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Living by Faith (Vol 80) - The Pinnacle of Faith #16: The Already and the Not Yet (Part-4)

Sunday English Service - 07 JUN 20


Trust that you're all keeping safe and well. I am praying for you and I know that you'll be praying for me. And I know that you are joining us regularly in the Sunday services online. It's a very sad thing that we're not able to come to church and gather together there. But distance is no problem for the Holy Spirit, no problem for God. God can still bless us through the word and we can still worship as one congregation. Even though we are in different places, let's make the best use of what is available right now. And let's not allow these circumstances of life to defeat us in any way and pull us down in any way.

Be encouraged. Be strong in the Lord. Make sure that you hear the word of God regularly. Make sure that you not only participate in the Sunday services. We have Tuesday night services also coming online to you and Jeevan is preaching a wonderful truth concerning our mission that God has given to us. And you need to tune in and listen to that wonderful, great teaching. And on Friday nights we have prayer. Now we have it in English and Tamil separately. One hour each starting from 6:00 in the evening to 7:00, we have Tamil and 7:00 to 8:00 we have it in English. Come let's participate and join together and pray.

And let's go to the word of God this morning. Hebrews chapter 11. Let me read it to you from verse 35 onwards. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated - of whom the world was not worthy- wandering about in deserts and mountains and in dens and the caves of the earth.

As you know, we've been teaching Hebrews chapter 11 verse by verse for quite some time. And we have now come to this passage, verse 35 to 38, and we have stayed here for quite some time. Why? Because this is a passage concerning suffering. And therefore, it's a very important subject. Why it's so important? Because Christian believers often find it very difficult to see the connection between faith and suffering.

They usually connect it to another way. They say, “If you have faith and if you are a hero of faith,” and Hebrews 11 is about the heroes of faith, “If you’re a great hero of faith, then you must have victories and not be talking about suffering.” Suffering has no connection to a life of faith, they think. But here, in the greatest chapter on faith, after talking about the great achievements of faith until verse 34, verses 35 to 38 speaks about the sufferings. It connects sufferings. And it's very important to have a right philosophy of suffering or right understanding, biblical understanding concerning suffering, because it is a question that's in everybody's heart. Whether you like it or not, suffering is there in this world.

And every believer is asking the question, why are we suffering today? I thought we can live by faith and there won't be any suffering if you lived by faith, especially if you believed in Jesus, there won't be any suffering. Well, that is why we need to answer this question very clearly and very elaborately. And that is why we're spending some time in this. So there needs to be a proper understanding of what suffering is all about, and we need to have a biblical explanation for suffering to give to the believers. Not only that, even unbelievers have the question about suffering. They're also questioning. “Is there a God? What is he doing? Why is there suffering in this world? How can He watch and be quiet?” They wanted all the reasons why this is so, why the world is so and so on. And the bible has a lot to say about it. Bible is a book of hope. Bible is full of comfort and consolation for all these people that are looking for answers for very difficult questions in life.

The questions that have troubled them all the time. And therefore, we need to look at this thing in great detail. That is why we are looking at it for such a long time.

Now here, it says they suffered and he commends them for their faith and so on. But in Romans chapter 8, verse 14 to 25, which we've been considering, that's the passage that gives a complete teaching on suffering.

And there you find seven great truths that Paul is teaching to the Christian people. And I think these seven great truths is what enabled them to endure suffering successfully and really succeed in their Christian life even in spite of the suffering that they found in this world. Because they knew exactly what was happening.

I don't want to go through all the seven things that we have taught, but you can go back to the previous sermons and listen to them. The seven truths. We are on the seventh truth right now. The seventh truth we titled it as “The Already and the Not Yet”. Very strange title it may look like but it has great meaning.

“The Already” refers to what has been given to us by way of redemption for us to receive and enjoy at this present time in this present age, right now. The “Not Yet” has to do with the blessings that are kept for us to be received and to be enjoyed in the future age, when Jesus comes, when we are ushered into eternity. Those things are kept as an inheritance for us to inherit at that time.

So there is the already and the not yet. And the distinction is very important. If you don't know the difference between the two, you'll be in trouble because you will either not know what is available already for you to enjoy. Therefore, you’ll be like a man who's got a hundred crows sitting in the bank, laid up for you there, but you're suffering from hunger and dying of hunger, not being able to use any of those things. That'll be very sad.

On the other hand, on the other extreme, you'll go crazy sometimes thinking that what is kept there for the future age for you to receive and enjoy is already available now and that'll drive you crazy. That'll disappoint you big time. That'll lead you into real great confusion and result in totally going away from God, because you are expecting something and you don't see it right now and then you're disappointed. You thought it will be so but you’re disappointed. So these things are very important. This truth is very important.

For example, a perfect sinless life is something that is for the future when sin itself will be removed. Right now, we are a different level. We have forgiveness of sins, the punishment of sin, and the guilt of sin, we are free from. Those two things are dealt with right now. Jesus took the guilt of the punishment. So we are free from it. And every day He gives us the power over sin by the Holy Spirit and by the word of God. And He keeps us from the pollution of sin on a day-to-day basis, as we trust in Him, as we walk by the word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. So that is available for today. So there is something that is already finished and there is something that is already happening. But there is something that is laid up for the future.

