Thorns and Thistles
George Kirkpatrick
 

     When we begin to seek answers to the problems that face the world today, and especially those the church faces, we wonder how
things can be in such a chaotic mess.  Why can't the world solve any of its problems, and why do those in the church have such a
struggle to do and become what God states very plainly in His Word?

     There has to be answers somewhere, and there is.  The answers are found in the Word of God.  The answers are simple once you
understand the question.  And the question is easy once you understand the reason for the question.  The only place we can seek
an answer to our question and the reason for the question is in God's creation plan for man.  To do this we must begin at the
creation and the fall of man.

     After God created man, man willfully sinned.  It was not the eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
that was man's sin.  It was what was in his heart that caused him to sin.  Rebellion and disobedience to God's Word was man's sin. 
The same is true today.  When man is disobedient and rebellious to God's Word, his sin is evident.  

     Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She gave also to Adam, Genesis 3:6.  Adam partook of
the fruit willfully because rebellion and disobedience was in his heart also.  Man is still partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil, and because of this the Tree of Life that God set in the midst of His people is no longer available to man.  When God's
creation sinned, God spoke:

     "Unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which
     I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:  cursed is the ground for thy sake;  in sorrow shalt thou
     eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;  and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

     In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;  for out of it wast thou taken: 
     for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."  Genesis 3:17-19

     God cursed the ground for Adam's sake.  The word ground is ADAMAH.  It comes from the base word ADAM.  The word ADAMAH was
basically translated "earth, ground and land."  Adam's body was made of ADAMAH, or earth, ground, land, soil, or dust.  Adam's body
was, and is dust.

     "Male and female created He them;  and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were
     created."  Genesis 5:2

     Adam was God's creation of man.  Both the male and female creation of man were called Adam.  God created man, male and
female.  All God's creation was created male and female:  his animal creation, His fowl creation, His fish creation, and His
insect creation.  Man, too, was created male and female, and God called His man or His human creation Adam.

     Where did the name Eve come from?  God revealed that after man fell from their created place in God, that...

     "Adam called his wife's name Eve;  because she was the mother of all living."  Genesis 3:20

     It was Adam who called his helpmate Eve.  Eve's name means "life-giver".  The female of the Adam creation would bring forth
all new life on the earth.  

     So we can understand God's intended purpose for man, we need to look further at the creation:

     "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;  and
     man became a living soul."  Genesis 2:7

     God created man from the dust of the ground, or the ADAMAH. God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life.  All life
comes from the Spirit.  When God breathed into man's nostrils, man became a living soul.  Man had life, the life of God, or the Spirit
of God.  Man became a living soul, dwelling in Adamah dust.

     When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He gave us an example of the new creation man:

     "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"  John
     20:22

     Jesus breathed on His disciples just as God had breathed on His Adam creation in the beginning.  This was to demonstrate what
would come upon all His creation who received Him.  The initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost.  As
Paul stated this was the firstfruits of the Spirit, Romans 8:23;  also the earnest or downpayment of the Spirit, II
Corinthians 1:22 & 5:5.  

     Those who lived in ages past could only operate in the firstfruits or the down payment of the Spirit.  This generation who
follow on to know the Lord will receive the early and latter rain together in the new day, Hosea 6:3.  The fullness of the
Spirit is promised as the early and latter rain poured out together, James 5:7.  

     God is going to endow His creation with the same anointing that Jesus received on the banks of the Jordan River.  Jesus
promised the Holy Spirit to all who would ask the Father for it, Luke 11:13.  God's promise for His people is wonderful,
glorious and absolute.  Unfortunately, man has been dwelling in his dust condition since the Garden of Eden.  God's Word bears out the
fact that man has yet to arise out of the dust creation:

     "For He knoweth our frame;  He remembereth that we are dust."  Psalm 103:14

     Our frame is our body.  When God deals with man He remembers that we are His dust creation.

     "What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?  Shall the dust praise thee?  Shall it declare thy
     truth?"  Psalm 30:9

     The Psalmist asked the question:  "Can our dust praise God?" Jesus told the woman at the well:

     "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in
     truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."  John 4:23

     The Father is desiring a people who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.  Those in their dust existence cannot praise Him, nor
can the dust declare His truths.  Only the Spirit can reveal God's truths.  Today many are trying to learn and understand God's truths
through the natural learning process.  God's Word is Spiritual and can only be understood in the Spirit.

