The stingy enemies of God
First posted: August 21, 2004
If you have been reading our recent articles, you will have noticed that we have been studying on what the Lord says about the coming spiritual Revival through Isaiah chapters 31 and 32. Like the previous article, this article deals with spiritual enemies that are currently unrecognized within the Body of Christ, but which will be ferreted out as the Revival rolls in. These enemies are "the stingy enemies of God".
In Isaiah 32, the Lord declares the following:
"5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. 7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. 8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand." (Isaiah 32:5-8)
As we said in our previous article, this passage needs the correct "retranslation" of certain words in order for its true meaning to be understood:
As we apply all of these retranslations (and other retranslations mentioned in our previous article), the passage in Isaiah 32:5-8 becomes the following:
"5 The fading-fool shall no longer be called voluntarily-generous, nor the withholder said to be independent. 6 For the fading-fool will declare fading-foolishness, and his heart will fashion iniquity, to fashion defilement, and to declare straying against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to be lacking. 7 The vessels also of the withholder are affliction: he counsels mental-plans to bind the work-oppressed with deceiving kingly-commands, even when the forcibly-consenting declare judgment. 8 But the voluntarily-generous counsels voluntary-generosity; and by voluntary-generosity shall he arise." (Isaiah 32:5-8, retranslated)
In our previous article we dealt with the "fading-fools" mentioned in this passage. This article will deal with the "withholders" mentioned here.
In our retranslation of Isaiah 32:5-8, verse 7 says that "the vessels of the withholder are affliction". What are these "vessels"? As we said above, the word for "vessel" in Hebrew is keliy, which is used at times to refer to "weapons" or "instruments". According to "The Pocket Webster School & Office Dictionary", one of the meanings for "instrument" is "a means of estimating, controlling, etc"; another meaning is "in Law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, deed, etc". As you can see, the word "instrument", along with the word "vessel", have the connotation of containment in order to control, in the way that a literal vessel is used to contain a liquid, for example, in order to prevent it from spilling freely over the table.
The reason why liquid vessels such as a "coffee mug" are used is to contain the coffee so that it may be efficiently "channeled" into our mouths. Otherwise, the coffee would spill all over the table and be wasted. From all of this we can then conclude that a "vessel" refers to
A method or procedure that is designed to efficiently channel resources so that they will not be wasted away
As was the case with the car industry and the assembly-line methodology devised by Henry Ford, good methods improve efficiency by restricting or channeling energy into a predefined set of steps that removes the need for individual thinking. The thinking process is concentrated into the devising of the plan or methodology, and the execution of the plan becomes a mechanical process that simply carries out the plan, saving the time needed to think "what should I do next?", since the methodology already says what must be done next.
Methods imply rules and regulations. A method is useless if the people in the place are not willing to abide by the method's rules. Methods, therefore, establish restrictions and limitations. Using the "right-left" terminology that we have discussed in previous articles, methods are "right-handed" in their spiritual nature.
As we shared above, the word for "vessel" in Hebrew, keliy, is derived from the word kalah, meaning, "to accomplish, to finish". This shows that "vessels", i.e.- methods, are goal-oriented. Methods seek the fastest and most efficient way to reach a desired goal, and "perfection" or "completion" is attained when the goal is reached. This shows that a focus on "method" produces a strong zeal for "perfection". In other words, "methodical" people are perfectionists.
As we briefly shared in a previous article, one of the 7 Spirits of God is the "Spirit of Perfection", and is the Spirit of God Who spoke to the church of Sardis in the book of Revelation:
"1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God." (Revelation 3:1-2)
Notice that the Spirit of God tells Sardis to "strengthen the things which remain", which refers to polishing and refining the things that have already been accomplished. Then God tells Sardis that He has not found Sardis' works perfect (or "complete") before Him, which refers to the things that remain to be accomplished. This shows that the Spirit of God that spoke to Sardis was the Spirit that emphasizes completion or perfection so that a goal may be accomplished; this is why God placed it in our hearts to call this Spirit the "Spirit of Perfection".
