coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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If you’re going to make it through the purging process,

that’s the kind of determination you have to develop to

withstand the enemy’s attacks. Why? Because

mortification isn’t a pleasant experience, and your

flesh will want to give up. And three months of praying

in tongues and edifying yourself to a certain place in

God isn’t going to make your purging process any more



But that’s okay. If there is one thing I don’t want in my

life, it is dead limbs. I’m willing to go through whatever

unpleasantness the Holy Ghost deems necessary in

order to rid myself of everything that sabotages God’s

perfect will for my life.

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The dead limbs that the Holy Spirit is working on now

in my life is the last forty percent.I’m on my way to a

hundredfold walk.

You see, it’s not so difficult to walk in thirtyfold or

sixtyfold of God’s will for you. But that last forty

percent is a challenge. It deals with how you do or don’t

operate in the love of God.

When that last forty percent is purged, you respond

differently when people insult you,slander you, slap

your cheek, or sue you. Instead of retaliating with

insult for insult, you extend nothing but the mercy of

God. You esteem your testimony as your most valuable

possession, and you are determined not to hurt a

human being even at the cost of your own head.

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The dead limbs of the last forty percent are hard to get

to. A good deal of edification must take place first in

your spirit before the Holy Ghost will even focus in on

those hard-to-reach limbs and begin to purge them. In

fact, during the first six months you pray consistently

in tongues, the Holy Spirit is strengthening your spirit

to get you willing to even discuss cutting those dead

limbs off!

Remember, Jesus said that you are clean through the

Word He has spoken (John 15:3). As the Holy Spirit girds

up your spirit with revelation of the Word, you’ll be

able to cut off those hideous dead limbs that clutter and

hinder your life.


One thing is for sure: You won’t get rid of the last forty

percent just by sitting in a pew once a week,listening to

a thirty-minute sermon that you don’t even plan to

apply. So if you’ve been thinking that you don’t need to

pray much in tongues for personal edification, think

again! You have a divine purpose to fulfill, and you

don’t need a lot of dead limbs in your way!

sleeping in church

is it over yet


The Dead Limb of Complacency


The worst thing you need to be purged from is

complacency and indifference. In its extreme, it’s the

type of attitude that says, “Let the town go to hell. Why

should I spend my time praying for them?”

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There are pastors in a state of complacency who don’t

want to meet under the same roof with the other

preachers in town. Sure, these pastors want to see

everyone in town get saved.They aren’t that wicked. But

they just want to be the ones to do it. Their attitude is,

“If an evangelistic outreach doesn’t come through me

and my church, I’m not going to help make it a success.”

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That is called indifference or complacency. It’s quite a

chore for the Holy Ghost to cut that dead limb off! It’s a

part of that last forty percent.

The Holy Ghost has to cut the dead limb of indifference

out of our lives before we will ever pursue revival

above any selfish desire. Until we are purged of

complacency, we’ll always be focused on “my lifestyle”

and “my comfort” more than other people’s salvation.


Personally, the devil has often tried to use complacency

as a means to keep me from entering in to the best God

has for me. The enemy will whisper in my mind, “Why

don’t you just settle back and be comfortable?You have

a good anointing. You have good meetings. Don’t

hundreds get filled with the Holy Spirit in a matter of

weeks? Aren’t you in the camp meeting circuit?Why

don’t you just settle down and stay where you’re at? It’s

a good place to be.”

Every time I have tried to break out of my comfort

zone, I’ve encountered a major attack of the enemy. My

flesh says, “Well, why don’t I stay where I’m at

spiritually? Why subject myself to more battering by

the devil? Why can’t I just get comfortable and live like

other preachers?They seem to be content and happy.”


My flesh will try to talk me into being complacent. But,

you see, the hunger that is on the inside of my spirit has

always been stronger than the voice of my flesh. I can

only walk after the flesh so long before it becomes

unbearable. I get absolutely unhappy, and I stay that

way until I shake off my complacency and start to

fervently pursue God again.

Teenager holding a bible

The Holy Spirit wants to mature us through revelation

of God’s Word so that we look at that dead limb of

complacency in our lives and say, “I’m disgusted with

that. Holy Spirit,please cut it off.” He’s even happy if we

look at that limb and honestly admit, “God, I just don’t

want that limb cut off.” At that point, we only need to

do one thing: keep on praying in tongues.Eventually we

will want to get rid of that dead, ugly limb. That’s the

edification process at work.

By the time the Lord was finished cutting dead limbs off

my life, I was nothing but a stump!He cut off all those

dead limbs such as wrong believing, lusts of the flesh,

love of money, and self-exaltation. And I like the

fruitful limbs that have grown back in place of what

was pruned away!

