Thursday, August 4, 2011
Saturday, December 11, 2010
“Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things,“Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not (Jer.33:3).”
Father’s riches are unsearchable. Moment by moment He is unfolding His glorious ultimate intention to those who seek Him diligently (Heb.11:6). Presently He is revealing why His people have floundered about in their vision, perspective, calling and purpose for the last two millennia.
Our Lord is more interested in what is going on within us than what is going on around us. When the inside of man is taken care of, the outside automatically follows into His Divine order. The natural man works from the outside in, but the spiritual man understands that the Lord works from the inside (the spirit-man - the real man), through the soul (our mind, will and emotions) to the outside (our body).
Our spirit-man is the New Creation, born again by the Spirit of God. Our spirit-man has the capacity to hear and obey the voice of God, it is washed, sanctified, justified and glorified, it is a treasure in the vessel of our bodies, and it is empowered by the “Resurrection Power” of our God (1 Cor.6:11; 2 Cor.4:7;-18).
Time and again we have seen great men and women of God rise up and fall down. How can this happen? It doesn’t just happen without warning. It’s a click by click thing that takes place within the soul, destroying the destiny and purpose of an individual. If it came straight at us like a freight train we would see it, but when it’s click by click, here a little, there a little we don’t see it as easily do we? - Especially when we are busy “doing” rather than “being” in the character and nature of Christ through our doing.
Our Lord desires for every Believer’s soul and body to be strengthened with power by the Spirit within the spirit-man. We are three-part beings. We are Spirit beings with a soul, and we live in a body which is spiritually known as a tent (2 Pet.1:13,14). We are made in the image of God who is also a three-part being (Gen.1:26). He is a Three in One God. There is the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. He is One God, not three. Just as looking in the mirror you see one person, there is also the spirit and a soul that make up the person you are.
The problem with most of God’s people is they live from their soul and flesh rather than their spirit and therefore double-mindedness is the result (James 1:8). The Lord wants to dwell in all three realms of our being, not just one. His desire is to possess us, spirit, soul and body (1 Thess:5:23; 3 Jn.2; Rom.8:5-11).
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and opens the door, I will come in, and sup with him, and he with Me.”
The Lord is not talking to the world in this passage; He is talking to His people. He is knocking on the door to our soul. His goal is to be Lord over our mind (our reasoning and imagination), over our emotions (healing, peace, joy), and our will (our day to day decisions). He not only desires to live within us, but also fill us with all of His fullness. He has a deep desire to move from the inside to the outside.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt.7:21-23)
For far too long the soul has flowed through the flesh as it worked the gifts of God. The gifts are given freely by Him, but the fruit must be grown, and it is grown as we allow His workings in our lives, it is grown by intimate fellowship with Him. It is here in this place of intimacy that we come to know Him and experience Him face to face.
The Lord allowed me to experience working through His gifts without Him for a very long and tormenting season. I was greatly disturbed by this and stopped. Ministry didn’t halt for me, I was in ministry and had responsibilities of ministry; however, the flow of His Spirit was not manifesting in my life and the temptation to flow from my flesh was smack in my face! What looked like failure and loss of anointing to some, and even to my self, was a vastly in depth working within my being for the greater works He has purposed for me.
Our spirit is automatically in line with God - our soul however must decide from moment to moment whether it will go with the desire of the flesh or the way of the Spirit. Our soul is the mediator between the spirit and flesh. When our soul (mind, will and emotions) follows the spirit-man - our body will follow.
Just as Jesus is the mediator between us and Father, so is our soul between our body and the spirit. There is no way that we can reach Father without Jesus. He is the only way to Father (Jn.14:6). There is no way our body can reach our spirit and line up with our spirit without the soul. The soul is the mediator. Our body is the physical manifest presence of our spirit and soul. The Holy Spirit is the physical manifest presence of the Father and the Son.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor.4:16-18).”
The only way we can apprehend this most amazing and incredible reality is to comprehend the love of our Father. It is then that we are able to receive the gift of promise, which is the fullness of our God. It is ours, but condemnation has kept many from this promise.
“… For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 Jn.3:20-23).”
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom.8:1).
The spirit of man knows that God doesn’t have love, He is Love. He never runs out of Himself, and never stops loving and giving Himself; however, the soul that follows after the things of the natural man often times builds a wall up that keeps “Himself” away from them.
