Scroll down to read articles on this page: Praying All Prayers * The Kingdom And The Church * Divided Man * Advancing With The Kingdom * Bid Me Come * The Governor’s Power * The Kingdom Of God In Action * Evidences Of The Kingdom Of God * Dreams: The Secret Revealed * Charting The Course * Prayer, Dreams And Visions * Confront And Contradict * Thy Kingdom Come: The Sound Of The Ages * The Order Of Melchizedek * Killing God’s Catalysts * Black Holes, Planets & Gravity * Royal Dynasty * Who’s In Charge? *****************************************************************************************************************************************************
“Praying All Prayers”
by Simon Purvis
(Article taken from SEEC Magazine Volume 20 Issue 1)
Myself, and some people I am in relationship with, were in meetings in Denton with ministers of the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network. God is engaging the Body of Christ in a new dynamic of prayer. We are on the verge of something. What we are going through is necessary. Don’t despise it. We are about to see the Church. It is about to be revealed.
The instructions in Ephesians Chapter Six are clear: “STAND therefore, praying with all prayer.” “All prayer” implies a diversity of prayer. (That is why relationship and a walk with the Lord is essential so that we know how to pray in particular situations.) There is a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer of petition and a prayer of agreement, etc. I want to talk about two types of prayer concerning how we deal with our enemy. One such prayer is the 1) prayer of authority. This prayer is a command like Mark 11:23, “SAY to the mountain”. In this prayer we command the enemy through spiritual authority, a command in Christ. When Paul turned in Acts 16, to address the spirit of divination, (python) in the slave girl, he said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” She was delivered. That same prayer of command could be for healing. That is one prayer used in dealing with the enemy. The second type of prayer, is the 2) prayer of perseverance. The Church is not MacDonalds with our first priority being fast results now. We must persevere in faith. At the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 11 it talks about great victories of faith and deliverance, but the last part says there were those who didn’t get great victories but overcame by persevering. One of the true signs of being born again is perseverance. We are coming to the reality of how to persevere in prayer. It is not a quick prayer, but a prayer that perseveres in us day and night, something that perseveres in the Church, that unwaveringly cries out to the Lord, a continuous appeal to heaven.
Jesus told the disciples in Luke 17 that He was going away and they were about to be tested. In this incredible testing, there would be a separation, one left and one taken. (This was not about the rapture but about persevering under pressure.) Luke 17:37, “And answering they said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ And He said to them, ‘Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.’” He was telling them that vultures will come where a dead body is putrefying. In this religion where there had been apostasy and degrading of spirituality and death or spiritual decay, evil would come to it. He was not talking about a future war but saying that where you have spiritual decline, evil will come. In the decay that was ongoing, there was a mixture in the Church and God was going to make a separation. The mixture was Judaism. So God had to untangle this mixture of Judaism and separate those that were truly His. (Hebrews is about those that were separated out, the Judaizers that claimed to be something they were not.) God uses pressures to bring division to separate those that are His from those that are not.
In Luke Chapter 18, the prayer is not a prayer of command but about going before a righteous judge on the finished works of Christ, on the defeat of Satan and declaring what is illegal and unrighteous and appealing to the judge to bring justice and set it in order. The battle has to be won before the throne rather than in the earth. Like a lawyer, we present a just case before God based on the finished works of Christ and we persevere until He vindicates it. Vengeance does not belong to us. In this parable, the judge represents God as a just judge. The widow represents the church, showing us in our humanity as being bankrupt. In Christ we are empowered, but in our humanity we are weak, like in Romans Chapter 7, wanting to do what is right but cannot. Until you discover the weakness of the flesh, you will be self-righteous and legalistic.
There is something in us from the fall. There was a law of covenant before the fall called the law of works. There is something that resides in us that makes us think we can merit something from God. That is religion. The Church thrives on this thinking, struggling to try to do something to merit something from God. So we have to understand the weakness of the Church and how we cannot merit anything. God’s emphasis is on perseverance. Heb 3:6,14 tells us that we understand those that are of the Household of faith persevere to the end. Those of the Household of faith are revealed through pressure. We didn’t just get a gift of faith or love, but also a gift of perseverance, a perseverance that does not waver according to conditions. We don’t look to self to fix things, but persevere until God does. The season we are in is necessary to remove mixture. God is going to unravel things in the church and in the nation through pressure. Not those who do great things but those who know how to persevere in the midst of all opposition, stand on the finished works of Christ and don’t flinch.
In Luke Chapter 18, He spoke a parable to them that men ought always to pray and not lose heart, not give up, not turn back. There was a Judge and a widow in a certain city. The widow had nothing and she was poor in spirit. She came to the judge saying, “Get justice for me from my adversary.” In Isaiah Chapter 59, it speaks of putting on armor, a garment of vengeance and bringing justice. No one was calling for justice or righteousness in the land. God looked at all the deception, lying, death and child sacrifice and was displeased because no one was calling for justice. We cannot be too caught up with our own needs and fail to call on God for justice for our nation. God has to free us from our self-centered life to call out for the earth and the nations that belong to Him. He gave Jesus the nations for His inheritance and He sat down to administrate it. God must have a people that agrees with that and calls for it to be and keep on calling until He vindicates and brings justice. This is where imprecatory Psalms, (e.g., Psa 94), are prayed to vindicate against our adversary. Vindicate our nation for the evil spirit of perversion behind killing babies and the distortions of marriage. We must win the battle in heaven so the earth can change. This is not a “Lay me down to sleep prayer” or requesting a new Rolls Royce. If we are self-centered, we no longer want what God wants. We must cry out for the justice that He wants.
It pleases the Lord when we cry out for Him to vindicate and get justice and stop evil influences. This is not commanding a spirit to go that is embedded in a culture, as in humanism and socialism. We don’t confront this with a prayer of command or confront it by ourselves. It takes the Church, a corporate appeal to heaven. Our greatest freedom is freedom from self because we can ignore the influence of evil if our comfort zones are unshaken. We are not much use to God until we get free from self and become aware of corporate mandates.
In Luk 18:4, says, “And he would not for a while.” Luk 18:7, “ And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” This does not happen over night. I’m thinking that in these cultural things as wickedness begins to get ripe and we persevere against it, it seems like God waits until iniquity gets full before He answers. It says in Revelation Chapter 6, that He waits for something that is not quite complete. In Genesis Chapter 18, God promised He would give Abraham the Ammorite nation but not until their iniquity is full. In Matthew Chapter 23, He told them they had fulfilled the sins of their forefathers. Then judgment came in A.D. 70. God is waiting for something in our nation and it will get ripe, but right in the middle of it there will be something powerful and glorious. The Church will not look the same. The powerful persevering cries will produce awakenings. We as the church should be going before the just Judge and presenting the illegal, evil situations of our nation for God’s vengeance. This will be won by the Church at the throne of God, not the throne in Washington.
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? I can tell you the answer is “Yes”. There will be persevering faith because it is His perseverance on the inside of us. Men that don’t have Him will fall away. There is always a falling away in pressure. The sower sows the Word in a type of land that does not have much depth in it and heat and pressure steal it. There is a temporary faith that has no depth and will not persevere, but real faith of Christ is not temporary. We must be steadfast and pray perseverance prayer until God untangles the mixture in the Church and vindicates the Church in the earth for His glory.
(This article was taken from a teaching given by Simon Purvis. He is the lead teacher at the Word of Life Teaching Center in Luflin,TX. Training is at 10:00am each Sunday. To contact him about speaking engagements or to purchase his 160 page study manual on the Kingdom of God, call Word of Life Teaching Center at 936-639-2000; Email: email@example.com)
In Matthew Chapter 16, Jesus said He will build His Church or ecclesia (Greek). Then He said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church and He would give us the keys to the Kingdom. “Ecclesia” is made up of two words, the word ek means out of and klesia comes from the Greek word which means to call. So, we the Church are called out of the world system and out of sin. Not only are we called out, but we are also called to the Lord God, to worship and serve Him. So we are not just called out, but called in also. The full perspective is that we are called out from and called into, in order that we may govern on behalf of our exalted King. So, when Jesus says He will build His ecclesia, He introduces a governmental term. We are to apply all truth and principles of the Kingdom to all social and cultural spheres of life, i.e., the seven mountains of cultural influence.
Nevertheless, some of us are feeling we have made too little progress in implementing Kingdom into every sphere, and sadly, the contemporary condition of our nation and the Church underscores that feeling. I don’t have all the answers, but I feel like part of the hindrance to our progress is an inadequate definition of “Church.” I’m not saying our definition is totally wrong, but I’m saying it is only a partial definition. For example, we could say the Church is a religious presence in the community and that would be correct, but that is not fully ecclesia. We could say the Church is a meeting place where Christians worship, where they fellowship and teach one another, and that would be true, but still only partially so. We could say the Church is a gathering of Christians who help each other and minister to the poor. That would be true, commendable and exemplary behavior, but it is still a partial definition. We could say the Church is the evangelizer to win converts to Christ, and it is that, but it is more than that. The Church is the house of prayer for all nations, and though it is, that is not fully what it is. The Church is a place of educating people in the principles of Christianity, yes, but it is more than that. Lastly, the Church is a refuge in a cruel world, yes, but it is more than that.
The most important factor in defining the Church as it relates to the Kingdom is the fact that, in the same breath, Jesus said He would build the Church and that He would give the Church keys to the Kingdom. If the Church does not embrace the Kingdom, it is keyless. When Jesus spoke of the Church and Kingdom, He was connecting them like they are supposed to be connected. Historically, we have had some problems with this: 1) In the dark ages, Church and Kingdom were institutionally joined and that left the definition of each blurred. It was the Dark Ages because, if it is dark in the Church, it is dark in the world. 2) Another thing that happened since 1830 when a teenage girl in England had a dream, and that disconnected Church and Kingdom. That amounted to about 2000 years of disconnection between Church and Kingdom. That produced what is called dispensationalism, which teaches that God came to deal with the Jews and when they rejected the gospel, then the Lord brought forth the Church. Then 2000 years later, He will get back to His Kingdom agenda and deal with the Jews again. So, the first error improperly connects Kingdom and Church, and the second totally severs them. Isn’t that amazing? Kingdom is not Church and Church is not Kingdom, but they are directly related and connected.
When Jesus introduced the word, ecclesia, there were no disciples so wowed by that word that they were falling out in the Holy Ghost or a trance. They knew biblically and culturally what He meant. Biblically, they knew that ecclesia was the Greek word that in the Old Testament Septuagint was the Hebrew word, qahal, which referred to Moses leading a Church in the desert. The Old Testament Church was God’s people called out of Egypt, called through the desert, called into Canaan. So Moses had an ecclesia. Culturally, the word ecclesia was used in their day by Greeks and Romans. The Greeks used this term to describe representative legislators called out of the citizenry to declare policy and govern things in their city-states. The Romans used this term to mean colonizing in the empire and spreading their influence, not just by killing enemies, but by sparing them and letting them be absorbed into Roman culture. For example, the city of Philipi was in Greece, but it was a Roman colony, with Roman garb, Roman diet, Roman culture. So, when Paul wrote to the believers in Philipi, he said their citizenship was in heaven, but they were called to that Roman colony to build a Kingdom colony. So, ecclesia, was not a foreign term and Jesus said He was going to build one that would not fail. The covenant with the Last Adam can’t fail. We can delay God’s progress in history, but nothing can defeat our King from total conquest. We can’t lose if we just obey and go forward.
Where Jesus spoke in Ceasaria Philipi in Matt. 16:18, was across from a mountainside that was known as the Gates of Hell, because it was dedicated to the altar of the Roman god, Pan. There were ongoing rituals there, slaughtering goats and letting their carcasses go into a river that went underground. If the carcass flowed down they knew their god accepted it. If the goat carcass got stuck, they went into a panic. The word panic comes from the Roman god, Pan. Jesus’ reference to the Gates of Hell was notice that His Church would be involved in aggressive spiritual warfare. God is a builder and battler.
Acts 19:32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. The word assembly there is ecclesia. The governing body of legislators in Ephesus is stirred up because Paul has come preaching the Kingdom and people are getting healed and delivered by handkerchiefs on their body. The Kingdom has shaken up the economy because the gospel is having impact and people are getting delivered from idolatry and worshiping Diana. The ripple effect of that was the silversmiths were no longer making money on statues, etc. Act 19:39 “But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. 40 “For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.” 41 After saying this he dismissed the assembly. They looked to the city ecclesia to to deal with the confusion caused by Paul and the team who came in as God’s mobile, traveling ecclesia. Let the sparks fly because there is a clash and confrontation of ecclesias going on now also.
Dennis Peacock says, “The ecclesia is the human steward of God’s Kingdom designed to do the following: mature God’s sons, co-rule with Christ, render righteous judgment and liberate the cosmos.” In our liberation is the liberation of the planet. That is in Romans Chapter 8. Creation groans for the maturation and manifestation of the sons and daughters of God.
Here are five perspectives and assignments that are defined by our understanding of ecclesia and our revelation of the Kingdom.
1. We need to move into the corporate anointing because ecclesia by definition is corporate. That is not just in a local church perspective but regions also need synergistic corporateness. God is in connecting. He insists on it.
2. If we see Kingdom and ecclesia extended through it, then we have to quit focusing on the Church as a sheep pen where their part is meeting everyone’s needs. We have actually developed in the Church an entitlement mentality because of this view. Instead of taking and consuming, we are called out of the kingdom of darkness to re-invade it with light. If we seek the Kingdom first, He will add all things to us. It is not either/or but both/and. I am a sheep but also a warrior. If I get wounded and beat up, I’ll get fixed up to get back in the battle.
3. We need to move from being a subculture in our nation to become the counter culture. An example of this is in China. The Church there has been a subculture a long time because of extreme persecution. There is still an underground Church, but there are people in upper echelons that are coming to Christ now also. There are apartment cell groups all over China. The Church has become a counter culture rather than just subculture. At some point, we must go beyond our survival mode mentality into dominion. We must move beyond existence to occupation. Subculture is not wrong, but we can’t just stay there. We are the light of the world.
4. We have to connect with more of the ecclesia in our city and region and do it without changing the name on our billboards and stationery. Your congregation and someone else’s congregation is a part of the Church, but it is not THE Church. Ecclesia is defined by city and regional government. In Revelation, there are seven churches represented by a seven-fold lampstand. If you turn that lampstand ninety degrees, you have one light. That is a picture of individuality but one corporate body. That does not mean perfect unity. It just means we have some agreement on the agenda of God that says we are responsible for our city, our region, our territory, our state, our nation. We are the responsible priests. If we could see this, we would be delivered from envy and competition and insecurity and sheep stealing. When I was pastoring I told the congregation, “If for some reason this does not seem to be the flow you are in or you don’t find a place to fit here and function well, we recommend several good churches in the city that you could go be a part of.” That is reality. We are not losing if people go where they can really be a part of the ecclesia that is called out to govern on behalf of our King.
5. Ecclesia is about occupying, stewarding and owning the field or the world. We are not renters because God is an owner. He owns the earth and we are called to steward it. In Matthew Chapter 16, Jesus said He would give the keys to the Kingdom. In Revelation Chapter 3, it says He will give the Church the key of David. Isaiah 22, is about a steward of a Davidic king’s treasure house.
Isa 22:15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, To Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household, 16 ‘What right do you have here, And whom do you have here, That you have hewn a tomb for yourself here, You who hew a tomb on the height, You who carve a resting place for yourself in the rock? 17 ‘Behold, the LORD is about to hurl you headlong, O man. And He is about to grasp you firmly 18 And roll you tightly like a ball, To be cast into a vast country; There you will die And there your splendid chariots will be, You shame of your master’s house.’ 19 “I will depose you from your office, And I will pull you down from your station. 20 “Then it will come about in that day, That I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 And I will clothe him with your tunic And tie your sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open. 23 “I will drive him like a peg in a firm place, And he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house.
This is powerfully prophetic for our day also because Jesus is still giving His ecclesia keys. In this Isaiah passage, it is simply saying that Shebna, who had the key will be removed and the key will be given to Eliakim. Shebna had been unfaithful. There are ministries today with access to millions, but their agenda is not God’s Kingdom. I believe God is going to transfer some keys. We will know when it happens, because when they get into the hands of faithful stewards, they will open doors that no man can shut and shut doors no man can open. I believe we are going to see that kind of authority in the Church through faithful stewards who are about building His Kingdom rather than their own. After persevering through all we have and having entered the Kingdom through tribulation, Acts 14:22, we have invested faithfulness to the Lord. Therefore, we should expect more Kingdom authority, because God rewards faithfulness. He has already given the keys, we just have to apprehend them. God’s ecclesia has keys to deal with gangs, to deal with unrighteousness in the market place, to deal with injustice in the civil government realm. It is time for the keys to come out and be used by the ecclesia.
