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|Written by drk|
|Friday, 27 March 2009 15:58|
–To know Jesus —
et free from the futility of our minds, we can really begin to know the Lord. Daniel said, “…The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits” (Dan. 11:32 NKJ). OH, what a promise. Great exploits. Let me explain what I mean…
Here at our church, we’ve seen absolutely amazing miracles. Oh, there are many examples. We expected great revival from these supernatural occurrences, but disappointment returned over and over as we realized that miracles don’t hold people. The minute healing came, we never saw most of them again. Never! The sad thing is that a whole lot of people only want the miracle, and not the miracle-worker. Some want tongues, instead of the Baptizer of the Holy Ghost, or what is given more than the Giver.
The problem is, instead of showing up for class, many end up chasing those elusive dreams that don’t exist – endlessly searching for feelings, or some tangible sensation, or perhaps a happening that might outweigh everything else. Yet, even greater than all experiences is the fact that we can know God (2 Pet. 1:10). And, when we truly know Him without compromise, then Satan is absolutely powerless.
Adultery keeps us from knowing:
The act of adultery enters into covenant relationships with someone, or seeks the comfort of human systems. Galatians calls adultery a work of the flesh. Furthermore, Proverbs 6:32 says that the stronghold of adultery destroys the soul (the garden of your heart). Unhealed, the adulterer’s wound causes dishonor and reproach that cannot be covered. He loses friendships and sins against his own body.
· But wait! Anything that you love more than God is adultery. Now golf’s not bad unless it is obsessive. Either way, if it’s golf or drugs, if it consumes your heart and your mind then it’s adultery. Adultery connects you to “objects of excessive attachment.” For some it could be a new car. For others it’s immorality.
· Whatever form of idolatry it may be, God wants to bring it to an end. Deal with it. The Lord wants you free. This isn’t condemnation, nor rules to be rules, but a devoted God bringing wholeness. Let’s become people with hearts joined only to the Lord.
· Obviously, we can’t intimately know God while committing spiritual infidelity, not in our spirit, in our bodies, or in our souls. Let’s put it this way: No adultery, not even with restraint! Selah.
· Victory and peace come when we utterly destroy the false objects of our worship (1 Sam. 15). Don’t compromise. Quit rationalizing. Ask the Lord to show you.
è Our travel on the Highway of holiness discovers the Lord’s heart, and not just His hand.
Paul explains this passion to know Jesus in Philippians 3:10, “That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, be conformed to His death.” In this verse we find these points:
1. That I might know Him (intimate fellowship).
2. Know the power of His resurrection (in my life today and forever).
3. Know the fellowship of His sufferings (meaning persecution, not poverty nor sickness).
4. Be made conformable unto His death (a dying to self).
Most Christians may say, “Sure, I know Jesus, He saved me from my sins and now I’m not going to hell.” But now I’m asking, do you really know Him? I didn’t ask if you celebrate Christmas. Do you know that the power of “Resurrection” isn’t just keeping one historical event, but a daily way of life that reveals Jesus? Have you truly given everything to God? All your hurts? Your will and wants?
At the final trial, Pilot asks a riveting question that we must ask ourselves, “What then shall we do with Jesus?” Tell me Christian, do you hang a dead guy on a cross around our neck? Is He an appendage to add on to your busy schedule? When you sing, do you sing about Jesus -- or to Him? Do you harmonize with His temperament? When you pray, do you always want something, or do you want to be with Him? True conversion takes religion and philosophy out of faith.
That word know means to perceive, and understand -- not just talk about Jesus but talk to Him. It means that you grow like Him by being with Him. That growth comes not just by an occasional glancing heavenward, but a gazing face to face, and a standing side by side; not a passing acquaintance but a love affair.
· I don’t often get too excited about that suffering part that Paul mentioned. Nevertheless, without knowing the fellowship of suffering, you don’t realize that Jesus suffered quietly and without protest. You learn from His example how to overcome and survive life’s detours. You also learn there’s a tremendous cost of personal sacrifice involved in knowing God.
· Paul said that the house of Stephanas had “addicted themselves” to the ministry of the saints. Addiction means that something exists that you can’t get enough of -- you always want more. And so it is with knowing. We should develop trustworthy addictions to discovering the Kingdom. Trouble is, even if you resolve to find a greater relationship, the embers fade without stoking the fire. This process of knowing should continue for your lifetime. Those who are addicted have a continuous aspiration to comprehend.
John 17:26 records Jesus’ greatest prayer. Here in His final days, Jesus asked that the disciples learn to love Him with the same love that His Heavenly Father loved Him. How many times I’ve read over this verse and missed the understanding -- that I could be driven by the same heavenly passion to love Jesus in the identical manner that the Father loves Him. Dr. Jack Deere says that he prays daily to ask for this same love to grow in him. Lord, consume us with that love. Reveal to us Who You are.
At His birth, Jesus wasn’t the Messiah the world expected. The religious community, zealous only for their private traditions, completely missed His visitation. They clung to their egotistical attitudes and preconceived ideas, oblivious to the unlikely babe in swaddling clothes. Israel expected a King. Yet, Jesus brought change and challenge, breaking up their fallow and unproductive ground by transforming their religious concepts.
Many of those living around Jesus didn’t know Him. Remember, the end of Jesus’ ministry, when crowds of people lined the roadway waving palm branches and singing, “Hosanna, and Hallelujah!” Jesus walked among them as the Messiah in their midst. Then He departed to the hillside above the city and cried, “Israel, You’ve missed my visitation. You don’t even know Who I am.” He grieved that they wouldn’t receive His salvation. Those who entered into the joyous celebration that day returned to their normal lives the next. And, a few days later, that same crowd that proclaimed Jesus clamored to crucify Him. They had the temporary experience they came for – but they weren’t converted. They weren’t changed nor perfected.
But wait. Could it be that at this very moment He already stands in our midst, and we fail to recognize Him? This time He wants not only a visitation but also a habitation that only comes through knowing Him. Once again, Jesus comes back a second time -- to start controversy. He returns, but probably not in the form we’re expecting. We must begin to SEE Him as He really is (and we shall be like Him). When John the Revelator saw Jesus, all heaven said, “Holy, holy, holy.” Will you recognize Him? Do you cry with compassion over your city?
1. Actively seeking God must be a continual preoccupation – so don’t quit after a few years. Read 2 Chronicles 15 and 16 to learn how King Asa called his country into a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul. (Those who refused to seek God were put to death.) At last, they found God and were given rest for 35 years. After all that, King Asa forgot to seek God and foolishly turned his reliance toward the king of Syria. A prophet came to warn him, but Asa refused to listen and consequently became severely sick. Asa sought only physicians – not the Lord -- and he died.
2. Write about why you think King Asa forgot the Lord.
3. Read about the second encounter of the brothers of Joseph. They didn’t recognize their own blood relative (Gen. 41-45).
To SEE Him
Once when my four kids were small, we spent a very lonely Christmas Day. Their dad was working and we were all bored, so we decided to brave the -55 degree weather and go to a kid’s movie. We all bundled up in our parkas, mittens, and boots and excitedly climbed into the car. Daylight should have still appeared… but the ice fog was so thick that we couldn’t see, as we drove into the enveloping thick fog. “Don’t worry,” I confidently said, while trying to steer with my left hand, and scrape the frost crystals rapidly forming on the inside of the front window glass with my right.
The car headlights flared upon the pollution that suspended heavily all around us. The frozen squared off tires bump - bump - bumped upon the crisp icy road. The heater squealed and howled, which made my kids’ little red cheeks turn up into grins. I carefully counted the blurred stoplights until we saw the haze of lights marking the theater where we parked the car and hurriedly rushed to the entrance. Except, when we got to the door – it was the grocery store and not the movies! We couldn’t see. And we had to get back in the car and drive on down to the next corner to get where we wanted to go.
Often fog surrounds our experiences in life and blinds us from knowing where we are. We grope in the haze, tapping with our white cane to find a way out. Often it seems especially foggy when a new problem comes around. Generally, we must work our way out of the fog. When it finally lifts, we understand that our confidence has taken us through many unexpected places.
As Jesus appears, He refuses to be only a part of our life, but enters only to become our whole life. This knowing must become a personal pilgrimage. The longer we travel, the more you realize that God’s wilderness highway takes us far down the road of separation from our flesh, and prepares us to live His character -- no matter what the cost. On this trip, sometimes we can tap a vein of wonder that gives a depth of spiritual current never attained before. This pulling into a plugged in place, toward a glimpse of the future, steadily accumulates hope.
Acquaint now yourself with Him, (agree with God and show yourself to be conformed to His will) and be at peace; by that (you shall prosper and great) good shall come to you.
Job 22:21 AMP
Will you SEE Him? How well you know God rests with you. If you are going to move into the supernatural, you must get acquainted with Him. When you are acquainted, then this verse in Job explains that you agree with Him, and you conform to His will. There in that place of peace, you shall prosper and good shall come. Like we just said, the decision rests with you.
Remember the story about a great feast, where certain Greeks came to Philip saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” These Greeks didn’t think that Jesus would talk to a Gentile, so they asked the Apostle Philip. He didn’t know how to answer them either, so Philip asked Andrew. Then Andrew told Jesus, but Jesus answered the Greeks directly, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” In other words, Jesus told the Greeks (Gentiles) His imminent future plans that even the disciples could not perceive.
In earlier chapters, we talked about how the god of this world has blinded our minds (2 Cor. 4:4). Today, we’re no longer tolerant of being blind to a personal encounter, and so we say, “Sir, I want to see Jesus.” And you know what? He’ll show Himself to those who understand (SEE) that this revelation is already accomplished through the cross. Through peace and holiness, we’ll see the Lord. Now, like David we can say, “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”
When we SEE Him, we die:
This whole story becomes more significant when we look at what Jesus told these Greeks when they saw Him. “If a grain of wheat doesn’t fall on the ground and die, it cannot grow again.” What does Jesus say when we finally SEE Him? Lay it all down and die to yourself. The message still remains the same; the old nature must be dealt with daily, as the believer takes up the cross (Luke 9:23).
Watchman Nee said that The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my “old man.” The blood deals with sin, but the cross deals with the sinner. Someone defined the CROSS as where His will and your will converge and intersect. Renewing the mind until you die to self allows that seed casing to crack and your plant to sprout into holiness and maturity.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are two opposing forces in the universe that are both trying to kill you – the devil and God. One of them will do it. Which one will win? You can continue in your old unforgiving ways and let Satan kill you. Or you can let God kill you. Death to your “old man” means you bend down to pick up the cross that leads to your (soulish) execution. To die to selfishness means dying to your natural thinking and beginning to think the thoughts of God.
