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

Showing posts with label The Supernatural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Supernatural. Show all posts

March 10, 2024

What Spiritual Warfare On Behalf of the Kingdom of God Looks Like

In case you haven't noticed, we are in the midst of a serious and profound spiritual war. At the very heart of this concept is our understanding that there has been an eternal war between God, the Creator of the Universe and all that is in it, and His Enemy, Satan, whose pride led him to rebel against God and seek ownership of all creation. In case you doubt the reality of spiritual warfare, the evidence of this supernatural conflict can be seen in the evil and lawlessness among mankind; the present war posturing in the physical world; and everything in our midst that is counter to God's will.

Whenever I've brought up the subject of "spiritual warfare", I get one of several reactions. There are some Christians who react out of fear. They have been influenced by movies like The Exorcist or the slew of demonic films that feed our sense of being vulnerable and powerless against monsters and demons from the pit of hell. Then there are those who are at the other extreme; they refuse to recognize that spiritual warfare is real, and also unavoidable. They chalk it up to radical Christians who see a demon behind every bad thing that happens to people. Of course, there are also people [both Christian and nonbelievers] who simply do not believe in the supernatural or existence of spirits in this earthly realm.

The Apostle Paul clearly states some very clear principles regarding spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-12. First, it is assumed that we recognize that we are actually in a spiritual war -- a war waged from the spiritual realms by spiritual beings! Then he points out these realities about our position in this war ... 1) We can find our strength [to fight and win!] in the Lord and His mighty power; 2) The Lord has given us battle armor to protect us as we fight defensively and offensively; 3) The enemy we fight does not look like us -- it is not of human flesh and blood, but of spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, we cannot fight and defend from our human abilities. We must learn to battle with supernatural authority from God.

I think part of our problem is that the world does not believe in or embrace either the Great Commission that our Lord and Savior gave us to thwart the schemes of the devil to claim lives for his dark kingdom, or in our supernatural authority to defeat him. It's easy to see those schemes that kill, steal, and destroy lives ... iniquity in the family bloodline (such as molestation and sexual abuse); addictions; disease; emotional and psychological attacks; anything that creates low self-esteem, among many others. 

Jesus gave us the example of what His blood would eventually buy for us -- the ability to overcome those schemes through our spiritual relationship with Him and the commission He made available to us. [NOTE: our commission from Christ means that we have authority to perform a task or certain duties that He instructs and commands us to do. See Matthew 28:16-20, and Mark 16:14-19, keeping in mind that this passage uses idioms that would have been known to the hearers in that time period]. Sometimes He dealt with a demon and cast it out of a person. Sometimes, He simply declared that they were healed and washed clean. Other times He spit in His hand and made mud out of the dirt and applied it to a man's eyes. All of these examples are part of the Great Commission to His followers and disciples, and are forms of spiritual warfare.  

But the important thing to note is that Jesus took control over Satan's strategy to enslave that person, and set Jesus them free through the power of Heaven. That's what it can look like for us, too, when we enter His Kingdom here on earth and receive His strategies so that we can overcome Satan's. But, too often, we react to Satan's game plan instead of taking control of the situation in the power of the Lord. And our most common reaction is FEAR.

But did you know that Satan actually fears US because he knows we were created to rule over him? Satan knows that Jesus brought the Father's Kingdom government to the earth at His First Coming. And He knows those who have entered that Kingdom domain as citizens, and the spiritual authority they have been given. Therefore, Satan is intimidated by our intimate relationship with the Creator, which is why he tries to get us to accept fear in the battle. But when we refuse to step into that spiritual place of fear, and recognize if for the trap that it is, the devil knows his defeat is imminent.

 He recognizes that we are confident in our authority as Kingdom representatives and in the Lord's power. Satan realizes we are poised for victory! As part of our battle plan, we must always cling to God's promises, surround ourselves with people of strong faith, and be encouragers by sharing our testimonies of how the Lord has led us to triumph over the enemy. Remembering our history of victories in the Lord encourages us, too, and is a great practice to get into!

And it is important to come to the realization that God is never going to put us in a situation or send us into a spiritual battle that is above our level of obedience. He will not subject us to something over our heads, causing us to turn from our commission. He wants to see us win! If we are committed to fighting a battle for the Kingdom of God, in the center of His will and out of righteous obedience, then He will equip us to win. It's when we step outside that safe place of His will, that we receive self-inflicted war wounds. 

So, I just want to reiterate how important it is for the Body of Christ to not only be aware of the spiritual war that is waging all around us, but to get into battle mode -- be obedient to the instructions and will of the Lord; and be ready to fight both offensively and defensively, as He leads you. Be so confident in your victory, and the ability of your armor to protect you, that the Enemy cowers in fear of you, knowing you will not only recognize his strategies, but have the power of the Lord behind you to defeat him ... the power of His blood that bought your salvation; the Lord's righteousness as your breastplate; God's Truth as your belt; the readiness to always spread the Gospel of Peace as your shoes; your faith [and God's faithfulness to you]  as your shield; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

I want to leave you with the wise words of Pastor Bill Johnson on this subject of spiritual warfare: We were born in a war. There are no time-outs, no vacations, no leaves of absence. The safest place is in the center of God's will, which is in a place of deep intimacy. There He allows only the battles to come our way that we are equipped to win. Not only is this the safest place, it is the most joyful place for each believer. Outside of intimacy, we are likely to miss the greatest event on earth ... the finale and climax of His Kingdom on earth! 

Remember: we were born for a time such as this. All the mayhem and chaos we see in the world is not going to go away, "if we just try to get along". But we need not fear! We have the resources of Heaven that have been made available to us to ensure our victory, on earth and in the spiritual realms. Christ's blood covers us in the present spiritual war, and those to come! 

2 Thessalonians 3:3   But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you [setting you on a firm foundation] and will protect and guard you from the evil one.

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].               


May 4, 2018

The Enemy Has Stolen God's Omnificense!

