|What Is the Problem with Forbidding the People of God to Partake of the Power of the Spirit of God?|
If They Are Forbidden From The Spirit, They Will Partake Of Flesh. People are starved for reality, for real contact with God and real power for righteousness by the Spirit of God.
Some well-meaning pastors and teachers try to protect their flock from any further experience in God. They insist that the theoretical and the intellectual experience is all that is needed. The people of God are literally starving to death spiritually. Many end up turning to New Age religions. They say, "The pastor said there is nothing of substance in Christianity, but here is something real." They end up chasing demons because a well-meaning preacher forbid that they should seek the Holy Spirit and have a real experience with Christ.
The following is an excerpt from the Feast Of Tabernacles by George Warnock. You will see how God brings out this principle in His word.
JONATHAN'S HONEY SHOWER
There was a time during the reign of Saul, when the Philistines were massed in great strength against Israel, that Jonathan, Saul's son, was impressed to make a single-handed raid against the enemy. So he and his armour-bearer went over to the Philistines' garrison, climbed up the sharp rocks which were in the passes, and contacted the enemy. He did not tell his father anything about it, because he knew what would happen. Just imagine what a stupid idea he had! He and his armour-bearer going over to fight a whole garrison of the Philistines--when the whole army of Israel was in utter fear, having scarcely a weapon in the whole nation because of the terrible servitude to which they had been subjected. But Jonathan knew what faith could do. "It may be that the Lord will work for us," he said. "For there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." (1Sam. 14:6). And so Saul tarried at home under the pomegranate tree, and Ichabod's nephew was wearing the ephod. He was Saul's priest. What a picture of a powerless, defeated Church, resting at ease and self-complacency, with a priesthood that is devoid of the glory, and their people in complete bondage and servitude to the enemy. They even had to go down to the Philistines to get their axe or sickle sharpened, for there was no smith in Israel. Complete dependence upon the world and its systems!
But Jonathan's faith led him into a great place of victory and fruitfulness. All he did was to start chasing the enemy, and his armour-bearer followed. One by one the enemy fell before Jonathan, and the armour-bearer did the slaying. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who stands by our side, confirming every Word of God with the sharp Sword of His mouth. Then a great fear gripped the Philistines, and there was a trembling in the host and amongst all the people, and the earth quaked. And Saul looked on in amazement, for the Philistines were melting away. There seemed to be no reason for all this: so he numbered the host to see if any were missing. Sure enough, Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not there.
First of all, of course, Saul had to know whether this thing was of God or not. If it wasn't then he would not have anything to do with it. So he called forth the ark of God and Ichabod's nephew to see if they could help him. While they argued, the Philistines continued to melt away in utter confusion, even beating down one another. Finally he could stand it no longer, and he ordered the priest to withdraw his hand. He saw that he was going to miss out on the victory if he did not get into the battle at once. So he mustered his men and started the pursuit. There was the shout of victory; the Philistines were in utter confusion; and every man's sword was against his fellow's. Whenever there is a shout of victory there are a lot of people who will join the battle. They may not know what is going on, and how the move of the Spirit started, and the purpose of it all--but there is a shout of victory, and that is about all that matters. And so Saul wanted everything God had for him, and joined the battle. It was a great victory; and of course Saul was king, so it was his victory. He was right there in the thick of battle.
The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole purpose and plan of God for this day and hour is completely lost and obscured amidst the shout of victory, and most of the saints do not know what it is all about. They can see healings, miracles, prophecy, laying on of hands for the bestowal of gifts, singing in the Spirit...and so forth; and they do not understand that it is God in mercy preparing His people to enter into the very heritage of Canaan. They do not realize that this is but the foretaste and earnest of their heritage, and that God would now lead them in to possess the land. And so King Saul--for he was king, and this was his battle, and his victory--he charged the people with a strange oath, forbidding them to eat any food until he was avenged of his enemies. (Just that very morning he was resting under a pomegranate tree with no thought of pursuing the enemy at all. But he must maintain his kingdom and show his authority and keep the people under his rule and sway.)
The battle continued with ever-increasing momentum, the people pursuing the enemy, and the backslidden Hebrews coming out of their hiding places and joining the battle along with their comrades. But it was a hard struggle, and the people became faint as the battle wore on. How hungry they were! But they could taste nothing, because Saul had charged the people with a strange oath. This was no time to eat; this was a day of battle. This is no time to talk about Divine life, and freedom from sin and the carnal nature, and appropriation of resurrection blessings; those things belong to the rapture!
