Yea, I am the substance of this world, saith God, for indeed that which you see is but an illusion. I am the reality, saith the Lord. I am the Beginning, I am the End, indeed I am the Alpha and I am the Omega, yea, and I am all that is in between, saith God. Dreams and puffs just go to and fro in this world, saith the Lord, and the minds of men conjure up great works, but all that will stand is that which is of Me saith the Lord and, everything else shall indeed pass away. For my purposes for the earth are all that there is, saith the Lord, and the vain imaginations of men shall come to naught.
Yea, for centuries, saith God, men have sought to capture my Spirit. They have sought to capture me, and to put me in a box and to control me, but I declare unto you that indeed I am God, and man is the servant, and that I will rule, saith God, from one end of the earth unto the other. Yea, from the lowest realm unto the highest realm, saith God. Yea, from the deep realm of the Spirit, even unto outer darkness, I am God, and there is none like Me, and man shall not rule me.
He shall not rule me, saith God, and when he looks up and discerns that my Spirit has left his church he shall moan and he shall groan, and he shall weep. Indeed, saith the Lord, he shall say, "How could this have happened to me?" I declare unto you, saith the Lord, your God, that if thou will humble thyself before me and thou will submit to my rulership I shall, indeed, never leave thee. I shall not forsake thee, I shall not leave thee ashamed, I shall not leave thee without substance, but rebel against me, saith the Lord God, and we automatically walk in separate directions.
We are doing a study tonight beginning with Matthew 3:13, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him, but John forbade him saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and cometh thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness, and then he suffered Him, and Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straight away out of the water and lo the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. And lo a voice from heaven saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
This is a very common portion of Scripture that is not properly understood. God has been showing us that most of the Church today read the Word of God only on the level of the letter, and in many, many instances they do not even understand what the Lord is saying to us. The Lord has given us a deep study in this very important passage of Scripture today, and has given us a Kingdom understanding of it. This message is a message of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which, if you can receive it, will catch you up to a higher realm of the Spirit.
I pray for everybody reading this book, oh God, that their ears and their eyes should be opened, and that everything that you have for them in this book should be quickened unto them, that they should receive the fullest of the amount available to them in these pages.
Going back to Verse 15, "And Jesus said answering unto him, suffer it to be so for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." The Greek word translated "becometh" means "proper, acceptable in the eyes of God." The Greek word translated "fulfill" (Strong's #4137) means "to fill up, to make level, complete," and it is the same word that is translated "complete" in Colossians 2:10, "And ye are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 4:12, "That ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."
We know that there are several Scriptures throughout the Old Testament where the Lord speaks about filling up the valleys and bringing low the mountains. There is a theme throughout the Scriptures where, if you analyze it, the Lord is talking about bringing someone or something to a place of levelness. If we have low valleys and high mountains, and He is filling in the valleys and He is leveling off the mountains, we are coming to a place of evenness. I suggest to you that natural man is a valley that he is not complete, that he is the negative side of the creation, and that he is waiting for something to be added to him. We have spoken about this in either last week's meeting or the week before.
Natural man is negative. We have spoken in recent meetings about the account of Elisha and the school of the prophets where a student prophet placed poisoned gourds in the pot, and they ran to the head prophet, and they said, "There is death in the pot, we have made a mistake," and what did Elisha do? He did not dump out the pot, he did not pour it on the ground, he did not strain it, and he did not try to get the death out of the pot. What he did was to add something to it. I am suggesting to you that the natural man is negative, that we are in the realm of death, and that we need to have something added to us. We have gotten into trouble since we have been in this realm of death. Some of us need evil spirits cast out, and some of us need curses broken because of the low spiritual realm that we have been dwelling in. Although these practices are necessary, what is really going to set us free is the addition of the missing element which is, indeed, Christ in us, our blessed hope.
I would like to point out again that when I first came to the Lord I had these Scriptures quoted to me, "You are complete in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit, and you are complete," and I remember crying out to God because I had so many problems when I came to the Lord. I was dying, I was physically dying, I had many curses on me, and I had great trouble in my life, and I said, "Well Lord here I am, I have the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Why do I have all of these problems, how can I be complete in you?"
The message that God has been bringing forth in this ministry, at least one of the messages, is that the Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, He is the schoolmaster, and He is the vehicle by which the Lord Jesus Christ is bringing us to completion. He is the first step in a process that will end with the addition of the Spirit of the Living God dwelling within us and living out His righteousness through us. It is a fallacy to say that we are complete now, and the confusing factor is that Paul and the other apostles speak (at least in the King James Translation) as if this promise, or the great promises of the Bible, have already been accomplished. Indeed, they have been accomplished in the realm of the spirit. They have been accomplished in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who is now glorified.
But the great living God that dwelled in the man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is still flowing forth, and he will not rest until He has performed the same work that He performed in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, in each and every man on the face of the earth. The man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, was the vessel in which the great God dwelled in the days of His flesh. He was the first of many brethren, and He was the first member of the Body of Christ to be completed. When the Spirit of God left the body of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the Son of Man died, the Son of God then flowed forward and is, indeed, flowing forward across the face of the earth seeking to fertilize every man, each man in his own order, unto the end that humanity shall attain to the same place as the man Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The expression "to be filled up" throughout the Prophets and in the New Testament means "to be made whole," but we are not made whole until Jesus Christ, by His Spirit, fertilizes our human spirit, brings forth Christ, and the emerging Christ marries our human spirit. Christ joins Himself to us, thus reconciling the remainder of the living soul that died to Himself. We shall be one with the Living God, and in Him is all provision, and completeness, and levelness.
We know from the account of Jacob's ladder that there is going to be free access between the natural realm and the realm of the Spirit. The Living God is coming down to the earth, that is the mountain being made low; and the natural man is being elevated to meet his God, those are the valleys being filled up. So Jesus said to John the Baptist , "Baptize me, it is the right thing for you to do at this time, that righteousness, which is the life of God, shall be fulfilled in me." That is what the man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, said.
I am suggesting to you that at the moment that Jesus said that, He was just a mortal man whose human spirit had been fertilized by the Holy Spirit, and who had been joined to the Christ that had emerged in Him. I am suggesting to you that Jesus was not born perfect, and I challenge you to show me a Scripture that says He was. The only Scripture that I know of that might suggest that, talks about "that Holy Thing that was in Mary", but we have no way of proving that the Holy Spirit, when writing the New Testament, was referring to the physical man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There was, indeed, a Holy thing in the womb of Mary. It was the seed of God's nature, which at this moment none of us have. The Holy Spirit gives us the seed of His power, but not the seed of His nature. The grafted seed that James tells us about is the seed of His nature. Hallelujah!