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 The Holy Spirit waits patiently for you to yield your

authority to Him, for He has a work inside of you to do.

He will strengthen your inner man, your reborn human

spirit, with sufficient might to put to death the deeds of

the flesh and to purge every dead limb out of your life

one by one. As you do, the Holy Spirit has the liberty to

increase His work of revealing divine mysteries to your

spirit. So be assured — whether it’s mortification or

revelation, your prayers in the Spirit are being




Oh, I’ll come from a place within where you think that

you have no strength.And I’ll say to you, “Get up and try

again.”For even though you may be cast down from

time to time,know this, My child —you are not

forsaken.Get up again and again and again,and My

strength will be with you continually to begin again and

again and again. In a time when you think you will fall,

you will not fall; you will stand. For I will come from a

place within and give you strength, says the Spirit of

Grace,that you never knew you had. (word given thru

Dave Roberson)


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until next time




coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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Breaking the Cycle of Defeat


So it is through the Spirit and according to God’s Word

that we mortify the deeds of the body — those fears,

faults, and bad habits with which the flesh attempts to

keep us in a never-ending cycle of defeat. That is the

only way we can take the limits off our lives.


I have found that one of the primary roles of the Holy

Spirit’s leadership in our lives is to lead us out of those

left over patterns of the flesh nature’s dominance.

Those “left overs” can sabotage everything God is

attempting to do in our lives for the good.


One day I asked my brother (who was a detective in

Memphis at the time), “Do you really want to know

what has kept you from becoming a multi-millionaire?”

He was wise enough to answer correctly. His job had

nothing to do with it. His problem was his own limited

pattern of thinking that had dominated him all of his

life and had kept him imprisoned within its narrow


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In Mark 9:23, Jesus said that all things are possible to

him who believes. Therefore, the only thing that stands

between us and any kind of miracle is the fleshly

pattern or system of thought that has captivated us in

the realm of the soul. That UN-scriptural pattern is

something faith can’t give substance to. It is hope that

has been programmed wrong — hope that has gone

amiss. It is full of fear and torment instead of faith.

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The Holy Spirit will replace that mess for the kind of

hope that faith can give substance to.But we must yield

to His leadership when He begins to root out those

destructive patterns;otherwise, we will just remain in

that same invisible prison until the day we die.

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You see, it’s no accident that right after Paul talks about

mortifying the deeds of the flesh in Romans 8:13, he

says this in verse 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit

of God, they are the sons of God.Verse 13 and 14 are one

continuous thought. The term “son of God”refers to the

mature believer who has been nurtured by the Holy

Spirit to the point that he can now walk by his new

nature rather than by the dictates of the flesh.


Therefore, Paul is describing in verse 14 a state of

spiritual maturity where carnal patterns and systems

of thought no longer dominate you because you are

now walking after your new nature instead of

according to the flesh.

Many times believers who are still immature and

carnal themselves want the Holy Spirit to give them

insight into other people’s messed-up lives or to tell

them what car to buy. But about the only thing the Holy

Spirit can do with a believer in this spiritual condition

is to lead him out of his own mess.


You may say, “Well, I want God to lead me into this

ministry or this job promotion.” But the first order of

business is for God to lead you out of anything that

keeps you in a perpetual cycle of defeat.

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That’s what Romans 8:13,14 is talking about: As many as

will allow their reborn human spirit to be nurtured and

taught by the Holy Spirit, they are the mature sons of

God. For it is through the spirit — through the new

nature within them — that they mortify the deeds of

the flesh. The Holy Spirit will lead them out of patterns

and systems of thought that enslave.


Paul described this condition of enslavement in

Romans 7:7-24. He said, “What a wretched man I am.

There is a bent toward sin loosed in my members, and

the more I try to serve God,the more it wars against my

mind. There is nothing in me to ‘re-bottle’ it. Even

though God gave me the Law and I try to keep it, this

lust for sin persistently wages war inside of me. I can’t

seem to stop it.”

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This hopeless spiritual condition is the reason why the

whole world became guilty before God and subject to

His judgment. The world needed a Savior. So Romans 8

tells us how the Savior came to lead us out of our

enslavement to the flesh into a walk of the Spirit.



Tearing Down Strongholds in the Soul


All you have to do is look at the root word of “mortify,”

which means death, to know you’re in for a battle in the

purging process. Paul describes this battle in Second

Corinthians 10:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds).— 2 Corinthians 10:4

So Paul says that our weapons for this battle we’re

engaged in are not carnal. In other words, we don’t

wage this internal war with natural means. Instead, our

weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down of

invisible strongholds, or fortresses, that are erected in

our lives.

