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Oh, the prophet is saying -- or the apostle is saying lay aside all malice, and malice is evil, and it is a particular kind of evil. To be honest with you, I cannot identify it any further, but malice comes from the word malicious. It means to be malicious towards somebody, thinking evil towards them, deliberately seeking to hurt them and wound them for ungodly reasons, to just deliberately hurt.
“And all guile.” Guile, to the best of my understanding, in English, is “subtlety.” It means to be dishonest. It means, if someone asks you a question, you do not honestly answer the question; you just avoid it, that you slither around. It is a manifestation of the serpent, that some people are so good at having guile that the person they are talking to do not even know that they are being beguiled or that they are being tricked or that the person did not answer their question or that the person is trying to get information out of them, subtlety. It has to do with witchcraft. To be beguiled is to be bewitched, and it is trickery. Malice is hurtfulness; guile is trickery.
Also lay aside hypocrisies. Do not make yourself out to be something that you are not. The world hates the church hypocrite, really makes Christians look bad when they say one thing and they do something else, when they condemn you for doing something and then they are discovered to be doing the same thing themselves. That makes you a hypocrite. Do not do as I do; do as I say. Hypocrisy causes people to hate you. Why? Because hypocrisy puts condemnation on the other person. The hypocrite -- the other side of hypocrisy, the other side of self-righteousness is that the person you are holding yourself up to is condemned. People just hate -- the world just hates hypocrites and self-righteous Christians, and it turns people away from Christ. It is a false witness as to Christ. To be a hypocrite is a false witness as to who Christ is and to what it means to be a Christian, and it is very wicked because it turns people away from the faith.
Also lay aside envies. Envy, brother, it is wicked work. Envy -- is envy not as cruel as the grave?
OK. I think -- well, I do not know. In the Scripture, jealousy is different from envy. I do not know what the Hebrew word is that is translated jealousy, but, in the Scripture, jealousy is righteous. God is jealous of his people. There is a righteous jealousy where the Lord says, if you are committing spiritual adultery with your carnal mind, I am jealous, and I am going to put an end to it. It is a righteous jealousy.
But in the Scripture, envy is an evil sin where someone is seeking to hinder or change your behavior because of a motive that hates you for what you have. Envy is a lust for something that you have, that they will hurt you for, whether it means that hurting you can get it for themselves or not. When they are envious of what you have, people sometimes become malicious and do things that will cause you to lose what you have whether or not there is any hope of their obtaining it themselves or not. Envy is cruel, so, if you see cruelty in a person, envy is there. If you see envy in a person, cruelty is there, and it is death, and it is very evil for the person who has it and for the person whom it is directed towards. It is destructive; it destroys; it kills, breaks your heart.
And also lay aside evil speakings. That means stop talking about people for evil purposes. Stop talking about people because it gives you some kind of a release to talk about them because you hate them and you do not have the guts to confront them or because you hate them and it is not in your best interest to confront them. Why? Because they have something that you need. Maybe they are your boss; maybe it is your mother-in-law, so you go behind their back, and you talk about them. And the Scripture says lay this all aside; it is all the works of the flesh.
If you have energy towards a person and you cannot help evil speaking, if you cannot stop thinking about them because there is a problem between you, start praying for them. If you feel compulsively led to talk about them, well, talk blessings towards them because, to just talk about people because you cannot successfully confront a problem that exists between you and them is carnality. That is what the apostle is saying. Lay aside all of the works of the flesh because they are hindering your spiritual growth. These works are hindering your spiritual growth.
And instead of being involved in all this ungodliness of the mind and the mouth, verse 2, “As newborn babies, desire [AUDIO CUTS OUT] [?see?] [INAUDIBLE] for --
[AUDIO CUTS OUT] [?is not?] to the godly equivalent of lust. Lust is sin. It will bring destruction into your life, no matter what it is that you are lusting for. It becomes an adultery; it becomes an obsession. It will hurt you eventually. But to desire, to long for, that is a word which is associated with something that which is good, so you can lust for the word of God, you see. But when you are lusting for the word of God, when you are lusting for Christ, the Bible changes the word to desire. But you could -- in the Old Testament, we are told pant -- the -- we are told to pant after the Lord, lust after him.