Alas! Most of us have never experienced the cleansing of the carnal mind, and the daily application of the cross. In unguarded moments we abort our death-to-self and scamper back to the old ways of allowing self to rule. Left once again to our own temporal nature, our putrid unregenerated flesh permits a type of self-vindication to rise and take control.
Remember that the only way to live is to die to our carnal and well-rehearsed plans to retaliate against those who have wronged us, and actually begin praying for them. What that means is that no longer will we look for people to be a resource to serve our own vision. Rather, our life is laid down, as a pure offering to serve God and our fellow man. Best of all, when the Lord kills us, we’ll be raised up to live as a demonstration of the Kingdom of God. In a split second we can decide to make life the best life that can be.
è The true root of power lies in the strength of self-sacrifice.
Just after the story (Jn. 14:8) about the Greeks asking to see Jesus, this same Philip once again emerges. This time Philip wants Jesus to show him the Father. Jesus says to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not know Me, Philip?” Understand that Philip (an apostle for almost 2½ years) didn’t know Who Jesus really was, or what His life was about! That’s like us. Some of us don’t even know that we don’t know. It’s possible to memorize most of the Bible and be able to quote it backwards, and still not know God. We can have advanced degrees and still never know Him. Look at Philip, an apostle who didn’t know Jesus… he couldn’t SEE Him for Who He was. But, after learning to see, Philip was later “caught away” or seized into another dimension (Acts 8:39).
With this in mind, we recall how Paul was blinded. Only when the scales fell from his eyes, did he receive sight.
1. Then, as a once-blind person, Paul understood that his calling was to open the eyes of the Gentiles. His commission was to open unbelievers’ blind eyes and turn them from darkness to light. His preaching pointed towards giving sight.
2. Every one of Paul’s visions and spiritual revelations (what Paul saw in the spiritual) marked him for life. Vision became the driving force that gave eternal perspective through beatings, shipwreck, and betrayal. 
3. After seeing, 2 Cor. 12:4 says that Paul was “caught up” into a paradise dimension and heard sacred secrets.
4. Later, Paul prays that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened (Eph. 1:18).
Being one who SEES is imperative in the last days – especially when the world is in darkness. (Luke 12:37) “Blessed are those who are watching for Him to come.” This Kingdom where Christ reigns does not come by natural observation (Luke 17:20), but is spiritually discerned and spiritually imparted. Our salvation allows us the seeing of the eternal Kingdom.
The heart of an unbeliever remains veiled (2 Cor. 4) and blind. Even the Pharisees thought they could see. Like them, a spirit of rationalism has settled upon the church that says, “When I see it, I’ll believe it.” We’ve been waiting to hear a human voice and see with our natural mind. Except the eyes of faith say, “I believe it, therefore I SEE it.”
Our eyes may be compare to the lens of a camera, which determines how much light comes to our mind. What we see is actually decided by our mind’s eye. It’s a matter of how we look at things that decides whether our life will be a blessing or a curse. Matthew 6:22 says, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body is full of light.” The eyes determine how we see, and that view controls our whole body. We either serve out vision and find light, or we don’t and find darkness.
Satan tries to obscure all the good things, and keep us seeing inability and lack of self-worth. The enemy struggles to defeat us with wild thoughts of our own ignorance and evil ways, blinding us from the light of the glorious gospel of Christ that should shine forth.
Can you imagine the actual unveiling of your spiritual eyes to see the scope of possibilities awaiting you? That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, and then he could SEE the Kingdom. FAITH begins when you envision the Kingdom – that seeing is followed by entering in, participating, and doing the Word.
Jesus told us that if the eye were clear, the whole body would be full of light. Surely it’s a new level of seeing when we comprehend what Jesus showed the disciples in Samaria, that the harvest is not in a few months. If we lift up our eyes we’ll see that harvest is now. The speck-free eye sees what God sees. This vision and revelation becomes more real than what we actually see as carnal people.
è The Holy Spirit lives in you to show you the truth and cause you to SEE in the eternal new realm.
While Jesus walked this world, the crowds easily saw him as a man, but only those with spiritual eyes could perceive Him as Christ, the Anointed One, and the Messiah. Seeing with Kingdom eyes will be one of the most crucial discoveries you ever make. There’s “Many a winding road,” but focusing on accurate spiritual insight suddenly pulls you back onto the right road. The point of focus is where all the rays of light converge. Jesus said blessed are your eyes, for they SEE.
(Heb. 11) Now (current, today) faith is the substance (tangible, title guarantee, foundation) of things not seen (in the natural realm). Faith, the evidence (proof) of our hope, gives reality to the unseen realms, treating them as if they were already objects of sight rather than hope. Like the telephone lines that follow alongside our Highway, faith connects us to the unseen. That conduit of faith brings the heavenly realm into the arena of the seen (temporal, natural). That conduit energizes by accurately speaking out what will be.
Without vision (spiritual insight), we’ll perish. Our confessions will be in vain if they don’t pertain to what God shows us. The problem has been that all along we’ve said right words, but not THE right words – that result from perceiving the spiritual realm. No longer can we confess from a standpoint of what we want (which may be good, but not revelatory), but we must speak from His “now” purposes. Lord, let it be on earth as it is in heaven.
Have you noticed how being a Christian turns out to be much more difficult than you thought? Let me assure you, it isn’t always a Cinderella story, where we float down to the altar and then live happily-ever-after on a continuous honeymoon. No, usually it’s a trial! The fairy tale has ended. Even Prince Charming sometimes becomes a trial.
Most of us want an easy way out of our wilderness. When that doesn’t happen, we eventually learn to go through hard times; that’s what grows us up. God always preserves us through trials, rather than removing them. Maturity shows us that every trial becomes an opportunity for God to show Himself faithful. The Chinese word for opportunity and crisis is the same word -- it all depends on how we handle the circumstance. Opportunity emanates from adversity. Welcome it. Let opportunity become your best friend. Face that problem now. You can go through, so don’t go around. One thing we need is a spirit of adventure.
In late August, the Tanana and Chena rivers overflowed their banks in Fairbanks. My husband and I had gone for a slow walk down the road strewn with particularly lovely fallen leaves of autumn. Being eight months pregnant with our third child I was very tired. We had spent the day helping our friends who lived in the low lands rescue their belongings out of the flood danger. Later that day, while slowly walking about two blocks from our home, we noticed a sea of water spreading like a field, and moving quickly towards us.
My husband pushed me home as fast as we could go. He drove the car to the back alley as we loaded up the kids, dragged the cat out from under the car, and grabbed some food from the freezer to take with us. The water rose over the hubcaps and lapped at the car doors, as we drove away from our 20-day-old, brand new house. Now 5½ feet of water poured inside. After we drove away, the garage door floated open and most of our new still-unpacked furniture floated down the road.
We stayed in a friend’s small mobile home with two other families – 6 adults and 14 kids in a small trailer. After two miserable days, I took my kids and eventually evacuated to Anchorage, with no clothes and no luggage. The military cargo airplane was equipped with only strap hammock-like seats that were extremely difficult to negotiate for a very pregnant lady. Even so, I felt relieved to be out of the crowded situation of the trailer park…. and we took off.
All at once, the gaunt young woman directly beside me stopped breathing. Of course there were no flight attendants on this emergency plane – so I raced over to get the oxygen tank near the cockpit and screamed at the only pilot to get help. He called the airport terminal and hooked up with a Doctor in Anchorage who told him what to do. Then, over the noisy engines, the pilot screamed back at me as I tried to figure out how to work that strange contraption – fortunately it was a short flight and she made it. Turns out, she had a violent reaction to the typhoid vaccine we were all given.
In Anchorage, the Red Cross gave clothes for my kids and me and then we flew on regular airlines to the States to stay with my mom. When we finally arrived back East… guess what? The airlines had lost my luggage – all the Red Cross stuff. And we had to start over again. It seemed ironic to lose everything including the replacements.
The murky river settled in our new home for over a week, as the waterlogged cupboards expanded from the rotting wet flour and sugar. The buried oil fuel tanks in our back yard surfaced from the pressures, and poured oil slicks on everything. Our once extravagant fur parkas, now snarled with oil, felt like inflexible over-toasted crust.
Living near the Arctic Circle, we were pressed to get closed in and dried out before the soon coming winter. Our antique hand carved upright piano fell apart at every joint. My husband threw all our clothes and ruined belongings into a tottering mountain of trash in the street, and I returned home to help work.
The most sickening sight was the stacks of sopping, saturated souvenirs and books that began to mold in spite of my desperate attempts to rescue them. I had important papers and pictures smoothed out to dry all over the walls and mirrors. The carpets were ripped up and dragged up to the roof to be cleaned and dried. We crowbar-ed the cupboards apart to empty the spoiling food, and tore the furnace apart to learn how to fix it. Same with the washer and dryer, then we had to remove the peeling kitchen tile floor. Flood insurance policies for the desert of interior Alaska were nonexistent, and we had to absorb the financial loss ourselves. Besides that, we had no furniture for the new baby that came soon after my return.
But we later realized that the only important item we lost were the pictures of our kids when they were small. Everything else could eventually be replaced. I told you all of that to say this: God’s concern is that you overcome, succeed, and not collapse. If you think about it, nearly every biblical personality had difficulty, didn’t they?
What about Joseph? All because of that dream (the unfolding purpose for his life) -- his envious brothers threw him in a pit leaving him to die. Without realizing it, they now became the instruments used to bring about that dream. However, to Joseph, this pit began his journey into the wilderness; he was sold into slavery, put into prison, and buffeted at every crossroads – all before his dream happened. We don’t expect hardship to happen to us, but it’s a prototype of how to not give up before accomplishing our purposes. That’s why we must SEE the vision of our future beyond our trial.
è Sometimes, detours turn right into God’s interstate highway.
Psalms describes the consequence of Joseph’s seventeen years of wanderings, “Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him”(105:17-19). In the midst of every dream, there will be a trial. Even when we know this, we still wonder, “What in the world have I done wrong? Where have I missed God?” But, whether we’re chained in the dungeon, battling an ocean typhoon, or wandering in the desert, we’re in the process of being conformed to the image of God. We’re learning how to commune with Him and be changed.
è The test: will you persevere?
è Your purpose isn’t to do a great accomplishment for the Father, but to know and to obey Him.
