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This month's teaching : Repentance

Honoring Dignities

Jude 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

I want to write concerning this subject, because it has become a very prevalent problem in the last 10 years. This picture of dishonor is affecting our society, homes, businesses, and churches. We read and understand that this problem will intensify in the end times. The strong self-will that people carry within lends them the arrogant tendency to discredit and disrespect dignities with any sort of dominance. Dominion was the calling that was first placed upon Adam and Eve. I do believe the balance that I could see over 30 years ago, has for the most part disappeared. This makes room for rebellion, and an evil spirit of resistance to prevail in our day. The generation we see today is so vastly different from the one I was part of for 61 years. Resistance movements and the intolerance of any type of governance, seem to be the current way of life. The Bible is clear about this rising problem at the close of the age.

What are these dignities we read about in Jude? There are many hard-working, callus-kneed people who have shed abundant tears and bloodied their hands to achieve success with their skill. This ranges from the founder of a business, to one with a governing position in the structural mechanism required for unified work. Their job-description requires proficiency that can be very difficult and intense to achieve. After years of honing their talent and meeting with success in their field, there forms within an acquired skill to fulfill the necessity to function with grace.

There are many classes and variations of common duty in the work force, and daily responsibilities in every department of life. The Christian should always seek to fulfill his duties with excellence. Some of these people have mastered their areas of profession to the degree of obtaining a notoriety in their society, community, organization, or other entity. But from the spiritual observation, there is one most important by far; it is the kingdom of God, which closely correlates to the Bride of Christ – the Church. However, the honoring of dignities is not specific only to the church. I will bring that honor to our attention towards the end of this writing.

The toil of perfecting which these dignitaries and achievers have performed in their craft is worthy of great honor and respect. They are found among the best in the land, from great fathers and mothers, to peaceful citizens. These people carry a class of importance, and passion in the way their organization functions. If they would disappear one day, things could become very difficult surrounding the responsibilities they maintained so well. These are people of honor that have always worked with an understanding of the blessing of being under authority in one form or another.

Some of these people have greater achievements, and therefore hold a higher degree of dignity. Superior achievements simply mean greater discipline, and intense tolerance in the pursuit of superior organization and productivity. These efficient accomplishers escalate their advancements and are prone to much greater risk as well. I am describing those dignitaries which form an honorable platform by their loyal duty to service in whatever capacity they are hired to fulfill. These become masters regardless of their profession, because they use the ability they find within the character of God-given governance. This governance is part of a God-given initiative to fulfill duty, regardless of what the task requires.

I certainly understand that there are those who fail in these areas of responsibility and will not become masters of duty. Laziness and a sluggish demeanor will never pursue greater responsibility. These are the ones that always tend to downplay anyone with any form of initiative. Their glass is always half empty. If we’re tempted to minimize someone’s achievements and allow jealousy to dishonor them, we should walk with them for a mile or two. Every experience and mere victory stood as an assault against them until they prevailed. When we see someone that has a stature of dignity, let’s consider the cost they endured. I know these fellows are being paid for the service and legitimacy they’ve brought to their employer.

There are those who give years of service to God, never receiving anything of a reward on earth. They receive almost the exact opposite of those in the common workplace of duty. They are despised, rejected, ridiculed, lied against, and dishonored in return for years of hardship while doing the will of God. Their mantle has thousands of teardrops, blood stains, and marks of deep rejection pierced throughout. Entwined within are sleepless nights of anguish and pain inflicted by fellow saints who never understand. Requirements of extreme decision-making are so heavy, numbing the heart to the point where direction is by faith alone. These are spiritual dignities. Let us never despise any dignities but respect them and honor them as God would have us do. When we honor them, we bring their blessing upon us which is ultimately from God.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. V.18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward.

Pessimistic Distortions

The twelve spies that were sent out to view Canaan, The Promised Land, brought back two vastly different reports. Ten of them saw the giants of Anak, and two saw what God described as rich land filled with grapes, honey, and milk. The ten recognized that there were rich fields filled with plenty, but they considered the great enemy they saw to be more significant. They all beheld the same things, yet arrived at two different points of view. The least of them saw what God promised; the majority saw the impossibility caused by these tall men. How could the conclusion of representatives from the twelve tribes of Israel show such contrasting opinions? Was it something within, or something without? It must have been something within because they saw the same thing without. So, what is within a person that can cause his surroundings to appear dramatically different? Faith in what God said was the whole difference.

