The Manifest Sons of _____?!

from Doug Perry - March 18, 2007 -
(Click here for printable - and easier to read - PDF file)
There has been all kinds of wacky teaching on this and I'm sure that I'm going to be accused of all kinds of things where this is concerned.  It's gotten to be just a knee-jerk, finger-pointing thing by now in some circles.  Being from Kansas City, I'm probably extra sensitive to it because I just traveled all over the country and the FIRST question out of most people's mouths when I say I'm from Kansas City is, “Oh, are you with those guys?”  No, I'm not and I never was!  And that's just cause I'm from the same TOWN, for pete's sake!  Now I'm throwing around the very same buzz words that everybody associates with them like “Manifest Sons of God” and it just makes the association look deeper. (I'm talking about the city church, too, but I've already written a lot about the theological differences there.)

And since the Lord won't let me avoid talking about the “manifestation of the sons of God” and I have mentioned it in my writings a few times, evidently it's important that I clarify this in writing.  I say evidently, because the Lord just woke me up at 4:24am and said I had to write about it RIGHT NOW.  So I think He's serious.

First, this isn't a made up term. It's clearly in the Bible.

Romans 8:19 (KJV) – For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Romans 8:19 (Amplified) – For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].

Here is in context:

Romans 8:17-23 (KJV) - 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

There are all kinds of totally over the top teachings and theologies about this and what it means. I'm not going to summarize them here, because that's not my job.  But some of them include people that are bullet-proof or can teleport through walls and are walking in an anointing unlike anything ever seen on earth. That these are people that have achieved some semi-glorified stature and rule autocratically (or theocratically) over “regular” men.  And pretty much everybody that's teaching this kind of stuff is just as sure as they can be that THEY (or their children) are going to be the first ones out of the gate.

My first point is simply that this is not a made-up term. It IS in the Bible, no matter how much men have twisted it.  It's NOT a heresy to believe that at some point, in some manner the earth will see the manifestation of the sons of God.  And the Bible is clear that the EARTH, the creatures of creation that are in bondage to corruption will see it. This can't be just about when we die and go to heaven, because heaven isn't in bondage to corruption. The fact of people dying isn't going to redeem and restore the earth and all of nature that is subject to our corruption.  When Adam fell, it all fell.  Nothing works the way it's supposed to anymore. The ground is under the curse of Adam, the same as is Adam. And creation not happy about it.

Gen 3:17-19 (KJV) – 17 And 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; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 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.

In the Garden, the ground just provided it's fruit willingly and efficiently. Afterwards, man had to toil and sweat. And all of nature and creation groans for the day when IT will be restored.  And somehow, the manifestation of the sons of God is the sign that it either happened or is about to happen. And the creation will know it when it sees it and probably respond somehow. (And it can't have already happened and fulfilled, because creation is clearly still groaning!)

Are you with me so far?  You're not automatically a heretic because you used the phrase “manifestation of the sons of God.”  It's right there in the Bible.  If using the phrase makes you a heretic, then all the “heresy hunter” people talking about it while debunking the heretics are heretics.  (I'll get to that in a minute. Hold onto your hat.)

If you say that you do not have a “Manifest Sons of God” theology, you're a liar.  It's in the Bible and you HAVE to come to a conclusion as to what you believe about it. All the heresy hunters have a doctrine about the Manifest Sons of God – it may be as simple and low-brow as, “Anybody that uses that term is a heretic and I'm gonna bash them.” But that's still a theology. Your theology may be, “I read it, but I don't know what to do with it, so we're going to ignore it.” That's still a theology. You compartmentalized it and labeled it. Some people have it as the banner and standard and end-all-be-all of their ministry and style and emphasis. Some people read it once and decided not to think about it. But in both cases, it's a theology. Do you see?  If you stand up in front of people as a teacher or preacher (or apologist) and yet you say that you are not preaching about the “Manifest Sons of God,” you're a liar.  Even by you're complete avoidance of it, you're preaching about it. That is, you're implicitly taking a stand on it – even it's by the negative or the neutral or the null. 

