Friday, March 25, 2005

Assumption


This article was written two years ago and was given to a particular fellowship, however, I believe this word is relevant to the whole ‘Body of Christ’ for this hour. This was received from what I like to call an instant data dump from the Lord. As I recall, I wrote it as soon as I received it. This same word came up during a prophetic flow at Providence Church in Jesup this past Sunday.
Before you read further, take note that I believe the Bible to be the holy written word of God, and there are no exceptions to this fact. This posting is not to diminish or change the reality or importance of that fact. Nor do I believe this posting is asking the believer to do something contrary to scripture. I simply want the reader to catch the spirit of this word, not to diminish their faith in the written word, but to breathe life on them and increase their faith in the voice of God Himself resident on the inside of them!

Assumption
4-28-03

As I was on my way to intercessory prayer Monday morning I heard a word that the Lord has been saying to me for the last few weeks. Assumption. He began to show me how assumption was an ‘infiltrater’ of the enemy. Like the tare is to wheat, assumption is to true discernment from the Lord. Most often to date in the history of the church, assumption is mistaken for discernment.

It’s origins come from several mindsets, for example: Jesus healed three blind people three different ways. All were blind, but because He only did what he saw the Father do and say, He had diverse methods to bring about the desired results. The religious mindset would be to quote scripture perhaps and lay hands on all three the same way. Why? I’m glad you asked. Because we assume their conditions are all the same. We tend to lump people together because of what we see with out natural eye. I love things black and white. Our human nature tends to want to put everything in it’s place. It’s easy for me to function that way. It seems to be the way of simplicity. However, there are other colors on the wheel in the ‘Spirit Realm’ to be seen, and if we are connected in spirit to the living God, our vision can be vast without losing the simplicity God designed.

Anytime we sum anyone up we tend to go into this automatic function of ‘word and truth action’ rather than turning our hearts to God for His way. We try to establish the formula for success. Even when Paul was speaking to the church at Corinth about one being of Apollos or Paul he said can’t you see that your carnal when you divide off that way. Again that’s the human nature trying to put things in their place. We do it with people, fellowships, music, and we do it with biblical truth. You name it, and we want to label it. This is wrong and can cripple the move of the Spirit of God, both individually and corporately.

The root of these mindsets comes from walking in our own assumption and not using discernment. To walk in discernment causes us to depend on the Holy Ghost more for direction. This doesn’t mean that we don’t use knowledge. Scripture says we perish because of the lack of knowledge. This in itself is knowledge so of course knowledge is very important, but it’s the knowledge that flows from our communion with God. In other words, what flows as the result of our personal relationship with God.

According to scripture, many get sick and die young because they don’t discern the Body of Christ correctly. The very revelation that we receive from God can become our enemy if we began to assume things from the knowledge of the revelation and turn the revelation into another dead work. What would make the knowledge of God a dead work? When the revelation we use is from our own assumption that we know what is needed rather than keeping our ear turned to the Lord. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing, etc…

I also believe I heard the Lord say that this has to be exposed and stripped away before the new revelation can come forth. You would think the further down the levels of growth of an individual believer, the greater the amount of assumption that is walked in, however, this is the condition for most of the Body of Christ at large. Especially those who have been around a while and read all the books! A new Christian is more likely to be following close to God because they are experiencing their first love with God!

Another thing I heard was that any actions taken from the platform of assumption were spreading death throughout the body. The very best that it can be is the letter of the law. I also saw that these actions were manipulation. Though it’s not necessarily malicious, it works the same death through the body. No wonder we get sick and die young when most of the body flows in assumption rather than discernment.

People, entire moves of God, marriages, businesses, you name it, have all fallen prey to assumption or (summing up). It’s so important to be careful of flippant judgments and opinions towards others. We can create a literal prison around someone with our words.

Jesus came to set the captives free, what are we doing?

I believe assumption will be exposed over and over again until it is removed from our midst.

Ken Mullis

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What is a dead work?

I think one of the most missed and basic revelations in the church today is the understanding of dead works. What are dead works and why do we need to know about them?

John the Baptist went about proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and that all needed to repent and be baptized. What is it that we need to repent from? Most would say that we need to repent of our wickedness and turn from our sin. Is that all we need to do to be whole? I don't think so, if that was the case, we wouldn't need a savior to rescue us. It is true we need to turn away from wickedness but was that it? The purpose of repentance is to lay the ax to the root according to Luke 3:9. Luke 3:3 speaking of John the Baptist says,

"And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,..."

