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Saturday, October 27, 2018

10-27-2018 The Armor of God (12-9-2012)
         The Natural                             The Spiritual                                       The Heart

Ephesians 6:10-13

Finally my brothers, be strong in the lord in power and in might.  Put on the whole armor of God so you might be able to withstand the tactics of the devil.  We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but rather against principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore put on the whole armor of God that you might be able to withstand the evil day and once you have done everything you are able to do, continue to stand fast.  [And see the salvation of our God (Exod. 14:13-14).]


Orders, choirs or ranks of angels.  Drawn largely from Gal. 3:26-28 (nature of God’s children), Matt. 22:24-33 (in resurrection like God’s angels), Eph. 1:21-23 (Jesus has authority over…) and Col. 1:16 (all things created through Jesus) as defined by Origen *, Dionysius ** and Tomas Aquinas ***.  I add (by permission) Dan. 10:1-21 (prince of Persia) and Eph. 6:12 (we Wrestle against…). 

1st sphere – heavenly servants of God: Seraphim (burning ones-caretakers of God’s throne), Cherubim (four faces-guard way to tree of life), Thrones (elders-represent God’s justice and authority), 2nd sphere-governors of creation: dominions (lordship-regulate duties of angels), virtues (strongholds or power-signs & wonders), powers (authorities-supervise operation of celestial bodies), 3rd sphere-principalities (rulers-over peoples or nations), archangels (chief angel-apparently seven who stand before God), angels (messengers-deal with living things-including us).  

I mention angels so we can see that they operate, not only here on planet earth, but in the heavenlies.  Now, the heavenlies are not just around the throne of God, but everything between there and earth as well.  Demons have a similar ranking except they do not stand around the throne of God or anywhere near it(Psalm 5:4).  However, they do have one who disperses them – Satan/Lucifer and he disperses them into specific realms. They’ve also been cast out of heaven along with him (Isa. 14:10-16, Ezek. 28:11-19, Rev. 12:7-9).


1.         Ephesian 6:14 The Girdle (belt) of Truth
What does it do?
            Protects our body core
            The core is strong, the body is strong
            Keeps upper body firm and fast
            Helps head to be stable, eyes can focus better
            Enables leg strength for better foot positioning (to stand)
What do we do?
            Speak truthfully (Freudian slips will reveal what is truly in our hearts)
            Be founded in God’s principles, they brings forth truth
            Keep God’s law of love (the Holy Ghost reveals His truth)
            Obtain Spiritual strength to be better able to resist the enemy (truth shall set us free)

We strengthen our core because we know the grace Jesus brings us (1 Peter 1:13) into a greater knowledge of Him.  We know that when we hear the truth, we hear Jesus (John 18:37).  Paul said to imitate him as he imitates Jesus (1 Corinth. 11:1).  Paul demonstrated the truth which comes from Jesus.  We should do likewise.  No “little ‘white’ lies”.  A lie is a lie – an untruth.

2.         Ephesians 6:14           The Breastplate of Righteousness
What does it do?
            Protects our chest (heart)
            Brings God’s righteousness into our lives
            Gives us the will to withstand the enemy
            As we live for God, we know He is always with us
            Our obedience is our righteousness
What do we do?
            We learn of God’s righteousness through scripture
            Believe God (faith is counted as righteousness)
            Be obedient to His Word (obedience brings righteousness)

We need to remember that our righteousness is with God through Jesus Christ, Our Lord (1 Corinth. 5:21).  God considers us when we have utmost respect for Him and hate evil (Job 1:8).

3.         Ephesians 6:15           Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
What do they do?
            Guide our footsteps in God’s ways
            Brings peace of God into our lives
What do we do?                     
            Learn to trust God, His peace comes into our hearts (we know we shall prevail)
            Living (walking) in His love opens the door to our peace
As we understand scripture, we grow in understanding His love so we have His peace

We should be thankful that God’s peace rules in our hearts (Col. 3:15).

4.         Ephesians 6:16           The Shield of Faith
What does it do?
            Protects us from the attacks and onslaughts of the wicked one       
            The enemy throws fiery darts at us, they fall harmless when they hit the shield
What do we do?
            Believe God in all things
            Do not doubt God’s word, it will not come back void
            My shield is before me, I don’t even consider retreat

By our faith in Jesus, we shall overcome even the world (1 John 5:4). 

5.         Ephesians 6:17           The Helmet of Salvation
What does it do?
            Protects our mind – all aspects
            Gets us into right thinking
            Living for Jesus (salvation) helps us to effectively apply all the armor
What do I do?
            Continually read the scriptures for God’s deeper understanding
            I have accepted Jesus into my heart, now I need to live for Him
            By learning and knowing His will for me
            Bringing his love into my heart and applying it to my life

Our helmet is the hope of our eternal fellowship with Father in Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:8-9).

