Archive | April 2012

How the Law in the Old Testament reveals Jesus and the heart of the Father

Heavenly Father,

I pray that you refresh us all with Your Presence today, and remove anything that may be hindering us today and strengthen us with might in the inner man.  I pray that You anoint my hands to type this message that You want me to type, and I pray for a clarity and focus to be able to preach this Word today.  I pray that You open the minds and the hearts of the people reading this message today and let the Holy Spirit just flow through me. Thank You Blessed Father.

In Jesus Mighty name I pray,

Amen.

Some clarification and teaching needs to be built up in the body of Christ.  Do you say that the Law is bad, or that there is nothing good about the Law?  Do you say that because of the New Testament that the Old Testament has been done away with?  Do you often feel condemned by the Law, but do not know how to understand the benefits of the Law.  Have you been listening to other preachers and teachers instead of digging out the Word of God for yourself?  Confusion needs to be put aside, and clarity needs to be put into picture.  These are the last days and we need to have the whole Word of God as our breastplate of righteousness.  Do you believe that the New Testament is the only valid part of Scripture?  Do you believe that Pauline epistles are the best revelation of Scripture and everything else needs to be ignored?  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the whole Scripture is about Him.  So here I am going to attempt, Lord willing, to make clear some things.  But it is my encouragement to you to search out the Scriptures for yourself.  My message is not meant to condemn anyone or to bring any confusion, and it is geared for people that are able to search out the Scripture for themselves.

1Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.Psalm 119 – the words in bold are very important to understanding about the Law.  Psalm 119 is a very important Psalm and it was by David who was a man after God’s own heart.  I recommend you read the whole Psalm and pray it.  He loved God and he had the same struggles as we do in keeping God’s commands, dealing with sin, but he had a pure heart and even found forgiveness for his sin, but it was the priest that had to make atonement for him, and now we under the Heavenly Priest Melchizedek who was the first priest who came to Abraham and is Jesus who came as it says in Hebrews.A basic definition of the Law is: Law  is an Instruction or teaching which could be prophetic- Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets testified of Him, which is also called Torah.The whole Bible is full of prophecies and teachings which reveal Jesus and His character and nature and in turn revealing the Father’s heart.  Advice to people when reading the Old Testament, is not to take it so personally, but to understand the time, and context, and the people who were being spoken to and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you.  You will find wisdom when you do this.  Be careful of when people try to make personal applications, when there are not supposed to be personal applications.  Yes of course God can give you a rhema, but the Law is the teaching and prophetic revelations of Jesus Christ, and the New Testament says not to despise prophecies, so even though it may be difficult to understand at times, when you grow and mature the things that you do not understand will be revealed to you.
Testimonies or edah – witness  (the testimonies in the Law are a witness to Jesus)Witness – the witness means whatever testifies of Jesus or of God, and we have many testimonies of Jesus now.
Iniquity or evel means injustice or even could mean violent deeds of injustice, unrighteousness, or wrong – this is just a guess but it is probably where we get the word evil from.Have you ever been wronged, and you wished that you could go and pay them back, but then you heard God tell you to go and forgive that person and that He is your vindicator?  That’s because of His divine Justice.  His Justice, is not like man’s justice and I may do a post on that some other time.  He can decide what’s in a person’s heart whenever they do something and He can make right what once went wrong, and He can deal the proper vindication because that is part of who He is because He does not change.  Luke 13: says: 24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:26Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. “27But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. Jesus did not like injustice either.  Just because He is a person of grace, that does not mean that all the iniquities that we have done, and you will know if your heart is pure or not, but through His big Rubix Cube, He knows how to take something that is very mixed up and bring it back to all the right colors in all the right places even if it means He has to pop them all out and put them back in again.  What it takes to enter through the narrow gate is a refining process to purge out everything ungodly and to go through sufferings, and tribulations, but to endure through them all so that you can be like shining gold.

