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

October 21, 2018

What The World Needs From Us

     I am officially back from my vacation and I have to tell you that being removed from my normal environment has given me a new perspective on the role of us Christians in the world. You see, Mark and I were in the company of a group of nearly 20 people, most of them years younger than us, and only one woman who was a fellow Christian. We had some good, long talks with her about our faith experiences, and it was interesting to find that she was pretty well versed on spiritual warfare, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and walking in spiritual gifts. The concept of Inner Healing and Deliverance, however, was unfamiliar territory, but she was not adverse to seeing their significance in spiritual healing.
     But other than this one encounter, everyone else wasn't too keen on revealing what they felt about a relationship with Jesus; shying away from any religious discussion. But, as always, when your goal is to share the Good News of the Kingdom of God, Jesus will give you the opportunity to sow a seed or two. And there was a particular conversation that Mark took part in that captured the interest of several thirty-something's one night at dinner. Let me share the gist of it ...
     First of all, you need to understand that my husband has a keen interest in understanding the historic religions of the world and how they relate to Christianity. It is important to have a knowledge of what came before Christ so that one can intelligently [and accurately] represent how our God is superior to the gods of other religions. In doing his research, he has become quite well-informed about these lesser gods, knowing their names and becoming aware of their existence and influence upon the people of today. Therefore, he has no hesitancy in engaging in a discussion with the Millennial generation, who proudly display these gods upon their bodies in the form of tattoos. In fact, it never surprises me when he asks these younger people about their tattoos, because he has a genuine interest in knowing if they are aware of the spiritual doors they are opening.
     One such discussion took place with Mike, a videographer that was quite an interesting young man. In his mid-thirties, he had come out of the snow-boarding culture, and had developed a successful business in film and video. That night at dinner, Mark noticed that he had quite a prominent tattoo on his left forearm, and asked Mike about it. "Why do you have Ahura Mazda on your arm?" Mike was amazed that someone would actually know who this entity was, and in case you are unfamiliar with this god, let me give you some insight.
     Ahura Mazda, whose name means "wise lord," was the most important god in ancient Persian mythology. When the religion known as Zoroastrianism became widespread in Persia around 600 B.C., Ahura Mazda became its supreme deity. This religion was founded by the religious leader, Zoroaster, who taught that Ahura Mazda was an omniscient god and creator of the universe. Zoroaster also taught the existence of angels, demons and saviors, ideas that can also be found in Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- all religions that came later.
     But back to Mike, and how this ancient god came to be permanently etched on his arm. Mike admitted to doing psychedelic mushrooms in his younger days and said that he did them for about a year, without any unusual affects... until the night that an entity appeared to him, attacked him, and frightened him nearly to death! That began Mike's search into the spiritual realm, various religions and gods. Instinctively, he knew there was a supreme being, but could get no answers from Christian pastors about the entity that attacked him or what god it might be serving.
     So he began an investigation into the oldest god there was, which led him to the Sumerian texts. Sumer was the southernmost region of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq and Kuwait) which is generally considered the cradle of civilization. The name comes from Akkadian, the language of the north of Mesopotamia, and means “land of the civilized kings”. The Sumerians invented one of the first writing systems, developing Sumerian cuneiform writing (impressed on clay tablets) by about the 30th century BC. The earliest literary texts appear from about the 27th century BC. 
     As far as their religious belief system, the Sumerians believed there were four creator deities, and under them were the seven gods who "decree the fates." These were An, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nanna, Utu, and Inanna. These were followed by the 50 "great gods" or Annunaki, the children of An. Sumerians believed that their role in the universe was to serve these gods. 
     So, in his search for answers about a god to serve, Mike ended up tattooing Ahura Mazda and Enki on his arm, determining that if they were among the first gods to be worshipped, they had supremacy. And when my husband could intelligently discuss these gods with him, without condemning him, Mike was willing to listen to what Mark had to say about the "Most High God".  Mike's question was, "Where do I go to find out about him"? And when Mark's answer was, "He's the God of the Bible", Mike shared his distrust of what Christians had presented to him in the past, because it was always dictatorial, rigid, and repressive -- and they were always unwilling to accept that there were other gods.
The Most High God amid His Divine Counsel
     When Mark was able to point him to Psalm 82, which places the Most High God in His Divine Council, in the midst of the [little "g"] gods, where He proclaims, "You are gods, sons of the Most High", and then takes him to Deuteronomy 32:8, where the Bible tells us that the Most High God divided mankind, fixed the territories [nations] according to these "sons of God", appointing them over the nations while He took Israel as His people, then Mike became interested in knowing more about this Most High God. He was no longer the tyrannical God that religious Christians had demanded he must accept. Mike's sense of curiosity and very real desire to understand the origins of mankind and the spirit world made it easier for Mark to introduce the character and sovereignty of the God we Christians serve.

     It was a small, first step in getting Mike to reconsider the Bible as a credible source of information about God. There was no need to press him for more; it was not yet the time to explore fallen angels, satan, or Jesus as his personal savior. That could come after he was able to receive and accept Jehovah, Father God. But he no longer viewed the Bible as a negative, restrictive book, nor the God of the Bible as a tyrant. And he had certainly never met a Christian like Mark. 
     And in this exchange, it suddenly became clearer to me why Jesus chose to teach in parables. He was trying to overcome the religious rules and legalism of the Pharisees, who were so restrictive in their interpretation, and appeal to human instincts and spirits as He introduced the Kingdom of God. Mike had made it clear that "Church people" weren't accepting of him or his questions, and Mark laughingly told him they weren't always receptive of his ideas either. But he made it clear that the god on Mike's arm was no match for the God we serve. And when Mike heard that our God helped deliver people, just like him, who were being attacked by these entities from the spiritual realm, he was even more interested. And so were the five or six other Millennials at the table, some of whom had experienced similar attacks.
     You see, this generation has been raised on the internet where anything that can be imagined is possible. So, they are bombarded with fantasy worlds, demons, artificial intelligence, and all the spiritual doors those avenues have opened. When, we as Christians, try to present God as we've made Him within our Church walls, they can't identify. We must speak to them in their own terms and from their areas of interest. Just like Jesus's parables, we have to show them a God that relates to their experiences. The unbelieving world doesn't need our sermons and certainly doesn't want to hear "The Word says". They first have to know who "the Word" is before what He says can mean anything to them. We must relate to them at where they are, instead of demanding that they relate to us in all our religious ways. We must engage with them, looking for ways to introduce them to a God that is interested in them. From there, Jesus will give us the opportunities to take the next step, and the next... always bringing heavenly purpose into their earthly circumstances. 
     It's my prayer that Mark can keep in touch with Mike and answer the questions that will inevitably come. It's a long distance between Texas and Utah, but we serve a God that arranged that divine appointment in Montana. Let's see what what He orchestrates next.

