Staying in touch

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Staying in touch
Luke 8:42… He was surrounded by the crowds. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you whole. Go in peace.”

Jesus knows when faith is touching him, for who he really is, not just curiosity or self seeking.
He touches that life that reaches out to touch him, with his presence and power.
Jesus didn’t lose anything because there is an infinite supply. The same applies to us.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (TLB)

Ephesians 6.:18 Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit's ways. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, (TLB)

 

Gracious performance

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What is the goal of Christian living, according to the New Covenant, the new relational arrangement God has established with us though Jesus.
1. He writes his laws (wisdom/moral values) in our (new) hearts
2. He Invites us all to know how to know him personally – BY WAY OF his mercy/forgiveness.
SO – The Christian goal – To know God and to graciously reflect His loving nature and creative power.
This means knowing how to ‘Be still and know that I am God’. But how do I perform this?

Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to perform it…Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ…
We can live life knowing and trusting that Christ is doing the supernatural performing of his love and creative goodwill, and simply doing the best we can according to our conscience.

Paul’s learning and teaching experiences –
Eph 4:20 20. But that is not how you have learned Christ through sharing in his life 21. That is, if you are listening to him and letting him teach you the absolute truth that flows forth from his heart to yours - and
Philippians 3:10 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.

SOME FEATURES OF WAITING ON GOD – PRESENCE PRAYER – MEDITATION
1. What is the worst that can happen?
A. Losing 20 minutes of valuable TV watching, worrying, internet activity, other pursuits.
B. Putting yourself through an onslaught of crazy thoughts.
C. Feeling like a poverty stricken spiritual failure.
Part C is the desired result – Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of God. The strength of Christian spirituality is knowing our weakness and his strength.
2. Immerse (plunge) yourself fearlessly into this dimension of the spiritual unknown. The cloud of unknowing.
3. Expect confidently the blessings of the terms of engagement. Mercy ->Faith ->Grace -> Love.
4. De-limit the mindset of limitation. Reckon yourself alive to God (electric shock). An electric shock does not throw a person across a room but it causes every ligament and nerve and muscle fibre to explode into action instantly. We actually jump across the room. But the mind limits our access to this release of power because it would otherwise put us in danger, but the limits can be pushed back without causing danger (endurance feats). People think that plunging into stillness of mind would be spiritually dangerous and allow demons to come in. Wrong – We are perfectly and wondrously made for the mind to be still and allow for the engaging of the heart of faith which releases the God life that is in there to be expressed – alive to God.
The result is an ever-growing gracious flow.

 

Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to perform it… My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin (separated self) to do something totally different. (MESSAGE)

Eph 4:20. But that is not how you have learned Christ through sharing in his life 21. That is, if you are listening to him and letting him teach you the absolute truth that flows forth from his heart to yours
22. Concerning your past lifetime of downward spirals, Cast aside that obsolete Adamic existence which became twisted through the distorted drivenness of self interest
23. Constantly being renewed in this new mindset of spiritual truth
24. And plunge into the depths of your renewed humanity bonded to Jesus that was created in eternity according to the personal design of God in true alignment with him and set apart for him. (CAV)

Philippians 3:10 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.
12. I am not there yet. The work is not yet completed in me, but I am pursuing this with all I am and all I have. I want to make my own the whole plan of life for which Jesus has made me his own.
13. So, while I cannot say that I have arrived, I can say that I have put the past behind me, and I am focused only on what great things lay ahead of me. 14. I now have a real goal in life. To experience the supreme reward that comes from saying yes to living a heavenly life with Jesus here and now in this present life.15. If any of you want to know what it is like to live within this kind of perfect arrangement, then start thinking the way I have just outlined to you, and if you don’t quite grasp this I know God can reveal it to you.16. So however far we might have come in comprehending this truth, let us live out of it together as the defining principle that determines how we think and how we live.17. I want you to embrace this kind of living the way I have, and to follow the example of others you see living the same way also.18. (I have told you before and I tell you again, sadly, that there are some whose lives are woeful models to you because they contradict the example of Jesus in giving his life for us on the cross. 19. They are on a road to ruin, slaves to their selfish desires, proud of their arrogance and sold out to the things of this world.)20. Our way of life reflects the atmosphere of heaven, where we live in constant hope and expectation of the supernatural redeeming work of Jesus,21. Who will finally take our weak mortality and change it to be like his mighty immortality, using the power that only he has, to subdue all things to himself. (CAV)

