Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christ Manifested


Christ Manifested
by John Fletcher - 1768

God's Purposes In Manifestations

Chapter 3

I now wish to consider why the Lord manifests Himself to the children of men, since this is the next important point. It is not, as is only too obvious, for the gratification of men's curiosity, but for purposes worthy of His wisdom. However, in order to discover what these are, we shall find it better to place all such divine manifestations in three general classes: extraordinary, ordinary, and mixed; then we shall consider the design and use of each class, as revealed in the Bible.

EXTRAORDINARY MANIFESTATIONS

I am beginning with manifestations of the extraordinary kind, which means that they are either merely external, or are vouchsafed to a few persons only on special occasions, and are by no means essential to salvation.

Some extraordinary manifestations are calculated to rouse the thoughtless into a consideration of eternal issues. For example, you will remember that manifestation which some were favoured with, a little before our Lord's passion, when as Jesus prayed, there came a voice from heaven, saying, 'I have both glorified My Name, and will glorify it again'. The people, therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered; they looked upon the extraordinary as something common and natural. However, others said 'an angel spoke to Him', recognising the difference between this and thunder; but Jesus said 'This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes'.

Other extraordinary manifestations are intended as a last warning to notorious sinners. The terrifying sight which Nebuchadnezzar beheld, in his second dream, of a Holy One coming down from heaven, crying aloud 'Hew down the tree', was of this kind. Likewise, the mysterious hand, which wrote Belshazzar's doom on the wall while he profaned the sacred vessels during his revels, was a last warning.

Some extraordinary manifestations are designed for the protection of God's people, or the destruction and humiliation of their proud enemies. Examples of this might include the story of the humiliation of the armies of Egypt by the Lord; also, when He cast down great stones from heaven upon the armies of the five kings who fought against Israel; or when He manifested His presence in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, in order to quench the violence of the flame, preserve the three hebrews, and convince the raging tyrant that God's kingdom rules over all.

The design of other extraordinary manifestations is to encourage the children of God in dangerous enterprises; or to direct them in important steps. That one in the life of Joshua, before he began the conquest of Canaan, was of this kind; and that in the life of St. Paul, when the Lord stood by him in the prison informing him that he must bear witness also at Rome.

Some are calculated to appoint some persons to uncommon services and trials, or to the prophetic and ministerial office. In this connection, recall how Noah was commissioned to build the ark, Abraham to offer up Isaac, Moses to deliver Israel, Nathan to reprove David, Balaam to bless Israel, and Jeremiah to preach to the Jews.

Finally, there are those extraordinary manifestations which are designed to fulfil providential means for the deliverance of the people of God, as with Gideon; or to answer spiritual ends of reproof, instruction, and consolation to the church throughout all ages, as were most of the revelations vouchsafed to the prophets, and those to John.

ORDINARY MANIFESTATIONS

The manifestations essential either to the conversion of sinners, or to the edification of saints, and which the Word of God (and the experiences of Christians) show to be common to all believers in the Church, are of the ordinary kind, and their use or design is one of the following:

1. To make God's Word spirit and life, quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, so that the gospel may not come to sinners in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

2. To ease an anguished conscience, and impart the peace of God to a troubled mind-as in the case of broken-hearted David, mourning Hezekiah, weeping Peter, and Paul agonising in prayer.

3. To reveal Christ to us, and in us, so as to make us believe in a saving way, and to know in whom we have believed, according to the experiences of Peter, Lydia, Cornelius, and every living member of the Body of Christ.

4. To open a blessed fellowship, and keep up a delightful communion, with Christ - as appears from the experiences of believers illustrated in the Canticles.

5. To silence the residue of self-righteousness in us, and to deepen the humiliation of our souls - as in the case of Job. To make us grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; to bruise Satan under our feet; to bruise the serpent's head in our hearts; to seal the exceeding great and precious promises given to us, that we might be partakers of the divine nature, and to continue immovable, always abounding in the work of faith, the patience of hope, and the labour of love. In a word, they strengthen us with might, by God's Spirit, in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, and so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

6. To prepare us for great trials, support us under them, and to comfort us after them. This was our Lord's experience before His temptation, after He had overcome the tempter, and when He was at the height of His agony. This was also the situation in the case of David, Paul, and of all the Apostles, when they had been scourged for the name of Jesus; and it is still the case of all true, and deep, mourners of Zion.

7. And lastly, to make us depart in peace, as Simeon did, or to die in perfect love with our enemies, in the full triumph of faith, like Stephen. All who live and die in the Lord, partake - more or less - of these ordinary displays of Christ's powerful presence, and I wish you to remember, that it is chiefly (if not only) in support of these important manifestations that I take up my pen.

MIXED MANIFESTATIONS

The third class of manifestations is that of mixed ones; so called, because they are partly extraordinary and partly ordinary. Some are ordinary in their design but extraordinary in their circumstances. The manifestation to the Apostles in Acts 4: 31 was like this; the design of it was merely common, that is to comfort them under contempt, and to encourage them both to do good and to suffer evil; however, the shaking of the place where they were assembled was an uncommon circumstance.

Some manifestations are mixed, both as to their design and circumstances. That the iniquity of Isaiah should be put away, and that Saul should be converted, were not uncommon things - they are the common effects of ordinary manifestations - but that the Prophet should be commissioned to preach to the Jews and that Paul should be called to open the eyes of the Gentiles were extraordinary circumstances; as extraordinary as a flying cherub appearing to the one, and an unusually bright light blinding the other.

