A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

February 25, 2020

God's Prospicience In His Provision

     Hmmm... never heard that word prospicience before? I hadn't either until my meditation on the healing properties of frankincense oil took me on a Scriptural and spiritual journey. It went something like this: suffering from sinus drainage caused by allergies, I turned to my essential oil of frankincense which possesses antiseptic and astringent properities [among other healing and therapeutic attributes], and I began to think about how long this aromatic resin of the Boswellia tree has been beneficial and valuable. Of course, my thoughts then turned to Christianity's most familiar idea of frankincense, as part of the trio of precious gifts brought to the Christ child by the three Wise Men. But, before I explain the prospicience of these gifts, let's learn a little more about the significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It goes without saying that gold was -- and remains -- a valuable commodity. But what about the other two?

     According to a website called Herb & Root, Frankincense and Myrrh are both tree resins, or gummy sap that oozes from the bark of two different trees native to the Arabian Peninsula and Northeast Africa. Incisions are made in the bark of the tree during important times of year, and the sap pours out and is collected.
     The sacred trees that produce Frankincense and Myrrh are almost impossible to grow outside of the Arabian Peninsula, which meant they were constantly in short supply and high demand in the ancient world. According to a famous Roman historian, the sap made the Arabians the richest people on earth by Jesus’s time, and more valuable than gold. Frankincense alone is responsible for creating the trade routes linking southern Arabia to India, the Mediterranean, and the Silk Road in China.
     It's not hard to understand that these gifts were brought to honor the baby Jesus. In fact, the three "Wise Men" were actually three "Magi" or spiritual advisors [also known as dream interpreters]. They held the same position as the magicians/astrologers/dream interpreters who Daniel competed with in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar. And I don't think it is too far off base to speculate that during the 70 years Daniel remained in captivity in Babylon, he taught the prophecy of a coming King of the Jews to his fellow maji and the expectation was handed down through the generations.
     Anyway, in Matthew 2, these maji came looking for the "child who is born King of the Jewish people", and they came bearing valuable gifts representing one kingdom (the Roman empire, having been sent by King Herod) to another (the Kingdom of God). They believed in the prophecy of a coming King and they came to bow before Him in worship.
     But I've always struggled with reconciling this image of gold, frankincense and myrrh being brought to the manger in which the baby Jesus was born. There has to be more to the story than they believed in an ancient prophecy and that this child was the fulfillment of it. I understand that, culturally, this would have been the appropriate gift to bring before any new recognized king, It just seems strange that a young, poor couple from the backwaters of the Roman empire would receive such treasure, and what happened to those valuable gifts?  Ahhh, that's where prospicience comes in.
     The word means "seeing ahead; knowing in advance; foreseeing". And I believe it is another characteristic of God; similar to His omniscience, which means "knowing everything". You see, God does know everything; He knows the beginning from the end. He says, in Isaiah 46:10, I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I decree that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan.
     God sees time and history differently than we do. We see it as a linear span; progressing from one point to the next. Time is multi-dimensional to God, and He sees it from a different perspective, having created it, and He can move in and out of it according to His will. He can see into the future, while still in the present, and can act in advance and deal with a coming situation to provide our every need when we need it. That's exactly what prospicience is and what He did for Joseph and his new, little family.
     You see, God foresaw that the government of Rome would not yield to His heavenly government's appearance on earth in the person of the infant, Jesus. He foresaw that Herod would try to kill the child and that it would be necessary for Joseph to escape with his family into Egypt, where Herod's power did not extend. Furthermore, they would be there for awhile as essentially refugees; [NOTE: Historical opinions as to how long the family remained in Egypt vary substantially; everything from one year in the History of Joseph, to eight years, according to Baronius, an Italian cardinal and
ecclesiastical historian of the Roman Catholic Church]. But regardless of how long they were there, Joseph would need to provide for his family while they traveled to Egypt [and back] and to pay expenses for as long as the family remained away from their homeland. The valuable gifts from the three maji would certainly have provided those necessary means of survival in a strange land. 
      Now, I know that there is no Chapter or verse that substantiates this theory, and I do not claim that it represents the truth of Scripture. But I believe that it has as much credibility as the unprovable traditions mainstream Christianity purports today, namely: as referred to in the Christmas carol, "We Three Kings" the gifts symbolize three aspects of Christ's future life. The gold represents kingship; frankincense represents worship, and myrrh stands for death and mourning. Or try this one: Mary and Joseph used the gold to pay for the stable; the frankincense to perfume it; and the myrrh as an ointment for the newborn baby. 
     I know the Bible is full of symbolism and allegory, but in this case, I believe that once we see the bigger picture of why the maji from the East understood the prophecy of the King of the Jews being born, and why it was expedient for Joseph to flee to Egypt to escape the long arm of Roman rule, it is not out of the realm of possibility that God predetermined to have valuable gifts brought to the Christ child that would provide Joseph with the resources to support his family until he could return to Nazareth and resume his work as a carpenter. 
     Whether my theory has any significance is not the purpose of this blog. Rather, it is to come to a higher understanding that God sees and knows and works in the dimensions of time, and while we may not perceive what He is doing, we can trust, just like Joseph did, that He is moving several steps ahead of us. He can foresee our future and He can act in advance to give us favor and provision at just the right moment. I invite you to look back over your life and see all the instances when His prospicience overtook you and confirmed His presence in your life.... and then thank and praise Him!

Matthew 2:11     And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.