And so they fought; and as they pursued the enemy they came into a wood. The trees were literally flowing with honey, but they could not touch it. A curse was pronounced upon any man who would taste any food until victory was complete. Is it not strange how men in high places are constantly charging the people with strange oaths as to what they shall accept and what they shall not accept? And the people are hungry for the heritage of Canaan, but they fear the oath. Saul has made the decree, and that is enough. "Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening." This is the hour of the Church's struggle, we are told, and it is no time to be talking about our heavenly heritage and trying to enter into it.
But like Jonathan there are some that "heard not" when this curse was laid upon the people. And like Jonathan they have discovered that the fruit of Canaan is to be their strength and sustenance even while they fight the Devil, and not after they go to Heaven. In fact, it is part of the spoils of victory; it is right in our pathway as we pursue the enemy and throw his ranks into utter confusion. And so Jonathan simply put forth his rod and took a little honey (for the trees "dropped" or literally "flowed" with honey), and put the honey to his mouth, and "his eyes were enlightened." Just as simple as that! The people argued with him that he was doing wrong, because the king had said so. They themselves were really hungry for the same thing, but that did not matter either. If the king said so, that was enough. Jonathan was under the curse.
God's people everywhere should know this; and all our religious leaders should know it; that if the saints are barred from their heritage in Christ and forbidden to eat of the good things of Father's table, sooner or later they are going to eat of the flesh-pots of the world. The people, we are told, became so ravenously hungry that they "flew upon the spoil." They took sheep and oxen and calves and slew them, and ate the flesh with the blood. This was a great sin, so far as Israel was concerned, for it was contrary to Mosaic law. But the truth of the matter is this: if we do not go on to appropriate and enjoy the honey of Canaan, sooner or later we will return to the ways of the flesh. After all, why should Jonathan not have partaken of the honey of the land? It was in Canaan, was it not? And had God not given Israel the whole land of Canaan for their heritage, even the land that floweth with milk and honey?
There is a Jonathan group in the Church that has believed their God, and they are determined to pursue Satan and his hosts to the end. Perhaps they are no match for mighty Lucifer and his hosts, but they are not trusting in their own natural weapons; they are not relying upon their wisdom, their knowledge, their theology. Their trust is in God alone. For them God will cause the earth to quake, the evil hosts to tremble, and confusion to grip their ranks. It really doesn't matter what our resources are in the natural. In the wisdom of God, Satan and his hosts are going to become such fools that they will flee in utter confusion and will even destroy each other. If men will believe their God, God will send a great trembling into the ranks of the enemy; and then the victory is ours. Furthermore, these men know that their victory was through faith, and not by the arm of flesh. And therefore they do not hesitate to stop and taste "a little honey" along the way, while others labour feverishly in the power of the flesh to defeat the enemy before sundown. Certainly the need is great; Jonathan knows all about that. But he knows also that God gave him the victory through quietness and confidence and through much waiting on God. And he can afford, therefore, to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of Saul's battle, and take time off to enjoy some of the spoils of victory.
For many years the saints have been singing about what they are going to do after the battle is over. They are going to be with Christ, in Heaven, enjoying the peace and rest of the lands of their inheritance. They are going to drink at the eternal fountains, and eat of the tree of life. But the fact of the matter is simply this: the fruits of victory are to be appropriated here and now while the battle rages. The woods are literally "flowing" with honey; and you don't have to go out of your way to find it either; it is right in your very pathway as you pursue the enemy.
But what about the curse? Well, God must have turned the curse into a blessing, as He is accustomed to do on behalf of those who love Him. It never did Jonathan any harm. Saul even insisted on killing him, because--according to all the signs, Jonathan was to blame for the Lord's displeasure in Israel. Prayers were not answered any more. Saul inquired of God concerning a matter, and God refused to hear him. So he cast lots to see who was at fault, and Jonathan was taken. We may be sure that when Saul takes the pathway of disobedience, and walks in his own way, he is left open to great deception. Those who have refused to go on with God in the pathway which He has chosen, and choose the way of the flesh rather then the heritage of the Spirit, they will receive many sure signs and tokens to prove than Jonathan is in the wrong. Once a man enters the path of disobedience, and closes the door to revealed truth, he has thrown himself open to greater deception; and the most conclusive signs and evidences that he receives will be utterly false and unreliable.
Here is Jonathan's simple explanation of his "sin": "I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die." At best all the saints have yet done in their attempt to appropriate the heritage of Canaan, is to "taste" a little honey. But the whole land is before us. May God help us to press in by the Spirit and possess our possessions even now in the day of battle. By His grace we are well able to overcome.
Last updated: Dec, 2011
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