And that is that sin that is surrounding us. We live in an atmosphere of sin in a world of sin. It’s always there tempting us, trying to draw us. And we are to fight it out. And the bible says we have to fight it to the point of shedding our blood sometimes. But that sin itself that is around in this world that is always trying to get us, that itself will be removed. We'll be living in a sinless world; in a world that is free from the work of the devil and sin. And there there'll be perfect life. But have you seen Christian people that expect to be perfect right now? I've seen people like that. Some people, after they have received Jesus as Lord and savior and they take baptism and they're shocked because they did something wrong. But they say, “Well, I thought I'll be perfect now because I took baptism.”

Somebody gave him that idea. Somebody told them, “Look, unless you're perfect, you can’t take baptism.” And so this guy tried to be perfect. And at one point he thinks he is perfect because for a few days he's not done anything wrong. And therefore, he comes for baptism. Only baptism is only for perfect people, according to a lot of preachers and a lot of people in the Christian circles.

And so he takes baptism and then he finds himself in sin sometimes or finds himself drawn by sin and the desire to sin and so on. And then he doubts himself and doubts his own salvation and doubts the work of the Holy Spirit. That's because of the misunderstanding that what is available for the future is already available now.

He thinks already available now, but it's not there. He gets greatly disappointed. If you think baptism is only for perfect people, I don't think you'll have anybody to baptize. And more than that, if you think it's only for perfect people, first of all, you won't have anybody to baptize.

Find me one person who can baptize who's perfect and totally sinless. You won't find anybody like that in the whole world. Therefore, there'll be nobody to baptize and there'll be no person to give the baptism. So, you need to get rid of these misunderstandings in order to really succeed in Christian life.

That's why I'm really laboring with this truth. And I will go into the practical side of it after I shared with you a little bit concerning the truth that we started talking about last week.

Last week, when we talked about “The Already and the Not Yet”, we talked about how the indwelling spirit, the spirit of God that has been given to us to reside in us is the one through whom we have a foretaste of the powers of the age to come. That is why the Holy Spirit is described by those three words we talked about last week. The word first fruits, what is the meaning of first fruit? That means this is the first fruit and there's more coming. So what is going to come? The powers of the age to come, the joy, the peace, the victory, the success of the age to come, the perfection of the age to come is enjoyed in some measure as a first fruit right now in this present age, in this present life. That's what first fruit is. Therefore, we are people as Hebrews 6:5 says people who have tasted of the powers of the age to come. You have tasted heavenly joy, heavenly peace, heavenly success right now.

Similarly, another word, guarantee is another word that is used of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit residing in you is a guarantee. Guarantee of what? Guarantee means a down payment of the full payment that you're going to receive in the future age when Jesus comes. The down payment has come and it gives you the guarantee that the rest is coming also. This is part of what is going to receive in the future age. Therefore, you are now, once again, tasting the powers of the age to come. All that you're going to enjoy, the perfection is tasted in some measure here. There is the limitation here. There's a measure here. You don't taste it in a perfect fullness. You taste it in a certain measure here.

The third word we talked about is the word seal. First fruits, guarantee, and seal. What is seal? Seal is the sign that the Holy Spirit serves us. That indwelling Holy Spirit in you is the sign that you belong to God, that you are God's own possession. And that will enable you to one day show up before God and receive your inheritance when Jesus comes.

So these three words we talked about. And today I want to go in and talk about one more thing. I want to talk about how the Holy Spirit plays a great role in the resurrection. Paul in his mind is thinking like this. He thinks that the Holy Spirit is the one that raised Jesus from the dead. And if you look at the work of the Holy Spirit in raising Christ from the dead and the role of the Holy Spirit in the resurrected life of Jesus, the post resurrection life of Jesus, then you will understand how your resurrection is going to happen and what you will be in your resurrected state. “You will understand these things,” he says. In other words, his thinking is you look at Jesus and His resurrection because He's the first fruit, you will understand what you will look like later on when that happens to you and how it'll happen to you and what you look like and what you'll experience is seen in Jesus, in the resurrection of Jesus, and in the resurrected life of Jesus. So with that in mind, he speaks this.

So let me read you from Romans chapter 1. Romans chapter 1, let me read to you from verse 1 onwards, but I wanted to concentrate basically on verse three and four, but for the sake of context, I'll read this. Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning His Son… And now he's going to describe the Son and the Son's life as a human being and then the Son’s resurrection and how He was declared to be the Son of God through resurrection and so on.

So the prophets have prophesied concerning the Son and the gospel. So now he's describing the Son who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead… Now that may look like complicated, but let me analyze this for you quickly and very briefly.

He's here contrasting certain things and please look at that. The first contrast is between where He descended from when He came as a human being. His descent is very important. We are born in a particular town, particular race, and language group and so on. So descent is very important. So he's tracing the descent of Jesus in His physical birth in this earth, right?

And then he contrasts it with the declaration that He is the Son of God. When God raised Him from the dead and through raising Him from the dead, He declared Him to be the Son of God. So there is a contrast between the descent of Jesus, where He came from in His physical human life. And then it talks about the declaration of Jesus as the Son of God, alright? The two contrasts, in His descent and then His declaration.

The second contrast is between the two phrases, according to the flesh, and according to the spirit of holiness. In His human life as a human being, when He came into the world, born into the world, lived in this world, He lived according to the flesh. That doesn't mean He was a worldly person or something like that. No. It’s in another sense. According to the flesh means the life principle of every human being is that we live a life as a human being. That's what “according to the flesh” means. So He lived in this world according to the flesh, as a human being in flesh. In a body of flesh, He lived here, right?

