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“Can’t I do just as this potter does…?

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (Message Version)God told Jeremiah,
“Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.”
So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel.
Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.
“Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?” God’s Decree! “Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel.”

Put  the Responsibility  Where It Belongs

Have  you ever thought about  it? The Holy Spirit helps  and encourages believers to  do what’s right. And if we yield  to the Holy Spirit, we can do what  is right. But even though He helps us  do what is right, we can’t really say it  is the Holy Spirit who does right—we do. The  Triumphant Church We ultimately make the choice to  yield to the Holy Spirit and walk in line with the  Word and do what’s right. The Holy Spirit assists us,  of course, but we have to yield to His gentle promptings. It’s  the same way with the devil. The devil will help and encourage people—saved  and unsaved alike if they will allow him—to do what’s wrong in every way he possibly  can. The Christian is not under his dominion, but Satan will still try to work through  a Christian’s flesh to get him to do wrong if the person allows it. Satan has dominion   over those who walk in darkness, so he can greatly assist them in wrongdoing. But in one  respect, you can’t say that all the evil committed by those in darkness is entirely the work of the  devil either. According to the Scriptures, the lust of their own fleshly nature is also involved in wrongdoing.  Just as the Holy Spirit assists us to do right, the devil assists anyone walking in darkness to do wrong. But it’s  still the person’s responsibility what they do because people have free choice. EPHESIANS 2:1-3 1 And you hath he quickened  [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,  according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now WORKETH in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we  all had our conversation [lifestyle] in times past in THE LUSTS OF OUR FLESH, fulfilling the DESIRES of the FLESH and of the MIND;  and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. The Scriptures tell us that the devil, or “the princeof the power of the  air,” works in people for evil, just as the Holy Spirit works in God’s people for good. PHILIPPIANS 2:13 13 For it is God which WORKETH  IN YOU both to will and to do of his GOOD pleasure. People can’t lay everything off on the devil and blame him for all the bad things that  happen to them. Not all evil is directly the work of a demon. Indirectly, of course, everything that is evil originated with the devil. But the  point I’m trying to make is that people still have their own part to play in wrongdoing—the choice is theirs. On one side of the ditch, just as  believers try to lay everything off on the devil, on the other side of the ditch, they can’t lay everything off on the Holy Spirit either. In other   words, they cannot put all the responsibility for their actions on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prompts us and gently leads us, but we have to   yield to Him and respond to His instructions. We still have to choose to do what is right or choose to do what is wrong. When you choose to do wrong,  that’s not the devil making the choice—it’s you. He may tempt you, of course, but you ultimately make the choice to whom you are going to yield—Satan or the Holy  Spirit.

To be continued…

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Jesus’  Remedy for  ‘Flesh’ Problems

