Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Temple of God

The Apostle Paul, as a “fellow worker” (2nd Corinthians 6:1) with God, in his letter to the church at Corinth, exhorts all believers to know that we are a temple of God.

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”

1st Corinthians 3:16-17 [NASU]

As the whole congregation of Israel were formerly considered as the temple and habitation of God, because God dwelt among them, so is the church called the temple of God, because all who are of love and faith have the Spirit of God to dwell in them; and Yeshua has promised to always be in the midst of even two or three who are gathered together in His name. Therefore where God is, there is His temple.

God is the architect and the “Rock” of its foundation, Yeshua, the Living Word of God is its “Corner Stone,” His apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers, working together with Christ, are its builders, thus the temple of God is holy, that is, it has been cleansed by the blood of God’s Son, and is being disciplined by His word and sanctified or set apart for His dwelling place.

We continue with the Apostle writings.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

1st Corinthians 6:19-20 [NASU]

Since by the grace of God the Holy Spirit dwells in us and our bodies are His temples, we should not dishonor the gift and the giver by polluting it with evil thoughts and acts. Further, we have been redeemed from the law of sin and death through the shed blood of the precious Son of God; we belong to God; we are his and we are bound, therefore, to devote ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, as he directs, to the glory of His name, not to the gratification of the flesh.

No child of God lives to gratify fleshly inclinations or appetites. Motivated by the love for his Savior and strengthened by the Holy Spirit he sets his mind on the things above and not on the things of the world; he makes it his aim to do the will of God; to subordinate all his desires to God’s Law and gospel.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”

2nd Corinthians 6:14-15[NASU]

The way of the unrighteous, the peoples of the world, is to live for themselves, to make it their great object to become rich or honored, or to indulge in the worldly comforts and carnal pleasures of this life. These are the aim of all people except the sons of God; their love for their fellowman and love, devotion, faithfulness and obedience to their God sets them apart from the people of the world; they have no fellowship with the worldly.

“Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.’”

2nd Corinthians 6:16 [NASU]

The worship of an idol (false god) and the worship of the true God are wholly incompatible. An idolater never worships the true God; a true child of God never worships an idol. If one joins in idolatrous rites, it is impossible that they are a son of God.

When we think of idols we are prone to think of physical things made of stone, wood, medal and such; true enough, these can be idols and has no place in the life of the “temple of God.” Many who name themselves among the ranks of that of a Christian are deceived and are blindly worshiping other types of idols (gods) that have emerged in their life. Anything that has a person enslaved, bound in such a way that it becomes a craving, or demands his undivided attention, his total devotion, affections and faithfulness, it controls him, it has become lord of his life, it has become his idol.

But let us take a look at another idol that many may have never considered. In his letter to the Colossians the Apostle Paul writes these words.

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”

Colossians 3:5 [NASU]

Here the Apostle Paul names greed or covetousness among the most base and detestable passions; it secures the affections which properly belong to God, therefore, the Apostle brands it idolatry. Greed is a low debasing passion, like those which he had named it among. It is a self-idolizing, grasping spirit. Self and mammon are deified in the heart of the covetous instead of God (Matthew 6:24). A covetous person is both the idol and the idolater and everything he covets becomes his idol. Of all base passions, this is the one that most dethrones God from the soul.

Greed is an odious and abominable personal failing; a vice to be regarded in the same light as the grossest sin, and is to be abhorred by all who consider themselvles to be true worshipers of the one and only Living God. The covetous man, according to Paul, is to be ranked with the sensual, and with idolaters, and with those who are entirely excluded from the kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:5).

Is this the view in which the covetous or greedy person is held in modern society?
Is it the view which professing Christians take of covetousness?
Do we not feel that there is a great difference between a covetous man and a man of impure and licentious life?
Why is this?
It is because:

  1. It is so common in our society.
  2. Because it is found among those who pretend to be refined and even religious.
    1. And because it is not so easy to define what covetousness is, as it is to define impurity of life;
    2. And because the public conscience is seared, and the mind blinded to the lowly character of the sin.

Yet is not the view of the Apostle Paul the right view? Who is a covetous or greedy person? A sensual person, a person who, in the pursuit of the pleasures of the flesh and the riches of the world, neglects his soul, his intellect, and his heart; a man who, in this insatiable pursuit, disregards justice, truth, charity, love, faith, prayer, peace, comfort, usefulness, conscience and seeks to fill his bottomless pit of lust. Who shall say that there is any vice more debasing, degrading or idolatrous than this?