But when He was raised again, He lived with another life’s principles. The existence post resurrection of Jesus was not according to the flesh. It is according to the spirit of holiness. Not only was He raised by the spirit of God, but thereafter, it was completely that kind of a spiritual life another kind of existence, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit of holiness, alright?

And the third contrast is between two expressions. That is from David. He traces His physical descent as being the son of David coming in the lineage of David. From David contrasted with by the resurrection of the dead. From David, by the resurrection. His physical existence, His identity was that He was a son of David. He came as a descendant of David. And when He was raised again His identity was, where did he come from? Where did He descend from in His resurrection? In Acts chapter 13, I think it was 32 to 33, there Paul talks about the resurrection of Jesus.

He says that on the third day He raised Him. And when He raised Him, He said, it seems, “Thou art, My Son. This day, I have begotten Thee.” When He raised Jesus from the dead God said, “Thou art My Son, this day, I have begotten thee,” and raised Him up. So the day that Jesus was raised up is the day that He was born, in a sense. “This day I have begotten Thee,” that means this day I have given you birth. Revelation 1:5 also says that He's the first born from the dead, from among the dead. So in a sense that was His birthday, the resurrection day. That's the way the Bible talks about it.

So in a physical sense, He came as a descendant of David, came from David. That is where He came from. But when He was declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection, where did He come from? What is His source? Where did He come from? God says, “You are My Son. You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.”

Now, why is he talking about this? He’s talking about this because he wants us to see that when Jesus was born in this world and lived in this world, yes, He had the power of the Holy Spirit, He ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit. The bible says He cast out devils, healed the sick by the anointing. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit as he did it. Jesus Himself said that by the power of the Holy Spirit, He cast out demons. Yes, the power of the Holy Spirit was working in Him. But the same Holy Spirit that was working in Him, working with Him on the resurrection day raised Him from the dead.

Now, you read that in Romans chapter 8 and in verse 11, it says if the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through the spirit dwells in you.  In other words, if the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He will do the same thing to you because He's dwelling in you. And what is he going to do? He will give life in your mortal body. When one day when you are risen from the dead, it will be the Holy Spirit that will be quickening you back to life. He will give you a new life.

Now, when you’re risen again and you are risen from the dead, you're going to live a totally different kind of existence, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit of holiness. And that is a totally spirit-ruled life. Well in the life of Jesus on earth, yes, He was led by the spirit and we are also led by the spirit of God. “They that are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” the bible says, right? So we are also led by the spirit of God. But when we are raised back from the dead and when we are ushered into that eternity, it'll be a totally spiritual life lived, totally ruled by the Spirit. That's what the bible says.

Alright, let's read one more passage. 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Let me read to you verse 42 onwards. Talks about how our body will be changed and what is going to be the difference between the body now and the body when we are resurrected, what kind of change is brought about by the Holy Spirit. So it with the resurrection of the dead verse 42. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. So when you die and when you're buried, it's a perishable body. When you're raised again from the dead, it’s an imperishable body.

It is sown in dishonor. He’s talking about the body like a sowing sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness. It is a weak body that is sown. It is affected by sin. It has got all the signs of the curse that came as a result of sin. That's why it's called the body of sin. What happened in the fall? You can see in the body, it gets old, it gets weak, it gets sick, and it dies and so on.

That is why it's a body that shows the fact that the creation and human beings have entered into a slavery to corruption. They're caught in this web. There is no way to get out of it. You're caught in this. Therefore, all men die. Death has set in. So it says, this is a body that's perishable, it will be raised imperishable. It is a body of dishonor, it will be raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. See the difference between this body right now that we have and the body that we will have when we receive immortality and when we are raised to life and when we live forever? Then it says it is sown a natural body and it will be raised a spiritual body. So it will be a body that is totally ruled by the Spirit of God energized, empowered by the spirit of God, he says, alright?

So Paul characterizes the resurrection state as a state in which the spirit rules, alright? So the spirit not only was in the life of Jesus doing great wonders and miracles and so on through him, but He raised Him from the dead and then raised Him from the dead but didn't stop for that. He directs the resurrection body after the resurrection. So to Paul, when he looks at the exalted Lord, the risen Lord, there he sees already in Him, the future of the redeemed people of God. He can see what we will be like. He looks at Jesus and says, “I know what we’ll be like, what our future state will be.”

Now one more point needs to be told here. 2 Corinthians chapter 3 and verse 18, the last verse. And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. It looks like it's very difficult to understand, but it's very simple. Let me explain this to you.

What is he talking about? If you read the context, he's talking about the word of God and what happens when we go and read the word of God and live by the word of God. Read, meditate, and practice the word of God. What happens when we look at the word of God it serves like a mirror. Usually when you look at your physical mirror at your home, you'll be looking at your face. Your physical body is what you see. But in this mirror, the word of God, you see not your physical self, you will see your inside, your spirit. You will see the glory of God that is there inside of you because the Holy Spirit lives in you. You are a new creation, old things are passed away. Old things have become new.

So when you go to the bible, it shows you who you are in Christ. You're in Christ’s reality. That is why reading the bible is so important. Meditating upon it is so important because as a believer, you need to know who you are. Who are you? You're not just this flesh thing that you see on the outside. Something more than that. There is the glory of God residing in you and the spirit of God lives in you. Inside you are a glorious person, alright? And as you behold that glory, as you look at the word of God, it keeps showing you who you are really spiritually on the inside. And as you keep looking at it, what happens? You are transformed into that same image. Into which image? The image that you're looking at, the glory that you're looking at. You're transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

That means every day, as you read, meditate, and practice the word of God, you go from glory to glory, one degree of glory to another. It's a great improvement. There's a great change. The glory you see on the inside begins to manifest itself on the outside. You become that kind of a person more and more and more.