Please just show some grace. I'm just trying to get you to see that the meaning and application for this passage may be woven a lot more intricately than we think into all kinds of things that we're doing.  Just the mere mention of it in my writings, or even in this detailed writing, doesn't mean I'm in agreement with any or all of the other people that have used the term in a WHOLE variety of ways. 

Just like the “City Church” and the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and “impartation” other things that I talk about, but not in the same way as other people do. Because I believe Pentecost happened doesn't make me a “Pentecostal.” One is a fact of history, the other is a sect. Just because someone in the past has screwed it up doesn't mean we should stop trying to do it right. We can't stop doing everything Benny Hinn does, just because Benny Hinn does it, can we? He wears suits. He takes up an offering. He uses the name of Jesus. Just because he did something doesn't mean it's automatically wrong, does it? 

We make it way too easy for the enemy! All he has to do to kill a perfectly good move of God is have Benny Hinn or Paul Crouch or Bob Jones endorse it and it's leprous as far as most of the “church” is concerned. How easy is that?!  We're such stupid sheep.  Why can't we just judge the fruit and see what comes out the other end? Why do we have to rip and shred every word and nuance – and even people's personal style or history?  I'm warning you, God isn't happy about this.

Anyway, here's my take on Romans 8:19 and definition of the “manifestation of the sons of God” – for what it's worth.

The Holy Spirit is given as a down-payment on our future glory, the fullness of our inheritance. This passage in Romans 8:19 says that it's about people who are walking fully in their adoption as sons of God. Not just a downpayment, but full sonship.  And it's not looking for the sons of God – we ARE the sons of God who are adopted by Him and are written in the Book of Life.  What it's looking for is the “manifestation” of the sons of God.  That doesn't mean a group of people – we are ALL that people. It's look for some people to actually MANIFEST their sonship.  Creation is waiting for Christians to start walking and living and talking and BEING in the fullness of their inheritance!  And I don't think we've really seen that yet on any appreciable scale. (If we had, creation would stop groaning.)

Consider this, the Word says the that Holy Spirit is the earnest, or the down-payment, on our future inheritance. Romans 8:19 says that creation is going to see somebody manifesting the fullness of their inheritance sooner or later.  So maybe there is something beyond being filled with the Holy Spirit?  The Word says that Jesus would come to baptize us with the Spirit and with Fire (Luke 3:16 and elsewhere).  Have we really gotten the fire?  What is the fire anyway?  Is that just more Holy Spirit or something else?  How do you get it? Can you lose it?  Who has ever gotten it all the way?

There have been times, and are now, where creation responds affirmatively to that Fire.  There are places and points in history where God's people came together, got lit up and the environment responded.  Dead, poisoned rivers ran clean again.  Draughts ended, rain came, barren women bore children again and much more.  Isaiah 58 says that will happen, it's right there in the Bible. I'm not making it up.  What if it's predictable? What if there is a recipe that can be followed to get there?  What would it really look like if a son (or daughter) of God were really “manifesting” their sonship?

I'm absolutely sure that I can't get my head around this fully, but here are some elements of it that are entirely Biblical and I would think would be agreeable to everybody except the most hard-nosed, jaded, unspiritual, carnally-focused, anti-Holy Spirit, heresy hunters. (You know who you are.)

If Christians were going to manifest – make evident in the natural realm – their sonship, certain things would probably be common amongst them.

