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Saturday, December 31, 2016

His Life Through Me

As the year is ending I am grateful that my Christian walk is not stagnant.
He is teaching me that He wants to live His life through me.  My part seems to be to intentionally get out of the way, die to self, put the flesh away. 
I am positive that Jesus wants to heal, He wants to reconcile, and display the love of the Father.
I want to step out more in faith and pray for healing, deliverance, even raising the dead.
2017 will be a good year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Circumcision

PG-13 post at least for modern Americans.
Before Moses could lead the people, his sons needed circumcision.
Before Joshua led the nation to their first battle in the Holy land circumcision was ordered.
Circumcision set apart the people of God from the nations that surrounded them.
All the way back to Deuteronomy God made it clear circumcision was about the heart.

The total cutting away of the flesh that is covering the Head.
The total cutting away of my striving and my trying that if it were allowed to succeed would bring glory to me and block the view of the Head.
Early on I studied the beatitudes with a small gathering.  All I got out of it was "I am not living the way this says."
Conviction is a tremendous blessing from God, it reveals the ugliness of the flesh that is blocking the beauty of the Head.
Conviction used to drive me to try harder, NO MORE!
I quit.
By faith I recognize and reckon the truth that in baptism the fact that  I died is sealed and now the very life of Jesus Christ is lived through me by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I no longer live!

This death is renewed day by day, moment by moment.  My flesh can show its ugly self at a moments notice, but I desire a greater and greater dependence on God.  I desire a greater and greater awareness of my weakness and inability.  I desire a deeper transforming revelation of being a beloved son of the Most High.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

I did an evil thing

I woke up in the afternoon yesterday (I work night shift) and came downstairs...That was an evil thing.
I did not stop upon getting out of bed, and kneel at my bedside, I did not proclaim my total dependence on the life of Christ flowing through my "dead" flesh.
I just went downstairs, and my "dead" flesh proceeded to show itself as very much alive.  Changes were made in what I expected to happen, requests were made for my time, and my "dead" flesh proceeded to show itself as very much alive. 
People were hurt, people that I care about, my thoughts revealed that my "flesh" is far more evil than the grace of God allows to manifest, Thank You Jesus, You are indeed faithful even when I am faithless.
 (2 Timothy 2:13 "if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny himself.")


Later on, apologies were made, but damage had been done, AGAIN! 


Oh God that I would be broken on Your altar, tie me to that altar with cords of love and let only Your life flow through me.  That all of my flesh would be silent and only Your presence would manifest.


Galatians 2:20  " I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Singing to Those Who Cannot Sing

"We have to recognize that the prophecy is Jerusalem centric in order to understand all that the prophecy communicates." Samuel Whitfield 
 ...Prompted to view the amazing gift that is given in Isaiah 24. By the time we get to verse 13-16 we are in the midst of the tribulation..."13For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done. 14They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west. 15Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One. But I say, “I waste away, I waste away. Woe is me! For the traitors have betrayed, with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.” (Isaiah 24:13–16 ESV) Here we see the "singing" of the kingdom of priests who will speak and, with their laid down lives, demonstrate that the God of Israel reigns, even when it is darkest in Israel and it appears that He no longer reigns. The high call of the "ministry of reconciliation" is becoming more and more clear to me and it demands a people who see beyond this life, who trust beyond this life, who willingly follow the Lamb that was slain.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Despising God is the Root of Sin

2 Samuel 12:10 "Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’"




God is revealing the root of sin here.  Lust?  No.  Despising God?  Yes.  What causes a person to get to the place of despising God?  God speaks to David of the many times He has blessed David and reveals a heart that was willing to bless him even more.  So we do not despise God due to a lack of temporary blessings in this life.  David had already acquired multiple wives which kings were warned not to do.  (Deut. 17:17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.)  Was this the beginning of "despising God"?  Did David see this "rule" as too limiting and did he begin to shift his focus from God to man?  Despising starts in the heart.  Despising says, "God does not know best."  "His rules are too narrow and hard."  "I knew that you were a hard man..." the wicked man says in the parable and proceeds to hide the blessing of the king, and when the time is up, he simply returns the blessing to the king, unused, and that servant is greatly condemned for this, the root seems to me to be not truly knowing the heart of God.


