EXERCISING YOUR SPIRIT
by Tony Alamo
Christians must clearly understand the different functions of their hearts and of their spirits. Our hearts enable us to adore, love, and desire GOD, but our hearts do not enable us to contact GOD on a continuous basis. The ability to contact GOD is found within our spirits. “GOD is SPIRIT: and they that worship HIM must worship HIM in spirit and in TRUTH” (John 4:24). This scripture doesn’t say “heart;” it says “SPIRIT” and “TRUTH.” JESUS is the TRUTH, and JESUS is the WORD of GOD.1 So the WORD of GOD says we must worship HIM in spirit and in TRUTH. Again, the WORD, JESUS, doesn’t say heart, but says spirit and TRUTH. We can contact GOD, communicate with HIM, only by our spirit.2
Concerning the things of GOD, our heart has a willingness, but only the spirit has the necessary ability.3 My heart can have the desire to swim, but if I really want to swim, I must get into the river. GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT is the river of LIFE.4 When our heart is willing and our spirit is exercised, we can contact GOD, swim in the living water, communicate with GOD, and hear from HIM.
If we have an able spirit, but an unwilling heart, we will not be able to contact GOD. If we have a willing heart, but an unexercised spirit, we still will not be able to contact GOD. Therefore, we must deeply understand that the heart is related to willingness and the spirit to ability.
I often see many people calling themselves Christians that do not have a heart for GOD. True Christians can see that these kind of people are not willing to receive GOD and do not desire GOD. When a person has a heart for GOD, he is willing to receive GOD and desire GOD. This is the first step. The second step is to exercise the spirit. It is not enough for a person to have a heart and use only his heart; he must exercise his spirit as well. Many people have a heart for the LORD, but few exercise their spirit to contact HIM.
Here are a few examples as to why I contact GOD.
(1) I seek GOD in my spirit always. One day, GOD told me to tell Sandford White, a member of the church that I pastor in Canyon Country, California, that he should no longer ride his bike to work. Sandford said, “But that’s how I get my exercise.” I said, “You should do what GOD says. I’ll buy you a stationary bike.” A few days later, early in the morning, I got a phone call from his wife who was crying, saying, “Sandford is dying! Sandford is dying!” I asked her, “What’s wrong? What caused him to be dying?” She told me that he was riding his bike to work when the tire of his bike hit a railroad crossing the wrong way. His tire got caught in the track. It happened so fast that he didn’t have time to take his hands off the handlebars, and he flew face down into the railroad tracks. His nose was sloughed off, he broke his teeth off, he had to have 5 metal plates placed into his head, and a lot of his face was sloughed off.
When I told Sandford the thing GOD told me, he should have gotten into the spirit and contacted the LORD. He should also love his wife. But Sandford doesn’t see or contact the LORD, he doesn’t love his wife, and he doesn’t like reproof. He later wrecked one of our church buses. To hear Sandford, you would think that he really loves GOD, but if you really knew him, you would know that he doesn’t seek GOD at all.
(2) There are two sisters in the church, who are actual sisters in the flesh as well. They too never seek GOD at all, and they pay no attention to me, who seeks GOD in the spirit all the time. They know the rules of the church, one of them being that under no circumstances are boys and girls to be together. Married and single men and women are also not allowed to mingle together. GOD told me not to allow this, but both of these sisters feel they don’t need to listen to what GOD says if they consider something to be an emergency. They have no desire to impress GOD. They feel that their leadership (which is not leadership) is greater than GOD and that their leadership is greater than the leadership of those that do seek GOD. Their lives are always full of catastrophes and are without direction. They have caused people to commit adultery, even one of their own children. They’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars of the LORD’S money, and they seem to be unstoppable because they are so self-willed. To tell the whole story about them would take volumes. They do not seek at all GOD in the spirit. This is a chronic problem with many people in the churches I pastor in Los Angeles, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of the world.
One of the excuses I received from one of these women (she was using it in an attempt to deceive me when she is the one who was deceived) is that certain people live across the street from the apartment house. I know this ten thousand times better than she does, but again I say, while praying, the LORD told me to move them into the apartment house. When the LORD tells me to do something, I know that it is safe to do what HE tells me to do. If she would have done what the LORD told me to tell her to do, two people’s wives would still be in the church, and her own sixteen-year-old son would still be in the church. However, until the day she dies she will think she is smarter than GOD and believe there is no need to seek HIM in the spirit, or to seek leadership for direction. She has been lying for years, and thinks that she has not been detected, that she is wise, but she really is a very stupid and very ungodly woman. If a person will not seek the LORD, they should consult those that live in the SPIRIT and do seek the LORD.
