Archive | May, 2016

What if: You don’t have to die?

27 May

As a teen I loved science fiction.  I loved to think of possibilities beyond the norm.  So I’m naturally intrigued with this subject… but this possibility seems to be more than a science fiction adventure.

Question: Did Jesus lift off ALL the curse from us?  Or just part of the curse?  Does some of the removal of the curse have to wait for some date in the future in order for us to avail it?  And just so we know what we’re referring to, here are some of the consequences Adam experienced (Gen 3:16-24).

You die – because you ate of the wrong tree
Women – husband shall rule over you
Pain in childbirth
Ground is cursed
You shall till the ground
By sweat of your brow
Among thorns and thistles
Till you return to the ground – die
Driven from the Garden of Eden

Again, we believe Jesus came and lifted off the curse, but now that we’re getting down to the nitty gritty, we may question whether it applies to ALL of the curse.  So, is the lifting off of the curse determined by future sovereign timings, or the conditional actions of man, or ???

So next question: Do we have evidence that any practical aspects of the curse have been lifted off in our modern day?  I think we can find a few

Childbirth pain – I have a Christian friend who has had 11 short & painless home births.  There are several books published by women who have pioneered similar beachheads of faith and experience.
Women under rule – The world’s reversal version is called ‘women’s lib’.  God’s reversal version/pre-Fall helpmate status in Christian marriage.
Cursed ground – Watch the Transformations videos by George Otis, to see convincing documented proof of redeemed land, sea and creation.  The earth responds favorably to righteous rule (Rms 8:19).
Sweat/work – Some have established track records of supernatural provision and those new beachheads of faith are being successfully exported to others.

So some of what we thought were immutable consequences of the curse, are actually reversible and redeemable.  Hmmmm.

OK, then what about death?  Does a man have to die (heart stop beating)?  If death is arguably the most serious consequence of the curse, then was Jesus’ work on the cross significant enough to conquer the sentence of death for all of us.  If we can determine it so, we would have ‘legal footing’ to create a beachhead of faith to overcome deaLiveForeverth.

We know that death is the “last enemy” – I Cor 15:26.  That implies that there is a time when death will be no more.  Are we waiting for a sovereign timing in the future… or has that work already been done on the cross when Jesus said, “It is finished”?  Is He just waiting for daring believers to defy the status quo charade that death has held over us since Jesus?

And just to prove that it is possible to not die; for the record, there were at least two men in OT Scripture who never had to experience death – Enoch and Elijah.  But, almost automatically Hebrews 9:27 will pop into our minds (“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”) as a proof text that we must die.  But, if we take this literally, what shall we do with Enoch and Elijah who didn’t die… and the people who have died 2 or 3 times, after being resurrected from the dead?  And what about our theology that says we’ve already died with Christ?  Does that satisfy the Adamic death sentence over you and me?

Since we know that there are some victories over the curse, let’s look at other spiritual breakthroughs in the last few centuries.

Rediscovery of: “the just shall live by faith” – 1517
Mass baptism of the Holy Spirit – 1905 approx.
Assurance of salvation by faith… not by works or travailing – 19xxs
Healing by ‘faith healers’ only — 40-50s
Prophets/Evangelists can give words of knowledge – 50-60s
Teachers made the Word come alive – 70s
Everyone can heal – 80s
Everyone can prophesy – 80-90s
Apostles reemerge in the earth – 90s
Supernatural provision available – 2000s
Church begins focusing outside of the building – 2000s
Upgrades in theology…

God’s identity is better than we thought – 2010s
Our identity is improving in our own eyes – 2010s

Seeing this, I’m sure we can expect that many more status quos will be broken.  Many of these (above) were and still are, staggering breakthroughs of faith which have revolutionized large sectors of the body of Christ!  Indeed, a few walked in these breakthroughs before they become available on a wholesale basis.  But some desperate pioneers paid the cost to make a discovery, herald that discovery… and release that position of faith to the globe for wholesale outpouring… thus changing the world.  So, big paradigms and status quos do get broken.

Now, back to death… let’s look at Adam before the Fall.  Did he have to die before the Fall?

“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” – Gen 3:22-24

“Returning to the dust” can mean only physical death.  There would be no point to this aspect of the curse unless there was the possibility of no physical death before.  All Adam and Eve had to do was eat of the Tree of Life in order to live forever in their natural body, so God had to drive them from the Garden.   

Ok, so are there other Scriptures to fan the flames of our quest?  Take a look at these passages.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.  And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26

O death where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?  For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Cor 15:56-57

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. – John 5: 24

Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. – John 6:47

This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. – John 6:50

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  – John 6:51

This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever. – John 6:57-58

Truly, truly, I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death. – John 8:51

Do we have to relegate these to only ethereal spiritual-realm applications?  Although some of these passages can and should be applied to escaping spiritual soul death, some of the language seems to give credence to overcoming physical death.  Is God waiting for someone(s) to mine His heart and His word to find faith to overcome death?  Is defying death ‘legally’ available in God’s heart for us?   OK, let’s try another approach.