I meet with so many situations in the lives of people that seem to be clueless as to why they have become what they are. Some have a natural tendency to be controlled by a negative view of life; they seem to possess a pessimistic point of view of almost everything. These people feel a sense of guilt in embracing something positive. This problem is one that brings an adverse effect to one’s surroundings. It’s like the dead flies in the ointment of the apothecary in Ecclesiasties 10. This character does not understand why no one enjoys being in their company. They seem to have a fear of the night in the middle of the day. They like to weep with those who weep, but find it uncomfortable to rejoice with those who rejoice; they cannot be filled with joyfulness for they find the cross of joy to be too great because of the suspicion they foster. They find a fictional and repulsive security to hold onto. This is a disruptive, unhealthy characteristic of the soul-power of man. These people fear the clouds of tomorrow and allow it to mess up the sunshine of today. These effects are not characteristic of the beautiful life to be lived by the children of God.

As we dig a bit deeper into their lives, we find patterns that are not healthy. One of the chief issues they unknowingly possess is that they have the answer to most any problem, but their own they cannot fix. One obvious trait of this personality is that they counter things with a question. By constantly being in a condition of questioning, they produce an environment of suspicion. They use repugnant questions to construct a defense of gloom around themselves, loving the security of worry and embracing negativity. It empowers them in the strongholds in which they barricade themselves.
Another problem that this tendency creates is the inability to see clearly or factually because of fear-based perception and imaginations. Eve knew clearly that she was not to touch the Tree of Knowledge nor eat the fruit of it. She knew without any doubt what God had said. When Satan asks her one question, the question became hers – “Has God said?”. At that moment, the terrible tree completely changed into a pleasant fancy. Now the tree was pleasing to the eyes and good for food and desirable to make one wise. When Eve was brought into question, she discovered something that changed her: an inflamed and distorted imagination! Her imagination took an evil tree and instead made it appear pleasing, good, and wise. Now she was convinced because it made total sense. The tree never changed! Her imagination changed her perception of the evil and turned its discernment into a compelling good. The imagination will also take good and make it into evil.

What is the answer to this problem labeled in our society as anxiety? I have learned that, unmistakably, the biggest problems that create anxiety are – out of control imaginations, and the people who possess them cannot be trusted in the relaying of a story. In counseling people with this framework of distortion, nothing is accurate. This imaginary problem is so intense, that it is like an evil compulsion that poisons the whole body. It is actually devilish in every sense. This is often where evil spirits attach themselves like a monkey on someone’s back. These complex mannerisms are hard to bring to a stop. It is like the two sisters that birthed their own problem. Ezekiel 23:4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister; and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. These were sisters that fought like Samaria and Jerusalem and produced children that became their own enemies.

The overcoming power is repentance towards truth. We cannot continue to fester in captivity to something we’ve only imagined. Imaginings are not truth. God never imagines, He knows. We imagine only when we do not know. It is a stronghold-tool designed by Satan to destroy. We cast it down in a moment! These are high exalted things that are anti-Christ in nature. We refuse the right to trust in it. We cannot be under Christ’s obedience when we allow our imagination to control us. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Imaginations are designed to stand tall, and control. We cast all of them down to inexistence, now is the time to do so!

The Centurions Marvel

One of the greatest things given to us in life is the tool of hearing. The hearing I refer to is not the function of the physical ear. While our natural hearing is a wonderful gift and value to the body, it can never replace that hearing which is spiritual. I have crossed paths with some of the most frustrated, lifeless Christians who don’t hold even a slight concept of what I am addressing today. I taught a small group monthly for over a year on this subject and some never heard or perceived what frustrates their life of mystification. It is clear as crystal to some, and to others as dark and mysterious as the murkiest sludge. What causes this problem? Is it demonic? Is it a curse, or simply fixed stubbornness riddled with inflexibility? I personally believe it can be all of the above.

