VISION OF THE CASTLE AND THE CASTLE “GUARDS”
I was riding down the interstate one afternoon when the Lord gave me this vision. It was not a vision that appeared in the imaginations of my thoughts, but rather it was like a TV screen suddenly appeared before my eyes. All that I saw was this tiny little castle, and though it was small in size, it was an exact replica of a typical medieval castle. The height of the walls was only about ten feet, and so also was the length of each wall. I observed that each of the four walls had a door. On both sides of each door was a guard completely outfitted with a suit of armor just like you would expect to find on castle guards in medieval times. Each guard was holding a sword in one hand. In the other hand he was holding a battle axe that was on a shaft about eight feet long.
As I closely examined this castle before my eyes, there were two things that caught my focus and attention. First was the fact that though this castle was small, it had all the intricate details of a large castle. The second thing was the guards that stood on the sides of each door. The doors were about four feet wide and each guard with his suit of armor on appeared to be at least three feet wide, thus taking up all of the wall space.
After I examined this castle and its guards for a few more minutes, I asked, “Lord, what is this castle that requires it to be so heavily guarded?”
The Lord answered, “Your righteousness, which is the treasure of your heart. The castle that you see is your heart. Just like most castles that contain treasures and riches, so also does your heart also contain many riches and treasures. Do not all men guard that which they value, which they esteem, which they honor, as well as all those things which he treasures? Do not all men seek to protect those things which he possesses? Therefore, just as this castle is heavily guarded to protect all of its treasures and valuables, so also do all men guard their hearts to keep their possessions from being stolen and overthrown”.
“Your righteousness consists of all those things which you believe are good, and true, and right in your own eyes; for do not all men live their lives according to those things which they believe to be right for them? For what word does a man speak or what deed does a man do that he does not first believe to be right? Are you beginning to perceive just how great all men value their own righteousness, seeing that every aspect of a man’s life is rooted and grounded in only those things which he believes to be right? Yet, while one man may see that his way of seeing things is the right way for that thing to be seen, another man may see the same matter in a completely different way. He also is sure that the way he sees it is the right way for it to be seen. Though it is the same matter, does not each one esteem the right way that he sees it in his own eyes to be the right way?
What does a man esteem and value more than his own judgments; the judgments that he uses to determine for himself that which he believes to be right and wrong, or good and evil, or that which he believes to be truth and lies? So do you now see and understand why this castle is so heavily guarded? It is built to protect the greatest of all treasures, that standard of righteousness according to which each man chooses to live his life ?” Proverbs 21:2 Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord ponders the heart”.
“Though I daily led My people
“Do you see how, out of their own
Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”
6:33 “But seek first the
“What man, who believes with his heart the words of religious laws, or the words that come forth from the commandments of men, or that believes the instructions and traditions of old, does not also establish his own righteousness for living his life upon these same words? What man who believes on such-like laws and rules, would even think to ask Me to reveal unto him that which is right in My sight? What man who is conscious of the do’s and the don’ts of these laws, or these rules, or of these doctrines, will also think upon his heavenly Father? Do not men whose consciousness thinks upon these do’s and don’ts let their laws and rules do their thinking for them? What man will seek to know what is right in My eyes when the treasury of his heart is only filled with his own righteousness? So now, do you see how in every man’s castle, you are going to find many such like things as laws, or commandments, or rules, or doctrines, or traditions that he greatly esteems and treasures because he believes them to be right. How hard will a man fight to defend and protect any of those things which he believes to be right?
“What then would be harder for a man to
do, to give away the riches of his monetary wealth, or to lay down all those
things which he believes and trusts to be right? How hard is it for a man to
repent of those things which he believes to be right? Did not
30:9-12 “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not
hear the law of the LORD: which say to the seers, “See not”; and to the
prophets, “Prophesy not unto us right things but speak unto us smooth things,
prophesy deceits. Get you out of the way; turn aside out of the path and cause
the Holy One of
Luke 13:34-35 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones them that are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and yet you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, “You shall not see Me until the time comes when you shall say, “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.”
“What does man guard and protect the most but those things which are the most precious unto him; and what thing is more precious to man than his own life? But what does a man’s life consists of that he treasures so greatly and guards and defends so heavily? What does a man’s righteousness consist of except all those things which he believes and trusts to be right for himself? And what does “self” consists of except those things which pertain to that which a man possesses: his abilities, his dreams, his self-respect, his works and deeds, his opinions, his fame, his religion, his influence, his health, his understanding and wisdom, his loyalties, his wealth, his feelings and emotions, his accomplishments, his name, his strength and power, his profession, his material possessions, his judgment of himself as well as his judgment of others, his family, and his self image?
“What man does not count all of these things to be the most precious things in the treasury of his heart? What man does not put a priceless value on all of these treasures because he has made all of these things to be right after which to live his life? What man would be willing to give up his life, laying down all those things which he has shaped in his thoughts, or those things after which he has patterned his life, or those things after which he has formed and molded his life? Where is a man’s righteousness to be found in anything other than those things according to which he lives his life? What man is not greatly offended or angered when there comes forth another man who contends with or comes against any of these things which a man believes and trusts to be right? Do you now see even more clearly what the righteousness of men consists of, seeing that all men are ready to defend and protect their own castles?
“Which one of these things could dwell in the sanctuary and treasury of man’s heart if he had not first agreed that it was the right thing in which to believe and trust? What man does not treasure all those things which he honors and respects? What man does not esteem those things which he accomplishes for himself? What man does not treasure all of his hopes and dreams, seeing that most men find their reason for living in these things? What man does not treasure his friendships and alliances? What man does not also treasure those things which bring him pleasure and satisfaction, seeing that many believe that life is found in the fulfilling of these things? What man does not fight to defend and protect his own reputation? What man does not treasure the decisions that he makes for himself?
“What man does not esteem his own opinions while those around him find them to be almost worthless? What man is not confident that the way he sees things is the right way things should be viewed? What man does not exalt himself in believing that he is right in his own judgments of what is good and evil, or what is right and wrong, or in what is truth and lies? What man does not value his judgments of what he thinks of other men to be right and true? What man does not love to believe that he is right in all of the words that he speaks and in all of the deeds that he performs? What man does not trust with all of his heart that his religion as it pertains to God is right and true? What man does not highly treasure the image that he has made for himself? Are you beginning to see and understand just how great the treasures of a man’s heart are? What does a man treasure and value except those things which he considers his own?
“Are you now able to comprehend how men establish their own standard for living their lives on all these things which they believe to be right? Do you now understand how every man’s castle is his home; and his home consists of all those things which he treasures and values for his life?
Matthew 6:21 Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”.
Luke 12:15 “Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”
“You asked Me what was within these castle walls because you could not see for yourself what was within. Now that you know these things, understand also that there are still many other secrets within these walls that men treasure to be right that are kept hidden from the sight of others. These are such things as a man’s secret lusts and affections, a man’s weaknesses, a man’s desire to be in control of the world around him, a man’s feelings and emotions, a man’s sinned against him, a man’s insecurities, a man’s hatred towards those who have disagreed or fantasies, a man’s mistakes and errors, a man’s desire for power and authority, a man’s sins and errors, as well as the true thoughts that he thinks about all those who are around him. Of course, you will find multitudes of lies that have been spoken that men hide in the deepest and darkest part of their hearts. Though men keep these things hidden from the sight of others, they are still valued and treasured as much as the righteousness that he presents before others to see.
I Chronicles 28:9 “…..for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all of the imaginations of the thoughts….”
Psalm 94:11 “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.”
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
“What man judges his brother except the one who believes that it is right for him to judge another? What man will give his advice to another except that he first believes that his advice is right? What man will not seek to spread his fears and dreads to others except that he first believes that his fears and dreads are the right way for others to also respond to his situation. What man will rob a bank except that he first makes it right in his own mind to do? What man will not raise his children in any other way than that which is right in his own eyes? What man seeks and desires to be a politician except one who desires to make his righteousness for others to live their lives by? What man does not compare the lives of others against his own life, measuring them all against his own righteous- ness? How shall the righteousness of a man be known except by the tongue that he uses to speak and express all things which he believes to be right?
Proverbs 12:17 “He that speaks truth shows forth righteousness, but a false witness only deceit.”
Matthew 12:33-37 “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.”
“After I considered these things for a few moments, I asked, “Lord, if that which is within the castle is the treasures of a man’s righteousness, then who or what are these guards that are used to protect these things?”
“The Lord said, “Your pride! Pride is your personal bodyguard, that power within that is always ready to defend and protect all things that you treasure to be right and good. These guards of pride will count all to be adversaries and enemies who bring anything that is contrary to that which you have believed and trusted to be right. When any counsel, or instruction, or opinion, or any correction is spoken or heard that even seems to attack the credibility and the soundness of that which you believe, it is your pride that will come forth to defend your righteousness, It is your pride that instructs you to close your ears, or to stiffen your neck, or to harden your heart with unbelief, or to doubt all that which was heard. Your pride will fiercely guard all that you believe and trust to be right so as to preserve all that your heart has treasured.
“One of these guards may defend your righteousness by making light of or by mocking the words which you heard; another guard may fight to protect your righteousness, while another guard may get offended and angered. Another guard may be afraid and hide from the words that were heard while another guard may argue and strive against the words that were heard. Another guard may blame circumstances or make excuses so as to preserve its righteous- ness. Another guard may pretend to listen, but never really hear the words that were spoken. And then there is the guard that simply rejects all things that are heard that disagree. These are the weapons that your pride will use to keep the treasures of your heart from suffering loss. Do you see how well equipped these guards of pride are, all for the purpose of saving your life?
“Pride only has a desire and a love for “self”. Pride takes great pleasure in the exaltation and the glorification of “self”. Pride hates all things that are opposed to “self”, and it works feverishly to keep “self” protected from all things that would bring harm, or injury, or a blemish to its own “self” image. Pride is only conscious of “self”, and is always mindful of those things which it considers to be beneficial to “self”.
“Anything that is seen or heard that is pleasing to “self”, or that seems to satisfy any desires of “self”, it shall gladly allow to enter into the castle of your heart.” If anything is seen or heard that agrees with any of those things which you have already established to be right and good, then it shall be granted immediate entrance into your heart. If that which is seen or heard brings with it some hope, or promise of gain, or profit to “self”, then it also shall be allowed to enter in. If that which is seen and heard agrees with your feelings, or with your emotions, or with any of your “self” desires, then it shall be esteemed as a friend, and shall be allowed co enter into the treasury of your heart. So do you see, that by pride, anything that agrees with “self”, shall be allowed to enter in; while those things which are contrary to self, shall be refused entrance?”
“Pride only loves “self’ to be in control, and it always resists submitting to any authority, or any power, or spirit, or any flesh that seeks to exercise authority over “self”. These guards of pride, willingly allow for anything to enter in which seems able to provide “self” with a sense of security, or with power, or with strength. Do you not see that all such things are only an illusion; a momentary illusion that deceives one into believing that he can be in control over the circumstances and situations that arise in his life? These proud guards, love praise, and honor, and glory, and they love to be esteemed. and respected. Therefore, anyone who brings with them such gifts as these, regardless of his intention, is gladly received into the castle of the heart. Did you not know that there is no way easier for any adversary to enter into the castle of your heart than by the use of flattery; the lies that lift up your heart?
“Which one of these things does pride not esteem as a precious treasure seeing that all of these things are able to bring increase into the treasury of the heart? Do you now see, now understand why pride defends and protects all of the treasures of “self” righteousness? Is it not also by reason of pride that a man will always be envious when another man’s castle appears bigger, or more attractive, or more prosperous than that which he has?”
By now, my heart was trembling, seeing that the Lord was laying wide open my heart with all of its intentions and desires. I asked, “Lord, do these castle walls represent anything that You want me to know about?”
The Lord then answered,, “These are the walls of self-justification; for it is through the work of self-justification that a man will make right all of those things which he desires to have as a part of his life. There is no desire that burns greater in the hearts of men more than the desire to be right in all that he does. Therefore, there is no place in the heart that is busier than the workshop of self-justification. It is here that a man will make right all of his decisions, his opinions, his affections, his religion, his works and efforts, his relationships, his judgments, his desires and affections, his politics, and his traditions.
“For just as pride loves “self”, so also does “self”-righteousness only believe that “self” can be right. Self-righteousness is the natural desire and affection of the carnal mind; and by nature, no man can believe anything to be right unless he first desires for it to be right. What does a man treasure more than that for which he has a desire or an affection?”
“It is through these works of self-justification that a man will bring increase, gain, and wealth into the treasury of his heart; that is, the more he is able to make right of himself, the more of “self” there will be to be esteemed, honored, respected, praised and glorified. For when any- anything is seen or heard that is pleasing to his eyes, or if it seems right or appears good, or if it is what the heart desires, or that which is thought to bring pleasure, or what may bring glory in any manner to “self”, it will be justified; made right so that “self” can believe on it. Is this not so with every decision a man makes as well as for everything that he does? Do you now see that once a thing has been justified, it becomes what is believed upon and trusted in for right- eousness; and once that thing is believed on and trusted in, it becomes a part of the law that is written in that man’s heart; that righteousness by which he will live his life by; that standard of life which his heart will always delight in doing.
“Do you now understand how continually the heart is given to the work of self-justification, always ready to give a reason when asked why do you do what you do? Do you now see clearly that there is no law that is any more precious to man than that which he believes is right for him to live his life by? Do you now understand why your standard for living must always be protected by these guards of pride and defended by the walls of self-justification? What could possibly have a stronger hold over a man’s life than those things which he has justified to be right and believed on in his heart?”
“Are you beginning to understand how precious each man esteems that which he believes to be right? Do you now see that there is no religion, counsel, doctrine, opinion, philos- ophy, nor any law that any man allows to rule over his heart other than what he not only believes to be right but that which he also desires to be right? This is the tradition of this world, the illusion whereby all men believe that the way they see and perceive things is the standard by which all should live their life.. Do you not know that your heart is filled with countless precepts that are contained in the law of self-righteousness? Precepts that have been established since your youth, according to all the things which you have either been taught, or that you esteemed, or desired, or in those things which you have experienced right for yourself. Does not one man see that it is right to raise his children this way, while another man sees that it is right to raise his children another way? Do they not each trust and believe that their way is the right way? One man has a fear of heights while another man has no fear of heights, yet each man trusts that he is right in his belief?
