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Posted: 2007-10-23 15:33:51
October 6, 2007
"Pressure, Pressure, Pressure--The Birth Canal of God is About to Deliver Multiple Births"
"For those who have believed, labored and loved in the midst of persecution like our Savior, He is about to deliver--MULTIPLE BIRTHS."
To Everything There is a Season
"All these are the beginning of birth pains." Matthew 24:8
You're doing well friends! Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, and breathe out. Focus now and don't forget those years of coaching from the Master Teacher. Push, push...rest a bit. Okay, press through, you can do it. Remember--you are overcomers. Keep your eyes on the focal point of life...Jesus. He is the only way.
Honestly, I cannot begin to count the number of Christians who have shared about the tremendous spiritual warfare they're experiencing; the pressure and the intensity of their walk with Christ these days. Can you sense it?
The processes of God sometimes reminds me of the pressure cooker my mother used in preparing or preserving food. Pressure-cooking is a method using a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below preset pressure. The intensity and the high temperature completes the task quickly and purifies the precious commodities. This process is extremely efficient, but a bit dangerous. There is just one tiny hole on the lid of the cooker to release enough steam to prevent an explosion. Now, it's as if we're the precious ones in the cooker. Hold on, beloved! You're nearly ready to serve!
There is one absolute in learning to live under pressure while giving birth--we can't change our minds in the middle of labor (the battle). Oh, we'd like to, but the Holy Ghost has set us up and there's no turning back.
Liken it to a woman in intense labor during natural childbirth. As the force of the contractions increase, she'd love to say, "Excuse me, doctor, I've changed my mind. I'd really like to quit now. Things have just gotten too intense. No one told me it would be this messy, difficult and painful. Gotta run!" However, in reality, we know we must press through. Remember, dear ones, nothing can be delivered without that final push.
Of course, sometimes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We're fatigued from the battle. We feel like we'll die if we push, but we'll die if we don't push. We must remember there is always labor before birth. One secret of bringing forth life is to not focus on the labor, as we'll just magnify the pain. We must stay focused on being a co-laborer with Christ. What an honor! He gave us His life, and we give Him ours. I don't know about you, but my life is all I have to offer Jesus as a sacrifice of my eternal love. Everything else is temporal.
I've heard many believers say the pressure is becoming so great it's almost debilitating. I submit to you that prior to birth, a baby is silent and still for 24 hours. If you're feeling a bit paralyzed, perhaps it's almost time for delivery and multiple births for some. Go ahead, be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Congratulations! The Lord is preparing a place for you, as you prepare a place for Him.
To Resist the Pain is to Resist the Gain
As the "body" groans with the onset of birth pains, it seems to reject all that was. Everything that was comfortable, felt safe and warm and seems to be ending, and rightly so. There is massive change all around and the inevitably of this brings tension, perhaps even suffering. In fact, the rejection may seem so great it's comparable to stage three of transitional labor in natural childbirth, causing extreme pressure and nausea. But, alleluia! In birthing, it's the rejection and the pressure that actually pushes out new life as we labor in love.
Yes, it's tough. It's as if life is trying to cling to life when the Lord is saying, "Let go! Let God! I want to multiply. I want to bear fruit. Life must beget life. Don't cling to something that's not even yours." Dear friends, we're stewards of everything, and owners of nothing.
The long, dark birth canal of God's purposes seems to never end and the resistance is great. The enemy mocks, "You can't get in here!" (II Samuel 5:6), trying to throw confusion into the camp and abort God-ordained assignments. However, we must also remember it's God who comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. He loves us too much to allow us to be complacent, and He will not leave us as we are, where we are.
Birthing involves squeezing through a small, narrow space in order to launch us into a large, expanded place. As we're squeezed and pressured, we must examine what comes forth. Is it love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Oh, we say we have the fruit of the spirit and when it's time, we'll use it to reach the world. But, how do we really know if fruit is ripe until it's squeezed? Tested?
Beloved, if we can't survive in the birth canal of God, we'll never make it when we're thrust out into the world. Perhaps we must remain in the dark, pressurized conduit a bit longer as we're shaped into Christlikeness. It's here we're transformed into conduits ourselves to carry the Lord's glory. As mentioned above, perhaps we must stay in the pressure cooker until we're tenderized with the meekness of Jesus.
The secrets to survival during the pressure process are to trust the Almighty and stay in peace and stay in love. Yes, even when you don't have a clue what's at the end of the tunnel, your Father does. Beloved, it is not just what we say, but what we do that reveals the character of Christ in us. What seems like rejection from the body is actually what the Father uses to deliver His creations. We naturally draw near to Him as we suffer birthing pangs and it's in this intimacy that all fear is cast out.
I'm always so disappointed when I hear of women giving birth (in the natural) who swear during the process. I'm thinking to myself, "Wow, you need all the help you can get right now. Not a good time to curse God." I've read that birthing is actually the closest experience there is to dying. Everything in us is intense, fighting, laboring, struggling to hold onto something that's become a part of us. But, all the while, God is saying, "I am about to make all things new! Push, push into the future."
Let's refuse to go from drama to drama, crisis to crisis, my friends. Rather, we shall go from peace to peace and glory to glory, believing all things work together for the good for those who love Christ Jesus and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Are You Expectant?
As we are celebrating Rosh Hashanah and are entering into a seven-year cycle of blessing, let's reflect for a moment on the seeds we've sown and the labor we've experienced. How can we help but smile at the goodness of God? We've counted the cost, we've tilled the fields, and the Lord has made dreams grow. We've been as farmers preparing for the harvest. They begin with fertile seed, the Creator gives living water, and the "Son" brings forth fruition. Dear friends, the Church is entering into a season of fertility, a season of harvest. Consequently, she groans with birth pains. For those who have believed, labored and loved in the midst of persecution like our Savior, He is about to deliver--multiple births.
As we anticipate the future of a glorious Church again, we can liken it to natural childbirth, knowing that we will not remember the pain, once we are overcome with joy unspeakable. For the Lord declares, "Behold, I create new Heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17
I enjoy the way The Message Bible describes it: "That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens" Romans 8:18-21
Press through beloved, push, push! It will all be worth it.
Groans for Future Glory
The whole earth groans under the pain of its iniquity. The lawlessness, evil, and darkness seem overwhelming at times. I don't think we can even imagine what it takes to usher in the new Heaven and new earth and that's why we co-labor with Christ--He knows. That's why the Spirit Himself intercedes for us and builds us up, even as we sleep. Very recently, I dreamt that Jesus, Himself, came to me and kept saying, "Faint not, I'm coming soon, faint not, I'm coming soon!" Fear not, dear ones, for Christ is not overwhelmed, but rather has overcome the world.
Can you feel the pressure? How can man comprehend the weight of the glory of God in the womb of God? We cannot. We must simply believe, anticipate and rejoice.
"Around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us; any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy." Romans 8:22-25 (The Message Bible)
Keep laboring for the harvest, beloved. It will all be gloriously worth it! At the end of a dark tunnel is the light, a rainbow covenant of love.
"Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God's bright glory has risen for you. The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness, But God rises on you, and His sunrise glory breaks over you. Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness. Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you: Your sons coming from great distances, your daughters carried by their nannies. When you see them coming you'll smile--big smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion, a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!" Isaiah 60:1-3 (The Message Bible)
Let's Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, what an honor to be used as Your deliverers. You are ours, and we are Yours. May You strip us of anything that is not of Jesus, as we squeeze down the birth canal to reach our destinies in Christ. As we groan, Your Church groans and the whole earth groans. May you uphold us with Your mighty right hand. As we leave what's familiar and secure, entering into a place we've never been before, we trust You, our King. Help us to stay in peace and love under the pressure, and not be moved as You jettison us from darkness into light, to the glorious wonder of Your precious name. Amen
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Posted: 2007-10-23 15:20:14
Are You Ready to Gather with Others, are you Ready to Meet with the Lord? By David Nelson (10-15-07)
Introduction: Are you longing to experience real revival with the Lord and join together with others who have the same desire? What would the meetings be like if the Lord were to come more and more and His glory increased in the place where we meet with others? I have tasted of some tremendous meetings with music from the Lord, spiritual gifts coming forth from various people, wonderful sharing with each other, rich prayer, revelations, prophecies, and basking in the presence of the Lord.
