Sunday, March 30, 2014

Historical Testimonies of A Second Cleansing

Russell R. Byrum, “Holy Spirit Baptism and The Second Cleansing” 1923
Thousands of the most devout and spiritual Christians of the past and present have testified to and taught an experience of entire sanctification of the heart and Holy Ghost baptism subsequent to conversion.  And these advocates of this second work of grace are not only the illiterate and uncritical as some might suppose, but include some of the most learned and discriminating minds – John Wesley, John Fletcher, Adam Clarke, George Fox, Hester Ann Rogers, D.S. Warner, Richard Watson, John Miley, Minor Raymond, Field, Bishop Foster, A.B. Simpson, Daniel Steele, J.A. Beet, and a great many others. 

These witnesses testify that his experience has afforded them many rich blessings – a deeper Inner Peace, Greater Victory over temptations, a greater measure of Holy Ghost power for Christian service, more joy and comfort, and a fuller measure of divine love in their hearts.  Every true Christian is always reaching out for more of God’s grace, love, and power in his life, and desires to please God by attaining to the highest degree of Christian experience possible.  If he sees by God’s Word and the experience of his brethren that greater things from God await him, he is constrained to seek for them. The Christian experience of others may not be absolute proof of this doctrine, nor that we may possess a like blessed experience; but if it can be shown that such an experience and the possibility of all attaining to it is taught in the Bible, then we may confidently seek for the experience if we have not already attained it.

Beverly Carradine: “The Second Blessing in Symbol” 1893
The word “second” seems to be especially disagreeable and offensive to many, and grave objections are urged against the expression. 
We would say that we are no stickler for terms, and think it best in describing a divine work of grace to adhere to scriptural phraseology.  But when a term like that of the “second blessing” does no violence to the Word of God, but is really descriptive of a work that we find taught in the Bible, then it seems it might be used without offense or objection.  For instance, Christ promises his disciples another blessing.  He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they obtained it.  He called it the “promise of the Father,” a “baptism,” “enduement of power,” and the “Holy Ghost coming down upon them.”  All of these terms plainly indicate something new to be received and experienced by the disciples.  The “promise of the Father” was something yet unfulfilled, they had not yet been “endued with power” and according to the Saviour’s words the Holy Ghost had not yet come upon them.  He had breathed the Spirit upon them, but there was something yet evidently to be realized.  As for the word “baptism,” it cannot be tortured in any way to mean “birth,” for these two things are always distinct, and separated by an interval of time, both in nature and grace.  Moreover, when this baptism – enduement – promise of the Father came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost it was seen to be another work of the Spirit, different from anything they had experienced before in the spiritual life.  If this statement is challenged, we bring up in proof the apostle Peter, who declares in Acts XV.8,9 that it was a purifying of their hearts by faith.  He identifies here the blessing received by Cornelius with what came upon them at Pentecost.  This verse is a fatal blow to Zinzendorfianism, and to those of our church who insist that regeneration is purity; and it is one of the many foundation stones we have upon which to rest the doctrine of the second blessing.

So here is a subsequent work of grace, and as such can be truly called a second blessing.  Furthermore, as both in the Bible and in the Christian experience “a baptism of the sprit” is recognized to be different from “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” this latter-named experience can truly be called the second blessing.  Right here we should cease enumerating: first, for the reason that after sanctification a child of God should receive so many blessings that he cannot count them; and secondly, because there are but tow complete works of grace wrought in the soul by the Spirit.;  And just as any number of manifestations of God to the world fails to increase the number of persons in the Godhead, so numerous blessings, no matter how frequent and rich, cannot be scripturally distinguished by the terms third, fourth, fifth, and so on as infinitum.  There is but one work of grace, purifying and transforming, that is subsequent to regeneration.  With this additional blessing man enters into heaven.  After this there is nothing left on earth or in heaven but constant and everlasting growth in grace.  Hence the humorous and unkind fling by some at those who hold the second blessing, saying that they have gone much farther along in the spiritual numerals; that they have received the one hundredth blessing, etc.  This fling loses all of its force from the lack of knowledge it shows of the two distinct works of the Holy Spirit.  We repeat there that there are thousands of “a baptisms” in the Christian life, but there is but one “the baptism.”

