The Quickening of Our Mortal Body

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Breathe on me breath of God till I am wholly Thine, until this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.

The meditation of the hour is the quickening of our mortal body.

This earthly part of me, this mortal body is to glow with the divine imprint.

Recent meditations that we have engaged in dealt with God making us meek so that we can stand before Him.

The Christian’s life is a strangely mingled scene of sorrows and joys, disappointments and hopes, fears and confidence. There will be much dissatisfaction with self, as he views his own heart so deeply stirred, surged with passion that seems to bear all before it, and then follows remorse and sorrow and repentance, followed by peace and deep hidden joys, because he knows, as his faith grasps the promises that are revealed in God’s Word, that he has the forgiving love of a longsuffering Saviour. And that Saviour, he seeks to bring into his life, weave into his character. {TDG 62.3}

God brings us to loathe ourselves because we have these deeply stirred surges of passion that seem to bear all before it. We see that we are such an undone people with deficiencies of character, of physical and emotional stirrings of sinful flesh, and then follows remorse and sorrow and repentance; then follows peace and deep hidden joy. Why? It is because he knows that his faith grasps the promises that are revealed in God’s word and that he has the forgiving love of a longsuffering Saviour.

It is these revealings, these discoveries of God’s goodness, that make the soul humble and lead it to cry out in gratitude, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” {TDG 62.4}

There is the source of true humility, true meekness. I live, yet not I. Anything that I can live by that is truly in harmony with God, is by the grace of God alone. This is total meekness, total humility.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ:

That is what crucifixion was all about, the death of sinfulness. I am, with my loathsome awareness of my condition, crucified with Christ, not past, but present.

Galatians 2:20 …nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Ponder upon this experience as we have carefully searched through these experiences in our past messages, that my sinful self is indeed to be crucified. While it is mortified, while it is crucified, life comes up and that new life is the life of Christ. I, it is not I. We often sing the hymn ‘not I but Christ in every look and action’. That can only be when first of all we have been deeply conscious and loathe ourselves because of our sinfulness. It is a repeated experience.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

We are always bearing about in the body, in this mortal flesh, the dying of the Lord Jesus. For what purpose? That it might be crucified while I yet live, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. The death and resurrection of Jesus is continually active within us.For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Can this sinful, mortal flesh manifest the life of Jesus? It is mortal because it is sinful. The wages of sin is death. In the past, I have focused much in reference to our inward conflict of human feelings versus God’s Spirit to help us understand. This is one of the subjects of the atonement which we need to understand so that we don’t become overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness because of the human feelings that arise in our human sinful flesh. I have sought to show that our sinful flesh is something we are often in conflict with and not to become disheartened when we meet that. That is why we have often also talked amongst ourselves when we have revealed something that isn’t right; we say sorry that was my flesh. By learning that Jesus took our sinful flesh, He mapped out our path to righteousness. Some souls who do not believe in the sinful flesh of Jesus Christ, have sought to reject this focus.

Sin in the Flesh

Romans 7:18-25 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

This is a succinct and plain message of the plight that sinners find themselves in who have found the law of God and recognised the glory of God and their mind, their inward man, delights in the law of God. This is not the experience of a person who loves sinning or has not received a new heart. This is a person who has within his heart the law of God, but there is in his body, in his flesh, in the members of his body, a contradictory element which is called the law of sin in our members; the law of heredity. What is there in Jesus Christ?

Romans 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This important truth needs to be laid out plainly before souls. This is what I have done for all my years of ministry. This beautiful story that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh,; in the flesh that apostle Paul had trouble with, in the flesh that had a law in its members warring against the law of the mind and bringing humanity into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Jesus came to earth with the law of sin in His members and He came with the law of sin in His members to condemn sin in the flesh.

That He might by His own example condemn sin in the flesh, He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. {AG 322.2}

Jesus came to give us the answer to the plight of the question O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The answer is I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus took our sinful flesh and condemned the sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who following Jesus walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

Galatians 5:17-18 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; but the Spirit striveth against the flesh, keeping up a constant warfare. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)! {SL 92.2}

The victory is available through the beautiful knowledge of Jesus in sinful flesh.

The word of God plainly presents before us this truth, that our physical natures will be brought into warfare with the spiritual. {4T 215.1}

This is a truth that the word of God plainly presents before us. Our physical natures will be brought into warfare with the spiritual. This has been our focus of studying the atonement. This mortal, sinful body of ours with its sensations, desires, impulses, and passions grieves us when we have the new birth, the new heart within us. How many times do we loathe ourselves because of the conflict that is so much a part of our experience? This loathsome grievous thing that is in my body, my physical nature, urging its passions, urging its impulses; his own heart so deeply stirred, surged with passion that seems to bear all before it. It pushes us with a force that at times we feel absolutely broken because this has happened again, when I determined it shouldn’t happen again. Then comes remorse and sorrow and repentance, a loathing of oneself and then it is followed by peace as we trust in the forgiving mercy of God.

