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

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Court of Heaven. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Court of Heaven. Sort by date Show all posts

January 18, 2017

The Court of Heaven (Part 1): Do You Know You Have Access To It?

     Perhaps the first question I should ask is Did you know the Court of Heaven even exists?  I would venture to guess that a majority of modern Christians would answer "No" to that question.  Yet the Jews returning to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile knew well the teachings of the prophet Zechariah, among which was this idea of a Heavenly Court.
     And when we examine Scripture, there are many references to legal terms in God's relationship with men:  judgment, appeals, law, contract, evidence, witnesses, indictment, jurisdiction, debt and debtors, redemption, punishment, condemn, testimony, and verdict.  Starting to get the idea?  And we must always keep in mind the admonition of our Lord: Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.  The judicial system of the ancient Israelites, as well as our own court system, are modeled upon the Court in Heaven.  Furthermore, the Court is part of the judicial government of the Kingdom of Heaven, and guess what?  We have access to it as part of His Kingdom here on earth!
     First, I want us to understand that there are really two aspects of the Court of Heaven for Believers:  1) Jesus as our legal defender, and 2) our ability to prepare a case for our own defense.  In both instances, we can be present and have access to God in this heavenly Courtroom.
     Let me see if I can paint a picture for you from Scripture... In Zechariah, Chapter 3, the prophet receives a vision from a guiding angel of the High Priest, Joshua, standing before God, and Satan stands to his right, as his accuser.  The High Priest Joshua represents disobedient and sinful Israel, who has been brought to the Court of Heaven to receive what Satan thinks will be justified punishment for their sins.  (Remember: He is known as the Accuser). But that isn't what happens!  God rebukes Satan and replaces Joshua's filthy rags with the clean white robes of forgiveness.
     Then it gets even more exciting!  God counsels Joshua, telling him that if he will be faithful and walk in the ways of the Lord, he will be given greater authority to govern His house and have charge of His earthly courts, and most importantly, Joshua will have free access to the Court in Heaven and to God's presence.  I want you to read that last comment again ... God promised Joshua privileged access into the presence of God. This isn’t a surprising promise for a High Priest, but we have the same promise: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16).
     NOTE:  I am currently seeking revelation from God about whether the Court of Heaven takes place in the Throne Room of God.  At this time, I am seeing Daniel 7:9-10 as confirming this, but I have asked some notable Bible scholars for their opinion, and I will give you their feedback as I receive it.  But for your own discernment and determination, here is the passage in Daniel:  As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.  I see both the Throne Room and the Court of Judgment pictured in this Scripture, but as to whether they always coincide together, I am not prepared to say.  And perhaps the Court appears in the Throne Room only when God (The Judge) calls the Court into session.  What do you think?  
     But back to the High Priest Joshua ... as Christians, we, too, can appear before God's Throne and the Court of Heaven.  And I really like the way the noted theologian Charles Spurgeon voices his interpretation of this scenario:  "When Satan accuses, Christ pleads (our case). He does not wait till the case has gone against us and then express His regret, but He is always a very present help in time of trouble. He knows the heart of Satan, (being omniscient God), and long before Satan can accuse He puts in the demurrer, the blessed plea on our behalf, and stays the action till He gives an answer which silences forever, [the Accuser's] every accusation."  I found it interesting that the definition of the word demurrer is "[in Law], an objection that an opponent's point is irrelevant or invalid, while granting the factual basis of the point".  So, the result is that Satan accuses us, and Jesus never denies our sin, but instead acts as our Mediator. His sacrifice on our behalf makes the case against us invalid, and the case is thrown out of the Court of Heaven.  We are innocent by the Blood of the Lamb!
     But I don't want us to skip over another very important fact ... God's promise wasn’t just that we can go to the Court of Heaven to petition, making a formal request for a Judicial decision, but if we  will follow God's commandments and live in obedience, then we can oversee the affairs of the Judge  (God), and make the decisions!! That is a realm of authority in the Kingdom Government on earth that is available to all of us! So it’s not just about us being able to appear in Court to plead our case, (it starts there, of course), but we are given the authority to rule and reign and be part of God's justice system in His earthly Kingdom. In that particular responsibility, there is a significant aspect of our position in the Kingdom of God that I'm afraid most Christians don't fully understand... We are Kings and priests of our God, and He intends for us to participate as the government of heaven will increasingly invade the earth.
     There are other obvious views of the Court of Heaven in the Bible.  Perhaps the most familiar one is in the story of Job ... One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan who was his designated Accuser came along with him. We also see that the Court in Heaven is where Satan got permission to curse Job and strike him with severe sores and other misfortune.  It is important for us to understand, as in this case with Job, God does allow Satan to attack and harass His people, but He always strictly regulates what Satan is allowed to do.  And whether we realize it or not, Satan has been going to the Heavenly Courtroom, (just like he did with Job), to get permission to steal from all of our lives. And because we Christians haven't known that we can go into Court and say, "NO, I want to present my case and oppose what the Accuser is saying", we have experienced defeat after defeat! How often have Believers perished for lack of this knowledge?!?
     And I don't want to leave this topic without pointing out one of the strongest visions of the Court of Heaven, which takes place in Revelation 12:10:  Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come—the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (and the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the Accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out.

     But here's the good news!  We have an Advocate in the Heavenly Courtroom!  This is a legal term describing someone who has received some legal training which allows him or her to represent another in a courtroom; an Advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of someone else.  So we should see a picture of Jesus as our Advocate in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, I write you these things so that you may not violate God’s law and sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father—[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright and just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action].”  We know, from this Scripture, that Jesus is legally trained and knows how to represent us in the Court of Heaven!
     But here's something we must also consider ... in the instance of Job, we know that Satan was allowed to appear before the Court of Heaven, and accuse Job before God, The Judge.  But in the first 12 chapters, Job does nothing to defend himself.  He laments the attacks against him, but does nothing to defend himself --- until Chapter 13!  Finally, in this chapter he says, NOW I have prepared my case (verse 18).  So, do you think Job might have saved himself and his family a lot of harm and suffering if he had prepared his case earlier?  Would he have been able to block Satan's attempt to destroy him and his family in the Court?  No one can say for sure, but Job makes it quite evident that now that he's prepared his case, he knows he will be vindicated!
     Can we perhaps learn a lesson from Job and be prepared to make our own cases in the Court of Heaven against our Accuser? Stay tuned for the next post as I present how the whole Heavenly Court system is rigged on our behalf, and how we can go to the Court on behalf of ourselves and our families, with the knowledge that Jesus stands with us.  It's time we begin to prepare our own defense against the lies and accusations of our Adversary!

Thank you to the notes of Steven McKie, David Herzog, and Terry Spencer of New Horizon Community Church for their helpful insight on this topic.  They pointed me to Scripture on the Court of Heaven, which contributed to my understanding of this Biblical concept.

Psalm 35:1   "Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me".


January 20, 2017

The Court of Heaven (Part 2): Do You Know Your Authority In The Court?

