Know no man
1 Samuel 16:1-13
“And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.
And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.
And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”
Even Samuel was mourning for Saul because he thought Saul should still reign over Israel though that wasn’t what God saw. God saw a new king, an unlikely one. He wasn’t like all the others. He was the youngest, the shortest, he wasn’t a warrior. He was just a sheep tender. And God saw Him as the next king over Israel.
He told Samuel not to see as man sees, but God looks at the heart. This is what happens many times in the body, or simply in any church setting. People look at the flesh. They look at what the person looks like, their stature, even character, and the way someone speaks or acts. Many think that God looks at some of these things but He looks at none of it. Not even character, but the heart is the apple of His eye!
Religion places such a demand on character, not realizing that you can honor Him with your lips and your heart can be far from Him. You can have a form of godliness but deny the power. I’d rather have a pure heart before Him with some character flaws than have amazing character but have a stony heart.
Religion looks at the flesh. If you’re good at acting or portraying someone you’re not, you will fit in. Religion is all a show. Everyone knows each other by the flesh, by what each other sound like, do, act, and say, but no one sees in or by the Spirit.
Let’s go back to scripture and really prove this thing. Some would say, “Well, that was Old Testament.” Well, let’s jump to the New Testament and show you what God is really looking at.
2 Corinthians 5:12-18
For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Know no man after the flesh. Know no man after what you see and hear about them. This is how religion is birthed. They see everything by the flesh.
People say you know a fruit by its tree, but sometimes the fruit is artificial. Sometimes you can be seeing the fruit of love in someone, though it may not be genuine love from God. You may see someone with joy, but is it really joy in the Holy Spirit or joy that they can keep living the life that they're living?
And, sometimes, just because someone does something wrong doesn’t mean there is a devil either. Either way, we must know every man by the spirit of God. We must take every man’s words and actions and judge it by the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, and if we do not receive all of our truth from Him, beware what spirit you’re receiving from.
Religion has a lot of truth but is dead. The Holy Spirit speaks truth that carries life, authority, and power on it. He speaks truth that is in context. He speaks truth that compares to the heart and the spirit, not the flesh.
We cannot judge anything in general by flesh or by what it looks like or seems like or what it may even be like now. We need to discern and see everything in the spirit or else we are opening the door to see with a wrong lens. We can even see ourselves in a wrong light, which can create a lot of problems including self-condemnation or pride. Paul said do not think too highly of yourself, meaning do not see yourself as something you are not.
Things are not always what they seem like. The carnal mind was meant to see everything in its own way. The carnal mind is man’s thoughts apart from God. This is the base of rebellion. The flesh is at enmity with the Spirit.
So are you going to go by what your rebellious carnal mind and heart see, or are you going to let the spirit of God interpret everything you see? The Bible has made up 3000 different denominations all because the Spirit of God was not involved in any of them. Man took God’s word and saw it after the flesh and made up their own version of Jesus.
Even the last scripture stated says this: “though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” Even Christ, if we only know Him after the flesh, meaning only by what He’s done and said through His physical body, we don’t know Him at all! The Bible says God is spirit! And those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Yes, it says truth! But not only the truth but spirit! God has given us a new spirit inside that we would hear His voice, that we would feel His touch, and that we would be able to follow and obey in spirit. That we would know the real Him, His real feelings, heart, and intentions that you cannot learn in flesh! And when we only know Him by flesh, we will end up walking in the flesh thinking we’re in the faith but really living by a Jesus of our own making. When we know Him in spirit, we will walk in the Spirit.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Even Jesus was telling Simon, you don’t know me by what you have seen and heard only, though you know me because my father has revealed my identity to you. You cannot experience the reality of Jesus unless you experience Him in your spirit.
People were receiving His words but they weren’t seeing Him as God or the savior. They thought he was Elijah or one of the prophets. They had no revelation. Why? Because they only knew him through the physical realm. They didn’t see Him in the spirit.
So if we cannot even know Jesus by the flesh, because the Bible is basically claiming that if we don’t know Him in spirit we don’t know Him at all, how can we know anyone or anything truly by what we see and hear about them only?
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”
God wanted me to ask you, “If you were Peter, would you have known that these people were holding back money or lying?” Peter had no prior knowledge that these people were holding back money but the Holy Spirit showed Him.
What you see is not true reality. It is in the sense that what you see physically is real, but what you interpret it to be mentally is not always the truth. Real reality is in the Spirit, and if it’s not by the Spirit, it’s by that carnal rebellious nature that spews words that make your spirit dead. We can no longer live shallow lives. We need to go deep. We need to live from within. And when we live from within, we will see that’s within.
2 Samuel 6:14-23
“And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.
And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.
And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.”
I bet you that anyone reading this that saw David and didn’t know David personally would probably stone him or be angry with him. A man dancing naked in public! Yet He was justified in God’s sight. And David said to Saul’s daughter: “What I do is before the Lord.” Is what you are seeing with somebody or something really what you think it is? Is it really evil, or is it before the Lord? Is it really of God? Or is it of Satan?
Whatever it is, you must see it through the eyes of God. We must kill our own perception and see what is really true. And what is really true is what the eyes of God behold.
Seeing in the Spirit doesn’t mean I pretend there is nothing wrong and try to edify and encourage my brother or sister to death or try to see them as mighty or awesome. That’s not seeing each other rightly or in the Spirit, but seeing each other rightly is to see what God shows us about each other. Whether that is good or bad, and for us to see anything rightly, the same applies.
The Bible says judge not, though it also tells us to judge all things by the Spirit. Even Jesus said His judgment wasn’t right, but He also said He judges as He hears from God. God’s judgment was always right, and when you judge through Him, your judgment will be right.
If Jesus judged by the Spirit, what are you judging by?
1 Kings 3:9
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”
God came to Solomon in a dream and said ask whatever you want and you can have it. He could have asked for riches but he didn’t. This is what Solomon asked: That he would understand. That he would judge rightly. That he would be able to judge from kingdom perspective. That he can judge from REAL truth. That he could judge in the Spirit. And God, we ask the same, that if we would have anything, let it be discernment, let it be righteous judgment, and let us know no man after the flesh. Let us know nothing by the flesh. Let us know every man and all things by your Spirit.
By Joe Pinto
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