And now I turn to the people of God and I say, We have been given the ministry of reconciliation, we serve a Shepherd who carries the hurting sheep, who is gentle with the dimly burning wick and the bruised reed, who lays down His life for His enemies.  This is the way of reconciliation.  We are to display with our lives the beautiful love of the Father.  We are to make Him known.  When we despise Him and display that despising by making it appear that His commands are too narrow and His blessings too few, we "witness" to lies about His Name and character.  2 Sam. 12:14 However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”  God does not bring death lightly, He shows great mercy by allowing David to live, but the child that was the result of this sin, dies.  What we sow from a place of despising God must be cut off, if God were to allow it to prosper, we would continue in our error.  Can we see the tremendous mercy in cutting off such fruit?  Can we see the love behind the pruning?  Can we come to a place of desiring the glory of God above all else?  Can we be so in love with Him that that love compels us to stop before giving the enemies of God reason and occasion to blaspheme?


If we are to truly take up the high call of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) we must know the heart of God.  In order to be His ambassador and operate in His authority we must know the Lamb of God.  Lead on, Oh Faithful Savior, Save us to the uttermost!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The conclusion

This is either the epilogue or the last chapter of a book that I am writing about a Pastor's wife who died of cancer.  The purpose of the book is bigger than I originally thought it would be.  I did not get nearly as much input from others as I thought I would, so God in His mercy brought other people into my life, and through them brought a progressive revelation about the cross.  Anyway, this is about 1,200 words to "wrap it all up".  Hopefully it will be published soon.