6.         Ephesians 6:17           Take up the Sword of the Spirit
What does it do?
            The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and the Word of God is Jesus Christ
            The bible is the written Sword of the Spirit, it reveals what God has for us to know
            An offensive weapon to use against the enemy
            It reveals truth before me as the Holy Ghost reveals even the deep things
            It is the words I need to repel the enemy
What do I do?
            Study the written word so I can know the living Word (Jesus)
            And apply appropriate measure into my life and against my foe

And we know that the Sword of the Spirit is sharper than any two-edged sword even separating the soul and the Spirit (Heb. 4:12).

7.         Ephesians 6:18           Pray with all supplication in the Spirit and for my brothers
What does it do?
The Holy Spirit gives me wisdom to know how to pray
He shows me what to do       
He helps me speak what needs to be spoken
            He gives me direction (in all situations)
            He supports me especially when I make decisions in accordance with God’s will
            He prays in my stead when I don’t know what to pray or how
What do I do?
            1.         Pray in the Spirit
2.         Watch (know what going around us)
3.         Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Lord
Learn to pray “in the Spirit”
Listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading (of course I have to know God’s voice first)
            Apply what He tells me

Father would that we all would pray in the Spirit but we need to speak to edify our brothers and sisters in the Lord (1 Corinth. 14:5)

The Armor impacts three areas of our lives:

1.         Natural Man
A          Girded with truth (girdle or belt)
Our midsection is our body’s corps or support ergo our innermost being should be grounded in God’s truth and that truth should be what supports our very being.  We should always be truthful and honest in all that we say and do.
B          Breastplate of Righteousness
Our heart is protected and rooted in God’s righteousness ergo we always seek and do those things which glorify God.  Our heart’s desire should be what God’s will is for us and to always be obedient to His Word.
C.         Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of peace
Our feet should always walk down the pathway, for which Jesus has set the example, by being rooted in God’s Word.  We should live in and share freely God’s peace and love.  We need to understand God’s Word so we can know how God expects us to live.  Freely we have received, freely we give.  So we go into all the world (which Father calls us to Matt. 28:191-20).

2.         Spiritual Man
A          Shield of Faith
Because we believe God (without faith it is impossible to please Him) we trust that He will perform all that He has said and we speak and act boldly because we know that He is with us
B          Helmet of Salvation
Because we renew our minds daily, our thoughts and hope are focused on the idea that we will be with the Father through Jesus throughout eternity and we do our best to live life in this world as though we are already in the next.
C          Sword of the Spirit
As Jesus completed the half-truths Satan set before Him in the wilderness, through the Holy Ghost we are grounded in God’s Living Word via God’s Written Word so we can rightly divide all those things that come before us and respond with confidence, knowledge and truth.

3.         Attitude of Application
A          Pray for ourselves (what we need/desire) in the Spirit
We need to pray for ourselves that God will love us, guide us and protect us and strengthen us in all that we do.  If we don’t know how to pray for ourselves the Holy Ghost will help us (our Spiritual language).  Otherwise, how can we know how to pray for others?
B          Watch
We need to be aware of what’s going on around us and pray with perseverance into that situation that God’s will be performed and that we can stand against whatever the enemy brings. 
C          Pray for the saints
We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus that God will love, guide and protect them in all that they do and that they will be obedient to His Word.

The Armor of God is Spiritual
We don’t put it on in the morning and take it off at night (in the natural, it would be cumbersome to sleep in but where would the protection be when we sleep if we took it off?)

We do replenish it daily – bang out the dents, repair the chinks and shine it up (through prayer-confession and our daily devotions) for each day so we can be fully prepared to face the new day in God’s power and strength (no weak spots) so that we might be able to stand against the wiles and attacks of the enemy.

In summary

Consider 1 John 5:7-8:  There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and these three are one.

There are three that bear record in the earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three agree in one.

Notice the connection:  Father, Son and Spirit.  Water, blood and Spirit.  The Holy Ghost connects us with Father.  That’s why He has taken up resident within us through our profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

And consider 1 Corinth. 13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you.  In the mouth of two or three witness shall every word be established. 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one set of witnesses.  The water, blood and Spirit are another set of witnesses.  Two sets of witnesses connected by a common factor (the Holy Ghost) are connected together in unity.  Because the Holy Spirit is common, when we agree with Father, we have five witnesses to accomplish whatever (The Father, the Son, the water, the blood and the Spirit) is set before us.

