A Few Good Men
In this Interpretation I will attempt to clarify some of the workings of the anointing of God as well as the distinction between being drawn by the Father and being drawn by the Father and then making the conscience choice to abide in Jesus (John 15:4). I will also offer information on how the choice to abide in Jesus (or not) does not affect the drawing process of God or the power of God in the life of the believer (Isaiah 45:7). In an effort to bring wisdom I will further clarify how it becomes the believer’s choice whether to abide in Jesus or to misuse the anointing of God for selfish purposes. I do this to clarify how we might one day learn to prosper within God’s anointing. We can only do this by obeying God the Father’s will which is to abide in His Son Jesus Christ.
It is God the Fathers desire to anoint men for His purpose so that the power of the Holy Ghost can draw men unto Himself (John 6:44). It is the power of the Holy Ghost, and not any tactics from man, that saves the soul (Matthew 16:13-18).
Many people right now are seeking God through His anointing because in their minds the anointing seems to be the focus. They are seeking the power of God but the question is are they seeking God’s will for their lives? I will begin laying a foundation for this interpretation by explaining it is the process of sanctification (abiding in Jesus), and not the process of seeking God’s anointing, that God seeks to honor in the life of the believer (Matthew 7:16, 20, 1 Thessalonians 4:3).
2 Timothy 2:20-21
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor
If sanctification is wholly completed upon our confession of Christ, and no more sanctifying work needs to be done in us, then why would God scripturally admonish (in the present tense) to walk in sanctification and honor? The answer is simple. Sanctification power comes upon us at salvation but once it is given we must continually walk in it. The fact is, once we get saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, we as Christians still have plenty of wood and earth hidden deep within our hearts. It is our job to confess and repent and to seek God in sanctification so that we, by the power of the Holy Ghost, can become cleansed and meet for the master’s good use (Romans 6, 7). The process of walking in the Spirit and casting off the flesh (abiding in Jesus) is a sanctifying process…which Christians now have access to because Christians are now in Christ. If we choose not to seek God through this sanctifying process after we get saved, then we choose to abide off the vine (John 15:1-8), and thus… imperfections will remain.
1 Corinthians 3:12-17
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver,
precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the
fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall
suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as
by fire. Know ye not that ye are the
This specific verse above is referring mostly to the work that ministers will accomplish in the life of the believer but its wisdom is universal; especially when aligning it with 2 timothy 2:20-21. We must abide in Jesus in an effort to purge ourselves of these fleshly affections within our members (Revelation 3:18, Romans 6, 7, Galatians 5:24). Gold and silver and precious stones will withstand the fire… but the wood, hay and stubble will be consumed. These verses demonstrate that even though we are in Christ, we have plenty of work to do beyond salvation. The Bible says to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Not to work for but to work out. Workouts are tough. They make you sweat… but workouts also whip you into shape. God wants to spiritually whip us into shape by having us walk in the Spirit so we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We eventually gain the fruits of the Spirit when we crucify the flesh (through a process, we allow the Holy Ghost to burn up the wood, hay and stubble on earth). Please explain to me how any physical fruit is begotten separate from a process. It’s impossible. In order for fruit to bloom, a process is required… and also changes in seasons. Spiritual fruit in the life of the believer is no different at all; it is begotten through a process as well as changes in seasons. This is the sanctification process in us and it is hard work to say the least (Romans 7:14-25, Hebrews 12:11), but nonetheless, it is what is necessary in order for us to gain Christ like character (spiritual fruit). Once we have settled into a habitual attitude of crucifying the flesh, then the fruits of the Spirit (equivalent to the gold, silver, and precious stones/vessel of honor/good tree) will become apparent. Over time, as we learn to abide in Christ more fully (John 15:1-8), these fruits will become more consistently manifest in our lives during our fiery seasons.
The above explanation of sanctification is what God is seeking to do in His people. God wants us to build Christ like character but this is only done when we abide in Christ and thus crucify the flesh and attempt to walk in the Spirit. The consistent and mature way for a Christian to abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit is to obey the Bible and to obey the leading of the Holy Ghost (the Holy Ghost bearing witness of Jesus - John 16:13-14, 14:26), but for this interpretations purpose, and for edification… I am going to reveal how God will sometimes allow intensity in our lives, even above and beyond our biblical obedience, in order to force us to walk in the Spirit (Hebrews 12:3-11).
When we walk in the Spirit, we are immediately buffeted by the world and its principalities (Ephesians 6:12). It is within this buffeting process that we learn to perfect our love, practice patience, forgiveness, gentleness and non- judgment toward others. Walking in the Spirit will actually bring about a demonic attack and sometimes God will allow these demonic attacks to intensify in our lives (Job 1,2) so that we will be forced to consistently walk in the Spirit and thus eventually gain the fruits of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:11-18). God will also use sicknesses and illnesses in an effort to force us to walk in the Spirit (and crucify the flesh). Below is an example of how Paul the apostle experienced this struggle.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
A messenger of Satan buffeted Paul. I believe this buffeting was a continual demonic attack that came primarily through the Jews who were trying to hinder Paul’s every move (Acts 14:8-19). Paul stated that through this buffeting process (abiding… sanctifying process), God was able to bring Paul the apostle low… arranging his life and gearing it towards spiritual submission. This process forced Paul to rely upon God and yield himself over to walking in the Spirit. When this happened, God was able to work perfectly through Paul in his weakened and humbled state.
