Angels and Demons I just wanted to talk a little bit about the spirit realm, and how it may affect us in the Wilderness. You see, even though we live in a physical world that is seen and touched, there are other things that influence us that we should be aware of, and know how to deal with should we encounter them. Many fights, and episodes of selfishness that occur during the Wilderness, are inspired by evil spirits finding a foothold in our unhealed souls. There are usually three types of spirits that co-exist with humans in the earth today according to the Bible; Angels and the Holy Spirit which serve God, and evil spirits that serve satan. Angels protect humans and bring messages from God to them. Evil spirits try to tempt man to disobey God, and will try to harm humans if given the chance through a humans sin, others sin, unforgiveness, or unwillingness to do what's right. Angels are good, and will always acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world. They are not to be prayed to, but are rather our fellow brethren in the Kingdom of God. Angels protect what belongs to God and God's interests. Chances are, you have been saved out of trouble more than once, by one or more of these Heavenly helpers. They are automatically dispatched when we pray and ask for God's help, or when God knows we're going to need it. Some are Angels assigned to individuals, or areas. Evil spirits were once regular angels, but lost their place through rebellion, and a war in Heaven. They are only allowed to remain on Earth to test man, whether he will obey or disobey God when tempted. They usually have a particular nature that will try to influence you in that manner. A spirit of greed emits greed, a spirit of lust emits lust, a spirit of strife only emits strife, but they do work together to accomplish the same end. All evil spirits (including satan) will be locked up during the soon coming Millennial Kingdom. Evil spirits can only work through sin. They only have power if a human cooperates with whatever temptation they are throwing at them. They can be resisted effectively, and told to leave you alone in the name of Jesus Christ, and they must obey. Like the Bible sais, "Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you". They can get a stronghold through repeated cooperation from a human to sin, but lose their power when consistently refused. It's like feeding a monster, it grows; but when starved out, it eventually shrivels up and dies. You should ask God for His help through His Holy Spirit, and His Angels when you feel under attack. Now I don't see a demon behind every tree, and sometimes people blame spirits when it is just their own disobedient behavior causing the problem. Sin brings its own consequences and problems, when given into repeatedly. Like the Bible sais, "The curse causeless, will not come". But remember, we are all a work in progress, and God is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He just needs your daily cooperation to change you. It's a progressive work that He does, as we listen and obey. You can't do it alone. During the Wilderness, the Holy Spirit will educate you about the spirit realm, and He will also help you to destroy any "landing strips" these foul entities may find in you to make a landing. satan works hard when we are children to build avenues of access into our hearts through abuse, neglect, and sin. In time, God will make stepping stones from your old stumbling blocks. And always remember, love never fails, no matter what attack comes, just get alone somewhere or with someone else and pray, bind up the evil spirits in Jesus name, show love and kindness, and it will diffuse your end of the problem. When the Holy Spirit prompts you, let Him take you back and forgive all who have hurt or harmed you. Bomb those old landing strips with forgiveness and love, and be rid of them for good. It's kind of like fire, it needs several things to burn (heat, oxygen, and fuel) and evil spirits need sin, unforgiveness, and disobedience to live. In time, you will see that you really have power over all evil because of the authority of Jesus granted to you as His servant. He will show you all you need to know about the spirit realm and how to operate in it safely and effectively. Remember, the Book already says we win. Cooking for the King I saw a documentary recently about Windsor Castle and the staff that serve the Queen and the royal family there. They had all prepared for a banquet that was to celebrate the peace between France and England for the past hundred years (the Entente Cordiale), so everything had to be perfect. The royal chef had to make sure that everyone involved was listened to and accommodated, and it all went very well in the end despite guests being late and protesters at the gates. When they interviewed the Royal Chef afterward, he said something that really struck a spiritual chord. He said, "There is no room for ego here like other chefs, when you are the Royal chef, my job is only to find out what the Queen wants, and serve that to her, and to the others she wants to be fed. This sounded profound because many other high profile chefs love to be adulated and praised for their personal creations and world famous cuisine. In the Body of Jesus, we have had many people either knowingly or unknowingly serving up food to the rest of the Body that they think will make them look good and pump up their own spiritual ego or so called "ministry", but if you notice, there rarely seems to be alot of anointing or stability in what they are serving up, and why is that? They need to drop their egos and flesh and find out what King Jesus wants to be served up on the menu, rather than something that supposedly makes them look good. When we truly love the sheep, we will want to feed them the most nourishing food we can straight from heaven because you want them to be strong and bear fruit for our kingdom, and for the glory of God. If we are still trying to impress people to win their praise, affirmation, and approval, then we need to pray for more of Gods love for the sheep and for Him. We all must learn this so that we become good obedient chefs to the King. Another thing about cooking for the King is that we need to make sure the food is not mixed with impurities and that it is as pure as possible. The Wilderness is about purging us of these impurities (sin habits, flesh, unforgiveness, lack of love) and helping us to become "clean pipes" so to speak, to carry His words and power to a very hurting and lost world. You wouldn't sprinkle arsenic onto a pot roast before you served it to your dinner guests, but when we harbor sin, bitterness, and unforgiveness in our hearts and try to minister to others, it mixes with our gifting and can defile and contaminate those who partake of it. In this Wilderness, God has been purifying us from all the wounds and sin habits of the past that have been poisoning our hearts and tainting the good food that God is wanting to serve up through us. The Holy Spirit has been teaching us to serve up good, healthy, pure, anointed food from heaven. Be encouraged this day that when He is finished with His Wilderness work in you, that you will be the best chef you can possibly be, and that you will feed the many new sheep that will come into the Kingdom because of the soon coming great North American revival. "Bon Appetit". JN 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. JN 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. "Dad's Home!" We have entered a strange kind of lull in the spirit realm right now where everything seems to be quiet and empty and there is a reason for that. God is about to begin to move in a big way where we will see His actions and not just His words. We may have thought that we are just in a slack tide right now, but don't let it fool you because we are all about to experience a massive spiritual tidal wave like never before witnessed in the history of mankind on the earth. Things are about to change in a very huge way. For years now we have been in a preparation mode where we have just gotten prophetic word after prophetic word and some of us have become apathetic, cynical, and unbelieving concerning whether God will ever actually move on our behalf or not. Well guess what?, not only is God going to move, but it is going to be so powerful that it will leave you with your spiritual eyes bugging out and your spiritual mouth hanging wide open. You are about to move from the waiting mode and into the hurry up mode. I remember as a child when it got close to the time when our dad would get home from work and the atmosphere in our house changed incredibly. Someone would finally yell "Dad's home!" and we would all run to the door in great anticipation. Our spiritual Father is about to show up so it's time to prepare to meet Him. This is a time to be extra careful, not careless, and to put away anything that might offend the Lord before He shows up. Get ready because the God of action is about to move in power! AC 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Ending the Role-Playing Many times because of fear and a need to be approved of and protect ourselves, we may develop various personalities in order to appease different people to maintain a safe environment for ourselves. We learn to become codependent to what everyone else wants. This chameleon type of personality disorder usually starts when we are children living around an angry, disapproving, controlling, and overly critical parent. EPH 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. It is within every child to please their parents believe it or not, but some parents try to make trophies out of their kids. When we as children get burdened with impossible expectations we can get exasperated and stop being ourselves because who we are seems to be often rejected and criticized. I don't want to demonize parents, just reveal the roots of how we start taking on different roles to satisfy everyone else as children. PS 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. God created you to be you, not someone else, so it is critical that we stop trying to please everyone because there will always be someone unhappy with what we are doing because everyone has different preferences. Learn to be yourself, to say no without guilt, and experience rejection being the natural you. Being yourself prevents overload. The only role you need to play is God's role, and He always loves you as is. DT 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Forgiving The Original Offender HEB 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. There are many times that we mistreat someone unfairly and overreact to an unkind act they commit against us not just because we are offended with them, but because we are still offended with the original person that did something similar to us a long ago that we have just not forgiven yet. When we refuse to forgive, a root of bitterness grows like a weed and we end up transferring our unhealed resentment onto others. "What we don't forgive, we relive". When we don't forgive someone we carry that original unforgiven offense inside us and actually start to repeat it against other fairly innocent people. We do this because we feel like there was no justice or atonement for the original offense, so we have every right to punish similar people. Many people are punishing their spouse for something they have still not forgiven their parents for. One way to tell if you are reacting out of an old unhealed bitter root toward someone from your past is the strong emotion and "over-punishment" we vent out upon people, rather than just rationally dealing with the current offense. There are some people that are bitter with whole groups of people so they take it out on anyone that reminds them of them. Some people are bitter just because of someones gender, race, or religion. So what's the answer? How do we stop punishing people for what someone else did to us long ago? Well we need to forgive obviously. But we need to be brave and allow the Holy Spirit to take us back to the original unhealed offense and heal it with the truth. Most hurts remain because we are still embracing lies connected to the original offense. God knows exactly what really happened, so He alone is qualified to help us. Sometimes when we are criticized and condemned by someone we feel bad about ourselves, especially if we failed because of some flaw in our character. Guess what? We are all a work in progress and nobody is a finished product yet. But God forgives us because He knows that someday we will be completed, so we need to keep that in mind with other people as well, and forgive the mean and rotten things they do to us. Let Jesus take you by the hand and take you back to that original offense and help you to forgive the original offender. The offender probably isn't hurting over this like you are, so you need to do this for yourself, as well as for those around you. Forgiving the original offender may help to save your marriage, heal your family, and end the long chain of broken relationships due to unhealed bitterness. So let God help you today. Here is a prayer to pray if you need it: "Dear God, I ask that you would help me to forgive all of the original offenders in my life, and to stop punishing people unfairly for what someone else did to me in my past. I just give you permission right now Holy Spirit to take me back to the original offense that created this root of bitterness. By faith I just forgive all of my original offenders right now, and I ask you Lord to help me to walk in it. In Jesus name I pray, amen". EPH 4:\31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. He Is Rising in You MK 16:9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. Mary Magdalene had had a pretty rough life; she was a prostitute and heavily demonized from being involved in many different types of activities that I'm sure many of us can relate to today. Even when Jesus first met her she was about to be stoned to death by an angry mob and I'm sure she was thinking about her life and just how wrong things had gone. But God had plans to bring life out of death for her and He will do the same thing for you today. JN 20:15 "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." JN 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Many things may have gone wrong in your life and you may have failed terribly, but Jesus Christ has been with you all along and He is about to reveal Himself to you in a whole new way. You may have been crying over many things that have either happened or not happened in your life but God has plans to use you in a great way if you will let Him. Jesus Christ is showing up for His people and it is time for us to grab on to Him and find new life. MT 28:8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." Keeping Your Mantle On 2KI 2:13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. A mantle was a cloak that people used to wear, but it also represents a spiritual authority that God gives to certain people to do His work. We know how when Elijah was taken up into the chariot of fire that he left his cloak or mantle with Elisha, thus symbolically and literally passing on his prophetic ministry to Elisha. This was proven out to be true later on as Elisha performed many more miracles than Elijah did in life. Now we live in a time where many people are getting out of their spiritual wilderness time and God is placing new mantles or spiritual cloaks of His authority on top of their spiritual shoulders so that we can go and reap His harvest in the earth. You may have noticed that your spiritual gifts have all of the sudden increased and that will continue to grow in the days ahead. Many unknowns will rise from obscurity to high visibility. We must be careful though to keep our mantles on by being consistently obedient before the Lord. If we revert back to any kind of sin we risk having our mantle taken off again and thus wasting valuable time that could be used in helping others. Things that can strip us of our mantles are sin, disobedience, pride, judging