“When men murmur and complain, is it not because things have not gone according to that what they believe is right? Do not men establish many of their treasures upon those things which satisfy their desires and affections? Do you now see how all of these precepts for life, have been established according to those things which you have seen or heard, and then justified for yourself. Do you now see how and why your pride so greatly defends “self”, just as any lover would defend his love? When anything or anyone sins against any of the precepts of this law, is he not then evil thought of or even hated?” says the Lord.
“Now hear and understand,. know that it is only through the wicked works of self-justification that sin and death are able to enter and dwell in hearts of men? Did you not know that neither Adam nor Eve had any desire to eat of the fruit of that forbidden tree until the day that Satan brought his lies into the garden? Do you see how crafty Satan was with his words, speaking just a few words, but choosing the words that both Adam and Eve would desire to make right? Do you see how the lying words of the Deceiver both enticed and seduced them with lies that would seem to bring great increase to “self”? Do you see that it was not until after they justified Satan’s lies that they saw the fruit of that tree to be pleasing in the sight of their eyes and desirable to make them wise? Did Satan’s lies focus on anything other than “self”?
“Do you now understand that they did not choose to disobey My word to them until they first justified the lies that they heard? Then, after they disobeyed My word, sin and death entered into their hearts and minds and took dominion over their lives.
“Is it not written that when a man is tempted, he is enticed by his own desires; and then when desire is conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death? Do you now see how through the work of self-justification, Satan finds entrance into the hearts and the minds of all men that he desires to have? Is it not written that the carnal mind is death? Is it not also written that I am the God of the living, and not the dead? Do you see how beguiling Satan is with his words, always speaking those words that the carnal mind desires to hear, and that which the heart desires to make right? From whence comes all of your arguing, divisions, anger, offences, divorces, hatred malice, dis- agreements, slander, unforgiveness, strivings, fightings, and all of your hurt feelings other than from words spoken that offend what you treasure to be right?
“Whose law then rules over the hearts and the minds of those who do such things? Who set these standards to be right for men to live their lives by? I did not create man with any such wisdom that desires to do any of these evil things. Do you now see how “self-justification” is the workbench of the carnal mind and the labor that all men continually indulge in to satisfy their burning desires to be right in all that they think, as well as in all that they do? Are you now beginning to perceive just how greatly every man’s righteousness is the standard according to which he lives his life?
“Self-justification is not only the work of making that which you desire to be right, but it is also the work of self-preservation; that is, self-justification is that wall that defends all of these things which have been previously justified to be right. It is in defense of ones own righteousness that a man will refuse, or scorn, or reject, or make light of, or mock any and all counsels, instructions, opinions, doctrine, philosophies, wisdom, or knowledge that would bring change or correction to that which is believed and trusted to be to right; otherwise, “self’ would suffer loss. Do you now see clearly how these guards of pride and these walls of self-justification work hand in hand to protect the treasures of your castle, the righteousness that you live by?
“Now hear and understand. Do you believe the testimony of My word, or do you believe the sight of your eyes? Does not My Word testify that all men see themselves to be right in the decisions they make and the deeds that they do? Yet, I see that no man is righteous; No, not one. Does not man look at his own appearance, while I consider the heart? Does not My word testify that I see that the heart of man is deceitful above all things? But are you yet able to understand just how and why I see that the heart of man is deceitful above all things? The deceitfulness of the heart is found in its ability to justify itself; the power to make all things right by use of reasonings and excuses. Where did man get this wisdom from that gives him the ability and the skill to justify all of his own ways, his own judgments, his own will, his own desires, and as well as the righteousness by which he lives his life? Have I not asked My people not to be wise in their own eyes? When My people justify themselves, doing that which appears right in their own eyes, then why would they find it needful to seek to know My righteousness in the matter?”. Have I not given you good instruction which warns you to take heed that the light which is in you be not the darkness instead? Have you not wondered why you are not walking in fruits of abundant life? How can I rain the righteousness of life upon those who live life according to their own righteousness?
“Do you now understand that the work of
those who are wise in their own eyes, is the work of self-justification; the
work whereby men make themselves into that image that is pleasing in their own
eyes? Do you not know that this image is every man’s idol, seeing that it was
formed according to that which he desired to be right? Did not My people
“Do you not know that everyone who is proud in heart, those deceitful workers who profess to know Me, are nothing but an abomination in My sight;? So do you now see and understand just how deceitful and beguiling the work of self-justification is, seeing that it is by this work that a man will transform himself into that image which is disgusting in My sight?” How long will My Blood cover you until your minds are purged from these dead works? Is there any shame in the heart of the man who walks in the way which he desires to be right? Was that Pharisee in My temple repenting for the abomination that he had made himself to be? Is there any godly sorrow in the hearts and the minds of those who delight in the treasures of their own righteousness?
“This is the power of darkness; the power that deceives men into believing that what appears right and seems good in the sight of men, must surely be right in the sight of God also. Why else would My people choose to make themselves into that image that I am going to reject? Do you now understand that this Phari- see’s castle was the temple of his body built around all the treasures of his own right- eousness; the standard after which he chose to live his life? Do you also see that the tax collector, the sinner who was just and pleasing in My sight, was an abomination in the sight of this Pharisee? If you just love those who measure up to the standard by which you live your life, what love is that? My love is unconditional, and I love all men regardless of their condition; and when My love dwells in the heart of My people, their hearts will also love all men unconditionally.
“Would this Pharisee have come into My temple boasting of these wicked works if he could see with My eyes? Did I not correct My prophet Samuel when he also erred for being wise in his own eyes? Did I not say to him, ‘Samuel, do not look on appearances, because no man sees as I see; for man looks on the outward appearances, but God looks on the heart.’ Do you not yet perceive that you are living in a world of illusions; a world where those things which are highly esteemed and respected in the sight of My people are those very things which are an abomination in My sight?”.
“In this fallen world of darkness, men are judged, measured, esteemed, and rejected according to appearances; whether it be beauty, or wealth, or stature, or health, or by some image into which a man is able to transform himself. Do you not understand that the work of self-justification manifests itself in the fashion of this world’s hypocrisy. How great is this illusion by which men live their lives, confident that all things are just and good that are measured according to that which appears righteous in their own eyes? Do you really believe that this Pharisee was aware that what he was treasuring to be right, was an abomination in My sight?” Are you now able to understand how great the illusions are that are created through the works of self-justification?
“Is it not written that I see the heart with all its
intents and purposes. I see all of those
“Do you now know that the most deceitful work of self-justification is when you have made your best effort? Does not the man who makes his best effort believe in his heart that he has fulfilled that was required of him? Do you not understand that the treasury of your heart is filled which such like works? Are you not offended and angered when your best effort is not acceptable? Look at the evil that filled Cain’s heart when I rejected that sacrifice that he offered to me; that sacrifice that was righteous in his own eyes, but displeasing in my eyes”, says the Lord. “Why do you not believe my word that testifies that your ways are not my ways, and neither are your thoughts my thoughts?” says the Lord. “Does not my word testify that I came into this world to give you life, yet are you not seeking for life in those things that you believe will give you life? Did I not come into this world to give you life, and to give it to you abundantly? But how can I do this as long as you continue to live your life according to that which you treasure to be right? Is death more righteous than life, or evil better than that which is good? Have I not asked you to first seek to know My righteousness? Did you not know that it is right in My sight that you should live life abundantly? Am I not as good as My word? Trust Me. I am not like a man that I should lie to any of you”.
“Are you now beginning to comprehend why your castle is so well guarded and defended against any and all things that disagree with what you have treasured to be right? Only those things which have passed a strict set of standards set forth by your pride and your righteousness will be allowed to enter your heart. Then whosoever comes along that agrees those things which you have believed to be right, he shall then be esteemed as a friend. So also is an enemy and an adversary considered to be anyone who would offend you in any manner. Is it not a bitter thing to entertain one who has offended what you have treasured in your heart to be right? Is not such a person accounted as an enemy and is rejected, despised, hated, scorned, or thought of as evil? Was I not rejected, despised, hated, scorned, and thought of as evil by My Own people? Do you now understand why I was spit on, mocked, tortured and crucified? Do you see that I was crucified for the sake of their self-preservation?
“Was it not written of Me, ‘And when we shall see Him, there shall be nothing seen that is to be desired, for He is despised and reject- ed by men?’ How then shall I be invited to enter into the treasury of a man’s heart, seeing that I do not measure up to the criteria that your pride and your self-righteousness have set forth? Are you going to reject Me also? Are you going to be like the many whom I have called by My Spirit who have made light of their calling by reason of the ignorance that is in them? Are you not able to judge between the desires of the flesh and the desires of My Spirit? Is it not written that the fleshy mind, the mind that is ignorant of Me, is death. It is full of fears, worries, pride, anxieties, vain thoughts, hatred, self-condem-nation, strife, impatience, envy, doubt, slander, failure, unforgiveness, deceit, evil thoughts, anger, uncertainty, fault-finding, unbelief, con- fusion, arrogance, guilt, disappointment, hypoc- risies, and all manner of lies about yourself and about Me? Where is life in any of these things?
“Why do you esteem your pride and righteousness to be so great and so flawless, seeing that they let any and all of these things pass through into your heart? Do you now understand? As long as you desire to fill the treasuries of your heart with these miseries and torments, you shall not have any desire to let Me pass through into the castle of your heart. The man who says that he has life, yet has any of these evil things dwelling within, not only deceives himself, but his life is defiled! Is it not written that the spiritual mind is life and peace, and surely you know that none of these miseries or torments dwell anywhere in the thoughts of the Spirit of God. It will not be until you are able to discern the difference between the life of the spiritual mind from the death of the carnal mind that you shall have any desire at all to allow Me to enter into your heart.”
When the Lord finished speaking these things, both my head and my heart were over- whelmed trying to comprehend the things that the Lord was speaking. After a time, I asked, “Lord, would you show me the difference between the righteousness of the carnal mind and the righteousness of the spiritual mind so that You may become the treasure of My castle? Would you show anything else that may be hindering You from entering into the gate of my heart, and to fill the treasury of my heart with right things?”
The Lord answered, “Since the day that I called you, I have been standing at the door of your heart, quietly knocking so as not to arouse the guards of your pride. I have been knocking and knocking, waiting for you to ask Me in. But you have not asked Me in by reason of the work of self-justification. Do you not understand that as long as you justify yourself in your own sight, you will not see any need to ask Me to enter into your heart. As long as you justify yourself by covering up your weaknesses and your faults with reasonings, unbelief, and excuses, you never even think to ask Me to cleanse you. As long as you justify yourself as that Pharisee did when he compared and measured himself against the lives of other men, then you also will continue to be as blind as he was, exalting himself through his own works. Do you desire to keep the treasury of your heart filled with the honor and the praise that men give you? As long as you lean to your understanding of My Words, then you shall see no need to ask Me for My understanding so that you may know that interpretation that is right in My sight. As long as you justify yourself, being wise in your own eyes, you will surely believe that your judgments of good and evil. Right and wrong, truth and lies must be that which agrees with the judgment of God. Yet, is it not written that all men are liars, that there is not one good nor is there one who does that which is right in the sight of God? As long as you justify yourself being satisfied with your efforts to make yourself to be the best Christian that you can be, then you will not ask Me to make you My workmanship. Do you now understand? Do you now see that it is by reason of the work of self-justification that has hindered you from opening the door to your heart for Me to enter in? I am the righteousness of life, but as long as you continue to live your life according to those things that seem right, then you will not even perceive that I have been continually at the door to your heart, knocking and waiting for you.
“Is it not written that I am the Lord your God, and that I alone should be exalted and esteemed? Is it not also written that I alone shall be glorified and praised? So how blind are My people who justify themselves in their own works and deeds? Even so, it is through these works of self-justification that the hearts of My people are carried far from Me, though they continue to praise Me with their lips and honor Me with their mouth. Do you yet understand of what righteousness consists? Did not Daniel declare that righteousness only belongs to God? Is it not written that your heavenly Father made Me to be righteousness for you? Do you not believe My Word which says, ‘I am the life of God?’ Do you know that as long as you willingly remain ignorant of Me, you shall also remain separated from the life of God; the abundant life that My Father has promised all those whom He has called? If you understand that I am the life that is exceedingly better than that which you have, then you would have long ago opened the door of your heart to Me. You do not under- stand that your righteousness and pride have worked together to keep you separated from My promise of abundant life that comes through knowing Me. I am the righteousness of life.
“If you will clothe yourself with humility, (seeing that it is only by humility that the guards of pride shall be disarmed without a fight), and open the door to your castle, I shall come into your heart and reveal Myself to you. If I tried to enter into the castle of your heart without an invitation from you, all the armies of pride, and the defenders of self-justification, would both rise up against Me, seeing that I am He Who is an alien to “self”? I am the love that thinks not of its “self”. If your heart is not willing and proud, then it shall be impossible for Me to enter in without force. You know that I will not force Myself upon anyone. For I am meek and humble. You will not be willing to open the door to your heart unless you first believe in your heart My promise of abundant life is truth. Once you believe the promise of My Word, you shall gladly open the door of your heart and let Me in.
“I am He Who has made you the object of all My affection. I am He Who only desires to do good things for you. I am He who has no evil thoughts towards you. I am He who desires to give you peace and life. I am He who desires to show you great and mighty things which you do not know. I am He who is here only to help you. I am He who desires to show you that I am willing to do impossible things on your behalf. I am He who died for you and shed My Blood for you, knowing that you are powerless to change the intents of your heart and the imaginations of your thoughts. I am He who delights in showing you mercy every day. I am He who has great delight when My people humble themselves be- fore Me, allowing Me to be your Lord and your God. Only then shall you allow Me to perform great things on your behalf.