Coming under the government of God is a process. It begins when we come to the Lord and receive His death, burial and resurrection. It justifies us and brings us to peace with God. Through His redemptive work of going to the cross, shedding His blood and giving His life for us, we are brought back to a right relationship with the Lord. It is called justification. The reason we receive the Holy Spirit is to bring us into unity and harmony with ourselves. When we come to the Lord, we receive the Lord and His divine nature, and something happens in our conscious will. However, our subconscious is down deep within us. Like an iceberg, our conscious will is about 10% above the water and the subconscious is about 90% below the water. So, we come to the Lord, receive Him, get justified and get back in right relationship with God and our thinking changes and our minds are renewed for the will of God. For a while, it seems like we are in a honeymoon stage where we seek the Lord and basically deal with surface stuff. In a short period of time however, something deep within begins to surface again, resentments, angers, ambitions, etc. All these little things begin to surface in our Christian walk. Sometimes when people receive the Lord they find it easy to think that they have arrived and all is unshakably fine. However, that is not the case if the deep-down subconscious is untouched.
In the subconscious is all the hidden drives, wanting to be accepted, wanting to be loved, wanting relationship, sexual drives and such. This is the big barrier that we have to deal with in our life. The first barrier is dealing with the conscious part and the external, surface things. Once we work through that, the subconscious begins to surface with all the issues in our hearts. There are so many books written about it saying inside of us is both the nature of God and the old nature that is sinful, like a white dog and a black dog within. All that is the conscious and subconscious warring with each other. When I am born again, the old man, the old nature passes away so I don’t have a sinful nature anymore. There are not two natures. It is not the nature of God fighting with the old man inside, but there is the flesh and the spirit. The old man had evil ambitions toward sin. The flesh (subconscious) is not evil, it is just weak, and that is because the flesh is self-serving.
Romans Chapter Seven is about this war. Romans Seven, is like God’s little rubber room dealing with this up and down struggle, happy one day and miserable the next. When we are born again, His divine nature comes in and there is something in our conscious mind that wants the will of God and we seek it and choose it. There is something down in the subconscious that has not yet surrendered to the government of God, even if we think we have surrendered. It is pretty easy to believe and vocalize that we want the will of God until the will of God touches one of the hidden drives within us. An example is when someone offends us and we get angry, the conscious part of us says to love them and pray for them. However, a war starts on the inside. Gal 5:17, calls this the war between the flesh and the Spirit. The spirit is the conscious part yielding to the Spirit, but the flesh is the subconscious that is not.
One of the major works of the Holy Spirit is to stop this division within self. Matthew 12, tells us that a house divided cannot stand. We cannot stand in our Christian walk and be victorious if we are divided inside. The subconscious is one of the major issues dealt with by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There were those around the turn of the century that experienced a great work, a great outpouring that was a work of the Spirit. The Pentecostals picked it up and made it about speaking in tongues. I believe speaking in tongues is a vital part of what God has, but the infilling of the Holy Spirit is not just about speaking in tongues. It is about dealing with the subconscious. The Scripture is very clear on this, but a lot of people got disillusioned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit by expecting everything to be fine just because you received it. We must learn how to work with the Holy Spirit as He deals with us. In the war inside of us, the conscious can yield to the will of God at the same time the subconscious rebels against it. The conscious can believe while the subconscious does not.
In Mark 9, the man brought his son that was demon possessed and wanted Jesus to cast the demon out. Jesus told him that all things are possible if he could only believe. The man said he believed but also added please help my unbelief. James talks about a double-minded person, dealing with this conscious and subconscious conflict inside. With our mouth we can tell someone we forgive them and inside be mad as a hornet. The created desires are deep within and when those desires that God created in us become self-serving, they become deceptive. We know the will of God in the conscious, but our drives are down in the subconscious and the drives in the subconscious can be wrong or evil when they are self-serving rather than governed by the government of God. For example, God is not against material possessions and money. The Word does not say money is the root of all evil. It is the love (eros) of money that must not govern our lives. We can use money but must not let money control us. Matthew 6, tells us we cannot serve two masters, God and mammon. The thing that makes materialism wrong is if the subconscious drives you to it.
In Christ, we are justified in the conscious part of us and we have peace with God, but you can have peace with God and not be in harmony with self. When you are not in harmony with yourself, you cannot be in harmony with anyone else. Getting offended signals something is out of harmony in your own life.
Rom 5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the redemptive work of Christ, we are restored in relationship with God. Where this all got off was preaching we get saved to go to heaven. That actually comes out of the subconscious of self-love. It is a self-serving gospel. You don’t get saved to go to heaven. We receive Christ to come back into a proper order with God so He can put us back in proper order with our self and with others. So when we put the Kingdom of God somewhere way off in the millennium, that caused people to sit around and wait for the Lord to come to bring the Kingdom. If that were the case, what then governs us? The answer is self only. When we lost the Kingdom in the early 1830’s, then we picked up a gospel of getting saved to go to heaven. We can’t find that gospel before then. We should receive the Lord to get back into proper order. Seek first the Kingdom, seek first the governmental order of God. Man came out of order in the garden, lost his relationship with God and then became divided inside. The inward drives were then to be self-serving. There was nothing wrong with wanting to build houses or to have a city or to have a proper culture, but in Genesis 11, building the tower of Babel was all self-serving. When we become self-serving, things become divisive and evil. Rather than being self-serving, getting right with God puts the focus on serving Him and His will.
When we are born again, the old man, the old nature passes away so we don’t have a sinful nature anymore. There are not two natures. It is not the nature of God fighting with the old man inside, but there are the flesh and the spirit. The old man had evil ambitions toward sin. The flesh (subconscious) is not evil, it is just weak, and that is because the flesh is self-serving. Romans Chapter Seven is about that war. When we are born again, God’s divine nature comes in and there is something in our conscious mind that wants the will of God and we seek it and choose it. There is something down in the subconscious that has not yet surrendered to the government of God, even if we think we have surrendered. It is pretty easy to believe and vocalize that we want the will of God until the will of God touches one of the hidden drives within us. An example is when someone offends us and we get angry, the conscious part of us says to love them and pray for them. However, a war starts on the inside. Gal 5:17 calls this the war between the flesh and the Spirit. The spirit is the conscious part yielding to the Spirit, but the flesh is the subconscious that is not.
Romans Chapter Seven shows the war within man himself, acting out of conscious will but reacting out of subconscious. We can only suppress the subconscious for a while, but it will surface when the circumstances come together or the heat is on. Whatever you put down there in abundance will come out your mouth at some point, without a conscious thought first. The conscious will of man was not designed to carry the burden of living holy. It will break down and the subconscious will pop up.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. [Flesh is the subconscious part of us that is not surrendered to the government of God.] For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find. In my conscious soul I will to love God, but something down inside of me acts differently. Galatians Chapter Five tells us that if we walk in the flesh, we cannot do the will of the Spirit and that if we walk in the Spirit, we cannot fulfill the flesh. We can be doing fine and suddenly an outcropping of the flesh, like anger, will pop out of us. We didn’t even realize it was there because it was not in the conscious but the subconscious. God can get us into unique circumstances to reveal and resolve subconscious issues.
Our walk is determined by the subconscious. We build habits in the subconscious and that is where and how our character forms. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Prov.23:7) There is a teaching that tries to make the heart the spirit of man, the reborn part of man. That is not true. The heart is the very issue of your character, the 90% that is deep within the subconscious. The work of the Holy Spirit is to indwell who I really am within.
In receiving Jesus Christ, I get justified. In receiving the Holy Spirit, I get sanctified. God intends for us to live holy by our character, not by the choice of conscious will. That’s why Jesus addressed the Pharisees as whited sepulchers and asked why they tried to say the right things when their hearts were evil. The reason Jesus could speak with such authority was not because of an anointing unique to Him but because He was unified in His heart. Both His conscious and subconscious were under the control of the Spirit. Saying we are filled with the Spirit means we are controlled by the Spirit.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 2 But the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh….
This shows us that the law of the Spirit works in the subconscious, not the conscious will of choice. We cannot be divided and live victorious. Most Christians break down where they do not have harmony within themselves. The Word says to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself (Matt.22:37-39), but if we are not in harmony with self, we can’t be with our neighbor. The outworkings of bad relationships are because something inside is out of order. We can either get that to resolve or stay dysfunctional and call it right. For example, if I am mad and want to be, I put pressure on my conscious mind to find a scripture and justify that for me.
Rom.8:3b ….God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. When we walk according to the Spirit, it means we are governed by it. When we walk by the flesh, we are governed by the inward drives that are self-serving and not surrendered to God. The biblical emphasis on being filled with the Spirit is to purify the subconscious. Pentecostals, instead of touching that, made the emphasis speaking in tongues.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. But He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;…. 16 And Jesus, when He had been baptized, went up immediately out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. Why did He come upon Jesus like a dove but the others like fire? There was nothing in Christ that needed purifying.
….and lighting upon Him. Mat 3:17 And lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as fire to those in the upper room. They had gone in there aggravated with one another, arguing over who was the greatest and who had the greatest ministry. Peter had put them all down saying he was the only faithful one that wouldn’t betray Christ. James and John had wanted to call fire down on a city that would not receive the Lord. When that refiner’s fire came and got down on the inside of them, something happened. Their subconscious was touched so deeply that they were no longer jealous and competitive.
Many Pentecostals think they are a little better Christian because they are baptized and speak in tongues. That contradicts the genuine humility that the Holy Spirit brings to refine in an infilling. Romans 5:5 tells us that this baptism sheds unselfish love in our hearts so that our subconscious and our motives and our drives become God-serving. After the upper room experience, Peter went down to a little town to preach and they had the same experience. Peter’s account of that said the Holy Spirit came to purify. He didn’t mention the gifts or speaking in tongues but just said it was a purifying work of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. It was fire, not a dove. It came to refine. We don’t know how to pray about what is going on inside of us, but the Holy Spirit does. The heart can be deceitful and we think we are right when we are wrong. The conscious mind does not know how to pray to fix that because it will be influenced by the inner drives.
In Peter’s rooftop experience, God told him that what He had cleansed was not to be called common by Peter. In Acts 15, they had an apostolic, elder meeting about circumcision and rituals of the law. They were upset that Peter had gone to the Gentiles and had given the keys of the Kingdom. The arguing was because of what had been built down into the subconscious of these Jewish people about being the chosen people and that did not include Gentiles as far as they were concerned.
Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. This passage does not mention speaking in tongues but the bottom line of purifying their hearts and the keys to the Kingdom here: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, water baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. We cannot enter the Kingdom without receiving the Spirit. Jesus told Nicodemus that a man must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. He did not say enter the Kingdom. Then He said man must be born of water and the Spirit, water baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. We don’t receive the Holy Spirit just to be Charismatics. We receive Christ to get right with God and receive His divine nature in our conscious will, but the subconscious is still out of harmony until the Holy Spirit comes into man’s subconscious and begins to refine it.
The day is coming when we will see Spirit-filled congregations. Ephesians 5:18 was not talking to individuals but to a congregation of people. This refiner’s fire can come to a group as on the day of Pentecost. That fire took out the selfish ambitions and they shared with people according to their need. All my life I have been around people who call themselves Christians, but they all act differently. I’m now realizing it is because we have parts of us that have and parts that have not been purified, and that is different in each of us.
Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. We dare not put “me” instead of God as our priority in life. When He comes by the power of the Holy Spirit, we come into harmony within and then we can enter into the rest Hebrews mentions. Harmony in our lives causes integrity which acts in authority and power. When we are in harmony, our words don’t fall to the ground, they produce. A husband or father that is in harmony within himself can speak and there is power in his words.
Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? A heart that is not under the control of the government of God is deceitful. People say let your conscience be your guide, but if that conscience is not led by the Spirit of God, it is not safe. Radical Muslims follow their conscience. Are they safe? Every time Paul mentioned his own conscience, he would say that the Holy Spirit would bear witness to it.
Jer 17:10 “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind. [He brings the refiner’s fire to it.] Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. This verse is not talking simply about being directed where to go, what job to take, etc. It is talking about being led by God to be transformed into the character of Jesus Christ. If the character is right, we will make the right choices in life.
Rom 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,…. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; The Holy Spirit helps us pray about the issues of our own hearts. We may think we are being spiritual to pray in tongues but God is able then to deal with the issues of my heart and surface something that He wants to refine. No one else can transform you into the image of Christ.
Rom 8:27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And then 28 all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, —that purpose being to be conformed to the image of His son. That is our destiny. Creation is waiting for us to become sons in the image and nature of Christ and only the Spirit of God knows how to refine us to get that done.
Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; He loves us enough to not leave us unrefined and divided, full of offense and fear.
(This article was taken from a teaching given by Simon Purvis. For CDs of Pastor Purvis’ messages or to contact him about speaking engagements or to purchase his 160 page study manual on the Kingdom of God, call Word of Life Church at 936-639-2000; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I invite you to fill in the blank: In spite of ______________, the Kingdom of God is advancing. The Kingdom is advancing in spite of anything you can put in that blank. You are part of something that is bigger than you are and it is still standing and it is still advancing. (1) The wall is still standing. You and I may only be small pebbles in its makeup but we are part of the wall that is still standing. (2) You and I may not even vaguely resemble King David but we are part of David’s kingly, warring company. (3) You and I may not be Gideon but we are part of the Gideon company that does not consider the odds. We consider Him who has called us. (4) You and I may not be the whole bucket of water that is being thrown on the fire but we are drops in that bucket that are putting out flames. (5) You and I may not be the hands on the clock but, behind the face, we are some of those parts that enable those notable hands to advance.
Prophet Isaiah (9:7) assures us that There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. The Kingdom of God is the government of God in action—God’s will being acted out (Matt.6:10)—and we are assured in the Word of God that His government will increase with a never-ending increase.
INCREASE IN SPITE OF THE NEGATIVES
In spite of the angle of descent of morals and values, in spite of what the world money market looks like, in spite of what the state of the union looks like, we stand on the brink of a destiny that our forefathers never imagined (Jer.33:3)—But it will require moving from being waiters and observers to acting. It will require shifting, modifications, transitions and intense exertion: the “violent” action of Matt.11:12 which means “intense exertion.” It is not violent in the sense of doing persons harm but in the sense of putting forth effort (i.e., intense exertion) in opposition to things that oppose purpose. We must oppose darkness like opposing a rattlesnake trying to crawl up in our bed. We must do it for our King and for a generation.
WORLD SYSTEM INVADED
Babies are typically considered quite vulnerable. They are very small, very soft and simply cannot defend themselves. A baby cannot hold a sword or run fast to escape. Yet, a powerful, determined king could not destroy the baby Jesus. When thousands of babies had been slaughtered, the king’s powerful reach could not touch baby Jesus (Matt.2:16). So powerfully, so authoritatively was this world system invaded that it could not touch even one tiny baby who was foreordained to be the embodiment of the advancing Kingdom of God in this earth (compare Mk.2:12). Rome had conquered the world but it didn’t know what to do with a carpenter from Nazareth (Lk.23:4). He walked about freely demonstrating the Kingdom of God (Lk.11:20). He confounded the proponents of false religion (Matt.12:2-5, 24-28). They set a guard on His tomb but could not prevent the invigorating power of the rule of God over death nor could they prevent Jehovah-Sabaoth’s messenger from rolling back the sealed tombstone. The rule and authority of God to finish what He started is unstoppable.
YOU HAVEN’T SEEN EVERYTHING
About two months ago we were battling with financial and physical matters. Every solution I could think of was blocked and I couldn’t see any resolve, even on the horizon. Through the course of those days it seemed that a sense of panic would creep up in my gut. Honestly, I had come to the conclusion that we were in a pit that was hopeless.
After wrestling with this insurmountable dilemma for about two weeks, and arriving at certain negative conclusions (trying to choke back panic and hopelessness), I dreamed that I was standing in a wide-open place. I noticed a man walking toward me. When he got right in front of me he stopped and looked me right in the eye. He raised his hand, pointed at me and, matter-of-factly said, “You haven’t seen everything.” Then I woke up.
My foregone conclusions had me convinced that I had exhausted all possibilities because I felt I had seen everything (in all my musings and mental exercises) that might be brought to bear on the difficulties, and those things just simply were not available to us as a solution.
A trembling began down deep inside as I realized that the word in the dream was absolutely correct. I had not seen everything. Within 72 hours the whole thing turned around! Please understand that you have not seen everything. Not only have you not seen everything, but there are things that have not yet been formed in your behalf. (Compare Job 26:12-14; Isa.48:6-7; 1Cor.2:9) The cloud “the size of a man’s hand” did not begin to form until Elijah’s servant walked down to the sea and looked the seventh time (1K.18:44). Because the Kingdom is advancing and bringing with it facilitation for purpose “some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet.” The Kingdom is advancing and, as you are in the Kingdom, it is advancing you with it.