February 22, 2020

Sowing Into The Kingdom of God

     This is a little bit of a difficult post for me to write. Not because I do not understand the Biblical principle of Sowing and Reaping, but because it involves a struggle I have had in our ministry from its inception.
     The Lord has been good in maturing Mark and I in our ministry; enlarging the number of people who come to receive Jesus's healing at our kitchen table, as He is simultaneously expanding our territory and influence. I say this out of all humbleness, because it is all Jesus's doing. As we've been faithful to bring freedom to the captives and healing to the brokenhearted, He has given us opportunities to share the Gospel of the Kingdom -- beginning with the individuals we disciple after an Inner Healing session, to groups of people who are responding in their spirits and realizing that we are called to more than the traditional evangelizing message of Salvation.
     If you had told us six years ago that we would feel comfortable [or even have a message] to speak to groups of 50-100 people, we would have laughed. But there is a hunger in our spirits to share the direction the Lord is leading us, and it is being met by a corresponding awareness in the hearts of Believers that they want to go farther in their journey. 
     And that leads me to the subject of this post... from the beginning, we have struggled with accepting money for the ministry we provide to others. We have felt that "freely we received; freely we should give", without any thought of compensation. That just didn't feel right to our souls or spirits. After all, it always brought such a spiritual "high" to witness someone have an encounter with Jesus as He showed them He was present in a painful memory, and then walked them out of that place, pouring His blood on the pain and the situation; rendering it incapable of tormenting them again.
     How could any amount of money compare with sharing the Beloved's experience of hearing Jesus give them a new name such as "Beautiful" or "Forgiven" or "My Child"? We never wanted to give the Enemy cause to corrupt our ministry by introducing recompense into our work for the Lord. Then a very dear friend explained that she wanted to "sow into the Kingdom by sowing into our ministry". She justified her desire by saying that she believed we were expanding Kingdom territory in lives on the earth and she wanted to help contribute to that goal -- that in this season of her life, being a single mother with a new baby and a full-time job, she was not yet at liberty to "do the work that Jesus did", but she could align herself with our ministry and help us to accomplish more in reaching people with the books we buy to give during discipleship; to help buy food and supplies for the no-charge teaching/training sessions we do on Inner Healing; and help give us the opportunity to reach more people as we travel farther and farther to deliver the Gospel of the Kingdom.
     Then I stumbled across a passage in Philippians 4:14-20 that changed my selfish viewpoint to align with the perspective and will of God. Paul is writing to the community of Believers in Philippi, and says this: Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
     I began to discern that when a godly person recognizes the fruit that our ministry is producing in the lives of people, and wants to partner with us to see that fruit grow, then it not only benefits those who are receiving the ministry, but also those who sow into it! It is counted as righteousness and recorded as fruit in their account in the Book of Life. Their needs will be met because they are seeking the Kingdom of God through their contribution towards spiritual healing in the lives of others.
     The sacrifice they make through their donations is acceptable and pleasing to God, and it glorifies His Kingdom on earth when territory is conquered in Satan's kingdom of darkness. We are not independently wealthy and cannot afford to fund all that is needed to grow harvesters for God's fields. Just as Paul expressed to the Corinthians, "He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers." 
     I recognize that Mark and I may plant, but sometimes we need others to walk beside us and help us to water, so that we both might see God grow His harvest. Neither of us can take credit for the growth, because it is only God who does the growing. But it can be credited to us both that we are workers for the Kingdom. The bottom line is this: we are all to be sowing into the Kingdom, whether it is with our time, talent, or treasure. That's good ol' Church terminology; used as a vague form of inspiration to urge Christians to serve each other in the Church. 
     But if we ever understand that it could be a viable slogan for going outside the building to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom through the works that Jesus did, and to advance God's agenda among the nations, then we might comprehend just how we can partner to sow what we've been give to steward. Who am I to deny someone who sees God at work through our ministry and just wants to sow into Him? It's not that I will ever solicit their tithe or donation, but rather [like Paul] I delight in seeing them receive their reward for honoring what the Lord has put on their heart. 
     Mark and I have learned to swallow our false pride and accept the occasional donation when it is offered out of a sincere desire to prosper the Kingdom. It is always a pleasure to be able to do more than we hoped, and see a greater outcome than we expected. The truth is, we can reach more people and expand the territory for God, when we partner with others. So, although we are always content in whatever situation we find ourselves, when He blesses our ministry through the generosity of another Believer, we know they are being blessed too. And the Enemy has just lost more ground!

2 Corinthians 9:6     Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.

February 19, 2020

The Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth

     Today, I want to revisit a post that I wrote over six years ago, in which I quoted Matthew 25:29:30 ...  For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is part of the Parable of the Talents, in which a wealthy man goes on a journey, entrusting his property to his servants; assigning various degrees of authority to them. When he returns, he settles up with these servants according to how they have prospered him. 
     Discerning minds understand that this is a parable representing Jesus, who on His Second Coming will reward those who have been good custodians of His Kingdom. [NOTE: Different translations use different designations for those left to steward the Kingdom; they are called "worthless slaves" (New American Standard translation); "good-for-nothing servants" (Passion Translation); "useless servant (New Living Translation); and "unprofitable servant" (King James Version).] Elsewhere, I have found them referred to as "bond-servants", which closely resembles the use of the word "slave". In fact, the Apostle Paul refers to himself as a bond-servant and slave to Christ in more than one translation of Romans 1:1. So, I think we can agree that this term is appropriate in the sense that we have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, and are dependent upon Him for every facet of our existence.

      But I want to get past these differences in terminology and focus on the phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth". This continues to be a controversial and confusing topic to modern Christians. We can understand from the entirety of the Parable that Jesus will be pleased with the profit of those servants who have increased what He left them. And what exactly was it that He put them in charge of? The advancement of His Kingdom and dominion on the earth! I will admit that six years ago when I first wrote about this topic, I limited His "estate" to the Gospel of Salvation and the Good News of His redeeming death, burial, and resurrection. But by the Grace of God, it has been revealed to me that this was just the entry point -- the gate, if you will -- to His Kingdom territory. He intends for each of us to go beyond sharing the Salvation message and actually add to His territory. And for those who don't ... well, this is where it gets uncomfortable.
     The Church has long implied that "weeping and gnashing of teeth" point to Hell.  In fact, if you Google outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth, and click on "Images", you will see countless depictions of people writhing and burning in the fiery pits of hell.  I DO NOT believe that this is what Jesus is conveying in this particular passage. 
     To help prove my point, I would like to offer you an expanded Greek translation of these verses.  Unlike the standard Authorized Greek translation of 1611, or the American Revised Greek version of 1901, this expanded translation by Kenneth Wuest follows the Greek order of words in the sentences, which I think gives us a more accurate and clearer interpretation of what Jesus actually said. This expanded translation reads as follows:  