“I am He who loves you unconditionally. I love you even when your heart is still proud. I love you when you have walked in the way that is not good, after your own thoughts and the sight of your eyes. I love you even when you continually desire to justify yourself. If My love for you had been anything other than uncon- ditional, I would not have continued knocking on the castle door of your heart. Even though I have made you the object of My affection, I am powerless to show you My love as long as you keep the door to your heart closed to Me. I am not only abundant life, but I am that abundant life that My heavenly Father yearns to give you. I am standing at the door of your heart ready to bring all My blessings and gifts in with Me. But do you desire to know Me?
“Again, you have not let Me into your heart because you have not known Me; because you have willingly not inquired to know that My divine nature is life. No death, no misery, no pain, no torment, dwells within Me. I am the source of life because I am life. You have not let Me in because you have not known nor believed that I desire to make you a partaker of My divine nature, to transform your heart and mind, to make them according to My image. Do you not believe what is written, ‘I am the law of the Spirit of life who is come into this world to set you free from your bondage to the law of sin and death?’ Surely you know that sin is the transgression of the law, but did you not know that death transgresses the law of life? Did you not know that anxiety transgresses My law? Do you not know that fear, as well as all doubt and unbelief, transgress My law? Do you not know that confusion transgresses My law? Do you not know that hatred transgresses My law? Do you not know that condemnation and guilt both transgress My law? Do you not know that worry transgresses My law? Do you not know that pride transgresses My law? Do you not know that disappointment and failure transgress My law? If then My divine nature is life, then whose nature dwells in the thoughts of death that continually inhabit the carnal mind? I see that you have made yourself to be that beautiful castle in sight of all those who are wise in their own eyes, but I see that your castle is only a prison where all of your thoughts have been kept in bondage to death and sin. I see that you are captive in a prison where all the doors are locked from the inside. Do you understand, that as long as a man loves death, being just in his own eyes, then he will in no way open the castle door to his heart to allow Me to enter in?
“Do you now believe My Word which test- ifies that I alone know the heart with all of its intents and purposes?”
“Yes, Lord,” I answered.
Then the Lord said, “Is it not written that when you allow Me to enter into your heart, I will bring to light those things which are hidden in the darkness of your heart?”
Again I said, “Yes, Lord, that is written.”
The Lord said, “Do you understand that every day your heart has worked diligently to guard and protect the sin and the death that has hidden itself behind the appearance of righteous- ness that agrees with the wisdom of the carnal mind? Do you understand why you have not been a partaker of My promise of abundant life, seeing that through deceit and ignorance you have been justifying, defending, and protecting all those things which gave you only the illusion of life? Do you see that none of these miseries or torments could have dwelt in the thoughts of your mind unless they had first disguised themselves with an appearance with which your pride and righteousness would agree?
“If a thought entered your mind that instruct- ed you to justify your faults and errors, would you not do so because you believed that it was the right thing to do? If a thought entered your mind that instructed you to condemn yourself for your faults and errors, would you not do so if you believed that it was right to do so? Yet, is it not written that there is never any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus? Does the carnal mind have the ability to justify or condemn? Can either one of these works change the intents of the heart or imaginations of the thoughts? So then, how can you who are carnally minded bring forth any life out of that which is dead? Is it not also written that I will justify the ungodly? What decision do you make that is not influence- ed by fear, worry, emotions, feelings, or pride, or anxiety, or by opinions, or by fleshy desires? Do you now understand that which is written, that those who are fleshly-minded regard those things which are of the flesh? Why do you not question the righteousness of these counselors that influence all your decisions?
“What wisdom is it that yields to these types of
influences, seeing that none of these things are able to bring forth life? Do
you not know that it is because of your belief that these influences are righteous that have kept you from opening
the door of your heart to Me? Do you not see that though your fears come in
under the disguise that they are there to assist you in your decision making,
deceiving you into believing that they are present to protect you from harm, in
truth, they are only unclean spirits that are there to torment you in your
thoughts! Do you not see that it is the same with confusion, with worry, with
anxiety, with envy, with anger, that they all come in under the disguise of
being righteous counselors. But they are there to daily bring misery to your
life; to make your existence in this world to be as miserable as you allow them
to. Do you not know that when you yield yourself to such counselors, you are
only bowing your knee to worship and serve those demons who desire to rule over
your thoughts with death and misery? Though the letter was addressed to the
“I see that the carnal mind is as a haunted castle that is frequently visited by various types of unclean spirits whose only purpose is to haunt you with misery in the imaginations of your thoughts. Do you not understand that those who are carnally minded are always captive to obey these unclean spirits because of their appearance of righteousness? Is it not written that all men are unclean because of their own righteousness? Is it not also written that Satan is able to change himself into an angel of light, and his demons into ministers of righteousness? Do you now understand, that these demons, are those unclean spirits who minister “self-righteousness” to all who are carnally minded? Is it not written that there is nothing unclean of itself? So then, who is it that is ministering fear to your thoughts? Who ministers impatience to your thoughts? Who ministers to you that you do not have any need for Me today? Who ministers bitterness and anger to your thoughts when you do not get your way? Who ministers to you that it is right for you to find fault with your brethren? Who ministers to you to obey your lusts and desires? Who ministers anxiety to your thoughts? Who ministers depression and disappointment to your thoughts? Who ministers hypocrisy to you, instructing you to pretend that you are righteous when only death is working inwardly? Who ministers bad memories and unforgiveness to you? Who ministers to you that you should protect and defend at all cost those things which you believe to be right as though it was not possible for you to err? Who is it that ministers division, strife, and arguments among My people? Do you really believe that the Holy Spirit would minister any of these things to your thoughts? Do you now understand why I see the carnal mind as a haunted castle where these unclean spirits continually visit to minister sin and death to the carnally minded? Are you beginning to perceive that I truly do see that which is hidden in the treasury of your heart? Do you now believe My word which testifies, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are all vanity?’ On whose name are you going to call?
“Do you understand that nothing is able to dwell in your heart except that you first believe that it is right? Do you understand why all of these unclean spirits have disguised themselves to be as ministers of righteousness to your thoughts, seeing that nothing is able to have power over you except those things which you believe are right? How hard was it for Satan himself to enter into the thoughts of Peter’s mind when he tempted Me? Whom did I rebuke to get behind me, Peter or Satan? Once Ananias and Sapphira justified themselves by holding back a part of the price, how long did it take for Satan to instruct them to lie to the Holy Spirit? Do you see how easy these unclean spirits move into your thoughts, yet I who love you am left knocking at the door of your heart? Do you not desire to be delivered from these unclean spirits who visit you with misery and trouble? Do you not desire the peace and life that dwells in the spiritual mind? Does not My Word testify that by reason of the great love that I have for you, I will gladly cast out all your fears, all your distresses, your own judgments, as well as all your troubles? But My heart is grieved for you; for your prayers are before Me, and though you have asked many things that are according to My will, you have not yet asked to know Me; to know the divine nature of life. How long will you continue to deny Me and grieve My Spirit? Is there any other name you can call on who is able to deliver you and free your mind and your heart from these torments and miseries of death? What God are you worshipping and serving?
“Now do you understand that which My Word testifies of saying, ‘My people are fool- ish; they have not known Me because they have no understanding? They are drunk in their own self-righteous judgments, having no vision to see where they are going. They are only wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.’ Do you not know that it is this wisdom alone that has a burning desire for you to yield to your fears, your hypocrisies, your hatreds, your envies, your pride, your impatience, your unbelief, your anxieties, your worries, and any other unclean spirit that ministers sin and death to your thoughts? How is it possible for any of My people to allow Me to enter into the treasury of their heart as long as this wisdom dwells within them, seeing that this wisdom blinds their eyes to all things spiritual? Is it not written that My own people crucified Me because the wisdom of this world had blinded them and they did not know who I was? If a man’s vision, that is, the way that sees, understands, and judges all things, is dictated to him by this wisdom, then how shall he escape from his bondage to sin and the miseries of death that are of the carnal mind? Have I not promised you a way to escape? Have I not promised freedom to all of those who would follow after Me?
“Have I not instructed My people saying, “If any man will follow after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow after Me. If any man seeks to save his life, he will surely lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake, shall receive life. Are you willing to deny Me so that you can save your fears, or impatience, or unbelief, or doubts, or bitter- ness, or anxieties, or pride, or unforgiveness, or envy, or arguments and strife, or judgments, or fault-finding, or any other unclean thing by which you have believed it was right for you to live your life? Who else but a fool would deny Me, choosing rather to live his life in a haunted castle? Do you understand that the man who takes up his cross, is the man who does not deny Me, but offers unto Me the treasures of his carnal mind, the righteousness by which he has lived his life? Do you not understand that those who take up their cross, do so that I might redeem the death that is of the carnal mind with the life that is of the spiritual mind? Do you not know that I am that spirit of life that sets you free from the law of sin and death? Do you now understand that the cross that Paul daily took up, was so that he could be a partaker of abundant life? Is it not written that you cannot bear the fruits of life until you first take up your cross, willing to die to the miseries of this world?
“Did not My servant Paul take up his cross and suffer the loss of his own righteousness; that is, the loss of that righteousness which was of the law that he believed and trusted that was right for him to live his life by? What law has any power to deliver you from anything that ministers misery, unbelief, trouble, or torment to your thoughts? Do you not know that by your faith in Me, I am there daily for you as you offer these things before Me? I love you, and it pleases Me greatly when you draw near to Me, asking Me to help you. I have called many, but only a few are willing to take up their cross to die to the righteousness by which they daily live their lives; that which is dictated to them by the unclean spirits of this world. Is it not written that the message of the cross is foolishness to them who are perishing, but unto those who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will proceed to do a marvelous work and wonder; I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of those who believe that they are able to judge righteously.’ Do you not understand the message of the cross? Do you not understand the mystery of the gospel ?
“Do you not know that those who take up their crosses, were they whom I called, and indeed, they praised Me with their lips, and they honored Me with their mouths, but their hearts were far from Me by reason of the love that they had for their own righteousness But that love and affection only exists in the carnal realm. Is it not written that those whom I call My Own, are they who have taken up their crosses and have crucified the desires and affections that are of the carnal mind? Where will sin and death dwell when there is no wisdom that desires or has affection for sin and death? Where will the desire to do what is right in your own eyes dwell after this wisdom has been crucified? Where will the desire to do evil dwell when the wisdom that yielded to such counsels has been crucified? What power will the unclean spirits have over you when their counsels are no longer believed to be right? When that wisdom has been crucified that yielded to them who ministered fear, hatred, anxiety, unbelief, pride, strife, uncertainty, stress, confusion, unforgiveness, envy, worry, and all manner of false hopes that never come to pass, then who shall they minister to? Do you now understand the way of escape for you? Do you not desire to be set free from your captivity and bondage to the carnal mind?
“Has not My Word spoken to you saying, ‘You have eyes, but you do not see?’ I see! I see what those who are wise in their own eyes cannot see. I see all of your treasuries of unrighteousness. I see all of the miseries that have haunted the castle of your heart under the disguise of righteousness. If you could see, then I would not be standing at the door of your heart, for you would have already gladly let Me in. If you could see, then you would know that I am He who ministers the righteousness of God to you; the righteousness which only brings peace and life into your thoughts. I am the righteousness of life, and My Spirit only ministers to all things that have the nature of life: love, gentleness, joy, kindness, contentment, peace of mind, belief, goodness, strength, for- giveness truth, power and might, happiness, and faith. I am a sound mind and perfect faith. I am He who gives increase. I am He who prospers you in the treasures of life. I am the gift that My heavenly Father has prepared for you. I am the hope of the righteous; those who know that abundant life is the hope of the gospel. I am standing at the door of your heart ready to fill your heart with the treasures of life. But I am grieved with My people; for My people have desired of Me blessings, power, gifts, and ministries, but for the sake of self-perseveration, they have not desired to know Me; for they do not know that I am life. Why would My people desire not to know Me except that their hearts have been deceived into believing that they can find life through doing that which is right in their own eyes?
“Until this time, you have only been able to interpret life according to those natural senses that are of the carnal mind; but is it not written that spiritual things cannot be discerned with anything that is natural? Do you not know that the carnally minded are always hoping to find life out of circumstances and situations, and not out of My Spirit? Is it not written, ‘My Spirit gives life?’ Have you not interpreted life as that which comes forth when you do those things which feel good, or that bring you pleasure? When things go according to your own will, or according to the way you planned, then you are satisfied, even though it is just for a moment, believing that what you experienced was life? When you think to yourself that you are in control over the circumstances and situations of your life, are you not pleased with your life? When you feel secure in your own strength, in your finances, in your health, or in your own abilities, then do you not feel like you are experiencing life? When you feel that you have made a right decision or done the best that you could, then again, are you not content in calling this brief moment as being life?
“Have not some of My people even tried to find life out of the spiritual gifts that have been given to them? But the gifts of the Spirit are not the fruits of the Spirit; for the gifts have only been given to you for the edification of My body, the church. Have you also felt at times that you experienced life when you have praised Me with your lips and honored Me with your mouth? Yes, I love you to worship Me, and I adore your praises, but none of these things are able to give “life”. Life only comes to you after you have taken up your cross, offering your life to Me in exchange for My Spirit When you receive the fullness of my Spirit, then shall you know what life is. Do you understand what I said, ‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ Do you not know that it is impossible for life to dwell in the carnal mind? Do you not understand that in all of these things you did not experience life, but rather you experienced the illusion of life that comes when your desires are satisfied. “Satisfied desires” is not life, but rather My divine nature is life, says the Lord. “He who seeks life from any of these things denies Me because he does not seek life from Me.
“Do you now understand why the love of money is the root of all evil? Do you not understand that in this fallen world of darkness where life is unknown, the more money that you have, the more desires you are able to fulfill? Do you now understand that these “satisfied desires” are the illusions of life that leave men just as empty of life as they were before they satisfied their desires?