We had another message that says you cannot bring forth the Christ unless you have the root of Christ. The root of Christ has to be grafted to you, so that when the Word of God goes forth there is something for Him to fertilize. You cannot fertilize a barren woman, so if you are a human person you must have the root of Christ to be fertilized by the Word of God and bring forth the Manchild. So Jesus of Nazareth said to John the Baptist, "I am not perfect yet, baptize me, that the righteousness of God might fill up all the negative places in my spiritual life, that I might be joined to God and become the first of many brethren, that I might enter in behind the veil and become the high priest."
Another thing that I used to believe when I first came to the Lord and started doing these studies was that Jesus Christ was sitting up there in the heavens somewhere, and that we prayed to Him, and then He prayed to the Father. No, brethren, it does not work that way. As we said in the message last week, He is the bread that has been broken for the life of the world. We each have a piece of Him in us by means of His Spirit, and by His indwelling presence in us. He intercedes between the natural man, which we are, and the Father that He brings with Him. Because Jesus Christ is one with the Father, and when He comes to dwell in our heart He brings the Father with Him. He is the vehicle by which the Father enters into our heart. Remember, Jesus said in John 17 that He was one with the Father, and that He prayed that we should be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that we may be one with the Father.
That is what Jesus prayed in John 17, and His intercession for us is not from some abstract place out in the heavens. It is from within our heart. We have recently spoken about Jesus being the ransom. That is another misunderstanding in the Church. Jesus has not paid a ransom so that the criminal will release us and run away. The ransom that Jesus Christ paid is that His own life now dwells within us. Jesus took the place of the spiritual thief who stole the spiritual children of God and married to them, which spiritual wife is mortal humanity.
We have spoken about the fact that things in the natural are external. Our children, our life, are external from our physical being, but in the realm of the Spirit everything exists within. So in the natural, if we have a kidnapped child, we pay a ransom, the criminal takes the money and runs away and we keep the child. And so it is in the realm of the Spirit. Jesus Christ paid for the release of the children with His own life, which means that He is the new husband of the living Soul that He died for, and will be joined to for the life of the ages. That is the ransom that Jesus paid. He is now joined to the kidnapped children who became the wife of the Serpent, the spiritual criminal. Glory to God!
So Jesus of Nazareth said to John the Baptist, "Baptize me that I might be filled up, that I might be made complete with the Life of the Living God, that I might be the first one to ascend behind the veil. That I might flow out from that place and bring forth everybody with me to the right hand of the Father." Glory to God. And then John the Baptist suffered Him.
Now, the word "righteousness" is from the Greek word which means "the state of him who was such as he ought to be," which is a condition that is acceptable to God. It is a condition of moral purity, sinlessness, and the Hebrew equivalent of that word is "to be equal with God." Again, I am suggesting to you that for Jesus to have said this to John the Baptist, He was not yet equal with God. Yet, we know that further on in the Scriptures, after this experience of baptism Jesus tells us, "I and the Father are one." But here in Matthew 3:15 He says, "Baptize me that I might be fulfilled with the righteousness of God."
Verse 16, "And Jesus when He was baptized went up straight away out of the water." The Greek word translated "went up" means to go up, to ascend, to rise up, to spring up, and it specifically can mean a thought which can spring up in one's mind.
1 Corinthians. 2:9 says, "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him." The word translated "went up" is the same word translated "entered into the heart of man". It is the same Greek word as "went up," and it is from a Greek root that means "the foot." I suggest to you that Jesus went up, and the Father came down, that the foot of God landed on the earth of the soul of the man Jesus Christ. The equivalent Hebrew word means "to ascend, to be high, to break the day," and we know that Jesus Christ is the Sun that is breaking the day of the Kingdom Age, hallelujah! The kingdom age is the age in which all provision shall be provided for all men. He is the New Age, He is the New Day, and at this moment He broke the day. The Spirit of God came down in Him and broke the day of the New Age of the Kingdom in Jesus of Nazareth.
It also means "to cause to burn and to cut off." As we have learned from other messages that we have heard here, we know that when the Son of God emerges forth in the spiritual being of a natural man, and that He burns up the life of the fallen mortal soul. He burns it up, He purges it, He purifies it and He places it under foot. He brings it into submission, and then He cuts it off. We know that there are Scriptures that talk about being cut off in righteousness, and that a lot of people think that means we are going to fly away in the sky. No, it is the fallen mortal soul that will be cut off and swallowed up, or burned up, when the righteousness of the Living God has enters into our vessel.
So again, I am suggesting to you that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, at this point, was in a very similar position to those of us who are here tonight. Glory to God. We are going to be where He is. We do not call it blasphemy to consider that we shall be equal to God, because it is the mercy and the promise of God to us, and to deny it, on the other hand, is a manifestation of the pride of man. If it is God's Will to give us this great gift, who are we to say that we cannot be equal to God?
But I remind you, as we have said in previous messages, we shall not be equal to God in our sinful state. We cannot enter into unity with God in this condition. We must be purified, and the purification, brethren, takes place in the mind. The change takes place in the mind, our thoughts must be elevated up to where God is, and this is a process. It is happening little by little, and when He is totally assured that our thoughts conform to the thoughts of His Son, we shall be with Him. As the Scripture says, "Enoch walked with God, and he was not".
Psalms 24:3 says, "Who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord?" This is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word that says, "He went up." Proverbs. 21:22 says, "A wise man scales the city of the mighty". "Scales, went up." A wise man. These are all spiritual manifestations of this word. Exodus 34:24, "And when thou shall appear before the Lord"....that is the same word as Jesus used in the expression "went up." Psalms 47:9, "For the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted." "Greatly exalted", same word as "went up." So when Jesus Christ went up out of the water He was greatly exalted, He appeared before God, He scaled the City of God, He ascended into the Holy Hill of the Lord, and He was in a position to cause to burn and cut off the carnal mind of the natural man.
Verse 16, "And Jesus when He was baptized went up straight away out of the water." The Greek word translated "straight away" means "right or righteous," and the Hebrew equivalent means to be straight or even, so now we are right back to where we started in the first verse with fulfilling or filling up all righteousness. Jesus went up straight away out of the water, the purpose of this being that He should become even, and that His soul realm should be filled with God. Glory to God. It should be even, level, and metaphorically it is used of an even mind. We are back to that point again. This is happening in our mind, people. "Of a tranquil mind, to make the way straight, upright," and it is used in one Scripture in 1 Kings 6:35 to describe gold being spread out. 1 Kings 6:35, "And covered them with gold fitted over the carved work." We know that the human spirit is likened unto gold, and it is being joined to the Spirit of God which is covering over the wood of the natural man.
