Romans 9:10-13

10Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger. “13Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

 

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

 

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:42-50, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Within us we house two nations, two beings and one calling.  Just as Rebekah carried twins within her womb, Esau and Jacob, the Lord spoke that “the older will serve the younger.  Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”   We see here that the calling and election of God was upon the younger even before they were born.

2 Corinthians 15 sheds some further insight on one dimension of this truth.  Here, Paul speaks to the two aspects of our person.  We, much like Rebekah’s womb are comprised of these two entities.  They are flesh and spirit.  We are comprised of both natural, corruptible, perishable and spiritual, imperishable and incorruptible.  There are two Adams from which we have been comprised the first Adam (Esau, flesh, natural) which became a living being and the last Adam (Jacob, spirit, Christ), a life-giving spirit.  The first man is of the dust of the earth and the second man from heaven.  The first Adam of the flesh despised the birthright of God, but the last Adam has obtained the birthright and that birthright is to be the sons of God with all the rights and privileges that are inherent in that birthright.

The calling and election of God in us is for Jacob, for that incorruptible man of spirit, which is now indwelled and inhabited by the Spirit of Christ through faith in Christ Jesus.  We who are in Christ have forsaken and died to the firstborn Adam and Esau and we have embraced the new man (Jacob, Christ) in the man of the spirit.  It is in this identity with Jacob, who is later named Israel, that we are growing up into Christ in all things.  Genesis 32:28 says, “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”  This is now our legacy in Christ Jesus.  In Him we have prevailed and overcome and as a prince we have power with God.  We are Jacob in the process of becoming Israel.   The calling and election for those who believe and receive is sure in Christ Jesus.  While we have born the image of the Esau and while we have struggled and contrived to obtain the birthright in that Jacob mentality, it was always ours, not through works or efforts, but through His grace.  How do we know that we are of Jacob and have received this election, calling and birthright?  1 John 2:5 says, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

It is that same principle that Christ spoke of in Luke 17:34-36, “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” 1 Corinthians 15:49-50 says, “49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”  The one shall be taken and the other left.  Old things have passed away, behold all things become new.

Esau is passing away and Jacob is coming forth as the Israel of God.

Blessings,

#kent

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The Sabbath Day?

August 15, 2019

The Sabbath Day?

 

 

Luke 14:3

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

 

The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day, a day or rest from daily routines and the tasks of laboring for our natural needs.  While the Jewish leaders of the day took this day quite literally, even to the point of making it more work to keep the Sabbath than to rest in it.  Jesus has some higher principles He is communicating to the people that have spiritual ears to hear.  Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath and the Jewish leadership of that day didn’t like the fact that He didn’t fit in their religious box.  What kind of religious boxes have we built to confine what God can do and when He can do it?

Hebrews 4:9-11 says this, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  This REST references the true Sabbath that God wants to bring His people into.  It is the REST that we want to labor or give diligence to enter into where it is no longer our Works, but we are resting in Him and the works that we do are His works, no longer our own. How do we enter this REST?  The Word says it is only by faith, faith not in ourselves, but in the One who called us out of unbelief and into His REST.  Hebrews 4:1 says, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”  The true Sabbath and REST of God is a promise and like all promises it comes by faith.  Prior to this we have the account of how the Lord swore to Israel when Moses led them out into the wilderness that they would not enter into God’s REST because of their unbelief.  It is pretty obvious that the religious leadership of Jesus’ day had the same mindset.  God is warning us, “don’t be like them and miss what Sabbath is all about.”  Sabbath is about a continual abiding in Christ.  It is not just a day of the week, but a time when we find our place in God where we quit struggling with life through our human efforts and begin to deal with life in the REST of God.  Jesus is not only the Lord of the Sabbath, He is the Sabbath.  He is God’s REST for us, not in the context of religion or knowing about Him, but in experiencing Him daily, in every activity, every conversation, in our thoughts, in every station of life.