     "My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy Word."  Psalm 119:25

     The soul of man cleaves to his dust nature.  The word quicken means "to make alive".  We can only be made alive by God's Spirit
and His Spiritual Word.  We cannot understand or operate in His Word until the Spirit has made His Word alive in us.  Many do not
understand the Word because they are listening to what man says the Word is saying, instead of hearing the Spirit of truth, and God's
revelation of His Word.  We can only overcome the old, dust nature by the living Word of truth.  

     Today many are blaming satan for everything that happens in their life.  They are overcome, instead of rising above, and living
in their God-given place.  Isaiah revealed:

     "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock:  and dust shall be the
     serpent's meat.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord."  Isaiah 65:25

     Dust is the serpent's meat.  Satan feeds on the old, Adamah nature.  Satan can only exist and have place in our life, if he has
something to feed on.  When we overcome the ADAMAH nature, then satan can no longer feed upon us.  As long as we are dwelling in
our dust condition, we are giving place to the devil.  Paul warned the Ephesian church not to give place to the devil, Ephesians
4:27.  As long as we are in our dust condition, the devil has free access to us because we become his food.  God told His Adam
creation:

     "Thorns also and thistles shall it (Adamah) bring forth to thee;  and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;" 
     Genesis 3:18

     Because of Adam's disobedience and rebellion his ground (Adamah) would be cursed, and it would bring forth thorns and
thistles.  Thorns and thistles are the things in our life that bring us discomfort, torment and judgment.  God told Adam that His
Adamah would bring forth thorns and thistles because of sin.  The same is true today.  The things that cause us discomfort, torment
and judgment are the sins that are, and were, in our lives.  

     God also told Adam that he would eat the herb of the field. Adam was no longer allowed to eat of the trees in the garden.  He
was no longer allowed to partake of the Tree of Life.  When man was separated from the garden, he had to take his food from the field. 
In His parable of the sower, Jesus informed us the field is the world, Matthew 13:38.

     Adam was cursed to partake of the worldly food.  He could no longer partake of God's Spiritual food, the hidden manna of God. 
Jesus was allowed to partake of the hidden manna.  When He was talking to the woman at the well, and His disciples wanted Him to
eat something, He spoke: "I have meat to eat that ye know not of,." John 4:32.  This same promise is made to those who overcome the
Adamah to again walk in the presence of God.

     "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;  To him that overcometh will I give to
     eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth
     saving he that receiveth it."  Revelation 2:17

     God promised the overcomer that he would eat of the hidden manna.  In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul spoke of the manna
that God provided Israel in the wilderness.  He called it Spiritual meat, I Corinthians 10:3.  Those who overcome their Adamah will
partake of God's Spiritual meat, no longer seeking their nourishment from worldly food that is tainted by man's poison that
takes life instead of producing life.  God's hidden manna has been hidden from man since the garden.  When man entered into his place
of disobedience and rebellion God put him out of the garden.  He set cherubims and a flaming sword to keep man from the Tree of
Life, Genesis 3:24.  For God had proclaimed:

     "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and now, lest he put forth
     his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:"  Genesis 3:22

     Man had become as God to know both good and evil.  But man had no way to deal with the evil.  The anointing, the covering of God
had been removed and God clothed man in the skins of beast.  Man had fallen to a beast nature;  the law of the jungle was his
mentality, not the nature of God.  God determined that man could not exist in this condition, so He sent His son that man might be
redeemed from his beast nature.  Paul also understood the beast nature of man when he wrote his second letter to Timothy:

     "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."  II Timothy 3:13

     Evil men and seducers only get worse and worse.  Until man turns his heart to God and seeks his new nature, he will only
become more and more worldly and wicked.

      Jesus was the Word made flesh.  We are the flesh that must become the living truth of God's Word.

     God set a flaming sword in the way to the Tree of Life.  That flaming sword is the Word of God.  If we are to return to partake
of the Tree of Life we must pass through that flaming sword.  Jesus was the Word made flesh.  We must be the flesh that becomes the
living truth of God's Word.  Then we can partake of the hidden manna.  We will again have access to the Tree of Life and live
forever.  Eternal life is instilled in us while we live.  Eternal life is in the Word of God.  When we pass through that flaming
sword, then eternal life is ours.

     God told Adam:

     "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;  for out of it wast thou taken: 
     for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."  Genesis 3:19

     God's curse on Adam was, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread".  The word sweat always means "labor or toil".  Those
who are still eating their bread by the sweat of their face have not entered into God's rest.  We are informed:

     "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made;  and He rested on the seventh day from all His work
     which He had made."  Genesis 2:2

     God entered into His rest on the seventh day when He finished His work.  He has waited for man to enter into His rest with Him
since the creation. Those who enter into His rest have overcome their Adamah.  They have ceased from their Adam labor.  They have
overcome the curse of eating their bread by the sweat of their face.