Do you see that this illusion of life, only exists as long as the circumstances and situations occur that allow for one to please and satisfy himself? Those who try to find life from their desires and affections shall always find themselves captive to the same affections and desires tomorrow. Do you know why the hope of the carnally minded is that tomorrow is going to be a better day than today? Is it not because the circumstances that occur today rarely satisfy the desires that one had for that day?
“Do you now understand why you have not opened the door for Me? You have asked of Me, but have you not asked in error? Have you not asked, and hoped, that I would put forth My hand and work in the situations and the circumstances of your life? Have you not hoped that I would do these things so that you might find life out of your desire to have all things done according to your will and that are pleasing in the sight of your own eyes? I did not call you to work in the circumstances and situations of‘ your life, but rather in the intents of your heart and in the thoughts of your mind; to give to you the spirit of life that would rule over your thoughts and hearts to give you life, regardless of the circumstances and situations? I did not come into this world to satisfy your fleshy desires, but rather, I came into this world to give you abundant life that is of My divine nature. But how can this be when you are blind to see that there is anything in Me to be desired? Do you not know that this blindness only exists as long as the wisdom of the carnal mind exists?
“Am I not always faithful to My Word? Do you not know that the Rock upon which I am going to build my church, is those who hold to My Word? For seeing that I am always faithful to My Word, I will always be faithful to those who hold to the promises of My Word. If you do not have abundant life, is it because you have not taken up your cross to offer unto Me the treasures of your heart, that righteousness that is your standard for day-to-day living? Would a wise man protect and defend that which brings stress, fear, doubts unbelief, hatred, anxiety, worry, or any other thing that brings misery and torment into his life? Would a wise man justify that which brings depression, self-condemna-tion, bitterness, hypocrisy, strife, or any other thing that would work death? Do you not under- stand what the cross is that I have asked you to take up? Do you not know that life awaits those who take up their cross, who are willing to die to those things which only give an illusion of life? When My Apostle Paul testified of the cross that he had taken up, did he not declare that he had suffered the loss of his own righteousness; that treasure of the carnal mind by which he had lived his life? So, if he dies to his own righteousness, then whose righteousness did he live by--that which is of the carnal mind or that which is of the spiritual mind? Do you not understand that when you take up your cross, it is only then that I will be able to redeem your life with My life? The cross is where I will redeem the death of the carnal mind for the life that is of the spiritual mind. But do you desire life?
“Yes, I delight in giving blessings, and power, and gifts, and ministries to you when you ask for them, but these things are only for your edification; that is, the building of your faith. But that which My heart truly desires is to give you the .divine nature of life that dwells in My heart: I desire to give you that spiritual mind where only life and peace are able to dwell. The spiritual mind is like a flowing river of life that never ends; a river where no fears, confusion, envy, frustration, disappointments, depression, desires for vainglory, hatred, anxieties, evil thoughts, doubts, loneliness, impatience, pride, bitterness, worries, nor any other evil desire is able to enter in because there is no death in the spiritual mind; for out of My heart flows all of the issues of life. The congregation of the dead, those who refuse to open the door of their hearts to Me, only do so because they do not know how to interpret life. Is it not written that I came unto My Own, and My Own did not receive Me because they did not know how to comprehend life?
“The consciousness of the spiritual mind is belief and faith; that belief and faith that stands only in the power of God. It is this belief and faith that is right in the sight of My heavenly Father. It is also by this belief and faith that peace and joy will be multiplied in your hearts and minds by the power of My Spirit. The spiritual mind is like a clear crystal river of flowing water that continually brings forth life out of its wisdom and understanding. The realm of those who are spiritually minded is the realm where all things are possible because I am the One Who is believed upon to perform all things. In the spiritual realm My Word is believed upon to perform all things. There are no circum- stances, situations, spirits, flesh, illnesses, sick- nesses unto which I cannot speak the word of life. I spoke the heavens and the earth into creation; so what is too hard for Me to speak? My Word will always perform that which I send it to perform. The spiritually minded believe on Me, and these are they who will witness Me perform mighty works on their behalf.
“The carnal mind is very limited because it is only
able to believe what the natural senses are able to comprehend. What man is
able to trust and believe that which he cannot understand? The carnal mind is
full of walls, boundaries, and limitations that have all been established upon
those things which you believe to be right. There is a righteousness in the
natural realm that is not the righteousness of the spiritual realm. For that
which is possible for Me perform to perform by My word is not only impossible
for man to perform, but it is also impossible for man to even understand. Do
you now see why the righteous- ness of the carnal mind is established upon
those things which flesh is able to think or perform for itself? I inhabit
eternity, so what castle will you give Me to inhabit? I say to you, give Me the
castle of your heart, and watch Me tear down the walls, the boundaries, and the
limitations that your own righteousness has placed on Me. By reason of your
righteousness, you have limited My power, My mercies, My works, My forgive- ness,
and My love from coming to you. You have bound Me up with the laws of your
expectations and imaginations, If you were backed up to the
“In the spiritual realm My power is natural. But in the carnal realm, my power is super- natural. In the spiritual realm, abundant life is the natural, but in the carnal realm, abundant life is that which is alien. Just as the waves of the oceans cannot go beyond the boundaries that have been set, so also cannot the righteousness by which you live your life, go beyond that which you believe is right. This boundary divides what you believe from what you do not believe. Only I, the Lord your God, am able to tear down these boundaries. Only I can give the increase to the boundaries of life in your minds; but are you willing to decrease so that I may increase? The realm of the carnal mind is the realm of unbelief. In the carnal realm, men are only able to believe the illusions of life, that life consists of satisfying its own desires and affections. In the carnal realm, death continually visits man in his thoughts. In the realm of the spiritual mind, freedom rules and life works. In the spiritual realm, snake bites are powerless. In the spiritual realm, it is possible to walk across water. In the spiritual realm, one morsel of food is able to feed thousands. In the spiritual realm, the dead are raised. In the spiritual realm, iron is able to swim. In the spiritual realm, the sick are healed. In the spiritual realm, the winds and the oceans obey My Voice. In the spiritual realm, the sun can move backward. In the spiritual realm, there is no beginning, and neither is there an end. In the spiritual realm, I will always make a way for you, even though there may not appear to be any way. In the spiritual realm there are no worries, fears, disappointments, doubts, sorrow, anxiety, hatred, pain, bitterness, ignorance, failure of any kind, nor is there any of the miseries or torments that visit the thoughts of the carnal mind. There is no murmuring or complaining in the spiritual realm. In the spiritual realm wretched sinners, lost sheep, miserable men, and the broken and contrite are able to find love, forgiveness, mercy, and life. In the spiritual realm, there is no condemnation, no guilt, no shame, no fault finding, nor any judging of another; only love. In the spiritual realm, the impossible is the possible because it is that which is natural in the spiritual realm. Yet, for all of this, I am not able to help those who choose to protect and defend the treasures of their own righteousness, that illusion which is believed upon to bring life”.
“When I came into this fallen world, I came just as you are now--in the likeness of sinful flesh. All that I had was belief in My Father’s Word, and faith in His power. It was through that belief and faith that I overcame all of the. powers of sin and death, the will of the carnal mind. This faith and belief is not that which can be birthed by any of man’s wisdom or desires, but rather, it is the gift of God. I am the One. I am that gift of God. I am that belief, and I am that spirit of faith that overcomes the world. I am that belief that makes all things possible. Those who walk in belief, walk in power because they walk with Me. Those who walk in Me walk in the power of life because My nature is life. Ask for Me and I will be that belief and faith in you with which My heavenly Father will be well pleased. Ask Me to be your belief and your faith, and watch the impossible come to pass! If you can believe, then you shall see Me come in all of My glory, and I will take your heart and mind, and make to be beautiful and glorious in My sight. And you shall walk in newness of life.
“The spiritual mind is joined to Me in life; and it is continually regenerated and renewed through the Spirit of life. The spiritual mind is always conscious that I alone am the Lord your God, knowing that I am always there for you--to help you according to your need. The conscious- ness of the spiritual mind knows that I am the only source of 1ife. The spiritual mind knows that it is the delight of My heart to supply all of your lack and provide for all of your needs. The spiritual mind knows that it is My delight to freely give you My kingdom. It is not so in the consciousness of the carnal mind; for the carnal mind cannot believe that you are truly the object of all My affection. The carnal mind is so miserable, that it counts all that it does not believe to be right and true. This is the righteousness of the blind; those who are only mindful of their own treasures; the treasures of false hopes and the illusions of life that never come true. Do you now see how great the boundary is that divides life from death; the spiritual mind from the carnal mind? Only I can tear down these boundaries, but unless you begin to open the door to the castle of your heart, nothing shall be possible. The spiritual mind is always conscious that there is no problem, circumstance, trouble, fear, situation, spirit weakness nor any evil work of the flesh that I not able to overcome for you. The spiritual mind is always at rest and peace, knowing that I am your security, your provider, your Lord and your God. The spiritual mind knows that I do not condemn nor accuse, but rather I save; I deliver; I give peace; I forgive; and I will always do you good. The spiritual mind knows no death, darkness, evil, lies, nor any self-righteousness, for I am that Spirit, and I know no such wickedness. I am life,” says the Prince of Peace.
“Those who are spiritually-minded love Me with all their heart, soul, and minds because this is the heart of My Spirit. The heart of My Spirit is the love that never thinks of “self”, nor does it ever seek to satisfy any desires and affections of ‘self’, because such thoughts do not exist in the mind of My Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded, are they who asked Me for the gift of My Spirit. These are they who trust Me to perform all of those things which are required of them, because these are the thoughts of My Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded understand all secrets and mysteries, because it is the mind of My Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded love My Words and delight to do My will because this is the mind of My Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded love to receive My gifts, My power, as well as all of My blessings, because this is the mind of My Spirit. The thoughts of those who are spiritually minded are filled with joy and peace, because this is the mind of My Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded are filled with love, forgiveness, com- passion, and mercy, because this is the mind of My Spirit. Only by My Spirit shall you find escape out of your captivity to the death that dwells in the carnal mind. My Spirit will set you at liberty from all of the desires of the carnal mind to accuse, slander, judge, compare, find fault with, condemn, or to speak evil of any man. Those who are spiritually minded, not only love their brethren, but they also love their enemies and do good to those who hate them, because this is the mind of My Spirit You know that My Word declares that you will know that you have passed from the death of the carnal mind to the life that is of My Spirit when you love your brethren. How then shall you pass from death to life unless you ask for My Spirit? When your mind has been freed, love shall fill your heart; the love that fulfills the law of the Spirit of life.
“The end of all things is at hand. You think that you have been waiting for Me, but it is I who have been waiting on you. I have been standing at the door to your heart, waiting for you to invite Me in. I have many, many blessings and gifts that have your name on them, but until now you have not asked for them by reason of your self-righteousness. Do not be afraid to open the door of your heart to Me. Do not be afraid to let Me show you the secrets of your heart. I love you. I went to the cross for your sins, and by reason of the Blood which I shed for you, you have been under the power of My grace and mercy. So why are you so afraid to allow Me to enter into the treasury of your heart? Are you afraid that I might find out that which I already know--that you are nothing more than a man? You have been afraid to let Me come into your heart because you do not know Me, nor have you known the manner of the Spirit of life. I am not like a man who would accuse you, or judge you, or condemn you, or lie to you, or mock you, or belittle you in any way. “I am He Who only knows love for you. Do not be afraid, for I will not deal with your weaknesses and your faults in the same manner that a man would treat you. Did not My servant Paul say that he delighted in seeing these things because he knew that he was about to witness My great power working on his behalf? Do you truly desire to let your pride and your righteousness keep you in bondage to the illusions of this life?’
“I am asking you to consider the woman who was
brought before Me, caught in the act of adultery. Did I respond to her
according to the desires of the flesh like the rest of
“If you perceive that life is lacking in your heart, is it not because you have not asked for My Spirit? Does not My Spirit give life? Why will you not prove Me at My Word? Do you not know that all these blessings of abundant life are of the spiritual mind, and they will only be able to manifest themselves to you when the fullness of My Spirit enters into you. Prove Me; seek for My life, and life will be given to you. Ask of Me, and I will freely give you that part of My Spirit which you lack. You have no need of anything other than to believe My Words, and have the faith that I will perform these blessings for you. Only take up your cross and deny the life of your own righteousness; your fears, your boastings, your unbelief, your good intentions, your worries, your pride, your cares, your confusion, your control, your doubts, your works, as well as the sight of your eyes. Do you not know that if the seed sown in you is to live then you must ask for My life, and see if I will open up the heavens for you. Do you understand that it has only been by reason of these guards of pride and these defenders of self-righteousness, that abun- dant life has been withheld from you. The windows of heaven have been knocking quietly at your door, but out of ignorance you have refused to open it. I have knocked, and I have knocked, and even though you have tasted of My Spirit, and know that it has always been nothing but life and goodness, still you have chosen to submit yourselves to the unclean spirits who haunt the castle of your thoughts.
“Why have you esteemed your pride so much, seeing
that it is your pride that has allowed all of these miseries free passage into
the treasury of your heart? When I preached freedom to My people
“If then the law of My Spirit is life, then do you not see that all things which are not of life, are those things which transgress the law of life? Do you now understand why all have sinned, seeing that all are born carnally minded, and death transgresses the law of life? Do you now understand that the death that came upon all men through Adam and Eve, is the death that dwells in the thoughts of the carnal mind? Do you understand that which is written, that the carnal mind is enmity against God and it is not subject to the law of God, and it is impossible for it to be? Death will always be contrary to life, and no matter how much a man gains in this fallen world, it will always be impossible for him to experience anything other than death, though it may give that momentary illusion of life. I am now, and will always be, the source of life. There is a strait and narrow path that leads to life, and just as it is written, only a few will find it; because only a few will seek for life through Me rather than through the illusion of life that comes through satisfied desires.
