Publication Date: 08-03-1980
Victor Paul Wierwille was a Bible scholar and teacher for over four decades.
By means of Dr. Wierwille's dynamic teaching of the accuracy and integrity of God's Word, foundational class and advanced class graduates of Power for Abundant Living have learned that the one great requirement for every student of the Bible is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Thus, his presentation of the Word of God was designed for students who desire the in-depth-accuracy of God’s Word.
In his many years of research, Dr. Wierwille studied with such men as Karl Barth, E. Stanley Jones, Glenn Clark, Bishop K.C. Pillai, and George M. Lamsa. His formal training included Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Mission House (Lakeland) College and Seminary. He studied at the University of Chicago and at Princeton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Theology degree in Practical Theology. Later he completed his work for the Doctor of Theology degree.
Dr. Wierwille taught the first class on Power for Abundant Living in 1953.
Books by Dr. Wierwille include: Are the Dead Alive Now? published in 1971; Receiving the Holy Spirit Today published in 1972; five volumes of Studies in Abundant Living— The Bible Tells Me So (1971), The New, Dynamic Church (1971), The Word's Way (1971), God's Magnified Word (1977), Order My Steps in Thy Word (1985); Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975); Jesus Christ Our Passover (1980); and Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed (1982).
Dr. Wierwille researched God's Word, taught, wrote, and traveled worldwide, holding forth the accuracy of God's "wonderful, matchless" Word.
“Athletes of the Body”
Victor Paul Wierwille
August 3, 1980
- Sunday Night Teaching (1029) Transcript -
Corps Week Opening
New Knoxville, Ohio
I’d like for you to take your Bibles and turn to Luke 24. Athletes of the spirit are athletes of the Word . . . for the Word is our rulebook. The glorified body of Christ, people, is the highest perfection of matter for the enjoyment and services in the kingdom of God in the heavenly state.
On this the last Sunday of our teaching year before we open next Sunday with the year of “Your Call to Service” I think it’s appropriate to consider once again the renewed mind, the key to power.
I’ve been dwelling in my thoughts . . . [Dr. Wierwille taps podium several times.] . . . and in my continuing working of the Word on just how far could an individual believer go as an athlete of the spirit in keeping his body fit with the indwelling presence of Christ within.
We know the experiences of two men on the road to Emmaus . . . and in Luke 24, verse 6 it was reported on what we refer as Easter Sunday morning, the first day of the week “He is not here but is risen” for God had raised him from the dead. The one and only individual who has ever been raised again from the dead. And on that same day in verse 27, he appeared to two of the men on the road to Emmaus.
27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit [or somethin’].
38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40And when he had thus spoken, he shewed unto them his hands and his feet.
41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43And he took it, and did eat before them.
44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise out from the dead the third day:
47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48And ye are witnesses of these things.
49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50[And then later on verse 50] And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51[On the day of the ascension, 40 days after the resurrection.] And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
[Dr. Wierwille taps podium again slowly.] I said to you when I opened tonight that the glorified body of the Christ is the highest perfection of matter for enjoyment and services in the kingdom of God in the heavenly state.
In the latter part of this section that I read . . . and I thought of these things during these last weeks while doing the Advanced Class . . . I thought about the spiritualists and their teaching on the celestial as well as the terrestrial travel – how Jesus Christ was on the road to Emmaus, broke bread with them – then a little while later he was up in the room where the eleven were gathered together. And he said “Here is my hands . . . see it, feel it, handle me. He said give me something to eat and he ate it. I thought about the terrestrial as well as the celestial travel that the spiritualists promulgate. I thought of Colossians, for instance – 1:27.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of [What? (glory)] glory:
Christ where? (In you) In you! Christ in you! I thought of I Corinthians 13:12.
I Corinthians 13:12:
For now we see through a glass, [What? (darkly)] darkly; but then [What? (face to face)] face to face: [face to face!] now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Just what can happen in my body . . . what can happen in your body . . . what can happen in my body with the Christ in me, the hope of glory – with your body . . . that same living, resurrected, ascended Christ . . . I don’t know kids, but I wanna tell ya it’s far bigger than you and I have ever been taught. It’s far bigger than anybody has ever dared to take us . . . to show it to us in God’s Word. [Dr. Wierwille thumps podium.] It is bigger. When you are born again of God’s spirit you have Christ in you, the hope of glory. The same Christ, honey, who walked the road to Emmaus in that resurrected body appeared . . . they saw him . . . he broke bread with ‘em . . . he ate with ‘em . . . he appeared in the upper room. [Dr. Wierwille taps podium.]
As I was thinking today and yesterday about my sharing my heart and my life with the Corps on their return tonight and the rest of our people that are in here, I thought “How can I make this thing living and real to you so you can see it bigger?” Because we have never quite thought about the beauty of the body . . . the physical body that has the Christ in you . . . the living reality of God almighty in your physical body! And as I said as athletes of the spirit we are athletes of the Word – for the Word is our rulebook. That’s the text we play by.
The conquest for deliverance is over with. The conquest is fought – the battle is done. It’s over, people! Because Christ did it! Christ fought the battle . . . He died. He gave his life. He did it. The conquest – the fight is over with. That’s why our armor is not an armor of fighting. It’s not a shotgun nor a revolver or spear or a sword. The fight is over with! The battle has been won! He is a complete savior. Saved to the uttermost. It’s all over with. The battle is finished. The only battlefield left is your mind. Because you cannot believe nor will you believe . . . you don’t desire to really believe what the Word really says you are when you have Christ in you the hope of glory! Ours is no longer a conquest; ours is a contest - a competition against yourself. It is not even a contest against any other believer in the running of the race of life for it is not a comparison of yourself against any other believer . . . it is not a contest in the running of the race where you look back – you always look ahead, pressing on towards the mark of the prize of the upward calling in Christ Jesus. The moment you begin to look back you lose the race.
It’s not a question, people, of a contest, it’s not looking back . . . it is looking unto him who is the author and the finisher of faith – who is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The contest is always against yourself. It’s a contest for the finish line . . . looking towards that finish line.
I made the following notes as I thought of this teaching especially to my Corps and all of you believers here tonight . . .
The spirit and the soul of every believer is vitally influenced by the conditioning habits of our physical body. Unclean physical habits will break the sonship fellowship with the Father, binding our spirit – the Christ in you, the hope of glory in bondage. And the battle between the physical body – the drives in that physical body – and the needs . . . in that battle of that physical body and the spirit of the Christ in you, the hope of glory . . . without renewed mind believing according to God’s word, the body will always win. [Dr. Wierwille taps podium slowly.]
When the mind for the body takes over contrary to God’s word, the spirit suffers and the believers live below par. You see, the spirit of the God in Christ in you, kids, has no drive of its own in you. It is the dunamis, the potential, the power. It only becomes kinetic when you operate it by the freedom of your will to believe it and put it into practice. Therefore the spirit of God in Christ in you is controlled by the mind of every believer like the body is controlled by the mind. In Romans chapter 6 . . . Romans 6, verse 6.
Knowing this, that our old man [“was crucified” is the text. It is not is being crucified]…
It’s another one of these stupid forgeries they put in the translation . . . changing the whole verb form – teaching that, you know, you go through the mass today and the mass tomorrow – it’s just a time of continuing to be crucified. No! No! No! Never! He’s a one-time savior. He did it once! Did you ever read the book of Hebrews? It is over with! Boy! [Dr. Wierwille taps podium.] Our old man was crucified . . . well, if the old man was crucified, I wanna tell ya he’s deader ‘n a doornail. Ya know, if they hang you on a cross and they crucify you for 48 hours, you’re dead! You’re dead, right? [Dr. Wierwille hits podium.] So the old man is what? (dead) Dead. That’s right. You gotta reckon him dead. You gotta reckon it, you’ve got to believe God’s Word. [Dr. Wierwille pauses for a while.] It’s dead . . . with Him . . . with Christ. When Christ died, we died with Him.
