Five-Fold Today - The Fight of the Century - The Glory Approaches - Watch - I Shall Deal With All Those Who Have And Who Will Come Against You - Do We Really Want Revival? - The Way of the Disciple - The Path of Brokenness

March 9, 2001

The Fight of the Century

David White

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith". II Timothy 4:7

A fight has begun that will determine the spiritual destiny of our neighbors, our cities, and the nations. What's at stake is nothing less than the souls of men and women and the legacy left behind by the church of the 21st Century.

It has been said and it is indeed true, that love is not genuine love until it has been tested. Likewise, it is also true that faith is not genuine faith until it too has been tested. As the church enters into the 21st Century, the fight of the century has begun. This fight is the same fight fought by those who are recorded as the true champions of the faith throughout church history. The fight the church is engaged in at the beginning of this century will determine or disqualify those who will also be added to that list. These modern day champions of the faith, like many who have come and gone in years and centuries past, may, or may not ever be known this side of heaven. However, one day their testimony will bring the Lord much praise, honor, and glory. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love." (I Peter 1:6-8)

Jesus, in drawing attention to an example of true faith, once asked the following question. "Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) This question is certainly relevant as the church enters into the 21st Century and nears the end of the church age, as we now know it. It's a question each of us will answer by the testimony we leave behind when our life on earth is past. Let me first explain that I am not referring to the faith that comes when one receives and follows Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I believe that many, in increasing and at times in unbelievable numbers, will soon be coming to the Lord. Many, from every nation and tongue will be found possessing a faith in Jesus when the Lord returns. However, I'm talking about the kind of faith that will see cities and nations changed and filled with the glory of God. I'm referring to the kind of faith that requires sometimes years of perseverance, suffering, and sacrifice in order to see the Lord's Kingdom come upon the earth. I'm talking about the kind of faith that will be written about hundreds of years from now, should the Lord tarry. I'm talking about the kind of faith that will qualify someone as being given the title, a champion of the faith.

The Challenge

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines (teachings) of demons. (I Timothy 4:1)

The Holy Spirit, not just Paul, said that in the last days, prior to the Lord's return, certain conditions will exist that would cause some to actually, 'depart' from the faith. The Greek word used for 'depart' means, 'to remove', 'to revolt', 'to desert', 'to withdraw one's self', and 'to fall away'. Later, Paul instructs young Timothy to, "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness." He also exhorts him to, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life..." (I Timothy 6:11-12). Through this challenge to Timothy, Paul is encouraging the church of every age, in the Pursuit of Faith; the Fight of Faith; and the, Reward of Faith.

The Pursuit of Faith

The Lord recently impressed upon me that much of the church has entered into a season of intense testing that will determine the effectiveness and eventual fruitfulness of their lives. A battle is raging, fought primarily in the mind, that is attempting to deceive many into withdrawing, departing, and retreating from the plans, purposes, and promises of God. There are many reasons why we are tempted to depart from pursuing a life of faith. One reason could be due to the hardness of the hour, or the lack of visible and identifiable fruit. However genuine faith is, "the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (confidence) of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

We must never forget that just because we may have begun well, doesn't guarantee that we will necessarily end well. On the other hand, those who have made some of the greatest mistakes and experienced some of the worst failures in the past can now become one of those whose lives and accomplishments will cause great advancements of the purposes and Kingdom of God on the earth. The group we eventually belong to will be determined by our pursuit of faith.

Romans 14:23 confirms that, "whatever is not from faith is sin". This means that whatever we do that does not require faith in what God has said, or what God can do, is sin. If we are only doing what we can do without God, then we will never please Him or accomplish His purposes. Pursuing a life that requires faith is hard because it requires we believe what we can not see and that we do what we cannot do, apart from God's intervention. God's intervening, more than often, does not occur until after we've chosen to pursue the course of faith. As Oswald Chambers has said, 'God does not give us overcoming life'. 'He gives us life as we overcome.'

Corrie Ten Boone was once approached by a young admirer, who boasted to Corrie about how she saw Corrie as woman of great faith. Yet Corrie interrupted the girl and corrected her by explaining that she was not a woman of great faith, but was simply a woman who had faith in a great God. To pursue a life of faith requires we do what is impossible to do because we believe in a great God who can and will do all He has said He will do.