MATTHEW 5:29,30 29  And if thy right eye offend thee,  PLUCK IT OUT, and cast it from thee:  for it is profitable for thee that one  of thy MEMBERS should perish, and not that  thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And  if thy right hand offend thee, CUT IT OFF, and cast  it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of  thy MEMBERS should perish, and not that thy whole body should  be cast into hell. Jesus’ instructions about how to deal with the  flesh were just as direct as Paul’s. In these scriptures, Jesus wasn’t  saying to literally pull your eye out or cut your hand off. That’s symbolic.   He was saying that sometimes it will hurt you to deal with your fleshly lusts and  appetites just about as much as it would be to cut off one of your bodily members. It  will be painful to your flesh to put these cravings away from you. That’s why the Bible  uses the words “crucify” and “mortify”; it’s not pleasant. It hurts the flesh. Just as Paul did,  Jesus also emphasized that you are the one who has to pluck out the evil tendencies, lusts, appetites,  and cravings of your own flesh and put them away from you. God is not going to do that for you. God will  strengthen and encourage you, of course, but He won’t do it for you. It won’t be pleasant, but this is one way  you become Spirit-ruled and Spirit-led instead of body-ruled, body-conscious, body-led and open prey to the devil.  Actually, this is one way you submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7)God, Take the Snuff!’ There was a woman  down in Texas who came to one of my meetings. After everyone else left, this woman prayed at the altar, just bawling and  squalling. Every now and then, she’d yell, “Take it away from me, Lord! You know I don’t want it!” And then she’d get to screaming  like a freight train going through a tunnel. I finally said to her, “Sister! What is it you don’t want?” She said, “Why, that old snuff.” I  said, “God isn’t going to take snuff away from you. What would He do with it if He had it? He doesn’t dip snuff. You’re going to have to do  something about it yourself. You’re going to have to crucify your own flesh.” She said, “Oh, but I couldn’t give up good ole snuff!” Remember, Jesus  said if your hand offends you— you cut it off. He didn’t mean to get an axe and cut your hand off. But when you put away the lusts and the cravings  of your own flesh, it’s going to “crucify,” “kill,” and “put to death” your flesh. Most folks today would have wanted to cast a “snuff” devil out of that  woman! That’s what she wanted too—the easy way out. You will have to crucify your own flesh and bring our fleshly appetites, lusts, and carnal cravings into subjection.  The devil will try to gain access to you any way he can, and he will use the cravings of your own flesh to do it if you allow him to. But you don’t have to allow  him to. When the devil tries to use your flesh to gain access to you, it doesn’t mean you’re demon possessed. The devil will always work through the flesh because your body   isn’t redeemed and your five physical senses contact this world where Satan is god (2 Cor. 4:4). But if you don’t furnish the devil anything to work with—if you don’t give him  any place in you—he won’t have any access to you. So the Bible says there are lusts of the human carnal nature which have nothing to do with evil spirits. You can’t cast the flesh  out; you have to crucify or mortify the deeds of the flesh. However, if you continue to give place to the lusts of your flesh, you will eventually open the door to an evil spirit. The  devil will accommodate believers and help them fulfill the lust of their own fleshly desires. And eventually an evil spirit can get a hold of believers who continually indulge in the  lust of their carnal, sensual nature. That is one way Satan gains access, even to believers.

To Be continued

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Continue reading “Jesus’  Remedy for  ‘Flesh’ Problems”

