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The Story of Job Never Told ...Until Now//

DAVID BAIRD


CO N TE N TS

Preface

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1. Behold He Is In Your Hand

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2. Job: Christ Foreshadowed

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3. His Grief Was Very Great

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4. Spirit of Bondage Exposed

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5. Well of Water Springing

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6. Turning Point 132 7. Redeemed From the Curse

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8. His Curse, Your Blessing

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9. A Hireling Who Looks for the Reward of His Work

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10. Leaven Unmasked 236 11. Who is Elihu? 262 12. Double For His Trouble

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13. Carry His Death

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14. Deep Desires To Be Clothed With Life

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15. All Things 428


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Preface: Please Read...Don’t Skip This ! I make this statement in bold because I don’t know if you are anything like me, but I so often will skip the preface when reading a book. I did not want you to do this also. I think these opening words will prove to be valuable. As you read through this book, it is important to understand some things at the outset. First, to whom is this book written? Who is my audience? I hope the answer is everyone. There are going to be things written that any person, no matter their level of understanding, can benefit and grasp fully. There are going to be other things that only those who have been deeply exposed to various aspects of religion can understand and subsequently relate. This book was particularly written to those who take all of the Bible very seriously. For these people the book of Job becomes problematic to say the least. To some, mysteries in the scripture are simply left alone and they just go on with their lives. To others, this is not enough and they search for answers beyond the tradition that does not satisfy the yearning in their hearts. It is for these this book is written. Secondly, this book is a teaching book. Though I have included many personal stories that I trust will be relatable, it is primarily a revelatory unveiling of the mystery that is the book of Job. It is not written in the fashion of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” or a novel. It is written the only way I know to write and that is the writings of a teacher. After all, this is a book about understanding Job, which is no easy task. To reveal the book of Job requires relating lots of scripture both from Job itself and the New Testament. I wish for the book to be personally engaging with relatable experiences. There will aso be areas that challenge you to think and meditate with me. Being challenged to think and meditate is not always an exhilarating experience. Grasping concepts beyond our previous norms can require a little concentration. I don’t know about you but when I XI


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am reading a book with an appreciable amount of scripture I tend to disengage when I get to the scripture reading. We are prone to give a cursory glance or simply skip over it altogether and get to the authors interpretation of the scripture. We wish to progress to the part with which we can relate. Whenver possible, I have endeavored to place the scripture in the body of the copy as an extension of the conversation. This was done only if the scripture was brief. In this way I wish to encourage a connection between the scripture and the experience of the reader. The more lengthy selections of scriptures have been separted from the text as is the custom with most writings. I encourage you not to disengage when you come to the scriptures but embrace them with all of your heart.The scripture must become such a part of us that it becomes conversational to our understanding. This is true mind renewal that transforms us. There are certain sections of scripture that have become so life giving to me that I think about them all the time. As a result they have become a part of my natural dialogue. This is what I want to encourage you to do as you come upon the verses in this book. Think about them in the context and relevance of your life. I pray it takes hold and becomes fixed in your mind. Please do not disengage when you get to the scriptures. Take time to meditate and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. I have chosen the primary translation to be from the New King James Version. The translation will be listed if it is an alternate translation from the NKJV. Thirdly, one of the most difficult things I struggled with in writing this book was how to arrange the true message of the Book of Job. Would it work if I tried to express its beauty chapter by chapter and verse by verse? Would it become so laborious and cumbersome that the reader would lose interest? Would this approach become so academic that it would be almost as if we are studying a textbook? My response was to not allow these wonderful truths to be diminished to such a XII


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fate. There are many themes that emerge from the pages of Job, and these themes are repeated in various places of the writing. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that the best way to offer the life changing truths revealed in Job is to bring them forth in the themes that come to light. In this way things are far more easily embraced and understood. I trust you will find this approach to your liking. Additionally, I want you to be aware that concepts I deem vital to understanding Job, are often repeated. The concept of being set free from our own works and ability runs throughout the book. I will repeat this and what I consider the thesis of the entire book on many occasions. I will interject this these thoughts and concepts in various places throughout the writing. This is done because the same truth needs to be seen in different context. Traditional perspectives have become so ingrinded in most of us that it takes constant repetition for the new light to truly settle in our minds. I trust this repetition will result in a deeper understanding rather than a source on annoyance. I am a former high school teacher and coach. The two most powerful teaching tools that I found were feelings and repetition. If somehow I could create an emotional, visceral connection with what I was teaching it would be remembered and better understood. Most new illumination introduced to our thinking is extremely delicate and fragile. It is just a glimpse or shard of light that does not have root and is easily lost. It has not had an opportunity to wear a path in our minds. Such is the case with revelation knowledge that is revealed to us by the Spirit. We are initially impacted and experience a response that is embraced by our inner man. Yet, this seed or delicate shard of light can be easily forgotten and very difficult to recapture. The best tool for this fragile place to become established is repetition. Not lifeless rote, but repetition in the context of relationship by repeating not only the thought and concept but the visceral connection as well. By combining these two truths we can become well established in things that proved previously elusive. I use the Strong’s concordance througout the book. All refereces to XIII


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Strong’s concordance, ThayersGreek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Gesenius Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon are derived from the website: Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word, Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. <http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? I will also use on occasion the outlne of Biblical usage that expands upon the definition offered by Strong’s. This extremely helpful content is conveniently located on the site just above the Strong’s definition. Lastly, I wish for you to be aware that on more than one occasion I will introduce a new thought or direction that I feel needs to be said at that moment. However, I cannot fully develop that thought in the moment. I mention that we will discuss these things in more detail in a later chapters. This being said, there are chapters at the end of the book entitled, “All Things” and “Carrying His Death”. I refer to these chapters often as a way to “bring home” all the concepts that are introduced. I believe this book will be a significant event in your life and I am humbled and deeply honored that you have chosen to take the time to read. In honor of Job’s request in Job 19:23, “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever!”, I offer this book that has become my life’s work as a gift from God’s mouth to your ears. It is not mine to withhold or mine to claim. May it be engraved in your heart, inscribed on your spirit and forever lead you to an intimate, renewed understanding of your life in Christ.

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One

BEHOLD HE IS IN YOUR HAND I trust we can say with great confidence that no other book in the Bible is viewed with greater perplexity than the book of Job. I have heard many views on various aspects of Job in an attempt to unlock the inherent mystery which exists in the pages of this book. Some of the interpretations seemed somewhat plausible. However, everything I heard still left me with more questions than answers. The perspectives I heard neither settled peacefully in my heart nor unequivocally lifted the veil from this book. If the truth be known, most of what I heard created more doubt, confusion and fear. The viewpoints expressed by men desperately trying to make sense of Job would seldom, if ever, blend into the context of New Testament grace and faith in Christ. Therefore, I did as most of us have done which is simply avoid the confusion and seeming contradiction Job engendered in the body of Christ and pushed it aside. 1


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What About Job? Job stands out like the proverbial “sore thumb” from all other books in the Bible. We have all heard preachers use it to explain away everything from horrific car accidents to debilitating diseases to murder. I recall an incident over 30 years ago where a young pregnant mother was murdered by her husband. The husband had gone to great lengths to make it look like an accident but was later convicted. At the funeral, the preacher’s main thesis was “What about Job?” in an effort to comfort the family and explain the reasons behind this terrible tragedy. He used the story of Job in an attempt to make some kind of connection with the suffering of Job and this terrible event. He concluded his sermon with the message that God is mysterious and sovereign. I was just a young man at the time and was doing my best to find my way with God. I had heard all this before, but something deep inside of me began to resist this theology. I knew this teaching was not right. However, this was the status quo doctrine used when it came to Job. This was and is the accepted logic throughout the body of Christ. Job was viewed, quite simply, as a book that depicts the mysterious sovereignty of God and he might just ruin your life just to test you. Presently, the more accepted viewpoint is that God will not personally ruin your life but simply “allows” your life to be ruined. This clarification concerning God “allowing” bad stuff to happen always made me feel so much better (sarcasm intended). My Spirit was rejecting this concept but my mind had no place else to go. I had no other explanation or argument to refute this accepted perception. All I had was this deep conviction that something was extremely wrong with this mindset. On the way home from the funeral, I voiced my dissent to two people riding home with me. My questioning spurred vehement opposition. Is it not puzzling that this perception is so deeply defended by religious tradition? Nonetheless, the book of Job was used to validate this perception. It is understandable after carefully reading the book of Job 2


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that any reader could come to these same conclusions. Without a God inspired revelation of this book, we are certainly vulnerable to use it to explain why “bad things happen to good people”. Instead of the book of Job bringing hope and answers, it is used to galvanize fatalism and engender hopelessness with unsolvable mysteries.

“Is Job beyond our understanding? Is it proof that God might do something that makes absolutely no sense just to prove His sovereignty?” When something happens that we do not understand the inevitable question is soon to be heard, “What about Job?” Is this all God intended for this book to be to the Church? Is it to be an impenetrable fortress for the religious leaders of our time who espouse it as the doctrine that defines the sovereignty of God? Is Job beyond our understanding? Is it proof that God might just do something that makes absolutely no sense just to prove His sovereignty? I have some wonderful, good news! The book of Job has a magnificent and distinctly clear message to the church. I no longer avoid the book of Job but rather embrace it everyday. Job has become one of my favorite books in the Bible. You might say, “Impossible! How could a book so full of misery and death be anyone’s favorite?” As you read, I know you will come to the same conclusion. The book of Job is one of the most vivid and powerful books in the Bible. Job does more to reveal the love of Jesus than could be imagined. No longer does the book of Job stand out like a “sore thumb” but rather rests beautifully in the context and order of God’s plan of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ.

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Poetry, Prose and Praise My daughter Brittany, upon reading Job for the first time , added the following perspective: Amongst the exposition, climax and resolution of this Bible story, lies a literary work that is expertly written in verse and in prose. Certain phrases, syntax and diction boast an emotionally connected writer that is keenly aware of the myriads of emotions that assault the senses in the midst of suffering. These phrases are blended into the work in order to praise the work and heighten the depth of the language. Consider the language in a new light as you consider the position of this book on the true intent of the story of Job. In addition, a plethora of rhetorical questions are spouted randomly throughout this book in order to come to a conclusion together. Ironically, Job asks many questions throughout his plight. It is in honor of that style of writing that this book adopts. Read the questions and allow the answers to be birthed in your spirit. Ponder the meaning and pray for the words in this book to become life to you. The Story of Job Before we immerse ourselves in redemptive revelation, it is important to have a simple understanding of the plot before proceeding. I was somewhat surprised to learn that many people do not know the whole story of Job. They have only heard fragments here and there. They are familiar with some of the cliché’s and famous phrases attributed to Job but are not aware of the chronology of the story. Refer to the list below for an outline of the story of Job: • • •

Blameless, rich man named Job lived in Uz Satan & God Convetrsation #1 God gives Job over to Satan 4


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• • • • • • • • • • • •

1 day, 4 messages, 10 deaths Job Mourns Satan & God conversation #2 Job gets skin sores and boils Wife says to curse God and die. Job refuses 3 friends arrive and wait 7 days to speak Day 7, 3 friends argue with Job about cause Job curses his birthday Elihu (friend #4 speaks) God enters in a whirlwind Job prays for is friends God restores double for Job’s trouble

Types and Shadows of Christ One day it was mentioned to me that some have suggested that Job was a type of Christ. Upon hearing this something powerful hit my Spirit and I was completely captured by this concept. I immediately located my Bible and proceeded to read the book of Job. I began to be changed in a miraculous way. The things that were becoming real to me were simply astounding. For the next several weeks, it was my joy and pleasure to explore this wondrous book of Job with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The thought that a foreshadowing of Christ could reside in the book of Job was now deep in my consciousness. The foundation with which I was now reading Job was the work of redemption. I was looking for Jesus in the book of Job. Would I be remiss in looking for Jesus in the book of Job? A precedent has been set for Jesus to be revealed in the pages of the Old Testament. The purpose of the Old Covenant is to point us to Christ. The books of the Old Testament repeatedly offer types and shadows of Jesus and New Covenant revelations. Moses and the Prophets all 5


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foretold of Jesus and the work of redemption. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

In Genesis , the first prophetic reference of Christ is introduced. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

Other Old Testament references that are inarguably recognized as types and shadows of Christ include but are certainly not limited to: (Table 1.1) •

The story of Joseph in Genesis 37:17-36 tells how Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers but later ascended to a place of rule in Egypt. This is similar to the death and resurrection of Christ. Moses left the comfort of Pharaohs palace to suffer hardship with his Hebrew brothers. Moses signifying and foreshadowing the Word leaving His place with the Father and being made flesh to become like us in every way. In Leviticus and Numbers, there are over a dozen references to the sin atoning sacrificial lamb. Specifically, in Numbers 21:8-9, the serpent was raised upon a pole for the children of Israel to look upon and be healed. This story is generally accepted as a type of Christ when he took our sins upon his body and became sin for us. In Joshua 2, Rahab, the harlot, attached a scarlet robe to her 6


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window to help the Hebrew spies escape. The scarlet robe representing the blood of Christ shed for us and providing safety and a way of escape. Psalm 22 foretells of the death of Jesus with specific clarity while Isaiah 53 depicts vividly the death of Jesus and what it means to us. The story of Jonah is recognized as a type of Christ. Jesus himself references Jonah and identifies it as a type of His future experience in the grave.

Table 1.2 Type of Christ

Joseph

Moses

Serpent Raised on Pole

Scarlet Robe

Scripture Reference

Events

Relevance

Genesis 37:1736

Sold into slavery by brothers but ascended to second in command of Egypt.

Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Exodus 2:15

Abandons the royal court to become Hebrew slave

Jesus leaves His place with the Father and the Word is made flesh -and dwells among men

Numbers 21: 8-9

Serpent was coiled around a cross. All who saw were healed.

Jesus’ body becoming sin and disease that we might be healed.

Joshua 2

Rahab chose a scarlet robe to help the spies escape

The blood of Jesus brings safety and freedom

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Psalms and Isaiah

Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53

Descriptions of the cross of Christ

Old Testament accounts of the cross prior to the event

Jonah

Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:40

Spent 3 days in the belly of the whale

Spent 3 days in the grave and rose on the third day

These are just a few of the more recognized types and shadows of our Savior. With this in mind, could it be possible that Jesus resides in the pages of Job? Looking for Jesus in the book of Job is an exciting proposition. Let’s begin our journey into this possibility with Job 1:1-8. Perplexing Conversation “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ ” (Job 1:1-8) 8


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What could possibly be going on here? Satan comes to God from roaming the earth to and fro. This is not unusual for the Devil. We know that Peter states in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Would Satan’s motivation be any different in this case? Satan is always looking for someone to devour. I think you will agree that of all among us God would be more aware of Satan’s true intention. Yet, God makes a most puzzling statement, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” It’s as if God is pointing out Job to Satan as if he is the prize trophy. It appears almost as if God is baiting a trap. “So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face’ ” (Job 1:9-11).

It now becomes obvious that Satan knows exactly who Job is and has detailed knowledge of every aspect of his life. It is also obvious that Satan has tried, probably on several occasions, to strike Job. We know this because Satan mentions the hedge that he, without question, has tried to penetrate. I am sure Satan is perplexed at God’s replies to him. Satan knows full well that God knows all things. God is also privy to Satan’s true intentions. Satan is aware that God knows of his attempts to penetrate Job’s hedge of protection provided by God. So knowing all of this why would God reply in this way? The next verse gives us some insight into this question:

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“And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1:12).

Why would God reply this way? The answer to this question will reveal the first indication that we are about to embark on the most vivid depiction of the work of the cross illustrated in all of the scriptures! Satan asks God to tear down the hedge and strike everything Job possesses and God’s reply is Behold. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the word Behold simply means to look or see . God says, “look, everything he has is in your hands.” Is this some kind of test as some have suggested? Did Job do something wrong to deserve this and was already open and vulnerable to Satan as others have suggested? Satan comes into the presence of God from roaming the earth seeking someone to devour and God virtually invites Satan to try his hand on Job. This is a man whom by God’s own words is blameless and there is no one on earth like him. What are we to possibly think of these things? The New Testament describes a loving, merciful father who is accessible and forgiving. The work of the cross afforded us a direct connection to a loving father through the death, burial and resurrection of God’s son. It is said in the New Covenant that Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. How can you possibly make these statements co-exist with the New Covenant? Two Opposing Viewpoints There has been one main school of thought as to explain the contradiction between the New Testament account of Jesus as redeemer and the Old Testament retelling of God offering Job to the Evil One. This interaction between God and Satan has been the foundation with which theologians have concluded that God is sovereign. They use the first chapter of Job to prove the all-consuming “God Allows” doctrine 10


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that permeates most of the church today. This belief maintains that ultimately if something happens to you then God allowed it for some mysterious reason. They declare that God is in control. I have heard even renown preachers say, “Satan cannot do anything to you unless it first goes through God.” Again, they will add, “God does not bring the affliction, but He allows these things.” The “Allow Doctrine” is the great catch 22 for everything we do not understand. The entire book of Job and particularly this specific segment of scripture is the foundational benchmark for this belief. An opposing argument has arisen in the past several years that challenges the notion that God allows evil things to take place in our lives. It states that God is not the author or even the doorkeeper of adversity in our lives. It proclaims “This argument insists that God does not tempt, test or try any man in accordance with that because of Job’s James 1:13. It seems this second fears, he was opened school of thought is in alignment to Satan’s barrage. with the redemptive story of the In other words, it was cross and is in harmony with the his own fault.” New Testament. Ok… but what are we going to do with Job? If you are to believe God does not “Allow” these afflictions then you are going to have to deal with Job at some point. The second widely accepted interpretation claims that Job was the source of his afflictions. This viewpoint claims that he was already in the power of Satan because of his fear and wringing of the hands over his sons possible sins (Job 1:5). Job offered sacrifices each day just in case his sons had sinned. He lived in fear that he would lose all that he had. Later in Job 3:25, it was proclaimed by Job himself that “What I have feared has come upon me.” This argument insists that because of Job’s fears, he was opened to Satan’s barrage. In other words, it was his own fault. He was reaping the harvest of his own fears. This is the 11


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explanation that is offered to support the belief that God does not “Allow” afflictions upon us. I humbly submit to you that both of the above viewpoints are erroneous. The first viewpoint invalidates the entire New Testament and is so dangerous that it can cost you your life. The opposing perspective, that it was Job’s fear that brought all the calamity reduces Job to such a trite fate. It prevents us from seeing the depth and beauty that Job contains. It dismisses the life-changing revelation contained in the book of Job that far surpasses anything we could have surmised or imagined. The freedom and beauty that the Father intended for Job to be to the church is lost in this vastly incomplete view. Why can this viewpoint that fear was the cause of Job’s suffering not be possible? First, let’s look at the perspective that Job’s fear put him in the hands of Satan and God had nothing to do with giving Job over to Satan. If Job was already in the hands of Satan prior to this conversation with God then it was news to Satan. To summarize Job 1: 9-10, Satan is saying to God, “Have I considered Job? What? Are you kidding me? I have tried to destroy him, his household, and everything he has, but you have got this hedge around all that he has.” It is absurd to think that Satan was unaware that Job was vulnerable to him. Are we to truly believe Satan was oblivious to Job’s hedge being down and it takes God to point this fact out to Satan? Yet, this is the foundation for this viewpoint. However, there came a time when the hedge was removed and Job was given over to Satan. That moment came when God says, “Behold”. In Job 1:12, God says, “Behold, all that he has is in your power.” Virtually, 90% of all Job translations use the word “behold” to communicate “look” or “see” my servant Job. The NIV version uses the phrase “very well” when describing God’s response to Satan’s request for Job. “Very well” might be a little excessive use of translation license, but nonetheless, it is clear that God did give Job over to Satan. Clearly, he was not already in the power of Satan. There was unquestionably a hedge around Job. Satan openly 12


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says that he has tried to penetrate this hedge but obviously cannot up to this time. Therefore, he was not in the hands of Satan prior to this conversation between God and Satan. In addition, what are the proponents of this view going to do when God clearly tells Satan, “only upon himself put not forth thine hand.” Was Job’s body already in the hands of Satan here also? If so, then why does Satan have to ask for Job’s flesh later? God is clearly stating that he is not letting Satan have Job’s flesh during the first conversation. Did Job’s fear open himself up to the total ruin of his family and finances but not quite enough fear to also include his flesh? This viewpoint simply does not add up. Yet, later He gives Job’s flesh over to Satan clearly establishing that it is God who is giving Job’s body over to Satan. This doctrine is a desperate attempt to make these actual words and events fit the narrative that Job was already in the hands of Satan because of his fear, sin, etc. Resistance to these misguided views is vital because they have kept us from seeing the real beauty of Job. If the perspective that all this tragedy came upon Job because he feared and opened himself up to Satan is true. Then why does God say that Job is blameless and there is no one on earth like him? You simply cannot have it both ways. Surely God knows that Job is over there wringing his hands in fear? Surely God knows that Job is making sacrifices in fear? Yet, God calls Job blameless in Job 1:8, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? The King James Version uses the word “perfect” which is translated to literally mean just what it says, “perfect or complete”. God not only says that Job is blameless, but also says that he “fears the Lord”. So God proclaims Job perfect and one who walks in the fear of the Lord. In this context, the word “fear” means reverence and respect. There are numerous promises to those who fear the Lord. All of these promises promote peace and protection. None of these promises suggest that as a result of reverencing the Lord God 13


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will turn you and your household over to Satan to be ruined at every conceivable angle. Yet, this is exactly what happened to Job. Let us take a look at just a few of the promises in the Old and New Testament associated with those who fear or reverence God. These are just a few of the promises extolling the benefits and results of the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26). “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27). “Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net” (Psalm 25:12-15). “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). “The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

I chose this scripture last as an exclamation point on the promises of the “fear of the LORD”. Look at these promises that Job should be receiving. He shall dwell in prosperity. His children will have a place of refuge. You will be turned away from death not given over to death? I 14


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mean, c’mon Man! Things are just not adding up for the perspective that Job was the cause of his own demise. The point is that if we are to believe Job was in the hands of Satan because of his own behavior, how do you reconcile the fact that God states unequivocally that Job was blameless, feared God and shunned evil. Are the promises of God a lie? If we are to believe that Job’s own behavior gave him over to Satan then the only conclusion that can be drawn is that God’s promises are a ruse. With this in mind, we cannot believe either of the two accepted interpretations of Job that have been passed down for decades and even generations. The belief that God, in His mysterious sovereignty, allows our lives to be savagely destroyed for our good is simply ridiculous. This belief system only perpetuates bondages and sorrow. When difficulty comes to our lives we cannot explain, instead of gravitating toward the overcoming life of Christ , many identify with this theological dogma of death to explain their circumstances. Our alternative is to accept the second viewpoint that a blameless man who fears God and shuns evil was already in the power of Satan. Neither of these perspectives accurately interpret the true message of Job and uphold the victory that is our inheritance through the cross. Choose Your Friends Wisely The following is the most important truth that shreds the idea that Job’s belief system or any of his actions are the root cause of these horrific things coming upon him. This concept is precisely the exact argument of the three friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar who visit with Job in the midst of his suffering. This idea that Job is the cause of him being vulnerable to these assaults was argued in virtually the entire book of Job by the three friends. After the conversation ended, God and Elihu severely chastise the three friends for claiming Job’s behavior or sin brought upon the wrath of God. The three friends are blatantly told that their accusations that the origin of Job’s trials lie within him was 15


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wrong. We will look at Elihu and God’s response to this accusation that the root of the evil lies within Job later. Also, as we will see, God astonishingly declares that Satan incited God to ruin Job for no reason! This further debunks the notion that the root of Job’s vulnerability to Satan was within Job. Therefore, we cannot explain away Job by the idea that God “allows” Satan to wreak havoc in our lives to build our character. Nor can we dismiss the beauty of Job with arguments that “what he feared came upon him” or that Job’s behavior put him in the hands of Satan. It Pleased the Lord to Bruise Him Some may say at this point, “Ok…since everyone else is wrong, why don’t you tell us the “Real Truth” (sarcasm interjected). I can assure you I do not have an “I’m right your wrong” spirit about this most important subject. However, when you seek out answers and the Holy Spirit inspires a higher truth that sets the captives free you must speak. So what is the real truth? Why did God “The book of Job point out Job to Satan? Why did He give a is a portrayal and blameless man over to be brutally afflicted? There can only be one reason. This reason foreshadowing unveils the true revelation in the book of of God the Father Job. The book of Job is a portrayal and giving over His foreshadowing of God the Father giving Son to become the over His Son to become the eternal sacrieternal sacrifice fice for us! Bam! This will become a life for us!” transforming truth. When examining the life of Jesus, we learn that He lived year after year upon the earth with no evil befalling him. When the storms tried to destroy the boat, Jesus simply spoke “peace be still”. When the religious leaders of the day tried to stone Him, Jesus passed among their midst. There was a hedge about him where 16


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no evil could befall him. However, there came a day in the fullness of time that God the Father gave His only begotten Son to become the lamb to be slain and every part of his being, body, soul and spirit, were given willingly to the ravages of satanic fury. The hedge was removed and the lamb was violently assaulted. Likewise, the hedge was about Job, but there came a day where the hedge was removed and Satan was invited to destroy Job. I am reminded of Isaiah 53:10-11, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;  He has put Him to grief. When you make His soul an offering for sin...” Can you recount to me any other instance in the Word of God quite like this one depicted in Job? An instance of a blameless man who fears God and shuns evil becoming consumed by the devil occurs in only one place. That place is when God gave His only Son to be the sin offering for all of mankind. The Devil made me do it! “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause’ ” (Job 2:3).

This is without a doubt one of the most perplexing statements in the entire Bible. God actually states that Satan incited God to destroy Job. Then God adds to this incredible statement, “without cause.” I just want to take a moment to pause and let this sink in to your 17


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thinking. Can you believe this statement actually exists in the Bible? God ruins a blameless man for no reason and claims He did not want to cause any harm to this man. God declares that Satan incited Him take down the hedge and for calamity to be sent upon His possessions and family. I would say this is the ultimate “ devil made me do it” story (for those old enough to remember the Flip Wilson routine in the 70’s... and yes…I am indeed old enough to remember). How did Satan incite God to ruin Jesus? Satan incited God in the Garden of Eden. There he tempted man to sin and stole his authority in the entire earth. At this moment we hear the first prophetic mention of the coming savior: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head,  and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15) It was at this moment that God was incited by Satan to lay the sin of mankind upon the shoulders of a blameless, innocent man. Please think long and hard about the way Job has been interpreted in the past and now open your minds to a different perspective of what God intended for Job to be to you and me. Where in all of the scriptures can you make these statements that we have just read fit in the light of our redemption in Christ? The fact is you cannot! However, we have volumes of commentary trying to make sense of the events of Job outside the context of the work of the cross. The result is a myriad of incomplete, disorientating theologies that only perpetuate confusion. It has led to a religious malaise of double talk and Christian psycho-babble to which some use to explain their circumstances. What is God trying to say to us? Is He saying what so many theologians have tried to make us believe? God may “allow” horrible things to take place in your life to “test” you? Is he saying that “God knows best” and some things we just can’t understand? If Job is to be viewed as an inspired work of scripture and its purpose is to validate the “God allows” doctrine, then we have no foundation whatsoever to base our faith. Because no matter what takes place 18


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in your life you will have the haunting phrase “What about Job?” always sabotaging your faith. Such is the case in so many Christian lives across the world. This doctrine has perpetuated in pulpits, book stores, radio, film, etc. for centuries. The story of Job is a depiction of Christ when God was compelled to lay the sin of mankind on His Son. Satan Asks for More “So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life’ ” (Job 2:4-6).

The word “behold” appears again in verse 6. God has just stated that He was incited by Satan to ruin Job without any reason. Now, unbelievably, Satan asks for more and God says again, “Behold...he is in your hand?” This is madness! Can you still possibly believe this is representative of the sovereignty of God? Something much higher and meaningful is taking place which supersedes antiquated doctrine that dilutes the cross.

“For our redemption to be complete everything of Jesus had to be given over to Satan.” Devastation kept coming, “wave upon wave”. Everything physically, emotionally, psychologically that could be thrust upon a man was overwhelming Job. The most diabolical afflictions that could be conceived were thrust upon him. Likewise, from the arrest in the Garden to the three days in the grave, Jesus experienced every possible death that could be put upon man as a result of sin. God surrendered Job to 19


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Satan and added that, “everything he has is in your hands.” For our redemption to be complete everything of Jesus had to be given over to Satan. This was necessary so that there could be no death that He has not already tasted on our behalf. Shall We Accept Good from God and not Trouble? “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:7-10).

I emphasize this segment of scripture because many people take this saying as well as the entire book of Job, to justify that God “allows” horrible things to happen to people. After all, it’s right there in black and white, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Using Job and, specifically this portion of scripture, to validate this view demands an explanation. First, if we use Job and this portion of scripture to support our doctrine that God in His infinite wisdom and unquestioned sovereignty brings both good and trouble then we must accept the context in which these words were spoken. If you adhere to such thinking then you must embrace the following: your children and servants can be brutally murdered or swept away by storms, everything you own can be taken from you and utterly destroyed, you can be stricken with boils from the top of your head to the soles of your feet and be ready to say, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” Most importantly, you must say 20


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that God may allow all of this upon a blameless, innocent man for no reason. A man of whom it is said by God, “there is no one on earth like him!” Is this not the context with which these things are written? How can these statements rest in the context of our redemption in Christ? We could not help but think that if Job were blameless and these horrific events unfolded then how much more could this calamity be our experience. If we adopt the belief that our behavior can subject us to God’s torment or that fear (our most innate, instant response to bad news) could unleash Satan’s attacks, then we are all doomed. So how do we view these words of Job? “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” is a foreshadowing of the substitutionary work of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when he proclaimed, “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’ “ (Matthew 26:38-39). “…O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).

In Matthew, Jesus was about to become the sin offering and be judged as a sinner even though He was blameless. He was to accept every hellish, damnable thing that could assail mankind though He deserved none of those things. He accepted trouble of every kind willingly on our behalf. Jesus is saying, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Jesus took the cup of death for us. Likewise Job is the foreshadowing of a blameless man accepting trouble that he does not deserve. Before we leave this phrase , “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble”? let us take a closer look at this question. The word “trouble” in Job 2:10 is translated “evil” in the King James 21


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Version. It is translated from the Hebrew word ra’. Strong’s defines ra’ as bad, disagreeable, malignant, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery), distress, adversity and calamity.” Job states, “shall we accept good from God and not evil?” (distress, adversity, calamity, unhappiness and misery) This is one of many scriptures that are used to support a face value interpretation of Job’s words. Let’s review other scriptures regarding this notion of trouble. In the following scriptures every place you see the word translated harm or trouble it is from the Hebrew ra’. “No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil” (Proverbs 12:21). “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” (Psalm 91:9-10). “The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil”(Proverbs 19:23).

The NIV version uses the term “untouched”. “The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble” (Proverbs 19:23 NIV).

Job 2:10 says, “shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” However, in these other scriptures it clearly states than no ra’ will befall those who fear the Lord. God Himself says in Job 1:8 that he was “…a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Yet, all kinds of evil befell him and God later says, “for no reason.” In other words, there was nothing that Job did to deserve this ra’. Is God contradicting His own promises? Is God a liar? These things 22


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are just not adding up. Job should have received the result of his blameless life. Raâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should not have had access to him. I am purposely challenging the dogma that we have accepted through years concerning Job. Beyond it being the seed of so much misunderstanding, confusion and unbelief, it has buried the real truth of the book of Job. Job is a magnificent portrayal of the most finite aspects of our redemption obtained in the work of the cross! There are only two places in all of the Bible where raâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is thrust upon a blameless man. When God willingly gave His Son over to become sin and the book of Job.

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TWO

JOB: CHRIST FORESHADOWED I have declared the entire book of Job to be a depiction and portrayal of the most finite aspects of the work of the cross. Up to this point I have related a few redemptive types and figures of Christ. Now we will approach this concept directly and unveil what I believe to be unquestioned types and shadows of the redemptive work of Christ. There are powerful, beautifully developed New Testament revelations in the pages of Job that we will investigate in the forthcoming chapters. First, however, I would like to focus on what I believe to be forthright evidences that we are reading foreshadowingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of the crucified Christ in the midst of Job. Please view the following New Testament scriptures 25


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that offer detailed accounts of the sufferings of Christ before he was led away to the cross followed by selections from the book of Job. It is both vital and powerful to see the unmistakable relationship between the actual events of the death of Jesus and the sufferings of Job. These comparisons will be summarized in the table below. (Table 1.2) Please read these accounts of the crucifixion of Christ and then carefully read the accounts offered in Job. “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,  saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” (Matthew 26:67-68). “And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:30-31 KJ). “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34).

Please remember, all this was happening to a blameless, innocent man as Pilate stated. “Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him’” (John 19:6).

I want you to pause for a moment. Meditate on the above New Testament scriptures concerning the prelude to the crucifixion of Christ. Now proceed to these next segments of scriptures from the book of Job. I find this to be a monumental, life changing revelation! 26


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“They gape at me with their mouth, they strike me reproachfully on the cheek, They gather together against me. God has delivered me to the ungodly, And turned me over to the hands of the wicked. I was at ease, but He has shattered me; He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; He has set me up for His target,  His archers surround me. He pierces my heart and does not pity; He pours out my gall on the ground” (Job 16:10-14).

The New King James chooses the word heart. Yet, virtually every other translation interprets this word as kidneys or reins. According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word interpreted as heart in verse 13 is kilyah and it means kidneys. Look at the way the NIV expresses the above selection. “Men open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me. God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He as made me his target; his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground. Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior” (Job 16:10-14 NIV). “God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit” (Job 17:6 NIV)

Please look at these words spoken in Job. Men jeer at me and strike my cheek in scorn! He pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground! A man in whose face people spit! Let us look again at Job 21:3 in comparing Job with Pilate’s claim of finding no fault in Christ.

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“Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause’ ” (Job 2:1-3).

The NIV interprets without cause as for no reason. Pilate says in Luke 23:4 regarding Jesus before he was crucified, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” Pilate tells the throng to crucify Jesus without cause and for no reason. In the same way Job was handed over to Satan and ruined without cause and for no reason. Review the verses we have just read and look intently at them. This is so incredibly powerful! Your kidneys are located on the sides of your body. The evidence that Job is crying forth to reveal Christ and the work of redemption is now irrefutable! What we have just read was not from the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John or any where else in the New Testament, but from the mouth of Job! The King James brings even more light to these words: “They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully… “ (Job 16:10). “His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground” (Job 16:13).

The word cleaveth according to Strong’s in the Hebrew is palach and it means to slice or pierce—to cleave open or through. Poureth out is the Hebrew word shaphak according to Strong’s and is defined as to pour out, spill—to shed (blood). Gall is mererah which is defined as bile—so called from its flowing.

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As we mentioned above, the word reins in the Hebrew is kilyah which means kidneys. However, upon looking further we discover why the New King James used the word heart. According to the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon kidney or reins also means the inmost mind, as the seat of desires and affections. It states that Job was pierced in his reigns. He was pierced in his inmost affections and nature. When Jesus was pierced in His side, he was pierced in the very seat of emotion and affection, His inmost person, so that we could be set totally free in the deepest aspect of our being. Later, as we investigate the upcoming chapters of Job, you will begin to see the most finite depiction of how Christ was touched or pierced in the deepest aspects of our humanity. Are these things spoken of in Job simply figures of speech or actual occurrences? We do not have any evidence that these things actually took place upon Job, but we know for certain that Jesus was indeed struck, pierced and spit upon!

“When Jesus was pierced in his side, He was pierced in the very seat of emotion and affection, His inmost person, so that we could be set totally free in the deepest aspect of our being.” Table 2.1 References in Gospels Matthew 26: 67-68

References in Job

Text in Gospels

“spat in his face and struck Him” Job 16:10-14

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Text in Job “Spit in His Face” “strike on cheek”


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Matthew 27: 30-31

“spit on Him” “struck Him on the head”

Job 17:6

John 19:34

“pierced His side…blood and water came out”

Job 16:13

John 19:6

“I [Pilate] find no fault in him”

Job 2:1-3

Luke 23:4

“You take him and crucify Him for I find no fault in Him”

Job 2:1-3

“a man in whose face people spit” His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground. “a blameless and upright man… you incited me…to destroy Him without cause” “a blameless and upright man… you incited me…to destroy Him without cause”

Job and Psalms 22 As powerful and descriptive as these scriptures are let us now move to Psalms 22. This Psalm is irrefutably recognized as prophetic of the death of Christ. We have just witnessed an equally powerful declaration from the heart of Job, yet the book of Job is not given the same recognition as Psalm 22. The three most defining moments in this writing are included in Psalms 22:1, 16 & 18. (Table 1.4) “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalm 22:1 KJV).

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“For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16 KJV). “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalm 22:18 KJV).

Did these things actually take place in the life of David? No, they were prophetic of the death of Christ. Verse one is the very words of Christ, while verse sixteen and eighteen are foretelling exactly what took place on the day of the crucifixion. The rest of the writings in Psalm 22 can be attributed to the sufferings of Christ based on the strength of verse one, sixteen and eighteen. Let us examine Psalm 22 followed by Job 16. Does Job 16 speak any less powerfully and convincingly than Psalm 22 in foretelling the sufferings of Christ? If the remaining verses of Psalm 22 offer more descriptive insight into the death of Jesus then should we not also scrutinize Job in the same light? Job is the quintessential benchmark for truly understanding the depth of Christ’s redemptive work. Job foretells the work of the cross from its inception to completion. As we go through this wonderful book the parallel chronology of the death of Christ will begin to beautifully emerge in the pages of Job. Since Psalms 22 is so obviously prophesying the death of Christ and offering intimate insight into various aspects of his sufferings, let us also look at similarities in the Book of Job. Each selection from Psalms 22 is followed by its counterpart found in Job. • “I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me”(Psalms 22:17 KJV). • “I can count all my bones; (the evildoers) gaze at me” (Psalms 22:17 Amplified Bible). • “My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am 31


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escaped with the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20 KJV). “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion” (Psalms 22:13 KJV). • “For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion…” (Job 10:16 KJV). • “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head” (Psalms 22:7 KJV). • “I am as one mocked of his neighbor, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him; the just upright man is laughed to scorn” (Job 12:4 KJV). Table 2.2 References in Psalms 22

Text in Psalms 22

References in Job

Psalms 22:17

“I may tell (or count) all my bones”

Job 19:20

Psalms 22:13

“as a ravening and a roaring lion”

Job 10:16

Psalms 22:7

“laugh me to scorn”

Job 12:4

Text in Job “my bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh” “Thou huntest me as a fierce lion” “laughed to score”

Job and Psalms 88 Psalms 88 is also recognized by many as prophetically detailing the death of Christ. Let us also look at comparisons between this prophetic Psalm and selections from the book of Job. (Table 1.5) • “Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps” (Psalms 88:6 KJV). 32


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• “Before I go whence I shall not return; even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death. A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness” (Job 10:21-22 KJV). • “Thou hast put away mine acquaintances far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them…” (Psalms 88:8 KJV). • “All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me” (Job 19:19 KJV). One could certainly draw the conclusions that Psalm 88 and Job 19 speak prophetically of the disciples as they were scattered when abandoning him as he was led away to be crucified. Table 2.3 References in Psalms 88

Text in Psalms 88

Psalms 88:6

“lowest pit, in darkness, in the deep”

Psalms 88:8

“Thou hast put away mine acquaintances far from me, thou hast made me an abomination unto them”

References in Job

Text in Job

Job 10:21-22

“land of darkness and the shadow of death”

Job 19:19

All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.

They Did Not Recognize Him Another prophetic aspect of Job that depicts the sufferings of Christ that is significant involves the entrance of the three friends.

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“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (Job 2:11-13).

I wish to point out the reference from Job 2:12, “When they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him.” Isaiah 52:14 in the NIV reads, “Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Both Jesus and Job, after receiving the suffering upon them, could not be recognized because their appearance was so distorted by their suffering. If these things that we have spoken in the first few chapters foreshadow Christ what else lies in the pages of Job? We have examples of Christ as he walked upon the earth in the gospels. We have revelation of Christ in the epistles at the right hand of the Father. From the book of Job we see a detailed, finite portrayal of the death of Jesus as he is made to be sin. Job represents the complete humanity of Christ as He becomes sin on our behalf. He Became Sin Job was inspired to offer rich insight into New Testament revelation of the work of the cross. It is not intended to be a source of confusion and contradiction as to the nature of God. Nor is Job to be used as proof that God “allows” or in His sovereignty puts horrible affliction 34


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on people. Job is the revelation of the death of His Son that destroys him who had the power of death. The New Testament revelation is the grace of God demonstrated in the death and resurrection Christ. It is important at this juncture to establish the definition of death. Death is not just when your heart beats its last. Death is defined as all that came as a result of the fall of man. God said to Adam in Genesis 2:17, “If you eat of the tree you will surely die.” Adam ate of the tree but his heart continued to beat. He did not fall over dead. Yet the realm of death was now upon him. This death was described as sorrow and toil in Genesis. It is all the results of sin which includes oppression, depression, sickness, lack, fear, regret, worry, grief, etc. Romans 5:14 states that, “…death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the sin of Adam.” The realm of death had sway and authority over the lives of people. Death is the result of sin. The death of Jesus and our union with this death destroys the power of death in our lives. The book of Job is the dissection and of this death and how Christ endured this death on our behalf. Job is an unveiling of the detail of His suf“Job is an unveiling ferings for us. It is not evidence that God would do or allow these things of the detail of His to happen to us! sufferings for us. It It is vitally important to establish is not evidence that the following mindset from this point God would do or forward if we are to truly understand allow these things to the Book of Job as the Holy Spirit intends. We must visualize Jesus when happen to us!” he became sin for us. He cannot be viewed as the overcoming Jesus in the Gospels. He cannot be seen as the coming King as He is in Revelation. Nor can He be seen as the resting Son at the right hand of the Father as He is in the epistles. He has now became the sin offering. In the book of Job, He has become sin. He is the perfect spotless lamb who is being harshly judged as a 35


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sinner. He is the only one who perfectly kept the law, yet is judged as a transgressor of the law. The complete wrath of God is upon Him. He is the Son of Man representing the righteousness of the Law as a man and all man could be under the law. Maintain this mindset as you continue to read because representation of the righteousness of the law becomes the centerpiece of the entire book of Job. Jesus took on every possible expression of death (anything that has come as a result of sin) that could face humanity. He did this as a man in the fullest measure of our nature. This had to be true in order to destroy him who had the power of death. This perspective must be uppermost in our thinking as we move forward to truly gain the full revelatory impact of Job. For Job offers the most descriptive illustration of the death Jesus experienced on our behalf. We are not accustomed to thinking in these terms. We are always seeing Jesus as the conquering, victorious Christ who had power over everything. However, for a brief period of time He gave himself up as an act of his own will on our behalf and became like us in every way. He felt and experienced every result of sin as a man in our nature. He became all the confusion, torment and hopelessness that could ever be experienced by man. From this time forward when I say Job it is synonymous with Jesus in His death.

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THREE

HIS GRIEF WAS VERY GREAT Up to this point the emphasis has been on establishing scriptural evidence that Job foreshadows the death of Jesus. It is my sincere desire to reach far beyond this discussion into the magnificent value and purpose of this book. The entire work of the cross is beautifully portrayed in the Book of Job. New Testament truths are given depth that is not revealed in any other place in Scripture. In this chapter, we will see from the voice of Job what was suffered on our behalf. We will see detailed cries of Christ as He becomes our substitution. We will begin to see a great deal further into the common phrase â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jesus Died for Meâ&#x20AC;?. We will see in Job a vivid description of the chastisement needful to obtain our well-being mentioned in Isaiah 53. 37


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Jesus Died for Me ...Unplugged Many times you will see an offering of a famous rock bands version on YouTube of a song described as “Unplugged”. This is when all the amplifiers, speakers and technology have been stripped away. The hype, special effects, smoke and mirrors have stepped aside to allow a raw, true essence of the arrangement to emerge. Often times, upon listening, we hear a completely different perspective of the song. This can also be true of the phrase, “Jesus Died for Me”. To say, “Jesus Died for Me”, simply as a religious catch phrase is such a tragedy. We must be intimately acquainted with how He was made like us in every way and went through every possible issue that could face us. Throughout the book, we will be witness to the cries of Job that represent the sufferings of Christ as our substitution. When we go through life and face these expressions of death; we have a savior who bore all these things for us. The phrase, “Jesus Died for Me” will become a declaration originating from our minds being flooded with light to know the intimacy of His suffering. We will understand every emotion and feeling that we have is relevant and deeply touched by Jesus. Job allows us to see Christ’s identification with the most intimate aspects of our humanity in the face of every situation of our lives. The term “death” will take on a much broader meaning. Jesus took on Himself every form of death that came to man as a result of sin when He was made to be sin. Personal, revealed knowledge of the death of Jesus through the revelation of Job will produce great faith in His sacrifice. It is faith in His death that destroys the power of death in your life. I Got the Power “Since, therefore, these His children share in flesh and blood in the physical nature of human beings, He Himself in a similar manner partook of the same nature, that by going through death 38


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He might bring to naught and make of no effect him who had the power of death -that is, the devil. And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the haunting fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15 Amplified Bible).

Hebrews 2 amplifies the purpose of the book of Job by illuminating every aspect of suffering that has “no effect” in our lives. If it was experienced by Jesus in His death, then Hebrews 2:14 confirms that it is brought to nothing. Jesus experienced death from every conceivable angle. It is the death of Jesus that destroyed him who had the power of death. Every wicked thing that could assail mankind was laid upon him. His death is your freedom from issues that have haunted you throughout the whole course of your life. Hebrews 2:15 states “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Bondages of every sort persist in our lives because we do not understand the revelation of our identification with His death for us. A true understanding of faith in the death of Christ on your behalf will end lifetime bondages in your life. We have power over issues that have rooted themselves deeply in our lives for what seems like a lifetime. On Jesus, Not on Me It is important to dissect the calamitous events and the feelings of grief, anguish, despair and loneliness that surrounded Job. By doing so, we can experience death to our own feelings of despair. We can be free from our lifetime bondages and lay claim to the life the cross intended. Knowing what Job experienced tells us what Jesus experienced. Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows according to Isaiah 53. Job’s grief was so great that he did not speak for seven days. Job 2:13 says:

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So they [Job’s friends] sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. When Job finally speaks, he expresses the death of grief and sorrow. The grief and sorrow that was carried by our Savior and now destroyed. Let us begin to look at the words of Job with the mindset that Job is indeed a type of Christ as he bears the sins and the results of those sins upon his entire being. Job has just experienced this terrible onslaught of immense pain and tragedy and begins to share his pain in Job 3. “After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said: ‘May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, A male child is conceived. May that day be darkness; May God above not see it nor the light shine upon it’ “ (Job 3:1-4). “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; then I would have been at rest...” (Job 3:11-13). “Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, Like infants who never saw light?  There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.  There the prisoners rest together; they do not hear the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master” (Job 3:16-19).  “Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, Who long for death, but it does not come, and search for

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it more than hidden treasures; who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they can find the grave?” (Job 3:20-22). “For my sighing comes before I eat, And my groaning pour out like water. For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes” (Job 3:24-26).

The agonizing verbiage that he voices here is for you and me. His voice is telling us that the pain being experienced is in our stead so that we can live completely free. We all agree that Jesus died for us. Viewing the suffering and groaning of Job as a portrayal of Christ’s death gives us deep insight into the work of the cross. Job places under the microscope the death of Jesus and allows us to see things previously hidden. We will examine how Job depicts Jesus experiencing every possible pain, emotion, confusion, regret etc. that could face us. These are the specific areas of suffering that nailed Jesus to the cross in order for you to triumph over every death. Job Lost His Hope Remember the words of Christ upon the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me.” If one feels forsaken of God then all hope is lost. Jesus had to fully experience the point of total and utter hopelessness. Job 3 is the words of a hopeless man, words voiced in a hopeless state. This hopelessness was experienced in our stead so that we would never be without hope again, no matter what has tried to assail us. Job was a man who had just lost everything. He had just seen his children killed, yet he is left alive. As a Father, the thought of such a thing is too bitter to fathom. I know fathers and mothers who have gone through this tragedy and the grief is debilitating. Yet, somehow, miraculously, Jesus tasted this death and bore it for us. Subsequently 41


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releasing grace for such a place. We can certainly apply the work of the cross and the faith of Christ to effect protection over our families so that tragedy does not come near our dwelling. However, for the families where these things have taken place there is grace upon grace to be received. His Grace will be more than sufficient to bring joy and peace to the vilest of circumstances. How can I say these things? Because I see in the Book of Job a depiction of our Savior who bore this incredible grief for me. I hear him voicing this grief for me in my place as my substitute. There is no grief or hopelessness that he did not defeat by his death. Job Lost His Purpose Job lost everything including all of his wealth and possessions. The result of these losses made him wish he was never born. He longed for death. Have we not heard people in times of intense grief express these emotions? Have we not heard people say, “I wish I was dead!” Has there ever been a time in your life where that phrase ran through your thoughts? If, in our humanity, we could or have felt these things, then our Savior had to go there first to provide a sacrificial provision of grace. Job voices the spirit of suicide that was taken by Christ in the bowels of hell and there destroyed. It is not enough just to know in a general, religious sense that “Jesus died for me”. He felt and experienced every emotion and root of grief that could potentially or realistically face us. Job gives us the voice of these feelings and emotions that become so relevant to our humanity. We are not separated from intimately relating to God in the inmost places of our lives. Religion glosses over our humanity and does not touch the far reaches of the depth of our being. Job shows the depth of every emotion and demonstrates the places Christ experienced for us so that we do not have to turn to meaningless religious practices when emotionally distraught. Rather, we embrace Him who was made 42


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like us in every way at the deepest essensce of our humanity. Jesus was touched with the feelings of our weakness. We do not have to turn to superficial practice of our religious techniques but instead join ourselves to Him in His death and our subsequent freedom and deliverance. Job Found His Humanity What are you experiencing in your life that is producing worry, fear, regret, pain, dread, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, uneasiness, confusion or sorrow? All of these words describe the realm of death that His death destroyed. What is happening to your mind and emotions? Has it reached the place where you are regretting the day of your birth and wishing you were dead? Jesus went through this death with you, for you, and as you. So that you can be free from anything that has tried to destroy you. Jesus is concerned about our slightest discomfort. No issue should be minimized and no care should go unmentioned. He deeply cares about every aspect of our lives. We have been destined to experience eternal life. Eternal life is defined as the “life of God” not just the afterlife or heaven. For those who are facing immense issues in body, mind or spirit, Jesus has gone to places of hopelessness beyond our imagination in order for your hope to spring anew in any situation or circumstance. Job’s humanity was assaulted by this suffering. Did Jesus experience this death as the Risen Christ? Did he experience it as some supernatural being from heaven? No, Jesus experienced it in our nature made like us in every possible way. “But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7-8).

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Jesus went through every aspect of death and temptation that could possibly face us…in our nature! Look again at Hebrews 2:14…”Since, therefore, these His children share in flesh and blood in the physical nature of human beings, He Himself in a similar manner partook of the same nature…”This is extremely significant that Jesus became flesh. Job represents Christ in his full humanity when his life is being brutally assaulted. These are expressions of our own human nature experiencing death. Because He went through this death the power of this death has been brought to nothing and no effect in us. I am acutely aware that the realms of death can still overwhelm us but this truth is the way to receive complete deliverance from these things. In times of grievous pressure and affliction we find ourselves trying to keep it together. We try to “man up” or show some “backbone”. Backbone and strength is a wonderful thing if it is powered by the Spirit through faith in Christ. However, so often we find ourselves trying desperately to push the right spiritual button and go through all of our spiritual rituals that only leave us exhausted. When we gain an understanding that Jesus faced and experienced all these things for us in our nature, it relinquishes us from all prerequisite responsibility of our own strength. We do not have to practice our religion. We can relinquish the whole of our humanity with all of its vulnerability and weaknesses upon faith in his death for us. Made Like Me in Every Way! “So it is evident that is was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful, sympathetic and faithful High Priest…” (Hebrews 2:17 Amplified).

This beautiful passage of scripture confirms that Jesus was made like us in every respect. The NIV translation says that he was made like us

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“in every way”! In Every Way! There is nothing that you could think, feel or experience that Jesus has not already taken upon his mind, body and Spirit. What is the benefit that we derive from him being made like us in every way? “Because He himself in His humanity has suffered in being tempted, tested and tried, He is able immediately to run to the cry of assist, relieve those who are being tempted and tested and tried and who therefore are being exposed to suffering” (Hebrews: 2:18 Amplified Bible).

This awesome New Testament reality expressed so beautifully by the writer of Hebrews is portrayed in detailed fashion by the book of Job. Keep in your mind these truths revealed in the book of Hebrews as we discover the afflictions of Job in the light of the sufferings of Christ. They will come alive in a far greater measure in your heart throughout the course of this book. The following statements are true of Christ. • • • • •

Was made like us in every way Took on the same flesh and blood nature of our humanity Went through every aspect of death in His humanity Was tempted, tested and tried in our nature Is able to run to our cry and assist all who are exposed to suffering

The words and perceptions that Job voices are not words of the victorious Christ. These are the words of the spotless lamb who in the fullness of our humanity is being assailed by death from every direction. Every confusion, misconception, seeming injustice, sorrow, pain and misfortune is being experienced. Every wrong perception of God and every unanswered “why” a man could conceive had to be experienced

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by Jesus. Everything that humanity could think, feel or experience had to be upon Jesus. It does not matter how convoluted, strange, weird, unfair, confused, perplexed or unusual the circumstances have become in our lives. We have a savior who was made like us in every way and touched with the feelings or our weakness! He experienced all these things in our nature and then voiced “To interpret Job the perplexity, confusion and injustices of mankind …as a Man! Understand- outside the context ing this truth is mandatory if we are of the dividing line to understand Job and draw out the of the cross will revelation of the utter oneness of Jesus with our nature. A failure to under- result in a deformed stand this truth is one of the reasons view of God that will Job is so misunderstood and has been cost you your life.” used by satanic forces to inflict horrible bondage upon the people of God. To interpret Job outside the context of the dividing line of the cross will result in a deformed view of God that will cost you your life. Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? I fully realize that your brain may be on full tilt in trying to conceive that the words of the suffering Job could be the words of Christ. Think with me for a moment. Let’s briefly go back to Psalms 22. Based on the intimacy and beauty of Jesus’ relationship with the Father is it hard to reconcile Jesus’ statement, “My God, My God why has thou forsaken me?” How could Jesus possibly believe that he was or ever could be forsaken of His Father? Could it be because He was not speaking as the victorious Christ but rather as one who is now beginning to experience every death that we could face...in our nature? One who now has become sin and His perceptions and emotions are taking on the

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fullness of our humanity under the penalty and result of sin? Could it be that His perceptions are now clouded by the weight of the sin that is being laid upon him? So it is with the words of Job. This is where the beauty of the revelation of the promised Holy Spirit must take the reins. In the words of Job, we are not hearing the Christ of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John before he voluntarily gave Himself to be sacrificed. We are not hearing the Christ of the Epistles ruling at the right hand of the Father. We are hearing The Son of Man sharing in the physical nature of our humanity. We are hearing Him who was made like us in every way. We are hearing Him who is experiencing a death like no other before Him or after Him. We are hearing Him as the blameless, spotless lamb under the weight of becoming sin respond as a man in our nature with the words “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” He Bore Our Grief Jesus did not go through this horrific death just so we could have someone who knows how it feels. He went through this death to destroy him who had the power of death and completely set us free. Look at these words again from Job 3, “Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, Who long for death, but it does not come, and search for it more than hidden treasures; Who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they can find the grave? You mean to tell me that Jesus felt this way? He felt the misery so deep that he thought the only way out was the grave? Yes. If he didn’t then there would be no hope for us. We would be left with a life of misery so great that the only hope of escape is death. So much of humanity has expressed this place and fallen victim to this hopeless state. Remember, when dissecting Isaiah 53, we see in Job the detail of, “…he bore our grief ’s and carried our sorrows. The chastisement of our peace was laid upon him.” 47


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“And there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together. They do not hear the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there, And the servant is free from his master” (Job 3:17-19). The word “there” that Job speaks of is the place of death. The only

escape from this kind of pain is determined to be death. This verse describes the plight of so many. Life becomes a grind. You feel like a prisoner of your passions, your past, your responsibilities, even your job. It is so easy to become weary of life. Those who are trying to please God and conform to what today’s religious Christian culture has decreed acceptable feel like servants to a master. Christians and non-Christians alike are slaves and servants to their addictions, lusts, fears and financial pressures. The pressure to conform to the world forces you to go against your deeply held beliefs. Jesus bore this place. He carried this bondage. He experienced the depth of the oppression and weariness of all that life can dish out and then He says to us in Matthew. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good— not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” (Matthew 11:28-30 Amplified Bible).

I don’t know that there is another place in the entire Bible that best describes what Jesus has done for us than this promise. It expresses the freedom from our own works, our complete dependence upon him and the resulting peace that will follow. Only a true revelation of who Jesus is and what he has done for us can produce the reality of the above 48


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promise. What religion has done to the true identity of Christ has not resulted in rest and refreshing, but rather heaped more burden upon the backs of its followers. Fear and Dread Defeated Continuing in Job 3:25-26, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.” In my mind, this is one of the most significant sorrows of life that Jesus experienced and defeated on our behalf. Heretofore, I am going to use the word “Substitutionary” to describe this work. My spell check is telling me it’s not a word but it is listed in Webster’s. So for all you English majors out there - Substitutionary is a word! I read over twenty translations of this scripture and two distinct ideas emerged. Virtually all translations state this scripture almost identically except the last three words. The NKJ says, “for trouble comes”, while other translations say, “but trouble comes” or “yet trouble comes.” This is important because it lends itself to two completely different ideas. Both translations offer impacting insight into our redemption from this awful place. The words “but” or “yet”, imply that we have a person who is so desperately afraid that something bad is going to happen they are constantly on guard. Worry and fear are a constant companion. They are so intent on not being complacent or living lustfully. They are careful to do it all right so nothing bad can happen. They are not at ease or quiet or at rest. They are on guard like a night watchman ever ready for an intruder. In terms of religion, many Christians feel a certain pressure to keep the law and be spiritual enough in order to avoid bad things happening to them. However, here the scripture says, even with all of this effort, “yet trouble comes”! You are never able to rest because you think if you do then something bad will happen. We all know people 49


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like this. Heck, we may be people like this? All of us either are or have been like this in some area of life. Fear and dread motivate behavior and we are not able to fully rest because of having to be on guard for something that causes us fear and dread. It may be an area of disease, financial lack, marital strife or fear of something happening to your children. Many mothers live with an undercurrent of fear and dread over the safety of their children. They cannot seem to truly get a moments peace. There can be numerous and even unspoken things that can “trip the switch” of dread in your life. Those who have experienced any of these issues can be very vulnerable to a spirit of dread throughout the whole course of their lives. Jesus suffered this awful place for us. He died to this place on our behalf and destroyed the power of fear and dread. We do not have to live this way. Other translations state, “for trouble comes” or “because trouble comes”. This denotes that the lack of ease, quiet and rest is due to the trouble actually coming and now is ruining our life. Nonetheless, in both instances the precursor was existing fear and dread. Can I say without reservation that the opposite of these things is what we all long for the most? Are the ideals of words such as “ease, quietness, peace and rest” not the greatest pursuit of us all? Is not a lifestyle free of fear and dread the thing we all desire with great yearning? Aren’t we all working to achieve a life of peace, rest and ease? If we could consistently experience these things would we really care how they are manifested? Would it really matter how much money we make or what our position in life would be? I certainly am not saying that achieving wealth is mutually exclusive to also experiencing peace and rest. However, if your pursuit of wealth, position, success or stature has robbed you of your peace and rest...is it worth it? The way wealth is obtained is the real issue. Proverbs says, “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and he adds no sorrow to it.” God’s blessings are not wrought in toil, worry, endless labor and anxiety. God’s blessings are received as part of our inheritance. Later, we will discuss possessing our inheritance in Christ. 50


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An inheritance which answers every longing in our hearts and frees us from the lusts that we think are our door to fulfillment. I thank God that Jesus destroyed fear and everything that would keep us from peace, ease, quiet and rest. This happened when Jesus was made sin. He took on every form of fear and dread. We view the words of Job as the cry of Christ on our behalf, “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.” Later we will speak in great detail of the curse of the law. How Jesus became a curse for us and how the curse of the law is clearly demonstrated and endured by Job as a foreshadowing of this New Testament truth. These verses in Job 3 and Deuteronomy 28 are a preview of this foreshadowing. He received every curse of the law listed in Deuteronomy 28, “Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life” (Duet. 28: 65-66 NIV).

No repose or ease. No quietness. No rest. Just an anxious mind and heart weary with longing, despair or sorrow. An existence lived in constant suspense, filled with dread, never being sure of your life and never knowing security. By taking His death to these things and proclaiming that these curses were borne by Jesus, you are able to declare your complete freedom from these things. The exact opposite of these things is now true in your life. Every promise of God has been made “Yes and Amen” in Christ. Look at this promise in Proverbs 1:33 in the Amplified, “But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.” What an awesome promise! If we will embrace these promises as our salvation forged by the death of Jesus; power will flow from these promises as they come 51


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out of our mouths. Jesus had no rest, ease or quietness so we could dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil. Faith in what He bore for us and His subsequent resurrection is the foundation where all promises must be placed for them to come alive in us. Otherwise, they will just be words on a page. When there is no peace, anxiety and suspense have become your master. It is in these delicate moments that we must lay hold of the death He died for us. You must declare your faith in His death because it was His death that destroyed him who had the power of death. It is His death that destroyed the power of fear and dread. Without personal, revealed revelation of His death for you these things will always persist. You must get these words in your heart and let them come out of your mouth. This promise of Proverbs is in direct opposition to the curse of the law. The curse of the law cannot come upon anyone who calls on the name of Jesus, no matter what you have done! This promise is made “yes” to you not because of your right behavior but because of your faith in Him! Your behavior becomes a job for His workmanship mentioned in Ephesians 2, not your own works. Some might say, “Yes David, but this promise is for those who hearken to wisdom. It is not for anyone who is just casually existing and meandering through life.” See, this is where we always have missed it all. We see a promise like this one and we look at the pre-requisite as the main focus. Fact is, you will never hearken unto wisdom enough to “dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil” in your own effort. It simply will never happen or as my neighbor always says when I ask him to work-out with me, “Ain’t gonna happen.” Let’s view this promise, as we should all of God’s promises, through the eyes of the New Testament. The word “hearken” means to listen or to give respectful attention. The context of this verse is to listen to wisdom; as the amplified has noted. When we think of wisdom, we think of gathering knowledge through our years of experience. Indeed, 52


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this is a kind of wisdom that can have positive impact on our lives. However, when the scripture speaks of wisdom it is not speaking of the wisdom of this age but rather the wisdom found in Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Wisdom for a New Testament believer is a person not the act of accruing information and experience over time. “…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3).

And also Ephesians 1:17: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” All wisdom is in the knowledge of Him. The revelation of Christ in us and faith in Him is wisdom. The hearkening to wisdom is the listening and paying attention to the Word of Christ. Absorbing and embracing what He did for us and having faith in Him for our everything. This hearing or this hearkening to the message of His death having destroyed the power of death is the only thing that will cause you to ...“dwell securely and in confident trust and to be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.”

“Let it be said now that peace, rest, confidence, quietness is not an attainment...It is a person. It is the fruit of righteousness.”

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We are going to look much deeper into this truth as we go forward. It will become a steadfast rock and anchor in your thinking by completion of this book. Wisdom and knowledge is not some general, nebulous abstract. It is the revelation of Christ in us. It is what He did for us and how to practically embrace His life for every need that we have. Let it be said now that peace, rest, confidence, quietness is not an attainment. It is not something that can be fabricated in the face of difficulty and challenge. It is a person. It is the fruit of righteousness. Righteousness is a gift by faith in Christ. Therefore, the fruit of the gift is a natural by-product of the gift. The promise of Proverbs 1:33 is to be received as the workmanship of Christ. It is to be received as a gift. Isaiah 32:17-18 says, “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” The work of righteousness is peace. You do not work, strive and wrestle your thoughts into a place of peace. Peace is the work of righteousness. In other words, peace is the job of the gift of righteousness. Righteousness can only be received by faith in Christ apart from your own effort. Other translations use the term “fruit” or “result” instead of “work” to describe righteousness. Bottom line: the grace of God through the righteousness of God, through faith in Christ, received as a gift, brings forth its natural occurrence which is peace, quietness and assurance. When you are “not at ease, nor quiet; [or] have no rest, for trouble comes,” go to the death of Jesus who experienced these things for you. Know that His death destroyed these things and you have received the gift of righteousness by faith in Him. Peace, quietness and assurance must follow. Worry, fear and anxiety will try to persist, but do not let go of these truths. You will see worry subside in your life. Release the whole of your faith built upon these truths.

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Great Faith Not Great Fear To finalize the thought regarding the scripture in Job 3:25, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” I wanted to mention another viewpoint that I have been exposed to through the years. It is important for me to mention this because it was the source of bondage in my life in those early years. As I have already discussed, I have heard many people explain the plight of Job with this scripture. I have heard preachers say this is the reason why all these things happened to Job. The entire book of Job is dismissed by this simple conclusion. Job feared and what he feared came upon him. This is where many begin and end the story of Job. They would explain that fear is the opposite of faith. They say what you fear will draw the very object of your fear to you. Therefore, I was told, “Don’t fear, because what you fear will come upon you. Look what happened to Job!” Are you kidding me? This is what you tell someone who is full of fear? How can anyone instantly stop fearing? Now, not only was I fearful, I was terrified. I think God is mad at me because I’m fearful. My solution is to go through these useless mental exercises of trying to stop myself from fearing which results in utter madness. This is nonsense that we have piled onto the backs of good people. We have burdened good Christians who are desperately wanting release. There is only one way to truly defeat fear and that is to take the knowledge that in His death He experienced fear and terror in its most severe capacity. We now, having died to fear with Him, are raised to fearlessness by faith in Him. He is compassionate and understanding of the things that cause us fear. He is not going to point His finger at us when we are fearful and say...”Hey...stop it! Don’t you know what you fear will come upon you! Again, He was made like us in every way. That by going through death he might destroy him who has the power of death and completely set free all of us through the fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of our lives 55


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Hope Beyond the Veil Throughout Job, he constantly expresses that all hope has been lost. This cry of Job’s heart is at the center of his sorrow and grief. I want to center our attention on hopelessness. It is unfathomable to the natural mind to truly grasp the magnitude of His death. Revelation of his death will transcend all hopelessness. No matter the longevity or the strength of the grip your bondage has had on you. The revelation of His death and resurrection will create hope where there was previously only darkness. If we can realize in our inner man the level of hopelessness that He experienced then there is no hopelessness that can still have the preeminence or rule in our lives. A whole new world will open in our hearts and minds. We will increase our expectation to levels that were previously only wistful wishes. The Apostle Paul in the book of Colossians makes the statement, “Christ in us the Hope of Glory”. In Ephesians, he speaks of knowing the Hope of His calling. Hope is defined by Webster as: to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. Our hope seems to be constantly under siege. We are to abide in hope and live in intense hope. Jesus suffered hopelessness so that we could abide in hope in the face of any circumstance. “..we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil,  where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18-19).

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The Amplified Classic Bible adds in verse 19... “...[it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil.”

Our hope, in the face of anything, has been forged and made sure by the suffering of Christ. Jesus, the High Priest of our hope stands in the presence of God on our behalf to bring our hope into reality. I trust that what I am about to write concerning the level of hopelessness Jesus experienced will result in new hope emerging in places of lifetime bondages. Look again in Job chapter 10. Previously we looked at this scripture and its likeness to Psalms 88. “Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death, A land as dark as darkness itself, As the shadow of death, without any order,  Where even the light is like darkness” (Job 10:21-22).