The message is simple. God the Father wants us to rely on Him and it is when our flesh is made weak and humble through this sanctifying/abiding process that He is able to become strong inside of us. This process results in us crucifying the flesh and thus, we maintain and gain the fruits of the Spirit. Trust me, if Paul had not initially decided to abide in Jesus by walking in the Spirit then this messenger of Satan would have never come. The messenger came because Paul made a choice to submit by abiding in Jesus and as a result, submit his vessel fully upon God’s sanctifying alter (Romans 12:1-2). This decision by Paul allowed God to do an even greater work through him… so that God’s purposes could be manifested (Genesis 45:8 – half of the books of the NT).
A concise way of understanding God’s will in sanctification is this. Salvation will cost you nothing… but sanctification… will cost you everything. It is true that once we become Christians we are sanctified in Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2). The point is our sanctification is not just faith in Jesus or belief in Him. Sanctification is the process of perfecting holiness within the life of the believer. Sanctification involves almost every characteristic and spiritual unction within the life of the believer. Whether it is prayer, reading the word, meditation, fasting, obedience, suffering, walking in the Spirit, crucifying the flesh, abiding in Jesus (read Sanctification 101 located in Volume 3). All of these spiritual processes together become sanctifying in the life of the believer. Holiness is the end goal of the believer but sanctification becomes the spiritual vehicle that gets you there (the narrow path if you will). The Holy Ghost’s continual working in the life of the submitted believer yields sanctification (or holiness) within that believer.
The pearl of great price talked about in the Bible is likened to Christ (Matthew 13:45-46). The pearl itself is Christ likeness (which only comes about through sanctification). The pearl is the only gemstone which is created by the agitation of a living organism. What does this mean to Christians? We are called to abide in Jesus. This abiding process, and consequent pruning by the Father (John 15:1-8), is the agitation process that yields Christ likeness in the Christian (the pearl). We abide in Jesus (this begins the process). God the Father prunes us (heavy agitation against our flesh). In time, we begin bearing spiritual fruit (we gain Christ likeness or the pearl). This comparison is easy to understand. The process of walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh is agitating. The process of receiving pruning via the Father is extremely agitating (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). This agitating eventually creates Christ like fruits within us. The Christ like character and spiritual fruits we gain from this abiding process is likened to a pearl. Thus, the pearl of great price becomes Christ likeness within us (holiness)…
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
The way I like to envision the process is to understand that once we are saved, we now have a uniform in which to participate (Holy Ghost). Without salvation in Jesus’ name, there is no uniform. Now, uniforms don’t solely win games. Participation (while wearing the uniform) is what wins games. Once we are saved and have been given the uniform of sanctification, it now becomes our burden to participate in accordance to that uniform. Paul the apostle said it like this:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
When you see a police officer wearing a uniform, do you expect that officer to walk contrary to that uniform? No… of course not. That officer will uphold the integrity of that uniform (or he’ll be stripped). Upon salvation, Christians are given the uniform of sanctification to walk therein (Holy Ghost). Once we have been given that uniform, it becomes God’s absolute will that we walk in it, thus upholding the integrity of that uniform. Those who choose not to uphold the integrity of sanctification after becoming saved become guilty of not abiding on the vine (John 15:4, Hebrews 6:1-6)… these people bear no spiritual fruit and can do nothing (Matthew 7:15-23, Matthew 12:30).
I trust I have made it clear that once God the Father draws us to Himself, He expects us to abide in Jesus Christ so we will yield consistent spiritual fruit. With this understood, I would now like to discuss the mistakes we make when we covet the power of God and His anointing.
We are all anointed because the Holy Ghost lives in all believers (2 Corinthians 1:21).
1 John 2:20,27
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth…
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
Because the Holy Ghost is inside us at all times He is clearly our strength throughout the sanctification process. The Holy Ghost helps us stay calm, helps us stay determined and helps us to stay prayerful and watchful. The Holy Ghost’s anointing is clearly our direction reminding us of Jesus (John 16:13-14, 14:26). But the anointing of God is also the power of God (Isaiah 10:27) to break up, to bind up, to loose and to cast down and to scatter. There is no doubt the power of God rests with His anointing. But is the anointing of God our goal? What should be our attitude towards God’s anointing?
It is unwise for us to seek or rest in the anointing of God without first submitting to His process of holy sanctification in our lives. I would like to carefully explain the difference between being drawn (Called) and anointed of God the Father and being drawn (Called) and anointed of God the Father and then choosing to submit and abide in Jesus… thus making Him your Lord. You see, there is a difference. Some people have the first experience, but then choose not to perform the second. These people are called but are not chosen (Matthew 22:14)…
1. They are indeed drawn (Called) of God the Father. They repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and are enlightened with the Holy Spirit (anointed – Hebrews 6:4).
2. But they disobey the enlightenment (Holy Spirit) they have received and never abide in Christ (John 15:1-8). They never listen to Christ’s words and become His true disciples (they are not Chosen).
