Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sit, Walk and Stand – (Part 1)

Table of Contents

Sit to be empowered, Walk to be blessed and Stand to possess – Part 1

By Abraham Israel

I believe one of the most important apostolic messages that the Lord wants to restore to this end time generation is to make them understand that He measures everything, from the start to the finish, by the perfections of His Son. The Apo
stle Paul affirmed this fact by writing in Colossians 1:19-20, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness [of the resources of heaven like righteousness, peace and joy (Rom 14:17)] should dwell, and by Him to reconcile [i.e. reunite] all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth [i.e. living saints and the whole of God’s creation on earth (Rom 8:19-23)] or things in heaven [i.e. redeemed saints in heaven (Rev 4:8-10)], having made peace through the blood of His cross”. Thus as seen in the above verse Father God is pleased by His own plan to reunite the lost humanity with Himself through the outworking of Christ through His Spirit dwelling in them (Rom 8:9). We are first going to see in this article that in a believer’s life, Christ lives in us through His Spirit from the moment we invite Him in to our life as our Lord and Savior eternally (Eph 2:18, 22). Then we will be delving in to the three postures of a Christian which will empower us to live a victorious abundant life of God in this planet earth. The three postures are sitting, walking and standing. We sit by revelation to achieve things in the spiritual realm by receiving grace through faith (Eph 2:5-8; 1 Cor 15:10), we walk to get blessed with all the spiritual blessing which is in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3-14; 2:10) and we stand to possess our inheritance that our Lord has already declared to be ours in Christ Jesus (Eph 6:10-12; 1 Thess 4:4; Luke 21:19; Duet 1:21, 39; 6:18; 8:1).

God has also already revealed to us His mystery by telling us that at the end of the age He is going to do, “… His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that … He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him [on the day of rapture (1 Thess 4:1-18)]. In Him [whom? Christ] also we have obtained an inheritance [i.e. birthright as children of God in His family (John 1:12)], being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:9-12). In the preceding verses we see that it is God who has appointed us with all the favor and empowerment of heaven by working in us all things from the moment we received Christ as our Savior to the time we will leave this earth, because we have trusted in Christ to live in us victoriously for the praise of His glory. God will counsel us each second as we earnestly seek the consciousness of His presence to guide us constantly in His will to be fulfilled in our life (Ps 73:23-24). We do work out His counsel as He works inside us. In other words the Spirit of Christ starts to sit, walk and stand through us. Our very behavior will be that of God’s nature, because it will be God who will start to control us as we start to depend on Christ living inside us through His anointing.

The moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He abides in our spirit man through the Holy Spirit and will start to live His God-life through our mortal body (John 17:20-21). The glory of Jesus is the Spirit of glory resting upon us which unites our being with God, as a result of this union the glory of Jesus unites us with our fellow brethren on earth (John 17:21-23; 1 Peter 4:14). Thus we do not live the God-life by doing, but by being united with Him in our spirit. From the time we are saved to the time we leave this planet earth, this union of interpenetration with God in our spirit man will not change and this is described in the Bible as “…You were sealed [i.e. when you believed the gospel of your salvation] with the Holy Spirit of promise.” “…You were sealed [i.e. when you were born again in Christ] unto the day of redemption [i.e. Rapture of the believers and Second Coming for the Tribulation saints]” (Eph 1:13; 4:30) and also in 2 Cor 1:22 the Bible says that, [God] has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee [i.e. first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us].” This sealing of the Spirit that God does as a guarantee of the future promises is a divine act of God. We cannot do the sealing ourselves by our own effort. When people sin and get condemned by the condemnation of the devil because of not approaching the throne of grace to receive grace in their time of need (Rom 8:1; Heb 4:16), they hear the lies of the enemy and allow it to influence them to doubt the permanency of their salvation. We do not seal ourselves with the Spirit of God, and it shows that we cannot unseal the Spirit of God by what we do. The sealing of the Spirit is an inheritance that we receive as God’s children and is a pure gift from the Heavenly Father that we do not deserve. Because of sinning one cannot lose the sealing of the Spirit, because the Bible says that salvation is an eternal one of which the sealing of the spirit is a guarantee given to us personally of the awesome future that we will have as God’s true children (Heb 5:9).

In other words God has stamped us with his eternal pledge of his Spirit —a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. What is His eternal pledge? His pledge is His Spirit who lives in us by interpenetrating with our spirit man inside us, who will never leave us nor forsake us based on what we do (Heb 13:5). When we walk in the impulse of our old man, the Holy Spirit will get grieved, but He will never leave us nor forsake us because of His promises (Heb 10:15-18). When we neglect the stirring and guidance of the Spirit because of our lack of knowledge, the Holy Spirit’s activities in our life will get quenched by our doing (1 Thess 5:19-22). But in spite of a believer, grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, He does not leave us because of what Jesus has achieved for us on the Cross as our Substitute eternally (2 Cor 5:21, 17). Our whole body becomes God’s place of dwelling as we consciously invite God by opening compartment after compartment of our self-conscious soul until we are wholly consumed by God-consciousness (1 Cor 6:19; Rom 12:1). From within His temple of our body He will sit, walk, stand and start to rule over the earth. This is why we are told by Jesus to pray in this manner, [Let] your kingdom come [in an increased measure day by day]. [Let] your will be done on earth [through me] as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10). By letting God rule over our spirit, soul and body, we are acting as the kings and co-regent with the ‘King of Kings’ who rules the whole universe from heaven and also on earth through our lives.

It is true in the Old Testament that the Spirit of God left a particular person whenever they sinned and disobeyed His voice consistently (Judges 14:6; 16:20; 1 Samuel 16:14). Knowing very well how the Lord has left Saul his master because of his rebellion and sin, David cried out to the Lord and pleaded not to take away His presence and His Holy Spirit from him when the Lord confronted his sinful lifestyle of disobedience through Nathan the prophet (Psalm 51:11). But in the New Testament the Lord has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us based on our doings or behavior (Heb 13:5; 2 Tim 2:13). Some people become very fearful and feel that they have lost the Spirit when they sin (Gen 3:8-11). This kind of unhealthy fear comes because of the lying condemnation of the enemy’s voice which has been accepted as the truth (Rom 8:1, 9). The real truth is, God has once for all have forgiven us of all our past, present and future sins and have wholly accepted us in the Beloved Son of God, and this benevolent act of God’s mercy and grace that we have received in Jesus Christ is truly an undeserved favor that God has showered upon us as His children (Eph 1:6; Matt 3:13-17; Eph 4:32; Col 2:13; Rom 8:31-34). God knows all the sins that we will ever do because of our bad choices, in spite of fore-knowing all these things He patiently helps us and mercifully waits until we die one day at His appointed time so that we may be freed from this sinful body to become loaded with the glorious sinless body on the day of rapture (Rom 7:17-25; Ps 90:10; 2 Sam 5:4; 1 Kings 2:10-11; Ps 91:16). This is the reason Apostle Peter brilliantly described, “…that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…” (2 Peter 3:15). God waits for us to finish this pilgrimage on earth (1 Pet 2:1; Heb 11:13; Ps 84:5; Ex 6:4), in spite of fore-knowing that we have a deceitful heart that sins all the time whenever it has opportunity, which is very weak and defective to please Him (Jer 17:9; 16:12). Even in the Old Testament God showed favor to the people of Israel because of His merciful nature and thus overlooking their iniquity because they too were having the same sinful nature that we have (Mic 7:18; Ps 51:5; Num 23:21). In the New Covenant promise, God the Father now sees us as holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight through the Body of Jesus Christ’s flesh and through the death that He died for all of us as our perfect substitute (Col 1:21-22). In the New Testament we are … complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Col 2:10). We are a completed product of God in the New Testament who does not need any more furnishing to improve our self spiritually in our life, but only need to sit, walk and stand in Christ Jesus to be successful and experience the favor of God in our lives. Praise the Lord!

