This month's teaching : Repentance

The Jesus Effect

There was a clearly visible work that was present everywhere Jesus went. The devils fled, the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard, and the Pharisees opposed Him tirelessly. Jesus cast out devils and was accused of doing so with satanic powers from Beelzebub. Around these self-righteous people, Jesus could do nothing right. The Pharisees had fewer problems with those that were bound by Satan than with those that were freed from Satan. Jesus healed a withered hand on the Sabbath and they took counsel on how to destroy Him because of it.

Jesus was a tender and careful man toward those of true faith. Matthew 12:19 He shall not wrangle, nor yell; neither shall any man hear him protest in the streets. V.20 a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench. The meaning of verse 20 is vastly different than what is depicted by most translations. The original writings indicate that a reed was a pen. He therefore would not break the pen even if it was bruised—indicating that the pen of a writer who wrote things about or against Him, He would not crush or deal with. The smoking flax He would not quench. The original words here portray a different meaning than is commonly understood. The word flax means linen and smoking means gloating. We have heard the term, “someone blowing off smoke”. It would simply mean that He would not destroy someone’s pride unless He could help them, whether a writer or a smoke blower. In other words, there are times the natural man desires to correct someone merely to deflate and demean them. Jesus would not do so for those reasons, but rather, only if He could help them and by judgment bring victory. This was the Jesus effect. People with big egos are always troubled if they see someone else’s ego. Jesus had no ego and it was seemingly not bothersome to Him if others did. If he saw that in someone, He would leave them alone unless His judging them would bring them victory. This appears to be what is portrayed here.

The old religious nature is so toxic that it passes judgment without assuming any responsibility for redemptive gentleness toward someone. When Jesus truly is within our heart, there are certain effects that become visible wherever we go. Jesus was not critical of people who had spiritual issues. This was His divine purpose in appearing to mankind. Jesus did, however, have a big issue with those who had forms of godliness, yet without God’s resident power. He knew that the power of God is manifested within the character and nature of a man who has the presence of God within. Those who professed God through religious formality, yet had great absence of his genuine power, were problematic to Christ. This hypocrisy was far from the authentic experience that Jesus knew. Conflict perpetually followed Jesus because of the introduction of overflowing virtues of grace, love, and truth. It was completely genuine and heavenly. This power prefaced a kingdom where man could be transformed from the lowest corrupted conditions of depravity, to spiritual equality previously unknown to man. This caused disturbing conflict with the pretenders and still does so today.

Caring kindness is never absent around Jesus. Love with understanding is always present. Restoration and receptiveness are like musical harmonies drowning out petty criticisms when Jesus is present. The Jesus effect is not nosiness in other people’s matters. The Jesus effect hopes all things and is kind and wishes well to all.

Many have desired to be more like Jesus without looking to Jesus. No practice or strict discipline will replace the effect that Jesus has. Many have pursued this alteration, but with frustration, collapse back into the old religious habits of judging with the eye and with the ear. Wherever Jesus went and whatever He did, the pious and self-righteous were always stirred up so that they were continually angry with Him. They could not stay away from Him, yet all they spoke of was the problems they had with Him.

Many seem to have some form of godliness and we might never know who they truly are. However, there are some general characteristics that define the actions of man concerning Jesus. We are either with Him or we are against Him. Jesus defines this further in Matthew 12:30“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad”. From within the heart of everyone, shines a beacon that represents a source. These effects may be subtle, or very evident. It will tend to either gather or scatter the saints. We must ask ourselves the question, do my effects tend to gather or scatter?

Permissive Conditions Before a Fall (Part 4)

I understand that the permissive conditions in the heart before a tragic failure are pride and envy. It seems that pride and envy are the highest forms of iniquity, and nurture secret rebellion even in the presence of Almighty God. I understand this to have been the element of iniquity in the being of Lucifer before the greatest fall known to man. It was a desire to be that which he admired, worshiped, and paid service to. He was a covering angel and was the music-maker of Heaven. He was created in beauty and full of wisdom. He walked upon the holy mountains of God’s glory. Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. This angel with majestic ability and heavenly prominence, was created perfect in all his ways. In his perfection, his heart was lifted up because of his splendid magnificence. In the midst of this high calling, within him was found a devious sin. It came from a desire formed in a secret place. The desire was to exceed his calling and what he was created for. He realized his created ability, or as the Bible calls it, “his merchandise”. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty. This perfect angel now corrupted his wisdom by his ability to reason. Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness. How can something so perfect become so corrupt?