If you are already experiencing some degree of revival meetings and want to go deeper, or you are just beginning revival meetings, or you have not even begun to meet with others but you really desire to begin seeking the Lord in a corporate setting, then hear this call from the Lord and meditate on the verses that follow. I believe this will help make your heart ready to seek Him with others.
A Call from the Lord: You may need to prepare your hearts for 3 days like the people at
He will come to us more and more if we will seek Him more and more. His anointing and His presence will increase in our meetings each day if we are prepared, and if we prepare a place for Him in our hearts and in our midst.
Let us anticipate, expect, ready ourselves, pray to be ready, pray that He will show us how to be ready to meet together and meet with Him. Also pray that He will bless all your future gatherings and guide your gatherings 100 %. After a time, it will no longer just be “meeting times,” but He will be with us and move among us 24 hours a day.
Verses to prepare our hearts:
Exodus 19:4: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
Exodus 19:9-11: And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee…. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the 3rd day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
Exodus 19:17: And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; *(10 more Scripture passages to follow)
Exodus 20:21: And the people stood afar off (and said, You speak to us Moses, let not God speak to us (Vs. 19)) and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 20:24: …in all places where I record My name and cause it to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. (or in every place where I cause My name to be remembered or wherever I cause My name to be honored, I will come….)
Exodus 24:1, 9-11: And He said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou (and 3 others mentioned by name, plus 70 of the elders of
Revelation 3:20: 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 sup with him and he with me.
Exodus 25:22: (At the mercy seat) And there will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat from between the two cherubims….I will speak intimately with you of all which I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.
Exodus 29:42-46: This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation (Tent of Meeting) before the Lord: where I will meet with you, to speak there unto thee. And there I will meet with the children of
II Chronicles 29:31, 34-36: Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord. And the congregation brought (these); and as many as were of a free (or willing) heart burnt offerings. But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
II Chronicles 30:10-12: So the posts (postmen) passed from city to city…(with the letter of invitation) but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. Nevertheless a few humbled themselves and came to
II Chronicles 30:18-23, 26,& 27: For a multitude of the people…had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed (interceded) for them, saying, The good Lord pardon everyone that prepares his heart (or sets his heart) to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. So there was a great joy in
Judges 20:1,2 & 8-11: Then all the children of
Posted: 2007-10-07 17:31:45
CHAPTER 6 "DESIRING ONE THING"
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS TO SEE
Love is the most important thing to God. He loves us, he wants us to love him and he wants us to love each other. Love is the fulfilling of all the law. It is a higher way, it says in I Corinthians 13, “I show you a better way.” In I Cor. 12 Paul was talking about gifts and power and spiritual things, but now, he says, “I show you a better way.” Not that love takes the place of gifts, power, giving to the poor or understanding mysteries, etc., but we must understand and have love with these other things. One of the things we are going to look at are the various words that are synonymous with love that we normally don’t think have to do with love; such as forgiveness and being at peace with people. There are different words that have to do with our relationships with people that we don’t think of as relating to love. When you are at peace with someone it will take love to keep that peace intact. When you can forgive others even though they have hurt you, or forgive them for the silly, and maybe stupid things they do, it will take love to keep your heart knit to theirs. Unity is a word that has a great deal to do with love because people who are one are able to overcome the problems or the building up of barriers that cause people to separate. One of the biggest problems that has existed from the very beginning of man’s walk on earth, and it will be one of the biggest problems until the day when there are new heavens and a new earth, is this spiritual war in which Satan wants to cause division between us and God, and between people. He wanted to cause division in the Garden of Eden, he craftily planned to cause division between the man and the women and he wanted to cause division between God and Adam and Eve also. He wants to sow discord, he wants people to be suspicious of each other, or to not like each other, or to think that somebody is trying to hurt them or somebody is trying to get them, or that nobody cares and we’ve got to look out for ourselves. All these thoughts can cause people to be divided. Negative thinking can cause us to be separated from people and God wants people to be together, forgiving, united, at peace and connected. Another area we will talk about is how God is going to create in us a greater capacity for our hearts to be connected together, a greater capacity for fellowship, a greater capacity for transparent communication (with no masks). We must really care about each other, not just with a human care (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours) (you invite me to your party and I’ll invite you to my party) (you brought me a pot roast when I was having a rough time in my life, so I’ll bring you a nice covered dish when you are having a hard time). The world does that kind of thing. We have to have something MORE than the world has. The kind of love God wants to teach and put in us is His agape love. It is going to be a powerful kind of love and it is going to be the kind of love that will bind the church together to become what they are supposed to be. Everybody is different. Everybody is going to have different ideas. Everybody is going to be at different spiritual levels. We have to be able to have a love and acceptance of each other with no walls, no masks, and a real, heart compassion that longs for each other’s good. A great change in our hearts is needed.
I Peter 4:8 says, “Above all things, have fervent love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins.” Another way this can be put is, love covers a lot of mistakes. Love covers a lot of stupid things that others do. Love covers a lot of selfish things that were done. Love covers a multiple of wrongs, if someone has wronged you, love covers it. Love forgives. We must, above all things that we do, put on this love because if we can’t forgive a person it is going to cause division. Without a God kind of love we are going to assume that people have hurt us on purpose or that they are going to hurt us again, and we are going to continually have a suspicious attitude toward them. We are not even going to want to be with those people. That is what causes division. Satan likes nothing better than to cause people that at one time were truly fellowshipping in the Lord, to stop talking to each other. He just wants to do whatever he can to get you away from others and to get you so you are not connected any more.
In Matthew 18:23 Jesus gives a parable about a person who was forgiven of a tremendous debt. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king which took account of his servants and when he had begun to reckon, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents. (10,000 talents is so much money that it is like one million dollars today). The person who owed this would never be able to pay this huge amount of money. Even if he sold himself into slavery to that king for the rest of his life, he would never be able to pay his debt. So, in this instance, his wife and his family were also sold into slavery to the king. Really, the truth of this parable has to do with the debt that we owe God and we could never pay God enough to be free of our sins. Even if we gave God a million dollars it wouldn’t cover our sins. Even if we said, Lord, we’ll put ourselves into slavery to you, this wouldn’t pay our debt either. Our debt had to be paid by Jesus. It was a debt that we couldn’t pay. This man could not pay his huge debt to the king either. But he fell down and said, “Please have compassion on me…,” and he pleaded with the king for mercy. The king, who represents Jesus or the Father, said, “I will forgive you of all this debt.” Then, as the forgiven person was leaving the king’s palace he passed a person who owed him money. And the person who had just been forgiven a huge debt took the man by the neck (for a much smaller debt) and said, “Pay me what you owe me!” So the man said, “I’m sorry, I promise I will pay you back (this smaller debt).” But the person that was forgiven of everything wouldn’t forgive his friend and said, “You are going to be cast into jail and I’m not going to forgive you of this little debt.” So then, in verse 32, his Lord (the king) said, “After that, he called him who had been forgiven of the whole debt.” And he says to him, “I forgave thee all that debt because you sought my help. Should you not have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?” And then his Lord said, “You are going to be delivered over to the tormenters until you pay all that was due and so, likewise, will my heavenly father do to everyone, he too will deliver them to the tormenters, unless they will forgive others from the heart. We must forgive our brothers and sisters from our heart. This is VERY important. Every person that we see, we don’t know how many sins they have committed through their whole life, we don’t know how many sins they committed when they were 2 years old, 5 years old, 8 years old, or 10 years old. We don’t know all the secret sins that they have done when no one could see. We don’t know all the sins they have committed in their heart that no one else knows. Yet, the Father in heaven forgave them of everything that they have ever done. How can we get mad at others because they have offended us, or someone that has hurt us, or someone that has maybe sinned 1 sin, or maybe they sinned 3 sins against us, or maybe they sinned 10 sins against us, and we are so sick and tired of them for doing these things, that we won’t forgive them for those 10 sins that they did against us, when the Father in heaven forgave us of everything. We only see the tip of the iceberg in other people’s lives, and we won’t even forgive them of the tip of the iceberg that we see? God says, I want to teach you to forgive others completely. Then Jesus tested Peter and he said to him, “How many times shall your brother sin against you and you forgive him?” Now, if you had to answer that question, you might say, well, if I say 3 times that’s not being patient enough with people. If I say 5 times, that is not patient enough either, but if I say 7 times, then if somebody sins 7 times that must be the limit that we are supposed go in patience and love. But Jesus said, you shall forgive 7 times 70. Does that mean 490 times? What Jesus was saying is that love never fails. Love never stops forgiving. Love covers a multitude of sins, all sins. Just like the father forgives all sins, you can forgive your brother or sister of everything they have ever done to you or others, even if they are selfish, ungrateful, stupid, mean, and they never change and even if they are not a Christian. They are not even a Christian? Well, certainly you should forgive them, they don’t even know the Lord. They don’t know any better. Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even if they are Christians, we need to pray that they are going to learn to walk a better way and that they will learn how to walk closer to the Lord. If they don’t forgive you, they are in jeopardy of being cast away to the tormentors as this other man was. Did not Jesus say, “If you do not forgive your brother neither will your heavenly Father forgive you.” The Lord’s prayer says, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Forgive us our sins as we forgive the sins of others.” In the very next verse, after that prayer, he says, “For if you do not forgive others, neither will your heavenly father forgive you.” So, we have to learn this path of love. It is going to be something that we must learn. In Matthew 5:43 it says, “You have heard that it has been said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say unto you, you must love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to them who hate you, pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may be children of your father….” I want to teach you about my love. I want you to be children of my Father. I want you to learn what my love is all about, for if God makes the sun rise on the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust, and if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? In other words, if you just have human love you will say, I like these people, these people are nice to me. These people have been nice to me, so I’m going to be nice to them. So, if you love people who love you, what reward have you? That is how the world is. But, if you love people who are unlovely, who are mean to you, who are your enemies, who have treated you badly, have hurt you, whatever, this is going to be a supernatural kind of love that God wants us to have. The Word says, if we have the kind of human love where we love those who love us, we do nothing different that the publicans do. Do not the publicans do the same? If you salute your brethren only, you are friendly to people who are friendly to you, you shake hands with people who are nice to you, but you are not nice to people who treated you cold, what are you doing more than others do? Do not even publicans do the same as this, but you must be mature and perfected and I want you to be perfected in love even as your Father in heaven is perfected in love. You might say, wow, this sounds really deep. In Luke 6 we can also see the kind of love Jesus wants us to have. This is not optional, Jesus says, if you just live like the world lives and you think you have so much love, how are you different than other people and where is your reward going to be? It says in the Amplified Bible, “You are to be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” You say, “Well, I don’t want to talk about all this perfection stuff.” Luke 6:35 says, “Love your enemies, do good, lend hoping for nothing in return and your reward shall be great and you shall be called children of the Most High God.” Isn’t that what Matt. 6 said? It said that we might be children of our Father. For God is kind to the selfish and the ungrateful. You therefore, must be merciful, even as your Father is merciful and forgive as he forgives.
In Colossians chapter 3 a garment is described that is going to be given to the Church. It has been lost to the Church for some time now but soon it is going to be returned to the Church and returned to his Bride. The Lord longs for his Bride to wear this garment again. Col. 3:12 says, “Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, who are holy and beloved, put on bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering….” Do you know what longsuffering means, it means suffering with the problems that other people have, the problems that other people are causing you, how other people act towards you, maybe others are causing us pain, we are to suffer long. In other words, we are to be patient. We must continue to be understanding and we must keep forgiving others. This is part of what longsuffering means. Col. 3:12 says, “forbearing one another.” To forbear means to bear with people’s inconsistencies or their inabilities to understand things (see things the way that we see them), or maybe we must bear with others treating us unfairly. Forbearing one another means bearing with others faults. Love covers a multitude of faults. Love covers all faults and it keeps on doing this 7 x 70, and we just keep on forgiving because we are never going to see everybody’s sin in its totality. But God forgives them of everything and we need to have that kind of love and patience, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, if you have a quarrel against another, even as Christ forgave you, also forgive them. Above all these things, put on love which binds everything together in perfect unity. Here we see another important word, unity. When we look at John chapter 17 we will explain the meaning of this word more in depth.
The Lord is desiring to teach us to be kind to people who have been rejected by other people. In other words, if we are just kind to the people who are important and we ignore unimportant people, this is not what Christ was like. When Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” that means if somebody came to your church service and they were a stranger, just think how uncomfortable they might feel. Would they not appreciate it if people gathered around them and said, we are so glad you are here and we sincerely mean this and we want to make you feel welcome and we will be your friends in Christ. Of course we don’t want to overwhelm a person, but you want to make them know that no matter who they are, no matter how they are dressed, no matter how unimportant they look, that you are welcoming them and you are making them a part of your circle. Otherwise, you will have little, exclusive circles saying, “These are the people I like.” This is my little circle of friends. To get into this circle you have to dress a certain way. You have to have a certain degree of education. You have to act a certain way. God is not like that. Jesus was not like that. He said, “I was lonely and you visited me.” I was this or that and you say, “When did we see you, Jesus?” Because if we would have seen you, we would have known that you are special and you are important and we would have always invited you to our dinners. “If you did it not to the least of the brethren, you did it not to me,” because you didn’t have my love. You didn’t have that perception of knowing that everybody is important. The people who are respected and have a lot of money and have position in the church, maybe they are so proud that they do not need anybody. But this new person who came in, they are lonely, maybe they have been thinking about suicide, maybe they just lost their job, maybe they don’t have nice clothes because they just haven’t been able to get a good job, or whatever. Maybe, they are having some other problem. This is the person who needs more help than anybody. To welcome them and to be a friend, this is the kind of person we are to be, if we could only put on this garment of kindness and bowels of mercy. Mercy is another word that is closely connected with love. If you have mercy on someone you are giving them the benefit of the doubt. Even a judge who is able to prove that somebody is guilty, if he has mercy upon them he forgives them even if they are guilty. In I Cor. 13 it says, “Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things….” Love gives people the benefit of the doubt. If you think you saw somebody do something and you say, “I think their motive was wrong?” Well, how do you know that? Were you able to read their mind or their heart? Were you able to know everything about what they were thinking? Were you able to look deep into their heart? No, we can’t. Only God can. The flesh (man’s natural inclinations) always thinks negative of others but the Spirit of God (when we walk in the Spirit and walk in love) always gives people the benefit of the doubt and puts a positive interpretation on things and says, “Well, I don’t know why that happened, I don’t know why they didn’t say hi to me this morning, but I am just going to believe that maybe they had a really hard night and they just didn’t see me.” Instead of thinking, “They saw me. I know they did, and they don’t like me and I’ll just chalk-up number 3 on my offense list against them.” You see, this is the kind of attitude that is negative, fleshly, and opposed to giving people the benefit of the doubt.
In Proverbs 22:1 it says, a person’s name is more valuable than all of his goods and if a person wants to bring down someone’s name, they might as well go into their house and steal all of their goods, because a good name is more valuable than many, precious possessions. Really, what we do when we talk behind people’s backs is that we bring down their name. What we do, even when we think negatively about people, the Word says, “Love thinketh no evil.” Love doesn’t even think negatively. Oh, we say, “I think they did such and such and it is usually a negative thing, and it is the flesh that thinks negatively. But true agape love doesn’t even think evil. You may say, “How am I going to get to that kind of love? God will change us, he wants to and he is ready to do it.