Sitting can be considered as our position in Christ, which we will call as SIT (Eph 2:6). To be seated is to hold a position of power and authority (Mark 14:62). Sitting is an attitude of rest.

“17 …The GOD of our Lord Jesus Christ… raised Him from the dead and SEATED HIM AT HIS RIGHT HAND IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES, 21 FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER AND MIGHT AND DOMINION, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (Eph 1:17, 20-21).

“6 AND raised us up together, and MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS, 7 THAT in the ages to come HE MIGHT SHOW THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE in His kindness TOWARD US in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:6-9).

The outcome is “God…made him to sit…and made us to sit with Him.” In revelation of the word 'sit' lies the secret of the heavenly life of power and authority to be lived out on the earth. Revelation is not a onetime transaction. Rather it is the outcome of the progressive unveiling of the authority and power of God which lies in the recesses of the spirit man inside us (Eph 3:16). The more we delve deeper in to relationship with God by faith, the more the inner man will get loaded by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph 1:17-18). According to Apostle Paul, we are all enrolled in the school of the Spirit to experience and enjoy the God-life on earth. It is up to each child of God to diligently learn, appropriate and be blessed with all the experiences of heaven on earth (Eph 1:3). We see clearly in Ephesians chapter 1 and 2 of how the Apostle Paul has described about the sitting position of Christ in power and authority in heaven, which he then applied to us believers in Christ Jesus who are on earth and declared that we are seated in the same position spiritually along with Him. Our Christian life does not start with walking but with the sitting. From the moment we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that God has raised Jesus as a substitute representing us from the dead as a sign that all our sins have been paid for and forever forgiven (Matt 16:4; 12:38-41; Luke 11:29-30, 32; Jonah 3:5-10; 2; 1 Cor 15:16-17), we will be saved in our spirit at that same moment and will be joined to the same power and authority that Christ has in the heavenly places (Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 6:17). All the religions in the world say do, do, do and do until you die to please God. But only Christianity starts with the resounding message of Christ who cried out and declared with all His might before He died at the cross saying, “…It is done and finished forever!...” (John 19:30). If we ask the question, what is finished and done forever? The answer is, all that we need to do to please God in perfection has been done and finished forever by Jesus. In other words God is already fully pleased with your life because you believe Jesus as your substitute of perfection before God. It is like God declaring to you personally through His voice from heaven which He declared to Jesus on the day of His Baptism by John saying “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17). Believe that God is declaring over you now, “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.” (Matt 12:18).

Say now to the Lord, ‘Thank you Father-God for choosing me as your Servant and declaring that your soul is well pleased in me your beloved, thank you for putting your Spirit upon me as a sign of your authority and power to declare and live the abundant life that you have given me. In Jesus name, Amen and Amen…Praise the Lord.’ (John 10:10).

Sitting starts and ends with believing. This is the truth because Jesus as your substitute has already fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God perfectly for you as a substitute
(Matt 3:15), which completely got fulfilled when He victoriously cried the victory cry by saying, “Paid in full!” (John 19:30). There is no more works that is needed to be done to please God, because God is already pleased with your life because of what Jesus has done for you by paying a heavy price [ by dying on the cross as a sin (2 Cor 5:21)] for you.

God has acknowledged this fact and has made you to be His temple and dwelling place of rest. As you allow the Holy Spirit who is the representative of Jesus sent from heaven to you personally to live His God-life through your spirit, soul and body as a gratitude for what Jesus has done for you, you will glorify God in your spirit, soul and body (1 Cor 6:19-20). This is the only reasonable service that you can do to the Lord which He considers as a sacrifice (Rom 12:1). He is sitting in you in all His power and authority which has no match in the whole universe (1 John 4:4). He desires you to know that you are sitting along with Him in all power and authority already. He desires to reveal to you bit by bit and teach you by revelation, how to act in the power and authority that you already have. Do you ask and desire and pray for such revelation to fill you so that you can be used in the fullness of His power and authority? If yes, surely God will use you mightily for His glory. We are like a prince in training through the helper Holy Spirit, learning day by day through exposure and application in the real world scenario to use the fullness of the authority and power of the king of kings (John 14:26; 16:13-15). When Jesus speaks from heaven as the king of kings, the Holy Spirit will take the words of Jesus and will declare to us the kings so that we can declare the word on earth with the authority and power of heaven acting behind it (Eccl 8:4). We are kings on earth working with the same power and authority of the ‘king of kings’ in heaven who rules the whole universe (Phil 2:9-11; Rev 1:5-6; 19:16). This is why Apostle Paul said, “… [God] has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:6). Because you believe in Jesus Christ as your substitute before God, you are complete in Christ Jesus (Col 2:10). In other words, you do not need to work in order to earn the favor and blessings of God which makes you filled with the authority and empowerment of heaven to live a successful and prosperous Christian life. It is already yours in Christ Jesus. You only need to sit comfortably in the revelation and wisdom of the Spirit in order to experientially use it to your benefit.

God wants us to enter His rest by sitting comfortably on the finished work of Jesus Christ through our faith in His birth [Identifying Jesus as a man born one among us in the flesh as a human (1 John 4:2)], death [Identifying Jesus as the perfect sinless substitute for our sins, who through his death has brought back the favor and blessings of God back upon us through forgiveness of all our sins (Col 1:20-23)] and resurrection [Identifying Us before God as an advocate and a mediator and thus releasing God’s continual blessings of power and authority to us on earth (1 John 2:1; Luke 10:19)].

How can we experience His rest by sitting comfortably in the spiritual realm of our daily life? Realizing our need for a Savior is the first step to enter this rest. When the self-righteous Pharisees through the influence of religious spirits questioned Jesus about his association with the sinners and tax collectors who were considered by their religious society as the unholy scum’s of all humanity, Jesus said to them, “… 12 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” (Matt 9:12-13). In other words, Jesus was saying to these Pharisees, ‘Only those people who feel that they are having irreparably sick souls need a Savior to save them from condemnation of the enemy and the guilt of God’s inbuilt spiritual thermometer which is our conscience (Rom 2:15). I desire to show God’s mercy to the needy and not require sacrifice from self-righteous people who do these things as though God is a tyrant who demands it. I have come to call the sinners to look towards me to receive abundant life of joy, peace and righteousness daily.’ We are in constant need of our Savior in order to sit and enjoy the rest of God within our sin-sick irreparable soul which always desires to sin. The moment any person comes to God confessing himself as a sinner in need of a Savior; God justifies him as in the case of the tax collector who did not even lift his head towards heaven knowing his unworthiness as a sinner to call upon God to receive mercy. Tax-collectors were considered big-time sinners and traitors by the Jews of Jesus time because even though many were Jews yet they worked as tax collection agents for the Romans who were considered as enemies of the zealous religious Jews who wanted freedom from these Romans to rule the country independently (Luke 5:27-32; 7:34; 15:1). This tax-collector was justified by God. That is, He was declared by God as clean and just as if he had never sinned. God did this based on what Jesus Christ would do for that tax collector personally on the cross in the future from that point of time [(Rom 3:26)] (Luke 18:9-14). That is why Jesus said to weary sinners who try to please God with their own works, “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” From this verse we can understand that those who try to please God with their labor of living good life and works will be experiencing unbearable burden of condemnation, guilt and unforgiveness. But those who come to Jesus, He has promised to give rest to their souls. The ability for the soul to rest can only be received from Jesus. A yoke is a wooden bar which is fastened over the necks of two animals, especially cattle, and connected to the vehicle or load that they are pulling. Jesus was telling us symbolically to get connected with Him through the wooden bar of the cross by submitting our will to God by looking to Jesus as our solution of rest for our sin-sick souls and give our burdens to God through prayer like Jesus did (Phil 2:8; Heb 5:7-9; Mark 14:32-36), so that the peace and rest of God can guard us in the heavens state of serenity in our soul (Phil 4:6-7). Jesus Himself is the ultimate example of how He trusted God to solve all his problems by giving Him all of his earthly burdens through prayer. Trusting God by giving to Him all our problems in our daily life will help us experience rest in our soul which is truly a sitting position.

