Bro. Chijioke Nwauche
(Sunday 13th July, 2008)
[For a printable version click here.]
Deut. 8 vs 3 “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live” (KJV).
“Knowing God is important. The more deeply we know, the more fully we can love. The more completely we can serve” (Peter Deison – the priority of knowing God)
“For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings (Hosea 6 vs 6).
We must remember the purpose of this study which is to understand who we are, what kind of food we should be eating and the level we should be in Christ. We understand that this is not the time to indulge the “flesh”. The scriptures warns, let us not labour to be rich; those that will be rich will pierce themselves with many sorrows. If we do not labour for riches, what should we labour for then? Remember the admonition: Let him that boasted, boast that he knoweth me.
We must reorder our priorities to become a spiritual people. Let’s spend more time with nourishing the Spirit man. Our destination is heaven brethren, so while we are upon this earth let our souls dwell in heaven. Set your affection (mind, desires) on the things above. Jesus has done it and he has sent you His Spirit. May we be loosed from the serpentine nature that longs to be earth bound.
What you need is the life of God to be changed. What we are looking for is that our bodies be adopted into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. For all creation is waiting to see this manifestation of the sons of God. It’s a privilege indeed to be chosen.
Be encouraged brethren, we are not going to remain captives of the devil in his prison of sin. The Lord is taking us out. It is well with the righteousness. The dry bones shall receive strength and live.
We have learnt that the soul of man does not need physical food. The food for the soul is Jesus Christ: the living word of God. As you feed on the word of God (Spiritual bread) your soul begins to receive energy (ability) to manifest the full glory of God just like Christ did – He walked upon the earth, lived as a man but full of the glory of God (joy, love, righteousness, peace in the Holy Ghost etc). God promised us in Jeremiah 31 vs 33 “… this shall be the covenant I shall make with the house of Israel; After those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people”.
Praise God for a God that is bringing a sure change not from the outside but from the inside. All aspects of our nature (mind, will, emotions and desires) will be changed. Hallelujah. May we walk in this new order What gives us nourishment (strength and energy) for our daily activities is the word of the Lord (Spiritual bread) e.g. when a man sees you looking strong, he may assume it is because you are eating physical food, whereas, what is giving you strength is the “joy of the Lord”. God has moved us from the level of the sea (the unbelieving soul) to the level of the earth (the believing soul that still has darkness in it) and we know and believe to be moved to the next level – the life giving soul (where the life of God has been received to its fullest and is manifest for all to see), this is the dimension Jesus operated in.
Ezekiel chapter 1.
A word about Ezekiel, Ezekiel was in captivity at this time. His captivity did not constitute a barrier to his receiving from God and doing His will. May our physical circumstances no longer prevent us from receiving from God. Food or no food, help or no help, nothing should separate us from the love of God.
THE LEVEL GOD EXPECTS US TO BE:
“And I looked, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud and a fire unfolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst therefore as the colour of amber; out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures (Ezekiel chapter 1 vs 4, 5). Four elements are described. The elements are symbolic of the spiritual qualities the soul possesses. In other word, he described the dimensions of the soul of man (mind, will, emotion, desire). But out of all these dimensions the one that is most familiar to us is the nature of man
THE WIND (representing breath)
Man became a living soul when God breathed life into the clay with which he made man. So the basic nature of man is in this manifestation of wind (breadth). Man was made alive by the breadth of God. How can man then survive independent of God.
What does the bible say about clouds? Hebrews 12 vs 1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us …”.
If God were to open your eyes in the Spirit to see visions of God, do you think you will see men wearing clothes? What you will see are shadows like clouds.
In scripture, fire represents the life of God. When the devil looks at you, what he sees is a ball of fire. The fire may be burning but it may have patches of darkness (sin). Sin diminishes the quality of the fire. Block the sin out of your life; so that the fire will burn brightly.
This speaks of God’s glory. The glory of God ought to surround us completely. The amount of brightness depends on the level of righteousness. Ezekiel was being shown the state or level God expects man to be.
Vs 9 “Their wings were joined one to another: thy turned not when they went; they went everyone straight forward. The soul can go only in one direction. If it is set on the path of righteousness, it will go straight forward in that direction. If it is set on wickedness, then it will tread the path completely. What you believe and allow so shall it be with you. We infer from this that there is grace available for everyone to walk completely in his will if one is set on it. The wings in this scripture represent the ability to soar high in God.
Vs 8 “… And they had the hands of a man under their wings …”
The inference here is that we have been provided hands to do the work of God.
Vs 10 “… each had the face of a man infront (RSV). The 4 natures of man is described here as being in the likeness of a lion (representing wild emotions), the ox nature (will) and the eagle nature (ability to soar in the Spirit). Praise God these natures can be tamed and changed never to drift away from the things of God again, even as we see in the account in Revelation – in this account the lion has been tamed to become like the lion of the tribe of Judah; and the eagle (the mind) is kept in perfect peace because the mind is completely stayed upon God. (The mind has been sufficiently disciplined). No matter how wild certain aspects of our soul (minds, emotions) are; it can be tamed and transferred to that meek nature that is found in Jesus Christ. This change can not come by eating physical food, but can come by getting spiritual energy from the spiritual bread (the word).