I remember somebody asked me some years ago, whether I'd like to be 20-year-old again, because I was talking about how God led me and guided me when I was 20 years old and how God has wonderfully blessed me at that time and met my needs and so on. They said, “Would you like to be 20-year-old again to experience all that?

Certainly not. You know why? Because 20 year old, I remember being very foolish, ignorant, afraid, and there were so many things that I have today that was missing when I was 20 years old. I didn't have knowledge and I didn't know the Lord that much. And I didn't know the word of God so much.

I've grown a lot over the years and began to understand a lot over the years. And it's been a blessing to me. So, I don't really want to go back to 20 year old because I would lose all of that

Already my hair has gone gray. And if I'm getting a little older, I'll keep what I've got because I've come a long ways going from glory to glory to glory. And if I keep going like this, listen to this, this is why Paul is talking about this. See how I'm going from glory to glory to glory. When I look at the word of God, when I meditate on it, when I practice it, the spirit of the Lord, see, this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit, it says. So the spirit of the Lord takes this meditation and the practice of God's word. And using that, He brings about a transformation in me. That's how I go from glory to glory. Every day, I'm getting better and better. And if I keep going like that, then when Jesus comes, the glory that I will receive and the glory that I will enter into and experience will be just infinite times more than this. In other words, what I'm going to have ultimately when Jesus comes and when I enter into glory, I am already having a foretaste of by the Holy Spirit right now. The marvelous, spiritual, miraculous, supernatural change that is happening inside of me and you. I hope you understand that. So the future is being enjoyed right now in some measure, not in a perfect way, but in some measure. That's what you need to understand. Alright.

So there is the connection between what is happening right now. That is why Paul is sharing all this. There is a continuity and connection between what is happening right now and what we are going to enjoy tomorrow, in the future age, when Jesus comes back, right? In every way, there is a connection. In the work of the Holy Spirit, now the Holy Spirit leads us and guides us, but there it will be totally rule of the Holy Spirit, completely dominated by and governed by, and it'll be a spiritual life, Spirit-ruled life.

What that is going to be we are enjoying in some measure right now. That is what he's trying to say by all of these things. So the Holy Spirit living in the believer is a foretaste of heaven, is a foretaste of the future age, is a foretaste of the blessings of redemption enjoyed fully and completely in the future age. It’s a foretaste.

Alright, now let's go to the practical side of things. Why am I laboring with this so much? Why we are concentrating on this so much and looking at it so much. What is the reason for doing this? The reason is this, when you don't understand that there are things to be enjoyed right now and some measure of the future glory is being enjoyed right now or not fully, not completely, some measure of it is enjoyed right now, if you don't understand that, then you'll go berserk. Because if you think that you have the total measure right now, that's the most dangerous thing. Especially with regard to the things that are laid up for the future, people have a great confusion. That is where you get confused. On the one hand, there are people that don't understand what they already have. That is one problem. But I think this is even a bigger problem. There are some people who think that what is laid up for the future is already available now and they’re reaching out for that, they're expecting that. What a great disappointment the people will experience if we preach like that and expect people to have that kind of life.

For example, like I told you about the baptism issue. If you preach saying that you could be perfect in this life, it’s a ready-made disaster. Such a Christian who goes to a place where they teach that you can live a perfect Christian life today, you can have sinless perfection right now by the power of the Holy Spirit or whatever it is. Believe me, I was told such things when I was growing up. Therefore, I could never understand my spiritual life, never succeed, frustrated time and again. I got saved about a dozen times. I went to one man and said, “I'm having this problem and I don't know why. I'm saved, I’m baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit and all that. But look, I got problems with sin.” The guy looked at me and said, “You're not properly saved.” He talked to me as if I have to get saved all over again, because my salvation is not the proper salvation, not what I should have got.

I didn't get what I should have gotten. One fellow told me, “You come to this meeting and there, the anointing of the Holy Spirit will fall and burn away all your sins. That's what you need. You needed a touch from heaven. Holy Spirit touch from heaven. All the sins will be burnt off.” I went and it got burnt off.

And I thought, ‘Oh my God. Wonderful. Holy Spirit fell on me and all sins are burnt off. Hereafter, I’ll have are no problem with sin. Will not have to face sin at all.’ And I came back. Just like a third day resurrection, all the sins got resurrected again. All the temptations, sin, all was there. And I was having the same old problem again.

And I just could not understand. Could not understand spiritual life at all, because there is a fundamental flaw in the way they taught it, you see.

That is why this is so important. You should never teach what is going to come as what is already available. There is no greater disservice that you can do to people that belong to your church or that come under your care spiritually than doing this. You got be very careful. You've got to be careful to preach about what they are to enjoy right now, receive and enjoy right now, lead them and guide them into that. But you've got to be careful to give them the hope concerning the things that are stored up for the future, to be enjoyed in future. This difference must be made. Otherwise, it's going to be a great problem. And that is why in this area, particularly with regard to things like what is stored up for the future, there's a great deal of confusion.

