Saturday, February 26, 2011

That Is Not Your Door To Enter! by Adrienne Williams

That Is Not Your Door To Enter!
by Adrienne Williams
Friday, February 25, 2011

People of God, make no mistake in understanding that God CAN and WILL open doors for YOU that NO MAN can shut as long as your motives are pure. However, we must fully understand that the door which may be opened unto YOU is for YOU and NOT for everybody else!

Apparently many in the body of Christ do not understand that concept because I see an increased pattern of people trying to "undermine" and take advantage of others by attempting to walk (or maybe I should say PUSH) their way through doors that may not have been pre-destined by God for them to walk through!

In simplicity, they are attempting to build their ministries on another's foundation instead of building on the foundation of Jesus and allowing GOD to open doors. The true intent and heart of man is presently being exposed through instances such as these. If a door has not been unlocked specifically for you to go through, you WILL NOT be able to get through it without granted access.

In other words, your access WILL be denied because you are attempting to enter ILLEGALLY! People of God, it is TIME OUT for people trying to step on AND over others just to build a ministry. It is time out for allowing the spirit of deception and manipulation (witchcraft) to come in and rule. If we are using tactics such as these just for the sake of building a ministry then we must stop and ask ourselves, "Who are we REALLY building for?"

When you move in a manner such as this, what you will find is that the same people that you tried to go around, through, over and behind to try and get through that door are going to be the SAME people that you WILL need to get through the door! Remember, character and integrity is vital to us as Kingdom ambassadors as well as vital to the life of your ministry. We need to learn to do things the correct way or don't do it all! This is for the glory of our Father and NOT our own glory!

Grace, peace and blessings,

Apostle Adrienne Williams

Friday, February 25, 2011

Little Words of Wisdom

Little Words of Wisdom

The pathway of blessing is the way of the Lord. Walking in God's path brings blessing. We need to keep His Word close to our hearts that we might not sin against Him. Seeking the Lord with all our heart should be our number one priority in life. All other things flow out of Him. We need to be diligent in our walk with the Lord and love His Word. Praise in the battle is all important. Out of a pure heart flows beautiful praise to Jesus. So...if you have anything between you and the Lord take time to repent of your sin and He will hear you. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Psalm 119:7

'Guard Your Integrity' by Adrienne Williams

People of God, the same Holy Spirit that governs us in the eyes of the people is the same Holy Spirit whom should govern us "behind the scenes." There should be nothing found in the mouth of a believer that says, "I know this isn't right but I'm going to say it anyway!" OR "I know that I should not do this but I'll ask for forgiveness later!"

Your love for our Father AND your desire to walk in integrity will not only cause you stand upright before GOD but it will also cause you to stand upright in front of or OUT OF THE SIGHT OF HIS people! By knowingly "saying" and "doing" ungodly things "behind the scenes" it could possibly cause us to become disqualified even AFTER we have preached a mighty word to others!

For it is written, "Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:26-28 NKJV).

People of God, we may be able to fool some of the people some of the time but we can NEVER fool God! A false public display of success, humility, obedience or righteousness before people will NEVER replace TRUE holiness and TRUE obedience unto God. Let us ALL continue to discipline ourselves DAILY that WE may not become disqualified. Our service to God, character and integrity should be the same whether people are watching us or not. We should have a love for and desire to please GOD at all times!

Grace and peace,
Apostle Adrienne Williams

God's New Israel by T. Austin-Sparks

God's New Israel
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 4 - God's New Israel

At the commencement of these messages we made one statement which was to cover all that follows. That declaration was that the New Testament is built upon the ground of the Old Testament; that is, that what God was doing in a temporal and earthly way then, He is doing in a heavenly and spiritual way now. There is no change in His purpose, nor in His principles: the change is in His method. His one purpose is to take out of the nations a people for His name (Acts 15:14). In this part of the world’s history God is working to secure out of the nations a new spiritual Israel (Galatians 6:16 and the whole context of 1 Peter 2:4-10 – note verse 10). He is constituting this spiritual Israel upon the principles of the old Israel. The first Israel failed Him, violated all His spiritual principles, and broke His covenant (Hebrews 8:9). (Note the whole nature and purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews!) This is the nation to which Christ referred when He said to ‘official’ Israel: “The kingdom of heaven shall be taken away from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”, i.e. the fruits of the Kingdom of heaven, a phrase which always related to the Gospel to all the nations. This is a nation out of all the nations.

