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2. He Made Us Alive (Ephesians 2: 1, 5)

 

(4) You must come out from among them

 

    

Give thanks to God, we were once dead in our transgressions and sins, but God so loved the world that he sent his beloved Son to earth to complete the salvation plan so that all those who believe in him are made alive.  As we discussed previously, Lord Jesus Christ came to complete the way of crossing over from death to life, this is God’s grace; and through our faith we are united with the Lord in death, in burial, and in resurrection – crossing over from death to life.  We moved from the “in Adam” domain to “in Christ”; we were dead in our transgressions and sins, but now made alive and received a new life; status-wise, we were sinners, but because of Jesus Christ’s redemption we became righteous – justified by faith; we were ruled by the devil, but because of the redemption of Jesus Christ we have been moved to the kingdom of the beloved Son.  Ephesians 2: 2-3: “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”  That is to say, when we were dead in our transgressions and sins, we were in the kingdom of the devil and ruled by Satan; we used to follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of air.  Who is the ruler of the kingdom of air?  It is Satan.  “Follow the ruler of the kingdom of air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient”, the devil not only rules in the air, he is also at work in people’s heart, so that they are gratifying the cravings of their sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Therefore, now that we have been saved and born again, and have moved from under the rule of Satan to the kingdom of the beloved Son, we should put an end to our past life of following the ways of this world as well as our sinful desires and thoughts, and come out from among the disobedient ones.

Prayer:  Lord, we thank you, thank you for loving us so much, for our sake you became flesh to live on earth and completed the salvation plan for us, moving us from Satan’s rule to the kingdom of the beloved Son.  Lord, today our discussion is on: when we were ruled by Satan, we had many thoughts and desires, which ones were following our hearts and the ways of the world, I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and enlighten us.  In Lord Jesus Christ’s name!  Amen!

Brothers and sisters, we must have a firm grasp of the victory of Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, because the one who can defeat the devil today is not us, rather it is Christ to whom we are united with.  He is victorious, and only when we are united with the victorious Christ can we be victorious.  This is very pertinent to our discussions below.  Sometimes, we are fearful of the devil, sometimes we are scared of him for no good reasons; we must understand that Lord Jesus Christ had already disarmed him at Calvary, had made a public spectacle of him; in addition, Lord Jesus Christ through death entered the devil’s territory, had destroyed him so that he cannot hold the power of death over us.  When Lord Jesus was resurrected from death he said, ”I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!”  Hallelujah, praise the Lord!  Lord Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades.  It is written in the scripture: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”, that is to say, for all believers of Jesus the devil no longer holds the power of death over them because Lord Jesus is in charge.  Lord Jesus Christ not only defeated the devil on the cross, through death he entered Hades and destroyed the devil, he also resurrected and rose to high heaven.  Although the devil is the ruler of the kingdom of the air, and in Old Testament the Book of Daniel mentions Michael’s being resisted by the prince of the Persian kingdom (devil), he is powerless to prevent Jesus from rising to high heaven, because Lord Jesus is a victor over and over again, all authority in heaven and on earth are in the hands of the risen Jesus.  Brothers and sisters, when we discuss this lesson you must grasp this central theme, grasp the triumph of Lord Jesus and understand that you are united with the victorious Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 7: 1 : “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.  As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’  ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord.  ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.  I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.  Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”  We want to use this scripture passage to illustrate the circumstances inside us after we have been saved and born again.  There are many among us who used to be Buddha or idol worshipers, after they are saved and born again the church or fellow Christians will advise them that as a firm believer of Jesus they should get rid of everything that goes against the true God – idols (false gods) and related items such as tablets, pendants, decorative accessories, etc.  This is absolutely the right thing to do and must be done.  However, I am very ashamed to admit that I have been a preacher for such a long time, yet I didn’t understand this truth until the year 2005 at a special church service that I learned: not only we have to remove all external visible items related to the devil, but more importantly we must also remove what is inside us.  The scripture passage we just read is not telling us that we shouldn’t have any dealing with unbelievers.  Rather, we use this passage to explain that inside a believer there often co-exist both conditions of believing and unbelieving; even though we have become believers of Jesus but inside us we may still have a dark, unbelieving heart.  We must pray and ask the Lord to remove our dark, unbelieving heart.                       

         

1.      In Ephesians 2: 2-3 when we were dead in our transgressions and sins, who ruled over our lives?  What were the concrete manifestations?