     The writer of Hebrews declared:

     "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come
     short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not
     being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter
     into my rest:  although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works."  Hebrews 4:1-4

     God revealed His day of rest and that His works were finished from the foundation of the world.  God's creation was perfect,
nothing to be added, nothing to be taken away.  Only those who believe will enter into His rest.

     The word believe does not mean to simply believe something is true.  The word believe is the Greek word PISTEUO and means "to put
your trust in, to be persuaded by, to place your confidence in, and to act upon".  Many believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they do
not put their trust in it.  They are not persuaded, and their confidence is only in what they can see, feel, and touch.  Therefore
they do not act upon it.  By God's Word we know these will not enter into His rest.

   God's rest came on the seventh day.  Man will enter into God's rest on the seventh day if:

     he believes in
     trusts in
     puts his confidence in
     is persuaded by
     and acts upon God's Word

     The writer of Hebrews continues:

     "And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered
     not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye
     will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." 
     Hebrews 4:5-9

     There remains a rest for God's people to enter into.  If Jesus had given us this rest the Bible speaks of, He would not have
spoken of another day.  But He did speak of another day.  The day Jesus spoke of is the third day.  Jesus will be perfected on the
"third day".  Peter declares:

     "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
     thousand years as one day."  II Peter 3:8

     When the Pharisees came to tell Jesus that Herod was going to kill Him, Jesus' words were:

     "Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I
     shall be perfected."  Luke 13:32

     Jesus was not speaking of two natural days, but two of God's one thousand year days.  The two days Jesus spoke of are the church
age;  the 2000 year time span from the time of Jesus.  Jesus declared what the church's job was to be:  

     1 - to cast out devils (demons), to set God's people free
         from the wiles of the devil.

     2 - To do cures and healings, both physical and Spiritual

     The church's responsibility was to demonstrate to God's people how to rise above the Adamah where satan has no place.  The church
was commissioned to show God's people they must overcome that which satan feeds upon.  But the church has failed in this most important
task.  

     The church was also to do cures and healings.  They were to pray for the sick to be healed.  This, they have failed to do.  The
church was to promote healing between God and His Adam creation. This they have also failed to do.  Paul wrote to Timothy concerning
the condition in the church today:

     "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away."  II Timothy 3:5

     The church today displays a form of godliness but denies God's power, the Holy Spirit, that came on the day of Pentecost.  Only by
the power of the Holy Spirit can the church cast out demons and heal the sick.   This hypocritical form of godliness is called
"religion".  Paul stated we are to get away from this system of religion and turn to the true and living God, believing in and
acting upon His Word.

     Almost two days have passed since Jesus walked this earth. The third day is about to dawn on the horizon.  In God's eternal
time plan, the third day is the same day as the seventh day from creation.  The third day and the seventh day from creation lie just
ahead.   Jesus stated He is going to be perfected on this third day.  How is Jesus going to be perfected?  The Apostle Paul wrote
to the Thessalonians:

     "When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe because our testimony
     among you was believed in that day."  II Thessalonians 1:10

     The word perfected means "to make whole, to complete, to mature, to accomplish".  How is Jesus going to be perfected?  It is
when He is glorified in His saints.  Who is Jesus going to be glorified in?  He is going to be glorified in those who believe; 
those who trust in, are persuaded by, have their confidence in, and act upon the Word of God.  When will this take place?  On the third
day which lies directly ahead.  

     God's plan for man is perfect.  It is God's plan to bring man back to his perfected creation.  God told Adam, "Dust thou art, and
to dust though shall return".  God took His perfect Adamah and created man from that dust.  Then He raised man from his dust existence and gave him dominion over all He created.  But when man
allowed disobedience and rebellion to enter into his perfect state, he fell and returned to a dust existence.  Man has dwelt in his
Adamah existence ever since.

     God told Adam that in his dust condition, his Adamah would bring forth thistles and thorns.  These thistles and thorns are the
effect that sin has in our life.  The sins that have wounded the soul and the spirit of man have left scar tissue that must be
healed.  Many will say, "I have been forgiven.  My sin is covered by the blood of Jesus".  This is absolutely true.  But the soul and
the spirit must be healed of the wounds that the thistles and thorns have caused.  We may have received physical healing, and the
body may have regenerated itself from the effects of our sin, but the soul and spirit still need to be healed of the effects of sin.

