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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

1-19-2019                           The LAW and today

When dealing with the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man, we discover that it’s not just understanding the “temptations of Jesus” (Jan. 5, 2019)  but the Old Testament also informs us of what we have to deal with these three areas and so we can realize what we need to deal with in Spiritual Warfare.

When Father laid the “Law”, the Ten Commandments, on my heart concerning this, I said “C’mon, Lord.  Really?).  He responded “Really!” 

The Ten Commandments are initially found in Exodus chapter twenty verses three through seventeen (Exod. 20:3-17).  Five of the seven areas Father put on my heart to bring forth an understanding in dealing with the natural man and finish with the heart of man.  But the “Law” and “angelic intervention” both start with the heart of man impressing the need for our heart to be impacted if we expect to realize true victory in the other five areas.  To be awakened our natural man needs to hear but to understand, we need to be ‘tuned in’ Spiritually with Father so we can build a solid relationship with Father through Jesus. 

We readily understand the ‘natural’ but we have to learn and grow into the ‘spiritual’ and then we learn to walk in the ‘heart’.  Five examples begin with what we understand the most, us but two begin with what we need to know the most, our heart.  So the Ten Commandments begin with dealing with our heart.

Let’s take a look at how these elements are presented in the book of Exodus.

You shall have no other Gods before Me. (Exod. 2:3)”.  Father created all that is (Gen. 1:1-31), and there are no other gods before Him or even beside Him (Isa. 45:4-8).  Therefore He is worthy of all our praise and glory (Exod. 20:5-6, Luke 4:8).  He is a jealous God and wants our complete devotion so He can bless us and guide us as He always has our best interests at heart.  He knows that nothing else out there truly cares about our well-being but with Him, we are His top priority.  He knows that when we put Him first, everything else will fall into place.

Therefore, He does not want us to make an image of anything to bow own before it (Exod 20:4), even if we say it represents Him (Hinduism).  God is a Spirit.  How can we make an image of something we cannot truly ‘see’?  How can we say that something that God created is Him?  We indeed can experience Father even without actually ‘seeing’ Him (with the naked eye, experiencing Father is another topic altogether).  Things made of stone, wood, metal or anything else are inanimate objects which just sit or stand there doing nothing.  The only time we see an image ‘coming to life’ is when the image of the beast speaks and causes those who don’t worship the beast to be killed (Rev.13:14-15) and even that, the image could only do things as long as the beast could see it.  It will be a deception upon mankind. 

Even though, at times, it may seem harsh, God’s love for us will not permit Him to cause harm to those who love Him.  Love reprimands without injury (Rev. 3:19).  Father does as Paul tells us, ‘do all things to edification (Rom. 14:19).  Those who don’t believe in Jesus are already condemned (John 3:18), therefore they are subject to and controlled by the power of this world.  The power in this world is Satan (2 Corinth. 4:4, Rev. 12:7-9).  To make any image of God and to worship it is inspired by our enemy.  Praise and glorify God but don’t bow down before any man-mad image.

And we should not take the name of the Lord God in vain (Exod. 20:7).  What is vain?  The Hebrew word used here is shav (7723) which means idolatry, as in false gods, lie about, destroy, make desolate (of no value).  In other words, to make the Creator of all things as worthless as all the other gods out there.  Also consider contributing the works of the only true and living God to ‘anything’ else (sound a bit like blasphemy?).

These three areas deal with our relationship with the one, true, living God, our heart.  He wants a relationship with us, a close relationship, just as the apostle John had with Jesus (John 13:23).
Now, the next two commandments may be split between the natural and the heart of man but they are actually transition between the first three commandments and the last five.  A time of yielding our spirits to the Lord.

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy (Exod. 20:8).  God wants us to take some specific time to be with Him.  A time when we’re not busy doing other things but can sit down and commune with Him.  Allow Him to be our companion.  We should set that time apart from everything else where we can just focus on the Creator of all things, giving Him thanksgiving, praise and glory and LISTENING for what He has to share with us (Exod. 20:9-11)!  If you’ve seen the “War Room”, the wife literally put herself in her ‘prayer closet’.  Paul reminds us that no day is really different from another (Rom. 14:1-8).  So we may conclude that not just one day a week, but we should set aside some time, each day, to spend with God.  Daniel prayed three times a day.  Can we afford at least once?  Moses communed with (talked with and listened to) God on the mount and in the tent (Exod. 19:1-6, Exod. 33:9).  Ought we not to follow his example by getting close to our Lord?

Honor our natural parents (Exod. 20:12).  This is the first commandment with promise – so that we can live long.  We also find that if we have a hard time honoring our natural parents (whom we see), how well can we honor our heavenly Father whom we don’t see?  Jesus, Himself, asks this question though in a slightly different way “How can I tell you heavenly things when you don’t understand the natural (John 3:12)?  By the time I was nine, my father was no longer in the house.  He was an alcoholic, so I don’t remember him having a huge impact on the family as I was growing up.  Now my dad did sober up (by the grace of God) and remarried and even though there was not a ‘regular’ connection, there were times my Heavenly Father used my earthly father to impact my adult life.  I learned to respect my dad.  My mom?  I was always with her.  Effectively, she raised me.  But, in case you missed it, respect equates with honoring.  We can respect someone and give them their ‘due’ honor (for position of authority, etc.) and not even like them.  But when we truly honor someone, it is a decision we make and it comes from the heart.   

So setting aside time for God and honoring those in authority certainly points us in the direction as how we should treat everyone – with respect.  Again, whatever we do should be to the edification of others (1 Corinth. 10:23-24).

These last five commandments, hopefully) help us to understand how we can edify others.  Each of these commandments is presented in the negative, so we should do the opposite.

Don’t kill (Exod. 20:13)  Obviously, we should not wantonly commit murder.  That is kill someone just because we feel like it, ‘I don’t like the way they looked or looked at me’.  We should not kill in the commission of a crime (of course, we shouldn’t be committing the crime to begin with).  The Hebrew word ratsach (7523) includes ‘dash to pieces’ and murder.  Webster’s includes to ‘deprive of life’.  Scripture says that if a man takes the life of another man, he should be put to death himself (Lev. 24:17). Now, even though the military takes the life of the enemy, it is not the same.  Read the Old Testament, Abraham went after the people who kidnapped Lot and others and slew them (Gen. 14:14-20).  Scripture tells us to be obedient to those in authority over us for they shall praise our good deeds but authority is an avenger upon the evil (Romans 13:1-4).  The opposite of kill is to give life.  The best way we can bring life is to share light and light is Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14).

Now hate is also killing because when we hate someone, we are not likely to share the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.  Hate equates to killing for those who have refused Jesus are already condemned to death for lack of belief (John 3:18).  Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6).

Don’t commit adultery (Exod. 20:14).  The Hebrew word is naawf (5003), to break vows of wedlock. 

The Old Testament mentions fornication only in 2 Chronicles, Isaiah and Ezekiel and is talking about spiritual fornication which is like being adulterous or immersing in idolatry with other gods.  The New Testament also carries the idea of idolatrous activity as well as adulterous relationship pertaining to sexual lust (4203 porneuo).  Webster’s includes a sexual relationship between two unmarried people.  Paul warns the Thessalonians to abstain from fornication keeping our bodies in honor and sanctification (unto the Lord) (1Thess. 4:1-4).

So, basically, the only difference between adultery and fornication are the marriage vows.  They both reflect sexual immorality which also means greater incident of STD.  Why do we think God says to ‘contain’ ourselves but if we can’t then marry (1 Corinth. 7:7-9) and once married stay true to the one we married?  Ergo, we should not defame others by engaging in sexual or spiritual  immorality.   
Don’t steal (Exod. 20:15).  The Hebrew word here is gawnab (1589), carry away, deceive.  Without even looking at Webster’s we can see this is also depriving someone of something that is rightfully theirs.  We can do this in the dark of the night, trickery or even lying.  Remember, Satan comes to steal, kill and/or destroy (John 10:10) so we’re not just talking physical objects but also spiritual well-being.  If the devil can’t keep us from receiving Jesus, he steals through discouragement, tough fights and half-truth as he did with Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11) so as to keep us off track.  When we falter, he steals our testimony, our witness as a Christian.  But, PTL, once we truly repent, we’re back on track (Isa. 38:17) for we have an advocate with the Father pleading our case (1 John 2:1).  So we keep what is ours, don’t take what is not ours share of what we have with others.

Don’t bear false witness (Exod. 20:16).  Two Hebrew word are translated here to imply ‘false’ ‘winess’: sheqer (8267) deceit, lie, without cause and ed (5707) testimony. 

Have any of us ever took cookies out of the cookie jar when we were not supposed to?  Mom might have come back asking “who took cookies?”  Knowing we might be punished for our dastardly deed, our reply most likely was “Not me!”  Seemingly innocent enough, but still a lie.  My son tells his sons to tell the truth when confronted.  His sons may be punished, but the punishment won’t be as severe as if the child tried to cover things with a lie (wonder where my son got that from).  Think of a courtroom.  What is perjury?  Giving false testimony after swearing before the court (and before God) to be truthful.  In the courtroom, that carries severe punishment, possibly jail time.  Think about gossip, spreading rumors about someone else.  Words pour out of our mouths which we probably don’t know if they’re true or not.  We may be spreading ‘lies’ about another.  We can even lie about ourselves expressing greater than truth facts about ourselves to make us feel better about ourselves, boost our egos or maybe even just trying to get a psychological edge over someone else.  We know the devil is a liar and the father thereof (John 8:44), so when we ‘fudge’ the truth, who are we emulating?  Rather we should always be open and truthful when we speak.  Does this mean I can’t joke?  Make sure what you say is not hurtful and that all hearing understand, otherwise, keep our lips ‘zipped’.

Don’t covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or anything else that is your neighbor’s (Exod. 20:17).  The Hebrew word for covet is chamad (2530) among other things means delight, desire, lust for. 
Understand, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves, just not at someone else’s expense.  Do it the old-fashioned way, earn it!  Coveting things your neighbor owns leads to theft.  Coveting your neighbor’s wife leads to adultery or something worse (rape).  Nothing wrong desiring something ‘like’ your neighbor’s, just not what he actually possesses. 

Coveting is lust and lust only leads to something harmful to another.  As I said, coveting can lead to theft, adultery even murder and lying.  Would any of us kill to possess something someone else has?  Even if it is only in an attempt to cover up something we did?  We may say “I’d kill to have that!”  Problem is there are some who would literally mean it and then, just like the cookie jar, lie to cover up our deed.  Watch any detective shows lately? It is not wrong to desire to have something ‘like’ our neighbor, but we go out and ‘earn’ our own.

The last five commandments bring man’s basic nature into focus.  These are things the ‘natural’ man is subject to and we should always be striving to overcome these negative aspects of our lives.  For the most part, most of us do well (he’s such a ‘good’ man), but as mankind pulls farther and farther away from God, just how long can that last?  Watch the news or pick up a newspaper. 

The natural man must be dealt with so we can move into a spiritual connection with Father eventually (and hopefully) leading into a closer walk (relationship) with our Lord and Savior.  Yet, we discover walking closer with the Lord makes it easier to nurture the spiritual man thus making it easier to control our basic nature (the natural man). 

Paul tells us that “Woe is me for the things I shouldn’t do, I do, etc. (Rom. 7:14-25) but Jesus delivers us from this dilemma (Rom. 7:25).  We just have to be obedient to Him.

Understanding how the Law interfaces with the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man helps us to realize what Father is doing in today’s church.  Ever since William Tyndale, Father has been bringing His church to where we are today.  As we await the impending “Spiritual Explosion” Father is drawing His children into a closer relationship with Himself.  We are coming to know more and more His calling upon our lives as individuals and not ‘just’ as a church. 

We know that the Great Commission of the church is to share Jesus Christ with the world (Matt. 28:18-20) that we might have that eternal assurance of fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our hearts. 

For over six seasons (600 years) God has been bringing His people to the Spiritual point in which we are currently.  We’re entering into a seventh season where the Holy Spirit is being unleashed so God’s children can truly be the children of our heavenly Father – doing His will in this world, en masse and big time.  For over twenty years “prophets” have seen this coming and now we are at the doorstep of this new season.  The questions to us are:  Are we ready?  Are we willing?  Are we obedient?  To press into this new season to Glorify God? 

However we must come to understand that we need to be fully equipped to be able to effectively fight the enemy and resist his counter measures on all fronts.  Five more installments are coming to help us understand that which we need to know as we battle in the natural, in the Spirit and in the heart.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

1-5-2019    The Temptations of Jesus and today
Sorry we're so late getting this out.  Severe sinus issues, but PTL, God prevails!

On Nov. 24, 2018 we posted “Who is fighting Whom?” and on December 22, 2018 we posted “The Flower, the Soldier and the Church”.  These two entries moved into our spiritual warfare with the enemy.  They introduced a three-pronged fight we must fight and be involved with in order to find victory over Satan and his dark forces.  Move over Luke Skywalker.  In Star Wars, the “dark forces” were what motivated the “dark side”.  The “forces of dark’ are representatives of our enemy which we face in our Christian walk.  

Here, we’re digging a bit for a better understanding of this three-pronged battle.  The previous entries suggested that our first fight is in ‘natural’ man”, the area we are most familiar with and our weakest point.  The second battle is for our mind, our thought processes, our soul, what motivates us.  But because we have the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we have something stronger with which to fight back.  The Third is for our heart, our true relationship with the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  When we are abiding in the Lord (the Word, living & written), we have all the power of heaven fighting with us.  Not that they weren’t with us before, but now we have a deeper understanding of what those resources are and how to tap into them (at least we should). 

Should Satan gain victory over the natural man, the battle is lost.  We become like the seed by the wayside (in the parable of the sower), which the birds immediately ate up (Matt. 13: 1-8).

In the ‘Temptations of Christ’ we see each of the three areas (natural, spirit and heart) addressed.  This is the first of seven installments showing how these three areas are addressed throughout the bible in both the Old and New Testaments.  And, hopefully to impress upon us our need to be able to properly deal with each area.

Matthew 4:1-11
1          Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2          And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
3          Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
4          But Jesus answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "

As the passage says, Jesus had been fasting for forty days, He had to be very hungry.  The natural man needs food and water to sustain existence.  We eventually die without them.  According to the Scientific American, documented cased of people surviving ‘starvation’ diets of between 21-40 days.  Also Scientific American cites that, in comfortable conditions, a person could survive 21 days without water.  When conditions are not ideal, it could be hours instead of days (to put things in perspective between a controlled environment vs not so inviting condidtions).

So Jesus, in the wilderness, was at His weakest, physical point when the enemy approached Him. And with what did he approach Him?  Bread.  Turn these stones into something He could eat.  Sustenance for the natural man. 

This also tested Jesus’ trust in the Father to sustain Him and just how deeply did He trust the Father to provide for Him.  If we can’t trust God to provide us with ‘natural’ things, how can we trust Him for the Spiritual?  Jesus told the masses “If I’ve told you earthly things and you haven’t believed, how can you believe heavenly things?” (John 3:12).  We learn to trust God in this life so we can know to trust Him for the eternal.  Think about it.  We will have to trust Jesus in the rapture.  We’ll be caught up in the air with Him (1 Thess. 4:17).  Who will be keeping us from falling back down to earth?
So Jesus tells Satan that He trusts only the Father for things in the natural world by knowing what God has said, the Word.  Jesus should know the Word for He is the living Word.