1 Timothy 2:3-4   This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

October 18, 2018

Matthew 16:19

I will give you the keys of heaven’s kingdom realm to forbid on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release on earth that which is released in heaven.

     This is part of the passage that includes Peter's confession of Christ as the Messiah and the Son of the Living God. Think how happy Jesus must have been, knowing that His crucifixion was coming near, but that He had successfully set His Disciples on a firm path to carry on His work. They recognize Him for who He truthfully is, and He can now begin to prepare them for when He must leave them. He can begin to reveal the Father's plan and the part they will play in it.
     He praises Peter for his steadfastness and his faith, and then announces that He, Himself, will be the bedrock or cornerstone of His Church.  This is what I picture happening ... Jesus with His hand on Peter's shoulder, saying "Yes, you are a rock".  Then, pointing to Himself, saying, "And it is on this rock that I will build My church".  Perhaps he laid his hand on his breast, as he did in John 2:19: Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 
     Then He announces today's passage and their purpose in "the plan"... they will receive the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven! What must they have thought?!? The concept of someone having the keys to anything meant they had the power to open and shut the door to it. But Jesus is telling them they have that power and authority when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven!
    I believe Jesus is telling Peter that he, Peter, will open the door to faith, just as he would do to the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2) and to the Gentiles in the person of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10). Those keys would unlock the blessings and the power of Heaven itself for all those who come to faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God of Heaven! That faith is a key that unlocks a Divine relationship between Heaven and Earth -- one that cannot be hindered.
     But those keys were not reserved for Peter alone!  Just two chapters later, in Matthew 18, Jesus repeats the same benefits of binding and loosing, once one unlocks the key to the Kingdom. This time it is directed to the other disciples.  But it also pertains to us!  When we are obedient to the commands of our Lord, Jesus (in heaven) looses the authority of His Word as it goes forth on earth for the fulfillment of its purpose. 
     It is important to understand that the expressions “bind” and “loose” were common to Jewish legal phraseology.  Whenever a Jew came up against the Law of Moses, that Jewish person was either "bound" or "loosed" in regard to that law. To loose was to permit; to bind was to prohibit. To loose was to free from the law, to bind was to put under the law. Their regular sense, which any Jew would recognize was to allow and to forbid. To bind something was to declare it forbidden; to loose was to declare it allowed. These were the regular phrases for making decisions in regard to the law.
     But Jesus has come to fulfill the Law, so Heaven is now the authority to which we appeal -- not the Rabbinic Law.  Therefore, whatever we bind (because it goes against the commands of Jesus) has already been declared forbidden; and whatever we loose (that aligns with Jesus and benefits the Kingdom) has already been declared allowable -- and the authority of Heaven stands behind us! It goes without saying that this refers to Kingdom work done in Jesus's Name and in obedience to His Word on earth.
     The authority that comes with the keys is still promised to the Body of Christ today. In the powerful words of theologian Charles Spurgeon, "The Lord continues to back up the teaching and acts of His servants, and as long as we abide rightly in Him, we have His sanction to make them valid. The words of His servants, spoken in His Name, shall be confirmed by the Lord, and shall not be, either as to promise or threatening, a mere piece of rhetoric." Hallelujah, that we possess the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven!

Current Note: In March of 2017, when I first wrote this, I had the intention of pointing out that the "Keys" are symbols of authority and ruling power -- power that Jesus intended for the Church to walk out [as it is in Heaven]. The Church is to be the ruling authority of Heaven, just as Jesus showed us in all the parables of the Kingdom. That authority has already been established in Heaven and we are to be the ambassadors that carry it out, releasing what is permissible in Heaven, and shutting down what is prohibited in Heaven. Look around at our culture, and the latest ugliness in the Supreme Court hearings. How do you think we're doing? 

On a good note:  I have had some readers ask about Karla, whom I asked you to pray for a couple of weeks ago. Here's the glorious update ... the doctors were able to remove the blood clot from Karla's brain and some tissue, that when biopsied, was non-cancerous! She is managing her pain well, is at home, and in  her own words, "My life will never be the same again! God has walked me through that week in ways I never could have comprehended! I will never doubt my rock, my shield, my deliverer, my fortress, my defense, and now I know Him as my healer. It is only through His strength and power that I am here today. I have so much to share and it will take me some time to piece it all together. But I wanted to thank all those who prayed for me and tell you how much I appreciated and depended on your intercession on my behalf. And I believe that your warfare changed the course of events. I know it did! I was out walking with Jesus there for awhile and He sent me back! 
     God beat the attack on my brain and He beat the cancer, too! The doctors are all amazed! Nothing was as they thought it would be. We serve the mightiest of God's! Praise His Name!" 

October 15, 2018

Mark 11:13-14

He noticed a leafy fig tree in the distance, so He walked over to see if there was any fruit on it, but there was none—only leaves (for it wasn’t yet the season for bearing figs). Jesus spoke to the fig tree, saying, 
“No one will ever eat fruit from you again!” 
And the disciples overheard Him.