BLIND PREJUDICE

For want of distinguishing properly between what is ordinary and extraordinary in mixed manifestations, those people who are not possessed of a clear head (or of an honest heart) often conclude that none but fanatics speak today of divine manifestations! If they hear someone preach that they must be converted in the way that Paul was, they pertly ask if this means that they are Jews, or if they must be struck to the earth by a voice from heaven! Such people wilfully forget that our Lord spoke to His hearers as to sinful men, and not as to bigoted Jews, when He said 'Except ye be converted, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven'. They obstinately refuse to see that the circumstances of the Apostle's falling to the ground were not essential to his conversion, and had no other use than to make his call more remarkable for the Jews and of comfort to the Christians.

So, although I contend only for the ordinary manifestations of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am far from believing that all extraordinary or mixed manifestations have ceased. Such a concession would savour too much of the spirit of unbelief which prevails in the church today. These extraordinary manifestations are more frequent than many imagine! To show you how far I am from agreeing with the modern spirit of unbelief, let me say that I am so attached to the Bible, as to say of many who pass for ministers of Christ 'Woe to the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing; that say "the Lord says" and yet the Lord hath not sent them.' I think the desire to be styled 'reverend' or 'right reverend', and the prospect of a 'living' or a 'mitre', are very improper motives for assuming the sacred office. Am I sufficiently an enthusiast as to believe that the Church is right in requiring that all her ministers should not only be called, but also be moved by the Holy Ghost, before they take upon themselves the office of Ambassadors for Christ.

DANGERS OF ABUSE

Having mentioned the design and use of ordinary manifestations, it may not be improper to touch upon the abuse of them. Their genuine tendency is to humble one to the dust. The language of those who are favoured with them, is 'Will God indeed dwell on the earth'; 'Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that Thou visitest him'; 'Now that I see thee, I abhor myself : I am not worthy of the least of thy mercies : I am dust and ashes.' But as there is nothing which the heart of man cannot be tempted to corrupt and pervert, so, as soon as the power attending the manifestation is a little abated, Satan begins to shoot his fiery darts of spiritual pride. 'You are a peculiar favourite of heaven' whispers that old serpent 'few are so highly blessed. All your enemies are scattered; you need not be so watchful in prayer, and so strict in self-denial; you shall never fall.' If the believer is not upon his guard and does not quench these fiery darts with his shield as fast as the enemy throws them, he is soon wounded, and pride kindles again in him.

St. Paul himself was in danger from this quarter and so there was given him a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of the revelations. Aaron and Miriam fell into this snare, when they spoke against Moses, saying 'Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath not He spoken also by us?' David likewise acknowledged his error in this respect : 'In my prosperity I said "I shall never be moved," Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong, but Thou didst hide Thy face from me, and I was troubled.' The way to avoid danger is to recognise it before hand, to look much to the lowly Jesus, and upon the first approach of a temptation towards pride, to give - with double diligence - all the glory to Him who has graciously bestowed all, and to take - with double care - all the shame of our sins to ourselves. Paul's advice in this respect is excellent: 'Because of unbelief some were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.'

A genuine effect of divine manifestations is to produce an increase of confidence in the Lord, and of activity in His service. What holy boldness filled the souls of those worthies, who 'through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness ... and turned to flight the armies of the aliens'? See how the love of Christ constrained the disciples to speak and act for God after the day of Pentecost; nothing could exceed their fortitude and diligence! Nevertheless, if you yield to the temptation to be proud, not only is the Comforter grieved, but carnal security, spiritual sloth, and indulgence of the flesh, prevail. The deluded Christian fancies himself to be the same still, though shorn of his strength, like Samson. 'Soul' he says to himself 'thou hast goods laid up for many years, even for ever. Although the Lord does not manifest Himself to you any more, be neither uneasy nor afraid; He changes not'. Sometimes the delusion grows to such an extent that the further this man goes from the Kingdom of God, the stronger he imagines his faith. He even speaks contemptuously of that Kingdom. He calls righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost an immature experience, a low dispensation, beyond which he has now happily passed. He thanks God he can now rest upon the bare Word, without an application of it to his heart; that is to say, he is fully satisfied with the letter without the Spirit, he feeds upon the empty husks of notions and opinions, as if they were power and life.

The end of this dreadful mistake is generally a relapse into gross sin, as witness the falls of David and Solomon; or, what is not much better, he settles into a form of godliness without the power of the same, like the Laodiceans of old. The only way to avoid this precipice, is for us to follow in the light of the first manifestation, and to look daily for new visitations from Christ, until He makes His abode with us, and until we walk in the light as He is in the light. A manifestation of the Holy Spirit last year will no more support a soul this year, than air breathed yesterday will nourish the flame of life today. The sun which warmed us last week, must shine again this week; old light is dead light; a notion of old warmth is a very cold notion; we must have fresh food daily, and though we need not a new Christ, we need-perpetually-new displays of His eternal love and power. The Lord taught us this important lesson when He made the manna in the wilderness to disappear every day, and when He caused that manna which was not gathered fresh, to breed worms and to stink.(*The critic and the extremist may consider that Mr. Fletcher is here advocating weekly sights of the Saviour. Nothing is further from the truth, as the author is at pains to make clear. However, he does advocate constant close contact with the One who said 'without Me you can do nothing').

Nevertheless, even as the mysterious food continued sweet in the golden pot within the ark, so does the heavenly power in Christ; to whom, every true Israelite will come daily for new supplies of His hidden manna, for fresh manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Thousands, by not taking account of this, seek the living among the dead, fancying that a living Saviour is to be found in dead experiences, and that all is well even though they live after the flesh, and are, perhaps, even led captive by the devil, at his will. However, when their souls awake out of this dangerous dream, they will become aware of their mistake, and will frankly acknowledge 'God is not the God of the dead, but of the living' and that 'if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.'


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CHRIST MANIFESTED by John Fletcher - Around 1768

This particular book was not written by him for mass circulation; he intended it for only one reader-a gentleman friend who was bewildered and who could not obtain proper spiritual help in his local church. The six chapters here presented originally took the form of letters in Mr. Fletcher's own handwriting. It was not until fifteen years after the author's death that these letters, along with many other manuscripts, were gathered into two large volumes and published. The edition from which I have taken this manuscript was published by Messrs. Jones and Company, of Finsbury Square, London, in 1830.