You may say, “Don’t’ you think that is little idealistic and impractical?”  I think the Lord would say, ‘there is a promise to you who lay hold of it by faith.’    It is a progressive work and that is why He says, “let us labour therefore to enter into that rest.”  It is a daily walk of denying ourselves; picking up the cross and saying yes Holy Spirit, and yes to the Word of God.  In the path of obedience and faith is our REST.  As we enter into that Sabbath Rest of God we will do the Lord’s work even on the Sabbath.

Think of it not as just a day to keep ordinances and rules, but a place of REST where God is our continual delight and dwelling place. We are living in the Sabbath Day and it is time for us to enter into His REST.

 

Isaiah 58:13-14

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words, delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]. ”

Blessings,

#kent

Approaching Our God

August 14, 2019

 

Approaching Our God

 

James 4:7-9

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

Many of us struggle with approaching God and establishing the relationship with Him that our spirit man longs for.  We want to hear the Lord speak to us, we want His direction for our lives, at least we think we do, and we want a relationship where we have a continual abiding fellowship and dialogue with the Lord.

We keep thinking, “what am I missing”?  Why aren’t I feeling closer to God?  Why don’t I hear His voice and get His direction more?  Our answers could lie in these verses and in this chapter.  For many of us, we are loosing the battle to the flesh in too many areas of our lives.  We are back and forth between spirit and flesh.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and so we struggle with living consistent lives in the Spirit.

The first thing God tells us here, that we need to do, is submit.  Literally it means to be subordinate and be yielded to another’s control.  This is the same context of submission Ephesians 5:22 requires when it says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Men we are not really different from our wives. We really want to be in the driver’s seat concerning our lives.  One of the reasons we are missing God is we aren’t fully resigned in obedience to Him.  Wives, if you aren’t really submitted to your husbands, and husbands if you aren’t really fully submitted to Christ, we are fully submitted.  We all have to follow the order of authority that God has laid down for us in our lives.

The second area is “resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Many of us are hit and miss at this as well.  We have good intentions, we mean well, but too many times we miss the mark.  Our resistance must be in direct proportion to our insistence that Christ is Lord.  When Jesus encountered the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, He insisted on the authority of the Word lining up in obedience to God.  Many, like the devil, take the Word and pervert it to try and say what justifies their lust and desires.  Resist the devil with the Spirit and the Word.  We are weak, but He is strong.  Our strength is in our abiding, obedient relationship with Christ.  He is the overcomer in us. We have to see ourselves through the lens of who we are in Christ.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”  Are we continually approaching God in an attitude of true humility, contriteness and repentance?  Are His praises continually in our mouth, His meditation in our heart and is our purpose to find His will and plan for us our true hearts desire?  What must we do to draw near?  “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  The first and foremost thing is that we have to be totally serious in our intent to find God’s presence.   God sees right through our heart, our intents and motives.  James 1:4-8 tells us, “4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” If we want God to take us seriously, then we have to be totally serious with Him.  Isn’t it interesting that again in this passage of James 5 he uses this terminology of “double-minded”?  This is where most of us find ourselves, divided between heaven and earth.  We look up at God and say, ” yes, I want you Father,” and then we look back at earth and think, “yeah, but I don’t really want to give that up, lay that down or turn away from that area in my life.”  We are double-minded, torn in two directions, but the Word calls us adulteresses, those of us who break our vows with our friendship with the world. It is this attitude and state of mind that we must grieve, mourn and wail over.  We must hate it so much that it becomes a stench to us.  We must be so grieved at any attitude or behavior that is contrary to the nature and character of Christ in us. He must forever be our all in all.  There must be so much of a humility and brokenness in our hearts that God will lift us up and know that we mean business with Him.  The lower we are willing to go the higher He can lift us up.  The more we are willing to die, the more of the resurrection life of Christ we are able to lay hold of.  How is our approach as we seek to find God’s presence today?

