[An Advanced Study]
You may not be clear regarding the title of this teaching.† But as many of you know, itís meaning will be crystal clear as the teaching develops.† The teaching, although it may benefit new believers to some extent, some of the concepts may be difficult to understand.† The difficulty lies in the application.† For those of you who stand strong and study Godís Word, keeping Him first and foremost, there will be great benefits for you.† Overall, this teaching is very simple.† The problem with such simplicity is this:† A major principle in this life regarding Godís Word CAN BE SO SIMPLE, YOU CAN MISS IT FOR YEARS.† Why have I brought this subject of simplicity up?† Because this world is designed to make everything complicated in order to confuse you.
Let me finish this introduction by saying that I am teaching you how† to walk by the Spirit.† How to know this may not seem difficult, but the actual DOING is what really matters.† What I may teach you will conflict with everything the world has taught you.† Keep in mind that you are either going to conduct your life from manís point of view or from Godís point of view.† Let us begin with a simple example from the book of Genesis.
In order to walk by spiritual perception, you must obviously FIRST LISTEN TO GOD.† Conducting your life from the worldís point of view will eventually result in your destruction. The first example is well known where a directive from God† was given to certain people.† The directive was very simple and easy to obey, however one person chose, by her own free will, to disobey.† Her life was destroyed instantly.† When your† personal adversary knows that God has given you guidance, he will do everything in his power to hinder you and make you disobey.† Before we got born again, we walked all of our lives making wrong decisions.† Thatís why it is said that the renewed mind is a most difficult process.† We have to take it slow and eventually we see that the correct way (Godís way) of doing things is much easier than the wrong way.† This is when life starts to gel and we start manifesting the more than abundant life.
And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom:† and Lot seeing them† rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;† -- Genesis 19: 1
If youíre wondering what record I am referring to, it as the record of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.† But, it is also the record of a woman who lacked spiritual perception and it cost her her life.† I would like all of you who studies the Word of God very diligently to note another small, but very important point.† When God gives you revelation, you must carry it out to the very last detail no matter how significant or insignificant it may be to your mind.† If you do less than the revelation that God gives you or you do more than God gives you, it will be worthless and will accomplish nothing.† Please remember this as you continue to walk with the true God.
In verse 2 of this chapter, the angels were invited to Ďturn iní.† We still use this terminology in modern times which means to go to sleep.† These angels, in the form of men, were invited to stay overnight in Lotís home.† Now in verse 3 you will see that they accepted the invitation, entered the house, had a feast, and did a few other things.† They were guests at Lotís home.† Now watch how the story develops.† Sodom was a horrible place to live and was filled with homosexuals and lesbians.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even† the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:† -- Genesis 19: 4
Can you imagine this happening?† You may think there is not proof in the Bible regarding without natural affection.† Well here it is even way back in the book of Genesis.† Before the guests of Lot were able to lay down and turn in, crowds from the city were surrounding the house and they were old and young and they were from every quarter.† Watch what they say in the next verse.
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night?† bring them out unto us, that we may know them.† -- Genesis 19: 5
Little did they know that the guests were angels of the true God.† Remember we talked about old English?† Well, this may shock you but the term Ďknow themí in biblical times means that they wanted to have homosexual relations with them.† Remember now that the angels of the Lord are there and are going to take care of the situation.† In the process, the angels are going to rescue Lot and his† wife, but one of them is going to disobey a simple command.† I want to stress the word simple.† Getting back to the verse, I find this whole subject to be quite disgusting and sickening.† I have seen on television lately that the devil himself is now promoting without natural affection openly.† There is a commercial involving two African-American males and at the end of the commercial, it clearly shows them kissing one another.† You had better be very careful if you have children in your home because they are eventually going to see this.† Educate them now.† Homosexuals and lesbians are possessed to such a point that it is almost impossible for them to be delivered.† So they have given in to the desires of Satan and try to persuade others to do the same.
Now remember, I am trying to give you a background for a lesson on spiritual perception.† But in the meantime, we can also learn something quite important.
You should read verses 6 and 7 and you will see that Lot shut the door on them and said to them, I pray you, do not so wickedly.† Now read verse 8 and I find this to be quite surprising as to what Lot tried to do.
Lot said to this crowd of insane people that he would bring out his two daughters who were virgins and allow the crowd to do whatever they wanted with them.† Then the crowd became even more enraged and they said to Lot that they were going to deal with† him in a worse manner than they were with his guests.† Then the crowd tried to break down the door.† The angels put forth their hand in verse 10 and pulled Lot into the house and shut the door.† You want to mess with the power of the true God, WATCH WHAT THE ANGELS DO IN THE NEXT VERSE.