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Some believers think that the word “strongholds” in

verse 4 is talking about some kind of invisible fortress

that the devil builds at one end of a town to keep the

townspeople from getting saved. These believers think

their job is to tear down these evil fortresses of the


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No, Paul is referring to a battle on the personal level.

How do I know that? Because in verse 5 he says this:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that

exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and

bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience

of Christ.

Who possesses the thoughts that are brought into

captivity? Paul didn’t change the subject between verse

4 and 5. If you are the possessor of the thought, you are

the possessor of the fortress.

The strongholds Paul is talking about are imaginations

and high things that exalt them-selves against the

knowledge of God. They are carnal strongholds in the

realm of the soul. Paul is telling us to bring into

captivity every disobedient thought, because the devil

will cut us to pieces with the soulish strongholds that

are not cast down. Some of those strongholds hinder us

so greatly that if they aren’t broken, we will die in our

defeated condition, never to fulfill our godly desires or

divine call.

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he was going to do so many things for God

A stronghold can consist of a certain set of

imaginations that makes a person so infuriated, he

separates himself from the truth through strife and

unforgiveness. A stronghold can also be an elaborate

system of religious thought that enslaves the hearts and

minds of an entire nation. But whether it is a

stronghold in the soul of an individual or of a nation, it

all starts with an un-captivated thought that exalts

itself against the knowledge of Christ.

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I’m so glad God has given us weapons that are mighty

through God to tear down these fortresses! They are

not a part of the natural realm; they are given in the

realm of His Spirit.


The most important weapon that God gave us was the

third Person of the Godhead to live inside of us. Then

the Holy Spirit also equipped us with another vital

weapon — a supernatural language.

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That language is a gift that edifies and builds us up

above a carnal realm where our natural senses

dominate. And as we employ this gift by praying in

tongues, the Holy Spirit begins the process of purging

us of every “high thing” that exalts itself against God’s

plan for our lives.


Where does this purging process take place? Well,

everything that shows up on the outside is generally a

picture of what is working on the inside of us. There-

fore, mortification occurs in the realm of our


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The Holy Spirit begins a work of discerning the

thoughts and intents of our hearts, rooting out systems

of thought and soulish strongholds that cause us to fail.

As we keep praying in tongues for personal edification,

He tears down any strongholds of the soul that have not

been constructed by God’s Word.


At the same time, the Holy Spirit constructs a

superstructure in our spirit man by imparting

revelation knowledge of God’s Word. For what

purpose? To mature us, to edify us, and to build our

lives higher and higher into God.

Teenager holding a bible

The Word of God is a two-edged sword that divides

asunder soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12). It is the only

qualified agent to deliver such a distinct blow between

spirit and soul. And in this purging process that

encompasses all the realms of the soul and spirit, it is

the only standard I trust as I endeavor to understand

the Holy Spirit’s work inside of me.

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It doesn’t matter how many devils come to clamor

against my soul. I’m going to brace myself against the

attack and still choose only the Word for my standard.

That two-edged sword has penetrated my spirit, and I

refuse to believe anything or anyone that is not in line

with what the Word has declared.





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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH





You may be able to better understand the difference

between willpower and mortification through my little

parable about Sister Diet. For Sister Diet, every January

starts the same thing all over again: “I’m going to lose

thirty pounds of this unsightly heaviness. No more

MacDonald’s. No more pies and cakes. I’m just going to

eat salads, and I’m going to start a big exercise


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Sister Diet stirs up her emotions and gets her willpower

kicked in. Then on January 1, she starts her diet. She

holds on for two months, stretching her willpower like

a tight guitar string. By the third month, it’s “Oh, God!

Another salad!

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”Then one day, the pastor receives a call from the local

pie factory. “Pastor, we have a woman down here who

claims to be one of your parishioners, and she just

raided our pie factory. She says her name is Sister Diet.

Do you know her?”

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“Yes, I do.”

“Well, she’s babbling out of her mind — something

about her will breaking.”

“What happened to her?”“I don’t know. Have you ever

seen those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the Tasmanian

Devil whirls through like a tornado, eating up trees and

anything else in his way? Well, Sister Diet just chewed

her way through the door and the pie case and ate half

of everything in the pie case. Then she chewed her way

through the steel door of the freezer — and she’s still in

there!We have her in two straitjackets. Can you come

and get her?”

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So the pastor comes to retrieve Sister Diet. As he half

carries her out of the pie factory, she continues to

mumble incoherently, “My will broke. My will broke.”

The parable of Sister Diet is a little extreme, but you get

the point. Will worship can only take you so far in your

battle to overcome the deeds of the flesh. The only true

way to put those fleshly works to death once and for all

is through the Spirit.