Read the book here

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MAN-centered or GOD-centered


Finding the 'Keys' to the 'Kingdom'
The Man-centered approach:

There is a correct and an incorrect way to approach GOD. Unfortunately, our generation has learned the incorrect way to a fault, while remaining ignorant of our error. We have been born into the 'great falling away.' We have been indoctrinated with the theological teachings of men. By use of man's reasoning capabilities, God has become moldable, manageable, and conformable to our perceived needs and desires. In short, God has become whatever an individual or group have created in their own imagination, with the influence of religious points of view incorporated to give said image substance and validity. I fear that we are all in for a very rude awakening!

"Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand" Isaiah 64:8.

There is not much wriggle room for glorying... when we are faced with being little more than a lump of clay. There is something inherent in man's fallen nature that seeks out glory. We are all susceptible to this unsavory attribute of our natural inclination. Remember the argument Satan presented Eve with in the garden? "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" Genesis 3:4-5.

Equality with God! Pride!

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" Proverbs 16:18.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Alien and A Peculiar People



"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" 1 Peter 2:11-12.

We are not of this world, we are aliens. We long for the city whose builder and maker is God. We are citizens of his kingdom. “...The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)


Definition of alien - anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found

1. a person who is a citizen of a country other than the one in which he or she lives.
2. a being from another world
3. a person who does not seem to fit in with his or her environment

Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” And he prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” (John 17:16-18, 20) Jesus said we are not of this world any more than he is of this world.

This is not our kingdom any more than it is his. Just as the father sent him into the world so he has sent us. We must crucify the flesh. The body of the flesh that loves the world and the things of the world; it can not receive the things of the Spirit. “…..There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:44) Until we have put to death that body of flesh as Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me:.."(Galatians 2:20) we will not be able to fully comprehend what the Lord said. “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Peter said we were, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23)

This is a spiritual rebirth, quicken by the word of God. Peter was there when Jesus spoke of this seed in the parable of the sower in Mark the 4th chapter. “And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear….Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:9,11)

Jesus was speaking to them of the Kingdom of God and explained the parable to them. “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word.” (Mark 4:13-14)

The seed is the word of God and he is the sower. Most of the seed did not grow up and produce fruit. It is amazing to read the reasons why. Some believed Satan rather than the word of God that was sown. Others did not want to suffer afflictions or persecution that would have caused them to grow strong having deep roots. Others cared about the things of this world. (Mark 4:19) “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” The Amplified Verse reads, “Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”

As Jesus said in verses 9 and 12, it takes ears to hear, and eyes to see.

Many that are in this state where the word has been choked and is unfruitful, they don’t even realize it. When I was still in the “Christian” religious system, they said “Do not to be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good” But by his grace, my Lord called me out to have a real relationship with him instead of one that is filtered through man’s ideas of who they want God to be. He has caused me not to want to be part of this world. Consequently, the world seems strange to me, and I am strange to them. As long as you have one foot in the world and one foot in Christ, you will lose; his seed will be choked out. You can live good moral lives and do a lot of religious works, but if your idea of success is to live the “American dream” and you strive for that, you are missing the truth and you are of the world. For the world seeks after those things. God said in Ezekiel 14:4 he will answer you accord to the idols of your heart, because you do not have a love for the truth “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:11)

Many well meaning people will fall into deception because they followed deceived leaders teaching a false gospel. But we are not like the world; we do not seek after these things. The Lord knows what we have need of. If we seek the Kingdom of God instead of this world’s kingdom, he will supply what we have need of in this world. Yes, we occupy while we are here in this world, doing the work the Lord gives us to do. But our desire is not the wealth of the world; it is the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and to be found in him at his coming. The over indulgence of the things of this world and the mind set to compete and to succeed over another is not found in the mind of Christ who came as a servant. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness " is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence. These three aspects are listed among the "inalienable rights" of man, but is NOT listed or found in the mind of Christ.

They are things that the world seeks after, but we seek a higher calling, to become as a servant. The grace of God teaches “..us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14)



Yes, we are a peculiar people, the world is strange to us, and we are strange to the world. If we are not, we are not of Christ. The world will not change and we are not called to try and make it change. We can only preach the Gospel of the Kingdom as the Lord gives us utterance, and the Holy Spirit will drawn out of the world those that are his. Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”



(Psalms 85:13) Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps. (1 John 2:6) He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!



Amen!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Praying In The Name Of Jesus



(John 14:12-14) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it
.”

The last few days the subject of prayer has been on my heart. We have heard so many different “formulas” for prayer; we can hear them daily on “Christian” TV. They have formulas for getting out of debt, formulas for healing, formulas for everything. A popular one is trying to convince people to give to certain ministries (sow your seed) so God will reward them with answered prayers. This sounds like trying to buy favors from the Lord.

It grieves my heart and I am sure the Lord’s heart as well that his people are being so deceived. But this only happens when they do not have a real love for the truth. The scriptures say they perish: “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) They are drawn away by their own desires. James 1:14 says: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed.”

I’m not here to dispel all theological error that man has come up with in these last two thousand years in attempts to get God to do man’s bidding. I just want to share a simple truth of God’s word; it is all about HIM and not about US or our desires.

The above verses in John 14:12-14 taken out of context is just one example. People believe that all they need to do is make out a wish list or a prayer list as they call it, present it to the Lord and finish the prayer with “In Jesus’ name”. They believe this is praying in his name, but saying it that does not make it so. This is not what it means to pray in his name. In fact, doing this is more like taking the Lord’s name in vain. Putting the Lord’s name to something that he has not said, is taking His name in vain.

