The Different Stages of Our Spiritual Growth
Every child of God must understand that the only "THANK YOU" that is acceptable to the Lord is your obedience. Yes, we are saved by the grace of a loving God but then we thank Him for His indescribable love-gift by allowing that same grace to change us into the image of His beloved Son. If you love God you will fellowship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ the Word of truth. It is written that without holiness no one shall see God and we need to realize that He means exactly what He declares in the scriptures because it was written for our admonition. The church must wake up and realize that there are many different rankings and degrees in the kingdom of the Father. Although all are saved by grace we advance through the stages and ranks through our obedience and remember that God cannot be mocked. You will reap what you sow and we will be dealt with according to our works.
The church must understand as in the parable of the Sower there is a 30, 60 and a 100 fold pursuer of God. These can also be understood as the 30 fold outer court dwellers, the 60 fold inner court dwellers and the 100 fold sold-out to God believers. The 30 fold outer court dwellers are still carnal babies in the house of the Father. These are saved by grace but live in their emotions. They feed on milk and not solid food. The meat of the word is too strong for them and they need to be nurtured and fed with a lot of love, understanding, and patience. They still fight amongst themselves and can be used of the enemy to cause divisions. They compare themselves amongst themselves and understand not righteousness. They dwell in the flesh and are easily provoked to anger. These people are still very wounded and broken from being rescued out of a life of abuse and pain and need to be healed, transformed and delivered. Their perceptions and understanding of God is still very much distorted and they view everything and everyone through their brokenness. They have been saved out of the world but is still worldly. The world needs to be taken out of them and the damage caused need to be fixed. Compared to the development, the growth and the transformation process of a butterfly these are still in the worm stage. We need to press on toward maturity and our minds need to be renewed to the standard of God's righteousness revealed to us in the Word of truth, Jesus Christ.
John 1:1-4, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not.
All things are made through the Word of God and all things are being upheld by the Word of His power. The worlds were framed by the Word of God and to Him, we are His world. We need to be build up, raised up and strengthened by the building blocks of God's truth and this truth is found in Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us in 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby: 3 If so be you have tasted that the Lord is good and gracious.4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,5 You also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore who believe he is precious: but unto them who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And, A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient: to which also they were appointed.9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not.
What do you think Jesus meant when He declared the following in Matt 7 Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall "enter" into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. (how clearer do you want it?) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. This scripture will find its full fulfillment during the storm of tribulation because it will be allowed to test our foundations. If you don't stand strong now then how will you stand when God starts to shake everything? It's time to get serious with God.
How much work, effort, and action goes into the building of a house? As is written in 1 Pet 2:5 You also, as lively stones, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. If you as the owner of certain ground give instruction to your builders to built a house and dwelling place for yourself after giving them all the material they need and they just sit around and never lift a finger in obedience to your instructions then HOW WILL THE HOUSE BE BUILT?
The 60 fold inner court believers have attained to a measure of spiritual growth but are still dealing with issues from the past. Their minds have been renewed to a certain degree and they have brought forth a 60 fold fruitfulness of their growth potential. The same as in the parable in Mark 4 where Jesus said; " 26 So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how.28 For the earth brings forth fruit of itself; first the blade (30fold), then the ear (60 fold), after that the full grain in the ear (100 fold).29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest comes.
The fruit here being when the Lord brings us into maturity where we start to manifest His character, nature, and holiness. In Hebrews 12 it tells us that through spiritual growth, discipline, and training we bring forth the fruits of God's righteousness because we are to be imitators of Him who called us out of darkness into the glory and the freedom of His light. Light is always stronger than darkness and if we desire to be made mature and be placed in a position of responsibility in the kingdom of our heavenly Father we must pursue the light of His truth and Presence. The only way in which we get to know a person is to spend time with them.
The 60 fold believer is like the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3 that says; " that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.12 Not as though I had already attained, either was already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.13 My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one [thing I do], forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The 100 fold mature children of God are the ones that are born of the Spirit into manifest sonship.These will be brought forth in this generation because we are at the time of fulfillment.
The Sower has gone forth to sow His seeds of truth and transformation in the hearts of the children of God and we are now coming into the time of the harvest.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him who subjected [it] on hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. 23 And not only [so], but ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, awaiting adoption, the redemption of our body.
For the earth brings forth fruit of itself; first the blade (30fold), then the ear (60 fold), after that the full grain in the ear (100 fold). But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.