Russell R. Byrum, “Shadows of Good Things” 1923
The blood on the horns of the golden altar also shadowed forth some of the good things that God has now provided for us.  Like the brazen altar and the laver, it was directly between the entrance to the court and the ark of God; signifying that it was one of the means by which the sinner came to God.  Those who have had their hearts “sprinkled from an evil conscience” (at the brazen altar), and have had their “bodies washed with pure water” (at the laver), the writer to the Hebrews exhorts, “having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:19-22).  It is clear from this that the bold of Jesus gives entrance through the veil into the holiest, as we have already shown that the sacrificial blood at the brazen altar gives admittance through the first veil into the church.  Also we have shown that this holiest place is typical of entire sanctification.  A very definite proof of this is that the atoning blood was put on the horns of the golden altar only for those who had been admitted to the holy place – the priests, as individuals, or for the whole congregation, whose representatives, the priests, were admitted (see Lev. 4:7, 18).  The blood of the sin-offering for “one of the common people” was smeared on the horns of the brazen altar out in the court (Lev. 4:30).  How remarkably did God in these ancient symbols predict the minute details of the process of our salvation?  But it may be objected that the priests did not gain entrance to the holiest by this blood on the horns of the golden altar.  This was because “the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.”  (Heb. 9:8).  Likewise the common people were not admitted into the holy place by the blood of their sin-offering on the horns of the brazen altar.  But as the sinner is now admitted into the holy place of the church by the atoning blood of Jesus, so also those who have already entered it are now admitted into the holiest by the same blood on the horns of the golden altar.

Charles G. Finney, “Revivals of Religion” b. 1792 d. 1875
 You may have the Spirit.  Not because it is a matter of justice for God to give you His Spirit, but because He has promised to give His Spirit to those that ask.  “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”  (Luke 11:13.)

There are some, even professors of religion, who will say: “I do not know anything about all this; I never had any such experience; either it is not true, or I am all wrong.”  No doubt you are all wrong, if you know nothing about the influence of the Spirit.  I want to present you with a few of the reasons that may prevent you from being filled with the Spirit.
1.    It may be that you live a hypocritical life.
2.   Others have so much levity that the Spirit will not dwell with them. 
3.   Others are so proud that they cannot have the Spirit.
4.   Some are so worldly-minded, love property so well, and are trying so hard to get rich, that they cannot have the Spirit.
5.   Others do not fully confess and forsake their sins, and so cannot enjoy the Spirit’s presence. 
6.   Others are neglecting some known duty, and that is the reason why they have not the Spirit. 
7.   Perhaps you have resisted the Spirit of God
8.   The fact is that you do not, on the whole, desire the Spirit. 

The Consequence of having the Spirit: you will be called eccentric; and probably you will deserve it.  Probably you will really be eccentric.  I never knew a person who was filled with the Spirit that was not called eccentric.   And the reason is that such people are unlike other folk.  If you have much of the Spirit of God, it is not unlikely you will be thought deranged, by many.  We judge men to be deranged when they act differently from what we think to be according to prudence and common sense, and when they come to conclusions for which we can see no good reasons.    If you have the Spirit of God, you must expect to feel great distress in view of the condition of the Church and of the world.  Some spiritual epicures as for the Spirit because they think He will make them so perfectly happy.  Some people think that spiritual Christians are always free from sorrow.  You will be often grieved with the state of the ministry.  If you have much of the Spirit of God, you must make up your mind to have much opposition, both in the Church and the world.  Very likely the leading men in the Church will oppose you.  There has always been opposition in the Church.  If you are far above their state of feeling, Church members will oppose you.  If any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he must expect persecutions.   But, you will have peace with God.  If the Church and sinners, and the devil, oppose you, there will be One with whom you will have peace. 