WE CAN DO FAR MORE NOW WITH MORE RESULTS
In this year we can do what we could not do 100 years ago, even 50 years ago. We ministered to the Attorney General in another country while he was in the reception area of his president’s office waiting for his appointment. We spoke with him over the phone connection of a laptop computer.
(1) Annual report
Recently we received the annual report from our server for our blog page (http://martygabler.com). In 2012, 60 countries visited our blog page but in 2013, 78 countries visited our blog page. We receive regular hits from several Middle East countries including Israel. Just in the last few days there were visits from Mozambique, Serbia, Mexico, Argentina, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Germany, Philippines, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Colombia, Australia, Egypt and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The list for the last 30 days is much longer. Some of those people have left comments on the blog page in broken and misspelled English thanking us for the truths we post, telling us what it has meant to them and asking us to please continue. Yes, the Kingdom is even advancing technologically.
Face Book has brought us back into contact with family members, old friends and neighbors of mine and Kathy’s that we haven’t seen or heard from in many years. By means of that bridge we are, once again, able to speak into their lives. People that we pastored in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s have contacted us and those contacts have served to bridge other gaps of relationships that faded away over time. But those threads in the fabric of the advancing Kingdom have been rejoined for more effectiveness.
(3) The other side of the world
Within minutes of their occurrence, we receive reports of miracles and miraculous intervention from the other side of the globe. Prophecy, declaration and intercession are all in real-time with the events. We can put someone in another country inside 24 hours or put training materials there within a few days or put materials there in a few seconds by emailing files. We have emailed files within minutes to countries 1,000’s of miles away to become part of the curriculum of brand new Bible schools.
(4) People getting saved while reading magazine
Business people have been saved while reading prophetic declarations in FICMI magazine (Jorge and Lorena Gamboa-Free In Christ Ministries). These ministers designed the magazine to reach the lost. It is placed in businesses all over the greater Houston area. They are putting our monthly prophetic declarations in the magazine in place of a horoscope.
(5) Prophecy over man elected governor
In another country I prophesied to a man that he would go into politics and open doors for the Kingdom to advance in his country. At that time, he was not involved in politics. He ended up running for governor. He was opposed by a mafia-backed candidate. The day before the election, they had him thrown in jail and the newspaper had already printed the front page announcing his opponent’s victory. BUT he won the election while in jail and the newspaper had to reprint. He has since opened doors of opportunity for the Kingdom to advance in his country.
A WIDE DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY . . . NOW
This, indeed, is the day the Lord has made and this is the day of His Kingdom advancing. A very real, key factor in ministries being able to go through those opportune doors, in being able to advance, is the giving of the people of God. Giving facilitates advancement. So. . . we will take advantage of every means and media to preach the Kingdom of God, to advance the Kingdom of God (Lk.4:43; 9:2; 9:60), for a wide door of opportunity is open to us in 2014. “For a wide door of opportunity for effectual [service] has opened to me [there, a great and promising one], and [there are] many adversaries.” (1Cor.16:9, Amp) The Kingdom is always advancing against opposition but the rule and authority of God to finish what He started is unstoppable.
The disciples were already tired from feeding 5,000 to 10,000 people in a long day of ministry with Jesus, and here they were still awake at 4:00 am in the morning, the fourth watch. They were in a boat, out to sea, surrounded by pitch blackness and sounds of boisterous wind and waves battering the boat. They are short of breath and their ears are tingling from an adrenaline surge because they thought they had just seen a ghost coming toward them. Their throats are stinging from screaming out in fear! In that moment, even though Jesus called out, “It’s me, don’t worry,” would it even enter your mind to answer, “Oh, then bid me come to you on the water?”
Matthew 14 tells us that the boisterous wind didn’t die down until minutes later when Jesus actually got in the boat! Yet in the dark storminess Peter says, “Lord, if it is You, BID me COME.” Notice his first word was “if.” That “if” indicates he was still not totally sure if this was a ghost or not! So with one leg over the side of the boat, he intends to put his life on the line to test and see if it is Jesus or a ghost. I’m thinking James and John grabbed Peter’s coattail yelling, “Peter have you gone completely mental? If a ghost came after us in the middle of this stormy darkness, don’t you think he might lie and tell you he is Jesus?”
Nothing about that situation was logical. Peter’s response was not logical because that cry in Peter did not come up out of his logic. Peter was known to be rash and rambunctious, but that cry did not come out of his recklessness. That cry came up out of the destiny in Peter. That cry came out of the yearning to do what Jesus was doing. That cry came out of an inner knowing that he was born to walk on water. I don’t know if you are ready to hear it, but we too were born to walk on water. It is in our spiritual DNA. It is in there to do what Jesus did, to live like Jesus lived, confident that man still has dominion over the earth and its natural elements just as God originally intended in Genesis. Jesus’ answer confirms this. He said to Peter, “Come on.” “BID me COME,” was Peter saying “Let me do what you are doing. Let me walk in dominion over the sea. Lord, BID me COME,” and Jesus said, “COME ON.” Sinking was not Peter’s lack of faith in Jesus. He was thoroughly confident in who Jesus was and the authority He walked in or his feet would not have even been wet. The reason Peter sank was because he walked in dominion for a few moments but then suddenly doubted he could do that!
That “BID me COME” is in the heart of all of us. It is deep calling unto deep and JESUS is saying to us too, “COME ON!” There is no need for us to live a watered-down version of what God had in mind for our lifetime. We don’t have to leave a wimpy, skimpy heritage. Fear may hold us in the boat and tempt us to refuse the dominion mandate, but there is a stronger force at work in us. There is a heart’s cry, “Lord, BID me COME.” We may consider just stepping back from sonship and dominion because we have not seen it or lived it vividly yet, but dominion is not about being an experienced son, it is about being an obedient son. There will be times in all of us that the cry of “BID me COME” stirs in our breast and we have a choice to respond to the Lord’s, “Come on.”
Hopefully, we will not shrink back and think we can opt out of choosing to respond. If we refuse to cooperate with the God’s intent stirring within us, there will be repercussions. For one, not moving forward in God’s direction can leave us to simply become a victim of our present circumstances instead of changing them. For another, we get cheated out of destiny and fulfillment that would make our lifetime bring glory to God. For another, we suffer the consequences of disobedience, (which are too varied and numerous to list here.) Believe it or not, just like it was hard for Jonah to fight cooperating with God, it is not easy for a son to ignore or defy the cry of a son’s heart.
“BID me COME,” is a longing to experience the Kingdom of God. “BID me COME,” is a longing to demonstrate the Authority of God so that my life is more than typical, average Christianity. It is a longing from the heart of our Father to provoke generations to come to reach their potential in Christ. The only way we will leave a weak, uninspiring heritage is if we ignore that cry of “BID me COME” within us. I know I am not a young thing to tackle such a quest, but I also know that even time and age have to bow to the purposes of God. The empowering truth is that “BID me COME” trumps age. We are never too old or too young to take ground for His purposes.
They said of Jesus: “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” This is the kind of man that exemplifies a son that creation groans for, the kind of man that believes God delegated authority to mankind in Genesis that is still in effect. Jesus lived as the kind of man that would overcome opposing circumstances and even natural boundaries to bring circumstances into alignment with God’s will, the kind of son who does what he sees the Father doing. We can do this. Dominion is doable. I have a good friend who is gearing up to take dominion over land in Israel that will affect the future and destinies of a generation there. Her plan is incremental, purchase by purchase, life by life. She’s not doing this because she is experienced at it, but because it is an obedience. It’s what she sees the Father doing. I know another lady that was told when she was twenty-three that she would not live long. Her response was, “That can’t be. I have too much to do.” And now in her fifties, she was proven right. She has lived to build an orphanage in Africa that she makes regular trips to maintain and expand. By her decision and words she took dominion over a diagnosis and continues to do what she sees the Father doing. We just have to decide whether we are going to live on the bench with condemnation and fig leaves in fear or doubt, or put on our cape and leotard with the big golden “S” for SON and reach beyond natural to Super-natural and do what Father said we could and would and should. That is participating and cooperating with the prayer, “Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
We are being equipped so that the Kingdom of our God can advance in us and through us. It’s going to involve taking dominion and bringing God’s order into all the mountains of culture and into individual lives and into circumstances and into history. Not every act of dominion is going to be as quick as stopping the wind and waves because changing the powers-that-be may take a while in some cases, but let’s do this. Let’s be sons that reach for what’s in reach. Let’s be the sons that bring the order that creation is groaning for. It starts with crying out, “Bid me Come, Lord.”
The purposes of an invisible God are served by a visible creation. We are the visible representation of the unseen heavenly realm. It all culminated in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus now dwells in us and enables us to be God’s visible, tangible point of rule and authority on earth. The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God go hand in hand. You don’t get one without the other.
It is all by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not just kings and priests so we can have titles. We are so, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who has the mind of the Father and He will guide us in those aspects of being kingly and priestly so that we may be what the Father wants us to be in those aspects.
The Holy Spirit is the One who has constant communication with heaven which is the seat of God’s authority. The key to man being able to express the Kingdom of God here on earth is the presence of the Holy Spirit. As it has been so well said, the Holy Spirit is the most important Person on earth. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father—at the right hand of majesty on high. He is there in the presence of God. The presence of God is not static, He is active—constantly active.
God’s plan is not to rule in the earth by sitting on a big gold throne in Jerusalem and sending out messages and orders and commissions and mandates by email and texting. His plan is to be upon His throne in the heaven of heavens. The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. (Psa 115:16) Why is it like that? Is the earth simply a place of woes and defeats that we have to try to tolerate until we have an opportunity to leave it? Is the earth ours so we can grow corn and cows and have great food and enjoy ourselves on holidays? Or is it so that we can be His representatives, fully representing His Person and character by saying what He would say if He were present and by doing what He would do if He were present?
The devil’s plan from the beginning was to simply separate Adam and Eve from the presence of God. He did not have to kill Adam and Eve. He still doesn’t have to kill people today. As we go about ministering across the nation we occasionally come across people who express concern as to whether or not it is God’s will to heal them. They wonder, “Is God doing this to me? or “Is the devil doing this to me to get me out of the picture?” The devil actually doesn’t have to get himself involved in all that messy sort of entanglement. All he has to do is somehow, craftily provide opportunity for a wedge to get driven between us and the Communicator of heaven—The Holy Spirit.
Kathy and I grew up around church kids and minister’s kids. We know many for whom hurts and disappointments drove mean wedges between them and the Holy Spirit. That resulted in their not wanting anything to do with ministers or churches or Christians and. . . eventually God. The devil didn’t have to kill them to stop their progress in the destiny they were born with. The kids I’m talking about are ones that the obvious Hand and purpose of God was upon them. All satan has to do, in many cases, to bring a screeching halt to purposeful progress is to ask, “Did God say?” (Gen.3) A doubt offered and a doubt received is a perfect pair of brakes to stop most any vehicle. “Well, if God loved you, this would be a certain way and the other thing would be what ‘it ought to be’.” Just because our lives are not perfect does not mean that God doesn’t love us.
A body builder by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t get that way because God made his environment perfect. He got that way by pumping, pressing against iron. Let me say that another way: he worked with resistance. He didn’t stop or go another direction when the great resistance of weighty iron was presented to him. His experience in resisting iron was that every time he would push the iron up, the iron—through its weight—would push down. He consistently worked with that resistance to build a championship physique whereby he was able to rule in the world of body builders. The perfect environment that brought him through to championship was one of resistance.
The mighty ship that crosses oceans with great loads of valuable cargo was not meant to be tied up to the dock while the waves tossed and the wind howled out at sea. The ship was designed and built to ply the seas and its time in harbor at dock was meant to be for resupplying so that it could get back out upon the seas it was built for. The reason for a big harbor isn’t so that more ships may get into it and reside there, it is so that more ships may be supplied and equipped more efficiently to get back out on the seas as quickly as possible. And then once out at sea the bow must push its way through the resisting waves and currents to get to its point of delivery. We are built, like the great ships, to handle resistance and cut through resistance. Progress and profit only come from the ships that ply the seas.
It is up to our God/King to sit upon His throne in the heaven of heavens and delegate and it is up to us to take that authority and enablement and resist the “press of weight” and “cut through waves” and “run through troops”. David spoke in the past tense saying, “I have run through a troop.” It was something he had already done by the power of His God and wrote of it to testify to us so that we might take courage and do likewise. You were born to run through the enemy—not just one small one— but through a troop of them. You do not have to abide the enemy and certainly do not have to cower before him. You can “run through” because it is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, and be the Communicating, Governing and Empowering Factor in our lives!
We need the power of Holy Spirit in order for God to be able to get us from point A to point B. The blessings of God stem from the fact that God has a Son and a purpose to glorify that Son because that Son has a destiny. God will take a person from point A and, no matter how impossible it seems, get them to point B to participate in fulfilling some aspect of His Son’s destiny in advancing His Kingdom.
God’s government is active in this world today. It is not by something on the order of the waving of a magic wand. That government is active through sons/daughters that are indwelled by the powerful Person called Holy Spirit. Every son/daughter of God carries in you the same authority that Jesus did (Jn.20:21). Everything that needs to be done in this earth is already in you and I. Compare the example of Adam naming the animals. God turned him loose to name the animals because it was already in Adam. All it needed was for the Governor to authorize the release. God releases us to “get it done” by the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
There have been unknown, unnamed people who have had an impact on a nation because they were in a place where God wanted them to be to release what He had put in them to release. God can put you in a position where someone else can open a door for you that you would have never been able to pry open on your most determined day.
We must be careful not to undersell ourselves. All of us have undersold what God has put in us for appointments and we have kept our mouths shut because we have focused on our individual value without consideration for what God has put in us. David’s brothers only considered him as their bothersome little brother when they told him to go back home and tend to those few sheep. Thank God he did not limit himself to the considerations his brothers limited him to. It was evident, when he faced Goliath, where David’s considerations were: “And David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1Sa 17:45) Goliath came against David with only consideration of who he was within himself but David came against Goliath with only consideration of who God was in him.
As long as we do not see who or what we are in Christ, we are not going to act at that level. You are more than your constituent parts, i.e., you are more than bone and muscle and more than arms and legs and emotions. …the Spirit… dwells with you and shall be in you. (Jn.14:17) Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. (Jn 14:23) Now we must give Him release through our voice and through our actions. We are our constituent parts plus the Living Christ. After Jesus announced that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him, He told His disciples to go. It was His valedictory address announcing to them that it was now their time to release the sovereign activity of the Father.
The Kingdom of God is not just something we believe and carefully add to our theological belief system but is the authority of God in action—in us and through us. The Kingdom of God is the government of God and the government of God is exercised through the sons of God. The Kingdom of God is the redemptive action of King Jesus here and now in this earth and, if need be, advancing directly against the tide of a subverting and obtuse culture.
The active voice of the Kingdom of God on earth is the ecclesia (Gk. “ekklesia” pronounced ek-klay-seé-ah). We use this particular word for “church” when actually in the Greek it means “called-out ones.” One source has it that ekklesia was the name given to the governmental assembly of the city of Athens, duly called out by proper officers and possessing all political power including the administration of justice—and that is with reference to actions of a judge. The word was in use before the New Testament was written and, when inspiring the writers of Holy Scripture, was chosen by Holy Spirit who was attempting to show believers what they were to be about when they were assembled. If we go merely by the religious/cultural view today, we would understand the voice of “the church” to be one of continual petition for things that would maintain us in our comfort zones. But if we forsake a modern, western mindset and get into the thinking of first century believers who understood the pure meaning of “ekklesia” in their times, we would realize that the voice of heaven on earth is a governmental one either allowing or disallowing, which would be sufficient to stay the malevolent powers of darkness which are vehemently attempting to thwart the advancement and practice of redemptive, divine government in culture. The called-out, authorized, righteous-character citizens of heaven must continually contradict darkness by verbal affront and command. Put simply, we must lift our voices in declarations of the known will of God and pray imprecatory prayers (e.g., Ps.5, Ps.35, Ps.56, Ps.69, Ps.83) against institutional evil that the Light of God’s Kingdom may break in upon the dark minds of lost humanity, That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.(Ps.83:18)
The Kingdom of God in action is each believer living in the moment. Kingdom action is now… not in a few months or a few years to come. Kingdom action takes place wherever and whenever sons of God are present. But we must live in the moment, not in past failures or regrets nor in the future where we are convinced we will be something we are not now. In order to “heal those who are sick and tell them the Kingdom has come” (Lk.10:9) we must be committed to the Kingdom action of healing. Be in Kingdom action at all times to show others the action of the Kingdom. Less debate/theological argument and more redemptive action will turn the heads of an, otherwise, rebellious culture. 47 “The chief priests and Pharisees said, What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs (evidences, miracles). 48 If we let Him alone to go on like this, everyone will believe in Him and adhere to Him.” (Jn.11:47-48, Amp)
The Kingdom of God in action is the continual moving, shifting and transitioning with the times and places that the King is working in us and working us into. If my forefathers and mothers had not left Germany, Austria, Ireland and England in the 1800’s, I would not be in the relationships I am in now and, because of events affecting them in that time-period, I may never have been born. You could likely say the same about your forebears. Many of those predecessors acted violently, that is, out of the norm and made great sacrifices so the King could shift and transition them. And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize–a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]. (Matt 11:12 , Amp) There are people who do not just let things happen to them, they make decisions for the Kingdom purposes of God and act with intense exertion. In spite of the angle of descent of morals and values in this nation, we stand on the brink of a destiny that our forefathers never imagined. But it will require shifting, modifications, transitions and intense exertion to see it in reality.