It is OK; it will not contaminate you. Lusting for God will not kill you. Lusting for God will not hurt you. Lusting for God will not trap you in a spider’s web that you cannot get out of. Lusting for God will wind up in your resurrection from the dead, so lust for him, brethren. It is legal to lust for God, and, when we lust for God, we do not -- we change the word from lust to desire. God desires us. The Lord is lusting for us. We found Scriptures in the Book of Revelation clearly describing it. The Lord is lusting for us, for union or communion with us. We have been separated a long time, and he wants us.
Now please note, in verse 2, that the apostle clearly tells us that Christianity is a maturation process. If you are a newborn babe, by -- well, it would not be a reverse inference, but to be a newborn babe clearly implies that there is a growth. To be a newborn babe means that you could be a middle-age babe and a young babe and then, eventually, a young man and then adult, and there are many other Scriptures that show that there is a growth or a maturing in Christ.
You do not say I receive you Jesus and become a fully mature Christian, although some Christians think so. When you first enter into a relationship with the Lord, the Scripture says you have become a newborn babe. Now there is nothing unpleasant about that. You have to know where you are. If you are a newborn babe, that means you need instruction, and the Scripture clearly says that you need the milk of the word. You do not need the meat of the word right away. You may choke on it; you may vomit.
So he says long for the milk of the word; long for it; desire it; go after it; eat it; sleep it; breathe it; go to sleep thinking about it; wake up in the morning thinking about it; let it consume your mind. Now any other thing that you are lusting for to this degree will destroy you, but, with the word of God, no, it will make you alive. Become obsessed with it, brethren, and only good things can happen to you, from lusting for and being obsessed with the word of God.
So as a newborn babe, “desire the sincere milk of the word.” Now my Bible says that that word “sincere” means “spiritual.” I do not know whether it is correct or not. Desi- -- fo- -- “desire the spiritual milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” So we see that we are supposed to be growing as Christians, and the more you put in, the more you get out. It is the same principle as anything else in this life. What you put into it you get out of it. What you sow you shall reap.
If you throw your whole life into the Lord, you will lose your life, and you will be raised from the dead. Is that not what Jesus said? But he who tries to preserve his life, he who holds back, he who uses the word of God restrictedly, tries to control and say, well, I will take this from it, and I will take that from it, and I will take that from it; you will lose your life. Why? Because you are trying to save your life. You will lose it.
But if you just let everything go to the wind and s- -- throw yourself abandonedly unto the Lord and upon his mercy, you will find your true life. You will find what you have been missing all your life, but you never knew was lacking in your life. You always knew there was something bothering you, but you never knew what it was. You always knew y- -- something was wrong, but you never knew what it was. You always knew something was missing, but you never knew what it was. If you just throw yourself unabashedly after the Lord and pant after him and lust after him, you will find out what you have been missing all your life. You will find out who you are in Christ and what you were meant to be from before you ever broke forth from your mother’s womb, and you will experience glory.
Verse 3, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious,” if you have experienced or if you desire to experience the graciousness of God or so that you may. I guess, that must be what it means.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word so that you may grow and that you may experience.” “Taste,” it means “to experience” the graciousness of the Lord. What does that mean? It means that you will receive as much as you can tolerate. That is what it means.
He is the satisfier. As much as you can bear, he will give you. As much as you ask him for, he will give you over and beyond and above that which you ask for. If you want understanding, he will give you understanding. If you want revelation, he will give you revelation. If you want knowledge, he will give you knowledge. He will give you everything you ask for. He has more than he needs. He has so much life within him that he can give to all of humanity without being depleted. The Lord is never lacking. He gives and he gives and he gives and he gives, and he is replenished from within himself. He is never lacking. He is always giving. He never has a need to receive. He is never depleted. That is why he is the only male spirit in the universe. He never receives.
Verse 4, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.”
What this is saying, you know, with the King James translation, is that, if, as new born babes, you desire the sincere work of th- -- word -- milk of the L- -- of the word of the Lord and you grow and you taste the graciousness of the Lord, in that he will give you as much as you can tolerate, the result of all this, verse 4, is that you come into or you turn into or you become a living stone.
Well, now what in the world is a living stone? Is it a pet rock? We have some man that became a millionaire selling pet rocks. No. Brother, sto- -- brethren, stones in the Scripture typify spirit, and some spirits are dead, and some spirits are alive. And if you are carnal, sold unto sin, your spirit is dead. Your spirit is d- -- it is carnal, but it is dead. We are talking about death and life right now. So the apostle is saying, if you have a dead spirit but you are blessed enough that the Lord Jesus Christ should make contact with that dead spirit and you start desiring the sincere milk of the word and you grow and you receive the grace of God, you shall come unto or into a living stone. You were a dead stone, and you shall become a living stone.
That is just another way of saying, brethren, that the Lord Jesus Christ intends to raise you from the dead through union with your spirit. It is the same message. When the Lord Jesus Christ engrafts to your human spirit, that spirit, typified by stone, which was a dead stone, shall become a living stone. So you will turn into a living stone which will be disallowed or rejected of men, but chosen of God and precious. Well, we do not really want to hear that. What is that? When Christ starts appearing in us, men will reject us. Expect to be rejected by men, “but chosen of God, and precious,” meaning valuable.
Now, brethren, we really have to get our head straight. Jesus clearly said they hated me, and they will hate you. They rejected me, and they will reject you. They persecuted me, and they shall persecute you. They told me that I had a devil, and they will tell you that there is something mentally wrong with you. So when it happens to you, brethren, do not go crying in your pillow. Jesus said it is going to happen. There is no way you can stop it from happening, and you have got to come to a place in Christ where your response to this form of rejection is in Christ.
Now do not, anyone, get upset. I am not condemning you, but I am giving you a goal. I am giving you a guideline. I am telling you, if you hear yourself in this message, if your reaction to hatred, if your reaction to rejection, if your reaction to accusation is carnal, you need to know that you must change. I am giving you warning light. I am not condemning you. I am giving you a standard. Compare yourself, and, if you are carnal, confess it to the Lord, and ask him to help you to change because, if you do not work towards your change, you are just hindering the development of Christ in you.
So do not be without understanding, brethren. Do not go before the Lord and say to him, Father, why do not I have the fullness of Christ? Because, son, you are not working to be Christ. How do you work to be Christ? You look at your standard. You look at your pattern. You look at how Jesus reacted to certain circumstances; it is in the Bible. Then if you have elders in which Christ is manifesting, you look at how they react to certain problems, and you start to imitate them. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Brethren, we do not know what we shall be, but we see Jesus.
You cannot stay in this reprobate condition. You cannot retaliate because people reject you. You cannot hate because people hate you because our Lord has clearly stated, “Love your enemy, bless those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you.” So I do not care what Henry did to you, and I do not care what Johnny did to you. Love those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. I do not care what they did to you, and neither does Jesus. You are supposed to overcome. Now while you are in the process of overcoming, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, as long as you are in the process of overcoming. You have got to begin to overcome, brethren. You cannot punish people for rejecting you, if you want to be a son.
Let us not be reprobate silver, brethren. We are called to salvation. We are called to the high calling in Christ Jesus. There is something that you must do: You must confess that you are not perfect and throw yourself on the mercy of God to help you to give you the strength, in your own efforts, to change, and, if you do not do your part, I am not trying to scare anybody, but it says in the Bible there is a group that will be declared to be reprobate silver, people who were called to salvation that could not discard their impurities. Silver typifies salvation. Contaminated silver. You have got to be trying; you have got to be working on it. The rule is very clear. Forgive your enemies, lest your Father in heaven should not forgive you. Do not judge out of your carnal mind. Do not punish out of your carnal mind. Do not use your righteousness as a cover for doing evil works.