Now this angel had corrupted wisdom. He came to the first two perfectly created human beings in Eden. He asked questions of Eve and it tarnished her trust into reasoning. Ezekiel 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick. Here we see that Lucifer had now accumulated a substantial amount of iniquities and he defiled God’s hallowed places by peddling reasonings. This is the most evil strategy of Lucifer. He desperately pursues the defilement of holy places. He seeks to stake out where God is doing marvelous works. He hates the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Satan does not need a lot to cause horrific evil. He just needs a stitch of thread inside a heart to cause pride or envy. These anti-Christ insults within a heart can evaporate the love of God in a heartbeat without a dramatic sense of the presence of evil. Actually, it might seem assertively spiritual and even reasonable. It only explodes after it gains capacity in trafficking. Look at the Garden of Eden. What would the number one opponent of God want with a tree that man was told not to touch and not to eat?

When the natural man is forbidden of something, he becomes curious in his imagination. Once curious, he becomes a lucrative target for failure. This is the intensely vulnerable point of entry to the imaginary. There is only one escape for the saint in this profound yet subtle heap of temptation: it is the cross. The unwillingness to lay down our life in this susceptible state will create an open door for the grand deception of reason. The reasoning powers of the human mind now become infected with the overshadowing of Satan’s influence amid considered reasonableness.

When a spiritual picture is so clear that faith is no more needed, then we can be assured that Satan is in the details. Eve had faith to obey what God said until she was overshadowed by her reasoning of it. All Lucifer needed to do was to suggest. That single question, “has God said?”, seemed so reasonable to respond to. The response caused human reasoning against the spoken word. Satan knew that with reasonings he could control all of God’s human creation, bringing them under his authority, if Eve could be beguiled. Satan’s response to Eve was that God knows if you eat, you will be as gods. Eve said wow, rather than woe is me!

Satan hides in the things that are forbidden by God. In Eden, it was a tree of knowledge. This tree of knowledge was the inflammation of Eve’s imagination. It is within this flattered heart that lies the passion to become someone we are not. Here we want someone else’s calling, gifts, treasure, purpose. Satan wanted to sit in the seat of God. Eve wanted to be like gods.

What are the permissive conditions hidden before an epic fall? They are pride, and envy that is saturated with reason.

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: V.9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

How are the Mighty Fallen? (Part 2) 

How can a heavenly anointed angel living in the presence of Almighty God, fall from his assigned place and function and end up spending eternity in Hell, completely banished from The Creator and Holy God? How can one third of Heaven’s holy angels fall in chaos and be thrown into the same pit? How are the mighty fallen?

When man comes to a place of independence and needlessness, he declares himself self-sufficient, needing no-one to draw from. Independence is very dangerous; this is why God placed a head over the body which is called the body of Christ. This placement in the body of Christ brings the purpose of many gifts that function as assistances and servants to one another.

The rage of this century’s modern church is to make leaders; it places everyone in a position of importance and demands output and skills to preserve its physique. Many of these leaders are not disciples. You can be a great leader and know nothing of servanthood. Leadership is not spiritual nor is it required. Kingdom servanthood is spiritual and it is what Jesus instructed us to attain to. The escalation of the two is an obvious contrast. Leaders go up and need no cross, while servants go downward which is the work of the cross. This push of the teachings of synthetic motivational intellectualism, or leadership, is one that can never be confused with true cross-bearing discipleship. The Webster definition of intellectualism is: the exercise of the intellect at the expense of the emotions. This is where it becomes a doctrine that is extremely dangerous to spiritual church structure. There is a significant difference between being made a leader and being made a disciple. I completely believe that the anointing from the Holy Spirit is the strength that makes effective kingdom servants. David was anointed king long before he was a king. He had to learn servant-hood next to the jealous anointed king.

I understand the writings in Ezekiel 31 to point to Lucifer’s fall from influence because of his greatness. He “shot up” because of the large river that watered him. Ezekiel 31:7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. V.9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. The pride of Lucifer produced an element of envy in the smaller trees in the garden. Does one’s envy produce a defense of pride, or does pride produce a dominance that causes someone to envy?

It is the accuser toward someone’s ego that acknowledges his own ego. It is an almost perfect analogy to conclude: that which one accuses in another, is also a proficient problem in the accuser himself. This rule of resemblance seldom fails. How are the mighty fallen? Is it the secret tangling of envy against pride? I do understand this to have been the cause of the fall of Lucifer and one third of the angels. This gives us a glimpse of understanding into why the kingdom of darkness is divided against itself.