And they [the angels] smote the men that were† at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great:† so that they wearied themselves to find the door.† -- Genesis 19: 11
Can you imagine this?!† All of those insane homosexuals that were surrounding the house and pounding on Lotís door were smote with blindness.† They could not see anything Ė they cannot even find the door.† I canít help it but I should not be laughing, but I am.† I love to see the adversary and his devil spirits get shot down by the power of God Almighty.† Homosexuals and lesbians think they are going to get away with what theyíre doing.† But they will pay the price.† Itís just a matter of time.† Remember, God does everything at the exact right moment in time.† Itís up to Him, not us.
Now remember that Iím still building up to the point where someone who lacked spiritual perception pays a dear price.† I thought it would be good for you to know the background story before I get to the main point.
And the men [the angels] said unto Lot, hast thou here any besides?† son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them† out of this place:† For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.† -- Genesis 19: 12, 13
In the next verse, Lot said to get moving because the Lord will destroy the city.
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.† -- Genesis 19: 15
I want you to take another look at Scripture number 14.† I asked you to read it by yourself.† Remember at the end of this verse, his sons in law seemed to mock Lot.† They had no spiritual perception after everything that just took place.† You would think that they would believe what these angels were telling them to do.† They were not renewing their mind to the Word of God, so they lacked spiritual perception.† They stayed behind and they were destroyed with the city.
I want you to watch very carefully what the angels said to Lot and his wife right before they were to leave the vicinity of the city.
And while he lingered, the men [angels] laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him:† and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.† -- Genesis 19: 16
Now here is the lesson that Iím trying to get across to you pertaining to the meaning and application of spiritual perception.† There is one small phrase that appears not to be very important in the next verse.† Remember how many times I have said to you that a great principle in the Word can be so simple that you can miss it for years.† One of those great principles that pertains to revelation is violated in the very next verse and I want you to read it with extreme care.
And it came to pass, when they [the angels] had brought them forth abroad, that he [one of the angels] said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.† -- Genesis 19: 17
There is one phrase in this verse that took me a long time to share with you.† Can you pick out the phrase?† Now you can see that the angelsí intention was to save the lives of these people.† They arranged an escape route for them before the city was destroyed.† You would think by now that these people who God saved through the work of these angels, would wholeheartedly listen to the advice that they are getting from Godís angels.† But watch what happens.† Those angels said something in verse 17 that was extremely important, but yet almost any body and soul person would never see it.† I am going to show it to you and I never want you to forget that when God gives you revelation, you are to follow it through exactly as God gives it to you - no more and no less.† This principle is so important that I cannot stress it enough.
In verse 17, the angels said to Lot and whoever was with them.† Make sure you do every single thing I instruct you, even if it appears to be very insignificant.† They were told not to look back or to look behind them.† This was violated outright by Lotís wife as we will see.
Notice in verse 18 that Lot said unto the angels that they were not going to disobey what they were told.† You could read down unto verse 24.† We will take it up there.
Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.† -- Genesis 19: 24, 25
Before I go on to the main point of this whole teaching, I would like you to see that when God does a job, he does it right.† He doesnít miss a thing.† He even destroyed everything that grew upon the ground around the cities.† You want to practice idolatry in your life?† You want to fall for all the gambling sites that are on television.† You want to think that homosexuality and lesbianism isnít so bad.† You see what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.† Well in a different but similar way, it can and will happen to you if God is not first and foremost in your life.† Mark my words.† God doesnít miss a thing.† He sees everything that is happening in this world right now and we are actually fortunate to be alive.†† What happens to us on this earth Ė we bring it upon ourselves.† Now to the main verse.
Again, I cannot but help to stress this point over and over again.† God will go out of his way to help a believer and He will tell that believer everything that he should do.† And here you see in this example where a woman of God outright disobeyed God.
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.† -- Genesis 19: 26
You can read the next few verses about the destruction of these two cities.† But what about what Lotís wife did, by her own free will?† You have got to understand something here.† God may give you word of knowledge and word of wisdom and it may not make sense to you.† Youíve got to be able to discern, number one, where this revelation is coming from.
I can give you some help on this important subject.† There are two areas where you can put revelation to the test.† One of them is:† Does the revelation you are getting line up with what the Word of God says?† A second and somewhat obscure point is that you must decide:† Does the revelation have long term profit?† I know these may seem difficult to you, but they will help you.† Another point that I must mention is that the more you study and the more you speak in tongues, spiritual perception will just fall within your heart.† You will hardly have to think about it but donít take that to an extreme.† I look behind the scenes as you have heard me say many times.† I look at all the pharmaceutical advertisements on television and I say to myself:† What is the adversary up to?† He is trying to make everybody feel that they are sick.† He is that sly.† Itís actually sickening to try to watch any decent television show without all of those pharmaceutical advertisements being played time and time again all night long.† What do you think?† Do you feel the same way?† For some odd reason, I felt that this example in Genesis was the best example of a person who did not have spiritual perception.† I donít mean this to sound like a joke, but she took the advice of the angel with a grain of salt.† She did not think it was important in her mind, so she disobeyed and the result of looking back cost her her life.
