|Romans 8 |
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.1 [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. Gal 5:18. 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. Anyone who claims to be in Christ when they are not crucified is taking His name in vain; or doing anything while stating you do it in His name or in the name of Jesus is also taking His name in vain.]
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.2 [When crucified, we experience the Ministry of Righteousness, which is the learning of how to walk and speak righteously, walking by the Light of Life, walking after the Spirit. You are not free from the law of sin and death until you have received the fruit of the Spirit, walking in love, fulfilling the law, your sinful nature destroyed by Christ, your heart circumcised by Christ, and you crucified on the inward cross of self-denial.]
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; [For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8.]
4 So that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [Until we are walking, thinking, speaking, and acting according to how the Spirit directs us, we have not fulfilled the righteousness of the law; and so we are still subject to the Law of Sin and Death. A man who is prompted and energized by God in what to say and what to do, so that his every action and word is from loving obedience to God; truly such a man loves the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deu 6:4-5; such a man fulfills the law and establishes the law, even greatly exceeding the law. From the Word of the Lord within: "Until you witness the law fulfilled in you, you are under the law."]
5 For those who live according to the flesh, aim in satisfying things of the flesh; but those who live after the Spirit, aim to satisfy the things of the Spirit. [Flesh: fulfilling the lusts of the body and flesh, the thoughts of the carnal mind, and the evil imagination vs. Spirit: to think as the Spirit supplies thoughts, to speak only what is heard from the Spirit, and to do only what the Spirit shows you and energizes you to do.]
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [Do not make the mistake of thinking you are spiritually minded unless the Lord has destroyed your carnal mind, freeing you from sin, and freeing you from walking according to the desires of your flesh and the thoughts of your mind. When you are walking with the Spirit supplying your thoughts, your words to speak, and your deeds to be performed — only then you are spiritually minded, possessing the mind of Christ as your guide. The life of spiritual mindedness is following the light of Christ as He guides you; the peace of spiritual mindedness is quietness of the mind with unquestionable assurance and confidence forever.]
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.3 [Since your mind cannot be subject to the Law of God, (the inner law on every man's heart), obviously your mind must be destroyed; bearing the cross destroys your carnal mind, which is then replaced by the mind of Christ. The cross is to man's carnal mind and man's will. From the Word of the Lord within: "That which lives in the enmity must be destroyed. We labor with a cursed mind. To make decisions is to live in your carnal mind. Those who follow their own brain will weep and mourn; there will be great pain. The mind is a terrible thing. You will receive a new heart and mind. Grow up into the mind of Christ, from which all good thoughts proceed." Until your carnal mind is destroyed, bear the daily cross, keep obeying all commands, and continue through life making the best decisions you know how.]
8 So then those who are in the flesh [living in their sinful nature] cannot please God. [Mark! If you are living for your lusts and pleasures, if you are walking by your carnal mind, if you are still without the continual guidance of God's Spirit, you are in the flesh. If you have not mortified the fleshly, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, you are none of Christ's: Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:24.]
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ [to rule a man as his king, doing His will], he is none of his. [Paul has clearly said in the preceding verses that unless your sinful nature has been destroyed, including your carnal mind; that unless you are no longer walking according to your lusts, passions, and pleasures; that unless you are walking under control of the Spirit in thought, word and deed; then you are not a part of Christ — you are not in Christ — you do not belong to Christ — yet. You first must mortify your fleshly, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial... Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires (lusts and affections). Gal 5:19-24. Click to see more on being "in Christ."]
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. [If the Spirit of Christ dwells within you, then the deeds of the body, (the flesh, the sinful nature), have been mortified, verse 13, below; then the body is dead, its fleshly, sinful lusts and passions no longer controlling your life. But when the righteous Spirit of Christ is within you, which is formed as you have carry the inward cross of self-denial, that Spirit of Christ does not die.]
