Acceptance

Condemnation, Judgment, and…Discipline: What are they and are they still around?

Most confuse the first two and hardly talk about the last one. Lets explore their real meaning and possible applications in New Testament thinking. Lets dive in and see how many don’t like what I have to say. If you don’t please comment and explain your take on the different sides, definitions, and applications.

First three(ish) Greek definitions

  • Condemnation – katakrima in Greek – an adverse sentence (the verdict):—condemnation
  • Judgment – krisis in Greek – decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law):—accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment
  • Judge – krinō in Greek – properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:—avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think
  • Discipline – paideuō in Greek – to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment):—chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach

Now our English definitions according to Oxford Dictionary

  • Condemnation – The expression of very strong disapproval; censure
  • Judgment – The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions
  • Judge – Form an opinion or conclusion about
  • Discipline – Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

Does God still condemn? Does God still judge or give judgment? Does God still discipline?

Many “Grace Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God in no way condemns nor judges or gives judgments. I haven’t heard much if they believe God still corrects or disciplines (could be due to so much emphasis on God not judging). Many “Judgment Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God is still in the judging/judgment business and He does it often and without restraint. This view is usually about how God is angry at sin and sinners and is punishing them for it yet you don’t hear much about restoration or redemption in it. “Death to California and NYC” tends to be their mantra.

Funny thing is the hyper-grace people tend not to offer the same grace to those who don’t align with their thinking. And the judgment people don’t offer grace to much of anything. I think the “Judgment Preachers” need a lot more grace and the “Grace Preachers” need a lot more discernment, which true judgment is. All the while neither side knows there is a balance between the two. Look at the Apostle John. Only the Apostle of Love could receive Revelation and all it’s hard sayings.

Both sides hold very strong beliefs regarding their viewpoints. Both usually tell the other side to question what they’ve been taught. Both are tend to be hardliners. Both, in my opinion, burn bridges and castigate each other. Do they not realize they’ll be spending eternity together? God will one day set us all straight in our beliefs…but until then the schism remains and the devouring lingers. For what it’s worth, which may not be much, here is my belief, not to tear one down nor build another up. I will digress from my ratiocination above and move along.

Do I think God condemns people? In a word no. People think God does but He really doesn’t. People are not meant to condemn other people either. It’s interesting to note that Hell was never intended nor created for human beings but the devil and his angels. But Hell does exist and some invariably will choose to reject Christ and His offer and end up there, despite some Christian Universalist’s claims. It is interesting to note that in Matthew 12:41 that the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it along with the Queen of the south. However there is another Scripture in Luke 6:37 that says not to condemn or you will be condemned. Clearly in John 3:17 it says God did not send Jesus to condemn us. Our hearts can condemn us according to 1 John 3:20. But God is greater than our hearts and supersedes it.

Now what about judgment or judging? The most common Scripture used to say we are not to judge is Matthew 7:1 which says judge not lest you me judged. Like I said most common used Scripture. However many miss another Scripture in John 7:24 which says,

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

There is a righteous judgment that is necessary and allowed, you may even take it as a command but that’s on you. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment… We all judge. Everyday. Mostly based upon outside appearances. Sometimes internal. As the saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”, so goes in life. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I ran across another blog written by an outright pagan. Now I wasn’t there and I don’t know either of the parties involved so I can’t judge their hearts but their actions may point to something here. I am not condemning them at all but pointing out something that is sorely needed, especially in Charismatic circles where some strange people seem to surface (I say in jest). She and another visited a Healing Rooms in a very prominent Charismatic church in Cali. There aim was simple and quite neutral and genuine. They wanted whatever this particular Healing Rooms had to offer.  So they went and encountered absolutely loving, gentle, and encouraging people. They received very encouraging words a

Another passage about judging is 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. To keep the word count down I won’t supply the whole passage but the gist of it is this: we are called to judge with righteous truth and discernment. We will judge angels and the world yet it is not politically correct to judge people’s actions according to some. You can see this in the current events. For fear of profiling and judging a terrorist attack in San Bernardino could have very well been prevented. The situation in question was purely an outside appearance issue. But because of the sensitive nature of people these days a person did not come forward with a concern. Spiritually speaking, discernment should one or the only criteria for judging. There is right and wrong plainly explained in Scripture and should be taught, preached, and learned. There is also much gray areas as well. There are also some areas that aren’t touched at all. Some other Scriptures that point to fact that we need to point out issues in our lives and other people’s live, if they have given us authority to do so, I repeat, if they have given us authority to do so are: 2 Tim. 4:2, Eph 4:15Eph 4:25-262 Cor 7:81 Cor. 2:10-16, and 1 Cor. 14:24-25. Many people judge others and have no clue who the person is or where they came from or their story. In these cases judgment should only be used via discernment and not outright rebuke. Discernment is but judgment devoid of outward appearances. Rashness, bigoted, hateful speech is never, ever a legitimate expression of righteous judgment or discernment. Ever. Because of the “Judgment Preachers” people are hating Christians even more these days. And this may very well be the reason for the appearance of “Grace Preachers.” However both have been around since the start of Christianity. The biggest problems with the “Judgment Preachers” are the sub group I call, “Date Setters”. Whether it’s Jonathan Cahn, John Hagee, or the eBible Fellowship people, they have an issue with sin…and obviously don’t know how to handle it. Truth with love, speech seasoned with salt to give grace, grace that empowers change and not that destroys countries. On the discipline…

I’ll start with Heb. 12:5-17

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

And Revelation 3:19 which says,

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Discipline, correction, and rebuke. All three are come from judgment/discernment and are labeled as condemnation by those who don’t fully understand the terms. Hopefully the I answered that and if not then I would encourage you to study it more than I have. This blog is already getting too long…lol

God does indeed discipline and correct us and if Hebrews is right then that proves we are legitimate. And if He doesn’t there is illegitimacy. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it,” says Prov. 9:8. “Rebuke a fool and he will hate you,” goes the rest of it. Look I don’t like people telling me I’m wrong. Usually people don’t. But to remove that from our lives is to remove growth in areas we don’t think we need growth. Have you ever sought the Lord for a Word concerning something but He gave you a Word about something totally different? It goes the same way. We need to have people in our lives who can challenge, correct, exhort, and come alongside us.

One scripture that is oft quoted is 2 Tim. 1:7 which says,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We love not being given a spirit of fear. He crave love. We yearn for His power. But a sound mind? What does that even mean? Glad I asked! Sound mind in Greek is sōphronismos which means discipline. Ever since I looked up the meaning I’ve wondered why the translators chose such a different phrase that discipline. How many crave discipline? I do as an adult. But hated it as a child. Maybe that’s the difference? Maturity versus childhood.

Redemptive shame, just like redemptive pain, is a gift from God. However, destructive shame and destructive pain from the enemy is a curse and not a blessing. Knowing the difference is key. Yes there is redemptive shame and sorrow (see Acts 5:41, 1 Cor. 1:27, 1 Cor. 6:5, 2 Thes. 3:14) Redemptive shame and destructive shame are only confused by the voice of the enemy. God brings hope. Enemy despair.

James 2:13 says,

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Judgment and mercy. Mercy and judgment. A paradox.

In my experience, mercy, not getting what I do deserve, has often been, getting a little bit of what I do deserve. Shame, fear, hell, judgment, pain is what drove me to Jesus. I felt like a horrible human being who didn’t deserve to live. And God used that feeling to get me to dive to His feet. I was stumbling on a path the led to nowhere but hell and destruction and was enjoying it…until He put His hand on my life and said, “You’re wrong and you and I both know it.” He disciplined and corrected me in the midst of it all and 12 years later I’ve changed and I’m changing…and it wasn’t a pretty process. It was a redemptive process but not a pretty one. Sometimes God gives you what you want to show you what you need as someone has said.