So we can say that this baptism of repentance produces a remission of sin in our lives. What is remission? When you think of someone with cancer and your told that their cancer is in remission, you are basically being told that the cancer is no longer active. Essentially it no longer has effect on their life! Wow, so let's do the math, when we truly turn away with our heart from our old ways,(repent), we are slaying that sinful nature that is at work in our members bringing about remission of that nature. Does this mean we can't be tempted? No, that's not what I'm saying, however, temptation is not sin. The reason I know this is because Jesus was tempted for forty days in the wilderness by Satan according to Luke 4:1-2. To be tempted means that you have to want what's been placed in front of you. You have to desire it. Jesus desired the things presented to Him by Satan, but He denied Himself those things. In the past I have equated these desires as sin in my own life, but unless the desire is perverted in some way by my vain desires, it's not sin! It's natural to desire certain things, God created us with desires. The enemy uses our own natural desires against us in the effort of creating vain imaginations and strongholds for the purpose of imprisoning us into a state of hopelessness. Vain imaginations are the result of entertaining our desires with elicit thoughts. Pornography has been one of the strongest weapons of the enemy because it corrupts the thought life into a constant meditation of sin and perversion creating a stronghold in us. But let's examine another clue in scripture to what can be a dead work.

Hebrews 6:1 list 'repentance from dead works' as one of the foundation stones that every believer must have operational in their lives to be successful in their walk with Jesus. So we're back to the question; What are dead works?

Dead works are simply any works that are useless and not birthed out of the love of God by the faith that He placed in our hearts.

There's a great story of a young newlywed couple. The young wife is preparing a leg of lamb. The husband notices her cutting the ends off the leg of lamb before putting it into the the large roasting pan. When he sees this, he asked, "Why are you cutting the ends off the leg of lamb"? She states, "That's the way my mother does it." The husband asked, "Why"? She replies, "I don't really know why she does it, let's ask her." So they asked the Mother why she cuts the ends off the leg of lamb, and she says, "That's the way my mother has always did it, I really don't know why." So the young wife goes to her grandmother and says, "Grandma, we were all wondering why do you cut the ends off the leg of lamb before you cook it?" The grandmother replies, "Because it won't fit into my pan if I don't cut the ends off!" You see, how often we can go into motion with no real purpose and we never ask why. That is a dead work, or a useless work.

Our lives can be full of these types of activities. How many things do we do that were passed down to us through the generations and we have no reason or purpose to account for them. The Church also has passed down many such habits. Jesus states in Mark 7:13 that it's the tradition of men that's handed down that makes the word of God of no effect and He further says many such things we do. Ouch! The sad thing is, if you ask why to some folks, you may be taken as rebellious. That's only because those very people put their security in the tradition that you are questioning rather than having their security in Christ where it should be. I believe that these are weights that Paul was saying we need to lay aside. Where is the scripture that says we should close our eyes when we pray? If I was in a room with believers and said, "Let us pray", everyone would bow their head. Why, because the tradition of bowing their heads and closing their eyes has been passed down from generation to generation. Am I against closing your eyes and bowing your heads, no, the act is not evil in itself. To some it means they are showing reverence and respect to God, but to others it may be just following the crowd like some domestic farm animal.

In John 5:39-40, Jesus tells the Jews at the tabernacle, "You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life."

