The Slumbering Spirit
Part 4: Conclusion
Sabbath Day Sermon: Saturday 13 March 2004
Click here for Part 3
A people whose spirits cannot function because those sprits are slumbering devolve, generation by generation to more inhumane, bestial behaviour. We live in a generation of great violence in spite of our claim to possessing an advanced civilisation. So did the Romans, the ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians - sophistication in technology, advancement in medicine and science, achievement in culture, do not necessarily mean that a civilisation is spiritually awake. Indeed, every great civilisation of the past possessed these things. They all became superpowers and they all degenerated into violence and great wickedness. Spirituality and cultural achievement do not necessarily go hand in hand.
My father and grandfather were both architects and loved to design and create. That same passion I have inherited only I chose to build, not houses, but the Kingdom of Yahweh. I have, however, always retained a love for classical architecture. The destruction of so many beautiful buildings and works of art in the last world war grieves my soul tremendously. There are so many ancient European cities I would have loved to have visited which are now ashes. Like all human beings when they connect to their spirits, I love to be creative. And we are all creative in different ways. Some build with their hands, others with their hearts, others with their minds - buildings and objects of art, good will and love, and education, to name but a few. When we are not creative, we stagnate and die. We were designed to build - to turn chaos into order, ugliness into beauty.
Of all the things that we can build, however, which, do you imagine, are the most important? And an even more critical question than this is: which are everlasting? For it follows that those things which are everlasting are the only things that can be taken with us into the next world. Everything else has to be left behind. And that is true whether you are 18 years old with your life ahead of you or in your 80's, like some here, who do not have a great deal of time left. Therefore let us ask this question also: what is Yahweh's ultimate purpose for us and our creative impulse?
In determining what is of ultimate value, and what is not, we only have to consider what it is that Yahweh intends to survive in the future. To begin with, we have been told in scripture that Yahweh created us in order to have fellowship with Him. That is the primary reason we exist. What is meant by fellowship? It's a word in our violent society that is having less and less meaning. In its simplest sense, to have fellowship means to share mutual interests and activities. It also means friendship and companionship. It is the state or relationship of being a fellow. A fellow what? A fellow human being. Our ultimate purpose is relationship - relationship with each other, and relationship with our Creator. The ultimate satisfaction - the ultimate joy - comes in being in a relationship with God as a fully functioning human being in a community of other fully functioning human beings.
Look around this room, if you would for a moment, and tell me, of all that you see here, what does scripture tell us will survive into the eternities? To begin with, all physical objects but one are scheduled, ultimately, for destruction. All fine buildings, works of art, things that we have created, including the things Yahweh has created such as nature, are, the Bible tells us, scheduled to pass away because they are imperfect. I remember a time when I was appalled at such a thought. I remember thinking what a waste of human effort and achievement. The thought actually quite depressed me. The problem was, I was putting my greatest value in the wrong things. Yahweh tells us that of all the things you can see with your physical eyes in this room, or in your homes, or in the world around you, only your physical bodies will be preserved, but in a different state to the one you see and touch and know now. Heaven and earth will pass away, the physical world we live on, and the psychic world we live in! It's all going. It was never intended to be anything more than temporary, a stage on which to learn and grow. And according to scripture it will burned up with an intense heat, paralleling the water flood of Noah (2 Pet.3:10). When this physical and psychic fire has burned up all, only two things will remain: (1) Yahweh's words (Mt.24:35), and (2) the redeemed of Yahweh. And the reason these two will not pass away is that both originated in heaven - His words (Jn.14:10), the most important of which are recorded in our Bibles, and us. Thus, like the angels, neither His words or us were originally a part of this physical creation.
These are lofty thoughts, big thoughts, perhaps even too big for us to grasp, but vitally important thoughts nonetheless. To begin with, they are the truth. Whether you believe them or not is irrelevant. If it distresses you to think that you have only invested in worldly things, and that these things are ultimately of no value, that is only because you have lost sight of what is the most important in life. You have lost sight of what it is to be truly human. Now you all know I am not saying that science, technology, art, and architecture are all in vain. Far from it. What I am saying, however, is that the only aspects of these that survive in the eternities is what they do to make you more human, and therefore more spiritual.
