Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eternal Unity

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:  “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:10,11
Since Genesis there has never been a greater revelation or expression of the unity we have been brought into than the scene in Matthew 3:16, 17. Here God is acknowledging the Son. Jesus is fulfilling all righteousness by being baptized by John. The Holy Spirit is sealing and anointing our Lord for the work He was sent to do and finish. You and I are partakers of that supernatural unity and are told in Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”  Now because of this exhortation we must ask ourselves, as ministers, who is really building the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, God or man?  Peter confessed in the book of Matthew that Jesus is the Christ but read what Jesus asked him. Matthew 16:13-15 reads, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’”  Notice how the Lord targets the disciples’ knowledge by asking who they perceived Him to be. Considering the times we are living in, it would serve us well to meditate on His question. In Matthew 16:17-18  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’” Let’s put emphasis on the vital word “I”. 
There is much evidence today that ministries are neglecting the person of the Holy Spirit in teachings and preaching. This is a great error, because the moment you neglect the Holy Spirit who is the only one who knows the mind of God, you will only bring forth man centered teachings. I Corinthians 2:11 confirms this, “.....In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”  Is Christ building the church or are we? Ministry is not an obligation nor is it a profession; ministry is the spirit of Christ working through us.  Ministry is Jesus Christ building His church.  He is the energy and the power behind the work. Take heed to this warning: the minute you put a price on ministry whether it be money, a pat on the back, or acknowledgement from the platform you have committed a great error. I tell you the truth; this is a carnal idea and it will reap carnal results.
There are several truths/absolutes that I have learned in the thirty years the Lord has kept us in this ministry. The moment you enter into the Body of Christ you enter into the greatest purpose, plan and design that you and I or even the heavenly host could imagine.  This is not a small thing that we have been privileged to be brought into.  This is the divine thought of God unfolding.  Genesis one gives us an absolute that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all united.  Unity in the Spirit is a divine revelation that can never change.  Our Lord is given titles to describe His person; The Beginning and the End, The Alpha and Omega; The First and the Last.  The title The Beginning and the End means everything originated and exists by Him and all ends with Him.  The Holy Spirit is also described by titles. Hebrews 9:14 mentions Him as The Eternal Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been energizing, empowering and giving creativity to God’s Word since the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:1, 2). Praise God we have been included in this unity.
 Another absolute is the greatness of the call of God that we have received in Christ Jesus. All ministries under the anointing of the Holy Spirit should have the objective to teach and help the Body of Christ understand the nature and the greatness of our call by God in Christ Jesus. Ministry is the Father’s idea; His thought unfolding.    Unless you continue to grow in grace and knowledge you’ll not understand the conflict with the opposition that will try to stop the work of God’s call in your life.  What does this conflict mean and why has God allowed it? Without conflict you will never know the discipline and victory of God's call on your life. I’m sad to say I have seen many of God’s children whose lives never change.  We have an obligation and a responsibility first to Christ and then to one another to grow in Him.  He paid an awesome price to redeem us so we could pursue what Paul declared in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection ....."

Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end. Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ.

Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end. Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ.