It is precious when a brother or a sister has a heart for the LORD and loves the LORD. It is even more precious when they exercise their spirit to contact the LORD. The heart needs to be moved and the spirit needs to be exercised. The heart is related to emotion, and the spirit is related to ability. It is not enough simply to have a heart; we must also learn to exercise our spirit in prayer to the LORD.
In order for a person to exercise his spirit, they must first have a willing heart. If they are unwilling to seek and love GOD, they will not be able to exercise their spirit.5 This is because our heart is the base, and our spirit acts according to the heart. We can exercise our spirit only when we love GOD and desire GOD with our heart.
GOD’S renewing of our heart is for our heart to be softened, and HIS renewing of our spirit is for our spirit to be enlivened.6 This is the reason HE gives us a new spirit in addition to a new heart.7 If a person merely has a willing heart, he will still not be able to contact GOD. In order for him to contact GOD, he must exercise his spirit. We may desire GOD but still not contact GOD. We can contact GOD only when we exercise our spirit. This is the reason GOD gives us a new heart and a new spirit.
“The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the SPIRIT is LIFE and PEACE” (Romans 8:6). Whenever we feel weak, there is a sense of death within us. Whenever we are in pain, there is a sense of death within us. Whenever we feel dark, there is even more of a sense of death within us. We need to be clear that these negative feelings—weakness, emptiness, depression, darkness, and pain—are all related to the sense of death. They are senses of the flesh.8 In contrast, the positive feelings of being strong, satisfied, lively, bright, and restful are all related to the sense of life. They are senses of the SPIRIT.9 When the SPIRIT tells me to move people into the apartment house, HE (the SPIRIT) means that it’s safe to move the children or people into the apartment house. But, the two women that I mentioned above, operating in the spirit of death—weakness, emptiness, depression, darkness, and pain—feel that GOD gives frivolous instructions. They pay no attention to the leading, guidance, and direction of the LORD’S SPIRIT. Is it any wonder that their lives are in such utter confusion?
(3) Then there was Frankie. Frankie was an ace salesperson in our magnificent clothing store in Nashville, Tennessee. This is where all the major superstars shopped. I had him and Bob Kitchner come to Los Angeles, where I was at the time. A boot salesman from Spain was coming into Los Angeles to meet with Frankie and Bob the next day. Frankie’s mother and sisters were also coming to spend the next day with him. That afternoon, while I was praying, the LORD told me that Frankie had to go back to Nashville that night or something terrible would happen to him the next day. Frankie told me, “But what about the boot salesman from Spain, and my mother and sisters coming to visit me tomorrow?” I told him, “You better do what the LORD says.” He argued, “But the salesman from Spain and my mother and sisters, and what about Bob Kitchner? Why doesn’t he have to go back to Nashville, too?” I told him, “The LORD didn’t tell me that Bob Kitchner had to go back, but you have to go back or something bad will happen to you tomorrow.”
He kept calling me on the phone. He came to the door of my house at least six times with the same argument. So I told him, “Look Frankie, the LORD said something terrible will happen to you if you don’t go back to Nashville tonight. I’ll pay for your mother and sisters’ transportation to Nashville, and I’ll pay for the boot man from Spain, for his transportation to Nashville. I'll pay for their hotel rooms, and I’ll pay for their transportation back to wherever they’re from. But believe me, Frankie, GOD doesn’t give out frivolous instructions. But if you insist on staying here in Los Angeles, do it. It’s no skin off of my nose. I’m just telling you what GOD said.”
The next day, I got a call. The boot salesman from Spain was driving the car. Frankie was in the front seat with him, and Bob Kitchner was in the back seat. They got in a car accident, and Frankie’s heart was crushed. They called me from the hospital. I went there to see Frankie, along with several people from the church. The doctor called me aside to tell me that Frankie’s heart was crushed, and he wouldn’t live through the night, but I was not to tell Frankie. The doctor showed me the reading of Frankie's heart condition on a strip of paper; it was like long, giant waves flowing instead of up and down lines for the heartbeat. I immediately went to Frankie’s bedside and told him what the doctor said. It would have been against the will of GOD to not tell Frankie of his critical condition. I told Frankie that the doctor said he wouldn't live through the night, but GOD had told me that if he prayed and touched HIM, he would live. I said, “Frankie, you don’t listen to GOD, but if you don’t listen to HIM this time, you will die. This is not only from the doctor, this is from GOD. You must touch GOD tonight, or you’re over with.” And Frankie said, “I will.” So I prayed for him with the members of the LORD’S church which I pastor. The next morning, Frankie was alive.