11 Moreover, if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ from the dead has also restored to life your mortal bodies by his Spirit who dwells in you. [After our fleshly, sinful nature has been slain by the Spirit, rendering the body dead to its lusts and passions, the Lord is resurrected in us to be our true Lord so that we are a new creature in new life with the imputed righteousness of Christ. This is to be experienced while on earth, not to be presumed, and not to be understood to occur after normal physical death. In this verse the tense for restored to life was not specified in the original Greek; so Babylon's translators for all Bibles translated "has also restored to life your mortal bodies" to "will restore to life your mortal bodies," but your body cannot be dead unless the Lord has also restored life to your body by His Spirit. The translators made this error because their doctrines only define heaven after a man has physically died and left this earth; they don't believe that a man can be translated into the kingdom of God in union with God while still alive on earth, nor do they believe in Jesus being resurrected in a man who walks the earth.]
12 Therefore brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if you live according to 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.4 [Therefore mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body which are of the earthly life; fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Col 3:5. Strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion. Eph 4:22]
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [To be led by the Spirit of God is to hear and obey his word from within your heart ordering all words to be spoken and all your deeds to be done. To be led is to walk in love, fulfilling the law. This only occurs after you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial to then receive the fruit of the Spirit. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:19. From the Word of the Lord within: "You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you. Walking in the light is to be guided through life by God; walking in darkness is making your own decisions as to what to do and say. Unless the Lord guides you, you have no chance. A perfect man hears what to do — a time of great joy."]
15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, [George Fox wrote of this witness by the Spirit: "The spirit bears witness in the earth, which mortifies them, which circumcises them, which leads them into all truth; in which spirit is their fellowship, and a bond peace, that keeps down that which troubles them; by which spirit the believers are baptized into one body; brought out of the many bodies; and so by the spirit they are brought to the one head, who is Christ Jesus, (though there are many heads in the world), by which spirit they are sanctified, by which spirit they are instructed, by which spirit they worship God, by which spirit they are covered, by which spirit they pray, and by which spirit they sing praises to God who is a spirit, by which spirit they have an understanding, the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, which is to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, which is eternal life."]
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him,5 that we may be glorified together. [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. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Part of the inward cross is inward suffering, which the Lord will lead you through, when he deems your faith sufficient to survive the tribulation.]
18 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. [Those who heed and obey what they hear as they persistently and patiently wait on God will see Jesus appear to bring their salvation. Heb 5:9, Heb 9:28. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory. Col 3:4. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27 ]
19 For the whole creation longs for, and waits for, the revelation of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but because of him who has subjected it in hope,
21 Because the creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body. [Notice, they are waiting on redemption. How does one wait? To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; only those who heed and obey Him receive eternal salvation, Heb 5:9; redemption occurs with the receipt of eternal salvation which is to be seen, witnessed.]
24 For we are saved by hope;6 but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has already seen? [Salvation is to be experienced, seen, not presumed. We hope for what we have not yet seen, salvation, (in next verse), but we wait for it with patient endurance, to see it brought to us. In this present life we are saved by the hope of: being taught by God, seeing God, being delivered from sin, being cleansed, purified, perfected, brought to holiness, to be in union with God, being translated into the kingdom, and more. From the Word of the Lord within: "Hope releases the power of God to change you. There is no hope for anyone outside the power of God."]
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet see, then we wait for it [salvation] with patient endurance. [Notice, Paul tells them that if they have not seen their salvation, they are to wait for it with patient endurance. This is another proof that salvation comes to those who heed and obey the spoken-to-them commands of God that they hear as they persistently and patiently wait on Him, Heb 5:9, 9:28. Reading about being saved, or preachers telling us that we are saved, or saying that we are saved, is not seeing or experiencing salvation; so how do we see salvation — when we see Jesus bring our salvation in this present life. Just like we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal 5:5, we wait for salvation. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must wait on the Lord to receive salvation."]