I have been asked on several occasions, “How do you start a ministry?” My answer is, “Be a ministry and you won’t have to start one.” Many years ago, when I was pastoring, we went to the bank to borrow money to build a larger facility. The banker asked only one question, “Reverend Gabler, what are you doing now that you need my $1.2 million to do better?” It effectively shocked me into reality.
Some “cruise-liners” are going to have to be modified into “battleships” like our nation did in WWII. That is, we are going to have to start voicing and doing and applying resources and effort into those things that “win the battle,” whatever the cost. “Ardent zeal” and “intense exertion” (Matt.11:12) will not be foreign to those who would “take the Kingdom by force” and speak and act in the King’s authority. Some “plows” are going to have to be “beaten into swords.” Some energy that we are putting into the “good thing” is going to have to be shifted into the “God-thing.” Many will have to transition from slave and victim mentality to son and overcomer and land-owner mentality.
In this warring climate of history, there are people who are realizing that Holy Spirit has been speaking but you have allowed people and misplaced priorities to distract you. There are some who were participant in Kingdom action but not now. Action stopped at some blurry, busy time after you got saved or after you received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit or when God got you through “that difficult time” a few years ago. Since then, you have just been coasting along expecting a calendar date and eschatological event to arrive when you will be something you are not now.
The best way to get into action is to allow Holy Spirit to do His active work in us and empower us so that we may participate in His powerful, redemptive work that will bring us into the destiny of the King. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God…(Rom.15:18-19)
(This article is taken from Marty & Kathy’s ministry magazine, SEEC Magazine Volume 17 Issue 2. You may read issues of SEEC Magazine by clicking here: https://martygabler.com/magazine/)
by Marty Gabler
Not knowing the woman was a witch, I approached her to pray for her in the prayer line. (In another city a witch called a church that advertised a prophet would be there and they announced that they would be in the meeting that night. They sat front and center, apparently in an attempt to intimidate me.) I had preached about the power of Jesus to deliver people from the power of satan. She came forward with many others as I gave the call for those who desired to be delivered. As I walked up to her, she moaned and fell backward regurgitating a smelly black liquid. Three intercessors were immediately there and began to minister to her.
The following night we were sitting with the pastor and some church leaders at a Valentine banquet. I pointed over at a nearby table and asked the pastor who that lady was because I had not seen her in any of the meetings. He laughed and said, “That is the witch who was delivered last night!” I did not recognize her because she looked completely different. The pastor informed us that she had a very busy time at work that day. People would walk up to her and ask her why she was so beautiful and why she looked so different. They would walk up to her office door and just look at her because there was such a contrast in her appearance from what they had known.
Lights and appliances would turn on and off in her home all by themselves and furniture would move around since she had become a witch. The morning after her deliverance, she walked into her kitchen to make breakfast. Her blender turned on by itself. She said, “You will no longer do this for I am delivered by the Name of Jesus!” The blender turned off and she was no longer bothered by such incidences. That night at the banquet, Kathy and I participated in her wedding ceremony.
EVIDENCE FROM THE WORD OF GOD
Two evidences that Jesus gave that the Kingdom of God is here and operating in the earth are Matt.12:28 and Luke 10:9.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (KJV)
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come on you. (Literal Translation)
Lk 10:9 And heal the sick in it, and say to them, The kingdom of God has drawn near to you. (Literal Translation)
Lk 10:9 heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’ (The Message) This is not verbiage relating to time but rather to proximity. It is not speaking of when the Kingdom comes but where it is, i.e., on your doorstep.
It is easy to get oneself caught up in fear and despair with current events and not realize that Third Heaven is pressing into first heaven while devastating second heaven. Consider this revealing Psalm: Psa 2:1 Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? 2 Earth-leaders push for position, Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks, The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers: 3 “Let’s get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah!” 4 Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing. At first he’s amused at their presumption; 5 Then he gets good and angry. Furiously, he shuts them up: 6 “Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion? A coronation banquet Is spread for him on the holy summit.” 7 Let me tell you what GOD said next. He said, “You’re my son, And today is your birthday. 8 What do you want? Name it: Nations as a present? continents as a prize? 9 You can command them all to dance for you, Or throw them out with tomorrow’s trash.” 10 So, rebel-kings, use your heads; Upstart-judges, learn your lesson: 11 Worship GOD in adoring embrace, Celebrate in trembling awe. 12 Kiss Messiah! Your very lives are in danger, you know; His anger is about to explode, But if you make a run for God–you won’t regret it! (MSG)
“There is a mystery… The Kingdom of God is here; but instead of destroying human sovereignty, it has attacked the sovereignty of Satan. The Kingdom of God is here but instead of making changes in the external, political order of things, it is making changes in the spiritual order and in the lives of men and women…
The Kingdom of God which is yet to come in power and great glory is actually present among men in advance in an unexpected form to bring to men in the present evil Age the blessings of the Age to Come… Matt.12:28 clearly says that the Kingdom of God has entered into the present evil age.
The mystery of the Kingdom is this: The Kingdom of God is here but not with irresistible power. The Kingdom of God has come, but it is not like a stone grinding an image to powder… it is like a man sowing seed. It does not force itself upon men… They must receive it; the response must come from a willing heart and a submissive will. ” (G.E. Ladd)
Healing is an irrefutable evidence of the presence of a Higher Government in the earth. During worship in a conference I received a word of knowledge concerning damage to the left side which was causing nerves to die. After I returned to my seat there was a commotion in the back of the room of about 500 people. A young woman in a wheelchair who had nerve damage from falling down a flight of stairs was instantly healed. The nerves in her left side had died and, in spite of what specialists had attempted, it was spreading to the rest of her body. The next morning a man from her church told me that their church didn’t even believe in word of knowledge!
In another meeting a lady had dead nerves in her left arm and had no feeling in that arm. She was instantly healed and a couple of days later was sharing the healing story with an unsaved relative. After hearing what Jesus had done, the relative accepted Jesus as Savior!
A man walked up recently at a conference where I was a speaker. He said that I had given a word of knowledge at his church about six months prior. The word of knowledge was about liver disease. He claimed the healing. Although he had never drunk alcohol, the doctor had said he had the liver of an alcoholic. Two months later he had his liver checked. The doctor said that his liver was normal.
Several people have announced that they were disappointed after words of knowledge went forth. After being instructed to put their hand on a lump or growth they had, they discovered it was already gone before they could feel it go down! One man’s grown children had never seen him without a large growth on the side of his neck but it disappeared before he could get his hand on it. There are dozens of similar stories to the ones I have shared.
We are instructed by our Lord to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It goes without saying that (1) we are to expect that Kingdom to come as we pray and (2) we are the ones through whom that Kingdom is demonstrated. Creation is groaning for the manifestation of the sons of God who have given themselves over to the redemptive rule of God and allow that rule to be extended through them.
by Kathy Gabler
When we realize, as did Pharaoh, that a vision or dream is significant, we must first understand the dream before we can interpret it. Gen 41:15 “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.” “Understand” in Gen. 41:15 is from the Hebrew word, “shama`” (shaw-mah’), which means to hear, to have power to hear, to listen and give heed, to obey, to consider diligently, to discern, or to summon.
Daniel was a man of God, like Joseph, whose understanding also preceded interpretation. Daniel 5:12, lists Daniel’s qualities in significant sequence: Daniel had 1) an excellent spirit, and 2) knowledge (the power of knowing, wisdom, intelligence, reason), and 3) understanding, 4) interpreting of dreams and 5) shewing of hard sentences (solving riddles) and 6) dissolving (to unravel, to free) of doubts. Notice that understanding came before interpretation. It is important also to note the two qualities that preceded understanding: 1) an excellent spirit and 2) the power of knowledge, wisdom. Both of these qualities indwell believers since the excellency of Christ, the Anointed One and the Truth Himself, dwell in the believer. And as surely as He dwells in us, He makes available to us the secret (the counsel of God) to understand and interpret (hear and heed the thoughts of God) in dreams as Jeremiah 23:18 reveals: “For who hath stood in the counsel (“cowd” – a secret, secret consultation, intimacy, assembled in session) of the Lord . . . and hath marked (“qashab” – heeded, paid attention) to his word? So through intimacy with God, we gain insight into the mysterious symbolism of dreams and visions. First we “diligently consider” the message or symbolism of a dream. When crossing a language barrier through an interpreter, the bi-lingual person can either translate each word exactly, (which is not always a coherent thought or culturally correct to the hearer); or the bi-lingual person can interpret, using any and all appropriate words to get the meaning of the speaker across to the hearer. Understanding a dream can at first seem piecemeal, like an incoherent, direct “translation” because it involves exacting each possible symbolic meaning of the settings or activities or atmosphere or conversations in a dream. But the process of understanding, “considering diligently and discerning” the symbolic pieces of a dream, is like gathering the materials to build a bridge. When all the pieces are lined out and the bridge is assembled, we have a path from inquiry to insight. As we cross over that bridge, the destination comes into view or opens up to us.“Interpret”is the Hebrew word “Pathar” (paw-thar`), which means to open it up. So through understanding we grasp thewhat of a dream and through interpretation we grasp the why or its purpose for the dreamer!
The understanding of God-given dreams and visions draws a path to some aspect of destiny, and the interpretation is an enabling to walk it out. The secret revealed in Jeremiah 12:18 stressed two things: 1) know consultation in intimacy with God and 2) heed His word. We must be diligent to understand God-given dreams and then be as diligent to embrace the interpretation or truth revealed. Jeremiah 23:28, 29, 32 paraphrased: ‘The inspired man that has a dream with a prophetic, inspired meaning, should take action, tell the dream; and he that has my word, my decree, my cause, my message should speak my word faithfully. For a word from God will burn like fire and like a hammer break the rock (or those high, lofty, impenetrable strongholds, those secure places and fortresses), into pieces. In other words, a Word from God will impact us and break down those high, lofty strongholds of imagination that bind us or keep us from being renewed in our thoughts and transformed into the image of Christ! So we must not go astray or stagger by treating God’s communiques through dreams and visions with lightness, recklessness, or frivolity.
After recognizing a dream is significant, we must be diligent to understand God-given dreams and then be as diligent to embrace the interpretation or truth revealed. In the last article we stressed that understanding of symbolism is usually a prerequisite to interpretation of dreams or visions; for understanding God-given dreams and visions makes a path or gives direction while the interpretation equips us with insight or mandate. Let me stop and stress that we are talking about more than natural understanding. Remember Daniel’s qualities were in significant sequence: Daniel had 1) an excellent spirit, 2) the power of knowing, wisdom, intelligence, reason, 3) understanding, 4) interpreting of dreams, 5) solving riddles, and 6) dissolving of doubts. Natural understanding, that is not influenced by an excellent spirit, (the Anointed One in us), is limited to our emotions, mindsets and experiences; so it is important that we subject our understanding to the Spirit to have a full, unbiased perception.
There will be times when understanding does not require an intricate examination and piecemeal breakdown of a dream as we previously discussed. Understanding can be immediate: 1) when the dream or vision is literal, a rehearsal with precise details and no symbolism, like the dream in Matt 1:20: But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, and like the vision in Luke 1:11: And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord . . . the angel said unto him, . . . thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
2) when the Spirit of Truth simultaneously imparts both understanding and interpretation of the dream: Matt 27:19: When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him, or 3) when the symbolism is obvious and confirmed: Acts 10:17-20, Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean,. . . the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
Symbolism is the use of signs, symbols or occurrences as representations, expressions or identifying marks of intangible truths or plans or conditions. Symbolism does not always have a simple, single definition. The same symbol can have multiple meanings; sometimes they even seem contradictory. For example, the number “2”can mean either a conclusive witness – like 2 different people agreeing, or it can mean opposition, enmity, division (work of 2nd day), double-tongued, doubled-minded, or double-portion. So understanding involves considering the setting as well as the symbol. A room in a dream could signify either a place of particular potential or function orit could represent boundaries, limitation and captivity, depending on the flow of the dream. The color red in a dream could refer to either the Blood, God’s completed plan and provision and access for man, or it could mean financial trial, or it could reveal embarrassing self doubts or hidden emotions such as anger.
Symbolism is most evident when a dream is way out of the “normal” range, totally uncommon or abstract and strange. However, it is important to recognize symbolism is not always as obvious as it may seem. So, we cannot assume a dream is literal rather than symbolic just because real or logical events take place. Sometimes even real or common occurrences are symbolic rather than literal. For example: Death in a dream is not usually a sad telegram to stir up fear, dread or grief but rather a prophetic insight: 1) that commissions us to intercede because we are spying out of the enemy’s plan, which being interpreted is a call to intercession to interrupt the enemy’s plan, [If we don’t realize that we are glimpsing the enemy’s assignment that needs to be spoiled, we can go into mourning about it and thereby actually agree with the enemy’s plan, allowing it to happen.] 2) Or, that commissions us to embrace the processing of purpose because dreams of death can (and do most often) have nothing to do with physical death, but are rather representative of the end of a season or phase, a change, a transformation, an end that initiates new beginnings, (like death of a carnal mindset to give way to spiritual revelation).
After we have understood symbolism, we must avoid the temptation to stop there. Joseph’s dream of the sheaves bowing was symbolic, and his family immediately understood the symbolism. But they, nor Joseph, could interpret the dream at that time. The family considered the dream a condescending threat. They saw the picture but not the purpose. Their understanding was completely carnal and initiated a carnal response that actually would have brought about their own starvation had they succeeded. They had no awareness that the dream spoke of their literal survival in future. We can miss the whole point if we act on our natural understanding alone, without insight as to its interpretation – the reason we dreamed it.
Understanding & Interpretation are gifts and therefore initiated and imparted by God. We cannot impatiently lay hold of either. The development of both will not be rushed by even the driving forces of urgent times, stirring dreams or numerous visions. There were no short cuts in God’s cultivating these gifts in Daniel and Joseph. Both young men were simultaneously being gifted while processed in character, which included the development of an excellent spirit, of wisdom, of intelligence and of reason. Daniel and Joseph were destined to affect entire nations; so God would not risk their gift and purpose to frailty of character. Daniel grew in God as a prisoner, stolen away from his homeland. He was not overcome by circumstance, but overcame. Joseph overcame rejection and hopelessness and became a man that reflected the purity, power and salvation of his God.
I’ve often wondered about Joseph’s motive for announcing his dreams. Was he trying to get affirmation, confirm his importance or identity, or acting in pride? I wonder if his name gave a clue to his character and personality. His name meant “let him add” which in my thinking could indicate a mathematician (perhaps annoyingly clever or systematic), or could indicate a vivid imagination, an embellisher, or even one having the last word. Or, was he simply so immature that he did not understand before he spoke that the dream implied that he was superior and would of course cause offense in his family? Or, was he compelled to tell it? I do not believe that we necessarily have an example in Joseph that means we should blurt out our exciting or intimate visions, but I do believe that Joseph speaking his dream released the power of the spoken word and set his destiny in motion. Possibly his announcing his dream was about God’s timing and that was the day to initiate the process of purpose in him. Would the dreams have come to pass had he not spoken them? I believe so. Surely, God would have sent some other timely instigator. Yet there are times to keep our conceived promises to ourselves because of the pearl-before-swine principle. Sometimes we must protect and nurture a dream until it is ready to be interpreted or birthed, ready to live and thrive outside of us.
After we consider the many time-consuming components and variables of the gifts of Understanding and Interpretation, we can either feel frustrated in soul or challenged in spirit. We must realize that our soul’s frustration comes from wanting things cut and dried, from wanting an indisputable list of rules; and our soul wants those things so that it can be in control, the control that comes with knowledge and know-how. Our soul will often lead us to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in its desire for control, but true insight and life-giving revelation comes through eating of the Tree of Life or relationship that builds trust rather than control. That is probably the main reason there are seemingly contradictory meanings for the same symbols and probably the reason there is always the question of literal or symbolic. We are challenged in spirit when we realize that if these things were determined through logic and systematic research rather than relationship, God would not use dreams as a tool at all. Everything God does is to build relationship. He uses dreams and visions to bring revelation. By revealing Truth, He brings liberty. By revealing Himself, He imparts character. By revealing knowledge, He builds an ear to hear. By revealing a call, He builds faith that establishes the believer in authority and destiny. Many Christian biographies end in tragedy regarding the gifted that did not develop in character and relationship. So God stresses relationship – fully confident of His gifts and His ability to gift, but intent upon the character and faith in us to carry and release the gift.
