Heb 2:9 "… by the grace of God He should taste death for every man"
There is a grace to die. Grace is the supernatural ability given by God to us to do something. Whenever God asks us to do something we can be assured there is an accompanying grace to do it. Otherwise, what would we need Jesus for if we could do it on our own? Even Jesus said the works that He did were wrought by the Father, not by Himself (John 14:10).
Death can be a scary thing. For much of my Christian life I was afraid of death, even though I knew in my mind that I would immediately go to heaven (2 Cor 5:8). Until we receive revelation in our hearts about a Truth, it remains a mere idea. When God speaks (rhema) there is power. There is no rhema void of power (Lk 1:37). Power changes things.
When I received the revelation that I would live forever, death suddenly lost its fear to me. Before this revelation I couldn't even talk about death without becoming uneasy. Today if someone were to hold a gun to my head and say, "Renounce Jesus or die", I probably would be a little nervous but before this revelation I would have freaked out completely.
We are asked to die to ourselves (Gal 2:20). If we don't replace ourselves with the new man, however, we leave a vacuum. As we own the new man and disown the old we overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21).
Acts 1:23-26 "And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place." And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
Sometimes we do things on our own and afterwards ask God to bless it. I think the above scripture is an example of this. The incident described takes place in the upper room before Pentecost waiting there ten days. Judas was dead and the scripture says another man should take his place (Ps 109:8). Perhaps the key phrase is "they proposed" two disciples. Then the one would be picked by chance from the two. Holy Spirit is not mentioned at all here. Peter knew about picking another but I think he took it upon himself to do the picking. Many think that Paul was the rightful replacement.
God says if we construct our own lives we undertake a vain show (Ps 127:1,2). But if we let Him build our lives by showing us the way we should choose (Ps 25:12), the gates of hell cannot prevail against us (Matt 16:18).
Ask Holy Spirit about things before you ask the Father to bless it.
Isa 9:7 "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
The Kingdom of God is characterized by increase. Since we are part of the Kingdom our lives should be characterized by increase. Increase does not mean control but rather influence. We are influencers. We do this in concert with the Lord, not on our own.
One way we can foment change is by changing the atmosphere of wherever place we go. Have you ever had to change your place of prayer time and felt a bit out of place? I have. I have a usual place where I pray. If I'm on a trip or for whatever reason have to move to another location, there is sense of spiritual discomfort. However, when I press through, the new place becomes like the old place. I make in mine by conquest. This is a microcosm of how we do throughout the whole earth.
We must develop a dominion mind set, not like the world thinks of dominion in terms of control, but of divine influence. The earth is ours (Ps 115:16). It is what God intended for us in the beginning. Adam turned it over to satan in the Garden but Jesus bought it back from him and gave it to us again. We have the authority over the earth as mandated by God Himself. Satan and unbelievers are squatters. They have no legal right to the earth. Only we do. As this truth settles into your spirit it will change the way you act and speak.
Isa 6:3 "And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory"
Antiphonal prayer is seen throughout scripture (Revelation 4:9-11, 5:8-14, 7:9-12, 11:15-19, 14:6-20, 16:5-7, 19:1-10; See also Exodus 15:20-21; Deuteronomy 27:12-15; Ezra 3:11; Nehemiah 12:8-9,24,31,38,40; Psalm 24:7-10; Luke 2:10-14; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16 ). It is usually used in worship where the leader or another member of the team will sing a short prophetic phrase and the rest of the team, and congregation, repeats that phrase. This is spontaneous and unscripted. I believe the basis of this is Rom 10:17 that says faith comes by repetition.
Notice also in the above scripture that the seraphims, who surround God night and day saying this phrase over and over again, are saying that the earth is full of His glory now - in the present tense. The book of Isaiah was penned approximately 700 years before the Incarnation and the New Covenant. How is it that the earth was full of His glory then, and presumably now also since they continue to sing this?
