Sunday, March 23, 2008

Putting our Hearts on the Spiritual Reality of the Resurrection of Christ

John 6:62 "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?"

My thought this morning is that as so many think of the eternal Truth today that Jesus Christ is alive, and alive forevermore, my hope and my prayer always is that they truly partake of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Come to SEE Him as King and as Lord of their lives. (truly ascended, truly resurrected ) Not just victorious over the grave, but victorious in the hearts of people. That is the good news~ that He has come to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, live in people.

Many will hear today of the Son of God, raised up on the third day by the Father. (even tho by their celebrations they are telling you it was actually two days and two nights in the tomb then raised up. Even children can count, tho, and they can read also. Clearly the Good Friday/Easter Sunday scenario that is practised today in the majority of denominations is not the same as three days and three nights easily denoted in scripture) 

The fact that He was raised up on the third day is very significant.  Jesus said it was a very precise sign that He was who He said He was.   A sign to all that He was indeed  the Son of man. I mean if we are going to participate in a celebration of His resurrection,  with joy truth reigning in us, let's get it right.   It was not two days and two nights, it was three days and three nights in the tomb

I understand that from the Jewish religion he was most likely placed on the Cross on Wed. I don't mean to be legalistic on any point, and I am certainly not, but isn't this ridiculous!  Esp when it comes to the sign which Christ said would verify  to all that He was / is the Son of Man. 

But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt. 12)

This goes to show that in all likelihood what is practiced today as 'Easter' celebrations is deeply rooted in pagan holidays and pagan celebrations - and the celebration of the resurrection is made  to coincide with these celebrations.   

My hope in Him is that as so many hear of the resurrection (now and always) of the Son of God, that they truly hear of the power that is in His resurrection, available to those who believe, and that Christ arises in them. Partake  of Christ's resurrection and have Him, the Son, live in us,  seeing Him ascended and victorious.

This is the purpose of the resurrection.  
To be challenged by His resurrection,  let's say, and even disturbed if necessary! To "eat of Him "so that (he that) eateth of me, even he shall live by me." We live by Him in the power of His resurrection.

In John 6, as Christ stood before them, there were many who had been following Christ, yet they were so disturbed by what He said.   Many turned away from Christ as He talked of the coming resurrection.    Once Christ, the Risen Saviour truly discovers our motives hidden in our hearts and our deeply set attitudes, we ponder what the implications of this discovery means.   This can become "too" hard to take, and some turn away and refuse to listen. The power of the resurrection will challenge these areas, it will confront us in a very direct way in the hope that we may be His witnesses on this earth.

Jesus is alive, and He rose again to finish and fully form Christ in us, in each of us. The deepest part of this process is so that He would have sons and daughters into all eternity, to fellowship with . (John 8). God sovereignly is at work and He is committed to this process inall of us. He will use all things to accomplish it. Nothing is wasted in God's economy ! Nothing .

Yes, He is alive, yes He has been alive for thousands of years, and yes, we celebrate His life (not his death) each and every day. We live in the power of His resurrection day after day.  The apostles told us to celebrate his life. Jesus told us to celebrate His life. Let's celebrate the life He has come to give us, life and life more abundantly!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Eyes of My Heart











Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Differences ..vs the Community that the Father and Son Share \o/


I was just thinking this morning how Jesus prayed for the Church, how he prayed that we would be One, as He and the Father are One. I was thinking that this church community, ie the community shared between the Father and the Son, their relationship, was based upon oneness. They had no differences. They had one heart, one purpose, one mind. That is why they could share the depth of love that they shared, and even invite us into as well.

If on the other hand, you look at denominationalism, by it's very nature, they are not One. This is because they do have unmistakeable differences, and they are formed precisely based upon what those differences are. In this way, they are not one, but they are separate and very distinct from each other. This is their true nature.

By contrast, the nature of the Father and Son, and the nature of their relationship, has no differences. They are not separate from each other. The church that Jesus spoke of, in fact, the community that He and the Father shared and would continue to build, would be One just like they were. The Father and the Son had no barriers and differences, and because of this, they lived in true community and true love. Jesus invites us to share in this community with He and the Father.
love ruth

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Secret Place of Underground Power

This article is an excerpt from Brett Jacobsen's book Heaven's Underground Blueprint which is available here -

The Secret Place of Underground Power

You could go to a new church-growth seminar every week for the rest of your life and learn how to build “your church”. However, you cannot escape the fact that biblical principles (which many of these seminars are virtually void of) not only work, but they glorify God rather than man. It is very clear who God wants in the limelight and, sorry to all the famous preachers and “worship leaders”, it’s not you. We all know the victorious place that Psalm 91 has available to the saints, but have we missed the key that unlocks that victory? It lies in the first verse:

He that dwells in the secret [cether - a cover, hiding place] place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Ps 91:1)

As we can see by the Hebrew word cether, this secret place signifies going underground to a state of hidden-ness. This biblical concept goes against most of what is taught throughout Christendom these days, as many organisations and people have chosen to adopt worldly success principles. Jesus shows in the next passage from Matthew’s gospel, that performance spirituality in synagogues (“churches”) and other limelight venues bears very little significant fruit. He commands rather to take on the secret (kruptos- concealed, i.e. private:–hidden) principle from the word so that He can reward openly; or in other words, provide “fruit that remains”:

And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say to you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret [kruptos]; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. (Matt 6:5-6)

The picture we are given when we first come to God is one of being “baptised into Christ”. This, according to the Greek word baptizo, has us being submersed in, and swallowed up by, His life. If our life is submersed into His, the emphasis is not on us but is on the one who we should be hidden in and enveloped by. This principle is for the ensuring of God’s pre-eminence and man’s continued obscurity.

“The fact is when a man gets to the place where he really loves obscurity, where he does not care to preach, and where he would rather sit in the backseat than on the platform, then God can lift him up and use him, and not very much before.”
Frank Bartleman (1)

The waiting warriors

While Jerusalem was buzzing with people preparing for the feast of Pentecost, there were two major contrasting church groups. One was the large impressive convergence of Jews and Proselytes at the temple. The other group was the one hundred and twenty called and chosen nobodies assembled in an upper room, waiting for the Lord to move.

It had been hundreds of years since the presence of God and His prophetic voice had been felt and heard at the temple with any significance. Despite this, it had a large following of not only Jews but also God-fearers from other nations. The many temple attendees were enthusiastically going through the motions of religion. Some of these were sincerely searching, whilst others were happy to shirk the responsibility of a real relationship with God. There were also the “whited sepulchres”.

On the other side of town there were the disciples of Jesus. These were an unimpressive lot, who were remaining obedient to the last word of the Lord, or rather “forty days” worth. They were waiting enduringly in “one accord” in “prayer and supplication”. The main stream of church was enjoying great statistical success in attendance and probably finances, yet they lacked God’s presence. God however, was working overtime with the unimposing underground community. They were being prepared in secret to be used in public; a principle all but forgotten in modern Christianity.

We are all too familiar with the fruit of the underground community in Acts chapter two but we seem to think that God has changed His methods and that He opts to run with the popular successful models nowadays:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

Let us not forget that when God moves suddenly it is due to long seasons of waiting in one accord and prayer. This group of hidden nobodies were now thrust into the public eye with no lack of power and presence. Notice that this encounter was for “each of them” as “they were all filled”. Remember that the fullness of Christ is not one person’s power or victory, but rather a collective body being moved by Him, by His power.

As we read on through Acts chapter two it appears that there were many in the dead, yet successful, “church” who were hungry for God’s truth and presence. Many heard the heavenly tempest and were drawn towards the flaming community only to be “pricked in their heart” at the realisation of their current spiritual situation:

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, (Acts 2:5-6)

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, (37)

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (41-42)

Of course we never think that it could be us in the dead, yet possibly successful church. The truth is that most of us are there or have been there. The prophetic picture painted here gives only two options for us to be identified with. One is an underground community of people hidden away from the limelight and focusing on God and their love for one another. The other is a temple-centered, successful organization that is happy with results at the expense of true blessing from God.

At this point I must indicate that this Acts chapters 1-2 example of the true church is only the beginning of their journey. The new wineskin (the structure that carries His presence) had not yet taken on its fuller form; however, the heart of the New Testament church was displayed in its hidden state. Surely, as well as prayer and oneness, there is a key principle to seeing God move suddenly and powerfully: it is enduring in the underground secret place of the most high.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

After the Ears, what ??

I would just like to post this article from Lifestream that says very precisely the dangers inherent in having religious zealousness but not understanding the way God works out His will in our hearts and guides our steps.

As I said in my previous post, having some real "ears" first of all, to actually listen and wait on God to see what He wants or does not want is sooo important.   But part of listening with our ears is understanding how God TRULY works, and what dangers there are in failing to understand this process on behalf of ourselves or another.

I remember a few years ago a very gifted man say many times that there was a possibility that he was most likely wrong in some ways . He encouraged me to search it out and hear from God myself ! He said, "I could be wrong" He said "we all could be wrong on given points". Wow I had not heard that often preached before.

Anyhow, some say, "Oh , it's the false prophets that we always have to worry about".   Well you know what, I think that if we have our ears working correctly (at least working is a start) then our hearts are in step and in tune directly with the way God's spirit works in human beings. This process vs. a very different process misguided by the enormous effort of religious people demanding conformity and placing themselves between you and God in the process...You know what, if our ears are willing to listen and we are willing to let God deal with us on where we have sidestepped this process, we will be like Him. But we won't be any better than another. We won't be any more or any less. We will be able to witness Him reach out with His heart to all, and we will make a difference. We don't try to work FOR God, but instead, as this writer says, we are simply coming alongside Him and working with Him. (co-laborers)  That's quite a contrast.

Zeal Without Knowledge

“They are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

The most dangerous people you will meet on this journey are those who are zealous for God, but have no knowledge of the ways in which God works. They are the proverbial bulls in the china shop, demanding that people see things the way they do and bashing those who don’t in hopes that the added pressure will make them conform. So certain are they that their way is the only right way, the bully their way into people’s lives demanding that they conform to their interpretation of any number of proof texts. Paul understood them well. He was one. I do too; so was I.

And now I run into them frequently. One ‘elder’ told me he was going to forbid his mother-in-law to read my blog since I was espousing such great error on the body of Christ. I wonder how well that worked. When you decide it is your job to force others into truth, you prove by doing so that you think too highly of yourself and too lowly of the truth. I have found that the truth will win out in the end. It is stronger than every sin, doubt and lie. You don’t have to scream it in their ear or threaten them with punishment if they ignore you. You only need to whisper it gently and watch it grow in hearts that are receptive.

I was listening to a recording of one of the most profound New Testament scholars of our day, whose insight into the Scriptures is second to none. For an academic, I’m always surprised at the wisdom he brings to the Scriptures. At the end of this presentation, however, he offered this disclaimer: “At least two-thirds of what I’ve said today today isn’t true. The only problem is, I don’t know what two-thirds it is, or I wouldn’t have said it. And the two-thirds figure may even be generous to me.” Now there’s a man who is still growing on a journey and knows it. His humility invites others on the path to discovery, realizing our confidence can only rest in the Spirit who guides us, not the wisdom of any one human being.

The next time someone tries to bully you into their version of truth, just remember Paul’s words. There are many out there who have great zeal for what they perceive to be the truth of God. But it seems those most zealous, most miss the mark. In fact their passion seems to compensate for their insecurity that they can’t bear to admit. How do you recognize them? They are always trying to accomplish in God’s stead what they don’t consider he can do for himself. That’s what Paul went on to say, “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:3)

People who are ignorantly zealous do an awful lot of damage, and never see it because they never question their own motives or tactics. They leave a wake of abused people behind them thinking they are doing God a favor. The next time you are tempted to do something for God, just remember the damage that misplaced zeal can do to one of the kids God loves. Remember, in this kingdom we’re not asked to do anything for God. We’re invited to go along with him.

Follow alongside him and you’ll never need to bully or berate anyone else to embrace what you think is true. And when you find someone trying to do it to you, smile gently, pray for him or her, and just keep on following Jesus down the road. You don’t need their permission or their agreement. Rather than arguing with them in hopes they’ll see the error of their ways, continuing to live free is the best response you can give.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Showing Life in Him means growing some ears :-)


As we embrace Him, embrace the life that He longs to give us, we are showing forth Christ, what He has come to show us. We are like a reflection of His love, truth and mercy. We are simply showing that truly He is the way, He is the Truth, and He is the Life.

This is the most effective evangelism tool. This is the most effective way to teach someone that there is life in Jesus Christ. Embrace Him, live Life in Him, live loved in Him. Live free in Him.

God has always been interested in Life. Life to the broken hearted, Life to the desperate, life to the hopeless. This is what is on His heart. To bring Life. And He never changes. Life, and Life more abundantly. We should be careful not to lose this focus. To remember that what man often deems as important regarding religion, church growth, church ministry, programs, may not actually be what is simply on His heart for another. We simply can't get people motivated enough, we can't work hard enough in ministry to finally produce spiritual life in anyone at all. This should be very humbling and bring us to our knees. We are as dependant upon the Father to do it as Christ was. Life often comes out of a valley that is often called a shadow of death. It looks life death and feels like death ... hopelessness and desperation. Life is produced by Him because He is the author of Life. No one could make Life come out of despair but our Saviour. Which brings me to the subject of EARS.

I talked to a gal yesterday that went to a home fellowship, which was part of a larger group/denomination . She had been attending this home fellowship for a few weeks, so at this point, she decided to open up, to share some real struggles she was having. She took the chance to be vulnerable. But before she could even barely get started to share her hurt, ( let alone finish and really have the opportunity to hopefully convey her brokeness,) she was abruptly halted, interrupted, and given a lengthy sermon on the need to "have more faith" and to "repent for her unbelief".

They were not there it seems for any real (life giving) purpose such as to truly listen, to help carry her burden, to encourage her, or maybe even get a sense of how they might respond. To clarify, by listening I actually mean being quiet long enough to let someone else speak, without the need to formulate your religious answer. You know using your ears rather than your mouth for a while :-). When we use our ears more than our mouth maybe we discover that it's not about being right and appearing to have all the answers. Certainly using the ears will help us not interrupt while a hurting person is yet talking and trying to share something that is incredibly painful. It seems in their arrogance they felt that they had every right not only to cut her off - but worse yet, .. no need to actually even listen and let her speak. They needed instead to act like some sort of scavenger by seizing the opportunity to make themselves look all wise and spiritual.  How would they do this? By instructing her on her faults.

Is this the way Christ responds to the broken, hurting, down and out ? Is this the way He responds to us in our deepest pains and hurts? Perhaps if they had been able to see that it is not about us, but about others, then just maybe, they could simply covey some compassion. You know, be quiet and listen. Have some ears!! But no, rather than listen, they have to quickly and professionally come up with the right answer, like a popup on your computer, and then to deliver it back, you know, forcefully, with a blow.

We don't need to act like this. We need instead to be rivers of Life. Flowing = listening = waiting = gentleness. We are waiting on Him to clarify, to understand, to convey, to heal. The sad thing is that in that process they ended up wounding her more out of their need to look and act spiritual. They attacked her faith in her moment of weakness and vulnerablity.

I have also had recent conversations with religious people who telephone me, not to be a river gently flowing with life, offering life. But instead to lash out, hammer, and to loudly proclaim how many study guides and Bible passages and prayer meetings they are so involved in. To proclaim their "spiritual" growth. I could be wrong but I would think that if the 'spiritual' growth is there as they suggest, another will sense it and embrace it, you know, with life and joy to the Father.  His fragrance is unmistakeable!   We certainly don't need to tell someone it's there and be all loud and overbearing about it. Goodness!   Rest assured, if it's there, others will sense it. Or smell it.    People can be so insecure and wound others deeply in all that and so misrepresent Christ.   It's not the false prophets to worry about,  I think it's these unruly zealots who instead have a great need to come back to Him, and to learn from Him who is meek and lowly.  Anyhow as I hung up the phone finally, I took a breath and in all honestly, felt such a relief.  I couldn't help but whisper a prayer in deep anguish, "Father, do they even know you?"

Anyhow, there was no chance for two words by myself in this one-way conversation. In fact, in order to even try to speak two words, I had to interrupt her. She was not interested in life. She was only interested in her own pursuit of righteousness. And in proclaiming that by the worst method out there - by forcefully silencing the listener. It's almost hard to believe, but this really happened. It seems to be all about their holiness. No ears necessary. Message was: shut up and LISTEN to me. What I have to say is so much more important and spiritual than a single word that could possibly be spoken from you. You are not as spiritual as me and I am hear to show you what being righteous is all about and what spiritual life looks and sounds like. How sad to be under such a deception and to forget Christ , forget how lovely He is in
all His people.

This disturbed me and makes me want to change my phone number even, (kidding) but honestly, it only makes me want Him even more. I want life for the sheep that are being battered and confused and wounded even deeper by these behaviours. I want some ears in His Body too. I want Him to arise and shed Life in all of us and show us truly what it means to know the Way to the Father. To be gathered unto Him. That we are in Him and He is in us. That He has already made a way, for all of us. We don't need to prove ourselves, prove who God is (like man could do that) He has shown us that truly there is no way to the Father, except by Him. Let's enter in. Let's grow some ears too!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Part 1 - Silencing Christians

I would just like to point you over to

They have produced a documentary and part one is available on their website for viewing.

(You must register one time for viewing, and for some reason I could only get it to actually work in internet explorer)


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The hands of God are holding you

When Jean Vanier speaks about that intimate place, he often stretches out his arm and cups his hand as if it holds a small, wounded bird. He asks, “What will happen if I open my hand fully?” We answer, “The bird will try to flutter its wings, and it will fall and die.” Then he asks again, “What will happen if I close my hand?” We say, “The bird will be crushed and die.” Then he smiles and says, “An intimate place is like my cupped hand, neither totally open nor totally closed. It is the space where growth can take place.” (Lifesigns, 22)

I thought this was a great analogy of our relationship of intimacy and beauty with the Lord. Just the thought of being held that perfectly in His hand! My! Not too tightly so as to smother us; (so that we aren't growing) but holding us just perfectly. Not too openly so that we fly away and fall out of His hand! His hand holding us just perfectly, infusions of life filling us. Like a mother's womb, able to transfuse His life to us and cause the miracle of growth and birth to us.

How perfect is our Father! O Perfect love is in Him !