Archive | October, 2013

Quote: Thinking From the Throne

29 Oct

 

God is inviting us into Biblical Throne-room thinking
When Jesus raised from the dead He didn’t do it FOR you, He did it AS you.
You can have a million dollars in the bank and still starve?
We must learn to tap into our inheritance
Faith explores what revelation provides
You can’t enjoy what you haven’t explored
God wants to re-illustrate who this Jesus is… through us.
God’s intention is that we would re-present Jesus in the earth
Col 3:1-4 You’re dead (to earthly things). Stop acting like you’re not dead
Set your mind on where you are now!!!
‘Heavenly places’ is NOW our home… everything else is a field trip.
Abiding in this ASCENDED life is the invitation to every believer.
The Lord’s prayer: Recreate Heaven’s culture ON earth
It’s a lot easier to ASK… rather than to begin to learn to RULE.
Rulership – Biblical definition: rule over to protect and come under to empower.
When you’ve tasted of supernatural supply you’ve lost the right to begin any thought process with what you don’t have.
Usually, we live under the kingdom that we think the most about.
Many people try to earn what He’s already paid for… forgiveness, sickness, provision…
He died AS you and me!!! It has ALL been paid for.
The mind is a better follower than a teacher… It was made to follow our spirit man.
The Lord is longing to live on earth again, through yielded people who re-present Him without defiling or compromising the inheritance He’s given them.
Rms 5:17 “Reign in life” means there is nothing that comes against you in life that you don’t have authority over.

by Bill Johnson – Bethel Church (from Sunday AM sermon – 6/9/13)

For free weekly downloadable podcasts from Bethel Church: www.ibethel.org

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Defanging The Law of Jante

22 Oct

Satan has always been the accuser of the brethren.  He has never wanted anyone to be “more than a conqueror”… or to excel, unless it serves his ‘lower’ purpose of hate… hate for God and hate for humans.  If at all possible, he’d love to keep us in such a ‘dumbed-down’ state that not only is our own growth stunted, but that we would become ‘police’ to prevent the growth of others.  It doesn’t take much foresight to see that this produces a vicious circle where the enforcers become the people who are oppressed by it.

It works like this: When someone excels, insecure people begin to feel uncomfortable with the disruption in the status quo… the betterment that one person experiences becomes an indictment to the one who hasn’t changed.  They may wish they had the courage or ability to change… but as an alternative to ‘kicking into gear’ and doing something about their status quo, they salve their insecurity-discomfort by inflicting some sort of warning shot ‘over the bow’ of the excel-er.  Then when the ‘police-er’ missteps in some manner, the same warning shot gets returned to corral him back in line.

James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Aren’t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you?” (God’s Word version)

It requires Heaven’s help to break free when these mindsets and actions are deeply ingrained and broadly practiced.  Any person or society that embraces this mentality effectively stops their further growth or healthy change.  That society (or individual) begins to stagnate and become ingrown… and the first death-knell can be heard.

Now, I wonder who would originate such an atrocity upon a person or society?  Can you say – the devil.

Case in point:  I recently revisited the subject of Janteloven with a Norwegian friend who not only affirmed its presence in their culture, but its diabolic nature and impact on their people.  Janteloven, or The law of Jante (pronounced yente) is seldom spoken about but widely practiced in the Scandanavian countries.  It works as a policing system so that if anyone should attempt to excel in the society they are immediately met with this:

The law of Jante ’10 commandments’

1.    Thou shalt not believe thou art something.
2.    Thou shalt not believe thou art as good as we.
3.    Thou shalt not believe thou art more wise than we.
4.    Thou shalt not fancy thyself better than we.
5.    Thou shalt not believe thou knowest more than we.
6.    Thou shalt not believe thou art greater than we.
7.    Thou shalt not believe thou amountest to anything.
8.    Thou shalt not laugh at us.
9.    Thou shalt not believe that anyone is concerned with thee.
10.  Thou shalt not believe thou canst teach us anything.

and sometimes an 11th one is added, if necessary, as a warning…

11. Maybe you don’t think I know a few things about you?

How’s that for encouragement!  If a person’s own failures aren’t enough discouragement, then living under this oppressiveness would certainly finish you off.  These heart-killing beliefs are embodiments of the devil’s mission to “rob, kill and destroy” any courage or incentive one may have.  Just like Adam and Eve, many have unwittingly (at least initially) succumbed to this ‘ministry of condemnation and accusation’… or worse yet become instruments of its propagation.