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for we do not know what we should pray for as we should, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he [Jesus] who searches the hearts,7 knows what is the mind of the Spirit because he [Jesus] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.8 [All things includes what is alive and what is not alive; all things includes people.]
29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined9 to be conformed to the image of his Son so he might be the firstborn in many brothers.
30 Moreover those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified. [You who think you are justified because you believe that Jesus is the Son of God; are you glorified? Have you experienced Jesus declaring your name to His brothers, in the midst of the congregation [of Heaven] and Him singing praise to you? Psa 22:22. If yes, then for sure you are justified. George Fox wrote: "He who has Him, has life, justification, sanctification, and redemption...they possess righteousness, glory, substance, the end of their faith, and Christ their hope, that remains and abides."]
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how would he also not freely give us all things through Christ?
33 Who will lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who could condemn us? When Christ who died and rose again, is sitting at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Note! If you are walking after the impulses of the flesh, walking according to your own carnal mind, you are not in Christ Jesus. You cannot please God living according to the impulses of the flesh. Rom 8:8. To walk through life according to your own mind is worse than worshipping idols because you have made yourself god. To walk according to your own mind is exactly what Satan promised Adam and Eve — they would become wise like God and know good and evil; they would be able to decide for themselves what was good and what was bad. Their first decision was that they were naked and that was bad. When you walk according to your own mind, you are making your own decisions, based on your selfish rationalizations — at best, you are capable of only making the least evil decision; without God's direction, you have no idea what to do that is his will and truly good.
You can't still be in the flesh, still sinning, walking after the flesh, and be in Christ; they are mutually exclusive conditions. To believe differently, supposes that Christ embraces sin within his bodily members, supposes that he would join in a marriage to a sinful person, to suppose that light fellowships with darkness and righteousness with unrighteousness. But those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:24.
But whoever obeys his spoken words [obeys his spoken commands to them], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him. 1 John 2:5. Notice, this is to be "in Christ" — to have the love of God perfected in you. Paul also tells us: Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17. So many people in Christendom claim to be "in Christ" but have no idea that their claim is an abomination because to still be sinning and claim to be a part of Christ, is in effect saying that Christ is a part of sin! The non-believers, who see those "in Christ" people sinning and claiming to be a part of Christ, associate their hypocritical behavior with Jesus himself — they have become a stumbling block to others hearing the truth about Jesus and the hope of his true gospel.
2 the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. This means that Paul had been freed from sin. He no longer has sin working death in his body, instead he has the law of the Spirit of Life working Life in him. Paul tells us in the next verses that he walks not after the things of the flesh (lusts and pride), but he walks after the things of the Spirit; which is to walk according to the direction and leading of the spirit. He no longer walks according to his carnal mind, but walks according to the direction of God — this is the Law of the Spirit of Life. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." To be free from the law, you first have to be restored into the spiritual image of God, putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of your heart, the circumcision of Christ; to those, the law is dead. This cannot be done until you have been freed from the bondage of sin, which is the gospel Paul preached: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are purified by faith in me. Acts 26:17-18.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.
For this: Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness, Thou shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom 13:8-10
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love thy neighbor as yourself. Gal 5:14
When the Lord appears to complete your salvation, you will be filled with love and you will totally walk by the love and light of God.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;
of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Those who practice such things [lawlessness] will be banned from heaven, and banned from the Kingdom of Heaven forever.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faith, gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires)... Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23
The law was given to the fallen descendants of Adam, who had lost the guidance and life of God; when a man has been changed by God's power to walk in love as prompted by God, there is no law needed and no law that applies. When you walk as prompted by God, you are fulfilling the law; you are walking beyond total compliance with the law because:
3 The carnal mind is enmity with 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 the Law of God, (the inner law on every man's heart), obviously your mind 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.
To walk according to your own decisions is worse than worshipping stone or wooden idols:
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. Jer 16:11-12. From the Word of the Lord within: "Every man was his own king."
For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Gen 8:21.