The Fight of Faith

Paul not only encourages Timothy to pursue faith, but he also challenges him to, 'fight the good fight of faith'. It should be of no surprise to us that Satan is not going to lay down and allow our cities to be taken for the Lord. Nor is he going to sit passively by and allow you and I to possess the land and inheritance promised from the Lord. This means we must 'resist him', and remain, "steadfast in the faith". (See I Peter 5:5-9) To 'resist' means, 'to stand against' or 'oppose'. To remain, 'steadfast in the faith' requires we remain 'solid, stiff, and stable in regard to our faith. Just because we see some measure of blessing on our lives and ministries does not mean we can forget that the church is still engaged in a fight. A fight of faith!

Revelation 14 speaks of harvest time on the earth. "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, 'thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." (Rev. 14:15) However just prior to this announcement, the declaration is made, "Here is the patience (perseverance) of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Here we find a spiritual principle regarding the harvest. This principle assures us that just prior to the greatest harvests in our lives, our churches and ministries, as well as on the earth, there will also come the greatest tests. The testing will challenge us in three areas.

The first test will challenge our patience or perseverance. You can be sure there will always be a number of seemingly legitimate reasons to quit and leave the course we've begun just before the breakthrough we have been promised comes to pass. James reminds us, "Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful." (James 5:11) "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth..." (James 5:7). James reminds us that to see the harvest the Lord has intended requires we persevere in faith until the Lord comes and moves to accomplish His will. Just as the farmer waits so we too must wait and see what must first be seen through eyes of faith.

Second, the tests will come to challenge our obedience. Revelation 14:15 points out, "here are those who keep the commandments of God. With every opportunity to obey the Lord will inevitably come the option to disobey Him. Yet if we want to see the Lord come into our lives and our cities, and the coming forth of the harvest He has intended, then obedience is not an option.

Third, just prior to the harvest in our lives and across the earth, will come the greatest challenges and outright demonic assault to get us to back off from our faith. This is why Paul reminded Timothy that, "I have kept the faith". Those who keep the faith regardless of the circumstances will surely see the end intended of the Lord.

The Reward of Faith

As Paul's life neared the end, he wrote, "Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day..." (II Tim. 4:8). Earlier Paul reminded Timothy that after he had fought the good fight of faith, then, he would "lay hold on eternal life". (I Tim. 6:12)

One of the greatest deceptions of the enemy is to get us to focus on what our lives and ministries look like now in the eyes of men rather than considering and measuring things from eternity's perspective. Eternity will surely last a lot longer than our few years we spend on the earth. The fight of the century has begun. Yet at the same time, true champions of the faith are now coming forth who will bring the Lord much praise, honor, and glory. To be a champion of the faith will require we pursue what we cannot presently see and do what we cannot do. It will require that we persevere until the very end. And it will require that we not focus on what we have been called to do looks like in the eyes of men and women, and focus on what will impact eternity.

drwhite@zebra.net

The Glory Approaches

Stephen Binks

I hear the sound of multitudes of hoofbeats. I see a thunderhead stretching across the face of the skies cutting off all other light. The Glory of the Lamb approaches but it is not the small glory that we have been waiting for and talking about. This is a glory that will cause mortal fear as the sheer power of the Majesty is revealed upon the earth. Men will cower and cry out for the mountains to cover them and will seek even the smallest of places to protect them from it's all revealing light.

The secret thoughts of every heart will be manifest in this glory and men and women will cry out in anguish as they realize how they have treated as powerless the name of the Lamb. Darkness will spread across the face of the earth and terror will fill every heart and then the Son of Man will be revealed and His Glory will purge evil from the whole world. Every now and then we see a glimpse of Glory but nothing we have seen comes close to the sheer power of His fully revealed face.

We currently are protected by having our eyes veiled but the time approaches when we will be exposed to His Glory as it covers the face of the earth. Beg for mercy! Plead that the purifying fire may burn stongly in our lives so that when the day of His Glory arrives, we may be found holy and set apart to His purposes alone. Endure hardship without complaining so that when the Day of His Glory comes, we may hear the commendation of the only opinion that matters, the judgement of the Lamb.

Beware! If you think that you are something, beware for the Glory of the Lamb will incinerate everything that is of pride and you will be left embarrassed and ashamed as you stand before the congregation. Those who thought they were something will be shown to be worthy of shame and those who thought they were nothing will be elevated to the Great Prince's side.

My heart trembles with fear at the magnitude of the power of His Glory. I know what it is to rest in my Dad's arms and to hear His heart beat. I know the joy of His presence and the wonder of His love and his acceptance but my heart still trembles as the power of the Glory of the Lamb approaches.

Father, prepare us. Discipline us and bring us into the likeness of your precious Son so that, in the Day of His Glory, we may not be found lacking.

