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

Showing posts with label Spiritual Maturity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spiritual Maturity. Show all posts

June 5, 2024

"Everybody Wants the Mountain; But Nobody Wants the Wilderness"

The title of this blog is a quote by Pastor and activist Jonathan Tremaine Thomas, who appeared on the docu-series, Jonathan and Jesus, which records a pilgrimage of faith by Jonathan Roomie, who stars as Jesus in The Chosen. The comment is made in response to a conversation the two had regarding what it's like to experience a season of testing in your faith.

First, I want to clarify what it looks like when you're in the midst of a mountaintop experience. For many Christians, the subject of faith is academic -- we intellectually know all the theological language about faith ... it is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). We can also go through the motions of getting baptized and doing all the religious sacraments that we are asked to do as evidence of our faith. But all this can be a cerebral understanding of faith [or head knowledge]. God seeks a heart understanding of faith. 

To have a mountaintop experience requires that we have a very real encounter with the living Christ. It is a moment of revelation and supernatural disclosure from Heaven, where our spiritual senses are overcome with the reality that He is near; that you are feeling His touch and absolutely know [and are convinced] that He is with you and for you. It's like the experience Moses had with YHWH on the mountain; coming face to face with the knowledge that Jesus is truly your Savior and the King of the Universe.

For some that happens easily and quickly; for others it takes diligent practice of your faith -- lots of prayer and studying of the Word; seeking daily communion and relationship with the One who Saved you. Whether your mountaintop encounter happens quickly or slowly and gradually, it will happen, if you are consistent and persistent in seeking it. But here is a truth that you must discern whenever that blessed encounter happens ... everything that God anoints and approves, He tests. And that's when we often will find ourselves undergoing our wilderness experience.

So, what does that look like? It's interesting to me that both experiences are often linked. After enjoying your spiritually transformative experience on your mountaintop, you may suddenly find yourself in a period of intense isolation and trials. Think of the Israelites, who having been set free from 400 years of slavery and bondage in Egypt, suddenly found themselves being tried and tested in a desert-like wilderness. They were to take possession of the Promised Land, trusting God to provide a way for them. But through their doubt, unbelief and lack of faith, their disobedience led to the wrath of God and a punishment of 40 years of wandering in the wilderness until that unbelieving generation died off.  

The Bible also tells us that Jesus, Elijah, Job and Paul were among many other Biblical figures who experienced their own wilderness experiences. And it can look different for different people. Personal struggles can come in the form of temptations, personal loss, physical attacks, and extreme isolation. You can experience profound burdens upon your body, soul and spirit. It is a severe testing of your faith and you are forced to surrender to God, relying on [only] Him to mature you and grow you in your walk with Christ. As Paul says, when you find yourself in your wilderness of testing, you will "be hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed". But if you can surrender to the work that God wants to do in you, your life will be a testimony that it is the unsurpassed power of God [in you] -- and not by your own power -- that He accomplishes a renewal and strengthening of your faith and accomplishments for His Kingdom.

I can personally testify that as wonderful and joyous as the few mountaintop experiences have been to grow my faith, it is the wilderness episodes that have had the most dynamic effect. I experienced a particularly trying time when I spent seven years in what I call my "most personal and difficult wilderness encounter with God". I have shared it before on this blog, but I hope that this latest depiction will resonate with someone and they can learn something from my experience. 

God had ordained the steps of my husband and myself after we married, and sparked a desire to know more about the Word and what our relationship with the Lord should look like. He led us to a small group of older, faith-filled Believers in a big church in Austin, where we found the discipleship and equipping that we were desperately seeking. I cannot say that we were anywhere close to gaining the maturity in our faith that God desired, but we were growing in our knowledge of the Lord and His heart for us to step into our purpose for His Kingdom on earth. Just as we were feeling confident that we were "going places" in our faith, we found ourselves moved to 129 acres west of San Antonio in a small, rundown farmhouse that needed lots of repair, and totally isolated from everything that had fed our "comfortable" lives.

We not only found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, but removed from everything and everyone that had provided all of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs... no big grocery stores, no movie theaters or bookstores, no church family, and what felt like solitary confinement away from God, Himself.  We tried the small country church in a nearby town, but the rigid, religious spirit in that church only served to make me feel even more alone. I was also confronted by fear, doubt, and unbelief that we would be able to prosper in this place. It was right after September 11th, 2001 and our financial situation was dire, to say the least. My husband was beginning his career as a professional artist, still in the phase of "paying his dues", and we struggled to pay the bills each month.

I praise God, to this day, that He gave my husband a firm faith that never doubted that God would take care of us. I, on the other hand, was struggling to remain established and settled in my faith. I fought against doubt and unbelief and the whispers of the Liar that I couldn't count on God to be my Jehovah Jireh. Yet, each time that God provided and a painting sold, I would praise Him and believe in His goodness towards us -- until the next month when things got tight again. I never doubted that we were following the path He had set before us, I just found myself trying to solve our lack of resources myself, instead of trusting that He would not abandon us. But He never gave up on me! I would stumble, then renew my commitment to trust Him, and with every step backwards, I found His grace to take two steps forward in my faith. And then one day, after fervent prayer and telling Him I was tired of the doubt with which Satan tempted me, and I wanted to let it go for good, I heard [in my spirit], "If you will be faithful to Me, I will be faithful to you". 

From that day forward, it has been a journey of surrendering to Him and trusting in Him. And I can now say that I know my Jehovah Jireh [the God who provides]!  I don't just know about Him, but I surrendered myself and allowed my spirit to be put in a place where I had to meet Him in order for my faith to survive. My wilderness journey lasted 7 long years, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! It's where I learned to live in quietness, solitude and intimacy; a place where I heard Him speak to me and received His reassurance that He has me and will never let me go. Yes, the Mountaintop is a glorious place to be; full of the magnificence, splendor, joy and wonder of being close and connected to Almighty God. But the Wilderness offers the opportunity to fight for that relationship and grow in your identity in Christ in order to understand that God-ordained testing comes when you have been approved for His purposes. His goal is to refine you, strengthen you, and prepare you for a life of service to Him. My advice is to enjoy the mountaintop, and embrace the wilderness. He will meet us in both places! Hallelujah!

Psalm 63:1    O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You; My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.                

February 23, 2024

The Struggle of the Church With Our Supernatural God

Every once in awhile, my spirit prompts me to step back and take a measure of the Body of Christ... not in a judgmental or condemning way, but more than anything else, to evaluate my own position among my believing brethren. We can sometimes get so caught up in our own journey that we lose sight of how well we are working together to steward or guard an authentic faith that fully represents God. Are we all on the same page? Or are our differences in theology and practice of our faith separating us and making us less effective [as a Body] than we are supposed to be?

Because my husband, Mark, and I serve the Lord in a ministry of Inner Healing and Deliverance, we are afforded the opportunity to engage with people who have varying degrees of belief systems. And as you can imagine, what we think of God and His Nature and Character will affect how we operate in our faith. It will also [ultimately] play an important part in the success or failure of our communities, culture, and the health of our nation. I hear God speaking to the Body of Christ so clearly through Romans 12:3 ... For by the grace [of God] given to me, I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree [measure] of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 

I can speak of some roadblocks to the Body of Christ forming a united whole -- not only from what I have witnessed in the Beloveds who come to us for ministry, but in my own path towards the measure of faith that I currently possess. Down through the centuries, Scripture has undergone a re-evaluation by men to fit their natural understanding of the times. The words of Jesus, the prophets, and the writers of the Bible have often been assigned different meanings than what I believe were originally intended. And, yes, I DO believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, meant to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. But how have men, in their own natural power, interpreted it? You see, the Holy Spirit reveals God's meaning and intentions through supernatural power, while, too many times, men interpret it through their own carnal, natural abilities. 

I believe God made us this three-part being for a specific purpose: Our faith life [and the consolidation of our Christian community] comes together through our theology, [what we believe in/with our mind], and our spirit [the supernatural connection with God]. Sadly, I see too many variations of what people believe about God, and too little belief in [or experience with] our supernatural God. I honestly think that what is missing in the Body of Christ is a restoration of what happened to the believers in Acts. When the Holy Spirit fell on them in the Upper Room, they could not deny that they needed to change their thinking about who God was. Neither could they deny that this new experience came with a new power and authority that changed everything about how they related to God and each other. 

Today, the Body of Christ desperately needs to understand that both correct theology and experiencing our supernatural God are both essential and needed to unify us [with Him] and to build a Body that can engage in the spiritual realms, fortifying the Body, and defeating the powers of the Enemy. Until we can do that, the Enemy's strategy of dividing us over questions of spiritual matters and theological differences, will sustain a powerless Church.

When members of the Body of Christ come to us to be healed of the wounds caused by traumatic events in their lives [and instigated by Satan's temptation to sin], our goal is to help the person have a spiritual encounter with Jesus [in the spirit] that argues against the lies the Enemy has convinced them are true, due to the sin in their lives. [NOTE: The trauma can come in from their own decision to sin, or the free will of another to sin against them]. But before we can partner with Jesus to help them have that supernatural experience, we have found that their theology can present a stumbling block to having that spiritual experience with the Lord. What they think about God or Jesus can prevent them from even wanting to experience Him. For instance, if they think God controls everything in our lives [and therefore could have, or should have, stopped the beating/rape/molestation etc.,] then they can be mad at God, or mistrust Him, or misunderstand what His Sovereignty actually is.

So, we have to get them to renew their mind and overcome the rigidness of religious thinking, and putting God in a box that fits their self-determined theology. Because of the traditions that often formulate our theology [instead of seeking the revelations of the Holy Spirit], we can often set limitations on God. Can we discern that these limitations may actually be our attempts to make God fit into a human model, rather than earnestly attempting to reach a mature faith in which we become more like Him? Because He is supernatural! He is beyond our human comprehension and His ways are not our ways. And He is the potter and we are the clay; not the other way around. So why is it so difficult to imagine God capable of doing supernatural things? It is all over the Bible if you want to explore what the Bible has to say about the subject! But, sadly, Christians have seen Bible exploration promoted in unBiblical ways, and therefore end up relying on what someone else has discerned -- even if it is theologically incorrect.

The same can be said about considering and exploring your understanding of the Supernatural. It has usually been presented poorly and incorrectly. So Christians are naturally cynical and suspicious of anyone who presents it as a part of the Christian experience. And of course denominational teachings and understandings [from centuries of "indoctrination"] can contribute to resistance against recognizing that miracles, signs and wonders, spiritual warfare, seeing and hearing in the spirit, and spiritual discernment were all modeled by Jesus, as a man! The Church just needs to see that this is what it looks like when we [as humans] work in and with the Holy Spirit! It is Him who gives us the power of Heaven to defeat the kingdom of darkness in this world! We must overcome our tendency to use logic and the power of human reason and rational thinking to defeat a spiritual enemy. Victory requires spiritual tools and weapons. And remember, our God is a supernatural God, who is a spirit! He is not flesh and bones, muscles and sinew; He is not made of material and matter. And it is His Holy Spirit, living in us, that enables us to carry out spiritual endeavors on behalf of our Holy God -- just as Jesus did!

Here is where the Body of Christ needs to come together in unity, fully understanding that we need to renew our minds to combine both Theology and Spirituality in order to become all we were made to be. We are a human being with a spirit! We can use our minds [set on Christ] along with our supernatural experiences [in the spirit] to see that God's will is done on the earth. We need both! It's not hard to see that the Enemy has been hard at work, not only misrepresenting true Theology and our true Spiritual Identity, but confusing us so that our churches/denominations tend to incorporate one of these, to the exclusion of the other. I pray that the Body of Christ will accept spiritual experiences as ordained by God; being always under the authority of Scripture. We must vet everything we do in service to the Lord by Scripture. But, at the same time, we must let the Holy Spirit lead us to a maturity and growth of faith as He reveals new understanding of the Bible that has been hidden by man-made religion. Proverbs 25:2 is a teaching worth remembering: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out. It is our destiny to be kings and priests! 

Ephesians 4:12-13 ...  and [He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints [God's people] for works of service, to build up the body of Christ; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].               


February 11, 2023

Waging Spiritual War For Our Children

At the end of my last post, I promised to share my perspective on the spiritual battle we are in for our children. This includes the issues of abortion, gender identification, child trafficking, and the opioid crisis that is killing our children at an alarming rate. Understanding that not everyone in the world is a Believer, it may seem like an over-simplification, but it is imperative that mankind comprehends and accepts that not only does God exist, but that Satan is real; and that he employs a multitude of devices and forces, in his position as "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4).  It is important that 1) we recognize it is our duty [as Christians] to fight against this Enemy; 2) the four important areas of his influence; and 3) we have a power stronger than his in which we can wage spiritual war.

But what is spiritual war all about and how do we wage it? At a very surface level, spiritual warfare requires that we understand who we are and why we are here. And that is going to take a level of mature faith that not every Christian possesses. How many Christians do you know that even acknowledge we are in a war against God's Enemy? If your faith is lukewarm and "surface only", then I doubt you will understand the deeper implications of what it is going to take to wage war in the spiritual realms. Have you digested the "meat" of Scriptural understanding of spiritual warfare, or are you still on "milk"? Only the mature Christian should expect to be equipped to engage in battle with the Enemy of God.

And being mature means you understand the cost of becoming part of God's Army on earth. When Jesus came the first time, He announced that the Kingdom of God had arrived, and in effect, declared war on Satan's kingdom on earth. As the disciples of Jesus spread the word that eternal salvation was available through faith in Jesus Christ and His defeat of Death on the Cross, the territory in people's lives that Satan claimed as part of his domain [through sin and evil] began to be reclaimed as conquered territory for the Kingdom of God. But Satan is not about to relinquish territory without a fight. He must prevent mankind from knowing who they are created to be, and to keep us from knowing the authority Jesus left His followers to engage in battle for our own lives and the lives of our children. And it will come with a price. It will cost us to serve His Kingdom, but the inheritance we have waiting in Heaven will be worth the time we devote to take back territory for God.

When we become a Believer, we are adopted as children of God. Satan's goal is not only to keep that from happening, but to employ all his forces to hinder our maturity and to cause doubt, unbelief, and confusion; to convince us to join him in killing our own children and supporting his lies about their God-given identities. But we can't even fight for our children if haven't overcome our own battlefields of the mind, flesh, and soul. That's the first line of defense for saving our children -- to understand who we are; who we are fighting; and recognizing the schemes of the Enemy so that we might receive the strategies of our Lord.

So, who are Satan's forces that are coming for our children? The Satanic kingdom is highly organized, and Satan is at the head of this kingdom; and there is a rank of ruling spirits under him that are subject to him and assigned over areas such as nations and cities. They are the entities Paul recognizes in Ephesians 6. The first in the rank of these ruling spirits are Principalities. We must grasp the reality that Satan, as the Enemy of God, can have a powerful effect on the leaders of nations, states and cities.  It is necessary that we realize that our spiritual warfare not only includes our individual lives, but communities, our nation, and the world!  This is not just some Biblical folklore, folks!  Principalities rule over Kings, and Presidents, State legislatures, and heads of world health organizations. They can all be leading at the behest of Satanic Principalities. And they derive their power from their spiritual leader, Satan. 

And Power is another rank of ruling spirits. Power implies "authority", and tells us that the demons Satan has placed over these various positions and territories have been given the power and authority to carry out whatever orders they've been assigned... Satan's orders that result in deception, control, and destruction.  "It's not a baby, it's just a clump of cells".... "My body, my choice".... "Some people are simply born in the wrong body.... "You do  not have to accept the gender you were assigned at birth"....  "One pill won't kill you".... "It won't happen to me". These are just some of the lies that Satan's Powers use in their spiritual warfare. And we must enlist God's warrior angels to fight alongside us as we renounce these lies and declare God's Truth: our children are divinely conceived by the Spirit of the Lord; our bodies are not our own, but are the Temple where God resides; God doesn't make mistakes when He creates us; and pharmaceuticals used to harm our bodies and souls are what the Bible calls sorcery. They will kill us when Satan uses them for his purposes.

Another of Satan's forces we face in our spiritual warfare are the Rulers of the Darkness of this World. But we need to embrace and believe the truth that when Jesus conquered Death [the Enemy's most powerful weapon against mankind], Satan became a defeated foe of our Lord.  The Devil is really just a trespasser in this world, and he has no legal rights over us Christians. Our debt has been paid by the Blood of Christ, and we belong to Him. So, if he's doomed to defeat, why does Satan still seek to rule this world, and why has he gained such success through his "rulers"? It is simple: neither the Church nor Believers have recognized or risen up in the power and authority given them. It's time that we use our spiritual weapons and strength, and take the offensive to the Enemy! But the Church and Believers have to recognize that this battle cannot be won politically or socially. God is bigger than politics and social convention! And if we don't start seeing Satan's agenda and strategies in these areas, then we will continue to find ourselves battling and losing ground. Just look at how fast the indoctrination of our youth into ungodly ideologies have happened in our lifetime! As their parents, we can present our case against our Adversary, the Devil, in the Courts of Heaven and ask God for His righteous judgment. If that is something that interests you, email me and I will send you my Courts of Heaven prayer that you can do in the Spirit.

I also want to mention the force known as Spiritual Wickedness in High Places. Obviously, the key here, is "wickedness".  In the Greek, that word means "depravity; malice; plots".  That can encompass all kinds of spiritual battles against not only abortion and gender identity in the lives of our children, but child pornography, the occult, "Black masses", or even a babysitter, teacher, or parent who has allowed a spirit of sexual perversion to rule their impulses. The point is that we have very real spiritual enemies coming after our children. They are the enemies of both God and man.  And while we Christians have the promise of victory in heaven, we still can be afflicted and tormented here on earth. The key to our victory in this realm is to use our authority as it has been given us. 

We must not bury our heads in the sand and think that the Enemy is not coming after our kids! Obviously we pray in the spirit with all power and authority given to us by Christ, and we commit the care of our own children and this generation to the protection of God. The power of our prayers can storm Heaven's gates as we team up with the Heavenly host to go forth in battle. Prayer is powerful, indeed, but we can do more! We can no longer tolerate ungodly Story Hours or inappropriate books on our public library shelves. We must stand and fight in both the physical and spiritual realms. We must boldly proclaim God's Truth of Revelation 20, that our Enemy has already been defeated and he will be thrown into the lake of fire and tormented forever and ever. We use that Truth to claim victory for our children and dispel the lies and half-truths of Satan and those in league with him. We ask for Divine guidance and to be shown the strategies of the Enemy, so that we might go in the spirit to erect spiritual barriers around our children to protect them from demonic influences, as well as seek holy counsel to tear down strongholds in the spiritual realms that control evil institutions and individuals that seek to do the devil's bidding in capturing our children. 

Finally, I want to leave you with this truth. Satan is absolutely terrified of who our children will become if they should know and follow God's call on their lives. That's why he has worked so hard to keep them from even being born. And if they are blessed to be welcomed into this world, his goal is to keep them separated from God. So, he attacks their self-worth and their unique gender identity. He infiltrates their social media influences, steals their innocence, prevents them from knowing their purpose in life by tempting them to sin [or be sinned against], and constructs false ideologies on the possession of money and worldly goods -- all designed to keep them from forming an intimate relationship with God. So, as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles -- as a society -- we must affirm and lift up our children. We must become spiritual warriors and defenders of our children. We must battle in the spiritual realm [with our full spiritual armor on], and we must stand guard over their bodies, hearts, minds, and souls. But most of all, we must not underestimate the power we have been given to battle against a defeated foe. Do not believe his lies that it is too late -- do not become discouraged, disheartened, or disillusioned. This is the most important battle of our generation, and we have been equipped in both the physical and the spiritual realms for victory. Let us fight for our children so that they will no longer be victims of Satan's wicked agenda, but become warriors for God. And never forget that our Lord battles with us! 

#spiritualwarfare #warringforourchildren #thebattleforourchildren #warinthespiritualrealms

2 Corinthians 10:3-4    "For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.  For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds"   

December 30, 2021

If The Lord Is Sifting You, Count It All Joy


I daresay the last two years have been challenging for all of us. We have battled pestilence, uncertainty about the future, and loss of freedoms. Many of us have experienced the deaths of loved ones, sacrificed our jobs, and experienced a level of change that has left us unbalanced and out of alignment with our Lord. And I'm afraid that the forecast for 2022 appears to be no less challenging. 

We can liken it to the "sifting" that the Bible tells us is God's prerogative. It is His right and privilege [as Sovereign Creator] to evaluate our faithfulness through tests and trials. But I believe it is all part of His plan to separate us from the things, ways, and idols of this world which threaten our purpose in being. There is potential [in our sifting] to produce opportunities to mature into becoming more Christlike. And our spirits should receive that with joy!

It is hard when we are in the midst of such life-altering chaos to see it from God's perspective. I understand that it might be difficult to see Him among all the political upheaval, economic fear, and societal divisiveness, because we tend to be focused on how it all affects us. But if we are to call ourselves "the Church" (and truly faithful followers of Christ), then our minds, souls, and spirits should be discerning just how all this offends our Father in Heaven! It is time we see the need to be judging ourselves! And if we are incapable of turning our hearts from idolatry and adultery with the world, then we should expect nothing less than a sifting to shake us up and separate us from that which seeks to make us comfortable in the world. 

What does God need to sift from your life? Is your identity tied up in your possessions, your titles, and how you are perceived by others? Does your security lie in your job, your money, or a guaranteed future? Do you think your affiliation with a denomination, or your religion will insulate you from any form of sifting or shaking from our righteous God? If it is difficult to think about any of this, or thoughts of any further turmoil in your life, then I want to ask you this question: Are you determined to serve the Lord -- no matter what happens -- or are you more preoccupied with preserving and protecting your own well-being? That's a tough question, and one that I have asked myself.

You see, God has divinely ordained plans for our lives, and they involve His Kingdom purposes. We are not here, in this time and this place, for our own benefit! We are here to see His will done as Satan brings everything to bear on his plan to maintain his kingdom of darkness and overcome us. Even as so many of us face the loss of our jobs, homes, and yes, even our lives, we must remain steadfast in our purpose -- to glorify the Most High God, the King of Kings, and the Holy Spirit! If we truly desire to mature into Christ's image, then we must be willing to sacrifice [as He was willing to do] all the comforts and certainties of this world to serve God. And that means everything -- even up to and including our lives! 

I believe that the difficult times we have already suffered -- and those to come -- are a sifting of our motives and allegiance. God wants to sift out all that robs us of faithfully and intentionally serving Him, as we pursue our assignments for His Kingdom. And Satan wants to sift that same loyalty and covenant relationship, purging us of our fidelity and devotion to the One whose Grace and Love sustain us. But we must not let the devil steal our witness of being Overcomers! 

We don't know what this next year, or the next decade, will bring. I believe there is a powerful remnant of the faithful that are storming the Heavens with their prayers and their spiritual strategies to defeat the Enemy's encroachment on the freedoms Christ died to give us. I believe we will see glorious victories. And I believe those victories may well be accompanied by pain and sorrow, just as Christ experienced in His spiritual battles. Just as Jesus experienced, I believe God's called-out ones will become more deliberate targets of the Enemy and his cohorts. There is a flood of deception and lies swirling around us in the world, and we must establish our footing on the solid ground of God's Word and His faithfulness to His promises. Even though we may get tossed around by the winds and currents of deceit, we must stay focused on God's Truth, and the power of Jesus's intercession for us. We can trust Him to fight for us! 

So, let us not be frightened by the efforts of the Enemy to attack our health, steal our carnal security, or destroy our relationship with our Father. Instead, let us see these trials as means to develop and strengthen our spiritual muscles -- producing stamina, endurance, perseverance, and a means to expunge us of our spiritual shortcomings. Through this process, the Bible says we will be made "perfect". And, let us see these trials as a way to walk in true freedom -- letting go of the ties that bind us to this world, and seeking [with like-minded family and friends] only to serve the Lord and trusting Him to accomplish His purpose in our lives! We can count it joy because, through the process, we will be able to walk in true holiness. And that is worth more than any reputation, job, house, dollar amount, or worldly enticement! That is true freedom and my spirit shouts for joy!

James 1:2-4      My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

December 9, 2021

Is The Body of Christ Suffering From Spiritual Inflation? Keep In Mind What God Weighs and Measures!

Inflation is on the minds of Americans these days because we are faced with the declining value of the dollar as the world's currency. And so we are all clear on the economic definition of Inflation, here is a simple definition that I think we can all agree on: Inflation is a general increase in prices; it is a fall in the purchasing value of our money, and resulting in a crippling rise in the cost of living for everyone.

  All of us are experiencing inflation in the world today. What we paid for a loaf of bread, a gallon of gasoline, or a new car last year has increased by 6.2% [according to the NY Times], the fastest rise in 31 years. And just try shopping for toys for Christmas this year! Approximately 80% of all toys worldwide are made in China, and because the value of the dollar is decreasing, it now takes $24 to purchase a toy that cost $15 last year. I am not schooled in economics, but this much I know ... as long as our government prints new money [to cover their deficit spending], and floods the market with worthless paper notes, the value of that paper is going to drop, and it is going to take more of those paper dollars to buy products than it has before.

Here's a bit of history you will find interesting; from 1878 until June 4, 1963, our money had "Silver Certificate" printed above the image of George Washington. That meant you could take a dollar bill into your local bank and exchange it for a silver dollar. That dollar bill was backed by a silver dollar which had real value. That coin was approximately one ounce of silver, at a value equal to the Silver Certificate. But the price of silver was on the rise, beginning in 1961 and soon an ounce of silver was worth more than that $1 dollar bill, so the government began to regulate the price of silver and discontinued the use of Silver Certificates. Our dollar bills now say, "Federal Reserve Note", and sad to say, the redemption of silver certificates into real coins of value was replaced with the issuance of paper money, which has steadily decreased in worth, with nothing to back up its value. For a far more educated discourse on how our money has lost its value, please read this informative article on CoinWorld.com. 

So, while today we might have more money, because workers demand higher wages to pay for the higher prices, the money we have buys less. Consider this: the dollars we earn for hard work have real value - something is exchanged for the monetary note deposited in your bank account. But mixed in with these dollar bills in our economy is all the money simply created by printing presses; the government pushes a button and no value is exchanged for these bills that flood the market. So how does economic understanding of inflation relate to Religious/Spiritual inflation? 

Within our Churches and the Body of Christ, there are millions of Believers who use terms like "born again", Spirit-filled"; "Revival"; "Kingdom". Now, I'm sure you will agree with me that these words and terms have real value; especially if you have a sincere and covenant relationship with the Lord and know the value His Word assigns to each. But what happens when those words become a "catch-phrase" or "buzz-word" and are over-used to describe Christian attributes in a vague or ambivalent fashion by millions of Christians with no real understanding to back their words? Let's say you are in a group of 15 Believers and the question is posed, "What does it mean to be born again"? If ten of that group stand up as mature Christians and give a substantial answer that reflects God's Word and His understanding of that term, then being "born again" has great value to the group. But if you have ten people who each give answers that are different, and which rely on their human interpretation without reference to God's Word, then what value can you assign that term? 

Can we say that the majority of the Body of Christ is Biblically sound in their understanding of Born Again? Yet nearly everyone will declare that they are. What about Justification and Sanctification? What does Redeemed mean? How would they describe Glory? And does the Body understand how, what, and where the Kingdom of God exists today? I agree that it's nice to hear these words in sermons and podcasts, but are they spoken of in terms of God's Truth with Biblical accuracy? Or have they become slogans with nothing of real value backing them? It is the Holy Spirit of God which backs up the true Biblical value of those words and phrases, giving them real worth because we have received the revelation of what it cost to pay for their existence and usage.

Among the warnings that Timothy gives us in the New Testament is the perilous times that will occur in the Last Days... He says [among the various translations] that people will become "lovers of themselves, boastful, proud, swollen with conceit, heady, high-minded, arrogant, puffed up with pride, and scoffers of God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly" (1 Timothy 3:1-5). In other words, they will value themselves and their ways more than understanding and acting in God's ways. They will weigh their self-worth in the Body and not find themselves wanting; they will be satisfied with measuring themselves by their own standards of faith and knowledge. 

But the Bible has a lot to say about weights and measures ... A just balance and scales are the Lord's; all the weights in the bag are His work (Proverbs 16:11) ... A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight (Proverbs 11:1) ... Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Can I tolerate wicked scales and a bag of dishonest weights? (Micah 6:10-11). In other words, I do not believe that God will tolerate an increase in unhealthy, unsound, or flawed representation of His holy precepts. He's not interested in flooding Christianity with a baseless currency of words. It is incumbent upon us as reliable witnesses of His Holiness that we not tolerate the degradation or dilution of His standards and principles. A minimal or barely sufficient understanding of God's commandments will not be adequate. In other words, it will be found scant and cursed, as it says in MicahLet us not flood the Body of Christ with deficient and weakened teachings that do not give the full and immeasurable quality of God, Himself. Let us be wary of the false prophets and teachers who do not demand full accountability of what it means to call ourselves a follower of Christ. 

So, just like the inflation we are facing in our monetary economy, we must be diligent to prevent inflation in our Churches and religious/spiritual organizations. We must back our faith with an understanding that is Biblical; real and tangible; worthy and of substance. The mere use of Biblical terminology does not mean one represents God accurately, just as saying a dollar bill is really worth a dollar. Biblical vocabulary does not guarantee Biblical value. Instead, let us demand more of ourselves and set standards for Biblical understanding, teaching, and leadership that pleases our Father. Let us show the world the true value of faith in Jesus Christ. Let us follow Paul's admonition to the Church at Corinth:  If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know ( I Corinthians 8:2). And Paul addresses the inflated Believer in Galatians 6:3, For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. We have far too much inflationary deception in our world as it is ... in regards to our economy, our government, the media, our educational system, the military, the entertainment industry, and our families. We don't need it in our Christianity! Let's guard against spiritual inflation and keep our faith free of inflated influences.

Thanks to Middletown Bible Church for their teaching on Inflation as one of the "Crises of Our Day".  

Romans 12:3    For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  


September 30, 2021

If You Haven't Penetrated These "Veils of Our Existence", Now Is The Critical Time!

I originally wrote on this topic in 2012, shortly after I launched this site. The post was based on a theory proposed by the late Don Harkin, former Editor of The Idaho Observer.  Mr. Harkin suggested the existence of a world system of Power-Elites that the masses don't comprehend because these Power-Elites have cleverly developed a virtual pasture so green that few people seldom, if ever, bother to look up from where they are grazing to notice that they are being led over the cliff. It was Mr. Harkin's conjecture that there were at least 8 veils of understanding that a person needed to penetrate in order to see the real purpose of our existence.

From that first posting in 2012 to the second posting in 2016, my understanding that each level of these "veils" included spiritual battles had increased exponentially, and I added a "new perspective" to my original perception. I then revised my "perspective" again in 2019, as the realities of our existence were changing dramatically. And now, here we are closing in on 2022, and if the sheeple are still convinced the virtual pasture is as green as ever, it is critical that they be warned before the pasture ceases to exist at all. 

I still think each of these stages exists and is valid, and in order to progress to a higher understanding of just how we are to maneuver through this existence called life, we must be able to pierce each successive veil and move to the next level.  It is part of our human journey on this earth... only now, I believe the human race is running out of time to reach that eighth veil. It's critical to revisit this interesting speculation, and see if we grasp any new revelations that we can add to Mr. Harkins' original conjecture.  If this is not the first time you've read this post on my blog, then I hope you've pierced your way through the veils to true enlightenment. So, let's see how far we've come in the last decade...

The First Veil (2012) = Politics. There are over 7 billion+ people on the planet.  Most of them will live and die without seriously thinking about anything other than what it takes to live and breathe for one more day.  That means that 90% of all humanity will live behind this first veil and never pierce it.  That leaves 10% of us who will vote, be active in our societies and have an opinion.  Our opinions are often shaped by government officials, the Mainstream Media, or other "experts" who claim to be voices of authority.  But of those with an opinion, 90% will never really think for themselves and will adopt the opinion of others, while 10% will pierce the second veil and move forward in their thinking.
     My 2016 Perspective:  All this remains true, but now I see that there are spiritual forces behind those involved in the government, Mainstream Media, and "experts", or voices of authority.  Of those of us within the 10% who form their own opinion, how many understand that politics is not the answer -- that our power will not come from our affiliation with whomever wins elections, but from Jesus Christ?  And what small percentage of that 10% realizes that our time on this earth should not be spent supporting man-made power structures, but using our power from Christ to "do the things He has done, only greater"? (John 14:12).
     My 2019 Perspective: In the last four years I have grown from an understanding that I have spiritual power and authority transferred from my Savior, Jesus Christ, to a revelation that I am a citizen of Heaven and an Ambassador for the Kingdom of God and His government here on earth. I am to be a member of Christ's Ekklesia (governing body of Christians who implement God's laws/government in our culture and nation). I now understand that our 21st Century model of a Church building full of Christians has not accomplished what Christ intended when He trained and equipped His disciples to go into the world and heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse the spiritually unclean, raise the dead, and pread the Gospel of the Kingdom. 

As we approach 2022: The dirty veil of politics has come off, and we see all the ugliness of the Power Elites manipulating the puppets of man-made government. Trust is at an all-time low. Corruption is no longer hidden, and the average citizen's voice is close to being silenced. Tyranny and oligarchy are the governing policies of the day. If you are part of the 90% still stuck in politics as the solution, I fear you're running out of time to reach the 8th veil!

The Second Veil (2012) = History.  Once we've pierced the first veil, there will be 10% of us who will explore the world of history, the relationship between man and government, which will then lead to the meaning of self-government through constitutional and common law.  Ninety percent of this group will live and die without going on to pierce the third veil.
     My 2016 Perspective:  T
he Constitution is no longer my route to real freedom.  Man's laws and self-government will only get me so far.  My true freedom lies in letting Jesus heal my spiritual wounds, and recognizing that I don't have to suffer the "fiery darts" of the Enemy.  The history that consumes me now are the experiences of those -- both from the ancient world, and the modern -- who have learned what it means to transcend the tyranny and oppression from the spiritual realm to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.  That is true freedom.
     My 2019 Perspective: The Constitution is being undermined and usurped as Evil begins to come out from behind the veil and boldly reveal itself. Man-made laws that have governed in times past are ignored and I now understand that if we Christians do not stand up and govern as an Ekklesia, then someone else will write our laws. We can see that in the Colorado law that does not require gender specification on a birth certificate. We are in new [and increasingly terrifying] territory when it comes to what history has shown to be traditional forms of law and government. The gloves are coming off. 

As we approach 2022: We are dangerously close to repeating history because we have not learned the lessons of the past. It's been a short 81 years since the evil at Auschwitz concentration camp was perpetrated upon defenseless Jews. They were subjected to vile medical experiments, with the goal of complete eradication. In the last century, we have seen democratic countries adopt socialistic and communistic models of government, resulting in the disappearance of personal freedoms and liberties. Consider for yourself, how far down those roads we have come.

The Third Veil (2012) = Resources of the World.  Of the group that pierces this veil, 10% of us will come to realize that the masses are controlled by extremely wealthy and powerful families whose old world assets have been manipulated to become the foundation upon which the world's economy is currently indebted.  (Think Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, the Royal Monarchs).  But sadly, 90% of this group will never pierce the fourth veil.
     My 2016 Perspective:  Yes, the masses are controlled by these extremely wealthy and powerful families; and behind them are the spiritual forces of wickedness and evil.  I believe that they have sold their souls for earthly wealth and power that will prove false when the Day of Judgment comes.
     My 2019 Perspective: Those that have held this control are feeling threatened as Jesus's Remnant is awakening to the truth of their power and is fighting back spiritually. Therefore, the Wicked are accelerating their evil through sex trafficking, child sacrifice, and sex rituals, as well as reallocating resources of rare earth minerals to their advantage.

As we approach 2022: Nothing has changed since 2019, except that the battle is even more heated between Good and Evil. With the world trending towards higher dependency on technology, the acquisition of rare earth minerals, which are crucial to the manufacture of many hi-tech products, has become extremely important. Nations like China, Russia, the U.S., India, and Australia are scrambling to increase their reserves, as worries over the supply chain become heightened. In addition, Water is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, with state and federal governments regulating the use of water on private property. Watch for these two resources to be in the headlines.

The Fourth Veil (2012) = The Illuminati, Freemasonry and other secret societies.  There are 10% of us that recognize these societies use symbols and perform ceremonies that transfer mysterious knowledge that is used to keep us ordinary people in political, economic and spiritual bondage to the oldest bloodlines on earth.  This has been seen frequently at Super Bowl halftime shows (Beyonce flashing "the Rockefeller" sign; Madonna sporting symbols of the occult) and during the Grammy's (Nikki Minaj's ode to "Roman", the demon whom she says possesses her).  Just check out the Youtube videos for each of these demonstrations!  But once again, 90% of those who have reached this level of understanding will never pierce the fifth veil.
     My 2016 Perspective:  Boy, has my understanding of this grown in the last few years!  The Lord has shown me just how much devastation has been sown on families steeped in these secret societies.  The oaths and curses taken during secret ritual ceremonies have resulted in great oppression among many Christians, who don't even know these secret societies have permeated their families or their Churches!  And the evidence that these societies have infiltrated our entertainment industry is overwhelming.  I am literally seeing the signs and symbols everywhere I look throughout our culture.  Sadly, I believe that our country is steeped in the occult mysticism associated with these groups, and they are influencing every area of our lives.
     My 2019 Perspective:  These last years have seen Mark and I grow in our ministry of Inner Healing and we certainly have seen an increase in the iniquity in family lines that demonstrate the characteristics of demonic oppression. And it is so much more in the open! People are now willing to reveal the torment they are under and are desperate for a solution. So many people are suffering that it is almost becoming mainstream among our society. So, now we are no longer able to ignore the evil permeating our homes and families. What are we going to do about it? Is the Church willing to finally get on board with the knowledge that evil exists, spiritual warfare is real, and we have to fight back? 

As we approach 2022: From my own perspective, I have added the Anti-Christ Spirit to this phalanx of evildoers. In fact, it is the Anti-Christ Spirit that feeds the hunger for power and wealth and control of the world's populations in these occultic and ungodly organizations. More and more people [including Christians] are becoming educated about what is behind the deceptive images they project. But now is the time to start learning how to defeat them in the spirit. They are so entrenched in the world, that only with the help of God and His strategies, can they be unmasked and exposed for who they ultimately serve.

The Fifth Veil (2012) = Technological advances by these Secret Societies.  I may lose some of you at this point, but I urge you to do your own research and study the Bible in depth.  There are hints of the knowledge behind this fifth veil, but you have to be willing to connect the dots.  There are 10% who make it this far in their understanding who learn that the secret societies are so far advanced technologically that they are able to do things that were considered science fiction just decades ago.  The inventions of Ray Kurzweil and his prediction of "man's singularity with computers" is an example of such advanced technology.  But what's interesting is that this technology is actually ancient, and compares to what Nimrod was trying to accomplish at the Tower of Babel; namely to become like God. Are we getting dangerously close to that concept again?  Nearly 90% will never get beyond this understanding to the sixth veil.
     My 2016 Perspective:  To say that technology has surpassed science fiction is putting it mildly.  Human-animal hybrids are being created in Great Britain, and a surgeon plans to reanimate human corpses.  Books are being written that tell us immortality is accessible to everyone, outside of any religious worldview.  Inventors and artists openly admit that they are "channeling" spiritual sources of knowledge.  All this is being downloaded from entities in the spiritual realm to control and deceive the human race.  We better understand who we're dealing with.
     My 2019 Perspective: It's just more of the same and at a faster pace. Pedophilia and child pornography rings use technology to spread their evil; people are so intrigued with getting their technology "fix" quicker and easier, that we have gone from cell phones to watches, and implants can't be far behind. There is still talk of moving our brains to "the Cloud", and Siri and Alexa know everything we say and do. How long until we're dealing with the real-life scenario portrayed in 1984's Terminator movie? 

As we approach 2022: It is my personal discernment that these secret power-hungry Elites are so covetous of world domination that they will explore greater technological advantages to overpower and destroy populations to maintain their wealth and control. Nanotechnology, neural link technology, and all kinds of emerging technologies that we haven't even heard of yet, will soon be unleashed on millions of unsuspecting humans. Stay educated!

The Sixth Veil (2012) = Aliens and Monsters may be real.  It is going to take a huge leap for the 10% who get to this level of understanding.  But if you study your Bible closely, you will see mention of fallen angels mating with earthly women to give birth to Nephalim (Giants) (Genesis 6:4 and 2 Samuel 21:20, for example).  There are many modern-day Biblical scholars who are prepared to say that the minotaurs of old and the UFO and alien sightings of today are evidence of these fallen angels.
     My 2016 Perspective:  My, how far we've come in these last three-and-a-half years!  The growth of the remnant of the Church who understands the truth of Genesis 6 has been astounding!  I know that there are "spiritual monsters" and they are called demons.  I have encountered them in deliverance sessions, and seen them stare out of the eyes of people who had no idea they were being oppressed by them.  Savage and brutal and bizarre attacks upon people are increasing and are evidence that the Enemy is bringing the spiritual battle to our physical world.  Although, yes, these demons are real, we should have no fear because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
     My 2019 Perspective: I think perhaps the most surprising new revelation I have received in the last nearly four years is the cooperation between evil men and Satan's demonic forces. TV shows like Stranger Things may appear to be a form of conspiracy entertainment, but it is based on real-life government experiments in the so-called Montauk Project, involving space, time, and opening portals into other dimensions -- which, naturally leads to the question of what is coming through those portals and are Christians awake and prepared to do battle in these spiritual realms?

As we approach 2022:  Again, I reiterate that the Anti-Christ Spirit is active in the world, and he is preparing the way for the Beast to make his appearance on the earth. And that preparation includes demons and forces of evil to infiltrate the human race, governments, and even the Church. If anyone still thinks these entities are not real, all I can say is, Heaven help them -- because they're about to need it!

The Seventh Veil (2012) = Peace of the Lord.  If you have made it this far and can conceive of the concepts behind the sixth veil, then perhaps you can see that what waits for us behind the seventh.  It's hard to imagine, but I can foresee a small group of people whose soul and spirit is so evolved that they can exist on this earth, yet be unafraid of the evil that abounds in this realm.  The only way I can describe it is to have such peace from God that you are unafraid of death.
     My 2016 Perspective:  Actually, my perspective has moved in a new direction on this veil.  It's not such a small group that sees the evil ascending on the earth from the second heaven, or spiritual realm.  These last few years has seen an amazing growth in this knowledge within the Body of Christ.  It's as if the Holy Spirit has done a massive data dump upon Christians!  We not only know and discern this spiritual warfare, but we also have been given the knowledge that we have the Authority of Jesus to fight [in this war] through the Power of the Holy Spirit.  And that's where our Peace comes from... knowing that we can rebuke the devil and he will flee; knowing that the Lord is our banner in this fight and goes before us; and we know that Jesus will not only never leave us nor forsake us, but He who began a good work in us will complete it.  That is called Peace!
     My 2019 Perspective: This knowledge of supernatural peace has only grown! Once again, I am seeing panic among the general public, and even among some of the "religious" Christians, as they once again sense that the noose is tightening around our comfortable way of life. But those of us who pierced the previous six veils have journeyed for awhile now in the peace that only comes from understanding [and accepting] that evil will increase before Jesus comes back to administer His swift justice. In what might be perceived as an unorthodox mindset, we actually receive the certainty of advancing evil as a sign that our Lord is near to returning. We are ready and both physically and spiritually prepared. We are no longer restive in the midst of the anticipation of evil, but are serene and calm in the certainty of our victory.

As we approach 2022: Actually, I'm seeing the Body of Christ being divided into two spiritual camps. After coming to the knowledge that Ephesians 6 is true, and that we are in a spiritual battle, this first group has been so spiritually devastated by the chaos, fear, and death associated with the pandemic of C-19, that they want to retreat to a status of Prayer Warriors. Nothing wrong with that! We certainly need intercessors and people to lift our prayers to the throne of God. But they struggle to find their Peace in the Lord. But the second group that is in the spiritual battle have come to realize that we cannot drop our guard; that we have to take the fight to the Enemy; and that this is the time to dedicate our lives to the cause of the Kingdom. There is Peace in knowing that we were created for a time such as this, and Jesus will equip us to go farther in our strategies than ever before! There is Peace in knowing He is that close!

That brings us to Harkin's Eighth veil (2012), which can only be the pure energy, authority and life force that is God.  We can only hope to tap into that Power, and I think the closest we can come to that is to seek a personal, intimate relationship with the One True God, the Ruler of the Universe and abide in Him.
     My 2016 Perspective:  Yes, a personal, intimate relationship is necessary to tap into that Power, but it is incumbent upon each of us to know that it is available to us.  We are not to be mindless robots, sitting idly by waiting for God to win this war all by Himself.  We are created in His image, exhorted to imitate Christ, and called to an inheritance in Christ.  He dwells in us!  That energy, authority and life force are not to be squandered, but used to gain ground in defeating the Enemy in our lives!
     My 2019 Perspective: The knowledge that we are to have a personal, intimate relationship with Christ is now seen through an entirely new lens. He is our King, and we serve Him in His kingdom here on earth. He is our model, and we are to hear and see His directives on managing this earth, just as He followed everything the Father showed and told Him. This picture of citizenship in the Kingdom of God on earth still includes love, compassion, mercy, and grace ... but it has expanded to taking back territory from the kingdom of darkness in people's lives. Mankind was given dominion over the earth at our creation, and it is time we step into that mandate and take up our mantle of authority, using the power of Heaven through the Holy Spirit. who resides in us. 

As we approach 2022: With all that we have endured these last two years since a global pandemic engulfed the human race, it is hard to understand how anyone could not be seeking God. He, alone is our answer to the Evil that is coming hard and fast against us. And it is not partial to whom it destroys. So, if people are not closing in on piercing through to this last veil, then I can only think how hopeless and scary the world must seem. And for all of us who have arrived at this pinnacle of understanding, it weighs heavy on our hearts and spirits to see people who are still positioned at the first or third, or even the fifth veil. 

Because, with each veil of understanding that is pierced, the number of people "who see" gets exponentially smaller.  When I first wrote this blog post nearly 10 years ago, I saw mainly through "worldly" eyes.  I was focused on "the low information voter", and the gullible citizens who I saw as useful idiots and tools of the state.  I actually thought my vote really mattered and changing the politics of the nation would solve the world's problems.  I didn't see the spiritual component.

When I reassessed my understanding in 2016, I can honestly say that I believed I was at that Eighth veil, and I was so grateful to my Lord and the Holy Spirit for helping me to see through the murkiness of the veils and how they obscured my vision of God's Truth.  I saw that my existence here on earth was more than just this physical realm, and my victory in this life depended on my readiness to work with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do battle in the spiritual realms.  I truly knew that I did not battle against flesh and blood, but had the Authority and Power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to free myself of spiritual bondage.

Then, in 2019, I had grown to realize that my comprehension of that eighth veil was rudimentary. Yes, it was important to know the true intent of Jesus's Great Commission for us Believers. And, yes, it is not only our privilege, but our responsibility to work with Him and the Holy Spirit to "set the captives free" from their demonic bondage to Satan's lies. But we aren't to stop there. Once we are free, we are to use that energy, authority, and life force that is "God in us" to continue the purpose that Jesus came for -- to re-establish this earth and its inhabitants under the governmental authority of the Kingdom of God.

But I did not foresee how quickly and destructively the Enemy would partner with evil men to try to bring about an apocalypse and initiate the mass extermination of millions of people. They're like sharks in the water, and they taste blood. So, it is imperative that we humans fight the fear that is being engendered, and put on our spiritual armor. We are literally in a battle for the earth -- it's the kingdom of darkness against the Kingdom of Light. Not only is the destiny of this current world at stake, but every single person's eternal destiny is at risk. It is to be won or lost depending on the decisions and the actions you make today! It's critical that we push through these veils of understanding and reach the summit -- and then help others to push through for their personal victory. It's not too late, but the time is short, and it is the most critical time of our lives!

2 Corinthians 3:16   But the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see.

April 30, 2021

Why Paul's Letter to the Colossians Is Also Meant For Us


One of my favorite times during my day is when I join my husband in our time in the Word. We each curl up with our Bibles, independently engaging with Scripture for deeper revelation of the God we serve. Please don't think we see ourselves as doctrinal experts or somehow singled out by the God of the Universe to be the recipients of knowledge otherwise undisclosed. On the contrary; we simply delight in those light-bulb moments when we discover something new in a verse or passage that we've read multiple times before, and we come to the realization that God just shined His light on a new precept that aids in the growth and maturity of our faith. What follows is the excitement of sharing that with each other, and with those who "have ears to hear". 

So, I'm afraid you're in for another "spotlight moment" as I share where the Lord led me today. As sometimes happens, I began in the Book of John [which is where I've been focusing my study the last few weeks], but ended up in the short book of Colossians. To be honest, I don't know how or why God led me there, or how the two are connected. But once in Paul's letter to the church at Colossae, I was struck that he emphasized that his letter should be read to the church at Laodicea also. He mentions it several times. Of course, I instantly recognized that Laodicea is pictured as the "church of the End Times", or the state of the church right before Jesus returns -- and I probably don't need to remind you, that He is not particularly pleased with it. So, I wanted to see what Paul had to say in the four-chapter epistle to the Colossians, which he wanted the Laodicean church to be especially aware of. 

Would I recognize the warnings to Colossae and Laodicea as relevant to the Body of Christ today? I warn you ... today's post is heavy with Scripture, but I think it is worth our time to consider that what Paul meant to be read to the physical church of Laodicea in the First Century is also meant for the spiritual Laodicean church in the Twenty-First Century. May we take note of our true spiritual condition!

Colossians 1:9-14. Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 10 We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; 11 by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience; 12 and by giving thanks with joy to the Father. He made it so you could take part in the inheritance, in light granted to God’s holy people. 13 He rescued us from the control of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 He set us free through the Son and forgave our sins.

This is what is pleasing to the Lord: to be filled with the knowledge of God's will and possessing His wisdom and understanding so that we bear fruit in the works we do for Him. It pleases Him when we increase in the knowledge of God; when we walk in His power and authority; when we are patient and endure with joy; when we thank our Father for moving us into the Kingdom of Light; and we thank Jesus for redeeming us and forgiving us! According to Revelation 3:14-22, the Laodicean church didn't even come close to what Paul described as pleasing to the Lord. In fact, Jesus says He knows their works and they make Him sick; He wants to spew them out of His mouth [vomit]! 

So, I ask you, as we examine where the church has gone in our lifetime, do you think Jesus is happy with the fruit we've borne for His Kingdom? Have we represented Him well? Does abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism, and child trafficking speak of Him [or our effectiveness in influencing the world]? Is all of that what the Light of the world looks like? Paul intended for his words to call the church of his day to account for their faith and their actions. (And yes, faith should include action)! We must take a good hard look at ourselves in our day!

Colossians 1:15-16. He Son is the image of the invisible God, the one who is first over all creation, 16 Because all things were created by him: both in the heavens and on the earth, the things that are visible and the things that are invisible. Whether they are thrones or powers, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him.

I believe this passage has great power in what it reveals, but I also believe it has been lost on this generation. It represents the wisdom and spiritual understanding that Paul says pleases the Lord, and which the First Century believers were willing to pursue. It reveals a bigger picture of the spiritual realms and Christ's position in regards to them [which I do not think the 21st Century Church grasps or understands; the same fault is found in the Church at Laodicea]. The central point of this passage is that Christ is over all things ... whether in Third Heaven (thrones), Second Heaven (powers; also called dominions], or First Heaven (rulers and authorities). These are all orders of angels in the Celestial spheres, and they can be Godly angels or fallen angels, loyal to Satan. The modern Church's refusal to acknowledge that that these are spiritual beings [in either obedience or opposition to Christ] leaves the Body of Christ ignorant of their own power and defenseless against the power of the dark side. Failure to understand this precept, denies the Pre-eminence of Christ over them all!

Colossians 1:26, 2:2-3. In these selected verses, Paul refers to "the mystery hidden for ages and generations, but now revealed to his saints", and again, "that [your] hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge".  

Here is what Paul meant for the churches at Colossae and Laodicea to understand: there is no longer any mystery or impediment to understanding God. He has revealed Himself through Christ (whom many in the First Century Church encountered in the flesh, and those in this century meet through Christ in us). Christ has opened the door for us, and because we know Him, we can have full understanding and knowledge of God, because He is God!  The treasures that the knowledge of Him give us are no longer hidden, but available to those who are willing to seek Him and receive His revelations. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of men [kings] to search it out [Proverbs 25:2]. 

And if we don't make the effort to gain a full understanding of God, then it should not surprise us that God says, My people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). God continues His thoughts in Hosea: Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Let's be clear in our understanding -- when people reject HIS knowledge in favor of their man-made knowledge and religion, then God sees us as unfit to carry His message forward as His priest [which is the state of the End-Times Laodicean Church]. That church has forgotten "the law", which means the precepts and teachings of Christ. They are in danger of being forgotten by God.

Can you see that the End-Times Church of Laodicea was no longer walking in those "riches of full understanding and knowledge"? They were focused on the riches brought to them by their identity as a world banking center, producer of luxurious woolen garments, and their prosperous drug industry connected to the medical school there. Sound familiar?  They were focused on money, prosperity, and drugs, and apparently had lost the power and passion of their first love. Jesus accused them of thinking, "‘I’m rich, and I’ve grown wealthy, and I don’t need a thing.'  Could His indictment, "You don’t realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked" be applied to the Church today? 

• And finally, Colossians 2:8-15, 20-23. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.... If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

I think Paul makes it quite clear that our faith is more than a philosophy. It is a life! It is not based on having knowledge of abstract principles [such as "God is love"], but it is a personal knowledge coming from real, physical experiences of the love of God through an intimate [and active] relationship with Jesus. That "experiential knowledge" of God's precepts surpasses "the elemental spirits of the world", which are meant only for this sphere. They are meant only for elementary education (as children on milk) and intended to prepare us for higher learning. Yet how many Christians today have stopped growing, satisfied in the elemental [or basic] understandings of their faith?

Notice that in verse 20, Paul reminds the churches of Colossae and Laodicea that in Christ, they have died to these "elemental spirits of the world". He means the worldly knowledge is to be replaced with spiritual knowledge gained through a life spent experiencing Jesus and God -- not "according to human precepts and teachings"; nor through "self-made religion and ascesticism"(a doctrine that adheres to strict regulation as the means to achieving a higher spiritual state). If we are honest with ourselves, we must acknowledge that the modern church is steeped in man-made religion and traditions, developed to control the flesh (including our minds and our actions/works for the Kingdom) and to appear spiritual. But the only way to greater spiritual knowledge is to commit to growing in wisdom through experiencing God and Christ in the spirit -- not in a "head knowledge" that limits the power and jurisdiction of God to transform mankind.

There is a remnant in the Body of Christ today who understands what Jesus meant when He said, "Those who believe in Me will do the works that I do; and even greater works than these will he do"... (John 14:12). We know what it means to walk in the power of Christ in us, and through the Holy Spirit, to defeat demons, heal the sick, call on the heavenly host to battle on our behalf. We know what is is to go before the throne of God and meet with His magnificent Presence. We know the very real power of prayer and fasting to take the fight to the Enemy at a higher level. We know all this because we have experienced it! We do not allow the restrictions of religious regulations or traditions [established in the preceding centuries] to stop us from fulfilling John 14:12. 

We know that the Bible reveals the falling away and the apostasy that precedes the moment God's cup of wrath is full to the brim. We recognize the signs. And we rejoice in our assignments to continually represent Him and His Kingdom; serving Him and our fellow man, so that no man can say we did not share the Good News of our glorious riches and heavenly inheritance coming from our relationship with Christ. We testify to the modern Church that we will be conquerors! It is time for all who profess faith in our Lord to leave the traditions and teachings of man behind, and walk in both true experiential knowledge of Christ and spiritual wisdom. We heed the instructions of Jesus to the Church of Laodicea and we look forward to ruling and reigning with Him in the Millennial Kingdom! Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 3:21-22    The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 



February 4, 2021

Learning To Trust My Human Spirit's Connection to God's Spirit

I was recently asked to participate in an 8-week exploration of the relationship between my human spirit and God's Spirit. I know, to many of you, that might be an unfamiliar [or even uncomfortable] turn of phrase. If, in your history of being born as a new creation in Christ, you were not taught that we are a three-part being (body, soul, and spirit), then you might be unaware that you even possess a human spirit. I know I did not have that knowledge for many years in my relationship with Christ. In fact, without that knowledge, I would submit to you that it is difficult to have a real relationship with the One who saved us. 

You might have been raised in a church that didn't differentiate between soul or spirit; and you might even believe that they are the same. But Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "May your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Here, Scripture makes it clear that they are separate parts of us. And we know that God says we are made in His image, and the actual form of His Being is Spirit. So there is a component of our design that is spirit, and was made to resemble Him. But what does that look like for us? How does that figure into our relationship with our Father in Heaven? And what is the purpose and reason for our human spirit? 

Well, I will tell you that it should be the desire of all humankind to mature and develop in their human spirit so that we can think and act righteously on behalf of our Creator and our Savior. But we can't do it on our own! I'm not a theologian, so excuse my simple explanation, but I believe that when we are conceived in the flesh, there is a spark at conception in which God's Divine Spirit (with a capital "S") is transferred to our mother's fertilized egg and our human spirit becomes part of our DNA and is present as we are born into the world. But because we are born into sin, we don't have any experience or relationship with our human spirit because it is separated from God's Divine Spirit. 

But when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our human spirit is regenerated/revived/renewed as it mingles with God's Spirit. That is when we are literally "reborn" as a true spirit being, with the potential to grow into an intimate relationship with God as we mature in our faith. Now we are able to hear from Him and experience Him in ways that those who don't have that connection will never know! I want you to take Romans 8:16 to heart and experience how your spirit responds when you read, For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as He whispers into our innermost being [spirit], “You are God’s beloved child!” That should encourage and embolden us as we come to the knowledge that we are no longer separated from our Heavenly Father but are now joined to the Lord as one spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)! 

For me, the revelation that my spirit is now connected to and resides with Jesus's Spirit [as one], comes with the realization that I am not to become lazy, if you will, in my spirit; but I am to exercise it and use it to stay joined to Him in all things. This is a very simplistic way to describe this truth, but it's like exercising our physical muscles. If we don't use them, then we lose our flexibility and our ability to move in our environment with ease and strength; our physical health suffers. If we don't exercise our spirit's union with God's Spirit, then we lose that connection with Him in the spiritual realm, and our power and authority [in being one with Him] becomes weaker and less able to battle against the devil's spiritual attacks. But just like physical exercise, it must become a habit -- such a natural part of our everyday existence that we don't feel alive if we aren't experiencing it.  

I will also tell you that for a long time I tried to compare the experiences of my spirit with the Lord's Spirit to the experiences of other Christians. Please do not fall pray to that temptation from the devil! Somehow, I had believed the lie that the connection between my spirit and the Lord's had to be dramatic and physically impactful and powerfully exhibited. Now, it most certainly can be, but it doesn't have to meet any particular standard or follow a specific pattern. Remember, Jesus is our model, and the Bible never tells us that when Jesus's human spirit was connected to the Father's Spirit, that it was always earth-shattering. In fact, I believe that Jesus simply came to know the Father's heart and was able to communicate, spirit to Spirit, in simple and uncomplicated ways. In fact, it was such a natural part of their relationship, that I believe it became indistinguishable from the simple act of breathing or drinking or eating -- we need it to survive! His Spirit is life-giving to our spirit!

So, once I came to the truth that I simply need to give my spirit permission to experience a connection that can be as easy as calling out His Name, I was able to experience Him responding to my cry and learn to trust that He was always available. And it changed the way I related to Him! He was no longer that somewhat remote, towering, superhuman, unapproachable hero that I felt unworthy to be bothering with my human troubles. He was my brother, my confidante, my protector, my friend, my rescuer, my Savior and my King! He is all I need in this life and eternally.  Whether my spirit prays in my personal time with Him, or I praise Him in a corporate gathering; whether I'm reading His Word out loud as I exalt Him, or singing and dancing in response to the joy my spirit is experiencing in His presence; and whether I'm thanking Him for all He's done in my life, or crying out for more of Him ... I have learned to trust that His Spirit is connected to mine -- even when I don't get an immediate [or any] response. It's simply the knowing that there is a secure and certain connection between my spirit and His Spirit that defines who I am and whose I am. 

So, if you don't think you have that trusted connection, do what I did. Ask for it! Ask to experience what it's like to connect your human spirit with our Lord's Spirit. And the beautiful thing is you get three-for-one! You have access to the Father's Spirit and His Holy Spirit, and you are one with all of them, as they are one with each other. You don't have to go through what the world is experiencing, feeling disconnected and adrift; at the whim of the devil's strategies to keep you separated from the most incredibly Divine relationship that any human being could ever desire. Learn to trust your spirit. The connection was made when you accepted Christ as your Savior. Now experience all that this connection has to offer you! 

Galatians 6:18   Finally my beloved ones—may the wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, be flowing in your spirit. So shall it be!