I have spread out my hands all day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; Isa 65:2
"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 than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9.
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, Eph 4:17
Let the ungodly forsake his way, and the unrighteous man [forsake] his thoughts; Isa 55:7
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. Tit 2:11-12.
The thoughts of the unrighteous are detestable (foul, disgusting) to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Pro 15:26
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 our sinful nature, including our carnal mind.
The LORD knows the thoughts of man, and that they are vanity. Psa 94:11
let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no,' 'no;' for whatever is more than these comes from the evil one [the Spirit of Satan within you]. Mat 5:37.
Paul, addressing crucified believers, wrote: "Where in times past you walked according to the ways of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan],.. 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." Eph 2:3.
Note! Until you have killed, (mortified), the sinful nature within you on the inward cross of self-denial, you are walking according to the ways of the world and Satan, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the thoughts of your mind, both of which have to be destroyed by the Lord.
If you ever expect to do the will of God, you must let grace destroy your carnal mind, which is enmity with God. The carnal mind is the mind of the serpent, the mind of Satan. The God of Peace will soon come and bruise the head of Satan under your feet. Rom 16:20. Christ called the Pharisees: "you serpents, you generation of vipers," Mat 23:33; they were serpents because they were controlled by their carnal minds, which is enmity with God. (The serpent is another name for the devil or Satan.) But when Christ bruises your mind (the head of Satan) under your feet, he destroys the enmity that originated in the garden, when the serpent became man's god. Thus as Christ destroys the carnal mind and destroys the imagination, every thought becomes captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10:5. By repentance on the inward cross of self-denial, through grace God gives us a new mind, heart, and spirit; he writes his law in our mind and hearts, Jer 31:33; so that we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:16; so that we no longer fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of our mind. Eph 2:3.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- Your thoughts are not my thoughts.
- At best your thoughts are a vain hiss.
- Those who follow their own brain will weep and mourn; there will be great pain.
- The mind is a terrible thing.
- There is a blessing to make the cessation of the mind permanent.
- You must go on waiting, watching, and listening; then our hearts will be quiet by grace.
- We must grow in silence.
- We labor with a cursed mind for the carnal mind is neither subject to the law of God, nor can it be; that which lives in the enmity must be destroyed.
- You will receive a new heart and mind. Grow up into the mind of Christ, from which all good thoughts proceed.
- To know is not to think.
- All thoughts must be rejected.
- We do not sing from our carnal minds; there will be a group of purified believers singing of the blessing.
- That which lives in the enmity must be destroyed.
- To make decisions is to live in your carnal mind.
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; 2 Cor 10:5.
I once was very despondent over my carnal mind's evil, and asked the Lord why he had given us such a mind; the Lord's answer came back very quickly: "for survival until you find me." Until your carnal mind is destroyed, stay obedient to what you have been commanded, bear the daily cross making the best decisions you know how; and everything will go well.
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 [or reading] 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.
More from Fox's Letter #19:
For whatever is seen with a carnal eye, is carnal. See, if you find something in your understandings made manifest, which is eternal, to guide your minds out of all external things, which wither away, and fade. For the cross is to the carnal mind; your carnal minds going into the carnal and earthly things, or your eyes and lusts into the earth, where lightness, rashness, crossness, bitterness, and presumption are. Then the tongue will run at random, and is at liberty; and he who does not have power over his own tongue, his religion is vain, and the light mind rules. But the light within, which convinces you, will show you, when the mind goes forth; and show you the daily cross, which is to crucify that carnal mind; for the carnal mind minds carnal things; and the cross is to the will of man, for it shall never enter [the kingdom]...,but the carnal mind is to be taken away, and destroyed.
God destroys the fleshly, carnal mind, giving the crucified believer a new mind and heart; and we have scriptures to support that very occurrence:
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? Eze 18:31
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. Heb 8:10
And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God for they shall return to me with their whole heart. Jer 24:7
And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. Jer 32:39
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. Eph 4:22-24
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.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. Rom 12:2,8:6-7
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Phil 2:5
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:16
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.