     I know what you're thinking.... she has spelled the word wrong. Doesn't she mean God's Omnipotence, or His Omniscience, or perhaps she meant to say His Omnipresence. No, I want to talk about Jehovah God's Omnificense. You've never heard that word, let alone heard it used to describe God? Don't worry. I hadn't either until I listened to a teaching by Pastor Henry W. Wright, who is also a Doctor of Christian Therapeutic Counseling. The teaching was on the spiritual roots of Disease and Illnesses, but it was his use of that word Omnificense to describe God's Nature that intrigued me and has taken me on a path of discovery.
     You see, it is his assertion that this word was once included in Christian doctrine among the familiar characteristics used to describe God -- His Holiness (He is separate from all moral defilement and abhors it); His Righteousness (He will not tolerate sin); His Sovereignty (He is supreme above all things); His Eternal Nature (He is infinite and had no beginning; His existence will never end);  His Omniscience (He is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-seeing); His Omnipresence (He is present everywhere); His Omnipotence (He is all-powerful); and His Immutability (He never changes; He is always reliable and trustworthy). And there are many more desciptors of our Father in Heaven: Incomparable, Just, Divine, Faithful.... the list goes on and on.
     But when I discovered the word Omnificense and its meaning, I cannot ignore its implications for our Father in Heaven. It means "creating all things; having unlimited powers of creation".  Isn't that an appropriate description of our Creator? And although my research could find no instance of its use in English translation Bibles, I could find reference as it pertains to our God in -- of all places -- a website discussing the Super Powers of Marvel Comics! And if you're unaware, the superheroes of Marvel Comics have captured the imaginations of our children with box office megahit movies featuring Spiderman, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and antagonists like Doctor Doom, the Red Skull, the Green Goblin, Thanos, and Loki. Furthermore, according to the Super Powers website, these "superheroes" even have their own universe, and the characters that possess Omnificense "can create anything without limits, including concepts, existence, reality, and even the totality itself. They can also create from nothing or even create one thing from another, such as manifesting an image from a comic book, creating life from the dead, and duplicating anything. The user can create basically anything they choose on an unlimited scale".
     It is astounding to read what this counterfeit image of God as Creator in this counterfeit universe is believed to be able to do: create dimensions; generate energy; create life and matter; create portals, create universes; create weapons. There is even an ability called Omnificense Genesis, which is "the power to create an unlimited amount of anything from the user's own essence." By now, you should be seeing that the Enemy has found a way to capture the imaginations of our kids with images of false gods (euphemistically called super-heroes) by imitating the very nature of the One True God.
    And if you think I am taking this way too seriously, let me give you a run-down of the "Users" of Omnificense power in this false reality... at the very top, in the number one position is God, as noted in the Abrahamic Religions! In the number two position is The Dragon, followed by The-One-Above-All, Presence, Michael Demiurgos (in Gnosticism, Demiurge is a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being, that is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual); God (as represented in Bruce Almighty - a human version); Haruhi Suzumiya (a popular female character in Japanese animation who possesses unconscious god-like abilities to change, destroy, and reshape reality to her desires); Users of the True Word; and the Choushin (a trio of super-dimensional deities responsible for the creation of the multiverse and all of the higher dimensions of existence. They are essentially Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, only surpassed by Kami Tenchi. The Choushin consist of Washu, Tsunami, and Tokimi -- also Japanese animation). I could give you more names such as Demon Lord; Snake of the Festival; Spawn, the Mother of All Things; and Doctor Monty of Call of Duty and Black Ops III. But I think you get the idea.

     Is this giving anyone else the creeps? And can you see the design the Enemy has on our impressionable children? What kid, in this technologically advanced world where everyone is just trying to be seen, doesn't want to identify with a super-hero? The sad thing is this generation is totally unaware that the only authentic "User" of this super power of Omnificense is actually represented in this false universe -- the God of the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism and Christianity) is real. All the others are false. But unfortunately, the One True God has been reduced to just one of a couple dozen false gods. 
     The fact that the Omnificense of YHWH has been lost to our faith, while it has been resurrected in a false universe and reality, should give us all pause -- as well as alert us to the danger of this rise in popularity of Movie Superheroes. It shouldn't surprise us that the devil has found a way to imitate the very essence of YHWH as Supreme Creator, and repackaged Him in a plethora of tempting and exciting superheroes to feed our culture's addiction to entertainment.  
     Besides the obvious counterfeiting of and fraudulent imitation of YHWH's unique power, these movie characters are providing a door into the supernatural for those kids (and adults) who are looking for ways to escape their "boring" existence. Little do they know, that is a portal into the demonic realm. So I caution you to be aware of what may seem like a harmless movie or cartoon to stimulate the imagination. We must be ever vigilant to see the transparent schemes of our Enemy, and return the title of OMNIFICENT GOD to its rightful owner.

1 Chronicles 29:11    Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all.

November 15, 2017

A New Season of New Assignments

     After attending the Christian Warriors retreat for female military veterans, and spending hours in conversations with new and old friends who have been called to a new understanding of our place and duties in the Kingdom of God, I am coming to a new realization that I think God is about to do something completely different in the Body of Christ.
     I can't explain it, but I have a heightened sense that those of us who are being called out of the traditional model of service to our God are going to be given new assignments that will greatly advance the Kingdom.  First of all, just in my own experience, I have been able to step back and see that how I view my faith is worlds apart from what it was just four years ago.  Then, I was content to accept the doctrines of the denomination I attended without question, and without any real interest to go beyond the surface level of understanding His character, His will, or His nature.  I didn't even understand that He desired to partner with me, or what I could possibly do for Him.  I admit He was somewhat of a distant fatherly figure whom I didn't really know.
     But He changed all that because He had an assignment for me.  Why He felt I was worthy of being called, I couldn't have told you at the time.  But the ensuing years have been nothing less than astounding in regards to how I view our relationship now.  I will tell you that for me, my faith has evolved into one that is completely Christ-centered.  Oh, I knew John 3:16 in my prior Christian life, but I cannot say I knew Jesus.  But now when I declare that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, I mean it and I live it.  He is literally at the center of everything I do.  He has invaded my soul and spirit and nothing is more important than serving Him in obedience.
     When I read the Bible now, I see Him on every page, in both Old and New Testaments -- not just in the red letters of the four Gospels. He is at the center of the Bible; He IS the Word! And although I was introduced four years ago to the concept of Christ's delegated power and authority to all Believers, this concept is now a guiding principle by which I live out my faith.  And it is exciting to see more and more of my brothers and sisters in Christ embracing this same mandate from our Lord.
     Perhaps even more exciting is the acceptance of the supernatural in our faith lives.  I have been saying for the last few years that the Bible is a supernatural Book and we serve a supernatural God. What's more, the Supernatural permeated the lives of Jesus and His Disciples and Apostles. But it seemed to me that the only ones who were willing to accept and espouse the supernatural were those who engaged it from the dark side.  Not anymore!  Christians are coming into their authentic identities as spirit children of a God who is spirit, and we are no longer skeptical or afraid of letting Jesus and the Holy Spirit work through us [and with us] supernaturally.
     And this all results with us being able to identify more with Christ.  After all, the Bible tells us we are being changed into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), and we will, in all things, grow up into Christ (Ephesians 4:15).  And with our new identity in Christ, we grow into a desire to empower others to come into their true identities.  No longer are we satisfied to just be a part of a group called Christians, but rather, we desire to fulfill our destinies as designed by our Creator from the foundations of the world. We are no longer pleased to just bide our time on earth until God calls us home.  Instead, we want to actively carry out our assignments to advance the Kingdom until Jesus returns.
     Up until now, I believe that Jesus has been training us for these all-important assignments.  I believe that it will soon be revealed what part each of us will play in the Master Plan to defeat the Enemy's evil moves.  I do not think that it is by accident that we have discovered how to release people from the bondage of Satan, or that we have the capabilities to heal and cast out demons, just as Jesus and the first century Church did.  I believe the revelations of these truths that we have been receiving in recent months and years is just the beginning.  Jesus is going to give us the keys to unlock so much more that hinders us from achieving the fullness of God's Kingdom here on earth.
     Things that haven't quite made sense, aren't in alignment, or that seem to be veiled will come into full view, and we will have no hesitation about stepping into our roles as co-heirs with Christ.  In other words, we need to get ready for a major shift in how we operate in this realm as the spirit children of God.  I don't know exactly what that looks like, but my spirit is telling me to get ready.  I already recognize a remnant that is forming into a cohesive group of willing Disciples for the advancement of the Kingdom. We have all independently been transformed and are now coming together under the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit, being provided with wisdom and knowledge for what will be coming.  I feel it in my spirit; it's a new season for new assignments, and it will all be for the glory of YHWH.  It's an amazing time to be alive!

1 Corinthians 7:17   "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches."

August 29, 2017

"It Is Finished!"

