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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Art Katz on the need of the gifts in the end time 'church'

In the end times…“The issue of the gifts of the Spirit is no longer a matter of Pentecostals or Charismatics, it becomes the imperative for all the church.  This is God’s nuts and bolts provision for the church of the last days, fighting it out and struggling against the world and dealing with the powers of the air, being formed into community, taking its purpose seriously.  It needs all the panoply of God exquisite gift, of His Spirit and Its expression, because we are going to face unforeseen circumstances for which no past experience will have prepared us and in that moment we will need to hear a prophetic word, we will need to hear a tongue and an interpretation, we will need to receive an explicit direction because we are at a cross road where one wrong misstep will be fatal for ourselves and for others.  So unless we respect and esteem this remarkable provision and give the environment that God intended for it to function we will lose a critical factor and gift of God for our last days direction.”  The Core Of Prophetic And Apostolic Reality by Art Katz

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thoughts on Humility Gifts and Power

Humility and Mercy are the Breakthrough

In the past I have prayed for power, signs and wonders and I still believe supernatural manifestations of the Kingdom of God will follow the message of the Gospel.  What is different is I am beginning to see that "stardom" and a certain amount of "fame" would come with the displaying of signs and if humility and mercy are NOT deeply in wrought in the character of a person -- that prominence will destroy them.  We need a body of believers who are broken and can speak directly into each other's lives when pride is just at the seedling stage so it can be cut off and dealt with before it becomes something that destroys many.
We need to be a body of believers, so that no one person is in the spotlight for a prolonged period of time - because the spotlight is a dangerous place for the human heart.  (I have heard the prophecy that the next move of God will be a nameless faceless generation and I praise God for the wisdom in that.)
Paul was given a thorn in the flesh by the One who knows the human heart better than anyone.  Paul didn't think he needed it but God in His mercy knew Paul better than Paul did and so the Father Son and Holy Spirit answered "no"  to a prayer from the most famous Christian of all time.  
So wisdom is crying out, pray for humility and mercy so that you can steward the amazing grace of God well, because His love is about to break out in healing and deliverance in powerful ways.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No hope

Can we receive the grace to love and trust the true God who knows what is best and brings us to the place where we say, "It is hopeless." Isaiah 57:10, so that He can then give us the "good news" that He makes His home with those who are at the end of their power. Isaiah 57:15, Daniel 12:7, Deut. 32:36, Psalm 116:7, 15, Isaiah 40:29. We admit that we cannot, We believe that He can and we agree to "get out of the way" and let His love and power work in whatever situation we are faced with.

“You were tired out by the length of your road,
Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’
You found ]renewed strength,
Therefore you did not faint."  Isaiah 57:10  God is not complimenting them here.  He is calling them out, they refused to say, "It is hopeless"  they still wanted to find some hope in themselves, in programs, in others, but they would not "give up" and see God as their only hope.

"For thus says the high and exalted One
Who [a]lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite."Isaiah 57:15  This is where the high and holy God dwells, when you see your brokenness clearly and have no hope in anything or anyone, but God.

" I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a  time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed."Daniel 12:7  The loving plan of God involves a temporarily horrible time that cleanses people of all hope except the hope in the "One whom they have pierced."

For the Lord will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their strength is gone,
And there is none remaining, bond or free."Deut. 32:36  Give up?  That is the  question that God is most likely to ask.  His stated goal..."To make us like Jesus" and that is going to mean a realization of the death of Adam in baptism and the Life of Christ.

"The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me."Psalm 116:6
"Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones." Psalm 116:15  What is this verse other than the ultimate expression of the death of flesh, of self, and the resurrection life of God.  Oh let it be so!
"He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power."  Isaiah 40:29  What precedes mounting up with wings like eagles?  Coming to the end of your power, coming to a place of hopelessness and death and receiving the grace to see that it is the faithfulness and love of God that has brought you here, and it will be the One who is Faithful and True who will get you through.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Naked and Not Ashamed, Broken But Accepted in the Beloved

