CREATURE VERSUS CREATOR
FLESH VERSUS SPIRIT
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) Enemies of God’s Holy Bible delete that scripture portion I underlined from some of their counterfeit bibles, because of its grave importance. We born again Christians become children of God by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, and then we face the choice of whether we will walk after the flesh or walk after the Spirit. If we choose to walk after the Spirit and call on God daily to help us do that, and by God’s Grace and Help we do walk daily after the Spirit, then praise be to God there is therefore now no condemnation to us. If you are a Christian believer, make the important choice before God that you choose to daily walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. And call on God to enable you by His Almighty Power to do just that.
“Almighty God, I confess that I am trusting in the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. I understand that in accordance to this faith on my part, that Thou hast placed me in Jesus Christ. I also understand that because I am in Christ Jesus, I am no longer under condemnation for my sins and have been saved by God from the eternal punishment in Hell for my sins. I thank Thee for this mercy and grace that Thou hast bestowed upon me. Please teach me clearly what it means for me to walk after the flesh and what it means for me to walk after the Spirit. Please create within me a desire to walk after the Spirit. Please guard me from walking after the flesh and save me from walking after the flesh. Please daily guide my walk that I may walk in the Spirit in accordance to Thy Divine Will. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (8:2) Because Eve and Adam sinned; all of us human creatures are born into this world as spiritually dead human creatures. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) When we enter this life through natural birth, we are born in the image of Adam as sinners who are dead in trespasses and sins. As lost sinners, we stand in need of the new birth. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3-7) When a person repents to God and trusts in Christ to save him, God makes him into a new creature in Christ thru the process of the new birth, making that person “born again” by God’s Power.
That new birth puts spiritual life into the lost sinner, who up until the time he believed on Christ, was spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” “Quickened” means to make alive. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).” Ephesians 2:4-5) At that time God makes the believer into a child of God and sets him free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) “Old things” refer to life lived in the sinful flesh. Our sinful flesh is also called our “old man.” It is the only life anyone knows until they trust in Christ and thus are made alive spiritually, God making the believer into a new creature. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6) The fact that a Christian believer’s “old man is crucified with Christ on the cross is spiritual reality, BUT we believers must choose to live in that reality. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:11-13) This scripture clearly tells us that we have the choice of the flesh or the Spirit, and it is our duty and responsibility to reckon ourselves dead unto sin, to not let sin reign in our mortal body, and not to obey its lusts. This forbids us to walk after the flesh, which is still an option to Christian believers. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Verse 16) Please prayerfully read all of Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8 to see the clear choice we believers have of walking after the flesh or walking after the Spirit.
“Heavenly Father, please enable me to reckon myself to be dead unto sin and to be alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Help me not to let sin reign in my mortal body and help me not to obey its lusts. Help me not to yield my members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but to yield myself unto God and my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
God sets Christian believers free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2) to the intent that from then on, we walk after the Spirit, not after the flesh. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4) Determine that with God’s help, you will cease to walk after the flesh and from now on always walk after the Spirit. By doing so, the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in you.
“Lord God, please help me to completely cease to walk after the flesh and to always walk after the Spirit. By Thy Unlimited Power, guide my steps daily and help me to always walk in the Way of Life. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
From the start of chapter 4 of this book, I have been preaching against the kingdom of the devil, which is the world. So from chapter 4 on, the content has been closely related. Moreover the content of chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 are even more finely intertwined, the subject of each chapter leading right into the related subject in the following chapter. As you read these several chapters, listen carefully to God’s Holy Spirit teaching you just how these various subjects are interrelated.
“Heavenly Father, please teach me everything I need to know about these important spiritual matters in order for me to live a victorious life here on earth to be pleasing to Thee and in order for my life to bring glory to Thee. Please guard me from any error that may be in these writings here. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“They that are after the Spirit”
The lost sinner, being a degenerate human creature that is spiritually dead just naturally lives for all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Because he is spiritually dead, he knows of nothing else for which to live. Therefore he naturally strives to gain as much mammon as possible for the purpose of buying all the things of the world he possibly can to feed the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. He naturally does those things because it is his fallen sinful nature to do them. Feeding his being with the things of the world is drinking of the water of the world. It is also walking after the flesh. That fallen, degenerate lifestyle is a sin against our Creator God. Thus He commands us to repent of it and forsake it. He commands us to believe on Christ and thereby be born again by God’s Power, receive a new nature, and be made alive in our spirit in order that we can walk in God’s Spirit instead of walking in our sinful flesh.