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This happy man needs a drink of Ps 103:5 & 42:11

… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Ps 103:5

Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed… For my people will live as long as trees.– Isa 65:20, 22

So not only did men live longer in early Biblical history, but this passage clearly states that somewhere in the future men will again live longer… much longer.  And if they live longer… could that mean they may not have to die at all?

Is it possible that this ‘mountain’ of a giant has illegally squatted on God’s people for way too long and is about to get “removed and cast into the sea”?  The pioneer in me wants to conquer this ‘mountain’ just like every other mountain I’ve ever seen in the natural!  My pioneer blood is pumping now!  

So what if we don’t have to die?  Which one of us is going to be the first to conquer this mountain?

OK, that’s all the fun I can handle for now.  🙂

— MLH

Published at: http://wp.me/p23r7p-Gb

For another inspired voice on this subject, listen to Justin Abraham in this 1 hour audio entitled: Life and Immortality

Interview Audio – Worship and team dynamics

27 May

Impact Harvest Church (Monrovia, CA) and Impact Music Studios (Jack Lee and Annie Wang-pastors) are a vibrant group of mostly young and artsy Asians with whom we’ve become very fond… to the point of spiritual family.  Some of our best corporate spiritual encounters have happened while with this group.  They love worship and aspire to cultivate a Presence driven culture in their gatherings which spills out into the streets and marketplace with Treasure Hunts, dream interpretations, healing and prayer tents, etc.  Many powerful testimonies and unforgettable God-times endear our hearts to this very special group.

In May 2016, they asked me to share on several topics related to worship and worship teams.  The worship inspired listener will be the most likely to enjoy this approximately 50 minute interview.

–MLH

Impact interview

Isaac Hu & Mika Lei


SP True Stories: Someone slipped me a check

17 May

20160515_184522The wood fence in my back yard kept falling over because it was so old and rotten.  I had put it off for so long that it was kind of embarrassing.  So I started on the fence one morning and during the day I wondered what kind of story I would be able to tell about how God provided for this project.  It was going to cost about $500. 

The same evening that I started the fence I was attending a prayer meeting when someone slipped me a $500 check… and they didn’t even know about my fence project. 

What can I say… my God is SO GOOD!

MH/MO

SP True Stories: Boss went to bat for me

12 May

 

I have been filling in at work from time to time when they needed someone to manage the kitchen.  I worked 18 weeks where I was over the 32 hours which qualified me to get Paid Time Off.  But since the time was not in consecutive weeks, I lost all that PTO.  My manager went to bat for me and asked if they could do something for me as I had ‘saved their bacon’ on many occasions.  Just this week she informed me that they are cutting me a check for $450.00 as a bonus.

WOW!  God is faithful….   We were short finances for the tickets to Haiti and that will make up the difference.  

Someone told me once, “God’s will is God’s bill!”

EA/MO

Reigning declarative prayer… What’s the big deal?

11 May

“Isn’t that declarative prayer stuff just a fad?  Maybe it’s just a trendy passing fancy?” 

I believe that declarative prayer has more important ramifications than we can realize right now.  And it is not trendy, but it most certainly will become the trend… even the norm.

Big picture…

Here’s the ‘big picture’.  We, the body of Christ, are leaving an old age behind and are entering a new one.  Each age has it’s unique modus operandi.  Simply put, in the passing age we were trying to get to heaven someday after we die… but in the age coming upon us, we’re already in heaven now and we reign from heaven over earthly conditions.

In order to enter the coming age we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds… which will include our mindsets, prayer and worship patterns and the overall way we view life.

In reality, many of our prayers in the passing age have reflected an Old Testament paradigm.  In the OT God was afar off.  We didn’t know Him as Father… certainly not as loving Father.  We were fearful of God (not the Biblical Godly fear of the Lord).  We chose to stay at a distance because of our fear.  We didn’t see ourselves as having favor, clout or authority with God.  In our communications with God we related best with plaintiffs, beggars, orphans and widows… and referenced ourselves as such in our preaching and prayer. 

In the age we’re currently entering we must discard the OT mental perceptions that plagued our minds.  Those OT mindsets will short circuit what God wants to do with us NT saints, because literally, our words create our reality (Prov 18:21; Matt 9:29).

Actually the NT realities have been true since Jesus’ day, but now there is an increasing grace to more deeply righteous-to-reignunderstand and experience what’s been made available.  If we can see it and embrace it, that grace will transport us into the Kingdom Age… the Age where we ‘come of age’ in our minds, hearts, and experience. 

