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

Showing posts with label Our Power and Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Our Power and Authority. Show all posts

June 1, 2024

How Do We Walk In The Power of Jesus?

As to the question I've proposed in today's title, our culture actually makes it hard to walk in the true essence of Jesus's power. Our culture and the world tell us we should ascend in stature and position as we grow in power. We use terms like, climb the ladder, rise to the top, work one's way up, rise to power, gain [or grow] in power. We have examples throughout history of men who ascended to the pinnacle of world power; Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Constantine, Napoleon, Vladimir Lenin, Winston Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, George Soros to name just a few. [NOTE: I acknowledge that there have been women of power throughout history, but for the sake of this post, I will refer to men in the fact that I am comparing them to Jesus, a man]. 

But how did they get their power and what does it consist of? I recently read an article titled Obedience, Power, and Leadership that started me on this journey of understanding how Jesus's power was so radically different than what the world had experienced before His arrival on earth. In my limited expertise and simple understanding, I see the psychology of power like this: power in our cultures is founded in the ability to influence society, even when the people being influenced may attempt to resist those changes [Fiske, 1993; Keltner, Gruenfeld & Anderson, 2003]. Although this article is highly focused on social psychology and the ability of leaders to create conformity and obedience, it showed me that man's view of how to exercise power is far removed from Jesus's.

While the world teaches us we gain power as we ascend to a height of influence, Jesus says we gain power as we descend from the world's definition and become more humble; we seek to become a servant to others, and not their master. While the world leaders throughout history have used their power and influence for personal gain, Jesus had no interest in accumulating wealth or material things. 

Man's purpose on earth is most often focused on what he can gain here, on the physical earth, during his lifespan; what he has to show for his life at the end of it. Jesus, on the other hand, had an eternal perspective. He didn't come to build up a storehouse of treasure on earth. He knew His assignment here was temporary and to be short-lived. He would be returning to Heaven soon, and anything He amassed would be meaningless to His purpose. He didn't seek to climb the mountain of fame and influence to benefit Himself -- although He certainly could have. No, instead He lowered Himself by emptying Himself of all the benefits of His deity, by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7). 

[NOTE: We need to understand that emptying Himself  implies that He did not renounce or diminish His deity, but only temporarily gave up His divine equality with the Father, and His rightful dignity, in order to take on the likeness of men]. Philippians continues to reveal the beautiful part of this Truth in that He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death on a cross for us! So how does His humility translate to His power? And if we are to walk in this world like Jesus, what does that look like in relation to our humility and our power? 

If you will recall, Jesus spent a lot of time in solitude with the Father. He often left His disciples to go off by Himself to confer with the Father on how to best complete His assignment. I can only imagine those conversations and the desire of the Lord to proceed with mindfulness and forethought to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit not only the Name of the Messiah/Christ, but also to protect His ultimate purpose: to die for our sins, offering us a way into an eternal and reconciled relationship with God. And because of this attentiveness to His purpose and assignment, Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men [Luke 2:52]. 

So, as always, Jesus is our model. He walked in confident humility, having spent time with the Father, receiving His instructions and being obedient to follow them through. He walked as a servant to others, offering to everyone the word of Life, while also being responsible to do what He had been called by God to do. The same should hold true for us! Spend time with the Father and Son, asking questions, and discerning how best to carry out our purpose, all with a servant's heart for God and our fellow man. Furthermore, we don't overuse the authority Jesus has given us to trample on the Enemy. We don't seek wealth and success for their own sake, knowing they have no value in eternity. And we don't sow our spiritual power into political or military endeavors because eternity is a bigger goal than those transient pursuits.

In the end, walking in the power of Jesus looks nothing like what the world offers. Seeking my personal gain for the short time I'm here on earth is such a waste when compared to my eternal gain by walking in the example of Christ. It won't be easy, because our culture and the world are constantly tempting us to follow them. But my joy and peace can only be found in what Jesus makes available to me. If power truly comes from the ability to influence others in our society, I believe I can best do that by following in Jesus's footsteps of humility, serving others, and being obedient to seek the fulfillment of my purpose on earth. He was given the ability to do signs and wonders to express the power of Heaven over the power of darkness, and Jesus has transferred that divine power to us. We have all we need to influence the world for the Glory of God. Don't quit or give up! Don't think you are incapable! Do what Jesus did ... pray and ask for the strength of Heaven. And above all else, get quiet and meet with the Father. He will lead you into His wisdom, strength, favor and power. Jesus is a testimony of that! 

Ephesians 1:19 ... [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is, in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength...

January 17, 2024

What Happened To the Power of the Church?

I know that I probably have a false reputation as a "Church Hater". But that would come from people who misunderstand my motives and my heart when I am critical of  "the Church". First of all, I draw a distinction between the Church as the organized religious structure, and the Church as the Body of Christ; the individuals who are the family of Believers and are God's children.

While I am greatly encouraged by the Body of Christ, who are my Brothers and Sisters seeking to understand their relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit at a greater, more intimate level, I am also discouraged by the lack of equipping offered to these Believers for their ministries -- which is the job of the institutional Church. Power and authority belong to both groups called "the Church", but it is used for very different purposes by each.

