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Posted: 2009-12-25 14:39:03 by: David Nelson
The Suffering of the Saints and the "Prosperity Teaching"? By David Nelson (5-14-2000)
The more suffering we go through the more death to our flesh God accomplishes, and therefore we gain a greater spiritual anointing. I will show Scripturally how true this is. In I Pet. 4:12-16, 19 it says that if we suffer the Spirit of glory rests upon us. This Spirit of glory doesn't just come and go but it stays, and rests upon us. We are to rejoice in, delight in, and welcome sufferings. Suffering produces a deeper, more godly character. (Rom. 5:3-4 (through our experiences)) God is more concerned with the developing of our characters than our personal comforts or our goals and desires. We are to welcome sufferings, trials and persecutions. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. (James 1:2) The more God leads you into "Christ's sufferings", the more you will see that He is accomplishing a molding in us, and we will be glad with exceeding joy. "Blessed are you, when men hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil...leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in heaven;" for that is what they did to all the prophets, you're in the category of the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23) More suffering (less flesh), more glory (as God changes us into His likeness), more anointing. God wants to teach us to love as He loves, be longsuffering as He is, to be merciful as He is, to be perfect and holy as He is, and this will take a lot of death to the flesh, and often that is painful. (This is not just a suggestion from the Lord, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father, who is in heaven, is perfect." (Matt. 5:48))
Jesus suffered when He obeyed God but He was made perfect through suffering. (Heb. 5:8-9) We are called not just to believe in Christ (can anything be more important than that?) but we are also called to suffer (this is in the same category as believing). (Phil. 1:29) Jesus suffered and we are to follow in His footsteps. God even now is grieved and weeping over His Church that lies in ruins (which is a very important, whole other subject). Do we know the Lord intimately, what He is thinking, feeling, and what is His heartbeat? Many do not, because they do not know His mind and heart, and so they do not know the fellowship of His sufferings. (Phil. 3:10) For many people there is a shallow knowing of Christ. Can you say with Paul, "That I may know Him (nothing else interests me), and everything else is dung in comparison." (Phil. 3:8) Do we walk with Him in the intimacy of His sufferings? That is why so few know, experience, or show forth the power of His resurrection in their lives. This is the order given in Scripture, To want to know Him only, everything else has become dung, to walk so close to Him that the Lord reveals His sufferings to us and we begin to feel and experience what God feels, and then a heavy anointing begins to permeate our lives, until the flesh and it's petty desires are burned up in God's fire, (our God is a consuming fire), this is the power of His resurrection in our lives! (Phil. 3:4-12)
The prosperity message and the faith message are very strong teachings in certain circles of the Church today. Here are some of the main verses quoted (and it would be great if we could fully understand and apply these verses for the Lord's glory): (1) Whatever you desire, believe and do not doubt, ask and it will be done for you. (2) Call things that are not as though they are. (3) Whatever you ask, in my name, I will do it for you. (4) By His stripes we are healed (physical, financial and other kinds of healing). Have you ever prayed for someone to be healed and they were not healed, or maybe they died? You may have had strong faith, the one who was sick may have had strong faith, and there may have been many others praying who were strong warriors of prayer. What happened? God had other plans. Maybe they died and God wants you to raise them from the dead? God has the final say as to who is going to be healed. Sometimes what God does is unexplainable. Kathryn Kuhlman could not explain to you why certain people were not healed at her meetings, can you? Oral Roberts did not heal everyone, nor does Benny Hinn. God doesn't choose to heal everyone either. Maybe it's not His will to heal them right now. Maybe a few more days, maybe a few more weeks, a few more years? More suffering or affliction may be His will, to change us and/or the people around us. Maybe the person's death will accomplish more in the people's lives left behind? Jesus did not heal everyone He saw sick. In Jn. 5:1-16 at the pool of Bethesda Jesus saw a great multitude of impotent folk, blind, lame, paralyzed...but it was God's direction to heal only one man. In Acts 3:1-10 a man who had been lame from his birth was laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful (the Beautiful gate). In vs. 10 the people recognized him, when they saw him walking and leaping and praising God, they knew who he was, he is the one who had been sitting at the Beautiful gate for so many years. Don't you think Jesus walked through that gate many times and saw that man and yet it was not God's will for Jesus to heal him. His healing was for a later time by Peter and John. Why do people stay sick when there are godly people praying for them? Why do people die young or prematurely? The standard answers are, you didn't pray hard enough or you didn't have enough faith.