It may surprise you to hear me say that your physical bodies are a part of the eternal scheme of things, especially since they are mortal and will return to the earth as dust. That, however, is only temporary, and we have the assurance that the physical bodies of the dead will be returned to them in a more glorious state than the ones they ever enjoyed on earth. Yahweh hinted at this when He took Enoch and his city into heaven with their physical bodies translated or transformed into a temporary state of indestructibility, where the decay processes are suspended. He did the same with Melchizedek and Elijah. None of these people - and perhaps others too - ever lost their physical bodies. And finally, we have the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) whose body was gloriously resurrected into an immortal body, fused together with his spirit into an immortal, inseparable and glorious new creation. The only bit of earth that is in heaven today is the physical bodies of these men and women. And in a day to come, we shall have our own bodies restored to us in a perfected condition because of what Yah'shua (Jesus) did for us on the cross. At that time, the bodies of Enoch and Elijah will also be resurrected - instantly transformed.
How, I wonder, would you define a human being? I know what my dictionary says: 'a member of any of the races of Homo Sapiens; a person; a man, woman or child' (The New Collins Concise English Dictionary, London, 1987, p.544), which I suppose is an adequate physical definition. But how would you define a human being that includes both his psyche and his spirit? I rather like the definition of John Sandford who, after much prayer and meditation, was given this definition by the Ruach (Spirit):
"A human being is a person who has an alive and functioning spirit by which he empathises with others, and cherishes what is in others more than his own life or interests" (Healing the Wounded Spirit, op.cit., p.125).
Obviously a human being living in sin is not, in this case, entirely himself. A human living in habitual sin shares his body with demons. That means his behaviour is part human and part demonic. It means he is part human and part fallen angel. He is not fully human, and never can be, until he is free of his parasitic occupiers. And the only way to be completely free of them is by means of the blood of Christ, through faith and repentance and subsequent Torah obedience. When this happens, his spirit comes alive, he is drawn to people whom he loves better as he does himself, whose interests he seeks before his own. When he is in that state, he may be said to be fully human and in fellowship with Yahweh. Yah'shua (Jesus) said: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, NIV), and Paul echoes his Master, saying: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil.2:4, NIV). Now the selfish person doesn't do this because the spirit of the selfish person is asleep, and connected to invisible supernatural beings who are themselves selfish. Such a person is not, however, fully human. He is not realising his potential. He is not being what Yahweh intended him to be.
Thee older amongst you who have had much experience in life will have met a lot of people. You will have discovered, through experience, that some people are more 'humane' than others. Just what do we mean by this word 'humane'? We use it to express something which is very real to us, especially by the humane of those who are not. The inhumane are largely unaware of their inhumanity because they are not owned by themselves - they are controlled by another power which is itself inhumane. My dictionary is a little more helpful here. It defines 'inhuman' as 'lacking human feelings, such as sympathy, understanding. To be cruel or brutal. To not be human'. Yes, human beings - Homo Sapiens - can be inhuman. We all know it, but most can't explain why. The humanists, so-called, certainly can't, and their remedies are often harmful.
People often become inhuman because in their upbringing as children they did not receive that most essential nurture which was designed to make them human. Yahweh "has placed us in families, knowing the risk, because only there, from fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, could we receive the nurture which alone could bring our spirit to fullness of life and function. It is affectionate gentle touch which interpenetrates another through the physical body. It is rocking, cradling, nuzzling and fondling which awaken, draw forth and train each spirit to function socially" (Sandford, op.cit., p.125).
The love of Yahweh for us is as Spirit to spirit. But wonderful though that is, it alone is not enough to make us human. If it were enough, why on earth (pardon the pun) would He send us to earth in the first place? "The very purpose of our being here on earth is that right here, in the body, we may be loved to life in a way Heaven could not provide. Yahweh designed that we should find His love person to person, body to body, and so be drawn forth and trained to become human" (Op.cit., p.126).
