Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle John unto the saints which were at Ephesus. More specifically today’s passage begins with the twenty-eight verse of the second chapter and continues through to the sixth verse of the fourth chapter. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteous is born of him” (1 John 2:28-29).
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him puritieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that .loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:1-15).
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whosoth hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutters up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is the commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:16-24).
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because great is he that is in you, that’s he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth no us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:1-6).
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the apostle John continuing his exhortation and instruction provided unto those who were in Ephesus. If there is one thing I find to be incredibly unique and powerful about the words which are present in this epistle it’s that they were written by one who was not writing based on their own inspiration or imagination. It was the apostle Peter who emphatically wrote in his second epistle that no prophecy originates within the heart and mind of man but instead comes from the living and eternal God. The apostle Peter would go on to write concerning prophecy that holy men of old prophesied and even wrote as the Holy Spirit came and breathed upon them. In the first chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter we find him writing of their having the prophetic word confirmed which they did well to heed as a light which shone in a dark place until the day dawned and the morning star rose in their hearts. The apostle Peter would go on to write how no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation nor did it ever come from the will of man. Instead holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning faith in the epistle written unto the Roman saints. The apostle Paul wrote that faith came by hearing and hearing by the Word of God—a reality which demonstrates the supreme importance of the Word of God and its direct connection to our faith. What’s more is when you consider the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the fourth chapter. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote concerning the Word of God and that it was living and powerful and was sharper than any two-edge sword which pierced even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow. Not only this but the Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:11-13).
“But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:8-17).
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:16-21).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I absolutely love the words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture for each of them bring us face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the inspiration of God upon holy men of old. In the first and opening verse of the epistle written unto the Hebrews we find the author writing and declaring that God spoke in times past in various manners through His servants the prophets, however, He has in these Last Days spoken by His Son. This is something which warrants strong consideration on our part for its brings us face to face—both with the incredible truth surrounding the inspiration which men of old experienced as they would deliver the words of God unto the people of God and even various nations within the earth and as men of old would write as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we encounter the incredible truth surrounding those who believed on the name and person of the eternal and only begotten Son and how they were given power to become the sons of God. Such individuals were not given power to become sons of God who were born of flesh, nor of blood, nor even the will of man but of God Himself. There is something incredibly unique and powerful about men and women who are not only born of the will of God rather than the will of man but also of men and women who receive revelation from the living and eternal God. With this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Matthew presents within his gospel account of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel concerning the encounter which Jesus and His disciples had at Caesarea Philippi:
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am? So they said, Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:13-20).
Pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for this is another example of inspiration which comes directly from God. In this particular section of Scripture, however, we find that inspiration did not come from the Spirit of God but rather from God Himself. Within this passage we find both inspiration and revelation as Simon called Peter would receive revelation and inspiration directly from God the Father as it would be the living God who would reveal unto Him the identity of Jesus the Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the incredible truth that that Simon called Peter not only received revelation from the living God but also received inspiration from the living God. If you study the anatomy of the physical body—specifically the respiratory system—you will find that there are indeed two terms for the beginning process of breathing. The first part of breathing is the process whereby we take in oxygen from the atmosphere and environment around us while the second part of breathing is releasing carbon dioxide which our body produces once it has absorbed the necessary oxygen and releases that which is neither beneficial nor helpful for the body. What’s more is the process of taking in oxygen is called inhaling but it is also called inspiration.