Blessings,

#kent

The Lord’s Friendship

August 13, 2019

 

The Lord’s Friendship

 

John 15:14-15

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

 

Jesus says there is a characteristic that goes along with friendship with Him and that is obedience.  Our obedience to the Lord is something we all probably take much too lightly.  We tend to go our merry way through life and regard lightly the many ways and places in our lives that we offend the Holy Spirit and regard lightly the Lord’s will and commandment for our lives.  It becomes an unconscious act on our part, because we get caught up in our busyness and lives.  We fail to always keep the Lord constantly before us, so that during our day, our thoughts, our actions and words are centered around and in Him.  Jesus is more often our afterthought rather than our forethought.  What the Lord is communicating to His disciples is that in order to be in that relationship as a friend of God, rather than just a servant of God, requires obedience and cognizance of His will and His ways in all that we do.  Obedience on our part is an expression of our love and friendship with the Lord.  We are communicating that we value Him above ourselves and the relationship we have with Him is of more value than our personal will and desires.  Jesus speaks in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” In this fourteenth chapter of John where Jesus is basically bidding farewell to His disciples before His Passion, He emphasizes this aspect of love, friendship and obedience quite strongly.  “At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me (John 14:20-24).”

Most all of us want a closer and more intimate relationship with Christ.  We want to hear His voice and experience His manifest presence in our lives.  It is the consecration of desiring Him above all else that brings us to that place.  Would we want to be or abide someplace where we were ignored, put aside, unappreciated and not valued?  Yet, somehow we expect to experience the presence of the Lord when this is often the attitude of our hearts toward Him.  If the Lord is to feel welcome in us and extend His tent over our lives, then we have need of a heart attitude that reflects true love, reverence, respect and obedience to Him.  He needs to know that we are truly His and not our own.  He will not usurp the will He has given us and we can certainly override His will for our lives.  Most of us have learned that when we do this, we rob ourselves of God’s best for us.  Is there anything really better than abiding with Him, experiencing His closeness and abiding in the heartbeat of God?  That is the place we really realize the fullness of joy, contentment and purpose.

The Lord wants to be our friend.  He wants to reveal Himself to us in a much more personal way.  Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.”  Jesus wants to be that friend to us that is closer than a brother, but we must show ourselves friendly through our response and obedience to Him.  Our obedience is the expression of love to our dearest Friend.

Blessings,

#kent

The Spirit of Fear

August 12, 2019

 

The Spirit of Fear

 

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind

 

There is a fear that is a phobia and a dread; beyond that, it can produce heart-pounding terror.  Fear can be so strong that it can totally incapacitate us.  It can grip us so strong that it will cause us to tremble and shake.  Sometimes we can’t even move, or think. or we flee in terror.  There is a spirit of fear that can grip our hearts in a way that makes us terribly afraid.  There are varying degrees that this spirit can come upon us, but when it does, it robs us of faith and confidence in God if we only focus on the fear.  Often fear plays upon the imaginations and perceptions of our mind.  When we have experienced nightmares, they weren’t real, but they created such fear and panic in us because they seemed so real. We can experience waking nightmares, as well, that seem just as real.  Fear, itself can’t harm you, but it can create such feeling within your mind and emotion that you often fear for your life and safety.  We can sometimes enter into a tremendous battle with this spirit of fear and just speaking words doesn’t always bring the results of victory we would like.

Sharon, my wife will share with you a story of fear that affected her for about year.  We hope in sharing this it may help some of you that have had experiences with attacks of fear, panic and terror.  For my wife it was a process of the Lord teaching her how to obtain the victory and sometimes there are areas that we open up in our lives for these attacks to come in that we need to shut.

For Sharon, it came after a time when we had attempted to trust the Lord for a home birth.   Our son was just too large for my wife and after a long period of transitional labor we had to go to the hospital.  There we felt contempt and reproach from the doctor and medical staff for not having checked in earlier and done things the traditional way.  It was a difficult time, but the good news is that we had a healthy baby.

It was shortly after this that my wife began to have a visitation of a spirit that would bring great fear upon her.  This spirit came usually when she was alone and was resting.   It was generally in this state of semi-consciousness, between waking and sleeping that this spirit of fear came.

