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

Showing posts with label Power of the Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Power of the Kingdom. Show all posts

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.

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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.’ 

September 21, 2023

Seeing [And Defeating] Satan's Playbook For The Kingdom of Darkness

I know I've said it before, but I feel like it's déja vu all over again. Satan just uses the same old playbook over and over, because it works! Let me explain ... Since I began writing this blog in 2011, I have discerned the schemes and tactics of Satan and his kingdom of darkness, and while the players might look and sound different, the goals have always been the same ... to create a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership [under his evil guidance], with limited innovation amidst growing citizen pushback.

To be sure, there have been ebbs and flows -- in both the control and the pushback -- but Satan's overall plan has always been the same: his kingdom of darkness [which has ruled much of the world since Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden] seeks to defeat the restored dominion of earth [which Jesus handed back to man]. Since Genesis 1:26-28, we were given a mandate by our Creator to rule earth like Heaven is ruled. In other words, our Lord came to defeat the kingdom of darkness and re-establish the Kingdom of God. Jesus's plan has always been for His followers to continue His work in His power and authority, which He transferred to us. 

From 2011 to now, if you have spiritual eyes to see, and spiritual ears to hear, you should have seen the writing on the wall. Without a doubt, we are seeing food shortages, and the drums of war are getting louder. We have experienced a global plague [with warnings that it will erupt again]. Famine is a very real threat [and not just to third-world countries] -- meat is being rationed in our country [and we're now offered a variety called "impossible"]. And who can explain all the processing plants that have been destroyed, and dairy cows, along with millions of pigs and chickens being slaughtered? And the wars and rumors of war are no longer simply whispered among "those in the know", but openly forecast. Where have I  heard that before? Oh, yeah, they are the beginnings of birth pangs that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24. These world events pretty much resemble the four horsemen of the apocalypse in Revelation 6, too -- the red horse symbolizing war and bloodshed; the black horse is famine; and the pale horse is pestilence and death. 

But, I'm not writing to say that we should get ready for the Tribulation, or that the End of the World is here. To be honest, I'm not interested in predicting when that time will come -- no one knows except our Father, not even Jesus, Himself. So, I'm more focused on being alert to what the Enemy's agenda and playbook are, so that I can endure to the end [whenever it is] and be an Overcomer. And that means I want to help others be able to see what is happening in the world from a non-political standpoint. We must be able to see in the spirit, and see what is going on behind the dirty veil that the devil is so good at presenting to the general population.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that it feels like déja vu. I say that because beginning in 2014, I was writing about the undermining of our nation's Constitution, our republic, and our basic civil rights; that we were seriously eroding the truth that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." 

I remember having to memorize this paragraph from the Declaration of Independence in my elementary school Social Studies classes, but now I see that "new Government" as being the Kingdom of God, with the faithful acting as the Ekklesia [governing body of Believers acting as representatives of the Heavenly government of the Father]. But there is a spiritual force that doesn't want to see that happen. 

Back in 2014, I made mention of a political activist and theorist named Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book in 1971 titled Rules for Radicals in which he subscribed to 12 rules about how to successfully run a movement for change. That little book has greatly influenced our social and political climate for the last 50 years. And I find it most notable that Alinsky penned this for the dedication of his book: "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical ... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer".

There you have it .... the reference to the kingdom of darkness versus the Kingdom of God. And the rules which Alinsky promoted certainly mimic Satan's agenda and methodology. To begin with, there is rule #3, which states "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of your Enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty". The way in which the so-called "experts" have disseminated [dis]information in our recent history has resulted in the loss of freedoms that we have taken for granted. This falls right in line with Satan as the Father of Lies whose modus operandi is Deception and false accusations. 

Another rule of the social and political radicals, as well as the first radical, Lucifer, is "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself". If you are spiritually discerning, you will see how that has played out in our recent history. Millions survived without following the "prescribed protocol". And tragically, it's also true that millions died. So please understand that I am not making light of that number. Any death is significant, but you can see how this strategy parallels Satan's strategy of getting us to worry about things that haven't even happened yet, or that are far less devastating than he has given us to imagine. Satan's goal is to demoralize Christians into a state of passivity, resulting in his kingdom continuing to dominate the earth.

Rule #12 of Rules for Radicals is "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it". That's pretty much what Satan did to Job, isn't it? He cut off Job's support network, and isolated him from sympathy. He attempted to get Job to turn against the very One who believed in him and had blessed him, and would be there to restore him. And that rule has been effectively used in polarizing our citizens and neighbors against each other. "White privilege", "Equity", "Diversity" and "Institutional Racism" have become terms used to pick Satan's targets in his radical playbook. See how easy it is to freeze attention on a target, and use language to personalize it, and polarize it? 

These are just a few of Alinsky's rules for instituting social change, and it's not hard to see them at work in our current situation, and see them as similar to Satan's tactics. But let's not forget another diabolical tactic known as the Hegelian Dialect. In short, here's how it works .... Step number one looks like this: Our Enemy knows that, instinctively, people won't go for restricted freedoms, so they cause a problem [that didn't naturally occur] which is step number two, which causes panic and conflict. Then they come up with step number three: a solution to solve the manufactured problem, which turns out to be their original goal [i.e., restricted freedoms]. The people will embrace it because they just want the panic and conflict to go away. 

So, as Kingdom-minded citizens, who are Heaven's representatives on earth, it is absolutely necessary that we see how Satan is working in the world ... a man-made virus being unleashed on the world, causing death, panic, destroyed economies, and loss of jobs. In the Spirit, we can see that Satan desires men to doubt God in the midst of this chaos; sending spirits of fear and abandonment to invade our peace and confidence, which causes us to seek solutions in our own power instead of pressing into the power of God in us to help us endure. Satan wants us to trust ourselves, or human leaders, more than we trust our Father and Savior. It's all about perpetuating Satan's kingdom of darkness and stopping the advance of God's Kingdom on the earth.

But, we must cling to the truth that we exist in Christ, who is a safe realm that we can step into and be protected during this storm. And we need to walk in our identity in the Kingdom. Our authentic citizenship is in Heaven, seated next to Christ, the King of all Creation -- we are temporary [and secondarily] citizens of this world. We must not get distracted from anything that Satan aligns with in order to divert us from our purpose in this life. We have a destiny that surpasses whatever we may experience during our short lifetime in this realm called earth. 

We must understand that we were made for eternity, but we have a job to do while we're here in our temporary home. So, Satan and his minions can develop all the rules and radical ideas they can imagine. But they will never defeat God's sovereign plan for His people or this planet. He will rule and reign as King, and Satan's radicals will pay the price for their rebellion, unless they choose to be redeemed. So, don't get discouraged! It may seem like more dark days are ahead of us, and we wonder when this nightmare will end. But this is our opportunity to persevere for the Kingdom of God; spreading the Good News that the Light of Heaven has brought a promise of our deliverance into the realm of the Kingdom of God. Let us be about our Father's business until our Lord returns! Let's execute God's playbook and frustrate the Enemy's strategies and tactics!

2 Corinthians 2:11  .... that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.


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.”