Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Principal Thing

The Principal Thing is not a Thing at all, but God Himself (and us in relationship to Him—especially by the baptism in the Holy Ghost)

Dr. Stephen Crosby said, “The Jews didn’t engage life in a compartmentalized fashion. For them, Yahweh’s nature couldn’t be parsed into this or that sub-attribute and broken out for independent analysis. For us, it’s the methodology we use for deepening our understanding of something.  It’s the foundation of our science. Acknowledged or not, it’s the way Western Christians have been taught to engage life, the Scriptures, and God Himself. Our worldview affects how we approach the topic of healing. Healing is an outflow of a maintained relationship, not the result of adherence to principles.”

Adhering to THE Principal over the School of Christ is far different (and far better) than adhering to the principles we extrapolate by breaking down the Bible into parts or steps. Yes, the mature knows how to RIGHTLY divide it, but that assumes a mature relationship with its Author, not a relationship with a horde of theological editors.

We are instructed to eat the whole lamb, to digest the full counsel of God (to eat His flesh and blood), and though we might be nourished thereby in “dribs and drabs”—and in some places more and some places less initially—ultimately, our whole body is to manifest Christ.  And yes, we eat the full counsel of God a bite at a time.  “But the word of the Lord was unto them [the drunkards of Ephraim, those doubly blessed] precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:13a KJV).

And these proud ones of His people (the drunkards of Ephraim, those drunk with their own power) were taught this way, not because it is the best and brightest way per se, but “that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isaiah 28:13b).  The crown of pride must fall from carnal minds.  He does this by the primacy of relationship, not by elementary instruction.  At best it is “with stammering lips and another tongue [that]...he speak[s] to this people” (Isaiah 28:11).  Could there hardly be anything more ridiculous to the carnal mind than speaking in tongues?  It is an affront to the natural man’s logic and “supposed” soundness of thought.  Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is to be baptized into the mind of Christ; speaking in other tongues is to speak (and when interpreted, to also think) in the pure stream of His thoughts.   “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM” (Acts 5:32 NIV), not to those drunk on themselves!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Upwelling without Ebb

A new friend of mine after reading something I wrote recently said something along the lines that there were so many cross-currents of thought in it.  And then I remembered what the Lord showed me some time back concerning a phenomenon known as upwelling.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United Sates Department of Commerce, “Upwelling is a process in which deep, cold water rises toward the surface.

The graphic [sorry, not available] shows how displaced surface waters are replaced by cold, nutrient-rich water that “wells up” from below.  Winds blowing across the ocean surface push water away. Water then rises up from beneath the surface to replace the water that was pushed away. This process is known as “upwelling.”  Upwelling occurs in the open ocean and along coastlines. The reverse process, called “downwelling,” also occurs when wind causes surface water to build up along a coastline and the surface water eventually sinks toward the bottom.  Water that rises to the surface as a result of upwelling is typically colder and is rich in nutrients. These nutrients “fertilize” surface waters, meaning that these surface waters often have high biological productivity.  Therefore, good fishing grounds typically are found where upwelling is common.”

“…And there shall be no ebb.”

In 1930, a then young Arthur Burt (who is still alive today at 102 years old), heard a word from God to the effect that it was going to blow and flow and cover the earth like the waters cover the sea…

In the 1940s, a then young Garland Hines Sr. (who graduated to his eternal reward just a few years ago), saw a vision from God so glorious that God told him then, like He told the prophet Habakkuk many years before him, to “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.  For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.  Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 NASB).

I had a vision approximately five to seven years ago wherein I saw water gushing up through the plumbing and out through every faucet in all the homes within an undefined but very large community.  I knew the water represented the Holy Spirit, and the plumbing pipes represented the idea that it was a grassroots movement initiated and sustained by God alone (without man’s leadership help); the different faucets represented the individual hearts through which God entered the homes.