Willpower Can’t Change a Marriage


I’ll give you another example of how flesh can take

back its ground when change is attempted through

willpower alone. When a husband and wife are having

marital problems, family counseling can be a real help.

The counselor teaches both the husband and the wife

how they are supposed to fulfill their roles in the

marriage. He tells them, “If you’ll do these things, it will

change your marriage.”

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It’s easy to tell people what they need to do to change

their marriage. But if the counselor doesn’t teach the

husband and wife how to find the root of the problem

— how to allow the Holy Spirit to purge them of the

weaknesses that caused the problems in the first place

— then all he has done is to give the couple some great

but ineffective speeches.

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So the husband and wife leave the counselor’s office all

stirred up in their emotions and determined to change

their marriage. The first thing the wife does is to buy

the recommended book Do Yourself a Favor and Love

Your Spouse and read it.

The husband comes home from a hard day at the office.

The wife is scantily dressed, candles flicker on the

table, and the aroma of pheasant under glass fills the


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He asks, “Where are the kids?”

“Never mind, Sweetie,” she says.

He thinks, My Lord, I have a new wife!

Later the wife conveniently leaves the book Do Yourself

a Favor and Love Your Spouse lying on a table in plain

sight. The husband finds it and reads it. Later he comes

home holding a red rose and greets her with “Hello, my

dearest.” He begins to go out of his way to do all those

tender, loving little things that mean so much.

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On Saturday morning, the wife wakes up to a kiss. The

husband sets a breakfast tray on her lap with a red rose

lying next to the food. “I have myself a new husband!”

she exclaims.

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Both husband and wife are in seventh heaven for a

while. But about three months later,the will to keep up

the effort of being a loving spouse is stretching thin.

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It’s Saturday morning again, and the wife wakes up to a

kiss and another breakfast tray with a red rose lying

next to the food. She says grumpily, “Oh, don’t they

have anything down at that flower place but red roses?”

The husband snaps back, “I’m going to slap you clear

out of bed, woman!” And the battle of the sexes is

resumed full force!

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Whether it’s smoking, eating too much, arguing with

your spouse, or any other deed of the flesh, the

principle is the same: Relying on sheer willpower to

change your fleshly weakness-es will take you only so

far. It is only through the Spirit that you mortify the

deeds of the body.



God’s Word Is the Standard


Jesus told us in John 15:2 that as branches connected to

the true Vine, we will be purged in order to bear more

fruit. Then in the next verse, Jesus said, Now ye are

clean through the word which I have spoken unto

you(v. 3). In other words, it is the Word of God that sets

the standard for our purging. Without the Word, where

would we obtain the information we need to discern

between good and evil or truth and lies?


Only one foundation of truth exists in the entire

universe, and that is the Word of God. Some religions

will tell you, “Our system of religion is truth.” But they

are not. They are in deception, and they don’t know it.

Other religions will also try to convince you that they

have the truth and their tenets contain sound wisdom

for living, but they do not have eternal truth.

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Only the Word can be trusted as the standard for truth.

It didn’t come from this world. It came from God


The second Person of the Godhead is called the mighty

Logos, or the Word, who came to earth incarnate as the

man Jesus Christ. The mighty Logos was chosen by the

Godhead to cross and close the gap between humanity

and God. One way He closed that gap was by providing

information about the Godhead. He said, “If you have

seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).

The ancient philosophers sought something to bridge

the gap between God and man.Socrates, Plato, and

other famous philosophers tried to plunge their minds

into infinity, asking, “What is out there? Who is the

original Thinker? Who is the unmoved Mover?” But

they had no answers. They only knew something had to

be out there.

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Then John brought the revelation those Greek

philosophers sought all those years. He said,“Do you

want to know who in this universe is the unmoved

Mover? I’ll tell you.

“Before anything had a beginning, there was the Logos.

The Logos was with God. The Logos was God. And the

Logos stood face to face, coequal with God. All things

were made by the Logos. Nothing in creation was made

without Him [John 1:1-3]. Sure, I can tell you who the

unmoved Mover is. He is the mighty Logos, the Word.

He is the One who has closed the gap between man and



So if you are trying to be purged by any other standard

than the Logos, you are wasting your time. One of the

most deceptive things you can get involved with is a

religion peddling a bill of goods that isn’t a mandate

from God’s Word. You can spend years trying to follow a

set of man-made rules that do nothing to change you

from the inside out. There is only one true purging

process, and Jesus spelled it out: Now ye are clean

THROUGH THE WORD which I have spoken unto you

(John 15:3).

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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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Deal with the Root —Not the Bad Fruit


God used a house in a neighborhood near my home to

teach me a lesson along this line. Everyone hates this

house. As you drive through this neighborhood of

elegant homes, suddenly you turn the corner and here’s

this dilapidated house.