When I shared with you about people who claim too little versus people who claim too much, and people going to the two different extremes, I gave you two examples about people who claim too much. That is people who think that what is kept for us as a future inheritance as something that is available. Two examples I gave you. One is the people that believed in the entire sanctification and a doctrine called entire sanctification.

It's just a name that they gave for people who believe that you can be perfectly sanctified, you can reach a hundred percent sanctification right now in this life. Entire sanctification. And then we talked about also another example of people that believed that we will be manifest as the sons of God. It's a misunderstanding of Romans chapter 8 and verse 19, where it says the whole creation, waits eagerly for the manifestation of the sons of God.

It's talking about how the creation also has fallen as a result of man’s sin and become slave to the corruption. It is also deteriorating and in a corrupt state. So that when man's body experiences redemption, he gets bodily redemption. And when he is glorified, when he's manifested as the son of God, he's already the son of God, when he is manifested, when his body receives immortality, the creation will be glad to see it because the creation also will return to that state in which God intended it to be. It'll be free from the state of corruption. That is what it's talking about. It's talking about something that's going to happen when Jesus comes.

When Jesus comes, we'll be transformed. We'll receive a new body. We’ll receive an undying, immortal, imperishable body and we’ll live forever. Dead will be raised. Those that are alive will be transformed. It's talking about that, the manifestation of the sons of God, so that the world will see that these people are the sons of God glorified. And they take that and they talk about the manifestation of the son of God as something that will happen in this present age. As a result of our spiritual life, as we grow, we can make it happen. That you can grow and grow and grow in knowledge and power, living this Christian life and it'll become explosive and you'll become so powerful, you become so dynamic. And the fact that you're a son of God will be evident. You will even reach immortality right now in this present age. You will not die. And you'll be manifest as the sons of God with great power and authority doing mighty great things. Sounds good. But the manifestation of the sons of God is not something that can happen right now. We have to wait until the coming of Jesus for it to happen. The Bible is very clear about it.

I told you 45 years ago, I met some people that believed that it's happening right now. They believed as if God… That's the greatest thing that God is doing right now. All the time, they'll be preaching about that. Anytime they get up to preach, they'll be talking about the manifestation of the sons of God and how that we will have immortality and all of that in this present age.

That you can work toward it and that's where we are headed and that's what the Holy Spirit is doing. He is raising up a generation of people like that and so on. And they'll go to the scriptures and try to prove that as if that is the thing that God was doing right now, that's the greatest thing that God is doing.

That's the greatest thing that we must move toward. So all the people that followed them were following that track. Their goal was to live in such a way that they'll participate in the manifestation of the sons of God. That they'll make it happen because they believe that Jesus will not come until the sons of God are manifested. Until the manifestation of the sons of God happens, Jesus will not come. So manifestation of the sons of God must happen and they will rule the world. They will have such power and authority bring everything under subjection. They'll become a tremendous force to reckon with in this world. They will grow in power and authority to such a level and bring everything under subjection, bring everything under our feet. And then Jesus will come after they subject everything and bring under the feet of man. Then Jesus will come.

The bible teaches exactly the opposite. It says Jesus will come. And He, by His power, will bring everything and subject everything to Himself. I'll read you the verses. I encountered these people 45 years ago.

This is a great example of the confusion between the already and the not yet. I saw these people 45 years ago, and I thought that was something new phenomenon at that time, because they're always talking about a new revelation they have received that. This is the new thing that God was doing.

“All the other stuff is old; Pentecost is old and all [inaudible 00:40:01] is old but this is the new thing that God is doing,” they said. So I wondered why God is doing a new thing. Everybody was talking about God was doing a new thing, manifests sons of God, immortality. That's a new thing.

Then I found out about 260 years ago, John Wesley experienced in his meetings. Let me read you what he says concerning that. John Wesley says, he writes of a certain fanaticism that occurred during the revival in the city of London in 1762. That's about towards 260 years, right? And that brought a great reproach upon his organization and the message of sanctification at that time. See, John Wesley emphasized sanctification a lot.

So whenever you emphasize something, there's a chance that some people will take it to the ultimate extreme. So that's exactly what happened. He was preaching a message of sanctification. A lot of people repenting, sinners coming to God, transformed their lives, totally changed and so on. Wonderful things are happening.

And look at this, Wesley writes, “Easily foreseeing that Satan would be endeavoring to sow tares among the wheat, I took much pains to apprise them of the danger particularly with regard to pride and enthusiasm.” See even revival happens, when people are getting sanctified and living their sins and getting right with God and living a holy life, when such a wonderful change happens in people's lives, the devil knows how to topple them.

One, he brings pride. Make them think that they’re so super spiritual, holier than thou attitude. And the other thing is he causes enthusiasm to cross all limits and go into craziness and fanaticism. See, enthusiasm is good, but fanaticism is wrong. We want enthusiasm but we don't want fanaticism. We want enthusiasm, we don't want craziness. So these two things, two dangers, Wesley was aware of. So he warned the church about these two dangers. And as long as he was with them, he says, they were okay. He says, “I took much pain to apprise them of the danger, particularly with regard to pride and enthusiasm. And while I stayed in town, I had reason to hope they continued both humble and sober-minded.” That means they were humble and they were not going crazy in their enthusiasm. “But almost as soon as I was gone, enthusiasm broke in.” That means enthusiasm began to cross all limitations, craziness, fanaticism showed up.

How? Listen to this. “Two or three began to take their own imaginations for impressions from God.” He writes in the language of that time. He says there are two, three people that were imagining something. They were into this doctrine of sanctification, which is a good thing. And they were going, crossing the limits in their imagination of perfect sanctification and so on.

