Now is the time of Joshua 5:13-15. With the nations and ethnic groups in uproar and problems on every side. Each of us wants to ask God in a pointed way Joshua’s question. “Are you on my side?” (or on ‘our’ side!) But the answer is the same now as then. He answers, “Neither! Do you stand with me?!” Continue reading “The Road Ahead: Part 1 The time of Joshua 5”
We are witnessing a time when the world appears to be falling apart. At the same time the dream of human unity is very much alive. Unity is a big topic and across the globe there are groups working to build unity across human religions and cultures. Many believers are caught up in the effort to bridge religious divides through human effort. There is no question ending sectarian violence is a good thing. Human unity is seductive. Who can argue with such a goal? But human unity it is a false hope and a trap! It is up to God’s people to lead those who are willing out of the trap.
We live at a pivotal period in human history. In the last two centuries science has removed one barrier after another to human control of nature and even our own biology. During that time we have seen both the best and worst in humanity. Triumphs in science and human rights have time after time been followed by the terrors of death camps. There is a theme that has developed as we humans have struggled to understand who we are and our purpose in the universe. It is that we can achieve everything and live at peace with each other if only we can achieve mutual understanding and unity across the globe.
Our energy is focused on removing barriers to ‘mutual understanding’ because we assume that wars and evil in the earth happen because we misunderstand one another, and we are beginning to succeed. We are at a place in history where for the first time since Babel, humans are beginning to understand one another across the globe. Language and culture barriers are falling fast. There are efforts to reconcile religions. Technology is removing the barriers of time and space. Now is the time to look back at when those barriers were put into place and why. The story of the Tower of Babel is the starting point because scripture records that God Himself destroyed human unity at that time. Why? Continue reading “The Consequences of human unity outside of Christ”
Our Lord and Master, Jesus, has all power in heaven and earth. He has sent us to tell the world the Good News and proclaim Him as the true King of the World.
So where does the power come from to succeed in our task?
Jesus’ answer to this question is found in His prayer recorded in John 17.
John 17:23 ” I in them and you in me — that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.”
‘so that’: the Greek word is ‘kia hinna’ and is causal even though the KJV uses ‘and so’. Jesus himself said that If we do not walk in unity, then all of our good works and preaching will have limited impact.
Unity is the miracle that convinces the world Jesus is divine and His prayer was answered. Just minutes before this prayer, the disciples were arguing over who among the disciples was the greatest. They were arguing even though Jesus had given them strong teachings on servant leadership several times in the previous days and even that evening.
After this prayer and the resurrection, these formerly contentious disciples walked in unity. At Pentecost they were in ‘one accord’. It is startling: 3 years of power ministry by Jesus, accompanied by disciples always arguing over who was the greatest, yielded only a handful of disciples. A few days of ministry after Pentecost yielded thousands.
This unity was tested over the years, but it held even when Paul and Peter crossed swords over Jewish customs.
So how is this unity produced? Continue reading “John 17: Where does the power come from?”
His purpose is to also be ours with Him—to bring in the promised harvest of His sons and daughters from every nation and ethnic group and to protect the remnant of the Church that will be refined like gold. Daniel says the people of God will shine brilliantly like the stars of heaven.
We are to rise and shine, not duck and hide!
Why is it so important? He is coming down to us, to bring the Kingdom of God to dwell with us on the earth. Our sons and daughters are given the opportunity to choose the Eternal Son and be the brilliant Overcoming Heroes of this hour on the earth! And then they will reign with him in justice and righteousness here, in every nation!
Take heart, tired ones.
We are not fading away as dry bones, but we are rising up as Dry Trees with immense Life-giving power to usher in the promised harvest for the everlasting Kingdom of the Son. The LORD is mighty and the Mighty One is causing His Spirit to rise up in you mightily in this hour on the earth. We will overcome by the words of our testimony!
We will not shrink back and we will not cower down! This is the hour of triumph of those who live by faith in the Son of God who is LORD of all lords.
The devil will throw all he has at us, but it will not be enough. Jesus declared that we would do “greater miracles” than he did on the earth, so that they have no excuse whatsoever before the judgment of the LORD at His coming.
He has indwelt us with His mighty power. We will blaze with Him and we will not be consumed. He will have a people on this earth full of faith and full of mighty actions for the Glory of His Son Jesus.
