Monday, April 30, 2012

neither male nor female

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  Galatians 3:28

In the Church, "under the anointing," there is neither male nor female. 
We can all function as we are enabled by the Lord,
totally irrespective of gender. 
Male and female become a type of our relationship to the Lord.
As a "Bride," I am dependent and become "one" with Jesus. 
As a "son," I enter into a cooperative relationship with the Lord. 
I "rise above" the earthly as an "overcomer," and His power -
His very life begins to flow out through my life. 
I am then able to give expression to the life of the Lord,
as my life becomes the witness of His life.
We are approaching the last days,
the time of the closing out of the Church Age
and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom,
which is the government of God ruling all mankind.
May we all female and male lay aside the old order and
embrace and recognize what the Lord is desiring to do in each of
us as individuals and in His body in these last days.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Growing Season

Salvation is a free gift, but spiritual maturity must be earned.  Jesus compared our “divine nature” to a seed that is sown into fertile soil.

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Matthew 13:23

Just as we have this “treasure” of His “divine nature” hidden within our earthen vessel, golden corn is hidden within a covering.  As we, corn also has a tassel (hair) on top.  There is a distinct gradation in ears of corn.  Not all ears of corn (nor we) come to the same level of growth, or maturity.

As this farmer waited for the rain to stop, while in a small shed at the edge of a large field of corn, the Lord made known to him that our spiritual growth as a Christian follows the same progressive development as corn, with comparable results.

Behold, a sower went forth to sow.”  Matthew 13:3

The intention of the sower is for the seed that has been sown to come to full maturity so there will be an abundant harvest.  The condition of the soil (our environment) has much to do with the harvest.

Some of these seeds fell by the wayside and birds ate them.  Some fell in stony places and were unable to take root.  Others fell amongst thorns and were choked out.  However, the seed that fell into fertile soil produced a harvest that was either thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

So also, as being a spiritual baby, the Lord “sows” His divine nature within us, intending it to develop to full maturity.  He uses this parable to teach us that our “inner attitudes and desires” (good soil), along with the “things” that we permit in our life experience (wayside, stony places, thorns), greatly affect our rate of spiritual growth.

If the tomatoes in our garden are still green when the first frost comes, they can be picked and placed on a window sill where the sun can shine on them.  They will gradually ripen and turn bright red.  However, if some thirtyfold corn that has not fully matured is placed on the same window sill, it will become dry and hard, and remain as it was.  The thirtyfold corn will not become sixty, or a hundredfold corn.  So it is in the life of a Christian.

Spiritually speaking, we are not tomatoes.  Rather, we are as these ears of corn.  Our spiritual development must take place while our “roots” are in the ground of our present environment.

Many have the mistaken idea that they will be changed on the way up.  They imagine that they will depart from this earth realm as a babe in Christ and arrive in heaven as a matured saint.  However, once our life has been lifted from the soil of His dealings, no further maturing is possible, as it is too late.  Like the ear of corn, no further change will take place.

There is a limited time for this process of our coming into spiritual maturity to be completed.  Just as the ear of corn must come to maturity during the growing season while it is attached to the root that is within the soil, so also, during our lifetime, there must be a proper response to the workings of the Lord within us.

Jesus qualified for His place in the throne with His Father by overcoming the hindrances that were in His path.

“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered, and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him”  Hebrews 5:8-9

Now He is able to say to us, “You are to overcome in the same way that I overcame.”

In using the terms of their vocation to speak to Simon and Andrew, there was the danger that they would not hear as Jesus intended.  He did not say to them, “Follow Me so you can learn how to fish for men.”  Rather Jesus spoke to them of a process that would qualify them for this higher vocation, “Come you after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).

Notice that Jesus did not say “Go.”  Rather, He said “Come.”  The “call” is to first come to Him.  We must “come” (our attitude and desire) to the “place” (good ground) where He will be able to bring about the changes within us that will qualify us to fish for men, rather than fishing for fish.

The seed that fell into “wayside soil” missed the furrow in which He works.  The “good ground” is where the divine plow turns the soil.  This plow overturns our ways and exposes all that hinders our spiritual growth.  Unless we are careful, we will step aside when we see this plow coming our way.