James 4:3 says: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” The word "lust" here means “pleasure”. Things that seem good or right in our own eyes without inquiring of the Lord is praying amiss.

If we read the earlier verses in John chapter 14 Jesus was responding to a request of Philip. Jesus had said: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (John 14:8-10)

Jesus said that when they saw him, they saw his father. Philip didn’t understand this. Jesus was the complete representation and the very imagine of the Father. Jesus did not come in his own authority, wants or desires. He only came to do the will of his father. (see Heb 10:7,9) He is talking about an intimate relationship between himself and the father, they are one. He has prepared a way for us to grow into this same union with him and the father and even to walk as he walked.

(1 John 2:5-6) “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Continuing on in the 14th chapter he gives us a promise…if we do the same thing and have this same mind, he will send the Spirit of Truth to us; if we live in obedience to him.




(John 14:15-21) “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him
.”



Without the Spirit of Truth we cannot know him nor have the mind of Christ for it is spiritually discerned. How then can we pray according to his will as Christ did accord to the will of his father? “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God
.” (Romans 8:26-27)

Prayer should become more about learning from our father and listening to him rather than just giving him a list of request. We would do much better if we were to wait on the Lord, listen for his mind and ask him to place his desires in our hearts. As we yield to him, he places in our hearts the things he would have us pray. Then we can pray with confidence that he hears us. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Amen!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

THE REVELATION OF THE SONS OF GOD




The Call to Sonship

There are many in the church who aspire to mature sonship, but there are many less who have learnt the secrets of walking in it. All who enter the Kingdom are called as sons of God, but few are willing to meet the cost of becoming MANIFESTED sons. For those who object: "but sonship belongs to ALL believers at the new birth", I would agree and disagree. It is one thing to enjoy the TITLE of son and heir and the privileges that come with that position. It is quite another thing to submit oneself to the school of obedience and unjust suffering that produces within us the character of the Firstborn Son, to whose image all other sons are to be conformed. (Rom. 8:29) A wise father recognizes all his sons as his sons, but also marks and celebrates the day of maturity when a son can be trusted with the responsibilities of a functioning heir. It is at that time that the Father's endowment of authority in that son becomes apparent to the world.

So we are talking here not simply about the inheritance of sonship through faith, but more specifically about the unmistakable MANIFESTATION of that sonship, here on this earth and in this mortal life, that must be witnessed by creation. Those who, in the coming days, will be revealed to all creation as "manifested sons" of God will be those who have yielded to the Spirit's training in ALL aspects of sonship, which includes the Father's discipline (Heb. 12:6-8), and the embracing of the Cross.

There is no mysterious exclusion zone surrounding this event the scriptures refer to as "the manifestation of the sons of God" (KJV). We should not be deceived into believing this company of sons who will be revealed are an elite group of super-saints, endowed with a level of holiness not available to the average believer. On the contrary, the invitation to walk as one of these manifested sons, whom the scriptures say the whole of creation is longing to see, is an open one, available to all born-again children of God. The scriptures also make abundantly clear, however, that attaining this measure of mature sonship will involve significant cost to the flesh for those who sincerely seek to respond to it.


by
Cheryl McGrath



Monday, November 17, 2008

In My Father's House

"Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" (John 14:22)

It is evident from the answer Christ gave to Judas that there will be a personal appearing of the Father and Christ to each saint who keeps the words of Christ. This is not a manifestation to the world but to the believer who shows his love for Jesus by keeping His commandments.
Jesus' answer to Judas is the fulfillment in the new covenant of the old-covenant feast of Tabernacles.

The three great annual gatherings of Israel were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

"Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:" (Deuteronomy 16:16)

First we are delivered from wrath and commence our Christian discipleship—Passover.
Then we learn to serve Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in righteousness and holiness in the Spirit—Pentecost.

Finally we are ready for the Father and the Son to come into us in a far greater way than we have known and to make us an abode in the Father's House—Tabernacles.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)

John 14:23 describes the new covenant fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles, of Leviticus 23:33-43. Note (above): "If a man love me; will love him ; come to him ; make our abode with him."

"Tabernacles" always is an individual experience because it is an exchange and expression of love between Christ and the believer.

Jesus does not come to them but to him. When each of the believers has been prepared as the dwelling place of the Father it will be time for them, as we read in John 17:21-23. As was true of Solomon's Temple, the living stones will be fashioned precisely and completely "at the quarry."

When the appointed hour has arrived for the stones to come together to form the Father's House, it will not be necessary to do any trimming or adjusting. The Body of Christ will flow together by the power of the Spirit at one sovereign Word from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bride of the Lamb will be completely mature, in perfect unity, without wrinkle, spot, or any blemish of any kind whatever.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." (John 15:1)
The Father does not want any more vines. He does not want any more christs.
There is one Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true Vine, and the only Vine God will bless. He is the eternal House of God, the perfect and complete expression of God's Person, love, and will.

R. Thompson

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Fear, But Truth For Those That Are Hid In Christ


Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Jehovah come upon you, before the day of Jehovah's anger come upon you. Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah's anger.” (Zephaniah 2:2-3)

I can not keep silent any longer....I will have to let the chips fall where they do. Look what has already started, undermining Biblical warnings of the last days, and shaming any that would speak of such things. I was sent this email "forward" today, it was sent out to encourage Christians the day after the elections. Here is the opening quote from the email:


“Dear Friends,

For months now my email Inbox has been besieged by nearly hysterical warnings about what will happen if Barack Obama becomes President. I have been encouraged to be worried, afraid, concerned, prepared for disaster, and a whole host of other maladies if this happens. I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here, on the day after the election, I would like to start my own email concerning this election. It's a "True/False" test. I'd like for all of us to take it. Feel free to email it on to whomever:”

Then it precedes with a dozen or so questions asking was God still in control...were we still to be good Christian...saving the lost..and so on...And I believe his conclusion was....don't worry any more we may not like it, but we will be ok because God is still in control.