The Bible declares clearly that a person is drawn (Called) by God the Father (John 6:37, 44-45, 65, 8:42, Matthew 16:17). This person drawn receives the light of life and the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Now, this process is wholly orchestrated by God the Father (not by Jesus Christ). Once this person is empowered by the Father (is given the Holy Spirit) and has consequently become the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), this person is now (by the same anointing) commanded to obey God the Father by choosing to abide in Jesus (which is the Fathers will). If they obey the unction of the Spirit and abide in Jesus, they will become like the 11 apostles (a good tree – Matthew 7:17). If they disobey and abide not in Jesus, they will become like Judas (a corrupt tree - Matthew 7:17).
You see… God in his infinite wisdom has allowed a process of submission whereby a persons fruits will bear witness as to what kind of tree they are. The interesting aspect of all this is there is a void or separation between Jesus’ participation and God the Fathers participation within this drawing process. God the Father is responsible for drawing people to Jesus (John 6:37, 44-45, 65, 8:42, Matthew 16:17). Once this drawing (Calling) process has occurred, it is now up to the person to surrender to the Holy Ghost’s leading and make Jesus their Lord. It is entirely possible (and very common) for someone to be drawn (Called) of the Father and even become enlightened with the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:4), but to consequently never surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leading to abide in Jesus Christ. On the Day of Judgment, the Holy Ghost within them will fully testify that this person never once listened to instruction and Jesus will concur by telling these people, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity (Matthew 7:23).” These people were drawn (Called) of God the Father but they never chose to make Jesus their Lord. This is very common and is why there are so many who are deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13, James 1:22). These, “so called Christians” are just like the angels who kept not their first estate (Jude 1:6). They are indeed believers (James 2:19) who do not submit to God the Father.
Many are drawn (Called) by God the Father into the fellowship of the Spirit (Philippians 2:1, 3:10). I assure you, not all these people choose that “fellowship of the Spirit.” They actually chose not to follow Christ, neither do they make Him their Lord… (though His name is never far from their lips).
Some might say… it’s impossible for someone to be drawn (Called) of God the Father but to not be known by Jesus. This is ignorance of the scriptures. Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the drawing process. Jesus is Lord and we are to surrender to His Lordship once we have been drawn by God the Father into the fellowship of the Spirit… the thing is many don’t. Many are drawn by God the Father but then chose to never have any kind of fellowship with Jesus Christ through the Spirit. This is why Jesus declares He doesn’t know them…
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 22:1-14). Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them (2 Timothy 2:20), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not (2 Corinthians 11:15, Matthew 7:16-20), shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The above verse describes a person who is drawn (Called) of God the Father but who never follows the Holy Spirit and makes Jesus their Lord. They’re not Christian. They’re called but not chosen. They do not gather with Jesus but they scatter abroad (Matthew 12:30). Yes… they have the authority to cast out devils and to prophesy because they have been drawn (Called) by God the Father and have become partakes of the heavenly gift (Holy Ghost) (Hebrews 6:4), but they are not with Jesus because they rebelliously and willfully do their own thing. These are men and women of unclean motives and deceitful ambitions (Jude 1:5-13) who have never surrendered to the authority of the anointing (Spirit) within them. The authority which empowers them they do not obey… mostly because they choose to do their own thing by not dedicated themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ according to His purposes. They do not build the Father’s kingdom on earth as Jesus did… but build their own kingdoms according to their various desires. These men and women are known of God the Father, but they are not known of Jesus Christ because they never surrendered to Him. They have never obeyed the spiritual promptings of the Holy Ghost which empowers them to follow Jesus Christ. They are Judas’, drawn by God the Father (John 6:70) but who have clung on to the name of Jesus for their own reward (John 12:4-6); and God the Father, in His infinite wisdom and understanding (Psalm 147:5) is going to allow this for His kingdom purposes and to declare to the world that He indeed is the one who will judge the quick and the dead according to Christ (Proverbs 16:4, Isaiah 45:7). Notice above what Jesus Christ says right after condemning these men. He gives an example saying if a man did the things He preached (chose to abide on the vine – John 15:1-8) then he would have a strong foundation, if he didn’t… then his foundation would be destroyed (Matthew 7:24-27).
The unmistakable will of God the Father (once you’ve been drawn (Called) by Him) is to (surrender) and make Jesus Christ your Lord (abide on the vine – John 15:1-8) and to fully surrender to the unction of the Holy Spirit (Whose job it is to testify of Jesus - John 16:13-14, 14:26). It’s all about Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16)… this is God the Fathers will regarding every person drawn of Him. Notice the scriptures declare it is by a man’s actions or choices which determines whether he stands or falls (Acts 1:25).
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
It is our choice whether or not we want to be a vessel of honor or dishonor (2 Timothy 2:20-21, 1 Peter 2:7-8). Notice the above passage says nothing regarding the choices we make, that’s because it is our choice to decide what kind of vessel God will eventually mold us into, and God has ordained that He will leave that choice in our hands. It is God’s Will to allow human beings to exercise their self will. Remember this verse:
2 Timothy 2:20-21
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
You see, it’s our choice to make Jesus our Lord and follow Him wholly. We must remember that God knew before the world began if we would surrender to Jesus’ Lordship (Romans 8:29-39). It was this choice that determined what kind of vessel or “lump” God would eventually mold us into. Please notice the word “fitted” in Romans 9:22. To fit is not to choose the kind of garment someone will wear… to fit is to make snug or complete the garment one has chosen to wear. God does not dress us up and then fit us… He fits what we have already chosen to dress ourselves with. Both the Romans verses and the Timothy verses imply the same thing. They don’t imply that God makes our choices and then molds us into what He wants us to become. They imply that God looks at what we have chosen to become and then according to those choices, completes us “fits us” according to the vessel’s that will fit His purposes. Do you think that Pharaoh in the Old Testament had no shot at ever serving the one true God? No, that would be totally unbiblical (Daniel 4). If God could change Nebuchadnezzar’s heart through chastening then He could have done the same thing with Pharaoh. God simply observed (1 Samuel 16:6-7) the bad choices Pharaoh consistently made and then according to those bad choices God decided to mold Pharaoh into a particular vessel of dishonor (Exodus 9:16-21, 10:1). Bad choices became their undoing (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Emphasis on V. 15, Acts 1:25). Actions which revealed these people to clearly be vessels of dishonor.