Charting The Course
by Jim Hodges
If we emphasize human needs, it will swallow up vision.
If we emphasize vision, it will swallow up human needs.
Our main reason for getting together is to be the ecclesia.
There are two doctrines (I have mentioned in a previous article) that cause the Church to disengage from cultural transformation. Eph 4, Paul talks about winds of doctrine, indicating they get the immature in the faith off course. So winds of doctrine would be those things that get us off course, either slightly or in a major way. We dare not get off course because our course has already been set by God. Our course is set and defined by Genesis 1:28, the dominion cultural mandate, and our course is set by the extrapolation of that revelation in Genesis by the great commission to disciple all nations in terms of the commandments of Jesus. So, our course is set, even though the Church will argue how we do this.
The first doctrine that disengages the Church from Kingdom and cultural transformation is “The Two Kingdoms Theology.” If there is one King, how can there be two kingdoms? Colossians 1:13, talks about the kingdom of darkness, but the word used there for kingdom is “authority.” When Jesus died on the cross, Col.2 informs us that He stripped and disarmed the enemy so that even though he has supernatural power, he has no legal, judicial, covenantal authority. I believe that strongly, but the enemy has authority over those he can deceive by lies. Satan was not a king in heaven or the garden. Adam and Eve only came under his authority after they believed his lie that God was holding out on them. So, the only kingdom that the enemy has is a counterfeit, pseudo kingdom through deception and it is no equal to God’s kingdom. Darkness never wins out over light. Satan is not God. He is a fallen, flawed, finite angelic being.
So, what does it mean to adhere to the two kingdom theology? 1)The redemptive kingdom, represented by the Church, is under the law of God expressed in scripture. The public social arena or civil government is under natural law. So there appears to be two kingdoms because each has its own law, but we cannot have a kingdom without a king giving decrees.
Now here’s the problem: our original founding fathers wrestled with this because the roots of America are the reformation, based on the law of God, and the renaissance, based on the enlightenment of man. Even our nation in its inception had conflict. It is my conviction that the law of God won out. Enlightenment thinking, where we are governed by nature and reason of man was there, but it was prevailed upon by a biblical world view. Even Benjamin Franklin, who historically did love George Whitfield’s preaching, claimed to be a deist. However, he believed in the moral code of the ten commandments. He had a biblical world view, maybe without knowing the author. That was still better for society’s purposes. So now we have the problem of defining natural law because people do not agree on what a law should be. If we reject God, then law is open for discussion. People differ on what the laws ought to be according to their own perspective. Hitler made his own laws and they were not biblical. So the laws that governed civil government ended up governing the Church until the remnant stood up and refused to submit. Don’t quote Romans 13 out of context, we cannot submit to tyranny and suicidal public policies or a murderous regime. So today, the Church is being told not to make statements that affect public policy outside the Church. If the Church addresses actions and behavior as recorded in Romans 1, it can be called hate crimes by natural law. If we are governed by natural law, we end up with laws that are contextual, meaning laws decided by the personal whims of politicians for specific circumstances and in favor of special interests.
According to the renaissance stream, there are two gods or goddesses, nature and reason (not acknowledging who gave the ability to reason). The problem here is that when the final appeal is to these two gods, they, not we, decide what the law is. That means that fallen humans are defining the law in a society, uninformed or purposely rejecting the law/Word of God and God who is King. Natural law cannot be righteous and just all the time. Look at a government who, on one hand, stresses we must take care of everybody and on the other murders babies. That is insane rather than consistently just. Men cannot trust their own depraved judgment. The Word of God teaches us what we cannot teach ourselves. At Mt. Sinai, divine law is revealed, a moral code not only for Israel but for all the nations. The law of God was given to Moses so man could govern his life and society with righteousness and justice. The prophets of old covenant Israel not only prophesied to Israel in their backslidden condition but also to the nations that did not have the law of God but were still accountable to it because somehow creation testifies to a Creator-God who they must respond to also. One writer said the prophets were prosecutors who showed up to prosecute what the heavenly Judge had already rendered.
Jesus said to disciple nations in terms of the commandments that were in line with the moral code that God gave at Sinai. Jesus is the new Moses who will not violate Moses’ moral law. In Isaiah 2, all the nations come to the mount of the Lord to learn His way, His culture and to walk in His laws. Isaiah 2 prophesies that Matthew 28 can happen in history. How could we have opposed the WWII concentration camps on the basis of the laws of nature? The iron curtain countries are still sadly ruled by nature and reason. The Church cannot attack the gates of hell with vague appeals to nature and reason because hell has a monopoly on nature and reason as long as man’s nature and reason is in bondage to man’s sinful nature. We attack the gates of hell according to what God has said and the laws He has decreed for families and church and nations.
We should be teaching there are three corporate biblical covenants, family, church and civil government. While there are seven mountains of culture, government is in the three covenants and each is accountable to the Lord and the law of His Word. Nations can be discipled. Voodoo discipled Haiti. Though there is a remnant there that loves God, it is a goat nation. Most nations of Europe were discipled by socialism and humanism and secularism. Eastern block countries were discipled in Marxism. India was discipled in Hinduism. South Korea was discipled in Bible Christianity and they have been blessed by God economically more than Japan. Nations can be discipled by the Gospel.
We ought not be teaching theocracy. That is akin to the Church being accused of being a Talaban, where the power in the hands of a few dictate to the many. We are not a theocracy like ancient Israel. We believe and continue to follow the moral code of God, the ten commandments that encapsulate how man relates to God and man. This moral code was given to Israel so that all nations could be blessed and would worship God. (John Piper says, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”) The moral code is Exodus 20. Exodus 21-23 is the civil code which is the application of the moral code for Israel before the cross. While we can walk in the principles of the civil code, we don’t apply them in the same way after the cross. For example, we do not stone rebellious teenagers after the cross, but there are still sanctions for obedience and rebellion. Then in Exodus and Leviticus we have ceremonial law which Paul in Colossians 2, told us not to let any many judge us according to these. All law is fulfilled in Christ. So we do not teach a theocracy because the cross fulfills all and modifies application.
Neither do we teach ecclesiocracy, like in the middle ages where the church and state got married, joining the civil leaders and the church leaders. A new institution was formed that did not respect the lines of jurisdiction and the Kingdom got institutionalized in a religious structure. It lost its apostolic power. We believe the Church advances the cause of the Kingdom in history through the sword of the Spirit, not a physical sword. The liberal media portrays the Church as a threat of physical harm, thereby building a caricature of Christianity to be attacked and have a public image that cannot recover. However, the Church extends the Kingdom with a spiritual sword through intercession and declaration. By using the keys we can allow and prohibit, bind and lose. Sometimes we do so by showing up at a city counsel meeting to voice it, knowing even the unrighteous can be blessed by righteousness. We are not using a physical sword. When the Church marries the state, it loses its prophetic voice.
While we embrace religious freedom, we resist pluralism which becomes polytheism. We are pluralistic in the sense that we believe all men have a choice in whom they will worship. And our founding documents evidently gave that liberty, although in context, the founding documents were basically written in an environment where each state wanted their own brand of Christianity. Personal freedom in worship required freedom even to cross state lines. However, founding fathers did not envision this freedom winding up in polytheism or worshiping idols. Religious freedom is not seeking to coerce a particular faith on anybody, but we are free to give witness to our faith. However, today, we are not free to give witness to our faith in the public square and at the same time we are opening the door to polytheism by things like supporting charter schools for Muslims.
The second doctrine that causes the Church to disengage from cultural transformation is dispensationalism, which teaches that God has two peoples (a natural Israel and a spiritual Church.) God has one people with one door, Jesus. Dispensationalism also puts the Kingdom only in the future and does not believe Jesus when He says, “The Kingdom is at hand.” Putting the Kingdom only in heaven breeds escapism and does not produce world-changers in the earth. God raises up world-changers because He intends to change the world. Yes, we love His appearing and look forward to that day, but we do not want that day to come with us having not completed the mission He gave us. We do not agree that Satan’s pseudo-kingdom wins in history and our God’s Kingdom loses. We do not agree with the belief that says we cannot make a difference so we should just check out for a mansion above. With the mentality that things are supposed to get worse and descend into darkness, there would be no use in speaking out. Can you imagine Joseph, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Esther, Deborah, Jesus and Paul being silent? Our God speaks, so must we. Dispensationalism is a theology that is saying that Jesus is not reigning or He will reign someday over in eternity, after history. No. If we get up and watch the news and get discouraged about the way things are going, we can realize Jesus is on the throne and summoning us to activate strategies of divine wisdom for our culture. Like Paul (Acts 27:21-25), we are in a storm, but we have a Messenger and Master of the storm who calls us to put our hands on the helm and speak.
Suggested prayer points for the church to pray in gatherings:
1. Pray the Church will pray. That is something we can do in our sphere of influence.
2. Pray the Supreme Court will rule constitutionally on the health care law.
3. Pray that ministers will have the courage to declare citizenship rights to the followers of Christ.
4. Pray for candidates for office on every level to present a clear vision for our nation and implement solutions for our complex problems.
5. Pray for the house and senate to elect members who have the courage to implement righteous and constitutional legislation
6. Pray and promote local elections of mayors, city counsel and school board members, etc.
7. Pray our citizens can discern truth from media propaganda
8. Pray against a call for Marshall Law in response to a contrived crisis in the world or in our nation that could affect election by suspending it.
9. Pray for states to enforce voter ID requirements in order to minimize voter fraud
10. Pray for the restraint of racial strife and violence in the streets of our nation
11. Pray that fund raising efforts for anti-American policies will decline. Pray God defund the enemies.
12. Pray against demonic anointing that functions in some current political church leaders
May I suggest two Strategies: 1) Assign intercession teams to adopt and focus on certain of these prayer points. 2) Encourage local pastors and churches to carve out a segment of Sunday morning service and pray these points, (edited as you see fit), perhaps one point per Sunday.
Thank the Lord for Your calling upon our lives. Thank the Lord we are a part of the most strategic enterprise in all of history, seeing the earth renewed by the revelation power of His eternal Kingdom. May our lives be open to an impartation that gives us momentum in the Spirit. May we know how He is moving so we can move with Him. (This article is Part 2 of Charting The Course)
(Jim Hodges is the founder of the Federation of Ministers and Churches International, a relational, apostolic network of ministers, apostolic teams and local churches across the nation. Having ministered in over 40 nations, Apostle Hodges serves the Body of Christ internationally as a teaching apostle with a passion to see the Body of Christ fully established. Apostle Jim Hodges’ new book WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE CHURCH TO DO?This book and other materials may be found at his website: fmci.org or by calling the office 972-283-2262.)
FMCI ANNUAL CONFERENCE * OCTOBER 22-24, 2012
PRAYER & DREAMS & VISIONS
by Kathy Gabler
To intercede in effectual, fervent prayer, we need to understand and respond to our dreams and visions. I sometimes wonder why people believe a dream is significant or possibly a rehearsal and yet they do not pursue understanding of its meaning. Perhaps fear or pride are key reasons. Since we have no “say so” or control over dreams and visions, sometimes we are afraid they might reflect on us and expose us to judgment or embarrassment. Then sometimes we feel like the dream might not really be significant and then everyone will see us reaching for importance and missing it. But we must understand that God’s telegrams require a step of faith. To have insight into dreams and visions, we must first trust God’s goodness and wisdom. Just as God does not send prophecy to embarrass or condemn us, neither does He send dreams and visions to embarrass, condemn or confuse us, or cause us pain, sadness, fear, etc.
God uses dreams and visions to give insight into hearts: A lady sent me a dream that was about 3 different women: one lady was a confused Bride, another was a mother with 5 kids, the third lady was driving her husband’s truck into a pond… with him in it. All three of the women were actually issues of her own heart: she was trying to understand and appropriate covenant, she was torn between patience and panic – regarding her potential and purpose in life, and a legitimate need for security had become a driving force that took the driver’s seat. So the dream gave insight as to how to pray and begin resolve, understanding and healing.
God uses dreams and visions to give insight into situations: My aunt dreamed she saw a car on a highway. The fog was so dense around it that she could barely see its headlights. She woke up abruptly, startled and concerned. Suddenly she remembered Marty and I were out of town in a meeting; so she began to pray. Later that night we made it home but crept along the last few miles, the alternator going out and our lights going dimmer by the mile. God woke her to usher in deliverance even before the alternator began to fail. Like a Word of Knowledge says God is intervening, giving supernatural insight because He is ready to act, likewise a dream or vision mandate, says He is ready to act; so mustering faith and praying is no problem!
God uses dreams and visions to give insight into Hell’s assignments: One night my husband had a vision. While sitting in the living room, he heard a helicopter, then saw it coming down in front of him. As it passed, he saw our family in the helicopter and he saw the pilot as well. Then he heard the Lord call the pilot by name and say, “Marty, you will fly with this pilot.” Suddenly the vision location changed to a grungy hotel room, on an island near Africa. The pilot was on the floor in the room, dying from an overdose of drugs. The Spirit of the Lord said, “PRAY!” God first showed him His prophetic, future plans for the pilot, then He showed hell’s assignment that must first be thwarted! The vision was graphic due to timing. It’s vivid impact was a mandate to pray NOW!
There is always a reason for dreaming, but not all dreams are revelation or mandates to pray. Some dreams are therapeutic: 1)Like when you have a conglomerate dream that involves every person you’ve seen the last two weeks on television and at the grocery store! These dreams are like a stress therapy that is relieving your subconscious, clearing out the cluttered information you have absorbed! 2) Or, some dreams disclose subconscious issues that need resolve. These can be shocking, wild and embarrassing! » Like, you are at your desk at work, trying to carry on business as usual, but it is very difficult, since for some unknown reason you came there straight from the shower, with just your towel! » Or, you are back in Junior High, planning to get out of your locker – just as soon as you find your clothes! When your anxieties somehow get on video tape, they are not comfortable conversational dreams; but they actually have to do with issues of your heart concerning your identity and insecurities and self-image. We can pray and ready ourselves to receive: Help, Lord, there’s obviously a need, an itch in my soul that needs to be scratched.
But dreams and visions that are significant intercessory calls either 1) to receive intercessory ministry from God, or 2) calls to intercede in prayer or action, are usually impacting or recurring or detailed, realistic, unforgettable or troubling, even interruptive to sleep. In fact, significant dreamsthat are “Telegrams from God” cannot help but be impacting: He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, he who turns dawn to darkness and treads the high places of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is his name, he reveals his thoughts to man, (Amos 4:13). I recently had a dream that impacted me. I was in a house, an old house in a small town. I looked out the window and could see an old black man next door. He ran into his house when he saw me. I walked out to a dirt road, a little black boy playing in the road, saw me and ran away. I went back into the house and from the back porch I saw the previous owner rigging a booby trap for ambush. I suddenly realized he was an intimidating, prejudiced force to this region. He finally saw me and came in the house, menacingly, silently threatening me. The house was full of antiques. So I threatened to break a treasure every time he tried to bother me. He was anxious and angry, but trying to stay cool and call my bluff. I opened the cabinet which was full of antique vases and dishes. I picked one up and let it fall and shatter to show I was not bluffing; but doing that made me sick at my stomach. He tensed up. I picked up a skewer and quickly stabbed him, again just to prove I was not bluffing; but I had no intention of really hurting him. It penetrated at least 2 or 3 inches and he gasped. I stared at the bloody skewer and wound, and I was immediately regretful for my emotional reaction. I awoke. The Spirit of the Lord ministered to my understanding, explaining the dream was about intercessory warfare for the stronghold of prejudice. I suddenly knew it would not be brought down by reactionary measures, but by faith in God. Reactionary measures would only destroy heritage, hurt all victims and not remedy the situation. Again He reminded me that our weapons are not carnal! Instead I must Trust God to do the impossible.
Recurring dreams or visions: One man told me that every time it was time for a promotion, he would dream that he suddenly did not have the seniority he thought he had. This recurring dream was revealing his fear of being unequipped, a plaguing sense of inadequacy, (which I believe is the second most effective tool against the Body of Christ!) RECURRING dreams most often indicate an issue that needs to be resolved, or that is in the process of being resolved. PRAYER: Bring me to Truth, Lord, to understanding, to release!
