Is Heaven Our Final Destination?

First, most Christians, when discussing future events, limit themselves to contentions about sequence and chronology. That is, they argue the order and timing of a Rapture, an Antichrist, a Great Tribulation, the Lord’s Return and a Millennial Reign. Yet they are seemingly unable to consider the nature or state of being when completely hid in Christ and Christ is hid in them.

Second, there is a great deal of confusion when discussing the Kingdom of Heaven vs the Kingdom of God. Without being too tangential allow me some liberty. The Kingdom of God is here and now on planet earth. That is, we are informed that the Kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is a state of being while still confined to mortality. But we also understand that Heaven is not earth bound. For example, Jesus ascended into Heaven following His resurrection, and He now sits at the right hand of God as our Advocate and Great High Priest making intercession for us (Heb.4:14-16). So Heaven refers to a state of immortality.

But let us move on to the point and answer the question. What exactly is our inheritance besides the ubiquitous ruling, reigning and eternal life? Answer: Jesus prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (Jn.17:21).” Hence a distinct type of unity awaits us. A unity exactly like the unity Jesus demonstrated with the Father while on earth. In this state we know the will of God and we do it.

Ok. Then what? Answer: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Eph.1:10). So here we come to understand that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven will be unified. Here a sort of horizontal unity is promised or unity with each other. Not only is our inheritance a Oneness with God, but we are also promised an almost incomprehensible Fellowship, the likes of which no family or earthly church could compare.

And finally we read of an ultimate type of unity that seems to supersede the other two types of unity just described. “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1Cor.15:28). Here we consider a unity in God that not only demystifies trinitarian-ism, but at the same time allows us conjoint omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence without the slightest hint or specter of soul annihilation.

These levels of unity or Heaven make me think of Paul’s remarks when he said he knew a man that was taken up to the third heaven (2 Cor.12:2). So, apparently it us true, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor.2:9).

When I was 18 my future wife and I used to visit Dolly, a 90 year old dear friend and precious saint. When we talked about Heaven and Jesus I remember her clapping her hands and with an enormous smile blurting out like a little school girl, “Won’t it be grand?” Yes Dolly, I’m sure you are now well aware that it is grand.

Friends, be blessed in Jesus name.

The Heart of the Matter

THE PROCESS OF BECOMING SONS OF GOD- PART I

By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE. -Hebrews 11:27

When Moses forsook Egypt he left behind security, reputation, riches, position, authority, power and more. Additionally, Moses would have to forsake something that would cost him more than the loss of these things. From the time of his youth, Moses had been trained and prepared in the courts of Pharaoh to rule as King. In his training, Moses learned that he would be the highest authority in all of Egypt. His mind was set on this and his mind had been trained to rule with all the “wisdom” Egypt had imparted to him.

When the burden of the Lord came upon Moses and the crisis came, Moses did indeed lose his rank and status, but this loss was the result his own actions, when he struck down and killed an Egyptian guard while defending a Hebrew slave. There was, of course, no deliverance for the Hebrew slaves at that time. The only consequence was pronounced upon Moses, who was stripped of his position and exiled to the wilderness. When Moses attempted to defend this Hebrew slave, it was not by the direction of God, but by his own direction and might. In order for Moses to truly “forsake Egypt” he would have to forsake the self-governing spirit that was bound in his “Egyptian” heart!

And so the burden of the Hebrews came upon Moses and with this new found burden, Moses had an intense desire to “stand in the gap”, to somehow make a difference. Initially this burden led Moses to take matters into his own hands, and by his own efforts he attempted to prevail over Israel’s taskmasters, thinking to free Pharaoh’s slaves through his own ideas and ways. Moses’ choice to murder was not God’s mind or leading but came from a heart that was not familiar with God’s ways. Moses was so conditioned to make decisions for himself, that taking matters into his own hands had become “second nature” to him. The result of this self-ruling spirit was murder and that crime led to his exile. Up to this point Moses had only forsaken the riches, prestige, power and comforts of Egypt, but God was never going to be able to use Moses as His instrument until he forsook the independent spirit that predominated his heart and mind.

From this point forward, Moses was driven into the blazing heat and barrenness of the desert. Although Pharaoh had decreed this punishment upon Moses, it was surely the hand of God that brought Moses to this place where the blistering winds of the desert would drive out the last traces of Moses’ self-reliance and arrogant, self-seated wisdom. In order to lead captives out of captivity, one must first see the burden of the Lord or receive a call as Moses had. But this burden and call alone is not enough to set captives free. Indeed, the hand of God must drive us into the backside of the desert where all of our own creative ideas and schemes are blown away by the wind of His Spirit to be replaced by His will and His ways!

Moses, of necessity, would have to forsake a life of comfort when the burden and reproach of his own people came upon him; for the reproach of Israel was God’s own reproach and so too, Moses would bear the same reproach as his brethren. Through this invaluable identification, Moses would become one who would effectively intercede for Israel. Through the wilderness experience, Moses was reduced to a mere shadow of the man he thought he was. As the howling winds of God’s Spirit blew upon Moses, the independent spirit was crucified and a new spirit; a righteous spirit, a new mind; the mind of Christ was brought forth.

If we are to become sons (uihos-a full grown son) of God, or placed (uihothesia) by God as those trusted vessels, those through whom He can move unhindered and unrestrained, then we must become totally dependent on God for everything! Jesus said follow me! Do what I do! Imitate me!