"29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright" (Genesis 25:29-34)
The word for "red" in Hebrew is adom, which explains why Esau is also called "Edom" in Scripture (v30), since he gave up his spiritual inheritance for some "red pottage". As you may notice, the name "Edom" is very similar (in English and in Hebrew) to the name "Adam"; in fact, both names are written in Hebrew with the same 3 letters (Aleph, Daleth, and Mem). This similarity is not coincidental, since "Adam" literally means "man", and man was made from the "dust of the ground":
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
The word for "ground" in the passage above comes from the Hebrew word adamah, which is related to the word for "red", adom, since it makes a reference to "clay", which is reddish in color. All of this shows the strong relationship in Scripture between the color "red" and "earthliness". Sardis, therefore, was a church permeated by Girgashite spirits of earthliness. As we have shared before, Girgashites focus their lives on what they can see with their minds (i.e.- earthly and temporary things), and believe that they can be complete, or perfect, in their earthliness, choosing to ignore their spiritual calling because of the price involved in pursuing that calling. In other words, Girgashites choose to set earthly goals and forsake spiritual goals. The Girgashite spirit, therefore, is a spiritual distortion of one of the seven Spirits of God, the Spirit of Perfection.
As we have said before, Girgashites are workaholics. They are people driven by a greedy desire to achieve earthly goals. In their drive to achieve these goals, they place many limitations on their lives, in the hopes that they will someday go into Hivite retirement, relax, and live out "the good life". This drive also makes them very methodical people, since, as we shared above, methods and procedures are regulations and limitations that allow people to reach a goal more quickly and efficiently.
As we briefly have said before, 5 of the 7 Spirits of God (and 5 of the 7 types of evil spirits) are associated with each of the 5 ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11. The "Spirit of Perfection" (and the "Girgashite" spirit by association) is related to the "teaching" ministry. Why? Because, of all 5 ministries, the teaching ministry is the one most related to "methods" and the "perfecting" of what has already been learned. Teachers are constantly devising learning methods that will make it easier for their students to learn the subject matter. Good teachers find it difficult to continue with the next subject in a course until they feel confident that the students have understood the current subject. When a good teacher realizes that the students are shaky on a subject that has been previously studied, he or she will most likely feel the need to review that subject. Teachers are designed by God to be perfectionists by nature, and they are designed to mold others into perfection, ironing out the rough edges and completing the missing parts. This is why the Lord said the following:
"The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." (Luke 6:40)
[The word "master" in this verse is really a bad translation of the Greek word didaskalos, which literally means "teacher"; didaskalos is the word from which we get the word "didactics" in English]
This is why we can say that teachers are, by nature, born with a calling to manifest God's "Spirit of Perfection" in their lives. When they are not led by the Spirit, however, they go from being led by God's "Spirit of Perfection" to being led by Girgashite spirits of earthliness. Methods (i.e.- "vessels", as they are called in Isaiah 32:7) birthed in the "Spirit of Perfection" are methods that train and discipline the mind of the believer so that he or she may be able to understand and live out God's spiritual laws and judgments in his or her life; methods birthed in the "Spirit of Perfection" establish limitations so that we may reach spiritual goals. On the other hand, methods birthed under Girgashite influence are methods that train and discipline the mind of the believer so that he or she may live out human laws and judgments; Girgashite methods establish limitations so that believers may achieve earthly goals.