 

 

Delay of the faithful

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Isaiah 30:1 “Stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation
God had allowed Assyria to be a dominant nation and under them Babylon as the enforcers. Israel were the representatives of the Covenant God – a covenant of protection and goodness. He was not only God over Israel as a nation but he was God over all nations. But instead of trusting in this covenant, they were ready to make a covenant with Egypt (a covenant with death).
In Biblical language going down to Egypt means trusting in the Kingdom of the world instead of in the kingdom of God. ( Abraham Genesis 12, Isaac Genesis 26)
For Christians that means trusting in self and not in God and His covenant.
15. For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”But you would not, And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—Therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”—Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, At the threat of five you shall flee, Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain And as a banner on a hill.
But God Will Be Gracious Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it He will answer you.
And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,“This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or you turn to the left.
As a Christian you are a representative of His New Covenant, just as Israel was the representative of the Old Covenant. They knew it front to back and inside out, every blessing and every curse, every ordinance and law and penalty.
The Old Covenant had outward promises and blessings, like God winning battles for them to take the territory he had promised them, and prospering them by sending them rain for their crops and harvests. It is a very rewarding covenant for those who like outward blessings, but it is an incredibly demanding covenant when it comes to outward performance and sacrifice. It is full of blessings and curses, whereas the New covenant has only blessings and no curses – except for one – the curse of the LAW. The old covenant was not dependent upon faith but on obedient work. Faith is mentioned TWICE in the Old covenant. (Deuteronomy 32.20, Habakkuk 2:4). And faith is always blessed by God.
The blessings of the New Covenant are inward blessings, spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:x). That is because the Kingdom is an inward kingdom, dependant upon obedient faith. So what about material blessings and our temporal needs? The answer is simple;
Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.
What about performance and obedience and understanding? What about knowing the words of the covenant front to back and inside out? (Hosea 4:1

 

Divine delay

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These two men on the road to Emmaus had planned a journey, with a destination. The journey changed, and they didn’t quite reach their planned destination but they encountered Jesus and their lives and all future journeys were changed.
We are all on a journey, and some journeys are longer than others, and some seem to be on hold. God is with us on each journey and the journey is always speaking to us. So on these journeys we must continually stop and draw near to God, ask him to stay a little longer, and have our eyes opened that we may get to know Jesus more, in the midst of all the delays and joys and sufferings on the way.

The message of the gospel is about finding Jesus and finding ourselves on the journey of our life. Jesus is always there, like he was with the two men, but he is hidden from our eyes. He is hidden not only within own lives and circumstances, but also hidden within the lives of people we meet on the journey, and sometime seen behind their eyes of pain or confusion – their need, or behind eyes of blessing, their care.
Matt 25:37…But when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger and took you in…?

We often only know the journey and its meaning afterwards, when we sit with him like the two men did, and ask him to stay a little longer, and he opens our eyes to where he was on that particular journey and what he has been doing. That is how we can recollect in times of closeness with him each day. That is also what we can ask him to teach us each day, to make us aware of his unseen and hidden presence.
Sometimes the ‘eye openers’ are more manifest and present, and at other times more buried, and need time to be decoded (Peter’s denial and restoration).

 

 

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Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord…wandering…running to and fro…seeking…not finding…

 Why? – There are too many voices.

But…there is a hunger for reality – to hear a clear voice - ‘Please tell me - what is going on?’

‘1Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds (genos) of voices (phone – tone and intent) in the world, and none of them is without significance

All voices have a tone and an intention - and an effect on the hearer.

Hebrews 4:7 “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Paul’s words –

2Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; tossed about, but not destroyed;…So death is at work in us, but life in you. (necessary suffering)

 Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

 Jeremiah 9:24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.

 Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, the future you hope for - not to abandon you."When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen - When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. I'll turn things around for you.

 Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will restore you, and you shall be restored.