We read the bible so we can learn how God thinks – what He does.  We learn how God thinks so we can be on the same wavelength and hear His voice when He speaks with us (1 Sam. 3:1-9).

So we see, through the armor, God addressing the natural man three situations, the spiritual man three situations (though each with a different piece of the armor) and man’s attitude or heart three situations.

Take note that the armor has three main sections, the angelic order also has three sections and Father is a triune being.  The armor deals with the natural man, the spiritual man and his attitudes or heart.  Angels have a group that deal with the natural man, the spiritual man and God’s immediate realm (the heart).  Jesus has redeemed the natural man, the Holy Ghost gives us spiritual guidance and Father?  Father deals with our hearts (attitudes).

When Paul was in Athens (and everywhere else for that matter) he tried to find a common denominator – what people were familiar with - and how can he use that as a springboard to Jesus? 
With the armor, God addresses the natural man first because that’s what we are all familiar with.  The angelic realm deals with the natural man and so does Jesus.  Again, it’s what we’re most familiar with.  Then the armor moves into the spiritual man so we can receive power to do what we need to be doing.  The angelic realm also deals with the spiritual man – to fight for or against that which is beyond the physical realm.  We also have the Holy Spirit within us so we can fight that which is unseen.  Then it’s capped it with attitude, operating in God’s love.  Our prayer life impacts the physical world around us as well as helping us to combat spiritual realities.  Angels break down demonic, unseen, barriers so we can realize God’s calling and or blessings in our lives.  And Father helps us, through our prayer life, to do that which is right and be victorious in every aspect of our life.     

Yes we pray for ourselves but also for our brothers and sisters in the Lord (especially) and then for those in authority over us (especially but not limited to ‘in the church).  Jesus tells us to pray for those who govern over us (in the world) because, believe it or not, God has ordained them to that position and we pray so that it might be well for us in our lives.  We also pray for our neighbors so they might learn about Jesus and give their hearts to Him.  Of course it never hurts to do a little witnessing here as well.  We can always pray that God saves someone but when it is within our power to share Christ we discover that we may be the means God intends to use to draw people into His kingdom.  Faith without works is dead.

Once we put it on, we need to prove our armor.  We can’t use someone else’s armor.  We need our own.  Just as David couldn’t use Saul’s armor to go out and fight Goliath (1 Sam: 17:38-40).  Once we put on the armor we have to learn how to effectively us it.  And that’s where scriptural knowledge and prayer play a most important part as we learn how Father intends to use us to accomplish His goal – salvation for the lost. 

Now that we’ve put on the armor of God and are “prayed up”, we’re ready to go into battle (Jude 20-21).  Or, at least, we should be.  Right?


References to angels is based upon:
*          Origien (@184-254 AD) Alexandrian scholar & theologian (believed soul pre-existed manifestation.
**        Dionysius (the Areopagite) A judge and convert of the apostle Paul.  Considered the first bishop of Athens, present at Paul’s :Unknown God” speech.
***      Tomas Aquinas (@1225-1274 AD) Roman Catholic Dominican priest, respected philosopher and theologian.
Other “scholars” have also addressed angels.  That list is at the end of the Wikki page ( shares more insight.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


                   Servant                                                                   Son/Heir

                     Brother                                                      Friend/Companion

John 15:1-17
Romans 8:1-39

In John chapter fifteen, Jesus starts telling us the parable of the vine.  He describes the Father, as the husbandman who purges unfruitful branches so the good branches will have more nutrition so they can grow strong.  Jesus goes on to tell us that we are nothing without Him yet everything IN Him where Father brings forth much fruit.   As we live in Jesus, Father provides even our heart’s desire so He says continue living in God’s love and we do that by keeping His commandments.  His commandments are to “love”.  Jesus says that there is no greater love than to love God above all else and then to express that love by sharing it with our friends.

We know that in expressing our love for God, we serve Him.  But Jesus says that He calls us His ‘friends’ (John 15:14) so we are called to be more than ‘just’ a servant. 

A servant might know the comings and goings of his Master, but the master doesn’t share intimate or close things with his servant.  The master does share with his servant what has to be done and how he (the master) expects it to be done.  “Come.”  “Go.”  “Do it this way or that way.” (Matt. 8:5-13)  However, the master does share the deeper things of his life with his friends and the closer the friend, the deeper the sharing.  Remember David and Johnathan had a friendship closer than brothers (1 Sam. Chpt. 18).  And what did Jesus tell His disciples?  “I have called you friends because everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).  He shared everything with His disciples.  Who, at the last supper, laid his head upon Jesus’ chest (John 13:23-25)?  The disciple who wrote the gospel of John (John 21:20-25).  The apostle John loved Jesus and Jesus seemed to show a deeper love, a closer relationship, for John than the others.  John was close to Jesus.  Very close.  How close do we want to get?  How close do we dare to walk with Jesus?
But this is a process.  We have to move from being ‘just’ a servant to being a friend and that movement includes becoming a son, a brother and a joint-heir.  Or should I rather say coming to realize our status in each of these areas.  Coming to realize our relationship with the Lord through each of these phases.