Crucify  the  Flesh

If  an  evil  spirit  is  involved  trying  to  work  through your  flesh,  you  have  authority  over  it.  The  devil  and  evil spirits  have  no  dominion  over  you,  as  long  as  you’re walking  in  line  with  the  Word  and  doing  what  you’re supposed  to  with  your  flesh.  Stand  against  Satan  and his  wiles,  because  the  Bible  says  he  has  to  flee  (James 4:7). But  if  it’s  just  the  flesh  you’re  dealing  with,  you won’t  be  able  to  cast  it  out  like  you  could  an  evil  spirit. No,  you  have  to  crucify  or  mortify  the  deeds  of  the  body (Gal.  5:24;  Col.  3:5).  Everyone—preacher  and  layperson alike—must  crucify  the  lusts  of  his  own  flesh  and  the cravings  of  his  own  carnal  nature. In  Paul’s  epistles,  he  talks  about  “mortifying”  the deeds  of  the  body. COLOSSIANS  3:5 5   MORTIFY  therefore  YOUR  MEMBERS [your   body]   which  are  upon  the  earth; fornication,  uncleanness,  affection,  evil  inordinate concupiscence,  andcovetousness,  which  is  idolatry. ROMANS 8:5-8,12-14 5  For  they  that  are  after  the  FLESH  do  mind  the  things of  the  FLESH;  but  they  that  are  after  the  SPIRIT  the things  of  the  SPIRIT. 6  For  to  be  CARNALLY  MINDED  IS  DEATH;  but  to  be spiritually  minded  is  life  and  peace. 7  Because  the  CARNAL  MIND  IS  ENMITY  AGAINST GOD:  for  it  is  not  subject  to  the  law  of  God,  neither indeed  can  be. 8  So  then  they  that  are  in  the  FLESH  [those  who  are dominated  by  their  fleshly  carnal  nature]  CANNOT PLEASE  GOD…. 12  …  brethren,  we  are  debtors,  not  to  the  flesh,  to  live after  the  flesh. 13  For  if  ye  live  after  the  FLESH,  ye  shall  die:  but  if  ye through  the  Spirit  do  MORTIFY  the  DEEDS  OF  THE BODY,  ye  shall  live. 14  For  as  many  as  are  LED  BY  THE  SPIRIT OF GOD, they  are  the  sons  of  God. To  “mortify”  means  to  kill,  become  dead,  cause  to  be dead,  put  to  death,  or  subdue.  Mortifying  or  crucifying the  flesh  is  something  each  believer  must  do  for  himself; God  can’t  do  that  for  him. Your   husband,   your  wife,   or  your  pastor  can’t mortify  the  deeds  of  your  flesh  for  you.  You  must  “kill,” “put  to  death,”  and  subdue  the  lust  of  your  own  carnal, fleshly  nature.  That  is  part  of  your  “spiritual  worship” (Rom.   12:1,2)   in  presenting   your  body  as  a  living sacrifice  to  God.  It  s  part  of  submitting  to  God  so  you can  resist  the  devil. Those  who  continually  practice  putting  to  death  the deeds   of  their  unregenerate  nature  won’t  have  the problems  with  the  devil  that  carnal  Christians  do.  That doesn’t  mean  the  devil  won’t  try  to  attack  them,  but they  will  know  how  to  keep  from  giving  the  devil  any place  in  them. GALATIANS 5:24 24  And  they  that  are  Christ’s  have  CRUCIFIED the  FLESH with  the  AFFECTIONS and LUSTS. Crucifying   the   flesh   is   not   pleasurable.   Every Christian  has  the  same  way  of  escape  from  falling  prey to  the  devil  through  the  lusts  of  his  own  flesh.  But  not every  Christian  takes  the  way  of  escape  provided  for him  by  crucifying  his  own  flesh.  Why?  Because  it  hurts to  deny  the  flesh. We  don’t  have  much  teaching  on  crucifying  the  flesh in  the  Charismatic  Movement.  That’s  one  reason  some people   have  taken  the  teaching  on  demons  to  the extreme  and  thought  that  everything  bad  that  happens is  the  devil  at  work.  No,  not  everything  bad  is  the  direct result  of  the  devil  or  a  demon.  Much  of  what  believers call  the  devil  is  just  the  work  of  the  flesh.  And  no  one can  do  anything  about  your  flesh  for  you;  you  have  to crucify  it  yourself  (Col.  3:5). These  folks  who  are  always  trying  to  cast  out  a  devil want  the  easy  way  out.  It’s  easier  for  a  believer  to  get someone  else  to  try  to  cast  a  demon  out  of  him  than  it  is to  crucify  and  mortify  his  own  flesh  with  its  lusts  and affections  because  it  hurts  to  do  that. Years  ago  a  woman  came  up  to  me  after  one  of  my meetings  wanting  deliverance  from  a  devil.  She  said, “Brother   Hagin,   I   wish   you   would   cast   this   ole unforgiving   spirit   out   of   me.”   She   explained   that another  Christian  woman  had  offended  her.  “Sister  Soand-so  did me wrong. God knows I want to forgive her,but I can’t. Please cast this ole unforgiving spirit out of me!” I asked her, “Have you ever forgiven your husband?” She said, “Yes, of course.” I said, “I thought you said you couldn’t forgive because you have an unforgiving spirit in you. No, if you can forgive one person, you can forgive another person. The real problem is you don’t want to forgive this sister. You want to hold a grudge against her. “You don’t need a devil cast out of you. That unforgiveness is just your flesh, and you’re going to have to deal with that yourself. You just need to do what the Word of God says in Ephesians 4:32: ‘And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.'” If God told us to be kind and forgive each other as He’s forgiven us, that means we can do it. But you won’t be able to forgive if you allow your flesh to control you. But God wouldn’t tell you to do something you couldn’t do, because He would be unjust if He did. And God is not unjust. We can forgive just as God forgives because the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). So most of the time it’s not a matter of casting out an evil spirit; it’s a matter of crucifying the flesh so the love of God in our hearts can be manifested in the outward man. God doesn’t have any “quick fixes,” and He isn’t running any fast-food joints or ninety-nine cent sales! If you want to experience a triumphant Christian walk over the devil, the flesh, and the world, then it costs the same price as it always has. You’ll have to be thoroughly Word-based, living by the principles in God’s Word. And you start by crucifying your own flesh and learning to walk in the God-kind of love! You’re not going to solve all your problems by just trying to deal with the devil all the time. Yes, there are times to deal with the devil, but much of the time it’s your own flesh causing you the problems!