Ann Voskamp has a quote and a statement worth stopping and looking at. “Don’t you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can’t help?”― C.S. Lewis "Scars may come, but shame never has to." Ann V. ... So there is a place in scripture where humanity was naked and not ashamed, before the fall. "Church" is ultimately a place where this is true. A place where broken people, 'knuckleheads' as a friend of mine says, can gather and be broken... together, vulnerable and with scars showing, but with acceptance and healing being offered because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Spirit of Grace and Supplication

21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 
2 Cor. 1:21,22
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.  
Ephesians 1:13,14
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  Romans 8:22-25

One day the Spirit of grace and supplication will be poured out on the Jewish nation as a whole, but now as part of our down payment, one of the most precious things available to us as first fruit, as a pledge is the Spirit of grace and supplication.  

Oh God break us as we truly see "Him who we have pierced" and we come to a revelation knowledge of grace, of the tremendous cost of grace, of the unknowable depth of grace, and that leads us to supplicate, to intercede with no limits on what it will cost us for the lost.

Break us and pour us out Father God!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Could this be true?

This is controversial stuff and has led to some division in the Body of Christ and so I approach it as a question among brothers.  Can we examine this together and see if it might be true?  Can we put aside any opinions and approach this like the Bereans, listen to the presentation and then see if it lines up with scripture.
I believe that God has revealed a simple truth that has been attacked from two very different angles.  The simple truth is, there is a "second work of grace" in a believers life that is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Acts chapter 1 and 2, 10 and 11, 15 and 19, show how it was actually a point that unified and empowered the Body in the early gathering of believers, which, I believe is why Satan has attacked it so heavily on two fronts.
In studying this I pulled up these three pages for help in locating scriptures quickly.
I see the two attacks as follows.  #1)  There is no such thing anymore or if there is it does not involve speaking in tongues or any "weird" manifestations.
#2)  It is for here and now and it is full, complete and done, all diseases are healed, all believers have tongues, all power is ours.
#1) is heavily based upon this scripture 1 Cor. 13:8-12  "Love never ends.
But as for prophecies,
they will come to an end;
as for languages, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
For we know in part,
and we prophesy in part.
10 But when the perfect comes,
the partial will come to an end.
11 When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known."
John Piper does a very good job of using scripture to make the case here that "the perfect comes" is not the completion of the Bible, but the second coming of Christ.  In this teaching he is saying prophecy and tongues and the other gifts are still with us.
I can not improve on his argument, so I will just leave point #1 right there.

Point #2 involves these 3 scriptures 2 Cor. 1:22, "22 He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts."  Eph. 1:13,14 "13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory." Lastly Romans 8:18-24 which basically says that suffering, longing, groaning and hope are experiences that we all are walking through in this present age.  The second attack propels us out of where we are, in a state of "down payment" and with bodies that are promised to be "decaying" and a creation that is "groaning" and it puts us in a place of "total fulfillment" that is simply not here yet.  It can not be here until the day of the Lord has taken place and the fullness of the gentiles has come in and all Israel is saved.  This is a very important principle and as usual in scripture if you lose track of "Israel" you go off track.  The "down payment" is available and it is ours and we are not nearly walking in all that that means, but it is also definitely not the time of fullness and completion, because we cannot reach that time without our brothers (Israel).  So to say everything is "on earth as it is in heaven" right now is simply not true.

I acknowledge my need of help from other parts of the body to come against these two attacks and it is ultimately a spiritual battle on both fronts and needs prayer to remove the veil in both instances.

