Five-Fold Today Prepare the Way - Increasing Humilty - The Heart of David - Rise Up A Cry - The Mandate of Jesus Christ - Buried Treasure - Tender Days - Scratch My Ears

July 4, 2001

Prepare the Way

George G. Delo

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:15,16).

Paul reiterates his original contention we are not to sin because we are now under grace and not law. He makes it plain here that even though we are free from the power of sin and have the grace to walk in righteousness, we still have the ability to sin. God never removes our free will. We can choose to disobey the Holy Spirit and move back under the law of sin and death.

But Paul makes it clear that the consequences of returning to sin are dire we will be brought under bondage again to that sin which will lead to death. We reap what we sow. The choice is ours. Jesus set us free from the power of sin but like the proverb tells us: "As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly" (Proverbs 26:11). Only a fool would want to return to a life of slavery and death. Once we are set free we are commanded to stand fast in our liberty by living a life of faith in Christ and not to return to the yoke of bondage.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).

Once free we must remain free. Turning back to sin will bring new life to the sin nature and restore its power over our lives. This is why we are exhorted not to give the devil even a foothold. Once you open that door he will take everything he can get. God has given us the grace and power to live in righteousness and truth free from the enemy's power but we must walk in it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4).

We must learn how to possess our vessels in sanctification and honor. This is part of the renewal process of the word of God. Our minds are to be renewed by the word of God and our new man is to be renewed in knowledge. We are to grow in the grace of God and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The righteous are to live by faith. We are to live in abiding, unbroken relationship with the Lord. As we walk in the light we maintain fellowship with the Lord and His blood keeps us clean from all sin and its power. I would suggest that you read Joshua chapter 23 and see how the Israelites were exhorted to live once they were brought into the promised land and had rest from their enemies: adhering to God's word; keeping separate from the world; cleaving to the Lord in love.

It is dangerous to turn back from the Lord after coming into the truth of deliverance. We are warned several times in the scriptures of the seriousness of turning back after being enlightened and tasting of the goodness of God.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)

Paul is talking about those who have truly entered in to the fullness of God those who have received the knowledge of the truth and tasted the heavenly gift and have received the Holy Spirit and have tasted the word and experienced the power of God. He is talking to those who have received the knowledge of truth, not just heard it; those who have been sanctified by the blood of the covenant and the grace of God. There is left no doubt he is talking about saved, sanctified, serious Christians.

When once we have received the truth that sets us free and have experienced the power of God's grace bringing us into the life of Christ, and then we turn back in willful sin becoming slaves once again to the power of darkness, we are putting Jesus to an open shame, trampling Him underfoot, counting the sacrificial blood of the covenant as some common thing, and insulting the Spirit of grace! That's pretty serious. We are basically saying that the sacrifice of Christ was all for nought, that His blood and grace were not good enough for us. In olden times, when an army defeated its enemies, they would take some of the captives and parade them in the streets in cages to humiliate them and to celebrate their victory. When we were crucified with Christ we made a public spectacle of Satan having broken his hold over us and having removed his dominion and power from our lives. But when we turn back to the bondage of sin, we now make a public spectacle of Christ having denied the power of His blood and grace. It is as though Christ is in a cage and Satan is celebrating his victory over us once again.

These scriptures alone ought to show us the power of Christ's atonement and its ability to set us free and enable us to live righteously before God. As we began in Romans 6:15, What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! It is unthinkable to take lightly what the Lord has done for us and continue in a life of sin. His grace is not license to sin but rather the power of God not to sin. Our members are to be instruments of righteousness and truth that reveal the glory of God so that others will see and believe and have life in Jesus Christ.

www.angelfire.com/va2/powerfortoday gdelo@juno.com
gdelo@juno.com

Increasing Humilty

David Howe

Increasing humility - With increasing humility comes increasing spiritual authority.

Most to least - The way down is the way up.

Taking up your cross.

For the way down in the worlds eyes - Is the way up in the eyes of God.

Dead to sin - Alive in Christ - More than conquerors - Obedience better than sacrifice - Worshiping in spirit and truth.

Being like minded - Having the same love One in spirit and purpose - Without selfish ambition or vain conceit - Considering others better than yourself - Welcoming Strangers.

Attitude the same as Christ Jesus Shining as stars - As a city set on a hill.

Servants Commissioned by God - Appointed unto service - Workmen approved by God.