So what are some NT mindsets that we must embrace?

1. We are as He in this world – I Jn 4:11  (this is for real, OMG!!!)
2. If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father – Jn 14:9  (Jesus invites us to believe the same about us… if they see you they see the Father)
3. That you would be filled with all the fullness of God  Eph 1  (Staggering!!!)
4. It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom – Lk 12:32  (My value to Him is so great that He gives me everything)

5. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – Jn 17:22  (Jesus’ glory is our glory… we have one-ness with God!!)
6. Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect – Matt 5:48  (a wonderful declaration of Father’s empowerment to us)
7. If any man speak let him speak as the oracle of God. – I Pet 4:11  (Yes! Speak as the voice/heart of God!)
8. Till Christ be formed in you – Gal 4:19 (Paul can see it, so it is possible!)
9. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. – Zech 12:8  (Stunning! Look at God’s plans for us)
10. I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity (with us–author). – Jn 17:23  (Remember – Jesus always gets the answers to His prayers)
11. He that’s dead is freed from sin and made alive to Him – Rms 6:7, 11  (Not just dry theology… a revolutionary reality)

12. And in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority – Col 2:10  (Yes!  We are complete in Him!!)

And that’s just for starters!  But you see, none of this is new.  It has always been in our Bible… we just largely didn’t believe that we could experience it in our lifetimes. 

From these passages we see that re-presenting Jesus on the earth is not only admonished, but promised to the saints of God.  Now, if we’re honest we don’t look a whole lot like Jesus right now.  We wrestle with condemnation of ourselves, bickering between each other, unbelief, orphan-hood spirit, beggar and widow mentalities, insecurity in the love of God, and we’re confused about our own identity.  And in reality, all these mindsets propagate their continued existence through our faulty words, self-talk, conversation… and even in our prayer vocabulary.

But, all of that is changing.  As we place ourselves in an environment of believing believers, something is beginning to awaken in the souls of all true sons.  Father is speaking truths over us that are shattering the aforementioned bondages.  These fresh truths resound through our soul as our spirit bears witness with His Spirit that it is our Father’s voice calling forth our true identity.  You see…

Man can’t live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God. – Matt 4:4

This Voice calls forth life which has been dormant… or has been buried beneath compromising mindsets of men and religious traditions.

Coming of age…

Jewish culture celebrates Bar Mitzvah when a 13 year old boy can begin to practice religious law.  But another celebration – the completed son – was observed at about 30 years old.  The famous 12th century Rabbi Rashbam explains that at age 30, one is “worthy of leadership.”  In other words, the son has matured to the level that whatever the son speaks is exactly what the father would say.  This is what Father God did for Jesus twice.  Once at Jesus’ baptism and then again on the Mt of Transfiguration.  Father was telling the world that whatever Jesus says, is what He(the Father) has said (Jn 12:50). 

                This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased. – Matt 3:17 (baptism)
                This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased, hear ye him. – Lk 9:35 (Mt of Transfiguration)

Did you notice the extra endorsement on the mount?  You see Jesus had completed his sonship training… now Father endorsed Jesus as ready to be the re-presentation of Himself. s-l300

Training for reigning…

I believe that we, the church, have been in a training-for-reigning-sonship-program.  We’re being trained to be mature sons.  (Eph 4:12-15; Gal 4:19, Rms 8:14, etc)  

My current view is that we have just begun to enter the ‘millenial’ age… the Kingdom Age.  I espouse almost no specific tenets about this age, except that you and I are invited… and are being empowered… to reign (Rms 5:17) and re-present Father as mature sons on the earth.

There is a growing belief that Jesus’ body is growing up in all things… even “unto the Head”, which is Christ Jesus (Eph 4:15).  When His Headship can flow freely through His body, then we will see a one-ness of Jesus and His body to the point that you won’t be able to tell the difference.  We will have grown up “unto the Head”.  The Head and the body become one.  We’re able to re-present Jesus because we are in Him and He is in us (Jn 17:23).  That means that whatever we say and do is what the Father has said and is doing.  The functional outworking is that there is no difference between us and Jesus.  Our one-ness with Jesus will qualify us to speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet 4:11).

If any of this is true, then we must shed the ‘by rote’ default religious thinking and prayer colloquialisms that dominate our prayer times and compromise our Kingdom age reality.  We must adopt vocabulary that reflects the age we’re entering.  I’m sure you agree with me; I don’t intend to be one who escaped out of ‘Egypt’, but couldn’t get ‘Egypt’ out of me… thus was prevented from ‘crossing Jordan’… and entering the next age.

