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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.
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Being-Filled-With-The-Spirit
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Baptism-Of-The-Holy-Spirit
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Sending-Of-The-Holy-Spirit
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.  http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/when-will-prophecy-cease
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.

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/59460-john-hagee-gives-3-biblical-reasons-we-won-t-be-around-for-the-antichrist
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.

  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The filling of the Holy Spirit

This quote confirmed and made clear my thoughts on the filling of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life.

He shall bring forth from us the sweet music!
(Frederick Marsh)

Mendelssohn, on one occasion, hearing an organ being played--asked permission to play it for a few minutes. The organist reminded Mendelssohn that he was a total stranger to him--and that strangers were not allowed to touch the valuable instrument.

At last permission granted, and then Mendelssohn brought forth such music from the organ as to make the organist weep! Ah! But before the music came forth, there were two things necessary:
  the first was, the instrument had to be abandoned to Mendelssohn;
  and the second, Mendelssohn had to take control of it.

The same is true with us in the spiritual realm. There must be the entire surrender to Christ first--and then He shall bring forth from us the sweet music of . . .
   a holy heart,
   a lovely character,
   a gentle disposition,
   a surpassing peace,
   a sweet humility,
   a lowly service,
   a beautiful sympathy,
   and a Christlike life!

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship!" Romans 12:1


So what I got from that was, being "born again" is where we experience a true and deep conversion, we see ourselves clearly as dead 'in Adam' and we cry out for the forgiveness and life of Jesus.  Then as we walk for a little while we see within ourselves a deeper need, and we give complete control in what Art Katz calls the "continual turning to the cross" and the Holy Spirit fills us, again and again as we turn over the situations and area's of our lives where "we" are still very much alive and slowly but surely  His love conquers our land and our lives are transformed.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A change in the priesthood

There has been a change in the priesthood. The intercession between God and man at the initial time was to go through the "camp" and cleanse the people by the use of the sword, that violent act set apart the tribe of Levi as priests. The intercession called for by the new high priest is to go through the camp laying down our lives for the others, by the life, love, grace and mercy of God. .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4NOZu86Be8

Friday, August 12, 2016

Humility or bust


               In Christ, there is no such thing as a story beyond redemption. There is only resurrection, restoration, and rejoicing, even in the most unlikely of circumstances and with the most unlikely of subjects, like me!
              
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
D              My son, Christian, and I were discussing "great" philosophers today and the truth was revealed that without humility, these philosophies are empty and do not do any good, "down here" in the real world. 
                          His life in me produces humility, is the source of true


             humility.  His life, such a gift, and in that gift, I am, "At rest, in Him."
Disc

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rest=Noah=the dwelling place of grace

"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."  Genesis 6:8


  Noah means 'rest' so substitute, "Rest" in this verse for Noah.


"Rest found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
Rest is the home where grace dwells!
When we are
 at rest in Him,
 grace can freely move in us.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

The power greater than self

"The only power greater than self is the cross."  Art Katz from the speaking "Two Wisdoms"

Jesus was "marred more than any man." There is coming a time of tribulation, like "no other that has been previously". We follow the Lamb, Jesus was "forsaken", but through that sacrificial love has made the way so that no matter what the tribulation (the great one) holds for us, we will never be forsaken, never be left alone. Our witness to the unsaved Jewish nation during that time is the witness of a people who are totally free of the manipulation of the principalities and powers. It will be evident beyond dispute that the sacrificial love that we are showing is "other worldly", it will be to the glory of God, it will point to the Lamb. As a corporate body we will be a "spirit of prophecy" a physical people who are a "testimony of Jesus".

2nd Corinthians 3:18, "And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit."    What unveiled our face?  I would answer "suffering" brought to us sovereignly in love by the hand of God to root up, tear down and eliminate self in all of its subtle and cunning ways from our hearts.  We are transformed when we see Jesus, suffering brings crisis and weakness that tears the veil, when the "church" loses the apostolic understanding of suffering, it receives the "grace of God in vain", there is no penetration and impartation of the grace of God. Only revelation no flesh and blood education can bring about this change. Desperate, real, humble ... a broken corporate people.

It would be a worthwhile study to examine 3 verses that speak of receiving the "grace of God in vain." 1 Cor. 15:10, 2 Cor. 6:1, Gal. 2:21.

"We have, we are, the first fruits of the millennial fulfillment of a people who are a witness and a light to the nations - without usurping the millennial destiny of the people who are inscribed on the palm of His hand." Reggie