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Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”


How do sincere Christians know if their relationship with God is in a estate of separation? For if our relationship with God is estranged, no matter how hard we pray, we can be certain that He will not hear us.

sin of separation

In our opening text we are told that iniquities are the culprits. Not only in separating us from God, but also the reason that we continue to sin in a matter that causes God to hide His face from us, so that we will not be the recipients of God’s answers to our prayers anytime soon.

The problem with iniquity is that in many instances they were transferred to us through our genetic code. That means that many of us were born with character flaws, physical flaws, and weaknesses, that predisposed us to struggle with certain sins and ailments in our lives.


Since we know who the culprit is, let us take a Scriptural look at how iniquities work, so that we can figure out how to get rid of them.


Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow to them nor serve them (idols). For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.”


All of us are the product of two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents and sixteen great-great-grandparents, if we go four generations back.


If any of those thirty people in our immediate lineage practiced idolatry, their act of hatred towards God opened the door within our family line to be afflicted with the consequences of their iniquitous sin.


We could say that iniquity is our inherited predisposition to sin, and we can take that one all the way back to Adam.


We may think, well that it is not fair, for us to be born with such a burden of sin, a sin that we did not even take part in, but from God’s point of view we see a different trade off if you will.


Exodus 20:6 “But showing mercy to thousands (of generations), to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”


Salvation is a covenant, and once we enter into the covenant of salvation that Jesus mediated for us, we guarantee that our seed will be part of the covenant of salvation forever, long after we’ve been gone.


Acts 3:25-26 “You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your iniquities.”


And the way that God turned away our iniquities from us, was by transforming our sinful nature, that in the natural resembles the first Adam who was made after the flesh, to be conformed to the image of the last Adam, Jesus Christ our Lord, through the born again experience, who came to bless us with His incorruptible nature.


1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”


The covenant for us who are in Christ Jesus is this, we have become partakers of the divine nature of Jesus, we are part of His body.


2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


But just like with every covenant, there are actions that are required of those who are under the covenant, in order for them to possess the benefits that are stipulated within the covenant and make it theirs.


Colossians 3:1-2, 5 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth...Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”


Yes, we have a new nature, but we still have the old nature as well, the nature that contains all the iniquities that it had inherited through the sins of idolatry committed by our ancestors, and we are commanded to put those contaminated things that remain within our flesh to death.


Matthew 17:21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”


After His disciples failed to cure a boy who suffered from epileptic seizures, Jesus told them that their failure was due to their unbelief, or lack of faith. He told them that if they dare to believe, that with the power of faith they would be able to move mountains and that nothing would be impossible for them.


Then Jesus added, within the context of His disciples needing more faith, that prayer and fasting were a requirement as well, in order for them to remove the demonic stronghold that they had failed to dislodge.


Fasting has to do with denying the flesh that still bears the image of the first Adam, in other words we need to be operating within the realm of self-control instead of selfish-ambitions.


Prayer has to do with asking for the revelation knowledge that they lacked while dealing with the situation that they had failed to resolve.


Let’s take a closer look and see what we can learn from it.


It was a father and son situation, a boy who probably suffered from these seizures since early childhood, so that his infirmity had to be the result of iniquity that he had inherited.


It is not by coincidence that the number seventeen is found in relation to both the story recorded in Matthew chapter seventeen, and in verse seventeen of 2 Corinthians 5, where we are told of our new nature.


So that the number seventeen is the key that connects both the old and the new nature.


The number seventeen is the seventh prime number, seven is the number of perfection; and it is in verse twenty-one, 3 X 7 = 21 of Matthew 17: where we are given the key by Jesus about praying and fasting to completely remove the strongholds of iniquity from all three, spirit, soul, and body.


Seventeen is also the sum of our sixteen great-great-grandparents and us.


So that in the four generations we find the number sixteen at their foundation, and we ourselves sit as number one on the top of this fleshly pyramid of our four generations ancestry.


That means that iniquity has a number and so does our new nature.

generation count

When we multiply the number seventeen which is the number of the flesh according to:


Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery (1), fornication (2), uncleanness (3), lewdness (4), idolatry (5), sorcery (6), hatred (7), contentions (8), jealousies (9), outbursts of wrath (10), selfish ambitions (11), dissentions (12), heresies (13), envy (14), murders (15), drunkenness (16), revelries (17), and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in times past, that those who practice such things will not inherit (the promises of deliverance from iniquity) the kingdom of God.”


By the number nine, which is the number of spiritual fruit:


Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love (1), joy (2), peace (3), longsuffering (4), kindness (5), goodness (6), faithfulness (7), gentleness (8), self-control (9). Against such there is no law (the law that visits iniquity from the fathers to their children is abolished).”


We come up with the number that classifies us as children of God’s new nature: 17 X 9 = 153.


John 21:11 “Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.”


The number 153 is the numerical value for the Hebrew phrase sons of Elohim, the enlightened sons of God, which encompasses all of the redeemed from all of the ages.


We are already children of God, heirs of His promises, so what is the common denominator here?


Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed (acts prompted by our faith, like fasting and praying) we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”


Are you surprised that the answer is found in a verse of Scripture that has been assigned with the number seventeen as well?


Here is the key, acts of selfish ambitions are always the works of the flesh, and along with the works of the flesh are the workings of iniquity manifested.


Spiritual fruit flows out of a heart of love that wants to fulfill the law of Christ, that is, it desires to walk under the power of self-control.


Fasting has to do with a lot more than just not eating, it has to do with depriving the flesh of its wantonness.


Self-denial can be attained through honest prayer, for when the human heart appears before the presence of God humbled and broken, in the spirit of contrition, God always attends to its needs, and there is where a true converting of the soul takes place, in the secret place of the broken heart.


Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

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