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    What does this mean and is it relevant in today’s world and if so, how relevant?

    John chapter 11 tells a wonderful story of a man who died and Jesus raised him from the dead. It is a story of Lazarus. It is a story of us. You see, we too were dead, rotting because of death and releasing an unsavory stench of rotting flesh that drives others away from us.

    Jesus calls Lazarus by name and each of us were called individually by name to come into life when we were dead. Jesus did not call into that place of the dead, “Hey Y’all, come on out!” He call each of us by our name, individually. 

    When Lazarus came out of the tomb, he was still completely bound by his grave clothes and had a cloth wrapped around his head. Because his legs and arms were not free and being blinded by the napkin around his face, there was nothing more Lazarus could do but just stand there.

    It is actually the same with us once we are born again. Like new born babes, we are unable to take care of ourselves. We are unable to walk, to speak, to see clearly or use our hands. We are completely bound by our inability to move about in life unless someone comes to take care of us.

    With Lazarus, what disease had taken his life was no longer there. When Lazarus died, so did the thing that killed him. But even as this was so, Lazarus was still not completely free. He was alive but still bound. There was one more thing that needed to happen. One more thing needed so he could move about and live an active lifestyle.

    Similarly, once we are born again and that disease called sin has been removed and is no longer active, there remains just one more thing we need to have happen and just as Lazarus was not able to free himself from his grave clothes, we too are unable to free ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom and liberty Jesus promises to each one who believes in Him.

    Today, when a person is born again, those nearest him or her, will counsel them what they need to do next. Typically and not necessarily in the same order:
    1-Read your bible
    3-Go to church

    Nothing is mentioned at all about having his or her’s grave clothes being removed and no one nearest to him or her will begin to remove those bindings and hindrances that will prevent this new born babe in Christ see and walk clearly in their new life. Instead, they will confess that “we see through a glass darkly or we know in part and prophecy in part”. Even those who have been “saved” for many years, still proclaim this same thing, “for we see through a glass darkly, our faith is no bigger than a mustard seed, we prophecy in part”.

    I look back on my life and these things I am saying happens today, happened the same way to me by those who surrounded me and gave me their best advice of what my next step in this new life needed to be. Also, today I can look back and understand perfectly well why it is those around me said those things. They spoke about those things because they too have not had anyone come to them and remove their grave clothes and have come to expect that what they experienced as bound up Christians that this was the “normal” Christian life. A life where the tiny mustard size seed of faith never grows, where our spiritual sight can never improve beyond seeing through a glass darkly and where we are bound, for as long as we live in this body of flesh, to only know in part and prophecy in part.

    Consequently, we have churches filled with perpetual “babes in Christ” who are always struggling with their flesh, have very little to no patience, know nothing about taking authority over the powers of darkness, walk in sickness and disease, are fearful of every form of wickedness, do not read their bibles but let the pastor do all the spiritual work because this is why they pay him and the most damning part, are asleep when we are called to rise up because the Son has risen with healing in His wings.

    At the tomb of Lazarus, once Lazarus was now risen from the dead and standing before Jesus and all those who were alive, Lazarus was alive but not free. Jesus did not tell him to:
    1-Read your bible 2-Pray 3-Go to church 4-Tithe, as his next step in this new life. No, Jesus made no mention of any of those things. In fact, Jesus gave Lazarus no further instructions at all. Jesus “did” speak to those nearest Lazarus. He gave just one simple but all important task, “LOOSE HIM AND LET HIM GO”. Jesus did not speak to the grave clothes but to people. He didn’t just speak to everyone but to those who were nearest to Lazarus. And those Jesus spoke to were folks who were dead but alive and were not still bound by their own grave clothes but were wearing the clothing of the living.

    Once a person has come to faith in Christ, those nearest that person, are commanded by Jesus to “Loose Them and Let Them Go!” He is not speaking to those who are still bound hand and foot and still blinded but He speaks to those who have been freed from not only sin but the bondages of sin.

    You see, there is a great difference between “active sin” and the bondages that came as a result of sin. The grave clothes of Lazarus do not represent sin but rather represent the “results of sin” which include “attitudes, mindsets, judgments, vows/oaths, and all those strongholds established by the powers of darkness who changed the expectations and perspectives that helped to shape our lives and still have influence that gauges for us what we consider good, safe, right and wrong, etc.”

    These are the grave clothes that still bind us today and unless we are freed from them, we can never walk in that freedom and liberty promised by the Lord our God and Savior. 

    As long as these remnants of our sinful lives remain, we still bear in us that awful smell of death. This explains why we are still so vulnerable to our fears, our poor expectations, our poor image of ourselves, our guilt and condemnation. Many Christians today still struggle with whether they are truly saved and oftentimes, when their world comes crashing down around them, will wonder if they are truly children of God. These are the ones whose faith never grows into that great tree Jesus spoke of. These are the ones who still cannot see clearly into the realm of the Spirit which is the kingdom of God, in whom their understanding is still darkened. These are the ones who do not know themselves as they are known by their Heavenly Father. They still believe that they will never grow beyond “knowing in part and prophesying in part or know as they are known.” To these who are still bound by their grave clothes, all those promises are viewed as only being fulfilled after their bodies die and they are in heaven. 