Now let’s put these words into perspective. This is a man of whom God Himself said, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man; one that feareth God, and escheweth evil”(Job 1:8 KJV)? Why is this man talking as if he is about to spend eternity in Hell. It makes no sense whatsoever. Unless it is a man who indeed has been blameless, but nonetheless feels forsaken of God. “If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in darkness, if I say to corruption, You are my father,’ and to the worm, My mother’ or My sister,’ where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me? Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?” (Job 17:13-16 NIV). 57


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Verse 16 in the Amplified Bibles states it this way: “My hope] shall go down to the bars of Sheol (the unseen state) when once there is rest in the dust.” Now look at Mark 9:47-48 KJ:…”to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Job is obviously lamenting his expectation that he is going to Sheol where the worm shall be called his father and mother. He then exclaims, “Where is my hope?” In the book of Mark, Jesus makes mention of hell and calls it “where the worm does not die”. These references in Job are the depiction of Jesus as He experienced an expectation of eternity in hell. He experienced hopelessness beyond our ability to conceive. Job, a man called perfect by God is crying forth his hopeless destiny of an eternity in the land of unending gloom, deepest shadow and violent disorder. His hope is gone down to Sheol. He sees the worm as his eternal companion. Job is portraying the depths that “It must be clearly Jesus experienced for us. It must be established and clearly established and understood that understood that Jesus faced this reality of hell being his Jesus faced this eternal home. He went through every grueling inch. Yes, most certainly, God reality of hell being raised Jesus from the dead. The Father his eternal home.“ made him alive once our redemption was completed. Jesus took the keys of the Kingdom and led captivity captive. However, before these events, He was the sin offering who took fully and completely our punishment. In this state, he felt totally separated from God and was a man condemned and sentenced to hell. Make no mistake he experienced every aspect of this reality. Jesus came to a place in the bowels of the earth where he lost all hope, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Jesus felt truly forsaken unto eternity in hell. This was not some game the Father and Jesus were playing. God did not say to Jesus, “Now look Jesus, when you die and are sent to hell it ain’t really hell…you know I wouldn’t do 58


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that to you.” It’s gonna look pretty rough for awhile but you know it’s gonna be all right.” No! Jesus faced utter terror and hopelessness…in our nature. He experienced the reality of his eternal home being the deepest, darkest gloom— the place of no return You may say, no way! For heaven’s sake man—this is Jesus Christ we are talking about! He could never succumb to such a display of weakness. You must remember, this is Jesus who has become sin. He has become your substitute. This is not the Jesus who walked the earth and healed the sick. Nor is this the Jesus who is coming again as the victorious Christ. Was Jesus displaying weakness when He allowed Himself to be taken captive and crucified? The same is true here as He takes on the full penalty of sin and death. He took on hopelessness that goes beyond anything a man could bear. He is experiencing “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” It had to be this way for him to be our perfect high priest and the pioneer of our salvation. Jesus gave Himself freely to this unyielding torment. It is for this reason that there is nothing that can make you hopeless! The lowest possible hope that a man could experience is that of an expectation that hell is your eternal home. There is no hopelessness that would even come close to such a comparison. Jesus, wore this hopelessness lock, stock and barrel. Because of this there is no hopelessness that can lay hold of you and overcome you. If you have lost hope take this knowledge and declare that He was made hopeless to the point of eternity in hell so that nothing could steal your hope and expectancy of the salvation of God. His hope was sent to hell…”Who can see any hope for me? Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust” (Job 17:13)? The Amplifed states this verse in this way, “[My hope] shall go down to the bars of Sheol (the unseen state) when once there is rest in the dust.” This was experienced by Jesus so that my hope would ascend past the veil into the very presence of the Father!

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I am fully cognizant of the fact that there is a school of thought among many that Jesus did not experience hell. They refuse to believe that Jesus could be seen as one who was sent to hell. As I heard a minister say years ago about this subject: If Jesus was not sent to hell for us then you can still go there! Everything Jesus endured is so vividly illustrated in Job as our substitute. Jesus was made like us in every way. He has gone through the hopelessness of eternal damnation. Now risen from the dead He enters into the presence of God with His own blood to appear before God on our behalf. In the presence of God He ever lives to make intercession for us. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25 KJ). What unseen hope do you possess today? Jesus paid the extreme price for your right to hope unto the richest measure. He will place His highest hope in the place of your deepest hopelessness. He will then carry that hope into the presence of the Father and their ever live to make intercession for you. Unto God I Commit My Cause Sometimes, at the root level of my humanity, that place where I hurt the most remained unaffected by the phrase “Jesus died for me”. If someone used that phrase as a reaction to my hurt and pain I would religiously affirm some kind of agreement. However, a sincere connection between my pain and His death seemed ever elusive. It was in these moments of great hurt and pain that I found the words of Job. His anguish echoed my own and, there, I found a savior who understood me. He felt what I was feeling and His answer to my pain was peace, rest and quietness of mind. His answer was freedom. Job admitted that what he feared came upon him and what he dreaded happened to him.

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There were situations that I went through that consumed my mind. Maybe you have no peace, no quietness, only turmoil. Maybe you can’t sleep. You lie awake all night tossing back and forth worried to death. Look what Job says in chapter 7 verse 4, “When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? And I am full of tossing to and fro unto the dawning of the day.” Jesus experienced every aspect of life right where we live. He is aware of even these issues in our life like sleepless nights and tumultuous days. This is the immense value of Job to our lives today. Virtually every emotion and situation of life is expressed in this beautiful writing. My Days Are Passed and My Plans Are Shattered At this point, I would like to concentrate on the words of Job, like the selection above, as he expresses the depth of his sorrow. As you see these things voiced, declare your freedom from each this tormenting places. The sufferings expressed by Job are the specifics of what Jesus experienced for us “The sufferings expressed as our substitute. The death that He subjected Himself by Job are the specifics of to is the death that destroys what Jesus experienced these things in our lives. for us as our substitute. We will look later at many The death that He subjected places in Job that express Himself to is the death that the substitution of Christ for us. For now, let us look destroys these things in at one more place that Jesus our lives.” endured for us that is so vividly described in Job 17:11 KJ, “My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.” The NIV says it this way, “My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of 61


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my heart.â&#x20AC;? These are the things that were experienced by our Savior for us! His death is not an antiquated, ethereal, religious Sunday school story that has no relevance to the daily experiences of our lives. We are the very object, purpose and passion of why he shared our humanity and tasted everything that could ever tempt, test or try us. Jesus died for us. How relevant is Job 17:11 in your life? All of us, at one time or another, have felt this way. Remember, we can literally take these cries of suffering and flip them. We can turn them into the exact opposite and view them as promises to us. If his plans were shattered and also the desires of his heart, then we can stand on this as a new promise. Our plans and the desires of our heart will succeed. My Mid-Life Crisis I remember so many instances in my life where the substitution of his death was greatly needed in my life. Several years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was thirty eight years old and still did not feel like I had accomplished anything in my life. I had gone to college off and on for several years. I had tried a couple of businesses in the health club and exercise equipment industry. I failed miserably at my own equipment business and had marginal success in the health club industry. I had become extremely restless and dissatisfied. I had always wanted to be a High School teacher. I had gone to school previously and took some courses in education, but it was so difficult to work full time and go to school too. A new business opportunity would come my way or I would dream one up and off I would go. I would leave the pursuit of a teaching career behind once again. However, this time, reality was starting to confront me. Some might say, I was having a mid-life crisis. Whatever you wish to call it; I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what was happening. A sense of urgency began to build on the inside of me. I concluded it was now or never if I was ever going to see this desire to teach fulfilled. I had about three years of college credit at this time. I went to a 62


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local university and got a course catalogue and begin to map out what I knew would be a long and arduous haul to finish my degree. I remem ber sitting in that college library going over the course requirement prerequisites to obtain a teaching certificate. For those teachers reading this book, you know the seeming infinite hoops that you have to jump through to obtain your teaching credentials. I was extremely disappointed to discover that although I was not exceptionally far from a degree, I was miles from all the things necessary to actually qualify for a teaching certificate. As I poured over the course requirements and began to count the number of courses I was going to have to take my countenance fell to the floor. I lost count after twenty courses or 100 quarter hours. I was acutely aware of the difficulty of trying to go to college, work full time and support a family. Even if I could find the time to work full time and go to school, I would need the classes to be offered at times that fit my schedule. One required class might be offered on Mondays and Thursdays at 8 a.m. while another mandatory class might be offered at 6 p.m. the same night. Many of these mandatory classes were only offered once a year. It looked truly impossible. This was before the days of online degrees. You actually had to go to class. I was so tired of the health club industry and the very thought of getting another sales job made me shudder. I had previously sold health insurance for about eighteen months. No disrespect to all you insurance salesman out there, but man did I hate that job. As a matter of fact, let me “tip my hat” to you. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to do that job. I recall these moments like it was only yesterday. I remember burying my face in my hands in the Columbus State University library that day and saying within myself, you are such a “screw up”. You are nearly forty years old and look at you. You are going nowhere.” At age thirty eight I felt like “My days are past.” I thought that I should have been much farther along in my career and finances. I felt like a failure. I was still trying to figure out 63


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what I wanted to be when I grow up, for heaven’s sake! My twenty year high school reunion was coming up. I thought to myself “there is no way I’m going to go through that embarrassment.” I could just hear it, “Hey Dave, so what are you doing now?” “Oh… you know… kind of unemployed… trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.” No thanks! I ended up going anyway and faked my way through. I said things like, “Well, I started my own business, but now I have decided to go back to school.” It seemed to work and sounded respectful enough. Honestly, on that day, these thoughts and feeling were my reality. “My days were passed, my plans were shattered, and so were the desires of my heart.” In these moments, we need to lean hard on the sacrifice of our Lord and realize that there is nothing with which He is not intimately touched and acquainted. This is the fellowship of His sufferings spoken of in Philippians chapter 3. He was right there to take this for me and replace my hopelessness with His hope. Yet, I did not know these things then like I do now. I had no idea what to do from here. First and foremost, the Holy Spirit would just not let me give up. There was something on the inside of me that kept saying “nothing is impossible with God.” Hope was emerging where there was no natural hope. This is what is meant in Romans 4 when it says that Abraham hoped against hope. That means he hoped in faith not in any natural reason for hope. This is the hope that Jesus purchased for us. I was milling around after church one Sunday and there was a member of our church who was a principal in the local school system where I lived. I had mentioned to him a few months earlier of my plan to go back to school and become a teacher. He obviously remembered our previous conversation because he asked, “David, how’s school coming?” I reluctantly recounted to him my dilemma and told him it would be quite awhile. He responded with insight that changed the course of my life that day. He said, “You have a good bit of college, don’t you? Look, go down to the Board of Education building and talk 64


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to (he gave me the ladies name) and give her your transcripts. She will tell you what you need to do to get a provisional certificate.” I replied, “What is a provisional certificate?” He explained it to me and I was renewed with possibility. A provisional teaching certificate can be obtained by getting a regular degree with a few courses in your specialty area. You do not have to have all the prerequisite education courses to begin your teaching career. As long as you are working on getting the necessary education courses, you can teach with a provisional certificate for a designated time. The Holy Spirit knows who needs to cross your path. He knows who to put in your life at the perfect season of your life. Psalms 37:2324 says, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” My countenance fell that day in the library, but now my steps had been ordered across the path of this man. Now, I was being lifted and upheld by the hand of God. More Obstacles...More Solutions I went to meet with the human resource lady that the principal recommended. She mapped out a strategy for me and told me the classes I would need to obtain a provisional teaching certificate. I could teach with the provisional for three years while I worked on my masters in education to fulfill all the other requirements that I would eventually need to become a fully certified teacher. It was doable. However, there were still obstacles. You had to have a degree. You could not just have a bunch of classes for the provisional certificate. How was I going to find a degree program that would accept all the random courses I had taken over the years? I had begun my college career as a criminal justice major (was a policeman for Atlanta Police at the age of twenty…another story for another time) then changed to Political Science because the school I attended disbanded the criminal justice program. A few years later, I 65


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changed to Exercise Science. Do I sound confused? Hey, I had lots of interest. What can I say? I spoke with my advisor at the university I was planning to attend. He studied my transcripts and he looked up at me and said, “You know, I had a student in this same situation a few years back and he got a degree in General Studies, let me check into it for you.” He checked and that’s exactly what I did. I registered for college and was back in school at the age of 38. I remember those days like it was yesterday. I was able to take some skills that I had developed over the past few years in exercise physiology and nutrition. I went to a couple of health clubs that I once managed and worked out a commission plan to do exercise testing and meal planning for their members. I was able to adjust the schedule to fit my school schedule and make just enough money to keep things moving forward. As I look back, I can see that God does not waste one ounce of your experiences. He took what limited skill set I possessed at the time and forged it into a plan for me to go to the next place of my desire. Dude, You Have a Long Way to Go I recall the very first day I went back to school. I was taking a course called “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.” It was offered at 6 p.m. in the evening. I was moving at the time from the home we owned because I did not think I could afford the house payment and go back to school. We rented it to a couple for a short time. I had my pick-up truck full of moving stuff on the day of my first class. I drove to my first class with all that stuff piled up on my truck. I only could take one class that first quarter. I remember driving down the highway that day thinking, “Dude, you have a long, long way to go and this is not the most ideal time or environment to be taking such a journey.” I thought within myself that I should just take it one day and one step at a time. I was to not be intimidated by the apparent longevity and difficulty of this journey. This was His faith in me moving me. I can assure you 66


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I had shown no ability up to this point to patiently endure anything like this. I was putting my family through a lot. I now realize this and what sacrifices that were made for me. It was difficult but I felt it was the right thing to do. After a little over a year and a half, I ended up with a General Studies degree. We were able to move back into the home that I owned which was extremely important to me. This whole time I was under the impression that I had a job waiting for me at the school of the principal whose advice started me on this track. Once I received my degree, I contacted the principal. He informed me that there was one position open for a Social Studies teacher, but they needed this applicant to be an experienced football coach. The good news was I was trying to get certified in Social Studies but the bad news was that I was not an experienced football coach. He was being pressured to fill this Social Studies opening. He was genuinely sorry as he reluctantly related these events to me. I told him I understood. I was disappointed to say the very least. After that conversation, I made a plan to contact every school I could think of within a reasonable drive from my residence. I wanted to see if they would consider hiring a teacher with a provisional certificate. In most cases, you really had to know someone to get hired this way. The schools were inundated with Social Studies teacher applications. Your ability to get hired with a provisional certificate was extremely difficult when promising, certified teachers were applying for the same position. It was a long shot and I was fully aware of this reality. This was in the summer of 1998. I was still having to take what was known at the time as the PRAXIS exam to complete my provisional certificate. This was a massive teacher certification test that was divided into two parts. After a few bouts of anxiety, I was able to pass these tests and was now ready to see if I could find a job. It was now days away from the beginning of the school year. Most schools had completed all their new hiring in the Spring and early Summer. However, sometimes 67


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late in the summer, changes do occur and openings arise. I decided to call the principal who I had been talking with all this time and ask him if he would give me a recommendation to these other schools. I will never forget his words to me. He said, “David, I might be able to do better than that. Can you be in my office Monday morning?” That’s all he said. He could not tell me any specifics at this time. I did not know exactly what was going on, but as you can imagine I was both intrigued and excited. His words, “I might be able to do better than that” elicited all kinds of possibilities. When I arrived at his office, he began to explain to me that the coach he hired actually was experiencing some difficulty in one of his prerequisite classes for clearing his certificate. Then he said, “Right now, as we speak, your name is being cleared for hire at the board of education and you will be our new teacher.” I will never forget that moment! It was truly one of the best days of my life. To have such a long journey culminate, in such a way, was such a fulfilling moment. Some might say, “Get a grip dude. You’re just a school teacher.” As small of a dream and goal as that might seem to some, it was the biggest dream of my life at that time. It makes no difference how anyone else measures our dream and desires. All that matters is the fulfillment it brings to our lives. This was the pursuit that made my joy full. I went on to get my masters in education over the next two years while teaching full time. I also became a baseball coach for the school. I taught for six years and loved every minute of it (well almost every minute). I will always look back with great fondness on those years and how God took what I thought was hopeless and made every vision that I had come true. Most importantly, He was there with his provision of grace in the moment that I felt my plans and dreams were shattered. This point is vital. The description and detail of his suffering in Job is so identifiable with the specific experiences of our humanity. Now, we can go through the book of Job and look for parallels to our own situations. I can now declare that “his plans were shattered” in my stead 68


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to usher in His deliverance for me. I no longer have to read Job and view the misery just for miseryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake. When my dreams were shattered, I took his death and began to proclaim that because his dreams were shattered my dreams shall live! I brought His death (that destroys the power of death) to my hopeless situation. We will look more into all the pain, emotions and perplexity that Jesus carried for us later. For now let us move forward to the central theme in the book of Job.

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FOUR

SPIRIT OF BONDAGE EXPOSED One of the most amazing illustrations of the very heart of the New Covenant emrges from the pages of Job. In Job 3, we see Job in the depths of sorrow. What was the context of these cries of Job? Were his laments only responses to the pain of the actual events taking place in his life or is there greater truth being revealed? It is time to introduce the three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. We will reveal who they are and what they represent to you and I today. As you will soon see the three friends are vital to gain a true understanding of Job.

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The Three Friends “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him” (Job 2:13).

Let’s establish the tone, setting and context of Job’s condition when the three friends visit him. Job has just lost everything: his wealth, children and health all within a moment of time. Crushed by this enormous grief and sorrow, he voices his immense suffering and tells of the utter hopelessness he now faces. His grief has brought him to want death as a solution. Please recall these words from Job chapter 3. “Why did I not die at birth?” “Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul, Who long for death, but it does not come...” “...my sighing comes before I eat, and my groanings pour out like water.”

We can assume that the three friends fully understood the gravity of the tragedy and were equally informed on the timing of the events. However, after hearing these words from Job, here are the words of “comfort” from the three friends. “Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: ‘If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? Surely you have instructed many, and you

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have strengthened weak hands. Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the feeble knees; but now it comes upon you, and you are weary; it touches you, and you are troubled. Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope? Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?  Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His anger they are consumed’ “ (Job 4: 1-9).

Job’s friends have come to comfort him? Job has just experienced the most grievous tragedy that could befall anyone. His life is now filled with disease. In this state of utter hopelessness, Eliphaz’s response of comfort is, “…who being innocent has ever perished?” “Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble and mischief reap the same; by the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they are consumed.”

Eliphaz goes on to say, “Call out now; is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? For wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple one.  I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I cursed his dwelling place.  His sons are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, And there is no deliverer   Because the hungry eat up his harvest, Taking it even from the thorns,

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And a snare snatches their substance. For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:1-7)

What is happening here? This is a man whom God Himself has declared blameless. God said there is no one on earth like his servant Job. Yet, Eliphaz pronounces judgment upon Job and accuses him of being evil and foolish. He heaps condemnation upon him. They declare that the reasons these things have come upon Job is because he has sown the sins that are now springing from the ground. They assert that Job and his sin is the origin of these evils. They heap the heaviest of grief upon him declaring that his children are dead because of his sin. Now, there is some comfort for you! There is never any mention of the pain and anguish being experienced by Job, only judgment. Not one time do the three friends show compassion for his plight. The only thing that is constantly emphasized are the reasons all of this calamity has come upon him. The only reason that is offered is because he has sinned. The only remedy that is or will ever be offered by the three friends is perfect, upright behavior. The three friends continue this assault throughout the book with each chapter that follows expressing the harsh judgments of the three friends. Throughout this study, we will observe these chapters of Job, but for now let us consider Job 15 in the Amplified version to emphasize this point. Eliphaz states, For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; yes, your own lips testify against you.  Are you the first man that was born [the original wise man]? Or were you created before the hills?  Were you present to hear the secret counsel of God? And do you limit

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[the possession of ] wisdom to yourself? What do you know that we know not? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, older than your father by far. Are God’s consolations [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you? Is there any secret thing (any bosom sin) which you have not given up? [Or] were we too gentle [in our first speech] toward you to be effective?” (Job 15:5-11).

We could substitute Eliphaz’s words with, “Job, there has to be some secret sin that you are hiding. There can only be one reason all this is happening to you. That reason can only be that you are harboring a secret sin that you refuse to give up.” Job’s replies to these assaults has been to maintain his uprightness (which we will soon review). This is the reason the three friends heighten their assault of condemnation as they add, [Or] were we too gentle [in our first speech] toward you to be effective? The three friends describe their attacks as gentle? They heap condemnation and judgment upon Job and tell him his sin has caused all of his calamity. When Job responds that he has been upright in his life and these afflictions are unjust the three friends burn with indignation. Eliphaz goes on to say in Job 22, “Is not your wickedness great, and your iniquity without end? For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, and stripped the naked of their clothing. You have not given the weary water to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry. But the mighty man possessed the land, and the honorable man dwelt in it. You have sent widows away empty, And the strength of the fatherless was crushed. Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden fear troubles you, Or darkness so that you cannot see; and an abundance of water covers you” (Job 22:5-11). 75


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What is happening? What can all of these assualts mean? We know Job did none of these things: strip the naked of their clothing, taken pledges from his brother for no reason, sent widows away empty or withheld bread from the hungry. He simply did not do the things with which he is being judged as a transgressor. There is no possible way these things could have occurred. Would God have called Job blameless if these things were true? Would God have declared, â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is no one on earth like him?â&#x20AC;? These are judgments being placed on an innocent man. He is being brutally condemned and judged for sins he never committed. What is more, he is being harshly attacked with these judgments and the lowest and weakest point in his entire life. The parallel to the death of Jesus is obvious. The references describing the conversation between Job and the three friends are just the beginning of the harsh condemnation thrust upon a man who is grieving so deeply that he can barely speak. From chapter 4 until chapter 32, the intent of the three friends is to brutally assault Job with judgments that force Job to express his pain, confusion, questions, misconceptions and, most importantly, defense of his uprightness. Job refutes the accusations and speaks of the perplexity that this injustice is warring upon his mind. It is in these exchanges between the three friends that we see our redemption expressed and New Testament realities unveiled. The previous paragraph will essentially become our guide and outline of the next few chapters. This will be important to understand as we move ahead. It is essential that we establish the identity of the three friends. What are we to make of their attacks upon Job? Who are they? What do they represent going forward in this depiction of Christ bearing the sins of the world? Understanding what the three friends represent is mandatory to understanding the fullness of the message of Job.

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Why Was Jesus Sent? Before we reveal just what the condemnation and judgment of the three friends foreshadow in the New Covenant let us set a foundation. It is imperative at this point to establish the central work of the cross. The foundation of the entire New Testament is also, and by no coincidence, the overriding theme of the Book of Job. The uncovering of the central work of redemption within the pages of Job is simply astounding. What is the core work of the cross and the foundation of the New Testament? What is the overriding theme of the Book of Job? The answer to these questions are vital, however, let’s review some common questions addressed in the Christian faith. • Why did Jesus come to earth? • Why was he sent? • Why did he die for us? The obvious answer is, Jesus died for our sins. He died to redeem us from the hands of Satan. This concept has been a staple answer of the body of Christ for eons. I would say the above answer is certainly not wrong, but rather incomplete. It does not tell the whole story. The incomplete portion is the very reason so many of us have been left in bondage. Simply reciting the typical response “Jesus died for our sins” has produced very little change or victory in our lives. Every born again believer will tell you that “Jesus died for their sins”. However, if we do not grasp this complete understanding of the work of the cross. His death will not result in the fullness of life promised to us while in this body.

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Why Jesus? • • •

Why did Jesus come to earth? Why was he sent? Why did he die for us?

This is how the scripture answers these questions: “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 KJV)

This is the answer to the most meaningful question ever posed to mankind. Without question or argument the coming of Jesus is the most significant event in the history of man. If His coming is the most important and significant event in the ages of time, then the reason for his coming should be the overwhelming emphasis and guiding light of our lives. God sent forth His son to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. This is the reason that Jesus came! If we can truly understand the magnitude of this statement, our lives will be changed forever. I will make the boldest of statements to you at this juncture. No matter how many great preachers you have heard. No matter how many revelations you’ve received. No matter how many experiences you’ve had in the past. Nothing will compare with the true understanding of being redeemed from under the law. The progressive unveiling of this truth will impact every moment of your life. It will affect every aspect of your thought life, demeanor, reputation, your very existence. The Greek for Redeem is “exzagorazo” and it means payment of a price to recover from the power of another or to ransom, buy off. The prevailing thought is that Jesus redeemed us from sin. I thought this was the 78


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reason he shed his blood? However, Galatians 4:4-5 clearly states that he was sent to “redeem” or exzagorazo us from under the law. Galatians is true, but Jesus still delivered us from the power of sin, right? Yes, of course, but the connection of law and sin is irrevocable. The law and sin are inexorably intertwined. In the New Covenant it says, “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55-57).

Before death could be defeated, sin had to be defeated. Before sin could be defeated, we had to be made free from the law (for the strength of sin is the law). As long as we are under the law, sin will always reign over us. What does this mean where we live today? As long as you think it is up to you in your own strength to obey God by not lusting, coveting or lying, you are under the strength of the law. This strict striving to obey will produce sin and afford you no hope to overcome these things. Death came by sin. The strength of sin is the law. The prerequisite to the destruction of death was to “The prerequisite to redeem us from the law which the destruction of death in turn took the strength of sin. was to redeem us from Freedom from the law is also freedom from sin. In His abilthe law which in turn took ity we are able to obey apart the strength of sin.” from our own effort. This is what the New Testament says about the law: “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved letters on stone…” (2 Cor. 3:7 KJV).

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“If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!” (2 Cor. 3:9 KJV).

These scriptures describe the law as it condemns and brings death. That is all the law can ever do. With this in mind, think about the words of the three friends. Is there is not a better example of the condemnation of the law than these words from the three friends? Words thrust upon a man who has just experienced the most devastating of circumstances. The answer of the law to grief and sorrow is to condemn the victim with phrases like: Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His anger they are consumed. Who are these three guys? What do the harsh accusations of the three friends represent? This next statement is a foundational truth of the entire book of Job. This is the beginning of the portrayal of Jesus bearing the judgment of the law or the punishment due a transgressor of the law. Isaiah said that Jesus was numbered among the transgressors. He, as a blameless, spotless lamb had to receive the condemnation, judgment and curse of the law. Likewise, Job by God’s own admission, was perfect and upright. There was no one on earth like him. Yet, he is being assailed as one who has plowed iniquity and sown trouble. The three friends incessantly insist that Job is getting what he deserves. These woes are only happening because he is obviously guilty, and God is angry at Job. Job was blameless, yet he endured the wrath of the law. Although He was innocent, Jesus had to bear the condemnation, judgment and punishment of the law as a transgressor of the law. We will see Job, from chapter 4 to 32, as a type of Christ, experiencing the

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wrath of being judged as a transgressor of the law. We will see Job reveal to us what humanity looks and sounds like under the weight of the judgment and demands of living under the law. Jesus came to redeem us from the weight and demands of the law. The only way He could do this was to experience the full judgment of the law as a blameless man. It is vital to understand that Jesus carried the weight of trying to keep the law as a prerequisite for blessing. Job voices the agony that this lifestyle creates. Job expresses the futility of living under the pres sure and demands to live upright in ones on righteousness. Job also expresses how those who view and relate to God through the eyes of the law will possess gross misconceptions of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character. We will also see the curse of the law that was hurled upon Jesus foreshadowed upon Job in these upcoming chapters. Jesus, having kept the law then being judged as a transgressor of the law and ultimately being crucified by the law has set us free from the law. Virtually the entire New Testament is dedicated to this truth, yet I spent a lifetime not knowing what this really meant. I was unaware of how this truth could set me free at the very core existence of my life. We will see in these chaptersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; representative cries of confusion, perplexity, misconceptions, pain and grief expressed by Job. All of this was written so we could have intimate understanding of what Jesus experienced and carried for us. We will see and understand how Jesus in His humanity has faced every possible emotion, feeling and thought process that we face. Age old questions that we still hear today are addressed in Job including things like: if there is a God why does He let terrible things happen to good, innocent people? That which is written in Job is what Jesus carried in his body for us. We will see that He was made utterly one with our humanity. Everything voiced in Job are the things from which we have been completely set free. We will look at the freedom from the law that Jesus provided. In understanding this freedom, we will simultaneously gain insight into the curse of the law that was upon Him and our complete freedom from these curses. 81


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Over the next few chapters, we will explore the freedom we have from law and religion. We will see religion and all of its characteristics exposed. Living Under the Law It is important to establish a more relevant understanding of living under the law and how it relates to every aspect of our lives. Living under the law is not just some religious saying. We must see how the law could effect and taint every moment of our lives. In the three days that Jesus was taking on all manner of hell, death and suffering, He was abolishing the Law as our path to righteousness and life. He was fulfilling the law. In order to fulfill the law, He took the curse in His flesh as a transgressor of the law. I want to establish this as the central work of the cross so that when you see this depiction unveil in the book of Job it will have greater meaning to you and will ultimately become so established in you that your life truly changes. Most are acquainted with the message of grace and believe the truths that “God loves us” and that “God forgives”. Many of us hear this so often that the deeper realities of this redemption from the law has escaped our attention. The message of grace becomes a mere sermon topic or a nice phrase on a greeting card. On the other hand, there are those who allow the message of grace to consume their entire spiritual focus. They are firmly established in the knowledge that they are the righteousness of God. Many reading this book are either fully acquainted with the message of grace, whereas others are relegating it to one of many messages taught in churches today. Grace is not another subject or message. It is the cross of Christ! It is the Word of Christ. It is THE message of the New Covenant. Therefore, it is paramount that we identify what it means to be under the law and wht it means to be under grace.

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We shall return to the three friends and how their judgment is representing Jesus bearing the condemnation of the law. The bearing of the judgment of the law that ultimately redeemed us from having to live under the demands of the law. Before we return to this topic let us take a closer look at how the New Testament emphasizes freedom from the law. I always consider it a blessing to think on these beautiful revelations of grace as often as possible. This message of love, forgiveness and restoration is the Gospel of Christ. It is important to place the freshness of this message in the context of the sufferings of Job to fully appreciate the wealth of truth that is contained in the book of Job. He Abolished the Law in His Flesh “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations…”(Ephesians 2:14-15 NIV).

Freedom from the law was accomplished when Jesus accepted the cross and succumbed to death. Ephesians powerfully reveals the truth that Jesus abolished the law in His flesh. When his flesh was torn, it was torn to abolish the law. How did Jesus abolish the law in His flesh? Jesus was perfect under the law, however, He was judged as a transgressor of the law. He accepted the “The punishment he took full punishment as a transgressor of the law. The punishment upon His body was for the purpose of freeing us He took upon his body was for from the demands of the the purpose of freeing us from the demands of the law so that law so that we could live we could live by the promises by the promises through through faith. You can bet that faith.” whatever Jesus abolished in His 83


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flesh would be that which is at the very core of life itself. The abolishing of the law is why the body of Jesus was torn to pieces, and you must believe the impact to us is far more than we ever imagined. The entire New Testament is devoted to this truth and the constant development of this concept. Being redeemed and freed from the law is where we live and the lack of understanding of this truth is why many of us have not lived free and redeemed. It is why so many are confused and perplexed as to why their prayers have seemingly gone unanswered. It is why there are so many misconceptions of God and of His will for our lives. In Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and even Hebrews, the central theme is our freedom from the law and the dependence upon grace through faith. Let’s look at a few New Testament selections on this topic. Engage and allow these scriptures to become a part of you. The next several paragraphs are admittedly a bit thick with scriptures and spiritual concepts. That being said, please take your time and meditate through them. We will bring these “spiritual concepts” into the vital conditions of our everyday life as we move ahead. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4 KJV).

It is clear that we are made dead to the law by the body of Christ. His body was ravaged to free us from our own works. The prerequisite is to become dead to the law by being joined to Him who is raised from the dead. Galatians 2:19 (KJV) reiterates this truth: “For I through the law am dead to the law that I might live unto God.”

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For one to live unto God they must be dead to the law. They must be dead to their own works and alive to faith in Christ. This is a prerequisite to receiving God’s blessings. Galatians 2 adds the following thought: “ I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21 KJV). If we try to achieve righteousness or the results of righteousness by our own works then Christ has died for us in vain. This truth exemplifies that the death of Jesus was to free us from any obligation to the law in achieving righteousness. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4 KJV).

The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who do not try to achieve it by our own effort. This is what is meant by “walk not after the flesh”. Paul is not referring to “don’t smoke, drink or chew or go with those who do”. He is not talking about any act of sinful behavior. He is referring to the prerequisite of all sin, which is trying to act right in your own efforts. This is the law. This is being in the flesh. The righteousness of the law is only received by walking in the Spirit. Having faith in Christ and what He has accomplished for us the definition of walking in the Spirit. This is the grace of God. Philippians says, “... and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith...” (Phil. 3:9). 85


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“… having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:15 KJV).

These are just a few New Testament excerpts that reference the core work of the cross. How do we translate the above scriptures from what might seem to some as theological ramblings to impenetrable truths? Relating the Law to my Everyday Being truly free from the law will become an abiding place that will affect every aspect of your environment. It is the absolute prerequisite to experiencing the peace of God. Thinking it is incumbent upon you to walk holy before God will always tie you up in knots. Jesus came to redeem us from the law and religion. He came to free us from our own works. He redeemed us from depending on ourselves for any manifestation of righteousness. He came to bring faith in place of our ability. Religion has done a terrific job of hiding these magnificent truths and subsequently kept many in bondage. Being redeemed from the law, at least in my life, has been a progression that I am still walking through even now. Thankfully, I am more free today than I was a year ago. There does not seem to be a finish line to how much freedom we can receive. It is so wonderful to know that any wrong behavior, impure motivation, fear or lack, is not my responsibility to overcome. Any responsibility, goal or achievement that seems to arduous to accomplish is not dependent on my ability to attain. Immediately substitute the word “law” with the definition “Anything I do in my own self effort”. I am under the law if I try to end a persistent bad habit with my own self-effort. I am under the law if I feel like I have to do any prerequisite to receive the blessings of God. The only response to ending my bad behavior or receiving an answer to prayer is to believe in the life of Christ that lives in you. 86


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Pressure immediately begins to mount when any pastor, teacher or evangelist preaches that you need to be “more committed” or “stop doing this” or “start doing that”. The pressure is the knowledge that your failed attempts in the past could easily be the same outcome this time. You begin to think that God’s favor or love is dependent on your ability to comply. Under the law is defined as living under this pressure to obey in your own efforts. Jesus has set us free from this awful, futile pressure. Acting in our own efforts to impress, provoke or move God is what the writer of Hebrews calls “dead works”. This effort will feel like death, laborious and lonely. The spirit of the law is not only present in us trying not to sin, but in our daily efforts to be successful in our jobs, prosperous in our marriages or guiding parents to raise our kids. It seeps into every venture or relationship in our lives. For example, some of us, no matter how hard we have tried, just can’t seem to get over the hump financially. While others cannot seem to find the kind of success in their jobs they have eagerly desired. We think that success, financial prosperity and a healthy marriage will burst forth because of how much effort we put forth. Our success is only one idea or secret away. I am not discrediting the importance of work, effort and ingenuity. These are all beautiful things and vital to unlocking the path to success so aggressively sought. However, these heights of success are received under the inspiration and origin of the Spirit not the dead works of your own ability. Adam Foretells the Difference Between Law and Grace Before and after the fall of man, Adam & Eve tilled the garden. He did the same activity of using the earth to produce vegetation before and after the eating of the fruit. However, there was one enormous difference. When he tilled the ground before the fall, the earth yielded to him without sweat or toil! After the fall, he had to force the earth to 87


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yield to him through great toil and the sweat of his brow. Additionally, the earth produced thorns and thistles along with the herbs of the field. Thorns represent the sorrow and curse of this age. What a beautiful picture of how we are to live our lives in the Spirit. Faith is always expressed by works, but not our own! I am declaring with confidence that redemption from the law is the reason Jesus came and died for us. It is the single most important concept and revelation that you can grasp in your Christian life. Yet, I spent a lifetime not really understanding this term that is used enumerable times in the New Testament. What Relevance Does the Law of Moses Have to Me? As we have seen, virtually every book authored by the Apostle Paul has as its central thesis the concept of faith in Christ supplanting the law in our lives. I remember back as a young Christian I would often notice this reality and it would be puzzling to me. How could Paul spend so much time discussing and belaboring this topic? After all, in its purest sense, the Law that Paul is speaking of was the Mosaic Law and all the subsequent derivatives that were added later by men. What relevance did this have in my life today? I was not having difficulty with the Jewish Law. As far as I could tell, none of the body of Christ seemed to be troubled with it either. The Ten Commandments are a big deal to the Church. You have known the commandments like: donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t steal, murder, covet and so forth. Yet, we pay no attention to the more finite aspects of the law. I certainly was not having any trouble with whether or not to be circumcised. That issue had been taken care of long ago...Thank God! The issue of circumcision was a burning question in both the book of Galatians, Romans and many other places in the New Testament. What was all this about? I knew in my spirit that there had to be much more 88


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to this subject. I knew I was not seeing the real picture concerning the relevance of the law in our daily lives. As we will see later the shadow of this revelation or, the perverting of this revelation, is the number one tool of the enemy to keep you in bondage. For the Holy Spirit to dedicate virtually the entire New Testament to this concept there had to be much more to this than I was aware. Keeping the endless litany of Judaic law is not a concern for the New Testament church today. Is the Holy Spirit truly interested in freeing us from keeping the law filled with Judaic commandments? Why is there such a great New Testament emphasis upon this concept? The Spirit of Bondage How could such an obvious and enormous emphasis be placed on a particular issue, yet we do not see its real relevance to our lives today? I was completely unaware of how much the law held me in bondage. Over time my eyes were opened to the depth of freedom from my own works that Christ’s death provided for me. The book of Romans refers to the law as the “spirit of bondage”. Galatians calls it the “yoke of bondage”. The spirit of the law or, henceforth, the spirit of bondage, can attach itself to the most beautiful revelations and spirit breathed truths in our lives. The “spirit of bondage” does not confront us today with questions of circumcision or if we ate the wrong thing on the Sabbath. We have no religious roots in this arena for these things to be an issue to us. Demonic strategies are much too clever for such an act. Rather, it comes in the form of leaven. Leaven is virtually indiscernible. Strong’s confirms that leaven is applied to that substance which is small in quantity, yet thoroughly pervades a thing by its influence. It will look and sound so spiritual. As a friend of mine always says, “The best way to tell a lie is to put a little truth with it.” Remember, Jesus said to beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees. Paul said in Galatians 5:9, “…a little leaven 89


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leaveneth the whole lump.” This was said in the context of Paul urging the Galatians to live by the Spirit and not the law. The law, which is anything of our own works, righteousness or effort, is likened to leaven. It is virtually indiscernible and it only takes a fraction to effect the whole. It is so very subtle and wrapped in what can sound like practical truth. It is devious and clever enough to infiltrate the most anointed of ministries and thus lead astray multitudes. “A little leaven (a slight inclination to error or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church]” (Galatians 5:9 Amplified).

I will show you in the coming chapters that no one, no matter how many miracles they have seen, is immune to this influence. No matter how established you think you are in grace and faith, this “leaven” is the number one tool of the enemy. I do not mean to give more credit to the spirit of bondage than to the Spirit of God. On the contrary, the express purpose of shedding light on this hidden and obscure deception is to deprive it of its ability to deceive. Paul calls it a persuasion: “This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you”(Galatians 5:8 KJV). Strong’s rleates the Greek word for persuasion as peismone which means treacherous or deceptive persuasion. The only defense and remedy for the “spirit of bondage” or the “yoke of bondage” is the hearing of the word of Christ which becomes faith in Christ. Allow the revelation of faith in Christ to seep into every crevice of your being. These words and phrases at this point may sound like the usual Christian hype and cliché. However, soon your spirit will be illuminated with these words. They will come alive in you and will have daily practical meaning. There are some of you who would say at this point, “I know all this. I am free from the law. I know it is by the power of Christ and not by my strength.” I believed the same things. I thought I understood faith 90


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and grace. I would teach good and true messages on this, yet I was held captive by the “spirit of bondage”. There are those of you who have been brought up in various aspects of the Church. Many of you who have been exposed to religions endless manifestations of trying to figure out God. You, most likely, will be able to relate to the things I am about to say. Be thankful if you have not been exposed to the following aspects of religion I am about to share. The following is for all the “church folks” who have become a bit jaded by all the nonsense we have been exposed to through religion. New Testament truths such as giving, fasting, prayer, intercession, even praise and worship have all fallen victim to the “spirit of bondage”. We may have an awesome spirit led encounter in prayer or in worship when something wonderful will happen. Either immediately or soon thereafter the “spirit of bondage” will take this opportunity to interject a “cause and effect” mentality. We reason that it was the fervency of our prayer or the intimacy of our worship that caused the breakthrough. When in fact, the truth is, this salvation was paid for long ago in the death and resurrection of Christ. We were simply led and empowered by the life of Christ through the Holy Spirit into fervent prayer and intimate worship. This was the manifestation for that particular time and need in our life. However, we reason that we must duplicate this activity in the future so that breakthrough can occur. Duplication of a Spirit breathed motivation by means of your fleshly effort will result in you putting yourself under the law of fervent prayer and intimate worship as a prerequisite of God’s blessing. You have just taken a beautiful New Testament truth and become a victim of the “spirit of bondage”. Instead of operating in the life-giving Spirit, we now have demonstrated “dead works”. These actions are so subtle. They will attach itself to the highest places of revelation in your life and in the church at large. One of the best examples of this is the “Word of Faith” churches that gained significant influence in the 1980’s; of which I was a charter member for years. The beautiful revelation of prosperity, healing and 91


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success by anointed ministers brought hope to so many. Faith was the emphasis of this message. I thank God for the “word of faith” and the committed men and women God raised up to bring this message. I will never attack these men as so many have done. Yet, what was meant to bring freedom soon became the source of bondage. Faith was the necessary ingredient to receive of this success, prosperity and healing. The “spirit of bondage” attached itself to this God-inspired message and made the attaining of this faith so difficult and to most it was unobtainable. We must have faith to receive. Therefore, the emphasis was placed on what you must do to get faith. The efforts to obtain faith became the “works” of this message and began to weary so many of its participants. Doing all the things supposedly necessary to obtaining greater faith became a weight that was impossible to bear. I can now look back and see that I lived in fear that I would not be able to have enough faith. I now realize and abide in a place of rest knowing that Jesus is the author and finisher of my “Faith is not an attainment, faith. Faith is not an attainit is a person, and is to be ment, it is a person, and is to received as a by-product of be received as a by-product His life manifested in us.” of His life manifested in us. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV) We have much more to say about this well known scripture later. Hearing the good news of faith in Christ and knowing that it is not found in ourselves has enough power to produce all the faith necessary to receive all that Christ has promised us. The “spirit of bondage” with leaven as its chief tactic endeavors to reduce what was intended for beauty to a place of “dead works”. Preachers proclaim that to end our troubles we must fast, get a prayer cloth or sow a sacrificial seed, etc. How many times have we heard a preacher proclaim, “the key to the breakthrough is ______” You fill in the blank with what you have heard. The list goes on and on with futile 92


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works. It is seemingly New Testament activity that has now become as dead as the Old Testament law. We as New Testament believers are in the same bondage trying to accomplish these spiritual exercises as the Jews were to circumcision and Moses was to sacrificing lambs. There is only one method and that is faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. Any works empowered from understanding this truth will produce breakthrough. Any works rejecting this understanding will produce “dead works”. After reading this book in its entirety, you will experience the beauty and life-changing truth of Jesus redeeming us from the law. In other words, “the life [you] now live, [You] live by faith in Christ who loved [you] and gave himself for [you]” (Galatians 2:20). Remember when Jesus stooped down and made a spittle of clay to heal the blind eyes in John 9:6. Jesus placed the spittle of clay upon the blind man’s eye and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man returned seeing. Did Jesus ever do this again in any of his miracles? No because He was led by the fresh voice of God in that moment to use clay. If this would have happened in the modern day church, we would have started the “First Church of the Spitters.” If you have a problem that is persisting, we would ask, “Have you tried spitting on the ground and making some clay?” The “spirit of bondage” would have a field day with us. Telethons would be devoted to selling “holy clay” to unsuspecting, vulnerable Christians that are facing life-threatening illnesses and lack. I know I am being a bit ridiculous, but we have done the same thing with prayer, study of the Word and all the various “principles of the Kingdom” that we have been taught. The “spirit of bondage” comes to the highest places of revelation in all of our lives and tries to infiltrate these pristine places of the Spirit with the leaven of our own works. Please do not misunderstand. All of the things that I justg spoke of could be Spirit led works of faith that produce freedom. However, when we place the emphasis on the manifestiation or work of the Spirit instead of the Spirit Himself we will begin to produce dead works. 93


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Foreshadowing’s of Freedom in Job We must fully understand the “spirit of bondage” and these daily influences of living under the law. We will see the book of Job as the benchmark to foreshadow our freedom from this “spirit of bondage.” The three friends demonstrate the judgment of the law that was upon Christ. When Jesus was crucified and bore the curse of the law upon His body, he was freeing us forever from the spirit of the law. He was setting us free from any influence of our own works to receive and be blessed. He was setting us free from any dependence upon ourselves to achieve right living or behavior. He was setting us free from any ability that would be of ourselves to achieve any goal or success in our lives. He was setting us free from any prerequisite demand for God’s blessing. Jesus was sending forth His life in place of our own to be lived while in this body. Job displays in detailed line upon line the reality and fulfillment of, “…ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ” and also “…by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments.” Job offers us insight into the nature of the law so that we can recognize it and truly understand what it means to be free from the works of the law in every facet of our lives. The harshness and judgment of the law upon Jesus is recounted in great detail in the book of Job. Everything you see Job endure is the foreshadowing of Christ setting us free from the spirit of the law. It is interesting to note that the motivation of the three friends was to comfort Job. As we have seen and will continue to see, they did anything but comfort. I want you to think of situations in your life when well meaning friends who were unknowingly “preaching law” to you in your darkest hour. You so desperately needed love when you were overwhelmed by disappointment, misfortune or failure. Instead, your friend’s advice was what you should have done or what you still need to do. This provides no comfort and mostly judgment. 94


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Now that we have a working knowledge of what being free from the law means in our day to day lives. Let us return to the words of the three friends as they represent the condemnation and judgment of the law that was thrust upon Jesus. Jesus, perfect under the law, had to be judged by the law as a transgressor of the law. This was so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not live after the flesh (our own works) but rather by the Spirit (his life). The following passages establishes this context, “As I myself have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble and mischief reap the same; by the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they are consumed” (Job 5:6). “For affliction comes not forth from the dust, neither does trouble spring forth out of the ground. But man is born to trouble as the sparks and the flames fly upward” (Job 5:7 Amplified).

Eliphaz clearly establishes that the root of all the evil being experienced by Job is the result of the sins that Job has sown. He then goes on to say in Job 5:8 how he would handle things if in the same state: As for me, I would seek God and inquire of and require Him, and to God would I commit my cause” (Job 5:8). “

He then begins to list all the great things God will do if Job were only upright: “Who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number? Who gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the fields, So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and

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those who mourn He lifts to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise or anything of [lasting] worth” (Job 5:9-12).

The very heart and spirit of the law begins to emerge. Severe judgment and condemnation followed by the greatness of God and what he will do for you if you are upright. This is total disregard or feigned compassion for Job’s pain and instead great emphasis is placed on upright behavior. Eliphaz goes on to recount the blessings of those who are upright, obviously pointing out to Job that he is not upright. “But [God] saves [the fatherless] from the sword of their mouth, and the needy from the hand of the mighty. So the poor have hope, and iniquity shuts her mouth. Happy and fortunate is the man whom God reproves; so do not despise or reject the correction of the Almighty [subjecting you to trial and suffering].  For He wounds, but He binds up; He smites, but His hands heal.  

He will rescue you in six troubles; in seven nothing that is evil [for you] will touch you. In famine He will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes. At destruction and famine you shall laugh, neither shall you be afraid of the living creatures of the earth.  For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.  

And you shall know that your tent shall be in peace, and you shall visit your fold and your dwelling and miss nothing [from

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them]. You shall know also that your children shall be many, and your offspring as the grass of the earth. You shall come to your grave in ripe old age, and as a shock of grain goes up [to the threshing floor] in its season. This is what we have searched out; it is true. Hear and heed it and know for yourself [for your good]” (Job 5:15-27).

This pattern flows throughout the writing of Job. Brutal judgments that have virtually zero compassion for the plight of the victim followed by glowing promises of blessings as a reward for upright behavior. This is the voice and nature of living under the law. The words of Eliphaz above are beautiful promises. However, they have been placed in the unobtainable place of upright behavior in one’s own effort. All of these blessings by the three friends are only available to those who are blameless. A Vital Key to Understanding Job The following is extremely important in understanding the Book of Job. Though we will look more specifically at Job’s responses later, it is vital to add some context to the three friends arguments and sayings. Before we embark on chapter 9, let’s establish some ground rules. As I made mention in the preface, to go through the entire book chapter by chapter, verse by verse would be laborious to the point of exhaustion. We have already explored two themes that have arisen from the pages of Job. Christ is foreshadowed as our substitute and the redeeming us from the law. It is my intention to highlight the various themes that emerge from now until chapter 32 when Elihu is introduced. A significant demarcation takes place at that point very similar to the dividing line between the Old and New Testament. Until then, the themes that begin to be revealed are:

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The condemnation of the Law (which we have already begun to see) • • • • •

Job justifying himself and his own righteousness. Job relating gross misconceptions of the nature of God. Job expressing the futility of trying to live righteously The curse upon those who live by the law The blessing upon those who are righteous in their behavior

The three friend’s opinions are virtually always in response to Job’s claim of being righteous and his clouded characterizations of God. These things must be brought to light now so that we can grasp a greater understanding of the three friends and all they represent. Although there are many places in Job that we could use to illustrate the context of the arguments between Job and the three friends. Chapter 9 contains the thesis of virtually the entire writings of Job. As you will see, Job does not disagree with any of the arguments the three friends make in regards to the notion that God will bless the righ teous and the evil will receive a curse. This truth is extremely important. Job does not argue this foundational platform from which he is being so violently condemned and judged. The reason for this is because Job is speaking as a man under the law and sees God through the law. God blesses those who are upright and those who are not receive a curse. The three friends, as well as Job, adhere to this perspective! Job’s argument is that he knows this is true. He also believes that only those who are sinners should be getting this kind of afflictions. The problem that Job has is that he is an innocent, blameless man operating under the law who did not deserve the calamities. The three friends argue that this is not possible. You could not possibly be upright or these things would not be happening to you. This exchange continues until Elihu interrupts in chapter 32. It is in these exchanges that we discover what Jesus endured for us as fully man under the weight of keeping law.

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Please Get this… Please pay careful attention to this next paragraph for it contains the foundation of the book of Job and I will refer back to it many times. It is one of the most important ideas to grasp in this entire book. It is not the easiest of concepts to grasp. As this truth began to emerge in my own thinking I had to muse upon these ideas often: •

Job is representing the humanity of Christ experiencing every aspect of man’s own righteousness under the law. Jesus became everything man could be in his own works, in his own righteousness. Jesus had to be perfect under the law in our nature.

He was then judged by the law as a transgressor of the law by becoming sin for us and then receiving the penalty of death for those sins.

This perfect keeping of the law as a man represents the righteousness of the law. It becomes representative of all of mankind’s own righteousness. Jesus became the substitute for everything that could be expressed as our own works or our own effort. This is true because He kept the letter of the law under the law in our nature.

All of our own works; all of our own righteousness was laid upon Him as he bore the judgment of all man’s own works.

This is what it means to be redeemed from under the law. Dependence on our own works, to receive anything from God, died that day when He died. We are now joined to Him who is raised from the dead. This law of commandments was now replaced by the law of faith in 99


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Christ. Moving forward from the day of His death and resurrection, God would never require or count anything from our own strength, but rather now, only that which emerges from faith in Christ. Greater illumination upon this truth will become progressively clear as we continue. This preceding concept is absolutely essential to truly understanding the words of both Job and the three friends as it relates to our lives today. Come back to this paragraph to gain the perspective of the redemption that is taking place in the pages of Job.

“Dependence on our own works, to receive anything from God, died that day when He died.” Knowing the Father Let us look at selections from Job 9 to gain some perspective and context to the exchanges between Job and the three friends. Job says the following: “Whom, though I were righteous (upright and innocent) yet I could not answer? I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge [for my right]. If I called and He answered me, yet would I not believe that He listened to my voice. For He overwhelms and breaks me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness. If I speak of strength, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, Who, says He, will summon Me? Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, He would prove me perverse.

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Though I am blameless, I regard not myself; I despise my life. It is all one; therefore I say, God [does not discriminate, but] destroys the blameless and the wicked.  When [His] scourge slays suddenly, He mocks at the calamity and trial of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blinded to justice]. If it is not [God], who then is it [responsible for all this inequality]?” (Job 9:15-24 Amplified).

These few verses, more than any in the entire book of Job, shed light on the entire context of Job. Job pronounces himself blameless or righteous four times in the above selections. The three friends, as we have established, have harshly stated that this cannot be true because of the calamities that have assailed him. The law becomes indignant at anyone who says that they have kept the law. Another extremely important concept is introduced in these verses. “God [does not discriminate, but] destroys the blameless and the wicked. He mocks at the calamity and trial of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blinded to justice]. If it is not [God], who then is it [responsible for all this inequality]?” (Job 9:22-24 Amplified).

Along with responding to Job’s claims of his righteousness, these characterizations of God bring out the ire of the three friends. These statements will become a centerpiece in our redemption as we move ahead. What is coming out of the mouth of Job? These statements along

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with proclaiming his own righteousness become the primary focus of Elihu beginning in Chapter 32 and will shed great insight into the far reaches of our redemption. How shall we interpret these words of Job? When one is under the law, and views God’s character through dependence on their own works, perspective is darkened and clouded. It is impossible to truly embrace the Father through the law. Your perceptions of who God really is will not be accurate. Subsequently, you will draw wrong conclusions, ideas and belief systems as you interpret your circumstances. Also, how you interpret the circumstances of others and events in the world at large will be severely skewed. These vast misconceptions and wrong viewpoints are a result of not understanding the God of grace and still viewing God through the eyes of the law. The world is absolutely full of these misconceptions. We hear them everywhere. I hear them in the movies and news. I hear them in the voices of people trying to explain and understand all the things that happen in this life. How many times have we heard horrific disasters attributed to the will or wrath of God? How many times have we heard people say, “If there is a God then why does he allow all those children to die of starvation?” Jesus experienced these misconceptions so that we could view the true character of God and have full understanding of these questions that plague mankind. Jesus experienced these misconceptions because He was made like us in every way. Some might say, “I struggle to believe this is the voice of Christ saying these things?” How could this be? We must understand that Jesus had to experience every mindset that we in our humanity, could possibly face. He became sin. He became every misconception of God and every confusing question that has existed throughout the ages. There is no thought process, confusion or questions which He is not intimately acquainted. He was fully man under the weight of the perfection of the law who became everything in every place that man could fathom. 102


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Shortly, I will share an experience of how I thought God was asking me for great sacrifice, commitment and diligence. In my mind, I believed my commitments measured up to the demanded prerequisite to blessings. However, I still received death for all my efforts and right actions. I would look around me and see people who, in my estimation, were not as diligent and committed as me, yet they were happy and prosperous. My thoughts were exactly as those expressed by Job in chapter 9 although I was too religious to actually admit such a thing. Jesus experienced this place. He wore every inch of it on our behalf. He felt these things at its deepest core. He was righteous, yet, representing the righteousness of the law, had to receive the death for our transgressions. The Law: A Paradox of Hypocrisy Because Job does not agree with the three friends that he has sinned and maintains his innocence, Eliphaz makes these statements: “What is man, that he could be pure and clean? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be right and just?  Behold, [God] puts no trust in His holy ones [the angels]; indeed, the heavens are not clean in His sight—How much less that which is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks iniquity like water?” (Job 15:14-16 Amplified).

It is so important to emphasize this concept being voiced once again by the law. Eliphaz constantly demands upright behavior from Job necessary for God to bless him. However, in verse 14 Eliphaz emphasizes how man can never measure up to God’s holiness: “What is man, that he could be pure and clean? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be right and just?”

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Have we ever just stopped and taken notice of this paradox of hypocrisy? We are told constantly that we should be more committed and do right. Yet, if anyone dare to publicly acknowledge their right behavior then religion would quickly remind us that no one is righteous outside of God. The demands of religion will never be satisfied. You will never be able to ever do enough. You will always come up short in the eyes of the law and religion. This spirit is vividly demonstrated throughout the book of Job. This becomes a major theme of Job. The law judges harshly and says it is because of your sin that these things are happening to you. If you will put sin away from you blessing will follow. Is this not a true statement even for New Testament believers today? However, there is one enormous difference. The righteousness that we are to display is that which is apart from the law. It is apart from anything we could do and must be as a result of grace though faith in Christ. There are many promises mentioned in the book of Job that will be rewarded to the one who keeps the law. These same blessings can be declared over our lives because Jesus kept the law! Our faith is in Him, not ourselves. Every blessing you see spoken of by the three friends from this time forward has been made “Yes and Amen” in Christ. They are declared “yes” by our faith in Christ. The prerequisite for keeping the law was placed upon Jesus. Any judgment that sin brings has already been applied to Jesus when He became sin. Now, we receive His righteousness by faith and the blessings are ours. According to the law of the three friends these promises would have been given to Job if he was righteous. These promises of Job are Yes to us because of the righteousness of Jesus given to us as a gift. Remember, Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

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Job Responds to Judgments I trust we have now gained the New Testament context to the judgments and condemnation of the three friends. I also trust we have set the context for Job’s subsequent responses. Let us now return to the indictments of the three friends. “Remember now, whoever perished being innocent? Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed” (Job 4:8-9).

“I have seen the foolish taking root, But suddenly I cursed his dwelling place. His sons are far from safety, They are crushed in the gate, And there is no deliverer” (Job 5:3-4).

Remember, the friends share this blessing below after they hurled judgments upon Job. “He will rescue you in six troubles; in seven nothing that is evil [for you] will touch you. In famine He will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes. And you shall know that your tent shall be in peace, and you shall visit your fold and your dwelling and miss nothing [from them]. You shall know also that your children shall be many, and your offspring as the grass of the earth” (Job 5:19-25).

Harsh judgments are given to those who sin followed by blessings from God to those who live uprightly. Job responds to these words spoken by the three friends.

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“Then Job answered and said: ‘Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it on the scales! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea—Therefore my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; my spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me’ “ (Job 6:1-4).

In Job 6:8-13, Job goes on to offer expression to the harshness that the judgment of the law gives: “Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! Then I would still have comfort; Though in anguish I would exult, He will not spare; For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? Or is my flesh bronze?  Is my help not within me? And is success driven from me?” (Job 6:8-13).

Job does not respond to the judgment and accusations of his sin. Nor does he mention prerequisite demand for right behavior. He is consumed with pain and that is all he can express. “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?” Is this not the very essence of humanity? The pain and the need is to be the true focus of love not the behavioral changes demanded by religion. There is no reference from the three friends regarding Job’s pain and suffering. Only adherence to the demands of righteousness if Job wishes to receive blessing. This is the spirit of the law unmasked.

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I am reminded of Paul when he said to the Galatians: “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me” (Galatians 4:13-15).

Paul had preached the gospel to the Galatians and they had received him as an angel of God. They did so even though he was experiencing some kind of physical malady at the time. Paul speaks of their blessedness and their compassion to him. He even suggests they would have sacrificed their own eyes to help him. Yet, now he says, “ Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?” Where did all this compassion and kindness go? The Galatians had been infiltrated again by those of the circumcision, by those of the law. Now the only thing that matters to the Galatians is that Paul is not preaching the law of circumcision. Their compassion and human empathy was superseded by the demands of their religion. This is exactly what religion and the law does to good people. This is exactly what is represented by the three friends. They are the law of commandments and their strict adherence to the demands of righteousness take the preeminence over any empathy to the one who is suffering. Have you ever noticed that many people in the world who do not even profess Christ show a truer compassion and empathy for others than the rigidly religious? Job cannot respond to demands of right behavior in the midst of tortuous circumstances and grievous sorrow. Neither can we! Jesus knew this and experienced this for us. The words of the three friends telling an utterly broken and destitute man that it is his sin that has caused this and his ultimate good behavior that will save 107


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him only alienates Job. It engenders a feeling of death and futility. Jesus bore the weight and demands of the law upon our lives as a prerequisite for blessing and favor. No matter the grievousness of your situation, God will never demand your strength, effort or commitment for your situation to change. He instead offers death to your own ability and full faith in the life of Jesus to you as a gift. Jesus bore the demands of the law upon his body so that keeping the law in your own strength would never be required of us especially in times of great need and pain. One might say, “I thought we have to show God how much we are willing to sacrifice before he can move on our behalf and deliver us from such great pain? What about the preachers who tell me I have to give a big offering or show some great act of obedience before I will see the change I need.” I answer these words with the following. If some kind of sacrificial obedience or “giving till it hurts” is your prerequisite for breakthrough then you better do it empowered by faith in Christ. It better come from inspiration of His strength compelling and energizing such an act. It better be something that has been shown to you by His Spirit that gives you great joy and anticipation in the exercising of that obedience. It better not be your sacrifice, but rather faith in His. If not, then you just put yourself under the law and all that are under the law “Faith in the are under the curse. Faith in the sacrifice sacrifice of Jesus of Jesus is your offering not your many is your offering attempts to offer the sacrifices of your not your many own works. Your sacrifices most likely attempts to offer have been offered in misunderstood the sacrifices of attempts of obedience. There is only one New Testament “sacrifice” and that your own works.” is faith in the sacrifice of Christ. These are the sacrifices of faith.

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FIVE

WELL OF WATER SPRINGING Let us look further into the nature of living under the law and how we have been set free from its demands. New Covenant realities continue to be unveiled. The next few verses of Job give beautiful insight into what motivated Job’s response to the harsh judgment and lack of empathy of the three friends. “To him who is about to faint and despair, kindness is due from his friend, lest he forsake the fear of the Almighty. [You] my brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, as the channel of brooks that pass away,  which are black and turbid by reason of the ice, and

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in which the snows hides itself; when they get warm, they shrink and disappear; when it is hot, they vanish out of their place. The caravans which travel by way of them turn aside; they go into the waste places and perish. [Such is my disappointment in you, the friends I fully trusted.]The caravans of Tema looked [for water], the companies of Sheba waited for them [in vain].  

They were confounded because they had hoped [to find water]; they came there and were bitterly disappointed. Now to me you are [like a dried-up brook]; you see my dismay and terror, and [believing me to be a victim of God’s anger] you are afraid [to sympathize with me]” (Job 5: 14-21 Amplified).

The Amplified Bible adds such a wonderful dimension to this scripture. When all strength is gone, we do not look for advice on what we should do or should have done. We do not want to hear the latest circus routines from some well intentioned ministry about how they have found the key to the breakthrough. We are not looking for the dryness of man’s opinions drawn out from his fleshly works-driven mind. We are looking for the water of the Spirit. The water that Jesus referred to as living water in the Gospel of John. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14 KJV).

Look more closely at the words of Job in chapter 6. Job compares the longing of his heart in the time of great oppression to weary, thirsty travelers who have heard that there is a brook close by from which they can quench their thirst. They grow in expectancy as they approach

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the waters only to be bitterly disappointed to find the brook has dried with no relief for their thirst. Job trusted in his friends to comfort him. Instead, they condemned him bitterly, blaming him for his afflictions. They then demanded more righteous behavior from him if his life is to be restored. The three friends, representing the law, are symbols of how we trust in our good works, obedience and/or commitment to bring a blessing. If we are looking for the reward or results of our dedication and sacrifice then we are looking to the law for the waters of refreshing. We, as Job, will be bitterly disappointed to find there is no water in our own works of righteousness. Water that truly quenches only springs from the Spirit. The Spirit is only given by grace through faith. We have many times thought that our great obedience to the principles of God would yield deliverance from things that have assailed us. We fasted obediently. We prayed fervently. We gave consistently. We improved our behavior as best we could. We confessed every scripture we could find for months upon months looking intently for our day to come. As Job trusted in his friends to bring relief, we trusted in all our spiritual effort to bring realization to our long awaited hope only to result in disappointment. We would not admit these things to anyone or even ourselves. However, if pressed for the inmost truth, we would finally acquiesce to the admission that we too have been bitterly disappointed. I have heard so many preachers try to explain what to do when nothing seems to be working. Their advice was always to continue wailing away at the same thing I was already doing. I just needed to do it a little harder and a little longer. There were times when someone would come up with a new, hidden revelation or that special something that intended to bring me peace. It was always over there somewhere just out of reach. It was like pursuing the elusive Holy Grail. Then there are those fatalistic groups who always resigned themselves to their “go to” phrase that explains everything away. For example, “Well, it just wasn’t meant to be” or “This just isn’t God’s will.” There 111


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are some new ones today that have gained traction like, “Everything happens for a reason” and “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Both Christians and Non-Christians alike have bought into these sayings. The whole world seems to believe in these ridiculous, silly phrases that have no root in the revelation of Christ in us. We choose these catch phrases to boast of our super-spiritual behavior. God is not pleased nor needs our spiritual catch phrases that only make us appear like we are content in these places of not being fulfilled. God is intimately aware of the disappointment we feel. When are we going to demand more of our walk with God and not accept worn, useless phrases like these? Did Jesus ever say, “Well, it just wasn’t meant to be. Guess it’s just not God’s will. Everything happens for a reason.” No he did not... Not even once...ever! Did Jesus use these phrases when He was healing the sick or feeding the five thousand? Jesus used phrases like “Peace, Be Still,” “Rise Up and Walk,” “Lazarus, Come Forth,” “Neither Do I condemn you, go and sin no more,” and “It is Finished.” Jesus used phrases that instantly connected the situation to the Redeemer. They boasted of the Father’s love, empathy and power. Hope Deferred What is the real issue being addressed by the words of Job and the metaphor of the thirsty traveler? What is the New Testament truth that is being foreshadowed in these words? When prayers seem to be unanswered, our hope is replaced with disappointment and confusion. Job shares his fragile state and admits his discouragement in chapter 6 verse 20. The King James Version states it this way: They were confounded because they had hope; they came thither, and were ashamed. The word confounded according to Strong’s is buwsh. It is defined as: to put to shame, be ashamed, be disconcerted, be disappointed. The word ashamed in the Hebrew is chapher, it means confounded and embarrassed. The Gesenius Lexicon says that this word is mostly used to describe shame 112


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that arises from disappointed hope, or the embarrassment from your plans not working to your expectations. Unquestionably, the main thought mentioned in verse 20 is dashed expectation. It summarizes the genuine hope of expecting a particular outcome and then not receiving according to your expectation. This is disappointment. Job experienced this place. He was a perfect and blameless man, yet now his life was in full torment. The expectation of being blameless and righteous are blessing not curses. Likewise, Jesus lived in perfect, sinless harmony with God His Father. Yet, He experienced the full punishment as a transgressor of the law. Let us take a closer look at the picture of this New Testament truth emerging from the pages of Job. We must first view its New Testament counterpart in the writings of the Apostle Paul: “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on whom shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:33 KJV). Please remember these words, “whosoever believes shall not be ashamed or disappointed in his expectation.” It does not say, whosoever is the most dedicated or committed shall not be ashamed. To gain the full insight into this truth, we must take a look at the preceding verses. “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled over the stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:30-33 KJV).

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Look how the Amplified so beautifully relates this concept in verse 32-33: “Whereas Israel, though ever in pursuit of a law [for securing] righteousness (right standing with God], actually did not succeed in fulfilling the Law. For what reason? Because [they pursued it] not through faith, relying [instead] on the merit of their own works [they did not depend on faith but on what they could do]… As it is written, Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone that will make men stumble, a Rock that will make them fall;...but he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall not be put to shame nor be disappointed in his expectations” (Romans 9:32-33). Those who “believe” “shall not be disappointed in their expectations”, while those who try to obtain by their works are indeed disappointed. Those who seek it by faith apart from their own works receive the end of their hope”

Have You Been Disappointed in Your Expectation? What are we to do with this promise? If I am totally honest I must ask the following question: Have I ever been disappointed in my expectations of receiving from God? The answer must be a resounding yes! Yet, this scripture says whosoever believes in him shall not be ashamed or disappointed in his expectations. What am I to do with this? If we are promised an end to disappointment and shame, then why are we feeling these disappointing, shameful places? Shall I spiritualize these things? Shall I again explain it away with religious dogma such as

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philosophical sayings like, “Well, what you were expecting was not right” and “God has another plan for you.” God may have indeed had another plan for you, but He wants to walk in total union with you and reveal that plan through intense hope and expectation. Once that hope is reignited, He wants us to walk in it by faith. He does not want you to have the “rug pulled out from under you” and now you are disappointed in your expectation. The chapter at the end of the book called “All Things” will bring crystal clarity to these thoughts. You will see the faith that was delivered to the church by the death and resurrection of Christ truly fulfills the promise of...whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. Remember, the works of the law are not obvious. It is in the form of leaven. There is only one explanation as to why you are feeling disappointed because God did not answer you the way you hoped. You have replaced faith in Christ with the leaven of your own works. Most of the time, these works seem like New Testament revelations that are seemingly spiritual and spirit-filled. Tragically, you have become a temporary victim of the spirit of bondage that has deceptively infiltrated what you thought was your perfect performance of New Testament principles. You have fallen victim to the belief that your doing will cause your breakthrough to occur instead of the finished work of Christ producing your works of faith. I am speaking to those who have been dedicated to God and walking with him the best you know how. There is no condemnation, judgment or ridicule for feeling disappointed by God. I am speaking to all of you with empathy and compassion. You have been doing the best you know how to remain dedicated to God and walk uprightly in the midst of deep hurt. You do your best to adhere when you hear messages that ask for more diligence and obedience. You have hoped with all your heart and trusted with all your might that your hope would be fulfilled. However, like

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“The caravans of Tema who looked for water, the companies of Sheba waited for them in vain. They were confounded because they had hoped to find water; they came there and were bitterly disappointed.”(Job 6:19-21 Amplified).