     As we continue yesterday's discussion on the Court of Heaven, I would like to state some foundational points on this topic:  1) Scripture makes it clear there is a Court in Heaven; 2) Satan goes to the Courtroom to accuse us; 3) Satan looks for any legal loophole (any opening by which he has been given authority to attack our lives). He wants to steal, kill, and destroy and let's face it, it has been made easier for him because we haven’t known about the Courtroom. 4) We have been invited to take part in the Courtroom, just as the High Priest Joshua was in Zechariah 3:7.  5)  We don’t need to be clean to go to the courtroom. We are made clean when we go there! Joshua was given new garments in the courtroom.  6) We are able to defeat the devil and any of his principalities and powers.  We have real authority in the Court of Heaven!  And that authority is backed by Jesus, Himself, who has given us the power to bind on earth what has been bound in Heaven.  And when the verdict is handed down that the Accuser has no case against us because we are washed in the blood of Jesus, all of heaven backs that verdict including angels and the Ancient of Days Himself! Isn't that a powerful image?
    And here is a very important and exciting concept to consider... It is written in Proverbs 6:30-31, People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; But when he is found, he must repay seven times [what he stole]; he must give all the property of his house [if necessary, to meet his fine] ... God says he must restore what has been stolen SEVENFOLD, even if it bankrupts him.  Now that’s just if he steals because he is in severe lack, and he’s hungry.  What about a thief who steals just because he enjoys stealing from people?  Would God require any less of him?  No.  He still has to repay.  Ah, but the thief we are talking about here is Satan, and he’s a spirit.  How can we make him pay?  We can’t haul him to the Judge and make him pay us back.  OR CAN WE??
      Who says that your spirit can't appear before the Court in Heaven with a list of what the devil has stolen from you and demand restoration?  The King of Kings, and LORD of Lords, will acknowledge your list and make restoration for you, with life abundant ... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) .  We need to stop being passive and letting the devil steal from us!  Remember, Satan is a spirit, and it is our spirits that must appear in the spiritual Court of Heaven to make our case. I know some of you may be wondering how that can even be possible.  But, remember ... Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2 that by God's grace, we are saved, and we are raised up with Christ and seated with Him in the Heavenly realms.  We were once far away and now we have been brought near.  The Bible is talking about our spirits!  Made in the image of God, we are spirits in physical bodies. And through the gift of salvation, our spirits are able to commune with Jesus in the heavenly realms and we are not limited by time, distance, or space.
     And here is what we all need to understand... to be seated with Christ is a clear picture of our Authority!  And by faith, we need to see ourselves in that Courtroom, and see the verdict of our innocence in Jesus being announced. It really is a matter of our physical senses catching up to our spirits.  Our spirits are already there... just let your spirit (which is in heaven) speak to you through the images in your mind and show you what appearing in the Court of Heaven looks like.  Ask the Holy Spirit (which resides in your heart) to help your mind receive what your spirit wants to share.
     And I can imagine that it is not much different than how a Courtroom here on earth is conducted.  On earth as it is in Heaven, remember?  You enter the Courtroom, paying respect and honor to the Judge.  You are apprised of the charges against you, and you enter a plea.  Since the Accuser will be bringing charges based on the actions of your flesh, you will confess your human sins, and ask for forgiveness from the Court.  It is at that point that you can rely on Jesus, as your Advocate, to pronounce that you have been cleansed by His blood, and the Blood will be speaking on your behalf.
     Then, just like Job, you prepare your case and present it.  Whether your Accuser brings charges of sickness, poverty, sexual immorality, or any other region of captivity that you need to be set free from, you present your evidence from Scripture ... "By Jesus's stripes I am healed"; "Blessed am I because I am poor, for mine is the Kingdom of God"; "I have confessed my sin (of sexual immorality) and He is faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness"; "Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free".  There is not a charge or sin that the Accuser can bring forth that cannot be disputed with Scripture.  Simply build your case and present it to the Judge.
     And don't expect that this will be your last appearance before the Court.  As you display your Authority in this heavenly Courtroom, the Accuser will become more determined to beat you the next time.  But now you are building a history and a reputation in the Heavenly Courtroom.  The Judge sees that you are using your Authority well in representing yourself and His Kingdom, and will (just like with the High Priest Joshua we referenced yesterday) give you greater authority to conduct His government on earth.
     And here's the really cool thing!  Your actions in the Court of Heaven can have very real consequences and effect change here on earth.  You can go to the Court of Heaven on behalf of a loved one!  If you see someone's life spiraling out of control, you can appeal to the Court on their behalf.  You can go to the Court as a witness and for the benefit of another, declaring Scripture in their defense, and seeing the Accuser's case against them crumble. While Satan brings accusations against us stating that we all deserve punishment, we can present our case before the Judge, countering with the argument that the Blood of Jesus [and repentance] brings “legal” forgiveness or justification.
     Too many times we argue with ourselves and others, trying to prove our innocence, when we can just go straight to the Judge of heaven and earth to plead our case.  We need to realize that the Court of Heaven is heavily stacked in our favor -- especially when we know the Authority we have in the Courtroom.  And it is imperative that we understand that the "Accuser of the Brethren" is always there to accuse us before the Judge; accusing us day and night. All we have to do is show up covered in the Blood, having already repented, and present our case. If the Enemy tries to bring up our past, or any past sins in our life that have already been repented of and forgiven, the Judge will overrule him and won’t allow them to be used against us as evidence.
     Here's a thought for you to consider ... Most Christians lose battles in their lives simply because they do not discern that the battles are spiritual, and that they can appear before the Court of Heaven to present their case. The devil is a legalist and tries to find a loophole to win his case. When you don't show up in Court, he wins by default, and lives to accuse you [on that matter] for another day. But when He hears that gavel pound, and the final verdict of "Not Guilty", the Accuser is convinced of your Authority in the Court of Heaven.  The powers of darkness know they have no more legal authority to attack you, and all heaven has witnessed it and will back it up.
     And here are a couple of final thoughts I want you to take away from this discussion:  First, when we bring God’s Word as part of our defense and cry out to God in the Courtroom of Heaven, bringing again and again before Him the Truth of what He says in Scripture, victory will come. God cannot deny His Word, and Satan cannot defeat it.  Scripture is our legal evidence in the Court of Heaven, and with Jesus as our Advocate, and our Authority as our credentials, we are assured acquittal every time!
     But here is my final thought and one that has profound implications ... Remember in Part 1, when I pointed out that God gave the High Priest Joshua access to His Presence in the Court of Heaven PLUS told him that he would be given greater authority to handle God's affairs in His earthly Kingdom?  And remember that I wrote that this was a promise for all of us?  Now, apply that concept to what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 6: Do you not know that the saints (God’s people) will [one day] judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to try trivial (insignificant, petty) cases? Do you not know that we [believers] will judge angels? How much more then [as to] matters of this life?
     Did you get that?  One day, we will be administering God's justice upon the whole world, and as Believers in Heaven, we will judge the fallen angels!  But those who will be entrusted with that awesome responsibility must be spiritually mature, and I believe that means we must begin to start representing ourselves in the Court of Heaven now; to practice trying the "trivial cases in the matters of this life" that the Accuser brings against us today... i.e., those cases where he accuses us of being unlovable, rejected, abandoned, sexually immoral, and any number of lies that he says points to our unworthiness in Jesus's eyes.  But that requires us to administrate His Kingdom here on earth from our seats of authority in Heaven.  As Job discovered, no one can present our case like we can!  And the only way to get the practice and to mature our skills is to experience it firsthand.  The Heavenly Court is open and in session ... Jesus and God are waiting for your first Court appearance!