others, gossiping and slandering, or anything else that makes us temporarily disqualified for spiritual service. PS 89:45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. Selah David knew what it was like to have Gods grace and virtue pulled back on him when he sinned with Bathsheba and he learned the tough lesson of losing his anointing from God. In the days ahead we must be extra careful to protect the mantles that God gives us because the reason it is there is because God wants to help people through us. Consistent obedience is the way to keep our mantles clean and on our shoulders. LK 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Lessons from the Cat I realize this is kind of a strange title for a message, but I think you will understand as you read. I have a cat that I have interacted with for about five years, and through the cat, God has shown me a few things that I would like to pass on. When the Holy Spirit wants to teach you something, He can, and will use whatever He knows will do the job best. He is talking all day long through many different things, and if you listen carefully, you will hear Him talking to you. He also knows how you think, and also how to turn the volume up loud enough for you to hear Him, so don't worry about missing Him. God knows literally every detail about you. So, here are a few things He showed me through the cat. The cat gets fed twice a day without fail, once in the morning, and once in the late afternoon. Even though the cat always gets fed, she is used to begging like crazy several hours before it's time to be fed, I guess because she figures, that's what insures her being fed. I would have fed her anyway, because I care about her needs. God is no different, and knows your needs. We sometimes beg Him over and over, thinking that is why He is meeting our needs, when in fact, He planned to meet our needs all along, whether we begged or not. Do you make your kids beg for dinner? No, you feed them because you love them, and care about their needs. God is aware of every molecule that moves, including you. The cat feels comfortable coming up to me all the time simply because she is familiar with me through daily interaction. Relationship is built through daily interaction, and not just through position. The cat doesn't know, or really care necessarily who I am, she just knows me because we interact alot. The way we get to know God, and build a close relationship with Him, is just to interact alot on a daily basis. If I just read about the cat, it wouldn't make me closer to the cat. God wants you to talk to Him all day long about everything that is going on, and He loves talking back to you, and He talks very plainly about all kinds of things. And you don't need all the Thee's and Thou's, He can speak and hear normally no matter how you talk. He even knows your thoughts. Scary I know. The cat is usually very forgiving and thick-skinned, she usually doesn't keep a record of wrongs, no matter what has happened during that day. Given a short time, she will be just as open and affectionate as ever, even if her tail got stepped on, or whether she was corrected, or whether she got a bath that morning. We also need to be forgiving, and have a really short memory when someone "steps on our tail". Everyone has their problems, so you will never find a problem-free person. Besides, if we just reject someone, God will just send four more people with the same annoying problem, so that He can teach us to love them. Remember, we have our "stuff" too, that they are enduring. The cat is accepted and loved, even though she does things that are wrong. If the cat gets into the garbage, or pees somewhere other than her box, I don't just throw her out the door (although I have been tempted a couple times). God always loves and accepts us, even with all our junk, because He knows we are a work in progress, and in time we will change for the better with His help. Likewise, we must also realize that those around us will change in time, with Gods help. As we pray, we have a much better chance of seeing someone change. People only change when they see their problem clearly, and the only One that can give them that kind of revelation is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit goes right to the heart and illuminates and convicts. He also knows the right timing. So, as I look over at the lump of fur sleeping on the chair in the living room, I am thankful for the things God has shown me through the cat. If God can use a donkey to speak to Balaam, then He can sure use other things. He also speaks through prayer, His written word, music, tv, objects, books, people, or whatever; because He knows that's where our heads are at, at the time. If you ever want a prophetic word from God, just start reading the bible and within minutes, a phrase or word will just "pop out" at you and be highlighted, that's Him talking. God loves talking to His kids, and He encourages us to listen. So whatever God uses today to talk to you, know how much He loves you, and how wonderful He thinks you are. He is waiting to talk to you right now; yep, right now. Living By The Truth JN 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. Truth is what God says it is because God created everything, so He is the only One qualified enough to tell us what is truth, and what is not. If you are going to grow spiritually and emotionally and be successful in life, you will have to be willing to receive and walk in God's truth about yourself, your life, and everything and everyone else around you. Usually it's pride, fear, or self will that causes us to choose to walk in denial and to stay stuck with our problems and immaturity's, but once you make the full decision in your heart to accept God's truth, you will then start to find relief and freedom from many old problems in your life. EPH 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Living by the truth means not making excuses when you do something wrong and just taking responsibility for it and apologizing. Living by the truth means not lying and making excuses for other peoples unwillingness to walk in the truth and just stating the truth in love when an issue needs to be resolved. You do need to be careful though about telling people the truth in God's timing and not just when you are really angry because we are all a work in progress, and we should pray much more than we correct. Living by the truth means facing your past for what it really was and then forgiving and letting it all finally rest in God's hands. JN 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. The Spirit of truth, or the Holy Spirit, knows exactly what the truth is about everything and He is the only One we can fully trust to give us the real truth about things. So whether you counsel, need counsel, are trying to overcome a sin-habit, be happily married, raise kids, work your job, or serve the Lord, you will need the Holy Spirit and God's word to separate what is true, from what is false. All true growth and life success springs from a willingness to receive, accept, and walk consistently in God's truth. I just want to encourage you to let Jesus Christ who is "The Truth" help you to improve your life by sharing the truth with you. JN 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Minding Our Mouth ECC 5:3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. I just want to share a truth with you that may help to decrease your spiritual warfare. Learn to be more careful about what you talk about because God is not the only one listening. There are evil spirits that hang out just to get as much information and divine dirt on you as they can, so it helps to not talk about certain things unless you really need to. If a demon doesn't know your plans, then it will be harder to sabotage them. You may notice in the gospels that Jesus always chose His words very carefully and somehow I don't think that He was a chatty kind of guy. I think that He was well aware that there were many unseen demonic beings listening for God's latest intelligence on Him. The same is no different for us and although God is omniscient and omnipresent and can read our thoughts, Satan cannot. So Satan has to resort to using demonic spies to listen in on what we are saying, and then feed that information back to Him. JUDE 1:20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. God has not left us powerless over this situation, and we don't have to be afraid to talk about what God is doing in our life. But it does help to be a bit more careful about talking about certain types of things that are really meant to remain just between us and God. We tend to want to tell everyone everything that God is telling us because we want to help people, and also sometimes it can make us feel more worthful. God has also given us the gift of tongues to pray with that I do not believe that demons can understand. Another thing that can help is to not use profanity because this is another tactic of demons to try to use our words against us. Demons will try to get people to fight and swear, and then try to blow our witness by stationing someone nearby to hear it. And when we learn to be more discreet with our words then the enemy cannot attack us so easily. So if you want more peace in your life, be careful with your words. JAS 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Ministry Idolatry I remember in the early 90's there was such an emphasis on the five fold ministry and I served faithfully in a prophetic fellowship that stressed all the gifts and the so called offices that went with them. I don't think that this teaching was necessarily bad, it is just what we do with it that can create bad fruit. I got licensed in that fellowship and received great prophetic words about how God was going to use me in the years to come. Then God began to pop my bubble and show me what real ministry was. I was sent to California and I served with some fairly well known people on what would be considered the higher levels of ministry, but God began to show me all the greed, competition, and idolatry of ministry that was taking place and just how corrupt things had become. I even had a well-known television minister try to seduce me and found out that this man was a homosexual. The Lord then set me with a prophet that just ministered to drug addicts and alcoholics and I began to see how lacking I was. I could see in a short time that my heart was full of selfish ambition and a need to find value through ministry. Don't get me wrong, I did care about these people, but the mixture of my flesh and Spirit contaminated and defiled my service to the Lord. I canceled my ministry license and dropped the whole reverend title because the Lord showed me that titles are for those that want validation, not for people that want to serve. God showed me that it was His love and gospel that needed to be promoted. Do we have and need these different gifts in the Body? Yes of course we do, but elevating them to a status beyond that of just a servant of Jesus Christ is nothing more than idolatry. When Paul wrote letters to the churches he described himself as a servant of Jesus Christ that happens to do the work of an apostle, he does not use his service to dominate or self- promote. In these coming days we must focus on lifting up Jesus Christ and not our so- called gifts or titles. He alone deserves all glory, not us. Muslim Antichrist? Back in 1992 I had a strong outpouring of God's Spirit upon my life and during that time I had two dreams that were extremely real and vivid. These were not like normal dreams because all your senses tell you that you are actually there and experiencing the event. The first dream I had was that I was in a very tall building with long windows and I was running down a stairwell with many other people like we were all evacuating. Then a bright flash and explosion hit the building like a bolt of lightning and I woke up in a very shaken state. This may have been the WTC, I'm not sure. The second dream the next night was where an angel was flying and carrying me in its arms. We were flying over an intense battlefield with explosions happening everywhere and people running around and fighting. At one point the angel dipped down toward the battle and I literally almost jumped out of his arms because we were so close. The hills we all green and it looked like this could be somewhere in North America, the dream ended. REV 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. The above scripture states that those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will be beheaded and this is in Revelation which is at the end of man's rule upon the earth. So why cut someones head off if we have so many other much more humane ways to execute a person these days? Well the Muslim extremists still behead people, and it is possible that we will face a world war between the Muslims and non-Muslims, and those who refuse to convert to Islam will be beheaded. It is also possible that the man that emerges to take world government will be Muslim, but one that is very Satanically supported and directed. Only recently has the technology to give everyone a mark to buy and sell become realistically feasible. Terrorism has caused most governments to exercise more control over its citizens. Make no mistake, the ultimate goal of Islam is to make the whole world Muslim. True Islam will not tolerate any other religion other than Islam, so anyone that's different will be forced to either convert, or be executed. REV 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. REV 13:9 He who has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. So why tell you all this? I am not a fatalist nor a conspiracy theorist, but I do feel a certain sense of responsibility to tell you what may happen. If you knew the Titanic was going to sink would you want to warn the people, or just stay quiet and let them face their fate? The day of being politically correct is over. Accepting evil may be being Satanically correct, but very incorrect for a Christian. Jesus died for all Muslim's just like He did for us, so we should not in any way be prejudiced against the Muslim's, we treat them just like anyone else that Jesus died for. Jesus has even been reported to be appearing in mosques lately. But be wise about what their agenda is and get your life ready to face whatever may be coming. We are entering the greatest revival in the worlds history with great signs, wonders, miracles, and displays of God's glory, but I also see a time of great persecution coming. The Christian holocaust is likely not far away. So repent of all sin, serve Jesus completely, and look for His very soon return. LK 21:27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Picking at Old Wounds While praying, the Lord showed me a man sitting down, picking at a large sore on his knee, it was all red around the wound from being picked so often, and you could also tell that some infection had set in. Then I saw Jesus with a bandage moving His arms in, to try to cover the wound so that it could heal, but the person kept pushing Him away, and wanting to work on it himself. He seemed to feel that he alone, was the only one that was safe, qualified, or familiar enough with the wound, to work on it. And he didn't trust God anymore with this pain, because he felt that the Lord was careless in allowing the wound to happen in the first place. Then the Holy Spirit explained this to me: During the Wilderness, or as the Bride is making Herself ready, God will deliberately allow all your old wounds to become exposed because He wants to heal them, and He knows how much energy these old wounds steal from us every day we lug them around, and pick them open to work on them. But the Lord also has showed me that many of us keep these old wounds open because we are mentally and emotionally "picking the scab off" everyday to try to fix it ourselves, and feel in control of our pain, and healing. There comes a certain time in our healing process where we have to leave the wound alone and just trust God to heal it. We must let