FOLLOWING CHRIST JESUS

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. – (John 14:10-12)

Even as Jesus boldly stated that He could do nothing without the Father, so too did Jesus tell us that we could do nothing without Him. In other words, we must become those that are utterly dependent on Christ… For everything!! Many believers will say a hardy “Amen” to the above scripture, but this “Amen” will be proven false if we continue to direct our lives independent of the direction and wisdom of God. We are all born with a sinful and self-centered nature. Self-rule and an independent spirit are greatly valued by the world and therefore we are trained to exemplify these characteristics until they become “second nature” to us. Turning to Christ is the beginning of our salvation. Learning to die to our independent thoughts and actions, yielding to the Lord’s mind and will are the first steps to a surrendered life. Few of us start out willing to give up our right to rule or govern our own lives. When the burden of the Lord comes upon our life, however, then the working of the wilderness will produce in us a faith and dependence on God that will bring forth much fruit or the greater works that Jesus declared we would do!

In the desert Moses “died” to his independent spirit, his personal ambition and all self-centered motivation. In the wilderness he lost hope in his own desire and expectation of who he thought he might become; “the great and mighty deliverer of Israel”! In the wilderness he faced isolation, suffering, thirst, rejection and danger. It was here that he also began to identify, in reality, with the sufferings of the children of God. It was in the wilderness that Moses forsook the way of “Egypt” that governed his heart. Through all of these experiences, trials and temptations Moses would eventually become the instrument through whom God would use to deliver Israel. Moses had to forsake Egypt and Egypt, likewise, had to be driven out of his heart! These were the conditions God had set for Moses to become the deliverer of Israel.

Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved? – Song of Songs 8:5

When the process of the wilderness has done its work in us, and we have learned to lean on our beloved Savior and His wisdom rather than our own, we will begin to “see” the Lord of Glory seated and taking His rightful position upon His throne! When we truly forsake an independent, self-governing spirit and self has been dethroned, the Lord will take His place on the throne of our hearts! When Christ is enthroned as High King over our lives, when His ways and will are exalted, and when we give Him total access and power (dominion) over our lives, (our mind, our will, our emotions and our bodies) then and then alone will He be able to use us as He used Moses! Then we will see the “greater works” manifesting through His sons!

Romans 8: states:

For the intense anticipation of the creation waits expectantly for the manifestation, the disclosure of the placed and trusted sons of God. (Rom 8:19)

These sons are those who are in submission to and under the direction of the Holy Spirit; they have the heart and mind of the Father. These sons (and daughters) are not needed in the great by and by but are needed, anticipated and intensely longed for now! But there is a cost.

If we allow the Lord to lead us into the wilderness so that our self-ruling spirit might be dealt with, we will begin to SEE God as larger than the dilemma of those we are burdened for! We will see Him mightier than the wrath of the King! When we SEE the Lord enthroned, we will joyfully and carelessly abandon ourselves unto His purposes. We will see Him who is invisible and trust HIM to accomplish HIS desires in and through us. Moses would spend 40 years in the wilderness with the Children of Israel who still had Egypt in their hearts….but Moses could endure, yes, he could remain in faith for them…as seeing Him who is invisible. Moses saw the King of kings enthroned on his heart as the Almighty, all sufficient One! – Amen

From Ghana, West Africa

All of My Righteousness is as Filthy Rags

https://youtu.be/b7MQr2zl6DY

Beloved, this is His work, not ours. Only the indwelling life of Christ is the PEARL of GREAT PRICE (Matt. 13:46) for which a man sells all he has and follows after. Jesus had a lot to say about money. “No man can serve two masters, he will either love the one, and hate the other…” (Mat. 6:24). But pay careful attention. Jesus did not identify the two masters as God and the devil, sin or godliness, Republican or Democrat. NO! He said they were God or MAMMON. Mammon is the riches of this “present world.” It could be money or all the things money can buy. Obviously this tide of seeking riches has crept into the church and is masquerading as a “great move of God.” Our Savior has become to many an advertising gimmick or a formula for financial success.

Jesus was so incensed by this marketing and racketeering in the house of God that we read in John 2:15: “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;” In Luke 12:20-34 we see what Jesus said about the one who rests in his riches: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? …But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you… For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus even said that at the end of the age there would come those saying “Lord, did not we prophesy in your name, do miracles, etc” (Matt. 7:22-23). But the Lord will say “I never knew you.”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about how we can use God to live a problem free, financially solvent, and lucrative life. Instead it is how we can be set free from sin, sickness, despair, death, and a sentence of hell. The gospel is not about how we can produce gain for God but how He can produce godliness in us!

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Many Waters

I found this on YouTube and was shocked. I simply typed in anointed singing and didn’t expect to find much.

After the three minute mark I began to recognize a very familiar sound. This is a sound I first heard over 40 years ago. I used to crave to be in the center of such an event. It makes me think of the remarks of Jesus in John, chapter 7 when he said “out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.” The next verse explains it all doesn’t it… when he said “this (the living water) spake he concerning the Holy Ghost which had not yet been given.”

Once we were filled with the Holy Ghost we began to experience these rivers, didn’t we. But can you remember… what a surprise it was when we left the shore where it was ankle-deep and we began to enter into what Ezekiel (chapter 47:5) calls “waters to swim in.” Earlier in chapter 43 Ezekiel even mentions the VOICE OF MANY WATERS. This idea is reiterated again twice in Revelation, chapter 1:15 and chapter 19:6. (Must be important.)

I’m inclined to think that such an occurrence is almost extinct today. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Jesus rock concert environment of today’s churches as much as the next person, but it doesn’t even come close to the VOICE OF MANY WATERS. Where did those days go? I doubt if there’s a church or congregation within 100 miles of me that knows of this FLOOD of his presence.

It makes me think of Elijah in the wilderness explaining to God, “even I only am left.” But then again I’m reassured when I consider the Lord’s response to Elijah in first Kings 19:18, “Yet have I left me 7000 in Israel, all the knees who have not bowed to Baal.”

So maybe the Lord has reserved a multitude, who like me long for waters to swim in and who long to enter that chorus called the voice of many waters.