It is not for fear that we warn, it is the pure word of God going forth to prepare his people for what is coming.

Was Jesus spreading fear when he told the disciples the truth? He told them they would be hated...they would be persecuted....they would be killed....there would be earthquakes...there would be famine…..there would be a false Christ arise to the most powerful position in the world and the whole world would wonder after him....he would come to fix (or should I say "heal") the problems of the world. Jesus said not to be deceived by him....Jesus warned us to watch and pray...to be ready to "flee to the mountains" when we saw these things BEGIN to happen! He said you know the seasons, when the weather was changing by watching for the signs, he said in the same way you should know when the time of the end was at hand. How dare us if we do not warn others!

When Jesus warned of these things, was he afraid God would not be in control? Does God still love us and is he still in control while many are being killed for being obedient to him and for following him? Let me tell you folks! God is not so interested in our comfy little lives we have here on this earth, he is far more concerned with our spiritual life and where we will spend eternity. All else pales in comparison. As long as we know that we are in God's will and are obedient to him....we can have the faith to go through anything!!! There is no hopeless fear in this...if we KNOW our God.....We don't have to put our head in the sand and ignore the truth of God's word....or try to twist it around to fit our own idea of what is right, just to make us feel better!

God is God! He told us these things so we would not be fooled into following the anti-Christ! He told us these things so we would not doubt his hand is still on us even in the worst of times. He told us these things so we would not be caught up in the things of this world. He told us these things so we would not trust in ANY man to SAVE us. He told us these things so that we would have only ONE KING, the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not have duel citizenships; our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God alone!

I am not saying Obama is the man of sin spoken of in scripture, but I would not be foolish enough to say that he is not. He is the most obvious candidate for that position this world has ever seen to date. I believe it is God’s mercy that he is so obvious to those that know scripture to wake them up and drop the “I’ll fly away before it gets bad” deception. And drop to their knees and seek God for some REAL answers.

OH People I would that I could shake you out of your slumber!

And I heard the Lord say: "Alas there is a shaking coming…and for mercy I will do this thing. Tribulation will come to my house first. Through the fire you will be purified. It is coming and not many days off, I tell you these things so you will know and not be deceived. You must learn to lean on me and no one else, for there is no other way for my people to enter in except through me."

Articles

Can You Handle the Truth?

The Sovereignty of God in Our Lives

Let Us Go Up To The Mountain Of The Lord

The Glory

Learning To Be Taught of the Lord

Alien and A Peculiar People

Praying In The Name Of Jesus

Not Fear, But Truth For Those That Are Hid In Christ

Keeping Your Eye Single

Stand before the Lord

The Glory

Deceiving....and Being Deceived

Eye On The Prize

His Voice and Not Another

"Come to the Mountain"...Hid In Christ

We Shall See Him As He Is

The Mystery That Was Hid in God

Members in Particular

An Urgent Word to Prepare

Was It Really God that Got Saved?

He that restraineth......restraineth no more!

The Mystery that was hid in God

The First Principles of Christ

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Keeping Your Eye Single



Reading in Mathew the 6th chapter….

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

(Matthew 6:19-24, 31-34)

These are the words of our Lord. It is his instructions on how we are to live our lives if we are to follow him. It should be obvious to us that the Lord did not want us to be wrapped up in the things of the world. John 17:16 he says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Whether we are willing to live this way or not tells us a lot about our commitment to the Lord and the attitudes of our hearts. Are we willing to follow hard after our Lord at the cost of everything?

We don’t hear the song “I surrender all” sang much any more. Just like the rich young ruler, there is far too much to surrender. Many would much rather hear that God has blessed them with everything they have and therefore he would never ask them to give anything up or trust that when we might lose some of the comforts of this world, it is still God that is in control and directing our lives. Paul warned about our time in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” These are the teachers who are “…..destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1 Timothy 6:5)

The true message of the Gospel is preached very little today. People don’t want to hear about dying to self and picking up our cross to follow the Lord. They don’t want to hear that those who truly follow the Lord will care very little for the things of this world. Preachers who are after large crowds can not afford to preach the truth. And by now most don’t even remember what the true Gospel of the Kingdom is. These words of Jesus’ are foreign to most who would call themselves Christians.

But the truth is, if we are to be true followers of Christ, our lives are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price and we are his to do with according to HIS purposes, not ours. (1Cr 6:20, Rom 8:28, Eph 1:5, Eph 1:11)

If the truth be known….most do not trust God to provide for them as he said in Mathew chapter 6. And in the same way they do not trust Him with their spiritual life either.

If we cannot grasp these things now, how will we be able to suffer for the Lord? “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10) How will we be able to trust our lifes to him, even if it means death?

Let us look at the parallel between taking care of our physical needs and our spiritual needs.

Jesus said not to worry about money, what we would eat or what we have to wear. He said that was His responsibility. He is able to give to us what is needed according to his purposes, whether it is a job to help support our needs or a raven dropping food to us as He did for Elijah (1Kings 17:4). Our eye….our focus, is to be on the Lord and not on the needs of this world.

In the same way, our “self” righteousness is of no value either. It is not about what we do in our own strength. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that conforms us in to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” This is why it can be said in 1 John 4:17 “…. we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” It is impossible for us to do this in our own strength, but the “Just shall live by faith” and “all things are possible with God

The Kingdom of God is not what “we” can do for the Lord….it is all about HIM. If he so chooses to take these vessels of clay and use them for his glory, they belong to him to do the works as he pleases…..it is only at his choosing and it will be him that performs the works in us….so no flesh can glory! In the mean time…..we are only to follow hard after him…spending time with him…learning about him…..knowing him…..hearing his voice…..and loving him with everything in us! This is striving to enter into the Sabbath rest of the Lord. Ceasing from our own works and allowing Him to take the reins of our life, bringing us into the very imagine of Christ.

