PRISONERS OF HIS WILL

BY:  ROMEO CORSINI

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PART ONE

Jesus said, “I was in prison and you did not visit me,” or, “I was in prison and you did visit me,” (Matt 25:36-40) but who was in prison? Usually it is criminals who go to prison. Usually, as far as this earth is concerned, people in prison are those who deserve to be in prison. I do not include in this the exceptional situations or mistakes, obviously. What exactly was Jesus talking about? If He declares that He was in prison, is He declaring Himself guilty? He continues by saying that whenever we do or do not visit the least of “these” we are doing it or not doing it to Him. If He meant that we were to visit only the righteous who are in prison, then we would have to make investigations before any visit to assure that we are visiting the righteous and not the unrighteous. That would slow down any move of God.

I give you the prison: “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same…” (Rom. 8:20) A prisoner is one deserving of the consequences of sin. God created man and placed him on this planet of vanity and left him there. For what purpose? So that man could come up with revelation? Man cannot do that. It has to be God who gives revelation. He put man on this earth to grow, to learn how to receive from God, how to recognize God, how to know Him, how to anticipate Him, how to live according to His pleasure, to please God, according to God’s pleasure. He was put on this earth with the full intention of being God’s servant. Therefore, we have to realize that God fully intends on succeeding with the creation that He spoke into existence. He fully intends that it be the good thing that He called it; that it be completed, perfect, the way He envisioned it, the way He willed it. And He will not be subject to our frail judgment, to our inconsequential opinion, opinion of what is going on – how can God… this? how can God….. that? why would God allow this or that? etc. Our opinion is of no consequence. We are here to learn how to be God’s offspring. It takes the power of God to do it and who has the power of God? God has the power of God… no one else. And it is up to God to share that power of His with each of his creations. No one else can give it to you. Only God can. They can lay their hands all they want on you. You are not going to get it if the will of God is not with God’s timing for you.

God has a purpose for every creature that He created. Every one. Now it is beyond my comprehension what purpose had that little bird which I saw dead on the middle of the road just the other day (and since then it was run over by a truck) in its having lived. But as I am certain that God is perfect so am I certain that everything was done with perfect planning, with perfect purpose. There is nothing of waste here other than the imagination of vain things that man has a tendency toward. Man has this unique ability to imagine a vain thing; so he creates his vanity. He creates a system of need, a system of neglect, a system of dependency upon everything other than God his creator. This system of need, neglect and dependency is nothing more than a sign that a man is just on his own. He has no intent on relying on God or accepting God’s help or allowing God to come into his life and be a part of it. Man thinks he is independent of God, which of course he is not, otherwise God does not love him. Because God loves him, God wants the best for the man. Therefore God has him in His hands. God will not let him, being His child, in his ignorance or lack of understanding, not knowing the ways of his Father, to play in the fire in the fireplace, touch the stove or put his hand in a light socket or walk near a cliff or swim unsupervised, especially when he does not know how to swim. Because He loves him he will do everything He can to teach him, to train him even though the child has no concept of what is the Father’s intent. All the child knows is do’s and don’ts. All he seems to see in his growing up in his Father’s house is do’s and don’ts and he either will rebel or he will accept. Many rebel saying, “I will not have it this way.” In fact, the child is a rebel by nature. How many, especially teenagers, rebel against their parents saying, “I don’t want to have anything to do with you, or to be identified with you” and yet continue to live in the parents’ house. Here you are a rebel in a creation you had nothing to do with and you still live on it. By all rights, being a rebel, you should refuse to live on it, you should insist that you be somewhere else that has nothing to do with the realm under God’s, or the Father’s influence. Teenagers are no different. They rebel, not wanting to do anything their parents say, yet they continue to live there, eat their food, wear their clothes, go to their school, etc. A true intent is one that says, “I want none of it, absolutely none of it.”

