When you are learning to ride a bicycle, training wheels help in the process. When you have learned, training wheels are in the way. When you are building the walls of a building, scaffolding helps in the process. When the walls are done, the scaffolding is in the way.
When we are learning righteousness, rules help in the process. When we have learned how to listen to the Spirit of the King, rules are a distraction from listening to Him for directions. If someone had managed to prevail on the day Jesus was to be crucified with an enforcement of the law “You shall not kill,” there would have been no Sacrifice.
Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was ordered through angels by means of a mediator. Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.
The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.
(Galatians 3:19-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible®©)
Come and see the works of God; His acts toward mankind are awe-inspiring. He turned the sea into dry land, and they crossed the river on foot. There we rejoiced in Him. He rules forever by His might; He keeps His eye on the nations. The rebellious should not exalt themselves. Selah
Praise our God, you peoples; let the sound of His praise be heard. He keeps us alive and does not allow our feet to slip.
For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined. You lured us into a trap; You placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance.
I will enter Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows that my lips promised and my mouth spoke during my distress. I will offer You fattened sheep as burnt offerings, with the fragrant smoke of rams; I will sacrifice oxen with goats. Selah
(Psalm 66:5-15 Holman Christian Standard Bible®©)
One of the works empowered by the spiritual gift of prophet (New Testament style) is the interpretation of current events based on something the Spirit is speaking to the prophet, either through some Scripture, or some not yet written word that He is speaking to the prophet.
Frequently, when a person is sharing with another person something that they believe they have been shown connecting an event and a Scripture, the sharer is accused of taking the Scripture out of context. Nobody seems to be beating Matthew for doing that in what we have marked off as chapter 2, verses 7-15. There, he wrote that Hosea quoted Yahweh in his writing (11:1-7) as having said, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
In Matthew, it is said by him to have been written to describe Jesus being called back from Egypt after the death of Herod. In Hosea, it is said to be referring to Israel, who sacrificed to baals, burned offerings to idols, and refused to repent.
Our rules for applying Scripture to life do not include how to test whether a prophet is properly announcing a word from the Lord. We need to start understanding how to test such work, because we are going to be dependent on it when things really get difficult.
The deepest darkness has not yet come upon the earth. We have not yet shined at our brightest (Isaiah 60:1-5).
“Sanctified” describes a process of a) being set apart b) to something or someone. “Made holy” is a synonymous phrase.
When we are called to a particular work in the earth, which is the case for each of us, we are given gifts by the Spirit of God that make us able to accomplish the work. When we do that work, we can do it in a style that is proud, selfish, stingy, mean, fearful, or a hundred other carnal ways (Galatians 5:13-21), or we can serve with work that is influenced by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
The one that looks most like Him will be the one that draws most people to Him as a result of being done. The work (and the worker) being set apart to the Gift Giver makes it holy.
I have seen many Native American descendants in and around the area where I live who have been influenced by Christians to believe that what pleases Yahweh is obedience to the laws He gave Israel through Moses. It is heart breaking to see some who won’t have anything to do with the Church because they believe that the legalism is right, but they don’t want it. It is very difficult for them to be convinced that He calls His family members righteous without regard for what the ten commandments might condemn them to.
At the other end of this spectrum is a mindset that Christians are only responsible for trying to be nice most of the time, and generous (at least during Christmas.) We don’t really have any particular requirements over our lives unless we have the misfortune of sensing that we have been “called to the ministry” by the Lord.
I trust that the center of this narrow road with broad shoulders is the idea that is in the mind of the King: that He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth; that the Earth is His, and all who dwell in it; that one day every person will stand before Him when He sits for the first time as Judge of all that He has created, and all that He has redeemed.
It seems clear in the Book and in the Spirit that He desires (demands) absolute surrender to His intentions in every life. When we agree, He makes it become possible to surrender at that level.
Are you still holding on to some part of your life that you want to control? Any possessions that you don’t consider His, on loan to you? When we are all dead, He is the One Who will have all the belongings. Trusting Him with them now will make them assets now and later.
In Exodus 18:1-12, a reunion is described when Jethro, the father of Moses’ wife Zipporah, brought her and Moses’ sons to him in the desert. Jethro had heard much of what Yahweh had done to the Egyptians when He delivered the Israelis from them, but Moses gave him more details and told him of additional events.