Stephen W. Binks

steveb@icenet.com.au

Watch

Petru Prinsloo

See what Nebuchadnezzar took when he conquered Jerusalem:

He took all the treasures from the Temple and from the king's house. He captured the captains, soldiers, craftsmen and smiths. He laid hold of the king, his mother, wives and officers. All that remained was the poorest of the poor living in a city without walls or gates.

Know that the enemy is after your spiritual and physical treasure - the gifts and fruit of the Spirit and personal belongings & health. The leaders, intercessors, prophets and the faithful ones he will try to sidetrack or remove them from their purposes in Me. He will leave only the spiritually poor ones in unprotected cities. These are his plans.

However, do not fear him or his plans. I am revealing his plans so that you can foil them. Come into My Presence daily and fully and you will be able to do more than just resist him. You will be able to fight temptation and weariness. You will be able to focus on Me and My purposes for you - but then you must seek My face continually and in everything you do. Come to Me first and I will give you the desires of your heart.

It's vital that you pray for your leaders, the intercessors and prophets. Mention their names before Me daily and I will command the hosts of heaven to surround them.

My Beloved, come to Me. The war is escalating and I AM the only Source of your strength.

saip@cis.co.za

I Shall Deal With All Those Who Have - And Who Will - Come Against You

Glenn H. Jackson

"Cast not your eyes behind you for I shall deal with all who have - and who will - come against you. Only keep your eyes fixed on Me, My beloved ones, for we have much work to do.

Again I say to you that all which comes upon the sons of disobedience is designed for their "greatest" eternal benefit. Keep your mind set on the things above at every turn for great darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples. Only those who desire to see Me from their heart of hearts will see Me. I have not hidden Myself from them but, rather, it is they who have - by an act of their will - removed themselves from My will.

Guard your heart with all diligence for you shall be great and mighty vessels of My deliverance and light to those who have been held captive by the Evil One".

"ALL WHO CHOOSE TO FORSAKE MY WORD SHALL FROM THIS DAY FORTH WALK IN DREAD OF MY FAITHFUL ONES"

"Fear not, for by My power those who are targets of this "vile" persecution shall be made to stand far above all that comes against them and they shall be mighty vessels of My Spirit of judgement and burning and all who choose to forsake My Word shall - from this day forth - walk in dread of My faithful ones. For such power as has never before been seen in the earth shall flow from - and rest upon - My beloved ones.

Fear not for the Spirit of courage and boldness shall cause My children to be a mighty sign and wonder to the peoples of the earth and all shall know that deliverance (salvation) is found only in Me. Go forth into every place I lead you and be that living testimony I have prepared you to be. Stretch your faith out on My Word alone and all these things I have spoken shall come to pass at an ever increasing pace in the earth. Rejoice, My beloved ones, and hold fast to your obedience".

"THEY SHALL KNOW THAT THE WORDS WHICH YOU SPEAK ARE MINE"

"No more will they take lightly the words which you speak - My beloved ones! For I am with you in power and authority and they shall know that the words which you speak are Mine and that it is I, and I alone, who have sent you.

Rejoice! For now is the time of great building and restoration (in My Church) amongst My people. And now is the time I have chosen to exalt you, and those with you, to the place of prominence I have prepared for you - in order that in leading so shall you serve and in serving so shall you lead".

GLENN H. JACKSON
JTL MINISTRIES
http://jtlmin.shammah.com
jtlmin@shammah.com

Do We Really Want Revival?

Jim Grayson

In truth I tell you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do, also, and greater works shall he do, for I am going to the Father. John 14:12

We are standing at a crossroad in our spiritual lives, especially those who are in leadership in the Body of Christ. So many have been praying for what we call "revival", yet it's very evident the word has many and varied meanings, depending on each person. There is, however, only one type of revival and that's true, Holy Spirit revival or, more accurately, restoration. Some would quickly say, "Yes, brother, that's what I want." I say the same thing but at this point in our lives and ministries, we must ask ourselves if we really want revival and restoration. We may offer a resounding "yes and amen" to that question but perhaps we should take a deeper look before we commit ourselves to the change the Holy Spirit is most assuredly bringing.

According to Dictionary.com, the word "revival" has the following meanings:

  • The act or an instance of reviving.
  • The condition of being revived.
  • A restoration to use, acceptance, activity, or vigor after a period of obscurity or quiescence.
  • A new presentation of an old play, movie, opera, ballet, or similar vehicle.
  • A time of reawakened interest in religion.
  • A meeting or series of meetings for the purpose of reawakening religious
  • faith, often characterized by impassioned preaching and public testimony.
  • Law. Renewal of validity or effect, as of a contract or judicial decision.