As Christians, we can no longer avoid the uncomfortable conversation ... there is a growing schism among the Western Church. People who, five or ten years ago, were comfortable "in the box" suddenly find themselves at odds with what they are coming to realize is a powerless Church.  And they also find themselves in conflict with people [who are quite content with where they are]; people who they've worshipped beside for decades. So more and more Christians are becoming dissatisfied with the status quo of the Western Church.  And I would suspect that there are more than a few who are caught between those two paradigms ... out of the box, but not yet comfortable to let go of their traditions. 

But we have come to a point in history, where we can no longer remain apathetic -- or even sympathetic -- to a powerless Church. Both the Body and the Institution must step into their purpose to influence the culture of our country and resist the evil that threatens to engulf us. As simplistic as it sounds, it is time for both factions to Wake Up! We cannot hold on to our man-made [or worldly] identities and traditions and expect to be effective against a spiritual enemy. It's those identities that the devil laughs at, because he knows they are incapable of defeating him. 

For each of us, there is a grid or a system that we relate to. And that's called Religion. Everybody says that by following their steps, you can know God better, you can be happier, you can...(insert claim here)". So, everyone's faith comes with attachments. And those attachments differ, depending on which religious traditions you embrace. But here is what we need to understand: Jesus wasn't promoting man's traditions. He came representing the Father, with a clear message to His Disciples of how His Father wanted the Gospel of the Kingdom advanced. The Disciples were to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them, and then baptize people in both water and the Spirit; healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and spreading the Good Word that all this is possible because our Father in Heaven wants to partner with us to bring Heaven to Earth. All that -- the works and the Gospel Message -- is all about POWER.

The problem is that a lot of our denominations haven't preached the Gospel with the Power component [which is the Holy Spirit] for so long, they are freaked out when they see it!  The Western Church proclaims they have the correct knowledge of the Bible (in all their variations), but what we need is the obedience the Bible calls for.  Therefore, the institutional, religious Church has become a system. We even take tests to see what "gift" we have, or what "office" we should occupy. But if we look for a model, or instructions, on how Jesus told the Disciples to "do Church", it is the Church that sprang up in the Book of Acts.  It is the only Book of the Bible that clearly shows that the Disciples were doing all that Jesus taught them while He was on earth.

But how many of your fellow Christians do you see healing a sick person, then baptizing them in water, and then urging the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to come upon them as it did in the Book of Acts?  Right now, some of you may be thinking, "But I'm not a Pastor. I don't have the authority in the Church to baptize someone". But we are called by Jesus to do it! Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).

Those disciples were not part of the religious system of their day! They were not rabbis and they were not recognized as having the authority to do those things -- neither by the public nor the religious leaders. Yet Jesus told them He had the authority to commission them to do far more than the religious establishment was accomplishing. Furthermore, He told His disciples to then teach others to do what He had taught and shown them! Remember: Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit are the same today as they were then, and will be forevermore. So, why aren't we being obedient to His teaching?

Notice the difference in how Power was used .... Jesus transferred His power from the Father and the Holy Spirit [to heal and baptize and make disciples] to His followers, [thereby defeating the Enemy in those lives]. The leaders in the religious system used their power to maintain their status and authority, and to control the masses. Furthermore, their power was man-driven, not bestowed upon them by Heaven.

Our religious traditions have reduced millions of Christians to sitting in a pew, or a class. They get taught and receive knowledge, but unless you go out to do "all that Jesus commanded us to do", you are not going to bear fruit or advance the Kingdom. So how much is that knowledge really worth in the Kingdom of God? Since we are not just supposed to be "hearers of the Word", how much does that model result in "doers of the Word"?      

The reality is that more and more Christians are awakening to the fact that Church, as we know, it is no longer satisfying to their soul and spirit.  They can no longer deny that the world doesn't look or feel any better because of the Church. In fact, the Church is looking more like the world. They are recognizing the Truth about what the Great Commission really is -- that it's more than sharing the Message of Salvation; more than Jesus dying to cover our sins. He died to remove our sins and to create in us a new man or woman -- one that bears fruit for the Kingdom by doing what Jesus did and doing the things the Church in the Book of Acts modeled for us. And so they are leaving the traditional Church model and seeking ways to observe all that Jesus commanded those Twelve Disciples.

As we see Evil increasing in our lives, and as we get closer to Jesus's return, I believe we are going to see a split in the Western Church. One side thinks we have evolved beyond the actions of the Disciples in that First Century. They think that laying on of hands to heal the sick, delivering a Christian from demonic torment, or baptizing in the Spirit is not for today. They believe we are to submit to the authority of the Pastor and the Church system. The other side has been awakened to the power of the Holy Spirit in the Believer [to bear much fruit for the Kingdom], and they believe they are to submit to Jesus's authority and see the Body of Christ become the Church Jesus intended it to be.

The bottom line is this .... I don't care if a Christian goes to a 5,000 member mega-Church, or is part of 20 devoted Believers who meet in a home. If there is no fruit being produced by either group, then the Holy Spirit is not present. And when the Holy Spirit is absent, there is no power to fight the spiritual battle against the sinful nature of this world.  And that is not what Jesus had in mind for His Church.  Yes, we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. But I want the Fire of the Holy Spirit to be recognizable in my life! Remember that John the Baptist said He baptized with water, but "He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire".  It was that fire and Power that changed the world; and it is that same fire and Power that will change the world today.

God poured out His Holy Spirit with fire and signs, healings, and spiritual gifts on the Church of the Book of Acts. He knew if the Early Church was going to survive the horrific attacks that would come against it, Believers would need the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit to counter those attacks and advance His Kingdom on earth. He has awakened us in the 21st Century Body of Christ to the same truth. We need the joy of being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to counter the ambivalent, compromising, and weak institutionalized Church.  As we begin to walk out the power that Jesus and the Book of Acts Church modeled for us, we will see God renewing us; restoring us; and equipping us to do what must be done if mankind is going to resist and defeat the system that Satan is bringing.

The question is, can the institutional Church join hands with the Body of Christ who are walking in that heavenly Power? I am in total agreement with Gabe Lyons, a Christian media/culture expert, who recently wrote "A Letter to Christian Leaders", in which he said, "Together, we can be smarter, more informed and creative than if we try and go this alone. I write with a desire for unity, clarity and sharpening as we consider how Christian leadership ought to be exercised during our time of confusion. To be blunt, I believe we are in a spiritual, psychological, biological and informational war accelerating into a crisis of isolation, distrust, polarization, censorship and physical harm. Discernment and wisdom from Christian leaders will be critical, but the time to be convicted, clear-minded, and courageous is now. The enemy wants us divided, but the strength of the Church has always been in her unity in the essentials, and charity in the non-essentials". 

Spiritual leaders -- both in the Body of Christ, and in the Church building -- have an opportunity to stand in their God-given authority, resisting the temptations to follow what the world systems are mandating. It is time to keep our lamps filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that we might constantly be supplied with His wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear [awe and reverence] of the Lord. There is no time or room for fear and compromise. We are at a pivotal moment. We must be faithful to all of God's commands, while standing firm in our resistance to Evil, and we must prepare our Brothers and Sisters in Christ for the season ahead. God bless you as we boldly advance the Kingdom of God in all its Truth.

#KingdomofGod #thepowerlesschurch #thepoweroftheholyspirit #thebookofactschurch #thebelieverspowerandauthority #powerandauthorityofjesus #fireoftheholyspirit #religionandpower #bodyofchristvsthechurch #thedividedchurch #wakeupchristianleaders #God-givenauthority

Jeremiah 6:16     Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 

December 2, 2023

Our Western Mindset Questions Authority ... And Jesus Is Our Authority!

I have made it clear through the history of this blog that I live my life governed by a Biblical worldview. What exactly is that, you might ask? Here is what it means to me ... that I believe in God, the Creator of the world, who has established an absolute moral truth that we are to live by. This truth is available to us through His Word, the Holy Bible. Therefore, I try to live my life by the precepts and principles He has given us in the Bible, recognizing that He is a Sovereign God; a ruler over men, nations, and governments. He is our moral authority and He rules according to His wisdom and purpose, calling me to responsibility in safeguarding His kingdom here on earth. 

That's a mouthful, I know, but it lies at the heart of the theme of today's post. And I want to build a case for the topic I'm writing about today, which is our society and culture's problem with accepting the authority of Christ. I'll begin here: In 2019 I wrote a blog titled Is Your Biblical Worldview Hebrew or Greek? It Makes a Difference! In this article I pointed out that from the beginning of the Bible's existence, there has been a tension between the Hebrew mindset and the Greek mindset when it comes to interpreting it and understanding Scripture. Having a Biblical Worldview necessitates that we rightly view the world through the lens of God's Word. But if you study history, it is easy to see that the manner in which the Body of Christ/the Church has viewed God's Word has changed through the centuries. And I remember waking up to the reality that just because we believe certain things "according to the Bible" today, it may not necessarily be consistent with the original writings and intent of God's inspired Word. 

That means that we should be reading our Bible [and understanding it] from the perspective of who it was written to (the Hebrews), and not through our own Western lens, which is based on a Greek mindset. One of the best explanations I've heard about the difference between the two mindsets comes from Todd Weatherly, of Bride Ministries Church: "The Hebrew mindset says, "I will do it [through obedience], and then I'll understand it." He says the Greek mindset thinks like this: "I need to understand it first, and then I'll do it". Which one puts God first?

Here's another way to look at it ... The Hebrew mindset allows for varied interpretations, and a passage can have multiple meanings [both in the physical and the spiritual realms] -- all to be revealed to the reader [by the Holy Spirit] from God's perspective. On the other hand, Greek thinking is very black and white; laden with precise exegesis rather than being rich in possibilities. Greek thought nails the meaning down; it can mean one thing, and one thing only. When we consider that Socrates lived 400 years before the crucifixion of Christ, and is considered the father of Western philosophy, we can understand why the Greek mindset would have been in direct conflict with the Hebrew mindset at the time the Bible was written and translated. The Socratic method of learning can be summed up, thusly: learning through the use of critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. From there, one questions, analyzes, and simplifies to get the one correct answer. The physical world contains the answer; the spiritual influence isn't considered. Can you see that influence in our modern American Church, and why it would lead to a religious frame of mind?

All of this leads to a blog post I wrote earlier this year, titled Why the Western World is Confused About the Kingdom of God. Because we read the Bible with a Greek mindset, we tend to form a rigid [and religious] belief system based on single concepts we've deduced from logic and reasoning. For example ... for years I read my Bible, never grasping or receiving the idea of what Jesus meant by saying His primary purpose for coming to earth was to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the Jews (Matthew 15:24 and Luke 4:43). I had been taught throughout my Church experience that the primary message of Jesus was the one of Salvation, yet I only find that word used or referenced six times in the four Gospels, and only once by Jesus (He spoke of being "born again" [or Salvation] in John 3:1-5). Yet, the Kingdom of God is mentioned at least 62 times, and nearly every time by Jesus, Himself. 

So why didn't I ask the appropriate questions about the Kingdom, or seek more understanding of why my Lord and Savior spoke so much about it? Why didn't I hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God taught from the pulpits of the churches I have attended? And although "Kingdom" has now become somewhat of a popular sermon theme these days [and a Christian buzzword, I think our Western mindset still is not in tune with the understanding of what Jesus meant. And as simple and absurd as it may sound, I believe our confusion lies in the fact that we in the Western world, and especially here in America, have no concept of what it means to live in a kingdom or under a King.  

And here is where I finally come to the heart of today's post ... Having been raised in our American identity of separation from a king in order to secure our God-given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, we have what might be called a genetic bias towards authority; it's in our national DNA to be independent and to question any authority that threatens those rights. In fact, our culture has been bred to reject and question authority. So, when Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18), anyone who is a non-believer and doubts His kingship, is naturally going to question His authority in their life. But, here is something that astounds me ... Jesus proclaims His authority and then announces that He is going to give that authority to us so that we might defeat the Enemy in our lives, take back the dominion we were given in the earth, and re-establish the rule of the Kingdom of God. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you" (Luke 10:19).

But the American Church has not done a good job of teaching us these concepts! Yes, we have power and authority to rule in His stead, but He is still the King and possesses All authority! Psalm 24:1 tells us, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness of it; the world and all who dwell in it". Then Psalm 115:16 says, "The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man". We Greek-minded, Western-thinking Americans must be reminded that these verses are not saying God gave us ownership of the land called earth. At any time, He could take it back; that would be His exclusive right as King of the Universe, and Creator of earth. When God "gave" us the earth, He did not relinquish His ownership or authority over it.

We possess the earth as a trust, or stewardship. In Genesis 1:26-28, He gave us dominion [authority; jurisdiction; the right to govern in His stead] over the earth in order to extend the government of Heaven to this earthly realm. He gave us rulership, but not ownership. It is a privilege to rule this earth, and we must not take it for granted; we will be held accountable to the King for how we manage His kingdom here on planet earth. We are subject to His authority! 

But again, I fear that the American Church is a result of the changes in interpretation of God's Word that have come down through the centuries and been influenced by our Greek mindset. Have we become men and women who hold to a form of religion of our own making (and according to our national identity) but denying its power? 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self .... rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid  such people". 

Once again, I suggest that our Greek/Western mindset is at odds with the true Biblical concept of God/Jesus's authority in our lives, and leads us to denial of His authority, which then leads to rejection [of] and rebellion [against] that authority. Luke 6:46 exemplifies how Jesus views this behavior: Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Remember, the Hebrew mindset says, "I will do it [through obedience], and then I'll understand it." The Greek mindset thinks like this: "I need to understand it first, and then I'll do it". Which one accepts the authority of God in their life? 

And here's where we need to take heed of 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons ...". Our national history reveals this in our decisions to throw God out of our schools and the halls of government. Furthermore, we see it in the tendency of our educational systems to teach atheistic curriculum, pointing to socialism and marxist philosophies as the better way. And Church leaders are guilty of teaching unBiblical social doctrine, leading many to mistakenly legitimize their sin through Church membership. But this seems so "upside down" to me!

Today, we find many of the inhabitants of our country rejecting the authority of Christ in their lives as too restrictive and limiting, yet they are embracing the authoritarian rule and ideology of oligarchies as a better way to administer a society. Little do they know that there is true Freedom in Jesus's authority in our lives. Somehow, we have gotten way off track. Because it is our national predilection, or bias, to "buck the system" and push back against authority, we have listened to the lies and wicked deception of those who renounce the power and authority of Jesus in favor of the false promises of Satan that self-indulgence and self-worship is where we will find our salvation. 

That's the same lie he sold to Adam and Eve in the Garden and the same false promise that they could be their own God! Lord, help us! Our nation has turned its back on You and we are in danger of calling Your righteous judgment down upon ourselves! For myself, I bow to Your power and authority in my life, and I do not question Your Sovereignty over the earth. I choose to have the Hebrew mindset and obey Your commandments in Your Word, trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal Your Truth. And there's no amount of logic or critical thinking of the Greek mindset that will convince me to reject Your authority in my life. The fact that our universities no longer teach critical thinking will only serve to further remove the understanding of Your authority. We are in great need of a spiritual reset. Come Lord Jesus!

#hebrewmindset #greekmindset #theauthorityofchrist #ourdominionintheearth #theauthorityofgodsword #biblicalworldview #ourculturaldna #ourpowerandauthority #satansdeception #satansfalsepromises #rejectingjesus'sauthority  

1 Corinthians 1:22-25     For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy, but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense], but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].


September 18, 2023

God's Power Is In You to Destroy Satan's Kingdom!

I have spent several posts now declaring the truth of the Kingdom of God. It is here now, and it is in you. If you have received Jesus as your Savior and profess that He is the Son of God, was crucified for your sins, and that He rose by the power of the Holy Spirit as a promise to all who follow His commandments, then you need to hear my message today. And I will warn you, it is a serious message, and one that it is time we all face.

Close to ten years ago, I had a prophetic dream that shook me to my core. It was one of the most frightening, yet powerful, visions I have ever received. I will try to give you the substance of the dream/vision without all the superfluous components. I was on a ferris wheel, ascending and descending ... during the ascension, I was feeling joyful, hopeful, and free. As I descended, the bucket I was seated in plunged into a body of water where I felt fear, oppression, and darkness. I went through several cycles of "riding" the ups and downs of the ferris wheel before I found myself standing on what seemed like the West Coast of America. I stood there for a few minutes looking off to my right, far out on the ocean, and became fixated on a small wave that I could see forming, hundreds of miles off shore. I felt no threat and marveled at how it seemed to be coming closer, growing in size, yet it still felt far off. All of a sudden, I became aware that this wave was approaching faster and faster, and before I knew it, it was the largest wave I could have ever imagined; a tsunami, about to engulf me. I knew I could not continue to stand on the shore, and I also knew I was a weak swimmer, but having no other choice, I began trying to out-swim the massive and monstrous wave. But it quickly caught up to me, and I remember feeling the power of it as it crashed down on me, angrily tossing me around in its churning swell. I knew I was going to drown and was filled with so much fear. I remember crying out to Jesus, and then, in that moment, I saw a hand reach down into that mass of water, with a tremendous light that surrounded it, and the most comforting voice I've ever heard, saying, "Don't worry! I've got you!", and He lifted me out of that chaos, and I knew Jesus had rescued me.  

I believed then, and still do, that Jesus was showing me what was to come in our future -- the ups and downs of our economy; the powers of darkness formulating their plans and strategies to covertly sneak into our culture, our politics, and our country; all as we remained in place, content in accepting the world. I have periodically spoken about this prophecy, alerting the Body of Christ to get prepared for the kingdom of darkness and its plans to launch the Anti-Christ to perform Satan's final plans for the earth. Throughout the years, many Christian friends have discounted my warnings, instead choosing to believe in the Grace and Mercy of the Lord to prevent anything that the Bible forecasts from happening. I will say again, just as I have for years, Yes, Jesus is Love; He give us His Grace; and He is full of Compassion and Mercy. And, Yes, we win in the end! I acknowledge all that as Truth! But if you truly read the Bible, then you cannot skip over the warning Jesus gives us in Matthew 24 that there will be a time of intolerable anguish, unprecedented adversity/trouble, distress, oppression, persecution, and suffering "such has not occurred since the beginning of the world, nor ever will again".

Did you get that? Do you comprehend the magnitude of what Jesus is saying? Can you even fathom the evil that is about to come upon the world? For too long, the Church has been soft-selling the Word, and not preparing the Body of Christ to be who Jesus has enabled us to be! Jesus knew what was coming and He warned us -- pestilence, plague, famine, wars. And yes, they have happened in the past, but if you are not spiritually discerning that everything in this world is aligning against the human race, then I fear you will be overrun by the powers of darkness aligning against unequipped Believers.

Which brings me to a dream/vision that my husband had last night. He is not one to have detailed messages from God in his dreams, so when one does occur, we pay attention. Unlike my dream, he doesn't have as many details, but knows for sure that he was in a struggle regarding the coming of AI and the ramifications for the human race. He felt he was in a battle to uncover the blueprint for how Satan would implement AI in his battle plan, for AI was definitely designed by the kingdom of darkness for this day and time. I heard him struggling in his sleep and knew it was a spiritual battle, and waited to see if he mentioned it this morning. He was thoughtful and pensive, and finally spoke of the dream. He wanted to remember more of the details, but understood that it was a prophetic warning from God. The last thing he remembered of the dream was hearing this promise: The finite is always subject to the infinite.

If you have a discerning spirit, then I trust you understand that whatever Satan brings against us has limits and boundaries, set in place by God, who is infinite. His power is immeasurable, never-ending, cosmic, interminable, while our Enemy is subject to God's limitations and restrictions. He will be defeated! But we are not to sit idly by and wait for God to do all the warfare! It is time that we know, understand, and operate in the supernatural power that is ours from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We have no idea of the power we have! We have been given the supernatural infused power of God! But we have not been taught in our Churches and religious institutions to use it. As the late Russ Dizdar lamented, "Instead of an 11-12 second intercessory prayer in the average Church service, why haven't we unleashed 30-40 minutes of massively powerful, Spirit-of-God-guided prayer that brings answers and strategies right into the sanctuary to use our Authority to pray against the drug lords; to pray against the human traffickers; to pray against the abortionists; to pray against the corruption in our government"? Instead, we pray weak prayers, or ask others to pray for us, in order to ask Jesus to do it for us. He transferred the power and authority given to Him by Heaven to us!

It's time we became the powerful believers Jesus has called us to be! It's time to surrender our fear and doubt and unbelief, and stop grieving the Holy Spirit; stop quenching the Spirit. We are not helpless! Satan should be running scared of us, but guess what? Satan is busy bringing all his emissaries and counterfeit power into play, while we sit wringing our hands, reading snatches of the Psalms to calm our fears while we wait for Jesus to come back! If you call yourself truly redeemed, then the signs and wonders and healings that God manifested in the Believers in Acts are available to you! God does not change! The Miracles come through Believers -- that's how God operates!    

I believe if we will just rise up in faith and walk in our powerful identities, we will see the greatest interventions of God in human history. So, get this clear in your mind -- all the destruction that history has witnessed -- from the Flood, to the plagues in Egypt, to all the atrocities in the Old Testament, to the Black Plague in the Dark Ages, to the millions that died in modern wars [Civil War, WWI and WWII, the Holocaust, etc] -- are nothing compared to what the world will soon see. Remember, Jesus said the anguish is unprecedented in human history. But instead of cowering in a corner and asking God to prohibit it, we can look forward to seeing God doing astounding things! We will see Angelic visitations; God reaching out His hand and performing miracles; and we will give our Spirit-filled testimonies of the Blood of the Lamb overcoming the Dragon! We will not fear for our lives, and will not shrink from Death. 

So, you are either still reading this post and hopefully inspired to become saturated in the Word to discover our purpose and role in this End Times War, or I have driven you further into the counterfeit lie that we are not destined to be on the battlefield. If you hear nothing else I say today, I pray that you will hear this: You are here right now -- in this time and place -- to stand in Victory [whether you live or die in this world] and declare that Satan's time is coming to an end; that God, since the beginning of time, has been Sovereign over the history of this world. We have not been promised an easy existence, or a way out of the tribulation. In fact, once redeemed, you have a target on your back. Satan is roaming the earth like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. But you have the Lion of the tribe of Judah living in you, so turn and face your adversary and roar right back ... unafraid, bold, persistent in the knowledge that the power of Heaven is at your disposal, and you have a Mighty God who is able to do all you ask, far beyond anything you can dare to ask or think! And share that Truth with everyone you come in contact with! Let's get ready to show the kingdom of darkness just what the Kingdom of God looks like in us!

Revelation 15:4.   “Great and amazing are Your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations!  Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”   


September 5, 2023

Have You Accepted Jesus's Gift of the Keys to the Kingdom of God?

I can remember when I concentrated on studying the Book of Matthew, which I found full of the revelation that Jesus is King of a heavenly kingdom realm that was being established on earth with His birth. With that divine disclosure to the human world, it makes "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" a much more powerful statement. 

I cannot go forward without addressing the differences of opinion [among the Body of Christ] as to whether the Kingdom of God on earth is a future event [at the return of Christ] or whether it is present today. I can only share what my spirit is telling me, and each of you have to study the Word and come to your own theological understanding.

NOTE: And that's why I often return to the same subjects that I have written about years before ... because these truths need to be stated again and again, until everyone has a chance to receive them. And they are a good reminder to established believers [including myself] to review what we believe and why, so that we are ready to "Preach the word; [and] be prepared in season and out of season, [to] reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction, the teaching of God's message".

So, if I had to give you a concise statement as to my belief, it would be this .... Both John the Baptist and Jesus warned those who would hear them to "Repent!" .... John, saying "for the Kingdom of God is near", and Jesus telling them, "for the Kingdom of God is at hand". It is my belief that both John and Jesus were announcing that God's representative from Heaven (Jesus) had come to plant Heaven's flag, so to speak, in the earth, staking territory for the Kingdom of God; in effect, inaugurating [or beginning] the heavenly Kingdom system of government on the earth. So, in that sense, the Kingdom is present now, or "in your midst" (Luke 17:21), but is not yet complete. The Kingdom is here in a partial sense as we Christians continue to take territory from the devil and take back dominion of the earth until the Day of the Lord, when Jesus will return, bringing His Justice and destroying the evil and corruption in the world, while establishing the good and perfect Kingdom realm on earth that God had planned from the beginning. That event will usher in the complete and fulfilled existence of the Kingdom of God on earth.

And one of the reasons that I love the Book of Matthew so much is that it focuses on Jesus's teachings about how people are to behave as citizens of that Kingdom realm on earth, with Jesus as their ruling King. Which takes me to the born again experience that Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about in John, Chapter 3. Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." To me, this says that we come into the Kingdom as a citizen through being born again -- [reborn from above by the Holy Spirit—spiritually transformed, renewed, and sanctified]. 

When we are born again into the Kingdom, with Jesus as our King, we use a key to enter into that Kingdom. Jesus is the door and our salvation is that key. Romans 10:9-10 tells us, "For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation." To sum it up, when you are born again and confess your faith in Jesus, you are saved and become a citizen of the Kingdom. And with that citizenship come keys.

We see this confession/citizenship/keys relationship in Matthew 16:13-20. Peter, who  confesses Jesus as the Christ (Anointed One from God), is given keys of the kingdom of heaven, and now has the authority "to forbid [bind, stop] on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release [loose, permit] on earth that which is released in heaven." Those rights are only conveyed to one who is a citizen of the Kingdom of God/Heaven! And that is the purpose of the keys of the Kingdom -- to transform this earth, so that it looks like Heaven! 

I also want to point out that it is my belief that there is a false narrative that this passage is establishing Peter as the head of the Church; which is a corruption of Scripture promulgated by Constantine. I believe, truth be told, that the keys to the Kingdom are principles given to all who are born again into the Kingdom as citizens; principles to rule and reign until the return of our King. These keys represent our authority and provide access to the Kingdom of Heaven. And that access is initiated through Scripture. It's not enough to just know Scripture ... we must DO Scripture! You see, God is moved by His Word, not our tears. Hebrews 6:17 says, "in His desire to show to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable nature of His purpose, [God] intervened and guaranteed it with an oath" -- in other words, He says He is bound by His Word. So when we DO His Word, He will move in our lives and in this world; we will see results.

But here's something to think about .... to have a key to the Kingdom and never use it, is no different than never having a key at all. If you don't know the principles or purpose of the keys to the Kingdom then you will likely have no effect [fruit] for the Kingdom.  And something else we need to understand is that the keys are also unique and specific. You can't take one Kingdom key (principle) and think it's going to necessarily work in another place. For instance, Praise is a key that bestows honor upon the one who receives it, and we are to praise our Lord for all He does for us. But I can't praise a demon and expect to throw him out! And I think Jesus exemplifies this when He tells the disciples, "But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting." Here, we have two more principles of the Kingdom.

We must realize that there is no Master Key of the Kingdom, and it is inherent upon us to know what the keys are; to understand and employ them to their fullest effect. If not, "my people perish for lack of knowledge", comes to mind. We also need to remember what our Lord tells us in Luke 12:32: "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom". We are to remember that we are citizens of the Kingdom; "sons of Light", and we are to be operating in the Kingdom system, not the system of the world. 

So, here's a truth we need to be aware of ... If we are born again and Saved, we are citizens of the Kingdom. But which system are we operating in? We can be considered citizens of the Kingdom, but still be operating in the world system. I believe we are all guilty of that at one time or another in our lives. For instance, if we get offended by someone [which is one of Satan's favorite schemes] do we withdraw and sulk, or do we work in the Kingdom government system and handle it with a Kingdom principle; for instance praying for those who curse you? We must recognize that the system of this world is not our system! Our system is Kingdom government!

The bottom line is this: we must know that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, and walk in our power and authority! Yes, we wait for the fulfillment [completion] of the Kingdom on earth. But we serve our Lord, who is King of that Kingdom, and He has entrusted us to continue His work in establishing the Kingdom He came to inaugurate. Just because He has not yet returned, it doesn't mean we are to remain idle until that glorious Day. When He returns, we will give an account of the fruit we have borne for the Kingdom. I can imagine Him embracing us as Saved Christians; welcoming us as citizens of the Kingdom of God. And then I can hear Him ask, "What did you do with the keys of the Kingdom that I gave you? Did you read my Word? If so, did you seek to understand and experience it? Did you DO My Word?" 

It is my prayer that each of us know that the Kingdom in us is greater than the kingdom of this world. Let us use the keys He has given us in His Word to lock and secure our hearts in His Kingdom system. Let the reality of God's Kingdom be apparent in the present through the abundant and prosperous fruit we bear, in the Name of Jesus.

Luke 17:21      "The Kingdom is not discovered in one place or another, for God’s Kingdom realm is already expanding within some of you."

February 14, 2023

Why It's Important to Understand the Relationship Between God and Satan, And How It Affects Us


In this season of my life, my mind has been swirling as I consider my understanding of the dynamic of Satan's part in God's redemptive plan for restoring my relationship with my Father in Heaven.  I've been thinking of how this battle has been going on since before the creation of man. We tend to think that our battle is unique and our struggle is like nothing anyone else has encountered in the last 6000 years or more. I think our natural inclination is to see ourselves as the Biblical figure of Job -- a righteous man or woman whom God has allowed to be tormented by Satan. But is that the reality of our situation? And what is the truth about the relationship between our Enemy and God and us? That's quite a complicated triangle and I'm not sure we Christians fully understand the forces at work [or the history] in this relationship.

This is a Biblical concept that has always intrigued me, and unless you are willing to connect the dots in the Bible, it will be difficult to fit all the pieces together. As far back as 2015, I wrote that not only has Job been called the oldest Book in the Bible, but in many ways, it is the most difficult to understand. Christians have a hard time comprehending that Satan was allowed access to the Throne of God in order to accuse Job, who the Bible says was "blameless and upright, and one who feared God [with reverence] and abstained from and turned away from evil [because he honored God]."  He is also called "the greatest of all the men of the East."  So why would God allow Satan to torment this righteous man, and what are we to understand about this complicated relationship in this famous Book of the Bible? What is the history between God and Satan, and how does that translate to our struggles?

First of all, let me say that I have a rather unorthodox understanding of the purpose of the Book of Job. Unlike many Christians, I do not think God's inspiration for this book is to teach us how to endure like Job did. Although Job's constant faith is certainly a model we should follow, I firmly believe that the Book of Job was written to show us how Satan operates and how God controls Satan. It is ultimately a book all about Authority. The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 5:19, "The whole world is under the rule of the Evil One".  So the questions that arise from that statement are the same ones that we ask regarding Job.  How much authority does Satan have? Can he do anything he wants to, or are there restrictions placed on him by God? And how did this dynamic of conflicting authorities come about?

To answer that last question, it is imperative we understand the history of how God and Satan came to this impasse and how it affects us. The most detailed Scripture that explains the collapse of God and Lucifer's relationship is found in Ezekiel 28:12-18. Here, the characteristics of Lucifer are attributed to an earthly king of Tyre. But God gives us a perfect picture of how Lucifer became Satan ... he was created by God in perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; he was an anointed guardian cherub in Heaven, placed by God in the Throne Room. He was blameless until he let his pride, arrogance, and rebellion bring him to the point that he planned on usurping God's Throne and Authority over all creation. So, God cast him out of Heaven "to the ground" ... "in Eden, the garden of God". And since Job 38:4-7 shows us the angels were created before the earth was created, and Ezekiel 28:13 says that Satan [as the serpent] was already in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Adam and Eve to sin, he must have been cast out sometime after the angels [and then the earth] were created and before Adam and Eve sinned. 

