Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Removing Deception

About ten years ago I prayed a simple prayer.  "Father God, please remove all deception from my heart and mind."

This simple prayer has caused a dramatic change in almost all areas of my life.   Many of the strongholds that have been broken in my life because of that prayer have caused me great pain as I let go of beliefs and patterns and 'soap boxes' that had previously been the very foundation of my life.  It has also caused me to disagree with a lot that's adhered to by many of my Christian friends and the organized religious church.

My family and I attended church for over 20 years, tithed faithfully, never missed a service, worked in the nursery, attended the prayer meetings, etc.  We were involved and considered one of the hard-working families of any church we attended.  My husband and I were in 'leadership.'  I followed all the rules and believed everything the pastor preached.

And then I prayed this prayer.

Today, I shudder when I hear 'church people' express the very things I used to believe.

Yesterday a friend of mine made a statement that usually wouldn't bother me.  I've heard these kind of criticisms before and just brushed it off.  But for some reason, this one got under my skin and hurt me. Something that I believe in because of my faith and leading of the Holy Spirit was called, "Stupid!!!!!!" by a Christian friend.  So contrary to my usual actions, I addressed it.  Not the difference in opinion - just being called, "stupid."

I know that I have in the past had the same attitude of seeing someone do something that I disagree with and immediately jumping to judgment.  And so for that reason, it's easy for me to not take offense.  But that doesn't change the fact that there are so many beliefs in the Body of Christ that are in agreement with the media and the world and not necessarily in agreement with the Word of God.  And Christians, sometimes even more than other groups, seem to feel they've reached a place of superiority and are comfortable making their 'judgments' on others.

So I would ask you to pray this simple prayer.  "Father God, please remove all deception from my heart and mind."  I'd like to warn you that you may in for a roller-coaster ride but God is perfect in His timing and His dealings with all our hearts.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and knows best how to change us from glory unto glory unto glory.  He is Faithful and True.  And I'm so very thankful that He continues to answer this simple prayer.

love and blessings~

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy , they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly , but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Seven Types of Blood that Jesus Shed

Several years ago I read a wonderful book by Ana Mendez Ferrell called,
Ana and her husband have received wonderful revelation from God about the power of the blood of Jesus by fasting, praying and taking communion.  

As it's Good Friday, I want to share her amazing insights with you.  Below is an excerpt from her book about the blood of Jesus that was shed for our salvation - 

Page 66 of "Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood" (pictures from the movie, "The Passion of the Christ"

The Finished Work is Revealed in Each Way the Blood Was Shed

Each one of the seven parts of Christ's suffering in which His blood was poured out are doors to hidden mysteries that open and reveal themselves in fellowship with His blood   The cross in an infinite paradise of blood droplets, each one full of light and revelation. It is the entrance to the Heavenly City, to the dwelling places of the  Spirit and to celestial places.
Thousands of experiences of deep knowledge and revelation are before the believer who finds this master key, and dives into this river of light.

The Blood in the Sweat of His Forehead

Victory over all pain and suffering of the soul is found in those drops in the sweat of His forehead.  The power that submits our will to that of God is found there.  We can drink of those same drops, and make any desire that opposes God to submit to Him.  These are drops of blood that take us to unprecedented level of intercession.  They attract God's angels to help us  die to ourselves and assist us in passing tests of purification that, without His blood and His angels, would be impossible to get through.

Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done...And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.  Luke 22:42;44

The Blood that Flowed from the Slaps and Blows that Disfigured His Face

The blood that flowed from the slaps and blows that disfigured Jesus' face fives us triumph over pride and vanity, and rescues us from the yoke of reproach and rejection.  It gives us the power to endure when people humiliate and mock us.  It allows us to be like Him during the loss of our reputation.  It helps us to see the celestial and divine side found when the beauty within us has been destroyed in order for His beauty to shine through our being.  When the soul and the spirit are full of this beauty, men's words no longer matter.
Many times, God has asked me to love thosee who hae destroyed me with their mocking and reproach.  Drinking this blood has strengthened my heart in order to love and love and love again, where natural man no longer has that capacity.

Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, "Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?"  Matthew 26:67-68

...They humiliate Israel's king, slapping him around like a rage doll.  Micah 5:1b

Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.  Isaiah 52:14

The Blood Shed When Pieces of His Beard Were Pulled Out

His beard speaks of the priesthood. Through this blood we reclaim the lost priesthood that permits us to minister before His presence.  It is from Jesus' beard that His anointing descends upon His entire body, as it occurred with Aaron, the high priest.

It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even aaron's bread, coming down upon the edge of His robes.  Psalm 133:2

I gave back to those who strike Me, and my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.  Isaiah 50:6

The Blood Shed During the Whipping that Tore His Back

We drink the victory over all disease in our physical body as we drink this blood.  Just as Jesus took away our sins, He suffered in order to carry in His body all our sickness and pain. Jesus was never sick while He was on the earth.  He was a man without sin, and this protected His body so the devil could not touch Him.  satan can only touch fallen nature due to sin.  The prince of evil wnated to destroy Jesus with all kinds of sickness, but he could not.  When He was on the cross, Jesus covered Himself with sin.  This attracted to Himself all sickness and He carried it to death, through His own death.  This is one of the most powerful things that happened at Calvary and that gives us the possibility of living a life full of health.  It would be difficult for a body continually washed with the blood of Jesus to become sick.  God is calling us in this genereation to enter and possess all that Jesus did for us through His sacrifice.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ouselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:4-5

When my husband and I are attacked in our physical bodies, instead of running to the doctor, we cling to thepower that is in the blood and in the flesh of Jesus.  We look at His wounds and His shed blood and we decree, believing with all our hearts that these wounds were not in vain for us.  He gave the death sentence to all sickness, and we should believe it and drink in that blood our won victory over all sickness.

The Blood Produced by the Crown of Thorns

This blood crowned Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.  It gave Him the victory over the devil's empire. He conquered the government of the earth.  This gives us the position of kings and the ability to govern with Christ.  This blood conquered strongholds in the spiritual world and in the mind of man.  By drinking this blood, we conquer our thought life so we can have the mind of Christ.  We appropriate for ourselves the conscience of Christ.
Jesus the man believed everything that was written about Him.  He knew that everything He was in His spirit had to invade His entire human nature until He became the Christ in His whole being.  He trained His mind to be subject to His Spirit in order for Him to see Himself as He really was. He was Christ, the Son of God. Likewise, through fellowship with His blood, we allow the truth of who we are to penetrate our mind, until we literally become everything that is written about us. 

...We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (through the weapons of the  Spirit). 2 Corinthians 10:5b (paraphrased)

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.  Matthew 27:29-30

The Blood Shed from the Wounds Caused by the Nails

From this blood we obtain triumph over iniquity, over sin, over the twisted, crooked way of our footsteps.  This blood opens the way of righteousness, restoring the paths of our destiny.  It open roads to carry the Gospel where there is no path or any way to get there.

...By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the man, as He will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11b

For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity. Isaiah 59:3a

It is the blood that also heals the earth contaminated with our iniquities.

On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.  Psalm 58:2b

The Blood Shed from His Side When Pierced by the Spear

Fellowship with the blood of Jesus is going to allow us to know Him intimately.  It will begin to transform us so that we are able to penetrate the most sensitive parts of His heart.  This is one of the greatest privileges to which a human being can aspire.  God will only open this part of His being to those He considers to be His bride.  His bride is the one who desires Him above all.  She goes wherever He goes.  She follows Him because of Who He is, and not becuase of what He can bless her with. 
John was the only disciple who had the grace to arrive at this depth.  He loved Jesus more than the others. He followed Jesus to the cross, while the others hid for fear of losing their own lives. The fear caused by the Roman army didn't matter to him. He just wanted to be close to his beloved; with his presence and with his eyes John wanted to the message, "You are not alone; I'm with You to the end. If being here will cost my life, with pleasure I'll die at Your side."