What wasn’t clear to me, however, was this idea of NO EBBING.  Probably all of us have heard the phrase “ebbing and flowing”; it is often used to describe the motion of water at the margin of a sea or ocean.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as “the alternate ebb and flood of the tide”; it further says, “a condition or rhythm of alternate forward and backward movement or of alternate decline and renewed advance <the ebb and flow of battle> <the ebbs and flows of business>.”

That last sentence reminds me of “two steps forward, one step back”; advancement no doubt, but at a pace and resistance level which (I suggest) cannot be endured to the end (out to the full extent of our salvation realized).  But we MUST endure to the end!  What are we do?

Hang in there; He’s just Flushing the Pipes!

****UPDATE!!!!!**** Apparently while I was writing this, about the time I got to here and stopped writing, and about 250 or miles away, an old army buddy of mine was meeting Jesus.

Here is my immediate reaction and report about his salvation followed by his own words.

Me: “This is my long time lost brother come home; he was my Army sergeant in the early 80s, and I've been praying for him for years. Just yesterday (the day I wrote the paper your reading) I was talking with another brother about how God was flushing the water pipes. And here he goes in his own words..........I'm shaking, quaking and crying tears of joy as I write this. Get ready people.......God is coming, has come, and will continue to come in these near days.

Him: “Alright FB friends and world at large get ready for this one. Yesterday I woke a normal man. Somewhere along mid-day I sat down and I felt funny, I started shaking almost violently and then came a welling up of tears uncontrollable. This went on for a bit, actually thought maybe a heart attack. I was wrong, my heart was attacked but by the HOLY SPIRIT!!!! Ok pick your jaws up off the floor now before I continue. This phenomenon has happened to me once before recently. And I did nothing about. So yesterday when I realized I wasn't beginning to die, and figured out what was happening I turned off my TV! I Jeff Honaker looked to the heavens and asked god to forgive me and come into my life and do with me whatever he's always wanted to do with me. I say all this with tears running down my face like water usually runs out of my busted pipes that visit me every winter. So look out world The Lord on high has a new very determined warrior in his army. GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!”

Now even before I knew about this update, and after I left off writing yesterday, it was on my heart to elaborate upon this idea of pipe flushing, and also to relate that pipe flushing to old well-digging.  And even another component of what I believe God is doing today: ice-auguring out old cryogenically frozen saints who got sick and tired in their heydays of ministry and got frozen asleep to preserve them until a cure was found.  Behold the cure!  God is flushing out old pipes, re-digging old wells, and drilling holes into dark and deep and rock hard glacial ice.

Re-digging the Old Wells of Salvation

“Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter waters?” (James 3:11).   Earlier in the book of James, the idea that “mercy triumphs over judgment” is made in light of those who are to be “judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:13, 12).  Often, just before the well is tapped and made useful for constant sweet water, the murkiest sludge is extracted; likewise, judgment is darkest right before it is itself judged and  extracted from the stream of God.  God’s mercy will prevail; our wells will be re-dug and clarified.

Many, however, have dug to exhaustion helping others succeed in ministry; many have tended to other people’s vineyards while neglecting their own.  “Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the same names which his father had given them” (Genesis 26:18).  Isaac here represents the church of this hour, and Abraham represents the church of yesteryear.  We can never be perfected without learning and drawing from those saints that have gone before us; they are not complete without us, but neither are we complete without them.  Judgment unto victory here is the re-digging and relearning ancient paths and ways, of our groping along and digging up everything that worked in the past.  It is a tedious task fraught with peril; we uncover past heresies and truths mixed together without immediate distinction.

Abraham our father was a master well digger that was able to divine the path to springs of fresh water.  But the Philistines (flesh) have plugged up these wells with all kinds of rubbish and earth; it is left to us to unstop them.  We must not be proud and think like the world does.  Its incessant push towards progress means nothing in the absolute and constant world of morality; an absolute is a centered thing that means any direction taken off its center is a regression (there is no progress towards or away from an absolute thing).  There can be no improvement for an example, upon the idea that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever,” and the concept of “nothing new under the sun” (Hebrews 13: 8; Ecclesiastes 1:9).

