Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Pentephonics Part 1
1 Corinthians 12:7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” NKJV
Ok, now don’t be confused by the title of this rant, no I havn’t been spending too much time learning music theory and pentatonic scales. I want to talk about the five fold ministry and really all church ministry in general. “Pente” means five, and “phonics” because and I’m going to talk about the basics and foundations of ministry in the church. No, I’m not going to teach you how to read with “hooked-on-phonics”. We’re going to explore the differences, responsibilities and the places of the five fold ministry through the lenses of the New Testament. Not tradition. I’m sure everyone who is reading this could name them off the top of their head, but can you name them in your church? Now then off let’s find out where this whole concept comes from, so let’s open our bibles up to:
Ephesians 4:11-16 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” NKJV
So Paul is laying the ground work on how churches and the body of Christ are to act and function, and to point out that it isn’t by our own merit or ratification but by Christ giving these gifts to us. These gifts are for a purpose, to build up the whole not ourselves. This isn’t a race against each other or some sort of competition to see who is the best at whatever. It is about building the body of Christ through the local churches & denominations. Now I know that for the better part of the last 100 years the five fold has been seen this way; apostles are the heads of the organization/denomination. Prophets hide in the basement. Evangelists go to other countries. Pastors run the church. And teachers baby sit the infants and school kids. Also that the shape of the five fold is a pyramid, which you climb up based on seniority, personal merit and tithing.
We also have the situations where different… well, most churches will only accept one or two of the five and forget the rest (mainly apostles and prophets). But this isn’t how Christ designed it, for a group of believers of any size to grow, mature, and reproduce. All five are mandatory, or else you run into problems and stagnation. Let me put it this way, if a church only has apostles it will become deadlocked in bureaucracy. If a church only has prophets if goes into a charismatic tail spin. If there are only evangelists it becomes a “Ferris wheel” of revivals. If there are only pastors they inevitably build a wall and become isolationists. If there are only teachers then legalism enters in and brings pride with it. We are one body remember 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, we cannot all be eyes, or feet or mouths, yet one will be the “corn-chute”. We are only complete when we have each other. And we cannot be content with excuses with the divisions of denominations, where one group has faith, and another has teaching, and another works miracles. They think as long as everyone is doing there own thing the body is complete. No, each individual church must operate in all aspects, we are suppose to be working together not avoiding and shunning because an arm can’t agree with a rib. As Christ is one with God, so we are to be one with Christ and one another in love.
Now back to the five fold, first off lets re-read Ephesians 4:11 in the amplified and see if we can spot a difference
Ephesians 4:11 “And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.” AMP
It looks a lot different doesn’t it. There seems to be more behind these words than common church going has taught us. So lets dig into each one.
First off Apostles, (or G652 for those with a Strong’s Concordance.) The literal definitions of this “call” are; a delegate, ambassador, commissioner of Christ (with special powers) and the root definition “one set forth with a message or orders”. It sounds a little different than someone in a suit at the denominational office. Probably our best example of an apostle in the church age would be Paul. Here are a few examples
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,” NKJV
2 Timothy 1:11 “to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” NKJV
2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. NKJV
1 Corinthians 9:1-2 “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” NKJV
He preached the gospel, with signs following, he founded churches and he left successors. He heard God, ministered to the people, and laid foundations for others to build on. He was “sent forth” on the road to Damascus and carried out his call al the way to the end. And this is still our example today, it is funny how in our day most of the work of an apostles is actually done by missionaries who most only consider as evangelists. It’s not about pushing paper or calling your self an apostle on your business card your life inside and outside church must back up your claims. Also the term apostle (G652) can also be translated as messenger, which goes back to the original meaning “one sent forth”, here’s an example.
2 Corinthians 8:23 “If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.” NKJV
Next prophets, the most feared, forgotten and shunned of the five. Let’s start with some dictionary work, G4396; a foreteller, inspired speaker, one who speaks forth openly, proclaimer of a divine message. When most people think of prophets they usually assume people who know the future, and this is partly true (see Acts 21:10-11) but not the whole story. There is much more to these people, their primary job is, to hear from God and to speak out His words. It isn’t unusual for prophets to also be teachers since it is part of their call to build, watch over and encourage the congregation. New Testament prophets weren’t birthed in the last 100 years or the Pentecostal movements, they were part of the original church I the book of Acts.
Acts 13:1 “Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers:…” NKJV
Acts 15:32 “Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.” NKJV
They were and still are a vital part of the body of Christ responsible to teach and expound the word of God, to perform signs and wonders, to call down fire and holiness and to be the watchtowers. However in our day the prophets are rejected, this is best summed up in a quote by Leonard Ravenhill “a prophet is the villain of today and the hero of tomorrow”. It is their place to prophecy and to teach others to hear directly from Jesus. (Later I’ll get into the difference between a prophet and everyone being able to prophecy.) The gift is not for themselves but to teach the others how to hear, see and touch the Father.
Next week, we’ll study Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers and a few surprises.
To be continued
Written by Cameron Conway
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Passing Through the Veil
Now where were we? Jesus just declared His divinity to the Pharisees and they reacted by picking up the same stones they brought to kill the adulterous woman with and aimed for Jesus. They abandoned the adulterous and targeted the blasphemer, it’s one thing to sleep around it’s another thing to declare yourself God. Yet Jesus was right in his statement and the Father confirmed it for 3 years all the way to the cross, the grave, and the throne. Jesus had the right to claim himself as I am because he came out of YHWH and is always a part of him just like the holy spirit, the 3 in 1 yet 1 in 3. Only the Christ knows and can behold God, that is how it was for millennia, and in the minds of the Pharisees, the way it will always be. But this is not the case, the truth is that in the resurrection, and in our own individual repentance and redemption a door has been opened. The day the veil of the temple was torn in two something else opened. What is it, well first we have to turn to Isaiah in one of the most commonly quoted non-messianic chapters in the book.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (KJV)
Now don’t get ahead of yourselves this is the only verse you should be paying attention to right now. Look, where is the throne? It is high and lifted up, far from Isaiah’s reach he can only look on at a distance. This is a picture of the old covenant in action, he is able to make out the shapes at a distance but could not approach. The burning coal had to be delivered to him by a messenger, he couldn’t go himself to receive the gift from Almighty. He saw YHWH as his distant Lord and master the one he served but could never touch. In that time there always had to be a mediator, a messenger, a middleman for all interactions between God and the people of His covenant. That is until Jesus the Messiah came down. Allow me to jump ahead for a moment, to another time the throne is written about, in the book of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” or the book of Revelations to most, John also sees and speaks of the throne but in a different way in
Revelation 4:1-2 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (KJV)
This time John was not looking far up, he was there standing infront of it beholding it with his own eyes. There was no longer a gulf between YHWH and the prophet. Something had changed, something had opened the way. And yet this is not how we approach God, we are still like Isaiah calling out to a lord somewhere off in the distance. Not knowing if he is there. And if he is listening the distance is too great to ever expect an answer. We choose rather to see God as the janitor of the cosmos, too busy with galactic alignments and gamma ray levels to ever really care about us. The throne is above and we are beneath, how dare we think we can be close to Him. We should call him LORD, He is our master and should remain distant and let Him work. Never could we think to know Him to call Him I AM or to claim a relationship with Him. But none of that is true, you see in Christ We Are joined to Him. Like John in the throne room so do we have the same access and right as he did. To know the creator, to know our redeemer, to be one with them as they are one with eachother. This is exactly what Jesus prayed for us in
John 17:20-23 20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” NKJV
Now shouldn’t this change your prayer life and your entire marathon as a believer? Just as Jesus declared Himself God infront of the Pharisees so too can we declare to the world that we are joined to Christ exactly as He is joined to YHWH. He is not far off in the distance somewhere. Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist, speak, and live within us. We do not look up and hope for an answer when we pray and call out, we have been given the right as joint-heir with Jesus the champion of our covenant to
“… come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV
To stand before it just as John did, not begging a master as strangers and servants. But asking our Father the I AM as sons and daughters. We have been given that right as blood washed believers in Christ’s life and sacrifice, to declare ourselves children of I AM. We are no longer under the veil Paul spoke of in.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (NKJV)