 

 

Anchor of the soul

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Hebrews 12:25 … listen to God who speaks to us from heaven! When he spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but,"Next time,"he says,"I will not only shake the earth but the heavens too." By this he means that he will sift out everything without solid foundations so that only unshakable things will be left.
Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts…

Who is causing the shaking that is happening in the earth today? Why?

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.

This place is the heart to heart engagement within the presence of God. This is felt as an expansion in our heart, rather than just thought about in our head. Jesus is touched by the feelings of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15)

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

How do we draw near – and what happens as we do? What are the rules of engagement?
Luke 15:20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
(Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you)
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

 

 

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FROM THE GRAVE TO THE SKY
‘THE PLAN’ Chapter 21 (edited)

At the moment of his death the cosmos convulsed. An earthquake tore a searing gash into the mountainside and people were toppled off their feet. A blanket of darkness fell over the place as rocks split apart and the graves and tombs on a nearby hill cracked open. People ran in fear, but they did not know where to go. At that moment there were priests in the temple about to sacrifice the Passover lamb. When the knife pierced the sacrificial animal the priests were thrown off their feet by the earthquake. The temple shook as huge stones fell from the parapets and the great veil in the temple proper, which separated the place of God’s presence from the rest of the temple was lightning torn from top to bottom. The priests fled in panic as tempest swirled through the city.

Lucifer’s dark mind was being assaulted by a force he had not expected. It was a desperate feeling of failure and futility. What was going wrong? Jesus was dying with a magnificent hope, not a dark and dreadful despair. The offering of Jesus’ spirit to Father God had released a tangible power into the universe. Lucifer
tried to flee back into the darkness but a huge bolt of lightning from the throne room gathered him up and catapulted him downwards. He was traveling face down at a furious speed, and for a split second he saw, or imagined he saw, a burning lake beneath him. It struck him with horror, and he believed he must have imagined it. He was turned on his back and drawn up with the same speed into the darkness above, and then turned back onto his face as he found himself again being plummeted downwards. The Prince of Darkness now realized that this man’s body, which had just been destroyed on Skull Hill had contained no fault or sin, and therefore could no longer be kept captive in this lower world.

As Jesus hung on the cross and offered his spirit to his Father he felt his spirit being lifted up above his body. From there he saw the scene on Skull Hill, and all the people standing around, still looking at his dead body hanging on the cross, and he saw Centurion call for the lance. He also saw the bolt of lightning and Lucifer being caught in it and hurled downwards. He then began to travel downwards himself, and knew he was on a mission of great purpose. Below him was a place called Paradise, and next to Paradise was a place called Hades. Jesus again recalled what had been written in the Psalms.
“You will not let my soul rest in Hades, you will not let your Holy One see corruption.”

Jesus plummeted downward toward this special place of repose called Paradise, where there were millions of souls who had been waiting for him from the beginning of time. These had lived their lives on earth in hope, many of them guided by the Life Commands, but many simply by a good conscience. They had resisted The Lie, and were now locked away from eternity till eternity would come to get them.

Lucifer had thought that all he had to do was get Jesus killed as a human being and Jesus would then be forever locked away from human life and from God life. When darkness entered our world and human beings became separated spiritually from God, The Lie laid claim to the physical and spiritual death of every human being. But death could not demand payment for something it did not own. It did not own the perfection of the sinless life of virtue resident in Jesus’ body. The moment Jesus died, a cosmic law of sin and death was overturned and became the cosmic law of the spirit of life in Christ.

Jesus now stood in the gulf between Paradise and Hades, the gulf that separated two eternal worlds. As Hades looked on at him it became an eruption of violence disgorging its anger and hatred at him, while Paradise sat quietly, not mute, but waiting in serene silence to hear his words. Jesus began to tell them of the wonder of his father’s plan. As his words fell upon them all, many but not all of those in Hades put their hands to their ears and turned away in horror, while those in Paradise sat serenely still, as that beautiful truth transformed their hope and faith into a glorious reality. He was to wait there for three days. It was toward the end of the third day when suddenly everyone’s conversation began to fall off and diminish into silence. Then could be heard beautiful music dancing with itself on waves of exuberant joy, then overlaid with a swell of magnificent singing which became stronger and louder as hosts of flying angels swept into their presence. Jesus stood to greet Michael and Gabriel, and it was then that he was given the keys of hell and death to unlock freedom. Jesus then took hold of the key of freedom to unlock the grave and begin the journey of taking a patient Paradise into an eternal Heaven.