And it's interesting that Jesus, Himself, says He "saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven". This is said in context to the joy that the 70 disciples experienced when Jesus sent them out with His authority to heal and cast out demons. He is reminding them that He was there when He saw Satan cast out of Heaven, and it should be no surprise to them that they were able to defeat the devil as they ministered in the countryside. They needed to recognize that Satan is a fallen foe, and has always been subject to the authority of Jesus, as the Son of God. And that is a lesson for us, too! Jesus has given us His same authority that He gave those disciples! We should not be questioning that we can "trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy". In addition, we should be mindful of what Jesus said to point them to a bigger truth ... “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven”. Casting out demons is a fruitful and beneficial pursuit while we're here on earth, but it doesn't come close to comparing to our eternal life in heaven.

So, we know why, and possibly when, Satan was cast out of heaven, but that still leaves us with the question of how he was able to accuse Job before God. Apparently, during Job's time, Satan still had limited access to heaven and the throne of God: Job 1:6-7 tells us, “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, ’Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it’”. The Bible gives us no explanation as to why God would permit this, after casting Satan out of heaven. So, we're back to our questions: How much authority does Satan have? And can he do anything he wants to, or are there restrictions placed on him by God?

We know what Satan wants to do ... steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  But the fact that millions of human beings are alive on the planet today, tells us that most of the time, he doesn't get his way.  So, it's apparent to me that we, who are alive, are existing because a greater power (God) is protecting us. That is what Job 1:12 says : And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. That is a very valuable piece of information to have: Satan's authority is limited by God.  And in the case of Job, I think God set very strict limits for Satan; the Enemy was not allowed to take Job's life.

But here's the concept we need to consider... since we have been given the authority of Jesus [by Him], and He has all authority over Satan, God can and does limit Satan's authority. But we also see something else in this verse and the entire Book of Job.  Sometimes God grants greater authority to Satan than is ordinarily his.  In this instance, Satan requested permission to launch a special attack on Job to try and prove that Job wasn't as righteous or loyal as it was attributed to him. And that permission was granted to him.  Not only was he allowed to take all of Job's possessions and cause the deaths of all his children, but Satan was given permission to attack Job's health as well.  The majority of the Book of Job is an account of the suffering Job endures because of Satan's attacks.  But there is one very important fact we need to keep in mind.... God was the One who gave permission for Satan to attack. And He limited the severity of the attacks. I believe what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a testament to Job's circumstances: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. God was in control of Satan's attacks against Job to prove Job's character and the strength of his faith.

So, by now, many people might be asking, "Then does that mean that God has given Satan permission to attack me?"  Here's what we need to understand... Satan has been given real authority to harass and, yes, even attack us.  But he is only successful when we give him permission to do so.  We have the authority [and power] of Jesus, which is greater than any authority Satan possesses. Job didn't have that choice.  Jesus had not yet come to offer salvation to mankind, so Job did not possess the authority to overcome Satan. God, in His sovereignty, chose to allow Job to suffer, without Job doing anything to prompt the attacks. Yet God protected Job's life and rewarded him by restoring the fortunes of Job and gave him twice as much as he had before!

If Satan is going to be able to exercise the authority he wants to exercise, he needs human cooperation, a human partner.  That's what he was trying to accomplish when he tempted Jesus in the desert. Remember, at the time, Jesus was in his human state, and Jesus resisted him. It is important that we understand that in reality, the devil has very little, if any, power or authority other than that given to him by us. That's what happened in the Garden of Eden... he was only able to bring about the fall of man because Adam and Eve obeyed his request to partake of the apple.  He had no authority to make them do it!  They cooperated! That is why James can confidently tell us to "Resist the devil, and he will flee."  

We must begin to understand that we have authority from our Father, just as Jesus was a man under the Father's authority. We have the power of God's Holy Spirit, which is transferred to us at baptism, just as it was to Jesus when He was baptized in the Jordan River. And Jesus made it clear before His ascension that when He left, He would send the Apostles (and all who would follow in their footsteps) the Holy Spirit -- the One who had empowered Him. They would be able to resist Satan and all his powers to steal, kill, and destroy. 

You see, the problem that Job had is not the same as our problem.  His particular circumstances were controlled by God, and to show us that Satan's authority is limited by God.  He did not have the authority of the Holy Spirit because Christ had not come. Our problem is that we don't exercise the authority we have been given; or worse yet, we ignore or deny the limited presence and power that Satan possesses. When we recognize the history between God and Lucifer/Satan, we begin to understand how they relate to each other. And we can see that, just like Jesus, we have been given the right to use our authority to bring about whatever is in accord with the Father's will.  In Job's case, it was God's will to allow Satan to attack him. We may never completely understand that Sovereign decision, but we know that Job did not contribute or cooperate with Satan. Now it is time for us to recognize that we are entrusted with Divine Authority passed from the Father to His Son, who conferred it to us, and that authority conveys a truth that we can resist being led into temptation, and expect to be delivered from evil -- just as Jesus taught us to pray.

As noted by Dr. Charles Kraft, a wise man of God, under whom I have trained, "If we are Christians, we have no choice as to whether or not we possess this authority. It is part of the package given to us with the Holy Spirit. Our only choice is whether we learn how to use this authority and whether we actually make use of it."  Job didn't have a choice. Will you exercise yours?

#GodandLucifer #Satansfallfromheaven

Revelation 12:10-12   Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night. And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.