In John 13:34 Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you, in this way you should love one another, by this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” To love one another (as Jesus loves us) is a deeper love than just human love. Human love can be shown through physical love or physical attraction and it can also be expressed through phileo love, which is an affectionate type of connection with people. In other words, I really like so and so. I really get along with so and so. We can really talk and we can communicate and they are smart and they like some of the same things I like. This is an affectionate or feelings connection that communicates that you really like somebody. This phileo love is so strong that people who are not even Christians can seem to love each other so much as friends that if they got separated by death or sickness or distance, they become really sad. They are brokenhearted. You can be brokenhearted with this kind of love. But agape love is a love that is beyond human love. It is the kind of love that God has for us. If we really knew, even at this very moment how much God loves us, how much he loves every person, we would be amazed. He loves us so much and he wants to be very close to each of us and wants to really know us and for us to know Him but he can’t make a compromise of just allowing us to know him when we haven’t really desired him or we haven’t really sought him. He is going to stay at a little bit of a distance, even though he wants to smother us with his love. We cannot fully comprehend this kind of love. We cannot fully fathom it. We don’t have the capacity to understand his love until we start to seek him more and to get closer into his presence, then when we start to experience his love more than we ever have before, we will begin to be transformed and changed. Our capacity for receiving his love will change and our capacity to give love back to him will change. It is like a man and a woman’s relationship. They might have a physical attraction that causes them to be together in a physical way, but what about that real depth of intimacy that has to do with friendship and love and communication? You can’t manufacture this. You have to cultivate it. You have to work at it. It has to be something that is worked through and it grows with time. Husbands and wives even after years and years together don’t even fully realize what love is. They may say that they have fallen out of love because they don’t have the romantic kind of love that they see on the movie screen, but there is a depth of friendship and there is a depth of relationship and there is a depth of communication that develops in real love. The love that Jesus had for his disciples is the same kind of love he wants us to have for each other, and this is a very, very deep thing.
In John chapter17 almost the whole chapter is a prayer of Jesus. In the very first verse it says, “Jesus lifted his eyes up to heaven….” He began talking to the Father. He was praying about different things but then he was praying for his disciples. About 6 or 7 times in this prayer he offers up his disciples to the Father saying, “Oh, Father, I want them to be one. I want them to know you. I have walked with them. They have come to know me and because they have come to know me they have come to know you because you sent me.” That is what the whole chapter is about. Father, I am one with you and you are one with me and they have begun to become one with me and I want them to be one with you and I want them to be one with each other. I don’t want them to get angry with each other. I don’t want them to argue with each other about who is the greatest or get mad at each other. Nothing will ruin revival more than division. That is exactly how Satan can stop revivals, is by having somebody become suspicious of somebody else, having somebody get mad at somebody else, having the leadership getting mad at each other and saying, this revival is no good and we need to stop this. Or maybe the leadership is getting mad at some faction in the church. And some people in the church are getting mad about what is going on over there. Satan will be very active to stop revival. He will be able to stop revival when people become suspicious of each other, divide from one another, talk behind each other’s backs, saying, I don’t think they have a good motive for this and I think they are doing the wrong thing and so on. In John 17 the prayer of was that they might be one, so that the world would know, that the disciples might be unified so that the world will know. That is what is also said in John 13. Jesus gives a command that we might love one another with the same depth of love that he has loved us, so that the world will know that we are his disciples because of the love that we have for one another. If there is a revival where everybody loves each other with this kind of love, we will not divide and it will not end, no matter what Satan throws at us. Whatever Satan throws at us, his purpose is to divide and conquer. A house divided cannot stand. In war they say, “Divide and Conquer.” But a house united can stand.
All of this talk about unity, oneness, and so on, does that mean we all have to believe the same things? No. But we all have to love each other so much that we are able to have patience with one another and if somebody doesn’t understand something then let it be OK for a time. Just keep praying, and maybe we all will come to learn more and see more clearly the way to go. Maybe, with patience, we will help others to understand more. But maybe they will never completely understand the thing you are trying to say. If they never do, it doesn’t matter, because that is up to God to teach them and train them and change them. It is up to God to help people to understand His ways. If he doesn’t break through and help them to understand, we just have to keep forgiving and we have to keep loving. Remember the garment in Col. 3, in humbleness of mind, in meekness, in kindness, in forbearance, in forgiveness. It is the garment we need and it is not present in the Church as it ought to be, the lack of it causes churches to just have human love or to be divided. If Satan comes in and says, hey, something is going on here, they are getting close to revival, I’m going to cause trouble. He is going to go to the weakest link, to someone that doesn’t know about this love or is going to start talking behind people’s backs. If we start thinking about negative things we may start talking negatively about others. We are not supposed to talk negatively behind people’s backs. We are not even supposed to think negatively because thinking negatively will lead us to have a sour attitude about someone.
In John 17:21 it says, “That they may all be one as the Father is in me and as I am in you, Father, that they may be one so that the world will believe that you have sent me.” Then in Jn. 17:25 & 26 it says, “Oh righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee, and these have known thee, through me. They know that I was sent from you and I have declared unto them your name and I will continue to declare it and then after I go the Holy Spirit will continue to declare it—that the love wherewith you have loved me may be in them and I in them.” Now, that is the only place that I know in that Chapter that it talks about love. It is talking about unity, oneness, but really, these are the same things. Then, Jesus is saying, the love that the Father has for the Son, that that love would be in them. It is not just them loving God—Oh, I love God so much, I love him so much, I’ll do anything for him, but then you treat people bad. Something is wrong if we say we love God but don’t love people. Is the love of God really in us? It will be painful to forgive people. It will be painful to have patience with people, that is why patience is called longsuffering. It is painful to deal with selfish, ungrateful, unlovely, mean, enemies, hurtful people, but what God is going to do is he is going to tear down your fleshly reactions and tear down your human reactions, as we might say, “Well, I don’t like them because they have never been nice to me. They have never said hi to me. They have always been cold towards me and I am going to be cold toward them.” Then how are we different than the world? Where will our reward be if we can’t break out of this way of thinking? The only way is to have God show us and birth in us agape love and show us the path of agape love, which is an unconditional love that has nothing to do with others actions or our responses. This is the kind of love that God has toward us. He wants us, he sees what we will look like when we are close to him, he will change us if we will bow at his feet. His love for us is so deep. He is longing for us to be in relationship with him. He is longing for us to be deep enough where we can understand his love more. We are understanding it like children now. He is wanting to bring us into a bride relationship, a husband and wife relationship, a mature love relationship.
If you say to yourself, I want to build my relationship with the Lord, I want to have such a close walk with him and such a close intimacy with him, and people that you meet might even be proud of their intimate relationship with the Lord. But if this close relationship with the Lord doesn’t flower into a deeper love for people and if you don’t see love in that person, then that person could even be fooled into thinking that they have some kind of great closeness to God but it hasn’t birthed in them the love we are talking about here. One of God’s larger purposes for having a close relationship with his people is that we might win this spiritual war against evil, showing his love to the world and his glory. This revival that God wants to do now is in the midst of a great war. It is a war in your own soul because God is trying to break down things that are in our life that are going to keep you from walking closer to him and he is going to break down barriers in relationship that are keeping people from being close. Because all that God is going to do on every front, he is going to do it internally. He is going to do it as we relate to and connect with people. Because without this love for one another, the world is not going to see true revival. All they are going to see is a bunch of people who are trying to be close to God in church buildings or in homes and they are not going to see people who love each other and weather through every storm, every onslaught of Satan in which he is going to try to destroy anything that God begins to do.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 Paul says, “I have been so affectionately desirous of you that I was willing to impart to you, not just the gospel only but also entrust to you our own souls because you have become so very dear to us.” What happened to Paul is that his intimate relationship with the Lord was building and building and he was getting more revelation and a closer walk with the Lord, and the Lord was expanding his heart to make his heart like the heart of the Father. He was beginning to have so much love for people, that no matter what they did to him he was loving them more. God had opened up in him such a new capacity to understand His love and to be able to give love back to the Father and to everyone around him with the Father’s love, and the Father was transforming him and changing him into the most kind, loving, affectionate, whatever that garment was in Colossians chapter 3, that’s what he was becoming. He just walked in kindness, forgiveness, forbearance, and so on. You may say, well, aren’t we lifting Paul up too high. It doesn’t matter, because the Word says of Jesus’ disciples, I want you to love one another as I have loved you. Why would he say that if we weren’t capable of it? He also says, I want you to be one like the Father is one with Jesus—I want you to be one like that, too. It is going to take a supernatural agape love to live like that. You may say, this is unthinkable. We can’t do it. We are never going to be able to do that because of our human nature. But, God is preparing a Bride that is longing for this and is seeing that it is possible, and in the whole process of us coming closer to the Lord we are going to be changed so that we will begin to have his heart to love others and God is going to help us. This is what we see in II Corinthians 6:11-14. The Corinthian church did not really like Paul very much. They liked other people more than Paul. They really had a problem with Paul but they were being immature and fleshly, because Paul was much closer to God then they could really understand. Because they didn’t have the capacity to love him but he had a large capacity to love them’ he never gave up on them. The Word says, “Oh, ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, in other words, we are speaking to you, all these wonderful things and our heart is enlarged. Meaning, our heart has been broadened and enlarged. But, then, he says in verse 12, yet you have constricted your hearts, (it says in the King James Version, straightened) “You are straightened in your own bowels.” So, you say, what does that mean? What it says in another translation is, there is no lack of room for you in our hearts but you lack room in your own hearts for us. In other words, our hearts are enlarged, we have you in our hearts, but you have pushed us out of your hearts and your hearts are constricted. Then, in verse 13, it says, Please do this—and I am speaking to you even as I would speak to children, open wide your hearts to us and don’t keep being constricted, because we love you and you are in our hearts. To have a large heart that welcomes everyone in is the kind of heart the Father has and he wants us to have His heart for people. It is true that many people don’t want his love and ignore Him (as they will do to us) but He is Holy and full of compassion toward everyone if they will only turn to Him. But all of them will see his glory (upon us) and some will turn to him.
