“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 18, No. 10 October 2009
I had a vision of the blackest clouds ever rolling in from the sky. It was like black smoke from a fire. They kept coming and coming and going right around me and through me. And each time one did, I shivered. I asked the Lord what this was. He said it was hordes of demons coming down on America. They were all over the land, ready to cause war on the nation.
Whether we like it or not the tides of war are all around us. It is not any longer a matter of “I don’t want to fight.” It is a matter of being ready and able to fight. There is a battle raging against the enemy of our souls, and against the church. Are we going to stand for righteousness, or are we going to give in to the enemies of God as they fight against us.
Because this war is going to cause much bloodshed, we must continually remember that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The enemy is Satan and demonic forces that keep us at odds with each other.
Repentance is the key to stopping flesh and blood battles. Continually keep yourself in an attitude of repentance, bringing a protection of the blood of Jesus over your life. Don’t look at others as enemies just because they think differently than you do. Don’t allow anger from someone else to set you off and agitate you. Walk in repentance and renounce the works of darkness over your life. Keep yourself in the love of God and allow the healing virtue of Jesus Christ to fill your inner-most being with deliverance from bondages that oppress and make you incapable of fighting for the victory.
Like it or not, we all are going to have to fight
Psa 140:1-7 (KJV) “Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; (2) Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart; continually are they gathered together [for] war. (6) I said unto the LORD, Thou [art] my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. (7) O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”
Destruction of the Enemy
1Co 15:25-28 KJV “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
The Lord Jesus is now waiting for the Father to bring all His enemies and make them a footstool for His feet. The Father has been at work for 2000 years to put all these enemies under the rule of Christ. The last enemy to be destroyed is physical death. But it will take a warlike remnant of believers who do not consider their own lives and who will enter into the rest of God to bring destruction to these enemies of Christ. If we believe the Lord’s return is upon us, then we must rise up with a willingness to be victorious and to follow the Lord through to the fullness of salvation.
The land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, symbolizes our change into the moral image of Christ, and to enter into the Father’s rest.
Phi 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,”
Heb 3:14 “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;”
Partakers of Christ means a share of Christ! Why? To be able to endure any and everything that God allows to come into our life. If we do this, we will be protected from the wrath of God.
When Paul tells us we must attain unto the resurrection of the dead, he is telling us we must pursue Christ to the point of possessing Him by overcoming every enemy. Phi 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
When Hebrews talks about our rest in God, it is speaking about being victorious over the enemy. ARE YOU VICTORIOUS OVER EVERY ENEMY OF YOUR LIFE? Don’t stop short. Jesus Christ paid the price for total deliverance – for total deliverance from your enemies.
When our new inner-nature is born of God that means the old inner-nature must be brought down to death and defeat by allowing the Virtue of Christ to rule in us over everything that opposes God.
Today when we speak about a Gideon’s Army it is speaking about a people who are being loosed from the grip of Satan. As soon as this remnant gets freed, then the remainder of the body will be delivered. [Picture one soldier who is injured rooting on the rest who can still fight. WHICH ONE ARE YOU?]
As soon as the victory began to be won by Gideon’s 300, the remainder of Israel was able to join in the victory. In the same way, all of God’s Church be able to press into the fullness of Christ when the warlike remnant presses through.
Why has this struggle been so long? Why did God withdraw the apostolic anointing after the death of the eleven, thus making it possible for spiritually-minded men to reason the Kingdom of God? Why was there 100’s of years of darkness? Why was there a torturous Protestant reformation? Why are there erroneous teachings about salvation, faith, prosperity and the rapture? BECAUSE GOD WANTS PEOPLE TO BE CONVINCED OF WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE DOES! Have you ever noticed your own battles of believing and accepting the ways of God? How many times do we plead with God to do something, only to find over time His reasoning has been righteous and just all along?
The written Word of God is given to correct and to convince us of God and His ways. All God has to do is correct one small area of our mental reasoning to release a whole new way of living that increases the image of Christ in us. And beginning with that, little by little, every inch of our being becomes transformed if we don’t stop. Old things pass away and all things become new and as we learn all things are of God.
Little by little God is going to convince His Church of the necessity of following the Spirit of God. His body will no longer be willing to hear some new-fangled idea of how to save the world. Their hearts are now being convinced that only the Lord saves as people hear from God. Religious leaders may not be convinced, but our God is big enough to change their hearts and minds as well.