Not lording it over others.

Look at how Paul lived for Christ - Look at his attitude - From the least of the apostles to the chief of sinners - From a Pharisee of Pharisees to freedom in the Word and spirit.

Dave Howe
Wellspring prophetic ministries England.
davehowe@fdn.co.uk

The Heart of David

Don Franklin

Who can feed the hungry? Who can heal the multitudes? Who can prophesy the future: the Nazarene, the Lord of Glory, He who walks on the water, He who holds the winds in his right hand. The seas and the waves obey him. Who can fill the house? What man can fill this place - only God, only God. Cry unto God; cry unto God. "God of Israel, God of David, God of Abraham faithful and true, we call upon God; we call upon God."

It is not through vain repetitious prayer that you shall be heard like the heathen. It is not through hours and hours and hours and even cutting yourself at the altar crying and crying; that is not why you will be heard. But you will be heard for a purity of heart. You will be heard for a right motive. You will be heard when your heart melts with Mine and your soul thirsts for the things that I thirst for, saith the Lord.

When you desire to reach out and bring people in, to heal them and help them and bless them and allow them to become part of your family, then will Heaven hear; then will Heaven move. Then will the God of the Heavens come and fulfill all that you have been crying for. Shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Move with the heart of David. God hears the heart of David. All your vain repetitions bounce off the stone walls of Heaven, but God hears the heart of David and draws nigh unto those who have a broken spirit and a contrite heart, to revive the spirit of the broken one.

Oh, I am the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity whose name is holy and I dwell with those who have a broken and a contrite spirit to revive the spirit of the contrite one. Call on God; call on God; call on God. Call on the God of David who is concerned about the lambs of the flock, who cares about the little ones. Call upon the tenderness, the mercy and the love of God and see the miracle of the Lord.

Don Franklin @ Carpenters Home Church
http://www.carpentershomechurch.net/prophpray.htm

Rise Up A Cry

Carylann Hartley

There shall rise up a cry from My people, not a cry of fear of pain, but a battle cry that will break every stronghold of the enemy. That cry will come forth in a power that you have not seen or heard before. I am preparing My people now for the time is coming soon when you will need to walk in My power and My strength more than you can even imagine.

Learn to do it now! Learn to be strong in Me! Learn to rely on Me and not yourself or others. Learn to hear and obey My voice instantly so that you will not falter or fall in the days ahead but rather be a part of My Army - advancing to smash the enemy and release My people.

Be ready to shout the battle cry that will set the captives free. Prepare and be free yourself. Come to Me and I will set you free!

Chart4God@aol.com

The Mandate of Jesus Christ

Jim Grayson

Why the Mandate?

Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46

As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:7,8

Before we examine the aspects of the mandate Jesus gave the church, it would be beneficial to answer the question of, "Why the mandate? Why did Jesus issue this command to those who follow Him?" I've thought about that a lot over the years. To me, the mandate is the will of God and Jesus always did the will of the Father, as should we. If Jesus was obedient to His will, then it should be the same for us but we have somehow exempted ourselves through the centuries. The mandate was given to the followers of Jesus, all of them, and it remains today. God is so willing to touch His kids that He was and is willing to empower His kids to do so. It takes a life of death to self for this to occur because no one can walk in that sort of power without it. That, in itself, will disqualify most of us. That causes a pain in my heart to think of that but it's true. If we are not walking in that power, it's because we have disqualified ourselves in some way, most likely by being blinded by the enemy to the fact we should have it to begin with. Unbelief and lack of faith is killing us, beloved. It has been for many, many years. We are to be imitators of God in all ways (Ephesians 5:1). We need to understand that and stop lying down so the enemy can kill us.

The mandate exemplifies the power of the Cross of Christ. When the Bible speaks of redemption, it means we have been set free from the law of sin and death. That means the wages of sin which includes bondage, poverty, sickness and even premature death...anything which rears it's unholy head against that which is holy. The enemy has blinded us to this, also, for we only believe we have been set free from sin but we don't believe we have been set free from the effects of sin. Again, this is killing us. If we are intolerant of sin in our lives and in the Body of Christ (we are intolerant, aren't we?), then we should also be intolerant of the effects of sin. How can we go about with such a cavalier attitude toward that which is killing us? How is it we're so blind to the truth, that the mandate of Jesus is the full representation of the Love of God. Look at these verses of Scripture.

