Consider Your Ways!

Thus says Jehovah of hosts, saying, This people says, The time has not come, the time for the house of Jehovah to be built. Then the word of Jehovah came through Haggai the prophet saying, Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled-up houses while this house lies waste? Now therefore says Jehovah of hosts, Consider your ways. You have sown much, but bring in little; you eat, but there is no satisfaction; you drink, but there is no being filled with drink; you dress yourselves, but there is no warmth in doing so; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put them into a bag with holes.

You looked for much, and yet it amounted to little; and when you brought it home, I blew on it. Why? declares Jehovah of hosts–Because of My house that lies waste while you each run to your own house.

Thus says Jehovah of hosts, Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain and bring wood and build the house and I will take pleasure in it and will be glorified says Jehovah. (Haggai 1:2-6, 9, 7-8)

Saints, I was so convicted by the words spoken through Haggai the prophet. I was exposed in that I am like the children of Israel in their unconcern and complacency toward the state of God’s house. God’s house, the Father’s house, our Father’s house lies waste and here I am so wrapped up in myself, running after my own things. I care about my career, my next step in life, my family life, my personal needs, my health. I am bogged down and unsatisfied with where I am in all respects of my own life. Like Ron shared, we are full of anxiety and we reach a stalemate in our life, where nothing satisfies and nothing means anything, why? The answer is simple, because God’s house isn’t first.

You will never be satisfied until God is satisfied in you.

This was our brother’s loving, chastising word in this message. We will never be satisfied until God is satisfied in us, and He finds rest and satisfaction only in His house. If His house lies waste, there is no satisfaction for Him, there is no satisfaction for us. There is no way for us to be neutral in this matter. Either we are those putting God’s house first or our own desires and things, our own “house.” We may say that we are those for the building, we may have the desire, we may have the realization of the need, but what of our living?

If you want the temple to be built, you should live for it!

God’s house today, the Father’s house is not a physical house. It is NOT the building on the corner. The Father’s house is a growing building. It is built up in an organic way through the building in of the Father’s children into the Father and the Father into His children. So, how do we build the House? By telling the Father,

Lord, will you please come with the Father and make an abode with me?

Let Him come to you. Meet Him every morning on the mountain top of your spirit let Him as the kingdom seed in your spirit GROW! Let Him GROW!

Oh Lord Jesus! Grow Thou in me! All things else recede. Lord, though I may react, flinch, even cry, Lord don’t let me go, make your home in my heart! Build me into the Father’s unshakable house. Save me from running after my own things, save me from giving myself to something shakable, save me from self glory, save me from all that is not a part of Your building. Have mercy on me to make me a builded and building member.

From Eternity to Eternity

And His goings forth are from ancient times,/ from the days of eternity

In eternity past, before time began, before you were thought of, before man was created, before there was anything really, you were in the thought of God for even in the days of eternity He was preparing to come forth.

God’s goings forth are in five steps.
Creation
Incarnation
Lamb
Spirit
Ladder

His creating all things was His preparation for His long journey, His journey into time, in man.
He came as a man in incarnation to sojourn among us, living a perfect and beautiful human life. His coming was as the Lamb of God. This Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. It is as the Lamb delivered up according to the counsel of the Triune God that He takes away the sin of mankind judicially and brings us into the New Testament age of grace. He also came as the Spirit for the transformation of God’s redeemed into split able materials for God’s building, God’s house. He is also the ladder, seen first in Genesis 28:11-22, that joins earth to the heavens and the heavens to the earth and is set up as Beth El, God’s house.

Today He continues to “go forth.” He is spreading and going forth to every people, tribe, tongue, and nation. He began spreading from Jerusalem through Europe and to the far reaches of the earth, now in His recovery work He is marching backward toward its starting point and it’s consummation. However, it is easier for Him to move into many cities, to move into Jerusalem than it is for Him to move into the many compartments in our heart. Oh, Lord! “Amen, Lord.” Are sometimes the most difficult words to say!

May we be impressed, with the historical journey of the Triune God, and may we be open to allowing Hm to continue this journey in us to set up this ladder in our spirit so that we would be built into pillars in Gods heart through His making His home in every room of our heart.

Death, Sterilized. Earth, Shaken. Devil Destroyed.