“It is the last time. It is time for you to take up your cross and put off the garment of your righteousness, and put on the cloak of humility. Offer yourselves unto Me and allow Me to make you My workmanship. Have I not promised-to be your God and to make you to be My people after My own likeness? Give yourself to Me, for I will not disappoint you; for I love life, and I love to give life to those who desire to be a partaker of My divine nature. You must be willing to give yourself completely to Me so that I can give Myself completely to you. Have I not promised you a new heart and new mind where death would no longer be your desire, or your affection, or your bondage? Those who turn to Me will be those who desire life; and life is that for which I desire to open the windows of heaven to freely give to you.
“Does not My Word testify that I am only looking for those who are willing to worship Me in Spirit and in truth? How can death worship life? Do you understand that it is impossible for you to worship Me in any other way than by My Spirit? How shall you worship Me in the way that is pleasing to Me unless you first receive the fullness of the Spirit of Life? Does not My Word also say, ‘Walk in my Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the desires of your flesh?’ Do you now see that it is only by My Spirit that you will escape your captivity to this haunted castle that is filled with unclean spirits who appear as righteousness to you? I am grieved because many have chosen to worship Me in the manner that only pleases “self”; in the manner that is right in their own eyes, according to the traditions and command- ments of men. Why would any man choose to worship Me in such a vain manner that would allow such things as anxiety, envy, bitterness, worry, loneliness, jealousy, fear, hopelessness, anger, evil imaginations, hypocrisy, unforgive- ness, depression, hatred, or doubts to continue to haunt the castle of his thoughts?
“Those who love their own castles have lost the love and affection that they have for Me. These are they who have not taken up their crosses but have chosen rather to serve the righteousness by which they desire to live their lives. Do you now understand why the windows of heaven have been shut up, seeing that as long as My people love themselves, then none will call out for Me to open the doors of heaven to rain upon them the righteousness of life? Do you now understand that it was for the sake of self-preservation that My own people spit on Me, mocked Me, whipped Me, and had Me crucified? Will you also do the same to Me, choosing rather to be lord over your own castle? Do you not know that the man’s castle that is filled with fear, anxiety, worry, pride, bitterness, is not a lord but a servant to the spirits that haunt the castle? There is no greater love in My sight than that which those have who are willing to take up their crosses and die to their own righteousness so that they may be made partakers of My divine nature. Turn your heart, for I am not asking you to do anything other than to trust Me and come to Me. Is it not written that the redeemed shall return to Me with everlasting joy; a joy that no circumstance, or situation, or power, or spirit has any power to take from you? I inhabit eternity, but I cannot inhabit your heart while it is bound up behind these walls that you have built for yourself. I cannot be bound up.
“It is the last time. I am now putting before you a
choice this day. You can either make your religion church, and remain among the
congregation of the dead or else you can choose to make your religion life, and
become a part of My family. But remember that of which My Word testifies, ‘Not
all they which say that they are of
The Change: The righteousness that comes forth in a man is the fruit of the faith that is in him.
I Corinthians 2:4-5 “And My speech and My preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
The Lord has blessed me with many visions, revelations, and dreams, but none has ever revealed the thoughts of my heart with its intentions and purposes as clearly as this vision did; but also, by reason of this vision, the Lord opened my eyes to see the simplicity of the gospel. It is written in I Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good.” I used to think that when the Lord gave me a vision or a revelation, or when I heard a word spoken by another man, that what the Lord desired for His people to do was to prove that the word they heard was actually from God; that it was truth. But I was reading the scriptures one day when the Lord quickened to me what Jesus said in John 8:43 “Why can you not understand My speech? Is it not because you cannot hear My word?”
The Lord then opened my eyes to see that many heard Jesus speak, and surely, they would have testified that they heard the word of God spoken to them. But they did not. For the carnal understanding has no ability to bring forth truth, only an opinion of what seems right. Therefore, it was not the Word of the Lord that was heard, but rather the word of the man who formed the opinion of that which was heard. There is nothing carnal that is able to understand anything that is spiritual. God Himself even testified of this when He said, “Your thoughts are not My thoughts”. Yet, which one of these Jews would not have been confident that he understood the truth of that which Jesus spoke? If fact, He was speaking of their bondage to sin and death, and they answered by saying that they had never been in bondage! It was here that the Lord opened the eyes of my understanding to see that I had needed to prove for my own self that the words that I heard, was truth according to God, and not that which was interpreted by my own understanding; otherwise, everything spoken would have been spoken in vain.
The Lord confirmed this for me with Job 33:14 (KJ) “For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man does not perceive it.” It was with this word that I realized what that strong delusion was that Paul spoke of in II Thes. 2:11; for what could give a word more appearance of the truth than the Word of God spoken according to man’s understanding? Yet, who would not defend with all of his heart that interpretation of the scriptures which he has believed to be right? Jeremiah also warned the people of God of this error when he told the people not to take heed to the words of the false prophets. In Jeremiah 23:18 he said, “For who has stood in the secret counsel of the Lord, and has heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?”
I know well the shaking that takes place in the heart when something is heard that suddenly contradicts that which is believed on and trusted to be right. For many times I have seen the proud guards rise up to defend my own self-righteous opinions, scoffing at and refusing to hear what was spoken to me. I even had a prophet speak to me concerning hatred that was in my heart towards one of my own daughters. In my heart I said, “Surely this man is not a prophet of God because I know that I do not have any hatred towards my daughter.” A few days later, the Spirit of the Lord moved on me saying, “Ask God to prove this word to you”. I realized that there was no way possible to know if this word was true unless I asked the Lord to prove this for me. So I asked Him, and lo and behold, the Lord showed me that I had been harboring this hatred towards my daughter because she had refused some instruction that I had given her several months before. I then took up my cross, and offered that hatred to the Lord. He healed my heart to where I could not even remember what my daughter had done. Thanks be to God! Love for hatred; life for death. What a deal, Lord! Show me more that you desire to change.
Many times the Lord has proven the truth of His Word to me, and that which I have exper- ienced has been incredible. The scriptures truly came alive to me. It became like nothing that I had experienced when I had applied my own understanding to the scriptures for my own personal and private interpretation. The Lord has amazed and awed me by His faithfulness; for it has surely been nothing which I have done of myself. How much simpler can it be than that? If man does not desire to know, then he will not ask, but to the man who truly desires to know the Lord, all he has to do is ask. The thing that I have marveled at the most is the simplicity of the life that comes when the Lord has increased His Spirit in me. It is amazing what your eyes see when they are no longer blinded with impatience, fears pride, or anxiety, or the lust to be right in your own opinion especially that fear of what you think other men are thinking of you.
It was a fearful thing for me to take before the Lord my interpretations of His words; to open the door to my heart and let him expose the truth about those things which I had believed and trusted in to be truth. But I reasoned that if what I was believing was the truth, the Lord would confirm it; and if what I was believing was not the truth the Lord would correct me by showing me the truth. I remember the first thing I took before the Lord concerned some of the works that I thought were righteous. I asked, “Lord, is my understanding of these scriptures the truth?”
The Lord said to me, “Have you asked Me to teach you the truth concerning these words?”
I answered, “No, Lord, I have not.”
Then the Lord said, “Then it is not the truth. I have given you the Holy Spirit to teach you “all” truth, but if you do not ask for the truth, then your ears will hear and you will not understand; and your eyes will see, but they will not be able to perceive. Do not be afraid. Ask, and it shall freely be given to you.” So I asked the Lord if He would show me the truth concerning those scriptures that I had asked Him about, and He did. After the Lord had corrected me, He spoke to me one morning while I was praying, “Mitt, where is your pride in this matter?”
After I thought for a moment about what the Lord, I answered, “It is gone, Lord!”
Then the Lord said, “Where is that which you believed and trusted to be right in this matter?”
Again I answered, “It is also gone, Lord.”
The Lord said, “But are you not still Mitt?”
“Wow! Yes Lord, I am!” That short conversation with the Lord has never departed from my heart. Until that day, I thought that a man’s life really did consist mostly of his pride and those things which he believed to be right. I now realized that if I was still Mitt, then whose righteousness and pride was that which had departed from me, seeing that it had such a stronghold over my life? When I took my questions to the Lord concerning the righteous works that I was doing, I had a motive behind asking the Lord to show me the truth. That motive was that I felt like I was in some kind of spiritual wilderness where there was no life; and I had no clue as to how to get out from where I was. My heart was still filled with a zeal for God, and I was doing more “righteous” works than I had ever done before. But I felt like something was missing: things like joy, peace, and love. I seemed to be fine as long as I was around my brethren, or as long as I was involved in some “righteous” activity, but when I was alone, I felt so empty, and lost, and completely out of fellowship with the Lord. Joy and peace had really become like words of some alien language, seeing that they were far from my heart. The thought even came into my mind to try to pretend I had these things, but it did not take long before that thought was completely disgusting for me to even think of. These pretentious thoughts had become to me like a man who was in the desert and had run out of water, and then someone tried to offer him imaginary water deceiving him into believing that it would quench his thirst. Yea, right. In fact, I was in a place that felt so empty and void of life that I knew that if something did not happen soon, it was going to be very difficult for me to walk in my faith much longer. I knew something was wrong with my walk, but what? If a man knows that something is wrong, how can he possibly understand what his error is if he believes that everything he has done has been right? It was then that I felt the Spirit quickening to me to pray Psalm 67:1 “God be merciful to me, and bless me; and cause Your face to shine upon me so that Your way may be made known to me.” So I did.
For the next several weeks, every time I read the scriptures, it seemed as though the Holy Spirit kept leading me to James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God, you do well. But the demons also believe and tremble! But do you not know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead.”
“Vain man? Is my faith dead? Lord, what are you trying to tell me?” Though it was a perfect time for those proud guards to come to defend me, but because I was so weak, there was not much there to defend. Feeling like I was in a spiritual desert, these words were doing very little to quench my thirst. I had just come to find out that I was still carnally minded, which is death, and now was the Lord trying to show me that my faith was also dead? I realized that if the faith I had was established on my own understanding, then it surely had to be dead also. I do not think that I have ever been so happy to have the belief that my errors and faults, no matter how great or small, were all covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Still, I was so desolate of life that I was quite willing to hear anything the Lord had to say as long as it might quench my thirst and fill my emptiness.
It seemed like the Lord was using a tactic similar to a tactic that my dad used to use on us when he fixed supper. My dad was an excellent cook, but still, he would always wait until it was late before he served us supper, making sure that food was the only thing on everyone’s mind. He knew that even though the food that he had prepared was really good, it would always taste twice as good when we were hungry. I was hungry and thirsty and for life, and I knew that this was a meal that only the Lord could prepare and serve.
It was uncanny! For at least three weeks, every time I read the scriptures, even if I went to read somewhere like Exodus, somehow, without me ever being conscious as to how, I would always end back up at James 2:19. I found myself getting more frustrated and agitated with the Lord, feeling as though He was somehow always bringing me back to this scripture to make me miserable; but I knew not why. Here I was, asking the Lord to show me the truth concerning the key scriptures that were leading in my walk at that time, desiring to know if I was understanding them correctly, and here was the Lord speaking to me daily, saying over and over to me, “Faith without works is death...Faith without works is dead...Faith without works is dead”. Then one morning, at the height of my frustration and confusion, I prayed, “Lord, I have done all of the works that I know how to do, and I feel so desolate of life. And besides that Lord, I am not a. smart man, for I cannot discern between the works of the law, which puts one under the curse, from those works which should accompany my faith. Lord, how will I know the difference between these two works if You do not show me?” No answer. Nothing. My frustration continued. Then I prayed, “Lord, if You are willing, would You show me why you keep leading me to this same scripture in James? For I sense that there is something in this passage of scripture that You want me to see, but I am totally blind to it; otherwise, why would You keep leading me back to this same passage? It was just as Jesus said, “The light was shining in the darkness, but the darkness could not comprehend it.”
Later that same day, I went to pray, and before I had even spoken a word, the Lord spoke, “If I am not working in your faith then your faith is dead.”
My first response to this word was, “Did I really hear what I just thought I heard You say?” During the previous weeks I must have entertained several thousand different imagina- tions, all trying to rightly interpret James 2:19. But not one time had I heard any interpretation that agreed with what the Lord spoke to me. The vision of the castle was the most revealing vision that the Lord has ever given me; but this revelation concerning James 2:19 was so powerful that it completely stopped me dead cold in my tracks! I was actually having a hard time believing what I had just heard because it was so contrary to everything that I had believed, yet, I knew that what I heard was truth. The more I sat there considering this word, the more I became astounded and amazed at what I had just heard. Suddenly I realized why I felt so empty and dead in my walk, because everything that I had been doing was being done by me, and not by the hand of God.
As I sat there considering this word, with its new understanding, I realized that my entire walk had been in error because of my misinter- pretation of this one verse. No wonder the Lord kept bringing me back to this one verse! Suddenly, a flood of anxiety and fear swept over me as I considered the reality of this truth. Is this so? How could I be so blind? I realized that I had just experienced for myself what Jesus had spoken of, “Why do you not understand My speech? Is it not because you cannot hear My word?” Then the Spirit quickened to me Isaiah 29:11 (NKJ) “The whole vision has become to you like a book that has been sealed, which one delivers to one who is literate saying, “Read this for me, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”...13 “Therefore the Lord said, “Inasmuch as these people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but they have removed their hearts far from me; and their fear towards me is taught by the commandment of men. Therefore, behold, I will do a marvelous work among this people; a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of the wise shall perish and the understanding of the prudent shall be hidden. Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord, and their works are in the dark! They say, “Who sees us?” and “Who knows us?” Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay?”
“Turned around? Upside down and inside out? The Lord opened my eyes to see that I had that faith that Paul spoke of, but I was still leaning upon my own understanding. This is exactly what I had done with James :19. I had been the potter because I had been doing all of the works instead of the Lord. Could this be? Could it be that the truth of all of the scriptures are just as hidden from my eyes as James 2:19 was? At that moment, nothing could have turned my walk around as much as this word did.