To be continued…

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The  Flesh  Has  Its Own Lusts

And  It’s Not  the  Devil You  need  to  realize  something  else  about  the  flesh. It  has  its  own  lusts  and  appetites,  and  it’s  not  a  devil  at work  or  even  demonic  activity.  Look  again  at  Ephesians 4:22. EPHESIANS 4:22 22  That  ye  put  off  concerning  the  former conversation   [lifestyle]  THE   OLD   MAN, which   is   CORRUPT   according   to   the DECEITFUL LUSTS. We  can  learn  something  else  about  the  lusts  of  the flesh  from  the  Book  of  Romans. ROMANS 1:24-28 24  Wherefore  God  also  gave  them  up  to  uncleanness through  the  LUSTS  OF  THEIR  OWN  HEARTS,  to dishonour  their  own  bodies  between  themselves: 25  Who  changed  the  truth  of  God  into  a  lie,  and worshipped  and  served  the  creature  more  than  the Creator,  who  is  blessed  for  ever.  Amen. 26  For  this  cause  God  gave  them  up  unto  vile  affections: for  even  their  women  did  change  the  natural  use  into that  which  is  against  nature: 27  And  likewise  also  the  men,  leaving  the  natural  use  of the  woman,  BURNED  IN  THEIR LUST  one  toward another;  men  with  men  working  that  which  is unseemly,  and  receiving  in  themselves  that  recompence of  their  error  which  was  meet. 28  And  even  as  they  did  not  like  to  retain God  in  their  knowledge,  God  gave  them over  to  a  reprobate  mind,  to  do  those  things which  are  not  convenient. In  the  margin  of  my  Bible,  the  word  “reprobate”  is defined  as  a  mind  void  of  judgment.  The  Bible  isn’t talking  about  a  spirit  of  lust  here.  Notice  in  verse  27, the  Bible  doesn’t  call  this  a  “spirit  of  lust.”  It  Just  says those  in  disobedience  burned  in  their  lust  toward  one another. Verse  24  says,  “Wherefore  God  also  gave  them  up  to uncleanness   through   the   LUSTS  OF  THEIR  OWN HEARTS….”  It’s   the  lust  of   their  own  hearts—the unredeemed  thoughts  and  feelings  of  man—that  caused those  walking  in  darkness  to  finally  be  turned  over  to  a reprobate  mind. Then  in  verse  27  it  says  they  “burned  in  their  lust” toward  one  another.  That’s  man’s  unregenerated  nature apart  from  God.  The  Bible  doesn’t  call  that  a  devil;  it calls  it  the  “lusts  of  their  own  hearts.” The  flesh—the  unredeemed  nature  of  man—has  its own  lusts  because  it  is  degenerate;  it’s  never  been  born again.  The  lusts  of  the  flesh  have  nothing  to  do  with  a “spirit”   of   lust.   The  flesh  has  its  own  appetites  or “fleshly  cravings.” 1  PETER 2:11 11   Dearly   beloved,   I   beseech   you   as strangers   and   pilgrims,   abstain   from FLESHLY  LUSTS,  which  WAR  AGAINST THE SOUL. As  long  as  you  allow  your  fleshly  lusts  to  dominate you,  you  will  always  have  trouble  in  your  soul—your mind,  will,  and  emotions.  And  that  will  give  Satan  an open  door. JAMES 1:13-15 13  Let  no  man  say  when  he  is  tempted,  I  am  tempted  of God:  for  God  cannot  be  tempted  with  evil,  neither tempteth  he  any  man: 14  But  every  man  is  tempted,  when  he  is  drawn  away  of HIS  OWN LUST,  and ENTICED. 15   Then  when  LUST  hath  conceived,  it bringeth   forth  SIN:  and  sin,  when  it  is finished,  bringeth  forth  DEATH. According  to  this  Scripture,  it’s  the  lust  of  a  person’s own  unredeemed  nature  that  draws  him  into  error. Some  people  mistake  the  corruption  that  lust,  sin,  and death  produce,  and  think  it’s  demonic  activity  at  workBut  it  isn’t.  It’s  the  fruit  of  the  flesh  left  unchecked. Ephesians  also  talks  about  the  lusts  of  the  flesh  and of  the  mind  or  soul. EPHESIANS 2:3 3   Among   whom  also  we  all  had  our conversation  [lifestyle]  in  times  past  in  the LUSTS   OF  OUR  FLESH,   fulfilling   the DESIRES  OF  THE  FLESH  and  OF  THE MIND;  and  were  by  nature  the  children  of wrath,  even  as  others.