“For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”

Colossians 3:6-7 [NASU]

But now, if we have come to know Christ and we consider the members of our earthly bodies as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, we have this promise from Him,



James C Sanford

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wretched Man

Those of you who have read our Psalms from the Pen of the Ready Writer series may wonder where the inspiration for some of those songs came from. One particular lyric, written in the early 1990’s, is entitled Wretched Man.

That psalm is based on a scripture that was very popular scripture at the church where I spent my teen years. Romans chapter seven is a continuation of the Apostle Paul’s expository on righteousness and sin... taking on the dichotomy that exists in all who walk out this Christian life. Specifically, Paul’s struggle to walk according to the spirit and not according to the flesh.

So, what does that mean?

Righteousness is imparted through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Self-righteousness is what people use as a cover-up for their own inadequacies. We can call ourselves righteous by faith in the work that Jesus completed on the cross. Or, we can ignore His sacrifice... declare ourselves righteous because we pass some superficial test of our own devising... and then find out on the day of judgment that we built our houses on a foundation of shifting sand.

Sin is our nature... inherited as a part of our humanity after Adam disobeyed God’s commandment in the Garden of Eden. While we can enjoy a reborn spirit by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, our flesh does not change. At least, not immediately. Yes, there are some things that God will drastically change for some people. Some find their language cleaned up. Others lose their taste for drugs or alcohol. Yes, God can do miraculous things like that (and, often does). But our fleshly nature remains... and like a zombie from a horror movie, will keep getting up and coming after you time after time.

This was the dilemma that Paul was talking about. The fact that we can crucify the flesh and submit to the Spirit of God... and yet the flesh pops up and wreaks havoc time and time again. Romans 7:14-25 is a passage of scripture that we can all identify with, as we deal with the dichotomy between our flesh and our spirit.

14 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]. 16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] 19 For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. 21 So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. 22 For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. 23 But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. 24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? 25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:14-25 (Amplified Bible)

There is a war going on within each of us... and we would be deluded to hang up a banner reading “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” when that war continues to rage on within us. This reality was the inspiration behind Wretched Man. “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?” Yes, we can lean upon the promise of deliverance in verse 25 above.

Oh wretched man that i am
it’s only grace i’m not damned
only by God’s steadfast love am i saved

Surprised i am not condemned
He bore the price of my sin
And poured His righteousness into my heart

Oh, how i long to be free
From all the sin that i see
it calls to me beckoning
Those “good old days” reckoning
i won’t turn back, won’t give in
Oh wretched man of sin

Oh what a Savior i have
He set me free, made me glad
i overcome, through His Blood i am saved

Not by some act i’ve performed
Although i strive to conform
And when i fail, i remember His grace

i praise the Lord i am free
From all the sin that i see
But sin will not go away
i’m crucified every day
My gaze is steadfast on Him
Oh wretched man of sin

It makes it difficult to get caught up in self righteousness or looking down one’s nose with a holier than thou attitude when one comes to a realization of the inability of our flesh to live up to God’s standard. Even after we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice and have pleaded salvation through His precious blood, we still find that our flesh creeps up and shows itself in the most frustrating ways.

  • We can spend an hour worshipping God and listening to the word... only to get angry and lose our temper when somebody gets in our way in the church parking lot...
  • We can sit in our chair studying the word... only to have our mind wander to ungodly thoughts...
  • We can bow our head and thank God for a meal... and then dishonor Him by practicing gluttony...
  • And on... and on... and on...

It is frustrating when our sin nature pops up. However, it is humbling to be reminded of our need for Jesus to walk with us every second of the day. And, as we walk with Him, we are reminded to be crucified with Him.

And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].

Luke 9:23 (Amplified Bible)

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20 (Amplified Bible)

I live my life not by my own “good” works -- which (at best) are like garments polluted by bodily filth (see Isaiah 64:6) -- but rather, I live my life by faith in the Son of God. Jesus provided deliverance from the works of the flesh. The Holy Spirit daily empowers us to live the Christian life. Or, as Pastor Lon Solomon put it, the Holy Spirit does what we can’t do in living the Christian life through us.

I have faith that Jesus will lead me in the paths of righteousness so that His name will be glorified (see Psalm 23:3), and that His Spirit will help me to avoid any words or behavior that would cause those who do not believe to rail against Him (see 2nd Samuel 12:14).

I also have faith that, should I blow it, He will bring correction. Even if that means (gulp) a trip to the spiritual woodshed (see Hebrews 12:5-7).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why is this so Popular?

The most popular podcast at the Powerhouse Ministry is Miley Cyrus Nude Photos. Okay, so the topic is somewhat salacious, but apparently people from around the world have been searching for this young woman’s on-line debacle. Well, if it gets the gospel of Jesus Christ into people’s earholes, then I suppose it is a good thing.