I knew one thing for sure, that this wisdom and the understanding that had come to me concerning James 2:19, did not come from the imaginations of my thoughts. None of my imaginations had even come close to interpreting this word in this manner. My eyes were also opened to see that this interpretation would do that which Isaiah said it would--draw me close to God. The more I sat there meditating on this word, the more I realized just how much my walk had been filled with vain and dead works because of my error. Yet, the entire time of my error, I was positive that I was doing what was right in the sight of God. I was so confident that the Lord was pleased with those things which I was doing, thought I was really in tight with the Lord. I then felt so ashamed before the Lord, like I had suddenly been stripped of all my righteous works, my righteous wisdom, my righteous name, the pride of what I had done of myself, as well as all of own understanding that I had been leaning on to be truth. But then the compassionate Lord, knowing that I was greatly troubled in my heart, spoke to,“Mitt, do not be afraid of what your eyes have seen, but remember only this one thing, I am real good at raising the dead.” Immediately, all of my anxieties and fears melted away. Then, even though my fears and anxieties were gone, I still sat there stunned at the magnitude of my error, but thankful that the Lord had persisted in correcting me of it. I felt so stupid for not being able to discern what the Lord was trying to show me. Surely, “God speaks once, yea twice, and in my case 20 times, and I did not perceive”. This was all so new to me that the only thing that I knew to do was to pray and ask the Lord to prove for me that I correctly understood James 2:19; “Lord, this understanding of this word is so contrary to all that I have believed. I know that I am going to need Your help in believing that this word was truly from You. Would you prove to me that this is really You? Would You prove to me that it is Your works that are to accompany my faith?”
Then the Lord said, “The books of the gospels, of whose works do they testify? Was it not I that healed the sick? Was it not I that forgave sins? Was it not I that gave sight to the blind? Was it not I that raised the dead? Was it not I that cast out demons? Was it not also written of Me that I opened the ears of My disciples so that they could understand the truth of the scriptures?”
With much excitement, I answered, “Yes, Lord, You did perform all of those works!”
Then the Lord said, “After I performed any one of these works, what was it that I would always say to those who had come to Me asking for help?”
I considered for a moment when suddenly I answered saying, “Lord, I see, for after You performed any one of these works, you would always say, “Your faith has saved you”; or, “Your faith has made you whole”; or “Your faith has healed you.” Now I see Lord. Now I believe this truth, that if my faith is not accompanied by your works, then my faith is dead. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer. thank you for making this plain and clear for me to understand.
Then the Holy Spirit gave me another word to confirm this truth: I Corinthians 2:3 where Paul said, “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling; and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” The Lord really opened my eyes to see that the faith that I had, that stands in the wisdom of the carnal mind, is that faith where man demon- strated his power, his works, his zeal, and his determination. It is this faith that produces nothing but self-righteousness, the way which seems right in his own eyes. How could the Lord demonstrate His power and His might any clearer than in the works that He performs for Himself? I saw that this faith was only new to me, for it has always been the faith that exists in the spiritual realm; the realm where the Lord is God, and He does all of the works. All of a sudden, I found myself becoming totally revived, excited and refreshed with the belief that the Lord was going to take over and do that which was impossible for me to do—to change me into His divine nature of life. I could not believe how clearly I could see, nor how foolish I was, having that faith which is of the carnal mind. That faith totally denies Jesus Christ, seeing that it only worked to produce my own works, my own righteousness, my own power and strength, and my own self-confidence. These are the same things that are produced by all the false religions of the world’s vanity. I also saw that when I stood in this faith, I saw no need to draw near to God, seeing that my faith called for me to do everything! What greater evidence could a man have that he was walking in the strait and narrow path with God than for him to have God doing for him things that were impossible for him to do? I saw that the Lord had destroyed my wisdom and brought my understanding to nothing by opening my eyes to see the foolishness of the faith I had that stood in my own wisdom.
I could not believe how much this new understanding affected my entire walk, seeing scriptures that I had read for years in an entirely different light. For ignorance appeared as the darkness, and the darkness appeared as the light when I applied my own understanding to the scriptures, confirming that which is written, “Take heed that the light that is in you is not darkness for if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing as he ought to know.” But now that the light had come, the scriptures then returned to being that fountain of life again. Many times I was scared to read the scriptures, being afraid that my carnal mind might find something to condemn me for or that I may interpret a word to be that God was in me to perform something that was impossible for me to perform, or that He might instruct me to do that which I had no heart to do. All of these things were suddenly gone. Instead, I found myself with an entirely different focus, seeking to find what the scriptures might reveal as those works which the Lord desired to perform for me. I began to see verses that I had read, or had heard preached many times, but I had never had ears to hear that these were truly works that the Lord desired to do for me. How can a man that is blind, having eyes that are only able to see what is right according to his own wisdom, understand the truth of that which has been spoken?
Even though the Lord had said to me, “Do not be afraid,” I was still afraid. How could I not be, seeing that all of those things in which I had put my confidence, my faith, my trust, and my belief, suddenly perished before my eyes? But the Lord, knowing the trouble in my heart, again comforted me when He led me to read what is written of the apostles concerning the time they all got caught in that storm with Jesus. Each one of these men was afraid, thinking that he was soon to perish. But when they woke Jesus up, He said to them in Mark 4:40 “Why are you so fearful? Why is it that you have no faith?” Wow, I thought. Here were these chosen apostles, those who had heard all the sermons that Jesus had preached, as well as having witnessed just about every miracle that He had performed; and still, they had no faith. They were just like I was at that moment. Then I knew that having “no faith” was not going to stop Jesus from working in my faith, seeing that these same disciples would have their faith greatly increased in due time.
Still, I continued asking the Lord to prove this truth of James 2:19 to me until I had no doubts or unbelief in my heart. The more I asked the Lord to prove this thing for me, the more He taught me, leading me to such verses as Psalm 57:2 (NKJ) “I will cry out to God Most High who performs all things for me,” and Job 23: “For He performs the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with Him.”. If God is going to perform “all things” for me, then that does not leave much work for me to do. Then the Lord opened my understanding to what Paul spoke of in Romans 4:4 ‘Now to him that works is the reward reckoned of debt, and not grace. But to him who works not, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” Vs. 20 “Abraham stagger- ed not at the promise of God through unbe- lief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was also able to perform.” Then the Holy Spirit quickened to me that the promises that the Lord has given to His church; are all those works which He has promised to perform for us.
It was then that I really began to perceive what John the Baptist meant when he said, “I must decrease so that He might increase.” How could the Lord do any work in me if I was the one doing all the work? How could one increase in spiritual understanding and spiritual wisdom unless he asked the Lord to first destroy his own wisdom and bring his own understand- ing to nothing? How could Jesus become the righteousness of life in those who lived their lives doing that which was right in their own eyes? I suppose I was like other men. I liked the idea of “increasing”, but it was the “decreasing” of which I was fearful. But the Lord opened my heart to see that no man has power to decrease himself! This was a work that the Lord would do if that man would just humble his heart and ask the Lord to perform what His word testified He would do. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will bring the understanding of the prudent to nothing; I will destroy the house of the proud; I will open the eyes of the blind; I will change your garments.”
Is it possible for a man to be both carnally minded and spiritually minded? How could a man be fearful, anxious, and worry and have peace of mind at the same time? I began to understand that if I desired to have all the spiritual blessings and gifts that the Lord has promised to His people, it was going to first be necessary to prepare a place for those things. I needed to take up my cross and die to those treasures that my carnal mind had esteemed: “self”. But when I thought about what I was going to receive in exchange, it was a no-brainer: I must decrease in sin and death so that He might increase abundant life in me.”
I said, “Pinch me Lord, so I will know this is truth; for it seems so easy.” He quickened to me Philippians 1:6, which I had heard so many times before but was now seeing in this new light: the belief that the Lord was going to actually do it for me. “Be confident of this very thing, for He who has started a good work in you, He will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ.” I remembered what the Lord had previously said, “I am meek and humble, and I will do nothing for you unless you ask. I see in your asking, the evidence of the belief that you have in My Word. I see your faith as the evidence that you believe it is I who will perform the promises of My Words for you. If you lack, it is only because you did not ask; for My eyes go to and fro through the earth, but I only stop for those who are asking for Me--for those who need Me. Before I can work in your heart, I must first work in your belief and faith. You must first believe My Words, and you must also trust Me to perform My words for you in due time.”
The Lord reminded me of Romans 4:19, “Abraham was not weak in his faith, considering not his own body which was “dead”, nor the “deadness” of Sarah’s womb, for he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and was fully persuaded that what God had promised, God was able also to perform.” How ironic! The Lord had just proved to me that I was dead because I was still carnally minded, and because I did not have the right faith. But here was Abraham, who also had the promise of a new life coming, and he did not once consider the “dead” things, but rather, he focused on the Lord God who performs impossible things. No doubt, if the apostles and I had no faith and Abraham was strong in faith, then somewhere and somehow, God is able to work in that which is weak and dead, to make it strong and living. I recalled when He said, “Do not be afraid, for I am good at raising the dead.” I thought, “Wow! if God could forth life out of Abraham and Sarah when the natural circum-stances dictated that it was not possible, then how much more will the Lord bring that which is living out of me when I believe?” I said, “Lord, even though my faith has been dead, would you raise me up to be strong in faith and perfect in belief.”
The Lord said, “As long as you are looking for Me to
perform the promises of My Words in you, then your faith is not dead. Open the
door to your heart, and ask Me to work in you, and I will prepare your heart to
I said within my heart, “If all that it takes is believing and asking, then truly this yoke that Jesus spoke of, is light and easy. But if we do not ask, we will certainly not receive.
I suppose that of all the verses that the Lord used to confirm the truth of James 2:19, the one that had the biggest impact on me was Matthew 13:58, “And Jesus could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” I understood that you could have that belief spoken of in James 2:19. Without it, if you do not have any belief that the Lord has called you to perform His work, then your faith is dead. It is written in Psalm 105:2 “...Talk ye of all His wondrous works.” What works could any man speak of if he has no belief that the Lord is going to perform any works in him? How could a man call himself the workmanship of the Lord if he had no belief that the Lord would actually do anything for him? It is written that the Lord will perform all things that are required of us, but who is able to believe this? Though the Lord used many verses to confirm to me that I was only to be the work of His hands, I still had a lot of fears, unbelief, and doubts as to what and how the Lord was going to actually perform all of these things. The thing that troubled me the most was not the unbelief and the doubts within, but the fact that I believed that those unbelieving counsels were right. Imagine that, being confident that you are right in not believing the works that the Lord desires to perform for you! But I began to pray and ask the Lord to help me overcome my unbelief and doubts.
It was also with this word in Matthew 13:58 that my eyes were opened to see that unbelief and doubt works in a Christian like kryptonite works in superman. It separates him from the source of his power and strength. The Lord confirmed this with James 1:7 “Let not that man who doubts think that he is going to receive anything of the Lord.”. For He who has no faith, God does no work. God gives nothing to him who doubts. “But Lord, how do I get from no faith and doubts to faith and belief, seeing that You will do no work where there is unbelief and doubt?” He led me to read the story in Mark 9:17 where a man had brought his son who was afflicted with a dumb spirit before Jesus asking Him for help. Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, I will do this for you; for all things are possible for those who believe. And immediately the father fell down and cried out with tears saying, “Lord, I believe, but help me with my unbelief”.
I said, “Lord, what is that? How can a man say that he believes but also say that he needs help with his unbelief?”
The Lord said, “This man believed that I was the Son of God. He also believed that I had power and authority from heaven to deliver and heal his son. But what this man did not have was the belief that I would actually do this just for him. But when he humbled his heart, and asked Me to help him, this opened the door of My heart. I saw that he needed My help to do that which no man can do of himself--increase his faith. I then healed his son and increased his belief when I gave him what he had asked for.”
I said, “Lord that is me. I believe with all my heart that you are the Son of the living God, and I believe that you have the power to perform all things that You have promised us in Your Word. Lord, help me to believe that You will perform all of those promises and blessings for me.
It was then that I felt like I was awakened to an entirely different calling that was unlike anything I had ever perceived. I realized that the Lord had just worked in me what is written in Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in “believing”, that you might abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” One moment, I am asking the Lord to help me with my unbelief and doubts, and the next moment I am experiencing this peace and joy because the Lord gave me the belief that is of the Holy Spirit. I was so excited, not only to be a partaker of this peace and joy, but to be a partaker of the Lord’s faithfulness. All that I had done was to humble myself and ask for help, and boom! The Lord opened the eyes of my understanding to comprehend that there are actually two kinds of belief that God has called His people to experience.
First, there is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, the Messiah, and the Christ. It is under this belief that we are to believe that we are under grace and that His Blood covers our sins. It is also under this belief that we believe that Jesus Christ was crucified and raised from the dead; and having overcome the world, He then received all power and authority from His heavenly Father. This is the belief of which James testified, saying that a man would do well to have this belief. But it is this belief that the demons also have, that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, and the Messiah. It is necessary for the demons to have this belief seeing that it is they over whom Jesus has all power and authority. Jesus came into this world to save men and to give abundant life to them. He did not come to save demons or to give life to any unclean spirits. So, though a man does well to have this belief, he does not have any belief that differs from what the demons have.
It was this first belief that brought this father before Jesus, but it was the belief that was in Jesus that healed his son--the belief that all things are possible with God. When this man asked Jesus to help him, Jesus, having all belief, performed what was impossible for this man to do for himself. It was this hope, accompanied by a humble heart, that allowed Jesus to perform what He desired to do for us all—to give life. Then I knew in my heart, that even in times of unbelief, fear, and doubt, when I did not believe that all things were possible, I could ask Him who is perfect in faith and full of belief. It is His belief that will perform that which I need. Now I knew why Jesus said in John 15:5 “...without Me, you can do nothing.” Jesus is that Spirit, and it is in that Spirit, when we ask for it, that we will receive the belief that all things are possible, so that in all things, He is glorified and praised. Now I was no longer afraid, knowing that if I lacked any belief, Jesus was there to provide that which I lacked; the belief that all things are possible with God.