Hebrews the 4th chapter tells us about this rest.
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
(Hebrews 4:9-11) This is the only “labor” that is required of us!

When Christ was on the cross, paying the price for our sins, He said, “It is finished”….no other sin offering would ever be needed….no other ritual….no other tradition of men and no other works of our flesh would be needed because.….IT IS FINISHED!

The only thing required is our eye is to be single and fixed on him……to fellowship with him….to be in his will…In no other place is there freedom. Complete trust in him as we give him our all. Whether we live…we live unto him….whether we die….we die in him.


Our eye is to be single…..as He brings us to the place where we have but one true desire…and that is to follow hard after thee, O Lord…in Him we have fullness of life…He will complete the work He began in us…..as we seek Him with our whole heart. Our true desire is to be conformed into his very image. Only he can perform this work in us…so no man can boast. It is not our good works, trying to “put off” sins in our own strength. These works done in our flesh is only wood hay and stubble and will be burned up in the fire of God…..for there is NONE good but the father! But if we walk in the spirit as he is in the spirit….seated in Heavenly places with him…..we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Amen! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stand before the Lord



For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God's Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.” (Hebrews 5:12)

As we go through rough times in our life, for most of us, in the back of our minds we feel there is someone or something “out there” that can help, guide or comfort us besides the Lord. It might be family, a friend, a doctor, a lawyer, our money, the church or the government. Yet we will sing the song to the Lord that says, “He’s all I need” and to an extent we believe that and it is true, as least for those who that have truly committed their life’s to him and daily pick up their cross to follow him.

But there is coming a time, and I believe it is fast approaching us, when the Lord would have us put aside all the crutches we have used in this life and look only to the Lord. God is looking for a people that will hear HIS voice, trust and follow HIM; even if they are totally alone they will not fail, because they KNOW their God. They will recognize HIS voice, whether it is through another person or directly to them by the Holy Spirit. We need to stop depending on a preacher or a teacher to tell us what is in the Word or what God’s will is for us or what is going on in these last days. While we can share and have fellowship with one another, our leadership needs to come from the Lord alone!

This is a new concept to many that are in the religious church system today. They look up to a “Pastor” as their spiritual head, and go to him for their spiritual needs. This is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which God hates! The power of the clergy over the laity.

(Revelation 2:6) "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."(Revelation 2:15) "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."
If you don’t think this is true, how many could give a word from the Lord to the assembly they attend without first getting permission? What if God gave you a song to sing? Or would you first have to get permission from the “powers that be” in your assembly? If the Holy Spirit is directing you, why would you need to go to a man for permission in a place that claims to be of the Lord? Let us agree that the church system today is not setup that way, it would not be “practical”. It is not a “normal” thing for them to do; it would be too disruptive and confusing with their large crowds. But their way is NOT the way of the Lord and NOT the way the first assemblies were held in the days of the Apostles. Therefore it does not encourage that kind of personal relationship all members should have with the Lord ……so that problem doesn’t arise much. But God is going to shake all that up! And through tribulation, will cause his people to call on him.....and him alone.
The Lord really brought all this home to me the other day…the seriousness of what we are about to see….and what some of us may go through….and the absolute necessity of following the Lord for ourselves. While in prayer the other day the Holy Spirit came on me and I began to pray earnestly in the spirit. Then I heard the voice of the Lord say...."So you want to answer directly to me do you?".....an invitation….. And the fear of the Lord came on me, for a moment I had a real revelation of what it meant to have NO ONE to look to but God! To stand before God all alone. Later, I thought of how the Children of Israel told Moses “You speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:19)

Even though many of us are outside of the religious system, God has brought us together with others. We learn from each other, encourage one another in the Lord and share sweet fellowship. We, or at least I, have thought of this as a "group" thing and it is as far as the Body of Christ is concerned as a whole....we are fitly joined together in the spirit.....But in the natural there is coming a time that some of us will no longer have this luxury, I think. Have you ever thought who Jesus had to talk to besides the father? All his "guidance" came from the father....there was no contemporary for him to "bounce" things off of. He taught his disciples, but he did not have that kind of a relationship with them at that time....

This has brought me to my knees afresh. I thank the Lord for the growing relationship he has brought me into with him these last few years and his constant love and guidance….but all I can think right now is I need to know him SO MUCH more!!!! We need to know HIM and HIS voice…..and follow him where ever he goes.

These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women (the apostate church?), for they are [pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

BREAD OF LIFE!




BREAD OF LIFE!

Consider these words... let them sink in...

I AM the Bread of Life!

He that comes to ME, will never hunger... and he that Believes on ME will never thirst.

Jesus spoke these words over two millennia ago, yet they are as powerful and vital today as the moment that He first uttered them. How so? Because God is a Spirit... He created time, (as we know it in these mortal bodies of clay), but He is in no way limited by time. Jesus, The Christ, is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Not a single one of His words will ever return to Him void, but will accomplish that to which it was sent.

These words speak to our inner man... that spirit being within each one of us. Now, even as then, Christ's words fall upon carnal ears and understanding, while the carnal intellect tries to make sense of them. And now, even as then, these same words also fall upon spiritual ears that are hungering and thirsting in this wasteland of sin and misery... ears that can spiritually discern the truths contained in these simple terms.

I Am the Bread of Life! Jesus is making a statement of FACT... there is no margin for error here... no 'maybe,' no 'I could be.' HE IS... the 'I AM.' This is the first thing that we need to come to grips with.

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matthew 4:4.

