Two trains

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Romans 7:24 O desolate man that I am! Who will deliver me from this embodiment of deathly separation? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! 25 So then, So now I can know I am one with God in my spiritual mind and heart while the old mindset of separation still misses the mark by making its own arrangements. 8:1 There is therefore now a ‘not guilty for being a flawed human’ verdict understood by every human being in Jesus Christ who commits to living as one with God in mind and heart and not according to the mindset of deathly separation. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.

The trains travel in opposite directions – East and West. The West train is full of problems with a problem consciousness. It has an internal environment of anxiety, self-fixing and other people fixing. It is a place of reaction. Baggage is stowed in the overhead locker! We are all invited to get off the West train and make a connection with the East train. The Holy Spirit issues free tickets at the stations along the way, where people can get off onto the large platforms and mingle and change trains.

The East train is full of the peace of God with a consciousness of oneness with God. It has an internal environment of love, joy and peace, and a certainty of the direction and destination of the train. It is the place of receiving (grace). People getting onto the East train from the West train have their baggage managed for them. It is sorted out and nonsense thrown out so that they can have their genuine troubles lifted off them by Jesus and be healed. The same scenery somehow looks so different. We don’t despair if we find ourselves on the West train – it is real, and confusing, but we know there’s a connection waiting for me to access.

There was only one train before Jesus came – the West train. The original West train had some good ads in the cabins like the Commandments, but with guarantees of falling short and missing the mark and the penalties of guilt and shame.

Interesting conversations happen on the platform. Jesus had a few. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the two contentious brothers with a family inheritance problem, the rich young ruler, Zaccheus, etc etc. There is freedom on the East train to be always receiving GRACE, the life, love and peace and joy of God, and to be giving thanks in all things (Grace=God does it all, salvation, sanctification, prayer etc.).

The positive ads, posters, and announcements on the East train. (There are also cautions)

Romans 8:1…There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ

Romans 8:26… All things work together for good to those who love God

2Corinthians 5:17…New creation… I make all things new

2Corinthians 12:9…My grace sufficient for you…

Hebrews 4:13 … come confidently to the throne of grace…

Ephesians 3:18 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The Temptation