God created the whole creations in six days. On the seventh day He rested. Man was created on the sixth day. So what was man’s involvement in the act of creation? The answer is nothing. To man the first day to experience life was the seventh day of God’s rest. In other words, God wanted man to experience the rest of God first in his earthly life and then live life to full the other six days with the same attitude of this blessed rest. God’s seventh day was, in fact, Adams first. God works before he rests, while it is God’s will for man to first enter God’s rest, and then to work. God’s work always ends in man’s rest. Even in God’s work of redemption through Jesus Christ for all humanity (2 Cor 5:19), the moment Jesus Christ said “It is finished!” (John 19:30) the spiritual rest of God had already come to all the heavenly new creation who have believed in Jesus Christ with in this earthly creation (2 Cor 5:17). This is what the writer of the book of Hebrews said, [According to the foreknowledge of God]…the works of [redemption through Jesus Christ] were finished from the foundation of the world [i.e. even when Satan and his angels rebelled against God to form their own separate kingdom on earth before man was created (Rev 12:3-4)].” (Heb 4:3).

In walking or standing we burn up a great deal of energy, but when we are seated we relax at once, because the strain no longer falls upon our muscles and nerves but upon something outside of ourselves. Normally we sit on a chair and lean on it, the chair takes the whole load of the weight of our body. We do not support the chair in any way to hold our weight, but we safely trust the chair to support us. In the same way when we are seated with Christ, we do not try to work along with the work of Christ on the Cross in order to save ourselves from falling down out of God’s favor and the blessing that Christ has achieved for us. We just lean on the finished work of Christ and safely trust in it completely to save ourselves from the sin nature within us and true to His promise He will keep us from stumbling (Rom 7:23-25; Jude 24). We need to relax ourselves by sitting and identifying ourselves with the finished work of the Cross and believe it as our ultimate chair of righteousness in which we are seated with all its authority and power (2 Cor 5:21; Matt 3:15; Rom 4:5-6). Say out loudly with confidence, ‘I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’ (2 Cor 5:21). In other words, sitting is like trusting God’s chair in the heavenly places and sitting backwards depending on God’s righteousness to hold us all through our life’s journey on earth and then say to God, ‘God I cannot save myself from hellfire because of my sin nature within me, but I trust your Son’s righteousness which has been declared as my righteousness to sit and relax comfortably for getting in to heaven and to exercise your authority and power in this earth freely. Thank you for doing it for me.’ This is the real Christian who has learned to SIT. If we ask ourselves finally, ‘Who does the Bible say will enter this rest?’ The Bible says, “…we who have believed [in the finished work of the Cross] do enter that rest…” (Heb 4:3) and also the Bible exhorts us to “…be diligent to enter that rest…” (Heb 4:11). The good news of the finished works of Jesus Christ through His birth, death and resurrection which is the word (John 1:1-4) should be mixed with faith to enter the rest which has been prepared for the people of God to use in their daily life (Heb 4:2, 9). They should cease from the wrong mentality that thinks that God is pleased only when we work for Him. In fact we cannot work for God, only He can work for us and in us to fulfill His preplanned purposes. Praise the Lord! Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided “according to the riches of His grace,” which was “freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [Jesus Christ]” (Eph 1:6, 7). Those people who obey the good news of God’s finished work, they must be able to enter in to that rest easily (Heb 4:6).

In the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:11-32, the younger son wasted all his possessions that he received from his father by journeying in to the far country of the world. His life ended up in a mess, when He had nothing but a severe famine in the land. He was in constant need of food to survive. When he went and joined himself to a citizen of that far country, penniless and in tatters, he sent him in to his fields to feed swine. In his hunger to survive he longed to eat the pig’s food, but he was denied to eat even that pigs pods. Here we see that the Lost Son was actually operating in his sinful nature which longs to fulfill its own desire apart from God (Rom 7:17-21, 23-24). We too in the natural apart from God are like the lost son. Now and then we sin and lose the precious possession of joy, peace and righteousness of the Heavenly Father’s possession because of the fallen state of our sin-sick souls (John 14:1; Rom 14:17). Many times because of the influence of the fallen nature within us we do not even remember that we already have peace and rest which God has already given to us in Him [i.e. Christ’s nature within us]. We only need to choose to be of good cheer and celebrate what Christ has already done for us by overcoming the world system of governance that is purely influenced by this sin nature of Satan and his demonic cohorts (John 16:33). The Bible says that, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Gal 5:17, NLT). In other words, what the Apostle Paul is expressing in this verse is this: We have this sinful nature of the Lost Son [i.e. old man (Eph 4:22)] within us constantly desiring to waste the heavenly possessions of our Heavenly Father with prodigal and wasteful living. But in the innermost part of our being where our spirit is, our Heavenly Father has deposited His Spirit’s nature within it which is called right mind man [i.e. new man (Eph 4:23-24)] with which we should renew ourselves constantly and live out the abundant life of our Heavenly Father on earth. The demonically influenced nature of our soul is constantly in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit influenced nature of our spirit. This is the reason we are not able to live freely and flawlessly with the right thinking perpetually, even though we are born again, tongue speaking, demon driving and Spirit filled believers.

This parable which has usually been called as ‘the parable of the prodigal son’ is mostly seen in the context of a sinner coming at once to the Heavenly Father’s home of His kingdom to be born again. But the real meaning is really different because the man without Jesus who is not born again in to the family of God cannot be called as the son of the Heavenly Father at all (John 1:12; 3:3; 17:9). In this parable the far country is the world and its deceitfulness in which some believer’s are swayed in to like the lost son in this parable and become desperate and hungry for reality. The world hates these lost godly people who are searching for reality and meaning of this life, who are impoverished spiritually, downtrodden by despair and depression. So only Jesus hours before His death on the Cross prayed this most beautiful prayer to our Heavenly Father, “ 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (John 17:14-19). This prayer shows that, as long as we live in the world it is the Father’s merciful nature that keeps us from the evil one who is Satan. We are sanctified and separated already in Christ Jesus who is our substitute, representing us individually before the Heavenly Father based on His perfect life, to shower God’s mercy constantly upon us. As long as we are in the world we are constantly sanctified by the truth of God’s word which renews our mind to remember the right things of God with the right mind. We are renewed and restored by the truth of what Jesus has done for us, which has also given us the rights to live as a part of God’s family as a son (Rom 8:16), and qualifies us to receive as much mercy and grace whenever we need from our Heavenly Father. But on our part we need to remember the merciful nature of our Heavenly Father like the Lost Son and approach boldly our Heavenly Father’s Throne in heaven to experience His goodness. This Lost Son by remembering his father’s unchanging merciful and benevolent character came to himself [i.e. his right mind] and said, “…‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ 20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”” (Luke 15:17-21). In times of spiritual crisis when we have sinned and as a result feel unworthy and condemned, we should boldly approach the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace in time of our need like the Lost Son (Heb 4:16). The Lost Son felt unworthy with sin-consciousness to approach the father and told him that he not only sinned in his sight but is surely unworthy to be called his son. This clearly shows that the Lost Son approached the father for mercy, already knowing that the father by his omnipresence and omniscience knew what he had done and have seen all his sinful doing [Note: the words “I have sinned…in your sight”]. But see how the father compassionately responded to his Son’s need by running towards him even while he was only trying to approach the Father’s home in heaven (Matt 6:9). In the same way when we sin and feel unworthy about our self, and then we start to think of approaching God’s throne, even while we start to think of approaching our Heavenly Father when we are long way off from heaven down in this earth, our Father in heaven sees us and feels intensely compassionate, He runs and falls in to our neck and kisses us. Our Heavenly Father sent Jesus in to the world representing Himself, to show His mercy and compassion towards us his sons who are tempted constantly and fall in to sinful things (John 14:9; Heb 2:17-18). In other words, Jesus Christ as the replica of our Heavenly Father is representing the Heavenly Father to us and is compassionately giving out the Father’s mercy to us as we approach Him every time after we sin and seek God’s mercy (Heb 2:17-18). This ‘compassionate heart of the father in the preceding parable who ran toward his sinful son who wronged him, fell on his neck and kissed him’ represents the one act of the compassionate heart of the Heavenly Father in sending His only begotten Son to die for us on the Cross (John 3:16).