What we need to understand regarding a man’s choices in the Lord is that God has given man the freedom to choose according to self will (Joshua 24:15). God will not disrespect any man’s right to choose. But once a man does choose, in choosing, he places himself upon God’s potter’s wheel. Once this happens, God has full power and authority to mold this man into whatsoever vessel He deems appropriate according to His overall plan of salvation for mankind. This is what God did with Pharaoh who chose evil (Exodus 9: 19), this is what God did with Paul who chose Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), and this is what God will do with you… whatever you choose (Matthew 7:24-27 + 2 Timothy 2:21 + 2 Corinthians 11:15 = Romans 9:20-23).
It’s obvious Judas was drawn (Called) of God (John 6:70) and was even chosen as an apostle (John 6:70). God knew though that Judas would chose to transgress (John 6:70, Acts 1:25). But… God numbered him with the twelve and he obtained part of the ministry (Acts 1:17). A lot of people might ask, “Wait a second? If God knew Judas was going to transgress then why would He choose him?”
It is clear that when Jesus Christ sent the twelve out with power that Judas was among them. It says in the Bible that the twelve cast out many demons and that they anointed many with oil and healed them (Mark 6:7-13). Let me ask you a straightforward question… after Judas betrayed Jesus and consequently hung himself, do you think the very people whom Judas laid hands on and healed, or those whom he cast out devils, returned to their old estate? Do you think that just because Judas transgressed that those whom he helped automatically reverted back into their bondage? No, they didn’t. In fact John, in the book of John, tells us that Judas was a thief, and that he would steal what was in the money purse (John 12:6). This means that while Judas was numbered with the twelve, and while he was healing and prophesying and exercising power over unclean spirits according to God’s will, that he was stealing as well. Yet God still used him.
I am going to repeat myself again (Philippians 3:1).
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I have already clarified in the last section that fellowship with the Holy Spirit (making Jesus your absolute Lord) is a separate act from God the Father drawing you. Many are called but few are chosen. The parable of the sower explains that some receive the word with joy but are offended when asked to suffer for His names sake (Matthew 13:8-23, Philippians 2:1, 3:10). We have the example in John 6:66 where many of Jesus’ disciples “walked with him no more” just because Jesus said that His body was the bread from heaven. The scriptures even say these disciples were “offended” and could not bear His saying (John 6:60-61). Making Jesus your Lord is no joke… and God has determined that the drawing process would be the initial unction (communion with the Spirit) but then making Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior would become the submissive act to be born by the believer alone (some do this with their lips, but not with their hearts). This is the reason many of Jesus’ apostles made many mistakes and even self will choices after they were drawn to Jesus by the Father. The drawing process was a sure thing but subsequent from that, choices made and hearts manifest became the burden of the apostles alone (God the Father and Jesus Christ have no power over these). If you are truly honest with yourself and you’ve understood this interpretation thus far, then you understand the reasoning fully. Jesus Christ’s first coming was a test to mankind… to manifest true hearts (Luke 2:35). Were you willing to worship a bleeding and bruised suffering savior… rather than an all powerful King? Make no mistake about it… God the Father drawing you is the wooing process and making Jesus Christ your Lord and savior is your consummation of that drawing process.
Here’s a good question you might ask yourself at this point… did Jesus know Judas? You might say, “Well of course Jesus knew him, he was one of his disciples.” Yes, this is true. But did He really know him?
Here’s an example. If you were married, and you and your wife had been married for over five years then you would say that you knew your wife pretty well. You knew the little things about her. When she got up, what she liked to eat, how she liked to play little games or to make a fuss. You knew the basics about her. But what if she had another life, one you didn’t know about? What if someone came to you one day and told you that your wife had been having an affair ever since before you were married? That she was meeting with this individual at least three times a week for the last seven years. What would you say about knowing her? You would be speechless, and you would declare, “I was married to this woman for 5 years and I never even knew who she really was. She had another life going on, one that I was completely unaware of. All I can say is that every day I looked at a woman who was living a totally different life than the one I thought she was living. As I look back now, and remember the look in her eyes, I realize the things she was thinking about, and the things I was thinking about, were totally different.”
Even though you clearly knew things about your wife, there were other things she hid from you. These things you knew nothing about. The fact that these things were hid from you made you feel as though you didn’t even know your wife at all.
If the Lord were to judge Judas and He were to say… “I never knew you, depart from me, you who work iniquity.” Then Judas might say, “But wait Lord, you did know me. We hung out for three years, we slept under the same stars, we ate from the same dish and we walked down the same roads.” And Jesus would reply, “Yes you’re right, we did all of those things, but I still never knew you.” And Judas would say, “What do you mean?” And Jesus would say, “For three years I thought I knew you, I thought we had a camaraderie, I thought we believed in the same things… but all the while you were a thief. You had a part of your life that was hidden from me, (unconfessed and separate). I knew the outside of you Judas, the shell of you… but I never knew the real you, the inside of you. This you hid from me Judas, and I clearly never knew the real you.
Do you understand? If Jesus Christ can have this kind of response toward a person who physically walked with him for three years… what kind of response might Jesus have toward someone who never made Him their Lord? A person who was drawn of God the Father and Called, (like Judas) but who refused to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their life (John 10:29). This is no game. The Bible says even the demons believe, and they tremble (James 2:19). The Bible also says to be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22). Trust me, I am not in the business of ministering a condemnation gospel. I am not in the business of trying to oppress or burden anyone. It is blatant ignorance that people want to believe lies regarding the holy scriptures and do not want to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). There are many…many in and around the church who have never surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:22 - emphasis on the word many). Jesus even says in the scriptures, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46). If you abide in Jesus and do as He says, your good fruits bear witness that Jesus is your Lord. If you do not abide in Jesus and you do not do as Jesus says, your corrupt fruits bear witness that Jesus is not your Lord (Matthew 7:17-18, 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
At this point one might say, “I kind of understand… but I am still confused as to why God the Father has to resort to using wicked men. Why does God the Father Call them at all. Why doesn’t He just Call men who are going to surrender to Jesus’ Lordship fully?” This question seems valid… but when we discern the scriptures in relation to God’s ordained relationship with man, we find the question is rooted in ignorance. Let’s look at this next verse.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
Here was a man who was “seemingly” doing the work of God the Father. We can’t know everything about him, but we do know what Jesus’ attitude was regarding him. Jesus advised that the man be left alone to do the work he felt he was obligated to do. Notice that this man had the anointing of God, he was casting out devils… and Jesus himself also adds that no man doing a miracle in my name can lightly speak evil of me. This obviously means that no man using the anointing of God in Jesus’ name (and seeing that it works) is then going to turn around and speak evil of the same name which results in such power (Jesus Christ). But here’s the question, does that necessarily make the man a minister of righteousness? It is interesting according to the information I have thus given regarding the Father drawing a person (and Jesus Christ having no opinion on the matter) that here Jesus clearly… has no opinion on the matter. You can even say regarding the above example, Jesus is leaving this person “in the Fathers hands.” Now I personally believe if this person came to Jesus and asked for guidance, that Jesus would teach accordingly. What is interesting is this person doesn’t come to Jesus. The interesting aspect is that Jesus doesn’t go after him, He reserves his opinion regarding the man. That is, until the judgment (Acts 10:42). What is so interesting is that Jesus just leaves this person… “in the Father’s care,” fully trusting that God the Father might still be calling this person to a more intimate revelation of who He is. Jesus clearly leaves it all… in the Fathers capable hands. Actually, the man Apollos comes to mind (Acts 18:24-25).
We do know from Matthew 7 that someone can prophesy and cast out devils and yet still the Lord will say to them… “I never knew you.” These actions by themselves will never make any man a minister of righteousness. It will make him a vessel of dishonor that the Lord might be forced to use (2 Timothy 2:20) due to God’s ordained relationship with man… but also due to man’s fickleness. But it doesn’t make him a minister of righteousness. We know from the above verse that Jesus Himself will not stop a man from “seemingly” doing the work of the Lord (take that to heart Christian… God has not called you to defend Him, just to protect yourselves). We do know from Matthew 7 that any man “seemingly” performing the work of the Lord will be judged… and he won’t be judged by the miracles which he preformed, but by the character of his heart (did he surrender to Jesus’ Lordship - Matthew 7:21). Though you still might not get it…
What we have to remember, even to the utmost, is that man is in charge of man’s relationship with God… not God. Let’s try an example. There is a certain businessman. This businessman has made 20 million dollars. He has basically satisfied himself by attaining all the goals he felt he needed to achieve during his lifetime. He also feels quite secure. Then, about five years later, he gets depressed. The man has no goals left to achieve… but interestingly enough, he still has a certain zeal for life. He goes to a revival and catches a glimpse of the power of God. He sees the ministers and prophets working powerfully and at that exact moment he’s pricked (Acts 2:37) because he realizes there is a lot he hasn’t accomplished. He’s filled with purpose. He decides that he is going to accomplish in God. As a result, the man humbles himself as much as he’s able, and bowing his head he asks a minister to pray for him. The Father from heaven draws him (John 6:37, 44-45, 65, 8:42, Matthew 16:17). God the Father has met the man where he is at.