Detailed, realistic and unforgettable dreams or visions: My mother received ministry from a night vision during a sickness unto death three years ago. In one night vision, she said I was there all night, covering her up, getting her to turn over and to eat and drink something, a constant vigil. It was so real to her that it was difficult to convince her the next day that I had not stayed the night. Evidently an angel ministered to her, and the angel looked like her daughter so she would not be frightened. In another night vision during this illness, Mother was in an airplane. My daughter Melissa was actually in Mexico at that time, and Mother knew the plane was taking her to Melissa. She was lying down in an orange blanket and all the interior of the plane was orange. I believe she was seeing what was going on in other dimensions, the plane representing both a prophetic view as well as being lifted in intercession where she saw herself being ministered to in heavenly places. The orange (red & yellow mixed) color symbolized being surrounded by the Blood and the Glory. When she arrived, Melissa came in and checked on her, telling her she would be alright. Melissa Said, “I’ve got a lot to do, but I’ll be back to check on you,” as if the plane were a hotel or hospital. Mom rested well that night and began to recuperate, being watched over and ministered to in this heavenly place. She said, it was so real that it did not seem like a dream at all!
Troubling dreams and visions can be symbolic insights for intercession. They can be upsetting, but they are not literal bombs from hell with a short fuse. Instead they are symbolic reflections of conflict or issues in the realm of the soul or spirit. These are often not urgent time-wise, rather they are crucial for the long-haul and need wise, strategic prayer concerning: issues that need to be dealt with, or changes that need to be made, » or warning of changes coming. (And most often, change disturbs us.)
Through intercession, we can be the voice of proclamation and deliverance, or we can be the voice of agreement that allows God’s transformation and renewal. For example, Death in a dream is rarely, if ever, a sad telegram to stir up fear, dread or grief. Would GOD show you a loved one getting violently stolen away in death to get you ready for sadness and grief by “getting you used to the taste of it,” as I have heard some people say? That is absurd, especially since Jesus Himself said in Matt 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” So rather than be threatened, be bold enough to find out what the death was symbolizing. For example, an intercessor friend of mine dreamed that she was going up a stairway that turned to the right. On the left there was a square opening like an attic door. So she stopped in front of this door and bent down to see inside. She was looking for a baby girl she remembered leaving in there. She put her hand in and moved something wooden. Then she smelled something dead. So she drew back and said, “I guess she’s dead.”
Now, this was a disturbing dream for someone like her, who was such a devoted and conscientious mother! But the dream was not literal. The baby represented a previous ministry opportunity or responsibility. Going up the stairs represented the growth and change in her purpose. The right turn of the stairs, signified future direction change. She looked back left, the direction of the past season of responsibility. She touched wood, as in “wood, hay and stubble,” which is works rather than obedience that is “gold”. The dream was showing her that trying to bring life back to the old season would be a useless work. And it confirmed that it was time to close the door and move on; for she found in the past the stench of death instead of the fragrance of life that was once in it. There was no sadness, just confirmation and new direction to prayerfully consider before the Lord.
Another example of symbolic insight for intercession is a dream I dreamed years ago. My teenaged brother was a baby again, barely walking. Someone drove by and shot him 3 times in the chest. I awoke, devastated, frightened, worried, desperately praying no one would harm my brother. I prayed for months without relief. Finally, I forgot the dream. Then two 2 years ago, I dreamed again that my brother, then in his 30’s, was 7 years old and again someone drove by and shot him. I suddenly remembered the earlier dream and took both troubling dreams to the Lord in prayer. The Lord assured me that neither dream was a threat on his physical life. I could then see that both dreams were historical, even at the time I dreamed each. What I was seeing in the dreams was the age that my brother’s “heart” had been wounded. As I began to understand the current problems linked to these childhood wounds, I knew then how to intercede for healing, restoration and restitution. Through this the Lord also brought to my remembrance a time when I was nine years old, and my own heart had been wounded in taking up a family member’s offense. I suddenly understood a recurring dream from my early teens that was caused by unresolved guilt that I had carried from that childhood wound.
Be assured that the same God who gives dreams and visions intends that you understand them – especially when the purpose is intercession. So if symbolism seems to hide the message at first, write the vision down and pray in the Spirit, (even before it is made plain). Symbolism can pack a dream away until it is time to understand it. Some dreams become meaningful in stages or seasons of our life, because their message is both for current and future fulfillment. Also, some dreams have layers of meaning, each for a different aspect of a situation. Take the symbolism before God. Ask, seek and knock. Perhaps God will direct you to people, a biblical example, an encyclopedia, dictionary or other reference. Expect to hear from God and continue to pray, fully confident that the Spirit prays through you as needed in the meantime.
Troubling dreams or visions can literally be spying out the enemy’s camp: Sometimes dreams or visions are traumatic due to the urgency of the call to prayer. God uses dreams and visions to commission us to interrupt hell’s assignments. The dream or vision is a telegram describing a literal circumstance or potential incident and timing is the issue that must be addressed now! That adrenalin response can help get you out of bed and on to your knees.
Another dream I had about my brother was not symbolic but a literal, hellish assignment that was revealed. I dreamed I was in New Orleans where my brother lived. I looked out a bay window in his house and saw a truck stop on a distant road beyond an open field. The driver got out and started walking across the field toward the house. My brother was lying back in a recliner with his back toward the window and did not see him. Suddenly I realized the man was a contract killer coming after my brother. His gun glinted in the sunlight. I stretched over my brother in the recliner (intercessory position) protecting him, thinking, ‘No way! I’ll kill that guy first.’ I lifted a heavy, awkward feeling pistol, aiming, waiting for the man to get within range. I awoke, hearing, “Your weapon is not carnal. Your weapon is prayer! Now, cover him!”
I’ve heard people say they labored under a bad premonition for weeks or months and sure enough, it happened! What they had was a vision or image of something and they did not know they had authority to interrupt through intercession! Let’s, gird up our loins in Truth and realize that witnessing violent killing, stealing or destruction in a dream or vision is a threat. DON’T tolerate threats! Express your intolerance through interruptive intercessory prayer! Be confident that hell has no authority to call the plays! We must be cunning as serpents to recognize we are spying out hell’s plans. If we don’t realize that we are glimpsing the enemy’s plans that need to be spoiled, we can unwittingly go into mourning or apprehension and thereby actually agree with the enemy’s plan, and our agreement gives him legal access. NO!Be confident that as a believer you have the authority to disallow and shut down the forces of hell revealed! Num 12:6 “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Jer 23:28,29 “The prophet [or inspired, affected, stirred, person] that hath a dream, let him tell [record, recount] a dream; What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. [The real, the meaningful, the purposeful will become obvious as you process the information you have.] “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” God’s truth and mandate in a dream or vision is the intercessor’s power & authority to take the land!
Dare to lay hold of your inheritance of dreams and visions! Dare to trust God to open your understanding! Dare to be the voice of intercessory prayer or proclamation or agreement! Don’t waste time in frustration, feeling unequipped. The devil’s second most successful weapon against the church is accusing them of being unequipped. The most successful weapon is CONDEMNATION, making the church feel unworthy of being equipped! Turn his weapons on him. When he comes at you with accusations of being unequipped, declare it good news! Because when we are weak, God is strong. And He will get the job done through us. Then that accusation that used to stop us cold will become heated fuel instead! James 5:13-16, here in a comprehensive breakdown of all the Greek word meanings declares: The (EFFECTUAL FERVENT) – direct, mighty, operative, actively-accomplishing, powerful, (PRAYER) – request, need, seeking, petition, asking, (of a RIGHTEOUS MAN) – person who is holy, right, just, innocent, faultless, guiltless and approved by God- (AVAILETH MUCH) – is a force that can! Can what? Fill in the blank as God directs!
Do you hesitate in daring to lay hold of effectual prayer in intercession because you feel you don’t measure up to the definitions of Righteousness? We lose ground while allowing righteousness and authority to be questioned or doubted. Read Romans 3:21, 22; 5:17; & Phil 3:9 and you will find God’s Righteousness is a gift and can only be received by faith. Don’t allow emphasis on your righteousness rather than His Righteousness! Neither allow emphasis on you rather than the Authority in you! Our AUTHORITY cannot waiver because it is Christ in us, neither can our RIGHTEOUSNESS waver because it is His! We dare not allow our faith in this Truth to waver either!
Confront And Contradict
by Marty Gabler
He could see the giant clearly from his position on the side of the mountain. The great hulk raged violently and stomped and shook his fist into the air. David had never seen anything the like of this towering rogue which now held the entire Israelite army in tense suspension. The youth looked around, searching the faces of the older generation attempting to determine the identity of this tall stranger and why he was going unchallenged. Having prior instructions from his father, he approached his brothers to determine their welfare so that he might give a proper report to his father when he returned home, and to find out what information was available on the present proceedings. When David inquired as to why the armored titan was only passively being confronted and not at all contradicted, he was sharply rebuked and told to go back home. In the meantime, the raging demands and threats continued unchallenged.
THE PROBLEM WITH GIANTS
The problem with giants is that they won’t stay in the valley. They intend to go far beyond their threats and use their gargantuan power to conquer. Goliath had not come all the way from Philistia with his brothers and their army just to stomp around in a valley and return home with the satisfaction of having intimidated a few Hebrews. By the time David came on the scene, Israel had only confronted the giant and didn’t seem to even have a plan for contradicting him. The problem with giants being in the valleys is that they are only in the valleys because they are on their way up the mountain. The best time to deal with giants is while they are still in the valley. There must be plans, commitment and action.
WHO WILL RULE IN THE MOUNTAINS?
There are mountains for the people of God to rule in. We have heard emphasis in the last couple of years about the importance of the seven mountains or mind-molders of culture. Those mountains are: 1) religion 2) family 3) education 4) government 5) media 6) arts 7) finance. Every believer is to have some degree of influence at some level in one (or more) of those mountains. According to the mandate of God upon his people as far back as the Book of Genesis, we are to rule in those mountains. There are valleys between all the mountains and there are “giants” in those valleys. Those looming threats against righteousness oppose the advancement of the Kingdom of God. As long as there is a Kingdom of Light and a kingdom of darkness, there will be opposition. The kingdom of darkness must be confronted and contradicted in each of its expressions. That is why Jesus called us “light”; the Holy Spirit-energized church is the only entity on this earth to keep darkness in check.
CONFRONT AND CONQUER
It is not enough to simply confront the “giants” of this season of history. They must be contradicted. Jesus was the very embodiment of the Kingdom of God. That is, He carried the authority and power of heaven into this earth and, with it, contradicted the powers of darkness. In Mt.17: 16-18 a man has an epileptic son who continually falls into fire and into water. He takes the son to Jesus’ disciples but they only confront the demon that is behind this tragedy. But when Jesus arrives on the scene, the man appeals to Him. Jesus not only confronted the demon but He contradicted it. The boy was completely whole from that moment.
Jesus confronted blindness by putting Himself in a position to do something about it and contradicted it with sight. He didn’t just hear about blind people and attend a special service where people prayed about it. The disciples confronted the storm on the lake but Jesus contradicted it with peace. When Jesus said to His disciples that He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth and then commissioned them to disciple nations, that was the announcement that believers had now become the embodiment of the Kingdom like He was. We have the same authority and power to contradict darkness.
The Kingdom of God in Moses confronted and contradicted the wizards of Pharaoh. God gave instruction for Aaron to throw his rod down before Pharaoh. It was for the purpose of drawing out the serpents of the wizards of Pharaoh. They were not only confronted but devoured by Aaron’s rod. The wizards of Pharaoh confronted Moses and Aaron with their rods but were contradicted. Ten gods of the Egyptians which they believed to be invincible were confronted and contradicted by Moses. In this hour of history the wizards of this age, the wizards of our universities, the wizards of Capitol Hill must be confronted and contradicted with wisdom, authority and power from the throne of God.
Joseph, after a series of quite uncomfortable events, ends up in Pharaoh’s court. National and international disaster of famine threatens on the horizon but he confronted it and contradicted it with preparation. Not only was Pharaoh’s nation saved but Joseph’s as well. In this case, the threat was contradicted before it took place. Preparation and supply contradict lack.
David was sent by his father to check on his brothers who had gone to war. When David came up over the top of the mountain and saw what was in the valley below and did just a bit of considering, he could have easily concluded that this ordeal was none of his concern. It did not appear that David had any abilities or skills to deal with this escalated national problem. He could have decided that it was his obligation to return to his father’s sheep and sit on his favorite prayer rock and intercede for his brothers and the Israelite army.
The problem with that viewpoint and action is that it would have left the giant in the valley. The problem with giants in valleys is that they don’t stay in valleys; they march through them and go up the mountain. Had David not confronted and contradicted Goliath, he would have marched up the mountain and over it. He would have flattened David’s family farm and marched right on in to Jerusalem and captured Zion. The giants of this hour will not stay in the valley. They are after the defeat of Zion. They are determined to take out every practice and symbol of our Lord in this nation.
In the 2008 election that so upset and discouraged Christendom, it has been noted that only 34% of Christians voted. The same source also noted that half of those who did vote, voted for the party that promised more abortions and abortions paid for by taxpayer money. The very least Christians can do to confront and contradict darkness is to vote biblical values. Every time a Christian does not vote biblical values, that is a vote from the other end of the spectrum that goes unopposed. The great crime of apathy is that it not only leaves darkness unconfronted but it leaves it completely uncontradicted.
There are those who might possibly confront and contradict darkness but they are so busy wrestling personal giants they don’t feel they are worthy or qualified to contradict the giants which are destroying our culture. David contradicted Goliath with a rock. Our Rock, Jesus, is our power to contradict giants. His Word walked out, His character put into practice and His Holy Spirit are our power over personal and cultural giants.
Mat 28:18 When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mat 28:19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Mat 28:20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” (GW)
by Marty Gabler
The event of Heb 11:3 took place before the events of Genesis One took place. In Hebrews we understand by faith that the vocal utterance of God “thoroughly completed, adjusted, equipped, put in order, sounded out and fitted for Himself” the ages (Thayer). The sound of God went forth bringing order, increasing God’s government (Isa 9:7), implementing the plan of Jehovah God, El Elyon. That is why we rest in confidence that Mt10:6, “Thy Kingdom come” is and will come into full realization in the earth. The heart of the sound (the vocal utterance) of God before Genesis One is an earth under the rulership of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Without hesitation, the Psalmist declares, Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. (Ps 145:13) Even before time as we know it, Jehovah God was in authority and ruling from His position upon His Throne. There has never not been the Kingdom of God, never been a time when God didn’t act sovereignly with wisdom according to a designed plan of action. (Isa 46:10)
The Kingdom of God is advancing. The Kingdom of God is increasing. That is correct, it is increasing. We should give all thanks and praise to Him on High for the opportunity to live now and witness and participate in the increase of His government in the earth as in no other time of history. And it is increasing in spite of the chaos in people and governments.
When I was a boy my Grandmother taught us in Sunday School that 3,000 people answered an altar call and accepted Jesus as Savior on the Day of Pentecost. That was very difficult for me to believe since our little church was only able to boast an attendance of 60 people on Easter Sunday. I had never seen 3,000 people together in one place in all my life. I pondered that event for weeks. But as amazing as that was, it pales in comparison to the degree to which the Kingdom of God has increased since the Day of Pentecost. That figure of 3,000 conversions in one day has now increased to 3,000 people accepting Jesus every 25 minutes (James Rutz, Megashift). Speaking at a conference recently I announced that figure and a man from China walked up afterwards and told me that was incorrect. He said that in China 3,000 are getting saved every 20 minutes. I heard Jim Hodges say that the spiritual birthrate of Africa is five times the natural birthrate, the number of people accepting Jesus in Latin American countries is four times the natural birthrate and three times the birthrate in Asia. It has been stated that in 1960 there were 24 nonbelievers for every believer in the world. Now there are only six. The Bible says that the increase of His government shall have no end.
Signs and wonders are evidence of the presence of a higher government. There is a higher government than disease and infirmity. Reports of healings are on the increase. Two proofs of the presence of the Kingdom in the Gospels are healings and deliverance from evil spirits. The Kingdom is increasing in more ways than one because in this time, not only are professional ministers ministering healing and deliverance but the saints, who are not on any church staff payroll, are doing it.
How can we be assured of the increase of the government of God in this present world and culture? The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish it, promises Prophet Isaiah (9:7). Zeal means “ardour” and that means “burning heat, eagerness.” The ages have been zealously ordered and equipped to accommodate the rule of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the friction in men and in nations in any age is the result of not hearing the zealous sound of God for that age. This is so amazing. In spite of the conflict of those out of harmony with the purpose of God, in spite of the chaos of man’s rebellious character (and it’s consequences), the Kingdom of God is advancing under His zeal for His Son. (Dan 2:35; Mt 13:31-33)
The sound of God that has gone forth into the ages will accomplish that for which it was sent forth. The universe doesn’t hold the sound of God, the ages do. Horoscopes are worthless because the stars are younger than the sound of God (Heb11:3). The sound of God (which cannot be separated from the Person or authority or Word of God) is not even holding steady. In fact, it is on the increase says Prophet Isaiah. In 55:11, Isaiah says that God’s sound is cycling out into the ages until it finds persons who will harmonize with it. The sound of God reached this age long before anti-Christ legislation. Not Pharaoh, Athaliah, Herod, Haaman, not even the Roman empire could stop the sound of God.