One point in that podcast that I like is that people should not point their fingers and condemn Miley or Paris or Britney or any of the other “pop tarts” who are involved in this wild behavior. Hey, your kids could be doing that or even worse.

Say what?

Check out the podcast and listen for yourself.

That, and other podcasts, are located on our Power Podcasts web page.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Used to Be

Our final blog for 2008 touched on the need for the body of Christ to wake up and get busy doing the work of the Lord.

But wait... have we been asleep?

Sometimes, we are like sleepwalkers; we go through the motions but are really sound asleep and not paying attention to the details. I remember getting pulled over by a police officer totally unaware that I had done anything wrong. I was just going through the motions and not paying attention -- as if on autopilot. Fortunately, my spotless record got me a warning and not anything more serious. But I have also had the Holy Spirit pull me over when my service to Him was on autopilot and not from my heart. Fortunately, the blood of Jesus wiped my record spotless.


So, how can we tell if we have been asleep? Consider someone who may spend hours in the mirror getting ready for church... and then drive past people who don’t know the Lord without even bothering to at least pray for them (if not sharing the Lord with them or maybe inviting them to come to church). Have we forgotten why we even go to church... what great mission our Lord has given us?

18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Matthew 28:18-20 (Amplified Bible)

We have been called to make disciples. Unfortunately, we have been, as Keith Green wrote, asleep in the light. We need to, as General Jerry Boykin said, get off our duffs and get on our knees. After all, we periodically get our cars serviced... but how often do we remember to stop by the spiritual service station to check our motors? Are we running the race with flat tires? Is our tank running out of oil? Even more frightening... are our lamps running low on oil? Hey... the bridegroom is coming!

I was reading the editorial in a Christian magazine the other day. The author was enumerating a number of sins and failures that have been reported in diverse churches. In each instance, some financial or other calamity befell the leader who had given in to some sin or error. Some I had heard of previously. Others were new. The thesis was that judgment had fallen upon those churches/ministries because of lax behavior. At first, I started thinking about those ministries that I had personal knowledge of that had suffered some setback because of failures on the part of the leadership. I begin to wonder how someone who starts out on fire for God can go so totally and completely shipwrecked? A couple things come to mind:

We often get caught up in the “business” of ministry while forgetting the basics. Consider that, during church services or religious meetings, some leaders are backstage planning rather than participating in the praise and worship part of the service. I have frequently scratched my head at ministers who come out after the congregation had experienced an hour or more of worship wanting to start some worship. Not to continue the worship, but to start as if from scratch.

Of course, I can’t point my finger at them without three fingers pointing back at myself. Do those fingers represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? I certainly can find things to repent from myself... such as getting lazy when it comes to spending time before God to produce material for this ministry. For relying on others to do the job that I was called to do. After a trip to the spiritual woodshed... I am back on track. J.

Key in our thinking during our final 2008 blog post was the fact that the signs of the times are pointing to the Lord’s return.

  • Turmoil in the Middle East
  • The world economy collapsing
  • Terrorists proclaiming jihad against Christianity

These signs could mean the imminent return of Christ. We hope so. But even if the Lord chooses to tarry, there is no excuse to slumber and snooze when there are souls waiting to be saved. Let’s clean the cobwebs out of our prayer closets and spend some time interceding for the leaders of this world and for the souls of the lost. Let us not accept the status quo...

11 Has a nation [ever] changed its gods, even though they are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit. 12 Be astonished and appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked and shrivel up with horror, says the Lord [at the behavior of the people]. 13 For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water.

Jeremiah 2:11-13 (Amplified Bible)

We wrote Used to Be in our Psalms from the Pen of the Ready Writer series as we contemplated the good fight of faith. This lyric reminds us that the foundational truths are still foundational and they are still the truth.

Used to be that righteousness sustained us
in God we trust...

Seems to me that somebody deceived us
We’ve turned away...
No longer pray...

Used to be -- in the old days
You and me -- walked in God’s ways
Used to be -- hell was hot
Used to be -- is it not?

Telling me that times have changed
Can’t you see, God’s still the same
Seems to me -- judgment’s near
Used to be -- we would fear

Used to be that sin was run away from
We shunned all vice...
We were so nice...

Nowadays perversion is the forum
You call them lewd...
You might get sued...

Used to be -- in the old days
You and me -- walked in God’s ways
Used to be -- hell was hot
Used to be -- is it not?

Telling me that times have changed
Can’t you see, God’s still the same
Seems to me -- judgment’s near
Used to be -- we would fear

Used to be that church was where we worshipped
With outstretched hands
We took the land

Now we have confusion and politics
The Spirit grieved...
Men so deceived...

