Three Levels of Spiritual Growth

Introduction

In church service sermon, various topics were being preached. There were times, the church would preached about the important value of being as humble as a child. Then on another service, the church would preached about the important value of servant hood and then yet in another sermon,  the church would preach of yet another important value of being the son or friends of God. At the back of my mind, I was trying to co-related all of them together but somehow it leads me to some confusion as to what value should I exhibit in my Christian walk.

 Sometimes I received Gift of knowledge from our Holy Spirit such that I must tell the person in the same manner as prophets in the old testament had spoken to Kings and authorities; that is to rebuke the person involved of the wrong attitude towards God, our Lord Jesus. Then, within my own sub-consciousness, I was reminded to behave as servant of God; that is to obey the authority and not to say anything about them. I was really confused,  then I tried even to remind myself that maybe I should be as humble as a child, just keep quiet, swept everything under the carpet and pretend I didn’t received the knowledge.

Then one day, our Holy Spirit revealed to me that there are actually three levels of spiritual growth for Christians. With much excitement over this revelation, I penned down everything in plain English  and recorded my second audio speech. Let us pray, “Father Jesus, we thank you for this wonderful knowledge that you had inspired me to share with others. So that all us will grow spiritually to do the will of God. Amen”.

Chapter 1 – Child Hood

My first audio speech talks about knowing our Holy Spirit intimately and also acknowledging the existence of  Angels assigned to protect you and also you already have the Gift of prophecy upon baptism by the Holy Spirit.

In this second audio speech, I will touch on 3 levels of spiritual growth; 1) Childhood, 2) Servant hood, 3) Sonship (or friend of God). Everyone should be able to progress through these sequential stages of spiritual growth. You will find out what is required of you and what our Lord Jesus can do for you.

 The main key to Kingdom of Heaven is that you must be reborn again.

John 3:3 “Most assurely, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

The disciple did not understood what Lord Jesus was saying to them. One of them even said that must one go back into the womb of his mother to be born again. It is quite a funny statement really. What Lord Jesus means is that one must be willing to reduce yourself to nothing; giving up self, your mindset must completely renewed, cleanse up by the blood of Lord Jesus by accepting him as your Lord and saviour. What matter most is that once you are reborn, the old man in you had died and a new spirit man live in you and you are able to think like Job in the old testament, for he said:

“Naked, I come out of the womb and the lord has the right to take.” That means giving up self completely, pride, possession and all the worldliness and nail them onto the cross, Lord Jesus took them all away from you.

Let us look at how new born baby behave in order to understand the meaning of being reborn as a child. First of all, they are purely innocent, a new being born out of this world. They do not know what is happening in the world, the right and wrong. Do you expect a few months old baby knows what is right or wrong? (Was this not the original state of Mind for Adam before he sinned? Adam has no knowledge of right or wrong, absolute obedience to God only) Baby only knows one thing, that is to cry when they are hungry with their mouth opened big big. That’s right, in the same way, Lord Jesus wants you to cry out loud with your mouth open out big big, asking for nourishing food. Thus baby needs milk to nourish them for their growth, they are not ready for solid food. Next, when they consumed food, they will urinate and pass out motion, thus they will cry too. The same for you at this stage of spiritual growth, as you take in more spiritual food and create messes big and small, you will feel comfortable, example; you assessed things wrongly and ended up worsening a situation due to wrong advice and you needed someone more experience to help you  “clean up”. Like a baby, you have not learned how to clean up yet, you need helpers.

 As the baby grow older, they will take slightly more solid food such as porridge or cereal, and at this stage they learn how to talk. Sorry to all the mother. Baby said their first word “mum mum” meaning they are asking for food not calling the mother, Mom. Then, they learned how to call “Papa”, first. Mother may find this very unfair since they took care of the baby, but that is the fact, survey found out that baby tends to learn how to call papa first. Lord Jesus like all his children to call him Abba Father. (I knew some people will dispute on this, but don’t everyone acknowledged that Lord Jesus is now one with God in heaven, so that equates to calling God Abba Father too).