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Trash is piled knee-deep all over the yard. The house is

in dire need of a paint job. The screen door is cocked

sideways. The lawn is overgrown. Several old cars with

no tires are scattered around. All of this in the middle

of a very nice neighborhood!

everyone who lives in the area is angry at the man who

lives in that house, but no one has convinced him to do

anything about its appearance. “I lived here first before

any of these other houses were even built,” he says, and

he refuses to change.

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One day I looked at this house as I drove by and

thought, Oh, my Lord, what a mess!Then the Holy Spirit

took advantage of the opportunity to teach me

something. He spoke to my spirit, saying, “Did you know

that the outside of that house is an exact picture of the

inside of the man who lives in it?”

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Whoa! With that revelation fresh in my mind, the first

thing I wanted to do when I arrived home was mow my


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But, you see, the Holy Spirit was pointing out a mistake

that most Christians make: They are always trying to

pick the bad fruit off the tree of their life without

dealing with the root that caused the bad fruit to grow

in the first place!

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For example, people are often coaxed through their

emotions to respond to an altar call.“Run up here and

leave all of your bad fruit at the altar,” the preacher

says. So they kneel at the altar and think, Okay, I’m not

going to slap my wife anymore. I’m not going to drink

alcohol anymore.

So they pick off their bad fruit, leave it on the altar, and

go home. Now, it’s good that they have repented and

made a commitment to God never to commit such sins

again. However,there is a big problem. If they don’t

deal with the root of the problem — those spiritual

road-blocks hidden within them in darkness, that bad

fruit will simply grow back.

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Will Worship vs. Mortification by the Spirit


But you can’t discover the root of fleshly works in your

life on your own. The Holy Spirit is the only One who

can search the innermost parts of your heart to find the

root. Then He edifies your reborn human spirit to rise

up and put to death the deeds of the flesh on a daily

basis.That’s why the baptism in the Holy Spirit takes

place in the human spirit — because that’s where all

permanent change comes from.


I’ve been in the ministry now for more than twenty-five

years, and I have found that people can’t change

themselves. For example, when I rededicated my life to

the Lord at that ultra-Holiness church, people preached

at me all the time about what I was supposed to be and

what I was supposed to do. They told me to quit sinning

and gave me a list of all kinds of do’s and dont’s.

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But it wasn’t until I found out how to release the power

of the Holy Spirit inside of me that I was able to put to

death that old man’s fleshly deeds. Then finally, finally,

Jesus, the Man of Compassion, could begin to come

forward in my life.


You see, the natural mind is only familiar with trying to

change through will worship. Do you know what will

worship is? It is when you endeavor to discipline

yourself against the problem as hard as you can using

your own will. “I will not sin anymore. I will not sin

anymore,”you say with gritted teeth. But try as you

might, sometimes you just can’t break a fleshly habit

using the strength of your own will.


On the other hand, mortification through the Spirit is

the process by which the Holy Spirit rises up on the

inside of you to destroy the hold that the flesh has had

over you. Instead of the sin having dominion over you,

you gain dominion over it!


The Cart Before the Horse


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But how do we loose that power on the inside of us to

mortify the deeds of the body? Earlier we saw that

Romans 8:26 gives us the answer:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we

know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the

Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings

which cannot be uttered.


So the key that releases the Holy Spirit’s power in our

lives on a personal level to mortify the deeds of the

flesh is the supernatural languages of tongues. The Holy

Spirit says, “Excuse me, but I’d like to help you. If you’ll

let Me make intercession for you with groanings that

can-not be uttered, I’ll break the hold of those

roadblocks that stand in the way of God’s best for you.”


The ultra-Holiness church I attended as a young man

didn’t understand that key. They taught the doctrine of

“the three works of grace” — first saved, then sanctified

(which means separated from the filthiness of the

world), then filled with the Holy Ghost. They told me,

“You need to be born again.”

“Thank you, I am.

“Now you need to get sanctified.”

“Sanctified from what?” I asked.

“From smoking, drinking, chewing tobacco — all that

sort of thing.”

“Then I can receive the Holy Ghost?” I asked.

“That’s right.”

“You mean, I can’t get saved first, filled with the Holy

Ghost second, and sanctified third?”

“No way! Do you think God is going to baptize a

tobacco-mouth, alcohol-breath, un-sanctified


“Oh,” I said. “I guess not.”

But those folks had the cart before the horse! The Bible

says it is through the Spirit that you mortify the deeds

of the body.


The Holiness folks said to me, “You have to become

good enough to receive the Holy Spirit.”

I replied, “Yes, but I need the Holy Spirit to become

good enough!”