The Lost Son rested in the merciful character of the father. As a result the father said, “It was right that we should make merry and be glad…” (Luke 15:32). And in these words Jesus has revealed of how in the sphere of redemption, our Heavenly Father’s heart rejoices every time we come to Him through Jesus Christ to receive His mercies. It is not the elder brother ceaseless toil that brought forth joy to the father’s heart, but the younger brother’s trust in the father’s merciful character that made the father do everything for him and celebrate it joyfully. When the prodigal son returned home, having wasted his material in uncontrolled living, the father did not rebuke for the waste that had been done, or even ask a word of inquiry regarding the wasted possession. He did not sorrow over all that was spent; he only rejoiced over the opportunity the son’s return afforded him for spending more. Why? Our Heavenly Father owns the whole universe and it is not at all a problem to give His mercy and grace to us who are His sons as many times as we need. God is so wealthy that His chief delight is to give. He is so very, very rich, it gives him true joy when we let Him give and give and give again to us. He longs that we will just let Him do and do and do, and it gives him immense satisfaction as we start to celebrate and rest in all His infinite possessions. If Jesus told Peter to forgive the brother who sins against him seven seventy times, how much more infinitely will our Heavenly Father forgive his sons who sin and come to Him again and again asking for His mercy and grace (Matt 18:21-22).

Do you think that the moment you cease trying to please God, your good behavior will cease? Do you think that resting in the merciful character of our Heavenly Father to forgive and give and give will be less satisfactory to Him than if you do some of it yourself with your rigid rules? It is only as we try to do it ourselves that we will put ourselves under the law, which will disqualify us to become the recipient of God’s mercy and grace (Rom 4:4; 11:6). Our best works are dead works and is hateful to God because it is ineffectual (Gal 3:10; Heb 6:1).

It is highly significant to see that both the sons were equally removed from the joys of their father’s house. But only the lost son because of believing in his father’s merciful and benevolent character to give was able to enter the rest and celebration of the father’s house. The younger son was all wrong, but he came home and he found rest, and this is where Christian life begins as the Bible says, “4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us… made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Eph 2:4, 6). The elder son even though was near to his father, he was always working to please him by mechanically doing his father’s work as a duty. He never was able to find the real rest and celebration of his father’s house because he clung on to his own good works which he did with his own ability. In fact, when the older brother heard that his younger brother has returned home and that the father is arranging a great feast and celebration for all because he has returned safe and sound, he was very angry and upset with the father’s merciful character of giving. He had an evil eye which cannot see the beauty of the father’s grace (Matt 20:15). It cannot see the brightness of the Heavenly Father’s generosity. It cannot see the unexpected blessing to others as a precious treasure. It is an eye that is blind to what is truly beautiful and bright and precious in the sight of our Heavenly Father who first “…desires [to show] mercy and not [just receive] sacrifice.'…” (Matt 9:13) and then “…delights in [showing] mercy” (Micah 7:18). It is a worldly eye that hates seeing other’s receive undeserved favor of His grace. It sees money and material reward as more to be desired than a beautiful display of free, gracious, Father-like generosity. That is why the older son said to his father angrily and ironically, “29 …‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’” (Luke 15:29-30).

As long as we live our life on this earth, if we try to please God through our works, we will never be able to experience the joy, peace, righteousness and rest of the Heavenly Father’s house in this earth like this older son. But if we will accept our inability and unworthiness to please the Father because of our indwelling sinful nature like the lost son and accept his forgiveness, mercy and grace by approaching the ‘throne of grace’ every time we fall down because of our sinful nature, we will be able to enter in to God’s celebration and rest that he freely gives to us. Those sons who try to work and please God will not only lose the experience of God’s joy of celebration and rest in this earth, but will also lose their reward in heaven for eternity. All the rewards would have actually belonged to them if they would have only believed, but because of their dead works of worthlessness to please God, all their works will be burnt by fire yet they themselves will be saved (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2Cor 5:10). Stop ‘giving’ your works to God and see what kind of giver God is (Ps 34:8). Stop ‘doing’ your works for God and see what kind of worker God is.

Christianity starts with the celebration rest of coming in to God’s kingdom by receiving the Heavenly Father’s mercy. The moment we receive the Father’s mercy by believing Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior (John 3:3), immediately the Heavenly Father will command His servants the angels (Ps 103:20) saying, “‘Bring out the best robe [of righteousness (Is 61:10)] and put it on him [whom? We who are His lost sons], and put a ring [of authority (Esther 8:2, 8, 10; Dan 6:17; Hag 2:23; Luke 10:19)] on his hand and sandals [of protection (Deut 29:5; Eph 6:15)] on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us [i.e. God, angels and the whole of heaven (Luke 15:7, 10)] eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead [and separated from My mercy and love because of unbelief] and is alive again [through his faith in My merciful character to forgive and receive him]; he was lost [because of selfishness] and is found [because of my love for him].’ And they began to be merry.”(Luke 15:22-24). The moment we enter in to God’s kingdom from the Satan influenced worldly kingdom of darkness (Col 1:13; Rev 12:9; Matt 4:8-9; Eph 5:8; 6:12), we can choose to celebrate and celebrate for eternity and be merry all the time, this is the reason Apostle Paul said in Phil 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” and also 1 Thess 5:16, 18, “16 Rejoice always…18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Christianity starts with an invitation to enter the singing, music and dance celebration of God the Father, as Jesus Himself said in Matt 22:2-4 [The Message], “…"God's kingdom," … "is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. …"He [then again] sent out …servants, instructing them to tell the guests, 'Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!' (Luke 15:25; Eph 5:17-20). The moment you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have already started to gorge in the celebration feast of the Heavenly Father God that will continue for eternity. Christianity not only starts with restful celebration of the Heavenly Father’s merciful character, but it also continues with the celebration-rest of God’s heavenly joyfulness which only those who diligently believe will enter in and enjoy like the lost son. As we are all sinners who sin till we die because of our indwelling sin nature within us (1 John 1:8; 1 Tim 1:15), we constantly need our Savior Jesus Christ who is compassionate and merciful to progressively shower God’s mercy and grace in time of our need (Heb 4:14-16; 10:23; 1 John 1:9). Some of you may be feeling a little uncomfortable with the above statement that has been made here. Because in many Churches right from our Sunday school time we have been taught to behave rightly all the time and be holy in this world. We have been told that anything that we do apart from this shows that we are not saved or may lose our salvation. This is not the real gospel of grace. This is work based religion. Think about it, Jesus said, “...I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother 'idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell 'stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire." (Matt 5:22, The Message) and "...anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt5:28, NLT). According to this standard that Jesus had set for our works to be perfect before God, one wrong thought or one wrong word is enough to throw us away eternally in to hell fire by God’s perfect judgment. Along this line of thought Apostle James wrote that if a person keeps all the law but fails in one, he is guilty of breaking all (James 2:10). In other words no one is qualified enough to be called as righteous man before God based on their own works. The Bible also confirms this fact by saying, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” (Eccl 7:20). According to this preceding verse, a man may be a believer or an unbeliever but he sins as long as he dies. Many believers do not like to accept this fact of inconvenient truth because it make them think that they may be seen in a bad light by others or even some people fear that they might miss heaven because of such imperfection. Others fear that accepting such thing will make them to sin fearlessly and still others fear that God will be grieved when we say that we sin until we die in some way or the other. Still some others want to adhere to their own strict rule book which will say some sins as knowing sins and other sins as unknowing sins. God’s set standard for qualification based on works is absolute righteousness. In other words, if a person wants to boast himself as a righteous person he must live absolutely sinless all his life, even if he commits a single sin once in his whole life he will be declared wicked by God and deserves to go only to hell. Such is the absolute perfection of God’s nature of justice. Does God require such perfection from us who do nothing but ungodly things all the time with evil nature acting constantly in us to destroy our very existence in this earth (Rom 7:14-15; 3:10-20; 1 Peter 2:11)? But the truth of God is just the opposite. If God wanted us to perform ourselves and self-justify ourselves by our own works, he would have sent a motivational speaker to motivate us to perform better works than before and not a Savior to save us from hell fire (Rom 5:6-8). But take heart, Apostle John identified our inability to please God all the time because of our indwelling sin nature (Rom 7:19) and said, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1). Now and then we sin and try to justify ourselves saying this is just a small sin or else comparing ourselves with others we say, ‘I am not sinning like that brother or sister who is overtaken by trespasses (Gal 6:1).’ When a person reaches the highest point of such self-righteousness, they start to think that God is indebted to them because they have worked so hard to please Him. Some people when they see a person who does not have any special spiritual qualification get equally and tremendously even more blessed than themselves, they become angry against God which is absolutely wrong and a bad attitude (Matt 20:1-16). These people, who try to earn their blessing, forget that God is the greatest giver who cannot help himself but give. So only, as the Bible says God gives his blessing of rain and sun rise every day [i.e. physical and financial blessing] on the good and on the evil person, on the just and on the unjust person without partiality (Matt 5:45). This is the true benevolent and merciful character of our heavenly Father (Matt 5:48). Religious attitude always makes our eyes to get blurred of the real image of our Heavenly Father. We don’t do God a favor, by being involved in any spiritual activities. All the prayer that we make, the Scriptures that we read day by day and meditate, the right choices that we make does not make God better as though God is in need of our constant attention and love, it makes us better and successful to fulfill the best custom designed destiny which God has prepared for us because He is love (Joshua 1:8-9; Jer 29:11; 1 John 4:8). Even we love God because he has already loved us through His only begotten Son Jesus. We are not the initiators, we just are receiver’s who give out what we have already received (1 John 4:9-10). We are not the illuminating source, but we are just reflectors of God’s love (1 John 4:7-8, 11). Anyone who thinks that he deserves to be blessed is already blind to see the spiritual reality of heaven. A spiritually blind man cannot approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in time of his need when demonic condemnation and fear hits him right on his head, because of his spiritual blindness he will not be able to locate the exact place of God’s throne in his innermost being of his spirit-man to connect to God. He needs God to heal his blindness before he can see the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace. He needs a supernatural miracle to be cured from this spiritual blindness caused by religious spirit.