 As they progress in their growth, they became more knowledgeable, and started to ask for things from Papa or mommy. But everything was being planned by parents because children do not know how to ask what is best for themselves. Sometimes, the parent obliged their kids, and gives them things that may not be suitable for them just to make them happy.

Of course at this stage of growth, the children will become more and more demanding as they are more equipped with knowledge. They are now more hungry for 2 things, for more food and knowledge by asking lots of questions. Like “What is this for? Papa, mommy” Why things happened that way? Papa, mommy” The how, where and when. Parents, do not be upset, be patience, they are learning. At least you have a normal growing child.

But in Kingdom of Heaven, Lord Jesus will always give you the right things. So, being a child of God, you don’t have to worry about anything.

Matt 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

 Matt 6:28 “So why you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

Matt 6:31: “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear’

So, in the same way for spiritually born Christian, Lord Jesus wants his children to be hungry for his food, the living words of God, i.e Read the Bible daily. Be hungry for Bible knowledge  and spiritual gifts. You must be able to reverence the Holy Spirit as your greatest teacher. Do not push yourself to go for Bible school unless you had engaged our Holy Spirit as your solid foundational Rock to support your move to higher level of biblical learning. Christians who do not have our Holy Spirit as their foundation teacher will most likely graduated as academic Christian rather than disciple Christian. Know the different between being a Christian and learning to be a Christian? This has been preached many times, and yet Christian are not getting it. The former is one Christian who is born of the Spirit while the later one is born of the flesh or alternatively, you can call them systematically born Christian. But don’t get me wrong, there are people who are being reborn while during the Bible study or SOT.  What I try to emphasised is that it is more beneficial if you already have the Holy Spirit as your Biblical teacher. System Christian are those who had passed through the Academic process of building up Christian lifestyle without the Holy Spirit and they thought that they are being a Christian by doing things a Christian should do, eg attending Church, Cell group meetings, ministries, mission and others. This group of people are under the same category as “the rich young man” Lord Jesus spoke about in the Bible. One big question can be asked? Are you doing the will of God? Can you affirmly say that you are doing the will of God and on what basis? Doing the will of God has to be birthed by the Holy Spirit in the way of revelations,  dreams or visions and followed by more revelations and confirmations. Well, what is required of you to progress through this spiritual childhood growth? Simple answer but not an easy way, “Receive Kingdom of God as a child.” While Lord Jesus will provide you with the baptism of the Holy Spirit who will dwelled in you and teaches you ALL things; knowledge increment from revelations and progression through life with constant birthing of dreams and visions will  steer you from faith to faith and glory to glory.  Hallelujah!  All hopes will be realised not at once but many times as Lord Jesus had said “I am the creator of all faith and the finisher.” In fact, before anyone knows you, Lord Jesus had already knew you. You must be a mouldable clay so that he can shape you to the instrument that he wanted you to be and be usable for Kingdom of God. So, you are being chastened and now you are already growing and maturing spiritually, you are ready to go into the next stage of spiritual growth, the Servanthood. Congratulations.

Chapter 2 – Servant Hood

Lord Jesus once said “I come to this world to serve, not to be serve.”  Let’s take a look at the story of Joseph. How, from telling the truth of a dream, got his brothers envy and hated him even more.

Ge:37:9: “Look I have another dream, and this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’

Ge:37:10: So he told it to his father and his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him, “what is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and  your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”

This is the starting point where Joseph, in telling the truth was envied by his brothers and this turned into hatred. Thus, the Bible taught us not to envy but gives praise to God for anyone who has something better than you. The whole story on how Joseph was being sold as slave to the Egypt and was later make the Governor of Egypt by Pharaoh can be found from Genesis Chapter 39 to 47  It was actually a prophecy that we has had the privileged to know about it because it was written in the Bible. The reason why Joseph can be promoted many level was, firstly he fulfilled his role as a good servant event under Egyptian rule and he is able to prophesised for the King which is the apparent Authority.  Having the Gift of Prophecy is thus very important, you already have the Gift of prophecy as mentioned in my 1st Audio speech, first, for yourself then for others.

