DIE TO SELF

(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi)

I was in a vision one morning and the Lord came to visit our group. He told each person what is missing in his or her life, which we must work on. One person was told "you need to die to self". This is why I am giving this exhortation about what it means to die to self.

This has to do with obeying the word of God even when it is at odds with our self-will. Apostle Paul wrote about obedience in Philippians chapter two. As you read these verses take note that attitude is an important part of obedience. You can obey cheerfully or with grumbling.

Philippians 2: 12-15

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Here is an extract from a bible study on obedience:

Obedience is gladly doing what pleases the one that is in authority over you. Even if you don't feel like it, obey anyway, because God is working in you to do his will. Don't argue, for God wants you to be blame less. Do what God has told you in his word for you are an example in your dark and crooked world. In those particular phrases, it describes what obedience really is.

Is your normal response grumbling or arguing when you face an important duty or chore? Well, start today being glad to obey. Apostle Paul said, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you'll become blameless and harmless."

The bible is full of examples of people who were asked to do something they didn't want to do. That is what we want to meditate upon. Here are three examples of that. Abraham didn't want to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but he obeyed anyway. Moses didn't want to talk to Pharaoh, but he obeyed anyway. Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh (even though God had to bend his arm to go) but he obeyed. They all obeyed. When it comes to obedience, it goes all the way.

When someone is in authority over us, we've got to learn not to argue but to be submissively obeying instructions, especially in offices. This is very important. When somebody is working for other people, there will be occasions where it looks as if you are the only one being called to do something. That can make someone want to grumble.

I remember a fellow who was always complaining at work. Because he felt that the manager was calling only him to do what he thinks is the dirty job. Now in offices, such grumbling can get someone to lose bonus or promotion. If he's regularly complaining, even though he does it, but with grumbling, it will remain in the mind of the manager.

When we say "die to self", the flesh always wants to agitate against uncomfortable instruction. But "they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts". (Gal.5: 24). We are to reckon ourselves indeed to be dead to self-will and alive to obey only the word of God. Since the word says, "let every soul be subject unto the higher powers", (Rom.13: 1), we must strive to obey the word.

Now let me bring it to the rapturing faith. The scriptures are the written instructions of God on how to obey him. If we submit ourselves to what he has written, then we are candidates to hear him directly. We will be able to hear his verbal instructions and will be better acquainted with him, and can escape a lot of trouble.

The bible says, "They that are led by the spirit of God they are the children of God."

When led by the Spirit, God gets involved in our day to day activities. There is a prophecy that said, "the cloud of God's presence will come down and rest upon this body of believers. Instructions from that cloud will guide our steps day by day. All those outside this cloud of God's presence will miss the rapture."

Just like we see in the story of Elijah the prophet. In 2Kings it shows how God was leading Elijah closely.

2Kings 2:1,2,4,6

1 And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.

6 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they two went on.

Now God was talking to Elijah. Elisha didn't hear God tell Elijah to go to Bethel, but God was beginning to instruct Elijah step by step as he was hearing instructions from the Lord. He may not have anything to go do in Bethel other than to visit those guys over there, but it was part of the preparation for being taken away. He was being led from one place to another.

By the time the rapture is about to take place, those who are going away, have to come to that point where they can hear God directly. Moving as God moves them, is the difference between those who are being led by God and those who aren't.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, "The wind bloweth where it listed, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." (Jn.3: 8).

In similarity, those who are being led by God are as the wind, which bloweth and we don't know where it goeth or where it's coming from. In the same way we got to be led by the Spirit of God.

Who will God lead?

First, we've got to be submissive to the scriptures in humility. This starts from the obedience from wife to husband. Obedience from employees to employers.

Sometimes believers may not see any spiritual development from their secular work. God wants us to learn how to be employees - Obedience and submissiveness. "It is God who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure". Sometimes he keeps us at a particular job, and he expects us to submit so that we can learn to be a servant. It's all part of the training. By being an employee is part of the training to be obedient. The bible talks about the Lord Jesus Christ, how he became obedient unto death. Hebrews chapter 2 says Christ became perfect through what he suffered.

(Hebrews 2:8-11)

8 Thou hath put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not all things put under him.

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowed with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.

In verse ten, it says the captain of our salvation, which is Christ, was made perfect through the sufferings that he suffered.

Hebrews 5:8,9

8 Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

If we want to be exalted, we must be obedient to the word, in humility, for everyone that humbles himself shall be exalted, but he that exalted himself shall be humbled.

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We are discussing obedience to the instruction from God. God wants to make us a perfect lamb, just like the Lamb of God, in obedience, being dead to self.

Hebrews 5:8,9

8 Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Christ suffered in obedience and he became perfect. This scripture is telling us that Christ submitted to death in obedience to the Father. We also are called to submit to all the instructions and precepts of God in the bible in obedience, even if it seems inconvenient to the flesh. Those who are submissive to him as said will be hearing instructions from the cloud of God's presence as candidates for the rapture. God will try this and test it. He will come closer and instruct once; maybe one does it. He gives another instruction and perhaps one does not do it. Then he withdraws and passes one through some more nudging and pudging until next test. Until we come to the fullness of the stature of Christ. - A perfect Lamb of God. Not everybody will get to that, but the first fruits must get to that before he takes them away. That's why they are called "first fruits". They are harvested from the Earth. This is what is delaying God. He has got some numbers, but they are not there yet. When all of the 144,000 come to the fullness of Christ, the rapture can take place. The rest of the Christians will come later. I've seen some examples, of when God gave instructions or he said follow me in this direction.

For example, Let's say God tells you to make a right and then a left. It may look as though that right and left, brings you back to the same straight line, but you don't want to cross over and say, "Well, I'm smarter, let me just go this way." No it does not work that way. The Lord wants you to go right and then left, finally ending up at a spot. It is obedience, following instructions step by step. (Read Rapturing Faith part 5). So what we are saying then is that, the Lord is waiting for the sons of God to come to that fullness of Christ. Many people think that the fullness of the statue of Christ is the fullness of the supernatural power. But, the supernatural power won't come, until you have that supernatural obedience in your spirit. The bible says, "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God." We need to pray that the Lord will help us to completely surrender. Infact, God even said to die to self. That is exactly what it is. That is what God is looking for. That is also why the scripture said, "Present your body as a living sacrifice unto God". A sacrifice is a thing that you kill and it is just lying dead. The fellow that is making the sacrifice can then take the carcass and put it on the altar. That carcass can not raise a finger, because it is dead. We should present our selves to God like that. That doesn't mean we are going to be physically killed, but it means we should present ourselves, spiritually, as though we are dead sacrifices. He can use our hands, if he likes. He can use our legs, mouths, and all the members of our body as he wills, without struggling with him. That is what it means to be a living sacrifice unto God. Our body usually tries to do what we want it to do. Not wanting to obey because it does not feel good. But God says the flesh must be slain at the altar of God.

Don't just do what you want to do. Even when Abraham didn't want to sacrifice his son, he obeyed anyway. Moses didn't want to talk to Pharaoh, but he obeyed anyway. Jonah (who God had to teach a lesson) didn't want to go to Nineveh, but he obeyed anyway. Sometimes when God chooses someone and they don't want to go, then God might have to wrestle with him or her to obey. That is like Jonah.

The Lord also said, "My spirit will not always strive with man". We don't want to be cast off, so we are going to surrender. That is why we should pray for the body of Christ because we need help from the Lord in the form of anointing to surrender to his voice. We must pray for the body of Christ that we may be candidates for the spoken word of God. God is preparing a people that will obey him. All you need to do is to be submissive to the word of God. Search the scriptures. The instructions are plain and clear, so submit to it. When you surrender your heart, and your will to obey the written word of God, the spirit of God will begin to work in you.

In this exhortation I mentioned that, God wants you to be a sacrifice, like a lamb that is slaughtered and slain. When the Holy Ghost came upon believers, they began to speak in other tongues. Watch this: each believer, who will speak in tongues, must surrender his/her tongue. Surrender your jaw, mouth, and tongue, as the Holy Ghost begins to flip it as he wills. That seems so simple, but it's not as simple as it sounds until you receive this experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost came upon believers (my experience), first thing was to surrender our mouths and jaws. It's not we who are flipping the tongues, it's the Holy Ghost that flips the tongue by himself producing the language. All you need to do is release your tongue. That is the beginning of being obedient. You now see that those who don't even have the Holy Ghost, and they don't believe that the speaking in tongues is of God, are missing out. They may not know how to surrender and submit the body.

When the Holy Ghost wants to take control of our lives, he starts by taking control of our tongues. When you look at the book of James, you'll see that the tongue is a very important element. Submitting yourself is what we are saying. We are to present our body as a living sacrifice. It takes you to release your tongue and mouth so that the Holy Ghost can flip it and make you speak in tongues. When I receive the Holy Ghost and was beginning to speak in tongues, I simply release my tongue and it started to flip and become a language that I don't even know. That's called unknown tongues. That is how the Holy Ghost started: by submitting our tongues to him.

Think about that. That is the beginning of surrender.

May the Lord open your understanding, so that you can comprehend all the things we are saying.

 

Colossians 3:17-22

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him.

18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

This is the summary. You start by obeying these written scriptures, and other scriptures in the bible. When your life is fashioned in obedience to the written scriptures, you are a candidate for the spoken word from the cloud of God's presence, which will usher the saints into the rapture.

May God bless you as you surrender to the word.

 

Bro. Julius Adewumi

Gospel Distribution Ministry