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Ephesians 6:18 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the principalities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness. Jesus walked forward steadily into the stony desert. He felt the sweet refreshing presence of Holy Spirit with him. A cascade of love spilled upon him from Father in heaven. He was totally at peace. His Spirit anointed ministry was about to begin and this would be its first great test. Spirit had led him into the desert to fast and pray and to find within his own spirit the empowerment from heaven to withstand the savage onslaught of Lucifer. He was ready, and so was Lucifer. Ten hard days without food had passed in the wilderness, and Jesus' body was growing weaker. Dust blew into his face and made him cough as his throat became parched and dry. He fought gnats and dust which assailed his body during the day, and phantoms of his mind that Lucifer assailed him with at night. He dreaded the strange visitations during the night hours when his mind seemed to pitch and surge through channels of darkness. He would fight off sleep in order to maintain control over his thoughts and connect with the love of his Father. He thought of his cousin, John, who was able to stick it out in the desert, fasting and praying and becoming stronger in faith. He knew he would probably not see his cousin again, not on this earth anyway. He felt terribly lonely and sad, and he felt great pangs of hunger gnawing at his stomach. He slumped to the ground, then a voice, deep and melodious, and yet so hollow rang in his ears. “If you're hungry there's some fresh bread over here.” He looked and saw only stones, and thought to himself he must have imagined what he heard. The voice taunted again. “They look like stones don't they? Well turn them into bread. It's easy. I'll show you how if you can't do it.” Jesus looked up at the spectre, his mind confused. Michael and Gabriel were watching from heaven. Gabriel placed a restraining hand on Michael's arm. “Don't do anything. Father has it all in hand. He trusts Jesus to withstand Lucifer. It is a massive test of faith.” “I know.” Michael glowered. He calmed himself, then he added strongly, “But I have been given charge over him, to protect his life on earth from unlawful acts of evil.” “Yes, but he will be subjected to evil no matter what, and Father knows he can withstand,” said Gabriel with authority. They watched as Jesus stood erect and looked Lucifer full in his face. They watched as pure light and total darkness confronted each other, and they waited to hear what Jesus would say. It was a long moment in time and all of history was caught in the look that passed between them. “There's only one kind of bread that I need in order to stay alive, and it's nothing you can conjure up.” I am strengthened and fed by every word that comes out of Father's mouth, and bread for me is to do what pleases him. Don’t try to tempt me to use supernatural power to feed my own appetites. Just leave!” Lucifer vanished and there remained a swirl of dust where he had stood. Gabriel continued to speak to Michael. “These trials only serve to strengthen him. In his weakness he is trusting totally in Father God to protect and rescue him. He must not rescue himself. All he goes through is so that he can strengthen those who come after him.” “How will that happen?” “It is still a mystery to me,” answered Gabriel, “but I do know that Holy Spirit and Jesus God are experiencing something entirely new together. They are sharing a life together in an earthly body. It has never happened before.” Twenty days had now passed by and Jesus was finding a new kind of inner strength. For some reason the grotesque phantoms of the night had disappeared and the comforting presence of Michael and Gabriel lingered in their place. Sometimes they made music that quietened his soul. At other times it seemed that they had simply created an envelope of peace that surrounded his entire being. He thanked his Father for these very special beings, so powerful yet so gentle. Lucifer was furious. Archons and Prince Powers shouted along with him and fuelled his outrage. Lucifer had, throughout time appointed Archons, who were the archangels of darkness, Prince Powers, who had influence over all the significant cities on the earth, and spiritual powers that relentlessly pummeled the human spirits of mankind. These beings would feed off the way of life, the ethos of that region. They would ingest the corruption, the hatred and malice, the greed and the power, the religion and idolatry, the indulgence and lust, and they would amplify it back into the culture. This way Lucifer fed himself into and leeched from every power base in the world. This is why Lucifer called himself the ‘god of this world.’ Chief Archon stood and addressed the gathering. “I have a strategy master.” Lucifer looked at him, impressed and interested. “Speak on, let me hear it.” “There are rules of engagement - and he can be trapped.” “Go on,” said Lucifer, liking the idea. “Well, if Jesus were to try to use angelic powers for his own personal empowerment, and not for their assigned mission, then it would be an unlawful act. He would be acting independently from his Father and be acting in self interest like any other mortal. This could bring his demise.” “What do you suggest?” from Lucifer. “Make him demonstrate the protective power of his angels who don't appear to want to leave him alone at present. Push him into showing off their power beyond the legal limits. An empty display like that will dishonor him for all time.” “Excellent strategy,” clapped Lucifer. “You can even quote a Scripture,” said Chief Archon, almost bursting with pride. “That always works, said Lucifer. “Which one?” “It's in Psalms, you would know it, about angels being given charge over him, and lifting him up, lest he dash his precious foot upon a stone.” “Yes I know it. Good, that’s excellent work. Now you just watch this.” There was a place in the side of a high mountain that Jesus would retreat to at night to shelter away from the wind. It was not quite a cave, more like a space underneath an overhanging rock with soft earth and some low- growing vegetation along the front. He stretched himself out there and was preparing to sleep, his eyes closed. He found himself suddenly jerked to his feet as though being lifted by some kind of harness under his arms and around his chest. For a fleeting moment he thought this was an hallucination, or he was dreaming a dark dream again. It was neither. He was being physically lifted into the air out of the cavern and over the desert. He heard Lucifer's voice again. “Just relax and enjoy the ride.” Jesus was not perturbed. As he looked down he saw that they were heading out of the desert and towards the city, where they alighted at the top of the spire of the great temple. “Aren’t you afraid?” goaded Lucifer insolently. “No,” said Jesus calmly. “Do you think you are safe then?” “I am in Father’s hands, not yours.” “Then if God is your Father throw yourself down to the ground and let's see what he does. Doesn't even Scripture say ‘Angels are looking after you so you don’t even need to worry that you will bruise your foot on a stone’?” Jesus replied. “Scripture also says 'Don’t put God to the test.' I will never call on angels just to save myself. Father can send them whenever if he wishes. I don't have to prove my power to you.” Lucifer knew he had been beaten, and better to bow out of this one and wait for another day. Jesus felt himself being swept through the air again and back to his ledge, where he sat and gave thanks to Father God and Spirit for giving him wisdom. Lucifer called for one of the greater Prince Powers, the one that he had appointed over Jerusalem. “Give me a report on John the baptizer and his talk about preparing the way for a kingdom.” “He speaks about the kingdom of God which Jesus is to establish somehow during his lifetime on earth. He also calls it the kingdom of heaven. The baptizer has also angered Herod, he won’t last long.” “So Jesus wants to rule the world does he?” “I am sure he does,” said The Prince Power. “And who is the god of this world?” “You are my lord. We worship you.” “I know, and so shall he, Jesus will worship me!” he vented angrily. Jesus had now been thirty days in the desert without food and he was famished. He was feeling weak in his body, but there was a distillation of strength in his spirit. He felt ready for anything. Lucifer appeared again at twilight as he was setting himself for prayer and meditation in his grotto halfway up the lofty mountain. “Let's go for another ride to the top of this mountain. The view is much better from there.” And with that Jesus felt himself again being transported through space, upward, to the top of the high peak above his retreat. Jesus breathed peace into himself. It was a supernatural peace that he could breathe into his spirit like breath into his lungs. It was the peace of his Father in heaven and it was always available to him. When they arrived at the mountain top Lucifer sat opposite Jesus and engaged him face to face. “Do you know that I am the god of this world?” shot Lucifer at Jesus. “I know that is a name you are called by.” “Do you know what that means? It means that I hold sway over kingdoms. It means that I rule. I influence kings and they control people.” Lucifer paused and then went on. “People worship gods.” “I know,” said Jesus. “I am the god of this world, and I hold sway over the kingdoms of this world and so… so if you will bow down and worship me, I will hand over the power and rule of all these kingdoms to you…forever…” There was a dramatic silence. Because of Jesus' humanity and its inherent weakness Jesus could fail at any time and accept the bribe. He could choose, as Adam did, to operate independently from Father, but he chose not to. In standing against Lucifer he was designing the destined victory for the soul of mankind. Part of his mission was to relive the trials of Adam and prove faithful where all other men had failed. “Did you hear me? I said forever! menaced Lucifer. “I heard you.” “And?” “Just leave.” “What?” Incredulously. Jesus muttered the words again without even looking at him. He stood up and looked towards the twilight horizon in its beauty. He turned to Lucifer. “Only The Lord God can be worshiped - There is no other. I will get back without you, I don’t need your transport.” Michael and Gabriel waited for Lucifer to leave then flew in and stood by Jesus on top of the mountain. “Father sent us to take you back.” Jesus slumped to the ground, his body exhausted by his ordeal in the wilderness. The angels swept him up and took him back to his shelter. There he relaxed and felt a surge of energy. He had outlasted Lucifer, a limited being, who is energized by fear, and Jesus had fed him none. Lucifer was utterly spent. Jesus had moved forward into a new spiritual authority. In those forty days he had also moved history forward towards a new authority for the people of God. Jesus became the ultimate spiritual gladiator or swordsman, girded up and ready to overthrow the enemy. In his right hand he wielded the Word of God to cut off the head of deception. In his left hand he used his smothering shield of faith against the menaces of taunts and provocation. He was protected from fear by love, a breastplate of gold covering his heart, and a helmet of truth protecting his mind from disorder. (Philippians 4:6) After his resurrection and ascension Jesus would empower mankind with this same power to overthrow cosmic powers. Those of faith on the earth would stand (Acts 7:55) with Jesus, above these beings and rule over them with a holy and unassailable authority.