They took their imaginations for impressions from God. They mistook their imaginations to be God speaking to them and God revealing something wonderful to them. And what did they do? They began to suppose that they should never die. See what leads to what. See, when you decide that you can be totally sinless and totally be free from sin and completely be sinless a hundred percent, then the natural corollary or consequence of that is that you won't die. See, that is why when we reach a sinless perfection, when Jesus comes, sin will be removed. The presence of sin itself will be removed. I said, right now, only the guilt and the punishment of sin is removed from us because Jesus took it.

And every day we are freed from the power of sin and from the pollution of sin as we depend on the Holy Spirit and the word. But the presence of sin is there. We have surrounded by sin, tempted by sin, all the time. We are to fight sin, stand against sin even to the point of shedding blood. That's the way it goes right now in this world.

But when Jesus comes, that will be completely gone. We will live in a sinless world, in a world free from the devil's influence. There won't be sin anywhere. And at that time only immortality also happens because the two things go together, sinlessness and immortality. You can't have one without the other.

You can't have immortality without sinlessness. Sin is what brought death. So they thought about sanctification in a limitless way and went beyond the boundaries of the already and thought of perfect sanctification. And therefore, thought that immortality also is possible right now, that they should not die.

And what these people did, “They were laboring to bring others into the same opinion.” That means they wanted other followers. They wanted others to follow them. “And occasioned much noise and confusion.” And because of that, they raised the big issue and brought a great deal of confusion among the believers who were experiencing that great revival phase.

All happened not because the Bible says so, because they thought God was speaking to them and telling them, “This is the truth.”

I found 45 years ago among this group that I was encountering that believed similarly. Same problem, you see. They're always talking about, God told me this. “What did God tell you?” they'll ask you. When you see them in the morning, they'll say, “Did God speak to you anything? Anything new God is telling you?” And when some preacher came to preach to them, they always said, “Is there any new revelation, brother? Is God showing you something new, something that we never knew before?” So they're always hunting for something new. And there were guys always coming around saying, “Well, I got something new for you. God told me this. God told me that.” And immediately they'll start writing. In fact, I'm not exaggerating, in fact, some of these guys will stand up and they'll say, “I say to you, by the spirit of God, thus says the Lord, and you can write what I'm going to say right now in the back white pages of your bible.”

And I never understood what they're talking. I thought… See, the English bibles, I remember those days there'll be at least two, three pages, blank, white pages in the end. I guess they left it with good intention so that we can make some notes on it and write some things if you don't have a piece of paper. Just temporarily, you can write there. I guess they left it like that.

And these people say, “Write it in the back pages of the bible, because I'm saying, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ You know what they're meaning? They’re meaning that the God of the bible who gave us the bible, the word of God has not stopped speaking after the bible was written. He is a living God. He's still speaking. And I agree with that. I have no problem with that. That God is still speaking. God still speaks and God can speak to people today. But to equate that with the bible is very wrong. It's only later on, I understood. I was just 20, 21 years old at the time, and I couldn't understand what they were saying when they said, “Write it in your bible, in the back pages of your bible.”

What they were saying is the bible doesn't end with revelation 22. Now you write the 23rd chapter. I'm telling you thus says the Lord, write it down. That's exactly what they were meaning it seems. Later on only I found out. Because they want you to take the word that they've spoken, the revelation they've spoken as the word of God, equal to the bible and added to the Bible.

And the bible says when you add to it, you're cursed. When you take the bible and preach it, they won't be writing notes or anything. When somebody said I got a revelation. You will write it down, put it in the back of your bible. I say to you, “Thus says the Lord,” they'll start writing busily.

And it is from this type of people that this whole problem arose. And then they'll think of this revelation and then they'll twist all the scriptures to suit their revelation. So the revelation didn't come from the bible, that revelation was something outside of the bible, but then they tried to squeeze it into the bible and read that revelation in the bible verses, and which is wrong.

You need to bring out what is in the bible, not squeeze in what you brought into the scriptures. And this is a great problem. And especially, we are to be very careful with prophecies and so on because prophets like to make people think that their word is final and they have spoken and it’ll be so. They want you to treat it like that. But the thing is, the bible says, let one prophecy, let others judge 1 Corinthians 14. When a person prophesies others must judge. Have you heard anybody say anything about that right now? Nobody will say anything about it right now. It’s the problem with the church today. Let one prophecy, let others judge.

You're supposed to judge. If we judged, it's not wrong. What do we mean by judge? Judge means judge it by the word of God. I believe God speaks even today and let God speak through the prophets. Let God speak through these men of God who hear from God and so on. But I have been given a standard measure by which I can judge everything that is spoken today. And the standard and the measure is the word of God.

And I'm obligated to do that. Don't tell me I need to just take in and open my mouth and swallow everything that everybody says. And they say, “Thus says the Lord.” I don't have to. And people do that every day.

