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Perfecting Fire

By DAVID L. WALKER

Colossians 3:1-3 the Word says," If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Verse 10 says, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Praise the Lord! We can put on the new man if we be risen with Christ. So many still confess to be flesh so they stay in the sin realm. Never overcoming as Jesus states to the seven churches in Revelation. The Lord told Cain, as our last newsletter stated, you must overcome sin or it will overcome you. Overcome means to rise above.

Romans 6: 4-7 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death. we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." Thank God we are now dead or dying to self and live in Him. It’s no longer the old person I used to be, but its now the new man I'm becoming in Christ.

Ephesians 2: 6 says, ''And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" Praise God, it’s not some future time, its now. "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4: 23-24. It’s no longer our righteousness or our holiness because we are crucified with Christ. Before we were risen with Christ our righteousness and our holiness were as filthy rags, but no longer because of our resurrection in Him. If you are saying you are still in the flesh, let me tell you about a man named Jesus, that can resurrect you from the dead, wash away your sins, fill you with His Holy Spirit and even give you His nature. Am I in the flesh, "No." I live in a fleshly body but my spirit man now controls the flesh.

 WHY WOULD I WANT TO HANG ON TO THE FLESH WHEN IT IS DECAYING
AND DYING, WHEN I CAN BECOME SPIRITUAL.

Romans 8: 3-9 says, “For what the law could not do) in that it was weak through the flesh) God sending his O1vn Son in the likeness of sinful flesh) and for sin) condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

So according to the word, God condemned sin in the flesh, so I don't want to confess I'm still a sinner, because that would mean I'm still condemned. God forgave me of all my past sins when I accepted Him into my life. It says the flesh minds fleshly things, so I no longer want to say I'm flesh. The flesh is enmity to God. Enmity means a quality of being an enemy, hostility, ill will, or opposition, according to Webster's Dictionary. So why in the world would I want to stay in the flesh or even claim it. To be spiritually minded brings life and peace. Why would I want to hang on to the flesh when it is decaying and dying when I can become spiritual, made of the heavenly material and live forever in the presence of God. Romans 8: 14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God) they are the sons of God." We are now the children of God and no longer children of the devil. "And if children) then heirs; heirs of God) and joint-heirs 'with Christ; if so be that l’ve suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Romans 8:17,19. Sons of God are those that are born not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, those that are already risen in Christ and are already resurrected from the dead in His image.

 AS WE BECOME BORN AGAIN, A NEW FIRE COMES INSIDE OF US,
THE PERFECTING FIRE OF THE HOLY GHOST.

As we grow in Christ, the perfecting fire starts to out weigh the temptational fires. We are first born of the flesh or earthy. Made of the dust as the first man Adam. As long as we remain earthy or made of the dust, the devil has a right to be in our lives. He, the devil, was commissioned to eat the dust (Genesis 3: 14). As long as I have any dust alive in me the devil has a right to come into my life. So you can see we have to go from flesh to Spirit.

We have to become the second man Adam, born of the heavenly nature. As we mortify the deeds of the flesh, the dust and its carnal nature are removed. It is replaced with a heart no longer made of two stone tablets, but now is a fleshly tablet that is teachable and moldable. As the tablet is filled, my strength and character are strengthened in Christ. We no longer think or act the way we used to, but now we think and react according to the word within us. The new nature of our new man. All of our lives, before Christ, we gave into our flesh. We would say, "No," but would end up saying, "Yes," every time. We knew it was wrong to steal, but we would end up doing it anyway. We knew it was wrong to cuss, but no matter how hard we tried, we would end up doing it anyway. It could be watching TV, smoking, drinking, getting angry, personal sins of the flesh, all things we knew were wrong, but we would give into our flesh. There was a temptational fire that would rise up inside of us. The more we would try to resist, it would seem the hotter the fire would get. It was so easy to give into our flesh to stop the fire.

 THE MORE WE STAND, THE HOTTER THE PERFECTING FIRE GETS, UNTIL IT
OVERRIDES THE TEMPTATIONAL FIRE AND PUTS IT OUT FOREVER.

When we become born again, a new fire comes inside of us, the perfecting fire of the Holy Ghost. If we don't quench the Spirit, with its perfecting ability, we will overcome all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens us. Oh, we are so sufficient in His sufficiency. Now as sons of God, we have the ability through Christ to say, "No," to our flesh and mean it, because we have been born again and are now overcomers through Him, right? Now as the temptational fire arises, lets say for example, cussing. The more we resist, the hotter the fire gets, but if we keep saying, "No," the perfecting fire starts to rise inside of us to help us overcome. The more we stand the hotter the perfecting fire gets, until it over rides the temptational fire and puts it out forever. Praise the Lord! Now our tongue is resurrected in newness of life.