A terrible, but very common, example of "Girgashite methodology" inside the Body of Christ can be seen in how churches regulate services:
[Disclaimer: Any resemblance to the schedule at your congregation is pure "coincidence"]
Girgashite teachers emphasize the importance of following the established schedule, because, after all, "God is a God of order". Fellow believer, if we ever meet in person, please (and I mean, please!!!) don't ever say that phrase to my face. I have personally grown to hate the expression "God is a God of order", because it is constantly used by believers as a shoddy excuse to justify their stubborn faith in carnal methods that God never called them to live by:
"5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:5-9)
I believe in the infallibility of God's Word, the Bible (in its original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, which are available to us), but I sure don't believe in the infallibility of man's word. What verse of Scripture supports the schedule shown above? I don't oppose to music before the sermon, but where in Scripture does it say that God commanded congregations to sing 30 minutes of praise and 30 minutes of worship, followed by a sermon and a farewell song? Did Jesus go around the land of Israel with a praise and worship team that "got the people ready" before He would preach? Why do congregations stick to service schedules as if they were literally written in the Bible? What if the Spirit of God wants to throw that schedule out the window and have the congregation worshipping him for 3 straight hours, without a literal "sermon" being preached that day? What if God doesn't want to hear songs of praise because He is tired of the congregation's hypocrisy, and wants them to sing songs of repentance and surrender to Him? What if God wants the preacher to preach for 4 hours, with no time for praise and worship, because He has something important to say to His people that day? The believers of the Primitive Church that shook the Roman Empire sure weren't as concerned about schedules as modern-day believers are:
"30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them." (Acts 15:30-32)
"7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted." (Acts 20:7-12)
I can hear one of those modern-day Girgashites saying this to Paul after Eutychus fell to his death, "Brother Paul, why didn't you stick to the schedule? Why did you prolong your speech until midnight? Our services here end at 9:00 PM. God is a God of order, and, look at the consequences of not going by the schedule. You bored poor Eutychus to death, literally!!". Sure, if transported in time, most Girgashite believers of today would never say this to Paul, because they already read the end of the story, and they respect Paul for having written 13 of the 66 books in the Bible, but you must remember that the Bible, as we know it, was not yet finished when the incident of Acts 20 happened. Paul was a man of "insignificant" physical appearance whose authority was constantly questioned by many (2 Corinthians 10:8-10), and I do not doubt that many (if not most) of today's believers would strongly oppose Paul and his teachings if he were alive and teaching today, but under a different name. Believers are so prone to judge words by the "title" and the credentials of the speaker and not by the content and the anointing of what is being spoken. Cursed be this Girgashite attitude of judging by sight and not by hearing in the Spirit!!!
From all of the above, we can now conclude that the "vessels" of Isaiah 32:7 are the Girgashite methods and procedures that have infiltrated the Church and are containing and limiting the spiritual potential of believers so that stupid and meaningless earthly goals may be achieved. To Girgashite full-time ministers, it is more important to finish the service at 11:00 AM "sharp" than in knowing if God's purposes for that service were accomplished or not. To them, it is more important to know if a discipler is up-to-date on his or her discipleship-assistance reports than in knowing if the discipler is imparting Spirit-led, anointed Word that is producing spiritual growth in the lives of those he or she disciples.
Now that we know what the "vessels" of Isaiah 32:7 are, why does God say that they are "affliction"? To answer this, we must go back to the place and time where "earthly methods" were born: the garden of Eden at the fall of "Adam" (i.e.- "man") ...
"17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:17-19)
God intended for man to eventually know "good and evil", but He had a plan or method to do this. When man got ahead of God and devised a method to know "good and evil" on his own, he fell from God's grace and was declared "dust" (v19). God cursed all of man's earthly methods when He said that all of man's work would be filled with sorrow, with thorns and thistles, and would always require the sweat of his face, meaning that he would have to work under the oppression of the "sun" (literally and figuratively), which, as we have shared before, refers to the oppression of the natural laws that reveal how powerless and limited we are in our "natural" state.
Girgashite methods, therefore, are inherently cursed and bring unnecessary spiritual oppression. I know of so many worship leaders who are so concerned about the praise and worship team playing all the notes perfectly that they forget about the inherent purpose of praise and worship: to draw God's mighty, life-changing, prophetic Presence to the place. Who cares if the guy with the saxophone is having problems with some of his notes? Why don't they care, instead, whether or not the guy with the saxophone is living a devoted life in close and intimate relationship with God? The question should not be, "Did he hit the note correctly?"; instead, it should be, "Did God's presence come when he played the note?"
According to the book "Azusa Street", written by Frank Bartleman in 1925, there were no musical instruments at the Azusa congregation where the mighty Pentecostal revival broke out in 1906. They didn't even have a predefined list of songs that they would sing during the service!!! Everything was so spontaneous; they allowed the Spirit of God to dictate what He wanted the believers to sing. Why is man so stupid and stubborn to think that he can use earthly methods to regulate and contain things that are inherently spiritual? Where man's earthly methods rule, religiosity eventually sets in, and where religiosity sets in, the Spirit has no choice but to leave, and where the Spirit leaves, Hittite spirits swarm in to fill the void. In Pentecostal congregations where the Spirit left many years ago, Hittite spirits are the ones producing the physical sensations that believers confuse with the true anointing of God. Hittite spirits are very good at performing "emotional forgery". They can feel like the Spirit of God, but they are not the real thing.