Job 13:3     “But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.”

October 16, 2020

God, Judges and The Court

This past week, we in America have been treated to what is supposed to be a respectful meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, conducting oversight and consideration of nominations to the Supreme Court. I'm not going to comment on the obvious political bias exhibited among the Senate members. That is not my purpose for today's blog post. What I want to discuss is the role of Judges, our Courts, and how they correlate with the Book of Judges and God's Court(s) in Heaven.

It goes without saying that God is the Righteous Judge of all the Earth (Genesis 18:25). And as Believers in Jesus Christ, we have the right and privilege to enter into the courts in Heaven through prayer and spiritual warfare. And before I continue, I want to make the comment that our legal system on earth is modeled after the court system in Heaven. Just as we are entitled to have legal representation in our earthly courts, Jesus is our Advocate and Legal Representative in the Courts of Heaven. 

And just as we have different levels and classifications of courts, there are different courts in Heaven, as well. We declare that the Cross of Christ is our justification before God, but there are times that we need to gain access to the justice system of Heaven in order to receive righteous judgment. We are able to operate in that system because of our intimate relationship with Jesus. Let's consider for a moment the different types of courts to which we have access. To begin, there is the Court of Mediation (or Reconciliation). This is in character with "settling out of court" in our earthly justice system. Just like here on earth, this should always be our preference and the first step we take. When we encounter a dispute with anyone, our legal position should be to reconcile.... But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him] -- 2 Corinthians 5:18.

Then there is the Court of Petition.  Bringing our prayers before the Father, and presenting our petitions to Him, is in reality entering the Court of Petition... do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God -- Philippians 4:6. And notice, we should appear in this heavenly court with thankfulness, no matter the circumstances.

Next, we have access to God's Throne of Grace.  God holds Court while sitting on His Throne, which is where we approach Him with our prayers, and in intimacy with Him. And we must approach Him with grace and mercy -- for others, as well as ourselves. God's justice finds its origins in His love; and so should ours... Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need -- Hebrews 4:16.

At the center of God's court system is The Court of Mount Zion.  Throughout the Bible, we read of Mount Zion as God's place of justice and judgment. His Throne of Grace and the Court of Petitions are based here, and the heart of Heaven's court system is found here ... But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel -- Hebrews 12:22-24.

The Court of the Accuser is where Satan appears to lay his case before God for his legal authority to attack us. We should not engage with this court, but rather take our case to the Court of Reconciliation or Court of Petition, where Jesus serves as our Advocate and defense lawyer, if you will. There He can testify that we have come in a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation ... For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down -- Revelation 12:10.

Finally, we have The Court of The Ancient Of Days (Heaven's Supreme Court). This is the highest court in Heaven, and we cannot enter except by admission through dreams and visions. Just like our Supreme Court, it is the last court a case may be heard; there are lower courts where all legal matters should be attempted to be settled first... As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. … The court was seated, and the books were opened -- Daniel 7:9-10. 

NOTE: These are the courts that are readily acknowledged in the Bible, but I have been shown, in my spirit, that there are lesser courts that we have access to in times of specific need. But we must always ask for permission before opening a case or entering that specific court. Our first stop in heaven's court system should always be to achieve reconciliation. I have actually heard the Father reprimand mankind; He said, "Stop clogging up My Courts with needless petitions. So many of your problems can be resolved with forgiveness and applying the grace and love I have given each of you." 

So, now I want to approach the Book of Judges in the Bible in light of the purpose of our Supreme Court and what we witnessed this last week. We can surmise from the Book of Judges that the Lord, who is Creator God, is the Judge and King of all the world; no one else holds that title. [NOTE: I approach this truth from the understanding that Jesus and the Father are One (John 10:30)]. And the plan from Genesis to Revelation is to restore man to his original purpose -- to rule the world as God's righteous representative on earth. We also recognize that God rules through His human leaders; but He is the ultimate Judge and King, and those who serve Him do so at His discretion and are supposed to rule as He would rule -- [on earth as it is in Heaven]. 

If man assumed his original purpose for being created, righteousness would reign upon the earth. But as we have seen throughout history, and most certainly today, that is not reality. Christ embodies perfect human ruling and through His crucifixion and resurrection, He sits upon His Throne in Heaven and rules and judges in perfect righteousness. And one day, He will climb down from that Throne and return to render His judgment against all the Evil in this world that has come against His creation. Until then, the idea was that our courts here on earth would be administered by sons and daughters who would share in His righteous rule and judge accordingly. That was the plan in the Book of Judges and nothing has changed [from God's perspective] in the centuries since.

Sadly, we have not experienced that in our nation. True, there have been judges who sat on the highest court in our land who took their assignment seriously. But in the decades of my life, I have seen the nomination of Supreme Court Justices made in the spirit of partisan politics and immoral agendas. This nation under God is in great need of godly leadership, in both our civic institutions and in our courts. Because we seem to have lost our way [and our purpose], Roe v. Wade is the law of our land. Same sex marriage is the law of our land. Our courts are clogged with grievances involving racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and once-guaranteed constitutional tights. Where is the desire for righteousness and  reconciliation? Why do we not see the power of our intimate prayers and petitions before God? 

The Book of Judges is a history of the rebelliousness of Israel, who demanded a human king, rather than submitting their allegiance to the King of the World. Despite the sinful decisions of Israel throughout their history, the Bible promises redemption through King Jesus who will one day be our righteous Judge. We must pray that in and through [and in spite of] the sinful judges who have seemingly destroyed God's redemptive plan, that God can and will heal our land from the rebellious and destructive decisions that our legal "leadership" have imposed upon us. 

My prayer is that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will prove to be a catalyst for that redemption. But we have been fooled in the past. I ask that you join me in prayer and petition before the righteous and rightful Courts of Heaven to deliver us once again into a nation that represents King Jesus's original design for human rule. Lord Jesus, return our nation to a land You can be proud of; one that will uphold the rule and laws of Heaven! And let it start today! Amen!

1 John 2:1    My little children, I write you these things so that you may not violate God’s law and sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father—[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action].


July 9, 2020

Covid and the The Court In Heaven

     Have you considered that we have access to the Courts of Heaven, and can ask for a judgment against this Corona virus that has this nation in bondage to spirits of Fear and Constraint? Perhaps the first question I should ask is Did you know the Courts of Heaven even exist?  Perhaps I should address that first... I would venture to guess that a majority of modern Christians would answer "No" to that question.  Yet the Jews returning to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile knew well the teachings of the prophet Zechariah, among which was this idea of a Heavenly Court.
     In Zechariah, Chapter 3, the prophet receives a vision from a guiding angel of the High Priest, Joshua, standing before God, and Satan stands to his right, as his accuser.  The High Priest Joshua represents disobedient and sinful Israel, who has been brought to the Court of Heaven to receive what Satan thinks will be justified punishment for their sins.  (Remember: He is known as the Accuser). But that isn't what happens!  God rebukes Satan and replaces Joshua's filthy rags with the clean white robes of forgiveness.
     Then it gets even more exciting!  God counsels Joshua, telling him that if he will be faithful and walk in the ways of the Lord, he will be given greater authority to govern God's house and have charge of His earthly courts; and most importantly, Joshua will have free access to the Court in Heaven and to God's presence.  I want you to read that last comment again ... Joshua was promised privileged access into the presence of God. This isn’t a surprising promise for a High Priest, but we have the same promise: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). And this pandemic of Covid-19 has certainly ushered in a time of great need in our country! So let's consider how we can enter into the presence of God to ask for rulership over it!
     So here is where we start ... when we examine Scripture, there are many references to legal terms in God's relationship with men: judgment, appeals, law, contract, evidence, witnesses, indictment, jurisdiction, debt and debtors, redemption, punishment, condemn, testimony, and verdict.  Starting to get the idea? And we must always keep in mind the admonition of our Lord: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  The judicial system of the ancient Israelites, as well as our own court system, are modeled upon the Courts in Heaven.  Furthermore, the Courts are part of the judicial government of the Kingdom of Heaven, and guess what?  We have access to them as part of His Kingdom here on earth!
     And I want to address, for a moment, the etiquette of entering into our Father's Court. We are to be responsible about entering and maintaining the proper atmosphere of respect, order, authority, and awe. It is an honor to be received into the Father's Court and we should follow protocol. We should be prepared and ready to petition the Court and present our case. We should be dressed appropriately. We stand in respect when The Holy Judge enters the Courtroom. We sit in silence until given permission to speak. We ask for a verdict in our favor, and then we abide by what the Judge rules. So, by now, I hope you are seeing [in the spirit] as we prepare to enter the Court and ask for a judgment regarding this demonic virus.
     But before we can even think about asking for a verdict, we must take note of what the angel spoke to Joshua ... "Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here." Based on that requirement, my spirit is grieved; this nation has certainly abandoned many of God's ways, and not kept His laws. And like ancient Israel, I'm sure Satan believes he has a justified argument for punishment with the Corona virus.
     Before we can even consider entering the Court of Heaven, we must repent for all the ungodly activities of this nation -- the abortion industry; sex trafficking; removing God from our schools and the public square; our greed and arrogance; and any area in which we have personally sinned.
     We must approach the Throne of God with reverence and request that we be added to the docket of the Court. We can then ask God to intervene as we seek to present our petition.  Satan believes he has a pretty good case against us; and based on the ungodly sins mentioned above, I can see why he feels justified in bringing the punishment of Corona virus against us. But I like the way the noted theologian Charles Spurgeon voices his interpretation of this scenario: "When Satan accuses, Christ pleads (our case). He does not wait till the case has gone against us and then express His regret, but He is always a very present help in time of trouble. He knows the heart of Satan, (being omniscient God), and long before Satan can accuse, He puts in the demurrer, the blessed plea on our behalf, and stays the action till He gives an answer which silences forever, [the Accuser's] every accusation." I find it interesting that the definition of the word demurrer is "[in Law], an objection that an opponent's point is irrelevant or invalid, while granting the factual basis of the point".  So, the result is that Satan [rightfully] accuses us of greed, abortion, child sex trade, abandoning God, etc. and Jesus never denies our sin, but instead acts as our Mediator. He receives our judgment and His sacrifice on our behalf makes the case against us invalid, and the case is thrown out of the Court of Heaven. We are innocent by the Blood of the Lamb!
     BUT, I also wonder if Jesus isn't waiting for us to stand up in our Power and Authority as Kingdom citizens and make use of our access to the Father's presence and present our own case! Do we want to be like Job? We know that Satan was allowed to appear before the Court of Heaven, and accuse Job before God, The Judge. But in the first 12 chapters, Job does nothing to defend himself!  He laments the attacks against him, but does nothing to defend himself --- until Chapter 13!  Finally, in this chapter he says, NOW I have prepared my case (verse 18).  So, do you think Job might have saved himself and his family a lot of harm and suffering if he had prepared his case earlier? Have we been humbled enough to repent for our national sins and suffered enough losses of our freedoms to now earnestly prepare our case before the Court? If I may, I would like to suggest the following prayer; that all the Body of Christ come together, following the protocols for appearing before our Judge, and join in presenting the following petition before the Court:

In the Name of Jesus, we ask our Savior to forgive this nation for all the ways we have been disobedient. We acknowledge our rebellion against You and ask to be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus and Your Living Water. We have sought righteousness in Your ways, and lament the actions of those who have offended You. We ask corporately, and individually, that our Savior show us any areas in which we have been ungodly so that we might repent of them before joining together to appear before Christ and entering the Holy Court of Heaven….

(IN THE SPIRIT)  Father, we come before Your throne today, in awe and reverence, asking for Your compassion and mercy, and we request that You convene a session of the Heavenly Court. 


Father, the Holy Spirit has shown us that the Adversary has been lying about this Corona Virus, and as the righteous Body of Christ, we ask that Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede on our behalf before the Court.  As Isaiah 43:26 says, “Let us argue the matter together; state the case for [our] innocence.” So, as the Body of Christ and Kingdom citizens, we are here to state the case for our innocence; the reinstatement of our freedoms; and the release from this demonic virus called Corona. We ask for Your Light and Truth to come into this situation.

We come seeking Your intervention, God, as Judge, and ask that You hear our petition before the Court, and we request a verdict from this Heavenly Court.

Here is our petition: Father, we recognize that the Enemy is lying about Corona having such power over our bodies. We recognize the agreement of powerful men, who are in association with the Enemy to bind and control this nation. Father, we appear before You as righteous citizens of Your Kingdom on earth. And as members of the Ekklesia, we ask that You hear our argument against the deceitful lies and manipulation of the Enemy that would keep us in bondage to this virus. We appear before Your Court in our power and authority as Sons and Daughters of the King and ask for full restoration of all that has been stolen from us, including health, wealth, self-government, and freedom of choice.  

Father, we are asking the Heavenly Court to force the Adversary to reveal his lies about Corona; that it is a lowly virus, subject to the Authority of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. It will bow at the feet of Jesus Christ! It will not keep this nation and its righteous citizens from receiving their inheritance as children of God. We will receive Your Truth as we present the Gospel of the Kingdom – we will receive all that is due us, including Salvation and the Kingdom, so that we might go forth together as a family of God – equally yoked -- in righteous battle to defeat our Enemy.  We petition the Court to bring these lies about Corona under the blood of Jesus and to establish this nation under the rule and reign of Christ.

So, Father God, as You bring the Court into session, we see the books or scrolls being opened, and as the Ancient of Days, God, we know that You see all days and can render judgment to deliver this nation from the consequences of this demonic virus.

Father, on behalf of all people of this nation, we ask that You, as Judge, review the scrolls of every earthly citizen's “Book of Life”—including past generations -- and annul covenants with Plagues and Sickness and any spirits of Pestilence that have given access to demonic powers holding them captive. And we ask that You render a verdict in their favor. Just as in the case of the widow seeking justice from the unjust judge, Father, we ask that you defend this nation and set us free from this virus so that we might worship and praise You.

So, Father, as we rest our case for justice for this nation, we bow in reverence and seek Your face, acknowledging with honor and gratitude our faith in Your vindication, and asking blessings upon this nation, every man, woman, and child.  We thank You, Father, and we will abide by the decision of You and the Court.


NOTE:  I decided to share this prayer with you after receiving a request from a Brother in Christ to show him how to go to the Court for his wife and small son, who are struggling with the symptoms of the Corona virus. My spirit recognized that it is time for us ALL to go to the Court on behalf of this nation. The Enemy has been accusing us for too long. We must present our case, or watch our beloved nation continue to suffer his attacks. Please join me in going to the Court!

Job 13:1-3     "Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God."

October 18, 2018

Matthew 16:19

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

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

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

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

September 26, 2015

The Lord's Feasts: Feast of Tabernacles

     Monday evening at sundown will begin the Lord's Feast of Tabernacles.  This is the final Fall Feast of the Lord's prophetic appointed times, and it designates the Lord's appearance when He tabernacles with us in the Millennial Kingdom.  To begin, let's take a look at how God instituted this Feast.
     Five days after the Day of Atonement, and for seven days, the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, as established in Leviticus 23:33-36.  For ancient Israel, it was a time of rejoicing at the end of the fall harvest.  We are commanded to rejoice and celebrate during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) for the blessing of God’s provision and care in our lives.  For the ancient Israelites, it was one of the three Feasts in which they were commanded to come to the Temple in Jerusalem, so they traveled from near and far, living in tents (or booths) during the seven days of the Feast.  We will see that the commandment to come up to Jerusalem has prophetic significance for us, as well.  Today, modern Jews still erect temporary shelters and reside in them for seven days, as they look forward to the appearance of their Messiah.
    The Old Testament significance is that God wanted the Israelites to celebrate the fact that He was in their presence.  He had dwelt among them in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and He had been their shelter, their refuge for them in the wilderness. For us Christians, the New Testament significance is that the Feast of Tabernacles represents the Lord’s shelter in the world to come, when He will dwell with us during His Millennial Reign.
    I just love the history and tradition of the Lord's Feasts, and the Feast of Tabernacles is full of spiritual import.  It was a time of great rejoicing following the mourning and repenting of The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The Rabbis of old referred to it as “the holiday”. It was one of the three holidays in which all Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem and appear before the Temple of God; therefore streams of people would come from surrounding cities and foreign countries to celebrate. The goal was to arrive by the afternoon of Tishri 14 (according to the Hebrew calendar), allowing enough time to build a booth to celebrate the feast. During Tabernacles the people brought their tithes and offerings to the Temple because you were not to appear empty-handed.  Three ceremonies marked the next seven days of joy and celebration, and they all point to Jesus as the Messiah and our Savior.
     The first ceremony was called the Water Libation Ceremony.  Remember that Israel was an agricultural community and depended heavily on their harvests to survive.  Therefore, rainfall was extremely important.  The rainfall in Israel and Jerusalem is about 20 inches per year, with most of it falling in November – March.  (On average, we get about 38 inches per year in my part of Texas).  Without a sufficient amount of rain, the crops would not survive and the nation of Israel would be in dire straits.
     And here is where the spiritual aspect begins to overlay the physical reality ... The people were very much aware of their dependence on God for the rains (and water) that were so vital for the preservation of life.  Each morning of the Feast, the High Priest would take a golden pitcher and exit the Water-Gate, making his way to the Pool of Siloam and fill up the pitcher.  There would be a great procession of music and worshippers that accompanied him.  He would return, via the Water-gate, to the Court of Priests where the Altar was located.  As he entered, three blasts of the silver trumpets sounded from the Temple.  The priest would then say, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).
     Keeping in mind that water represented life, in terms of an abundant harvest, consider the meaning of what Jesus said, when after his entry into Jerusalem, He taught in the Temple:  “Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).  Here is the continual pouring out of Living Water that was so important to Israel’s survival … physically and spiritually!
    The next ceremony that was celebrated is the Temple Lighting Ceremony.  This ceremony was held on the evening of the first day of the Feast, when the people would crowd into the Court of Women; a barrier separating men from women being raised. In the center of the Court of Women stood four huge menorahs to light the courtyard.  The wicks for these menorahs were old priestly garments.  (It would be a Holy Fire!) Young men would climb ladders 50 feet tall to light the bowls filled with olive oil.  This celebration was repeated each night for the next six nights, as the lighting of the Temple reminded people of how God's Shekinah glory had once filled His Temple. 
     On the last night of the Fire Ceremony in the Temple, the people recall the manifestation of God's physical presence with them as He led them in the Pillar of Fire through the wilderness.   They also remembered the promise that He would send the "Anointed One", the Messiah, who will be a "Light" to His people, and who will lead them to be a "light" to the nations of the world.
     And here's what the Israelites did not understand (and where God is so amazing in His revelations):  Jesus was in Jerusalem, celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, and teaching in the Temple.  The people did not understand that, in the person of Jesus, God's glory was once again present in that Temple! And Jesus used this celebration to announce that very fact. 
     He was teaching in the Court of Women just after the Feast of Tabernacles, perhaps standing right next to those magnificent candelabras when He declared to all who were gathered there, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
     The final ceremony of the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is called the Hoshanah Rabbah Ceremony; also known as "The Great Salvation".  This ceremony occurred on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  It represented the final day of the Fall harvest for the Israelites.  Today, the significance for the Jews is that it will represent the time when Israel, as a nation, has repented and Yeshua returns to the earth.  They will have declared, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!”  For the world, it is also a picture of the celebration of the gathering in of the final harvest of souls in God’s Plan.  
     If the Feast of Tabernacles represents the Millennial Reign of Christ (when He dwells on earth for 1,000 years), then this final day of the Feast is the end of that reign -- when the final harvest of souls is celebrated, and final judgment will be delivered at the Great White Throne.  There is much rejoicing on this last day, as the harvest of souls is completed.
     As our home church gathers together to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, I am in awe of God as He reveals His Sovereignty throughout the ages.  He established external and physical significance to this Feast for the ancient Israelites, and offers internal and spiritual meaning and hope for all those looking for the presence of the Messiah in their lives. 
      We will come together for a joyous meal and review both the historical and eschatological implications of the Feast of Trumpets.  We will read Scripture, and recite a prayer, honoring God's Feasts, His Holy Days:  Blessed art You, LORD our God, Master of the universe, who has given to us holidays, customs, and seasons of happiness for the glory of our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, the Light of the world. 
      We will hold up a glass of wine, reciting together:  Blessed art You, LORD our God, Master of the universe, Creator of the true fruit of the vine.  You have prepared a table for me in the midst of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.   We will then eat of the unleavened bread, declaring together:  Blessed art You, LORD our God, Master of the universe, who gives us the Living Bread from Heaven.
     We will then eat, rejoice, and commune together as we celebrate the time when the Lord returns, and the survivors from all the nations will go up, year after year, to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and God dwelling with us (Zechariah 14:16).  My spirit is telling me that this day is in the not so distant future.  Until then, let us declare together, Next Year in Jerusalem!

There is so much history, tradition, and spiritual significance to this Holy Feast Day, that it is impossible to contain it all in one blog posting.  But I hope this has given you enough insight that you will want to research it yourself, and gain the blessings that come from celebrating the Lord's Feasts.

John 1:14    "And the Word became flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

November 14, 2018

The Power Of The Spoken Word To Bring Inner Healing

     I have to share the amazing works of my Lord Jesus! First of all, He never ceases to surprise me with how He makes His presence known in ways I'm not expecting. In addition, He will bring forth concepts from those encounters that I had never before considered. And He did all that this weekend.
     Mark and I were blessed to be invited to speak before a small group of Evangelical Millennials who were interested in learning more about our Inner Healing and Deliverance Ministry.  All I knew was that they were involved in something similar to "Street Ministry" in which they canvassed their neighborhoods and apartment buildings, sharing the Gospel Message. I assumed they wanted to know how to incorporate Deliverance into that short amount of time they would have the opportunity to speak to people on the street.
     So, as in our more formal sessions of Deliverance, we always begin with the issue of Forgiveness. We explained to the group that unforgiveness is the single most powerful weapon the Enemy has to keep us in bondage. In fact, when people come to our Table of Healing, we often find they can't explain the feelings of depression or heaviness that keeps them from feeling the joy of the Lord. The first question we ask is, "Who are you angry at", followed by "What do you need to forgive them for"?
     We then employ an exercise that has profound effects on breaking those chains of bondage that keep people tied up in anger and unforgiveness. We have them recite [out loud] the following: Father God, I forgive ________ for _________.  It made me feel _________. Father, I release him/her/them to You, covered by the blood of the Lamb. It may sound too simple but we explain that the act of saying this out loud and releasing the person(s) who have wounded their soul and/or spirit has a profound effect in the spiritual realms. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that words have the power to give death or life, and the person who speaks will bear the fruit of those words, whether good or bad. When we are able to forgive someone who has deeply wounded us, and state the act and how it affected us, the power of that wound is mitigated because it is no longer held in secret for the Enemy to use against us. Both the Beloved and the Enemy sees the persecutor released to God [covered by the blood of Jesus]. Then the wound can no longer fester in darkness, but has been exposed to the Light of Jesus, which heals all things.
     So I introduced that simple exercise as a "quick and easy" way to bring healing to someone they were evangelizing to, at the same time stressing that it is extremely effective and profitable for the Beloved. I soon realized that this group wanted and needed more information on the whole process of Deliverance and its Biblical foundation. So Mark and I expanded our testimony and training to the group. What we didn't know was that one of the young people had quietly got up and left the room. The spiritual leader of the group got up to minister to him, and actually used the Forgiveness exercise. When they rejoined the group, they gave their own testimony of what happened... At first, the young person didn't want to say the words out loud. The wound was so deep that they just wanted to write the name of the person and the hurtful acts -- not speak them out loud. But the leader encouraged the spoken word and it was truly liberating! He testified [with a face that beamed pure joy] that Jesus had truly set him free!
     And that's really the point I want to make with this blog post. Being able to confess the name of someone who has hurt you, what happened to you, and how it made you feel takes away the power of the Enemy to continue to lie to you about who you are. Releasing all that pain to the Lord cuts those bonds to sins of anger and unforgiveness, and Jesus takes it all away and covers it with His blood.
     As I meditated upon the grace of Jesus to allow this group to witness the power of forgiveness in their midst, the Lord broadened my understanding of why the spoken words of Forgiveness are so important. He showed me that when we are able to speak Forgiveness out loud, it is recorded in our Book of Life in Heaven. So when the Accuser comes before the Court of Heaven to accuse us of unrighteousness and unforgiveness (which we walked in [in silence] all the years we harbored it), there is evidence before the Lord that our Accuser is giving false witness.
     Now, I may not be able to show you Chapter and Verse where the Bible states this concept in precise terms, but I can tell you that I see enough of the shadow of this theory in Scripture to call it real. In Daniel 7:9-10, the prophet is given a vision and he tells us that he saw thrones put in place in Heaven, and the Ancient One sat down to judge. Millions of angels ministered to Him, and millions stood to attend to Him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. There is little in Scripture to tell us exactly what was written in those books, but perhaps we can see a parallel "on earth as it is in heaven". Consider the books of I and II Kings, and I and II Chronicles. There we find the acts and deeds recorded [both good and bad] of the Kings of Judah and Israel. In fact, 1 Kings 11:41 says, "The rest of the events in Solomon’s reign, including all his deeds and his wisdom, are recorded in The Book of the Acts of Solomon".
     But there is a particular verse in Malachi that I discern gives credence to what the Lord recently showed me. Verse 3:16 reads, "Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name".  When we participate with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a Deliverance/Inner Healing session, we are most certainly people who fear the Lord and we are speaking with one another, confessing forgiveness and reconciliation, and being healed in the process. And I know that the Lord pays attention and hears us, because I have witnessed the consequences of those actions, and it is called spiritual freedom! And I do believe that our faith and reverence for the power of Jesus "to forgive our trespasses and to forgive those who trespass against us" is recorded in Heaven as witness to our esteem for His name, and as a challenge to Satan's charges against us. 
     Our obedience to forgive, and then announce it so that the spirit realm hears, causes our testimony to be recorded and preserved in the books of heaven, whether it be the Book of Remembrance in Malachi or the Lamb's Book of Life in Revelation. In the end, I cannot really explain the spiritual mechanics of why it works ... I just know it does! 

2 Corinthians 4:13   Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had, who wrote in Scripture, “I believed, therefore I spoke.” We also believe, therefore we also speak.." 