One way to understand this is from Gen 1:2 where Holy Spirit is said to brood over the earth. He's never left. He's still omnipresent among us on the earth, and thus the Glory of God is over the earth now and since that time. Another way to look at it is from Rom 4:17 that says faith speaks of those things which be not as though they already were. We know that in the future Jesus will come back and reign for a thousand years and then the Father Himself will come to live with us on earth forever (Rev 21:3). Thus the utterance is looking forward to those events by the seeing of faith.
The Spirit and the Bride say come (Rev 22:17). We are the Bride and Holy Spirit, who is here on earth, both say "come" to Jesus. If two of you on earth agree and ask in faith it will be done (Matt 18:19).
John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it"
For every real spiritual phenomenon satan seems to have a counterfeit to pervert the real. He cannot come up with anything original. All he can do is distort the real. If he could come up with anything original that would be a truth of sorts, but the scripture says there is no truth in him.
Peter was used by satan to try and dissuade Jesus from carrying out His commission (Mk 8:33). Peter later became one of the greatest apostles of the first century. What satan intended for evil God used for good. The Catholic tradition, I believe, has some distortions in its doctrines but that doesn't mean everything they believe is wrong.
One of those doctrines is called transubstantiation, whereby the bread and wine of communion actually become the literal blood and flesh of Jesus' body. Although the Protestant doctrines reject this idea, we do see some similar infilling of objects with Holy power in scripture. One example of this is the handkerchiefs of Paul that were infused with the power of God which conferred healing power on those they were laid upon (Acts 19:12). In heaven the leaves of the tree of Life confer healing power (Rev 22:2). Also the prayers of the saints somehow become a vapor in heaven akin to incense (Rev 8:4).
If we are clever we can ferret out truth from satan as he lays his ploys on us. There must be a truth behind all of his perversions, so, when his distortions come our way, we can actually glean Truth from him by asking Holy Spirit what Truth he is distorting and then run with it. Pretty soon satan will stop harassing us because he'll see that his attacks are actually becoming testimonies against him and for the Kingdom.
Gal 1:4 "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world …"
Things are not the way they should be. Things are not the way God intended them to be. He created a perfect world in the Garden and then we messed it up by doing the business of life alone instead of with Him. Sin was not God's idea. It is the result of our choices to either accept Him or reject Him. Even hell isn't intended for us but for the demons (Matt 25:41).
Heaven is normal, earth is abnormal. We are to pray the will of heaven down to earth. There is no sickness in heaven (if there is I don't want to go there). There is no lack in heaven. There is joy and peace in heaven. God's desire is that heaven should connect with earth so that we can enjoy the disposition of heaven on earth now.
Jesus has delivered us from the mess we created. It's a done deal. When we believe it we'll receive it and then act on it.
In this season of Christmas and for some stress, we don't have to be anxious about anything that we've given to Him. But unless we give it to Him, we still have it. Martha didn't give her stress over to Jesus but Mary did. It was stressful that 70 people came over to their house for an unexpected dinner without any preparation. And there's no KFC around the corner to order out.
Don't stress. Rejoice your way out of stress.
Eph 6:13-17 "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon." Msg
D-day, I believe, was the most massive amphibious assault ever assembled by man. The execution of it happened in a day but the planning for it took much much longer.
This last and greatest harvest of humankind to the Kingdom is in the offing. Similar to D-day, now is the time for preparation, not when the regeneration is here. I believe to the exent that we pray in preperation will be the degree of success we will see in this last harvest. God has supplied us with superior supernatural weapons. Prayer is our weapon of choice. Speaking in tongues always prays the will of heaven and the Father when we don't know what to pray for as we ought (Rom 8:26).
Pray for fivefold ministry assignments (Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 12:18). Pray for steadfastness in the ranks so that no one leaves out of frustration, impatience, perfectionism or moves prematurely. Pray for discipline, self-control and vision for leadership. Pray that all the churches be founded on the foundation of the apostles and prophets instead of some earthly model (Eph 2:20). Pray the Blood over our Body. Pray for teachers and pastors who will largely be responsible for the equipping of the saints for works of ministry (Eph 4:12).
The stakes have never been higher, but the glory will continue to increase as days go on (Hag 2:9).
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