This is the crux of the matter. Job is depicting Jesus carrying this place in our stead. He took on the demands of the law and performed them perfectly, yet received the judgment and condemnation of one who transgressed them. He did this so that by faith in Him we are released from the demands of performance. Instead of a dry, barren land of our own works, we will receive...a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Just like Israel, the New “The very things that we Testament church has been are working so diligently affected by the leaven of the to perform...are the very spirit of bondage. The very things that we are working things that are keeping you so diligently to perform for from receiving from God” the purpose of receiving from God are the things that are keeping you from receiving from God. Romans 9:30-33 is telling us that Israel was trying to attain unto righteousness but could not because they sought it by what they could do. This effort and focus on their performance prevented the release of faith. The scripture yearns to proclaim whosoever believes in Me shall not be disappointed in his expectations! It does not say to whosoever sacrifices the most or whosoever is the most obedient and committed. Genuine obedience is a by-product of faith in Christ to live through you and to be in you what you cannot be yourself. Anyone can be easily deceived by the sly infiltration of leaven. You did not think that the effort you were putting forth to perfectly perform all these “kingdom principles” was actually the leaven of the spirit of

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bondage. This is why it is called leaven. It is very deceptive. Our days of bitter disappointment can be over as the Holy Spirit truly begins to teach us the revelation of faith in Christ. Our minds will clearly discern the deceptive spirits of bondage as we become more and more established in true New Testament faith. The result will be freedom beyond your ability to imagine. The message of Job 6 is to demonstrate Jesus our Savior experiencing this place of bitter disappointment. He took the disappointment and shame of trying to fulfill the demands of what we thought was Christianity. Jesus took the place of us putting forth our best efforts to fulfill what we thought were the prerequisites of blessing. When we did not receive the results of these efforts we were disillusioned, disappointed and embarrassed. The devastation of this place was laid upon Him. Jesus took this place for us so we can now stand and receive our freedom from every disappointment of the past. As a result we can live free of any prerequisite demand or dependence on our own works. We can now believe in the Spirit of faith that is given to us and we shall never again be disappointed in our expectations! Servant to Son More evidences of this awesome work of redemption from the works of the law occur in Job chapter 7 which gives a direct synopsis of how Christ is representing mankind under the weight of being a servant to the law. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is there not an [appointed] warfare and hard labor to man upon earth? And are not his days like the days of a hireling? As a servant earnestly longs for the shade and the evening shadows, and as a hireling who looks for the reward of his work. So am I allotted months of futile [suffering], and [long] nights of misery are appointed to meâ&#x20AC;? (Job 7:1-3 Amplified). 117


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This is a classic foreshadowing of the differences between the law and the New Testament faith that is delivered to the church. Again, Jesus bore the heavy weight of the demands of right behavior and actions as a prerequisite for blessing. When you are under any influences of your own works as the key to blessing, you will feel like a hireling earning his wages. I see so many Christians unaware they are under this yoke. I was a Christian unaware I was under this yoke my entire life with no clue of its origin. Jesus has become our easy yoke and our light burden that brings rest from these awful religious bondages. Job responds in chapter 9 verses 1-2 when the three friends continually demanded Job to be more upright before his deliverance could come forth, “Then Job answered and said: “Truly I know it is so, but how can a man be righteous before God? Job is agreeing with the premise of the law because he is a man under the law. He is saying, “I know that if you are upright, things will go well, but I am blameless and it still has not worked.” I have done all I know to do live uprightly and look what has happened. He, then, cries out in chapter 25 verse 4 one of the most important words in all of the Book of Job, “How can a mortal “How can a mortal be be righteous before God?” This is the righteous before God? cry of all of mankind. This was a cry This is the cry of all of made for us. It is made on our behalf mankind. This was a so we would never have to cry out for cry made for us.” this unobtainable place in our own efforts ever again. Jesus became this place and then gave us Himself to answer this cry. These are the words of our Savior taking our place under the weight of trying to be holy and righteous to please God. This is the weight that religion has placed upon all. This is why so many reject God. Jesus bore the weight of this desperate plea and fully accomplished its demand. Jesus never intended for us to wear the weight of dependence upon our own strength to be holy and act right. He carried the weight of this pressure so we would never endure it again. 118


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Have you tried with all of your heart to overcome behaviors? Have you tried with all of your might to be dedicated to God? Have you done what all the preachers have told you to do? Have you felt the despair of being a mere mortal in the eyes of God? YES? Then you are ready to receive His easy yoke and light burden as a gift! More Hypocrisy of Religion Look at the words of Eliphaz as he describes the heart of the law. Look at these words followed by the words of Bildad as they respond to Job’s incessant replies that he indeed is blameless. The heart of religion is revealed in these exchanges? We briefly mentioned these things earlier but they bear repeating in this context. Religion tells us we must be upright. However, if we ever say that we are, we will be quickly told the following: “Can mortal man be just before God, or be more right than He is? Can a man be pure before his Maker, or be more cleansed than He is? Even in His [heavenly] servants He puts no trust or confidence, and His angels He charges with folly and error- How much more those who dwell in houses (bodies) of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed like the moth. Between morning and evening they are destroyed; without anyone noticing it they perish forever” (Job 4:15-20 Amplified)

Later in chapter 25, Bildad reinforces this hypocrisy of the law: “Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,  Dominion and fear are with [God]; He makes peace in His high places. Is there any number to His armies? And upon whom does not His light arise? How 119


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then can man be justified and righteous before God? Or how can he who is born of a woman be pure and clean? Behold, even the moon has no brightness [compared to God’s glory] and the stars are not pure in His sight— How much less man, who is a maggot! And a son of man, who is a worm!” (Job 25:1-6). Eliphaz and Bildad fully representing the spirit of the law continually tell Job that the reason he is suffering is because of his sin. Then, they tell him, if he would cleanse his life all would be well again. Job continually responds that he has indeed kept the commands of God and has performed uprightly. To which the friends respond, “Can a man be pure before his Maker, or be more cleansed than He is?” Then he adds, “Even in His [heavenly] servants He puts no trust or confidence, and His angels He charges with folly and error.” Bildad punctuates this pattern by adding, “Or how can he who is born of a woman be pure and clean?” Finally, Bildad puts the exclamation point on the whole conversation when he says, “How much less man, who is a maggot!” How would you like to be called a maggot in the midst of your greatest pain while you are crying out for mercy and deliverance? This is the hypocrisy of religion. Think about all of this for a moment. Think about all the sermons you have heard telling you that you must straighten up and do better. Then if you were so brazen as to finally say, “Hey, I’ve finally got it together and just don’t sin very much anymore.” You would be attacked from every quarter and told that you are sinner and will always be a sinner. You will be told that you will never get it together until you die. Then they will go right up to the pulpit and tell you again how you should live holy before God? This is the utter futility of most of religion today. Religion demands perfect behavior to receive the blessing of God. Yet, if we even so much as think we have accomplished this demand, we are quickly reminded of our inabilities! This is the bondage of religion. It demands out of one side of its mouth to be holy and upright. Then immediately tells you that there are “none righteous, no not one”. If you have a mindset of religion 120


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and you think it is your effort and ability to be upright, you will run in circles wandering until death. It will never be enough, even if you make progress in this pursuit. Religion will always ask for more and will always tell you that you are falling short. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:20).

In my mind, this familiar section of scripture is the defining statement of being redeemed from the law. You are crucified with Christ and the life that you live in this body, in this life, (in your job, marriage, relationships, pursuits, recreation, etc.) is lived completely by faith in Christ. Do not ignore this gift because He loves you and gave His life and ability for your inability. If you could possibly… act right respond correctly improve your marriage not have impure motivations and thoughts work harder be more responsible get it together be more tender and loving, be more productive not retaliate or lose control then…Christ died in vain. 121


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If I could do any of these things through my own strength and ability then Christ has died for me needlessly. This is what being redeemed from the law means. This is what Jesus did for us when He became a curse for us. This is what the Son of God did when He took on his body the curse of the law and the judgment of the law. What we see Job experiencing is revealing to us what Jesus bore for us so we could possess the true beauty of Galatians 2:20. Romans 4 adds, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

The Rest of Faith God has no use for your works. He only wants your faith. This verse will take on much greater meaning in the next chapter. Let us again reference the words of Jesus in Matthew. I don’t think we can read this promise enough: “Jesus said, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’ ” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The yoke of the law is hard and makes one feel like a hireling, a servant. By contrast the yoke of Christ is the yoke of faith and rest apart from anything you could possibly do. Let us look at this promise expressed in the Amplified Bible:

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“Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant and My burden is light and easy to be borne.”

If you are confused about the will of God then use these words as your barometer. Ask yourself, “Is what I am feeling hard, sharp, and pressing? Or is it producing relief, ease and blessed quiet. Let me add a point of clarity. Instead of using this as a measurement to only discern the will of God about a particular issue in your life. It is also a litmus test to tell if you are in your own works to make something work. You may very well be in the will of God in a job or relationship etc. but if you are handling it in your own works it can turn harsh, hard and pressing. You may very well be in a place of fulfillment and abundance if you will let go of your own works and allow His works to flow in you. The Message Bible of of Matthew 11:28-30 echoes the themes in this chapter, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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in Jesus, is gracious, pleasant and light. This yoke of Christ is ours as a gift by faith because Jesus bore in His flesh the harsh, hard-pressing judgment of the law. Jesus took the yoke of Job 7:1-3 so we could have the yoke of Christ expressed in Matthew 11:28-30!

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SIX

TURNING POINT I must pause at this time and share an experience of my life before returning to the pages of Job. I trust relating events in my own life will bring life and clarity to these things to which we have just spoken. Without question the single most definitive landmark in my life is the revelation of grace and freedom from the law. More importantly, not the obvious aspects of the law pronounced over and over in scripture, but rather the barely discernible leaven of the law. The subtle, deceptive aspects that I have tried diligently up to this point to shed light upon. If I have been redundant, it has been by design. I feel it is necessary through repetition to continue to unmask this deceptive spirit of leaven. I never in a million years thought that I was living under the law of my own works. I understood faith in Christ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so I thought. 125


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The events and spiritual progression that brought me to the conclusions I just wrote in these previous paragraphs were forged in the most intense pain that I had ever lived through. I hesitate to say this because I do not want you to think that I am one of those guys who believe that you have to always go through hell to grow. I do not believe this. As a matter of fact if I would have known then what I know now I honestly do not think it would have been nearly as difficult. However, my view of God at the time made me vulnerable to the most heinous oppression that I had ever experienced. Even though we do not have to go through hell. Many times, in the course of our lives, we find ourselves there anyway. For such times was Jesus made like us in every way and touched with the feelings of our weakness. It is extremely difficult to offer words to these events of my past that I am about to share. I do not know if I can accurately voice the depth of gloom and confusion that I endured. I defer to the Holy Spirit to share these things in a way that will minister to the hearts of the reader. I lived my entire life up until the age of 45 with the idea that strict adherence to the principles of God was absolutely necessary for blessings. Commitment, obedience, consistent and intense prayer was the secret to success. I thought I understood the scripture in Galatians 2:20 that says “It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I live, I live by faith in Christ.” In reality, I had no clue. I would preach this verse and sound like I understood the message of grace and faith in Christ, but at the root was a constant, gnawing pressure to be more obedient and committed. The “spirit of bondage” was using my own zeal against me. Much like Paul, who said he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, I felt like I had it together spiritually (Phil. 3:5; Acts 23:6). I would wake every morning at 5 am, pray in the spirit and study the Word for two hours. I would tithe and give offerings faithfully. I would do my best to make sure I was looking out for the needs of others and not just my own needs. Year after year I would live this way, but saw little to no results in the things for which I longed. 126


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My marriage, of many years, was extremely difficult for me. I prayed year after year for it to get better, but my dissatisfaction worsened through the decades. My depression became virtually all-consuming. The only thing I knew to do was try harder. Pray longer. Stand on the Word stronger. After all, this was all I had ever been taught. Instead of stopping and being honest before God about the lack of results, I kept hammering away in the context of my view of God and my deeply rooted belief system. Finally, I began to weaken and crack. Little did I know that this was the first stage of my metamorphosis. I desperately needed to see a side of the love of God that would set me free from, what I can now say, was an awful, spiritual perspective of our Heavenly Father. I was completely unaware of the leaven of the law in my view of God. I slowly began to share my inmost weaknesses with God instead of just trying to gloss over them with religious performance. This admission was contrary to the current doctrine I was hearing at my church at the time. I had been a member of this particular church for seven years. The main foundation seemed to be precise, proper spiritual performance in every situation you face or God could not bring deliverance to your situation. There was a spiritual principle for virtually everything. If things were not working, it was because you were not working the principle. . If you were in a hard place they would tell me …you need to more of this…and still yet more of that. It was a never ending saga. After a few years of exposure to this type of ministry I began to tire and mutter phrases like “Input-Output Christianity” and “Grind you into Powder Theology”. I bought into it all for such a long time. Yet, as time wore on I began to yearn to relate to God differently. I was weary of crossing my “T’s” and dotting my “I’s” as a prerequisite for the blessings of God. I, of course, would never voice such frustration, but it was nonetheless real on the inside of me. I went through this period for quite some time believing that I needed to be more committed and I needed to try harder. I had no 127


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place else to go in my thinking. Little did I know my weariness and frustration was not my lack of commitment but rather the Holy Spirit trying his very best to reveal a more intimate side of God to me. A deeper side of God that my present perspective of God would not allow me to receive. Looking back now I can see I was going through a major transition and a completely new way of thinking. A new way to see God that would affect me at my very foundations for the rest of my life. It did not happen overnight but I now recognize that what I am sharing with you was the definitive beginning of this change. One Sunday, I was listening to this Pastor that I revered and respected for many years. As he was speaking, he began to imitate, hypothetically, someone who was going through difficulty and had fallen into self-pity. It was the typical exhortation against any display of human complaint when we are tired and worn. This state of being was viewed as weakness and a relinquishing of your faith. The admonition was that the Christian needed to be strong and believe that God will rouse Himself on your behalf. He was a very funny man, and as he mocked the whiney Christian, the crowd roared with laughter. Bypassing Our Humanity In another place and another time I would have laughed too. This time, however, the Holy Spirit was speaking deep within my heart. I said within myself, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lord I know self-pity is not right and I know we are to be strong in faith, but sometimes things hurt deeply beyond any possible doctrine or performance of any spiritual principle.â&#x20AC;? After hearing these kinds of things for many years. The responses and techniques that I have heard from the pulpit had left me dry and unresponsive. I tried to perform them with sincere passion and preciseness but they had become lifeless and did not work for me anymore. They had left me empty and yearning for a new encounter with the Holy Spirit. In my heart, I knew God was more than this but my theology 128


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was so utterly immersed in these perspectives that I could not seem to escape this precise performance mindset. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke very gently to my heart in that Sunday service. He said, “David, he is bypassing his humanity” It was just that simple. I was not sure I knew the gravity of what the Lord was speaking to me but it ministered to my inmost being. For the next several weeks and months, I began to think and muse upon this phrase. I had become almost robotically inhuman in the way I lived my life and responded to issues. I was trying so desperately to make sure I was working the spiritual principle that I would not allow myself to “feel” any normal human weaknesses anymore. I thought this was strength, but in fact, it was keeping me from His strength and the result was anger and frustration. Over the next several months, the Holy Spirit sought to teach me the beauty of Jesus being touched with the feeling of my weakness expressed in Hebrews 2, and how I was forfeiting the experience of this beautiful side of God. Jesus thought enough of my feelings to be touched with them in the very things that would cause me pain. He thought enough of my humanity to be made like me in every way and share in every aspect of my humanity. He became human for the express purpose of sharing my humanity. I will not bypass this beauty and strength in the name of what is nothing more than self-effort cloaked in the name of religion and the performance of so-called principles of the kingdom.

Merciful and Faithful In Hebrews 2:17, it is said of Jesus that He is both merciful and faithful. When we are hurting, Jesus is merciful and we do not have to demonstrate some kind of spiritual backbone for Him. He is touched with my weakness. I can honestly come before the throne of grace and receive grace and mercy to help in my time of need. He is also faithful. He gently says to me and you, “I do not minimize your feelings and 129


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pain in this situation. I am touched with your weakness.” This releases me from having to perform or put on some kind of front. However, He does not leave me with only mercy. I do not have to enter into self-pity because He is also faithful and the pioneer of my salvation. Because of His mercy I can now receive His faithfulness and take the hand of my pioneer. I now allow Him and His strength to blaze me a way out to a salvation engineered just for me! Now, any performance of valid principles of the Kingdom is emanating from a place of faith “Because of His mercy, in His death for me not some preI can now receive His requisite show of human strength. As this change in my perfaithfulness, take the ception continued, I remember hand of my pioneer and waking up one morning. allow Him and His when my alarm went off at strength to blaze me a 5 a.m. It was time to pray as way out to a salvation was my custom. I had some very beautiful times in prayer engineered just for me!” and the Holy Spirit was so very faithful to me as best he could be in the mindset that I possessed at the time. However, this particular morning, I could no longer pray this way. I just could not do it anymore. I just said, “Jesus, I am so sorry that I do not have the discipline to do this anymore. Please forgive me.” A strange thing began to happen. I actually felt the compassion of God and not displeasure. I actually experienced a release in my heart. Something positive was happening to my perspective of God. I was beginning to loosen up and relax but my situation was still not changing. My marriage continued to deteriorate and the issues grew to insurmountable levels. There were years and years of deeply rooted issues. I finally could not try any more. Even though I was beginning to gain a new perspective, I still felt my performance of proper prayer, tithing, fasting, etc was my only hope. As time progressed, I simply 130


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could not stand it anymore. I had believed for my marriage to work for so many years. Now, it was bordering on the absurd. I had prayed so many prayers and thought I heard from God so many times. I went through many thought processes. There is not any concept I did not consider to resurrect my marriage. Without any other place to turn, I finally changed my focus from my marriage changing to the desire for God to deliver me any way He could. My focus was on my wife changing. I put all my eggs in that basket. I did not realize at the time that I was just as much of the problem. When she did not change in the ways that I envisioned, my marriage ended and my faith was severely devastated. Could I Ever Have a Child-Like Faith? I put so many years into making the marriage work. I did not know how I could ever have a child-like faith again when it failed despite my best efforts. The truth is I never had a child-like faith. I was truly “confounded and disappointed in my expectation,” and completely oblivious that I had tried to make things work through my own spiritual effort. The “spirit of bondage” was operating unabated, right under my nose. I could not detect it because of my entrenched belief system. My faith seemed to be forever damaged. I had trusted so intensely that if I did all these spiritual things everything would work out. I was confused and perplexed that utter failure was the result I received for my commitment. This is the exact same perplexity that Job voices throughout Job 3-32. How could these things happen to someone who lives right? Like Job, completely unaware that the commitment I was demonstrating was being sought through the law. I was doing just as the Romans we spoke of earlier. I was seeking results through my own works of spiritual activity. My marriage had failed but there were additional issues present. I was a High School teacher at the time. While I was teaching, I was 131


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spending an appreciable amount of time, effort and capital working on a business venture that utilized my formal education in nutrition and sports performance. I had done some graduate work in fat loss and muscle retention. I had this remarkable idea to create a web-based nutrition and meal planning service that was customizable! A friend of mine invested his life savings in the project developing our computer databases. A wise old business man once told me, “Ideas are a ‘dime a dozen.’ The real genius is the implementation and execution of those ideas.” We were two hundred thousand dollars over budget with only a product prototype and no money for marketing. In order to make this new venture work, I left my teaching position to dedicate my efforts to this new business. I failed…miserably. I had worked on this business literally for five years and it never got as high as the ceiling. The business that I designed was a total loss to the investor who trusted me with hundreds of thousands of dollars. The marriage that I had “believed” to be saved was gone. How could all this happen? I prayed over my business and marriage constantly. I wrote the vision and confessed endlessly God’s favor and blessing. I tithed and sowed seed for the success of my business and marriage. I was “disappointed in my expectation”! I was not bitter, but I was deeply sorrowful and confused. I did not know it at the time but my heart was crying out…How can a mortal be righteous before God?” In today’s language, it would be more like, “Man, what does it take to get a prayer answered and for something good to happen?” I had no idea how buried my mindset was in the “spirit of bondage”. What followed was very painful for me but more so to my two daughters. I had to move out of my house and my two girls went with me for a time. I was virtually broke by this time. My oldest daughter after a few weeks went to live on campus at the college she was attending, and my youngest daughter, who was a junior in high school, went to live with her mother. I went to live in a cabin in the woods by myself. 132


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The cabin was offered rent free so that was one positive note. I carried everything I owned in the back of my pick-up truck. I realize this is starting to sound like a bad country song. I can make a joke now but it was no joke then. I was devastated. In my view, I had lost everything: my job, my family and my home. The worst part was the condemnation and guilt I was under. My mindset at this time was the reason my life was falling apart was because I did not do it right. If I had real faith and put forth more commitment none of this would have happened. I knew God loved me which has never been the issue with me but I believed that in order to receive blessings you had to press in passed the strongholds in your life. I obviously was coming up short. The grief and sorrow that was upon me was so heavy that I could barely function. How could someone so dedicated and committed end this way? To this day, I cannot express in words the sorrow and gloom that followed me every moment of the day. It seemed like the sorrow was there to stay. I just could not shake it off. I would hear things about what divorce does to you and the toll it takes on you. I did not get any spiritual counsel. I had no clue as to what was happening to me. I just interpreted the deep grieving and sorrow as an indication that I had done something terribly wrong. I was reaping what I had sown. As I look back I cannot help but think how much different it would have been had I known the depth of His grace towards me. I grieved over losing the life that I once held so dear and the burden it placed on my children. I regretted deeply my decision to leave my first teaching job in order to work my new business. I felt I owed my time and energy to the investor after he had invested thousands. After the business failed, I tried to go back to my old teaching job but there were no openings there. I was able to go back to teaching school in another town only an hour away from where I once lived. It was only an hour but it seemed like halfway around the world. I felt so out of place. I was rooted deeply in my former community and in my job. I 133


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had a sense of belonging at my former school with both my peers and my students. I adored them and they adored me. All I could feel now was a sense of loss. At that time, I recalled the scripture in Psalms 107 and applying it to my state of mind. “They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; and found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation” (Psalm 107:4-7).

This was a precious promises to me in those days.

Voices of the Law in Times of Grief I was doing my best to make it work, but my heart was so heavy with sorrow, grief and regret. I know I should have been able to beat this thing. I was trying to regain some normal sense of happiness but it was just too much. Sometimes the grief would be so overwhelming I did not think I could survive. The intensity of the sorrow and grief was from the voices of condemnation, not just from the loss itself. The voices of the three friends began to infect my mind with words like “if you would have done things differently this would not have happened,” “if you would obey God now, he will deliver you” or “the reason you are tormented and have no peace is because you are out of His will.” I was hearing these voices. I was hearing the voice of the law not the voice of grace. I was very aware that I was not measuring up to what I perceived was being asked of me. The spirit of the law was speaking to me constantly and I thought it was God. This is such a strong persuasion in the world today both in Christianity and other religions of the world.

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Often I would interpret the intense sorrow as an indication that I should reconcile my marriage. I thought this would relieve the pain. I reasoned that this was what God was waiting on me to do. However, every time I made a movement in that direction, I would be stopped cold. I could not seem to make the torment and grief stop, but I knew I could not go back either. For the next several months, I was caught in between two worlds, trying to go forward and being pulled back by the sorrow of losing my life. I started my new teaching job and did the best I could. My money situation was improving because I had little to no debt. Over a year had passed now since my marriage had ended, and I truly desired to move ahead even though the sorrow was still immense. I deeply wanted a relationship. I wanted to do it right this time. I wanted to be very close to someone. I wanted to love and be loved. Then I met this woman. From the moment I first spoke to her, I knew something special was happening. She was living in Texas and we began talking every night. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I fell in love with her in a moment of time but there was a problem. I was still entrenched in guilt, condemnation, grief and regret. How could I proceed with another relationship? I got plenty of advice from everyone. They said that I was making a huge mistake. They said that I was not ready and out of control. They were probably right about me not being ready. In the mindset that I possessed I would have never been ready. So for the next several months, I battled with my past, my guilt, my sorrow and my desire to lay hold of a new life. I went back and forth. One day I would think, “yes, I can do this.” Then the next day I would say, “What am I doing?” I was still haunted by the thought that maybe I should still try and reconcile my marriage. I put this wonderful lady through absolute hell. I stopped and started our relationship a half-dozen times. I would fly to Texas to see her and just be filled with joy in her presence but the tormenting shame would always steal my 135


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peace. I would feel like I was doing something very wrong by trying to go forward with her. As strange as it may sound, even though I was emotionally very unstable, I knew that I wanted to be with her. After several months of this back and forth, I decided I could not live in limbo anymore. I knew that I wanted to be with her and I decided to move forward and marry her. I wish I could tell you that we lived happily ever after. The morning after we got married, I experienced absolute terror that I had made a terrible mistake. Now the condemnation was worse than ever. For the next four months, I went back and forth with my new wife. Everyone told her that I was crazy and to get rid of me. I told her I was crazy and to get rid of me. I sent her home several times after we were married telling her I simply did not know how to make it work. By this time, I was a laughingstock to virtually everyone who had news of my situation. Friends that I had been very close to for years would not return my calls. The word was that I had gone nuts. Of course, there was a better way for all of this to have happened. That’s just the point. We don’t always have our lives together and make the perfect plans at the perfect time. I was doing the best I knew how to do at that time of my life. It is for times like these that He was made like us in every way. In the imperfect times and realities of our lives. The one person that had the right to despise me and abandon me was my new wife but she never condemned me. I hated myself for what I was doing to her. I was so embarrassed that I could not get myself together. It was never that I did not want to be with her. It was simply that the sorrow and feelings of loss blocked me. It was a haunting presence that would wake me every morning. I was fearful that I was going my own way and was not in God’s will. I needed to please God and give up this idea of love and relationship. This was simply not the right time or the thing to do. I needed to sacrifice this desire and dedicate myself only to God. I was not free to find a new love and relationship. I was condemning myself. 136


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This was simply not fair. I endured a loveless marriage for years, and had finally found someone who truly loved me even though I had become a nut case. I was totally perplexed as to why I had no peace. I was grasping for straws. I thought maybe if I would end this relationship, then God would be pleased with my sacrifice and willingness to do His will. I did not know how else to explain the pain that I was still experiencing. I am being very vulnerable right now expressing these things. Some of you are probably saying...”Man, you’re an idiot!” How could you possibly let yourself get this way. How absolutely “fried” our minds can become sometimes. Truth is, I think it important to expose how convoluted and irrational sometimes our circumstances can become. Irrespective of whether “we have made our own bed, now sleep in it,” Jesus would never say such a thing to us no matter how weird or convoluted we have become. Because you cannot be more convoluted than Jesus became for us. You may think your feelings and situation are so incredibly unique and strange that you cannot even voice them to anyone. If no one on earth could possibly understand the way you feel and why you are feeling it -Jesus was made like you in EVERY WAY! It is past the time for us to put off trying to put forth some kind of image and let the grace of Christ heal these places in our lives. It may be easy to say I was simply not ready and should have waited until I was healed. Ok...fine, but if I would have done that I would have lost the best thing that ever happened to me. Because she would have been off the market fast. All I knew was that I wanted to be with her more than the pain I was still experiencing. The only thing I knew was to walk it out. God was trying to give me a gift. I was learning how to receive. At the time, all I knew was that I wanted to be with her more than the pain I was experiencing. I knew I needed to walk it out. I continued to pray like a machine gun. I was desperately trying to please God and find peace. All this time, my beautiful wife waited 137


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for me. She did not abandon me. Can you believe it? I don’t know of anyone who would have stayed with me. Everyone told her she was crazy to put up with my craziness. I don’t know of anyone who would have stayed with me. My overriding belief was that God was waiting on me to make some significant sacrificial move on the level of an “Abraham and Isaac” sacrifice before I would see breakthrough. How easy this would have been if only I had seen the simplicity of faith. Part of me would hear things of God’s grace in prayer. I still daily quoted, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives within me and the life that I live, I live by the faith of Christ.” This promise was canceled by the leaven in my thinking that I had to do something sacrificial for God to set me free. I remember getting out of my truck one morning and walking from my parking place to my classroom where I was teaching. Out of nowhere, I heard a thought race through my head, “I will completely deliver you and set you totally free. From this time forward, your deliverance will be separate from anything you could do or are expected to do.” I longed for this to be true but I thought it impossible. This just sounded too easy. In my mind, we had to be sacrificial in some way. My beliefs about the character of God shrouded His true nature. Living under the law will do this to you. We will see this demonstrated in Job a little later. Finally, one day, as I was in utter torment. I was walking around the place I was residing and praying in the Spirit. I was crying out to God. In a moment of time, through all my clamoring, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “David, what are you doing? Stop this frantic display of desperation. This is not how I wish for you to relate to me, and it is not how I will deliver you.” Then I heard the very familiar scripture, “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” This was a scripture that I had read and heard many times but I could not tell you I had true understanding of its meaning. I knew it had big picture relevance to faith in Christ being the key to us receiving righteousness but I had never seen its relevance in a situation like I 138


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was facing. In other words, it has religious relevance, but no practical relevance to where I lived every day of my life. This was about to change The Spirit of God quieted me and I began to hear His voice with great clarity. The following words He spoke to me began a change in my life that I simply cannot express. He said, “David, you cannot go forward with your new wife and new life, can you? I said, “No Lord, though I wish to with all my heart, the pain and confusion is too great. I am completely paralyzed.” He said, “And you cannot go back to your old life either can you?” I said, “No Lord, I do not wish to go back but the loss of my old life is grievous and sorrowful unto death.” He said, “You can do nothing can you? You are completely without strength and helpless.” I said, “Yes Lord, I am without any ability to find a way out.” The Lord then said to me, “Then all you can offer me is your faith. You have nothing to offer me but to believe in Me.” I remembered from many years ago seeing the word “righteousness” defined in the Amplified Bible as “conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose and deed.” The Holy Spirit brought this back to my mind and I heard Him say to me, “You have nothing to offer me but your faith. You have no effort or ability to do anything in this situation. I will accept your faith in Me as if you have conformed perfectly to My will in thought, purpose and deed. I ask nothing else of you but to believe.” I thought, “This is what that scripture means!” Illumination flooded my being. My eyes were opened! This was all He ever wanted from me. He wanted my faith first! He wanted my obedience to be energized by His life through my complete dependence upon Him. This was all He ever wanted from me or anyone. This was why Jesus died for me. This is being redeemed from the law! Let me repeat: This is what it means to be redeemed from the law. Finally, this is what it means to be set free from dependence upon our own ability or to please God in any situation or thing. What is it that you simply cannot do? What is it that you cannot quite obtain? What demand has been placed upon yourself or demand you 139


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feel God has placed upon you that you cannot do? What level in life are you reaching for that seems ever so elusive? We think it is something we must know or do before we realize fulfillment of these longings. Let us offer Him our faith...period! Offer him your faith apart from anything you could do. It is our faith that will be accounted to us as righteousness. Our faith shall be accounted to us as having done any and all prerequisites to obtaining and becoming what we are not presently. As faith in Christ gains the preeminence in our hearts, actions not of ourselves will begin to emerge to bring us to these new realities. The Holy Spirit for quite some time had been speaking ever so gently some of these things to my heart. I was starting to get glimpses of this truth but I was still excessively buried in prerequisite sacrificial obedience. I had been praying for God to show me how deep the law affects every aspect of our lives. I would see things in the word that would speak of the freedom that I sought. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). And also… “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV).

I knew this was relevant in behavioral issues like trying to be holy and righteous in your own works. For example, like trying to quit a bad habit or the more obvious big picture aspects of Christianity like getting “Born Again”. However, did it have meaning for me in this desperate pressure that I felt? I was hearing that the reason I was so tormented was because I would not do what God wanted me to do. I still sometimes had thoughts that I was wrong for getting into this 140


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relationship. I would still have thoughts that the pain and torment would only leave if I showed God I was willing to let her go. When I was willing to demonstrate this great sacrificial obedience then he would flood me with this great deliverance. I tried to do the “right thing” many times and every time I had even less peace and greater torment than before. The Holy Spirit was telling me to stop this ridiculous cycle that had plagued me my entire life. He wanted me to learn how He truly dealt with these moments in the lives of those He loved. I was performing Old Testament works masquerading as New Testament obedience. It was and is filthy rags.The truth was I loved my new wife and she loved me. God loved us! He said David, “…If this union was not right for your life or her life I would show both of you. I would then, without question or confusion, give both of you the grace and the unmistakable guidance to go in the direction that I have planned for you. Place your faith in this truth not in some tormenting prerequisite act of obedience that is driving you like a slave. I do not want your sacrificial obedience before I will bless you. I already asked that of my Son and He performed it perfectly in order for you to live by faith in the grace of His obedience. I want your weakness that says “I can’t do it” so that faith in Christ can take the place of your inability. Then, the corresponding actions that may look like obedient sacrifice are actually beautiful acts of God empowered by His Spirit. This is what it means to be redeemed from the works of the law. This is now where my wife and I live every day in the various needs of our life. Our lives were never the same after that day. Our marriage had some imperfections at the start but something powerful was starting to take place. Freedom from the “spirit of bondage” because of the death and resurrection of Christ was taking hold of our lives. Is there any prerequisite sacrifice or obedience with which the “spirit of bondage” is holding you hostage? Are their voices speaking to you telling you that things are not going to work out or change until you 141


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pull the trigger on what you think is the necessary sacrificial ingredient? Have you been told by a well-meaning minister or an inward pressure to give a huge sum of money to the church in order to be abundantly blessed? I am fully aware of the principles of sowing and reaping. I am fully aware that the scripture says if we sow bountifully, we shall reap bountifully. If we sow sparingly, we shall also reap sparingly but the “spirit of bondage” has taken advantage of this truth. (2 Cor. 9:6) It has used this concept to enslave many people. They are put in bondage and under compulsion. This is probably the single most abused topic in the church because this is a valid principle. However, it does not mean that we are supposed to allow an Old Testament belief system to create a “spirit of bondage” and make giving a dead work. If you believe that your blessing is predicated on your prerequisite sacrificial obedience of “giving till it hurts” then you are in bondage. As with every “kingdom principle” in the Bible, it should be exercised by the Spirit through faith in Christ. Many give because they believe it unlocks God’s blessing like a slot machine. The more you input, the more output can flow. Many believe they will be cursed or not find great success in business if they do not give. My conversations with Jesus begins like this, “I thank you that You are in me. Jesus the giver is in me. I do not have to give as an insurance policy against bad things happening to me. Neither do I have to give for you to bless me. I give because I am one with You and Your life and compassion flow in me. My giving is an expression and manifestation of Your life flowing through me. Your life flowing through me causes me to fulfill “kingdom principles,” therefore, I sow abundantly through the life of Christ that is in me and now I reap abundantly because of that same life. This applies to every, valid New Testament truth. This may sound like a trite, absurd story, but it reveals an all too common mindset in sincere Christians today. When I was in High School, I was an avid, successful weight lifter. I loved it. I became a sincere Christian my junior 142


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year in High School. Despite being “born again” at the age of 14, I did not become serious until my junior year in High School. During this time, someone I trusted in a bible study I attended, suggested to me that I was putting my weight-lifting before the Lord. They most likely said this because it had become my identity in High School. I was that really strong guy. I must say I did like the reputation and maybe it did hold a wrong place of dependence in my life. That being said, the way to handle these kinds of things is not your own sacrifice. Have you ever heard these kinds of questions before? Are you putting your job before the Lord? Are you putting sports before the Lord? Are you putting money before the Lord? Are you putting your girlfriend or boyfriend before the Lord? I was told my lifting was my idol. That phrase always made me shudder because I knew how the Bible warned against idolatry. After this thought was sown in my thinking I could not enjoy working out any more. I tried to quit several times and “laid it on the altar” like an Abraham and Isaac sacrifice. Every time something bad would take place I would think it was because I was not surrendering weightlifting. I was just a teenager who was very serious about God. I grew out of that thinking but it took a few years. However, this concept of putting things before God and being willing to give them up haunted me into my adulthood. The question, “Are you putting this before the Lord” has inherent in it the suggestion that you must sacrifice it before God will bring fullness to you. Can something have a lofty place of preeminence that is only reserved for God? Can we make idols out of all the examples that I gave above? Sure, but here is the good news, my faith is counted as conformity to His divine will in thought, purpose and deed. The answer is not for me to try to garner some great heroic self-righteousness. This effort only results in you wanting to do it even more and then viewing yourself as some kind of great martyr for God. The result is you will become sad and look very spiritual. In reality you are now a servant to your own efforts. 143


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If there is something that has ascended to a place of imbalance in my life. I simply can go to my savior and say, “Jesus, it is not my desire to have imbalance in my life. Your life is my life. Your commitment is my commitment. Your obedience is my obedience. I release my faith in you to be my everything. My faith is accounted as righteousness, not my works to sacrifice a behavior or an interest. I expect my life to now take on the balance of the life of Christ in me. This life may now motivate me to spend more time in other areas and re-focus my attention. These works are now works of faith and not my own. When things were going badly I would feel more pressure to perform my spiritual mantras than from the problem itself. I would pray longer and harder. Praying longer with more intensity is a beautiful expression when motivated by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. However, when you think it is a mandatory prerequisite for God to hear you and deliver you, it is complete and utter torture. Is intense prayer a beautiful, God-inspired truth? Of course! However, when the “spirit of bondage” leavens it with, the reason things are wrong is because you do not pray long enough. You do not pray with enough emotion or precise enough. You do not pray for others enough. It can be a “yoke of bondage” that will literally drive you into the ground and steal every ounce of freedom and joy that you have. You will cry out as our Savior has already done for us, “How can a mortal be righteous before God?” This pursuit is a vicious cycle that has no end. It is the spirit of the law wrapped up in perceived New Testament activity. You don’t have to be sacrificing turtle doves and engrossed in questions of circumcision to be a slave of the spirit of the law. It can seep into every aspect or our existence. If you adhere to this thinking you will find that you can never pray “good” enough. You can never tithe enough. You can never give enough offerings. There will always be this gnawing inside of you that you are not measuring up. Israel could not keep the Mosaic Law and we cannot keep the “spirit of bondage’s” laws on our New Testament principles we have established. 144


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There is one New Testament law and that is the hearing of faith and hearing by the Word of Christ. All New Testament principles and activity must find their life and origin in the life of Christ expressing Himself through me as a result of my faith in Him, not prerequisite performance of so called principles. I give because Jesus the giver is in me expressing himself through me. I pray intensely because Jesus is in me and I reach out to Him and release my faith and declare that He is in me. He has sent “He has sent the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit to pray to pray the perfect will of God the perfect will of God through me. The intenthrough me. The intensity of sity of my prayers is now my prayers is now a person a person not an activity. not an activity.” He has already delivered me and He is now interceding in me to bring out the deliverance and the finished work that He bled and died for me to receive two thousand years ago. It is not my effort that is bringing my salvation. My salvation has been completely finished and is given to me as a gift by faith. He is in me to will and do of His good pleasure! My union and oneness with Him may lead me to experience inner healing, deliverance, or whatever manifestation of the Spirit is necessary but these things are not an entity in and of themselves. We have allowed some of these spiritual pursuits to have a life of their own and in so doing have leavened the cross of Christ. When we are in the midst of difficulty, whether it is a slight inconvenience or a desperate assault on our very being, we need the consolation of the Spirit. We long for the Grace of our God. When our strength is gone, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Another look at Abraham and Isaac Where does this question, “Are you putting this before the Lord and you need to lay it on the altar,” come from? Virtually in every instance it 145


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comes from the interpretation of the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Conventional interpretation of this scripture suggests that once God gives you something that you have wanted all your life, you must be willing to let it go. Only when you pass this test will you reach super Christian status and can do great things for God. I have heard preachers extol the commitment of Abraham in this incredible display of obedience. Obedience that trudged up that hill with a heavy heart showing its great commitment to God. The inference was that we too may be faced with these types of “Abraham and Isaac” situations where God may ask us to give up something that we dearly love to prove that we love God more. Abraham had waited on Isaac for a long time. Isaac was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Isaac was Abraham’s destiny and now God wanted Abraham to sacrifice him. It was Abraham’s faith in the birth of Isaac that the Holy Spirit uses to demonstrate the New Testament faith that would be delivered to the church. Will he now use the death of Isaac to demonstrate the obedience of man’s own works of sacrifice? I think not! Look at the insight the Book of Hebrews brings to this extremely vital issue. Aside from the fact that this story has powerful prophetic interpretations as a foreshadowing of God offering up His Son, let’s view it as instruction in the light of what we’re discussing concerning faith and self-sacrifice: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” (Hebrews 11:17-19 KJV).

This is so powerful and a vital truth to our daily lives. Did Abraham offer up Isaac in a display of human self-willed obedience to prove his dedication to God? Or, was there something else taking place? Abraham 146


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had received the promise that “in Isaac shall his (Abraham) seed be”. The promise to Abraham was that his descendants would be like the sands of the sea and stars of the sky. This promise was to be fulfilled through Isaac, not Ishmael. This promise was so strong in Abraham through the hearing of faith that he believed God would raise him from the dead in order for the promise to be fulfilled in Isaac. This promise produced faith. Faith produced a figure of God raising him from the dead. As far as Abraham was concerned, God had already raised him from the dead. This substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen is now compelling the obedience of Abraham to offer Isaac. Abraham was fully assured that he was coming back down that hill with Isaac. It was the faith of God produced by the voice of God that was empowering the seeming sacrifice of obedience that we see. If Abraham was not full of this assurance, he would not have been willing to offer Isaac. If Abraham would have offered Isaac in the spirit of the law instead of the hearing of faith he would have violated his covenant with God. Abraham did not trudge up that mountain with heaviness. He went in the fullness and expectancy of faith believing with certainty to see Isaac raised from the dead. This is faith producing the miraculous works of obedience not obedience acting as a prerequisite of God’s approval and blessing. Abraham’s obedience “Abraham’s obedience was not being tested; it was his faith was not being tested. being expressed. It was his faith being However, this brings up an important point of specific expressed.” demarcation. When we hear the phrase, “his faith is being tested” we immediately interpret that as our obedience or ability to hang on and endure. This is not the case! Faith is imparted to us by the Spirit of God through the hearing of the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) This is not our faith that we have mustered through months of dedication. It is the very faith 147


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of God imparted by His living voice. If our faith is being tested it is actually His faith and His faith can do the job! It is not about me. I simply yield to His faith in me. This faith will pass the test. These truths began the restoration process and allowed me to move forward with my life. It was a process to freedom from grief and sorrow but I had the truth I needed to become whole again. The Older Brother I now knew God was for me and was not requiring me to do something that I could not do. It was still difficult but I had the strength to move ahead. I did not look back and I set my course to make a beautiful life with my new wife. However, I still had these burning questions in my mind. How did all these bad things happen to me? Why were my prayers not answered? Why did I end up so disappointed? I was still confused as how someone who prayed and tried to do so much to be obedient could end with all the sorrow that I experienced. I was very thankful for my new wife and the possibilities of our new life together, but these questions hounded me. How could I truly ever trust God like a child? How could I ever get to the simplicity of â&#x20AC;&#x153;ask and receiveâ&#x20AC;?. During this time I started going to a small church in Hogansville Ga. The pastor of the church, Alex Montgomery, once led the former church that I went to years earlier. I noticed he was saying things like I heard that day in prayer that began the change in my life. He would just say things arbitrarily that I could tell were so natural and established in him. He mentioned being free from guilt, shame and regret. These things would hit me right between the eyes. I wanted so badly to feel the things he was saying. The grief was still very much present in me and these words were like water to a weary traveler. Pastor Alex began to introduce me to the ministry of John and Beverly Sheasby. I began to listen to some of his teachings and it was like I had never truly read the Bible before. The 148


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mindset change was truly miraculous. I was so ready for the word of Pastor Alex Montgomery and the Sheasby’s. Within just a few weeks I had a book in my hand called Son by John Sheasby of Liberated Living Ministries. Since this time the book has been rewritten and renamed “The Birthright”. As I began to read, I noticed he was referencing some familiar scriptures discussing the law and how God was not angry at us. I would say under my breath, “Father I have never thought you were mad at me. These are good things but I am already established in these things.” If I have ever heard the voice of the Holy Spirit I heard Him immediately say to me, “You only think you know these things. I want you to read every word of this book as though you have never heard any of these things before.” This was mandatory so that my own preconceived ideas did not block the total spiritual “makeover” the Lord wanted to give me. The Lord went on to relate to me that I had been a slave to the concept that I had to perform perfectly to receive his blessings. Though I was coming out of this mindset there was much more to see. This book became my companion. I would take notes on every page of what the Spirit would say to me about what John was writing. I would highlight and underline everything that spoke to me. I would put many of his sayings on my micro-cassette player and carry it with me everywhere (this was before the days where you could record everything on a cell phone). I was loving every moment of it and receiving such a blessing. Then I came to the chapter about the Prodigal Son. I thought that it was a sweet story about the love of God. I had no idea that a landmark revelation that would be the most definitive moment in my pursuit to know God was about to take place. John, beautifully and eloquently, recounted the story of the Prodigal. With great insight and revelation John spoke of the love of God even to one who had sinned so severely. I received much life from this but to my surprise John began to concentrate on the “other” son in the Prodigal story. I thought, “Isn’t he just an afterthought on the real 152


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message of this story?” The older brother in the Prodigal story was about to become the most important person in my life. Look at the words of the older son in Luke: “So he answered and said to his father, ‘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. 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 NKJ).

Obviously, this was said by the other son in response to the father killing the fatted calf. The term young goat or “skinny goat” as pointed out by Sheasby was used in a sarcastic, derisive spirit as a comparison to the fatted calf that was given to the Prodigal. Look at these words, “Lo these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment…and yet you never gave me…” The magnificent message that Sheasby brings out is that the older brother was looking for a reward for his service. He viewed his father as unjust because he had not received his reward. Yet, when someone undeserving receives abundance this also seems unjust. Then…the answer came forth to the question that was burning in my heart. The father said to the older brother, “thou art ever with me, all that I have is thine” (Luke 15:31 KJV). All that the father posesssed was to be given by inheritance. The older brother was looking for a reward for his service. “It was impossible for the father to reward the son with that which already belonged to him by inheritance.” (Sheasby,1999: 84). I could not believe the revelation that was deposited in my heart. I was astounded. My entire life was just explained to me in two paragraphs. I was the older brother! I had lived my entire life in this mentality and I was completely unaware. I was trying through my intense dedication and strict adherence to kingdom principles to receive what was mine 153


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only by inheritance. I had no idea that I was expecting a reward. I did not understand inheritance, promises or gifts. I thought I understood, but no, not even a little bit. I now had my answer. A new freedom came upon me that I had never known. I could believe again! God could not give me what I longed for until I received it by inheritance. I could not receive an inheritance as a reward for good behavior. Another way to summarize this concept is reward equals law and your own works. Inheritance equals a gift that cannot be earned. The entire work of the cross is demonstrated in the story of prodigal son and the older brother. This truth has became an immovable foundation in my life and I trust it will be in yours as well. Whether you are the Prodigal or the other brother, all that the Father has is yours!

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SEVEN

REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE So with this understanding of being made free from the law and how it permeates the very essence of everything we are let us continue in the book of Job. As you can clearly see being made free from the law is so much more than the ten commandments or any Old Testament ritual. Let’s review: • • • • •

Job is a type of Christ who was considered blameless and upright by God. Christ has experienced every aspect of our humanity without sin. Job is a type of Christ as he bears the judgment of the law upon sin in his entire being. Christ set us free from the judgment of the law. Job’s three friends established the condemnation and judgment of the law. 156


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Curses and Blessings Now, let us take a more in depth look at Jesus becoming a curse and taking in His body the curse of the law. No insight into Jesus redeeming us from the law would be complete without looking deeply into Galatians 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…” This New Testament truth of Jesus redeeming us from the curse is profoundly revealed in the book of Job. The book of Job is primarily used to inaccurately explain why we are meant to suffer. When in fact it uncovers the complete work of redemption through the lens of the New Testament truth found in Galatians. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Galatians 3:10-14).

What an awful weight to live under. Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are writtin in the book of the law, to do them. Yet Jesus accomplished this impossible task. This describes an impossible, overwhelming, insurmountable task that no human could ever achieve. He sacrificed the security of the right hand of the Father for humanity, obeyed every ordinance of the law, became sin, 157


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endured the consequences of sin, died at the hands of the curse and then defeated all forms of death that could attempt to destroy us. Because â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is finishedâ&#x20AC;?, we can now have faith in His obedience. That which is in our own works is subject to the curse of the law but that which is of faith in Christ has been set free from the curse. This is why there is so much toil and tribulation associated with things that have their origin in our own works and effort. By contrast, life which emanates from faith in Christ is free of the curse of sin and death. I pray this promise will develop to its fullest measure as you muse over the following pages. What is the Curse? The curse of the law is detailed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 following the blessings of keeping the law. Within chapter 28, we see various examples of the curse of the law. Many of these same curses are also experienced by Job. Various scriptures will be included below to highlight how the curse of the law was placed upon Job. As Job continues to reveal the suffering and death of Jesus it is amazing to see the curse of the law also depicted in the pages of Job. We now know that if it was placed upon Job, who represents a type of Christ, then it was endured by Christ as our substitute. This parallel establishes Job as the benchmark writing to depict the detailed sufferings of Christ. Descriptions and explanations of the curse exist in both Deuteronomy with the Mosaic law and in Job with the speeches of the three friends. Below you will see direct references between the book of Job and the curse of the law in Deuteronomy. Note the significant parallels that prove that His curse is our freedom because of the cross. We do not need to fear or dread any of these curses but examine them with thanksgiving that Jesus has become the curse in order for us to experience freedom.

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Curse of the Law on Job: Boils “The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed” (Deut. 28 :27).

“The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head” (Deut.28 :35).

“So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes” (Job 2:7).

BOILS Curse of the Law

Curse of the Law on Job

(Deut. 28:27, 28:35) Struck with the “boils of Egypt” and “severe boils”.

(Job 2:7) Job was struck with “painful boils”

Curse of the Law on Job: Byword & Ridicule “And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you” (Deut. 28:35). “But He has made me a byword among the people, and they spit before my face” (Job 17:6).

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“You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you” (Deut. 28:37 NIV). Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me (Job 19:1-8)

BYWORD Curse of the Law

Curse of the Law on Job

Deuteronomy 28:37 “…a byword among all nations.”.

Job 17:6 “…a byword among the people.”

Deuteronomy 28:37 “…a byword and object of ridicule…”

Job 19:18 “…they ridicule me.”

Curse of the Law on Job: Grope in Darkness “And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness... “ (Deut.28 :29).

“They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noonday as in the night” (Job 5:14).

GROPE IN DARKNESS Curse of the Law Deuteronomy 28:29 “…grope at noonday…in darkness”

Curse of the Law on Job Job 5:14 “…grope in the noonday as in the night.”

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Curse of the Law on Job: Possessions Slaughtered Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them (Deut.28:31) And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (Job 1:13-15)  

“The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young.  And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you” (Deut. 28:49-51). “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee” (Job 1:17).

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POSSESSIONS SLAUGHTERED Curse of the Law

Curse of the Law on Job

Deuteronomy 28:31 “…ox shall be slaughtered.”

Job 1:13-15 “…oxen were plowing…and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away.”

Deuteronomy 28:49-51 “…eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed…”

Job 1:17 “…fell upon the camels, and have carried them away…”

Curse of the Law on Job: Insomnia “In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see” (Deut. 28:67).

“When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossing’s to and fro unto the dawning of the day” (Job 7:4).

INSOMNIA Curse of the Law Deuteronomy 28:67 “In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening……”.

Curse of the Law on Job Job 17:4 “…tossing to and fro unto the dawn...”

Curse of the Law on Job: Anxiety “Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious 162


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mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life” (Deut.28:65-66 NIV). “What I feared has come upon me;  what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil” (Job 3:25-26 NIV).

ANXIETY Curse of the Law Deuteronomy 28:65-66 “…filled with dread both night and day…”.

Curse of the Law on Job Job 3:25-26 “…what I dreaded has happened to me.”

This portrayal in Job of Jesus bearing the curse of the law is developed even further by the curses pronounced by the three friends. As we have seen, the three friends represent the judgment of the law. It is no coincidence that it is they who declare the vilest of curses upon Job. Curse of the Law on Job: Child Security We have mentioned this selection from Job previously but it bears repeating in this context. “While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,  and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:18-19).

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“His children are far from safety; [involved in their father’s ruin] they are crushed in the [court of justice in the city’s] gate, and there is no one to deliver them” (Job 3:4 Amplified). Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand” (Deuteronomy 28:32).

CHILD SECURITY Curse of the Law Deuteronomy 28:32 “…sons and daughters will be given to another nation… powerless to lift a hand.”

Curse of the Law on Job Job 1:18-19, 3:4 “…it fell on the young people, and they are dead.” “…children are far from safety…”

Though this curse does not specifically speak of the death of your children, the end result is the same. They are gone and your longing for them is debilitating. The three friends are fully aware that Job’s children have been literally crushed. Yet, their answer is “His children are far from safety; [involved in their father’s ruin] they are crushed.” The Amplified adds the explanation “involved in their father’s ruin” because according to the law these curses are as a result of the father’s sin. Every curse and judgment out of the mouth of the law from the three friends has been taken and paid by the death of Jesus. Curse of the Law on Job: Wandering Children “If your children have sinned against Him, then He has delivered them into the power of their transgression” (Job 8:4).

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If your children have gone astray take this curse that was laid upon Christ and continue to pray and believe for them. They will not be delivered into the power of their transgressions. Curse of the Law on Job: Loss “So are the ways of all who forget God; and the hope of the godless shall perish. For his confidence breaks, and [the object of ] his trust is a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand; he shall hold fast to it, but it shall not last” (Job 8:13-15 Amplified). But if [God] snatches him from his property, [then having passed into the hands of others] it [his property] will forget and deny him, [saying,] I have never seen you [before, as if ashamed of him—like his former friends]” (Job 8:18 Amplified).  “

“You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit” (Deuteronomy 28:30). A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days” (Deuteronomy 28:33).

LOSS Curse of the Law Deuteronomy 28:30, 33 “…build a house [and] not live in it…” “…have nothing but cruel oppression…”

Curse of the Law on Job Job 13-15, 8:18 “…his house…shall not stand…” “…his property will forget & deny him…”

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Remember, as you read these things, this judgment was for you so you will never be judged by the law again or be subject to its curse! You never have to fear your children being delivered into the power of their transgression or sin, your hope perishing and confidence breaking, or your house not standing and losing your property. Remember the words of Hebrews 6:19-20 in response to our hope perishing... [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20 Amplifed).

Jesus, in his death, forged a hope for us that reaches the very presence of God and is an anchor that cannot be moved. These are many more evidences of the curse of Deuteronomy 28 being thrust upon Job by the judgment of the law. How do these things just mentioned relate to where we live today? As I related earlier, my wife and I have flipped houses for many years as investors in the real estate and mortgage business. We have had the opportunity to “flip” several properties. It can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. As you have seen on HGTV, it can also be nerve-wracking. As we search for investments in foreclosed or distressed properties I am many times met with conflicted emotions. We often come upon properties that were beautiful at an earlier time when the owners were building a life in their home. As we walk through a house and view the property for investment purposes we notice personal nuances that the owner took great time to construct. Things like outdoor living spaces with barbecue areas, fire pits, stone work and kid’s play areas. As we move 166


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inside we see rooms painted specifically for their children and phrases of love and family written on the walls. I am motivated by profit but your thoughts cannot help go to the family that once spent their lives in this place. They are remnants of a happier time where the possibility of losing it all was never a consideration. A home is a beautiful thing. We can become intimately attached to a specific place for various reasons. It is where we spend most of our lives and memories are made. It is a sorrowful thing to lose one’s home. Of course, I am viewing the above scriptures in a very literal sense and for good reason because so many people are faced with this deeply grieving issue of loss. However, ”home” can represent any sense of belonging that we are experiencing. It can be friends, job, business, marriage, etc. When these places of security are stripped from us, it can be extremely difficult to bear. Jesus knows the fellowship of this suffering and He was made like us in every way. To see a person who has built a business over many years begin to struggle and eventually lose the business is grievous beyond words. These businesses were built over many years and to see your equipment repossessed, sold at auction and forgotten can be debilitating. First, we must know that when threatened with such a place, we have a Savior who has already taken this place upon Himself. Faith in His death can prevent these places from ever taking place. However, for those who have been capsized by this reality, His death can destroy the power of death that is present in your life. This death can be replaced with a new hope and a new reality that thrives on His design. In regard to the curse and judgment of losing our homes and property, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places” (Isaiah32:17-18).

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This is a beautiful and amazing promise. Jesus endured loss of every kind so that we could experience peaceable habitations, safe dwellings, and quiet resting places. These promises are made “yes and amen” by the suffering and death of Christ. Look at this scripture in the Amplified Bible, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places” (Isaiah 32:17-18 Amplified)

I am so glad the writers of the Amplified Bible had the courage to include the terms “internal and external”. So many Christians have introduced the dogma that peace is only in the midst of the storm. We only have peace in the midst of turmoil and difficulties. Well, of course, we are to have peace “in the midst” but that is not where it ends. Peace in the midst is the prerequisite of peace in the external When Jesus was crossing the waters and the storm appeared; the peace on the inside of Him produced confidence and faith unto authority over the storm. His place of rest commanded the storm to calm. He did not say, “Well, here’s a bad storm that is scaring all my disciples to death. Guess we just “hunker down” and partake of the peace in the midst of this storm.” Jesus said, “Peace, be still” which caused His external to align with his internal. In most cases when we place the emphasis on peace “in the midst” to the exclusion of seeing change we are making another excuse for unbelief. It is sometimes because we really do not think change is possible. Truth is, Jesus is our faith and He is well able to bring all the faith we need to see change in any arena. Faith is never a problem to those who call upon the name of Jesus. Faith to change any place in our lives is a person not an attainment. Fellowship with Him and allowing him to speak to us will produce all the faith you need. 168


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I wished to offer a few more evidences of the curses and death that was endured by Christ that is portrayed in the sufferings of Job. Once again, let me encourage you to deeply embrace these words as your substitute. Once again, everything being voiced as judgment upon Christ is the wrath that was upon him so that we would be free of wrath. Every judgment placed upon him can be reversed and declared in faith. In this section I endeavored to place the promise that is ours in Christ after the curse that was endured for us. Dread “A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him” (Job 15:21 Amplified).

This is another example of being in prosperity, yet there is this premonition of trouble that seems to always be knocking on the door. Some people cannot enjoy their success because of worrying it will be lost. God would have us to dwell securely in confident trust. However, when you have a past filled with things either always failing or never growing then the “sound of terrors is in your ears”. Even in prosperity you can hear the destroyer coming. Jesus has destroyed this place of dread. Remember again the promise of Proverbs,   “But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil” (Proverbs 1:33 Amplified).

Poverty “And has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities and in houses which no man should inhabit, which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; He shall not be rich, neither shall his wealth last, 169


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neither shall his produce bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth” (Job 15: 28-29 Amplified). It shall be accomplished and paid in full while he still lives, and his branch shall not be green [but shall wither away]. He shall fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine and shall cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree” (Job 15:32-33 Amplified). “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

The concept of your produce bending to the ground denotes ripe for harvest. The curse of the law says that your plans will not come to fruition. They will “die on the vine”. Verses 32 & 33 describe this in more vivid detail. However, Psalm 1 states: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Plans and Aspirations “The steps of his strength shall be shortened, and his own counsel and the plans in which he trusted shall bring about his downfall” (Job 18:7).

The disappointment of having your plans crash has been experienced and destroyed. Proverbs 16:3 says: “Commit thy plans unto the Lord and your thoughts shall be established and so shall your plans succeed. “

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Traps “For the wicked is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks upon a lattice-covered pit. A trap will catch him by the heel, and a snare will lay hold on him. A noose is hidden for him on the ground and a trap for him in the way” (Job 18:8-11). “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler” (Psalm 91:3). “Terrors shall make him afraid on every side and shall chase him at his heels” (Job 18:11). “Then you would trust [with confidence], because there is hope; You would look around you and rest securely.“You would lie down with no one to frighten you, and many would entreat and seek your favor” (Job 11:18-19).

Sickness “By disease his strength and his skin shall be devoured; the firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] shall consume his limbs” (Job 18:13). “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Family

“He shall neither have son nor grandson among his people, nor any remaining where he sojourned” (Job 18:19). 171


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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).

I trust this will become more to you than just reading a bunch of scriptures. I am well aware that many of you are familiar with taking scriptures for your various needs and trying to make them relevant to your life. I am acutely cognizant that it may have resulted in little to nothing and turned into a dead work. Go back now with the death and substitution of Christ as the foundation of your promise. The power of the cross will now be at the center of your faith and a new thing will take place. All of these previous selections from Job speak of our deliverance from the curse of the law and what was experienced by Christ on our behalf. There are a multitude of selections throughout this work that are descriptive of what Christ endured for us. What other examples are latent within the pages of Job to represent His substitution for us? Fellowship of His Sufferings I want to introduce the concept of the “fellowship of his sufferings” that I briefly mentioned earlier. The fellowship of his sufferings is spoken of in Philippians 3:10, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Let us say once again, Jesus went through everything that we could face in our humanity so that we could have fellowship with His sufferings. Never forget the the concept of Jesus being made like us in every way? When the sufferings of this life afflict us, we have a Savior who has already experienced these things. It is for the sole purpose to 172


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bring to death all those things that afflict us. He is touched with the feelings of our weakness not only to empathize but to destroy the power of death that is in suffering. You might say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well, I thought that the fellowship of His sufferings meant I had to suffer like Jesus suffered.â&#x20AC;? On the contrary, it means He suffered for you in order for you to fellowship in the awesome truth that he has carried and experienced everything that you are facing. He knows exactly how these sufferings are making you feel and the death that it is producing in your life. It is faith in His death (him dying on your behalf ) that will destroy the power of death in your life. We will revisit this topic and express these things from every conceivable angle. As we move into these cries of Job, please embrace them as the sufferings of Christ on your behalf. You can declare resurrection life in its place. Job continues to demonstrate how Jesus died for us in these forthcoming selections? I trust you will not find these next several pages cumbersome. Instead of just casually reading these selections from Job, please take time to truly meditate and think on them. The things that Job expresses in the verses that follow are the things that were bore for you. We never have to view God or interpret Him in the way that is being expressed by Job. These things were laid upon Jesus so that we could be at total peace with God. As the words of Job are revealed they are followed with the results that are now ours. There are literally hundreds of scriptures we could choose to demonstrate the finite aspects of our humanity to which Jesus was our substitute. I only chose a few for the purpose of establishing this truth. So as you read Job for yourself please look for these examples of our humanity that Jesus experienced for you and claim your freedom. Am I Smitten by God? These next selections speak of Job being assailed by God Himself. Job is full of these expressions. This is just one segment. Job is literally 173


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full of references where he states that God is ruining him and judging him. Isaiah 53:4 says this same refrain in regards to Jesus, “…Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.” Jesus was viewed as afflicted by God. We will review later how Job believes this as well and so do his friends. The feeling as though God is against us and it is Him who is causing us all this suffering was laid upon Christ. It was never meant to be laid upon us. This is an enormous stronghold in Christianity today. As we mentioned from the beginning, most would not acquiesce to the notion that God is actually doing bad things to people, but the overriding precept in most Christian thinking is that God is sovereign. God’s will is to ”allow” these things to take place. They assert that these afflictions are past our understanding but intended to refine us. In these upcoming selections from Job, you will see Job describe the source of his trouble as coming from God. Then, he says it is Satan and then back to God. We all know that the human experience can many times look and feel this way. Many have faced troubling situations that grip our lives. We cry out and it can seem as though God does not answer or care. I have heard many draw the same conclusions that are voiced in Job. Jesus experienced all of this tormenting confusion so that we could have a clear and peaceful understanding of the nature of God. He has broken me down on every side, and I am gone; my hope has He pulled up like a tree. He has also kindled His wrath against me, and He counts me as one of His adversaries. His troops come together and cast up their way and siege works against me and encamp round about my tent. (Job 19:10)

God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus so it would never be poured upon us. We will never be counted as His adversary. He will build us up and protect us on every side. Our hope will never be pulled up like

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a tree, but rather, we will be like trees planted by the rivers of water yielding our fruit in season. (Psalms 1:3) For most of the scriptures I have chosen, the Amplified version will be used (unless otherwise noted) because it offers an added dimension to truly understanding the spirit behind the text. Am I at Fault? “You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me];And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]” (Job 16:8-9).

Job speaks that the horrible things that have happened to him have become a witness that testify to his guilt. When things turn “south” on us and our lives look like a failure, it is very easy to allow feelings of guilt to arise. It is also easy to feel as though our entire worth is being judged by our circumstances. You are not being judged or reprimanded by God. You stand firm in His righteousness and are able to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [you] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Am I understood? “His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me.They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me.God hands me over to criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked” (Job 16:9-11 Amplified).

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Jesus was thrown over to Satan to be ravaged. If we are ever in a place where it feels like everyone is conspiring against us and we have been turned over without reservation to the wicked, this is the promise of substitution that we can express. There are many that have experienced the description above in a figurative sense. Pressure from circumstances with family, finances, relationships or health have oppressed them. However, others have been in these places literally. Literally assaulted and held captive by wicked people. Either way, their spirit was broken, their days were spent and their grave was beckoning them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My spirit is broken, my days are spent (snuffed out); the grave is ready for me. Surely there are mockers and mockery around me, and my eye dwells on their obstinacy, insults, and resistanceâ&#x20AC;? (Job 17:1-2).

I am sure many of us can quickly account a time in our lives where our spirits were broken. There were times in our lives where we felt we were being mocked either overtly by others or by our circumstances and events. Circumstances and events that somehow find a way to repeat themselves over and over. We reach out for good things many times and find ourselves empty. It seems that life itself mocks us or satanic strategies are entangling us. Jesus has experienced this place and destroyed its power. I know there is not one reader of this book who has not felt the brunt of obstinacy, insults and resistance. Resistance and insults that just drain the life out of you and break your spirit. Embrace the fellowship of His sufferings. He has died to these things and by faith you are joined to His death. It is His death that destroys the power of this death.

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Am I Worth It? Give me a pledge with Yourself [acknowledge my innocence before my death]; who is there that will give security for me? (Job 17:3)

This is the cry of mankind for a savior. “God, please pay the price to have me set free. Who else would put up money for me?” This goes to the place of worth. Job is saying, “Is my life not worth something?” When we feel worthless, we must remember the phrase that I am sure you have heard before, “You are worth the price that was paid for you.” Worthiness and security in your identity as a child of God has been offered for you. Am I a Joke? “But He has made me a byword among the people, and they spit before my face” (Job 17:6)

Previously we have noted this selection to show that Job is indeed a type of Christ. However, let’s focus on the notion of becoming a “byword”. Oxford defines “byword” as: a person or thing cited as notorious and an outstanding example or embodiment of something. In this context, we need to concentrate on the aspect of “notorious”. For example, think of someone you know who has a reputation for being stingy. You are having lunch with a lady named Susan and you say to her, “Hey, mind if I try one of those coconut shrimp.” To which Susan, the owner of the shrimp, responds, “No way, I only have six.” To which you say, “Wow, Susan, didn’t know you were that hungry.” Now, every time you and your friends refer to “Susan” you attach the word “stingy”. Anytime you use the phrase, “Don’t pull a Susan!” you are really saying “Don’t be

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so stingy!” Susan has become a “byword”. I know that was a trite example, but the point is some of us may have developed reputations through the years. In various areas, we have becomes “Susan’s” and been used as bywords. Many times these references are unknown or known to us. Either way, it is hurtful to our reputation. We then create a view or mindset of ourselves that is untrue. Job has become a byword of misery and suffering throughout generations. Whenever someone is experiencing devastating issues in their lives, Job will most likely be mentioned. Jesus became a “byword” for us so that we would never be labeled as such. If you are ever labeled in this manner because of your past, take this truth and let the Holy Spirit free your of this bondage. Am I Meant to Be Alone? “He has put my brethren far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed me, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. Those who live temporarily in my house and my maids count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer, though I beseech him with words. I am repulsive to my wife and loathsome to the children of my own mother. Even young children despise me; when I get up, they speak against me.  All the men of my council and my familiar friends abhor me; those whom I loved are turned against me”(Job 19:13-19).

How many of us have severely broken relationships with wives, husbands, relatives, friends, children, co-workers? Look at the above selection and refer to how nothing is left out or untouched by His death. All of our broken relationships have been experienced by Jesus so that we could know the fellowship of this suffering and salvation can be brought to these places.

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Am I All I Am Going To Be? It is extremely important to look at the next area regarding regret and longing for days gone by. I think all of us at one time or another have faced these feelings. They can be debilitating. The feelings of regret and looking back to better days. The emotions felt as time passes. This loss can create a sorrow and sadness where you long for happier times of yesterday. Look at these words below and know that we never have to look back for better days. We have a future and it is always brighter no matter how old we have become. Let me repeat myself again and again. Every death experienced by Christ means we can expect the exact opposite freedom. For every death experienced there is a promise made “Yes and Amen” by his death and resurrection (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV).