     There are two accounts of Jesus "cursing" the fig tree in the Bible, although I would point out that Scripture says Jesus "spoke" to it, not cursed it. Somehow, I think our Church tradition has interpreted that what He spoke was a curse. So let's take a look at both accounts, and see if we can discern what is really going on.
     The account in Matthew has a different context than this one in Mark.  Just as in Mark, the Matthew 21:18-22 version has Jesus declaring that the fig tree will not be productive for eating fruit ever again, and then it withers before Him.  But when asked by His disciples how the fig tree could wither so quickly, Jesus gives them a lesson on faith; that faith is an act of one's will with persistence and perseverance ... "If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen".  He is showing them that faith is being steadfast (or unwavering) in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
     But here in Mark, the story of the fig tree has a different meaning.  Here Jesus sees a fig tree in the distance, and being hungry, He goes to see if He can find anything on it. But when He arrives at the tree, all He finds are leaves -- no fruit.  The Bible tells us it's because it is not the season for figs. And then Jesus speaks to the fig tree with a declaration that no one would ever eat fruit from it again.
     So what's up with this fig tree?  And why did it's absence of fruit result in such condemnation from Jesus?  First of all, we need to take a look at the significance of figs and fig trees in the Bible.  Remember, God doesn't do anything without a purpose.  Figs are actually throughout Scripture, beginning in the Garden of Eden, where fig leaves covered the shame of Adam and Eve when they discovered they were naked.  Throughout the Bible, the plant becomes a symbol of prosperity, well-being, and security. Along with the vine, to sit under the plentiful shade of your own fig tree is the epitome of safety, peace and good fortune in many Biblical passages. Specifically, Micah 4:4 says, Each of them will sit under his vine, and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
     These plants don’t grow overnight, and it takes time to culture and nurture them – their maturity indicates that the gardener has been continuously and steadfastly there, tending to their growth over the years. And since Jesus states in John 15:1 that He is the True Vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser (Gardener), the point of these verses in Mark comes into focus.  Actually, I believe there is a dual significance to Jesus's word to the fig tree.  
     First of all, the fig tree points to the nation of Israel, which had been planted by God and nurtured for so long as His chosen people.  He had remained steadfastly beside them, tending to their growth down through the centuries.  The fact that this fig tree did not have any fruit on it at all, despite the fact that it wasn't the season for figs, showed Jesus's [and the Father's] disappointment and frustration.  After all the tender-loving care the Father had put into the nation of Israel, there should have been some evidence of fruit remaining on the tree.  Since Jesus only said or did what He heard from the Father, we can surmise that God was nearing the time when Israel would be blinded and ineffective in spreading the Gospel.
     But there is a second aspect in view ... If we look at these verses from the context that the fig tree represents Believers, Jesus has the right to demand and expect fruit from us at all times -- both in and out of season.  And when we recall that there is actually a Fig Tree Generation spoken of in Revelation 6:13 -- that generation that is alive when the Sixth Seal is torn open and terror reigns on the earth -- it is important that we be bearing fruit in this season, regardless of whether it is time to harvest or not. We should be doing the miraculous works of Jesus at all times, not just when it is practical and in season. 
     To be honest, the meaning behind the "cursing" of the fig tree can only be surmised, and must be looked at through a supernatural lens. But there is much symbolism attached to the fig tree throughout Scripture, and anytime Jesus is looking at the fruit being produced, we know it has significance for us.  May we all seek to be fruitful and prosperous for the Kingdom, so that when our Lord measures what we have yielded for Him, we will not be found lacking, and be the cause of His disappointment. 

Current Note: Much and too little has changed since I posted this in May, 2017. I am so pleased that I am seeing fellow Christians come alongside me and Mark to produce fruit for the Kingdom of God. At the same time, there are other Believers who cannot overcome their hesitancy to partake in the richness of the Kingdom, no matter how much we share our joy. And honestly, we are not responsible for their actions; we are only accountable for sharing the Good News of the works that Jesus did and to which He has called us. We've done our part and pray that their hearts will be made alive with the desire to please the Lord.

October 12, 2018

Romans 1:16

 I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved—the Jew first, and then people everywhere! 

     In Romans, Chapter 1, Paul is speaking of the exalted power of the Gospel, and when properly understood, I believe it speaks to an even bigger concept than the Church has realized up til now.  We have all been taught that Jesus came to die for our sins, so that we might escape the wrath of God by receiving Him as our Savior.  The benefit of that decision is exchanging a life of sin that leads to Death and the eternal absence of God for a life lived in Jesus's imputed righteousness and the gift of spending eternity in Heaven with the Father and Son. Does that do a pretty good job of what the Body of Christ is believing?  It is all correct, without a doubt -- but there's so much more!
     For those of us who are willing to hear and see what the Word of God is actually saying, that picture takes on new dimensions and significance.  If you read the first few verses of Romans 1, you see Paul laying out the foundation of our faith ... the Gospel of God prophesied [through the prophets] that the Son of God would be born as a descendant of David in the flesh; that Jesus Christ was declared the Son of God [as a result of] power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Holy Spirit; that we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all people for His name’s sake.
     I'm afraid we might have reduced the real magnitude of these verses to a simplified "salvation message".  And I believe that is borne out by our limited understanding of verse 16, in which we don't see the big picture of what "the power of God for salvation" really means.  Let me see if I can explain ...
     Are we guilty of reading this verse from the standpoint of the Reformation, which preached God's mercy to bring us into freedom from sin and His wrath?  In other words, are we interpreting this word "salvation" as strictly meaning the escape from eternal damnation in the Day of Judgment, and only seeing the work of the Holy Spirit as He relates to conversion? 
     If you are seeing with newly opened spiritual eyes, I hope that you are discerning salvation in the larger scope of its purposes for the Kingdom.  As I have continually written, it is my opinion that the Church has lost the sense of God's Power in us, and doesn't have a very good sense that Jesus came to preach the Good News about the influence of that power [through us] in this dimension called earth.  Furthermore, we don't have a clear grasp that those Kingdom purposes are about forgiveness, and about having the ability and the authority to communicate with God (as Jesus did) so that we can actually be in communication with God's enabled power to heal the sick, for instance.  We don't understand that He desires to use us by releasing His power through us to cast out demons, and even raise people from the dead, if He tells us that is His will.  
     We have not been taught that the Holy Spirit [in us] enables us to see in the spirit, and hear in the spirit so that we can implement our Father's plans and will -- just as Jesus did in His incarnate state.  He showed us that it is possible!  And this is the fullest sense of that word SALVATION which includes forgiveness, healing, deliverance and the redemption of "the poor in spirit."
     For too long, we have believed that the power of God worked independently from us, and we saw Him as some distant Benefactor or Judge [depending on our circumstances]. Remember, God identifies Himself as the "I AM". He does not self-identify as the "I WAS" or the "I WILL BE", although both are true of His existence.  The same actions of healing and deliverance from demons that He exhibited through the Apostles are to be acted out in faith and obedience by us. 
     When we proclaim the Gospel Message, are we making sure that we know the full extent of that Good News?  That it is not limited to eternal life in Heaven, but extends to daily healing and deliverance in the here and now?  We are called to proclaim that Gospel to the ends of the earth and until Jesus returns. But can we truly say we are fully proclaiming that Gospel if it does not include the signs and miracles that Jesus modeled during His preaching?
     I know that this is probably outside the purview of mainstream Christianity, but it is precisely because this message has been neglected that the Church is powerless today against the forces coming against our families, the culture, and our government.  It is time that the Body of Christ quit trying to come to terms with the Enemy and go back to the fundamentals of Jesus's message... He clearly tells us that He came down from heaven, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him.  All we have to do is read the Scripture through spiritual eyes and see what He did.  That is the true Gospel and the full sense of how the Father views salvation.  That is the power Paul is talking about; it is the length and width and height and depth of God's power and love to deliver us all from every kind of evil. That is the picture of His Kingdom and Power and Glory that He wants us to see and to do!
Current Note: Since writing this in the early summer of 2017, the evidence of the Power of God's Kingdom on earth has been shown to me in ever-increasing signs and wonders. I know that it is not readily accepted by a lot of traditional Christians, but I am experiencing more encounters with the Living Christ, and I believe it is simply because I am willing to be obedient and trust Him to show Himself when I walk out the things He has commanded me to do. He is working through me and a small remnant, as we are boldly and unashamedly proclaiming Him to all who will listen.