God put a spiritual bandage on it and keep our hands off of it no matter how tempting or gratifying it may feel to pick it open again. Some reasons why we like to keep tearing open these old wounds are: 1. Guilt- We still feel guilty that we failed someone or God, and we are trying to somehow mentally/emotionally resolve it, and absolve ourselves, so that we can let ourselves off the hook and show ourselves that it really wasn't our fault after all. 2. Fear- We don't want it to ever happen again, so we want to develop a plan of defense should we ever be harmed or attacked like that again. We also want to keep control over the issue, because we want to protect ourselves, and we don't trust God to protect us. 3. Unforgiveness- We don't want to let it go, until the offender apologizes, and then and only then, will we feel safe around them again, and our dignity (pride) will feel restored. We just feel they "owe" us, and they need to make it right, or it's just too bad for them. You see, we all "owe" God because of our sin, and He lets it go because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. He will judge everyone in the end and only He knows the whole story. Continuing to pick open old wounds rather than just forgiving and letting them heal just seems to make it worse, and it magnifies the original incident far beyond reality. We must understand that we all make mistakes, and we will all answer for everything we ever did or said in life, and we all need forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit what He wants you to do concerning each particular old wound still left in your heart. PS 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He may ask you to write a letter or email to the offender/victim, or to call or visit them which may be your worst nightmare. Most of the time, they are either not aware of the problem, or they may want resolution as well. Trying to "wait them out" may be just a waste of time. Be willing this day to allow God to help heal you and then after doing all He said to do, just leave it alone and pray. In time, you will be completely healed. The urge to "pick at it" may be strong, but put it back into God's hands each time you are tempted to "pick". He wants you and them healed more than you know. PS 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Reality Check We are entering a season of greater anointings and miracles so God will be fulfilling many of the prophetic words He has given us concerning using us in power to bring His help to others. We will experience great successes as we minister for the Lord which may have the propensity for spiritual pride and self-delusion if we are not careful. Because of this God will at different times pull His anointing and power back just long enough for us to get our feet back on spiritual ground and reaffirm that God is perfect and we are not. Only sustained humility can carry God's power and resources. We must remember where we came from during this spiritual conquest so that we can keep everything in His perspective as we see many of His wonderful promises fulfilled. DT 8:2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. If God pulls back your anointing for a short season try not to get offended, take it personal, or think that there is some gross sin that you have overlooked, because it may just simply be God giving us a reality check to guard against pride polluting what He is doing through us. There were times that as Joshua and the Israelites took the promised land that things happened to remind them that they needed to be humble, submitted, and careful as they proceeded. Great victories have come for God's people and it is ok to rejoice in what God does, but it is also important not to believe your own press so to speak and that if people are ministered to by us and try to praise us that we just understand that they are really praising and thanking God through us. AC 14:11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" AC 14:14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. Reasons Why We Get Spiritually Attacked 2CO 2:11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. Sometimes even when we are doing everything right in our Christian lives we may still get spiritually attacked, and it helps to understand why so that we don't get offended with God, and so that we don't give up or get discouraged. Make no mistake, we are in an actual war that involves real beings, we just cannot typically see them because they have the ability to make themselves invisible to us. Below are just a few reasons why we might get spiritually attacked that can help you to understand why it's happening and how to survive and avoid it. Some reasons for a spiritual attack may include: 1. Unrepented of sin When we habitually and willfully sin it creates a wall between us and God which allows evil spirits to come and torment us until we do finally and fully repent. Sin unlocks the spiritual door to our soul that allows evil to legally come in and harass us until we repent. 2. Unforgiveness Jesus said that we had to forgive others in order for our sins to be forgiven, and if we live with unforgiven sin we end up with what I described in point one above. We must forgive everyone that has sinned against us and then just leave them in God's hands to judge. 3. Testing of our faith Like Jesus, Job, and others, God may at times allow evil to come and test our faith in Him. We must respond though with the truth of God's word like Jesus did, and not sin like Job did. Once we pass the tests though, we are then ready for promotion and God's power. 4. Counterattack after a spiritual victory This happened many times after the apostles of Jesus day had a spiritual victory like souls being saved, healings, or demons cast out, and it is meant to psychologically create an aversion to us spiritually attacking satan's strongholds, but even this can work for good. 5. Witchcraft from other humans Witchcraft is not just a bunch of old women with warts chanting around a cauldron, it is one human focusing their spirit or invoking evil spirits to harm or harass another human. It is listed as a work of the flesh in Galatians 5:20. Even Christians can pray witchcraft prayers. 6. Curses from past family sin Sometimes, especially if our ancestors have been involved in addiction, sexual sin, or the occult, then evil spirits are allowed to some extent to tempt and harass a few of the following generations. But Jesus Christ broke every curse when He died on the cross in our place. 7. Disobedience to God's will There will be times where we either willfully or ignorantly get out of God's will and we then invite evil to come and to show us that we are off the safe path, and we need to get back on it. Even Jonah learned this lesson when He tried to run away from God's will to go preach. 8. Humility Paul because of his great spiritual revelations was sent a messenger of satan to help to keep him humble. At times this can come in different forms, but it is only meant to help us not to become prideful. Ask God first where it is coming from though, because this is rare. COL 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. The main thing that satan wants to accomplish when he spiritually attacks a Christian is just to intimidate and discourage them. He wants them to think that God cannot protect them and to get them to back off from doing anymore damage to his kingdom of darkness. But satan was already defeated at the cross and you don't have to put up with his cowardly attacks. Below is a prayer to pray to help counteract any spiritual warfare that may be being focused your way. This is our day to put on all of our spiritual armor, and to conquer all evil. "In the name and in the authority granted to me by Jesus Christ, I now command all evil or human spirits to be bound from trying to harm, hinder, harass, or tempt me or anyone else connected to me in any way, shape, or form. I repent of all sin ever committed by me or my family line and I break any and all curses that have rested upon or affected my life in any way. I also command any witchcraft being focused at me from anyone to be reflected back upon the person sending it. I ask Jesus that you would send your Holy Spirit and angels to come and protect me, and to help me to repel all spiritual attacks coming at me right now. Thank you Jesus for giving me the power and authority I need through your name and shed blood to counteract all forms of evil. In Jesus name I ask and pray all these things, amen." LK 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. EPH 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. GAL 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Security Sin First of all, I want to give you a link to a site that offers free online courses to overcome sin habits. The courses are usually 60 days, and the lessons take about a half hour, to an hour. You are given a mentor who has graduated from the same course, and they will help guide you through the course each week. So, if you have a problem with smoking, overeating/eating disorders, pornography, drinking, homosexuality, or you just want to go deeper in God, there are courses for you. I have been through some of them, and they can be a real help in overcoming those destructive habits, that just seem to hang on. Here is the link http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/home/ I know this title sounds a bit strange, but the reason that we sin isn't just for the pleasure we think we get, it's also the security we feel knowing that it is there and available for us, should pain come calling. Rachel took idols of her fathers (Laban) and hid them under her saddle even though they worshiped Yahweh, because they were familiar security. Achan took some gold, silver, and a robe, and hid them under the floor of his tent when he wasn't supposed to and his whole family was executed; and Judas Iscariot always had the money bag for the ministry, and helped himself to it. My point is this, sometimes we stash our sin away just for the security of knowing it's there, and available. It's idolatry. These may even include credit cards, or destructive relationships. The Israelites would usually get rid of most of their idols and shrines, but they would always leave a few high places, prophets or mediums, "just in case". We may not even use the thing we're hiding, but it's the comfort of knowing it's there, and the fear and sense and the danger and emptiness we feel without it that's the problem. The problem is that we are trusting in an object in place of God. We want something we can physically administer at will, to offset pain, and feel in control of our pain relief, and whole life. God wants us to find our security, pain relief, and pleasure through Him, and not through stashed away sin. If you want to walk in God's power and anointing you will have to be willing to let go of these last secret loves of ours and embrace God for what we need. Just know that even after you "burn" all the idols so to speak, and you are feeling vulnerable and bored, that God will help fill in the void with Himself. You will see in time, that you really didn't need those things as much as you thought. And you will see that their value and importance was greatly exaggerated. Those things may show up later at your window looking forlorn, and tapping on the window to be let back in, usually just when you've had some kind of conflict, or fresh emotional pain. Those things usually just keep you stuck in your pain, they don't heal. God will help and heal you, if you trust Him. This is not condemnation, it's just reality, when we die we face reality, no matter what fantasy we lived in here on earth. satan likes to keep us in a fantasy, God is reality. This is the most dangerous time in history to be practicing sin right now, because the Lord is returning very soon, and He is returning for a spotless Bride. One of the things Jesus said alot was "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near". That is a "now" word; how close can we afford to cut it, before it's too late, and we're trapped in judgment because we played around with it too long? Besides, practicing sin keeps our soul dirty and people can pick up on it, yuk. What you get from the Lord is much better and satisfying than what you thought you got from the sin habit you clung to so fiercely. Know that God loves you, and that He has provided us with alot of different kinds of legal pleasures that can help us through the pain we face.Trust God now, to help you, He will. Serving Laban During your prophetic training, and also during most peoples Wilderness experience, you may be required to serve leaders who have a lot of the same character traits as Laban, (Jacob's uncle, and later father-in-law). Laban had a reputation for being selfish, deceptive, manipulative, and exploitative, toward those under his authority. The reason God needs us to undergo this stressful process, is to help us to learn to trust Him, even while serving under a leader we perceive to be selfish and/or abusive. Plus, God wants to get the Laban out of us, before we go on to possibly hurt, or exploit others. Like someone said, as many people as we can help, will also be as many as we can hurt. Laban was Jacob's uncle, and later also became his father-in-law through marrying his daughters Leah and Rachel. Jacob had been instructed by his mother Rebekah, to flee to his uncle after he had deceived his brother Esau and stole his blessing. So after serving his uncle Laban seven years for the hand of Rachel, Laban switched women on him on his wedding night, and through Laban's deception he ended up marrying Leah. Also Laban changed Jacobs wages many times, and basically tried to exploit Jacob because God was blessing him, because of Jacob. Jacob had a history of deceiving to get what he wanted, now it seemed that Jacob was having the same things done back to him. God just wants us to learn to trust Him to be in control, of those that seemingly control us. So, there you are, serving the Lord, minding your own business, and all of the sudden you find yourself serving under someone, that seems to be exhibiting selfish, abusive, thoughtless, exploitative, and borderline spiritually illegal leadership. How did this happen and why did God call you to serve under them? You see, the answer is, we all have a bit of Laban in us, and God is trying to put a mirror in front of us, and show us that this is the kind of leader we don't want to be. God also wants to draw all bitterness, distrust, and unforgiveness from our heart's that we have carried against past abusive authorities. The revelation God wants to instill within us is; 1. God wants us to serve someone we may not trust or agree with, without rebellion, fear, or constantly trying to control, manipulate, or criticize them into changing to suit our particular desires, or to alleviate our particular fears. God wants us to trust Him to be in control of the controller, and to protect us even though a leader does something we don't like, or we feel is harmful, exploitative, or something we don't think is God's choice. 2. God wants us to see, that even though a leader may seemingly try to cheat, exploit, or take advantage of us, that He is the One, who is ultimately in control of our life's direction, protection, and provision. Jacob was given a plan to prosper in the midst of Laban's efforts to cheat and exploit him. Nobody can take your blessing from you, but you, and as long as you obey God's direction, you will not lose anything He has for you. 3. God wants us to be leaders who serve out of a pure motive of love, and not out of a desire for power, money, possessions, or to use someone else's talents or resources, to build "our" kingdom, rather than His. He doesn't want us taking advantage of people, just because they are dependent upon us. He wants us to love people, and to lay our lives down for them. Jesus said, the greatest in Heaven are the most loving servants on Earth. 