     Many have been wounded in childhood through abuse:  physical, sexual, or mental.  Many times these abuses have been scabbed over
in our conscience but they still affect our lives.  Many have been abused in young adulthood in these same areas.  These scars
generally are dealt with on a daily basis.  

     Many men have been stripped of their self-worth by being put down by a well-intending father who strips the maturing young man
of his self-esteem.  This may happen because the child does not come up to the father's standard, or simply ignorance on the
father's part.  The same is true with young girls whose parents do not recognize her need for safety and security in her maturing
years.

     Many have been wounded deeply in their dating years.  This is the time when the feeling of rejection becomes most evident.  These
thistles and thorns leave deep and lasting wounds that some never recover from.  Many young girls give themselves to every date,
wanting to be popular.  These always become the most unpopular and unwanted.  These dating scars stay with them the rest of their
lives. Everyone knows their reputation and they are destined to raise the children who have no father's name, or they suffer the
effects of an abortion.

     Many have been deeply wounded in marriage.  When a marriage fails and ends in divorce, a deep sense of failure follows.  This
sense of failure remains with them the rest of their life.  Many times this sense of failure is carried into the next marriage and
causes many problems, which causes another failed marriage.  This causes even deeper scar tissue until that person is hardened and
all sense of decency and respect is gone.  

     Many who have experienced a failed marriage will not take another chance on marriage, so they simply live together in a
married situation, which only causes guilt and shame.  Afflicting, and receiving yet more pain, they go from one relationship to
another.  The scar tissue that is left from these wounds becomes more and more evident in each of the lives involved.  The thistles
and thorns that are produced by such activities affect the unnamed offspring early in their lives.  In turn these children start their
life with the scars these thistles and thorns have caused.  Many men and women who have failed in marriage or relationships turn to
homosexuality or lesbianism, not desiring to commit themselves to the responsibility of married life.

     Many have been wounded on the job by an overzealous or unwise boss.  This wounding comes from being treated as a piece of machinery.  Many feel they have no use outside what they can
produce.  Others have been wounded when they were unjustly passed over for promotion.  Many are trapped in their jobs by debt or circumstance.  Their day to day life becomes hard and dismal,
causing bitterness and creating many scars that must be dealt with in that person's life. 

     Many have been wounded by the law by being unjustly accused or harassed when they have done nothing.  This causes a sense of insecurity when one feels he or she has no defence against the
actions taken against them.  This insecurity causes a person to draw within him or herself, fearing even those who love them.  

     There has probably been more people hurt by what is called "church" or "religion" than any other thing.  This causes the loss of eternal hope.  It dims the vision of God in each life.  Churches
have rejected those who do not come up to their standard.  They have rejected those with long hair, because they have a beard, are dirty or their dress does not come up to their standard.  They may
live in the wrong section of town.  They do not have a late model car.  Some have been rejected because they question why the church is not being run by a Biblical standard.  

     When these souls are rejected and looked down upon, the thistles and thorns are applied in their lives.  Thistles and thorns in a life cut deep and leave many scars.  Many never heal. 
This scar tissue can only be healed when we open ourselves totally to the healing touch of the Great Physician and let Him apply the
healing balm of Gilead.  

     There are other things that cause God's chosen to be afflicted with thistles and thorns.  These, all too often, are relationships
we have formed.  God told Israel before they entered into their promise land:

     "If ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you;  then it shall come to pass, that those
     which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land
     wherein ye dwell."  Numbers 33:55

     Israel's promise land is our Kingdom promise.  We know according to the words of Jesus:

     "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!  For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you."  Luke
     17:21

     When we realize the Kingdom of God is within us, then we know that many nations inhabit our promise land.  Nations are peoples. 
Countries have boundaries and are inhabited by nations or peoples. These nations (peoples) that are not serving God cannot dwell in
our promise land.  Moses told Israel these people would become pricks in their eyes and thorns in their sides.  When there are
pricks in our eyes, our vision is marred.  When there are thorns in our sides, they cause constant irritation and hinder our walk. 

     Moses stated, "They shall vex you in the land where you dwell."  The land where we dwell is our Adamah.  The nations we
allow to dwell in our land have drawn us away from the worship of the One True God.  