4 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live. Paul tells us that to live we must kill the deeds of the body through the Spirit: Therefore 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. Col 3:5. What the Spirit shows you is your sin, with your regret and resolve to be different, the Sprit then removes the sin from your heart. You get immediate strength to be different, which grows until the sin is completely gone.
5 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him. Note! You cannot be an child or heir of God, unless you suffer with Christ, unless you suffer on the inward cross of self denial. Hebrews says the same: No scourging by God, then you are an illegitimate son. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps 1 Pet 2:21. For if we are dead with him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. 2 Tim 2:11-12. 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. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Part of the inward cross is inward suffering, which the Lord will lead you through, when he deems your faith sufficient to survive the tribulation.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
There must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;" and this is of necessity to salvation;
and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."
6 we are saved by hope. Salvation is not to be presumed, salvation is to be experienced and seen.
We are saved by heart-and-soul-purifying grace through our faith in God's promises, but we must have the hope of our securing them:
- by the hope of being guided into all truth and taught all things by God,
- by the hope of being cleansed by the power of God,
- by the hope of being delivered from our sins,
- by the hope of coming out of darkness to the light of God,
- by the hope of becoming children of the light, (the light being God),
- by the hope of overcoming the world, the devil, and death, to victory!,
- by the hope of being renewed into the spiritual image of God,
- by the hope of walking by faith, in the spirit, in love, and in the light,
- by the hope of becoming pure,
- by the hope of seeing God appear in your heart,
- by the hope of seeing the glory of God,
- by the hope of you appearing in glory with Him when he appears,
- by the hope of producing the fruit of the spirit and bringing glory, honor, and pleasure to the Father,
- by the hope of becoming righteous,
- by the hope of becoming holy,
- by the hope of a forever cleansing and perfection,
- by the hope of being perfected as commanded,
- by the hope of growing up into a perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
- by the hope of being raised with Christ, as Christ is resurrected in you,
- by the hope of becoming an entirely new creature,
- by the hope of Christ ruling in your heart,
- by the hope of entering the promised rest from our labors, to thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, energized by God,
- by the hope of joining in union with Christ and the Father,
- by the hope of entering the Kingdom of God ,
- by the hope of fellowship with Christ and the Father,
- by the hope of fellowship in the Spirit with other saints in the world, and past men made perfect,
- by the hope of eternal Life in God that is brought to us as we see him bring our salvation — and
- by the hope of all of this occurring by faith through the grace of God as we live in this present world.
And how do we demonstrate our hope? To sit at Jesus' feet and listen to his word is the one thing needed by any who wish to experience the promises of the Bible:
Now it came to pass as they went, that 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 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, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42.
Jesus was not reading scriptures to Mary, he was speaking to her; we must hear him speak to us too: for the words I speak to you are spirit and they are life. John 6:63; his words spoken to us impart the life of God to us, if we hear and obey them. We must go to him. We must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. We must listen, hear, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. Daily we must wait on Him, as we watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. We must endure to the end, when we see Christ bring our salvation.
To sit quietly, struggling with your mind to listen, is a cross to your will; to obey is a cross to your will — denying your will, and yielding to thy will be done — this is the inward cross of self-denial. From the Word of the Lord within: "Little by little the Lord's will, will be progressed." Do this, and you are following Jesus.
Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3
From the Word of the Lord within: "Hope releases the power of God to change you. There is no hope for anyone outside the power of God." 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 today is without the cross and without the true hope; and so without the power of God, left only as 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. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; so that everyone may receive what is due him, according to what he has done in the body, whether it is good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10.