When I take Communion, many times I meditate in each one of these ways in which His blood was shed, and I make them mine.  In the cross there is so much richness. There are doors to inexpressible encounters with God.

I shared the link to Mrs. Ferrell's book above.  

love and blessings~

I'm linking up with:
Imparting Grace

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Seasons of Salvation

Several years ago I was standing in front of my son's high school at 'Prayer at the Poles.'  He was sitting on the ground at the foot of the flag pole, playing his guitar and leading the students in praise and worship.  The ground all around us was covered in fallen leaves.

As I looked down, just appreciating the moment, a beautiful maple leaf caught my eye.
This is not my leaf.  My leaf had three distinct points.  It was gold in the center and the color deepened to a brilliant red on each tip.  It looked like fire.  And the three points made me instantly think of the three persons of God - Creator(Father), Word (Jesus the Son), and Holy Spirit.

And God began to talk to me.  He began to show me how the four seasons speak of His plan of salvation.

The amazing thing is before 'the fall of man', there weren't four seasons.  The Word tells us that a mist watered the garden of Eden and we know from the story of Noah's flood that it had never rained before. Dr. Carl Baugh, of the Creation Museum in Texas, believes that before the flood, the earth's axis was straight up and down.  The catastrophic event of a world wide flood caused the earth's axis to tilt and caused the poles to freeze.  (more in a later post)  This was the start of the seasons, as we know them.

It's amazing to me that even as the world was being destroyed permanently by sin and the flood, God was showing us His salvation in the changing seasons.

In Autumn, the leaves become the color of fire as they die and fall to the ground.  Many Christians think of hell when they think of fire but I think of the Holy Spirit.  It's the fire of the Holy Spirit that destroys the dross and sin in our lives.  Autumn represents the fire of the Holy Spirit and the destruction of sin.

When Winter comes, the earth is covered in the white of snow.  White represents purity.  Jesus covers our sin in His righteousness and the Word tells us that we are made as white as snow.  The earth dies, just as we die to sin, and are raised up in Christ.  Winter represents Jesus covering us in His righteousness.

Spring reveals the new life we have in Christ.  Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new."  Our old lives are gone and we become a new creature in Christ.

Summer is a season of abundant life- in God's order of the abundant life that God has for us.  We bear fruit, we are pruned, we grow.  In Christ, we have abundant LIFE.

Everything in God's creation demonstrates His divine order.  It's not an analogy - He has made all of creation to follow His design.  It then would make perfect sense that even as the earth and mankind was being destroyed by sin that His perfect plan would be illustrated for us to see!

I don't think I've ever looked at the world or the seasons the same since He's shown me this.  This year we've had the worst winter in 40 years, breaking records for snow fall and low temperatures.  Jesus told us to watch the signs and pay attention to the seasons.  I can't help thinking that in His divine order we have seen an outpouring of His righteousness like never before.

love and blessings~

 " For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Covenant of Marriage

Today I saw a man on TV kneel before the woman that he loves and ask her to marry him.  I didn't know them- I had never seen them before - but I was suddenly touched by the heart of God and it brought tears to my eyes. I realized how much this humble gesture so illustrated the heart of God for man.

The Bible tells us that marriage is a mystery that shows the nature of the Bride of Christ and Jesus.  In Genesis chapter one we're told that God created man "in His image."  The word for God in this text is "Elohim" and is plural.  God the Creator, The Word and the Holy Spirit were all present at creation.  They created a being in Their Image and God called this person Adam.

I believe that Adam encompassed all the qualities of God and was neither male or female but rather, both. When God saw that there was no help mate for this person, He took a rib from Adam and created Eve.  All the qualities of Eve were originally in Adam and God made 'the one' - two.  He split Adam into two people. God left all the qualities that we now think of as 'male' into Adam and all the qualities we now think of as 'female' into Eve.  They are all qualities of God.