Continuing in Romans 8, verse 5 tells us that we are to mind the things of the Spirit. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” Verse 5 clearly shows us this choice of flesh versus Spirit. The result of this clear choice is given in verse 6. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” On the one hand, you choose death. On the other hand, you choose life and peace.
“Heavenly Father, please help me to mind the things of the Spirit and thus be spiritually minded instead of minding the things of the flesh. I have no desire to choose death. Please save me from choosing death. I choose to be spiritually minded and thereby I choose life and peace. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Verse 7)
“Almighty God, save me from being at enmity against Thee. Save me from being carnal minded. Help me to be spiritually minded and subject to the law of God. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Verse 8) This scripture is one of the most important spiritual facts you need to know, believe, and act upon during your life on this earth. If you walk after the flesh you absolutely cannot please your Creator with your life. You cannot give Him the glory and pleasure He created you to give Him. Almighty God created you for the express purpose of glorifying Him and giving pleasure to Him with your life. If you live in the flesh, you totally void that purpose and render your life here on earth meaningless to your Creator God. Furthermore, your life lived in the flesh will rob God of glory. Therefore, whatever you do with your short life here on earth, do not live it in the flesh. “Brother Richard, exactly how can I avoid living in the flesh?” Answer: By crying out to God to save you from living in the flesh.
“Almighty God, I desire to please you with the life I live while here on earth. Therefore I earnestly call on Thee to deliver me from living and walking in the flesh and help me to always live and walk in the Spirit. Help me to study Thy Scriptures diligently and listen to Thy Holy Spirit as He teaches me the things I need to know about walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
God’s solution for us Christian believers ridding ourselves of our flesh (our old nature, our old man) is for God to crucify it on the cross with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) It is a spiritual reality that the Christian believer is crucified with Christ, that crucifixion of the believer being an act of God. But each believer must make the choice to live in that spiritual reality of being crucified with Christ. To fail to make that choice is to live in the flesh.
“Lord God, as a believer in Christ, I choose to live in the spiritual reality of my old fleshly nature, my old man, being crucified, put to death on the cross with Christ. I desire to live my life here on earth by the faith of the Son of God, my Lord Jesus Christ. I desire and choose to live in the Spirit. I pray that all other believers will also choose to daily walk and live in this spiritual reality. Amen.”
Once more, read Romans 6:6&7. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Death is the only means by which we can be freed from sin, the curse of the law, and the power of the flesh on our daily lives. Therefore we must obey God’s command to us in Romans 6:11. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Let’s continue in Romans chapter 8, now reading verses 9 thru 12. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” The Apostle Paul is clearly addressing Christian believers here, as he calls them “brethren.” Reading these 4 verses makes it easy to conclude on the surface that any and all believers are completely finished with the flesh (our old man) and are now totally and always in the Spirit. But read the next verse carefully.
“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.” (Verse 13) The apostle is still talking to believers and he calls on them mortify (kill) the deeds of the body through the Spirit. It is your decision to make, that of calling on God’s Spirit to mortify the deeds of your body. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Verse 14) This is our goal, to fully yield to God in order to be led by His Spirit instead of following the lusts of our flesh. You must choose to walk in the Spirit. Tell God you desire to be crucified with Christ and desire to be raised in newness of life in Christ with His Spirit living in you, to from henceforth to live in the Spirit and not to live the flesh.
“Heavenly Father, that is what my heart earnestly desires, to be crucified with Christ and raised in newness of life in Christ with His Spirit living in me. I desire from henceforth to live in the Spirit and to not live in the flesh. Help me to now totally yield myself to Thee, Almighty God in Heaven, for Thee to perfect this work in my being. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Created in Christ Jesus unto good works”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) God has ordained a spiritual work for each and every believer. No Christian is left out. You cannot accomplish this spiritual work by walking in the flesh and living in the flesh. You must walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit in order to accomplish the good work God has ordained for you. Each believer’s ordained work is important. There will be eternal loss if he fails to do that assigned work due to walking and living in the flesh, other disobedience to God, or for any reason at all. God forbid that you fail to work the good works that God has ordained for you.
“Almighty God, please help me to fully submit myself to Thee to work the good works that Thou hast before ordained that I should walk in. Guide my walk; guide my life, so that I do all the good works Thou hast ordained for me. I confess that I cannot do them in the flesh or in my own power. So please save me from walking and living in the flesh and striving to please Thee and serve Thee in the flesh. Please help me to walk in the Spirit and at all times to totally rely upon Thy Divine Unlimited Power for Thee to work Thy Divine Will in my life. I pray that all other people will also totally submit their lives to Thee. Amen.”