We see that the former was a major example of a lack of spiritual perception.† The reason I chose this account was so that you will never forget what happens when a person does not listen to God.† I want you to never forget how serious the subject of spiritual perception really is in your everyday life.† Since I gave such a major example, I thought that I should continue along the same line with a second example that was huge as far as a personís life is concerned.† You are going to be shocked that this particular person lacked spiritual perception in such an important area.† The teaching will now revolve around the apostle Paul.† This example is not by any means directed to degrade the apostle Paul.† I want to pick an example that will have an impact on your life.† Most people do not know what I am about to teach you.† It is simply a mistake that any believer can make.† Satan is the master of deception and he can deceive any man at almost any time.† But the more of Godís Word that you know, the less you can be deceived by the god of this world.
After Paul was born again of Godís spirit, there seems to be only one record that I know of where Paul lacked spiritual perception.† It is quite a shock to many people to see that a man of God of such caliber and importance could be fooled by wrong revelation.† I want this record to stay with you for all of your days.† When you make a mistake, it is because you are human and you should not condemn yourself, but get up and move on.
For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would spend the time in Asia:† for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.† -- Acts 20: 16
Now take notice and be careful with this.† Paul, by his own five senses, wanted to be at Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost.† This sounds perfectly logical, doesnít it?† The problem here involves the term Ďlogicalí.† This thought and desire was emanating from his five senses.† God never told Paul to go to Jerusalem. †In fact, as we will see, God did everything He could to stop Paul from going to Jerusalem.† Sometimes a position of great authority or power can cloud a personís thinking.
Now you must read the next 5 verses so that you can understand the context.† Paul was telling the believers that he had been with them all of the time.† He also said that he was serving the Lord with all humility of mind and with many tears and temptations.† He says he held back nothing but have taught the believers publicly from house to house testifying both to the Jews and to the Greeks repentance for God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.† Sounds really great doesnít it?† Paul was quite an orator and a great teacher but somehow in some way, it went to his head.† He still was a man and as men and women, we sometimes make mistakes Ė we sometimes sin in the flesh after we are born again.† My branch leader use to drum it into my head Ė to be sharp.† What did she mean?† She meant to be sharp spiritually which is to have spiritual perception.† Now watch closely what Paul says in the next verse in the book of Acts.
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:† -- Acts 20: 22
What really surprises me here is the fact that Paul says he is going to Jerusalem bound in the spirit.† For all of the years that I have studied Godís Word, I have learned and have been taught this principle time and time again.† When you are bound in the spirit, it is not Godís Will.† This has helped me countless times not to make mistakes.† If something is holding you back from doing a certain task, this is referred to as being bound in the spirit.† It is not a difficult principle to master.† I do not understand why Paul knew that he was bound in the spirit and he was still determined to go to Jerusalem.† Watch how this record evolves.
Paul could not be discerning revelation from the true God at this moment.† He was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.† In this one area, he seriously lacked spiritual perception.† But watch how loving God is as He tried time and time again to stop Paul from going to Jerusalem.† He knew what would happen to Paul if he went.† I am going to show you every record in the book of Acts where God did His very best to stop Paul from making this disastrous journey.† Read the rest of chapter 20 on your own and the teaching will have much greater impact on your life.† Take note what happens in the early part of chapter 21.† Paul was already sailing on a course to Jerusalem.
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days:† who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.† -- Acts 21: 4
Paul came across a group of disciples who said to Paul in the Spirit that he should NOT go to Jerusalem.† You need to understand the phrase Ďin the Spirití.† You should understand by now if you have learned anything about the manifestations, that this is referring to speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues, or prophecy.† God worked in these disciples to give Paul a message that was coming straight from God.† And you see what that message was, do you not?† How simple can God make it?† He did not want Paul to go up to Jerusalem because Paul was going to get into some serious trouble when he arrived at Jerusalem and as you will see, he did.
I am stressing this subject because I want you to get it into your heart that you must know, study, and apply Godís Word every day of your life.† Why?† So that you become spiritually sharp so that the† devil and all his devil spirits cannot deceive you.† Remember, darkness cannot stand light.† You are more than a conqueror in every single situation.† You need to believe that with all of your heart which is the innermost part of your being.† Letís go to verse 8.
And the next day† we that were of Paulís company departed, and came unto Caesarea:† and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one† of the seven; and abode with him.† -- Acts 21: 8
This sets the stage for the next few verses in which God tried, two more times, to warn Paul not to go to Jerusalem.† Paul and his company were invited into the house of Philip who was an evangelist, and they abode with him.† They stayed overnight in Philipís household.† Now watch carefully the next two verses.
And the same man [Philip] had four daughters, virgins [unmarried], which did prophesy.† -- Acts 21: 9
Now what you think that Phillipís daughters prophesied about?† Was it about whether to buy or sell†† pork bellies?!† Was it about what was to happen with the price of gold?† Nonsense.† They prophesied about warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
And as we tarried there† many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.† -- Acts 21: 10
Now you should surely take a look at all of the trouble God was going through to stop Paul.† He even sent a prophet from Judaea to come down to this area to give Paul some godly advice.
And when he was come unto us, he took Paulís girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him† into the hands of the Gentiles.† -- Acts 21: 11
Agabus went so far as to take one of Paulís garments and to show him what was going to happen to him when he got to Jerusalem.† He was going to be bound with his hands and feet.† He told Paul outright that this was going to happen.† He told Paul that the Jews were going to deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.† You have to wonder what Paul was thinking with all of these warnings.† Itís difficult to explain this since Paul was such a great man of God.† How can Paul have gotten out of fellowship with the true God?† I donít think anyone could answer this question with any accuracy.
If youíre keeping tabs, this was the fourth time that God tried to stop Paul.† In total, God made five attempts.
And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.† -- Acts 21: 12
Itís amazing pertaining to the love of God that God has for us.† Look at how much trouble God will go through to help us listen to, obey, and carry out His Will.† Take a look at what Paul said in verse 13.
Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart?† for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.† -- Acts 21: 13
You know that I must tell you something.† When you are out of fellowship with God, mostly all of the time your judgment is somewhat perverted and you will say and think things that make no sense.† Paul was saying that he couldnít care less if he was bound and then when he says that he is willing to die at Jerusalem for the Lord Jesus.† I am sorry to say that this great man of God is presently not making any sense at all.† He is beginning to contradict the Word of God.† Because one thing that I want you to know and never forget is that we are no good to God once we are dead.† Paul should have known this and he shouldíve listened to all the warnings and hindrances that God was putting before him.† But he was saying to the people that were trying to help him, what are you trying to do -- make me weep?† What you think youíre going break my heart?
Finally, God saw that there was nothing he could do to convince Paul to do Godís Will.† For this one situation, Paul seems to completely lose his spiritual perception.† He actually believed it was Godís will for him to go to Jerusalem.† We can be blinded sometimes by our own five senses.† We must be very careful that this does not happen because the enemy can fool practically anyone.† The Word of God is the sword of the spirit.† In our minds, we must be as sharp as that sword.† Let me go over some Scriptures that you should know by now.
For such are† false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.† And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.† Therefore it is† no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.† -- II Corinthians 11: 13, 14, 15
These ministers are counterfeits and the only way you can recognize them is by knowing the Word of God and knowing it very well. †Somehow, one of these counterfeits got into Paulís mind.† Itís really a devastating situation, but if we can learn something from it that will help us every day and in the future, then we should be thankful.† We are not thankful for what happened to Paul, but it can help us to be sharp pertaining to Satan who transforms himself into an angel of light.† You may ask what that means.† He can portray himself to you as being a representative of the true God.† I see this every day on television and on the internet in almost every place I go.† You have to be very careful in this world today because it definitely is coming to an end.† Thatís why there is so much sickness.† Thatís why there is so much gambling advertisements on television.† Thatís why there has been so much acceptance of homosexuals and lesbians.† God will not stand for this Ė it is an abomination to Him and in the exact right moment of time, He will put an end to it once and for all.
As a final verse in Acts, I am going to give you the proper translation according to usage.† You should remember by now that all punctuation was not in the original Word of God.† The punctuation in this next verse throws the whole Word of God to pieces.† I will give you this literal translation which fits with the rest of the Word of God.
And when he would not be persuaded we ceased saying The will of the Lord.† -- Acts 21: 14
This verse when punctuated properly, and eliminates the last two words that are not in the text, makes perfect sense.† The verse is now easy to understand and it fits with the rest of the Word of God.
When Paul would not be persuaded, they stopped preaching to him what was the Will of the Lord.
God bless you all and I hope that this teaching helped you to completely understand the importance of spiritual perception.† I may want to mention to you that the apostle Paul was put under house arrest for the rest of his life.† He did not get one person born again of Godís spirit with any of his teachings any longer.† Many denominations misinterpret this teaching and guess at some of the meanings.† Here you have the rightly divided Word of God.† God made multiple attempts to stop Paul.† It is very easy for us who know the Word of God to get on a head trip.† We must strive to stay humble because those are the people that God lifts up.† I love you.† You are the best.†