    These are the ones who will scoff at those who say we can live a victorious life now, in this life. These are the ones who believe that God no longer works in the lives of people to heal, to deliver, to do miracles but only did that at the beginning in the first century. These are the ones who believe the lie that what was to come that is perfect is the collection of written books we call the New Testament.

    These remain bound in their smelly grave clothes and have accepted a lie that states that their lives they live today is all we can expect as born again spirit filled Christians. Christians, powerless to move about freely until this body of flesh dies, powerless to live holy lives, powerless to live sinless lives, powerless to heal others in Jesus’ name, powerless to cast out devils, powerless over every sickness and disease, powerless to live like Jesus lives. In their view, if they see another person walking in this power of God through Christ’ resurrection, they still do not believe it is for them but only to that one or those few because God has given them a special kind of anointing that He gives to the very few “special ones”. These are the ones, still bound, who believe God’s power to set one free, is for everyone else but themselves.

    Do you see this pattern? The ones who have the greatest amount of difficulty and are most often defeated and hopeless but still name the name of Jesus as their Savior, are actually still standing outside their own tomb, bound head to toe with grave clothes and no one has come to obey the commands of the Lord Jesus to “loose them and let them go”.

    Our brethren cannot grow into maturity because they are still bound in their grave clothes with the same mindsets, attitudes, expectations and perspectives they had when they were dead. Because this is so pervasive in the church with nearly everyone so bound up, the need for true laborers, those who have been made free from their grave clothes, is acute. What is even more needed is a clarion call to all Christian leaders to know what is truly around them according to the Spirit’s definition and not their own, and begin this incredible task of the call of God first heard in ancient Egypt spoken by Moses to the pharaoh, “Let My People Go!” God’s people, the children of Israel, have lived all their lives for 400 years in bondage, never knowing freedom and liberty and with the expectation that “my father’s father and my father and my children and my children’s children will all be bound as slaves...It is our lot in life!” They had good reason to doubt their deliverance because bondage is all they have ever known. Even when freed from their bondage, they did not know how to live as free men. They still maintained a slave’s mindset with the lowest of expectations and no hope. 

    It was this very “mindset”, established since before they were born and maintained since their birth and now in life’s experiences, that ruled them even after they were set free from Egypt. It is this mindset and expectation of nothing good could ever come their way, always expecting the worse, that kept them from entering into the land promised by God, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land overflowing with abundance and freedom, a land of freedom and liberty, a land of eternal hope for them, their children and their children’s children.

    The only ones who was eventually able to enter into this land of wonder were the children of that generation who were less than 20 years old when they left Egypt. These did not grow into their adult years with the yoke of bondage and slavery working to establish in them the same defeatist mindsets and poor expectations and perspectives that ruled in their parents’ lives.

    God has ordained from before the beginning of His creation to redeem mankind from their sin so that we all may be restored to the kind of living relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed before their rebellion, only this time, we would no longer rebel against His commandment but will choose to obey every word that proceeds from His mouth.

    To accomplish this, God set up for us, example after example in the scriptures so that “he who has ears to hear may hear and be made free and He who eyes to see may see and find the Way, the Truth and the Life in the person of Jesus the Christ.”

    This example found in John 11 is just one of many examples God has planned since before the foundation of the world, that we should find and understand so that we as men, can finally come to “understand our way” because He has revealed His way in the person of Jesus Christ.

    So the question remains, do you see yourself still struggling with sin in your life? Can you actually believe it is possible to be perfect as God is perfect and to live out the rest of our lives in this world without sin? If you still cannot “see” this truth, then you are one who still has that grave clothes napkin wrapped over your face which prevents you from entering into and enjoying the kingdom of God while here in this earth. Now it is time for you to fast and pray and seek the face of the Lord, calling out to Him that this napkin be removed and once you can see into the realm of the Spirit, ask Him to remove those spiritual grave clothes that prevent your ability to move and work in freedom and the liberty of the Spirit.

    A whole new world is about to open up to you and the time of your freedom and deliverance is at hand. Make the choice and God will make it happen and once you have been made free, go and work to release the captives nearest you remembering this, Jesus is coming back for a Bride who “has made HERSELF ready” to be His perfect Bride.

    As a close to this message, I believe it is fitting to look at what God said through one of His prophets in the Old Testament that accurately describes what a New Testament Christian should look like.
    Isaiah 58:6-14 (NKJV)6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:To loose the bonds of wickedness,To undo the heavy burdens,To let the oppressed go free,And that you break every yoke?7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;When you see the naked, that you cover him,And not hide yourself from your own flesh?8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,Your healing shall spring forth speedily,And your righteousness shall go before you;The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;You shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.’‘If you take away the yoke from your midst,The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,10 If you extend your soul to the hungryAnd satisfy the afflicted soul,Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,And your darkness shall be as the noonday.11 The Lord will guide you continually,And satisfy your soul in drought,And strengthen your bones;You shall be like a watered garden,And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.12 Those from among youShall build the old waste places;You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,From doing your pleasure on My holy day,And call the Sabbath a delight,The holy day of the Lord honorable,And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,Nor finding your own pleasure,Nor speaking your own words,14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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