Whoever presses into the fullness of Christ overcomes in three areas:
· No longer living naturally but from the body and blood of Christ Jesus
· No longer obtaining pleasure by yielding to sin
· No longer pursuing one’s ambitions to accomplish self-satisfying goals
As long as these enemies exist in your way of thinking, we cannot have the fullness of Christ. Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Satan cannot be cast down until there are Christians who overcome him. Satan will finally be crushed under the feet of the saints (Rom.16:20).
Satan can only be overcome as people seek to live by the Life of Christ instead of by their natural physical life. They must refuse to yield to sin for their own pleasure, and they must reject their own will and ambitions to find the desire of their Beloved. These will turn away from the adamic nature to live by the Life of Christ as He lives by the Life of the Father. We do this every time we refuse to yield to our own desires so that we may please Him.
DID YOU KNOW THAT VICTORIOUS SAINTS REFUSE ALL JOY EXCEPT THE JOY THAT COMES AS THEY DO THE WILL OF GOD? Why do you think there is so much turmoil in the majority of the body of Christ?
The remnant is seeking the rest of God – that rest is the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ in everything they are and do. To have that rest means crucifying the flesh daily. It is living by His Life, His thoughts, and His actions, i.e. it is learning to live by the power of Christ’s resurrection. Those in the remnant are willing to share in His sufferings. They count all personal accomplishments as rubbish in order to gain Christ.
We are now followers in travail to overcome the world, sin and corruption so that when the Lord returns we will be ready for resurrection life that will already be dwelling in us. This preparation is the redemption of the last days.
We were saved the moment we accepted Jesus Christ, but we are being saved moment by moment as we submit to the Spirit’s leading.
Heb 3:14 (KJV) “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” This verse leaves us with expectation. There is a sense in which our gaining more of Christ is possible only as we continue steadfastly in joyous confidence until we come into His rest. TODAY THE LORD IS REVEALING A NEW EMPHASIS IN THE CHURCH - THAT OF ENDURING TO THE END. There is too much false assurance in the pulpits of today. We must come back to the godly way of assurance. The enemies must be overcome. We must pursue Christ Jesus above all else.
Every victorious saint today is witnessing the travail in the remnant. I want to see you overcome in hearing and obeying the voice of the Lord. Don’t you want the same for me? This is the travail that doesn’t stop short until it accomplishes His purpose.
The return of the Lord depends on a group of people who will say the final “yes” to the Lord by turning away from their own self-confidence of the flesh, of sin and of self-rule and who will serve God without limitations.
The day will come when this wrestling match will end. Satan, will have been completely defeated by Jesus Christ working through victorious saints. But before Michael is empowered to cast out Satan, there must be a remnant of believer’s, the Lord judges, who have overcome all that the Lord requires.
2Co 10:6 “And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
CLAIM YOUR MOUNTAIN AND MAINTAIN IT, PUTTING DOWN EVERY RULE, EVERY ORDER, AND EVERY POWER UNTIL JESUS CHRIST IS EXALTED IN EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE.
Being transformed into Christ’s image requires faith in the Lord as we experience victory after victory and as we refuse to look back while the process is being accomplished. Remember Lot’s wife. “Let us hasten the coming of the Lord by entering into our victory today .” (2 Pet.3:11-12)
I am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2008
Oct. 2: “Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in Me. You have My hearts desire for you.”
Oct. 3: “Rejoice in My plans for your life.”
Oct. 6: “You have come through testing your whole life. You have overcome trouble and have been found faithful. You have endured trials to be changed into My image. Now you will experience tribulation and be victorious.”
Oct. 9: “Do not respond, do not retaliate, do not seek revenge, simply surrender all to Me and walk in perfect peace.”
Oct. 14: May I do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before You, O Lord, in all my ways.
Oct. 17: “The power to humble yourself is being released. This humbling is so that I can increase, less of you and more of Me. Until I become all in all, My people are weak and helpless. They must have more of Me.”
Oct. 18: Restoration – “Cast me not away from thy presence and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psm. 51:11-12)
Oct. 21: The blessing is appointed from God upon the people when they dwell together in harmony and unity. Without this blessing there is distress and fear.
Oct. 25: When you are living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, the enemy has no attack that prospers against you. That is the correct way to rebuke the devil, with the appropriate Word of God.
Oct. 27: Mercy triumphs over judgment. God grant us mercy at this time of great stress and confusion in the land!