5          Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6          and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "
7          Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "

The pinnacle, the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem Jesus is challenged again.  Satan knows that God protects His own (Job 1:8-10).  As with Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen. 3:1-6), Satan quotes a partial biblical truth.  God will send His angels so You don’t hurt yourself, but Jesus knowing the full scriptures fires back with “You shall not tempt the Lord, your God.”  Yes, God is over Satan.  If we jump off the Empire State building, we’re going to go “SPLAT!” when we hit the streets below.  Don’t do something harmful or stupid just to prove God is with you.  However, should the Lord tell you to do something, be sure it’s Him, then be obedient.  A country boy, from outside Pittsburgh, Pa., Dave Wilkerson went to witness to the gangs of New York City in the strength of Jesus Christ (The Cross and the Switchblade).

In Rev. chapter one, Alpha and Omega states in part “… the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches …” and in Genesis chapter one God says “… let there be lights in the firmament …”.  Lights here is the Hebrew word maowr (3974), luminous body, bright, light, etc.  Revelation chapter twelve says that with his tail, the dragon drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth …  Three passages which seem to correlate angels with stars, which were created on the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-15).  Draw your own conclusion.

Nonetheless, Satan is a created being.  The angels and we are also created beings (Gen 1:27).  So Jesus is telling a created being that we should not tempt the Lord God – that is asking Him to do something not logical just to prove Himself.  Even as Israel tempted God in the desert with food (Exod. 16:1-18) and water (Exod. 17:1-7).  We should not tempt the Lord.

Our spiritual man must become our Spiritual man for us to press forward in our walk with the Lord.  Just where is our trust in the Lord?  For what do we really trust and believe God?  Are we obedient to His Word?

8          Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9          And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
10        Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "

As our trust grows sin the Lord, we discover Father desires our companionship.  Just as He came down into the Garden of Eden to be with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8), just as He visited with Moses in the tabernacle (Exod. 20:19-22), He desires to walk with us.  At the celebration of the Passover, John lay his head upon the chest of Jesus (John 13:23-25).  Jesus wants this close a relationship with each and all of us who love Him.

So, when Satan took Jesus to the high mountain and showed Him all the lands and Kingdoms of the earth and said “… bow down and worship me and all this is yours.”  First of all, Jesus’ heart is always right with the Father because He and the Father are one (John 1:1-4).  Secondly, all things were created by Him (Jesus) and for Him (Col. 1:16).  So how could Satan give Him what was already His. 

Initially Adam and Eve had dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:27-30) but when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden because of their disobedience (do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:17), evil fell upon the earth en masse.  Satan was cast out of heaven, with all his angels to give us a fit (Rev. 12:1-10) (Don’t split hairs over the order of events here).
So when Jesus told Satan that we should worship the Lord our God and serve only Him, He was asserting that is heart was with the Father forever.  We should do the same.

Satan attacks us in the natural man.  This is the realm we most readily understand and it is our weakest point.  Once we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, Satan has to change his tactics and deal with our spiritual man, our mind, our intellect, our soul.  We are learning how to stand in the strength of our Savior through reading His Word and prayer.  So, now both our body and soul are being attacked.  So now we stand against not just natural things but we begin to realize that we fight spiritual forces in high places.

But as we continue yielding ourselves to the Father, living in His will, being a true reflection of His love, Satan has to step it up a bit more.  Okay, a lot more.  Now, if he is to succeed, he has to tear our hearts away from the Lord.  He now turns the heat up.  Don’t be surprised when subtle temptations come which seem almost impossible to resist.  Satan knows that a full frontal attack would just send us running into the loving arms of God.  We keep our hearts right with our Father.  We already know what we have and are solid on (in) the Rock (Psalm 62:1-8), Jesus!  We know our victory is sin Jesus.

Complete victory comes when we take on the yoke of Jesus, having strengthened ourselves by knowing His Word and resting in the peace from God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost.  However, ‘resting’ here doesn’t mean sitting back and taking it easy.  It does mean trusting in the Lord to bring us through whatever Satan throws at us and knowing that the Lord will bring victory! 
We deal with three battle fronts: the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man.  Prayer and putting God’s Word into action conquers our foe.