God and His works are a constant that defies the constraints of this world.  God and His ways are never progressive towards perfection because perfection has nothing to progress towards; by spiritual application, any movement off the center of His will is simply a regression or break from following His will.  Though we will assuredly dig our own wells from scratch tomorrow, we are in dire need of water today; the situation is desperate.  Therefore we cannot afford to waste any more time.  We must use economy of effort; we must re-dig the old tried and true wells before digging new ones.

When Isaac was commanded by God to not return to Egypt during a time of famine in the land, he settled in Gerar (an oxymoron, because Gerar means “sojourn” or “to be a stranger”).  In other words, settle while in a state of exile or pilgrimage or “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13).  Isaac’s first attempt to obey God’s word about remaining in Gerar resulted in digging a well at Esek, which means “contention.”  Then he ups and tries again at Sitnah, which means “enmity.”  Is warring and enemies our lot?  Will we ever reach pay-dirt?  Will we ever win?  Oh, up and try just one more time!  And Isaac does; at Rehoboth, which means “plenty of room.”  Indeed, “At last the Lord has made room for us [Isaac, his family, and his entourage], and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Genesis 26:22).

But, even before he sets down stakes in the spacious area of Rehoboth, he ups and removes one more time to Beersheba, which means “well of the oath.”   It is from here that God speaks to Isaac, reaffirming the words he spoke to his father Abraham.  Likewise, His mandate to us is simply a reaffirmation of what He spoke to our forefathers.  Before we become proud and creative with our own wells, let us become humbly dirty with our forefathers’ wells; our unique ministry can only be realized within the community of the common good, both past and present.  Our way and ministry will never be entirely removed from those that have gone before us and those surrounding us now.  Let us humbly accentuate the past champions of our faith, uncovering the dust of time that obscures their value today.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Why also reinvent the established well?

There is enough room within the Promised Land to accommodate all His people.  Your ministry, my ministry and everyone else’s are provided for.  The enmity and strife that was created while we tried to re-dig our own wells of opportunity and outflow is coming to an end; the jostling at the borders of the land and the edges of the wells are simply the byproducts of a full survey of the land and a re-grooving of the threads of our augers.  Just as David once had to learn the proper way to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, so we too, His church of this hour, are being taught how to manifest His presence within our congregations without confiscating others’ inheritances or killing our brethren in the process.

Opening the Cryogenic Crypts

When the ice auger breaks through the ice it is time to go fishing, and when God breaks through our stony hearted resistance, He goes fishing!  “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!  Who is the King of glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?  The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:7-10).  Indeed, God is decreeing: “Open up to me my people!—it is time for me to come into you and sup.”

The day has come!  People work for fire (labor only to have everything they are and own get consumed in flames), and nations grow weary for nothing.  God alone shall be glorified.  “FOR THE EARTH WILL BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD, AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA” (Habakkuk 2:14).

I hear the Lord saying, I “sat as King at the flood” (Psalm 29:10).  He is King forever over the flood, over the graves of all flesh, over every baptism.  He kills and He makes alive.  He burns out forests, and breathes new life into fresh saplings.  He brings the dead back to life, adding muscle and sinew to dry and brittle bones, and then wraps them in tender flesh and thin skin.  Power is indeed perfected in weakness!

The waters which cover the sea (bed) is the oceans’ glory, and its baptism too; likewise, the kingdom of God inside us both animates us and emanates from us, and is both our baptism and our glory.  Those married to him, Spirit to spirit, are one; He shares His glory with no one.  But, a woman is the glory of a man, and husbands ought to lay down their lives for their wives; Christ is glorified through His bride, and He laid down His life for her (of which we are a part).

And oh how powerful is His act of dying-that-we-may-have-life event?  “At that moment [when He died upon the cross, taking away the sins of the world] the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:51-53 NIV).

Well, the old and the new is coming alive in our day.  The Day of the Lord is at hand.  Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered.  Let those who fall upon Him be broken, and those whom God falls on be made chaff to be blown away by the tempest of the Lord.  Cold or hot is acceptable; lukewarm is not.  But the heat is here; the fire is thrown down.  Consumption or refinement is now the test to determine where our allegiance lies.