 

Sharon:                “At this point, Kent has asked me to step in and tell my own story.  It was a time in my life I thought I was strong in the Lord.  The Lord had just healed me of breast cancer seven months or so before our son was born.  For whatever reason, the Lord allowed me to go through this experience to teach me many things about my life, where I was with Him spiritually and how I had to change from the bondage my childhood held over me.

I remember the first encounter; it was in the early morning after Kent had gone to work.  To this day, I don’t know if I was awake or in that semi –conscious state.  It was so real; it felt like I was awake.  I heard a noise downstairs and I remember thinking Kent had gone to work already.  I heard what sounded like someone coming up the stairs, but it was more familiar than that.  Whoever it was, came up skipping a stair, just like my Father used to do when one of us kids were in trouble. When this presence entered my bedroom, I could feel it, but I couldn’t see it.  A fear entered with it that paralyzed me.  This spirit sat on the edge of my bed and I felt strong hands grab me by my throat and it began choking me.  I laid there in unbelief.  I felt like I was going to die. When it couldn’t kill me, it left and went back downstairs.  I laid there trembling, trying to understand what just happened to me.  I could hear my heart pounding; it was beating so loud.  Fear gripped me again, as I heard it coming back up the stairs for the second time.  At this point, I was searching my thoughts wondering what was happening to me?  Its presence entered my bedroom again and this time, it sat down and began beating me about my face.  I felt the blows…and they hurt! When it couldn’t kill me by its blows, it left again.  I heard the familiar sound coming back up the stairs for the third time and I wondered if I would survive this time.  This time, it sat down and began touching me in a sexual way.  It was then that I sat straight up in bed and rebuked it in the Name of Jesus!  It left immediately.

This presence came and left over the next year.  It came in other forms, taking on the form of my husband once.  It seemed so real.  This wasn’t an experience I wanted to share with people.  Can you imagine going through this sort of thing as a Christian?  There were many times, I would rebuke it in the Name of Jesus and it would laugh at me.  How could I share this with others?

I will tell you briefly what I learned.  The Lord taught me that it was only a spirit of fear and that it really couldn’t do anything to me, or it would have already done it.  When I understood that, it helped me enter into the Lord whenever it would make an appearance.  Through this experience, it taught me how to climb up on the lap of my Heavenly Father and allow Him to put His big arms around me to protect me from this wicked thing.  I learned to enter into the presence of the Lord.

There were areas of my life the Lord was dealing with at that time.  I was repeating what I had been taught as a child from a stepfather who didn’t know the love of God himself.  God was trying to free me from my earthly father’s example in order to follow my heavenly Father’s example instead.  I was caught up in soap operas at that time and the Lord taught me what we put into our minds and take in through our eyes does affect how we live and think.  I was also taught that we could control even our dreams when we allow the Lord to be the Lord of our lives.  You see, I used to think we could do in our dreams what we couldn’t do in real life if it was sin, but if it were done in our dreams, it was okay.  The Lord taught me, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The last significant time it came, I was lying on a couch in our family room.  I heard what seemed to be a herd of these spirits.  By this time in my life, I was so angry at this thing called fear, I grabbed for them and they went screaming.  I remember getting a hold of one of their arms and I took hold of this spirit with both of my hands to break its bone.  I heard it snap!  I also heard great pain coming from the one I grabbed, while it was trying to get away from me.  That evening, a young man came to our house for a Bible study and he prophesied, “Today, has the enemies’ arm been broken.”  He had no idea what had gone on, but I knew exactly what it meant…and from that time on, this spirit of fear has never had the same grip it had, the first time it manifested itself in my bedroom.

While this was a hard trial to go through, I wouldn’t bypass going through it, when I stop and consider how much I learned from this experience.

When I got complete victory over it, it was because I learned to turn that fear into trusting my heavenly Father by climbing up on His lap whenever this thing would manifest itself.  Through the years, it has come and left a few times.  I have made comments like, “You again?”  When it realized fear had no grip on me anymore, it came around less and less until I can’t remember when it manifested itself last.