Job was given no explanation from God for his sufferings. In Job chapters 38-41 God says to Job, can you understand all these mysteries that I recount to you that go on in the world and in the universe around you? No? God says, I do not choose to explain what or why I do all the things I do. Three men in the book of Job tried to find reasons why God did to Job what He did. Job could see nothing wrong with himself to deserve his sufferings. In Job 32:1 it says that the 3 men stopped all their explanations because Job was righteous in his own eyes and they all believed that something must be wrong with Job for him to suffer so. (God must be allowing all his sufferings for a reason that they were trying to explain, either Job didn't have enough faith, or that Job had fear, or that Job had some secret sin, etc., etc.). But God did not accept anything these 3 men said. In Job 42:7, 8 God says twice, these 3 have not spoken of Me the thing that is right (none of their counsel or ideas are correct, but My servant Job has spoken what is correct). Remember, Job couldn't find anything wrong with himself (the suffering continued not because of lack of faith, fear, or sin as the others thought). So, can we explain why everyone is not healed, why some die, or why suffering lasts longer than we want it to? I'm sure it was not immediately understood by Paul why he had to be in prison when, humanly speaking, it made more sense for him to be free to preach, win the lost, start new churches, visit and encourage the churches already established. Lord, do you really want me in prison when I could be accomplishing so much outside of prison? Paul could have said, I'm going to "name it and claim it", in one week I'm going to be out of this prison! But no, he would go on to write letters to the churches from prison (called prison epistles), and sooner or later he began to see God's purposes for being in prison. Some people are going through very hard things, and their problems are not going away. Is there something wrong with us or is God working out a bigger purpose than meets the eye? In Philippians 1:12-14 (a prison epistle) Paul explains how God showed him why he was in prison. "What has happened to me is really for the furtherance of the gospel. My imprisonment has come to the notice of the whole palace (praetorium) so that the soldiers, the guards, the army, the king, his counselors, and even other kings have heard or will hear the gospel. Not only that but the churches are growing stronger and more bold to preach without fear." God has a purpose. Paul may have only seen a small part of what God had in mind. God does not always tell us what is going on or what He is trying to do (like it was with Job). Will we trust Him?
In II Tim. 4:20 Paul said, I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. If everyone is to be healed, how is it that someone of the stature of Paul left someone sick in the city of Miletus? He was not able to heal him for some reason. Does God here have a purpose that we can't explain? Joni Erickson Tada (who broke her neck in a diving accident when she was young) wanted to be healed by God, she had the faith that God could do it, and she prayed and prayed and prayed. Is it for God's greater glory that she went on to faithfully serve Him in the ministry even though she would never be healed? Would you like to answer to God, you would have been glorified much more if she were healed serving you? Are you sure about that? Do you think God made a mistake when the person you were praying for to be healed died? Maybe down deep inside Joni still wants to be healed on this side of heaven. Would God be the most glorified by her being healed today, or like Paul, is she to stay till her death in a certain kind of prison for God's greater glory? (Paul never got out of prison, but tradition has it that he died a martyr's death in a Roman prison for God's greater glory).
I could say much more about all these things and write a much longer explanation but what I have said here should suffice for anyone who is open to understand God's ways sincerely. You may already have a shadow of doubt about the misuses of the prosperity message and the faith message. (Please realize that there is very important truths in these messages that need to be discerned. God will show you what is right and what is wrong in these teachings if you seek Him.) It says in the Word that we will lay our hands on the sick and that they will recover. Shouldn't we just take the Word for what it says, lay our hands on everyone for healing, believe, and let God do what He wants to do? That's OK. But remember, Jesus could not do many miracles in his own country because of their unbelief. In Acts 14:9 Paul was speaking and as he looked intently at a certain man he perceived that the man had faith to be healed. Do you have that kind of perception? Also, Peter and John looked intently at the lame man at the Beautiful gate and knew it was the moment for his healing. Jesus didn't heal him, for it wasn't the time for God's greater glory. What if someone would have said to Jesus, what about these others at the pool of Bethesda? What are you going to do about them? Jesus might have said, "That's not my concern right now, the Father hasn't spoken about that, I do nothing on my own authority, it's not my job right now." What about this man at the gate Jesus, "That's not my job now." What about the man Paul left sick at Miletus? It was not God's will to heal him on that day. God is unfolding his will. So, if people come up to you and say please pray for me to be healed, should you pray for their healing? Let us have discernment like Jesus did when He didn't go to heal Lazarus but waited a few days for God's greater glory. Maybe the person who comes to you for healing has some secret sin in their life so that God is not going to heal them till that sin is pointed out or they repent. Maybe they have a demonic problem and not just a physical problem. Maybe that has to be uncovered. Maybe they need more sleep, or to eat healthier foods, or help in some other area? What is God's wisdom and God's discernment to solve their problems? Walk with God and hear what He says. Others may talk about you or criticize you but be convinced in your own heart what God wants you to do and keep going on with His approval.
Many people that I have known who have suffered the most, and yet, by God's grace, they keep loving and serving Him, often these are the most anointed ones and the ones most used by God. The more suffering I see a faithful servant of God go through the more I predict that they will be more mightily used and anointed by God. Even if they are not used in an outward way, to be admired or seen by men, they are or will be used in the secret place of the Most High as an intimate friend of God or as an intercessor (prayer warrior). (Intercessors are seldom respected by anyone, they are misunderstood, envied or hated because their work only God fully understands or appreciates). God is the recipient of prayer, no one else except discerning ones or people who have deep lives of prayer themselves can begin to appreciate intercessors. Only God really knows.
