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)

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.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Acts 10 - Notes

1: Cornelius of Caesarea
  • Centurion
  • Devout
  • Feared God with all his house
  • Gave much alms to the people
  • Prayed to God always

3: Received vision in 9th hour of the day
  • Saw angel of God coming to Him saying his name
  • Was afraid
  • Asked "What is it, Lord"
    • Heard "Your prayers and alms are come up for a memorial before God."
    • Was instructed to send men to Joppa to call for Simon surname Peter lodging with Simon the tanner
    • Was told that Peter would tell him what he ought to do.

7: Cornelius did as instructed

Felt fear (experiencing impact of the presence of the angel upon soul)
Cornelius recognized the angel as carrying the voice of God to him

9: Meanwhile on the next day, in Joppa, Apostle Peter, at the sixth hour, as the men from Cornelius were arriving unbeknownst to him, was on the rooftop praying.
  • Peter became very hungry but while meals were being prepared fell into a trance
  • Saw heaven open
  • Saw a vessel descending upon him.
  • It had a great sheet knit at the four corners
  • It was being let down to earth
  • It was filled with unclean beasts of the earth and fowls of the air
  • Peter was instructed to kill and eat
  • Peter objected saying that he had never eaten the common or unclean
  • Heard voice saying "What God has cleansed, that call not common"
  • This happened 3 times and then the vessel was received back up to heaven

17: As Peter was doubting what this vision could mean, the men sent from Cornelius arrived and were standing before the gate asking for him.

19: While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men seek you. Arise therefore and go down to them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them."

21: Peter responded in obedience to this revelatory voice and went down to ask what the reason was for their coming to him.

23: Peter took them in and on the next day they all went together to see Cornelius in Caesarea where Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his family and friends.

25: When Peter arrived, Cornelius fell down to worship him and Peter stopped him and told him that he was a also a man.

Cornelius seemed to be recognizing that same power as before being in the presence of Peter. I recall that as we approached Michigan for the first time meeting Apostle Eric

28: Peter acknowledged to the group that it was unlawful for a Jew to keep company or come to one of another nation. He explained that God had shown him that he should not call any man common or unclean.
Peter was reflecting on the vision still
Prior to that vision, he would've responded differently when called upon by them in Joppa
This vision became a fulcrum for his discernment.
He weighed the unfolding events by the revelation he received (even though he had been doubting on what it all meant at that time)

30: Cornelius explained that he had been fasting for days prior and was in prayer when a man stood before him in bright clothing.
  • He shared what the angel had said to him.
  • He shared that the angel had put him in expectation of Peter coming to speak to him after being sent for.
  • Cornelius recognized that God prepared them both for this encounter.
  • Cornelius recognized that they were all in the presence of God at that moment.
  • Cornelius asked to hear what commandments God intended to share through the lips of Apostle Peter

Cornelius was in recognition of Peter as being a steward of the grace of God.
Peter put Cornelius in recognition of the Headship of Christ (saying I am a man as you are)

34: Apostle Peter began to unfold to them the record God set in Jesus Christ beginning with His baptism by the Spirit to His death and resurrection.

41: Apostle Peter identified Himself as a witness of this same record

44: While Apostle Peter was preaching this gospel of His record to them, the Holy Ghost fell on them all
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these [apostles] alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their [apostles] word;

45: Those who had come to Christ from the Jewish tradition, as Peter had) who accompanied Apostle Peter recognized that the gift of the Holy Ghost had been poured out on these gentiles.
  • They reasoned that they should extend the invitation of discipleship to them with their tradition of water baptism after recognizing that these people had received the Holy Ghost just as they had.
How would they know that?
What evidence was there?
They too had begun praying in tongues when the baptism of the Spirit fell upon them. This was the witness.
Note also that this was without the baptism of water. It was the baptism of the Spirit which they recognized as the witness which was not by the will of man but by the gift of God.