Baptized into his sorrow

When I was younger in the faith I use to enjoy reading books like Madame Guyon, and other mystical writers that speak on the inner crucifixion of the Christian experience.

In my naivety I thought it was fascinating to read the in-depth details of the inner crucifixion of the life of Christ.

Over the years, and ever growing experience of this reality, I find it very difficult to find much enjoyment in reading about these kinds of things.

I have never written much on this aspect of the Christian experience, but felt I needed to express some thoughts regarding this road we often have to travel.

The cross of Christ is many sided in ones experience.

One side of the cross is the experience of being raised into the heavenly glory of the eternal Kingdom, seeing the greatness of our great King and God.

Partaking in the glory of his great victory that he secured for our salvation.

When he ascended into the heavens he took us with him and made us partakers of the greatness of his love.

This is a wonderful time when God by his mercy reveals in us this rapturous event.

But there are times also in our walk, when the Lord brings us into the great agony of the death of deaths, which is also is a very real experience for us in him.

Yes when he ascended to the throne we were with him, but we also were with him, when the rulers and authorities of this present evil age, ventilated their wrath and fury against him on the cross.

When one is brought into this event, the Christian experience becomes very unpleasant and difficult.

How can one even write on these things.

All is darkness, sorrow, suffering, confusion, its like being entombed in a place of weakness, unable to make any defense of the deluge of on-slots that overwhelm the soul.

No human comes through these events a hero.

When this becomes our experience, then all we can do is endure and hang on until the storm clouds of the trial recede.

It’s hard to put it into any kind of words when this becomes our experience.

The crucifixion of Christ was devastating to the disciples.

The Lord was on the cross, but the cross to them was also a very real event.

They all collapsed under the moral strain of this universal experience.

It seems like every time we enter the agony of his death and sufferings, we wonder how did we get through it.

The cross is a devastating experience to the self hood of our humanity.

Thank God that he raised Jesus from the dead, thank God this event was not the final event.

No man could survive under the requirement that was asked for.

This event will follow our Christian experience throughout this present life.

The depth of it will ever be greater, but the height of the resurrection will ever be higher.

When we find this experience to be our lot, then like Job all we can do is sit on the ash heap of sorrow.

Waiting for the moment when God who raises the dead, lifts us up again into the glory of his resurrection victory, which he has secured for us.

Overcoming life of Christ

This life, which we come into through faith in Christ is indestructible, invincible; there is no force in this universe, natural or spiritual that can stand against it.

Let the nations be in an uproar, let the Kings of the earth come against it, let all the principalities and powers rage before it, the Lord says, I have installed my King on the holy hill of Zion.

This life is our rock and our shield.

The principalities and powers may be given much liberty in assaulting our humanity, but after their rage is exhausted on us, and we wonder if they have finally overcome us, then this overcoming life, which is Christ in us, rises from the ashes of our trail into his universal victory, which he has secured for us at the cross.

Don’t let evil and trail discourage you, these events are only allowed by Gods sovereignty to draw out this wonderful life, which he has given us.

Don’t draw back into yourself when trouble comes your way, wait it out, even though you feel stretched further than you think you can endure.

When the trial is over, this precious overcoming life rises from the ashes of the trial, into newness of resurrection, which we can’t even imagine.

The days of trial are always very near.

God does allow troublesome events to come our way.

God is allowing his church to be stretched to its limits.

The only way the life of Christ which is in us, can truly be revealed is through trouble, persecutions, sufferings, and trials.

If you’ve come into the life of the Christ, don’t think that God is going to just let you have a nice peaceful time in this world.

This risen life of the Christ draws out the evil, which is in the world.

Things are beginning to change, just because we live in these so-called Christian nations, don’t think we can escape these events.

These things will come in this nation, just as much as any other.

Just know this that his life in us is the final answer.

Don’t worry about all the things that are about to take place; all things are under the Lords sovereign hand.