The Greek word translated "water" speaks of water as a primary element. Now we have to look at the usage of words throughout the Scriptures. We have spoken about this, we have to study usage, not just the definitions of the word. We have to study how it is used throughout the Scriptures, especially a word like water which is so common. Obviously, the Lord, at least in some cases, has to mean more than drinking water, so when we try to discover what the Lord means, we go through the Scriptures and see how the same word is used in other Scriptures. The Greek word translated "water" is used "to speak of a primary element out of and through which the world that was before the deluge arose and was completed."
2 Peter 3:5 says, "By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water." I suggest to you that the water that the Scripture is talking about that Jesus came out of is not the water of the Jordan, but it is the water of the living soul that died. The Christ within Jesus of Nazareth stood up in the righteousness of the Father, and Jesus of Nazareth stood up with him, and became Jesus, the Christ. As Peter said, the earth, the soul of the man Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stood up out of the water of death of the natural man, and was joined to the Spirit of God that came down from heaven in fulfillment of the promise of Jacob's ladder. The amplified translation of 2 Peter 3:5 says, "The heavens came into existence long ago by the Word of God, and an earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water."
John 4:10 says, "If thou knew the gift of God and who it is that says to thee, give me to drink, thou would have asked Him, and He would have given thee living water." Water represents the Spirit of God. I would like to give you an Alternate Translation on those few words. Verse 16, Chapter 3, of Matthew, this is the King James first. "And Jesus when He was baptized went up straight away out of the water." Alternate Translation, "And Jesus being baptized, righteousness sprang up out of the waters [of death], the spiritual substance [of His natural man]." Glory to God.
Revelation 21:1 says, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea." The heaven is the spiritual makeup of man in the realm of the soul (mind), while the earth is the body and the base part of the soul (personality). They were passed away, and there was a new heaven (Mind of Christ) and earth (righteous personality) because Jesus was joined to God, and there was no more sea which is a type of Satan. The whole living soul that died is being swallowed up by the glorified life of Jesus Christ, and when the work is complete we shall be a spiritual creation. Now the sea is violent. It tosses, it turns, it spews forth great waves, and we are told in the book of Jude, that it foams out all kinds of wickedness and violence. The spiritual sea brings forth death, and it can bring forth disease. It is very powerful. The sea typifies Satan, the spiritual aspect of the realm of the soul, its emotional ups and the downs. The wave rises up, and it falls down, and this instability is revealed in the emotions of mortal men.
Doesn't this sound like our emotions? Up and down, up and down, one day we are happy, one day we are sad, the next day we are upset, the next day we work it out, up and down, up and down. This is not our permanent condition, brethren. It is the intention of the Lord Jesus Christ that we should be even. It is the intention of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are not to manifest emotion, unless it is under the control of the Holy Spirit, no matter what comes against us. We are to look at the situation, we are to analyze it, we are to determine the righteous judgment, and the correct response to it in accordance with the righteous judgment of God. Then we are to implement that righteous judgment.
We are to do whatever that righteous judgment is, to deal with the situation coming against us from the realm of the soul. If it be a rebuke, if it be an apology, if it be to comfort the person, we are to do what will make the situation even. If someone comes raging at us, we might want to rebuke it, "Calm down brother, this is not God." If someone comes weeping to us we might want to comfort them that they should have peace in the Spirit of God. The realm of the Spirit is even. There is no low, and there is no high. Glory to God!
Back to Verse 16, "And lo the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him." The Greek word translated "saw" means "to know, to be aware of, to perceive, to experience any state or condition." Again, we are obviously dealing with a condition of the mind. I am one of the people who, for years, translated this Scripture to mean that the man, Jesus of Nazareth, put His body under the water and raised His body up out of the water, and the Spirit like a dove landed on his head. No, brethren, a tremendous spiritual experience occurred in the mind of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth when He was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist.
John 3:3 says, "Unless a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God." "See" here is the same Greek word translated "saw" when Jesus saw the Holy Spirit descending. It was spiritual sight, brethren. It is from the Greek root that means to see in the Spirit and to discern clearly. It is also from the same Greek root that can mean "to experience." We have been speaking about spiritual copulation for the last few weeks. There is a joining between the Spirit of God and the soul of man, that is likened unto the sexual intercourse between a husband and his wife. We are the Bride of Christ that is being joined to our husband, the glorified Jesus Christ. This translation of the Greek root meaning "to experience" indicates that when Jesus of Nazareth, who became the Christ, rose up out of the waters of death within His mortal spiritual being, not only had an encounter with the Living God, but that encounter was an experience which joined Him to the Living God forever. Jesus of Nazareth experienced His God, and the marriage was consummated.
The Greek word translated "open" means "to part the eyelid so to see, to restore one's sight, to open the eyes of one's mind." So we are still talking about spiritual things. Brethren, we are told in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit shall call to our remembrance all things. I suggest to you that what we remember is the life of the Spirit with God before the foundations of the earth [in accordance with the book of Job], where we existed in pure spirit form with the Father before we took on the flesh as Jeremiah did. [We know from the book of Jeremiah that he knew the Father before he took on the flesh.] I suggest to you that the eyelids of Jesus, the man Jesus Christ of Nazareth, were opened. His spiritual sight was restored, and the eyes of His mind which were the eyes of His spiritual life, were opened. He became a spiritual man. Hallelujah!
The Greek word translated "descending" is from a Greek root that means "to put the foot down." This is speaking of the Holy Spirit. So Jesus rose up out of the waters of death, which is the spiritual substance of His natural man, and was restored to the spiritual life of the Father. The life of God put His foot down on the earth of the soul of the man Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus was joined to the Father. And the heavens met the earth. Hallelujah, Glory to God!
The Greek word translated "lighting" means to come down from one place to another, to appear before the public. Now the Holy Spirit came lighting down. He appeared before the public. We have spoken about this before. We have said that the whole purpose of the creation is that God desires to manifest in the realm of appearance. He desires to manifest His personality (nature) through the souls (personalities) of men. Not half man, half God, but totally God, one hundred percent of the time, to be so joined to us, that only His righteousness and His sinless life is made manifest though us. And in this instance the Holy Spirit made his first public appearance. He made his public appearance. He appeared in the vessel known as Jesus of Nazareth, who is now The Christ. Glory to God.
