Sit To Walk... a Message from the Messenger
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This message exhorts us to be sure that we are we seated in heavenly places ... before trying to walk the Christian walk.
• Who Will Worship God?
• And Will Come To Worship?
• Those That Are In Distress
• Those That Are In Debt
• Those That Are Discontent
• The Fertile Ground For The Seed
• Seated In Heavenly Places
• Seated In the Church Of The First Born
• And Who Will Not Come To Worship?
• The Secret Place
• The Perfect Covering
• Put Off The Old Man
• Put On The New Man
For those of you who know me well … you know me to be a man fraught with many imperfections and blemishes.
Do I hear an Amen? Amen! Amen! Amen!
I know you are absolutely right in your observation of this old sinner.
I am a sinner saved by God’s grace … for which I am not a deserving recipient.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” [Ephesians 2:4]
This is so great a love that he took this old sailor for his very own child though he was so ruined by sin.
I say to my wife all the time that she is married to a most difficult man. Truly she is. The Lord will greatly bless her!
Evidently someone else has used this very same term to describe the kind of marriage that Sarah Edwards had with Jonathan Edwards in the eighteenth century. [We have, for the last several months, been reading during family time a book describing their relationship called: Marriage To A Difficult Man by Elisabeth Dodds.]
God can and will use difficult people. Amen! Amen! Amen! [Interesting! It was Jonathan Edward’s who was God’s instrument in the Great Awakening of the American colonies in the 1730’s.]
In New Hampshire years ago a deacon and his wife strongly felt they needed to lovingly take me aside and confront me with a fault they deemed to be a major problem in my life. In the basement of the church on a Sunday afternoon I was “hit” with this observing declaration by the deacon’s wife. She said:
“Brother St.James, your biggest problem is that you’re so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.”
She did not say this in jest! She was serious in her criticism. This became “food for thought” for me down through the years.
Now if we dare BELIEVE God, we will come to a different conclusion about “heavenly minded” people being no “earthly good.” It will be a conclusion “180 degrees out of whack” from the “earthly minded” man of any century since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden six thousand years ago.
Now listen, my friend, I will readily admit my flaws and imperfections! Just ask my wife or children about them. They will be glad to give you a report! BUT being “HEAVENLY MINDED” to the point of being no “EARTHLY GOOD” is NOT POSSIBLE!
Now, get it “nailed down”.
If the observation of the deacon’s wife was true (and I don’t know it to be true), remember, this was her “opinion”). To be “heavenly minded” can not possibly be a flaw or become some besetting sin to be thus so.
To be HEAVENLY MINDED is to be every EARTHLY GOOD!
It is the “heavenly minded” man or woman or child who has the greatest potential of being “earthly good” rather than those who are “earthly minded.”
After all, it is God who said through his apostle by the Holy Ghost in II Timothy 1:7, that the Bible-believing Christian has been given “a sound mind.” “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” It is the people who have “a sound mind” who are the best for this earth. Amen! Amen!
In this message are some of the hardest things one can be in contention with others in life. Yea, it will be some of the hardest things for any people to stomach in every place under the Earth’s sun. Many, many do not even realize their very souls are at stake concerning the most basic issues in life. Therefore, this message will be for you.
This message will proclaim the absolute necessity of your SITTING “in heavenly places” first, before you attempt to WALK as a Christian in RUNNING the course of your life. If you are to successfully RUN the course of your life, you need to STAND for Jesus Christ. Thus this message is titled: Sit To Walk.
SIT FIRST … then WALK! Do not try to WALK a Christian walk without first being SEATED “in heavenly places.”
There will come a day when nothing worse can happen than for a person to get to THE END OF IT (that is, the end of their LIFE!), when THE BOOKS will be opened. These books will contain the complete documentary of their whole life. They will find out that when ANOTHER BOOK is opened (A book that contains the names of all who have been given the gift of eternal life) that their name was not found written therein. This book is called the BOOK OF LIFE.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:15]
How can a man or a woman come to the end of it and find out his or her name is not found in the Lamb of God’s Book of Life.
“Oh! Are you sure my name is not written there? I mean … come on! I believed in God way back there.”
Then from somewhere nearby, there will be heard in a measured tone a voice saying:
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” (James 2:19-20)
“But Oh! Please … check again for my name. Just check that “book” again!”
Then these words will be heard from within the great “White Throne”:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
I can’t think more terrifying words from God than for one to hear: “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU!”
This grieves me to no end, and horrifies me to think that a professing Christian could be in just such a situation: that he or she would try to WALK a walk, and RUN the whole course of their life, and MISS THE MARK … by not first taking a SEAT in heavenly places IN CHRIST!