I am fully aware that there is a large body of Bible students standing at my elbow – so to speak – feverishly wanting to challenge me regarding the future of the Jewish nation with all the questions about Palestine and present developments there. This whole matter has divided Bible readers and their respective followers into two main schools. Dr. Schofield leads the one school, i.e. the “Suspended Kingdom” school with a definite future for the Jewish nation. Dr. Campbell Morgan (pre-eminent as a Bible teacher in his generation) categorically denied the future for Israel (as such) teaching. We refuse to be drawn into a contention for either view. What we are saying with emphasis is that for this dispensation, “upon whom the ends of the ages are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11), “Once at the end of the ages…” (Hebrews 9:26), the earthly Israel is in rejection, and the new heavenly Israel – the Church – is in the forefront of God’s work. Touch this earth and world in any way and you touch confusion, frustration, and death! So we say with Nehemiah: “I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down”.

No one will think for a moment that what we have said implies that we have no concern for the Jews. Jews are to contribute as much to the New Israel as are the Gentiles, but not as Jews or Gentiles, but a New Creation. We are as much concerned for the salvation of Jews as we are for anybody!

Let us proceed with the matter immediately on hand. We are now going to be occupied with:
The Emancipation of Israel.
There are few things in the Old Testament which are given a greater place than the emancipation of Israel form Egypt, and the New Testament makes it very clear that God is taking His new Israel out of the nations on exactly the same principles as those on which He took out the old Israel. If this is not clear to you, then you must read your New Testament again in the light of what I have just said. All I can do is to put my finger upon some of these spiritual principles of emancipation; but the old Israel’s emancipation was a tremendous thing, as we shall see as we go on, the emancipation of the new spiritual Israel is still greater. That means that to be a true child of God is a far greater thing than being a Jew of Israel.

Well, as you see, we are in the early chapters of the book of Exodus, and perhaps later on we shall move into the book of Numbers.

Now for some of these spiritual principles.

1. The emancipation of Israel from Egypt had spiritual background.

How did God Himself sum up that emancipation? He comprehended the whole thing in one statement in Exodus 12:12: “Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements.”

It was not Pharaoh in the first place, for he was only an instrument; nor was it the Egyptians in the first place, for they were but the victims. It was the gods of the Egyptians. Behind Pharaoh and behind the Egyptians there was an evil spiritual system – and there is one verse in the New Testament which tells us all about that: “…principalities… powers… world-rulers of this darkness… spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). Those were all the gods of the Egyptians, set over against the one God of Israel, and the contest was not between God, or Moses, and the Egyptians, but between God and the gods of the Egyptians.

I may not take the time to go into detail, but the Egyptians worshipped the River Nile. There was the god of the Nile – so God turned the River Nile into blood. The Egyptians worshipped frogs. The frog was as sacred in Egypt as the cow is in India. These just indicate that God was getting behind things and was dealing with a great spiritual system. The emancipation of Israel was emancipation from a spiritual system – and that is true of the emancipation of every believer from this world's system. This world is governed by a spiritual system which is behind it, and every man and woman in bondage to that system. The Word of God says that “the whole world lieth in the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and if you do not believe that of yourself, then I would suggest that you try to get out of this world system. You would find that your emancipation is a much bigger thing than you think!

So the emancipation of Israel and the Church is from a spiritual background of a very powerful system, and redemption is a tremendous thing.

2. The emancipation of Israel was an exhibition of ultimate strength.

Of course, God could have just wiped out Egypt with one word. He who spoke the word and the creation came into being could have spoken and Egypt would have been dismissed from history; but God was teaching men a great lesson. He was not teaching Himself. He was teaching, first of all, this principle in Egypt, and was teaching something to Israel, the old and the new, the nations and the devil.

