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Training The Inner Man INTRODUCTION: 1 Thes 5:23 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and

I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." One of the most important bits of knowledge that a Christian can have is that mankind is triune --- the understanding that man is a spirit, he has a soul (personality and intellect), and he lives in an earth suit we call a body. This scripture sets out all three parts of mankind very plainly. However, there are numerous Christians who still don't understand about the makeup of man, and so they are somewhat limited in their ability to gain necessary revelation knowledge from the Word of God as they should. In this lesson we’ll only deal with one of these three parts. We’ll only learn about the spirit of man, which is often times referred to as "the inner man". We'll discuss four ways that we can train our spirit (or inner man) so that we might increase our ability to discern and understand God’s will here on Earth. So the title of this lesson is "Training The Inner Man". WHAT THINGS BECOME NEW?: Many times we hear someone say, "The Spirit of God told me to do so-in-so" --or, "God led me to do such-in-such." I’m sure that you, from time to time, have had an inner leading to do some particular thing. And when that happens, do you ever wonder how you can know where that inner leading came from? Did it come from the enemy, or did it come from God? And how do I know that this isn't just me? All of us have had those kind of thoughts from time to time. Amen? Well, in order to answer those questions we must first understand when we say "me", we're not talking about our "flesh". When we say "me", we’re referring to our spirit man, our inner man --- the "eternal me". Proverbs 20:27 "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly." Sometimes things happen to us that we don't fully understand. So let's go back and review something that happened to us when we were first saved - - -

when we first accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and asked Him to abide within. The Apostle Paul said at that particular time, "all things became new", didn’t he? Well, what did he mean by that? When we were first saved did we get a new physical body? NO! Did we receive a new intellect or a new ego or personality? NO! Then Paul must have been referring to our spirit? Amen? You see, when we became a child of God, only our spirit man, our inner man, became born-again. Our inner man was reborn spiritually. What does that mean? That means our spirit received a new, eternal, and completely different nature from that which it previously possessed - - - from the time we were physically born up until that moment! And with that rebirth came a brand new ability - - the ability to hear God and begin receiving directly from Him. Before that re-birth event, it was impossible to hear or receive anything from God. So the "new creature in Christ" to which Paul was referring is our spirit man. At the very moment we received and confessed Jesus as Lord, our old sinful nature died (passed away), and all things concerning our inner man (spirit) became new. Our old spirit had the nature of Satan which came down to us through the generations beginning with Adam. With the new birth, our new reborn spirit immediately took upon itself the nature of God our Father. Our former inner man desired and preferred the things of the World. It preferred the ways of the world, because it was under Satan’s control. But when we receive Christ, our spirit has the very life and nature of God in it. God’s own Spirit, the Holy Spirit, also took up residence within our spirit. When God adopted us, our spirit became in close fellowship with Him. And as long as our fellowship with God remains, our spirit man, (our inner man) is not going to tell us to do something that's against God's will. It's very important that every believer be "filled" with the Spirit of God because only a "spirit filled" believers have the fullness of God (the power of God) residing in the inner man. You see, it's not the INward man of the Child of God that wants to do wrong and sin, it’s the OUTward man, the flesh, that wants to do those things. So we must learn to distinguish between our outer man and our inward man --between our flesh and our spirit! Amen?

I John 3:9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His (God's) seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born (re-born) of God." THE INCORRUPTIBLE SEED OF GOD:

The Scriptures talk about something called "The Incorruptible Seed Of God." What is the incorruptible seed of God? It’s the Word of God, isn't it? Well, this scripture tells us that whoever is born of God (referring to someone who has experienced the rebirth of his or her spirit) --- will not habitually commit and practice sin because God's Word abides within the spirit of that person. You see, there's something very special about that seed which provided for the rebirth of our spirit. All other seed with which we’re familiar is corruptible seed — seed that dies and decays because it’s of this physical world. But not God's seed --- not God's Word. It’s different. It’s alive! It's incorruptible and eterna!. Let's take a look at this truth in another scripture. 1 Peter 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE INNER AND OUTWARD MAN: Natural children take on the nature of their natural parents, and likewise, true Christians partake of God's nature, spiritually speaking. There's a tremendous battle going on in the life of every Christian. It's the battle between our inner man and our outward man. As Christians, our Holy Spirit indwelt spirit man, is supposed to be in control of our being. But there’s a problem. Our flesh also wants to be in control. Satan attacks through mankind’s soulish realm. The effects are manifest in the believer’s mind and flesh. But always remember this: He always attacks us from the outside --- through the outer man. On the other hand, God communicates with believers on the inside - - - through man’s re-born spirit. The spirit of a born-again person possesses the very nature of God, therefore it’s God’s will for our spirit man, our inward man, to dominate all of the rest of our being. In other words, we believers are to receive our orders from and are to be led by our spirit man because our spirit man is submitted to the Spirit of God. We are to no longer be led by our flesh, by our outward man. If we allow our flesh to control and dominate, it will cause us to miss the will of God every time. Why? Because that’s Satan’s realm and deception is his speciality. Man’s flesh never wants to agree with the Word of God. The Bible refers to being fleshly led as being "carnal" - - - as being "body-ruled". Unfortunately that’s the status of most Church-going Christians today. If you recall, the apostle Paul reprimanded the Corinthians about being carnal minded. Carnal mindedness hinders the re-born spirit and prevents spiritual growth and maturity that most believers must possess in order to be fruitful and useful to

God. This is why the Church today appears to be weak and ineffective! That's why I'd rather not hear church people say something like, "I just feel the Spirit of the Lord." TWO COMMONLY HEARD FLESH WORDS: Two of the most commonly heard "flesh words", even among full gospel church goers is "touch" and "feel". "Touch" and "feel" are sensors of the flesh - - - they’re carnal by nature. "Feeling" is the voice of the flesh. "Faith", on the other hand, is the voice of a God-led re-born spirit. What kind of people are we to be? We’re supposed to be people of "faith". The Word says that we are to walk by faith - - - not by sight. Here’s the point: If we program our re-born spirit with the Word of God, then we'll become a partaker of God's very own divine nature. And because we have His divine nature within our spirit, our spirit is not going to mislead us and cause us to do something contrary to the Father’s will. Whatever our spirit tells us to do will be the right thing to do. Can you see that? Jesus, as the Son of man, said that He only spoke and did what His Father told Him to say and do. Every time we become concerned about a particular situation, we ought to stop ask ourselves, "What does God's Word have to say about this?" What would Jesus do? How would He handle this situation? Our spirit ought to be so trained with God's Word, that when we ask ourselves these questions, the Word will automatically come up from within our spirit and give us the answer. Can we can back this up with scriptures? John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." When that Word of God does come to our remembrance through our spirit man, then we ought to give it first place --- top priority --- and apply it to our situation. Now let’s look at four steps which are necessary in training our spirit man - - - our inner man. STEP NUMBER ONE: MEDIATE ON GOD'S WORD. You see, before we can do anything with God’s Word, the first thing we’re going to need to do is learn and understand God's Instructions (His Word). Amen? Well one way to learn and understand the Word so that it will become the focal point of our life, every day, twenty-four-seven, is to Mediate On The Word Of God! The word "meditate" means "to mudder" - - - mudder over and

over again. Have you ever muddered about something? If so, then you found yourself saying it over and over again, searching for the truth of the matter as you repeated it. If we truly want to be a spiritually educated person and learn about the deeper truths of God, then we're going to have to be committed to take the necessary time to mediate on God's Word. And the only way I know to accomplish that, is by setting aside a certain time every day for Word study and then sticking with it. Spiritual wisdom does not come without "meditation dedication"!. Right after the death of Moses, God made this fact known to Joshua at the very beginning of his ministry. Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." It seems obvious to me that God wanted Joshua to be both prosperous and successful or He wouldn't have told him how to go about it! You know what? God wants us to be prosperous and successful in this life too! He’s no respecter of persons. Amen? He doesn’t love Joshua any more nor any less than He loves you and me! Anyone who says God wants to keep us humble by keeping us poor is simply being misled by a wrong spirit. That kind of thinking is "false humility"! If you and I ever want to be spiritually and materially prosperous and successful in this life, we're going to have to take the time to mediate in the Holy Scriptures. In other words, first things first. And when it comes to meditating in the Word of God, that's something that you and I must set our free will to do because it won't happen automatically. It's not a matter of time, it’s a matter of our willingness to be dedicated and committed. To paraphrase Joshua 1:8 it would read something like this: "The Word of God --- particularly the New Testament --- shall continually be in your mouth in the form of your everyday speech. When you do this, you will be given the ability to live according to the manner which it sets forth; And when you live out your life in this manner, you will be prosperous spiritually, physically, and materially. You will also experience good success in everything you endeavor to do during your time on planet Earth." Another Bible translation states the latter part of this scripture like this: "you shall be able to deal wisely in the affairs of life." "Well Brother Benbow, there must be something missing in my spiritual life because even though I know I should, I just don't seem to have the desire to spend time like that in the

Bible." My answer to that is, "Yep, there's something missing alright. Either you've never been empowered by the Holy Ghost Baptism experience and filled with God’s Spirit, or you need to be re-filled". Now even if we’re diligent to practice Step Number One and set aside a portion of our time every day to meditate on His Word, that alone will not be sufficient to train our spirit man unless we are willing to accomplish Step Number Two: STEP NUMBER TWO: WE STILL MUST LEARN TO GIVE THE WORD OF GOD FIRST PLACE IN OUR LIFE IN EVERY SITUATION. The training, the developing, and the educating of our inner man will only come when we give God’s commandments priority over all other laws and ways. Proverbs 4:20-22 "My son, attend to MY words; incline thine ear unto MY sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they (My words and My sayings) are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh." You see, God is telling us to give heed, which means to pay attention, to His Word and to give it first place in our lives on a continual daily basis. In other words, He says, "Listen to My Words because all the issues of life are met in what I am saying and conveying to you." Unfortunately most believers spend about ten times more time watching TV then they do reading and studying God’s instructions! These are the same people who wonder why they’re having so many physical and financial problems. To help prove my point, permit me to ask you this question? Which do you hear believers say the most: "God says . . . ." or "The Doctor Says . . . . .?" Well, I think we know the answer to that one! You see, it's not only a matter of knowing the Word of God, and meditating on it, it's also a matter of the importance we give it in our everyday lives --- in the everyday affairs of this life. "You mean if I attend to God's Word and give it first priority in everything I do, that I will be a healthier person physically, be more prosperious, and maybe even live a longer life?" Yep! That's what God says! Think about this: Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is quick ....." That word "quick" means "alive". Our God is the God of life, not death. Sickness and disease come from death's camp. Jesus said that He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1)."

You see, both God and His Word are ALIVE! So when we speak His Word, we're speaking LIFE! --- not death! And if we truly believe that God cannot lie, then He told us a truth in Proverbs 4:22 when He said, "For they (My Words and My Sayings) are LIFE unto those that find them, and HEALTH to all their flesh." The reason I'm teaching this very subject is because God said it, and that's good enough for me! It ought to be good enough for every child of God! Amen? So we've got to meditate on God's Word and give it first place in our lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. STEP NUMBER THREE: PRACTICE THE WORD OF GOD: James 1:22, 25 "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. But whoso looketh into the perfect (complete) law of liberty, and continueth therein (lives in it 24-7) he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (whatever he does)." A lot of saints talk "about" the Word of God, but talking "about" the Word and "doing" the Word are two different things. Amen? And again, this is one of those things that no one can do for us. It's something we ourselves must set our will to do. Some think that being a doer of the Word means keeping the ten commandments. But we're under the New Covenant and under it we only have one commandment. It’s called "The Commandment Of Love". James is talking only to believers about doing what's written in the Epistles, because they’re the letters which were written to the Church, of which you and I are a part. For example: Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts (spirits) and minds (souls) through Christ Jesus. How would you like for the peace of God to guard your spirit and soul? Sure you would! Every born-again believer wants to partake of that. But you know what? You and I really can't expect to have the peace of God UNLESS we're willing to be a doer of His Word! Here in Phil. Chap. 4, verse 6 tells us not to be anxious or fretful. Have you noticed that those who worry and fret a lot seem to continually think on the wrong side of life? They’re always thinking on the negative side of

situations! Worry, doubt, and fear are all blessing stealers. Since the Word tells us that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, then guess where that spirit does come from! The Word of God is so very precise and complete. Verse 8 even tells us what kind of things to think about. It begins with, "If there be any virtue,......" Now the word "virtue" here means "manliness or valor". And "valor" means "courage and strength". Are you beginning to see the connection between the Word of God and our physical health? What Paul is saying is this: "If there be any manliness, if there be any courage and strength, if there be any praise, then think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. In other words, think on the positive side of situations! It’s unfortunate, but most people think about negative things. You can tell they do because of what they say. From the abundance of what resides in their hearts, their mouth speaks. Their words reveal what they have programed in their spirit. And since they continually think and speak on the negative side of life, they continually create even more negative situations. Job is a good example of that. He said, "That which I have greatly feared has come upon me." In other words, by being fearful, Job programed his spirit with fear. Then because of the fear that filled his spirit, he spoke accordingly. He spoke fearful words. And when he did, he created the very things he did not want to happen. He Feared --- He spoke - - - He created - - -And He received. That's one of the major principles of God that governs the life which you and I are now living. It’s also known as "Sowing And Reaping". The words we sow, determine the results we reap! Today, we are what we said yesterday! In the New Testament epistles the Holy Spirit is speaking only to the Church. So I believe if we'll meditate on what the Holy Spirit tells us in these letters and if we’ll set our will to be a doer of it, then we'll grow and mature spiritually just the way God wants and expects us to grow and to mature. STEP NUMBER FOUR: BE QUICK TO OBEY THE VOICE OF OUR INNER MAN: Mankind’s spirit has a voice. We sometimes call it "conscience." Sometimes we call it "intuition", an "inner voice", or "a leading". The unsaved World refers to it as a "hunch" or a "gut feeling." But really, it's mankind’s spirit speaking. Everyone, (both the saved and the unsaved) has a spirit and every person's spirit has a voice. Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove (test by doing) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. As Christians, when we give our re-born spirit the privilege of meditating on the Word of God, then the Word becomes our source of information instead of the world being our source. When we program our spirit man with the Word of God, then our inner man will become strong and our mind will become transformed to be like that of Jesus. We are to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16b). And because our spirit has been educated in God’s Word the voice of our spirit, will become a true and reliable guide.

I Cor. 2:14 - "But the natural man (unsaved man) receiveth not (ie. does not accept) the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (judged)." This lesson is not for everyone. It's only for those of you who have experienced the re-birth from above - - - for those of you whose spirit has been divinely cleansed to receive revelation knowledge from Almighty God. This scripture says that the natural man (the person who has not experienced the rebirth) cannot receive anything from God because everything God reveals to those who belong to Him is received through the re-born spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). Those of us who have experienced the re-birth have been equipped with a spirit which has the ability to receive the things of God. Proverbs 20:27a says, "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.". But our reborn spirit will be a true guide to us only after we've 1) meditated on the Word; 2) after we’ve applied and placed the Word above everything else in every area of our life; 3) and after we've become a doer of the Word. Once we've become obedient in each of these three areas, then we'll need to 4) be quick to obey the voice of our inner man. If we’ll be diligent in performing these four steps, then we'll begin to receive reliable guidance from our spirit man and a quicker and more positive "yes" or "no" answer from God. And we'll know, without a doubt, how to respond to every situation in which we find ourselves. That’s the only way we’ll ever become a fruitful overcomer for God. The Lord has a great desire to see His Children mature spiritually, to be physically healthy, and to prosper financially. So let's determine today to be sure that we’re not one of those who feeds our physical body three great meals a day and only one quick weekly snack to our spirit man, and then

wonder why our faith seems so weak! Let’s determine to be a doer of God’s Word and to follow His instructions. Amen!