Tag Archives: Apostle Paul

Breathe In God (Part II) – New Testament

Sever yourselves from such a man whose breath is in his nostrils for of what account is he? – Isaiah 2:22

The process of getting saved through confession and belief (see Romans 10:9) in punctuated by Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit into us –  just as He breathed the Holy Spirit into His disciples (see John 20:22). He not only does this upon confession but then He seals His Spirit within us by the power of his death and resurrection – so that we can no longer die spiritually. In a repeat of what happened in the beginning when Adam was formed (see Genesis 2:7), Jesus again breathes the breath of life into man – so that we are born again. Again, this new birth through the breath of the Holy Spirit embedded deeply hidden within us and is covered with the blood of Jesus so that nothing foul or evil can penetrate. This time around (unlike in the time of Adam), the breath of life cannot escape, be corrupted, or be extinguished.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: New Birth (salvation) ensures that we no longer need a respirator to breath but can live on the breath within us (the Holy Spirit)

Whereas once before, Satan used to enjoy us breathing from within for it was the breath of death, now all he tries to do is suffocate the breath in us. He no longer wants us to inhale deeply so as to draw out and unleash the breath of life (the power of the Holy Spirit) into the world. Rather, he wants us to breathe out only what the world tries to introduce into our nostrils. Instead of taking deep breaths from within, he wants us to breathe out from our nostrils what has entered into our nostrils. If you have ever tried to breathe from you nostrils, you know that it feels much like suffocating – for it is not from within.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If we do not tap into the Spirit of God within us, then we suffocate and die to the life inherent in God

Now, the only thing palatable to breathe from the outside is the word of God through our sensory organs. When the word of God enters through our nostrils and goes into our Spirit, it agrees with the Spirit and produces the power of God that we may breathe out and impart onto the world. Should we simply stop at breathing in the word of God into our nostril without inhaling deeply so it reaches the Spirit, then the word that we breathe out is powerless for it has not been touched by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we have to make sure we breathe in deeply in order to experience the goodness and power of God in our lives.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Anything we breathe into our nostrils that is not the word of God is the breath of corruption from the outside world.

To summarize, this discussion is only reiterating what the Apostle Paul says when he implores us to walk in the Spirit that we have received (see Galatians 5:25). In other words, Paul is saying that if we have received the breath of life (the Holy Spirit), we must tap into that Spirit by breathing deeply so that we may exhale (produce) the life and goodness inherent in the Spirit of God (see Galatians 5:22). Furthermore, we must breathe in the word of God deeply if it is to have any power and produce any fruit in our lives.

Thus, Isaiah 2:22 for the born again believer is really saying this: Sever yourself from that person who has the Spirit of God but refuses to walk in the Spirit for he is only fulfilling the desires of the flesh – fornication, lewdness, and so forth (see Galatians 5:19)

Food for Thought: Just as there is no point owning treasure we can never reach, it does no good having the Holy Spirit here on earth if we do not walk in the Spirit.

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3 Reasons Why Prophesies Fail! (Part I) – It was a Prophe-lie

I dont careLove never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

– 1 Corinthians 13: 8 – 10

What do you think when prophetic words do not come to pass? Do you automatically think that someone has prophe-lied to you? If you say to yourself that ‘real prophetic words must come to pass no matter what’, then you may want to read 1 Corinthians 13:8 – 10! Now, why does this passage say that we know in part and we prophesy in part especially now that we have the Holy Spirit within us who reveals things to us? What should we do with prophesy? How do I know if what I am hearing is a prophe-lie? Hopefully your questions are addressed as we examine the reasons why prophesies fail.

Reason 1: The prophetic ‘word’ was really a prophetic ‘dream’

Not all words that come out of the mouth of prophets are words from God. The scriptures put it this way in Jeremiah 23:28:  The prophet, who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

Note: If you ever wondered where ‘in your dreams’ came from, wonder no more!

Just like the prophet who prophe-lied that the congregation of Israel was only going to spend 2 years in captivity or the false prophets who told King Ahab that he was going to be victorious in battle, we too can become dreamers if we are not careful.

But can we deduce if a prophetic word is a dream? Absolutely!

The story of the man of God in 2 Kings 13 who was sent to Jeroboam will shed light on this. See, this man had heard from God that he should return back to his home a certain way, but decided to turn another way because of the lying words of another prophet who simply wanted some company.

Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”

16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”

18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)

19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

Unfortunately, this man of God decided to listen to the lying prophet and followed him. As a result, the man of God paid the price of death for his disobedience. The irony of it is that true prophetic announcement of the man of God’s death came by the same prophet who had first lied to him (see 2 Kings 13:20 – 23!