Vs 12 “… they went everyone straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; the affirmation here is that we can go whither the Spirit goeth (where the Spirit leads) to do the will of God. There is a nature that “turns not” when they follow.
Vs 13 “… and the fire was bright and out of the fire went forth lightning. It is the Spirit of God that comes and brings light to the soul. As for the likeness of the living creature, their appearance was like burning fire, and like the appearance of lamps. It went up and down among the living creatures.
It talks about the restoration of the glory of God. When the overcomer saints come together. The thunderings (voice) are the speakings, the decrees, the prophesies that are brought forth by the church.
Vs 14 “And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flesh of lightning – This creatures have the appearance of lightning. This implies that we are creatures of light not darkness. We are spiritual beings who worship God in Spirit and in truth. Let us rise up and leave the flesh realm.
FUNCTIONING OF THE OVERCOMER’S SOUL AS DESCRIBED IN EZEKIEL CHAPTER 1:
Vs 15 “Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures with his four faces. The appearance of the wheel and their work was like unto the colour of beryl … (Read up to verse 21).
The wheel is symbolic of the mechanism/working of the Spirit. He is trying to describe the functioning of the soul. There was a wheel in the midst of the wheels and wherever it moved the other wheels followed. What was controlling the living creatures and their wheels (work of their hands) was the Spirit. God has created us with an ability to respond to His Spirit. Do not believe the lie of the devil that says you cannot respond fully to God. The creatures were moving only as the Spirit moved. They did not have their own agenda. There was no self in their work. The message is: walk in the Spirit, every personal agenda must be forgotten. Self has no role to play at this time. The creatures described here depict the picture of a people who have been crucified; a people who have set aside self and carnality, a people ready to do the will of the Father alone. They follow the lamb (Jesus) whithersoever He goeth. Their main concern being what direction is my Lord going? What is He doing? May the reason we live be to worship God and follow Him.
Vs 22 “And the likeness of the firmament (heaven) upon the heads of the living creatures was as the colour of beryl crystal stretched forth over their heads above. This tells us that the living creatures were not alone, but there is an arrangement (authority, government, rule of God) over them. Read vs 23 – 28. The living creatures were not just functioning on their own, there was a voice speaking to them. There was control over them.
In Rev. 4 vs 1 we see that Ezekiel’s vision progressed and the picture is completed. We see the end of these living creatures. In this account, the throne was no longer over them but in the midst of them (living creatures). What God is saying is that man is the dwelling place of God. Man’s soul is the house that is being prepared as the dwelling place of God. It is not every soul that God will dwell in. God is preparing the soul (the bride of Christ) that will be fit for Himself. Even though we are compassed about with trials, stress and tribulation, it should not take away the basic fact that we are being recreated as a habitation of God in the Spirit. He has given us the picture in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation. In the book of Revelation the house is completed, Christ having come to take control to dwell in them – (the living creatures). Praise the Lord.
Rev. 4 vs 7 and 8 “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come”. Brethren this is our job – to worship Him that liveth forever. Thou art worthy oh Lord God to receive glory and honour and power. Amen.
We need a revelation of Christ to propel us to respond in this manner in our everyday lives. When we see and understand the glory we will be able to give up all (be it career, profession, ambitions, material wealth etc.) to ensure we work in righteousness, that we may obtain the crown.
Brethren what our utmost desire should be is: to be completely encompassed with the glory of God just like Jesus was. God is telling us that we can come to this estate, being full of eyes within and without.
SUMMARY OF THE SERIES – WALKING IN THE SPIRIT VOL. 8A – E:
Its only light that can give the soul strength (ability). The soul must move out of the place of darkness to the place of life. May we feed sufficiently on Christ (word of God) that the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened, that we may know the hope of the calling.
If we know the hope of our calling we will not throw away our liberty because of sin. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened we will see the sin (e.g. anger) afar off and rebuke it. Why do you think one sold his birthright for a bowl of bean? Can you imagine? It’s because he lacked understanding!! We are at different levels. Some souls have received the light of God and they do not want to go beyond that level of being saved. Others say I want to obtain the fullness of God just like Christ. These are the ones God is watching out for; it is harvest time. God is looking for those who desire to dwell in heaven. God is looking for the man that will rise from the depth of hell to the mark of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. He is looking for a people who will naturally obey God just like the angels do. Sin will not have dominion over them. O what glory; we are being recreated in Christ Jesus. It is important therefore to watch your choices. May materials things no longer hold sway over us. May the glory of God be our utmost desire, it is written: “having food and raiment let us therewith be content”. May the eyes of our understanding be opened oh Lord. Anoint us with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you. We need to know, we need to perceive we need to have our eyes opened afresh. Touch us one more time oh Lord.