Two things stand out here to me, the first being that the word revival also means restoration. Additionally, when seen from a legal point of view, it means the "renewal of the validity or effect, as of a contract or judicial decision. " The deeper meanings of that one are obvious, concerning the "contractual" work of the Cross of Christ Jesus our Lord, to restore that work fully in our lives, thereby bringing us into the true fullness of Christ, and not just the partial fullness of which we've seen all our lives.

Revival means restoration. It does not mean putting a sign up in the front lawn and having a preacher come and preach for a week or two. In truth, these "revivals" rarely have any lasting effect, for if they did, the same church wouldn't be putting up the same sign year after year. Revival should never be a matter of wax and wane. It should be a matter of being "revived" and staying that way. Instead, we have adopted a pattern of revival followed by seeping apathy, then backsliding. Who is to blame? I won't even go there. I will say that nearly all accepted change starts at the top, that is, with church leadership. Just as the driver of a car is held responsible for that car's actions, so the leadership of a church is responsible for the actions of the people the Lord has given them to shepherd. If the sheep are wandering, perhaps the shepherd has been singing an uncertain song, or maybe he's been asleep. God knows, and so does the shepherd.

Years ago, a popular after shave did a series of commercials where the man slapped himself hard, once on each side of the face with the after shave, then said, "Thanks...I needed that." Essentially, this is what we all need right now...a good, hard slap or two from the Holy Spirit to awaken this sleeping giant known as the church in America. We've become so accustomed to this state that we tend to equate sleepwalking for being awake. We need a jolt to show us the difference and, beloved, there is a big difference between what we have now and what our precious Lord Jesus is leading us into.

At times I have despaired over my own lack of faith and that of those in the Body of Christ in America but our Lord says to renew our faith in Him, and to look to Him, for He is bringing new wine, and is making the old skins into new, to accept it.

You have my heart, beloved.
Our Jesus is Lord of all.
Love,
Jim Grayson

A Freshening Wind
afresheningwind@AOL.com

The Way of the Disciple

Chip Brogden

There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is death (Proverbs 16:25).

The way which leads to life is narrow, and few find it (Matthew 7:14).

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John14:6a).

We talk about "one way", but there are really two ways: the broad way which many take, ending in death; and the narrow way which a few take, ending in life.

There are two ways presented to us. One way is of man, seems right in man's opinion, and leads to death. The other way is of God, seems wrong in man's opinion, and leads to Life.

We find that Christ is the Way to Life, and He Himself is Life. He is both the means towards the End, as well as the End.

What is God after? What does He seek from us? What does He want? First and foremost, He desires a people who will be conformed to the image of His Son, that they may demonstrate the preeminence of Christ in all things. But how does He gain such a people for Himself? The first step is to reveal His Son to us. This is the narrow gate. We cannot begin to walk the narrow path until we have entered the narrow gate.

Upon entering the narrow gate He begins to change us from the inside out so that it is Christ expressing Himself through us. "Not I, but Christ." This is the narrow path. This narrow path we call discipleship. It leads us somewhere. A path is not for standing still. It has a destination. Where does the path lead? What is the End? Christ as All in All. That is the End. All things work together according to this supreme purpose, His Purpose.

What is a disciple? A disciple is someone who applies their energies to learn a special discipline under a master teacher. There is no other way to be a disciple. There must be a pupil who is taught, and there must be a teacher who teaches. The disciple lives with the teacher, eats and drinks with the teacher, travels about with the teacher, observes the teacher during the course of the day and night, asks a lot of questions and listens intently to the answers. This is the Eastern way of making disciples, and it is the way the Lord Jesus discipled the Twelve.

Disciples sit under the teacher - literally at his feet - and hang on his every word. Disciples memorize their master's teaching and repeat it verbatim to one another, using the same hand gestures, phraseology, and emphasis, until they sound and act just like their teacher. Thus when you see a mature disciple you will, in essence, see the teacher as well. When the disciple speaks, it is as if the teacher is speaking. This not only honors the teacher but preserves the teaching.

So a disciple of the Lord Jesus is someone who enters the narrow gate and walks the narrow path until they come to the end of the narrow path and are left with nothing but Christ. As you can see, this is a very, very narrow way, which is why few find it, and fewer still remain on it once they find it. Nothing of self can be retained. All of self must be lost in order to gain Christ.