I sit here today thinking about this particular concept is truly unique when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the process of breathing within our lives and how it is closely tied together to that which is true in the spiritual realm. I am absolutely convinced that just as there is the physical and natural process of breathing in the physical and natural realm so also is there the spiritual process of breathing in the spiritual and supernatural realm. I realize this might seem like a foreign concept to those who read and consider these words, however, I find it necessary to call and draw your attention to the fact that just as surely as we need physical breath in our lungs to survive and exist so also we need to take in spiritual breath to survive. When the living and eternal God first formed man from the dust of the earth he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. It was at that moment man would become a living soul and would become more than simply a lifeless form which existed upon the earth outside the garden. What’s more is that when you consider the vision which Ezekiel had in the midst of the valley that was full of dry bones you will find that the initial prophetic word that was spoken would cause the bones to come together unto their bones before sinews (muscles) would be formed atop the bones and flesh would appear above the sinews. Within the vision, however, there was a mighty and vast army that would stand before Ezekiel as the bones were joined their respective bones and as sinews and flesh were formed upon them. Despite the fact that this process had indeed taken place in the midst of the valley this vast army would remain entirely lifeless. It wouldn’t be until Ezekiel prophesied unto the four winds of the earth that the breath of Almighty God would breathe upon these slain that they might live. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in both the Old Testament book of Genesis in the second chapter as well as the thirty-seventh chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel:
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
“The handle of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? So I answered, O LORD God, You know. Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD God to these bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on your and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man and say to the breath, Thus says the LORD God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off! Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the LORD God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put my Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it, says the LORD” (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
In both of these passages of Scripture we find powerful examples of the breath of God—the very breath of life—that entered into the nostrils of those who were present in the earth. IN the case of Adam the breath of life entered him for the very first time that he might become a living soul and it was this breath that would cause life to enter into him. In the case of the vast army which was present in the midst of the valley into which the prophet Ezekiel was brought by the hand of the LORD we find the breath of God being breathed into and upon them that they might live again. Within this particular vision we find the process of resurrection that would take place—and not simply resurrection but a process that would extend beyond resurrection. In most cases when you think and speak about resurrection you think of the physical body still being present in the earth and still very much in tact. When Lazarus was raised from death to life after four days his physical body was still very much in tact and had not yet begun to decay. When Jesus Himself lie buried in the borrowed tomb His own physical body was still very much in tact without any form of decay beginning to settle upon it. In the case of the two resurrections which would take place during the days of Elijah and Elisha the same principle is true as the physical body would still be very much in tact. Even the widow’s son from Nain whom Jesus would raise up was being transported in a coffin during a funeral procession before Jesus would show up and raise it to life. These examples are incredibly unique when you take the time to think about them in comparison to what we find in Ezekiels’ vision of dry bones for not only had decay set in but there was literally no more flesh, no more muscle, no more joints, no more tendons, no more ligaments or anything of the sort. In Ezekiel’s vision the only thing that was left were bones which were disjointed, dismembered and scattered across the valley floor.
I sit here today thinking about what we find in the prophetic book of Ezekiel and the vision of the valley of dry bones he had and I can’t help but see a powerful picture of disjointed, dismembered and decay. You cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the death, the decay and the disjointed and dismembered presence in the midst of this vision. DEATH, DECAY, DISJOINTED, DISMEMBERED! Please pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the absolutely wonderful reality surrounding the importance of resurrection—and not only the process of resurrection but the process of the breath of life which was breathed upon these slain. In Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones we find him seeing a valley that was full of a very many bones—and not only a very many bones but a very many bones which were very dry. DEATH, DECAY, DRY, DISMEMBERED AND DISJOINTED! Oh there is a great need to recognize and pay attention to the words which we find in this passage of Scripture for what we see is a powerful example of death which was the first part of the process which would be followed by decay. Once death took hold of this army decay would begin to set in as the internal organs, the muscles, the flesh, the tendons, the ligaments, the joints, the cartilage and everything the body needs to function as a unit would be decayed. Once the process of decay had taken its toll and completed it’s work the only thing that would be left would be bones. With this particular reality we must consider that these bones would have been in this valley for an extended period of time for they were not only scattered but they were also very dry. For bones to be very dry they would have had to have been residing in that valley for an incredibly long period of time.
If you continue reading the words which are found in these verses you will find that once death and decay had completed their work it opened the door and made way for these bones to become dried out and to become disjointed and dismembered from themselves. Oh I can’t help but wonder what this vision looked like when Ezekiel made his way into it being led by the hand of the LORD who brought him there in the midst of it. When Ezekiel entered into this valley he perhaps saw bones which were very many scattered as far as the eye could see. Moreover Ezekiel saw bones which weren’t merely scattered but were very many and very dry. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the bones which were joined together might have been in different places throughout the valley and upon the valley floor. The vision seems to suggest that the bones which formed the skeletal system of one individual weren’t all in the same place and were in fact scattered throughout the valley floor. When Ezekiel prophesied to the bones that they might live again he would hear a rattling and shaking as bones would come together—bone to his bone. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if part of the cause of the sound and noise which Ezekiel heard was due to bones coming from this part of the valley to another part of the valley that they might be joined together unto their proper bone—and not only their proper bone but also their skeletal system. There is a part of me that can’t help but think about—not only the sight of the bones coming together but also the sound of the bones coming together there in the midst of the valley before Ezekiel.
The more I think about this and the more I consider it the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely astonishing reality that death wasn’t the only reality that was manifested and present in the midst of the valley. If you read the words which are found here you will find that decay was another reality that had manifested itself there in the valley as it was through decay that all the elements outside the skeletal system of the body were all removed and no longer in existence. What makes this truly astonishing when you take the time to consider what took place in this vision which Ezekiel saw is that it wasn’t merely resurrection that would take place according to the breath of life which was breathed upon those slain but there was also the process of creation. If you take the time to truly think about and consider this you will encounter the reality that death was followed by decay and it was decay which had completely destroyed and removed all the vital parts of the human bodies beyond the bones which made up the skeletal system. When Ezekiel prophesied according to the word of the Lord he saw sinews and flesh coming upon them—and not only sinews and flesh but also skin covering them. It’s important to note that the valley was not filled with sinews, and flesh and skin that was somehow added to the bones which had come together. I am absolutely convinced that when we read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we first see the process of creation which took place as flesh, sinews and skin were created to cover the bones. Once the process of creation had taken place in the sinews, flesh and skin being created to cover the bones the process of resurrection would take place. It would be this process of resurrection that would take place there in the midst of the valley that would cause this army which was once slain to live again.
I read the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the absolutely incredible truth surrounding the bones which were scattered across the valley floor. For there to be nothing but bones left indicates that death wasn’t the only force that was at work but also that decay had also taken hold of what once bore life and had life within it. Decay had taken such a holy upon this army that was present in the midst of the valley that the only thing that was left was bones which is essentially the final part of the body that remains upon the earth after death after an extended period of time. Consider the fact that any archeological find of fossils is nothing more than bones which at one point belonged to something which was living. Essentially this valley was filled with nothing more than fossils which not only indicated that death had taken its toll but also that decay had also taken its toll upon this army which at one point stood strong and mighty in the earth. This takes on a whole new meaning when you think about the process of resurrection that would take place place in the midst of the valley. Resurrection would indeed be the ultimate and end result of what would take place in the valley, however, this resurrection was no easy task nor was a small feat. In order for resurrection to take place in the midst of this valley bones which were very dry and scattered would need to be joined together and perhaps even moistened that they might once more function the way they were designed.
IN order for resurrection to take place within this valley those bones which were very dry would need to moistened and brought together unto the bones to which they were once connected and joined together. The process of resurrection would first require these bones which were scattered across the valley floor to be joined together bone unto bone and the corresponding joints that were needed to allow movement and function. What’s more is that once these bones had come together the essential components such as cartilage, muscle, ligaments, tendons and joints would need to be created that the body might move the way it was originally designed and created. Ezekiel writes how he heard a great noise and suddenly a rattling as the bones came together bone to bone thus forming countless skeletal systems there in the midst of the valley. Oh I wonder what this sight looked like as bones would come together bone to bone and simply lying there on the floor of the valley. Imagine bones coming together to bones to form vast skeletal systems there in the midst of the valley as what Ezekiel would see next wouldn’t merely be vast skeletal systems lying on the valley floor but all of a sudden the process of creation would begin to take place as the LORD God would create from nothing and cause sinews, flesh and skin to come upon these forms which were present in the midst of the earth. In the midst of the valley Ezekiel would witness the process of creation taking place as the sinews, the flesh and the skin that was needed in the midst of the valley would need to take a place—a process that only the living and eternal God could complete. There was no one nor any thing on the earth that could cause bones which were very many, scattered and decayed to come together nor was there any one or any thing on the earth that could cause the necessary parts of the human body such as the muscular system and perhaps even the organs to be created aside from the one true and living God. Oh in order to help illustrate this point even further I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints as well as the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Thessalonian saints:
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on Immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:42-55).
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
These two passages of Scripture are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about it for while there was indeed a resurrection which would take place in the valley of dry bones which Ezekiel saw there is going to be another resurrection which would take place at the coming of Christ. It is at the coming of Christ when the dead in Christ will rise first before those who are alive and remain will be caught up together afterward to meet them in the air. What makes this truly intriguing when you think about it is when you consider that for the dead to rise there would need to be a wonderful and powerful work of regeneration that would take place. Think about what it would take for the dead in Christ to rise first and the process that would need to take place to create and form a spiritual body that would meet the Lord in the air. That which makes this process all the more different than what we find in the prophetic book of Ezekiel is that in the vision which Ezekiel saw he would not only witness the process of creation but he would also witness the process of resurrection. The process of creation would be evidenced and manifested through the formation of sinews, flesh and skin to cover the bones and the skeletal systems which were there present in the midst of the valley. The process of resurrection would be the breath of God being breathed upon these slain that they might not only stand upon their feet an exceedingly great army but might also live. The very first question the living God asked Ezekiel when he was brought to this valley was whether or not these bones could live again. The underlying principle and reality here is indeed these bones living again—these bones which were dry, scattered, disjointed and dismembered as death and decay had taken hold of this vast army which was present in the midst of the valley.