One thing important knowledge I would like to share with all. Satan is blind, he do not know the battle plan of God and he cannot see nor distinguished exactly who are the one who have real faith in God. He is the King of all lies, he needs to work through someone. Just as he is a snake, he needs to sense with his tongue on those people who have openings in their soul,  caused by having pride, lusts, and all sort sins like unforgiveness. These are all hot spots that Satan can sense, penetrate and make use of to influent you to go against God. That’s why you must always be on good faith and guard your heart. Take a look at Old Testament:-

Job:1:7: And the LORD said to Satan, Where do you come from?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking  back  and forth on it.

Job:1:8: And the LORD said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job, there is none like him on the earth, a blameless man, one that fear God, and shuns evil?

You can see that Satan is blind. He can’t see.

Job:1:21: And said, naked I came out from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return to there: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Such is the character of a servant. They always serve the Lord. And whatever the Lord ordered punishment onto him, he will not complain. He still bless the name of the Lord. At time like this, being a servant means you are subject to enslave by authority. Suffered test and persecution, even by own people who would make you a slave. In the end, Job won the favour from God while his 3 friends must be interceded by him  because of their ignorant, they had offended God and God would not speak  to them.

Job, was being rewarded many times more. This is the longest, difficult path that all Christian have to go through. A servant is one who is able to obey the authority. He don’t question the authority. This is the most crucial stage of spiritual growth where you will be put under apparent authority like Joseph and yet is able to recognise and work all things out within the realm of the supreme authority,  Abba Father Jesus. Such ability needs Wisdom from God. Many persecutions and tests will be apportioned to you as a servant. It is a real chastening process where like real gold will pass through the fire and became a more refined pure gold. The faith in Lord Jesus is even stronger as you progress through this process of spiritual growth. Christians have to hold on to their faith, endure to the end, do not be afraid or give up the fighting. God will not test you beyond your ability to hold onto to your faith.

1Cor 10:13:”No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Act 15:10: “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear”

Being able to pass through the servant hood not only strengthen your faith but also increases your spiritual Gifts. You will be like prophets moving from one ground to another telling people of God’s messages and prophesise for people. Many time, when you are on mission, you probably not allowed to have financial prosperity, this has been clearly explained in the Esharingportal.com article, it is a funny title actually, “Clink, Clonk, Clank not allowed on Mission.”

 Knowing and understanding the requirement to be a servant is so important that our Lord Jesus demonstrate this in the last super.

John 13:13-24 “Jesus washed his disciple feets. You call me teacher and Lord, and you said well, for so I am. If I then your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

Being a Servant of God, everything has been provisioned for by our Abba Father Jesus, and he gave you abundant so that you can share with you immediate neighbouring brothers and sisters, you just have to be in absolute obedience to our Holy Spirit and you can progress to the next Spiritual level, the sonship or friend of God.

Chapter 3 – Sonship (Friend of God)

This is the wish of our Lord Jesus, though we must reverence him as our Abba father, our supreme authority, he really wants us to communicate with him as though he is your friend. You are now being exalted to this highest level of Spiritual Growth.

Lord Jesus was the Son of God because he had not failed to defeat the enemy both on earth and lowest part of Hell by dying on the Cross to be our saviour. While Lord Jesus was on earth, he had to reverence God as Father. Now that He is in heaven as ONE with God, we ought to call him our Abba Father. Many parts of the Bible is written as such, Lord Jesus is the Son of God and it is correct in logical theoretical sense. There are people out there, a wolf in sheep skin reverenced himself as chosen Son of God, later claimed his status as equal to Lord Jesus and now even said and proclaimed that he had replaced Lord Jesus, that is Blasphemy!  So, if we can call and reverence Lord Jesus as our Abba Father, then in our mind and spirit we are admitting that we can’t go straight to God but the only way is through Lord Jesus because He is our spiritual father. Not calling nor accepting Lord Jesus as spiritual father also have the risk of Christians worshipping their senior or leader as their idols and thus not considering Lord Jesus as their first call of consultant, the First Love.