No one’s work can be said to be unimportant. But the believers whom God calls to positions of leaders, teachers, preachers, and such bear a more grave responsibility because of the higher position in which God has placed them. How direly necessary it is for all the leaders whom God has placed in His body do their work in the Spirit and not in the flesh. It is detrimental to the body of Christ when any Christian lives in the flesh and serves God in the flesh. It is much more detrimental when the church leaders do that. It will just be natural for his followers to also follow his example and live in the flesh and attempt to serve God in the flesh.
“Heavenly Father, I pray for the preachers and for all the other spiritual leaders Thou hast set in Thy body of believers, the church. I pray that they all will live in the Spirit, serving Thee in the Spirit, and thus set the proper Spiritual example for Thy flock to follow. Amen.”
“Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured”
In several chapters in Exodus, God gave Moses many and clearly detailed instructions pertaining to the service unto their God that He ordained for His chosen people to do. In chapter 30, starting in verse 22, God instructed Moses to make a holy anointing oil, precisely prescribing the various ingredients and the exact amount of each. “And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” (Verse 25) Next follows instructions to anoint each holy thing in the tabernacle. For brevity’s sake, I will not write all that here. But next follows instructions for anointing the priests. Look at that in Exodus 30:30-33. “And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.”
God ordained that the Old Testament Israelite priests be anointed with this holy anointing oil for service unto God. That pertained to the Old Testament priesthood and therefore in your mind seems far removed from you in time and distance. But there is direly important teaching here that applies to you as a Christian believer now. So please don’t miss it. As a present day Christian believer, you also are a royal priesthood and a citizen of a holy nation. Look what I Peter 2:9 says about New Testament Christians. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Ask God to show you the importance of your high Spiritual calling and standing that is described in this verse.
“Heavenly Father, please open my eyes and show me the importance of this High and Holy calling and standing of a Royal Priesthood Thou has bestowed upon me as a Christian believer. Please enable me and empower me to live up to this High Calling during my life here on earth. I pray this for all other Christian believers also. Amen.”
God’s Holy Anointing Oil that was poured upon the Old Testament Israelite priest at the start of his priesthood service is a Biblical type of God’s Holy Spirit that is poured upon present day Christians to anoint them with God’s Holy Power to empower them to walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, and to serve God in the Power of His Holy Spirit. Now look carefully at what God decreed concerning this Holy Anointing Oil in Exodus 30:32. “Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured.” That is a command of God. But over and above it being a command, it is a DECREE of Almighty God. God thereby decrees that He WILL NOT pour out the Holy Anointing Oil of His Holy Spirit upon our flesh. It is absolutely impossible for us to accomplish anything for God in our flesh, because God has decreed that He will not pour out His Anointing power upon it.
Please be careful not to get confused or mistaken concerning this “flesh” that I keep talking about. Our physical body is a body of flesh. And any spiritual work we do for God will involve physical activities, movement, and labor by our bodies of flesh. We will use the physical strength God has blessed us with, in service to Him. This physical body of flesh is a type of our sinful nature, our old man. It includes our fallen mind and the thoughts that come from it. It also includes striving in our own power to serve God instead of relying upon His Anointing Spiritual Power to accomplish a Spiritual work thru our lives. And God has decreed that He will not pour His Holy Spirit’s Anointing Power upon our efforts of service that come from “Self”, our fleshy, sinful nature, our old man. All such efforts on our part to serve God will be in vain.
“Lord God, please give me thorough understanding of this matter. Save me from attempting to serve Thee in the flesh, by my own human thinking and efforts, and by my own physical endeavors only. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
With passing time, Christians have grieved God’s Holy Spirit by becoming more worldly in their lives. Thus we steadily cease depending upon Spiritual Power alone and instead turn to fleshly efforts and show, thereby attempting to serve God and do a spiritual work for Him in the flesh. It is all completely in vain, because God has decreed that He will not pour out His Holy Anointing Oil upon our flesh. He will not pour out the Holy Spirit’s Anointing Power upon our fleshly efforts. May He save each of us Christians from our vain attempts at serving Him in our flesh.