4. God wants us to forgive those who originally harmed or abused us, so that we are not doomed to repeat their mistakes. satan tries hard when we are children, and at our most vulnerable, to hurt us through abusive authority, especially through parents. God wants to restore your trust in authority. You must remember that most harmful authority, became that way, through harmful authority over them. You will make mistakes, and need mercy. So, if you are sitting at your desk right now reading this, and you can look across the room and see your Laban suspiciously looking back at you; just smile, and know that God is in control of everything. God sets boundaries of what He allows in your life, and like Jesus said to Pilate, "You would have no power over me, unless it were given to you from above". Everything in your life must go through God first. Pray for those that mistreat you, and God will work in their life to change them. Look at your Laban as a blessing that is helping you, and do your best to learn from them. After you have learned all needed, Laban's power over you will end, and you will move on to be a good leader. Should God's Words Be Copyrighted? JN 17:8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. AC 15:30 The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. What if Jesus had only allowed what He spoke to be repeated if someone had written permission first? What if Paul had copyrighted all of his letters to the churches because he was either afraid of them being plagiarized, or he was afraid that someone might not give him an offering if he had offered them freely? God spoke so purely through certain people that He wanted His words repeated freely so that everyone could be fed without hindrance. MT 10:7 As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. If we are preaching the message of the gospel through whatever gift God chooses to use, then we should give freely without charge or restriction, and then just trust God to protect and provide as He sees fit. If the Lord tells you to copyright something then fine, but if you are just trying to protect what you give because of fear or greed, then something is off. But others should not unfairly take credit for, or make money off of what God gives through us. 1CO 9:18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. The bottom line is that if God has spoken something through you in any form, that His words belong to Him first, and they should be given out freely. We shouldn't be copyrighting or charging for God's words through us unless God has expressly told us to do so first. The Pharisees of old maintained this putrid practice of only performing ministry for a set price, but God gives freely. So if God is speaking His words through you, then they belong to Him. JN 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." When Jesus talked to Peter to tell him what he was supposed to do with the rest of his life, He didn't say to build a ministry or a name for himself, He just said to feed His sheep. If we are putting any religious red tape or price tags on what God gives through us, then that shows that our hearts are not fully in love with Jesus or His sheep, but is mixed with fleshly motives. We need to take the chains off of God's words through us and just feed His sheep. 2TI 2:9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. Spiritual Discernment The Websters dictionary defines discernment as "to detect with senses other than vision". Really, spiritual discernment is just spiritual vision. It is being able to see behind the physical, and detect and identify what is really happening spiritually, both what is of evil, and what is of good. Most people already operate with a certain level of spiritual discernment, like feeling someones anger being radiated and focused at you, even though the angry person is sitting there with a sweet smile on their face. If you have ever felt intimidated, or manipulated by someone without words, that is spiritual discernment. Usually spiritual discernment is used to identify what kind of evil spirit may be trying to influence a human, or the circumstances at hand. It is also used to judge whether something given as a spiritual gift, is of God, the devil, or the flesh. Not everything that looks like God, is God, but you need discernment to tell. We need spiritual discernment to communicate spiritually. Some people use this ability illegally, to communicate with demons (divination, psychics), or to try to manipulate other humans (witchcraft). Spiritual discernment can be a real protection against evil that is trying to take advantage of us. Remember, evil spirits all have a certain identity, and nature that they are trying to exercise and propagate through a human. A spirit of greed tries to appeal to a humans greed and get a stronghold of control there. A spirit of lust appeals to a humans lust and tries to get control, and power there, to gratify its own evil desires of lust. Your job when you pray for someone, will be to sort all this out, and separate what is what. Alot of things that people attribute to demons, are actually just someones flesh (selfish nature). When you pray for someone for deliverance (an identification and expulsion of the power and influence of evil), it is good to be paired up with someone else with good spiritual discernment. Most seasoned prophets, have a developed sense of spiritual discernment. If you are a beginner, it might be good to call in some help, rather than trying to take on an evil spirit by yourself. When an evil spirit manifests it may react violently to somebody trying to kick it out, and you can get over your head pretty quickly, like Sceva's sons did. Cross-discernment is what you pick up from another human, but may mistake as the Holy Spirit. Some people can project their desires at you because they want something real bad, and if we don't know the difference, we may grant them their wish thinking that it was God. We need not be spiritually codependent toward people, and it is ok to wait for God to confirm something that He wants, if we are not sure. In time, you will get to know Gods character and voice well enough that you can distinguish which is which. You might be surprised at the number of people that unknowingly practice witchcraft with their spirit and divisive prayers. We are only responsible to do what God wants, not humans. Most of the time, it really isn't anything serious like possession, its usually just an oppressive spirit, that got some power through the humans sin, or unforgivness. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is at work there, and how to deal with it. He will show you any areas that the person has not forgiven, or areas of sin strongholds, and ancestral sin that has allowed a spirit to harass the following generations. Even though you may be shown the whole picture, you must still ask Him what to share, and how to share it. I remember when I first started prophesying, there was a strong, accurate anointing and I was seeing and hearing very clearly, but I wasn't sure what to share, and what not to, I thought I was just supposed to share everything. First, I saw this guy who I could see spiritually was an alcoholic (which turned out to be true), and I saw that if he didn't stop drinking now, that he would be dead in six months, I thought this poor guy was going to have a heart attack on the spot. Another older lady, I saw was holding unforgivness, and it was blocking her relationship with God, and the guy behind her was nodding profusely, she got so mad she grabbed me by the neck. So, ask the holy Spirit what to share, and how to share it. You have to be truthful, but as Mary Poppins sais, "a spoonful of sugar, helps the medicine go down". So I would encourage you today, to ask the Holy Spirit to help you to develop better spiritual discernment. In the beginning you might think you see a demon behind every bush, but in time, this will all balance out, and you will be able to sort it all out fairly accurately and quickly. All discernment should be filtered through a heart full of love and compassion for people. An angry, judgmental heart, may see someones faults or sin, but it will just come off as condemnation by the recipient who hears it. Daily time with God in prayer, and in His word can help you develop good, accurate, and love-filled discernment. Spiritual Flattery RO 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Since I have been involved in ministry I have met many different people, and among them I have met a few of what most people would consider to be well known prophets. One prophet that I met in particular was very well known and his words were heard all over the world. Many consider this man to be the premier prophetic voice for America. But the more that I was exposed to this persons ministry, the more I noticed that his words were nothing but positive and bordered on spiritual flattery. This person always seemed to prophesy exactly what people would want to hear and never anything else. DT 18:22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. Another thing I noticed about this prophet was that he made a number of very bold and specific predictions, but most of them never came to pass. Yet nevertheless his words were still being heralded as the next great word from God that we should all listen to and regard. But with such a poor track record, I would venture to guess that this person wasn't hearing from God as much as you might think he was. We all miss it at times, and sometimes big, but to continually speak words of such monumental change and then have nothing happen, is likely not God and more likely just the flesh. 1CO 14:3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. Now obviously God does want to encourage and comfort us, and there is nothing wrong with receiving a message that God wants to bless you. But there should also be a balance of corrective and directive words that lead us to repent. If you'll notice in the beginning of Revelations where Jesus speaks to the seven churches that He did encourage them, but He also corrected them. So it is with us, and even though God is gracious in how He corrects us, He still tells us things meant to cause us to change. God doesn't just tell us what we want to hear, He tells us what we really need to hear. REV 19:10b For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Real prophecy testifies about Jesus Christ and God's specific plan for our life. We should hear words from God that exhort us to change, repent, and to become more like Jesus. God's purpose in speaking to us is not just to bless us, it is also meant to recreate us. When you let a prophetic word into your heart it is like eating spiritual food. When you eat something full of poison it can defile and contaminate your spirit. May the filter of our hearts be set on truth, and may we receive words that do not just merely flatter us, but words that transform us into the character and likeness of Jesus. The Dark Night of the Soul There is something that happens during the Wilderness experience, that is almost indescribable to someone unless they are either in it, or have been through it. Many in the prophetic community have identified it as "The dark night of the soul". It is a time where you may feel as though God has left you, and Hell has come to have dinner and nachos with you. It can be a very dark, and scary time that you wonder if you will survive, or go down to the depths of the netherworld in flames. The length of time this period lasts is completely dependent on the amount you either surrender to, or fight the process. The dark night of the soul, is a time where all of the sudden everything seems to be going every way but yours, you get stripped of everything, and cut down to only survival rations. Everyone seems to be misunderstanding you, or bringing up every evil thing you ever did, and making you look pretty bad. It is a time when your choices end, and God allows every negative thing about you, to be placed clearly in your view, whether you like it or not. It can be a time where you may despair of life, and death starts looking pretty good. It is a time when your soul, and all that is of "self" get puts to death, and it hurts. During this time, you may feel like Jonah stuck in the big fish with nothing to do, except contemplate your mistakes and powerlessness over the situation. You may feel like Joseph, stuck deep inside the Kings dungeon, feeling trapped and mis-accused, saying "why God, why?". Or you may feel like David after his sin and failure with Bathsheba was exposed, and everyone knows about it, and is waiting for you with their rocks of judgment and condemnation to stone you dead. Like Job, you may have all kinds of people trying to tell you what you should do, or why you got yourself into this mess, but no matter what happens, there is One who knows what's happening. God. He has only placed you in this position, to heal, purify, and prepare you, to be given much to help many. He's not doing this to be mean or cruel as satan has accused him of. He is doing this, so that when His time of super-blessing comes, that it doesn't lead to yours, or others ruin. He does this to purify your motives for serving Him, and others. He does this, so that you will have genuine compassion for people struggling with their faults, and that you will no longer pridefully judge them. He does this to show you, that it is by His grace, and His strength alone, that any good comes out of us, or our actions. You will get through this dark, difficult time my friend, and the very areas you seem to be so denied in right now (finances, health, ministry, relationships...) will be the very areas you will be super-blessed in. You will be free of your fear of man, and need for approval. Your faith will rest on your faith alone, and not on anything that ever happens or doesn't happen in your life. There will be an end to this scary time, and believe it or not, you may actually miss this time of death to your soul. You have asked God for His best, and this is the road to it. Be of courage dear fellow Soldier, God will not abandon you. The Dead Zone JOB 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. Sometimes we can feel like God is a million miles away and that we are just left to sit there in our flesh and pain without any help. During this time you can be faced with everything in your life that did or did not go so well and it can be easy to wonder where you took a wrong turn. But the truth is that you may not have done anything wrong at all and that you may just be being tested before a major spiritual breakthrough. GE 40:23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. You may be facing a time right now where it is the end of your wilderness and everything just feels dead and lifeless. Like Joseph you have been faithful and now it looks like you have been abandoned by God and everyone else and self-pity may be pounding at the door of your heart. But no matter how you feel you must remember the character of God and that He has promised to never leave or forsake you ever. GE 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" 13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, `Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son." You may be feeling pretty old and worn out lately but you have a choice, you can either hang onto the promises God has given you long ago, or you can lapse into cynicism and harden your heart. God will indeed come back around to confirm His promises to you just like He did Sarah and Abraham so be ready and believing when He shows up. As you fully repent and worship, new life will flood into your dead zone. JOB 42:12a The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. GE 41:41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt." GE 21:1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. The Fear of Man The fear of man can be a real "biggie" when it comes to your Wilderness, or prophetic training. When you go into the Wilderness, all hell breaks loose literally, and every unpleasant embarrassing thing that you don't want to happen, seems to happen. For a while, you may feel just like Job, seeing one thing after another, seemingly