God is love. 1 John 4:16
Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8

God is Love, my friends, and Love never, ever fails. One of the reasons we have not seen the full manifestation of the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit in our midst is we have not become fully convinced of the absolute love of God. We say God loves us with a love we cannot comprehend but then we say it's His will for us to be sick and in bondage. What on earth is wrong with us? Until we come to the realization that God wants, greatly desires, to bless us, heal us, make us prosper and set us free, we will never walk in the mandate of Jesus...never. We'll stay just like we are, making excuses for our lack of faith and understanding of the Scriptures which are supposed to teach us the ways of God, the heart of God. Until we begin to think with the mind of Christ, which is in every believer, we'll stay where we are and continue to lack enough to help others, be in bondage, be sick and die in agony. Until we agree with the mandate, that it is God's will to save, heal, deliver and raise the dead, we'll continue to believe the lies set forth by the enemy and by a lot of the leadership of the church. They have presented a faith based on the past, not on the Word of God and it's to their shame they have done so. Much of this was born centuries ago from the harlot church of Rome. She will get her reward for the damage she has done to God's people. That's God's promise.

The mandate is the love of God expressed to His kids on this earth. He wants not only to save us and give us a Home in Heaven when we leave here but He also wants to set us free, so we can set others free. How can we set others free if we are in bondage ourselves? Can blind guides lead the blind? They couldn't in the times of Jesus and they still can't today. They have done much right but have done much to damage the image of a Holy, Righteous and Loving Father God. It's time to set the record straight for in doing so, we will prepare the Bride for the return of the soon coming Kingly Groom. It must be done. Dare we to break out of the hellish patterns of our old beliefs to accept the truth of God? I think so. We must.

I love you, beloved of God. You have my heart. Write me any time. I'd love to hear from you for I, too, have much to learn.

Strength and Honor,
Hail the Lamb!
Love,
Jim Grayson

AFresheningWind@aol.com
Lexington, Kentucky USA
afresheningwind@AOL.com

Buried Treasure

Dan Durfee

I see a large ship, setting out to sea. It is like one of the old sailing ships of the early-mid 1800s, with many sails, and very large. Picture it if you can. See the wooden structure, see the many sails, listen for the strong breeze. It has no engine, of course. It rides upon the wind. The captain has learned how to catch the best gusts, and has become an expert of both the sea and the sky. The flag it flies is brilliant and distinct. It has a bright red cross, on a pure white background. It has a crest that means "kind but uncompromising." It sails the waves, and it's captain uses no written charts but one, and he follows it from within.

This day, like most, he comes suddenly upon the remains of another vessel, destroyed by the wind and waves. All that is left on the surface of the sea are planks and parts, to which the surviving crew cling for life. This one had an enormous explosion of some kind, and there is smoke, and oil, and panic everywhere.

The captain of the sailing ship sees the crew holding on to fragments of the ship and hears their cries for rescue. He directs his vessel toward the survivors and begins to help them onto his ship. Remarkably, some refuse his rescue. Some will not let go of the pieces of what is left of their own ship, even though it will no longer carry them anywhere, and even though the pieces they cling to are sinking from being water logged. Others see the flag and become angry; they will not submit to the captain of THIS ship. "Go away," they declare! The captain weeps, and moves away; he knows he can only pick up those who are willing to board. Sadly, many decide to stay in the water, and many will drown and die there. But many, "desperate as only the drowning can be," let go of their pieces of ship, and swim to the large rescue vessel. Gladly they come on board, and happy they are to be rescued. They are unusually grateful for the captain's help, and dedicate their life to him. "Can we now be your crew and help?" Some, however, simply want to get to land, and change their minds about helping, once they are there. They have not seen that God has made them for the sea, and cannot live long on the land. Even though the captain knows this, he must let them go, too. Many stay with him, however, and they take many voyages together. Their rescues are great. One time, they come upon what is left of a ship, it's cargo, and crew, thrown overboard left for dead, by a band of marauding pirates. For the most part, they find many ships that simply were not built for the wind and the waves of the seas in this particular time. The builders of these ships, constructed vessels with designs made for an earlier time. They will not last in this one.

