Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jesus appeared to me in a dream and this is what He said

The following is the account of a dream I had on the 21st of January 2018 at around 5am. I have never had such a dream before or anything remotely like it. I went back to sleep actually and then typed it first thing in the morning. Let every word be tested. There's stuff here to meditate on for a very long time. I truly hope you are blessed by what He said. One of the interesting things is how He spoke to me, it was as if He said multiple words with just a single syllable and it was as if time was not flowing at all in the way it normally does, almost as if He was able to say more than one thing at once and I was able to understand it. Here it is:

Photo by Aviion on Unsplash
I see two men, and one asks the Other, right in front of me about why my breakthrough prayers are not being fulfilled. And the first asks the Other, "is it because his dreams/prayers/desires are wrong or bad?" The Other responds to him, but turns to me to do so and says" no, they are good dreams and they will be fulfilled, but just as Moses tried to fulfill his dreams and failed, and so must he (myself) do so as well." He continues and says something to the effect that was so enormously full and multifaceted but in only a sentence. It's as if a huge download began for me, to process all that He said. I say He - they both appeared as men, I'm not sure what they were wearing and they appeared quite regular, they did not appear very 'glorious' or 'heavenly'. But somehow I felt or knew that Jesus was the Other and the first who asked him was an angel. I did not know where I was, as if all else was dark but what these two standing with me, almost like a gentle spotlight. It was all very natural and coherent and peaceful.

This is what Jesus began to tell me (mind the change from first and third person) and the reason why the breakthrough hasn't happened:
  • First of all, he (meaning me) hasn't learned yet the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven. 
  • He is relying on himself.
  • He is thinking that money is the answer not realizing that trusting God for a lot of money is precisely not trusting God because it positions Money as the supplier of good, when only God is the source of all Good Things. A shift is needed to think according to the Kingdom of Heaven, which I (myself) am firmly part of and in, a system without money entirely. 
    • This is where the prosperity teachings errs incredibly (though one can learn a lot from them in other incidental ways "Faith, speaking the word and believing as you pray", these are things Jesus spoke profusely about). But many who rightly teach poverty as a curse, also have teachings that glorify money as the Provider and God as a means to get Money the false Provider.
  • The example of Joseph. Joseph believed God was with him and therefore God would also give him good success. This is Joseph's secret. His dreams were God-given and they were fulfilled but Joseph, unlike Moses, did not use what he had to try to accomplish it, but instead was living life in His presence, trusting Him and sowing Life. In contrast, Moses' used his position (much like I think of all the things I can do for God and my family with money) to accomplish his God-given dreams but the end result was a dead Egyptian and a hero-complex only in his mind. 
  • Sowing seeds of Life is what needs to be done. The seeds of Life comes from the Fruit of the Tree of Life. Understand that this corresponds to the Fruit of the Spirit. When we sow the acts according to the Fruit of the Spirit, we sow the seeds of Life in our world and the world at large. 
  • Jesus then said that I had to learn to eat from the Tree of Life rather than the from the other Tree of  the Knowledge of Good and Evil (KOGE) like my father Adam. Adam had every tree to eat from except KOGE. When he ate KOGE fruit it bought on labor and death. When Moses acted by what he had in the Natural it was by the fruit of the KOGE, the strength of his arm (labor) and resulted in the death of the Egyptian (death). Jesus was saying I am still eating KOGE fruit to fulfill my dreams - it is never endingly laborious and ever a grand failure!
  • Now, without eating from KOGE, Adam and Eve lived a beautiful and restful life. If eating the fruit of KOGE bought sweat-of-the-brow labor and death and if without eating from the Tree of Life, there was already so much life and rest, what would have happened if they reached for the Fruit of the Tree of Life instead? How much more glorious it would have been?!?
  • Back to the Tree of Life. Jesus was saying I need to sow the seeds of the Fruit of the Tree of Life, which is the Fruit of the Spirit (at least in part). I can not sow according to the fruit of the KOGE Tree, which is labor and doomed to failure. In other words, my dreams can not be fulfilled by my self-effort. I need to use the Kingdom of Heaven's ways of Faith and Mark 11, speaking to Mountains and Believing I've received as I pray. Money is not a deliver from the system of the world, it is firmly part of the system of the world and even those with greatest amount of money are part of it, not liberated from it in anyway. And how do they have so much money? Most of the time their wealth was accrued by the ways of the KOGE - labor/death (whether it was a good way or bad way). 
  • He went on to say, that my job labor must be done as one under the Tree of Life, not KOGE.
There it is raw and fresh. There is SO much to expound on. Keep watching friends - I have noticed many in God's Kingdom, including myself and those close to me and many different kinds of teachers and preachers in the church speaking of something of the critical and amazing times we are living in. God bless you all. You're comments are welcome!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ancient Levantine Prayer of Communion