When you read the words found in this passage of Scripture—as well as the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis—you will find the breath of God being breathed into the nostrils of Adam the first man thus causing him to become a living soul. It would be the breath of the living God being breathed upon the structures there in the midst of the valley that would cause them to stand upon their feet and exceeding great army. This concept of the breath of God—and not only the breath of God but the breath of heaven and the breath of the Spirit—which we must needs recognize and understand. There is something incredibly unique and powerful about this concept of the breath of life which is mentioned in these passages of Scripture for I am convinced they are intrinsically linked to the spiritual atmosphere and environment that is needed for us as the people of God. I am absolutely convinced that just as we breathe in the physical and natural and take in oxygen from the atmosphere and environment so also we breathe in the spiritual realm. With this being said you will find that in the natural realm the process of taking in oxygen actually has two names and descriptions—inhaling and inspiration. It’s actually quite interesting to think about the fact that one of the words used for the process of taking in oxygen and breath in the physical natural realm is called inspiration and how the process of inspiration plays an intrinsic role in the functioning of our body. It is the process of inspiration and taking in oxygen that actually contributes to how our blood operates and functions within the body. It is the oxygen that we take in that oxygenates our blood and allows it to be used within the physical body. Part of the human heart—the right atrium—receives deoxygenated blood and then pumps it to the lungs through the right ventricle. This blood is then oxygenated within lungs and is then pumped back into the physical body through the series of veins. The arteries within the physical body receive the deoxygenated blood while the veins within the body are what pump the oxygenated blood that is useful for survival.
I realize that some of this might in fact be technical and might seem like it has any type of relevance for what we are talking about, however, when you look at the process of inspiration—breathing in the oxygen that is produced within our environment—you will find that it accomplishes so much more than what we are actually aware of. With this being said I am convinced that just as inspiration is needed in the physical realm so also is spiritual inspiration needed in the spiritual realm. I firmly believe that we as the people cannot survive without spiritual inspiration and the taking in of the breath of God. We as the saints of God cannot survive without taking in the revelation of God which does indeed and does in fact come through inspiration and spiritual breathing. Perhaps one of the great questions we must needs ask ourselves when reading these words is whether or not we are breathing correctly in the spiritual realm. Are we as the saints of God truly healthy as it comes to our process of spiritual inspiration and spiritual inhalation? What’s more is I would dare say that just as there might need to be a need to have our natural respiratory system checked to ensure that our breathing is healthy and as it should be so also our spiritual respiratory system needs to be checked. I firmly believe that we as the people of God must needs be such who understand spiritual inhalation and spiritual inspiration as we are called to take in the oxygen of heaven manifested in the Spirit of God living God. There is a great need for us as the people of God to truly be aware of the process of spiritual inspiration and how much we are truly taking in of the Spirit of God and how much we are truly taking in the Word of God. I firmly believe that we as the saints of God must needs be those who truly recognize and understand the need to ensure that our spiritual respiratory system is in fact working the way that it should be and that we are indeed breathing correctly and properly in the spiritual realm.
I am sitting here today thinking about this process of spiritual inspiration and can’t help but wonder how much time we as the people of God actually spend spiritually breathing and taking in the breath of God manifested through the person of the Spirit. The normal amount of breaths taking in per minute in an adult during a period of rest is 25 breaths per minute—something which warrants strong consideration on our part in the spiritual realm. If in the physical realm the average human adult takes in twenty-five breaths per minute to continue to function properly and correctly then I am convinced that our spiritual body needs a similar reality for itself to function correctly. I do not profess to know how many inspirations we need in the spiritual realm, however, I will say that there is a great need for us as the saints of God to ensure that we are indeed taking in the correct amount of inspiration each and every minute, each and every hour, each and every day, each and every week, each and every month, and each and every year over year. Permit me to ask whether or not your spiritual respiratory system is indeed healthy and whether or not you are indeed taking in the breath of God as you should and as you ought to. If you were to be truly honest with yourself and with God are you truly breathing in, taking in and inhaling the breath of God within your life? Are you breathing in and are your receiving inspiration from the Word of God and from the Spirit of God on a consistent and daily basis. There is a great need for us to recognize and understand this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for our spiritual vitality and spiritual existence. Just as we need to ensure that our physical inspiration is healthy and as it should be so also we need to ensure our spiritual inspiration is healthy and functioning correctly. There is a great need for us as the people of God to recognize just how important this truly is and how it contributes to our spiritual existence in the earth.