At this time I wish to release us through God’s word from the griefs of this nature. Do we have to keep on falling for the flesh? Can’t we come to a point in our experience where ultimately our physical nature is conquered, where we have learned long enough the battle, where we have risen and fallen, risen and fallen because of our flesh? We keep excusing ourselves that it was just my flesh, but I still have hope. Of course I still have hope, but do we have to justify ourselves because our flesh is active like that? Can we find in the Scripture a wonderful answer to what can happen to this sinful flesh moment by moment, every day? Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 4:10 gave us a pointer to that answer. I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. What is it pointing to?

This Physical Nature Can Be Conquered

Romans 8:10-11 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.

My body is walking around and the Holy Spirit is the one that is dictating.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

That sinful flesh, that sinful impulse that surges through the flesh that demands attention, is to be dead. Because Jesus was raised from the dead we may also be raised from this sinful deadly mortal control. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus. How long, how often? Always. If my flesh, my physical nature with its law of sin within that flesh, wants to vent itself it is to be dead by the Spirit.

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; [2MCP 432.2}

When this sinful, human flesh that we know so well in ourselves, when that is stirred by Satan by circumstances that somebody annoys me or something is attractive to the flesh, he puts it right in front of us. From this come thoughts and feelings that are foreign to spirituality. When the law of sin is aroused like that by Satan, heaviness, an unpleasant experience of passions surging within, ungodly impulses and sensations stirring from the flesh arise, when this happens what answer is there?

Romans 8:12-16 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Ponder this in living reality. That self-same Spirit who raised up Jesus from the dead, who we have because Christ is in us, if the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He will also quicken your mortal bodies. What was the process? For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Why? What was happening? If you shall live after the flesh you shall die, but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body you shall live. It is simply saying that the Holy Spirit that comes into our life will mortify the sinful flesh, as he did with Jesus. The sinful flesh with its strong urges will be mortified by the Spirit and the Spirit will do something else; he will quicken your mortal flesh. He will make it alive for something better.

This is what apostle Paul is describing. Take this in when you are struggling with those thoughts and feelings which we will have frequently through our life’s experience. That self-same Spirit that comes in through my knowledge of Jesus Christ through the reading of the Bible and gives me a new heart; I love Jesus, I love the law, my heart is being replaced, I have been converted, I have been born again. When that sinful flesh keeps on annoying me, the Spirit comes in what way? The Spirit will quicken the mortal body.

John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Holy Spirit is a comforter exactly as Jesus was. The Holy Spirit and Jesus are one in function. It says in John, He will take of mine and shall show it unto you.

John 14:26-27 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. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

As we are troubled by the sinful flesh and it gives us the sensation of loathsomeness about ourselves, that terrible surging with passion that is deeply stirring and wants to force its way through, as I am suffering under this, it is like a baby with wind pain. Mothers can understand this very well. The baby screams because the body is doing it some damage, it has some pain and it is crying. When the parent goes to the baby and picks it up, what sort of sound does the baby make? I have picked up seven of them; I know what I am talking about. They feel comfort, especially in the masculine arms of their daddy, who gently embraces that child and pats it on the back and it gives that baby sound of, ah,! that’s lovely. The thrill running through our body as a result of a liberating joyful thought of a comforter who dwells within; the Holy Spirit. This is here revealed in the words of Jesus. That sinful flesh that creates me spiritual wind pain can be quenched by the Comforter. The Comforter does more than quenching, He brings healing, He brings restoration; He quickens that mortal body. The life of Jesus is manifested in the mortal flesh by the Holy Spirit.

It is these revealings, these discoveries of God’s goodness, that make the soul humble and lead it to cry out in gratitude, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). We have reason to be comforted. Severe outward trials may press around the soul where Jesus lives. Let us turn to Him for the consolations He has provided for us in His Word. {TDG 62.4}

His word consoling us.