In order to see God face to face and to recognize that He is the source of our faith and the one who brings it to perfection, we must “come to the end of our strength” and see that we are NOT the source or the one who performs, to perfect our faith. It is “all to Jesus”, so the place of seeing God face to face is the place of death, death to self, death to thinking that in any way, “I got this.” is a true statement. It is a false pride-filled statement and leads to death.
There is a reality, greater and far longer lasting than the reality we currently live in. Paul lived in it and wrote about it and encouraged his readers to discover it. The author of Hebrews states that Jesus endured the unimaginable agony of the cross because of the reality of the “joy that was set before Him.” The reality of the perfect love that casts out the fear of eternal judgment, is the one thing that John sets before us as capable of defeating fear.
Standing in opposition to this truth is “humanistic presumption.” It states we can gather our resources and educate ourselves to a place where we learn to work together in peace and harmony. Never mind that no one who believes this can point to a time or a community where this “shining example of human love” has ever actually taken place, they still cling to it as truth.
Sadly, examples of this among the followers of Jesus are few and far between also. We have been given everything we need to be able to display a “foretaste” of heaven, and yet we fall painfully short and give others good reason to mock our self-serving, self-centered efforts.
Jesus is the answer, but who will take the time to listen. Who will listen with ears that are willing to go down into the dust and allow the man-made structure to crash and burn. Someone said, we don’t break the commands of God, we are broken on them. If the words of truth that we have available to read do not break the power of our confidence in the flesh, our plans, our goals, then God must use crisis of both inward and outward circumstances, to bring us to the end or our strength. This is ultimate love. The Doctor has made the correct diagnosis and the patient must submit to the prescription and the changes that He states.
Our statement of faith in the midst of a trial, is, “God I trust you.”
The diagnosis has not changed, from Adam, to Israel, to the modern believer. Sin has consigned all of humanity to death, God has given a substitute in Jesus, who died in our place. Possibly the saddest thing in all the world is when a person stops at that place, smugly proclaims that his sin has been paid for, takes just a little tiny bit of credit for making the “decision” to trust in Jesus and never considers the call, the purpose that is inherent in the salvation. “We love because He first loved us.” To the degree that we do not love, is the degree that we have not truly taken into our being the cost and the mercy that was necessary for Him to love us. His life in us will be constantly working a death to our pride. Pride is the thing that kills the witness of the individual believer and the corporate body (sometimes called the church).
There is a sad pattern that is repeated through the ages. A change initiated and accomplished by the choice of God brings about a blessing in this temporary existence. The person or people begin to enjoy the blessings and a call comes to share or let go of those blessings. The call comes from the One who provided the blessings in the first place. A subtle evil change has taken place in the heart of the receiver and the call to relinquish the blessing reveals it. The receiver, who did nothing to earn or create the blessing, has taken possession of it. They have decided that it is part of them and they have the right to decide what happens to it. God reacts to this by bringing His word, clearly and rightly penetrating through the pride with truth. If that is rejected, then His love demands that He bring a crisis inward and outward circumstances that are designed to break the pride that grip the blessing in an eternally destructive way. This is ultimate love.
Pride and human power are the enemy, they open the door for separation, fear, abuse, hopelessness, despair, and malice. If I allow in one microscopic size thought that I did even one, microscopic sized thing to bring about this blessing, pride will take that teeny tiny area and turn it into 40 acres before you know it. Nothing that has its root in that 40 acres is from God, every bit of it actively works against the work that God is doing in the earth. (I want to give clear examples here of where the “church” has failed, and the solution from the heart of God… can you help me?)
The title I was given, “The Cross of Jesus Christ in the Life of Kathy Steele” seemed to get lost as the book progressed, but now here at the end, I see that it too has gone through a process of death and resurrection.  Kathy Steele was a friend of God.  He shares secrets with His friends and at a point in time, on a level that no other human being could be shown, one on one, with her God, Kathy had a conversation with her Friend.  She was asked to give up the blessing that God had given her for the good of others and she did.  We live in a fallen world where death still appears to reign as king, but the faithfulness of God does not stop at death.  Kathy knew this.  In doing it this way, God is very aware that most people will blame Him and cover up their hurt by lashing out in anger at the One who loves them the most.  If each individual would take a moment and pause and consider Kathy and her attitude toward this time, they would be confronted with truth.  “Cancer meant it for evil, but God meant it for good to preserve life, to call you to see beyond this temporary plain, to cause you to be willing to release the blessings you have been given to be a blessing to others, to give you the strength and courage to lay down in sacrificial love ‘for the least of these My brothers.'”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Healing

When one heart can be open and vulnerable with another heart, admitting, owning, sharing freely, its own brokenness that is the soil on which true intimacy is planted and from which healing grows. (Very loosely quoting Ann Voskamp)

Healing all physical healing has been paid for at the cross.
We live in a time of the down payment, of the first fruits of the now and the not yet.

When a kahal a gathering of the people who know their God and are broken and very aware of the truth of their condition have one heart and one mind and in humility will steal none none none of the glory of God, then there will be an unprecedented release of the gifts of the Spirit including healing.

When the kahal has given up on any other source of healing.  Then the root causes will be discerned and the lying word, "remission" will be a thing of the past, true, permanent healing will infiltrate and eliminate disease.  Freely it will be given.  Oh glorious day!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

the one thing that matters away with distractions

Martha, Martha you are worried and distracted by many things, but Mary has chosen the one thing that matters and that will not be taken away from her.... Feels to me that is the word for right now. Feels to me there is only one thing that matters our relationship with Him. Casting aside, putting down, casting off...will all come easily and from a place of rest to a people who are in love with Him. He shines so much brighter, His love is so attractive and it is what we were created to behold and live in. The shiny baubles and glittery crap of this life is glitter on shit and we should view it as such … we will view it as such when we see Him for who He truly is... So Lord in Your great mercy draw Your corporate body unto You and let us run together!
Let us see and be enthralled by Your beauty. Let that overwhelming beauty crush the distractions. Make us a people of rest, trust, and humility whose love is pure, in Jesus name...Amen