Jesus led them on a triumphant upward journey, to their new home, his home. The entire company was escorted by Michael and Gabriel and the hosts of angels around them as they ascended ever upwards until they reached the earth, from where they and he most recently, had come. There they all stopped for a brief period of time, because there were things for Jesus to do there. The first thing that he had to do was to go to his tomb where his earthly body lay. Michael and Gabriel flew before Jesus to the tomb and found the guards there that the temple priests had appointed to stand watch at the tomb. As the angels alighted the ground shook and the massive stone rolled away as a huge burst of lightning hit the place sending the guards reeling headlong to the ground. They leapt up in fright and bolted. Jesus entered his tomb and united himself again to the wounded shell of his body, leaving the headpiece and shroud lying separated from one another in the tomb. Michael and Gabriel waited inside the tomb while Jesus walked bodily from the temporary resting place, out into the garden.

A very strange thing was also happening in other parts of Jerusalem. Hundreds of souls who had just accompanied Jesus from below and who had recently died were making the briefest of appearances to their loved ones. At that same time some women had prepared oils and spices to anoint Jesus’ body, and while on their way to the tomb they were discussing the problem of how to move the huge stone that covered the entrance. When they arrived they were astonished to see that it had been moved and the guards were nowhere to be seen. They peered inside the tomb and were met by the majestic appearance of Michael and Gabriel, sitting in the place where Jesus had been laying.
”Are you looking for Jesus? Gabriel said. He has come back to life as he said he would. Go and tell the disciples that he will be coming to see them, and that they are to wait for him in Galilee.”
The women ran to tell the disciples but one of them dropped behind and walked slowly through the garden, still confused and weeping. She almost collided with Jesus who was also walking in the garden, and she apologized, not recognizing him, thinking he was the gardener. But he called her by her name and said,
“It's alright Mary, it's me, it really is.”
When she recognized him she ran towards him but he held up his hand and said,
“Please do not hold me because I cannot be touched until I have presented the complete offering of my body to my father. I will be back with you very soon, so go and tell the others.”

Jesus then regrouped with the company from Paradise and the magnificent procession began to move in splendor with its escort of glorious angels, from the earth to the sky. As Jesus led the ascending journey closer and closer to the throne room with the freedom keys in his hand, a mighty heavenly voice could be heard proclaiming, “Open up you everlasting gates, and let the King of Glory come in.”

When Jesus turned this key of freedom in the Everlasting Gates a tremor shook every particle of matter in the universe with a frequency lower and more profound than anything ever experienced in all of creation. Power from Father and Spirit God in heaven was released into and through Jesus that changed the nature of every atom of matter in existence and brought it into union with Jesus, Messiah, The Promised One. This was the Power of the Resurrection, and all of creation which was once separate from its creator was joined in new fusion with Jesus God who was resuming his creation majesty. The extraordinary and absolutely astonishing wonder of this phenomenon was that this power would be given to humanity, to reside in ordinary people, who would receive The Holy Spirit from a loving and gracious God. This power would be the power of faith, resurrection life.

The heavenly music began. The sound of thousands of pipes, the voices of hundreds of harmonies, and the ascending range of every stringed instrument created a majestic symphony in this moment of triumph. Jesus had come home.
THE OUTWARD JOURNEY OF FAITH TOWARD A BODILY RESURRECTION.
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my body I shall see God,
1Corinthians 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty… If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot.
Colossians 1:16 For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
Jesus was given the keys of hell and death. The soul of humanity now had a new source of life; the New Creation was born.