I remember one person told me because the son got divorced or something like that and they said, “Well, brother, how can it go wrong? Because God spoke and then only I did it. Because God showed only I did.” I said, “What do you mean God showed? He said, “So and so prophesied and told me that this is the girl that God has for your son. Then how can God do this end up in a divorce?” I said, “Sister, God didn't speak obviously.” I said to her, “Doesn't God speak to you? God speaks only to that man who told you that? Don't you have any contact with God? Doesn't God speak to you? Doesn't the Holy Spirit live inside of you? Don't you have a Bible? Don't you have any idea for what kind of girl you want for your family, your son, and so on? Doesn't your son read the Bible? Doesn't he have any idea of what kind of person he wants to marry? Doesn't God speak to him? You simply did what someone else told you without ever checking into this. You simply believed his word because you believe his word is equal to God's word. If he has spoken, God has spoken. Well God may say something like that to a person, but you're never supposed to just follow something that somebody said without checking it to see whether it's in line with the scriptures, with the word of God, without you yourself, discerning the will of God for your life. All this problem will not be there if you just read the bible, practiced what the bible says, and obeyed God and walked by the word of God. When it comes to marriage and all you'll know the will of God and you'll be guided properly. You don't need anybody to tell you.”

I remember one guy came to me and said, “Pastor is a great pastor Bhakta.” There's a lot of people like that in this world. I don't like that. They think we are gods. Pastors are gods. “Whoever you point your finger at, that person I will marry. You just point your finger I'll marry that person because I believe you.” I don't know if he believes God or not, but he believes me. He likes me. “Point your finger and I’ll marry. I said, “Hey, first of all, let me tell you. You don't need a marriage. You need some sense. You don't need to marry because you're a dangerous person to enter into marriage. Your marriage will be a failure if you entered into it like this. You don't need a marriage. You need a lot of sense, man. You need to go read your Bible, get in a relationship with God, get to understand what God's word says, and be led by the spirit of God. They that are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

See these are the very guys who say now as a great Bhakta of yours, “You point and I’ll marry”. Tomorrow, they'll say, “He pointed and that's why I married. That's why it's a failure. That man is not a good man.” So they'll disqualify us. So I am not impressed by these people. I told him, “You don't need a marriage. You better not get married. You're a dangerous person. First go and get yourself some knowledge, come up with a good idea of what kind of marriage you want to have and what kind of future you want to have and what God's will is for your life and what kind of thing you must desire. When it comes to marriage, God holds you responsible.”

Nobody else can just push something over on you no matter how great they are. See, these are things that are not told today. And this is how these doctrines come about. These people that have revelations and so on, they have a new revelation. This is the new thing that God is doing. This is the language they will use in those circles.

I had a pastor friend of mine abroad when I was studying. And he became a pastor of a church which was a troubled church that was having a lot of trouble. Any pastor that came there left within a few months. And when he went there, he found out why everybody left.

There were two ladies there that were considered prophets. And if the pastor did not bend to their will, if they did not do things according to their pleasing, if they did not follow their whims and fancies and do what they say, they will quickly start prophesying against him. Immediately, the people believed that God has spoken and they will chuck the pastor out.

He found that out and he got up one day… He's a very knowledgeable person. He got up on the pulpit one time and he told them, it seems, he said. “All right. I understand that you have prophets here and prophecies happen here. Wonderful. But let me tell you, when you prophesy the Bible asks that when one prophecy let others judge. So hereafter when they prophesy, let them prophecy, but I, myself and some of the elders of this church will judge. All others engage in judging. Think about whether it's according to the word of God, whether God is speaking or whether they're speaking it of their own, because of some reason. We'll judge, we’ll discern. God will give us discernment through the knowledge of God's word and through the Holy Spirit that lives in us. So let them prophesy and others will judge.”

And you know, from that time prophesying stopped in that church. Why? They should have continued to prophesy. If they're prophesying right, they'll be accepted. There's no problem with it. They stopped because all their mischief cannot happen anymore. They cannot mislead people because now people are judging. They're going to be caught. See, this is how this whole misunderstanding concerning Romans chapter 8 came about, Romans chapter 8:19, about the manifestation of the sons of God and immortality and so on, back in those days, I remember. So they said, “God is raising up a new generation. God is doing a new thing. They are going to be so powerful. They're going to take over the world, bring everything under subjection to our feet. Then Jesus will come. He cannot come until we bring everything under subjection.” But the bible says that Jesus will come and do it. He will bring everything under subjection. Only when He comes, everything will be brought under subjection.

And only when he comes, the manifestation of the sons of God will happen. And manifestation of the sons of God is basically glorification. And glorification is where our mortal bodies become immortal. Perishable bodies become imperishable. That is connected with the event called the second coming.

And if you fail to see that, there’ll be trouble. Let me read to you some verses. Turn with me to Philippians chapter 3, Philippians 3:20 and 21. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body.

“We’re waiting for the coming of Jesus,” he says, “from heaven.” And when He comes, what will He do? He'll transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body. How can anything be even clearer than this? By the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. All of these things happen at one of the same time, when He comes. We are awaiting His coming.

When He comes, He's going to do one thing, transform our lowly body into like His glorious body. And at that time He will also subject all things to Himself.

Turn with me to another verse, 1 Corinthians chapter 15:23 first. But each in his own order, he talks about resurrection, how it will happen in a certain order. Christ the first fruits. First, the resurrection of Christ. That is Christ is the first fruits. You want to know what your resurrection is going to be like? Look at the first fruits. That gives an indication of what's going to happen. Christ the first fruits, then at this coming those of belong to Christ. That is us. That is how the resurrection is going to happen.

Then read verse 50, 50 onwards. I tell you brothers, listen to this flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed for this perishable body must put on imperishable and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Clearly talking about the resurrection and when it's going to happen, what is going to happen, and so on.