The problem with the “divine plow” going down the furrow of our life experience is that it turns every thing upside down.  This enables the Lord to get at the inner problems that are buried deep within us.  Now, He is able to change us at the very root of our being.   If we will rightly respond and cooperate, that which grows into full maturity will bring forth an abundant harvest; thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Path

Our “present attainment” of spiritual life and experience is the place to which we have been brought through Jesus Christ our Lord. All this is a preliminary training school for the ages yet to come. It is in the “here and now” that we make certain qualifications for our placement in the eternal ages. These qualifications will not be given to us spontaneously, when we get there. Rather, we are being qualified for them here, during this present time.

Then, in the eternal ages, that which has been acquired through discipline and training - through the surrender of our old life to the resurrection of the new - all of this will be projected upon another (higher) plane of living in the ages that are yet to come. Whatever we build up of spiritual value, vigor, and vision, during our lifetime - this is all that the Lord will take of us into eternity.

The method by which this is being accomplished will be the “way” in which we presently live - our reactions to the Word, and to the movings of the Holy Spirit. These are the mechanics which the Lord uses to trace the image and likeness of His Son upon our immortal spirit.

We who have been touched by eternal truth and are seeking to go further, must have a correct perspective and goal. The Lord is very busy building His Body, of which we are a member, training it and doing a thousand things within and through it, so in “that day” there will be something glorious and beautiful to be presented to our Lord, when we stand in His presence.

The day is coming when we will cast our crowns at His feet. This crown is made up of all that we have become, so that we may be presented to the Ancient of Days as the Bride of Christ.

Each of us has a certain degree of spiritual hunger. This hunger rests on certain levels of spiritual obedience and experience, ever seeking to take us further. Thus, there is a continual, progressive development in our spiritual living, moving us from one place of discovery and life, on into another level of discovery and life, and on to another. This speaks of “the spiritual ascent of our being back to the heart of God.” We do not belong here; we are here for just a few fleeting years of training and discipline, and then we will be taken.

We are to continually move from one level of spiritual understanding and experience to another. This is determined by the amount of spiritual illumination that we have obtained through our responses to the Lord’s presence, and His workings within us. Because we are reacting agents, we learn our lessons through these experiences. We were made this way in the structural law of our being so this might be possible.

I have many very real spiritual experiences in God, however, these do not make me less practical in my daily pattern of life experience. I have discovered that I must carefully order my steps, as I walk with the Lord. I must be continually sensitive to His voice and responsive to His presence. Then He will guide my path, as He disciplines and trains me in order to push me up into a higher order of spiritual reality and life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mind of Christ

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8

Our experience and testimony should parallel that of our Lord Jesus Christ.  There is a particular quality of spiritual life and experience that our Lord expects to find that is both resident and developing within each of us, to bring us into spiritual maturity.

“Then answered Jesus and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatsoever things He does, these also does the Son likewise. I can of My own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father who has sent Me.”  John 5:19, 30

I can of My own self do nothing.”  In total submission, our Lord experienced an active daily personal relationship with His Father.

The Church of our day is recorded in Scripture as presenting a witness which indicates that many are living in a lesser realm of spirituality and experience.

“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”  Revelation 3:17

The Lord is saying that this end-time Church (Laodicea) is still a spiritual baby (naked), when they should have grown into spiritual maturity.  Their lack of spiritual growth is the result of not embracing the “mind-set” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 2:5

Had they done this, their testimony would have been quite different.  Therefore, a word of correction is given:

“I counsel you (each one of us) to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you might be rich; and white raiment, that you might be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you might see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”  Revelation 3:18-19 

There is a present urgency in which we should be living according to the ordained pattern (let this mind be in you) which was given to govern and guide our spiritual life and growth.  This “pattern” (this mind… which was also in Christ Jesus) was manifestly lived to its fullest before us, by our Lord Jesus Christ.

“For it became Him... to make the captain of their salvation perfect (spiritually mature) through sufferings.”  Hebrews 2:10

Because of who He is (Deity), Jesus was “judicially” qualified to become our Saviour.  However, through life experience, He emptied Himself of Deity (Philippians 2:6-7), and “experientially” qualified Himself, by overcoming every obstacle that He faced, in order to become our Saviour.

“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them who obey Him.”  Hebrews 5:8-9

Because Jesus willingly laid aside His “judicial” position (who He is), through His “experiential” relationship to His Father (what He does) He was able to live out His commitment to always do His Father’s will, and to please His Father in all that He experienced.