The lives that are affected by this dilemma all seem to have strongholds of dark chains, yet they also have many concrete opinions and answers. When these people hear the true answer, it is quickly stolen so as not to taint their own vagueness. They inhabit the realms of ambiguous struggles so deep that they become a misery in whatever place they function. My heart goes out to those who are held under this dark cloud. There is a treacherous problem that these also possess—they will wound the saints of God when given opportunity. My prayer is that there would be deliverance for all who read this who are affected by this phenomenon and are caught in this hidden struggle. This kind of people I do not naturally desire to communicate with because they receive understanding different than that which has been spoken. Their receptive channels of hearing are polluted with preconceived biases, making it dangerous to talk with them.

Jesus found this problem among the Pharisees and Sadducees, as well as others in His day. The strongholds of predetermined thought took Jesus’ words completely out of context on many occasions. Finally, Jesus chose to speak in parables which they could not begin to understand, nor could they pin anything on him this way. And then He met the Centurion! This man had a servant who was sick with palsy and grievously tormented. Matthew 8:7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. V.8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. V.9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. V.10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Jesus called this composition of authority faith. What is the cure for hearing? It is faith which is not understood by many.

The problem with hearing is—we think it unimportant and even optional. I am and have been a man under authority ever since I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I learned this rather quickly. I am also a man that employs many people because my ministry has always been self-supporting. When I speak to a man in management and ask him with specific instructions to complete something, if he is under authority, it will be done just as requested and all will work like clockwork. Now my authority is validated, his authority is validated, and his subordinate’s authority is validated. This is extremely important. Here I have four authorities under authority and it is perfectly finished as authorized. If one of these men decides he knows better and bypasses orders, he is therefore not under authority. The end result is incompletion and all is in chaos. Jesus encountered a man like this who needed healing for his servant. One of this commanding officer’s ranking servants was down with an incurable sickness and in torment.

Jesus said this man had the greatest faith in all of Israel. This is exactly how faith works. The Centurion made a profound statement. What was it? “I am a man under authority”? No, but that is the structure! He said speak the word only! He understood rank and authority. Then he explains his basis for this faith. He declared that if Jesus would only speak the word, it would be so, because he had faith that Jesus was under authority. People with the problem of hearing do struggle with speak the word only. They feel they need their murky words in it as well. God, let us understand our hearing problem and bless the order in which your word abounds. Heal our hearing and place us under the authority you set before us so that your freedom can prevail within.

Sensational Enticements

There are many things presented to us with the intention of distracting us from genuine and empowering truth. Paul’s speeches were not given with enticing words of wisdom through the perception of man. When Paul spoke, there were accompanying demonstrations powerfully wrought by the Holy Spirit. Things were changed, and the power of God shook the surroundings. Hearts were pricked and lives were changed; the enemy was defeated. 1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. When the wisdom of God is proclaimed, there is life, action, and stirring in the hearts. People are drawn towards God because they are influenced and changed by His presence. Apostle Paul writes that our faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in God’s active power. Sensational words from a capable speaker can get people moving but hearts remain unchanged. Their astounding quips and quotes are often enticements that can make a person feel good for a day or two.

When God speaks, it is in a way that is often unusual to man. He speaks as though He has searched the hearts that will give ear. The wisdom of God is often spoken in a mystery filled with hidden wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:6 His word is not contemptible but original which God ordained before the world unto our glory. When man speaks his own wisdom, men say ‘wow!’. When God speaks from Heaven His express word we say, ‘woe is me!’. We are not necessarily struck down by it, but are changed by it through His expressed glory from Heaven. Paul teaches us that philosophy and vain deceit has a way of spoiling our faith in God and should be guarded against so that it does not rob our simple faith in Christ. Words of sensational enticement are designed for a quick bump in the mind, but the heart stays unchanged. Many will pay dearly for a bump of mental stamina, but have little to show for it because the power therein is but mere human echo.

When the Holy Spirit speaks, it is with demonstration and not replication. It is never enticing but is a wooing of hope in times of necessity and refuge to the hungry. When God speaks, it is not information but demonstration. It is an answer by way of propagation and enactment filled with strength that does not come from mere nature. When the Holy Spirit speaks, it is more impartation than words. It propagates a spiritual outcome in the life and heart of a man. When God speaks, it brings man’s questions to silence. When man speaks, it causes more questions. Man’s enticing words of self-wisdom will point you to the place of roving treasure. When God speaks, he fills your earthen vessel with wonderful treasure.