The spoken word of God

God, after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in his Son whom he appointed heir of all things. Hebrews 1-1,2

I hear people say that the lord spoke to me and told me this or that, or while sitting in a meeting and someone starts Prophesying, saying thus says the Lord, I really don’t believe these things line up to the New Testament Christian faith.

This kind of language makes my feel very uneasy when I hear it.

God is finished speaking, he does not have anything left to say to us.

It is finished was the last word that God spoke to us, God has nothing more to say.

There’s nothing new that God has to say, everything has been said.

God is not only finished speaking now, but also for all eternity.

Everything that God had to say has now been said, there’s nothing new that has not been said.

I hear people say the Lord gave me a new word.

Well if it is from God its not new, if you really heard it you heard something that has already been spoken.

God does not speak to any man personally, you just heard something spoken because you were in the place where God has spoken.

God’s word does not change, the word that Paul heard is the same word that we can hear, its not Paul’s word, and it’s not our word, its Gods word.

In Christ who is the word, is the fullness of God’s spoken word; every word that ever will be said by God has been already said in Christ.

Every word ever spoken for us, past, present, or future has been spoken in Christ; this includes our generation, Paul’s generation, Calvin’s Generation, and all others.

To hear the spoken word of God is to come into the place of Gods speaking.

Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to his saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory. Colossians 1- 25, 26, 27

This is the place that Paul heard God speak, it wasn’t spoken to Paul personally he just came into the place of Gods speaking.

The things that Paul heard in this place are the things that he wrote down and delivered for us.

But to read what Paul wrote does not mean that now you have heard the spoken word of God.

To truly hear the word, one must come to the place of hearing.

To hear what Paul, and many others throughout history have heard, one must come to the same place of were they heard it.

Isaiah was in this place when he heard Gods word, the word Isaiah heard was not directed toward him, he heard the Lords word being spoken, but when he heard it, then and only then did it become the word which caused event in his life.

In Revelation it says, he who has an ear let him hear.

This spoken word that is only heard in Christ, does not become an event in our lives until we hear it.

But to hear this word one must come into the same place were all others heard it.

To truly hear this word one must know and understand were this place of hearing is to be found.

This is the mystery that was hidden throughout the ages, but now has become available to us through the cross.

It is Christ in you the place of hearing.

There is no famine of the word in this place; God has always spoken in this place.

If we want to know what God has spoken for the days in which we live, we must find the place were God has spoken it.

There and only there will we hear Gods spoken word?

If we can’t hear Gods spoken word, we have to ask ourselves, have we really found the place were God has spoken?

Living in the arena

Who are these hostile powers that one comes into conflict with, once one is truly born anew, through the cross of Christ.

This realm of intense supernatural evil hostility, which reverberates through Gods universe, is a very hostile place for any who are born into it.

Once one is born into the heavenly man, who is the universal Christ of Gods new order, one is brought into this supernatural realm of intense, rebellious evil.

This place, which is hidden to our natural human life, exists in the very atmosphere that we live in.

It is a shockingly hostile environment, once entered.

These so called rulers and authorities, which inhabit this sphere of universal influence and evil, get very alarmed when any dare to dwell in their orbit of influence.

Once one has truly come into this sphere, through the revelation of Calvary, then one finds himself in the midst of divine supernatural beings, who are very agitated with your presence in their arena.

These powers and authorities quickly begin to pay special attention to you.

Once entered into this arena, everything begins to change in ones life.

The vey atmosphere around you is charged with antagonism, and this antagonism is directed toward you.

You become the center of very much unwanted and hostile attention.

People who once lived in common peace with you, now get very agitated with your presence.

Like David lamenting in the wilderness, I have become a speckled bird, so also this is common to many who come into this place.

Unexplained supernatural events start to take place in your life, which makes no sense.

It becomes at times naked aggression of a kind, which staggers our human sensibilities.

This new antagonistic world, which now comes alive toward you, is a very odd experience, which takes one a long time to get ones head around.

The whole exercise against you is to get one to retreat, leave this hostile place, which does not seem to let up against you.

This is a very common experience to many who enter this arena called the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

This is the world that Jesus came into through the baptism of the holy spirit, and through his cross has now been opened up to us.

Latter rain?

So rejoice, o sons of Zion, and be glad in your Lord your God; for he has given you the early rain for your vindication.

And he has poured down for you the rain, the early and the latter rain as before.

And the threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten. The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust.

My great army, which I sent among you.

And you shall have plenty to eat and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.

Then my people will never be put to shame.

Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other.

And my people will never be put to shame.

And it will come about after this, that I will pour out my spirit on all mankind.

And your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams; your young men will see visions. Joel-2-23, 24,25,26,27,28

We do understand that Peter gave this prophetic statement on the day of Pentecost, but as one digs deeper into the full meaning of Joel’s prophetic statement, one has to ask, is this truly what we have been witness to Since the day of Pentecost?

What I see in Joel and what the history of the Christian faith has been, to me falls far short of what has been promised by the Lord.

I am not making light of this dispensation of faith, which was released at Pentecost, but the scriptures are very clear on what has been already given, and on what has truly been promised.

I do understand the teaching of the latter rain, which large portions of the church adheres to, especially the current prophetic movement, which are making claims, which are to me very disturbing in nature.

But the big if is, if one truly believes that the church is now the new Israel, one can see, that it does make some sense.

If one believes that all the promises that are given in the OT regarding Israel, have now been given to the Church, then yes! we should be looking for the fulfilment of Joel’s Prophecy, without any further event in this dispensation?

But one cannot faithfully study the ancient scriptures and come these conclusions, which are, the church is now the new Israel, the logic in this kind of interpretation truly has little merit.

Joel is speaking in universal terms when he proclaims the events of his prophecy, but the church age has been limited in nature to truly personnel election, not universal fulfillment.

Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! Romans 11,12

For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead. Romans 11,15

I personally cannot see how one would not see, if he is truly a student of scripture, that the full prophetic blessing for all nations waits for the restoration of this ancient people, who are called Israel.

We cannot fit these prophetic scriptures to now mean the gentile church; the logic is simply not doable to any reasonable student of the word.

No we are not the new Israel, but we are part of Israel, but only because of Jesus the King of the Jews.

We have been grafted into Israel because to the sacrifice of the Messiah.

We had no hope and were without God prier to the event of the cross, but now through the Messiah Jesus Christ, we inherit their promises.

We are now partaking in the earnest of the spirit; we have received the down payment.

But the fullness is not available until the day when the natural branches are grafted as a nation back into their Messiah.

The full blessing that was promised waits for this historic event, which is at the end of this present dispensation.

Yes we should preach the gospel to all nations. But if we avoid the nation Israel, which is the centre of all gods’ promises, we will not be witness to the fullness of the Messianic hope, which is spoken throughout all the prophets.

Israelis last days’ restoration is the event of all events. We will also be partakers of the benefits as much as they.

And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as winter.

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and his name the only one. Zachariah-14, 8,9

Living by faith

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of his strength of his might, which he brought about in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

And he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1-18,19,20,21 22,23

And to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things. In order that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3-9,10

These are amazing verses; do we really believe that the God of the universe has brought us into these things?

Looking at the state of the Church and at myself personally its very hard to believe these things are so.

But thank you Lord that it’s not about myself, or the Church to come into these things, it’s about what is already reality.

These things are not waiting for a set time, these things that the lord has for us are available right now.

Just because we have not yet come into the reality of it, does not negate the truth of it, it’s a matter of seeing who we are in Christ.

We all know who we are in ourselves, that’s pretty obvious. We have no trouble telling one another this truth, but how many of us truly see of who we are in Christ?

This is I believe one of the great areas that the church has misunderstood the work of Christ.

We have made the Christian faith just another form of Judaism, trying to please God by what we are in ourselves.

This was the great battle of the apostle Paul.

Paul more than any other came into this foundational understanding of what Christ did on the cross.

This was the cause of many of his great battles he had, not with just the unsaved Jews, but also with the other apostles.

Paul truly saw that Christ had completed all things for him through his death.