This is the call of the Spirit, for those who have ears to hear, let us hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. The Spirit is saying to the Church, the world hasn’t seen love, the world hasn’t seen unity, and they are never going to wake-up and realize that God is alive until they see this love and this unity and we are never going to have this love by attempting it in human strength. Human strength will fail but we will attain this love by our increasing relationship with the Lord. Not even a human standard of love will do, but something way beyond anything that we have seen before. God wants to create something that Satan will not be able to break. How beautiful His Bride will be adorned with this garment of love.
Posted: 2007-10-02 11:21:15
Des Moines, Iowa
Prophetic Forum Meeting
Posted: 2007-09-30 17:41:01
Excerpts from Azusa Street, Frank Bartleman, Bridge, 1980
p.13- There were two hours of prayer in church before the service began, meetings were every day and every night, we were not looking to man to perform but we expected God, the meeting started on the church steps before the doors were opened, love and unity were key, the doors were never closed or locked (like the Temple, always open) (later at Azusa St. it was 24 hours a day).
p.14- Seeking and needy people filled the church at all times, most Christians don’t pray, it is hard on the flesh, my burden was increasing night and day.
p.15- This particular man was destined to become my prayer partner in the future (he had the same burden as me), we prayed together till 2 :00 a.m., my life was literally swallowed up in prayer (prayer night and day), the meetings went on no matter who was there (no preacher), we became linked with the Welch (Wales) revival, a letter from Evan Roberts reads as follows: “I am impressed by your sincerity, bring the people together who are willing to make a total surrender, pray, wait, hold daily meetings.” People were shocked when I shared what God had put in my heart, they did not want me back to speak to them anymore.
p.16- Wesley and Fletcher were not allowed to speak a second time at certain churches, few people really know God in any time, already these meetings are beginning to “run themselves,” the meetings sweep on unguided by human hands, the fear of God is coming upon the people, a very spirit of burning.
p.17- Went to prayer, my prayer partner was there ahead of me, we prayed for revival till the burden became well nigh unbearable, I cried out like a woman in labor, then the burden left us, then quiet waiting, suddenly, without warning Jesus stood before us, we did not move, I could not look, we were afraid to speak or breathe, the Lord said nothing to us but only ravished our spirits by his presence, the sun came up, the night seemed like ½ hour, God eliminates all time, all is eternity.
p.18- For days that presence stayed with us, I could scarcely take up normal conversations again, they seemed so empty, earthly fellowship was a torment.
p.53- Conviction came on people as they walked down the streets, they fly to pieces on the street for no reason, when we came within 2 or 3 blocks of the place (Azusa St.) people were seized with conviction.
p.54- The papers criticized but this only drew the crowds more, soon the meetings were running day and night, divine love ruled, no unkind words against opposers or other churches were allowed in the meetings, we knew the moment we had grieved the Holy Spirit by an unkind thought or word, we lived in a sea of pure divine love, the Lord fought our battles, we never sought to defend the work or ourselves, nothing contrary to the pure Spirit was allowed there, the false and the real were clearly seen and distinguished by the Spirit of God, it was no joke or light thing to join that company, “no man dared join himself to them” unless they meant business to go all the way through and die.
p.55- “No talking above a whisper” (was written on a placard in the prayer room), don’t try to “jazz” them through, an unquiet spirit or a thoughtless talker was immediately reproved by the Spirit, the atmosphere was unbearable to the carnal spirit, those in the upper room had paid for Pentecost with the highest price, can we see how that company was utterly lost to this world, completely despised, rejected, outcasts (their leader had just died by hanging at the hands of the Roman government).p.56- In the beginning manifestations were wonderfully pure and powerful, we feared to reproduce them (like tongues are), but now they are imitating the gifts (they have largely lost their power and influence)
p.57- We had no human program, p. 58- Pastor Seymour usually had his head in a shoe box during the meeting in prayer, services ran almost continually, seeking souls could be found under the power almost any hour day or night, we were never closed or empty, the people came to meet God, he was always there, hence a continuous meeting, we did not depend on human leadership, God took strong men and women apart and put them back together as he desired, for his glory, all things like pride, self-assertion, self-importance, self-esteem, self-plans could not survive there, no one knew what was coming, what God would do, we wanted to hear God through whomever might speak with no respect of persons, we only recognized God, all people were equal, no flesh could glory in his presence, all came down together at his feet.
p.59- When we first came into the church we avoided as much as possible human contact and greetings, we wanted to meet God first, we got our head under a bench to pray and wanted to know no one “after the flesh” anymore, the meetings started themselves spontaneously, did not have to push things through but a dozen people would be on their feet trembling under the power of God wanting to speak, we did not have to have a leader cue us or encourage us, someone anointed for the message would finally get up, all recognized that it was God and would give way (child, woman or man, back seat or front seat), the atmosphere forbade (except for occasional fools) pretending to have a real anointing but if it did happen it did not last long. I would rather live 6 months like this than 50 years or ordinary life. God wants this now (today) for he is the same today as yesterday, but we have changed. Someone would be speaking and suddenly the Spirit would fall on everyone, and people would fall all over the house. God gave the altar call.
p.60- Such as this cannot be imitated, there were no formal altar calls, God himself called them, the preachers knew when to quit. God was in his Holy Temple, it was for us to obey and be silent. I stopped more than once two blocks from the place (Azusa St.) and prayed for strength before I dared go on to the building, the presumptuous would sometimes come in among us, especially preachers who wanted to show off. “But their effort was short-lived. The breath would be taken from them. Their minds would wander, their brains reel. Things would turn black before their eyes. They could not go on. I never saw one get by with it in those days. They were up against God. No one cut them off. We simply prayed. The Holy Spirit did the rest. We wanted the Spirit to control. He wound them up in short order. They were carried out dead, spiritually speaking. They generally bit the dust in humility, going through the process we had all gone through. In other words, they died out, came to see themselves in all their weakness, then in childlike humility and confession taken up of God….The “old man” died with all his pride, arrogancy and good works. In my own case I came to abhor myself. I begged the Lord to drop a curtain so close behind me on my past that it would hit my heels. He told me to forget every good deed as though it had never occurred, as soon as it was accomplished, and go forward against as though I had never accomplished anything for Him, lest my good works became a snare to me.” “Even very good men came to abhor themselves in the clearer light of God. The preachers die the hardest. They have so much to die to, so much reputation and good works.” “That was one reason they fought so hard. Death is not at all a pleasant experience. And strong men die hard.”