So they said, “Then you can’t have Him!”But despite

what those folks thought, I got filled with the Holy

Ghost anyway! I came up to the altar one night at

church, and the Holy Spirit came on me. Out of

ignorance, I fought off the urge to speak out the

supernatural words He was creating on the inside of


But later as I worshiped God at home, the Holy Ghost

came on me again. This time, I lifted my hands and

began to yield to Him. I fell down on the floor under the

power of God and got up speaking with tongues — and

I’ve been doing it ever since!


But I couldn’t even tell those church folks I had

received the Holy Spirit, because I still smoked my pipe

and watched Star Trek! Then the Holy Spirit told me,

“Let me step in, Son.I’m the power that has been sent to

help you out of your weaknesses.”

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So I just kept praying in tongues. I’d smoke my pipe on

the way to church Sunday morning. Then I would be

under such conviction on the way home from church

that I’d throw my pipe out the car window.

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But on Monday morning at work, I’d buy another one.

I’d smoke my pipe on the way to the Wednesday evening

church service. Then on the way home from church, I’d

throw it away. The purging process was well underway;

I had provoked that internal war through praying in


But I found out that mortification through the power of

the Holy Spirit goes for the root, and then the bad fruit

just falls off. I can’t tell you the exact time that the pipe

and the tobacco just fell off my “tree.” All I know for

sure is that once my reborn human spirit had been

built up sufficiently by the Holy Spirit, it struck the

root, and the bad fruit dried up and fell off the limb for

good. It beat anything I had ever seen!





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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


inward Transformation Before Outward Change


Before I understood the dynamics of that internal war,

it was a great mystery to me why so many people,

although hungry for more of God and stirred up in

their spirits to pray much in the Holy Ghost, gave up

before any noticeable results had occurred. Then I

realized that most of those people had given up because

they were looking for their answers in the wrong place.


Let me give you an example. Suppose a believer gets all

excited about praying in tongues. He decides, Look out,

devil! I’m going to lock myself away somewhere and

pray in tongues an hour every day. And woe to the man

who tries to get in my way to stop me! He’ll have boot

marks on his back end!

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So this man marches to his prayer closet with a ten-

pound Bible under his arm. Yes, sir,he’s going to pray in

tongues an hour every day. There’s just one problem.

He’s coming into this commitment as a manic-

depressive suffering from a terminal disease who is in

the process of filing bankruptcy!

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this man doesn’t care, because he’s found the answer.

He thinks, I’ve found Someone who knows my weakness

and will pray for my problem. Everything is going to be

different now!


One month goes by. This believer prays in tongues one

hour every day. No change. Two months go by. He’s still

praying in tongues. No change. Three months go by.

Now he’s out watching the horizon.


“What are you looking for?”

“Oh, not much. But, you know, I put my time in. I’ve

been praying in tongues for three months! If anyone

should receive an answer, it’s me!”

I’ll tell you what that man is doing. He’s out looking for

the spectacular and missing the miraculous! In other

words, he’s expecting God to answer the mysteries he

has prayed out in tongues by changing his outward

circumstances in some magnificent way. Meanwhile, he

is oblivious to the miraculous work of the Holy Ghost

that is taking place inside of him.


Perhaps this believer imagines a big, white stallion with

flaming, red eyes riding over the horizon and

thundering down into the valley to his house. As the

stallion approaches, he recognizes who is in the saddle.

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“Oh, boy, it’s Jesus! Wow, this praying in tongues stuff

really works!”

Jesus reins in His stallion next to the believer and says,

“First of all, give Me a list of every-one you owe money

to.” The man gives Him the list, and Jesus gallops off on

His horse, leaving a cloud of dust behind Him. Jesus is

back in a half an hour and tells the man, “Every bill is

paid off.”

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Then Jesus says, “Excuse Me a minute,” and takes off

after the spirit of poverty that He has just spotted

slinking around in the shadows. The big stallion stomps

on that slimy devil until he’s just a miserable heap on

the floor — and instantly poverty is broken in the

believer’s life!

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Jesus trots back on His stallion and dismounts. Then He

walks over to the believer and lays hands on him — and

the disease and manic depression immediately

disappear! The believer exclaims, “Oh, my! I’ve been

made a new person, and I only prayed for three

months! This stuff really does work!”


Jesus gets back on his horse and begins to ride off. All of

a sudden, He stops and rides back.He says, “By the way,

I forgot this.” He reaches into His pocket and pulls out

an envelope containing ten thousand dollars. “This is

for eating and fellow shipping in restaurants after

church services,” He informs the delighted man.