destroyed before your very eyes, while all your friends and family look on wide eyed, and shaking their heads in disbelief. If you have any fear of man in you, you will feel mortified because your reputation takes such a beating, and there is little you can do about it. Once you enter the Wilderness, there is no way to go back to Egypt, and put it all back together again. As a prophet, the fear of man can also be a stumbling block, because if you fear what people say, think, or do, because of a prophetic word you give them, then you may only say what you think they want to hear. Some people only want to hear good, positive messages, and will chaff and squawk if anything less than blessing comes out of your mouth. A true and mature prophet is full of God's love for people, so whatever they speak, should have God's love and heart mixed in with it, even if it's corrective in nature. God's words will always speak the truth we need to hear, even though we may not want to hear it. Besides, even though most people may act shocked, many times God has already tried to talk to them but they either didn't listen, or they don't like the answer that He gave them. Either way, whether you are in the Wilderness, and/or undergoing prophetic training, you will learn in time, that the only persons opinion that really matters is God's, and those He speaks through to you. God is truth and it will be His truth that judges us. There will always be someone who doesn't like or agree with something you say or do because we all have different preferences. Real promotion or punishment comes only from God's Hand and whatever you may get from man will not last anyway if God didn't give it to you through them. Though all others forsake you and misunderstand you and say all manner of evil against you, God is the only One whom you will stand before in judgment and give an account to for your life's choices. Everything that happens to you must go through God first. Literally everything. We must learn to trust in God alone. God is the only One we should fear and this is what Jesus said about it; LK 12:4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. So, let me encourage you today that if you are being rejected by your family, friends, or fellow Christians just because you are either going through the reproaches of Wilderness transformation, or if you are being rejected as a prophet for speaking an unpopular truth (In God's timing, with God's love, that is), do not fear what people might say, think, or do. People have no real power over you anyway and they do not judge your life in the end nor they cannot harm you beyond God's limitations. Plus people cannot reward you with anything beyond God's will that you can keep anyway. Most of the time, all they can do is gossip and this will only destroy your pride which is not such a bad thing anyway. Trust in God today to be your protector, provider, and promoter. He alone is worthy of our trust, praise, and reverential respect and awe. PR 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. The Greatest Thing LK 10:27 He answered: " `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.' " "The greatest thing you'll ever learn Is just to love and be loved in return." Above is a scripture and also a line from a song called "Nature Boy" which both talk about the greatest thing in life you will ever learn is just to love. It really will not matter in the end what you accomplished here on earth, it will only matter who you loved. Do people feel loved by you, or condemned, judged, criticized, or disapproved of? We all wrestle with being selfish or unselfish in everything we do during a day, but the bottom line is that people don't need us to be their personal drill sergeant, they just need us to love, accept, and help them. 1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. The above scripture describes some characteristics of true love, and if we are doing the opposite of these things, we are likely not walking in love. Because of our sinful, selfish, nature, love does not come naturally to us; just watch two toddlers try to share a toy. We need to ask God to fill and flow through us with His love for people because He never runs low. I would encourage you today to get on your knees and to ask God for more love for those He calls you to serve in the earth, because the greatest thing we can learn is to love. JN 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The Pit, Potiphar, Prison, and Palace Most of us know the story of Joseph (son of Jacob), that you can read about in Genesis chapters 37, 39-50. I want to talk a bit about how this story applies to those of us in the Wilderness, and how it may be a parallel to what you might experience. It can be difficult to understand why God allows some of these harsh testings to happen to us, but when we see His bigger purpose in it, it can help us to relax and just grow with the flow. Many of us, like Joseph, kind of stood out as kids, and suffered persecution from our siblings and families that didn't quite understand us, or accept us. There seemed to be invisible restrictions, that kept us firmly on course with our spiritual, and character development. We seemed to have things about us that were both a gift, and reproach, much like Joseph's coat of many colors. Many of us were very spiritually sensitive kids. Then "Boom!" one day it happened; we were tossed into a pit of death to self and sin by God, the world, and everyone else, and we entered our difficult time of trial and transformation in the Wilderness. As we pressed on despite the violent shaking of area area of our hearts and life, we resolved to serve the Lord with everything, there was an intense time of servitude and humbling that took place to train us and disciple us. As we worked in our spiritual "Potiphar's house", we advanced quickly, and became competent in our giftings, and secure in our place of service. Then because of whatever crazy reasons, we suddenly got spiritually "disrobed", and fled into an even deeper time of building relationship with God, being alone alot with Him, intense trial, deprivation, humiliation, and yet even deeper transformation. We seemed to be sentenced to a spiritual prison as we entered into a new phase of our Wilderness, much like Joseph being sent to prison for reasons that seemingly didn't make alot of sense, made us look like a guilty loser, and God actually allowed all of it to happen. Joseph seemed to have no ability to defend himself, and he was walking out a very strict course, with no way of escape. But like Joseph, we learned to serve, even in an apparent prison and desert. We finally surrendered to the process, and grew quickly. After a long time, and many situations that appeared would miraculously set us free from our prison, much like the Butcher and Baker with Joseph, our hopes were once again dashed, and crushed, and like Joseph, "The vision tested us". We eventually let go of putting our faith in the vision, and we put our faith only in the One who gave us the vision. We resolved, that if the vision ever happened or not, we would serve God anyway. Then it happened, God said, "You are finished", and miracles began to instantly send us from the prison, to the palace, God's power and anointing began to flow through us in a powerful new way, and we became part of a plan that would save and help many. Great spiritual and financial resources were given into our hands to manage, so that God could lead the lost and needy to us, to be fed from the storehouse of nourishment built in us. Trust God, that no matter what stage of this process you are at, He will not fail you, or abandon you. The time you spend at each stage is dependent upon the level you cooperate, and surrender to the One who is leading you through it. Many of us have been at the prison stage for quite a while, and now the spiritual miracles are beginning to send us up to the Throne Room. This will be a truly exciting time of restoration and vindication. Remember, that God put us through all this, not only to display His glory and goodness through us, and to us. But He did this, so that we would be transformed with a heart that would beat with the same love and burden as His does. He is sending us forward to a world that is starting to go into a great time of trial and trouble in the earth. Like Joseph, you were born for this time period, so that many people might be saved and helped, through God's power, and resources working through a truly transformed, and holy "you". The Purified Bride While in prayer, I saw a bride standing, apparently waiting for her wedding ceremony. I wasn't really sure what to say to her, so I just casually said, "Are you ready to go?", but she didn't answer me, she just looked away like she didn't hear me, so I spoke up and said again, "So, are you ready to get married?", but she just looked away as though she was searching the horizon for some distant thing. I could see her eyes watering up as she was looking away, her chin began to tremble, then she just lowered her head, and as she did, I saw tears roll off her eyes, and onto her beautiful dress. She looked so sad and hopeless. I felt so bad for her, she looked like there was so much bottled up inside her. A breeze blew by, and it rolled across the big folds of her billowy gown, and as it did, I caught a glimpse of something dark between the folds. At first, I wondered whether I had actually seen anything, or if I was just imagining it. She quickly tried to push the dress down, but the wind kept picking up, and she couldn't keep every area down because the wind kept getting stronger, and she couldn't cover every area fast enough with just two hands. I saw clearly now that between each fold, there was hidden dirty areas that you could not normally see unless the wind revealed them. She looked at me mortified, I guess knowing she was exposed and she said to me, "There's nothing I can do, I've tried everything to clean it, but I can't get the dirt out". She then burst out in loud sobbing. Then as the wind was still blowing, I saw what seemed like beams of bright white light followed by red at the end of each white beam. These white beams shot through the wind and into each dirty area of the dress lighting it up, and then cleaning the area completely white, as though it had never been dirty in the spot at all. The bride was helpless except to allow the wind to keep blowing, and the light, and beams to keep shooting through her. She seemed so weary to me, as though she had no strength left except to just stand there and let it all happen. I thought she would just fall over from the strong wind, but she somehow she stayed on her feet. Then the Holy Spirit explained to me what I was seeing. This is what He said; The bride you saw, is the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days, and although she looks clean from the surface, there are many dirty, hidden areas that you cannot see, unless the wind of My Spirit blows and exposes them. We have tried to hide these dirty areas because we are so embarrassed and ashamed that other Christians would see them, and judge us as a "dirty Christian". Each time one of these areas gets exposed, we try to quickly cover it back up before someone else sees it. We have tried frantically on our own to quickly clean it all up, but we just don't seem to be able to get these problem areas clean, and we are weary and exasperated from trying. Now, the problems and the wind, have become uncontrollable, and all that was hidden is seen by all. God has allowed the Wind of His Spirit to blow harder and harder upon our lives, so that all these areas can now be seen clearly, and there is no longer anything we can do to keep them covered. He allowed these dark areas to get so bad that we would have to face them, and He also knew that we would try really hard on our own, in vain, to fix and clean them. He knew that we needed to truly know and accept in our hearts, that we could not fix or clean them ourselves, but that only His efforts, with our cooperation can do this job. As we have finally surrendered to the blowing/cleaning process, God is now able to clean us with His light of truth, and His blood; that is the only thing that can clean the sin soiled areas of our souls. God is cleaning and healing all that is within you. So, Precious Bride, as you feel the Wind blow stronger and stronger, and as you lose more and more control over it; Remember, that unless God allowed you to see your helplessness, that you would have kept striving in vain to do what only His Spirit and cleansing blood could do. In the end of this storm, there is purity, and freedom. The whole Bride, is making Herself ready for the soon coming of our Groom, Jesus, and all that you are now experiencing is helping to make you ready for the soon coming wedding between the Lamb, and His spotless, pure Bride. You are a trophy and testimony of His grace and His work. He is the Author and Finisher your faith, and He will lead you all the way through to complete freedom. The spirit of Jezebel As a prophet/prophetess this is one of the main spirits that will try to give you problems. The spirit of Jezebel is a spirit that wants absolute control, and like the original person it was named after, it wants the authority of the king (God's appointed leadership), but it doesn't want the responsibility. This spirit can operate through either sex, and it finds a place most, in the hearts of those who have been abused or abandoned by a harmful, selfish authority figure.The victim makes a vow in their hearts, that from now on, "they" will be in control of all authority around them, so that "they" cannot be harmed again. God wants us to trust Him through all authority He places in our lives, even though those authorities may make mistakes, and possibly mistreat us. There are usually three reasons why people under the influence of a Jezebel spirit may try to control a leader; 1.Power- Some people want the power a leader has over people, but they don't want to take the heat for the decisions. They want to direct, but not carry the responsibility. 2. Protection- Like I mentioned earlier, some people have been abused by authority, (usually an abusive parent originally), so they try to control a leader through serving, flattery, or witchcraft (spiritual manipulation/intimidation), so that the leader will not make any decisions unless it meets the controllers approval. They feel this keeps them safe. 3. Procurement- Someone will try to control a leader to get what they want. They figure, if they are the leaders #1, then they will get the best and biggest piece of the pie, when it is sliced up. They can also do this by filling a big need, flattery, or sexual enticements. The spirit of Jezebel will try to control the leadership of a group by coming in and being the "most anointed", and "most knowledgeable" person around. They may constantly second guess the leaders choices both to the leaders face, and behind their back. They do this to create doubt, so that people accept only the controllers choices as "Gods wisdom". They try to direct the leadership indirectly, and if the leader does not use their choice, they try to punish them through veiled criticism, coolness, threats, or malicious gossip. It feels like a constant spiritual battle of the wills, that can drain you of strength. God abhors, and forbids us to try to take control of leadership that He has clearly appointed to someone else. Look what happened to Miriam and Aaron when they came against Moses. NU 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this. NU 12:3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) NU 12:4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" 9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. 