Did you catch what He was saying? He was telling them that their searching of scriptures was a dead work because the scriptures were not leading them to come to Him that they might have life! How many of us have searched the scripture trying to find an answer to our problems? Instead we should let the scripture lead us to Him who is the answer and fulfillment of all revelation, whether it's finances, health, you name it. It is this heart that makes the scriptures come to life. The woman with the issue of blood pressed through the crowd to get to Him. She knew if she could touch Him, she would be made whole. When we search the scriptures, it is in this manner that we should read them, to get to Him! How many times I've read scripture thinking If I read enough and confessed them enough, I would be successful and my faith would increase. Who would have ever thought that even the way we approach reading the word of God could be a dead work. Scripture says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Whether it's studying the word, or ministering the word of God, it has to be from one of two places; Either the heart that's alive due to an encounter with God, or a heart that's hungry for an encounter with Him, or both, that causes life to flow. That's a good work!
I don't care how much knowledge we think we have, if the sharing of our revelation is not out of the love shed abroad in our hearts, the very thing we are sharing can be a dead or corrupted work. We need to be careful that our gifts and callings are not operated from an angry or bitter place. You know Lucifer was referred to as the 'Anointed Cherub' in Ezekiel 28-14. Do you think that he uses the gifts and callings God gave him for himself? Absolutely, the whole 28th Chapter of Ezekiel articulates this fact. Being anointed or gifted does not mean that our works aren't capable of producing death.
One important point I want to bring is the one Jesus spoke to the Pharisee's and scribes when they asked Him in Mark 7:5 why His disciples didn't walk according to the tradition of the elders, and why they didn't wash their hands when they ate bread. Listen to His reply in Mark 7:6-8.
He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."
The Pharisee's and scribes were the leaders of their day in the Jewish faith. Jesus clearly disliked their dead works of holding to traditions of men that had been passed down through the generations. As was pointed out earlier, the traditions of men caused the word of God to lose it's effectiveness.
Are the traditions being passed down in today's church causing the word of God to lose it's effectiveness? We all have to ask this question. Paul states in Romans that our righteousness should surpass that of the Pharisee's and scribes, and as we saw in scripture Jesus held them accountable. Will He be different with us if He expects more from us?
I hope this answers the question of what dead works are. This crosses all lines of denominations, from the oldest and most established to those who believe they are on the cutting edge of ministry and operate in all kinds of gifts. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord,' have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!'
Selah
I believe it's safe to say that we need to know Him. We need an encounter with Jesus. I want to know Jesus.
Father I pray over everyone who receives this word as Your word to them. I include myself in this prayer, not because I want to look humble but because of the fear of the Lord I feel at this moment. Please forgive us all, as we turn from our sin and dead works and turn our hearts to You . Reveal yourself to us as we turn our hearts to You that You can say, "I know them, well done my good and faithful servant." I thank you for Your incredible love and mercy for those whose hearts are turned to You. In Your precious holy name, Jesus. Amen, Amen, Amen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who will say, "I'll follow Him"?

I woke up this morning about 4:00 AM. This particular morning I began to pray and I started reflecting on my life. I'm forty-four years old and I'm approaching twenty-two years as a Christian. For half of my life, I've been a Christian. I would like to be able to tell you that I have left a legacy of successes but I can't. I've hit some homeruns but the truth is, I look back and see all the people I've hurt along the way. Countless people who thought I was someone they could trust or look up to, only to end up hurting them because of my carnality. I know, your thinking, he's probably not been that bad, but believe me, it's documented! This is not the legacy that I wanted to leave my family and friends. I say I want to be a witness, but do I really want that? What does it mean to be a witness of Christ? What does our Lord expect from us? The truth is, like so many others, instead of counting the cost, I've wanted to ignor the cost. These questions have to be answered in light of God's word. What is He asking of us?

Jesus is supposed to be our example, right? We all say we want to be Christlike. Let's take a look at what Jesus said concerning His own witness in the earth. He told fisherman to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. When is the last time you said, "Hey, follow me and I will show you how to be Christlike." Jesus said in if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father! When's the last time you said that to anyone? Jesus said that He had living water to drink from and that you would not thirst again if you drank from it. Who would dare say that? I know your saying, that's Jesus and He was perfect. Okay then, Paul said, follow me follow Christ. How many of us would take that kind of responsibilty.

Christians in the Church today have been saying, don't look at me, look at Christ. I guess that's the best advice we can give if no one in the Church is giving anyone any reason to look at the Christ in them. If someone is saying "follow me", so often there's no humility and like the Pharisee's of old, it comes from a self righteous nature. But the scriptural pattern is, as a believer, we should be saying, look to me that I can lead you in the path of righteousness. Peter said at the gate beautiful to the lame man, and I paraphrase, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you, rise up and walk." What authority and boldness he had! It's referenced in the scriptures how the people marveled at the authority these men walked in.

We all say we want to be Christlike but we excuse ourselves from the footsteps that He chose. I have to admit, I've not wanted that 'monkey on my back'. Simply meaning, I don't want the responsibilty of laying down my life for someone else. It's another way of saying, I don't want to pick up my cross and follow Him daily. The truth is, this is our responsibility and we are already being held accountable in Him and will have to answer for what we've done on this earth with what we've been given.

I want to repent to you and to God for all for my failures in this area. If there has been anything that I've wanted to run from, it's this very thing. Thank God for His grace and patience at work in us all who believe in Him. Who among us will be the first to say, "I'll follow Him"?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Spiritual Epidemic

Hello,

Last night and this morning I've been thinking about what I've been seeing in my own life as well as across the Body of Christ at large. It may actually be a spiritual epidemic. What I'm about to describe is something that I myself am having to come to terms with. It has to do with revelation, calling, position, responsibility, and purpose, just to name a few.
I'm seeing a lot of frustration among the cutting edge revelators. Those who have seen glimpses of God's plans and purposes in the Church at large. Those who God has given the valid ability to see, in part, a finished condition that needs to be implemented into existence in the lives of believers as well as local assemblies. When they speak of what they see or know, it's often met with a real rejection. At this time a condition begins to develop. We begin to get angry at the leaders who reject us and so we begin to reject them and essentially become the very thing we accuse others of being. It happens all the time. What is the answer?
First let me say this, I don't know in fullness how to answer the question of restoration, but I do know what can wreck our chances of getting there. The answer comes down to maturity. If we really do have better revelation than our peers, we should actually have more patience. We should be more longsuffering and understanding of their blindness. We should exhibit more love and grace towards the obstinate. In other words we should be champions walking in the fruits of the Spirit. That is the litmus test for maturity, and it's not knowledge. A lot of folks mistake their knowledge for revelation. But the truth is, if your great knowledge causes you to be full of bitterness and anger towards others for any reason, you are a babe in Christ who can not walk in self-control. If you are in this condition, you are poison to the body of Christ and you need to repent. You have began to sow out of your own frustration, anger, and rejection, and you need to sit down. The abundance of your heart is an ungodly wrath of your own making. You have become the very thing you hated to begin with.
Sadly enough, this seems to be ever so common. I won't go so far as to say that this is the rule, but it's only because I don't have any way to measure the fullness of this condition worldwide. It's so common to see a blistering allegation coming from the "enlightened ones" towards some poor soul that's been faithful in ministry for fifty years that seemingly doesn't know anything. Most of the time, I never see a blistering reply coming back from those "ignorant old wineskins". They seem to just keep going along quietly staying on their course.
So I have to wonder, who are the mature ones? Another point Jesus made comes to mind in John 9:41 "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains."
I myself am of the groups that want to see the Church restored to the glorious state is was designed to be in. I too have suffered from rejection for what I believed God was showing me. I have felt the anger rise up in me and toted that garbage around a few blocks.
I will share something with you the Lord showed me, and I felt so silly when I saw it. I saw a master builder looking at a house that needed restoring. He was standing in front of the house and he was mad at it because of the shape it was in. He literally had an attitude with an old house that needed restoration. I thought how silly this seems, but the Lord showed me that this is the condition of many I've called to do this work. I was astounded and ashamed of my own heart.
You see the house got that way because of the storms it weathered. The long days of dryness. The humidity that brought the corruption of mold. Any of you ever felt kind of moldy? Have you ever suffered any of these things. Have you ever been in a condition that was eating away the foundation of your very being and remember the helplessness you felt during that time. It's because you are a living stone of this very building that needs restoration that you are able to relate. And soon as these enlightened ones get over being mad at you for being in that condition, they will bring healing and foundation to your life.
I've heard people often use the description that prophets are feisty and rise up in anger quicker than others. We're told it's because of that prophetic nature they walk in, but I tell you the truth, it's because of the immaturity that they walk in.
And they need to take heed to what's happening to them.
Scripture says, to who much is given, much is required. If you have been given a lot of knowledge, then you are required to be more loving, more patient, more etc...
Let us all rise up and walk in love and understanding of the times and be relevant to our generation.
Please receive this in love. It truly is in love that it was written.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Reckon Yourself Dead!

I was praying this morning for inspiration and direction, and thanking God for what a privilege it is that His mercies are new every morning--that we continually get to walk in the direction of life as a brand new man. As I was doing this, I was reminded of the revelation that we were made righteous according to the work Jesus did on the cross (Romans chapter 5:12-19), and believed I should continue on the subject I started in another posting called, "Who Made You Righteous?". You can read that posting on this web page as well.
I have often used the following illustration when giving this word to groups.
If you would like, you can get a piece of paper and pen to diagram the illustration; otherwise, picture if you will, a blank piece of paper. On the blank piece of paper draw a line down the middle dividing the paper left and right.
Now, I'm going to ask you to describe you natural attributes (natural characteristics and abilities) on the left side of the page. Some examples may be that you are musically inclined, strong, hard worker, blue eyes, etc... You get the picture. Most of us could fill up the left side of this page with these types of descriptions. It's how most of us see ourselves. It's how most of us identify who we are, wouldn't you agree?
Now, on the right side of the page, describe all your divine attributes.........that's right, I said your divine attributes. Before you stone me, hear me out. 2nd Peter 1:3-4 says, "...as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Did you see it? We are partakers of His divine nature. So that's one for the right side--I'm a partaker of His divine nature. Here's another, if He made me righteous according to Romans 5:18-19, I can add that to the page. I am righteous. Oh here's another--I'm a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17. All of these things are divine and holy attributes given to us by God.
You see it's easier for most of us to fill up the left side of the page because we have been programmed to relate to ourselves more as a natural being than a spirit being. This is a direct result of the fall of man. We see ourselves in this manner, become selfconscious,and look for the fig leaves to hide behind. I know because I've done it more times than I would like to admit. We are constantly made aware of our flaws or natural talents and abilities. The enemy is always getting this information to us. Often through people who love us. That's why we need to renew our minds to what God has created us to be. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." So you might say, how do I know whether I'm walking in the spirit or not? Let me ask you a question. How do you identify yourself? Do you identify yourself with the left side of the page or the right side. The left side of the page comes from a self conscious perspective. The right side of the page comes from being God conscious. In other words, God consciousness keeps us aware of our born again nature and His presence. We identify ourselves literally by our fellowship with Him. If we are not in communion with Him, chances are we have become self conscious and identify ourselves from that perspective. We always go downhill when we think from that place. You see, from that place, we have no hope, because scripture says that the natural man (self conscious man) doesn't receive the things of God. If we can't receive the things of God, we are in a hopeless condition.
The first thing we want to do is correct ourselves so that we are acceptable to God again, but that's impossible. You see God didn't come to fix or repair your carnal nature. He came to slay it! Scripture says that we were crucified with Christ and it's no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). Also read Romans 6:4-5. So if we have this brand new divine life alive on the inside of us, and our natural man does not discern the things of God, why do we spend all our time living on the left side of the page. We need to be able to describe ourselves according to who God says we are. There are several descriptions of who we are in Christ.
There is another significant place in scripture where Paul chastises the Corinthians, telling them that he has to speak to them as babes, because they see themselves as mere men (1Corinthians 3:1-3). How would you like to be rebuked by Paul because you identified yourself more from the natural perspective than from the spiritual? Romans 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
It's a fact that we are natural beings and we do have to identify with that fact, but if we see ourselves so much from the natural perspective that we can't receive the things of God, we have become carnal. This is the result of seeing ourselves only after the flesh. But please, don't quit bathing! I hope you get the spirit of what I'm saying.
That brings us to the title of this posting. Romans 6:11--"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." You see, that's all you can do. You have to leave or turn from your carnal condition because you can't fix it, you can only slay it by repenting and turning your heart to God and freely receiving His provision for you. To try and repair your condition any other way is a dead work and it was for that reason John the Baptist went out preaching to all to repent from there dead works and be baptized. This was their opportunity to repent from dead works and release their faith towards the coming messiah, Jesus Christ.
If you find that you are trapped in your own carnality--turn by faith, and do not listen to what your natural feelings might be telling you. You will be putting to death that carnal condition by doing this.
Now, trust God that you will experience the fruit of that decision. He is able to complete the work that He started in you. He is the author and finisher of your faith. You will fulfill your destiny if you stay on this course.
So please, if you're born again, reckon yourselves dead!
P.S. Continue to bathe and use your deodorant! Thanks:)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Racism: A Prophetic Demonstration Of The Church

This is a vision or mental picture I received last week during a time of meditation in the Lord. I will start simply by giving what I saw then I will follow it with what I believe the Lord spoke to me.
I saw a young black man. The era seemed to be shortly after the turn of the century. It could of been the 1920's but It didn't seem to be later than that time. The young man appeared to be in his twenties and was well dressed wearing a light brown suit. His build was superb in stature and he seemed educated and well mannered. There was nothing I could find to hold against him, yet I could see that he was rejected by the masses. Just his presence sent shockwaves and anger through society. All he had to do to receive this treatment was be alive. It was a terrible feeling.
Being raised in the south I remembered my own prejudices. The rejection that we give towards men while denying that anything prejudice exist. As I was seeing this vision, I heard the voice of the Lord say, "As you see this condition in society during this era, so it is today in the Church concerning apostles and prophets and the restoration process."
Wow I thought is this possible? Is a gift of ministry hated and despised just for being what it is? Could it be that masses of people who call themselves Christians are rejecting men and women just because of the mantle they are designed to walk in? Do we have Christian friends that we don't take home to dinner? Do we have back door Christian associations that we really don't want people to know we're hanging with? Would you even let an apostle or prophet in your house? What would the neighbors think? What is God asking of me, surely not that? When's the last time you bragged on your local apostle in the work place? I know some of you may think that I've lost my mind but I know this is where our hearts are. I must say I'm a little embarrassed in some circles to talk about apostles and prophets. Not only do I think the world might think I'm crazy but I'm thinking most of the church may think I'm crazy. Maybe I can pass for something more normal some might say.
I remember hearing a black woman say that when she was a girl she would cry because she wanted to be white. I'm ashamed that I may have contributed to the kind of environment that would cause anyone to not want to be the glorious creation that they were created to be.
I don't know how many times just talking about certain revelations that I was getting would make people so angry. It seems so glorious that God is restoring the Church just like He said He would. That the Elijah generation is being raised up! But believe me, not all Christians are as happy about it as I am! Because to be happy about this restoration business means that something will be required of us. I can hear some saying with frustration, "Now it's enough to have to believe Jesus was born from a virgin and that He was crucified and rose on the third day now we gotta believe in them apostles and epistles!"
This is a good place to sigh.............
Lord forgive us! Heal the rejection in our land and in the Church. Lead us to take the responsibility that we should take. Amen.
Believe me there have been many who have gone out and given prophets and apostles a bad name, either by false or poor representation. I have a friend that said he was going to start hanging out with lawyers and politicians because he believed they were a step up from those he called ministers. He didn't say that out of prejudice, but from his own hurt from the abuse of ministers. I myself once said that I didn't want to be counted among those who call themselves ministers for the same reasons. But abuse of a few can no longer be an excuse for not opening the door to what we know is the truth.
The last day apostles and prophets are being raised up and we better get ready and decide the stance we are going to take. Are we going to deny what we know to be true just to save our own face in Christian society or even the world?
We must be a witness of all Christ asked of us no matter the cost. I pray that I myself can live up to such a proclamation.
Ken Mullis