 

Fear is not a physical enemy even though it may use physical means or even people to manifest itself.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  This includes that spirit of fear that can grip our hearts.  1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”  The place where we find that perfect love is in the heart of the Father.  If fear is your tormentor, then the heart of the Father is your deliverance.  That is the place spoken of in Psalms 91:1-7, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.”  Your faith, your abiding and your authority in Christ are your victory over the spirit of fear.

Blessings,

#kent

The Pot of Wickedness

August 9, 2019

 

The Pot of Wickedness

 

Zechariah 5:5-11

5 Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what this is that is appearing.”

6 I asked, “What is it?”

He replied, “It is a measuring basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.”

7 Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! 8 He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.

9 Then I looked up-and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

10 “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

11 He replied, “To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.”

 

Put on the eyes of your spiritual understanding with me today as we trust the Lord to show us a little more in the area of the mystery of iniquity.  In Israel of old we read about the times when God’s people failed to hear and obey the prophets of the land.  We read about a time when Hezekiah had been sick and ambassadors from Babylon came to visit him.  We find he did a foolish thing.  Isaiah the prophet comes to visit Hezekiah after these Babylonians left.  His conversation is recorded in Isaiah 39:3-6. “Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, [even] from Babylon.

Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that [is] in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts Behold, the days come, that all that [is] in thine house, and [that] which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.”  Jesus said along the same order in Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  There are holy truths and treasures in God’s Word that aren’t to be shared with everybody.  There are things we only give to those who by reason of maturity and understanding will appreciate and use these holy things in a proper context.

In the light of what we have shared before about Babylon, we must begin to see Babylon in the light of a spiritual condition, place or realm.  God uses the natural things to show us the things of the Spirit.  We learned that Babylon or Babel means confusion or mixing.  In a spiritual sense you might say it could be a place of a mixture of religion.   It is a place of pollution of man and God, an unholy mixture of flesh and spirit.  What Hezekiah didn’t realize was that in giving that which was holy and of the Spirit to natural men they would take it and pollute it with the unholiness of the natural religious mind.  The Church has long been led away into this land of Babylon where the holy things of God have been polluted, mixed, watered down and defiled by religion and natural minded thinking.  This Babylon has become the breeding ground of demonic activity and deception.  It has become the resting-place for the basket of iniquity we see here in Zechariah 5.   The woman in this basket may well correspond with the woman we see in Revelation 17:3-6.  “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”  Many precious and true saints have been martyred through history not by the unbelievers, but by the religious.  Who was behind the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus?  It was a pretentious religious spirit, convincing the minds of the religious leaders that they were working God’s will.  We see that same spirit alive in terrorism today.  It is made up of people of zealous religious convictions.  This is that spirit of Babylon.

These are some very meaty things we are sharing, but I feel the Spirit compelling me to make us aware that not every spirit is God’s Spirit.  1John tells us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).  The only way too truly know God’s Spirit is to intimately know Him as He is revealed through His Word by the Holy Spirit.

We are in the last days.  It is a time when the Lord is calling us out of the captivity of Babylon where much of the Church has been led and even now stills lives.  God is calling out the remnant that will hear His voice to come back into the land of your inheritance, the spiritual land of Canaan and again possess the land.  He wants us to rebuild the walls, the city and the temple.  God is calling us out of what has the appearance of godliness into what is Godliness.  God is seeking out a people that will pursue Him with all of the passion of their hearts.  They are no longer content to feed off the stale dry manna of yesterday’s revelation.  They are intent on pursuing the lover of their souls and will be content with nothing less than His presence.  Are you of this remnant?  Are we those passionate ones that will leave the ease and comfort of Babylon to press in and possess the inheritance we have in Christ Jesus?  We may find, that the places we come out of in our pursuit of Him may well be our source of our greatest persecution

Blessings,

#kent

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 

Trivial words fade quickly from the hearing,

as does the familiarity of life from our memory.

When that which is trivial and familiar is passed away,

is there the substance of faith and reality to take its place?

When all that is known, becomes unknown,

and the life we’ve known comes tumbling down,

is our foundation strong to build again upon

those things which can not be moved, eternally sound?

Heaven and earth will pass away,

but God’s Word will always remain.

He is the confidence that anchors our hope,

when all else is stripped from its context and frame.

 

When Life gets Turned Upside-down

 

There can come a time in our life, and it may have already occurred in yours, when either naturally or supernaturally, our world, as we know it, falls apart.  All that was familiar and comfortable becomes unhinged and discomfited.  We may lose our career, a loved one passes, we are bankrupted, our children run away or get in trouble; there are multitude of ways our life can get turned upside down.  While those transitions in life are rarely desirable, they may put to the test all that we have lived and believed.  All of sudden all the beliefs that we had neatly folded in our box become dumped out and the very fabric of all that we called faith is tested.  In those moments of turmoil, we may be desperately trying to find God in the midst and thick of it.

“How could He let this happen?”  “Why?” ” Where are you God?”

It is probably much the way Job felt when satan was allowed to touch his life in almost every area.  If we are only in our natural mind and reasoning, then all we can see and comprehend are our natural circumstances.  We may have grown so accustomed to the blessings of God that we thought we were immune to the trials of life, but God never promised us a life without trials.  Satan’s purpose through the trials might be to kill, steal and destroy.  Most of all, he wants you to doubt God’s love and faithfulness, so that you would turn from God and count Him unfaithful.  He wants to steal your identity in Christ.

We must ask ourselves in the story we see of Job, what was God heart and His ultimate purpose in allowing such calamity, pain and devastation in Job’s life?  In the end it gave Job a greater revelation of God in His holiness and majesty.  In the end, because Job retained his integrity and faith, God promoted him to a place of priesthood where he was interceding and making sacrifice for his accusers and fault-finders and he was brought into a double portion of all that he formerly had, as great as that already was.

Father isn’t out to make us fail or to make our lives miserable, but out of pain is often birthed a greater blessing that can bring us up higher into Him.  We won’t always understand its purpose at the time and it may feel like God has totally abandoned and forsaken us, but He is causing us flex our faith, not our intellect or natural abilities.  He is causing us to trust Him in what we can’t see.  Our response should be to bless the Lord in those times, not to curse Him and turn away.  Even Job, without the Word of God to draw upon had a revelation of this truth in his heart.

Job 1:21-22 says that after Job heard of all that had come upon his property and family, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

Will that be our response when our world is turned upside down?  These will be the times when the true metal of our faith will be tested.  It may be so bad, we don’t think it could be any worse and then it gets worse and it continues to get worse, but God never ceases to be God or to sit upon the throne.  If we truly know Him, He will be the anchor in the storm that keeps us from running aground on the rocks of circumstances and unbelief.  He is still there in the boat with us as we are weathering our storm and it may seem He is asleep in the hull of the boat and oblivious to all that is happening around us.  We may be crying out, “Lord, don’t you care that we perish?”.

Just remember if you perish, Christ perishes with you, because He is in you.  In those times, can you still remember who you are, “IN CHRIST”?   Circumstances can change, but God’s word doesn’t change and Jesus doesn’t  change.  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  You are anchored to eternity in Him.  Even if your outward man would perish, you have a building, a tabernacle made by God, eternal in the heavens.

What we must have as saints of God, is an immovable faith and trust that can not be shaken by heaven or hell.  A faith so grounded in Christ that even when our mind can’t wrap itself around it and our reason fails us, our faith remains steadfast and firm.  Either God is who He says He is or we have believed in vain.

There may be or come times in our life when nothing makes sense.  That is when faith in God’s Word is your anchor.  We may be in total disorientation and vertigo, but just as a pilot in darkness and storm must rely upon his instruments to give him bearing and orientation, so we must do so with the Word of God.  We can’t trust our senses, our feelings or even our intellect; to do so could prove fatal.  God’s Word must remain the anchor of our soul, because we know that even though all else would pass away, Gods’ Word remains.