     ... for to the one who has shall be given, and he shall be furnished with a superfluity, 
and he who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken from him. 
And the good-for-nothing slave, throw [him] out into the darkness; that which is outside.
There, in that place, there shall be lamentation and the gnashing of teeth.
      We must remember that Jesus is speaking to the Disciples, the first members of His Church -- and the servants that He is talking about in the Parable are His own servants; those that belong to Him (Believers).  The talents (or the money) represented the stewardship of the Kingdom that we, as Believers and Kingdom Citizens, are given in His absence. Just like the servants, we can decide what we will do with that special privilege. The reward of each servant did not depend on the fact that they possessed the talents, but what they did with them.  Hence, our reward, when our Master returns, does not rest upon His gift of salvation, which all Believers possess, but with what we have done for His Kingdom in His absence! 
     At this point, we must recognize that Jesus is ultimately talking about how He will reward Believers when He returns and sets up His Millennial Kingdom.  In Revelation 20:6, we are told that there is an inheritance to be gained in this Millennial Kingdom, when we "will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years."  IT IS IMPORTANT that you understand that ALL Believers will gain entry into the Millennial Kingdom, but I do not believe that all will be given roles of authority and "rule or reign" with Him.  That mandate will be given only to those who have shown they can produce fruit for Him and His Kingdom.
      So what does Jesus mean when He says to throw the "good-for-nothing" slave into the outer darkness?  In John 8:12, Jesus says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  When we are in the presence of Jesus -- when we are closest to Him -- we are in His light.  Here, He is saying, "Whoever follows me -- whoever takes up my Cross and spreads my Kingdom Gospel Message -- will have the light of eternal life."  When we accept our salvation through faith in Jesus, we gain entry into His Kingdom (see John 3:1-5). And when He inaugurates the Millennial Kingdom, there will be degrees of rewards, depending on how we stewarded the Kingdom while He was away, and the fruit we produced from our efforts. Being in the nearness of His light is one of the privileges of having done well for Him. All true Believers will enter the Millennial Kingdom, but Jesus makes it very plain who will be allowed to co-reign with Him.  Matthew 25:23 says it all: "His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."  
     Then He turns around, and in verse 30, pronounces the reward on the unfruitful servant.  This servant is in the Kingdom; he is in the presence of the returning Master.  But his failure to do anything to increase the Master's Kingdom has resulted in him being unable to rule and reign with Christ and he will not be within that inner circle of light that surrounds the King of Kings. REMEMBER, John 3:18 tells us that "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned."  Condemned equals hell. This servant is not condemned; he is just cast into the outer reaches of the Millennium Kingdom, or the darkness outside of Jesus's presence. He has gained entry, but no inheritance of authority or rulership. 
    As to weeping and gnashing of teeth, this refers to profound regret, or the deep remorse of a man who was an unfaithful servant.  Can you not picture yourself grieving if you arrive in the Millennial Kingdom and realize that you didn't do all you could to advance the Kingdom Message? That you perhaps shared the Salvation message, but didn't go further in your Kingdom mandate to continue the work of Jesus to heal the broken-hearted or set the captives free?  Imagine this: you're in the Kingdom, but assigned to the outer edges (away from Christ's light) because what you were given was taken away and given to others who bore more fruit than you... doesn't that perfectly describe the state of the unprofitable servant in the Parable of the Talents? 
     So I hope that this discussion might have given you a new perspective on this wise Parable. As always, I urge you to do your own study and be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11, receive the Word with readiness, and search the Scriptures to see if these things be so. Jesus desires that all of us be like the two servants who took their stewardship and responsibilities seriously; He wants to reward us when He returns. May the Holy Spirit guide you in walking in your Kingdom identity, accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God, and receiving your reward and inheritance in the fulfillment of the Kingdom to come.
Psalm 16:5-6    Lord, I have chosen You alone as my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
I leave my destiny and its timing in Your hands. Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places. I’m overwhelmed by the privileges that come with following You, for You have given me the best! 

February 16, 2020

We All Have A Purpose .... So Does Satan!

     I want to expand on my last post in which I stated, "We can no longer afford to stick our heads in the sand and think we can avoid our scriptural mandate to be conquerors and over-comers... We have all been given a purpose and a race to run. It is a race to the finish line, and Satan is counting on us Christians sitting out the race we've been called to." So, I want to take a step back and look at this from a little broader perspective.
     As Mark and I have continued to work with Jesus and Holy Spirit to set people free from the spiritual torment that has hindered their walk with Christ, I would venture to say that most Christians are blinded to the fact that there is a purpose behind the torment and the trauma they've suffered. And it is not the theologically incorrect teaching that God allows us to suffer so that we can identify with Christ's suffering. There are a quite a few verses in the Bible that people use to present this argument, but I think the most common one I've heard is Philippians 1:29, For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake...
     But before I go on to the juxtaposition of our purpose versus Satan's purpose, let me show you how this verse has been taken out of context. Let us look at the entire passage of 1 Philippians 1:21-30. Paul has been imprisoned and is writing to the faithful who have been praying for him. He wants to make it clear that, even though imprisoned, he is still advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom, and intends to exalt Christ whether he lives or dies. He then makes this statement: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
     27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
     Can you discern that the suffering Paul experienced was the conflict of whether he would rather remain in the flesh, promoting the Gospel of the Kingdom for Christ's sake, or have his spirit depart the flesh to be with Christ in the heavenly realm because "that is very much better" (verse 23)? He is not saying that we have to suffer torment to identify with Him!
     But notice that Paul also encourages the church of Philippi to not be alarmed by their opponents (verse 28) "which is a sign of destruction for them". When you read that verse, how do you interpret "opponents"? Do you see them as human persecutors, or can you perceive that they can also be spiritual tormentors? Remember, it is Paul who says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  
     Second Heaven is where the spiritual battle rages between the spirits of wickedness loyal to Satan, and the Heavenly Host whose allegiance belongs to Jesus and the Father. And it is where Satan hatches his plans to derail the purpose of  our lives in the First Heaven; to make sure that we do not step into the Kingdom assignments that were designed for us since before the foundations of the earth (Ephesians 1:4).
     And that is the greatest joy that I receive from an Inner Healing session! After partnering with Jesus to liberate a person from the spirit of Fear or Anger or Unworthiness -- and helping them to experience the encounter with Jesus as He defeats those "opponents" in the person's life -- it is my privilege to get to speak into them of their purpose for the Kingdom. When, during a session, they hear Jesus tell them [for example] they are His own, and call them strong and capable and loved and bold, then the false identities from the devil no longer apply. And when Mark and I are able to show them that Satan saw them as worthy of his best efforts in order to try to impede their assignment for the Kingdom, they no longer see themselves through the devil's dirty veil, and see that it was all a plot by Satan to keep them tied to those false identities so they couldn't walk in their purpose. 
     When we ask them, "Can you see all that Satan brought against you because he knew that you were destined to be powerful for the Kingdom of God and he had to shut you down?", well, you can see the light bulb go off! Perhaps for the first time, they no longer cling to those lies the devil has been whispering of how unfit they are as a Christian, and begin to see new purpose and plans for their lives... the very purpose they were created for. And now they have the confidence and the identity to fulfill that purpose! 
     Whereas, before they couldn't comprehend that battle in the Second Heaven over them and their purpose, they can now look back and see Satan's plans to destroy God's perfect will for their life. Now, I tell them, when you hear that familiar scripture, "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy", you will recognize that it is your purpose he came to steal, kill, or destroy. And then maybe they will remember the second half of the verse ...  "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly". In other words, Jesus came -- in His first Coming, and in their session -- so that the abundance of their purpose would be fulfilled in this life. 
     Every single person born on this earth was a pre-existent spirit being, created before the foundations of the world. We are all sent to earth to live in this host body, with the plan that we will reconnect with our Creator, declare our allegiance to His kingdom, receive His Spirit, and begin to carry out our assignment to advance the Kingdom of God, thereby defeating all the works and plans of Satan; defeating his dark kingdom as we deed those territories back to the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God. That, in essence is what is accomplished in an Inner Healing session. It is incumbent upon each person who is freed from his bondage to Satan to help liberate the next person. And as our numbers grow, we can expect Satan to increase the efforts of his purpose -- to stop us from walking out our holy purpose. We must be vigilant. We must be intentional in our efforts to bring freedom to the Body of Christ. And we must then take our plans and purpose to the nations; advancing the Kingdom and taking back spiritual and physical territory with each personal victory. 
     It is time the traditional Church adds this course of action to their mission statement and by-laws. Until then, individual sons and daughters of God will continue to walk this path, strengthened and emboldened with His wisdom to carry out their assignments ... one life at a time. May God provide us with divine protection and His Holy guidance. Amen!