A child can only be to where he has grown and we should all be encouraged to press on to be brought forth by the Lord, who makes all things to grow and who himself is the builder of all things, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to [the] measure of [the] stature of the fullness of Christ;so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, to the wiles of deceit. But that you, speaking the truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, [even] Christ; from whom the whole body, fitted together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to [the] effectual working in the measure of each part, producing the growth of the body to the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in [the] Lord, that you should not walk from now on as other nations walk, in [the] vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated [from] the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.For they, being past feeling, have given themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness.But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and were taught by Him, as [the] truth is in Jesus. For you ought to put off the old man (according to your way of living before) who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And you should put on the new man, who according to God [was] created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4.
This is very important to understand because many there will be that will be greatly disappointed when the Lord returns on that day to receive unto Himself His true bride, as they realize they do not qualify to be received of God in His own realm. There is a good reason why the Lord declared in Matt 24:40 one will be taken and one will be left.
Am I preaching salvation through works? No, but I am sharing with you the reality and consequences of a disobedient life as being revealed and declared by God himself through His holy prophets. What does the scripture then mean in 2Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; Does this not say that every satanic or human reasonings designed to keep us from obeying our Lord and Master must be arrested and cast down?
Or what do you think Jesus meant when He said in Luke 6:46 Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and don't do the things which I say?
Amazingly in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation we find this verse in chapter 22:14 Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (This city being the kingdom of God.)
Of this reality, the Amplified Bible says the following in Matthew 7: Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Then in verse 23 Jesus says the following about the disobedient children: And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly (disregarding My commandments)
Isa 26:2 Open you the gates, that the righteous nation "which keeps the truth may enter in." (The obedient children)
There is a rest for every pursuer of God to enter into and I want to share these powerful principles discovered in Hebrews 3 with you by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by some man, but he that built all things is God. And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Why (as the Holy Ghost said, Today if you will hear His voice, Harden, not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me and saw my works forty years. Why I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.) Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; While it is said, Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: however, not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom swore he that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
I want to make something very clear at this point. If you say that you are a believer in God then your obedient life will testify to the credibility and the reality of your professed faith. A person claiming to believe but then nullifying his faith by walking contrary to what he says only deceives himself. Faith + works = obedience which leads to holiness and authority and a heart wholly devoted to God. Many so-called believers or Christians say they believe in God but then through their works, they keep on following the devil who by the way also believes in God. A friend of mine once said sometimes it is easier to see the devil in so-called believers than the God whom they profess to believe in. I repeat our responsibility before the nations of the world and our accountability to God recorded in Ezek 36:23 I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. How will the nations know that our God is holy when we are living in sin?
James 2:19-24 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar? See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
At least the devils tremble, most people don't even do that.
One of my favorite scriptures are Isa 66:1-2 Thus said the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that you build to Me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things has My hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word.
The place of Gods rest should be your heart. You have been invited to become the eternal habitation of God not just to have a religious experience on a Sunday in a man-made building.
I declare to you child of the Father, yes we are all saved by grace and not of works which means that our eternal salvation was accomplished by the finished work of God through His Son but only those who step out into obedience will be counted worthy to enter in through the gates of the city in heaven as the scripture clearly declares in Revelation 22:14. This means that only the ones who responds and submit themselves to the preparation work done by the Spirit of holiness will be qualified to become the habitation and the city of God. Jesus clearly told me this in a 12 day fast when He said;" Did I not say in John 14 that I would come to those who demonstrate their devotion toward Me through an obedient heart? Yes indeed, I love to inhabit a holy surrendered heart because so I have ordained it to be My eternal resting place. This is why I call those who love Me the temple of the Lord. Their hearts becomes the altar of eternal worship in the kingdom of My Father and their devotion towards us is like sweet incense before My throne.
"I treasure a heart devoted towards Me because My love fills such a heart and is the greatest gift to man."
The fact that the Bible teaches that we are seated in heavenly places explains an authoritative position that we as believers have in Him and through Him. It is not to say that we are personally seated there as this can clearly be seen in the defeated position that many so-called Christians live. This authority, therefore, must be appropriated through a life that is lived in pursuit of God, especially through the turning away from evil. If we live in rebellion against God by going our own way doing our own thing then this positional authority means nothing because it is resisted. That power through His authority was made available to the church so that through its continual application we might come back to God, expel all evil and live obedient holy lives unto the Lord. It is those who overcome that will be allowed a place with Him on His throne. Rev 3:21 and Mark 10."
