Be Not Children
by Gary Carpenter
While in prayer today I saw an aspect of the Holy Spirit that made me laugh out loud ... and then made me cry bitter tears. For teaching purposes, I saw the vision like this:
I saw God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to the Holy Spirit in Heaven. Both the Father and the Son were sitting on their respective thrones and the Holy Spirit was standing before them [don't ask me what they looked like ... I couldn't tell you].
The conversation went like this: "A new son of God has been birthed in the earth. His name is Gary Carpenter. He is to have dominion on the earth in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Go forth and enforce that dominion."
I then saw the Holy Spirit come through space and time to where I live. When He arrived and found me ... He found a spiritual child, a virtual infant. The "born again spirit" within me was new and fresh and pure, but it was the most underdeveloped portion of me. I was dominated by the flesh and carnal thinking. I was hardly aware that there even was any "new spirit" within me.
Then the Holy Spirit knelt down on one knee and began speaking to the infant spirit within me. Very tenderly, He said:
"I have come from the presence of the Father and the Son to enforce dominion for you on the earth as you carry out the work of the gospel in the Name of Jesus Christ. But you are a child. If you will allow me to teach you and raise you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, you will grow up into the measure of the fulness of the stature of Christ. You will come to maturity and be changed into the same image as Christ. As you grow up into His image, I will progressively be able to exercise dominion for you in the earth in His Name. Will you let me teach you how to use the power I have come to manifest for you?"
What made me laugh was the sight of this all powerful, all knowing, all holy being kneeling down to offer a babe training that would eventually culminate in the babe growing up to manhood and commanding the power that is resident within the third member of the Godhead to accomplish "Kingdom of God" business on the earth.
It was so obvious that the Holy Spirit had all power ... but He had no authority to use it without the child [grown up]. The child had all authority but the power of the Holy Spirit could not be accessed unless the child grew up to conform to the image of Christ.
The Holy Spirit was only authorized to enforce dominion "in the Name" of Jesus Christ. That meant the child would have to grow up and understand the "mind of Christ" in order to speak words of authority that would line up with the plans, purposes and pursuits of Jesus Christ. I kept hearing this verse in my spirit while seeing this vision:
Galatians 4:1 "Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all."
Now I see my relationship with the Holy Spirit a little more clearly. Truly I am an heir, but I am also still a child. Although I am 51 years old physically, I have no idea what my spiritual age is ... perhaps two, three? I don't know. But I do know that the Holy Spirit is desiring above all else that I spend time with Him so He can train me and mold me into the image of Christ. He desperately longs for me to grow up so He can exercise dominion on the earth in the name of Jesus Christ through me.
As I learn to follow His training [leadership] I will progressively grow from childhood to manhood and stand up to full stature in the image of Christ. I will then be a son who is ready to participate in the "family business," that is, to take my true place in God & Sons, Inc. on the earth. Nothing is more important than the time I spend with the Holy Spirit to receive this training.
1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."
Romams 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
The word translated "children" in 1 Corinthians 14:20 is:
Strongs Concordance Reference 3813: paidion, pahee dee' on; neut. dimin. of G3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (prop.) an infant, or (by extens.) a half grown boy or girl; fig. an immature Christian: (little, young) child, damsel.
The word translated "men" in 1 Corinthians 14:20 is:
Strongs Concordance Reference 5046: teleios, tel' i os; from G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neut. (as noun, with G3588) completeness: of full age, man, perfect.
The word translated "sons" in Romans 8:14 is:
Strongs Concordance Reference 5207: huios, hwee os'; appar. a prim. word; a "son" (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immed., remote or fig. kinship: child, foal, son.
It is important to note that the Holy Spirit was not offended by my carnality when He first came to me. He understood that everybody who is born again into the kingdom of God starts off carnally minded. He knew that I had no choice in the matter. I was "born again" in a carnally minded state. It was not my own choosing. Even when I would yield myself to Him as Teacher and sit down in His classroom with the stench of the world still on me, He was not offended by it. He understood my condition. He was pleased that I came ... stench and all.
What grieved Him was when I chose not to spend time with Him. But even when I chose the things of the world over Him, He did not leave me. In this vision, no doubt for teaching purposes, I saw him standing off a little distance from me [seemed to be about twenty feet or so] with His arms folded, simply waiting for the next time I would choose to spend time with Him over time spent in the world.
I knew He would never leave me nor forsake me ... NEVER! His eyes were always on me, full of love, longing for my fellowship but never willing to force me against my will to spend time with Him.
Then the vision continued and I saw a little further down the corridor of time. I was at the age of about six years old. I saw myself with a stick hitting a can in the street while playing. The Holy Spirit was in His customary position, watching me from a short distance away as I "amused" myself. He began calling for me. "Gary, come away with me. Gary, come away with me. Gary, I love you. Come be with me."
At first I could hear Him calling me very plainly, but in the vision, I did not acknowledge Him at all. I didn't stop what I was doing. I didn't even turn my head in His direction. I heard Him, but going away with Him right then would interfere with the fun I was having at the moment. I liked what I was doing. I liked being a child. I wasn't sure I even wanted to grow up and assume the responsibilities of manhood.
I tried to "tune out" His voice. He was calling for me in the most tender way, but I was determined not to let His voice interfere with my fun.
In the vision, the strangest thing took place. I could see me hitting the can in the street and I could see the Holy Spirit calling to me from a short distance away. His mouth continued to form words, but the sound of His voice began to diminish. It wasn't that He was speaking any more softly than before, but it seemed to me that the volume of the sound itself was diminishing.
Finally, I was still hitting the can in the street and I could see that the Holy Spirit was still calling to me with the same intensity as before, but I could hear His voice no longer. I had become "deaf" to the voice of the Spirit.
At that moment, the vision changed to a panoramic view of the whole earth, as if I were viewing the earth from a very high place. The nations were full of children, all about six years old, all hitting cans in the street. Here and there would be an adult standing among the children. The proportion was very small ... perhaps one adult among fifty million children. Who were these adults? Why were there so few?
And then I knew. Those adults represented the precious few men and women down through the ages of time who yielded their lives sufficiently to the Holy Spirit to bring them to maturity. These are the "revivalists" of history. They were so few.
My heart broke as I watched. The potential for every child of God was so enormous but their maturity level was so stunted because of the lure of the world. I knew that the vast majority of them would live out their lives and never mature beyond that six year old level. The entire world was desperately longing for the dominion that belongs to mature sons of God, but nearly all of God's sons were hitting cans in the street.
From somewhere close behind me, about twenty feet away, I heard weeping. I wept also.
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