Way – 1) way, road, distance, journey, manner- Jesus is the Way to the Father’s heart and bridges the gap that was made through sin
a) road, way, path- Jesus is the road and the path we have to take
b) journey- Jesus is the journey we have to take through the Holy Spirit
c) direction- Jesus is the direction in which we have to go
d) manner, habit, way- we must strive to the best of our ability, taking on His strength to help us to be like Him to have his habits – for the places where we fail and make mistakes Jesus understands, and that’s where His grace comes because otherwise He knows we would all have OCD trying to keep up with all the 613 ways, but it is the way to enter into His gates
e) of course of life (fig.)- This is the course of life in which we must take, and that is Jesus
f) of moral character (fig.)- Jesus moral character is what we need to take on.

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for derek (Strong’s 1870)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 30 Apr 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H1870&t=KJV >
Jesus is the Way – and the journey into the Father’s heart, which is the ultimate goal of our life as Christians.Precepts (piqquwd)– principles or rules intended to regulate behavior or thought, Statute – something prescribed or bound or limit, ordinances – boundariesBlue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for piqquwd (Strong’s 6490)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 30 Apr 2012. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6490&t=KJV > We have the principles, but we need the Person and without the person we are lost.  We must strive to never lose sight of the person, and even though we don’t feel Him, or get excited every time we hear about Him – because we must love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, sometimes, we will not always feel like He is there, or that we are in passionate love with Him, but that our hearts need to be purged and purified before Him so I pray that He ignites our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits, to be on fire and to love Him, and to thank Him in everything because there will be times, when we cannot or do not have the strength or energy to read the Bible in the last days, and we will be tested and shaken, but be calm and steady because our God and our Lord has equipped us for every good work.
Commandments (mitsvah) – things prohibited by God.-Somethings for our own good need to be prohibited- if we’re doing things that are harmful to ourselves, and God knew, which is why He created all these things, but the greater commandment, which is to love God with all our heart, our mind, all our soul, all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves…We need to remember to keep these things forefront in our hearts.  We must choose our thoughts, and live beyond our feelings, and sometimes your body and your emotions will tell you things which don’t agree and line up with the Holy Spirit, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you as a Christian, but that the Spirit of God is taking you through a refining process and He is taking out the leaven in your life.

Judgments (mishpat) –
1) judgment, justice, ordinancea) judgment1) act of deciding a case2) place, court, seat of judgment3) process, procedure, litigation (before judges)4) case, cause (presented for judgment)5) sentence, decision (of judgment)6) execution (of judgment)7) time (of judgment)b) justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man)c) ordinanced) decision (in law)e) right, privilege, due (legal)f) proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, planWhen we are in a kingdom, we must know our rights, our rights and our inheritance in the Kingdom of God are defined throughout the whole Bible.  The Pharisees took these concepts and used them to make people feel like they had to live up to their standards, where God had different standards.  They were the traditions of men, and those traditions were very dangerous because they were getting so religious about keeping up with all the tediousness, which were only guidelines on how to live a healthy life.  The consequences were exagerrated to make a point, and even today we have consequences – if you have 50 gallons of beer, you are probably going to have some pretty bad consequences, and God knew that.  Now if you’ve tried your best to follow what you know in your heart to be the right thing as a Christian, and that is based on what the Word of God says then there will be no reason for condemnation, but if you know in your heart that you have done something wrong, then the best thing is to go and repent for it, and to receive the abundance of God’s grace and mercy.  The Holy Spirit is always with you and He will never leave you or forsake you, and even if you drift away, but avoid doing evil at times, The Word of God says in Ephesians 1:13 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.  The key being is that you trust God.
Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for mishpat (Strong’s 4941)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 30 Apr 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H4941&t=KJV

 

So to summarize, we need to love each other and that is the fulfillment of the law and when we don’t love and forgive each other we feel miserable, and God does not want us to be that way, and when we don’t love others we do injustice before them, and God sees that and He tries best to rectify the matter, but we are limited to the free-will that is in our hearts to choose Him for eternal redemption, and He is not going to let you go without a fight, so don’t lose heart, don’t be discouraged, and don’t lose faith because God is an awesome God and He will never leave you alone, and He has known things since time began and He is working mighty miracles.