Psalm 37:12-13    The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for He sees their day of judgment coming.   

February 12, 2020

What Are You Afraid Of?

     I have had that thought running around in my mind for several days now. I think it is coming in response to what I'm seeing in the Body of Christ as we face increasing battles in the spiritual realms. This is not meant to scare anyone, but hopefully to get Christians to come out of a place of complacency and normalcy bias that threatens to leave them defenseless from a very real Enemy who is always working in the background to maintain his kingdom of darkness.
     I continue to be amazed at fellow Believers who are unaware of the spiritual battles being waged against mankind; and who don't have any idea of what the battlefield looks like, nor anything of the Enemy's tactics, let alone that they are to be engaged in the battle! "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" is not just an Old Testament warning from God through the prophet Hosea for the people of Israel. The consequences of a lack of knowledge of God, His nature, His battles, and His enemy is not confined to a particular time period. 
     And yes, I know that God is Sovereign, and Jesus is all-powerful -- He won the victory over Death on the Cross; and in the end, we are victorious. But have we forgotten all the Scripture in the New Testament -- specifically in the Book of Revelation, which encourages us to remain steadfast in our faith [as over-comers and conquerors] as we face the onslaught of evil trying to defeat God's plan for restoration of His Heavenly Kingdom on earth? Here's just a few for you to contemplate ...
     Revelation 2:7, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
     Revelation 2:26, The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,
     Revelation 3:5, The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
     Revelation 3:21, The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.
     Revelation 21:7, The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
      These are just a few of the verses that make it clear that our Salvation alone does not make us immune to torment nor battle. But the idea that there are spiritual realms where battles are being waged over mankind seems to have eluded so many of my fellow Christians. In fact, to many, anything spoken of in "spiritual terms" is looked upon with skepticism and doubt. I venture to say that most Christians are content to stay safely tucked away within the sphere of their "Church families", keeping a blind eye towards anything that threatens to upset their naively optimistic view of the world. It's just too scary to look behind the veil...
     And really, it is no different than the fear that kept the Israelites from entering the Promised Land on God's timeline. In Numbers 13, God told Moses He planned on giving the land of Canaan to the sons of Israel, but He first wanted them to go spy on the land so they would know what they were facing. Moses told the spies to check out what the land was like; whether the people who lived there were weak or strong; whether they were few or many; was the land good or bad; were the cities unprotected or fortified -- in other words, what would they need to know to be prepared to conquer the land and receive their inheritance from God. When the spies returned, ten of them reported that the people were too strong and they would be devoured if they tried to conquer the land. Only Caleb and Joshua declared that, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.". 
     At least the Israelite spies agreed to go into the land to analyze and evaluate it! So many modern Christians refuse to even look at the areas that God wishes us to conquer, let alone try to engage in battle to plant the flag of His Kingdom. They refuse to look upon the evil machinations of men who partner with Satan's demonic agendas of de-population; of the manipulation of the human genome and DNA that mirrors what Satan tried to accomplish through the Nephilim in Genesis 6; of the robbing of souls that energizes demonic structures and strongholds via sex-trafficking and trade. There is so much that could be written, but I'm afraid it would only paralyze the Body of Christ even more than they already are.
     I'm not writing this to shock or sensationalize. I sincerely want "the Church" to awaken to the truth of the times we are living in, and what our purpose is, as children of God, ambassadors of the Kingdom, and members of Yeshua's army on earth. As Christians, we can no longer be satisfied to live out our days in a benign state of uninvolvement. Plans are being made to destroy individual lives as well as enslave all mankind by those who align themselves with the kingdom of darkness. Jesus did not die to give us salvation and eternal life, so that we could simply wait for Him to come back to defeat evil on His own. We have been given power and authority in ways we don't even comprehend!
     The apostles were given the spiritual knowledge that they needed in the first century to establish the Church; the Body of Christ who would evangelize the world, spreading the Good News that God's Kingdom was being restored to the earth, even as they defeated the devil's tactics of using sickness, demons, and death to conquer men. But the Church today doesn't even employ those spiritual weapons to battle our enemy! And through the centuries, Satan has corrupted so much more --  infiltrating technology, genetics, science, government, entertainment, the land, etc. with demonic interfaces and assignments -- and we think we can pray it all away, if we're even aware of it.
     So, I just want you to think about starting to look beyond your sphere of comfort and become engaged with this cosmic war that is going on in the heavenly realms. We can no longer afford to stick our heads in the sand and think we can avoid our scriptural mandate to be conquerors and overcomers. Look beyond the veil of the nightly news and let your spirit contemplate the power it has to partner with Jesus and His Heavenly Host to defeat the works of the devil. We have all been given a purpose and a race to run. It is a race to the finish line, and Satan is counting on us Christians sitting out the race we've been called to. Don't let fear of the unknown stop you. The words God spoke to Joshua [as He commanded him to take the territory of Canaan] are meant for you, too: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Psalm 27:1   The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  