If you read the words which are found in the first epistle written by the apostle John you will encounter the tremendous amount of spiritual inspiration and inhalation the disciples received during those three and a half years they walked with Jesus. What’s more is that it was mentioned previously about Simon called Peter who received a powerful revelation through inspiration as the living and eternal God would indeed breathe into his spirit revelation concerning the Son. It would be Simon called Peter who would receive revelation from the Father that Jesus was indeed the Christ and was indeed the Son of the living God. What’s more is that in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find this spiritual inspiration and revelation being manifested again when Jesus would ask the disciples if they too would turn back and walk no more with Him. Simon Peter would first respond to the Lord’s question by asking where they would go before declaring unto Him that He held the words of eternal life. Simon Peter would then go on to declare of Jesus that He was the Christ and the Son of the living God—a revelation he would receive from the Father which was in heaven. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the continued need for spiritual inspiration and spiritual inhalation—not only through revelation but also through encountering the Spirit of the living God. Oh the greater your spiritual inspiration is the greater your experiences are with the very Spirit of the living God. You cannot and must not expect to be spiritually healthy and to have a spiritually healthy respiratory system without regular breathing in of the Holy Spirit of the living God.
Upon reading the words found in the second chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle John you will find him speaking of the Antichrist—and not only the Antichrist but also those among them in the earth who had the appearance of being among them and yet were not. If you begin reading with and from the eighteenth verse of the second chapter you will find the apostle John writing concerning the last hour and how they had heard the Antichrist is coming. What’s more is that not only was the Antichrist coming but there were also many antichrists who had come and were present among them. It was the presence of these antichrists who confirmed and revealed that they were living in the last hour. Such individuals went out from among them but they were not of them. If these individuals had been of them they would have continued with them. Their going out was necessary that it might be made manifest that none of them were actually of the brethren. What makes this truly interesting when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that these individuals had the appearance of actually being the brethren and yet were nothing more than false brethren and antichrists. The apostle Paul wrote of these individuals in the epistle written unto the churches which were in Galatia when he referred to those who crept in among them as being false brethren. The apostle Paul wrote of them as being false brethren while the apostle John wrote of them as being antichrists. For the apostle John these were individuals who went out from among them but were not of them. The fact that they went out from among them revealed that they were not of them and did not belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who was indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God.
If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will the apostle John writing how they had an anointing from the Holy One and knew all things. It was this anointing that taught them and enabled them to see, understand and recognize the truth. Moreover the apostle John would ask the question of who was a liar but he who denied that Jesus was the Christ. The apostle John would reveal that the one who denies the Father and the Son is antichrist and whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. This is something warrants strong consideration when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with how absolutely important revelation and inspiration are within our hearts and lives. Not only this but the apostle John would go on to write unto these saints concerning those who would try to deceive them. The apostle John would write unto them how they had received the anointing which they received from He who abode within them. As a result of the anointing which they had received they did not have need that anyone teach them.Just as that anointing taught them concerning all things and is true and is not a lie it has taught them and will enable them to abide in the Father and in the Son.
The more I think about this particular reality of spiritual inhalation and spiritual inspiration the more I am convinced that the only way to truly commit ourselves to this is to abide in the Father and to abide in the Son. Those who wish to have a healthy spiritual respiratory system are those who will truly abide in the Father and abide in the Son and commit themselves to being joined together and unto them. Within this passage of Scripture we find the apostle John writing of the anointing which they had received and which was present within them and taught them concerning the truth. Jesus Himself would indeed speak of this when He would speak of the Spirit who was to come—the promise of the Father who was indeed the Comforter. In fact it would be the apostle John who would include Jesus’ words on the night in which He was betrayed concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit. There is a great need for us as the saints of God to recognize and that the eternal Spirit of the living God does indeed guide us into all truth and does in fact teach us all things. When the apostle John writes of the anointing in this epistle it must be understood that it is directly linked and intrinsically connected to the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. What’s more is that in order for us to have a healthy spiritual respiratory system we not only need to abide in the Father and the Son but we must also have the Spirit abiding and dwelling in us. It is the person and presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us that serves as the spiritual oxygen which we ourselves breathe and which not only permeates but also fills our being. We as the saints of God must needs be those who recognize the important of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit within us for it is the presence of the Spirit within us that does in fact give us the life that we need to be able to function as the saints of God. Oh consider the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John and the language used concerning the Spirit of the living God:
“If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:15-18).