Paul and Silas were in the area of Philippi when a damsel possessed by a spirit of divination set upon them calling them the “servants of the most High God” (Acts 16:17).  Now even though she was mocking them, she spoke the truth.  Paul and Silas were indeed servants of the most High God, doing as He had commanded them.  A servant does as his master commands.  Paul and Silas were about their “Master’s” business – spreading the gospel (Acts 1:8).  They were functioning as servants of the Most High God.

As servants of the “Most High God”, we too, should be sharing our faith with those whom we encounter.  Do we have to “preach” the gospel to everyone we meet.  Of course not, but our lives should be a living, visible, testimony of our Love for Jesus.  People should be able to see God’s love emanating from our being.  They should be able to experience God’s love working through us.
Honeytree, a singer from the “Jesus movement” of the 1970’s, performed a song called “I am Your Servant.”  Though weak an imperfect, she realized that God was molding her and letting her know that He was with her.  That no matter how she was in each stage of her life, He loved her, as He does us.  Yet, all the while, He was bringing her to where He wanted her.  Even the child who is heir to an estate is no better than a servant (Gal. 4:1-3).  But when he has become of age, he inherits all.  We are servants as long as we are children.  We are not ready to move into “sonship” or beyond until we reach maturity. 


Becoming a son is realizing who our Father is.  When we confessed Jesus as both Savior AND Lord, we have taken the first step in becoming true sons of God.  We have to learn to be like our Father as we become heirs (with Isaac) according to the promise (Gal. 3:16-29) and that promise is eternal life in Jesus Christ.  When we confess Jesus, Father puts His Spirit in us and through that Spirit we cry “Abba, Father.” Though adopted through faith, we are the ‘sons’ of God.

My dad was an alcoholic and left our home before I was nine years old so I didn’t have much of an role model to follow in my youth.  PTL, he found the Lord, sobered up and became a good man later in life.  Often I have wished that (in the natural) I had that man of his later years influencing my younger years.  It wasn’t so, but Father knows best. 

Jesus tells His disciples that what he has received from His Father, He has shared with them (John 15:15).  Jesus did what His Father showed Him.  

Country singer Rodney Adkins, published a song in 2006 titled “Watching You” after he realized his son was singing one of his songs.  Rodney’s son was doing what he saw his daddy do.  As those of us who had an earthly father to raise us, we did as we saw our father do, good or bad.  Even though we might have been told “Do as I say but not as I do.”, we still mimicked what we saw daddy do.  
We learn from our heavenly Father by observing Jesus and we observe Jesus by reading the scriptures.  There was a campaign back in the ‘90’s call “WWJD”, what would Jesus do?  We should do what Jesus did.  We read the scriptures, then do what Jesus did.  Father showed Jesus, Jesus shows us then we do. 

We move closer to Father by entering “sonship”, not leaving servanthood behind, but adding to it with that closer walk with the Lord.  But as sons, do we have any brothers and sisters?


Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14).  As we serve God, we learn how to be led by the Holy Ghost.  How to yield our lives over to Him, by confessing and repenting our sins as we become aware of them.  Of course ‘repent’ means to turn away, that is make the decision to make every effort not to do it again.  We learn that as we submit ourselves to God, we become more and more able to resist the devil so he will flee (James 4:7).  We take on Jesus’ yoke (Matt. 11:29-30) for God will fight for us (Exod. 14:14) and if God is fighting for us, who can stand against us (Rom. 8:31)?

Growing up, I knew two brothers who would fight amongst themselves like cats and dogs, but don’t let anyone jump on one of them for then he had the other to contend with as well.  Jesus is our “big brother” and He stands up for us because we are His brothers (and sisters) (Col. 1:18).  Then, as brothers and sisters we are joint-heirs with Him.