è God assures that your dream -- the vision of your future – unfolds. Beware, if you serve the dream by your own abilities.
At this point of our journey, flat tires, angry motorists, and roadside obstacles all pass by like repetitious billboards. There was a time when doubt and disbelief momentarily whipped across the fenders like saplings in a gale, but it turns out that our ride is now only mildly uncomfortable. Victory comes if we roll with the cadence of the difficulties and persevere in truth. So look up. It’s time to shout with gladness over the top of impending difficulties and catch a glimpse of the awaiting glassy morning.
Many years later when my family first came to Guam, it seemed that God had certainly abandoned us. “We made the wrong decision this time! Maybe there was a purgatory after all, and we’d found it. Surely, we're doomed,” we cried, lonely and without friends. The perplexing adjustment of moving from the arctic to live in the tropics with no air-con -- from the coldest cold to the hottest hot continued. Our rental house stayed so hot that visitors wouldn’t come through the front door. Our first year began with a big typhoon, and because of the unyielding heat, we left the front door open. The way the house was situated against a hill, not even the slightest breeze approached the door.
And, how can I describe our huge couch -- it was bright orange -- and reeked of mildew. A bad dream all by itself. AND THE COCKROACHES -- that I had never seen before in my life -- filled my every waking moment. I couldn’t go to sleep because roaches (demon spirits from the pit of hell) constantly plotted against me. I mean, it was a living nightmare.
All four of our kids lived in the musty, smelly, non air-conditioned home. My oldest daughter was pregnant and couldn’t leave the house because the smell made her too nauseated to return home. My oldest son couldn’t find work, so he learned to play his guitar a lot better. He also learned the dialogue to all the reruns of Ozzie and Harriet and Star Trek.
Daily, my second son got beat up and threatened at the local high school. My youngest daughter couldn’t leave our sight because of the crime. Besides that, I had to do my laundry in the bathtub with the toilet plunger. “Surely,” I murmured, “this is the end! God has truly left me. We’ve made some horrible mistake -- it must be the unpardonable sin!”
But, after a period of great adjustment, we realized that Guam had to be the most beautiful place in the world, and after all, most people dream of living on a tropical island. It turned out that moving to Guam became a major turning point. It marked the end of one era and the beginning of another, giving direction to all my choices. It increased the width of the road on which to travel the remainder of my life.
Even so, the trials became more fierce. I already mentioned that one year we had six major typhoons in just a few short weeks. It felt like living in a bowling alley, and each storm followed the strike path. One tremendous super-typhoon actually blew the wind measuring devices away, and blasted out the windows of the airport tower. The force of the rain came up though our solid concrete floor in little spouts, flooding our living room. The massive air conditioners on the second story roof of our church crashed to the ground totally destroyed. Following the storms came the seemingly unbearable six weeks without power -- in the tropics. Then came the earthquake…
A few years ago, Guam had an 8.2 earthquake. It was the four strongest in this century, in the world – except not many people heard about it -- because our little remote island has a small population. There just isn’t enough room in this book to explain what an upheaval that big feels like. My three-year-old grandson described it as “huge monsters fighting and crashing in our walls and floor.” The quake was 200 times worse than the one that devastated California at about the same time. Truly, everything that could be shaken was shaken. The overcoming of these (and many more) catastrophes dramatically helped prepare me for the ministry ahead.
On a subsequent trip to the Philippines, the airlines lost my luggage (haven’t I heard that story before?) leaving me with no clothes, no Bible, no notes. Worse, I lost my voice and had to preach Crusades in a whisper! During that single trip came a secondary volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo, a typhoon, a solar eclipse, and an invasion of locusts. Really! But, it’s not hard times that glorify the Lord, but our attitude while going through them.
God plans for me to SEE His will, unravel the tangled web of my life, take the Kingdom, and split the veil of my flesh -- emerging as a trophy for His glory. Paul told of this eventual sonship, “He that overcomes inherits all things, and I shall be his God and he shall be my son.” That’s not, he who sits and is overcome will I let be my son. Oh no. Now is the time in the prophetic calendar to become the sanctified voluntary bondservants who cross over, and conquer. No longer are we waiting in our-rocking-chair-in-the-sky, just to go to heaven for the sweet-by-and-by. No, we’re in the right place, at the right destiny moment. All because we don’t give up.
è If you’re not experiencing the promises of God, then He’s called you to a place that you’ve not yet seen. Will you press to the mark?
Usually you may want to rebuke those difficulties on the discouraging road, but often those are the very obstacles to be overcome. Let your faith endure by faith, knowing that troubles come and go. God’s way is to walk through every difficulty in faith (walk through the valley of the shadow of death), knowing that He loves you and will bring you out. So pack light and leave the emotional baggage at home. And, oh yeah, watch your complaining.
By opening the windows of our soul (our spiritual eyes), we unlock the brass gates that have long shuttered and disguised the open windows of heaven. This new view offers us a sure taste of the goodness of the Lord. In a moment, sickness, vain imaginations, and spiritual death give way to the power of God. Our faith journey now brings us to a place of trusting reliance, willing obedience, and submission to the sovereign will of God. Holiness becomes observable by demonstrable action.
Through open windows, our identity crises wash away, splashed by the occasional summer shower. Rejoicing at this newly seen vista, we snuggle safely under His wing-like umbrella of protection, as the blessed warm rain shower dances a curious rhythm, settling the dust of carnality around and under our feet. The smell of rain surrounds us, but it’s not the time for umbrellas and galoshes – this new cadence urges us to get soaking wet (Ez. 47:1-12) – drenched from head to foot! The river is flowing. Even the wind smells of fragrant freshness as we breathe deeply, and grasp inside the inspiration that led us through the difficult future.
My youngest daughter had a baby that the doctors said probably wouldn’t survive birth. There was no hope. It was a devastating and grievous heartache. And, here I was, a pastor who didn’t know how to pray. Persistent conflict within my mind strove to resolve spiritual truths with these impossible events.
As the emergency intensified, the carefully constructed chambers of my life were demolished. Distant and carefully hidden fears released floods of former failures.
While weeping in the hospital cafeteria, God harshly rebuked me…
“You don’t love the world like you love this baby.” And that was true. His heart for lost souls grieves like I despaired for my daughter and this child. We don’t comprehend that today we stand on the brink of forever with a multitude of living dead still hopelessly unprepared for the cataclysmic end. And yet, we’re still strangled with caring only about ourselves and our small circle.
While thinking about this comparison of my grandchild and the lost, the Lord commanded me, “Lie down.”
“Hey, wait…” I protested, “I don’t feel led to lie down.” But, He made me lie down. Even though I wanted to be near stirred water, God wanted to feed me in His beautiful pasture beside still water. That was the last place I wanted to be! No longer could I impose a phony or pretentious interpretation on the problem and narrowly confess that everything was great. All that was over. He made me lie down! When I finally become stripped of every support, when all of plan a, plan b, and plan c didn’t work, when the wisdom of my natural reasoning all came to an end -- He made me lie down. Why? Because He wanted to restore my soul. When we realize that God has been shaping and molding our life since birth, we can lie down, get out of the way, and be at peace.
Surrender fills the soul with trust (Romans 6:13). So far most of us have had mostly a shallow outer court experience. No one can come on inside His dwelling without REST, which is a total yielding of our will. Of this one thing I’m certain, to intensify our awareness of God, we must acquire this resting position that invades the composition of our existence. It’s in overcoming the emotions (soul) and acquiring this restful vantage that we can meditate, adore, petition, and intercede with greater effectiveness.
Could it be that what seems like the worst of times can somehow bring forth the most important lessons in life? The voice of many waters finally stirs a ripple in this motionless water and says, “If you cannot find my peace, you’ll never find Me. Selah. Stop and be filled with rain!” It will be like that day in the desert, when Elijah smelled rain – like a man’s hand that began to rise upon the horizon. He felt the wind’s agitated motion sweep over the desert valley of famine and loneliness. The Lord God still makes Himself accessible during times of our greatest needs.
è My attitude of true worship brings the rain (Zechariah 14: 17) that stirs the water.
è Nothing else will change us but our own decision to yield.
è Yielding brings us to a new sign on the road. It says “Rest Area.” It’s time to stop.
I want you to see this process -- from the event to its conclusion. The soul deals with faith. Sometimes, we interpret the events of our natural journey, and panic in that gap time when we should be standing in a spiritual dimension. Sometimes it feels as if God has gone to the other side of the mountain, but we must KNOW that He is ever present. Jesus explained this in Matt.11:29, “Learn from Me...and...find rest for your souls.” Find rest. God rested from His work and we must labor to enter into that rest. We must end all self-seeking endeavors and discover His absolute, unconditional acceptance.
Here at this silent peaceful pool we realize, “It’s not what I think anymore. I will bring my mind into line with the Word of God. I will conform to His Word. I’m not going to do what I want to do anymore. I’m going to finally grow up and rest.” It takes guts to confront the darkness of the soul and allow the Holy Spirit to pour in the oil and the wine. However, it’s through this conscious reshaping of my soul, that I realize that I’m going to be whole.
In this place we finally realize, “I cannot change my spouse, my children, or my government. I am totally helpless. I can only choose to let God transform my consciousness and change me.” The end of self is a great shock. Only when we hate the sinfulness of our true nature -- will it leave. Only when we come to the end of ourselves will the bells of heaven begin to ring in the distance. Then the great cloud of witnesses leans over the balcony of their heavenly arena, “Look at her go” they shout, “she’s getting closer! Look at him; behold, all things are new.”
è I can choose to let God change me through rest and peace.
As we prayed for this grandchild, our prayers enlarged for the city, and then for nations. He’s placed us into this time, into this century, into this hour because we can make a difference. Through this trial, my motives became more clear. True Christianity results when we trust God and become a demonstration of His glory here on this earth. The cross that rends the veil of our flesh can bring true unction from the Father.
In our Biblical measure of time, we’re concluding the last part of the sixth day. We’re ready to emerge into the seventh day and the seventh feast. The next trumpet will sound the final harvest. This happens so fast that before you get the seed in the ground it will be time to collect it. Those overcomers become that combine harvester, gathering crops as soon as they’ve turned on the key.
è My love for God is measured by my love for the world.
è Through overcoming, I know who I am. I trust the God in me. I trust the word that He speaks to me and through me.
è People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.
1. Yield yourself to God (Rom. 6:13). Tell him about the discouraging experiences of your wilderness journey and totally surrender to Him.