All these different types of bad attitudes and thoughts that we have seen above are self-justifying demonic thoughts of Satan which will keep us from receiving God’s mercy and grace like the older son who was very judgmental, prejudiced and biased in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:25-32). If we allow such attitude to influence us knowingly or unknowingly, God will see us as a proud person whose only desire is to please our own self, in our own way, with our own strength rather than God. Such pride will be resisted by God Himself (James 4:6). God only justifies those who come to him humbly seeking to receive His mercy and grace (James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:5). [Note: Even though grace and mercy looks the same, it is different. Mercy is something that God does not give us what we rightfully deserve. Ex: hell, death, torment. Grace is something that God gives us what we do not deserve. Ex: heaven, joy, righteousness, earthly blessings.] Only as we know our unworthiness as sinners to receive God’s grace, only then we will be able to align ourselves humbly before God’s ‘throne of grace’ as His son with God’s holy boldness to receive as much grace as we need (Heb 4:16; 10:19). Right alignment positions us to receive the right quantity of God’s resources, thereby making us believe His merciful unchanging character of mercy which will make God to impute us with His abundant gift of grace which reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, as a saint of the Most High God (Rom 5:17; 4:5-8; Eph 1:1; Rom 5:21). When you are distressed, learn to rest in God’s mercies by throwing yourself in to the hands of God like David, who was declared as the man after God’s own heart by God Himself because of this unique revelation of God’s mercy that he applied in His daily life (2 Sam 24:14; Acts 13:22; Ps 90:14; 94:18; 100:5; 109:21, 26).

Every new spiritual experience begins with an acceptance by faith of what God has done for us. In other words, greater levels of spiritual experiences are reached when we learn to skillfully sit and relax with a new level of comfort. We cannot earn spiritual experiences and growth. From the beginning to end God has divinely determined in each stage of our Christian life to sit and relax more and more in the finished work of Christ. As time goes by we skillfully learn to sit confidently and easily in the finished work of Christ. This is true maturity.

What do we do to receive forgiveness of all our sins? Nothing! We just believe that God the Father has placed all our past, present and future sins on Jesus and “made him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21) and suffer its consequence of separation from God ultimately on the Cross (Mark 15:33-34; Is 54:7-8; Galatians 3:13). We believe that Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried as a penalty paid to God for all our past, present and future sins; the third day He arose again from the dead as a sign of our justification (Col 3:13; Rom 4:25). We have been guaranteed and declared by God to be justified which means ‘Just as if we have never sinned’. Jesus stands alive as a witness to this reality. We have only believed this fact of what Jesus has done for us as a substitute and as a result we enjoy all the goodness of God as a result of believing this fact. This is the reason Apostle Paul boldly declared that we are no more under the control and penalty of our sins because of our faith in believing Christ is risen (1 Cor 15:17, 14). We do not do anything to receive God’s goodness except to believe what he has done for us.

Some people can agree with the fact that we do not do anything to receive God’s forgiveness, but they are not sure about receiving God’s power to be a witness. The words, “the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:39), “….I send the Promise of My Father upon you; …tarry … until you are endued with power from on high.”(Luke 24:49), “….the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4), “…baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8) are all synonymous and got fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as it is written when “…they were all [i.e. 120 disciples (Acts 1:15)] filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4). Jesus instructed the Apostles initially to wait until the day of Pentecost to be filled with the Spirit, because Father God had already personally set the day of Pentecost as the opening ceremony of the New Covenant outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8). From that day of Pentecost onwards nobody tarried or waited to receive the Holy Spirit’s Baptism. Apostle Peter confirmed this fact in his revolutionary apostolic sermon on the day of Pentecost saying, “32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:32-33). In other words Apostle Peter was saying that the evidence that Jesus is alive in a exalted state over the entire universe at the right hand of the Father and have already received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit is now verified as true because you now see [What did they see? He was pointing to themselves inebriated under the influence of the wine of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:13, 15-18)] us operate under the anointing and hear [What did they hear? The people heard them speak in their own tongues which were unknown tongues to most of the 120 disciples because mostly they were Galileans (Acts 2:4, 6-8, 11-12)] us speak in tongues. Just after having explained to the multitude of people what Jesus is presently doing, Peter the Apostle promised to all the people that if they too will receive the forgiveness of sins, they will become eligible to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [i.e. same infilling of the Holy Spirit as themselves]” (Acts 2:38-39) because he said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is the promise [of the Father (Acts 1:4; 2:33, 39)] is to them and their children and to all the believers of the New Testament dispensation. In fact many wrongly believe that we need to wait upon the Lord to receive the Baptism of His Spirit and receive the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:7, 11, 31; 14:1). There is not a single word in the Bible to prove that we need to wait on God to receive the baptism of the Spirit, instead from the time of the proclamation of John the Baptist to the present day, many are getting baptized who are rightly believing the word of God which promises that the very purpose of Jesus coming to the earth is to freely Baptize people who will only dare to believe Him as the first century believers believed God at His word (Matt 3:11; Acts 1:4-5). Wrong understanding or lack of knowledge will rob you of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and all other spiritual gifts (Acts 19:2-6). So only Apostle Paul clearly taught to the zealous but not so knowledgeable Corinthian Church, not to be ignorant of spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:1).

We see again and again after the day of Pentecost the Apostles laying hands on as many believers who received Jesus and imparting the gift of the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ to them (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6-7). The New Testament Apostolic pattern for every believer to be filled by the Spirit, is with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesying as the Spirit gives them utterance (Acts 2:4; 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 11:15-18). What did the apostles do to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues? Is it because they have tarried and waited for the Holy Spirit, they finally received this wonderful gift? Apostle Peter himself gave an answer to this question when he saw the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the non-Jewish people in the house of Cornelius a Roman officer even without the laying of his own hands, he said “…God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:17). This verse clearly shows that the apostles and the 120 disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit because they all believed. Do we need to work or tarry in prayer to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? Biblically and apostolically we need not. We can believe and receive this gift by faith anytime we want (Gal 3:2-5; Mark 16:17). Laying hands to impart the gift of the Spirit is an act of faith; the apostles practiced it to stir people’s faith to receive (Acts 19:2-7; Mark 11:24). It is not that this is the only way to receive the gift of the Spirit, you can personally receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by believing in the promise of God as you would receive salvation from the Lord by believing what He has done for you personally (Mark 16:17; Eph 2:8). Both salvation and the gift of the infilling of the Holy Spirit are a gift of God. A gift is something that is given freely by someone. We do not earn it, but we only receive it.

Are you ready? You are asking me for what, to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and speak with new tongues! If you have already received it, use it daily to communicate supernaturally to the Lord in your personal prayer. If you not yet received, it is very easy if only you will believe that it is the will of God for you to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in new tongues and prophesying. As the Bible says, we can easily receive “the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal 3:14).

Pray with me to receive it now, ‘Lord Jesus, I believe that it is your will for me to be baptized with the Holy Spirit with the accompanying sign of the tongues of fire as its evidence (Matt 3:11; 2:3-4; Mark 16:17), just as your 120 disciples received your gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and all the first century believers received after them. By faith I receive it as you are now pouring out your Spirit upon me with the accompanying power to be a witness to the work that you are doing in me and through me (Acts 1:8). Thank you Lord now, for fulfilling your promise in my life. Amen and Amen.’

Now don’t reason with your mind, just switch off your mind and believe that you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit as the Bible says (Mark 11:24). If you feel the utterance of the Holy Spirit, even a single word coming from you spirit, start to speak it by faith. The fact is God never fails to do His promise when you connect to Him by faith. Don’t worry, as Jesus has said when you ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Father will not give any idolatrous demonic spirits like stone, serpent and scorpion (Luke 11:11-12; 10:19-20). He will surely give you more of the Holy Spirit which is the key which opens the flood gates of the unlimited ‘Baptismal measure’ of the Spirit. Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is like getting positioned or licensed to receive unlimited measure of the Holy Spirit. If you have not received the ‘Baptism of the Spirit’ the first time you have asked God, it does not mean that it is not real. To God the most important possession that He gives to you next only to His only Begotten Son Jesus who was given 2000 years ago is the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:32; Luke 11:13; Matt 12:31-32), so only in the same context of asking for gift of the Holy Spirit, in the preceding verses in Luke 11:9-10 Jesus admonished everyone who asks for the Spirit to ask God with persistence saying, “9 So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.” (Amp).

Another thing that may be hindering you to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in new tongues may be logical skepticism, lack of faith, doubt and lack of knowledge of the word of God. Make sure, even if you have not received the first time you have asked for the gift of the Spirit, ask God with persistence and try to connect to God by faith, and you will get it because God will be pleased to give you the gift of the Holy Spirit because of your faith and persistence (James 1:5-8; Matt 15:28; Heb 11:6). Once you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can again and again get filled with the Spirit of God through communion with the Holy Spirit, by thanking God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking or singing psalms to another in a Church setting and personally singing spiritual songs to the Lord moved by the Spirit (Eph 5:17-21; 2 Cor 13:14). All the above things are not works but a route through which you will be able to have more and more faith to get filled with the Spirit until you feel intoxicated by the Spirit continuously, which Apostle Paul compared to drinking wine in the natural (Rom 10:17; Eph 5:18). Some people mix the measure of the Holy Spirit that a believer receives during ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ to sealing of the Spirit that happens when one is born again (2 Cor 1:22). The Spirit given to live in us when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is the seal of evidence to assure us that we are born again (Rom 8:9; 2 Cor 1:22). It is unbiblical to say that both the sealing of the Spirit and the gift of the Holy Spirit which is also called as the baptism of the Holy Spirit are all the same. My question to you is, if the Salvation measure and Baptismal measure of the Spirit are the same, why did the apostles who got born again by Jesus breathing on them through which they received the Holy Spirit sealing after His resurrection (John 20:22) should again be instructed by the Lord to wait for “the Promise of the Father” before His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:4-9) which only got culminated on the day of Pentecost. This clearly shows that receiving the Salvation measure of the Spirit which can be termed as ‘Salvation’s limited fountain measure’ of the Spirit (John 4:14) is not the same as the ‘Baptismal unlimited river measure’ of the Spirit (John 7:38-39). Our spirit man is described in the two previous verses as the innermost being and heart. When we receive salvation, from our spirit man the Holy Spirit’s guidance, power, presence and revelation will ooze out as like in a fountain. When we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, from our spirit man the Holy Spirit’s guidance, power, presence and revelation will flow out as like in a river.

All believers are entitled to, and should ardently expect and earnestly seek, the promise of the Father, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, according to the command of Jesus Christ. With this comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowment of gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth but can occur at the same moment a person is reborn (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 2:38-39; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). As a believer by faith rests in the truth of the word of God without striving to receive all of the above, God will bestow His entire gifts joyfully each time according to each one’s measure of faith which is according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Rom 12:3, 6; Eph 4:7). This is true rest, when we believers ask and receive all good things from our Heavenly Father who is the source in Jesus name by resting in the finished work of Jesus, so that our joy may be full and overflowing to the brim (John 16:24; James 1:17).

The Bottom-line question is, what is the basis for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? It is based on the exaltation of Jesus (Acts 2:33). Because Jesus died on the Cross, my sins were forgiven (Col 2:13-14); because He is exalted to the throne, I am endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). I do not deserve to receive God’s forgiveness; neither do I deserve to receive the gift of the Spirit. Both are received not on walking but by sitting down, not by doing but by resting in the Lord. As much as salvation is a gift from God, so is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A gift is something that is not worked for, but is gladly received. We receive both salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit purely by faith.

The Bible says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be ruled over effectively by causing the old man to be in a powerless state, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Rom 6:6, Paraphrased). This is not an exhortation to struggle. It says that His-story of death for our sins is our spiritual past and our achievement over sinful nature. That is history; our history, written in Christ before we were born. Do you believe that? It is true and is the truth! Our crucifixion with Christ is our glorious historic fact. Our deliverance from sin is not based on what we can do or even what God is going to do for us, but is based on believing and resting in what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus. The more the revelation of His-story dawns upon us and the more we will rest back upon it. The secret to deliverance from sin is not to do something but to rest on what God has done for us in Christ. This is the true secret to holy life. Apostle Paul expounded this fact by saying, “10For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. 11Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:10-11, Amp). In other words because your relationship to lawless, sinful, overpowering satanic nature which strongly influences your mind, will and emotion has been severed by the death of Jesus on your behalf, you can choose to have unbroken communion with God without any sin consciousness and fellowship with Him. Satan and his cohorts do not have any right to afflict and oppress you; he is in a position like a stranger who can try to come in to your house to claim his rights over your property unlawfully by convincing you. Get mad at him and command him out of your house which is your body and the temple of God (John 2:16-22; 2 Cor 6:16). Do not allow him and if he tries again to oppress you with his lies, command him in Jesus Name. If he resists your command the second time, angels may be sent by God on assignment to oppose the lawless demonic spirit that is not obeying the command of the king of kings, so that it will be dislodged and punished (Matt 18:18; Heb 1:14; Ps 91:11-13; 34:7; 35:5-6). Satan and his demons will run away immediately because you are the property of Jesus as he has paid His life as a price to buy you (1 Cor 6:20). Satan and his evil minions cannot stand against Jesus because He is now sitting as the owner of the whole universe at the right hand of God (Matt 28:18; Phil 2:9-11). You can enjoy God as much as you desire and with a grateful heart you can choose to let Him enjoy you as much as you want (Rom 12:1). What a privilege! Praise the Lord!

This ‘rest in His-story’ theme perfectly fits the song format written by none other than one the most prolific song writer of the Christian era, Fanny Crosby. Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915) usually known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite becoming blind shortly after birth. Also known for her preaching and speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States.

Crosby was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp as the Knapp home was having a large pipe organ installed. The organ was incomplete so, using the piano, Mrs. Knapp played a new melody she had just composed called "Assurance". "What do you think the tune says?" asked Knapp.

"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine", answered Fanny Crosby.

Thus moved by the Spirit this song was born. Every time Satan comes to accuse you and condemn you, start to sing the refrain of the song ‘Blessed assurance…’

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;

this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

Never forget to remember that His-story is your spiritual history, so keep praising God for such a colossal history of yours that is immutable and powerful to make you live successfully in the present and awesomely in the future.

In all the epistles that Apostle Paul wrote by the personal revelation that God gave him (Galatians 1:11-12), he emphasized that God has already achieved all that we need to do in Christ Jesus. Jesus worked by God’s mighty power and fulfilled all that was needed by God to finally “sit down” at His right hand of power. In fact God the Father worked through His only Begotten Son the last Adam Jesus Christ until He regained the lost position of authority on earth by giving life to the dead spirit of man, this position of authority is nothing but the God-life to live as His sons on earth, which the first Adam lost in the garden of Eden by his disobedience to God’s command (1 Cor 15:45; Gen 2:15-17). Jesus confirmed this fact when questioned by the Jews for healing on Sabbath Jesus said, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” (John 5:17). In other words Jesus who started His work of redemption with His Baptism worked till He Himself said that it is all finished and the price to God was paid in full (John 19:30). Jesus started his divine work of redemption not on the Cross, but on the day He took Baptism from John in the river of Jordan (Acts 10:37). We too start our spiritual journey with Christ by identifying ourselves in His baptism (Gal 3:27). Cross was the fulfillment of redemption. But the Baptism of Jesus is the starting point of the work of redemption. This is the reason by God’s revelation Apostle Paul tied the identity of our self with Him not first on the Cross but in His Baptism by saying, “Buried with him [whom? Christ] in [His] baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Col 2:12, KJV). The key word is “buried with Him in baptism”. When you are baptized, you are confessing your identification of yourself to be buried with Christ, not apart from Him. In other words your old self was buried on the river of Jordan which means ‘the river of death’ when Jesus took His Baptism from John. This is the reason Jesus said to John the Baptist when he was unwilling to baptize Jesus because of His perfect purity of life, ““Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.” (Matt 3:15). According to this verse the baptism that Jesus took fulfilled all our righteousness once forever. This shows that Jesus got baptized not for Himself but for us. In taking the baptism of John Jesus humbled himself and stooped low to the level of sinful humanity and accepted the “wages of sin [which] is death.” (Rom 6:23).

He symbolically immersed himself in to the death of the cross on that day of His baptism on the river of Jordan. This is the reason Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through [His] baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” In other words Paul is telling that because we have identified our old self to be buried with Jesus in His baptism on the river of Jordan we can now appropriate the power of God to live a glorious new life like Jesus lived after he came out of the water with the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ upon Him to overcome all evil and temptations by the Spirit of the Lord (Matt 3:16-17). Jesus did a divine exchange in His baptism by taking our sinfulness and fulfilled all our righteousness based on His perfect sinless life which was the reason for which He came to this earth. This was confirmed by God the Father from heaven who acknowledged this by saying, “… This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17). In other words it is like God telling to us directly that we have become the righteousness of God and that we are pleasing to Him based on what Jesus has done for us (2 Cor 5:21). At the point of time when Jesus took baptism from John, God the Father made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us" (2 Cor 5:21) by causing all our iniquities [i.e. sin nature] to land on Him (Isaiah 53:6). Think about it, if Jesus was not laid with all our iniquities Satan would not have been able to tempt Jesus in the wilderness because of His sinless nature. This is the reason the moment He took the baptism from John “the Spirit drove Him in to wilderness” (Mark 1:12) before Satan could come to Him. He was driven as one who is more than a conqueror to face Satan with the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Him. Because we are in Him, the Bible says that we are more than a conqueror because of the anointing that in upon us through Jesus (Rom 8:37; 1 John 4:4). The bottom line is, identify yourself with Jesus in His baptism to victoriously appropriate and live in His righteousness everyday of your life. We are commanded by Paul not to ‘sit down’ but to see ourselves as “seated” in Christ’s righteousness and power. Paul prayed for our hearts to get enlightened with this truth of resting ourselves in Him (1:18). We really need the enlightenment from God to grasp this glorious truth.

We were not born with Christ, but we were baptized with Him where a divine exchange of our old self for the new man of His divine nature happened. Our union with Christ began at His baptism in the river Jordan, where Jesus was baptized with the baptism of suffering for our sins unto death (Matt 20:22; Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50). Jesus answered by saying to the advanced booking that James and John’s mother wanted to do in order to occupy the nearest possible place to the throne of Jesus in the millennial kingdom, “You do not realize what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink and to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? They answered, we are able.” (Matt 20:22, Amp). From this verse we can understand two important truths of the work of redemption, to the first question that Jesus asked was fulfilled in His life when Jesus drank the suffering of the Cross which Jesus himself described in the prayer of the garden of Gethsemane where He prayed to the Father, “….O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt 26:39). Cup in the Bible has mostly been used as a symbol of God’s fury and wrath (Isa 51:22; Jer 25:15; Ps 75:8). God’s fury and wrath of judgment for our sins was upon Jesus on that Cross for three hours when God the Father forsook His own only begotten Son for our sins (Matt 27:45-46; Is 54:7-8). The second question that He asked, pointed to His baptism that He took symbolically from John the Baptist which represented His death, burial and resurrection which at that point of time would be fulfilled in the future (Rom 6:1-6). In other words the symbolic ritual of baptism which represents death to sin and living new life toward God was fulfilled by Jesus literally on the Cross and then through His resurrection by the power of God. In fact, Jesus took the mission of the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins when He was baptized by John on the river of Jordan. When Jesus took baptism, God included us in Him there. We were ‘with Him’ because we were ‘in Him’. This is the reason which Jesus himself gave to John the Baptist for taking baptism from him by saying, “…“Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.” (Matt 3:15). In other words Jesus was saying to John, ‘This one time allow me to take baptism from you, in doing so we are going to fulfill every person’s righteousness that God demands, because in heaven’s document the divine exchange and substitution for every believer will right now take place, where all My righteousness will be put in to their account and all their sins will be literally put upon me to be carried to the Cross where payment for sins will be paid in full.’ (John 1:29; Matt 8:16-17; John 19:30).