Is God good?

Hello again,

I haven't always posted insights, but I must say it has become most therapeutic. Sometimes it helps me to reflect and begin to write just what it is that I do believe. Not only for the readers edification but also my own. I have just left a season where I felt totally barren of God and even questioned my own existence. I lost my way. Depression seemed to reign in me and it was as if I couldn't break free. I felt displaced and had no desire for God. I also got caught up in an emotional situation that I should have stayed far away from. It seemed that with every passing day I sank further and further down until my entire existence as a believer had died. Some of the most profound prophetic words I ever heard regarding my destiny seemed to bounce off my dead condition and hit the ground. I seem to let go of everything that was important and hold on to situations that were sucking the very life out of me. I began to truly doubt my faith in God. I began to question God's motives and nature. I began to say to myself, what do I believe?

This went on for a long time. Months were turning into years. Somehow I knew God was still involved in my life but I had lost my trust in Him. Finally I had to say the only question I felt that I had to answer was; Is God good? I know many who may be reading this posting may be stunned by what your reading, but I believe there are many who have had a test of heart at this level and can relate to what I'm saying. Is God good? I believe this is one of the most fundamental components of truth a believer has to keep sight of. I also felt the pure guilt for even considering such a notion, but that's where I was, and at the time it did not seem that I could help it.

I heard Joyce Meyer once say that sometimes our testimony may just have to be, "I'm still here". That's surely all I could say. One thing I can say, through all that I went through, somehow deep inside there was the slightest hope that God was good. Literally the last hope that I had was the hope that He was good.

You see 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. Though it may be our darkest hour, God is love and His very love testifies of His goodness. I once heard someone say from the pulpit that God is love, but He can also be hate. I must say nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that God hates sin and iniquity, but His hate for sin and iniquity is motivated by His great love for us! Is that incredible or what.

If you are in this place where you question the existence or credibility of God. Start here with this basic question. Is God good? Start building there and see what the journey will unfold. Of course this insight is not for the super spiritual who are amazed that a man could even find himself in a place like this, but it may be for you who is trying to break through the pain and loneliness that life can sometimes bring. Be honest with yourself and with God. Begin to allow God to peel off the layers that have assembled themselves over you and have sifted you like wheat. God's love is endless, eternal, forever flowing towards you. Make the answer to this question, "Is God good?", your priority.
God is Good.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Who Made You Righteous?

Greetings,

First of all this subject is one of the least understood in the whole Body of Christ. When I teach this I'm amazed when I see the blank look on peoples faces when approached with this subject. But I'm quickly reminded that I didn't know about our righteousness most of my Christian life either and it's only by the grace of God that I know anything at all.

To most in the body the thought of themselves being righteous is met with their on rejection to the possibilities. If they do receive the possibility, the question is usually what makes a man righteousness. But truthfully the question should be who makes a man righteous.

Romans 5:12 says,"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."
I don't know one Christian who doesn't open there arms to this truth, do you? We have no problem embracing the fact that we have sin at work in our members and that because of Adams disobedience. But read further, look at verse 15, "But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, abounded to many." Lets read on to verse 16, "And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification." Verse 17, " For if by one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Verse 18, "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men resulting in the justification of life." Don't quit we're on a roll, verse 19, " For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous."