Jesus told the women as he was walking the way to the Cross, “Weep for yourselves and your children, for if they do these things in the green tree, what will they do in the dry?” (See blog post What is the meaning of the metaphor of the dry tree?)
So, let us weep for ourselves, that we become these Vessels. Let us weep and cry out not only for ourselves, but for the generation of our sons and daughters, for our grandsons and granddaughters, to become not only green but also dry, fully saturated with the Water of Life and blazing with His Glory and power in these increasingly difficult years before Jesus’ return!
On his way to the cross, Jesus told the weeping women the prophesy given by Hosea (10:8). “Then they will say to the mountains, “fall on us!”, and to the hills, “cover us!”
Who is the “they” in this statement? “they” are the wicked, the unbelievers
Screams and running for cover will be coming from evil men and women, as they cry in terror for the altars of the high places of wickedness to hide them and for the power of the hill top shrines to cover up their evil deeds. These men are calling on their demonic gods to protect them from the wrath of the LORD which would destroy those high places and them.
In keeping with Jesus’ words, we can be assured that those evil men will see the Dry Tree—the Mature Church– blazing forth with the power and Glory of the LORD.
The apostolic writer of Hebrews reminds the Church that He is the LORD who makes his angels winds, And his servants a flame of fire. (1:7)
Ezekiel also saw that the appearance of the man as one of the four living creatures was a human face, yet it was like that of a bright burning torch, moving back and forth rapidly, issuing lightening flashes. The lightening flashes are the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, hitting the mark precisely where ever these beings aimed to go.
The servants of the Lord, even his sons and daughters who are alive in His Spirit, are hitting the mark with the Word of the LORD flashing forth like lightening bolts from their mouths. So much so, that these evil men who worship demonic entities will fear the LORD’s messengers who, in the face of the enemies’ death threats and the beheadings are still uncompromisingly holding forth the Word of Life. Remember the words of Apostle John in The Revelation!
And they overcame him [the devil, the dragon] by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (NIV, Rev. 12:11)
No matter how much the enemies of the Eternal Son Jesus try to hide their sources of Satanic power, the Burning Light of the sons of God will expose them. Fire-filled words of the LORD from the lips of the Dry Mature Church will accomplish His purpose.
The prophet Isaiah (ch. 60:1-2) says His people will rise up and shine with brilliant Light, manifesting the Glory of the LORD, even in the midst of growing darkness covering the land. The prophet Daniel pointed out that the people of God will be strong and do mighty exploits (Daniel 11:32) as they take a firm resistant stand against the Anti-Christ. The Church will indeed stand up with power!
John saw in the Revelation (ch. 11) that two witnesses will have fire coming from their mouths and will be able to call down plagues on the earth such as the ones Moses saw happen before the Exodus of the people of God. Recall also that Moses saw and heard the LORD speaking from a tree or bush which was blazing with fire, but the tree was NOT burned to ash nor even burned out.
This is a foreshadowing of those end-time sons and daughters of God who will be the Mature Church, the DRY TREES which are burning and boiling with the Fire of the LORD– speaking and doing with demonstrations of incredible power. His Awesome Glory will be on their words and on their hero actions!
The messengers that the LORD has on the earth now are already rising with the Brilliant Light of His Holy Fire in their mouths. How? by proclaiming the WORD of the LORD for this time of purification and harvest. Miracles are happening around the world, even resurrections from the dead.
The people of God in this end-times persecution are not weak, but mighty to stand and do exploits—so much so– that now we can understand why Jesus entreated those women—and is entreating us.
Jesus said to weep, to cry out to Him about the calling and destiny of our children in this generation: “What will our children do in the dry tree?”
When we begin to weep and plead for our sons and daughters to choose to pursue Jesus Christ with all their soul, might, and strength, then they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and be able, with His authority, to do the amazing greater works Jesus prophesied.
Jesus Himself is standing at the right hand of God the Father interceding for them. And we are entreated by Jesus, even since He was on his way to the Cross, to intercede for these sons and daughters. Will we rise to intercede?
Jesus spoke to the weeping women (Lk. 23:28-31) in a metaphor about the dry tree vs the green tree.