Many talk about the love of God when they have no understanding or concept of that love. People rape and abuse the grace of God by living fleshly lives being friends of the world. A friend of the world is an enemy of God. Most people are offended with the holiness of God because it requires total consecration, change, and surrender. God's love CRUSHED His own innocent Son on our behalf so that we might pursue holiness. Grace is not freedom to sin, it is freedom from sin. Jesus died for my sin so that I can die to my sin. This is the operation of grace in a repentant heart. Christians that live in the flesh blasphemes the holiness of God and make Satan stronger than God because they want to justify themselves under a false grace. Self-righteousness is to be right in your own way when Jesus said I AM THE WAY. If we live in the world and call ourselves Christians then we deny Christ through our works. To follow Jesus is to undergo a supernatural transformation work of sanctification so that our life brings forth the fruits of righteousness. People talk well of God but their hearts belong to the world. How can one say that they gave their lives to Jesus but their actions testify that they are in fact living for themselves? God is no fool. Jesus said to deny yourself take up your cross and follow Me which means that there must be a death to our former way of life as we live our lives in total devotion to God. The word requires in 1 John 2:6-7 that anyone that claims to be in Christ must walk as Jesus walked.
The working out of our salvation means to allow the principles that are found in the Lords gospel to be set into motion by the operation of the Holy Spirit in a person's life as we build a relationship with God. These principles are found and revealed in the life of Jesus and must be implemented in our pursuit of the high calling of God or we will loose our crowns. There is nothing about the old life that you can look to walk as Jesus walked because all that is not of Him must be abandoned and consumed by the fire of God. Only that which is new, only that which is pure and only that which is of the Spirit is sufficient to bring glory to Him who gave us all that pertains to life and godliness for no flesh shall glory in His presence and He gets the glory for everything. He is the Potter and we are the clay.
Only as we abandon ourselves completely to Christ and allow our natural abilities to be brought to nothingness, will the supernatural order of the Spirit come forth in resurrection glory. We need to recognize the great love of God toward us as we pursue the work of the cross in dying to self and to that which is not of God that threatens to keep us bound to the earthly order of the fleshly life. As the experience of the cross becomes a reality to us we are sure to discover the indescribable glory of the eternal of God himself made manifest in our mortal bodies. As we lay down our lives in our pursuit of His ways and His order, the reality of Christ in us as the hope of all glory and virtue will be revealed to us as the greatest of treasures given to man because He has no equal. We must grasp the power, the honor and the immense glory of the fact that the great God of wonders desires to inhabit the children whom He died for. It is the most intimate, wonderful and most heavenly thing that can happen to any human being but the sad reality is that most Christians resist this invasion of love within their hearts because most stubbornly and willfully choose to rather settle for far less by living only for themselves.
These fail to realize that there is no greater exchange of mercy or grace than this that the eternal God would give us His heavenly beauty in exchange for our earthly ashes. How can you make a deposit into a vessel when the vessel refuse to be emptied? Even though salvation is free, that does not give you the license or the right to live any way you want to. If you then continue a life of sin and disregard the commandments of God, then you never had a true conversion. If the fruit of one's life has not changed then it is certain, that in spite of any seemingly outward changes, their heart (motivation) has not changed. Grace is never given to accommodate the ungodliness of the flesh, it is given to establish the purposes of God in a person's life by yielding oneself to the Spirit of righteousness and truth.
Unrepentant sin corrupts and stains our soul.
The Holy Spirit has confirmed these realities to me through various people who were taken into heaven as witnesses and if the devil cannot steal your salvation he is sure to steal your crown by causing you to live for yourself. After you have received the gift of eternal life by being justified by the blood of Christ there is a crown to attain and to attain that crown one must run and run is a verb which means you have a part to play.
In confirmation to these truths, I want to share a very powerful prophetic word which the Holy Spirit spoke through one of Gods prophets J Leland Earls because it is important to understand. The Lord God introduced me to the prophetic writings of this vessel whom God used mightily between the 1960s and the early 1990s. I encourage you to seek the Lord on these matters.