Special to God

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SPECIAL TO GOD
Jesus began to get used to being followed by crowds. Crowds had become the greater part of his life. They followed him and listened to him when he trod the mountainous areas west of the Galilean Lake Region, sitting out in the sun in their thousands. As he looked out over a vast crowd on one of these occasions, he thought of how it must have been when Moses instructed multitudes of Hebrews just as he was doing, when they wandered in the wilderness. He wanted to give these ordinary lives the dignity and meaning that they had been created for.

“Your lives have great meaning. You are special to God” They listened in silence as his voice drifted out to them. Then the silence was broken by a voice shouting back from the crowd.
“There is nothing in life for us. We don’t feel special to God”

Jesus delivered to them the following words of life and blessing that would overcome the poverty in their hearts.

“You are special to God even when you feel you are worth nothing and have nothing. That is when you can trust your Father in heaven and know that you belong in his kingdom and everything in it belongs to you.
You are special to God when you mourn and suffer loss, because when you look to God in your pain and sorrow you will find comfort like you have never found before.
You are special to God when you can humbly accept who you are and what you have. God has laid up in store for the humble so much more than they ever would have expected.
You are special to God when you get a hunger deep inside of you to know God. This is what fulfils a life. It’s your inside world you need to nourish. Then when you look at the outside world you see God in everything.
You are special to God when you find mercy in your heart to cover the weaknesses of others. It is then that you will experience the abundant mercies of God for your own weaknesses.
You are special to God when your heart is an open book for people to see into. It is then that God lets you see into his own heart.
You are special to God when you are at peace with others and help them to be at peace with one another. God will see you as his special child, a true family member.
You are special to God when you are mistreated for wanting to please God. It is then that you embody his kingdom.”

It struck him at that moment that the people must have been hungry, as they had been sitting and listening to him for a long time. He remembered the miraculous manna bread that fell from the skies every day to feed Israel in the desert. He saw himself as being like that bread, as he was now feeding them the truth about Father and the truth behind the Life Commands, but he realized that they needed bread for their stomachs as well, so he asked the disciples to go and arrange food for the people to eat.

“They should have brought their own. It would cost a fortune to buy food for all these people Master,” replied one of the disciples.
“Do any of them have any food at all?” he asked the others.
“Yes, there’s a boy here who has a meal of a few pieces of fish and a couple of loaves of bread,” one of them replied.
“Give it to me,” said Jesus. He knew that words were not always going to teach the disciples about the great heart of God, and He thanked his Father for showing him what he was going to do. Heaven broke in upon the fish and the bread and it multiplied itself over and over again. There was laughter and tears of joy as young and old picnicked like children and marveled at the wonder of a good God. The people were not only fed but there was plenty of food left over. They felt special to God