I would like to read the whole Verse 16. I will read it in the King James, and then I will give you the Alternate Translation. "And Jesus when He was baptized went up straight away out of the water and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him." Alternate Translation: "And when Jesus was baptized, righteousness and equality with God sprang up out of His spiritual substance, and, lo, the eyesight of His spiritual mind was restored to Him, and He perceived the Spirit of God rooting in Him, taking up residence in Him, and appearing in Him." Hallelujah, Glory to God!
Verse 17, "And, lo, a voice from heaven saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." The Greek word translated "beloved" means a friend or one who has been reconciled unto God. The Greek word translated "son" means "a male offspring, one begotten of the Father and born of a mother." We have spoken about this in other meetings, that man in relationship to God is female. Humanity is spiritually female. God is the male element, and He is fertilizing us and bringing forth His son, added the Manchild, within us. Jesus Christ did not say, I am the Son of Man and the Son of God, because He could not make up His mind who he was. Neither did She vary what He said because He was trying to relate to one group of people or to another group of people.
Jesus of Nazareth was born as a mortal human being, the offspring of a human mother and the Holy Spirit. But Jesus was also a spiritual man, the Son of God, who was the offspring of the Spirit of God and the living soul that died. The spirit of the vessel called Jesus was fertilized by the Holy Spirit, and produced the spiritual man known as Jesus, the Son of God., who was the Son of the Spirit of God, and the living soul that died. When Jesus said that he was the Son of Man, He meant that he was the son of righteous Adam. The Greek word translated "man" in this context suggests righteous Adam, a different Greek word than the one used to designate mortal man. We are in the process of becoming a Son of Man because righteous Adam is being regenerated in us, and a Son of God because Christ is being formed in us.
The Greek word translated "pleased" means "to conciliate," and the Hebrew equivalent of that means "to pay off." Job 20:10 says that "His children shall seek to please [conciliate or reconcile] the poor [to God], and his hands shall restore their goods." That is what that word "pleased" means, "to restore." I have an Alternate Translation on Verse 17. I will read the King James first. "And, lo, a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Alternate Translation, "And, lo, a voice from heaven saying this is My Son, the Beloved, the reconciled One, in whom I have found payment of the debt." Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I would like to read Verses 16 and 17 to you consecutively with the Alternate Translation. "And when Jesus was baptized, righteousness and equality with God sprang up out of His spiritual substance. And, lo, the eyesight of His spiritual mind was restored to Him, and He perceived the Spirit of God rooting in Him, taking up residence in Him, and appearing in Him, and a voice from heaven saying, lo, this is my Son, the Beloved, the reconciled One, in whom I have found payment of the debt." Glory to God.
I suggest to you that this concept, the payment of the debt, is not as it is preached today; that God is owed this tremendous debt that only the blood of His Son can pay. The debt, brethren, is the negativity, or that which is missing, in the soul of men. A debt is something that is used to complete something. Is that not right? If you owe me money, I am lacking, if you owe me $5 I am lacking $5. I am minus $5. There is an empty space in my wallet where that $5 bill should be. There is emptiness; there is a valley, so when you pay me that $5 you are going to fill up the valley. If I had $100 in my bank account, and I loaned you $50, that leaves a big hole in my bank account. There is a big valley, and when the debt is paid it is going to make my bank account even.
So this concept of "debt" is not what the average believer thinks that it is. The payment of the debt is the filling up of the negativity of the natural man. It is the completion of him and making him whole. I suggest to you that the debt is a debt not owed by man to God, but by God to man because when the Lord brought forth the creation He promised Adam that he would be in the image of God. To leave us in the condition that we are in, with all of the pain and the torment that goes on in the earth today, would make God a liar, for He has declared that we shall be in His likeness and in His image. So, God owes us a debt, and the debt is that we shall be in His likeness and His image, and He has paid His debt by giving us His Son.
But, nevertheless, as we read in the alternate translation above, God's payment of the debt, which is the spiritual life of Christ Jesus, "must be found in us." This "payment of the debt, "Christ Jesus, must be appropriated, before we can be restored to righteousness, and Christ Jesus is literally built into us as our sin nature is exposed and destroyed, a sinful thought, or attitude, at a time. The debt that God has paid to mortal humanity is called "the inheritance" in the Scripture, which inheritance is paid to us when our carnal mind dies. The Church world teaches that we received "the inheritance" when Jesus died, but Jesus did not stay dead. He is alive. How can you collect and inheritance from a living man? The truth is, brethren, our inheritance is a living inheritance, which is available to all men who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and are willing to destroy their sin-filled carnal nature and put on the excellent nature of the glorified Jesus Christ.
What we are saying here is that the man, Jesus of Nazareth was not born perfect. A witness to that in the Scripture is that the conception of the virgin was a sign. We are never told that He would be born in the fullness of God. He was born with the seed of God. Isaiah 7:14says, "Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel." The reason that God chose to birth His first-begotten Son in a virgin was that we should believe that God has the power to birth Himself through a natural man. If He did not do something outstandingly different no one would have ever believed that Jesus was God. They did not believe it anyway. They crucified Him.
The Scripture says that if they had known they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory. They did not believe it. God said, I have brought Him forth in a virgin as a sign that you should believe that I am doing what I promised to do. Also when Jesus was a boy, His parents were looking for Him, and they found Him speaking with the rabbis in the temple. He caused His parents great grief. They thought He was gone, they did not know what had happened to Him. Surely, He sinned against them. He caused them great pain and distress. He was not perfect, brethren.
My third point is that had He been a miraculous child....I have seen pictures and heard some people talk about Jesus creating birds and doves when He was a child, that He would go to the temple and do all kinds of miracles....well, if this were true, why would the men in the synagogue have said, "Is this not Joseph's son who is saying that He is Messiah?" He was just an average child. If He had been a miraculous child they would never have said, "Is this not Joseph's son? He is saying He is Messiah! Is He mad?" They said that He was mad. So there was absolutely nothing in His childhood that indicated that He was a supernatural being. Nothing. He was just like you and me. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Matthew 4:1, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil, and when He had fasted forty days and forty nights He was afterward an hungered, and when the tempter came to Him he said, if thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Then the Devil took Him up into the Holy City and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple and said unto Him, if thou be the Son of God cast thyself down for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thy dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the Devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain and showed Him all the Kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and said unto Him, all these things will I give thee if thou will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus unto him, get thee hence for it is written, thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve. Then the Devil left Him and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him."