Eventually, many faithful crew members are trained, and given their own ships to sail. "Remember," says the captain. "You can only stay afloat in the seas we sail, if you fly the flag of your destiny, and refuse not anyone who would be rescued." Happily, the ones he has trained believe, and not one he has given his wisdom, love, and care fail in their mission. They, like him, will give their lives for the lost. "Putting yourself at risk is the very nature and heart of the Great Captain," he tells them. "Those in the sea are not here for us; we are here for them. Are you willing,?" he asks them at their commencement and release. All say, "yes."

"One final matter," he reminds them, "and this is most critical. Though you are not made for the land, you must return to the land and replenish your stores. Do not forget! Even in all of your rescuing, you must remember that you can only carry the provisional limits of your ship. And your crew needs rest and solitude as well. A good captain never forgets. For we were all once in the sea ourselves."

In returning and rest you shall be saved (delivered, rescued); in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Isa. 30.15

dandurfee1@netscape.net

Tender Days

Ray Mossie

I had a dream two nights ago that I was doing ministry and every word, even the simplest expression, I spoke had great power and miracles, signs and wonders followed. It seemed unusual, as this is certainly not the case currently in the natural. However, it was all God and I was amazed. In the dream, the devil was absolutely beside himself with anger. He released the hordes of hell against me in an attempt to kill me and shut me up. However, there was a great army of angels, which God had positioned around me so that nothing could touch me. These guardian angels went with me everywhere. When I awoke, I was excited and felt very refreshed. Then today when I awoke, the Lord spoke to me. He said.

"Do not pack a bag and leave yet, for the tender days are coming."

I asked, "What are the 'tender days' my Lord?"

He said.

The tender days are days when there will be a great out pouring of My Spirit as has never, ever been seen before. It will be a time of great rejoicing for My people, says the Lord.but, it will be a time of great trouble for My enemies. The time is coming, says the Lord, when I will bring in My Shekinah, (sp?) Glory into your temples and you will find that things that were impossible will come to pass instantly. You will move mountains with your words, says the Lord. Keep in mind that you must be obedient to the unction and calling of My Spirit, says the Lord. I AM calling the high priests of My family into action. You will take cities by storm with only your words, and My power, says the Lord. Come into My presence now and call forth a might army of My angels to do my bidding. Don't any longer settle for second place. Come sup with Me, and dine at My table that I have prepared for you. For have I not said in My word that I have prepared a place for you? Now go and walk that fine line between righteousness & truth, and death & evil, for I have made a path for you, narrow and straight. Come to Me now for the time is ripe, the harvest is near. You needn't fear any longer the works of the evil one, for I have taken care of him. He is no longer a threat to you. Don't give up hope, but give in to My glory and wait on Me, for I will send you forth in honor among men. No longer will you play second fiddle. You will keep the precious ones safe with your words of wisdom. Keep working; keep moving ahead, time is short. Come into My purposes now. Don't delay any longer. Come to Me now, says the Lord of hosts. Amen. Ezekiel Chapter 5 and Chapters 28-29.

nicmond@hotmail.com

Scratch My Ears

By Chuck McLean

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. --2 Timothy 4:2-5

In recent weeks, I have become more and more aware of the truth of Paul's warning to Timothy. Growing up, I was taught that people who would not "endure sound doctrine" were people who didn't want to hear the Bible any more. But many of the folks I see today who will not endure sound doctrine are avid Bible readers and religious TV viewers. They are attending all the conferences, filling notebooks full of sermon notes. They are some of the most religious people I know.

Some have become quasi-experts in Jewish tradition. They are observing the feasts and wearing yarmulkes and prayer shawls. They follow after rabbis and eschew the name "Jesus" for the more Hebraic "Yeshua". There are rapidly-growing cadres of kosher charismatics and wannabe Israelites.

Others have become end-time prophecy wizards. They follow Israeli current events in the newspaper as Holy Writ. They chart the current geopolitical winds, divining Israel's past and present to find the American Christian's place in the Last Days. They measure every rising world leader to ferret out the Antichrist.

Then, there are the new "Freedom Riders" who have shaken off the shackles of their religious past to such an extent that their freedom is their new Promised Land. These are the modern Corinthians: so free and open-minded that even gross sin and heresy are simply marks of shedding religious bondage.

So, what am I on my soapbox about? It is about Paul's idea of "enduring sound doctrine". I am seeing so many today whose endurance is running out, causing them to become sidetracked on their spiritual journey. For to "endure" sound doctrine is to bear up under the changes in our lives and in our hearts that come with the formation of the character of Christ. It is to remain still as the truth re-forms us in Christ's image. And make no mistake, there is endurance involved.