Forget all of your theological training. Forget all of your opinions and theories. Throw away all of your fancy charts and graphs created by men in an attempt to 'figure out' the 'Plan of God' in a logical, predictable way. We are inundated with the teachings of men, while we are starving for the Life-Giving Bread that is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the WORD. Jesus is the LIFE. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" John 1:14.

Hear what Jesus said:

Continue Reading

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deceiving....and Being Deceived




(2 Timothy 3:13) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The following is a word the Lord gave me last year about the Angel of Light. 


Satan, as the Anti-Christ Spirit, has been masquerading as an Angel of Light, and he has been given power to deceive many even the "very elect" if it were possible in these last days.
"And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light."(2 Corinthians 11:14)

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)
The word "light" in the above scripture is the Greek work "phos" meaning - to shine or to make manifest. From this root word also comes the word "photizo: as in 1 Corinthians 4:5 “to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest
1) to give light, to shine
2) to enlighten, light up, illumine
3) to bring to light, render evident
a) to cause something to exist and thus come to light and become clear to all
4) to enlighten, spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge
a) to instruct, to inform, teach
b) to give understanding to
With the above definition of Greek word for "light" we can understand that 2 Cor. 11:14 is saying that Satan comes as an angel of light, giving "understanding" of spiritual things.  It is a false light with a false understanding of spiritual things.

Paul had to deal with the false "angel of light" in his day, but said it would become much worse in the last days. Even as Jesus himself warned: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."(Matthew 24:24)
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"(1 Timothy 4:1)

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." (2 Timothy 3:1)
We know that in these last days God will be shedding more light and revealing truth that had previously been hidden.  Many things have been "sealed" until the "time of the end".  God revealed mysteries to Paul that had been "kept secret" to all previous generations , he wrote:
"...the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began," (Romans 16:25)

"...how that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hathnow been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;" (Ephesians 3:3-5)
Revelation means to bring to light that which was hidden, disclosure of truth, instruction concerning things before unknown.  Things that Daniel wrote thousands of years ago have been sealed until our time. 
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)
As Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1, these are perilous days we are in. And as God is revealing truth to his body, Satan will try to deceive "even the elect" if he can with His own brand of the "truth". Satan has had 2000 years to perfect masquerading as this angel of light. There has been a great falling away from the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom as it was first preached by the apostles. God is now returning the truth of this Gospel to his people.  It is the powerthat can transform us into that a people He is looking for, it is a "church" without spot or wrinkle.

It will not be easy to deceive those who seek Christ for truth; Satan will have to cloak the deception in the midst of much truth, becoming a master of deception as the "angle of light".  I believe He will use the scriptures as His biggest tool to try to deceive the elect, he knows them well and knows how to twist them.  He will put scriptures together and make it seem logical and right, but will be doctrines of devils.  Those who are not willing to lay down ALL other props for guidance, rather than trusting in Christ to being led by His Spirit and have not received a love of the truth no matter what it might cost them, will be deceived in one fashion or another.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditionof men, after the rudiments of the worldand not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
The word for today is BEWARE. Beware of the traditions and "religions" of men. Beware of the "rudiments" of the world.  A definition of "rudiments" is:  a statement of fundamental facts or principles.  It is human reasonings rather that being led by Christ.  If we hold to any of these things, our traditional way of doing things or our reasoning, even our own understanding of scripture if it is contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, it will become an "idol of our heart" and will leave us open to deception.  There is no other sure foundation than Christ and being led by His Spirit.  If we look to anything else besides Him, it will become a stumbling block for us and we will not see the truth and will be deceived.  God will give us over to believe this counterfeit "angel of light" and will believe the lie unto our own destruction.
(Ezekiel 14:4) "Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel that taketh his idols into his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I Jehovah will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols;"

In these last days there will be wonderful revelations from the Lord returning us to true holiness, and pure word from Him.  We must judge all things through Christ and He will be faithful to lead us to the "Life" that manifests His nature...the "church" without spot or wrinkle.
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." - (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)



Monday, October 13, 2008

Eye On The Prize



"All of us, with unveiled face, continued to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." (2 Corinthians 5:2-4)

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Simple?* No! Four thousand years to explain it…..two thousand years to demonstrate it. And now, when we are told it is impossible, we will see the fulfillment of it.

The verses above apply to a time we will see before the literal return of our Lord Jesus Christ as explained in Acts 1:11.

"But we are citizens of the state which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)

We will have an “appearing” IN us…..Christ manifesting HIS life in us before that “Great and terrible Day of the Lord!

Keeping our eyes on the prize, allowing him to conform us into his image, minding the things that are above and not on earthly things. In this we will have our rest…yet there remains a rest for us…..when we shall see him coming to dwell in his body.

"For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day. So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience." (Hebrews 4:8-11)
It is Christ and not our own efforts any longer. He must increase and we must decrease.

Jesus explains the kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; he goes and sells all he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44). And again he says it is like finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:46) Jesus describes the kingdom many different ways in scripture….but one things is sure…..when we find it…we will give up all to have it! We will not be willing to let it go for a bowl of pottage as Esau did.




*Note: (2 Corinthians 11:3) "But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ." Three times King James translates the word “sincere” (Greek: haplotes) as simplicity, from this they say the Gospel is simple….this whole idea comes from ONE misinterpreted word!

Strong’s definition of the Greek word "haplotes":
1) singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty
a) the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy

2) not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generousity


Friday, October 10, 2008

His Voice and Not Another



Hbr 5:13-14) “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Brothers and Sisters, if there was ever a time to start getting it right….it is now. Many of us have been saved for many years but have not grown past the childhood stage in the Lord. But we will not survive in these last days living on stale milk.