A.L. Byers, “Birth of a Reformation or The Life and Labors of Daniel S. Warner”  1921
The decade of the sixties, seventies, and eighties of the last century [1860-1880] witnessed a special revival of the doctrine of holiness, or sanctification.  Sanctification was held as being a work of God’s grace wrought in the heart subsequent to pardon, and accomplishing for the individual, through consecration and faith in Christ, (1) restoration of the soul from innate depravity and uncleanness, the destruction of that carnal element which antagonizes the godly purpose of the soul, and (2) the infilling and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  In short, it was the doctrine of Christian perfection, the state of loving God supremely and of living victorious over every form of sin. 
This doctrine was nothing more nor less than one of the great Scriptural truths that had been obscured by the apostasy.  [i.e.270 A.D. to 1530 A.D.]  It had been taught by the Wesleys, but through the denomination-building zeal of their followers it have become to a great extent a dead letter in their articles of faith.  The bright spiritual lights of the world throughout the gospel dispensation were generally individual men and women who believed in and possessed the experience of sanctification; but now the time came, in the unfolding of God’s plan, for holiness to be given specific attention on a scale amounting to a general awakening in religious circles. 

1.   I have heard it reported that we who teach two works of grace also teach that an innocent child will go to hell because they have a carnal nature.  This report is false.
2.   I have heard it reported that we who teach two works of grace also teach that you must be sanctified to go heaven.  It is reported that we teach that a justified person is not qualified or fitted for heaven.  This report is false. 

3.   I have heard it reported that we who teach two works of grace also teach that a sanctified person has reached a spiritual level where he is no longer tempted to commit sin.  This report is false.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?

Note:  The following message has been edited since the original posting.  

If after you repented of your sins with a broken and contrite heart;
If after you were forgiven and pardoned by the Lord Jesus Christ;
If after you were justified and delivered from all your sins;
If after this redeeming, born again experience of salvation;
[all of the above questions are specifically related to the instantaneous experience which the Scriptures call justification]
you have not received the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit; then you are not yet sanctified, neither do you possess the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Some ministers have believed and accepted a false doctrine called “one cleansing.”  By failing to teach the second work of grace and the second cleansing by the Holy Spirit, they have prevented the people from enjoying the victory of a Holy Spirit filled life.  They have prevented the people from possessing the power of a Holy Spirit filled life. 

As a minister of the truth, it is my duty to set before you the truth of the doctrine of sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This doctrine is an essential part of the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus gave His life and His blood on the cross of Calvary so that you could have this wonderful gift of God.  In the words of the Apostle Paul to the church at Galatia “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  And to the church at Ephesus he wrote, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

The entire plan of God for the redemption and perfection of the children of God, is comprised of these two essential gifts, which in their entirety, is called full salvation.

If after you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and received Him as Master and Savior of your life and soul, you have not subsequently been filled with the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit; then you are living with less than what God has designed and planned for His children to experience and possess. 

Paul asked this important question of the disciples at Ephesus.

Acts 19:1-7
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.

From this text we understand that:
1.    Paul found men whom, by reason of their conduct and testimony, he considered them to be disciples.  Paul understanding the importance and necessity of being filled with the Holy Ghost so that their experience of being born again, justified, could be sealed with the promise of the Holy Ghost.
2.   These disciples were not familiar with the work of the Holy Ghost.  They had not heard of Him or how He operates.
3.   Their testimony caused Paul to question how then were they baptized, because Jesus had given commandment that new converts were to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
4.   Their answer caused Paul to understand that they were disciples by the teachings of John the Baptist.
5.   Paul then instructed them in the proper manner of the Christian faith and baptism; then they were so baptized. 
6.   After they were baptized as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, (we don’t baptize sinners) then Paul laid his hands on them and they received the sanctifying, indwelling Holy Ghost, whom sinners in this world cannot receive. 

Matthew 3:1-11
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

John the Baptist did not baptize people whom He had no confidence that they had repented of their sins.  He clearly let them know that they needed to “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” before they were proper candidates for baptism.  This position and practice is true for all church of God ministers.  We do not baptize people who have not made a profession of faith and obedience to God. 

John 14:15-17
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since a sinner (the world) cannot receive the Holy Spirit, we know that justification and sanctification cannot happen simultaneously.  A sinner does receive the grace of justification when he properly repents of all his sins.  Both justification and sanctification are instantaneous works of grace.  First, a person must be born again before he becomes conscious of the work and voice of the Holy Spirit.  A sinner does not know the Holy Spirit.  He only knows the voice of his Savior and Shepherd calling Him to the fold of God.  After the sinner repents and begins to follow Christ, he will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who is given to teach us all things.