7 The Spirit searches out all things in a man's heart. Jesus said: I am He who searches the minds and hearts, showing you your sins, giving you the motivation to repent. When you do repent, the spirit then mortifies (kills, removes) that sin in your heart. Do this repetitively, and you will become without sin by the Spirit's removal. And as you see the Spirit removing sin from your life, even the desire to sin, this becomes your first undeniable assurance of salvation to come, providing you stay on course to the end. Therefore mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body which are of the earthly life; fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry, Col 3:5; this is also done by the Spirit of God: For if you live after the flesh, you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. So the Spirit shows a man his sins and then destroys them.
8 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. 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, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose, Rom 8:28; and because we keep his commands, he knows we love him, John 14:23. 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, 1 Peter 5:7, 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.
*From the Word of the Lord within: "If people want to make a bad-choice decision, that's their prerogative."
So, do not believe that God has caused someone around you to do something evil that affects you.
He protects your life so that you can be completed, but He does not stop those around you from doing wrong.
All things includes what is alive and what is not alive; all things includes people. He can control the little details of men's lives without violating their free will and self-confidence. Those chosen by God are protected by Him while they complete their seeking course; as is written, "all things work together for good for those who love God (or as argued, God loves) and are called according to his purpose." But he only provides protection to those who are seeking him in love and whom he has called; from the Word of the Lord within: "All other people, destined for reconciliation after this life, live without protection." We have free will, but with the little details, he can move us around like chess board pieces and not violate our free will, because the insignificant details that he controls don't violate our heart's principles or our self-confidence; choices that follow our heart's principles and affect our self-confidence are made by us independently, and He does not override those decisions in anyone. This is not making something good out of a bad situation of which he had no control; he is in control of everything around those whom he has called according to his purpose, and who love him! For what? From the Word of the Lord within, "the earth exists for the saints." The earth is everyone's opportunity to become one with God as a son, but for those not so motivated, they are only obstacles, tests, and polishing stones in the illusions of this life, which appears that everyone chooses everything independently, but as the Word of the Lord within said: "every man is put in place by God." The illusion is there is no God. The illusion is that God does not control anything. The illusion is that we are all independent, under no control. It is a necessary illusion;* the nurturing soil to allow love to grow without coercion. From the Word of the Lord within: "A necessary illusion." Why is it necessary? To produce sons of love without coercion; see Why Evil is Allowed for More.
* Quantum physics has recently discovered that the entire world is an illusion; that there is no material world like science previously thought. Instead atoms, previously thought to be the basic material building block, are known to made up of tornado-like vortexes of energy; and energy is considered to be spirit. This is in agreement with the scripture: "Yet for us there is only one God, the Father, from whom all things exist, and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom all things are made, by and through whom we exist." 1 Cor 8:6. God is light. God is a consuming fire. God is a spirit. Since we are all created beings, created from the infinite energy that makes up God, obviously He can control us when He so desires. Below are two more scriptures that show the truth of everything being created and existing within God: (for everything is energy, not the illusion of matter or substance).
He has made from one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the allotted times and the boundaries of their habitation; So that they should seek the Lord, and perhaps might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from every one of us. For in him we live and move, and have our being; Acts 17:26-28
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6
Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I will not see him?" says the Lord. "Do I not fill the heavens and earth?" says the Lord. Jer 23:24
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Col 3:11
When you are committed to following the Lord, hearing Him as you wait on Him, everything that happens to you is permitted by the Lord to bring you to perfection. He will let those around you abuse you in order to teach you to give up anger, resentment, and wanting revenge; and instead to forgive them, just as He forgave those who beat and crucified Him. We must suffer with Him in order to reign with Him. 2 Tim 2:11-12. We have to trust that everything is from Him, which trust is faith; the just shall live by faith, Hab 2:4.
From the Word of the Lord within: "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 a true seeker is used to help him grow spiritually. So if I get hit with a baseball bat, He expects me to learn 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, (permitted, not caused or motivated), 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.
*From the Word of the Lord within: "If people want to make a bad-choice decision, that's their prerogative."
So, do not believe that God has caused someone around you to do something evil that affects you.