When we were dead in our transgressions and sins, we were under the ruler of the kingdom of the air, that is, we lived under the rule of the devil.  What were the manifestations?  We followed the ways of this world; we gratified the cravings of our sinful nature and followed its desires and thoughts; and we conformed to what everybody else was doing.  What was the aim of our life?  It was the same as other people’s aim, whatever that was; some other people were gratifying their sinful nature without any restraint, and acting out their sinful desires and thoughts.  They rejected the traditional values and chose not to conform to the norm just for the sake of doing it.  In short, who lorded over us?  Even though we didn’t realize it but in reality it was the evil spirit controlling us from the inside so that everything we did was for “me and me only”.

2.      After we are saved who is our lord?

We believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord; then we are saved and born again, Lord Jesus is the lord of our lives.  Before that who lorded over you?  Perhaps it was from the outside -- the ways of the world, or maybe it was from the inside – following your sinful desires and thoughts, doing whatever that was pleasing to you, i.e. you were your own lord.  In reality, you were never your own lord; rather it was the devil, through the evil spirit and your sinful nature, lorded over you. 

3.      What do you learn from the scripture passage of 2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 7: 1

(1)   What unrighteousness do we harbor inside us?  What darkness do we have inside us? (Ephesians 4: 25 – 5: 14)

2 Corinthians Chapter 6 talks about righteousness and wickedness; light and darkness; among other things.  Before we were saved and born again we were wicked, and did many unrighteous things; how about now?  Christ is called the righteous one, by faith we are united with Christ, he is our righteousness, he is our lives; we should be righteous inside us and should get rid of all unrighteousness from within.  As to light and darkness, Christ is light, the life of Jesus Christ is bright and shiny, how could we live in darkness?  Ephesians 4: 25 – 5: 14: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”  From this scripture passage we get a glimpse of what is righteousness, what is unrighteousness, what is darkness, and what is light.  Unrighteousness represents things that displease God; while darkness and light refer especially to sexual immorality and impurity that we have just read.

(2)   In our lives, have we encountered things related to the devil or idols?

Brothers and sisters, the whole world (all countries included) is in the hands of the devil, and before we are believers we also lived under the rule of the devil; therefore, in the past we might have had something to do with the devil or idols.  For instance, we might have worshiped idols; when our children were traumatized and couldn’t talk, we might have taken their clothing to have someone bring their spirit back; we might have sought help from witch doctors to cure illness; we might have relied on Feng-Shui when buying houses; we might have studied fortune telling books or consulted fortune tellers for a variety of things such as longevity, marriage, career, fortune, etc.

(3)   Now that we are believers, what does God tell us about those things described in the last section?

2 Corinthians 6: 14-17: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.  As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’  ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord.”  This scripture passage clearly tells us that now that we are believers, whatever inside of us that are not faith related, that are of darkness, and that are of unrighteousness, we should not have any more fellowship, or relationship with them and they should be purged from us.  Verse 15: “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?”  How can we have both Jesus and the devil co-exist inside us?  In the past may be a witch doctor was called to drive away the evil spirit from us, or to treat our illness, or to have our fortune read, etc.  But now we should let Jesus be the master of our lives and should absolutely not let these devil-related things have any influence in us.  “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”  In the past we did many things as unbelievers, but now we are believers we should completely reject all those things.  Verse 16: “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.”  Indeed, now Lord Jesus Christ lives in us, we are the temple of the living God, so we should not allow anything related to idols to still linger in us.  What is God’s command to us?  Verse 17: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”  Verse 7: 1: “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Brothers and sisters, before becoming believers, we had inside us many things that were of darkness, of unrighteousness, of no faith, devil-related, and idol-related.  After coming to the Lord, we have removed all external, visible things related to our sinful past, and we no longer practice those things.  However, “no longer practicing” is not the same as “removing”.  Let me give you a most obvious example that happened to me: In 2005, I was attending a church service and God’s light came upon me regarding an incident that happened some twenty years ago:  I heard a preacher spoke some inappropriate words.  Throughout the twenty years “those words” would pop up in my head from time to time, maybe once every one to two years or once every two to three years.  Whenever that happened, I would always try not to think about it.  However, even though I tried not to think about it, it was still in my head and would pop into my head again and again.  Especially when people were praising this preacher: “He really loves the Lord,” I would think to myself: “Yeah right, if he loves the Lord he wouldn’t have said those words.”  My displeasure towards that preacher had already rooted in me and turned into bitterness.  Although I tried “not to think about it”, but it is still in me; this is totally different from “removing it”.  Let’s look at another analogy:  I live in a house, the devil was my master before, so the house had piles of devil’s trash; but now the owner of the house has changed – Christ (enemy of the devil) is the new master.  Shouldn’t we remove all the trash belonging to the devil?  In the past, we only emphasized the removal of visible things outside of our body such as Buddha, Guanyin, pendants, etc., that’s perfectly correct; however, the devil ruled not only the outside visible things, he also ruled over our minds and thoughts (spirit).  Therefore God commanded us to come out from them.  Or looking from another angle: we must drive them all out of us.  2 Corinthians 7: 1: “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”  “To purify ourselves from everything unholy” does not mean to keep from thinking about them or paying attention to them.  Even though you don’t think about them or pay attention to them, the piles of trash are still there in the corner of the house.  You must remove them.  God’s light came upon me in 2005, showed mercy to me so that I was able to rid the bitterness in me; it also made me realize how important it was to carry out the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning” of our body and spirit.  God had commanded us long time ago, and throughout generations the saints had emphasized that once you were committed to the Lord you should put an end to your past affairs; I am very ashamed to admit only now that I realize the importance of the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning”.

