Gary Carpenter Ministries
Monthly Partner Letter

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Dear Partner,

I have recently been teaching about the difference between our spirit and our soul. The bible is very clear that God is a Spirit [John 4:24]. Knowing that believers are the children of God, then it is clear that at our core we are spirit beings.

1Th 5:23   And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are a spirit. We have a soul. We live in a body. The bible encourages believers to walk in the spirit. There are some very important promises for us if we learn how to do that. Here is just one of them:

Gal 5:16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

What a promise. If we could ever learn to "walk in the Spirit" we could rise above the failings we experience in the flesh. The truth is that most people, even most born again people, do not walk in the spirit. They walk by the power of the soul instead. Most people walk by their intellect, will, and emotions. Even the bible says it is VERY difficult to tell whether you are walking by the spirit (the new nature you received when you were born again) or walking by the soul (the rational intellect, the will of man, and the emotions.) The Word of God is able to tell us which one we are walking by:

Heb 4:12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

In context the writer of Hebrews uses as an example the conclusions reached by the twelve men Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. Out of those twelve men, two gave a good report and ten gave an evil report. But it is important to notice ALL TWELVE MEN OBSERVED THE SAME FACTS! Here is a list of the "facts" observed while they were spying out the land:

  1. It is a land that flows with milk and honey.
  2. It produces excellent fruit (one cluster of grapes required two men to carry).
  3. The people be strong that dwell in the land.
  4. The cities are walled and very great.
  5. We saw the children of Anak there (giants).
  6. The Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, and the Canaanites live there (all of these were famous for being fierce warriors).

The Old Testament is filled with "types and shadows" to help us understand the New Covenant. The reason the writer of Hebrews uses this example is that it demonstrates the difference between how the soul functions compared with how the reborn human spirit functions. Faced with identically the same facts, the soul reacts one way and the reborn human spirit reacts completely opposite. Ten of the spies represent the soul. Two of the spies (Joshua and Caleb) represent the spirit. First let's see how the soul reacts to these facts. The soul observed the facts and came to this conclusion:

Num 13:31-33   But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

This is the typical reaction of the soul. The soul is "moved by what it sees." It weighs in the balance the obstacles it sees compared with its own strength. It will always come to a "natural" conclusion based on "observed" facts. Joshua and Caleb represent the reborn spirit of man. The spirit weighs in the balance the same facts but compares them with the strength of God. Notice they observed the identical facts but look at the difference in the conclusion:

Num 14:6-9   And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

God is a Spirit. We are God's offspring which means at our core we also are spirit beings. It is with our spirit that we believe God. Our spirit is the supernatural, "born of God" part of us. When we hear His Word and believe what He says THAT is when we are functioning by our spirit and not our soul. We don't deny the facts. With God's power, we OVERCOME the facts! We do not fear circumstances. We believe what God has said.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,


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