Posted: 2007-09-29 17:21:27
Some good quotes by Rick Joyner from “Taking the Land” - Part XC 8-13-07
If you are becoming more and more dependent on the church, then the church is going in the wrong direction. But when the church is pointing people to become more and more dependent on God, then they are going in the right direction. *(Of course, the Bible teaches that we need the local Body and the local church gatherings, and Holy Spirit order as the Bible teaches, but there is an important emphasis here to consider (my own thought)).
The churches goal is to teach people to know the Lord for themselves so that if the church was (suddenly or) completely disbanded they could go right on growing and being effective witnesses of the gospel.
10 Biblical Principles for Success in Life and Work:
Principle 4: God gives us a vision (like Joseph’s dream). Then there is often a long period between the dream and the fulfillment of that vision. That period may be a deep valley of failure and humiliation (Joseph in prison and slavery). The vision may seem to die or be tested (Psalm 105:17-19). If the vision is from God, He will raise it up (Joseph made ruler).
Posted: 2007-09-18 08:56:29
Introduction by David Nelson to the article entitled, “The Womb of Revival: Whom Does God Use to Birth Revival?” by David Smithers
We agree with much of the following article and feel that it is very encouraging, however, there are a few points in the first few paragraphs that we would like to clarify, showing more our ministries viewpoint.
One thing we are hoping for in a coming revival is the complete freedom for each person attending a meeting to share what they have received from the Lord. The Lord should be allowed to use whomever He chooses, to manifest Himself and shine through people’s spiritual gifts as He pleases. Is that not what happened at
Our “call for revival” should be clearly spoken to be clearly understood, but how “well defined” can it be before it happens? The Lord probably will surprise us. We want more of God, more of His presence and His fire, we want Him to lead our meetings 100 %, etc.
Is the Church at large prepared for a coming revival or not? The Lord will come to us if we humble ourselves and seek Him diligently. He will come at the right time just as Jesus came on the scene at the right time and the Church came forth from the upper room (Pentecost) at the right time. Was the established “religious order” ready for Jesus and the Church? Many did not understand and persecuted the new movements, but others were touched deeply and were drawn to the light God was revealing.
Yes, God will make us ready for revival in personal character and right Biblical understandings. He will bring it at the right time so that the ship of revival won’t sink because we were unprepared to “host the Lord in our midst.”
In Matthew 5:6 it says that a sincere hunger and thirst after righteousness is a sure guarantee for future blessings. You are blessed if you hunger for God, and God said He would fill you or satisfy you. If you sincerely hunger for more of God and seek Him diligently you will find Him, and He will satisfy your hunger and thirst.
Posted: 2007-09-12 12:39:37CHAPTER 4
Where has the Church gone and how does the Lord want to turn it back to where it ought to be? The Lord wants to baptize us in fire and bring us to real revival (close to Him). There will be a feast in the wilderness or a table set there for us to be seated with the Lord.
In Exodus 10:3 & 9 a theme has been set forth that is both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. We have talked about how the Lord is guiding us out into the wilderness at first, to show us the way to walk with him and to follow his voice completely. When there is nothing around us, no water and no goods and no food and no resources and no nothing, we just listen to his voice and he is going to protect us and help us and show us the way and show us what to do and how to survive in the wilderness.
Now, we are going to talk about the Church, where the church has gone, how far it has gone away from what the Lord wants, and how the Lord wants to bring it back to what he wants it to be. In Exodus chapter 10 Moses is calling the people out of
In Isaiah chapter 1 we read a very strong prophetic word. Many people say that prophecy should be encouraging, that prophecy should make you happy or make you feel good. Here we have the prophet Isaiah and what he prophesied in the first chapter of Isaiah. He didn’t start out encouraging and then say, “OK, I’ve buttered you up with a lot of good stuff and now I am going to give you the real deal.” He just started off the chapter with the real deal, a strong word. He says in Is. 1:2, “Hear, Oh heavens, and give ear, Oh earth, for the Lord has spoken. I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his owner and the ass his master’s crib, but
Remember, we said in Rev 3, that the church thinks that it is prospering and needs nothing and is doing great, not knowing that it is blind, naked, and not doing good. The “sores” have not closed. They have not been bound up. They have not been mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate. Your cities are burned with fire. Your land, strangers devour it in your presence and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers—and the daughters of Zion are left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge out in the middle of a garden of cucumbers. Except the Lord of Hosts had left us a very small remnant, we would have faired as
What I would like to show in the next couple of verses, is all the things that the people of God do (and the church does) that they think are pleasing to God, but these things have become empty of their meaning. These things are not spiritual anymore. We are going through the motions of prayer, going through the motions of songs, going through the motions of all the things that we have done for weeks and months and years and they have lost their meaning. They have become empty and vain activities, and also many people are living worldly lives after they leave church, lives corrupted with various types of sins, the church people with soars from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet. They are not spiritual in their daily lives and when they come to church, everything is just a pretense about being close to God. God lists all the things that people do in the church, and he says, a number of times, he is tired of it, he is sick of it, he is not interested in it, he is turning his eyes away, it is an abomination to him, he doesn’t want it anymore. He says, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? I am full of your burnt offerings.” Is.1:12 says, “When you come to appear before me (as at a church service), who has required of you this repeated trampling and treading of my courts? Who required of you to have your 3-day meetings? Who required of you to meet 2-3 times this week or even 2 times on this day? “Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination to Me.” In Is.1:13-15, “Your incense is an abomination to me (a type or symbol of prayer). Your prayers I will not hear. I’m tired of your meetings (the calling of your assemblies). Away with them! Even your solemn assemblies, where you REALLY get down and are REALLY serious, I’m sick and tired of these too. “When you spread your hands before me,” in other words, when you lift up your hands, I will hide my eyes. Even though you make many prayers—I’m sick of it. I don’t want to hear them.”
This is what God has always had to do through history. When the people have gotten away from God, and they think that they are still close to God, he raises up prophets to tell them—you are just playing a game. This isn’t pleasing to God. THEY will argue and say, “You are wrong, we HATE you, you are criticizing us, you are criticizing our buildings, you are criticizing our meetings, you are criticizing EVERYTHING and we don’t believe that you are hearing from God.” But God is trying to get their attention, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, this IS GOD, I am trying to get your attention.”
In Matthew chapter 21 we see that God wants to take back his church. He wants to be in our midst at our church services and have the services under His control. When we are at a church service, God wants to orchestrate what is going to happen at that service. How are the gifts supposed to flow by His leading? The Lord should decide if we are going to have songs at our service. He should decide if and when it is the time to have a song. If there is to be a song it may only be one song that will go on for a half hour or more and many different variations of that song may emerge as the Spirit leads. God will teach us and move us along. He may move us into intercessory prayer or put a burden on us for foreign missions or some foreign country or somebody who is in trouble and we will move into a season of intercessory prayer, with burdens from the Lord. Or it could be that we will have a time of rejoicing so much or God will give us so much joy that we will be dancing and singing, exuberantly, and the whole service will be song after song after song that the Lord is bringing together, and he builds it higher and higher and higher. But how is the Lord going to do this? What does he want to do? In Matthew chapters 21,22 and 23, God is warning the churches that they have strayed from where he wants them to be and he wants to bring us into real revival, and so he has to set an alarm clock to wake us up from our slumber and from where we are now as the church. A prophetic voice is like an alarm clock. Nobody wants to hear the alarm clock waking them up early in the morning. Can we not sleep a little longer? Nobody wants to wake up, wake out of their dream world to say, “Oh, I was so happy in my dream world and in my rest and NOW it is the reality of the morning.” But, the reality is, in our own hearts we know we are tired of “business as usual” and the “same old stuff.” We are going to services and we are saying, “This isn’t satisfying anymore.” It is because God is not satisfied and he is making YOU not satisfied. The youth are not satisfied with the way that the church is, and so, they are trying to break out of the old mold, and this is good. Prophetic voices are starting to help to break the church out of the old mold and the Bride is beginning to hear the voice of the Bridegroom saying, “This is where we need to go and where we need to be.” We need to move on. And so, the Lord is changing us to feel like God himself felt in Isaiah chapter 1. He was dissatisfied with what was going on—no matter how many meetings we have, no matter how many prayers, no matter how much we lift our hands, he says, something is wrong in our hearts. Your hearts are somewhere else. You are worldly, and you can’t hear Me, and what you are doing isn’t even spiritual anymore. It is not even close to me or to what I want. The Father wants to bring us out into the wilderness and lay a table before us that He creates, a feast that He creates and orchestrates, and show us when we get there what He wants to do. This is not an easy thing for a church to change their format to follow the Spirit of God. In Matthew chapter 21 the Lord sends out prophets to warn the churches and the churches don’t want to hear, because they want their buildings, they want their money, they want their people to keep attending services, they want their organization, they want their business to keep succeeding and this is a risk, to go out and begin to follow the Spirit of God 100%, to cast everything to the wind and say, Lord, “What do you want? We will do it.” It will take a great risk for a church to decide that they want to follow the Lord in this way.