(4)   What is the difference between “holiness” and “purity”?

2 Corinthians 7: 1: “Purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”  Perfecting holiness means to become holy.  Getting rid of the filth is purifying; if one purifies himself and obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit to do what God asks of him then he is holy.  We often think like this:  “There is nothing wrong with what I did, I didn’t commit a sin”.  Brothers and sisters, committing no sins at best is being pure, but being holy is what pleases God – whatever God asks of you, you simply obey.  For example, if someone called you names and you didn’t get angry then you have not sinned; if you put it out of your mind, not thinking or talking about it, then at best you are being pure.  What is it like to be holy?  Maybe at that moment God would tell you to say something that might edify others and if you submitted to God’s guidance and say: “Yes, give thanks to the Lord, it’s all by God’s grace, thank you Lord.”  Now, that‘s a picture of being holy.  In our earlier lectures we used the example of Mr. Hsu: when a brother forgot to give him a ride to church, he didn’t get angry.  Not getting angry is being pure.  On the contrary, Mr. Hsu said: “Give praises to Christ, it is God who allowed him to forget.  My dear brother is a good man, thank the Lord!”  This is more than just pure, this is being holy because he followed God’s guidance and lifted up the name of the Lord on high.

      As to the questions of how to go about doing a “Spiritual Spring Cleaning” and what we are trying to clean out, I hope everyone will visit Echousa.org website to read and listen to Lesson 27 of the Lessons Topical Study Outline and also pray for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.         

4.      What would happen if we fail to purify ourselves of the contaminants described above?

Ephesians 4: 27 says: “Do not give the devil a foothold.”  God wants us to remove all the impure things in our lives, because if they remain in us then we are giving the devil a foothold, and he can use this foothold to work on us from inside.  Brothers and sisters, recently I have been to many different church services and I discovered that many people were suffering from depression and were really down emotionally.  Some of them might be related to the practice of witchcraft prior to their becoming believers – they left a foothold for the devil in them.  When a witch is called to cast out the demons, it was in fact a situation of the big demon driving out the little demon; because when the witch cast out demons she was actually relying on the evil spirit.  Later on when she becomes a believer of the Lord, and although she no longer practices witchcraft, the evil spirit is still in her.  She must proclaim: “The spirit that cast out demons get out of me!” in order to thoroughly sever this relationship, otherwise the evil spirit will remain in her.

I met a preacher (sister) she told me that she once helped someone by casting out demons but she ended up being possessed by the demons.  I told her, “Casting out demons for others but ended up being possessed is only the symptom, the real cause is that you have left a foothold for the devil in you.”  Then I asked her if she visited fortune tellers in the past, she said that she was still visiting them.  I said to her, “This is the devil’s foothold, because fortune telling is related to the evil spirit.  Christ and Belial, or the temple of God and idols cannot have any fellowship, and cannot have harmony.  If you don’t drive these evil things out of you today, they will remain in you – giving the devil a foothold or a place for him to build his nest.  Once the devil has a foothold, he will take hold of you because you and the devil are still related through fortune telling.”

A sister asked me why every time she went out to serve the Lord her son would have a fever.  Someone answered: “Let’s see if she has left a foothold for the devil in her life.  Of course I am not saying that having fever is related to the devil, if it happens once in a while that’s fine, but every time she goes to serve the son has a fever, that’s problematic.  So if we don’t remove her issues, the devil will continue to have a foothold.”  The Bible tells us that bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, etc. will provide the devil a foothold and they all have to be removed from within us.

Another sister, whenever she had a quarrel with somebody, she would be controlled by the devil; she had no idea what brought this on.  It turned out she was harboring a lot of bitterness inside and allowed the devil to gain a foothold.  In addition, the devil may put “inexplicable fear” in you: like the fear of being in a dark place, the fear of bugs, and the fear of mice (like me), these are all potential footholds for the devil.  So we must eliminate our fear to keep the devil at bay.  The devil also uses the superstitions and customs of this world to gain his foothold.  For example, some people believe that a “twitchy eyelid” signifies something bad is about to happen; when you hear “crows croak” that means someone is about to die; mahogany wood can ward off evil spirits, and so on, all these things can lead to your association with the devil.  Deuteronomy 18: 9-14: “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the Lord your God.  The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination.  But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.”  When we move from under the devil’s rule to the kingdom of the beloved Son, God sternly forbids us to continue these unholy practices; therefore we must be determined to have a clean break once and for all.  Please remember again and again, not only those external visible things that must be removed, but also those that are inside of us.

There was a sister who was determined not to engage in superstitious practices any more after she had come to Christ, however when others came to her for advice she would still teach them what to do in great detail.  She thought that it would be fine as long as she did not do those things herself, but she failed to realize that as a Christian she must have a complete break from these things – not only not to practice them but also expel them from her mind and thoughts.          

5.       After becoming a believer of Lord Jesus, what do you think is the difference between “not doing or thinking of” and “removing completely” the evil practices mentioned above?

      As we discussed above, after becoming a believer we will tell people to stop worshiping idols and false gods, among other things, and we will make sure that they follow through with it.  However, it is not enough just “not do them anymore”, we should “drive them out of our minds and thoughts”.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us, we should enumerate (with firm conviction and determination) the things we have done in the past and say: “get out of me, get out of me, the precious blood triumphs, and sever the ties.”  As an example, if you harbor bitterness in you, it’s not enough just not to think about it, because “not to think about it” is different from “removing it”.  “Not to think about it” indicates that the trash is still in the corner of the house while “removing it” is to sweep the trash out of the house.  Brothers and sisters, we have been saved and born again, Christ has set us free from the bondage of sins and we have been united with Christ and are of the Lord, and Christ is the master of our lives.  We have a choice over whether we want the things linked to the devil to be swept out of us, but if we choose to let Jesus be the lord of our life then we should command these things to leave us.  When you make up your mind to “expel” these things, they are not “removed” by your own effort; rather the Holy Spirit will remove them for you.  As an example, you hate somebody and you pray to the Lord to give you a loving heart and not to hate.  However, you have already given the devil a foothold, a nesting place; so your prayer will not have the desired effect.  Whenever the Holy Spirit reminds you, then you should pray: “Oh Lord, I am willing to stop hating this person, let the notion of hating this person flee from me; remove it from me; the blood of Jesus triumphs; sever all my ties with the devil.”  Andrew Murray once said that to confess a sin you must have the resolve to hand over your sin to God; whether you are able to do it is not up to you but up to God, what’s up to you is whether you want to put forth the resolve to do it.                

6.      The Spiritual Spring Cleaning: We thank the Lord for giving us a solid faith to follow Lord Jesus Christ, and we acknowledge him as the lord of our lives; “therefore come out from them and be separate, touch no unclean things …..”, we call the action of “come out and be separate” as the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning”.

(1)   How to offer a heart that craves to be purified to God?

      If you want to be purified, first of all you must have the attitude of mind:  Are you willing to ask the Lord to purify you from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God?  As long as you are willing, you don’t have to do anything except to offer a heart that longs to be purified to God through prayers (God’s salvation is all by grace, and through faith – i.e. calling on the name of the Lord): “Lord, I long to get rid of all the filth in me; Holy Spirit, work inside me, enlighten me and purge all impurities from me; the blood of Jesus triumphs and severs all my ties with the devil.”

(2)   You can use Psalms 139: 23-24, other scripture passages, or hymns to ask God to enlighten you.