2. Be determined to eliminate all besetting sin that causes God to hide His face and not hear your prayers (Isa. 59:2).
3. Give God your life. Hold back nothing. Trust Him, no matter what.
4. Become shut up within God’s purifying purposes.
If you’ve been searching for life’s balance and satisfaction, then you simply must know that rest leads you upward toward this fascinating place of worship. You’re moving once again, but this time only with the cloud. Ease up on the throttle, and steer toward the inestimable ocean-depths of comprehending worship. You’re very near to the midst of communion (koininea, true worship, and exchange), because that’s what we have been talking about from the beginning.
This Sacred God presses His church about His holiness in worship. Even the redemptive name Jehovah Maqadash means, “I Am the God who Sanctifies.” Because His character is holy, He purposes an ongoing transformation for you to become holy and exhibit the essence of His nature. That’s worship. And, only the Holy Spirit knows how to create that fundamental need to worship.
It’s incredible to realize that we’ve been created with the capacity to bless God and minister refreshment to Him. Our ultimate calling in this life and the next is to be worshipers, but have you noticed how it often seems that something is missing? There was a time for me, as ministry and life demands intensified, that enjoyment flew out the window and worship became a duty. Have you experienced that? You smile and pretend, but I ask you, where’s the realness that makes a difference? Where’s the testimony that pierces the darkness? We’ve seen how without personal holiness, you can’t worship the living God.
Worship is not the song service -- not the glorious old hymns, nor the gloomy droning organ dirges. In fact, it’s not music, nor even going to church, nor singing a song that’s on key while clapping at the right time. Worship is neither a performance nor a production. It’s neither a belief nor a predetermined ceremony (three fast songs and three slow songs). Besides that, it’s not lots of candles lighting pious faces that chant routine rhetoric. And hold on, it’s not expensive sequined banners, and dancers. We have all of this and still fail to discover worship.
I’ve walked the elaborate halls of St. Peter’s Basilica and watched enormous crowds press in to kiss the little statue’s feet, while others jam around a balcony hoping to catch a glimpse of a special person. These sincere and patient people stand for hours with tears in their eyes, hoping to be absolved from the things they fully intend to continue doing. I wanted to scream. Still, they are anesthetized and hypnotized by their ceremonial traditions. Jesus described this empty condition when He quoted the prophet Isaiah, “These people honor me with their lips, but their heart (soul, ground, garden) is far from me. They worship me in vain...Leave them; they are blind guides...” (Mat. 15:8,9, 14 NIV). Throughout time, humans have worshipped God in meaningless ways.
è Present your body as a living sacrifice; that is spiritual worship.
è In many ways, your spirit is blocked from His Spirit until your soul conforms to His will.
è Worshipping God is giving your life to Him and then doing what He says. Real worship transforms you into His holy likeness.
Music is merely a vehicle that helps you express your heart. Singing a new hymn, or rearranging the order of the church service is not the answer. It’s possible to memorize the entire Bible and never worship the Lord. Many are seduced by favoring their spiritual gifts above the Lord Jesus Christ. Some claim to see apparitions in order to draw attention to themselves. Others deify hype and emotionalism excesses. Some even worship their own excellent musical abilities. The prophet Isaiah (59:2) said, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear.”
The Lord is jealous – but why? Because few find Him in true worship from a devoted heart. Still in all, He makes continual provision for believers to partake of His holy nature. Remember, God doesn’t need our worship to prove our love, He knows our heart. He chooses to interact (respond to worship) with those who walk by faith against the tide of the whole world. We worship so that God can change us into His likeness. Corporate worship comes only from those who in absolute surrender assemble together knowing there is no other hope but God.
Worship from the corporate body of Christ reveals His presence. None of us have His fullness, each have a portion of Him residing within our individual temples. When we assemble in unity, Jesus comes in His fullness, and we become completed. His voice is as many rushing rivers.
Hopefully, now the real reason for this book clarifies. Our soul realm renewal to holiness is not merely a sanctimonious exercise in morality, but the entry into an intensely burning relationship (koininea) with God. Methodically, we’ve built up this idea of transforming our minds, not as sufficient in itself, but to become the rock that propels us out of the slingshot and into the renewal that becomes true worship. With clean hands and a pure heart we anticipate a face-to-face encounter. Holiness becomes a personal revival of our affections, restoring us from an inactive or unused state. We prepare for Jesus to come. We recognize His ways. Zephaniah says that He dwells in our midst, and He dances with rejoicing over our heads. Corporate worship brings perception, form, and cognizance of Jesus.
The first mention of worship concerns Abraham’s offering of Isaac on the mountain of Moriah. Here, worship represents a total surrender to the will of God. Together, we intersect with the Holy and Sacred One who created all things, and called forth our very existence. He gives us each moment of our life and providentially oversees each happening of our life. No other response is possible, we become more like Him with each breath.
For most of my adult Christian life, I couldn’t bear to sing “Amazing Grace.” The very idea of praising God for ten thousand years seemed unbearably boring. “What kind of egomaniac…” I’d ask in all sincerity, “would demand constant praise?” But, later I began to realize that God doesn’t need my praise, I need to give it. Giving is Worship (Ps. 29: 1-2). The old English for this word is Worth-ship to the One Who is worthy. His Love gives. More than that, the total love of God allows me the choice to continue in my own way if I want.
The Hebrew word for worship means to bow yourself down, to humble your selfish longings, and put aside your selfish ambitions in order to give devotion and passionate affection to the Lord. That kind of true worship, from spirit to Spirit, occurs each time you choose to participate in this expression of holiness.
Proskineo, the Greek word for worship, means “to turn toward to kiss, to adore with reverence, like a dog kisses his master’s hand.” We find when we turn to kiss Him that He already has passionately turned His face toward us. Yet, know this, we need holy lips to kiss Him. God’s looking for a sanctified people who enjoy being with Him – every day, and every place. They praise Him with an unpretentious lifestyle. In these “burning ones” will be that exchange of Divine communion (koininea) with the Holy One—continuously, day and night throughout eternity, without end.
2 Chronicles 26 tells us that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God made him prosper. For fifty-two years Uzziah reigned as an enormously successful and famous monarch. It’s hard to comprehend that after all that time, one day he quit seeking the Lord. Uzziah’s heart lifted up with pride. Failure at the end of his life led this once prosperous king to a horrendous death from leprosy (a rotting of flesh).
At this same time, Isaiah told about a personal experience that he had in worship (6:1), “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw (saw clearly) the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” It seems that the physical presence of Uzziah somehow hindered the open vision to others. Something had to die before the glorious Savior could appear -- the old ways. Only after the death of self could the glory enter. When Uzziah died, Isaiah was able to see the Almighty God exalted on the throne until the train of his robe (He is the “God of the cloth”) filled the temple. Likewise, His holy garment fills me— I am the temple of God. (1 Cor. 3:16). Can you see it?
(Isaiah 6:2-3) Continuously, day and night, through all eternity, seraphim (the burning ones who cover their faces during worship) cry out, “Holy, holy, holy,” and all heaven is reminded of this triune Holiness. These blazing ones lived near the throne in daily communion with God. Notice that the seraphim did not cry out “Faith, faith, faith” or “Mercy, mercy, mercy.” The cry of “Holy” was so loud that the foundations of the threshold and the house were filled with smoke (the glory of God, the burning of incense).
As a Godly man seeing the revelation of God, Isaiah suddenly perceived himself below standard. He said, (6:5) “... woe is me for I am undone.” In much the same way, Peter thought that his strong willpower and determination were enough -- then he denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed. When we see our own nature, we will fall down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Lk.5:8), and “I am a person of unclean lips” (Is. 6:6).
As Isaiah acknowledged his own shortcomings, a coal from the altar touched his lips to purge his unholy mouth (what he says). (6:7) —Notice that this is not carnal effort, because the “burning one” brought the coal at the altar and said, “And your iniquity (perverse, bent, and crooked nature) is taken away and your sins are purged.”
1. Vision leads to revelation of holiness.
2. Experiencing God’s holiness reveals all other sinfulness.
3. Recognizing sin brings repentance.
4. Receiving cleansing causes a response to the call.
5. Responding to the call releases us into service.
Solomon’s commission was to build a house for God’s name (2 Sam. 7:13). Solomon’s Temple – one of the most glorious pieces of architectural work in the entire world. There, the singers sang and the dancers gracefully waltzed around the lavish building. Can you see it? There, Israel sang “one sound,” and the fire of the Lord and His cloudy presence filled this entire place (2 Chron. 7:4-5, 5:11-14) until the priests couldn’t stand.
We may be wondering, where’s this power in the last days? When will it be too holy to stand? Except, maybe we don’t really want that glory to come into our worship. In fact, we may subconsciously choose to keep our dead philosophies. Then we don’t have to change. If we would understand our commission to build God’s house within, then His glory would abide.
What was required:
1. The prerequisite? They sang with one voice, and one song. Unity.
2. They agreed that “God was good and His mercy endures forever.”
3. The priests sanctified themselves without regard to divisions (2 Chron. 5:11)
4. The glory filled the house.
Paul told us to turn away from those false brethren who deny the power of the Holy God (2 Tim. 3:1). Instead, turn toward Jesus once again -- the only source of holiness. John prays in Revelation 15:4, “Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy; and all nations shall come and worship before you...”
He’s the one who measures the heavens with His fingers, who has counted the hairs on our head. Soon we will join heaven’s wondrous song, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (Rev.4:8). Holy to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. He’s a holy God -- Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit. From everlasting to everlasting God is described in this holiness. Every manifestation of God is holy. From eternity past, He was holy. He isn’t more holy today than when the earth was first spanned into space. God didn’t progressively get more holy -- because He’s always been the perfection of total holiness. From the perpetual past to the eons of future everlasting timeless eternity we will also cry out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
For years I puzzled over this Scripture, “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; tremble before Him all the earth.” Marginal readings say that as you glorify Him, He becomes adorned and decorated with His own splendor. Corporate praise builds His throne – where He sits at the right hand of God! When you live amidst this glory, you must realize your own inadequacy and accept His holiness for yourself, because you are seated right there beside Him. Being clothed in His holiness enables you to commune from your spirit to His Spirit, just as Jesus instructed the Samaritan woman.
Worship is an obligation and a command. It’s the one thing that the church can do that nothing else can accomplish. We may have thought this kind of life was only for cloistered mystics, but Holiness is one of the most important attributes that God wants to impart to us. Why? So we can give it back to Him. We “take time to be holy.” We worship the holy God with our reflection of His holiness.