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, I am going to the Father, for my Father is greater than I” (John 14:25-28).
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27).
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However er, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears he will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I said that he will take of mine and declare it to you” (John 16:12-15).
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely imperative to call your attention to that which can indeed destroy your spiritual health and your spiritual respiratory system. If you read the first epistle written by the apostle John you will find him writing concerning sin and how destructive and deadly its presence truly is within our lives. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found within this epistle and not encounter sin and its destructive force within the life of a saint of God. It is in the first chapter of this epistle where you will find the apostle John writing concerning sin and how if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. What’s more is the apostle John goes on to reveal sin as being something that must needs be confessed before and in the presence of the living God for he writes that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The apostle John goes on to write that if we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. Moreover the apostle John opens the second chapter by speaking of his writing unto them that they might not sin. If, however, they did sin they had an Advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous. This Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and not for our only but for alto the world [Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!]. The apostle John would go on to instruct these saints that they ought not love the world nor the things in the world and if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in Him. All that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
If you read the words which are found in the third chapter of this epistle you will find the apostle John declaring that those who commit sin commit lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. The apostle John writes how Jesus was manifested to taker away our sons and in Him there was and there is no sin. Whoever abides in Christ does not sin and whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. The apostle John did not want them to be deceived for those who practice righteousness are righteous just as He is righteous. The apostle John writes that he who sins is of the devil for the devil has sinned from the beginning. It was for this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. He goes on to write that whoever has been born of God does not sin for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he has been born of God. Furthermore the apostle John goes on to write that the children of God and the children of the devil are manifested for whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is he who does not love his brother. The message we heard from the beginning is that we should love one another and not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his own brother. John writes the reason why Cain murdered his brother was because his works were evil and his brother’s were righteous. One of those most important questions we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are spiritually healthy Christians who do in fact have the anointing in us and have the Spirit within us. We as the saints of God must needs recognize and understand that we have indeed been called to be those who pursue righteousness with everything we have within us and must needs be those who do in fact have the very nature and essence of the living God through the person of the Holy Spirit present and manifested within us. We as the saints of God must needs be those who recognize whether or not we are truly walking in righteousness and obedience in the sight and presence of the living God. Are we as the saints of God those who truly acknowledge and understand whether or not we are such who are spiritual healthy having the Spirit of the living God dwelling within us? Are we truly those who are abiding in the Father and the Son and have the Father and the Son abiding in us?
With this being said I am convinced that one of the greatest demonstrations and manifestations of a healthy spiritual life—one that continues to inhale and inspire the divine nature of the living God—is that of loving others. It was Jesus Himself who emphatically declared that they would know we were His disciples by how we loved others. I am absolutely convinced that one of the greatest demonstrations and manifestations of a healthy spiritual life is indeed our love for others. We have been called to love our neighbor as ourself and we have in fact been called to love our enemies as well. There are absolutely no borders, no boundaries, no restrictions nor any limitations connected to the love we are to have toward others. We as the saints of God must needs recognize that the outworking of our faith is works as the faith we profess must not only have substance but must also be added to on a consistent and daily basis. There is a great need for us as the saints of God to be those who truly understand the need for a healthy spiritual life and those who acknowledge that we have indeed and have in fact been called to be those who commit ourselves to faithfully loving God and faithfully loving people. We must be those who do not love the world nor the things of the world and truly live as pilgrims and strangers in this world of whom the world has no hold. We as the people of God must acknowledge and understand our intrinsic need to be those who live in a continual state of inspiration as we not only breathe in the Spirit of the living God but also those who exhale that which would destroy us. I firmly believe that we as the saints of God and we as the people of God must recognize that we have indeed and have in fact been called to be such who are spiritually healthy and who Oh that we would indeed and would in fact be men and women who recognize our true need to be spiritually healthy who allow the manifestation of the person of the Holy Spirit to be present within our lives and enable us to be the people we have in fact been called to be.