We are being transformed from glory to glory because of Christ in us and the promise he made to us to be in us. I’ve been writing this study of YHWH so that you truly know what your saying when you pray. It’s easy for the word LORD to slip off our tongues and loose sight of what it really means. And when we do that we make God smaller in our lives, we loose faith in Him when we forget who He Is. We’d rather remember who he was, and let the Trinity slip away. Knowing that LORD = YHWH is not just some theological ramblings, it is about reconnecting us with God’s identify and our place within Him. He is the one who IS now and forever, and he is never too small or distant to care or answer us. Jesus said in.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. KJV
We have to cut out the cancer of religiousness out of our hearts no one is immune to it. In everyone the enemy tries to poison us with it, in the littlest ways most often. And its easy to loose sight of our own identity and call when Jesus’ true nature is clouded, and we begin to doubt or forget what we knew was true. That is another type of veil you could say, The Veil between what we see/feel in our everyday lives and what is the reality of our Covenant. Despite how we may feel in our darkest days, when we feel our worst and furthest away from God. The truth is He’s always there waiting to hear from us. And to answer us, be it with miracles, signs and wonders or with a still small voice. With everything that Jesus did and even by putting His spirit inside of us God has done everything to reach out his hand to us. There really is when we think about it no wall, or division stopping us. We must simply respond and reach our hand back to Him, no complications, not theological tricks, to traditional motion, no pop-pundits advice. It’s solely a matter of us and Him and whether or not we are ready to respond to what we say we believe.
The point of all this is “We Are” because “He Is”, and as long as “He Is” and “Jesus Did” we will always be One.
John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” NKJV
Written by Cameron Conway
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Passing Through the Veil
Lord, Lord, Lord its second nature to refer to the Almighty and Jesus in this way, we don’t question it it’s a natural reaction to the Father. Its all over the word throughout both the new and old covenants you can’t escape the “LORD”. Or its variants the LORD my God, or the LORD almighty or sweet LORD (ok that’s not in there, but you’ve heard it.). Have you ever wondered why the entire word is capitalized? When the Bible refers to God, or Him, or Almighty, or Lord of Hosts its just the first letter that’s capitalized. Why would the original writers do that, well, they didn’t, what you say, yes I did say. You see in Hebrew they don’t have capital letters like in our modern English vernacular. Those barbarians some of you are probably thinking well fear not, this was common in most sanskrit style alphabets. But that isn’t what I’m trying to pull out of the darkness. Why are all four letters in LORD spelled like that, you may be wondering now, and why am I taking the time to talk about it? It goes far back long before the old Hebrew texts were translated into English with the King James Bible and the earlier Wycliffe translation. This has to do with what is hidden behind those four letters, and the implication it has on our lives as believers. Something hidden but not secret, buried just beneath the surface.
Let me back track a moment, when we think of the word Lord we think it in the context of a master, supervisor, owner, one who reigns over or a British person with a funny wig. These are all correct and this is how we identify with God, it’s a name or title we use to communicate with the infinite and eternal creator and sustainer of ALL. We see God as the supernatural supervisor of our lives, minus the shirt and tie. The one who owns all, sees all and has authority over all. And us, we are kept back at a safe distance, lest we combust into a rainbow colored explosion just as it is written in the book of 2Opinions, wait what? The Old Testament showed us that we are not worthy to approach the Ark of the Covenant or anywhere within the walls of the Tabernacle or Temple. And this was true for a time, until the Messiah came, now I’m getting ahead of myself.
You see there is a difference between Lord, and LORD. And we have to go back all the way to Moses to get a glimpse of this. We turn back to the story of Moses and the burning bush, now you can read the entire saga for yourselves but I want to fast forward to the part where Moses is asking for the proverbial “certificate of authenticity” that he can bring back to Egypt to prove to Israel that he is infact a prophet and not just someone who’s been left alone with the sheep for too long. And God answered, and revealed His Name to Moses and the proof. Lets read.