It is obvious that the church is not ready to confront some of the biggest battles that lie ahead for us.  Where will the power to overcome battles come from? The Holy Spirit is the source of power, He is everything.  It was troubling to the disciples when Jesus Christ said in John 16:7 (KJ) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end.  He came with a greater purpose to send the Holy Spirit after His own work of redemption was finished.  The disciples’ minds were shattered as Jesus tells them, “It is expedient that I go away.”  Their hopes had come to an end, but Our Lord referred to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter who would be comforting them.  Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ. Meditate on the absolute that the Eternal Spirit is within us; the same spirit that is in God the Father and in God the Son.  The moment we have received Christ, we have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and our hearts have been prepared for the precious Holy Spirit to enter our lives and begin the process of transforming us.  We now have a new nature.  We are a new creation set in Christ Jesus with all the resources provided by the Spirit.  This is so important for the Body of Christ to understand.   However, it is sad to say we have neglected this glorious, divine Person of the Trinity and set Him aside in much of the ministry today.   Today there is so much confusion, apathy, doubt, unbelief, weakness and limitation in the church.   This is so contrary to what Jesus spoke in Acts 1: 8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you WILL BE my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” However in spite of all the ruin we see, nothing has come by surprise to God. In His sovereign wisdom, He has made provision for all of it and His ultimate purpose will be fulfilled at the appointed time.
Years ago the Holy Spirit had me reread and take note of Matthew 3:17 where John baptizes Jesus, “And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased”.  This is an absolute, it will never change. If God who created the heavens and the earth and upholds all things by the word of His power is satisfied (well pleased) with Christ, shouldn’t we be satisfied with him? As members of the Body of Christ, we have a responsibility for fresh revelation of this tremendous absolute.  
We have come to a point in time where attitude has changed greatly concerning Christ Jesus. Attitudes can change but absolutes do not!  We become complacent and easily distracted and overcome by our own reason and ideas. God’s plan continues in spite of every diversion, distraction, and weakness; He made provision for it.  He spoke it into existence and He will bring it to pass. Man centered teachings say God is waiting on us but let me tell you what, His plan is right on time!    It is time to know the Holy Spirit has been committed to see God’s plan completed.   God is in control no matter where we are in the world.  The Holy Spirit is committed to maintaining us in the absolute sovereignty of God.  We must ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate our hearts and bring revelation to our spirits so our minds can be renewed.  We must be able to see circumstances the way God sees them, not by the opinions of man or controlled by the spirit of the world. We know that our God, our Father is in control. Everything is running its course. Understand these profound statements, Galatians 4:4 “But when the time had fully come.” and in Ephesians 1:10 "When the times will have reached their fulfillment." NIV   God created times, seasons, the sun, the days, and minutes to fulfill His purpose.  God is awesome! 
The Holy Spirit is preparing us and cleansing us by His word; this is all part of the process of building His church. The Holy Spirit is jealous for us and is working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.  We are here to please God.  We were created for the pleasure of His glory, nothing less.  When we come into Christ Jesus we come into eternity and He’s bringing us into the fullness of Christ. The Holy Spirit will finish His job.  It is written in John 16:12-14, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”  Selah!!  The spirit who knows the deep things that are in the heart of God, will bring forth and reveal it to His children.  Consider well church what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today.  Discern well what you are listening to.  May the Spirit of Truth be that power that aids you in making correct decisions; be sure of your salvation.  Question any teaching outside of the foundation of scripture.  Be alert in your spirit and heart.  Guard your heart.  Let no contradiction take root.  We were created by Him and for Him!! Colossians 1:16

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sovereign God

And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, endowed with his Spirit. This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.’   Isaiah 48:16-17

Isaiah 46:9-10 reads, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Revelations 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Holy Spirit is leading me to say more concerning the steps of Elijah and God’s sovereignty. Let’s not forget that the Lord has called us and we have been chosen by Him. We must realize we were chosen just as Abraham, Joseph, Elijah, Elisha and Jeremiah were chosen. We should esteem these men and hold them up in high honor, however the Holy Spirit wants us to know we are chosen by the same God, moved by the same Spirit and receiving the word from the same God. 

Because God was displeased with the state of Israel, He brought Elijah into the situation.  Just like Elijah, the moment we came into Christ Jesus, we were made a part of the whole plan of God to be fulfilled in His time by the instruments He has chosen and in the way it pleases Him. This is important because we can get so caught up with the circumstances and situations around us we forget that God is sovereign.  If we are going to realize God’s ways and fulfill His purpose we must allow the Holy Spirit to bring insight, understanding and revelation of who God is and what He is doing.  We are chosen by the sovereignty of God. We must also understand that God’s sovereignty governs and controls history and forces it to serve a specific end. Isaiah 46:9 confirms this, “… My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Revelation 1:8 also confirms this, “I am the Alpha and Omega...”  He is in control. You and I must see ourselves in God’s plan today as He shows us His ways.  

There was nothing particular about Elijah, he was much like us. God chose us in spite of our failures, limitations, questions and doubts.  God is transforming us into His instruments to fulfill His ultimate intention. God disciplines us, to prepare us to be endowed with authority and power.  God will not release us full of power and authority to do whatever we please.  We have to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord that has come to us. We have to be governed and disciplined by God even though our intentions and motives seem to be good. Elijah was God’s sovereign choice and every step he took was led, controlled and directed by God.  We make a great mistake if we think that it is enough to know the divine thoughts, purpose and desires of God.  God’s thoughts, intentions and purpose must grasp us; control us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to be in control we will know when we’ve grieved Him by our wrong decisions or failure to obey.  When we are led into a situation we don’t understand but peace is in our hearts, He’s indicating to us things are OK.  God is moving us one step at a time and He will bring us through the difficult situations. Many times He won’t explain His ways because He is testing our faith in Him.  II Corinthians 5:7 (Amp.) says, “We walk by faith . . . not by sight.”  We are led by the spirit not by our emotions, not by our whims and desires.  God is bringing the soul of man under control; under the control of the Spirit of God. 

Let’s revisit Genesis for a moment, where God created man. God had communion with Adam. God is spirit and He communed with Adam through the spirit. When Adam disobeyed divine communion was severed. His spirit was cut off from the source of his existence. Adam’s will was now in control, not God’s will.  The soul took ascendency and Adam’s spirit became subject to his soul, to his emotions, his mind and his reasoning. God is bringing the soul of man once again under the control of the Holy Spirit through Christ who was born, crucified and resurrected. He is restoring us to Himself so He can again commune with us and take authority over our soul life. The Old Testament was objective in its events; the tabernacle, the sacrifices and offerings. The people could smell, see and hear what was going on during the rituals of sacrifice. From the moment Christ came into this world life changed, He was being led by the Spirit and the control of God’s will.   Jesus did only what He saw His Father do; spoke only what he heard His Father say.  Christ is teaching  us obedience and dependence of a son to His Father.  Can you see God controlling Elijah?  Not allowing His servant who has been endowed with authority and power to do what he pleases. It’s easy to allow the ego to take hold of God’s thoughts and use it for our own glory. Thank God He protects us from our ego when we are sensitive to His Spirit.

Elijah was endowed with power and authority and God used Him because Israel was in a critical spiritual state and needed deliverance. Satan had taken hold of Israel and had deceived them into worshipping Baal.  Ephesians 6:12 tells us; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood . . .” Satan is at work. Elijah stood before the evil King Ahab and declared the Word of the living God; heaven heard and obeyed. Elijah exercised and displayed God’s power which went beyond the mere human situation.  He was not intimidated by the authority Ahab represented; he was under a greater authority.   God’s authority and power comes by revelation as we increase in Christ and grow in grace and knowledge. Elijah confronted Ahab in 1 Kings 17:1 (Amp.) with the statement, “As the Lord, the God Israel lives, before Whom I stand . . .” He knew his position was standing before God; he didn’t doubt.

We have not matured as servants if we start declaring empty words without first knowing where we stand. Responsibility comes with divine authority and power. Let’s use an example in the natural realm. A child who matures in a family begins to understand why the father, mother and older siblings tell him ‘no’.  It’s a process of growing up. Our Heavenly Father is maturing us; He’s leading us. The law is written in our hearts and the Holy Spirit directs our decisions, thoughts and actions.  Sometimes we hear Him as a still small voice, in a song, in a mature brother or sister in Christ, or a preaching.  God speaks to us in many ways. We need to be listening.  We want shortcuts but there are no shortcuts. There’s a starting point for everyone into God’s kingdom.  1 Peter 2:2 reads, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk . . .” Milk represents the Word of God which nourishes us so we can grow from a baby to a mature man.

The life of Elijah came forth from the secret preparation of God.  God is raising up men and women who are willing to pay the price to become instruments of restoration; restoring the Body of Christ. I say restore because much of Christianity has become weak and hypocritical; divorce continues and homosexuality has been exposed. The church is being mocked, not because of our convictions, but because we preach one thing and do another.  We worship our cathedrals spending millions of dollars for our meeting places while there are many people in various parts of the world who have not heard the name of Jesus.  God is not pleased with what He sees; He gave His all when He gave His Son. Romans 8:8 reads, “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” We see why God protects the servant He prepares in secret, so dependence will be on Him as the source of divine power and authority.

God ordered Elijah to declare judgment on Israel and after that God said “leave here”.  Get away from public exposure which is a place of danger because of ego. Hide yourself in Kerith.  Kerith means separation, cutting off. What the Spirit wants to tell us is that geography has little to do with this command. When we accept our Lord He takes us to Jordan to identify ourselves with His death; death to self.  He wants us to rise to a new life; His life, His purpose, plan, intentions and desires as mentioned in Romans 6:4-6.  Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “. . . I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  He’s telling us to spiritually hide ourselves.  The greatest stumbling block of ministry is self.  II Cor. 12:7 (paraphrased) Paul says, To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” II Cor. 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ ”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  Paul would not fall into the trap of self.  After he received those revelations, self had to come under control.  He discovered that self was still very much alive and could at any time take hold of his ministry.  We must thank the Lord for these servants who have gone before us and have shown us the process of growth.  When we come into the Body of Christ we come into the same Spirit that was directing Paul, that was governing Peter and John and that was controlling Jesus Christ.  We have become a part of the same vocation and fellowship of Moses and Jeremiah of the Old Testament.

 It’s a shame that we have allowed the enemy to deceive us and keep us wrapped in ourselves not allowing the Holy Spirit to take us beyond the self life into Christ’s life.  I’m grateful to the Holy Spirit and how He directs us in the studying of His word.  He is always unveiling truth; the principles that govern the kingdom of God. 

Now notice that Elijah was adjustable.  He didn’t complain when God told him to go to the brook; he was ready to go.  Elijah didn’t have his own program or set course, he was waiting on the Lord for each step to take.  This can happen with a like minded church.  In Exodus look at how Israel was led out of Egypt one step at a time by God’s direction. The Holy Spirit reminds us how John the Baptist had prepared the disciples when they saw the Lamb of God. John 1:35-39, “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”  They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” The disciples didn’t question John about what to do they knew they were to follow Christ.  What we have to understand is that when we have been placed in a position of influence, in bible study or any one of the fivefold gifts our focus should always be to lead those followers to Christ’s fullness and not our likeness. Luke 11:34 reads, “Your eye is the lamp of your body, when your eyes are good, you whole body also is full of light, but when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.” Ministries today follow man’s charisma, however the leaders are at fault not the people.   Leaders have not learned to hide themselves in the presence of God.  If we follow men we are not following Christ.  If your ministry is making disciples of your likeness you are not making Disciples of Christ. The two disciples followed Christ and left John If you can’t receive revelations coming from other ministries something is wrong because if their words lead you to Christ’s likeness there will be an outflow of the principles of God’s law in your hearts.behind.     That’s the purpose of the fivefold ministry, to bring us into the stature of Christ.  Don’t build disciples around yourself but bring them into the fullness of Christ.

What we have to understand is that when we have been placed in a position of influence, in bible study or any one of the fivefold gifts our focus should always be to lead those followers to Christ’s fullness and not our likeness.

Elijah was known as a prophet of power because he was dependent on the Lord.   His relationship with the Lord allowed him to be used to fulfill God’s purpose. God knew what Elijah would encounter in this world and He prepared him for it.

Man is coming to his whit’s end.  Jesus Christ is preparing His people.  No doubt He will come for a bride prepared by the Holy Spirit and walking in His Word. The bride knows the groom, she knows her husband.  She’s not following other men; she’s following Christ, her lover.  God will continue to unfold this revelation as we are obedient.  May the Lord remove the spiritual cataracts off our eyes so we may see God in all of His Holy Word.  Amen!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Divine Sustenance

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 1 Kings 17:2-3 

1 Kings 17:2-5 reads, “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there. So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan and stayed there.” 

This is a continuation of my last letter which ended with the statement: The Holy Spirit wants to reveal more to us if we listen and obey.  Sometimes we see Elijah’s life as one miracle after another but really the miracles were a small part of his life and a result of his time spent in preparation to speak for the living God.  We must understand that the faith he manifested was not nurtured in miracles.  Every servant of the Lord, every man of God must have an intimate relationship with his Lord.  The bible highlights the intimate relationship Elijah had with the Lord, greater than all the other prophets of that time.  God has provided a history of individuals like Elijah, Elisha, Joshua, Moses, and Joseph to teach us the process He uses to reveal His word in order to include us in His purpose and unfolding plan.  Our Lord is specific; He doesn’t leave us with questions.  Verse 2 reads, “Then the Word of the Lord came to Elijah.” When did it come?  The word came after he stood before the rebellious, evil King Ahab; Israel’s leader.  I believe God will raise up more voices as His plan unfolds for His end time harvest. These servants will proclaim the word directly to the leadership of the Body of Christ because there is rebellion, disobedience and confusion in the church.  We can see God’s pattern in the Old Testament as He raises up His servants when Israel began to live idolatrous lives by worshipping idols and disobeying the law.

 Note the specifics of God’s instructions to Elijah the Tishbite, “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.”  This is a path of separation; a path leading Elijah into a private time with God. Oh the care of our God who knows our hearts and will always lead us to a humble place in His presence. As God’s children we can learn so much from this example.  We must be kept humble. God is speaking to Israel through the actions of Elijah; the flesh must be crushed.  The Holy Spirit wants us to see that our intimate private times with God will bring about God’s purpose and plan for our lives.

 God is raising men and women in these last days that are going to speak to the Body of Christ through their actions and lives.  He makes it very clear that they must first stand in the presences of the living God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The time is here!  Hide yourself.  This is a time of discipline and separation because God knows what’s ahead for His servants.  The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to show us the way. Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Let’s reread 1 Kings 17:4, “You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.”  The Lord is always ahead of us, but sometimes we don’t see or hear Him because we are so far apart. Some of the things that come between us and our Lord are unbelief, fear, murmuring, questioning His presence, rebellion, and unconfessed sin.  Those who believed in the Lord’s name because of the miracles He did were not those in whom He confided; no it is in those who have faith in His presence and nearness that He responds to.  It’s in our nearness to our Lord that we learn and know what is in His heart. We see Elijah driven not only by the word of the Lord but by the affections of the Lord towards His people.  Elijah was being moved by the affections of the heart of the Living God speaking to the situation at hand; famine due to disobedience.  Elijah is taken out of his comfort zone within the Jewish community and now he’s being fed by ravens. It is well to remember that the raven was considered unclean as mentioned in Leviticus 11: 13-15 and Deuteronomy 14:12-14. However, here we see God’s love and care for His servant, sustaining Elijah by whatever means He pleases to show us that He is in control. This is divine sustenance. Many of us are not receiving the revelation that could sustain us in hard times because we have left the place where God’s blessing is; the place of the revelation of His Son.

 I have a burden for many of my brothers, who leave their home and country, the exact place where God put them, thinking life will be better across the border. Sadly, many of these brothers are encouraged to leave their home countries by their church leaders. Please don’t misunderstand, if it’s God who directs you to move - don’t hesitate; make sure it’s God and not your emotions or flesh which will cause you to miss out on all God has prepared for you at your appointed place. I have proclaimed the following scripture in various countries to counter the question of these brothers, “why wasn’t I born in another country where it’s easier to possess things and be successful?”  Paul writes in Acts 17:26, “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth.  And he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” God never makes mistakes, we make the mistakes.   Notice that a true man of God listens and obeys. Stop questioning our Lord!    We have been bought with the precious life of His Son and in times of testing and proving we must not question what He is doing.     We serve a living God who wants our trust in Him to grow.  He’s Elohim, creator of all things, even the circumstances and situations we go through.  He wants us as new creatures to grow in Christ.

Again we read Acts 17: 26, “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth. And he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”  God’s objective in creating Adam was that from this one man every nation would be created to inhabit the whole earth and glorify God. There is purpose in all that He does. How important to know that God is in control and right where you are the purpose of God will connect you to this glorious plan.  Verse 27 reads, “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.” Your purpose is to bring the glory of God into manifestation. You are unique; there is only one of you.   You cannot do what I have been purposed to do or vice versa.  I cannot ask the right hand of my body to do the work of my left foot.  Although my foot and hand are governed by the same purpose, they have distinction in what they do.  You are in the exact place where God has determined you to be and I am in my exact place.  Together as one man we are bringing the fullness of Christ to this world, connected by the Holy Spirit and united with the Father and the Son.  I praise the Lord, I worship Him.  His ways are magnificent and mighty. 

Do you know what it means to have the living God before your eyes?  Our Lord said, “If your eye is single, then your whole body is full of light.”  The meaning is to have one object before our eye; our problem is we’re looking at too many things.  He must always be before us; it’s not your interest, or the neighbor’s interest; but God’s interest.  God’s ultimate interest is Christ always before us which will bring forth the desire of God’s heart.

I Kings 17:5 reads, “So he did what the Lord had told him.” He doesn’t question or excuse himself because he’s Jewish; he knew he had to leave his comfort zone.  Elijah was of like passions as us, but he stayed there, he didn’t move.  How important to see the character, the discipline of the servant of God.  Our Lord said in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  This place was God’s will for Elijah; where you’re at is God’s will.  Elijah, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is revealing the relationship and intimacy that was created during his hidden years with God. Verse 6 reads, “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”  Note what happens in verse 7 to prove Elijah’s character, “Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.”  Elijah takes part in the judgment that had come upon Israel, because of their disobedience.   The difference is he is not controlled by the situation around him; he’s being controlled and sustained by the living God.  He’s confirming what our precious Lord said in the wilderness as recorded in Matthew 4:4,    “... Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”   Your existence is not in material sustenance but spiritual sustenance which is “….every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  The word of God is sustaining Elijah; not the brook, not his surroundings.  Even though he’s partaking of the judgment, God is speaking through him.  What is He saying to Ahab, Israel and us through this glorious experience?  BE NOT AFRAID when you see the resources of your physical sustenance dry up.  God says “I’m helping you to look to me, the true source of your sustenance.”  Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you?  Always keep in mind that God is working with the whole Body, but He uses individuals to speak His word to clarify what He is doing. I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying, no one can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  Many have missed the mark because they have left their place of revelation.  Elijah is right in place being sustained supernaturally and does not move until verse 8, “Then the word of the Lord came to him.”  Amazing grace!! 

I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying, no one can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

My dear brother and friend, God is right there where you feel yourself isolated. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Hebrews 13:5 reads, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.” He wants us to become more a part of Himself, one with the God who created the universe.  The universe displays the glory of God.    He chose us before the world ever existed and He wants us to partake of that same glory; all that He is and all that He has.   Glory came from within His earthen body at the Mountain of Transfiguration, when the face of our Lord appeared as a thousand suns and His garment became whiter than snow. He is within you and within me. 

Elijah is now ready for the next phase of God’s process of preparation.

I Kings 17:9 says “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow there to supply you with food.”    The Lord was declaring his sovereign grace. If Israel was going to limit, hinder, and stop displaying the greatness of God, He would move on to the gentiles.  Isn’t that what our Lord did when they rejected Him?  In Luke 4:22 it is recorded, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” But read the question they asked next. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They were looking at the natural state of Jesus and never inquired further.  I’m moved by the Holy Spirit to say that there are many in the church today that are not able to discern whether they are seeing the natural or the spiritual. Jesus used Elijah’s story recorded in Luke 4: 24-26, “I tell you the truth,” he continued, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.  I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.”    There is a remnant that is willing to pay the price; service to the Lord for the rest of their lives.

Your life today is the culmination of the choices you have made in the past.  If you do not appreciate what you are seeing in your life; repent and ask God to forgive you so that you may again receive the revelation to be transformed into the image of our Lord.  God is good, He is wonderful and He loves us. Together we are bringing strength to each other.  We are one in Christ if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and take us one step at a time.  Be anxious for nothing, but in all things, make your request known unto God.  He knows our heart better than we know our heart. He has one desire and that is to glorify His son Jesus Christ through us.

May the Lord take away the religious cataracts from our eyes so we can see Him as He is.  He is compassion, love, mercy, and faith; the True and Faithful Servant.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Show Thyself

 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” I Kings 17: I

The letters I write are written to the Church, the body of Christ, not a particular movement or denomination. It’s important for us to hear from God and keep His message simple. The purpose of God’s Word is to transform and expand our minds to enter into the liberty of the Spirit of the Word.  Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Truth will set us free from any type of religious bondage or doubt and unbelief. 

Look around and see the darkness that has covered the earth including much of the Church. God is continually raising up those of us who recognize the spiritual state of the Church and long to do something about it. He is taking the longings of our hearts and setting us aside preparing us in His secret place. As we enter into the secret place of God He begins to train us in our everyday lives. I speak from the training the Lord has brought to my life.

I had a desire to go to a bible institute when God first called me 30 years ago. After days of prayer I understood that the Holy Spirit would lead me into all Truth and I was not to attend a bible institute.  Therefore, these letters come from the depths of my heart shaped by moments of solitude with our Heavenly Father.   During moments of solitude, Truth is able to deal with any ignorance, spiritual limitations and weaknesses in us.   A true minister should be able to declare as the Apostle Paul did in 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Understanding the process of God is important. 

As I minister in different countries I often hear ‘man of God,’ thrown around so flippantly; I feel a strong need to address this. If we are going to use that title, let’s go to scripture and see who is a ‘man of God’ so we don’t use it carelessly. Let’s return to the Old Testament where consistent principles are at work. During Solomon’s reign the priests were keeping their religious duties and the people lived in peace. When he died, his son Rehoboam began to reign. An uprising occurred in the people and Israel became two kingdoms; Israel and Judah. In I Kings we read about the spiritual state of Israel and Elijah’s appearance on the scene. 1 Kings 16:29 reads, “In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years.”  These were desperate times as the kingdom was in a steady decline while doing evil in the site of God.  I Kings 16:30 reads, “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.” To make matters worse Jezebel, a daughter of an uncircumcised king, marries Ahab and they are both sitting on the throne that at one time belonged to King David who reigned in power and authority.  As we read about Ahab and Jezebel’s twenty two years of evil there is no mention of Elijah.   Elijah is being kept in the secret place of God in training.   In the New Testament the Holy Spirit reveals to us Elijah’s life before he presents himself to King Ahab.  James 5:17 reads, “Elijah was a man just like us.  He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.”  Elijah was in the secret training of God in the midst of darkness.   It’s important to understand unless you’ve been trained in God’s secret place; your public ministry/service will be like a super structure whose foundation is weak; or a large tree with plush branches whose shallow roots in the midst of a storm are unable to keep it from toppling over.  God will use you if you have pleasure being in His secret place. It is in solitude that we come to know the mind of God as stated in Psalm 25:14, “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” Amos 3:7 reads, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.”


 It’s important to understand unless you’ve been trained in God’s secret place, your public ministry/service will be like a super structure whose foundation is weak; or a large tree with plush branches whose shallow roots in the midst of a storm are unable to keep it from toppling over.

Confusion is overtaking the land while we struggle with our identity, not knowing who we are in Christ Jesus.  God is not at fault; we’re the ones who walk away and find comfort in this world even though Jesus said in John 17:16, “They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world.”  However, God is calling us back to Him.   God does not take issue with your intelligence, your ignorance, your wealth or your poverty.  He has you on His heart and He will not leave any one of His children behind as stated in Ephesians 5:25, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Knowing this should bring much comfort and strength to our own hearts.  Christ is forever interceding for us as our High Priest. Exodus 28:21 – 29 gives a similitude of the twelve tribe’s names engraved on precious stone on the breastplate over the priest’s heart, meaning we are always on God’s heart.  Grace and mercy are abundant in the midst of an oppressed people. Oppression comes when God’s people turn from looking to him and depend on the resources of this world and government for their lives, not realizing that the spirit of the antichrist is in control of the world system. God will use you just like He used Elijah to bring light into the Kingdom of God.  Perhaps you are thinking you’re not an Elijah or Elisha with a mission.  But, we all have a mission as recorded in John 17:18, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” You are getting to know the one who is sending you as He deals with you in His secret place.  He will speak to you; not in the thunder or fire, but in a still small voice where the Holy Spirit directly guides you.  Elijah stood before evil King Ahab and spoke, I Kings 17: I; “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” In some versions of the Bible it reads, “before whom I stand”. What does it mean “to stand”? It means to be ready for your Lord’s bidding. You are waiting for His will to be expressed.  It’s not merely walking before Him or running about always restless to busy yourself with His service. Standing is ready to listen to His Word, waiting for His direction. Elijah is declaring judgment on God’s covenant people who had turned to other gods and worshipped them.  The anger of the Lord burned against them and this was an earlier warning by God recorded in Deuteronomy 11:16-17, “Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.   Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.” Remember God is love – but also just. Isaiah 55:11 reads, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Here is a man who was set aside while God was building his character.  Character will always reveal your position with God.  He stood before God waiting and waiting; praying before the God he served.  Is it possible to serve a God that you do not know?   How can you know the mind of God if you do not spend time with him?  So many ministers rise to the top only to shine for a few moments, and then die out.  The man of God stands before Him and is being trained in the secret place.   Ministry formed in the secret place speaks the word of God and not the opinions of man; ministry formed in the secret place will last forever.  II Timothy 3:16, 17; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” My prayer is that you see the DivineDiscipline at work in the ‘man of God.’

I Kings 17:2 says, “Then the word came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.” God is very clear with His instructions, never letting us second guess them. Elijah is very obedient to the Word of the Lord. He never questions or argues, but follows the directions of the God he serves. He leaves his public ministry and enters into dependence on all mighty God; living only from the brook, and the bread and meat the ravens brought him.  He’s spiritually living off the Word that came to him.  A servant listens and obeys without questioning. We must count the cost even as our Lord did and submit to God’s direction.  Separate yourself, get away from the public;   trust and believe what He says and allow His word to manifest itself.  Paul said we die daily; every day we’re like sheep led to the slaughter. Death works in us but life in you.  Understand this process.

Ministers today speak with shallow words and bring confusion into the Body of Christ.   Much of the church can’t discern the spirit behind their words.   God is bringing forth his true ministers who are not interested in titles, positions or exposure and will not bring confusion. God knows the time to bring you forth.

The Holy Spirit has stopped me here, but there is much more that He will reveal to us as we listen and obey. Amen!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Divine Discipline

Jesus nailed to cross 300x224 The blood is precious

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11,12

Has the question ever risen in your heart: Am I going to sit on the throne to rule and reign with Christ?  Maybe the better question to ask is: Am I meeting the conditions set by God to sit on the throne to rule and reign with Christ? God has left us examples in His word to help answer this question.

In I Kings, King David was on the verge of death and Israel was asking who will be heir.  We need to recognize how the natural man moved during this critical time in Israel’s history, and how the natural man is moving at this particular time as well.  The Holy Spirit helps us to recognize human nature and how God deals with it.  Throughout His Word, God exposes the natural man’s sinful state to help us. I Kings 1:1-37 records the story of David’s last days upon the earth. Verse 5 reads, “Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.”  So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.”  Note the first two words, “I will”.  In Isaiah 14:13-14, Lucifer rose up and crassly spoke similar words before he was cast out of heaven, “….. I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 

Nathan the prophet told King David what was taking place. I Kings 1:6 reads, “His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?...” This verse tells us Adonijah never experienced the discipline of his father. Understand this; we must receive our Father’s discipline in order to come into our given positions in the Body of Christ instead of moving forward and taking titles and ministries that have not been given to us. Only through this process of discipline will we sit on the throne to rule and reign with Jesus Christ.  Jesus said in Luke 16:10-12, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”

In 1 Kings 1:33 David declares his son Solomon as heir to his throne. Solomon’s procession didn’t consist of chariots or guards. He was put on the king’s mule, escorted by the priest and the prophet, then sat on the throne and was declared King. 

Solomon’s heart is revealed in I Kings 3:7-9, “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”   There was no arrogance, pride, or self confidence in Solomon. The prophet and priest came and got him.  Today it is the Holy Spirit that draws a person as we read in Matthew 2:14, “Many are called but few are chosen.”  You will know it and you will submit to God’s disciplinary process.  How important it is to listen, to agree and come into the reality of God’s divine discipline. 

Today, there is a greater one than Solomon (Matthew 12:42). According to Galatians 4:6, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” This is being ‘United in the Spirit’. Since we have received the faith of the Son, we have received the authority and power of the Son.  However before we can exert the authority we must understand the discipline our Father puts us through.  We must willfully accept or reject the process of discipline; this is not the time to complain. God is speaking to his people through the unfolding events around us.  The Body of Christ is preparing to manifest the authority, the power and the glory of Jesus Christ; all that He is and all that He has. 

There was peace throughout the land during Solomon’s reign but it came to an end as all types and shadows do.   Today Jesus Christ has arrived in all His glory and He is increasing in us. Isaiah 9:7 (NKJV) reads, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end...” As the Spirit of Glory is increasing, the spirit of the antichrist is also increasing.  Discipline comes along with spiritual increase because the spirit of Christ is being poured out.  The church will arise in the glory and splendor of Jesus Christ.  Solomon was declared King and proclaimed heir of the kingdom because he was loved by his father.  Kingship is not a matter of merit, skill, talent or any natural accomplishments; it’s a matter of love. Love is the key to discipline that is working in us and for us.  Solomon’s words were referenced in Hebrews 12:5 when the Hebrews were going through troubling times of pressure and testing, “ . . .My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”  You and I are discovering our position; we are coming to know what it will take to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. 

Our Lord endured discipline.  Hebrews 5:7 reads, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered…..  Are you a son?  It is very important to understand our father’s ways!  Consider the Lord accepting Judas Iscariot’s purpose and never pushing him away.  He knew Judas’ walk with Him was appointed of His father.  Jesus knew his disciples were flesh and blood with weaknesses, ambitions and self interests.  As they walked with him he accepted and loved them to the end. 

Kingship is not a matter of merit, skill, talent or any natural accomplishments; it’s a matter of love.

We must understand and accept the process of discipline because God loves us despite the poverty, pain or whatever else has been ordained for us.  We belong to God.  If our Lord had to endure these hardships to inherit, shouldn’t we as sons and daughters accept hardships in order to receive our inheritance?  We are being loved in these times of hardships and crisis.  There is a hereafter; there is a throne to be received and a kingdom to rule.  He will entrust the Kingdom of His Son to children who have accepted the discipline and understood its purpose.  The reality of “Here am I” will set in and a joy will abound despite the circumstances.  You’ll know you’re in your Father’s hands.  God says to the church in Revelation 3:19-22 (NKJV), “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  TO HIM WHO OVERCOMES I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We are destined to rule and reign, but there is a process of discipline that will bring discomfort, pain, and irritation.  God knows what he is doing to you. Sometimes He will use those closest to you, a family member, friend or co-worker. This is not a time to give up!!! This is a time to submit and depend on God.   Regardless of where you are pray that you will take hold of this revelation and submit to the Holy Spirit who will bring illumination to your understanding.  The process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ will become a reality and this world which is coming to an end will see that there is a people who know their God and who walk upon the face of this earth demonstrating, expressing and fulfilling God’s purpose.  The message of the cross is Jesus Christ glorified and exalted.    The Holy Spirit solely knows what the Body of Christ needs.  Rejoice in the Lord in EVERYTHING, rejoice!!!!

*Unless noted, all scripture references are from the NIV.