We are then joint heirs with Jesus (Rom. 8:17).  He has returned to heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:3) so we can be with Him – throughout eternity.  Let’s think natural for a minute.  Had I come from a rich family and my parents owned billion dollar businesses and had millions of dollars in investments, when I became of age, I would receive my share of that fortune.  However, when my parents passed away, unless otherwise stated in a will, I would inherit everything.  Our heavenly father, of course, will never pass away (Psalms 90:2), but when we ‘become of age’ we shall surely receive what He has for us (2 Corinth. 5:10).  And just as a child can receive a portion of his inheritance before he comes of age, we don’t have to wait for eternity to receive everything.  Father is more than willing to give us some, here and now.  Healing, direction, prosperity (money and otherwise).  When Israel wandered the desert for forty years, before entering the promised land, their shoes and clothes never wore out (Deut. 29:5).  They experienced a form of prosperity before entering the promised land (for us, heaven).  We give our jobs to Father and He opens the doors making us successful.  He will do the same with any and/or all phases of our life.  So Father gives us a taste of what an eternal relationship brings.  Why?  Father encourages us.  He wants a closer walk with us.  He wants us to be more than just a servant, more than just a son or daughter or an heir.  He wants someone to commune with.  Someone to share His thoughts and feelings with.  A companion with whom He can walk on a moonlit beach or with whom to feel the breeze upon our faces as it flits though the trees in the forest.  He made Adam and Eve for companionship.  Not just for between themselves, but a companion on whom He could pour out His love.


Paul tells us in the book of Romans chapter eight (Rom. 8:1-39) that this relationship goes even deeper than a ‘friend’ or even a ‘best friend’. 

Paul speaks about the difference between carnally minded (man living for man) and spiritually minded man (man living for God).  He speaks to how the flesh and the spirit war against each other – continually (a battle we face as long as we’re in this world).  He goes on to explain how Jesus is the first fruit of those who are spiritually reborn (having given our hearts to Jesus and in receipt of the Holy Ghost).  That Jesus is the first born of many brothers (and sisters) (Rom. 8:29).    But he also tells us that as we live for/in Jesus we become more than ‘just brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ, but in fact ‘joint heirs’ with Jesus (Rom. 8:17), looking forward to all the eternal benefits of being with the Father.

He also relates advantages of walking with the Lord.  That as we ‘stick’ with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord and big brother, through good times and hard times that He is with us (all the way) and that no one, nor anything, can separate us from His love!  Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).  We are signed, sealed and delivered, lock, stock and barrel.  Better than flypaper.  Better than super glue.  All we have to do is love back – with all that we are.
As Jesus tells His disciples (John 15:15) “… but I have called you friends for all that I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you. (KJV)”

Companions, bests friends know each other – deeply.  Father knows us deeply and His desire is that we come to know Him deeply.

We serve God?  Praise the Lord!  But Jesus raises us above servant status by sharing things from the Father with us (John 21:25) and He shares with us through the scriptures.  Do we have all the information that the early disciples had?  Of course not.  John tells us that if everything Jesus said were written down, the world couldn’t contain the volumes (John 21:25).  However, we are not limited to just the exact words in the scriptures because the Holy Ghost reveals the deep things of God to us (1 Corinth. 2:9-12).  He will lead us into the deeper meaning of the words written down  in scripture and that revelation will always be consistent with the truths contained in the bible.  As we see, after His resurrection and before His ascension, Jesus walked and talked with His disciples for forty days telling them even more about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).  The Holy Ghost may not reveal ‘new’ things to us but He will surely give us that deeper understanding of what Father wants us to know as we commune with Him (reading and praying).

Don’t be fooled.  Companionship is not just ‘learning” about someone.  It is getting to “know” them.  We read to understand but we pray to communicate.  I speak, then I listen.  When Father speaks to me with that small, still voice, it is always consistent with His truths in scriptures. 

Do we talk “with” Father or just “at” God?  Companionship and communication are a two-way street.  Yes we talk, but we also have to listen.  I can’t hear the voice of God.  He’ll reveal His end of the conversation through the reading of scripture until you learn to hear His voice.  Remember Jesus says “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow me. (John 10:27).

And bear in mind, that to us sometimes things may seem new, but as they come by ‘revelation’, they are not ‘new’, they are just a deeper understanding of the words we do have before us (in the bible).
Are we servants of God?  Yes!  Again, praise the Lord!  But Father (what did I say “Father”) wants more than just servants.  He wants sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to the first-born, Jesus Christ that are joint-heirs with Him.  Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23).  Moses communed with God on the mount (Exod. 3:1-6).  Moses communed with God in the tabernacle after which, as the glory of God shone in him, he had to put a veil over his face for the people’s sake (Exod. 34:28-35). And Father communed with Moses as a man with a friend, face to face (Exod. 33:9-11).  And John laid his head upon the chest of Jesus.  This is what Father wants with each one of us who has received Jesus into our heart.  He wants a friend.  A companion.  If we dare walk that close.  How close do we dare?