If you were to imagine the Father standing up and saying, OK, we had the Jesus movement and people got excited about being like Jesus and there was a certain emphasis there. Then, we had a healing movement. Then, we had a gifts of the Spirit movement. We have had many different things to move the Church along. Now, the Father stands up and says of all these wonderful things that have happened through the years and different phases of the church, now he says, I am preparing my church for the Bridegroom. The Father and the Bridegroom want the Bride to be pure. Just like in the book of Esther, the women were to be prepared to come in to be seen by the king, and they had to take baths with perfumes, and they had to have nice clothes on, and they had to be prepared with their hair done just right, so that they could come and be with the king, see the king, and that the king would look at them to have his queen. The Bride, now, has to be prepared for the coming of Jesus. And, the Bride has a certain dissatisfaction with what they are seeing around them and within themselves, and they are hungering for more, because Jesus, the Lord, and the Father are creating in them a hunger for more and wanting to bring them out of immature thinking, such as, we can do this and we can do that as we please, but now, the Lord is preparing us to think we must do more as He pleases. We are being smitten with a stronger desire to go after Him and be pleasing to Him. It is the emerging of a purer church and a more sanctified church. Not a holiness that makes you sniff at people or that gives people the cold shoulder, but a holiness that causes you to love people more. A Bride so holy that you can feel their love and you can feel their compassion and you can feel that they are being changed into the image of Jesus, and they are being changed into having the Father’s heart. The children’s hearts are to be turned back to the Father. Even as people are being formed into the image of Christ and are getting the heart of the Father, they are showing forth this heart so much that it is touching other people and it is drawing them to the Lord. That is what Malachi chapter 4 is saying, “The Father has turned toward his children, the hearts of the children are turning back to the Father, and now in turn even more children will come to the Father.” (also there is the sense that physical fathers and physical children will turn back to each other).
In I Corinthians 12:6 it says, “There are diversities of operations, or diversities of gifts, but it is the same God who is working all that it is going on, in all.” Another word for this in the Greek would be, he is inspiring what is going on in you, in everybody, as they are flowing in their gifts and in the operations of the Holy Spirit. Then, it says in verse 7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man so that all may profit.” In verse 11 it says, “All of these gifts are working and they are working by the inspiration of the same Spirit who is dividing to every man severally as he wills.” What this means is, at the Feast in the Wilderness you do not know what God will require of you until you get out there. You do not know because he is going to lead you along day by day. You do not know what this feast is going to entail. You don’t know what God wants you to do. You don’t know whether he wants you to sacrifice, whether he wants you to have a table, whether he wants you to have a Holy of Holies, whether he wants you to burn a fire. Whatever he wants you to do, he is going to show you when you get out there. Because if everything is cut and dried, then you can do it without God, and this is what continually happens in the history of church. If people are falling down on their faces and they are getting close to God, and they are seeking God, and God is starting to move in their midst, then they will want to sustain that move of God. But sometimes people try to sustain it by just copying what they did yesterday, or the day before, or last week and pretty soon it moves into a pattern where God will leave and we just keep going on with the pattern of yesterday. We must live every day and every hour, dependent on the voice of God to show us what to do next. God can change what he wants to do next and not do the same as yesterday. Every time we get together he can change things. It should be a living thing. It doesn’t have to be dry teaching, empty teaching, always the same pattern, always the same, 3 fast songs, 3 slow songs, and then a time where someone speaks in a tongue or gives a prophecy, and then announcements and then the sermon and then a prayer line and then a closing prayer and then do that week after week after week. It says in I Cor. 12:11, “The Holy Spirit will divide up, severally, as he wills.” He will show the order. Now it is time for a song, and someone comes forth with a song. Now it is time for a prophecy, maybe a season of prophecy will come forth. Maybe the whole rest of the service will be prophecies and there won’t be any sermons or songs or anything else that day. If the Holy Spirit is leading, what happens will be inspired by the Holy Spirit, it will be a movement of the Holy Spirit, it will be inspirational, it will be fire, it will be manifestations of the Spirit. It will not be, “Oh, that song was pretty good, nice try—keep practicing, it’s going to get better,” etc., etc. Or you might say, “They were polished musicians and singers but I sensed some pride attitudes.” Or you might say, “Wow, they were really good, they were very good singers, but something was missing.” Maybe, they were not close to God, maybe they don’t have any prayer life at all. You might say, “Well, it is nice that you have such good skills—but was that a manifestation of the Holy Spirit? Where really is the anointing of God in all these things we are doing? I have heard people who sing off key but they sing with an anointing that touches you keep in your spirit. I’ve even seen people who are mentally challenged, who don’t seem as smart as others, something is “wrong” with them as the world sees things, but they come with such sincerity, that you can just feel the anointing, that it flows from a vessel that is more clean in God’s eyes than we can see. That is what God is looking for, real love, real anointing, purity of heart. He is looking for manifestations of the Holy Spirit. He is looking for the Holy Spirit to inspire, the Holy Spirit to love through you, the Holy Spirit to manifest himself and to work in people. If you are not moved to do something, why should you do it? You should do what you do because the Spirit has moved you, because He is the one who is doing it as He wills. If you do it by your own will it is a manifestation of human effort, human work, or human flesh, and that is what happens so much in the Church—it is just one thing after another, lots of human effort. That is not to say that God can’t take a sermon and move you and touch you and train you through sermons, but it might even be in spite of the vessel that is being used. He can take a sermon and interpret it to you and bless you, regardless of who is giving it. Wouldn’t it be better if the person who is preaching REALLY heard from God? Is the person who is preaching doing it because God said this is the message for the hour and it will be anointed and it will be something that will flow and will bless the people. This is the level that he wants us to come to, that the services in our churches come to the level where the Lord guides us 100% and where he is in our midst. We want to have a feast in the wilderness where we don’t know what God is going to do next: We don’t know what he is going to do tomorrow? We don’t know what he is going to do tonight? Wouldn’t there be a much better anticipation if we said, “GOD is going to MEET with us tonight and we are expecting Him, we are anticipating Him and when we leave this place we will say, ‘God was here and God did things, and God changed our lives.’” If God is allowed to do this somewhere, that place is going to be known for being a place of his presence and people will say, “I don’t know what is happening over there but I think that the fire of the Lord is there.” Whether it is a small group or a big group or a church of 1000, is doesn’t matter, God is wanting to be the King over our gatherings.
In the history of the Church and in the history of
In Matthew chapter 22 the same thing happens again. In Matt. 22:1 it says, “And Jesus spoke unto them through parables, and he said, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a king who made a marriage feast for his son and he sent forth his servants (the prophets and prophetic voices) to call them that were bidden to the wedding but they would not come.” This, again, uses the word servants. He is sending servants to invite people to the feast, to a wedding feast, and the people invited are saying, “No.” I believe God is preparing a feast in the wilderness, and he wants to release his people to come. He said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go, that they may have a feast for me in the wilderness—a 3 day journey into the wilderness—and I will be their God. I will be with them. I will show them what to do. Now, I want them to be free to serve me.” Here again, he is saying, I am calling through my servants to come to this feast but they say, “No.” The Word says that they would not come. Now, why wouldn’t they come? It says again, he sent forth other servants, “Tell them that they are bidden to the feast, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen, my fatlings are killed, all things are ready, come unto my marriage feast.” What the Lord, the Father, is saying, it’s hot, it’s on the table, it has all been prepared, but they made excuses. They made light of it, they went their own ways. One went to his farm, another to his merchandise, they made excuses like this, “I just bought a field and I need to go look at it.” And other excuses were given, “I need to do this and I need to do that.” It is just like when Lot warned
In Matthew chapter 23 the Lord describes some of the problems in the church today and you will be surprised to see that the things that Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Woe unto you Pharisees…,” are the same things that he is saying to the church today. Matthew chapters 21, 22, and 23 are tied together by one theme, that the Lord is wanting to turn his church around and that they are saying “no,” and that he will then turn to those who are “not recognized,” who will say yes. He is also confronting the Pharisees (in chapter 23) and saying, ”You’re the ones who are the established ones and look what is wrong with you, point by point by point, and really he is saying all these same things to the church today.