Most Christians scurry away from this message, saying it’s legalism. Often it’s hard for any of us to even want to be holy. You see, not only did God make it possible for you to be holy, He demands it. Why? Because it’s impossible to live in sin and fully worship God. Do you really know that? That’s why you learned to transform your soul – because God cannot and will not abide with sin. You must learn to be extraordinary and dissimilar from the world—like He is. Because God is holy and holiness can’t and will not abide with sin. I ask you again, do you really KNOW that?
Christians can’t live any way they darn well want and then slip right into adoration in the Beauty of God’s holiness. It doesn’t happen like that. You won’t find the secret place while hanging on to a few pet sins and singing the happy chorus, “I Did It My Way.” That may well be hell’s hit song and an apt motto for today’s masses, but if you really want to turn this nation upside down, then you will be tested and proved until you learn that the song of heaven is, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Stop and listen. These can be empty words on a sheet of paper, or a life-changing life style.
Worship doesn’t get you on God’s good side so you can get something. It isn’t the time for a religious performance or a chance to petition – worship seeks to respond to the Spirit of God. He wants to fellowship with you and selfishness only hinders. You cannot begin to distill the essence of worship unless you embrace His ways. Your mouth may say one thing, but your actions declare another. Abiding in holiness is worship. He expects you to obediently separate from sin. Yes, He does. And you can do it. That’s why the Bible calls us saints—sanctified. Holy. So be transformed, put on the armor of light, and be bright. Oh, worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
It’s in those worst of times, as we learn to ride above the absolute despair of our soul and peacefully soar like an eagle, that God can move us to victory. Exuberance comes from surmounting a pinnacle of a hard place. The Holy Spirit transcends our self-nature, until we care about humanity -- not just our own life. Through this event with our granddaughter, the Lord came on the wings of a dove to set us free. Looking back, it’s easy to see what the Lord planned.
Four months later, the operation totally failed. Then suddenly, perhaps as quickly as it began, it was over. Without warning, God stepped in and Angel revived and lived. In that process, during the journey, He transformed all of our lives.
The messianic Psalm 110:3 also talks about this beauty of holiness, “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of your power in the beauty of holiness from the womb of the morning you have the dew of your youth (110:4).”
We can restate this verse to say, the people of God are volunteers (who willingly offer their lives) in the day (a period of time which is light) of His power (strength, army, wealth). They come forth in the beauty (glory, majesty, honor) of God’s holiness (sacredness, innermost part of the sanctuary, for a dedicated exclusive use) birthed out of the womb (place of birth) of the morning (the rising of the sun). Worship creates an environment where purity shines forth so brightly that it surpasses the morning. An extraordinary grace causes us to long for a willing obedience. Out of obedience, the world sees a profound display of His grandeur.
Seventy elders of Israel saw God’s glory, “The God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” This must have been an amazing experience. “And they beheld God,” they actually saw Him! In fact, everyone -- young and old all saw the glory of the Lord resting on Mt. Sinai.
Every day and every night for forty years, millions followed the cloud of glory by day and were protected by the pillar of fire glory by night. That glory engulfed like a canopy. That same glory now becomes manifest in the fullness of our time. Glory actually means heaviness of something good – it will cover this earth. Paul said in Colossians 1:26 - 27 that the mystery hidden from generations is that the glorious treasure of God shines out of your heart until it covers the earth.
1. We have died with Christ and He now lives within (Gal. 2:20).
2. God is pleased to reveal His Son in us (Gal. 1:15-16).
3. He called us so that we might gain the glory of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:14).
4. Christ gave us His glory (John 17:22).
5. The glory of the Lord fills the temple (us) (Ez. 43:4).
6. We are to be clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
7. We are predestined to be conformed to Christ (Rom. 8:28-29, Eph. 1:11).
8. We will be transformed into His same image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).
9. We are to be the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:12).
10. The riches of His glory are our inheritance (Eph. 1:18).
11. The entire universe will be consummated and summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:9,10).
Rejoice, as we summarize where we’ve journeyed so far. See this one consistent point: The transforming of our mind to the position of holiness is spiritual worship. Here are 12 reasons why we learn to take the Highway of Holiness.
1. Holiness (Worship) does what God says.
2. Holiness (Worship) plants the right seed and grows Godly fruit.
3. Holiness (Worship) gives your best fruit back to Him.
4. Holiness (Worship) crosses over and delivers that old nature.
5. Holiness (Worship) obeys and applies the Word to your life.
6. Holiness (Worship) forsakes what you want to do, and dies to self.
7. Holiness (Worship) speaks the Word in your life.
8. Holiness (Worship) transforms your soul (Rom. 12).
9. Holiness (Worship) renews your mind, and consequently your actions correspond.
10. Holiness (Worship) brings perfection, fulfilling the plan of God in your life.
11. Holiness (Worship) constantly reproduces His nature.
12. Holiness (Worship) is becoming that new creature that shows forth His glory.
nother hour, and we pass the final group of endless rural meadow farms and quaint orderly towns to discover our roadway narrowing and sharply ascending. Unlike the tourists, we’ve chosen the precipitous route. No longer busy all the time, we climb upward with increasing stamina. Past the last optional fork of other roads, past all further titillating enticements -- and we look around to soak up the sights and sounds that draw us upward. It’s time now to downshift from the past exhilarating pace – to notice tree branches swaying gently, and silver streams meandering downward. Change happened progressively and we didn’t notice.
The steep route is always there, but sometimes we find it sooner than other times. It isn’t found by rote words or even with the right works, but only by following Jesus. There we find a secret place that each of us holds inside of ourselves, a place we don’t always remember our way back to right away. In that hallowed place – the sanctified soul -- we no longer participate in this world of treachery. In contrast, upon that sacred inner pathway, it seems that our renewed mind propels itself. Holiness isn’t just something we do, but something we join. Holiness confronts us, and then establishes itself.
Suddenly, the guardrails cease, as we breathe deeply and cleave even more closely to the standing Rock. Stretching ahead, the rising one-lane pathway hugs above the forest line, then weaves its way around the sheer face of the cliffs. The once fearsome gorges below become miniature valleys. From here we can actually see the beginning and end of our desert. And now, we come triumphantly to the place of unspoiled scenery, the final separation – above the smog and clouds – into the place of total hiddenness. There alone, the Final Truth of all things unites within our being... oh, the wonder we discover by traveling inside Divine communion where His secrets are disclosed.
· In today’s usage, we think of a “revelation” as something made easy to understand. However, in the Greek, “apokalupsis” is the name of the Book of Revelation. It means the “unveiling.” After coming this far, we know that in order for us to understand spiritual things, the veil over our carnal minds must be torn away. True revelation becomes an experience that becomes our life’s work, where we take a deep breath and break through every deterrent. Lets take a closer look into that hidden place ---
Do you know what a secret is? Well, contrary to popular opinion, it’s not something about me! We’re not talking about weird theologies -- like the Gnostics with their secret mystery. Let me tell you about this strangely sensuous man I met at the Mall a few years ago; he had a secret...
Someone tapped my shoulder several times. I quickly turned to find a very tanned man with long blonde tangled curls, standing too closely. Have you met that guy? You know who I’m talking about. He whispered quietly but firmly, “I’ve found “a special secret.” Then, he leaned familiarly and in hushed tones told me that the name of the Holy Spirit was… Rachel. Then he huskily murmured, “… but the best secret is that I’m Gabriel.” He said it again since I didn’t respond, “I’m Gabriel...”
Nonchalantly, I stared at him and said, “That’s not fair -- I want to be Gabriel.” With startled yet vacant eyes, he walked away shaking his long hair, looking for someone else to convince. There are many strange people out there who insist upon sharing their odd insights. Listen, don’t even bother to try to hear them all, just get excited about the fact that the Lord has genuine secrets to share.
Proverbs says that the glory (heavy weighted splendor) of God conceals a matter and it’s the glory of man to search it out. This means that God hides truth, and it’s up to us to find it. All truth is veiled and obscured from non-disciples who refuse to comply. When the world reads the Bible, there’s no understanding, because the spirit of the age blinds them (with a veil of flesh) until they cannot comprehend hidden truth. Nevertheless, overcoming believers will search it out and understand. We don’t need to become theologians that dialogue about election and dispensationalism, but we do need to dig out the hidden treasure.
Through a vision, God gave Daniel the wisdom (to know the dream) and the might (the power to know what to do) about the secret dream that Nebuchanezzar wouldn’t disclose. Amazed that Daniel could discover the answer to the dream of the King, Nebuchanezzar said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, and a revealer of secrets.”
Not only does God delight in telling us secrets, He has the answers we need. And, there’s something new to learn every day of our lives. Isaiah explained, “I’ve made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things that you did not know, and they are created now and not from the beginning; And before this day you have not heard them.” We’re able to hear things that we didn’t know before. He’ll tell us in the closet of our soul.
Have you ever wondered how you gathered all that junk in your closet? But, why should you care? That’s part of the trade-off for a busy and complicated schedule these days. Except, one look tells what’s important in your life. Sometimes you pile things up until that closet is ready to burst. You try to pray, but it feels crowded in there; and you keep bumping into what feels like stray hiking boots and hair curlers.
That’s what makes problem solving difficult; the pressure of too many small problems jamming up in piles and happening all at once. Often times confusion makes good choices impossible. Obviously, if your closet piles up with superfluous things, then it’s difficult to find anything.
If you store a wardrobe of doubt and depression, then that’s all you have to wear. That old garment of anger needs to be eliminated, as with everything that distracts your focus. It’s time to have a throw-out-until-it-hurts day. And, you don’t clean it up so that you can go out and buy more stuff. You clean up to simplify your life. Why? Well, not only does the Lord reveal secrets, but also He does it in secret – in your closet. Think of it, Jesus shows up in your closet! Guess what? It’s your soul again.
Jesus tells you what to put in your closet and how to organize it (Matt. 6:4 -9, 19-20), “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth (pride of life, prestige, etc.) … but lay up for yourselves treasures (hidden) in heaven.” The contents of your closet (heart) determines you future. It’s time to get inside your cleaned closet and pray in secret, fast in secret, and give in secret. There, you can bind the enemy and spoil his goods. There you come against the wicked influences that short circuit your good intentions and plant negative thoughts. Alone, in your closet, you reverse the curse, bind blindness, and find Christ.