When speaking of God's methods, the Lord Jesus says the following:
"25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." (Matthew 11:25-27)
Why did the Lord say that these things were "hidden" from the wise and prudent (v25)? Because God's methods are not visible to the natural mind:
"8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
You cannot frame God's methods inside human legislation; it is like trying to imprison the wind!
After Matthew 11:25-27 quoted above, the Lord adds the following:
" 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
In verse 28, the Lord is referring to all those under the oppression of earthly methods, i.e.- those who are exposed to the curse of Genesis 3:17-19 for abiding in earthly methods. According to the Lord, the key to be free of this oppression is to be "meek and lowly in heart". Since the "heart" in Scripture refers to the part of our soul that makes decisions (i.e.- our "will"), the Lord is saying that the key is to live a life of total surrender to God where we recognize that we are weak, that we cannot do things on our own, and that the one who should decide what we should do is God, not us. When we surrender control of all things to God, the only thing that becomes important is: Am I doing God's perfect will at this present time? I might have a million different things to finish, but if I am doing exactly the one thing that God is calling me to do at this exact time, He will take care of holding the other 999,999 things at bay until I finish the one thing that He called me to do at this time. This is why the shepherd of Luke 15:4-7 could leave the 99 sheep and go after the 1 lost sheep.
When God is in control, the oppression of earthly methods is removed from us. God's yoke is easy, and His burden is light. This does not mean that we will be living on "easy street"; never does the Bible preach about living an "easy life". Instead, it means that His yoke is easily bearable because we can bear it in His strength, but He can only bring His strength to bear if we are dead to ourselves and our will is enveloped inside His.
According to our retranslation of Isaiah 32:7, the Lord declares that the withholder "counsels mental-plans to bind the work-oppressed with deceiving kingly-commands". What does this mean? In essence, it means that "withholders" come up with mental arguments that make people feel "compelled" to abide by commands or "laws" established by earthly kings.
As we saw above, the word we have translated as "kingly-commands" in Isaiah 32:7 is emer, which is closely related to the word "Amorite". This means that the "withholders" that Isaiah 32 refers to are people who force others to submit to Amorite kings. As we studied before, this type of people are under the influence of Jebusite spirits. Jebusites are preachers of "unconditional submission to human authority". As we said before, they are the type of people who teach others that anything spiritual must be backed up by the authorization of some well-recognized "spiritual" authority. "God forbid" that a believer have the "gall" to attend a spiritual conference without the pastor's authorization! "God forbid" that a discipler impart a teaching different than the one the church hierarchy authorized for that week! "God forbid" that a believer leave his or her current congregation and attend another congregation at the Spirit's prompting without first getting a letter from the current congregation's pastor authorizing him or her to leave!
Jebusites are very adept at placing these unnecessary human restrictions on believers, basing them on a lethal mixture of Biblical passages and natural human logic that completely ignores the spirit of the passages used. They can take passages such as Romans chapter 13 completely out of context and convince believers that everything in your "spiritual" life must have the seal of approval of some pastor or full-time minister. As we have said before, Jebusites deprive believers of their "spiritual manhood", and reduce them to weakly souls that are dependent on the "only spirits in town", i.e.- the pastor and his full-time staff.
The establishment of human "intermediaries" that must authorize everything a believer does creates an unnecessary burden of rules and regulations that only hinder God's work. This spiritual "red-tape" binds believers, as Isaiah 32:7 declares, and produces congregations of "work-oppressed" believers under God's curse, because, as we saw above, God from the very beginning cursed anything that is based on human efforts and credentials. Jebusites, under the subtle influence of Hittite spirits of deception, deceive believers into accepting unnecessary spiritual burdens that God never called them to bear, leading to affliction that does not bear true spiritual growth:
"16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2:16-23)
Based on the original Greek text, the phrase "not in any honour" in verse 21 above should better have been translated as "not of any value". In other words, human restrictions and regulations look "pious" and "religious", but they are of no value in fighting the desires of the flesh. Why? Because they are superficial in nature. They do not penetrate like God's Sword (His logos) to transform people on the inside.