Is it true that whatever you desire you can have? When you are close to God you don't desire the same things you used to desire. Ask whatever you want? In I Jn. 3:22 it says, "And whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." Jn. 15:7 says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (I don't think it is a shallow thing to abide (be at home) in Christ). Both of these verses are conditional. If you meet the conditions you can ask whatever you want. Isaiah 58 is a prime example of people who prayed, fasted, loved to draw near to God and yet didn't get the results to their prayer life that they wanted. (Is. 58:2-4) Do you want to pray to God and have Him say, "Here I am, what would you like?" Then read Is. 58 and allow the Lord to reveal to you His conditions for a powerful and miraculous prayer life. (You must walk close to God, know His mind, to do the works Christ did and greater works). God will change your desires the closer you get to Him. You will pray differently too.
You may have been praying about something for a long time, and your desire for that thing just won't go away. God may put a desire or an idea in our minds or spirits that we believe is God's word to us and god will not let that desire or idea go away no matter how many times we put it on the altar or how long we have to wait for it. We might say, "God, burn up my desire if it is not of you, but if it is, let me hold on to the desire you have given me and I will not let go until you do it. But while I am waiting for the fruit of my desire to come I will be content waiting and trusting in you. Your grace is sufficient for me, whether the thorn remains in my side or whether the thorn is taken away, either way I am content in your grace. If your grace takes it away or if you give me the grace to bear it, your grace is sufficient for me. I have learned (through suffering) the secret of how to be content in all circumstances, whether I am abased or abound (am in jail or out, bear with the thorn or have it removed, receive my healing now, later or never). (Remember, a desire or hope from God will not go away).
There are many good lessons that have been learned from the prosperity message and from the faith message. I think it is very good that someone can learn to give $20.00, $50.00, $100.00, or a $1,000.00 to God when He tells them to. God wants you to be able to let go of your money when He speaks. Opening your wallet is hard, like opening your heart sometimes is hard. But if you can't open your wallet then your heart is still somewhat closed to God. Would you give your car away, your clothes, your home, etc., etc. Yes, it's good that faith preachers and prosperity preachers have taught people to give in obedience to God. But some of those preachers will go to hell for their greed. Their hearts have deceived them because they wanted to be rich. And the people who obediently gave to God may go to heaven having never received the new car or financial miracles that they were promised by the preachers but never came. If Jesus came up to you right now and said, "My son, my daughter, you have opened your heart and your wallet to Me and you gave to Me as I have bidden you, but the car you are waiting for, and the gold rings and jewelry with diamonds and other jewels that you wanted, the bigger house, the financial freedom to pay all your bills with extra money in hand to do as you please, is that really what you want the most?" What if Jesus were to say, "For all your obedience in giving, what would you rather have, (1) closeness to Me, deep revelations, personal visits of myself to you, deep understanding of My most intimate truths or (2) all the material things that the prosperity people say you can have, expensive cars, big houses, expensive jewelry, plenty of money. You can only choose one of these. If you have to think and ponder which one you would rather have, you have been sitting under the wrong teaching and have believed the wrong thing. Is it possible God could give you both (1) and (2)? Maybe. But if all I ever have is (1) that is everything to me. I don't want any mixture of desire for other things to deceive me, side-track me, or weigh me down as I run the race for the high prize through this crooked world. You can't serve both God and mammon (material things). You will be deceived and side-tracked. If God chooses sickness for you (or a thorn in the side that doesn't go away), prison for you, Job experiences, death of loved ones, a simple life, a life like John the Baptist or Jesus or the apostle Paul (foxes have holes in the ground and birds have nests in the trees but the Son of man has no where to lay His head), if He chooses to withhold from you houses, children, health, freedom to do as you please, even in ministry you will not be able to get what He doesn't want for you, because God wants to kill your flesh, your desires, and He is causing your flesh to suffer until you learn to enter His perfect rest, where you will finally cease from your labors and your desires and only want to do His labors and His desires. Then you will have discovered the secret place of the Most High God where all the suffering He sends you has it's perfect work and you are a vessel cleansed and made ready for greater works than the world has yet seen. Oh, He wants to give you good things, He wants to give you things that you desire, He wants you to be happy, supremely happy, but He knows that cars, jewelry, and money are not the answer, closeness to Him is, and He will change your desires if you let Him (even about your ministry) so that it will become His ministry. Oh, my precious friend, if you only knew how He desires to be at work in you to desire and do His good pleasure. The world is waiting to see someone like that. The Church is waiting too. And God is ready to do it in you. More suffering, more anointing. More suffering, less flesh, more of God, more power (but not to show off). More of God, more humility. We may even be content to hide away with God as an intercessor, in brokenness, with a deep love for others that only God can show you and give to you.
Posted: 2009-12-25 14:35:12 by: David Nelson
God Uses Afflictions To Make Us Better
Posted: 2009-12-25 14:32:03 by: David (not David Nelson)
Posted: 2009-12-25 14:15:55 by: Corrie Ten Boom
This letter was written by Corrie Ten Boom, a Nazi Concentration
Posted: 2009-12-01 08:05:07 by: David Nelson
The Flow of Fire by David Nelson 11-22-09
It is good that we speak to God, but it is essential that He speaks to us. No one comes to God unless the Spirit draws him. The Lord woos us and draws us and speaks into our spirit, “Come to Me, the living God.” Eventually we hear the Lord calling us, we say yes, and come to Him. Then He begins to treat us like sons, when we are led by His Spirit and go the right way He encourages us with, “Well done,” but when we go the wrong way He prompts us, “This is not the way.” Yes, the Lord speaks to us, He must speak to us, we must have a relationship with Him and know His voice. Otherwise, how could we follow Jesus’ word, Anyone who desires to be my disciple must deny himself (his own will), take up his cross daily (do, at times, hard things that cut against the grain of our own will and desire), and follow Me (we can only follow Him daily if we know and hear His voice).
Just about everyone in the Bible (that knew the Lord) God spoke to. To Abraham He said, you must leave your country and go to a place I will show you, to Noah He said, I want you to build me an ark, to Moses He said, go to Egypt and set my people free, to the apostle Paul He said, I will show you what things you must (do and) suffer for my sake. God wants to speak also to every person today who has taken on His name, and show them what He wants them to do.
Just as Moses feet were standing on Holy ground when the Lord spoke to him from the burning bush, and his face glowed when God spoke to him on the mountain, also every prophet who heard the words of God from heaven had fire in his mouth. (Jer. 23:29) God’s words become fire in their hearts and in their mouths to those who heard them, and their words were like a hammer that breaks rocks. Their words changed people’s lives. Our God is a consuming fire, when we come face to face with Him in a relationship and when He speaks to us, we have fellowship with the living God. We come to know Him. Without fellowship with the living God, hearing Him, knowing Him more and more, we have nothing. We do not have salvation. This is eternal life to know the Father and His Son. He who says he knows Him and is not being transformed into His likeness is a liar, he does not know Him. (I Jn. 2:3-6) By this we may be sure that we know Him, if we are walking in His commands and in His ways. He who is not disciplined by the Lord as a son (in which all must experience) (we must hear His corrections) and who does not grow in righteousness is a bastard and not a real son. (Heb. 12:5-11) So, we must follow His voice on His path to be His disciple. That does not mean we will always go the right way, but just as we were forgiven by grace at the beginning of our salvation, now we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and we will be forgiven of our errors and sins all along the way. And we will make it to the end by His grace, mercy, love and forgiveness also.
As we become more like Him, receive His truths, insights, revelations and grow, we will increase in a spiritual anointing too. Just like He was anointed with the fire of God we will increase in the fire of God in our hearts, in our mouths, on our hands, on our feet, in our faces. We will be baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Our fellowship with the living God will show, people will know that we walk with God and have heard from the throne room of God. We will see it in others who also fellowship with God. As it says in I Jn. 1:1-3, we have fellowship with God, we have seen him, heard him, touched him, and therefore we have fellowship with one another (with others who are also walking with God). This is salvation, to know Him. Yes, it will always be Jesus’ cross and His blood and His righteousness, but His desire is that we become Holy as He is Holy and He will work this out in our lives also. When we come to know others who are truly saved we will experience true fellowship with them (koinonia). What fellowship can a believer have with an unbeliever (the Scriptures ask)? We can’t have fellowship (koinonia) with a non-believer because they don’t know God. We can talk, communicate, maybe even enjoy talking with someone who doesn’t know God but it is not true Christian fellowship. We also can talk with people who say they are Christians, who go to church all the time, who know the Bible very well, who can talk on many religious subjects, they may even seem like very “moral and good” people. But doesn’t it seem like there is something missing when there is not real fellowship in the Spirit? If they walk with God, know God, listen to God, and are growing spiritually closer to Him (at whatever speed or pace the Lord is giving them), then we have some degree of real fellowship. The fire in our hearts touches the fire in their hearts and there is a knowing of each other in the Spirit. Also their spiritual gifts may begin to be seen or be evident and we give and receive from each other from that gifting, anointing and fire of God.
I believe whatever God touches is holy, wherever He is is fire, and whatever He touches takes on some of His fire. This is the anointing that is glorious, rich, full of light and blessing.
This message must be preached, do you know God? By this you will know that you know God if you love the brethren. We love God more and more and we love others when we see God in them. God wants us to be one with those who walk with God (even the newer Christians, they may not know a lot yet, but we see that they are on fire from day one). It will be easier to love those who we see the fire of God in, provided we have the fire of God ourselves. By this we will know that we know Him, we love God, and we love those who love God. We also will feel compassion for those who don’t know Him. We must become like God in this area too, loving people who go to church who may hate us or loving people of the world who will hate us, because they hated our Lord too. But some will be drawn to the light in us (the fire of God in us, and His anointing will touch them).