So when you lust after the Lord, you are going to grow. When you grow, you are going to receive the grace of the Lord, and the grace of the Lord is Christ. And you are going to turn into a living stone. You are going to be transferred from death unto life, and then you are going to be rejected and hated and abused, and you are supposed to raise from the dead those who are rejecting you and hating you and abusing you.
Mark 16:16 says, “We shall raise up serpents.” Brethren, fallen man is a spiritual serpent. The Scripture is not speaking about physically picking up serpents; it is speaking about, spiritually, raising up fallen man from a reprobate condition, from a dead stone unto a living stone. So give up malice and guile and hypocrisies and envies and evil speaking and retaliation and every evil work, and let us run this race that will end in us appearing in the image of Christ. You must put this junk away. God will not tolerate it forever; he will not. There is a cutting off. You have to be working on it. I do not want anyone misunderstanding me. You have to be working on it. You cannot be refusing to work on it. You have to be trying.
So we see that we shall be rejected of men, “but chosen of God, and precious,” very valuable. Brethren, if Christ is in you and he is manifesting through you, you are very valuable. You are very important. You are a dignitary. You are royalty, but, if you are not acting in accordance with the office that you are called to, the Lord will correct you. There will be correction; there will be painful correction. You cannot have Christ in you and be acting like a heathen, therefore, because he is in you because you are his son, he shall correct you. He shall cause your humanity, your emotions and your behavior, to line up with the glorious mind which he has formed in.
And I know several people right now who I know have Christ being formed in them, but their behavior is not lining up with it. There is a big discrepancy, and d- -- the Lord Jesus Christ has to close up that gap. You have to be joined. The mind of Christ has to become joined to your humanity. The mind of Christ must be controlling in your emotions; the mind of Christ must be controlling in your behavior; the mind of Christ must be controlling in your reactions. You cannot continue leading a separated life from your mind, and that is why the correction must come.
Verse 5, “Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by,” or through, “Jesus Christ.”
So now that you are living stones, you are being built into a spiritual house. See, there is only one Christ. Christ is not divided, so, as your spirit becomes or turns into Christ, you will find yourself being nailed together with other believers in whom Christ is manifesting. And, brethren, I have a shocking flash for you. When you come to this point, you cannot choose what stone you are going to be joined to. God does not ask you whether your stone is in the front of the house or back of the house or the top of the house or the foundation. You have nothing to say about it.
So if God takes your stone or your spirit, which has been made alive, and joins it to the spirit which has been made alive in another man that you do not like, you are going to have a problem with your Father in heaven because, if you keep popping out of the place that he put you in, he is going to keep beating you until you get back in there. So you better make peace with your brethren that the Lord has joined you to because, if he has put you there and it is Christ growing in your heart, you cannot get away from it, and you are just tormenting yourself and tormenting the other living stones in that house.
So we see that, when our spirits become alive, the Lord places us. Now we do not see this in the carnal church. Brethren, when you have the Holy Ghost, you are a carnal man, which is influenced by the Holy Ghost. Your spirit is not made alive yet, and you pretty much go anywhere you want. There is not much influenced exerted by the Holy Ghost on what church you should go to. I am sure that, if you are a person who is sensitive to the Holy Ghost and you ask the Lord where he wants you to go, he will have an answer for you, but there is not much pressure put on believers in whom Christ is not yet being formed.
So we see believers all over the church world just doing whatever they want, going wherever they want. And if you tell them that, as they mature, the Lord will choose their church for them, their rebellion just manifests all over them. But truth is, brethren, that, as we mature, the Lord takes more and more control of our life, and he will place us in a fellowship. And if he wants us there and we try to leave before he lets us out, he will keep bringing us back. But as he matures in you, he takes more and more control over your life until you have nothing to say about your life at all. That is where you are headed.