The Lord helps us to avoid being enticed by the impressiveness of man and to rather be drawn to the glory that is demonstrated from Heaven. He helps us to sit at the well of His word and not at the swell of man’s concepts. The power that God works within us is capable of things far superior to that which our own hands can form. He can change our surroundings and bring us His favor and blessing for His glory.  Let us never forget nor neglect the Lord in our conquest to fulfill our daily duties upon the Earth.

Lord, might we always rely on strength that is not visible but that which comes from faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit so that we are not tempted to draw honor to ourselves. Success is not ours but yours and we are in you through death and resurrection by the Holy Spirit.  Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. You are our wealth and control the cattle on a thousand hills.

When a task is before us it is in the provision of God that we trust not the ways of man. There is a verse that I hold near to me always. Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established. This is how He directs my writings and messages and all decisions I make going forth. Hallelujah!

Triumphant Over Death

Few seem to understand the value and virtue of the deeper life, though some may vaguely question why there are no deeper life-changing effects pouring out of their own lives. Along the path of professed Christianity there needs to be realistic questioning about one’s state of profession. One seemingly seldom visited question is—am I persecuted for God’s righteousness within me? If persecution is something we know little about, then righteousness is also perhaps something found absent within. This should not be puzzling. This absence is seldom understood as the true spiritual poverty that it is. I am at times astounded at how well-meaning Christians are blinded by their good intentions as they try to affect things they have no spiritual insight into. Peter was sure that the cross was the wrong feat for Jesus. He thought it completely destructive to the kingdom of God. What was to be the beginning of God’s kingdom, he understood as the end of it. While God was setting in place the deepest processes and foundations indestructible on earth, Peter and the disciples went fishing. It was all over according to their perception; they were entirely wrong. Great hope and the full promise of power were about to be demonstrated as death was finally defeated since its introduction in Eden.

Triumphant resurrection is only for those who have no other options. The remaking of a tendered soul is not small defeat-like bumps in the road or a glitch in a dream. There are few who understand—by experience—what it’s like to be left with no answers when devastation takes full control of one’s spiritual future. The only ones who need such resurrection power are the ones who cannot come forth from spiritual despair. God can only allow this experience to overshadow the ones who have given their life to this degree and experience this depth of divine surrender. This alone is how God brings us to the mirror of accurate truth rather than mere perception of who we think we are. He brings us face to face with ourselves, then transforms the image we once beheld and clung to and wished others to perceive. Sometimes this is necessary to change someone else’s perception of who I really am. God wants our face to be open and honest about who we really are. He removes pretense far from us to change the glory we thought was present.Corinthians 3:18 But we all with an honest face behold, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; Our same image is changed from one glory to another glory, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the middle of this transformation, all understanding is taken away from us. This is well exemplified in the alteration of a caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. In the middle of this precious process, God supplies a major component of grace in the wilderness that sustains us another day. It is not earth-shaking nor conspicuous strength. He gives us just enough to embrace in solitude our sorrow, or we might faint and literally die from sadness and despair. These transforming wildernesses are not several months of difficulty. They are valleys of shadows of every form of death, lasting until God sees Himself in us the way He desires to.

God’s purpose of grace here is to bring us into a place of patience where only His exceptional transforming power can recreate His desire within us. Out of this humbling framework of spiritual persistence comes forth a weakened soul, so strong that gates and walls are rendered powerless against it. Gated strategies and deceptions of hell will not prevail nor hold any power over such resurrection. It is within these saints that God works marvels lasting through eternity to prove His faithfulness. It is in these places that God will use your presence to change the atmosphere and surroundings with His presence. The revelation of deeper truth confounds the natural ideas in the mind of the carnal Christian. This intensified work of deeper sanctification is not for the called ones—only for the chosen ones. To the ones who give little thought to themselves. These are the ones who are led by the Holy Spirit like Jesus was led into the wilderness and back out of it. They have learned to follow as sons. Becoming triumphant over death is surviving the shadows of death. These are they who have washed their robes in the blood of Jesus and are His power on earth.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
V.5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: