Tag Archives: religion

2022: The Church in the Wilderness

          We can learn simple lessons from the Bible stories we have all heard from a kid. Understanding how Old Testament stories apply to our New Testament experience gives us insight into our current condition as the people of God.

          The story of Israel’s 40-year journey from the bondage of Egypt and into the Promised Land is an Old Testament instruction to the body of Christ today and can be interpreted allegorically.

          Israel’s wilderness journey shows us that salvation is not an event, but a process, and a process that requires humility. (Phil 2:12-15)

          The length of that process does not have to take 40 years, which represents an entire adult life span, yet for generations that seems to have been the case with the Church. Most Christians in our generation are dying in the wilderness without ever obtaining their rightful earthly inheritance.

          Israel’s salvation was from the bondage of Egypt to the Promised Land and their full inheritance. Our salvation is from death and Hell to the Kingdom of God and our full inheritance.

Wilderness is the journey between what we are saved from, to what we are saved into, and it doesn’t have to take long. It just requires humility.

The wilderness is our journey, but it is the Father’s work of transformation. The sooner we submit to His work, the sooner we get to enjoy full Kingdom inheritance.

He is our inheritance. Relationship with Him is what we are saved into.

          Wilderness is a place of grace and transformation. A place of dying so He can live in us. It is the process of moving from believer to disciple, from servant to son, from initial belief to becoming what He paid for.

How do we expedite this process?

          We must lay down our God given sovereignty and relinquish our right to say no to Him. Until we do, we will live out our lives and die in the wilderness, never obtaining our earthly inheritance, and sacrificing our heavenly rewards at the judgement seat of Christ.

          Yes, we will see God move, yes, we will experience God on a surface level. Yes, He will provide for us and protect us. He won’t leave us or forsake us. He just won’t abide in us. He won’t move through us like He wants to, just upon us and among us. That seems to satisfy most Christians. Are you satisfied with that? I am not.

Matthew 16:24-25

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

JC

Itchy Ears: The Lust for Leavened Bread

John 8:31-32 So, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

          We are freed by knowing the truth, and that comes from abiding in the truth of His word. It does not come from abiding in the teachings of men, the sermons of men, the doctrines of men, the interpretations of men, the latest revelations of our favorite bible teachers, or any other way that seems right to man. (Proverbs 14:12) It comes from living and abiding in His word.

We MUST pursue Him through His word for ourselves.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

          The time isn’t coming folks, the time is NOW!

          We have become the church with the itchy ears. Over 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. alone and we ALL are arrogant enough to believe we have it right. The lack of humility sickens me.

          We become what we hear and what we behold, then we model what we have become and impart what we model. To our friends, our co-workers, our family, the world.

         If we constantly abide in wrong doctrine, we partner with the adversary, building strongholds of wrong thinking and wrong believing in our own hearts and minds. Only by the sharpness of the word can we rightly discern and divide truth.

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

          To be truly free, we must be very selective about what we are hearing and what are we beholding, who we are listening to and how much we are doing it. Without the filter of our own personal relationship with God and His word we lack the ability to discern truth, it becomes obscured with the leaven of self, and self is what we need freed from.

We must ask ourselves; are we really abiding in His word or just reading the latest books and listening to the latest sermons? Do we really desire the sincere milk of the word, or do we lust for the leaven of a self serving gospel that doesn’t challenge us or strengthen us for trials and testing?

Our itchy ears and the lust for leavened bread blinds us from truth. “Let not many be teachers.” (James 3:1)

          Let us abide in His word, seek Him when no one is looking, and become everything the blood of Christ has paid for us to be…FREE.

JC

IF… a really big word.

IF you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

…Are you abiding in Him?

IF you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15)

…Are you keeping His commands?

For IF you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

…Are you walking in forgiveness?

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples IF you love one another. (John 13:35)

…Are you loving everyone?

IF you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (Matthew 21:22)

…Are you really believing?

IF you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

…Are you declaring Jesus lordship?

But IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

…Are you walking in the light you have?

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, IF you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” (Mathew 21:21)

…Are you in faith, or are you doubting?