Now before we go on here, I do realize there are those who control others in abusive and manipulative ways; in this case I’m not talking about controlling people, I’m talking about sound/mature people giving love.
Have you ever tried to love someone who refuses to be loved? You are gentle and kind, patient and giving, but they reject your kindness and wonder what hoops they have to jump through to please you, so therefore they reject what you’re giving. In case you don’t know what I mean by “hoop jumping”, it is likened to those little dogs you see in a circus show that jump through fiery hoops in order to get a treat from their master. This is what many do with Father; they reject His love and kindness. They reject His gift of promise by either jumping through hoops like a little doggy in hopes of being received or they may be fearful of rejection because they know they are a failure at performance, so why bother.
The gift of promise is free; although we must understand there are consequences for our lack of maturing our soul towards the things of the Spirit (3 Jn.2; 1 Thess.5:23; Heb.10:39). Just as a person who desires good physical shape needs to exercise their bodies daily, so it is in the spiritual. In the natural if we put a sweat band on around our head, sit down in front of the Television, and eat junk food while we watch “exercise shows”- nothing would happen would it? We may be given exercise equipment with attractive sweat gear, but if we don’t apply what’s been given we will never see the results, nor will we experience the joy of being physically strong and healthy. This isn’t hoop jumping, this is just called the reality of life. Some people are spiritual blobs and expect a magic wand to flow over them and change them instantly into His image. How nice that would be, however, that is not reality.
When we follow the principles of God, our soul and flesh are no longer in torment. Our spirit is automatically in line with God, even in tribulation and trials our spirit-man is full of peace and joy. This is why Apostle Paul says to “Walk in the Spirit (Gal.5:16).
In Psalms 42 David writes an incredible revelation that I don’t think he was fully aware of. At the time of his writing the soul was often spoken of as the spirit; however, at that time the spirit of man was not saved. As we read this Psalm we see David taking authority over his soul and commanding it to line up with God.
The following Scriptures point out the prophetic revelation given and the joy and peace that followed as they flowed with the Spirit of the Living God.
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
is your God?”
When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The LORD will command His loving-kindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
In Luke 1:46, 47 Mary glorifies God by saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior…” Notice Mary says her spirit “has”, and she speaks “presently” of her soul. Our spirit always rejoices in the Lord; however, our soul must be taught and matured to follow the things of the spirit. Although I doubt Mary and David understood the fullness of their words, it is profoundly prophetic as they identified their soul lining up with the things of God. It’s easy for our soul to rejoice when we receive a blessing, but when going through difficult times it is a whole different story isn’t it?
We can go through healing and deliverance all day, all week long, but if we don’t understand the operation of the soul and how the flesh attempts to determine how the soul will flow, then healing and deliverance will never fully come into fruition.
We have seen incredible men and women of God pass away from deadly and debilitating diseases. These men and women have been beaten up horribly by condemnation. They have confessed, repented, and turned away from sin and continue being sick. They go deeper within examining, deeper beyond and no change in their physical condition. I believe we must come to a place where we know Father loves us, has healed us, and has forgiven us because we have humbly asked Him to.
When we have confessed our sins from the heart, turned from our sins, then we must have faith to know He isn’t making us beg. We are not beggars; we are the sons of God (Rom.8:12-14; Gal.5:18)! God forbid that any son of God pass away and have his brethren say, “He didn’t have enough faith… he had hidden sin in his life… he gave up, etc. Yes, there are those who would not repent, or turn away from; I’m not talking about such people, I’m talking about those who are upright in heart and love God with all their all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength, and with all their mind, and love their neighbor as them self.
There is a rest in our Lord that some are coming into a fuller understanding of. They rest in His Love, Mercy and Grace. They don’t spit on His grace, but honor and respect His precious gifts. They know His Love experientially. When others accuse, they know His Truth and feeling toward them, and nothing can take that away from them. This pleases Father because they receive His gift without hoop jumping from the soul to the flesh, and the flesh to the soul, like the little dog jumping through the hoops with a spin, back and forth with the direction of the force exerted by another spin that never ends.
As we rest in His Love, Grace and Mercy, we know that when we do fall, and we will, it is His Love that pulls us up, heals our wounds, and encourages us to walk forth in and through the righteousness of Christ Himself, given to us from our Father by faith (Phil.3:9).