This, brethren and sisters, is a critical truth. It is the reason why we are not resurrected as mere 'spirits', as New Agers, Jehovah's Witnesses and others tell us. We need our physical bodies to be fully alive - to be fully human! To be without them is a severe disadvantage, and that is why earth life is so important. And it's why we will get them back again in the resurrection. It's why we are told in scripture to look after them as the Temple of the Ruach (Spirit) (1 Cor.6:19) and not abuse them. It's why Satan abuses physical bodies, and it's why his demons entice people away from the holiness of Torah to abuse them, give evil spirits access or residence rights, and so turn them into only part human beings. It's why we will not spend the eternities as disembodied spirits but live of a perfect, resurrected and physical world. It is why Elohim (God), in the person of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), has a physical body. Tell everyone: God has a physical body!
We are not complete unless we are fully physical. Now I am not saying this to be cruel to those, for example, who occupy diseased or crippled bodies. I myself have been ill a good portion of my life. When we have such limitations it's either because we have not been careful to live as Yahweh intended us to live or because He has placed limitations on us to discipline our spirits. I am not saying that physicality gives us a licence to do whatever we want with our bodies. They exist to allow us to become fully human here on earth and so prepare us for the glorious life that awaits us beyond this material universe - to a life where matter and spirit are inseparably connected.
Did you know that we are the only species of life on earth which will not become its own kind if it isn't raised by it's own kind? Let a dog raise a kitten (as sometimes happens) and that kitten will grow into a cat that behaves like a cat and not a dog. But let a human baby lose its mother and be raised by wolves, as has happened in history more than once, and the human in most effects will act like a wolf, running on all fours and baying at the moon. We do not become human by instinct because we aren't like other animals because we were created tribal. Human beings are dependent on parents and society longer than any other species in all creation which is why family and society are important. Satan knows that, which is why he has so vigorously set himself the task of undermining both. And that, brethren and sisters, is why we as a people have been called out of this demonised society to consolidate our families in holy communities where we can nurture one another to become fully human. In order to learn to talk, we must be talked to. To walk, we must be walked. To love, to be loved. We are culturally dependent which is why the culture is so important.
When our parents fail to give us nurture, we are set into patterns of sin by our sinful responses. We can never be said to be unresponsible! We will be held accountable for our responses to those people who wounded us, but we are not accountable for the wounds themselves. The remedy for sinful response is forgiveness. The remedy for wounds is healing. If parents fail to provide affection, wounding happens, regardless of the response, and desperately needed faculties are crippled and laid dormant. And the only way to heal that is to get the healing which comes in the resurrection life.
"No nurture is so vitally important to the human spirit as affection. Immediately after birth. We need holding and cuddling. A baby's spirit reaches out to nestle through that tiny body into the one who holds. That nurture is as necessary as food and drink. Without food and drink the body dies. Without touch the human spirit starves. With touch the spirit expands, learns who and what it is, relishes life, cherishes others, and becomes strong. Without touch, the spirit recoils from cold walls or wooden bars and finds no place to take hold of life. It shrivels and withdraws inside and closes its eyes.
"Yahweh designed that the nurture we need should come through the primary people who called us into life, our father and mother. Both are essential to full, balanced nurture. Mothers have carried us inside themselves and hopefully fed us on their own breasts. Fathers need to be actively present for the sake of their children during this time as well. From mothers we receive a special feminine quality of warmth, softness and sensitivity without which we would be bulls in china shops. But it is fathers who are primary in building structure and strength of character through which that warmth and sensitivity of spirit may flow. He is the one who is designed to call the spirit forth with courage and vision to be, and the mother is to balance, support and encourage the process" (Op.cit., pp.126-127).
Now, of course, this is not to say that the mother provides all the sensitivity and warmth, or the father all the structure and strength - rather, they are to be the primary sources of these things. These are the rôles Yahweh has assigned us, designing us in our respective male and female makeup's to accomplish child nurturing naturally and effectively. The primary responsibility for child-raising, of both genders, is the father's, "in the discipline and instruction" - or better still - "in the nurture of Yahweh" (Eph.6:4). Please note that Scripture does not say that mothers or parents should bring up their children but "fathers". What that means is that fathers have the primary responsibility to guide and lead in all truth, in the same way husbands are to guide and lead their wives. That is the heavenly order. And if that is the divine order, then divine channels must of necessity exist to ensure that this process duly leads to the right fruits. Hence we read in Malachi:
"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of Yahweh comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse" (Mal.4:5-6, NIV).