But thanks be to God who sent Jesus to set the captives free!!!

Grace sets us free from the “law of sin and death” (Rms 8:2)… and from the “ministry of condemnation” (II Cor 3:9).  Grace is God’s answer to the enemy’s barrage of accusation.  We quickly acknowledge our failings, and just as quickly reaffirm our righteousness in Jesus.  Righteousness through Grace lifts us up above the fray… up above our own negative self-introspection… up above the devil’s ministry of condemnation.  We must “set our affections on things above, not on things of this earth” (Col 3:2), where Christ (and we) sit at the right hand of God.

So let it be known that we now hereby present these upgraded perspectives and truths which directly trump the devil’s condemnation. (Each one is a superior truth to overcome the lies of Jante.)

Grace’s 10 hope-filled truths

1.     You are the righteousness of God in Christ
2.     You are the apple of God’s eye
3.     You have the mind of Christ
4.     You’ve been given all things freely to enjoy
5.     The Anointing teaches you all things
6.     You are more than a conqueror
7.     God’s plans hope and a good future for you
8.     Your gentleness will be evident to all
9.     Kings will come to the brightness of your rising
10.   The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom

and for extra measure…

11.   No weapon formed against you will prosper

Be encouraged: Jesus loves you dearly and has empowered you to live well above the devil’s lies.  You are a winner!!!

— MLH

Main Street Grace – Pt 1

21 Oct

Without a doubt, Grace is making it’s unavoidable entrance into mainstream consciousness and dialog.  We’re at the door of a brand new Age and discovering that Grace is the ‘key’ that unlocks the door.  We must deal with Grace.

Lest we have a knee jerk reaction to the subject of Grace, we must realize that it is very much Biblical; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17).   Grace is actually the very bedrock upon which our New Testament salvation is established.  There is no salvation apart from Grace; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8, 9).  So deal with it, we must.

Note: There are ages and there are greater riches of Grace, as declared in Eph 2:7, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace…”  Fortunately, Grace is imposing itself upon us in this Age.  In fact, the face of Christianity is changing so radically that if we don’t move with the changes, our old mindset will shackle and tether us to the past Age.

Most believers would have to agree that our belief systems have been seriously tweaked in the last 5 or so years.  But if we’ve changed this radically in such a short time, what we will believe in 5 years from now?  I’m pretty sure that if we knew, we would likely call it heresy. (If that statement rattles us, consider what you believe now as compared to what you believed just a few years ago.)  Christianity is truly changing inside and out.  I believe that one of the central changes is that we’ll discover that God is much better than we ever thought.  His un… I mean, SO-believable love for us is going to transcend our heretofore highest theology and beliefs.

These radical changes will not be without growing stress and strain… and even, trauma on the body of Christ.  Just look at all the major dispensational changes throughout Biblical and modern history.  Each time, there were schisms and ‘jihads’ of all kinds.  In fact, in Matt 10:34 Jesus Himself said “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword….” and of course the “sword” is a metaphor for theological and ideological conflict.  Bill Johnson has said for most of 10 years, “The next huge controversy in the body of Christ is going to be over how good God is.”  And I don’t know any subject that highlights the goodness of God more than, His Grace.

Both sides of Grace want to include their pet doctrinal positions into the mainstream of Grace thinking.  And to be fair, both sides are establishing their positions on Biblical passages with ‘special’ verses.  Unfortunately, those opposing positions use Scriptures which seem to conflict with one another.  What we have to know is that those verses can’t possibly conflict… because they are in the inerrant Word of God.  So obviously, any conflict must be in the interpretation.  Thus the current hub-bub in the dialog over Grace.  