Michaelangelo's sculputure. Look at the detail in the depiction of Christ's body.
The detailed Arm - "He saves us with an outstretched Arm"
In the day He who made Life would accept the Suffering
He took the Bread with His Holy Hands, He blessed and sanctified it and then.
Broke and gave it to His disciples saying,
"Take, eat from it all of you. This is My Body
That for your sake and the sake of many will be broken
Making the Many Forgiven and Giving Eternal Life to them."

And likewise, taking the cup of wine
He blessed and sanctified the cup and gave to His disciples saying
"Take, drink from it, all of you.
This is My Blood, the Blood of the New Covenant,
That for your sake and the sake of many will be burned
Making the Many Forgiven and Giving Eternal Life to them."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Armor of God: Talking boots or Mindset of Peace?

"And your feet shod with the preparation of the good-new of peace.' Eph 6:15
This is the fourth post in this series on the Armor of God and we're going to look what is probably the most poorly explained piece in the Armor of God.

Photo by Benjamin Faust, modified by DR
When Paul penned this amazing passage, he opened with a colossal truth saying that no matter how insignificant we may seem we are actually in a war fighting with the strongest spiritual powers! (this is post 1) The first armor mentioned is the "belt of Truth", indeed this is the foundation (post 2). Then comes the breastplate of Righteousness and it speaks about how we must guard our heart from guilt (post 3) whether it be from the sins of deep past or the blunders of the last minute.

Now we come to what I think is one of the most unclear pieces of the Armor of God. Many speak about boots taking you places and protecting your feet and though we get its importance for warriors of the ancient world (and also today's soldiers) what does this piece of God's Armor really mean to us, spiritually and practically, that is?

I think their are two key words that highlight the real meaning of this. They are "feet" (see verse A below this post) and "preparation" (see verse B). Biblically these two words always conceptually go together. In short, FEET transport you to a place so you can PREPARE the way for Jesus.

Sorry, but this terminology has been used so much that it still makes no sense to our everyday brains. How are my feet going to prepare anything for Jesus?!

The concept of preparation here is the one denoted to make ready all things for the arrival of a king. Like any government delegation or dignitary that goes to visit a country or whatever, many preparations are made in advance. In a way, this preparation is preparing the way for people to receive Jesus Himself.

So is this verse talking about evangelism?

Yes and no.

This is a very important aspect of the armor of God. It is speaking about your mindset and what you set your heart on. The fact is many people have a skewed way of looking at the world, as if no matter what they look at, they are looking through invisible glasses that taint everything they see in a certain color. Some people see life as one problem after another. They often think pessimistically, have a poor self-image, little confidence and do not dwell too much on God's love. In fact, that last point says it all - they doctrinally may say they believe God loves them but it has NO place in their day to day lives. Problems come - little, trivial things even - and they run around like headless chickens with no hope in the world to save them from imminent world doom. They suddenly go into complete amnesia forgetting everything they KNOW and have EXPERIENCED from God. (This state of being is one which might often describe me spectacularly, btw.)

This is the mind that is not really set on peace or Christ. Instead, this mind is focused on the works of the devil. I am speaking about believers in Yeshua here. We can be followers of Jesus and read the Bible, but all the time we are looking at life upside down. We see the proverbial cup half empty all the time.

The Gospel or Good News is 1) GOOD NEWS! Good news to the sick means what? Healing! Good news to the broken, sad hearts means what? Comfort and joy. Good news to the hungry means what? Food! And 2) the Gospel of Yeshua is one of Shalom. Understand that Peace in the Bible isn't a mere cessation or absence of war and conflict. It means wholeness and completeness and salvation and rest and healing and restoration and joy. In the Levant, we use this word, Peace, (Arabic, Salam or Hebrew Shalom) all the time, not realizing even how powerful these words are, in our daily expressions to say these things!