Here we have, then, an exhibition of final power. God is slowly but steadily drawing out the power of this evil system, exhausting all the power of the evil principalities. Each one of these ten judgments is an increase upon the one that went before. God is saying: ‘If you resist Me on that, very well, have some more!’, and you notice that in the tenth judgment He has gone far beyond all the ten powers in Egypt. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). That is the full and final power against God, but the “power of His resurrection” is “the exceeding greatness of His power”, and it exceeds all power in this universe.

Dear friends, have we really understood the greatness of our salvation? Have we really appreciated what it means to be a member of this new Israel? What was the great note of the Apostles as they went over the world? Men and devils killed the Prince of Life! They did the last thing that they could do, but the shout of the Apostles everywhere is: ‘God raised Him! You killed Him, but God raised Him!’ This is something beyond all the power of evil spirits and men, and it is a principle upon which God is constituting His new Israel. No wonder that the Apostle Paul, who had seen this, cried: ‘Oh, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection! If the fellowship of His sufferings will result in that, all right!’ It was an exhibition of ultimate strength, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.

3. The emancipation of Israel was an expression of the virtue of the Blood of the Lamb.

You know Exodus 12 in which the Passover lambs are slain, but I wonder if you have recognized where the Passover lambs were slain! There was no temple, no tabernacle and no altar, so where were the lambs slain? They were slain on the threshold of every house, and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the two side posts and on the lintel. What have you there? A circle of blood – a national circumcision. The nation was circumcised that night, and circumcision was the sign of the covenant, the sign that the people were God’s people. They were in a covenant of blood with God, and that is a covenant of life. The Egyptians were not under that covenant. Their first-born died that night, but Israel lived, and they went out through this circle of blood – the mighty virtue of the blood of the lamb.

Well, all Christians know about that! Our Christian life begins there, with the mighty virtue of the Blood of Jesus, and it will end there. The fullness of God’s new Israel, taken out of every nation and kindred and tongue! What are they singing in glory? “Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain!” (Revelation 5:12). Oh, the mighty virtue of the Blood of the Lamb! Do you not thank the Lord for that every time you pray? I can never pray without remembering the precious Blood, for it is the way out of death into life.

4. The presence of Israel in Egypt was an expression of the menace the elect is to this world.

This battle in Egypt revealed a very wonderful thing – what a menace the elect is to this world. The presence of Israel in Egypt was like a thorn in the side of the Egyptians, and every day poor Pharaoh was feeling that thorn in his flesh. He would say: ‘There is a people in my realm who are a threat to my kingdom. I killed all their male babies and now they have become six hundred thousand men, without women and children. What am I going to do with these people? If they go on like this I will have no place left for myself, for they will take the kingdom of this world.’ Have your minds leapt over into the New Testament? ‘What can I do with these people? I will give them as hard a time as I can and do everything that I can to make them serve my interests.’ Can you see the work of the devil in this present age? Is the prince of this world making it as hard as he can for the people of God? Is his mind set upon making them serve his interests? That is the nature of the battle, and you only have to leap right over into the wilderness with the Lord Jesus during the forty days and forty nights. The prince of this world came to Him personally and tried to get Him to compromise, to accept the kingdoms of this world on his terms. “All this will I give Thee if Thou wilt worship me.” ‘If You will serve my interests I will give You a prize!’ And behind his word there was this: ‘If You don’t, woe betide You! There will be a Cross for You! And I will rally all my principalities and powers and concentrate them upon You on that Cross.’ The Lord Jesus gained the victory in that battle! The devil did his worst, but what is the verdict of the Word of God? Read it again in the letter to the Colossians: “(He) stripped off from himself the principalities and the powers and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross.”

Dear friends, this applies to the new Israel. It applies to us here. We, as the Lord’s people in this world, are a menace to Satan, a menace and a threat to his kingdom, and he knows that unless he destroys us we are going to take the kingdom – and, praise God, we are! “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). But what a big word: “Fear not”!