As more and more miracles occurred and people were healed Jesus’ reputation grew and spread far and wide. He taught in the small and the large synagogues around the Galilean Lake Region and the areas surrounding Jerusalem.
People flocked to the synagogues and followed him out into the fields to hear this greatest teacher and prophet of their time. Many said that he was The Promised One and that he would set up the kingdom of God on the earth. To the Jews this meant an army with a leader sent from heaven that would overthrow the Roman Empire and free them from its oppression over their lives.
All of this excitement and adulation provoked the temple priests and lawgivers into a rage of jealousy and spite. They were frequently amongst the crowds that followed Jesus, waiting for a chance to discredit him and lead the people away from him. There were numerous confrontations between Jesus and the priests and lawgivers. They would try to trap him with difficult questions regarding the Life Commands but Jesus not only answered their questions with powerful words of wisdom and insight, but he also exposed the wickedness in their hearts. He was not afraid to call them hypocrites and to liken their words and their religion to tombs full of dead bones. What they hated most about him was that he acted as if he was God. He called God ‘My Father’ which no-one had ever done before, and he told the people that their sins were forgiven, and only God could do that. They now made this a fight to the death. They knew they would either have to destroy him, or he was going to destroy their religion.
Even the faithful temple worshipers were confused by Jesus going to eat and drink with all kinds of people at Matthew the tax collector’s Inn, where Matthew exacted tolls upon merchants and travelers coming into Jerusalem. The unrest that all of this caused was not lost upon the leaders of the Roman citizens and the military, who had to keep law and order in the entire region.
Among those that gathered at the inn was a man called Lazarus, a man respected by all, and one whom Jesus came to like and admire as an upright man. On one occasion Lazarus invited the people there to a gathering at his own home, where his two sisters would provide catering and hospitality. Lazarus had been waiting to talk to Jesus, and at the first opportunity, he drew him aside and led off the conversation with a direct and personal challenge.

“Jesus, I have some difficulty in understanding the way you seem to put things in riddles when you talk. I mean no disrespect, but you very often do just what we do not expect, and you do things in a way that other teachers or prophets would not do.”
“Like what?” replied Jesus.
“Well, you do a miracle that glorifies your heavenly Father, and then you tell people not to tell anybody. You have done wonders that would earn you a seat on the Empire senate, like feeding thousands of people with a few scraps of food, which you have done more than once. No one will forget the marriage feast of your cousin’s friend, where they ran out of wine, and you provided more wine for the guests than they had started with. I’ve heard the wine was the best that anyone has ever tasted. These things are unprecedented and yet you don’t take credit for them.”
“Go on” said Jesus.
“You say things like 'Lose your life and you will find it' and other things like that.”
“Anything else?”
“Yes…um…you say we must become as children, in order to enter into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Why do you say things like that, why do you turn our lives, our world, upside down, and expect us to understand?”
“Yes I know, my friend, but believe me, I am not really turning things upside down. I am turning them the right way up, so that people can find the true meaning of life. If I take glory for the miracles that I do then they lose their true meaning, but when I do them for Father's glory they have an entirely different meaning. What gives meaning to the things that I do is sharing the experience of doing them with Father. He guides me in these things and I trust him totally.”
“I …I think I understand. This is so different to what we have been taught in the temple. I do now believe that my life has real meaning, not that I am anyone special in any way at all, but I feel such a peace about leaving everything in Father’s hands, my family, my work, my health, my very life itself.

Jesus felt a powerful presence of Holy Spirit in the words his friend had spoken
“I know you understand my friend.”

Jesus felt in his heart that God had something very special in store for his friend.

 

Ascension

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THE PLAN CHAPTER 22 Revised selection
After Jesus vanished from their sight the two men decided to go back into Jerusalem and find Jesus’ disciples who had been hiding. The disciples were afraid of what was going to happen to them, because of the rumors that were going about that they had stolen Jesus’ body. The two men found the disciples and told them of their journey with Jesus on the road to the hot springs, and their miraculous meal with him where he had suddenly vanished. The disciples were ecstatic and one of them exclaimed,
“So, he is back from the dead!”
While they were all talking, Jesus suddenly appeared, and they panicked, thinking they were seeing a ghost.
“I am not a ghost,” he said jokingly,
“Here, touch my hands and my feet and see for yourselves. A ghost doesn't have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” But their eyes were out on stalks and they shivered with fright. Then he said,
“You can receive my peace right now, and it can abide with you”.
He stretched forth his hands and his peace hit their hearts. He breathed his breath of life, his Spirit, upon them and they received the impartation of his life. They immediately felt at one with Jesus and with each other. But he could still see their bewilderment, and he knew he had to convince them in some ordinary way that he was real and alive again.
“Look, do you have something to eat? Is there any food around here?” James scurried to the fire and brought back some steamed fish, and grabbed some honeycomb from a shelf on his way back, holding the mixed platter out at arm's length as Jesus accepted it and smiled at the peculiar dish he was being served. He ate it with gusto and wiped his mouth. He looked around the room and noticed that Thomas was not amongst them.
“Why didn't you go to Galilee where I said I would meet you?” he asked.
They shuffled about without giving an answer, and Jesus told them he would see them in a few days at Galilee, and he vanished once more.