The Lord allowed me to understand that when He called me, He only gave me that which was spoken of by the Apostle Paul--the earnest of the Spirit. But with that earnest, or deposit of His Spirit, came all things that pertain to that first belief; that Jesus is the Son of the living God; the Messiah and the Christ. That other belief was going to be given to me as I humbled myself and asked the Lord to help me. I asked the Lord to expound more on this belief. He led me to Mark 16:16,17 “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
This was one of those verses that I had always been scared to read, knowing that we do well just to believe that Jesus is the Son of God; but unless my eyes were deceiving me, that belief might not be enough to save me from damn- nation, for I would be the first to admit that I had none of these signs following me. I felt like that man who brought his child before Jesus, for I found my knees getting weak, and I fell on my face, also crying out, asking the Lord to help me with unbelief; to help me get to that belief whereby all things are possible.
I asked, “Lord, I have seen some healings, and I have seen demons cast out; but only some of the time. Why is it that I have not seen anyone walking in this belief, that faith that Paul spoke of that is accompanied by Your authority and power, having these signs following them?” I continued in prayer, asking the Lord to make clear to me this belief that is accompanied by these supernatural signs. The Holy Spirit led me to John 6:28 “Then the disciples said to Jesus, “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” And Jesus answered and said, “This is the work of God that you believe on Him whom He sent.” Then He said, “Do you now see? Do you now understand? Is it not written that I will not give My power or My glory to another? I will not give you My power nor My glory, no matter how much you plead or ask, but I will give to you Jesus; for He is My power and My glory. He it is that has these signs following after Him. He it is that has Me abiding in Him. He it is that has asked for Me to be the faith and the belief that He has need of; the belief in My words, and the faith that I will perform all things that you ask of Me, believing on Me. How can you expect to see these signs following after those who have not humbled their hearts and asked for Me, the author and finisher of your faith, to work in your unbelief and increase your faith? I am the belief that performs all things. I am that which you lack and that which you have need of. Prove Me; ask of Me, and see if I will not perform My words for you. Focus only on Me.”
My heart trembled at the simplicity of these things that the Lord was showing me. With all of my heart, I wanted that belief that would allow Jesus to come into my heart that He might perform all things for me. One morning, in prayer, the Lord spoke to me, “Mitt, I am not going to make you great in My sight, but I am going to become great in your eyes. I sat up on my knees trying to grasp what the Lord had just spoken to me. My knees first, then all of the rest of my body grew weak as I realized what the Almighty God had just spoken to me. It was He who created and formed all things by the Word that proceeds forth out of His mouth. A chill ran from the bottom of my feet up to every hair on my head; for I realized that if God was going to become great in my eyes, it was necessary for the Lord to do great things for me.
The Spirit brought into my remembrance what
A few days after the Lord had spoken this to me, I was reading the story of the woman who had that menstrous condition for 12 years. She pressed through a great crowd to get to Jesus, and when she got to Him, she just touched the hem of His garment, and she was immediately healed of her uncleanness. I had just finished reading this story when the Lord spoke to me, “How many people were there among the multitudes who knew what I had done for this woman?”
I answered, “None but her, Lord. For I see that You did not even know, for You turned and said that You felt power go out of you”.
Then the Lord said, “It is so, and so shall the work be that I am going to do in you. For the work that I desire to perform is in your heart and in your mind, that place into which the eyes of man cannot look. I am preparing My bride; a bride who will love Me, be faithful to Me, who will trust Me, and who will let Me be her Husband and her Lord. The church I am preparing is for Me to spend all of eternity with. I need not work in your heart to make you beautiful and esteemed in the sight of men, but rather, it is needful for Me to work in your heart so that you may be faithful to Me and beautiful in My sight. I desire that which every husband desires of his bride, that she love and trust him with all of her heart, her soul, and her mind. This is the heart that is beautiful in My sight. When I am finished with you, I will make you a witness of the works that I have performed for you. I am preparing your heart to receive the fullness of My Spirit, and I am that Spirit. I am preparing you to receive the kingdom that I have won for you; that kingdom that is full of power, glory, honor, riches, strength, wisdom, goodness, and blessings.
When the fullness of the Spirit of life enters your heart, then shall you be free from all your captivity to the carnal mind; then shall the kingdom of sin and death be destroyed. Give Me your heart; let Me prepare your heart, lest you be found not ready at My appearing. Believe on Me. Do not limit Me with your doubts, fears, and unbelief, but rather ask for help. I will not fail you.”
It was not until the Lord spoke these things to me that the reality of My calling suddenly hit me. Jesus Christ came into this world to prepare the church to be the bride of the Lord; a church without any spot or blemish. If I had continued believing that my works were evidence of my faith, then how could Jesus have prepared my heart and mind, seeing that I had no such faith to ask Him to do so? I was humbled when the reality hit me, for I did not want to be one of those virgins in that parable who was not prepared and left behind.
When the Lord said He was going to make Himself to be great and mighty in my sight, I had just assumed that He would be doing great and mighty works for all to see. But who can truly discern the heart that trusts the Lord, loves Him, waits on Him, believes on Him, and is faithful and loyal to Him with all of their heart and mind? The Lord told me that He could walk right past me on the street, and I would not be able to recognize Him by His appearance. I was thinking that the Lord was going to do great and mighty things like he did with Elijah, or that I would be casting out demons and healing the sick before multitudes. Then I remembered what Paul said, “Who has believed our report?” Now I knew that Paul was speaking of those works that the Lord had done in his heart and in his thoughts. The Lord opened my heart to understand that this woman who had the menstrous condition, the Lord could not have done for her any work that was greater than that which He had done. But with whom could she really share her joy? Then the Lord brought into my remembrance that she was cleansed of her uncleanness; and that we are all unclean by reason of our own righteousness.
This word narrowed my focus as I began to seek through the scriptures crying to find those works that the Lord desired to perform for me; or rather in me. One of the first verses that the Spirit led me to was Deuteronomy 30:6; and as I read it, the Lord spoke, “If you believe that I am willing to do this for you, then let this word become your prayer.” I had never looked at this word like that before, but I was obedient to that which the Lord said, and I prayed, “Lord, would you help me to believe that You are going to circumcise my heart so that I may love you with all of my heart, all of my mind, and all of my soul?” Again, by reason of my own expectations, I thought the Lord was going to work in me to love Him in a manner similar to the love that exists between a man and a woman; but He again did the unexpected. He began to change my heart into the heart of a child--the child who trusts, believes, adores, and loves his father with all of his heart. The Lord proved that this was His will for me when he confirmed this work with Matthew 18:3 (NIV) “And Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become as little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Talk about having your walk turned upside down, well, mine certainly was! Here I went from being this self-righteous Christian, strong in my own self-confidence and faith, with many, many self-righteous works following after me, to becoming like the little child who watches and adores all of the works that his Dad does for him. In no time at all, the Almighty God made Himself to be my Lord, my Abba, my Daddy. It was here that I learned that I could bring before Him all of my fears, my anxieties, my heart wounds, my unbelief and doubts, my worries, all that troubled me, as well as any other miserable thing that my pride had protected and that my righteousness had kept hidden behind the castle walls of my heart.
If the most important commandment is for us to love
the Lord our God with all our heart and mind, it should not be surprising that
this would be the first work that the Spirit led me to ask the Lord to perform
in my heart? Jesus was a man who loved His heavenly Father with all of His being, and there was no one in
When I continued to ask the Lord to show me the next work that He desired to perform in me, He led me to Proverbs 20:12 “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” Just like Deuteronomy 30:6, it also became my prayer; “Lord, would You help me believe that You are going to open my eyes to see as You see and that You are going to open my ears so that I may hear Your words and understand the truth of what I hear?” Then, just as the Lord had opened my eyes to see James 2:19 in an entirely different light, He also opened my eyes to see the rest of the scriptures in an entirely different light. I now desired to see and hear all things as interpreted by the Holy Spirit. It was not long after I started praying this prayer, that the Lord had me add to my prayer Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty (hidden) things, which thou knowest not.” I began to pray, “Lord, open my eyes to see, and give understanding to my ears so that You will be able to show me those great and mighty things which I do not know.”
As I was praying this prayer, the Lord said, “Who alone is great?’
I answered, “You, Lord.”
The Lord said again, “Who alone is mighty?”
Again I said, “You, Lord”. The Lord did not say another word, and I sensed that He was going to reveal Himself to me in a great and mighty manner which I had never before known. What I did not know was that for Him to show me that He was great and mighty, it was first going to be necessary for me to see that I was not as great and mighty as I once thought; but that was okay with me It was here the Lord began to show me that His divine nature is His life; life in the spiritual realm. This about blew this poor old boy’s mind. It was then that the Lord led me to Luke 8:17 “For there is nothing secret that shall not be made manifest, and neither is there any thing hidden that shall not be made known.” I did not know of any other way for the Lord to prove this for me than to ask of Him concerning Matthew 13:11; where the disciples had asked Jesus why He always spoke in parables, and Jesus answered, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them it is not given... Therefore I speak in parables because they seeing, see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” When the Lord corrected my understanding of James 2:19, He did so because I asked Him to. All the Lord had to do was to open my eyes to see and give understanding to the hearing of my ears, and it was done. I knew that there was nothing written in the scriptures that was too hard for the Lord to reveal; but it was going to take humility, belief, and asking on my behalf. So I started asking the Lord to teach me these mysteries, and I quickly found out with God that the intelligence of man was only a hindrance to me. When God teaches, it is by revelation. It is just boom! a revelation, and suddenly what you did not know, you then know.
The Lord showed me that when Daniel interpreted King
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he did that which none of the soothsayers, magicians, mediums,
or wise men thought to do. He simply asked God for the dream and its interpretation;
and boom, it was suddenly there, without any assistance from man’s
intelligence. In I Corinthians 2:13
there is the mystery of wisdom, which I asked the Lord to teach
me, and He did. In II Thessalonians 2:7,
there is the mystery of iniquity,
which I asked the Lord to teach me, and he did. Then in I Corinthians 15:51,
there is the mystery of the resurrection,
which the Lord taught me because I asked Him. There is also the mystery of
In none of these things do I have anything of which to boast, seeing that I was totally ignorant of all these things before I went to Jesus. In fact, I am still very much the man who acknowledged before the Lord, “Lord, I am not a smart man”. I asked and He who is faithful to His Word, has done all of the works. It is written in Jeremiah 2:31 (NKJ) “0 Generation, “see” the word of the Lord!” But how can any man see unless he first asks the Lord to open his eyes?”
I suppose of all the works the Lord has done for me, none has been of more delight to watch God perform than Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work unto the Lord, and your thoughts shall be established.” It is written in Romans 8:5 “For they that are of the flesh do mind (regard; obey) the things of the flesh...,” and when I found out that all of my anxieties, hurt feelings, unforgiveness, worries, anger, covet- ousness, depression, bitterness, jealousy, unbelief, confusion, pride, loneliness, hatred, etc. were all evil thoughts of the fleshy mind, I knew what to do. When I saw any one of these miserable thoughts making their entrance into the hallways of my mind, I simply acknowledged my belief that Jesus Christ was the sovereign Lord over me for life. I would commit my thoughts into His hands, asking Him to cast out these unclean spirits and establish my thoughts. It is amazing, that once you have the belief that Jesus will do it for you, He will do it every time because of that belief. Most of the time, the Lord does it immediately, but there are times that I have had to wait on the “when.” In every case, the Lord Jesus Christ has performed His Word and established my thoughts by His Spirit, which then gives me life and peace, regardless of the circumstances or situations. He has given me freedom and redemption from the death of the fleshy mind and brought me into the life of the spiritual mind.
It is absolutely incredible what God can do after you believe on Him. He has given me a life that has far exceeded anything that I could ever imagine for myself. I now look forward to finding some miserable thought trying to sneak into my thoughts, knowing that when I call upon the Lord, I will soon see His power working on my behalf to establish my thoughts. Jesus has surely become my knight in shining armor as I have seen Him kick butt as He has cast out all imaginations that have opposed “life”. It was with this word in Proverbs about the decreasing that John the Baptist spoke of that has become a pure joy; decreasing in such things as fear, worry, pride, unbelief, anxiety, bitterness, evil thoughts, and hatred while at the same time increasing in the fruits of life and peace, as well as fellowship with the living God.
I was seeking the Lord when I read Psalm 110:3 “In the day of His power, His people shall be made willing...” The Lord brought into my mind what Jesus went through when He went into the garden before His betrayal. For Jesus, having not a will that agreed with His heavenly Father’s will, began to pray, and continued in prayer, waiting for the “when”; when the power of his Father was to come to overthrow all of the unwillingness to do His Father’s will. When Jesus went into that garden, He was filled with great agony because His will was contrary to His heavenly Father’s will. But when He came out of that garden the last time, all agony was gone because God had delivered him from all of the thoughts of his fleshy mind. He was free from the will of the flesh. For the Father had given His power to Him, and being made willing, He never once complained, nor did He try to justify himself, and neither did He in any way try to save His life after that time. It was then that I began praying, asking the Lord to help me with my unbelief, that I might be made willing to allow the Lord to work His will in me; according to what is written, “It is God who works in us to do His will and those things which please Him.”
There was a man who owed me several thousand dollars, and refused to pay me. Malice, anger, bitterness, and vengefulness rose up out of my heart, for there was no just cause for this man not to pay me. In my eyes, it seemed right for me to bring some manner of injury to him in some way; whether by slander, or threats, or a lawsuit, or whatever else seemed right in my eyes. My imaginations became a river of dead waters, tempting me to make right any of its suggestions of what I ought to do to this man. The Lord says that a man is as that which he thinks. Well, then I am a murderer, because I even had those thoughts enter in through my imaginations. I began praying about the matter, hoping that the Lord would somehow work according to my will; that is, that He would help me get the money that was rightfully owed me.
As I was seeking the Lord’s will in this matter, I heard the Voice of the Holy Spirit. It is that Voice against which the Word of the Lord warns us not to harden our hearts in unbelief when we hear it. The Voice spoke to me, “Lord, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Aaaaaaaagh. That was the last thing that I wanted to hear from the Lord! That Word had no agreement with anything that I esteemed to be right in this matter. I was even. offended at what the Lord had spoken to me. All my emotions, my desires, my feelings, my own righteousness, as well as all my own imagina- tions, all burned within me to agree with my own will in this matter!