     The patriarch Abraham went down into Egypt because of the draught in Israel.  While there Sarah took a maid of this foreign nation by the name of Hagar.  Hagar conceived a child by Abraham
and called his name Ishmael.  God told Abraham Ishmael would not inherit with the Son of Promise, Isaac.  Through Hagar, Abraham had a foreign nation dwelling in his house that could not become the
heir of promise.  This foreign nation had to be dealt with.  God spoke to Abraham about Hagar.  He told Abraham to cast out the bondwoman.  Paul addressed this in his letter to the Galatians:

     "Nevertheless what saith the scripture?  Cast out the bondwoman and her son:  for the son of the bondwoman
     shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."  Galatians 4:30

     The bondwoman was from Egypt.  The offsprings of Egypt will not inherit with the sons of promise.  Those nations who do not serve God must be cast out if we are to inherit the Kingdom and
walk again in the cool of the evening with our God.  Speaking of Israel, Paul wrote:

     "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the
     ends of the world are come."  I Corinthians 10:11

     Israel did not heed God's words in dealing with the inhabitants of their promise land.  Just before he died Joshua recorded these words for Israel and for us:

     "Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you;  but they
     shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off
     this good land which the Lord your God hath given you."  Joshua 23:13

     When Israel disobeyed God's Word, God informed them He would no longer drive out these nations which inhabited their promise
land.  He warned them:

     "Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you;  but they shall be as thorns in your sides,
     and their gods shall be a snare unto you."  Judges 2:3

     God warned Israel if they refused to drive out the nations, not only would these nations become thorns in their sides, but their gods would be a snare unto them.  We know by Israel's history
this is exactly what happened because they refused to cleanse their promise land of those who would not serve their god.   The Apostle James admonished us:

     "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."  James 1:14

     The word enticed means "trapped, or ensnared".  Our example Israel lusted after the gods of the world.  Many of God's people today are lusting after the gods of this life.  They are ensnared
by their own lust and are drawn to those who are earthly and sensual.  These have become foreign nations that are inhabiting our promise land.

     God's people still want to please the Adamah nature more than they want to please God.  They totally disregard God's warning as did their example Israel.  They have come to the same place that
Israel came to where God no longer would deal with them in their relationships.  And as God warned through His prophet Joshua, these relationships have become snares and traps to His people.  They are
scourges (pricks) in their sides and thorns in their eyes.  These relationships have altered their walk and dimmed their vision until their promise has faded.  The land they desired no longer is
visible.  It becomes just a vague memory of what might have been.  The all-wise Solomon wrote:

     "Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward:  he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them." 
     Proverbs 22:5

     The word froward means "crooked and perverse".  It is our crooked, perverse way before God that stays His hand of blessing in our life.  Those who have not dwelt with the Adamah nature have
allowed their own perverted way to precede God's will in their life.  Because of this they are still dwelling in the death realm.  They are still dwelling in the Adamah nature which has returned to
dust.  Their way is simply meat for the old serpent to feed upon.  We need to rise above the Adamah existence and be seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  

     Jesus spoke many things in parables.  Parables are Kingdom teachings and must be understood with our Spiritual understanding.  Jesus gave us the parable of the sower.  He spoke of a man who went
forth to sow seed.  Luke tells us what the seed the sower sowed represents:

     "Now the parable is this:  The seed is the Word of God." Luke 8:11

     The seed that was sown in the earth was the Word of God.  Some of this seed fell by the wayside.  It did no good for those that received it.  Some seed fell on stony ground and its roots never
went very deep.  The first trouble that came along caused this seed to be lost in the time of testing.  Some of the seed fell on rich earth and brought forth fruit, some one hundred fold, some sixty
fold, and some thirty fold.

     "And some fell among thorns;  and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:"  Matthew 13:7

     Jesus spoke of those who, when hearing the Word, allowed the Word to fall among thorns.  He explained how these thistles and thorns affect the Word that was sown in their life:

     "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word:  and the care of this world, and the
     deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."  Matthew 13:22

     Matthew recorded what thorns choked out the Word in God's peoples lives:

     1 - the care of this world
     2 - the deceitfulness of riches

     Luke added to this list:

     "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and
     riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."  Luke 8:14

     Luke added:

     3 - the pleasures of this life

     Many of God's people are "pleasure mad".  They must be entertained all the time.  Entertainment has become their god.  Riches have also become their god.  Jesus calls it the
"deceitfulness of riches".  Those whose faith and trust have been in what they have accumulated have been deceived.  