      Let me say it again, you must listen to and read “Lesson 27 of the Lessons Topical Study Outline”.  We can sing “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  If you peacefully and sincerely sing this psalm, or if you don’t know how to sing you can read it too.  Oh Lord, I am so eager for you to purify me from everything that contaminates my body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.  When you slowly and softly pray before God, the Holy Spirit will shine upon you.  As you pray, the Holy Spirit will help you recall “those things that give the devil a foothold”:  if you recall when you were little you went with your parents to make offerings to the idols through burning paper money, then you just loudly proclaim that it be out of your body and that the blood of Jesus triumphs and severs all your ties with the devil, and that’s it, no need to say anymore.  If the thought of your past participation in “summoning the spirit” comes to you, just command it to leave you, the blood of Jesus triumphs and severs your ties to the devil.  If the thought of “somebody did you wrong and you have been harboring bitterness against that person” comes to you, likewise drive it out.  That is, whatever the Holy Spirit brings up in your mind, you just let it flee you.  I hope that brothers and sisters ask the Holy Spirit to search and test you often through the Spiritual Spring Cleaning.  The specific things that the Holy Spirit brings up you are not obligated to tell others and whether you want to mention these things in your testimony is up to you.  In summary, when you are still and come before God to pray, whatever the Holy Spirit brings to your mind you just proclaim like this: “flee from me, flee from me, the blood of Jesus triumphs and severs all my ties to the devil.”

(3)   If the Holy Spirit shines upon you and brings to your mind any unrighteousness, darkness, and things related to the devil and idols, how should we pray and proclaim?

      One thing that’s very important, if the Holy Spirit shines upon you and brings to your mind any unrighteousness, darkness, and things related to the devil and idols, you must talk about them one at a time; you shouldn’t lump them all together and say, “Lord, I am a sinner.  Lord, I beg you to forgive all my sins and remove them from me.”  This is of no use, it is not the way to do the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning”, that is just all talks.  The brother who taught us the truth of the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning” said something to us that I thought was very precious:  If you do not list these things out one by one then you have no way of knowing which one is unrighteousness, which one is darkness, and which one is of the devil, thus you cannot pin point the source of the problem and focus effectively to rid the devil’s foothold.  The Holy Spirit has his timing and ways of illuminating us.  Perhaps when you pray today God only brings up one or two things, that’s okay; or perhaps on your way back after the church, the Holy Spirit will suddenly bring up that so and so did you wrong, praise the Lord, command it to leave you.  Another example, a sister was having issues with her mother-in-law, she complained about the way her mother-in-law treated her, one time was over this, the next time was over that, etc.  When you are doing the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning”, it’s best to expose everything in detail (you don’t need to tell other people).  Once exposed, then you pray to ask for these things to flee from you completely, the blood of Jesus triumphs, praise Jesus, give glory to the Lord.  Don’t take everything down in one gulp and don’t lump them all together; the Holy Spirit brings up one thing then you deal with that thing.

(4)   Please note:  Lord Jesus particularly emphasizes, “When you pray, ‘if this comes to your mind’ ….. ‘then you should’ …..”  “if you are offering your gift at the altar and ‘there remember that’…..’then’….”  clearly shows that confessing to sins is based on the illumination of the Holy Spirit; “there remember that” means when the Holy Spirit shines upon us then we should acknowledge and confess; if the Holy Spirit does not illuminate you, then you needn’t and shouldn’t try to force it.  If you “remember” something then firmly declare: out with it, out with it, the blood of Jesus triumphs and severs my ties to the devil.  This is how we remove the devil’s nest (or foothold) in us; but we should never try to dig and uncover hidden sins.  After we firmly declare for our sins to leave, we will be set free.  If the devil wants to use the same thought to disturb us, just ignore it (by singing hymns, or recite scriptures: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  You can recite any scripture passage, just do that and pay no attention to the devil or his attempt to disturb you).  There was someone who didn’t know the devil and didn’t know that Jesus had already defeated the devil; so when he started to pray he felt a shadow coming upon him, as a result he was afraid to pray.  He said he was scared, that was because of his not knowing Jesus’ victory.  If we just exalt Jesus, the devil will run away.  The devil is just testing whether you understand the meaning of being united with Jesus.

      Brothers and sisters, carefully learn the material in this lesson and then go and listen to “Lesson 27 of the Lessons Topical Study Outline”.  Put in good efforts to do the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning” and you will be greatly set free.  If you are constantly grieving, if you harbor any feeling of bitterness, or having complaints, worries, anger, resentment, etc., ask the Lord to set you free.  As long as we firmly offer up a heart that is willing to be purified from all these contaminants, then the devil cannot have a foothold in us.  We thank the Lord for moving us from the rule of the devil to the kingdom of the beloved Son; this change not only occurs to our external visible things but also occurs to our hearts and minds through the “Spiritual Spring Cleaning” to “purify us from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”                     

      Prayer: Lord, we thank you for calling us to come out from among the world.  Lord, I want to; let me come out from among the wickedness, come out from the darkness, and come out from among the things related to the devil.  Lord, thank you, I long to be purified from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  In Lord Jesus Christ’s victorious name, amen!     

 

 

 

 

 

 


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