For me I must be open to His many ways of dealings with me. I cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear if He wants to show me how I’m wrong. I should crave it! King David said his judgments (which He uses to correct and discipline) are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired than fine gold or a winning Powerball ticket. Sweeter than honey or stevia, whichever you prefer. For by them your servant and son are warned. In keeping them is great reward.

Condemnation is a no-no for humans. Judgments are a yes-no but only when love, mercy, and true righteousness is established in their heart. Discipline is a yes-yes for without it we are illegitimate. And fear not because God doesn’t correct but for our own benefit and not destruction.

So I did my best, which is far from perfect, but I thought I’d open a dialogue that many have shut down. I aim to regain bridges that have been burned. A good scribe brings from his storeroom treasure both old and new.

There are two sides to every coin and only when a coin has two different sides is it ever of any worth.

 

 

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Get back up!

Yes you fell…we all have and most will again. But it’s not your end. A righteous person may fall 7 times but will rise again. Yes even in the midst of your fall you are still righteous. As the Apostle Paul said, “Such were some of you…but you were washed.” You may have fallen today or an hour ago but with each rising comes a washing. Yes you messed up. Admit it. Come to grips with your actions. Then move forward. If you ever think that God gets tired of you just remember Psalm 121:4, “He who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep.” He isn’t tired of you and He will never get tired of you coming to Him. I release the truth upon you that you have the ability to go boldly before the Throne of Grace to receive the mercy that you need. Go! Boldly! Never cease going! He is available! He is watching and waiting with His eyes on the horizon! Don’t you see Him! Run! Run faster! Because He will overtake you with His grace. I see Him removing the stained clothes you wear. I see Him washing your feet. I see Him, in you, beckoning for bear hug. I see new clothes! Clean clothes! I see Him calling you to His table of abundance. “Kill the fatted calf! Bring the best wine! My child is here and My love is forever upon them!” You know what? I see Him offering His seat at the table for you. Take it! Is is Him that calls you precious. It is Him that says, “You are worthy of my love.” I understand this is contrary to all religions and religious activity. But it’s true. You are no longer defined by your past or even your present. You are defined by the Great Definer. It is His Word that stands across the ages and sands of time. What He says counts! Not the enemy, not your soul, and not the accusers. Go and so no more! This is declaration and not a warning. Know who you are, know who He is, and know you and Him combined. Get back up! Stop trying to get a grip on Him…rest in His grip on you. You may feel lost but He is never lost and has found you. He is leading you back to still and restful waters. Soak it up! Rest! Let His love take you to where you never thought was possible! Let His perfect love cast away all fear. Let. Let the love do it….and not yourself. Let. Allow His Love to do it apart from you ability to grasp it’s all consumingness. Yes you fell and have fallen. It’s time to get back up. Will you allow His grace, mercy, and love overtake you today? It’s available right now…and will be available for all eternity.

 

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Balance – The Other Side Of Freedom

Balance. That’s not a popular word amongst some Charismatics. A real popular word amongst non-Charismatics and when I say Charismatics I mean those who don’t believe in cessationism. Charismatics, generally speaking, take the word “balance” as limiting and binding. There was an article written a couple of years ago by Anthony Bradley entitled, “The ‘new legalism’: How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God.” You can Google the article if you want. This blog isn’t geared necessarily towards anything he did or didn’t say but the article brought up some things I’ve been thinking about and haven’t thought about for a couple of years.

I’m speaking from a guy who was raised in the Charismatic(if you like labels) church. Though I was raised in the Charismatic church, I did my own thing for several years and when I was 20 years old made my own decision to follow the Lord. I then went back to the Charismatic church. I also had a couple spurts in a Methodist and AG church, which had wonderful believers in them. Some of the things I’ve experienced were completely amazing and life changing yet at the same time I went through a lot of shame, rejection, and not being able to quite measure up to others around me. And this had nothing to do with sin but with Charismatic performance.

Due to the lack of freedom in many evangelical churches where you can neither dance nor raise your hands during worship, much less show any type of emotional responses or even read the Scripture for yourself, believers have been so hungry for more. Like the ability to express one’s own love for the Lord in ways that they feel comfortable like flag waving, dancing, lifting hands, prophetic art, clapping, shofar blowing etc. But now these actions have become performing, not to say the people themselves are performing to please God because that’s between them and the Lord. With these new sets of standards it opens the possibility that if you don’t do these things then you are labeled nominal or cold or lukewarm or quenching the Spirit. For example, when everyone stands up in church to sing the songs on the projector and you remained seated you may get a look or a “gentle” nudging from another to stand up and get excited about Jesus and you succumb to the pressure to perform all the while it could be the opposite of how your spirit connects with God.

Personally I connect better while sitting and being still. I love reading while laying down as opposed to sitting. Our spirits are Hand-crafted and designed on purpose and for purpose. We are living stones being fitted together. We have to let one stone be different from all others otherwise there might be a chink in the armor of the whole. We have so desired freedom that it’s become a bigger box than we were in before…but it’s still a box if you let it define what’s new and acceptable.

We’ve erred on the side where freedom becomes an activity instead of a rest from activity. Freedom means to dance…it also means not to dance. Freedom means to shout…it also means not to shout. Freedom means laying prostrate in front of the altar…it also means not laying prostrate in front of the altar. Freedom means me being me…it also means giving the Spirit permission to push me a little. Freedom means I can get slain in the spirit…it also means I don’t need to get slain in the spirit. Freedom means I can stand up and raise my hands…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I shake & bake by manifesting…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can speak in tongues…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can get drunk in the spirit…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can live in Truth without conforming to someone else’s standards. Freedom means I can walk in my design without fitting into someone else’s design.

If a person knows what they know and knows what they don’t know and is secure in that and can allow someone else to know what they don’t know and can lean into that then maturity and balance can come. In order for balance to occur there must be two sides having equal force all hinging on a higher Truth that keeps both afloat. Jesus had a great nugget that I don’t think I’ve ever heard mentioned in a sermon and it’s in Matthew 13:52 and says,

He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].

There is nothing wrong with liturgy and there is nothing wrong with spontaneity. There is nothing wrong with hymns and there is nothing wrong with prophetic singing. It was for freedom that Christ set us free.

Several years back where I sat like a bump on a log in midst of others feeling overflowing joy and laughter and His Presence. They would shake & bake and feel great all the while I felt the sensitivity of a gnat. I felt somewhat devastated inside. If this is what freedom was then I wanted in and no matter what I did by mimicking, or getting prayer, or even doing a little fake it till you make it, I just didn’t get it. It was sin because I knew others had sin. What was it? It was even worse when it came for a prayer line when those who were shaking & baking would get more and more prayer and I would stand there in “receiving mode” and get a quick 5 second prayer. A common remark I’d hear about those “experiencing more” than me would be, “The Spirit’s all over him,” and then they would point their finger and the person would flail even more. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those “strange fire” people. I have physically experienced God on several occasions and I fully believe God touches His children in amazing ways. I’ve been healed twice of sinus infections. It’s the box. It’s the “Freedom” box that I don’t care for.

We cannot set aside one set of rules in exchange for another set  rules. We need freedom to and freedom not to. The Holy Spirit is wind and blows one way and you don’t see it and it blows another. You don’t know where it’s coming or where it’s going. So are those born of the Spirit. We are ingrafted into this wind and we must leave behind our belongings and step into sonship where you can do what He wants for you and not what others want for you. God’s wants for another may not be the same as His wants for you. His wants for me won’t be the same and His wants for you.

Oneness comes with diversity. In our soul this doesn’t make sense. By our spirit knows. Adam left sonship behind for his own belongings. And until we leave our belongings at the foot of Him we won’t have oneness but a certain longing for unity out of our grasp. I must leave my belongings, the things I use to belong, at His feet and enter into sonship with the One True King.

On a side note. One thing that has set me free from being fascinated by externals is Psalm 103:7 which says,

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.

For me personally, knowing His ways is tops. His acts are cool but I never want them to be a distraction. If my wife lauded my gifts and not my heart then I would feel…well used. I don’t get the ecstatic reactions to gems, glory clouds, or angel feathers. Whether they are real or not. It’s not my focus. Because for me, if it was my focus, I would not feel legitimate unless I was able to receive the same exact things. Unless I got a gem stone, unless I got an angel feather(though I joke I do get them when my goose down pillows expel them), unless a glory cloud fills my room I won’t feel up to par. All these things are great, fantastic, and utterly amazing acts of God. But for me, which won’t be for you too, I love His ways. I want to know Him.

Please mind my rant in the midst of the case I’m presenting. I wanted to provide the other side of freedom. The balance. The true freedom where my design can flourish in the midst of a person’s completely different design. Where both designs can be honored, legitimized, and celebrated. So here’s a blessing.

Spirit of _____ I bless you and call you forward and to attention. I bless you spirit with God’s completely different, one-of-a-kind, mold-breaking design. I bless you with the freedom to and the freedom to not to. Be free to be led by the Spirit into freedom. Not chaos but freedom where you can be you and another can be another.  Spirit of ____ listen to God’s word for you in Psalms 103:7 which says, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.” Throughout the time Israel was in the wilderness there was a special thing Moses and God had going…something different that Israel’s status quo and box. I bless you spirit with knowing God’s ways without needing His acts as a legitimacy crutch. Be blessed and astounded and amazed by His acts but when they aren’t present know your Father has never left you. Absence of His acts never proves the absence of His Presence though His Presence may be known by His acts. Spirit I bless with you the balance of 100% Scripture and 100% Holy Spirit. I bless you with the freedom to have the soul or body touched by God and I bless you with not needing the soul and body touched. Spirit, all you need to do is go to the face of the Father in all situations, circumstances, problems, provisions, and applications and receive all you need from God. Receive all your directions from the Father’s face. May the Father’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May you shine, spirit. May you exude all the reflections, colors, rhythms, wavelengths, sounds, freedom to and freedom not tos that God has placed within you. May you walk in oneness with diversity. May all portions of you be blessed, healed, celebrated and rejoiced. You weren’t wrong in your design, in your feelings, or in your ways of connecting with God. God made you to connect with Him in certain ways and at certain times. There is no box over you spirit! You are free to go to the face of the Father so He may unpack all of your special and unique design features. He will unlock, in His timing, every He has place in you from the foundations. Be blessed spirit to ride the wind, be united to the wind, and to be excited for the wind.

I hope you get the gist of what my spirit was feeling and I hope your spirit caught it. The soul can get pretty wrapped up with a lot of things. One day our spirits will rule and reign in the rightful place it was designed for.

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It’s not your fault

This clip is from Good Will Hunting. Just a word of caution. This clip shows a real issue and real emotions. If you’ve been abused this may bring up emotions or flashbacks. My aim is for healing, redemption, and to let you know that it’s not your fault. Please pardon the language:

 

It isn’t! You didn’t do it. You didn’t bring it on yourself. You had nothing to do with it. You weren’t being punished for who you are because who you are is a beautiful person God personally designed, thought about, and put together. You were not a mistake. What happened was caused by someone else and their sin, frailty, and wounding. They did it, not you. You are free from being responsibly for someone else’s actions. God can, and will, and is freeing you from the past. Remember that it is not your fault. You are free to be everything God created you to be. Do me and God a favor today. Take time off. Be you and be comfortable with you. Be who you are. It’s not about performance but about freedom. Truth was meant to set you free not keep you in bondage. I may not fully understand each one of your hurts, wounding, betrayals, abuse, or defilement but God understands. Jesus said, “Come to Me all of you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Receive His rest today. Let it go from mind to heart and from spirit to soul. Let His love wash over you like a hot shower. Cascading over everything you thought you weren’t. Let the ocean of His love and the waves of His grace come and speak to you. Let Him speak to you the thoughts He has that outnumber the sands of the sea. Open up your heart once again to Him who will never, NEVER hurt, wound, or betray you. He longs to hear your voice. He longs to hold your hand. He longs to be with you right in the middle of everything.

I apologize for any emotions or past experiences it may have brought back. Please don’t stuff or neglect emotions because they point to something and it can bring a chance for healing to come. Many of you need to watch it and receive the words and affirmation you’ve so longed to hear and believe. Some may not need to hear this but you may know someone who does. Pass it along. Share it, post it, like it, re-blog it not for me but for someone else.

Going to Nicaragua!!

Dear WordPress family,

I am writing to share some exciting news with you. I plan to be part of a mission team traveling to Nicaragua June 16th through June 21st. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in our hemisphere (Haiti is the poorest). I’m going to sow into the land and the people. I have felt called to go ever since I had a dream with a well known prophet. In the dream this prophet named three names, two of which I don’t remember but Nicaragua is the one that stuck with me so I’m going!

My church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Frederick, Maryland, in partnership with Cristo Centro Church of Diriamba, Nicaragua, sponsors TrueHope4Kids, a ministry outreach to school age children in Diriamba. The children who participate in TrueHope4Kids would, were it not for this outreach, likely not attend school at all, but would be out in the streets begging or scavenging the local dump for “treasures” to sell to help keep food on the table at home. In exchange for their caregivers agreeing to keep them in school, TrueHope4Kids provides a nourishing meal and high-quality vitamins every school day, along with Bible studies and other educational activities. The children receive help with uniforms, and receive backpacks filled with school supplies every year. Over the years, many of the children and their families have surrendered their lives to Christ, become active church members and productive members of their community.

Our team will be serving and ministering to these children and their families each day, not only at the TrueHope4Kids location, but also visiting in their homes, hearing their stories, encouraging them and praying for their needs. We will likely do some street witnessing as well. And because we will be there during Cristo Centro Church’s 30th anniversary, we will get to join the congregation for their celebration, where we will have opportunities to serve and encourage them as well!

I am asking for your help to make this trip possible. First, I covet your prayers for success in raising funds and for productive ministry and safety for our team during the mission trip. I know that much prayer is vital for success, and I would be greatly encouraged if you would agree to pray for me and the whole team.

Second, I cannot make the trip without financial partners. I need to raise $1,320 to join this mission team, half before April 15th and the remainder by June 2nd. If you are able to help with the finances, I would be richly blessed. You can use the PayPal donate link below. Donations done that way will not be tax exempt unfortunately. To receive a tax deductible, receipt use https://giving.onthecity.org/hcfchurch/uauth_giving/new and put “NIC Missions 1 John 4:17” as the memo.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers and any financial support you are able to provide. I plan to provide a follow-up report to you when our trip is concluded.

Sincerely,

Jordan Gresczyk

 

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Judgment Upon Your Enemies

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Have you ever wondering why bad things happen in your life? I do. Why are these things in my life crumbling and shaking? Why are things falling apart? A thought recently popped in my head about this. I’m not saying this is true or whatever but I ponder things like this. Again this may be true and this may not be true but only my thoughts. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

Sometimes if the enemy is wrapped up too much in our life and the wrath of God against the enemy comes sometimes we get burnt. Some OT references would be Lot and several of the prophets. They were righteous people walking in their destiny yet suffered in the midst. When God judge Israel, as a whole, both righteous and unrighteous succumbed to His dealings whether they deserved it or not. Again I want to be careful here and not generalize anything but sometimes are life needs to be shaken so that which remains is only Kingdom. If we are a little too close to our enemy we can very well experience the chastisement of the Lord. It’s not a good feeling but oh how the enemy scatters and leaves us in His lap. I just had the thought of when I was spanked as a child. My dad would put me over his lap and spank me…then console me. Both happened on his lap…how much more our Heavenly Father. Hebrews 12:5-8 says

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

It’s the grace of God that makes our spirits and lives fireproof though parts of us may crumble and burn. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 says

each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Sometimes the mercy of God is getting a little of what you deserve. Consequences for actions are a good motivator if not done in fear. The wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Notice He is against the “ness” and not the person. If God is for you then He is against everything that is against you. Until we give it all up and let God arise in ourselves the enemy will not be scattered. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman…except when He isn’t. He will patiently sit there waiting in love until you are ready and He will determine when you are ready to deal with the baggage. The longer you don’t deal – let Him deal with it – the harder the burn or the shaking will be. He is a jealous God and will not accept things between you and Him. Isaiah 42:3 says

A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.

We should welcome his correction for a wise men loves it. We should welcome his hand on our life. Psalm 19:9-10 says

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Judgment is not the same as condemnation. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!

We must let His light so shine before us so that we can see ourselves and run into His arms as He is running to us. He has His robe and ring for us and a fatted calf roasting on the pit but we need to recognize the slop of the enemy and get away from it. If you are in sin, get healed, healing, deliverance, etc. I currently am reaping what I sown and it hurts but it is the mercy of God. I’d rather feel the heat of the burner on my hand and get burned a little then not feel pain and lose my hand in the process. Pain can be a wonderful thing. C. S. Lewis put it best

We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

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Past anointings and mantles?

982_elijah_chariot_fire_2

So it appears that there was some issue with the idea of having or walking in someone else’s anointing or mantle. This is what tend to believe about that…

I was watching a YouTube and the person shared Hebrews 11:39-40 which says

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (NASB)

The above picture show Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha. 1 Kings 19:19 says.

So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.

Mantle in hebrew is ‘addereth which means glory or cloak. 2 Kings 2:9-14 says

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 He said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 11 As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12 Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over.

So Elisha picked up Elijah’s glory. He picked up where Elijah left off. It’s a beautiful picture of the Scripture in Hebrews above. I also love the picture of Elisha taking that mantle and trying it out. He struck the waters and beseeched the Throne of God and asked where God was…and God showed up and the waters parted!

Even in Jesus’ time John the Baptist came with that same mantle. Luke 1:17 says

It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

There is yet and I believe now is, a generation with the anointing, mantle, spirit, and power of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s second coming. I know Elijah was a man just like us (James 5:17). Jesus was a Man too. He is also the Son of God as Adam was also (Luke 3:38). The anointing is the same but different. We have an anointing from the Holy One. We receive it from Him because He decides what type of anointing. Remember what Elijah said to Elisha when Elisha asked for the double portion? Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” The ball was in God’s court in regards to that double portion. Now is there a difference between the mantle or the double portion. The mantle was passed on but the double portion was subject to Elisha prophetic experience.

John the Baptist came is spirit in power of Elijah and Elijah has come to restore all things (Mark 9:12) and, in one of my previous blogs, heaven has received Jesus until the restoration of all things. There is still work to do. I think we get wrapped up in vocabulary(I do) and forget the spirit behind things. We have an anointing whether we call it healing, prophetic, this person or that person, etc. Christ is the Anointed One and He is the one that smears us with it! So when I said I felt like God say I have a Lincoln anointing it means there is a spirit and unction that Lincoln walked in and was not yet perfected and needs someone else to walk in it to fulfill it so he can become perfected for apart from us that wouldn’t come to completion. Don’t get me wrong I’m not running for President LOL. I have this picture of a relay race where there are many racers in one race. As one person runs there heart and finishes their race they pass on the baton to the next person to complete it. I also sense Malachi 4:5-6 is speaking about Hebrews 11:39-40 and it says

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”

Hearts of the fathers to the sons could also speak of past and current/new generations coming to together and, if I may borrow the term Dutch Sheets used, the synergy of the ages. Standing in agreement with previous prayers and adding on so that bowl of incense may be poured upon earth for perfection.

I went on a little bit of a rabbit trail but I think I clarified. I know some will still disagree but it’s all good! I love you guys who read and comment and like my blogs! We are in this together, Amen!? We need unity amongst diversity for there are many gifts but One Spirit!

I’ll end again with Hebrews 11:39-40

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (NASB)

 

 

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Thanksgiving

thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which was only 5 days ago BTW, I must say I am thankful for our Father’s Voice. For without it, I would still be in my Stockholm Syndrome.

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A Place to Lay His Head

fullness-of-god

Ephesians 4:12-13 (AMP)

12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),

13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

 

Matthew 8:20 (NASB)

20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Fullness (plērōma) – the state of being filled to capacity or that which is (has been) filled or the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ

Knowledge (epignōsis) – to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly and precise and correct knowledge

Mature (teleios) – wanting nothing necessary to completeness or brought to its end, finished

What I believe is happening and needs to happen is that the Church (https://1john417.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/what-does-the-term-church-mean/) needs to create a place for Christ’s Head to rest. Far too long…centuries upon centuries the Church has been disjointed and far removed from His Head. We hear message upon message of the same things. Milk (1 Cor.3:2). We need meat. We need to consume His Flesh and drink His Blood. We must focus and behold Him in order to go from glory to glory (https://1john417.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/mirror-mirror/). If we keep focusing on our current glory we will never grow and never transfigure into something greater and fuller is measure. There is hidden wisdom reserved for us to walk in…there are book waiting to be opened for us to read (1 Cor. 2:7, Dan. 12:4) We must focus where we are seated in order to influence where we stand. To say it literally, the world depends on it and us to walk as He is in this world (Rom. 8:19, 1 Jon. 4:17)

Hebrews 6:1-3 (AMP)

Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,

With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]

If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching].

Jesus is our Savior, not death. If we are waiting for death to be free from sin and imperfection than death is your savior and not Christ. We must stop living body, to soul, to spirit and start living, as we were originally created, spirit, to soul, to body. I am of the believe that our spirits are not subject to the limitations and parameters of our body (see Acts 5:15, Acts 19:12, Col. 2:5). Our soul, on the other hand, must be more and more subject to Him and sanctified and prosperous (3 John 1:2). We truly are seated in Heavenly dimensions or places.

Christ needs shoulders and a body not defined by denominations or labels but by His placement. Knit together in unity of the Spirit. His rule comes through man’s agreement with His purposes. A true co-labor and co-work and co-creating with Him (https://1john417.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/what-on-earth-do-we-do-2/).  Seek His face and thus become His face on earth. Creation groans together by our unveiling which brings His headship back to original intent. (https://1john417.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/mirror-mirror/)

We need to hold fast to the Head as Colossians 2:18-22 says

18 Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit,

19 And not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?—such as]

21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],

22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.

Father, we need You! Father us in this new thing and time and season. Father us to completion. Reveal Yourself to us so we may be revealed to ourselves. Creation is waiting Father. May we succumb to your relentless love and transfiguration process in which metamorphosis (metamorphoō) happens and we change into fullness and a mature man able to support and bring down your authority in order to make your enemy your footstool and things are restored for Your coming.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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What does the term “Church” mean?

Old keys on a old book, antique wood background

According to Strong’s ekklésia (church) means an assembly, congregation, church; the Church, the whole body of Christian believers. Now from what I recently learned this is the most basic definition. In other words the church or ekklésia means a group of people together. But what else does it mean? I will attempt to explain what I recently heard from two different minsters on two different occasion unrelated to each other.

According to ancient Greece the ekklésia was the senate of the government. It legislated what was allowed or forbidden or may I say bound or loosed (Matt. 16:19).

The ekklesia‘s powers were almost unlimited. It elected and dismissed magistrates and directed the policy of the city. It declared war, and it made peace. It negotiated and approved treaties and arranged alliances. It chose generals, assigned troops to different campaigns, raised the necessary money, and dispatched those troops from city to city. It was an assembly in which all members had equal right and duty. As the Roman Empire rose and supplanted the Greeks, the Romans adopted the term into Latin.

The concept that distinguishes biblical usage from classical Greek usage is the emphasis that it is God’s assembly. Ekklesia, therefore, means God’s people, called together by God to listen to or act for God. The emphasis is on the action of God, which has the force of a summons (as from a judge). The biblical ekklesia, the church, is a body of people, not so much assembling because they chose to come together, but assembling because God called them to Himself—not assembling to share their own thoughts and opinions, but to listen to the voice of God.  –  John W. Ritenbaugh

This should totally change your view of what Church means. Ritenbaugh also says about where the term “church” comes from:

Perhaps the best place to begin answering these questions is by tracing the etymology of the word “church” itself, and then looking at the way it is used in context. Many have assumed that it derives from the Greek ekklesia, but this is not true. The English word “church” descends from an Old English word cirice, akin to an Old High German word, kirihha. Both words derive from a Late Greek word, kuriakon, which comes from the Greek kuriakos, the possessive form of the word kurios, the term for “lord.” Kuriakos thus simply means “lord’s,” showing possession, or “belonging to the lord” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1985, p. 240). It can denote anything that belongs to the Lord.  –  John W. Ritenbaugh

When I think of ekklesia I also am directed to 2 Cor. 5:20 when it speaks of being ambassadors of Christ. We bring the current rule and reign of Jesus to this earth as His representatives. We legislate Heaven’s directives upon earth. Far too long the enemy has ruled and run this world but with Christ’s FINISHED work we bring what He brought. Didn’t He pray, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Let us create the footstool for our Lord and bring the restoration of all things so we can hasten His coming (Heb. 10:13, Acts 3:21, 2 Pet. 3:12)

We need His directives and wisdom to establish His kingdom. He is coming back for a BEAUTIFUL Bride and not a disjointed church. He is still looking for a place to lay His head…

I do not believe in the escapism that is preached by pre-trib eschatologists. I do believe there is a light that is and will shine brighter and brighter upon His Bride as she continues to make Herself ready. Isaiah 60:1 needs to happen and I believe it will be a literal shining according to Matt. 17:2 and 2 Cor. 3:18. If Moses received a lesser covenant with a glory so strong he had to cover his face then how much more will the greater shine forth on and through us! I’ll end with this scripture:

Romans 8:30Amplified Bible (AMP)

30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

We are the Throne of God on earth!

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Graham Cooke Notes

Graham Cooke’s Maintaining Your Inner Compass Part 1 notes from:

Unfortunately the whole sermon is not on YouTube. These notes are directly from Graham Cooke’s Part 1 teaching. I took these notes for a meeting I was a part of. It was very enriching to intentionally listen and take notes. I could have written out 6 or more pages but this totaled 2 1/2 pages. Be blessed! As He Is So Are We!

Graham starts with Psalm 121: I WILL LIFT up my eyes to the mountain from whence shall my help come. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip. He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper the lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will smite you by day not the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil. He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going and coming in. From this time forth and forever.

David had a brilliant devotional life because he connected with God no matter where he was not matter what he was going through. He knew how to connect with God devotionally.  :23-24 the steps of mans are established by the Lord. And He delights in his way. When he falls he will not be held headlong because the Lord is the one who holds his hand.

The great thing about journeying with the lord is that He knows how to keep us. Day after day in every kind of situation. He can turn every circumstance and situation around for our good and prosper us. In all the ups and downs in life God is the one remaining constant. Holy Spirit is teaching us to be constant and faithful because according to 1 John 4:17, as He is, so are we in this world. Because God keeps us we can learn to be as constant and consistent as God is.

What God wants from you He first gives to you. Because God delights in us we can delight in Him. Whatever we are facing it’s important to face with a real enjoyment of who God is for us. Our journey may take us to the vineyards of fruitfulness or the desert where there is no growth. But God will be the same to you in both places. Sometime God is a blazing sun but other times a candle in your hand. You get to walk with God and know him in both extremes. In warfare you get to know the God who laughs at His enemies. God can surround who you are and who you are not. We discover who God wants to be for us in every circumstance. Sometime we need stand long enough in His presence to see the Glory that is there because we are being changed from one degree of glory into another.

Graham Cooke talked about wanting a relationship with God more than just ministry. Devotions should be designed for relationship and not ministry. In personal devotions and relational times we stand before God as a much-loved son. Sometimes we come to God and say Father and other times Daddy and other times Help!

We accept the fact that we will have human and demonic opposition and stress involved with walking with God. But we can find out who God is for me when these things happen. Who is God to me right now? That is the joy set before us. We need not be worried about anything. We are not frustrated because that is a construct that is not birthed in the kingdom. Truth is we get to walk in grace and mercy and peace and love and goodness and rest and gentleness and delight and abundance and power and majesty. We get to walk in those things.

We are being changed from one degree of glory to another. We need to consider the possibility of something glorious happening at least this week if not today. We need to take all our responses from heaven and not from earth. The bible says we can be blessed under persecution. You have to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. The basis of this is moving in the opposite spirit as a preservation thing and as warfare. We get to spank the enemy. Out journey is into an experience in the Spirit so profound that we become as Jesus is because as He is so are we in this life and world. We live from the inside to the outside. All of life in the Spirit is internal. We learn to step back into our spirit and live out of that place. We learn to live in the spirit as opposed to the soul.

We are learning to maintain our inner compass. Our direction comes from inside, our inner man. Guidance is relation and not functional. Guidance is a byproduct of relationship. Too many decisions are made by external evidence rather than internal proof. In order to grow into this we have to develop and maintain our inner compass so when we stop spinning we know where God is because He is our True North. There are three questions we should ask ourselves in all new situation or circumstance. Who am I? What am I? and Where am I?

When life explodes and interferes we must ask Who am I in this? I believe all our journeys begin in the heartbeat of God and that’s where you rest right now. I can have an understanding and experience with the nature of God. I can know what he is really, really, really like. I don’t want to be intimidated by the enemy but be fascinated by Jesus. We try to get faith outside of the heartbeat of God. God lives in you and he has no problems believing. Faith comes from your focus. When focusing on God faith is there. God is faithful that means we can be full of faith.

All revelation of God must be specific to His nature and explicit to your identity. When He shows you something about himself his reason for this is because he wants you to become that next. Your identity gets an upgrade. God is not messing around and nothing casual. Everything about Him is utmost intention so we need to pay attention.

We get to wage war with peace and inflict our rest upon the enemy. Rest is a weapon. We are partners in His nature. David was a man after God’s own heart because he was always discovering his own identity in the face of God who was totally for him all the time. We are learning in the context of that on how to practice opening our heart to revelation and saying yes to God’s love.

Who is God for you right now? What specific part of His nature are you meant to fully experience at this time? When you know you learn to direct yourself toward God in that. We don’t define by our circumstance but by the nature of God being released and revealed to us. God loves us to ask questions but don’t allow your lack of answer to disrupt your internal communion with Him. Sometimes he doesn’t give us answer right away. He wants to teach you to live in the question with Him. What’s more important God or the answer? We don’t need an answer what we need you God. God likes the dialogue. Sometimes there are better questions for us to ask Him. Living in the question makes our life happy in the process. There are times where God allows our life to come into a place of uncertainty. Why? God wants to be your certainty. God is jealous and he is not apologizing. He wants to be your all in all. He wants to have that number one place in your life.

Don’t stop believing until you get an experience. When you get it you longer have to believe. Faith is a temporary thing, not permanent. Faith becomes knowledge. Faith is present to give you an experience. You no longer have faith that Jesus is Lord, you know Jesus is Lord.

Knowing opens you up to the reality of the truth. That you may know what is the hope of His calling. That we may know the things freely given to us by God. You begin to declare things from Heaven instead of praying for them. It’s your inheritance. Faith is the introduction to Hope. It leads you to confident assurance.

What do you need to be confidant in regarding who God is for you right now? The particular circumstances in your life should be leading you to an experience into a particular aspect of God’s nature? What was your last real experience of God? Did you become established in that as a behavior, did you learn how to abide in that? What is your current uncertainty? What do you have permission to ask God for?

In your current situation ask the Holy Spirit this: What is it that God wants to be for me now and who am I in a response to that?

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Excuse Me, But Do I Know You?

2Co5.16-21
2 Corinthians 5:16
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

Interesting scripture I must say. From now on we recognize no one according to the flesh. I’m sure we all of read that and maybe thought about it but quickly finished our bible reading for the day. Forgive my sarcasm :). I’ve read it plenty times but I love when God highlights the scripture. Holy Spirit Sharpie Highlighter! Anywhoo… So what does Paul mean by this? I immediately think of 1 Cor. 6:11 which states: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Paul was recognizing them for who they are and not what they were doing. How many of us are trying to crucify the flesh or die to self? And no matter how much we do, we aren’t reflecting that truth. Ever hear of Phantom Pain or Phantom Limb Syndrome? Get this: people are operating out of something that isn’t there. Something that has been cut off. Something that is no longer a part of them. I researched(if you could call it that) phantom pain/limb syndrome and there are reports of people still feeling the limb and even gesticulating with the phantom limb while talking. I mean in no way to offend amputees btw so please don’t think I’m making light of actual people experiencing this. I say this because the thought occurred to me that if humans can walk and operate like they still have a limb that isn’t there that Christians still operate in something that isn’t there. This is what I like to call Phantom Flesh Syndrome. Now I’m getting off track…which happens when I blog. More on Phantom Flesh Syndrome on a later post.

Back to what I was saying before. The Kingdom is an inner man, spiritually discerned, God breathed life and outlook. We cannot recognize others based on what is dead. We need to call to life or call to a realization of what is already alive. Kingdom looks beyond the veil of flesh into the inner man created in God’s image(read previous Mirror Mirror post). I do not mean we do not acknowledge falling short of our brothers and sisters but we do not recognize as that action because it is no longer the core of who they are. There may be some root issues to deal with but at the core it is not who they are. Paul was pointing out these issues but countered it by saying, “such were(past/dead) some of you but you were washed/sanctified/justified.” You are no longer what you were.

I like how Paul thinks. Grace upon grace. He didn’t recognize them according to the flesh but spoke on their identity. That is why New Testament prophecy is about one who prophesies for edification and exhortation and consolation. That is directed at the same church! How many of us prophesy our words of knowledge? Did you know there is a difference? That is also for another post. Where is the light in an individual? The Divine spark present? Are you mirroring back the negative dead stuff or the alive Kingdom stuff? Are you calling people higher or just exposing what the blood has covered/washed away? No matter the person Christian or Pre-Christian they are created in God’s Image. Are we muddying up the mirror or washing it for people to properly see the image of Him who create them? How do you recognize people? By their sin or by their Redeemer? These are all question we need to ask ourselves when relating to people. Most importantly how did Jesus see those the religious deemed Image-less?

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Dream Long

dare-to-dreamI was in a meeting a couple weeks ago and the speaker was a Pastor’s son from India. As usual, he spoke on what the ministry in India is doing and wants to do etc. The usual missionary type sharing from a pulpit. But something really jumped out at me. His father, during a sermon, was speaking on dreaming. He said, “Many can dream big, but few dream long.” Few dream long.

I need to dream long.

Based on previous blogs I spoke on Presence and Promise and how Presence is key to open Promise. Dreaming long is the same thing. I know for me to dream big is emotional suicide but to dream long is sustained expectancy. I can dream the biggest dreams and despite my doubt or unbelief I continue to dream big…but now I know I need to dream long.

Who knows when a big dream will manifest? Where it will? How it will?

Living in the journey with God is so important. Dreaming big but dreaming long. I’m learning to trust Him for the outcome. I’m learning that living in expectancy is better then living with expectations. Expectancy is choosing to live in the moment with faith in a secure future. Expectancy is dreaming long while enjoying the journey.

How many of us stop to smell the roses, if I may use that term we’ve all heard? Dreaming long and living in expectancy forces us to walk with God and not run ahead of Him. Great quote about dreaming from one of the Wright brothers.

I got more thrill out of flying before I had ever been in the air at all – while lying in bed thinking how exciting it would be to fly. – Orville Wright

They dreamed big and learned to dream long. Dreams are but the desires of your heart. “Everything that you will ask in prayer and believe, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:22

I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. . . . Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions. –  Wilbur Wright
It is not really necessary to look too far into the future; we see enough already to be certain it will be magnificent. Only let us hurry and open the roads.Wilbur Wright

Dream big, saints and dream long! Live in the expectancy of today! Believe you will receive! May God grant to us the desires of our hearts!

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The Secret Place

secret-placePsalm 139:15Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

Psalm 91:1New King James Version (NKJV)

91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The secret place. Hebrew word: cether meaning: covering, shelter, hiding place, secrecy. The Hebrew word is the same in both scriptures. He formed us and protects us in the secret place. The place of protection is the place we were made.

Another interesting scripture is Colossians 3:10 and it talks about our inner man or spirit being renewed in the image of He Who created it. This is out there but when 2 Corinthians 5:17 talks about a new creation. Not necessarily a recuperated inner man. Why does Ezekiel 36:26 speak of a new heart and a new spirit. Revelation 21:5 says He makes all things new. New in Greek is kainos meaning: recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. The same word for new creations. The first Adam was a living soul and the Last Adam a life giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). Two different Adam and two different creations. We are of the latter.

Colossians 3:3New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Our zoe life is hidden with Christ in God. The secret place. Our inner man escaping notice being formed in the belly of the Father. You see Presence fashions us for Promise. When we live where we are seated we live from a place of Presence, rest, and hiddenness. We walk in authority and dominion from a Presence standpoint hidden in the Secret Place where we are continually formed by Him Who made us. And when we live out of the Presence we are like clumps of clay seeking identity outside of the Potter’s Hands. Anyone who has worked with clay and a potter’s wheel you know that, at first it’s formless and needs air bubbles etc. removed. Then by applying water it softens to be able to be molded into the vessel it was designed for in the Potter’s mind and heart. The water of the Rhema Word comes to bring the forming…and how gentle He does it. In the forming process it takes delicate hands and patience. How we feel like we are spinning in the process. We seem confused when our world system constructs get removed and we enter the Spirit and His forming process.

We need to behold Him! To observe Him! How did Jesus walk? With Him. He did only what he saw or observed what the Father was doing…including dying on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:19). 1 John 3:2 Aramaic Bible in Plain English:  Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not been revealed until now what we are going to be, but we know that when he has been revealed, we shall be in his likeness, and we shall see him just as what he is. I believe the Bride will be transfigured by observance of Who He is in them. Observance not of principles or laws are scriptures reading but literal observance…the same way the Apostle Paul received his revelation. No I don’t believe in “new” revelation as in new scripture but there are new things God is revealing which are in line with what scripture declares.

The Apostle John receive The Revelation of Jesus Christ because he was positioned on His chest. He laid there and made that place his home. Revelation came from that Secret Place. That is my desire. To be so close to His Heart that mine becomes His and His becomes mine and I adhere and stay glued to Him by the Spirit. There are secrets He wants to share but they are found in the Secret Place. Secrets are always from the heart.

Even so, come Lord Jesus and be revealed in us.

Amen!

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When Needs Overcome Wants

restoremysoulI don’t know about you but I tend to get frustrated with life at times. How many of us can relate to our needs overcoming our wants? Needs come and come and must be met and met. Wants seldom show up and when they do we rarely get to fulfill them. Now I know what scripture says about needs and wants. Psalm 23 etc. But how many of our wants or desires come to pass…or come to…pass and not stay. I was thinking about how many things I want to do in life and how I don’t see much possibility of them happening. I know with God all thing are possible but how? I want the Promise so bad. So bad I can taste it…the taste of milk and honey.

I have so many wants: traveling, speaking, counseling, inner healing and deliverance sessions along with Sozo sessions. I desire to set people set free and walking in who they are. Not head knowledge but heart knowing.

Then I listened to a Graham Cooke teaching…

He spoke on living with God in the question. Walking with God in the midst of waiting. I think of the difference between Promise and Presence. God promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey but His Presence was there in the journey. An arduous journey to boot. Moses had the proper perspective. Even with the Promise near he wouldn’t go with Presence.

My needs need to transfigure into glorious stepping stones. My wants need to be there without the gravitational pull of disappointment. For I do have an appointment but until Presence cuts the veil I remain living with God in the present with His Presence with an expectancy of future Promise.

I think that is where I am getting it wrong. Why I’m frustrated. Why I feel like Promise is the carrot on the end of the stick. Interesting scripture in Psalm 103:7 is says God made know His acts to Israel but His ways to Moses. Moses had a backstage pass to what was going on. Sure Moses clearly didn’t get it all right but God trusted Him. I want and need my own Tent of Meetings. A place where perspective is birthed and clarified. A place where I can see God mouth to mouth. A place where Presence sustains while the Promise waits for my arrival. God has given me a name. That name is Possessor. I plan to possess first Presence and then Promise.

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Mirror Mirror

CSLEWISMirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of them all?

How many of us do this every day? We continually seek our identity and validation on other people and things. We look at the Photoshopped world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest and judge our lives and worth based on other people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s post or picture get several comments or likes, while I post the same exact thing and get nothing. How many times have I judged my worth on someone’s recognition or lack of recognition. I started my blog several months ago and someone else I know just started theirs…and theirs has blown up(in a good way). They get all these likes and comments and promotion but I hear or see crickets on mine. I had to check my heart…and my reflection. What part of me am I seeing when I react out of my soul instead of responding out of my spirit. I see myself blocking the post so I don’t have to see it or unfollowing them so my hurt and unresolved rejection isn’t confronted. To be honest I did unfollow. I was envious and jealous. The room of rejection yelled, “SEE NO ONE LIKES YOU!” And I accepted it… Until I dropped back into my spirit and responded with thankfulness that someone is being recognized for their gifts and attributes. There two cents are being heeded and honored and I love it!

I’m going to share something that Jesus showed me a couple weeks ago in a vision(mind’s eye). I was at a Waterboyz for Jesus Boot Camp (based of John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart Boot Camp) and there was a mandatory code of silence to reflect on life and to ask Father God to father me. So I had this picture, vision whatever you want to call it, I was standing in the entrance to my High School’s Cafeteria on my lunch period and surveying the cafe…but first the backdrop. I was never a popular person in High School. I didn’t have a good solid friend or group of friends but I had several acquaintances. I feared every new lunch period because I was never invited to sit with anyone. Never. It was a room screaming rejection and “you don’t fit in.” Frozen with rejection and aimless. So I either sat at the “nerd” table, where one of my acquaintances sat, or some other obscure area. It was awkward. So back to the vision. I saw myself at the entrance to this same cafeteria with rejection screaming “you’re not invited.” Then I saw Jesus…waving me over to his table. He said, “You will always have a seat at my table.” It broke me in the best possible healing way. I have turned to a greater mirror! A mirror that displays goodness and acceptance and redemption and kindness. I love Jesus and how He speaks to our wounded and applies his healing balm. It soothes and replenishes. He is my mirror! He is my reflection! A river that never runs dry and a fragrance that never dissipates. In fact I’m his odor to a rejected and lost world. 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

I’m going to share several scriptures that speak to mirrors or mirroring and the effect. I’m not going to quote them all but for your reference.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:13-15,18
  • James 1:23-24
  • 1 Corinthians 13:12
  • 1 John 3:2
  • 1 John 2:6
  • Roman 8:18
  • 1 John 4:17
  • 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • John 17:22
  • Acts 3:21
  • 2 Peter 3:12
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • Ephesians 1:22-23

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. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

Unveiled faces. We are not like Moses who HAD to cover his face with a veil. Noticed when I talked in the Ten of Meeting he took the veil off. Now with Christ and Him renting the veil in two from top to bottom He, not only gave man access to God, but He gave God access to man! We are image bearers. We carry the image of God on this earth. We are the image of God.

Beholding as in a mirror. What do mirrors do but reflect what is put before them. They don’t make up their own image. We don’t make up our own image. Where do we receive our reflection from? Who do we receive our reflection from? 1 John 4:17 says as He is(currently. not past but now) so are we in this world. The glory given to Jesus by God is transferred to us.

We are being transformed into the same image… What? The same image? “Same” in Greek is autos meaning: the same, himself, in itself it signifies nothing more than again, applied to what has either been previously mentioned or, when the whole discourse is looked at, must necessarily be supplied. “Image” in Greek is eikōn which means: the image of one. Also this verse says we are transformed into the same image. Transformed in Greek is, get this: metamorphoō to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. To transfigure! The same exact word used to describe Jesus when he metamorphoō on the mount with Elijah and Moses.

1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not been revealed until now what we are going to be, but we know that when he has been revealed, we shall be in his likeness, and we shall see him just as what he is.” Seeing God, like Moses, has a uncovering of glory that is already within us, locked up in our blood since before Adam fell. Originally we were covered with glory and the radiance of God. Man sinned and that glory was shut up in the body and dwindled to embers…until Jesus breathed upon the disciples thus provided the Oxygen of God upon the ember to ignite and begin the transfiguration process. The more He is revealed the more we will be revealed. Creation is groaning for us Church! We will be like Him because we will see Him. FYI this is pre Second Coming in my opinion according to Acts 3:21. The Beauty of the Bride is in the union with her Husband and Head! We can, by our communion with the Father and submitting to the glorification of us by our seeing Him. We are one spirit with Him – 1 Corinthians 6:17. Co-Heirs. Brothers of Christ. Kings and lords under the King of kings and Lord of lords! Seated together with Christ!

For too long the image I saw was the image I walked out. When I interpret the image incorrectly it will only result of living incorrectly. By the water of word and the Holy Spirit, He can clean our mirror so we can see, unveiled, the Glory of the Lord so we can begin to walk in original design and our original selves.

Prayer:

Father, in Jesus’ name, I ask You to clean our mirrors and remove our veils so we may fully see you and then fully see ourselves. We repent for dismissing our glory, the glory you gave us. We cast our crowns only to have them returned to us purified to then cast them again on your feet. Let us remain in worship at your feet while also communing at your chest in which the revelation of Jesus Christ comes through us so we may truly walk, as Your body, the fullness of You who fills all things in every way. Let us walk as the fullness of You on earth and re-present you to this world. All with the spirit of agape love and true humility, a partner, associate, comrade, and companion of the Divine Nature. Let our mind be the same that was in You, Jesus, according to Philippians 2:5-8. And Lord we know you are the Author and Finisher of our faith and You are the Substance and Hope by which we seek you with all that we are. Thank you for reversing the body, soul, and spirit to spirit, soul, and body. In Jesus name we give you the glory and receive the glory you have given us. We worship and honor You, Almighty God, our Friend. Amen!

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Why A Father?