He protects your life so that you can be completed, but He does not stop those around you from doing wrong.
There are no coincidences. What appear to be coincidences are purposely planned.
those who are called according to his (God's) purpose. What is God's purpose in calling a man?—so God can produce a saint, (the earth exists for the saints); so a saint can be used for righteousness by God; as a saint is energized and ordered by God to do works that bring glory, honor, and pleasure to God; which is the purpose of becoming a true Christian, who lives according to the will of God, only following God's thoughts, what to say, and what to do.
9 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined. With God there is no time: That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what has past. Ecc 3:15. God foreknew everyone: those who would not turn to him, as well as those who would. So everything that is yet to happen in our dimension of time, has already happened in God's timeless dimension; thus Paul can say those whom he foreknew, he predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Rom 8:29-30. Every man in the world has his chance to turn to God because the gospel has been preached in and to every man throughout history; see Footnote 4 to Col 1:23 for the detailed explanation of how that occurs. Every man has his day of visitation, every man hears the Lord's anonymous voice pleading with him to depart from evil; and if those words are not heeded, every man will remember those words he ignored when at judgment those words will judge him.
The following is a small excerpt from George Fox's detailed writing that disproves the doctrine of predestination and the Calvinist doctrine of election and reprobation:
"If God has ordained the greatest part of mankind for hell, according to your false doctrine, then how did God send his Son: ‘who so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believes on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life?’ And Christ lights every man that comes into the world, with his light, which is the life in himself, the word; and said, ‘believe in the light;’ and said, ‘he that believes, is saved; and shall not come into condemnation; and he that believes not, is condemned already.’ ...And Christ sends his disciples, and gives them power, and his Holy Spirit, into all nations, to preach the gospel to every creature under heaven...Now is not this glad tidings and joyful news of salvation to every creature under heaven, this gospel of salvation? Then where are those creatures or persons that are foreordained for condemnation, as you talk of? For is it not because they would not receive and believe the everlasting gospel of salvation, the good news and glad tidings to every creature under heaven, that they perish? They did not go and say, as you that are in the error, have said and talked, and so go and tell the nations, that God had foreordained the greatest part of them for hell and condemnation. That is not the gospel of salvation the apostles preached to every creature; who said, ‘those who believe, are saved; and those who do not, are condemned already.’ So it is clear, that it is unbelief that brings condemnation.
Also the grace of God, which brings salvation, [Mark!, brings salvation,] this grace and favor of God has appeared unto all men Tit 2:11, [but does not bring salvation to all]. Now if God had foreordained such a number of persons, (as you say and preach), for reprobation and condemnation, how does this grace and favor then appear to all men; and how can it then be said, ‘Christ tasted death for every man?’ Heb 2:9 for by the offence of Adam and Eve, did not sin and condemnation enter into the world, and judgment come upon all men, for that all had sinned? And so by the righteousness of Christ the free gift came upon all men to justification of life; and then, where is foreordination of persons to condemnation, seeing all were in condemnation? For by the righteousness of Christ the free gift came upon all men to justification of life, Rom 5:17-18. And so, has not the condemnation and the judgment come, for not receiving Christ, and believing in him? And did not the first condemnation come upon Adam and Eve for not believing, and disobeying God?"
‘God desires not the death of a sinner, but that he might repent, return, and live:’ Eze 33:11,18:30-32 .... all nations are blessed in Isaac, and all the families of the earth in Jacob, Gen 26:3-5,28:13-14;... And Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying, ‘all power in heaven and earth is given to me; go you, therefore, teach all nations, (not some nations, but all nations), baptizing, (that is to say, dipping or plunging them), into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ Mat 28:20 ....God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4. We trust in the living God, who is the savior of all men, specially of those that believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-10. For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all. Rom 11:32... Christ died for the sins of the whole world, not just some foreordained few. 1 John 2:2, Rom 5:18-19, 1 Tim 2:6, John 1:29, Heb 2:9.
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