“Every death experienced by Christ means we can expect the exact opposite freedom.” My Second Chance “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, When His lamp shone above and upon my head and by His light I walked through darkness; As I was in the [prime] ripeness of my days, when the friendship and counsel of God were over my tent, When the Almighty was yet with me and my children were about me, When my steps [through rich pasturage] were washed with butter and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!” (Job 29:2-6 Amplified).

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In the past few years my wife and I had experienced some prosperous times. We had some succes in “flipping houses” as I mentioned earlier. We also had accrued a few homes that we were holding as rental properties. I am not going to say we were set for life but we were comfortable. During this time, I met a person who introduced us to some technology that I thought was astounding. I invested in this company. Over the next couple of years I invested quite a bit of our savings. More importantly, my thoughts and motivations were centered in this business future and I lost all inspiration for what we were doing previously. The combination of using the capital to invest in the new venture and not giving my time to build the current real estate business took a severe toll on our finances. As a result, our finances were reduced to virtually nothing. The loss took a severe toll on our marriage and every aspect of our lives. We were so sure we were doing the right thing but the realization that our investment was not going to produce a return was devastating. Some may say at this point, “Man, David, you sure do some stupid stuff.” It was not stupid to me. It was something I believed in and was willing to reach. Thank God we have a Savior. Thank God He is the Savior of the things that we reached for that did not come to fruition! Truth is, I just wanted more from life and I reached out for something that gave me hope of a better life. I am not condemned because it did not work. God is fulfilling my dreams in another way. Yet, at this time, I was once again in the place of perplexity. How could this happen? How could something that seemed so certain result in a big fat zero, actually less than zero. We were looking at negative numbers at this point. It was extremely difficult not to look back on better days that were behind me. It was almost impossible not to wallow in regret and guilt longing for the prosperous days of the past. I was kicking myself for decisions I made and feeling the tension that it was causing in my marriage. However, I knew restoration was inevitable. I knew that there is not any decision or circumstance that could keep me from my inheritance and total fulfillment. I knew that 180


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I had a Savior who had already experienced this regret and longing for the better days of yesterday. I did not have to look back for those days because my new day was ahead. Yet, these feelings did come upon me. I reached deep into the sacrifice of Christ. I received the truth of Jesus carrying this sorrow for me so that I could be free to look ahead and expect again. Jesus knows what it means to long for days gone by, “…As I was in the [prime] ripeness of my days...When my steps [through rich pasturage] were washed with butter and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!” The pain of looking back is debilitating and we must embrace the fellowship of this suffering so that we can move forward. As I have and will continue to mention throughout,there is always a “Yes and Amen promise” in Christ that will be the antithesis of the curse. Proverbs 4:18 NKJ says, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” In addition, Jeremiah 29:11 echoes the promise, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Am I What They Say I Am? Am I respected? These next verses speak of reputation and our place in society. The reputations and perceptions of so many have been devastated through various situations. Some have committed sins that have ruined their lives. Others have made mistakes with relationships, businesses, etc. that have damaged the way they are perceived. False accusations have crippled the lives of innocent people. Of all the things that Jesus endured, this is the one that is so easily seen in the sacrifice of Christ. Of all the people in the world who have been wrongly accused; Jesus stands as the benchmark for this awful place. To be sinless, accused of every imaginable, despicable act, and then killed because of these false claims is the ultimate sacrifice and substitution for any accusations that we could face. 181


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Just recently I have watched numerous accounts on television shows where people were accused and convicted of crimes they did not commit. Although cleared of any wrong doing the damage to their reputations and the questions of their guilt still exist. How does one overcome these things? How does life normalize for people such as these? Jesus experienced this place for you. We can know the fellowship of this suffering and know that His death destroyed this death. Not only will you be able to hold your head high because you know that God has restored you in His eyes, but you will be restored in every capacity with your reputation rebuilt. In the Amplified version of Job, he recounts his place in society. He speaks of how he is respected and revered. This is quite a bit of scripture. Take your time and read carefully.

“When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the street [the broad place for the council at the city’s gate], The young men saw me and hid themselves; the aged rose up and stood; The princes refrained from talking and laid their hands on their mouths; The voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues cleaved to the roof of their mouths.  For when the ear heard, it called me happy and blessed me; and when the eye saw, it testified for me [approvingly], Because I delivered the poor who cried, the fatherless and him who had none to help him.  The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me or clothed itself with me; my justice was like a robe and a turban or a diadem or a crown! I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor and needy; the cause of him I did not know I searched out.  And I broke the jaws or the big teeth of the unrighteous and plucked the prey out of his teeth. Then I said, I shall die in or beside my nest, and I 182


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shall multiply my days as the sand. My root is spread out and open to the waters, and the dew lies all night upon my branch.  

My glory and honor are fresh in me [being constantly renewed], and my bow gains [ever] new strength in my hand. Men listened to me and waited and kept silence for my counsel. After I spoke, they did not speak again, and my speech dropped upon them [like a refreshing shower]. And they waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouths wide as for the spring rain.   I smiled on them when they had no confidence, and their depression did not cast down the light of my countenance. I chose their way [for them] and sat as [their] chief, and dwelt like a king among his soldiers, like one who comforts mourners” (Job 29:7-24).

Now beginning in Job 30:1 (Amplified), Job describes his present status and what he has become in the eyes of others: “But now they who are younger than I have me in derision.” Let’s spend a little time on this brief segment. This is a difficult place to bear. This phrase elicits many thoughts regarding those younger than us. What can all this represent? It can be extremely difficult when those who are younger, less experienced, less deserving, think themselves better or more knowledgeable than us. It can be excruciating when we see youth, who we know do not have the knowledge and insight in a given area that we do, question or deride our perspectives no matter the issue. I see people interviewed on the streets on particular matters who do not have the facts or information to even offer an intelligent observation. I can only imagine how hard it is for those to hear judgments from those who are clearly uninformed. I am reminded of a recent situation where a young ESPN reporter was caught on video losing her temper at the attendant who was fining her for parking her car illegally. Her response crossed the line, no doubt. 183


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She said some horrible things to the attendant. A video of the encounter was plastered all over the media and her reputation went from “up and coming sports personality” to “complete pariah” overnight. Now she had to listen to everyone give their opinion on what a jerk she is and how she should be fired immediately. I heard people project insults upon her because of this one incident and make absolute judgments as to the whole of her character to which they had no real knowledge. I would be an outcast of the greatest measure if my entire being could be judged by one, two, or, however many times, I acted like a fool over the course of my life. Do we know what led up to this moment? Do we know all the pressure that built up to this outburst? Yet, she had to listen to everyone all over the nation give their opinion as to the fitness of her humanity with only a ninety second video being the all encompassing data used to draw these final conclusions. Could there be a deeply rooted issue in her life that causes these things to happen? This may or may not have been an isolated case. It does not matter! This is why we have a Savior. When we sabotage our reputation in front of one person, or a million, by acting like fools, we have a Savior who will be there to pick us up, dust us off and set our feet on stable ground. If there are roots in our lives that are causing these incidents, He will show us and become the change we need. He will comfort us in the time that our reputation is taking a beating. He will then restore our reputation. Will there be some who will never change the way that they see you? Sure, however, you will not care because you will know who you are and who you have become. God will raise hundreds of others who will see and appreciate you for who you have become in Christ. You may act like a jerk a thousand times. Do not give up believing that Christ lives through you. It will begin to happen if you will always depend and believe in Him. Job continues in chapter 30, “Whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. Yes, how could the strength of their hands profit me? They were men 184


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whose ripe age and vigor had perished. They are gaunt with want and famine; they gnaw the dry and barren ground or flee into the wilderness, into the gloom of wasteness and desolation. They pluck saltwort or mallows among the bushes, and roots of the broom for their food or to warm them. They are driven from among men, who shout after them as after a thief. They must dwell in the clefts of frightful valleys (gullies made by torrents) and in holes of the earth and of the rocks. Among the bushes they bray and howl [like wild animals]; beneath the prickly scrub they fling themselves and huddle together. Sons of the worthless and nameless, they have been scourged and crushed out of the land.  And now I have become their song; yes, I am a byword to them. They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, and do not refrain from spitting in my face or at the sight of me” (Job 30:2-10 Amplified).

Job begins to tell us about the lowliest of humanity. Men “whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock.” Men who “are driven from among men, who shout after them as after a thief.” Job describes them as “sons of the worthless and nameless.” Job who once had the highest seat of honor among men now says even of this lowly group, “And now I have become their song; yes, I am a byword to them. They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, and do not refrain from spitting in my face or at the sight of me.” Falling from such a lofty place that now you are seen as the lowest element of society can be devastating. We have all seen athletes, famous people, wealthy people and politicians who were on top of the world, yet they came crashing down and are now a “byword”. One could say, “…but many of them were full of pride and deserved to be brought low or their greed led them to scandal and they were caught.” It could be argued that Job himself is displaying arrogance in the way he is describing the lower realms of society. He could be sounding like an elitist who is ridiculing the reputation 185


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of the lowest of the low by saying his reputation is even lower. The point remains that Jesus died and bore this place for those who have experienced this fall from honor whether justified or unjustified. He died for those who have lost places of wealth, prominence and fulfillment through injustice and for those to whom it is self-inflicted. This is what happened to Jesus. He was ridiculed and viewed as a sinner though not deserving any of the punishment. However, He also, if not more so, died for those who have fallen as direct result of their own corruption. The iniquity of going astray that leads to these great falls was laid upon Him. The grief and pain being experienced through loss of status, wealth, security was carried by Christ for all who have fallen. Am I Capable? The rest of Job 30 is extremely descriptive and a befitting conclusion to defining the phrase “Jesus Died for Me”. Please take time to deeply meditate upon these verses. “For God has loosed my bowstring and afflicted and humbled me; they have cast off the bridle [of restraint] before me. On my right hand rises the rabble brood; they jostle me and push away my feet, and they cast up against me their ways of destruction [like an advancing army]”(Job 30:11Amplified).

God has loosed my bowstring. This is referring to those times when we feel as though we have no defense. We have become defenseless against the attacks and onslaught of whatever is troubling us. The brood press, confine and crush our way. The rabble brood can again be literal or figurative representing anything that presses in on us. These feelings are so often experienced by all of us. They may have varying 186


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degrees of severity and may come from all sorts of origins. No matter, Jesus experienced them all. “They break up and clutter my path [embarrassing my plans]; they urge on my calamity, even though they have no helper [and are themselves helpless]. As through a wide breach they come in; amid the crash [of falling walls] they roll themselves upon me.”(Job 30:13-14 Amplified).

I love the dimension the Amplified adds when it says “embarrassing my plans.” These are the real life places whereby our Savior has been made like us in every way! I think I can say with great confidence there is not one person reading this book who has not experienced and felt as though your plans were being resisted. We have plans and ideas. We set out to fulfill them and all hell breaks loose stopping us dead in our tracks. Things simply don’t work out and we can look very foolish to others. Our plans are embarrassed. I know I have experienced this place on more than one occasion. We then field all those inquiries from friend, foe and relative: “Hey, whatever happened to that business you started? How did that investment turn out?” These places are embarrassing and challenge our worth but we have a Savior who has destroyed the death that these things produce in our lives. My Pain Takes No Rest “Terrors are turned upon me; my honor and reputation they chase away like the wind, and my welfare has passed away as a cloud. And now my life is poured out within me; the days of affliction have gripped me. My bones are pierced [with aching] in the night season, and the pains that gnaw me take no rest. By the great force [of my disease] my garment is disguised and disfigured; it binds me about like the collar of my coat” (Job 30:15-18 Amplified). 187


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Job speaks of his honor and reputation being chased away. There are situations that can arise in the human experience that can compromise our honor in the sight of others. These are painful places and sometimes too difficult to bear. He speaks of his welfare passing away which means his deliverance. Any hope of change has slipped away. He tells of the days of affliction that have gripped him or consumed his life. It is very easy for a difficult time to become chronic and be our everyday existence to the point that the trauma is all you feel, see or think. In this passage, the days of affliction are identified as a disease that causes pain and no rest: “The pains that gnaw me take no rest.” This is such a powerful statement placed in the context of His death and substitution for us. At varying degrees, all of us can relate to this place. Take this place of His torment and turn it into your promise of deliverance. Because He allowed pain to “gnaw with no rest upon his body,” we are able to declare our total freedom from such an existence. Am I Being Heard? “[God] has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. I cry to You, [Lord,] and You do not answer me; I stand up, but You [only] gaze [indifferently] at me” (Job 20:19-20Amplified).

The word “mire” literally means “mortar, clay or cement.” The feeling of crying out to the Lord and hearing or seeing no answer can be confining and paralyzing. Jesus experienced the agony of crying to God and not being heard so that we could fully posses the promises of Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Verse 6 goes on to say, “This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” Verse 17-18, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” 188


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Jesus experienced Job 19-20 so that He could make Psalm 34 Yes and Amen to us. “You have become harsh and cruel to me; with the might of Your hand, You [keep me alive only to] persecute me. You lift me up on the wind; You cause me to ride upon it, and You toss me about in the tempest. For I know that You will bring me to death and to the house [of meeting] appointed for all the living. However, does not one falling in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand? Or in his calamity will he not therefore cry for help? Did not I weep for him who was in trouble? Was not my heart grieved for the poor and needy? But when I looked for good, then evil came to me; and when I waited for light, there came darkness” (Job 30:21-26 Amplified).

Remember, Isaiah 53 stated that Jesus was considered smitten and afflicted by God. Job speaks of this place incessantly. We know that it pleased God to bruise Him for us. Job demonstrates this revelation over and over as a substitutionary work so that we would never be afflicted and smitten of God. However, I also want to bring out the fact that there are many people who have felt that God was against them as their lives deteriorated and their cries for help seemed to go unheeded. They made their case of recounting the good things that they tried to do and were met with evil instead of good. It seems as though God has let them down. This place had to be experienced by Him in our humanity. Throughout the entire book of Job, he voices this perplexity of how he, being just and upright, could end up with all this calamity. These selections are just a fraction of the expressions of Job that represent the humanity that Christ experienced for us. More importantly, they can be turned around and be received as promises of freedom.

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EIGHT

HIS CURSE, YOUR BLESSING As we have established throughout, a consistent theme is emphasized by the three friends. They announce the most spectacular blessings for those who are upright after brutally condemning Job and pronouncing the results of sin. This constant demand for righteousness is continually established by the three friends. They conclude that the evils upon Job are as a result of his sin and the promise of blessings are offered only if he will act righteous. In the previous chapter we looked at the curses upon Job that speak of our frreedom from each curse. We also looked at the cries of pain from Job that describe the areas of life that have been experienced for us by Christ. We now look at the blessings of keeping the law spoken by the friends. These are blessings and promises whose prerequisite for fulfillment have been forever met by our Savior. I can now declare that the demand for this fulfillment in my life has already been accomplished by 190


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Him. I now receive these promises by faith as the gift of Christ. Him who had no sin was judged by the law as a sinner so I could receive of His righteousness and the life that would follow. These blessings that are declared by the three friends are the blessings of keeping the law in our own righteousness. Jesus has delivered us from this unreachable prerequisite by His perfect obedience. So now my faith in Him is accounted for righteousness and these promises are “Yes and Amen” to me in Christ. Galvanize this truth in your mind as we review the blessings the three friends proclaim. So with this in mind let us examine some of the promises that are offered in Job and declare them as ours today. Job is full of some of the richest promises in all of the Word of God. You will forget the day of your trouble The next segment of scripture was spoken by Zophar in Job 11:13-19 in the New International Version. These are some of the most beautiful promises in all of the scriptures. “Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,  then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear.   You will surely forget your trouble,  recalling it only as waters gone by.  Life will be brighter than noonday,  and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope;  you will look about you and take your rest in safety.  You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor” (Job 11:13-19).  

Just meditating on this promise again for the first time in a few years is bringing a new refreshing to my life. These are absolutely life giving 191


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promises that are now freely given to us by trust and faith in what Jesus has already accomplished for us. It is an absolute joy to share these things as the blessings and gift of Christ instead of the unobtainable results of self-righteousness. We can sometimes stumble upon prerequisites to the promises that make a demand before the blessing can be supplied. Demands like, “Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent…” are not to be accomplished in our own self-effort. The ability to “put away…sin” begins with prayers that exchange our effort for His righteousness. When you read a beautiful, significant promise that is predicated by the request for righteous behavior, offer the prayer below: A Prayer of Righteousness “Father, I thank you that the righteousness of God is given to me as a gift through faith in what your Son did for me on the cross. He lives in me. His life is my life. His obedience and devotion is my obedience and devotion. He has destroyed sin and him who had the power of sin. Sin has no dominion over me because I am under this grace not my own righteousness. Jesus, you have fulfilled every inch of this demand and I stand in faith of Your fulfillment!  I am free of fault, I lift up my face; I stand firm and without fear. I am the righteousness of God through faith in Christ, not of myself. You bore every one of my faults and all my guilt. Therefore, I lift up my face and look directly in your eyes without any guilt or shame. I stand firm without any fear of any kind. Least of all, fear of any retribution from You for any sins.” You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.  Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like “

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morning.” This is one of my favorite promises in all of the Word of God. “You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.” This is significant because it encompasses an entire season or realm of existence that one could endure for possibly a great length of time. Times of financial, marital, or relational bondages can create debilitating effects upon our lives. The damage done by these times seep deep into our lives and build mindsets that perpetuate the bondage that externally may no longer exist. Mindsets that often become the seeds that recycle these bondages. They may be revealed in different ways and circumstances but the “here we go again” syndrome is difficult to totally escape. By contrast, we have a promise that says,  “You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.” We can take this promise and allow it to cleanse our consciousness. We can forget this past realm or dwelling place of bondage and fear recalling it only as “waters gone by”. It no longer has any influence, effect or meaning in who you are today. It has no more influence on your life dictating who you can be or what you can accomplish. The stronghold can pass you by as waters that flow freely downstream eventually out of sight. Those waters will be carried away far from your life not touching any aspect of your being. There may be remembrances, subtle flashes of memories but the haunting of that realm has ceased. It is simply as fleeting as waters gone by. You might say, “I am still in that place of misery where the waters are overwhelming my life. Then this is just the promise for you. This is the promise of Christ to you today. You may think you are in a place where you can never escape its bondage or influence. The work of the cross is more than enough to bring this promise to fulfillment in your life. No matter how deeply rooted your situation is today, never let go of this promise. It has been personally forged in Christ for you. How can these days of trouble and misery disappear as waters gone by? By the promise of declaring your… “Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.” This refers to the 193


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light of Christ in you. All of us are products of the light and illumination that we possess at a given time in our lives. Whatever knowledge you have of a given situation will determine the lifestyle that you live. Bikes, Cars and Planes Think of this simple natural analogy. If all you have ever known or been exposed to is a bicycle than your ability to travel and experience life will be limited to that bicycle. You are limited to the “light” that you have in this area. Then, someone comes along and shines light on the capabilities and potential of the automobile. Suddenly, your world is broadened based on this new knowledge. Your enlightenment allows your entire existence to constantly dwell in the possibilities and realities of what life this new light yields. As you utilize the attributes of the automobile, the idea of jet travel is revealed to you. Now, what seemed unattainable and beyond your thoughts is now within your grasp. What you could hope and imagine before when all the “light” you had was a bicycle has now multiplied exponentially! The point is that realms of bondage and limitations are a product of darkness. Many of our experiences that we think are simply God’s Will for our lives or our lot in life are a result of darkness. They are a result of not being exposed to a greater light. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJ) “… For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part but then I shall know just as I also am known.” This was spoken in the context of realizing the love of God but allow its truth to infiltrate your thinking in this context of darkness and light. Paul was not saying, “We see in a mirror dimly. That’s just the way it is. When we get to heaven we will know all.” He was saying there is dimness and darkness over the issues of our lives but there is greater light that will dispel every darkness. Darkness is not just sin or bad things. Darkness can be where light has yet to shine. You may be in places of unfullfillment simply because 194


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a greater illumination has yet to be seen. You are still in the light of the bicycle when there is jet travel that has yet to be unveiled in you. Again, we can only experience what has been revealed to us. His Hope, His Inheritance, His Power Ephesians tells us that it takes the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe... Please see the magnitude of what is being said. Ephesians is telling us that we need a spirit of wisdom and revelation to see and understand the hope of His calling. There are realms of light that God wishes to shine in our understanding that will lift us high above the previous life that we have experienced. Our experiences are the result of the light we have been exposed to up to this time. These experiences can be very powerful in their ability to mold and limit our expectations. As we allow the spirit of revelation to open up the width and length and depth and height to the hope of His calling we begin to see a whole new possibility for our lives. We begin to see life on the level of the hope of His calling. We begin to see the hope of His calling not only in a big picture perspective of understanding the ways of God but also for the specificity of the will of God for our lives. We see the exceeding riches of His inheritance and the surpassing greatness of His power. Please do not let these words just be religious jargon. Knowing these places can be a reality that changes everything. This spirit of wisdom and revelation begins to lift us out of the limited light that has been our dwelling place and thrust us into realms that were not even thought previous. In Colossians, it speaks of being translated out of the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son. We have been under the dominion of darkness. We have been 195


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under the dominion of seeing through a glass darkly. As the greater light begins to shine it will cause us to experience the dominion of Christ. Reach for this light with all your might. It is already in us just waiting to be revealed through us. “Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning” The more we know who Jesus is, the more we understand the light that dispels darkness. In Hebrews 1:3 (AMP), it says that Jesus is the “radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine].” The more we become acquainted with the person of Christ, we are led to the knowledge of who Father God is in us. Our lives become shaped by light, not the consequence of darkness. Those things that once caused trips, stumbles and falls are easily recognizable and avoided. We are no longer prisoners to our chronic, bad behavior or sudden, catastrophic evils because the light of God is now our guide. “You will be secure, because there is hope;  you will look about you and take your rest in safety.  You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.”

What a beautiful promise to all of us. Rest and security are the most desired realms of all. We all long for security and rest. I love the phrase “you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” This denotes a conquered land. This speaks of being translated into a new place of the dominion of His dear Son. You look all about you and all you see is rest and safety. Where you once saw obstacles, struggle and resistance, now you see rest and security all about you. Another translation says you shall look round about you. In other words, front, back, left and to the right, all is rest round about you.

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Into a broad place The following promise comes from Job 36 and is spoken by Elihu who we will observe intently later. “He delivers the poor in their affliction, and opens their ears in oppression. Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint; and what is set on your table would be full of richness” ( Job 36:15-16).

Strong’s says the word affliction means poverty and misery. The word oppression means pressure, as in pressure brought on by distress. Whatever is causing misery and or pressure, no matter how great or small, God wishes to bring deliverance to this place. The next phrase is “out of dire distress”. The Amplified chooses the phrase “mouth of distress”. The word translated distress here is actually strait which is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a narrow body of water that joins two larger bodies of water as in the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Magellan. The word literally means “mouth”. A strait is the mouth or narrow entrance to the greater body of water. It is extremely significant that the word “strait” is used in this context. It is no coincidence that the narrow strait used to describe the joining of two bodies of water has also evolved into an additional related meaning. Oxford also defines the word strait as a difficult situation involving pressure, confinement, restriction and restraint. This, of course, is where we get the term “strait jacket” that prevents even the slightest movement of escape. Situations mount and pressure builds causing us to feel restricted. The distress wants to squeeze us into its narrow mouth so that we are consumed with the hardship and the mindset of the distress. If you were to research the term strait, you would be led to maps of various straits around the world showing a narrowing of the channel of water into a small opening to the larger body of water. View this 197


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metaphorically as picturing yourself sailing through life and suddenly or gradually the borders on each side of you begin to constrict. You begin to feel pressure from all sides. The pressure begins to force you into the mouth of distress. 2 Corinthians 4:8 says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed.” The Amplified Classic says, “We are hedged in (pressed) on every side.” At some point in our lives, we have felt constricted or pressed on every side. For some it might seem like a perpetual existence. We can experience the pressing and restriction from multiple sides from various sorts of origins. This experience knows no age, gender, race or creed. We have felt them in our youth, teenage years, adulthood and golden years. There can be degrees of severity ranging from slight inconvenience to feeling as though we are being suffocated to death. This hard pressing can be in the form of marital issues or relationships of any kind. It shows up in the form of financial stress or health issues. One can be totally unfulfilled in their careers and feel completely trapped and restricted. We all have dreams beyond where we are presently. Dreams for our marriage, finances, careers, health and all of our relationships become unobtainable due to the restrictions upon our lives. All of these places in life are designed to pressure you into the mouth of distress. This distress wants to consume your life and your mindset. No matter the degree of severity, deliverance has been purchased. Look at the magnitude of this promise in Job 36:16 to all of us who have been victims of restriction and pressure. “Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint; and what is set on your table would be full of richness.”

The reality for us is that we can replace “indeed He would have” with “indeed He has”! Jesus experienced this pressing unto death. We can

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now boldly declare that He has “brought you out of dire distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint; and what is set on your table would be full of richness.” The Amplified Classic goes on to amplify the word restraint by adding, “where there is no situation of perplexity or privation.” What a magnificent promise that has been forged and made certain by the sacrifice of Christ! Secure this promise in your heart and mouth in the context of a true understanding of the hearing of Faith in Christ. See this promise as Christ himself. See the work of the cross in this promise. It is alive with the person of Christ. This is how we are to view the Word of God and speak His promises. It has to be placed in the revelation of the cross of Christ and your relationship with Him in this revelation. Jesus suffered this pressing and restriction. He suffered being consumed by the mouth of distress into the belly of hell so that we could be brought into a broad place. Merely quoting scripture will produce a dead work with no fruition. You will then turn to alternate, hybrid belief systems and miss the true nature of God throughout the whole course of your life. We must see the sacrifice of Christ in every promise made “yes and amen” to us. When you find yourself in an impossible situation, take this promise right where you are and meditate upon it as the finished work of the person of Christ. Allow Jesus to manifest Himself in this promise. Your thoughts, plans and actions will begin to form a new expression apart from any works of your own. “Apart from any works of your own” does not mean that you will not do anything. It means that the things that you do will be inspired and energized by the works of faith not your own schemes or ideas. Watch things begin to move and align both internally and externally as your deliverance emerges. I love the phrase, “into a broad place where there is no restraint.” To feel chronic, perpetual pressure and distress and then be delivered into a wide expanse or broad place where there is no confusion can bring joy unspeakable. These promises can be applied to the day by day, moment by moment situa

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tions that arise as well as the larger seemingly chronic issues in our lives. In the mortgage and real estate business, we provide financing for people who wish to purchase homes. In my current business model, I deal with an appreciable amount of “credit challenged” borrowers or those with “lousy credit.” I actually enjoy most aspects of this market because these types of individuals are, in most cases, very appreciative of the time and effort I spend in helping them qualify for a home loan. However, when you work with these kinds of situations you can get into some extremely stressful situations that can cause some sleepless nights. If you have received a home loan since 2008, you know that potential borrowers are exposed to relentless scrutiny. It can be very frustrating to a borrower when asked to supply dozens of documents that validate your worth to a lender. The lender will need to approve a file in order to release the funds to close the loan. This can be daunting and frustrating even to a good credit file. Therefore, you can imagine the microscope those with challenging credit endure when their loan is being reviewed. I may advise and educate a client for months informing them on what they need to do to become qualified. I go through all the guidelines and all the documentation necessary for qualifying. Things like pay stubs, tax returns, credit reports, judgments and liens all become crucial components to whether the file is accepted or rejected. When the file is pre-approved, the excited couple becomes giddy and start looking at all of these different houses. In many cases, these are first-time home buyers who feel they are making the most important decision of their lives. They find the house they want and want to know when they can get the keys. They have no idea the gauntlet that awaits them. As much as I try to prepare them, it is always a shock to hear the amount of effort that is still required. The underwriters want a copy of every who, what and where in your life. This is the way it is in this business. We can be several weeks into the process and receive that dreaded email from the underwriter with the alert “Loan Suspended”. When I 200


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see this, blood runs completely out of my face. The loan is in jeopardy because I missed some obscure issue. I now have to explain how I screwed up to the selling real-estate agent, the listing real-estate agent, the seller and the buyer. All of these people have an enormous amount invested in this process. For example, the agents receive their income from these types of transactions. The seller needs the house sold because they have a contract on another house contingent upon their current home selling. Finally, the young couple who is purchasing the home could find their dream of homeownership slipping away. This new, potential buyer has spent money on an appraisal, earnest money and an inspection. This hard-earned money is now in jeopardy. Many times we have financing contingencies in place so the borrower will not lose their earnest money but these can only last for so long. If you get too far into the process, the buyer can lose everything they have put into the transaction. I can be sailing through life and get blindsided by these types of things. You want to talk about pressure from every side! I am well aware of how my approval of the loan effects those involved and the enormous impact these things have upon their lives. A Moment by Moment Savior There are issues that people face that make this situation look trivial but the distress of these moments can be tortuous nonetheless. My point in sharing this is that we have a moment by moment Savior who wants to live every one of these moments with us. He wishes to bring deliverance to these daily pressures of life. The good news is Jesus died for everything that pressures us no matter the degree of severity. When these things happen to me I go to promises like this one and believe that He will bring me out into a broad, spacious place where there is no pressure. Examples like the one just described grow less and less as I gain more experience and learn how to receive dominion over every aspect of my life. It is seldom, if ever now, that we do not find a way 201


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to resolve issues and close the loans that we approve. However, the time from crisis to resolution can be brutal. It is during these times that I am thankful we have a Savior! We all have constant needs for day to day, moment by moment deliverance from constricting pressure. I am sure we all could fill this book with examples of pressures that afflict us daily. In the midst of these pressures, proclaim that you are brought “into a broad place where there is no situation of perplexity or privation”. The last phrase of this promise says, “…and what is set on your table would be full of richness.” Many translations say “full of fatness”. Richness or fatness means “abundance, blessing and fertility” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The phrase, “…and what is set on your table” provides deliverance from whatever you need. This supply is forged just for you, right where you are. God knows how to individualize the deliverance that reduces pressure and provides wide expanses that satisfy us to the fullest. You may have a very unique vision that you long to be fulfilled. One that you might not even know how to communicate to others. It may not be something that someone else would find that interesting or fulfilling but it lights a fire within you. This is the thing that God wants to set on your table and cause it to be full of blessing, richness and abundance. Aging is not for the faint of heart “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys” (Job 42:12).

This promise that the Lord blessed the later years of Job more than his former years is powerful for absolutely everyone. We all should lay claim these words spoken over Job. Let us take these words describing the end result of Job and apply them to every place in our lives. 202


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No matter what has happened to us in the past, whether good or bad, the Lord will bless our “latter days” more than our beginning. This can be our declaration and true expectancy at every stage of our lives. At the writing of this book, I am “No matter what has almost 58 years old. For the first happened to us in the time in my life, I am truly facing the aging process and mortal- past, whether good or ity. I was in the grocery store the bad, the Lord will bless other day at the checkout lane. As our “latter days” more I was about to leave, the cashier than our beginning.” said, “Hey, wait, I almost forgot. I did not give you your senior citizen discount.” I was stunned. I thought, “How ‘bout I give you a knock-upside-your-head.” You may think he did me a favor but that was the first time anyone has ever called me a “senior citizen”. I did not have to ask him for my discount. It was apparently obvious that I was a “senior citizen”. When did that happen? I just had never seen myself in that way. Irrespective of how I see myself, it is obvious now that others see me as a “senior citizen”. I know there are those reading this book who are much younger and cannot imagine being as old as 57, or those who would love to return to their fifties. For me, marching time and mounting memories can lead to sadness and melancholy that can be debilitating. These thoughts can rob us of so much life that is still to be lived. I have always been extremely sensitive to the passing of time even as a very young man. I remember when I was in my twenties and I would see my daughters go from toddlers to school age. This sadness would overwhelm me if I allowed myself to dwell on it too much. I realized how quickly time passes when my daughters graduated high school and when my first daughter left home and got married. All of these benchmark memories were deeply felt causing me to reach for my latter days to be more blessed than my past. 203


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A Young Manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Realization I share this following story because it is still real and relevant to me. I was not terribly outgoing when I was in High School in 1976. I did not seek to be popular or rise to the top of the social ladder. I did not belong to any click of any sort but I was able to socialize with just about everyone. During my junior year, I was asked by this girl to escort her for the Homecoming court. Several girls were nominated for homecoming court and she was one of the representatives for the junior class. We would walk these girls out on the football field during half-time. Once assembled, they would announce the homecoming queen from the senior class. This was a big deal for a high school junior who never really gained any popularity or recognition. This girl was very popular and all the guys would kill to be in my shoes. It was almost as big a deal to be chosen to escort on the court as it was to be voted to be on the court. I was moving up on the social ladder! I remember going to the mall and my mom purchasing a quintessential seventies, wide-lapel vested suit, a blue, nylon shirt and a cream colored tie with high-heeled seventies shoes. I had to look special for my big night. I felt really good about myself in that suit. Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia was huge. I am not sure of the exact amount of students but we had double sessions of school to accommodate all the students until Walton High School was built. The juniors and seniors would go to school from 7 a.m. to Noon, while the freshmen and sophomores would attend classes in the afternoon. There were well over 2,500 students with the graduating class totaling 450 students. When the big day arrived, it looked like there were thousands of people in the stands. We were riding into the field in these fancy convertibles and everyone was making a big deal. We were the center of attention. Girls that had never really spoken to me were coming up to me and telling me how good I looked. I was really liking this attention and wondering why I had not sought it sooner. I was 204


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getting more attention and acclaim in one hour than I had received in my entire life. Half-time arrived, the band began to play and we assembled for the processional. The flag corps announced our grand entrance with draped flags. Before we entered, the flags were parallel with the ground. As we walked towards the grand stands,they would raise the flags like dominoes in reverse as we emerged. I remember lights shining brightly on us and cameras snapping our every movement. I now realize it was about the girls on the court but at that time, in my mind, it was about me. I could hear my name being called out from the stands. I’m serious. I could not believe it! I don’t even remember anyone else on the court, who was homecoming queen or specific names of the audience members. I only remember how all of this made me feel. The Homecoming court sat in a section by ourselves at the start of the second half. People from all over the stands were approaching me and filling my head with all sorts of great compliments. I was on top of my High School world. It was Over...I Mean Over The game ended and the crowd began to file out. The homecoming dance was right after the game. I did not dance. I still don’t dance. Don’t even ask me to dance. So, I did not plan to go to the dance. Everyone else went to the dance and I walked alone to my car. I sat silent in my car in that dimly lit parking lot. There were no compliments, no bright lights or flashing cameras. It was over... I mean over. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was only 17 years old, yet completely aware of what was now taking place. I was confronted with how fleeting life can become. This acute awareness should be beyond the cognizance of a seventeen year old. However, this kid was experiencing a reality that would shape me for the rest of my life. It was the first entrance of the Holy Spirit beginning to speak to me about the frailty of the passing of time. I get a little misty eyed just reflecting on this vulnerable time in 205


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my life. I spent the rest of Friday night by myself at home doing what I always have done like it was just another day. The entire weekend I mused upon all that had taken place. I began to think about time, eternity and God. At the age of seventeen, I began to really consider the passing of time and how fleeting things can be. I went back to school that Monday with the expectation that everyone would remember Friday night. I thought within myself that once I get to school everything will be different. Everyone will remember Friday night and how I was the center of attention. Surely this event has elevated my status and will have some kind of permanent effect. To my shock and surprise nothing had changed. I blended back into my former place in this little society. It was at that moment that I began to truly consider Jesus. This seeming trite example of the proverbial “15 minutes of fame” caused me to see into the future and the futility of it all. Without something sure, real and eternal, I could not see the point. What else in the future holds the same fate if this came and went in the blink of an eye? I saw the years passing and I began to long for something that transcended time. Father Time Will Take You Down We always hear about “Father Time”. Truth is, without Jesus, “Father Time” will take you down. I needed to know that there was someone who overcame the torment of passing time. This realization led me to give my heart to Christ and become fully devoted to Him. The reality of the passing of time brought me to my knees as a seventeen year old kid. Jesus is the only one who has overcome time. This reality is what truly brought me to devote my life to Christ. Jesus is called “the Alpha and the Omega” or the beginning and the end. He is eternal. To truly gain the mindset of eternal life, while even still in this body, requires a full surrender to Christ. I am thankful I do not have to be intimidated, saddened or diminished because my body 206


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is getting older. This is not cliché, cheerleading, pulpit nonsense. This is a true place of rest where we can abide believing that “…our latter days are more than our beginning”. This truth is eternal, no matter your age, your latter days will be more than your beginning. Shall we age as the world? As the years have passed, I have noticed a change in perspective and mindset where I naturally have a better grasp of things in life and appreciate the wisdom I have gained. However, there is another aspect of change that begins to challenge my hope, expectation, growth and excitement for the future. Aging, if left to its natural progression, leaves us thinking that everything is behind us instead of ahead of us. We begin to wonder how we can still have faith-filled expectation for our lives when our bodies grow steadily older and our abilities seem to lessen. Recently, I was praying and I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit say to me that He was going to renew my youth and that I would not age as the world ages. I felt the Spirit say that life was just beginning and I would begin to dream and aspire as a young man. He reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:16 which says, “…Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” He then reminded me of Psalm 103:5, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” My mind and aspirations will become like one who is just beginning and looks at life with all of its possibilities. I will not think negatively about the future or sorrowfully towards the past. Rather, I will aspire and dream with an ambition that is born of the Spirit. I will live anticipating the existing possibilities ahead of me. I will not allow my age to be a limit to anything that the Spirit would seed and aspire to accomplish in my heart. When I was told that I would not age as the world ages, I pictured that as a physical aging. I certainly think there is an element of this truth as well but this inward renewing of youth is the foundation for outward 207


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renewal. I will think as a young man because as a man thinks in his heart so is he. This is a glory to God. This mindset will yield ideas and motivations that will result in full confidence to step out and grasp. This is what makes life worth living. This is the renewing of your youth. In Numbers 14:24, it says this of Caleb who was one of the spies who scouted the Promised Land, “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.” Caleb, when looking at the opposition in the Promised Land, said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30) Caleb was directly responding to the crowd and to the other spies who declared that they could not take the land God had promised because of the giants that were inhabiting the land. Caleb had a different attitude toward the foes. Caleb knew the land had been promised to them and any inhabitant would fall victim to the army of God. The following passage was taken decades after first encountering the Promised Land and reveals how Caleb’s attitude towards the Lord’s faithfulness never wavered. “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.

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As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said” (Joshua 14:7-12).

I have always loved the story of Caleb. His greatest inheritance came at a very old age. What an incredible statement, “...I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.” Caleb had this attitude at the age of 85! What an incredible truth that we can apply to our own lives. One might say, “Yeah, but this is just one of those Old Testament Bible stories. This is not realistic today.” Well, it certainly will not be realistic with that mindset. I take this as a promise made “Yes and Amen” in Christ. The strength that Caleb speaks of is in body, soul and spirit. His mindset and his entire being is just as strong now as it was 45 years earlier. Caleb lived with hope and expectation until the end of his life. I think it significant that Caleb said, “…the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years…” If you “If you are still living, are still living, then you still have an then you still have an inheritance ahead of you no matter inheritance ahead of how old you are. We should die believing and expecting for the next you no matter how manifestation of Christ’s inheritance old you are.” to be revealed in us. I truly believe this is a real place of habitation to be received as a gift from Christ. There may be those who say, “Yeah, but Caleb followed the Lord fully or wholly. This was the reason this took place in his life.” Out of all the thousands upon thousands that came out of Egypt with Moses only 209


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two spies named Joshua and Caleb made it to this level of following the Lord fully. Therefore, the chances of us fulfilling this requirement are pretty remote. I have some good news for this perspective. The prerequisite to following the Lord fully has been met in Christ. There is one requirement and that is to believe in Christ. We are His workmanship. Trying to work harder or increase our commitment never works. Cast all your shortcomings on Him and release your faith in Christ to live through you and become in you what you cannot become yourself. This is following the Lord fully. Anything less or more than this will be our own works and will be met with the curse and ultimately failure. A Modern Day Caleb When I think of Caleb my thoughts go to a person’s life that I became aware of several years ago. I have lived in an area of West Central Georgia for the past 28 years of my life. Towns like LaGrange, Pine Mountain and Newnan. There is a famous family down here by the name of the Callaway’s. Several members of this family have done great things and accomplished much in various areas. There was one member of this family who caught my attention years ago. His name was Ely Callaway. You may or may not recognize the name. I was amazed at his story and believe it has precise relevance in the context of what we are discussing. When I taught high school I would always introduce Ely Callaway’s life to my economics students. Ely Callaway was an executive in the textile industry. He rose very high in the ranks of a company by the name of Milliken. He was instrumental in the innovation of blended fabrics, specifically Dacron and wool. In the late 1950’s, he was hired away from Milliken by Textron who was sold to Burlington Mills. Callaway became Vice President in 1960 and by 1968 was president and director of the company. However, he had his sight set on becoming the chairman of the company but was overlooked for another candidate. Callaway retired in 1973 at the age of 54. 210


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Callaway had purchased 140 acres in Southern California a few years previous to his retirement. He decided to use this land for a vineyard. The prevailing thought from most wine experts was that you could not grow grapes in Southern California due to a climate that was not conducive. Callaway ignored the objections and instead diligently researched possibilities. He contacted experts who determined that the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s climate was indeed solid for growing certain types of grapes. In 1974, Callaway Winery and Vineyards was born. In 1975, it was reported that the wine was served to Queen Elizabeth who asked for a second glass and wanted to meet the creator of the wine. This launched the company to greater stature. Callaway Winery and Vineyard was purchased by another company for $14 million in 1981 just seven years following its inception. Upon his second retirement, Ely Callaway began to settle into this lifestyle. One day while he was playing golf he walked into a small golf shop in Palm Springs. While in the shop, he noticed a particular set of golf clubs that were old-fashioned wooden clubs that looked similar to those he had played with as a youth. Callaway contacted the owners of the clubs and found they were looking for investors. For $400,000, he became a 50% partner in 1982. At 63 years old, Ely Callaway was starting his third career. In 1984, this company became Callaway Golf. If you are at all familiar with anything involving golf then you know Callaway Golf became one of the largest golf equipment suppliers in the world. Callaway golf equipment sales reached into the hundreds of millions. Callaway was intricately involved in the company almost to the very last day of his life. Most people would have been deemed ultra successful with any one of the three careers of Callaway. No one could have blamed him if he had truly retired after the textile industry. Nevertheless, he kept dreaming, moving and creating. His greatest accomplishment was gained at the latest portion of his life. We can learn from Callawayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accomplishments that we should always keep dreaming. Our success should be measured on how we never 211


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give up on what is important to us. Accomplishing great notoriety and millions of dollars is not the main objective. The point is to keep doing what thrills you. The most important thing is to do whatever brings life to you, no matter how great or diminished it looks in the eyes of someone else. You could be desiring to start a vegetable stand on the side of the road, learn to play the guitar or teach an art class to “senior citizens”... like me. (a little levity inserted there) What is important is that your youth is renewed and the pursuit emanates from the spirit of God. More Promises From Job... Made Yes to Us in Christ Let me conclude this chapter with a few more selections of promises spoken, for the most part, by the three friends. They are promises spoken only to those who are blameless and upright. These are some of the great and precious promises given to us in Christ. These promises from the Amplified Bible speak for themselves and require no additional commentary. I trust this will become more to you than just reading a bunch of scriptures. As we have said earlier on several occsions, I am well aware that many of you are familiar with taking scriptures for your various needs and trying to make them relevant to your life. I am acutely cognizant that it may have resulted in little to nothing and turned into a dead work. Go back now with the death and substitution of Christ as the foundation of your promise. The power of the cross will now be at the center of your faith and a new understanding and adoration for the text will take place. “So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn He lifts to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise or anything of [lasting] worth” (Job 5:12 Amplified). 212


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“He catches the [so-called] wise in their own trickiness, and the counsel of the schemers is brought to a quick end. In the daytime they meet in darkness, and at noon they grope as in the night. But [God] saves [the fatherless] from the sword of their mouth, and the needy from the hand of the mighty” (Job 5:13 Amplified). For He wounds, but He binds up; He smites, but His hands heal. He will rescue you in six troubles; in seven nothing that is evil [for you] will touch you” (Job 5:18 Amplified).

“In famine He will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes. At destruction and famine you shall laugh, neither shall you be afraid of the living creatures of the earth. For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. And you shall know that your tent shall be in peace, and you shall visit your fold and your dwelling and miss nothing [from them]. You shall know also that your children shall be many, and your offspring as the grass of the earth” (Job 5:21-22 Amplified). You shall come to your grave in ripe old age, and as a shock of grain goes up [to the threshing floor] in its season. This is what we have searched out; it is true. Hear and heed it and know for yourself [for your good)” (Job 5:26 Amplified).  “

If you will seek God diligently and make your supplication to the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, surely He will bestir Himself for you and make your righteous dwelling prosperous again. And though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would greatly increase” (Job 8:6-7 Amplified).  “

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Behold, as surely as God will never uphold wrongdoers, He will never cast away a blameless man. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tents of the wicked shall be no more” (Job 8:20-22).

These are just a few of the promises hidden in Job. When you read Job for yourself, look for these and many others. They should be received just like we receive the promises from the Psalmist or any promise in the Word of God.

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NINE

A HIRELING WHO LOOKS FOR THE REWARD OF HIS WORK Job gives us deep insight into the humanity of Christ when He was made like us in every way. He experienced every question, confusion and misconceptions of man’s view of God. The misconceptions originate when we view God through the eyes of the law’s demands. As we move further into the book of Job we are going to see misconceptions that are fashioned from viewing God’s nature through the demands of the law. These conclusions about God derive from believing He is demanding my obedience and right behavior in my own effort. Seeing and trying to understand God through the eyes of accepted religious dogma will skew and pervert the nature of God. Trying to please God via the law of commandments will leave you completely disillusioned, bitter and totally confused. In order to walk in complete freedom and understand the work of redemption, we must identify where we misinterpret God. 216


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We will see this illustrated in Job, which tells us that Jesus experienced all this confusion and perplexity. Jesus experienced it so that we could be free from the law’s demands and have a true understanding of the nature and love of God. Before we look at the words of Job expressing these misconceptions of the nature of God, we must reiterate the context that we have mentioned previously. Job sees himself as one who has kept the law and commandments of God. He, like the three friends, believes that upright living and lifestyle are the prerequisites for the blessing of God. The three friends have concluded that Job could not have kept the commandments of God or all this evil would not be thrust upon him. When one believes that it is their responsibility to walk uprightly and to please God, they will inevitably put themselves under the spirit of bondage. They will establish their own righteousness and may not even be aware. Job thinks that he has done the necessary prerequisites to be blessed by God but instead he receives a curse. All manner of perplexity, confusion, anger and bitterness arise as a result of this belief. Job questions why the wicked are blessed and the upright are cursed. As you will see, Job develops a completely perverted view of God the Father. Many of Job’s reactions or exclamations of bewilderment can be likened to our own reactions when our view of God is challenged. Job represents the full work of the cross and the central work of redemption, which is to redeem us from under the law. As a result we see various expressions of perplexity, confusion and wrong views of God fully illustrated. Remember, as Jesus fulfilled the law and then represented man’s own righteousness under the law; He had to become all of the confusion and wrong perceptions of God that man could possibly experience. This confusion and misconception is as a result of Him becoming sin and receiving the curse of the law. This had to be done so that we could walk in complete clarity knowing the true nature of God. Our complexity and confusion ends at the cross. Muse on these scriptures in the light that your misgivings about God no longer need 217


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to exist. You can know the true nature of God the Father through Jesus. As you read these words of Job you will most likely relate to the things which are said. I know I did as I think back on the way I use to live. So many of us have and still do experience some of these places voiced by Job. It is part of the human experience as we are delivered from the law. Since these things are part of the human experience. Jesus had to be fully acquainted with these emotions as a man under the weight of keeping the law and receiving a curse instead of blessing. He had to go through the perplexity and disillusionment of seemingly doing everything a man knows to do and still not receiving the expected result. The things that we draw out in these scriptures are extremely important. Later, we will see Elihu refer back to these sayings of Job and they will become the center piece to Job’s correction. Let us look again at Job 7. Previously, we viewed it in the context of the driving essence of living under the law. Now we view it in the context of misinterpreting the nature of God. “Is there not an [appointed] warfare and hard labor to man upon earth? And are not his days like the days of a hireling? As a servant earnestly longs for the shade and the evening shadows, and as a hireling who looks for the reward of his work...” (Job 7:1-2 Amplified).

Job speaks here as a man under the law fully immersed in continually trying to do right. When it did not work and his life falls apart, he begins to speak more candidly about his true feelings regarding his suffering. He says his days are like that “of a hireling... a hireling who looks for the reward of his work.” As I reflect back on my own life this hits so close to home. I don’t know how many of you can relate to these concepts. If you have been raised in the church or pursued God in any capacity, there have been moments where these thoughts and feelings surfaced. . If you have been 218


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doing your best to live for God. If you are truly honest. Then I know you have felt these thoughts. Many ministries infiltrate every Sunday sermon with a call to get your life right. The messages may be laced with the word “grace” without a true understanding of the meaning. We may hear that it is by grace that we are saved but the essence of the message required our commitment to receive what we most wanted from God. For decades, I persisted in these types of ministries. Yet, in my most private moments, alone with my most private thoughts, I would feel like a “hireling” longing for my “reward”. The constant, insistent demands of what I knew of Christianity became a weary yoke. However, I remained silent about my disappointment and disillusionment to not appear as though I was faltering in my commitment. Jesus has redeemed us from this awful yoke of bondage. He has experienced every inch of the demands of the law. Even our own works that are wrapped in New Testament garments masquerading as freedom and liberty. They may be written as Old Testament commands or New Testament principles. No matter, if it is our own works it will end in lifeless existence. God as Opponent and Judge Job now begins to express the deep groans of humanity under the bondage of their own righteousness. He begins to offer insight into the inevitable result of trying to know God through the demands of obedience. Look at Job 9, “Whom, though I were righteous (upright and innocent) yet I could not answer? I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge [for my right]. If I called and He answered me, yet would I not believe that He listened to my voice?” (Job 9:15-31 Amplified).

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of God that living under the law will certainly produce. He symbolizes man’s own righteousness striving under the law. This is what Job keeps arguing because he knows nothing else. To one who perceives God through the eyes of the law He is seen as “Opponent and Judge”. This is such an important concept. This viewpoint of God is so rampant throughout the earth. They may not express it so overtly or succinctly but in the hidden places of the mind these persuasions may secetly lurk. If one views God even with the slightest leaven that their own works is prerequisite for blessing then perceiving God as their Judge is inevitable. He continues to say, “If I called and He answered me, yet would I not believe that He listened to my voice.” Wow! What a beautiful relationship living under the law creates in our life! (sarcasm intended) Living under the law causes uncertainty as to whether or not God even listens. Galatians 3:12 says: “The law is not of faith.” It is impossible to have child-like faith in the Father in your own ability. No matter how much you wish you could believe and trust God. The law or even a message of grace with a small portion “You will always of leaven will always create doubt. question your faith if You will always question your faith you believe that God’s if you believe that God’s blessing is blessing is contingent contingent on your own works. You may give “lip service” to your faith in on your own works.” God but the reality of true assurance will simply not exist. I know these places because I lived these places. There would be glimpses of freedom but I always seemed to be back in the same condition at some point. True faith in Christ is born when we truly let go of our own righteousness as any prerequisite for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our lives. We abandon ourselves to the hearing of faith in Christ and allow the works of faith to empower our every moment.

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“For He overwhelms and breaks me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness.  If I speak of strength, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, Who, says He, will summon Me? Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, He would prove me perverse” (Job 9:17-20 Amplified).

Job became a curse despite his upright behavior, therefore, he exclaims the following in Job 9:17-18: For He overwhelms and breaks me... multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness. This is a very perverted view of God, yet I hear these phrases out of the mouth of those in the world often. It comes from those who have only been exposed to the most elementary aspects of God because it is all religion today expresses. It is portrayed in movies, television shows, social media and books. Someone will view God as their adversary because they are not living as they should. How many times have we heard people say that they are being punished by God for their sins. Only those under the law could be subject to such a perverted understanding of God. However, the good news is that Jesus carried this place to deliver all from such a viewpoint of God. The penalty of sin was laid upon Christ. God will never impute sin to man again. Death imputes sin to man but not God. God the Father is ever standing with arms wide open to receive us while we are yet in the midst of the most heinous of a sinful life. He cannot count sin against you after it has been counted so brutally upon His Son. Yet, the wages of sin is still the realm of death. Death is imputing sin to us. This is why God demonstrated His love to us in sending His Son to destroy sin. He does not want the wages of sin to ravage your life anymore.

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God Mocks the Innocent? Though I am blameless, I regard not myself; I despise my life. It is all one; therefore I say, God [does not discriminate, but] destroys the blameless and the wicked. When [His] scourge slays suddenly, He mocks at the calamity and trial of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blinded to justice]. If it is not [God], who then is it [responsible for all this inequality]?” (Job 9:20-24 Amplified).  “

We must understand the context in which these things are being spoken. Job, by God’s own admission, is blameless. He has lived upright according to the law all his life. He is now receiving the curses as if he was a sinner. Job draws erroneous conclusions based upon his experiences. God destroys the blameless and the wicked. God mocks the calamity of the innocent. God covers the face of the judges. God must be the one responsible for all this inequality. We understand now that those under the law will receive the curse of the law. Those in their own righteousness will be disappointed. However, the conclusions stated above flood your thoughts when you are under the law of your own works Have you not heard people say similar things? Why do bad things happen to such good people? Why do innocent children suffer unspeakable hardship and death? The church answers this frequently with a doctrine of the sovereignty of God. The church has no viable answer other than the phrase, “God is in control of everything that happens on earth” and “everything happens for a reason”. If this is all you hear

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from the pulpit, then what other conclusion can you draw except the ones voiced by Job above? Jesus experienced and destroyed this awful confusion. He did so while being brutally assailed as an innocent man. Only those who view God through the lens of the law could draw such a conclusion of God. Job perceives God as one who is supposed to reward righteousness and punish the wicked. However, though he has been righteous in his own eyes God has not held up His end of the bargain. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that “God [does not discriminate, but] destroys the blameless and the wicked.” These deeply rooted belief systems have embedded in the lives of sincere people feelings of injustice and perplexity. These feelings have been experienced and carried in the death of Jesus. The idea that our good works and righteous acts will ensure God’s blessing is still at the root of Christianity today. These concepts may still hold sway at varying degrees in the lives of people. There are some who understand the grace of God to a degree but are still leavened by residual elements of our works. Works believed to be necessary for God’s blessings. Jesus had to endure this perplexity and voice this confusion. Jesus was born of a woman made under the law to redeem us from the law. He had to be made like us in every way and experience every crevice of what the human experience could confront. These questions of apparent injustice, though I was too religious to voice them at the time, were plaguing me towards the end of my divorce. I thought I had met every prerequisite for blessing and yet was crushed with pain and sorrow instead. God will not condemn us for having these same perceptions at various stages of our lives because this place was experienced by Christ on our behalf. The Holy Spirit will teach us the truth about God’s nature and why our perceptions of Him are askew. He will show us that He can never respond with blessing as a reward for our good works. This would undermine the work of His Son and the promises would go unrealized because no one can

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keep all of the law. To reward us for our own works is not the love of God. The love of God can be expressed by 1st John: In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).

Pull yourself together Man! “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good. They are passed away like the swift rowboats made of reeds, or like the eagle that swoops down on the prey.  If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer and brighten up…” (Job 9:25-27).

Job pauses for a moment in his speech about the unfairness of God and begins to speak of his pain again when he says, “I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer and brighten up...” In some of your most sorrowful moments, have you ever been told by someone else to “be of good cheer and brighten up”? Maybe you have tried to pull yourself together in the face of extreme grief to no avail. You’ve most likely heard it said to you at one time or another, “Snap out of it... You’re going to have to move on and get over it.” The grueling effort to try and “not think about it” or “leave your problems at home” is sometimes worse than the pain itself. The effort to pretend you’re not hurting or to try some mental exercise to find relief is wearisome to say the very least. Can it provide some help and relief? Of course, a positive attitude is without question better than a negative one and can have great benefit. However, Jesus provided so much better for us than “grin and bear it”. We can find true and complete freedom in these tormenting places and are not left with the weak arm of our mental techniques. 224


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“I become afraid of all my pains and sorrows [yet to come], for I know You will not pronounce me innocent [by removing them]. I shall be held guilty and be condemned; why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]?  If I wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye,  Yet You will plunge me into the ditch, and my own clothes will abhor me [and refuse to cover so foul a body]” (Job 9:28-31)

These can only be the words of someone under the full penalty of the law and their picture of God has become totally distorted as a result. You will not pronounce me innocent? I shall be held guilty and be condemned? This is the voice of one under the full judgment of the law. These harsh and perverted perspectives of God may not be overt or even discernible to us in our thinking. However, if the preeminent underlying thought that we are responsible for our obedience to God in our own effort exists. It undoubtedly will lead to a subconscious acquiescence to some aspects of condemnation. We will not truly feel cleansed, innocent and free of guilt in our deepest nature. Job goes on to voice the injustice that he perceives in how God deals with His creation: “The dwellings of robbers prosper; those who provoke God are [apparently] secure; God supplies them abundantly [who have no god but their own hands and power]. For ask now the animals, and they will teach you [that God does not deal with His creatures according to their character]; ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth [with its other forms of life], and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare [this truth] to you. Who [is so blind as] not to recognize in all these [that good and evil are promiscuously scattered throughout nature and human life] that it is God’s hand which does it [and God’s way]?” (Job 12:6-9). 225


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Job is desperately trying to make sense of how his life has turned out. He knows that he has obeyed God as fully as he knows how. He is convinced now that it does not matter if you are righteous or not. Those who do evil are secure and supplied abundantly. He relates the prosperity of robbers to the things he interprets in nature to support his belief system. In nature it appears that the strong prey upon the weaker. Innocent creatures are devoured by those who are more powerful. A Cry for Mercy “Oh, that You would hide me in Sheol (the unseen state), that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would set a definite time and then remember me earnestly [and imprint me on your heart]! If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare and service I will wait, till my change and release shall come. [Then] You would call and I would answer You; You would yearn for [me] the work of Your hands” (Job 14:13-15).

In the midst of such suffering Job longs for God to remember him, to yearn for him. He deeply desires for God to meet him in his suffering and be his comfort. We know that this is indeed the true character and nature of God. However, when one views God under the law and sees God as the demander of prerequisite behavior before blessing, his perspective will always separate him from the true nature of God. This is exactly what Job is experiencing and what Jesus experienced for us. As I read this scripture my mind goes back to those days after my divorce. I distinctly remember longing to feel the mercy of God. I longed for the comfort of the Spirit. I longed for grace to take over my struggle. Though there were moments of God’s mercy, my overall view of God would not let me receive the fullness of His mercy and grace. The thought of performing my own responsibility as the prerequisite for deliverance still held the upper hand and I was 226


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unable to throw the whole of my care upon Him. The Father yearns to show you the fullness of His mercy to you at the center of your pain. The yearning of Christ went unanswered when He became sin so that our yearnings would be fully satisfied. Instead of embracing God the Father in the midst of great pain, Job instead expresses his perspective of God, But now You number each of my steps and take note of my every sin. My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You glue up my iniquity [to preserve it in full for the day of reckoning]. But as a mountain, if it falls, crumbles to nothing, and as the rock is removed out of its place, As waters wear away the stones and as floods wash away the soil of the earth, so You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man” (Job 14:16-19). “

Job is too consumed by the law and its harshness to truly see the true nature and mercy of God. Could anything be further from the true nature of our Father than these words, “You number each of my steps and take note of my every sin. You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man.” While some would never use these descriptors, there are others who have at one time or another voiced these phrases. Those who are on perpetual guard not to sin and behave “like a Christian” have been disappointed because their behavior was not rewarded with good. You may not voice it with such brazen honesty but the feeling that God is watching every step is prevalent. This sin consciousness is the very thing that Jesus came to destroy. It is the very foundation of living under the law in your own works. We do not have to watch our every step or feel micromanaged by God. We have been liberated by the Spirit to walk free of sin consciousness.

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Though He Slay Me? This is one of the most misunderstood scriptures in all of Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him” (Job 13:15).

I have been wanting to get to this scripture ever since I began writing this book. I must tell you, nothing frustrates me more that to hear people use this scripture completely out of context. This is, without a doubt, the most often quoted scripture from Job. It is used to galvanize the deeply rooted belief in Christianity that God perfects you and builds your character through all your pain, sorrow and trouble. Truth is, virtually all religions and humanistic thought, as well as everyday general opinion adhere to this mantra. If you are a Christian, does it not strike you as strange that all the world has adopted this belief? Virtually all major religions believe and embrace this as an absolute foundational truth. Should this not cause us pause that virtually ALL religions and humanistic thought have this mindset at the very foundation of their beliefs. Where is the true understanding of the cross of Christ in this doctrine? These things come from the spirit of the world. They do not spring forth from the revelation of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. These are man-made philosophies that have man’s own works at their root. These philosophies are the wisdom of men that empty the cross of its power. We are going to address these issues in great detail and intensity later. If we take “though he slay me, yet will I trust him” as a valid New Testament truth, then we must take everything else that was said in this same chapter and context as a valid New Testament truth. The same person, at the same time, in the same frame of mind, in the same chapter said all of these things: 228


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“If we take “though he slay me, yet will I trust Him” as a valid New Testament truth, then we must take everything else that was said in this same chapter and context as a valid New Testament truth.” “Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro, And will You pursue dry stubble? For You write bitter things against me, And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit for the soles of my feet. “...It is all one; therefore I say, God [does not discriminate, but] destroys the blameless and the wicked. When [His] scourge slays suddenly, He mocks at the calamity and trial of the innocent...” (Job 13:23-27).

If you are going to receive, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him”, as a New Testament truth then you must also accept these things that we just read in the same context. As a matter of fact, you will have to take all of Job’s sayings and view them as truth. Where will you draw the line? If the statement “though He slay me yet will I trust Him” is true for us today. Then please tell me what precedent, standard or context will you eliminate the other statements that are expressed in the same breath, spirit and emotion? The only line that can divide is the line drawn from the cross of Christ. These statements, as well as all the others made by Job, are statements representative of the sufferings Christ experienced as He became sin. These expressions are made as our substitute. He is demonstrating all the confusion, perplexity and misconceptions of man so that we could walk in the full light of understanding the nature and character of God. “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him” is the cries of our Savior 229


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being slain for us so that we would never be slain by the death of this world. It is not to be used as a weapon to confuse us about the nature of our Father. It is not to be used as open access for us to be assaulted with all manner of death. God was pleased to see Jesus slain for the express purpose that we would never be slain. God does not slay His children. So never use this saying in Job to accuse God of heaping pain upon your life. Quite the contrary, express it as Christ being slain for you that you may have life. As Job is brought under the full penalty of the judgment of the law, he relates another misguided view of God. “What is man that You should magnify him and think him important? And that You should set Your mind upon him? And that You should visit him every morning and try him every moment? How long will Your [plaguing] glance not look away from me, nor You let me alone till I swallow my spittle? If I have sinned, what [harm] have I done You, O You Watcher and Keeper of men? Why have You set me as a mark for You, so that I am a burden to myself [and You]? And why do You not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now shall I lie down in the dust; and [even if ] You will seek me diligently, [it will be too late, for] I shall not be” (Job 7:17-21).

These scriptures are in direct contrast to the way the Psalmist relates these exact sentiments. “What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:4-5). 230


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Contrasting these two interpretations is significant in order to demonstrate the misconceptions born of understanding God through your own righteousness. The Psalmist asks the question, “What is man that you are mindful of him and that you should visit him?” Strong’s defines the word visit as: to pay attention to, observe, to attend to, to seek, look about for, to care for. The Psalmist is amazed that the God of all creation is mindful of man and seeks, attends, and cares for him. Also, according to the Strong’s, another definition inherent in the meaning of this word “visit” is: to lay upon a charge, to punish. Is it not telling that the one who is under the judgment of the law and sees God as demanding his own uprightness is the one who derives the latter interpretation of God’s character? Job states that when God visits him it is to try him every morning and every moment. God’s attention to him is not one of a caring Father but rather one who plagues him with judgmental attention. Job sees himself as a mark for God’s judgment that is being refused pardon. The Wicked Prosper More than the Righteous? Previously, Job has made reference to the wicked going untouched by their evil deeds. However, Job speaks exclusively on his perspective that the wicked appear to be more blessed than the righteous. This is a central argument of one who has not been rewarded according to their own righteousness. “Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about.

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They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully. Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.  Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?” (Job 21:7-15).

To those who are under even the slightest leaven of the law; this perspective can creep into their thinking. One may not overtly state these things in this type of abject honesty but the questions and thoughts akin to these statements do cross the mind. These types of comparisons are inevitable when all of your commitment does not result in the blessings that you imagined. If you believe that you deserve better due to your right living, it can be unnerving to watch those seemingly less dedicated prosper. I am reminded of the promise in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” We all know of individuals who have experienced great financial prosperity that is also accompanied by sorrow and pain. Riches received from the blessings of the Lord carries with it inherit peace and joy that cannot be matched by the prosperity of the wicked. “But notice, [you say] the prosperity of the wicked is not in their power; the mystery [of God’s dealings] with the ungodly is far from my comprehension. How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains and sorrows to them in His anger?” (Job 21:16-17).

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these words of Job if you ever begin to look at your own lot in life and envy the prosperity of the wicked. If we do feel this way then we must become aware of the possibility that we have gravitated toward relating to God through our own works. We may have slipped to that place of looking for a reward for our good behavior. This seeming injustice was completely carried in His death by our Savior. The reward or chastisement of the wicked will no longer be a concern for those who look to faith in Christ as their righteousness. This righteousness will yield the fruit of holiness, which will give way to eternal life in this body not just the afterlife. When we become established in the eternal life that is born from the gift of righteousness. The joy that comes forth will not be compared to any prosperity of the wicked. When you are no longer looking for a reward due your own righteousness but rather the gift of His righteousness. You will no longer have need to envy the prosperity of the wicked. Job reiterates his frustration with God, Even today is my complaint rebellious and bitter; my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat!  I would lay my cause before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would learn what He would answer me, and understand what He would say to me. Would He plead against me with His great power? No, He would give heed to me. There the righteous [one who is upright and in right standing with God] could reason with Him; so I should be acquitted by my Judge forever. Behold, I go forward [and to the east], but He is not there; I go backward [and to the west], but I cannot perceive Him; on the left hand [and to the north] where He works [I seek Him], but I cannot behold Him; He turns Himself to the right hand [and to the south], but I cannot see Him” (Job 23:2-9).  “

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Job, as a man under the performance of the law, yearns for God. He states that he is the one yearning for God but he cannot find Him. James reminds us to, “Draw near unto God and He will draw near unto us.” Hebrews tells us to, “Come boldly to His throne to receive both grace and mercy.” Why is it that Job feels as though he cannot find God? God is easily entreated and longs for our companionship. Look closely at these words from Job 23:4 & 7, “I would lay my cause before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. There the righteous [one who is upright and in right standing with God] could reason with Him; so I should be acquitted by my Judge forever.” Job is presenting himself before God on the basis of his own righteousness. He is telling God how upright he is and undeserving of these curses. He wants to relate to God in this realm and God cannot be found there! Job, representing man’s own righteousness, wants to prove that he does not deserve this calamity. He is treating this as a court trial where he wants to prove his case, “so I should be acquitted by my Judge forever.” This is why Job cannot find God! We will never fellowship with the true essence of the nature of God the Father if we have this mindset. The more we are freed from even the slightest traces of the law; the more we will discover the unsearchable depths of the nature of God and His Son Jesus. God’s character will be revealed to us as we begin to understand His mercy and grace through the sending of His Son. The result will be a broader view of the dimensions of our inheritance. Job represents all Christ became for us as he became sin. Jesus experienced every aspect of life a man could face while under the demands of the law. Jesus became a curse. Jesus took on all the misconceptions that being under the law could manifest and destroyed them forever. All our confusion and perplexity was laid upon and experienced by Jesus. When your mind becomes clouded, you can declare, in faith-filled confidence that true light will shine in your heart. As a result, you will see and understand as Jesus sees and understands. Perplexing situations and circumstances that seem to be perpetual will not force you into a mindset and/or belief system that is not the true nature of God. 234


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TEN

LEAVEN UNMASKED The book of Job has become a constant source of illumination and awakening for me. As I have mentioned, I spent most of my early life burdened by religious, dead works that brought me no real freedom. The revelation of how I was acting like the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son was becoming a cornerstone revelation for me. The unearthing of the leaven that had infiltrated my life was now a daily process. I wanted to be transformed out of my religious, tiresome works into a broad, spacious place. Before we leave this whole concept of our redemption from the law revealed in Job. Let me share this New Testament reality with you. For the purpose of punctuating this whole endeavor of understanding being redeemed from the spirit of our own works. I wish to share, what was for me, a life changing illumination. 236


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I have endeavored to demonstrate the work of the cross in redeeming us from our own works and how this beautiful truth is so finitely revealed in the book of Job. I have also tried to emphasize that the works of the law can be very subtle, deceptive and almost stealth in its characteristics. By its inherent nature it can be difficult to detect because it only needs a fraction to completely infiltrate the whole. This is why it is likened unto leaven as we have previously discussed from the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is for this reason that I include the following insight that has impacted my life. My wife and I were driving down the highway on a long trip one day. It was my wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turn to drive so I took the opportunity to catch a quick nap. No sooner did my seat complete itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recline that a revelation hit my spirit in a moment of time. The Holy Spirit told me to go and study Cornelius in the book of Acts. I only had vague knowledge of Cornelius but even so I had an idea of what I was going to see. The Lord knew I still had a prevailing question that troubled me. How could someone who really tried their best for decades to seek God be so deceived? I had my answer as to why things went so bad even though I thought I performed properly. This was established by my new understanding of the older brother of the Prodigal Son. Yet, I was still troubled by the fact of how I could have been so blind for so long? This was still very perplexing to me. The Lord told me my answers lie in Cornelius. One day I was teaching a weekly series on Job in the church that I attended. When I progressed to this part concerning Cornelius and Peter a lady in the church asked me what this had to do with Job? I suppose it was a legitimate question. After all, I did not go to any scriptures in the Job while sharing this illumination. So I thought it necessary to explain why I am including this subject in writing about the book of Job. We have gone to great lengths to demonstrate how Job portrays the detail of the death of Jesus. We have demonstrated that the central work of His death is freedom from the works of the law. Job is the perfect example of someone who kept the letter of the 237


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law in his own righteousness yet received curses instead of blessing. Christianity is dominated by this scenario today because we have not truly grasped His righteousness through faith in Christ. We have been in our own works and were not aware. We expect a certain outcome for our effort and it does not happen. The confusion, perplexity, anger and seeming injustice can drive us mad. Jesus experienced all of this as He represented all the works of man and man’s own righteousness. All of this was voiced in the preceding pages of Job We have also mentioned that the law is far more than the Mosaic Law. It is the spirit of the law that can attach itself to anything in our lives. I have endeavored diligently to shed light on the spirit of bondage that is described as leaven in the New Testament and how that leaven manifest itself in the most subtle of ways in our lives. I trust what I am about to share with you will bring further insight into this truth. Here is what I received from the Lord on that day. Cornelius’ Call and Peter’s Petition “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God , who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’ Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.’ 238


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When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa. About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven” (Acts 10:1-15 NIV).