As we have shared before, when verse 17 above speaks of "angel worship", it really refers to the people who "worship the messenger", since "angel" literally means "messenger" in Greek and Hebrew. Angel worshippers worship "intermediary angels" who are supposedly "closer" to God than they are, the same way that catholics pray to so-called "saints" because these dead people seem to have "better connections" with God than the "average, living folk". If you believe that the pastor who acts as the "messenger" (i.e.- angel) from God on Sunday mornings is inherently superior to you, you are an "angel worshipper".
Angel worshippers become like goldfish trapped inside a fishbowl of human methods and limitations. I have heard that some people believe that goldfish are so "dumb" that they only have 3-second memories, and that they never get bored inside the fishbowl because, by the time they finish swimming around it, they forget that they had been there before and think they are somewhere new. Even though this might not be completely true with real goldfish, it definitely seems to be true with believers who have bought into the "I-will-be-blessed-if-I-live-inside-the-structures" doctrine. They seem to think that they are swimming in a vast ocean of spirituality when they are really swimming inside a tiny little fishbowl built by some cheapskate "withholder" that decided not to inform them of their true value in Christ and spiritual potential. Why? Because, the less you are aware of your spiritual potential, the more easily you will be lorded over by Amorites and Jebusites who are in search of human glory instead of God's glory:
"41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 I am come in my Fatherís name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:41-47)
Brother and sister in Christ. I urge you to realize the spiritual potential in you. You will have to give an account on that final day before Almighty God of what you did with that potential and calling. If you allow yourself to be bound inside a human fishbowl, God will not only condemn the withholder who robbed you, He will also condemn you for allowing yourself to be robbed. He gave you His Holy Spirit and His Written Word (the Scriptures). My friend, you have no excuse. The "I did not know" excuse will not cut it before God's consuming presence. God is a jealous God, and He will share no worship with "no man":
"6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me. 8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Deuteronomy 5:6-9)
According to our retranslation of Isaiah 32:7, the Lord declares that the withholder counsels mental-plans to bind the work-oppressed with deceiving kingly-commands, "even when the forcibly-consenting declare judgment". What does this mean? In essence, it means that "withholders" refuse to hear the judgments of those who are "forcibly-consenting", i.e.- those who are "poor" in the eyes of men and who have no human power, authority, or credentials to "back up" the judgments that they are declaring. An example of this can be seen in the following passage,
"45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed." (John 7:45-49)
The chief priests and Pharisees had sent the officers to arrest Jesus, but, after hearing Him speak, they reached their own verdict concerning Jesus: "He was a man of God who had done no wrong". Notice how the chief priests and Pharisees then tried to use "religious logic" to nullify the officers' independent judgment of Jesus (v48). They then proceeded to belittle the people who believed on Jesus, calling them ignorant and cursed (v49).
As we shared in our article on the Perizzites, Jebusites try to associate a sense of "shame" on the "little people" who dare to make judgments. To Jebusites, only "big people", i.e.- Amorites and other fellow Jebusites, have the right to make judgments. Their question to the "little people" always is, "Who made you judge?". To answer this, we have to go to the following passages:
"1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (Psalm 82:1-6)
"34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:34-35)
In verse 34 above, the Lord Jesus is quoting Psalm 82:6, and in verse 35 He declares that it refers to those upon whom the "word of God" came. Since John 1:14 declares that Jesus is the "Word of God" that became flesh, we can safely say that those upon whom the "word of God" comes refers to those who upon whom Jesus has come. This is why John 1:12 declares that those who have received Jesus have the jurisdiction (exousia in Greek) to be called "sons of God". The "son of a cat" is another cat; the "son of a horse" is another horse; the son of a human being is another human being, and the son of God is also a "god". This is why God declares in Psalm 82:1 that He judges "among the gods". Notice that Psalm 82:2 does not condemn man for judging, but, rather, it condemns man for judging unjustly. God calls us to judge, and He calls us to make those judgments in God's justice, not in our flesh. Has Jesus come upon you? Have you received Jesus? If the answer is "yes", the Word declares that you are a "son of God" (or "daughter of God"), a "god", and you are authorized and required to make judgments.
Next time they ask you, "Who made you judge?", you can answer, "God; God made every believer a judge". Any answer that deviates from this is un-Scriptural and thereby deceiving and false.