James 2:23-24  “And the scripture was fufilled which says, :Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for his righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”

You see then a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Being a son of God, you knew the spiritual battle plan of your father, you are proactive, knowing what to do next. Unlike a servant where you will do only as instructed, neither are you a child, do not know even how to ask for the right thing.  Abba Father Jesus will reveal to you his spiritual battle plan. You are his trusted friend. At this level, you are a Matured Christian, being regarded as true son or daughter of God and you will be able to wield the Sword of God which stands for the living words and the Truth.   You are able to think and wish for things exactly according to God’s will. Many times your wish is being fulfilled without even having prayed for it because you are righteous with God and you only do and say things that Abba Jesus allows you. You are the warrior of God, fearless of the world, ready to put on the Spiritual warfare gear anytime when called upon to go for war. It would be funny if our Holy Spirit had already revealed to you what you will received and yet you had to ask in prayer for things that you knew you will received. Father may speak to you. “Why doubts and ask of it again? You have little faith!” Of course, there are time where Lord Jesus want you to pray for it, such is when you aren’t sure of the battle plan installed for you.

While Lord Jesus was on earth, he relevant God as his father

John 15:1-2 “ I am the true vine, and My father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bear fruits He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

He wants us to reverence him as father and you cannot be a Son of God,  Abba Father Jesus if you were not born of the Spirit and progress through these three levels of Spiritual Growth.

John 15:15 “ No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Abraham was called a friend of God because he is faithful even willing to offer his son as sacrifice when God commanded his to do so.

Genesis 22:2 “Take now your son, your only son Isaac whom you love and got the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering.”

But Abraham is not God, had he sacrifice his son, he would have equal God but God didn’t let him and decided that his son’s life should be spared, instead a ram caught in a thicket by its horn were being offered as burnt offering. We now know, only God offered his only son Jesus as the sacrifice to be the Lamb to die for our sin.

Conclusion: Since you had gone through all the three level of spiritual growths, as you are lead by the holy spirit, there is no problem of you lowering down to whatever level. Sometimes you may have to humble down to be a child, listening to people who are young in spirit, by listening, you can help them actually because you are putting yourself at the lowest level in line with them so that you can understand them better and communicate. Sometimes you have lower to the level of servant hood and sometimes you have to exercise the authority as the Son of God. This is possible only if you are born of the spirit and you had gone through the three level of spiritual growth.

Let’s us pray. “Thank Lord Jesus for this wonderful sharing of knowledge, I pray for everyone who had listened to this audio message that their life will be transformed through the three level of spiritual growth. I also pray in Jesus’ name for those who are still in bondage to the worldliness and selfishness, I pray that they will be release from these bondage. I pray that they will read the bible and understand what Lord Jesus you had warned us about sign of Jonah who was thrown into the belly of the big fish and he repented and did the will of God. Lord Jesus, father you also reminded us of Lot’s wife, how she turned back desiring for the good life that she had. Lord Jesus thank you for the knowledge that one should not turn back for selfishness and lusts for worldliness or we will die just like Lot’s wife who was turned into a pillar of salt. In Jesus’ name, we would like to bless those who had listened to this audio speech and may God bring them from faith to faith and glory to glory. In Jesus precious name, Amen.”

Three level of Spirit Growth agreeds with Dr A.R. Bernard’s sermon on 11/7/2009

STANLEY

A.R. BERNARD

Level 1

Child hood

Prophet

(Prophecy on self first, spread Gospel, reconciling God’s message)

Level 2

Servant hood

Priest

(Spiritual role in helping people, serving and intercede for people)

Level 3

Sonship

King

(Authority, empowering people, governing, knowing God’s battle plan)

Praise the Lord! It was an amazing miracle confirmation from Bernard.
The audio was recorded Jan 2009 and was confirmed correct by Bernard.