     Many wonder why they have so many problems.  It's because they are burdened down with the cares of this life.  They have put their
trust in their riches.  These have been deceived and are pleasure mad.  Their life in God has been a dismal failure, because as Luke recorded Jesus' words, "They bring no fruit to perfection."  There
are no fruits in their life.  The fruits that are not brought to perfection are the fruits of the Spirit.  They continue in their religious activities, attending the acceptable church with their
well-ordered services, wasting their time in religious rituals instead of seeking the presence of the living God.  

     The thistles and thorns have nullified the Word of God in their lives.  Our example, Israel, came to the place where they sinned willfully before God; and because of this their sacrifices were no longer
acceptable in His sight.

     "To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country?  Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet
     unto me."  Jeremiah 6:20

     Many in the church today, as Israel, sin willfully depending on God's forgiveness.  Those who depend on God's forgiveness fail to realize the thistles and thorns they have allowed in their
lives, and the scar tissue that must be dealt with later.  When we allow the seeds sown by God's Word in our life to fall among the thorns, the Word is choked out and has no effect.  The prophet
Jeremiah spoke of the seed that fell among thorns:

     "A drought is upon her waters;  and they shall be dried up:  for it is the land of graven images, and they are
     mad upon their idols." Jeremiah 50:38

     Those whose seed fell among thorns are those who have allowed the water of the Word to dry up in their life.  Their land has become a land of graven images.  Their time is spent on everything
except the Word of God.  

     Jeremiah reveals they are mad upon their idols.  An idol is what consumes our time and money.  What are the things in our life that are consuming our time and money?  It could be TV, sports,
meetings, clubs, social activities or careers.  Whatever takes our time and money are the idols in our life.  Most try to mingle the Word of God with everything of the flesh, and believe this is acceptable before God, but God does not accept it.  

     It is certainly no surprise to God that we have trouble with our flesh because Jesus our example also walked in the flesh.  The writer of Hebrews informed us of Jesus' walk:

     "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;  but was in all
     points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."  Hebrews 4:15

     Jesus was tried in every area of the old Adamah nature as we are, yet He sinned not.  He is our example of overcoming every
fleshly desire and every weakness of the flesh.  The Apostle Paul wrote of Jesus' coming in the flesh.

     "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;  the last Adam was made a quickening
     spirit."  I Corinthians 15:45

     Adam was created in the garden.  God breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul.  He was created perfect.  Yet
in all his strength, knowledge, and wisdom he was tempted of satan, and fell.  

     Jesus came as the first Adam.  The Apostle Paul wrote:

     "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:"  Romans 8:3

     Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh.  Man no longer needs to be the servant of sin.  When satan tempted Jesus He sinned not.  After Jesus received the
anointing on the banks of the Jordan, He was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tried by satan, Mark 1:12.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, and Jesus' flesh being in its
weakest condition, Jesus overcame every temptation of the devil. There was nothing satan had to offer Him.  Fame, fortune, power, and authority did not tempt Him.  Jesus refused to allow satan access to His life.  He gave no place to the devil.  Jesus overcame
while still in His Adamah condition.  He overcame by the anointing that was upon His Adamah;  not by His flesh, His position, or His calling.  

     Jesus came as the first Adam to show all mankind that it was possible to overcome every weakness in the flesh by the Spirit of the living God.  The church system that has a form of godliness but
denies the power has not, nor can they overcome, because they have denied the overcoming power in their lives.  They are still dwelling in their carnal Adamah existence.   Paul revealed:

     "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural;  and afterward that which is spiritual."  I Corinthians 15:46

     Jesus came first in that which was natural, a living soul. Then He came in His Spiritual reality on the Day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit anointing upon His chosen.  Paul explained:

     "The first man is of the earth, earthy:  the second man is the Lord from heaven."  I Corinthians 15:47

     When Jesus came in the flesh, He had the same Adamah as every other man that is born of woman.  When He came as the second man, the Lord from heaven, He came as the Spirit.  This is why Peter
stated:

     "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have
     crucified, both Lord and Christ."  Acts 2:36

     Jesus was not only made, Lord.  He was made, Christ, or the anointing that came on the Day of Pentecost.  The prophet Isaiah
prophesied this event seven hundred years before it became a reality on the Day of Pentecost:

     "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame:  and it shall burn and devour His
     thorns and His briars in one day;"  Isaiah 10:17

     The light of Israel shall be for a fire and His Holy One a flame.  Who was the light of Israel?  Jesus proclaimed:

     "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  John 9:5

     As long as Jesus was in the world, He was the light of the world.  When He left His earthly position, He became a fire, a
flame.  He came as the cloven tongues of fire and sat upon each of them, Acts 2:3.  