February 9, 2020

A Restful Soul and a Light Burden

     I sense that many people, like myself, are in need of rest for their souls. In addition, the burdens of this life on earth, let alone the obedience as a Christian, can weigh heavy on our hearts and spirits. Many times, I have gone to Matthew 11:28-30 to find solace: Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
     I have never despaired of the calling on my life to bring an encounter with Jesus to the life of someone who needs healing from the wounds of this world. But as a friend reminded me the other day, "Even Jesus had to take a break from the demands on Him, and remove Himself for periods of rest". Don't get me wrong, in no way do I think that my work for the broken-hearted compares to what Jesus accomplished. But, as the Lord increases the number of people who find their way to our door, Mark and I do get weary in our flesh, souls, and spirits. 
     We do recognize that we need rest. And I used to find comfort in these verses, thinking that they were telling me that Jesus invites everyone who senses they can't ease their burdens on their own, to come to Him. He offers rest for our souls, which often overshadow and smother our spirits, limiting our ability to receive the gifts of the Spirit: joy, love, patience,  peace, gentleness, kindness and self-control, or discipline. He invites us to learn from Him as He models how to carry out our work for the Kingdom without feeling like we have a millstone around our neck.
     While I believe that interpretation to be valid, I have recently discerned what I think is another layer to this familiar passage.  Previously in Matthew 11, Jesus had spoken that the Kingdom of Heaven had suffered violence and the violent were taking it by force (verse 12). I believe Jesus was implying that the Kingdom of Heaven was being pressed into by men forcing their way in because they had been denied entrance by the religious restrictions and rules of the Pharisees. This resulted in a religious burden for those seeking to get closer to their God. 
     "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden"... all who feel tired and worn-out from trying to meet all the criteria of being pronounced worthy of entering even the Temple, let alone the Kingdom of God. From the time Moses came down off the mountain with the stone tablets, some 1400+ years before, God's ten commandments for righteous living had multiplied exponentially, being mingled with oral traditions and the rabbi's written commentaries until the burden of meeting the standards of the religious leaders was nearly hopeless.
     "I will give you rest... you can recover your strength from the endless burden of meeting those standards. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls... Submit to His authority (yoke) and learn from Him how to walk out righteousness; sharing not only His Kingdom's system and structure, but the same rest for their souls that being aligned with the Father's kingdom lent Him. Jesus's heart and the Father's are in communion, yielding a gentle, submissive and obedient spirit; unburdened and rested.
     For my yoke is easy and my burden is light... Again, the submission to His authority (yoke) is easy, and His burden (discipleship) is light. Unlike the religious path of the Pharisees, following Jesus is easy and no burden, at all.  
     The fact that Chapter 12 is full of examples of these "rules" that the Pharisees placed on men -- no harvesting of the grain the Disciples ate on the Sabbath; no healing on the Sabbath of the man with the withered hand; no casting out demons by the Spirit of God -- is evidence to me that the "burden" Jesus referred to as being "heavy" was, indeed, all the religious rules that made it difficult for men to seek the Kingdom of God.
     So, as I contemplate my recent weariness, I must admit that a good portion of it comes from the burden of having shown Christians the glory of God healing the souls and spirits of Believers, only to have it embraced as Truth, then watch that enthusiasm evaporate as they slip back into their religious traditions. 
     I should not be surprised, though. As I read the messages to the churches in Revelation 2-3, Jesus clearly warns that the Body of Christ will not walk the straight and narrow path. Only a remnant will take His yoke upon themselves and learn from Him. But the harvest is great, so we will continue to labor in His fields, presenting the Gospel of the Kingdom and our King's gentle and humble heart. And we will rest when we can and never resist harnessing ourselves to Him and His authority.

Revelation 3:1-3     I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.  So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent...