 

Heavenly Father,

I pray that you ignite us with passion to serve You even more, and that You remove sicknesses away from all of us, and remove all the burdens and the yokes, that come from living in these evil last days, and that You shower us with Your mercy and Your grace, and do not let us grow weary in well doing, because we know in the end that everything is about You and all this is for You and for Your glory and we ask You to draw near to all of us today, and remove any anger or bitterness, resentment, fear, guilt, shame and insecurites in all of our lives, as we draw close to You as we draw nearer and nearer to You and farther and farther away from the world and it’s wickedness.  Forgive us Lord, for the times we have taken out anger on other people in our times of distress, forgive us Lord for any thoughts that are unpleasing to You, and forgive us Lord for any way that we have not acted and according to Your Word and let us receive the Word with clarity and insight and purpose, and just let us walk away with restoration peace, and bring divine healing to all of Your precious saints, everywhere from the top of their heads to the souls of their feet and let Your glory be shone throughout the Earth Lord God, fasten us to You with the glue of the Holy Spirit.

 

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Trials, Troubles, Pain, and Sickness means God knows you have the character to make it through

Whenever you go through trials, trouble, pain, and sickness, God knows that you have the character to make it through.  He is using it as an opportunity to challenge you to push through and fight through the thoughts, and negative emotions that weigh you down.  If you’re a born again believer, God has put the seed in you to go and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, so that you can be a bold conqueror and when you get there you can say, “It was the LORD God who got me through this thing, and it was He who equipped me to face this battle.”  If you are going through sickness, pain, struggle, that means that you are not alone, and God knows your ready for it, He knows you can handle it because He will not give you more than you can handle.  Sickness, Trouble, pain, and disease do not come from God, and is not in His nature.  He loves His children and does not want to see harm to them.  In fact, when you go through these things, it is like the father or mother who gives his child to the doctor to get vaccination shots to give them immunity to the disease.  They are injected with the disease and then they built up an immunity to it.  In the same way, Jesus Christ, is our vaccination, because He has given us His Blood for the disease.  So now it takes His Blood working through your spirit man, and going through your soul and your body to make it whole so that it can be used for his glory.  God does not abuse His children.  He loves them.  He cares for them deeply, with an ever consuming Jealous passion, that keeps Him wanting to protect you, and keep you from harm.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I believe that the reason that we go through most of the stuff that we go through is that the Word of God may become real to us and that we may apply it in our lives so that we may be a blessed and living example of the glory of is His Kingdom on our lives.  He trusts us so much with His Holy Spirit, that He has given us all strength to get through any situation, or else we wouldn’t be here.  It is our faith that needs to be affirmed of this.  We need to grab hold of and seize our faith in Jesus Christ, and His Word, so that it becomes life to us.  It becomes life to all that hear it, so that it becomes life to all our flesh.

Most of our battles, if not all, come from our mind, which has thoughts that are destructive to our bodies.  When we have these thoughts, and we do not renew our minds with the Word of God – the seeds that give life and Word to those to hear and obey the Word then we will delay the seeing of the glorious blessed life that He has planned for us.  The problem is that many of us want to obey God out of fear of judgment, or choose to accept Christ out of a fear of going to hell, when actuality, there’s a different purpose and reason to God.  He wants to reveal more of His loving nature then to take out His rod in anger.  It’s like if your child did everything that you ever wanted, was kind and obedient, and loving, and went out of his/her way to show you how much they loved you, wouldn’t you just get a kick out of it?  Wouldn’t you be delighted in that child?  If your child did whatever you told them, but never wanted to spend any time with you, and told people, you were mean, crushing, judgmental, and you were harsh and strict, instead of loving, wouldn’t it grieve you even if you knew that was not your heart when you disciplined the child.  Yes there are some unruly children, but even Supernanny shows us that there are better ways to teach children good behavior that will last them longer, then abusing them.  That’s really not the nature of God.  Depending on how unruly the children are there are different ways of dealing with them because they have different natures, you want to show them, the love and the compassion that you have for them.  If your child is crying all the time, and upset all the time, after a while you become divided in your heart with compassion for the child and irritation because you find that all they do is cry, and you just want them to grow up and be mature so you can talk to them and tell them what’s on your mind, so that’s why you have conversations with God.  God doesn’t want to go to Him and grief and suffering, crying out all the time.

That’s what brings into mind these Scriptures from Isaiah 22:
Therefore I say, “Turn your eyes away from me,
Let me weep bitterly,
Do not [e]try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.” – This is God crying for Jerusalem

12 Therefore in that day the Lord [m]GOD of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the LORD of hosts revealed Himself [n]to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be [o]forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord [p]GOD of hosts.