They would no longer be slaves to sin.  Like Jesus wasn't.
They would be all the way dead to self and their own desires or wants.  Like Jesus was.
They would very clearly and accurately hear the voice of God in whatever way He wanted to speak to them and they would obey ALL the time – like Jesus did.
They would love like Jesus did – even their enemies.  Probably especially their enemies. A love that the world is thoroughly unfamiliar with – especially between Christians of all shapes.
They would have authority to do some real damage to the forces of evil. Like Jesus did.
They would not be conformed to this world – in fact they would be loose canons that the world would hate because they refused to “fit in”.  Not just different – other worldly. Like Jesus was.
They would challenge everything and anything that “religion” tried to build or establish that wasn't purely of God.  They would turn over the tables in the temples.  They would know what was Man-made instantly because of their intimate, constant contact with God.  Like Jesus did.
They would be hated and persecuted and killed and tortured and boiled and crucified and quartered and maimed and stoned and anything else Man can think to do to make them knock it off. Like Jesus and the Apostles were. But nobody could kill them unless God said it was their time. Like with Jesus and the Apostles.
They would have a MASSIVE amount of Fear of the Lord. 
They would have a MASSIVE amount of supernatural, unstoppable Faith.
When they prayed, particularly together, things would probably happen. Sometimes really big, surprising things. Not because they are special or have a big anointing, so much as because they only pray what and when God tells them to and He already had something big planned. All they did was speak it forth when He said to. Like Jesus did.
They would be the most gentle, most loving, most service-minded, most humble, most selfless, most sacrificial people you've ever seen. Like Jesus.
They would have a Gift of Repentance. They would be the Ezekiel 9 remnant that's weeping for the sad state of things, even publicly and loudly. They would be the only ones left alive when the dead bodies get piled in the temples. A gift like Jesus and the Apostles had.
I'd be glad to give you scriptures for each of those. Maybe I'll get to it when I wake up.  But if you're reading this looking for a way to prove I'm a heretic and you don't already know that those are all scriptural, you should probably stop reading this (or anything else) and go read your Bible.

Let me expand on a couple of those that are interconnected.  Is it possible to stop sinning?  If you don't think so, then you're in big trouble Biblically, I think.  It's clear from Romans 7 that we are a new creation and we are to be DEAD to sin.  That means that it has no grip on us anymore. That we are overcomers in every sense and that we have beaten what used to come against us and what WILL in the future come against us.  There are repeated commands to go and sin no more, to be perfect as He is perfect and to live a sinless life.  I John 3:9 says that the man that is one of Gods no longer sins.

Are we seeing anything like that on any kind of decent scale?  In fact, aren't we preaching that those are lies and exaggerations and don't mean what they say?  That can't be good.

It IS possible to stop sinning. There, I've said it.  And I'll prove it.

Get your watch out. Now look at the second hand. For thirty seconds, I'm going to ask you to pray without ceasing and just focus on Jesus and the Father and His holiness and your gratitude and praise for Him being so merciful to you.  Maybe repent for something – that'd be nice. Just for thirty seconds, lets just try that together, OK?

Did you do it?  Aw, c'mon!  I'm serious now. It's not too much to ask, is it?!  Be a sport. Thirty little seconds.  Please?  Don't just read this – participate with me here.  This is interactive.  It's 5:44am, and I want to write this fast and go back to bed, but I did it for thirty seconds!  Please?  Could you just give Dad your full attention for 30 seconds?  I'll wait for you to catch up.


OK, during that time you were praying, did you sin?  I didn't.  No lusts, no anger, no evil schemes – I just kept my eyes on Him and worshiped (and I prayed for you, hope you don't mind).  How about you?  So maybe it IS possible to stop sinning sometimes, right? I mean you aren't sinning EVERY single second, are you?  (That would be bad.)  If you can do it for thirty seconds, maybe you could practice and by keeping your focus entirely on Him, you could do it for a minute or two. Maybe if you beat your flesh into submission, and you take captive every thought and bring it into obedience with Christ, and you resist the enemy and He flees, and you keep your cup all the way full of Jesus, and you let Him be your defender – maybe you could go for a couple of hours at a time after awhile.  Maybe someday you could get to the end of ONE twenty-four hour day and you could hear God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That would sure be something. I've heard Him say it.  And it's worth all the effort!  Maybe you could, too. We're not supposed to worry about tomorrow, just take care of today and see what you can do with it.