IF anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. IF anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26)

…Are you following Jesus, or trying to serve Him without following Him?

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “IF you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

…Are you a disciple of Jesus, or a disciple of other men’s teachings?

Dear friends, IF our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. (1 John 21:22)

…Are you confident before God. Or are you living with a seared conscience?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, IF there is any excellence, IF there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

…Are you thinking and believing the best about everyone and every situation?

IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

…Are you walking in humility, or just praying?

And he said to all, “IF anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

…Are you truly denying yourself, or catering to selfishness?

Pay attention to the IFs.

JC

The Mystery of the Golden Censer.

            This is a follow up post to The Seventh Trumpet revealed in detail.   The Lord continues to give me details about near future events. Many of which I do not understand yet. The themes that are constant with all these encounters is the need for humility in the Body of Christ, the urgency to prepare for great tribulation, and a changed perspective on God Himself.

            We are far too familiar with a God we barely know. The revelation of Jesus Christ to the world is at hand and no one is ready for what is coming. Truthfully, no one will be. The mystery of the gospel is being revealed in all its manifold glory and we are privileged to participate.

            I have been seeing glimpses in my spirit of a huge being with what looked like a big bowling ball hanging from a thick short chain. He held the chain a few links from the end in his left hand at about waist level. With his right hand he held up the big ball and was swinging it back and forth. Thick billowing smoke poured off the big ball as he swung it. This image kept bugging me for days. I would see it but it was like looking through some filter that made things blurry and nondescript. Then I was reading over Revelation again and got to Chapter 8:3

Revelation 8:3

 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

            As soon as I read this the Lord gave me understanding that it was this angel I was seeing. I then got a clearer glimpse at this angel, like the filter was off, and he is a big fella! He was thick and wide, heavily muscled, and barefoot. For some reason I noticed he didn’t have a belly button either. As soon as I thought that, I understood that a bellybutton is the mark of the son of man.

            He was dressed only with something around his waist that fell to about mid-thigh. The ball and chain I was seeing was the golden censer. I couldn’t see that it was gold or that it had a hole at the top because of all the smoke pouring off it.

            The angel was standing before the alter and would leave and return. When he returned, he would hold up the smoking censer and the Father would smell it.

         Somehow, I knew that the censer was for specific prayers for the last great outpouring as we call it. Heaven calls it something else, but I have yet to discern what that is. The censer had to be filled until it gave off a specific aroma. Not sure yet what that smell is that God is looking for, but the smell has a name as well. Not sure what that is yet either. He keeps smelling it, testing it, like a chef would taste a dish to see if it is just right. This is what is happening now, as I write this. Then I saw the future.

            God smelled the censer and it was pleasing to Him. He gave the angel a command. The angel stepped up to the alter and dragged the golden censer through the fiery coals on the alter. The censer was now on fire and was no longer smoking. It looked like it was dripping with Lava. With one big swing the angel slung that censer at the earth. When it hit, it exploded into a multitude of little balls of fire that covered the earth. Then the Lord showed me what this means.

          The little fire balls from the exploded censer are specific anointings or mantles. This is not an outpouring of the Spirit as we would understand it and it is not like any “move of God” previously known. These mantles are specifically for the equipping of the Elect. These mantles are the lavish gifts that He pours out on the bride just before she meets the Bridegroom.

         There will be so many of these mantles on the earth that not even half of them will be used or even needed. It is just more of God’s extravagant love poured out for us. Many will pick up a mantle, use it for the purpose God intended, then pick up another. Some will carry many mantles. Each time a person carries a mantle the mystery of the gospel becomes clearer to them. The fire from these mantles reveals the mystery, much like he is doing with prophets right now only much clearer and more precise.

          All these prayers in the censer are being prayed the best we know how as we are shrouded in smoke. The smoke (mystery) keeps getting thicker and deeper, effective prayer gets less and less, and yet with His help we somehow manage to successfully invite Him to His own Son’s wedding. He keeps smelling the invitation (censer) until it has the aroma He likes and then He “RSVP’s” with the mantles. I laughed out loud and cried for joy when He showed me this.