Have you ever wondered why God chose to reveal Himself as a Father? Have you? I never thought of this until listening to Wm. Paul Young (author of The Shack, Cross Roads) speak about it and after reading and listening to John Eldredge from Ransomed Heart speak and write about it.

Here are several links to why:

http://germaneconsulting.com/elephant-lessons-real-men-leading-boys-to-manhood/

http://fatherhoodfactor.com/us-fatherless-statistics/

http://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/

We need fathers! Physical and Spiritual! Paul wrote about it as well..1 Corinthians 4:15. Everyone wants to teach but no one wants to take the time to father. A father is involved and doesn’t just spit out knowledge and leave you to figure it out. He is THERE for  you. A father leads and guides…shows you the Way in which you should go (Prov. 22:6) But if you look at the Church there are many teachers… I need a father. My earthly father did what he could with what he had and his father as well.

The wound of a father cuts the deepest. For me I can recognize, these days, the story that is behind my father. I know him and forgive him but I have been wounded. I craved validation and approval. I didn’t always get it. Especially a little over a year ago.

I was engaged to my now beautiful wife and there was some miscommunication/gossip/triangulation (see my blog He Said She Said) and it caused speculation and the appearance of a wounding. But the case wasn’t so. You know the whole Telephone/Grapevine game. The original message gets distorted usually by the next person. Soooo I said all that to say this…he didn’t want me to get married. He said he wanted to make sure I was sure but it got out hand. He invalidated my choice and because it was one of the most important decisions in my life he was invalidating me. It was rough…and still is some days. I literally have a sinking feeling in my gut for a couple weeks. I needed his validation but didn’t get it.

I also have tried to connect with older men and nothing…absolutely nothing. Empty promises and fakeness. What does a young man who needs a father/mentor do when no one wants to do it? I know many others in the same shoes as I. And it doesn’t matter your age. Fatherlessness is way to prevalent in society hence the statistics above. But God!

God came as Father. THE FATHER! A Father who wants to be with you. A Father you not only loves you but likes you. A Father who is here to validate you as a man. A Father that WILL be a Father to you. He knew the void and He filled/fills/will fill it. You can walk as a son fully loved and validated and accepted and…approved of. Don’t you just want to hear God say over you, right now, “Behold my son in who I am well pleased.” Do you realize God the Father spoke that over Jesus…and he didn’t do one thing yet. He was pleasing because of who He is and not what He did. And guess what…you are in Jesus and Jesus is in you. The Father’s pleasure is on you right now regardless if you just slipped and viewed porn or yelled at your kids or smoked a joint or whatever issue you may be recovering from. His view of you has and will never changed.

One of the things God the Father has shown me, in the middle of sin, is that He loves me so much. One day while driving home I was grieving over my sin and shame and told/asked God, “You must be tired of me.” Immediately my Father spoke into me, “I neither slumber nor sleep!” It was like a boom in me. An explosion of connectedness. He isn’t tired of me. He isn’t fed up with me. He is not ashamed of me (Heb. 2:11). He is love…He doesn’t have love He is the stuff.

God has not abandoned you! I say it again..God your Father has not and will not abandon you. Your sonship and His fathership is attacked and the enemy doesn’t want it…but God has and will break through. Can’t you hear Him right now speaking validation and honor or you? I know you want to be honored and He is honoring you right now. I see new robes He is placing on you right now (Zech. 3:3-5) He is not fed up with you. He is not tired of you. You do not drive Him up a wall. You do not get on His last nerve. You do not press His buttons. Come back to His heart…it’s where you belong and where you find yourself. He has a ring and a new robe and is throwing a party for you! You are the center of His attention and He is fathering you right now. Will you let Him be that Father? Your future depends on it. Let Him come into that invalidation and validate. Let Him enter the disapproval and heal it. Let Him heal your wounded heart with His love and satisfaction in you as a man and son of His love.

Let your initiation in manhood begin…!!!

Please watch this video…it’s amazing! Be blessed men of God! You are God’s son and He loves you with everything He is!

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Don’t Hold Me Back

Enjoy-Wave-After-Wave-Of-Gods-Grace-WPDon’t Hold Me Back

Just the other day I was in a meeting where a person was sharing on “grace.” I use quotations because I don’t think the person really understood what grace was. This meeting was geared towards those who are in recovery for emotional, chemical, and sexual addictions along with other hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I’m sure some of you know what type of meeting I am talking about.

The guest speaker began his sermon talking about grace and I was like, “Awesome, because that’s what those who are struggling with sin need to hear.” So I listened and had an open and hopeful mind. The sermon was good for about 10-15 minutes and then it took a turn downhill. I mean not to judge the person speaking, for who am I to judge another man’s servant, but to check if it’s truth Berean style.

He mentioned how much of a wretch he is and proceeded to tell us how we are wretches as well. He also mentioned how sin is permanent and that we are permanently in sin. He then started talking about the hyper-grace message and how he likes it and, I guess, thought his message was hyper-grace. I beg to differ.

Don’t hold me back!

First off, believers are not wretches! We are children of God, born again with a new spirit, heart, mind, and we are accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:6, 1 Cor. 2:16, Philippians 4:7, Ezek. 11:19, 36:26, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15) We are one spirit with Him. (1Cor. 6:17) I am sure he was referring to Rom. 7 when Paul was describe how wretched he was for not being able to do what he wants but doing the very thing he didn’t want. This scripture, in my opinion and based off what I believe scripture teaches, is not really a Christian’s struggle with sin but the struggle with the law of sin. (Rom. 3:20, Rom 8:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:56, Gal. 2:16, Heb. 10:1)

Sin and the law of sin were forever dealt with on the cross AND resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Col. 2:14, John 19:30, 1 Cor. 15:17, Rom. 11:27, Col. 2:10-12, Heb. 1:3, 1 Pet. 2:24) Now read 1 John 2:1-2 and look for the keyword “if” present in this scripture.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV emphasis mine)

If we sin…if. Guess what the greek word for “if” is? If! Based on the fact that Jesus walked with God in full humanity and never used His Divinity but did only what He saw the Father doing tells me that, I also can choose not to sin as I abide in Him just as He abides in our Father. (John 5:19, John 15:4-5, Philippians 2:7, Heb. 2:17-18,) To use a quote from Georgian Banov (www.globalcelebration.com), “If you’re not free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your savior; death is.” This is so truth but the church still doesn’t believe it as a whole.

Another scripture he quoted was in 1 John 1:8 which states if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. He forgot to mention verse 9 where it says if we confess He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. This is truth. We are set free from sin! The law of the Spirit of Life has taken over and is operative! If we say we haven’t sinned we are justifying ourselves through the law of condemnation, which has glory by the way. (2 Cor. 3:9) But the ministry of righteousness exceeds it in glory! Hallelujah!!

Don’t hold me back!

I am reading a book by Watchman Nee called, “Not I, But Christ,” and it is astounding teaching. Oh the simplicity that is in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 is says,

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (NASB)

In this book he clearly lines out that the law of sin is a law and is in effect but the law of the Spirit of Life is present and is a greater law that does indeed supersede it.  I’ll leave with some other quotes.

The Lamb was slain before Adam ever fell. – Anonymous (not sure who said this originally)

“Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.” ~ Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

What is Romans 7? Romans 7 tells us that the dead man is protesting. The Lord has crucified the old man, yet I protest. – Watchman Nee

As Christ is our substitute in death, so is He our substitute in life. – Watchman Nee

Let me tell you, victories are all won unawares. Why is it that you overcome without being conscious of it? It is because a law is working. The law of the Spirit of Life set you free from the law of sin and death. Jesus established a higher law to disable the lower law. To overcome sin does not require an ounce of strength, for it is the work of the law of the Spirit of Life. – Watchmen Nee (paraphrased)

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