Matthew 4, Verse 1, the Greek word translated "led" means "to bring out" and is from a Greek root that means "to come up severally." We have had two other instances of this in our recent studies. One is in the book of Revelation, where it speaks about the opening of the tabernacle. If you study that word in the Greek you will see that the tabernacle was opened severally, or in pieces, or one by one. The point that I am trying to suggest to you, is that Jesus of Nazareth was just the first of many to be brought out of this fallen soul realm. The way the Scripture is written, if you read it with a carnal mind, you would think it is talking about just the one man. But if you study it in the Greek, you see that it is also talking about all of us that are to come afterwards. So that word "led" in "He was led up of the Spirit" means "to be brought up one by one."
The spiritual being, the spiritual man, the man, Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and man, is a spiritual man, who is dwelling in the members of the Body of Christ. He is dwelling in the many-membered Body of Christ. He is not a man like you or like me. He is the new creation man. He is a spiritual being that is so great that He fills all of the vessels of the Body of Christ. He is ascending up to the Father, and He is bringing His soul and His body with Him, one cell at a time. Each time one of us goes up, we are a cell in His body that is ascending to the right hand of the Father, and this has been going on now for two thousand years. Hallelujah.
The Scripture says that one day is as a thousand years to the Lord and a thousand years is as a day. We do not really know how long this is going to take. But we do know that to the Lord Jesus Christ will it is in the realm of the Spirit, this is just taking seconds, even though to us down here on the earth, it is taking thousands of years. So that Greek root that means "to be led up" means "severally"....it is from two Greek roots, one means "severally" and the other is a reflexive word, and it means "to lead Himself."
"Reflexive" means that whatever the verb is, you put it back on yourself. He led Himself up. It means "by laying hold of, and in this way to bring to the point of destination." It is also used of leading an animal. It means "to move or impel, and is used of forces influencing the mind." So we are right back to the mind again. I am suggesting to you that what happened in Matthew 4, Verse 1 was that Jesus received spiritual power when He was joined to the Father in the previous verses, and He immediately attempted to take authority over the negative soul realm in His own life. Now we know that Christ Jesus is bringing us to where the Father is. He is bringing our soul to where the Father is, and He immediately led Himself up by the power of the Spirit into the spiritual wilderness.
I will read it to you in the King James: Matthew 4:1, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil." Alternate Translation: "Then Jesus, by the power of the Spirit that He had just received, led Himself, or His soul life, up into the realm of spiritual power, where He would be disciplined, or tested with respect to the Devil, who is His own fallen soul." That Greek word translated "tempted" means "to test or discipline." It is from a Greek root meaning "through the idea of piercing," and we have had several studies on that concept of piercing through into the spiritual realm. We have talked about "piercing through" being likened to a baby in utero piercing out of the womb into this world system. The baby pierces through the amniotic sack before it passes out through the cervix and vagina of the mother, into this realm, and we are having a similar experience in the spirit. We are piercing through into the spiritual realm. "Jesus by the power of the Spirit that He had just received by being joined to the Father, led Himself, or His own soul life, up into the realm of spiritual power where His fallen soul life would be disciplined, or tested, with respect to the Devil who is His own fallen soul."
We had a message showing this principle in the Book of Jude. God showed us that where it says that the archangel Michael was contending over the body of Moses, that Michael was actually contending with Satan over the live body of Moses. Moses was a Son of God, and God used the name Michael, to typify the spiritual life in Moses, and He used the word the Devil to describe the fallen soul life in the single vessel known as Moses. Michael, the spiritual life in Moses, was contending with the Devil, Moses' old man, for dominion. All of us that have birthed Christ are two men. We are Christ, and we are fallen adam, and there is a warfare going on for which spiritual man will manifest through our thoughts, through our behavior, and through our words.
That battle is going on in the mind of every person that has Christ, and the deeper you move into your walk with Christ, the greater the battle. The Lord gave me a dream once, that I was in a house. It was an old fashioned, castle type house, and there was a sconce hanging on the wall, a vehicle for holding a candle. And it held a candle that was burning very brightly. I was in the house with a man who I believed to be my husband, and someone was knocking on the door. He wanted to get in, and I knew he was a criminal. He was doing everything he could to get into my house. He was lying to me. First he told me he was a pizza man, he wanted to deliver pizza. [The Lord has a sense of humor!] He was doing everything to get in, and I had all these bolts on the door. I said to my husband, do not let him in, make believe we are not here, but my husband boldly went and took all the bolts off the door. I got very upset, and I said, how could you do that to me.
He opened the door wide, and the two men went at each other. It was a superhuman battle. They were on the floor in this violent battle, and I just went up to my light, which is the life that is hid in Christ, I took it off the wall, I hugged it to my bosom, and I sneaked off with it in safety. I did not understand the dream; I did not get the interpretation of it for almost a year. But God told me that this is the battle that is going on in every believer where Christ has been birthed.
Now this is not necessarily the case if you have received the Holy Spirit, but when the Manchild of Revelation 12 comes forth in your soul, brethren, the two men are fighting for dominion. The Book of Revelation says, "And Michael fought and Satan fought and his angels." There is a warfare going on, and it is in our mind, and the prize is our mind and our soul. Hallelujah. Glory to God. But we read the back of the Book, and we know who wins the fight. We are the prize that Christ Jesus wins. Glory to God. Thank you Lord.
When Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil, He moved into the next stage of the processing, which was to bring Him into the image of God. He had to take dominion over His soul realm. We had a message called "The End of the Commandment is Godliness" here a few weeks ago where Paul describes the six phases that we have to go through until we are made into the image of Christ, and one of those phases is that Christ in us must subdue the soul realm. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Fallen adam and Satan must go underfoot, and if there are any demons, we know that the demons have to come out. But sometimes God lets them stay with us for a while before they come out, so if they are still with us, they have to go underfoot too, until they are cast out.
Matthew Chapter 4 Verse 2, "And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights He was afterwards an hungred." I suggest to you that there is more than natural hunger involved in this. I do not doubt that Jesus was fasting from food, but He was involved in a severe battle, and He was hungry, He was hungry for the peace and the evenness of the life with Christ. He was weary of the battle. He was going up and down. He was flipping back and forth. This soul realm is no pansy. He has been ruling in this earth for thousands of years, and He has no intention of turning it over to Jesus Christ. Also, a large part of the problem, as we also found out in the message "The End of the Commandment is Godliness," is that Satan really does not understand that He is going to lose it. He does not really believe it. Satan is fighting that viciously because, at least partially, he does not understand. We know that one of the stages of our processing that will lead us into the image of Christ is that our spirit man will, indeed, preach the gospel of the Kingdom to the soul realm in our own mind. But before he is going to listen we have to sit him in the chair and get his attention.