Those who are complacent in Zion must heed the admonition of Gods Spirit
Jesus said to me very clearly one day after I moaned and complained about Him being so quiet and about the fires of purification I was experiencing, "I AM HOLY AND THEREFORE I HAVE TO LEAVE YOU IN THE FIRE UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLEAN AND THEN I CAN RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF"
"Am I not working within thee saith the lord? And can you be joined unto Me until that work is complete? Do not misunderstand that which I am doing, for I work in ways that the human mind cannot fully comprehend, and which are understood only by revelation & the Spirit. Therefore do not try to judge My workings with the natural mind, for they will seem like foolishness unto you. But seek to understand spiritual workings by the revelation of the Spirit. How am I working within you, and what am I seeking to accomplish? I say I am working to perfect the inner man that he may be prepared to walk and talk with Me in the realms that I have prepared. For none but those who are fully prepared will be received unto Me in My heavenly kingdom. Does a man begin a work and then not finish it? Does a man plan and then not accomplish and fulfill his plan? Do you think that I am less intelligent than a man, that I will not complete what I have purposed and not finish what I have begun? Is it not written that I have begun a work in you and that I will perfect it, even for that day of My appearing when all who are ready shall be received of Me into My glory? (Phil. 1:6). Think not that My work for you, in providing for your redemption and salvation from sin, is all that is required. I say this is only the beginning.(meaning that we are all saved by His grace but then must go on to maturity, Heb 6:1) After this has been received, there is that work which I must do within you to make you a fit vessel to receive all that which I have prepared for you.(2 Tim 2:20-21) This does not mean that those who fail to let Me do a complete work in preparing them for the greater glory shall lose their salvation, Far from it, for once I have given I will not take away. But there are many realms in My Kingdom, and there are places for all who have been saved. Those who have not allowed Me to do a complete work within them shall have to accept a lesser place and a lesser glory. For there is a difference, for example, between the earthly glory and the heavenly glory.(1 Cor 15) Those who have failed to progress will have to remain in the earthly realm until a minimum work is completed within them. Even so, shall they then be prepared to be changed and elevated to a higher realm and a higher glory? And even in the heavenly realm, there are different degrees of glory depending on the completeness of the work done within and the progress made upon the path that leads to the full stature of the Heavenly Father.(Phil 3:14) So My people, if you would desire to enter into My glory and receive that which has been prepared for those who love Me, then let Me do a complete work within you that you may be found worthy in that day to enter into the glories of My heavenly kingdom. (1 John 5:3 and 1 John 2:5) Now consider the ways and means of My workings within you, even by My Spirit saith the Lord. I must continue to work with you, My people, until you reach that place of utter abandonment to My will, even to where the illusory things of this world have lost their allurement and where nothing in this life really matters except the fulfillment of the divine purpose for you. And this takes so much time with most, for truly the god of this world has blinded the eyes even of My people into a totally wrong emphasis and involvement in the materialistic world of physical things. And thus through many hardships and disillusionments, I must continually work with you until you come to the place where your one all-consuming desire is for Me and My purpose for you. Then I can begin to do a quick work within you as your pliable will and mind are yielded unto Me. (27th May 2011 the Lord shows me a piece of clay in the spirit hardened and stiff because its love for the Lord has become cold, a hard, cold piece of clay which is difficult to work with. Contrary to this He shows a hot, in love with God, soft, pliable piece of clay easy to work with. We become pliable as we spend time in the sunlight of His love and presence-Pieter) And quickly do you begin to learn My ways, and My Spirit is able to begin to impart within thee, as you yield yourself unto Me all the fruits and graces necessary for a complete work. For as you yield I am able to make thee as clay in the hands of the potter, and My Spirit hovers over you continually take away that which is not harmonious to Me, and places within thee that which will enable thee to be perfected in My image. For My workings are by My Spirit, but first I must have a vessel completely yielded and pliable in My hands. I am then able to bring your thoughts, desires and innermost being into that which magnifies Me and manifests My perfect will for you. I say, when You come to this place of complete yielding, you will be amazed at how quickly I am able to transform thine innermost being into the very image and fashion which I desire. And you will be amazed at how much you desire only the pure things of My Word and My Spirit, and how the things of this world hold very little attraction to you. It is this utter abandonment to Me and utter indifference to worldly cares and concerns that enables Me to do a quick work in you. But I say, how long it takes to bring you to this place! This is why most Christians make such little progress through many years. They are unwilling to see the elusiveness and utter illusion of the things of this world and having many idols in their hearts and many things which consume their time and attention, it is impossible for My Spirit to do the work in them that I purpose. So I must continue to give them their hearts desires until they realize the utter folly of their ways until they begin to get their spiritual eyes open to the glory and reality of My being and My great love and My great plan for them. Then, and only then, can I begin to work by My Spirit to transform their inner being into the beauty of my holiness? Why must I bring you to utter disillusionment, My people, with the things of this world? Why must I bring you through one hardship after another that you might get your eyes on the right things? Why must I spend so much time bringing you to a place of utter consecration to Me so that My work may be done in you? I say unto you, not until you are willing to abandon the idols that hold you and count as nothing the things of this world, will I be able to do that which I have purposed, and work within you that which is necessary for the full entering into My heavenly glory. Oh My people, hear my voice! Abandon your folly-in-evil which blinds your eyes to the beauty of My holiness and to the glory which is being prepared for you. Hear this admonition and let Me prepare you, so that you may be received by Me in that day, saith the Lord. " (end of prophesy)Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org