I do always those things that please Him.”  John 8:29

Jesus never acted on His own, apart from the revealed will of His Father.  This resulted in a never-before-seen authority in His ministry, as His Word and His Life had become one.

“And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”  Mark 1:22

It is the desire of the Father that we experience at least a “measure” of identification with our Lord.  Our being religious, or our knowing facts about Jesus in itself is not enough.  We are called to experientially know the Lord (that I may know Him).  As we die to our self-life (the power of His resurrection), we will come to the place of “identification” with Jesus in the “fellowship of His sufferings:

“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death.”  Philippians 3:10

Unless we submit to this “pattern” of life, we will not be ready to be identified with Him in the glory to come.

“When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe….  II Thessalonians 1:10

For this to be worked out in our lives, we must come to both understand and experience “His mind.”   Only then can we relate to the things that He went through, and as a result, find our place of identification with Him in His throne, which He desires us to have.

 It had been prophesied in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem.  However, Jesus allowed the knowledge of His birth in Bethlehem to become obscure.  Thus, “Jesus of Bethlehem” became known as “Jesus of Nazareth.”  It was commonly said of Him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?  Shall Christ come out of Galilee?  Search and look: for out of Galilee arises no prophet” (John 1:46; 7:41, 52).

To the natural eye, it could not be known that He was the Christ.  A true knowing of His identity could only come by revelation.  The Church leaders, along with the multitudes of that day, failed to see the Messiah, “Jesus of Bethlehem,” through the garb of “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus had purposely allowed a reproach to remain upon Himself, so that only those who had a “spiritual eye” would understand who He really is.  The Apostle Paul, who understood this, prayed, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you might know...” (Ephesians 1:18).

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him notHe came to His own, and His own received Him not.”  Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11

Jesus did not fit into the “pattern” of life and ministry that was expected of Him by the religious leaders of that day.  This lack of spiritual understanding and perception in mankind was heartbreaking to Jesus.  He intensely desired to be known and understood.

It was only after the completion of two years of ministry that Jesus dared to ask His disciples a most crucial question: “Who am I?” (Matthew 16:15).  He asked this question knowing that His true identity could not be known by outward observation, but only through hearing from His Father, who had sent Him.

The sorrow, grief, and rejection as foretold in Isaiah 53 was intensely felt by Jesus at this moment, as He awaited their answer to His question.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Matthew 16:16

Jesus was overjoyed; Peter had come to see beyond “Jesus of Nazareth.”

“And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood (outward observation) has not revealed it to you, but My Father (inward revelation) which is in heaven.”  Matthew 16:17

In other words, Jesus said: “Simon, you now have an ear to hear. You have come into the experience of hearing from the Father, even as I hear from Him.  Now, you will be able to obey Him, even as I fully obey Him.”  The disciples had come to the place of spiritual perception.  They could see beyond the surface manifestation of “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Now, Jesus could say, “You are Peter (a small stone that is of the same substance as I), and upon this rock (the ability to hear and obey the Father) I will build My Church” (Matthew 16:18).

The future of the Church hung upon their giving the right answer to this question that Jesus had asked concerning His identity.  The nature and function of the Church is to be “spiritual,” not “natural.”  Therefore, Jesus had permitted this reproach to be upon Himself, that His disciples would look to the Father above, as the source for building the Church.

From that time forth began Jesus to show....”  The disciples had to see beyond the guise of “Jesus of Nazareth” before He could lead them on.  Now, they were in the place where they would hear from above, and all that was left for Him to accomplish was to prepare them for His death on the cross.

In the early days of the Pentecostal movement, speaking in “Tongues” was considered to be a reproach.  Today this reproach is gone, as it is popular to be Spirit-filled and function in the gifts.  However, there is yet a reproach (sonship).  For those who have a discerning eye and see beyond the present movement, and who seek to come into full maturity as an overcomer, the reproach remains.

God always wraps His best in a package for which few are willing to pay the price.  “Jesus of Nazareth” had no apparent value.  It was said: “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”  The same question is yet being asked by those who are not willing to go further in spiritual things - “I see no value or purpose in this, let us stay with the past; it is safe and accepted.”

In Hebrews 13:13, we are exhorted to “Go forth therefore to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.”  Today, many are pressing onward, seeking all that He has for them.  These are willing to pay the price of identity with the reproach of “Jesus of Nazareth” in order to gain the pearl of great price.