What I am suggesting to you is that these first couple of Scriptures in Chapter 4 is telling us that Jesus Christ, in a first attempt to elevate His soul realm, has raised Himself up to a place of spiritual power where He is going to be attacked by Satan. Now Jesus had to know this. As He grabbed hold of the arm of His soul realm, fallen adam, and said, come on up higher brother, you have to go where I am, He knew that the soul realm within Himself would ascend into the same level of spiritual power that Christ within Himself was ascending to, and that spiritual ascension would result in an intense warfare between His two sides, fallen adam and Christ.
Nevertheless, this is the way that God has chosen to do this. It is fraught with danger. I know that some of us have been involved in the occult before we came to the Lord, but many believers have not been involved in the occult. We have led relatively peaceful lives, no spiritual warfare going on at all, and all of a sudden we receive the Holy Spirit, Christ comes forth in us, and these wicked manifestations of spiritual power are coming against us, in my case, right from my own mind.
We had another message saying that fallen adam is the witch. The witch is right in our mind. The root word that is translated "Satan" is witch. He is the witch, and he is in our own mind. Brethren, nobody outside of us can hurt us if our soul and our spirit are in the proper order. No spirit can hurt us, and no man can hurt us. Our problem is in our own mind. If we are afflicted, it is because we are weak in our mind, because our spirit man has not yet risen up in enough power to control the soul man. Christ cannot be cursed. It is fallen adam within us that is falling down, that is cursed, that is sick, that is miserable. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I will read Verses 3 and 4 again: "And when the tempter came to Him, he said, if thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, it is written Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." I suggest to you that "stones" in the Scriptures are types of spiritual power. If you want to check that out, I do not have any specific Scriptures for you, but it is all throughout the Scriptures. We know that Jesus Christ is the Rock. He is the chief honcho spirit, and everyone under Him is a stone, so stones are a type of spiritual power. The Devil was saying to Jesus, "you have not had your communion with the Lord. You have been so busy battling with me, that you have not had time to commune with the Lord. You have not had time to go up into a high place, up to a mountain to commune with the Lord. You are spiritually hungry, and you are weakened from the battle. Why don't you make these stones bread? Turn these stones into the Word of God. Take these ungodly spiritual powers, and turn them into the Word of God.
[Editorial Comment by Pastor Vitale: We now know that Jesus was hungry for spiritual fellowship with other believers, but Jesus had ascended so high, that there was no one who could relate to Him on His level. Satan was tempting Jesus to teach high spiritual doctrine (which produces spiritual ascension) to men who were not willing to look at and destroy their sin nature (soul realm). Spiritual ascension without the simultaneous exposure and destruction of the sin nature, will, ultimately, subject the spiritually ascended disciple to the authority of the Serpent.]
Now we know that one of Satan's methods is that he twists the truth because, in reality, part of the promise is that the ungodly spiritual powers within us will be subjected to the Word of God. Hallelujah. From studying out that word "Seraphim" back to its root in the Hebrew, we know that the Seraphim that surround the throne of God in the Book of Isaiah are redeemed men. They are spiritual serpents with wings that surround the throne of God, and man is the offspring of the Serpent that seduced the Woman. The wings indicate that mortal man has been elevated to a place of spiritual power, and he is surrounding the Lord and serving Him. So mortal man will, indeed, be stones that have been made bread, but it has to be by the power of God, and at the time and in the manner that God chooses, not when Satan says.
"So Jesus answered him, and He said, it is written Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." We must be obedient to God, and everything has to be in accordance with the plan of God. Spiritual power is not enough for me to survive on.
[Editorial Comment By Pastor Vitale: Jesus is telling Satan that a knowledge of the mysteries, deep spiritual doctrine, which is called "bread" is not enough. We must understand and submit to the whole counsel of God, which instructs us to, simultaneously with spiritual ascension, look at our sin nature and overcome it.]
We see this going on in the Church today, brethren. We see whole ministries surviving by spiritual power alone. There is no doctrine. They preach error. I have been in ministries where they do not even preach. I do not mean to knock the preacher, I just look at these things and I just stand there with my mouth open.
I went to a service where all the preacher said for the whole night was "ta ta ta ta" ta and they beat the drums, and they played the music, and he laid hands on a few people, and they went home. And it was not just an isolated night. This particular man does not have much of a gift for preaching or teaching. I am not here to knock anybody. I am here to, hopefully, raise people up by giving them greater understanding through this Word that is coming forth.
The realm of the Spirit is not enough. Spiritual power is not enough. We have to know what God wants us to do with the spiritual power; otherwise, we will lay hold of it (and this happens in the Church world today too), and use it outside the Will of God. There are Christians going around trying to cast demons out of people where God has said "this is not the time to cast out the demon." They are trying to break curses when God has not said "now is not the time to break the curse." They are trying to heal people when God has said "I am not through with that person yet, I am using that infirmity to bring them to a higher realm of the Spirit." They are going out and laying hold of the power that God has given them, and they are trying to use it in accordance with the wisdom of man. That is not what it was given to us for, brethren. The spiritual power of God was given to us so that Christ and His purposes and His wisdom and His Will can be made manifest through our vessel. Hallelujah.
I was at a service several months ago; there was a visiting preacher there. She was a woman who has had great hardship in her life in the area of infirmity. She gave a testimony about her grandson, a young child, who contracted a disease which crippled him. It is heartbreaking to see a young child in a wheelchair, and he was in the wheelchair for years. It is not really true, but people tend to think that if you are a minister you will get healed faster. That is not true, but a lot of people think that. She had to live for years with people that she ministered to saying, "Well, is he up out of the wheelchair yet?"
Finally, God raised him up out of the wheelchair, and very shortly thereafter the child's mother who was working as a waitress was involved in a bizarre accident, which caused her to fall. I have been a waitress. I have fallen. You get up and you keep on going. Maybe you are a little sore, but you get up and you walk away. Well, this preacher's daughter slipped and fell and hit her spine, and was in danger of paralysis. She went to the doctor, but something had happened to her spine, she was in a waiting period to see what would happen to her. The doctors told her they would know the results within two or three weeks, and that she could be paralyzed for life.
The preacher asked the congregation where she was ministering for prayer. I happened to be there with several other mature believers and I was very grateful that there was a witness in them to the same thing that was in my heart. This whole congregation really believed that they had the power to heal that young woman, but what God said to my heart was, "There is a curse of paralysis on that family line, and I want to do more here than heal this young woman and heal that young child. I want the curse of paralysis removed from this family line, so that this never happens again. If I, by my miracle working power, raise this woman up over night, how will they get the revelation in this family that there is a curse that needs to be broken?" This was what God spoke to me.