Maybe you could string a couple of those days in a row.  Maybe you could learn to live there. That would be COOL, wouldn't it?!  But maybe you're just not believing you can, so you're not trying. Maybe you've settled for some sin and by doing so, haven't needed to strive for holiness and righteousness.  But the Beatitudes say that if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you'll be filled!  If you hunger and thirst for compromise and worldliness, you'll be filled with that, too.  I think the Beatitudes are all about one person, not lots of different people. And I think the Beatitudes are a pretty good description of what you would look like if you fully manifested your sonship – and a good description of all the different ways that He would bless you. ( )

Do you know what it takes to stop sinning?  God has been trying to get people to do it since the beginning.  Over and over and over He has told us how and we've ignored Him.  He was talking to Adam and Eve, but they would rather listen to the snake.  He talked to all of the Children of Israel on Mt. Sinai and gave them the Ten Commandments. But it freaked them out so much to hear God actually speak to them that they begged Moses to go see what God wanted because they didn't want to hear Him anymore.  Moses said, “Don't be afraid. He's just testing you so that the fear or the Lord will keep you from sinning.” (Ex. 20:20) That is, if you hear His voice all the time, He will explain those ten little commands to you and show you how they apply to your daily situation.  But, NO, they would rather listen to a man, so Moses went  up on Sinai and got over 600 more laws from God!  And they never do actually end up obeying Moses OR those laws, because they can't hear God so He can't write it on their hearts. But it's on big tablets of stone waved around in front of them. But that doesn't seem to do it. Unless the Lord writes it on our hearts to keep us from sinning, it's not going to work. We've got a lot of pastors waving tablets of stone, but it's mostly not getting written on people's hearts – because only the voice of God can do that.

The Lord gave in to their request to talk to Moses – and later decides that He'll send a prophet from among their own people to talk to them. He meant that He would send His own Son in human form to talk to them – 'cause maybe it won't be as scary as the flaming mountain with the thunder and the lightening and they might actually listen to Him. So He sent Jesus – and we crucified Him just as fast as we could. So Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to talk to us and lead us into all truth and so that no man would need to teach his neighbor because they would ALL know God and the Spirit could explain everything to each person Himself.  But we decided that the Holy Spirit doesn't talk to people anymore.  So here we are again, without the laws of God having been written on our hearts because we'd rather listen to Man.  Because we like our ears tickled and it scares the pants off of us that God might actually talk to us personally because we might have to give up some stuff we like.  So we pay people to pray and seek God and then give us a Sunday morning sound bite of what God had to say to us. (And it better be snappy, humorous, and encouraging or we'll find another oracle.)

The sons of God that begin to manifest their sonship will not listen to Man anymore. Not at all, not ever. They are fed up and they understand VERY clearly who their Dad is and who is the boss. They are the ones that are the answer to God's desire in Deuteronomy 5:29 that there might be somebody willing to hear His voice so that He could keep them from sinning and so that He could bless them and it would go well for them and their children.  He just wants to bless us!  And He knows that unless He Himself teaches us how to walk this path, we'll deviate. And when we get off the Path, His promises of blessing and protection are void. And only He knows the Path and can show us how to stay on it.

And if those “manifest sons” are really, truly hearing God on the fly all the time, then He will probably not just keep them from sinning, but He'll have them say and do stuff that is really, totally over the top as far as the “world” is concerned!  They will be the biggest freaks and crazies the planet has ever seen because they'll probably break every rule of “civil” society. The Old Testament prophets did, John the Baptist did, Jesus and the Apostles did – there's no reason to believe that someone totally filled with the Holy Spirit will be fun and pleasant to be around.  Want to go see a movie with Jeremiah or Elijah? Not if you have any sin in your life! They'll probably find it and tell you about it and ask you how long you're going to keep doing it. That can get old fast!  They may not even want to sit next to you, just in case the lightning bolt hits you in the next few minutes after you ignore them!  A direct mouthpiece for God is probably not a lot of fun to be around if you're not hearing God for yourself.

Go read that list again.  Does that sound like the bullet-proof, semi-glorified, sword-wielding, global-church-governing, Super Mega Power Rangers that some people have predicted?  I don't think so.