Well, there are four mighty principles. We could, of course, spend hours on every one of them, but “what seest thou?” Are you getting some light? Are you seeing that Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from breaking away from his kingdom? If you are still in spiritual bondage, do not put it down to secondary causes. Do not say: ‘Well, it is because of So-and-so… it is because of my husband… it is because of my wife’, or it might be a thousand and one other things. You go right to the root cause of it! If you are in spiritual bondage and darkness, it is the prince of this world who has put you in prison, and you will have to appeal to the victory won on Calvary by the Lord Jesus, and take your position by faith in the virtue of the Blood of Jesus.

If you are a true child of God, if you have come out of bondage, are you seeing now why the devil tries to give you such a bad time? Do you see why he will make it as hard as he can for you? The explanation is that he is afraid of you! Yes, Satan is afraid of the true Church. He is not afraid of the imitation church, of the false Israel, but he is afraid of the elect, and he does not give them an easy time.
The New World
Well, the people are out of their bondage in Egypt and are out unto the Lord. What about it? They are in a new place, a place that they have never been in before. They are not accustomed to anything in this place. They are in another world which is altogether different from the one in which they have been living. Yes, they have a real joy in being out and sing the song of redemption: “I am redeemed, O praise the Lord!” But what kind of a world is this into which they – and we – have come?
We are strangers in this world! What is it that Peter is saying? “I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims…” (1 Peter 2:11). Somehow we do not seem to belong here, and we have to learn everything all over again. Well, in Egypt we could at least see where our bread was coming from. It may not have been everything that we would like but every time we needed food there was at least something to see. We knew that at a certain time someone would sound a trumpet and call out ‘Come to the cookhouse!’ We could see things in Egypt! Things were such that we could handle them, and we did know that our meals would be provided at the right time, but what kind of a life is this? We cannot see anything here. We just do not know what is going to happen out here! We are absolutely dependent upon supernatural power. This is a most unnatural life! Well, from time to time, God works a miracle. We have a very wonderful experience of Him, and then it is as though He goes away and leaves us, and this unnatural life goes on.

Do you know what I am talking about? Is that true to the Christian life?

We have come into a new place, and in this place God has to be everything. We have to prove Him every day, and we are tested by the very place into which we have come. We say: ‘We are going out with the Lord.’ All right – but do you know what that means? It is going out to the Lord, and to the Lord only. Out in this new place we seem to be suspended between heaven and earth. What is the meaning of this new place? Well, all our natural abilities and facilities are useless. I have more than once flown over that wilderness in the days of flying boats which did not go very high, and from six thousand feet I could see everything in the wilderness; and I came to one conclusion: it would be a hopeless thing to bring a plough into that, or to sow corn in that! That would soon break any farmer’s heart! Fancy living in that for forty years! Only God Almighty could keep you alive in that. So it was for these people – but what did this new place mean?
Testing of Motives
First of all, it was the place where their motives were tested. What is the motive that has brought you to this place? Did you come out to the Lord in your own interests, or for the Lord? If your motive was a ‘self’ motive, you are going to die out here, but if it really was for the Lord, only He will carry you through this.
Probation for a Life of the Power of the Holy Spirit
The second thing about the new place was that it was the probation for a life of the power of the Holy Spirit. The book of Joshua is the book of the power of the Holy Spirit, and shows that you will never come into that power if you have selfish, personal motives. Your spiritual circumcision is going to be tested here: Is it all of the Lord, or is there something of myself?

In the New Testament there are two books which are set right in this new place, and in them you have Christians between Egypt and the land; and it is all a question of motive.

In the first letter to the Corinthians the Christians are with Israel in the wilderness. Their motives are being tested, and in chapter ten Israel’s failure in the wilderness is used as a warning to Christians.