To know who this is talking about – we turn to John 8:

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but [l]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand [m]what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [n]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of [o]lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

This Jerusalem at this time in the Scripture has not accepted Jesus, that’s why they are like, “let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  The iniquity they had was building a man-made fortification system.  We trust in man-made things to protect us, instead of the LORD GOD who will protect us.  This is a strong statement of Jesus for the Jews in John 8:47 – He said that they are not of God. So how can that be, that they believed in YHWH, and were still not of God?  They were following man made traditions, and they still wanted to kill Jesus.  The enemy had taken what was originally intended for good, and perverted it, like has been done in many Scriptures, and even in our thought life when we read the Scriptures, and even when we don’t read the Scriptures.  I would have to speak to a rabbi to find out what the Jews thought about Isaiah 22.  What was their sin, that was so unforgiveable?  Their unbelief was one, and sometimes as Christians we do that too.  We believe God, but do we really believe God?  Will we fight for what we believe?  Will we fight for the Truth?  Will we proclaim the Gospel on the mountain tops and shout it in the valleys?  We have lost our first love and lost the passion and love for Christ because we have been so provoked and consumed with fear, and reverance of God, that we lose sight of His nature, and His kindness.  We lose sight of the fact that He is not angry with us, and does not look down at us with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry today?”  That’s not the nature of God.  That’s what Jesus is talking about.  Don’t think just because the Bible says something, that the way we interpret it, or the way others interpret it is what it really means.  In the temptation in Luke 4, the enemy used the Bible to attack Jesus and make Him try to commit suicide, and to test His powers.

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around [a]by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [b]the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [c]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You [d]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,

‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’

11 and,

‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

First, he attacked His appetite, and His identity.  Then he attacked His authority and power of influence, and finally he attacked His identity and His life using the Word of God.

We go through the same thing.  The enemy has no new bag of tricks, it’s all the same, it’s all been done before.  There’s nothing new under the sun.

Sometimes we go through things just to be a blessing to others, so that when others see what we’ve been through they can rejoice and say God is Good all the time.  God is definitely good all the time, and He wants us to know that He accepts us and loves us and cares for us, and desires to delight in Him.  So when we begin to see the fullness of Christ, we will change…but first we have to change our perspective on God’s character, that God in both the Old Testament and New Testament is a kind, gentle, steadfastly loving, with loving kindness God,  then He can give you the stamina to be able to push through whatever it is that you need to go through.  Most Christian people are struggling with not knowing who God is, and because of that they don’t know how to make it when times get hard.  They think that God does not love them, that He doesn’t care for them, but the Truth is that He does.  He cares because He is the great shepherd, the one who loves His people, and that means all who believe in Him.  He loves even those that don’t believe in Him because He wants them to come to Him.  So cast your fears and cares aside, and lean on the God that loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you!!!  And now He’s the only One who is still alive!!!

How to unlock the prophetic gifting when everyone else seems to be asleep

When I am talking about sleep here, I am not talking about physical sleep, I am talking about spiritual sleep.  One of the things that I’ve learned when focusing on theological aspects, and even on the Love of Christ sometimes, is that we lose sight of the fact to keep an eye out for the seasons we are in.  Some people say that the prophetic Scriptures were for when Jesus was here, but there is a Truth that He is coming back, and like I read in someone else’s commentary, which applies to us today as Christians, we have been part of the “End Times Ostrich Syndrome”.

God reminded me of this, that we all have the Holy Spirit, and have been gifted with the gift of prophecy.  The problem with being a prophet is that sometimes you have to say things that are hard, and pack a punch, but if you are obedient to the Lord, you will do  it.

God speaks through metaphors, and not just the Bible alone, but you have to be well versed in the Bible to be able to grow because it is the Word of God and herein lies the seed and the Truth to what God has set you do for His kingdom.  The  The more you become spiritually and sensitive to the Holy Spirit He will start to begin to reveal and show you things that are deeper than just the surface.  He can show you types and shadows of things in the spiritual.  The most important thing is to pursue a relationship with the Lord, and the goal is to listen to the Lord speak to you about everything so that it is a conversation about everything.  Some people have been gifted with the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom, but mostly we want to get to that point where we are so intimate with the Lord He talks to us all the time.  That takes some time spending in His Presence.  For that to be right in most cases you have to have your conscience clear from any guilt and there are a number of ways you can do that, but I’m not going to do that.