Genesis 2:23 says, The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man."  for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

I believe that they were originally one flesh.  That's why it's so natural that men and women desire to be reunited.  We were originally 'one flesh' with God, in perfect unity and relationship, until that was destroyed by sin.  We have a continuous yearning to be reunited with God.

Marriage is a covenant relationship.  If you've never studied "covenant" I will give you a quick summary.

In Biblical times society was governed by covenants, much like today's society is governed by contracts. But covenants were nothing like contracts in that they were 'love relationships.'  The basis of covenant was not what you could get; but what you could give.

The two people entering the covenant would agree to the terms of the covenant and then have a covenant ceremony.  They would exchange vows and exchange names.  The covenant was a binding commitment that surpassed death and carried on through the generations of one's family.  They vowed that everything they owned belonged to the other.  They drew blood and shook hands, mixing their blood with each other.  They often added ash or ink to the wound and when they met each other in the market place, they would extend their hands, revealing the covenant mark, and shake hands again.

People in covenant called each other, "Friends."  This was not a casual acquaintance but a binding relationship that they carried with great honor.  God called Abraham His friend.  God called Himself, "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

They would then have a celebration and a covenant meal.  They would break bread and drink wine in a symbol of their new relationship.

Today, when a bride and groom come before God, their families and friends, they take a vow - to love, honor and cherish each other, through sickness and health, through good times and bad, until death parts them.  They exchange names and take each other's families as their own.  They cut a cake together and drink a toast - a custom that has been handed down from the covenant meal.  They exchange rings that represent an eternal bond.

All these traditions have passed down through the centuries.  Things have been added and changed over the decades but the basic understanding is the same.  The family blesses the new couple, in the Name of Jesus and vows to support them and never do anything to tear them apart.

This blessing is so very important.  I have known of couples who dishonored their parents by marrying outside their wishes and I've seen it result in infertility.  I'm not saying that this is always the case but a family not blessing a marriage is a very real thing and can have very negative consequences.  God has put parents as authority over children as a protection.  Children reap negative consequences when they step outside of their parents will.

But this marriage ceremony, although important, is not what actually marries a man and a woman.  It's the coming together on the marriage bed that makes 'the two become one.'  There is no physical reason for a woman to have a hymen.  But the breaking of the hymen in the marriage bed is the blood seal of covenant in a marriage.  Sex is spiritual.  It causes a spiritual bond between a husband and wife that is not intended to ever be broken.

When this bond is broken again and again by premarital sex and promiscuity it causes a broken human being that cannot bond as was intended.  The most damaging thing in our society to marriage and our well-being is promiscuity.

We need to make sure our children understand that sex is not just a physical act but will affect them in a profound and spiritual way.  Their sexual activity will affect them the rest of their lives and it can damage their relationship with God.

That is not to say that God cannot restore and heal our every mistake and He does!  He wants to! With love and grace far beyond our understanding.  There is no sin that God does not forgive and heal.  God loves us with a love that is deep and unconditional and He hates sin because sin destroys the people He loves.  

I think a man kneeling before the woman he loves so represents the humble heart of God that lays down His life for the church, the Bride.  The loving heart of God has given all that He has to win the Bride.  He give us all that He owns, His name, His Life, so that we might be united with Him in love.  So that we might become 'one' with God.

The Word tells us that today Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us that all things work together for good for us that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Jesus bears the 'covenant mark' on His hands and feet - a constant reminder to Him of His loving covenant with us!

I am so thankful for His grace and love in my life!  He has given everything that we might be restored to right relationship with God.  Because of His sacrifice we are invited to come boldly into His throne room of grace and have an intimate relationship with our Father God.

Love and blessings~
 "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  Hebrews 4:16

I'm linking up with this party: