel you are at major risk to be able to repent again by self-will. You should feel bad that you are so weak that you can't stop doing something, but that should be your motivator to go to Him with sorrow for your weakness but hope for His change that will make you strong enough to overcome it.
Even Your Thoughts Have to Die
When man decided to eat from the tree of knowledge so he could judge good and evil like God, he became a selfish spirit removed from the image, direction, and presence of God. Each of us makes our own decisions with our mind as to what is good for us and what is bad for us. We all make different decisions based on what we think we want. Different people have different standards of conduct and behavior. We are selfish creatures looking for ways to increase our pleasures and comforts; we are like beasts on the prowl looking for their next meal. The Holy Spirit must show us how captive (addicted) we are to our lusts, pleasures, habits, anger, pride, and self-gratification — and how this self-centered behavior is at the expense of others around us. The word and light show us the defects in our heart, one at a time, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and intents of the heart. With our regret and sorrow for conditions exposed by the Holy Spirit, we receive help from the Holy Spirit to change. This conviction and condemnation of our beastly nature is the Ministry of Condemnation. When we have been sufficiently purged or purified of our selfish, sinful nature, then we receive the Ministry of Life or additional spirit from Christ; until finally we are restored to the image, direction, and presence of God.
So first learn the ministry of condemnation in yourselves,
that life may arise, before the ministry in the spirit is known,
which preaches peace by Jesus Christ, where there is no strife.
Therefore wait to know the time of silence and mind that which condemns you.
From Fox's Letter 145.
From Letter 58: The teachers without exalt the carnal mind, but the teacher within destroys it.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. The carnal mind lusts for things, lusts for people, lives in pride, lies, seeks the honor of men instead of God — wanting to be its own God as Satan promised Adam and Eve. Since the carnal mind cannot be subject to law of God, obviously it must be destroyed; from the Word of the Lord within: "that which lives in the enmity must be destroyed." The cross is to man's will and his carnal mind, which must be denied and destroyed so that we do God's will instead, speaking only what He tells us to say, and working according to His orders. The carnal mind must be destroyed by the Spirit of God to be replaced by the mind of Christ. When the carnal mind dies, you are at rest and have peace.
George Fox writes of the carnal mind that must be destroyed by the grace of God:
That mind, which speaks of God, but does not live, nor dwell, nor abide in the fear of God, that mind must suffer, and pass under the judgment of God, for the curse of God is upon that mind; for that mind is earthly, and of the earth, upon which the curse of God is. And that mind may talk of God, and speak of God, but not in union with God, nor from enjoyment of God in the spirit, nor from having purchased the knowledge of him through death and sufferings [of self]; but from hearsay of him, and from custom and tradition.
But the true fear of God destroys that mind, which speaks of him, but does not live in his fear; and that mind is raised up, which abides in his fear; and this is acceptable sacrifice, which is pure, clean, holy, and without spot. Then that which knows God, speaks of him, which has purchased the true knowledge of him through suffering; and to such there is no condemnation, but joy and peace. And this mind sings true praises to God, the other in hypocrisy; and therefore the woe is unto it. And this mind is stayed upon God, the other is gadding after the creatures, committing fornication with other lovers; and speaks of God, but is not subject to God, and must pass through condemnation.
So in humble silence we persistently and patiently wait on God, so that by his grace received, our evil mind is replaced by the mind of Christ.
Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed; and get a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit. For why will you die, O house of Israel?
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.
Strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness.
And do not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
From George Fox's Letter 245
And as your ears are attentive to the Lord's voice, that speaks from heaven,
iniquity's mouth is stopped in you, the throne of iniquity is thrown down in you;
that is, the wicked spirit and power, where iniquity sits;
and the chambers of imagery are thrown down in you,
where all thoughts and imaginations are.
For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.
The LORD knows the thoughts of man, and that they are vanity.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts [are higher] than your thoughts."
I have stretched out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts.
Paul, addressing crucified believers, wrote: "we also all had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of our mind."
Let the ungodly forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Everyone is ungodly and unrighteous until the Spirit has destroyed their sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, which destroys the selfish, vain, carnal mind with its thoughts. The basic operation of grace is teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
The thoughts of the unrighteous are detestable (foul, disgusting) to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
No one is righteous before being purified, for we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness. Gal 5:5. We persistently and patiently wait in humble silence for the Spirit by grace to teach us how to live righteously, Tit 2:11-12, and for the Spirit to destroy of sinful nature, including our carnal mind.
From George Fox's Journal:
THE Lord shows a man his thoughts, and discovers all the secret things in man. And man may be brought to see his evil thoughts, running mind, and vain imaginations, and may strive to keep them down, and to keep his mind in; but cannot overcome them, nor keep his mind within to the Lord. In this state and condition submit to the spirit of the Lord that shows them, and that will bring to wait upon the Lord; and He that has discovered them will destroy them. Therefore stand in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, (who is the author of the true faith), and mind him; for he will discover the root of lusts, evil thoughts, and vain imaginations; and how they are begotten, conceived, and bred; and then how they are brought forth, and how every evil member works. He will discover every principle from its own nature and root.
Casting down all our own decisions, and every barrier that is raised up against the wisdom from God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. . So that we have the mind of Christ. . You must strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. . This does not mean we continue to think with a new set of rules we have learned from the Bible. No; the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, must be destroyed so that we do not think for ourselves any longer. Instead, as a new creature, we rely on the promptings received from God, just like Christ did when he walked the earth; as he said:
I have many things to say and to judge about you; but he who sent me is true,
and I speak to the world only those things that I have heard from him.
I have not spoken of myself, but from the Father who sent me and commanded me what I should say and what I should speak.
And I know that [to obey] His command is everlasting life.
Therefore, whatever I speak is just as the Father has told me to speak.
The Son can do nothing of himself [by his own will],
but only does what he sees the Father do.
For whatever things he [the Father] does, these are also likewise done by the Son.
Of my own self, I can do nothing. I judge only as I hear, [the Father's words of judgment];
and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will,
but the will of the Father who has sent me.
He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
So, even Christ did not make his own decisions. Notice, Jesus said he only did the will of the Father, not his own. In Mat. 7:21, Jesus said: Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. So here Jesus tells us what is necessary to go to heaven - to do nothing of ourselves — to only say what we hear the father tell us to say — to only do what the Father shows us to do — to only judge how we are told to judge by the Father. So, we are not to think for ourselves — we are to only follow the promptings of the Father. We must have our carnal mind destroyed to the point that we speak and act from the promptings of the Spirit of God; this is the end of obedience — to think, speak, and act according to God's promptings: Casting down all our own decisions, and every barrier that is raised up against the wisdom from God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, . You have probably prayed the Lord's prayer a thousand times, saying "your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," without a clue as to how it could be done. Now you know what it takes — and it is not easily accomplished — only with dedication to seek the Kingdom of God as your first priority, with patient and persistent waiting to hear God, and with obedience to every command you hear.
If Christ did nothing except as he was prompted by the Father, how could we possibly think we could act independently, when we are far less than Christ? We also must have our carnal minds destroyed to the point that we only speak and act from the promptings of the Spirit of God. Perhaps now you are beginning to see the wisdom of not even speaking of Christ or God, unless you are specifically ordered by the Holy Spirit what to say, to whom to say it, and when to say it.
If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles [words] of God; if any man ministers, let him do it with the ability that God gives, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.
From the Word of the Lord within:
Patiently we wait for God's instructions. The godly wait for my instructions for many things shall I come want done. To serve without hearing is putting your life in danger. God, save us from the sayings of our mouth. A word spoken from the Spirit requires you to hear what the Spirit says to you. All and only words from Him are to be spoken; the purpose is to prevent anyone from going out without authority, which you can see creates problems. Regarding those who run ahead: they are abandoned with cruel, hard knocks. Those who take directed action will save theirs and others' lives. If told what to pray for, they can be extremely effective; to pray as heard — righteous expectation. Master following. Everyone hear what the Spirit says; this you do. You do as God has directed and only that; we do as He tells us.
All talk is an abomination. Conversation is to be restricted so much that you are ostracized. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Speak only what you are told to speak. When spoken to, don't be rude; you can answer, but let your words be as few as possible. Avoid foolish conversations. Avoid foolish controversies. Pay attention to what you are saying; make it brief. Let your words be few, seasoned with grace.
The Lord has even stated that to walk according to the imagination of your own heart is worse than worshiping stone or wooden idols:
Because your fathers have forsaken me, says the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
And you have done worse than your fathers; for behold, every one of you walks after the imagination of his evil heart, and therefore you do not listen to and obey me. .
Why is walking according to your own mind and imagination worse that worshiping stone idols? Because you are making yourself God, deciding for yourself what is good and bad, just like Satan promised Eve:"you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Paul describes the spirit of disobedience as: fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of our mind."
Paul warns us: Therefore, this I say and testify in the Lord, that from this time forward you must not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, .
From the Word of the Lord within:
George Fox described the Sabbath rest of the Christian, as being a rest into Christ Jesus, saying: "Think not your own thoughts, for in Christ we are atop that nature where evil thoughts are, that nature [having been] taken away by Christ. So you should not think your own thoughts, do your own works, [or] speak your own words." At spiritual maturity, our thoughts, words, and works must come from God's leading.
Richard Farnsworth, another great early Quaker, further wrote on how suppressing your own thoughts is part of the cross:
Live not in words, but mind the power of words for words that proceed out of a vain, light mind, destroy the simple, and draw your minds out above the cross, to live in words;—and you will form something in your minds to rest in, and so the fleshly mind will be kept alive;—but keep in the cross. The power is the cross to the carnal part in all; and words that come from the life will go to the life, and raise up what is pure in one another; and so you will have unity with what is pure in one another. Being guided by the pure light in you, it will cross what would be forming anything in you; and standing in the counsel of the Lord, it will cross and crucify what would consult with human wisdom and reason. So you will be brought into a discerning, to savor truth from error, both in yourselves, and also in one another,—and to savor everyone's words from what center they arise. By standing in the counsel of the Lord, and keeping in the cross, the old man will be brought to judgment daily; and what is earthly, carnal, and brutish, will be cut down in you; and so there will be a way made for the pure seed to be raised up in you, so that the Lord alone may be glorified by every one of you.
A wise man once said, "all thought is worry, which is lack of faith." All thought is worry or plan for the future, still worry; and worry is lack of faith. Which of you by taking thought can add one moment to his life?
Man, who originally followed his creator in obedient love, became a rebel to decide his own way, taking thought, thinking and judging what is good and bad for himself. When man is restored into the image of God, he ceases to make his own thoughts and decisions; instead returning to reverent, loving obedience to his creator, the creator of him and of the universe. Part of this restoration is to destroy the rebellious, self-seeking, self-gratifying mind. This is a lengthy process for most. And as the mind is destroyed, the Lord's guidance fills the void. As your waiting becomes deeper in silence, you will occasionally feel a quiet peace, a stilling of the mind; — and then remember the promise is for peace forever — a quietness and confidence forever — the harvest of righteousness. It is only when you taste this peace that you can begin to understand that you have lived under condemnation all of your past life; it is like a hammer has been striking your head all your life, but until it stops, you never knew it could be different.
To repeat: when our selfish nature is slain, we will unite with the Spirit of Christ, so that we will be obedient in our love for God — and our obedience is by choice, God not having taken away our free will. Love never insists on its own way. But our love for God will make our obedience to his wishes to be the joy of our life.
Letter 60 .- To Friends, to keep in the fear of the Lord.
In every particular, mind that which is pure of God in you,
to guide you up to God, and to keep you in the fear of the Lord,
that you may receive refreshment from God alone in yourselves,
and grow up in the inward man,
nourished and strengthened by that which is immortal.
And delight in that which shows you the deceit of your hearts,
and judges that which is contrary to God,
and be obedient to that which is pure;
so you will see the Lord God present with you, a daily help,
his hand always ordering of you,
and as a shepherd always keeping the dogs from his lambs,
whom he feeds in green pastures, and waters with his heavenly dew of mercy,
who makes them all fruitful.
The cry of want and poverty shall be no more heard in the land of the living,
but joy, gladness, and plenty.
The wearied soul, that has lain in the pit and in the mire,
and lived in the clouds of temptation, and cried out for want of the Lord,
shall cry plentiful redemption, and say, God is our king,
who filled heaven and earth,
and the voice of our king is heard in our land.
So fare you well in the Lord!
And the Lord God Almighty keep you and preserve you in his mighty power.
From Molinos' Spiritual Guide: "The Lord said to a soul, 'This inward way is tread by few; it is so high a grace, that none deserves it; few walk in it, because it is no other than a death of the senses; and few there be that are willing so to die and be annihilated; in which disposition this so sovereign a gift is founded.'"
It is easy to sometimes feel sorry for yourself, due to prolonged dryness, to a failure on your part, or due to suffering through tribulation/persecution. Self-pity is damaging to your progress; so no matter how justified you sometimes feel in your self-pity, it is only a disguised doubt of Christ working for you when you can't see the results; doubt the doubt. I used to spend time in self-pity, until he said, "one thing is certain, this has to stop."
Refuse to entertain thoughts that denigrate or diminish your progress so that when tribulation comes, you will not be overwhelmed to bitterness. From the Word of the Lord within: "Practice being clean so you will be ready for tribulation." When waiting on God, there is sometimes something in us that blurts out horrible words, often against God. It seems to happen whenever we allow our minds to fall into the slightest doubts about our progress, into worries about our failures, or when we sink into self-pity. It slips its words in between our thoughts, sounding just like we have thought it; yet it often does not follow a train of our own thoughts, so it leaves us in doubt whether we actually thought it or not. However, when it happens, it is very distressful and can be paralyzing to our immediate efforts. From the Word of the Lord within: "Every man has a creature that cries out." It is not you; it is the selfish, evil spirit that is deliberately trying to discourage you. Dismiss all negative thoughts, doubts, and self-pity; regret that your negative thinking gave rise to utterance, then ignore it and return to your waiting on God.
The Lord taught me a technique to stop severe negative thoughts, even stopping severe despair; and despite its simplicity, it really works — and works every time! Force yourself to smile with a big open mouth grin; if you do this, your blues will disappear in less than a minute. I find it almost impossible to think anything negative when I do this. Yes, I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really works while waiting on the Lord or in any activity of your day. The Lord further told me, "keep smiling until you are in the kingdom."
There is another technique that He taught me to chase the worries away. In a trial where I was worrying instead of waiting in silence, I heard him several times say: "exercise." In response I increased my daily exercises. He repeated: "exercise." Finally I realized He wanted me to exercise then; so I ceased waiting, did a couple of very tiring exercises, and came back to waiting on Him. Much to my surprise my mind was clear of worries; I felt very positive about the future and instead of frightful worries, I had a heart full of love to God. So you might try it yourself next time you are worried and unable to quiet your mind; and if you ever hear him say "exercise," you will know that He wants you to exercise immediately.
Doubts will come. My wife was told by Him when doubts arose to "drop thought." Don't entertain doubts. Don't write doubts down. Don't speak them out loud. Don't tell your fellow seekers your doubts. All of these just strengthen the doubts. He told me, "Eventually the Light will destroy all doubt." A wise man told me, "doubt the doubt." Cast all your cares and worries on Him. Doubt is the opposite of faith, so you can logically destroy doubt by doubting the doubts. Know it is just your mind, which is hostile to God. A wise Easterner wrote, "stop thinking because all thoughts are just worries — the opposite of faith." Jesus said, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." George Fox wrote: Doubt not, faint not, question not.
The devil will try to get you to doubt the commands from Christ as really coming from Christ, hoping you will disobey the commands of Christ. Don't. Remember, the devil will not give you commands to depart from evil; that would not serve his purpose. Do not doubt your convictions and understandings of your evil.
George Fox also expressed the challenge throughout the journey to completion of your salvation: to walk the fence between presumption and despair. It is a fine line, one easy to fall off of in either direction. Presumption is to think you have arrived, start teaching without explicit authorization and command, and/or to relax from your persistent seeking. Despair is to believe that you will never make it; it is too hard; you are too wicked; or some other doubt. Either is wrong. When you find yourself falling off on either side, climb back up, and keep walking. Remember, it is God who is running the show; he doesn't fail. And remember, you must persevere by continuing to seek him daily, and with increasing frequency as you are able. Do this, and you will stay walking the fence until you reach home.
Until we can stop thinking, we are told to think on whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.
The opposition will tempt you to despair over any mistake you have made. Don't! As Paul said: this one thing I do: forgetting those things that are past, and reaching forth to those things that are ahead, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14. From the Word of the Lord within:
- "Once you have expressed sorrow over the past, it is redundant to bring it up again.
- Forget the feelings of having past failed.
- Through guilt you can become entangled again.
- Forgetting what lies behind, we press onward."
If we wallow in our guilt over past sins, we reach despair, losing all hope, making it very easy to return to our old ways of sin. If we lose our hope and enter despair, then we no longer have the motivation to seek the Lord's changing grace, and we look for comfort elsewhere — the lusts and pleasures of the world, thus becoming entangled in sin again.
The Lord only exposes those sins that we are unwilling to admit, face, or those of which we are not even conscious. What we regret having done in the past, He will not even bring up the first time. The Lord will never go over our sins twice. However, the devil will repeatedly bring up our past sins, and he will repeatedly imply that we have made mistakes which disqualify us; but his accusations are lies and not to be believed because the Lord's way is totally the opposite. To the Lord, the past is past, and if we are resolved to be different, the past is history forgotten by Him, and to be forgotten by us. When we enter union with Him, He is going to sprinkle His blood in our consciences so that we can't remember our past sins, making it possible to stand in His and the Father's presence with joy and peace, but without guilt or sorrow.
If we let ourselves be condemned for the past, our despair can not only cause us to lose hope, but also cause us to become reduced to self-pity. We can feel sorry for ourselves, believing we have been treated unjustly, perhaps even getting angry at God. The defense is obvious: God is perfectly just for He is by definition just and fair; God is pure; God is total love; God does not make mistakes for He is perfect; so the problem is us, not Him. Now we must bring to mind that He does not keep record of our past wrongs that we have once faced up to, and that He is standing by, waiting to help us to become further sin free, pure, and holy — but we must put aside those doubts and feelings of failure, renew our hope of salvation, trust in his kindness and mercy, depend on his infinite power, and press on to purity, holiness, joy, peace, love, even union with Him in his presence forever.
When in sorrow we find ourselves to have dropped our cross and fallen into the dust; we stand up, dust ourselves off, pick up our cross, and press on to the everlasting joy awaiting us at the end of our journey.
The Opposition (testing in the process of purification)
The Lord's words and visions are always kind, clear, moral, loving, and understandable. He will never make a statement calling for you to try to figure out what he is talking about; his communications are easily understandable. If you get any message that calls for you to figure out anything, it is not from him, (i.e., a message such as: 'there is a big problem between us' does not tell me what the problem is — so if I listen to it, I will become fearful that almost anything could be the big problem — this is not the way the Lord teaches — he is always specific, clear, gentle, and easily understood). His communications come with immediate understanding. He never asks questions, (unless he gives you the answer in the same sentence), because that calls for you to make a conclusion — which could be erroneous. Everything from Him will also be moral as tested with scripture from the Bible. He said, "To know what the Bible says is wrong is worthy, all my great men knew the scriptures." He told me, "If you don't thoroughly understand something, do nothing and wait for clearer understandings;" and don't worry about an unclear message and what it might mean — it is not from the Lord. He also said to me, "only do what I tell you clearly what to do and when to do it."
I don't want to frighten anyone, but after the Lord has prepared you, the enemy will appear. The enemy does not want you to hear from the Lord and will try to confuse you, discourage you, sidetrack you, play to your weaknesses, pretend to be Jesus, quote scripture, and generally be a nuisance to your efforts. The enemy is fallen angels, demons. Later they will subject you to Tribulation. But they are under control by the Spirit of God. Their work is to bring your lusts and pride to the surface so you can choose to avoid evil. It is a tough time of testing, but one whose rewards for completion greatly outweigh the efforts required. Be sober and vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
From George Fox's Journal:
Temptations grew more and more, and I was tempted almost to give up hope and quit. And when Satan could not succeed against me in that way, he placed traps and lures in front of me to draw me to commit some sin, by which he might take advantage to bring me to depression or defeat. I was about twenty years of age when these exercises came upon me, and for some years I continued in that condition in great trouble, and would have been very glad to get rid of them.
When I was in the deep, under all shut up, I could not believe that I could ever overcome; my troubles, my sorrows, and my temptations were so great, that I often thought I should give up all hope in despair, and it was very tempting.
Still, I was sometimes under great temptations, and my inward sufferings were heavy; but I could find no one to tell about my condition except to the Lord alone, unto whom I cried night and day.
The Lord showed me that the natures of those things which were destructive in the outside world were also within in the hearts and minds of evil men: the natures of dogs, swine, vipers, of Sodom, and Egypt, Pharaoh, Cain, Ishmael, Esau, etc. The natures of these I saw within, though people had been looking without. I cried to the Lord, saying, 'Why should I be in this condition, seeing I was never addicted to commit those evils?' And the Lord answered, ‘It was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions?’
Then I could say that I had been in spiritual Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, and the grave; but by the eternal power of God I had come out of it, was brought over it, and by the power of it into the power of Christ.
The enemy will reason with you to do something wrong, such as "what you really need is more of what you lust after;" some twisted logic, like Jezebel in the Revelation Thyatira church who somehow convinced the other members that adulterous sex with her was good; perhaps some pitiful twisted logic like "cleansing in the church setting" or "transporting to purity or 'healing' through rapturous sex." Or, if you have a lust for alcohol or some drug, you will be tempted to believe that staying high on whatever brings you closer to God. They also use the logic that you need to get really sick of some habit before it can be eliminated; so you need more experience of falling to the habit in order to be able to repent. Don't laugh, we each have our weak points, and the enemy knows them. These are fallen angels. They still have power. They can read minds.* They know what is in your heart by listening to your thoughts. They appeal to your individual lusts and pride. It is your lusts and pride that tempt you, not God allowing you to be tested. They are the agents to bring them to the surface so that you can choose to avoid evil. They will persist in their appeal to your lusts and affections, until you choose without any reservation of your mind to shun evil; this is the test.
* Of the three men who visited Abraham, at least two were angels; the same two men were sent to destroy Sodom. In Job, the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not put forth your hand upon he himself." Satan left and the fire of God fell from heaven, and burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and a great wind from the wilderness struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead. Don't underestimate the power of the fallen angels; reading minds is their least capability; yet greater is he [Christ] who is in you, than he who is in the world.
Aside from tempting you to do something wrong, the voices from the other side are different in spirit: they are sarcastic, bitter, condemning, taunting, harsh, leaving you to guess what they are talking about; whereas the Lords' voice is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging — never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation — never incomplete leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself — his spirit of Love — for he is Love. His will always be the same voice too.
The other side can intensify sexual feelings to a level you have never experienced in your life, and they do it at a time to tempt you to think you have an overwhelming attraction to some person or that you have an overwhelming need; that should you follow through on your feelings, you would dishonor your body in sin. They can turn up the heat. By even entertaining thoughts of your lust, (they hear your thoughts), or just touching someone, you give license to them to intensify your body sensations; but you don't have to give in to these feelings. They are an associative feeling to trigger the habitual response of the past; but despite these sometimes overwhelming feelings, they can pass too, without falling to temptation. It is hard to resist, but not impossible. As it is written, no temptation will be so great that there will not be a way to avoid it.
UNDERSTAND THIS: When you are seeking, and you make a mistake while believing you are doing what God wants you to do, you are automatically forgiven; you made the mistake in faith; it was not intentional; so forget it, and keep going, no matter how horrible it appears. DON'T look back. Christ has you covered. It doesn't count. If you fail, you are not lost — only delayed. Just regret it, feel your weakness/addiction, ask for help, and keep on seeking.
One thing he made very clear to me: "he who practices adultery cannot be my disciple; but I do not judge someone coming out of such a relationship, unless they fail to repent;" so this has to stop before you can make any progress. He is speaking about faithfulness being important in a committed relationship; you cannot be unfaithful to man and faithful to God. When he was on earth; he sent the woman at the well out to preach, knowing she had five previous husbands and was living with a man unmarried. If you are in a successive marriage or you are not married, but living committed to your partner, he does not condemn you, nor disqualify you for receipt of his purifying power. If and when he wants you to change your marital status, he will tell you in no uncertain terms.
They can also control others around you to the point that they are unreasonable beyond your experience, severely tempting you to anger and rage; but remember this is done with the permission of God and is purposed to help you grow in forgiveness and love. They can turn up the heat. When you can accept that the evil done to you by others, is so that you can grow spiritually through forgiving them, you have made a giant step.
As George Fox said, "whatever you are addicted to, the devil will come to you (cloaked in another's person), to offer you whatever you want." People that you haven't heard from in years suddenly show up, offering you renewed friendship, distraction from seeking God, and temptation to your lusts, affections, and addictions.
Recognize, these temptations can help you become strong. Each time you say no, you get stronger. I, and several people I know, can remember when, in a time we did not seek God, we decided to get married and proposed; immediately afterwards, within minutes, beyond strange things happened. I had not seen an old flame for several years, and suddenly she appears in front of me in line to pay the restaurant tab. Another close acquaintance relates how he proposed, and then got into an elevator, where two women suddenly start paying him attention, even rubbing their hands on his chest; when he had never experienced such attention in his lifetime. Both incidents were beyond coincidence. Both designed to strengthen our resolve to get married, at a time when we were most able to resist distractions. So you can look at temptations as either a contribution to your downfall, or a strengthening of your moral fiber- depending on how you respond to them. As the master potter continues to mold the clay — eventually bringing you to Him.
Every word you hear the Lord speak to you is Spirit and imparts the life of God to you, as the words you hear Him speak are engrafted into your heart. Those words are the life of God, and the life of God is Christ; so every word you hear increases Christ within you; every word you hear purifies you a little more. From the Word of the Lord within: "Each word heard draws us closer to being protected." Eventually you have so many words engrafted into your heart that Christ can protect you when you are subjected to temptation. This can happen long before you reach perfection. The Lord said to me: "temptation must become a non-event." Although I am not yet perfect, I have experienced what used to be severe temptations to have become non-events. The Lord placed some knock-out women in my path, who in my past would have been a struggle not to ogle or flirt with; but we simply conversed briefly, and I left. Looking back I could see that I had not even noticed their physical beauty; there had been no temptation; I had been drastically changed by the grace of the Lord. This of course was very encouraging and hopeful, and I share the details with you to give you hope that with patient and persistent waiting on the Lord in silent humility, you too will hear enough words to be engrafted into your heart, so that what had been challenging temptations, become non-events; the temptations will disappear. So the more time you spend waiting on the Lord, the quicker you will become free. Those of you who are lying in the mire, this is your solution.
Lust for things, people, and pleasures is an illusion. There is no lasting satisfaction. You get one thing you want, and you immediately start wanting something else. This is earth school — learning the emptiness in lust for possessions, pleasures, power, wealth, etc., until we decide to look beyond the visible for happiness. Perhaps you can relate to the false joy of Christmas — after the presents are opened, after the big dinner, after the music has stopped — how many times have you felt let down, empty, almost desperate for another fix — go for a walk, take a ride, visit somebody, have a drink — anything to fill the void that you can rarely identify? For worldly joy is transitory, while godly joy is permanent. From George Fox's Letter 245.
So every one of you hear his voice that speaks from heaven,
whose voice shakes the earth, and not the earth only, but the heavens also.
The heaven imports joy; so all the false joys,
the lifted-up joys, or exalted joys, and joys in vain glory, and joys in the world,
of any outward thing or creature, and men or women;
his voice that speaks from heaven shakes the earth and the heavens;
and these must be shaken and removed, both the heavens and the earth;
before that appears which can never be shaken,
the noble, royal seed, elect and precious, before the world began.
Being heirs of him, come to inherit him;
in him you shall know that which cannot be shaken,
and there is the true joy, in that which is from everlasting to everlasting,
who is the beginning and ending;
here are not any either lifted up or fallen down to despair.
You must sicken of failure [in your thoughts] so much, that entertaining possible failure in your mind becomes sickening; so much so, that your desire to consider evil is overwhelmed by your revulsion to failure. Gradually, over a long time, the associative response turns around from being triggered to participate, to being triggered to flee. This is like gold being refined. It is heated by fire until the dross rises to the top; it is scooped off. It is heated again until more dross rises to the top; it is scooped off..... again, again. Until finally, only pure gold remains. Purification.
When you realize your thoughts are being read, and when you realize you are being watched; it can be a little frightening. You can feel like a goldfish in a bowl, being watched. Christ once told me, "what man fears most is public ridicule." This is what we get: ridicule from a public others don't hear. It is tough. It invades our privacy — our private privacy. It is easy to get resentful. Reason with yourself. Understand it is part of the process. You feel condemned, but Christ does not condemn you; he allows this as part of the purification process. It ultimately results in purification and more trust for Christ. It is humbling. You realize how filthy and insignificant you are. The discipline can become a comfort to you, knowing you are in the pressure cooker, which few are privileged enough to experience. (Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.) Yes, even the pain of the rod and staff can be reassuring. To the hungry, seeking soul, even tribulation can be encouraging: The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry [seeking] soul every bitter thing [tribulation and chastening] is sweet. He will still give you messages and encouragement during the process so that you will not feel alone and abandoned. Several of the Psalms speak to being surrounded by mighty men, like bees, with burning darts, snares, evil words, etc. See Psalms 17, 23, 25, 31, 35, 38, 43, 44, 56, 64, 66, 71, 86, 88, 118, 120, 139, 141; and Job 16:9-14; which are some of the many that reference these supernatural adversaries.
By your firm and patient endurance you shall attain the true life of your souls. And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that the desolation of it is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.[flee to Christ, the rock, and trust in Him; the scourge will eventually pass].
There are also many voices of deceit to be heard while silent. Some will be voices of your friends and relatives. Some will be your voice. Remember, when they tempted Jesus, they twisted the use of scripture to try to convince him. They will do the same to you, but it won't make sense. If you follow your basic understanding of right and wrong and scriptural definitions of morality, you will do well. A few other points to remember:
1) Jesus does not ask questions; that is the role of the tempter, starting in the garden with Eve when he questioned her, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" George Fox reminded us of this in his Letter 212.
Doubt not, faint not, question not;
for Eve was deceived by the serpent, the questioner;
therefore keep over him in the power of God, and in that is the reigning.
And take not belief from the serpent, nor take meat from him,
but keep your fast from that which is in the fall;
for that brings from the Lord,
to feed upon the accuser and the tempter's food, that feeds unbelief.
And therefore keep your fast to the Lord,
and feed upon that which comes down from above, in which there is life;
and that strengthens the faith which has the victory.
A question calls for a conclusion. Jesus, our Teacher, gives us understandings and commands, not questions without answers.
2) Don't fall for them using your love for Him: "Would you do 'this' for me?" — when 'this' is something that is scripturally wrong. I know someone who had a painful vision of Jesus falling down while carrying the cross, and having great difficulty in trying to get up to keep walking; and then she heard a voice say, "would you do xxx to help me out?" — asking her to do xxx, which was morally wrong. See how far they will go to deceive you? Wrong is wrong. They read her thoughts and knew there was something in her that wanted to do something like that, so they tried to set her up. Remember, Jesus has not gone modern. He does not change with time or as the morals of society change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Wrong is also wrong — yesterday, today, and forever.
3) Common deceptions based on twisting the scriptures are:
- since I have faith in Christ, I am free from the Law of Sin Death, and sin is not charged to me.
- since I am 'saved' by grace, I have the righteousness of Christ, without sin, I am free to live as I please.
- since I have been 'saved,' there is nothing I can do that will remove me from the favor of God.
- since I am 'saved' by grace, any work I do, including repentance, will place me under the Law of Sin and Death.
- since I am in the Light, that is the return of Christ. I made it. There's nothing else to receive, (not true).
- since anything not done in faith is sin, then anything done in faith is not sin.
- since to the pure all things are pure, there really is no evil to the pure — sin is only in the eye of the beholder.
- since love covers a multitude of sins, anything I do with love is not counted as sin.
- since God created everything and said it was good, then any drug that I use is good and is not sin.
Wrong, in all of the above. Anyone who practices sexual immorality, uncleanness, lack of restraint, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfishness, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries [partying], and the like will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.Wrong is wrong. When you are truly born of God, you will do none of these deeds of darkness above.
4) They will appeal to your pride by tempting you to teach or preach or witness before you are clearly told what to do and when to do it or before you have the words spoken with aid of the Spirit. Don't! This is the test to see if you, like Nimrod, are going to run ahead of your guide, rather than follow. You don't want to hear him say to you, "who has required this at your hand." Remember only respond to a full command of what to do and when to do it, and of course it has to be morally correct. Until you are authorized, don't even speak the words 'Jesus' or 'God,' (unless you are fellowshipping* with others that share the true hope of freedom from sin, purity, entering the kingdom while on earth, and union with God); it is using the Lord's name in vain. Teaching before you are clearly told to teach will halt your progress; that is why all of the many thousands of teachers and preachers, who have been touched by his spirit, never progress to union, and the Kingdom. Anyone who names themselves a 'Christian' without being under Christ's control in speech and actions, is scattering and a stumbling block.
* Fellowship cannot take place until you have words supplied from the Spirit, telling you what to say.
The biggest temptation will be to correct the people of the 'deficit sects' who profess a strong love of God, through faith in the Bible. As George Fox said, "do not try to educate the wise." Christ said, "he did not come to call the righteous, but the sinner." He also said, "if you say you can see, your sin remains." You want to help them see their error; but wait — wait until you have the power of God going in front of you, leading you as to where to go and chaining down your listener so that they have to listen. Some will still reject the truth; but they will have heard your words of truth, clearly spoken from His spirit. From George Fox's Letter 48.
And again, I charge you all in the presence of the living God
not to allow your minds to go out to contend
with those who are not of the truth,
in that which is out of the truth,
(anyone's mind that has not been destroyed is out of the truth)
both of which are to be condemned with the truth.
For the same mind will boast and get up,
(words spoken from the carnal mind are from pride and vanity)
which is out of the truth and reaches at things in the comprehension,
though it lives not in it, but is excluded out of the truth, and shall not enter;
(you must stop to be able to enter the kingdom)
but is for condemnation.
(such words heap condemnation on the speaker and scatter the listeners)
And so to you all this is the counsel of the Lord God of power and of peace,
that in peace you may be preserved
to wait for the spirit of grace, and of wisdom, and of understanding.
(when you can speak words from the Spirit)
The world is His garden. He is the one with the plan. Until you are under his total control, you cannot help him, you will only scatter. He has told me: "Let no one think we don't see and hear all." He has all the thoughts, words, and actions of all men in his consciousness. It is his battle. Wait until you are totally trained; then do only what he precisely tells you to do and when to do it.
5) They will also tempt you by hinting at what you should do, tempting you to think it is the Lord testing you to see if you are willing to "step out in faith." You will get requests to do something, which are incomplete, leaving you again to fill in the blanks, trying to figure out exactly what it was you were "told" to do. This is not the way the Lord asks; his requests will be clear as to exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. And if you get instructions to do something that doesn't make good sense to you, don't do it, wait. If it is from the Lord, he will clear it up to where it makes perfect sense; if not, leave it undone, forget about it.
6) You will get countless visions from the other side. The visions come fast as you start falling asleep. Christ's usually do not. Try not to get so comfortable that sleep is easy; but then if you fall asleep, you probably need the sleep. If they can't convince you to follow the vague vision, they will try to keep your brain working analyzing them. Some of your visions will be crude. So the best thing to do is immediately ignore them. If they don't make immediate sense, throw them away; don't spend a second trying to figure them out. WE GET SO PARCHED IN THE DESERT, THAT WE BECOME DESPERATE FOR WATER. DRINK WITH CAUTION, remember Gideon's army, (only drink while keeping alert for the enemy). If you analyze a vision, you are at least wasting time, but the real risk is that you conclude that God wishes you to do something wrong, which of course he never will. The Lord's visions come with immediate understanding, requiring no analysis; they speak directly to a condition in your heart which you immediately understand and know. Ignore written instructions that you "read" in a vision; you cannot hear the spirit of the words when you read them, and this is a way for the enemy to fool you with kind written words which avoid the detection of their sarcastic, harsh, critical, spirits behind the words. Christ's words are always heard with a spirit of love, kindness, gentleness, softness, reassurance, positive, easily understood, easily accepted, never incomplete to leave you guessing, never questioning, and never suddenly contradictory to a string of previous understandings. Immediately ignore written instructions.
Some of your visions or dreams will be showing you what will happen to you in the near future; to show that he, who is speaking to you, is a prophet. But make no effort to fulfill anything you think is going to happen.
Below is a summary of the guidelines on how to not be deceived by the opposition:
- Ignore all visions and dreams without immediate and clear understanding accompanying them. Do not try to guess what they mean.
- If you get a partial message, do not try to fill in the blanks or complete it to your best guess. If the message is important to you, you will hear it completely later. Do not worry, he will repeat anything that is important.
- Understand that all spiritual beings, including demons, can read your thoughts. That is how they tailor their temptations to your exact desires. They can hear your reasoning, they can hear your doubts, and then they respond to take advantage of even a tiny doubt in the wall of your determination.
- Understand that God allows the demons to tempt us into following our own lusts, so that they are brought to the surface, to either deny and grow; or fall to, suffer the pain, and eventually repent — with a loss of time.
- Do not comply with any instruction that is clearly defined as sin in the Bible. No matter how logical the reasoning to violate the moral laws might be, don't do it. Understand that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever — so godliness is the same, so sin is the same — nothing had changed, as defined in the Bible. Jesus has not gone modern, adjusting morals to conventional thinking. Society changes, Jesus does not. Sin is sin, and he would never lead you into anything that the Bible forbids.
- Never buy the logic that if you somehow debase yourself, you are demonstrating your humility and willingness to accept a lowly role. The Lord will never request you to debase yourself in some repulsive or immoral act. He will expose your lack of humility, destroy your pride, and bring forth true humility in you; but never through a debasement or immorality.
- If you receive a change in instructions, which violates your previous understandings, you are to ignore the new instruction; if it is the Lord speaking, he will lead you to understand, step-by-step, why any reversal he makes is totally logical. Until you have been led with the step-by-step reasoning, ignore any command that violates previous commands or understandings.
- Similarly, if you get a command to depart from what you have been doing, a command with a new direction in your natural life, unless there is a foundation of previous commands that have explained the logic and necessity for the change in your direction, ignore it. For example, suppose you get a command to buy something, go somewhere, go see someone, move to another location, change jobs, change spouses, etc., without you having been previously prepared to understand the necessity of the coming change, then ignore it.
- Understand that any instruction you get, which does not make good sense to you, should be ignored.
- Disregard any vision with a message in writing. The Lord speaks with a discernible voice, or with a knowing of understanding that is immediately perceived — with no communication by writing or words appearing in visions.
- Disregard any instruction to go somewhere, do something (except repenting), or say something to someone — unless you are told exactly what to do and when to do it. If it is important, it will be made completely clear.
- Understand, you will be tempted to preach, teach, or witness long before you have been purified — don't fall for it. Until you can hear in real-time so that you can speak only words heard from the Spirit, you are not ready to preach. You are often told to call someone on the phone, or go see them, or go to a certain location; unless you have words from him, and only words from him, to speak, it is only a temptation to use your own words when you comply.
- You will also be tempted to travel, move to a different city, etc. Stay settled. I must have been told a hundred times to move to various cities, or to travel to various cities — never with any clear reasoning why — or never making sense. These temptations are all related to your pride, to make you think you are specially equipped to do something for the Lord, long before you have been purified and have received a major increase in his Spirit.
- Never comply with any command that requires you to go into debt. Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another.
- Ignore any instruction you hear that is harsh, bitter, sarcastic, with crude language, in a joking manner, etc.
- A Repeat: The Lord only exposes those sins that we are unwilling to admit, face, or those of which we are not even conscious. What we regret having done in the past, He will not even bring up the first time. The Lord will never go over our sins twice.
- Apparent miracles, (lying wonders), as discussed in the next section, do not cancel these warnings. They are only designed to confuse you into thinking that God is asking you to do something wrong.
- When you get a command that makes sense, is moral, understood, perhaps even echoing what you can recall having read in the Bible, this is the time to make every effort to obey to the best of your ability. The opposition will try to make you doubt that you really heard it from God, or that you heard it right. Don't doubt any moral command regarding your conduct and/or conversation, obey it.
- Do not ask questions, expecting a yes or no answer from God. He does not respond, but the demons love to play this game; or your mind will manufacture an answer. God teaches with understandings; he does not teach with yes or no answers.
- Understand, that whatever you are addicted to, someone will show up to offer you more. Do not think that God is rewarding you with a vacation from righteousness, it is just a temptation to be denied. You can be walking and find something that you have been addicted to, literally lying in your path — don't take this as a gift from God — it is only a temptation to be denied, thus making you stronger.
- You will be told many lies: that you are perfect; that you are blameless; that you are pure; that you are ready to preach. As the Word of the Lord within said: "when you are perfect, it will be abundantly clear."
- You will hear many words about wars and disasters, never complete, never with instructions as to what to do to prepare for them; just rumors to unsettle you and cause you to worry — or worse, to be led aside from your trust in the Lord to guide you. Remember his messages build, one added to the previous; any valid message requiring action on your part will always have substantial foundation of previous messages.
- Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. . The kingdom is one of patient endurance. For those who are seeking as their first priority in life, waiting on God in increasing frequency and duration, you will be subjected to many lies about when certain events in your spiritual life and/or physical life will change; ignore all messages that define certain times for your hoped-for events. These lies from Satan, when realized as lies, dash our hopes and make our hearts sick. The Lord has to break our hearts before He can create the new heart; the Lord has to destroy our self love, subjecting us to shame and loss before He roots and grounds true love in our heart; He turns the lies of Satan into the means of breaking our heart and self-love. This is very distressing to say the least, but as time goes on, the distress becomes less and less. When the desire comes, particularly the kingdom, then we forget the pain of childbirth and celebrate the child. In this way we learn patience, and our faith is increased, which the Word of the Lord within said: "that is what it is all about." Despite the severe pain of the journey, all is well that ends well. As the Word of the Lord within has told me: "Be like the early Church, who for inexpressible joy endured to the end."
- Should you get a message like, "tell them about the gospel," that is not from Him; that kind of message encourages you to speak from your carnal mind with your own words, which is the nature of death.
From Molinos, Spiritual Guide:
You are to know then, that temptation is your great happiness; so that the more it surrounds you, the more you ought to rejoice in peace, instead of being sad, and thank God for the favor. He does favor you. In all those temptations, and odious thoughts, the remedy that works, is to despise them with a stayed neglect, because nothing more afflicts the proud devil, than to see that he is slighted and despised, as are all things else that he suggests to us. And therefore you are to tarry with him, as one that perceives him not, and to possess yourself in your peace without fretting, and without multiplying reasons and answers; seeing nothing is more dangerous than to contest in reasons with him who is ready to deceive you.
The saints in arriving at holiness, passed through this doleful valley of temptations; and the greater saints they were, the greater temptations with which they grappled. No, after the saints have attained to holiness and perfection, the Lord allows them to be tempted with brisk temptations, that their crown may be the greater, and that the spirit of vainglory may be checked, or else hindered from entering in them, keeping them in that manner secure, humble, and concerned of their condition.
