If you are still in doubt, confess your confusion to a
mature Christian of your own sex. As the two of you pray together
any working of Satan will be brought to light and shown for what
The church, the body of Christ, has been designated by
the Lord as the instrument which He will use to judge angelic and
human sin (I Cor.6:1-3). Whenever two or more Christians assemble
and pray about sin, possible or actual, the spirit of Christ is
present to discern the origin of the act in question and to
forgive and remove all evil associated with it. The blood of
Jesus is the basis for the legally of the judgment and the Spirit
of God provides the power for the execution of the sentence.
There is, in the spiritual realm, great significance
attached to the judgments of Spirit-filled Christians as to the
rightness or wrongness of a motive or deed. Whatever Christians,
who are walking in the Spirit, bind on earth is bound in heaven;
and whatever they loose on earth is loosed in heaven.
Furthermore, Christian elders, when they are moving in the
Spirit, have the authority to remit and to retain sins (John
WARY ATTITUDE TOWARDS "VOICES"
Let us suppose that a "voice" tells you that you are a
prophet. You cannot from the Bible judge this statement as being
from a righteous source or from an unclean source. It could be
from God. But it tends to exalt you, therefore the odds are
against its being from the Lord.
Put such a "word" into neutral. Ask the Lord Jesus to prove
it. Do not accept or reject it. If it is the Lord, sooner or
later other people will testify openly that you are a prophet
because they will have been blessed by your prophecies. You do
not have to make any claims for yourself. "The proof of the
pudding is in the eating" is an old folk saying that applies in
this case. Your power in prophecy will speak for itself.
Perhaps a member of your church acts spitefully toward you.
In revenge you speak a word to him or her that is loaded with
venom. Then the Spirit of the Lord reproves you for acting
vengefully. You must confess immediately to the Lord the words
that were said and the manner and spirit in which they were
spoken. Do not attempt to sugarcoat the act or to justify
yourself or your words. The truth is that you have sinned and
there is no way to make the deed palatable to God. The fact that
the other person deserved your spite is quite beside the point.
God will not for a minute countenance our judging of another. We
think, speak, and act in a holy manner because we are God's
children, not because other people treat us fairly.
When you confess these vengeful words and motives to Jesus
He may or may not require that you ask the other's forgiveness,
The requirements for deliverance vary with the individual
circumstances. We always must be led by the Spirit of God when we
are judging the sin in our life (Rom.5:13,14).
Sometimes it is better for us to say nothing, and pray, than
to go about confessing to people that we hate them. Sometimes,
however, asking a person's forgiveness and going out of the way
to obtain peace and reconciliation is the surest road to
happiness and blessing, and God's favor, for all parties
concerned. If neither side can forgive the other then it is
impossible for the unforgiving persons to have their sins
forgiven. They have been cut off from the benefits of the cross.
They are walking in darkness. Their load of oppression and
bondage will increase as the cancer of hatred eats into their
spirit, soul, and body. The end result will be death and hell.
The same kind of stuff we give out we get back in increased
measure. "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father
which is in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11.26).
We cannot make blanket confessions and get rid of our
fleshly wickedness all at once. It would be a relief if we could.
Rather, it is a continual cleansing as the Holy Spirit begins to
probe the recesses of the heart. The Spirit of God leads us in
such a manner that the sins come to our attention one at a time,
in many instances, similar to the manner in which the Spirit of
God led Joshua against the cities of Canaan one at a time.
The thing to do is to confess the sins that you are aware of now
and get them straightened out. Then the Holy Spirit will direct
you to another "city," so to speak. Your sins must be forgiven
and cleansed through Spirit-led confession. We are not suggesting
here that every day of one's life, the individual is to make a
ritual of confessing sins or that the Holy Spirit will show a new
sin each day. The point being emphasized is that it is a
continuing process in the life of the overcomer and that when sin
in one's life has been revealed it is to be dealt with promptly
and accurately. The process takes a while. It may be necessary to
remind us at this point that the Christian walk is a way of joy
Romans 8:1 is a good reference to keep in mind: "There is
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Depression
and gloom are not gifts of the Father. He commands us to "Rejoice
in the Lord always" (Phil.4.4). We may have one or two
"Gethsemane" experiences along the way, but these are
extraordinary. We go with strength and confidence into the battle
against the work of the enemy in our life. "For this day is holy
to our Lord: neither be sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your
Perhaps it is significant that it was on the sixth day of
creation that man was made in the image of God. The image of God
is a holy, compassionate moral character. Holy strength of
character has not been the image of the Christian church members,
in some instances. But as we begin to confess our sins, and as we
behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, a strong,
holy, compassionate character, in the likeness of the strong,
holy, compassionate character of the Father and Christ, begins to
be formed in us. We are destined to be in the express image of
Christ's body, soul, and spirit. God will never quit until the
perfect moulding has been accomplished.
Perhaps it is significant too that of the doctrines
mentioned in Hebrews 6:1,2, the last-mentioned doctrine, the one
that we leave to "go on to perfection," is the doctrine of
eternal judgment. We believe that the "perfection," of Hebrews
6:1 is the "rest" which is treated at length in Chapters 3 and 4
of Hebrews. It is our opinion that the doctrine of eternal
judgment corresponds to the Day of Atonement: and that
"perfection," or the "rest" of God, corresponds to tile
convocation of Tabernacles which follows the Day of Atonement...
Some Bible students believe that the number seven denotes
perfection in the numerical symbolism of the Scriptures. Also, it
was on the seventh day that God "rested" from His work.
