Posts Tagged ‘American Church’

GOVERNMENT OF GOD – No Insignificant Land

April 24, 2009

Isaiah chapter 9. Here we have the birth and reign of the Prince of Peace again prophesied. Begin in verse 2.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 

They are happy because the King has come, the reign has come. And we read that, “You shall multiply the nation.” And I just want to say that we are the nation of God. Our land is the realm. Our land is no insignificant land; our kingdom, our nation is no insignificant nation. We have been called to be a people not of this lesser realm. We’ve been called out of this land of darkness, not removed. Jesus prayed in John 17, “Father, I pray that You do not take them out of but from the midst of it.” If we do not get this issue of the significance of the realm, the nation, the government to which we are called, we’re going to find our hands burned from holding on too tight to a lesser nation.

I’m speaking to you from the depth of my heart. If the church does not let go of, and I don’t mean by that to not pray for, not witness to, not go after to save, these lesser kingdoms, but if we do not let go of our ownership of that which is less, they have no hope, and we’re going to be severely burned when she’s judged. Because she shall be judged, this lesser kingdom and I believe it has begun. And by that I do not mean economic downturn. It is going to begin with us.

Judgment first begins with the household of God, the children of this exalted realm. They must first have removed from their life that which is not from God. That’s what judgment is all about. Only God judges and He only judges that which is not of Him. It is the world that persecutes. It is Satan and the world of darkness that comes against the children of God. And their persecution is always aimed at that which is of God. And because of our immaturity and our ignorance we’re going to be calling persecution what is really judgment, what is really intended to remove from us, to break from us, to tear out of our hands. And if we do not let go early, we will be injured in its removal. It’s necessary what is coming. It’s necessary.

And I encourage you to let go and take hold of the realm that can bring hope to the children of this lesser realm. Their only hope is in a people being raised up who know the reign of God in their heart. A people who are manifesting a life like Paul and Silas in that inner prison representing a life in the midst of what looks like physical bondage that’s free and above and reigns over all the circumstances of life. And they will not want to leave us once they see it. But if we’re holding on to that which God is judging we offer no hope to them. We’ve deceived them by our own selfish self-reigning ambitions.

THE KEY PARABLE – Death Is Life

February 7, 2009

Paul makes the same point about mysteries in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2. These “mysterious” things, even if you were to try to explain them, are foolishness to the world.

Some of you perhaps are a little bothered by my emphasis on our becoming nothing. Our choosing blindness, our choosing not to hear with our outer ears, and if I were to use another illustration from Matthew 5, our choosing to be poor in spirit, absolutely destitute of any strength of our own. This will certainly seem to be absolutely foolishness to the natural mind. Come on, face it. Isn’t that a bit foolish? I’ll tell you when you’ll face it. You’ll face it when He’s trying to bring you to nothing in some area, and you’re doing everything you can to hang on for dear life. But the one who would save his life in the very area that God is trying to bring death, he’ll lose life. That’s foolishness to the carnal mind. It’s foolishness because the carnal mind cannot understand that they were created in the very beginning for God. And you cannot even function without God, as a normal human being.

Just like you can make a car go; you can push it along; you can hitch a horse to the front end of the car; you can get 10 people behind the car; you can make the car go. But the car was not made to go by pushing or by pulling. The car was made to go by gasoline combustion in the engine. You and I were made for God and until that sinks in in fullness, we will continue to try to save some remnant of our old life. I want to save some reputation. I admit it. I want to have at least some reputation with you. There’s death in that! There’s death in that!

For example, I’ve pastored so I have first hand knowledge that every pastor goes through things like the example that follows: I love the Smiths. I poured my life into the Smiths. My wife and I were with them when their first baby came. We counseled with them when they went through difficult times. I poured my life into them. They loved me too. But another servant of the Lord has come along and he is teaching some things that the Smiths are identifying with. And they really feel like God is calling them to be under this other ministry.

Now what do you think is going on in John Brown’s heart when that happens? Why do you think that we in the church are so territorial? It’s because we don’t want to die. We’ve staked out a claim of our own. We have our own kingdom. And I feel that threat. We are liars if we say that we do not feel that threat. The carnal man is still here. Sin still dwells in the flesh. But it is embracing dying; it is choosing to say, “God reigns. Brother, if God is calling you over there, let me bless you and introduce you to your new pastor. And I’ll pray you’ll find a way to share whatever God is sharing over there with us.” Is it possible they have light we don’t have? Well, why do you think they are going over there? It doesn’t make any difference how much light I have, I don’t have all the light, and I don’t have all the truth. I actually have a very narrow, little bit of the truth.

God’s given me a little narrow portion. I think it’s an important portion. I think it’s a very significant portion, but it’s not everything. It’s only a bit. I’ve come to realize that. That’s why I’m not starting another church. I believe if it’s God in this teaching, the whole church needs to hear it. And I need to be able to hear from my new relationships that which I don’t have. But, it only comes by dying. That’s why Paul goes on to say, “Always carrying about in the body the dying, that the life of Christ Jesus might come forth” (2 Cor. 4:10).

These two are always working in us. If they are not, if they are trying to save their life, trying to preserve the old self, then they have only one working, and it is death. But if you are allowing the old self to come to death, something else is working in you. It’s the life of Another.

Paul saw that. Paul saw that he needed not to impress others with his intellect. “I came to you, not with wise and persuasive words,” but he could have. If there was ever a first century preacher that could have, he’s the man. He chose not to. “I did not come to you with wise and persuasive words that the life of Christ, that the Spirit of God, that your faith might rest on the power of God.” In weakness, in frailty, if you think that Paul or that John Brown is much, then you are wrong because he’s not much, he’s not much at all.

So that if anything comes forth, you know it is God. That’s where He is taking you. You are in trouble now; you know that, don’t you? You may have read or been exposed to all of this before but at least in my menu of it, even if you are reading or experiencing it for the first time, and you are being reminded that you are without excuse. God is choosing for you the death of the old man.

God is choosing to bring to fullness the departure of Adam’s life in you and me. And if you can bear this, that’s all that is holding back the last ticks of the clock, the Bride making herself ready, the church finally believing God, that she is made for Him and only Him. As soon as we believe and set to getting our self ready as a bride for the bridegroom, our coming into full intimacy with Christ, He then sets the clock upon the last seconds of what must take place. And what is it all about? Actually, that is exactly what this book is really all about.

We can’t even choose death on our own. If it were up to me to kill myself, I’d mutilate myself. I’d do as bad a job of killing myself as I do of everything else I do on my own. He did not say, “Kill yourself!” What He said was, “Take up your cross.” He’ll handle the dying bit. And if you’ll let Him handle the dying bit, it will be marked with His mercy and His grace, His everlasting lovingkindness. He’s just asking you to say, “So be it. I will be with you. You make me. I’ll say yes to, ‘Follow Me and I’ll make you.’ Lord, You can cause it to happen.”

And once He sees that happen in the Bride, the Church, once He sees that take place, that she is set to make herself ready, then He will declare that the work is finished and will return in glory. And that’s why that final work is not like what we would like to believe it is. We would like to believe that when we become mighty warriors and overcomers, it would bring the whole world to its knees. But that’s not how it plays out in the Scriptures. It plays out in the Scriptures with the power of the holy people being absolutely pulverized. He brings to an end our own strength, but we would have said, “Do it!” And He will do it by His grace and His lovingkindness.

THE KEY PARABLE – Be All You Can Be

January 29, 2009

We’ve believed in self-sufficiency and we’ve been raised and taught that we are striving in life to become sufficient. Jesus is working to bring us to a total insufficiency. We are working towards adequacy; He is working to bring us to total inadequacy. We are working to become strong; He is working to bring us to total weakness, absolutely incapable of doing anything on our own to where we can legitimately say before others and the Lord, “I can do nothing…”

I can remember when I thought I could do anything and be anything I wanted to be. And if you insist on that, God will give it to you. As He did for Israel with Saul He’ll give you a king head and shoulders over all the others. But if your heart’s toward the Lord and you try to work towards intimacy with Him, He will break everything, and He will bring to naught everything in which you have trusted.

I know many Christians who are going through breakings who are really fighting against God. God is breaking them. And whether you can receive this or not, every situation in your life that comes from the outside, and even those that you cause, God is ordering. He will not allow anything to come to you, even if you deserve it, if your heart is towards Him, and you want to be restored. He will only allow those things to come to you which will accomplish His purposes in your life. And what you and I are going through right now, everything that you are going through, including those things that you like, God has had to give permission for it to go on because you are His children. The enemy cannot touch you or move in your life without permission from the Father (see Job chapters 1, 2 and 3). The devil has to get permission. So, we need to see that it is the work of our Father, bringing us to a place where we can say, “I can do nothing on my own, I can see nothing on my own, I can hear nothing of His, unless He opens my ears, opens my eyes, unless He speaks it or shows it to me.” Am I coming through? Are you seeing the place for this exercise?

Let’s offer up to the Lord an honest heart saying, “Lord, I want to see that which you are trying to show me, and I’m blind to see it unless you open my eyes. I choose to be blind to my own seeing that I might see those things that You would reveal and show to me.”

Father, you’ve said it: our ways are not Your ways; our thoughts are not your thoughts. But Lord, we’re starting to see this; we’re starting to see that You are really bringing us to the place to where You are our life. We thank You for helping us see that we were made for you and that you’ve not intended for us to rely upon our abilities: our abilities to hear, our ability to see, our ability to do. We just, with joy, and with a sincere heart, say to you, Father, “We cannot see unless You show us. And we want to see.” O Father, we want to see what it is that You want to show us. And we want You to increase in our sight, those things that You have already shown us. Lord we want You to add to them everything else that You would add to them in Your time. With a conscious effort Lord, we just are not discarding, Lord, we are just setting aside those things You’ve already shown us so that You can show us more. Help us to not allow the things from the past, even the truths from the past, to get in the way of what You would show us. And, Lord, so that the enemy does not sow fear, I’m asking myself that you would keep these readers from any falsehood or deception or inadequacy of John Brown. Lord, I am asking that they not listen to me. Help them to focus their ears Lord, turn their eyes toward You that You alone would show them, teach them. And I thank you, Heavenly Father, right now, for that which You are going to do with us through this teaching. In the Name of our wonderful Lord Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.