January 2, 2022

"There's A Difference Between What Is Legal and What Is Just"

That statement was made by actor Kevin Costner in a commercial previewing his TV show "Yellowstone".  Immediately, I recognized its significance in relation to the spiritual aspects of abortion. As you know, the highest Court in our land has heard oral arguments regarding the state of Mississippi's abortion law, which makes most abortions illegal after 15 weeks. Currently, the right to abortion is protected prior to fetal viability (which is defined as when a fetus can survive outside the uterus), as established by the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. NOTE: Roe v. Wade allows abortions up to two months after the 15 weeks written in the Mississippi law. But if the Mississippi law [or any portion of it] is upheld, other states could use the decision to make abortion illegal in perhaps half of the country.

I have read articles that say the fact that the Supreme Court has even agreed to hear the oral arguments [when lower courts have dismissed the filing] suggests that there is at least a fighting chance to limit Roe v. Wade, and perhaps even "overturn" it as a federally upheld statute! It would set a course for the States to decide their own laws regarding this abhorrent practice. Here is what is so disconcerting ... There is no federal law protecting abortion rights! In fact, Roe v. Wade is not even a law! Because we, [as citizens and Christians] have not been good caretakers of the Constitution, we have allowed unjust players in our legal system to pull the wool over our eyes!

Not only is Roe v. Wade NOT a law, it is even less "the law of the land'. Let's review a civics lesson, okay? Article 1, Section 1, of the Constitution states, "All legislative powers herein shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which consist of a Senate and House of Representatives". Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, are part of the judicial branch of the government, and have no law-making powers. Since the Supreme Court has no legislative powers, they cannot make, change, or eliminate laws! From my layman's understanding of the law, the Supreme Court can only render decisions on existing laws! So under the Constitution, the Supreme Court is given no legal authority to grant abortion rights at all! For 50 years, we have believed a legal myth!!

So how were political forces able to subvert the Constitution and make a way for nearly 63,000,000 babies to be murdered? When confronted with the 14th Amendment's construct which stated that "no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws", Justice Harry Blackmun [who wrote the majority decision in Roe v. Wade] simply decided that a fetus wasn't a person. In other words, the Supreme Court decided that "personhood" didn't start until birth. Furthermore, the Court focused on the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, and interpreted that to mean that a pregnant woman's "right to privacy" [which does not exist in the Constitution] allowed her to make a decision whether to terminate her pregnancy or not.

Which brings me to the heart of the title of this blog post... there IS a difference between what is defined as legal, and what is just. In this case, "legal" refers to those constitutional laws determined by our earthly government of men. "Just" should be understood as God's standards of what is honorable, decent, upright, honest, righteous, moral, virtuous and principled. Is it important that we distinguish between the two? And does it make a difference how we interpret what is legal and what is just? I believe it does when 63,000,000 lives of unborn babies rely on our answers to those questions. 

And what do we do when the just standards of God come in conflict with entrenched legal precedent [no matter how politically manipulated]? That becomes our "Peter and John moment", who declared that they must obey God rather than man. We must not accept what our spirits know is so offensive to the Creator of each and every one of those innocent babies. We must continue to storm Heaven with our prayers for justice for the innocent who have been subject to such brutal and unconscionable infanticide. And I believe that our prayers will make a difference! Every one of those babies cries out from under the altar of God, crying, "How long, Oh Lord, holy and true, until You avenge our blood and judge those who dwell upon the earth?" God hears our prayers and their cries. The cup of God's wrath upon this sin is nearly full, and He will soon pour it upon our land if we do not right this profound wrong. 

I pray that 2022 ends 50 years of violence against the innocent. Let our words and voices [in prayer] become spiritual weapons as we battle, in the Name of Jesus, the forces of evil and wickedness that seek to sacrifice the unborn. We do know the difference between is done in the name of "legal decision", and what is the "just desire" of our Father in Heaven, and we will never give up battling for justice and righteousness. May this year see our nation's highest Court reverse its indefensible decision of endorsing abortion, and see our land begin to regain a moral foundation. Perhaps it is prophetic that Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued for abortion rights [in Roe v. Wade] before the Supreme Court, passed away this last week, at the age of 76. May the case that she argued -- which legalized abortion in this country -- pass into history with her. It is time, Lord!

Psalm 25:12    Who is the man who fears the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worships Him with submissive wonder]?
He will teach him [through His word] in the way he should choose.

July 15, 2013

The Aftermath

     Our country has been embroiled for nearly one-and-a-half years in the prosecution of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin .... both in a court of law and in the court of public opinion.  This weekend, the verdict was reached, and George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and the jury declined to convict him on a lesser charge of manslaughter.  Whether or not you agree with the verdict, we are faced with some very tough questions about the state of our society.
     And so that we clearly understand the charge to the jury, for a finding of second-degree murder, the jurors would have had to believe that Martin's unlawful killing was "done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent" and would be "of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life."
     To convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, the jurors would have had to believe he "intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of Trayvon Martin." That charge could have carried a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, though the jury was not told of that possible sentence.
     So according to the rule of law, (and I would like to think that we still abide by that in this country), we in the United States are guaranteed, under Article Three of the Constitution, as well as the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, to a jury by trial of our peers.  Furthermore, we agree to abide by the ruling of that jury.   Both the prosecution and defense counsels presented their cases and evidence.  A qualified and approved jury listened to all the testimony and came to their decision.  But it seems that there are many who are unwilling to accept the verdict.
     Now, the "rule of law" generally refers to the "authority and influence of law in society," especially as a constraint upon behavior.  And that, I fear, is where our society is breaking down.  Let me explain.
     The effects of the NOT GUILTY verdict in the Zimmerman trial will be felt for a considerable time to come.  But we are already seeing that the influence of our Constitutional laws upon society are waning.  Many among the media, as well as celebrities and politicians seem to feel that our rules of law account for nothing.  They dismiss the jury's decision, in favor of what they deem as "justice".
     I find it disgraceful that a paid athlete of the highest order thinks it is OK to broadcast a threatening tweet against the life of the defendant.  (Where are the critics who were so willing to castigate Paula Deen for her 30-year-old remark?)  And what about the celebrities who act as judge and jury in front of thousands of fans when they proclaim that this verdict was a miscarriage of justice.  Unless you were sitting in that jury box, I don't believe you are qualified to make a judgment on whether justice was done or not.  Then there are no repercussions when the Black Panther Party offers a  $10,000 reward for whomever can capture George Zimmerman?!  Add to that the Federal Government, who is considering overlooking the not guilty verdict in order to exact some form of punishment on a man that was legally judged innocent.   Are we a nation of laws, or aren't we? 
    I worry that this case will set a dangerous precedent; that every time a legal decision doesn't go our way, we can simply ignore the judgment and exact our own sense of justice.  So what is the point of law?  Won't we simply descend into mob rule and civil disorder?
     Just yesterday, we had a sitting Senator, Harry Reid, ask for the Justice Department to prosecute George Zimmerman. “I think the Justice Department is going to take a look at this,” Reid told NBC’s Meet the Press. “This isn’t over with and I think that’s good. That’s our system, it’s gotten better, not worse.”  Umm, excuse me, Mr. Senator, but I thought he had been prosecuted, and found INNOCENT!  And if it is our system, why aren't you willing to abide by it?  It seems that you want what you want, not what our system has decided is just.
     And of course, the politicians are never going to let this "crisis go to waste."  So how convenient is it to bring in gun control in the aftermath of this verdict?  I can hear them in late night caucuses, "We can still salvage a victory out of this mess yet!  Passions are high and we can combine racism and gun control into one issue and it will make a perfect vehicle for our agenda."
     I am praying that the foundation of our Constitution can hold up under this onslaught.  I feel that it is only hanging by a thread and the scales of justice are about to be overwhelmed.  Consider the hallowed words of the Preamble of our Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