The nether springs of hope and comfort may appear to fail us, Ibid

We are trying to do something from this earth and it fails us.

but the upper springs which feed the river of God are full of supply and can never be dried up. God would have you look away from the cause of your afflictions to Him who is the Owner of soul, body, and spirit. He is the lover of the soul.. Ibid

You look for love and the Comforter is there working on the flesh that you hate the way it has disturbed you. He mortifies it because the word of God reveals to me what we have learned. As He stirs my memory and brings this into my mind, I am comforted. Being comforted the thrill that runs through my body by that liberating thought which we read in Galatians, we are the children of God. With my discomfort, with my wind pain, if we want to call it that symbolically, I am the child of God. I might have wind pain but one day I am going to have it completely removed. It is removed when He picks me up and comforts my soul. It goes away. What do you do with a baby after it is comforted for a while? You put it back down and then it might sleep for that night and the next night it will end up with pain again. You have to do the same thing again because the sinful body, this mortal body will keep on playing havoc with the child of God. You will keep on meeting it but straight away as we meet it, my mortal body must be immediately dealt with so that when these surges of passion that want to overwhelm my mind of godliness arouse and give me pain, my mind is turned to the Lord and the thrill of God’s love will immediately conquer it. My body will be moved by the Holy Spirit, not by its impulses. My sinful flesh, my body, can be turned into the energy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it must happen every day, continually.

When our sin-palsied body contains the Holy Spirit, for he dwells with and in you, our mind embraces Him. God never forces His Spirit upon me without my willing submission. Even though He is in me, He still requires my co-operation. Although He is in me He will not comfort me unless my mind embraces Him. When my mind embraces His wonderful comfort, can the law of sin in my members operate? It cannot because the Spirit mortifies that flesh. If the Spirit is embraced in my mind, it mortifies the flesh, it mortifies the sinfulness in the flesh, and it then brings a spring into my heel. That which before made me feel like I can’t go and do what God wants me to do. Now I am rejoicing to do it. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. My flesh is revived into something positive, no longer to carry out its indulgence. By our choice the divine nature can rule within. What will the divine nature do within? God is the owner of soul, body and spirit. Can’t He deal with it?

1 Thessalonians 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.

The sanctification of our human body, of our human flesh, takes place on this earth to keep us blameless. I have just shared with you the process.

When the human machinery moves in harmony with the life-giving arrangements of God, as brought to light through the gospel, {Ev 528.2}

The very things I have just been reading from the gospel is that my human machinery which I also identified in the quote from Sr White in Testimony volume 4 that the truth that the conflict of our physical nature with the spiritual nature is to be understood through the gospel. Here, as the human machinery moves in harmony with the life-giving arrangements of God, as brought to light through the gospel,

disease is overcome and health springs forth speedily. When human beings work in union with the Life-giver, who offered up His life for them, happy thoughts fill the mind. Body and mind and soul are sanctified. Human beings learn of the great Teacher, and all upon which they look ennobles and enriches the thoughts. The affections are drawn out in gladness and thankfulness to the Creator. The life of the man who is renewed in the image of Christ is as a light shining in darkness. –Medical Ministry, pp. 262, 263. (1905) Ibid

We read that the life of Jesus will be manifested in our mortal flesh. Through the gospel, the joy, the beauty of God’s amazing love becomes so captivating that the joy mortifies the sinful flesh and causes it to be revived. Disease will flee, sin will flee, and unholy passion will flee. Everything which is disease whether it is spiritual, mental or physical will flee. You won’t feel it anymore. How true this has been in my own experience. I had flu or a stomach ache and it was giving me trouble while I was traveling to give a bible study. As I was traveling, I was thinking how can I give a bible study the way I am feeling right now? When I get there and open the word it’s not even felt. As I was studying through quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy to prepare this sermon, there were so many there that thrilled me but I could only give enough for our meditation here.

There was an occasion where after the death of her husband Sr White was completely blanked out, she was dying. As she was in this terrible death-like experience she was at a camp in the main tent. There was a couch placed on the rostrum next to the men sitting there. When the time came for her to speak she was helped off the couch and was deathly pale. She leant heavily on her son and meant to tell the congregation that this was the last time they would see her because she was dying. As she opened her mouth the Spirit of God came upon her and they actually physically saw the life-blood coming up from her throat back into her face. The story goes they were so amazed to see this miracle happening that some stood up in the tent. After-wards even unbelievers who were in there said, we have witnessed a miracle here today.

That is what the Holy Spirit can do, as we take hold in faith on the message I am sharing with you here. My physical body can be sanctified. That is what it means. The Spirit of God comes and quickens that sinful flesh.