February 6, 2020

Robbing Death Of Its Sting

     My father-in-law passed away three days ago. Before you think that this blog is going to be a sad commentary on what it's like to lose a loved one, let me assure you that this post is anything but that! Are we going to miss him? Absolutely! He was the best father-in-law that I could have ever asked for -- from day one, he accepted me as his child and loved me like his own. He was a simple man, and most of the time, saw life through rose-colored glasses. By the world's standards, he was probably an ordinary man. But for those whose lives he touched, he stood for kindness, compassion, and acceptance; standards I would call exemplary.
     But this isn't about the life he lived. This blog is about the end of his life and his transition to the Kingdom of God. Let me start by saying that he was a man of simple and steadfast faith. In his younger years, he played Jesus, Andrew, Simon Peter and Barabbas in various Easter pageants at his Church. He was a faithful church-goer and loved the Lord in all the "church ways". But in the last seven years or so, he began to desire to come "out of religion" and know the truth about his Savior and what his purpose on this earth was supposed to be. It wasn't always easy for him to understand how we, as Christians, had strayed so far from what the Bible clearly revealed about our faith, but he was willing to examine his own belief system and grow his understanding as he asked the hard questions he had never considered before.
     Mind you, this wasn't easy for him. Frankly, some of the revelations that Mark and I have received from the Lord were difficult for him to comprehend. But, I can honestly say that he had "the faith of a child", and he was always able to glean the simple, uncomplicated truth at the heart of the subject. At the core of his being, he believed in Jesus as His Savior -- pure and simple.
     So when his body began to be attacked by rheumatoid arthritis and COPD, and his lungs began failing him, we prayed for healing. He wondered why God didn't heal him, but he never lost his faith. And he never stopped praying for others. That was another beautiful thing about him ... he could pray the most heartfelt, honest and genuine prayers that I have ever heard. They weren't flowery or religious; again, they were simple appeals that came from a heart that loved and trusted Jesus.
     Then, when it became apparent that he was getting tired of fighting his body's ailments, he let us know he was ready for Hospice care. The day that the Hospice administrator came to explain to him and the family how this process would play out, I saw a man who was prepared to face the end of his life with strength and dignity; there was no doubt about his decision. As Mark and his mom went to the bedroom to discuss how the hospital equipment would be arranged, I went back out to the living room where he was left sitting. I told him I would like to come visit with him, just me and him, and answer any questions he might have about what would happen when he went to heaven. He said he would like that, and we made arrangements for me to come in a few days.
       So, I brought my Bible and he got his, and we examined what we knew about how the process of dying worked and what it meant for us as human beings. We talked about us being a three-part being -- body, soul, and spirit. And he read 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 which tells us that this body is a temporary dwelling place for our spirit, which was created by Jesus since the foundations of the world -- before the earth even! We talked about how our spirit lies dormant in our earthly body until it is activated by the Holy Spirit when we get Saved. We also discussed that while our spirit is in this body, we are absent from our original home, which is heaven, and we long to return there.
     We read Ephesians 2:6 and praised God that being Saved, our spirits are seated with Christ in Heaven. In other words, that we have access to Him now, while still on earth, and that when we die our spirit returns to be with Jesus and live eternally with Him. My sweet father-in-law wanted to know what he was going to do when he got to heaven. So we talked about what it would be like to rule and reign with Christ, and what our training might be once we get to heaven.
     We celebrated that he would live in the Millennial Kingdom with a resurrected body that would be perfect, renewed, transformed, indestructible, and not subject to the afflictions that his earthly body had suffered. He would never get sick again with the pneumonia that had plagued him for the last year and never experience death again. He would still have his personality, but without any hint of sin. And the best part of going to Heaven would be knowing and enjoying God at a new and higher level; there would be assignments and instruction to help him know and worship God more than he could now imagine.
     But it was our last final visit that, in hindsight, I could see how the Holy Spirit prepared him for his last moments on earth. This time, Mark and his mother were present as we engaged in our talk about Heaven. Again, he was a little unsettled about what those last moments and the transition might be like. I asked him if he knew that the moment he died, the next instant he would be in the presence of His Lord. He knew that, but there was a part of his soul that was still more attached to his flesh than to his spirit, and was struggling with some apprehension. Then the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for his spirit. So, I began to pray over his spirit, thanking the Lord for being in our midst, and I began to bless his spirit, reminding it that it was created in the image of God, therefore it was light from Light. I reminded his spirit that it was a flame being mingled with the fire of Jesus Christ; that it came from the breath of God. I charged it with the strength and life of Jesus Christ. I praised his spirit and called for the oil of anointing to be poured over it, and to be washed in living water and fed the bread of Life, which is Jesus. I called for healing and for a light emanating the glory of God over his spirit. And finally, I thanked the Lord for the healing and restoration that was manifesting in his spirit that moment, and softly said, "Amen".
     When I asked him if he was feeling anything in his spirit, he said, "I'm feeling warm and it's getting hotter". I knew that was the Holy Spirit mingling with his spirit, setting it on fire! And then we agreed to meet again in a few days and continue our discussions. But here's the thing ... Hospice had told us that the average life span of a person. once hospice began, was 4-6 months, but sometimes people lived for a year or longer. So I was anticipating many more of these sweet, blessed times together to prepare him for his spirit's return home. But his spirit, once activated and "switched on", took control of its own journey.
     There was no long, lingering illness, supplemented by morphine to "make him comfortable". There was no more shut-down from his body; nothing in the body failed, causing death. Four days after that last blessed assembly, his spirit made its own decision to go home... just as I think it should be for each and every one of us. His flesh didn't decide; his soul wasn't mired in anguish and fear; and Satan and Death were not allowed to linger in a long, slow, and painful process. After making sure that he stayed long enough on earth to give his wife the gift of celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary, the next morning he woke from the first night of restful sleep since the Hospice process had begun, announced he felt good, and then just went back to sleep, and his spirit departed for its heavenly home.
     .... It's been less than a week now since my father-in-law's spirits slipped away from the bonds of this earth. We can't help but notice the look of astonishment and puzzlement on the faces of people who don't understand why we aren't sad. Although we will greatly miss his presence in our lives, we got to witness one of the most beautiful visions of what it is like for our spirits to defeat Death. It is cause for rejoicing with all of Heaven! I am so thrilled for him! And I know that my feeble attempts to describe what his entrance and existence in Heaven would look like are nothing in comparison to the reality of what he is experiencing! And if this narration of what I saw and encountered helps someone else who is facing the impending death of a loved one -- or the end of their own life -- then I want to reassure you that our Lord has made a way to transition from this life to the next. When it is my time, I want to remember to take control of my own spiritual state and do it the Lord's way. It was a most glorious tribute to the power of God to defeat Death!

The prayer I prayed over my father-in-law was "Prayer for the Spirit of Man" from Prayers that Shake Heaven and Earth by Dan Duval.