10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam--leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11 and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother's womb with its flesh half eaten away." All of us, at one time or another have rebelled so to speak, against what we perceived was unfair leadership, but the spirit of Jezebel is more than that, it wants to control the spiritual direction of a gathering, it will do whatever is necessary to have a position of authority to control what happens. It does this to attempt to keep the Holy Spirit from being in control. It tries to present a false anointing, to try to prevent the real anointing. This spirit should not be tolerated, this is what Jesus said about it; REV 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come. Don't feel bad if you are one of these people that have been duped by this cunning, cowardly spirit, many people in the prophetic have had a problem with this spirit. Just allow the Holy Spirit to lead you through a prayer of forgiving every authority in your life that you have carried resentment against. Understand that although humans will make mistakes, and sometimes do things that are harmful to us, that God is ultimately in control, and will protect us and meet our needs as we pray and trust Him. We must not try to manipulate or intimidate our way around a leader. Obviously we never obey a leader that contradicts Gods commands, but all things should be entrusted into Gods hands at all times. By forgiving, and trusting God completely, we shield ourselves from this spirit. The Spiritual Internet Most of us have been exposed to the electronic Internet otherwise you wouldn't be reading this right now. But there is a spiritual Internet as well where we each choose what we log onto every day, good or evil. If we are a Spirit-filled Christian and we are listening, then we have ears to hear what God is talking about. But we must learn to block out spiritual hackers like demons and people that cooperate with them, by just not going to their website so to speak. Let everything that comes in and out of your spiritual Internet be filtered through God's love and truth first and your life will be good. MT 11:15 He who has ears, let him hear. MT 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Time's Up JOB 34:33 Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I; so tell me what you know. If you have been monitoring the spirit realm lately, then you should know that all of us as Christians have reached a threshold and a crossroads where we must either repent, or face great loss and a more severe judgment than ever before. It is like in the wilderness where all those who were fully on God's side went to one side, and everyone else went to the other side. There is no more middle ground, and we must all each one of us make a firm decision now that we are done with our old sin-habits once and for all, or face terrible repercussions. 2PE 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. It's time for us all to get rid of any and all things that have been blocking our full fellowship with Jesus because He is knocking at your door and wanting to come in and fellowship with you in a much closer and more intimate way than ever before. There is a great responsibility that comes with deeper fellowship with God, and it is worth the price of fully repenting. So I just want to encourage you this day my friend to get out of the river of sin no matter what other people choose to do around you, because the day of complete obedience has come. REV 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Tips For Successful Ministry 2TI 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. I just want to share a few things that the Holy Spirit has taught me during the ministry in hopes that it can save you some time, heartache, and trouble. There are some things that I would have liked to have known before I started in ministry. With that said, here are the tips. 1. When dealing with people and their problems, the only side we should ever take is God's side. People will always tell you their sad story and try to get you on their side, but we must always remain as objective, impartial, and unbiased as possible when dealing with people. 2. Let truth and God's word always be what determines your choices and decisions. Never allow your emotions to dictate your words or actions, because emotions are unreliable and they usually change overnight. Truth will never fail you and always stand the test of time. 3. Spend time with God and reading His word every day. It can be easy to get too busy with ministry to spend time with God, but just like your physical body needs food or it gets weak, your soul and spirit must be fed daily to remain strong, or they too can get weak and fleshly. 4. Be obedient to the Holy Spirit's instant direction. God may ask you to do things when you don't want to, or don't feel like it, so be ready to do things in His timing, not yours. He sees everything real-time and together, so He alone knows the best time to go and do something. 5. Avoid distractions and keep your focus on the main thing that God has called you to do. Things like gossip, slander, being offended, foolish arguments, flattery, needs that you are not required to meet, opportunities not sent from God, and even fun can be big distractions. 6. Stay humble. Remember always that you are simply a sinner saved by grace, and don't believe your own press no matter how glowing. If people are receiving some good things from God through your ministry, then just know that God alone deserves the glory, and never us. 7. Be mindful of your flesh. If the Holy Spirit has shown you that you have a weak area or blind spot in your flesh, then just be aware of it when something around you is starting to push your old flesh buttons. Stop and respond the right way when your flesh alarm goes off. 8. Steer clear of too much intimacy with the opposite sex. There will always be someone around of the opposite sex that will get too close to you if you let them, but talk to God or someone more safe about your personal problems. Flirting can become adultery really fast. 9. Trust God "through" authority over you. If you still have any distrust or bitter roots against authority figures then you may react in a rebellious and controlling way toward what you feel is abusive or irresponsible leadership. Trust that God is in control of those in control of you. 10. Be a good steward of the resources and finances that come through your ministry. Don't just claim ignorance or immunity with what God gives into your ministry, and stay aware and accountable, lest those resources and finances be misused and get you into big big trouble. 11. Take time for yourself to relax and refresh. Even Jesus knew to do this with His ministry because He was aware of burnout. Spend good time with your family and have some fun, otherwise you will become too weak, and be more susceptible to temptation and your flesh. 12. Stay full of God's love for people. If you start to get fed up with people and just want to get away from them all, go pray and ask God to fill you afresh with His love for the sheep He has called you to feed. Sheep are usually very cute and cuddly, but at times they also bite. 13. Don't pick people to minister with or to, just because they are well known. Pick people that the Holy Spirit directs you to choose. Just like when David was anointed by Samuel to be king, Samuel didn't pick the most obvious choice, He picked God's choice for ministry. 14. Be relevant to peoples lives. We must be able to identify with people's lives and their problems without coming off as religious or plastic. Jesus never preached "at" people, He always preached "to" them, and out of a heart full of sincere love and genuine compassion. 15. Be willing to go where the need really is. Jesus was always willing to eat with the sinners or sit at a well with an untouchable. We too must be willing to go to the streets and not just try to drag people into a church. Be willing to go anywhere and everywhere for God. Well that's basically it, but I'm sure that I could add many more things to this list. A lot of times Jesus wants us to learn things for ourselves, but He will also teach us through what others have learned and experienced. So I hope and pray that these tips can help you too. 2CO 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Titles and Diplomas I want to talk a little bit about a lie that has been perpetuated in the Kingdom of God about how we need titles and diplomas to be so-called "ministers" of the gospel. After Constantine made Christianity the approved religion of the Roman empire in 300 A.D., Christians now thought themselves safe enough to stop meeting in homes, and they started meeting in large buildings, and they hired men to be their Bishops and mediators between them and God. Thus was born the clergy/laity distinction that has caused such a rift and complacency in the Body of Christ. Now, it is believed that you have to go through four years of college in your favorite religious franchise, and then you will come out with a diploma and the title of "Pastor" and be assigned a position in one of the franchise outlets. This was not the way it was supposed to be and God has now pulled a remnant of people out of this system to be reformed and empowered to be sent out to reap this harvest of souls God's way. This is what Jesus said about titles; MT 23:8 "But you are not to be called `Rabbi (meaning "My Master"),' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Do you know what one of the definitions of reverend is? Awestruck, or to be feared. This title was meant for God alone; Psalm 111:9 -- He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name (Not ours). In the bible, people were introduced by first name and their function i.e, "Paul, an apostle", he was not referred to as "Apostle Paul". We have become addicted to grasping for worth through titles, and we love to refer to people as "Pastor" when in fact pastor is just a function. Here are the five main Body ministry gifts; EPH 4:11 It was he (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 1CO 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. So God has created many of us to be either apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, or some of the other gifts listed above. These are gifts intended to build up and prepare the body of Christ, not some title that we take on to impress people with or feel a sense of worth. We are admonished by God to worship Him alone, but there has been alot of clergy worship that goes on in most churches where the pastor and the people make Him their personal representative to approach God on their behalf. We must stop allowing men to worship us and give God all the glory due to him, which is "all". God hates all idolatry. 1TI 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time. MT 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' " Another fallacy is that you have to go to college to be in ministry. Both Jesus and his disciples never underwent any such formal training, their training came from the Holy Spirit Himself, and that is the best training you can get. Filling your head up with knowledge just generates pride, but the Holy Spirit works on the heart and helps to create the genuine humility and love we need to serve others selflessly. If God has sent you to U.H.S., the University of the Holy Spirit, rather than some other famous Christian college, then thank God. The Holy Spirit knows everything about you and can change and fill up your heart, and not just your head. AC 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 1CO 8:1 ...We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God. JN 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. I remember when I went through so-called formal ministerial training, and was given my government diploma to "marry and bury", something felt wrong inside. It is as though the Holy Spirit kept telling me, "You don't need that". People called me "Pastor Lonnie" and a small part of my heart liked their "worth-ship". One day, the Holy Spirit convicted me and told me to get rid of the diploma and title and just be a servant of Jesus, so that's what I did. Real ministry is done out of a love for God's sheep, not out of a need to feed your fleshly ego. If God tells you one day to get rid of all your earthly accolades, then be glad that He is helping you to get free. 2CO 3:1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. JN 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." (If we love the Lord, our focus will be on feeding the sheep, not on us). In this new move that God is doing in the earth, He is leveling the mountains, and filling up the valleys and making everything and everyone equal to accomplish this great task of bringing in this last harvest of souls in the earth. There will be servant/leaders in this new move of God that are similar to the first century church model, and there will be elders and deacons, and also the five-fold giftings mentioned earlier, but these are functions and not titles. Here is what Jesus said about having a position of service in the kingdom verses the world. LK 22:24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Without the training and work of the Holy Spirit, we all become like the prideful self-righteous pharisees of Jesus day, so we must allow the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and spiritual mentor in order to grow properly and stay humble. The pharisees had some knowledge of the word, but they had no power or discernment operating in their lives. We have many modern day pharisees who know the bible well, but they try to use it as a weapon to persecute those who are operating in Gods anointing and discernment. The pharisees were so blind that they didn't even realize that God Himself was standing right in front of them in the form of Jesus. We must allow the Lord to train us in His school of love so that we don't become like these people. Here is what Jesus said about the pharisees, and keep in mind, many of us have been this way; MT 23:13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. MT 23:15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. MT 23:25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. MT 23:27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. MT 23:33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Wow, those are some pretty tough words, huh? But many of us don't realize that we all become like this when we practice religion without the power and daily leadership of of God and His Holy Spirit in our lives. We must understand that in these last days, that there is going to be many so called "religious" people that will end up being our worst enemies, so if God has spared you from being trained and approved of by a spiritually dead religious system, and He has chosen to personally tutor you, then be thankful that you have been saved from having to "unlearn" a bunch of useless junk, and that God is personally teaching you. You will walk in Gods love and power, but the pharisees will get worse and worse in the last days. 2TI 3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness (false Christians) but denying its power (No power or anointing operating in their lives). Have nothing to do with them. 1CO 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. So if God denies you a title or diploma in these last days, try not to take it personally, or feel rejected. God is very jealous over those He loves, and He is taking over His Church in these last days. Be satisfied being known as just "Joe, or Sally" and not as "Pastor Wonderful". It is ok to refer to someone as brother or sister though. You may be Brother Bob an apostle, or Sister Lori a prophetess, and that works just fine for all concerned. Jesus Christ alone deserves all the glory for everything we receive from Him, so we need to find our sense of worth and affirmation in life purely through the fact that God loves and approves of us. Keeping it simple also helps to decrease any selfish ambition that goes on in some groups. It is time to live in the Kingdom while still here on earth, so get excited, because Jesus is rising to return. PHP 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! AC 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." CO 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, Too Smart to Have Faith? 