The disciples gathered at Galilee where they used to gather in the large boat shed that belonged to James and John's fisherman father, where they tended to boat and net repairs. It was situated snugly in a grove overlooking the beach. Peter had been waiting with the others and had then become restless and asked James and John to come fishing with him to get some food for Jesus to eat. While the three were out fishing Jesus suddenly appeared to the others as they sat patiently, waiting for his arrival. When Thomas saw Jesus appear he walked hesitatingly towards him and stopped in front of Him. Jesus knew that Thomas had not believed that he had risen, even after the other disciples had said that they had seen him. Thomas had said that he would not believe until he had personally put his hand into Jesus' side where the lance had been thrust, and into the holes where the nails had pierced.
“Here are the holes where the nails went in, and here is the gash that the spear made, so feel for yourself, so that you’ll believe” he said. Thomas broke down and wept.
“I am sorry my Lord. I believe you are God, and come back from the dead.”
“You have finally seen me and now you believe what you see. But there will be many who will believe without even seeing me and I will bless them greatly for it.” Jesus then put his hand on Thomas's shoulder and comforted him and he disappeared again.

Jesus appeared to them again one morning after they had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing. He stood on the shore and watched them fishing but they didn't realize that it was him. They had taken two boats out, one larger boat, rigged for catching and one auxiliary boat, which helped with baiting and with the haul, if there was one. He shouted out to the fishermen from the shore.
“Haven't you caught anything yet?”
“No!” Peter shouted in a disgruntled voice, at this expert on the seashore. “Cast your nets on the other side,” came back the voice of the man on the seashore.
Peter was about to explode when he heard John cry out from the second boat, which was closer in.
“It’s The Lord.”
“Just do it then!” yelled Peter to the others on the main rig.
So they threw the nets to the other side and began to pull so many fish into the two boats that they could hardly keep either boat afloat. But by this time Peter had plunged into the sea, swimming for all his might to get to his friend on the seashore, leaving the crews on the two boats to work together on the haul. When Peter lurched his way up from the break-water he headed straight for Jesus and collapsed in front of him. He saw that Jesus had already prepared a fire with burning coals and had fish and toasted bread ready for them to eat. He didn't ask Jesus how he got the fish.
Jesus reached down and helped Peter into a sitting position.
“The others are coming, so let’s have breakfast. Go and get some of the fish from your catch. That was a very good catch - well done.”
After they had all enjoyed breakfast together Jesus called Peter aside. He knew there were things that had to be said between them.
“Peter, how strong is your love for me?”
“As strong as life itself my Lord,” answered Peter.
“Is it really that strong?” asked Jesus again. “It is even stronger than that,” said Peter. “Tell me how strong it is,” asked Jesus.
“Lord, this is the third time I have tried to tell you, my love for you is stronger than life and it's stronger than death. It is my very food…It is what you have fed to me.” He stopped.
“Then I want you to feed my people with that same love. Feed them like a shepherd feeds his lambs and his sheep. Protect them and strengthen them with my love. That is the food I give to you for them.”
“I will Lord, I will feed them,” said Peter, and he knelt before him.

Jesus met with hundreds of people over those forty days, but on the final day he gathered with just over a hundred of his disciples and followers, including his mother, at Bethany, where Lazarus and his two sisters lived, and where they had recently celebrated the miracle of Lazarus's return to life. Jesus then took the eleven disciples inside the house of Lazarus to give them some final instructions. He told them to go into Jerusalem and to wait for Holy Spirit’s empowerment. They were to wait in the same room in which he celebrated the Passover feast with them, the night he was taken captive. He spoke to them about the fulfillment of The Plan.. They were to wait in the same room in which he celebrated the Passover feast with them, the night he was taken captive. He spoke to them about the fulfillment of The Plan.

“Father God has always wanted to have sons and daughters to share his love with them - the same way that he shares his love with me. Now at last this can happen. The Lie has tried to block this Plan from the beginning of time by blinding the mind of humanity with darkness. But I have defeated The Lie, and the same power that brought me back to life is the power of Holy Spirit, who will come to you and bring you this same power, the power of the life that I now live.”
“How will it happen?” asked Peter, “and what will this mean for us, and the way we will live?
“He will join your life to my risen life and you will become one in Spirit with me”
Jesus paused then continued.
“When I came into the world I became a body prepared for my Father, to do what He purposed for me. And so you too will be invited to embody my Father and me through Holy Spirit Whom we will send into all the World. Holy Spirit will take of Father’s love, and my words, and empower you to live like I did. You will be as my body in the World, each in your own way, as Holy Spirit displays our shared life from out of your hearts of faith. This will cause the people and the things that happen around you to change, as you yourselves become more and more changed into being more like me.

A dazzling light shone outside the window. Jesus stood up and led them out to the courtyard and the others who were in the house followed them. He turned to them all and raised his hands in blessing. He did not need to say goodbye. As he began to rise slowly heavenwards he was enveloped in a billowing white cloud, and as they stood together looking into the cloud that had taken him they saw the shining figures of Michael and Gabriel standing to one side.