Let us stop and reflect on what has just taken place. This has important implications as to the power of the law and the dogma of our belief system. Notice that Peter is receiving a vision from the Lord. Then he hears the voice of the Lord tell him to “Get up and eat.” Peter knows it is the voice of the Lord because he responds, “Surely not, Lord!” Let us pause and think of this for a moment. The Lord has just spoken to Peter in a vision. We do not know if the voice was audible or in the context of the vision. Either way it was perceived as the Lord by Peter. This is the God of the universe - The Almighty Himself. Yet, Peter is so entrenched in his belief system. He is so established in his religion that even though this is the voice of God he cannot accept it 239


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as inspired direction! The voice of God Himself cannot penetrate the religious mindset of Peter. Unimaginable miracles were being wrought at the hands of Peter. The casting of his shadow was setting people free. Thousands upon thousands were coming to Christ as a result of his ministry. Yet, he was still mired in this religious mindset. Two points must be clearly established. First, we can be so set in our belief system that we cannot hear or understand the voice of God. What we think is strict obedience to Him may in fact be the antithesis of what he is trying to teach us. Was this not the case in this situation? Peter, believed he was serving the Lord by strict obedience to his religious tradition but it was his religious tradition that was keeping him from accurately discerning what the Spirit is saying. Much like we just read in the previous chapter regarding the misconceptions of God’s nature as a result of viewing Him through our religious mindset and tradition. Peter was obeying what he believed to be the will of God. Leviticus outlines, specifically, every creature that He is not, by Jewish law, allowed to eat. For Peter to see, “four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air” and then be asked to eat them is a direct violation of Leviticus 11:13, 27 & 30. “These you shall detest among the birds; they are not to be eaten, for they are hated things…” (Leviticus 11:13). “Also all animals that walk on their paws, among all kinds of animals that walk on four legs, are unclean to you;” (Leviticus 11:27). “These also are unclean to you among the swarming things that crawl around on the ground [and multiply profusely]: the mole, the mouse, and any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the crocodile, the lizard, the sand reptile, and the chameleon” (Leviticus 11:29-30). 240


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Peter said, “I have never….” (Because we have never …does not mean that we were operating in truth) God was trying to revolutionize Peter’s life. He was trying to shift his entire mindset. Yet, Peter’s tradition had more sway and influence than the very voice of God. This is a sobering thought and one that I readily identified with based on how my life transpired. God had to repeat three times this vision to penetrate the years of programming in Peter’s mind. What mindsets and beliefs do we have that the Holy Spirit could be continually endeavoring to penetrate for the purpose of opening up a whole new world to us? Could they be beliefs systems that we thought were serving God and necessary for our success and prosperity? Second point. Though Peter was an instrument of great miracles and evangelism he was incomplete in his understanding of the very word of Christ that he was carrying. Just because someone has a big ministry and is doing great things does not mean that everything they say is right! For heaven’s sake, Peter in his religious mindset is arguing with God! Yet, he is walking with more power than anyone in the world at this time. What’s my point? The spirit of bondage or subtle leaven of the law will go to the highest place of revelation knowledge in the church. Once there, it will try to infiltrate and thus lead astray multitudes. This is so important for me to say because it is what happened to me. There were moments where I held fast to my confession, tithe, church attendance and fasting in order to see my prayers answered. Sometimes ministers speak from their understanding or share a statement that was only meant for their life and situation. These loose statements are used by the enemy to pervert the message of grace. We then apply this minister’s perspective of their plight to our own when it was never intended for our situation. It also could be that a minister, teacher or preacher does not have full insight into the matter they are preaching. If a message opposes your spirit then you are not required to accept it 241


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as absolute truth. On the other hand, just because something does not resonate with you does not mean it is not truth. It may be you are not ready to receive what is being said. You may need prerequisite truths to develop a strong foundation before being able to truly understand what someone is saying. As with all messages from inspired men and women of God, ask the Holy Spirit your questions. He will lead you in the way in which you are to go. Paul obviously knew that great, well respected men, would try and undermine his gospel when he said in Galatians, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:18).

Now, of course, Paul is saying this of men who are knowingly and actively trying to pervert the cross of Christ. I want to use this scripture to simply expose the fact that the enemy can use great men to put us under bondage even when they are very sincere in what they believe. The Holy Spirit speaks to us continually through the vehicle of peace. The Holy Spirit affirms or disaffirms things that we hear through peace that only He can place in our hearts. Peter’s Realization Though God has now delivered this vision to Peter three times he still does not understand. “While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

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While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them’ ” (Acts 10:19-20).

I love what is happening! “Peter was wondering” or “while Peter was still thinking about the vision”. The Holy Spirit has his attention. Something powerful is going on! It is a beautiful when the Holy Spirit is teaching us something new. Peter was wondering. Peter was thinking. A new spirit-breathed revelation is incubating in Peter’s heart. It desires to invade his thinking. It is important to always yield to the Holy Spirit in these precious, intimate times. As we yield our minds to this process, the voice of the Lord will become very clear. Look how precise and clear the direction of the Lord is to Peter, “…the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.’ “

Don’t you just love it when you have God inspired specific direction that you “know that you know” is the Spirit of God. Believe and expect this kind of specific direction for your life as well. The excitement that must have filled Peter’s heart as he went down to see the three men. “Peter went down and said to the men, ‘I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?’ The men replied, ‘We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.’ Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

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The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the bothers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ He said, ‘I am only a man myself.’ Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them; ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?’ “ (Acts 10:21-29 NIV).

Peter fully acknowledges his religious tradition when he states that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with a Gentile. But! The revelation of God is now penetrating this mindset. He is beginning to understand the vision in its fullness. Peter states, But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. Peter now understands that God is teaching him about men. What is now, his former belief, no longer holds the power in his thinking. He is becoming free of this bondage. God is wanting to transition Peter into a new world but first he must transition his thinking. “Cornelius answered; ‘four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I went for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us’ ” (Acts 10:30-33 NIV).

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I think it is interesting to point out at this juncture that God told Cornelius to find Peter and listen to everything he tells you… before Peter had the revelation of what Cornelius needed to hear! Is this not true? The thing that Peter is supposed to tell Cornelius at the time God speaks to Cornelius is not even in the thinking of Peter at that same time. That was a bit of a brain twister. What I mean to say is that Peter is so buried in his Jewish tradition that he is not ready to speak to Cornelius. Yet, the Angel goes ahead and tells Cornelius to listen to all that Peter will tell him. What is the significance of these things? God knows how to line up the right people at the right time in the right place. We just listen to what he tells us to do and if he needs to adjust someone’s theology or their attitude along the way He will make it happen. Whatever circumstance is involved: relationships, business or ministry He will line up the necessary ingredients. “hen Peter began to speak; ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John Preached —how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him’ “ (Acts 10:34-38 NIV).

Peter has a whole new mindset that will expand how God works through him. His ministry is now ministering to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, But 245


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God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:38-43 NIV).

Peter is now preaching the simplicity of the gospel, the message of faith in Christ. The foundation of the Christian faith is the message of faith in Christ. Every word spoken from church pulpits, no matter the subject, should be grounded in this foundational truth. Once we understand this cornerstone truth, we all then can be able to experience what Peter experienced in Acts 10. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God” ( Acts 10:44-46 NIV).

The Holy Spirit manifests where faith in Christ is taught. The label “circumcised believers” suggests a strange phenomenon has taken place and is evidenced that the spirit of bondage is alive and well. Circumcision is believed at this time to be for the Jews. It is an act that obeys Jewish laws. “Believers” believe in Jesus. There is no need to obey Jewish law and receive the act of circumcision. Faith in Christ is all that is needed. However, the spirit of bondage suggests faith in Christ alone is not enough. You must also be circumcised to be considered a “believer”. Once this belief is accepted …bingo… the Circumcised believer is born. Please keep this in mind as we will come back to this fact. 246


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Therefore, those that followed Peter and participated in his ministry were “astonished” that God would give uncircumcised believers the Holy Spirit. God was willing to give of Himself to those who did not follow Jewish law, which proved that God was embracing all who simply believed in Jesus. Their faith in Christ made them righteous and adopted into the family not their circumcision. Peter and his following are being changed by this message. Here Comes the Leaven to Mess up the Party “Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, ‘You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!’ “ (Acts 11:1-3).

Is not the spirit of religion ridiculous? The religious crowd proclaims this to Peter as if he just committed a heinous sin like murder or adultery. Notice how quickly resistance meets this miraculous event that unfolded in Acts 10. The Holy Spirit has just manifested Himself and destroyed generations of law and tradition. A new day has arrived that has the potential to change the world. It is originating in just a few men but has the ability to change nations. Those of the circumcision or those of the law come and try to spoil the fun. The spirit of bondage comes immediately to steal your truth at the highest point of revelation. At this time in history of the early church Peter had more significance than anyone. A major breakthrough has taken place in his life. The spirit of bondage brings leaven to this pristine work of the Spirit. Peter responds to “those of the circumcision” by recounting the entire story. He tells them of Cornelius’ visitation from the angel, his own vision from the Lord and the Gentiles reception of the Holy Spirit. Peter concludes his remarks with the following from Acts 11:17, “If 247


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therefore 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?” Peter is securely founded in his new mindset. The pull of his old tradition pales by comparison. His defense is effective and his opponents acquiesce to this new place of understanding in the Spirit. When Peter’s opponents “heard these things, they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:18 NIV). Another Gospel? In that car on I-85 South, the Lord revealed to me how Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10 emphasizes how we can easily be deceived by leaven and be misled for decades while we are serving and seeking God diligently. There I was contemplating how I had been blind for so long. How could someone who prays and tries to seek God be deceived for so long? Galatians presents a powerful answer: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

We are called to the “grace of Christ”. Paul is warning the Galatians that there are those who are a preaching a different gospel. Paul clarifies this by saying they are not preaching another gospel but rather a perversion of the real gospel. This is extremely significant because the spirit of bondage enters into those who are called into the grace of Christ. You only believed and you were born again by grace and by grace alone. You did not perform any works to receive salvation. It was a gift. The way you received salvation is the way you now will receive from God in every need of your life. You who have 248


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been called in this grace are now targeted by the spirit of bondage. The law will try to pervert this understanding of grace. The spirit of bondage will not preach another gospel but rather pervert and bring to nothing the real gospel that you “The way you received believe. Paul calls this perversion salvation is the way another gospel. Remember, Paul you now will receive knows full well that “the best way to tell a lie is to put a little truth from God in every with it.” This is the very nature of the need of your life.” leaven of the law. It will infiltrate with things like, “Well, of course, Jesus is the Christ and He saved you by faith but now that you are saved you must do this…this…and this… so you can show how committed you are.” In the early church, the leaven of the law convinced many that they should add circumcision to their faith in Christ. It is all the same spirit of bondage. It just uses whatever is the religious “flavor of the month” that Satan can use against us. In Paul’s day, they were vulnerable to the concept of circumcision. In our day, we are going to be vulnerable to how much we pray, give, fast or sacrifice to earn our freedom. Brought in Secretly to Spy out Our Liberty With this in mind let’s see what takes place in the life of Peter. Before Galatians 2:3 begins, Paul has come to Jerusalem and is sharing his revelation of Christ to those recognized as leaders. At this meeting, there were members of the circumcision who entered secretly to spy on the supposed liberty from the law that those who believed in Christ possessed. “Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out 249


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our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Galatians 2:3-5).

This is an overt physical display of what takes place in the realm of the spirit. Paul has a revelation of faith in Christ. Others believe and begin to walk in the liberty of the Spirit. As soon as this takes place the spirit of bondage goes to work. The phrase, “secretly brought in to spy out our liberty…that they might bring us into bondage” is telling of the characteristics of the leaven of the law. In Romans 8:15, Paul says, “…for we have not received the spirit of bondage again.” The term “again” here infers that the spirit of bondage is always trying to infiltrate our freedom even after we begin to walk in liberty. It is interesting to note the reference to Titus. The scripture says that Titus, “being a Greek”, was not “compelled to be circumcised”. This offers insight into the nature of the spirit of bondage. Titus is a Greek and not a Jew who is subject to the Jewish law. Nevertheless, the leaven of the law is making things up as it goes. It is bringing the Jewish law of circumcision over into Christianity. This is the perversion of the grace of Christ. In this instance circumcision is the spirit of bondage’s chosen weapon. In your life it might be any vulnerable area where Satan wants to intentionally deceive you into works. When you are doing, God cannot do. Your works interrupt his ability to gift a solution. The Apostle Paul perceives and ressponds to this action of the spirit of bondage, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9). 250


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The Greek for accursed is anathema. It is defined in the Strong’s Concordance as: a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction, a curse, a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes. Why would Paul use such strong language to describe those who are advocating circumcision in addition to faith in Christ? To truly understand this we must look at Galatians 5 which contains one of the most significant and powerful words in all of scripture. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:1-4).

I was amazed when I first saw the weight of these statements in the context of the yoke or spirit of bondage. I now understood that Paul was not just talking about circumcision, which has no relevance to a Christian today. He was talking about anything that is viewed as a prerequisite to receiving from God other than faith in Christ. Paul was talking about the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law which can attach itself to anything. Circumcision was the vehicle of the spirit of bondage in the early church. Today its chosen weapon could be views on tithing, prayer, fasting, etc. to severe us from the grace faith in Christ. Look at the gravity of these statements, “Christ shall profit you nothing”, “You have become estranged from Christ” or “You have fallen from grace!” We must focus on the impact of these statements by looking at the Amplified version of verse 2:

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“Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage, avail) to you [for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him” (Galatians 5:2 Amplified).

Lest anyone think otherwise I am not speaking of these things in the context of eternal security. I would never say that if someone has leaven in their lives they are severed from Christ and therefore doomed to hell. I hope this goes without saying but let me say it nonetheless. All of us have received eternal salvation through pure faith in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. There is no leaven in this gift. However, almost all of the church is in some way leavened by the spirit of bondage when it comes to trying to receive their healing, prosperity or anything they need. This is why Jesus abolished the law in His flesh and why we must be dead to the law to be alive unto God. Redemption from the law is the central work of redemption and why the Book of Job so vividly illustrates this judgment of the law upon Jesus. It was a life changing revelation for me to say to my Savior, “Jesus, I have been estranged from you in all the benefits that your death provided for me. This is why life has been such a struggle and receiving was so arduous. I did not understand that all my spiritual effort had leavened the whole and prevented your full provisions in my life. Now I release myself from these things and the fullness of my redemption is now mine by faith. I will never be entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” Peter…Again Deceived? This is why the Apostle Paul speaks so aggressively against this spirit. It has sabotaged the very thing for which God gave His Son. It has emptied the cross of its power. It has made the very blood of Christ of minimal impact in our lives. 252


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Paul went on to meet successfully with Peter, James and John and all seemed well. “…and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do” (Galatians 2:9-10).

Now, let’s look at how Peter is once again confronted with the spirit of bondage. “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy” (Galatians 2:11-13).

Remember the question I asked God, “How could one who prays so much and seeks God with all their heart be deceived?” This is Peter! This is the same Peter who has had one of the most powerful visitations from God ever recorded. Remember, the sheets coming down from heaven? Remember his revelation, “God has shown me that no man is unclean.” This is Peter who witnessed the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit just as they had received. This is the same Peter who powerfully expresses his new found revelation to the circumcision as they resisted him concerning his activity with the house of Cornelius? Amazingly, even with all these revelations and experiences Peter is once again entangled with the yoke of bondage. This is the number one tool 253


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of the enemy and you see its strength and deceptiveness. Let me ask a question at this point. If you had an arch enemy and discovered one thing that was very small, yet deadly, and could be easily smuggled into your opponents camp would you concentrate on this one thing? Look at the affect of this leaven or spirit of bondage. Just a little of it can estrange from Christ and cause you to fall from grace. The ultimate goal is to make Christ of no effect in your life. Would you say this is the number one tool of satanic strategies in the church today? My emphasis on these things is for the purpose of exposure. Once exposed it is no longer an issue. Deception only has power in the shadows. Once our minds are renewed it is no longer a threat. I had my answer now. I was beginning to understand how I had been misled all those years. It was the same way the Apostle Peter was brought into bondage again after the awesome revelations that he had seen. Satan knows the threat the illumination of the grace of God can bring to his dominion, therefore, he immediately deploys the spirit of bondage to leaven the work of grace and faith. The purpose is to bring us into bondage again which these two events in Peterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ministry illustrate. Peter was able to resist the first effort but the same spirit returned and was able to persuade him with leaven and eventually carry him away again. Once a little time had passed from the initial revelation the spirit of bondage made its move. It is not much different today. As soon as we receive life-changing experiences or revelation knowledge, the spirit of bondage is immediately dispatched to pervert the message and cause us to fall from grace. This subsequently severs us from the gift of Christ and causes us to enter back into our own works. Will the spirit of bondage use questions of circumcision and the Jewish law to accomplish this task? This is not likely but it will use suggestions cleverly disguised as spiritual activity to undermine our understanding and force us into dead works. Our vulnerability to please God will be used against us.

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The tactical strategy to target Peter is still targeting prominent ministries today. What better way to put multitudes into bondage than to first leaven the messages of those great men who we have come to trust and rely. Am I saying that these great men of God are evil! Of course not, no more than Peter was evil. These great men of God like Peter are genuine in their pursuit of obedience to God but the spirit of bondage is taking advantage of their zeal. The spirit of bondage sees an opportunity to insert leaven and consequently affect the entirety of their message to multitudes of people. Bewitched I want to share, what is now as I look back, another one of my trite little experiences that left an impact on me years later. Some may be able to relate to this story - some may not. As silly as this story may seem, the root of it has relevance that can be seen in larger issues that we may face. I remember many years ago when I was a very young Christian. I could not have been more than twenty two or twenty three years old. I was very zealous to be as pleasing to God as I could possibly be. Which at that time meant how much could I sacrifice and discipline myself to “serve” the Lord. I was having a bit of difficult situation at the time. I was listening to a cassette tape (yes, a cassette tape. I did say many years ago..didn’t I?) of a very well known preacher at the time. He was a blessing to my life and I trusted him fully. He began to speak of the benefits of fasting. I decided that I would go on a fast. That would be the thing that would cause something positive to happen. I proceeded to go on a three day fast. That was “big time” for one such as me. I thought I was being incredibly spiritual. After about a day and a half I noticed that the oppression that I was feeling was growing increasingly severe. By the end of the second day I was experiencing

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some very tangible torment. It became unbearable. I expressed this perplexing perception to others. I was advised that my fasting had “stirred up” the enemy and he was reacting to my efforts. That seemed very deep and spiritual so I bought into this way of thinking and defiantly trudged forward to complete my three days. I was going to finish so I could get the reward and beat this thing! However, a funny thing happened on my way to demonstrate to God how dedicated and spiritual I was being for Jesus. I was about to go stark raving nuts. I was tormented by thoughts I did not even know I had before. The only thing that this fast had produced was hunger. I remember saying to God, “I don’t know what’s happening to me but at least I can go eat something.” Immediately, the Spirit of God spoke up in me and told me to go to Galatians 3: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith” (Galatians 3:1-5).

The “Chili” Breakthrough When I saw the word “bewitched” it hit me like a ton of bricks. This was exactly what I was feeling. I could not explain or “put my finger” on exactly what was transpiring but I could not deny a correlation between the start of my fast and the tormenting feelings that were 256


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besetting me. Even in my limited understanding of what this scripture was saying, I knew what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. Could such an enormous New Testament truth and revelation about the work of the cross be at work? This seemingly insignificant three day fast was trying to “get God” to answer a prayer. I had put myself under the law in my fast. Fasting is not always under the law or in our own works but my approach was a dead work of the flesh. I was fasting to receive a breakthrough for my situation. If the voice of the Spirit instructed me to do this, then His supply would have empowered me by faith to complete the fast. Instead, the result was this strange, confusing, grueling effort that had become tortuous. After reading Galatians 3:1-5, I immediately fixed me a bowl of chili. I am not exaggerating. As soon as I put that first spoonful of chili in my mouth, the oppression vanished! So there you have it! Got a problem, go get you a bowl of chili! In all seriousness, as soon as I begin to eat the oppression left me. I was astounded and I could not deny what had just taken place. Just as I could not argue the fact that my torment started when I began the fast. I could not argue that the torment vanished when I ended my fast. I know there are many of you who cannot relate to this scenario. However, there are some sincere Christians reading this who know exactly what I am saying. Bondage is anything, and I mean anything, you feel is being demanded of you in your own effort to “get God” to come through for you. There is a much better way and it is the way of “Bondage is anything, true faith in Christ. and I mean anything, Have you noticed that I virtually you feel is being never just say faith, but rather faith demanded of you in in Christ? This is by design because your own effort to one can make the attainment of faith “get God” to come their idol. When we understand the through for you.” message that Jesus is the author and 257


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finisher of our faith, we are able to abide in His completed works. It is Christ who lives within us and not we ourselves. Faith emerges as a natural fruit of this truth. I will never wear that yoke of bondage again that tries to build or attain some hyper level of faith. Faith comes by hearing and understanding the Word of Christ and the work of the cross. “21 Day Fix” God’s Way A few years ago I was watching Christian television when a wellknown minister came on the television. He said, “I am about to share with you the absolute key to your breakthrough.” Now, whenever, I hear this statement, my leaven detectors begin to operate. I have learned that what I am about to hear is probably a sincere spiritual encounter genuinely inspired by the Holy Spirit for an individual situation. It’s the same analogy we used when Jesus healed the blind man by using mud. Jesus used mud for that individual situation. This minister was told to do a “21 Day Fast” by the Holy Spirit. This minister seemed to have great success in his fast, therefore, he assumed that all of us will find great success. However, he is placing more focus on what he did instead of the person of the Holy Spirit who communicated this specific direction to him. This minister proclaimed that this “21 Day Fast” as the end to your problems as if it was a new diet plan. If God, by His Spirit, instructs you through the hearing of faith to fast then by all means respond to His direction. You will do so in faith with great expectation and hope. On the other hand, if you fast thinking that this magic “21 Day Fast” is the proverbial “Silver Bullet” to solve your problems. You are headed for some rough, disappointing times. You have just put yourself under the law or your own works and now you must keep the whole law.

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“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Galatians 3:10 KJV).

This minister is not evil. He is only doing what he believes is right. Yet, the spirit of bondage has deceived and is using his influence to deceive the entire church. It is no different than in the day of Peter. Our faith in Christ has freed us from the necessity of having to do these things in our own works to “get God” to move on our behalf. I find it almost humorous as to how fasting is dealt with in the church. I hear preachers say, “…you do not fast to move God. You fast to move you. You fast to make you more sensitive to God so you can hear what he is saying to you.” This may or may not be true but the message to believers implies we cannot move God until we move ourselves. The message warns that if you don’t fast then you are not going to be sensitive enough to hear how to get out of your “I can hear God situation. I can hear God because Jesus is in because Jesus me! My actions do not fill me with more or is in me!” less of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit instructs and leads me to fast then I know I am being led by the Spirit not my own works. Fasting now becomes a work of faith inspired by the Spirit through Christ. Jesus in His death abolished the need for my own works. He replaced it with a gift called faith. Faith in Christ pours into every crevice of our being and creates freedom in the inmost places of our lives. The result of true insight into faith in Christ will result in joy and freedom in every possible circumstance and situation in your life. God brings deliverance to you when you realize and embrace the works of faith and reject the futility of your works. Freedom will abound and salvation will be swift.

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ELEVEN

WHO IS ELIHU? There is a definitive demarcation similar to the separation between the Old and New Testament in the book of Job beginning in chapter thirty-two. It is time to meet Elihu, a vital, new character in our dialogue about Job. The name “Elihu” means “He is my God”. We know that the three friends represent the judgment and condemnation of the law. It is time to take a close look at the characteristics of Elihu for the purposes of discovering his true identity and symbolic purpose of revealing the new covenant. “Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited to speak to Job” (Job 32:4). “So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: ‘I am young in years, and you are very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. I said, Age should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom’ ” (Job 32:6). 260


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Elihu says that he is young and the three friends are old. Here we have our first indicator of what Elihu represents for us today as New Testament believers. Elihu signifies the newness of the Spirit verses the oldness of the letter described in Romans chapter 7:6. As we will soon see in greater detail, Elihu is at odds with the three friends and Job. Elihu represents the New Covenant opposing Job and his three friends who symbolize the Old Covenant. This is the Old Testament Law being confronted by the New Testament Spirit. Elihu goes on to say, “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. Great men are not always wise, Nor do the aged always understand justice” (Job 32:8-9)

Elihu recognizes he is younger but states that age does not always know best because it is the “spirit” or “breath” of the Almighty that gives true understanding. Accepted tradition of the old can be given credence simply because it’s been around for so long but when the spirit breathes a new direction it is always going to supplant the old ways. In the following scriptures, Elihu is not full of the dryness of the dead works of the law but rather the newness of the spirit. His belly is bursting forth with living water. “For I am full of words; the spirit within me compels me. Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent; it is ready to burst like new wineskins. I will speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer” (Job 32:18-20).

Is this not prophetic of the words of Jesus as He spoke of the Spirit that would be given to man? “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).

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Elihu is Expressing the True Nature of God For the purpose of continuing to establish the true identity of Elihu allow me to jump a bit ahead to Job 36. We will later place this scripture in its context but for now look at its contribution relative to the discovery of the identity of Elihu. He has come to speak on God’s behalf, “Bear with me a little, and I will show you that there are yet words to speak on God’s behalf.  I will fetch my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.  For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you” (Job 36:1-4).

Elihu’s says that he is speaking on behalf of God his maker and that his knowledge is perfect which means “complete or whole”. The promise in John 16 comes to mind, However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). It is interesting to note that neither Job nor the three friends resist Elihu when he grandly proclaims, “One who is perfect in knowledge is with you”. The three friends attributed Job’s demise to his sinful behavior. Job opposed with declarations of his righteous behavior. This provoked the three friends wrath but when Elihu makes such a statement there is silence. Elihu claimed his knowledge finds its origin in his maker. The speaker of this knowledge is pointing to the source of the knowledge and not to himself. Such a statement as “One who is perfect in knowledge is with you” would draw ire and sarcasm if it was pointing to the person. However, when knowledge is being declared from one greater than ourselves, about the one greater than ourselves, one can only listen. “

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So who is this Elihu? Just as the three friends are the judgment of the law, Elihu is representative of the Holy Spirit that is come to exceed the law. Since the Spirit is opposed to the flesh (law), we should see Elihu’s response to Job being much different than the three friends.

Elihu Denounces the Three Friends Viewpoints We reviewed in the first chapter the erroneous viewpoint that the cause of Job’s calamity was his fear. After analyzing the arguments and accusations of the three friends and Job, we see that this viewpoint is really no different from the three friends perspective. Both of these views proclaim that Job is the root cause of all of his calamities. Elihu opposes these conclusions and stands against the condemnation of the law. Look at the following words of Elihu, “Also against his three friends his (Elihu) wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job” (Job 32:3). “I paid close attention to you; (three friends) And surely not one of you convinced Job, or answered his words— Lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom’; God will vanquish him, not man. Now he has not directed his words against me; So I will not answer him with your words” (Job 32:12-14).

Representing the Holy Spirit, Elihu is filled with wrath against this perspective and says in verse 14, “So I will not answer him with your words.” Elihu establishes a clear demarcation between how he will respond to Job’s cry of injustice. He states emphatically that the three friends have not answered Job’s questions but rather they have only condemned him. This is true because all the law is designed to do is 263


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condemn. It has no power to change your behavior or your circumstances. It has zero power to bring a blessing as a result of your obedience to the law or any derivative of your own works. Elihu stands against the three friends just as the Spirit is opposed and cast out those of the law. Please recall these verses in Galatians. “But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman’ ” (Galatians 4:29-30).

If you study Galatians 4 you will see that the bondwoman were those of Hagar who were represented by those under the law. The Spirit of promise is at odds with those of the law and they must be cast out. In the same way Elihu is at odds with the condemnation of the law and begins to cast out their condemnation so the Spirit can take its place.

Will Elihu Also Judge Job? It now appears that Elihu is coming to Job’s rescue. He rebukes the three friends and says they have not answered Job correctly. Elihu disagrees with the three friend’s stance that God has vanquished Job because of his many sins. However, a curious progression begins to unfold as Elihu also begins to correct Job. At first glance it appears that Elihu has also joined the ranks of those heaping hardship upon Job. However, a closer look unveils a marvelous New Testament revelation that ushers life changing relevance to our lives today. It seems Elihu’s attitude towards Job is equivalent to the three friends with this response in chapter 34:

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“Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without wisdom. Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost, because his answers are like those of wicked men! For he adds rebellion to his sin;   He claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God”… (Job 34:35-37).

Is this not both a surprising and curious response from Elihu right after he said he would not answer Job with the same arguments as the three friends? It is apparent contradictions like this that have kept Job shrouded in such mystery. As with all seeming contradictions in the Bible hidden revelations lie within the questions that these contradictions birth. It certainly appears that Elihu is also blaming Job for his tragedy because of his sins but we must view Elihu’s statement in its proper context. Let us view this context by analyzing the first words of Elihu in chapter 32. “So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God” (Job 1:1-2).

Elihu states that Job has justified himself rather than God. This and this only is the context with which Elihu (Spirit) speaks to Job. The word “himself ” stood out to me for some strange reason, so I decided to look it up in the Hebrew translation. I expected to see a generic definition that basically declared the word “himself ” to mean…well…”himself ”. I mean what else could “himself ” mean…right? There seemed to be no other possibility but to my surprise it had a far broader and deeper application. The term “himself ” is used several hundred times in the Old Testament. In all but a few cases, the Strong’s Concordance does not even reference the original because himself simply means himself. 265


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The Hebrew uses the word nephesh for the English word himself only five times in the Old Testament. It is used once in Jeremiah, Amos, 1 Kings and twice in Job. Strong’s essential meaning of naphesh in Job 32:2 is soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion; that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man, the man himself, seat of the appetites, seat of emotions and passions. Remember this definition and take a second look at Job 16:13 in the King James Version: “His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.” As we have already established, the word reins is translated to mean kidneys. Aside from it describing the physical organ of the body, it means seat of emotion and affection. I find it profoundly amazing that the word reins means the same thing as the word himself in Job 32:2. As stated previously, Job 16:13 is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ body releasing blood and water after being pierced in his side. We see redemption whenever we see blood being shed by Christ. When the blood of the eternal Christ is shed you can be assured something is happening at the very core of man’s existence. Review the following phrases to discover the magnitude of Christ’s death for you. • • •

Jesus was pierced in his reins or “the seat of emotion, affection or passion.” Jesus was pierced in Nephesh. Jesus was pierced in himself.

Jesus was pierced and shed blood from “himself “so that redemption could flow to our inner most being. His life and righteousness is to be received for your nephesh to kill and replace your own. When one justifies “himself ” by his own works, they deny the very essence of why Christ was pierced and shed his blood. This grieves the Spirit of God. 266


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The wrath of God is only upon the law. Job represents the righteousness of the law as he justifies himself. Everything Elihu says to Job from this time forward is intended to rebuke Job’s righteousness in his own eyes. He is speaking to Job in the context of man’s own righteousness and works. Elihu never one time accuses Job of the sins that were attributed to him by the three friends.. He does not condemn him and blame his sufferings on the sins he has committed. Elihu’s issue and anger with Job is not over sins but over Job’s own righteousness. This is vital concept to grasp and understand. The three friends anger is blatant judgment towards Job because he did not meet God’s standard of right behavior in his own ability. The three friends accuse Job of several sinful behaviors as we have already reviewed. We know that Job did not commit any of these things because God said he was blameless. Elihu only corrects Job for one thing and that is the justification of himself and the wrong perceptions of God that emanate from this perspective. The sin that Elihu attributes to Job is only after all the calamities befall him. This is representative of Christ becoming sin and thus taking on the judgment of the law after he lived a perfect life born under the law. The next passage of scripture is so vital because it is the entire context of Elihu’s issue with Job. First, Elihu begins to address Job’s claims of his blameless life and how God has punished him unjustly. He states that all the perceptions of Job are not right in regards to the character of God. Elihu repeats Job’s complaints: “I am clean, without transgression; I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me. But behold, God finds occasions against me and causes of alienation and indifference; He counts me as His enemy. He puts my feet in the stocks; He [untrustingly] watches all my paths [you say]. Then Elihu says, ‘I reply to you, Behold, in this you are not just; God is superior to man’ ” (Job 33:9-12 Amplified). 267


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“For Job has said, I am [innocent and uncompromisingly] righteous, but God has taken away my right; Would I lie against my right? Yet, notwithstanding my right, I am counted a liar. My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression. What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing and scorning like water,  Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity and walks with wicked men? For he has said, It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God and consent to Him” (Job 34:5-9). Elihu is restating the very things that Job has stated throughout the entire book of Job. As Elihu speaks his opposition increases towards Job. Let’s review the perspectives of Job that Elihu ardently opposes. Summarized below are Job’s personal views of his past behavior:

• • • • • • •

He is innocent. He justifies himself and not God. God has not rewarded him according to his uprightness. God is unjust. No one without transgression has gone through this kind of suffering. God is treating him as his enemy. He is treated and viewed as one in the company of wicke men and workers of iniquity. There is no value whatsoever to pleasing God and living right. If you live as a saint God will treat you like you are a sinner. God mocks the cry of the innocent.

• • • We must be aware that all of these things were spoken by Job while under the heaviness of his trial. Job symbolizes Jesus becoming sin and becoming the curse of the law. These thoughts were expressed as a man who has done the best he can in his own works and is receiving the

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results of the wicked. Job’s justification of himself is the central focus of Elihu’s responses to Job. Reiterating the theme of this book and ultimately the thesis of the New Testament is essential in order to grasp the purpose of Elihu’s responses. One’s own righteousness and the justification of themselves is what Jesus came to destroy. He came to do away with the law as a means to achieving righteousness. This is what He abolished in His flesh. Jesus had to be perfect under the law and represent all of man’s own works and righteousness under the law. He fulfilled every finite aspect of the law. He then had to become sin and suffer the wrath and punishment as a transgressor of the law that He perfectly fulfilled. This was so we could be free from ever having to keep the law in our own works. What we will see in Elihu, as he symbolizes the Spirit, is the judgment of all of man’s own works and righteousness that was laid upon Christ. Let us look again at the words of Elihu as he speaks of the sin of Job but this time in this new context we have established: “Job speaks without knowledge, His words are without wisdom.’ Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost, Because his answers are like those of wicked men! For he adds rebellion to his sin; He claps his hands among us, And multiplies his words against God”(Job 34:34-35).

What is the sin to which Elihu refers? Actually, Elihu knows that Job is blameless as God asserted to Satan before the calamity. Elihu is referring to the expressions of Job after the calamity. This is to symbolize the sin that Jesus became after He lived a sinless life. Elihu claims that Job’s sin is that of his own righteousness and misinterpreting the nature of God. Job sees God as one who punishes the innocent and mocks the upright. Elihu is accusing Job of using his own self-righteousness to define God’s very nature. Job did not receive blessing for his effort 269


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therefore Job believes God punishes the innocent. Elihu disagrees with this view of God. He opposes this legalistic perspective. Jesus was sinless under the law before He became sin. When He became sin, He was judged as the most vile of sinners for every sin committed past, present and future. Likewise, representing this exact same progression, Job was blameless until these calamities befell him. In this state, Job symbolizes Christ becoming sin as he (Job) also is judged as a sinner. Elihu’s assessment has come as a result of Job’s words and perceptions that have arisen after he has become the object of so much calamity and misfortune. Job’s own righteousness is being judged by the Spirit as a foreshadowing of Christ bearing the judgment upon man’s own righteousness in His body. Elihu, foreshadowing the work of the Holy Spirit, begins to reveal the true character of God to both Job and the three friends. He defends and unveils the nature of God. This is the present job of the Holy Spirit today. Elihu speaks to all the accusations and misguided notions of mankind’s perspectives of God. “Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work, And makes man to find a reward according to his way.  Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice” Job 34:10-12).

Elihu continues his defense of God and His dealings with the wicked when he says, “For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves”(Job 34:21-22).

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“He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, and sets others in their place. Therefore He knows their works; He overthrows them in the night, and they are crushed. He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others,  because they turned back from Him, and would not consider any of His ways…” (Job 34:24-27).

Elihu then answers Job’s claim that God mocks the cry of the innocent. “So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him; for He hears the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34:28).

In Job’s torment, he expresses his belief that God mocks the cry of the innocent. Elihu responds with the true identity of the Father as one who “hears the cry of the afflicted.” I think this is so significant it must be repeated again and again. When Job said that God mocks the cry of the innocent. You must understand that this is a place that we all have felt who were trying to please God in our own works. When you are trying to relate to God and are expecting Him to bless you because of how much you prayed, fasted, or have given to the poor. When our prayers were not answered after all our hard work we may become dismayed and feel mocked by God. Jesus became and carried this place for us. It might seem as though God is not listening to you. It will seem as though the wicked prosper more than the righteous. Quite frankly, the wicked do prosper more than those who are righteous according to the law and have not submitted to the righteousness which is by faith in Christ. I know virtually all believe that they are saved by faith. However, after they are saved, they begin all the works of the flesh to please God. They try to ascend to these holy unobtainable spheres. This leads to manifestations like those voiced by Job under this awful weight. If we are approaching God in any aspect of our own prerequisite ability it will seem as though He is not hearing us. The reality is all He wants is 271


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for us to relinquish all to faith in His Son to be and do what we could never be and do. If we approach Him through the ransom of His Son, His presence will be perpetual. When we call He will say, “Here I AM”. So what do we make of Elihu? He is not interested in accusing or judging Job of the actual sins the three friends say he committed. He is only interested in Job justifying himself and being righteous in his own eyes and the misconceptions of God’s nature that will inevitably arise from this belief system. This is the very essence of the law that Jesus came to put away. New Testament Truth Hidden in Job When I began to see this truth emerge I was awestruck by the beauty of the Spirit emerging in the words of Elihu. What does this symbolize for us today? What New Testament truths are being foreshadowed in the pages of Job. What we are about to see is most amazing to me. Think with me for a moment if you will. Recall the books of Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians. There is an overt message in each of these books regarding adherence to the law as opposed to faith in Christ. In the rest of the New Testament books, at the very least, there is a covert message of this same truth. Think of the flow and progression of these writings. Paul goes to great lengths to establish that righteousness cannot come through your effort to attain but rather apart from this effort. It can be received only by depending on the life of Christ revealing Himself in you. Once he establishes this truth, then and only then, does he mention the actual fruit or behaviors that will come forth as a result of faith. By contrast he also reveals the behaviors or results of trying to be righteous in your own effort. Let us look at a beautiful example of this truth. Notice how Paul first offers a description of faith in Christ in Galatians chapter 2 before listing the sins that should be avoided in chapter 5:

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“For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:19-21). “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like...” (Galatians 5:19-21).

Elihu opposes Job justifying himself and being righteous in his own eyes just as the Spirit opposes the works of the flesh: “For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.”(Galatians 5:17 Amplified).

So it is easy to see why Elihu, who represents the Spirit, is at odds with Job and the three friends. God’s wrath is only demonstrated towards the law. As we have briefly mentioned earlier, we assume that when the scriptures mention the word “flesh” it is referring to a random sin such as sexual lust, drunkenness, carousing, etc. This is not what “being in the flesh” actually means. I purposely chose the Amplified Version to demonstrate this point. Even here, the Amplified defines “flesh” as “godless human nature” but this does not communicate the whole story.

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In virtually all instances in the scriptures the phrase, “in the flesh” is describing being under the law or trying to attain righteousness through your own efforts instead of faith in Christ. I fully realize that we have driven home these concepts repeatedly in previous chapters. Indulge me, yet once again, as we view these things in the context of the contrast of being “in the flesh” or “in the spirit”. Paul would say that you are in the flesh if you were trying to overcome some addiction or inordinate lust by your effort. The resulting behavior in trying to change this behavior in your own would produce works of the flesh that are listed above in Galatians 5. This scenario is true for anything we try to accomplish in our own strength not just what would be deemed sinful behavior. If we try to obtain success in our jobs or bend a relationship to our will in our own strength then we are “in the flesh”. Being in the flesh, which is your own works, will lead to actual works of the flesh. The “bad stuff” mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 were prefaced by admonishments to not live in the flesh but by the spirit in the previous four chapters. Apart from the law sin is dead. Galatians defines the actual meaning of “being in the flesh”. “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3).

It is clear that the Apostle Paul refers to the hearing of faith (hearing about faith in Christ) as having begun in the Spirit (walking in the Spirit). By contrast, the works of the law or trying to live out of your own effort, is being in the flesh. Elihu’s response to Job unveil this New Covenant revelation. Elihu, representing the New Covenant Spirit, is not concerned with any particular sin. He is not about listing each individual sin as the three friends were so proficient in describing. He is after the origin of sin. The sin 274


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that Jesus became and the sin that Job is foreshadowing. This sin is bypassing God and trying to attain the promise in your own works! The sin that will open the door to all sin. The sin that will make you a virtual “sitting duck” for every lust to breed. The most powerful New Testament revelation of freedom from the law is being finitely portrayed in the words of Elihu with the exact same spirit the Apostle Paul outlines in every epistle. No one will argue that Jesus became sin to redeem us from sin. He became sin and bore every sin that could assail us so that we could be free from all sin. However, according to the revelation of the New Testament through the Apostle Paul, being delivered from the righteousness of the law is the key to being delivered from all sin. We know and have established that Jesus delivered us from sin by becoming sin and taking the judgment of sin in our stead. To continually establish our foundational truth, He became and fulfilled the righteousness of the Law and took judgment under the law so that we would never be judged by the law again! Look again at Ephesians 2:15 in the Amplified, “By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]…” The abolishment of the enmity of the law in His [own crucified] flesh and the sacrifice for our sins is not a separate work but one in the same. When Christ was becoming sin for our sins, He was abolishing in his flesh the enmity of the law. This had to be because “The strength of sin is the law” and Jesus’ crucified flesh destroyed the need for the law. So we could walk free from sin by not depending upon our own righteousness. The sin that He became is the self-righteousness of the law. He became and represented all of man’s own works and righteousness. This is the root of all sin and was at the root of His substitution for us. This is the work of the cross! This is what is being portrayed by Job and Elihu! Job offers a clear, relatable picture of mankind under the law in order for us to gain a clear picture of the freedom that we have been given. 275


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In the same way Jesus had to bear our sickness so that we could be healed, He bore the righteousness of the law so that we could live by the Spirit through faith. The judgment of the righteousness of the law was upon Christ as He abolished in His flesh the enmity of the law. In like manner, the opposition of Elihu is upon Job for being righteous in his own eyes and justifying himself as Job portrays the humanity of Christ during this judgment. New Testament Faith Appears In reading the dialogue of Elihu, I truly stand in awe and amazement of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who truly takes the time to look intently into the Bible and still deny that this is the inspired Word of God is not being honest with themselves. Anyone who thinks the Scriptures were just a bunch of random people throwing together some ancient writings are sadly mistaken. Written between 2000-1000 BC (Biblica), Job flows with cohesive, specific New Testament revelations that could only be written by One much greater than man. Foresight necessary to write such things is beyond the grasp of man without the Holy Spirit. The following New Covenant truths hidden in Job are simply some of the most powerful and revealing in all of the Word of God. I trust these next pages will impact your life. As Elihu dissects the sayings of Job, he reveals New Testament truth that is simply astounding. Astounding not just because of the New Testament revelation in and of itself but also because truths are so mysteriously and beautifully woven into the fabric of this dialogue. The three friends have harshly and simplistically declared there is no mystery to Job’s cry of Why? Why has this happened to me? How could this possibly happen to one who is without transgression and has served God perfectly? It can only be because of Job’s great sin. There can be no other reason. Elihu in chapter thirty three begins to offer insight into Job’s cry that is far different from the three friends. 276


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Elihu continues in Chapter 33, Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters. For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed…” (Job 33:13-15).

Elihu is essentially asking Job, “Why do you strive against God and accuse Him of being unjust? Why do you accuse Him of treating you unfairly because you feel he does not answer you and tell you why all this is happening?” Elihu explains that God does speak to man but man does not recognize or perceive God’s words. Job has been trying to understand God and interpret the justification of all that has befallen him through the eyes of his own righteousness. His view of God is that if you are upright then you should not receive all this calamity. Yet, we know that the uprightness that Job is depending on is his own. Elihu tells Job that God will indeed speak to man and tell him the way to go but man does not perceive. When you have the perspective that God is dealing with you according to your own level of commitment, you can live a lifetime and not truly hear Him nor discern the true depth of His nature. God Opens the Ears of Men New Covenant realities begin to emerge. Elihu says, Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.  He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. (Job 33:16-18 KJV).

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Elihu tells us that God opens the ears of men. This is truly a benchmark phrase in the entire book of Job. Why is this significant? Elihu says God does speak by opening the ears of men. This is the first New Testament reference to the Hearing of Faith and not the keeping of the law through one’s own self righteousness. Elihu, representing the Spirit says the only way to understand what God is saying is by the opening of the ear. The hearing of faith and not the keeping of the law is the central foundation of the entire New Covenant. Elihu, in keeping with the same flow of the books of the New Testament, begins to describe the opening of the ears or the hearing of faith as the key to true righteousness. This righeousness that comes from hearing is the righteousness of faith that supplants one’s own righteousness. We cannot possibly escape the corruption that is in the world through lust any other way. Man will always default to his own strength if not for the hearing of faith in Christ. The Spirit, which replaces the law, can only be received by the hearing of faith. Please do not allow these words to simply be pulpit blather. These are not overused religious phrases that have no relevance to the needs we face every day. Remember, when we spoke of “Faith in Christ” being the antithesis of living in our own works. Whenever we are faced with any demand, challenge, temptation, or sorrow, we are not left to our own devices and remedies. Any lack in money, love, experience, education, safety, or security is met by Christ. Any need that you could imagine both great and small is not meant to be solved in our human effort, imagination or strength. Galatians 2 supports this reality: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:20-21)

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As I made mention earlier, this scripture must have vital meaning to you. If it is just another scripture that you have read a thousand times. Then stop and embrace it until it lives and breathes in you! Every need that we face in this life has to be lived by dependence upon Christ in us and nothing coming from our own strength. The hearing of this message is defined as the “Hearing of Faith”. We are hearing that Christ gave Himself for us. He is in the place of me as any need arises in my life. This “Hearing of Faith” is described as being in the Spirit. Once again, this is what is meant by walking in the Spirit. We walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh if we are hearing the message of faith in Christ and not any dependence on our own works. Walking in the Spirit is not some place of spiritual achievement or some “La La land” to which we ascend if we pray a lot. Look again at Galatians, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:1-6). The Spirit comes and works among us by the hearing of faith in Christ to do and be in us what we cannot do or be in our own works. No matter what work we are trying to accomplish. To walk in the Spirit is to walk in faith in Christ.

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“The Spirit comes and works among us by hearing about faith in Christ to do and be in us what we cannot do or be in our own works.” Just as Paul makes a clear demarcation between the hearing of faith and the works of the law, Elihu does the same. Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,  That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.  He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. Job wants to reason with God in the context of his own righteousness and discover why all these calamities have befallen him. God cannot be heard or understood in this context so it seems that He is not listening or does not care. Subsequently, all the distorted views of God begin to find their origin and foothold. Elihu, representing the Spirit, says God desires to keep man’s soul from the pit and his life from perishing. He offers instruction to accomplish this end, but not the instruction of the law but rather he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction... The use of the phrase openeth the ears of men is both precise and strategic. Elihu is introducing the key to true righteousness that cannot even be approached by man’s effort to be righteous. The opening of the ears is the introduction of the foundation of the work of the Cross. Romans 10:17 states:  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The hearing of the message of Christ in us being our righteousness produces faith in Christ. Faith in Christ opens the door to God’s grace. Romans 5:2 says, “we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand...” Romans 4:16 adds, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace.” So the hearing of the message of faith in Christ causes faith to come. Faith ushers us into the grace of God whereby His righteousness is imparted to us as a gift ending our own works forever. The phrase, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” was one that I heard a million times but it had no real effect upon 280


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my life. Paul used these words when speaking in direct contrast to the law. Many early manuscripts interpret the “Word of God” in Romans 10:17 more accurately as the “Word of Christ”. Paul was saying that we need to hear the Word of Christ. Simply hearing this message will produce enough faith and inherent power to completely change you and manifest the righteousness of God apart from anything you could accomplish. In the early days of my walk with God we were pounded with this phrase from scripture, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Their interpretation assumed you had to constantly work at hearing the Word of God. The Word of God was interpreted as any scripture or promise. You should consistently collect all kinds of scripture and pound them into your brain. You had to keep scripture before you all the time. Subsequently, by sheer volume of hearing faith, you would trigger this elusive thing called faith. Thanks be to God this is not what this scripture is saying. Galatians 2:20 gives us the template on how to hear the word of Christ, “It is not I who live but Christ lives within me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by Faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Christ in us hears truth and produces faith in us. The hearing of this truth has overwhelming, inherent power within it for faith to emerge. You cannot stop faith from coming if you tried. When our “ears are opened” faith will come. You do not have to pound it into your brain but rather hear it in the context of relationship with your Savior. It is faith in the Word of Christ that separates us from our own works and causes us to walk in the paths that he has already prepared for us. Instruction of Hearing that Keeps us from the Pit Before moving ahead to the next part of this scripture, I think it important to address the phrase “sealeth their instruction” in Job 33:16. 281


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Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.  He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. (KJV) According to Strong’s, the word sealeth refers to 1) placing a seal on a document or 2) to seal as in lock. Strong’s defines instruction as it relates to 1) training a child or 2) to train, teach and instruct. Therefore, this hearing of faith will teach and instruct from the Spirit and not the law. We need to trade our traditional understanding of “hearing the word of God” which has been “you should not do this and don’t do that” or “you really should be doing this” for God’s view of hearing by faith. When hearing truth, we are to “When hearing truth, we allow the Spirit of wisdom and are to allow the Spirit of revelation to reveal Christ in wisdom and revelation to us. This “hearing” of instruction empowers us to do not reveal Christ in us. This commands us to do. “hearing” of instruction What is the purpose or empowers us to do not result of this opening of the commands us to do.” ears whereby we shall receive instruction? The latter part of verse 16 answers this question: That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. I absolutely love this powerful, New Covenant revelation foreshadowed in Job. The word “withdraw” means “to turn aside, to depart, or to be removed.” We can interpret the scripture to mean that God turns man from his purpose and hides pride from man. The Amplified Classic adds a vital dimension to this scripture, “That He may withdraw man from his purpose and cut off pride from him [disgusting him with his own disappointing self-sufficiency]. Strong’s says the word purpose means work, deed, or labor. It also can mean pursuits or ambition. Does it mean that all our pursuits, works or ambition are to be viewed as pride and self sufficiency? No, only those that find their origin in ones own works. 282


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Grasp this vital truth: Elihu, who represents the Spirit, states that God will open the ears of man to teach him the things that will withdraw him from man’s own purpose. This opening of the ears or hearing of instruction will turn man aside from his own works, deeds, or labor. Hearing by faith will “hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” Before we move ahead let me take a bit of a detour for a moment. You may notice that I have pointed out the usage of the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition. Most of the selections to this point have been from the recent publication in 2015 of the Amplified Bible while some have been from the Amplified Classic which was originally published in 1965 by The Lockman Foundation. The recent revision of the Amplified version replaced the current Amplified that we have used for decades in an attempt to remain current with the evolution of the English language. The Hebrew and Greek translations received greater scrutiny with the intent to give the reader a more fluid, unhindered read. (Lockman) I bring all this to your attention because in the previous verse I chose not to use the Amplified Classic version of “sealeth their instruction”. The Classic Version adds “terrifying them with warnings” in brackets. One could argue my use of some translations and refusal to use others in order to spin the scripture to my liking. First and foremost, when reading any translation, we must understand that the interpretations are man-made with some scriptures heightened and others misconstrued. I contend that any translation that is “amplified” or paraphrased needs to be prayed over and studied carefully. An inherit bias and tendency to interpret things in a certain light is inevitable. So with this in mind, I studied carefully the phrase “terrifying them with warnings” used in the 1965 Amplified Classic version. I could not find any support for this interpretation. In looking at the context of the preceding and following verses along with the Hebrew origin of the word instruction, I could not find any evidence that would justify the concept of God “terrifying” us. By contrast, the 283


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very opposite is true of the Classic versions amplification of “sealeth their instruction” which is “disgusting him with his own disappointing self-sufficiency”. This expounds upon the New Testament concept of hearing by faith in Christ. Use these resources in the context of your dependence upon the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. You will certainly discern between the revelation of the Spirit and the input of men. Ok... let us continue. The word “hide” means “to cover or conceal”. God desires for our own way to be concealed from us and only be alive to the Spirit. The Spirit opens men’s ears to the hearing of faith to turn them aside from their own works! These works stem from our own strength, ambition, lust, or pride not from the hearing of faith in Christ. The word “pride” means to be “lifted up” or “exalted by one’s own works.” When God turns man aside from his own works or own way, he keeps his soul from the pit and his life from perishing. Our own works is the root of all pain and anguish. Turning aside from our own purpose cannot happen through anything you can possibly do. You cannot keep yourself from going your own way. This is intrinsic to all men and women. God has forged, through His Son, a way for us to pursue dreams and ambitions that do not arise from our own works. I am going to introduce this beautiful New Covenant reality now, but will speak much more about this in the chapter entitled “All Things”. To be delivered from going your own way by hearing the Word of Christ, can sound like just another religious tirade about how we need to sacrifice our pride, relinquish our lust, amplify our commitment and follow the will of God. Isaiah 53 includes some of the most impacting and familiar scriptures in the entire Bible. “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

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In Romans 3:12, Paul quotes from the Old Testament to describe everyone who is under the law and is trying to be righteous in their own works, “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” We will always default to our own way when we attempt to do the will of God in our own efforts. We will always default to our own desires. This is the iniquity spoken of in Isaiah 53. Does this always look like heinous outright sin and disobedience? No! It is vitally important that we grasp this truth. Lust of the flesh or going your own way is anything that does not have at its core faith in Christ originated by the Spirit. This is why we all struggle so much. God has provided deliverance from defaulting to our own way. It has nothing to do with our own ability or any effort we could possibly muster. The enormous pull to go our own way and default to our own remedies is why Jesus died for us. This iniquity was laid upon him so that through faith in Him we would not “turn, every one, to his own way”. The very ability to do the will of God and not go astray is not yours, it is His! The responsibility not to have wrong desires, motivations or selfish ambitions has nothing to do with your ability. You are not meant to labor over the seeming warfare of putting down your own desires to do the will of God. This is bondage, yet this is the way most of us have lived our entire lives. We live this way because this is how Christianity is understood and presented in most Christian circles. Another Look at Not My Will but Thine In the King James Version, Luke captures the moment Jesus chose to accept sin in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he 285


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prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Job 22:42-44).

Jesus took on the warfare of our own wills versus the will of God. He experienced this awful struggle of the desires of our flesh and the will of God. He did so in such a way that His agony produced the shedding of blood. I heard a minister say one time, “Whenever you see Jesus shedding blood, redemption is taking place!” In Luke 22:44, the Physician Luke details the following, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” I know it says His sweat was like great drops of blood but I truly believe it was His actual blood and redemption is taking place. The Indian Journal of Dermatology describes a condition known as Hematohidrosis which is a very rare condition of sweating blood where “the capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture.” (Jaju 1) Luke, who was grounded in medical science, chose to include this occurrence intentionally because substitution and sacrifice was taking place for us on our behalf. Jesus exclaimed, “Not my will, but thine” so we could declare with great confidence, “Not my will, but thine!” Your will, desires and lusts no longer have the power over you. You are joined to the will of God your Father. You now have His will etched in your heart. Faith in the working of the cross has destroyed the power of each one going astray to his own way. Jesus took this iniquity and now I am joined and set at one with the will of God. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” The blood of Jesus is complete and more than capable to both bear and destroy this iniquity. The hearing of faith in this message will bring the reality and fruit of it in our lives. The reason we have not experienced this place is because we continue to try and attain it instead of receiving it as the gift of Christ forged in his blood that day in Gethsemane. I am no longer left with my will. I now have been given His will through faith in His Son. The life of 286


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Jesus has imparted a new will to me. A will that is not mine but His. If you think it is your effort that will prevent you from your own lust and desires then you will become the chief offender. Perfect and Blameless by the Spirit We certainly see men whose lives go down to the pit and who perish by the sword as a result of overt and obvious lustful lives of debauchery, greed and selfish ambition. Jesus bore this iniquity. Faith in His blood is the answer to deliverance from this bondage. However, what about those of us who are trying our best to live right and do the will of God. There are times we find our souls in the pit with our lives perishing. Our “turning…to our own way” is not as obvious to ourselves or to others. We can be in our own way and it can look to be both innocent and good. When we face pressure of any kind our minds will go into overdrive as we begin to grasp anything for a solution. We will default to what is familiar and what we believe is possible to rectify whatever need we are facing. It is something we all do. We are all wired this way. We may have a situation with a relationship we eagerly want to change or a business deal that we desperately want to work. If we face a financial need, our minds will become like a computer going through endless files trying to find solutions that we can find in our own strength. This is the classic manifestation of the lust of the flesh. Lust of the flesh is simply a desire or motivation that comes from our own way or effort. Lust does not always have to be some behavior or act that is obviously sinful. Many times we decide upon a course to follow that leads us to disaster. These decisions we are making during these times of pressure are not overtly evil but they do not lead to life. We then find ourselves in the same mindset as Job. We think to ourselves, “I have not done anything wrong but my life is in shambles.” This is when we can turn to our Savior who experienced the death that these decisions have brought upon us. He is merciful and gracious because 287


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he has been made like us in every way. He sets us free. This is why Jesus came to bear the iniquity of going our own way. He has provided us a better way through the hearing of faith. Hearing by faith allows Christ Himself to do in us what we cannot do ourselves. Any righteousness or obedience under the law cannot compare to the righteousness and obedience given by the Spirit. God called Job blameless and perfect. Have you noticed that Elihu never says this? God said it of Job on numerous occasions, yet Elihu never calls Job perfect and blameless. Elihu is demonstrating the righteousness of God by His Spirit that exceeds the righteousness of the law. God called Job blameless and perfect because he was representative of such a one under the law. Once again, Jesus had to be perfect under the law and then become sin and be judged as man’s own righteousness. So God was establishing the perfection of a man under the law so Jesus could become the sacrifice for all who would never have to be perfect under the law again. Elihu, by contrast, foreshadows the Spirit and fulfills the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:20, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” This was a prophetic statement by Jesus showing how the righteousness of faith which would be by the Spirit would exceed the righteousness of the law. Elihu judges the righteousness of the law represented in Job and condemns the justification of himself rather than God. He is not going to call this kind of righteousness perfect and blameless. He is pointing man to a much higher, true righteousness. The righteousness of God Himself imparted only by faith in Christ. Even Abraham, “The Father of Faith,” Went his Own Way Abraham who is called the “Father of Faith” is a prime example of how “going our own way” interferes with God’s better way of walking by the 288


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Spirit. Abraham’s choice to jumpstart the promise was not inherently evil but produced great adversity. Abraham was told he would have a son and become the Father of many nations. This was the promise, purpose and destiny of God for his life. One may think that because something is the will of God for their lives that they should do all within their power to make it happen. How could this be wrong? It would certainly not be considered evil for us to do all we can for good. Abraham evidently grew a bit weary of waiting on the promise and decided to move things along a bit faster. His mind defaulted to how this could happen within the context of what he in his mortal body could do. The promise was for Abraham to have a son. Well... Abraham is no biologist but he certainly had heard the story of the “birds and bees”. After all, as far as his input into the situation, it would not be difficult in the least. As a matter of fact, he may have thought it might be kind of fun and won’t take long at all! As we know in Genesis 16:15, Abraham joined himself to Hagar, his younger servant. Hagar bore Abraham a son who God named Ishmael. Ishmael was not a product of faith but rather of his own works. Even Abraham defaulted to his own works trying to make the promise come to pass. It is important to point out that Abraham did not know that the promise was to come from Sarah until much later. So much can be said of Ishmael whose descendants have claimed to form the present Arab nation. (BibleInfo) Paul, in Galatians 4:2131, uses the story of Ishmael and Isaac to show the disparity between living by promise and living by your own works and how the two cannot co-exist. It is also important to note that Abraham asked God to bless Ishmael and God responded with provision in Genesis 17:20. This gives evidence that even when we create things in our own effort, God is gracious to still show mercy towards us. Suffice to say, our own works will bring issues and pain but God will be gracious to the things we do in our flesh outside of the Spirit. God wants to open our ears to that which is of faith not that with 289


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which we default in our own devices. The solutions and the remedy are to come from our communion with Him and the resulting activity that will follow will be inspired by the Spirit and will result in the will of God being implemented in our lives. Solutions that have their origin in our dependence upon Christ not ourselves. Outside of Jesus, we naturally assume the responsibility to fix our problems ourselves. It is the logical response to trouble. Is it possible to have the same confidence in Christ to accomplish all we need apart from our own ability as we were when confident in our own effort? Is it possible to be at complete rest when faced with having to hope where there is no natural hope? Solutions From the Promise Have No Death The solutions or remedies to our issues are to come from our communion with Him. As a result, we will be inspired by the Spirit and the will of God will be implemented in our lives. How did God move Abraham from going his own way to finding the true will of God? God wanted Isaac to come from the promise. He wanted Isaac to come from nothing of Abrahamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own ability but rather to be a product of faith and faith alone. What comes from the promise, comes from the inheritance. What comes from inheritance is the will of God. The solutions and prosperity that come from the promise will have no death associated with it and will bring fullness of joy. Your own works are still under the curse of the law. This is why it will never lead to fulfillment. Only the fruit that comes from the promise will bring true fullness of joy and satisfaction. However, the question remains, how is it even possible not to default to your own strength when faced with situations we want so desperately to see changed? Is this challenge to choose the way of the Spirit and not the way of our own works up to us to accomplish? If so, then we are doomed because we will always try to work things out as best we can. 290


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When living by the hearing of faith, which is defined as walking in the Spirit, we become comfortable with trusting Jesus more than our efforts. We realize the impotence of our own works. We find ourselves at complete rest when faced with having to hope where there is no natural hope. Romans 4:18 describes the faith of Abraham, “…who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ “ What does the phrase “contrary to hope” mean? It simply means that there was no natural hope. Or we could say there was no hope in anything Abraham could do to make the promise happen. Both Abraham and Sarah were passed the child bearing years. There was no physiological way for them to have a child. There was nothing that Abraham’s own works could do to fulfill the promise of God spoken to him, “ “…as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’ in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17).

God spoke this following promise to Abraham through the hearing of faith or the “opening of the ears” so that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” The voice of God spoke this promise directly to Abraham and He will speak the promises to us in any season or situation where we need Him most. Look at this next impactful section of scripture in Romans 4:19, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” As you have probably heard from others who have taught on this subject. This actually means he did indeed look at the weakness and inability of Sarah’s body and his own. Abraham realizes his own inability to have input into the fulfilling of this promise. 291


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He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:20-22).

How does all this relate to where we are today? This is not to be some motivational story about how we are supposed to have faith in the most dire of circumstances. Abraham was “fully convinced” while simultaneously facing no natural hope. This place of faith cannot be experienced in our own effort. It must be a product of the hearing of faith. Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as, “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Are you going to feel anxiety if you have the substance and evidence of something before you actually see it? Would worry and fear be present? No, you will be confident and at rest because you know it is a completed work. Abraham was at rest because he knew there was nothing he could do. Contrary to him having any reason to hope he hoped in faith. However, he did not ascend to this lofty state by some great spiritual achievement. He received this place of rest through the hearing of faith as the gift of God. These are monumental statements of faith. Being fully assured in the face of impossibility is a gift offered through the hearing of faith in Christ. You cannot possibly attain to such a position through your obedience and dedication. Through Abraham’s communion and relationship with God, he heard the promise that was spoken specifically for him. This promise would become his calling and would define his legacy. The voice of God is inherently all we need to receive the faith of God. This faith supersedes any impossibility. It will cause us to be fully convinced in the midst of circumstances where there is no natural way for it to come to pass. God can elevate any promise in the Word of God by adding His living voice to that promise to make that promise so alive in us that we 292


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become fully convinced that “what He had promised He is also able to perform”. Abraham comes to this place where the exceeding great and precious promises become more real to him than his own works. Abraham is now not tempted to default “Abraham comes to his own way. It is this faith that to this place where delivers us from our own works. This the exceeding great faith delivers us from defaulting to our own devices and solutions. This promises become is the only way to be insulated from more real to him than turning to your own ability to solve his own works.” problems or make dreams come true. Remember, to be in total dependence upon faith in Christ does not mean you are inactive. It means the inspiration, ingenuity and even labor is now energized by the Spirit. Always consider the phrase: “Faith has rest and faith has works. However these works are not your own.” The paradox of faith being a place of rest, yet also giving birth to works must be grasped. Our own works are filled with toil and sweat, while the works of faith are accomplished in a place of rest. It is not your job or responsibility to try and convince your mind to believe or not to worry in the face of seeming impossibility. Faith will come. Faith will be the inevitable fruit of the promise made alive by the voice of God to you. This faith produces full assurance in the face of zero, natural hope. This is a real place that we can receive and abide continually. We should reach for such a dwelling place and expect it to be a reality in our lives. This is the faith that has been delivered to us by the sacrifice of Christ. “And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,  who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:23-25).

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The faith that Abraham demonstrated was “accounted to him for righteousness”. Paul recounts this story of Abraham because the way he believed for Isaac is the way we are to believe in Jesus. Paul explains that the faith that Abraham demonstrated to receive Isaac is the same faith we are to release in Christ. It was Abraham’s faith that was accounted to him for righteousness. His faith in the promise of God and not anything he could do was accounted to him as righteousness. God did not want any of Abraham’s ability involved in bringing forth the promise. He only wanted his faith. Likewise, “…it shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead…” The gift of righteousness is imputed to us through faith in Christ only. Just as Abraham knew the impotence in his own body and the barrenness of Sarah’s womb would not bring forth the promise, we must consider our ability as dead to achieve any aspect of the will of God for our lives. We are to trust fully in the life of Christ within us to fulfill the will of God in our lives. What shall withdraw man from his purpose and cut off pride from him [disgusting him with his own disappointing self-sufficiency]. Nothing but the hearing of faith that causes us to grow strong in faith becoming fully assured in what is promised. It is in this instruction of the hearing of faith that the will of God resides. It is in this hearing of faith that your inheritance is discovered. It is this hearing that delivers us from needing or defaulting to our own works. Our on works of self-sufficiency that will lead to pain and suffering. A Return to Job 33 So the hearing of faith in Christ is given to us to empower us to walk in the will of God and not go our own way. Faith insulates us from the temptation of turning to our works where pain and affliction find their breeding ground. This is the certainly the instruction of the New Testament. Yet, as just demonstrated by Abraham, we all are growing 294


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into this truth and still many times end up in our own purposes and works. As a result we needed a Savior who not only bore the iniquity of our way and purposes but also experienced the resulting death that our own works would birth. Let us continue in Job 33:19-22, “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with strong pain in many of his bones, So that his life abhors bread, And his soul succulent food. His flesh wastes away from sight, And his bones stick out which once were not seen.  Yes, his soul draws near the Pit, And his life to the executioners” (Job 33:19-22).