Used to be -- in the old days
You and me -- walked in God’s ways
Used to be -- hell was hot
Used to be -- is it not?

Telling me that times have changed
Can’t you see, God’s still the same
Seems to me -- judgment’s near
Used to be -- we would fear

The world has changed,
so... shouldn’t we?
Or should we stay with
“Used to be”

During New Years eve, I took part in a three-hour service for 1,700 screaming teens and tweens. While the presentation format was contemporary, the message was the same as it was 2,000 years ago. We need Jesus. Praise the Lord that 600 of the youths made either first-time commitments or recommitments to the Lord. Now... let’s go after the other 1,100!

In 2009, we NEED Jesus. Don’t go another moment into this year without Him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meditations from Judypie

Our Father, I delight myself in You, and thank You for another New Year. I let go of the past with its mistakes, hurts, and disappointments. I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in my heart, living within me, as I trust in Him. May my roots go down deep into the soil of Your marvelous love; and may I be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high Your love really is; and to experience this love for myself, though it is so great that I will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last I will be filled up with God himself. In Jesus name. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Ephesians 3:14-21

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

LORD, You are my rock, my fortress, my Deliverer, my God, my Strength, in whom I will trust; my Buckler, and the Horn of my Salvation. You are my High Tower. For Your name’s sake lead me, and guide me. You brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and You established my goings. You are my Strong Habitation, whereunto I may continually resort; You gave the commandment to save me for You are my Rock and my Fortress. In the name of Jesus, You are my Foundation. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Psalm 18:2; 31:3; 40:2; 71:3

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3

Father, in the name of Jesus, I am abiding in the Vine, and He abides in me to cultivate a harvest of love, joy, peace; forbearance, kindness, benevolence; meekness, and self-restraint in my life. I belong to Christ, having nailed my natural evil desires to His cross, where they were crucified. Father, I am not desirous of vainglory, and will not provoke or envy others, but I seek to bring forth those good fruits, which are to the praise and glory of God. In Jesus name. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: John 15:1-17; Galatians 5:22-23

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Father, You have set before me life and death, blessing and cursing. I come before You choosing life that I—and my children might live. I choose to love You, Lord my God, to obey You and to cling to You, for You are my life and the length of my days. Thank You for blessing me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I turn away from everything wrong, whether of body or spirit, and purify myself, living in the wholesome fear of God, and give myself to You alone. In the name of Jesus, I give Your Word first place in my daily life. Amen.

Father, we believe in our hearts that You raised Jesus from the dead, and we confess Jesus is Lord over our spirits, souls and bodies. Father-God, You planted us like strong and graceful oaks for Your own glory, and anointed us to rebuild the ancient ruins… reviving them though they have lain there many generations. We thank You for forgiving all our iniquities and healing all our diseases. We decree that our families and future generations shall come to the knowledge of the Truth and be saved. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Romans 10:9-10; Psalm 103

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

Matthew 11:28

Abba Father, I thank You for sending Jesus who brought us out from under doom by taking the curse for our wrongdoing upon Himself. We have witnessed the fruit of disobedience—the iniquities of the fathers passed down to the present generation. We repent and renounce our sins and the sins of our ancestors, and ask You to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In the name of Jesus we break generational curses of our earthy fathers, and bow ourselves before You, our Heavenly Father who is faithful, forgiving, loving, kind, compassionate, and full of mercy. In Jesus name. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Galatians 3:11; 1st John 1:9; Nehemiah 9:2; Exodus 20:5

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalm 91:2

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another Year Around the Mountain?

It is hard to believe that more than a decade and a half has passed since I wrote the verse that appears below. Before I wrote it, I remember having gone through some major shifts in my life.

I had previously moved half-way around the planet, thousands of miles away from my parents and the life I knew. My church and friends were time zones away. I was now with a pastor whose teens were, at that time, yowling babies. But it was also a time of reflection.

I realized that I had to seek God... and I did so. Unfortunately, I also sought other things. But only that which was built on faith in Christ lasted.

I looked back over my life and realized what I needed to do. It is strange that, all these years later, I look back over 2008 and have the same exact thought.

How long have I been circling the mountain? Well, much less than the 40 years that the children of Israel did. Perhaps, this time... I will be ready to enter the promised land.

I choose to believe that will be the case.

One year ago i wanted to be known
For all my talents and my gifts

To be recognized and praised by the people
And receive the fruits sown by my flesh

That was oh, so long ago; an eternity it seems
Now that Jesus is true Lord i gave away my dreams

Ah, yes...