Are you willing to embrace His “mind,” knowing that it will require the death of all that is Adamic and religious, and the bearing of “His reproach?

“Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.”  Philippians 2:9

Then we also, being of the same mind (being one with Him), will partake with Him in the glory to come.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Its the little things

Our spiritual life is far more than the sum of the spiritual information we have gathered, or of any collection of our spiritual experiences. The foundation of our spiritual life (or lack of it) is the accumulative result of the decisions and choices we have made on our spiritual journey.

The core and substance of our spirituality relates to the unity of heart and spirit gained through our making right choices and decisions. Our making these right choices and decisions is never easy.

No matter who, or where we are, we must make decisions as to what we will do, or where we will go. The ever present temptation is to compromise and go along with the questionable or difficult situations that we often find ourselves in.

Many times each day, we make “little” decisions (seemingly to us) that feed either the carnal, or the spiritual aspect of our being. The accumulation of these choices result in our becoming either carnal, or spiritual.

As our spiritual decisions begin to outweigh in some measure, the negative pulls, we become an overcomer. To the extent that we rise above carnal soulish desires, we are lifted into a place of union with our Lord, and we grow spiritually.

“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne.” Revelation 3:21

Our position with Jesus in this “Throne” relationship is the result of our overcoming (rising above) all that is earthly and carnal. We are given this privilege of being seated with Him in His Throne (as His Bride), as a result of the accumulation of right decisions and choices (being an overcomer).

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

The more decisions we make that are toward the Lord, the easier it becomes to make these decisions. The further down the road we go in our walk with Him, the more detached we become from all that is carnal, or a temptation to us. In the beginning, it will be difficult, but as we progress, it will become easier.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Keeping It Real

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
To “live in the Spirit” is a state of being in which we have died to our self-life and have yielded the totality of all that we are and have to Jesus, so He can live His life through us as a present day witness.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me…. Galatians 2:20
I live; yet not I.” This requires us to live on a high plain of integrity and commitment in order to maintain the necessary spiritual sensitivity that will make this possible.
“If we are living by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us be guided” Galatians 5:25 BBE
To “walk in the Spirit” is to live one step at a time, with every aspect of our life experience being lived in total yieldedness and willing obedience to the will and purpose of our Lord.
As we walk with the poise of our spirit upward toward the Lord, His abiding presence and peace will confirm that we are walking in the center of His will.
Now, we are both living and walking in the Spirit.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…. Colossians 3:15
The word “rule” means to judge, or arbitrate. Should we take a misstep, a voice of correction (Holy Spirit conviction) will speak to us, saying:
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Friday, April 13, 2012


Where the Spirit is Lord, there is liberty.”  II Corinthians 3:17 Paraphrase

At this present time, many are feeling an intense burden for the Body of Christ and sense that something, beyond our present level of understanding, is about to unfold.  It is very important that the mistakes of the past are not repeated during this coming visitation.

The Word of the Lord to the seven Churches (Revelation 2:1-3:22) prefigures the progression of events that span the entire Church Age.  Indications as to why past visitations did not come into the fullness of all that was intended, or why they did not last, can be found within the Word of the Lord to each of these seven Churches.

The first of these, the Church at Ephesus, was told that they had departed from their “first love” (Revelation 2:4).  This was the Church that witnessed the faith and power of the early Apostles who had personally experienced the presence of the resurrected Jesus.  The Lord expected those within the Church at Ephesus to maintain this experience of His personal (manifest) presence, but they had already begun to fall away.

The Church of Ephesus was commended, however, because they “hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6).  There is no explanation given in Scripture as to who these Nicolaitans were.  However, we can come to an understanding of their identity through the meaning of the word “Nicolaitan” itself.

Nikao” means to conquer or consume the “Laos” or laity, the people.  Those who became identified as being Nicolaitans advocated a compromise with the world system so Christians would be able to take part, without embarrassment, in the social and religious activities of the society in which they lived.  In the time of the Church at Ephesus, the Nicolaitan teaching allowed Christians to participate in the Roman civil religion.

This resulted in the withdrawal of the manifested presence of the Lord from their meetings, which caused the loss of the spontaneous, quickening power and stirrings of the Spirit that came to the members of this Church.  Thus, the Nicolaitans represent a clergy that departed from the “presence and power” of the supernatural, and substituted “form and ritual” in its place.  The compromise that they advocated caused the “dulling of the spirits” of the Lord’s people, as they became conversant with the society and practices of their time.