The sign of Jonah is the greatest miracle in the universe. It is the gospel, the good news to all the people of every tribe and tongue and nation. It is the revealing of God’s heart for His entire creation. It is the announcing of Christ’s death sterilizing, nullifying, abolishing crucifixion. It is the declaration that the seed of the woman has crushed the head of the serpent. That the rulers and authorities in the heaven lies have been triumphed over. it is the declaration that the base of Satan’s rebellion has been shaken, the strongholds of his kingdom broken and the power of death and Hades has been conquered and subdued.
It is to exult and praise and proclaim God’s victory in Christ. It is to proclaim that the resurrected Christ is the living One. He is living forever and ever! Proclaim that He has the keys of death and of Hades and that today we are no longer subject to death and Hades.

Where oh death is your sting? Where your victory?

Hallelujah Christ has triumphed! Christ is victor!

Today, Christ as the greater Jonah is announcing the gospel of peace to all people’s. We, being one with our wonderful Jonah must grasp every opportunity to tell to all of God’s victory through Christ’s incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection.

Speaking of grasping opportunities…
You are needed for the bible distribution in London during the Olympics! Check out http://distribute.biblesforeurope.org/ for more info.
And for free electronic copies of the seven Rhema books, go to http://www.RhemaBooks.org (available in a slew of languages)

David and His Mighty Men

David and Christ are one. David’s kingdom fell in 606 BC with Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem, but “Sing we the King who is coming to reign!” Christ will return to set up the restored tabernacle of David! Between Christ’s first and second comings, however, a commission has been given to the representative of Christ’s kingdom today. This representative is the Church. In the age of grace, the Church is the kingdom, it is the bridge that will bring us fully into the manifestation of the kingdom, the restored tabernacle of David in the millennium.

The church has failed. It has lost its commission.

So, the Lord is sending out a battle cry to those who would be the called, the chosen, the faithful. Those who would be the disciples of the greater, real David, to those who would be the mighty men of David. Those who would risk their lives to draw water from the well at Bethlehem, to satisfy David’s thirst. Those who would stand guard at the bedposts so that David might find rest.

Who would be such ones?

Revelation 3:7 shows us to whom this call is given:

And to the messenger of the church in Philadelphia write: These things says the Holy One, the true One, the One who has the key of David, the One who opens and no one will shut, and shuts and no one opens

It is to Philadelphia, the recovered church, to whom the key of David is revealed. The key of David is the key to the kingdom. It is the overcomers of the recovered church that the commission that should have belonged to the whole church lies, they now have the responsibility to spread forth the kingdom.

Saints, in the local churches we must restore, recover the reality of the kingdom of God. For this we need to know and experience Christ as the real David, the One who has the key of David. We need to be one with the King!

And then, how do we exercise this authority? How do we fulfill this responsibility?

We must fight the spiritual warfare through prayer. We must fight to open doors, to release prisoners. Fight to bring in the kingdom. And we must fight to close the gates of Hades and of Death.

Teach us to pray that we may cause The enemy to flee, That we his evil pow’r may bind, His prisoners to free. Teach us to pray and firmly stand Upon the battleground, To fight and break the stronghold down, The enemy confound. Teach us to pray and use Thy rod In strong, prevailing prayer, Beneath Thy blood to shake the earth And powers of the air. By prayer and faith, O may we learn To labor, Lord, with Thee, To know the victory is ours And Thine authority.

Divine History NonFiction

“God’s move is to deify man. God’s only goal is to dispense Himself into man.”

In the Bible, we see the divine history as the kernel within the shell of human history. This history is the nonfictional autobiography of the Triune God. Because we are in an organic union with Him this history is our history, this autobiography is our biography!

These two histories can be compared to two figures, the first, the human history is the great human image in Daniel chapter two signified by the four kinds of locusts in Joel 1:4. The second Figure is Christ and His overcomers signified by the stone cut without hands and the great mountain filling the whole earth. In Revelation 19 the stone cut without hands is Christ and the mountain is the bride with the army.

The bride and the army. Saints, this is our history, this is our autobiography, we are the church, His bride, we are the warrior, His army. In Ephesians 5 we have the bride, in 6 we have the warrior. What do these two have in common both in Ephesians and in Revelation?

In Ephesians it is the word, to the bride the word is the beautifier, to the warrior the word is the slayer. In Revelation, the wedding garment of the bride, fine linen bright and clean is also the army’s battle attire. We know these garments are the righteousnesses of the saints, that is Christ lived out of us.

