This month's teaching : Repentance

The Captivation of Idolatry

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments.

Many Christians will never go deeper in the faith because of idolatry. Idolatry is a problem that is seldom addressed among Christianity. It is a very personal subject with great interest to many.

There are things in life that can be enormously captivating. Humanity has a place within that is constantly seeking to satisfy something that it does not have. This is a good thing in a sense. It is a universal vacuum where man seeks for identity and fulfillment.

This hunger is what caused Eve to touch and eat the fruit of knowledge rather than choosing simple obedience in Eden. This vacuity within man can only be truly filled by a spiritual experience. This experience starts with having an understanding of our purpose and our design mechanism.

As human beings, we are specifically designed to contain the Holy Spirit. Until this becomes a conviction, we will find many other things to bring fulfillment as surrogates for our intended purpose.

I have found by experience that there are several specific intrigues that attract our attention in an attempt to create a sense of fulfillment within the human design. There is within man an intense desire for something with a higher strength to depend on.

This might be accomplishments of our own doing. This desire is often energized by the way we view an opponent. This rivalry can be good in a sense or create a bad issue in life. It is within this realm that the intrigue of the soul can be stimulated whether in a personal way or an admiration that brings a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment.

When we esteem the ability of anyone or anything higher than the Creator, we need to take notice and not be blinded to the fact that we are entering a life of idolatry.

We must be convinced that there is none higher than Almighty God. I have found that there is a captivation and enthrallment with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit which needs to exceeds everything else. This captivation and enthrallment is often replaced with things that are earthly and are in direct competition with things that are heavenly.

The same stimulus of excitement and fulfillment is what the spiritual man finds in the Holy Spirit. These two identities are in direct competition against each other. They both want a seat in the heart of man. Paul clearly speaks about these two laws to the Romans.

The Holy Spirit is Who reveals Jesus and Almighty God to be extraordinary. The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus and the Father.

Until we become full of the Holy Spirit, we will tend to find our fulfillment in hero worship. The beginning step of being filled with the Holy Spirit is being baptized by Him. This we will receive when we seek Him with an honest, steadfast hunger.

In my studies, I have concluded that Israel’s biggest problem while living in the Promised Land was simply idolatry. The purpose of the Promised Land for Israel was to conquer and overcome the enemy known as the Canaanites.

The Canaanites were the descendants of Ham which carried with them a curse placed by Noah.

Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

The curse was placed on Canaan the son of Ham, but not on Ham. The word curse here means execrate, which is: to declare to be evil or detestable and become that in nature as well.

This is very much what we are seeing in the entertainment industry in our day. The word execrate describes very well a vast majority of entertainers, whether from Hollywood, or competitive sports figures.

Far too many Christians cannot hold a conversation about the revelation of Jesus but know quite well the stats of those who are idolized. Hours are spent discussing the gods of this world with individuals, holding high and impressive admiration for them.

As long as Israel did not destroy their idols, God would not help them in many instances. Idols have always been an abomination to God. The required condition that God demands is that nothing replaces Him in His temple.

Jacob was blessed by God at Jabok. It was here that Jacob found a separation from his old life. It was after Jabok that Jacob asked Rachel to give up the hidden idol she stole from her ancestors.

Let us consider the words of Jacob after Jabok. Put away the gods that are strangers. They are not anyone we actually know. We have no relationship with them nor is there any friendship.

Is it perhaps hero worship? Put away the strange gods. Be cleansed from their pollution and be not their offspring. Change your garments and sources of identities. Worship and admire Almighty God alone with whom you can have a relationship!

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments. 

The Wind of the Spirit

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

It was the wind from the breath of God that made Adam a living soul after the clay was formed and fashioned by the hand of God.

God caused a wind to blow over the Earth after the flood of Noah that assuaged the waters and a new world stood washed from its evil past.

God caused the wind to blow from the east that brought in the plague of locusts against Pharaoh. God caused another wind from the opposite direction to blow the same locusts back to the sea.

The Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided for Israel to make a final exit out of Egypt.

Exodus 15:10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

The same wind that delivered Israel destroyed the armies of Egypt.

When the wind of the Holy Spirit blows, how does it affect you? Am I spiritual enough to understand why the wind blows or even discern when the wind of God is blowing?

The carnal man will always get busy and very uneasy at this time. He wants to take charge and tries to control, thinking his help will cause the wind to cease. I have learned that when the wind of God blows, we hold still and see the salvation of the Lord do its work.

It was the wind from the Lord that brought the quail from the sea to feed the millions in an unproductive desert.
David says, He rides upon the wings of the wind. Elijah witnessed the three extreme demonstrations of wind before he could hear the still small voice of God.
It was Ezekiel that prophesied to the four winds concerning the valley full of dry bones. The wind blew and the bones connected and there was a huge army that arose to their feet, filled with the life power of the Spirit!

It was in the upper room of unity of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit came with the sound from heaven, which was mighty and rushing and it filled the house and all the people with heavenly power!

This sound of heaven is the same sound that powered the New Covenant Church. It is the power of the true bride of Jesus!

The power of the bride of Christ is not run by strategies or formulas that make busy the activity-craving soul of the day. The wind of the Holy Spirit is not repaired nor can it ever be replaced. It is a sovereign move that God blesses His surrendered people with.

When the wind came in the upper room, they were sitting. They were resigned, longing for the promise of God. They were not demanding nor were they planning how this will be. They were waiting.

I have always found that the blowing of the wind tangles with anything that can be tossed about.  A lot of dry dust irritates the eye. When the darkening clouds of despair become highly visible and give a look of danger to the common eye, it is here that we can expect a sudden cleansing in the hearts of the true seekers.

It is here that the Passover of the blood of Jesus will do his work in full array. The Passover has to fully come before a sound from Heaven rushes and fills the room.

I notice Four Specific Things in particular before the sound from heaven filled the room:

1. The day of Passover had fully come.

2. They were all gathered in one accord.

3. They were all in one place.

4. They were all waiting for the promise of the Father.

It is here that the sound of Heaven occurs and with great expectation of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit! May I ask you to consider the wind that is whirling around your life at present?

What do you discern it to be? May God open the eyes of understanding so that we do not focus on circumstances that look beyond hope.

Let us never forget how it was before that great heavenly visitation of the Holy Spirit. There are still many who need baptized with the Holy Spirit.

May this renew our vision to see as God sees.

When Thirst Leads

1 Kings 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.The word of the Lord came to Elijah and said, go to the brook of Cherith. I will feed you and give you water there.

Elijah heard a fresh word from God because his life was in danger since he prayed and prophesied against the Baal gods of Ahab and Jezebel. God led Elijah away from his familiar place in the Gilead Mountains. I have been in this very place of the home dwellings of Elijah. It had been a very beautiful place and is still to this day.

Elijah must have been overjoyed to know that God will give him water and food in his new secret hiding place. Then the brook dried up! God was offering Elijah not only an extended period of rest from his labors, but a precious opportunity to deepen his closeness to Himself. Now God brought Elijah to a dry place with nobody to lead.

He was a prophet and a preacher with nobody to preach to anymore. Elijah was led into the depths of speechlessness.It becomes a crisis to continue to seek God with great courage when we are led to a place where our future becomes blurred and uncertain. In this valley of impossibilities we find ourselves without a clear goal or purpose. It is a temptation nearly unbearable to be able to abide for considerable periods of time in God’s presence in these places of testing.

Here we find few companions except those who put fears and terrors into us. Amid all the distractions, this place offers many obstacles that can easily turn our heads into directions where God does not lead us. To stay balanced in such a state is extreme and very difficult.

God slowed Elijah’s life to halt. From the lavish court of King Ahab to a dried up brook is quite a contrast. To go from a spiritual pinnacle of being the very mouthpiece of Almighty God to a hiding place in a crevice of the earth can be completely demoralizing— if it’s not understood. Especially so, after God led him here and promised water at Cherith and then it dried up!Many have come to similar places because of sin or disobedience. The stark difference here is that Elijah was led here because of his obedience. It was a place of transcendence in the eyes of God yet seemingly going in the entire opposite direction in the eyes of man.

Here we find the man who “stands before God” standing before everything except that which seemed to be God.

In Job’s story, it is in this same place where Job’s friends came to visit and gave much advice to shine light on the circumstances at hand. It is in this place that God’s men have nothing to say and men of misunderstanding have everything to say.

I also saw the wadi in Jordan where Elijah visited. There is nothing here at all to this very day.

It was thirst that led Elijah to the next place where God wanted him. Thirst of the very thing he prophesied. Thirst of the very thing he believed.

There seems to be a spiritual law that when earthly doors are barred to us, the gates of heaven will swing open. Let’s notice the condition of Israel at this very time. The prophets of Baal were still in full array.

How many times have you experienced this thirst not knowing what it was at the time? It is often God leading you into His purposes. This place of thirst is often proven to be Almighty God.

It is this righteousness in God that the spiritual man thirsts after. Thirst is the path where the hand of Almighty God can hold our hand and lead us to where He wants us to go.

Elijah was led to defeat the Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel. He completely prevailed and silenced the voices and the noises with barrels of water over his own altar before God in a 3-1/2 year drought. It happened on top of a mountain where there was no water to be found! It is only this kind of thirst that finds the water and power to prevail on mountain tops. Hallelujah!!!

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 

My Psalm in His Courts

David was anointed at three different points of his life. David carried within himself the power of God in a special and very unusual way. This anointed man’s presence brought the enemy out of hiding from invisible obscurity.

This is what the true anointing of the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit reproves the sin that lives in a person. The enemy then becomes reckless not having understanding what has happened.

When you are around an anointed man, you will notice the enemy is constantly trying to extinguish him. David went into hiding many days of his life because of the trouble and anguish of his soul. It was in this hiding place where his enemy became the most discernible. This place of loneliness kept him guessing who and where the enemy really is.

After he spent some time in these places of refuge and hiding, God opened his eyes to a reality. A reality only seen in this place of anguish and hiding.

He was able to see those who never pursued his life as the enemy pursues. He saw those who were upright and walked in the courts of God’s presence. These were friends in God’s kingdom and gifted in verbal silence. They were like the gigantic cedars of Lebanon and trees of righteousness.

He heard the songs of his chief musician Shoshannim and it moved him to see among him as God sees. David’s heart burst from the seams and here he penned Psalm 45.

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, to portray the revelation before me.

The bilge that was set before me, I saw with my natural eyes. God opened the wonderful work of his splendor as I gazed with my heart among the pure. This is the bride for the Lamb I’m preparing, Take note lest you become dismayed.

Gracious Father of all kindness and fountain of pure flowing love. How have you inspired the tenderness of the saints? They have blossomed with fragrance of sweetness and exceeding precious comforts in my time of trouble?

They have arrived at the gates of my dwelling with salutation before I was present. Heavenly garments and fragrance so tender, they bear from the Father above. From the palaces of ivory where they assemble with their king, they brought the scents of myrrh, and healing of aloes.
Pleasant are those that you have surrounded me with. They are towers of love and armaments infinitely greater than the enemy that lies in constant wait. Fair and mighty men stand with faces like lions. They surrounded the gates of the house of His treasure.

Men of tenure strength hold fast the court of splendid boundaries with oneness of heart they follow their Lord. Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy hand did stand the queen arrayed with majestic honor in gold in its finest.
They sang with tunes of angels and sounded the hymns of the redeemed. With excellent strings and cymbals they praised you with skilled hands lifting your name. The sounds of peace and joy overflowed as the courts of the redeemed proclaimed.

Hearken, O daughter, and sons of Zion, consider, and incline thine ear; forget all that trouble thee and consider the court of thy refuge. This house is built with such splendor and fashion, like heaven above so as heaven below.  Hearts filled with gladness, it released strength to the saints.
Garments of praise were soaring like eagles and winds of the Spirit were everywhere. I wondered as the redeemed were standing, lifting their palms to the sky. I saw here a forest of trees decked in Christ’s righteousness, Holy and pure. I found men that have never misspoken nor flinched with God’s wonderful grace, caring and lifting each other in love.

In times of trouble and anguish we tend to hear the unconstructive criticisms of unholy opinions. This often taints the reality of those who have not bowed the knee to the enemy.

May God open our eyes in a time like this, to see as God sees from above?  Let us rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with them that weep!