Does all this sound too high and out of reach? No, it is the true gospel and it is true salvation. I believe many of you who are reading this know that you have tasted of this and to some degree have His fire in you now (or have had it more or less in the past). God is so loving and so faithful that He never wants the fire to go out in you who have had it. A dimly lit wick (still glowing with a little glow) He will not put out. But He wants to blow on it and rekindle a bigger fire in you. I too am not immune to needing more fire or His rekindling either.
We must want more fire. We must want to know Him better. We must get together with others when we can to get fire from one another. We all have fire to give each other if we truly know Him, He wants to use our spiritual gifts to touch others and get fire from other’s gifts.
This is a great problem in the church today with the format that so many churches present.
Posted: 2009-11-18 09:24:08
A Word for the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 by David Nelson
Connecting People, Raising the Standard
Of course, every person must be close to the Lord. Nothing will work unless we pray, draw near to Him, He draws near to us, and we grow in our love for Him. He wants you, He wants me. He loves each of us individually, and nothing else matters much unless I walk close to Him and you walk close to Him. This is our eternal destiny (being unfolded) and it is crucial that we have an intimate and loving relationship with the Lord. It is His call to all who will come, He will make the way to Himself, we turn our eyes and heart to find Him more. If we answer His call, we will be drawn to seek Him and we will find Him. Finding Him more will become the sweetest taste for us. Taste and see that the Lord is good! Come to Him, He is drawing near to us even now! Words cannot adequately express this relationship. All I know is that I want it and it is crucial, if not absolutely necessary that all of us have it. Jesus said in Jn. 17:3, This is eternal life to know the Father and His Son. The true gospel is, we are forgiven, we are saved by grace, we are born again from above, we enter into His salvation through Jesus’ cross and His blood, and we enter into heaven by the same, but if we say we know Him and we are not learning to walk holy lives and walk in righteousness as He did (He is changing us to be like our Lord as we walk in a close relationship with the Lord) then we deceive ourselves, we are liars, we do not know Him and we are not really saved. (I Jn. 2:3-5)
Hopefully, this is all understood already, that the gospel is good news, that we are totally forgiven and accepted by His grace and that we have entered His gate, we are walking on His path (with Him) and are becoming like Him by His grace. We will be forgiven all along on this path when we err and stumble and fall, for we are growing in Him. But we must keep our faith and walk in His grace to the end to be saved, we must finish the race. This gospel is the true gospel and must be preached clearly in our day. (Please write if you want to talk more about this. Also I wrote a book titled “The True Meaning of Salvation” if you’d like to read that.)
Connecting People, Raising the Standard
So, once we have our relationship with Him and a daily walk with Him and He is drawing us ever closer to His side (on the path) we will learn how to dwell in His secret place and how to stay in His rest. Then He will show us how He wants to connect people. The Lord is building a beautiful temple (the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the Church) made up of living stones (us), placed together as the Master builder desires (by His perfect design). He is connecting these stones to touch each other’s lives, that we might give our spiritual gifts to each other, so that His beautifully crafted workmanship, as an artist creating a beautiful structure, is coming to the fullness and maturity of Christ Himself (His gifts have been given to us to change each other, until we all come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We are equipped by the gifts, we are edified by the gifts, we are to come to unity, we are to be knit together and each part is to be working properly. (Eph. 4:7-16))
He is connecting people to bring this all about. We are being laid side by side as living stones, being built into a temple, we are touching each other with our spiritual gifts and changing each other. So, be sensitive to who the Lord wants you to connect with (receive from them and give to them). And be sensitive to who He wants you to meet with (where, how often, with whom, for larger gatherings, for small gatherings, with 2 or 3, or one with one).
God is connecting people. He wants to teach us how to be one and how to love each other with a much greater love than has yet been seen.
The Lord also wants His Standard to be raised. A standard can be like a flag or a banner. It. It may be on a pole, raised high for people to see all around us, in every direction. A banner or flag can be colorful, have symbolic meaning in its design (pictures, words, or symbols on it). The standard God wants to be raised will depict who the Lord is in His character and what truths He wants the world and the Church to know. Who is the Lord? What does He stand for? What does He want to say? What is His truth? This is the Standard that must be raised so that the Church and the world will see who the Lord is and what saith the Lord! Some of the truths He wants us to know are: what is the true gospel, how do we get saved and how can we fight the good fight till the end, what is the Lord like and how can we walk in a close relationship with Him, what is the Church doing that is not right, what must the Church do to get back on track, how does the Lord want us to have meetings that are 100 % led by Him, how can we have love for one another so that the world will see Christ, where is the Lord in His fuller glory and power, how can we have the kind of revival He wants, how can we walk in His power and love and anointing to draw others to Him?