Fifty-five million babies have been aborted because Lucifer (who is well acquainted with sound and its power) is trying to stop the sound of God for this age. He is attempting to prevent those who reverberate with that Sound. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. (Ps 8:2,The Message) A piano tuner told me that he can strike a tuning fork in the key of C on the side of a grand piano. He can then hold it out over the sound board and every piano string tuned to the key of C will begin to vibrate and sing out in unison with that tuning fork. We were born with a capacity to resound with God His sound for this age. Abortion is Lucifer’s attempt to remove the strings that will resound with the sound of Almighty God in this age and advance His Kingdom. But it didn’t work in Moses’ day or in Jesus’ day. Pharaoh’s daughter thought she heard the sound of a baby’s cry. Wrong. She heard the sound of a nation’s deliverance. God positioned Moses for the release of a sound and the sound of God filled the house of Israel’s enemy. The sound of God will continue to relentlessly cycle out into the age until it finds babies who lift their voice like Moses and Jesus and bring reformation to the church and transformation to society.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Our making that sound will not bring the Kingdom because the Kingdom cannot be stopped(Ps145). But our sounding out, “Thy Kingdom come” will bring it on in greater fullness in our generation. The most fruitful way to sound that out is to walk it out. I don’t believe that revival is reverting back to any religious institution or practice that has once been. I believe revival is getting away from the sound of man and religion for this age and getting back to the genuine sound of God for this age.
The sound of God fills the ages and is already in the future. From the time of Heb 11:3 the ages were thoroughly completed and arranged to fit His purposes. The sound of God has already reached into the future and cycles back to us calling us into destiny. Who will listen? (Jn 5:19; 12:49) Who will vibrate and resound with the sound of God for this age… as it is in heaven? The sound of reformation is resounding in this age. Who will be the ones to hear it? Who are the ones who will be the piano strings that sing out with the sound of the Master? God did not allow Samuel’s words to fall to the ground. They continued out into the future until they were fulfilled. Who will mentor Samuel, David, Daniel, Esther, Hannah, Nehemiah? Who will teach them to hear the Sound that delivers nations in their generation?
The Order of Melchizedek
by Jim Hodges
Melchizedek is first mentioned in Genesis 14. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and of the kings with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s valley. Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And he was the priest of the most high God. Gen 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of Heaven and earth. Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Then he is mentioned in the new covenant in Hebrews 5, And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called of God, as Aaron was. Heb 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to be made a high priest, but He who said to Him, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” Heb 5:6 As He says also in another place, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
There is not a lot said about Melchizedek in the Bible. He seems a bit mysterious because is mentioned so infrequently. I read a book recently on Melchizedek, but even when I finished, he was still a mystery. Yet he is an important figure because he is connected to Jesus. The order of Melchizedek is the priestly dimension of Jesus’ kingship. I think we can glean some lessons about him. Some basic issues of understanding we need are the following:
1. We need to understand the order of Melchizedek because the order of Christ’s priesthood is named after him. Since I want to know more about Jesus, I want to know more about those connected to Him. The more I can understand about his order the more I can understand about Jesus’ kingship in Christ’s kingdom.
2. We need to understand more about Melchizedek because the present day church, especially in the USA, in some ways is getting disoriented by clinging to some forms of worship from the Levitical order of priesthood with its feasts and Sabbaths and style of worship. It is okay to go all the way back to Genesis and look at all that is there in promise pointing to fulfillment in Christ. All that goes before Christ is tutorial. It instructs us. Paul said the law is a tutor, but we don’t go back there to those tutorial and prophetic symbols to make them obligatory to those of us in the new covenant wrought by Jesus’ blood. So we have to understand Melchizedek because of the whole issue of changing priesthoods. That is very important because we believe in one Bible and God only made two covenants, one with Adam and one with the Last Adam. The covenants with Abram and David and Noah are just reaffirmations of the one with the first Adam. All of them point to Christ, the Last Adam. So, I want to understand more about Melchizedek because I believe it will get me better focused to move forward in our worship.
3. We need to understand Melchizedek because it will help us understand our priesthood responsibilities as New Covenant believers. We are royal and holy priests as God’s sons and we need to understand our priestly responsibilities.
4. I believe understanding Melchizedek will reveal to us a higher and more effective financial stewardship as followers of Christ. I believe there is a breakthrough in Melchizedek concerning finance that is not yet unlocked. There is something we have to unlock in the Church’s financial stewardship that will reveal more of Christ and meet the needs. I believe this is a reality we can find in his priesthood.
5. We need to understand Melchizedek more to better inform and inspire the Church to fulfill the great commission in which Jesus inherits all the nations of the earth.
Firstly, let me point out that the Greek word for order here is tasso or taxis which means rank, dignity, to arrange in orderly fashion, to assign, appoint, establish, or an order fixed by God. If God fixes an order, it’s fixed, we cannot unfix it. So the order of Melchizedek is fixed. That is important.
From scripture, we know that Melchizedek is the king-priest of Jerusalem. Hebrews 7 tells us he was the righteous king of Salem and Salem became the city of Jerusalem. Psalm 76:2 talks about his tabernacle in Salem and on Mt. Zion. So Salem is the abbreviation for Jerusalem. Since Salem comes from the word shalom, he is the king of righteousness and peace. In approximately 1800 B.C., (when Abraham lived) Melchizedek is referenced as the king-priest of Salem. Salem is evidently at this time not a metropolis, nevertheless it is a place God has targeted on the planet as a place chosen for His Kingdom to be represented and manifested.
Secondly, we know Melchizedek was a priest of God, specifically the God who is El Elyon, Possessor of Heaven and Earth. Stephen, just before being stoned in Jerusalem, referred to God as El Elyon and said God Most High cannot be contained in buildings built by men’s hands. God owns the earth and that speaks to us in our dominion mandate, Genesis 1:28, to fill the earth, multiple, to rule and subdue it because God is serious about reclaiming His ground. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, but we have some trespassers, usurpers and covenant-breakers on it that are not to inherit the earth. The meek, covenant-keepers are to inherit the earth. We are kings and priests now as well as forever. We steward God’s purpose in the planet now. We are not here to get out of here, rather we are here to change here before we leave here.
Thirdly, he was Abraham’s priest. Abraham tithed to him from the spoils of victory from the pagan kings of Babylon. There are two schools of thought on this. My opinion from Hebrews 7 is that Melchizedek can be designated as a Gentile priest, like Jethro was a Medianite and gave counsel to Moses. Jethro was a Gentile priest giving counsel to a Hebrew. The scripture gives us no genealogy of this man. Either none was preserved or none was ever kept. We know the Aaronic and Levitical priesthood required a record of genealogy, (Hebrew 7:6). So because of this, some have concluded that Melchizedek is the pre-incarnate Christ. I don’t lean that way because Christ has a genealogy in the book of Matthew. To me, Melchizedek is not the pre-incarnate Christ, but simply a type of Christ. I think if he was the pre-incarnate Christ, we would have references like in Joshua of the angel of Jehovah. In 1Cor 10, Paul says about the exodus, desert experience that the rock that followed them was Christ. So he identifies the pre-incarnate Christ. A friend of mine says, “Well, Abraham just met Jesus.” I don’t think it is something to argue about because the lessons from Melchizedek are the same in either school of thought, I just think the focus leans toward him being a type of Christ and not Christ Himself.
Melchizedek was presented as greater than Abraham. No Jew wanted to hear that anyone was greater than their father Abraham, but Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek. The lesser gives to the greater.
In Psalm 110 (the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament), it says: 4 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew. The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” (NASB)
The Father said two things to His Son: “Sit down at my right hand” and “you are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Jesus is resurrected and glorified, sitting there now as priest after the order of Melchizedek. So, the Melchizedek order identifies the priesthood of King Jesus. God Himself declared the priestly order of function is that of Melchizedek. Now we know from Hebrews 7, that it was a perpetual priesthood, unlike the Levitical priesthood that was not perpetual because it was terminated when Jesus died on the cross. (The torn veil was the starting of the dismantling of the Levitical priesthood. It was a lengthy dismantling process because animal sacrifice was still going on by Levitical priests even 40 years after the cross. God was offended because His Lamb had been sacrificed once and for all.) Both in Exodus 40 and Leviticus 16, the Levitical priesthood is referred to as perpetual, but that is perpetual only in the sense that it flowed up to being eclipsed by the One who is eternal. It is like the Sabbath that is perpetual but redefined. We honor the Lord every day and celebrate the eighth day, resurrection day. So, the Levitical priesthood is perpetual until it is caught up in the Melchizedekal order that is perpetual.
As Psalm 110 told us, it was a priesthood that was fulfilled after the resurrection of Christ, after the ascension. It was a kingly order. Christ is Prophet, Priest and King. He is King over all and Priest, interceding for all who come to Him. He is not just Priest, but King-Priest, like the order of Melchizedek. And as He is, He has called us to be. We are to be kings and priests as His sons. His sons are who we are; kings and priests are what we do. Jesus was a son before He was a king. He was a son before He was an apostle. The church must have a revelation of sonship so they will not just function out of their function instead of their identity. Your function is important but it is not who you are. You are a son of God. Jesus is the capital “K” King of small “k” kings, and that is us, but our function with unction is secondary to our identity. Melchizedek priesthood is a father-son order in the godhead with divine genealogy rather than human one.
In the next issue I will discuss some practical applications that flow from the revelation of Christ’s Melchizedekal kingly priesthood.
(Jim Hodges is the founder of the Federation of Ministers and Churches International, a relational, apostolic network of ministers, apostolic teams and local churches across the nation. Having ministered in over 40 nations, Apostle Hodges serves the Body of Christ internationally as a teaching apostle with a passion to see the Body of Christ fully established. Apostle Jim Hodges’ new book WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE CHURCH TO DO?This book and other materials may be found at his website: fmci.org or by calling the office 972-283-2262.)
by Kathy Gabler
Killing God’s Catalysts through rejection: In Acts 6, Stephen was openly demonstrating the Kingdom with signs, wonders and miracles among the people. Rather than realizing that God was using this young man as a catalyst to continue the powerful changes that Jesus had begun, they were angered by this catalyst and decided to remove it. May God help us not to reject the catalysts for change He is raising up in 2012. People who cannot connect the dots or those who intentionally reject God’s catalysts for change are dangerous. The human soul that is determined to defy God and desperate to be right, comfortable and undisturbed can, in the extreme, go so far as to consider false accusation and murder as fair and the right thing to do. Literally, the up-standing citizens that were upset with Stephen lied about him and then stoned him to death. Forget the miracles, this young whipper-snapper was speaking against their lifestyle and their sacred places. He was threatening to tear it all down and CHANGE their institutions, customs and rituals that Moses had taught them. Acts 6:11, So they bribed some men to say, “We heard him speaking against Moses and against God!” He spoke against Moses, and oh yes, against God too! Moses, the temple, their customs were obviously their primary concern. Those things were ahead of God in their hearts and devotion. Their habits were more important than relationship or truth. Their habits were part of their comfort zone that they did not want disturbed. Their habits were part of their identity and self-image. To change them evidently implied fault or weakness in both. Moses means “draw out, rescue.” They were determined to hold to the one they considered their historical agent of surviving, even when it was time to move on to the One who was their agent of thriving. I submit that is a paradigm we need to be wary of in 2012. If we are not willing to change as the Holy Spirit directs, we will merely be surviving rather than thriving. Surviving implies living with limitations and learning to be satisfied. Thriving implies growth, increase and maturing. Killing God’s Catalysts through religious zeal: In Judges 11, the Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah to defeat the Ammonites. The anointing of God was the catalyst. However, Jephthah in his zeal of the moment vowed a vow unto Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, Jdg 11:31 then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Jehovah’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt-offering. The Spirit of The Lord had come upon him for the task. There was no requirement to respond with a bargain vow! And there certainly was no need for such a deadly vow. The words of this verse prove conclusively that Jephthah intended his vow to apply to human beings, not animals: for only one of his household could be expected to come forth from the door of his house to meet him. Jephthah evidently contemplated a human sacrifice. He was born in Syria where human sacrifice was likely common. “The Syrians and Phoenicians were conspicuous among the ancient pagan nations for human sacrifices, and the transfer to Yahweh of the same rites as false gods might be expected.” (Brown-Driver) Then when he returned successful, Jephthah came to Mizpah unto his house; and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. “Zealous religious reactions cut off his heritage completely. He was greatly distressed to think that his daughter, who was his only child, should be, in consequence of his vow, prevented from continuing his family in Israel; for it is evident that he had not any other child, for besides her, says the text, he had neither son nor daughter, Jdg 11:34. He might, therefore, well be grieved that thus his family was to become extinct in Israel.” (Brown-Driver) The real sad issue here is that he did not repent of the foolish vow. That is obvious because he believes it was his daughter who “brought him low” rather than his own action. Jdg 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me; for I have opened my mouth unto Jehovah, and I cannot go back. What could keep a man in a situation like this from repenting of a foolish vow instead of following through? While being a man of your word is commendable, standing behind foolish vows is not, and there was no w isdom in honoring his vow above the purpose of God in his heritage. In 2012, may we realize that we are dangerous when we do not understand dominion so that we do not allow our words and actions to stir up consequences that misrepresent our God. What did the “heathen” nations think about Jehovah God because of this incident? It was not like Abraham where God was establishing a covenant and establishing trust through extreme obedience. Even that did not end in human sacrifice like the heathen gods required. This was not like the sacrificial Lamb of God who fulfilled the law to the ultimate to redeem all man had lost. Even that ended in resurrection life rather than death. That did not cut off heritage, it established generations forever! Jephthah crossed the line between godly obedience to religious zeal to his loss. Fervor and zeal cannot attach to the mandate of God and bring its own holy results. Look at the diligence of those dedicated to false gods and ungodly causes. No matter how many times a day a Muslim bows, their pious patterns will not make Allah a real god. Their obligation will never become holy of itself nor ever become obedience which brings godly heritage. No matter how many times a witch rehearses an incantation, their diligence will not bring them protection from their demons or freedom from their deception. In 2012, may we not delay, disrupt or destroy God’s catalyst by adding empty, religious zeal. Killing God’s catalyst with character: In 2012, may we embrace God’s intent and instructions as our catalyst. At the same time, may we realize that the kryptonite to success is lack of cooperation in His sons; and the most common reason we are not ready to participate with God is because of the condition of our character. Is it lack of training that leaves gaps in our character? Is it lack of healthy examples that weakens our character? Or does character corrupt in the breach between knowing the truth and living according to the truth we know? I think the latter is the heart of the matter. It moves the emphasis from lack and circumstance to diligence. We do not have to be perfect, but diligence is a requirement. The hand of the diligent will rule, Prov 12:24. (NKJ) In business or ministry or government or family or the local garden club, we do not suffer a downfall because of other people. Neither do circumstances cause us to fall. Opposition does not cause us to fall. We build our own path to downfall. Bad choices, emotional decisions, wrong priorities and self-focused agendas can cause us to fail, but a downfall comes from a breach of character. Character, gifts and callings must needs be a three-fold cord in our lives. If our character does not reflect the Giver of the gifts and callings, there is a breach in our soul and an open door to destruction. I knew a preacher who had tremendous revelation and he powerfully preached it, but his adulterous life style opened his household to destruction. His wife lived in constant physical torment and his son lived in continual character-chaos as well as dangerous emotional extremes. Saul was a man with a character breach. Whether his wrong beliefs flawed his character or his flawed character undermined his beliefs, I cannot say; but this king’s belief and value system was geared to bring him down because he did not truly fear God. There are three evidences of this in 1 Samuel, Chapter 15: 1) he feared man more than God, 2)he chose his own desires over obedience to God, and 3) he asked the prophet Samuel to honor him before the elders (in spite of his downfall), which was equivalent to asking God to do things his way just to make him look good. King Saul was obviously on the throne of Self as well as the throne of Israel and he was willing to pay any price to stay in his Saul-ish kingship. A man who truly feared God would not have set himself to war against God and His plan for Israel. Saul wanted to kill the would-be king, David, and was even willing to kill his own heir-apparent, Jonathan, to ensure that his throne not be shaken. Saul’s breach of character was obviously a door to torment. And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. 