     Now ask yourself this question .... in the wake of this prominent trial in Florida, are we still concerned with "establishing justice and insuring domestic tranquility"?  Or are we more inclined to throw justice to the wind in favor of personal biases, influence, and partisanships?  Is the purpose of justice to serve the common good and truth, or is it to further personal agendas?  It is a sad and tragic fact that Trayvon Martin was killed.  I cannot imagine that anyone celebrates what happened on that night.  But humanity has attempted justice in the best way we know how, and whether we like the outcome or not, our laws have been followed.  The threat of chaos and lawlessness will only serve to rip apart the fabric of our fragile society.
     Dear God in Heaven, I have always believed that this nation was set apart by your Divine plan, but I am beginning to see only the Devil's hand in the midst of this tragedy.  Do not forsake us; return us to your precepts and your model of behavior and thought.  Heal our land!

Zechariah 7:9       This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another."  

August 31, 2019

Fulfillment of the Law, Inner Healing, and The Kingdom of God

     We are all familiar with the Beatitudes of Matthew, Chapter Five. We have heard countless sermons quote these familiar verses. But I will tell you that I never heard a message that linked them to the Kingdom of God, even though Jesus begins by associating them with the Kingdom.
     He says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of God". When my spirit first recognized this connection, all of the Beatitudes took on new meaning! And while it is not the purpose of this post to examine Matthew 5:1-12, I invite you to read the post I wrote, I Finally Understand the Beatitudes!  Suffice it to say that this amazing Scripture illuminates the blessings of belonging to the Kingdom of God and the spiritual implications of Jesus's rule in our lives. These twelve verses highlight what our spiritual attitudes, goals, and character traits should be as Christians.
     And interestingly, each of the twelve verses simulate the progression of what it looks like when we take this journey with Jesus towards our complete and whole sanctification. First, we are poor in spirit, without a relationship with our Creator; then we mourn for our fallen state; we become meek and teachable; then hunger and thirst after righteousness; becoming merciful and pure in heart; seeking the peace of Heaven; which goes against the world's nature and we are persecuted for our righteousness; ending with us receiving great rewards in heaven for our allegiance to our Lord. That's what it's like to be transformed from a lost soul into a Kingdom citizen!
     But it's what Jesus has to say about fulfilling the Law that I want to examine today. How many times have we read His teachings on Murder, Lust, Divorce, Oaths, Revenge, and Love in the Book of Matthew? We've all seen the simple moral lessons on each of these important topics, and Jesus makes it clear that they are important commandments to follow. He even warns that entering the Kingdom of Heaven depends on us understanding them. But I want to take you a little deeper, if I may.
     Remember, Jesus wants us to understand that He has not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but rather to fulfill them. And have you noticed that He begins each of the five topics He covers with this statement: "You have heard it said [to those of old]"... quoting from the Old Testament and the Law.  But He follows it up with, "But I say to you"... bringing a new perspective to the Law, now that the Kingdom of God has arrived with Him.
     I want you to see and understand two things: 1) He is showing us what a renewed mind, one that perceives things from a Kingdom perspective looks like; and 2) He is showing what the root cause is of these spiritual sins. Let me show you how that works. Let's start with the topic of Murder. Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder'... But I say, whoever is angry with his brother ... whoever insults his brother ... whoever calls his brother a fool will all be held to judgement. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison."
     He is showing us how to renew our minds and not give in to sinful actions. He gives us a heavenly solution to a sinful problem. There is no murder or anger in Heaven. But even more importantly, He is showing us that the root cause of murder is the spirit of anger! If you give in to the spirit of anger, and do not change your perspective to a kingdom one, that anger can lead to bitterness, then to resentment, on to hatred, and eventually can wind up at murder!
     Now let's look at Adultery. Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."  Here, we see that the root cause of adultery is lust. If we give in to a lustful spirit, it can lead to fantasizing, perhaps pornography, and even eventually, adultery. But Jesus gives us a solution. Change the way we've looked at, and bind it as it is bound in Heaven. Put a stop to anything in your life that enables or encourages you to go down that road.
     Divorce is a difficult one. Jesus doesn't have much to say about it:  “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Jesus quotes the Law and then re-defines it according to the Father's spiritual rules. It's as if He's saying, "You've heard me say that lust is the spiritual root of adultery, and lust is what leads to sexual immorality. So, that is the only grounds on which you can serve a bill of divorce to your wife. No longer can you just decide you want to end the marriage. Any grounds other than the one I have established is not recognized, and is a sin. Divorce does not exist in Heaven. It should not exist here on earth.
     Oaths are another area that He is adamant about.  "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all....". Here, Jesus is reformatting the Law again. Taking an oath was okay under the Law, as long as it was not false. But in a renewed Kingdom mindset, one doesn't want to take an oath at all. We recognize who we are, and our word as sons and daughters of the King carry all the weight we need. Oaths can lead to destruction, such as the oaths taken by Freemasons against their bodies and the health of their family members. I have seen those oaths destroy families and lives. The consequences of seemingly meaningless pledges and vows have unleashed havoc on innocent lives for generations. Follow Jesus's advice: Let your "yes" mean "yes", and your "no" mean "no".  
     Revenge or retaliation is another topic Jesus addresses:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."  There is no revenge in Heaven, except for that exacted by YHWH. Remember: Vengeance is His alone! So a Kingdom mindset turns the other cheek to keep the Enemy from inciting evil; always giving more than what was taken. A Kingdom mindset does not let a root sin of anger develop into bitterness, followed by hatred, which could end up with murder,
     Finally, Jesus ends up with the most surprising advice:  "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."  That is so counter-intuitive to the human mind. But a spiritually renewed mind can recognize that that is exactly what Jesus did! True love is a sacrificial love, and it is perfect love.
     So I hope you were able to see the elements of Inner Healing, and see the root causes of spiritual issues in Jesus's teaching. And I hope you were able to peel another layer of revelation off Scripture today. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to bring it to the fullness of its purpose: to help us transform this earth into Heaven. Our Lord has so much to reveal to us about the mind of the Father, and is trying to teach us to renew our minds to see from the Father's Heavenly perspective. These verses offer so much more than "Don't Murder, don't cheat on your spouse, don't get divorced, don't seek revenge, and just love everyone". Jesus is trying to teach us how to live a Kingdom lifestyle and not yield spiritual territory to our Enemy. May we grow each day toward that perfect life and discern His righteousness in all its ways!

Luke 6:40      A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.