Oct. 28: “Many are stuck in the locks today, waiting for the waters to rise so they can go forth in revival. You follow Me. Nothing will stop My Father’s plans and purposes. This is a time when My church will experience new things to make them strong for the fight. The enemy is on the prowl waiting to surround the saints, but I have the way of escape. Follow hard after Me.”
Oct. 30: Advance the obedience of faith.
Givers and Getters
(a sequel to ‘Users and Seekers’)
Rom 8:5-8 (KJV) “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Would anyone really go to church as an attempt to satisfy the desires of the flesh? Realistically, it is possible for any of us to fall into the trap of having our heart set more to receive than to give when we go to church. It is possible that such self-centeredness is causing the downfall of the church at large. In response, multitudes of churches in the United States have been making drastic changes in the way they operate. Some of these changes are more than enough to raise a few eyebrows. Church service times have been made to accommodate those who don’t want to get up early on Sunday. Attendees have been given a choice of multiple services to accommodate the diversities of musical preference. Refreshments of coffee and donuts have been provided, sometimes at the back of the sanctuary, in an effort to draw in sinners and the backslidden, as well as to maintain current church attendance. The question is; WHY WOULD CHURCHES TRY TO LURE PEOPLE UNTO CHRIST BY APPEALING TO THEIR FLESH?
Joh 6:43-44 (KJV) “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus Christ is the King of kings, not a Burger King Restaurant, and His instructions have not changed; so how can we justify catering to the flesh as an attempt to make disciples? Jesus’ disciples were always told they would have to suffer the same kinds of things that their Master suffered. They were not told: “Have it your way.” Jesus Christ has not changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If the people of God were to follow His instructions and go out daily into their realms of influence to find the people God is drawing to Himself, the “church” would increase daily as God touched people’s hearts.
Mat 16:24-25 (KJV) “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Some people still think that those instructions were just for the twelve chosen by Christ to be disciples at that time, but the scriptures clearly say that Christ was talking to all of the people, as well as to His hand picked disciples.
Mar 8:34 (KJV) “And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Denying one’s self does not usually appear at the top of the Sunday bulletin, but it is at the top of the list of instructions that Jesus gave to all who would come to God. And if we are to be honest with those to whom we minister, we will give them the same word. Being a Christian is all about following Christ, not anything about picking and choosing what we expect from a church. If the church that God leads us to lacks anything, perhaps He sent us there to help fill the void. If not to fill the void, then perhaps as we do the great commission, we will bring in those who will fill the void. I once heard a very wise preacher say, “When it is time for us to grow up, God will no longer allow others to find our spiritual food, chew it up, and put it in our mouths.” Those leaders who would casually allow Christians to remain infantile are doing them a great injustice.
Joh 10:27 (KJV) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” “Sheep” are mature and have been trained to follow the master. “Lambs” are infantile and will not be able to walk the walk if they do not mature. One Pastor concerned for the welfare of the flock under his care stated, "User-friendly" was first used to describe computer software and hardware that is easy for the novice to operate. Applied to the church, it describes churches that offer a decidedly benign and non-challenging ministry model. In practice, it has become an excuse for importing worldly amusements into the church in an attempt to attract non-Christian "seekers" or the "unchurched" by appealing to their fleshly interests. The obvious fallout of this preoccupation with the unbelievers is a corresponding neglect of true believers and their spiritual needs.”
Church, we don’t need to attract everybody to the building on Sunday; we need to fulfill the great commission by the leading of the Holy Spirit, and then those who become believers will want to be joined in the building together with those of like faith.
Mat 28:19-20 (KJV) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Spiritual maturity is reached when obedience to God and His Word becomes a joy.
Obedience is the greatest commentary upon the Bible – Do and thou shalt know.
Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.
He who prays as he ought will endeavor to live as he prays.
First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it.
“Yet lackest though one thing; Go sell all that you have and give to the poor; he was grieved at that saying, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Poor Youth! He had a good mind to be a Christian, and to inherit eternal life, but thought it too dear, if it could be purchased at no less an expense than of his estate. And thus many, both young and old, now-a-days, come running to worship our blessed Lord in public, and kneel before him in private, and inquire at this gospel, what they must do to inherit eternal life: but when they find they must renounce the self-enjoyment of riches, and forsake all in affection to follow him, they cry, “’The Lord pardon us in this thing. We pray have us excused.’ HE WILL NOT!”
Two boys were walking home from Sunday School after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, “What do you think about all this Satan stuff?” The other boy replied, “Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your Dad.”