Paul realized that he now no longer needed to please God out from himself; Paul saw that Christ fulfilled everything for him by his death on the cross.

This was the great issue that Paul spoke about in Romans 7

This is I believe common to all Christians; some take longer than others to come to this realization, that in myself there is no good thing.

Anything acceptable to God is only what he has completed for us in Christ.

To me personally this has been the realm of the greatest battles in my life, learning how to live on what Christ did for me, at the same time not falling back onto the ground of who I am in myself.

Living on the ground of who I am, is the ground of weakness, failure, frustration, sin, condemnation, but to live on the ground of who Christ is, there is peace, victory, Joy, the heavens are opened to us, we share in his great inheritance.

But on our natural ground the powers and authorities have authority over us, we are helpless to fight against them, they truly are our masters leading us hopelessly into sin and rebellion.

This is the great battle of the faith trying to maintain our ground; the enemy knows that if he can get us back onto natural ground, then he again becomes our master.

He knows that he is defeated on the ground of who Christ is.

He cannot win there because the victory is already reality, but if he can get us back into ourselves then he again has his way with us.

This is what living by faith means, living by something that is outside of space and time proven and secured, but at the same time always knowing that one can fall from faith back into present time, were sin and evil, and the devil still exist.

Calvin’s Calvinism

This is I believe one of the most profound men in the historic Christian faith.

People call Calvin a theologian; I call him an apostolic giant.

I felt strongly to express the impact this mans teaching has had on my Christian experience.

Over the years I have read much material from writers throughout all the ages, with great help from many, but when I came into the revelation of Calvin teaching I felt as if I were a blind man.

The great modern day theologian Karl Barth, considered by many to be the greatest 20th century theologian, now no longer with us, said that when he came into the teaching of Calvin, it was like some prehistoric beast coming down from the Himalayas, it was otherworldly.

The impact was like nothing he ever read.

The highlight of Calvin’s teaching is on eternal election and the secret providence of god.

What Calvin does better than any other is he reveals the solid foundation that we have under our faith;

Calvin portrays an eternal God that is ruling his creation, an electing God that cannot fail his people, a god that is governed by his eternal decrees.

God does not change his mind once he chooses someone.

Even though that vessel fails God often, God does not change his mind.

If our salvation were subject to what we are in ourselves, then God would be a very lonely being.

God does overrule our shortcomings, he does change our will, he hardens some, but softens others, he calls some to common use, and others to special privilege.

These things are hard to accept in the beginning of our faith, but over time and much history it takes away all the fear of failure, knowing that through all our sinning and rebellion, God will still bring us through to his end.

Yes we fail often, we frustrate the spirit continually, but Gods love does not change toward us, he is a covenant making Creator with his creatures, he is not like us, he is other.

We are fair-weather friends. God is loyal, faithful, unchanging. When God speaks a word into your life it is eternal, it is foundational.

That’s why I take such issue with people when they say Israel failed God so God is through with them.

When we make these kinds of statements we call God a liar.

God does not change his mind. When God speaks something it is fact, it is our foundation, it carries us to his end.

Israel may be set-aside for a season, but the covenant is eternal.

Men want to drag God down and make him one of us; they want him to play by our rules.

God is a sovereign being that is not governed by human law, God is a law unto himself, he does not answer to our judgments, and he does as he pleases.

He does not respond to our reasoning’s, he responds to his eternal proclamations.

He gives his mercy to whomever he chooses.

When we start thinking that we deserve any mercy from him he hides his face from us.

God gives because it’s his nature to give, that’s why the people that get the most mercy are usually the least deserving of it.

Even though this world looks like it’s out of control, God is on the throne, the rod of authority is in his hand.

This to me is one of the most profound statements in scripture, it brings peace and comfort to me, and it has gotten me through all the experiences that I have endured throughout this life.

I know God loves me, not because I earned his love, or am deserving of it, God loves me because he chose to love me, no other reason than this.

The struggle I have is wondering why would God love me, why would God choose me.

This question is starting to take on more meaning as I get older.