Inside that special place, you don’t have to say the same things over and over in lofty tones of pretentious huffing. Your prayers become mostly times of intimacy -- where He can hear your voice and see your face. To you, like the Shulamite, He says, “You have ravaged My heart. Be close. Be quiet. Wait…”
Oh, The Beloved meets you there – in the synagogue of your heart, the garden, the cleft of the rock, the beds of spices. He waits… in the desert places of your garden. Before the fall, Adam and Eve walked in that special paradise garden in the cool of the day and heard Him speak (Gen. 3:8). Can you hear Him? He calls out, “I thirst!” Deep inside of yourself, can He say, “I was hungry and you gave me meat, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” (look up Matt. 25:35)?
Hungry Meat Salvation, obedience
Thirsty Drink Living Water, the Word of God
Stranger Taken in Prayer
Naked Clothed Me Garment of Praise, Righteous Acts
Prison Visited Me Koininea, Communion
There in that secret place of the stairs, He eats the fruit formed from the produce of your life. He eagerly anticipates your discovery of the length and breadth, the height and width of His love. Even the interior of His wedding carriage is paved with love.
1. Are you ready to leave forever whatever hinders you from God’s plan for your life? To throw away chronic grief and scarring.
2. Make a list of what you will value after your death. What will you wish you had done with your life? What can you take with you? Tomorrow may be too late to clean your closet.
The Scripture subtly weaves the thought of treasure like a complex tapestry. Unfortunately, without closer examination, we often forfeit the comprehension of such a skillful design. We fail to perceive the Treasure.
è “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Your treasure is who you are.
Jesus bought (ransomed) the field for the sake of that treasure (we are bought with a price). He owns that field. Paul said that he labored and struggled with all of his energy to have Christ be formed in the believer. That’s also our job as co-laborers with God -- to dig out the good in others and ourselves. You’re a treasure, and Jesus is The Treasure.
· Matthew tells of a merchant who found a pearl of great value, and sold everything (gave up His life) to buy it. Well, everyone knows that the RESPONSE of the oyster to irritants creates the formation of a pearl. Sometimes, irritations cause change into something of great value. Your life can be likened to that pearl enclosed and hidden within a shell, like Moses in the secret cleft of the rock, like Levite priests standing in that place of communion beneath the wings of the cherubim. Jesus gave everything for YOU.
· Peter 3:3 and 4 explains that beauty doesn’t come from nice clothes, but grows inside of you, “The hidden person of the heart, with incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very, precious in the sight of God.” The inward person is renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). You are a treasure: He is the Treasure.
(Isaiah 39) An evil Babylonian king named Merodach-Baladan sent presents to the ailing king Hezekiah. In appreciation, Hezekiah disclosed all his treasures -- silver, gold, spices, precious ointments. Hezekiah even showed his entire armory, and nothing in his dominion was withheld.
(39:3) The prophet Isaiah asked King Hezekiah, “Who are you showing all of your secrets to, and what was seen. Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
Then Isaiah said, “Because you’ve shared every secret with the enemy, the Lord says that nothing will be left --you’ll lose it all. Your sons will be eunuchs and there’s not going to be any lineage of kings (you won’t have grand-children).” To that grievous prophecy, Hezekiah gave this ridiculous answer, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!’ …`At least there will be peace and truth in my days.’” Essentially, He said, “Hey you know, if this happens to my kids, at least there’s going to peace while I’m alive. Oh well!”
The issues (treasures, boundaries) of our life must be hidden within. That doesn’t mean acting antisocial. No, we aren’t supposed to act like a square, a snob, or a monastic! Hiddenness draws out the best and causes us to embrace a profound relationship with Our Provider. It bridges over uncrossable places.
Let’s look into the closet at some treasured attributes of those hidden in holiness:
1. A hidden person must have a sense of servanthood, not stardom. They know that the word minister simply means “servant or deacon,” a person with nothing to prove. Quite the contrast to others who demand to be served rather than serve, forgetting that Jesus discarded His robes and washed feet.
è The disciple Stephen spent much of his life distributing alms to the poor, while others prayed and preached (Acts 6:4).
In Acts 9, Luke tells us how the only way Paul could be rescued from a severe attack was for people to put him in a basket and let him down over the wall of the city. No one knows these unknown defender’s – their names weren’t recorded in the Bible. Yet, their important actions allowed the Apostle’s escape. These unsung heroes made the writing of 13 subsequent books of the New Testament possible — somebody held onto a rope!
Maybe no one notices you either. As a living stone, you’re sent into the world to do His work. Today, it’s time to lay aside the filthy rags of your own agenda and hold onto ropes of service that change the world. The dimension of servanthood cloaks deeply within your character.
2. Hidden people find a smoother road by being forgiving, compassionate and gentle. Oh God, please forgive the times I’ve rehearsed what I should have said and done… just to get even!
The Bible traces lives through the infinitely complicated muddy quagmire of real life. Jesus heard the news of the death of John the Baptist and moved with compassion. The unspoken grief about His cousin and the impact of the moment were converted into good. He could have retaliated with ten thousand warring angels, but He chose to defeat the enemy by healing multitudes. We must also move into His power of compassion.
Far more than feeling pity, the divine force of compassion yearns over the suffering of others. A force from the Holy Spirit emerges from within our deepest and innermost places (bowels of compassion 1 John 3:17), bringing the desire and ability to help. Genuine compassion energizes His virtue, and releases His gifts. Planting compassion later reaps that harvest for ourselves.
3. Hidden people know how to keep secrets. When I first confided that I wanted to be in the ministry, one friend in particular laughed so hard he fell off the couch. To him, it wasn’t a secret – it was a joke! It took a long time for me to disengage from his negative appraisal of my ability. To some extent, that assessment still lingers on the inside… within the bounds of recall, I’ve unintentionally allowed that reaction to still hold me back. Years of self-talk and mind-renewal have finally scratched away most of the remaining deposit of crass-jesting that nearly obliterated God’s plan.
Keep secrets about strength. Samson was undefeated. He ripped a lion’s mouth, and gathered fox tails together to set them on fire. Because of his fierce strength, the Philistines determined to destroy him, but they couldn’t. Everyone tried to find out why nothing could defeat him ... until a girl came along and “lulled” him. Eventually, he told Delilah that the secret reason for his strength was a Nazarite vow to not cut his hair.
After Delilah had his hair cut, the Scripture says Samson didn’t know that the Spirit had left him. He shook himself, not realizing that he became like every other man. In telling his secret, massive strength disappeared. Samson couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and he didn’t keep covenant with God. It’s up to us to not become like other men. There’s sanctity and strength derived from secrets kept within. Amen!
Keep secrets about revelation. Paul says, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—,”now who’s this man? Paul himself, right? He’s trying to tell you a little bit about himself without bragging. “...Such a one was caught up in the third heaven.” Paul didn’t say anything about this revelation (what he saw) for fourteen years! We all want to be used like Paul, but we don’t want to sit on the backside of the desert for fourteen years, while God teaches us. Some of us can’t hold anything for 14 days, 14 hours, 14 minutes, or even 14 seconds! Paul remained decidedly careful to not take credit for what God had done. His ministry emerged from those hidden years in the desert of holiness. In the last days, a new breed also emerges; not only with a valid gifting but also with a pure heart.
Keep the secrets about what God tells them. There are many things that you don’t share. For example, don’t knock at your unsaved boss’s door at midnight to tell him about your angelic visitation. It doesn’t work! We want to win souls, not chase them away. Got it? So don’t bring death upon a situation! As we envelop ourselves within Jesus, He reveals mysteries.
Remember when the heavenly angel declared that Mary would have a special baby? The heavens celebrated, and the stars danced, but Mary quietly pondered those unimagined promises in her heart. Think of what Mary knew, but kept within. Keeping confidences silently fractures the fallow ground of our hearts with the brokenness needed to receive the rain.
Why would God choose Mary? Surely not just to zap one and miss another with no rhyme or reason. Even though Mary seemed to be an insignificant person, she believed that God had a plan. Mary was a virgin (one free from immoral behavior, separated, and set aside for another). Natural laws were superseded because:
1. She received the Word within her spirit and declared it (“be it unto me”).
2. She agreed with it in her soul (forever, oh Lord, Thy Word is settled).
3. Then, the WORD within her body became flesh and dwelt among us.
She didn’t waiver as God the Word wrapped in flesh and grew within her—preparing to be born. In much the same way, God plants His promised seed (words) inside of you, and it waits to be born. Remember that Mary didn’t go around shouting, “I’ve got God in me! He loves me the best. You know, this morning this angel came to see me, and guess what? I’m the beloved of God.” No, she pondered until she gave birth to her cherished treasure. The angel said that she was highly favored -- and so are you -- because God wants to birth a word in you. Mary deliberated, incubated, and responded to the Word. Soon she gave birth, will you?
1. There’s a Word from God for you.
2. He says that you are blessed.
3. You will conceive if you will listen and believe.
4. You will bring forth.
5. Christ will be formed in you and He will grow to full stature.
6. This seed will announce salvation to humanity.
How about Joseph? Facing the dilemma of a fiancée who somehow mysteriously became pregnant, Joseph decided to divorce her privately. He probably had envisioned a much different life. Matthew 6:19 tells about an angel that said, “... that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit, and she shall bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus.” This particular moment in time dictated the rest of his life. Once Joseph realized the truth, he defended it.
When the understanding of any revelation becomes personal, then there results a responsibility to protect it. Joseph guarded that Word and made provision for it. Soon, there was an unplanned baby born who kicked and fussed! He drooled, and whined – maybe even pulled his beard. Well, what would you do? Now you have to take care of this child. You have to hold it, raise it, teach it, and give yourself to it. It’s your responsibility. God spoke, and it was born -- now you can’t just walk away. You gotta’ change the dirty diapers. Joseph loved Jesus, and believed the vision was real. He voluntarily became the custodian of grace over the revelation of God. Likewise, we become the caretaker and guard over what God says to us.
è Once prophecy becomes personal, we must respond by protecting, preparing, and making provision for it.
Matthew 2 tells how Herod demanded that all young boys be killed, hoping to kill this chosen Jesus in the process. Just like Herod, the deceitful enemy of your soul intends to annihilate the Word in you (your Godly offspring, your vision of faith) before it becomes real and lives.
Herod and all of his wise counselors were unable to find the Christ child, but heathen Magi probably traveled over eight hundred miles following the star easily found Him. With spiritual vision, the travelers came from afar to worship the Desire of all nations, God in the flesh. Seeing the prophetic Word of God come to pass, the Wisemen opened their treasuries (what was important to them) and presented gifts of gold for His deity, frankincense because of His purity, and myrrh for His death.