Here’s a little graphic to explain my take on what’s happening.  Imagine that on a frequently recurring trip you drive through a city whose name and main street you know quite well, but you are unfamiliar with the side streets and subdivisions on both sides.  Our current mission is to discover whether the side streets are going to be a part of our journey on ‘Main Street Grace’… or whether those side streets must be left to the ‘locals’.  

——–_________—–Liberal ‘side streets’
___|______Sin freely ________|__No hell_______
___|________Universalism ____|__Ultimate reconciliation_
___|_______Inclusionism_____|____________
___|_____________________|
___|_____________________|
=================================================
Main Street – Grace
=================================================
___|_____________________|
___|_____________________|
___|________Holiness – fast___|__Spiritual disciplines___
___|_______Laws – works ____|__Days of wk, dietary, etc___
___|_______Messianic _______|__ Jewish observances___
___________Conservative ‘side streets’

As we can easily see (and sometimes it’s painfully obvious) the encampments are entrenching themselves on both sides of Grace.  So what we must now come to terms with is the accurate Biblical definition of Grace.  What does Grace include and what does it not include?  How do the peripherals relate (or not relate) to Main Street Grace.  On-going dialog, cross-checking, writing and reading blogs (and the rebuttal comments) will help insure that we don’t get trapped in a tangent or in error.  In fact, I think it may take 5 – 10 years of dialog to let the dust settle, identify and define the Main Street of Grace… what it includes and what it doesn’t include.  Let’s just hope for as little collateral damage as possible.  But Christianity is changing and we must do due diligence to find out how God is changing.

Most humans don’t like change.  It scares us because we’ve let our god be our comfort and predictability.  We’ve become creatures of habit, thus change is our enemy.  And besides, most of our friends believe the same way that I do… and I’ve surround myself with like minded folks.  So I feel safe and happy.  If there is a disturbance ‘in the force’, then I get uncomfortable and rattled… and maybe even defensive.  And if I’m not careful I might lob a volley of mortar shells over to the other side…   O, my!

It is incumbent upon all believers to walk in unity as much as possible.  Some won’t, I know.  Fighters live and love to fight… cowards run and hide.  But Eph 4:3 declares, “Strive to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  This must be our fall-back position as we explore the implications and definitions of Grace.  We must keep the main things, the main things.  We don’t have to agree on the peripheral things… after all, the peripheral things are not essential to ‘being in the family of God’.  So keep your love on!

Happy exploring in the riches of Main Street Grace in this emerging Age!

–MLH

See Main Street Grace – Pt 2

Quote: Behold the Glory of Jesus In You

18 Oct

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  – II Cor 3:18 

When you look in a mirror, what do you see?  Of course, you see yourself.  But God does not want you to see yourself in the natural.  You may be sick, weak, broke and depressed, yet God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you—healed, strong, favored and whole because Christ is in you. (Colossians 1:27)

God wants you to behold as in a mirror the glory of His Son who is in you by His Spirit.  As you do this, His Word says that you are being transformed from glory to glory—sick to healed, loser to winner!

The world may say to you, “It can’t be that easy.  You can’t be transformed just by beholding the glory of Jesus.  No, you must do something about you.  If you don’t put in effort, nothing will happen.  If you don’t start making changes, nothing will change.”

But the world will never understand that as you are beholding the glory of the Lord, who is the successful one in you, you are being transformed from a failure to a success.  And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to get ahead in life, but by the Spirit of the Lord! (Zechariah 4:6)

As you behold the glory of the Lord who is the healthy one in your sick body, you are transformed from sickness to health.  And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to keep fit and eat well, but by the Spirit of the Lord!

My friend, what can be easier than beholding the beauty of the Son?  So stop focusing on yourself and your efforts.  Look away from these things and begin to behold the glory of Jesus who is in you right now, and you will begin to behold the miracles that you need!

From Joseph Prince – Daily Grace Inspirations  (10/17/13)

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I Will Worship My Sin No Longer!

18 Oct

I will not worship my sin any longer.  For too long sin has required my attention, my energy and my sin management.  In fact it has demanded that my very identity be established by it… (e.g. if I sin then I must not be righteous).  I have naively and gullibly bowed the knee too long to a liar and a thief.  No more worship of my sin!!  My identity will be established upon what Jesus did for me and what he declares over me… I am righteous, perfect, complete, ascended, etc…  I will worship Him only!!