          You have heard the expression, “where there is smoke there is fire?” The Lord showed me that much smoke means the fire is going out, (much mystery) He reminded me of Isaiah 42

“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

          Just like I couldn’t tell what the great ball and chain was because of the smoke, the church can’t tell who she is because the fire is going out and the gospel has been shrouded in mystery because of a self-serving gospel. We have all been guilty to some degree. I promise you.

          The church is almost completely unaware of her blindness, but the lights are getting ready to come on!

          One of the constant themes that keeps getting emphasized to me is that none of us understand but a little piece of this great mystery. When God began revealing to me the errors in my beliefs and the doctrines that I was taught and defended for decades, I was so broken. I felt like I had been deceived, and I had. By my own heart. I saw the error, the arrogance in the church and in myself. I began to despise those that taught me and held them responsible for my twisted beliefs. It really turned my world upside down for a few weeks. I almost left the church, almost confronted pastor about it. God restrained me. I am so thankful. I was just being attacked by the enemy.

          I now see that the one issue God was putting His finger on was my own pride. It is the unpardonable sin spoke of in Mathew 12. He has had his finger on that passage for years trying to get me to see. I couldn’t see for the smoke.

          Unless pride is dealt with, we will not be able to function with kingdom authority on the earth and there will be no rewards for any accomplishments for the prideful at the judgement seat of Christ. This is what He meant when He said this sin will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come.

          God actively works against pride, and no matter how glorious our accomplishments for the Kingdom, if we don’t sanctify Him during those accomplishments in the sight of people, we will be lightly esteemed in His sight. This is what happened to Moses. It prevented him from entering the promised land on earth. It’s what keeps us from entering the Kingdom of God. Oh, we are citizens of the Kingdom, but we must view it from afar.

          When the Lord showed me the mystery of the seventh trumpet it hit me. All three doctrines, pre, mid, and post-trib positions are all wrong. I realized how prideful I was. I saw that man’s need to be “right” can make him miss righteousness by a country mile. I saw that when I am conscious of the failings and sins of others that there are things in my own heart that are not right. The smoke gets really thick! So thick that I can look into the mirror of God’s word and not be able to see myself clearly. Pride puts a smoke screen on the mystery of who we are in Christ.

          We can no longer allow ourselves to stumble over what people are “not.” We must celebrate who God created them to be and teach them to embrace that reality. We can’t do it with finger pointing and blame shifting. Only loving God and people with our life and sharing the truth of who He is will set people free, and we can’t even do that unless He helps us with it.

It is our journey, but it is His work.

We must relinquish our right to say no to Him.

We must lay our God given sovereignty at His feet.

We can do nothing of ourselves.

JC

The Mystery of the Seventh Trumpet.

          I share this with trembling in my heart. I do not want to teach or speak anything contrary to sound doctrine. I believe this is the word of the Lord to the Body of Christ for this season. I have struggled with posting this.

I must admit it challenged my beliefs to the core. I pray that only His truth be revealed in this and not my ideas or agenda. Amen.

This is what He has revealed to me concerning the Seventh Trumpet. I will try to relate only the things He has specifically shown me or told me. Please read this prayerfully.

          The seventh trumpet (the LAST trumpet) marks the beginning of the “Day of the Lord.” That Great Day is not a single day as we would understand it, how long it is I don’t know but our involvement on the earth is just under a year long after that trumpet starts to blow. Here is some of what I saw play out in the Spirit at that trumpet.

          The Lord showed me that the Elect, in this context, are simply the ones chosen to be alive at this magnificent revelation of Jesus Christ. The Elect are the Church and the 144000 combined at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. Both groups of people have the high honor of going through the greatest tribulation the world has ever seen and shining through it all, bringing God great glory. It is one of the greatest honors ever given to a man and the entire Host of Heaven are wide eyed in anticipation of seeing this revelation of Jesus Christ play out.

The Word of the Lord came to me and said:

“The greatest outpouring of my Spirit the world has ever seen will only come with tribulation. If my people are not braced for what’s coming, they are far more likely to  mishandle the anointing and be crushed by the trials.”