Wow by grace through faith in what Jesus did on the cross, I am made into a righteous man. Justified, holy, approved of God. What work other than faith in Jesus did I have to do to achieve this status? Not one thing! It should be just as easy to reconcile ourselves to this fact as it is to know that we we're made sinners through the one man Adam. We didn't have to do anything for that foul gift did we? And we can embrace this with open arms. If you don't receive this fact of our righteousness, it's impossible to keep a clear conscience. Condemnation is sure to come.

Now we must practice righteousness (Gal2:29). When we live out of this righteous place, alive on the inside of us, our desire is not to practice lawlessness any longer. Good works should be a fruit of what is on the inside of us. One very important trap to be careful of falling into is that our good works somehow improve our righteous condition. This work only Jesus Himself could accomplish on our behalf. You say, how could anyone fall into that trap? It happens all the time, that's where the term self-righteous comes from. Someone who think themselves to be more superior than another based on there own knowledge, works, social status, etc...

I'm know I'm fixing to ruffle some religious feathers when I say this, but I think a lot of us humble folks would easily embrace the fact that our good works can't make us better, right? Only through Jesus and by His grace is there anything good in us. ....Yea, I thought so. Well let me ask you this, if our good works can't improve our righteousness in Him, how can our bad works or mistakes make our righteous condition worse? I knew that would make you squirm. It's still by His work on the cross that makes us righteous, not our works. Oh we want to boast in our spiritual stature don't we. Now I'm not saying that if you sow bad seed that you won't create a terrible condition of life on this earth. We reap what we sow God is not mocked and that is a kingdom principle spelled out in scripture. But our righteousness is based on the work of Christ alone and our faith in that work brings the fruition of that work into being. Our faith also is a gift from God.

This is a foundational truth that we have to live from or we are without hope. You see everything in the Kingdom of God hinges on this truth being established in us. You are justified.
I encourage you to test this revelation with scripture for yourselves. God is trying to liberate us.

Who Is the Author and Finisher of Your Faith?

A few years ago if someone had asked me how to increase their faith, I would have immediately rattled off several things. You know like, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17), so you better read your bible and get your word of faith tapes and get that word in you. Wait a minute hear me out, Romans 10:17 does say that but I want you to catch the spirit of where we are going with this. Apart from the whole counsel of God, this scripture might imply that we must feed on the word of God as an exercise of discipline for our faith to be able to achieve increase. But what if you're a prisoner of war somewhere and you forgot your bible and tapes, what do you do then? Or what if your a child in a foreign country where you may only have one page torn from a bible? Or what if you were one of the early church who didn't have a bible at all? Well then I'd confess that one scripture I do know over and over until it got in my spirit. Please.... No, I believe we need more insight in this area from the whole counsel of God.
Hebrews 12:2 says: looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Wait, you mean we don't need to study scripture, that Jesus is just gonna come down here and increase my faith? That's not what I'm saying. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that my faith has to be in Jesus alone to be the finisher of my faith. That inspite of what I'm seeing with my natural eye, He is able to finish my faith just like He said He would if we are looking to Him to do it. And the study of scripture should be for the purpose of getting to Him. Galatians 5:6 says that faith worketh by love. He is Love! So we need to increase in love as well as faith.
It is good to study and walk in faith principles, but don't short change yourselves by having a relationship with God's principles when you can have a relationship with God the one who gave those principles. His principles were not nailed to the cross. And everything in scripture is for the purpose of getting us to the 'one' who 'is', Jesus. And it's when we get to Him that faith comes. It was when the woman with the issue of blood touched His garment that virtue went out. He alone is the author and finisher of our faith. There are so many people who are cramming the word in and confessing and missing Jesus by a mile. Wait a minute mister those are the words of life your talking about... I feel your pain! I would like to refer you to John 5:39. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and He tells them, "You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they that testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life". You see, the Pharisees studied the scriptures thinking that was the way to receive eternal life but they were missing the fact that Jesus was life and He alone is the author and finisher of our faith and we must go to Him. Being proud of how much time you stay in the word can be just as self-righteous as a long public prayer. Knowledge puffs up eventually if you lose sight of why you study scripture. If you've been doing this, it's a dead work that needs to be repented of.
I don't mean you have to groan and tear your clothes here unless you want to. I think it's turning from one mindset that's been sown into the Body of Christ, to finding His heart in this matter. I am not trying to go against another's teaching but I think this; If we tweak our hearts to what Jesus is saying, He will fulfill this doctrine of faith. We have to trust Him to finish us. He is able to change me from faith to faith and glory to glory.
I hope this helps to reconcile those who worship in deep intercession to God seeking His face, and those who are from some of the word of faith camps. The reconciliation of revelation must take place if we are going to be the Church without spot or blemish. We need to the wisdom of God in the integration of revelation from different groups and fit them together so that 'all' get the increase in our walk with God.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Some Of My Greatest Influences and Favorites: Books, Music, etc...