There’s no formula to how God speaks to you, but we have to be alert and we are watchmen so we have to keep an eye on the Big picture, that Jesus is coming back again…we don’t want to debate about when.

Here’s just one example, and I’m not saying that this will work for you, because God speaks to everyone in His own special way:  So I made something today, which did not turn out pretty good, and it was all burnt and the texture just wasn’t right.  I was reminded of two Scripture interpretations, Revelation 3, and the Laodician Church –

The Lukewarm Church

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans[f] write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 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. 21 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.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

and I was also reminded of Ezekiel in Chapter 4

“Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it. 11 You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.”

13 Then the Lord said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”

14 So I said, “Ah, Lord God! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.”

15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”

16 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, 17 that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.

To see where God was going with this I decided to go to read the next few chapters.  I was reminded again that God is outside of time, and when He was He was giving this prophecy to the nation of Israel, He was remember Jesus who was crucified because of the Jews unbelief, and also because of the idolatry of the nation of Israel.  Right now in Israel, we see that it has actually turned away from Jesus except for the few Messianic Jews living there, but the book of Ezekiel gives a warning and Jesus gives a warning in Revelation.  God hates and despises idolatry, and we cannot say that it is ok to keep having idols because of Grace.  A common example of Christian Idolatry is the celebration of Easter.  It was originally Passover, and because of the pagan goddess of where the name comes from and modern day Christians don’t know any better they say “Happy Easter”, knowing that this kind of thing is a blasphemy to God…because He says in Ezekiel – “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.”

That’s not a pretty picture.  One thing though is we can get carried away with prophecy to the point where can actually be harming ourselves, if we think we’re hearing from the Lord.  It all has be done with wisdom.  For example, I don’t think God would ask anyone to eat bread baked on cow dung, or to walk around naked like Isaiah did.  You have to be sure you’re hearing from God, and it has to be done with a purpose on spreading some kind of message.  It is some kind of message that God wants you to send, and in that you must choose to be obedient to God.

Reading books like Revelation and Ezekiel, which are full of metaphors, are a great way to get insight into the supernatural.  For more information on things like this I would recommend John Paul Jackson’s Understanding Dreams and Visions.  Study the most you can about prophecy, but also examine your heart and ask God to remove anything from your heart that is not pleasing to Him, so you can be satisfying to His mouth, and a joy to His taste.  He really does love you, and He does care for His bride, but at the same time we cannot be blind to what’s going on around us and what the Scripture says about His coming back.  There’s so much more that God wants to share, but He’s looking for hearts that are hungry to serve Him, and be obedient to Him.  Before you can get to obedience, and this is not a works-mentality thing, you must pursue intimacy and be delighted to be in His presence, and not to a place where you are hiding from Him.  It takes time.  Be patient with God.  Listen eagerly and He will teach you through His Holy Spirit which abides in you.

Heavenly Father,

I did not intent to pervert or twist the Scripture in anyway, so I am asking You to apply the Blood of Jesus on this post and let what needs to be seen be seen, and hide what needs to be hidden.  I ask You to impart prophetic gifting to the Church, the Bride in these times, because your Word says, In the last days, young men will see visions, and old men will dream dreams.  Pour out the spiritual giftings among Your people so that they may know You more and more intimately.  Answer prayers, and put a hunger to pray in the Spirit among the people.  Help us to pray Your will and to seek Your face daily and to grow in the light of Your Word and to increase in wisdom, and strength, and power and might, so we can be the true worshippers who worship in Spirit and Truth.  Help us not to be complacent in our pursuit of You, but to pursue You with our whole heart.  We thank You for Your Mighty Presence moving in these last days.  May Your Spirit be poured out even more and more.

In JESUS Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

Striving for perfection

The world strives in its own ways for perfection in what does or what it thinks and they way they dress, look, and most of it is pretty superficial.  But Christians also strive for perfection to be like Jesus, and to know Him better.