TO BE CONTINUE

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Put  On  the  God-kind of Love

Let’s  look  in  Colossians  chapter  3,  to  see  how  the new  creature  in  Christ  acts  and  to  see  what  we  are commanded  to  “put  on.” COLOSSIANS  3:12-14 12  PUT  ON therefore,  as  the  elect  of  God,  holy  and beloved,  BOWELS  OF  MERCIES,  KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING; 13  FORBEARING  ONE ANOTHER,  and  FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER,  if  any  man  have  a  quarrel  against any:  even  as  Christ  forgave  you,  so  also  do  ye. 14   And  above  all  these  things  PUT  ON CHARITY,  which  is  the  bond  of  perfectness. In  verse  13,  the  phrase  “forbearing  one  another” means  putting  up  with  one  another.  When  we  begin  to get  agitated  and  impatient  with  one  another,  it  isn’t necessarily  a  devil  at  work.  We  just  need  to  exercise forbearance  and  forgive  one  another,  even  as  Christ forgave  us  (v.  13). The  word  translated  in  verse  14  as  “charity”  is  the Greek  word,  “agape”—the  God-kind  of  love.  We  are  to put  on  love.  Putting  on  love  is  a  protection  against  the enemy  because  then  we  don’t  give  the  devil  any  place  in us  (Eph.  4:27). When  we’re  born  again,  the  love  of  God  has  been shed  abroad  in  our  hearts  by  the  Holy  Ghost  (Rom.  5:5). But  we’re  going  to  have  to  take  the  love  that’s  in  our hearts  and  put  it  on  our  outward  man  because  the  love of  God  hasn’t  been  shed  abroad  in  our  flesh.  If  we  don’t put  on  the  love  of  God  on  our  outward  man,  Satan  can have  a  heyday  in  our  lives  through  our  flesh.
Anger—Flesh,  Not  ‘the  Irish,’
And Not  the  Devil
I  heard  one  fellow  talking  about  his  grandpa.  With the  least  little  provocation,  his  grandpa  would  fly  off  the handle  and  go  into  a  rage.  This  man’s  grandfather always  used  the  excuse,  “Well,  that’s  just  the  Irish  in me.”  No,  it  wasn’t  “the  Irish”  in  him.  It  was  the  flesh! EPHESIANS 4:26 26  Be  ye  angry,  and  sin  not:  let  not  the  sun go  down upon your  wrath. According  to  Ephesians  4:26,  putting  off  the  old  man and  putting  on  the  new  man  is  a  choice:  “Be  ye  angry, and  sin  not….”   That  means  if  you  get  angry  about something,  you  don’t  have  to  let  your  flesh  take  over. You  don’t  have  to  lose  control  of  your  temper.  You  have a  choice.  You  don’t  have  to  give  in  to  the  dictates  of  your fleshly,  carnal  nature. If  you  let  the  flesh  dominate  you,  you  can  get  out  of control  and  do  and  say  things  you’ll  regret  later  on. Many  people  want  to  blame  the  devil  when  they  lose control  and  go  into  a  rage  or  a  fit  of  anger.  But  they’re just  giving  in  to  their  flesh  and  letting  it  dominate them.  And  by  not  keeping  their  flesh  in  check,  they  are opening  a  door  to  the  devil. Some  folks  think  you  can  get  so  “sanctified”  that  you won’t  ever  have  any  more  problems  with  the  flesh  or Satan.  But  the  only  way  you  won’t  have  problems  with the  flesh  or  Satan  is  to  die  and  leave  this  world! A  fellow  came  to  me  one  time  after  one  of  my morning  meetings.  He  said,  “Brother  Hagin,  I  want  you to  pray  that  I  won’t  ever  have  any  more  trouble  with  the devil.”  I  asked,  “Do  you  want  me  to  pray  that  you’ll die?”  He  said,  “No,  I  don’t  want  to  die.”  I  said,  “The  only way  you’ll  never  have  any  more  trouble  with  the  devil  is to  die  and  get  out  of  this  world!” Much  of  the  trouble  this  man  thought  was  coming from  the  devil  was  really  nothing  more  than  his  flesh, but  he  hadn’t  learned  to  distinguish  the  difference.  To be   perfectly   honest   with   you,   I’m   persuaded   that Christians  have  more  trouble  with  their  flesh  than  they do  with  the  devil. Often  Christians  who  are  having  problems  with  the flesh  think  if  they  could  just  “get  away”  from  it  all,  or move  to  another  state,  or  change  jobs  or  churches, things  would  be  different.  But  you  can’t  get  away  from the  flesh;  moving  or  changing  churches  isn’t  going  to solve  the  problem  if  it’s  your  unredeemed  flesh  you’re dealing  with.  Wherever  you  go,  your  flesh  is  still  going to  be  there.  You  might  as  well  go  ahead  and  stay  right where  you  are  and  learn  to  bring  it  in  subjection  to  your recreated  spirit.