They heard the voice of Gabriel saying,
"This same cloud that you now see taking Jesus God into eternity will also bring him back one day - in total glory and triumph, and The Plan will have been completely fulfilled."

 

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The struggle is between the Spirit and the flesh. Our spirit is designed to be in harmony with God’s Spirit, but our flesh gets drawn into a mindset of separation, which brings conflict. If we see ourselves as vessels containing water (the spirit) and oil (the flesh), the oil sits on top and wants to be the sole (soul) expression of who we are and to organize our independent responses to life in this world. So upsets occur and the flesh ‘i am’ reacts to life in conflict with the movement of the Spirit’s I AM. This up-set is a set-up for us to be aware of the unsettled state we are in, which needs to be settled.

THE OIL is the separation mindset (veil) that interacts with our mind and emotions, causing layers of self protective and competitive reactions we have used to survive our pain and grief and to drive ourselves forward in this life. Through childhood and onwards we accumulate separation junk material by going on our own little marches of protest or making demands for attention - carving out our personal I Am/my way. Our felt ‘I am’ gets provoked relentlessly. Matthew 4:3 If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.

THE WATER is our innocent genesis self that waits to be discovered, in our heart where Christ lives with us by faith – hidden treasure. The ever-vigilant Holy Spirit is always prompting us in this space to enable us to respond to Him in life’s challenges rather thank react to what is happening. Our agitated mind will prefer to analyze and judge and blame whatever it can (including ourselves) and get jammed, bound up, entangled, so we must learn to let go. 2Cor. 10:5 We either choose to bear the imprint of an independent mindset that was first experienced by Adam and Eve, or we choose to bear the imprint of The Holy Spirit 1Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly…

SANCTIFICATION The process of separation occurs by being still and knowing God (IN BOTH structured and incidental time). We can be still and separate into the sanctifying presence eternally residing in our heart.

Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through pain and suffering )( Heb 12.2 hostile flesh...) For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one origin, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to take upon himself the sins of all people. For because he himself has suffered when tried and tested, he is able to help those who are also being tried and tested.

Faith enables the well to be always springing up and as we sit in sanctifying presence it forces the painful murky reservoir to rise to the surface to be poured off the top. The imprinting of pain and sorrow is a felt reality, and is erased by the imprinting of Divine love, the greater reality, through The Holy Spirit (sealed). John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.We then begin to realize who we really are.

THE PRESENCE PRAYER – I am now here with you. This is a powerful transaction of Holy Spirit within us who is healing us. We don’t try to control or sedate or suppress the painful feelings because God wants to carry them away. He is de-cluttering the room he wants to occupy.

IT MATTERS – IT DOESN’T MATTER 1Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares (melo – matters) for you. When we know it MATTERS FOR GOD it now DOESN’T MATTER for us – we are free.

Process of renewal

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Zech 4:2-10 "What do you see now?" he asked. I answered, "I see a gold lampstand holding seven lamps, and at the top there is a reservoir for the olive oil that feeds the lamps, flowing into them through seven tubes. 3 And I see two olive trees carved upon the lampstand, one on each side of the reservoir. 4 What is it, sir?" I asked. "What does this mean?" 5 "Don't you really know?" the angel asked. "No, sir," I said, "I don't." 6 Then he said, "This is God's message to Zerubbabel: `Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty-- you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak.' 7 Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! And Zerubbabel will finish building this Temple with its capstone in its place shouting 'grace and thanksgiving' for God's mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone." 8 Another message that I received from the Lord said: 9 "Zerubbabel laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. (Then you will know these messages are from God, the Lord Almighty.) 10 Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that see everywhere around the world." (2Chronicles 16:9 - they see our hearts)

1. Where have we been? – Babylon – The past has been redeemed. Philippians 3:13
2. Where are we going? – Capstone – The future is planned by God – the goal of presence in the temple.
3. Where are we now? – Plumbline – God is happening now – Our alignment with His presence.

These people are a picture of all of us. They had been in captivity to the world. They had been rescued (salvation). They were making a fresh start – renewal. That is all of us all of the time.
The captivity was Babylon – because they did not obey the Sabbath years for 490 years.
The fresh start of renewal was the prophetic word to Zerubbabel (to move away from confusion).

This is one of many stories of Israel in The Old Testament that are parables about the Church, and about our lives. We have been given faith, that if we exercise it, and believe in God's empowering through the Holy Spirit, (another way of saying 'grace'), we will experience a new dimension of powerful change in our lives. He allows us to cut through the unnecessary time wasting factors that our earthbound mindset can generate that trap us in our circumstances because of our reaction to them. We are not trying to fix our circumstances or fix others. Everything is designed to prompt us to call power from God into action – so why get into reaction? (messenger!) . The Holy Spirit allows us to witness within ourselves the supernatural work of God within us overcoming our reaction in us. It is discovery not just recovery.

Note the use of the plumbline. This signifies simply getting started and measuring what has to be measured or kept in alignment. The activity is Being, not Doing! The 'capstone' or finished state reveals a finished work of oneness with Him. God will help us to work on one thing at a time (Do not despise the small beginnings) –‘The eyes of The Lord rejoice to see the work begin!.