THE INNER JOURNEY OF FAITH TOWARD RESURRECTION LIFE
Philippians 3:9 that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in sin, we were made alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Jesus finished the work on the cross while heaven released its power into the time of the tomb – a powerful sign of faith
Matthew 12:39 … You seek for a sign, but no sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Psalm 16:9 My heart is encouraged; there is a deep inner joy as my soul rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul in the grave, or let your faithful one come undone. You have made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Acts 2:24-30)

The Bible uses this Scripture as prophetic evidence of Jesus in his death burial and resurrection. David’s heart cry of helplessness with his soul in the grave, was triumphed by the expectation that he would be touched by the presence of God in his spirit and strengthened with the joy of God. Heaven would come to his aid. This experience was a parable of Jesus going through the same tomb experience while the entire order of the universe would be changed as a new order of life, resurrection life, would take its place in the universe. Jesus had authority to lay down life and take it up again. The authority of this grave experience was in those keys of faith. The gates of hell do not prevail and the everlasting gates open up as we prevail for ourselves and others in prayer .

 

Baptism of the soul

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The soul is the inner part of us that expresses what is going on in us, past present and ? for the future. It does this through the emotions, good and bad, and the thoughts and imaginations. It forms ideas and opinions of who we are. But where does it get its information?
From two sources. 1) What we see and experience on the outside with our senses. And 2) What we receive from the inside with our spirit. This is a deeper level. This is where the river of life is…We can measure how deep we are in the river of life by what our soul expresses. Matt 11:28, 1Peter 1:9, Hebrews 10:39.
So depending on what is informing the soul is how we feel about life.
Where does the river come from? When did the river begin to flow?
John 4:14 But the water (My Spirit) that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”The soul can get drawn into expressing anything at random and get hijacked and caught unawares. Our life can be like a confusing movie, or like a purposeful story with meaning and intention, and the same challenges and obstacles. But who is in charge of the script?
NB. We learn to walk out of the wrong movie and into the real story!
What was at the deepest level of humanity before the river began to flow?
Before Jesus, humanity was a living soul. Of course they had a spirit but it was hidden – God had placed eternity in the hearts of mankind
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. The connection was always there but not the oneness. He reveals himself in his time and in his way. So there was a God connection for our spirit to be touched by God like David was and Abraham and Moses, to be led and to walk with God.
But their spirit was separate to God’s Spirit and they could only connect to God when God chose to do it. People with a heart after God would wait for God to touch them.
LIVING SOUL
Jesus was the first human to be not just a soul, but a life giving spirit.
1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the soulish, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of soil; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of soil, so also are those who are soilish; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have worn the likeness of the man of soil, let us wear the likeness of the heavenly Man.
Jesus has given humanity his life giving spirit so that we also can now be life-giving spirits. This why he came and died and rose again.
John 4:14 But the water (My Spirit) that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
JESUS GETS BAPTIZED TO SHOW US HOW OUR SOUL WOULD BE BAPTIZED
Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

 

The river of God

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The man brought me to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out of the east gateway. Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for a thousand cubits and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another thousand cubits, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another thousand cubits, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.

The thousand cubits represent prophetic measurements of appointed times and stages. It is described in four phases. But God will hasten the day of completion.
Romans 9:28 because he will complete his plan concisely and justly, and the plan will be executed swiftly on earth.

The direction is towards the East and the destination is the sea of the Nations.
The river flows from the presence of God, and the Spirit flow is towards the completed work of Jesus in the Earth.

The last two moves of the Spirit over the last forty years certainly spread the river of God widely in the earth. Perhaps not too deeply, but millions of people certainly got their feet wet. Some stood either ankle deep or knee deep looking towards the Lord’s return (east) and feeling drawn into a flow of God’s Spirit towards the completion of his purpose in the Earth. These are the ‘times of refreshing’ from the presence of The Lord.
Acts 3:20 times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

All over the world there are hundreds of thousands of secular people of various philosophies and beliefs as in the book of Acts, searching for an inner reality. People are becoming more spiritually aware. They are disillusioned by the materialism and corruption of the world. God’s Spirit is wetting their feet, supernaturally making them aware of his spiritual reality. Acts 17:26-33.

1. Ankles – (Many starters) We get led across, to and fro and experience the breadth of our lives being touched by the Spirit of God. We may not be going too deeply into the spiritual work that God wants to complete in us but we become awakened and made aware of his presence with us. We are being touched by the flow but not yet moved overmuch, as we have freedom of our own movement. A hope arises and our interests are changed.