Paul tells Timothy to "correct, rebuke, and encourage; with great patience and careful instruction". But this is not always a pleasant process. Who wants to be corrected and rebuked? Who wants their ideas or interpretations challenged? Who wants their life examined and the unregenerate parts brought to light? No chastisement is pleasant at the time, and many have decided that they no longer wish to endure it.

But Paul does not warn Timothy that these folks will drop their Christian identity and go back to the world. In fact, the opposite phenomenon takes place. They get more religious yet. They get more teachers, more sermons, more books and tapes. Rather than have the character of Christ formed in them, they seek to gain sufficient "spiritual" or "mystical" knowledge that such a thing as crucifying the flesh becomes a distant memory. They seek advancement in the Kingdom by the acquisition of mysteries. They have "itching ears", the desire to hear just one more piece of information that will bring them spiritual stature.

Enter the teachers, the knowledge vendors, the hawkers of "hidden revelations". Highly in demand, they generally ply their trade at long distance, far from personal accountability. These teachers proudly display their resumes in order to establish their credibility, telling of the organizations they have built or the degrees they have earned. Christians gather their books and tapes by the carload, but know almost nothing of the character of these men on a personal basis. (When the King James Version says "they will 'heap' to themselves teachers", I can't help but visualize a heap of books and tapes.)

The stock and trade of such teachers is "hidden" knowledge. The simplicity of the Gospel is scorned and replaced by ethereal mysteries. "If they only knew what I have discovered, then they would understand the mind of God." "If only other men had what I have (my wisdom, dreams, visions, PhD in Attic Greek, Jewish bloodlines, etc.) what spiritual giants they would be!" And Christians flock to this, as they have since the first century, hoping to draw near to God by their knowledge rather than by the ongoing work of Christ. It is far easier to learn "new things" than it is to be crucified and remade in the likeness of the Son of God.

Such soulish desires lead to the next stage of Paul's warning, that these men "will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths". This is not an intentional step, but a mark of the inherent deception in the process. No one consciously decides, "Enough of this reality, I'm going to Fantasyland for the rest of my life!" But they do indeed take that path.

It is the seduction of Eve all over again, only with new music and choreography. Satan, although he is the Father of Lies, has a limited repertoire. That is, he knows only a few deceptive tunes, which he dusts off and rearranges for every new generation of men. The folly of knowledge that turns men from truth to myths is directly from the Garden of Eden. Here's a replay of one of Satan's Golden Oldies:

"Dear, dear Eve! All you do all day is take care of this silly garden. Don't you ever get tired of being second banana to that clod Adam? If you only had that added revelation, that God-knowledge, you would be somebody! The only thing that stands between being like you and being like God is that special secret knowledge! It's hanging there on that big green tree. Don't you want it? I know God's been withholding it from you, but I have access to it. Let me pick one for you. Just take a big bite of this juicy mystery knowledge. Tastes good, hmm? Opens your eyes, doesn't it? You know things God knows, like good and evil. See, you're already wiser than anyone you know. Well, wiser than anyone except me... your friend, the serpent. Why don't you see if Adam wants a bite?"

The modern parallel is easily seen. Men seek someone to improve their minds, rather than change their hearts. We seek to be like God by our knowledge, rather than to know Christ through his sufferings. And there are always men available to guide us in this path. It is the man-road to godhood... and it leads to death. Always has, always will. If you see these things, please understand the next encouragement Paul gives Timothy. "Keep your head in all things, endure hardship..." When you face off with the mystery sellers, you will find that what they are offering is much more attractive to the carnal man than is "take up your cross and follow Me". You will see deceptions from the most blatant to the most subtle. You will find real Christians swallowing real myths hook, line, and sinker. Keep your head. God is not panicked, nor does he write off his children. Speak the truth in love and intercede faithfully for the brothers.

Be prepared to endure hardship. The fundamentals of Christianity will become foolishness to some, and you will be called a fool for choosing it over certain "new revelations". You may lose your accustomed influence. You may be considered old-fashioned or backward if you hang on to the simple truth of God's word. But that is of no consequence. God will give you the grace to walk without judgment, neither judging nor being subject to.

Chuck McLean
chuckmclean@cox-internet.com

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