Here are a few things this story relates to us regarding prophesy:

  1. We should never doubt what the Lord has told even if another  ‘prophet’ tells us different
  2. Our obedience to what the Lord tells us is critical to life; disobedience blocks out the blessings of God
  3. Even true prophets fall prey to dreaming. Hence, no amount of prophesy from anyone beats listening to the direct command of the Holy Spirit
  4. If we are hearing contradictory prophesy about a specific situation, then one of the prophecy is not of God, as God will NEVER contradict Himself. Also, God will never contradict the scripture.
  5. The best kind of prophesy is confirmation of what the Lord has already told us. Yes! We can now hear from God who longs to speak to us directly.  Therefore, all prophesy really ought to be confirmation. If it’s not, we need to check the health of our relationship with God.
  6. We become prophe-liars the moment we take our eyes off God to entertain ourselves, our circumstance, or others.

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Law Mongering – The deceptive path to hell on earth

Every human being has a decision to make with regards to where he/she is going to live spiritually. We have to decide whether we are going to live in the world, in the law, or in the Spirit. Those that choose to live in the world are those that have chosen not to know about God and so live a life controlled by the river of this world which flows right towards the water fall of emptiness/deep spiritual void while bruising the individual with every inanimate object contained within the river. These are the people that have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For those of us that believe in Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, two options remain – whether to live in the law or live in the Spirit.

Lightbulb MomentTo live in the law is to know about God; to live in the Spirit is to know God  

Wait you say! I thought that I am now living in the Spirit because I have accepted the Spirit. Not true! Paul tells us that if we have the Spirit, let us also walk (live) in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). So there is a difference. Yes, we are given the Spirit upon believing with our hearts and confessing with our mouths (see Romans 10:9-10) but the glorious inheritance of the goodies of the kingdom of heaven which includes a life of love, joy, peace, self-control and much more are reserved for those who live in the Spirit. See, we do not miss the mark (sin) when we are walking in the Spirit for there is no sin in God; hence we only miss the mark when we are walking out of the Spirit. Note: Only Jesus was able to walk in the Spirit perfectly for He had no sin.

Lightbulb MomentThe extent to which we walk in the Spirit determines the extent to which we live heaven on earth

The snag today for too many of us is that we spend most of our time walking out of the Spirit and instead in the law. We think we are alright as long as we do not walk in the world. No! The law only condemns and brings death. We find that the incessant walking in the law results in the church body being very little different from the world – same lack of victory, same divorce rates, same lack of self-control, same fear projection and mongering! No wonder the influence of the church in many places seems to be dwindling. Part of the issue is our law-mongering which produces no tangible fruit for the world to be attracted towards!

Lightbulb MomentLaw mongering is the attempt to fulfill what is written in the perfect law of liberty (the bible) in our own strength and reasoning; our own flesh.

Law mongering causes us to apply the word of God to our situation (most of the time based on our feelings) rather than allow God to speak His word to our circumstance. What is the difference you ask? The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness illustrates the difference: Although Satan and Jesus were both quoting from the scripture (law), only the scripture (law) that was given to Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Word) brought life. Conversely, the word spoken by the devil was obviously not from the Word (Holy Spirit). Thus, we see that the Holy Spirit speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings life, but the devil speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings death.

Likewise, we should not apply the word of the law as we ‘think’ it applies, but should allow the Holy Spirit to apply the word of the law that will bring liberty (instead of bondage). For example, we should not decide whether we are going to discipline our children (Proverbs 22:15) or pardon their offense (Colossians 3:21) but allow the Spirit of God to tell us which one we should do. See, both actions are scriptural, but only the one the Holy Spirit directs us to do for the specific situation brings life. If we are not living in the Spirit, we choose the word of the law to apply based on emotions, history, circumstance, and upbringing and so put ourselves into bondage when we invariably get it wrong.

So what is the point of the law? The law is useful for a myriad of reasons including testing of the spirits speaking to us. It lets us prove that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, for the Holy Spirit will not contradict what is contained within the bible. This is why Jesus says that He did not come to abolish the law! The law makes the nature of God tangible to us and allows us to choose Him.

In summary, to have life, we must be doers of the word instead of being doers of the law. We must allow the law to speak to us through the Holy Spirit rather than speaking and acting out the law to our circumstance. We must allow the Spirit to guide us through life and so enjoy the benefits of walking in the Spirit.

Food for Thought: Walking in the law is walking in the flesh; walking in the law makes us Pharisees.

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