In II Chronicles 36:15 &16 we find a word that is a continuing theme throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is a theme all the way through even to the book of Revelation. It has always been the theme of God, because he says, I do nothing unless I reveal My will to my prophets first. So, if I’m going to change things, I’m going to reveal it to them and they are going to rise up. Prophets have always been hated. They always have been rejected and stoned, imprisoned and killed.
In II Chronicles 30:5 concerning King Hezekiah it says, “They established a decree to make a proclamation throughout all Israel—all the way from Beersheba to Dan, that people should come to the Passover feast, unto the Lord God of Israel, for they had not had the Passover feast for a long time.” At this time, God was doing something very special and God put it into the heart of Hezekiah to invite people from all over the land to come. So, they sent messengers out (verse 6). It almost gives the idea here of a postal service. They went with letters from the King and the princes throughout all
I believe that these messengers are like prophetic voices going through the land to call the people to the feast. Yet, the people aren’t coming. They think it is stupid. They scorn them. They mock them. They ridicule them. They say, We are not coming. But, somehow, God has his hands on somebody that says, we are going to come. We are going to humble ourselves, I think this is right. It might be just a few and it might be “the rejects.” But there is going to be somebody that is going to come, that God is going to raise up. He gathers together this group in
In II Chron. 36:15 it says, “The Lord God of their Fathers sent to them messengers, rising up early, and he sent them, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place, but they mocked the messengers of God and despised his words and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, till there was no more remedy. Therefore, he brought upon them the King of the Chaldees who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age, and gave them all into his hand.” This is not the time to harden our hearts to what God is saying. We must not harden our hearts to the point that God sends upon us a strong delusion and there is no more remedy. We must not be so encrusted with the world. But if we will soften our hearts and listen to what God is saying, He will change us. This is a prophetic move of God. Listen to what God is saying and open your heart. He is saying to ALL, COME, but who is going to come? I hope this is an encouragement to you to press in to God and seek His face.
Posted: 2007-09-10 20:37:23
Excerpts from "EVERYTHING is UPSIDE DOWN"
*Comment by David Nelson: This particular person’s solution of moving to a “better place” should be as the Lord directed him. Others are led by the Lord to stay where they are.
Posted: 2007-09-10 20:30:22
Excerpts from “An Underworld Conspiracy” (with some of my own thoughts (David Nelson) in parentheses)
The Days Ahead
(visions beginning in 1989)
Once I was completely protected by His love (The Lord made me ready to see what He was about to show me), He opened my eyes and I beheld the great evil that is coming upon the whole earth. I saw vast armies of evil spirits released upon the earth in an unprecedented way. Anything and anyone not truly submitted to God, would become imprisoned by this increasing and powerful wickedness. The enemy was overtaking all that was not clearly defined for God. I was given to see this same spiritual dynamic in many different countries, confirming the original vision.
In the midst of this evolving darkness God was watching out for His own ones. In careful and definitive ways the Father poured out into His own ones ever-increasing grace that enabled them to abound in such authority and spiritual capacities as to overturn and overcome the enemy. In this vision, Jesus told me that He was showing me the manifestation of the outer operation (evil spirits and darkness), which reflected the inner operation (the Lord drawing us closer to Himself) He revealed to me in a previous vision. (A vision not listed here.)
He allowed me to view the sphere of God’s operation, especially in relationship to this higher level of authority that would operate through His own who had been purified and were surrendered to Christ. These surrendered ones were powerfully used on the earth as they were invested with the glorious, reigning, power of Jesus. As these high and reigning vessels of Christ would take dominion over these evil powers, these spirits would retreat from their greater places of dominion to a lesser place.
Even as these reigning ones would take ground from these evil spirits, greater enemies would in turn attack Christ’s reigning ones. (We really are taking greater ground by remaining close to the Lord in these dark days and by growing in our relationship to Him). This was necessary, as these chosen vessels would then manifest a more glorious power. This power was given to spearhead paths through enemy territories. This power, which was par excellence would penetrate, open, and defeat….
As His own ones moved forward in this operation of God, it would bring an immense harvest of souls, the Spirit moving with singular grace and power. In the midst of this tremendous conflict, there was found in His surrendered ones a burning desire to run toward the provision of grace made available by the Lord. (running to the Lord again and again, He gives grace to keep going forward, or at least hold the ground we have taken so far).
Jesus urged me to share and bring to light (what He had showed me) to His own (people), as well as proclaiming it in the invisible world.
These two spheres are both serviced by the prophetic anointing. One stream of the prophetic anointing is directed toward His own ones who have been prepared to receive it. The second stream of the prophetic anointing is directed to the armies of the invisible world.
The Work of the Ruling Spirits
I looked and saw a great cloak of darkness that hid tremendous evil. This controlling force enslaved and oppressed society. People who were under its control would lose all traces of goodness, purity, honesty, and morality, becoming inwardly empty. It reminded me of a trunk of a tree that had been devoured on the inside by termites leaving only a hollow shell of bark when the feast was finished. This state of emptiness brought on by their rejection of God, caused these people to become propitious toward the mandates of the evil one. Entire generations will live in this condition of internal emptiness, contamination and evil – totally impervious to God.
As I watched this time of evil unfold Jesus spoke to me saying: "This is a time of definition for the sons of God, as well as for all mankind." (To define is to put into words describing the condition of some thing or someone or to bring them to their optimum condition or definition).
The Purpose of the Visions
These visions with their great insight into the uncertain future were given by our benevolent Father to encourage us. It is out of His abundant mercy that He is drawing His own ones to His side, that He might spare us from the intentions of the evil one.
The Father mercifully dispenses judgments to separate all who belong to Him from all that do not. Those who desire Him will be greatly touched and influenced by His justice, and will be preserved and kept for Christ Himself. Out of the love flowing from a pure heart His precious ones will run to His side, and be hidden under the shadow of His wings. There in this secret place He will reveal His tender love, care and supernatural provision for all who love Him.
He comforted me as He spoke: "My sons -- those who will come to Me, will increase their dependence upon Me and their knowledge of My person. They will no longer depend upon their own resources and thoughts. For I have prepared for them a supernatural revival."
Further, Jesus gave me understanding regarding the proclamation of the visions saying: "The prophetic word must be declared first in the spiritual realm, as that is where all things originate before they are reflected upon earth. Then it must be declared in the temporal to precipitate its fulfillment."
Spirit of "World Control"
This spirit was a force of uncontrollable power. It seemed to be Satan himself, controlling everything with great haughtiness. His actions had an incredible debilitating affect on nations and on men. Like dominos falling one after another, men and nations would be further shaken in their human securities, making them evermore prone to his evil entrapments.
It was most enlightening to see how these spirits could operate due to the evil conditions found in men’s heart. Due to all that had preceded the working of this evil force, being so long fed by pride and rebellion, these men were totally closed to the influence of the Spirit of God. They had no fear of God and now were completely uninhibited and defiant in their behavior.
These spirits were fed by their human counterparts and would increasingly be enlarged in their dominion, hardening people with sin and endeavoring to keep them insensible to their opportunities of life in God.
Herein is the double workings of God: on the one hand He allowed these forces to arise in great shakings and judgment on the ungodly, and on the other hand He purposed with great yearning to arose the sleeping and lukewarm in His Church to a conviction of their great need for Himself. All this temporal devastation was actually designed as tools in His capable hands to correct and purify His own ones and bring them to His loving side.