We must always remember that we are changing from glory to glory, we are not to remain the same.
“All of us, as with an unveiled face, because we continue to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor.3:18 – Amp).”
What I was yesterday is not who I am today, and what I am today is not what I will be tomorrow.
As we bring our soul into subjection to our spirit-man, the real man, we will come to realize the true peace and joy of knowing wholeness and power in His Oneness; no longer double-minded, but whole with our spirit who is automatically in line with the Trinity and flowing together in unity likened to the image of the One True God.
Monday, November 8, 2010
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
Forgiveness... it is not just a word, not just a good idea, not just something we are supposed to do. We can know for sure that forgiveness must be of great importance because Jesus reiterates and clarifies the subject a few verses later in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
I believe that forgiveness is a spiritual force. Perhaps it is a spiritual force as strong as faith. Allow me to explain... The word translated as "forgive" is aphiemi in Greek, its' meanings include- to send away, to bid going away or depart, to send forth, yield up, to expire, to let go, let alone, let be.
Let this life-transforming truth just soak into your spirit for a moment!... Forgiveness takes a specific debt that has already manifested and sends it away, causing it to cease to exist!
Now then, we know that faith reaches into the realm of possibilities and causes a specific possibility to manifest. "NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]." (Hebrews 11:1 Amplified Bible) In other words, faith takes things that are NOT seen and makes them a reality.
Forgiveness works exactly the same, only the other way around. Forgiveness takes a specific debt that has already manifested- a sin, a hurt, an offense, and sends it away, causing it to cease to exist. In other words, forgiveness takes things that ARE seen and makes them a non-reality. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:12) Forgiveness and faith are the cornerstones upon which all of Christianity is built!
Let this life-transforming truth just soak into your spirit for a moment!... Forgiveness takes a specific debt that has already manifested and sends it away, causing it to cease to exist!
This is SO extremely important because there is one thing in life we can absolutely count on- "...It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!" (Luke 17:1) Yes, offenses WILL come... And they usually come at the most in-opportune times and through the people closest to you!
The word translated as "offenses" is skandalon in Greek, its' meanings include- the movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap stick, a trap, snare, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall. offense is a trap, and many live their lives struggling in the all-consuming trap of offense.
Why do I say that offense is an all-consuming trap? Because often those who are offended easily are the same ones who seem to offend others easily, thus a vicious cycle is perpetuated. Also those who operate in the principal of offense even take up the offenses of others and make them their own. Offense is a principality of the mind that can permeate and damage all our relationships.
If He could forgive us, we can forgive others. Why do I say that?... If Christ is IN us, then His forgiveness is IN us also.
I believe that the root of offense is SELF... After all, I deserve better, and they should know that!
I once found myself in the situation of having made some major decisions based upon information and agreements made with a friend of mine. Soon I found that through unexpected and extenuating circumstances much of the information was incorrect and also the agreements were not kept. I had already made major changes based upon those decisions, and there was no going back now. I comforted myself with the truth that Father is sovereign in all things and I told myself that I was not offended... at least that's what I told myself.
It's hard for "spiritual" people to admit that we are offended. After all, how "un-spiritual" is being offended?... Certainly not me!... No, it is righteous indignation! Yeah, right.
So I let it brew under the surface, and for a long time. Then one day it all came boiling over and I gave them a "piece of my mind." As I really "let them have it" my words were met with a blank stare... they had no idea what I was talking about. That person had no recollection of any of the things I brought up. They hadn't lost a wink of sleep over my "issues." Now, don't sit there smirking too much. Something similar has probably happened to you also!
Needless to say it would have been pretty difficult for me to keep holding on to things that the other person was not even aware of. At that point, I threw up my hands and said, "OK God, I get the message!"
How many of us go through our entire lives holding on to offenses that the "offender" is not even aware of? Don't fall into the trap of offense! Offense restricts our ability to move on, to move forward. Offense is a cancer, a silent killer.
Just listen to the way the word "offense" rolls off your tongue. What does it sound like?... "a fence." Too many are "fenced in" by offense! Father did not design us to live as prisoners inside the fence of offense. Fences take away our freedom, they keep us bound within confines. Fences also do not let other people in. Just ponder the spiritual parallel for a moment... Ask Father if the "fence" of offense is there in your heart. I know that there will be some who are offended by my mere suggestion that there might be offense in their heart. The first step in any healing is admitting that there is a problem.