If fathers and children are not reconciled to each other, the land will be smitten with a curse! Fathers must be spiritually awakened to know who and what they are to their children. They must possess the spirit of Elijah, just as John the Baptist did. He was called to lead the children of Israel to repentance so that they would be prepared to receive the Messiah. And how are the fathers going to do this? They will teach them to resist the lawlessness of matriarchy and obey Torah!
"Hear, O Israel: Yahweh your Elohim, Yahweh is echad (one). Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates" (Dt.6:4-9, NIV).
Are you hearing this, you fathers in Zion? Impress the commandments on your children, male and female. What does 'impress' mean? It comes from the Hebrew shanan which means 'to teach diligently', that is, instruct them carefully, making sure they truly understand. This commandment is repeated again and again in scripture (Prov.1:8-9; 2:1-2,5) because the fruit of correct teaching is life (Prov.3:1-2,11-12; 4:1-4,20-23; 5:1-2; 7:1-2a).
Did you know that Church Sunday Schools never existed before the 18th century? Before that children were taught at home by their parents! And that is where primary gospel teaching should be given and by fathers. Now I am not saying that the sisters in our Sabbath Schools aren't doing a wonderful or unnecessary job, because they are. And they are needed very much. However, they can never substitute for the children's fathers, or at least a father-figure if they have no fathers, or their fathers are unbelievers. Every evening I gather my children around me and I teach them the scriptures through story telling, scripture reading, discussion, and prayer. Every father is a teacher! That is his calling, every one! And if you feel incompetent, remember that practice makes perfect, and you have the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide you. Whilst Sabbath School teachers can teach mind and heart they can never minister adequately to the spirit, because that is the function of immediate family, and especially parents, and especially the father.
"Hugs teach. Kisses instruct. Discipline forms. Reproof harnesses rampaging energies. Admonition builds checks upon emotions. Instruction forms guidelines and channels for the flow of energies and emotions. Children come by experience what parents are, not what they say, or what Sunday School teachers or anyone else says" (Op. Cit., p.130).
The moment a baby is conceived, the presence of his father is needed alongside the mother. The foetus is not just a ball of cells but a living, experiencing person. The child in the womb, no matter how young, knows whether the father is welcoming him or not. They know what sex their father wants them to be. They hear what the father says to the mother and react to the way he approaches her. Already in the womb the spirit and character of a father affect the formation of the character of his child which is why Satanists curse their own children in the womb in order to fracture them. Children of such evil parents are born with multiple-personalities.
Fathers, your rôle is vital - as vital as the mother's. You have the overall responsibility to guide your child in all truth in word, deed and spirit. I have blessed all my children when they have been in the womb and welcomed them, accepting joyfully whatever gender they are. I have seen all the problems children have with their sexual lives when they are grown-up because their father's have not wanted them to be boys or girls. I have seen how schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder (MPD) form when children are rejected or openly hated. For such wounded souls there is, however, freedom, but only if they will forgive those who rejected or abused them and only if they will accept the healing power of Yah'shua (Jesus). Lives are transformed by Him. He wakes sleeping, rejected, hurting souls up and breathes new love into them. Our Heavenly Parents want to bequeath us the life that our own parents may have failed to give us. In a few weeks' time will see how the slumbering spirit is awakened to new life. In the meantime, ask Yahweh to reveal the state of your spirit and to bring the healing that you may need if you have been wounded or sent asleep. He is near, ready to nurture you into fullness of life. Amen.
Click here for The Awakened Spirit
Acknowledgements for this Series
 John & Paula Sandford, Healing the Wounded Spirit, Ch.5, 'The Slumbering Spirit' (Victory House Inc.,Tulsa, OK, 1985, pp.105-144).
 Leanne Payne, Crisis in Masculinity (Creation House, Westchester, IL, 1973).
This page was created on 10 February 2004
Last updated on 12 February 2004
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