I gave this testimony in the church several times, and it embarrassed Frankie, so he said that it never really happened. My wife went into a rage because she was there when he was calling my house and knocking on the door of my house, begging to stay in Los Angeles. I had to put him out of the church because he didn’t want to give GOD the glory, because he was in essence saying that everything that happened was a lie and was saying that I was teaching fallacy, making me to be a false prophet, making the entire church to not believe me. There were so many witnesses that knew it was no lie that it would have caused other truthful people to backslide if I didn’t put him out of the church.
Ironically, Frankie’s mother and sisters never showed up in Los Angeles or at the hospital. And the boot salesman from Spain said that he would have gladly gone to Nashville to be with Frankie. Frankie had a full head of hair. He was a Latino. His name was Frankie Herrera. All of his hair fell out. He’s been gone from the church for a long time now. He obviously was not a believer. His heart and spirit were not into the LORD. If Frankie is still alive, I will instruct him as I do everyone else to immediately get into the river of LIFE because great destruction is coming upon the earth very soon.10
The Apostle John in 1 John 1:2-6 reports unto us, “(For the LIFE [CHRIST] was manifested, and we [the apostles who walk in the SPIRIT and pray in the SPIRIT] have seen IT [CHRIST], and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal LIFE [CHRIST, the WORD of GOD], which was with the FATHER, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the FATHER, and with HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of HIM, and declare unto you, that GOD is light, and in HIM is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with HIM, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”
Jennifer and Misheal, the two sisters mentioned above, walk very much in darkness, not at all in the SPIRIT. Somehow they believe it not to be necessary. They’re condemned unless they repent, and soon! They feel that every move they make is of GOD, and it is not. Romans chapter 8, verses 1-2 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the SPIRIT. For the law of the SPIRIT of LIFE in CHRIST JESUS hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
”Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a). We must swim always in the river of LIFE, which emanates from the throne of GOD.11 To enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, you must stay in the SPIRIT of the LORD, which is the RIVER OF LIFE.12 Therefore, you may never forget this vision if you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Here is the vision that will keep you from perishing: “And [the angel of the LORD] showed me [the Apostle John] a pure river of water of LIFE [this is a vision], clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of GOD and of the LAMB [JESUS]. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river [of LIFE, the HOLY SPIRIT], was there the tree of LIFE, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of GOD and of the LAMB shall be in it; and HIS servants shall serve HIM: And they shall see HIS face; and HIS name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the LORD GOD giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the LORD GOD of the holy prophets sent HIS angel to show unto HIS servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I [JESUS] come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:1-7).
This is where everything on earth ends and everything in eternity will go on forever. And, of course, there will be more people in Hell and the Lake of Fire than there will be in Heaven.13 Get your reservation in now. Say this prayer, then study GOD’S WORD, do what HIS WORD says to do, and continue until HE comes. Say this prayer. Then be baptized, fully submerged in water, in the name of the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Study the King James Bible and do what it says until the day you die.
My LORD and my GOD, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of the living GOD. 2 I believe that HE died on the cross and shed HIS precious blood for the forgiveness of all my former sins. 3 I believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT 4 and that HE sits on the right hand of GOD at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart, and I invite YOU into my heart, LORD JESUS. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that YOU shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 YOU will not turn me away, LORD JESUS; YOU will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because YOUR WORD, the Bible, says so. 8 YOUR WORD says that YOU will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that YOU have heard me, and I know that YOU have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank YOU, LORD JESUS, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as YOU command and sin no more.11
Now that you are saved, make sure you are baptized, fully submerged in water, in the name of the FATHER, in the name of the SON, and in the name of the HOLY SPIRIT (Matthew 28:18-20). Serve GOD with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Study the Scriptures, and do what they say until the day you die (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-17).
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Exercising Your Spirit footnotes:
5. Gen. 6:5, Ex. 35:4-5, 21-22, 25-29, 36:1-4, Deut. 5:29, 6:4-9, 8:2, 11-17, Josh. 24:23, Psa. 27:8, 53:1, 66:18, 78:34-37, Matt. 12:35, 15:7-9, Luke 6:45, 8:4-8, 11-15, 12:34, Rom. 2:5-9, Heb. 10:19-22 return
9. Joel 3:9-10, 16, Isa. 40:31, 59:19, Matt. 7:24-25, Luke 11:34-36, John 8:12, 12:46, 16:33, Rom. 6:16-23, 7:5-6, 8:1-17, 28, 31, 35-39, 2 Cor. 12:10, Eph. 1:17-23, 3:16-21, 6:10-18, Phlp. 4:13, Col. 1:10-13, 29, 2 Tim. 1:7, Jas. 3:11-18, 1 Pet. 2:9, 1 John 1:4-7, 2:14, 4:4 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return