At the Shore of the Ebb-less Crystal Sea

A new friend of mine recently got a little tired and consequently took a short break from writing, but before he did, he wrote this wise statement: “With God it is far more important that things are ‘well done’ than hastily done.”  Indeed, since God undoubtedly does things well, we should too.  But before my friend declared the ‘well done’ statement, he mentioned that God spoke to him about a “New Genesis.”  “The first word was short, clear, simple and full of ‘the Presence’ and it said, ‘New Genesis’ and I could see in it the mission of Jesus in bringing forward the new creation...the new Genesis, which began in his death and resurrection, and subsequent administrative actions of the former apostles, met with such incredible resistance over the years, but now has reached a culmination period in which there will be a more rapid moving forward with the new Genesis that was begun then” (Rand Swift).

As I read my friend Rand Swift’s words, I was reminded of a film which I looked up on google (thank God for google, huh?), and the name of the movie is “Millennium,” starring Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd.  Anyways, the essence of the movie flashed through my mind.  Bill (Kristofferson) and Louise (Ladd) step through a time portal and disappear.  It takes them to another time and another place, in order to save their lives, and to fulfill a destiny to repopulate the earth. A simple, but poignant, message is recited by Sherman the Robot (who is left behind); he quotes Winston Churchill in the closing seconds of the film. As the blast wave of the gate being destroyed vaporizes Sherman he states, “This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning.”  As destruction comes, the last scene of the movie transitions to a scene of the sun rising above the clouds.  And the last enemy to be destroyed is death!

Finally, another friend of mine named Clay Sikes had these words to say recently:

“Those who have known Arthur [Burt] are aware of a WORD given him in the 1930s, referencing a great move of God that would be without ebb. His last little book entitled ‘No Ebb’ is a detailed understanding of that Word and the promise it represents. Arthur was told that he would be left in the earth long enough to see it begin. He is now 102, and returned home from the hospital today (2/14/2014) after yet another near death experience” . Well known Prophet Bob Jones interpreted that Word...Bob Jones, in interpreting this Word, felt he too would see the beginning of this great move. He did! It is indeed happening, as forerunners this world over are now proclaiming. Bob’s death this morning at 6:22AM is a further sign, as God is birthing a new order, new season, new spiritual era for those open to receive it.

I bear witness to the idea of a NEW ORDER, NEW SEASON, and NEW SPIRITUAL ERA.  God recently began to raise me up out of a wheelchair.  The process is still manifesting.  Upwelling without ebb is beginning to be my experience.   “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.  Also in front of the throne there was what looked like A SEA OF GLASS, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL” (Revelation 4:5-6).

On the Day of Judgment we will stand before the Judge, and upon a pavement so pure and translucent that it looks like a sea of glass.  For me personally, just this past February (2014), God had me write a final paragraph for an article I wrote called “Overcoming Overmuch Sorrow.” I had ended it with hope, but “hope against hope.”  I seemed destined to never overcome.  But then God!  Yes, simply GOD!  Here is what God compelled me to write on 2/27/2014:

“My hope is no longer deferred!  All external circumstantial evidence to the contrary (my physical health has never been worse, I have no woman beside me, and a threadbare financial prosperity), God has brought me out to a large place, a Promised Land place flowing with milk and honey, a place of great joy.  I am walking on water!  I am walking on a crystal sea comprised of all the sobbed tears of my painfully extruded myrrh which hollowed out my heart and opened me up to the fullness of Christ within; a myrrh which began to bloom in the flames of sorrow, but which is now fully flowered as a molten sheen of purified glass, a solid and wave-less emotional-state-of-being-pavement upon which I now live out a joy more permanent than the carnal vagaries of sentimental happiness.  My golden years look bright, purified to a translucency so clear as to make my reflection clean, sharp, and Christ-like.  Now I understand, O’ my precious Lord, why you afflicted me!”