Acts 8:5-17
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had
bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

The indented verses about Simon are so arranged because they reflect the distraction of Satan who is continually present to hinder people from understanding the truth.  Here follows the sequence of spiritual events just described in the foregoing scripture:
1.   God sent Philip to Samaria to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2.   Philip preached and worked many miracles in their sight.
3.   The people believed the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4.   The people were baptized as a testimony of their death to the flesh and their resurrection in Christ Jesus. 
5.   God sent Peter and John to more perfectly teach the plan of full salvation which includes both justification and sanctification.
6.   The specific purpose of Peter and John’s instruction was to bring them to the experience of receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit.  They needed the baptism of fire which is different from and in addition to the baptism of water. 
7.   They believed the message of Peter and John, an agreement in prayer was made in asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit; and, they received the Holy Ghost. 

How many scriptures do we need to prove the manner in which we receive full salvation and entire sanctification?  This passage of scripture is so clearly stated than there is no reason for anyone to misunderstand the sequence of being born again (justified) and afterwards receiving the Holy Spirit (sanctified).

 The Old Testament tabernacle was constructed to represent types and symbols of the New Testament experience of salvation, because we are chosen to be the temple of the indwelling Holy Ghost.

The Old Testament had:
1.   Two rooms, the Holy Place and the Holiest of Holies which represent the two works of grace, i.e. justification and sanctification.
2.   Two altars, the brazen altar for the sin sacrifice and the Golden Altar upon which the Priest must make a second application of the blood of the sacrifice before entering into the Holiest of Holies. (Hebrews 9:7)
3.   The Holy Place had Bread (Table of Shewbread) and Light (the Golden Candlestick) and the Golden Altar.
4.   The Holiest of Holies had no need of light because the Holy Spirit rested upon the Mercy Seat and communed with the Priest of God, which we have become. (Revelation 1:6)

The Israelites deliverance is a type of our salvation:
1.   Egypt is a type of sin. (Hebrews 11:26)
2.   The Wilderness is a type of justification.
3.   The Red Sea is a type of the cleansing work of justification.
4.   Canaan Land is a type of sanctification.
5.   The Jordan River is a type of the cleansing work of sanctification.

Many scriptures can be added to these texts to support and instruct the child of God in the two cleansing works of salvation.

Hebrews chapters eight, nine and ten are specifically written to instruct the Hebrew people in the right understanding of the two works of grace.  The Hebrew writer compels the believer to accept the first covenant as a schoolmaster to teach the way of the second covenant.  The first covenant being faulty and the second covenant being perfected by the gift of the indwelling Holy Ghost. 

1 Thessalonians 4:1-4
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2 Corinthians 13:8-9
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

Pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit will enlighten you with the truth of His operation so that you may have grace to stand against the deceitful works of darkness. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

“Let Them Pass Forget Them”

The following poem was printed in 
October 26, 1904:

“Let Them Pass Forget Them”

Never mind the things you’ve heard,
Don’t repeat a single word -
Let them pass; forget them.
Do not mind them, they are not
Worthy of a moments thought.
They have now much mischief wrought –
Let them pass; forget them.

Never mind what someone said,
They were words by malice fed –
Let them pass; forget them.
They were unkind and untrue,
And deserve no thought from you;
Be among the very few
Who will never mind them.

Let the other people say
Words unkind from day to day –
Let them pass, forget them.
Balance matters with them; give
Kind words for unkind ones; live
As you know you ought; forgive –
Let them pass; forget them.

And, if you have said a word,
Harsh, unkind and someone heard,
Pass it not; but mind it,
Sow another kind of seed,
Do another kind of deed,
Maybe someone’s heart will bleed –
If you do not mind it.
-By Benjamin B. Keech

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Great I AM is Here

We serve an unchanging God.  His message to all men has never changed.  His promises to all men have never changed.  His faithfulness and power available to all men have never changed.  As the song poet has written, “He is just the same today.”