Several of us that got this word felt that we could not join in the prayer. We felt it was not the will of the Lord to demand that the woman be healed by the next morning, which is what they were praying for. Sometimes He heals a day later, two days later or three days later. But we cannot demand these things of God. This is an abuse of the spiritual power of God. After the prayer at the end of the service the Lord said to me, "I want you to go and tell that woman that this curse of paralysis is on her family." She was a beautiful woman of God. She had the anointing. I perceived her as a woman of God, and she had a very beautiful message of faith and belief in God in the area in which she preached. The Lord said, "I want you to tell her that this curse needs to be broken. She is to lay hands on her daughter and break the curse of paralysis."
I said, "Lord you do not really want me to do that, do you?. I am in a church where they do not believe that a Christian can have a curse. It is a faith church, and they really believe they have the power to demand that the young woman should be healed by the next day. You do not really want me to to tell this preacher that there is a curse on her family line, do you?." And the Lord said, "Get up there." So I walked to the front of the church. She was a very sweet lady, she came over and gave me a beautiful smile and a kiss, but when I told her what I had to say, the smile drained off of her face, and she just looked up towards the ceiling. She did not want to hurt my feelings, that was my perception of what happened, and she just said, "Uh, uh huh, uh huh, well God bless you sister." I walked back to my seat, and I saw her speak to the pastor of the church that she was visiting, and whatever she said to him, they started to laugh. I do believe she told him what I told her, and they thought it was very funny. I do not believe her daughter has been healed to this day.
So, brethren there is such a thing as an abuse of spiritual power. We hear about the abuse of power in government. Well there is an abuse of power in the government of God. We have sin-riddled, immature, natural men, in many instances very carnal men, running around wielding the power of God for their own purposes. God is winking for a season, brethren, because we are very beloved in His eyes, and He loves His young children, but the hour is coming when He will not tolerate it any longer.
I also heard preached within the past year, in what I would consider a mature church, that they did a word study on the Scripture that says, "Whatever you ask for in the Name of Jesus, you shall receive." They did a word study on the word "whatever," and they determined that it meant whatever, which is what it means, therefore, they can go and get whatever they want. But they forgot to read the verse before it. "Whatever you ask in the will of the Father you shall receive." Ask for spiritual things, brethren, not for a Cadillac. Sometimes God will give you a car or He will give you a home if you have no place to live. In xxx's cousin's case God gave her this really big house, almost a mansion, He gave it to her. Well, I am not saying that God will not give you material prosperity, but covet spiritual things frst, brethren.
Moving on, we are in Verse 5, Chapter 4 in the Book of Matthew. Satan has not given up. He could not get Jesus to wield the ungodly use of spiritual power so he tried again. Verse 5: "Then the Devil taketh Him up into the Holy City and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, if thou be the Son of God cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thou foot against a stone." Well, the Devil took Jesus up into a high spiritual place. The Holy City is Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is the realm of the soul. We know that there are two Jerusalems. There is a carnal Jerusalem which is as unto Sodom and Gomorrah and filthy in the eyes of God, and then there is the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, where we exist in a state of spiritual purity by the power of the indwelling Christ. There is no other way to do it, brethren. No other way to do it.
So the soul realm took Jesus into the Holy City and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple. Now we know that we are the temple. Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, took Jesus to a high realm of the spirit where He could see into the future, where he could see visions of the plan of God, and Satan said to Jesus, "If thou be the Son of God cast thy self down." Destroy yourself, see if God would not raise you up. Use the power of God for your own purposes, do something fool hardy, go out and buy a lotto ticket and start binding and loosing, and see if God would not bring that money in to you.
It sounds funny, but there are people right here that had an experience where they were in a fellowship where this particular couple had a business, and there was another man in that fellowship that had the same kind of business. They did not really have a particularly close relationship, but the same opportunity for a big job came to the attention of both of them, and one of these brothers started binding and loosing over other businesses bidding on the same job. Well the opposition was his brother in the Lord, and all kinds of accidents and havoc was being wrought in the life of that brother, including financial problems. Everything was going crazy. The first brother was working witchcraft on his own brother because he wanted that account. Brethren, I suggest to you that if you are in Christ you cannot say I want that account and start binding and loosing over other men. God has to give it to you. If God does not give it to you, you had better leave the other people alone, because you are working witchcraft on them.
What if God did not want to give it to you? What if He wanted to give it to the other brother? You are using spiritual power out of the will of God to bring riches into your own life. It does not have to be money. I have seen people bind and loose over getting a wife, over getting a husband, over bringing their children to the Lord. You cannot do this, brethren. We cannot attempt to control the minds and the lives of other people. God gave me this revelation in a very profound way. I was working for a man who mistreated me, he cheated me. I had worked overtime for him. We had an agreement that if I worked past 8 o'clock he would pay me time and a half, retroactive to the end of the work day. Well, I worked until 11 o'clock. It was such a rush that I never stopped to even talk to him. I just kept on working, I did not eat, I did not take a cup of coffee, I worked through from 5 o'clock at the end of my work day until 11 o'clock at night, and went home exhausted. At time and a half my bill came to $27. This was about 7 years ago, and the man would not pay me. He refused to pay me. This is an abomination in the eyes of God.
But at the time my revelation was, well you bind the wickedness in him and you loose Godliness. I did not know that it is witchcraft to try to control people's mind and/or behavior. Well, I started binding and loosing over this man, and the next time I see the man, he walks in with his arm in a sling. After that, when I saw him the next day, his eyes were wild. This poor man, when I realized what I did to him, I was on my face before God repenting. I do not even remember all of the details, but he fell on a handball court, he broke his arm, and he was going crazy in his mind. You could see it by looking in his eyes. He was like a mad man, utterly frantic, running around the office screaming.
When I realized what I had done (I was very young in the Lord), I went to one of the preachers that believed in this, and I told him what happened. I said, "My goodness, I did not want the man to break his arm, he has a wife and a family, I just wanted him to pay me my $27. That was all I wanted him to do, I needed the money." The preacher said to me, "Well he cheated you he deserves it." No, brethren, vengeance belongs to the Lord. If someone cheats you, you petition God for deliverance. We cannot lay hold of the power of God to obtain our own ends. It is witchcraft. That is a radical word to some who bind and loose and believe in binding and loosing. I plead with you to put the matter before the Lord and see what He says to you about it.