Don't let yourself get angry at the opposition; that is what the devil wants. For when you get angry, you have fallen to his ways. Rather than anger, your greatest weapon is to totally ignore them, which they hate, for it makes them ineffective.
Don't Be Fooled by People with Power but not the Truth
Power without truth is how the false church of Babylon was established. Do not be deceived with power accompanied by lies. Unless power is accompanied by the true gospel, (freedom from even the desire to sin, union with Christ and God, and translation into the kingdom of God while still on earth), through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial that results in Jesus appearing in your heart to destroy all sin, such power is from the devil and not God. There are many "Christian" healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, loud and raucous services, but you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc. One such healing ministry of several years ago, (still highly touted by the Pentecostals), had a minister who slugged people in the stomach to heal them; one man he slugged so hard that he died, but of course the minister then raised him from the dead.
The Lord is recorded as warning us three times about false Christian prophets, (ministers, evangelists, teachers), that perform miracles:
- For there will arise false Christs and prophets, and will show great signs and wonders; so much that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect.
- For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and show signs and wonders, to seduce even the elect, if it were possible.
- Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity' [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness].
And in Revelation, we are told the spirits of demons would be working miracles. Rev 16:14; and the demons work miracles through men who put on a great show of being religious. Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
I can testify to a harrowing personal experience with a young man that I met begging on the street. This individual said he had no place to sleep that night, so I invited him to my home, where I witnessed several supernatural demonstrations of power. He had participated in Hare Krishna, Hindu, etc., and he had adopted a Hindu name. He believed there was no difference between good and evil. Though I had never met him before, he related details of my life that even my wife did not know. When I left him upstairs to listen to music, he rummaged through my forty plus CDs and brought down two, which he handed to me and correctly told me which son had given each to me for a gift and chastised me that I had never played them, which was also correct. He had also picked up three items where the CDs were stored and told me they were favors from my youngest son's wedding and that I should have them proudly displayed to honor my son's marriage rather than stored away out of sight; he was correct as to their origin. There were other supernatural events that had also occurred with him. He suggested that God had created me for pleasure and I should indulge in whatever I desired, including adultery; (this was before I had been freed of lust for women.) When morning finally came, I told him he must go, and we got in our very reliable car. I turned the key on, and the engine died two seconds later. I turned the key on, and the engine died again. I looked in the rear-view mirror and he was sitting directly in the middle, looking down at the ignition switch and praying so hard his face had literally turned the brightest red I had ever seen on a man before; it looked very similar to common depictions of devils. I reached for the key and with force turned it and held it with great resolve; this time the car started and held, allowing us to complete the exit of this individual.
Be aware, later as you get closer, you will be subjected to many "lying wonders;" These are supernatural "signs" to deceive you to believe they are from God. This is scriptural. They are to test you to see if you are committed to the truth. Don't consider the below signs an exhaustive list; as Molinos says: "the devils, like cruel executioners, have a thousand ways to torment the soul and body, the whole man being crucified within and without."
- expect supernatural occurrences of noises, popping sounds, visions, flashing electrical lights, etc.
(visions can be writings and pictures on the carpets, visions on a wall, they can distort your eyes to see visions in nature,
some can have visions of demons taunting you, even ridiculing your faith — if not visually, definitely by voice)
- expect their application of bodily sensations: heat, cold, freezing, skin burning, pain, pricks, water, fire, darts, vibrations, crawlings on you, sudden ringing in the ears, heart skips, heart racing up to 200 beats per minute for days, sneezing, internal blows like a slide hammer. These can be felt on any part(s) of the body, often the private parts. "Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."
- early on in your waiting you will feel a strange pressure, which feels like a tug-of-war in and around your head. This is just the opposition's way of trying to distract your silence and focus on your hope for change. You can minimize this pressure by: 1) closing your mouth, 2) bowing your head, and 3) with your hands in the classic prayer clasp or meeting, bring them to touch your chin, lips, or tip of your nose.
Suffering — Tribulation (later in the disciplining process, and the hardest part of the cross!)
When he deems you ready, you enter tribulation. This is part of the cross, to destroy the sinful nature within you through suffering.
This produces patience, forgiveness, faith, long-suffering, trust, humility, and even hope; for even pain can be reassuring of his love:
"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
But narrow is the gate and compressed is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Tribulation and suffering is the pressure; as you approach the gate, the pressure intensifies).
Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin, so that you should not live the rest of your time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but to the will of God. . Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, a death in the family, a divorce, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed. Some of you are wrongly ascribing natural events such as a loss of car keys to be supernaturally imposed tribulation, which suffering is less than trivial compared to true tribulation.
For this suffering to be effective, you must realize three things:
- It is supernaturally imposed. It is not some natural disease. It cannot be cured. It cannot be stopped by anything you do.
- Despite the afflictions to your body, no harm will result — except to your selfish spiritual nature.
- It is pleasing to God for you to undergo suffering because you are laying down your life for him — the one true sacrifice.
I realize this is extremely strange and foreign to most readers. But remember, Jesus said to Peter: Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you all, that he may sift you like grain. They were all turned over to Satan for testing. Satan will be allowed to test and sift you, (a slow process), as well as inflict suffering upon you to test, try, and develop love within you. When you can suffer with faith that the suffering is your cross, but nowhere as painful as the cross of Jesus, then your pain is far, far less.
When you are seeking Him as your first priority in life, accept everything that happens to you as according to the will of God, even suffering; though as He has said, "I am not the purveyor of evil." As with Job for our example, He permits our tribulation and trials to further our patience and perfection, but He does not conduct them. He has said, "I neither counsel or collaborate with evil;" He gives them firm commands to not exceed certain limits in their afflictions. Do not be offended at whatever suffering and affliction befalls you. In time, suffering too will pass as do your best to sit and wait.
The same sufferings are being experienced by all your brothers in the world. . For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. . Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Fear none of those things which you shall suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.
God is frequently accused of creating evil by creating the devil. Here is what George Fox says from his Journal:
The Ranters pleaded that God had made the devil. I denied it, and told them, "I had come into the power of God, the seed Christ, which was before the devil was, and bruises his head; and he became a devil by going out of truth; and so became a murderer and a destroyer. So I showed them, that God did not make him a devil; for God is a God of truth, and made all things good, and blessed them; but God did not bless the devil. And the devil is bad and was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, and spoke from himself, and not from God."
The devil rebelled against God. My wife had a vision as to what happened afterwards. Jesus was standing in front of Satan. Jesus held out his hand, full of dust and said, "Do you see this dust Satan? I am going to make this dust greater than you, and there is nothing you can do about it." The dust is us. He formed man from the earth. He thwarts Satan's efforts to defeat us by using his evil to produce good; to produce sons of God who are greater than the very powerful fallen archangel Satan. You are now entering the process by which evil is used to produce a son of God, made from dust, but cloned with the Spirit of Jesus.
In Acts 14:22-23, Paul was strengthening the souls of the disciples and warning and exhorting them to stand firm in the faith; saying that it is through many trials and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. From where do you think these tribulations will come? Not from our fellow man, at least not in this era of religious tolerance. The tribulation has to be supernatural; various sufferings and hardships poured on you from above. These are the troubles of the seven seals, (see footnote to Rev 5:1). See the Tribulation Scripture References, to understand further how tribulation is part of the cross to be experienced by every generation.
Remember Jesus said:
Whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.
Two women will be grinding together; one will be taken and the other left.
Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.'
And in response they said to him, "Where, Lord?"' And he said to them,
"Wherever the body is, there the vultures will be gathered together.
So, don't panic and run, trying to save your life. Trust in God. He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him; but the Father scourges any son he accepts, because it is necessary for purification. And He uses the vultures or eagles, heavenly vultures, fallen angels, demons, to do it.
First, recognize that they are restrained by the Spirit of God. They are not going to really hurt you or do anything totally bizarre; I know this to be absolutely true from experience. The angel of the LORD encamps round about those who fear him, and deliverers them. And greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world.
Aside from our documentation, there are others who have trod this path and documented it. Miguel de Molinos (1640-1697), a Spanish priest who practiced inward silence to union with the Lord, who came to Rome where he secured the support of the Pope and a large following, later condemned by the Roman Inquisition and tortured to death, left his account (click) for your assurance. He was a also a major contributor to the Guide to True Peace, on this web site. The Book of Job also documents his persecutions and is available with commentary for you to read and take comfort.