This man, like Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:18-24), has humbled himself… probably for all the wrong reasons. Not to mention, God can only use the men who are currently at the revival (maybe not the cream of the crop when it comes to truth or integrity). You might ask, “Well… then why did God draw him there, if God knew he humbled himself for the wrong reasons? Why did He draw him at all?” You’re looking at it entirely from the wrong perspective. At the moment when the businessman humbled himself and asked God to use him… there was no God’s request to man but only man’s request toward God. Don’t you remember when James and John requested to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus Christ in His Glory? Well… they ended up getting much more than they bargained for (Mark 10:38-39). You might say, “Well that’s true but what about this businessman? He is rich and wayward and now he’s been drawn by God into confusion… whose price is that?” Without Jesus as his savior, the price will be his soul (Matthew 7:21-23, Romans 9:20-23). Do you think he’ll end up in a better place not being drawn by God to Jesus? Even if it is in confusion? God loves mankind, and He will use many different means (and diverse characters) to draw souls unto Himself. There are many different avenues which we critically judge as being too “risqué” for God to work with but God is desirous to save the soul and He is not grieved to use sinful mankind in various ways in order to give man an opportunity to become saved. This revival where this businessman went might not be the most God honoring place in terms of God’s purposes but God is certainly willing to meet him there (by His Holy Spirit) in order to draw him into the kingdom (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Just for clarification. In some cases God will not disciple someone even though they desire it (Mark 5:18-19, Exodus 33:19). Maybe the person was frail, wounded or simply didn’t possess the proper gifts to be called into a respective ministry. It is common for this to happen, but if a man comes to the Lord and is eager to be called and fits certain God ordained criteria (Leviticus 21:16-24, 1 Timothy 1:11-13) then trust me when I say that the Lord will be hard pressed to walk away from such a request. There is far too much for God to lose. You might say, “What do you mean, for God to lose.” Lets say this businessman came to the alter and God suffered him but then turned him away in terms of being drawn. This man, for the rest of his life, would question and reason within himself exactly why God didn’t give him an opportunity, and in heaven he would ask, “Lord, why didn’t you anoint me to serve you and your church, I would have done a good job with all my gifts?” And God would simply say “Because.” Now let me ask you a question, do you think this is a sufficient answer from God? This is clearly not a relationship answer. If you asked a good friend a serious question and their answer was “Because”, then you would probably sneer at them for their insincerity. This is common sense, and for this reason God will usually allow a man the opportunity he requests or feels he deserves. That way, in heaven, God becomes blameless, and such men will then say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in thy name, did we not cast out devils… did we not do many miracles in thy name?” And Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” Do you understand the concept? If a man makes a request at the alter, and there is really nothing technically standing in the way of God drawing him through the Holy Ghost… then because of the relationship God the Father has ordained between Himself and man by faith, and because of God the Fathers concept of choice which establishes itself through accountability, then God will almost always take a man at his word. This is called relationship, and relationship involves choices and repercussions of choices. God is not afraid to give a man the chance to fail, and God is not afraid to give a man the chance to succeed. Make no mistake about it… it was the businessman who fell at the alter and told God he would be a good servant. If God were never to give him the chance to fail, then how would that businessman ever really know who he was? (I clarify more on this in the later section titled Holy Ghost Witness)
How many of us have heard
stories of pastors who say that they were a minister for 16 years before they
even surrendered their life to Jesus’ Lordship.
Some might even speak of healing ministries and of casting out devils
during their first 16 years. This is the
exact example I am referring to. These
men were never properly serving the Lord… but because these men exalted
themselves (Mark 9:38-39), and because God knew others would rely upon them for
council including specific direction for their lives… then God basically became
forced to help them as Shepard’s over their
respective congregations during those first 16 years. What? Do you think God is going to allow an
entire congregation to perish because of mans ignorant self-exaltation and
self-gratification, especially when the entire congregation of God is relying
on that pastor? I think not. God will use these men as vessels of
dishonor… not to their honor of course, but because these men exalted
themselves and now their entire congregation is looking to them for spiritual
direction (you can apply this to prophets and evangelists too). Don’t be deceived; many times in the Old Testament
there were wicked kings over
I know there still might be some lingering questions as to what I have discussed at length, but I hope the next sections are able to clarify some doubts concerning God’s usage of unconsecrated ministers (who don’t surrender themselves to Jesus’ Lordship) and how the process of choice as well as the consequences of those choices (accountability) become an integral part of God’s plan regarding His relationship with man.
Vessel of Dishonor
We need to seek God for the right reasons and with the right temperament, or we can find ourselves being used… but being used as a vessel of dishonor (Romans 9:20-23). It can happen. The Devil is smooth and would rather destroy you without you even knowing it (2 Timothy 3:7,13). You might be prophesying in his name, or even casting out devils, but your heart might be far from Jesus’ purposes on earth. People who have made this undiscerning choice have become seduced and have gone the way of Balaam (Jude 1:11), seeking God for their own reward (gain) and for His power (1 Timothy 6:5). Because of their deep and hidden selfish motives they have quickly become led astray and far away from Jesus Christ’s purposes for His church. They have ignorantly coveted God’s power and His Spirit to quickly and have became thoroughly blinded in the process (1 Timothy 3:6). It is true they have fallen before God the Father in repentance, but then have quickly coveted to reap reward blessing and exaltation at the cost of Christ’s sacrifice for His church (Acts 8:18-24). This is an ignorant mindset and can easily be defeated by the correct council (Hosea 4:6, Acts 8:22) God then willing to pardon such offenders because of his great mercies sake (Acts 8:22, Joel 2, 1 Kings 21:27-29, Jonah 3:5-10, Isaiah 43:22-28).