Now, on the other hand, we can do many things that are illegal to the natural man, while we are under the anointing. If God does it, it is all right. Now first I had the revelation that we could not do anything that we wanted to with the power of God. Then God moved me into the revelation that God can do things that we cannot do, but I really did not understand why, and now He has given me an understanding of why. Because God is such a positive force, that no matter what He does, it turns out good. But man in his own spiritual power of the soul which is, in fact, Satanic power, is a negative force. And unless God is joining with the person wielding the spiritual power, and is in agreement with what he is doing, only disaster will come out of it. Binding and loosing can be dangerous, if God is not in agreement with what you are doing. Glory to God.
"And Jesus said to him, it is written, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God". I am just going to do what He tells me and nothing else.
Verse 8, "Again the Devil taketh Him up", now this is the third try, "into an exceeding high mountain." Now before He went up into the Holy City, which was the highest realm of soul power, which is Satanic power, which is the witchcraft we were just talking about, now Satan takes Jesus up higher, to an exceeding high mountain. This is the highest realm of Satanic spiritual power that is across from the Spirit of God. The Devil said to Jesus, " you can have power, spiritual power coming forth from a level that is comparable to the fountain of God, and this is what I am going to give you if you will bow down and worship me. I will give you all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. I can give you spiritual power that is the equivalent of the spiritual realm of God, and with it you can control the many members of mortal humanity."
We have talked about this in prior meetings; to comprise a kingdom you need certain elements. You need a piece of land, you need subjects, and you need a king. I suggest to you that every human being on the face of the earth is a kingdom. Either your king is Christ Jesus or your king is Satan, and the glory of the kingdom is your spiritual substance. So when Satan said to Jesus "I will give you the kingdoms of the world" he was saying to Him, I will give you the minds of mortal men. And why would anyone want to control the minds of men? It is power, it is money, personal glory, and in many instances it is sex. They take over the minds of men. We see it in the Church today, brethren. There are preachers in the pulpit manifesting a high realm of spiritual power, which is controlling the minds of the people for their own purposes. Glory to God.
"And the Devil said to Jesus, if you will worship me I will give you control over the peoples of the earth and their spiritual substance." Now what would Jesus want with their spiritual substance? He wants to join to them, to marry them, and live his life out through them. Now look at what the Devil is doing. He is promising the Son of God what God has already promised Him. Now is that not dumb? He is promising Jesus what Jesus already has from the Father. "And Jesus said, get thee behind me Satan for it is written, thou [Satan] shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thee serve." You shall bend your knee to me, you shall not give me spiritual power in the realm of the spirit, you shall not give me spiritual power in the realm of the soul, you shall not give me power, you shall get down underfoot, and you shall serve me.
I suggest to you that Jesus Christ knew at that time that Satan was a liar. He had no power whatsoever to give Him these things. Where would Satan have the power to give the Son of God the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them when all things belong to the Father, and the promise of God to the Son is that He would have these things? Satan was lying to Him. He did not even have the power to give it to Him.
[Editorial Comment By Pastor Vitale: Today we know that Satan has the power to give someone who will worship him power over other human beings until Jesus' government takes authority over and begins to protect the victims. Satan was offering Jesus spiritual power for selfish purposes. God's power is removed from men who use it for their own selfish purposes. So Satan was saying to Jesus, "I will give you spiritual power without requiring you to keep the whole counsel of God. You can fornicate, steal, abuse, you can do anything that you want and still retain your spiritual power, if you will only worship me.]
I suggest to you that these three stages of temptation are manifest in every human being going on with God. We will be tempted by the Satanic realm in our own mind in these three areas: 1) To teach unrepentant men spiritual doctrine which will raise them up into unrighteous spiritual power, which will result in their destruction, because we want spiritual fellowship, 2) To initiate spiritual warfare before the Lord tells us to do so, and 3) To exercise spiritual power while breaking the spiritual Law of God.
I believe many people that have strong personalities, especially preachers, are tempted to control God's people. They are gifted, maybe they can preach, maybe they are anointed in healing, maybe they have a ministry, but instead of serving God by equipping His people, they use their ministry to enrich themselves.
You see, the promise was the same. God said, "I am going to give you the kingdoms of the world. "This is the promise to the Son. "I am going to give you the ability to manifest your life through every human being on this earth." God said, "I am going to give it to you." What you have to do to get it is worship God. Satan said, "I am going to give you the same thing, worship me." Sometimes when we find a vessel that is deceived by his own greed, he does not want to wait to get it from God. When God promises you something, brethren, wait. There is always a wait. And when a man does not want to wait, but he listens to the Satanic realm in his mind, and he goes for it, that man loses whatever spiritual power he has with God.
There is only way safe way to gain spiritual power, brethren, and that is through humbling yourself before God and worshiping Him and serving Him. Because if you are manifesting spiritual power, and it is not given to you by God, your days are numbered. he Lord will let you continue to do it for a season, for whatever His purposes, but the day will come that you shall indeed be cut off.
Verse 11, "Then the Devil leaveth Him and, behold, the angels came and ministered unto Him." The other account of this is in the Book of Mark, and it reads there that the angels came and ministered to Him, and He was with the beasts of the field. He was with the beasts of the field. And the beasts of the field are the demons, and I am suggesting to you, brethren, that at this point what the Scriptures said is that there were demons in the carnal mind of Jesus Christ. Now this is a shocking statement, but I am suggesting to you that He was not yet one hundred percent God, that He was still separated in His mind, that He was Christ, and that He was fallen adam, and that demons were present, waiting and hoping that Jesus would accept Satan's offer; but Jesus took every victory, He did not fornicate with Satan, which would have made Him food for the demons. There were demons that were present from before Jesus' encounter with the Holy Spirit, but He put them underfoot. Jesus put Satan underfoot, and He put the demons underfoot, and the angel, which is the Christ within His mind, ministered to Him.
The reason that the word "angel" is plural is that this account is for every human being on the face of the earth. When we go through this trial, when Christ Jesus in us takes the victory and puts Satan and the demons underfoot, the angel, the manifestation of Christ Jesus in our mind, will minister to us. It has been my personal experience that every time I go through a horrendous trial I get revelation knowledge from God. I get revelation knowledge from God. I get healing in my body. He just pours out the blessings upon me, and that is the ministry of the angels which are the Sons of God, which is the ministry of Christ in us. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I just thank the Lord for it. I have been through some horrendous experiences in my lifetime, and He has never failed to bring me through. He has never failed to bless me, and He uses these experiences as the fuel for the fire that equips us to go on with Christ. I want to encourage you all tonight to be strong in the admonition of the Lord. He loves us all. All trials are for our good, and the end of it is that we shall be in the image of Christ.
I pray, Father, that this revelation should root in their hearts so that they should be made strong and made in your image, and in all the glory of your likeness. Hallelujah.