Also, the “clergy” gained control over the functions of ministry, and did away with the spontaneity of worship that resulted in the manifest power of God being present.  Thus, the people became “spectators” to the functioning of the clergy.

In His message to the Church at Ephesus, the Lord clearly said that He hated the deeds of a clergy that causes His people to depart from experiencing His manifest presence and the operation of the supernatural.  In Ephesus, these Nicolaitans were present, but hated.  In the third Church, Pergamos, they are again mentioned by the Lord, “So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Revelation 2:15).  Here, they were firmly entrenched.

Then in the fourth Church, Thyatira, the Lord said, “But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine.” (Revelation 2:24).  By now, the Nicolaitans were in control, and only a remnant remained.

This teaching of “compromise” by the clergy led to a progressive spiritual declension that culminated in the Dark Ages.  During this time of intense spiritual apostasy and darkness, a spark of revelation concerning “Justification by Faith” came to Martin Luther.  This began a progressive restoration that developed within the fifth Church, Sardis, and found its full outworking in the last two Churches, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

Concerning the fifth Church, Sardis, the Lord said, “I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead” (Revelation 3:1).  This Church had returned to right doctrine, but failed to experience the restoration of the fervent “first love” that had been lost at Ephesus.  Apparently, the Nicolaitans still exercised considerable control, and hindered the Lord’s people to the extent that they were not able to experience the “quickening” of the manifest presence of the Lord, nor the “power” of the Holy Spirit moving in their meetings.

The sixth Church, Philadelphia, speaks of an overcoming Church that experienced an “open heaven.” Of this Church, the Lord said:

I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength....  Revelation 3:8

Here, the Nicolaitans were totally defeated and lost all of their influence and control.  This Church had cultivated the presence of “He that has the key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts: and shuts, and no man opens” (Revelation 3:7).  The Lord’s manifest presence burned within them, and all bondage melted away, as the Holy Spirit had His way in their lives and assemblies.

Once again, the Lord’s people possessed this same fervent “first love” for the Lord that had been lost at Ephesus.  At this present time, there are those who are also experiencing the manifest presence and power of the Lord.  These have contended for, and gained an open door into the operation of the supernatural in their meetings.  Much will be accomplished through a present-day “Philadelphia Church” that will allow an open display of the Lord’s presence and power.

Seventh and last is the Church of the Laodiceans.  The Word of the Lord to this Church is:

“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”  Revelation 3:17

This present-day Church has been blessed with more prosperity, gifts, and ministry than any previous Church.  Though it is quick to testify about these blessings, this Church is exposed by the Lord as being spiritually immature (blind and naked). 

However, this prosperity, both spiritual and natural, is not the primary cause of their spiritual blindness and nakedness.  Their problem rests in the fact that they did not recognize their spiritual need - “and have need of nothing.”  They were satisfied with the things that they possess and were not seeking after the One who gave all this.  Therefore, the Lord is revealed as standing outside of this prosperous Laodicean Church, knocking upon its door, seeking to attract their attention:

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”  Revelation 3:20

Because this Church had lost its sensitivity to His voice, the call of the Lord changed to seeking out individuals - those who would respond to His knocking on the “door” of their spirit (if any man).

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans has caused this Church to become “dull of spirit.”  The acceptance of, and adjustment to material prosperity has effectively hindered the visitation of the Lord within this end-time Church.  This is one of the primary causes of the failure of the “Charismatic” visitation (their emphasis on prosperity).

Thus, the Nicolaitan spirit that sought to bring about compromise with the world system in the early Church is still present within the Church of our day.  Jesus clearly said, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).  James told us that “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Notice the contrast between these two present-day Churches.  In Philadelphia, the Lord has set before them an “open door” into the revelation of His manifest presence, and the operation of the supernatural in their midst.  In Laodicea, He is outside of the Church knocking upon a “closed door,” seeking out any individuals who are able to hear His voice, inviting them to turn aside and commune with Him.

The Lord counsels those who willingly open the door of their spirit to Him, to “buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich” (Revelation 3:18).  This “gold” speaks of the divine nature as being of far greater value than all of these external riches that they possess and rejoice in.