And in that total possession by Christ is the most glorious liberty that one could ever hope to find. It makes no sense at all to our carnal mind, but freedom, to have an existence apart from Christ, is death. That is what spiritual death is. So as I said, it makes no sense to your carnal mind at all, but, as he apprehends you, as he takes control over you, as he brings you into such an intense submission that he is making all your decisions for you, he is telling you what to think, where to go, what to eat, you will enter into a realm of freedom that, in your wildest dreams, you have never imagined, a realm of freedom, a realm of glory, a realm of safety, a realm of life, a realm of joy. But because our mind is fallen, we fight the Lord every step of the way for that which we think is our freedom, which freedom is killing us.
So, “Ye also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house,” and within that spiritual house is a holy priesthood which offers up spiritual sacrifices. What is the spiritual sacrifice, brethren? What is the spiritual sacrifice, anybo- --
The carnal mind, amen. Brethren, if you are sacrificing your carnal mind, you are a member of the holy priesthood. Well, if there is a holy priesthood, there is must be an unholy priesthood. There is an unholy priesthood, brethren. And what does a priest do? A priest intercedes between man and God, so we find the apostle Peter telling us that there is a group of men in the church who are interceding between man and God and that these men are unholy, and I declare to you they are the current, fivefold ministry. They are unholy men. The gifts and the calling of God -- the callings of God are without repentance. Brethren, that is just another way of saying you are unholy. Oh, I hear them screaming in the spirit. You are unholy, brethren. You are carnal men. You are defiled by your carnal mind. Nevertheless, the Lord has delegated authority unto you and given you power to intercede between the people and God.
But when the word of God engrafts to you and you receive the grace of God, which is Christ, and you begin to actually turn into Christ and you start giving forth the sacrifice of your own carnal mind so that you can become the righteousness of God, you begin to enter into the holy priesthood of Christ. Let me say it another way. F- -- when Christ is formed in you and you start waging war against your carnal mind so that Christ can be glorified in you, you begin to become a holy priest because there is only one holy priest; his name is Christ. And as he, in you, offers up your carnal mind or begins to offer up your carnal mind, that is the proof that you are turning into Christ.
You see, if you notice, in verse 4, Peter talks about becoming or turning into a living spirit. And in verse 5, we are told that the proof that you are becoming a living spirit is that you execute the office of the holy priesthood, and the proof of that is that you are offering up your own carnal mind so that the righteousness of God can be revealed through you. You are offering up spiritual sacrifices, which are acceptable to go, by Jesus Christ, and that means Jesus Christ in you is offering up your carnal mind. And, of course, I do not know, in the Greek, whether that really says Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus. If it does say Jesus Christ in the Greek, what it means is that Jesus Christ has engrafted to your human spirit. I would expect that to really be Christ Jesus in the Greek because Christ Jesus is the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is growing out of your own soul.
Do you perceive this anointing here today? It is intense. How are you? Wel- -- [?wake?] -- welcome. Good morning. Are you feeling OK?
OK. You know I was just kidding, OK.
Verse 6, “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay a s- -- in Sion a chief corner stone, elect,” or chosen and “precious,” valuable.
“I lay in Sion a chief corner stone.” Sion is the spiritual mountain of God, so the Scripture is saying I lay in your human spirit a chief cornerstone.
Let us review the cornerstone. The cornerstone -- I guess, I have to put this on the board. Get up there. You may recall that the creation can be expressed geometrically. Fallen man is expressed by which geometric symbol, somebody, anybody?
No, fallen man.
-- question again?
Fallen man is expressed by which geometric symbol?
Fallen man. He is on the circle of the earth. He keeps going round and round and round.