· The local religious leaders could have traveled to that birthplace as well, but they didn’t. They thought that rigid adherence to religious doctrines brought more favor and approval than finding God. Accepting salvation that was freely given would take away their gratification of earning it through legalistic ritual. We don’t want to be like them, caught up in our own specialized focus that misses God.
Of the six dreams recorded in the New Testament, four were given to Joseph. This surrogate father needed supernatural instructions on how to guide and protect his new family. For example, verse 13 says, “… An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, `Take the young child and his mother to Egypt and stay there.’” How do you suppose Joseph paid for that Egyptian vacation? With the gold, frankincense and myrrh. Yes, that’s how Joseph accomplished the work of God.
è It’s going to take sacrificial giving to release the Word. The Lord still looks for hidden people to be conduits of His supply.
§ Those that receive revelation must wait for it and live for it.
§ Once revelation becomes personal there’s a responsibility to protect it, embrace it, and make provision for it. That person becomes the “custodian of grace” with the responsibility to support the Word of God from his/her own treasury.
§ Then, the Holy Spirit continually gives direction, provision, and guidance to facilitate the keeping of the vision. I.E. The Holy Spirit said, “Go to Egypt.”
4. Hidden people have honest hearts. When Jesus met Nathaniel, He immediately discerned that Nathaniel was an Israelite in whom there was no guile! Because of this unique quality of honesty and integrity in Nathaniel, Jesus knew that unrestricted vision would be unavoidable. As a result of Nathaniel’s character traits, Jesus promised the SEEING of the heavens opening and angels ascending and descending upon a ladder to the Son of Man. Even Jacob’s vision of angels on the ladder would be surpassed by that of Nathaniel, who would see Jesus as the One who mediates between earth and heaven.
è The Lord promises an open heaven to those of a pure heart.
5. Hidden people are not defiled by the perversion of life. Leviticus 19:31 says to give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits because they defile us. (Defile means to be contaminated.) The things that defile proceed from our heart, like evil words and evil thoughts (Matt. 15:10-18). Defilement occurs when we dishonor our spirit person.
Looking at a quotation from this author’s book “Enmity,” we find that Matthew 24:15 says, “And when you see the abomination of desolation, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand).” Let's reconsider the verse as written in KJV, it says when we see false religion ruling the earth WE must stand in the Holy Place. Look it up! That holy place is not a physical location, but a place of holiness in the secret place with God. Only the eunuchs (the ones who have kept themselves pure and holy) can throw Jezebel from her window to the dogs.
6. Hidden people’s secrets are not unnatural. For example, don’t pray that Marilyn Monroe rise from the dead so that you can marry her. That’s weird. And, God won’t tell you to hop for the rest of your life – He’s not strange. He hasn’t raised us to be spaced-out and abnormal -- just peculiar! You’re supposed to be supernaturally natural, not flaunting bizarre behavior to get people’s attention. Let’s agree: whatever secrets you may think you get -- ask yourself if they AGREE WITH THE BIBLE.
Even in unguarded moments, hidden people don’t assume a false posture, but manifest a realness of His abiding character. Watchfulness is their constant companion. They lose nothing by giving everything to God, because no flesh can glory in His presence. Just as natural children bear some resemblance to the parent, so Christians bear the birthmark of their heavenly ancestry… Do you look like your Father?
è Hiddenness develops your God-like image and characteristics.
Each of us must travel through a desert place. God has a special wilderness place for you -- a place designed to destroy the effects of the enemy in your life -- a place where the flesh dies. This is a great truth: Only after death, can our wilderness (that which we overcome) drink, and blossom like a rose.
At the fullness of time, the Holy Ghost awakened the anticipation for the Christ Child. Then, devoted hidden people, like Simeon and Anna, eagerly expected the redemption and the consolation of Israel. For their whole life, and even until their decrepit age, these old temple workers stayed busy praying about the ancient prophecies of a coming redeemer. They faithfully waited expectantly for the Promised One. Finally, their faith was rewarded and the infant Messiah actually arrived in their temple! The gift of all ages came to be held in their arms. These two had eagerly expected Jesus’ appearance and they recognized Him when He came.
Once again, the Holy Spirit summons forth a great anticipation. Something deep within reaffirms to us that soon the blessed Christ will appear a second time. Already we’ve glimpsed flickers of grandeur, as He nears the temple. He who has taken possession of our hearts, prepares to enter our temples. Those waiting and watching have the opportunity to consecrate themselves and to embrace Him.
è The Lord wants to dwell in the Bride’s temple. Are you expecting Him?
You’re that temple: “You are God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9). The architect of the universe has converted your closet into a temple built according to His plan; a grand house of worship, decorated with the finest jewels – that is, if you co-operate with the contractor and builder. “Unless the Lord builds the House, they labor in vain who build it...” (Psalm 127:1). He builds His home in you because He expects to live there, and not move away.
2 Cor. 6:16 says, “Ye (plural) are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell IN them, and walk IN them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Paul tells the individual believer, as well as the body of believers at Corinth, that God doesn’t live in a brick or wooden building, but within the Body of Christ, which is His living Church.
That temple of living stones shows forth as an aggregate plurality of oneness. These stones (plural) are “fitted together” to form the dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:21-22). The progression doesn’t end with Solomon’s temple – it ends with us aligned together, the temple of the Living God rebuilt in these last days without the sound of hammers on nails.
The house of the Lord assembles as Jesus steps forward inside the believer and revival sweeps our nation. All of us become the magnificent dwelling of living stones, the temple where none of the individual rocks can be seen. We no longer worship, but we become worship. We don’t just pray, but have become prayer. We are prophecy. We become the nations. His Word (the seed) tabernacles inside, enclosed and expanding until His train fills the temple (us). He doesn’t just live there from time to time, He makes a home. Emmanuel, the God who ultimately reveals Himself, becomes a progressive and on-going revelation that constantly reproduces His nature.
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and
God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Now, He’s not only the God with us, but He is the God in us! There’s no more ho-hum perspective allowed. He comes once again into the temple with a whip and kicks over the tables. Except this time we’re the temple, and He’s after our actions, our words, and decisions. There, Jesus established Himself as the Lord of the temple (Lord of me).
· “...But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?” The sanctified believer, both individually and corporately -- that’s who! The Bible focuses on His appearing, not our disappearing!
è The Lord WILL come to your temple. Be ready.
There may be days when it feels like you’re not making progress. Discouragement may try to be your co-pilot. Just don’t forfeit your comprehension of His train filling your temple for any frail substitute. Remember to walk down the road with an intentional spring in your step; fix your eyes like a flint upon His promises. Song of Solomon 4:12 tells us that you’re a garden enclosed. Soon the Beloved will enter to eat (have communion) upon the lilies. Look again! You’re the lily.
Write in your journal:
1. Write the epitaph you would want put on your gravestone. What do you want others to say after you’ve gone?
2. Choose a present difficulty in your life and write about how you can apply the principles of overcoming and obedience. Use the following:
a) Premeditate your responses.
b) Stop being controlled by the sentiment or circumstances of this world. Stop emotionally responding to situations. You are what God says you are -- live in that realm.
c) Act on His Word. Be hungry to find Him.
There’s an acute birthing of the spirit taking place in me -- a forthcoming consciousness, a continual changing from this world to that one, from the darkness to the light. Lord, I’ll go into my closet and find You there waiting to show me how to guard the revelation of Your mysteries.
– Part 10 —
You feel the endless pounding. Protesting, you cry, “Surely God, this is enough digging against my inner person. What do you want from me?”
The Miner answers, “For I’ve dug into you because there is gold in this vein. And I shall drill further,” He insists, “even through the night -- because I’m not looking for fools' gold.”
“All these years, I’ve waited for you with perfume and jewels. Yet, you’ve refused. Still, I dig for that true gold that must come forth. Then you’ll no longer seek those temporary, fleeting things, but My purposes. Out of the midst of this drilling of my love comes purification – for within this hiddenness, at this last hour, I’ll unearth my Bride.”[liii]
“Your job is to stay in my presence. Clothe yourself with humility, patience, kindness, and goodness. For no man shall see you anymore. Let me be your passion… then, My presence shall cover you like a garment. Then, I’ll clothe you with gold, jewels, and my character shall hover over thee.”
ou can tell from glancing at the zigzagging upward ascent toward hiddenness, that love went on up ahead. All along the way, Love prepared our heart and guided us though the wilderness according to His plan. We didn’t need the great escape after all. No, Love searched out a way to establish His habitation amid the lives of true worshipers. As we journey upwards, the glory of God continuously lights the way.
At last, we glimpse the exquisite bride; elegant and holy. She’s quite different from today’s TV sitcom standards that promote a different lover every day and bombard us with indecency until our conscience sears. Strangely, our once righteous acts of
è The Bridegroom comes for a purified bride.
The Jewish bride remains cloistered (hidden) while waiting for the Shadchan, a matchmaker, to find the right prospect. According to the custom of Jewish engagement, the selected groom builds the cottage, while the bride stays inside bathing and perfuming herself with anointing oils. She “makes herself ready” by trimming lamps, and securing the household.
And then you know what… she sleeps in her wedding dress! Because she never knows the time of the bridegroom’s surprise arrival. Besides that, she doesn’t know the location of the party, so she stays dressed and ready -- just in case. Oh, the twitter of anticipation, never knowing how long she must wait. Maybe today! Maybe at midnight the bridegroom will come to take her to where the rest of the guests await. And do you know what else? After the bride arrives at the party, the doors are shut and locked.
è No one comes in after the bride.
è Jesus did not save us to do what we want; He saved us for marriage.
Jesus told a parable concerning a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. We know how the story goes, those who were invited refused to come, (Matt. 22:5) “But they made light of it and they went their own way, one to his own farm, another to his business” (another to play golf, or to watch television). They killed some of the servants, and the king became furious.
(Vs. 8) “And he said to his servants, the wedding is ready but those who were invited were not worthy” (NIV says they didn’t deserve to come”). So the remaining servants (the same word as “deacon”) traveled all over the city gathering people, both good and bad, in order to fill the wedding hall with guests (vs. 10).
(22:11) “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who did not have on a wedding garment.” At this party someone was dressed incorrectly. The king asked, (22:12-14) “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment... And the king said to his servant, “Bind him hand and foot, take him away, cast him into outer darkness, for there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for many are called but few are chosen.”