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

It is time to grow up and forsake the ways of the world. Many believe that just putting away the “fleshly sins” found in Gal 5:19-21 and not “running with the crowd” that live such lifestyles is all there is to “coming out of the world”. But this alone is NOT forsaking the ways of the world. Growing up involves so much more than that, it cuts to the very core of our own understanding. Growing up is truly becoming as a child, depending on our father for everything. (Pro 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”)

(1Co 2:12-14) “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Let us put aside our own reasoning and forsake our own ways. Isaiah 55:8
"For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD." Man’s reasoning’s are the way of the world.…..We must stop trying to figure everything out with our own wisdom and understanding….if not, we will drown out the voice of the Lord….we must be quiet in our own reasoning so we are able to clearly hear the “still small voice” of the Lord and to be led by him.

When we look at scriptures with our carnal mind and reasoning we will be like Paul said: (2 Timothy 3:7) “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. It is the Holy Spirit that was sent to lead us into all truth”.

Jhn 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Luk 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”


Whether we are reading scripture or listening to someone teach we must depend on the Holy Spirit to open up the word of truth to us. So many times things sound good to our natural understanding, but learning the difference between our own understanding and a revelation from the Holy Spirit is the only way we will not fall into deception.

If we do not have a genuine love of the truth, and a desire the follow the Lord where ever he leads us, we are dead in the water before we even get started. The scriptures tell us that only a small remnant of people will truly seek the Lord in this way. Most will be as Paul describes: (2Ti 4:3-4) “they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

This a dangerous place to be! If we continue to lean unto our own understanding and follow what “seems” right to us, we have opened up a door for Satan to enter in and deceive us. This is what the following scripture is talking about…it is the anti-christ spirit who will be able to deceive and is deceiving many now who call themselves Christians. (2Th 2:9) “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” They had picked out for themselves teachers that told them only good things and how to live in pleasure. You will notice, the scripture isn’t talking about people in the world, but those in the “church”. And make no mistake….it is happening NOW!

(2Th 2:10-12) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We have awesome promises from the Lord if we walk in his light and not our own. Being weak, so he can be strong, even blind so we can see through his eyes.

Isa 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

In our carnal mind this seems impossible, the job too big, how can we know when it is the right voice or not…..especially when it seems to go against everything we know. There are so many voices to listen to. There are our thoughts, then all the advice from other people, and then there are all the religious teachings that is so ingrained in us.

But through the entire maze we find comfort in the scriptures. In John the 10th Chapter Jesus tells us that his sheep will know his voice and will follow him. He said that his sheep will not follow another. That means we will not follow any other man, for we cannot climb into the sheepfold on another’s back no matter how holy they are. We are required to have our own relationship with the Lord and hear from him for ourselves.

Though we can hear the Spirit of the Lord through others, it is the Lord that we follow. They are only sign posts pointing to the him. It is God’s choice on how he speaks to us and he has been known to use even a donkey (22th Chapter of 1 Kings).


(Joh 10:27) “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.”

If we seek the Lord with our whole heart, we know “he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hbr 11:6) We have faith to know he will do as he said, he will cause us to hear and follow his voice, it will rest on his shoulders, not ours. For we can do nothing of ourselves.

This is the faith we have, as scriptures say: “The just shall live by faith!” If Jesus said we would hear his voice and follow him…..then we just believe that we will do exactly that. Not because we are so smart, but because the Lord will have mercy on us and perform this work in us because we ARE weak. Praise his Holy Name!

As the world is falling in to turmoil and great confusion all around us, we know these things must come to pass. We are to fear not, he will lead us through.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments
.” Hab 3:17-19

Let us take our rest in him. Amen!



Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Come to the Mountain"...Hid In Christ


"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isa2:2-3)


Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understand.


The Lord has really been pressing home the need to live in the spirit and not in the flesh. Our ways are not the Lords ways....we must lean not unto our own understanding. The things that are happening in the world today and in particular to our country are all in the hands of the Lord. These things were preordained before our time and the strength of our flesh will not be able to stop it. We are not to look to the arm of the flesh to “save” us.

As in the time of Noah, it is time to enter into the ark, which is Christ and be found hid in him. Come out from among this world and be separate says the Lord, let us not be found fighting for this world that Jesus said is not our own. As Abraham said, he is looking for a city whose maker is God.

God rises up nations for his own purpose, and again in these last days to “refine” his body through fire. Remember that God rose up Babylon to try Israel. God has vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. Today Babylon has risen again and not only does it represent the world’s kingdoms with its religious systems of today, but has even entered the very way we think.

Let us put aside this kingdom and seek our real kingdom which is not of this world. Putting aside the cares of this world and it’s possessions and it’s ways. Let us hold things “lightly”, thanking God for the peace and comfort we have while it is here…..but have it settled in our heart, that God and his will is the only thing that matters! Those who love their life will lose it. Let us be found not loving our lives to the end!

(John 18:36) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.

(Isaiah 30:1) Woe to the rebellious children, saith Jehovah, that take counsel, but not of me; and that make a league, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin,
(Isaiah 30:2) that set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt!
(This is the very picture of what we are seeing in our presidential elections)

(James 4:4) Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.

(1 Corinthians 1:19) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.

(Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.

(Psalms 75:7) But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and lifteth up another.

(Jer 51:6) Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this [is] the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.

(Mar 8:35) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

(Rev 12:11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

(2 Corinthians 6:17) Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,

(Rev 18:4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jesus, You Are Wonderful!

I was lost, I was blind, but to me You inclined.
And Your ear heard my plea, now I live because of Thee.
You have shown me the way, that I must die each day.
Then I will cease from sin, live for God and not for men.
Chorus:
Jesus, You do all things well! Jesus, You are wonderful!
And there is no other name that can save.
Jesus, You’re my righteousness! You have come, now I am blessed!
Every tongue, they will confess, Your great name.

Lord, You came as a man, and they scorned Your great plan.
Still You died on the tree, bore my sins and set me free.
Now Your living in me. You’re my hope and my peace.
And I’m living by faith, as I walk the narrow way.