AND HE SAID, DO NOT LAY YOUR HAND ON THE LAD OR DO ANYTHING TO HIM; FOR NOW I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE NOT HELD BACK FROM ME OR BEGRUDGED GIVING ME YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON. GENESIS 22:12
I thank our Lord for allowing me to open my heart again and share what He wants to accomplish through the Body of Christ. I pray that what I share stays with you, challenges you and helps you in this glorious walk in the quest of knowing Him.
On August 19, 1982, several months after I gave my life to Christ, I was given an awesome experience. I want to emphasize the word given. The experience was a dream that transformed my life and after all these years I'm still discovering what that dream meant. In my dream Rosie (my wife) and I were in a procession walking with couples. There were couples in front of us and behind us and I fell backwards. When I opened my eyes I saw the form of a man filled with an unexplainable light. Out of this man came these words, "If you seek Me you will find Me and when you find Me you will grow in Me." I never knew what it really meant, even though on the surface it is obvious. However, today I've learned the profound meaning of the words "in me". These words have come to unfold His tremendous plan for each of our lives, not just me but everyone who chooses to seek Him, to be a part of Him and to be in Him. This dream changed my understanding of salvation and its purpose. I was born into Christianity and became a member of a large denomination. I witnessed the power of God in our weekly church services which lasted until late at night. The youth were taken home under the power of the Holy Spirit. On one occasion the fire department was called to our church building because the neighbors witnessed flames rising from the roof and thought the building was on fire. Upon arrival the fire department couldn't enter the building because the presence and power of almighty God kept them outside. I witnessed that at a young age. However, after experiencing the power of God moving in our midst everyone went back to their routine lives as if nothing had happened. We didn't understand that the experiences God gives us is for perpetual increase; each person took God's visiation as a momentary, individual blessing. We didn't realize His visitation was to benefit the whole body. Too often we are of the misleading idea that the benefits of salvation are personal. The shame is that self centeredness becomes the reason we come to Christ and thereafter we are kept in that self centered attitude because of the teachings we hear. God has to deal with us to make Him the center of our lives, the center of our universe, and the center of our whole existence. Outside of Christ we cannot grow. The sustenance and power to mature is in Christ.
After the dream I was in Mexico at the invitation of a missionary working there and with permission to access her library, I found a book, Ultimate Intention by DeVern Fromke. What brought me to searching was the hunger to understand those words from the dream "in me". In his book DeVern Fromke said, "Every major awakening has centered in a major recovery of the truth necessary to mature and balance other aspects of truth." Today in order for you to qualify in the religious system you must have a vision. There was a time when I penned a vision but it was not what God wanted to accomplish. Christ himself is the only true vision. It is the heavens that rule. May I remind you that in Genesis 1:1 the heavens were created first and then the earth. You see, once we come into this new position of accepting Christ and giving our lives over to Him there are no alternatives. Nothing revolves around us anymore because God becomes the center of our lives. God began to unfold this revelation to me and I saw the words "in me" throughout the New Testament.
In prison, Paul writes the book of Ephesians where he reveals the secret which was in God's heart before the world existed. At his first encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul gave up all his rights. He was unlike Peter in Acts who walked with Jesus for three and a half years and yet when a sheet descends from heaven and God says "kill and eat" Peter replies, "No, by no means Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unhallowed or ceremonially unclean." He was contradicting his acknowledgement of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his life. He was stuck in his traditions and his religion of that time. Tradition and religion are major blocks in the growth and maturity of the Body of Christ. It is very easy to say 'yes, Lord' and yet let doctrine, denomination, and religion be lord over us. It is not so easy to actually live 'yes, Lord'. Now consider Paul's way of acknowledging Jesus as Lord. Paul says in Act 9:6, "Lord, what do you desire me to do?" It is written in Ephesians 1:4, "Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world....." This is a statement that is in no way touched by time, touched by sin or touched by anything of this earth. We were chosen in Christ before there ever was a world. We are tied to the past before heaven was created. Colossians 1:16 clearly states, "For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him." In my dream God was telling me, "you will grow in me." I'm discovering the depth of "in me" through years and years of solitude, discipline and sacrifice. Every child of God is unique. One of our major problems is that we live off of someone else's experience. Because we are unique, our walk with the Lord is unique. Existing in Christ is the only way the manifold wisdom of God can be expressed through your life, my life and anyone else who chooses to walk His way. Ephesians 2:10 reads, "For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]." There is no alternative!
We are living in a time where we can be swept away and become slaves to the dictates of the world system if we haven't asked the Lord for discernment. It's nothing new; our Lord was tempted forty days and forty nights in the desert. God reveals to us the power to resist the attacks of the enemy. You and I have the power to resist in Christ Jesus. The moment you give your life to the Lord and accept God's ultimate intention for your life, His process begins to adjust your motives and your way of thinking. His process begins to establish in you the true point of reference that is constant and immovable. From this point of reference you measure your walk. Our point of reference is in Christ Jesus. In Colossians 3:3,4 Paul writes, "For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory." This is not about us, but undoubtedly about Him. Your life is hid in Christ! What does that mean to you? Jesus surrounds me, He embraces me. He surrounds me with His life, His life becomes my atmosphere. Jesus Christ said in John 17:23, "I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united....." The true witness and testimony is His life through you and me.
For many years I consistently opened our conferences with this statement, "How wonderful it is to abide in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Later the Holy Spirit told me to change it to this, "How wonderful it is to live in the true and faithful witness." Remember every true encounter with God is not just for the moment, it continues to transform and change your way of existence. Your mind and heart become illuminated to see what God desires of you. Revelation 3:14 reads, "....These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God's creation:" Revelation 1:13-15, "And in the midst of the lampstands [One] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast. His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire. His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace...."Revelation 1:16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword...." Revelation 2:8 "....These are the words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again:" We must see that we are in Him. In the true and faithful witness who has the sharp two-edged sword, in Him who is the first and last who came to life again; in Him Who holds the seven stars; in Him the Son of God whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. We are in Him and He is in us. This has to transform your life. Can it be possible to have an encounter with the God described above and live the same and be held prey to the deception of this world's system? To serve a living God, you and I my Brothers and Sisters have given up all our rights. Do you remember what the Jerusalem wall represents in the Old Testament? It's a boundary. There is a line of demarcation, a separation of the inside from the outside. What does it mean when they crossed the Jordan? It means you died to your past life and arose to a newness of life on the other side. When we are in Christ we are separated from self centeredness. Think about it. We have fallen prey to self centered teachings. It must end!
HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO LIVE IN THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL WITNESS.
See what is happening in the world today. Listen to how the antichrist spirit is hovering over the nations and increasing in the control of humanity. Oh, that God's people would hear those whose hearts are crying out to be liberated from the bondage of the religious system and its deception. Their hearts are longing to be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. It's time to wake up church; it's not time to be dealing with medial things, things of the surface. We get tangled up with what we see in the natural and begin to judge one another by our standards. There is only one standard and that is Jesus Christ. His intention is clear in the scriptures. We have no rights. The picture of Abraham about to sacrifice his son (story in Genesis 22) precisely expresses this message. Who had the right in that situation? Who do you belong to, who do I belong to? Do I have a right to choose how I want to live? Abraham didn't even have the right to the promise that God gave him. Who is revealing himself in the picture, is it Abraham or Isaac? No! God is revealing His heart. Abraham gave up his fatherly right to hold onto his promised son even as Isaac's right as a son was severed. Consider Paul's words in Philippians 2:5. "Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." Who do we live for? People around the world are rising up against dictatorship and want freedom. The citizens of this great nation are rising up as they see their freedom taken away slowly but surely. How many of us are willing to rise up as we see the church losing its liberty? The way to the fullness of Christ has been obstructed by the deceitful comfort of where we are spiritually living. Remember Abraham wandered in a tent. We also are pilgrims. It was Lot who pitched his tent toward Sodom and found comfort. But when God was ready to destroy Sodom, where was he? Lot was at the gates of the city inviting the angels to his home. He had become comfortable with the ways of the world. We can be compared to Lot in the temptation to settle down in our own comfort zone. Moses is another example of giving up his rights. He had the rights of Egyptian royal upbringing, but he gave them up. Imagine Moses forty years as a shepherd and forty years wandering around the desert and yet not able to come into the Promised Land. Not everyone will enter into the fullness of Christ. Don't misunderstand me you will not lose your salvation. Even though Moses didn't enter the Promised Land we know he was saved because we see Moses in the transfiguration on the mount talking with the Lord. However, many will not come into the fullness of our inheritance which is Christ Jesus.
This is a time to evaluate your position and return to the moment when you gave your life to Christ Jesus. When we identify with the death of Christ, we can identify with the life of Christ after He resurrected. II Corinthians 5:15, "And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake." A type of this death and life process is clearly seen when the Israelites were instructed to cross the Jordan River (death). God dried up the river as long as the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the Lord were firmly standing in the middle of it. Israel crossed over death to the other side which represents life. To commemorate the presence of the Lord, a memorial was made of twelve stones representing the twelve tribes (read Joshua 4). Think about what you said when you gave your life to Christ Jesus. On August 19, 1982, I said "I give my life 100% to you." We are to live the life of Christ, not live by our own ability or strength. The enemy can't touch us if we are in Christ. Nothing can hold us back from entering into the fullness of Christ. There may be struggles in the mind but it's worth it. I can't take you there; however, I can help you on the way. It's a choice you and I must make.
God has asked Mountain Moving Faith Ministries to take a new step and I have accepted it. The accumulation of these encounters and moments of being alone with the Lord have prepared me for the next phase. Meditate on the word recovery, recovery of the true and faithful witness. Joshua 5:13-14 reads, "When Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up, and behold, a Man stood near him with His drawn sword in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, Are you for us or for our adversaries? And He said, No [neither], but as Prince of the Lord's host have I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, What says my Lord to His servant?" This is not about us; but about HIM. It is time to come forth to be the light and the life that people can see, taste and touch. I haven't arrived, but I can say with Paul, "I press on towards the mark." There is only one mark, Christ Jesus. My love for Jesus is expressed in the decisions I make for the Body of Christ. We are one. As the word says, we become one spirit when we join ourselves to Christ. This is unity in the Spirit.