“For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
It has been speculated through the years that the “dry tree” implies his followers will be weakened in the coming time of persecution and will have only a little resistance to their enemies? Did Jesus imply this, that the disciples would be snatched up as timber for the fires of persecution because their Master in that life had been snatched first? Did even the early Church in fact dry out and die out during the ensuing persecution? NO, the disciples multiplied. Though some were killed, many were dispersed all over the world and the Church grew mightily.
This contrast between two trees might show a time difference, from the beginning of the Church to the end of the Church age. But does it mean that the later Church would become lifeless, easily dispensed with? The metaphor has been interpreted by some scholars to imply a qualitative difference between the time Jesus was with them on earth in His great power, yet evil men crucified him, to a later time when his followers would be powerless against the rising Antichist—almost wiped out in growing worldwide persecution from the forces controlled by the Antichrist.
But wait! The intent of Jesus’ words were to encourage the women. How do we know?
Jesus was always about encouraging those who yearn for him. He was in fact assuring them that the sons and daughters of God were not meant to be weak or powerless in the hands of their enemies and that the green Church which He started would become incredible in fortitude and vitality and then in the Last Days, it would become dry in its maturity. So, what does dry mean?
The Greek word translated in English as “dry” actually does not mean dried out or brittle. In fact, the word usually translated as “dry” is derived from a root meaning “boiling, heated, or vigorously burning” –actually meaning a vessel which is “full of fire.” NOT as in burned at the stake, but as in bodily persons having the characteristic of being full of Glory Fire, God’s Holy Presence, His Holy Spirit. Remember the Presence of God in the burning bush that Moses encountered?
This fiery characterization of the dry tree is contrasted by Jesus with the word translated as “green tree,” which comes from the Greek root for “very wet; saturated with water.” The early Church, in Jesus’ own words, were clean, even saturated through, with the Water of the Word he had spoken to them. They were ready to bring Life to the masses thirsty for the Living Water.
There would come a later time—and it seems to be our time—when the masses are hungry for the people of God who are full of the fire of the Holy Spirit who will do amazing mighty exploits (Daniel 11:32) in order to counter the unrighteous plundering of our world by the Anti-christ. The plundering and the mighty exploits will happen with ever increasing speed and magnitude.
Jesus declared that his disciples in future, in the Mature Church boiling with Holy Spirit fire and glory, would be doing even “greater works” of power than Jesus himself did! Their strength in His power and authority would be so amazing and incredible that the killing off of all of that Mature Church would be an impossible undertaking for the enemies of the Cross!
Beginning in the summer of 2015, I have been repeatedly coming back to a meditation on Luke 23:28-31. Jesus’ words were addressed to women. These women were weeping as he was carrying his cross to the crucifixion hill. He told them to not to weep for him—not to mourn for him, but instead to weep for themselves and for their children.
The impact of this hit me as I was in the prayer room of International House of Prayer listening to the singers doing a lament on the Lord’s death on the cross and yet extolling the majesty of his triumphant sacrifice. I clearly felt the passion of the weeping women and that passionate love for my Lord and His passionate love for my children came flooding into me.
Then I began to feel the import of Jesus’ admonition to weep. I cried out for grace for all of us Mothers to carry out our weighty responsibility to this generation to impart to them the truth of God our Father and to lift up His Eternal Son Jesus to them. I wept before the Lord for grace to awaken this generation to Jesus Christ, the true Life. The Lord Jesus should be their hot pursuit in these increasing dark days on this earth.
My heart still weeps for our sons and our daughters to be aroused to choose Jesus and His life-infused power. Their choice must be made before the pandering, hypnotic power of evil overtakes their hearts. When the Anti-christ spirit has the nations in his grip, when the Christ Himself returns for the final battle, then it will be too late for choice.
Mothers and Fathers! Do you weep in this realization? Do you press in to prevail in fervent prayer for our children, our sons and daughters, our grandchildren? Are we fully awakened to the choice looming dead ahead for this generation—for our cherished children?
It is vital in the coming days that the Body of Christ is brought into unity and proper alignment. We must not allow offense and failure to prevent us from stepping into our proper places within the Body of Christ.
This is true of individuals, and denominations, and movements and ethnic groups.
Barnabas was the first to walk out the role of reconciliation and restoration inside the Church. Continue reading “Why Barnabas?”