So this piece of armor is how you view the world and your place in it. Its about who you think you really are in Jesus and what He has done and will do for you. Its about how quickly you revert to God's love when problems come, how rooted and grounded is your FAITH in the INFINITE and UNCONDITIONAL Love of God for you.

If you have the right mindset you are always rushing (with the feet of your spirit and soul, if you will) into peace. You are thinking good thoughts and blessings come out of your mouth. Paul is saying that this is a defensive weapon that protects us and also makes way for God to work in people's lives including our own. 

Practically speaking, this means when you face problems you can easily reset your mindset and see Jesus with you, holding your hand and guiding you. You are not afraid of these troubles but you are at peace within because your feet are constantly ready to make way for the Lord in your life. So you are patient and calm and maintain your wits. And when people come into your life, rather than being judgmental you are compassionate and come alongside them. And that love and compassion will inevitably result in both actions and words of the Good News of Peace.

Friends, our thoughts and their consequent words can either contaminate our lives or greatly bless them. They are stupendously powerful in spiritual warfare. The spiritual war we have been speaking of really is for our hearts. So let us fight to remember His Grace, Peace, Rest, the Truth of how much He loves and how He gave Himself for us. This is a very important part of spiritual warfare.

Shalom! Salam! And Peace!

A) How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” (Isa 52:7, Rom 10:15)

B) "A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isa 40:3, Mk 1:3)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness guards what has been given

I've been arguing in this series on the Armor of God that spiritual warfare and this Armor that Paul spoke of is not a set of outward actions or a focus on things outside of us, but rather it is a state of mind and spiritual discipline that is centered on Grace. So the foundation and beginning of spiritual warfare and is really an inward focus on what we have been given by Grace that equips us to fight the very real war we age against spiritual "world powers" (yep, Paul said this rather very surprising statement that each person in the body of Christ is fighting massively powerful and senior spiritual forces - see Daniel 10).

That's why it so important to understand Grace.

Grace is unmerited favor. To say we are under Grace, means therefore, God's love and blessings and acceptance are not based on anything we do or don't do, but only on what we receive, namely the Son and Messiah of God, Jesus. That it is unmerited means nothing you do can make you deserving of this Grace and likewise, Grace can not be demerited or taken away from us by anything we do either.

This may be basic stuff to even 'young' followers of Jesus but I am not talking on a doctrinal level but rather on an experiential and day to day level of living and walking with God. For sure, you can void grace (or fall from it), but only by refusing to receive it in the first place! That is, people fall from grace when they no longer believe that God's favor and blessings are unmerited.

That said, this post is about the second "piece" of armor in Paul's famous passage, the Breastplate of Righteousness. And you will see that it has everything to do with the Grace of God - the unmerited Gift of Righteousness.

What many have said is that this piece of armor has something to do with protecting our spiritual heart. By the way, the heart in the biblical sense is not distinct from the mind. Both wisdom and love, the heart and mind, the seat of emotion and intellect seem to be one; this is in contrast to Western thought which differentiates the two.

So the Breastplate of Righteousness is a piece of Armor that guards this heart.

We see in Proverbs that the heart is the wellspring of Life and that we should guard it above all else. And we remember the words of Jesus who said all manner of evil actions come and originate from dark thoughts wrought in the depths of our heart.

So this is therefore the crux of the matter - in spiritual warfare we must Guard our Hearts by Understanding the Unchanging Nature of the Righteousness that we are imputed with. In other words, the Breastplate of Righteous is "put on" figuratively by fully embracing in our thought life the Righteousness of God.

So to you - the follower of Yeshua - you are Righteous in Him. In fact the Bible goes further and says you so Righteous that you are His Righteousness!  2 Cor 5:21 says "For He who had not known sin made Himself to become sin in your place, that we would become the Righteousness of God in Him." 

What does it mean to be Righteous anyways?

Someone may say - to be free from sin. But in the purely Biblical sense, "Righteousness" literally means to be worthy of an inheritance. That's why we are called Heirs of God in the Bible! And this places Jesus on the Cross as our Eternal Father dying that we may Inherit all that He is and has! In fact, the word Testament (think New Testament) is another word for "will" the document that bequeaths an inheritance to heirs. So that's what the New Testament is, literally, the Will of Yeshua with His boundless Inheritance Revealed to the mankind that they may know Him who is Life!

So why are so many of us so concerned that we are falling from Grace because we have sinned. Friends, we will always sin so long as we are in this body. Definitely our portion on this earth to grow continually in Victory over the flesh as Walk in the Spirit, but YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS CAN NOT BE DIMINISHED BY EVEN A HAIR'S BREADTH NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO OR DON'T DO!

So guard your heart from this guilt that is based on lies. You are Righteous and His Righteousness. Instead, put on the Breastplate of Righteousness and thank God for His Grace!

Good hunting.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Armor of God: What it means to wrap truth around your waist like a belt

"The Law through Moses was given, the Grace and the Truth through Jesus Christ did come." John 1:17

If you want to understand the first thing mentioned about the armor of God, then you need to seek the meaning of Truth... What is Truth? (This post is part of a series on the Armor of God)

Obviously we are speaking about spiritual Truth but be very careful this is not about the truth concerning doctrine or science or history. Jesus said He was the Truth. So Moses gave the Law but Truth came through Jesus - now, does that mean that the Law was not Truth? This shows that the Truth we seek here is indeed more than just a matter of fact, commandments, doctrine or history.

Wonder Woman! 
John juxtaposed the Truth with the Law and that is where we see the key to unlock the mystery of the belt of Truth in God's Armor. That's the first clue. The second is that Jesus came full of Grace and Truth. Grace accompanies Truth. 

So we see two poles - the Law on the one hand and both Grace and Truth, inseparable, on the other hand.

The Law said you had to do things to be right with God and if you did you'd be blessed and if you didn't you'd be cursed (Deut 28). But Jesus revealed the True heart of God's, a heart full of abounding Grace upon Grace to the world - His desire is for all to be eternally and infinitely blessed not because of anything we do, but simply because we want His Grace and Receive it through the Messiah.

And today what we see in the church is a church of mixture. Among the followers of Yeshua there is - amazingly, after 2000 years - still a confusion. Are we under the Law or not? The Sabbaths? The Passovers? The Feasts? Or do we somehow create a new set of Laws instead? And so now are we righteous by our works or by what we believe? Do we just believe and do nothing?

These questions reveal that we don't get Grace. The Law through Moses was given - past, done,  as Jesus  declares on the Cross "It is Finished!" and that He would "Accomplish the Law". He didn't come to do away with the Holy Law but to fulfill it for He is the Very Object of the Law. In every commandment, in every detail of the tabernacle and Temple, in every feast, in every sacrifice, in every priestly ritual, JESUS YESHUA is the object of each and every one of those things. 

Yeshua is Lord of the Sabbath Rest, the Lamb of the Passover Pesakh, the Sacrifices that bring Forgiveness in Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). He is the Heavenly Original of the Earthly copies of Himself we see in the Bible, the Isaac, the Moses, the Joshua, the David and many more whose lives were a shadow and foretelling of the Messiah to come. He is also the Defining Vision of every Prophecy, the Son of Man in Ezekiel, the ImmanuEL of Isaiah, the Lord our Righteousness of Jeremiah, the Pierced One of Zechariah, and so forth.

So what does this all mean to you and I as we face the daily grind of life and the reality of this spiritual war?

It means you must not put yourself under law and like the leaven or yeast spoken of by Jesus and Paul, it is something you must desperately avoid in your life. Being girded in Truth means constantly pulling back from the temptation to achieve a right standing in front of God by doing good things and instead to relish His Grace and from His Love and Compassion let the Fruit of the Spirit abound in you.

You see, I believe this is one of the things Jesus meant when He said we needed to die to ourselves and carry our cross. We need to deny our fleshly itch to justify ourselves and be self-reliant and self-righteous.

Consider what Paul said in this regard in Galatians 2:19-21:
For I through law, did die, that to God I may live; with Christ I have been crucified, and live no more do I, and Christ doth live in me; and that which I now live in the flesh -- in the faith I live of the Son of God, who did love me and did give Himself for me; I do not make void the grace of God, for if righteousness [be] through law -- then Christ died in vain.

This is the Belt of Truth that we must fasten to ourselves, the Truth of this reality Paul spoke of; it is to completely cleanse ourselves and keep clear of the spirit of self-righteousness and justification through which we VOID GOD'S GRACE. Instead, we need only TRUST Yeshua and Receive His ABUNDANT LOVE and THE GIFT OF HIMSELF.

So are you ready to cast away the leaven of self-righteousness and law from your life? To dive in and immerse yourself in Yeshua, His Grace and His Love?

That's how you hold yourself together in the war. And this is where the fight of your life starts!