Perishable will put on imperishable and mortal will put on immortality then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” It is not something that you can make happen. It is something that He makes happen. You don't try to make it happen. He makes it happen.

Now let's turn to 1 John chapter 3. Just one verse let me read. 1 John chapter 3:2. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; “It has not happened yet,” he says. But we know that when He appears, talking about the second coming, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

So it’s very clear that when He appears, we shall be like Him. The next verse says, and everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. It's a matter of hope. It’s something that we are hoping for. And as we live our life today, we're expecting the Lord Jesus to come. Therefore, we live a pure life and we take victory over sin on a day-to-day basis by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the word of God, keep ourselves pure as He Himself is pure.

See, these are things that the bible clearly teaches. But yet Romans chapter 8 is misunderstood terribly. How do you interpret Romans chapter 8? Very simple. 14 to 16th verse in Romans chapter 8 says that we are sons of God. We are already sons. We’re not going to become sons. Already sons, right?

And verse 17 and 18 says that if we are sons, we are heirs. And if you're heir, then you'll also inherit His suffering. Not only the blessing, the sufferings are inherited. Therefore, you suffer in this world. And then in verse 18, he says the suffering of this present time is nothing compared to the glory that you're going to get in the future age.

So suffering is part of this life because of two reasons. One, you live in the kingdom of God. Jesus is your King. And there is a kingdom in this world under which you live and authorities under which you live. Sometimes the two are in conflict. They say one thing and God says another thing. When it comes to a tussle between the two, you go with God and therefore, a conflict is created. Therefore, you might suffer.

That is how in the first century when they demanded that they confessed Caesar as Lord, the Christians could not do it. Therefore, they died. So that's how suffering happens. Because of the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world under which we live in.

But there is a second reason for suffering the bible clearly says. And that is because the world is an imperfect world. How can you not understand it? And how can you not understand it at a time like this? Look at the imperfect world we live in. The whole world is locked down. Everybody's suffering. Even if you don't personally suffer the disease, everybody suffers as a result of the lockdown.

So Christians and those are not Christians, anybody, everybody suffers. How can anyone say, “I'm not suffering,”? They're all suffering in some way because of the perfect present condition of the world, this fallen world, which is under a curse, which is under bondage to corruption. Because of that, we suffer.

There are sufferings that are generally affecting the whole world, and that becomes our suffering also many times. You can't say no to that. So the two reasons, one is because of the kingdom of God and kingdom of the world, the other is because of the imperfectness of the world. That's what 17 and 18th verses say. They say suffering is something that belongs to the present time.

And then 19th verse says the whole creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Why? Because creation itself is suffering under the bondage to corruption. It wants to be freed from it. It can only be freed from it when human beings are freed from corruption, when their body becomes a perfect undying body. Then only the creation itself will experience its redemption.

That's why it's waiting. Not only creation is waiting eagerly. Verse 23 says we ourselves who have received the first fruits of the spirit, we wait and groan within ourselves for the adoption, which is the redemption of our body. And then verse 24 says for in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Very clear. Commenting on this whole thing Paul says this is a matter of hope. What is the matter of hope? The coming of Jesus and the manifestation of the sons of God, the redemption of our body, and the creation being freed from the bondage to corruption.

All of this is going to happen. And it's something that belongs to the future. It is something that is connected with a second coming of Christ. And therefore, it is not already. It is the not yet. It is something that belongs to the “not yet”. And if you bring it in and confuse it with the already, you are mixed up then. Just imagine the kind of confusion it'll cause in a believer when you direct him in that way and tell him that this is what is going to happen, make his all life aim at that thing that is going to be manifest as the son of God and that he must make it happen and that he must achieve this immortality in this life and so on. It will cause such a mess, my friend. Such a craziness, such a fanaticism, and it will completely ruin the person's spiritual life and totally end up in disappointing instead of bringing comfort and consolation and peace for that person.

The bible is full of hope. In the midst of the suffering of this world the bible gives hope, comfort, consolation, something to look forward to. Instead of doing that you're causing wrong expectations. And when you cause the wrong expectations, there’ll be so much damage. Sometimes some people just walk away from God, from faith in God because of all this craziness.

And I hope that I've put this message forth very clearly. It’s very clear. If you want to summarize it, it's very clear. The hope of the Christian is one day that he'll be delivered from the corruption that has set in into this world as a result of sin and he will to be transformed. And his body will become like the glorified body of Jesus Christ.

And that hope is inseparably linked with the second coming of Jesus. The both are linked. The two events happen one and the same time. And the manifestation of the sons of God is something that cannot happen in the middle, in the present age. It is connected with that. It is the glorification that it's talking about. And it can happen only when Jesus comes. And until that time we have to deal with sin. We have to deal with devil. We have to live in a world where we have to put up a struggle against these things and win against these things. That is why the power of the Holy Spirit is given, the word of God is given. We need to teach people how to win victories against sin and against Satan and so on using the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Then only they'll have a successful life.

And as long as we are in this present time, in this present age, until the coming of Jesus, we have to deal with sin and the devil and so on.

And when we don't understand that, the total Christian life becomes a mess. When we understand that, there is comfort, consolation, there is power, there is success in life. God wants you to succeed in life. God wants you to live for him, achieve great things in this life. But it's all in the context of this fact that we live in this world of imperfection.

There is the already and the not yet. So we go about enjoying what is already available and wait for that which is to come with patient hope. Well, we'll continue that next week. Let's all pray, bow our heads in prayer.


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