Part of Jethro’s response was, “Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the gods, because they were arrogant against Israel, but He was above them!” His idea was that nations pick their gods, and that as the nations fight, the gods do the prevailing. Part of this world view believes that a strong nation with a weak god can’t prevail over a weak nation with a powerful god.
This mindset still prevails in much of the world. I think that it should prompt us to pray that the United States would prevail over Muslim murderers in the earth, and that the power struggle would prompt people who have been slaves of Islam to seek what they would perceive to be the greater God, since they have the misinformation that the US is a “Christian nation.”
As they seek Him and His Kingdom, they will come to understand that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, in spite of the false part of the narrative about His relationship with the US.
Larry Randolph and Steve Thompson, two men who clearly have ministries of prophet, believe that the process of hearing instruction from the Lord typically has three parts: revelation, interpretation, and application.
The revelation could be a dream or a word or a vision or a picture or a Scripture that seems to be presented to us in some way that might seem strange, like the bush that burned before Moses. The meaning may instantly come with the picture, but more often, there could be 2 or many possible meanings.
The second part of the process is the explanation or interpretation of the word or picture. An example could be that you see me in a casket, dead. The Interpretation of the picture might be that I am going to die, and you need to pray for my family. Or, it may be that you are being instructed to pray for me so that I don’t die. Another possibility could be that my prayer that I die to my flesh’s control of my life will be answered.
Even grasping that a picture refers to a certain situation or person or group doesn’t mean that I will know what to do about it. Should I pray for it to happen, or pray for it not to happen, or warn someone, or change some behavior?
It should be easy to presume that if we get the first part, the Spirit of God wants us to have the rest of it. If you see or hear something that seems to be the Spirit showing you something, or even if you are not sure what you just experienced, ask Him for help. If you have some certainty that you have revelation, ask for the rest. Convince Him that you want it because you know it is valuable.
Ask. Seek. Knock.
In the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke, Jesus is quoted as telling His disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit, like John had baptized with water. When this happened, He told them that they would receive power.
The recipients of this promise were much more effective with the power they received than we have been with TV, radio, internet, studies, courses, degrees, certifications, denominations, international ministries, translations, and our most generous gifts to evangelists at reaching what was their world.
Then, Constantine and the political leaders who hijacked the church introduced other types of power, and replaced the power of the Holy Spirit with the power of fear and the control of information. Further developments included the introduction of much misinformation.
The “new way” of being believers, which doesn’t require being submerged in the Holy Spirit, filled with Him, empowered by Him, doesn’t work as well. If you haven’t had some experience of having who you were drowned in Who He is, ask Him for it until you get it. You will receive power.
So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.
(2 Corinthians 10:17-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)
There is a dynamic in us that wants to find things we have in common with people we meet. It listens to their experiences and brings to mind similar experiences we have had. It wants to connect.
When this dynamic is influenced by pride or by fear of rejection, either of these powers can change it into a wrestling match instead of a connection tool. Some people call this “one-upping.”
You tell me about the time you lived through a storm, and I tell you about the bigger storm I lived through. You tell me about a trick your dog can do, and mine can do better. No matter how impressive your shared experience it, my response is “That’s nothing! I…”
Some problems with this bad habit are: People want to connect, not wrestle. When everything you did is declared to be better than what I did, I begin to suspect you of being a boaster, which is unpleasant, and eventually untrusted. If it is fear of rejection that is the secret motivation to boast, your actions fulfill your fears.
When your God commends you, or when someone else who loves you commends you, it is much more valuable than having to commend yourself.
When Israel was wandering through the desert, Yahweh fed them flaky stuff that they called “manna.” Manna isn’t really a name for it, though. They never figured out what it was, and “manna” is a question that testified to that lack of information. It means “what?”
Do you really believe that Yahweh whipped up enough of this dew each day to dry into flakes that tasted like honey wafers to feed millions of people wherever they happened to be in the desert for 40 years? Do you believe that the day they entered the land that had belonged to their ancestor Abraham they never saw manna again?
If you do, then you should have no problem believing that the same God of Love and Power will fix your car or your health or your relationships or your job. Stand on one as you look to Him for the other.
Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
(1 Corinthians 10:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)