Exodus 3:13-16 “13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: (KJV)
I AM that I AM, or in Moses’ ear “Hayah et Hayah” (strongs #H1961), this wasn’t merely a name it is a statement of all that he is. The strongs dictionary says hayah means; to exist, become and come to pass. The one who is, was, and ever will be. Now for a quick Hebrew linguistics lesson every word has a root word, And every secondary word carriers the same definition of the root on top of their own definition, like sword is from and is bound to the root word “cut”, and sword is always attached to the action of cutting the same goes for the word covenant it is formed and bound to the word “cut”, and this goes on and on for the entire language. Now lets go back to verse 15, here we see God call Himself “LORD God” the word LORD is in Hebrew YHWH (strongs #H3068) this is the name He has placed upon himself, its root word is hayah/I AM, if we read this in the literal Hebrew it says “the I AM, the plural (think trinity) creator of your fathers”. YHWH the name of our creator, notice that there’s no vowels well again that is thanks to the old Hebrew script where vowels were dots and lines under the consonants, and well, which dots and lines (or jots and tittles; think Matthew 5:8) which went under the YHWH was lost.
This is because Israel under the old covenant were so respectful, well maybe more likely stark raving afraid of something terrible happening if they ever spoke the name, decided to make a workaround. You see back then they decided that no one should ever speak the true name of God so everywhere in the bible where those 4 letters appeared they would pretend it said “Adonai” instead. The name YHWH was on the paper but only adonai came out of their mouths and after a few hundred years the vowels sorta disappeared. Which is why we get modern pronunciations like Yahweh, Yehovah, or Jehovah; this is the least likely since Hebrew didn’t have the letter J, so much for Joshua/Jesus, Jeremiah, and Jonah just swap the J for a Y and your back on track. Now back to adonai, this is the Hebrew word for lord, lord as in master, boss, owner and so forth. Again instead of risking religiously assumed lighting and brimstone by uttering YHWH the substitution adonai or lord was created. And it remains to this day in every bible we see LORD, while hidden beneath it cries out not master but I AM that I AM.
Century after century this carried on until one day Jesus came upon our world in his dirt suit. And in two instances he utters something that is overlooked over and over again. And easily so if you don’t know what I AM and LORD represent. Let’s turn to the first story, now to actually catch this you need to read from the amplified bible or a greek transliterated version, for simplicity sake we’ll read from the amplified after we first read from the KJV. This is when Jesus is walking on the water in Matthew 14:25, and we pick up right when the disciples make out something walking towards them
Matthew 14:25-28 “25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” KJV
Nothing new here that we haven’t seen before but I want you to pay attention to the phrase “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” And now lets reread this in the amplified and look for the difference.
Matthew 14:25-28 “25 And in the fourth watch [between 3:00 — 6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. 27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid! [Ex 3:14.] 28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” AMP
Did you notice that, there in verse 27, take “courage I AM”. This is a far cry from “it is I” or in modern slang “hey guys it’s me”. No, Jesus is calling out His divinity, He is declaring to his disciples that he is not merely a prophet but He is the great I AM, the one who spoke from the burning bush, I am Almighty creator of all. Haven’t you ever noticed how quickly Peter offered to jump out of the boat. Would this of happed with Elisha and Elijah? Probably not Elijah was a prophet not God in the flesh, and the disciples at this point may have though the same of Jesus. Yet Peter in one of his moments of spiritual clarity and over abundant faith saw what Jesus was saying. He heard Him speak the forbidden name over himself and walked on the water as he did. Peter seeing this had no choice but to jump out and join YHWH on the water. And this is not restricted only to Matthews Gospel the same I AM is also written in the accounts of Mark 6:45-51 and John 6:15-25.
It was one thing for Jesus to declare his true identity to the twelve out in the middle if the Sea of Galilee. It was another thing when he revealed himself to both the public and the Pharisees in Jerusalem at the climax of Jesus’ speech against the Pharisees in John 8 (please read the entire to chapter fully grasp what was happening here). They had accused Him of being a Samaritan and having a demon (v48), they thought he was suicidal(v22), they thought he was crazy(v52), they called Him a liar(v13,57). Yet they continued to listen to Him speak, this is also right after they brought the adulterous woman to Jesus (v2-11). All of this and they listened, even when Jesus was accusing them of; not knowing God(v19), of being from beneath(v23), of being in bondage(v33), of being servants of sin(v34), of being children of the devil(44), of being liars(v55). All of this the Pharisees could tolerate, until Jesus utter those forbidden veiled letters. Lets read (or better yet watch this scene in the Gospel of John DVD for the full impact)
John 8:57-59 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (KJV)
That was the breaking point, when Jesus called himself God the religious mindset of the crowd switched from “lets hear him out” to “kill, kill, kill.” They knew what he was saying, they knew that Jesus had just claimed that he was their Creator, that he was there with Adam, Noah, Abraham and the rest, that he wasn’t just a madman from Nazareth. Jesus proclaimed his identity of being both Messiah and YHWH, the I AM, God of your fathers. And the sparks of adonai erupted in their minds and they raced for the closest rock they could find.
Where does that leave us as joint heirs of salvation with Christ? What does this mean for us today, well check back next week for “Passing Through the Veil Part 2” to find out
To be continued
Written by Cameron Conway
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Part 3; Covenant Between Jesus & God
Matthew 26:26-28 “26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the New covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Now we finally arrive at the New Covenant, the eternal bond between Messiah and Almighty which we have been given access to through adoption. Unlike covenants between men, Christ cannot fail the Father, And I AM cannot fail the Son. Unlike the covenant between God and men, the nation is Christ and those who are his bride. What we have is what the prophets and the righteous of old could only dream and pray for. Now we stand on equal ground with Christ in God’s eyes, not because of our own works or righteousness but by the bonds of covenant. The perfect covenant which God ordained to fulfill and supersede the first. For the old was merely pictures and shadows, now we have salvation, light and life. As we remember the old spoken of in
Hebrews 8:7-13 “7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
Here we see that the destiny of the first was to usher in last. And none of this is by our own religious strivings or merit. This is the scaffolding of our faith, how could we truly have faith in Jesus without the covenant. He would not be bound by his words, His promises would be meaningless. And our walk would be as it were through a tunnel with no end. He suffered so we could become like Him in every aspect of character, love, power, faith identity and access to the Father. And because it was by His blood It can never be broken despite the actions of those who bear His name and mark. As is speaks of in
Hebrews 9:11-15 “11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
He is the mediator of the covenant, our champion, the head of our household. This is not for him alone but for all those who call on His name and receive adoption into His household in the earth and in eternity. He has brought salvation and light to us all and most of all the invitation to be one with Him as he is with God. Just as He prayed in
John 17:20-23 “20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Though it is a free gift we do have our responsibilities that must coincide with our life in the covenant. We can read the sermon on the mount in Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7 to see how we are to conduct ourselves openly and privately as members of the covenant. Yet along with the responsibilities come the benefits, through the covenant we have access to the same power as Jesus operated in while on the earth. It is actually one of our calls and responsibilities of the new covenant to exercise these gifts to bring others into the kingdom of Christ through the New Covenant which is the Gospel. Let us read
Mark 16:16-18 “16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”
Just like the covenants between men we have been given both the coat (covering, anointing) and the weapons (Ephesians 6:13-18 13 ) of Christ. And now because of that He has promised to destroy the devil and all its works and gave us authority to triumph over its forces. He is continuing what He started with the twelve disciples in
Luke 9:1-2 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick
Then Jesus released the 70 others in the same manner as its written in Luke 10:1, and again in the upper room the 120 faithful ones received the guarantee of the covenant which is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit , then the 8000 in the streets during Pentecost received adoption into the new covenant. And this continues even now to all those who believe in Jesus the Messiah to the ends of the earth. As I said before the gifts and benefits of the covenant are not for our own entertainment or for building our own monuments. It is so that those outside can see the love, power and mercy of a Living God moving through the lives of mortal men and women. And for them to become jealous of the great things given to us, so when they ask how and why, we can respond because we repented and accepted the gift of atonement and adoption given to us from our Savior. So we can repeat the words spoke by Peter at Pentecost
Acts 2:32-39 “32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
It is not a matter of theological upbringing or denominational allegiances, it is a matter of what Christ has already done. It is the plain truth of what is freely ours in His Covenant with the great I AM. All these things are available to us yesterday, today and forever. We are Christians, we are Christ-like, little-Christ’s, we are commanded to be a mirror image of Jesus in thought, action and belief. All that is left for us is to believe and accept what has been said into our hearts and lives. And to receive our inheritance so we can go out and share the free, blood soaked, unhindered message of the Gospel. In its fullness with truth, love and power.
Written by Cameron Conwayhttps://www.facebook.com/revolutionarysrant
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Where has the time gone? What am I suppose to do now. I just go to church play guitar and feel like I am just out of reach of something. Is it an erosion of my patience, was I burned that badly. I want to fix the church, would it matter, where could I start. Myself I suppose. Less TV, less distractions, the addiction of not being quiet. All I can do to drown out what I fear He will call me to do next, nothing left to give. Now I just work, I’m tired yet still hungry to break through once again. A constant battle of the fire of God and the waters of the world rage within. A world war for my heart, every corner locked in battle, warring for the prize which is my, call, life and destiny. The weariness drags on but embers still crackle and burn. A hope that once was bellows from the deep, seeking to burn the dross that has buried it so long ago. My body tells me to abandon Him, but the whispers within still call His name. I hunger for hunger, yet sleep for sleep. Oh what manner is this to bury ones self in all other things fearing what is not to be feared. I have seen too much to leave, but have forgotten how to wake up. Motions and toils are no match for fire and glory until you close your eyes. And what a great struggle it is to open them once more. How easily it is to appear a way and play your part when fires burn for so much more, even while the clouds are black and pour out upon you.
There is life and there is living, one yet the same, two yet never alike. To follow Christ is a war, which many hid in hospitals and fewer fight. There is comfort in the bed, the bed for one. Wishing to fight may never entail the battle. Ringing the bell is not the victory merely the shadow. The shadow is safe, no one sees you there, no pain, no responsibility, no war. The light brings pain and war because it stands up to the darkness. It is easy to call yourself a warrior, you may have no sword, heart or shield and place a title on your own head. Oh to be one who never cowers, who stands up from the trenches once more, no fear, no regretted.
When one falls it is like a tidal wave carrying all those around. Thrashing them to and fro with no sense and no purpose. Until the waves crash their last and you are left to rebuild, often in strange lands. Broken yet not destroyed. The will to return is a process which can either be slow or dead. You become numb to once elevated. You forget how to speak, how to breathe. Yet the ember remains, that taunting ember ever calling back through the mist. No matter what obstacle is placed that addiction to fire remains ever calling, secretly sharpening you, molding you, guiding you to the door only you can open. It is not locked, its treasure is open to all, within is prepared for you, for me. How long could we camp outside, wondering, worrying, fearing the cost of these great treasures. And of the responsibilities to defend them, and the call to bring others to this door. Broken and battered veterans along with the innocent stand in this place and no one can open it for another, it has been unlocked all must pass through. There is no peace on either side, yet. I am not speaking of those without the hope but those who carry their cross.
Why should we fight when we only fight eachother. We are to love and build and not fight and sleep. There is a path that eludes, that twists and turns. It is one that cannot be seen, cannot be mapped. It is not easy and often we wonder if there is a destination. The path may be covered with the fallen , we may stare and question our strength to go on. There are traps and pits, thieves and killers along the path. How easy it is to relinquish the call and join the corpses, thieves and the forgotten. Yet the embers continue to sing, to sing of a purpose, of a call, a King unlike all others. If we could march the path and stand as warriors of fire perhaps the thieves and murderers would be no more. If we all truly followed the song of the King maybe the pits would be filled. If all would rise up and act on the words of I AM the shadows would expel our brothers and sisters. If we all put away our words and boldly lifted his sword then the beds would be emptied. And what if not even all at once? For even the greatest storm begins with one drop of rain, with one gust of wind, with one crash of thunder. But perhaps one, what would happen if one rose up. It is a hard thing being the one, yet like Elijah we are never one. We could pray and cry and read and go to church yet remain asleep. Perhaps it is time for one to wake up.
Written by Cameron Conway