Lastly, I want to go back to the examples in Acts of the early gathering of believers, the "sect of the Nazarenes", "the Way" as it was called in the book of Acts.
Acts 1:8 Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come upon the believers and give them power to be His witnesses.  That is the "now" work of God in the earth.  Jesus was responding to the disciples question of when would be the time to "restore the kingdom to Israel", and he basically says, "That is not for now.  At this time and until that time, you are to be My witnesses."  This is the down payment that Paul speaks of flowing through weak, broken clay vessels. It points to the power and glory of God alone.  Reconciliation, restoration, calling people home, learning how to love, reflecting the mercy-filled heart of God and having signs following are all a part of this time.  The reality of the limits of this age should cause us to cry out for the age to come, Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus, the down payment has made us long for You even more!
Acts 2 gives us the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on the Hebrew festival of first fruits of the wheat harvest, you get to this festival by counting 50 days from Passover.  The sacrifice of Jesus is tied to this event.  The physical unity that the gathering in the upper room had, was now made a spiritual unity as the Holy Spirit was poured out on "your sons and daughters" who were gathered there.  It was not a "total fulfillment" of the prophecy of Joel because there were no signs in the heavens and it was not the "great and glorious day of the LORD."  But it was a down payment. and it did bring unity and it was followed with signs and wonders.  
Acts 10,11 and a small part of 15 all speak of the first instance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Gentile believers.  This was such a monumental shift in the thinking of the early Jewish believers that it required a sovereign act of God.  With Peter and other witnesses present, the sovereign God chose to bring the Gentiles into the kingdom in a way that could not be refuted and that even years later spoke as a testimony to God's desire to graft them into the vine.  Acts 10:44-48 and 11:15 both state that Peter and the other witnesses simply saw the sovereign hand of God pour out His Spirit on the gentiles the same as "He did upon us at the beginning."  Years later when "religious arguments" were still going on as to what that meant, Peter just restated the facts and told his fellow elders to "get out of God's way" (my translation)  Acts 15:7-11.  
Paul in Acts 19:1-7 brings a gathering of believers in Ephesus up to date on all that is available to them and that message includes the Holy Spirit coming on them.

To sum this up (and it takes less than 7 minutes to read it)  Two attacks have come against the truth of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Body.  One says it is no more, and one says it is already heaven, a close look at scripture seems to reveal, the Holy Spirit is present in our lives as a down payment of all the fullness that is to come.  We desperately need Him to maintain unity and love and to be a gathering that makes the unbelieving Jew jealous as they see us dripping with the fruit of His presence.

Now "Bereans" I invite any who would take the time to read and consider this, lets discuss it further, tweak it, destroy and rebuild it, whatever we have to do to make this writing a thing that will bring glory to God.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

John Hagee lies four times.
Start this video at 16:49 and I will take up each of his 4 points.  I have not done this in a long time, but the fact that such teaching is out there pushes me to respond.  Point #1 if the 24 elders represent both the "church" and the Old Testament saints 12 +12 = 24 elders.  I agree, with that, God combines both bodies into one, because both are the same family, saved by the same blood of the same Savior slain from the foundation of the world.  They will both be in heaven worshiping at the same time.  Hagee would have us believe just after telling us this, that the church will be raptured to heaven before Daniel and His brethren, in which case John would have only seen 12 elders, not 24.  Also, Hebrew prophecy goes forward and backward in time constantly.  You can not read Isaiah or Ezekiel or Jeremiah like it is a straight line from start to finish.  Revelation repeats the same end of time situation from 3 different "angles" and anyone who reads it can see this happening.  So 4 comes before 6 is totally irrelevant.

 Point #2  Jesus is our blessed hope, regardless of the circumstances of our death, since when is a martyr's death, something that dishonors God, or denies His power?  Tell it to the many who have been martyred, like 11 of the 12 apostles and countless thousands down through the ages right up to right now in Syria, Libya and Iraq.  This kind of lie only takes wings in a country that has too long been away from the fire of persecution and "expects" God to protect them from "all harm."  Rev. 12:11 "They overcame him (the anti-Christ) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives unto the death."  Sounds to me like John Hagee and his "Peace, peace, where there is no peace." gospel do love their lives and refuse the martyr's death. He proceeds to quote a verse that speaks of the last trumpet which occurs at the end of the tribulation, and nowhere is it "called the rapture of the church" except in his mind.

 Point #3 and 4  In Revelation Chapters 6-19 we see a people who "follow the Lamb wherever he goes"  we see a people who witness through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, we see a people who incite the anger of the anti-Christ by protecting Jewish people, this is the "church" fulfilling and living out the high calling of being willing to be like their Savior, laying down their lives for the brethren.  The Savior Himself praises them in Matthew 25, they are His sheep.