          We have been praying for revival and the outpouring of the Spirit as promised in scripture. This is what comes with it. The greater the tribulation, the greater the outpouring.

          The purpose of the 144000 is specifically for God’s righteous judgment on Israel and on those that refuse to repent when the last trumpet blows. This trumpet blast lasts for a long, long time. We see in Revelation 10 that the trumpets blast lasts for “days.” It actually lasts for months from what I saw.

Revelation 10:7

but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

          The 144000 will be Jewish believers that deny Christ is the Messiah. They will sincerely love God, but not according to knowledge. In God’s great love and mercy, He takes them and marks them. They represent the original natural branches that were cut off so the gentiles could be grafted in. They will be grafted back into the olive root. This is God’s Remnant.

          The 144000 will have one of the highest places in Heaven and they know it. They will understand mercy and grace like we never have, knowing that they had absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. The humility this revelation births in them is a beautiful thing to behold. They understand that the last shall be first, and they realize they are the last. Much of their time immediately after their conversion is spent in tears of Godly sorrow when they are not celebrating a new birth of one of the Remnant.

          Once the last trumpet starts to blow, the Lord hardens all unbelievers like He did Pharaoh and immediately the demons on the earth will attach themselves to the hardened people. There will be no more “salvations” after that. Only the saving of the 144000, the gathering of His Remnant.

          Just before the trumpet blast, God marks the 144000 on the forehead. This is not seen on their physical bodies. They are marked in the spirit realm where all demonic influence is acutely aware of who they are, and they don’t dare touch them. Demonized people will flee in terror when they get too close to one of the 144000 and at this time all are demonized. Crowds of demon possessed people watch in fear from a distance because the demons in them won’t let them get to close. The 144000 are perplexed at why this is happening. They don’t yet understand who they are because none of them have been saved yet.

          The 144000 will be tormented in their faith by a few specific demons during the tribulation but will never be threatened with death. Satan somehow has a unique strategy for deceiving the 144000 and will attack their minds strongly. Their torment will continue until every last one of the 144000 confess Jesus as Lord. Through His name alone is the only way into Heaven and God can’t violate His word, chosen people or not.

          I saw this process of convincing (saving) the 144000 Jews will take almost a year. They will suffer that extra year or so after the seventh trumpet (the LAST trumpet) starts to blow and the Church will suffer with them. The Elect will be “gold tried in the fire.” The 144000 will watch the Church be tried, tested, tortured, abused and killed while they are going through the process that I will describe now. Some of the greatest testimonies and some of God’s greatest glory will come from these last days Saints.

           I saw the first man of the 144000 Jews believe in Jesus. I saw darkness flee. I saw the incredible burden of suffering lifted from him, the light in his eyes, the expression on his face. I could tell that he was completely free. Nothing could hurt him or move him off his belief. He finally found Truth. It was the greatest eye opening, Ah-ha! moment I have ever witnessed.

          Then others of the 144000 began to see that he was free right in the midst of the great tribulation, and salvations increase rapidly. When the 144000 get converted, God immediately gives each individual the understanding to know exactly who they are in Bible prophecy.

Its hard for me to explain, but each individual of the 144000 has this incredible, spectacular experience of awakening to new life. Each conversion is a dramatic event to the individual and to all those who witness this born again experience. You can physically see darkness leave people and light flood in. The Church and the 144000 marvel at each and every conversion and watch with great anticipation as they witness each new birth. The hosts of Heaven, the great cloud of witnesses, all the angels echo the celebration with the energy and enthusiasm of God. Heaven and earth celebrate every conversion like its the greatest event in the history of man. Because in God’s eyes it is.

I sit here and weep at the the beauty of this, and the conviction of my own heart for taking salvation for granted. I watched my three sons being born and was privileged to experienced the crazy emotions, the anticipation, and the incredible joy of each birth. As great as those moments were, they pale in comparison to what I saw at the conversions of the 144000. Life is to be celebrated and we haven’t begun to learn that yet.

It will only take a few months from that first confession of Jesus to the final one of the 144000 to believe. The urgency of the 144000 is fueled by the revelation of who they are in Bible prophecy, combined with the anticipation of each individual conversion event. The Church will catch the revelation of who the 144000 are as well and help find the rest of the Remnant.