–MLH

Quote: Watchman Nee’s Radical Grace

14 Oct

12 Grace quotes from Watchman Nee’s book: ‘The Normal Christian Life’

1. “Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God.  God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me: that is law.  Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.” (pp.155-6)

2. “So we can say, reverently, that God never gave us the Law to keep: he gave us the Law to break!  He well knew that we could not keep it.” (p.158)

3. “The Law requires much, but offers no help in the carrying out of its requirements.  The Lord Jesus requires just as much, yea even more (Matt. 5:21-48), but what he requires from us he himself carries out in us.  The law makes demands and leaves us helpless to fulfill them; Christ makes demands, but he himself fulfills in us the very demands he makes.” (p.161)

4. “What does it mean in everyday life to be delivered from the Law? At risk of a little overstatement I reply: It means that henceforth I am going to do nothing whatever for God; I am never again going to try to please Him.  ‘What a doctrine!’ you exclaim.  ‘What awful heresy! You cannot possibly mean that!’  But remember, if I try to please God ‘in the flesh,’ then immediately I place myself under the Law.” (p.164)

5. “God’s requirements have not altered, but we are not the ones to meet them.  Praise God, he is the Lawgiver on the Throne, and he is the Lawkeeper in my heart.  He who gave the Law, himself keeps it.” (p.166)

6. “Though the Law in itself is all right, it will be all wrong if it is applied to the wrong person.  The ‘wretched man’ of Romans 7 tried to meet the claims of God’s law himself, and that was the cause of his trouble.  The repeated use of the word ‘I’ in this chapter gives the clue to the failure.” (p.169)

7. “We think of the Christian life as a ‘changed life’ but it is not that. What God offers us is an ‘exchanged life,’ a ‘substituted life,’ and Christ is our Substitute within.” (p.180)

8. “From start to finish, he is the One who does it all.” (p.172)

9. “It does not matter what your personal deficiency, or whether it be a hundred and one different things, God has always one sufficient answer, His Son Jesus Christ, and he is the answer to every need.” (p.182-3)

10. “Many Christians endeavor to drive themselves by will-power, and then think the Christian life a most exhausting and bitter one.” (p.189)

11. “God must bring us to a point – I cannot tell you how it will be, but he will do it – where, through a deep and dark experience, our natural power is touched and fundamentally weakened, so that we no longer dare trust ourselves… At length there comes a time when we no longer ‘like’ to do Christian work – indeed we almost dread to do things in the Lord’s Name.  But then at last it is that he can begin to use us.” (p.261)

12. “We have spoken of trying and trusting, and the difference between the two.  Believe me, it is the difference between heaven and hell.” (p.183)

Taken from Paul Ellis’ blog, Escape To Reality  (1/2/11)

‘The Normal Christian Life’  by Watchman Nee can be found here on Amazon

Quote: Grace in Brief

11 Oct

“You have been raised to new life. This is not more of the same; it is brand new zoe-life. Christ is your life” – (Col 3:4)

The grace cure is greater than the disease.  One sin cell infected the entire human race with the fatal condition of sinfulness; grace not only cures us it inoculates us against re-infection.  We have been made new.  We have been rewired to resist sin and please the Father. Grace doesn’t just remove all traces of past sins, it empowers us to sin no more!  Grace is both favor and divine influence through the Holy Spirit.  We’re not just freed captives; we’re kings and priests called to reign with Him.  This is not some reference to the hereafter for Paul says we will “reign in life” (v.17) meaning here and now.  Through the power of the Spirit we can reign over forms of death such as sickness and all the things that lead to sickness (e.g., bitterness, unforgiveness).  We are no longer victims; we are more than conquerors through Him who called us.

Jesus has not returned us to the Garden, He has taken us to heaven (Eph 2:6)!  From the position of rest we rule and reign with Him here on earth. – by Paul Ellis

From GraceQuotes.com  (Oct 4, 2013)

Adapted from Last Adam’s Greater Work (2012)

(The above brief lines sum up the hottest topics that I currently enjoy speaking about. – MLH)