     Then Isaiah stated, "It shall devour the thorns and briars in one day."  God is desiring that day when we allow the anointing to
devour the thorns and thistles in our life.  Paul made a promise to those who will allow the Spirit to accomplish its perfect will in
their life.

     "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."  I Corinthians
     15:49

     We have borne the image of the earthly man.  God has promised we will also bear the image of the heavenly or Spiritual man.  Jesus
came as the earthly man to leave us an example of overcoming the old, Adamah nature.  Paul spoke of a change that would come upon
our flesh when this is accomplished in our life:

     "Behold, I shew you a mystery;  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
     trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 
     I Corinthians 15:51-52

     When this change comes, we will no longer bear the image of the earthy man.  We will bear the image of the heavenly man, or the
Spiritual man that is and was created in righteousness and true holiness.  

     Jesus was also the example of this Spiritual man during the forty days He walked upon the earth after His resurrection.   At
this time, He was in a Spiritual body.  Jesus revealed:

     "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and
     bones, as ye see me have."  Luke 24:39

     The body Jesus had at that time was flesh and bones.  This was a different body than His flesh and blood body He had when He
walked upon the earth as the first Adam.  This body could appear and disappear.  When Jesus wanted to be seen, He simply opened
their Spiritual eyes.  When He disappeared He simply closed their Spiritual eyes and reopened their physical eyes.  Jesus' body was
in another realm, a Spiritual realm that can only be seen through Spiritual eyes.  The Spiritual realm is as real, or more real, than
the physical realm in which we live.  When Jesus walked the earth, He had access to both realms.  God has promised we, too, will bear
the image of the heavenly.  When we are changed we, too, will have a Spiritual body. 

     Jesus was given to us as an example.  The body He possessed the forty days after His resurrection is our example of the body we
will have during the one thousand year millennial reign on earth. Adam possessed this same body before sin entered in and he returned
to a dust nature.  Man has been plagued with this dust nature ever since.  This dust nature has produced the thistles and thorns that
have caused the wounds and scars in our lives that we must deal with.  

     God's promises are great and many to His new creation man.
     
     "And He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the
     Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve
     manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:  and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the
     nations.

     And there shall be no more curse:  but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it;  and His servants shall
     serve Him: And they shall see His face;  and His name shall be in
     their foreheads."  Revelation 22:1-4

     The curse that God pronounced upon His creation man will be totally disannulled.  God's desire for man is for Him to return to
His created place in Him.  This promise is to all whom God has sealed in their foreheads.  The writer of Hebrews spoke of this new
generation of man:

     "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom
     it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:"  Hebrews 6:7

     The earth that is spoken of is our Adamah.  The rain spoken of here is the Holy Spirit anointing that is upon our life.  When that
anointing is allowed to do its perfect work, then we will bring forth herbs (fruits) that are fit for the Master's table.  These
herbs are the leaves that are for the healing the nations (peoples).  The writer of Hebrew continues:

     "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing;  whose end is to be burned." 
     Hebrews 6:8

     Those who have not dealt with the Adamah nature and are still existing in their earth that is bringing forth thistles and thorns
will be rejected and are nigh (near) unto cursing.  The curse has yet to be overcome in their life, and their end is to be burned. 
The writer of Hebrews concludes this matter by admonishing us:

     "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
     For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye
     have ministered to the saints, and do minister."  Hebrews 6:9-10

     God's desire and commandment to His people is to overcome and become ministers of righteousness with the message of
reconciliation.  Those who refuse to deal with the old Adamah are nigh unto cursing.  Jesus came to show us the way, to show us the
truth and to show  us the life.  He expects each of His called to live the example He left us to follow.  This is the only way to the
Father.  

     If we are to return to the Father's presence, then we must walk as Jesus walked, overcoming every desire, every temptation and
every will of the old, Adamah nature.  If we will do this, we will return again to the Tree of life that we may eat the fruit thereof
and live forever.  This is God's eternal promise to His Adam creation.  

     God's will for man has never changed.  He desires communion with His creation.  That is why He created him.  God has a people
and He is preparing a place for them, that He may receive them into His presence;  not only to rule and reign with Him, but that He may
dwell with them and become one with them.

     Thistles and thorns have separated us from God.  We need to allow the Spirit to burn these from our lives so that we may bring
forth the fruits of the Spirit that are meat for the Master's table.