They begin to keep a head-count on these incredible salvations and this quickly becomes a hunt for the last man. They know that when the last of the 144000 is saved that God will come for His Church.

I saw many prominent ministers that are labeled “prosperity preachers” with multiple private jets. They will be a big part of the network that tracks down and finds the last of the 144000. They are a part of God’s end time plan. Somehow, God has this intricate infrastructure prepared that we are not even aware of yet. His strategies will become evident to all very soon. During the tribulation there will be this great, progressive unveiling of who God is to the world. I am talking about how He thinks, how He sees us, a revealing of His great love that will overwhelm. It will bring hope and strength to many that are weak.

          As I write some of this the Lord revealed this passage to me. Jer 50:4“In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. 

          The Seventh Trumpet blast is a physically audible sound and continues for months, driving the demonized people mad. The Elect will recognize the trumpet for what it is. It will be a sound of hope to those who have the Spirit. It is the sound of that trumpet that strengthens the Church to walk through the fire. That long trumpet blast is actually an expression of God’s great mercy to the Bride of Christ so that she can strengthen herself to love not her own life unto death. This is the bride without spot or wrinkle that He is returning for.

          It is God’s great love and mercy that started this. It will be His great Love and mercy that finishes it. We are here for His good pleasure and were made for that purpose.

          The world will witness the 144000 loving and serving God and hate them for it but won’t be able to kill them because of the names on their foreheads. They will literally walk the earth like aliens that can’t be killed, and they will be seen as such by the hardened, demonized masses. Every negative thing that is happening on the planet will be blamed on the believers and the 144000.

          I have seen a some of the terrible things we must face, but the more He shows me, the more excited I get. We can bring Him such great glory in these times, shining bright for His great name in the middle of tribulation. This is where faith shines the brightest. I now see how blessed we are to live in these times. It is such a high honor. I welcome it with anticipation.

          The Church is in a time of correction. We must all judge ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to correct and adjust us so that we can become the bride without spot or wrinkle. It will take great faith to just remain the clay. Somehow I understand that even our great faith He is responsible for. We truly can do nothing but cooperate and yield to the great potter.

          When Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for the child of promise, he showered her with gifts to prepare her to meet the bridegroom. Our Father is going to do the same thing with the bride of Christ. This is the great outpouring we’ve been praying for. It is these great gifts that the father will pour out on the church so that they shine their brightest in the darkest time in human history. The father will get great glory and there will be some of the greatest rewards in heaven given to those that overcome during this time. WE ARE BLESSED!!

          There are three prevailing doctrines on the rapture and when it takes place. I believed in a Pre-Tribulation rapture for over 30 years. Not any more. God knocked that foolishness right out of me. He showed me how it was a doctrine of devils we have been deceived with to keep us from being prepared for what is coming.

The rapture won’t happen until the last of the 144000 confesses Jesus as Lord. This will happen about a year after the last trumpet starts to blow, about 4.5 years into the tribulation from what He has shown me. The instant the last of the Remnant believes in Jesus, we will be caught up together with Him in the twinkling of an eye. As we disappear the trumpet stops. This is what the Lord means when He said the days will be shorted for the Elects sake. The next 2.5 years or so the earth is in great darkness, awaiting the wrath of God. People think the tribulation is the wrath of God. It is not. It is the wrath of man and the wrath of the enemy. God’s wrath only lasts for a brief moment, and we are not appointed to that.

          Satan’s final act of vengeance is to use the people left on earth to fight the final battle against the Lord, but that will be a quick fight. Faith has already won the victory.

          The last Trumpet is exactly that. The LAST one. There will not be another.

These are some of the events that I saw transpire at the last trumpet. I believe God is preparing us for what is coming.

All experiences and revelations should be judged. Please seek the Lord for yourself on these things. I would not be sharing this unless I believed that He wanted me to. I do this with fear and trembling. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

This is our journey, but it is His work. The time is short. Let us cooperate with His final work.

JC

~The Role of Godly Relationships ~

Ephesians 4:16  ~ from whom (Christ) the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

          Notice it says, “by what every JOINT supplies.”   What is this joint that Paul is talking about? What exactly is the supply coming from this joint?

          I think most of us understand that God uses the human body as an example of how the body of Christ works. With that in mind, consider what a joint is. It is not a body part, but the connection between the parts. it is the joining of one or more parts together. The “joint” is the relationship between the parts. We are “joined and knit together” by what every relationship supplies. The supply of the Spirit comes through the relationships we have with other believers.

          This supply of the “joint” will cause growth and edification to the body according to the effective working of every part doing its share. So, what if we, the parts, are not “effectively working?” What if  we are hurt, confused, misunderstood, or deceived? What if we are simply the wrong part in the wrong place? What if we are just ignorant of how all this works so we don’t put enough emphasis on the relationships and make it all about how each part is functioning or not functioning.

In our physical bodies, when there is pain and injury to any joint it affects all the surrounding parts. It limits mobility, reduces overall strength, severely limits the function of all the surrounding parts. It is the same with a spiritual body.

While praying one day I said by the Spirit, “Lord, I thank you for the Body of Christ that validates you to the world.” As soon as I said those words, I saw in the Spirit an Arab man sitting in a wheelchair with his head down. In bold white letters, written across this image was the word, “INVALID.” As I looked closer at the image I saw that it was Jesus in the wheel chair. I cried profusely at what He was showing me. He gave me understanding of what He was telling me.

The Lord was showing me how our behavior has made Him an invalid (not valid) to the world. The world sees us put ourselves first, instead of Him and others. They see the selfish ambition that causes envy, jealousy and every evil work. It is no different from their own behavior. We must be separate. We must be different.

When I was a young boy, I remember my grandmother, who was a nurse, using that term to describe someone bound to a wheelchair, whether temporary or permanent. I began to think about the significance of that word, INVALID… Not valid. What a terrible thing to say about a person.

James 3:14-18

 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

        We can be the right body part in the right place, but if we are not relating properly with the other parts of the body, we actually cut off the supply of the Spirit coming to us and through us. Furthermore, if we are selfish and prideful in our relationships we become a landing strip for demonic activity according James 3.

         When the parts are effective at doing their share, with humility and deference, right relationship and true fellowship occurs inviting the Holy Spirit to provide a supply that brings growth and edification. It is how the parts relate that brings the supply, not the strength of the part. It is the fellowship of the parts that bind and knit us together. It is the “joint” of fellowship that allows us to experience God on a level that goes beyond what we can experience on our own.

Fellowship isn’t just a bunch of fellows in the same ship, its a bunch of folks called to community by divine appointment to be an expression of God to the world.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

We need to celebrate our local church and the relationships we have there. If we are broken and separated from the body we should reconnect. Be a peace maker, gather with an awareness of the importance of right relationship. Come with humility, come with expectation, come to join in God’s work and be a blessing to God and all you are in relationship with. Lets make Jesus a valid option to the world.

JC

The Pruning of the Lord

If it isn’t producing Life it needs to be pruned, and pruning hurts! God prunes us as we incline our hearts toward Him, but HOW does He prune us?

Hebrews 4:12 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

        God is the great Vinedresser and His Word is used to help prune us and shape us into His image.

His Word is sharp, cutting clean and deep when we incline our heart to it. It is a discerner of our thoughts and intentions, separating light from darkness, exposing things in us that need change. The Word challenges what we think and believe as it exposes us to God’s will for our lives.

The carnal man’s response is to run from the Vine Dresser and try to heal himself from the cutting…. Because pruning hurts! The New Man’s response is to run to the Father and hide under His wings. We can’t consummate our marriage to Christ while our “old man” is still alive.

 In Exodus 33:20 God said to Moses, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

        Our carnal, fallen nature (“old man”) cannot look into the face of God and live.

          Spending time with our Father and His Word is our Old Man’s face to face encounter with Him. It is the surest way for dead things to get pruned out of our life. 

          If we are constantly in His Word and don’t practice intimacy, we will try to DO the Word in our own strength instead of becoming the Word by His grace.

           Embracing intimacy will always lead to healthy dose of the Word, and develop a Father consciousness. The more we see Him as a Father, The more we see ourselves as sons. When we have intimacy, coupled with the Word, our perspective changes about everything and everyone, including ourselves. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will never bear the fruit of who He is.

          Our perspective of the Word will change as we pursue intimacy with God. We will find ourselves “reading” the Word less but digesting it more. The Word will become so alive it will be as if one phrase is speaking volumes and we will naturally, purposely slow down to thoroughly digest it, letting it cut us deep and clean, knowing that His embrace causes it to be less painful. The cutting is for our good, the pruning is needed for growth and health and healing comes immediately when we pursue intimacy.

                     Long-term exposure to only the Word without an intimate relationship will produce self-consciousness and self-righteousness. Exposure to only the Word cuts us and cuts us and cuts us, with no relief in sight. The cutting exposes darkness, weakness, and sin. Intimacy is one way God becomes strong in our weakness.

           Cutting off those things in our life that aren’t producing good fruit is HIS responsibility in this relationship, not ours. He is the Vinedresser, we are the vine. Vines NEVER prune themselves. He is the great potter and we are the clay. Clay NEVER shaped itself into anything, but that is exactly what we will gravitate to if we have only God’s Word in our life with little or no intimacy.

           Knowledge of the Father without intimacy will puff us up and make us think we know what to do and try to please Him with our own human efforts to “do better.” Without intimacy we become legalistic, frustrated, and sin conscious.

Sin consciousness is the fruit of being exposed to the Word of God and not pursuing intimacy with God. Sin consciousness is easy to identify. If we are constantly seeing sin in others and judging them, thinking about what they need to change, what they should do, and how they should behave, this indicates knowledge of God’s Word but ignorance of who we are. We must not try to do what we learn without learning who He is. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will gravitate toward Old Testament law and never fully understand or embrace New Testament grace.

We are in the last days and we we all need to aspire to become everything Jesus paid for. We must embrace the pruning and the correction of the Lord in this season.

JC

Truth Pressure

          Words are the creative bricks that build and form our reality. These bricks can be used to build strongholds in our hearts and minds. The words we speak and hear can also be used against us and others.

Don’t give the devil any building material!

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

          Love what? “The power of the tongue.” What does that look like?

          The chief expression of love is to give. If we give ourselves wholly to speaking life and truth, the fruit of those words will become evident in our lives. We must not be double tongued or double minded about this.

James 3:10-12

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Psalm 34:13

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth, and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 15:4

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Matthew 15:10-11

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 

JC

Keep your Finger in the Sand.

John 8:6-8

This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 

          Two key phrases in this verse; “they said to test Him,” and “He bent down and wrote on the ground.” How are they related? What was Jesus doing when He bent down to write on the ground? What is the Lord saying to us through this encounter?

          Testing will always come because that is the way God has chosen to strengthen our faith in Him. Our true heart is revealed through testing. What comes forth from us during testing and trials indicates what we believe and who we trust. Testing is an essential part of the gospel. When we get squeezed, what is inside us comes out.

          They were testing Jesus, putting pressure on Him. They were trying to squeeze Him until something came out of Him that they could use against Him. Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons to learn here.

James 1:19-20

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

          When Jesus got squeezed, what did He do? He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. Giving us a living example of how to deal with tests and pressure, and how to find the answers we need when our feet are being held to the fire.

          I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant in the dirt. I believe He was checking on the inside with the Father to see how He should answer and what He should do.

          We know that in Jesus’s mind, He could do nothing of Himself.

John 5:30

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

          So, instead of answering out of His own understanding, He bent down, focusing on what the Spirit has to say about this. They continued to ask and pressure Him. We don’t know how long, but when He stood up the Spirit gave Him the words to say. Then once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction.

Luke 12:11-12

 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

          Jesus consistently modeled the gospel that He preached. If we can’t find what we are practicing in our churches in the life of Jesus, it doesn’t belong.

          May times throughout the gospels Jesus separated Himself in between times of ministry to connect and fellowship with the Father. Without this component in our lives, we will not be strong enough to keep our finger in the sand when difficult situations are thrust upon us.

Nothing is reproduced without intimacy. If we are not intimate with the Father, we will not produce the fruit of who He is.

JC

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is called the unpardonable sin. A sin that will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. It is imperative we understand this passage of scripture. One of the most significant revelations concerning faith is in this passage of scripture.

Matthew 12:25-32

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

            Jesus made it clear in Matthew 12 that when He was talking about a Kingdom, a house, or a city divided against itself, He was talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Not a different Kingdom, but itself. It -SELF! He then said if Satan casts out Satan he is divided against HIMSELF.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is speaking against, being in rebellion against, or simply not agreeing with the Holy Spirit in YOU. The Holy Spirit is God’s Kingdom representative in YOU.  

            Jesus went on to say that if you enter a strongman’s house you first had to bind the strongman, then you could plunder the House. The strongman is SELF, the carnal nature, the old man of sin. Self must be bound and crucified. Ephesians 4 tells us that there is only one Spirit, one faith, not two. Not in the Kingdom.

Ephesians 4:4-6

 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

            We try so hard to be sold out to God, not recognizing that we have been bought out, Spirit, soul and body. We are not our own! We have been bought with a terrible price! And yet we struggle to be completely submitted.

            If we are not with Him 100% we are against Him. Not my words, His.

            When we don’t give God 100% of what He paid for, we are a withholder and a scatterer, and we disqualify ourselves from Kingdom authority, Kingdom resources, and Kingdom promise. God doesn’t trust His power with one who doesn’t trust Him or is opposed to Him.

            Flesh is enmity toward God. Self and selfishness are born of the flesh.

Romans 8:7-11

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

            If our flesh is God’s enemy, our flesh should be our enemy as well. When selfishness and pride rises in our heart it is the flesh trying to find expression through words and actions. When we give flesh control and give it a voice, we allow it an opportunity to express itself. This is divisive, it is double mindedness. It is allowing the enemy expression in the Kingdom. It is speaking against the Holy Spirit.

            If we serve two masters, God and Self, we will hate one and love the other. We will love God and hate ourselves. How are we to love others and be an ambassador of the Kingdom if we don’t agree with the Holy Spirit in us. God is in us, trying to get out, trying to find expression through our life. Christ in us is His hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The glory of God is any attribute of God being made seen and known to others.

Christ in us, the hope of making God seen and known.

            I think often we are the ones wanting to be seen and known instead of letting Him shine, letting Him be sanctified in the sight of the people. His glory is to be seen and known through His people.

            When we refuse to let Him shine in the sight of others, we bring a reproach on the Kingdom and disqualify ourselves from inheritance, now in this age, and future rewards in the age to come at the judgement seat of Christ.

            Moses gives us a vivid example, and an Old Testament type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that helps us understand this passage of scripture.

Numbers 20:6-13

 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.

            WOW!

            Moses had a moment of pride during a supernatural manifestation of God in the sight of God’s people. He took partial credit for bringing water from the rock the first time and didn’t speak to the rock like God commanded him but struck it like he did the first time.

            God called it unbelief because Moses didn’t hold Him alone up as holy, instead he held himself up in the sight of others. This disqualified Moses from entering the Promise Land on Earth. It didn’t keep him out of Heaven, but We can surmise that he would get less rewards there because of this incident.

            This is exactly what happens to us. We like to take credit for the results and put the responsibility for obedience on others. Instead, we should take full responsibility for obedience but take no credit for the results.

            Anything we “accomplish” in the name of the Lord for selfish or prideful reasons disqualifies us from full entrance into the Kingdom of God on earth and disqualifies us from any rewards for those accomplishments at the judgment seat of Christ. This is what Jesus meant when He said this sin will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come.

            If you have wondered if you have committed the unpardonable sin, you likely have. Pride and selfishness are sneaky devils. They creep in slowly through deception and trickery. Understanding this verse helps us be aware of the devil’s schemes and keeps us from stumbling.

            Pride must be silenced. Self must have no voice. God must be sanctified in us so that He can shine through us.

JC