Job is chastened with pain, his flesh is consumed, his bones stick out, his soul draws near to the grave and his life to the destroyers. Job’s turning to his own way brought the anguish described in verses 19-22. The iniquity and punishment of turning to our own way was laid upon Jesus. These words sound exactly like the death that Jesus died, “His flesh wastes away from sight, And his bones stick out which once were not seen... his flesh is consumed away, his bones stick out, his soul draws near to the grave and his life to the destroyers.” Are these not the same things that were said of Jesus by the Psalmist in Psalm 22:17?, “I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.” What does all of this mean to us? What is the significance of these words to us today? Jesus came to deliver us from going our own way and instead through faith in Him we would be able to walk naturally in the will of God through the hearing of faith. Yet, God knew man would go his own way so he provided a substitute who would bear the punishment of this iniquity. So those who fall victim to the pull of their own lust would have a Savior who has tasted this death so they could be delivered from the results of this iniquity. Are you seeing this? Is this not amazing love? 295


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God sends His son. If we will believe in Him he will deliver us from the iniquity of going your own way and subsequently taking our life down to the pit. Yet, He knows that in the course of our humanity we are going to go our own way. When we go our own way we will perish. Perishing can be manifested in so many different ways: worry, fear, failure, disappointment, depression, conflict and on and on. So He sends His Son to experience every death that is a result of going our own way so we can be set free. All the death that we have seen Job experience has been the results of sin. This is the results of the iniquity of going our own way and was experienced for us by Christ. Before we move ahead let us take stock of what we know up to this point. Job is filled with every death imaginable. Yet, he is blameless and is completely perplexed as to how these things could befall an upright man. He is blameless under the law and thus represents all of manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own works and righteousness. He is convinced that this is how God blesses man; to be upright before Him. The very law that he has upheld now turns on him and condemns him as a sinner. The law concludes that the only reason these things could be happening is because he is a sinner. Job agrees that it is true that those who do evil will receive death but incessantly declares that he is upright so it should not be happening to him. As a result, confusion, perplexity and perverted views of God emerge and Job expresses all sorts of misguided conclusions as to the nature of God. Elihu is introduced and declares that both Job and the three friends are wrong and have not discerned the true nature of God. Elihuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opposition burns against the three friends because they have found no way to answer Job, but can only condemn him. Then Elihu turns to Job and tells him he is wrong as well because he justifies himself more than God. Job clamors for answers to all of his confusion as he represents mankind under their own efforts and strength. With all of this in mind Elihu now answers Job as to what is really happening and what is the true nature of God. As we move further into Chapter 33 an even greater depiction of redemption is illustrated. 296


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TWELVE

DOUBLE FOR HIS TROUBLE After further examining the conversation between Elihu and Job, we discover an amazing, transformative glimpse into the prophetic message of Christ. This is, without a doubt, some of the most amazing foreshaowings of Christ in all the book of Job. Elihu then says, “If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’; His flesh shall be young like a child’s, He shall return to the days of his youth. He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness. Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, And it did not profit me’. He 298


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will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, and his life shall see the light. Behold, God works all these things, Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life. “Give ear, Job, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will speak.  If you have anything to say, answer me; Speak, for I desire to justify you.  If not, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom” ((Job 33:22-33).

Can you believe the words we have just read? This is how the Spirit answers the cries of confusion and questions of injustice that Job has been expressing throughout the entire book. Elihu does not tell Job the sin he has committed is the cause of all this evil that has befallen him. He completely dismisses the argument of the three friends, which is the argument and accusations of the law. Neither does Elihu justify Job’s own righteousness. Instead, he points to God’s favor and to His grace. He speaks of providing a ransom that will deliver from the pit! Grace Because of the Ransom When I came across this segment of scripture, I literally fell to my knees in awestruck respect for the genius of the Holy Spirit who weaved this story together over a thousand years before the coming of Christ. I was overcome with the love of God and fellowship of Christ. Look again at this portion of Job, “If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom.”

Elihu does not offer additional demands for perfect behavior and warnings against sin. God sends Elihu as a messenger to show Job uprightness and true righteousness. A righteousness that exceeds his 299


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own by grace. God shows him grace! Grace that comes from the ransom, not his own works! Is this not truly both amazing and astounding that these phrases would emerge in the book of Job hidden among all these pages of misery and confusion? Elihu does not speak to Job based on his righteousness but rather from the ransom that is promised to him. He does not want to hear Job’s arguments about how he kept the law and does not deserve the circumstances that have befallen him. He only wants to shed light on God being gracious through the ransom. The ministry of the Spirit today is to reveal Christ not to condemn and demand better behavior, obedience and more commitment. Our ability to behave better lies in our faith in Christ, not ourselves. Job cried for God to hear his complaint and to deliver him. Job wanted so desperately for relief. Elihu promises the very thing Job desires but he will render it by favor not works. He will render Job his righteousness. Strong’s defines render as: to bring back, to restore, refresh or repair. Righteousness will not be derived from the works of Job himself. “His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness” (Job 33:26 KJV).

“He shall return to the days of his youth” is the promise of restoration that Job is longing to receive. When we find ourselves in places where we are deeply longing for days of happiness that have disappeared. Jesus carried this place and provided this promise of restoration apart from anything we could do. There is no prerequisite except faith in the ransom! This phrase, “He will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy” speaks of favor, not condemnation and demands. This is shown to a man in the midst of his greatest pain This same favor and grace is to be shown to us in the midst of our greatest pain. The result 300


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will be seeing His face. Our eyes will be opened to His true nature of grace and favor. All the proclamations of “why” will be conquered by unearned grace and favor. The result of this grace and favor that shows us the very face of God will be joy. Our joy will be restored to us only by receiving the grace and favor provided by the ransom. God cannot respond to the righteousness of man as a prerequisite of blessing. This can only take place through true acknowledgement of one’s own inability and complete dependence on the ransom. Job foreshadows this truth in the following verse. “Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, and it did not profit me.’ He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, and his life shall see the light” (Job 33:28).

Job cries for deliverance based upon his deeds of righteousness day after day. When all that is necessary is to acknowledge that your own righteousness is not enough and to depend upon the ransom that is given to you. Your life will be delivered from the pit and you shall see the light. Remember, all the times Job cried for God to reason with him. Job claimed he would argue his case before God and show Him how upright his life had been. Job complained that God would not listen to him and his cries were not heard. This was because God will not and cannot relate to man in his own righteousness. He can only relate to man through the ransom of His Son. This is the same message as the “other” son in the prodigal story. If we are yearning for God to move on our behalf based on any of our works it will seem as if He is not attentive to our cries. Elihu continues, “Behold, God works all these things, Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, 301


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That he may be enlightened with the light of life. “Give ear, Job, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will speak.   If you have anything to say, answer me; Speak, for I desire to justify you.  If not, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom” (Job 33: 29-33).

Job incessantly justifies himself and desperately tries to convince those representing the law that he is upright when the heart of God is exclaiming, I desire to justify you! There is no need to justify ourselves with our own works. Elihu tells Job, “I am not here to condemn you, but rather to justify you.” The Spirit longs to justify us through the ransom not our own works. Our complete faith and dependence upon the ransom is the only thing that will deliver from the most despicable circumstances that hold grief, pain and torment. Have we not just read a complete summary of the New Testament work of the Cross in just a few verses in the book of Job? Here we have a man who is wrought with unspeakable pain and torment. God then says to him, “I want nothing from you but to show you favor and grace by receiving the ransom that I have sent to you. This ransom will contain all the uprightness you need to live in joy and the light of life.” Elihu calls this wisdom, “hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.” Elihu gave the wisdom of the ransom in contrast to the three friends and Job arguing endlessly back and forth between the law and one’s own righteousness. Elihu puts all of that useless bantering to shame with these few verses above. Let me bring to your remembrance when Elihu first spoke he silenced Job and the three friends. The Spirit shuts the mouth of the law and one’s own righteousness. He ends all the useless chatter about how we need to be more holy and committed.

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The Origin of Bondage Before leaving the concepts introduced in chapter 33 regarding the truth of “going our own way” and the “opening of the ears”, that we discussed in the previous chapter. Let us go to chapter 36 to reveal the more insight into the root of tribulation. We mentioned at the outset of the chapter the first four verses of Job 36 in illustrating the foreshadowing of the true identity of Elihu. He defends God’s nature against the conclusions of Job. Specifically, Elihu addresses the erroneous claims of Job that there is no difference if you are righteous or wicked. He reassures Job that God is attentive to the cries of the afflicted. Elihu begins his defense by saying, “Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, but gives justice to the oppressed” (Job 36:5-6).

Elihu then begins to reveal where the righteous should be dwelling. “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; but they are on the throne with kings, for He has seated them forever, and they are exalted” (Job 36:7).

The righteous are on the throne with Kings and they are seated there forever and are exalted. This is the rightful place of those who have received the righteousness of the ransom , not the righteousness of themselves. “Seated with kings” is not the result of one’s own works. This must be sifted through the cross and seen as a New Testament reality. You know the words of Ephesians 2:5-6, “...made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” Romans 303


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5:17 echoes this sentiment, “…much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” The word reign ends itself to ruling over a kingdom. The Amplified even says, “reign as kings”. These promises and others like them have become often heard phrases that have been diminished by our own experiences instead of regarded with the height of experience and reality to which they speak. It it is the desire of God for us to dwell “on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, and they are exalted.” The True Definition of Sin Look at these next verses. Elihu gives insights into the reasons we are not reigning and exalted, “And if they are bound in fetters, held in the cords of affliction, Then He tells them their work and their transgressions—that they have acted defiantly. He also opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.  But if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge” (Job 36:8-12).

Elihu establishes in chapter 36:7 that it is God’s intended purpose to cause us to reign as Kings. Then he says, “And if they are bound in fetters, held in the cords of affliction, then He tells them their work and their transgressions—that they have acted defiantly. He also opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from iniquity.”

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This argument of discipline and right behavior was the only argument and answer the three friends could offer. We are certain that Elihu is not repeating the same argument. Elihu goes on to say, If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge” (Job 36:11-12).  “

At first glance, this sounds identical with the arguments offered by the three friends. It appears that Elihu is saying the exact same thing. Essentially this is a true statement because the wages of sin is death. The scripture is clear on this subject as we noted above. However, we know that Elihu is not saying this in the same way as the three friends. If so, he would be contradicting his own existence. Is this to mean that every time we are in affliction it is because we committed a sin? This is a very delicate question and must be answered by revelation in the context of the totality of the work of redemption. It is a question that cannot be answered in just a few words. It is important to mention that Paul clearly says in Romans 5:12 that death (the results of sin) came through one man’s sin and that sin and death spread to all men. In Romans 6, Paul brings up the point that you are slaves to whom you obey. Your master is either sin which leads to death or obedience which leads to righteousness. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

He goes on to say that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ. 305


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“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

James teaches us that when we sin we are drawn away by lust. Lust gives birth to sin and then sin results in death. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).

The word desires translated in the NKJ is the word lusts. Lusts are desires born of your own works outside dependence upon the promises. There are desires born of the Spirit and desires born of lust. Just in case there is any doubt, let me state unequivocally that grace does not make sin of no consequence. So many interpret the message of grace as a license to sin. On the contrary, grace is the only thing that can end sin. It is the abundance of grace that brings the gift of righteousness that yields the fruit of holiness. There is no holiness without the gift of righteousness and there is not righteousness without grace. We will say a but more about this later. Nonetheless, if you think that grace gives you free reign to sin then death will ever present in your life no matter how much you think you understand grace. It sounds like I just put the weight of sin back on you. It seems as though sin is the root cause of all the issues that arise in our lives. The scripture is adamant that the outcome of sin is death. However, knowing the Bible’s stance on sin does not give us the right to point out particular sins in people’s lives to prove why things are wrong in their lives. The wrath of the Spirit was upon the three friends when they chose this route. To accurately address this question, we must first have a broader view of the word “sin”. It has lost its true meaning because of religious 306


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teachings today. The word is joked about in the world and reduced to a series of right and wrong behaviors as determined by certain religious cultures. You know the words that start or end most explanations are, “That’s a sin, “ “That’s not a sin” or “Well, that use to be a sin but now it’s not a sin.” Sin is viewed by religion and the world as a violation of certain behaviors. Those behaviors deemed sin is up to the interpretation of the various cultures with which they reside. The Holy Spirit is after something much greater than individual sins here and there. He wants our entire desires, ambitions and purposes to be led by the Spirit. Everything in us is to have its origin and energy embedded in the truth of “faith in Christ”. Please remember how we described being led by the Spirit earlier. It is total dependence upon the life of Christ that is given to us as a gift. The life of Christ brought to bear for every need and situation of life. If you turn to his life in you instead of dependence upon your obedience or your commitment then you are led by the Spirit. Chapter 33 and chapter 36 assert that the root or culprit of bondage is our own purposes and works. Once again, Elihu relates pain and affliction to their own works and then offers the “opening of the ears” as the answer. He speaks of “opening the ears” to discipline. The word discipline used here means just that... “discipline” or “correction”. Before we default in our thinking to how disciplined we must be to walk in blessing consider the following. We have already established that the foundation in which Elihu is speaking to Job is graciousness and favor through the ransom that has been given for him. The “opening of the ears” referred to here is the message of the ransom. This is to, again, foreshadow the hearing of Faith in Christ that would be delivered to the church. The command to return from iniquity was accomplished by Jesus and can only be realized by our faith in him. Let it be said, every Old Testament scripture must be filtered through the work of the Cross. If you fail to do this, you will be led astray and return to your own works. 307


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Once again Elihu declares that man’s own works outside of the hearing of faith will ultimately lead to transgression and bondage. In other words, activity that is rooted in our own works and not from the inspiration of what God has made alive and real to us through the hearing of faith. We know that the discipline he is speaking of cannot be anything of our own righteousness because earlier he renounced that argument of the three friends with great intensity. Obedience to Grace not to the Law To understand the New Testament reality that is being offered in this text, we must go again to the Romans 6. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).

In Romans 6, Paul, like Elihu, declares that if you yield your members to sin the resulting consequence is the realm of death. He, however, responds in verse 18 with the notion of obedience from the heart to the doctrine that he delivered will make us free from sin. At first glance, it appears Paul is saying the same thing as the Old Testament law just as it appeared Elihu was saying the same thing as the three friends. It seems as though they are saying, “if you sin you die, so obey so you can live.” However, Elihu is speaking from the foundation of graciousness and favor due to the ransom. Likewise, Paul is speaking about obeying the doctrine of Romans 6 not the doctine of obtaining your own righteiousness.

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In Romans 6, Paul discusses this doctrine we are to obey. It is a detailed discussion about being nailed to the cross with Christ and how our old nature and the body of sin is crucified with Him. Paul states that we are no longer under the dominion of sin (not because we put up an effort to fight against the Law). Paul proclaims that our ability to obey comes through faith in Christ and the work He accomplished for us on the cross. We are to follow the doctrine of faith in Christ which is not trying to be or do right through our own works. This is a doctrine that proclaims that we are to have faith in Jesus’ obedience so that His life would spring forth in us. Paul was not asking us to obey the rules, stop sinning and change our ways. He was asking us to obey the gospel of faith in Christ. One obeys the Gospel of Christ by believing it! Our belief will end sin’s dominion over us. Likewise, Elihu was not demanding more righteous behavior from Job so these terrible things would not happen to him. He was telling him to stop defending his own righteousness and depend fully upon the grace and favor that has been provided by the ransom. This concept of adversity and affliction coming to us because we have sinned needs a great deal more attention. We have introduced the reality of the “opening of the ears” and the “hearing of faith”. Also, we have discussed the intrinsic iniquity of going our own way that was endured and destroyed by Jesus. I trust that you can see going our own way and pursuing our own purposes must be seen with much greater insight than overt sin that is easily recognizable. As I said earlier, it is easy to see why those who engage in obvious debauchery like sex, drugs, illegal activity, etc. end up with their “souls drawing near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.” We have also mentioned those who are trying our best to do what is right and end up with a similar lot. This is the very essence of the cries of Job under his own righteousness. Before we leave Job 36, let’s look at one more reference to the “Opening of the Ears”. 309


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“He delivers the poor in their affliction, and opens their ears in oppression. Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint; and what is set on your table would be full of richness” (Job 36:15-16).

We have thoroughly established the New Testament foreshadowing of what is meant by “opens their ears”. Before we move forward in this thought, simply look at this scripture in and of itself before we place it in its context. Remember, earlier when we looked at various places in Job where promises were hidden both in the blessings and curses out of the mouth of the law. We viewed this magnificent promise out of the mouth of the Spirit as a result of receiving the hearing of faith. We saw it as a “Yes and Amen,” finished-work promise given to us by the sacrifice of Christ. Now, let us look again at this scripture in the Amplifed and view it in the context in which it was written. “He delivers the afflicted in their affliction and opens their ears [to His voice] in adversity. Indeed, God would have allured you out of the mouth of distress into a broad place where there is no situation of perplexity or privation; and that which would be set on your table would be full of fatness.”

Let’s establish an important context of this promise. Elihu speaks to Job, “Indeed He would have brought you out...” Elihu says that God would have delivered Job through the “opening of the ear” to God’s gracious favor but Job chose to stand on his own righteousness. He tried with all his might to argue the case to justify himself. Elihu clearly has stated the prerequisite for deliverance from all evil in chapter 33: “Then He is gracious to him, and says, Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom...” Instead of man offering his own works, God wants to hear this following assessment of man’s own righteousness: 310


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“Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, and it did not profit me.’ He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, and his life shall see the light” (Job 33:27-28)

Elihu states that God would have brought Job out of distress, into a broad place where there is no restraint, perplexity or privation. This would have been the result would have laid down his own works and turned to the ransom for his deliverance. Judgment Due the Wicked Look at what is said in the very next verses. This is a curious, if not perplexing, set of statements. Elihu, after declaring this wonderful promise as to what God would have done for Job, he goes on to say: “But you are filled with the judgment due the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you. Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow; for a large ransom would not help you avoid it. Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress? Do not desire the night, When people are cut off in their place. Take heed, do not turn to iniquity, For you have chosen this rather than affliction” (Job 36:17-21).

This section of Job can get a bit thick in its explanation. I toyed with the idea of simply omitting this portion but I think it holds some valuable truth. The next few pages may not be an easy read. Hey, let’s be frank, the book of Job is not an easy read. Nonetheless, I think we can draw out some important concepts. I thought it worthy of inclusion. I must tell you I had to read and meditate and read and meditate again and again. I then had to pray over it a great deal and read and meditate some more. I rifled through numerous translations of these 311


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verses before any cohesive light began to emerge. I can tell you there were some pretty divergent translations in the way this was expressed but the overall interpretation that evolved was fairly consistent. Before we unravel these perplexing verses, let us reiterate the context. I am not going to list the entire chapter again here but it might be a good idea to go back and read chapter 36 from the beginning up to verse 17. Elihu is defending God against the conclusions drawn by Job regarding there being no difference if you are righteous or wicked. He then says that God will exalt the righteous, and if they are bound, he will show them how they have been in their own works. He will open their ears and turn them from iniquity. This will lead to spending our days in prosperity and our years in pleasure. Elihu says that God delivers the poor and opens their ears in oppression. Finally, he offers the great promise that we have just discussed, “Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, Into a broad place where there is no restraint; and what is set on your table would be full of richness” (Job 36:16)

Then he turns to Job and relates this perplexing saying, “But you are filled with the judgment due the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you” (Job 36:17).

I am going to offer several different translations to verse 17 in hopes of gaining a true understanding of what Elihu is saying to Job. Allow me to get a bit extreme with the teacher element. I know going through a bunch of translations may not be the proverbial “cup of tea” for some of readers, but give it a chance. It might not prove as painful as you think. It could actually be quite rewarding and, in some cases, like finding buried treasure. Some truths are simply hidden out of sight when only viewed in the expressions of a bygone period like the King 312


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James English. Likewise, some have defaulted to only using paraphrased modern language translations which can miss the boat entirely. As with any translation, additional light can be shed on a perplexing scripture when viewed from varying angles. The following is the way most translations relate to Job 36:17:

• • • •

But thou art full of the judgment of the wicked: Judgment and justice take hold on thee. (American Standard Version) But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked; judgment and justice take hold on thee. (21st Century KJV) But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you. (NIV) But you are given the judgment evil people deserve. A fair judgment will be upheld. (God’s Word Translation)

These all give the same basic conclusion. Now, take notice of these next translations: •

But now you are preoccupied with the judgment due the wicked, judgment and justice take hold of you. (New English Translation) • “But you are obsessed with the case of the wicked; judgment and justice seize you. (New Revised Standard Version) • You are overly concerned about the case of the wicked;  justice will be upheld in it. (Common English Bible)

The first four translations very clearly state that Job is experiencing the judgment due or deserved by the wicked and justice is having its way. The next three translations emphasize the fact that Job is so obsessed with the fact that the wicked are not getting their just punishment while he who is upright is being punished. Either way, there is no doubt that the judgment is upon Job. I want to target the words, “thou art full of 313


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the judgment of the wicked”, “thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked”, “you are laden with the judgment due the wicked” and the most overt and modern translation, “you are given the judgment evil people deserve”. I am sure the prophetic nature of these verses is coming right off the page to you. Is this not the entire work of the cross stated in one sentence? Is this not the thesis statement of the entire book of Job? Job foreshadowed Christ’s perfection under the law representing man’s own righteousness. Jesus then became sin because man could never keep the law in his own works. Jesus is judged as a transgressor even though he did not sin. He was given the judgment due the wicked. So what of the other translations? Take a look at the Expanded Bible, which can be helpful in many instances, “But now you are ·being punished like [obsessed/filled with the case of ] the wicked; you are getting justice [L judgment and justice hold on tight to you]. Be careful! ·Don’t be led away from God by riches [L …lest anger seduce you by abundance].”

The Expanded Bible beautifully combines these two concepts. It says that Job is experiencing the punishment due the wicked while being obsessed with how the wicked are not punished. We know that we can receive instruction and guidance from these depicted situations and experiences. This preoccupation with the wicked not getting their just reward is just one example. Go to this truth when you begin to feel the injustice of seeing those who are not as dedicated to Christ as you are prospering more than you. Receive both the instruction that this is not a mindset that is going to bring life and deliverance. Then, take the knowledge that Jesus bore this emotion and pain in feeling this injustice so you can receive freedom from its influence. There are multitudes of issues brought forth in Job that can be used for instruction in particular issues in our lives. This is the 314


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way Job has been taught for centuries. However, we cannot omit the overriding canopy that Job foreshadows Jesus bearing all of these things so that we could be empowered by the Spirit to fulfill these instructions. If you simply view them as behaviors that you must avoid, then you are still under your own works and Job becomes nothing but a useless book of death. Keep this reality utmost in your thinking as we move through this segment of scripture. Beginning with verse 18 in chapter 36, let us look at this selection again in the New King James. The first half of verse 18 says, “Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow…” Other translations include the notion of Job’s anger but omit “lest He take you away with one blow.” There are more differing expressions of this verse than the previous verse. Several translations omit completely this concept of wrath altogether and only relate the last half of verse 18, “For a large ransom would not help you avoid it.” The New American Standard is one of the most trusted translations and here is how it expresses this section of Job. “But you were full of judgment on the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you. Beware that wrath does not entice you to scoffing; And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. Will your riches keep you from distress, or all the forces of your strength? Do not long for the night, When people vanish in their place. Be careful, do not turn to evil, For you have preferred this to affliction” (Job 36:17-21).

Elihu instructs Job to not allow his anger towards his current state cause him to scoff at God. When one scoffs they are showing scorn or derision. Scoffing is usually associated with sarcasm and contempt. This attitude is seen towards God when people are pushed to their absolute breaking point. It becomes obvious that Job was reflecting this demeanor. This is an inevitable end for all who are depending on 315


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their own efforts to be blessed by God. Even if they will not voice these thoughts and feelings, they will most certainly entertain these thoughts and emotions in times of great pressure. These are the realities and temptations of our humanity that had to be experienced by our Savior so the power of these places can be destroyed. Elihu then says, “And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. Will your riches keep you from distress, or all the forces of your strength?” (Job 36:18).

Some translations refer to the ransom in the same vein as a bribe. The notion is dependence upon wealth to deliver him. Other translations add: EXB: don’t let ·much money [a big ransom/bribe] turn you away. CEV: Your reputation and riches cannot protect you from distress. This is followed by the phrase “or all the forces of your strength?” It is clear that Elihu is continuing to judge all that man can depend upon in his own effort. The next phrase is, “Do not long for the night, when people vanish in their place.” This alludes to turning to things done in darkness for relief. We are most vulnerable when things are difficult and turn to the lusts of the flesh. This only results in more adversity. “People vanish in their place” is a reference to what happens when turning to darkness. Other translations describe it this way: GNV: Be not careful in the night, how he destroyeth the people out of their place.

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EXB: Don’t ·wish [pant; long] for the night when people are taken from their homes. This whole thought described in verses 17-21 is then concluded with: “Be careful, do not turn to evil, For you have preferred this to affliction. The word “evil” here is translated as “iniquity” in the King James Version. It is defined as “trouble, wickedness, sorrow or trouble of iniquity.” The admonition is do not turn to iniquity which we have gone to great lengths to examine which means to turn to your own way. Going our own way is anything in our own effort, strength and righteousness. This was all described in the scriptures above. It was this iniquity that was laid upon him. We are seeing the judgment of this iniquity placed upon him. Elihu goes on to say, “For you have preferred this to affliction.” The evil or iniquity that has been exercised by Job is dependence upon his own righteousness and the justification of himself rather than God. He blames God with injustice and not hearing the cry of the righteous. The Amplified Bible expresses the above verse this way, “For you have chosen this [the vice of complaining against God] rather than [learning from] affliction.” The Classic Amplified replaces “learning from” with “rather than [submission in] affliction.” When trouble comes, we cannot turn to more spiritual demands and dependence upon ourselves. Neither can we complain and grumble at the hardships we face. It will all lead to expressing the lust of our flesh. Instead, we allow our own ability to be put to death so we can receive His life. This statement will gain far greater understanding as your read the chapter “Carry His Death”. We will gain significant insight into learning or submission in affliction. Please remember earlier in chapter 33 when Elihu described the pain of those who were in their own works and purposes. What was the

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remedy he proposed? A turning completely and wholly to acknowledging our own iniquity and then depending fully upon the gracious favor of the ransom. This is submission. Surrender and submission is what we are to learn from the trouble and adversity that comes from going our own way. The topic of the “chastening of the Lord” will be extensively explored in the last chapters. I will address Elihu’s use of the term Chastened in chapter 33 verse 19, which says, “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed…” We will also understand the nature of these chastisements mentioned in Job 36:18, some translations refer to the horrors that beset job as chastisements. ASV: For let not wrath stir thee up against chastisements. AMPC: For let not wrath entice you into scorning chastisements. Isaiah 53:5 says, The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, (NASB) Virtually every translation available uses the word “chastening” or “chastisement” in Isaiah 53. What are we to do with the fact that Isaiah emphatically says that “the chastisement for our peace or well being was upon him”; yet Hebrews says the Lord chastens every son? This is a topic of great importance that I am sure has triggered your interest. We will talk in greater detail about the chastening of the Lord and submission in affliction instead of frustration, anger and dependence upon ourselves towards the conclusion of this book. Ok... as I warned you, the previous section took a bit of thinking. I trust you gleaned some positive truth from the things discussed. It may be one of those sections that you have to read a few times and do a little meditating.

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My righteousness is more than God’s? I know we skipped over Chapter 35. I paired Chapter 33 and 36 because they are obviously related. In chapter 35 I found Elihu’s statements to be curious and a bit of a riddle. I did not understand the point that was being made by Elihu. This alone alerted me to the possibility that something valuable was laying unseen in this chapter. “Do you think this is right? Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s? For you say, ‘What advantage will it be to You? What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?’ “ (Job 35:3 KJV).

We see here that Elihu has more to say in confronting man’s own righteousness in Job. Job claims that it makes no difference if you are upright or a sinner. Elihu continues in verse 4, “I will answer you, and your companions with you.” Elihu then begins to relate two depictions of man that are seemingly unrelated. Elihu compares them to give us a deeper understanding of Job’s misconceptions of God. “If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, and your righteousness a son of man” (Job 35:6-8).

Job has consistently argued that his uprightness should have yielded a different response from God. Elihu is quick to point out that Job’s own righteousness makes no difference to God. It does not help or hurt him. Likewise, if man is wicked it affects man not God. Then, Job relates two different plights of man.

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“Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; they cry out for help because of the arm of the mighty. But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ ” (Job 35:9-11).

He says that people cry out because of their oppressors but not to God who is their maker. This is a God who would give them a song or hope in darkness and would bestow wisdom and illumination in the night. He goes on to say, “There they cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.” (Job 35:12).

Elihu says that God will not answer these cries. Why? Look at the next verse: Surely God will not listen to empty talk, Nor will the Almighty regard it” (Job 35:13). “

What could be so offensive to God that he turns away from such cries? The Amplified Classic adds a much needed dimension to these statements. Surely God will refuse to answer [the cry which is] vanity (vain and empty—instead of abiding trust); neither will the Almighty regard it” (35:13 Amplifed Classic). “

We have all seen people who have cried out to God in vain with frustration and anger. Unbearable situations cause them to cry out at God not to God. Vain cries for help, “God, why don’t you do something” or “why don’t you help me.” The feeling is that God has put them in these 320


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places and anger rises as a result. These are not cries of humility nor do they even contain a trace of faith or desire for relationship. These cries cannot be regarded. Let it be said, this is not to be confused with the cries of someone coming to the end of themselves that would result in an open door for God to pick up where our strength ends. For we know when we quit he begins. A sincere cry of one who is at the end of their rope will always be mercifully regarded by God. Now Elihu compares this attitude just displayed with Job’s demeanor. The New American Standard states this verse in a very clear, concise way: How much less when you say you do not behold Him, the case is before Him, and you must wait for Him! “And now, because He has not visited in His anger, nor has He acknowledged transgression well…” (Job 35:14 NASB).

Elihu is saying that Job says he cannot see God even though Job says he is upright in his own righteousness. Job stands before God in his own righteousness as if he is “tapping his foot” waiting on God to respond to his deserving good behavior and to punish the evildoers. Job seems to be saying, “Why must you make me wait on you? I have done my part. I have brought forth my case. Why don’t you punish the wicked and deliver me?” Elihu’s words are incredulous in their tone, “How much less when you say you do not behold Him, the case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!” He is amazed at the audacity of Job’s own righteousness. The Amplified Bible adds a bit of texture. “But now because God has not [speedily] punished in His anger and seems to be unaware of the wrong and oppression [of which a person is guilty], to Job, “ (Job 35:14 Amplifed).

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Elihu then responds to Jobs self righteous stand. “Job uselessly opens his mouth and multiplies words without knowledge [drawing the worthless conclusion that the righteous have no more advantage than the wicked]” (Job 35:16).

After illustrating the vain cries of those above Elihu contends that God can respond to neither. He begins his response in verse 14 with the phrase, “How much less when you,” and then describes Job’s wrong perspective as is seen in the preceding verses. Elihu, symbolizing the New Testament Spirit of God declares that coming to God on the basis of your own righteousness for personal deliverance. Or wanting to see judgment upon the wicked is no different from the empty vain cries of those who do not know God at all. Elihu says that these cries of self-reliance are just as empty. God Now Speaks Towards the end of chapter 36 and virtually all of chapter 37 Elihu begins to prepare the way for God Himself to speak directly to Job. After defending God against the obvious misconceptions and wrong conclusions that results from depending on one’s own righteousness and ability, Elihu begins to tell of the majesty of God. “Behold, God is exalted by His power; who teaches like Him? Who has assigned Him His way, Or who has said, ‘You have done wrong?’ “ (Job 36:22-23). “For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist,  which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man” (Job 36:27-28).|

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Chapter 37 is a continuation of the greatness and majesty of God in contrast to man’s own wisdom and might. If you ever decide to study Job for yourself, you will notice the three friends spoke some of this same verbiage to Job. The difference is the three friends spoke of the greatness of God in the spirit of condemnation and that Job was a wretched sinner. Whereas, Elihu speaks of the greatness of God to show the disparity between His majesty and man’s own wisdom. After Elihu prepares the way for God Himself, He (God) then speaks to Job: “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?  Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me” (Job 38:1-3).

These first words from the mouth of God set the stage and context for what is to follow. Now the final judgment of the law that was laid upon Jesus is foreshadowed as God Himself judges the self righteousness of the law. Once again, I repeat the foundation, Job is foreshadowing Christ taking the judgment of all of man’s own works under the law. Take special notice of the term “like a man”. Jesus was the Son of Man, all God and all Man. He was made like us in every way. He was born of a woman under the law. He is now judged as a man and has become man’s own wisdom, righteousness and all man could be and do in his own works and ability. This is the judgment of God upon man: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7). 323


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From chapter 38 all the way until the very last chapter, God offers an enumerable litany of His characteristics that are far beyond man’s wisdom and reasoning. “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?” (Job 38:12-13). “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That an abundance of water may cover you? Can you send out lightning, that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are!’? Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?” (Job 38:34-36). “Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder?” (Job 39:19). “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high?” (Job 39:26-27).

God presents analogies of His creation and created beings that know their strength, ability and power comes from their Creator. They bring glory to the God, their Creator, simply by being who they were created to be. Job representing the pride and self-righteousness of mankind stole God’s glory for himself when he flaunted his blamelessness. God returns to shout His glory. The glory that can rightfully be Job’s if he recognizes His power cannot be in his own works. Jesus became the connection between the Father and us by tearing the veil. We have not only intimate communion but are infused with God’s power and glory to soar and have dominion. When we persist to have victory in our strength, we forfeit why we were created. 324


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These are just a few of the virtually hundreds of examples of God’s words to Job. There are four consecutive chapters dedicated to this “education” of Job. It is quite a grand list and extremely poetic. I encourage you to read them at your leisure in the context that has been established. What will become apparent in God’s words to Job is He, like Elihu, never one time accuses Job of any sin except that of Job’s own wisdom. It is as if God now pauses and takes a breath to re-establish why He is saying all these things to Job. “Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: ‘Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it’ ” (Job 40:1-2).

Job now has a completely different spirit about him. His own righteousness has been judged by the Spirit and now he is seeing and hearing God for himself. Job now responds, “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further” (Job 40:4-5_

The voice of man’s own righteousness has been judged and silenced. Then God proceeds to finish the final judgment upon man’s wisdom, “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me:  “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:6-8). “Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?  Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty.  Disperse the rage of your 325


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wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place” (Job 40:9-12).

He continues through the end of the chapter with these types of sayings completing the judgment of man’s own wisdom and righteousness. Then in chapter 42:1-3 in the Amplified, Job speaks: “Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘I know that You can do all things, And that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained. [You said to me] Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know’ ” (Job 42:1-3 Amplified).

I chose the Amplified Bible for this selection because it adds the phrase “[You said to me] ] ‘Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Job is recounting what God has said to him instead of justifying himself and defending his own uprightness he responds, “Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand…” Job clearly states his change of heart and perspective, “Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.  Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:4-6).

Job says, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.” Job had only heard of God but now he clearly sees Him for himself. Even though blameless under the law, Job compares the vast difference to what he knew to what he now knows. Compared to truly 326


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seeing God, he describes his old life as one who had only heard of or about God. When we are under the law in our own works and righteousness, we cannot possibly know the true depth of God. This is only accomplished by the Spirit and being set free from the law. This, again, brings to mind the words in Philippians. “…and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” (Philipians 3:9-10).

It is clear that you cannot truly know God through your own works. To know Him and the power of His resurrection only comes through faith in Christ and total dependence upon his life in us. Job says I have heard of you by the “hearing of the ear”. This reference is not in any way to be confused with the opening of the ear discussed earlier. One can hear over and over without the ear ever being opened. One can see over and over without the eyes of understanding being opened. Such is the case with those under the law. Isaiah 6:9 states, And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Jesus speaks of this same thing to those under the law as He quotes in Matthew from Isaiah 6: “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive;  For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should 327


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heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:13-14).

Repentance Foreshadowed Job has seen with the eyes of understanding and his ears have been opened. As a result he now declares, Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Instead of justifying himself and defending himself with claims of his own uprightness, he now states “I abhor myself ”. When we grasp the righteousness that is given to us as a gift through faith in Christ, we will hate our own works and the work of our flesh. Jesus put to death the body of sin. He put to death our own ways and works in his own flesh. Hating our own works can lead us to constantly involve Jesus in every aspect, iota, detail of our existence. Recognizing our futility leads us to His works that correspond to faith in Christ. Hating our works leads to His works motivated by faith. We are doing, but not in ourselves. We are planning, plotting and preparing outside of our flesh and in the Spirit. This becomes an expression of “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). Verse 22 says this: “You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works.” Our own works are made dead because thier fruition lies in our ability to get it done. For many, this leads them to great success but the penalty of their own strivings will be sweat, toil and trouble. The works motivated by faith in Christ will always bring great manifestations of His power without toil because the faith for their outcome is embedded in the Father’s ability and the cry of His son, “It is finished.” It is a completed work because the author and finisher of our faith has declared it perfect or complete. The next phrase says Job “repents in dust and ashes.” Job foreshadows Christ as a man in repentance. Likewise, Jesus became sin 328


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in everything that man could do or represent and he experienced repentance for all of mankind. Some may say, “you are trying to say in Job’s repentance we are supposed to see the repentance of Christ? You are saying Jesus had to repent? I can’t wrap my head around that concept.” If Jesus did not repent on our behalf then our repentance is still under the law and means nothing. He who became wholly man and became every sin that man could conceive past, present and future had to repent as a man for us. Though he was sinless He became our sin. It was for these sins that repentance takes place. In Job we see the judgment of man’s own righteousness becoming complete and repentance taking place. Job 42:7 goes on to say: “And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:7).

The judgment is completed upon Job, and Job repents of his own righteousness. God then turns to the law and says, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right…” The three friends (law of commandments) condemned Job incessantly. The only reason they could give Job for his calamity was because of his many sins. Their only remedy for his deliverance was righteous, upright behavior which God demands as a prerequisite for His blessing. To this, God in His wrath says, “for you have not spoken of Me what is right.” God tells the three friends, “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal 329


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with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:8).

Now, God asks for the blood sacrifice symbolizing the blood of Christ. Once offered God says, “My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him…” Once the sacrifice is made, Job prays for those who have judged him. Remember at the beginning when we asked the question, “Who crucified Jesus?” Was it the sinners or was it those of the religious order? It was those who believed in and adhered to the law who judged and crucified Christ. What did Jesus say when his sacrifice was reaching its finality? He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:24) Job praying for the three friends who have just “crucified” him in a figurative sense, is foreshadowing the prayer of Christ for those who judged him. This is the prayer for all of mankind as Jesus died for us. The Father says, “For I will accept him.” After the judgment was complete upon Job, God proclaims that He will accept him (Job) for the three friends. God is accepting the sacrifice of Christ for all who have been under the law. We are no longer under our own works to accomplish anything to please God. The sacrifice of Christ has been accepted for this demand. Hebrews says this in regards to His sacrifice and the prayer God accepts on our behalf, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. God says, “For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly” (Hebrews 7:25).

The Father is accepting the work of Christ so that all that was done in our works and strength is not judged and condemned according to our folly. He will then open our ears to faith in Christ so that we are 330


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no longer moving in our own ways but rather the ways of the Spirit. This will result in holiness unto life. Job 42:9 states, So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job. The Lord had accepted Job. The judgment is complete. Other translations say, the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. Still others say, the Lord accepted the face of Job or literally lifted up the face of Job. I think this reference to the face of Job is vitally significant. Look at this verse in 2nd Corinthians. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” ( 2nd Corinthians 3:18).

Jesus who was born under the law and kept every inch of the law for us. In His death and resurrection, Jesus, fully human, experienced the unveiling of His face from the law unto the Spirit as our forerunner. He did it for us so that we could embrace and possess this promise of 2 Corinthians. He was the first born of many brethren. This reference to accepting or lifting up the face of Job was first done in Christ so that we could all walk before Him with our faces “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.” So that we could now be “transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” Every step that we take as men and women in this life from sinner to salvation was first experienced and pioneered by Christ. Not by our own works or effort, but rather by “the Spirit of the Lord.” This is the depiction of the law ending and the Spirit showing us the true face of God so that we can be changed into that same image by His Spirit.

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Restoration As the judgment is completed we now see resurrection life begin to emerge. “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

The Lord “restored Job’s losses”. Everything that had been lost is restored. The King James says, the Lord “turned the captivity of Job”. All that was taken is now restored. It is said that all of this took place “when he prayed for his friends”. I have heard others take this phrase and make a doctrine out of its inference. If you are in bondage, go and pray for someone else and your bondage will be broken. This is a beautiful concept and may very well be true in some instances. However, remember we spoke earlier about the misuse of taking a wonderful spirit breathed truth that may be relevant for a certain time and need. Just because it yielded a specific result at that time, we cannot make it a religious practice that is the key to every need. Praying for others is a manifestation of the love of God in our lives. It is not the magic pill or silver bullet that solves all your problems. If we consider this a “cause and effect” action, praying for others will become a dead work. What is the significance of praying for your friends in the light of Job’s redemption restored only afterwards? This is to depict that the judgment is complete and the Lord has accepted Job. The three friends are now restored by the prayer of Job because God has accepted him. Likewise, in whatever we have experienced, God wishes to bring salvation to the utmost because Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us. The Father has accepted Christ and accepted His intercession for us. There is no difference or demarcation between us and Christ. We are one with him. Job 42:11 says, “Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Indeed, as if to say, God restored what Job had lost but indeed he doubled his fortune. It is clear the scripture wants us to know that when we experience loss,

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the death of Jesus both restores and adds even more than before. This is the “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” spoken in Ephesians 3:20. We are talking about abundance in every area of life not just possessions. The next verses states, “Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him.” “Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold” (Job 42:11). Verse 13 adds, “He also had seven sons and three daughters.  And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch” (Job 42:13).

One may think, Job lost some of his children. How could adding more children ever replace those that are lost. I know the Father heals these places and restores these broken places. I know that He does if we will believe and reach for this place that was conquered by the death of Christ. “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys” (Job 42:12).

Of course, we discussed the beauty of our latter days being more blessed than the former earlier in the promises of Job. This promise is placed here to show the blessing of resurrection life. When the redemp

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tive work was completed resurrection life emerged at every corner. “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” This should be our expectation no matter our age. The last few verses of Job state, “

He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch.  In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers” (Job 42:13-15).

Whatever was lost was restored and twice as much added. I think it important to note “…and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.” Even though Job lost everything, he was restored to the point that he was able to leave an inheritance to his children. It is total restoration to come back from total depravity to the point where you can still leave an inheritance to your children. “After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations.  So Job died, old and full of days” (Job 42:16).

Once this event took place in Job’s life and the progression from self-righteousness to dependence on God was complete, he reigned in life until he died. Job received the promise that was made to him by Elihu in Job 36:11, “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity ,and their years in pleasures.” Now his obedience is coming from the Spirit and not from his own righteousness. He has received the gracious favor of God through the ransom.

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James weighs in on Job As Job ends in these statements of victory, I feel it necessary to address the only New Testament reference to the book of Job. James briefly addresses Job. “As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:10-11 NASB).

James addresses the outcome of the story of Job and as we discuss the restoration of Job I think it appropriate to examine James reference to Job. The context of this verse in James is that of patience and endurance. In the previous verses he writes, Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.  Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (James 5:7-9 NASB)  “

James is using Job as an instructional example of endurance. We have mentioned the fact that we can take things from Job and use them as instructional tools. In other words, phrases like “don’t have this attitude” or “this is not the right way to think” are certainly aspects in Job that are valid for instruction. However, if we do this, then we must also place these things in the filter of the work of the cross. Any

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instructional truth that we embrace has to be done in the context of the cross. Otherwise, it will be dead instruction that will put us back under our own works. Upon closer examination of James reference to Job, I find it interesting that he uses the phrase, “You have heard of the endurance of Job.” This rings of a tale of folklore much like Job is viewed today. People speak of the patience of Job because that is the tradition that has been handed down I can only surmise that this folklore was also in the day of James that had been handed down from previous generations. Think about it for a moment. How could Job possibly be understood by a generation prior to the coming of Christ. Speculation of the meaning of Job was no doubt as rampant as it is today if not more so. Conclusions regarding Job’s patience is just about the only thing one could derive from his experience. However, I ask you, was Job patient? Was his responses of those of a New Testament endurance? The word for endurance used here is hypomon. It is defined by Strong’s as follows: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:—enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). Was Job an example of cheerful, hopeful endurance? Job completely lost all hope and the expressions of his hopelessness was irrefutably descriptive. For James to offer Job as an example of endurance as it is defined by hypomon just does not seem to make sense. Even though Job is not an example of the maturity or perfection of patience and endurance, there is validity to the notion that Job was indeed patient. He was not patient in the “perfect” sense, but rather in the human sense. Job, being a type of Christ and representing the entirety of the human experience, demonstrates the human ebb and flow of our track to true patience. As you read through Job and hear all of his complaints, perplexity and hopelessness, there was something deep inside of him that knew God was still his answer. This is the human experience until patience has its perfect work. Job would voice this every so often even in the midst of his complaint and confusion. 336


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This “knowing” caused him to continue to move towards God until his eyes were opened to the culprit of all of his pain, which was his own works and his own righteousness. This will always lead us to the truth. Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (ESV) Job represents Jesus dying to these things and putting to death our own way so we could be restored to resurrection life forever. James is offering Job as an example of restoration and life no matter where you find yourself now. So we come to the end of Job. Is Job still the mysterious book of the sovereignty of God? Is Job proof that God will put evil things on us to test us? Job is the most vivid description of the death of Jesus and what that death means to us every day and in every place of our lives. There is more to understand before I offer an impassioned conclusion to this amazing book of Job. How can we see the truth that is so finitely expressed in Job realized in the moment by moment of our everyday lives? These last few chapters show the New Testament work of the cross to its fullest that has been so demonstrably expressed in the book of Job.

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THIRTEEN

CARRY HIS DEATH So what do we do with this message of Job displaying the suffering of Christ? We see and understand the death of Jesus in so much greater depth and understanding through Job. How do we take this truth and embrace it in everything that could face us ? Is it only that we have someone who knows how we feel for the sake of empathy? Someone who can help us cope in the midst of misery? Or is there a greater salvation for us? I want to share with you the most important message you can ever hear. The cross of Christ is the foundation with which everything should be viewed. When I say the cross of Christ what comes to my mind is how clicheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; this phrase has become in our church culture. We must take the cross of Christ out of the religious clicheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. We must take it out of the mundane catch phrase that has lost all power and impact and bring it into the revelatory so it emits power to revolutionize our lives. 338


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The cross of Christ is a simple concept. Jesus died for us. He was raised for us and we were raised together with him that we may have His life. The simplicity of faith in Christ. Yet, the depth of the cross and the dimension of its revelation is fathomless and in many ways has escaped our understanding. We have been prevented from experiencing the deliverance and power that is inherent in the intimate revelation of the cross. So what I wish to do is express the dimensions of the cross that has become so real to me. The depth of the cross as it relates to the most finite aspects of our humanity. Or as Alex Montgomery always says, “How do we take our position in Christ and bring it into our condition.” For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect” ( 1st Corinthians 1:17) “

The Amplified Classic Bible says it this way, “For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).”

This is an amazing statement by the Apostle Paul. The most powerful thing in all of time and creation is the work of the cross. Yet, to minimize the cross to the wisdom of words unto religious cliche’ empties it of its power. Is it not amazing and extremely sobering that the most powerful truth in all of time can be brought to a place of vanity, fruitless, void of value and no effect? Should we not ask ourselves this question? Is the cross of Christ the power of God in our lives? Has it been rendered vain and to virtually no effect against the strongholds of our lives? This is not said in any 339


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spirit of indictment or condemnation. This is a real question that we must each answer for ourselves. I had to ask this question of myself and the answer was obviously no. I did not know the depth of the cross unto the power of God that frees from every bondage. We must shed light upon this question so that we can partake of all that Jesus death was intended for us. His death was for the purpose of destroying him who had the power of death. It was to deliver and completely set free all of us who have been held inbondage throughout the whole course of our lives. I will make the boldest of statements but I am supremely confident that it is unquestionably true. To the extent that we are still held in bondage is the extent that we do not truly understand the depth “To the extent that and dimension of His death for us. Again, this is not an indictment against we are still held in bondage is the extent us. This is an invitation to explore the fathomless depths of the cross of that we do not truly Christ and receive the complete freeunderstand the depth dom destined for our lives. This has and dimension of His become the quest of my life. death for us.” In 1st Corinthians 1:18 it goes on to say, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Verse 22:23 adds: “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness...” Let’s establish with certainty that if you believe in Jesus you are most certainly saved. You have eternal salvation no matter your level of understanding of the cross. Yet, I perceive this spirit of foolishness has crept into the church and into our lives unawares. What do I mean?  “

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) 340


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Understanding the depth of the work of the cross is the power of God. Yet, much of the preaching and teaching that we hear today is about character development. It centers on how we should act in this situation and how our attitude should be in various circumstances. It suggests we should be modifying our behavior to be more like Christ. You may ask, “What’s wrong with that?” Make no mistake. There can be value in these things. There can be great value in therapy and listening to those who have gained experience to help in various needs of our lives.I will not diminish anything that one has found that helps in even the smallest way to bring some kind of relief and progress to your life. That being said, no matter what you are trying to achieve or have achieved by this myriad of information offered today by both church and secular sources. The deliverance and freedom inherent in the cross of Christ will supersede all of these things and must be at the root of our all of our pursuit of freedom. If the revelation of the cross is at the foundation of our faith then all that we are led to do out of this foundation will result in true results. Any training, education, counseling, therapy, new ideas and discovery that emanate from the cross will have life and lasting freedom.

Is Jesus Somewhere in the Mix? No one who believes in Jesus would dare say that the cross of Christ is foolishness. Yet, by our actions and by what we depend upon may reveal a different story. Where do we turn when life gets immeasurably difficult and our prayers have not seemed to work? Is it a quest for deeper understanding of where the power of God originates? Or is it to the wisdom of men and the endless self-help ideologies that are at every corner. Do we still pray? Of course we continue to pray! We continue the course of practicing the Christianity that we have known. . Jesus is still smewhere in the mix. We hear phrases such as, “Christ 341


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centered” counseling or therapy etc. These things are all well and good. However, the question that come to mind is where is the real emphasis being placed? Where is the real trust and revelation? Have we gravitated to the wisdom of men unawares? Again, I am not against these things. I am a supporter of anything that a person can find help at any stage of their lives. Any education or counseling that can help you with a habit or addiction has merit. I just want us to keep reaching for a greater understanding of the depth of the cross. To keep reaching for the purpose of elevating beyond coping and behavior modification. God’s plan is not to cope “God’s plan is not and modify, but rather to crucify and to cope and modify resurrect. Having Jesus somewhere in but rather to crucify the mix is not the goal. Only you can answer the question in regards to what and resurrect.” level the wisdom of men (even Christian based wisdom of men) has gained the preeminence over the true depth of the revelation of Jesus death for us. Has the message of the cross, in terms of it being the prevailing power that you trust, become diminished with even the slightest trace of the spirit of foolishness? I see this in the eyes of people many times when they are expressing some kind of difficult issue. I begin to speak to them about how Jesus bore these things and it is His death that destroyed the power of what they are facing. I will notice their eyes cut away and they become a bit uncomfortable. Or they just glaze over with that look of, “I’ve heard all of that before.” I know they believe it from a religious perspective but not a vital relevance perspective. Yet, if you approach them with some kind of Christ based counseling they become more at ease. In most cases because they have tried faith in Christ and their strongholds did not move. So now they gravitate toward other things while all the while making sure they keep Jesus somewhere in the process. Just so you know what I am saying and what I am not saying. I am not saying that every deliverance in our lives has to be some kind of 342


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overt miracle of God that has no seeming connection to a practical solution. What I am saying is turn to the death of Jesus and your union with His death as the origin of every need of my life. What transpires from this point is from God whether it looks overtly spiritual to someone else is unimportant. Whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do is to be embraced. From this foundation of faith in the cross the Holy Spirit may very well lead you to some form of education, counseling or therapy for both mental and/or physical needs. It may very well be that you need some information to bring freedom to a particular area. You may also experience a miraculous deliverance that cannot be explained any other way than the touch of God. Both of these expressions emanate from the same place and both are miraculous. An example of this is a recent situation I experienced with an allergy issue. This situation had plagued me for quite some time. I would be frustrated by it but did not place a great deal of prayer attention to the problem. I finally had enough and began to go to God about this because I know he is my healer. Could God just instantly heal me of this issue and would that be best? After all, that’s the way it happened in the life of Christ. Yet, for whatever reason I just was not able to receive my freedom in this way at this time. So I began to believe that this issue was already experienced and thereby destroyed by the death of Jesus. I was led to a holistic doctor who after going through some examinations determined that I was experiencing some inflammation that was causing my body to react. There were some issues with my diet and the way my body was reacting to certain foods. He prescribed some supplements and some dietary changes. It worked beautifully and the issue was resolved as long as I stayed away from certain foods. You may say, “Well... that does not sound very miraculous Anyone could have experienced this solution. They didn’t necessarily need God for this to happen. I’m quite sure the guy has helped a bunch of people who didn’t know squat about the cross.” Just because it doesn’t 343


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seem miraculous or spiritual to someone else does not mean it is not God’s answer for you. It was the answer I needed and it came from God leading me, so it was miraculous to me! I know this is a simple example but I trust you understand my point. I Know You Have Heard it All Before The concept of the cross becoming foolishness to us unawares is a fragile progression I would implore you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if you have unknowingly slipped to this place. Have we slipped into trusting the wisdom of men (again, even Christian wisdom of men...actually more so in all likelihood) and have subsequently made what is the power of God... deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect). Some may say, “ David, I have heard of all of this many times before. I have heard the cross is the power of God all my life. I tried to depend on these things yet, as difficult as it is to admit, I must say that it did not work for me. I had to seek help in other areas. I never let go of God but I had to open myself up to the “wisdom of men” as you have described.” I totally understand this statement and I am certainly acquainted with these thoughts. We must understand that this is the plan of satanic strategies. The strategy is to persuade us to think that we understand the depth and revelatory dimension of the cross. However, when resistance persist and the cross does not seem to work. We gradually move away to place emphasis on other solutions. In so doing, we have moved away from the only thing that will bring complete freedom. Instead of moving away let us grasp and comprehend a new dimension of the cross until we experience what we absolutely know to be true. The Apostle Paul was the most educated religious leader of his time. Yet, he said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5,

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And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.   I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul states that he determined not to know anything but Jesus and Him crucified. In other words, he did this on purpose as a point of great emphasis. He would not allow himself to go in other directions to find answers no matter how stiff the resistance. Even though he was highly educated and could have easily been as the Greeks and viewed the message of the cross as foolishness. He knew if he did he would be moving away from the power that truly sets free and delivers. If we are not receiving the power unto total freedom, there must be more to be understood of the death of Jesus. We must move further into Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We cannot abandon its power by placing it somewhere in the mixed bag of our efforts to gain freedom. As we have stated, it must become the origin and catalyst of all of our movements. Every message we teach no matter its main objective should have as its foundation the cross of Christ. It should unveil our union with his death and resurrection. How we should act in our marriage. How we should act on our jobs. What our motivations should be in this or that situation. All of these things have to be anchored in a deep understanding of his death for us. If it is not then there will be no power to bring ultimate change and fulfillment. In virtually all of the writing of the Apostle Paul he would give instructions as to behavior that would be becoming to us as Christians. However, he did so only after establishing faith in Christ. He offered behaviors that should be the fruit of our faith in Christ not anything 345


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that would come from ourselves. If looking to the cross of Christ doesn’t seem to be working for us; we cannot be deceived into moving into the wisdom of men. Subsequently emptying the cross of the power that is latent within. We must reach for the highest revelation of the death of Jesus all the while knowing that more light is to be given to us. We will come to the place where we determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. Living the Cross...Moment by Moment Let us go to the revelation of the cross as it relates to where we live moment by moment. Let us move forward into the place where the cross of Christ is taken out of the religious ethereal realm. Job has shown us the most descriptive illumination of the death of Jesus. Now, let us take this death and carry it with us wherever we go. If we do, His life will be displayed in our mortal bodies. Some may say at this point, “I don’t know what you are talking about. How does this concept of the cross of Christ I’ve heard all my life have relevance where I live today.” Addressing how is death relates to every moment of our lives is going to be the focus and objective going forward. Think of the phrases, “the cross is the power of God” and “determining not to know anything but Jesus Christ and him crucified.” We wish to bring these things into revelatory, vital relevance to every facet of your life. So much so, that you will never face anything again outside of this truth being the central force of your prayers. Never face anything again whereby the cross has been rendered vain, fruitless and void of power. You will become so established and galvanized in these truths that the message of the cross will manifest as the power of God unto salvation for every need of your life both great and small. In my estimation the most powerful scriptures in all of the Bible displaying the reality of the death of Jesus in our daily needs is found 346


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in 2nd Corinthians the 4th chapter. The things written in this chapter have changed me forever and I know it will have the same affect in you. To take the death of Jesus illustrated in Job and then weave this truth into 2nd Corinthians 4 shall produce illumination and strength that will impact you the rest of your life. Let us begin at Verse 6. I am going to display from verse 6 to the end of the chapter and also a portion of chapter 5. Please read this section of 2nd Corinthians 4 and 5. I will come back to each segment and bring out the things we need to see. I have chosen verse 6 of 2nd Corinthians to verse 5 of 2nd Corinthians 5 for an express purpose. I think you will see that it all flows contextually into one central focus. Let’s begin what I believe will be a most worthy pursuit. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.   We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death is working in us, but life in you.   And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak,  knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.  For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man  “

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is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2nd Corinthians 4:6-18). “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (2nd Corinthians 5:1-4).

Light Shines in Our Thoughts and Feelings Let us begin to look closely at these words. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Before we look at this amazing verse in the context with which it was written; let us examine it for a moment as a stand- alone verse. It is an astounding statement in and of itself. Obviously, this is a reference to the Genesis creation when all was in darkness. This is the same God who created all that we see and know from abject darkness. This same God who said, “Let there be light” at the very onset of creation, is the same God who now commands light to shine out of our darkness. The same light that created the world and brought life out of darkness is now being shined in our hearts in the midst of any darkness that we face. Whatever our darkness at any given time is 348


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going to be invaded with the light of the glory of God. Where is this light shining? It is shining in our hearts. What does this mean? The word hearts is from the Greek word Kardia which is defined by Strong’s as: the thoughts or feelings (mind). It is described in the outline of Biblical usage as follows: the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence, of the will and character. The heart is the New Testament equivalent of the word reins that we discussed previously on several occasions. Our mind, our thoughts and our feelings is where we live moment by moment. The phrase “The Glory of God” that has been widely perceived in a nebulous religious context now becomes relevant and life changing. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is shining in my mind. It is shining into what was complete darkness in my mind, thoughts, feelings, desires and purposes. This is so extremely powerful. No Matter the situation in which you find yourself. Whatever the confusion, perplexity or darkness that is present now. If you do not know what to do or where to turn. If you feel completely trapped with no way out then reach out and receive. Receive the truth that God has commanded light to shine in your heart. Begin to say, “Lord, I thank you that you shine the light of the glory of God in the revelation of Christ in my confusion and darkness.” This light will be the same light that created the world and will have this same power in your heart. You may say, “C’mon Dave, this is just high sounding pulpit stuff to get amen’s from all the religious folk.” No! If you will expect it to be just as it says then it will emerge in your heart and become that same light. This light will change us. It will lift our heads and revolutionize our demeanor. This light will shine in the face of Christ. It will show us the finite height of the cross and bring the power of the death of Jesus to every place in our lives. This truth alone is life changing.

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In this Body...Now! “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2nd Corinthians 4:7).

This is a key verse and contains in it the first mention of what is going to become the guiding force in the true context of this message. Paul says, we have this treasure. What treasure? The treasure of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God realized in the revelation of Christ. Where is this treasure given? In heaven? No! This is a treasure that is given in this earthen vessel. It is offered while still in this body - now! For what purpose is this light given in our earthen vessels? That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us! Not of us, is a beautiful, profound statement. This power that we need is not our responsibility and does not come from us. This power comes from the light. This verse now becomes the thesis statement of the message that Paul is about to bring forth. The light of the glory of God given to us in this body produces power from God apart from us. Why do we need power in this life that is not of us? Verse 8 and 9 clearly state the reason, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2nd Corinthians 4:8-9).

Hard pressed on every side lends itself to the picture of being hemmed in all about you. It is if all four walls are moving in on you to crush you. This is the scene that this scripture is trying to convey. Remember earlier when talking about the promise in Job that said he would deliver from the jaws of distress. Jaws of distress was translated as the mouth of the Strait? The feeling of being slowly squeezed from every side and forced into the mouth of distress. This is the same 350


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picture being painted here. Next, it mentions that we are perplexed. This means we can find no answer. We can see no way out. There does not appear to be a way of escape. We are persecuted and struck down. Now we begin to see the context emerging in what verse 6 was calling darkness. This is the darkness upon which the light of the glory of God is to shine. The darkness of being hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. The darkness of being pressed so much so that it is trying to crush us. Perplexity that is trying to lead us into despair. Persecution that is to make us feel completely forsaken. Finally, to be struck down or cast down. Which means to be thrown to the ground. Thayer’s Greek lexicon likens this metaphorically unto a combatant or an athlete being thrust down to the ground. We can view this scripture and conclude, yeah... that’s just life. We are hard pressed, perplexed etc. etc. but we are not crushed or despairing. We are hanging in there We are cast down but we get back up and trudge forward. This is the religious mindset of most of the church today. We are going to get beat up but we keep on smiling and marching forward through it all. Is something much greater going on here? There is a reason the hard pressing does not crush us or the “This light is shining perplexity does not cause us despair. in our understanding, There is a reason the persecution emotions, feelings does not result in being forsaken or and intellect. It is being cast down result in destrucshining right where tion. It is because of the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God. you live for the need This light that produces power not of the moment and of yourself will not allow you to producing power in be crushed, despairing, forsaken or your earthen destroyed. This light is shining in vessel — not of our understanding, emotions, feelyourself.” ings and intellect. It is shining right 351


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where you live for the need of the moment and producing power in your earthen vessel—not of yourself. When the light begins to emerge in the midst of these things, You say, “wait a minute, this thing is not going to run its course like it always has in the past.” In the context of what we have just read Paul goes on to write, “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death is working in us, but life in you” (2nd Corinthians 4:10-12).

In my estimation, this is one of the most curious and difficult to understand scriptures in all of the Bible. To just read over this scripture and without much contextual focus and meditation may issue forth a very elementary conclusion. This is exactly what I did initially and came away with the most obvious traditional perspective. It appears this is simply saying that Jesus suffered a lot and we are going to suffer as He did. Some translations give way to this viewpoint as well. Some of the paraphrased versions have a virtual field day with this notion because they are so fixated on suffering perfecting us. The Message Bible expresses 2nd Corinthians 4: 10-12 this way, “What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best! “

The following is simply my opinion. These paraphrased versions may on an occasion say things in a way that can be beneficial. However in many cases, as in this one, there is simply no way the Holy Spirit could open this scripture to the true revelation that is hidden within. 352


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The way this is translated would prevent the real truth from emerging. This is so full of presumption and speculation that it would be impossible derive the true meaning from some of these paraphrased interpretations. The expanded Bible, which I have lauded with other renderings, interprets carrying the death of Jesus in verses 10-12 also as experiencing the same sufferings of Christ in His earthly body. “We always carry the death of Jesus in our own bodies  Paul was in constant danger of the kind of violent death Jesus experienced] so that the life of Jesus [ resurrection life] can also be seen [revealed; manifested] in our bodies”

I include these other translations to simply show the widespread, accepted notion of this passage. There are places in the scriptures that allude to the sufferings of Christ. 2nd Corinthians 1:5 says, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. I am aware of this reality and we may very well face persecution for the sake of Christ. There is an element of truth in this accepted viewpoint expressed in 2nd Corinthians 1:5 that is also present in 4:10-12. I also can certainly understand why this scripture is interpreted this way because of the way it reads. However, I think you will see there is something so much more impacting being expressed here than just the fact that you will face sufferings if you belong to Christ. To relegate “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” to this singular view misses the revelation that will revolutionize our lives. To reduce this segment of scripture to, “Jesus suffered so you will too” misses the beauty and power of the cross. This portion of scripture brings forth the magnitude of the cross right where we live moment by moment.

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When you see something that is intended to express the depth of work of the cross minimized to the point where it has virtually no value, we must delve further into its truth. Instead of destroying bondages these traditional viewpoints perpetuate them. These previously accepted religious norms must be dissected and challenged. Any place in the scriptures where you see the sufferings of Christ spoken of you must place it in the light of what we are about to see. To understand what carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus really means let us first challenge the traditional preceding notions supported by the above translations. What they did to Jesus, they do to usâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;trial and torture, mockery and murder; or Paul was in constant danger of the kind of violent death Jesus experienced]. Let me pose this question. When was Jesus tortured and murdered? When was He in danger of violent death? Was it not when He willingly gave Himself over to become the sacrificial lamb? Prior to this can you name me one time that He succumbed to torture, or violent death? Though the religious leaders intended to stone Him on one account they could not lay a hand on Jesus as He disappeared in their midst. When the storm tried to drown Him He walked on the water. When they came to arrest Him and take Him captive. He quickly let them know that He was willingly allowing them to do so for He could call legions of angels to come to His rescue. The dying spoken of in these verses is the death of Jesus as He becomes the sin offering. If this be true then was not this death died for us in our place. If we simply view this as we have to suffer like Jesus suffered and we will experience the same things as Christ; where shall you draw the line? Shall we also be nailed to the cross? Shall we also take on the sin of all mankind? Shall we also spend three days in hell? Truth is, we already have been nailed to the cross - by faith in Him. Some may say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But Dave, we do face these sufferings. What are you trying to say? Are you saying that because Jesus suffered these things it cannot happen to us? Even though Jesus experienced theses 354


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sufferings we face them too.” Yes we are faced with these things but understanding carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus will bring salvation to these places. This scripture was not written just to be a “heads up” that things are going to be really tough if you believe in Jesus. We face the pressing on every side, the perplexity, the persecution, the casting down. Yet, if we simply say, “Yep, if you are a Christian this is the way it’s gonna be.” Then I can promise you that the last half of this scripture will not be manifest in your life. You will not experience the life of Jesus in your mortal body. What is Really Going on Here? So what is really taking place here? Many other translations say we carry or bear in our bodies the death of Jesus. We are speaking of the singular event of the dying and death of Jesus and what He experienced for us in that death. What was the purpose of His death? Was it just to let us know that we were going to face the same things? Or was it to destroy him had the power of death? Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil...” (Hebrews 2:14). “

We have demonstrated in Job the immense depth and detail of what Jesus bore in his body, mind, and spirit. Every death that could face mankind was laid upon Him. This is the death that we are to carry in our mortal bodies! We are to carry in our bodies the death of Jesus that He bore for us so that the death produced by the pressing, perplexity, persecution and casting down is destroyed. Look intently at verses 10-11 again,

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”always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

This death that we are to carry is to result in the life of Jesus being shown forth in our mortal bodies. The resurrection life of Jesus is to be manifest in our mortal bodies! Now I ask you, has just knowing that you are going to face suffering or actually experiencing suffering of any kind resulted in the life of Jesus being manifested in your body? Does affliction produce the life of Jesus in and of itself ? Look about you at all the people who are suffering afflictions of every kind and who believe in Christ. Are they showing forth the resurrection life of Christ? It is not suffering and affliction that produces the life of Jesus as virtually all of Christianity believes. It is carrying the death of Jesus in your mortal body and faith in that death that produces HIS life. There is only one death that results in resurrection life and that is the death of Jesus. Your suffering and afflictions do not produce the life of Jesus. Your faith in His death for you is what produces His life in you. If we do not understand carrying the death of Jesus in the face of pressing on every side, perplexity, persecution and being cast down then we will simply be pressed, perplexed, persecuted and cast down. There will be no manifestation of His life in our mortal bodies in the face of these things.