No. He is on the circle of the earth. He is an earth man, OK. That is fallen man. Spiritual man, when he begins to -- well, the way -- he is also expressed as a straight line because this circle is so large that, if you take a segment of it, it looks like a straight line. So when it comes to the spiritual man, the earth line is straightened out, and we say he is on the line of the earth. It is really the circle of the earth, but the indi- -- this is the circle of the whole creation, so one man on this circle is so small that we can draw him as a straight line. Does that confuse anybody? OK. He is the horizontal line on the earth. When he has an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ or when he is reconciled unto the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ comes down from the heavens and intersects the earth of that man’s life, and he meets -- the Lord Jesus Christ meets the earth of that man’s life at a right angle. The inside of where the two lines meet is called an angle. The outside of where the two lines meet is called a --
A corner. That means, for every individual man who becomes a spiritual man, he is a cornerstone. Now stone means spirit. He is a spirit who is a corner. That means he has be- -- gone from someone on the line of the earth to a right triangle man. He has gone from an earth man to a spiritual man, and he has become a stone, a spirit which is a corner, a spirit which is now a spiritual man, a spirit which has been made alive. But the Scripture speaks about the chief cornerstone, which is Christ because, you see, there are many right triangle men in the earth.
And to be honest with you, I do not know how to draw it for you. I guess, I have a picture in my mind. Let me try it. Jesus, I am getting slain in the spirit while I am preaching here. This is intense. You may recall that the geometric symbol for the glorified creation is a square, so just as we would have -- or it is possible to divide up a square into, let us just say for argument’s sake, 1-inch segments. We can say that each segment is one man in the whole, and each man is a cornerstone. Can you see it? Each man within the whole is a cornerstone. He has a spirit which has been made alive, a spirit which has been made spiritual. But if you take the whole creation as a whole, the chief cornerstone is Christ. Can you see that? Everybody OK? OK.
So we see the individual potential to become a spiritual man, and a s- -- a hidden way of saying that is to say that that man is a cornerstone, but the chief cornerstone is the Lord Jesus Christ who flows through the minds of every individual in which Christ Jesus is being formed, Christ Jesus being the manifestation or the reproduction of the life of God, which is growing in the individual, the Lord Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone, the new unconscious mind of humanity. He is the sea or -- now the -- not the salt sea, but the crystal sea, which flows through the minds of everyone in which his Son is being formed.
“Behold, I lay in Sion.” I lay in the spirit “a chief corner stone, elect,” chosen and very valuable, “and he that believeth on him,” the Lord Jesus Christ, “shall not be confounded.” My margin says “ashamed,” “shall not be ashamed.”
Now what does that mean? We have talked about that several times, brethren. This word, ashamed, the spiritual concept of the word ashamed appears in the prophets frequently, and it is referring to finding oneself with the carnal mind as one’s husband. That is how it is used in the Old Testament. It is a shame unto you, brethren, to find yourself in a spiritual union with that shameful spirit, the product of incest. That is what it is talking about. You shall no longer be ashamed. Your shame shall be washed clean from you. Any contact or residue of the carnal mind in your person shall be removed, and you shall be given a new spirit, a new stone with a new name on it, brethren, and your shame shall be washed clean from you, and you shall have a glorious name and a glorious spirit.
We are all ashamed, brethren. Our sin is a shame unto us. Our carnal mind is a shame unto us. It is that shameful spirit using us in an ungodly spiritual, sexual manner that is an abomination unto our true husband, the Lord. And the promise is that we shall no longer be ashamed. When shall we no longer be ashamed? After the Lord lays the chief cornerstone in our spirit, after the Lord Jesus Christ engrafts to our spirit so that we can believe on him and so that Christ Jesus can be formed in us so that shameful spirit will be broken apart and ripped in pieces and replaced with the glorious Christ.
Verse 7, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious,” unto those of you who believe that he is valuab- -- [AUDIO CUTS OUT]
Oh, I see. That first phrase of verse 7 goes with verse 6. “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded unto those of you which believe he is precious.”
Those of you who believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is valuable, you shall not be ashamed, but, unto those of you which be disobedient, “the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.”
So to those of you who believe that Jesus Christ is valuable, you shall be cleansed from your shame. But those who do not believe that he is valuable and you are disobedient to the call of your spirit -- now please notice this: If you do not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is valuable, the apostle says that you are disobedient. It does not matter that you did not mean it. It does not matter that you did not understand. It does not matter that you just had a bad day. The Scripture says you are disobedient, and the judgment for being disobedient is that you are going to stumble over that valuable stone, “the stone which the builder disallowed,” or the stone which the builders rejected, “that same stone is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling unto you, and a rock of offence.”
So we see the same Lord Jesus Christ has the ability to, on the one hand, remove your shame and, on the other hand, be a thorn in your side. We were talking about this in the meeting this morning. We were saying that people who are dead ha- -- do not respond to other people. We have people who are dead while they are yet having an existence, and the tape in their brain just plays over and over and over, and there is no individual or creative response to different people or different circumstances. They are robots; they just do the same thing over and over.
But we see that the Lord Jesus Christ is very much alive. He responds to you. He responds to your sin with judgment, and he responds to your faith with protection and love and graciousness. So do not look at your brother and say why is the Lord Jesus Christ doing this for him, and why would he not do it for me. In the words of the Lord himself, get your eyes off of your brother, and put your eyes on yourself. Do not worry about how I am treating your brother. What is it your business if I decide to keep that man alive until I come again? Get your eyes off your brother. Take a look at yourself, and see where you need correction.
“Even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient,” so here we see a deeper definition of disobedience, those who stumble at the word. What does that mean? They cannot believe. They stumble; they just cannot believe the word. And then there is one more phrase, “whereunto also they were appointed,” so we are talking here about believers who were called, stumbling at the word, believers to whom the Lord is offering the word of truth, believers whom the Lord is offering to raise from the dead, and they just cannot believe, and the word says it is because they are disobedient. They cannot obey because their carnal mind is too strong in their life.
So what does that mean? Is the Lord going to burn you in Hell forever? No, but he is going to judge you, and he is going to bring a correction to that which is in your soul which causes you to disobey the word of God. Disobey what word of God? Brethren, verse 1, “Lay aside all malice, and all guile, and all hypocrisies, and envies, and evil speaking,” and every manifestation of carnality. Lay it down; lay it down; lay it down. Suffer the loss. Your pride is not worth losing your Christ life over. But if you cannot obey, if you cannot lay it down, the Scripture clearly says that this Lord Jesus Christ shall become a stone of stumbling unto you instead of an outpouring of blessings that will remove your shame.
Verse 9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people.”
You are a chosen generation, brethren. You are a spiritual generation that is not restricted by time. You are part of the same generation that Jesus Christ is a part of. In your generation is the spirit that was in Elijah, is the spirit that was in Moses. Genera- -- the generation is Christ, and it has nothing to do with time; it is an age. You are a chosen age. You are the age everyone in which this mind of Christ is appearing is a generation. It has nothing to do with how young you are or how old you are. And the natural proof that we see of this is that being in Christ means that people of all ages can fellowship, all ages, all ethnic backgrounds from all forms of society. We have something in common when Christ is in us, and that makes us one generation. When we come together in Christ, we have much in common.
So we are a chosen generation. We are a royal priesthood because we are offering up our carnal minds to the Lord by Jesus Christ. We are a holy nation. Well, a nation is a group of people. The word nation is referring to, I believe, without looking up the word, our physical position. We are a holy nation, and the Lord is saying not only are we one in Christ, not only are we a generation in our spirit, but, physically speaking, even though we come from all different walks of life, he calls us a nation.
And there is a Scripture in Isaiah that says what -- “can a nation be formed in one day?” And many people believe that the fulfillment of this Scripture is that Israel was written into existence in one day. Well, that may be the natural interpretation of it or the natural fulfillment of it. But I declare unto you the nation that will be formed in one day is the multitudes of people in whom Christ will appear and that that one day is a spiritual day. There is a new nation being formed. It is crossing natural and -- crossing and ascending beyond natural bloodlines. There are new bloodlines being drawn. Either you are in Christ, or you are not in Christ, and it has nothing to do with your skin or your ethnic background or your age. We are in transition right now.
So the holy nation is the group of men who have been made holy because Christ is their mind, and you are a peculiar people. I do not know what that means. My margin says “God’s own people.” You are different. Well, you are peculiar, brethren, because you are a nation of people that come from all different backgrounds. If you go over to Europe, you -- when I came back from Europe, for several months, I had an ability to walk down 5th Avenue and really, with a high degree of accuracy, tell you what European nation these people came from because the British really -- there is really a British face. There is a French face. There is an Irish face. There is a German face. There is a truth to it. There may be some exceptions to the rule.
So we are a peculiar nation, brethren, because we do not look alike, and I find that America is a natural type of the spiritual nation that God is putting together. Here we are a physical nation with people coming from all over the world. There is no American look. There may be a spirit on the American. People may be able to recognize an American because of the way they act and the way that they talk, but there is no one look, fi- -- facial feature look because we are from all over the world. So that was the fulfillment of this peculiar nation in the natural. Now the Lord is fulfilling it in the spiritual. When Christ is your mind and you are sacrificing your carnal mind, you become a member of the holy priesthood in your spirit and a member of the holy nation in your physical person. The key is that you are sacrificing your carnal mind.
And the purpose for all this is “that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of the darkness of your carnal mind into his marvelous light.”
And this expression, “to show forth the praises of him,” it means that he should be revealed through you, not that you should raise your hands and say praise you Jesus, praise you Jesus, praise -- which you can do if you want to, but that is not what the Scripture means. The Scripture means that you should be so obedient that his nature is being revealed through you. And obedient to what? To put aside all carnality and sacrifice your carnal mind so that he is your only mind, and then you are obedient. And he is being revealed through you, and you are a holy nation and a member of the holy priesthood, and you are called out of the darkness of your carnal mind, and you are dwelling in his marvelous light.
Verse 10, “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.”
That is the holy nation. They were not a nation. They were not a people, but they are not the people of God, and in the past, they “had not obtained mercy.” They had not received the permission to be reconciled unto God, to have a relationship with him, “but now they have obtained mercy,” and are not only reconciled to him, but are justified by him in their immature state. And in their mature state, they are -- they shall be saved by him.
So do you see the progression, brethren? Verse 1, lay aside all carnality. Verse 2, desire the spiritual word of the Lord, and grow, and taste that the Lord is gracious or taste the grace of God. The word “taste” means “to join with.” I did not mention this earlier. It means receive the engrafted word. Verse 4, turn into a living stone; be raised from the dead, “disallowed indeed of men,” experienced rejection. Experience rejection, but ex- -- and also, at the same time, experience being chosen of God. Be placed in a spiritual house, brethren, and experience all of the conflict of being joined in spirit to people who are so radically different than you that it is a challenge to love one another and live together in your humanity. Experiencing -- experience being a holy priest and offering up your carnal mind, and find out whether or not you are obedient to the Lord and that your shame be removed from you. Or are you one of the disobedient ones to whom he must be “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense”?
Verse 9, recognize that you are in a chosen spiritual generation. You are a royal priest. If you are offering up your carnal mind, physically, you are a member of a holy nation, and you are a peculiar p- -- I guess, the holy nation [UNINTELLIGIBLE] -- and a peculiar people, one of them must be in the soul realm, and the other must be in the natural, for the specific purpose that he should be revealed through you so that, in the past, you who were not a people can now say that you are the people of God, and you who had not obtained mercy now have obtained mercy. Glory to God.
I think we will stop here, and maybe if the Lord let us me -- that was pretty good. I think, if the Lord lets me, we will make this a part two.
Transcribed by Verbal Fusion 02/08/16
02/09/16 1st Edit rh