Jesus made this statement:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

When I am cooking a meal that I like, like maybe spinach curry.  I put all the right ingredients, according to their measure from what I have been trained to do, and then I find that by God’s special touch, the food has come out perfect to my taste.

That’s the way God is with us.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  He shapes us and molds us and perfects us into His very likeness and image, and each day He is delighted in the fruit that we bear and He says “perfect.”

John 15 says:  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Roses are very beautiful, but a good gardener knows that he has to trim the rose bushes for them to bear fruit.  He also has to water them and give them enough light.  The Word is the water, and Jesus through His Holy Spirit is the light.

Sometimes we go through valleys and ups and downs, but in the end that is because of discipline because the Word of God says, “No discipline is joyful, but is grievious and painful, but in the end produces peacable fruits of righteousness to those that have been trained by it.”

A sculptor is looking for beauty in his creation the same way God is creating beauty that comes from Himself within creation.  When the sculptor is sculpting He can mold the creation whatever way He deems fit, and when He is dealing with people, God shapes them each into a creation the way that He orchestrated and designed in His perfect will.  Some of the pieces may be abstract, or look kind of funny, or look misshapen, or may even be cracked vessels, but in them He is creating beauty.

Sometimes we are so bogged down by sin, guilt, and shame, that we do not see the beauty that God has created in us.  He’d rather us not feel sorry for what we did, then miss out on us seeing the beauty He put in us when He created us. We were fearfully and wonderfully made.  God knew us before we were in our mother’s womb.  We were knit so intricately and woven into pieces by perfect design, but He wants us to realize that design He created in us, after we accept the Holy Spirit in our life.  Before we accept the Holy Spirit, our righteousness is like filthy rags, but after we have the Holy Spirit, we take upon ourselves His righteousness, so we can no longer live in darkness, but obtain pure perfection which is in the light of Jesus Christ.

The Lord has given us joy, so we must not wallow in doubt, fear, unbelief, murmuring, complaining, and disappointments.  He is waiting for us to realize that all the time we’re missing just worrying about being disobedient to Him and being cast away from His presence.  Would a mother rejoice in a baby that refuses to love her?  Would a mother rejoice in seeing her child in pain?  No good mother would.  She would be grieved.  The same way our Heavenly Father is grieved when we don’t experience His love for us.  He is there for us when we need Him.  But sometimes when we are going through hard times we cannot see that so then in the journey to seek the perfection and complete maturity in Christ, we get weighed down by all these circumstancial things.

True perfection is a about an attitude of the heart, which can be shown by thoughts and words.  Your thoughts and words have to change before your deeds do.  You can do all the deeds, but if your intent and thoughts and attitudes of the heart are not right, then they are not going to bear the “perfect” recipe of delight to the Lord’s mouth.  He may have to go and sprinkle some more spices on you just so that you add up to that right flavor.  He wants you to be just right.  If we feed off Him, and take delight in Him, then it is a sure way channel to reach into perfection.  The more we rely on Him, and trust on Him, and just relax and not worry about trying to achieve and trying to grasp and trying and trying and trying….only to make mistakes over and over again, the more we will see it is about acceptance.  Like Hannah Hurnard says in Hinds Feet in High Places, – “Acceptance with Joy”.  The Christian life is the ultimate metamorphosis process, and without Christ people get lost in the way of finding what they are truly supposed to be like and in the end look for things that don’t really matter.  Each life is valuable and has purpose, and when we see a life wasted away, some of us look carelessly, and think, just another statistic, but to know what’s in God’s heart is a totally different thing.  That’s why Jesus had to come, because in the Old Testament God had rules for disobedience, and they did not follow, so instead, they gave a person, which is Jesus, who took on the personification of perfection and laid it down before us so we can grasp and attain it.  We are no longer living in this world of sin, but living as heirs of perfection of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

So all of this striving and reaching and attaining for perfection is in vain, unless you realize first why God created you, and your redeemed value in Christ.  It’s Christ’s mission to make you realize the redeemed value that you have in Him, and where you stand through His eyes.