But, there is this.  I know dozens of people that can't be killed.  Been hanged, been shot, been electrocuted, been poisoned, been in head-on collisions, been fire bombed, you name it and they won't die.  One guy I know tried to attempt suicide so many times and angels kept saving him that finally an angel just showed up and said, “Would you just KNOCK IT OFF? We're never going to let you kill yourself!”  And he didn't really come to Jesus until years later! (He's very stubborn.)

I don't think this is some future thing that we don't already have.  You see, if God has a job for you to do, until you do it, you're indestructible.  Nobody can kill you until you've done what God has for you to do.  If you're under His headship, walking in His ways, then you're under His protection and there is no better bodyguard in the universe!  But, when He says it's time to come home, nobody can save you either.  There is no reason to be afraid of Man – or even death itself. You should be afraid of God – He's the one that can kill not just the body, but the soul as well!  (Matthew 10:28) He is the one to fear.  And if you walk before Him in fear and reverence and obedience, you don't need to worry about illness or earthquakes or nuclear war or a stray bullet or outright persecution unto death.  Because He's going to take you whenever and however He wants and there's nothing you can do about it.  In fact, you probably will come to hate this place. Like the inside of Lazarus' tomb, this whole planet stinketh. Far better to go home. We're strangers here, this is not where we belong anyway. (Hebrews 11:13)

These aren't day-glow Power Rangers, I think they sound like people that are just being like Jesus.

There are verses that say the Holy Spirit will live in us. There are verses that say the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. There are verses that say Jesus Himself will live in us.  Is that all the same thing?  Why?  Why does it have to be?  Maybe the Holy Spirit is the downpayment on our full inheritance – which is Jesus Himself living in us.  Wow. That would be cool.  What would be required for that to happen?  Probably the Baptism of Fire that was promised, to get us refined enough so that the temple would be cleansed. Maybe a seal (a lid) so that we would be able to stay clean inside (Numbers 19).  Maybe “entire sanctification” is a real thing. There are still lots of denominations that believe it. But maybe we're not really doing it all the way right. (As evidenced by the fact that there are people that believe in entire sanctification that are still members of divisive denominational churches.)  Maybe they're getting a part of it, but not the full package?  Cause mostly they're not hearing God all the way, all the time.  (I've met some of them. They're not all the way cleaned out, no matter what they say.)

Maybe there is something coming.  There has to be something coming that is better, because if this is it, if this giant mess of a “church” is as good as it gets, if this is the “fullness” of His plans for us, if this is peace and joy and victory – then I'm going back to bed now. And when I get up, I'm gonna go get drunk and buy some porn and spit chew on the sidewalk. What's the point if this is as good as it gets?!

There has to be something more. There has to be something coming that is better. And it will probably be about the exact opposite of everything we've been doing in “church”.  It would just about have to be, because everything we've been doing is pretty much exactly backwards from what Jesus taught.  We're teaching humanism and self and shows and entertainment – and powerlessness. We have a “form” of godliness, but we're denying the power thereof.  He said this would happen. I'm pretty sure we've been listening to doctrines of demons for years now.  Who else would benefit most by a theology that's convinced us that we can't stop sinning and we can't hear God? 


OH!  Hey!  The Lord says I'm done. It's 6:49am and I'm going back to bed now. Not sure if that means I'm done writing on this topic or just done for now. I guess we'll see in the morning. Good night!  Love you.


OK!  I'm back. It's 3:29pm on 3/19/07 and I'm fired up now!!  Boy, oh boy! God wouldn't let me come back and write on this until He showed me what comes next.  Thanks Lord! 

This is gonna hurt!  I hope it scars you for life and you never forget it. I hope it sears down deep into your mind and haunts you at night. I hope you can't sleep for weeks. I hope you get up in front of a whole sanctuary full of people and cry like a baby.  Let me know what happens. 