According to our retranslation of Isaiah 32:5, the Lord declares that the withholder shall no longer be called "independent". What does this mean? In essence, it means that, until now, believers in the Body of Christ have had the erroneous notion that only a few believers have the right to permanent "spiritual independence". According to Webster's Dictionary, an "independent" person is one who is "self-reliant" or "not under the control of others". A small baby, for example, cannot be called "independent" because he or she needs the help of his or her parents in order to survive, and must accept a certain degree of control over his or her life during this stage of dependence. However, any good parent sees this stage as a necessary but temporary stage, and looks forward to that joyous day when that "baby" will be a grown, responsible adult that can provide for him or herself.
In the Body of Christ, it seems as if certain believers consider themselves so spiritually powerless that they visualize themselves as remaining completely dependent upon "ministers" until the end of their lives. These believers admire the "ministers" as men and women of a higher "pedigree" who, by their pedigree, can claim to be spiritually "independent". These believers are not aware, however, that their emancipation has already been proclaimed:
"16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." (Luke 4:16-21)
The "acceptable year of the Lord" that verse 19 refers to is the "year of jubilee", according to Deuteronomy 15:1-6, when the Israelites were called to set any fellow Israelite slave free and to forgive all debts. According to Luke 4:21, the spiritual "year of jubilee" has already been proclaimed. No longer does any believer have the right to hold his brother or sister in Christ captive. No believer can claim that another believer is his or her slave. We are now all slaves of a Single Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual hierarchies have been broken by God, and we are now called to submit to one another in love (1 Peter 5:5). Our submission to those who are "spiritually older" in certain areas is so that we may receive an impartation from them in that specific area, to which we are to be thankful in God's love, and to which we must respond by wanting to impart that new gift on others. This impartation from those who are spiritually "older" does not commit us to be their slaves for life. By the way, when the Bible speaks of "elders" (as in 1Peter 5:5), it does not refer to people with the "official" title of "elder" at church. I know many such "elders" who are nothing but spiritual little brats (see Isaiah 3:12). True "eldership" cannot be perceived with the natural eye.
Chimpanzees operate in a hierarchical society where the "dominating male" must be revered in fear. You and I are not chimpanzees. We are brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ who are called to manifest God's nature on Earth. We are to minister to one another so that God's Glory may be manifested in our brethren. Ministering is not an underhanded excuse to demand worship from those whom we are supposed to serve.
According to our retranslation of Isaiah 32:8, the Lord declares that "the voluntarily-generous counsels voluntary-generosity; and by voluntary-generosity shall he arise". What does this mean? In essence, it means that those who are not deceivingly generous or stingy robbers of spiritual potential will be planning ways to aid in the manifestation of the God-potential in others, instead of planning ways to "contain" that potential.
True generosity is defined by selflessness. Unlike the "generous enemies of God", who act like clowns that make believers laugh into submission, those who are truly generous are not out to gain worship and submission from those whom they serve. Unlike the stingy withholders that do everything possible to prevent believers from becoming aware of their potential, those who are truly generous do everything possible to have that potential manifested in others, even if that means that those whom they serve will, in a sense, "shine above them". Because of their selflessness, God has declared, in Isaiah 32:8, that the truly generous shall be "risen" spiritually. God will always exalt those who are selfless, even if that exaltation is not visible to the natural mind. Remember that only a few disciples got to see the physical ascension of Jesus into Heaven (Acts 1:1-9), but there is no doubting that Jesus, the most selfless man who ever lived, is now King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If you share in His selfless descent, you will also share in His spiritual exaltation:
"3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:3-11)
God will raise up a mighty selfless remnant in the latter days that will serve as vessels through which the God-potential in others will be manifested. As we said in our previous article, the generous enemies of God have allowed the infiltration of Amorite, Hittite, and Canaanite spirits into the Church, i.e.- the left side of the triangle of evil, while the stingy enemies of God discussed in this article have allowed the infiltration of Amorite, Jebusite, and Girgashite spirits into the Church, i.e.- the right side of the triangle of evil. The latter-day remnant will break this triangle stranglehold as they allow the judging and prophetic nature of God to operate through them so that God's Glory may rise and shine over the Earth:
"Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations." (Psalm 82:8)
"1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. 2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. 3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. 4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. 5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." (Psalm 68:1-6)