All my dreams just fade away like dust
In the light of true commitment to the God i trust

One year ago i wanted to be lord
over my life and wear a crown

And give God a little place in the corner
Where I’d visit Him from time to time

That was not so long ago; only yesterday, it seems
But today i serve the Lord; submit to Him, my King

Ah, yes

All my dreams just fade away like dust
In the light of true commitment to the God i trust

So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 (Amplified Bible)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Indwelling Spirit

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NASU)

Love motivates faithfulness and obedience. Therefore faithfulness and humble obedience is an expression of love. This is the only proper evidence of love to Yeshua, for mere profession is no proof of love; but that love for Him which leads us to seek to know and do all His will, to love each other, to deny ourselves while sacrificing to serve others and to keep our faith and trust in Him through trials, perils and tribulations without faltering is true attachment and oneness with Him; love is the “perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:14).

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” (John 14:16 NASU)

When Yeshua says, “I will ask the Father,” apparently He is speaking of a time after His crucifixion, after having made atonement for the sin of the world, that He would become the Mediator between God and man; and through His mediation and intercession shall all the blessings of grace and glory be acquired.

The Greek word parakleeton used here not only signifies a comforter, but also an advocate, a defender of a cause, a counselor, patron, and mediator. Yeshua is so termed by the Apostle John is the book of 1st John 2:1, where the common translation renders the word advocate. Yeshua is thus called, because He is represented as transacting the concerns of our souls with God; and for this cause, He tells us, He goes unto the Father (John 14:12).

The Holy Spirit is also called an advocate, because He transacts the cause of God and The Messiah with us, explains to us the nature and importance of the great atonement, shows the necessity of it, counsels us to receive it, instructs us how to lay hold on it, vindicates our claim to it, and makes intercessions for us with unutterable groaning. In fact, all that Yeshua was while with His disciples so is the Holy Spirit with those who believe in His name.

As the death and atonement of Yeshua will be necessary to man until the conclusion of the world, so the work of the Holy Spirit must be continued among men until the end of time: therefore says Yeshua, He shall continue with you “forever,” teaching, comforting, advising, defending, and interceding for you and for all His followers to the end of time.

“that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and WILL BE IN YOU.” (John 14:17 NASU)

The Holy Spirit, whose essential work is to manifest, vindicate, and apply the truth is thus called the Spirit of Truth. The Gospel of Yeshua, taught and revealed only by the Holy Spirit, is Gods truth; it exposes falsity, removes error, and teaches the knowledge of the true God---shows the way to Him, saves from vanity and illusive hopes, and establishes genuine joy in the souls of those who believe; His truth is the “power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).”

The word “world” in the above verse means: those who are influenced by the lustful desires of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the boastful pride of life (1st John 2:16). Now these cannot receive the Spirit of Truth, because they do not have spiritual eyes to see Him, have no spiritual discernment and they attend to nothing but the dictates of their corrupt passions and affections, and will accept no influence but what can be an object of their senses. The word of God requires a heart that is empty. A heart filled with earthly projects, carnal interests, ambition, thoughts of becoming rich in worldly goods, and with the love of the luxuries and pleasures of life is not fit to receive the word of truth.

From many of these ungodly men spring all the hostile and indifferent religions of the world. While affirming the existence of God they deny all validity of revelation. In these debase and corrupt religions men of corrupt minds seek God; but in their vein religion He is not to be found; and therefore, they become infidels and atheists worshiping false gods and denying the Spirit of the living God. God, in the operation of His hands, and in the influences of His Spirit, is found everywhere except in the perverted passions of men.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18 NASU)

Here we see the oneness principle. To receive the promised Spirit is to receive the presence of the Father and the Son; to reject the Spirit is to reject their presence also.

“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19 NASU)

The world can no longer see Him because He is not in bodily form but we can see Him by way of revelation; and because He lives we live also. We who believe in His resurrection are resurrected with Him for we are one with Him in His death, burial, resurrection and eternal life.


When He says, “In that day” He speaks of the day of His resurrection and in His resurrection is solid proof of His oneness with the Father and that He lives in us by way of the Spirit and by love and faith we live in Him.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NASU)

He who has heard, taken hold of, he who possesses my commandments by way of revelation and is obedient to them is the one who loves the Messiah and he who loves his Savior is loved of the Father. This is further evidence of the union of the Father and the Son. Yeshua will also love them, demonstrating clearly the same union. The kingdom of God is one. His people, though they may be Jew or Gentile, are one. They are united to each other and to God, and the bond which unites the whole kingdom is the love of the one Savior---Yeshua, the Son of God.

James C Sanford