2. Knees – (Many having time off) We still get led across but the Spirit’s flow to the sea slows our freedom of movement so that we find ourselves being more aware of our own resistance. That can be confronting but we can sense the abundance of God’s mercy in this and we also become aware of the drawing power of God’s grace to take us downstream.

3. Waist – (Many stayers) We cannot go against the flow at this stage but we can plant our feet - and that seems to take us nowhere. We realize we are being drawn away from wanting to move across our life just to know more things. We want to know God and would rather remain present to an unseen and unseeable mystery than give up or just try to look busy. This is not passive but a preparation for a new kind of spiritual inner movement, like the coiling of a spring. But perhaps we are too apprehensive to plunge in and swim. Then someone holds out their hands to us so that we can be floated down the river. We say please don’t let me go!

4. Swim - (The way to go) We go with the flow and become part of the river’s energy and blessing, bringing life to whatever it touches. Everything goes in the right direction. From a deeper level of presence (by faith) there flows the supernatural action that freely serves. This serving may not be big, showy, or even noticeable. It may be hidden and unseen, but it is very real to anyone who receives its flow of life. This is the healing of the nations.

 

 

 

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1 Chronicles 13:2And David said unto all the congregation of Israel … let us send abroad unto our brethren everywhere… that they may gather themselves unto us 3. And let us bring again the ark of the presence of our God to us for we did not enquire of it in the days of Saul.”
God was waiting for the enquiring heart of David. David was then moved by God to bring back the ark of God’s presence, and place it in a tent on mount Zion– The Tabernacle of David. And as David continued to worship God during the time of the tent presence, the regular tabernacle stood on Mt. Gibeon, functioning without the ark of presence, while the workers in the quarry were cutting out the stones for what was to be Solomon’s temple, the final resting place of God on Mount Moriah (Psalm 125:2).
In the following Scripture James refers to that event and quotes a prophecy regarding the restoring of the presence and power of the Spirit that will come in the end days. He does this by pointing out that in this present age, God’s purpose is to gather in “the rest of humanity who seek after the Lord, all the Gentile nations who are called by my name”.
Acts 15:16-18 “After this I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the its ruins, and I will set it up;That the rest of humanity might seek after the Lord, all the gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who does all these things. Known unto God from eternity are all His works.

THE RESTORING OF GOD’S PRESENCE RELATES TO THE RE-GATHERING OF ISRAEL
In this scripture, the Apostle James is quoting Amos 9:8-12. "The eyes of the Lord God are watching Israel, a sinful nation, and I will pluck her up and scatter her across the world. Yet I have promised that this plucking up will not be permanent. For I have commanded that Israel be sifted by the other nations as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet not one true grain will be lost. But all those who say, `God will not touch us,' will die by the sword.
11. "Then, at that time I will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is now fallen down, and set it up, 12. Israel will occupy what is left of Edom and of all the nations that belong to me." For so says the Lord, who has planned it all.
The context of this scripture in the book of Amos shows us that the restoration of the Tabernacle of David is linked to the prophesied scattering of the nation of Israel. (Amos 9:9-10) (Deut 4:27) This is linked to what was prophesied by Isaiah that Israel would not remain scattered but be gathered again a second time. And the fullness of this re-gathering will coincide with the fullness of the Gentiles coming in (Rom 11:25).
Isaiah 11:11-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria and from Egypt, and from Pathros and from Cush and from Elam and from Shinar and from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. 12. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
The nation of Israel was re-established in 1948 and has remained and grown against impossible odds.
In 1967 Israel won back their land in the six day war. This is the second regathering of Israel in all of history and is therefore the fulfilling of Isaiah’s prophecy. (The first is recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah)
It was prophesied that Israel would be scattered among the nations of the earth because of the people’s disobedience (Leviticus 26:33;) The scattering began when the Assyrians carried the ten tribes away into captivity (2 Kings 15:29; 17:6). The scattering continued when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, carried Judah away into captivity (2 Kings 25:1). After the death of Jesus, the Jews were scattered among the gentile nations (Luke 21:24).

There is that same yearning in peoples’ hearts today.
Acts 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Note the ‘times of refreshing’ over the last century – 1910-17, 1948-54, 1967-76, 1994-98 …

 

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