A glorious promise is given to those who choose to turn aside from this materialistic spirit within the Laodicean Church:

“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne”  Revelation 3:21

This is the greatest of the promises that were given to these seven Churches, yet the most difficult to attain, even more so today, because of the many subtle deceptions that must be discerned, especially the intensity of the temptations that must be resisted.  These hindrances to true spirituality, that must be overcome, are greater than any pressures that other generations had to face.  It is easy to compromise, but the cost is high, as those who do will not be able to hear the gentle knock of the Lord on the door of their spirit – “If any man hear My voice.”

The Lord is looking for those who are willing to pay the price in order to be a part of the “Church at Philadelphia,” and gain the spiritual life and strength that is available therein.  Few will pay the price, because the “Church at Laodicea” is very popular.  It knows and uses the techniques that will bring about Church growth and material prosperity.

At this present time, the Lord is making the following passage of Scripture very real to those seeking a higher level of personal communion with Him.

“I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasure” Proverbs 8:17, 21

The word “Philadelphia” is derived from the Greek word “phileo.”  This is the highest form of human love (phileo) and speaks of compatibility in relationship – “I love them that love Me.”  This speaks of those who are experiencing a new “first love” for Jesus Himself.

Those who turn aside from all that is religious and self-serving, and are gathered together in the out-flowing of His love through them, are finding an eternal treasure that they had little anticipated.  They will never be disappointed as they pass unhindered through this “open door” into His glorious presence.
 “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance (the Lord Himself); and I will fill their treasure” (a new “first love” for Jesus Himself).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Part

It is the issue of "Relationship" that is of primary importance to our heavenly Father. It is the highest purpose for the creation of man that He might have fellowship with those who will freely yield their will to the will of the Father. It was from the place of intimate fellowship with the Creator that Adam was given Dominion of the Earth. It was the Fathers good pleasure to come in the cool of the evening to visit with His son and view the progress Adam made while dressing the garden. What a beautiful picture for us in our High calling.

(Php 3:10 JM-NT) to intimately and experientially know Him, and the ability (power) of His resurrection -- even the [other MSS: a] common sharing (participation, partnership and fellowship) of His experiences (which include passions and sufferings) -- being a man that is being continuously conformed to (being brought together with the form of; being configured to) His death,

It is from a place of trusted fellowship and intimate relationship that true spiritual authority is derived. We’ve made it far too complicated. Our calling and privilege for this generation is to develop a heart to know Him personally and hear His Voice for ourselves. No other formula or strategy will accomplish this. Each of us must answer the call within and give full and free expression to His life. It is not without cost. The cost is your life for His life. Lay yours down and take up the cross and follow Him. It is from this position of relationship that we come into fellowship with His body. The anointed word flows out of each of us as each joint supply's His Church. Our prayers for each other, Our praise for Him, Our witness to the world are all elevated to a higher realm as we each do our part. If we build Him a house of devotion He will flow through us in a ministry without measure!

Eph 4:16 For it is under His direction that the whole body is perfectly adjusted and united by every joint that furnishes its supplies; and by the proper functioning of each particular part there is brought about the growing of the body for its building up in love.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

His Church His Kingdom

“And preaching the gospel to that city, and having made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, and Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, calling on them to continue in the faith, and that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22

It is through “tribulation” that we are prepared for the Kingdom of God. The word “tribulation” means “to put pressure on.”

Tribulation - G2347
θλίψις thlipsis
Thayer Definition:
1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure
2) metaphorically oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

This is more than the many daily pressures (tribulations) that we face in our lives. There is a “great tribulation
in which an intense pressure from the enemy will come against us. If we are not presently feeling a measure of this pressure, then we may be less than fully committed to the Lord.

Therefore, there is a positive confession that each of us should make -

Lord, no matter what you may allow, in order to perfect my life for
Your purposes, I totally submit myself to You, and to these things.”

It is very important that we understand that these pressures are not the result of the Lord being angry with us;
nor are they punishment. Rather, He is seeking to produce a quality within us that will enable us to stand and endure, in that day.

There is a progression, a higher calling to His Church that His Kingdom is at hand.
Because the message that will bring us into the Kingdom is different from the message to the Churches, the Lord has repeatedly said,

Who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:9).

The ministry of the Church is to “Whomsoever.”
The ministry of the Kingdom is to “He who overcomes.”