The Lord calls Zerubbabel to shout "grace" to the capstone - Shout (say with a depth of earnest humility and expectation) - 'Holy Spirit heal me/change me!’ God wants to flatten the mountains that are like high mountains standing in the way of our knowing Him. It is not by trying to think our way through the mountain with a garden fork.
Only God can do that. The ministry of the Holy Spirit allows us to expect that whatever the enemy has done to destroy our faith, the Lord is able to renew and rebuild out of what has been broken, and to bring restoration to our mind, our emotions, our life and future.

 

Life out of death

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Hebrews 2:14… So he took on a mortal existence. That way he used death victoriously, destroying the one that uses death to hold power over us – the devil. 15. He set us free from that dismal dungeon of mortal existence – the fear of death.
Life in this world is here to teach us to live above it.
Demanding that things of this world change, our way, attaches us to this world instead of to God.
The fear of death is the fear of the loss of the self that is attached to things of this world that try to name us and claim us. How do we let go? So often we try to write our own story. When we accept rather than resist His story, we can know a tremendous freedom. We can live in the ‘what is’, and be the ‘who is’ of God.
Psalm 139:13 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me
What about all the past times of ‘missing the mark? They are redeemed and have all been used to bring us to this awakened ‘now.’ That means all of us.
Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Who died? The you that is always dying!!)
2Corinthians 5:15. And the fact that he died for all of us means that everyone who is alive should not live for themselves (the self attached to stuff) but rather live with and for him who died and rose for us and with us.
Revelation 3:18 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him…

What does it take to live this kind of resurrection life?
It takes a kind of letting go of one kind of life in preference for another.

Philippians 3:8. I have no problem with letting go of everything I have ever had so that I can have the supreme honour (hold myself above everything else) of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I have forsaken everything for him and see it all as meaningless, so that I can make having Christ the most meaningful thing in my life 9. I find the true meaning of life as I find oneness with him. I no longer have to establish myself by my rigid observance of the Law. I am fully established and brought into harmony with God by believing in what Jesus has done and is continually doing for me.10. I long to know and understand him as a person, and to be aware of the power within him that makes what is dead live again. I want to identify with the way he suffered, and let my soul be shaped by his heart of giving up his life for us. 11. If this kind of living is what is meant by bringing life out of death I want to be part of it.

Practicing dying (so we know how to embrace it one day).
It is done in the little things. When we don’t rush in to fill a space, we leave room for God to come in to that space – having or not having (Revelation 3:18) - doing or not doing – obligation/expectation (Romans 13:8), speaking or not speaking (3 rules), thinking or not thinking (imaginations), judging or not judging
(Separation – 1Cor 4:3 – let God judge). We can celebrate life. We can enjoy the things easy to enjoy more and enjoy the hard things just as much.

 

Seated with Him

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People who say they have no belief system do have one. It is the belief that they have no belief system. So they believe or not believe anything they feel to for any period of time that suits them. There is no anchored heart, mind or soul in this. It is bad enough to not have a belief system but very sad to have one and not believe it

Ephesians 2:1-7 God’s own life force has now been activated in you, lifting you out of the deathly void of self-interest and self-delusion. 2. which you once shared with the rest of humanity. We were driven by the desperate self serving attitudes and values of this world that are energized by the power of the prince of darkness, who still holds sway over people who don’t believe and who resist being convinced or persuaded.
3. Once we were all trapped in that way of life, compelled to do whatever our mental and emotional and physical wants and needs demanded of us. Our entire disposition was one of being herded along with everybody else in a torrent of intense feelings that focused us in on ourselves.
4. But God, whose entire disposition is one of overflowing goodness and kindness and love toward us
5. Supernaturally activated the life of his son Jesus into our beings while we were still stuck in our self-absorption and not even looking in his direction. (God’s goodness planned and implemented your salvation)
6. Father raised us up into heaven to be seated with Jesus, sharing his life, all of us together.
7. And in this coming age it will be fully disclosed for all to see the extravagance of his loving goodness and kindness to us that transcends all else through what Jesus did in becoming one of us. (CAV)
Seated means rest – with Him means partnership – Heavenly Places means Kingdom authority over the gravitational pull of the earth.

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Our real life is the one that God fills, in or minds and hearts. Things on earth have an enormous gravitational pull upon us because of our emotional and physical needs. These things seem to promise peace and fulfillment but they do not release the flow of God's rich endowment of love and peace that only abides in that space of truth and real faith. That place of reality is consciously in our heart. So it is good to learn to give space for the right space to live and breathe in us. There are countless opportunities for this throughout each day

SO WHO IS THE WE THAT DIED? ARE WE IN TOUCH WITH OUR INNER STATE?
The conscious act of ‘things above’ faith is invited to surrender, to die, to the ‘me self’s’ gravitational pull to the ‘things on earth’. This releases the inner power of God from captivity – Kingdom authority, not ‘things of earth’ bondage.