First, Before Suffering: They will try to get you to do something wrong; such as something you just thought about, by giving you a "sign" at the exact same time. They want you to think it is God giving you a sign to do something wrong. Don't fall for it. Wrong is wrong and is never of God. When they give up on that, knowing that you recognize the sign to be from them, they will use the same sign to judge your every thought and condemn you every time you have a bad thought, by their signs, (usually something done to your body or popping noises). Or, they will use a "sign" to try to inhibit you from doing something right; they lie, and switch around, just to keep you confused; so you just have to ignore them. Scripturally, this is the "accuser of the brethren." Rev. 12:10 Don't get resentful. Any anger or resentment will just slow you down. Remember God does not condemn you for these thoughts; he knows you will have them until you are finished. Even if you repeatedly get angry at God, he understands and forgives you, providing you keep regretting it too. And he is the one in charge of your progress, so trust Him to continue his peace, mercy, and grace to you; he never withdraws it. Be happy you have arrived where few have gone before you. This monitoring of your thoughts and condemnation will continue for a long time; but do not be discouraged, they will eventually disappear. The sooner you can ignore them, the sooner they will withdraw from you, at least temporarily.
After you identify one type of sign as evil, a new type of sign is tried to deceive you, and then another, etc. Compared to the miracles of God, these are cheap tricks. Don't fall for them. Ignore them. This is hard because you are so famished for God, and you will want so badly to believe that these "signs and wonders" come from God. He doesn't communicate that way. It is your pride that is working against you here; your pride wants to believe God has finally started doing miracles for your benefit and wants to rush to comply with the instructions, hints, or associations accompanying them.
Next, Suffering: When these supernatural signs become painful, and they will, sooner or later, rejoice that you have been worthy of discipline and persecution, for you are sharing in the sufferings of Christ:
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice, since you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, so that when his glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy. . The same sufferings are being experienced by all your brothers in the world. .
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. .
My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into many trials of any sort or into various temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. .
From the Word of the Lord within:
- You shall suffer persecution, when you lead a godly life.
- In the time of the enemy, the Lord is still with you.
- Any of you whose sting to bear has been hard, use these facts:
- Therefore, for the several cases, we wish you well when you suffer.
- Take no offence; do not be offended at anything.
- In the time of the enemy, there are difficult things to endure; despise not the cross.
- Either pain in this life or the next.
- Judgment begins with the house of God.
- The righteous will barely be saved.
- Don't ever complain. Stand fast in the faith.
- Never give up, no matter how good it feels looking back.
- Take no thought of yourself.
- It is blind to give up, knowing the will of God.
- Don't even think about giving up.
- Let patience have its perfect work.
- Remain faithful to the promises.
- Doubt not, faint not, forget not.
- Accept everything; take offence at nothing; just sit and wait.
This will be a shock. Even having read this beforehand, it will be a shock. You will be angry, full of doubts, desperate to get away, perhaps bitter. There is no place to go. They will follow you wherever you go. You will think you are being punished for something you have done wrong. You will not be able to imagine that God is allowing you to be subjected to this. But, in the end, you have to trust God. You have to remember that he is the one in charge, not you.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
After the suffering started, during my "quiet sessions," I had terrible thoughts and words that went through my head. Thoughts as bad as you can imagine. It is easy to get bitter. Sometimes it was so painful to realize that kind of stuff was in me, that I was in deep agony. Recognize, there is a war going on inside of you. The Spirit of Christ is warring against your spirit, the spirit of Satan. This spirit within you will eventually be slain by Christ at his return to you, but until then, this spirit will probably curse and find fault with God. It will feel like you are the one thinking these thoughts; it will be very distressing; you will feel like you are unforgivable. You may want to fall on your sword to remove the dishonor or contemplate suicide; this won't help the Lord — he has brought you this far, let him finish the job. The fact that you find it distressing is proof that you don't will these thoughts; they are part of the war — nation against nation. Keep regretting your condition and know that Christ does not condemn you for this; he will win the war; the war is his. He told me there is no evil that has not already been in front of his hands and face. Remember his blood has paid for your pitiful state, and he will redeem you in the end. I doubt you could make the many and grievous mistakes I have made while seeking. But, He always forgave me, always encouraged me, and always gave me more. In time, grace destroyed the vast, vast majority of those thoughts in my head; but this called for, and worked to, patience.
When so many disciples deserted Christ after he said that to have eternal life, they must eat his flesh and drink his blood; the Lord asked the twelve, "Will you also leave me?" To which, Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and are sure that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God." That is the question: you have committed yourself to God and arrived at suffering; where else is there to go? Back to your old life of sins and pleasures? Back to the godless deficit sects? No, by now that is a horrible thought. So, you buckle up (gird up your loins) and press on to the high calling of God with trust and faith that he knows what he is doing, even if you don't fully understand it. This is the cross. It is tough; but compared to his cross, it is a picnic.
A man must first be broken by God, before he is honored. It is only when a person is besieged by a supernatural enemy, sent by God, which he is helpless to fight against, that the person discovers how he is so easily resentful, angry, impatient, doubtful [loss of faith], and profane. Under the pressure of the adversaries, a man discovers what a low, selfish, angry beast he really is. It is a necessary humbling process. It is a necessary suffering. A man must see over a significant period of time how low he is, how selfish he is, how profane he is, how evil he is — and he must learn this so that he never forgets it. A man must be humbled, and it is impossible for a man to voluntarily humble himself; any such voluntary attempts to humble one's self only increases a man's pride. Only the hand of God can truly humble a man. His only hope has to rest in God's mercy; there can be no other escape. His only objective must become to be rid of his selfish, cursing, profane, hating, resentful self; so when it is finally taken away, he hates evil so much, that he would never even consider drifting back into selfish behaviors again.
A man must be broken by God:
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ; and then he accepts him:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach release to the captives[of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [in slavery to sin]. .
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual sacrifice and worship
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.
Indeed, all who are determined to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom the father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement [correcting rebuke], of which all must share, then you are illegitimate, and not sons. .
The pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. .
In Peter says: [you] who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a time, if necessary, you may have to suffer griefs through many trials, so that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might result in praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
But if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God. And if it first begins with us, what will the end be of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
"Tribulation is a great treasure, by which God honors those that are his, in this life. Therefore evil men are necessary for those that are good; and so are the Devils themselves, which by afflicting us try to ruin us, but instead of doing us harm, they do us the greatest good imaginable. There must be tribulation to make a man's life acceptable to God; without it, it is like the body without the soul, the soul without grace, the earth without the sun. With the wind of tribulation God separates, in the floor of the soul, the chaff from the corn. Those souls are to be pitied, who cannot find in their hearts to believe, that tribulation and suffering is their greatest blessing." (from Miguel de Molinos)
For more scriptures, documenting how Tribulation applies to the cross for all generations, see Tribulation Scripture References.
Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are tried by it.
By your producing of much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified, and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers].
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.
The fiery darts are annoying, but not severe pain. The darts have hit my wife and me for years, sometimes when thinking something wrong, but not always limited to that: sometimes just to aggravate us.
My intense suffering lasted several months. No one could see what was going on. It was private. I could still function in life while it was happening. It was very, very annoying; not severe pain, but constant and very depressing. I was afflicted in my private parts, which I later learned was a common experience of David and referenced by Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Lamentations. But I was shocked; I didn't understand or expect it. Instead of rejoicing, I thought I had been betrayed; I couldn't have reacted worse. But, you will do better. Forewarned is forearmed; expect to suffer. Rejoice that you are worthy to suffer. It is necessary for purification and the development of faith, patience, long-suffering, and love. Condemnation with slight, but still annoying pain lasted several years.
Their whole purpose is to purify you, show you your weaknesses, and to test you to see if you are committed to the truth. When the Lord trusts you, he will give you more of his Holy Spirit. This persecution can come to a climax of intense suffering and testing to see if you are really committed to not pursuing evil. But we all have to be tested. Peter was tested. You will be tested. I was tested without much knowledge, and I failed; but because I stupidly believed I was doing the will of God, I was forgiven. And eventually, I was tested again. The last time I passed; for in the way of holiness even fools shall not err and go astray. . He gifted me enough of his Spirit to construct this web site under his supervision; he is using my failures to help you, and I feel the great honor and privilege to do so. You can read the details of all my failures in the record of my spiritual journey.
Every caution I have given you is the result of my learning them by at least partial failure. Despite me falling for far too many tricks of the devil, Christ never failed me; I kept coming back, and he stayed with me. The Lord will never leave you, if you stay committed to him. Even if you wander off, like a lost sheep, the good Shepard will come and get you and carry you back to be with Him. Read the full Molinos book for additional comfort.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. These sufferings are the hardest part of the cross, but again, your rod and your staff comfort me.
Be strong and of good courage; fear not, nor be afraid of them for it is the LORD your God, who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you.
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear."
Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
The Interim Reward
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections].
Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with him, that our body of sin might be destroyed, so that we would not serve sin any longer.