In Exodus 30:32, upon decreeing that the Holy Anointing Oil shall not be poured upon man’s flesh, look carefully at God’s following command. “Neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy into you.” God forbids the making of any counterfeits of His Holy Anointing Oil. But making those counterfeits is exactly what we are prone to do just as soon as we forsake the Fountain of Living Waters. We hew out broken cisterns that can hold no water. The church immediately starts making any and every counterfeit of this Holy Anointing Oil (the Holy Spirit’s Anointing Power) that we can conceive of; skits, drama, church recreation, sports, entertainment, fellowship meals, parties, trips to every watering hole of the world imaginable, and an unending list of such counterfeits. Such “church” activities are basically and essentially “works of the flesh” and thereby are basically not qualified to have God’s Holy Anointing Oil poured upon them. Bible colleges cease to be spiritual training grounds and rather turn into training grounds to polish man’s flesh and make him into a religious leader who will draw crowds of people to him by means of his risen, polished creature of flesh. Those religious schools also come to teach their students every fun, thrilling, and exciting church program possible for drawing crowds. Practically all such endeavors are works of the flesh. This sinful disobedience of counterfeiting God’s Spiritual Power and His Spiritual Work grieves God’s Holy Spirit, causing Him to withdraw His Presence from us and to write “Ichabod” (meaning “the glory is departed”) over all our vain, fleshly efforts. “Upon man’ flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it…it is HOLY.”
“Heavenly Father, please teach me all I should know about how we Christian believers are prone to forsake the things of the Spirit and instead make counterfeits, which are no more than striving in our own fleshly efforts to serve Thee. Save us Christians from doing that. Save us from making counterfeits of Thy Holy Anointing Oil, which is Thy Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Many evil spirits imitate God’s Holy Spirit and thereby counterfeit it. We must always be alert to their mischievous devices and always try the spirits as God commands us to do in I John 4.
“Heavenly Father, please help us Christian believers to obey Thy most important command in I John chapter 4 to try the spirits to see whether they be of God. Please save us all from being deceived by evil spirits from the devil. Amen.”
“The flesh profiteth nothing”
Please do not forget Romans 8:6&8 which I previously stressed. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Now add John 6:63 to these two verses and keep these most important Scriptures in mind in order to please God by living in the Spirit. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” You must fully, without any reservation at all, believe God’s Eternal Truth, “the flesh profiteth nothing.” You must come to believe that the flesh is absolutely worthless, or you will never forsake relying upon it.
“Heavenly Father, instill within me a firm, unshakable belief in Thy Truth that the flesh profiteth nothing. Save me from relying on my flesh, trusting in it, and attempting to serve Thee in the flesh. Please help me to daily live in the Spirit and to serve Thee in the Spirit. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Exodus 30 is most important. For brevity’s sake, I only quoted a few verses from it. Please prayerfully read the entire chapter. Also please read all of Exodus chapter 40. I will now quote a few verses from it to preach on. Here God continues to instruct Moses concerning the Holy Service of the priests. “And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it.” (Verses 9-11)
Next follows the instructions for anointing the priests. “And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (12-13) Clean him up and then put holy garments upon him. God didn’t ordain any casual “dress down” or “come as you are” affair for spiritual service unto Him. “And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. Thus did Moses: according to all that the Lord commanded him, so did he.” (14-16) Clothe his sons with coats, absolutely nothing casual about this spiritual service. But as the present-day church steadily becomes more worldly, it becomes more casual in attire worn in church and in freely eating and drinking during Sunday School classes, and numerous other casual doings. These casual actions in the physical realm lead right into being casual in the spiritual realm of our church services, which grieves God’s Holy Spirit, causing Him to withdraw His Holy Anointing from our church services.
“Brother Richard, I just can’t believe how picky you are being here? Well, can you believe how powerless the church presently is?? Just where do you think the fault lies in the church of the Living God now being so powerless? If you think it is God’s fault that the church has become so powerless instead of it being our own fault, then plainly tell God that, so you can proudly have it on your record for Judgment Day. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:12-15) What sorrowful remorse and regret the believer will have on Judgment Day who built upon wood, hay, and stubble, and therefore has all his worthless work burned up by fire. All loss. No reward. May God help each of us Christians to build on the gold, silver, and precious stones of the Holy Spirit and may our Lord save us from building on the wood, hay, and stubble of the works of the flesh.
“The flesh profiteth nothing.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
“Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it.”
“Almighty God, please help me to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, serve Thee in the Spirit, and thereby build upon gold, silver, and precious stones, doing spiritual works for Thee that will abide the refining fires of Thy Judgment. Please save me from the flesh. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
In the following 2 chapters, I deal with 2 specific areas of the flesh that present-day Christian believers are most fond of and are greatly caught up in them. These 2 sins of the flesh are now epidemic among Christians and are bringing much spiritual death into the body of Christ. May God give you an open heart to listen to what His Holy Spirit speaks to you about them.
(This is the end of Chapter 12 of Creature Versus Creator.)