JUDGMENT OF REBELLIOUS SPIRITS
It is helpful for us to keep in mind, as we are allowing the
Spirit of God to deal with the sin in our life, that the judgment
of God primarily is against evil spirits. The lake of fire is
"prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt.25:41). We are not
implying that people also will not end up in the everlasting
fire. Some certainly will! But only those who cooperate with
Satan and refuse to accept the glory and forgiveness of Jesus.
Nevertheless, God's judgment is directed toward evil spirits
and it is they, not people, for whom the lake of fire has been
There is a deep spiritual significance to the whole business
of confession and atonement. Every act of rebellion, or
confession, and every application of the blood of Jesus echo
between heaven and the earth. It appears that the unfolding plan
of God directly affects heaven as well as earth, and that
whatever makes an impact upon one world sends reverberations
throughout the other (Matt.16:19; John 20:23; Heb. 9:23,24;
I Pet.1:12; Luke 10:18,19; Rev.12:5-12).
Remember that the holy of holies, as well as the rest of the
Tabernacle of the Congregation, was cleansed during the Day of
Atonement. Since the All, of the Covenant portrays (among other
things) the heart of the overcomer, according to our viewpoint,
one could say that the cleansing of the holy of holies symbolizes
the cleansing of the heart of the Christian - the heart of the
Christian being, in a very real sense, a mercy seat from which
It appears that the tabernacle in heaven was cleansed
through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, for it Is written:
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the
heavens should be purified with these (the blood of calves and of
goats); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices
than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made
with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven
itself, now to appear in the presence of God for US"(Heb.
Moses saw the "heavenly things," the pattern for the
Tabernacle of the Congregation, when God called him up into the
mountain (Heb.9:23). Moses saw, in symbolic form, the Christian
church, the body of Christ, the eternal tabernacle of God. All
the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ, and His body
is the completeness of His being. Christ is the temple of God and
His church is the fullness of Him. There is no other temple of
God. John saw no temple in the new Jerusalem (Rev.21:22) because
the bride of Christ is the true tabernacle of God, and is the new
Whatever else had to be cleansed in heaven by the blood of
Christ, one thing is certain: Christ (Head and Body), is the
eternal dwelling place of the living God Almighty. Therefore, the
body of Christ, being made up of sinful human beings, must be
cleansed thoroughly from its outermost parts to its innermost
parts. The blood must be sprinkled upon and before the mercy
seat, meaning that the blood of Christ must be brought into the
innermost depths of the heart of the Christian believer. Other
wise he cannot be a part of the body of Christ, the temple of
THE SOURCE OF SIN
Sin came full-blown into the Garden of Eden, not in the form
of a human being, but in the form of a serpent. The rebels from
heaven possessed ancient cunning when Adam and Eve were naive
babes, fresh from the hand of God. Adam was not the father of
liars nor was Cain tile first murderer. Jesus said to the Jews:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father
you will do: He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not
in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh
a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father
of it" (John 8:44).
If we would recognize that it is the principalities and
powers of darkness rather then mankind who are the authors of sin
in the world and in the churches, we might take a more
compassionate attitude toward people and, at the same time, act
more effectively when dealing with sin,
This is not to excuse people from the responsibility for
their actions, because every person is obliged to accept Christ
and to resist the devil. It is rather to localize and focus upon
the root of the problem so that we may be able to attack the
source rather than the symptoms. Our purpose also is to explain
that God's anger and judgment is against rebellions spirits and
that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, as Paul says, but
against the lords of darkness in the realm of spiritual
The Bible does not portray clearly the details of the
rebellion in heaven. Ezekiel 28 and Revelation 12 are two of
several references which allude to the dreadful revolution in
heaven. Notice in Revelation 12 that the removal of the dragon
from heaven is associated with the overcoming by the brethren. In
other words, Satan's power is being destroyed both in the
heavenlies and also in the lives of the Christians. It seems that
the doing of God's will in the earth is related to the condition
of things in the heavenlies.
The blood of the Lamb and the testimony of the Christians
are a mighty force in heaven and upon earth. We believe that
heaven listens intently as the believer passes judgment upon his
own actions, measuring them against the Word of God and declaring
them to be sinful or righteous, as the case may be. If an action
is sinful the blood of Jesus can atone for the sin, the Christian
can go free, and the Holy Spirit can judge the prince of this
world (John 16:11).
It is interesting to note the thinking of the Hebrews
concerning their "Days of Awe." This is the term used by them to
describe the serious nature of Rosh Hashanoh (modern equivalent
of the convocation of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of
Atonement). The Hebrew belief, which dales back to the second
century, is that God judges the world on Rosh Hashanoh and the
fates of all men have been decided by the time of Yom Kippur
These two convocations are the days of judgment.
YEAR OF JUBILEE
First John 2:2 teaches that Jesus "is the propitiation for
our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the
whole world." The revealing of the sons of God (Rom.8:18-21) will
bring the blessing of the atonement to the whole earth (which is
not to say that all men eventually will be saved, for it is
apparent that some men reject the son of God, thus sealing their
own eternal doom). The great earth-wide deliverance to come is
portrayed in the celebration of the year of jubilee.
"Then shall you cause tile trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the
tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you
make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty
throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof: it shall
be a jubilee to you.
And you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall
return every man to his family" (Lev.25:9,10).
TWO OVERLAPPING YEARS
TO BE CONTINUED