Then there is the letter to the Hebrews. There was a time when Israel in the wilderness said: ‘Let us go back into Egypt! Things are too difficult for us this way.’ Stephen said in Acts 7: “(They) turned back in their hearts unto Egypt”. You see, their hearts were not truly circumcised. In the letter to the Hebrews, those Hebrew Christians who were having a difficult time, were inclined to go back, and Israel’s example is taken as a very solemn warning, and the writer says: “They (Israel) were not able to enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). But the word in the letter to the Hebrews again and again is: “Let us go on!” “Let us… let us… let us…” “Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience” (4:11). This world is a great power, and that power is set against our going on to God’s full purpose. First it will do all that it can to keep us from coming out to God, and then it will exercise its power to turn us back. But there is another power, what Paul calls: “the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20), and that is a secret and hidden power. You want to feel it, but you do not feel it. What is the evidence of that power? How do you know that there is a power working in you which is greater than all the power of this world? How do I know? I have sometimes thought that the devil has almost exhausted all his schemes to get me back to the old place! I say that very carefully – but how do I know that there is a greater power? Because, after all that the devil has done, and after over sixty years of being out with the Lord, I am still going on! Not by might, not by human strength, and not because of anything in us; we are “kept by the power of God”, and we know that power because today we are still out with the Lord. That is a tremendous thing, because of all that has been against.

“What seest thou?” Are you getting a little light? I hope this will explain quite a lot!
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Two-Way Relationship by Os Hillman

A Two-Way Relationship

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." - Isaiah 50:4b

The prophet Isaiah describes his relationship to God as a relationship that has two-way communication. Have you ever felt that your communication with God was only one way - you to Him only? Isaiah tells us, "The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.... The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back" (Is. 50:4-5).

The key to Isaiah's relationship with God lies in four important principles:

1. He had an instructed tongue. Isaiah had given over rule of his life completely to God's purposes.
2. He knew the word of the Lord, which allowed him to sustain and encourage others.

3. He took time to listen.

4. He did not flee from the tough assignments. He didn't shrink back.

If we are to be able to listen to God, we must follow the same principles. Knowing and spending time studying God's Word allows the Holy Spirit to bring to mind His instructions for what He wants for us. Recently, I became very busy in my work and other activities. It wasn't long before I felt distance between God and me. I had to make a conscious decision to carve out more time alone to listen, study, and meditate on His Word. This is the lifeline for the follower of Jesus. When we begin to lose the relationship, we are susceptible to becoming rebellious, going our own way. Invest your life in this relationship so that you may continue to hear His voice and sustain the weary ones around you.

Israel – A Heavy Stone! A Warning to the Nations! with James W. Goll

Israel – A Heavy Stone!
A Warning to the Nations!
With James W. Goll

The first week of the year, I was given a vivid warning dream concerning a crucial time called “The Division of the Nations”. In this dream I was instructed that a controversy among the nations would rapidly escalate around the supporting the nation of Israel. Nation after nation (I especially saw South America, Northern Africa and Europe) were abandoning Israel right and left.

It was frightening to observe in the dream. But as the dream unfolded, there was hope in the midst of the disturbance. Suddenly, a nation arose with courage to “Pray and Take a Stand with Israel” in a troubling hour. This nation was a remnant portion of the global body of Christ which seemed to suddenly arise and choose to align with God’s Word and be Israel’s future best friend. I believe we are cross the threshold in this time called “The Division of the Nations”.

A Heavy Stone to Carry

Jerusalem is a prophetic city of great contrasts. The prophet Zechariah warned sternly:

Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
Zechariah 12:2–3

Nations and entire empires have risen and fallen depending on how they have treated this unusual city and its inhabitants. It somehow either releases a blessing or exudes a curse, and we can choose between the two. Ultimately a day will come, the great and terrible day of the Lord, when all nations of the Earth will be caught in a divine vortex as they are gathered against Jerusalem.

In the midst of this, my prayer and expectant hope is that a body of believers will arise and be Israel’s best friend in that hour. The shout, “Israel, you are not alone,” will be heard from interceding friends whose hearts have been broken with the things that break God’s heart. Though Jerusalem is a “heavy stone to carry,” God gives grace to carry the burden. He must! It is His Kingdom way!

