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Know Your Enemy

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“…a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” [Matthew 10.36]  How unfortunate that these words of our Lord were fulfilled by those who were from His maternal household and from those He had chosen as His disciples, servants and friends.  For it was not Satan or the Romans or the Pharisees who prevented the eleven from going to Galilee, but it was the unbelief of the eleven themselves.  It was not the devil who incited them to go fishing, but rather, it was Peter who went and took with him six others including John.  It was the other ‘Satan’ who incited the disciples to disobey the Lord’s command to remain in Jerusalem – the one who does not have in mind the things of God but of men, as Jesus had said.  No Roman soldiers were there at their door barring them from leaving for Galilee, no, it was they themselves.  And as result of that, no one has ever seen what God prepared for us in Galilee that morning.

It was not a Pharisee or a Sadducee who suggested that Judas Iscariot’s replacement should be chosen the old way by the casting of the lot.  Rather, it was Peter again when he did not wait for the Holy Spirit to come to make known to them the decision of the Father as to who would be the one.

Judas at least regretted betraying the Lord, and in two versions of the Bible [KJV and the Peshitta] it is actually written that he repented.  However, is the word ‘repented’ associated with the eleven when Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe the messages of those who had seen Him after He had risen?  Is the word ‘repent’ associated with Peter when Jesus finally caught up with them in Galilee that morning?  John did record that none of them dared ask the Lord, “Who are You?” [John 21.12]  But it is sad that John could not record that they repented for leaving Jerusalem even though He had commanded them not to leave the city until the Holy Spirit had come.

Because of the few years it took to lose the power, it did not take long for James to seize his opportunity and take his stand at Jerusalem to make his recommendations for the Gentiles to adopt teachings that went directly against the teachings of his half-Brother Jesus.  The first three recommendations of James in Acts 15 of avoidance of eating of blood, strangled meat and food sacrificed to idols go directly against the Lord’s command that we are to drink His blood and eat His flesh, as well as His declaration that all food are clean.  Since death on a Roman cross is by slow strangulation, then His flesh that we eat is really also strangled meat.  As for James’ recommendation that we should avoid sexual immorality, one has to wonder if that was not his backhanded way of disapproving the way the Lord allowed women to minister to Him.  Unfortunately, the friends, servants and disciples of the Lord in Jerusalem did not raise any objections but went as far as dragging the Holy Spirit into it by writing to us Gentiles:  “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:  You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” [Acts 15.28-29]

In case you have never heard this before, I will write as Paul wrote in big letters:  THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NEVER APPROVE OF ANY TEACHING THAT GOES AGAINST THE TEACHING OF JESUS.  Whatever spirit it was that caused the apostles and elders of Jerusalem to see the recommendations of James as good, it certainly was not the Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit will not recommend a mixing of the old and the new covenants.  Jesus clearly said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.” [Matthew 9.16] When He said that new wine is not poured into old wineskins, He was referring to the Father’s choice of disciples… all new wineskins… tax collectors like Mathew and fishermen like Peter and Andrew… men considered not worthy of discipleship by the Pharisees.  So, check yourselves and be sure you are not teaching a mixture of old and new, for the two do not mix.

For Jesus, it was the old laws, which He had fulfilled, as against the new teachings that His Father was giving Him.  In the old, one did not drink blood if one wanted to remain with God.  In the new, one had to drink blood to remain with God.  In the old, one did not eat strangled meat from animals.  In the new, one had to eat the strangled meat of a Man.  In the old, one did not eat food sacrificed to idols.  In fact, unless you were a priest, you could not even eat food sacrificed to God.  In the new, all foods are clean and can be eaten.

But now, elect, for those of you who know you have been set apart by the Holy Spirit for this work, the old and the new are not only the old teachings of Moses versus the new teachings of Jesus, but the old teachings by the apostles who did not go to Galilee on resurrection morning, which spawned the church that the world knows, compared to the new revelations by the Holy Spirit to those who through earnest repentance and unceasing, humble submission to dedicated practice of the words of Jesus and of Jesus alone, so that the church the world has never seen can be revealed in all its glory to greet the Lord on His arrival.

A church where its people can heal with a word and do not need to anoint the sick with oil.  A church that can cause the blind to see and the lame to walk, and does not need praise and worship music played professionally to create the right atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to work.  In a church of real power, the songs of praises come from choirs of mute people who have been healed for those who were formerly deaf to hear, the dancers are lames who have been healed watched by those who were formerly blind.  Has anyone today seen such a church?  That answer is no.  Can anyone see such a church today?  The answer is yes!  You only have to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying now… and you will see the transfiguration of your church from the powerless spawn of Jerusalem to that which Jesus always had in mind.

So be earnest and repent, and listen to Jesus and obey Him.  Do not be deceived by the ‘good’ of James or be distracted by the suggestions of Peter.  Let those who wish to hold onto James continue to hold onto him.  Let those who want to go with Peter go with him, but as for you, listen to the Holy Spirit, for He has stood up and testified.

Dr. Ed, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.



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