1CO 8:1b Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God. As we serve the Lord and learn either by studying or experience we must be careful that we don't become arrogant and think we are the "be all end all" of anything that happens in God's kingdom. The problem with too much knowledge and not enough humility is that it can create pride and a lack of love and compassion for others. In time even the most loving and fervent Christian can digress into a state of being a cynical critic if we don't keep full of God's love and compassion every single day. 1CO 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. No matter how much someone supposedly knows if you do not see any faith, hope, or love in what they say or do, do not listen to them. The Pharisees of Jesus day were the resident know it all's and they tried to use their knowledge to dominate and control others with it. There was no real love or redemption in anything they said or did. The Pharisees of our day are no different and they enjoy correcting everyone around them in order to shut down any real flow of anything but themselves. This is Satanic control. 1JN 4:20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. We are entering a season of miracles now where there will be no shortage of critics and naysayers, but no matter what you hear look to see whether that person has any real love flowing through their lives, and if they don't, run away. You will need faith to receive what God wants to do in you and through you so Satan will try to station some grumpy Pharisee nearby to talk you out of your faith. These so-called experts seem to miss the fact that true miracles take a childlike faith so that's why they never see any. REV 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Whether it is you or someone you know ask God to help you to get the rust out of your heart and to return to your first love again where you can love and accept people as God does. We must get rid of all pride and religious unrighteous judgment and we need to come together as one loving body, not a loving body with a critical mouth. We will soon be seeing many things that would be easy to judge if we have a hard bitter heart, so let God renovate your heart today and make you His loving child once again. JN 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Two Extremes With Money And Ministry PHP 4:10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. When I first started off in what some people would consider "the ministry" I was a young worship leader and budding prophet, and I ended up ministering all over California in various capacities, and while there I was exposed to two extremes concerning money and ministry that I want to briefly share with you. My first experience I was asked to lead some worship down at a conference in L.A. and while there they had a well known singer from TBN singing "specials" for the people there. This man demanded thousands of dollars up front just to show up, and while we were eating in between sessions he just complained about how the food wasn't very good and that it was a waste of time for him to even show up there. I also did a bit of ministry and drove around a world-wide known minister they call "Mr. Holy Spirit" who has supposedly ministered to a number of world leaders. He had to have a white Cadillac to be chauffeured around in and when I took him to his home in Escondido he pulled out a wad of bills big enough to choke a mule and didn't even give me enough money to cover the gas for the car. He also turned out to be a homosexual and tried to seduce me while I stayed at his house that night and then in the morning called the 700 club to get me on a show about young men without fathers. I think he did this to try to appease me so I wouldn't tell on him for what he tried to do. The Lord showed me very quickly that what some people consider to be 5 star ministry is really most of the time nothing more than a bunch of greed, corruption, selfish ambition, and sexual immorality. But also while there I met a young prophet and I began to lead worship for him while he preached. This man would preach the word of God to the small and great and many times we even had millionaires in the audience but left with barely enough change to get a taco at Taco Bell (no exaggeration). This was because this man would never compromise his message or try to tickle men's ears, and they would become offended at the truth he unashamedly proclaimed. At times I wished that he would have toned it down a little just so that we could eat. We ate in missions or even off fruit trees, slept in the bushes parks or on beaches, and we ran a ministry home for street people and got food from food banks. We made no salary, had no titles, and basically just lived by faith from day to day. We had 35 street people living in a two bedroom house and you could barely step over the bodies at night when they were sleeping. God showed me what real ministry actually was. My point in telling you this is to show you two extremes with money and ministry. Much of the time you will either have one or the other, but rarely both at the same time. I have learned that people give when and if God tells them to, and many times they don't give at all even when maybe they should. Our job as the Shepard's servants is just to feed His sheep with whatever He gives us, and then to trust Him to give us what we really need to do the work He has called us to do, when and if we really need it. There will be many times where you may be tempted to go back to your financial fields so to speak and get a job again just because most real ministry means real lack and real sacrifice, there is no big paycheck or even much gratitude from those you are called to serve, but you are feeding His sheep and that's what really matters. There will also be times ahead where we will be given more to help people with and that may be an even bigger test than not having enough. Many ministry homes will be needed during this coming harvest and following time of persecution. Trust God that whatever situation He puts you in financially while you do His work, that He will be the One to take care of your needs. 1TI 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. What's That Smell? PR 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. I want to talk about something briefly that really smells in God's kingdom and in ministry, and that is spiritual pride. Spiritual pride is basically just an overinflated view of our spiritual importance, ability, and value compared to that of others. It's not just thinking we are better spiritually than others, it's an attitude that we exist on a spiritual level that deserves service, worship, and abasement by most others around us. It is a stench that stinks to high heaven. MK 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Sometimes if someone has had some blessing on their giftings or ministry they then start thinking that they are the be all, end all of ministry, and everyone around them are just there to support and help them, and very lucky to be able do so. This could not be farther from the truth because in the kingdom the most important person is always the person who is in the greatest need. We should always be asking God how we can serve others, not vice versa. MT 23:12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Self-importance and arrogance can creep into someones heart, life, and ministry very easily if they are overly praised or flattered by others, or if they have no one around them to help keep them grounded. One of the best ways that we can guard against this spiritual poison is just to ask God to fill us with His love for people on a daily basis. It's pretty hard to be full of yourself when you are full of God's love for people, so ask for more of it every day. JN 21:17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. If God has given us the privilege of sharing in His ministry we must focus on how we can feed Jesus' sheep, and not on how they can feed us. You will find in the kingdom that the only Person that God really trusts and will promote is Jesus living through us, and not our flesh. We must decrease and allow Jesus to increase in our character and being. We must allow God's air freshener of humility to clear the stench of any spiritual pride in our life today. JN 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less. Here is a prayer to pray of you need it: "Father I ask that you would forgive me for any spiritual pride or arrogance that I have allowed to stink up mine or other peoples lives. Please cleanse me this day of all spiritual pride and help me to see myself, others, and you as we truly are, and not just as I would like to see us. Help me God to live a truly humble and loving life here on earth, and to serve and feed your sheep as you would want me to. I ask this in Jesus precious name, amen." 1CO 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? When the Well Runs Dry Sometimes just before a miracle happens, everything seems to get its worst. Your well of provision may suddenly mysteriously just run dry and you may be scratching your head wondering if you have done something wrong, or whether you need to do something to try to fix the situation. There may be some other issue involved, but we live in a time where there are going to be many miracles that God will perform to restore and establish His people in this last great harvest of souls in the earth. He wants us to have all we need for what He calls us to do. If you have been in the Wilderness for a long time, you may feel weary right now and the idea of things getting worse right now may seem unbearable, but you must remember that the same God that led you into the Wilderness, will also be faithful to lead you out when you are truly ready. He will never leave or forsake you. God sets the stage for a miracle first by making sure we do in fact really need one, this can be unnerving to say the least, but all miracles take some faith. God also wants to make sure that He alone gets the glory for what He does. So, though your well may be running dry right now and you are down to your last few drops of provision, do not worry, God is with you. If God wants you to sow into others spiritually, physically, or financially right now, then just do it, even if it seems like your last crumbs of bread. If you feel more comfortable fasting to hear from God then go ahead and fast, but remember, God just needs our faith right now, and for us to be listening in prayer. Remember His past miracles and that God will be faithful to you no matter what you are facing right now. Why I Left The Pharisee Movement Although I fully agree that the Church is in a state of transition and reform, I have noticed that there has been a growing persecution that has been leveled at ministries that have experienced what would be considered an "outpouring of the Holy Spirit", or revival. At first I tried to be open spirited about it, but as I saw name after name being plastered up on a couple email lists like spiritual criminals, I started to get concerned. I have now seen many good men and women of God whom the Holy Spirit clearly supports, being mercilessly and maliciously attacked and verbally butchered by those with little or no real experience, relationship, or true exposure to these people or their ministries. There is never any of God's love in their words, only disdain, contempt, jealousy, envy, unrighteous judgment, spiritual pride, self-righteousness, and harsh condemnation. There has been a visible growing rift between what I would describe as the religious left (the Pharisees), and the power of the Holy Spirit endorsing right (the Fishermen). These experts with no real experience claim to be exposing false doctrine, when in fact they are actually attacking the Holy Spirit through those He chooses to flow through. They have no idea what the genuine looks like, because they get their discernment from biased books and and the local gossip mill. This civil war has been escalating to the point where the slander and ferocity of these attacks against what I believe to be our true brothers and sisters in Christ has been increasing and now we are approaching a time where we must either choose to denounce the works of the Holy Spirit experienced during revival, or be considered apostate. There will be no neutral ground left very soon my friend, because many of those who have successfully completed their wilderness preparation will in fact be empowered to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits, and preach the gospel with power. When this happens, we too will be added to the list of those considered to be lost and demonically overtaken. So either way, the choice is coming. Those who get passed by in this time of empowerment will become even more jealous, envious, and ravenous toward those who do get empowered because they will feel that they really should be the ones that God uses in power, and not these lowly fishermen that are just apostate anyway, and they will claim that God's works performed through us are just demons, and not the true Holy Spirit. Pharisees seem to always think they have all the answers, but the funny thing is, you never see any power in their lives, it's all just empty knowledge and false criticism toward anything they don't understand. The problem is, these people are full of bible knowledge, but lack true interaction and experience in the things of the Spirit, or in an actual outpouring so when something comes along that they cannot fit into their religious mindset and list of acceptable spiritual manifestations (which is a very short list), they will quickly denounce it as the occult. They will insult God and possibly blaspheme against the Holy Spirit in the process, and end up being disqualified for any real stewardship of God's resources. Most of the time, these ravenous critics are not even baptized in the Holy Spirit, and they denounce it. The difference between the ministries of John the Baptist, and Peter and John was the promotion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, since it had not yet been given out in John's time, and although we are called to be forerunners to Jesus second coming, we are also called to promote the infilling and operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the lost so that people will see and experience the miracles He performs, and believe the message we are preaching. There is no true revival without the Holy Spirit, ever, and Jesus said that we would experience even greater manifestations of God's power and the Holy Spirit in these last days, some of which may be a bit difficult to understand at times, because it will be something new to us. The original outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost in the book of Acts must have seemed a bit odd and unorthodox to all those who witnessed it, but with proper discernment you can distinguish what is false, fleshly, or demonic, from something that is given by God's Spirit. Whenever there is an outpouring, whether it is experienced in a major gathering of believers, or whether it happens in the public arena, there will always be people that call it the work of Satan. Jesus ran into this kind of opposition all the time, and He warned the people to be careful about attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the Devil. There will also always be manifestations of the flesh and demons during a revival that will try to distract and discredit the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit in our midst. There is no tidy revival, and our job is merely to manage and steward what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our midst, rather than trying to control everything to the point that we grieve the Spirit, and the outpouring dries up. I have been part of a number of outpourings both long and short, and sometimes I noticed that the leadership got nervous because of gossip and slander and put the brakes on what was happening, and the revival died right there, and nothing was ever the same in that