When you have suffered awhile in crucifixion and pass the test(s), Christ will give you more of his Spirit, Oh! Joyous day! That we, who first trusted in Christ, should be to the praise of his glory. In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation; in whom after you believed, you were also sealed with the holy Spirit of promise. ; assuming you have actually heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus. . Here is where we hear the good news of our salvation to come and receive the Holy Spirit of promise. And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption. . Who has also sealed us, and given us the earnest [down payment] of the Spirit in our hearts. . Remember! The Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey him.
You will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt. After the intensive testing, He told me the good news, "there is an open door placed before you that no one can shut." The world will look different to you. You will see Christ in all things. Everything will be beautiful. You will see Christ in all people. You will want to love everyone as you love Christ. Because of this love received, you will no longer fear God, only fear disappointing him. Such love has no fear, but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear is the dread of punishment. He who fears has not been made perfect in love. . You have complete trust and faith in God to bring you to union with Him in his Kingdom. Your faith will be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. This understanding gives you peace. You will be tempted to think you have it all. The opposition can create a fake Kingdom; all lights are golden; everything looks clean and bright through this golden filter; you are surrounded by a counterfeit field that seems to help your physical efforts; it went away when I stopped noticing it, but only after he kindly told me, "it is just another lying wonder."
The demons will deceptively congratulate you for having entered the Kingdom. But at this point, you are not in the kingdom; you are still in the same dimension; you still see the world, just slightly differently. I was told I was in the Kingdom; I was told I was one with Christ and God; I was told I was perfect, pure, and blameless twenty times. But little bouts of anger, little bouts of sin, and my mind still operational — all showed me I was not in the Kingdom, not one with Christ, and not perfect. Those lies are designed to cause you to die; either through preaching/teaching before you are authorized and sent, or by relaxing your efforts to progress. The Lord has since told me that when I am perfect, "it will be abundantly clear." And to enter the new life of the kingdom is so different, he has said, "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars." Gentle reader, don't let some vision or voice convince you that you are perfect or have entered the kingdom because the Lord has also said, "those who have imagined themselves in the kingdom will be cast aside."
The great bulk of your suffering is done, but you will have short bursts of the same to keep you on track and to be reminded of the consequences of departing.
There is much more, and you must dwell in the Light even more while continuing to give at every opportunity, exhibiting your love in giving to others through your powerful increased faith. Don't worry, you will have the inclination — just go with it. Keep seeking. The Lord told us, "many are so happy to arrive at this state; they think how wonderful everything is, and relax. Many die here." Don't. Follow orders. Keep oil in your lamps; abide in the light. You are 90% there. It is no longer you who sin, but the sin that remains in you, and it will decrease daily. He will pull away from you for periods of dryness. This dryness teaches us to walk in love, faith, and truth. His Spirit never leaves us, but his words of comfort do, for a little while; this lets us walk without holding his hand and tests us to see if we will stay faithful, stay foreign to our previous life of lusts and affections, and keep striving forcefully to enter the Kingdom. Remember, until you have literally run into his arms, you have not received the pearl of great price. Even though the open door has been placed before us that no one can shut, it is still up to us to keep striving to go through the door into the Kingdom.
But, at this stage you are definitely being led by the Spirit, telling you what to do and when to do it; this makes you a son of God who will live forever. And you now have both assurances of salvation: 1) through the aid of the Spirit, having been putting to death the sinful nature, and 2) having finished the great bulk of suffering, discipline, and scourging by God. So you have great peace, knowing the completion of your salvation is assured with the arrival of the Kingdom.
This is the time that the Teacher within destroys your carnal mind; the fretful, worrying, doubting, faithless mind. And as this mind is destroyed, he builds your faith and trust, which results in great peace; a peace beyond understanding. But this is not the final reward. He is preparing you to survive the next step.
And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners?
The Kingdom, the Return of Christ, and Salvation's Completion
Now of the times and the dates, brothers, you do not need me to write you.
For you know perfectly that "the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night" [unexpectedly].
For when they are saying, "Peace and safety;" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they will not escape.
But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that day should overtake you like a thief.
You are all the children of light to be, and the children of the day to be; we are not of the night to be, nor of darkness.
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever."
And the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done."
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Yes, Christ is able to deliver out of the six troubles,
and the seventh trouble, the perfection of trouble; he who is the perfection itself,
so he is the deliverer and mediator, and the intercessor,
who makes peace between you and God. G.F Letter 279.
And the Lord has promised to deliver his people in the six troubles,
yes, in the seventh, the perfection of troubles;
and therefore do not think time long, and your sufferings long,
for the Lord will lay no more upon you but what you are able to bear;
yes, upon his faithful people. G. F Letter 367.
This is what Christ came to preach: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Look at all his parables. Most deal with the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the hidden pearl; not hidden in the scriptures, but hidden in understanding as to what it meant. Before Christ is revealed, the man of sin is revealed, showing you all manner of evil on the earth; this is the abomination of desolation, standing in the your heart's temple, where it should not. But this is end of your fleshly self, as Christ then comes and slays this residual spirit of Satan within you by the brightness of his coming, by his breath, and the splendor of his coming, by his crushing the head of Satan under your heel. The final judgment. The true baptism of the Holy Spirit: into the death of Christ. The sharing of his death. Jesus is resurrected in you to be your true Lord.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings;
if you will reign with him, you must suffer with him;
if you will live with him, you must die with him;
and if you die with him, you must be buried with him,
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him.
George Fox from the Cambridge Journal:
If you wait in what is pure in you, you will find and see, because God has given you a measure of his spirit, by which you can comprehend things and see the deceits. Now when the mind goes forth from that pure measure, which lets you see deceits, the simplicity is ensnared, and God is not in your thoughts any more; instead, the son of perdition in you sits in the temple of God, where he ought not to sit. With the birth of the Lord [in you], this son of perdition is discovered, and with the brightness of the Lord's coming [in you], he is consumed; that man of sin is revealed [in you], and so shall you witness the scriptures fulfilled. But you must wait in that which is pure, which will show you when your mind departs into disobedience, setting up Baal's priests (outward) before God, and that brings a distraction in the mind where there is a halting between two (you and God); for all of the troubles are outside in the world, but Christ said that "in me you shall have perfect peace." Wait in Christ and mind him in yourself, (there is where you wait for his appearing). Keep focused inward, (stay seeking Christ within yourself), and do not follow the cries of lo Christ is here and lo Christ is there to distract you to outward seeking, you will have peace in a short time. You will later witness Christ, who is the substance of the prophets and apostles. The scriptures are shown to you within you (by Christ) to guide you to the Father, the Lord God of heaven and earth. By waiting for the Spirit of the Lord within you to guide your mind, you will find your strength renewed daily by the one Spirit that gave forth the scriptures. There is no confusion, but instead perfect peace. This Spirit baptizes into the one body, and this Spirit is the unity of the saints, who though absent in body, yet are present in Spirit, all being made to drink into one Spirit. This Spirit circumcises and puts off the body of sin from you, and you are sanctified through your obedience to the Spirit. You will come to witness the scriptures pure and clear, as they are without any mixture [of man's interpretations], as holy men possessed them and gave them forth. So holy men possess them and give them forth again and witness them again.
This is the appearance of Christ to you bringing his Kingdom and salvation. This is to see your savior, to see God. This results in Jesus resurrected in you, (by today's terminology, a spiritual cloning), and having His glorious Kingdom established in your heart. The world as you see it ends. It is gone. You will not see it again. You step into another dimension, and walk by the Light of God, not the sun or the moon. This is He and the Father with you in fellowship. You are not only restored to the image of God, as were originally Adam and Eve, but you are later elevated beyond their state, beyond temptation. We sit down in Christ to enter the rest; to enter the rest from fighting our enemies, like Israel entered the rest after they had purged their land of the surrounding peoples, only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and then later to be protected from evil, sanctified from our enemies of sin; never to fall to temptation again.
That he would grant to us,
that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
You will enter the rest, to cease from your own labors, to walk in the spirit, under the power and promptings of the Father, through Christ, with whom you have joined in union; the pure church, sanctified, washed by the water of the word, at the wedding supper. This is to have Christ as your King forever. This is to be a priest to God forever and being next to Him as you worship Him. This is to worship Him in spirit and truth. This is to love God and be loved by Him. This is to be translated into paradise, while still residing on the earth — to step into another dimension of sight, awareness, and consciousness, being sanctified, separated, protected. This is everlasting peace and joy. This is the prize of the creation; you are God's crowning glory. This is the ultimate step in the creation. This is why the world was created. This is the purpose of life. This is more than you ever hoped for, and you will be overwhelmed with still more. This is overcoming evil. This is winning the war. This is becoming one with Christ and the Father. This is becoming his agent on earth, a soldier under direct command from Him, and with Him and His power leading you. This is no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you. You have lost your life and found LIFE. After you enter the kingdom, there is even more to reward to achieve; see the Footnote to Gal 5:24.
Who has delivered us from the power of darkness,
and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
2000 years ago, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you,
there are some standing here, who shall not taste death,
until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."