It must be a real disappointment to enter the most glorious party ever given, and then not be able to stay. Many of us think that we’re ready to go to the wedding and say, “Why, haven’t I prophesied in your name, and cast out devils?” But, the Lord may answer, “Depart from me, I don’t even know you.” These are sobering words. We better stop pretending.
è The prodigal cleaned up when he came back home.
Revelation says that the Lord knows us by how we’re dressed. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come and the wife has made herself ready...” So far, everything that God has done was for His bride, that she might walk in His love and then give it away. There’s no greater hidden secret than being joined to Jesus. There’s no greater miracle than a life converted and changed. The infirmed may jump out of wheelchairs, but nothing surpasses the transformation of a healed mind. She’s “Ready.”
When Christ, Who is your life, is revealed then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (Col. 3:3-4).
She’s not overtaken against her will, but anxiously prepared herself for this wonderful day. “…And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright (like a flaming torch that is brilliant, glorious, glowing, shiny, radiant), for fine linen is the righteous acts of saints” (Revelation 19:7-11).[liv] Here in our story in Luke, someone came to the wedding dressed without righteousness.
Are you ready to complete this covenant with God? If so, then you’ll attend the marriage supper (19:9). Isaiah moderated this gala event, like a fashion show. Read it out-loud:
My soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me in garments of salvation, and He’s covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with jewels, for the earth brings forth its bud and the garden causes things that are sown in to spring forth, so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth.
When I passed you again and I looked upon you, indeed your time was in the time of love, so I spread my wings (banded glory rays of splendor and protection) over you, I covered your nakedness, yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a (marriage) covenant with you, and you became mine, says the Lord.
I washed you in water. Yes, I thoroughly washed your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you with embroidered cloth (suitable for the wedding party) and I gave you sandals of badger skins and I clothed you with fine linen and I covered you with silk, and I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists, and chains on your neck, and I put a jewel in your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.
And thus you were adorned with gold and silver and your clothing was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth, and you ate pastries of fine honey and flour and oil, and you were exceedingly beautiful, and you succeeded to royalty. And your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty for it was perfect to my splendor, which I have bestowed on you, says the Lord.[lv]
Actually the word bride comes from numphe (Strong’s #3565) which means to veil. But on her wedding day, Jewish custom demanded that the bride take off her veil before the ceremony. That’s because the groom didn’t want to get the wrong woman like Jacob did with Leah. The unveiling right before the ceremony caused the groom to thankfully say, “Yes, that’s the one I’m going to marry.” Now, as the body of Christ emerges from blindness and removes her veils, the bridegroom (He who is raised from the dead Rom. 7:3-4) takes her hand.
· Then, like Gideon’s army, suddenly our clay pots shatter and His incredible light bursts forth revealing the Bride’s secret destiny as the Holy City. Ezekiel says that the name of that City is Jehovah Shamma, which means, “the Lord is there.”[lvi] Speaking of that place, one of the seven angels (Rev. 21:9) told John, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Then, John was carried away in the spirit to a great mountain and shown that the great city, the Holy Jerusalem, that was lit by the Lamb (vs. 23). That city refined and glorious stands on the mountain (Zion the church).
She waits. At the end of the road, stands the composite church! Her resplendent jewels glisten with refined kindness, joy, humbleness, meekness, long-suffering, and charity. The robes of Christ Himself cover her over with Love. Her unified agenda reflects His glorious out-shining. Her appearance completes the journey of believers to the end.
The end – and the beginning of a new age.
The Creation story speaks of this union. God said to Adam, “It’s not good that you be alone,” or the literal Greek says, “it’s not good that your strength spreads out in this way.” Therefore, God designed a helpmeet (literally helpmate comparable) for him, and drew a bride out of Adam’s side. Upon awakening, he called her “isha,” (another me). Then, he probably said something like this, “Look, someone who looks like me, and is a part of me -- flesh that came out of my flesh and bone that once was my bone.”[lvii]
When Jesus died, the Church (the bride) emerged as the issue (boundary) brought out of his side – that’s us. Now, this mystery reveals itself; we miraculously combine together, like ingredients in a loaf of bread, to become the joint-heir partner, the bride, the corresponding mutual part of Jesus. Together we combine as one -- the natural and spiritual Israel, every race, every class, young and old, and men and women. We’re not ragged tag-alongs. Jesus paid a price beyond measure for the helpmate comparable for Him.
Drawn from the Lord’s side, we have His name, His glory, and His nature. We hold His inheritance in order to live in the dominion intended from the beginning -- as Christians that are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone (true koininea, communion).
“....I (God) am their inheritance; and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession.” Ezekiel 44:28
If you have diligently written your journal, then by now you have a more specific idea of how you fit into this puzzle of the composite bride; which is the goal of your God designed journey. The solution of how to pull together all the pieces along the way becomes an arresting vision for those seeking to walk on the water and live on the edge. Each new piece put into position increases the anticipation of your tremendous final arrival.
Seeking for this ultimate destination, King Solomon wrote 1005 songs; only one of which remains for us to study. Being a metaphor, the Song of Solomon pictures Jesus Christ and His courtship and marriage with the church. The bride shows herself as the ultimate revelation of creation, the beautiful, multi-ethnic integration of redeemed believers from every country, people, and nation.[lviii] Paul says that even our uncomely parts are vital to this complex wonder. We’re no longer concerned with ourselves, but transfixed with being a part of the whole -- the mystery of the body functioning.
When King Solomon was 17 years old, everything in his palace was made of gold -- nothing silver. Everywhere he looked was gold. Still, he was lonely and unhappy. In fact, he later had 300 wives and 700 concubines and he still wasn’t happy. He wrote of life being a vanity, and a vapor. Only the Shulamite pleased him and lingered in his memory.[lix]
HOME Dr. KLUANE Third Day Church Melchizedek Koinonia Equality Devil Apostolic Home General Tongues Dominion Store
 1 Peter 2:21-23
 1 Cor. 16:15-16
 Deere, Dr. Jack “Developing Passion And Power” Herald of His Coming June 96.
 John 12:20
 Hebrews 12:14
 Psalm 17:15
 Mark 8:34-35
 Nee, Watchman, The Normal Christian Life, 1957, Gospel Literature Service, India, Tyndale House Pub, Inc. 1977.
 Joyner, Rick The Morning Star, Nov. 1995
 Acts 9:18, 26:18.
 Acts 26:18
 2 Cor. 12:1
 Matt. 6:22,23
 Remember how Mary grabbed hold of the legs of the newly risen Lord? Oh, how her broken heart desired to have things as they had been. Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me,” She must no longer view Jesus in the flesh and begin to see Him as the Risen Lord. In the same way, if we regard one another in the flesh, then we cannot see the risen Lord in them. Regard the Spiritual. There you’ll find everything that you’ve been longing for.
 2 Cor. 4:3,4
 Emphasis mine, Matt. 13:16, 5:8
 New English translation, “Now faith gives hope substance.
 P.I.T. = Prophet in Training School
 That the eyes of your hearts will be open to see with an unveiled face much more glory (2 Cor. 3:13), and that glory will shine in your heart (4:6). That final veil we pass through to the Father is by His blood. Now we can see with unveiled faces and draw near with full assurance of faith (Heb. 10:22).
 See my booklet, “An Angel From God “
 The feast of Tabernacles, the gathering together of the people unto Him. Also, there have been 120 (also the number of people in upper room) Jubilee years since the fall to our present time.
 Smith, Oswald, “The Holy Spirit Comes With Power” Article in Herald of His Coming, Jan. 1997, Vol. 56
 Heb. 9:8, “By this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the (true Holy of) Holies is not yet thrown open as long as the former (the outer portion of the) tabernacle remains a recognized institution and is still standing, (9) Seeing that the first (outer portion of the) tabernacle was a parable (something used to tell another story)—a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age.” That outer portion symbolizes this present age, the circumstances of our lives, the culture, tradition, and influence of this age. This outer portion must be passed through. The self life, the old person of flesh, must depart because it is incapable of perfecting the conscience or renewing the inner person.
 The apostle John explained that when you discover the emanating source of His Glory, you discover Jesus. (Rev. 15:8) The temple (where God dwells) was filled with the smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter.”
 This purging is His search to find those who utterly refuse to disgrace His name Prov. 23: 15, 16, 24-28.
 Psalm 96:9, also see Ps. 29:2
 Ryrie Study Bible
 Psalm 34:5, Luke 11:34, Phil. 2:15
 Ps.49:14 says that the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning.
 Ex. 24:10-11 NAS and Frangipane, “Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God” See bibliography pg. 18 This paragraph.
 Varner, K.H. “The Tongue of the Learned” Self publication.
 Daniel 2:19
 Daniel 2:47
 Isaiah 48:6
 Matt. 15:10-18
 Vain repetition Mat. 6:7
 SOS 3:10
 Matt.13:44 reveals eternal truths in simple stories to take us from the known to the unknown. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Jesus gave up everything to buy (the people in the world). He held nothing back, but gave himself with joy to redeem the world.
 Gal. 4:19
 Matthew 23:11, Phil. 2:5-8
 There will be the emergence of a man-child company of servants with the nature of Obed – Kelly Varner.
 Picket, see Bibliography. pg.136
 Hosea 10:12
 Jn. 1:47-51
 1 Cor. 1:29
 Rev. 12 John describes the concluding activities of the woman (church) who cries out to give birth (to God’s word in her coming forth). The dragon had come to devour the child as soon as it is born, but the child (what she brought forth) is acceptable to God, so she flees into the wilderness, to a place prepared by God -- until an appointed time. The devil waits to devour the manifestation (the promise born) that comes forth from her. But, that enemy has no power -- because she is protected and nourished away from the serpent. Even though the serpent relentlessly tries to kill her by a flood (of bad things), the wilderness (ground, earth) miraculously swallows up the flood.
 1 Cor. 3:16 and 6:19 reminds us that the body is the temple of God.
[liii] A portion from Lora Allison to me in Singapore
[liv] The sons of Zadok were dressed in linen garments and were able to stand before the Lord Ez. 44:15-17.
[lv] Ez. 16:8-14
[lvi] Ezekiel 48:35
[lvii] Gen. 2:22-23
[lviii] Rev. 5:9
[lix] No one knows who the Schulamite was. She may have been Abishag the Shunimite who ministered to the dying king David (1 Kings 1:3). The court had sought for the loveliest girl in the country to be with him as he died. Adonijah, Solomon’s brother also desired Abishag. Solomon refused the request that Adonijah marry Abishag. Solomon had Adonijah killed because of his scheme to gain the throne.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:08|