As we walk the narrow way we are being changed from glory to glory. Today we should reflect a little more of the glory of God than yesterday; tomorrow we will reflect yet more than we did today. This is growth. Growth is not more knowledge or increase of years: it is simply more of Him and less of me. He increases as I decrease. This is what it means to be a disciple.

WHAT GOD WANTS IS DISCIPLES

God does not want ministers or workers to begin with. We think these things are very important, for how can the Church get along without ministers and workers? What else does God want if not ministers and workers? Quite simply, He wants disciples first and foremost. There are many ministers and workers today and very few disciples. Everyone either has a ministry or wants a ministry. Everyone is expected to be a minister or a worker. We do not hear too much about being a disciple, yet this is what God must have before He can have anything in the Church.

Jesus said go into all the world and make disciples. It is not that ministers and workers are unimportant; indeed they are. But what is the priority? Can a man or a woman truly be a minister or worker on behalf of the Kingdom if they are not a disciple first? Of course not. They can minister and work themselves to death and still be in the flesh, doing many mighty works in the name of Jesus and not know Him at all.

"Few there be that find it." But doesn't everyone know the way by now? Surely multitudes of people will find it? Not at all. The way that leads to Life is narrow, and few there be that find it. Isn't the way Jesus? And doesn't everyone know that? Well, everyone has been told that, and they think they know it, but Jesus as He really is and Jesus as He is commonly taught are two different things.

What is our idea of discipleship? I hear brothers and sisters say, "I have been sitting under the ministry of brother so-and-so for years now." They say this with great pride as if it is something others should be impressed by. I ask them, "How long have you lived with your teacher?" Invariably you discover they do not live with their teacher at all. They simply listen to his sermons in church or on television or on cassette tape or video tape. Furthermore they have no personal relationship with their teacher. In many cases they have never even met in person, much less shared a meal with them.

Be careful of who you "sit under" for you will become just like them, and you will never advance beyond them. Please understand that the Lord did not call us to go forth mentoring and being mentored. A mentor is a synonym for teacher, guide, or counselor. If I am not mistaken (and I am not), the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Guide, and Counselor, not man. This is where so many of us have missed it. We are still looking for man - flesh and blood - to affirm us and tell us what to do. Should we encourage one another? Yes. Should we seek advice and prayers of other brothers and sisters? Absolutely. That does not mean we need a mentor to tell us what to do. Who tells the mentor what to do? His mentor? And who tells the mentor's mentor what to do? You see this can become ridiculous, and it has in fact become that ridiculous in recent years right up until this present time.

There are people out there who are eager and willing to be your mentor, to teach you how to release your "gifts" or find your place in "ministry" or move in the "prophetic" or pastor a large "church". Anyone who is eager to mentor someone doesn't know himself well enough. Anyone seeking a mentor doesn't know the Master well enough. Finding a mentor isn't difficult. The difficult part is understanding that discipleship has nothing to do with finding a mentor or sitting under a teacher. Instead the Bible tells us that we have no need of any man to teach us, for the Anointing (Christ) will teach us all things and will lead us into all truth. A teacher who is teaching in the name of Christ will always teach you away from himself and towards Christ as the Teacher. "Less of me and more of Him." Does your mentor do this? Does your pastor do this? Or do they find ways to keep you dependent upon them and their teaching?

WHO IS YOUR TEACHER?

When the Lord revealed Himself to me I realized that such experiential, intimate knowledge cannot be found in a book, or I would have had it years ago. It cannot be found simply by reading the Bible, or everyone who has a Bible would know the Truth experientially, and we know that is simply not the case. It is a revelation of Truth as a Person, not as a philosophy, and from that day forward I understood that MAN cannot add to it or take away anything from it. That is when I stopped seeking the affirmation or confirmation of man.

I understood then (for the first time) that there is only one Teacher, and I am His disciple. I do not belong to anyone else, and no one else belongs to me. This was not something I would have understood automatically. As a pastor I was used to talking about "my sheep" and "my congregation" and "my church" as if I owned something. But when I discovered that there is One Flock guided by One Shepherd I knew then that I owned no one, and no one owned me. I belonged to Him, and they belonged to Him. What liberty! For me certainly, but more so, for the ones who were formerly "sitting under my teaching." People would come to me to be taught instead of others because they claimed they could not be fed by others, only by me. What a tragedy! Who is your source? Where did the manna come from? Moses? No, "Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the True Bread." When will we look away from Moses the man and towards Christ the Living Bread?