So, what does all this come down to?
Well, saints, we have all been born into the human history and reborn into the divine history. In the divine history, God’s only goal is to dispense Himself into us to make us His duplication and enlargement. And how, pray tell, does this all happen? Through the beautifying and slaying word of God.

Read the Word. Pray the Word. Eat the Word. Be deified.

I’ll leave you with one question and one exhortation:

Are you living in the divine history, or are you living merely in the human history?

Saints, don’t give up your golden history.

Lovers

There cause Your mighty ones to descend, O Jehovah!

The mighty ones, the overcomers, realize there is a state of war in the universe. They understand the necessity of spiritual warfare. They realize that spiritual warfare is based on the victory of Christ. The mighty ones, the overcomers, are “empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.” They conquer the satanic chaos in the old creation and carry out the divine economy for the new creation. They are victorious over the attack of death. The mighty ones, the overcomers, are the victory of the overcoming Christ. They are “as beautiful…as Tirzah,/ As lovely as Jerusalem,/ As terrible as an army with banners.” And finally, the mighty ones, the overcomers, fight the battle in the Body. (a summary/ paraphrase of the roman numerals from message six outline)

After the previous messages, had you made up your mind to be not merely in human history but also in the divine history? Did you realize that meant you chose to be a “mighty one”? The above are only a few of their characteristics. Are you discouraged yet?

Trust me, there is no way I can adequately convey the heart and burden of this message, which out of the first six most deeply has spoken to and touched the core of my inner being, but I shall attempt to nonetheless. (It is my blog after all.)

I shall begin with the rewording of the question I left you with after message five.

how do you intend to live out the remainder of your allotted time on the earth?

Making the choice to be a mighty one, an overcomer, that is to not live a life merely in the human history altogether having our orientation set on human history but to cling to our divine, golden history does not mean purposing or promising to be all of these characteristics. But this choice, this decision is to allow the Lord, our older Brother who has already overcome to duplicate Himself in us. That’s right, I can’t do it, I can’t be it, I can’t take it, I can’t make it, but He did, He has, and if we allow Him, He will again!

Well, I think we make that decision, I made it years ago, but I must confess it seems every year I go further and further downhill, and then immediately we want to go into the heart of the battle. But we are too young in growth and too muddied in vision. And so we pray to be empowered in the Lord and the might of His strength, and instead we find ourselves weaker than ever before. There is no life of ease, but chaos upon chaos, and then finally broken, discouraged, distraught spiritually, soulishly, physically, we want to retreat. Have you felt this way? (I must confess, the arrow hit the bullseye.) Maybe, our brother uttered, the Lord is saying, “You prayed to be empowered, but did you ever think this is My way of answering your prayer?” Confer with Paul’s experience in 2 Cor. 12:10, 13:4.

So here we are, or I am at least, not looking back at a distressing past, not looking forward to an unattainable future, feeling weak, heartbroken, discouraged, the Lord seems too far away, uncaring, unseeing, and I am listening to this message about overcoming. Something strikes me from our brother’s words:

Stay in love with the Beloved for only lovers can be mighty.

Stay in love. Only lovers can be mighty.
For it is in Song of Songs that we see how these mighty ones are produced.

Our love affair with the Lord begins in the chaos of our life, in the depths of anguish and despair, in rebellion, and death. Even when we don’t think He is there anymore, when we feel He has forsaken us or when we’ve decided to forsake Him. After thousands of seemingly unanswered prayers, He opens up His being and wave after wave of love is poured out from His being. A mighty, all-conquering tidal wave of love. When this happens, what are you going to do?

Lord, Thou hast won, at length I yield; My heart by mighty grace compelled Surrenders all to Thee; Against Thy terrors long I strove, But who can stand against Thy love? Love conquers even me.

As we allow His love to conquer us, we return His love, we become His duplication and we, like the Shulamite in Song of Songs, become as beautiful as Tirzah, as lovely as Jerusalem. Eventually we are those who love the Lord above everything else, even our own soul life and this, this frail creature, so dependent on her Beloved, so one with His will, so completely given to His purpose and for His satisfaction is the mighty ones, the overcomers, the bridal army terrifying to the enemy, who will defeat Antichrist, and crush the great human image becoming a great, universal mountain and the New Jerusalem, God and man’s mutual rest and satisfaction for eternity.