It was here that I realized the agony that Jesus suffered when He went into that garden; the taking up of His cross to die to the will of His flesh. So I, also being in much agony, took up my cross and laid down the righteousness of my own will, not to do that which was right in my own eyes. I started crying out, “Father, not my will be done but Your will be done.” I do not know if I had ever experienced as much agony as I did then. It was truly a death to “self.” Then the power of God came; not like some huge volcano erupting, but in the quietest of ways. I woke up one morning, and everything was new. The thoughts that had been pounding me telling me what I ought to do, were gone, as well as all of the emotions and desires that had accompanied my will. Even when this man’s name was mentioned, I had no evil thoughts towards him. It was incredible.
Later on, I found out that I was not the only one to whom this customer owed money. He owed everybody that had done work for him. I received a letter from the attorney of that customer, asking me to come to his office. When I got there, the attorney had a check for me; and even though it only covered half of the amount owed to me, I was the only vendor that the customer wanted to be sure got some money! The reason was because I was the only one who had not threatened him with a lawsuit or that did not try to intimidate him in any way. Glory be to God! He used that circumstance to change my heart for good, and he restored half of the money that was owed to me. Now it really did not matter whether I got paid or not because of the great work that the Lord had done in my heart.
Then the Lord quickened to me that which is written, “Husbands, love your wives;” and He also quickened unto me that this was God’s will for me. So I started asking the Lord to work in me to do His will, so that I could love my wife with the love that is according to His will. That was all that I did, and the work that the Lord did, well, I reckon that this testimony really belongs to my wife, seeing that she is the beneficiary of the Lord’s work here. If every man had this faith, there would be no need for any marriage counselors or divorce attorneys. It was amazing! I did not have to try to love my wife, for when the Spirit came, so did the love with which the Lord wanted me to love my wife. All that I can say is that it was incredible. Simple and inexpressible.
All the works that the Lord has performed for me are amazing and it all started when He changed my interpretation of James 2:19. Shortly after the Lord changed my interpretation of James 2:19,20, He led me to Matthew 11:28 where Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor 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 you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and light.” While I was consider- ing what the Lord was trying to reveal to me, I started wondering what this yoke was that Jesus was speaking of.
The Lord said, “My yoke is My belief; that is, I believe that all things are possible with My heavenly Father. If you believe that I am the Christ, the Son of the living God, then whatever you ask in My name, I will ask the Father to do for you. Come to Me, for I am the belief that you lack. That which you ask of Me that is according to My Father’s will, I will ask the Father to perform for you. My Father always does that which I ask of Him, because My Father and I are one. Rest from your own works, and believe My word to you. Let Me be the yoke of your faith, and I will bring you into that land of promise where you will see all of the promises of My Father fulfilled. Take My yoke upon you, and I will give you life more abundantly than anything you could ever imagine. Abraham believed God’s Word, and his belief was accounted for righteousness.
Abraham was also strong in faith because he believed that it was God who would perform all those things which had been promised him. His faith was accounted to him to be righteousness in the sight of God. It is written, “There is not one righteous; no, not one.” When we all received the earnest of the Spirit, we all received the belief that Jesus was the Christ and the Messiah. But none of us believed the Word of God because we all leaned to our own understanding when we read the scriptures; Opinions are powerless words, idols with no life in them. Yet, by our own works, we gave life to our own interpretations of the scriptures because of the works and efforts that we did of our self. This word is not the Word of God, but the lifeless word. Once it is believed, it makes the living word to be worthless laws and ordinances that men must live by. When men live under such laws and ordinances, the only fruit that comes forth is self-righteousness and hatred. Self-righteousness because of your works, and hatred because the law is used to judge others. Daniel declared, “Unto You alone, 0 Lord, belongs all righteousness.” Jesus is not the righteousness that comes forth of those who live their lives making their best efforts to do good. Neither is He the righteousness that comes forth in those who say that they believe, but their faith is dead. Jesus is the righteousness of abundant life that God has yearned and desired to give to His people. If you desire to find those who are His true ones, you will find nothing fancy, nothing that the flesh would esteem or admire, and nothing of which any man would be able to boast. Jesus said He was lowly and meek, which is not the kind of life to which those who desire to be great of themselves would aspire. Those who walk in the righteousness of Jesus Christ have the heart of a child--the heart that believes that all things are possible with God. It is a child-like heart that is free from care, worry, bitterness, fear, evil conversation, self-condemn-ation, loneliness, and depression. Yet it is full of peace, quietness, and faithfulness while they are waiting patiently on the Lord. Though this kind of life has no appearance that many would desire, it is truly a wonderful experience for those who have been made partakers of the Lord’s righteousness of life. The cross is the biggest mystery of all; for though the cross has an appearance of death, in truth, it is only death to those things which have brought nothing but misery and torment into the lives of men. The cross is where a man dies to those illusions of righteousness whereby he thought that he was going to find life.
The cross that Jesus asked us to take up is somewhat like the story of Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit. The fox, being sly and crafty, has only one desire in this story--to inflict as much pain and misery on the rabbit as he can. Of course, the fox represents Satan, who is also crafty and beguiling, and his only purpose is to destroy, steal, and kill the lives of the saints, as well as all men. But when the rabbit gets caught on the tar baby, the snare set for him by the fox, the rabbit then pleads with the fox, asking him to do anything except throw him into the briar patch because of the great pain that it would bring him. But, seeing how that is exactly what the fox desires to do, he throws the rabbit into the briar patch. Of course, this is exactly what the rabbit wanted, and while the fox was waiting to delight in the pain and injury that he caused the rabbit, instead, the next voice that he heard was the rabbit calling out to him from the top of the hill saying, “Born and bred in the briar patch! I was born and bred in the briar patch!”
It is written in Romans 8:3 that God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world in the likeness of sinful flesh; that is, He also was subject to all of the miseries to which all flesh is subject. It is just like when He went into the garden, subject to the fears and anxieties unto which the fleshy mind is subject. Through faith in His heavenly Father’s power, He called out to Him who was able to save Him from the death of the carnal mind, as well as from Death itself. When the Spirit of life came down from on high, Jesus overcame all death through the Spirit of life. It is written that so it is with us. In the same circumstances in which Satan desires to inflict injury, misery, displeasure, pain, or torment on us, are the same circumstances in which the Lord desires to give us life and peace. It is written in I Corinthians 10:13 “There has no temptation taken you except those things that are common to all men; but God is faithful, who will not allow for you to be tempted above that which you are able to stand; but with the temptation will also make a way to escape so that you may be able to bear it.”
I used to think that Christians should be above the circumstances and situations of this world, but the Lord changed my mind. Even Jesus said, “I pray that the Father will not take you out of the world, but that He will keep you from the evil”. Christians get sick, go through marital problems, lose jobs, have dreams that never come true, get into arguments and quarrels, have false hopes, forbear with rebellious children, suffer injustice, feel lonely, have financial problems, suffer through many other miseries that also come upon the rest of the world. This is the manner that Satan, the god of this world, rules over the lives of all those who are held captive in this fallen world of darkness.
But God, desiring to give abundant life to those who would believe on Him, set forth a plan by which He would make a way of escape to those who desired a life free from the miseries and torments of sin and death. Though the way would be strait and narrow, those who followed after it would surely find that abundant life that Jesus promised His people. So God sent His Son Jesus into this world, clothed in the likeness of sinful flesh. Having become like man, He could show what God is able to do for those who believe on Him.
Jesus, having taken upon Himself the same weaknesses as man, suffered through the same temptations that are common to all men. Each time He was tempted, He took up his cross, offering up His captivity to the will of the flesh. His Father in heaven, the God who says to His people, “You shall have no gods before Me,” sent unto Him the Spirit of life, to set Him free from the fears, emotions, pride, anxieties, evil suspicions, doubts, worries, unbelief, or any other evil imagination that sought to exalt itself to be a ruler over Jesus’ thoughts. The cross is nothing more than the offering of one’s captivity to all the idols of the carnal mind, the sin and death that have hidden themselves behind the appearance of righteousness and the illusions of life. When the- Lord God hears and accepts such an offering, He sends forth the Spirit of Life that sets one free from the powers and principalities that have ruled over the carnal mind and have always worked nothing but death, vainglory, misery, confusion, rebellion, and unbelief.
When Jesus took up His cross and went into that garden to offer His life to His Father, He exhorted His disciples when He said to them in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” If the nature of the saints was spiritual, it would not be necessary for them to take up their cross and follow after Jesus. But, seeing that we are still in bondage to the wisdom that always yields itself to self-justification, pride, and self-preservation, it is needful to for us to humble ourselves. We need to take up our cross when we find our- selves being tempted to yield to our weaknesses; fears, emotions, worries, and dreads. Whatever we yield to becomes our will; and the one to whom we submit ourselves, will be the lord that we have chosen to rule over us. This is whether it be Satan who rules with all these miseries, torments, and death of the carnal mind, or the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Spirit of life and peace. What man has power to deliver himself from the gods of the carnal mind?
The apostle Paul took up his cross daily, ready to take to the cross all of the miseries and torments that Satan is always ready to bring upon all men. Paul knew the escape that the Lord has prepared for His people--the escape from the death of the carnal mind to the life of the spiritual mind. It was through the cross that Jesus asked us to take up. In II Corinthians 12:9 Paul said, “And the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I made strong”. Paul said in I Corinthians 1:18 that those of us who are being saved, are being taken through the cross that Jesus asked us to take up. We are dying daily to the death of the carnal mind that the life of the spiritual mind may be resurrected in us by the power of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior.
I remember the first time that I read this passage where those words “I take pleasure in weaknesses...” jumped off the page at me. I said to myself, “Man, I am totally blind to see or comprehend how anyone could possibly take pleasure in any of these things.” I said within my heart, “Paul walked a walk that I am totally unfamiliar with, seeing that I try to avoid all of these things like the plague.” What I did not know then that I understand now is the cross that Jesus asked us to take up. Paul did not go out of his way for these things to happen to him, other than some of the persecution that he may have received for preaching the gospel. Paul took up his cross every day, ready to take to Jesus every imagination that sought to give birth to any of the works of the carnal mind. All of our temptations come through the same events that occur in the lives of all men; events that tempt us to argue or fight, or to justify ourself, or to get offended when someone disagrees with us, or worry about tomorrow, or when an occasion may arise of which to speak evil, or to find fault with, or to judge others, or the temptation to lie, or facing anxieties when we feel we are not in control, or one of those many circumstances that we face daily that brings out our hidden fears. If then we are wise in our own eyes, we have no choice but to mind those dictates of the carnal mind that are given us. Yet, in all of these things, does not the carnal mind seek to hide its own weaknesses behind the cloak of hypocrisy; pretending that nothing is wrong and that you need no help from anyone?
Those who are wise in their own eyes, who do not understand the mystery of gospel, not knowing the power of God will say, “Well, this is life, and that is that.” These have no hope. But those who do understand, will simply acknow- ledge their weakness before the Lord, just as Paul did, and ask the Lord for the Spirit of life to redeem them from their captivity to sin and death. Once a man understands the simplicity of these things, he will understand why Paul took pleasure in taking up his cross daily, dying to sin and death without doing anything more than believing on Jesus and asking Him to perform what he needed.
The message of the cross is like what Brer Rabbit said to Brer Fox: “Whatever you do, Brer Fox, do not throw me in the briar patch, for it will cause me great pain and suffering.” So also would Paul have said to Satan, “Whatever you do, Mister Satan, do not bring upon me those things that would allow for weakness, or re- proach, or necessity, or persecution, or distress to come upon me. You know it could cause me great pain and suffering.” all the while believing the word that is hidden in his heart that says, Ps. 34:19” “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.” Or maybe, “Whatever you do, Mister Satan, do not bring upon me those things which torment my thoughts with fear, anxiety, panic, or distress, seeing that these things would torment me.” All the while he was believing the word which was hidden in his heart (Ps.34:4) “I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all of my fears.” Or maybe, “Whatever you do, Mister Satan, do not bring upon me anything that would cause me confusion, or frustration, or sorrow, seeing that would cause me great trouble. All the while he was believing the word that is hidden in his heart that says, (Ps. 34:17) “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles”.
Jeremiah describes the natural state of man as “being accustomed to evil.” (Jer. 13:23). We are so accustomed to the miseries and false illusions of life that we do not even realize that this is Satan’s power over our daily lives. Paul knew that our briar patch, that in which we were born and bred, is the carnal mind that is always filled with imaginations that do nothing but bring daily affliction into our lives. Paul also knew and believed II Timothy 4:18 “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.” How can the briar patch of our carnal minds exercise any more death over us than the death that by nature inhabits the carnal mind? Paul knew, and believed in his heart, that when these thoughts came to afflict him, and he called on the Lord, he was soon to see the power of God free him from his bondage to sin and flesh. For in the very same circum- stance that Satan seeks to haunt us, that seems certain to bring affliction and misery, God is able to bring forth life through the gift of His Spirit that is given to those who call upon Him.
The captivity of man is in his mind. The liberty of God comes to set you free from this captivity. The Lord Jesus came into this world to give us life, to give us a spiritual mind--but who desires to have the mind of the Lord, to give up their own way of living? When we are carnally minded by nature. We try to either hide our weaknesses in the dark places of our castle, or we try to justify them. Yet, it is in our weakness-es that God desires to display His mighty power, if we will just believe on Him, asking Him for the spirit of life. The cross that Jesus has asked His followers to take up, is that which separates the chosen from the called. For those who take up their crosses, bear the divine nature of God in life. It is nothing that they have done for themselves other than having the belief to ask God, and the faith to wait on the Spirit of life. No matter how you cut it, or reason it, or analyze it, if you do not have abundant life, it is because you have not asked Him for it. God is always faithful to those who believe on His Word and ask Him to perform His words for them.
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This vision was given to Mitt Jeffords
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