1 Corinthians 15:55     O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

February 3, 2020

Understanding Our Dominion In The Spiritual Realms


     If you've never heard the subject matter of today's blog post before, it doesn't surprise me. You really have to go outside the Church building to begin to lay the foundation of what I'd like to share. If, in your study of the Bible, you tended to just breeze through Genesis, Chapter One, because you've heard In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, a million times, and you know that ultimately, after six days of creation, God rested on the seventh. Pretty straightforward, right?
     But, if you've matured in your faith, and know that there is so much depth to God and many overlays of meaning in the Bible, then you've likely wondered about how God could create Light on the first day, separating the light from the darkness, and then again on the fourth day. What's going on?
     I want to present a breakdown on some of these verses, establishing a picture of what God was doing, and then expand on that knowledge to show our place in this plan. Are you ready for a ride? Here we go!
     I first want to say, that I was engaged in my own word study, trying to come to a comprehension of what the Bible was telling me, when I took an online course with Dan Duval, pastor of the online Fireplace Church, and President of Bride Ministries. He greatly illuminated what the Bible is telling us in Genesis One. And I would highly recommend that you read his book, Higher Dimensions, Parallel Dimensions, and the Spirit Realm. What I am going to present here is simply a condensed version of his in-depth teaching.   
     So, we have Day and Night on Day one, and Day and Night on Day four. How could that be? Well, consider that God created a spiritual template of our universe on Day one, and then overlaid it with a physical construct on Day four. That's not that difficult a conclusion when you understand that He first created us as spirit and then put our spirit in a physical body. Re-read Genesis 1:1-19 again. Nothing before Day four is physical; all the descriptions are spiritual. It is a spiritual Light in verse one, and then a physical sun in Day four. The transition from a spiritual earth to a physical earth begins on the third Day.
     I want to give you a few word translations so you can further understand this hypothesis, and then we will go on to the dominion part of this equation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God created all the dimensions of existence and a spiritual earth. Here the Hebrew word for "earth" is erets. In verse two, Scripture says the earth was "formless" (the Hebrew word tohu) and "void" (the Hebrew word bohu). Tohu means "without form, formless, unreality, emptiness. The earth was in a state of unreality; a spiritual template. Bohu means "emptiness, void, or waste; again a spiritual connotation. When God says in verse three, "Let there be light" and the light was separated from the darkness, the Hebrew word for "darkness" is chosek, meaning darkness in an obscurely secret place (spiritual darkness). This interpretation of the word is repeated in other Scriptures, namely 2 Samuel 22:29, Job 17:13, and Psalm 107:14, establishing the consistent spiritual aspect of the word. This darkness is recorded as being over the surface of "the deep". The Hebrew word for deep is Tehouan, meaning "deep or abyss" and is referred to as "a person with a voice and hands". Then we read that the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
     Let's see if we can put all this together: There was a spiritual dimension having power in the physical realm. It is first spiritual in its origin, and then exhibits power in the physical realm. So, here's what we can know for sure from the first two verses in Genesis ... God created the dimensions of the higher heavens. God created a spiritual earth first. And the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the spiritual earth as God was preparing to form it in the physical. When God says let there be light in the third day, it is a spiritual light, and it is God manifesting Himself into the creation template. The Hebrew word for "light" here is owr.
     In Genesis 1:9-13, we read about the dry land appearing, and God is beginning to place the physical overlay over the spiritual template. In verses 14-19, we see God creating more lights, but this time the Hebrew word is ma'owr, and it indicates luminaries (stars), and "the two great lights", the sun and moon -- all physical creations. Hopefully, this will make you never read the first chapter of the Bible the same ever again! And here's something else to blow your mind --- the earth was created after we were! Remember, Ephesians 1:4 says Jesus chose us in Him before the foundations of the world.
     And lest we forget, God created the heavens (plural). So we know the Second Heaven is where the planets and cosmos exist and where the "rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" exist (Ephesians 6:12). And we know the Third Heaven is where the throne of God sits, and where, according to Ephesians 2:6, our spirits are seated with Christ. In addition, Philippians 3:20 tells us that we are citizens of Heaven. And this is where our dominion in the spiritual realms (plural) needs to be realized. 
     Our spirits can interact [and act out of] ALL the spiritual realms. Do you realize that God has a ministry for each of us, and wants to act through us, and our ministries are not limited to earth? Daniel 10:7-13 is a precise example of how our spirits can have an impact in the Second Heaven. Daniel has been praying for 21 days, and the angel Gabriel appears to tell him that from the first day he began praying, his words were heard in the Throne Room in the Third Heaven, and God sent him [Gabriel] in response to those prayers. But Gabriel was held up in the Second Heaven by the spiritual "prince" [demonic power] of Persia, until the prince [Godly power] of Israel, the archangel Michael, came to help him. This is an example of Second Heaven warfare generated by the power of our prayers in the spirit. 
     We must not forget that our dominion rests in our authority, rulership, power, jurisdiction and government on behalf of the Kingdom of Heaven. Perseverance is important on our part. Just like in Daniel, as soon as we pray, warfare breaks out in the Second Heaven and we must continue to pray. Would Gabriel have been able to endure in his battle with the prince of Persia if Daniel had stopped praying after two days? Ten days? Fifteen days? 
     It is important to understand that we will and must engage in ALL the realms -- not only here on earth, but in the Second and Third Heavens as well. We should be praying from our seat of dominion and power in the Third Heaven to battle against the demonic powers in the Second Heaven. We must examine ourselves to see if we are only battling through our prayers from this First Heaven, earth. If so, I'm here to tell you this is an inferior position. We are leaving the dominion we possess [in the Second and Third Heavens] on the table, so to speak! We have access to the Throne Room and the Courts of Heaven, and can battle [in spirit] in the Second Heaven alongside Michael and the host of Heaven
     As I look at the state of this world, it is apparent that we are not walking in our full dominion in the Heavenly realms. We do not recognize or understand the power, authority, and rulership we have been created to exhibit on behalf of the Kingdom of God. And the powers of darkness are taking advantage of our lack of understanding. My people perish for lack of knowledge is not a meaningless statement. Let us begin to come into our own!

2 Corinthians 10:3-4    For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  
Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

January 30, 2020

John the Baptist, the Spirit of Elijah, and the Kingdom of Heaven

     I'm going to attempt to share a deeper understanding I just gained about Matthew 11:11-15. It is a passage that is quite often quoted and mentioned in Biblical exegesis, but never adequately explained for my understanding. And in my conversations with fellow Christians, I find that many of them are struggling with its relevance, too. So, not that I see myself as a Scriptural expert, but after spending a bit of time diving in, I'd like to give it a shot, because it is vitally important to our understanding of the Kingdom of God. Here is the passage:

11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

     Let's unravel this verse-by-verse, shall we? First of all, the Bible is establishing that John the Baptist is a human being, just like you and me; born of a woman. Secondly, we need to understand that John is the last prophet who came with a message that the Messiah would one day come. He is great because he is the prophet that was allowed to see that prophecy fulfilled. But he dies before Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection [which pays for our sins and makes way for us receive eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven]. 
   So, then how could one who is least in the Kingdom be greater than John? We, who are the recipients of Christ's sacrifice are greater because we get to receive the benefits of His Coming, which are Salvation, which in turn grants us the right to enter the Kingdom of Heaven [see John 3:1-5]. We are more privileged than even John the Baptist!
     What does it mean that the Kingdom of Heaven "suffers violence from the days of John, and that violent men take it by force"? To suffer violence means the Kingdom of Heaven was being pressed into by men forcing their way in; because up to now, Satan has been the dark ruler of this world and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and men did not have access to, or a way, to enter into the Kingdom. And remember, Jesus castigates the Pharisees for not entering, nor allowing others to enter. (Matthew 23:13). 
     But from the moment John stepped onto the world scene until now, the realm of Heaven's kingdom is bursting forth and passionate people are taking hold of its power. The prophets and the Old Testament prophesied about the coming Messiah and His authority and power to deliver men and the world, and now here is John in the New Testament seeing those prophecies come to fruition.
     Then, here is the real stickler for most Christians: And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. Here's my take on this verse ... Got created us all as spirits, and each spirit is eventually assigned to a host body to live out its appointed days, after which the spirit returns to its "home" with the Father. Think "one spirit to one body; one life resulting in one death". But Elijah did not die a human death! He was taken up to Heaven before his body could die, so God receives his spirit back and can send it to John to help him carry out God's purpose for that spirit. [NOTE: spirits can't reside in bodies that die and then come back in another body -- that would constitute reincarnation]. 
     So, think of it like this: The "spirit of Elijah" is an anointing of the Spirit of God that works in a person in the same manner it did in the first Elijah. It is a spirit that is against worshiping false gods  (as Elijah came against Ahab and Jezebel). It is a spirit that brings about the restoration of God's Truth and turns the hearts of God's people back to Him and a true faith. 
     This is a word [for us] as spoken by the prophet Malachi: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.  In the Last Days, there must be a prophet anointed, just as John the Baptist was, with the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of believers (both Christians and Jews) to welcome the returning Christ. The traditions of men must be rejected! 
     The Word must be restored to its purity: Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). In the past, God revealed Himself through a prophet. Now, He reveals Himself through Spirit, and His Spirit will be revealed through the spirit of Elijah in the Last Days. The last anointing of the Elijah spirit will be the final witness to both Jew and Christian (Revelation 11?). Jews must receive the message of the Jewish Apostles in the Early Church, recognize Jesus as their Messiah, recognize the final Elijah's message and be sealed into the Kingdom of God. Likewise, the Modern Church must turn away from their rituals, traditions, and denominational doctrines and turn to the living God of the Bible! I pray that all those with ears to hear, will hear loud and clear!