October 9, 2018

Mark 12:33-34

"... To love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding 
and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, 
is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices". 
When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
     Let me set the context of this passage up for you... Jesus has made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, setting the stage for His eventual trial and crucifixion.  He has already thrown the money-changers out of His Father's House, and then the chief priests, scribes, and elders begin questioning His authority to "do these things".  When they cannot answer His question about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, He refuses to tell them under Whose authority He acts.
     So, now in Mark Chapter 12, we find both the Pharisees and the Herodians (Hellenistic Jews who were more Greek than Hebrew) trying to trap Him in their questions about loyalty to Caesar versus loyalty to God.  We then find the Sadduccees trying to ambush Him about the afterlife (in which they don't even believe).  
     But there's one scribe who has been watching all the arguing and subterfuge, and realizes that Jesus's answers are accurate.  And then He asks a question that shows His heart ... Which commandment is the most important one of all? He is not interested in maintaining his own power or prestige, or in trying to diminish Jesus's authority.  It is in his heart to be obedient to the commands of God and he wants to find out the answer that this man, Jesus, has to this important question.
     Jesus gives a two-part answer to the question:  "The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second [part] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 
     The Scribe recognizes that Jesus has captured the entire substance of the Ten Commandments [given to Moses] in this one answer.  But he goes further... He shows his understanding of Jesus's Truth by declaring that following God's command to love Him and his neighbor is worth more to God than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices established by the Law.  And Jesus's answer to him?  You are not far from the Kingdom of God.
     I want to expound on what I see happening in this extraordinary exchange between Jesus and the Scribe.  What is happening here is what needs to happen in the Body of Christ!  Let me try to explain what I mean... This Scribe has discerned that the laws and rituals of the sacrifices are less than God's commandments to love Him and others.  And as a good Scribe, he would have been familiar with God's exhortation in Deuteronomy 10: Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?  (If you love me, you will obey my commands!)
     Furthermore, although this Scribe may not have come to the full realization that Jesus is the Son of God, he has connected the dots that are leading him to the doorstep of the Kingdom of God.  He has correctly discerned the underlying principles of the Ten Commandments. The first five point to God as the One True God, and that we are to love and seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  The last five commandments exhort us to love our neighbors as we would wish to be loved.
     Then the Scribe realized that these two commandments were greater in God's eyes than any of the rituals or sacrifices that had been instituted when Israel came out of bondage to Egypt.  Those rituals were established to separate the Israelites from 400 years of being immersed in a false god system.  They were meant to be temporary, and God now expected them to have grasped what He wanted to accomplish with them through His covenant.  
     The next dot the Scribe connected was understanding that God desires that we show our love for Him by obeying His commands. What he doesn't know is the next dot that Jesus is getting ready to put before him.  When Jesus tells him that he is not far from the Kingdom of God, our Lord is hinting that there will be more commands coming; that if the Scribe will be faithful to obey these commands [and thereby show his love for God], his obedience will usher in the Kingdom of God.
     Those commands are encompassed in the Great Commission ... Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20) ... Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel [of the Kingdom] to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18).
     In both of these Scriptures recounting the Great Commission, Jesus begins by giving them a command ... GO! Do the things I showed you and commanded you to do, and disciple others to do these same things.  And by now, you should know what those things are:  baptizing in His Name; healing the sick; casting out demons; and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom (which includes salvation).
     But the two big points I want to make are these:  1) When Jesus tells the Scribe that he is not far from the Kingdom, He is making the point that it is correct to show your love for God by obeying His commands. And there will be commands, soon to be given to Believers (in the Great Commission), to show the Love of God (by healing both physical and spiritual issues) for all those who have faith in Jesus.  The Kingdom of God will truly be at hand!  2) Sometimes there are truths in the Bible that have to be discerned by connecting the dots.  There is not always a one sentence verse that reveals an easy-to-memorize revelation of God's character or commands.
     Remember, Scripture says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out (Proverbs 25:2).  The dots that this wise Scribe connected are these:  God commands us to love Him and others ... we show our love for Him by following His commands ... Jesus commands us (in the Great Commission) to do the things He did (healing, casting out demons, preaching the gospel) ... and it brings the Kingdom of God to earth!  
     The question we must all answer is this:  How close am I to the Kingdom of God? 

Current Note:  Since I posted this a year-and-a-half ago, I have noticed a polarization within the Body of Christ, much like there is in our politics and culture. There are those Christians who have been the beneficiaries of the work like Jesus did, and those who insist are keeping with modern religious traditions and doctrines. I am discerning that the gap between those who are connecting the dots and those who steadfastly refuse to look for the connections is becoming a wide chasm. The Kingdom of God is growing on the earth, yet there remain those among the faithful who cannot see it. Please, Lord, remove the veil from their eyes so that we can grow in unity and, together, hasten Your return!


October 6, 2018

John 20:21-23 ... The Authority to Forgive Sins

     My husband and I will be traveling for the next couple of weeks, and it will be difficult for me to get an internet signal to upload new posts for you. So I have decided to take a look at several Scriptural passages that I have talked about before and present them to you again. I have chosen those I feel are the most relevant to us leading our lives in Spirit and Truth. 
     Repeating the Word is never a bad idea, and these particular passages are speaking to my spirit, even as I see them particularly appropriate for some issues my fellow Christians are dealing with today. So even though I may not be writing in a current time-frame, I think you will still find value in what the Bible speaks to us through these powerful words. So, if this is the first time you've read this post, or the second, I pray it will bless you.

Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you [as My representatives]. And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven [because of their faith]; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained [and remain unforgiven because of their unbelief].

     This is an interesting passage, whereby the risen Jesus is appearing to the Apostles, who are hiding out in an undisclosed room in Jerusalem, fearing retribution from the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government because of their association with the crucified Christ.  Although they had spent nearly three years with Him, and Jesus had tried to prepare them for this time, you can imagine their confusion, dashed hopes, and fear of what the future might mean for them.
     But in these verses, Jesus appears to them to calm them, bring them peace, and remind them of their mission to co-labor with Him on behalf of the Kingdom of God.  He then breathed the Holy Spirit on them, and gave them a very important and precious gift: the authority to forgive sins.
     I know that is a foreign idea to us 21st Century Christians, and it certainly is not taught in the Church as a matter of our authority.  And I can hear the naysayers now ... Where do you get the idea that we have the authority to forgive sins? Isn't God the only One who can forgive us our sins? That second question sounds exactly like the Pharisees in Mark, Chapter 2, who, upon hearing Jesus tell the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, asked, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” I am sure there are some within the Body of Christ who would assign the same doubt to my statement that we can forgive sins. But let me see if I can explain my understanding of these verses in John...
     It is very important that we have a clear understanding when it comes to the dynamics of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and us.  Over and over, Jesus declares in the Bible. I only do what the Father tells Me ... I only do what pleases the Father ... I only do what I see the Father doing ... I only say what I hear the Father saying ... If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.  Therefore, Jesus is an exact representation of the Father.  And here, in John 20, He is telling the apostles, Now, you're MY representatives; meaning by extension, they are representing the Father, too, just as Jesus did.  Furthermore, Jesus tells the Apostles that all authority on Heaven and earth has been given to Him and their Commission is now to teach all the nations what He has taught and commanded them to do -- i.e., we now represent Jesus!
     But there is another aspect of our relationship with Christ and how we represent Him.  In 1 Peter 2:9, the Bible calls us a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that we may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and power] of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Remember, God instituted the priesthood in the Old Testament as the means by which His chosen people could be forgiven their sins.  The priests served a particularly important function in the sacrificial system that brought the sins of the Israelites before God to be forgiven.  But in the New Testament, Jesus became our High Priest and the ultimate, once-for-all sacrifice, so that system is no longer needed.  However, as it is revealed in 1 Peter 2 and Revelation 5,  we are to still serve God as priests of His Kingdom, bringing people "out of darkness and into His marvelous Light (Jesus)".
     That is what I believe Jesus is telling us here in John 20... He is our High Priest, and as His representatives here on earth, we serve the Father's Kingdom as His priests.  So how does that work, and what are our duties as priests?  Have you ever known someone who has given their life to Christ, and declared Him their Savior, yet cannot seem to receive His forgiveness of their sins, even after they have confessed and repented?  Even though their salvation is certain, there is some area of their life that satan still holds in bondage, and they are mired in self-condemnation? 
     Even though the Bible tells us that Jesus has forgotten their sins, as far as the east is from the west, they still feel He is distant and they don't feel forgiven.  I believe John 20:23 declares our position as the royal priesthood and Jesus is giving us permission to declare to that tortured Christian that if they have faith, their sins are forgiven.  On the other hand, we must take our holy priesthood very seriously (as the representative of Christ), and when it is clear that a sinful lifestyle has not been confessed or repented for, and Jesus has been rejected, then we have no authority or duty to forgive anyone's sin.  Very simply, for me, John 20:21-23 is Jesus defining a priestly duty, and since we are called to be a royal priesthood of God's Kingdom on earth, it is part of our allegiance to our High Priest.  
     But, here's the thing ... the powerless Church, today, is all too eager to call themselves priests of the Kingdom, but only in the sense of a noun, and not as a verb -- meaning there is an obligation to act out our identities as priests, (and representatives of our High Priest) and to be willing to take the sins of a fellow Christian and wash them in the blood of Jesus, pronouncing those sins forgiven.  If that sounds anti-Biblical, think on this.... Are we not in Christ, and Christ in us?  Did He not take all sin upon Himself, and by His Blood we are forgiven and healed?  If Christ is in us, we can take those sins and present them to Him, being confident of His mercy and grace upon all who believe in Him.
     Personally, in our deliverance ministry, my husband and I have often reminded someone being oppressed by spirits of unworthiness, inadequacy, self-condemnation, shame, or guilt that their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and their confession of their sins allows us, as His representative, to speak Jesus's forgiveness into their life.  In that, we serve both our God and our fellow man.  That's why God sent Jesus, and that's why He sends us.  

Current Note: This Scripture has particular significance to me today because my heart is broken for the number of marriages that I see the Enemy attacking. I truly believe this Scripture is telling us that forgiveness is the key to the restoration of relationships, and this is especially important when it comes to the restoration of a marriage. If you are unable to forgive your spouse, then I think it is important that you remit their sins to Christ -- hand them over [or release] the sins to Jesus and let Him deal with them. You have a choice -- forgiveness or remittance. Either way, unforgiveness will not be a stumbling block to you.


October 3, 2018

What We Need To Know About Our Human Spirit

     Once a week, Mark and I are blessed with a visit from the 21-year-old son of one of our closest neighbors and friends. Cole is a curious young man with an intelligent mind, and one of the areas that he devotes lots of "think time" to is his relationship with God.
     Most of the time, he just shows up on his day off and joins Mark in the studio for enthusiastic discussions on their shared faith ... I don't even know he's been here. But the other day, I was doing some computer work at my desk in the studio when Cole arrived. This time he had a very interesting concept that he was trying to understand. If I can boil it down to a simple sentence, he was trying to figure out the interaction between his human spirit and God -- when it is deposited in us; when it begins to connect with God; if it is separate from our spirit that is seated with Christ when we're born again; and what happens to it when our physical body dies.
      Whew! I'm not sure I know very many adult Christians who have contemplated that big of a theological puzzle. [Notice that I didn't say "mature" Christians, because I don't think age is the determination factor in the maturity of our faith]. Anyway, Cole and I engaged in a lengthy discussion that made me aware that I need to be able to explain my understanding of the phenomenon of the human spirit to anyone who asks. I believe his questions were legitimate, and the answers should certainly be comprehended by all Christians. After all, our union with Christ is a fundamental doctrine across all denominations of the Christian faith, and we should be able to explain "how it all works". So, here's my attempt at clarification, as I understand it ...
     Our human spirit is a very important part of being made "one with Christ". In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the Bible makes it quite clear that our body [in its entirety] consists of a body, a soul, and a spirit. God, in His infinite wisdom, designed each of these parts to serve distinct purposes. Our body connects us to this physical world; we are conscious of the material world and how it affects us. Our soul gives us consciousness of ourselves; our mind, our emotions, and the ability to make decisions [free will]. It gives each of us a distinct personality. Our spirit is able to connect with God and be conscious of Him -- to receive Him and worship Him -- because God formed us with a spirit; a part of Himself that is always able to be in contact with Him.
     That answers Cole's first question. When we are formed in the womb, God deposits a spirit in us. Now comes his second question ... when is that spirit aware of God and begin connecting to Him? The only way I knew to explain my theological theory was this way.... until we are born again, our human spirit is dormant. It is a part of us, but yet to be "made alive" (Romans 8:10). Until that divine moment, people live out of their body [flesh] and soul.
     At this moment, I want to digress for just a second. It has been my observation, through the Deliverance and Inner Healing Ministry to which God has called me and Mark, that a lot of Christians, even though their spirits have been awakened and regenerated, still live out of their soul (their mind, will and emotions). If one remains attached to his natural, physical self, he cannot discern spiritual concepts or spiritual attacks. That is why so many Christians are being oppressed by the Enemy.
     As the Body of Christ, it is imperative that we Christians learn to live from our spirit [which is the connection point with God], rather than living and behaving from our own deliberations and thoughts; our own likes and dislikes; and our own self-determined stands of right and wrong. We must learn to question, examine, and apply what the Holy Spirit reveals about all things in this life. 
     So, to answer Cole's second question, our spirit begins connecting to God the moment we are born again. It is activated and able to talk to God, hear from God, see in the spirit, and receive dreams and visions. But how does that coincide with Cole's third question, which is proposed by reading Ephesians 2:5-6, which says that even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, God made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ. And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus.  There's our answer! It is at this point that we are fully united with Christ. We are in our physical body, but have an activated spirit [that comes when we accept Christ as our Savior], and our spirit now has access to the throne where Jesus is seated. We are joined together with Him, fully able to communicate with Him, and able to act out of a divine consciousness. Our spirit is now able to transcend spiritual dimensions to be in contact with Jesus. I believe this is what Paul is talking about when he writes in Ephesians 4:13 ... until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ.
     Now, to Cole's last question, which may be where I find the most disparity in the belief systems of Christians. First of all, as I have stated before, [and which is backed up by 1 Thessalonians 5:23] our soul and spirit are two different parts of us. However, I am astounded by the number of Church doctrines that teach that when we die, the soul goes to be with God. That is not what the Bible teaches. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. So the spirit that was deposited in us at conception, will return back to God, because it belongs to God. Yes, we will have a resurrected body, like Jesus's glorious body. Our soul will cease to exist because it is attached to the physical part of us. REMEMBER: our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. We are sown as a natural body with a brain (mind) capable of feeling (emotions) and making decisions (will), but raised as a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44). So I do not believe we will have these same physical bodies that our spirits inhabit now.  Our citizenship will then be in Heaven, rather than this world, and we will be in perfect unity with our Creator, spirit to Spirit. 
     I hope that I was able to answer Cole's questions, so that he can commune with God and get more revelation on this fascinating concept. I can't wait to see the questions he will bring with him next time. And you may not agree with my theology, but that's okay. If this post serves to invite you to dig deeper into the mysteries of God through His Word and revelations from the Holy Spirit, then I am happy with that response. You don't have to agree with me ... just keep the curious and committed mindset of my friend Cole to know the Lord more and He will be glorified.

James 3:17     But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form  

September 30, 2018

Scripture Is The Truth ... But Not Always The Answer!

     Before you think I am being heretical, I want to ask you to please read the entire post, so you understand where I'm coming from. And I can't take credit for the wisdom behind this title. That goes to my friend, and fellow spiritual warrior, Tami. We were having a discussion about when it is appropriate to hammer home Scripture when counseling a fellow Believer.
     I'm sure you've known people in your social or church culture who are strong and faithful Believers; people who you would have no problem going to when confronted with a spiritual crisis. They are centered in Jesus and knowledgeable in the Word -- you respect their counsel and can always count on them to have a strong foundation in what God's will is for the life of a Christian. They are steadfast in their faith; trustworthy and sensible in their advice.
     You know that they will be able to offer guidance from a Biblical perspective and back it up with the appropriate Scriptures. If you are grounded in your faith and solid in your relationship with Jesus, and need Scriptural support to help you make the right decision, then they're the go-to guys. They will supply you with multiple Scriptural references that will show you a clear path to the right resolution for your situation.
      But what if you're struggling with your faith? You know you love Jesus and He loves you, but you're at a point in your life where your foundation is being shaken; you feel like you're drowning and you just need someone to throw you a life-preserver. Perhaps you're in conflict with God and you know that you haven't made a choice He would approve of; but there are extenuating circumstances that are at the root of your crisis, and they are a barrier between you and the Father. What is the appropriate way to lead this Believer so that they clearly hear from God?
     That's where the title of this blog comes into play. Scripture will always give one God's truth on a matter.  But depending on the state of the Beloved's mind, heart, and spirit, they may not be ready [or able] to receive God's Biblical instructions at that time. Correcting with Scripture may not be the answer to their problems at this particular stage of their faith walk. That's where our mercy and patience must come to bear.
     Yes, the Bible says that All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, but if one is on the verge of brokenness, is rebuking or attempting to train through the Word what they need right then? At those times they just need to hear and feel and see Jesus.
     The Word is never to be read out of relationship with the Father. But what if you feel you are out of relationship with Him? That you can't find Him and are having serious doubts about your connection to Him?  Remember that the Bible also says, Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your lifethen God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So  keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. That is a multi-layered picture of residing with Father God!
     Here's another thing to think about ... I think that it is important to understand where your spirit is seated when you read the Word, or it is being quoted to you. Are you seated in a spirit of fear, or anger, or rejection, or brokenness, or vengeance? Do you think that might make a difference how you receive [or respond to] the Word?  Your spirit must be in right relationship with the Father in order to recognize the supremacy of the Word.
     The Word is ALWAYS a doorway to a personal relationship with the Father. If you are stable in your life and faith, then the more you hear the Word, the more you hunger for it because it is life-sustaining. But sometimes our Brothers and Sisters are simply in need of the Presence of the Father before the Scripture means anything to them. Sometimes they need to be encouraged to spend some time at His feet to learn that their crisis comes from operating out of their own power instead of seeking His power in their lives. And sometimes they need to be brought to their knees before His throne in repentance before we can participate in their restoration. And that's why their time with the Father is so important. Relationship must come before the Word can mean anything; and when that relationship has become broken or fractured, the use of Scripture can be to no effect -- like putting a band-aid on the crisis or situation.
     Please know that I am not down-playing the Word of God! It is vitally important and the Bread of Life to all Christians. I am simply saying that we need to be sensitive to the spiritual state of our brethren before deciding if the timing is right to introduce a litany of Scripture as the answer to their problems. Let me be clear ... there will be an opportune time when Scripture will be important to back up what they've heard from the Father -- it will be their lifeline and their continual support in their journey with Him. But it is important when helping a Believer [to transcend a crisis] that we let Scripture be the Light to their spirit and not a weight that pulls them further from the Father. 

Psalm 23:4    Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.


September 27, 2018

Calling All Prayer Warriors!

     I would like to ask each of you that faithfully reads this blog to join me in praying for one of our own. I believe that together we have formed a remnant that is very precious to God and He will honor our hearts and our prayers because we are joined in a common spirit of advancing His Kingdom.
     Karla holds a very special place in my heart. We actually have quite a history, she and I. It was several years ago, just as Mark and I were seriously engaging in our Inner Healing and Deliverance Ministry, that I received an email from Karla with a subject line that simply read Help?
     I have often wondered how many other people have begun emails like this one, but then were just too scared to send them. But my spirit heard Karla's words loud and clear. Her email began like this: The Lord led me to your blog in July of 2014 and I have been a faithful, daily reader ever since. I originally found you when I was just hearing about preparedness, and started to realize what was happening in our world and wanted to find help in learning about preparedness. At first it was all about being physically prepared, and I thought that was why God had led me to your writings. However, when you started making the shift from physical preparation, to spiritual warfare, I was there right along with you, and this is what I am writing to you about today.
     This letter has been long in coming. It's been in my mind for months now, but it's taken this long to actually write it. Part of the warfare, I'm sure. I know that Satan does not want me to write it. He does not want me to ask for help. He does not want me to learn how to actively fight him. I have been much too easy for him to manipulate and oppress. I have never written a letter like this to someone out on the internet, but this urge has not gone away in several months, so I am going to just go for it. Right now I literally have no one to listen to me, or to help. I am feeling more vulnerable and under attack than I have ever felt in my life. It feels like it is incoming from every single direction possible. A good description of me right at this moment would be a little girl, curled up in a ball, trying to withstand the blows and hoping they will end soon. I honestly don't know what has happened to me. I am a fighter. But the fight is taking its toll on me and I just feel like a sitting duck. It is so bad that I don't even know what to do or where to start. I am tired, broken, and feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. The one thing I hang on to is my certain knowledge that my Redeemer lives. But I can't get to Him. I pray and I ask and yet I still feel like I'm on the other side of soundproof glass and I can't make contact. I know He's there. I know He has the power to heal me. I know He can demolish my foes with a single word. And yet, I can't get there, no matter what I do.

      Her letter continued for quite awhile as she filled me in on all the things she had tried in order to get relief: Pastoral counseling, Bible study groups, women's church groups, friends, family, etc. But no one seemed to know how to counsel her in spiritual warfare -- if they even believed in it!
     She continued: I don't know what to do ... all I know is that I woke up with this incredible urge to write to you. That maybe somehow, someway, you could help. I know you are turning the focus of your ministry to helping people like me to break free ... and I want to break free ... so very badly ... I just don't know where to start. I look and see what has come this past year ... what is coming this next year ... and I want to be IN the fight ... I want to be used of God ... and I know He wants to use me ... but first, He needs to heal me ... and bring healing to my family ...
     I hope some of this makes sense? I feel so confused ... and helpless ... Please, what can I do? How do I get started? How do I fight? My usually happy, upbeat spirit feels crushed ... I can't stop crying ... I can't stop the pummeling...
     Thank you for listening ... thank you for all you write and share ... and now I am going to take a huge leap of faith, and push "send".

     After reading Karla's letter, I sat there in tears. Here was a woman -- a Christian woman  --- who could find no one within the Church who believed she was fighting a spiritual battle. I was so humbled that her leap of faith had led her to me, and I just prayed to God to help me help her. I remember thinking, she lives in Washington State. How can I minister to her when she's so far away? How do I conduct a healing session when I can't do it in person? Well, that's when my very smart husband asked me, "Don't you think Jesus can handle that distance? You've got the telephone and we can Skype her". Brilliant man!
     Long story short, I did just that. Karla filled out a questionnaire that I mailed her, and after discovering that Freemasonry was in her family, I had her repeat the renunciations over the phone with me. Mark and I then did an actual session with her via Skype and she had tremendous breakthrough! Just read how different she sounds in this followup letter: I am a total believer in the power of God to deliver ... and I absolutely believe in generational curses and the total evilness of Freemasonry! I have read a few testimonies online of some people who have broken the curses and their stories are very similar to mine. We experienced some of the same things, never knowing why. They also had tremendous release, simply from praying those prayers!! I am absolutely in awe of the power of God to break the power of darkness that I didn't even KNOW I had over my life!! It's just incredible!! I can't wait to do the rest of it ... if it's this good now, I want to see the next levels of freedom that are waiting for me!! I also have a hunger for the Word like I've never had before!! I cannot get enough!! Where before I was spending hours a day reading all the doom and gloom in the world, and being fearful, now all I want to do is be in the Word, and listen to teachings !! And worship!!!
     I just reread this and I know it sounds unreal!! I probably wouldn't believe it, except I am living it!!! There's even more I could say, but really, all I need to say is "Thank You, Yeshua!!!" He really, truly has become my DELIVERER!!!
     Since that time, I have seen Karla grow in her faith and her obedience to become a willing servant of God. She was instrumental in bringing a friend of hers, Jodie, to us for Deliverance, and the two of them have been a force to be reckoned with in helping others to get set free! But now Karla needs our prayers.
     Jodie sent me a text today asking for prayer for Karla. Yesterday, after suffering an excruciatingly painful headache for five hours, she went to the hospital and the doctors have told her that she has a rather large tumor in her brain, there is bleeding, and her blood pressure is really high. Her family is flying or driving in to gather around her and she is scheduled for surgery today. Jodie tells me Karla feels like this is a spiritual attack.
     So I am coming to you, my blogger family of deep Believers, asking you to join me and Jodie and Karla's family in prayer for her complete healing. Her story is that of an Overcomer and a Victor in Jesus. The Enemy would like nothing more than to remove her from God's spiritual army because her testimony is so powerful and she is such a fighter. I wrote this short prayer for her and asked Jodie to draw Karla's family around her and to say this prayer out loud, putting the spiritual realm on notice that God's people are going into battle for their fellow warrior. Would you join us in praying this out loud for Karla?