Now I can say (and indeed, "boast" is not too strong of a word here) that my teaching is not my own. It is from Christ, for Christ, and unto Christ as All in All. My boast is that my teaching does not come from a human source. That is not to say that I have not learned much from the likes of Watchman Nee, T-Austin Sparks, and others. I read their writings for years and continue to read them. But what I know I did not learn in a book. I do not read them to discover something new, but to verify something I already know. We have the same Teacher.

What is my point? To boast of myself? Not at all, but to boast of my Teacher! There is no better thing in the world than to have someone ask, "Where did you learn what you know? Who taught you these things?" and for you to respond, "Jesus Christ is my Teacher, and He taught me everything I know." This is discipleship! The Lord told us to call no earthly man "Rabbi" (that is, Teacher) because you only have One Teacher. But how many of us can say that?

Become His disciple. Sit at His feet and hear His Word. There is no other way to learn. You cannot get it from someone else, you must get it from Him. He is Truth.

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

What does it cost to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ? What does one have to give up? There is truly only one thing that must be given up. It is not, and it never has been, a question of giving up friends, family, material possessions, fame and fortune. You can give up all those things, just like the first disciples of the Lord, and still run away and deny Him. Forget the outward things and go right to the heart of the matter. Only one thing is necessary, and if we give up this one thing we are qualified to be disciples of the Lord. What is the one thing? All we have to give up is OUR WAY.

There are two ways, one which seems right, and one which IS right. One is my way, the other is His way.

Yes, if we are willing to give up OUR way then we have, in effect, given up everything. I am thinking of a dear man who pastors a church, but he does it according to his way. Unfortunately he cannot see that he is pastoring according to his way. Not that his way is necessarily bad, because there is a lot of good work in his ministry. But it is not purely the Way of Christ. I do not expect that he will give up his church, or his ministry. The reality is that he will probably never give up his work. The glorious thing is he does not have to give up a single thing, except his own way! If he will but give that up, everything else will take care of itself. The same is true of us.

That is not to say we will keep everything. When we give up our way then we will, in fact, lose quite a bit. We will lose the admiration and appreciation of the world. We will lose the prestige and position we once enjoyed. We may very well lose friends and even members of our family who will not approve of us anymore.

The disciple is not greater than the Master, but it is enough that the disciple be like the Master. The cost is great, but the reward is greater. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.

2001 Chip Brogden
chip@boone.net
Permission granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.

The Path of Brokenness -- A Pilgramage of One

Catherine Brown

During a recent time of waiting on the Lord, I was shown a vision of Jesus journeying barefoot along a dry and dusty road. The path was called "brokenness" and led into the wilderness and was narrow with many jagged stones on it. The Lord instructed me that He was going to release a new level of divine understanding regarding the path of brokenness to His Bride and that we should pay careful attention to His words.

THE PATH OF BROKENNESS PURITY IN HUMILITY

The Lord explained to me that we must each make a personal choice to walk the path of brokenness. There is no other earthly soul who can walk with us; we must walk alone, save for His Grace. What He meant by this is that we cannot rely on another human being to understand the particular path of brokenness the Lord will lead us along - each is unique.

It is not a matter of words, or of intellect or head knowledge ; brokenness is a condition of our heart, and can only be attained through an earnest desire to be holy, and by an experiential transforming of our inner man by the Holy Spirit, who produces in us the fruit of purity and humility of Christ Himself. He is the only One who has walked this Way before. Jesus calls us to embrace the cross and to be co-crucified with Him. On this pilgrimage, the greed in our souls gives way to Grace creating deep gratitude in us that permits the Holy Spirit access to our hearts in order that He might conform us to the image of our Heavenly Father. Rebellion is an affront to the Cross, and in brokenness our illusions of self-grandeur are shattered. In such a place of contrition, our only desire is to serve Him with our lives and to break open our alabaster box of precious ointment and pour out the oil as a love offering on Jesus head, as it was with Mary.

SANCTIFICATION OF OUR SOULS

Jesus' feet were wounded and bled from deep gashes inflicted by the stones that tore at His flesh. I understood that each step along the path of brokenness is a step of sanctification. Just as Christ's flesh was torn with each step, so shall our "flesh" be stripped away along this journey. Flesh represents all that is unholy in our lives i.e. sin that compromises our walk with the Lord. As we learn to follow in Jesus footsteps, our souls are sanctified by the Author and Perfector of our faith. Jesus has shown us by example how to walk in His footsteps His Body was broken for us on the cross of Calvary, now His body (the Church) must be broken (in spirit) to produce in each of us a humble and contrite heart.

What does it mean to be sanctified? It means to be made holy. How are we made holy? We submit to the Lord and allow Him to refine us (remove from our hearts, souls, minds and spirits all that is not of Him). As He does this, we are changed to be like Jesus. The Lord will only ever do this with our permission, and His method is often by walking us through seasons of (fiery) trials. We place our lives as a living sacrifice on the altar of faith, in total submission to His will, and as His fire (Holy Presence) falls, all that is not of God (unholy) is consumed. Our faith is the altar, we are the sacrifice, and the Holiness of God is the fire that changes us to be like Jesus.

God purifies us in this way to make us holy (without sin), creating for Himself pure vessels on which He might pour out His precious anointing. We must choose to give up all our rights to self. Perfect union through submission to the Holy Spirit is the better and most blessed way. The Bride (the church) must give herself wholeheartedly to her Beloved Bridegroom (Jesus).

ROBBERY -- IDOLATRY LEADS TO DEATH

After a short while, a group of bandits fell upon our Lord and savagely beat Him and stole his outer garments. They showed no respect for His majesty, and seemed to be totally oblivious to who He was. They put on the Lord's robes, as though this would somehow endue them with His kingly power. They did not understand that no matter what outer garment they adorned themselves with, that this would not transform their hearts. These robbers represented some in the Body of Christ who walk in a level of power anointing, but who have lost the Truth of their calling. They have become caught up in the outward manifestation of the Lord's power, but have denied their First Love and through greed of their flesh, they have lost the Father's blessing. They have not lost the anointing, but they have lost the Father's blessing. Our prayers should be for their safe return to the One who called them.

ANOINTING NON NECESSARILY TRANSFORMATION

The outer adornment of power does not change the heart. Anointing of itself is not necessarily evidence of this transformation. The Father's blessing is the seal of His approval. Even so, the Father's blessing must not be judged with worldly eyes, for who can be sure whom the Lord has called as His anointed? It is wisdom to learn never to lift a judgmental word against the Lord's anointed.

A true king is recognized by his servant heart. True authority has no need to vindicate itself, or to impose itself, for Kingdom authority is God-given and is based on submission, humility and obedience to Christ. It cares nothing for outward raiment's of power, but concerns itself with relationship far above ruling, finding its fulfillment in the Righteous bosom of Jesus, and not in territory or conquest.

I was shown that those who had used violence against the Kingdom were later destroyed by that same violence. With deep regret, I watched the robbers in the vision tear each other to pieces, as greed and violence consumed their souls. It is God's desire that all should come to repentance, and we must pray in the mercy whilst Mercy might still be found.

"Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits." Ps 73:6,7

WITHERED BLOOMS

My eyes were drawn to many beautiful blooms along the way. Some of these blooms were extremely rare and of the finest quality, yet they had grown beside the roadside and had tragically withered and died before their time. These blooms represented vanity and selfish ambition in the Body of Christ. Those who would raise themselves up in pride, and steal Glory from God will find that their pride will kill them. Self-glorification is but a flicker of a flame that burns and is snuffed out in seconds. The splendor of humility in our souls, is a much more exquisite bloom that burns brightly for all eternity, of inestimable value in the eyes of our Lord and Savior. The Lord will not share His glory with another.

It is not good to eat much honey; so for man to seek glory, their own glory causes suffering and is not glory." Prov 25:27 (Amp)

SEPARATION AND JUDGMENT

I saw others standing by the roadside that threw stones at the Lord, and hurled rocks and shouted abusive insults. These were false accusers and slanderers and represented those in the Body of Christ who were unrighteous judges of anything they could not comprehend.

They were afraid of the Lord's anointed and condemned what they could not understand, deeply grieving the Holy Spirit. Each insult against the Sovereignty of God, and each judgment against the Spirit of Grace are like a spear that pierced their own hearts, condemning them to an eternity of separation from their heavenly Father. I heard their silent screams echo through the ages, and my heart ached.

THE LORD'S SWORD COMING TO THE CHURCH

The Lord is bringing His sword to the Church, to separate the Righteous from the unrighteous. There is a holy separation that must occur in the Church, in order that the Bride will come out of the world and adultery and devote herself wholeheartedly to her Bridegroom. We must learn to embrace the Spirit and nurture our relationship with Him. He will lead us into all Truth, as the Father has promised. We must take great care how we speak and not permit the devil to tempt us to speak against the Spirit of Grace, or against each other, for the Lord will hold us accountable for every careless word. It is in holiness, that the separation shall be complete, and the fruit of this will be humility, purity and unity. It is in humility that the pure in heart will see God.

"They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven and their tongues take possession of the earth."

"How suddenly they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, You will despise them as fantasies." Ps 73:8,9, & 19,20

WILDERNESS - THE PATH OF PERSEVERANCE

The atmosphere of the desert intensified, and the sun beat down relentlessly on Jesus. His aching limbs perspired as He devotedly persevered along the path. Jesus was thirsty. As the Son of Man he thirsted for fellowship with His Father. As the Son of God, He thirsted for fellowship with man. He was tired, parched, desperate and exhausted but still He persevered. There is nothing that can quench the thirst of our souls, save for love and fellowship with our heavenly Father. In the wilderness, our desire for His life-giving water (Spirit) becomes intensified and we seek Him with a new earnestness. Only Jesus can satisfy the longing of our hearts, as we press in for "the more" of God. The wilderness periods are to test our faith ---Our faith must be tested and tried, there is no other way.

THE MINISTRY OF SILENCE

In this way we are purified in humility. We must choose to persevere and not give up. We must realize that our Father has not abandoned us in these times, only that He has stepped back from us momentarily, in order that we will take a step nearer to Him, on our journey of revelation into the Father's Glory. During such seasons His ministry to our hearts may be one of silence. It is not a punishment, but a precursor to a much deeper level of relationship with Christ.

STORMS WILL COME ---INDEED THEY MUST COME

The Lord was further tested when suddenly the seasons changed and a violent storm blew up around Him. Light had turned to thick, unyielding darkness and the wind and rain assaulted Jesus with unrelenting ferocity. He was buffeted and thrown about on the path.

By example, Jesus was teaching me how to survive the storm and how to stand in the storm. Jesus did not lose ground, but stood firm and kept his focus. We, likewise, must learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus through the ups and downs of life. It was during the storm that Peter had the faith to believe Jesus for the miracle of walking on the water. Storms are to strengthen our faith. We must learn to walk in grace (not failure or striving) and to make Godly responses when faced with difficult challenges. We must learn not to be intimidated by circumstances, but rather to intimidate our circumstances in Christ!

Storms will come into our lives, and we must learn to yield to Christ and be strengthened by Him in these times. It is during the storm that a tree learns to bend, and thus submitting to the wind that would seek to destroy it, it does not break, but its very trunk is strengthened, bringing it to maturity as it puts its roots down deep into the soil in which it is planted. So it must be with us as we learn to push in for His presence through the storms of life. Our roots must go deeper in relationship with Christ, and we must take care not to become rigid and inflexible in our attitudes. The Spirit brings forth the Christ fruits in us as we respond in Christ-like manner through trials and tribulations.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." Ps 78:26

MEEKNESS - THE FRUIT OF HUMILITY

The Lord was almost at the end of His journey. I sensed how completely exhausted He was and how He longed for His Father. His brokenness and meekness signaled His victory. Jesus impressed to my heart that in meekness, the pilgrimage along the path of brokenness was made complete, meekness being a beautiful fruit of humility. He helped me to understand that the world will often view meekness as weakness, but that we are not to conform to the world's standards, but to the Father's. It is the Father's joy when we bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Our penitent hearts will bring a harvest of meekness in joyful abandonment to our Father s will.

FROM SUFFERING TO GLORY

Suddenly there was a blinding light and the Glory of God broke through the darkness with startling brilliance. The Radiance of Holiness of the Living God blasted every particle of darkness apart, and in this moment I saw the Father's throne and Jesus being elevated to the Father's right hand. The broken Man of God, the Suffering Servant, now exalted to His rightful place, glorified in all splendor. In the awesome majesty and mercy of God, I was permitted to gaze upon this picture of Loveliness without being destroyed. The Holy Spirit conveyed the divine love of the Trinity to me in wave after wave. I found my spirit was lifted up and carried of in the overwhelming beauty of the unity of the Godhead.

FINALLY COMING TO THE END ---OF OURSELVES

Beloved, it is as we come to the end of ourselves and the death of our wills, that this heralds the beginning of our complete union with God the Father, who desires a profoundly intimate relationship with each of His children. God longs for us to enter and live in His Glory realm, but the only way to enter is along the path of brokenness. Precious child of God, your Father is calling you to "a pilgrimage of one." Will you answer and walk in Jesus footsteps?

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with you counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Ps 73:23-25

Catherine Brown, Scotland
www.shock-waves.co.uk/prayerstorm
catherine@yerton.com

- Join us for a prayer revolution in Scotland 29-31 July 2001, with a day of celebration in Edinburgh on 1 August, 2001.

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