But don’t worry, Father is a good Papa.  If we’re willing, He is so very patient… even when we find it difficult to make the changes.  In our transition, the body of Christ will still pray many asking prayers that reflect the poor-perspective-remnants of the passing age… beggar, default and ‘by rote’, but Father will help us. 

The first step to making the journey is 1) realizing the significance of the transition ahead of us.  The second step is to 2) desire to go on that journey.  The third step is to 3) get into an environment that will encourage and equip us for the journey.

And that is the big deal!  Bon voyage, friends!!

–MLH

For more related articles posted on my blog: Beyond the Map

Time For an Upgrade: Authoritative Prayer
Luke 18’s Unjust Judge – God or Satan?
Our New Prayer Posture: Declare/Prophesy
The Three Eras of Prayer Posture
Intercession: From faithless beggar petitions to confident kingly prophetic declarations
Dual Realities of the Believer (No More Pickle Juice)

 

 

What If: We’re His Glorious Throne

6 May

Let’s start with a familiar verse.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.” – Matt 25:31

Since the middle 1800s, the classical pop-culture interpretation of this verse is that of Jesus appearing in the puffy clouds with all His angels to climatically whisk us all away into the celestial Heavens where His glorious throne is.

Could there be another interpretation?  What if…

Jesus looks at His Father and asks, “Is now the time?”  Father says, “Yes. Go, Son.  It’s time!”

It’s time for Jesus to fully reveal Himself with the support of all the angels!

Beyond any previous measure, Jesus descends (I Thess 4:16) into our conscious awareness and reveals Himself IN us.  Christ has always been in all believers and is the One who unlocks our glory (Col 1:27), but this unprecedented revealing of His magnanimous love-plan marvelously delivers us from sin-centered thinking.  We quickly ascend (I Thess 4:17) into believing the truth about our righteousness.  We’re free and unhindered to know Him even as we’re fully known (I Cor 13:12).  And as His unveiled stunning glory is revealed to us and in us, we are transformed (following Jesus’ forerunner example for us on Mt of Transfiguration) into that same glory (Col 3:4)Christ in me

In light of what we’ve just read, let’s get rocked by this verse.

“on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.  This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.” – I Thess 1:10

Wow, it sounds like God glorifies Himself in us to the extent that all we can do is marvel!

Continuing, ‘what if’…

Now the angels are released in unprecedented numbers and scope.  They have been Heaven’s reserved and understated resource… only occasionally appearing to mankind.  But now the time has come for ALL of Heaven’s angels to be released.  They minister to us as we’re transformed into perfected vessels for Jesus’ full righteous rule and reign in us and through us. 

The power of every true revelation results in transformation, thus now we’re empowered to truly come into “unity with His faith” and in agreement with the “knowledge of the Son” (Eph 4:13)… i.e. the knowledge and intentions that He has of us.  We grow up in all things and His body is fully united with the Head (Eph 4:15).  His Head-ship now finally and truly has a commensurate and suitable place to rest (Lk 9:58)… in us… His glorious throne. 

This incredible plan that the Father has reserved since before the beginning, has now come to full fruition; we ascend in revelation awareness “to meet the Lord in the air (of this transforming revelation): and so shall  we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess 4:17)

Ok… that is all for now… just musing, what if….

— MLH

More related Beyond the Map posts:

A New Day Dawns – Aquarius
https://marklhen.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/a-new-age-dawns/

SP True Stories: He’s the Best Banker

5 May

About two years ago the Lord blessed my wife and me with a large house to live in rent free for as long as we wanted.  We had just sold our previous house and used the proceeds to remodel our new residence.  It took a little over $15,000 of our own money to remodel of this house.  Near the end of the project, God presented us with an opportunity to move out of state and pastor a church in Wisconsin.  After prayer and too many God signs to ignore, we happily left our newly remodeled rent free house behind.  It sounds crazy but there was not one feeling of regret concerning all of the money I just put in the house we were leaving.  I had peace that it was seed money and God would bring about the return when I needed it.  He always does.  IMG_0830

A few weeks ago, I was asking the Lord about that $15K we left behind.  I was day dreaming about the when and how’s of God bringing that seed money to fruition.  

Without my knowledge, the church board members felt like I needed a new vehicle and they found one for $11K.  They asked if I was OK with their pick and then informed the church that they intended to receive an offering the following Sunday for our vehicle.  After the Sunday service a man asked me to follow him out to the parking lot and showed me a fully loaded 2007 GMC Denali Yukon SUV with 78K miles.  He said the Lord had been dealing with him to give it away.  After he worked it out with the board, I am now the extremely grateful owner of a very nice vehicle valued at about $22K.  

A $15K ‘investment’ yields a $22K return.  Hmmm!  All I’ve got to say is: The Lord is the best ‘Banker’ ever… because He gives the best ‘returns’ on all our investments!

RH/WI