We learn it to be of great importance that any disciple of Christ under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, guard themselves against pride in spiritual gifting. This is why we need to understand God’s chastening and buffeting at times. 1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. The problem is that God does not set us down and inform us that we will now be chastened or buffeted. Herein is often a great misunderstanding in the saint. There is no one so perfect that he does not make mistakes. Everyone does so and to be buffeted for it is seldom a season of encouragement. It is to be taken with patience, knowing that all will be well again one day. We also need to discern whether it is Satan the accuser, or Jesus the chastiser.

The sovereignty of God uses these measures to keep His mighty servants of valor from a complete fall. Herein lies the making of true disciples. This element of truth is where Lucifer could not bow because of the strength of his pride. He could not yield his position as any lower than God’s placement for him.

The carnal instincts of man always fight for position rather than yielding to assignment. When one’s eyes focus on self-desired position, as in pride of leadership, he loses his assignment and a fall becomes imminent. Our eyes can never desire position. Position is what Lucifer desired and he even threatened to take God’s seat from Him.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election stable: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Understanding the Fall of the Mighty (Part 1)

One of the ways to understand the enemy is to know from where he has fallen, and what is his agenda. In the following few messages I would like to bring some understanding on this subject. I believe it has a certain importance, that our lack of knowledge does not destroy us.

In Ezekiel 31 we clearly read how Pharaoh, King of Egypt, fell from his position among the nations. In verse four it says the waters made him great and his feeding program went out and watered all the trees of the garden. It says that the abundance of water shot him up into the heavens and caused all the fowls of heaven to make their nests in his towering branches. Some have understood the fowls of the air to be subordinates under the assignment of certain influences, perhaps being evil in nature. This king-tree was so great that under his shadow dwelt all great nations.

Ezekiel 31:7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. V.8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. V.9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

This was by far the greatest, highest, and most magnificent tree in Eden—the garden of God, yet it is speaking about the fall of the Egyptian king. God made him fair by his many branches which caused two significant things to happen. It brought envy from all the smaller trees in the garden, and his heart was lifted into heights beyond his calling. This is the problem with all kingdom conflict to this very day. If this tree was God-created and pomp in stature, why then did it go wrong? Was envy or pride the problem?  Both are attuned to each other and yet are enemy companions that bring down some of God’s greatest habitations of the Holy Spirit in a person or in the body of Christ. This happens in heavenly places and it took Lucifer, the anointed one, right out of Heaven and directly into the Hell of his future pit along with a third of the angels. Why did a third of the angels fall? Was it that they envied his place? I believe so. This is the reason there is so much chaos in the kingdom of darkness. They are not one with each other at all. I am not aware that we read anywhere that Satan persuaded the one third to be against God, but we understand that they fell with him. Pride of position and envy for position are the greatest of opposing forces and they destroy more kingdom unity than anything I know. One feeds the other, like Ahab feeds Jezebel and Jezebel feeds Ahab. It is raw Hell-strength against the body of Christ. Consider the suggestion of the serpent to Eve in the garden. God knows that if you eat you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Eve ate, thinking it could escalate her to a higher position.

Can God make something so great that it turns against Him? Can greatness, importance, and prominence destroy a man even if God brought him to that place? Can destruction come by voluntary humility as was the case with the mighty Pharisees?  V.18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and his entire multitude, saith the Lord God.

How can a created angel adorned with anointing and God’s own holiness, fall and become a hell-devil destroying nations, lands, and multitudes that God made for Himself? How in all of God’s intended creation is this possible? The word is a complex and yet simple one—pride. Does this have anything to do with the pursuit of self-power, self-dependence or self-righteousness? Somehow, Lucifer came to a place where he thought himself needless of dependence. He thought himself equal with God, and furthermore proclaimed that he will be like God and sit in the seat of God. Even the king of Egypt from the garden needed no one else.

Was there a Pharaoh of Egypt way before there was Egypt? The answer seems to be yes. Why was Daniel’s prayer hindered for 21 days by a ruling king of Persia while Daniel was praying from Babylonian territory far away? Are there kings set over things that are invisible, having territorial dominance in the heavens? We might never know all the spiritual technicalities nor understand the oracles of God. However, this is what Lucifer is—he is a legal expert and knows the Word of God far better than many humans.

The root word for Lucifer means: a light-bearer, morning-star. The position, importance, and anointing that he once held is obvious. He had brilliance and intensity so great that it got his attention off his purpose, even in the very presence of God. He considered himself at once to be invincible. He considered himself not in need of God but rather independent of God. He thought himself in a place where he could neither be wrong nor go wrong.

He did it all because he became gifted and of high stature. God made him in that specific way. “I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.” Can we now see a purpose with Paul’s thorn in the flesh?