     These are the last recorded words of Jesus as He died on the Cross.  They only appear in the Gospel of John, yet any Christian who is well-schooled in the Bible is familiar with these poignant words.  But do we, as the Body of Christ, know what Jesus was referring to?  In other words, as my husband has been asking of our Christian brethren lately, What does "IT" mean? What is the "IT" that Jesus has finished? And what does it have to do with us?
     I have seen very intelligent and knowledgable sources say that the word "finished" comes from the Greek word tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.” They will explain that when Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the "IT" to be the debt owed to His Father, which He wiped away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin.
     Now, I will agree that Jesus did all that -- He certainly paid the price we all owe the Father for our sins.  But, I'm not sure that is what He was referring to as being "finished".  I guess I'm trying to say that I think the "It" He finished was something else.  Let me tell you exactly what I think...
    As I am progressing through an in-depth study of my Bible, I came across a verse in John that didn't stick out to me the first couple of times I made my way through Scripture. It happens in John, Chapter 5, when Jesus is bearing witness that everything John the Baptist said about Him is true.  But then He says, in verse 36, But the testimony which I have is far greater than the testimony of John; for the works that the Father has given Me to finish—the very same works [that is, the miracles and proofs of My deity] that I am [now] doing—testify about Me, [by providing evidence] that the Father has sent Me.  

     It is clear to me that Jesus is saying, "The Father has given me works to do and finish.  These works testify that I have been sent by the Father".  In other words, all the works He was doing -- healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and announcing that the Kingdom of Heaven had invaded earth in the person of Him -- have the ultimate purpose of glorifying the Father; the works of Jesus are proof that the Father sent Him.
     And so, here's where I disagree with the accepted version of what Jesus meant when He said It is finished. True, the Greek word for "finished" can mean a levy or toll that is paid in full.  But, according to Strong's Concordance, that is the secondary meaning of the word.  The primary definition of the root word, tello, is "an end of a defined purpose; the conclusion of an ultimate or prophetic act". Jesus says in John 5:36 that the Father has given Him works to finish, and that those works revolve around the miracles and proofs of His deity, which will ultimately result in the glorification of the Father.  So, when He says It is finished with His dying breath, I contend that He is saying "I have finished all the works You assigned Me to do to bring Your Kingdom to Earth and to glorify You, Father".  Jesus says in verse 36 that these works are the greater testimony about Who He is, and Why He came.
    The reason I think the modern Church doesn't see this is because it would require that we acknowledge not only the significance of "the works" He did, but that He wants us to continue those works.  That's why, within the same Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as saying, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  I contend that Jesus was finished with the works the Father had assigned to Him.  He had displayed His Deity through the works of signs and wonders, [healing and deliverance], and then given all who believe on Him the authority to continue those works [in John 14:12].  Furthermore, in both Matthew 28 and Mark 16, Jesus emphasizes that He wants believers to be taught to do all that He has commanded; and as they do the works He has done, it will be a sign to others to believe that the Father sent Him and that He is working through them.
     But the modern Church is uncomfortable when it comes to us performing supernatural acts of healing and deliverance, which are the works Jesus did.  It is more logical to the human mind to think that It is finished is simply referring to what Jesus did for us [in paying our "sin debt"], rather than to accept that He had finished His assignment of "works" for the Kingdom, and the mantle has been handed to us to continue them.  Can you see that the former explanation puts the responsibility on Jesus, while the latter interpretation makes us accountable for continuing His work?
     If the "IT" is simply a paid debt, it makes it easier to live the Christian life when you think that Jesus has done the work for you, rather than realizing that we are supposed to carry on the works [that glorify the Father], in His stead.  And this results in a Body of Christ that is stagnant and powerless to battle the schemes of the Adversary.  Think how much leeway we have given the devil when we only consider that the debt for our sin has been paid.  Don't get me wrong -- what a glorious gift of Grace that is!  But when you consider that there are so many people who need physical healing and demonic oppression eliminated from their lives, then the "IT" Jesus left us to do has been far from finished in our lives.  There have been so few of us who recognize our charge from the Lord, that the "IT" has barely even begun!
     Yes, Jesus finished His part.  He did exactly what the Father commanded Him to do.  But a huge part of His assignment was to model for us the work that the Father wants us to continue until Jesus returns.  As He hung in agony on the Cross, Jesus was declaring to the Father that He had ushered in the Kingdom on earth, and He had left the Father's work to be continued by those who believe in Him.  That stage of the Father's plan was surely finished. It's time we make up for all the lost opportunities to show His glory and the manifestation of His Kingdom here on the earth.  Our part of the Father's plan won't be finished until the last person accepts Christ as His Savior.  Until then, we need to use every tool He left us to accomplish that goal, and that includes the supernatural works that He did.  By neglecting them, we are not being obedient to all that He commanded us to do.  I'm not finished; are you?

Matthew 5:16     "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven".