There is wellspring of knowledge and insight, and presence, and perfection, of God through the Holy Spirit, only so much more than we can possibly hope to attain or seek in one life time, but Oh, to be with Christ, and to see the eternal salvation, that awaits us on the eternal side of this life, would bring joy.  We must also seek, therefore, on this earth to have that fullness of perfection in realization of the redemption of Christ, as we submit our own weaknesses and allow Him to make beauty and perfection out of them.  Because only out of Him does beauty and perfection lie.

 

You reap what you sow

This message is not about money.  This message is about the Word of God and it is very crucial that people learn how to rightly divide the Word of Truth as to not bring condemnation to souls, and bring life into wounded and broken souls.  As I posted in my last blog posting, You are God’s beloved, I mentioned that there is a body and soul and spirit, but God’s perfect design is for the person, body, soul, and spirit to be whole and complete, just like Jesus was when He was on this earth, and just like He is in heaven.

Jesus makes an incredible teaching on the Word that is sown:

Jesus Teaches in Parables

1 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And [a]large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

An Explanation

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 [d]Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 [e]In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

[f]YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, [g]BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
[h]YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the [i]word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he [k]falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the [l]world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

When Jesus is revealed through the Scriptures this is what happens:

 

The Road to Emmaus

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[e]

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Wouldn’t we all like to be a part of that conversation)

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

This burning was positive, and it meant that they were greatly moved because before they were depressed, and sulking, and now their hearts burned within them.

Whatever Word you do preach, the same will come back to you in some form, at some time.  Whatever you sow you will reap. Remember that the Word is supposed to reveal about Jesus and the character and nature of Him.

So I want to give an example of how not to interpret Scripture, and what not to do to an audience because even though it is the Word of God, people will take it the wrong way, and it is the Truth, but it is established by two or three witnesses.  So a question to ask a believer is what is their worst fear?  I think for most Christians is that they will be rejected by God forever, so I will just go into those verses right here.

David lists the same concern in Psalm 77

“Have you rejected me forever? Won’t you be kind again?

1 Chronicles 28:9

Solomon, my son, worship God and obey him with all your heart and mind, just as I have done. He knows all your thoughts and your reasons for doing things, and so if you turn to him, he will hear your prayers. But if you ignore him, he will reject you forever.

This particular verse is when David is talking to Solomon and the focus on the verse is on obedience, which is what your supposed to do, but in the light of this translation this is what the verse says.

So how do we reconcile that as a Bible student or preacher?

Jeremiah 31:37
Can you measure the heavens? Can you explore the depths of the earth? That’s how hard it would be for me to reject Israel forever, even though they have sinned. I, the LORD, have spoken.

So from the New Testament it says:

35 The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36 Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them forever.

This is a little bit different than the verse 1 Chronicles.  The word here is faith in the Son, and not obedience.  We have to remember that a God is a God of hearts and He knows our hearts.

Even though the Bible says

Jeremiah 17:

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

We have to know that the LORD’s response was:

 10 “I the LORD search the heart
   and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
   according to what their deeds deserve.”

We have to keep in mind who is speaking and when they are speaking or we can get things out of context and really cause problems.  I myself am still learning about this, but am trying to be more careful when I write. That’s why when people take things out of the Book of Job, I am careful to find out who is exactly speaking because God cautions against the dark counsel of Job’s friends, so we need to learn at their mistakes, and not to take what they said, and apply it as Truth and fact. We have to examine the who, what, when, where, and why of Scripture.

Also we have to examine, like I said in my blog posting Dangers of Preaching out of the Soul, that you have to know what audience you are preaching to.

One thing that we have to know about the LORD and Jesus is that He is loving, joyful, patient, kind, slow to anger, merciful, gentle, meek, possessing goodness, faithful, and He has self-control.  Because of this nature and characteristics of His, which we are to become like, we need to carefully consider our words, so as not to hurt others, because whatever hurt we cause will  come back to us so we speak words that build up and encourage and exhort.  We need to know where people are established in their faith so that we do not become stumbling blocks before them.  We don’t want to get in the way of those that are pure in heart and seeking after God, and not willingly participating in sins that it mentions in Galatians 5.

Out of the times that we are in the darkness is definitely getting darker, but the light shouldn’t be getting darker too, it should be getting brighter.  So how do we do that, Jesus gave the example in the Road to Emmaus. Speak life, not death.  Speaking life causes life.