In fact the Lord gave us the latter end of parable Matthew 7:22-27 because He is faithful to forgive. It says in the Bible that all scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). God gave us this parable because it can instruct in what is right. If you analyze the parable, then you can see there would be no edifying reason to teach it other then to expose the ignorance it counters as well as for helping those who were in desperate need of it’s teaching. That is why Jesus immediately gives advice on what a man should do in order to have a healthy relationship with the Lord. If there were no chance for such men to be forgiven… then there would have been no reason for Jesus to give instruction through the later end of this parable.
Therefore in order to be perfect (Matthew 5:48, 19:21) within God’s Holy Spirit (anointing), God desires that you are sanctified and walking in the fear of the Lord with the fruits of the Spirit evident in your life. It is absolutely impossible to do this without first surrendering your life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8). Jesus said, “deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow Me (Matthew 16:24).” Follow Him!!! If you are not ready to surrender everything to Christ, then you are in danger of setting yourself up as a vessel of dishonor. The Lord Jesus Christ is not a taskmaster, but His desire that you surrender all is not negotiable. Remember, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” When you surrender all to Jesus you will find life abundant (John 10:10). When I surrendered everything to the Lordship of Jesus Christ He eventually brought me a beautiful wife. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ, because when you do… the Father will be pleased and He knows how to give good gifts (James 1:17, Matthew 7:11). When you obey and make Jesus your Lord, you will have defeated any condemnation of being exalted too quickly (because Jesus won’t exalt you too quickly) and you will further purge yourself from any dishonoring materials (2 Timothy 2:20). In doing this, any anointing (Holy Spirit) resting upon you (Isaiah 42:1, Matthew 3:16-17) will be ready to do a tremendous work once the Lord hath wrought a completion in you (Daniel 11:32-33).
The sad part is… a lot of vessels of dishonor have not surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and are creating enormous damage in and around the church today. These men and women do not have any Christ likeness in them because they are not of Christ at all (nor have they ever been). They have no fruits of the Spirit evident in their lives whatsoever (Matthew 7:15-23 Emphasis on V. 20). They are walking around with God’s gift and they’re breaking stuff because they are not building God’s kingdom (Hebrews 6:4). Our misunderstanding of this situation is not the Lords will and is rooted in ignorance… but we must always remember that God indeed works within our decisions (remember… vessels of honor/vessels of dishonor). God has chosen to work in spite of us (Matthew 25:26), even within our ignorance and sinfulness (Psalm 81:11-12, Romans 8:28, Jonah 1:15-16). This becomes the Devil’s accusation of faith against the Called, and this becomes the Devil’s accusation of relationship against the Called (Job 1:9-11).
If God has a man who is willing to walk down the road of sanctification with Jesus as the head and is obedient to walk in the maturity of the fruits of the Spirit then God will actually turn this persons anointing inward. This inward direction of the anointing will proceed to break the yokes within that specific man, but not show itself toward those who are around him (Isaiah 10:27). In other words, this person will not appear to be anointed at all. But this is actually false… this person is anointed but the anointing is pointed inward in God’s effort to crucify the self. This process crucifies the self will as well as the desires of the flesh. It prepares the specific man for the master’s good use (2 Timothy 2:20). At certain times, and in certain situations, God will allow the anointing (Holy Spirit) to manifest itself outwardly (Acts 15:12-16, 19:11-12) but for the most part that person must do without. This is so the person will learn to seek God in the strength of commitment and in the Spirit of suffering (1 Samuel 30:6-8) as did Jesus, and not within God’s present witness and manifestation of the anointing. This process will wean the person off the necessity of a consistent exposed anointing. Then, when God’s anointing is really needed, this person will be prepared. This person will be mature within the anointing and will not seek to use the anointing for any carnal or selfish purposes. A man who is weaned off the necessity of the external manifestation of the anointing of God will one day become a man who can accurately and honorably abide within God’s consecrated anointing. Paul the apostle became such a man (1 Corinthians 4:18-21, 2 Corinthians 10). The two witness in the book of Revelation will become such men (Revelation 11).
Why would God give His heavenly gift (Holy Ghost) this quick and easy if He knew men would rebel (Hebrews 6:4)?
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should
be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to
Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into
a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his
face was as though he would go to
Our Calling with God and our gifts are without repentance… mostly because God is going to judge us accordingly (Romans 11:29). In fact, many gifts and Callings given will expose and disqualify the individual rather than qualify them. We have to remember that the Holy Ghost of God is not conditional. What is conditional however are the choices we make in the Lord. The Lord has no power over these. All the Lord can do is permit us with His gifting and Calling and believe we mean what we say. Beyond this, the accountability is fully on us (Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5). This is how the Lord has ordained it, and on an even deeper level, this is how the hearts of men are tried (Proverbs 17:3, 1 Thessalonians 2:4).