Romans 6:6 continued:
…that the body of sin might be [What? (Destroyed)] destroyed [The word destroyed is “done away with.” That it might be what? Done away with.], that henceforth [from that time on] we should not serve [And the word serve is “be in bondage to”] sin.
For he that is dead is freed [“justified” is the text] from sin.
It’s over with. Look at verse 11.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I told you that you have to reckon yourselves dead indeed unto what? (Sin) Sin. But alive, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Verse 12:
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Sin always comes by way of the five senses. You believe less than what the Word says is sin. You put yourself down under condemnation and everything else and you do it by the five senses . . . [Dr. Wierwille taps the podium.] Lust is anything beyond need. Verse 13 says:
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: [Why? Because the weaponry is overwith. We are runners. We are in a contest. The battle has been won.] but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the [What? (Dead)] dead, [Good gravy!] and your members [the senses stuff] as instruments of righteousness unto God.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
The text reads “for sin shall no longer lord it over you, have dominion over you.” The sin problem has been settled! It’s just a matter of the sinner getting saved and believing God’s Word. It’s settled, Corps. [Dr. Wierwille strikes podium.] For you are no longer under the law because Christ was the fulfillment of it. But you live under grace, God’s divine favor. In Romans 12 . . . that great familiar record to all of.
I beseech you [beggingly implore you, beg you] therefore, brethren, [born again believers] by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
Not a condemned one; not one still fighting the battle . . . but one for whom the battle has been fought – and you know who you are and what you have been redeemed from and who’s living within you . . . present yourself a living sacrifice – not a dead one, a living.
Romans 12:1 continued:
…holy, acceptable unto God, [acceptable is well pleasing] which is your [religious or] reasonable service.
To be well pleasing in the light of your reasonable or religious service is to have your service aligned with reason – a service belonging to reason – your call to service.
As I said sin operates through the members of the body by the five senses. James talks about the tongue being an unruly evil. The Gospels talk about the eye . . . if you’ve got a beam in it you ought to get it out before you pick on somebody else’s moat. And if it offends, pluck it . . . talks about the hand; if the hand offends . . . All of these are the bodily members. And sin operates through the bodily members. In II Corinthians Chapter 10, verse 5:
II Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, [reasonings] and every high [false] thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity [people] every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of who? (Christ) Christ. In Romans chapter 8, verse 13 declares:
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall [What? (die)] die: but if ye through [by] the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall [What? (live)] live.
I told you that spirit has no drive of its own in you. It is only dunamis power. Spirit does not possess and control you. That’s why spirit is controlled by the mind . . . the Christ in you is controlled by the mind like the body is controlled by the mind. If you live according to the five senses, the flesh, you’re just killing yourself. But if you live by the spirit . . . living that way you have put to death the deeds of the body and then you live abundantly. And Jesus Christ came that we might have life and that we might have it more than abundantly . . . that we might be more than conquerors, people. You see, in Romans 12, verse 2 it says:
And be not conformed to this [What? (world)] world: but be ye transformed [transformed] by the renewing of your mind,. . . [whereby with the renewing of the mind you can prove what is that good and well pleasing . . . . we can prove that which is that good and acceptable and we prove the perfect will of what? (God) God.]
In Romans 6:16:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves [and you do this by the freedom of your will] servants to obey, [douloses to obey] his servants [douloses] ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants [the douloses] of sin, but [now you’ve changed and] ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine [right believing] which was delivered you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants [the douloses, the branded slaves] of righteousness.
I speak after the manner of men [that means Gentiles] because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants [douloses] to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now [since you are born again with God’s spirit in Christ in you] yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Holiness and sanctification are the same root word in the Greek. Holiness means to be set apart; sanctification means to be set apart. That’s the finished work of Christ. He did it! But it only becomes yours and mine when we appropriate it by the renewed mind believing. Renewed mind believing is sanctification in manifestation.
Thank you, Father, for the Corps being back home and for the greatness of your love and mercy and grace and your goodness; and I’m fantastically blessed, Father, for your presence.