God is showing many wonderful things to those who are turning their ears to hear “what saith the Lord.” We are seeing in each other that what He has been saying to us for some time, He is saying the same exact things to others. We will need to get sharpened on all the things He is saying by listening to each other, putting all the pieces together, and seeing His big picture more clearly. That is why we will need each other. God is speaking wonderful things and it is becoming clear His Standard of Truth. Error is being revealed and is being thrown down by those who want Him more. Truth is becoming more clear and is being embraced, and so the Standard of Truth will arise in us, we will live it and we will proclaim it, and the Standard of God will be lifted up. The Lord is Truth, we are lifting Him up, all the things we are learning are Holy things that we have received and are carrying for Him to show all who will hear.
So you see, He is connecting people. He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And He is wanting His truth and His standard to be raised. All that we are seeing from Him that is changing our thinking and what He wants us to do is sharpening the sword of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is being restored to His people that we are to live and proclaim. God will be seen, God will be glorified. As the world is growing very dark the glory of the Lord will rise upon us and will be seen by all upon us (Is. 60:1-3) as He restores all things to the way He has always wanted it to be. His Standard is rising up, may we see Him and be drawn to Him.
Posted: 2009-10-27 21:27:28 by:
Is it not one of God’s great goals to build a Church?
Excerpts from “
Is it not one of God’s great goals to build a Church?
Page 7—Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
When the Lord wanted Moses to build a Tabernacle in the Old Testament times was it not to be built based on heaven’s model and exactly as God prescribed? (Every detail was given by God, Ex. 25:40 and Heb. 8:5).
Page 8—If the Lord wants to build His Church either man-made ideas and past buildings must be torn down to erect what God wants or it will be done apart from these on His foundation alone. Many are not willing to pay the price of abandoning our own works to receive and do His work alone.
Page 9—To experience Divine life we must 1st lose our own life. We must discard old clothing to be clothed from above, with what the Lord wants. Anything less than His pure work alone as good as it might be, is not the Bride of Jesus Christ.
Pages 12 and 13—God created man in His own image (to be like Him). When Christ came He made the invisible God visible. “If you have seen me (Jesus) you have seen the Father.” (Jn. 14:9) Page 23—“And He…gave Him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” (Eph. 1:22, 23) Nothing can express the fullness of Christ on the earth except the Church. (Individuals cannot show the fullness of Christ, the Lord will be seen when we see the many faceted church, and the Church as one and loving each other as Christ prayed in Jn. 17).
Page 26—Much is going on in the church today but is it forwarding God’s purpose? Are we really seeing Christ? Is the love that is in the Godhead in us? (Jn. 17)
Page 29—Jesus had the Divine life in Him shining through. “Iam come that they (too) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10) He manifested the Divine life in the Father to us. The Father is the source of everything the Son is. (Jn. 5:19, 20) “The Son can do nothing of himself (of his own authority) but what he sees the Father do. The Father loves the Son and shows him all things that He Himself doeth.”
Page 33—As the Father is the source of everything Jesus Christ is, Jesus must be the source of everything the Church is. Jn. 6:57 says, “The living Father sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “Without me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5)
Page 39—At Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended upon those gathered and the Church was born. The Spirit will guide you into all truth, to show us the things of Christ, He (the Holy Spirit) does not speak on His own authority, but He will take what is mine (Jesus’) and will show it to us. (Jn. 16:13-15 and 14:26).
Page 46—Just like a manufacturer puts a label on a shirt as to who made it and what it is made of, every work on the earth that God makes must have His seal or His label (made by God alone or made by those directed by the Holy Spirit alone).
As individuals we should do all that we can to shine the light of Christ from our lives and to be like Him. People can be won to the Lord by seeing Christ in even one person’s life. But the corporate Bride will come forth also and will be for the greatest glory of God. (This is the total writing, you do not need to Read More for this writing).
Posted: 2009-10-23 07:40:26
Comments by David Nelson and quotes from the book “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman
Introduction: This book had a lot of good things to say but there are a few areas that could be taken the wrong way. One area that could be misunderstood is the idea of getting together for meetings. I do believe that two or three can meet in His name and He will be in their midst. As for larger meetings (let’s say 10-50), we then can receive from the Lord through other’s spiritual gifts, and I am one who desires to assemble more often as the days are growing darker and darker. The book, I feel, could give the impression that “meetings” could be less important than “fellowship,” but I want to make clear that meetings with prophecies, teachings, or songs may not happen at a restaurant or at a back yard barbeque (but these may have times of very rich fellowship). It is my dream that there might develop meetings every week or perhaps many times each week (but this is to be only as the Lord leads, and what I am dreaming for may be accomplished differently as the Lord sees fit). By the idea of “regular meetings” I mean that people will know there is a place to come where the Lord will be and others will gather. (there will be a time to gather and a place).
Though we should not be too legalistic about getting together with one another, it is important, needful, scriptural, God’s plan and goal that we be together, relate to one another, give each other our spiritual gifts, love each other, for God’s greater glory (we will be a spiritual building, a spiritual house, a Bride, a Body). This is God’s plan, not just separate individuals or loose stones laying here and there scattered on the ground.
Lets now look at some of the rich things the above authors talked about in their book.
Everything the Church does should be geared toward pointing to and encouraging each individual’s personal relationship with the Lord. This does not seem to be the main emphasis in many churches today. Are we taught diligently how to know the Lord and walk with Him? Are we taught how to know His voice and have an intimate relationship with Him? Maybe that is because the people teaching us are not walking close to Him?
Concerning the hard things that come into our lives as we choose to walk closer to the Lord (we experience some suffering), these hard circumstances that come our way are meant to push us toward the Lord, that we might learn how to rest in His love, His protection, and His provision rather than fending for ourselves. A path of suffering is ahead (but also a path of great joy and satisfaction) when we really resolve to draw near to God, seek Him alone, and to have an intimate relationship with Him. He will orchestrate things to happen beyond our own strength to draw us to look to Him for help, strength and wisdom. Things may seem to be spinning out of control but in drawing close to Him we must trust that He is in control of all these things.
Page 83—Suffering often indicates that God is setting us free of something (that was in our control) so that we must follow (and lean in on) and embrace Him more deeply. Don’t expect your circumstances to be always comfortable for He is guiding us in this adventure and journey with Him. God wants to teach us how to walk with Him through all these hard things so that we can learn and know the joy and peace (in Him) that transcends circumstances. God wants to set us free from things in which we used to find security in the past (our own ideas and our own thinking that our hard work and our human efforts without Him can save us).
Most of what we call “love” in the Church today is conditional. If you go along with the program, if you go to our group, if you cross your T’s and dot your I’s. But if you go away from our group then we will forget about you. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder but their “love” fades when you leave. It is “out of sight out of mind (out of heart).” The apostle Paul was not that way, the longer he was away from people in the churches in other cities the more he longed to see them again. His heart was so big that he had everyone in it. His heart had been made big by God (whose heart is also so large that He has everyone in it). And Paul desired for eveyone’s “smaller, stingier hearts” would become bigger and welcome him in (and everyone else too). We need this kind of God love today. (II Cor. 6:11-13, 7:2,3 and I Thess. 2:7,8)
Page 123—How can we as a house church get to know each other, have relationships and come to love each other more? Share what you are learning from God in your daily walks and share what is in your heart.
Page 117—Have you ever noticed when you get together for a meal that there is an energy and a flowing in fellowship then when the meeting starts things slow down and get kind of stifled? Then when the meeting is over people get excited again with the energy returning and the fellowship flowing. Why is that? (We have to learn how to have meetings with the Lord and with each other that the Spirit can lead. This may take some time and patience, but don’t give up, the Spirit wants to flow with us!
Page 123—You cannot create Body life by principles only. God creates Body life. One must first have a real relationship with the Lord and then it can flow out and touch others when you meet together and it will prompt others to flow out with what the Lord has been giving them (in their daily lives).
Pages 123 and 124—Do we need someone to show us how to have meetings with the flow of the Spirit? Yes, there are those who can help, but they should not get in the way of relationships between the brethren, or get in the way of our relationship with the Lord. We should not become too dependent on a spiritual leader and we must always see them as equal with everyone else’s gifts, not better or higher.
Page 183—Whatever each individual knows of God’s life, it is just part of the whole. The fullest revelation of Him is in the corporate church (all the parts together). Body life is where a local group of people has chosen to walk together for a bit of the journey (there is no legalism) by cultivating close friendships and learning how to listen to God together.
Posted: 2009-09-23 10:07:18
Excerpts and Prophetic words from the book by Andrew Strom entitled Surviving the Depression—The Shaking Has Begun (Sept., 2009)
P. 6—There will be a toppling of current Church leadership, a massive shake up of the way things are done and who heads what. Many will be demoted and many suddenly promoted by the hand of the Lord.
Ps. 6-9—The Commando Army by Ron McKenzie (New Zealand, Dec., 1977) (excerpts)
At present God is preparing a Commando Army which can fight and win under tough conditions with few resources. They will help God’s conventional army (the rest of the Church) though they are shattered and disorganized after God drops His bomb of economic depression. (this depression will be greater than the depression of the 1930s)
The Commando Army is a small group in the Church which God is calling into strict discipleship. They will reject the things of the world and live solely on what God provides. Their joy in poverty will be a witness to the world. The Church will be shattered without money and material things. They are blinded by wealth and have sunk into apathy. The Church is so worldly that the people of the world pay no attention to them. The Church had its security in wealth and happiness in material goods and now these are all gone. The Church and the world will see how happy the Commando Army is without things and with just God and will be attracted to their more meaningful life style.
Ps. 10-12—America in the Balances by Andrew Strom (Dec., 2006) (excerpts)
What is God going to do with an unholy
P. 21—The prosperity gospel has infiltrated many nations around the globe. It is about money, success, “giving to get,” hype and selfishness. It is the very opposite of “taking up the cross.” It is the opposite of everything Jesus stood for. God will drive this whole teaching into the sea (with the economic crash) along with all who preach it. Jesus wants His Church back!
P. 23—God is sick and tired of man running the church his own way—with the arm of flesh. God wants the reigns back! And He is going to take them back.
P. 37—There will be a changing of the guard. Just like Saul was replaced with David. (I Sam. 15:22, 23; I Sam. 28:17 and Matt. 21:43) The kingdom will be taken from you (Saul or the Pharisees) and given to a nation (or one) bringing forth the fruit thereof. (David or those who truly follow the Lord)
P. 38—How could such “great” or influential Church leaders think that
P. 54—The “David Company” is being prepared just as David was anointed King yet there were some years to pass before he actually became King. These now being prepared in caves (in hiding from Saul) will be the future leaders of God’s people. God has been preparing them in secret for many years around the world. This company will be a PROPHETIC PEOPLE, people whom God has been speaking to about “Things to come.” Such people will often have great difficulty fitting into the present system for essentially they are being “designed” for tomorrow’s church, rather than today’s. They will often feel like misfits and be misunderstood, persecuted and maltreated by those who identify themselves strongly with the present order. Often the powers-that-be will see them as some sort of “threat.”
Ps. 55-56—When the Saul ministries see the David ministries arise in the church they will often attempt to “stomp” on them, to dominate them, or if that doesn’t work, to limit their influence as much as possible. (This is the entire writing, you do not need to READ MORE for this article)
Posted: 2009-09-23 10:00:50 by: Frank Viola plus comments
Excerpts from Finding Organic Church by Frank Viola and comments by David Nelson
Introduction by David Nelson
I enjoyed very much this new book by Frank Viola. His insights were very encouraging to me and so I pass some of them on to you. I am not really giving his excerpts or my comments in the order they came in the book because some of my favorite parts were near the end of the book. Some of the things below are so rich, and other thoughts are very practical for starting and sustaining authentic Christian communities. I hope this will be for your great encouragement!
What kind of people is God raising up today? What kind of House is He building? What kind of Bride is He desiring? What changes are taking place in His people who are being “called out”? God is calling to us, He is calling for change in us, and He is in the process even now of changing us in some wonderful ways but it is not without some “growing pains” as we all well know. Here is a picture of some of the new breed of Christians that are coming forth. Some have gifts where it is important in their ministry to travel (apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, and others) and some have gifts where they mostly stay in one locale.
Here is the amazing thing that is happening today!
P. 305—There is a stream in the Body of Christ these days that runs deep and yet is hidden. (Some are hearing the call of God to come up higher, to Himself). These people may be scattered now but they are being taken into the depths of the revelation and experience of Christ. The Holy Spirit is dealing, emptying, crucifying this pioneer company because the Lord will need them for opening the way for the remainder of the Body to follow. These “eleventh hour laborers” are now in the process of His producing. (Quote by George Moreshead)
P. 306—There are those who have a deep and living relationship with Jesus Christ today. There are those who have been devastated by the cross and the breaking of God. There are those who have incomparable insights into the mystery of God, those whose only passion is God and His House, those who have a revelation of Christ that burns in their bosom, those who are mesmerized by the face of God (who bask in His presence), and who have the ability to preach Christ in such profound depths that God’s people are left staggering. The Body of Christ at large must recognize the role of such people. (And though there are some like this now, God desires all of His children to have such closeness to Himself).
P. 314—You may ask, what will it take for me to be on the front lines (in this revolution) for God? You will need vision from God, courage, spiritual depth (acquired by seeking His face), humility, maturity, sacrifices, and lots of rejection. It will take 10 times more problems and more heartaches than you could ever imagine God would want to pour out on you. You will need to see the unseen, see the richness of Christ which is beyond words and then have the ability to drown God’s people with His words in a breathtaking revelation of the Christ you have seen. That’s all it takes. But God is doing this in some and wants to do it in more and more who have an ear to hear. God will do it through us. Will you be one who will accept the challenge and respond to the call?
Paul in the Scriptures had a particular gift (apostleship) where it was important that he travel from place to place. Paul’s goal (as is the Lord’s goal) was not just to get people born again (and then to live separate lives from other Christians), but those saved were to become connected into church groups. When God’s people are gathered the Lord will be in our midst in a special way. Yes, He can speak to 10 different people separately in 10 different prayer closets but He can also speak to them all at once through a prophetic word and through all the gifts of the Spirit present whatever way He wants. When people are gathered there is a dynamic for God to manifest Himself in a way He does not do just with one alone. In fact, it is His goal when we gather to do whatever He wants and bring forth a corporate manifestation of Himself that is unique and unattainable with one alone. Yes, God can do wonderful things through one person, great things, beyond our comprehension. But it is not the day for “one man extravaganzas.” It is the day for the many who are hungry and who are being changed into His likeness to come together. “One man shows” do not show the multi-faceted glory of God as will come through the least and the greatest gathered and God is free to do whatever He wants through anyone and everyone. There may be glory and fireworks and a great geyser through “one man” but what kind of “