Exodus 3:13-14
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

God has spoken “I AM THAT I AM.”
What does God mean when He makes this statement, “I AM THAT I AM?”
When you come to God and tell Him you are sick and ask Him to be your physician, He says, “I AM.”
When you come to God and tell Him that you are in danger and you need His protection, He says, “I AM.”
When you come to God and repent of your sins and ask Him to be your Redeemer and Savior, He says, “I AM.”

John 11:20-27
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Jesus told Martha, I am the resurrection, and the life.  She believed Him.
Do you believe that Jesus is able to always be the “I AM” for whatever you need in your life?  Do you act like you believe?  Do you live like you believe that Jesus is always the “I AM” in your life?

This is an awesome truth:  For whatever need you have in your life, Jesus is the I AM answer and solution for that need.  

Matthew 16:15-17
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Did Peter know that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, The Son of the Living God?  Yes, he did know.  Did Peter later deny that he knew Jesus?  Peter did not say that he did not know that Jesus was the Messiah.  He denied that he knew who Jesus was as a person with whom he had any knowledge or relationship.  Peter was afraid that his own life was in danger.  He was trying to save his own life.  Many people are denying Christ in order to save their own reputation and possessions.  

Matthew 16:24-26
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

How many people today are trying to control their own life because they do not have the faith to trust Jesus to take care of them?  Can you trust the great “I AM” take care of you? 

If you are sick, can you trust Jesus to be your Physician?
If you are in danger, can you trust Jesus to be your Defense?
If you have some material need, can you trust Jesus to be your Supplier?

Mark 14:60-64
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

Jesus plainly told the high priest that He was the Son of God, but because of the spiritual blindness which was upon the mind and heart of the high priest, he refused to believe the words of Jesus.  Unless you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, you will not see Him even though He is revealed to you. 

John 9:35-38
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

When the blind man was introduced to Jesus, he believed and worshipped Him.  Notice how difficult it was for the religious leaders to believe Jesus and how quickly those who were healed believed.  Jesus will reveal Himself to people who are seeking Him.  They want to know Him. 

The religious leaders were comfortable in their own life-style.  They did not want Jesus to change their plans.  They did not want to risk losing their position, their authority or their livelihood which they enjoyed as leaders in their cities. 

Consider the woman whom Jesus met at the well in Samaria.  When Jesus revealed Himself to her.  She believed him.  Why was it so easy for her and so hard for the rich and the rulers? 

John 4:19-24
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

The woman believed and went to tell the people in her city that she had found the Messiah.  Has Jesus revealed Himself to you?  What did you do with Him?  Did you follow His counsel?  Did you submit yourself to do His will instead of your own will? 

Exodus 15:24-27
24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
25 And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

No doubt there were a few people who were thankful to God and worshipped Him for all His good blessings to the people of Israel.  But the multitudes continually murmured and complained.  Regardless of the many blessings of God, they were stubborn and rebellious. They did not glorify God neither did they keep His commandments.

Psalms 103:1-7
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

Is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever?  Are the promises of God also given to us today?  Will God do for the church of God what He has done for the children of Israel?  Is the church the true spiritual Israel and the true Jew in our day? 

John 14:12-15
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Do you believe Jesus?
Are you keeping His doctrines and His commandments?
Do you have faith in your relationship with Jesus? 
Is Jesus the “I AM” for every need in your life?

Luke 7:11-16
11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

Was this woman’s son allowed to die so that Jesus could be glorified when He raised the man from the dead?  This woman needed life for her son.  Jesus is LIFE.  He is the RESURRECTION.  He is the I AM for every need we have. 

What do you need?
Jesus can meet that need.
Have you prayed earnestly to know that what you desire is in the perfect will of God?  Is what you want in agreement with what God wants.
This is the place where people begin to doubt and question whether or not God will answer their prayer.  We can know the will of God, if we will have faith and pray.  God will guide us and counsel us to know His will. 

Luke 12:32
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

What does God want most of all for you in this life?  He wants you to be holy for He is holy.  He wants you to be in His Kingdom as one of His dear children.  God wants you to desire to be a child of God more than anything else and have faith that He will take care of you. 

Have faith in God.  Trust Him.  Prove your love to Him by keeping all His commandments.  Let His be the I AM for every need in your life.