Blessings,

#kent

Lambs Among Wolves

August 7, 2019

Luke 10:3  Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

 

Lambs Among Wolves

 

The context of the verse above is taken from the account of when Jesus sent out seventy disciples to go in His name and authority.  They were not to depend on their resources, and they were only to stay and let their peace come upon those who received them.  The very powers of hell had to give place to them.  Just before this verse Jesus says, ” The harvest is great, but the laborers are few, pray that the Lord of the harvest would send more laborers into His harvest.” 

               This passage stands a preview of the great commission, which Jesus gave just before His ascension when He gave the command to go into all of the world and preach the gospel.  We know as believers that we are expected to share our faith with others.  It is often easier for some than others to verbalize their faith.  The message you carry needs to be preceded by an attitude.  Jesus said, “I send you forth as lambs.”  What is a lamb nature?  Is it wishy-washy, mealy mouthed, timid, weak, kick-me-around, attitude?  Was that the nature of the Lamb of God?  He was humble, why, so others could be lifted and built up.  He was meek, which is not weak, it is strength under control.  He was willing to suffer offense and wrong not because of fear, but because of love.  He saw past the wolf type nature that is prompted by the god of this world, satan, and into the heart of man that desperately needed the liberating love and forgiveness God wanted to give them. 

               The demeanor of our lives often speaks as loud or louder than our words.  Many people speak words, but the power behind your words is your demonstration to carry out what you say.  God has given us a commission and I believe He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out that commission.  Let us be faithful to step out not just in word, but in action to profess Christ name and our faith in Him.  Then trust the Holy Spirit to do the convincing and the convicting that will bring them to Him.  He has prepared the harvest; we must be faithful to bring it in.  You can be sure that He has not given us a task, but what He has not empowered us to do it, even to the point of supernatural acts.  Let us not limit God by our unbelief but go as He sends us, as lambs among the wolves.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

 

 

               As I was asking the Lord what He specifically wanted to speak to me this morning, I am impressed that it is the same word He wants to speak into the rest of His body concerning marriage.  What the Father was speaking is that your corporate anointing as a marriage is much stronger than just your individual anointing.  It is much like what we are discovering about our identity with Christ.  Our power, authority and love as Christians is so much more powerful when we are identified and operating out of the Christ in us rather than seeing ourselves as believers, but separate from Christ.  Separating our identity keeps us in a realm of lesser authority and anointing. 

               God placed us with our spouse because they have strengths that offset our weaknesses and visa versa.  We are two compliments that make the whole.  The enemy always wants us to focus on the other’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths.  The holes that are in them are to be filled by you and the holes in you are to be filled by them and the love of God is the glue that hold it all together giving us grace with one another.  It is imperative that we learn and practice holding each other in the highest honor and respect.  That other person is a part of our flesh and body in the sight of God.  If they suffer or are incomplete, then that affects and comes back on us.  Submitting to one another is not an obligation or duty it is the act of honoring Christ in one another.  We all know that a lot of flesh can get in the way and no one sees that more than the people that we are closest too and love.  Realizing that, we can see how much more important it is that we both get in alignment with God’s will and purpose for our lives. 

               I am so often guilty of getting caught up in my agendas and what I am trying to accomplish.  As a result I end up putting my wife in second place and often ignoring her far more than I should.  I can justify it by thinking that what I am doing is for worthwhile causes, but never-the-less I fail in loving my wife as I love myself, because myself is coming before her.  I am just trying to real, because I believe that we all struggle with like issues. 

               What the Lord was speaking to me is that when He sees and deals with me He is also dealing with the completeness of who I am with my wife.  If I fail to recognize that what He is wanting to do is a cooperate thing then it will have far less power to impact and impart than if He can work through us corporately as one man, with one purpose.  In order for that to happen there has to be proper alignment in the home and marriage with Christ as the head, husband submitted to Christ, giving his life for his bride and the wife submitted to the husband, because she is secure in his love and commitment to her and as such, she honors and respects him by following his lead.  While Christ has set the husband as the head of the home, it is a wise husband that will seek and listen to council from both, the Lord first, but also his wife, especially if she is a godly woman.  The Lord never intended for there to be contention in that alignment, but compliment that leads to peace and godly direction and purpose for a home. 