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Then Jesus rides off toward the horizon. Silhouetted by

the setting sun, He rears up on his stallion, shouts, “Hi

ho, Holy Ghost, and away!” and gallops off. The believer

sighs, wipes his forehead with the back of his hand, and

says, “Now that was a real deliverance!”

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Many people make the same mistake as that man did.

They pray in tongues, looking for their outward

circumstances to suddenly change. But they miss where

the supernatural trans-formation actually takes place

— in their spirit. And too often they give up before God

can finish working in them, the most important

changes of all. They look for the spectacular but miss

the miraculous.


Remember, praying in tongues is like any other prayer

— it is designed to be answered! But because it is our

human spirit doing the praying (1 Cor. 14:14), it is also

our spirit man receiving the answer to our prayers.


Now let me show you how the spirit man receives the

answer to the mysteries prayed out in the Holy Ghost.

Let’s just suppose that I hold a crusade where hundreds

of people get excited about praying in tongues. In fact,

they are so excited that even after I leave town, they

decide to spend a certain amount of time in prayer

every day.


But after a few weeks of seeing no apparent changes in

their circumstances, one by one they begin to drop

away. Finally, there is only one person left who is still

keeping his commitment to pray in tongues every day.

Let’s say this one man hangs on to his commitment for

several months, praying in the Holy Ghost and looking

for change. Gradually something very miraculous

begins to take place inside of him.


Something happens to his insight into the Word.

Scriptures he never understood before come alive. In

casual conversation with his friends, he can suddenly

explain verses that used to be a mystery to him. When

people come to him with their problems, he wonders,

Why don’t they do this and this?because it all seems so

clear to him.


This man is experiencing the effect that praying in

tongues has on his spirit. He is experiencing the way

God answers this kind of prayer.

In this same way, your spirit can begin to receive

wisdom and direction to fulfill God’s special plan for

you. You can develop a kind of “know-so” whereby you

just somehow know what God wants, even though at

times you don’t know how you know.

Now, all this doesn’t mean that noticeable results won’t

begin to show up in external circumstances. They will!

The most unexpected, incredible things will begin to

take place. God will work in your job, in your family,

and in your body. Friends and loved ones will notice the

difference in you as faith and assurance begin to

radiate and flow out from your life.

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I have seen many miracles take place as a result of

perseverance in praying in the Holy Ghost. But, you see,

first faith must come by hearing and hearing by the

Word of God (Rom.10:17). And as insight into the Word

begins to increase, so does the purging process that

trans-forms a person from the inside out. Then,

according to God’s divine order, outward

circumstances begin to line up with the changes that

have already occurred in the hidden man of the heart.




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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH



Things Hidden in Darkness



Revealed Remember what I said earlier: The mysteries

you pray out in tongues are for your benefit,not God’s.

Every time you pray in the Spirit, you communicate up

before God’s throne the mysteries of Christ in you, the

Hope of Glory. When God starts to answer those

prayers, you begin to receive insight into His Word. The

understanding of everything that Jesus is in you starts

to come forth on the inside.


At the same time these mysteries are revealed to your

understanding, the Holy Spirit also casts a brilliant

light on spiritual roadblocks that are hidden in

darkness — those sins, faults,and shortcomings that

keep you from producing a hundredfold harvest of

God’s plan for your life.

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This is what Jesus is talking about in Mark 4:20-22. After

describing the different types of bad ground in people’s

hearts, He says this:

And these are they which are sown on good ground;

such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth

fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an


And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put

under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a


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So Jesus calls me “good ground” if I receive God’s Word

— both the written Word and the mysteries of His

personal plan for my life — and then bring forth the

fruit of that Word thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.


Then Jesus asks the question, “Is a candle lit to be

hidden under a bushel or under a bed?”The answer is

no. Can a lighted candle be brought into a dark room

without shining its light on that which is hidden in

darkness? No. Is the Word of God given to you not to

understand? No!

For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested;

neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should

come abroad.

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In other words, when the Holy Spirit begins to

illuminate your spirit by the Word of God, it is like

walking into a dark room with a lighted candle. Every

obstacle in the room that is hidden in darkness will be

revealed by the light.

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Jesus happens to be talking about your life. He happens

to be talking about uncovering the things hidden in

darkness that prevent you from producing a

hundredfold walk.

You see, the candle of your spirit was lit when you were

born again, and you cannot pray in tongues without

causing that lit candle to burn brighter and brighter.

That, my friend, is when that internal war begins! Why?

Because the flesh doesn’t like its deeds exposed to the

light. The flesh is just like those little cockroaches that

live in cheap motels. When the light is turned on, they

scurry for cover. They love the cover of darkness.

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So it is with your flesh. I guarantee you, your flesh isn’t

going to want to get rid of everything the Holy Spirit

shines a light on!