I love you, it's for your own good.  Here we go:

What are the “Manifest Sons of Flesh”?
from Doug Perry - - 3/18/07
The “heresy hunter” folks – that are intent on dissecting every word from any new move of God to find out what's wrong with it so they can marginalize and dismiss it and sound smart – are not going to like this at all.  And that's the idea.  You better be VERY careful before you start throwing stones. We all see through a glass darkly and it would probably be best if we just ALL hit our knees and cried like babies instead of constantly turning and rending each other like wild dogs.   If you're going to poke at me because I optimistically hope and pray that Romans 8:19 means that there might actually be a time when Christians started walking in their Christian-ness – then explain this to me.  Before you give me trouble about some “buzzword” that I used that you don't like, please answer me this:

What are the “Manifest Sons of Flesh”?

You stumped yet?  Here, I'll give you a hint:

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

John 8:44a (KJV) – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.

So the sons of the flesh will also be obvious when the acts of the flesh manifest in their lives and behavior? Does that sound reasonable?  Ok, then let's look at these carefully.  I get murder and adultery and fornication, but what exactly is “heresies”?

Try this on:

—Easton's Illustrated Dictionary
From a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5; Acts 24:5, 14; Acts 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks "heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1Co 11:19). In Tit 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2Pe 2:1).

Here's that verse again in the Darby translation:

Galatians 5:19-21 (Darby)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, disputes, schools of opinion, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revels, and things like these; as to which I tell you beforehand, even as I also have said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit God's kingdom.

Is that for real?!  “Heresies” means “schools of opinion”?!  Heresies means schisms in the church or being a part of starting, building, supporting or defending a sect?!  That's like a denomination, right?

Dude?!  Who's not guilty of that one in America?!  We have more than 37,000 denominations in the Christian church now! (See “Scary Stats” page on the website for references.) How did we get here without “strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, disputes, schools of opinion, idolatry and the like”?! 

I mean aren't theological seminaries by their very DEFINITION just “schools of opinion”?!  Can it be that they are breeding grounds for people full of heresies?  Are we actually enrolling into and paying an institution of Man to make sure that we NEVER inherit the Kingdom of God?!  That would suck.

What does “seditions” mean?

Greek Strong's Number: 1370
Transliteration: dichostasia
Usage Notes:  English Words used in KJV:  division 2, sedition 1, [Total Count: 3]  
from a derivative of <G1364> (dis) and <G4714> (stasis); disunion, i.e. (figurative) dissension :- division, sedition.
—Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

Disunion?!  If we have “disunion” we're not going to inherit the Kingdom of God?!  Ouch!

What about “strife”?

Greek Strong's Number: 2052
Transliteration: eritheia
Vine's Words: Faction, Factious, Strife
Usage Notes: 
English Words used in KJV: strife 5, contention 1, contentious + <G1537> 1, [Total Count: 7] 
perhaps from the same as <G2042> (erethizo); properly intrigue, i.e. (by implication) faction :- contention (-ious), strife.
—Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

What about “envyings”?

Greek Strong's Number: 5355
Transliteration: phthonos
Vine's Words: Envy, Envying
Usage Notes:  English Words used in KJV:  envy 8 , envying 1, [Total Count: 9] 
probably akin to the base of <G5351> (phtheiro); ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite) :- envy.
—Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

In my city we have a 4,000+ member megachurch with a multi-million dollar campus and a whole bunch of other pastors with “building envy” trying as hard as they can to grow so they can be “successful,” too.  Is that the way we're measuring things now?  How many people join the “Purpose Driven” network or the Willow Creek Association in the hopes that it might rub off and they, too, might get to be famous pastors of a megachurch and get a book deal?  That's bad, right?  Even if somebody had it buried WAY deep down inside – that's bad, right?  But can it really keep you from inheriting the Kingdom?  Well, only if the Bible is the Word of God and Galatians 5:19-21 means what it says.

Just so we're clear, does this mean that if you're not being One Body and working together and fully submitting to God and trying REALLY hard at peace – if you're going your own way and picking teams and naming yourselves after men, then you're not going to heaven?  Well, that seems to be what the Word of God is saying. I'm not sure how else to read it!  It says we're carnal and fleshly.

1 Cor 3:1-4 (KJV)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

1 Cor 1:10-13 (KJV)
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

So this is like; I'm for Luther, I'm for Calvin, I'm for Menno, I'm for Rick Warren?  Is that it? We're carnal?!  How can that be?!  But we have all these big buildings!  God is blessing us!  We have best selling books!  How can millions of denominational American's be wrong?  Surely the number of people on our side must prove that we are the “mainstream” and we're right! 

Oh, give me a break!! You're gonna whip that logic out? There are more Buddhists in China than Christians in America!  How can it be that THEY are not right?!  The force of numbers never wins – that's the Broad Way to hell. There's hardly anybody on the Narrow Path. God wiped out the WHOLE PLANET and Noah and his family were the only ones righteous.  Microsoft has big buildings and lots of money, too.  That doesn't mean they're obeying God and under His headship. Satan can prosper you financially. No question. He tempted Jesus with the wealth of all the nations. Is that it?  Maybe we made a deal with the devil?!  Is that how we sold so many books and got all these big buildings?

1 Tim 4:1-2 (KJV)
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

I bet if you bought into the doctrines of devils, they would prosper you so you'd like it and not want to repent!  I bet they'd make you really popular and help you along.  They like ear tickling.  What kinds of doctrines of devils?  Well, here's one that will put your soul in serious jeopardy if you buy into it: 

“God doesn't mind denominations. Go ahead, make another one. Split a church over a vain argument or useless quarrel. It's OK, He won't mind. Purity of your doctrine is more important than love and long-suffering. Besides, how can you love someone that won't agree with you?! God didn't really mean you need to be One Body in the natural, just in the spiritual realms. And you are – so don't feel bad about completely ignoring and marginalizing all the other Christians in town. You're better off without them anyway. Maybe now you can get a new gymnasium!”

Do you reckon maybe that's a “doctrine of devils”? Because it directly contradicts the Word of God and the end result is that they get to kill, steal and destroy your witness, your effectiveness and your soul.

1 Tim 6:3-5 (Amplified)
3 But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God), 4 He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, 5 And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

See any of that stuff in the “church”?  That can't be good, right?  And how are we supposed to deal with people intent on speaking error and lies?  Argue endlessly with them and point fingers?  Nope. Isaiah 58 makes it clear that our light WILL NOT rise in the darkness until we put away the malicious talk and the pointing finger. But we can't turn our back on our own flesh and blood either!  This is a lot harder than people think.  The Narrow Path is a LOT more narrow than what we're preaching! 

Does that passage above mean that we stop speaking the truth in love? No. It means you don't slander people and fight with them, you address them with love as valuable children of God and joint heirs with Jesus and you approach them personally with respect and fear and trembling, lest you be caught in the snare that has them trapped. And it means you withdraw from the fight, not from the person.  You trust God is perfectly capable of fixing His children without you getting enmeshed in their trifling arguments. Stay above the fray and just drop love bombs on them.

2 Timothy 2:23-26 (Amplified)
23 But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.  25 He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it],  26 And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God's] will.

Do we want them eliminated and out of the way? Do we want them to be embarrassed and go off into a cave and die and get out of our hair?  Isn't that the motivation behind so much of our finger pointing at each other?  Shouldn't we rather be willing to suffer wrong? Shouldn't we approach them in humility with fear and trembling so that they might get free and henceforth do His will and be useful to the kingdom? 

Are we doing so well in this war against the forces of darkness that we can really afford to be devouring each other?  Don't we need them rather out of the snare of the devil? Maybe when they get free, they'll be REALLY ticked off and want to draw some blood from the enemy? Maybe they'll be really useful and contrite when they finally come to their senses?  Maybe we should treat them like Joint Heirs with Jesus Christ and kings and priests – instead of pariahs that should be taken out and shot.  This is a WAR!  You don't shoot your own wounded!  You heal them!

I think it's just possible that we've consumed each other and nobody noticed.  I think there is a desperate famine of Truth and love and peace and power. Maybe we consumed it all by constantly chewing on each other until nobody really has any good stuff left, either from attacking or defending.

Galatians 5:13-17 (KJV)
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 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.