THE FIRE OF PERFECTING WOULD CONVICT ME MORE AND MORE.

I used to have a problem telling jokes. I loved to make people laugh and joking was a way to do it. One day, as I read the word it said in Ephesians 5: 4) “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. The Lord was convicting me of what I was doing and in verse 5 it says, "For this ye know) that no whoremonger) nor unclean person) nor covetous man) who is an idolater) hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” So I started facing the temptational fire in this area of my life. Every time I turned around someone was wanting to tell me a new joke. I would start out saying, "No," but would end up listening anyway. The fire of perfecting would convict me more and more. Before long my, "No," meant "No," and I was able to mortify that deed of my flesh. Jesting almost always ends up in lying. There is no gray area, it is either black or white. Either its true or it’s not true. “All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death,” according to Revelation 21:8. A liar is, one who utters falsehood (Webster's Dictionary). The dictionary didn't say excluding Christians, it just gives the definition of a liar. Thank you Lord for the perfecting fire within us.

 THERE HAVE BEEN MANY TIMES IN MY LIFE WHEN I FELT MY BACK WAS
AGAINST THE RED SEA AND MY ENEMIES WERE CLOSING IN.

Every time the fire got hot for Israel in the wilderness they would murmur against God. They would wonder why they ever left Egypt. We've all been there. There have been many times in my life when I felt my back was against the Red Sea and my enemies were closing in. I would cry and complain to God and He would take me out of the fire. The next month I would be right back in the same temptational fire again. Again I would cry and God would take me out of the fire. I was going no where. Before long I was like stagnant water and was beginning to stink. I had a precious brother in Christ to tell me to stay in the fire. Quit asking to get out of it, face the test and overcome. So I stayed in the fire, I cried, but I stayed in the fire and my God parted the Red Sea. Hallelujah! Before long I learned not only to stay in the fire, but to purge myself into it to get it over with quicker. By doing this I could move on to higher realms of our Mighty God.

 WHEN WE ARE RISEN WITH CHRIST, THE HEART IS CIRCUMCISED
AND ITS FORESKIN OF FLESH IS REMOVED.

We reach a point in the Spirit where our spirit man sits upon the throne of our mind under the direction and headship of Christ. Our flesh is dethroned and no longer has a voice in our decision making. This is when the middle wall of partition in us is removed. Ephesians 2:14-16 says, "For he is our peace) who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity. even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross) having slain the enmity thereby:” We have a gentile nature when we are in the flesh. We have circumcised our flesh and made an outward appearance for Christ, but we have left the inside untouched and filthy. When we are risen with Christ, the heart is circumcised and its foreskin of flesh is removed. Deuteronomy 10:16 says, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” This is when we go from an outward adorning to an inward knowing. We no longer play or pretend to be a Christian, but we become one. This brings our heart into the grafted-in Jewish nature. Jesus' blood begins to run through our veins and no longer ours. This brings victory over the temptational fires and brings death to the deeds of our flesh because our new spiritual nature in Christ Jesus has risen to take its place. There is now no more division in our house. The battle between flesh and spirit has ceased and there is unity and oneness in our temple. Now when we raise our voices in praise to the Lord, our spirit, soul and body (flesh) are all in agreement and not headed in three different directions. We no longer have the battle going on in our minds because our spirit man operates out of our heart in tuned to Christ. The dividing wall has been removed and we now have one nature, that of the Spirit.

As the three Hebrew children faced the natural fire it became seven times hotter. Their temptational fire was raging, but as they continued and said, "No," to the King's decree, the perfecting fire out burned the temptational fire. As they were thrown into the fire, it was no longer a natural fire, but it had become the consuming fire of the Living God. The only things that were burned up were the things that held them captive. Because they stayed in the fire, the perfecting fire of the Spirit gave them the ability to walk with the Living God like never before. Our God is a Spiritual God and our flesh and blood will never know Him. We have to become His flesh and blood. As we do, the perfecting fire will always out burn the fires of temptation. Before long, we will realize like the three Hebrew children, its no longer a natural fire that surrounds us, but it is our God who is a consuming fire.

 

 

 

 

 

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