               Both husbands and wives have their moments of soulish tantrums, selfishness and discord, but it is because we both are in Christ that it helps us work through differences and reconcile ourselves in Christ. The sum of who we are together is greater than our individual parts.  The same holds true of our anointings and giftings in Christ.  Obliviously the enemy would want to sow discord between us to disrupt the potential power we have through our love and unity in Christ. 

               Now think of a whole body of Christ flowing in the unity of the Spirit and a corperate anointing.  The power from that is exponential.  Thus, we see the enemy working the seeds of discord and disunity in our midst in an effort to interrupt that corporate anointing, just as he does in our marriages and homes.  He can only work and sow that dissention where we leave doors open for him to come in.  He feeds on the dust or our flesh.  We can see why the Word exhortsus  to put on the whole armor of God and to walk in the Spirit.  We don’t ‘wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’

               I believe God wants us to recognize and embrace the power of our identity together in our marriages with Him.  ‘A threefold cord is not easily broken.’  Let’s renew our commitment to one another and to Christ to be the powerful corporate anointing that He wants to bring forth.

Blessings,

#kent

 

From Fear to Faith

August 5, 2019

 

From Fear to Faith

 

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

After being away a good part of the day, that night we brought a couple of our grandkids home with us to spend the night.  Before I had finished getting everything out of the car, the wife was telling me the back door was unlocked and open.  She said she was sure that she had locked it.  On the way into the house I grabbed a trusty little aluminum bat and went into to secure the perimeter.  As the grandkids followed we walked all through the house and did a search to make sure no one was there.  Everything was in tact and nothing was disturbed so it appeared to be just an oversight on our part that the door was open.  As the grandkids followed me and talked I could hear the apprehension and a degree of fearfulness in their voices as they wanted us to set the alarm.  Now these grandkids are about six and nine years old.  As we got them ready to put to bed I began to talk with them about fear and the author of fear.  I explained about the One who is our life and security, the One who has His hand upon our lives and all that touches us can only be by His permission.  We talked about “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”; how we are “more than conquerors through Christ that loved us” and how God has “not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  As I began to speak these things to them, faith began to rise in their hearts as they began to remember and realize that even though they were just children, Someone much greater resided in them and watched over them.  I began to recount Bible stories of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, of Hezekiah when great armies came up against Jerusalem and the Lord told Him to send the praise team and worshippers out first.  I asked them how they would like to go out in the frontlines of battle with just a tambourine or a horn or just their voice.  We talked about how that praise and worship of faith and obedience released God to discomfit and utterly destroy those great armies so that by the time they reached them all there was to do was gather the spoil they left behind.  We talked about the story of Paul and Silas, beaten for their faith and thrown into dark dirty jail, their hands in chains they began to sing hymns and songs unto the Lord.  Through that praise and worship in the midst of such discouraging circumstances, God sent an earthquake that opened the cells and freed everybody, but nobody escaped.  As the distraught jailer thought everyone had fled he drew his sword to kill himself, Paul stopped him and assured him all of them were there.  We saw how what had seemed to be a day of utter defeat and failure had been turned by God to result in the salvation of this jailer and his household. 

            The kids wanted to hear more and more stories, but finally I said it is time for us to go to bed.  Now there was no more fear or apprehension as we turned in.  It was as the scripture says in Romans 10:17, So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Are you fearful today about some circumstance in your life?  Don’t look at how great the problem or the circumstances are, rather look to the Word of God and see how great your God is.  Look at all the times He delivered His people, because they put their faith and trust in Him.  Don’t look to how great the name is of the disease or burden that you bear, look to the Name above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the glory of God ( Philippians 2:9-11).  Our God can take us from fear to faith as we read and meditate upon His Word; remembering how great and mighty our God is, how He loved us and gave himself for us and how if we fear anything let us fear the Lord and trust Him.

The Psalmist David says it so well in Psalms 56:11, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”

Blessings,

#kent

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