Saints, may we “give ourselves to love the Lord, for no other way is so rich, so safe, and so full of enjoyment.”

Block and Tackle

The divine history is the kernel within the shell of human history. We must know both. We must know the human history so that we know where we are today and we must know the divine history so that we know where we need to be today. (Paraphrase of Ed’s intro to message four.)

In the Bible, in the Minor Prophets, and in Joel, we see God’s chastisement on Israel, done through the three “craftsmen.” We see God’s punishment over these craftsmen because of their excessive treatment of Israel, and we see the coming in of the the fourth craftsmen, the best, wonderful, awesome, lovable Craftsman Jesus Christ who, as a stone cut without hands, will come with His “mighty ones” to crush the aggregate of human government and set up the millennial kingdom for the ultimate and corporate manifestation of Christ.

So what is the human history that is revealed to us? Well, in Daniel we see the great human image and Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Babylon, with Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold, the first craftsman was Medo-Persia, the second Greece, the third the Roman Empire. Each of course corresponds to the different parts of the human image ending with the restored Roman Empire as the ten toes. So, where are we? Not exactly at the ten toes, but if we open any international newspaper we would realize that the appearance of the toes is being set up and more than likely to happen in our lifetime.

Oh Lord! Knowing this to be the case, where do we need to be in the divine history?

We need to see that today we, the believers in Christ, are in the Body of Christ; we all are members of the Body of Christ, which is the organism of the Triune God; as members of the Body, we should aspire to be the overcomers, the mighty ones (Joel 3:11), who will return with Christ to deal with Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon and who will be Christ’s co-kings in the millennium.

Of course, the first thing to pop into my head was, great, overcomer, mighty one, I’m done for. But Ed’s thought was this: BLOCK AND TACKLE!
The number one (American) football team’s coach was asked abut his strategy, and he didn’t say anything about trick plays and such, but he said two words: Block and Tackle. When they are on offense, they block, on defense they tackle (or vice versa because football is a mystery to me). And even though all the opposition knew what they were doing, he publicized it avidly, the teams knew what was coming, they were powerless to stop them!

SAINTS!! Satan knows what’s coming, he knows you are going to call, but he is powerless to stop you!! Saints, remember, block and tackle!

Right now, knowing where we are in human history, knowing where we should be in the divine history, we need to be those retreating to the high tower of our spirit through the daily, hourly, habitual, life practices. Pray-reading, praying unceasingly, fanning our spirit into flame, prophesying, and most importantly, CALLING!

We need to “Oh, Lord Jesus” our way into the Kingdom.

Bands of Love

God’s Love.
Where do we see it? Maybe it would be easier to point out where we believe it to be lacking. Isn’t this the biggest strike that believers attribute to God, if there is a God then why…(insert everyone’s different grievances)?

However, Romans 5:8 tells us:

But God commends His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

While we were sinners, dead in sin, lost in sin, spiritually dead and unresponsive, God loved us. In Hosea the prophets states on His behalf, “When Israel was a child, I loved him,/ And out of Egypt I called my son.”

And how does He love us? With bands of love, that is with cords of a man. It is in His humanity that Christ came to bring us God’s love. In John 4 we see Him reach, in His beautiful humanity, this sinful, immoral, despised woman. He says to her, woman I am He. I don’t know about you, but when I picture this situation and hear him say these words to her…I don’t know, think about it, here is this woman, probably despised and reproached by all the other women. Gossiped about in the town, looked down upon by those of repute, dismissed by hypocritical men, so much that she was willing to bear the heat of the noon day sun so that she didn’t have to be with the crowds that would go to the well in the cool of evening. And here she meets this Jewish man who is kind to her, who doesn’t see her as a leper and pariah, who is willing to receive something from her with gratitude. And then to find out He is the prophet and man of God whose reputation has been spreading around all the villages and towns, and even more to realize He is even more than all the wonderful things that have been said about Him. That love, reached out to her in cords of a man, were bands that wound around her and bound her to Him. She couldn’t but respond with appreciation and the sincerest love.

It is in the same way and yet so particular to each one of our cases that He comes to us today. Yes, right now He is our great High Priest who, not untouched by the feeling of our weakness, intercedes for us.

He intercedes for us, He reaches us in His humanity, and He gently causes us to eat.

Pharoah had put a strong yoke on Israel, but God took off that yoke and gently caused them to eat by bringing them into the wilderness, where God fed them with manna in a gentle way morning by morning.

The goal of this process is that we would eat. Morning by morning we would take of the manna. As this manna becomes our inward portion and supply it becomes the hidden manna mentioned in Rev. 2:17. This manna is the portion of the overcomers.

Do not think that it is impossible for you to be an overcomer. You can become an overcomer by enjoying Christ as manna. Eat the open manna, and Christ will become the hidden manna. This hidden manna will constitute you into an overcomer.

So where does it all start? Just let Him draw you with cords of a man, with bands of love.

Like the Dew

Hosea, we might say is the prophet of the broken heart, but it is to him that the Lord reveals:

I will be like the dew to Israel.

What do we know about the formation of dew? Well, these droplets of refreshing water typically form on nights when wind transports warmer air from higher levels to a cold, low surface.

Israel was in, and even today, continues to pass through a long period of night, sufferings, consumings, just as it is profesied in the minor prophets. Cf. Joel 1:4.

I must confess I feel like this myself. Hurt, pain, disappointments, failures, all have worked to leave my inner being a mess and have left me a cold, low surface. Not just unhappy and dissatisfied but also worthless to the Lord and to His heart and intention and also to the body.

What a deplorable situation. I felt rather hopeless. But our brother Andrew’s speaking last night was a wind transporting the Lord’s warm air to this cold surface. In his speaking I tasted the fresh and refreshing grace of God through God’s compassionate word: Though Israel was a “wife of harlotries” the Lord’s love toward her was unfailing and in His memory she was beautiful.

How is this? He writes through Jeremiah, that He remembers her bridal days when she followed Him in the wilderness (2:2), but if we see the record, we see Israel didn’t exactly follow in such a beautiful, bridal way, but that is His memory. Because of the love with which He sees her, the memory of her is beautiful.

What a sweet, tender word this was to me. Despite my not being a lily, despite my lack of deep and hidden roots, despite my barrenness and lack of splendor and fragrance, the Lord continues to come to me day by day with fresh mercy and grace.

Lord, cause me to receive these tender compassions, cause me to enjoy You as my daily supply of manna in Your word, so that Your life will continue to grow in me and transform me so, like Israel, I would go from being a wife of harlotries to become Your son.

God, Romance, Dating, and Marriage

There seems to be a yearning within the heart of every person living on this earth to find that one unique “other” that will make their life happy, worth living, and give themselves completely to them. At times, to be honest with you, love, romance, marriage, seems to be the one topic in everyone’s mind and on everyone’s lips.

Seems the feeling, desire, yearning is a mirror reflection of the desire hidden in the heart of God. This might be an odd thought, isn’t it worshippers that God seeks for? Isn’t it a contingent of mindless followers denying their own desires and hopes and dreams and instead working to be good, ethical, morally superior people helping others to become the same, that He is after?

Actually, No. Take the time to look at the following verses carefully: Genesis 2:21-24, Song of Songs 1:2-4, Isaiah 54:4 and 62:5, Jeremiah 2:2; 3:1, 14; and 31:32, Ezequiel 16:8 and 23:5, Hosea 2:7 and 19, Matthew 9:15, John 3:29, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25 through 32, Revelation 19:7; 21:2, 9-10; and 22:17.

Don’t you see?

The entire Bible is a divine romance, showing that throughout the centuries God has had a romance with man; thus, the Bible is a record of how God courts His chosen people and eventually marries them.

I have to admit, I am deficient in the seeing. This intention and desire in God’s heart is not reflected in my heart. I think I still have a skewed hollywoodesque view of love, romance, and marriage. When I hear things like: “…our relationship with the Lord should be very romantic; if there is no romance between us and the Lord Jesus, then we are religious Christians, not romantic Christians.” My entire being rebels because I don’t want to be the latter but the former just brings to mind ridiculous visions of love at first sight, chocolate, red roses, and broken promises.

Well, where does that leave me? Our brother shared two things that come to mind, first, our heart needs to be touched and second, he said he told the Lord, how do I have this relationship with you? It is unfair, first of all, I can’t see You!

So, this morning, I just told the Lord, I don’t see any of this, I don’t particularly care about Your desire and intention, in fact, it seems pretty ridiculous to me, but I just want to be open to being touched, to be drawn into this divine romance.