If this is all true, then we're in BIG, BIG trouble!  We are the “Manifest Sons of Flesh”!  How else can you look at it!  Who exactly is exempt?  Maybe we ALL need to just hit our knees and weep and repent. We can't possibly be walking in the Spirit if we're the Manifest Sons of Flesh!  This can't mess we have of the “church” can't really be the “kingdom of God,” can it? This can't be the fullness of our inheritance, can it? Cause this stinks!

Maybe there's something else out there. Maybe if we really believed the Word of God all the way and walked in the Spirit, we would be more like this:

Romans 8:1-9 (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 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: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Maybe people that really, really get that – that really are in the Spirit and not in the flesh – maybe they are the  manifestation of the sons of God?  Maybe those who are mostly not here and are tuned into the Spirit ALL the time are the ones that can really inherit this passage?  I don't know, maybe there is some bigger, truer, final application to it someday where they get to fly and glow in the dark and visit other planets – but right now I'd just settle for some Christians that were actually acting like Jesus all the time.  

Shoot, I'd settle for some that acted like Jesus for thirty seconds at a time, but were trying really hard to see if they could do it for just one full day.

1 Cor 3:21-23 (KJV)
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

That verse says that if we will just be led by Him, ALL the time, then everything is ours. Everything that belongs to Christ belongs to us – and everything that belongs to God belongs to Christ!  It sounds like those who really walk in the Spirit have access to everything.  Those who really understand the meaning of the word “ALL” and can get that understanding to come out of them and manifest into the “natural” world might just be the “Manifest Sons of God.”  I have no idea if they will glow in the dark or not.  But I bet they'll be really cool to hang out with!   (Unless you need conviction for sin.)   And the world will probably try to kill them as fast as it can.

So there you go. That's my “Manifest Sons of God” theology in a nutshell.  Feel free to start devouring me.  But I'm just gonna let you make useless noises by yourself – and I'm just going to try really hard to not get a “morbid fondness for disputes and strife about words” and get sucked into it with you.  I hope you escape the snare of the devil so you can be useful someday. I'll pray for you.

In the meantime, I'm not your kid, I'm God's – and He is perfectly capable of whacking me if I need a wake up call.  If you're going to speak the truth in love, I want to hear it.  I'm always happy for a righteous man to rebuke me. I take this verse VERY, VERY seriously:

Psalm 141:5-6 (NIV)
5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers; 6 their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.

If you're a righteous man, give me your best shot – swing for the fences, beat me senseless. I'm all for it.  It is oil on my head and I will not refuse it.  But you need to know that my prayers are ever against the deeds of the evildoers, that their rulers would be cast from the cliffs – like the pigs of the Gadarenes – because UNTIL then they will not be able to see that my words were well spoken.  Until we get the demons and the Red Dragon curse from God off of you, you're really not good for much of anything.  (

I'm not praying against the evildoer themselves – not the person – I'm praying against their DEEDS and their RULERS.  And if I get ahold of their rulers, I'm gonna torture them and squish them – because I love the person with all my heart and I want them free.

So if you're righteous, come tell me where I'm wrong.  If you're not righteous, you might as well save your breath.  If you're doing any of that stuff in Galatians 5:19-21, God says I'm supposed to ignore you.  Don't take it personally.  I'm just trying to obey God.


Deuteronomy 5:29 (KJV)
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep 
ALL my commandments ALWAYS, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! 

If you read that list above and you think it might just be possible to live like that and you'd like to give it a try, we can help. That's what we do, we try to get people to manifest there Jesus-ness all the time. We help people understand the meaning of the word “ALL” and live it.  If you want to get cleaned out, scrubbed down, healed, sealed, jammed packed full of Jesus and ready for war – we can help. Maybe you're already doing all that stuff on the list.  Then we'd love to hear from you and maybe give you a hug and pray together. Whatever the Lord says.  We love you and we want you ALL the way free and walking in your inheritance. It's real and if you don't need to be shortchanged anymore. There's more out there than you know – more than I know, too – and you just need to reach out and get it.
mail to: Doug Perry, FOTM, 844 S. M-291 Highway, #251, Liberty, MO 64068

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