For the most part, offended people fall into two categories- those who believe they were treated wrong, and those who really were treated wrong. The actual facts, whether one really was treated wrong, or whether one believes they were treated wrong, is of little consequence in the devastating effects of offense. Even if it is all in your head and nobody actually treated you bad, if you believe it, you empower it.
The only cure for offense is for it to be removed from your heart... The only cure for offense is forgiveness. Remember, forgiveness takes a specific debt that has already manifested- a sin, a hurt, an offense, and sends it away, causing it to cease to exist. Forgiveness takes things that ARE seen and makes them a non-reality.
Keep in mind that forgiveness does NOT mean that what the other person did was really ok. It doesn't mean that they are "getting away" with it. It DOES mean that you are releasing yourself from the prison of offense. The question is not whether they deserve to be forgiven... the question is, how long do you want to be in the prison of offense? Don't wait for the other person to ask for forgiveness. Don't let them be the one who holds the key to your prison cell. You can't move forward in your relationship with Father if you are holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness.
Jesus felt everything you are feeling, and much worse on the cross. His response was, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) If He could forgive us, we can forgive others. Why do I say that?... If Christ is IN us, then His forgiveness is IN us also.
"Ok, Doug, I get it... I know I need to forgive. So give me something practical to help me DO it!" Although not exhaustive, here are some pointers I picked up from a friend on the "how to":
1. Prayer, lots of it! Ask Father to make His forgiveness flow through you. Let Father show you the other person through His eyes.
2. Do not hang on to the "victim" syndrome, don't wallow in self pity. You are not a victim, you are an overcomer!
3. If possible, surround yourself with those who love and respect you. Be a part of a body of believers that can encourage and support you.
4. Rid yourself of bitterness and anger that can build a "protective wall" so NO ONE can get in to hurt you again.
The bottom line is this- forgive even if the other person has no remorse!
In pursuing forgiveness there is rule of thumb we would be wise to observe. In fact, chances are that at some time in your life you have seen a sign on a fence that says, No Dumping! This is especially true when breaking out of the "fence" of offense- No (spiritual) Dumping!
I still vividly remember many years ago how wonderful this particular church service was going. Our pastor had spoken on offense and forgiveness, and there seemed to be such a wonderful release in the Spirit. At the end of the message there was a time for people to pray publicly or something like that. At any rate, a dear brother came up to me, as I was in the front area of the sanctuary. He proceeded to tell me (in the microphone in front of the whole church) how greatly offended he had been with me and how he had been harboring resent and ill feelings for months... but now he was forgiving me. I stood there stunned, as I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I had no recollection of any incident that had happened.
You see, it was all in his mind... and it should have stayed there! He basically took all his "spiritual garbage" and dumped it all on me. Of course he felt much better. I felt rotten, and I felt rotten towards him!
Don't let dealing with your offense become an offense to someone else!
Here's the rule of thumb- If it is an offense where both parties are aware of the circumstances and both parties are involved, then go to the other person and make it right. If you are offended and the other person has no idea of it, then just deal with it between you and Father. Don't be a spiritual "dumper!"
Forgiveness is perhaps one of the strongest spiritual forces that there is. Remember, forgiveness takes a specific debt that already exists- a sin, a hurt, an offense- and sends it away, causing it to cease to exist. Forgiveness takes things that ARE seen and makes them a non-reality.
I believe that the power of forgiveness can change the world. The power of Father's forgiveness toward us in the sacrifice of His Son has already changed the world. Imagine the glory of that same power of forgiveness being released through many "sons"... "For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory..." (Hebrews 2:10)
This is such a huge issue that Jesus charges us, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:23) The power of forgiveness! This is the ministry He has given us, "...and hath given to US the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the WORLD unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto US the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) If Father does not impute trespasses... why should we?
Forgiveness... not just a word, not just a good idea, not just something we are supposed to do.... it is the spiritual force that changes the world!
“…For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10-13
During the time in which we live, an urgent, present Word from the Lord is going forth. He is saying to those who have a spiritual ear to hear: “I am separating to Myself all those who are willing to be made ready to have a part with Me in that which I am about to do. Therefore, arise and come away with Me.”
The winter is past, the rain is over and gone
A season of spiritual barrenness has given way to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which came as rain. This “former rain” (Pentecostal, Charismatic visitation) was given to prepare the way for an end-time “visitation” of the Lord to His people – “the former rain, and the latter rain, in the first month.”
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He has given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain, in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.” Joel 2:23-24
This time of visitation is bringing a flow of spiritual revelation, understanding, and moving of the Holy Spirit. All who rightly respond to this time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit are experiencing a higher level of spirituality and anointing (the floors full of wheat and the fats overflowing with wine and oil).
The Flowers Appear on the Earth
This visitation of “rain,” is causing choice sons (spiritually mature overcomers) to become a vibrant, visible witness (flowers appearing) for the Lord throughout the earth. Much is being accomplished through the building up of His Body.
The Time of the Singing of Birds is Come
As a part of this increased spirituality, a higher level of worship is being made available to the Body of Christ. This “singing of the birds” (prophetic worship in harmony) is the key that is unlocking the door to the heavenly realm (Zion).
The Voice of the Turtle is Heard in our Land
As a result of this higher level of worship, the “voice of the turtledove” (prophetic revelation) is bringing forth a progressive unfolding of the Word of the Lord concerning His “end-time” purpose and the establishing of His Millennial
The knowledge of the Lord
Shall fill all the earth
When the Spirit of the Lord shall fall
It shall flow as a river
It shall fall as the rain
It shall rise as the dawn
In glory ore the land
A vast new realm of spiritual life and experience is coming into view as being presently attainable to those who are seeking to go beyond their present spiritual experience.
The Fig Tree Puts Forth Her Green Figs
Though yet a green fig, Israel is aggressively asserting itself. The entire world is aware of the presence and importance of Israel. Those who pray for Israel will be rewarded by the Lord; those who oppose will be judged.
The Vines with the Tender Grape Give a Good Smell
A remnant within the Church is beginning both to experience and to express the spiritual life and ministry that the Lord desires. Those in whom the Spirit of the Lord is moving can truly testify, “The winter is past, the vines with tender grapes are giving a good smell - for we were changed when the rain fell upon us, and now His life is flowing through us.”
At this present time, a people are being called out from the world into the Church. Great blessing and growth is taking place in the Church through this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, there is another call going forth from the Lord to those who have responded to this deeper working of the Holy Spirit. They have become intensely spiritually hungry, and are being called apart to the Lord Himself.
To these He is saying, “Rise up and come away with Me.” Those who hear and respond are being called into a realm of spiritual identity and function with the Lord Himself, in which they are becoming the expression of His life and purpose.
The pressure to participate in various legitimate activities, either church or secular, often beckons loudly to those who are finding this new and richer experience in the Lord. They struggle with the question of priorities, as they feel the many valid claims upon their time and energies, but at the same time, they intensely desire to come into all that the Lord is revealing to them.
The Lord is revealing Himself as standing outside of the door of all this activity, knocking, due to the urgency of this present time. He is saying:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with Him, and He with Me.” Revelation 3:20
There is a price to enter into His highest and best. As we come apart to sup with our Lord, expressing our spiritual hunger and need to him, He will exhort us to “…buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed….” (Revelation 3:18).
This is a call to rise above our being satisfied with all of the provisions and blessings that He amply gives, and to come into an experience of spiritual identification and fellowship with the Lord Himself.
John heard this call. A door opened in heaven and he heard a voice as a trumpet (prophetic revelation) talking with him, which said:
“…Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:1-2
There is much that the Lord desires to reveal concerning things to come; but notice that He did not place the emphasis on these things. The revelation that follows is of the Lord Himself in all of His Glory, with the overcoming Church caught up to His Throne.
“And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like to an emerald.” Revelation 4:3
Today, there are manifold demands upon our time. Let us again meditate upon the true purpose for this challenge, “My Beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away” (Song of Solomon 2:10).
This call that is presently going forth from the Lord is for those who are willing to pay the price by overcoming all that is less than His best, and rise into the place of identity with Him in His Throne.
Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Me” (John 12:32).
Here, those who respond will be qualified to rule with the Lord in the closing out of this Age, and in the establishing of the Age to come.
Let us be careful both to hear and to heed all that the Lord is saying to us at this present time.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The following article by Bill Click is a present word that must be read carefully, not casually.
There are several people who felt Bill was saying that all large churches will be destroyed, that is not at all what he is saying here. Also, there was misunderstanding in all churches not having leaders; again, that is not what he is saying.
Sometimes I believe we need to read through things more than once to see what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to us. May this article bless you as it blessed Gary and I.
Bless you all – Gary and Traci Carson
As the Body of Christ, we have been given the Spiritual capacity for Divine discernment. We now live with a better Covenant. Under the old, it was enough to know the times and what to do during them (1Chron.12:32). But now in the New, we are to know Christ Himself, "who searches the hearts and knows what the mind of the Spirit is" (Ro.8:27).
Many have been proclaiming and praying for a "shift" for some years, but now that it is clearly emerging most are getting so thrown by its arrival they struggle to make any Divine sense of it whatsoever. And in such instances- we Christians- whenever not able to make sense of anything according to our preconceptions, we usually attribute it wrongly- either to the enemy, the economy, politics, or even the end times.
The Paradox of the Kingdom to be Embraced
Here is a promise you can count on: God the Father is going to be continuing to allow, promote and even instigate continual changes which will confound the religious mind and absolutely and completely require the Church to rise up into her true Nature. This will neither slow nor stop taking place. if anything, it will accelerate and intensify.
For years, we have been attempting to shape our surroundings to our liking, and conditions to our favor. The reason we have failed is that it is not God's plan. The Lord has allowed us to attempt many false options- all in the hope that we would turn to Him. The fallacy of fruitless workings have been taken away from many already, but for some they are being knocked out from underneath them at this time. For yet others this will occur at the time the "felt need" is most severe (causing the most disappointment & even disillusion).
What can we do? As we continue through this process of the Lord, the Word of God that lives in us by the Spirit must become more alive to us as Christ's Body than ever before, especially when it comes to the reality of His sufficiency within, for and through us.
As it says in II Peter 1:3-4, "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."
We know that it is not enough to declare or decree such a Scripture; it must be entered into by authentically possessing the promises released by the Spirit in the same way that actual faith carries Divine "substance." In other words, something must take place in the inner man which results in the actual mind of Christ being released through the Spirit (1Cor.2:6-16).
It is always true, however (& sadly), that many will neither rightly perceive nor properly respond to the times we are going to be living in. Times which (by the grace & plan of God) are days determined by God to reveal Christ through His Church with greater power, purity and purpose than ever before. Times which- in all honesty- have already begun to unfold without our awareness, expectation or even desire.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God" (2Cor.2:14-17).
To this end the Word will become true for many, but in a different way than God's desired best. Instead, that "fragrance of life" that we have designed to become in Christ will instead actually be the "smell of death" to many Christians themselves, because they lack the discernment to determine that God will make a way to have his finest hour through them in the season when all those operating without His Grace will have their absolute worst.
For years, I have believed that a true understanding of what is ahead in the Kingdom of God cannot be separated from the darkness becoming increasingly dark, and the light becoming increasingly bright. I have held my peace during seasons when "cutting edge" postmillenialists posing as Apostles have misinterpreted affluence and economic expansion as a sign of the Kingdom, waiting instead for the time to "the present truth" when it would make the most "sense" to the Body (II Pe.1:12).
Timing IS everything, just ask God. He says "there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under Heaven" (Ecc.3:1). And the time is coming when instead of the majority of North American Christians being affluent (or perhaps event solvent), they will become strapped like never before. Unfortunately, this is already taking place in spheres, and I wish it were not the case. But during such seasons, the tares will become more easily seen among the wheat.
But until sifting of this degree takes place, we will neither export the true message, nor impart the true experience of Christ to those who have looked at the American church as their model for what Christianity is supposed to be (because of our resources). In actuality, we will then have to learn Christianity from those in the world who are far more deeply imbedded in it than we are, from those who have to live obediently to survive and thrive in the midst of lack, persecution, and continual uncertainty of all types.
All that has now already begun to take place to shake apart all the false foundations, will be continued and intensified by the kindness of God (Ro.2:4). This, in order that we, the church, will receive "the whole counsel of God." Only then will we be able to model the life God intended and extend the life Jesus came to give. This, so that we authentically release it to mankind. But as this takes place, many will soon discover their Christianity has not been much more than an eternal fire insurance, or an attempt to perhaps have a better life, or even the means to escape social and psychological isolation and alienation through peer grouping to have a sense of belonging.
"At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Mt.24:10-14).
The Short Term Shift that will be felt in the Church
In years past, small ministries have looked to larger ministries in many ways. Even now, many smaller ministries want to emulate and draw from larger ones. This is understandable. Smaller churches have "needed" larger, more visible and significant ones for identity, resources, assistance, expertise, accountability and even fellowship. But this will begin shifting at a rapid pace that will not be able to be prevented, until many larger ministries will have to turn to the smaller ones for their own survival.
How could this be? In the reasoning of our experience, this looks impossible, but remember: God the Father is going to be continuing to allow, promote and even instigate ongoing changes which will confound the religious mind and require the Church to rise up in her true Nature. For years, we have been attempting to shape our surroundings to our liking, and the conditions to our favor. That option has been taken away from many already, but for some it is being knocked out from under them at this time. For others it will become impossible at the time the "felt need" for it is most severe.
By looking at the common way that ministries are structured, we can more easily understand how this can be. It is common for us to understand that most larger ministries (let's say: churches of 600 attendees or more, maybe less) are most heavily attended (supported) by the tithes and offerings of the people who stand to continually be those most financially affected in the days to come.
For example: Those impacted the most by what will be taking place in our society will (continue to be) those most heavily invested in stocks, holdings, and even real estate ventures. We do not even need to comment on just how many local churches of size and influence are heavily endowed by a single or a small handful of such persons. This does not even yet take account the debt load of many ministries. As these "patron's" (let's call them) ability to contribute is continually adversely impacted, a process will unfold (that many already find themselves in the midst of):
- Ministry Mission has to take a back seat to debt servicing, then
- Debt servicing becomes the focal point of the congregation's radar screen, meaning: nothing can be seen on the horizon of vision without first and foremost being filtered through debt and its threat, and
- The ministry goes and stays in "crises mode" and the continual scenario is one of refinancing, begging, delaying, and defaulting.
Impossible, you say?
The second most affected group of congregants will also be impacted by what will continue to take place in our society. 401K investments which will have shrunk, and corporate pensions that may become defaulted on- to the point the government cannot pay them. This may very well continue for a while. These 2 groups are part and parcel of the majority of significant members of church churches of practically any size. Decreased access to money, coupled with job loss, foreclosure (some already face all 3 of these maladies, even now, and many others soon will), and you have the vast constituency of tithes and offerings in any and almost every ministry being brought to a very low level. The result being a church that may not shrink in size, but will have only a fraction of its previous budget available to them. Impossible?
Remember: God the Father is going to be continuing to allow, promote and even instigate ongoing changes which will confound the religious mind and require the Church to rise up in her true Nature. For years, we have been attempting to shape our surroundings to our liking, and the conditions to our favor. That crutch is being taken away.
Many corporate leaders of larger ministries will not be able to make the shift, because they will not see the changes for what they truly are and their personal wineskin and organizational structures will not allow them to move into the new with God. The New? It will feature smaller ministries coming together to function more fruitfully than many larger ones, true unity due to authentic function prevailing over organizational emphases, and an increased recognition of true apostolic authority and cooperation because of more authentic relationships that will keep ministry properties from being lost to abandonment through secular capture or financial failure.
Although there will be exceptions, it will be mostly through the smaller ministries that true "Apostles of the City" and "Territorial Sphere's of Influence" will be emerging, with survival becoming so important that some will release their pride long enough to suspend their "need to lead" so that the church truly move into the realm with God that was seen in its beginning. Why?
Smaller ministries and their leaders will not be faced with as much debt. Moreover, some of those leading smaller ministries have been better prepared for such a season, having had to make more crucial survival decisions over the years. As a result, they will know how to park the ego, trim the fluff and not allow their pride and need for reputation to influence the way they allow themselves to be known and seen. Get ready.
After all, it was under the absolute worst possible conditions that the Acts Church of Jerusalem manifested such a great move of the Spirit. But instead of our extremes and false understandings of "wealth transfer" and "blessing" as either a substitute or prerequisite for that, it will (thank God) again become more now as it was then:
"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved" (Acts 2:42-47).
A Call to Every Leader
My writing today is not intended to judge those whose ministries are large and unduly elevate those whose are not. It's entirely possible for those with little or no sphere of influence to be bound up in their ego, sense of self, etc. Conversely, many who are numerically fruitful may very well be so because they have submitted themselves to an extremely high degree, allowing God to give them increasing responsibility.
What I am suggesting, however, is that whatever has happened to this point will not be enough to secure this new season, neither will God feel any sort of obligation to either loose people into greater ministry or sustain any existing ministry because of a need for the fabric of either of these to remain untorn. As the Holy Spirit says through Paul:
"Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him . . . the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you" (Php.3:7-15).
The Church is being called into the Kingdom like never before. We must enter into That Reign which is larger than our own, which is greater than our reputation and influence (whether these be large or small). The Church Christ is calling us to be is bigger than our congregations, affiliations, networks, denominations and present cooperative ventures.
Begin to see everything that the church has possessed as belonging to the Kingdom (& not your corporation or any other congregation or denomination). By the Spirit, pray in the Kingdom for your city and area, for your group, network or affiliations. Be ready to be called upon to release what you have (as individuals, families or as a corporate body) for the sake of God saturating your area with His presence and purpose.
Hold on loosely to your ideas of how things should be and what way they should go, holding on tightly to the Lord who holds destiny in His hand.
No Quick Fix, Easy Way Out Solutions Being Offered
I realize that this message is more concerned with exposing and surveying issues than presenting solutions or ways to rectify dilemmas. There is a need to soberly embrace present realities so adjustments in operation can be made, expectations can be altered, and overt spiritualizing or misdirecting of responsibility can be refrained from.
The Lord will use this time to make us better than ever before, if we will daily seek to enter the narrow door.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Years ago when I worked at a Pack Station in the
One particular year I took him to a New Year’s Eve party at an
My passion for mules was a preparation for ministry I think. Really, I’m not being a smart-aleck; ministry can be quite challenging as you deal with people who want to do it their way, or no way at all. Regardless of the challenges and frustrations, I passionately love God’s people.
The Mule is a cross between a donkey stallion (called a jack) and a horse mare. Both male and female mules have all the correct "parts" but they are sterile and cannot reproduce. A very few (about 1 in 1 million) mare mules have had foals, but these are very, very rare. No male mule has ever sired a foal. So if you cross a mule to a mule - you get nothing! Mules must be bred by crossing a donkey and horse every time.
My point here is you can cross stubbornness (donkey), with power, strength and conquest (symbolic of a horse) and come out spiritually sterile and unable to reproduce anything substantial in the sight of God. Over the years of riding mules, there were many times when I would run into people who thought my mule was a horse. They would ewe and awe over him and then they would cock one eyebrow up and then the other and say, “Is he part donkey?”
You can try to mask stubbornness and rebellion with power, strength, conquest and what some consider beauty, but in the end you are still a mule in the eyes of the Lord.
The Lord chose to ride a donkey through the streets of
In our Lord’s second coming He is returning to the Spiritual Jerusalem on a white horse. In Revelation 19:11 we read where the heavens opened up and He who is Faithful, True and in Righteousness, who also judges and makes war is sitting upon a white horse. White is symbolic of purity, righteousness and holiness. The horse is symbolic of power, strength and conquest. He is returning in and through and upon a people who are holy, pure and righteous (in His righteousness). They abide in Him and not themselves. They are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, therefore being conquerors.
The New Jerusalem which is above and is free (Gal.4:26), and where we come unto
In Song of Solomon 1:9, the Bridegroom says to His bride, “I have compared you to a horse in Pharaoh’s chariot.” When you think about this statement, it is quite a compliment as a horse chosen for Pharaoh’s chariot is a horse that has allowed its independent spirit to be broken, and has won the affection and favor of the king.
The Holy Spirit presents Himself to you and me in the arena of life, waiting for us to come to Him (Ps.32:8-9). When we come to Him and allow Him to break us, we then begin to see the demonstration of a meek and quiet spirit. We must give the Lord permission to break all that is not of Him, allowing the breaking process within. If we constantly fight against His will and insist on our own rights, this breaking will never take place. We will watch others pass us by who trusted and allowed the breaking process and therefore "hitched to the chariot of the King" bringing Him forth in all His glory.
You will never see a mule hitched to the chariot of the King, no matter how beautiful, powerful or smart they are.