fellowship after that. I have also seen brave faithful men and women of God allow God to have full control of their gatherings, and they did not shrink back because of cowardly Pharisaical verbal attacks against them. We have some today that claim to be experts on revival simply because they have studied revivals of old and think that God must do it the same way each time. They then denounce all physical manifestations that don't match up to their idea of revival, and call it all demonic. If you have ever actually experienced an outpouring, and seen the Holy Spirit touch and heal a human, it does affect their bodies in strange ways sometimes, but it is a beautiful thing to behold, and not a satanic counterfeit as some have claimed. There is some flesh and demons that do try to mock the Holy Spirit, but if you have any real discernment, you sense where it is coming from right away, and just deal with it. This will not be a pristine harvest field and many tares will come to sneak in and and cause trouble. The point is, that we have the Holy Spirit living in us to tell us the truth about what we are viewing. Pharisees seem to lack direct communication with the Holy Spirit, and tend to try to run things through their religious mindset and call that discernment, but it usually just ends up being carnal, mean, Spiritless, legalism. We live in a time where names are being named, and you will soon hear many reputable people that you have trusted in the past, denouncing legitimate works of God and calling it all the Devil, and you will have to decide for yourself where you stand. Are you with the Holy Spirit, or are you with the Pharisees? The choice is yours alone, but if you do side with the pharisees and denounce legitimate works of the Holy Spirit then expect to be passed by when He is looking for someone to flow through. He tends to take things personally. Do you care more about your pride and reputation, or about having something from God that can really help people? Will you be a friend to the Holy Spirit in this last move of God in the earth, or will you join those who persecute good men and women of God in the name of religion? Like I said, you alone must choose, but I choose to leave The Pharisee Movement, and allow the Lord to do whatever He wants through me to help this lost, hurting, broken, dying, and love-starved world. MT 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" 13 He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." MK 3:28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." 30 He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit." MT 12:30 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. AC 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? Why We Sin I just wanted to briefly explain some of the basic mechanics of why we sin to help kind of shed some light on it, and take the shame and stigma out of it. It is easy to be religious and just say "Ooh, that's just sin Brother/Sister, and you need to just say no", but it is another thing to actually let the Holy Spirit help to get you free for real, by a new revelation of the truth. I would like to hear what your guys' thoughts and opinions are on this matter as well. Usually when we are children, a number of traumatic things happen to us (molestation, abuse, abandonment, divorce, rejection, unmet needs, failures, death of a parent, selfishness, etc., you can fill in the blanks), so we develop a belief in our little hearts, and make an inner vow, that "Life is not safe, and the only one I can trust to protect myself, control my life, and meet my needs, is myself". We learn to become pleasure idolaters, and try to ease our unhealed pain with sin pleasure habits. We feel protected, medicated, and in control of any further harm. We use pleasure to overcome fear, guilt, and old unhealed pain, and to feel a sense of control over our lives and any new pain that might come along. The problem is, eventually God will expose that sin because He wants us to re-trust Him to meet those needs (idolatry is just using or glorifying something to meet your needs in place of God, who rightfully should be meeting those needs). Plus things like porn, masturbation, drugs, drinking, profanity, dirty our souls and can be detected by others with spiritual discernment (especially our spouses whom we usually have a strong soul tie with), so it tends to keep us stuck and disqualified for spiritual service, and in some kind of trouble with someone. In the wilderness, God will deliberately take us back to the original wounds and lies that the devil sowed into our hearts and show us the truth. Then it is a matter of walking through and choosing the truth when we are freshly tempted. It's a process and doesn't happen overnight, but eventually you do see the immaturity of the behavior, and let it go. You may feel hopeless right now, but it is through your utter failure and surrender, that God moves and gives you the help you need. God can only work through volition of will, and many times we stubbornly try to beat it ourselves because we don't really trust God and want to think it was us that beat it. You will Soon Be Clothed in Power LK 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." For many of us as Christians, we have prayed for many people over the years for different things and we have seen God help some of these people, but we have longed to see God heal people and deliver them from evil spirits as we laid hands on them in much a greater way, and so God sent us into the Wilderness to prepare us to be more stable and responsible so that He could in fact flow through us in greater power to help those in need. The disciples had walked with Jesus for several years being prepared to walk in power, and so finally Jesus sent them out to preach the gospel in power and these were the instructions He gave them; MT 10:7 As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. MT 10:11 "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. I believe that these guidelines and principles still apply to us today, and that we will soon be going to the streets, the malls, and many other public places preaching the gospel and having God demonstrate His power to heal and deliver so that people will believe and be saved. No matter how many people you have prayed for before where nothing happened, now you will lay hands on people and God will in fact heal and deliver them. God just needed to build a more stable, humble, and holy life in you first, so that He could flow through you without you falling or failing because of sin or pride. No matter how good your gifting is, God will only grant His power to people where Christ's character lives through them so that His power and message is not discredited by bad character or sin. Always remember, that as many people as you can help, will also be as many people as you can hurt. Here are the above guidelines in a nutshell; 1. Pray for everyone that God places in your path. With God's power comes great responsibility, so you are on His schedule and you must be willing to go and to do whatever He tells you to no matter how inconvenient it may seem, or how tired you may feel. Don't be choosy about who you will or won't pray for, if God sais to pray for them, then just pray for them. 2. Don't charge them money for what God does. There will be times that God will allow you to receive from others to help meet your needs, to meet the needs of others, or to do something that God wants to do, but you must not charge people for what God gives them through you. If they want to give an offering and God sais that it's ok to receive it, then that's fine, but otherwise just turn it down and tell them to thank God for what God did for them. Freely you have received, so freely give. 3. Don't take along a bunch of extra supplies and money when you travel for extra security. God will provide what you need as you just go forward and do the work, so just trust Him and do not let fear drive you to make back up provision for yourself. This may mean leaving your credit cards at home and just allowing the Lord to give you what you truly need while serving. God wants His ability, and goodness to receive the glory for all provision, not your Visa card. 4. If you travel, stay with people that God wants you to stay with where peace reigns in the home. If it is the right place then don't move around to other peoples homes. If God wants you to stay in a home then just stay there regardless of your preferences or how you feel about the people, and don't go to a hotel just because you think it would be more comfortable and easy. You never know what kind of ministry or hidden blessing awaits you in each home you stay in. 5. If the home or the town does not receive you, then just move on and leave them to themselves, God will deal with them later on. Try not to get all upset and rattled just because some people will reject you and refuse the ministry God wants to give to them through you. They are rejecting the Lord, not you (unless you are doing something inappropriate), so try not to take it personally or argue with them about it. Just ask the Lord what is next, and move on. You will have both good and bad reactions and experiences from different people while serving. 6. Be wise, careful, and discerning as you walk out what God wants to do, and stay clean from all sin and defilement. Be discerning and wise about what is really going on with people and in the spirit realm, but avoid being paranoid or overly suspicious over everything that happens. Stay away from practicing any secret sin while you are doing God's work especially. We must walk blameless because there will be even more "blamers" while you walking in God's power. Now, when you begin to walk in power, you can expect opposition to come and try to intimidate and discourage you. They will challenge, oppose, refute, slander, criticize, and gossip about everything they can, and these modern day pharisees will attack you just like they attacked Jesus and the disciples when they walked in God's power. But do not be afraid, God will be with you and you must stand your ground and not give up. Spend time with God every day and do not allow yourself to get so busy with ministry that you neglect recharging yourself spiritually and physically, even Jesus knew when it was time to take a break. MK 6: 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. People and spirits may try to flatter, attack, or bribe you when you are walking in God's power, but you must remember who you were without God's power and virtue flowing through you when you were being renovated during the Wilderness. Just agree with them that God is good and give all the glory to Jesus. God showed us who we were without His grace in the Wilderness so that we could walk in true humility once He moved through us in a greater way. This is all about helping them anyway, it's not about us. Trust God to deal with attackers when they attack. The disciples ran into these kinds of problems, and this is how they dealt with it. AC 14:8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. AC 14:11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" AC 14:14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. AC 13:6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. AC 8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19 and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." AC 8:20 Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. These will be exciting, challenging, and very busy days ahead where we will see many new people come into the kingdom all at once. Prayer, worship, and reading and teaching the word will be our daily manna. Remember that new Christians still have alot of their flesh still intact, so it will take alot of patience and grace to walk with them. Share the load with others and don't try to be a spiritual Superman. Lead new believers to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit so that He can help them to grow and heal more effectively. He is the master Teacher and Counselor, teach them to hear His voice and to become more dependent upon Him. This harvest will be bigger than any other in history, and the opposition and warfare will be intense so we must draw upon God and each other for much needed strength and support. Get ready to be clothed with power and to go forward to conquer in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ. AC 8:4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. Your Place in this World Most people that God has set aside for this new thing He is doing in the Earth, have spent a lifetime of baffling restriction and restraint from developing any real major purpose, or clear position or calling in life. Like nomads, they go through life, just doing what God puts in front of them, and they accept the fact that they may not be allowed to, complete a college degree, own big homes, have important titles, or attain a high rank or status in the big machine of life. You may feel like Cinderella, always getting the work without the reward, promotion, or credit, but like Cinderella, your character is just being prepared for a much greater future service. Like John the Baptist, you may do a lot of Wilderness time in practical training, rather than the elite schools of men. It is the University of the Holy Spirit, and it is the best training available. God only restricts the outside, so that He can develop the inside to do something far greater. The higher the building, the deeper the foundation needs to be. Rest assured, when God is satisfied with the inside, He will withhold no good thing from the outside. Like Joseph, and his time managing the resources of others on a small scale, God was secretly preparing him for something on a much larger scale. If you are wondering what your gifting or calling is, there are several ways of getting a good idea. First of all, what is it that you really like to do? What do you really enjoy doing that blesses others? Second, what has God already used you for in the past? Do you sing, preach, pray, counsel, prophesy, give, help others, or something else? Natural ability, experience, and God's spiritual support on a gifting, can give you a good clue. Third, who, or what do you feel a special burden for? What pulls, and touches your heart? Whatever God has shown you that He wants to do with your life, hang onto that no matter what. Though like Joseph, even as the vision tests you, don't let it go. Now, God may allow the vision to seemingly die just like He did with Moses and Joseph, but He does this so that we know deep down, all the way through, that it is 100% God, that is making things happen, and that it is His timing and direction that will guide us down the road to our destiny. He wants us to truly know, that apart from Him, we really can't do anything that will count. When your heart is full of love and compassion for others, there will be no more room for selfish ambition, or the other ugly attributes that poison and pollute our giftings and service. When we have Gods heart beating in us, we will do everything from right motives, and our labor will not feel so burdensome. We will work to be seen only of God, and not of men. Like Joseph and Moses, God has been subtly, and carefully reshaping your heart, and transforming it into His own. Our job right now, is just to cooperate with the direction of the Holy Spirit in His daily work of transformation and purification. You will find out your place and purpose in the world soon enough. Like Jesus said, the field is ripe, and the laborers are few. But God has been secretly preparing many mature laborers that can accomplish much, as they walk in unity and love for one another. God has heard the groanings of your soul to know your purpose, and He is the One that has placed all these desires within you to know. Jesus is the gentle Lord of the harvest, and He will show you your place, and you will be very satisfied in the job He gives you. Like the finest Masterpiece, God has really taken His time with you to do a complete and lasting work.
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