1 Sam 16:23 (NKJ) Saul’s mind, emotions and most likely his conscience were vulnerable to demonic disturbance. Although God did not cause the breach, neither did He guard the open door in Saul’s soul. God did however, intervene when Saul sought His presence. Saul could feel the difference God’s presence made, but it was still up to him to close the door. To repair the breach, Saul would have to humble himself and repent and give God the throne of his life as well as the throne of the nation. As surely as Jonathan maintained strong, Godly character, King Saul stayed consistent in his lack thereof. In fact, I believe one of Saul’s greatest grinds was that Jonathan was a man of character instead of a chip off the old block! Saul’s selfish pride was bigger than his love for his son and big enough to take him down. We don’t know when or why Saul decided that he was “all that and a sack of chips,” but we do know that pride will breach character. Perhaps being head and shoulders above everyone else made him feel superior. On perhaps, the other extreme, his fear of the people (1 Sam 15:24) was a sign of inferior feelings and deep insecurities, and pride became his antidote. Whatever his path to pride, it became his path to downfall. The word warns that pride comes before a fall and I think it is safe to say that big pride comes before a big fall. King Saul did not fear God and pride was his door to destruction. Sometimes we forget that we are made in the image of our Creator God. So when we create our own monsters and our own downfall, we transfer the credit to God, the devil or someone else. That way we feel like a victim instead of a perpetrator. The problem is that if we are victims, we ignore our need to repent. Instead of changing, we sit in the ruins expecting God to do what we will not do ourselves. Saul could not find someone else to blame for the breaches of his soul and character, and neither can we. In 2012, may we fear God and humble ourselves before Him that we will have the godly character to cooperate and not hinder His intent and instructions. May the year be marked by sons willingly participating in the changes necessary to see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. (Ths article appeared in SEEC Magazine Volume 16 Issue 1. SEEC Magazine is a bi-monthly publication of SEEC Ministries International. We can email you a list of Kathy’s books and CDs. Email: email@example.com) ***************************************************************************************************************************************************** BLACK HOLES, PLANETS AND GRAVITY by Marty Gabler From the moment that we were conceived in the womb, God began to draw us to the fulfillment of the destiny He had in mind for each of us. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:28-29) Our sovereign God puts within His purpose for us a certain “gravity pull” which causes all things to work together to get us to the fulfillment of that purpose. That “Gravity Pull” upon us will get us to purpose and to a satisfying sense of fulfillment if we do not allow strong “gravity pull” from other “planets” and “black holes” to divert us. The overwhelming factor in God’s design is that He has purposed to bring each of us to the Image of Christ. That wondrous “Gravity Pull” upon us is not pulling us to heaven. It is pulling us to display the Word… made flesh… full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14) God is pulling us to Himself in order that we may be like Him. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Co 3:18) The goal Paul spoke of is consistently out there before us. It is not illusive nor is it merely idealistic. It IS reachable. It IS attainable. But there are “black holes” and certain “planets” that we must avoid in order to reach that goal. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:12-14) Paul could feel that undeniable “Pull” to His destiny. Rather than resisting that “Pull” he reached forward in anticipation of grasping the fullness for which He had been “apprehended.” That word “apprehended” is a wonderful word which expresses that “Divine Pull” upon us. “Apprehend”: to possess; to take eagerly, comprehend, find, perceive (Strong); to take possession of – in a good sense, of Christ by His holy power and influence laying hold of the human mind and will, in order to prompt and govern it (Thayer). Christ’s “holy power and influence” had laid hold of Paul. It has been said that the gravity pull of a planet is its influence upon other heavenly objects. That holy power and influence of Christ upon us apprehends us in order to display His Image in us and His character through us. Those things which are behind must be laid aside in order that those things which are before may be attained. A prophecy is part of what makes up that “Divine Gravity Pull.” When we receive a prophecy, the word which we receive begins to propel us forward. When we are propelled forward we are truly being propelled toward something but we are also being propelled away from something. Prophecies should serve to help get our minds and emotions off those unfruitful things of the past. There are attitudes and mindsets, traditions and sentiments, failures and rejection that we must set aside in order to go on. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Heb 12:1). We have heard over the years that black holes are believed to be collapsed stars and dense points of vacuum in the universe. We have been told that the gravity pull of black holes is so intense that planets and even galaxies cannot resist their pull. It has been believed that black holes are so dense that not even the slightest amount of light can be detected, hence the name “black” hole. Movies have portrayed the horrible possibilities of being sucked into black holes. The actors are terrified at the consideration of even the slightest chance of coming too close to one. A few months ago I heard an astro-physicist explaining a new view on the origin and make-up of black holes. It would seem that due to recent calculations and information coming in from the Hubble telescope that a biblical premise might be more aptly considered. Updated observation and new calculations are determining that black holes have a characteristic about them that indicates there has been a “rolling” or “folding” of vast amounts of something. With the technology that astro-physicists now have and the recent information they have obtained, it appears that black holes have a great deal to do with the collapsing of time and dimensions. The man quoted Heb 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. The summation of the evidence would indicate that there are certain dimensions and times that God has finished with and, as a result, has rolled or folded them up in order to do away with using them. That is what I meant before when I wrote that there are “black holes” and certain “planets” that we must avoid in order to reach the goal which is before us. There are times and dimensions of our lives that God has used in the past but He is now moving us on from them. There were places and times in our lives that once played a significant part in “pulling” us on to destiny. Now they have the ability to pull us back and suck us back into their blackness where there is no light on what God is doing presently. If we hang around those times and dimensions that are used up and have waxed old as doth a garment, they will pull us into their dense darkness. Paul’s remedy in the face of such a pull was I follow after, if that I may apprehend… forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before; as well as: let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us. God is making all things work together to pull us into His purpose. He has given us prophetic words which bring a divine “uncomfortableness” concerning our present circumstances. When we receive that prophetic word, it acts as a rocket booster, pushing us away from the gravity pull of “black holes.” The planets have been set on course by divine fiat. But when a rogue meteor crashes into a planet it can have a great effect upon its course. Fiery “meteors” crash into us sometimes even when we are on the course God has put us on. Our emotions and finite considerations can keep us veering off course. Those “black holes,” those failures, doubts and events of the past can then begin to pull us away from destiny. Doubtless, everyone reading this article has at one time or another wondered why an omnipotent God would “allow” certain things to “defeat” us and so successfully pull us off course with His purpose for our lives. Yet, in reality, God’s purpose is pulling us directly into the heart of destiny. It is our emotions and impatience and our not enduring that allows the “gravity pull” of other “planets” and “black holes” to pull us off course and cause time delays and other injuries. Even when we do get knocked off course and get pulled to one side or the other, if we will press toward the mark, God’s “gravity pull” will out-pull all other influences upon us. Cf. For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (Prov 24:16) The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (Deut 28:7) So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isa 59:19) Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. (Ps 57:1-3) God has the strongest “pull,” that is, if we want to be pulled, His “pull” will overpower all others. Everything in time and dimensions has been set up for our advantage to get us to destiny ***************************************************************************************************************************************************** Royal Dynasty By Dr. Don Crum What will characterize the year of 2012 for God’s people who are men and women on a mission and what will we need to understand in order to accomplish our tactical objectives? Normally, I’m not a big fan of trying to read spiritual significance into dates, especially dates on our Roman-Greco calendar. However, this time around, I think there may be something important about the year 2012 and the number “12”. This year, God is going to take us where we’ve never been, to see what we’ve never seen, to do what we’ve never done. Here are some additional thoughts I have about this year. (1) 2012 will be the year of the INCREASE OF GOD’S GOVERNMENT. Isa 9:6-7 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” The government of the Kingdom of God increases as God’s sons and daughters who are His ambassadors in the earthly realm, understand and operate more in the implementation of God’s “Foreign Policies” in the earth. Therefore, His rule and reign extend and expand throughout the nations, pulling them into alignment. Matt 13:33 “Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” God’s Kingdom Government is permeating throughout the nations through you and me as His Kingdom Ambassadors. (2) 2012 is the year of APOSTOLIC ADVANCEMENT. You’ve heard of the War of 1812? Well, the War of 2011 left a lot of casualties on the battlefield. Some by friendly fire. A lot of folks came out of the War of 2011 wounded and with a bad case of spiritual PTSD. But what we learned in the War of 2011 has “trained our hands for war and our fingers for battle” for the War of 2012. In the War of 2012, we will TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY for a change. The pain of the past has now been transformed into POWER FOR THE PRESENT TO PREVAIL. This will be a year of great Apostolic Advancement on the international battlefield and we will no longer merely hold ground, but this year we will advance as an “army, terrible with banners”, to TAKE GROUND. There is a new grace from God to now “war better” and with better results than in previous years. In the Old Testament, kings did three things that WE ALSO will do now: 1) They identified and defeated the enemies of the nation; 2) They took the spoils of war; and 3) They ruled the affairs of the nation. We will do this in 2012 like never before. (3) 2012 will be the year of the AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER. As we continue to shift from a “Congregational” to a “Congressional” way of thinking this year, we will be able to legislate and adjudicate more powerfully in prayer. We are authorized, officialised and deputized to “overturn and reverse lower court decisions” of decrees, curses and judgements issued by the lower courts of demonic forces and dark agendas. I can now understand better why God seems to have so blessed and anointed the teaching series, THE ROYAL DYNASTY. We are learning to connect with our identity as to who God says we are and also how to walk in that authority. This will result in the defeat of evil kings who will have our boot print upon their necks. Not by our might, or by our power, but by HIS SPIRIT and in the POWER OF HIS MIGHT. Get ready to face a more intense battle this year as the stakes are higher now, but prepare to realize many greater victories in the conflict. Buckle up. It is going to be a great year. Amen. [Author’s note] The Royal Dynasty is a teaching series that helps us to see our duel role as both Priest and King as God identifies us. As God’s sons and daughters in the earth, we are entrusted with an amazing inheritance of kingly authority to legislate the affairs of nations by invoking God’s plans and policies on a massive global scale. We are rapidly moving out of the Congregational and into the Congressional in this hour. Understanding the Royal Dynasty and our delegated authority in Christ is imperative. ***************************************************************************************************************************************************** Article by Simon Purvis from SEEC Magazine Volume 15 Issue 6 Who’s In Charge? by Simon Purvis The battle of the nation and the church is the battle of ideas (2Cor 10:3-5). We have a powerful weapon in the Word of God, the gospel of the Kingdom of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to confront every idea and strategy. We must start with who is in charge. There are those that believe God is in charge of the earth. Others believe Satan is in charge, and others believe that humanists are in charge. Where Christ is in charge in the earth, here are the by products: 1) The commission is in effect, meaning the earth is being subdued and godly nations are being built through evangelizing and discipling. 2) The Christian culture is permeating all of life, replenishing the earth and blessing all of mankind. 3) All in God’s world is His and every activity in life is a spiritual work of God. 4) Reformation is expected in a nation that is obedient to God’s word. Where Satan is in charge you see: 1) The commission is just to concentrate on saving souls from the evil world. 2) The Christian culture is viewed as a counter-culture, an isolated, persecuted minority in an evil world. 3) Church activity is primary and spiritual while worldly pursuits are secular and to be dealt with only when necessary. 4) Reformation is impossible since things must get worse because Satan is in control. Recently the evangelical church gave a response to “The Response” prayer meeting in Houston. Obviously, evangelicals have the view that Satan is in control of this earth because they believe the only goal is to evangelize and get people ready for heaven, and reformation is impossible. Therefore, anything that hints at reformation in the earth is considered heresy. Evangelicals say that because some of us that believe in the Kingdom of God and Dominion theology attended The Response, along with political people like our governor, the meeting was disqualified as a prayer God would honor. The report I read goes on to express its view of dominionism: “Dominionism is an intoxicating worldview for those who aspire for power, wealth and control. It is also alluring for those idealists who want to solve problems for the planet by helping the poor, fixing the ills of society, change everyone’s worldview and make everyone a happy Christian. The problem with Dominionism is mechanics; just how does one create a Utopia in this earth? The problem for Christians is that Dominionism is off-task. It creates a second commission beyond the simple, the great commission, to spread the gospel of salvation [not the Kingdom]. It invokes a second task which is to create a godly culture and redeem the planet. This task deludes Christians with a promise of a carnal victory emerging in history.” [They use 2Tim. 4:18 to back their conclusion, believing the Kingdom is not earthly but only heavenly.] The world only getting worse, (springing from believing Satan is in charge) concludes the only thing critical is evangelizing, getting souls saved from an evil world and getting out of it. There is left no purpose or time for redeeming. Therefore, they diminish the commission to one aspect, the call to evangelize in Mark 16 (go preach the gospel). The second aspect of the commission in Matthew 28 (go make disciples, teaching them), is considered off-task. However, the first great commission in Genesis 1:26, 28 takes us back to man taking dominion as God originally intended. Dominion simply means that every aspect of life brings glory to the Lord. It is not a plot to take over government. Where the humanist is in charge you’ll see: 1) The commission is whatever you decide to do with your life, since man is the focus. 2) The Christian culture is viewed as old fashioned, irrelevant and restrictive. 3) All human activity is guided by human reasoning and evolution. Man is just a higher animal in a mysterious universe. 4) Reformation is unnecessary and impossible since there are no absolutes by which man can reform anything. In the formation of our nation when the families left England to come here to found a new order, a Christian culture, they had a particular view. Our forefathers had a view that God was in control and that Jesus had authority over all nations with sovereign rule; by His providence everything would work out. It is clear they endured because of who they believed was in control. If you don’t see the right one in control, you don’t know how to endure in a struggle. This is how the escapism of the rapture theory developed as an alternative to enduring. A faulty theology does not see God as in charge and will keep us from persevering. Instead, we fall prey to an attitude of life not being fair, and then our hope becomes hoping that God will just get us out of here. Knowing who is in charge is essential to endurance. Even the doctrine of once-saved-always-saved undermines endurance. Eternal security comes by persevering through our confidence of who is in charge. In our early history, at a time when it seemed all was lost, because of our forefathers’ confidence that God was in charge, they expected an intervention from the throne of God that would change everything. SUCCESS in the WORST of TIMES: Throughout our history there have been real world changers who were not defeated by bleak circumstances. They overcame them. Our patriot forefathers were such men and their example can be a great lesson to us in the worst of times. On January 1, 1781 things looked bleak in the patriot cause. Troops had revolted from the lack of pay because the continental paper money had collapsed. The army had to live off the land and had to barter for their needs. (Is that a possibility today?) General Washington took no salary and had no funds to entertain foreign dignitaries for help. This war had been going for eight full years and it was the worst of times in 1781. The parallels to our time, over 200 years later, are obvious. We face a military machine. Our economy is built upon precarious paper currency, no more sound than the early continental currency. The morale of our people to fight an extended war, especially the battle in the minds of men, is low. “The imposing hand of heaven should be just as obvious to us today as it was to our founders. They consistently declared church, town, state and national days of prayer, humiliation and fasting. They knew that the nation was being sifted by the hand of God, and they understood periods of calamity, hardship and drought were times to align themselves with the will of God. By repenting and acknowledging God in their history, the forefathers were affirming the American covenant.” We must have the faith of our forefathers to restore the nation they built. In the worst of times, a covenant people were founding a nation while under persecution from the political government and the Church of England. They saw Christ on the throne ruling the nations. He had ascended to the throne where Father said He would give Him the nations for His inheritance and Jesus sat down to rule, having been given all authority in heaven and earth. If the church does not see Him as ruling the nations, they will not endure the struggle. The early church, under apostolic commission, was under persecution from Rome (political government) and apostate Israel (the religious church). It was under pressure from the political and the religious leaders. The religious even persecuted from within with an antichrist doctrine. The antichrist was a doctrine, not a person. It was a teaching that said you could get to the Father apart from Christ. So, the struggle was from within as well as from Rome and apostate Israel. John wrote the book of Revelation to give hope to a persecuted church by revealing the One sitting on the throne to rule. The book of Revelation is not about end times or antichrist but rather about Christ sitting on His throne ruling the nations. Saints, if we don’t see that, we won’t persevere. In any culture, there will always be persecution from the political and the apostate church. If we do not keep the right perspective of who is in charge, we will get discouraged. Then self-pity, “why me” attitudes, will keep us from persevering. If we do not persevere under pressure, we fall back into a religious system. The government system does not care how we preach about going to heaven, but it will be shaken when we declare Jesus is really in charge and we will obey Him. When we are convinced His Kingdom rule goes beyond the church walls to the government, the marketplace, the media and every sphere, then the systems are threatened. Rome had hundreds of religions and they were not shaken about Jesus until the day He said He was King. The evangelical church does not care what we do (speaking in tongues, etc.) until we say there is a King here now! They limit Jesus to Savior now and King someday in eternity. They believe in His death, burial and resurrection, but they do not embrace the power of His ascension. We must embrace the ascended Christ, who sits at the Father’s right hand, if we are to understand who is really in charge. Psa 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” [Humanists and Satan begin to persecute, thinking they are in charge, but . . . ] 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” Psa 2:12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (This article was taken from a teaching given by Simon Purvis. For CDs of Pastor Purvis’ messages or to contact him about speaking engagements or to purchase his 160 page study manual on the Kingdom of God, call Word of Life Church at 936-639-2000; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)