But even the prodigal son that Jesus described did that. He said, “I want none of it but I do want my share of the money. Let me be gone from here to live my way.” In truth, though, he was not living on his own; he was living on his father’s money, until he ran out of that too. But what was the sign, the demonstration, the ultimate reality? When he ran out of everything of his father’s and he was strictly left on his own, with rags and nothing else…but pig food and mud. There was nothing for this young man to call his own or anything that he could be a part of. The natural end of that kind of rebelliousness is, “I want to go back to my father’s house because the truth is that is where I belong.” But it was not a scheme of the son or a sudden revelation that he came up with out of his own cleverness. It was a revelation that came to him as a result of his rebellion and a revelation that is natural to man because God placed it there to appear at a given time. That given time is the end of one’s self. The end of the earth is the time when man reaches his realization and each of us has a different end time. We are in His hands, in His care without choice. Just as we were put on this earth without choice so are we in that same vein without choice in His care and in His love. We began by being spoken into existence out of His eternal love. What eternal love? Where was God before man’s idea of eternity? He just was. He just is. He just will be. He is. There is no time frame to God. He is truth. Truth just is. It does not change or fluctuate based on looks, on opinion, on any condition. No matter what comes against it or in its support, it is truth. It is not based on any emotional tangent at all. It is strictly truth and that is how God is. Unadulterated, pure, unblemished. And out of this being, this incomprehensible perfection, (words are limiting to describe Him), He has a desire to share. Perfection includes a willingness to share. He is so perfect that He is not selfish or greedy. He is not afraid. He is confident. Out of this abundance of purity, love, He declares His cup running over and it is without choice that you are, that you exist. Here we are! And the idea is to realize what a grand gesture that is, how magnificently wonderful it is for us to be. We have to come to that realization and we won’t unless God reveals it to us. God has to reveal to us what a grand and stupendous marvel it is to have come out of His love to share in His glory and it should be enough to satisfy us.

And here we are in our choice-less existence, placed on a planet out of His word and into the garden of Eden, a garden that has a purpose. It was not just a whim on God’s part to say, “Oh, I think I’ll place him in a nice, cute little garden with begonias!” It was specifically designed to introduce into man’s journey in God’s plan the element of Godlikeness. To be like God is what God intended to put into man. And that cannot be except it be by resignation. Man had to resign himself to the fact that God is better. God’s ways are better, God’s life is better than anything he could choose apart from him. God’s full intention was to create Himself. When a man and woman give birth they give birth to another man or woman. And when God gives birth, what does He give birth to? A man or a woman? No. He gives birth to another god. There is an equality with God because we are offspring of God. But a child is not equal to his father just because he is a human being too. He is not the father. Therefore he has his own place. We are equal in that we are of the same nature, of the same species, being. In this case I speak of Spirit because God is Spirit. But how can we look upon each other, the world, the earth the way it is and say it has anything in connection with God, that it has anything that is akin or similar to God? That is the problem….When we do that we are looking through judgment that comes out of your eyes, ears, heart and thought. What you should be focusing on is God’s purpose. What is it? And all the other is really of no consequence. How bad can it be? As horrible as it might seem to us, what we have learned through scripture is that Christ paid for all the goings on and acts that have happened and are happening. I think, then, “Come on. How much could Christ have suffered? I can’t possibly comprehend the issue of Christ’s suffering: how much he suffered as opposed to what is being suffered. Can it be said for example that Christ suffered so much more than anybody else has suffered or is suffering in the physical that he paid for their sins? …I don’t get into that subject because I can’t. I will say that that is not the issue. The issue is that He in His perfection, having suffered at all, not being guilty, is the point. It can’t get worse than that. To be accused and punished permanently for something you did not do at all in any way shape or form, when you were totally pure and innocent; yet still found guilty as if you did do it. That is incomprehensible, something that cannot be fathomed.

When I am accused of something I did not do, it is the trigger that makes me into an alien. I create such a ruckus (I do not promote such behavior) because I feel at the time how dreadful it is to have the truth denied you. And my outbursts and reactions are for such silly things that it should all be in the shame category of characteristics because of how blessed we really are. And yet I take the time to make an issue out of something so minute and simple. But what about Christ who suffered to blood? To death. Permanent death. It was permanent because it was the sheer power of God that brought Him up from it. Death was death. But he was as innocent as innocent can be.

The creature was made subject to vanity not willingly but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope….that is to say with a purpose, the purpose being to become like God in order to share in God. He places us on this earth guiltless and attaches a guilt to us so that once paid for, it can never be held against us and therefore we remain innocent and are like God. Part of sin is the potential to sin; to decide. If we had never dealt with the issue then the potential is still there, it still exists. But now, with the decision finally made, in this case, by Christ, by man, on our behalf, man has said through Christ we recognize that God is the only choice to make. Experiencing the sin to learn how much better is God’s way is is not worth leaving the Spirit of God for the space of a twinkling of an eye. We will remain perfect and we will crucify this thing and kill it, this sin, and it will not be held against us again. The potentiality itself has been crucified. The fact that Adam and Eve never sinned before they finally did was not what made them perfect. They were not perfect, in the sense that the potential was still there as they proved by falling. But then they were perfect because it was all part of God’s plan anyway, and they were not there “willingly” to begin with. The potentiality needed to be dealt with. He could have left them there without temptation. He is God. He could have said, “Let me share my wonderful self with everybody”. But He could not have shared Himself with everybody. He could have only shared grass, trees, lambs, birds, etc. But not himself with that potentiality still there. Through Christ, however, the potentiality is not there; therefore, it is settled. We are perfect. Now we must continue to develop. We cannot have this concept without responsibility. We cannot be perfect without the responsibility to grow and mature in Christ, with the intent of receiving from the Spirit of God the revelation required to understand. We cannot of our own ability determine what is good for us, because what is good for us is not the issue. We must remember that our opinion is worthless. What we think about religion or about God is not of any importance because you cannot on your own reasoning ability hope to determine God. Lean not on your own understanding. You always understand wrong. We don’t have a true concept of truth.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isa. 9:2) Who dwells in the land of the shadow of death if it is not everything in creation? But when? If Christ had come fifty years ago the way many denominations think it, (that He will come to take His and leave the rest to rot and drop dead) what about me? I was not born back then? Where would you be? Would you have been saved? If Christ were to come tomorrow in that sense, what about the baby that will be born then or the one born today? What about their salvation? I see eternity to be however many it would be possible to keep creating, to keep adding on, to keep multiplying, however many in mathematics that can be conceived, which it cannot because it is an endless number. That’s how many will be saved. The aspect of death with that idea changes and it becomes a process or a processing into Godlikeness.

Eventually death and Hades are cast into the lake of fire. It is interesting that the word Hades is used by John in Revelation. Hades in Greek mythology was one of the twelve Olympian gods and his jurisdiction was the underworld where the dead went to be separated according to their worthiness. He was the god of the underworld. This underworld served the distinct purpose of separating the dead from the living but the dead did LIVE there. John writes in Rev. 20:14 that death and Hades, the concept of separation and what would hold from God’s deliverance are thrown into the lake of fire. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Cor 15:26) If death, then, is the last enemy, the lake of fire is not an enemy to God’s creation. Although it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of God’s judgment, (Heb 10:31) and I do not plan on it, I know God to be “a consuming fire” (Deut 4:24) and I would rather fall into his burning passion than fall victim to man’s evil and ugly concept of hateful, vengeful, eternal persecution with torment. That is why my interest in being “written in the book of fire” is keen. (And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.) Rev 20:15. God’s light shines so brightly and so intensely that John saw an expanse of fire. There is a place near Corinth, Greece, home of the ancient Corinthians, that is called the ‘sea of olives’ because when you stand high above it you look down upon an expanse of lush green that with the wind moves like waves of the sea. It is a wide space between two mountains and what you are looking at are the tops of the many olive trees closely growing together. In a vision, I would most surely think it to be a sea of olive green. I wonder how I would describe some of the visions that John had when God was revealing to him the Son of man and the Son of God?

PART TWO

I am learning that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We must not make the mistake of reading this in the future tense. The kingdom of God IS within you. You cannot experience the kingdom of God in your living if you’re living in the flesh and blood. But, who are you? The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. Which one am I? I’m finding that I am a new creation, the second man, when I remain focused and aware of the Father’s will and my purpose in this earthly realm. Anything other than that destines me to be the first Adam, the one forced to fend for his life. So that what I reap, I reap according to either man’s respective realm, the flesh or the Spirit. And I know that the flesh cannot reap the things of the Spirit, that is, the kingdom of God.

I am at a place where I feel less and less worthy of knowing what God means by any one thing. Each time I proceed to declare what I believe to be God’s meaning or intent, I feel pointless and futile. It would seem that I am learning that God is to be experienced and not interpreted. I need God to be my experience and not interpreted. I need God to be my experience as the second man that I am and not my laws as the earthy first man that I can still be. I detest this earthy man. He insists on being satisfied and he is always bothersome and in the way. He would prevent my experiencing God because it would mean that I would then deny Him. As I write, I am more determined than ever to deny this earthy man that I might elevate my being above the realm of the dead. If I live in the earthly realm then I occupy myself with all that the earthly realm includes; to wit: worry, frustration, lack of peace, anger, etc… And if there would be any happy moments, they would be as the earthy realm is, temporary and subject to conditions.