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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


Purging and Mortification


People are looking for help to change. Most have

character flaws they don’t like in them-selves, but they

don’t have any idea what to do to get rid of those flaws.

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So these people keep on plugging away in a religious

system that demands more and more out of them so

that new buildings can be built and new programs can

be started. Finally, spiritual exhaustion sets in, and

they give up the fight. They resign themselves to always

remaining the way they are and view God as the head of

organizational-ism. Assuming that their relationship

with God is based on their relationship with an

organization, they are left faithless and frustrated.

sleeping in church

is it over yet

But God never intended for us to live futile lives of

frustration. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit — to

reveal the mysteries of Christ in us and to perfect

change. So let’s take a closer look at the ministry of the

Holy Spirit on the inside of us. Let’s see how, through

the edification process, He takes us from where we are

into everything He said we could be.


No ‘Quick Fix’


Even Christians who believe that praying in tongues

edifies them often don’t understand how the edification

process works. Let me paint a picture of what many

believers think the edification process is: Before a

person is baptized in the Holy Ghost, he is like a dirty

old crow eating some dead animal off the road on a

cloudy day. Then he starts praying in tongues. All of a

sudden, the sun comes out from behind the cloud and

shines its bright rays on the crow. Instantaneously the

lowly bird is transformed into a grand, golden eagle

that takes off soaring in the air, never to have another


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Wrong. That’s not how the edification process works. At

the same time the Holy Spirit builds you up in your

spirit to understand revelation knowledge in God’s

Word, He also strengthens your born-again spirit with

the power to mortify or put to death the deeds of the

flesh (Rom. 8:13).


The Purging Process


Jesus said, “If you bear fruit, I will purge(or prune)

you” (John 15:2). Whether we like it or not, if we bear

fruit as a branch connected to the Vine, we are going to

undergo purging. Why? So we can bear more fruit.

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So beware: You’re going to provoke an internal war

when you begin to consistently pray in tongues, because

impurities will soon start to surface that you don’t want

to get rid of. God will endeavor to purge those

impurities off your life so you can fulfill your divine

call without being destroyed by the devil.

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The Holy Spirit pulls out the dead limbs that serve as a

ceiling in our lives, preventing us from climbing higher

in our walk with God. Every time God wants to use us,

the devil walks out on those limbs and tries to stop the

move of God in our lives through our finances, our

wrong attitudes, our unforgiveness, etc. And if we

don’t allow the Holy Spirit to cut those dead limbs off,

the devil will keep us sitting on a “do-little pile” the rest

of our lives.

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But I can assure you of this much: The Holy Ghost will

not immediately try to purge every dead limb your

flesh is clinging to. He will wait until you have built

yourself up to a place high enough in the Spirit through

praying in tongues that you can handle the emotional

war that will result when He cuts each dead limb out of

your life.

The purging process may not always be fun, but it is

always necessary, because one way or another, we will

be purged. We can choose to have all of our

shortcomings and faults pruned away now. Or we can

wait until the Day of the Judgment Seat of Christ when

our works will be tried as by fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15). On

that day, all of our fleshly works that we failed to

mortify in this life will be purged for us.

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But here is the good news! We’re not left to ourselves to

mortify the deeds of the flesh. According to Romans

8:13, God has given you and me the Holy Spirit to

strengthen us and to help purge us of anything that

could rob us of our reward:


For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye

through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye

shall live.

You see, Satan’s most powerful weapon is deception.

His goal is to steal our reward by keeping us in the dark

about what Jesus has called us to do with our lives. The

devil knows that when all is said and done, the one

thing you and I will be rewarded for is how much of

God’s personal plan for our lives we have managed to




Therefore, I don’t want to wait until the Great Judgment

Seat of Christ to have all of the fleshly works that

hinder my walk with God purged out of me. I want to

know how the Holy Spirit works in my life now to prune

me in preparation for my divine call.


The First Step:Waking Up the Conscience


So just accept it: You can’t be charged up and edified in

your spirit man without also under-going a purging

process in your life. It is impossible to rise upward in

God without cutting off the things that are holding you


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Therefore, the first thing the Holy Spirit does as you

keep praying in tongues is to wake up your conscience.

It becomes much more difficult to do the fleshly things

you used to do.

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For instance, if someone makes a cutting remark to

you, you just smile and praise God for his deliverance.

You think, I wouldn’t have done that last year. I would

have slapped him out of his shoes! Something has

changed. It’s the edification process at work.

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When the Holy Spirit wakes up your conscience to

something you are doing wrong, that means He is there

with the power to put it to death. When you add your

faith and begin to resist it, mortification takes place

and the Holy Spirit cleanses you from it. That is







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