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6) In “heavenly places” are found heavenly-minded people. There are in the book of Ephesians four times that the Spirit of God makes reference to “heavenly places.”
1. Ephesians 1:3
2. Ephesians 1:20
3. Ephesians 2:6
4. Ephesians 3:10
We are to have “a sound mind.” The “sound mind” desires to be obedient to the commands of God. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus …" [Philippians 2:5]. This mind is a “heavenly mind” and a “heavenly mind” orientates you to “heavenly places.”
Who Will Worship God!
The worship of God is ONLY for those that have been “raised” up, yea, who were “dead” in sins. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).” (Ephesians 2:5)
God said in Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
The “clock of time” which is the “clock of death” began ticking literally when man disobeyed God. The “aging” of the whole creation began the moment that Adam sinned. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” [Romans 8:22] The whole creation was to “groan” for DEATH had come into the world. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” [Romans 5:12]
By Adam, we died in another way. We died SPIRITUALLY. That means we are totally UNABLE to worship God. Why? Why? Why? Here is the answer! Here is the foundation or “bedrock” truth that we all face as sinners. It is found in John 4:24. “God is a Spirit: and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
We must worship “in spirit” if we are to worship God who is Spirit. Therefore, we must be RAISED. Someone who has been RAISED is someone who has been QUICKENED. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” [Ephesians 2:1]
To be “quickened” is to be “born again.”
This is the very same thing that Jesus told the Pharisee in John 3:3: that he needed to be BORN AGAIN in order to see the kingdom of God. “Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Someone who has been RAISED is someone who has been QUICKENED, and someone that has been QUICKENED is someone that has been BORN AGAIN. To be BORN AGAIN is to be made alive SPIRITUALLY and ABLE to WORSHIP God who is SPIRIT. SIT … first, then WALK! Do not try to walk without first sitting “in heavenly places.”
And Who Will Come To Worship?
“And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them…” [I Samuel 22:2]
In this verse is shown a truth . David is given here as a type of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God has carefully revealed to us, if we will LISTEN, that there are only three kinds of people in the world that will ever sense the drawing to Jesus Christ to receive God’s so great salvation. [Hebrews 2]
Those That Are In Distress
The first kind of people who will gather to Jesus Christ are they who are in distress. The fears of the unknown, the fears of being alone, and the stress of the “fast lane” of this life will wear them down. Their children going bad, their mates divorcing them, and the robbers breaking in, have finally and completely gotten to them. They are the ones who are totally “stuck in the mire” of trouble, and furthermore have no disposition of heart to seek relief from all these troubles by the cures offered by this world.
Those That Are In Debt
The second kind of people who will gather themselves to Jesus Christ are those who are in debt. They are “down and outers” who tried to “drink in” all of this world’s material possessions, and “got in over their heads” in hock, and came to “the end of themselves.” So much for trying to make it big! All who have gotten themselves in a huge financial flopping mess with the big time loans! In the “sea of debt”, they almost come to themselves in realizing;
“Hey! I have done it all! Whatever there is to be done under the sun, I have done it all, and for what? I am drowning in fear of my own miserable debt, for I only see looming before my eyes the bill collectors, and the BANKRUPTCY COURT?”
Those That Are Discontent
The third kind of people who will haply feel the drawing of Jesus Christ, and prone to gathering to him are those who are discontent with life. They are disinterested with what the world has to offer. All the world’s allurements are to them just so much HO-HUM.
The person who is discontent is plainly looking for something better than just eating, drinking and being merry. They are bored with it all!
The Fertile Ground For The Seed
It is these three kinds of people that will be the ready ground for the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These hearts are “ready hearts” (prepared by the work of the Holy Ghost in reproving of sin and of righteousness), and are ready for the PLANTING of the engrafted written word of God. John 3:16 becomes a sweet song them. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The drawing power of the Son of God is felt so strongly by these three kinds of folk that when they hear his “open invitation” to come to him: THEY COME! “Come unto me, all ye labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:28-29]
The Spirit of God sweetly says to them: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
They “hear” and with repentance experienced … they open the door of their hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and SAVIOR. In an instant of time, faster than the twinkling of an eye, the Holy Ghost makes the transaction.
Quickened … Made Alive … Born Again … Saved by the blood (from the wrath of God)… Raised … To SIT in heavenly places IN CHRIST.
Written in the Lamb of God’s book of LIFE, they become A NEW CREATURE [II Corinthians 5:17] … AN ADOPTED SON of God! “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” [Colossians 1:13] Amen!
Seated In Heavenly Places
Once you have trusted Jesus Christ by faith for your salvation, you are somehow “seated” right at this very moment in heaven. Now how can this be? Every physical sense of our body, the ability to see, to hear, to touch, to taste and to smell will not help the flesh to comprehend this. It is because the flesh is limited to the physical realm without an ability “to eye” the spiritual realm. What the flesh cannot see, “the new man” can see which is Christ in you. The Christian sees through the EYES of FAITH.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1]
Somehow at this very moment as a believer in Christ Jesus, you are “seated” in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Just as sure as I stand here on the earth physically, I am now “seated” in heavenly places. This I know because God said it, and I believe it.
Seated In The Church Of The Firstborn
Now being seated in heavenly places in Christ we find we are in the presence of an innumerable company of angels in a great congregation called the general assembly and the church of the firstborn: THE BODY OF CHRIST. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” [Hebrew 12:22-23]
And Who Will Not Come To Worship?
There are three kinds of people in the world who will not gather to Jesus Christ for salvation. The first are those that are NOT “distressed” for they have no sense of fear, and they boldly move forward in their lives with the eager anticipation of attaining their “earthly” reward. The second are those who are NOT in debt. (Or in debt and still believing they have control over there debt). They have made it BIG, and live sumptuously and comfortable in their social strata. Their every material need is filled to overflowing. The third kind of people who will NOT gather to Jesus Christ are those that are “content” with life in the “here and now.”
The Secret Place
Why do other people … who are not in distress … who are not in debt … and who are not discontent with this world … come down an aisle in a church in response to the Gospel call to “trust” Jesus Christ for salvation? There are manifold reasons. Here are some of them.
Some will come “forward” to profess Jesus Christ because of their “keen sense” that this is the “right thing” to do.
Some will come forward because “others” are doing it. For them the “peer pressure” will often be the overwhelming emotion of the moment and will be sufficiently strong enough to move him or her forward to the alter when they would not otherwise do “such a thing” in another time and in an other place.
Some will come forward in response to the Gospel call because their father or mother was expecting them to. Yes, from the time they were little “babes", being brought up in Christian homes, they were taught that they should “get saved” and become Christians. Or maybe the reason that they will “get saved” , will be because their “friends” will see them “give in” by making this profession of faith in Christ, and now at last, they will accepted as “one of them.”
Motives! Motives! Motives! The motives of the heart are revealed in what we do. Oh, my! What is this thing called THE HEART? The heart is the secret place. The secret place of our heart is an intricately woven center and “SEAT” of our affections, our passions and our will. Who can know it? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” [Jeremiah 17:9-10]
Oh, my why “go forward” to profess Jesus for the wrong motive or motives? Here it is. The natural man reasons within himself by means of his natural senses. The natural man goes by what he can see, or by what he can hear, or by what he can smell, or by what he can taste, and by what he can touch. The things of the Spirit he cannot understand. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” [I Corinthians 2:14]
In Psalm 51:17 is shown the kind of heart that is “inclined” and will tend to be open to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit concerning sin, and righteousness. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” John 16:8.)
Listen, my friend, this is what God wants from men and women. He wants a contrite heart! “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” He hates the proud heart. It is with those that are one of the three kinds of people (that is, those that are in distress, those that are in debt, or those that are discontent with this world) that we will find the broken and contrite heart.
It is this particular kind of heart that is prepared to receive the word God (the written word of God), and thus be moved us to receive the WORD OF GOD, THE SON OF GOD, even the LORD Jesus Christ. “But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” [John 1:12].
This is the MESSAGE to you, my friend, from God. This is a MESSAGE given by the authority of his HOLY SCRIPTURE, (which in the English language is PRESERVED in the English Bible of 1611) and based on the principles and precepts thereof: SIT FIRST, then walk. Do not try to walk a Christian walk without first sitting “in heavenly places.”
Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior with “a broken and contrite heart” which shows the fruit of true repentance without any other motive than to gather to him (Jesus) who is “the captain of our salvation”. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
The Perfect Covering!
Oh, my. My friend.
DON’T HIDE UNDER ANY COVERING THAT IS MAN MADE!
This is what your and my father did, and what all our fathers have done, since our first father … who is Adam. Generation after generation after generation, it is repeated. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” [Isaiah 53:6]
When Adam and Eve experienced “spiritual death” by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in direct disobedience to the command of God … they “became aware” of their nakedness. This “awareness” darkened their understanding: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” [Ephesians 4:18]
In response to this awareness, Adam determined from within the “secret place” of the heart … to contrive with an invention … a COVERING. This would become man’s version of the required covering as a solution to the problem of this newly acquired “awareness” of his own nakedness.
My friend, RUN to God’s solution! Take of his covering! God has made provision for you and I. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” [Genesis 3:21]
A “coat of skin” of an animal could not be made nor applied to Adam and Eve without their first having been the “shedding of the blood” of the animal. Those “critters” had to give up their lives to give us “the figure”.
The Gospel was shown in a shadow to Adam and Eve almost six thousand years ago. The narrow way of God’s plan of salvation to remedy the lost condition of man down through the expanse of measured time is through the shed blood of the Son of God.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” [Hebrews 9:14-15]
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” [Ephesians 2:8-9]
HIDE UNDER THE PERFECT COVERING THAT GOD MADE! THE SHED BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD … JESUS CHRIST!
And you will be seated in heavenly places! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” [Ephesians 4:1]
We WHO ARE SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES are called to a vocation. This VOCATION is “that we should be to the praise of his glory” … “according to the good pleasure of his will.” [Ephesians 1:12a, 5b]
This is our purpose! This is why we were made… “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Vs.6) Amen! Amen! Amen!
• In Lowliness and Meekness [Ephesians 4:1]
• In Longsuffering [Ephesians 4:2]
• In Purity [Ephesians 5:3]
• In Honesty [Ephesians 4:15]
• In Love [Ephesians 5:2]…
As A Walking Example
We are to be an example to other believers in our walk in these ways:
• In Word
• In Conversation
• In Charity
• In Spirit
• In Faith
• In Purity
Paul commanded this to Timothy in I Timothy 4:12. “… but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” In I John 2:6 the Apostle John gave by the Holy Spirit this command: “We are to walk even as he walked.”
Put Off The Old Man
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” [Ephesians 4:17,22]
A true Christian has two natures inside him.
The first nature is the flesh, which is the old self, or the old nature. This is the “you” and “I” before we were born again or QUICKENED.
It is the “time spent in the flesh” in the “past of our life” when we lived according “to the lusts of men.” (See I Peter 4:2-3
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” [Ephesians 2:2-3]
1 Put Off Fornication [Ephesians 5:3]
2 Put Off Stealing [Ephesians 4:28]
3 Put Off Lying [Ephesians 4:25]
4 Put Off Anger [Ephesians 4:26]
5 Put Off Uncleanness [Ephesians 5:3]
6 Put Off Covetousness [Ephesians 5:3]
7 Put Off Foolish Talking [Ephesians 5:4]
8 Put Off Jesting [Ephesians 5:4]
9 Put Off Fellowship With Those Who Are In Darkness [Ephesians 5:11]
10 Put Off Being Drunk With Wine [Ephesians 5:18]
Put On The New Man
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” [Ephesians 4:23-24]
1 Put On Love [Ephesians 5:2]
2 Put On Speaking The Truth [Ephesians 4:15]
3 Put On Giving Of Thanks [Ephesians 5:4]
4 Put On Redeeming The Time [Ephesians 5:16]
5 Put On Proving What Is Acceptable [Ephesians 5:10]
6 Put On Edifying Talk [Ephesians 4:29]
7 Put On Working With Hands For Others [Ephesians 4:28]
8 Put On Understanding the Will Of The Lord [Ephesians 5:17]
9 Put On Speaking And Singing … In Psalms… In Hymns … In Spiritual Songs [Ephesians 5:19]
10 Put On Being Filled With The Spirit [Ephesians 5:18]
Walk in the Light
[I John 1:7]
There is a vast multitude of people who have mistakenly latched onto some false hope concerning their salvation. Many don’t realize that their very souls are at stake concerning this issue of life. Listen my friend, it is an absolute necessity for you to first SIT “in heavenly places” before you ever attempt to WALK as a Christian in RUNNING the course of your life. SIT FIRST … then WALK! Do not try to WALK a Christian walk without first being SEATED “in heavenly places.”
To be SEATED in HEAVENLY PLACES will take THE POWER of God to put you there! Remember what the Bible says in John 1. “But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” It takes THE POWER OF GOD for a soul to get SAVED!
Friend, there will come a day when nothing worse could ever happen to you than to get to THE END of YOUR LIFE, and be where THE BOOKS will be opened which will contain the documentary of your whole life, and for you to find out that when ANOTHER BOOK is opened (A book that contains the names of all who have been given the gift of eternal life) that your name was not found written therein.
Remember, it is called the BOOK OF LIFE. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire.” I cannot possibly think of more terrifying words to hear from God than for one to hear these words: “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU!”
Please do not mistake your soul’s eternal destination. Please do not PLAY a Christian.
AGAIN ... do not try to WALK a walk, and RUN the whole course of your life, and MISS THE MARK … by not first taking a SEAT in heavenly places IN CHRIST!
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [II Peter 3:10]
Sit To Walk …“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
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