August 12, 2017

An Invitation To Visit The Garden Of Your Heart

     If you have taken any serious amount of time to study the Bible, then you know how important our hearts are to God.  There are countless verses which tell us that the state of our heart is the key to our relationship with our Father in Heaven.  I would remind you of just a few of these verses, so we are clear that we must cultivate a heart for God...
Psalm 51:10  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
Psalm 9:1  I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 
Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Psalm 19:14   May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Proverbs 4:23  Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
 Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Romans 10:10  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 
1 Thessalonians 2:4  But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
     Are you getting the picture?  I could go on and on with Biblical references, but I wanted to make the point that we need to understand our hearts from a Kingdom perspective, not a carnal one.  We know that our physical hearts are made up of four chambers -- the right and left ventricles, and right and left atriums -- and we all learned in Science class how each chamber works in cooperation with the others to supply the body with oxygen and remove harmful carbon dioxide.  The miracle of this process speaks to the supernatural and intelligent mind of God, who created us.
     So, we know that the physical heart works in a designed method to keep our carnal bodies alive.  But it is the spiritual properties of our hearts that we need to understand in order for our hearts to beat in rhythm with the Lord's.  Remember, we are made in His image, so it is natural to think that He desires that our hearts resemble His so that we experience true intimacy with Him.
     And if you are able to see with spiritual eyes, you will discern that Jesus referred to our hearts in "gardening terms" ... the Parable of the Sower speaks of sowing seed, weeds that choke out the seed, and the bearing and yielding of fruit. In His teachings, Jesus also speaks of preparing the soil, sowing and reaping, watering, weeding, pruning and harvesting.  When the Word of God takes root in us, and His Spirit dwells within us, our hearts can produce beautiful “fruit” such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control -- all attributes of Believers who live from a Kingdom perspective.
    So, if, as Jeremiah says, our lives "will be like a watered garden" when they know the Lord, what does the garden of our spiritual heart look like?  Do we keep it cultivated and watered each day with the Presence of the Lord? Does our spiritual heart have four different chambers as well, from which the blood of Jesus flows in and out of?  Let's consider what the Word of God has to say about our spiritual hearts...
     Bryan Hodge has written a Scripturally-documented blog post on the chambers of our spiritual heart, and I would like to share some of his premises with you -- thoughts that coincide with what I am being shown through revelation from the Holy Spirit, and from other godly men and women who are seeking greater intimacy with God's heart.
      The Bible tells us that the spiritual heart thinks (Hebrews 4:12); meditates (Psalm 19:14); understands (Proverbs 2:1-2); and believes (Mark 11:23).  This chamber could be considered the "mind of our heart", or as Bryan Hodge calls it, "the Intellectual Chamber".  So what is the state of this chamber of your heart?  Are you mindful of God in your heart all the time?  Or do you need to purge some of the "sinful thoughts" that invade our hearts and result in unholy thoughts, practices and deeds?
     The second chamber of our spiritual heart speaks to its tenderness towards standards of right and wrong, or what we might call "the conscience of our heart".  Scripture tells us that our hearts can be "pricked" and "cut". Acts 2:37 says, Now when they heard this [the testimony of Jesus's sacrifice and resurrection] they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?  This speaks of people whose hearts are made tender to receive the message of the Kingdom.  But the Bible also tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith .... speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.  In this case, sin has hardened the spiritual heart and their consciences are no longer concerned or worried about the consequences of sin.  This is a heart with no conscience.
     The third chamber houses "the will" of the spiritual heart. This is a heart that seeks to do the will of God to advance the Kingdom on earth.  God's desire and will are the intentional objective of a heart that seeks after God's own heart.  It is the purpose of that heart to discover the will of God and to be obedient in all ways.
     The fourth, and last, chamber of the spiritual heart deals with "the emotions" of the heart. The Bible speaks of the "afflictions and anguish" of the heart (2 Corinthians 2:4); the "desires" of the heart (Romans 10:1); and the "love" of the heart, for others and for God (1 Peter 1:22, Mark 12:30). A person who desires to be intimate with God must have a heart able to exhibit emotion.
     So, it is vitally important that we all inspect our spiritual hearts and see if we are firing on all cylinders, so to speak.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it very clear ... Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And I know that the modern Church interprets that as a prophecy for the future.  But I would like to submit to you that Jesus was seeking people who were willing to purify and cultivate and water and weed the gardens of their hearts so that they could see the Kingdom of God that very moment.  And He still desires it from us today!
    He tells us in John 3:3,  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. That ability to see the Kingdom of God is available to us the moment we accept Him as our Savior and are born again into our true identities as spirit beings, created in the image of God.  That's why He continually says throughout Scripture, Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen? Remember, Jesus lived His life on this earth as a human being; as a model of how we can live in relationship with our Father in Heaven.  He only did what He saw the Father doing, or what He heard the Father telling Him.  As a flesh-and-blood man, He was able "to see" God, because He had a pure heart.
     And let's not forget how He dressed down the Pharisees: But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. The religious leaders not only failed to teach that those who believed in YHWH could "see" into God's heavenly realm, but they prohibited those who were in the process of receiving that sight. They knew it was available  -- note that Jesus accused them of not entering, which implies that they knew they could -- but they did not encourage others to experience the Kingdom relationship that God desires.
    So, I know this is a rather big concept for our Western minds to grasp. We have a physical heart that God wants to transform into a spiritual heart; a heart that is like a garden -- a heart whose mind is always on God; a heart that is conscious of right and wrong; a heart whose will is intent on doing the will of God; and a heart that responds with genuine emotion toward the One who created it.  Above all else, the garden of our heart is a place we can water, tend to, and grow into a heart that bears much fruit for God's Kingdom.  What's more, with the mind that God has given us, we can "see" the spiritual garden that grows from a pure heart, and we can plant all the things we need to grow hearts that will harvest an intimate relationship with our Lord.  In the next post, I would like to introduce you to a way to experience your heart's garden with Jesus.  It will require you to "see" God and His Kingdom, both of which Jesus promises us is possible.  So get ready to tap into your spirit and watch your heart's garden grow!

2 Corinthians 3:18     "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit".


May 1, 2017

Longing To See

    This weekend I went to see the movie "The Case for Christ", a biographical film depicting the life of investigative journalist Lee Strobel, who was an atheist.  In setting out to disprove his wife's newfound faith in Jesus, Strobel ends up being unable to do so, and must admit that faith in Jesus rests on His resurrection, which is verified by historical and medical circumstances. Unable to debunk  what he thought was myth and legend, and backed by centuries of facts confirmed by different sources [which are the hallmark of his trade as a journalist], Lee surrenders to the knowledge that faith in Jesus's resurrection is a truth that cannot be denied.  And the atheist becomes a Christian.
     But this post is not about reviewing the movie, but is instead, about a confirming truth from the Bible that the movie brought to light.  In one of the opening scenes, Lee tells his young daughter, that as an atheist, he believes in what he can see.... intimating that Christians believe in fantasies and fairy tales; that their faith is not supported by anything real. But, sadly, I'm afraid that too many Christians share in that mistaken concept, and are missing the fullness of their faith by believing in only what they can see.
     Before I go on with my theory, I want to give credit to Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Yes, I am talking about that Bethel Church; the Spirit-led church known for miraculous healings and Kingdom work. In his excellent book, When Heaven Invades Earth, I have finally found church leadership that is speaking what the Holy Spirit has been downloading into me and my husband for the last two years.  And it perfectly relates to both what Lee Strobel declared and where many Christians find themselves.  Let me elaborate....
     Like Christianity, Atheism is a religion in itself.  "Religion" can be defined as "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group".  A Christian believes in Jesus as their Savior.  An atheist believes in the absence of the existence of a Supreme God or Deity; and may place his belief system in a variety of sources, such as Human Reason, Science, Logic, etc.  Like Lee Strobel said, in something that can be seen or rationally proven.  
     But I want to present to you a radical idea that Pastor Johnson presented in his book, and to which I wonder if Christians have given serious thought.  Johnson makes the simple, yet profound statement that Faith has its anchor in the unseen realm.  But how many Christians base their Faith on their natural sight; what they can see in this world?  And how many fail to consider the supernatural realm and how Jesus and the Apostles instructed us to look for the Kingdom of God there?  That's what it means to look with spiritual eyes!
     Let me give you a few different Scriptures that will open up a little different concept of what Faith is.  In John, Chapter 3, Nicodemus comes to Jesus, telling Him, "We know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him".  And what is Jesus's answer? “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” As Christians, we understand that to "be born again" is to have faith in Jesus as the Son of God.  But look at what Jesus is saying ... to have Faith is to SEE the Kingdom of God.  As Bill Johnson states in his book, FAITH SEES. With spiritual eyes, we can see into the spiritual realm, where the Kingdom of God comes into focus.  But it is in the unseen realm, not what we see here in this physical world.
     The Apostle Paul reinforces this truth when he says, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2), and "For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Can you see how closely we Christians can fall into the same trap that Lee Strobel did; thinking that Truth can only be found in what our human eyes can see or discern?  If, as a Christian, you put that restriction on your faith, don't you run the risk of missing all of our Father's resources and benefits?  Didn't Jesus say He only did what He saw His Father do?  Can you accept the possibility that the measure of our Faith is rooted in our ability to see into that supernatural realm as Jesus did?  And that our belief system to actually put our Faith into action must be able to see beyond this world to the very throne room of God and His Presence?
     When you think about it, Belief/Faith is anchored to the invisible and the revealed will of God... meaning we have to seek to see it.  On the other hand, and as Bill Johnson expresses so well, "Unbelief is anchored in what is visible or reasonable apart from God. It honors the natural realm as superior to the invisible [or supernatural realm]".  That's a pretty radical thought for Christians and paints a picture that is hard for us to swallow.  It is not to say that we don't see God in this natural realm. He is recognized in all His Creation, whether it be rivers, trees, the ocean, babies, angels, or heaven. We are able to see the witness of Him everywhere... for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.  But how many of us have difficulty in putting our faith in something we can't actually see in front of our faces?  And if this is so, how are we any different than Lee Strobel was when he was an atheist?  Doesn't the writer of Hebrews tell us that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see?
     Taking it a step further, Unbelief is actually faith in something other than God.  So, I must ask --- who is your faith in?  Your Doctor? Your Pastor? Your Spouse? If it is in anyone or anything other than God, He is jealous over what occupies your heart.  And I know how difficult it is to admit that my faith is not all I want it to be.  But it is important that each of us recognize how easily our faith can be compromised.
     Satan has no power except when we come into agreement with him.  So whenever we let fear, or bitterness, or envy, or pride, into our hearts, a process of decay begins and there is room for the devil to come in and begin influencing us.  So our faith must become active and aggressive!  We must "see" that battle over our heart from a spiritual and Kingdom perspective, and force the reality of God's supernatural realm into a collision with our natural one.
     We must come to realize that we have all the power of heaven behind us!  When our Faith can see the availability of the power of God as Jesus did, and bring it into our actual circumstances here on earth, we are invincible! That is exactly what Jesus did, and He gave us the Authority to do that same thing in Luke 10:19! It is then that the meaning of our Lord's Prayer comes into real focus ... Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  This is not meant to be a mechanical prayer.  It is the reality of our Faith seeing into the spiritual realm and calling down Heaven [and the Kingdom of God] into our earthly existence.  It is as available to us as it was to Jesus! It's time we Christians begin seeing the invisible!

Matthew 5:8    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

April 12, 2017

Unpacking Jesus's Work For God

     I love it when, during our morning study time with the Lord, my husband challenges me to follow a trail through Scripture, unpacking a word from Jesus to reveal a bigger picture of our relationship with the Father.  The other day, it all started with John 17:4 ... I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You gave Me to do.
     So, naturally, I was curious to know what the Bible defined as the exact nature of the work Jesus did, and what was God's objective in sending Him to do this work? What did God intend for Jesus to accomplish? These may seem like uncomplicated questions, and that every Christian should know the answers.  But I didn't want to just accept Church doctrine -- I wanted to discover the full revelation of God's plan.  And I discerned that it is really a two-fold answer.
     The word "work" in Greek is ergon, and it's definition is "to toil (as an effort or occupation); an act or deed; labor". While on earth, the accumulated deeds [Jesus did] were His work.  But the second aspect of His "work" is the accomplishment of the Father's purpose in the commandment to do those deeds.  The glorification of God, the Father, comes from both the work (deeds) themselves, AND the accomplishment of the work. Make sense?
     The next step I took in unpacking the Word, was to go to John, Chapter 4, verses 32-34, where the disciples urge Jesus to eat after His discourse with the Samarian woman at the well.  Jesus tells them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about ... My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work". In other words, He is saying that He has no need of physical food, but He is spiritually fed by doing the work of His Father; the work He has seen the Father do. Here again, we see the double purpose of 1) doing the work and 2) accomplishing it; seeing it completely done.  But what is the work?  Jesus says it is the will of the Father.  But what does that mean; what is the will of God?
     Jesus tells us in John 6:39-40: This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.  So, here, we see "the will" of the Father -- what God has determined shall be done through Christ.  In other words, it is God's will (His desire and choice) that the works Jesus does will result in belief that He is the Son of God; and because of that faith, Believers will receive the blessing that God wishes to bestow upon them, namely, eternal life (or salvation).  

     But the Father is fully aware that mankind is not going to believe Jesus just because He says He is the Son of God.  God has already sent so many prophets who foretold of Christ's Coming, and of the works He would do, and yet not even the religious leaders recognized Him. For centuries, the descendants of Abraham had been looking for the Messiah as described by Isaiah 35:4-6:  that God would come with a vengeance to pay back all the ungodly and save His people; He would do mighty miracles of opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, healing the lame and mute; and His teaching and preaching would bring living water to those who thirst for righteousness.
     And those are the very "works" that Jesus did during His ministry -- all to accomplish the will of His Father, that those who would believe in Him would receive eternal life.  But there is an aspect of this Truth that we in the Modern Church miss.  Oh, we get the part about salvation and eternal life.  But we miss what Jesus did to get those in the First Century to accept Him as the Son of God and their Savior.  We are so scared of Ephesians 2:9 that tells us that faith is by grace; a gift from God, and not of works, that we only preach the message of salvation.
    But that's not all that Jesus did!  Yes, He preached and He taught, but His message was accompanied by the works that God commanded Him to do -- healing the sick and casting out demons was part of the Father's will!  Jesus explicitly says that He only does the things that are pleasing to the Father (John 8:28-29); and that He only does what He sees the Father doing in Heaven (John 5:19-20). ALL OF IT -- casting out demons, healing the sick, and preaching that the Father wanted His will to be done, on earth as it is in His Heavenly Kingdom -- were what the works of Jesus was all about.  And it was ALL the will of God for Jesus to accomplish.  And guess what, it is what God wishes to be done by us, too!
     For the life of me, I do not know how you can interpret John 14:12 any other way!  I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.  And I think the logical extension of Jesus's words is that He is going to the Father because His work is accomplished -- now it is our turn to carry on His work!
     Like I said, we preach the message of salvation, but we don't have the works that accompany the message [which are God's will for us to do]; therefore the message [by itself] doesn't hold enough weight to convince ungodly men to believe in Christ.  They see nothing in our actions or attitudes that convinces them we serve a mighty God. The state of the world is evidence of that!
     But I can tell you that when you do what Jesus did, by the power that comes from the Father [just as it did to Him] and you lay hands on someone and they are healed; or you are able to cast out the demonic voices they are hearing in their heads and they have peace for the first time in years; or you help them to see [in the spirit] that Jesus was with them during a tragic time in their life -- then you are accomplishing the will of the Father.  The Lost have the opportunity to know and believe in Jesus, and the previously Saved will get their theology rocked and their minds renewed; they can let go of their "sacred religious cows" that have not brought them the freedom Jesus and God desire for them.  It is only when they see the full picture of ALL the works of Jesus that they "will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will" that accomplishes His plan and purpose.
     In the final analysis, it became clear to me as I followed the bread crumbs through Scripture and landed on John 19:30.  When Jesus, with His last breath, says, It is finished!, I believe He means His supernatural works, and His accomplishment of the Father's will and purpose. The Way to eternal life  has been instituted.  We have been shown by Jesus that His works are the same works the Father does, and the same works the Father wishes us to accomplish.  These works are not done so that we may boast, but to draw men to the saving message of Jesus Christ. It is clear -- it is the Father's will that all be saved -- but we are missing a vital part of Jesus's work to accomplish that -- the work that is clearly God's will for us to do.

Ephesians 5:15-17   "Therefore see that you walk carefully, not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil. Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is".

January 6, 2017

Validation By A Vision

     I wrote yesterday's blog post out of a sincere desire to help several close Christian friends overcome their reticence to letting Jesus set them free.  To be honest, I was beginning to feel as if I was failing them and Jesus because I have been unable to convince them of what my spirit is screaming is His Truth!  I have tried using Scripture to validate what has been revealed to me, but more often than not, these dear Christians are so entrenched in the Church interpretation of the Word, that they look at me with doubtful concern: "I can see that possibility, but it's not what I've been taught my whole life."  And the conversation usually ends there.
     Even those who have seen family members healed of their spiritual wounds [and are desperately searching for a way out of their own bondage] just can't bring themselves to step outside the box. Something is holding them back; they are listening to a lie; and I haven't been able to convince them that Jesus is bigger than we've allowed Him to be.
     So, I have, admittedly, been struggling. After expressing myself yesterday, through my writing, as candidly [and as creatively] as I could -- hoping that I could find some way;  any way to help them understand a new insight to this powerful and innovative and unique God we serve -- I found myself on my knees last night... and unable to pray.
     I honestly didn't know what to pray; or how to pray for a breakthrough.  I had tried praying for ministering angels to reveal God's Truth to them, as it had been revealed to me.  I tried praying, in the Name of Jesus, for specific spirits and strongholds to be bound and cast off my friends.  I tried going, in my spirit, to the throne room of God, where I knew [in confidence] that I could ask for mercy and find grace to help in [this] time of need. But all my prayers seemed flat and shallow.  As I climbed into bed, I didn't feel defeated; but certainly deflated.
     Then, as I often do, when my spirit needs to connect with God, I awoke in the early hours of the morning.  Just past 4 a.m., I lay there wide awake, still struggling with how to get my friends delivered from the spiritual darkness they were experiencing.  But I couldn't even focus my mind enough to pray coherently.  I was wide awake, staring at the ceiling, and it was as if my mind was trying to find its way through a foggy maze.  I couldn't form a plan of prayerful attack against the Enemy.  So I just closed my eyes in the dark, and started telling myself, Be still and know that He is God... Be still and know that He is God.  And I tried to picture, in my spirit, the Light of the Glory of God... the Light shining in the darkness.
     I don't know how to explain it in any other way, but the next thing I was cognizant of was that I was part of something like a mini-movie playing in my head.  I knew on some level that it was a dream, and it was like I was watching it; but it was also like I was one of the actors in this scenario.  The story played out like this:  Set in the early 1930s or so, a man and his family are traveling in their old pickup, when it develops engine trouble.  They limp into this small town, where they are greeted with hospitality by a man who seems to be the leader of the town. This leader also says he'll be glad to help get the truck repaired, and invites them to stay a few days while he arranges for the truck to be hauled away to the shop.
     Now in this "dream", I seem to be playing the part of the husband, who gets his wife and two kids settled in, while he strolls about this town, getting a feel for its citizens.  He quickly senses a reserve and restraint about the townspeople; they seem skittish and nervous.  The husband (me) tries to ask a few questions... what do the townspeople do for a living?  Is it a good town to raise a family? One of the men approaches him, looking over his shoulder, as if worried he will be caught doing something forbidden, and reveals that no one is allowed to do anything but what the Leader permits them to do.  No one is free to pursue his or her own interests.  The husband asks, Then why don't you leave?  The townsman looks aghast and frightened at this suggestion!  Oh, that's impossible!  The Leader won't allow it!
     At this point in the "dream", the scene switches to the Leader returning from taking care of the family's truck, and now I'm playing the part of the wife.  I ask him what news he has on our truck, and he replies that he has taken care of the repairs and it will cost us $800.  Well, that was a fortune in the Depression of the 1930s, and I inform him that we don't have that kind of money! And the Leader informs me that we will be unable to leave since he holds this debt over our heads.  I boldly scream at him, My husband will never give in to your demands, while the terrified townspeople look on, unable to believe that I would dare to stand up to the feared Leader.
     At that moment, the husband (me again) appears on the scene, questions us about the uproar, and declares to the Leader that he will not be subject to his dictates.  He gathers his family up, and standing in the town square, declares to all the surrounding townspeople that we are leaving; we will not be bullied or intimidated by this tyrant.  But the townspeople respond with astonishment and consternation... How can you leave? We are all prisoners here, subject to his command! And we don't have the keys to unlock the gates to the town!
     The husband (me) looks at the panic-stricken townsfolk with pity in his eyes and heart.  Folks, you don't need keys... there are no locked gates on this town.  You have been free to leave anytime you wanted to.  This deceitful and wicked man only had you convinced you could never leave.  Your freedom has always been there.  All you had to do was walk away from him and his lies.
     Suddenly I was awake from this strange "dream".  It had been 2 1/2 hours since I had begun telling myself to Be still, and know that He is God.  But I had just "watched" and "participated in" what seemed like a full-length movie, in all its detail, color, and emotion.  It was as clear and visible in my mind as if I had just walked out of a movie theatre. I was baffled as I woke my husband up and told him the strange event I had experienced in my sleep.  It was such a strange little story; like it was perfectly scripted for my personal screening.  But I wondered, why that particular story line... I couldn't really see any purpose to the plot.  
     Then it hit me!  It was an answer to my struggling attempt at prayer the night before!  God was showing me that I couldn't make people see the truth of their bondage, anymore than I could (as the husband in my "dream") make the townspeople see that they didn't have to live by the dictates of the deceitful Leader.  Satan lies to us and convinces us that we can't escape our chains, and that we live in an invisible fortress of bondage.  It's easy to keep us in those chains, too, because he knows that too many of us will never believe that all we have to do is walk away towards the Freedom that Jesus offers.
     I will tell you that I have never had a "dream" like that before!  And I rarely remember every detail and conversation and emotion in sequential order, and in such lucid images.  My husband said, "I think God just gave you a vision".  At first, I didn't want to accept that because that isn't any kind of language (or concept) that we modern and Western Christians embrace with any comfort or agreement.  But I then realized just how similar my experience was to what I have been studying in Acts, Chapter 10.
     Peter, who found himself outside the norm of Jewish tradition and Law, was staying with Simon, the tanner, in Joppa.  For a law-keeping Jew of that time, it was strictly forbidden to associate with anyone who routinely worked with dead animals. And according to Jewish Law, a tanner had to live at least 75 feet outside a village because of his ritual uncleanness.
     But God was laying a groundwork in Peter's heart for a new concept that He needed him to understand, and Peter is less concerned about Jewish traditions and ceremonial notions than he was before.  Boy, can I relate to that!  This whole ministry that God has laid on me and my husband's hearts necessitates that we be willing to look outside the Western Church's traditions and rituals! And it has certainly set us apart from our fellow Christians.
     And what did God do next with Peter?  While he was praying on Simon the tanner's rooftop, the Bible relates what it calls "Peter's Vision".  Scripture actually says he fell "into a trance".  Now this happens to Peter around noon, hence the description of a trance.  I would submit to you that if it had happened in the night or early morning hours, it would have been described as a dream.
     So, Peter's dream is every bit as clear and focused and vivid as mine was.  He even partakes in a conversation with God, and the dream comes to a definitive end.  It is not disjointed or disordered; it is articulated with a precise message.  And Scripture says "Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant".  Like Peter, I searched for meaning and significance.  And, I will tell you that when it is that strong an image in your mind, you know how different it is from other dreams you've had.
     I understand that the traditional Church, [and perhaps many of you] will be unable to accept what I have related.  It will be rejected as my own rationalization or justification, and it is just too far outside the realm of "acceptable" Christian experience.  But I know in my heart and spirit, that it was a clarification from God.  It articulated the struggles and frustrations I have been facing, and validated that I am on the right path.  I was shown that I may not be able to change thoughts and theology in a Christian's mind, but I am to continue declaring what I see as God's Truth.  It is then up to each Christian to decide if they are too afraid to challenge the invisible chains imposed by the Prince of this world -- or if they will take that life-affirming step and walk through the gates toward Freedom.  All I know is that I have been given encouragement and motivation to continue my walk with My Lord, and it was beyond extraordinary -- it was supernatural!

Ephesians 3:20-21   "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

October 10, 2016

Are You Ready To Talk About "Portals"?

     Now, there is a topic that will send many Christians screaming for the hills!  Just the very word, portal, makes you think of scary, science-fiction phenomenon, doesn't it?  Or, perhaps, it is reminiscent of something that you might see on an old re-run of "The X-Files", right?  Certainly, it has nothing to do with the Bible ... or does it?  Actually, the word portal is nothing more than an opening, or a doorway, or a gate, between dimensions.  And the Bible is full of instances where portals are in evidence.
     I can hear the skeptics among you, murmuring, "I need a little more information".  Okay, let's look at it this way... Portals are points of access, which are unobstructed by demonic interference, in which angels travel from heaven and back again in which God's provision and revelation are given to man.  Consider the angel who appeared before Daniel in answer to his prayer in Chapter 10.  In Daniel 10:10-16 this angel has a conversation with the prophet Daniel, in which he mentions several times that "I have now been sent to you"; "Your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words"; and "Now I have come to make you understand"....  So, let me ask you a simple question.  How do you think that angel was able to appear before Daniel?  Do you accept the rather obscure explanation of "He just appeared"?  Or can you comprehend that he came through a portal -- an opening between either the second or third heaven and our physical dimension here on earth.
     Then there is the Biblical account of Jacob's ladder.  In the book of Genesis, chapter 28, verses 10-17, the story of Jacob’s dream is recorded. “He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12).  Again, I ask the question... If the ladder extended from the earth until it reached heaven, how were the angels able to leave heaven to descend to earth?
     And again, in 1 Kings, Chapter 19, Elijah was instructed to leave from sitting under a juniper tree to Mt. Horeb to see and hear what God had to show him.  Scripture tells us that God said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.  And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; {but} the LORD {was} not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, {but} the LORD {was} not in the earthquake.”
     Can you see that in each of these instances, God and His angels used an opening, or a doorway, or a gate to act inter-dimensionally?  Does it help to know that Proverbs 8:34 teaches that a man will be blessed who sits, and waits, and listens at the Lord’s gate?  Or that Psalm 24:7 reads, "“Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in"?
     I've always loved this verse in Psalms ... "Though He had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven, man did eat angels’ food: He sent them meat to the full.”  That's a pretty clear picture ... the doors of heaven were opened.  They were fed manna from heaven through a portal!  Are you starting to get the picture?
     And perhaps some of my favorite pictures of Biblical portals are found in the Book of Revelation.  "And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.” (Rev. 11:12 ).  "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war."  (Rev. 19:11).  I think we can all agree that the Apostle John saw openings, or portals, in Heaven that inspired these verses.
     But one of the primary verses that has relevance for us Christians is Hebrews 4:16... "Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time."  It is my opinion that this verse is to be taken literally.  I truly believe that since we are spirit, made in the image of God, that our spirits can approach His throne of grace and receive His mercy.
     But here is something that Christians also need to realize:  The dark side is also trying to gain access to earth from the second heaven.  The evil angels are just as able to come through portals or openings as the good ones.  My husband believes his first experience with a spiritual attack took him through an opening between our physical dimension and into the spiritual dimension, or second heaven, if you will.  He fought and struggled against an entity that he felt was smothering him.  He said he literally thrashed and flailed until he was able to get the name "Jesus" out, when the entity vanished.  During his entire fierce struggle, he said he watched me sleeping; I continued to sleep soundly and never moved.  And I'm a light sleeper!  He is of the opinion that somehow his spirit entered this battle through a portal.
     And I have heard testimonies of others who have described their experiences in similar language to Paul, who said in 2 Corinthians 12:3:  "And I know that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows—".  They will tell me, "I don't know if I was in my body, or my spirit had left my body and that was what I was seeing".  I think I need to go no further to defend the idea that portals are Biblical.
     And I have to admit that my belief that portals are real has naturally led to the UFO conspiracy, and the like.  Add to that the never-ending desire of the human race for more "other-worldly" knowledge and I cannot dismiss the thought that the ungodly Elite might be seeking to open up portals to gain access to the supernatural in a bid to out-God God, Himself.  Re-read my 2014 post on Tesla, or my 2015 one on CERN, and see if the idea of portals doesn't gain some traction.
     All I'm saying with this unorthodox post is that spiritual activity is on the increase.  More people are revealing "dream-type experiences" in which they are battling spiritual phenomenon that they have never encountered in the past.  And it is no secret that men of science have attempted to add to our understanding of dimensions and sought to explore them and how they interact.  But are we in danger of these scientists inadvertently opening a portal or a door not to another dimension, but into the spiritual realm, perhaps even to the Bottomless Pit or the Abyss itself?  I, for one, cannot discount this theory.
     In the end, I do not see anything good coming from man's obsession with the universe, whether it be from the aspect of obtaining ancient knowledge, or reaching for new supernatural frontiers.  Just look at our entertainment industry.  Movies, music, and TV all have a fixation on exploring the spiritual realms.  There is a problem with that though, and it is this:  We are becoming so desensitized to it, that we don't realize how dangerous it can be.  God created the veils between the heavens for a reason.  He has instituted his Cosmic Law of separation and who are we to violate that?  He is a God of order and I am convinced that any attempt to interfere with His Creation will not be tolerated.
     So, I think that we can see that portals are real, and God has used them to communicate with us in the earthly realm, by sending His messengers through dimensions.  But Lucifer and his angels will take advantage of those points of access to harass and attack us.  Add mankind's selfish compulsion to  rip open the veil separating this world from other worlds or dimensions, and you get the ridiculous statement by CERN's own Director General and its Director of Research, Rolf Heuer:  "…When we open the door, something might come through it into our reality! Or, we might send something through it into their reality!"  Be careful, General Heuer.  You just might get what you wish for.

Proverbs 8:1-5    "Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. ..."