     Father God, we come before Your throne today asking for compassion and mercy for Karla, and we join Jesus and the Holy Spirit as we intercede on her behalf.
     Father, we call upon You, Jehovah Rapha, because You are Karla's healer. We know that Jesus nailed this brain tumor to the cross 2000 years ago and we declare that her physical body must line up with Your eternal Truth.
     Your Word also says that Jesus bore her infirmities and sicknesses, and that He is health unto Karla's flesh. We believe that it is Your will that she remain in health, that she prosper, and that she continue to bear fruit for Your Kingdom. Your Word also says that the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise them up. We are holding You to that promise, Father, as we join together in faith, praying for Karla.
     Furthermore, we declare that Jesus is Lord over her body, which is His Temple. We speak to every blood vessel, neuron, cell, and the tumor in her brain, and declare that both brain and blood pressure are now coming under the redemptive power of God.
      Pain, you are destroyed in Jesus's Name! Bleeding, you will stop now, in the Mighty Name of Jesus! And tumor, you will shrink and utterly disappear by the power in the Name of Jesus!
     We speak to Karla's brain, body, and spirit ... We declare that you are supernaturally recovering RIGHT NOW in the powerful Name of Jesus Christ!
     Finally, we declare to the spiritual realm and the kingdom of darkness -- Karla is a daughter of the King of the Universe and her doctors will marvel at her miraculous recovery as she comes under the care of ministering angels and the power and glory of God Almighty! We thank for hearing our petitions for Karla, Father, and it is in the awe-inspiring Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ that we pray, trusting You for this healing outcome. Amen!

     Thank you for joining me in prayer and may God bless each of you for lifting up our Sister in Christ. May our voices join with those of the heavenly host when we celebrate Karla's victory!

Matthew 18-19   Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven.


September 24, 2018

God's Multi-level Marketing!

     Excuse me for the clumsy and tactless comparison of God to a business strategy, but it was the closest thing I could think of to describe the joy I am experiencing these last few days. You see, it's been four years since God challenged us to walk this path of Deliverance Ministry and Inner Healing. As I stop to consider where we started and where we are now, it seems like we've been enrolled in an Advanced and Accelerated course; learning how to work with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to continue the work that the Lord began during His short time on this earth.
     I'm not sure Mark and I fully understood just how much the Father would immerse us in this calling, or the gravity of the need for healing in people's lives. All we knew was that our hearts and spirits couldn't say "no" to the Father's desire to use us to heal and deliver His children. We hardly ever knew what would happen when we sat down to listen to the pain and the wounds of those tormented by the Enemy, but we were always aware of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and fully trusted Them to guide us through the process of setting the captives free.
     And from the very first time that we witnessed Jesus healing the damaged soul and spirit of a Believer, we knew a small amount of the joy that God must feel when He sees His enemy defeated and the chains of bondage come off His beloved child. And we got to be a part of that! There are not enough exemplary words to give praise to our amazing God for that gift.
     Now, four years later, we are beginning to see those we have helped to see Jesus [in their circumstances] start to help others.  They have freely received the grace of God and want to freely give that opportunity to another -- and this is where my clumsy comparison comes in. Just like multi-level marketing, we share the goodness of our product --  in this case, freedom from torment and victory in Christ -- and train the recruit in the ministry, so they can go out and share "the product" with others. This results in a network of "freedom fighters" for the Kingdom of God.
     But unlike the worldly marketing strategy, which often involves coercion and arm-twisting to build your "line", the word-of-mouth about what God can do for you is the best strategy -- you don't have to up-sell peace, freedom from pain, and the destruction of the lies of the devil! And instead of earning money, which is only worth the paper it is printed on, the distributors of God's offering earn heavenly rewards from the fruit they produce.
     Let me tell you, nothing feels like success more than witnessing someone getting free from a false identity due to molestation, physical or emotional abuse, generational curses, sins they have committed or sins committed against them -- all the things the Enemy can use to keep a child of God in captivity.  It has been our privilege to witness the removal of dirty veils, the breaking off of chains, and the destruction of strongholds in people's lives -- and all with the knowledge that Jesus is there and the One doing the work. 
     And now we are witnessing those who have been set free, setting others free. The seed of freedom that was planted in our hearts has borne fruit and new seeds are being planted. And I can't help but see the plant process as a metaphor for what God is doing in His multi-level ministry model. Excuse me as I try to connect these dots ... Once a seed germinates and breaks through the surface, it starts the steps to produce leaves. This starts the process of photosynthesis (utilizing the Son Light) while the roots search and absorb water (the Living Water) for the new seedling which slowly grows into a mature fruit-bearing plant. 
     Do you see it? Mark and I are just the product of the seeds planted by Dr. Charles Kraft and Barbara Bucklin of Luke:14 Ministries. They planted the seeds, and participated with the Holy Spirit to give us the Light of God and His Living Water until we matured into a fruit-being servant of the Kingdom.  Our obedience produced new seeds planted in new ground, and now those plants have sprung forth bearing fruit, with the intent to reproduce more seeds. It is for complete freedom that Christ paid the price to set us free. And with each new "level" of freedom that permeates the Body, it's another defeat for the devil and one more step towards the imminent destruction and failure of his agenda.
     So, I hope you don't mind the way I've tried to explain the joy I am experiencing. I don't know any other way to describe what it's like to see those whom we've had the blessing of ministering to now passing their freedom [in Christ] on to others. Seeing their obedience to share what they've received is a reward beyond anything this world has to offer. Thank you, Jesus, for trusting Mark and me with administering Your precious gift of freedom.  We are truly humbled.

Galatians 5:13     Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do.