Related books by George Kirkpatrick:

Dust, the Serpent's Meat
Deceitful Meats
The Flaming Sword

 

Questions

1.  It was not the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of
    Good and evil that was man's sin but rather it was what?

2.  Adam's body was made of Adamah which means what?

3.  All of God's creation was created ____________  and __________ .

4.  What does the name Eve mean?

5.  Where does all life come from? 

6.  God's word is Spiritual and can only be understood in what way?

7.  What does the word "quicken" mean?

8.  What is the only way we can overcome the old dust nature?

9.  What starves to death when we overcome the Adamah nature? 

10. Like Adam, after his disobedience, we also have thorns and
    thistles in our ground.  What are these thorns and thistles? 

11. Because Adam could no longer partake of God's spiritual food
    after his sin, what was he cursed to partake of?

12. Until man turns his heart to God and seeks His new nature, what
    will continue to happen to him?

13. What was the flaming sword God set in the way of Life?

14. What must a person do to enter into God's rest?

15. Man overcomes the Adamah and will come into Gods rest on the
    seventh day by doing what 5 things?

16. When Jesus spoke of being perfected on the third day in Luke
    13:32, what did He mean?

17. More people have probably been hurt by what is called __________       
    or _______________more than any other thing.

18. What are many of God's people lusting after? 

19. What does the word "froward" as used in Proverbs 22:5 mean? 

20. What is an idol?

21. Why did Jesus come as the first Adam?

22. What was the body Jesus possessed the forty days after His
    resurrection an example of?

23. Who will be rejected and are nigh unto cursing?

24. What is God's desire and commandment toward His people 24?   

25. We need to allow the Spirit to burn the thorns and thistles in
    our lives so that He may bring forth what?


Answer  Key

1.  It was not the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of
    Good and evil that was mans sin but rather it was what?

     It was what was in his heart that caused him to rebel and
     disobey God's word that was his sin.    

2. Adam's body was made of Adamah which means what?
     
     Earth,  ground,  land,  soil,  dust    

3. All of God's creation was created ________ and __________ .

     Male and Female.            

4. What does the name Eve mean?

     Life Giver   Gen.  3: 20

5. Where does all life come from? 5.  

     The  Spirit     

6.  God's word  is spiritual and can only be understood  in what
    way? 
    
     In the SPirit   

7. What does the word quicken mean?

     To make alive   

8. What is the only way we can overcome the old dust nature?

     By the Living Word of Truth    

9. What starves to death when we over come the Adamah nature? 

     Satan   

10.  Like Adam, after his disobedience, we also have thorns and
     thistles in our ground.  What are these thorns and thistles? 

     The thorns and thistles are the things in our life that bring
     us discomfort,  torment and judgment   

11.  Because Adam could no longer partake of God's spiritual food
     after his sin,  what was he cursed to partake of?

     Worldly food.          

12.  Until man turns his heart to God and seeks his new nature,
     what will continue to happen to him?

     He will continue to become more and more worldly and wicked. 

]3.  What was the flaming sword God set in the way to the Tree of Life?

     The Word of God.     

14. What must a person do to enter into God's rest?

     Overcome their Adamah nature.   

15. Man overcomes the Adamah and will come into God's rest on
    the seventh day by doing what  5 things?

     Believing in,  trusting in,  putting his confidence in, being
     persuaded by and acting upon God's Word.     

16.  When Jesus spoke of being perfected on the third day in
     Luke 13:32,  what did He mean?

     He meant he was going to be whole,  complete,  mature when
     He was glorified in His saints.    

17.  More people have probably been hurt by what is called        
     _______________or ________________ more than any other thing.

     Church or religion    

18. What are many of God's people lusting after? 

     The gods of the world.     

19. What does the word froward as used in Proverbs 22:5 mean? 

     Crooked and Perverse      

20. What is an idol?

     The things in life that are consuming our time and money.

21. Why did Jesus come as the first Adam?

     To show all men that it was possible to overcome every
     weakness in the flesh by the Spirit of  the loving God.   

22.  What was the body Jesus possessed the forty days after His
     resurrection an example of?

     The Body that we will have during the one thousand year
     millennial reign on earth.    

23. Who will be rejected and are nigh unto cursing?

     Those who have not dealt with the Adamah nature and are still
     existing in their earth that is bringing forth thistles and thorns. 
   
24.  What is God's desire and commandment toward His people?

     To overcome and become ministers of righteousness with the
     message of reconciliation    

25.  We need to allow the Spirit to burn the thorns and thistles in
     our lives so that He may bring forth what?


     The fruits of the Spirit    



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