The message of the Church leads to “Heaven.”
The message of the Kingdom leads to “The Throne.”

The desire of the Church is “Jesus abiding within.”
The desire of the Kingdom is “Jesus taking His place as The Head of His body.

The testimony of the Church is “I have Jesus.”
The testimony of the Kingdom is “Jesus has me.”

The Church operates through “Grace.”
The Kingdom operates under “Government.”

To enter the Church, we need “A message of salvation.”
To enter the Kingdom, we need “A message of preparation.”


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

At the Cross At the Cross

What is this cross, and how do we take it up?

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary (cross) the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.” Galatians 5:17

There is an ongoing warfare, a struggle between our natural desires and His spiritual desire for us. Thus, there are two contrary wills at war with each other – “I will” and “Thy will.” When the “Thy will” (His purpose for us) is contrary to and crosses out the “I will” (our own wants), our cross is formed.

As we die to our own self-will, and then submit to and come into alignment with His will for us, we are indeed taking up our cross, thereby becoming one with Him (because our life is merged into His life, only the vertical member of the cross is left, we have become one with Him).

We are to overcome all self-centered feelings, such as spiritual indifference, laziness, self-will, and rebellion, and then apply these to the cross, that we might prosper in the outworking of His will for us. We then become an upright, fruit-bearing branch on the tree of life, as a reflection or extension of His life and purpose. We are doing as He would do.

The Apostle Paul cried from the depths of his being:

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12

Notice that Paul said, “That I might apprehend.” He understood that he had a choice to make. We too have a responsibility to apply the cross to the very root of our self-lives; our hungers, fears, and our reactions, that we might better follow Him.

“…The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12

There is a spiritual battle to be won in entering the Kingdom realm. Those who truly love the Lord, and who desire to be rightly related to Him in His Kingdom will press through every hindrance or obstacle.

The most important time for us in all of eternity is “right now.” We are making choices and decisions today that will affect our eternal position and reward. Eternal life is not future; we have that now as part of our redemption. “Where” we will be is a settled fact.

What” we will be in eternity will be the result of the accumulated choices and decisions that we are making now, in our daily life experiences. Our “new creation life” is as a “seed” that has been deposited within us, which is being formulated and developed into completeness. When eventually it is released into the “soil” of eternity, it will unfold, revealing the full manifestation of what it had become during our present life experience.

Any seed, when planted, grows to express its particular nature. We need not add anything to it, but simply expose it to the right elements. Then, it will develop into the fullness of what it is. The extent to which we spiritually develop in the “here and now” will become our “measured state” (30, 60, or 100 fold) for all eternity.

Our present life (our spiritual development), primarily involves the formulation of this seed through the outworking of our willing obedience to Him (overcoming) in taking up our cross daily. Then, when we find ourselves in the “atmosphere of eternity,” the life that had been developed within this “seed” will be released into its full expression, in His eternal presence and purpose.

The promise of the Lord is “To him that overcomes.” As we overcome through our willing obedience to the Lord (taking up our cross), He will bring into our life experience this “good land,” providing the atmosphere to fertilize and water the soil of our obedience. This will prepare us for the coming harvest, in which that which we have become will be lifted up from the earth into His higher purpose.

We must allow this process to find its full outworking in our lives. Then, when we stand before Him in that day, He will look upon each one of us and give us a new name, according to what He sees.

“To the one overcoming, I will give him to eat from the hidden manna. And I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name having been written, which no one knows except the one receiving it.” Revelation 2:17 Literal translation

As we look back over our lives, the price that we paid will be as nothing, as we will be satisfied and fulfilled as we enter into our eternal relationship of communion and fellowship with Jesus.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You've Got Talent

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” Matthew 25:14-15
Notice that these talents relate to our being enabled to function with the Lord in a Kingdom relationship. Therefore, especially at this present time, those who are actively seeking to go beyond their present spiritual experience within the Church are being “lifted” into a Kingdom relationship (sons of God) with the Lord.

To accomplish this, the Lord is making “talents” available to us.

He gavetalents….” These “talents” are given to us by the Lord as a sovereign impartation, apart from any action on our part (a man traveling into a far country… and delivered His goods). They are a special “enabling” that will release us from the limitations of the natural realm, into our having the potential to function in the higher realms of the spiritual. These “realms” are unlimited, so we can progress as far as we are willing to go.

He gave… to every man according to his several ability….” These talents have to do with our having both the capacity and ability to become all that the Lord would have us to be and do. No matter where we are in the progression of our spiritual development, it is very important that we receive (to every man according to his several ability) and use these “talents.” There is a stern warning to the one who received his talent, but did not use it.

Talent was given to each according to their capacity or potential - to one, one talent; to another, two talents; to another, five talents. Each of us differs in our created make-up. Some of us are very emotional and expressive, while others are extremely inward. Some are more sensitive than others. We differ because of our family backgrounds, our intellect, and the effects of the environment in which we live.

“After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His Lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.”

“He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:19-23

The one who was given “five talents” returned with ten, and the one who had received “two talents” came back with four. Initially, it would seem that this has to do with quantity, the two becoming four, and the five becoming ten. Instead, the Lord said exactly the same thing to both. He did not say, “much done.” Rather, He said, “well done.” In others words, it is not how much we have, it is what we do with what we have that is important.

“You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many” (a Millennial Kingdom function). It took the same commitment and effort for the two talents to become four, as for the five talents to become ten. This relates to a spiritual quality (faithfulness) that had been developed within each of those who received these talents.

This “faithfulness” relates to the Millennial Kingdom in operation. First, it refers to our ability to “rulewithin us, over the totality of our being, in order to bring us into divine order. Second, then the Kingdom will begin to function through us, to affect others and eventually the world.

The one who had received and kept the “one talent” was rebuked by the Lord. Our being able to increase the number of the talents that we were given relates to our functioning in a cooperative relationship with our Lord. As we grow spiritually, this ability will increase.

Each of us has a certain amount of spiritual capacity or ability (talent), which we feel is never enough. The enemy loves to tell us that we are not spiritual, that we are not good enough nor worthy, and that we will never make it.

“Another parable put He forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matthew 13:31-32

This “seed” (our talent or potential) may be so small that it can hardly be seen. But, if we will accept what we have, and remain faithful, in time, it will become a “tree” (what we have become), into which multitudes of those who are spiritually hungry (birds), will come to receive spiritual food (they will lodge in the branches of our spiritual experience). Again, it is not how much we have (mustard seed), but what we do with what we have, that is important.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dont forget to vote

“Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.” Matthew 25:1-2
There is the same number (five) in each of these groups. The wise entered into the Marriage of the Lamb, but the foolish were turned away. There are different interpretations concerning these foolish virgins, as to their spiritual state. Some say that they were unsaved. But they all had lamps (salvation), and all went forth to meet the Bridegroom (equal opportunity).

“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne.” Revelation 3:21

In order for us to be among those who are overcomers and receive a reward, there must be the possibility of our not being an overcomer. Thus, for us to be an overcomer requires an effort on our part.

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…. Philippians 3:14-15

Paul recognized that we have a part in receiving the prize. The five wise entered with the Lord to the marriage, and therefore were given the right to sit with Him in His Throne, but the foolish did not. In that day, each one of us will find ourselves as being either among the wise, or among the foolish.

Thus, the parable of the ten virgins reveals the outworking of the opportunity that we have to become overcomers. The wise maintained oil for their lamps, but the lamps of the foolish were going out for lack of oil.

Thus, there was a distinct difference between them. It takes only one deciding vote to determine which group we will be in. Either we are, or we are not, overcomers.

“Command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.” Leviticus 24:2

ThisOil is the result of our maintaining an active relationship with the Lord.

The foolish were told to go and buy for themselves. Later, they came back, which means they had received that which they had gone after. A great visitation is before us in which multitudes will be blessed. But the reward will be greatly diminished because the opportunity to become an overcomer may have passed.

“And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10

Because it will be much easier to receive from the Lord during this end-time visitation, there may not be an opportunity to be among the five wise.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say to you, I know you not.” Matthew 25:11-12

Some interpret this verse as meaning that these were not saved. Rather, the Lord is telling them that He had not approved them as being an overcomer and did not know them in this relationship. Therefore, they were not among the wise. They had missed their opportunity to become an overcomer. He did not know them as being His Bride.

Today, in the pressures of our present circumstances, we have the opportunity to buy oil, causing our lamps to burn brightly so we may be counted among the wise.

May we spend quality time in His presence, and thereby cast our vote to be among those who are wise.