As for me and my house, I see no other choice than to care for Jerusalem and the destiny of her inhabitants. I want more than anything to be close to the heart of God.. I choose with honor, therefore, to pick up this stone and carry it with the love of Christ.

Recent Turbulent Events

Prominent news sources have confirmed that two Iranian warships on Tuesday were passing through the Suez Canal on route to Syria without incident, reports said, but Israeli officials have previously said that such a move would be considered a provocation. The ships entered the canal, which cuts through Egypt to connect the Middle East to Europe, at 7:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters. The ships are the first Iranian naval vessels to enter the canal in more than thirty years. (If you talk to James today, ask him if he wants to include anything about the 5.9 earthquake that hit the canal just before those ships entered and actually delayed their passage - also the 4.1 in Tehran 2 days ago... - He didn't know about this till we talked yesterday afternoon after he had written this...)

What Time is It? The Countdown to Zechariah Twelve

In January of 2004, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and said, Watchman, tell me, what do you see? I looked up and in a visionary experience saw a clock that was not there in the natural, hanging on the bedroom wall. The time on the clock read 11:53 p.m. and above the 12 were the letters “Zech.” The Holy Spirit then said, Watchman, tell me, what do you hear? Then suddenly the external, audible voice of the Lord came: It is the countdown to Zechariah 12.

I rested in the presence of God for a while and did not move until His manifest presence withdrew. Then I turned on the light and read Zechariah 12. It is the most amazing chapter, all about a city named Jerusalem. Let’s read a portion of it together:

The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” . . .

“In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And . . . I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
Zechariah 12:1–3, 8–10

The countdown to Zechariah 12 is on. I am not saying this will happen in the next seven minutes, seven years or seventy years. What I do know is that God’s prophetic clock is moving toward a kairos moment when God’s plan for Jerusalem will be consummated. This is the final countdown!

God has a road map, and it points toward Zechariah 12:10. It is easy to identify with Zechariah 12:3 as we hear about the nations coming against Jerusalem. But read further and you will see that Zechariah 12:10 declares that God will pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they will look upon the One whom they pierced and will mourn. Let’s arise and pray for Israel’s destiny!

Our Global Prayer Storm

This week in our Global Prayer Storm, let us take a combination of my teaching in “A View from My Chair” on "7 Reasons Why I Pray and Take a Stand for Israel” and the prophetic exhortation and warning listed above and let’s pray for those in authority in our own nations that they make wise decisions in these perilous days in alignment with the fear of the Lord and the Word of God. But let’s call forth the promise of this “one nation” that will arise in these days – the Body of Christ – to Pray and take a Stand with Israel.

Remember, the time of Purim is quickly coming upon us. Perhaps we were appointed for such a time as this!

Sounding an Alarm!

James W. Goll

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Little Word Of Wisdom

A Little Word Of Wisdom

Today I read something online which deeply troubled me. Someone in prophetic ministry used a comment that was so worldly that I paused. We are not to judge but sometimes things are just plainly obvious. We are in this world and not of it and really need to refrain from using lustful terms in our vocabulary. This does not mean that as a people of God we are not to live life to the fullest but at the same time we need to ask ourselves, "Would Jesus say this"? Sanctify our tongues Lord. Let us glorify you in all manner of conversation.

15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15

Sunday, February 13, 2011

God's New Israel by T. Austin Sparks

God's New Israel

by T. Austin-Sparks
Messages at the conference in Aeschi (Switzerland) 1969. First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazines, 1969-1970.

Chapter 1 - What Seest Thou?
"The word of the Lord came unto me, saying... What seest thou?... The word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou?" (Jeremiah 1:11,13).

"Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou?" (Jeremiah 24:3).

"The angel that talked with me... said unto me, What seest thou?" (Zechariah 4:1,2).

"The burden... which Isaiah... did see" (Isaiah 13:1).

"And he said... What seest thou?" (Amos 8:2).

What a very great deal was bound up with this interrogating and challenging method of the Lord with His Prophets! The history and destiny of individuals, of the chosen nation, and of the nations, were involved in what they were able to answer. We are not here concerned with the specific answers that they gave, but we are very seriously concerned with the principle governing this so great ministry. In what we are going to say we feel that we are touching one of the most vital factors, if not actually the most vital factor in spiritual history. It is with us, as with them, a "Burden", something weighty and demanding, for, as we have said, the spiritual history and destiny of God's people are bound up with it; and who is not concerned with that?

Extra weight is given to this matter when we realise that at a certain time in the life of God's people the function of the Prophets took pre-eminence over all other functions. Kings and Priests came under the Prophet's power. Perhaps it ought not to have been so, but there it was, and it has become the accepted way of defining even the offices of the greatest of all - our Lord Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest and King; giving the prophetic function priority. The reason for this is very clear when we remind ourselves that the function of the Prophet was to set forth, represent, and battle for God's full and final thought concerning His people. The true Prophet has the sovereign support of God in a way that, sooner or later, his ministry will be fully vindicated, and destiny will be determined by it. Thus it is that we must recognise that, while God may appoint some servants particularly to this ministry, and qualify accordingly, the ministry itself is to be so embodied in the people that they become its expression, that is, the representation of God's whole mind and intention.

When we move among the true Prophets of God we find ourselves in an atmosphere of real and intense concern. It is almost the atmosphere of emergency and crisis. Here everything is positive, momentous, urgent, serious. The Prophet is a man of passion. Reality is the passion of this ministry, and any artificiality or pretence is intolerable.

Having said that, we are brought to the two main things which lie behind this present consideration. They are the seeing and what is to be seen; the principle and the message. But, do let it be understood that, while you may not think of yourself as the messenger or the prophet, your spiritual history and destiny are inseparably bound up with the principle and the message being true in your own case. We embark, then, upon two very big and important matters.
The Principle of all Spiritual History and Destiny
This is contained in the second word of the Divine interrogation -"What seest thou?"

We shall all agree that seeing governs progress, assurance, and safety.

Without sight progress is, at best, limited. To the blind the range and distance of unaided movement are restricted. There is also a real element of uncertainty, tentativeness, and question. Further, life for the unseeing is an unco-ordinated life. It is lonely and largely isolated.

It was just like this in the time of the Prophets, and we could quote from them immensely as they pronounced upon it. The New Testament very largely has to do with this very matter, and it is most emphatic that spiritual seeing governs all spiritual progress, competence, assurance, reliability and service. The great Apostle Paul with his life and ministry put it all down to this one basic thing: God revealed His Son in him. God shone into his heart, and he said that his life-ministry was "to open their eyes" (Acts 26:18). Jesus said much about it, and, by one tremendous act, showed that sight is a birthright. It was to the man born blind that He gave sight; this was a "sign" of the spiritual heritage of the 'new-born'.

The New Testament is very positive that we shall only make spiritual progress, and not be either arrested, turned aside, misled, deceived, or robbed of our assurance, as we "walk in light", as we have 'the Spirit of wisdom and revelation'. In other words, as we see! Further, the whole matter of co-ordination in the Body of Christ, the Church, and the churches, is itself dependent upon oneness of vision. It is essential to be of one mind by one seeing. Weakness, erratic progress, lack of effectiveness, and marred testimony are all traceable to difference in vision, therefore of objective.

Paul spoke of fighting so as not to be beating the air. There is a touch of humour in that. He had evidently seen some boxers using tremendous force and being desperately in earnest, but landing it in the air and really hitting nothing. Every boxer of repute knows how important his eyes are in a contest.

Our spiritual progress, strength, and ultimate attainment depend upon initial, and continually growing, spiritual seeing! The times sadly need such people. In all your praying pray persistently for spiritual sight!

Now we come to the main part of our present "burden" and purpose; the emphasis is on the first word of God's challenge:
WHAT Seest Thou?
This is going to lead us a very long way and into very great truths. We must, however, begin here by putting it to you. What would be your answer if you were asked: "What do you see as to the inclusive thought of God for this present dispensation? What is God doing in this age? What are His people now, and what is the explanation of His dealings with them? Who are you? What are you?"

It is the answer to these questions and challenges that engages us now and in the following chapters. May the Lord help us to put it clearly, and help you to see it unto His final satisfaction! If this is really a matter of serious concern to you, you will be willing to compass much ground with us, for "there is much land to be possessed". So very much is bound up with that spirit and disposition expressed in those words: "If by any means I may attain." The Bible does show us that the people who really 'attained' were the people who meant business with God; and, on the other hand, those who made shipwreck of their lives were those who did not so mean business.
Well: What seest thou?
The New Testament is built upon the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is - in the main - the history of God's elect. The first flash of light is in that dark hour of man's deflection when God intimated that there would be an elect Seed (Genesis 3:15). The thin red line of that "Seed" runs on with a few individuals known as Patriarchs until it reaches a man called Abram. With and from him the river broadens into a nation, and from that point the Bible is wholly the book of the history of that nation for forty-two generations (Matthew 1:17). So that the New Testament is preponderatingly built upon the history of Israel. In the New Testament the Old Testament is quoted some two hundred and seventy-three times, and mainly in connection with Israel. The many and varied phases of light and shade in that nation's history are drawn upon for exhortation, admonition, inspiration and solemn warning. Again and again some aspect of Israel's life is taken up to support, illuminate, reinforce an appeal or a warning being made to Christians.

The life and history of Israel are recapitulated and relived in the history of Christianity, but with this major difference: in the Old Testament it is temporal, earthly. In the New Testament it is spiritual, heavenly, eternal.

With the New Testament the days of the historical Israel are numbered and that nation is rejected. All its temporal system is wound up and done with and its spiritual principles are passed into another nation and constitute it the new Israel. We make this statement of facts, and presently we shall be enlarging upon them.

In effect the New Testament is the continuation of all that was spiritually true of the Old Testament Israel on the Divine side. The New Testament takes up, not the things and literal history of the old Israel, but the meaning and spiritual principles of their history.

Consequently, the Church of the New Testament is Israel in a heavenly and spiritual form. Everything that was in the earthly life of the Old Testament Israel is now taken up spiritually for either the constitution of the Church, or for its warning. The Church is reliving the life of Israel on a heavenly and spiritual basis. Hence, the Church is called "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16 and context) and Peter, having himself passed through the great transition, transfers the major characterisations of historic Israel to the spiritual Church. (See Matthew 21:42-44, and 1 Peter 2:6-10.) We are going to take up as many aspects of this as we can in order to answer the governing question: "What seest thou?"
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let My People Go

Let My People Go

The children of Israel battled much under the hand of Pharaoh but the Lord delivered them out of Egypt. Divine intervention set them free. Pharaoh was defeated but that same spirit that persecuted the Israelites then is alive and well today and seeking to again rise up for revenge. God is wanting to set the captives free. He has also called His bride to come out of Egypt and walk in the freedom He so dearly paid the price for. He has unlocked the prison doors and man needs to walk through them.

We see much violence in Egypt right now and the outcome could have grave consequences on the state of Israel, the Jewish people and the rest of the world. Yes, Pharaoh still rules in Egypt and other nations of the earth today. Out of this we may well see an even stronger task master. God has a perfect plan for His people. The Lord keep Moses, as a baby in the bulrushes and even allow him to be raised by Pharaohs daughter and so we know that the Lord can most assuredly keep His hand on His people. Later the Lord also brought the child Jesus out of Egypt and into the promised land. His plan of deliverance for His people is perfect and never too late.

Israel still needs deliverance from the same spirit of Pharaoh that fought them thousands of years ago and there will be a great battle first. Their deliverance will come and we must keep our eyes the author and finisher of our faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only true deliverer and will return and destroy the enemy with the brightness of His coming.

Let us watch, pray and stand with Israel in this most difficult time for as His bride we are engrafted into the vine. Jesus is returning for the one new man and our eyes need to be, on Him.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart [is] hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Exodus 7:14