TO BE CONTINUE

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The Devil or the Flesh?

Some things that folks attribute to the devil are really nothing more than works of the flesh. It is important to realize that everything that’s wrong in life is not directly the work of an evil spirit. When the Bible talks about keeping the flesh under the dominion of the spirit, too many times folks think that only refers to keeping sexual desires under control. Well, it’s true you’ll have to keep your body under subjection in that area. But right on the other hand, did you ever notice what else the Bible lists as works of the flesh or the old man nature? The Works of the Flesh Galatians chapter 5 lists the works of the flesh. GALATIANS 5:17,19-21 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would…. 19 Now the WORKS OF THE FLESH are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like What many folks call works of “the devil,” the Bible calls the works of the flesh. In Ephesians 4:25-32, Paul lists some of the traits of the “old man”—the flesh or man’s unregenerated nature: lying, stealing, corrupt communication, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice. And he also describes some of the traits of the new man in Christ: truthfulness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. You can see that keeping the flesh under control or under the dominion of the new man in Christ involves more than just keeping sexual desires under control. It involves keeping all the evil tendencies of the flesh in check and under the dominion of the recreated spirit. ‘Put Off’ the Flesh The Bible tells us how to deal with the body and soul—man’s carnal, fleshly nature. We are to “put off” the old man with his fleshly lusts. And we are to “put on” the new man in Christ. EPHESIANS 4:22-24 22 THAT YE PUT OFF concerning the former conversation [lifestyle] THE OLD MAN, which is corrupt according to the DECEITFUL LUSTS; 23 And [you] be RENEWED in the spirit of your MIND; 24 And that YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Who is to put off the nature of the old man or the works of the flesh? You are! “You” is the subject of verse 22. God is not going to “put off the old man” for you. You will have to put off the old man with his envy, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking. You aren’t dealing with evil spirits when you put off those evil tendencies; you are just dealing with your flesh. All too often believers try to take the easy way out and call these evil tendencies of the flesh a “demon” or an “evil spirit.” That way they don’t have any responsibility; they can blame everything on Satan. But the Bible just calls these evil tendencies man’s fleshly nature, and the believer has to do something about that himself. The only way you can put on “the new man” is to renew your mind with the Word of God. Putting off the old man and putting on the new man is part of your “reasonable service” or your “spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1,2). You’ve got to keep those evil tendencies and attitudes under the dominion of your spirit—the man on the inside—and let the new creature in Christ dominate. As you “put on” Christ you’ll be able to walk in the Spirit of God and not in the flesh where you are an easy prey for Satan. If you didn’t have your flesh and its carnal nature to deal with, you wouldn’t be human. And as long as you’re in your body, you will have your fleshly, carnal nature to contend with. For example, if someone hits you and your flesh isn’t in subjection to your spirit, it will want to retaliate and hit him back. That’s the way the carnal nature acts apart from God. If someone hurts you, your flesh wants to get even and retaliate and hold bitterness and resentment against the person. That’s the old “get-even” nature of the flesh. It’s not a devil or demonic activity. It’s just the carnal nature of man left unchecked. “You hurt me and I’ll get even with you.” Have you ever heard Christians talk that way? Flesh is just that way, and that’s why you’ve got to keep it under the dominion of the man on the inside “…

To be continued

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