Thursday, October 4, 2018

9-29-2018    The Menorah, the Valley of Dry Bones & Todays Church
Revelation 1:1-20

            Exodus 25:31-37                                        Zechariah 4:1-14                                                               

Ezekiel 37:1-14                                Col. 1:17-18, 1 Corinth. 12:27         
                                                        Revelation chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4        
What do the menorah, the valley of dry bones and today’s church have in common?
Recently, our pastor spoke about the menorah, as depicted in Zechariah chapter four with the golden bowl, the fig branches, the pipes pouring into the bowl and the stems feeding each of the flames on the candlesticks,.  Father immediately reminded me of Ezekiel 37 and the valley of dry bones.  He had already explained to me how the valley of dry bones represents the reconstruction of today’s church. From our walking in our wilderness to getting ready to enter into our “Israel”.  He has added an accent to that with the menorah and how it ties in.  He has also shown me the original menorah He commanded Moses to make so as to draw a comparison with the one that Zechariah saw in his vision.  And all this connects with the early and latter rain spoken of in the book of Joel chapter two and the state of the former and latter house mentioned in Haggai 2:9.  Father has connected the dots and shown how all this connects into what is happening in today’s church.   

Let’s start with the menorah, the one God commanded Moses to make (Exod. 25:31-37, Exod. 37:17-23) and the one that Zechariah saw in his vision  (Zech. 4:1-6).

Moses made a candlestick as a shaft and having six branches, three each on opposite sides if the main shaft.  There were bowls, wreaths and flowers on the shaft and the branches with a lamp atop each branch and the shaft.  The bowls were to be shaped like an almond.  I mention the almond because it is a most sturdy tree, a strong root system and, of the trees, the first to bear fruit.  The almond also represents God’s readiness to perform things quickly.  The candle lights represent God’s presence in a dark world and dependency on the Creator of all things.  The center candle was kept burning though the other six would have to be regularly relit.

There is a change in what Zechariah saw in his vision.  There is now a bowl over the candlestick and an olive trees (or branches) on either side continually pouring their oil into the bowl.  Note the bowl has seven stems coming down feeding each of the “candlesticks”.  A continuing source of fuel to the flame.  The olive branches represent God’s peace and just who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6, Romans 5:1)?  The pipes leading down from the olive branches to the bowl provide a constant source of oil, or fuel, and what does olive oil represent to us?  Along with being that continuing source of fuel (nourishment) into the bowl it also represents the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and His presence in our life. 

As I mentioned, with Moses’ candlestick, the priests had to relight the six candles (man)  on a regular basis while the seventh (God), the one on the shaft, was kept burning.  The pipes from the bowl and with oil, enter into each candlestick.  The Holy Ghost is a constant source of strength and energy for all the branches of the candlestick, constant and simultaneous (at the same time).     

The candlestick, or menorah, of Moses represents the first covenant between God and man, the law, and under which man was functioning at the time.  The six candlesticks also reflect man’s frailty and note they are connected to the seventh, middle, shaft which represents our reliance upon God for life. The candlestick, or menorah, of Zechariah reflects this and the coming second covenant between God and man or that which is of promise, the revelation of God’s love (Jesus Christ).  Don’t forget, the second covenant did not take away the first.  It fulfilled it (Matt. 5:17).  That’s why nothing was changed from the menorah of Moses, but rather the revelation of God’s grace and love were added through the olive branches, bowl and connecting pipes.  That’s why Jesus told His disciples that we are dependent upon Him (John 15:1-8).

The two menorahs represent the move from works to grace.  In the old covenant (before Jesus), man had to keep the law and was judged by what he did.  In the new covenant (in Jesus) man is judged by the intents of his heart (Eph. 2:8-9, Jer. 17:10).  In the old covenant, man ‘worked’ to ‘get saved’ and in the second covenant, man works because he ‘is saved’. 

The seven candlesticks also represent the seven churches of God (Rev. 1:20).  Though these seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, were the primary seats of Christian faith of the time, for today, they would represent the true Christian church, with its various branches.  I say “true” church because we know that in the end times there will be a falling away (2 Thess. 2:1-3).   I say it this way because not all ‘Christian’ denominations accept that Jesus is the risen Son of God, much less that He is God come into this world, in the flesh, to redeem us back unto Himself.  Remember as  Abraham and Isaac were preparing for the sacrifice, Isaac asked “… where’s the lamb…?”  Abraham responded “… God will provide himself (Himself) a lamb (Lamb) …” (Gen 22:7-8).  Do I need to mention John 1:1?  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  In the Word was life and that life is the light of men (John 1:4) and was made flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). 

The flames of the candlesticks are the loving light of God piercing into the depths of spiritual darkness in this world.  (I’m gonna let my little light shine?)