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Spurgeon on Shallow Conversion and Deep Conversion

Charles Spurgeon on the hazards of shallow conversions that do not pluck up every root of man's "goodness", conversions that are not a complete and total renunciation of any righteousness of my own, conversions that are based on preaching that makes it seem like Jesus came to make your life better. NO, NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!  We do a great disservice to the "hearer" when we present this "home improvement" gospel.  Jesus came because EVERYTHING that you have built is on the wrong foundation.  It will eventually, under the strain of deep suffering or the deep dealings of God, it will crack and collapse, as it must.  It is a "severe mercy" that will not let you rely on anything false.  In His dealings with Israel if they kept a friendship with Egypt, in order to have a "back up plan" in addition to their reliance on God, He would cause that stick that they were leaning on to snap or go right through their hand.  This is our God!  He is a consuming fire and only His righteousness can be left standing.  This is critical to the church in the last days.  This is the old wine skin and the new wine.  This is the root cause of so many believers who are severely shaken when troubles, trials and suffering come into their lives. This is the root cause of the great falling away.  Oh God rid us of soft preaching and shallow conversions!
And now the Spurgeon quote...."Everywhere before the salvation there comes the humbling of the creature, the overthrow of human hope.
This is mournful work, but it must be done. I think those who experience much of it when they first come to Christ have great reason to be thankful. Their course in life will, in all probability, be much brighter and happier, for I have noticed that persons who are converted very easily, and come to Christ with but comparatively little knowledge of their own depravity, have to learn it afterwards, and they remain for a long time babes in Christ, and are perplexed with masters that would not have troubled them if they had experienced a deeper work at first. No, sir; if grace has begun to build in your soul and left any of the old walls of self-trust standing, they will have to come down sooner or later. You may congratulate yourself upon their remaining, but it is a false congratulation, your glorying is not good. I am sure of this, that Christ will never put a new piece upon an old garment, or new wine in old bottles: he knows the rent would be worse in the long run, and the bottles would burst. 
 It is a great mercy for a man when God sweeps right away all his own righteousness and strength, when he makes him feel that he is nothing and can be nothing, and drives him to confess that Christ must be all in all, and that his only strength lies in the eternal might of the ever-blessed Spirit.
 If I were to win heaven partly through what I had done, and partly through what Christ had done, and if the energy which sanctified me was in a measure my own, and in a measure divine, they that divide the work shall divide the reward, and the songs of heaven while they would be partly to Jehovah must also be partly to the creature. But it shall not be."

Closing thoughts....The righteousness of God, the fear of God is the foundation, and then when the love of God is revealed it is received as something that we are wholly undeserving of, but when the love of God is presented apart from the righteousness of God, the cross of Christ makes no sense. When the love of God is presented apart from the righteousness of God, there is a tiny shred of self-righteousness that is allowed to continue in its existence that then poisons the whole well. Oh God we ask for clear presentations of the gospel!

Until we can truly hear the accusation, "Thou art the man!"...Until we come to a place of true "dead" we cannot come out into resurrection...Until humility replaces pride...Until we have at the center of our thoughts His righteousness and our total unrighteousness.... There is NO NEW BIRTH!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mercy, humility, Oh to be like You!

The mercy preceding every true move of God is a mercy that leaves the land desolate. It is a mercy that causes despair. Despair of any hope of finding the "will" and the "do" in me, in my flesh... "Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to sift you as wheat but I have prayed for you." Luke 22:31


This quote from my friend Dane,
"It is not us and them, it is all of us and HIM." 


That is the priestly heart of intercession that is "with" the people, that goes down into the waters of baptism to emphasize "I am with you."  Priestly identification is what Reggie Kelly calls it.  Oh God give us true mercy and compassion, make us a people that reflect your heart.

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.
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.