Deliverance Follows Obedience


Deliverance Follows Obedience
Prepare your heart to seek God for obedience that you may observe and do all that Christ has commanded through His holy apostles.
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent." (Zephaniah 3:9)

Friday, December 25, 2020

With God All Things Are Possible?


I've been reflecting upon Abraham as the father of faith and how his experience with God differs from the common experience we had prior to coming into covenant with Him. 

Abraham did not allow his family traditions to define his understanding of God. He did not try to initiate a relationship with God based on those traditions. His father was an idol maker and he was surrounded by idol worshippers. 

We too were called out of a system where we were taught how to construct idols which had eyes but which required us to see for them, hands but required us to feel for them, feet but required us to move them about, and mouths but which required us to speak for them.

We too were called out of a system where we were surrounded by people who compared one's idols against the idols of others and exchanged ideas about idol design and construction. This felt very familiar to us as this was the system into which we were all born. 

We called that system our life and light. God calls that system darkness and death. This conflicting perspective spoke to our separation from God due to our being born into sin. Being born into sin means we were born in the kingdom of darkness and raised under the influence of that kingdom. 

King David called this the valley of death. 

God calls us back home to His bosom. He provided Himself as the door in the form of Christ Jesus. He gives the key to His elect steward of our generation that we may receive instruction in how to gain access to Him and learn to walk with Him. 

Abraham did not learn faith from his father. He learned faith by listening to the voice of God and allowing it to influence his thinking. Instead of explaining the voice of God away when it contradicted his thinking, he considered it and weighed his natural perception against it. 

As he continued to reason with the voice of God, he began to stand in doubt of the things his father embraced and the things he had learned to embrace. When the voice of God called upon him to separate himself from his father's house so that Abraham would be spared from the wrath of God, he obeyed. He didn't use this knowledge to challenge God's judgment and save his father. His sympathies were not to his father but to God against whom his father was working. 

We too responded to the voice of God with consideration and allowed it to influence our perspective. We too chose to follow the voice of God even when it required separation from the voices of those who were contradicting Him even when those voices were familiar to us. 

We were born strangers to God but as we received instruction from Him, and weighed the things we had been taught against the things we were now learning, we found that our confidences had been falsely placed and could now build with full assurance with the new knowledge we were learning. 

Brick upon brick the foundation of our understanding was laid by God through our contact with Him. We never forgot that this contact with Him was by invitation through the door of Christ with the key given to His anointed servant for our benefit. 

We did not take ownership of these things which God provided us access to but did take delight in them and allowed every aspect of our lives to be influenced by them. 

While the world continues on taking delight in darkness and confusion. We delight instead in the full assurance of Christ as we never depart from Him after having been reconciled to Him. 

This is the true fear of the Lord. We fear isolation from Him. 

This morning I woke reflecting upon "with God all things are possible". 

I thought of how the key to this is often ignored by the world when they quote this. "With God". They focus on "all things are possible" as it excites their imaginations. "With God" requires responsibility. What does it mean to walk with God? The answer to this is found in the example God draws our attention to by calling Abraham the father of faith. We walk with God when we walk in active agreement with Him. 

When we walk in active agreement with God, then we are allowing the voice of God to influence our choices and our perspectives. We are not favoring the desires of our heart over the desire of His heart. We then realize that with God, all things pertain to Christ. This is our common experience in the faith. 

We then see that by learning to walk with Him; by learning to use all things that pertain to Christ; we can take full confidence in His ability to deliver on His promises. Even as Abraham who looked for a city whose builder and maker was God. 

Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Reflecting on My Experiences with Christ as the Anchor, Rudder, and Sail of My Soul

During a cycle of growth from September 25, 2014, the Spirit brought to mind how the challenge I was facing was an inclination to long for something past. We see that it is common for man to cast a favorable light upon something being memorialized. The statues of a hero are often made to enhance perceived qualities. There is a tendency to idealize that which is being memorialized. 


I thought of how the thing that I was longing for only had value within a moment of time in my past experience. It did not bear out as I had expected over time. But in a given moment of time, it seemed ideal. I thought of how this was like an encapsulated bubble in time in which it seemed as if I was experiencing my desired outcome. The fact that I found myself longing for this testifies against that idealized memorial. It lacked power to be sustained. It sprang up and quickly faded away like the glory of grass. 


The Spirit helped me identify the pattern of deception seen in the way Satan suggests we can go back and reconstruct these bubbles (moments in time) to relive them or to attempt to live in them. For Adam, his first bubble was his recollection of walking with God in the Garden and having fellowship with Him and His angels as the heavens were open to him at that time. But after the fall, this experience had been sealed off from him. 


Reflecting upon this, I drew out the diagram shown here. I first drew the horizontal timeline. I saw how these bubbles were our common experience before coming into covenant with God. The things we cherished never lasted and we knew no consistency in this dimension of darkness. 



I then noticed how God provides new experiences for us beginning with the SEAL of the Spirit and the laying of the foundation of Truth in our hearts by instruction from His holy apostles. These new experiences are not bubbles but are daily sustained by Him as we keep covenant with Him. 


I drew these above the timeline because I used the timeline to show experiences in His kingdom of Light above the timeline and our experience in the kingdom of darkness below. I marked this out with the vertical line which also marks out the distinction between our life before covenant (BC) and our life of faith after our adoption (AA).


As the drawing notes, this transition begins with the SEAL and our being instructed in the apostles doctrine. We see this in 1 Peter 1:2, Acts 2:42, and Eph 1:13. 


As we continue in covenant with God in Christ, we see that our expectations shift to Christ and that we receive daily substance of our hope in Him. These are very different experiences from that which we found in darkness. I drew these new experiences as continuations in time which lead to the Door of His Throne (Christ) which marks our being received back into Him (B=B). That which was initiated by Him within His own Bosom is sustained by Him through Christ and is brought to completion by Him to be received back into His own Bosom with the increase of Christ seen in those tokens provided for our faith to live in this dark dimension. 


This also marks the end of darkness, time, and death (the final curse to be removed.)

As I drew that out, I was reflecting on something being shared by Chief Apostle Eric in last week's assembly. The river of life flows forth from the roots of the tree of life which is for the healing of the nations.


I noticed how my drawing of the new experiences we gain in Christ looked like roots of a tree (sideways). I then drew the trunk and branches to the right which is what the Spirit brought to mind in connection with what had been stewarded in assembly. We see the roots of truth being formed within our hearts now in this time of testing and how it is from these experiences (roots) that we bring forth charity for the strengthening of His Body. This will also being carried forward perpetually within us as we go about our Father's business (first in us and then through us without end). Praise God!


I then noticed also how we had settled into a comfort zone while in darkness and how this carries over with our inclinations after coming into covenant. We see this is part of the transition that the the Spirit assists us through as our comfort zones fade with each successful cycle of growth while our confidence in Christ increases. I drew this near the center of the timeline. 


Chief Teacher Maria had a few notes I wanted to add:


What the Spirit lifted out to me was that when experience met outcome (bubbles A,B, & C), these are often described as defining moments in time. The reason we yearn to return to them is that they mimic the “permanence” we were designed for, had once experienced in the bosom of the Father prior to our experience here, and desire to return to.


 The desire for permanence explains in part why there is a such a tremendous draw to Satan’s suggestion that we go back to reconstruct those bubbles (why we are drawn by to what appear to be defining moments).

 Interestingly, these defining moments, when desire met expectation are often also described as when it seemed that “time stood still”. And then an agony is experienced when that moment seems “gone forever”. The reconstruction of bubbles offer (false promise) permanence, but only God can give us these tokens now from the roots of Christ as each token is connected to Him and is carried on in Him forever. Thank you again for providing this opportunity for labor.


The bubbles created by Satan also serve as false anchors in that we’re drawn back to what they offer to take another look at their potential. These false anchors rival the true anchor we have in the bosom of the Father. The tokens of Christ are designed for us to go back to them to resource the knowledge of Christ for confidence.


(This brought to my mind how there is a suggestion to project forward with those things which were past... projecting a false hope to alleviate present concern.) 


She continued on:  The hope there is that the things we are facing today were already tested in the past and we can trust that experience now to tell the truth, to be as an unwavering guard for us now in this present time when there might be uncertainty.


Concerning the comfort zone vs confidence section of the diagram, she shared: Contact with the roots of Christ brings confidence as hope is given substance. Satan seeks to reestablish contact with those former bubbles to confuse the mind with former associations. The word "nostalgia” comes to mind again to describe a familiarity/sentimentality with events and people the mind is drawn back to.


The Lord has drawn me back to this diagram in multiple cycles of growth to further my understanding and make additional connections. I wanted to write this up and share these notes and this diagram for your edification as well.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

You Have Not So Learned Christ ~ Ephesians 4:20

Yesterday I found myself in awe of how the foundation of Truth has provided tangible evidence of Christ as the rock of my salvation.

I received the foundation training in 2002 (18 years) after seeking God for both the baptism of the Spirit with tongues and for Truth.

This single foundation training which I received through instruction in less than 6 months has not failed me once in 18 years. I have found that this foundation knowledge has truly been a reliable touch stone in every aspect of my life as the Spirit brings to mind often in contrast to things being suggested to me by the world, "But ye have not so learned Christ." (Eph 4:20)

I think back often to how the chief elders set forth an example and laid out a clear set of instruction which the Spirit led me to and assisted me in receiving. This ruffled my every feather (as they say) and caused stresses in my home, family, ministry activity, and work. Yet I recognized the voice of the Lord and continued on in confidence which has never been shaken.

Praise God.