The bowl is the “storehouse” of the oil which should be influencing our lives.  Of course, oil also represents the Holy Ghost.  Ergo, it is our source of life and direction.  The stem leading from the bowl to each candlestick and flame is the source of life of each candlesticks and flame.  They keep the flame burning.  The olive branches are, of course, the source of the oil and the olive branch represents “peace”.  And Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6, Romans 5:1) Jesus IS our source of peace.  And that oil is ever flowing.  The bowl never dries up.  The source of our life-oil never disappears.

God takes Ezekiel into the midst of a valley filled with “dry bones” (Ezek. 37:1-14).  
God has Ezekiel pray three prayers.  In the first, God tells Ezekiel to command the dry bones in the valley to come together into proper alignment, bone on bone.  Then to connect those bones with ligaments.  Why?  So they don’t become disarrayed and scattered all over the valley floor again.  The next command is to cover those bones with muscle so they can function.  Do what God has called us to do.   Finally a covering so those old, dried bones can look like what they are supposed to look like.  People, rather the church.  We were made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27).  God’s presence is love.  So we should be a reflection of that love to the world (1 John 4:7-8). 

Father expects us to operate as ‘one’ body and gives us the ability to do so as He bathes us in His love.

Yet, though the bodies are formed, they have no life them.  So God has Ezekiel pray a second prayer where he commands breath to come from the four winds to bring life into these slain that they might live.  When we don’t function as God intends or “in” all that Father gives us, we are like the slain, like dead men.  We may have shape and form and even natural life, but we are dead to God’s will – not doing what He has called us to do.  Not quite as bad as the whited sepulcher, all bright and shiny on the outside but full of dead bones on the inside (Matt. 23:27).  The one advantage we do have is that our bones are covered with the image of a person so we can be revived.  Though we may have form and breath, we may still be in our graves.  Going through the motions but not really alive.  Not performing at the level God intends for us is ‘quenching’ the Holy Spirit, which God tells us not to do (1 Thess. 5:19).

In the third prayer, Father has Ezekiel issue another command.  God says that He will open our graves and cause us to rise up out of them.  He will bring us into the land of Israel.  That is, He will help us to function effectively for Him in this world, fully operating in His power.  Once we are in our (His) realm here on earth, we will know that God said it and did it (brought us back to true life) because He has put His Spirit in us and He will be in full operation.  Dispelling the idea that He cast out devils out by Beelzebub, Jesus said that if a kingdom is divided, it cannot stand, but if God casts out the devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon us (Luke 11:17-21).  Don’t go looking all around for the kingdom of God for it is within us (Luke 17:20-21). We don’t have to wait to get to heaven!  His kingdom has come.

In helping us to start growing, Father prompted John Wycliffe to translate the Latin Vulgate into English so the common man might have a bible he could read for himself, which Wycliffe completed by 1384.  Father also prompted Martin Luther in a similar fashion and he produced a German translation for the common man.  Of course Luther also wrote his 95 Theses in 1517 which ignited the Protestant Reformation.  Though the Reformation and four “Great Awakenings (1730’s, late 1700’s to mid 1800’s, early 1900’s [Pentecostal movement] and the 1960’s – 1970’s [the charismatic movement] ) Father prompted men to draw closer to His truths.  Closer into His love.  Through all this, God was drawing the dry bones of His church together, connecting them with tendons, covering them with muscle so His word could be preached effectively and then a covering of ‘skin’ so the church could look like what God had intended.  Finally He breathed life into the church – the movement of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  And yet, even today the church still complains “our bones are dry we are lost and we are cut off for our parts.”  All of Christianity is not yet living in the fullness of what Father has to offer.  And none of us where Father would really like us to be.  Denominational “dogma” still separates the body of Christ from being truly united and working as a single unit towards promoting God’s love though we all have different roles through which we may accomplish this.  Man, all too often, doesn’t understand the unity of those roles, but rather sees only the differences. When man sees something but it doesn’t operate for him, he pigeonholes it, sets it aside.  When we don’t believe that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, we run into problems (Heb. 13:8) for we are quenching the Holy Ghost.  Thank God He has accomplished much of His will even though we don’t all look alike, sound alike or even act alike or even believe, exactly alike.  However, Father does tell us the world will know us by our love one for another (John 13:35).  The love of Jesus is our common bond.

Through the works of Jesus in the gospels and the book of Acts of the Apostles, Father has shown us how, His church, the body of Christ should be built.  Indeed, we are the body of Christ (1 Corinth. 12:27) and each with his/her own task to accomplish.  The epistles give further direction on how this body should be put together and how it should function in unity.