Now, I ask myself, is it a matter of choice? Does the individual have to choose which realm he thrives in? I didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t ask to be weak in any given area. I didn’t ask for my environment. I didn’t create the combination of experiences that resulted in my “make-up.” So, am I to hold my God responsible to make me right? He is responsible. He subjected me to this vanity, through no willingness on my part and I seek that day when I shall behold Him face to face and be as He is. I am truly a prisoner of His will.

If there are choices to be made, they are not as testaments to how much better I am than any other human being, especially not than the non-believer. They are strictly choices of expedience, of good policy, of wisdom. I thank God that He deemed to impart unto me, unto my heart, the desire to want to follow Him. God is not as a man that He should be followed. One must WANT to follow Him. That desire only God can put, by His choosing, in a man’s heart. This is a choice of expedience, where a person would pray that God give him that desire because it is the right thing to want and God will cause that one to follow Him.

It’s akin to smoking cigarettes. Regardless of how one got there, he is a smoker by addiction, as if to say, not willingly. Now, knowing what harm the cigarette can do, the choice factor comes in as a matter of expedience: it would be very wise of the man to quit. Alas, wisdom is often not man’s strongest quality; therefore, knowing the harm of a cigarette may not be enough for many. They must want to quit. God gives us that kind of want. Then it is easy. Then it is fulfilling to live life as a non-smoker. Then it is fulfilling to live life as a believer, as one who wants to follow God. Very often, unfortunately, smokers will quit after something drastic and horrible has been determined about their health. Their quitting, then, is a measure of their disappointment. Similarly, many “find” God on their death bed or in prison, regretting that they did not have longer to live to enjoy the wonder of the fulfilling peace and joy they’ve been presented. Either way, it is wonderful that they finally come to their wisdom but it would have been much more expedient to have quit or surrendered much sooner.

The importance is the truth. What is truth? It is expedience: that which is wise, right. I think of the Lord Jesus, during the accusations and trial, during which He uttered nothing in His defense. Obviously, there are reasons why He would not call down an army of angels to help Him, even though He had a right to do so. There are reasons why He did not speak in His own defense. The issue was the truth. His accusers could not comprehend His message. It so differed from what they knew that they deemed it antagonistic, heretical. I imagine the thinking in the mind of Christ at the time. They were not ready to receive the message. Were He to have offered an explanation, could the unregenerate have been able to comprehend the things of the Spirit, for the truth is a spiritual matter that is spiritually discerned? In His wisdom, He must have been able to know the blindness in their resistance. In fact, at His death, He declared, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34) What did it matter what He would have had to say? He was there for His Father’s will. He was aware that God had a purpose in it all for Him. They had shoved Him into “prison” yet, He knew He was already a prisoner of His Father’s will. His focus must have been so great that the need of His First Adamic nature to rescue himself paled by comparison to the strength of His Second Adamic nature that so loved His Father that His union with Him (His Father), the pact they shared, the oneness of purpose, must have exhilarated Him and He was willing to subject Himself to it all. (“…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Heb. 12:2) Yet I also imagine that His Father’s strength came to Him in the form of His love for His accusers. Only a perfect man could have endured such trials in the way that Jesus did. He so regarded the shame of it all, the injustice of it all, as enemies of His Father’s will and purpose for him that we read in the aforementioned scripture that he despised the shame. He thought it base and not worthy of reaction. He had already dealt with His natural side of it. “Father, IF THOU BE WILLING, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) He was a prisoner of His Father’s will, doing all things as unto the Lord, in singleness of heart. (Col.3:22-23)

We must so condition ourselves as to be instant in season and out of season. To me, it means to practice being ready to hear God speak to me. Not so much to study and read and always have some message prepared. What have I got to say, anyway? But to be ready to hear the voice of God; that is, to be always in the condition that will make it possible for me to hear the voice of God. The earthy man hears the things of the earth, much like a married man who concerns himself with how to please his wife. Whereas, an unmarried man in the Lord concerns himself with the things of The Lord, how to please Him. (I Cor.7:32-33) We are unmarried in the spiritual sense that we are subject only to the Father’s will and answer only to Him. Our desire should mature to want only to serve His will.

There is much that is attributed to nature, which is to say, to chance; the outcome of a thing, for example, or the way of an offspring. Yet how often does one seriously consider the will of the Lord in their lives? When His will is considered, it would be so much more frequently obvious how the Lord, in His sovereignty, exercises direct control of situations, and results, thus allowing the Lord to use any given situation as a tool to further the growth of an individual. Is there anything so good or so bad that God cannot use to enhance His greatness and glory in His creation’s hearts? When we seem to have God trapped in our hearts yet continue to behave as though we barely knew who God was, God can still take our nature and use it to His advantage to change us to conform to His ways, to His will.

The Philistines, during the time of Samuel, had captured the Ark of the Covenant. They saw very soon how the presence of the Lord sets all things in their proper perspective, as when the huge statue of Dagon before which they had set the Ark fell twice before it, the second time breaking off its head and hands. It was all too clear to their wisest men that they should not, for wisdom’s sake, keep the ark. (I Sam. 56) Wherever the ark went they found destruction in their midst. How odd that wherever the Lord is in the worldly environment there is chaos and destruction.

Who or what can resist the will of the Lord? It is only the Lord’s presence setting aright the true order of things! When they decided to test the possibility that the presence of the Ark was responsible for all the calamities, their priests told them to send it away back to the Hebrews with trespass offerings in a new cart drawn by two cows, each of which had just had a calf. The calves were then hidden from their mothers and the cart and cows with the offering and the Ark were taken to a junction where three roads separated. If the cows did not return to their calves, which they were wont to do ACCORDING TO THEIR NATURE, and if they also turned onto the right road, then they would know for certain that God indeed was responsible for all that had been happening. The cows were prisoners of His will. They turned, against their own natures, onto the right road and did not return to their calves but continued toward the Hebrews, bearing the Ark. It was God, not chance or nature, that controlled the cows and the situation. The Philistines knew that the God of the Hebrews, the same God who was responsible for all that had happened to the Egyptians, was with the Ark and responsible for all of their woes. They repented of their challenge to God. When they saw that the Ark had been returned, they left.

The flesh cannot mingle with the Spirit without encountering what is to it calamity and woe but in the Spirit is only a setting aright of the proper order. Those who see in the Spirit and live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit will not be swayed in fear or concern, for their comfort shall be in their knowledge that it is the will of their Father who seeks only to make His offspring turn onto the right road, against his nature. This is why it is a good thing to be a prisoner of His will, to be here without my say. Because He loves me, because I want Him, I shall do what I must, in spite of myself, and I will rejoice in God my Savior that He has me bound!

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. (Job 1:21) With such conviction and understanding did Job convey the truth that it is God at work in every facet of our lives. Later, in answer to his wife’s outburst about taking the short route out of his misery, Job said, “….Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) All our steps are ordered of the Lord (Psa. 37:23) and just as Job learned the fruitlessness of making presumptions of the Lord’s will and purpose in a man’s life, so should we realize that only in His will combined with our acceptance of all that happens to us as being in His will shall we find peace and revelation. (“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6) “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7) Can it be any clearer than that?

Many of us live by standards established according to the system of membership clubs. “You cannot belong to their clubs if you belong to ours.” “Ours is better than theirs.” “You cannot be legitimate if you do not actively participate in our rules, regulations and rituals”. If not all people then at least the believer should repent in dust and ashes, doing away with all preconceptions of God and His will, recognizing that the truth will remain the truth whether one believes in it or not, whether one accepts it or not, whether one proclaims it or not, and, especially, whether one deliberately establishes anything to counter it. The truth is always the truth. Since no one has any copyright or patent or legal right to anything that they can label as truth other than what God himself will reveal unto him, then it behooves us to remain humble and repentant before Him. “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

A prisoner is in the worst situation when he refuses to come to terms with his surroundings, his limitations, and the authority that placed him where he is. In a great sense, he is placed there to help him from himself, never mind from hurting others. In the same way we do ourselves an injustice when we fail to learn and accept our place in God’s scheme, our place in His will, rather than make determinations based on emotions and our own interpretations. A true disciple, disregards the precepts of men and listens to hear only the voice of His God because the truth can only be known by revelation, not by study. I will confirm what I have heard the Lord reveal unto me. That is the study that gives me approbation. Job also declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. (Job 13:15) And one of the greatest testaments to the way truth and worship should be perceived and held has been given to us by the three friends of Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, upon being threatened with the fiery furnace, understood clearly as Jesus understood at the time of his betrayal. (“You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above. (John 19:11) They declared to Nebuchadnezzar with all due respect: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up”.

We are servants to the truth, not its Lord. We must be humble when we discuss the truth lest we be found to be kicking against the pricks and resisting God Himself. The truth does not rely on whether we agree with it; we rely on it with our faith. We are prisoners of the will of God; let us rejoice in our bondage.

 

 

 

PRISONERS OF HIS WILL, Parts 1-2 [Romeo Corsini]          1

 

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