January 26, 2020

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

    I am writing this post for all those who believe that spiritual warfare is real. For me, that is kind of a logical statement; after all, who wouldn't believe that spiritual warfare is real or necessary? You would be surprised! And whenever I have had conflict with fellow Christians over this topic, the usual response I get is that they don't see it in the Bible. "Give me Chapter and Verse" is the customary reaction. So, I thought I would write a short post, presenting Scriptural evidence of actual weapons of spiritual warfare referred to in the Bible.
     The purpose of this post is to not only provide knowledge for Christians, but to prepare them. If we say that Scripture is our guidepost for God's Truth, then we know that there will be a war between our returning Lord and those who operate in the Anti-Christ spirit promoted by Satan. The Body of Christ needs to receive this truth and come to the understanding that we are to battle for the Lord. That's why Paul tells us to put on our spiritual armor in Ephesians 6! Furthermore, the Lord has used His creation in the past as weapons against His [and our] enemies. And as children of the Most High God, we can call on those weapons to aid in our battles in the spiritual realm.
     These weapons exist throughout the Bible; from the Old Testament through to the Book of Revelation. For those who will say, "We don't need these OT weapons, we have Jesus". True! But if you do a deep study in the Old Testament, you will find that it is Jesus who appears as the Lord in the Old Testament, and who is using or conveying these weapons, and He is the same today as He was then. So, let's take a look at what is available to us, as prescribed by God in His Word...

        1. Stars - When the nation of Israel was under the leadership of the prophetess and judge, Deborah, and found themselves at war with the Canaanite king, Sisera, (Judges 4-5), Deborah called her military commander, Barak, to join her in battle against the king. Judges 5:20 records, From heaven the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. Can you imagine if we cooperate with God in our battles against our spiritual enemies [using the power of the constellations], just how devastating it could be against those who oppose us?
     2. Spear of the Lord - There are several references to the Lord using a spear, in either His own hand, or empowering a spear in the hand of His chosen representative, to defeat the Enemy. As David is pursued by Saul and his enemies, he writes in Psalm 35, Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Joshua also had access to the Lord's spear in Joshua 8:18, Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” A sample of how we could employ both the stars and the spear of the Lord in our prayers against our spiritual enemies might sound like this: "Oh Heavens, bombard every evil gathering assigned against me with the spear of the Lord!"
     3. The Hiss of the Lord - This is a fascinating picture of the Lord! In Isaiah 7:18-19, the prophet prophesies about the future Day of the Lord, and tells King Ahaz, In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.  And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures. We must not concentrate on the historical or geographical information in these verses - they were spoken to mean something to King Ahaz in his time period. But we should focus on the weapons that the Lord will use "in that [future] Day" ... the hiss of millions of flies and bees coming to attack the Enemy! But today, when we are being tormented by the whispers and lies of our enemies, we can pray, "Be silenced by the Hiss of the Lord, in the Name of Jesus!"
     4. The Fire of God - Hebrews 10:26-27 speaks of God's consuming fire against His enemies: For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. The prophet Zephaniah forecasts a future day of fire: Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed. Until that day, we can pray, "Lord, send your consuming fire against my enemies; against the spirits that torment me and steal my peace".
     5. Engines of War - An engine is anything that is the agent or instrument of a particular process or purpose. "Engines of War" could also be understood as "Instruments of War". Ezekiel 26:9 portrays how the Lord used the instruments of warfare in ancient history to destroy the enemies of Israel: He will direct the shock of His battering rams against your walls, and with His axes He will break down your towers. So, how could we construct a prayer for the 21st Century? How about this? "Lord, direct the shock and awe of your heavenly armies against the evil intentions of those who seek to kill me and destroy our nation! Bomb their installations and confuse their technologies. Establish us in Your Protection and the Knowledge of the Lord!"
     Are you getting the idea? Warfare was constant and real in the Bible, and nothing has changed. We are in a battle for the dominion of the Earth and the battles are both in the physical and the spiritual. But we need have no fear! Jehovah Nissi goes before us into battle. And we can call upon His weapons of warfare in the battles we face. I invite you to search out the following weapons of the Lord that are mentioned in the Bible: the Hook of God; His horrible Tempest; Locusts; the Lightning of God; Hailstones; the Finger of God; Heat; the Stone of Offense; Hail and Fire mingled with the Blood of Jesus; Earthquakes and Sea Quakes; Thunderbolts and Whirlwinds; the Hammer of God and His Rod of Iron; Boils and Blindness ... and much, much more.
     I present this because there is a dangerous delusion in the Body of Christ; the belief system that tells Christians we don't need to worry about going to battle because we are not subject to the wrath of God and will not suffer -- that we will be whisked away in the Rapture without encountering any of the bad stuff that is coming at the End of the World. Yes! We are not subject to God's wrath if we are washed in the Blood of Jesus and He sits enthroned upon our hearts. BUT we have an Enemy [and his hordes] who seek to kill, steal and destroy our lives. We are behind Enemy lines, and must continue Jesus's fight to "destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). the Bible gives us examples of the weapons at our disposal. Become familiar with them and do not hesitate to use them! They are real and they are mighty in the hand of the Lord!

Check out the book "101 Weapons of Spiritual Warfare" by Dr. D. K. Olukoya. Also, you will find many examples of weapons of spiritual warfare in Dan Duval's book, "Prayers That Shake Heaven and Earth". Both are available on Amazon.

2 Corinthians 10:4     "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."