We have great victories to gain, and a heaven to lose if we do not gain them. The carnal heart must be crucified; for its tendency is to moral corruption, and the end thereof is death. Nothing but the life-giving influences of the gospel can help the soul. Pray that the mighty energies of the Holy Spirit, with all their quickening, recuperative, and transforming power, may fall like an electric shock on the palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual soundness. You will thus become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; and in your souls will be reflected the image of Him by whose stripes you are healed. {5T 267.2}

What will the gospel do every day? Always bearing in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our sinful mortal body. When we let the Holy Spirit, when we permit Him to do what He has done for us in the past, how many of us can give testimony of what He has done for us in the past? Let Him do it again. It will have to happen again and again and again. The more we learn to quickly give Him the right to quickly turn our mind away from the darkness that Satan is shedding upon our senses, the moment we do it, we look up to the Lord in the knowledge of what I am sharing letting my memory bring the Holy Spirit to my consciousness again and I yield to the work of that beautiful Spirit the electric shock touches every nerve.

The palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual soundness.

The physical body will become spiritually empowered. He can’t fight anymore, he has been mortified and he has been replenished with the spiritual power from heaven, because the joy of the work of the Holy Spirit upon my mind disperses all those negativities.

As union is strength, the Source of all power, of all goodness, mercy, and love, takes finite, human beings into copartnership with Himself for the purpose of imparting His divine power to human agencies, to diffuse His influence and extend it far and near. When one is allied to Christ, a partaker of the divine nature, his interest is identified with that of all suffering humanity. As we look aright…. That is an important word because we can also look a-wrong.

…to the cross of Calvary, every nerve of heart and brain will thrill in sympathy for the human misery in all parts of our world. Those who are created anew in Christ Jesus will realize the wretchedness of sin and the divine compassion of Christ in His infinite sacrifice for fallen man. Communion with Christ imparts to them tenderness of heart; there will be sympathy in their looks, in the tones of the voice; and earnestness of solicitude, love, and energy, in their efforts, which will make them powerful through God in winning souls to Christ.– Medical Missionary, June, 1891. {WM 296.5}

Does that harmonise with the meek of the earth? What was the activity of the meek of the earth? Their sympathetic looks, the tones of the voice of kindness, earnestness of solicitude, love and energy in their efforts; this is the impact of the Holy Spirit over our sinful flesh.

I want to give you a testimony of this because I have sinful flesh. It is my old man, the German. Many times there comes frustration upon me that would cause me to become unsympathetic, to become annoyed with what is going on around me. When I look away to the beauty of Jesus the voice changes, the looks change, and there can be help given through my ministry. God grant us such a depth of intimacy with Jesus that our flesh will no more be active. By choice, no longer to let our flesh vent itself, but apply the beautiful message that I have just read.

Romans 6:11-13 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

Those members that were sinful flesh are now to be used as instruments of righteousness. The death and resurrection of Jesus will be operative when we let not sin reign in there by choice to surrender to the work of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit who takes of Jesus and shows it to us. As I welcome that, as I embrace it, I will not let my mortal body rule me anymore, it will not reign. I shall not obey it. I will not yield my members anymore to function in the way that they have been functioning as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. I will yield myself to God, the Holy Spirit within me, as those that are alive from the dead. He mortifies the flesh and then we arise alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. No longer functioning according to the flesh; the flesh has been mortified and quickened into a new instrument.

The divine Spirit reveals its working on the human heart. When the Holy Spirit operates upon the mind, the human agent will understand the statement made by Christ, “He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” Subjection to the word of God means the restoration of one’s self. Let Christ work by His Holy Spirit, and awaken you as from the dead, and carry your minds along with His. Let Him employ your faculties. {TM 396.1}

The mind is restored; now let Him employ your faculties which are the members of your body.

He has created your every capability that you may better honor and glorify His name. Consecrate yourself to Him, and all associated with you will see that your energies are inspired of God, that your noblest powers are called into exercise to do God’s service. The faculties once used to serve self and advance unworthy principles, once serving as members of unrighteous purposes, will be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ and become one with the will of God. Ibid

Our body will become one with the will of God, our faculties. Faculties that were once used to serve self and advance unworthy principles serving as members of unrighteous purposes will be brought into captivity. This is our privilege brethren and sisters, because the Holy Spirit is God, because the Holy Spirit is Jesus and all of the gospel work is enacted within us by the work, the movements of the Holy Spirit. That is how He created the world in the first place, the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. Your body is made up of over 70% water, let Him move. It is our choice now; before it was not our choice, we didn’t exist. Now we exist, the Holy Spirit through the gospel wants to move upon this sinful flesh, and He wants us to yield to that movement so that we will die to the self of the flesh and we will rise afresh every day. I die daily.

May this message with the joy that we are the sons of God according to Romans 8:16-17, children of God, joint heirs together with Christ, rejoice our hearts and keep us as dependent upon God as Jesus depended upon Him. He is our example and we know that our sinful body does not need to conquer me anymore. May God grant us this so that we can stand in that day because of His grace that is sufficient for us.

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Posted on August 25, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Health Studies, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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