You may ask me, how do I know for sure that I am “in Christ”? You can be sure because the Bible affirms that God has put you there. The Bible says, “He who establishes ... you in Christ ... is God" (2 Cor 1:21) and “by ... [God's] doing you are in Christ Jesus..." (1 Cor 1:30, NASB). This “in Christ” position is something accomplished by God in His sovereign wisdom so that it can be seen, believed, accepted, experienced and rejoiced by us. For example if you are a citizen of a nation and say an enemy from another nation is coming to attack you and your family individually. Knowing this you are informing the government and the higher authorities of the possible attack that the enemy has planned. Suddenly the Para-military arrives, attacks the enemy and thwarts the whole episode. Say unfortunately a soldier dies in the combat. What will you say of the victory? Will you say I won or we won identifying yourself with all the Para-troopers because they identified themselves for your cause and fought for you and even died for you? In the same way God has identified you as the citizen of His government and one of His sons who has been in endangered condition because of your enemies [i.e. Satan and his demons] plan to kill, steal and destroy you. God then decided to send His only begotten Son Jesus who is the captain of the heavenly army of Para-troopers to rescue you from death. On the heat of the battle the captain realized that there is no other way to rescue you except by dying for you in order to rescue you from imminent death and he chose to die (Matt 26:42). Will you identify His death and victory as yours and praise God for His sovereign plan by which he has rescued you. Even though you didn’t die, it is like you dying along with Him and thus declared victorious because the enemy has been destroyed by that one valiant act of selflessness! You are declared victorious because He represented you! It is up to you to celebrate and identify with Him for what He has done for you. O what a grace! Praise the Lord!

Through the Baptismal identification of ourselves with Christ in His baptism we automatically identify ourselves through the divine exchange of His death and ascension, we believe that when “…He died to sin once for all” (Rom 6:10), “we … [too] died to sin” (Rom 6:2). When “…He was buried” (1 Cor 15:4), “we were buried with Him [too]” (Rom 6:4). When God “…raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” (Eph 1:20), we too were “…raised us up together, and [God] made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). When He was made the “…Lord of both the dead and the living” (Rom 14:9), we too were made Lords with Him on earth, so only Jesus is called as “Lord of Lords” in the Book of Revelation (Rev 17:14; 19:16). Apostle Paul assures us that “When we were spiritually dead because of our sins and because we were not free from the power of our sinful self, God made us alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins.” (Col 2:13, NCV). If we ask ourselves when this has actually happened? It happened nearly two thousand years ago when our Jesus Lord Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem and rose again on the third day after this event. Two thousand years ago itself we were factually forgiven of our past, present and future sins and were made alive with Christ to live forever. By the factual experience of Christ, I was destined two thousand years ago itself to live in God’s power and authority in the now realm. I might not have been physically present at that time but I am part of it because of the legacy of the will written at that time by my Heavenly Father in Heaven. For example it is like your great grandfather defeated all his enemies and brought a huge royal estate under his control and then writing a will saying ‘All this power and authority belongs to my great-grandson.’ Say that the palace was still standing there in your time with all the servants ready to accept the order and execute it in the natural. But because of the lack of knowledge of the document you do not have the confidence to command the servants until one fine day you find your great-grandfathers will and suddenly a revelation of your power and authority comes to you. Then as you realize it and act on it, immediately the servants respond to your command. Even though you were not physically present when your great-grandfather wrote the will, yet it had the power to accommodate you in it. In the same way we too have been in reality accommodated in the will of our Heavenly Father which had been fulfilled in the work of Christ, which is God’s will to us notifying of our power and authority. Even during the time the great-grandfather lived, he does have the rights to see the yet to be born great-grandson in his mind with all royal power and authority, because according to him it already belongs to his great-grandson by the will that is written. God by his omniscience is seeing us as already having everything ‘with Him’. All that we now have is ‘with Christ’. This is the reality in our Christian lives too. The moment a revelation of our power and authority comes to us; we will be quickened and made alive to act in reality of what actually belongs to us.

Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit, but this is a reversal of the true order. Our natural reasons say if I do not walk how will I ever be able to reach my spiritual goal? If I do not spend my effort how can I attain greatness in my personal life? How can I get somewhere that God want me to if I do not start to move? But Christianity is an enigmatic endeavor. This is the reason in Christianity we are told just to keep “holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.” (1 Tim 3:9). Our faith is just like the arm-rest handle in the throne. According to the instruction keep holding on to the arm-rest handle of faith and relax comfortably in all the blessings with which God has already “… blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). This is what Jesus is doing now in heaven. We too are to do the same thing on earth because we are seated with Him and like Him.

After Jesus got resurrected God the Father invited Jesus and conferred a “…the name which is above every name “(Phil 2:9) said to Him, “… “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool"?” (Heb 1:13). Jesus from that time onwards has been “…waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” (Heb 10:13). You may ask what He is accomplishing sitting over there. What does this mean? Firstly, Jesus is sitting, waiting for His enemies [i.e. Satan and his demonically influenced world system of governance] to be made His footstool and relaxing in the promises of God. Secondly, the Bible says Jesus, “… is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Rom 8:34, NIV). Why He is interceding for us? Because God has promised that He “… will crush Satan under … [our] feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you [all]. Amen.” (Rom 16:20). Through the intercession of Jesus on our behalf, the grace and empowerment of God from heaven will get released tremendously for us to crush Satan bit by bit under our feet. Till the Gospel will be preached fully and the message of righteousness is declared fully through the saints of God in all the world, Jesus will be interceding for the whole Church on earth (Matt 24:14). In other words, Apostle Paul is telling us that God will increasingly crush Satan under our feet as we wait by grace through faith till each appointed moment of Salvation comes through the power of God in our lives. Wait for God’s timing to see victory. If Jesus can wait by sitting, we too can wait till by sitting along with Him till we see God crush Satan and his demonic oppressors who are fighting against us constantly. For each successive waiting period in our lives, we will see greater and greater dimension of God’s crushing power operating through us against our satanic enemies. The Bible says that “Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; ... that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Is 30:18). In other words, God himself is waiting for you to wait for Him, so that at His planned time of execution He will do justice by avenging against your enemy by giving you His grace and showing you His mercy. This verse also says that such people who wait for God are happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous -- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions. This is the reason the Bible also promises that God, “… acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Is 64:4). Will you wait and sit patiently for God? If yes you are that blessed person who will see victory and victory in your life supernaturally by the power of God in every area of your life. Praise the Lord!

God is waiting for you to cease doing and be still by waiting (Ps 46:10). When you cease doing, God will begin to reveal His true rest in you. One way to cease doing is to focus yourself on God completely, till your mind becomes filled with the peace of God that passes all understanding which will guard your heart from doubts or anxieties (Is 26:3; Phil 4:7). This is the true inward sign that will indicate that you have truly trusted the Lord and have ceased doing things by your efforts. Have you ever seen a man who tries to rescue a drowning man? The trouble is that the drowning man’s fear will prevent him from trusting himself in to the rescuers hand. When such thing happens, only there are two ways to save the drowning man. Either he needs to be knocked unconscious and then dragged to the shore, or else he must be left alone to struggle and shout till his strength gives way before the rescuer can rescue the drowning man. When a person tries to help a terror struck, fear filled drowning man, as long as the drowning man will have any strength left in him he will clutch the rescuer in his terror and drag him under. In this possible scenario both the drowning man and the rescuer will both be lost. In the same way God is waiting for your store of strength to be utterly exhausted before He can deliver you. Once you have ceased to struggle, he will do everything. God is waiting for you to despair.

Even now say to the Lord, ‘Lord I cannot live my Christian life with my own strength, I give up trying. I cannot love you, love people and forgive others on my own. I pray give me thy grace and show me your mercy. Teach me to enter and stay in the perfect rest that Christ has accomplished through His finished work of the Cross. Reveal to me more and more of the heavenly seated position in which I am seated in my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for hearing and answering me. Amen and Amen! Praise the Lord!’

The bottom line is, in your Christian life even though you struggle and feel like you are dying, God’s watchful eyes are over you. The moment all hope is lost, that’s when you will see the mighty hand of the Lord rescue you. Praise the Lord!


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