August 24, 2016

A Time To Reflect; A Time to Revive and Restore

     It slipped right past me.  I'm not much for celebrating milestones, and Lord knows, I don't need or seek accolades for myself.  But today I have occasion to be greatly humbled.  Since I began this blog nearly five years ago, over 1 million people have taken the time to consider what I have to say.  That totally blows me away!  Considering that I am not at the same place that I started -- in my thoughts, my goals, or my faith -- I find it astounding that so many have taken this journey with me.
     Perhaps you began where I did.  In December of 2011, I was three years into realizing that profound changes were coming upon my country.  At the same time that my conscience was telling me that our society and culture and national experience were deteriorating, my spirit was telling me that I would not find the answers or solutions I needed in this world.  I was hearing "PREPARE" in the recesses of my mind and my soul, and after seeking the Lord on the matter, my spirit validated the message.  So I began a two-fold approach to dealing with whatever was coming our way.  I joined the ranks of people known as "preppers", and learned new sustainable skills and tried to become as independent of the "system" as I could.  But I had a second component; one that ultimately taught me the true path I needed to be on.  I added the Bible as the primary element of my readiness plan, and soon realized that I needed to prepare for more than what this world was going to throw at me.  Yes, there were enemies, foreign and domestic, that I needed to be aware of; but there were spiritual enemies, as well -- and these adversaries would, in the end, influence everything and everyone I might need to face in the future.  But I also learned that I could face this uncertain and frightening future because there was a greater purpose to my life than my personal safety and security.
     I was to speak out loudly and forcibly about what my Lord wished to do with those who believed in Him.  There is work to be done in preparation for His return, and it involves each and every one of us getting ourselves in fighting shape for the battle to come.  That doesn't mean that we abandon His message of love and tolerance and salvation and caring for others.  That message has been well covered by the Church.  But it is absolutely necessary that we go beyond those themes and minister to the spiritual needs of His people; ready them for the troubles and sorrows and suffering that He warned would come before His return.  That assignment has woefully been ignored by the Church.
     So, now you find people like me, whom the Church sees as misfits, mavericks, or nonconformists trying desperately to share what the Holy Spirit is urging us to communicate.  You can believe that our spirits are truly being pricked by the Spirit ... or not ... but if we are right -- can you afford to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye?  Our Lord, Himself, said, "Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear?"  I'm just saying'...
     So, now I find myself not only reflecting on where I started, but where I need to go!  So I want to give a quick synopsis of my understanding of this world and begin to develop the next phase of this journey upon which God is taking me (us).  I feel it's time to stop and get our ducks in a row; revive the mission of all Believers and restore the apostolic characteristics of our commission.  So, here's the way I see it...
     From the beginning of the Bible, it is established that spirits play an important part in this world.  God is Spirit, and we are made in His image.  In fact, we are embodied spirits; spirit beings housed in human bodies.  There are disembodied spirits called demons, who are Satan's agents and representatives on earth.  They are spirits seeking human bodies to use to control the world, spread sin and establish the Kingdom of Darkness. They use human bodies to perform the work assigned to them, and to carry out Satan's instructions. Their sole purpose is to carry out Satan's will, which puts them in total opposition to the Believers in Christ.  They follow Satan's instructions by trying to destroy mankind through every imaginable natural or supernatural device. All violence, anger, hate, horror, war, death, and destructive influences against man can be attributed to demonic influence, and it all comes from Satan.
     At this point, I need to reiterate something I believe very strongly ... Christians cannot be possessed by a demon, but they can be oppressed.  When a person receives Christ as their Savior, the human spirit is regenerated and the Holy Spirit lives there, so nothing else can take possession of our spirit.  Christians can, however, have demons that attack their minds, their emotions, their free will, and their bodies -- that is called demonic oppression. So, how does that work, exactly?
     It is my opinion that just because a person experiences salvation (which I also believe is the starting point of our journey towards eternal life), it doesn't mean that he is no longer without sin.  There is only one man who has walked the earth that was without sin.  But, as our Master has told us, we can confess our sin, repent of it, and ask forgiveness, and we greatly reduce the effects of innate sin upon our lives.  But here's the thing ... sin is what Satan thrives on!  And our particular sins -- or those perpetrated against us! -- are what makes us vulnerable to the assignments the devil gives his demons when they attack us.
     I want to make it clear that not all our sin is demon-driven.  Our free will can open us up to the temptations that satan offers.  Pride, Self-interest and Unbelief are just a few of the sins with which he can manipulate us.  But once he knows we are vulnerable in that area, he can assign a spirit to us and keep us in perpetual conflict between our faith and our sin.  Discernment is required to determine the root cause of all our sin.  Is it our own free will, demonic, the result of someone else's sin carried out against us ... or a combination?
      Deliverance Ministry can help you determine the root cause and allow a Christian to connect his spirit with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in order for the cleansing and healing to be accomplished.  BUT, I want to stress that sin must be confessed and repented of, and forgiveness is essential!  Yes, Jesus wants to set you free, but He wants us to approach Him with an honest, truthful, and sincere spirit.  It is essential that we take responsibility for our sins, and forgive others, as we desire to be forgiven.  
     So, how is it that so many Christians today seem to be miserable in their state of salvation?  Why do we see so many Christians experiencing physical illnesses characterized by multiple and conflicting diagnoses; weird personality disorders that never leave; odd nightmares; repetitive bad dreams;  depression; chronic addictions (food, drugs, porn, medications, gambling, sex, etc.); uncontrolled periods of rage; lust and cursing; chronic dysfunctional families; arrogance and pride; phobias and illogical stress conditions; spiritual apathy; chronic broken relationships; and frequent unemployment, and perhaps the biggest problem of all ...  SO MUCH FEAR? 
     This is not what Jesus died for!  He sacrificed Himself so that we would not die in our sin(s).  Yet, far too many Christians live under the oppressions I listed above.  No wonder the secular world has no interest in our message!  They don't see us authentically living what we preach!  They aren't being drawn to us, even though the Bible says when we walk with God, "through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere".  The sad truth is that the Church offers neither fragrance nor fascination to the world.  In fact, our aroma is either non-existence or unpleasant.
     So Who is the fragrance that spreads through us and the Church?  Who dwells in us, seals us, works truth in us, testifies about Jesus, and helps us to produce "fruit"?  It is the Holy Spirit, and I oftentimes wonder if He hasn't left the Church building.  Have we traded the Holy Ghost for theology; exchanged His power for powerless academic teaching; reduced His Authority in favor of attracting "the world" with more tolerant standards?
     As I am studying the Book of Acts and the New Testament Church, I am seeing the presence and the influence of the Holy Spirit everywhere!  I see Him supernaturally changing the hearts of the Twelve Apostles and 3,000 new believers.  I see Him supernaturally effecting the preaching of Peter and Stephen.  I see Him influencing Philip, the Evangelist, and the hearts of Simon, the Sorcerer, and the Ethiopian eunuch... and all in the first eight chapters!  Ultimately, I see the POWER and AUTHORITY of Him on display for all to see ... and nowhere more powerfully than in the life of Paul!  He is evident in all His Might for the Church to witness.
     But in today's Church, we talk about Him, then leave little or no time for Him to perform His Mighty Miracles in our services because of fear, confusion and the threat of doctrines of demons.  We are afraid of Holy Spirit manifestations like those that happened in the First Century Church, because when you invite the Holy Spirit to be present, there will be inevitable opposition from the Prince of this world, and the simple truth is that the Church does not know how to be Holy Spirit warriors.  When we become "seeker friendly" congregations, and life-coaches and counsellors, instead of spiritual, armor-clad soldiers for Christ, we are left with scared and confused Christians who are ineffective against Satan's army.
     But here is why we should not be fearful of engaging in spiritual warfare ... the spirits or demons that Satan assigns to us fear the Holy Spirit more than anyone else in the universe!  Why?  Because He has as His weapons the Blood of Jesus, the Name of Jesus, the Cross of Christ, and the Word of God!  And because He indwells us, we, too, have access to those spiritual weapons!  
     And the knowledge of this Truth is where I'm at in this point of my journey with the Holy Spirit.  I am optimistic that the Holy Spirit is waking up the remnant within the Body of Christ, and the testimonies of those set free from demonic influence will embolden the Church to return to its roots.  It is the success of Believers delivered from oppression and bondage that will convince authentic Christians that spiritual warfare is a reality and a necessity.  I am praying that Spiritual Warriors, in league with the Holy Spirit, will have an extraordinary and undeniable impact upon both Christians and Secularists; and will defeat the forces of evil that have gone unchallenged for far too long.
     I also am trusting in the Holy Spirit to infuse Christians with their purpose; to be genuine examples of the power and authority of Jesus, as given to us by our Father; and to realize that we have been commissioned by God.  We each have been given a definite task and specific assignments to advance the Kingdom of God.  What are yours?  Preaching the Gospel Message is part of our commission, but we are also Ambassadors for Christ, and we are not powerless servants.  We are to exhibit the power in our relationship with Jesus ... the same power that raised Him from the dead and commanded a legion of demons to come out of a man.
     We will need His power in the future.  And it is ours for the asking.  The question is, when the real pressure from this world comes to bear, will we stand firm and steadfast?  Are we prepared, both in our human form, and in our spirit, to declare ourselves competent for the task at hand?  We can be ... if we recognize that our power comes from God; that He is sufficient to go before us in battle, and we can be confident that our victory will come through Christ!
    Yes, it's okay to reflect where we've been in our Christian walk.  But it is imperative that we revive and restore our faith to become authentic Christians; reveling in the power of the Holy Spirit to embolden the Church so that it has the impact it was meant to have upon a sinful world.  It's not too late ... but time is running out.  I don't know how much further we have to go in our journey, but I am determined to serve the Kingdom in His Power and Truth.  Join me!

1 Corinthians 2:4  "And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom [using clever rhetoric], but [they were delivered] in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit [operating through me] and of [His] power [stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them]..."