Refined Character or a Resurrected Life? Our Father has no interest whatsoever in your suffering perfecting you and building your character. He is only interested in the suffering 356


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and death of His Son that was endured for you and you placing your faith in that death. God is not interested in perfecting your character through much hardship. He is interested in the death of your outer man and the manifestation of the life of His Son in your body. He is interested in the risen Christ becoming your new character. God does not want your refined character. He wants your character crucified and replaced by the resurrection life of Christ The resurrection life of Jesus shown forth in your earthen vessel is the character development of the New Testament believer. This is accomplished by joining ourselves to His death for us by faith. There is no amount of suffering, affliction and hardship that will accomplish this task. There is only one death that produces the life of Jesus and that is His death for us. There is only one way to receive His death that was died for us and that is by faith, not by your arduous experiencing of the same suffering. If you believe that you continually being afflicted is the tool that God is using to perfect you then you will continue to be in bondage for the rest of your life. The affliction recruits the death of Jesus that was died for you. Your faith and intimate immersing into this death died for you will destroy the affliction and result in the life of Jesus reigning in its stead. This is not meant to be a doctrinal statement. I am not offering you a different viewpoint on this age old belief that all of our suffering produces the character of God. I am offering you a transcendent view that results in resurrection life. At this point let us interject some vital understanding where we live and can put the context of these writings to work. God commands light to shine out of darkness. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. We have this treasure of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in our earthen vessels. We have this treasure in this life, in this body. For the purpose of the power being of God and not of ourselves. The power of God, being not of ourselves, is only objective of God. Why is this power that is present in our earthen vessels needed? Because of the darkness into which 357


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God commands light to shine in our feelings, thoughts and emotions. What is the darkness? The darkness of being pressed on every side. We in tandem with God declare the light of Christ in and against this pressing. The result is we are not distressed. The darkness of perplexity tries to gain the upper hand in our feelings but we declare the light of the glory of God in Christ death for us. We are not despairing. The darkness of persecution faces us but we are not alone. The darkness of being thrown down confronts us but the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is shining in our hearts and we are not destroyed. Why? Because we are carrying the death of Jesus in the midst of all of this darkness. Jesus bore all the death that these things could bring upon us and destroyed the power of this death. Jesus willingly exposed Himself to every gruesome inch of the depression, fear, anxiety, pressure, and hopelessness that the pressing, perplexity, persecution and casting down could produce in our earthly lives. This is the death that He destroyed by going through death FOR US. This is the death that is so vividly portrayed in all of Job. Jesus made Himself vulnerable, willingly to every ounce of this death and then died. We were crucified with Him. His death has now become our death. Our outer man which is the part of us that is vulnerable and exposed to all the expressions of the realm of death has been crucified with Christ. Things like fear, anxiety, depression and hopelessness has been put to death by the death of Jesus. Jesus gave Himself to this death so that the part of us that is vulnerable and exposed to this same death would be crucified. It is our faith in this death. It is our carrying of this death in the face of this darkness that results in the resurrected life of Christ in our new man being made manifest. W carry His death for us in our bodies to every death that could assail us while in this body.

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A Prayer to Carry His Death When we are pressed on every side and it looks like there is no way out. The realm of death produces fear and depression and tries to take us down its road. This is where we cry out against this darkness. We can exclaim in full faith the cross of Christ which is the power of God. Stop for a moment and pray this prayer: Jesus, you already faced this place. You already bore the fear, depression and hopelessness that I am feeling. You already exposed the innermost part of your being to this death that is trying to take over my life. Because you already went through this death for me I now carry your death against this place. Your death has destroyed the power of this death in my life. The part of me that is taking the brunt of this darkness has been nailed to the cross. The part of me that is feeling the full extent of the death of this situation was nailed to the cross with you. I died the same death that you died for me. I release faith in your death. I carry your death in my body that your life will be manifest in my body. Instead of my old outer man facing this darkness I now have the resurrected life of Jesus facing this place. If I have died with you I shall also live with you. Jesus, you now face this darkness in me and death is swallowed up of life.” My friend, you have just “Carried the dying of the Lord Jesus in your mortal body” and now His life will be made manifest in your mortal body. This is what brings forth the life of Jesus and this is what God wants to bring forth in us. This so far exceeds the old worn out traditional view of tribulation perfecting us and the bondage that results from these perspectives. Being perfected by hardship is the spirit of the world. It is another form of man’s own righteousness preventing the true righteousness of God to come forth. Some might say, “Yeah, but it was the affliction that brought you to the end of yourself and 359


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you had to turn to the death of Jesus. So affliction does produce Christ likeness.” Hey, if we can reconcile the two concepts this way and seeing it this way causes you to receive His death and resurrection then fine. As long as we get His death and His resurrection into our afflictions, you can spin it any way you want. However, I will warn you. If you begin to gravitate back into that old mindset that it is the affliction alone that is perfecting you then you are in for a long miserable life. C’mon now! I am not usually given to overused religious phrases but this deserves a “Praise God forevermore!” This is the cross of Christ. This is the power of God unto salvation. It is the absence of the intimacy of the knowledge of the cross that has perpetuated prolonged bondages in our lives. Simply going through afflictions without this Spirit of faith in “Simply going through the sacrifice of Christ will only afflictions without this result in a deformed view of Spirit of faith in the God and no resurrection life will be forthcoming. sacrifice of Christ will Let us look at 2 Corinthians only result in a deformed chapter 1. The true framework view of God and no for understanding 2nd Corinresurrection life will be thians 4 and subsequently 2 forthcoming.” Corinthians 12 (Paul’s thorn) is laid in this chapter. I made mention earlier Paul says in verse 5, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now let us take a contextual look at this verse and amplify it beyond the obvious message of simply letting us know that we are going to face difficulty if we are in Christ and see how it weaves right into providing greater clarity to 2 Corinthians 4. Paul goes on to describe the sufferings that are abounding in him.

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For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,  you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many” (1st Corinthians 1:8-11).

The phrase, “we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” is the whole of the matter. This is all that God wants for us. He wants our own strength represented by our outer man to be joined to a death already died for us. For the singular purpose that the life of Jesus may be brought forth in us. Look at this progression. Trouble came to them that was beyond their own strength to bear. So much so that they despaired of life. To put it more bluntly, they wanted to die. This produced the sentence of death within themselves. In other words, there was nothing they could do. Their own strength was gone. The trouble had delivered their outer man to death. Paul then says that this death brings them to a place where there is no trust in themselves. Is it not curious that Paul then uses the words, “but in God who raises the dead”. He equates deliverance from these afflictions as being raised from the dead. This is the way all deliverance is to take place, death of your own strength represented by the outer man. So that the life of Jesus can raise us from the death of our own strength. Now please don’t let a spirit of religion take these concepts and ring all the life out of them. The same concepts are being described in 2 Corinthians 4:11, “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal 361


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flesh.” Remember, it is not the affliction and trouble that brings the life of Jesus. It is our intimate understanding of carrying His death to this affliction that will result in life and deliverance. Before there can be resurrection life manifested there must be the sentence of death within ourselves and the subsequent Spirit of faith in the death of Jesus. Now I know full well that words like the “sentence of death in ourselves” and “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake” are not pleasant to read. I know this can produce a feeling of “Yuck”. However, as we go on you will see that the sentence of death and being delivered unto death does not have to be a place of gloom and oppression. For just a brief preview of this truth, notice that in Chapter 1 Paul says that the trouble caused them to despair of life. Yet, in Chapter 4 he describes the same afflictions but says they are not in despair. So something is taking place in the inner man. We will explore this as we move on. His Suffering, His Death, His Resurrection Once again, Chapter 4 is trying to align us and identify us with the death that Jesus died for us not to give us list of all the tribulation that is headed our way. The part of you that is exposed to death has been crucified. This is about HIS death and our partaking of that death on our behalf by faith. The beautiful portion of scripture in Philippians comes to mind. and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:9-11).

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Notice His Sufferings, His death and His resurrection. Look at what is being said, “That we may know Him”, does not come from any effort of ourselves to be righteous but rather by faith in Christ. To know the fellowship of His suffering. To be conformed unto His death. To attain unto His resurrection. All of these things can only come one way and this is by faith and faith alone in what He has done for us. It is not about your much suffering that is producing the righteousness of God. It is about our faith and complete identification with and in His suffering, His death and His resurrection. All of this has already been done for us so that we can share in the complete work of the cross. To understand more fully let us look at the phrase, “the fellowship of His sufferings”. Once again, many have taken this phrase and interpreted it as we should suffer as Christ suffered. In this context knowing the fellowship of His sufferings is clearly only accomplished by faith. Without question Paul establishes to know His sufferings, His death and His resurrection is only realized by faith. He makes this profound, unmistakable demarcation between his own works and those of the righteousness which is only by faith. The word fellowship is a curious choice in this context...don’t you think? If this were to mean that we are to experience the same sufferings of Christ, is not the word fellowship an odd expression. Fellowship is a positive word that emits a feeling of peace and enjoyment. In this place the word fellowship according to Strong’s means: partnership, i.e. (literally) participation. Thayer’s Lexicon adds, fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse, the share which one has in anything, participation. So to know the fellowship of His sufferings means to share, joint participation, communion. I trust that you are seeing a far greater meaning to the fellowship of His sufferings than to simply describe how we are going to be faced with the same tribulations as Christ? If this is the only meaning then we have a major problem. Because it was His suffering for us that we share and have joint participation. He suffered for us on our behalf so that when 363


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we are faced with suffering we can have communion and fellowship. I mean, C’mon...think about this for a moment. How else are we going to have joint participation in His Suffering except to receive what was suffered for us by faith. Are we to experience all the death that He died for our character to match His? We could not possibly come close to accomplishing such a feat. This belief was interjected into the church to keep us from experiencing His resurrection. It is the joint participation in His sufferings that will conform us to His death. The death of our own strength in our outer man. It is for the purpose of being joined unto His resurrection. All by faith not by our arduous sufferings that would eventually beat us into some kind of submission. Thus, producing some kind of human character development that is simply another work of the flesh. When We Don’t See All Things Under Our Feet The richest portrayal of the fellowship of His sufferings is shown in the book of Hebrews. I have alluded to these promises in Hebrews throughout this book. I now wish to place them in the context of the understanding the fellowship of His sufferings. This is some of the most powerful concepts in all of the Word of God and will have lasting impact. “You have put all things in subjection under his (Man’s) feet.For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2 8-9).

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This is a most powerful message. God has put all things under our feet. Everything has been put in subjection to us. Yet, the writer of Hebrews says, we do not see all things put under our feet. When things arise in our lives that have been made subject to us but are not showing themselves subject to us what do we do? All financial pressure, marital pressure, fear, worry and depression has been made subject to us. Yet we find ourselves facing the full force of all of these things. These things are subject to us but we are not seeing or experiencing the reality of this truth. So when we do not see these things subject to us who are we to see? “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone”

When we are hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down. We must see these things as having been made subject to us. When these test emerge we see Jesus. How are we to see Jesus? We see Jesus, in the suffering of death, tasting death for everyone. Strong’s defines the word taste as: to taste; by implication, to eat; figuratively, to experience (good or ill):—eat, taste. When that which has been subject to us is not showing itself subject to us; we must see Jesus experiencing this same death for us. When something takes place in our lives that grips us with fear, pain or worry the very first reflex is to see Jesus. Seeing Him suffering the death that this same situation is trying to produce in your life. He experienced every facet of what you are feeling and went through this death to destroy the power of its death. This is grace. This is the suffering with which we have fellowship. He suffered and experienced every realm of death that we could face by the grace of God.

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“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10).

To see the true magnificence in this promise let us view the Amplified Bible Classic: For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering”

This gives us the true essence of what is being said. Verse 10 says that the captain of our salvation is made perfect through suffering. I had an old religious guy get in my face one day and say, “Jesus was made perfect through suffering so that is the way we are made perfect.” What? I thought Jesus was perfect from day one of His birth? He was sinless from day one. What perfection was necessary that suffering could add? I make mention of this because so many have interpreted this scripture this way. To view this promise in this perspective is a travesty. It misses the entire work of the cross and in so doing empties it of its power resulting in death continuing to reign. The Pioneer of Our Salvation The perfection of suffering as described in this context is defined in a much different way. Jesus experienced every death that we could face so that He could be the perfect captain, pioneer and High Priest of our salvation. Jesus, having intimate fellowship with every manifestation of the results of the fall of man becomes our perfect pioneer. 366


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He is the pioneer of our deliverance in whatever is facing us at any given moment. A pioneer blazes a trail. He blazes a way out. Jesus has already been where we are and understands every inch of what we are facing. This suffering on our behalf has made Him perfect for the job of pioneering my deliverance. He knows the path to total and complete deliverance because He has already been here before. This is how we are to see Jesus when we do not see things subject to us. The next verses describe how Jesus has fully and completely aligned Himself with us. He calls us his brethren and his children.

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” And again:“I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me” (Hebrews 2:11-13).

We have mentioned the scriptures below from Hebrews previously but I wanted to expound upon them in this contextual flow. These next verses fully bring home this concept of the fellowship of His Suffering and our union with Him. In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).  “

Jesus shared in our humanity for the purpose of experiencing every death that could face us . It was this going through death in our humanity that destroyed him who had the power of death. It is His death that releases us from being subject to bondages that have had the strength 367


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to exist for a lifetime. Other translations use the word deliver in place of release. The Amplified Classic expresses verses 14-15. Deliver and Completely Set Free Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death—that is, the devil— And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.”

Deliver and completely set free is such a powerful truth. It is the death of Jesus that sets us free from the fear of death. We have mentioned the true meaning of the word death previously. Let me remind you again, this fear of death is certainly not only speaking of actual physical death. The fear of death can be described as the fear of the results of sin. We know that the realm of death entered the world through sin. The fear of death is anything that has come into the world as a result of the fall of man: disease, lack, oppression, sorrow, torment, confusion and on and on we could go. In many cases fear of these expressions of death exceed that of actual death. As many people choose physical death to escape these things rather than enduring these expressions of death. So it is apparent that many people fear physical death much less than these expressions of death that came as a result of sin. The fear and torment of these things has been brought to nothing by Jesus taking on all of this death upon himself. What destroys him who has the power of death in our lives? What destroys the fear of death that has led to bondages that have endured 368


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for a lifetime? The death of Jesus! Faith in HIS death for us. This is the cross of Christ. If deep, intimate understanding of faith in the death of Jesus is what destroys the power of death in our lives then why are we looking in so many other places? Even if we acknowledge the cross in a mental sort of way; are we deeply immersed in the revelation of His death for us? To the extent that bondages are still present in our lives is the extent that we do not know the revelation of the cross. Again, this is not an indictment but rather a call to become consumed of Christ. Look at this segment of verse 15 again, “were all their lifetime subject to bondage”. All things have been made subject to us but we do not see all things subject to us, but we see Jesus. To the things that are subject to us but not showing themselves subject to us, we must see Jesus. We must take the death of Jesus and see these things made of no effect in our lives. The Amplified Bible uses the term “whole course of our lives” in lieu of lifetime bondages. To experience a bondage for a lifetime is self explanatory and emits its own realizations. The thought of throughout the whole course of their lives adds a another dimension. A course is a worn path. In our minds we have experiences and thought processes that we have carried with us our whole lives. When we are introduced to new thoughts and possibilities through the revelation of the promises of God’s Word. We reach out for these new places and expectations. We are then resisted and pulled back into mindsets, feelings and the subsequent “We reach out for experiences of those mindthese new places and sets. We begin to gravitate towards the worn path that expectations. We are then has been our existence for resisted and pulled back into a lifetime. The pressure of mindsets, feelings and the resistance to entering into subsequent experiences of new realities and possibilthose mindsets.” ities pushes us back to the 369


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same worn path. Our minds default to the same expectations and many times to the same religious dogma that has kept us in bondage throughout the whole course of our lives. We begin to hear the phrases we have heard all of our lives. Well, it just wasn’t God’s Will. It just wasn’t God’s timing. In the world you will have tribulation. Some things we just will never know. Everything happens for a reason. God is in control. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The resistance and the consistency of that resistance causes us to relinquish our pursuit and question the validity of receiving on these levels while still in the body. We default to the “When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be.” This worn path or course of our life will always lead to the same place as before. This is why we repeat the same bondages over and over again. This is why the writer of Hebrews says that throughout our lifetime the whole course of our lives we have been subject to bondage. To renew our minds to the revelation of the death of Jesus is what will change our mindset unto changing the course of our lives. I want you to notice something at this juncture. Hebrews, connects deliverance from lifetime bondages to receiving the death of Jesus for us. This same concept is introduced in 2nd Corinthians 4. We will go back to 2nd Corinthians 4 and continue where we left off but I wanted to jump a few verses ahead to make this connection. 2nd Corinthians 4:17 states, For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory... Here Paul states that affliction is to be light and but for a moment. Yet these afflictions have the inherent potential in them to be grievously heavy and exist for a lifetime. Afflictions that have the power to subject us for a lifetime are to be made light, momentary and ultimately destroyed or brought to nothing. What is the common bond between these two concepts brought out in Hebrews 2 and 2nd Corinthians 4:17? Both the destroying of lifetime bondages and seeing affliction made momentary and light have one common foundation - faith in 370


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the death of Jesus! The entire context of 2nd Corinthians 4 is always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. Reach deep into the revelation of His death for us. Discover the power of the cross that will destroy lifetime bondages and make all affliction momentary and light. Let us continue with the thought of the fellowship of HIS sufferings as it so beautifully described in the book of Hebrews. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.  Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:16-17).  “

Made Like Us in Every Way Remember, we are talking about the fellowship or sharing of HIS suffering. He has been made the pioneer of our salvation because He has experienced all that we could face and knows the way to complete victory. He was sent for the seed of Abraham. Galatians tells us that if we be in Christ then we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. Look at this next verse. This is so powerful. “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest...” In all things He had to be made like his brethren. The NIV says, “made like them, fully human in every way.” He was made like us in every way! He was made like you in every way in everything that you could possibly suffer. This was so that he could be both merciful and faithful as our High Priest before God. When we are deeply troubled Jesus can extend to us the height of mercy because He has experienced every ounce of what we are facing. This is the fellowship of HIS suffering. He will never condemn or tell you if you “woulda, coulda, shoulda” this would not be happening to 371


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you. Mercy will be extended. However, it does not end with mercy, He is also faithful. He knows how we feel and offers mercy but he is also faithful to bring complete deliverance. He is the faithful pioneer of our salvation. Merciful AND faithful. Mercy brings us close and yields to trust. Then we can release our faith in Him unto deliverance. The next verse brings all of these truths home. This is one of the most beautiful and powerful promises in all of the Word of God. To gain its full meaning look at the way it is expressed in the Amplified Bible Classic:

“For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering]” (Hebrews 2:18 Amplified Classic).

Jesus, in his humanity has suffered every test, temptation and trial that could face us in our humanity. He tasted the death of everything that was made subject to us but is not showing itself subject to us. He was made like us in every way in the very midst of these things. He has become the pioneer of our salvation. It was this suffering in our humanity that destroyed the death of these places. He exposed Himself to the suffering of these things so that He could destroy the power of this death over us.

Continue and Hold Fast to This Truth Let me say at this point and I will say this again I am sure. As you reach deep into the death of Jesus for His death to destroy the power of death in your life. When you reach for complete deliverance and freedom from things that have tormented you for a lifetime, resistance can be formidable in the early stages of this understanding. These things 372


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that have been entrenched in your mind may try to repeat themselves in your life and produce the same feelings of depression, hopelessness, fear and torment. You now carry the death of Jesus to these things knowing that His death destroyed the power of this death. It may not look or feel any different in the beginning. You may feel the same way as you have your entire life. This is where you embrace with all of your might the death that was died for you. This is where you set your anchor and dig in your heels. The satanic strongholds that have been embedded in your life for sometimes decades know that you have found the ultimate answer. They know that if they let you continue and hold fast to this truth you will be forever changed set free. They also know that if they can get you to pull off of this truth and turn to some other “remedy” then they will hold their bondage throughout the whole course of your life. When it doesn’t feel any different and the pain is just as immense as always. When it looks like the same feelings and circumstances are repeating themselves and you have proclaimed these truths in the face of all the pain and resistance. Cry out this prayer, “Jesus, you died this death for me. You were made like me in every way. You know every inch of this place I am experiencing. You already went through this death for me. I now embrace the fellowship of your suffering for me. It was your death Jesus ...that destroyed the death that this exposure to suffering is bringing upon me. It is your death for me and my faith in your death only that destroys him who has the power of death. It is your death that delivers and completely sets me free. You tasted this death for me and have become the pioneer of my salvation. So I now carry your death in my mortal body. I carry your death in my humanity. The part of me that is exposed to this death. The part of me that is vulnerable to this death and is feeling every grueling inch of it Has been crucified with you! My own strength is crucified. My outer man is crucified with you. Now, if I be dead with 373


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you then I shall also live with you! I carry your death in my body that the life of Jesus will be made manifest in my mortal body! Jesus, I am raised with you. I receive your death for me and all of me that is exposed to this death is now replaced with your resurrection life. That which was causing me hopelessness, depression and torment is now facing Christ in me.â&#x20AC;? When you reach out for this place do not ever let it go and I promise you that you will discover the life of Jesus made manifest in your mortal body. The more the resistance tries to tell you this is a fairy tale and you better go get some counseling or take some pills. The deeper your spirit reaches into the mystery of Christ. The more resolute you become in embracing the revelation of the cross of Christ. The deeper you reach with your entire being the more real this truth will become. There has been times in my life where I thought I had reached the very core of my humanity. I was pouring out my soul to depths of my being that I have never expressed or even knew existed. This is the depths that Jesus went for us and He wants to go there in us to free us at the most hidden levels of our being. This is not about religion, technique or methodology. This is about you being real and bearing the entire essence of your humanity so the cross of Christ can set you free in the most intimate places of your life.

Dispense with all Pretense and Facades One thing the Book of Job has taught me in displaying the raw humanity of what Jesus bore for us is that we can dispense with all pretense and facades of any kind. I can put aside everything and come boldly to Christ and express with great emotion every aspect of my humanity and allow him to show me how to receive His death and ultimately His life in every place.

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Christians are notorious for glossing over their humanity in lieu of principles and methodologies that we have heard. Many live their lives the way they are supposed to act as Christians. As opposed to allowing the Spirit access to the inner levels of their humanity so true life and change can emerge. I think this is what’s so distasteful about religion in general. It is easy to spot someone who is acting out how they are supposed to feel and react in a given situation as opposed to someone who has had a true work of death and resurrection in thier life. For example: I hear someone say that they have forgiven someone because that is what we are told to do as Christians. Yet down deep inside the harboring of feelings still exist. Instead of stopping with the notion, “ I must forgive because I’m a Christian.” Let us voice these hidden places at the throne of grace and find true healing. Let us allow the work of the cross access to these places. Instead of forgiving as an act of Christian training and obedience we actually experience forgiveness as it wells up in our heart. For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]” (Hebrews 4:15-16).  “

What a promise! This is the defining statement of understanding the true meaning of knowing the fellowship of his sufferings. Let us return to 2nd Corinthians 4. Let us continue with the flow of this wonderful writing. I trust we are established in what carrying or bearing in our bodies the death of the Jesus truly means. I wanted 375


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to emphasize the powerful component of the phrase, the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body and that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. Carrying His death by faith produces His resurrection life in our mortal bodies. Again, there is only one death that produces resurrection and that is the death of Jesus. There is only one way to receive His death in the midst of your affliction and it is by faith. Let us pause for a moment and give proper attention and meditation to this concept of the resurrection life of Jesus being manifest in our mortal bodies. We cannot possibly put what is written here off to the afterlife. He clearly states in verse 10 and then punctuates it verse 11 that the life of Jesus is to be manifested in our mortal bodies. I have to pose this question at this time. Is there anything higher than the resurrected life of Jesus Christ? Think about it for a moment. We are all waiting on heaven to realize the highest expression of eternal life. Yet here it states that the resurrected life of Jesus is to be made manifest in my mortal flesh...now! What do we make of these things? There is nothing higher than the life of Christ. This life that he is speaking of is the Christ at the right hand of the Father. What level of life can be experienced while still in this body? If the resurrected life of Christ is to be made manifest in my mortal body; what does this look and feel like? Can we experience here in this body what we think is only available when we put off this body? At this point in my experience I certainly hope heaven is exponentially higher than what I have seen in my life up to this point. I mentionthese things because no matter how much more we can experience in heaven there has to be more in this life. I think you will agree that we have not even begun to tap the unsearchable riches of the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. This is certainly a concept that is to be embraced and pursued and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the height of expression of this possibility. Only then can we know the level of life that can be lived while still in this body. 376


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So then death is working in us, but life in you. Paul makes mention that death is working in them” (2nd Corinthians 4:12). “

Death to their own strength is working the resurrection of Christ. He also makes mention of the Corinthians who are enjoying life. So Paul then says, New Testament Faith is Resurrection Faith And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.  For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (2nd Corinthians 13:15).  “

I made mention of this before in 1st Corinthians the first chapter. True New Testament faith is born out of death to our own strength when we died with Christ and faith in being raised together with Him. Faith cannot be taken out of this context. If it is, then it will become a dead work. Paul calls the spirit of faith being raised up with Jesus. The spirit of faith and being raised from the dead are used interchangeably. They are one in the same. When we are hard pressed on every side. We carry the death that Jesus died to our outer man. The strength of our old outer man is dead with Christ. The man that is vulnerable, exposed and feels the death of the hard pressing has been crucified with Christ. If we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him. This spirit of faith rises in us and we speak. I believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will us up with Jesus. This is what we speak in the face of hard pressing and perplexity. 377


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Being raised from the dead with Christ will manifest whatever expression of freedom and deliverance we need at whatever moment it is needed. The term “raised from the dead” can be expressed in the form of any deliverance you need. If you are in financial hardship and worried sick over your bills. Jesus crucified the old man that is exposed to this death and you are joined to this death. You now speak forth in faith the resurrection of Christ. You experience His resurrection in the form of your financial need being resolved. New Testament faith cannot be separated from the revelation of the cross and our faith in His death and resurrection. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2nd Corinthians 4:16). “

The outward man is perishing. The word perish actually means to decay. Why would your outward man decay? It can only be because he has been crucified. The old man and all it contains is dead and is decaying. Everything that is of yourself and of your own strength is perishing. Remember 2nd Corinthians 1:9, “we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” Not trusting in ourselves is the perishing of the outer man. This is the mandatory prerequisite for being raised with Him and His life being manifested in our mortal bodies. The inward man is renewed. Strong’s defines renew as to renovate. This is the new man that is referred to so often in the New Testament. This is the resurrected man. This is Christ in us. Your new man is now what is facing the pressing and perplexity. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are 378


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not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternalâ&#x20AC;? (2nd Corinthians 4:17-18).

These same afflictions a few chapters earlier were so heavy and pressing that they made Paul despair of life. They were formidable enough to make one wish they were dead. These same afflictions are now described as light? Afflictions that have the potential to deeply root and become lifetime bondages are now being called momentary? Folks, this is the way we can see and experience ALL of the issues in our lives no matter how overwhelming or how long they have been there. Even if they can be classified as lifetime bondages. The revelation of carrying the death of Jesus that destroyed him who had the power of death will render them all light and momentary! Do not turn to other things. If you will plant your anchor here and dig deep into this truth even those things that have rooted in our life for decades will become momentary and light. It may seem impossible for this to be a reality in the face of some of the things you are experiencing but this is the way to the power of God unto salvation. When life comes hard at you and tries to repeat cycles of death in your life. When you feel exposed to the death births. I challenge you to take this truth and get it in your mouth and speak this spirit of faith and be resolute and relentless as the Spirit empowers you. Then stand back and watch as this truth changes both you and your situation. It will be apart from your own works. You will be amazed at how your outer man is no longer the one feeling or experiencing the death of the issues. A new man has risen in his place.

Looking on the Unseen In the face of whatever you are experiencing there is a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. What does this mean? Remember the light of the knowledge of the glory of God that shines in your thoughts, feelings, 379


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emotions and intellect? This light of glory is shining your deliverance. It is shining your complete freedom. It is shining the eternal life of God. It is shining your inheritance and your destiny. It is specific to your individual unique situation and need. This light becomes so bright in the face of Jesus and what He has done for us that it completely drowns out and surpasses the pressing, perplexity, persecution and casting down. The death and weight of these afflictions is now replaced by the weight of the glory of God as He shines light on your deliverance. The weight of this unseen glory now far surpasses and exceeds the previous weight of the affliction. The Amplified Bible Classic adds this about the weight of glory:â&#x20AC;?[beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations.â&#x20AC;? What is unseen now excessively surpasses and has far more weight than what you have been experiencing. This is how faith emerges in our hearts. Is not faith defined as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen? The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is shining on your new reality. It is the light of what has been purchased for you by the death and resurrection of His Son. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Everything that we are facing no matter its weight or longevity is temporary! Yet what we see in the unseen is eternal. This means it is the solution and remedy of the Spirit. It is not some fleshly band aid. It is eternal and comes from the heart of God. The result will be fullness of joy. You will have to stand in this truth. In many cases our lives have been galvanized and etched in some of these afflictions and strongholds. I encourage you to never let go of this truth and it will result in just what this promise states. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God will shine in your heart. It will show you the unseen answers. It will grow in you and drown out the previous death of these things. It will far surpass the weight of the death that you formerly felt and experienced. You will see the this unseen glory manifest in your mortal life. 380


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FOURTEEN

DEEP DESIRES TO BE CLOTHED WITH LIFE I want to express more life changing truth in this message that began in 2nd Corinthians 4. Let us go to chapter 5. Do you think the context of what we have just read in the previous chapter changes because we have a man made inserted chapter break? The answer to this question, of course, is no. If we continue to read chapter 5 in the context of chapter 4 a monumental revelation emerges. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.  For we who are in this tent 382


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groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2nd Corinthians 5:1-5).

It appears that Paul begins to talk about heaven and the life we will have once this body is dissolved. He speaks of our earthly house. He refers to it as a tent. He says once it is destroyed we have a house eternal in the heavens. He says we groan in this tent earnestly desiring to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. It is quite obvious that Paul is transitioning to our lives in heaven and in this body we simply groan for that day. Or is there a another message being spoken to us? Paul just said in the preceding verse of chapter 4, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” ( 2 Corinthians 4:18).

Then the next words from the Apostile Paul are, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Paul has just told us that we have an eternal weight of glory while we look on the unseen instead of what is seen. He has just told us that this unseen has come from the spirit of faith speaking forth our resurrection with Christ in the face of pressing and perplexity. He is encouraging us to see the unseen resurrection of Christ instead of the pressing and casting down. Now we are to believe that he is going to come to a screeching halt and say this is only going to happen when you put off this body? This does not make sense and violates the context 383


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and flow of the entire preceding chapter. Paul is saying, we know that if we die we have a heavenly body and all these things will not plague us anymore. We know this is true! Everyone knows when we get to heaven “everything gonna be all right.” He then goes on to say, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked” (2 Corinthians 5:2-3).

When you are faced with various issues that bring such pain and your groan within yourself for total freedom. Or you may be living a life that is unfulfilled and is yearning for more. This is the groans and the deep desires to be clothed with your dwelling from heaven. Look at the next verse. “For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4).

This is simply an amazing and powerful concept. We groan and deeply desire while still in this body for the same life that we think is only available when we “We groan and deeply die. Please take a moment desire while still in this to absorb this statement. Please read over this sec- body for the same life that we tion of scripture. Paul is think is only available when actually telling us that we we die” are yearning, while in this body, the same desires at the redemption of the body. Look again at these word, “not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” We want our dwelling 384


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from heaven. We want to be clothed with this life but we don’t want to have to be unclothed to receive this life! We don’t want to have to die to receive this life but for that which is mortal to be swallowed up of this life. This is exactly what this scripture is telling us. We are yearning for the unseen glory of God that is shining in our hearts. It is showing us the resurrection deliverance of Christ against all pressing. The Resurrection of Faith What is the real message being spoken here? Pressing, perplexity, persecution and casting down is facing us. Jesus has crucified our outer man which is exposed, vulnerable and no match for these things. We carry the death of Jesus to these things in our mortal bodies that His life will be made manifest. Where is the life of Jesus to be made manifest? In our mortal bodies! In our mortal flesh! Is this not the context of this entire message? The death of Jesus has crucified our outer man so that we can walk in resurrection life in this body! We are waiting on our bodies to be put off. Yet Jesus through His death and our faith in His death has already put off this body. This is the resurrection of faith. I know that we will experience the physical resurrection of our bodies but this is the resurrection of our bodies by faith. We release faith in His death that has crucified our old man so that we can experience the resurrection life of Jesus while in this mortal body. Some may say, “Dave, Dave, Dave.... you need to calm down. Are you trying to tell me you believe that we can have in this body what we have been longing for only when we die?” I don’t know what life is going to be like when we get to heaven. I am still learning and discovering how much life can be received while in this body. However, this one thing I do know, we have not come close to receiving the height of the life of Jesus made manifest in our mortal bodies. It is clear that we are yearning for the very same life, that we are expecting in heaven, to be manifest in this mortal body. We are 385


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encouraged to see the unseen and let it produce an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison to what we are seeing now. We are yearning for the unseen that is forged by the death and resurrection of Christ. We are implored by the Apostile Paul to speak forth this unseen weight of glory in the Spirit of faith. But wait... now we learn you can only get it when you die??? This would not even make sense. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more it would be cruel beyond words to tell someone to yearn for the unseen. Earnestly desire this place but then to say...sorry youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to get it until you die? This is why Paul is clear in the entire context of this message. The life of Jesus is to be manifested in our body, our mortal flesh. We are to earnestly desire this reality not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. All that is mortal in our lives longs to be swallowed up by life. What does a life look like that is swallowed up of eternal life? The only way to know is to believe it is a reality and reach for this life and allow the Spirit to bring it to fruition. Yearnings of the Unseen Let me speak to our humanity in the context of these wonderful new expectations. The longings in your heart. The yearnings you have that you cannot even express or quite put your finger on. The yearnings you have for your marriage, family, career, destiny, purpose, ministry. The realm of peace, security, confidence, expectation that is way down inside of you. These are the yearnings of eternal life. These are the yearnings of your inheritance. There are times that you are alone and you allow your thoughts to go to these pristine places that seem so elusive an unobtainable. You may even offer a deep sigh as you muse upon these unseen places. These are the groans that are being described by the Apostle Paul. These are the deep earnest desires to be clothed with your dwelling that is from heaven. These are the desires that we do not know how to pray and express. These are the desires of our 386


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inheritance that the Spirit longs to give precise expression. Is it not curious that Jesus suffered so violently in his body, mind and spirit? A body, mind and spirit that was made like us in every way. While fully human He experienced every possible death that could face us. Yet so much of Christianity puts off what He did for us in His body to when our bodies are dissolved? Is this not backwards? Why did Jesus suffer so horrifically in His body for us if it was not for our complete salvation while in this body. Let me make this statement. If the groans and desires for all that is mortal to be swallowed up of life take place while in this body. Then the fulfillment and realization of these groans shall take place while in this body. If you are yearning in this body then the fulfillment of this yearning is to be received and fully realized in this body. Desires in This Body...Fulfillment in This Body Resistance, delay and religious dogma will try to pull you back to what you have always experienced. You begin to be forced into the mindsets of only realizing this fulfillment in the afterlife. These earnest desires to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven become a wistful dream of a far away heaven. This yearning is by the Spirit and it is not for the afterlife. It is to swallow up all that is mortal. Let me say again, the same desires that we are expecting to be realized in the putting off of this body are the same desires that we want to be swallowed up by while in this body. Think with me for a moment. Is it not odd that religion demands for us to reach for behavioral perfection while in this body but puts off the resulting life that should follow until the afterlife? We are admonished to live right and not commit sin while in this body. However, to expect this mortal to express the resurrection life of Jesus is put away until this body is redeemed? The same death and resurrection that put away the old man and crucified this body of sin is the same resurrection that 387


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brings the reigning life of Christ into this realm. He came to destroy sin and the resulting death that sin brought so that we could walk in eternal life, in this life. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). “

The death of Jesus not only free us from sin but also the realm or dominion of sin. By the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness we will reign in life through the One. This is what we are deeply desiring and the Spirit is yearning to express through us. Eternal Life Reigns Naturally Verse 21 of Romans 5 goes on to say... “that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Meditate on this scripture for a moment. This is saying that just as sin naturally reigned in death or as easily and naturally as the expressions of death arose because of sin. So shall eternal life easily and naturally spring forth from grace through the gift of righteousness! Did you have to work hard for bad stuff to come forth in your life? Or does it seem to just naturally spring forth in this fallen world that is subject to the death that reigns? Some might say, “This is impossible. No one experiences this kind of life.” That’s because we don’t teach it and we don’t expect eternal life in this life. We are so ingrained and established in sin reigning unto death that we have put off eternal life to the afterlife. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting “

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life. Â For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lordâ&#x20AC;? (Romans 6:21-23).

We have been set free from sin. This freeom yields the fruit of holiness which then emits everlasting life. Now every good preacher will tell you that you have been set free from sin and you should live a holy life now, in this life. However, if you say because of this truth you can have reigning, eternal life in every facet of your life they will resist. If you are expecting the same life now as when you put off this body they will stop you on a dime and say this is not available until you die. They will either overtly say or infer that those yearnings are for another time and place. Yet the prerequisite to receive this kind of life has been accomplished now. In the next chapter we are going to see that Jesus has delivered us from the lust of this world. Lust is the precursor to sin as James tells us. No lust equals no sin. No sin equals no death. Before you dismiss this as impossible on this side of the resurrection of the body just consider the things in the next chapter. I love the way verse 23 reads, For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Sin pays wages but the GIFT of God is eternal life. As we receive the grace of Christ that has made us free from sin, holiness is the fruit. We do not work for holiness it is a by- product of the gift of righteousness. As we receive this grace and the gift of righteousness and let holiness come forth, eternal life will emerge and spring forth in every area of our lives. This is why eternal life is described as a gift. Because what brings eternal life cannot be earned or achieved, but only received. How do We Pray for Such Things? How shall we realize such a height of life? What does this eternal life made manifest in our mortal bodies look and feel like? How do we even pray for such things? Are these earnest desires that are expressed 389


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as groans the very same groans that are spoken of in Romans 8? Is this the unseen realm that we don’t know how to pray for as we ought? Please look at the similarities between 2nd Corinthians chapters 4 and 5 and Romans 8. Let us backtrack in Romans 8 a bit and see the emergence of the identical context of 2nd Corinthians 4 and 5. There is a powerful insight that begins to emerge as we see these two scriptures intertwine. Of course, the whole message of Romans is Paul teaching faith in Christ in place of dependence upon the law. When he comes to Romans 8 this message of how the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from sin and death is emphasized. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:10-11).  “

Here is that phrase once again... “He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Is this not the same words spoken in 2nd Corinthians 4 when it says that the life of Jesus is to be made manifest in our mortal flesh? Just a few verses later in Romans 8 it states, The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:16-18).

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This is virtually the identical statement we have read in 2nd Corinthians 4:17, For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, (NASB). The sufferings of this present time is the outer man being joined to and receiving the death of Jesus by faith. Your own strength and ability suffering death so that the life of Jesus can be realized in your body. The suffering of death to your own ability is not to be compared to the glory that shall be manifest in you by the life of Jesus. This is the sufferings of this present time. The sentence of death being in yourself that you would not trust in yourself is the sufferings of this present time. This suffering of death to all that is of yourself is the only thing that issues forth glory. As we have said, it is not the suffering itself that brings glory, it is faith in being raised with Christ from the dead that brings glory. Curiously, just like in 2nd Corinthians 5, right in the middle of speaking about suffering that issues forth glory Paul begins to speak of putting off this body. He begins to speak of the redemption of the body. He speaks of groaning within ourselves waiting for the redemption of the body. He speaks of all creation waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.  

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.   For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:19-23).

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He is indeed speaking of the redemption of the body but is this the whole and focus and intent? The hope of the redemption of the body, as in 2nd Corinthians chapters 4 and 5, is placed in the context of the suffering that we face. The groans for the redemption of the body is the same context in 2nd Corinthians 5 when Paul said we deeply desire to be clothed with our house which is from heaven. Now look at the next verse. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24-25).

Romans 8 now brings in the concept of hope of what we do not see. Again, this is the identical context as 2nd Corinthians 4 as it moved into chapter 5. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Stay with me, we are going to a powerful, life changing insight. Just as in 2nd Corinthians 5 when Paul said, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God”, verse 24 of Romans is also saying we are hoping for what we cannot see. This hope of the unseen is also placed in the redemption of our body. For if our bodies were already redeemed why would we still hope for it? Now we have established that this desire to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven is not the desire to die. Rather, that this mortal

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would be swallowed up of life. In Romans 8 Paul establishes the same context of hope in the redemption of our body. Again, the same hope that we are longing for at the redemption of our body or the putting off of this body is the same longing that we are experiencing in the face of things that bring the realm of death to us. In both places the identical message is being expressed. Both in Romans 8 and 2nd Corinthians 5 Paul speaks of the hope that we all have at the putting off of this body. However, this concept is weaved into the context of the issues that we face while still in this body. This same hope is expressed where we live today and what we face while still in this body. Then he tells us to yearn, groan and deeply desire for the fruition of this hope NOW while still in this body! Once more let me say, 2nd Corinthians 5 emphatically states that we know we have a house not made of hands eternal in the heavens. We know all these issues that trouble us in this body will be resolved on that day. Yet we are groaning in this body longing to be clothed. Likewise, in Romans 8 Paul says, in the face of the sufferings of this present time we are groaning for the redemption of our body. Who Will Help? Then, all of a sudden, he states in Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.” What? What does longing for the redemption of our body and all of creation waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God have to do with my weakness? What does this have to do with where I live today? When I am hurting, if I think that the sufferings of this present time that are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed are only when I die, this perception brings absolutely zero comfort. The reason it brings zero comfort is because this is not what is being said. This is not the message of this beautiful writing. Let us look deeper into this truth.

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“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:26-28).

What is the weakness for which we need help? Is the groaning spoken of here the same groaning that we have just read in 2nd Corinthians 5? If they are what is the significance and impact upon our lives? Now, please keep uppermost in your mind the term groaning is deep, earnest desires for all that is mortal to be swallowed up of his life. The pressing, perplexities, persecutions and casting down of various issues in our life expose our weakness. We carry the death of Christ in our bodies to this place. We groan and deeply desire the unseen provision of the life of Jesus in every place in our lives. The light of the glory of God shines upon this place and hope of the unseen is established. Eternal hope is born in the unseen for and in opposition to every place of weakness in our lives. We do not know how to take this unseen glory and bring it into where we live. We cannot possibly in ourselves bring about the fruition of something that is unseen. These things will have to be apart from our own works. This is the weakness that the Spirit comes to help! The earnest desires to experience the life of Jesus in the place of this weakness that are so deep that we cannot give words to them. It is these groanings that the Spirit comes to express. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. The Spirit is giving voice to what you cannot possibly express in your deep longings. 394


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“The Spirit is giving voice to what you cannot possibly express in your deep longings. Desires to be clothed with the same life that you think is only available when you die.” Desires to be clothed with the same life that you think is only available when you die. Amazing! Let me say this again, the Spirit is giving voice to what you cannot possibly express in your deep longings. Desires to be clothed with the same life that you think is only available when you die. This is true for every single place of weakness that we face both great and small. What shall we be when we put off this body? What shall be at the resurrection of the dead is also to be realized in this body by faith. There is, most assruredly, a resurrection of the body when we die. There is also a resurrection while in this body, by and through faith! There is a reason Paul continually references the redemption of the body in the context of issues we are facing now, while still in this body. He tells us that a man does not hope for what he sees, he hopes for what he does not see. When our bodies are redeemed we shall possess that for which we have hoped. There is now no more need for hope of the unseen. Hope that was unseen is now seen, so it is no longer called hope or the unseen. So until that day comes Paul is telling us there is a place of resurrection life in the realm of faith in Christ. A place where the life of Christ can be made manifest in your mortal body through faith and hope of that which is unseen. He Knows What is the Mind of the Spirit “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). 395


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The Spirit Himself is now taking what I cannot possibly know to pray and is making intercession for me according to God. This prayer is not coming from the limitations of my mind or past experiences. These prayers are coming from the mind of the Spirit. In 1st Corinthians 2:10 it says, For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. The Spirit searches. Just stop and think about that phrase. I love this truth. The Spirit that searches the depths of God is searching the fathomless provisions of God for my exact need. He is searching the inheritance of Christ for me. He is searching the works that have already been finished and are waiting to be delivered to me. These prayers are coming from the mind of the Spirit that searches the deep things of God. In every place of weakness He knows what is the mind of the Spirit. We have a vehicle to give expression to His mind in every weakness that falls short of the hope of His calling. The Spirit searches the depth of God to bring the healing, deliverance and compete freedom to the deepest aspects of our humanity. This is the fulfilling of the unseen eternal remedy to our weaknesses. The Spirit is praying according to the hope of His calling, according to the exceeding riches of His inheritance, according to the surpassing greatness of His power. He is praying according to the width, height, length and depth of the love of God. He is praying according to us being filled with the fullness of God. He is praying for that which is above all that we could ask or think. He is praying the desires of the New Man, of a resurrected man. The desires of the lust of the flesh and your own works have been crucified with Christ. You are now praying the deep longings of our inheritance in Christ. These expressions will be the expressions of the eternal weight of glory in the unseen. The expressions of that which is now far beyond all comparison to the weakness that we are experiencing. The often heard phrase of verse 28 now has proper context, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. As we offer our 396


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speech to the Spirit to give His voice to these realms of life all things work together for good! The Spirit, apart from anything you could do, begins to align, create, rearrange all things to work together to bring to fruition this eternal hope. Hope that is the perfect will of God. Hope that is already finished waiting to be delivered into your reality. Please, never again lay this beautiful promise of Romans 8:28 haphazardly as a “catch 22” over all the evil that takes place in your life but place it in the revelatory context of this amazing truth. How Does the Spirit Make Intercession Through Us? How shall we give access to the Spirit to voice such depths? How do you allow the Spirit to make intercession for you on this level? The scripture says the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us. In 1st Corinthians it states, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Corinthians 14:2).

I fully realize there are certainly people who may be reading this who either do not pray in other tongues or simply do not believe in this phenomenon. I simply cannot go into a detailed writing about the reality of the gift of praying in tongues. There a numerous books and teachings that you can access that will develop this topic. That being said, by necessity I will offer some foundation to praying in the spirit. We will look at what I think is the most important aspects of praying in the spirit as it relates to giving voice to the deep desires for this mortal to be swallowed up of life. Heretofore, I will use the term praying in other tongues interchangeably as praying in the spirit.

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I often hear people making fun of praying in tongues. Calling it “jibberish” and nonsense. Many denominations dismiss it altogether as having passed away with the early church. They use the scripture in 1st Corinthians to prove their position. “Love 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 13:8-12).

There are those who are uncomfortable with praying in tongues and find it too demonstrably spiritual for their taste. So they search for something to fit their narrative for the purpose of dismissing this vital gift of the Spirit. They take this scripture above and say, “See there, whether there are tongues, they will cease... when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” The claim is when that which is perfect is come then tongues shall be done away. The viewpoint is that Jesus is that which is perfect. He has come and tongues therefore passes away. Well... the problem is Jesus did not know this teaching. Because after Jesus was crucified and raised again and ascended to heaven; He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Spirit. When the disciples indeed received the Spirit what did they do? They spoke in tongues! The perfect had come and is in the very position that he is now and yet tongues was given to the church. Also, if we are going to use this scripture to get rid of tongues then don’t you also have to get rid of knowledge? It says this shall be done away with too. We cannot go into the actual context of what was being said in 1 Corinthians 13 but suffice to say it has zero to do with the doing away with praying with other tongues. I have heard many say, “What good does it do if you don’t know what you are saying”? I will answer this question a little later. I cannot 398


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help but sigh over such conclusions. Granted, there has been abuse of this gift by the over -zealous religious sort but to dismiss it altoghether is such an unfortunate response. I would challenge a linguistic expert to listen to those who pray in the spirit and tell me it is nonsense. If you Google how many languages exist in the world today, you will see a consistent response of nearly 7000! (http://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/how-many-languages-are-there-world). I was shocked by the magnitude of this number. There are also een more dead languages, which are simply languages no longer spoken. The Holy Spirit could choose any one of these to express His will through you. Many people think that praying in tongues is a heavenly language that does not exist on earth but this is not the case. In the 2nd chapter of Acts this is made clear. Let’s go ahead and look at this portion of scripture. This is a good bit of scripture but I think it is important. Acts 2:1-13, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.   And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.  Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the 399


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parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.’  So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘Whatever could this mean?’  Others mocking said, ‘They are full of new wine’ “ (Acts 2:1-13).

As in this day, so it is today as people mock this gift of God. “They are full of new wine.” If you have time go and read the rest of this chapter. Peter tells those who are mocking that not only are these men not drunk but this is the fulfillment of the prophesy in Joel. This is the fulfillment of the pouring out of the Spirit. The gift of tongues is a manifestation of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and is vital to bringing forth the will of God in your life. If you have been told that praying in the spirit is not real or it is not for you today; please go spend time with these scriptures and let God (not men) speak to you. Confusion Over Praying in the Spirit The most information we have in the Bible on praying in tongues comes from 1st Corinthians chapters 12 through 14. I am going to summarize the things written in regards to the gift of tongues. Virtually all of this is dedicated to publically praying in tongues which is far different from the purpose of praying in the spirit for your own edification. Most of the confusion about the gift of tongues comes from 1 Corinthians chapter 12. In this chapter Paul talks about the different gifts that are bestowed upon the members of the body of Christ. He says to one is given a certain gift and to another a different gift. One of those gifts is the gift of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Corinthians 12:29-31).

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So the obvious conclusion is that the gift of tongues is not for everyone, no more than all are prophets or apostles. However, a closer look reveals that Paul was only talking about the public gift of tongues to be exercised in the church, which was always to be followed by the gift of interpretation. In the setting of the church, interpretation was always needed, otherwise, the exercising of this gift is of no use whatsoever. This is not to be confused with tongues that is given to every believer for the purpose of praying to God and not to men. We need to consider two things to validate this point. First, think about what we just read in Acts 2. How many of those who received the Spirit spoke with other tongues? Let me help, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Would it not seem a bit odd that a gift that is dispersed with the same discretion as Apostles and Prophets was given to all who received the Spirit? Did they all also become Apostles and Prophets. Did they all become workers of miracles or receive the gift of healing who received the Spirit that day? No... they did not all receive these other gifts. Yet they all spoke with other tongues. Hmmm....something to consider I would think. Secondly, the very reason that Paul was instructing the Corinthian church about speaking in tongues with an interpreter one at a time is because the whole lot of them were speaking in tongues all at once. This was causing great confusion. Did everyone who was shouting out in tongues have the “gift of tongues” that is to be exercised in the church and validated by interpretation? No, they were praying in their own prayer language just like those who received the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Paul offers yet more clarity to this issue. “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:18-19).  

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Paul says that he speaks in tongues a great deal but in the church you must have an interpreter or rather offer prophesy so that the hearers can understand. The tongues that Paul says he speaks “more than you all” is your own gift of praying in the spirit that is to be prayed not to men but to God. These are the mysteries the Spirit is searching of the unsearchable riches of Christ. All should receive this beautiful gift. All you have to do is ask and receive. If you belong to Christ then the Holy Spirit is in you. Ask for that Spirit to come up upon on. Jesus, speaking about the Day of Pentecost in the first chapter of Acts after he showed Himself to many after the resurrection said, “ ... you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Ask to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and receive your gift of praying in the spirit, which will open up a whole new world to you. In the Spirit He Speaks Mysteries I would say, without hesitation, that praying in the spirit is the most important element to receiving revelation knowledge. It is of absolute necessity to probe the depths of God and have those depths brought to your understanding. I know this statement will be met with resistance by those who do not believe in speaking in other tongues. I would challenge you to open your mind to this gift and then practice it on regular basis in faith. Then tell me if your understanding has not been taken to a new level. Tell me if you are not having thoughts and realizations of truth in the Word that are way beyond anything you have seen in the past. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. What a powerful statement. We speak to God in the spirit and we are speaking mysteries. Blueletterbible.org in their Outline of Biblical Usage defines the word mystery as: a hidden or secret thing, not obvious 402


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to the understanding. The scripture often talks about the mystery of Christ and the unsearchable riches of Christ. We have already referenced the promise in 1st Corinthians that tells us that the Spirit searches the deep things of God We do not know how to pray in the face of our weakness to bring forth the life of Christ. So the Spirit prays these mysteries on our behalf. He prays the things that He has searched of the depths of God. You cannot possibly know these places but the Spirit goes and searches them out for us. As you lend your voice to praying in the Spirit the Holy Spirit then joins with us to pray these deep things that are beyond our understanding. Sometimes immediately, sometimes later, new concepts and new thoughts begin to be unveiled to your understanding. You begin to see and understand on levels that were previously hidden. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).  “

I realize this was said in the context of those who were praying in tongues in the church and there was no interpretation, resulting in confusion. So Paul admonished those who would speak in tongues for the building up of the church, would also interpret. Otherwise, no one would understand what was said and it would be a fruitless work. In our private praying in the Spirit there is also value in reaching for interpretation. It is not for other men but praying to God the mysteries not yet thought, heard or seen. We should expect to interpret in our understanding the things the Spirit is praying through our spirit. I heard one teacher say this scripture is actually saying, Pray.... that you may interpret. Not pray that you may interpret. Pray, because when you pray the interpretation will come. Did you get that? Whether this 403


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particular scripture is to be read this way or not I think the ultimate conclusion is truth. There have been times when I have prayed in the Spirit for quite some time and almost immediately my mind begins to understand things that were previously not even in my thoughts. There have been other times that hours or even days later I will be driving down the road and out of nowhere concepts will become clear to my understanding that were previously shrouded in darkness. There are times I will pray in the Spirit for a long time without saying anything in my known language and understanding. There are other times when I am constantly going back and forth from the Spirit to my understanding. We are constantly in faith as we pray in the Spirit allowing the Spirit to search the mind of Christ and reveal His mind to us. When the Spirit is making intercession for us with these deep desires to walk in resurrection life while still in this body, can this only mean praying in the Spirit? Can this realm only be accomplished by praying in other tongues? Yes and No. It is so important to reach for the interpretation to your understanding. So now you can take what was hidden in your thoughts, hearing or seeing and speak it in your understanding with great passion and faith. The deep groans that could not be uttered previously because you did not know how to pray have now been taken over by the Spirit. Now your mind has become fruitful to the unsearchable riches of Christ. Riches that you now can speak in your understanding which will bring about resurrection life into your mortal existence. The Spirit has to search what is hidden and speak it in mysteries first so that it can be delivered to your understanding and then proclaimed in faith. This is the purpose of speaking in tongues for those who say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What good does it do to pray things that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand?â&#x20AC;? To those who do not believe in praying in the Spirit and to those who have received this gift but do not exercise it very often. I trust this truth will compel you to new experiences in praying in the Spirit. 404


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Carrying His Death is not a Place of Torment and Pain I want to show you a truth that has greatly impacted my life. One day while praying I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “ David, the place of the sentence of death in yourself and carrying the death of Jesus in your body is not a place of torment and pain.” I embraced this word and the Spirit began to show me what He was saying. Let us look again at 2nd Corinthians chapter 1. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us... “ (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).  “

I want to emphasize again the fact that the trouble which came to Paul caused him despair to the point of not wanting to live. Now let’s jump back over to 2nd Corinthians 4:8, “we are perplexed, but not in despair;” Paul describes virtually the same afflictions mentioned in chapter one. Yet here he says he is not is despair. The same afflictions that made him despair to the point of not wanting to live is now not causing despair. Now move with me to 2nd Corinthians chapter 12:10. Paul says the following, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. Here, Paul says of these same afflictions that he is taking pleasure in them. I have heard so many give Paul praise for saying these things. As if the great Apostle Paul is showing forth some fortitude of will in the midst of his affliction. No! Paul has experienced the very real 405


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work of being raised with Christ. This is not some display of human will and character. This is the display of the resurrection life of Christ being made manifest in his mortal flesh. We have progressed from the same afflictions causing the despairing of life, to not being in despair, to taking pleasure in them! As Paul became perfected and established in the death of Jesus ; he became established in the resurrection life that would be the result. When he was faced with grievous afflictions that had the potential within them to cause one to despair of life. He became expectant of the power and life of Jesus that would be manifested in him. The outer man that took the full force of the affliction in chapter one has now been crucified in being joined to the death of Christ. Of course, Paul’s outer man was indeed crucified in chapter one but he had not received and experienced this truth in his body as yet. As we progress through the book of 1st Corinthians we see this positional truth of being crucified with Christ spoken of in Romans 6 become experiential in the life of Paul. 2nd Corinthians chapters 1, 4 and 12 are the “living out” of the positional truth spoken of in Romans. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:5-6).

As I have said previously, the part of our humanity the scripture calls the old man or the outer man is the part of us that feels the death that trouble and affliction bring. Jesus has put to death this man that is exposed and vulnerable to death. As Paul, by faith, renewed his mind to this truth, the result of this positional truth began to emerge in his life. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him (Romans 6:8). Paul is now living in the life of Jesus being made 406


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manifest in his mortal body. This is why he is taking pleasure in the same afflictions that previously caused him to despair of life. This is not an attitude change this is the experience of death and resurrection. This passage of scripture in 1st Corinthians 12 is the mystery of Paul’s thorn resolved. Paul’s thorn in chapter 12 is simply a continuation of chapter 1 and chapter 4. I cannot go into great detail discussing Paul’s thorn, for it is a subject in and of itself. However, suffice to say, in the context of the things that we have seen thus far, look at this passage 1st Corinthians 12. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (1 Corinthians 12:9).

This one verse summarizes this entire chapter. My grace is sufficient for you. His grace is sufficient for us. We have His ability in the place of our ability, so that the power is of God and not of ourselves. Paul says, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” His strength is not manifested until our strength is removed. His strength made perfect in our weakness is another way of expressing that His life can only come when our strength is dead. I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. As the sentence of death is in ourselves that we do not trust in ourselves the life of Jesus can now emerge. The power of Christ is perfected when my own weakness causes me to surrender trusting in myself. This place of surrender now does not cause despair but rather delight and pleasure. Because all that remains is the light of the knowledge of the glory God shining in my heart. All that remains is the eternal weight of glory that is far beyond all comparison to the death that I previously felt. All that is left is seeing clearly the unseen realm of what my heart longs for in the deliverance brought by the resurrection of Christ in my mortal flesh. 407


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God Didn’t Ask Paul to Cope With the Thorn The Holy Spirit was not telling Paul when he asked for the thorn to be removed that he was just going to have to live with the thorn. This grace was not given for him to cope with the torment. Remember, this was a messenger of Satan sent to torment Paul. God does not send us grace so that we can cope with the torment of devils. This grace was the avenue of deliverance. It was to lead him to the same thing that was said in chapter 1, the sentence of death within himself that he would not trust in himself. This would lead to resurrection deliverance. It is very interesting that Paul asked the Lord three times for the thorn to depart. God was not saying, “No Paul, I want you to experience the torment of the devil.” What an erroneous conclusion that opposes everything we know about the nature of God. Yet this is the way the thorn is interpreted by so many. When we are faced with pressure and trouble this is our first response as well, “Get this thing off of me.” This is the natural cry of all of our hearts. It is most certainly the will of God to deliver us more than we wish to be delivered ourselves. God wants us to overcome the world. He wants us to live in eternal life while in this body. Yet He knows the only dominion while in this body comes from the life of Jesus being made manifest in our body. The only way for Jesus to live in our mortal flesh is for us to join ourselves to His death by faith so that we can be experientially joined to His resurrection. God wanted the thorn removed from Paul’s life but deliverance only comes through the grace of experiencing death and resurrection by faith in Christ. It will not come as a result of just clamoring for something to change. This is why so many of us stay in our afflictions and they become lifetime bondages. Understanding carrying His death in our bodies so that we can receive His life in our mortal bodies is what will make all afflictions momentary and light. Just a final thought about Paul’s Thorn. There is much controversy

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as to what Pauls thorn actually was describing. I personally do not see this as a mystery. To me it is very clear that the thorn was the constant persecution that Paul faced everywhere he went. The context is obvious if you study the preceding chapter along with the entire book of 2nd Corinthians. The thorn was not some special mysterious entity that God in His infinite wisdom thought to place upon Paul. If we view it this way then it loses all relevance to our daily lives. God wishes to relate this to every place in our lives. When an issue exist that does not respond to us asking for it to go away, God would have us to turn to the sufficiency of grace. He would have us die to our own strength so that the power of Christ would rest upon us and bring resurrection life. If you understand 2nd Corinthians chapters 1 and 4 , then you understand Paul’s thorn. Chastening of the Lord Before we leave this chapter I think this is the appropriate time to address the chastening of the Lord. I do not think you can truly understand the subject of chastening until we talked about these things in 2nd Corinthians. Chastening is mentioned in Job on more than one occasion and overtly in chapter 33. If you will recall the chastening of the Lord was mentioned in the context of man going his own way, in his own works and purposes. Remember the words of Elihu in Job 33. “Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, and conceal pride from man,  He keeps back his soul from the Pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, and with strong pain in many of his bones...” (Job 33:16-19).

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Other places in Job that refer to chastening were spoken by the three friends and was punitive in nature. We discussed how the hearing of faith delivers us from our own works and paths of the flesh. Chastening takes place in the environment of one’s own works when we have defaulted to our own strength, plans and devices. As we have seen this is not exclusive to overt debauchery and sin. It simply is a path taken in our own ability and did not originate from faith. So with this in mind let us look at the New Testament passage that has confounded so many regarding the discipline of the Lord. I offer this viewpoint and you decide if it makes sense in the light of the New Covenant. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5-6). “

The word chastening is the Greek word paideia. Strong’s defines this word as: tutorage, i.e. education or training; by implication, disciplinary correction:—chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says, the whole training and education of children. I am sure you have heard the word chastening used in Hebrews referred to as child training. This same word, paideia, is also used in Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” The word, training is paideia and is translated in the King James as nurture. 2nd Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...” The word, instruction, is also paideia. So it is clear that the chastisement 410


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spoken of in Hebrews 5 is the nurturing, correction and instruction a father would give to his children. It is words of instruction to correct wrong thinking and behavior. It is not pain and affliction as many have suggested...correct? Well... there is a problem with stopping at that conclusion when we get to verse 6 of Hebrews 12, because it says, For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. He scourges every son whom he receives. The term scourge takes it beyond the instruction of words...does it not? The Lord chastens (instructs, teaches, trains) and scourges. These two concepts appear to be separate entities. Almost as if to say, I am going to teach you what to do and if that doesn’t get the job done then some scourging could result. I am speaking in human terms but as you will see the writer of Hebrews begins to relate this idea to the discipline of an earthly father. Scourge? Are You Serious? In visiting this subject of chastening over the years I would see the child training concept so vividly displayed. I would be satisfied and all would be well. However, when I look up the word scourge I expected to see something that would fit my narrative. You know, that God does not do this type of stuff. Scourge? Really? Are you serious? Yet when you look up the word scourge it means...well... scourge. Scourges is the word mastigoō. Strong’s says it means to flog (literally or figuratively). Thayer’s adds, metaphorically, of God as a father chastising and training men as children by afflictions. This same word is used to describe the scourging of Christ in the Gospels. Perplexing to say the least? What is going on here? Some might say that this scourging is still the scourging of words by the Spirit. God scourges in the spirit not with physical pain. This may be true and I am not discounting it but this is conjecture at best and we need to take a much closer look into this subject. Isaiah 53:5 says,

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“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our [well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 NASB).

I have written an entire book about how Job represents this scripture to its fullest measure. How Jesus bore our punishment and by His scourging we are made whole. So the question begs to be asked, If Jesus was scourged for “If Jesus was scourged for me and my punishment me and my punishment fell fell upon Him, then why must I be scourged upon Him, then why must I be too??? What is scourgscourged too?” ing in the life of a New Testament Christian? Is it indeed various afflictions? If so, are they brought about by God? For it clearly says, For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. Or is it a result of basically reaping what one sows? If you sow to the flesh then from the flesh you shall reap corruption. Is this the scourging of the Lord? Hebrews also says this chastening will cause us to partake of His holiness. So is this the way it works? We act like children and God causes affliction. The affliction then results in holiness? This is certainly the way most Christians believe and the way the chastening of the Lord is interpreted. Before we can truly answer these questions we must first see a much broader picture. Let’s look at the following passages as the writer of Hebrews develops this concept of chastening. Hebrews 12:7-11 goes like this, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons”

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Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:7-11).

Chastening is for the Children First, let’s emphasize this comparison between our earthly father’s correcting us and God correcting us. It is clear by this and the very definition of chastening being referred to as child training that we are dealing with children. This notion of children receiving chastisement is significant. Since the writer of Hebrews brings in this analogy of the earthly father let us take a closer look. Just as in our earthly lives, “whippings” are for children. Now, I know, “spare the rod and spoil the child” is not popular today and I am not making a point on this subject in and of itself. Just stay with me for a moment if you will. Whether you agree or disagree with the notion of spankings or not, I think we can all agree that spankings are for children. I am sure there are some who received spankings when you were teen agers but it is rare and would seem to be fringe behavior. So, if we are to use the earthly father/child relationship to fully understand the chastening of the Lord then we can agree that spankings or scourging is to be for the children. 1st John offers a clear demarcation between children, young men and fathers. I write to you, little children,  because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one...” (1 John 2:12-13). “

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In Hebrews 5 the word son is used and not specifically children. The Greek word for son is huiós, Strong’s defines it as, kinship:—child, foal, son. Even though the word son can mean immeasurably more than just child or foal in other places of the New Testament. I do not think it takes us away from the context of children in this usage. As we have pointed out, all the references to chastening in Hebrews 5 have to do with nurturing and training a child. So what can we conclude from all of these things? Obviously, John is speaking of these places in the spirit. In the spirit one can be a child while at the same time being an adult in the natural world. I think we all realize this but for the sake of clarity I thought to mention it nonetheless. So the question must be asked, are fathers scourged? Are young men scourged? Again, using the natural father/ child analogy, the answer mut be no. When you reach a certain age you no longer receive spankings. Is this also true in the spirit? What constitutes being a child? What constitutes the need for scourging? In 1st Corinthians 13 Paul alludes to this concept as well, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12).  “

This, of course, is a well known passage and has application in so many areas. For now, let us view this in the context of the chastening of the Lord and children. When we were children we spoke, understood and thought as children. When we became men we put away childish things. When you put away childish things do we also put away the scourging of a child? The point being made is that scourging is for the spiritual children. When we put away childish things we put away speaking and understanding as a child and we also put away the need for scourging. 414


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Unskilled in the Word of Righteousness Hebrews 5 adds significant relevance in this context. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

The admonition is clear. The word babe is nepios. Strong’s defines it as, not speaking, an infant (minor); figuratively, a simple-minded person, an immature Christian:—babe, child (+ -ish). It is interesting to me that those who are childish are classified as such because they are unskilled in the word of righteousness. This is a powerful statement. Those who speak, understand and think as a child do so because they do not understand righteousness. We have been defining the gift of righteousness throughout this entire book. I trust the term emits a clear message to you when used in this context. The gift of righteousness separates us from our own lust. It separates us from our own way. It only comes by faith in Christ and nothing of yourself. It gives way to the fruit of holiness, which brings forth eternal life in this life. The word of righteousness is solid food and is for those of full age. It takes you out of the child status to young men and then to fatherhood. Those who are of full age and skilled in the word of righteousness have no need to be scourged. They are not subject to youthful lust. On the contrary, they are described as those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The word of righteousness has created a new nature that discerns 415


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and senses good and evil. It senses what is of your flesh and your own works. It teaches you how to live in and by the Spirit, which is living by the hearing of faith in Christ. With this in mind, look at Hebrews 5 as this concept of chastening is broadened. Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 5:10-11).  

The peaceable fruit of righteousness? This is a vitally important concept that is nestled within this subject of chastening. The result of this child training and scourging yields the fruit of righteousness? In a few paragraphs above we asked several questions. What is scourging? Is it affliction that results in holiness? Yet here we see that chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. So does it reason that the scourging of affliction brings forth the fruit of righteousness? If an object is a fruit of something then you can’t have the fruit without the source of the fruit? I mean you can’t have apples without first having the apple tree. Complicated stuff...huh? So, one cannot have the fruit of righteousness without the gift of righteousness. I think we can all agree on this statement. If chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness and the scripture plainly states that indeed it does; what shall we do with the truth we know of the origin of righteousness? As we have established throughout this book, there is only one way to receive righteousness and that is by faith in Christ. Furthermore, righteousness is referred 416


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to over and over in the scriptures as a gift. You can do nothing to earn righteousness nor can it be fashioned in you by affliction. There are enumerable passages that can be referenced and we have done so throughout the book. For the sake of clarity and context here is one more.

“You can do nothing to earn righteousness nor can it be fashioned in you by affliction.” “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).

The phrase, “apart from the law”means apart from anything you could do in your own works. It is apart from any outside influences except for your faith in Christ. Also remember Abraham’s belief in God was accounted to him as righteousness in Romans chapter 4 that we expounded upon earlier. This is the message of the entire New Testament. This is the reason Christ was crucified. To deliver us from anything as coming from ourselves to achieve righteousness. So the peaceable fruit of righteousness is a natural by product or result of receiving the gift of righteousness. It cannot be pressed into you by afflictions. This concept would negate the entire work of the cross. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain”. Grace is the very essence of the gift of righteousness. If the gift of righteousness could come through my effort or by afflictions then Christ would not have been crucified. If God could simply put enough hardship on us to make us righteous then do you think He would have sacrificed His Son? It is very obvious that affliction in and of itself has no power whatsoever to free us from sin. If this were true the whole world would 417


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be walking in holiness. Look again at this mention of the word holiness. The scripture says that earthly fathers chastened us as they deemed best but but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Once again, it appears that chastening/scourging is the key ingredient in partaking of His holiness. A closer look at the how holiness is received reveals the same truth as that of the gift of righteousness. Romans 6 conveys this message, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. Â For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lordâ&#x20AC;? (Romans 6:22-23).

This is one of the most life changing passages in all of the scriptures. Holiness is the fruit or result of the gift of righteousness. Righteousness is received as a gift by faith in Christ. As you become established and skilled in the word of righteousness, holiness is the resulting fruit. Once again, this is the only way to walk in holiness. 2nd Peter 1:4 states, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature... We will look at this passage more closely later, but the implication is clear. Partaking of His nature is by promise not works. It cannot be achieved or beat into you by the problems of life. The last part of this verse says but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The reason Paul can say that eternal life (and remember he is not talking just about the afterlife) is a gift is a wonderful truth. The prerequisites that yield naturally to the bringing forth of eternal life are the gift of righteousness and the subsequent fruit of holiness. You have nothing to do with either of these except to believe and become established in the word of righteousness. We believe and receive the gift of righteousness. Holiness is the fruit of this gift. Holiness gives birth to the manifestation of eternal life in this mortal body. So we have to conclude that if 418


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scourging produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness which results in holiness then it can only be received by faith not affliction. Reconciling Chastening with the Gift of Righteousness So how do we reconcile all of these concepts? A beautiful New Testament truth which we have discussed throughout is further established as we truly understand what the writer of Hebrews is trying to convey. I cannot find a better example to illustrate this truth than looking once again at Job 33. Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain... (Job 33:16-19 KJ).  “

Please recall the things we discussed in previous chapters regarding man’s own works and purpose and how Jesus bore the result of one going their own way. If need be, go back to these places and look at these things again and the chastening of the Lord will become much clearer. The message of Hebrews 12 is a wonderful invitation to partake of the beauty of Christ instead of scourging. What is the reason for the chastening of pain? Is it not the result of man in his own purpose. We do not want to re-teach the message precious chapters over again. The temptation to do so is great because I want to make sure I am speaking with clarity. The NASB uses the word conduct and other translations use the word work to give further meaning to man’s purpose. Please remember, going one’s own way is not exclusive to overt sin but rather also anything that does not find its 419


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source in faith. Notice how God uses the instruction of opening the ear or the hearing of faith that He may withdraw man from his own way and keep him from the pain of affliction. Yet when we do not receive this hearing we default to our own works. We are now in our own strength and are subject to chastening or reaping the works of the flesh. Just the other day my wife and I were showing a house to a client. The client decided against purchasing the property because it needed too much renovation for her budget. However, my wife and I looked at each other and agreed it would be a great flip opportunity. We had a house currently that we just renovated that had not sold yet. So the timing for such a venture was not the best. Financially, it would be a risk for us to make a play for this house. However, this was such a great opportunity. I have the connections to put a complicated scenario together to get the funds to purchase and renovate. It would involve the use of private investor money or what is known as Hard Money in the industry. We would also use quite a bit of credit as well. In contemplating this possibility my senses that are being trained to discern good and evil began to send signals to my mind. I thought within myself, “I can do this.” I could put this thing together and make a play for this house but I knew immeditately I was not in faith. I knew this was my own work and purpose. In the past in similar situations I would go ahead and “make it happen”, as the saying goes. It would later become a grievous circumstance that I regretted. If I would have gone ahead and pursued this home would it have been an overt dastardly sin in the eyes of others? Of course not, but it would have been missing the mark that the Holy Spirit has planned for us. Missing the mark is the definition of sin as you well know. Anything that is not of faith is sin. Or to be more precise, anything that is not of faith led by the Spirit is missing the mark. The Holy Spirit wishes to teach, instruct and nurture by the hearing of faith in Christ. So that faith is born in our every action and we are moving and trusting in Christ in us. It is for the purpose of withdrawing us from our own works 420


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in whatever our own works are trying to manifest. Whether it be in situations like the one above or changing a behavior, or our family, or our jobs and on and on we could go. This is becoming skilled in righteousness so it affects your senses to discern good and evil for your life. No One Skips the Child Stage None of us just skip over the child stage of our walk with God. This is why the scripture says, For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. Yet God expects us to become skilled in the word of righteousness and leave the babe/child stage. He expects us put away childish things and the scourging of the children. He calls us to become young men and fathers. When we through commission or omission disregard the inspiration and instruction of the Spirit in walking by faith in Christ we are subject to the realm of the world we just created. We become candidates for chastening or the results of those actions. In the context of Hebrews 5 as has been expressed so finitely by John Sheasby in his teachings on the book of Hebrews. John states that the entire book was written to the Hebrews who were being persecuted so heavily that some were going back under the Law of Judaism. They were putting aside the sacrifice of Christ to go back under their own works. In so doing the scourging that Christ received to make them whole becomes void of power to them. Remember the words in Galatians 2:21, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” And also recount the message of Galatians 5. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:2-4)

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I know we have discussed these things in detail before but they bear repeating in this context. Now, of course, we are not speaking of a wholesale turning away from Christ and going back under the law. We are speaking of the leaven of going our own way in the various times of our lives. However, the inference is clear. When we are in our own works we are subject to that realm which is under a curse. This is why Jesus became a curse for us and bore the results of these places. To the question that we posed at the outset of this subject. If Jesus was scourged for us then why must we be scourged? The scourging of Christ was to be for our peace and wholeness. In Isaiah 53 when it was said, “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Both the word peace and healed have in their meanings the concept of wholeness. To receive the scourging of Christ is to receive being crucified to this world and the world to us. It is to be separated from the lust of this world and our own works by His Spirit. Receive His scourging so that you receive His wholeness. Become skilled in this the word of righteousness and grow up into Christ and there will be no need for you to be scourged. You receive the work of the cross and express His life in you. The peaceable fruit of righteousness is brought forth by faith in Christ unto the fruit of holiness unto eternal life. In these things where shall there be the need of scourging? Before we leave this subject I wanted to address this portion of the passage, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful...” One could interpret this simply as when we go our own way and receive the eminent results, it is unpleasant. The pain of the results causes us to look for answers and go a different way. I think this is certainly a valid conclusion. In addition to this I would like to submit some thoughts that I think can give further insight. Earlier in this chapter we talked at great length about the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead... and For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 422


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These truths are the central core of the work of the cross. As we face issues in life our outer man, our own works, died with Him on the cross. I want to look at this truth in the light of “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful...” Remember the progression of Paul from the troubles that he faced at first made him want to die but later he came to the place where he took pleasure in them. When we are in our own strength and trouble arises beyond that strength a realization takes place. We are now to depend only upon something that is unseen. This can be painful and frightening until you become skilled and trained in the resurrection of Christ — the word of righteousness. Abraham’s Realization Let us revisit the story of Abraham as he was believing for the promise of Isaac. I think you will see what I am saying. We made brief mention previously of Abraham defaulting to his own works when he laid with Hagar. Let’s examine this a little closer. Abraham is actually known as Abram at this time. For the sake of understanding I will continue to refer to him as Abraham. God had told Abraham that his seed would be as the stars of heaven in Genesis 15. God spoke this to Abraham in response to his declaration that he had no heir but only the steward of his household. God told Abraham that his heir would come from his own body. This prompted the powerful statement that later becomes the foundation of the New Testament, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). As time goes on Sarai, as she was called at the time, did not become pregnant. So at the request of Sarai, Abraham lays with Hagar and produces Ishmael. We have relayed this story previously in defaulting to our own works. This is the pattern for virtually all of us. We receive a promise and if there is delay we find a way to make it happen in what we can do. Abraham was eighty six when Ishmael was born. As far as we know Abraham believes that Ishmael is the promised seed. Thirteen 423


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years lapses between the last verse in chapter 16 and chapter 17 and there is no more information given regarding Ishmael until now. God appears to Abraham and gives greater clarity to the covenant established between them. He states that Abraham’s descendants would be as numberless as the stars. Genesis 17 recounts this covenant, it is an appreciable amount of scripture but I think it important for us to see the magnitude of what is taking place. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:  “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.  I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. This covenant is changing the very identity of Abram in Abraham.   And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.  Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:2-8).  “

This is the covenant that established the promise of Canaan to his descendants. This is the covenant through which Christ shall be brought forth. God goes on to speak of instructions of circumcision. However, things come to a screeching halt when God reveals to Abraham that Ishmael is not the seed of his covenant. The seed for this covenant is still yet to come. In the later verses of chapter 17 it says,

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Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her” (Genesis 17:15-16).

I can just imagine the heart of Abraham as joy is rising in his heart as he hears these words and then ...bang! He finds out that not only is Ishmael not the guy but he is going to have to believe in something that is impossible and completely out of his ability. Abraham responds, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’  And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’ “ (Genesis 17:17-18).

This realization that he had zero ability to bring this promise to fruition caused him to cry out, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” What is he essentially saying? “Oh God, please let what I can see and do in myself be the answer. Don’t make me depend on what I cannot see or do myself. Don’t make me depend on what is totally impossible. Please let what I can already see be the answer.” When we are in situations that we can see no way out. When there is no hope for change except to depend upon God doing what we cannot possibly do. This can seem extremely grievous and painful as we become aware that our own works have to die. The covenant of God is a covenant of faith. That deep desire for fulfillment and peace is in the unseen apart from your own works. Ishmael could have never brought forth the fulfillment of the covenant that God spoke to Abraham and nothing from our flesh will bring the fullness of joy that we seek. God responds to Abraham’s request in the next verse, 425


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“Then God said: ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him’ ” (Geneis 17:19).

God in His mercy to the things that we have done in our own works says this to Abraham in the next verse, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation” (Genesis 17:20).

However, he quickly establishes that this covenant is with the son of promise not the son of his own works, But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year” (Genesis 17:21). “

Obviously, this story has far greater implications than the context within which I am relating. We have discussed this throughout this writing. When we are shown that we are in our own ability and it is not working but has caused pain, anxiety instead. When we come to the place where we can only believe and have no hope in our own works this can seem very painful at first. We know that both Abraham and Sarah laughed in derision at this promise of God. Look again at this selection with these thoughts in mind... who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ “

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And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.  And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’ ‘ (Romans 4:18-22).

Abraham went from a place of laughing at the promise and begging for his own works to be the fulfillment of the promise. To being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. As we said before, this full assurance was simultaneous with the full knowledge that both his body and the body of Sarah were dead. He could only hope in what he could not see. Just like Paul went from wanting to die when his own strength was pressed beyond measure to delighting. Abraham’s cry for Ishmael to live turned to full assurance in the promise of Isaac. This was accounted to him for righteousness. The peaceable fruit of righteousness is the result. The fruit of what you cannot do yourself. The fruit of what comes from the promise not the sweat of your brow. There is no curse or sorrow on this fruit. This is the fruit of eternal life. This is the inheritance of Christ. Isaac was the peaceable fruit of righteousness. The provision of God that is brought by faith is our fruit of righteousness. The Spirit can train us to live and abide in this place. The peaceable fruit of righteousness comes to those who have been trained by the word of righteousness. The Cross of Christ Realized and Relevant I trust these last two chapters have brought realization and relevance to the cross of Christ where we live in every moment of our lives. I trust it takes the revelation of Job as a type of Christ expressing how 427


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he was made like us in every way and brings it to where you live. The truth in 2nd Corinthians chapters 4 and 5 and Romans 8 is the New Covenant daily walking of the death of Jesus detailed in Job. So when you face things that expose you to death, go to the places in Job and meditate on the death Jesus experienced for you. In Job these things are described in relatable human terms. Once these things are understood and you will carry His death for you and every death is destroyed.

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FIFTEEN

ALL THINGS We have clearly seen throughout the Book of Job the detailed portrayal of how Jesus bore our grief and carried our sorrows. We have seen that He was sent to redeem us from the our own works which are defined as the law throughout scripture. As the work of the cross has delivered us from our own works, it has done so through the realm of faith. We now live by faith. The death of Jesus has ushered in the hearing of faith to replace our own works in every area of our life. We have talked of this throughout the book. Let us now culminate the work of the cross in looking into this New Testament realm of faith. Galatians 3:23-26 reads, But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:23-26).  “

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Faith has come and replaced the law. We no longer are kept under guard by the law. Faith has now been revealed. Yet the fullness of the faith that was delivered to us by the cross of Christ goes largely unrealized. Just a few short years ago I was praying one day and was reminded of John 16. “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24).

Is Receiving Whatever You Ask a Literal Truth? As I thought about this promise I heard the Spirit prompt a question to my heart. He said, “David, is this promise a literal truth in your life?” Of course, scriptures like this make for good pulpit fodder to gain the predictable “Amen’s” from the congregation. However, to actually experience this place was not something that I could see as a true reality in my life. So my non-religious, honest assessment was ....well...no. It was not a literal truth in my life and not even close. The realization of this truth was hit or miss at the very best. To have supreme confidence in such a statement was, in reality, not even in my mindset. To walk in this promise as a living reality was too elusive to even imagine. As I mused upon this promise and the question that had been posed to me I heard the Spirit say, “I am going to teach you this as a reality.” At this point in my life I could not even imagine truly living this promise. Over the next several months the Holy Spirit began to open this truth to me. I want to take you through the same journey that the Spirit walked me through. To grasp the reality of this promise is a life changing experience. 431


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One of the first things that drew my attention was the statement, “whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” All through my many decades as a Christian the name of Jesus was just something we added to all of our prayers. We would come up with a prayer and slap the name of Jesus on the end of it to give it power. I understood the name of Jesus from a standpoint of the power it possessed but God was trying to show me another dimension. A dimension that was paramount to receiving whatever we ask. To receive something in someone’s name means that they have ownership of the items. It yields itself to the notion of inheritance. Whatever is represented by the name of Jesus has been given to him. The name of Jesus represents the inheritance of Christ. What Jesus has inherited from the Father now is represented by the name of Jesus. Depending upon how long you have been a Christian. If it has not become apparent to you yet, it certainly will become apparent, that asking whatever you want simply does not work...period. If we interpret John 16:23-24 as meaning that we can ask whatever comes up in our minds and tagging it with the name of Jesus we are going to be repeatedly disillusioned. Of course, any reasonable Christian is not going to ask for something that is overtly and obviously wrong. (I said any reasonable Christian). I am talking about things of which we are sincere and believe are ok. Yet, many of these things never come to pass and we are now subject to all sorts of interpretations about the character and will of God. We began to hear all the worn out phrases that support why our prayers were not answered instead of reaching forth for the revelation that would result in the fulfillment of these promises. Promises like John 16:23-24 then become relegated to that eternal mystery category that we resign ourselves to just leaving on the shelf and never grasping their true essence. So with all of this in mind let us walk through this enlightenment. This truth has affected my life as much as anything the Holy Spirit has ever taught me. Just as with the beauty of understanding “Carrying 432


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His Death,” this understanding of what I call “All Things,” has changed my life at its very core. I live with this truth surging in my consciousness 24/7. Go with me to 1st Corinthians, But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9).  “

Is the Term “All Things” Just a Common Phrase? What has God revealed through His Spirit? The things which God has already prepared for us. The things that he speaks are things that our eye has not seen, nor our ears have heard. Neither have they even entered into our heart. Many other translations say, “nor have they entered into our thoughts”. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10).

This is the first use of the words all things. All things is not just a common throw away saying. All things is a specific place with eternal significance. “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1Cor. 2:11).

The things spoken of here is the things which God has prepared for us that we have not seen, heard or thought in our own works. These 433


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things are all things that the Spirit searches. These are the deep things of God. The Spirit searches the depths of God for this place known as all things. Please stay with me now. I know this takes a bit of meditation but it will come alive soon. The next verse goes on to say, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12).

This is a monumental promise to us. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the very Spirit of God. For what purpose have we received the Spirit of God? That we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things that have been freely given to us have already been prepared for us. They are the things that “our eye has not seen, nor have our ears heard, nor have entered into our thoughts.” They are the things revealed by His Spirit who has searched the very depths of God. These are the things that are called all things. Jesus Defines All Things Does the above sound like a bunch of spiritual deep stuff that has no relevance? Well... let us bring finite understanding to this concept of all things so the above becomes revelatory instead of nonsensical. Let us further define all things? I told you it is not just a common phrase but a has an amazing meaning. I related that all things represents the inheritance of Christ. Go to the book of John as we shed light on this truth. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and  “

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declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13).

The Spirit of truth is speaking what He hears of the Father and is telling us things to come. Those things that He is telling us are the things that will glorify Jesus. Why are these things glorifying Jesus? For Jesus says, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” How does Jesus describe what belongs to Him? “All things that the Father has are Mine!” All Things is not some indiscriminate, arbitrary generalization of speech. It is the very inheritance of Christ. All Things is the inheritance of Christ that was bought with His own blood. All Things is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, spoken of in Ephesians. All things spoken of in John 16 is the same all things spoken of in 1st Corinthians 2. It is the things that God has already prepared for us. It is the same all things that the Spirit has searched the depths of God to reveal to us. It is that which the “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man.” Do you need more evidence that all things is the specific name for all that is called the inheritance of Christ? Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds...” (Hebrew 1:2).

Jesus was appointed heir of all things. An heir is over an inheritance and lest we forget Romans 8:17, “...and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ...” Romans 8:32 goes on to say, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Jesus was not spared but delivered up so that we could freely partake of all things that He inherited from the Father. 435


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How can this inheritance be freely given? Because it is our inheritance to which we are joint heirs. I love the two words with Him. How shall he not with Him freely give us all things. All things can only be received with Him. Look at this selection from Genesis, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

The inheritance of Christ (all things) is freely given and restored us to this place that was lost. The inheritance is freely given and has nothing to do with the lusts of the flesh represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What does 2nd Peter say of this realm of all things? “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,  as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness...” (2nd Peter 1:2-3).

The Only Way to Fullness of Joy The inheritance of Christ that is freely given will fulfill every need for life and godliness. There is no need to turn to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is no need to turn to the lusts of this world when your every joy and fulfillment is contained in all things. All Things is the very essence of the inheritance of Christ. In whose name shall we declare this inheritance? Jesus said that all things that the Father has are Mine. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ! All things is received and possessed in the name of Jesus. This is why Jesus said, “whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” 436


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When we ask from the inheritance of Christ; we are asking for that which is represented by His name. This glorifies both the Father and the Son when we ask from our inheritance. Jesus went on to say, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” It is only asking and receiving from what is freely given in the inheritance of Christ that joy will be made full. These thoughts will gain greater significance as we move ahead. So how do we receive the place where we ask from His inheritance those things in His name? How can we know what is our inheritance and what is from the world? How can we discern the difference? Are we in a perpetual state of hit or miss? Do we have to be ever mindful and careful of every desire that we have? We know that James 4:2-3 says... “yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (KJ). What do we make of this truth? This scripture always frightened me a bit. How do your guard yourself from asking amiss? For surely I would most certainly do just that! When a prayer seems to go unanswered or delayed am I asking amiss? Truth is, Jesus has provided for us so much more than living in this state of uncertainty and flux. Let us go back to 1st Corinthians 2, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12).

I declare this promise over my life virtually every day. We can declare with full assurance of faith that we do not have the spirit of the world! This is the work of the cross in our lives. Paul tells us in Galatians, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). 437


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If we embrace this truth as a finished work to be received by faith, it will become a reality in our lives. However, this is not the way freedom from the world is taught in most circles. We are told to put down the desires of the flesh and ever guard ourselves from wrong desires and motivations. The Reason Lust is Still and Issue This is the reason that the lust of the world are a constant issue. Our desires are not springing forth from all things that are freely given. I know I have spoken of these things throughout but I want to emphasize them again. The death and resurrection of Christ, simply believed upon, will cause a manifestation of being crucified to this world. As you believe in your heart and speak that you have received, “not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” The Spirit will begin to search all things for your very inheritance to become the answer, remedy and destiny for your life. The things that have not been seen, heard, or thought by you will be uncovered. Things of the unseen that will be full of the glory of God and result in great joy will emerge. These are the things that were purchased for you by the sacrifice of Christ. They belong to Jesus and are represented by His name and are freely given to you. The Spirit of God’s express purpose is that “we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” This is what will bring eternal deliverance and joy to wherever you are in your life. We have not the spirit of the world that would try to find solutions and fulfillment through our own works and the lust of the flesh. We are to spend time with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show us the inheritance of Christ. We can become so established in what to us was formerly unseen, heard or thought. We can become so intimately acquainted with the deep things of God that will fulfill every longing. 438


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Words Given to Things Not Thought “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 1:13).

As we yield ourselves to the Spirit of God we will become so familiar with the deep things of God that we will be able to put these unseen things into words. Words expressed are those taught by the very Spirit Himself. You will begin to say things that previously were not even in your thoughts. They may start out as fleeting, fragile thoughts or visions. I refer to them as shards of light that race across your mind. I call them fragile because they are not yet galvanized in your thinking. When this happens you need to stop and speak them. Write them down or record what you see and say. These are seeds of your inheritance in Christ being revealed as glimpses of light. Honor the Spirit of God by giving time and reverence for what he is revealing of the hidden, secret places of God. These wistful, delicate thoughts and pictures that may seem far away and elusive will soon become a strong dwelling place for you to abide. They are fragile seeds that if planted in your mind and attended to will become deeply rooted realities of the inheritance of Christ. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

The things that the Spirit will reveal to you cannot be received or even truly understood by the natural mind. You will be supremely confident in what has been revealed and can discern all things. Yet those in their natural understanding will not be able judge you. “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1 Cor. 2:15). 439


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The Mind of Christ Verse 15 is so incredibly powerful, “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” This question, who has known the mind of the Lord originally came from Isaiah 40:13. It is essentially asking who can know the depths of God? Who can search out the unsearchable Spirit of God? Then the answer is revealed, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Another way of answering the question, “who has known the mind of the Lord that we may instruct Him”, is in fact being answered by following statement. Jesus knows and we have received the very mind of Christ. The Amplified Bible says, “But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” Strong’s completely supports the amplification of this verse. The word mind is the Greek word Nous. Strong’s defines nous as: the intellect, i.e. mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication, meaning:—mind, understanding. We have the mind of Christ. This is a truth that must be fully embraced by faith. When we say we have the mind of Christ, we are saying we have His thoughts, feelings and will. Everything that we are originates from this reality. This is an amazing truth and we stagger to believe that it is a reality in our daily lives. Is it so far- fetched when we have enumerable promises to this same effect throughout the New Covenant. Galatians tells us that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” 1st John tells us that “as He is so are we in this world.” The reason so few realize the mind of Christ is that we think it is not possible. We think that it cannot really mean what it says. That we can actually come to the place where we believe we can actually possess the thoughts, feelings, will and understanding of Christ Himself. To accept and receive this as a literal reality by faith is the only way it will ever began to emerge in our lives. For us to have the experiences of Christ we must first receive the mind of Christ.

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God has given us the very mind of His “God has given us the Son. There is no mystery, no depth, very mind of His Son. no width, no height of God that is out There is no mystery, of our reach. As we allow the Spirit to no depth, no width, search the mind of Christ and reveal that mind to us, the deep things of no height of God that God are revealed to us. All Things are is out of our reach.” opened to us and our inheritance is shown to us in great detail. It is these things that are freely given that will bring the fullness of joy. These things are not from the Spirit of the world. They are not from the lust of this world. We have been crucified to the lust of the world and made alive to all things. It is these things that are represented by the name of Jesus and to be received so your joy will be made full. Please remember, as we have said throughout, things from the spirit of the world are not necessarily always overtly evil things. These can simply be things from your own thoughts and your own works. Solutions that have originated of your own efforts as opposed to those that emerge from the death of your own strength and the subsequent life of Christ that comes forth as a result. To walk in the place of, “we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God,” is a result of time spent allowing the Spirit to search deep within you. This truth will not be possessed if we do not spend time probing the mind of Christ through praying in the Spirit and meditation of His Word. Musing, speaking and thinking upon concepts of the Word is such a vital, life giving experience that opens us to the mind of Christ. As we pray in the Spirit we are searching and probing the mind of Christ and very depths of God that He has freely opened to us.

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In the beginning the Spirit hovered over the earth in its void and formless state until God spoke and brought all into existence. This Spirit is the same Spirit that is making intercession for us and praying the will of God. His Spirit will search out your inheritance and reveal it to you so that you can speak the deep things of God. Things that have not been previously seen, heard or thought. Things that will be brought about apart from your own sweat, works and labor. Things that are eternal and could not otherwise come forth any other way. This is what awaits us in the Name of Jesus. A Different View of Bearing Fruit So now let us move still deeper into these things. In the Gospel of John chapter 15 we see this promise of asking and receiving what you desire. I am going to list the first eight versus of John 15 because of the repeated references to the word fruit. We hear a great deal about bringing forth fruit in our lives. We hear about the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians. What is the fruit that is so often mentioned in John 15? Look at these words of Christ , “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.   You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.   If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, 442


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and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8).

I think you will agree that Jesus is trying to focus on the concept of fruit. The word fruit is mentioned six times in these verses. He is making clear this fruit that He refers to is as a result of abiding in Him and we can do nothing apart from Him. He then makes what I think is one of the most powerful and remarkable phrases in all of the scripture. He says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” The King James uses the word will in place of desire. So it reads, “ye will ask what ye will, and it shall be done for you.” The New American Standard says, “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Wow, whatever I wish? Really? How can this be? This promise becomes much like John 16:23-24 in that it really cannot mean what it says and it is shrouded in unobtainable mystery. Or at the very least we notice the prerequisite of,  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” So we now spend our lives trying to abide in Him and to make His words abide in us. With no clear idea as to what this really means. A pursuit that has no real finish line and who would know if you reached it anyhow? So, once again, how do we receive this promise as a reality? Let us go back to the issue of fruit which is the main thesis of the message of Christ in these verses. Look again at this promise, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:7-7). 443


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What is meant by the words “By This” to which Jesus is referring? I have heard many say in preaching on this verse that God is glorified in us bearing fruit. Yet they leave the word fruit to be interpreted in a general religious sense regarding good behavior and love, joy, peace, patience etc. The fruit of the Spirit certainly cannot be separated from us asking what we desire but the fruit spoken of hear has a definitive message. The fruit spoken of in the entire chapter is the fruit of asking what you desire and it being done for you! You don’t believe this do you? Look a little further down at verse 16 and you will see Jesus once again say, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16).

Please take a moment and absorb this statement. The fruit of our abiding in Jesus is asking whatever we will, wish, desire and it being done for us. I thought that God was pleased with us putting down our own wills and sacrificing our desires. I thought this was the fruit that pleases God. I thought fruit was my good deeds to help the poor and live a life of denying myself. Well... you thought wrong. In reality, could not be more wrong. God is not impressed or pleased with your going around crying, “not my will but thine”! As we have mentioned previously. Jesus cried, “Not my will but thine” so you would be freed from this warfare. We proclaim, “Not my will, it has been crucified. Your Will has consumed me by my faith in Christ.” He is glorified when we take the life of His Son and allow our wills to be completely immersed in the life of Christ. Our asking comes from the abiding life of Christ and His inheritance proclaimed in His name.

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I Will Ask What I Will If you will give me the liberty to combine the King James and the New King James in the latter portion of verse 7 it reads like this, “you will ask what you will, and it shall be done for you.” It is difficult to write the proper inflection I wish for this to be heard. Your union with Christ will empower you to the place where, You will ask....what You will. In abiding in Christ there is no distinction or separation of My will and His will. We are abiding in one another. This is what the cross of Christ accomplished for us. It crucified our old man and the will of the old man. We give glory to God and honor to the cross of Christ when we can boldly say that we abide in Him and His word abides in us. The cross has crucified this body of sin and the lust associated with it to the point where we will ask what we will, wish and desire and it shall be done for us. By this is My Father Glorified! God is not glorified by your works driven fleshly sacrifice. This new will that asks according to the inheritance of Christ is the fruit of the New Covenant. The fruit that will come forth is the exceeding riches of His inheritance in the saints. So how do we fulfill the prerequisite of this promise to abide in Him and His word abide in us? This is not a product of discipline, dedication and spiritual effort. Jesus places a curious message between chapter 15 verse 7 and verse 16. He brings in this prerequisite of the commandment of love. He tells us that for all of the things spoken of above to come about we must keep this commandment of love. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down  “

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his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:9-15)

Allow me for a moment to go back a few years prior to understanding the things I have written above. In those days every time I would read these verses this elusive love commandment is all I would see. This grievous feeling of “I’ll never make it” would come all over me. I had been trying to love my brother and fulfill this commandment all my life. If the truth be told, I haven’t done a very good job of fulfilling this commandment and that would be an understatement. I mean no one ever confused me with Mother Teresa I can assure you. All the stuff that the church folk recognized as demonstrating love for your brother was simply of no interest to me. I am just being honest. So here I am reading all of this for the umpteenth time and I became totally frustrated. I literally tossed my Bible aside and said, “Jesus, so this is how its gonna be huh? For me to get my prayers answered I’m gonna have to go bake a cake for some widow. Or go volunteer for the church bus ministry. Or go visit sick folk at the hospital. Or go volunteer to help with the youth ministry.” The thought of any of this type of stuff was just plain... Yuck. I had zero motivation and zero life to do any of these kinds of things. So after my little tirade, He spoke to my heart and said to me, “So that’s what you think this is all about? I am going to teach you the true meaning of these words.” So over the next several weeks the following is what began to emerge in my deepest essence.

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To Love as We Are Loved “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:9-10)

I mean what else could this mean except the way in which I was interpreting? This is said immediately after He said that we would ask anything we desire and it would be done for us. It is as if He is saying, “Now hold on here boys. You’re going to have to keep some commandments for this kind of thing to take place.” To top it all off this commandment was the most impossible of all, to love one another AS He has loved us? Then it goes even further commanding us to lay down our life for our friends. Notice also that He says, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. This reads very clearly that we must keep this commandment of love if we are to abide in Him. So the question of how do we fulfill the prerequisite of abiding in Him and His word abiding in us has been answered. Right? I mean it is clearly stated right there in black and white. We must lay down our lives for our brothers and keep His commandment of loving one another as He has loved us. This is the way I read this all my life. Again, how else could you view these things? So how is this perspective working out for us ? Having much success with loving one another as He has loved us? Having much success at abiding in Him unto the place of asking and receiving whatever you desire? These are obviously a rhetorical questions as I will assume that you have had no greater success than I or anyone else I know. Something was just not right. This view was not producing peace and liberty in my spirit. How do you reconcile the promises of asking for whatever

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you desire with keeping commandments of laying down your life. How do you walk in such a lofty place of love? I know, I know, I can hear the responses now, “You can’t love in and of yourself, Jesus has to love through you.” This is most certainly true but I have known this all my life and these things were still not coming to fruition in my life. There was something I was not understanding. I knew full well that this commandment of love was not going to violate the whole work of the cross. Jesus has delivered us from prerequisites of performance, even the performance of manifesting the love of God. What I was perceiving as a commandment to be obeyed and performed before the promise of asking and receiving could be realized could not possibly be accurate. Yet what do I do with these things that we have just read in John 15? I was taken by the Spirit to the book of 1st John. This is where the love of God and our love for one another is magnified. In addition, is this not the same guy who wrote these things concerning the love of God and our love for one another in both 1st John and the Gospel of John? So could it be that the true meaning of what was said in John 15 be unveiled in 1st John? I was truly led by the Spirit to search out these things in 1st John. I had read 1st John many times and quite frankly, each time, I came away with the same feeling of this prerequisite demand to love one another. As I began to read I started to see something different this time, a difference that would be life changing. He First Loved Us is All it Takes “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1st John 4:7-11).

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We begin to see a slightly different resonance to this commandment of love. John says, “everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” This love is as a result of birth not works. It also comes forth as a result of knowing God. In what way shall we know God that would produce true love for one another? The next verse begins to shed light upon this question, In this the love of God was manifested toward us...(1John 4:9). Let me stop right here. Where is the emphasis of love being placed? On the demand of love for one another? No, it is being placed on love manifested toward us! How shall we understand and gain deep revelation of the love of God? This is how, that “God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” It is in understanding the work of the cross and living every moment of our lives through Him that we come to know the love of God. Without a revelation of, “God sending His Son that we might live through Him,” we will not know the love of God. We will not be able to love one another as He loved us. Look at the next verse.  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins(1 John 4:10). The weight of the matter is not about your love for one another. It is about His love for us as demonstrated in the sending of His Son. John is emphatic in his delivery, “ In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” John is releasing us from the arduous effort of trying to produce love for one another. He then points us to the source of love which is the love of God toward us realized in the revelation of the cross. The next verse states, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another “(1 John 4:11). This verse has a texture of demand about its message. It has been interpreted as a stand- alone command. It appears to be saying we ought to be showing more love. You ought to be caring for one another more. Let’s step it up and do better for heaven’s sake! I submit to you this verse is actually stating that we

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ought to love one another in the same way that an apple tree ought to produce apples. If we are born of God and know God through the sending of His Son we ought to produce the fruit of being born of and knowing God. “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (1 John 4:12-14).

The Secret to Abiding in Him The above scripture is not saying that if we have perfect love for one another this causes God to abide in us. It is saying that God abides in us by His Spirit that He has given us. His Spirit abides in us because we have seen and testified that the Father has sent the Son as the Saviour of the world. It is because we have received the love of God toward us through the sending of His Son that our love is perfected. This perfected love that we are showing toward one another demonstrates the fruit of us having seen and testified that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. It shows that you have believed on His Son. Having believed on His Son you have received the Spirit of God that is freely given to you. Some may say at this point, “What does this have to do with the fulfillment of, ‘You will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you?’” Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” We have perceived this prerequisite as a pursuit of great diligence and obedience. Subsequently making this place of abiding unobtainable. I have some extremely good news. This next verse was a life changer for me. I think and say this truth virtually every day many times a day. Please read this 450


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carefully and slowly. Confessing Jesus is the Son of God changes everything. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:15).

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him and he in God. This is not about you and your effort to be a super dedicated Christian. This is about believing in the Son who was sent that we might live through Him. The next verse states, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” Once again, this has nothing to do with your effort to love. This is about embracing the love of God toward us that was manifested in the sending of His Son. It is about the revelation of the love of God towards us as seen and understood in the cross of Christ. We become so consumed with faith in His Son that we testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. We confess with great passion that Jesus is the Son of God! As we receive this love and believe it, God abides in us by the Spirit that He has given us. We have come to know and believe the love that God has toward us. God is love. Whoever believes in and abides in the love that God has to him abides in God and God abides in Him! You have now fulfilled the prerequisite of John 15:7...period! No longer must you strive for the place of abiding. Abiding is the fruit of believing in the Son that was sent for you.

“No longer must you strive for the place of abiding. Abiding is the fruit of believing in the Son that was sent for you.” 451


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Some may say, “It can’t possibly be that simple. You mean to tell me that by just believing and confessing that Jesus is the Son God I can abide in God? Now every desire that I have is the will God and I am going to receive these things? I know a lot of people who believe in Jesus and they live like hell itself ”. Well... by just confessing Christ as your Savior can save you from an eternity in hell and bring you to an eternity of peace with Him. So if there is enough power in faith in Christ to make that change then I think our wills should be no problem. Does our wills aligning with the will of God happen overnight? No, but this is the path of understanding to receive this truth. Before the end of this book you have a clear understanding. Herein, By This, This is How We have just read that believing, testifying, confessing the Son of God causes us to abide in Him. We have just read that coming to know and believe the love God has to us causes us to abide in God. Now look at verse 17. The King James states it this way, Herein. Stop right there. Another translation says “By This” (NASB). Still yet another says “This is how,” (NIV). “Herein,” “This is how” and “By this” is all referring to knowing and believing the love that God has toward us. “By this,” “This is how” or “Herein,” is our love made perfect. Amazing! What a beautiful life giving truth. How is love perfected in us toward one another? When we gain the depth of the love God to us by understanding the deepest dimensions of the cross of Christ. By gaining a deep understanding of God sending His Son that we might live through Him. This is how love is perfected in us toward one another. Is this not the fulfillment of the words of Jesus when he superseded the Old Covenant promise of Love thy neighbor as thyself with the New Covenant of love one another as I have loved you. The only way to love one another as He loved us is by receiving His love for us in the fullness of the understanding of the 452


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sending of His Son. It always comes back to the cross. I remember reading 1st John prior to seeing these things. I would think to myself, “you know, he really does not emphasize the cross like Paul does. It is all about this commandment to love your brother”. Man, did I miss the boat. Although his writing method is different the message of the cross is the foundation of John’s message as well. Notice the result of this perfected love...”that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17) As He is so are we...in this world. The actual reality of this statement has been beyond our comprehension. Because we have thought that such a place was ridiculously impossible. So it is if we are left to our own devices, but just as perfected love is not of ourselves neither is, “as he is, so are we in this world”. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18) “

The word casteth is defined by Strong’s as to throw (in various applications, more or less violent or intense. In the outline of Biblical usage casteth is expressed as to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls. The message is clear. Perfected love violently throws out fear and discards it as we would a rotten piece of fruit. The context here is the fear of punishment or judgment from God. All fear, no matter its origin or expression, is overcome by perfect love. The revelation of the love of God toward us through the sending of His Son cast out all fear. John punctuates this whole thought of chapter 4 by emphatically stating, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We can confidently say, we love one another because He first loved us. With these things in our mind let us return to the words of Jesus in the Gospes of John,

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“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:9-12)

We now have a much clearer understanding of what Jesus was saying. It was not a command of obedience or prerequisite to receiving what we desire. It is evidence demonstrating those who keep His commandments to love one another have received the Spirit of God and abide in Him. It is not for us to keep the commandment of love so we will abide. It is proof that they are abiding in Him because they have come to know and believe the love that God has to them. The result is the fruit of loving one another. Perfect Love is a Finished Work to Be Received Jesus most certainly said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”... no doubt. He said it this way pre-cross, pre-resurrection. He knew how He would deliver this love to the saints. It is fascinating how John takes the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John that could be seen as a prerequisite demand and then expresses them as a finished work in 1st John. Let me show you what I mean. Let us take a look at some selections from 1st John prior to chapter 4. These will bring added dimension to the truth that love for one another and abiding in God is a fruit of believing in Jesus. It is not a prerequisite to so we can attain unto abiding in God.

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Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). The more I read this, the more I am amazed, that it took me decades to see this simple truth. He is obviously not saying that keeping His commandments causes us to know Him. The exact opposite is being stated. If we know Him... we will keep His commandments. If the former were true then why would Jesus ever had to die? This was the whole problem, we could not keep this or any other commandment. Therefore, we needed a Savior. Remember, Galatians 2:21... “if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” “

He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (John 2:4-5)  “

Perfected love is a fruit of being born of God and knowing God which will cause us to keep His word. This proves that we are abiding in Him. I mentioned just above that John took the words of Jesus that could be viewed as a demand pre-cross and received the illumination of the New Covenant upon the words of Christ post-cross. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning” (1John 2:7) “

What is this commandment that John is referring to as the old commandment which they had heard from the beginning? The answer to this question is in chapter 3.

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For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another...” ( 1 John 3:11). John calls this an old commandment that they have heard from the beginning. He says I write no new commandment. He immediately goes on to say, “

“Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8).

The True Light is Shining John is telling us that he is not changing the commandment. It is the one we have heard Jesus speak from the beginning that we are to love one another. Yet it is clear that he is seeing this commandment in a new way. The darkness is past and the true light is shining. What is the message John is trying to relate? The revelation of Christ is now shining in his heart regarding this commandment to love one another. Even though it is the same commandment he has heard from the beginng, it is as if it is now brand new. True light is now shining on this place of loving one another as He love us. This true light of love for one another being a fruit of believing and receiving the love God in His Son. The commandment to do is now the commandment that has been done. This is not a commandment to do and if you don’t punishment will take place. This new commandment is a prophetic declaration to empower us with ability to fulfill. Again, it is the fruit of being born and knowing God through believing in Christ. The next verse is fulfilled by His Spirit that has been given to us by receiving His Son. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:18-19).

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Once again, we have this message reinforced regarding love being the proof we are in Him. John says, “And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:19-21).

This manifestation of love that is a fruit of being born and knowing God causes us to have confidence toward God. Look at the next verse as we see John begin to shed light on the connection between the commandment of love and asking and receiving. John makes this connection because this is exactly what Jesus did immediately after he declared the promise of asking whatever we desire if we abide in Him. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).

Here is this awesome promise expressed again. “Whatever we ask we receive of Him.” And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3: 23)

What is His commandment, “That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ.” Without first believing there is no fulfillment or empowering of the second which is to love one another.

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“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9-10)

John has shed complete new light on these words of Jesus. What appeared to be an unobtainable prerequisite to abiding in Him and receiving whatever we ask is now a gift of His Spirit. Free to Ask and Receive “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

Is this not the same statement that Jesus made in John 16:24, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Our joy is made full by asking for whatever we desire and it being done unto us! We cannot be afraid to reach for this place any longer. We cannot let this promise sit on the shelf because it looks “too good to be true”. We cannot live another day without the hope of this promise becoming a living reality. We have been told that joy is not a result of your circumstances and that we should have joy even if your prayer was not answered. We should indeed have joy in trying times. Yet Jesus emphatically states that asking what we desire and receiving it is the key to fullness of joy. This joy is as result of seeing the unseen and having confidence that God has granted you your inheritance. You now abide in the substance and evidence of your hope. This promise should be a living, breathing reality in our lives.

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This is How We Can Ask Whatever We Desire This following statements are key to understanding everything we have said up to this point. Why did Jesus appear to throw in the commandment of love in the midst of telling us we could receive whatever we desire? We can now see it was not to throw an unobtainable prerequisite demand on the whole concept as so many have interpreted. Jesus knew that in His death and resur rection He was going to eradicate lust and the spirit of this world in. He knew that if we showed forth love for one another it would be unmistakable evidence that we have received the love of the Father by believing in His Son. Jesus was confident in the power of His death and resurrection that if believed upon would sanctify, cleanse and put to death our old nature—the spirit of the world. What can now come forth is perfect union with the desires of the inheritance in our utter oneness with the Father. This is how we can ask whatever we desire and it shall be done for us! Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 15-17) “

The love of the Father is not in those who love the world. This is true. By contrast, we can now say if we have the love of the Father, we do not have the love of the world. We know that if we “confess the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world we abide in God and He in us.” So the love of the world has been eradicated from my life. Remember, Galatians tells us that we have been crucified to the world and the world to us. “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). 459


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The lust of flesh, eyes and pride of life is not of the Father. We can take the above scripture as a promise of empowerment. If I am in Christ then I am in the Father. All that is in the world has been crucified in me. Now, take hold with all your might the truth of 1st Corinthians that we talked of earlier, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12)

We have the Spirit of our Father. The spirit of the world has been crucified to us. We can release our faith in this finished work.

Desires of Our Inheritance Our desires are not springing from lusts they are springing from what is freely given. They are emanating from His inheritance in the saints. An inheritance called all things that belong to Jesus. All things to which He has been appointed heir and to which we are joint heirs. This is why Jesus said the Father is glorified when we receive what we ask from this place of inheritance. This is the very reason that Jesus was sent to us so that all things would be restored to us. So that we can again partake of all things in the garden. The lusts of the flesh represented by tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not even on our radar any longer. We are crucified to all of our own works and anything that would originate from the spirit of the world.

“Our desires are not springing from lusts they are springing from what is freely given. They are emanating from His inheritance in the saints.”

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Jesus knew that if we showed forth love for one another the love of the Father had been perfected in us. This love is evidence that we have believed and received the Son whom He sent. This love showed that we have received the Spirit of God. This love proves that we have not received the Spirit of the world with its lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life. This love leads to desiring and asking from His inheritance in His name. We can have supreme confidence that, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17) The will of God is that which comes from what is freely given. The will of God is all things. It is the inheritance of Christ in the saints. These things are eternal. The lusts of the world will pass away but he who does the will of God abides forever. The Source of Conflict Go with me to the book of James to see these truths expressed in an even clearer measure. “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?   You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3 KJ)

James asks the question, where do wars and fights originate? The NASB translation say quarrels and conflicts. I think this is important because wars lend itself to a bigger picture, whereas, quarrels, conflicts 461


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and fights can be in the everyday lives of all of us. Also, the phrase among us can be translated in us. It is also paramount to point out that the word Pleasure is the pleasure of lusts. Pleasure of itself is not in any way evil. Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” There are pleasures of His inheritance and pleasures of lusts. James is clearly talking about desires for pleasure that spring forth from lusts. Since we have laid this groundwork, let us look to the impact of this truth in the context of the things that we have been saying. James is stating that quarrels, conflicts and fights among you and within you come from lusts. We have defined lusts not only as the overt aspects of sensuality and greed but also anything that comes from our own effort and strength. When we try to force something to happen through manipulation or fleshly strength we are in the lusts of the flesh. James states that, you lust and do not have, you murder and covet and cannot obtain, you fight and war. When we want something, no matter what it is, and we don’t get it, we default to anger and fights. We default to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh to satisfy our desires. This can be both from within us and towards others. We have a need or desire and we think we know how that desire can or should be fulfilled according to lusts. When it is not fulfilled conflicts can arise as we try to either make it happen or become withdrawn within ourselves. We may want a relationship to go a certain way. We may want to be treated a certain way by our spouse, children, co-worker or friends. We may want our finances or careers to progress in a certain way that produces what we are desiring. We clearly have a need and our flesh defaults to ways to fulfill these desires. However, James says there is a solution to these desires. These deep needs can be satisfied by one thing. You do not have because you do not ask. There is no need to fight and demand so that you force things to go the way you want. Your joy can be made full if you will turn to asking and receiving in the name of Jesus. Turn to your inheritance where things 462


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are freely given and your joy will be made full. We think the only way we are going to be happy and fulfilled is if it turns out a certain way that your flesh perceives as the answer. If we will turn to the promises of God and allow those promises of our inheritance to bring forth what is freely given. These promises will fulfill every need and desire that we thought only could be satisfied by the way the lusts of the world were dictating. Asking Amiss “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

James is telling us to ask and receive and the only reason you would ask and not receive is because you are asking from the place of lusts and not the place of promise. If we have not allowed the Spirit of God to search the depths of God and reveal to us what has been freely given to us then we will always default to the flesh. However, if we declare that we do not have the spirit of the world, but rather the Spirit of our Father then that which is freely given will be shown to us. Faith will be born in these things and will free us from our own works of former lusts. What is freely given will be eternal. It will be the weight of glory that will be far beyond the thing that was compelling you by lusts. It will be that which “This is not a place of will make your joy full. I can assure you that if you fulfill inner warfare. This is not a your desires by lusts it will not place of struggle within result in fullness of joy. yourself. Lusts have been This is not a place of inner warfare. This is not a place crucified and all things is now reigning in your desires.” of struggle within yourself. Lusts have been crucified and all things is now reigning in your desires. You do not have to battle with...”Not my will but Thine...” That warfare has been completed by 463


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your Savior. You begin to desire what is freely given exponentially above what was formerly the only way you thought you could be satisfied. God is in you both to will and do of His good pleasure. No longer are these the pleasures of lust but rather the eternal pleasures at the right hand of the Father. Ask!!! from the realm that was purchased for you by the blood of Christ! Ask!!! from the realm that is represented by the name of Jesus! We are forever free from asking amiss. We are forever free from asking from the origins of lust. We are free to ask from what is freely given. We are free to eat of all of the Trees of the Garden. We do not have the spirit of the world so we do not ask from the spirit of the world. This is a place of reality if we will embrace it by faith in Jesus. James reinforces the truth that asking amiss is from the spirit of the world. The spirit of the world to which we are crucified. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4-5)

Clearly, this is describing person asking amiss. The person who is fighting to get what they do not have and doing so from the spirit of the world. Next verse, Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?” (James 4:6)

The Father paid an enormous price to free us from the world and He wants no trace of it leavening our desires. The Spirit who dwells in us is yearning. Remember the things we discussed earlier about the yearnings of the Spirit. The Spirit is yearning to bring forth your fullness of joy apart from any lusts of the world. We are yearning for our inheritance and the Spirit is in us to give expression to these yearnings.

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Who Are the Humble? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6)

Who is the proud and who is the humble in this context? The proud are those who demand for their desires to be satisfied from the spirit of the world. They will fight and quarrel to make sure they get what their lusts demand. Make no mistake, this place of fighting and conflict is not only reserved for the overtly wicked. It can live unabated right in the middle of the lives of well meaning Christians whose hearts have yet to be illuminated by freedom from the spirit of the world. I know this to be true first hand, because I was one. The humble are those who turn to the promises apart from anything of their own works and the lust of their own way. The humble are those who will not fight and demand what they want but rather submit to asking from their inheritance in the name of Jesus. They trust the provision of God freely given through the Son He has offered. They trust the provision brought forth by the promises of our inheritance to bring them the fullness of joy, not what their flesh is demanding. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8)  “

This is how we submit to God. This is how we resist the devil. This is how we draw near to God. Possessing Our Inheritance I made reference above about asking from the promises instead of the spirit of the world. We have talked of these things previously in 465


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other places in this book. I want to broaden our understanding and go a bit further into this vital understanding. The promise in 2 Peter is so powerful in illustrating this truth. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,  by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (1 Peter 1:2-4).

There is so much to say about this promise, but I want to emphasize verse 4, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises.” He is referring to His divine power realized through the knowledge of God and Jesus. This power is that which was worked in Christ when God raised Him from the dead. We know this is the power to which he is referring by the word spoken in Ephesians when Paul said, “...that you may know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places...”(Ephesians 1:19-21)

So what has this power given us? Yes, I hope you noticed that phrase again. All things that are unto life and godliness have been given to us through this divine power. The next verse says this power has given us exceedingly great and precious promises. Every promise finds its life in the person of Christ. Because every promise is the person of Christ. He is the Word made flesh. Never view any promise as an entity in 466


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and of itself. If you think you can pray a promise outside the revelation of Christ it will be vain and become a dead work. Always see the person of Christ in every promise. See every promise as the seeds of the inheritance of Christ in the saints. The promises are the seeds of all things and all things belong to Him. It is these promises that replace the lust of your flesh and cause us to escape the corruption that is in the world through these lusts.

Bringing Our Position in Christ into Our Condition Before we move forward in how we can walk and live in our inheritance in this life. I want to make some observations. Many Christians interpret the will and nature of God by what happens to them. If they pray and ask for something and it does not happen they draw all sorts of conclusions to support their prayer not being answered. We have mentioned these kinds of things on several occasions throughout this book. You know, “it wasn’t God’s will”, “it wasn’t the timing of the Lord”, “sometimes God doesn’t do it the way you thought”. You know what? All of these statements could be absolutely true. It may not have been God’s will. It may not have been God’s timing. He may very well (and most cases always does) do things in a different way than we thought. However, let me submit to you a question. Are these conclusions the best we can hope for? Are we left to these conclusions as the very height of our walk with God? There are those who are just going through life and whatever happens to them they believe is the will of God. Or the will of the universe or whatever the flavor of the month happens to be at that time. The will of God is interpreted as “everything happens for a reason”. God or the universe is considered sovereign. God is in control, as we have heard so often. Everything that happens to them is deemed as some 467


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kind of destiny. Are any of these philosophies the way God set forth for us to receive All Things? I submit to you that none of this is the Gospel of Christ. So many are interpreting the will of God through events and circumstances with which God had no part in originating. To which some would say, “God is sovereign and nothing happens without His permission.” Let me offer to you these things and then you can make up your own mind how you wish to live the rest of your life...fair enough? Go with me to the book of Hebrews, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power...” (Hebrews 1:1-3). Obviously, I am wanting you to notice in particular that He was appointed heir of All Things. Also, the way All Things. is upheld is by the word of His Power. The word Upholding is defined by Strong’s as to carry or bear but also to bring forth. All Things, which is the inheritance of Christ. All Things, to which we have been made joint heirs with Christ, is brought forth by the word of His power. We, as co-creators with Christ, speak forth the word of His power. His power, which we have already defined as what was set forth when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand far above all rule, dominion, principality and power. This is the divine power that has given us All Things that pertain to life and godliness. The word of His power is the exceedingly great and precious promises. It is these promises, represented by the power of God, that are made “Yes”by the death and resurrection of Christ. The word of His power, to which His inheritance for your life shall be upheld or brought forth, is the exceedingly great and precious promises. 468


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The Spirit shines light on these promises and gives life to them. The Spirit of faith rises in your heart and declares these promises. A birth canal for All Things is now created and we in tandem with Christ bringing forth His will in our lives. This is abiding in Him. This is asking what you will and it shall be done for you so that God is glorified! This is asking what you desire in the name of Jesus and it being done unto you so that your joy is made full. As we sit with the Holy Spirit and simply ask Him how to bring this relationship about in our life. He will teach us how to co-create with Christ who is our destiny. God is sovereign, no doubt. However, He is sovereign according to His word. He has a sovereign destiny for every phase of our lives. There is pre-ordained will of God for us and it is called the exceeding riches of His inheritance in the saints. This is how it is realized, not by letting everything just happen and then calling it the will of God. Please!!! If you are not participating in the above relationship with Christ through the Spirit then you cannot say that the things happening to you are the will of God. By taking the revelations of truth and individual promises of His word and allowing the Spirit to customize those promises to your specific need or desire become the seeds of your inheritance. Kingdom of God as a Seed Would a farmer look over his field and not plant any seed? Once the seed is planted would he not water, care and cultivate the seed? Would he say, “If God wants me to have corn then corn will come up?” If he just sat on his porch and looked over his field and said, “ Well, whatever grows up and comes to me is the will of God. He is sovereign and whatever he wants for my life then I will just accept.” Would a businessman start a business and then say, “Well, if God wants people to buy my stuff they will find me. If they don’t, guess it just wasn’t supposed to be.” As ridiculous as these examples sound, this is exactly 469


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the way many people live and interpret the will of God. What would happen to the farmers field in the example above. There has been no seed planted for the things which he is hoping. No seed, no harvest...period. Not only would he not have any harvest but other things would plant their seed and bring forth their destiny. His field would become overgrown with every weed and thorn imaginable. Just let your front yard go for a few weeks and see what happens. There will be seed planted I can assure you but it will not be the seeds of what you desire. This is exactly what is happening to many today. They are reaping the seeds of realms and origins that have nothing to do with their inheritance. The seeds of one’s inheritance have to be planted, cultivated, attended to and protected from those that would steal it from our hearts. What did Jesus Himself say about these things in Mark 4:26? He says, “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground...” After teaching the parable of the sower Jesus makes this profound statement. The kingdom of God is literally the king’s dominion or domain. It is our inheritance. This kingdom is defined by the casting of seed into the ground. This is the way the entire kingdom of God is brought forth. This is how the heirs of this kingdom uphold All Things. To gain proper perspective we must take a brief look at this parable. It is not my intention to do an exhaustive rendering of the parable of the sower. This could be another book in and of itself. I simply want to relate its impact in the context of the kingdom of God. “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.  Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.   And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and  

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choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4:3-8).

In verse 13 Jesus begins to interpret the parable, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” Obviously, understanding this parable is vital. It is the origin of life. If you do not understand these truths you will not understand how and why things are taking place in your life. You will not understand the nature of God. Jesus goes on to address every aspect of the parable. “The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.   These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.   Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,  and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.   But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4:14-20).

We will address a little later the word being taken away from the heart. Also we will talk more of tribulation, the cares of this world and the deceit of riches choking the word. However, for now let us look at the very foundation of this parable. If we do not understand this 471


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parable we will not understand how and why things are taking place in our lives. Mark 4, Luke 8 and Matthew 13 all give accounts of this same parable and each offer added insight. In Luke 8:11 it reads, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Matthew 13:19 says,  “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” The point of clarity is simply that the seed is the word and the ground is your heart. It is no coincidence that the word heart used here is the word Kardia. As we have discussed previously, it is defined by Strong’s as: thoughts or feelings (mind). In Blueletterbible.org the outline of biblical usage defines heart as: the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors. The heart is the deep places of man. It is where your life is determined. What comes out of the heart determines your life. It is not determined by: everything happens for a reason, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, it wasn’t God’s will or it wasn’t God’s timing. Life is determined by what seed is cast and remains in your heart. The parable of the sower was taught to me all my life with the overriding thought that it was my responsibility to protect my ground. It was my responsibility to insulate myself from having a heart of wayside, stony or thorn filled ground. The good ground was another hit or miss, elusive place of spiritual attainment. This always led to inevitable failure. Is this the way it is? Are we left with a constant battle to keep our heart from being wayside, stony or thorn filled? Parable of the Sower Pre-Cross, Post-Cross To answer this dilemma let’s fast forward from the Gospels where Jesus said these things pre-cross into a different look at the post-resurrection perspective of the parable of the sower. The seed is the word of 472


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God. The ground is our heart and it is our thoughts, feelings, desires, affections and purposes. These are the things that make up the mind. Is the word of God each and every scripture or promise in the Bible? Is Jesus saying that you plant these scriptures in your thoughts and let them grow and it is to this extent that you will receive a harvest? This is certainly the way it had been expressed to me through the years. This resulted in a constant effort to think about individual scriptures in the Bible and stand on them in the face of adversity. It was a battle to keep these promises in my heart against tribulation, deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things. Of course, the above scenario contains a great deal of truth, no doubt. However, is there more to consder? Is there a better way? We have touched on these things previously but I want to revisit them in the context of the message of this entire chapter. Look at Romans 10:17 once again, “ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As we have said before, the phrase the word of God, in many early manuscripts is actually rendered word of Christos or word of Christ. There is debate on this issue. What is not at debate is the entire context of the book of Romans and certainly the subject of Romans 10. The context is without question the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the word of Christ. The word of God in Romans 10:17 is unquestionably the message of cross. The Seed of the Kingdom is the Word of Christ So what does this mean to me? No longer are we to make receiving faith an arduous pursuit in and of itself. Faith is the very person of Christ that is to be received. The entire book of Job points to faith in Christ. The entire New Testament is about hearing the word of Christ in us. The post resurrection Parable of the Sower is the Hearing of the word of Christ. Paul described this New Testament casting of seed into the ground in his letter to the Ephesians. 473


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and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24).

It is the renewing of our minds to the word of Christ that is the seed of the New Testament. As we hear the central message that it is not about me and my efforts any longer but about faith in what He has accomplished for me. He is my righteousness, holiness and wisdom. I renew my mind to Christ in me. This is the seed of the kingdom of God. Now look what Romans 10 says preceding verse 17. “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).

The word of faith is not a religion or belief system it is the message of the cross: The pre-cross parable of the sower elevated to the post-cross parable of the sower in this one powerful thesis statement of Romans 10:10. The word of Christ is sown in our hearts. Our minds are renewed to Christ in us. With our heart we believe and are made the very righteousness of God. Out of our mouth now comes the salvation of God. Out of our mouths comes our inheritance. Out of our mouths we now speak what is the abundance of our heart, which is the word of Christ! This scripture, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” has been reduced in some circles to mean only the receiving of Christ when one becomes a Christian. When in fact it is the consummate declaration of how you we uphold All Things by the word of His power. As I am sure you are 474


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aware the word salvation is Soteria. It is defined by Strong’s as rescue or safety (physically or morally):—deliver, health, salvation. By receiving the word of Christ in our hearts faith is born. For faith comes by the hearing of the word of Christ. We, having the same Spirit of faith, speak. This speaking or confession is made unto salvation. Salvation that is limited to going to heaven? No! It is the salvation of Christ. It is All Things to which He has been made heir and we have been made co-hiers! This is the kingdom of God and this is how the kingdom of God is brought from the unseen into what you can see, touch and feel. There is no lust or corruption in All Things. There is no question of the will of God. It is what has been freely given. Delivered From a Stony, Wayside Heart Regarding the question of a wayside, stony or care filled heart that chokes the word. I declare with supreme confidence that I have been given the Mind of Christ. I hold the thoughts, feelings and purposes of His heart. I have the very heart of Christ Himself by faith. I have not received the spirit of the world but rather the Spirit of God. I am forever delivered from a wayside, stony and thorn-filled heart. I will tell you with unequivocal boldness that if you try to cultivate “good ground” in other way you will fail and you will fail miserably. Receive the heart of Christ by the hearing of the word of Christ. Receive the good ground of His heart and watch the harvest of All Things abound 30, 60 and 100 fold in your life. Watch the harvest of His inheritance come forth in your life. A harvest that comes from abiding in Him and the word of Christ abiding in you. The word of Christ that has consumed, cleansed and purified your desires and will. Consumed, cleansed and purified so much so that you can now say, “I will ask what I will and it shall be done for me. By this is my Father glorified as I bring forth the fruit of the eternal will of God for my life!”

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“I will ask what I will and it shall be done for me. By this is my Father glorified as I bring forth the fruit of the eternal will of God for my life!” Does this hearing of the word of Christ preclude us from taking individual promises to believe and stand upon for specific needs for our lives as I inferred above? Certainly not, rather, it establishes this life filled endeavor. Instead of taking promises and cramming them in my mind to get God to do something. I now am compelled and motivated from the truth that we have established over and over. All of these promises find their yes and Amen in Christ. They find their completion in the finished work of Christ. I now take every promise in all of the Bible and place it in the context of the hearing of the word of Christ. I take promises from the Psalms and place them in the finished work of Christ. “For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall” Psalm 18:28-29). “It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places” (Psalm 18:32-33) “He grants light to those who sit in darkness and guides my feet into way of peace” (Luke 1:79).

These are seeds of my inheritance made yes by the blood of Christ. When I have problems in my life and I do not know where to even begin. I do not know what I truly want or cannot possibly conceive the solution. We may not have the specificity of how things will work out. This is where we address the question of why God always seems to do things another way than we thought. In most cases it is because 476


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we are thinking in our own minds and strength. Our minds default to desperate attempts to find relief. It’s just what we do until we are trained by His Spirit. These solutions that have been produced by our own minds do not have their origin from the seed of His word. Is it any wonder that these pursuits do not work? Jesus said, “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone” (Matt. 7:9)? Can I express this scripture another way? We should receive that for which we ask...should we not? This is what Jesus said over and over. Yet we hear preachers tell us all the time, “It’s not what you want it’s what God wants.” The real truth is, God has made a way for what He wants to be what we desire above all else. The Way of the Seed We have to start with the seed of His promises that have been made Yes in Christ. With this in mind let me pose a question to you. Have you ever seen a peach seed? Have you ever seen an apple seed? Well, of course you have. So now let me ask you another question. Does a peach seed look anything like a peach? Does an apple seed look anything like an apple? The point is this, the peach seed that looks nothing like a peach has everything in it to bring its full fruit into existence. So it is with the seed of His promises. You start with the promise. It may seem insignificant in the face of the pressure and complexity of your problem. It may not look anything like the answer you seek. This is why you are pulled to other things that look like they would be the answer. However, if you will simply declare, “Father, you grant light to those who sit in darkness and you guide my feet into the way of peace,” your life will then begin to come together to manifest this truth. How it happens is in the seed... not you. Remember the words of Jesus in Mark.

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“And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.  For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.  But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come’ ” (Mark 4:26-29).

This foretells of how the hearing of faith causes us to rest from our own works. It separates us from our own works and yields itself to the works of faith. Remember our phrase, faith has rest and faith has works but the works are not your own. Your mind will be illuminated to the specifics as the seed begins to sprout. You will begin to see glimpses as the fruit begins to shape according to its destiny. Your desires will begin to cling to these unseen places. Faith will emerge. Your mouth will speak and the salvation/ will/inheritance of God will be born. We Can Know the Gestation Period of the Seed We have mentioned on many occasions the often heard phrase when something does not work out. “It just was not the Lord’s timing.” I have called this religious dogma in some parts of this book. In other parts I have mentioned that something indeed might not be the timing of the Lord. To say something is not the timing of the Lord and then just leave it in this foggy place of the unknown is not the will of God. Consider the following in the context of the parable of the sower. Is not the entire context that of a farmer who is cultivating his crop? Ok.. if this be true and, of course it is, then let me pose still yet another question. Is there any farmer who would plow his field and plant his seed with absolutely no clue as to the gestation period of that seed? Would he plant the seed and not know the stages of the progress of 478


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that seed? Would he not be intimately acquainted with every aspect of the process? Of course he would know these things! Jesus says that the kingdom of God is as a man would cast seed into the ground. Can we not be as adept in the Spirit with the seeds of the kingdom as the natural farmer is with the seeds of his crop? If Jesus is going to use this example then we need to look deeply at the entirety of the example. We have established that the seed is the hearing of faith in Christ. We place the canopy of the cross over each promise and revelation that has been made Yes and Amen. The planting of the word of Christ brings faith. Faith is the substance and evidence of the unseen. Look again at the phrase, “first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” This takes place in your heart as you begin to see the seed give its expression in your mind. This is your inheritance taking shape. We can be so intimately immersed in this miracle of the heart. We do not have to be left seeing through a glass darkly. We do not have to be left wondering the will or timing of the Lord. This beautiful progression of hearing/planting what is freely given is the faith offered to the church by the death and resurrection of Christ. Bringing it All Home Folks, let’s bring it all home and put it all together. Faith in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has crucified the world and all the lust contained therein. It has given us the Spirit of God Himself and perfected the love of God in us. Jesus has provided All Things that would satisfy every, need, desire, dream or purpose. All things is contained in the renewing of our minds and the exceedingly great and precious promises. These can be declared with confidence in the name of Jesus. All Things will most certainly come forth and will produce the fullness of joy. Does becoming proficient in these things happen overnight? Can you reach out for these things and still come up with things from you own works and mind? Well, of course, but this is the way to progress 479


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past these places forever. unto not asking amiss by trying to attain it by your dedication and commitment. You will never attain the place of abiding in Him and His word in you by your great spiritual effort. You can, however, receive it as the gift of grace by faith in Christ. Stay in this mindset and know that this is your destiny and these things will be brought forth in you by His Spirit that abides within you.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;You will never attain the place of abiding in Him and His word in you by your great spiritual effort. You can, however, receive it as the gift of grace by faith in Christ.â&#x20AC;? The following is a prayer and declaration: Father, I thank you that the sacrifice of Christ was big enough and complete enough to crucify me to the world and the world to me. I have not received the spirit of the world but rather the Spirit of God. I thank you that your Spirit searches the deep things of God. Things which my eye has not seen, nor my ear heard, nor has it even entered into my thoughts. These things you have already prepared for me. These things are freely given to me. For you, who did not spare your only Son, how will you not with Him and through Him freely give me All Things. All things that belong to you have been given to Jesus and He has been appointed heir of All Things. I am a joint heir with him. I testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. I confess that Jesus is the Son of God. I have come to know and believe the love that God has for me for God is love. Therefore, I abide in the love that God has for me and I abide in God and He abides in me. By this is my love made perfect. The love of the Father, through the sending of His Son, has purified my will. It is now God who both wills and does of His good pleasure 480


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in me. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life that is of the spirit of the world has been put to death in me. I do not nor can I ask amiss. I ask according to the exceeding great and precious promises of my inheritance and I have escaped the corruption of the lust of the world. I will ask what I will and it shall be done for me. By this is my Father glorified. I will ask the Father whatever I will in the name of Jesus and it is done for me and my joy is made full. This prayer can be prayed and received because of the death and resurrections of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The death that is so vividly portrayed in one of the greatest books in all of the Bible... The Book of Job. Conclusion Wow... as I am sitting here writing the last words of this book a sense of destiny fills my thoughts. This book has been a lifetime in the making. I can still remember that day almost 25 years ago that the question was asked of me, â&#x20AC;&#x153;David, what is the purpose of the book of Job?â&#x20AC;? Little did I know that this would become a life quest and would take me almost half my life to discover. I have fulfilled the constant calling in my heart to write the things contained in this book. It has been both a great joy and challenge. I cannot tell you of the many times reading the book of Job and having no idea what it was trying to say. The joy and challenge of praying and seeking God over the perplexing voices of this book was quite a journey. As I sit here at my desk in this precious moment of reflection I look over the many notes that I have scratched on various papers here and there. Notebooks long ago discarded full of awkward concepts and efforts to unravel the mystery of Job. I also see notes as the light began to shine and the truth began to come forth. I shall keep these as mementos of my journey. They shall be to me a testimony that the Holy Spirit will teach me everything that I presently do not know. 481


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Have I exhausted everything that can be seen in the book of Job? Well, of course not, but I trust that I have set a foundation for future generations to search the riches of this book. I trust that Jesus will be forever lifted up and truly magnified. I trust the riches of the cross of Christ will be seen in its deepest aspect. I trust that Job will no longer be misunderstood, dismissed and forgotten. Rather, it will now be thrust into the forefront as a key to knowing the width, length, depth and height of the love of Christ.

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Job book final  
Job book final  
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