Jesus selected and trained His ‘apostles’ and those disciples who travelled with Him in God’s ways.  He confirmed that He is indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Chosen One and that they should all live in the Father’s love.  The greatest commandment is to love God above all else and then our neighbor (everyone else) as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).  Any other commandment or action is based on God’s love (Matt. 22:40), an explanation of that love.

 The world knows that we follow Jesus Christ because of our love one for another (John 13:35).  When I was young, it seemed that each and every Christian denomination believed that they were the only true church and that everyone else was lost.  My youth was spent in a Southern Baptist Church, but as I grew, Father brought me through several denominational as well as full gospel churches (baptism of the Holy Ghost & operation of the gifts). 

After my wife and I had moved to Hagerstown, I encountered a Baptist brother in a local bookstore.  We talked for a while and as we parted company he commented to me “Though I don’t agree with some of what you said, I feel in my spirit that we are brothers in Christ.”  Whoa!  What a revelation!  I mean, what are the basic requirements for being a Christian?  1) Believe that in the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God and the Word was (is) God and was made flesh (John 1:1-14).  2) Receive the precious blood Jesus shed for us, cleansing us from all unrighteousness and sin, on the cross (1 John 1:7).  3) Confess and repent (turn from) those sins (Acts 3:19). 4) Believe that God, the Father, raised Jesus from the dead on the third day, He ascended back to the Father and is now seated in all power and glory at the Father’s right hand (Acts 7:55-56, Romans 8:34) waiting for the time to come back and get us (John 14:1-3).  Our salvation, our existence with the Eternal God is a matter of heart in our relationship with God Almighty.  When someone believes these things with their whole heart, we then will live in God’s love and then we are brothers in Jesus Christ, no matter where we go to church and we look forward to Christ’s return.

In case you missed it, the menorah represents man’s relationship with our heavenly Father.  How He gives us life and guides us.  It shows how Father has transitioned man from living for Him by doing things (works) to living for Him because we desire to please Him.  After all, we should desire to please Him for all he does for us.  So let us count our many blessings.  For what has God done for each of us throughout our lives?

Transitioning our relationship which is has to be kindled when necessary to one that is constantly kindled by His Holy Spirit.  I can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5), but through Him I can do all things (Phil. 4:13)!

What did Father tell Ezekiel?  “I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel”.  Father is now in the process of bringing us up out of our graves. (Ezek. 37:12)”  Even us.  Though the church has grown mightily in the past century, denominational dogma yet keeps us split.  We have been focusing more on our differences than the unifying blood of Jesus.  The menorah in Exodus is man living without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but through Zecariah, Father shows how He is bringing us up out of our graves by filling us with new and greater levels of His Spirit.

We receive power in our spiritual life with the infilling of the Holy Ghost because we confessed and accepted Jesus.  We receive power (Acts 1:8) in receiving the “baptism” of the Holy Ghost as we continually yield our lives to Him and yet we cry out “Our bones are dried, our hope is lost, we are cut off for our parts. (Ezek. 37:11)”.  We are not yet unified as the body of Christ.  I’m not talking about one massive church.  I AM talking about all the different aspects of the body of Christ working together to accomplish His will.  We are each unique.  We all have a different role in God’s kingdom.  But our uniqueness keeps our roles different even though they may overlap.  Father desires each and everyone of us to function in the gift He has given us. 

God is preparing to bring His people up out of their graves by opening our eyes through His love.  Through His love we can accomplish things we may never have dreamed of by working with other Christians with whom we may have never associated.  Father knows that once we become single in heart, we can accomplish anything our hearts desire (Gen. 11:5-6).

The early rain, the early church (the apostles, etc.) was getting the ground ready, an introduction if you will, to what was coming.  The latter rain ripens the fruit for harvest and it is the revelation of the operation of the fullness of the Holy Ghost, at Father’s level.  And it is for today.
There is a Spiritual explosion coming.  Father has been preparing His “soldiers” and is even now solidifying their duties so they may be ready to do battle in just a few years.  Battle with the enemy for lost souls.  Guiding all souls (who are willing) into God’s eternal love.

Father is raising up a people who will have a new and greater awareness of His love.  As that love grows comes a growing desire to walker closer and closer with Father.  As we walk closer with Father He opens up more and more of His Spiritual realm to us so we can walk into our “Israel” an function as He intended.  As this happens, the second outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the latter rain, as man has never seen it before.  The fields are ripe.  Father is simply waiting on His harvesters – to be ready. 

The Spiritual Explosion is coming.  Who has been listening?  Who is responding?  This is an exciting time to be alive and Father is making us ready.  He is preparing all who are willing and obedient. 
All of this is preparing the way for the Spiritual Explosion.  The Spiritual explosion?  THAT is, my brothers and sisters, will be the sequel.