Holy Ghost Witness
I addressed this a bit in the other section but I need to bring more clarity… but also with regard to the consecrated anointing. God the Father is not grieved to call and impart His Holy Ghost upon man because of His desire to save people. God, in His infinite wisdom (Romans 9:20-23, 11:33-36), will use what is at His disposal and will work in association with a man’s choices and desires. This is why I stated earlier that the Lord would be hard pressed to walk away from the businessman’s desire to be used. I stated that there would be far too much for God to lose. More men evangelizing and prophesying means more opportunities for souls to be saved (Mark 9:38-39). You might say, well, that’s not fair… why would God make this man fall by distributing the Holy Spirit? God is not making any man fall. It is our own selfish motives and our unconsecrated hearts that make us fall (James 1:13-15), God’s Holy Spirit is never going to change that. God will expose our sinfulness and He’ll even use His Holy Spirit to do it, and at the same time… in His infinite wisdom, He’ll save souls in the process (Philippians 1:15-18). But referring to what God will allow. What about quick marriages, or even hasty business arrangements? Or even someone being ordained to quickly in a church (1 Timothy 3:6)? God clearly cautions us against all these things… yet they still happen. Sometimes God is forced to anoint us just to keep us level with our mistakes. The final result of a man falling within such a process is not as big of a problem as it would seem. God really doesn’t have a problem with a man falling (2 Samuel 24:1, 1 Chronicles 21:1, Psalm 37:23-24); in fact it is this falling process that inspires the opportunity for a cleansing work. It humbles a man and it gives a man the chance to repent and cry out to God. God is not ashamed of us when we fall; He is ashamed of us when we are too proud to admit that we can fall (Luke 18:9-14). For God the Father to impart His Holy Spirit on a man is really a win/win situation. Basically, beyond common sense reasons, the only time God will withhold The Holy Spirit from working externally in a man’s life is by that man’s own permission… when someone (by their actions) is willing to allow the Lord to do a deep work inside of them (Galatians 1:16-24). God will direct the Holy Spirit inwardly on this person so He can train them up properly (Hebrews 12:11). God the Father will conform this man into the image of His suffering Son, then… when the person becomes full mature, God will direct the Holy Spirit outwardly in order to break the yokes on those who are burdened all around him (Luke 4:18-19).
There is nothing wrong with the gift of God (Holy Ghost – John 4:10, Acts 2:38) or the calling of God (Romans 11:29); it is how they are misused that is the problem. We are ignorant regarding their purposes (in terms of God and man). We don’t understand God’s perspective in the matter and we play games regarding man’s accountability. We do this because we are far away from Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:7-13). God is not going to Call a man through the Holy Ghost and then take it away from him (Romans 11:29). Our God is a consuming fire. He is an intimate God. He wants our heart and He wants our devotion. A God who anoints us with Himself is a God who wants fellowship with us. As I stated before, God will anoint a man just to prove to a man how truly sinful he is. God knows the choices that a man will make but the Holy Ghost just magnifies those choices and brings about a consequence (which we are probably in need of). If God were not to anoint a man then that man would still be yearning to make those same mistakes… but because the Holy Ghost was withheld, that man will never come to the realization of how sinful he would have become within the Holy Ghost (within God). We are all teachable within God’s Spirit according to the revelation of Christ (1 John 2:27) and sometimes God will use His Holy Ghost to show us how truly rebellious we are, and He’ll even get souls saved in the process (Philippians 1:15-18, Romans 8:28).
Don’t think even for a second that God will withhold His Holy Ghost just because people wouldn’t deal correctly with it. If God were to only impart His Holy Ghost to those who would never fail then no one would get it. The Devil would also have about 1000 accusations in heaven against the Called… and they would all stick (Job 1, 2). The Holy Ghost is imparted to those who raise their hands, but not all who raise their hands know the correct answer… even though they will be Called upon (Matthew 22:1-14, emphasis on V. 14). The Lord will allow tests in our lives. The Holy Ghost of God is undoubtedly one of the burdensome tests for man, and the Devil loves to have it so.
What we can do and learn
People right now who are called by God the Father and who are graced with the Holy Ghost and who are not being wise accordingly should repent immediately and make Jesus Christ Lord of their lives. You must follow Jesus… and only Jesus. You must be wholly surrendered to Him. The most important verse for people who need to get right with God is this… Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24). Notice Jesus says… “if any man will come after me.” This is a polite way of saying… “for without me you can do nothing (John 15:5).” Jesus Christ is not asking for your opinion. His statement is deliberate and absolute… “for without me you can do nothing (John 15:5).” This verse is the crux of all Christianity at the moment. We are a sick church because we have not made Jesus our Lord (The body is not aligned with the Head – this causes incredible sickness). We think because we’re called and have the Holy Ghost that everything is fine. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are not fine, and the world doesn’t see Jesus in the church (we are no witnesses). If you truly surrender to Jesus then the Holy Spirit will inspire you and convict you towards crucifying your flesh and it’s desires (asking God to turn the anointing inwardly) (John 16:7-11, Galatians 5:19-24). Jesus will then reign in your life. He will be the head, you will be the body. This is the only way it works. God the Father has a desire to restore all of us (Acts 8:22, Joel 2, 1 Kings 21:27-29, Jonah 3:5-10) but this restoration must come by way of obedience toward the Father. And how do we obey the Father? We believe in the one whom He sent… and we surrender to Jesus and to His Lordship fully (John 5:38, John 6:29, Luke 6:46-49). Once our surrender is real and unconditional, the process of sanctification in our lives will yield about a Christ likeness within our members. We will become a matured body and we will yield the fruits of the Spirit in our fiery seasons (Revelation 19:7, Ephesians 5:27). The world will finally see Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). I assure you, this is the only revival possible. Christ in you.
Please read this last scripture slowly. It sums up much of what I said during this entire interpretation. I assure you… for the final time, without Christ’s Lordship over you… Holy Ghost or not, you can do nothing.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.