Ephesians 3:16 to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
2 Corinthians 5:14 one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

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The example of Peter being freed from prison by the angel in Acts chapter 12 was a powerful sovereign act of God through angels. Peter was suffering a threat to his life. Herod had just imprisoned and beheaded James and had now imprisoned Peter. But Peter, who was not always ready, was now ‘ready’.

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death).”

Jesus had cause to mention Satan a couple of times to Peter. Once was when Peter told Jesus he did not have to go to the cross. Jesus said ‘get behind me Satan’. Peter didn’t like the idea of suffering (then), but he learned to treasure it. God let Paul have his dealings with Satan also. Paul was buffeted (2Cor 12:7) and hindered (1Thess 2:18) by Satan – but he was never stopped by him because he had authority over the demonic powers of the region –
Acts 19:15 Jesus I know and Paul I recognize but who are you…

Peter had no idea that God was testing his faith. All he could hear was his own fear speaking when he denied The Lord three times – I might go to jail, I might be killed, I might lose my reputation. Peter lived in the stronghold of his fearful mind and he suffered unnecessarily. He had wrong expectations of himself and of God, and of many other things. Peter had to go through intense suffering to be awakened to spiritual reality – Three times Jesus asked Peter ‘do you love me?’ and three times Jesus commissioned his ministry. Then Peter becomes the message of the virtue of suffering in his epistles. Peter learned to live in the prison of hope.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds to be ready for action (not reaction), and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

God wants gracious action to flow from our lives – not reaction. That peace and gracious flow comes from a place of settled hope and right expectation. Whatever fear you might be living in right now in the stronghold of imagination does not have to separate you from faith and trust in God, and from the peace that God wants for your life. It awakens you to expel it and hear God. That awakening prepares you for awareness and action, always ready to respond knowing that God is always involved in every aspect of our lives.

 

Two strongholds

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Acts 16:23 Paul and Silas were in a stronghold. There are natural prisons and spiritual prisons.
By faith they swapped prisons, becoming prisoners of hope (Zechariah 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope). Q. Who put them in jail? God, the devil, the Romans, the jailer. Ans = Probably all of those.

THE STRONGHOLD OF IMAGINATION – We can be imprisoned by the conflicting thoughts we have about ourselves. Which of those thoughts are true?
2Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; We do away with all the internal debates between our conflicting thoughts (imaginations - logismos – argument/debate of conflicting thoughts - Romans 2:16), and every lofty opinion that raises itself up against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience (attentive hearing) of Christ;
Stronghold means exactly what it says – Something that has a strong hold upon a person – either for safety or for bondage.
Our internal debates (imaginations) hold us in the power of our emotional involvement with our conflicting thoughts (Romans 2:16). These thoughts take on a life of their own. If we put one hopeful proposition to ourselves our mind will think of something that could go wrong to dash those hopes. It is conditioned to debate with itself. ‘If only my circumstances could change. Why is this happening to me?’ could become a stronghold of hopelessness, but ‘If only my thinking could change. You are happening to me’ could become a stronghold of hope

THE STRONGHOLD OF HOPE Zechariah 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
We put our trust in the most trustworthy and loving of truths – God himself. Anything else is an argument/debate (imagination) against this. Jeremiah 29:11. Decision making can now have freedom and confidence. Prov 16:9

EXPECTATIONS AND ACCEPTANCE
What are our expectations of a) God and the devil, b) our circumstances, other people, and c) ourselves? What do I know is true, what is uncertain, what can I be in control of? a) God (Rom 3:4) and devil Eph 2:1, b) circumstances and others, c) my thinking – These things are what they are. God gives us an ORDERED mind 2Timothy 1:7.
My future depends on my bank account, having what I want, controlling my circumstances.
Our stress or discomfort or frustration etc. is the wake up call to listen to God. Our future depends upon how we are responding to what is – now. Then miracles become commonplace. We don’t seek them, we expect them/surrendered to God. He is in this and he is with me in this. It is not the circumstances that defeat us. It is our reactions to them and our thinking that defeat us. Why did God let IT happen? (IT happens a lot). IT is a trial of faith… Without IT Abraham would not have been Abraham.1Corinthians 10:13 1Peter 1:6

WHAT ABOUT SPIRITUAL WARFARE? Why did God let the devil do that to me? (God does that a lot – Job, Jesus, Peter Luke 22:31, Paul 2Cor 12:7, you, me…) But I rebuked the devil and he still did it. Ans = The devil will not do what we tell him to do. He doesn’t do what God tells him, so why us. Just remember that he is a limited being! SO spiritual warfare is more about us not doing what the devil tells us to think and to do, rather than us telling him what to do. He gets into our heads and tells us we are not worth thinking about, victims, not loved, cheated… He is the liar (John 10:10). We recover ourselves out of the snare of the devil… (2Timothy 2:24-26)

GOD’S IDEA OF US IS WRITTEN IN A BOOK Ps 139
Psalm 139:13 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me

 

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