Hello,

Though I recommend a lot of these great revivalist, authors, and musicians, there are probably many more that have influenced my life in some way, I just wanted to name a few.

I guess I will start with individuals whose lives touched mine in a profound way.

Keith Green comes to mind immediately. His life seemed to be poured out over a generation and I love his music. I recommend his biography penned by Melody Green. His music was playing during some of the heaviest manifestations of God's Spirit that I ever encountered.

Leonard Ravenhill was a Metodist Evangelist from England. His book "Why Revival Tarries" was very impacting.

The biography and autobiography of Charles Finney a 19century revivalist.

Rick Joyner has written several books that I recommend. "There Were Two Trees in the Garden", "The Final Quest", and "The Call" just to name a few of the better. The music that comes out of the Morningstar Fellowship is awesome.

Kenneth Hagin has written several books that teach faith. Knowing about our authority as a believer etc...
Smith Wigglesworth's book "Ever Increasing Faith" and others about his life. He was an interesting chap indeed.

John Paul Jacksons "Needless Casualties of War", and "Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit" are great books of sound insight every believer should possess. He also has pratical teachings on dream interpretation.
Graham Cooke's teachings on God's kindness. Awesome.

Several other authors I like are Frances Frangipane, Dennis Kramer, and John and Paula Sanford. There are certainly many others that are out there that are excellent and earnestly contributing to the Body of Christ and I wouldn't insinuate that you should limit yourselves to these.

Some of my favorite Christian music artist are: Keith Green, Don Potter, Rita Springer, Rich Mullins, Mark Heard, Most all Morningstar CD's, and Jason Upton. I love losts of different artist these are just some favorites.

That's for those of you who are interested in that kind of thing.

Who Rules Over You?

Hello again,

Today I've been pondering some thoughts that came from something Jesus spoke when He and the disciples were accused of breaking the Sabbath.

Jesus replied to the accusation saying, "the Sabbath was made for the man not man for the Sabbath". As I began to meditate on that statement, I believe the Lord gave me an insight that I believe will be very important for many in these days as the Church at large is being restored.

I believe that I stumbled onto a life principle that can be applied across the board concerning our responsibility to God and our responsibility to the things God designed for us. Jesus also said in scripture that He says and does what He hears and sees the Father saying and doing. It seems to me that above all things Jesus put what He heard and saw the Father doing in His own heart above everything. Everything you ask? Yes, everything. How valuable is that? That means that what we believe Jesus speaks to our own hearts is what we as individuals have to be true to. There is no other way to live from our innermost being. Does this mean we are not to be corrected? Not at all, I believe we should always seek counsel and be open to the possibilities that we could be wrong. I have also had the experience many times where I believe God gave me a specific direction or idea but the leadership thought differently. At that point, I felt God would have me submit to their leadership out of respect to their authority. In fact I have yielded to others many times when I might have done something different. Would God ever ask us to do something the leadership of a church would not want us to do? He might.
Not too long ago, I felt that God was leading me to leave a particular fellowship my family and I were attending. When I presented it to the leadership, they told me I was deceived. At first I yielded to their counsel because Proverbs declares there is safety in a multitude of counselors, but ultimately it was confirmed to me very clearly that I was to leave. God loves for us to submit ourselves to leadership and to each other. I would say this. The rule would be to submit to those who have charge over you if they are not asking you to sin. If God wants you to go against your leaderships wishes, He will lead you there but I would implore you to test what you think you may be hearing. Test your motives and seek counsel if you can.
You see the Sabbath, your local assembly, your apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, your elders, musicians, your boss, your oversight, everything in creation was made for the man not man for any of those things. They are benefits.
Jesus had to be true to the life inside of Himself. There is nothing more valuable or precious to God than us hearing His voice and our response to it. Our relationship with Him is above everything else. Because when all hell breaks loose and persecution comes, what God is speaking to you personally is all that will sustain you. He may send others to you with His word when you can't hear, but it should bear witness to you in your spirit. Jesus said His sheep know His voice. When you reach the place that you know that you know, ....you know!
Be blessed!