Teaching, TravelsNovember 17, 2022

The Power of Heart

After Adam sinned, Scriptures resound with God crying out

‘Does any man want Me?'(Is.65:2,63:5/Rm.10:21)

The Son answered

“Let Me give them my heart for you Father”.

So, in plain sight,

for anyone to ‘buy’.

Jesus freely offers His heart.

 Will you say ‘the investment… too high’.

My friend, please listen. It is the last days.

Seize; THE POWER OF HEART

In  reading this title, some of you might think this ‘heart of Jesus’ stuff is a bit sentimental ‘fluff’ for the every day dealings of hard-core sinners. Well, let me tell you, Jesus doesn’t think so. Cuz I work with hardened criminals and “bad ass” gangsters who have committed unspeakable acts. They live in a giant cage with five layers of barbed wire (a concept that was pioneered by Hitler for German concentration camps) with no possessions or freedom. They are herded like animals. They are oppressed and deeply wounded, every night having to toil, not just with the weeping of cellmates, but their own internal combustion of torment. Guilt, regret, rage, depression and thoughts of suicide turn in their mind like chain links in bike socket.

Do you really think they’d give me one second of time if what I presented them was not of impact? Yet we are invited to hundreds of prisons effecting thousands of men.  You see, I don’t stand in front of them with knowledge or lace-woven concepts of a theoretical image. But as a man of God living in a down and dirty nature and world. This is the brutal reality encompassed in the heart of Jesus. Above all, He did not come in the lofty notions of a holy God, but as a despicable criminal punished on a cross,  bearing the identity of a human slave, a brother to anyone that would come by His side (Phil. 2:5-8 /Heb. 2:9:-18).

So I stand before my fellow brothers and rely on His Spirit; that they see His heart through mine. “See it fellas? It’s Jesus. He’s not the one seen on a stained glass church window but One washing the feet of the worst degenerate and most depraved man on earth”. Paul said That’s me. I am the worst sinner (1 Tim.1:15). Do you realize what this means? Imagine all the depraved people Paul met. Yet he says, he is worse than them all.

I’ve dealt with guys who’ve done things that would make some vomit. But I know His blood dripped with love, understanding, forgiveness and brotherhood. One drop of His merciful heart either covers everything or nothing. This is the gospel; GOOD NEWS.  I deal with prison officials who get mad at me because they want to insist they are not like criminals. They say “You don’t know the criminal mind or the evil of their acts”. I say “You don’t know the mind of God or perfection of His act of His righteousness”. God says “come let us reason together though sins be as scarlet they shall be white snow”.

They resent the implication that, in God’s eyes, they are no better than the prisoners. I once lifted 405 lbs. My CMU teammates marveled how a little guy like me could have such power. It was heart. My heart was set. My heart is set to believe God’s love for me, for  all men, always is compassion no matter what.  If you set your heart on it will be yours. Jesus says wherever your heart is so is your treasure. My soul is on fire for my Brother Jesus so men see Him, not me. They don’t need to ‘get it right’. They need to see the heart of Jesus as a Brother Who loves them dearly regardless of their sin.

There was a time when I could decide who I loved. No longer. His heart in me compels me to love the unloved and care as He cares (2 Cor. 5:14). I don’t say this to brag but simply as a matter of His doing. Actually it ruins my life but marvel of divine love dissipates all loss.

No mountain to climb. No ocean to swim. No puzzle to solve. No “getting it right” with a moral image to impress anyone. It doesn’t start with an attainment of knowledge. It starts here with you believing me, Him in me, speaking to you here and now.

The beginning is the end. He awaits you in the chambers of your heart, getting beneath outward image. Opening your heart is like coming into a top notch mechanic shop filled with the highest grade tools to use.

This secret chamber contains latent powers of individual capacity to actually access the Character of God. The majority go to the grave never tapping this wonder within blinded, wounded and driven by sin. Instead, men exist at the level of common human instincts and intellect. They settle for outward religious appearance.

One time a reporter interviewed me for an article she was doing. It was obvious she was  trying to portray me as a wild ‘hell fire and brimstone’ maniac. I remember telling her that following Jesus was all about HEART. She was stunned. She expected some complex code, lifestyle or legalistic list of moral demands. I’ll never forget her response. She said “Oh Michael, that’s nothing.  I have a great heart”. I thought to my self  “How can you be so trite about something so profound?”.

God says the heart is “desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). So it actually takes a heart(individual) to get beyond the heart (common). It takes the individual facet of the heart to freely admit its’ own impediment of original sin. Sin does not have to bar us from God. Quite the contrary,  as a result of faith in His magnificent plan, our wicked ways qualify us to discover The Power of Heart; GRACE i.e. “Where sin increases grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20).

 Stay with me. My friend, In this crazy wicked world, saturated with christian delusion,  it is a natural instinct to give up on finding the reality of God. So much hurt and so many doing the hurting.  It seems the multitudes of “desperate hearts” have no where to turn. They can not meet the standards set by high lofty ‘better than thou’ “Christians so they just ‘fake it’. But let me feed you some utterly beautiful and magnificent truth.

The answer starts in this magical  “something” located right within you. No need to go anywhere or do anything. Paul says “the words are in your heart…for with the heart  a person believes” (Rm.10:8-10).

Jesus did not want to leave us alone on earth. He had spent thirty three years in a body like ours walking the earth one step in front of the other. Every human situation we face today was of His concern then. He entered into every feasible situation, relationship and challenge. God actually walked this earth in Jesus. Every minute of every hour of every day Jesus analyzed, felt and took on and concluded what we needed. It was no little thing. Nothing this world or any man could supply.

We all have lazy tendencies in reading Scripture. But if we allow our heart to engage we grasp beyond letters, doctrines  and knowledge to Jesus. We see that in His words He is offering us revelation of Himself. We can all read what He says of peace, love and justice.  But can you realize that  essentially Jesus is saying in every word “My heart I  leave with you My heart I give to  you” (John 16:33).  In John 16:13ff Jesus is saying that HIs heart will guide us into all truth.

It is not as though I live by a message or philosophy as my daily source. I still my spirit, like an eagle riding the wind, and give way to His Presence. Jesus sees into the deep motives of our human nature and why we do and think crazy things we ourselves don’t understand. He beckons us to let go and let His wind lift and carry us. Recently I was laying on my back in the grass pondering God’s glory in cloud formations. Suddenly an eagle came into the picture thousands of feet in altitude. It went so far, so fast without moving its’ wings. Completely still and profound. This is the “place” where heart meets Heart. Where nothing matters but Him (John 3:6-8). We hover in the wind . We live in Christ.

Jesus understands why we are so consumed with ourselves and would never truly want God. Our flesh, that He took on, is “hostile” to God (Rm.8). He realizes the reason for our hypocrisy and the regret of unintended words and actions. He felt it. No one on earth, back then, and in all time, has the answers that He alone  holds within His heart. Bible verses don’t supply the answers. His heart supplies the grace. We must have Him to have answers. The King of compassion not only identifies with  us but offers to substitute His heart for ours.

Jesus could see this day coming so long ago. This world is crazy and insane. He thought of us as desperate orphans. We once worked with a large amount of orphans in Bogota, Colombia. It was heart breaking to hear of how they were abused and abandoned. They were so grateful for our love teaching Tae Kwon Do and befriending them in trips to the zoo etc. We continue to deal with this tragic life situation in meeting so many prisoners who were abandoned. One guy told me he was driving with his parents and they suddenly just stopped and made him get out of the car on a remote highway. Imagine.

We often think of God as if behind a steel wall. But He is a revolving door goes with us into darkness to bring us into light. There isn’t one person on the face of the earth that does not struggle with the torment of loneliness and sin. Countless crimes and human depravity is a result of simply feeling abandoned and left behind that wall. Jesus saw into this great infirmity, derived from the rebellion of Adam. He thought to Himself “If I could just leave them My heart, it would be the power of love they need to overcome it all?”

Despite the insinuation of “Christians”, who insist they are all alone and have no one, no where to turn or any answers to their problems, I am here to tell you the truth. Either Jesus is a liar or we have access to His very heart here and now. It is up to our heart to find His.  It is not a sentiment any more than any living person is a walking sentiment. The composite of His Person constitutes a heart full of limitless forgiveness, understanding with very specific answers as real as any mechanism on earth.

Jesus says “I do not leave you as orphans…I will come to you…” (John 14:18). Everything is about contemplating that God the Father actually sent the Holy Spirit of Jesus to any man to bring His very heart into our conscious existence.

There was this young guy who grew up as the youngest in a big family of brothers. Nobody thought much of him cuz, as many youngest of the family, they are thought of as not having a clue to the realities of life. Well this kid, guy, man, warrior named David didn’t let any of that stuff bother him one bit. The stones they threw at him he took and used to slay a giant. How? Why? God answers this very clearly. He says “I have found David…a man AFTER MY HEART who will do my will (1 Samuel 13:14/Acts 13:22).

David possessed the greatest power on earth; a heart for God. His will was SET. People are dumbfounded how a simple family of eight walk Pinot the dangerous streets, ghettos, prisons with no flinch. Answer: We each have the heart of David. He looked no where and to no one to give Him the love God gave him. He wrote numerous Psalms full of heavenly descriptions of all things. How did David get this stuff? He was a shepherd not a theologian. How could he command armies and remain safe when thousands in battle were out for his head? The power of heart.

The ‘down to earth’ simplicity of it all is mind-blowing. It is the very thing that gave a wretch like me the far distant thought that I, me, Michael, wicked man that I am, could actually have the heart of Jesus. It sounds almost blasphemous if it wasn’t real. The revolving Door constantly, personally, mediates my darkness for His light. God designed a marvelous plan undeniable in its’ childlike sincerity. It requires no superior moral accomplishment. It requires no sophisticated education. It requires no ability to say right things in right ways. It only requires YOU. You have all you need within you.

Most people live by instinct. People as a whole respond the same to life situations. Some go a step farther and develop some intelligence. They say “On second thought, I change my mind to this or that”. But who will go the distance to find the 3rd Answer?  The answer that lies within Him.

God told a farmer named Ezekiel “Behold I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their forehead. Like emory harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them…take into your heart all MY words which I WILL SPEAK TO YOU”. (Ez.3:8). So the goal is to hear His voice (John 10:27). It is the very first thing I set out to do when I gave my life to Jesus. Without it you are like a tumbleweed blowing here and there.  You feel one way one day and another way another day. Something on TV or at work makes you think a certain way. This guy tells you one thing another guy tells you something different. Truth isn neither of them, know squat. There is so much vast profound stuff waiting for you brother, or sister,  but it will only come to you when and if you start to be aware of the power of your heart. Utilize all that “violent” attitude you developed for other things in life. Switch it.

 

 We don’t even realize it but we have all been indoctrinated into the system of American Christianity where Jesus is separated into categories of theology and knowledge. He is lost amidst the maze of stuff about Him. The “sinners prayer” mentality to “accept Christ” lays a ground work of God as THEORY not a living Person. You gain more knowledge about Him than life in Him. Those who propagate these ways don’t do it for you but for themselves. You are just a means to their earthly reward of ego.

It is outrageous when you start to realize the truth.The entire world of christianity is set on one thing; feeling better than others. The stairway of self-righteousness may seem like it goes up to heaven but it is headed down to hell.  It is the exact opposite of Jesus’ compassion and what the Word of God explicitly teaches (Romans 3:9ff).

The heart of Jesus was the epitome of humility and humiliation (Phil.2).  Prison christianity epitomizes the general thinking of Americans. It is interwoven with the whole thinking of “rehabilitation”. So “getting better” becomes the goal that is really secular based. It is a life long failed venture built on anti-christ; self-improvement.  It is a crock of crap in light of God wanting to make you a NEW man not better (2 Cor.5:17). An entirely new identity.  The very heart of God real within you. The power of heart is the only power able to propel me through all life.

That’s what the cross is all about. Getting rid of the old you. Not just bad habits or wicked ways but your essential constitution as a man of this world (1 Cor.15:45). Paul says that the cross is the power of God because it frees you from yourself to love Him (1 Cor.1:18). 

I have seen hundreds,  if not thousands of times, how men attack me because they want to insist there is nothing more to the Lord than what they know. They don’t want to go deep. Shallow. Trite. But none of it works. None of it gives you the Depth of the Incarnate Jesus Christ. What happens? Tragic takedown. Just what Jesus saw on earth and why He knew He had to leave His heart. Because no man can follow God without His heart within them. 

 

People ask me how Rachel and I could raise six selfless children. How could we do so without hard driving legalism or fluff-bucket christianity. The answer is we let them see and learn the heart of Jesus within us.

A guy who suffered greatly was another simple farmer named Isaiah. In chapter 53 he speaks of what he saw in himself as a prototype for Who Jesus would be. The key to not only bearing up under injustice and terrible inner grief was the RESOLUTE WILL to BELIEVE GOD. And God richly rewarded him.

“For the Lord God helps me therefore I am not disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint and I know I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7). He’s not talking setting his face on farming. His eyes gazed upon the One Who sits on high.  He was A Resolute. No wimpy  mambie pampie set on living for himself. Where is that defiance you had to do acts of darkness? It must never be thrown aside. You learned a great deal in developing the fearless resolution. But now the question is will you sanctify it in truth and do so for Jesus. 

He offers far more than anything you wanted. The one thing that is greater than anything you can think you want in life is the thing you can’t IMAGINE. The thing you never thought of is the very thing God offers you; His very heart in Jesus. A profound identity of destiny in His sonship.

But it requires no ordinary man. This is what Jesus is  talking about in Matthew 11:12: “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force”. There is so so so much waiting for you to SEIZE. But if you give in to the system of men they are lazy ass pretty boys who don’t really want anything to do with the heart for Jesus. The whole thing is to appear righteous before others (Mt.23:28). Look at ME<ME<ME. If you get what I’m trying to say you can catch “the wave” of a life time. You will pick up the “the wind” in regards to all things you deal with (John 3:8). 

Jesus says the ME of  we  must die so He can live (John 12:25/Rm.6:6). This is true freedom (John8:32). It’s not about finding YOUR LIFE but losing your life to find His. It’s not about going from one set of rules to another. Jesus created the gospel for the poor, the simple, the guys like you and me. Not theology. Reality.

Jesus told the Pharisees they loved Him with their lips but their HEART was far from Him (Mark 7:6). You may have come out of the false churches but their ways still remain in you as long as your life is based on  words rather than heart.

Face to face Jesus confronted the hypocrites; “You are those who justify in the sight of men, but God knows your heart; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke16:15).

Think Jesus. Contemplate His words and thoughts. What a man. What a MAN. What a God. He says all of life comes down to your thoughts and words. It is not about where you go or what you do (John 6:63). It is not about outward physical movement. It is about how and why you think what you do and why and how you live. God has abundantly opened doors into prisons for us to bring Jesus. It is an extremely demanding and exhausting work. Many times we have suffered severe sickness in opening ourselves to their environment. All times we face hard, cold faces determined to not budge, that we inevitably do far more than budge. Countless saved souls. Anxiety often fills our hearts but we tap the individual choice to go beyond ourselves. We have a code word: “Ground Zero”. It reminds us to go to the very bottom of life and realize these men will have nothing unless we give them the heart of Jesus which is simply being ourselves.  Many times we have done several performances in the hot burning sun and suffered heat stroke. Nobody knows. Nobody cares. That’s fine because we have everything in the very heart of Jesusl. Come, my precious friend, please, seize the power of heart within you to enter  into the heart of the Son and the Father by His Spirit.

BELOW  IS SOMETHING  I  WROTE TO DISTRIBUTE IN THIS PRESENT DAY WITH ITS SECULAR EMPHASIS ON “THERAPY” AS THE CURE-ALL FOR ALL THE SOCIAL CHAOS.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COPY AND USE IT.

Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross and, I say with Him, “I love you so much.”

Michael

TRT – Thought Replacement Therapy – My friend, I know you hurt inside. So do I.  Neither drugs, sex or money can heal. You know this. Contrary to what you think, this pain is not you. It is something in you. It is sin in you (Rm.7:15-8:4). There is One Who cares. The living Jesus yearns to explain this and comfort you.  Judgment day is near. Please, listen to me. Come directly to the living Jesus. Sit all alone. Be still. Talk to Him (Mt.11: 25:30/Jn.6:37,7:37). As seen in the New Testament, Jesus engages individuals. Don’t look for outside affirmation. You will stand alone before Him (2 Cor.5:10).  If you really want His relief, freedom and full resolution of sin Read included Scriptures. 

     1.John 3:14—15- This is no little statement.  Jesus uses Numbers 21:9 to spotlight as an epic truth to  “Gaze upon” Him and His specific work on the cross. Face your sin. Realize the depravity and consequences. Let it break self righteous pride. Proportionate sorrow is a good thing. Repentance grounds you in humility and eliminates catastrophic presumption 2 Cor. 7:10-11 -Remorse  leads to lingering morbid self-introspection (2 Cor.7:10).  When the conscience is cleansed the compass for life switches to being led by the Holy Spirit. There is No Return to “dead works” of self-improvement (Hebrews 10:18,22,9:14). Reject regret over past actions (Phil.3:13).  Requires “Violence” of will (Matthew 11:12). 

     2.John 3:14–17-Put all your sin (self) on Jesus on cross – Like the snake on Moses’ staff, Jesus embodied all poison of evil, contemplate, God’s love and forgiveness for you in Jesus to “bear” all your sin for your entire life (1 Peter 2:24). Obey God by faith in Jesus

     3. 2 Cor 10:3-5 Must “Cast down” all thoughts and imaginations connected to sin. False piety and self-pity is disobedience to God’s revelation. “Excessive sorrow” is rebellion- (2 Cor.2:7).  As far as Jesus is concerned His shed blood resolved the healing process for all the pain of sin.  

     4. Replacement therapy changes brain paths in your mind. -Thoughts are mere unseen ideas, fueled by  obedience or demonic inspired emotion.  You are not fighting a vicious bull dog but your own free will. You can replace a thought faster than you can say “How could I do that? I have no hope.”  Quality of life is rooted in quality of thoughts and words. Once you stop dwelling on the severity and depression of failure and switch to faith in the Word of God His reality opens to His Spirit.  God says “Your thoughts are not My thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). So LEARN to replace yours with the  multitudes in Scripture like these:

       “I have called you by name…I love you“ (Isaiah 43)

        “not counting their trespasses against them”- ALL sin- no sin left       uncovered- No matter how deliberate or intentional (2 Cor. 5:19).

        “If we sin we have an advocate”- (1 John 2:1-2).

        “Everyone born of the Spirt is as the Wind” (John3:3-8)

        “out of your inner most being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). These actions of obedience begin, not a ‘better’ life, but a new life (2 Cor.5:17). Resurrection life replaces self-remorse (Jn.12:25/Rm.6:6ff/1 Cor.15:45/Rom.5:12ff). God requires one thing; a sincere heart  (Ps.51:17). No dwelling on how bad you may think your sin is or what you think you must do or feel but resolute faith in God’s revelation. Absolute surrender. His love is worth any rejection by others . If you stand for Him, Jesus promises to stand for you (Matthew 10:32).

Thought Replacement Therapy has 100% success rate. If you implement this discipline for this process it will take hold and become your foundation. You will fail. It will take time. But once the anchor is set in your WILL, the boat is secure. The mind will change. Like multitudes do for thousands of secular programs of “therapy”, SUCESS DEPENDS ON YOUR COMMITMENT. THE REWARD: divine freedom, redemption for all your failure, eternal life and salvation from hell (John 8:32-36,11:25/Rev.20:12-15). I pray for you, my friend, asking God for the one seeking Him. I love you as a fellow warrior.

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UncategorizedOctober 26, 2022

One Defense

So sad to meet people who call themselves a Christian but in down to earth, nitty gritty every day life struggles they are void of true power. I want to sit down and talk to them. I want to ask them “Why, why, why would you want to be contrary to the divine revelation of God’s Word and incur the tragic consequences and outcome of demonic control?” It’s not like you have to climb a mountain or swim an ocean. There is no need for any appearance of moral righteousness. Everything God offers is free, simple and yet profound. The one and only requirement is that you come in through The Door (John 10:9). Jesus says His sheep will “NEVER” follow a stranger (same passage).

How can a man, The Man, be a door? Maybe a bridge, maybe water, maybe many other things but a door means one must pass THROUGH Him. There is no doubt the only way to utilize a door is to go in and pass through …Him. Jesus says that one who comes through Him will “find pasture”. Good things, living truth and healing waters await. This, my friend, is salvation. The living Person Jesus. Plain, simple and profound. God declares that the only way to defend oneself against the god the of this world is “…by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony” (Rev.12:11).

Do you realize how powerful such a statement remains? Right along side the blood of the Lamb, which is THEE most profound event and provision in the universe, of all time, is the personal testimony of a person to meeting Jesus. It is the ONLY defense against the subtle and lethal lies Satan injects into our lives. The Presence of the living Jesus is the only One Who can ensure our real access to His Spirit. Kind of common sense. Yet men would rather pretend because they don’t want to expenisd the heart for truth.

The following is the word of my testimony.

We all carry a burden of life’s pain deep inside us. It doesn’t really spill out until outward things break down. Then, we can get angry, and feel so all alone. We do things we don’t understand or want to do. We are driven by something in us that is an enigma.

We fear there are no real answers. I had a “Bad Ass” image when I played college football. I lifted 405 lbs., ran a 4.4, 40 yrd. dash but beneath it all I hid my feelings of being a failure and my deep depression. Do you know what I’m saying? Have you ever tried to face what you feel inside? Society tells us “You’re on your own baby. Got to fake it to ‘Make it’”. Not true, my dear brother or sister. Not true at all. 

My teamates called me “Crazy War” (from my wild ways and my last name begins with ‘war’).  One night my image drove me to start a bar room brawl. Cops were called. I fled down a back alley and up a chain-link fence. But I landed in jail. My football noteriety kept me from prison, but my ‘crazy war’ kept me locked up in a dungeon of misery. Peer pressure  defined me as others expected of me: “The Crazy War”. 

 I was desperate for another life. Modern times have corrupted the idea of God, from a living merciful Father, into an irrelevant and impersonal system of hypocrisy, politics and self-righteousness condemnation. So hard to get beyond it because it’s everywhere. 

This story is my journey to get beyond it and can help you find reality and resolution to your deepest pain. One night, long ago, while watching The Ed Sullivan Show, my mom just started telling my dad and I about an experience she had of the  living Jesus. I was kind of like “Where did that come from?”. I mean as catholics it was all about Mary and the Mass. What’s with this Jesus thing?

My dad was a big-time “ go to church” guy but  he instantly shut her off.  I’ll never forget his reaction sitting in his chair with his bowl of ice cream. He went from cool, calm and collective to a raging lunatic. In that very moment,  I was stunned by the collision of two totally different HEARTS. How could religion cause such absolute contrary responses?

From then on, their marriage collapsed, until the day she died of intenstinal cancer. It broke my heart and baffled my mind. I loved her so very dearly. As my dad and I drove home in the black hearse,  from the cemetery, after her burial, he told me of his terrible regret of how he treated her. But it was too late.

At that time, I was consumed with my own  world of football, booze and drugs but their illogical conflict put a deep question in me about another possibility of God, other than  typical churchianity. But what could “IT” be?  I kept my thoughts a secret to myself.  Yet I began to become aware of how many people are like my dad, they speak “right” words and ACT religious but inside have no HEART. I also watched so many destroyed by religion, catholic but especially evangelical. So plastic and phony.  So I completely understood why people stay away from mention of “Jesus”.

I refused to play “church”, or become a cynic and antagonist. Instead, I decided to give God a fair chance. So I made a simple, straightforward appeal. If He existed, I tested Him by asking for an “All-City” football award that would get me recruited,  away from my dad, and out of my own home town routine of going to bars and getting drunk. 

 To my shock, God actually answered my prayer. But I miserably failed to respond. In fact, when I arrived at Central Mich. Univ to play football, my inner  ‘crazy war’ went “nuclear”. I ran from God  into a very dark world.

      An Inner Move leads to Another World

Surely, your life-experience is something quite different. You have your own ‘issues’ and case against God. But surely, you desire purpose, meaning and peace of mind. Unforeseen injuries smashed my football dreams. I lost everything and everyone. I was worse than ever before.

  I began wonder if I could truly find the living Jesus. I allowed my HEART to move my will to budge. It’s called repentance. You don’t have to climb no moral mountain or got any meetings. Just start to budge. Do you really WANT to know God? Yes, it’s about eternity in heaven or hell. But Jesus promises to replace depression with joy and laughter here and now.  If you will move an inch towards Him, He will move you a mile. 

As I contemplated Jesus in the Gospel of John I became fascinated with His ways and words. I didn’t even understand the workings of atonement, mediation, propitiation, sacrifice, etc. I just loved Jesus. What a man. What a God. Learning about Jesus is seeing God in action with common individuals like you and me, because He is One (Jn.14:6-9). The ultimate question: Is the Jesus of long ago, alive today? I wondered “If Jesus existed would He do something real for  me?” I also read a book about a caterpillar  and the dark world of a “cocoon” becoming a butterfly. 

 Faith is like a tiny seed that enters our  “caterpillar”. With my leg in a cast, I made another appeal to God.  Jesus promises, not a 2nd chance, but a life of 2nd chances. My injury kept me from playing Spring Ball so earning a scholarship for the next year was impossible. One beautiful spring day, Coach Kramer called me into his office and said, even though I was injured, he awarded me a full-ride scholarship. 

  I was overwhelmed by God being real and His  love to hear a wicked dude like me. I walked outside, fully dressed, and dove into a campus pond (I couldn’t stop itching and was later told it was filled with insecticides. Whoops).  A few months later I visited Notre Dame during a catholic charismatic conference. While sitting in the stadium, under the library mural of “Touchdown Jesus”, I surrendered to the real living Jesus. The Holy Spirit is real. Jesus repeatedly explains His Character in John 14, 15 and 16. He is actually described as a dove (John 1:32). 

I didn’t know it then,  but I was “born from above”  (Jn.3:3-8).In one moment of time and space I became as the wind. The reality is that we have no idea how weighed down we are with guilt, worry, unbelief, ect. It requires the Holy Spirit to lift this burden. No “accept Christ” prayer but the very impact of Presence of His Spirit. There are no obstacles, no walls, no limitations to keep Him from us. Except our wall of pride and presumption.

The weight of guilt was suddenly lifted and I felt like a butterfly escaping the  cocoon. My conscience was washed. There were no angels or rainbows but I was resolved that “the crazy war” died with Christ on the cross. I was reconciled to my living Father. That one de cision of courage changed my entire life. God turned my failures into feathers to build wings to fly (Isaiah 40:31). The proof of what happened then fills fifty years of standing for Jesus since then. Not my strength but His Spirit. 

I am not lying or exaggerating. It is shameful and tragic how “Christians” talk on and on about how they changed their SELF, about a ‘church’, Bible verses, a preacher or experience,  but not one word about meeting the living Jesus. He will bring you into salvation because Jesus IS salvation.   Not some mechanical “sinners prayer” to “accept Christ”. Theory is not Jesus.

The magnificent living Person of Jesus is waiting. He says “Come to ME… Learn from ME…out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water (Mt.11:28/Jn.7:37).  He will meet you right where you’re at. He is a living Person and His Spirit  imparts a life like the wind. It is awesome to actually fly beyond ‘the crazy war’ ; like an eagle (Jn.3:8/Is.40:31). 

God is not seen or known by an hour  of ascertaining abstract sermon knowledge in a building on Sunday. Jesus says “they honor Me with their lips but their HEART is far from me” (Mk.7:6). There are 67k denominations, 300k churches, and a glut of TV “preachers” that confuse and deceive multitudes.  It is not the church but a system of preachers, self-righteousness and Chri$tianity. 

 The living Jesus is not a title, term or cliche. He is the revelation of God on earth. Yes, Jesus is invisible. But so is air, frequencies, aromas, wind, love, truth and all things that constitute real life. The plan of Jesus is to “credit” your FAITH to you as His righteousness (Rm.4:9/Gal.2:20-21/Phil.3:7-11). No more pretending to be good or failing to obey the 10 commandments.  Imagine being “washed” clean of your own ‘crazy war’. Imagine the free flight of an eagle; a son of the Father (Jn.8:32,36/Gal.2:16-21/ 2 Cor. 5:17,6:17-18,). Jesus took it (SIN) into His own body and shed every drop of  His perfect blood as a substitute and atonement (READ Rom.5:8,3:10,7:19/Ps.51:3ff). 

A while back I was up in the high country of the Rocky Mountains. I was laying on my back and watching cloud formations. Just loving God. Suddenly an eagle flew into the picture. Thousands of feet high, it did just one thing. It rode the wind. It glided for miles. So still. No movement yet going so high. I thought of a riddle. What travels into beautiful places without moving? An eagle in flight. Never heard a man talk about John 3:8. Yet it is the one and only place Jesus describes what it is to be born again. So contrary to the “salvation” of a prayer, Bible knowledge and betterment of self. The wind, an eagle, heights in the Spirit, joy beyond joy and destiny of friendship with God.

One touch of His love will budge your heart.  Any church that tells you the goal is to make yourself a “better” person is as stupid as the phonies who dragged an adulterous woman to the feet of Jesus. In one sentence, God, in Christ, nullified all human “righteousness”: ‘he who is without sin, stone her’ (Jn.8:7). God understands all the tough stuff, all the deliberate and accidental sin, and yearns to forgive and heal you.  Jesus yearns to become your true Brother and teach you how to actually mount up with eagles wings. 

We can never “better” our self because there is nothing in self better than self (Rm.3:10). A church did not die on a cross and cannot heal the inner war.  God is fully aware of the ‘crazy war’ we all hide inside. Satan tells us that our  pain is due to our own failure or something or someone ‘out there’. No. All struggle is due solely to SIN written in our blood (Rm.7:16).

Satan tricked our father Adam to defy God and ruined the entire human race (Rom.5:12). So we all inherit ‘the crazy war’  of sin against God in our very blood (Rom.6:23/ Rv.21:8).  Jesus died and rose again to put in us His “life-giving resurrection Spirit”; the only way I conquer the crazy war every hour of every day (Jn.3:7/1 Cor.15:45/ Eph.3:16). 

Don’t let the scars win. All the questions are like dominos that will start to fall as you  budge.  Decide to make humility the 1st feather to build wings to fly in God’s wind (Jn.3:8). Please, let me help you.  Feel free to write. Ask me anything. I love you as a brother and will meet you wherever you’re at. The experience of His wind will extinguish all pain and fear. Flight is far more than a metaphor. It is a promise from the Father. 

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
UncategorizedSeptember 30, 2022

The Mastermind

PLEASE LET ME BLOW YOUR MIND

Be honest. Do you think God has ever spoken to you? When was it and what did He say? Most expect a Moses experience of an audible voice resounding from the sky. So consequently most  insist they have never “seen” or “heard” God.

But this is not true. God says He has spoken very specifically and has very clearly allowed Himself to be seen by everyone (John 1:14,3:14/Hebrews 1:1-2/Romans 10:18). Jesus continuously said “He who has ears let him hear” obviously putting it on us not Him. So the question is not whether He has revealed Himself to you, but whether you are willing to see.

The living Jesus comes to us with the gift of His unconditional love. God sent Jesus to openly display to all men, on the cross, no matter how wicked, “I LOVE YOU AND FORGIVE YOU”. Everyone, and I mean YOU and I, feel like we must earn God’s love.  It matters not where we are in life. What matters is whether we are will “see” and believe He is the Mastermind of a divine plan.

In the scuttle and hustle of our daily lives, in this unfettered world of chaos, how is that we can be so still, so silent, so resolute to allow Him pierce our moments so as to “hear” and “see” His love come?

Are we so consumed with our inner turmoil that we refuse to welcome His appeal? Are we so consumed and given over to our self-designated plight that we can not imagine He has another plan?

What do you think of when you think of the death of Jesus? Really, we all think basically the same. We picture a distant and ancient historical event of a setting where something beyond our imagination took place. Our mind is saturated with our own life and world situation. But if I you will let me take you back, I assure you that your life will go forward in leaps and bounds.

So let’s stop for a moment in time. You there and me, here writing this. I hope you don’t think it too bold or presumptuous that I tell you the Spirit of Jesus is upon me because He loves you so much and yearns to tell you things to draw you to Himself. You see my friend, Jesus was not merely another man, as so many others, brought into the horrors of a crucifixion as punishment by the government of His time.

Jesus was way ahead of what would befall for the declarations He was to make to the world upon His arrival and growth in becoming a spokesman for the Father on earth. He laid forth divine revelation He brought directly from heaven. The Father instructed Him precisely what to say and do. He then took it into Himself how He would conduct His every step on our earth and  shattered and grim world.

Jesus was to mastermind the plan. He was to inaugurate an entirely new manifestation of life. It would a completely new REVELATION. No man could ever conceive or even receive what we were about to behold. Yet, like the inventor of the watch, or any sophisticated mechanism, Jesus would put together a precise way that we could leave our present state of being and enter His divine state of being. It would not depend on our ability to project ourselves, by a matter of will power, but yield ourselves by the execution of His work imputed and imparted within us.

It begins by our “entry” into the cross. As the Mastermind of plan engineered for hopeless men, Jesus had to become hopeless. As the Mastermind of plan engineered for dying bodies and ruthless hearts, Jesus had to suffer ruthless pain, while becoming ruthless. He had to walk, live and talk in a body subject to death, and indeed die in its’ worthless state. He who knew NO SIN BECAME SIN (2 Cor.5:21).

You see my friend, while Jesus was on the cross He was not just dying. He was masterminding. He was in His most pinnacle state of intelligence as He negotiated, propitiated, atoned, appeased, bore and intermediated with His Father for His mercy on us. He masterminded a way so that no a man does not have to DO even one thing to allow His plan to be inaugurated. So if a man does not have to DO anything could this mean a man does not have to DO GOOD?

Absolutely!

The “Good for Nothing” Someones

So there’s this guy named Paul. He like ‘got it’ as far as the living Jesus. His life is like really beautiful. He did all kinds of miracles and suffered for Jesus like no one else. So one day he’s writing a letter to some guys in Rome. He like just starts bearing his heart to them. He says “Look brothers and sister, there is  not even one thing GOOD thing in me. Nothing. I’m as wicked as it comes. In fact, I’m AM more wicked than anyone else on earth” (Romans 7:18/1 Timothy 1:15).

So Paul is so into the state of trying to declare his state of being is wicked that he culminates it with the ultimate joy of a guilt-ridden man by saying “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1ff). Think about it. Why would he conclude chapter 7 with the first four verses of chapter 8 unless  he is giving a narrative of his own conscious life? He is not writing something foreign to his daily experience. He is not like a guy who never played football narrating a football game.

They called the man who orchestrated the terrorist act of 9/11 the “mastermind”. He was responsible for every detail of how, where and when the men who flew the planes into the Towers would take flying lessons and exactly what they would do on the day of the attack. Well, as terrible as this all is, consider the exact details Jesus had to consider and implement so that He cold bring down the “towers” of man’s pride, while providing the alternative of His Character to implement into our corrupt state of being.

“God will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the pagans, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27,2:2/Romans 16:25).

Jesus made it so that we can actually enter the very Presence of God. So often when we go into prisons I find myself pondering what the ultimate thing is that we will leave with them. It is not a prayer. It is not even knowledge. Our goal is to leave His Presence.  His tender love and creative thinking is in us to convey to them. Our goal is to pierce the dark mind with light. To give you, and all men, nothing less than the thought that you can freely access the divine light of the living Jesus.

If you will fully surrender all that “I can be a good man” pride you can become the special “good for nothing” someone to access the divine plan of The Mastermind.

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingSeptember 10, 2022

THE CROSSROAD

“SO WHAT?”

You can gain mind-blowing freedom by simply saying, and meaning, these two words, to your greatest struggles? But how, when it all seems so painful and difficult? It requires you focus on Jesus, like never before, to understand what He accomplished on cross (John 3:14/Rm.5:8). Nothing but the cross will save you from the deadly poison of the serpent (John 3:14/Numbers 21:9). John 3:16 is a popular verse but few ever contemplate the enormous implications of verse 14.

What is the cross?

“It is finished”, Jesus said, as the period to His sentence of the cross. It was to ALL the torment, turmoil, fear and confusion that all mankind, did experience, and would yet experience,  for all ages to come (John 19:30 ). It was the end of sin. Jesus offers you His marvelous, intimate love, to rescue you, here and now,  from all sin and failure.

So now, you must humble yourself to understand what this really means and how He really works to impart such finality to all your sorrow and struggle. So you can triumphantly  say, from the depths of your heart,  “So what?”.

Imagine being  free from all the issues that keep you bound and depressed. Our mind can become so cluttered and scattered with dark thoughts, like one of those huge  yards full of meaningless and endless junk. This is precisely the purpose of the cross of Jesus, to wipe it all away and give you mental clarity and bliss.

I used to always avoid the cross as a morbid symbol of self-denial. Like, “Man, it makes me feel guilty cuz it’s impossible for me to die to my selfishness”. The truth is the cross is proof that in the divine blood of Jesus He also bore all our human blood all our human “junk”. And it is the divine gift of faith that unites us to this real power.

One simple act of obedience; to surrender; instantly takes you out of being a slave, to your own cursed flesh, with all its weird moods and feelings, and empowers you to stand as a ruler;  a victor, and an overcomer. a true believer.

Let’s be real. We all hurt.  So it sounds terribly insensitive and inconsiderate to ask someone if they can say these two words. It first requires explanation. There is a huge context of understanding required so as to bring the light of many variables, both eternal and earthly, to give a perspective of God’s revelation of the cross. It may be a little charm worn around the neck or hanging as a symbol in your room but the cross is the biggest thing in the whole world.

It comes down to one word; repentance. It is not a ‘hell, fire and brimstone’ scare tactic. It is the merciful appeal of a loving God to come into His care and find the alternative to this wicked and heartless world, and a mind corrupted by sin. “Repent” is the first thing Jesus spoke when He began to minister and the last thing He said before returning to heaven  (Mark 1:15/Lk.24:47). It’s the only way to get into heave.  It’s not up for us to define. The Scriptures are very clear. The Greek word is metanoia which means change of mind (Rm.12:2). You do it every day about over many things. But this change is the deliberate resolution of will to turn from darkness to truth that sets you free from the world and sin  (John 8:32).

“I DESERVE BETTTER.”

Do you understand the word entitlement? Today’s Christians have the attitude “Don’t tell me. I already know it all”. The outcome is disaster.  Their lives exemplify typical natural living yet insist they know all about Christ. Pride goes before the fall.  When you think you are deserving of a better situation than what you now have, every burden becomes an increased burden. Everything bad becomes super-bad. “Why me?” is the default. You deserve better. Says who? Says why? This is the attitude of all men. This attitude results in the subconscious defiance of God for your life situation. You think you deserve better.

This is why David gives the key to life when he reveals that the one and only thing God wants from us is a broken and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17).  The human race defied God in the decision of our forefather, Adam. We deserve His justice of hell fire. We don’t deserve good. We deserve bad. Yet God the Father responded to Adam’s outrageous sin with mercy in the sending of Jesus to earth to save us from sin.

So repentance must be at the heart of our lives because it is humility that positions us to receive from God’s redemptive power. Smashing any entitlement and seeing ourselves as unworthy sinners is huge. When you deserve nothing but eternal hell anything of God for eternal heaven is everything.

Repentance is not a one-time prayer or passing sentiment of remorse. It is going to the cross to get a reality check of understanding your plight and purpose in the universe of God’s revelation. The cross is the “place” to find if you truly want eternal life.

There are so many things to learn how to learn. Don’t sit idle. Where do you start reading in the Scriptures? They offer a phenomenal journey leaving the old and discovering the new you in living Jesus.

Imagine walking into a huge library and trying to choose which book to read first to help you in life.

Simple: The Crossroad  by Jesus

The cross is not a mere past historical event. It’s not an old irrelevant book on the back shelf of a library. The death of Jesus is a captivating living experiential  ‘novel’. As you succumb to its plot you find transformation. It is an eternal work accomplished in the heavens, for us to access today, here and now (Hebrews 7:24,9:11-24,10:19 ).

The cross was actually a tabernacle. It is the ultimate altar where the eternal Lamb was slain for the appeasement and atonement for all sin for all time. So, therefore, long after Jesus died Paul says he was crucified  WITH THE LAMB and chose  to crucify the world to himself (Gal.2/6).

From day one of my journey in Christ it has been exciting to find this place of the cross. His new ways are only released in, through and on the other side of the cross, out of my miserable daily mess. It is learning to establish my new being by simple faith in this divine and holy mechanism of the cross (Rm 1:17/Hebrews 11:6).

Not dependent on human strength to pretend to be better but just the opposite. It is to realize how weak and sinful we are and must surrender to Christ on the cross. We must dump our sin into the sin pool of of all men Jesus bore on the cross.

Faith is a depth of change that happens as a result of uniting our deepest sin with Jesus as He bled to death on the cross (Roman6:6).

When Jesus says  “take up your cross” He means to bring His revelation of the cross into your life (Matt. 16:24/mark 8:34/LK. 9:23/Jn 12:24). Yoke your sinful self to Jesus WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS. To unite yourself NOW,  with His work of appeasement, IN THE HEAVENS.  By giving up your self/ ego/ pride you instantly admit the evil in you of sin and reckon it to the cross in the light of Christ.

Our old self does not disappear. Paul says “I die daily”. Again, this is what Jesus means to “take up your cross”.  I have learned the joy in being constantly mortified by seeing the depths of my sin. Our pride refuses to let us repent. It refuses to “see” because it can’t see. It is blind. The only way we can bring ourselves to “see” is to turn from pride;  to repent; to change from being proud, to humbling ourselves.

Humiliation is the only way out (Heb. 12:2). There is a big difference between humility and humiliation. Humility is like swimming just offshore. Humiliation takes us into the deep dealings of Christ. We “despise” the shame but push beyond it to find the freedom from ourselves. We learn to hate the proud image that keeps us from the new reality waiting in the living Spirit of Jesus.
Pride runs deep in our blood and is very tricky. The cross is the only hope we have to get to “the power of God” to “see” ourselves in His light and to “unite” our sin with Him (Rm. 6:6).
Those captured by the systematic thinking of  Christianity do not understand the cross. They are afraid of it, like I used to be. So many misconceptions keep men away. So they remain powerless, repeating the same old same old cycles of thought and behavior. But it is the essence of salvation. It is the only way to truly become new.

One day a lightning storm struck a tree across the street from where I lived long ago. I walked out to it and had the crazy thought to make it into a six-foot cross. Then I heard there was a huge raft race at the Grand River. I chose to carry it down there to witness for Jesus. That was the first time I was arrested for Christ.
They said it was disorderly conduct to preach to people drunk out of their minds. It was outrageous and I was arrested many more times. When Paul learned about the cross he said “most gladly, therefore, I will boast of my weakness (sickness from sin) so that the power of Christ might dwell in me” (2 Cor. 12:9/10). He even said “I have been crucified…”(Gal.2:20,6:12-14).

Going to the cross is the only means of repentance for all men. It is the only way to find the direct release of the love of Jesus for others. Compassion is the result of all the things realized in dying to self because you learn the common thread that weaves all humanity into a hopeless state.

Divine love and Forgiveness is profound.  When you surrender you truly realize you have NOTHING to give. And it is then when God’s love begins to flow. Surrender, instead of striving to think you are supposed to make yourself better. We have not within ourselves the love that only comes through the cross (Rm 3;9).

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18).

It’s not up to us to figure out OUR OWN repentance.  It’s like a guy who owns a property. He puts up fencing to maintain all that he owns. He thinks to himself “This is how far I can go. It’s all mine.” Well, that is exactly the opposite of total surrender. Repentance is not doing what you know, but “doing” what you don’t know. And it only comes by letting go of what you know.

The cross promises us the security of a new identity by the promise of the resurrection for adoption. We become His actual legitimate sons and daughters  (2 Cor. 6: 18/Romans 8:14-15/Gal. 4:6).
We stop pretending to be something that we are not because we realize our identity is no longer in ourselves but through the living Jesus before the Father.

This produces a “nuclear” humility. We can prevent presumption and “split the Adam” to discern between our flesh and His truth (Heb 4:12).

I know this stuff can seem heavy and boring but it is worth every second to ponder and contemplate. It is the repentance that leads to life.  Esau sought for it but had long ruined the God-given tools of conscience, heart, intelligence and will (Heb. 12:17). When people ‘play around’ with such solemn matters of heart and truth they destroy their soul. There is only one same repentance for all men and it is  found through the cross (Rm 6:6). It will change your state of mind if you yield to the actual humility of Jesus displayed in John 13 and Philippians 2.

I have carried a cross into many places all over the world. I will do so until my body is put into a grave. Many call me a nut. Many thank me and many will thank me. But all of them know, when they see the cross, it means repentance. It’s true. I’m not of this world. So I guess I am a nut but I’m a happy one.  Never die. Believe Jesus (Jn 11:25,12:25).

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingAugust 09, 2022

HIGH TIDE

As you look out over any ocean or huge body of water you cannot detect the most profound occurrence happening right before your eyes. You’ve got to put your hand in the waters. What’s that force you feel?  It is the unseen tide that has consumed many ships at sea because the captain did not properly read or adjust his ship for the outgoing or incoming tide. Life has a thousand unseen currents so you can not go by how things seem, appear or feel. Satan functions in the unseen world causing, anger, confusion and despair.

Long ago my family and I bought a sailboat at a very cheap price. We all worked to make it “seaworthy”. I became a captain of an endeavor I never imagined. Our dream was to bring the gospel to all the ports along the coast of  South America. I  wrongly figured it would be the cheapest and best way. Worst decision I ever made. In my humble opinion, other than a aircraft carrier, no boat made by man, can safely face the horrors that await a person on the ocean. Rogue waves alone can bring you to tears.

The truth is I was at a time in my life where I was brought to my end from preaching for many years on the campuses and city streets across America. I was broken by the hatred, indifference, hypocrisy and persecution. I just wanted to flee. My horizon had to be expanded to see beyond the limitations and frailty of my flesh to learn the High Tide of HIs Spirit.

I could write a library of overwhelming challenges we had to overcome. Almost faced death many times. There is a vast knowledge required including understanding latitude, longitude, tides, apparent and true winds, complex charts, compass variations, etc. The learning curve is mind boggling.

The tide is fascinating. Think about how it occurs.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the tide is caused by the gravity of the moon pulling the oceans towards itself as the earth rotates. So in a very sequential and cyclical manner this marvel of the ocean moving in one direction then completely changing and going in the opposite direction takes place at specific times.

The  impact of HIGH TIDE is enormous in many aspects. One time my daughter Ruth and I were on our tiny little dingy heading back to the ship, after filling our water tanks,  and the tide caught us in its current, like in a giant fist, and rapidly started to take us out to sea. We were petrified.

I began stroking the paddles as hard as I could against HIGH TIDE. The power is so massive I had to row so hard that it snapped the paddle in half. Someone on a dock saw us, ran to the end of the pier and threw us a life line. We barely escaped a tragedy if not death. Such things happened many times.

But from that experience I never again took the impact of the tide lightly. In fact it was one of the main reasons I began to seek God to get us off that boat. It caused no little consternation. Reading the Tide Charts, with experience of its’ power, is completely different than reading them without that experience. You don’t realize it, my friend, but your life is in extreme danger. So many mornings after that I would stoop down on a dock, put my hand in the water, and feel the overwhelming power of the tide, praising God for giving me the humility to face my lack. The tide is either coming in or going out on your life right at this moment. This unseen phenomenon is a powerful witness to the glory of our Creator trying to teach how to enter His destiny.  The Word of God is just a listing of times, places, history and doctrines unless you personally know how to grasp the High Tide and what is involved if you miscalculate.

I was so out of my realm on a sailboat. I had no idea what I was doing. But it brought me to begin to understand what it means to be in or out of the flow of God’s will.

Imagine the power of HIGH TIDE in regards to being caught up in the will and blessing of Abrahamic faith in the living God? Imagine choosing to lift yourself and be able to PUT YOURSELF in a faith that becomes like a current of destiny. It’s true bro. This is what it means to be in the living Jesus. Oh sure, you may miss it a thousand times, but ultimately you when “taste and see” the flow in His High Tide you become a tideaholic.

Thus says the HIGH and exalted One Who dwells on HIGH “I dwell on a high and holy place AND ALSO with the contrite (repentant) and lowly of spirit” (Isaiah 57:15).

HIGH TIDE is the absolute beauty and reward of true repentance.  It is being carried by a force outside yourself into the joy of sonship. You will know its power because it requires a contrite heart to learn the “learning curve” (Ps. 51:17). Behavioral change merely happens as a result. It is not a focus. High Tide is the ultimate proof of divine change. It takes place as a result of Jesus. It is what the men and women felt who caught the flow in His eyes. It is like the awesome glorious the changing of the season; the changing of weather, a caterpillar into a butterfly or the storm winds.

Jesus says a man born of the Spirit is as changing as the wind (John 3:8). It is not a one time prayer-ritual or feeling of remorse over bad deeds. It is a character caused by the gravity of turning from your sin and aligning with eternal destination. Of eating His Bread, drinking His blood, flowing as His branch, hearing the Shepherd, walking in His light and drinking new wine.

Going against Him stops you… dead in the waters of life. It will result in snapping your paddle against the opposite direction of your will. You must stop. Learn how to truly read the Tide Chart of the Spirit. You conscience is telling you that the fruits you exude are not those of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). You are  going against  the tide. Repentance is an enormous inward, reversal and transformation of will.

People wrongly think that when they do what they think is “good” or “right” this is repentance. It is not. In Mark 10:17…22 the man did what was “good”  but was unwilling to listen, and change, so as to follow Jesus. He would not enter a different flow of righteousness. Why?  He wanted his own way of change. It was ‘good enough’. Being in control and repentance do not exist together.

Pride, more often than not, does NOT ALLOW you to change. It will stop you like a contrary current. It will oppose Jesus like the tide did to Ruth and I. In fact it will turn you in the opposite direction by the underlying current  of unbelief and self-righteousness that you refuse to identify. This unseen and unidentified tide of pride  will drive you out into an ocean of delusion, confusion and lost at sea. Please, please, please my friend listen to me, before its too late.

TRUE REPENTANCE ALWAYS ENDS IN JOY OF FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST- Read 2 Cor.7:10-Luke 15

It is a reflective sorrow that ends in spectacular relief not grief. Make things simple bro. The Holy Spirit always clearly bears witness to the truth.

In the quiet whispers of your conscience the Spirit speaks to you, here, to every person. Read Romans 2:14-16.

The destiny of true repentance is as majestic and remarkable as the changing of the tide. It is more magnificent than all the oceans suddenly switching from one way to another. God says that every person shows that they hear truth by how their behavior reflects the workings of their conscience and thus will answer for any secret rationalizations. To respond is the switch of the current. Suddenly, an enormous mystery occurs.

Jesus says  He provided every solution to every problem in His death and resurrection (John. 15:22-26/Romans 1:20).

God does not reveal any special way to change that is different today, for you,  then He did ten years, or a thousand years ago, to men in the exact situation. His ways didn’t change.

It is we who must yield so as to be taken over by His current. His ways don’t need some kind of unique revelation. He cites  individuals who dealt with the exact same sufferings and same exact answer. God is not going to come up with a different or new gospel than what Jesus has already done on the cross. There is no other salvation coming to earth. It’s tough. It’s hard. It requires death to self but man is the reward FEE NOM IN ALL!!!!!!!

The cliche “Where there is a will there is a way” is common but profound. It is the clincher. If you want to hear God , if you want to change, if you want to follow Jesus then do so.  The power of the free will brings you into  everything in  Christ that you need. It is a two way street. A two way tide that brings new things in and old things out. You can rest in High Tide. You can be carried into the plan of the living Father.

LETHAL RESISTANCE – You know those  thoughts that stalk your mind like dark dragons? That’s because unrepentant sin lingers in your conscience . Dragons can be replaced by butterflies of hope and promise. You must set your will to want to surrender yourself, not resist Him. Then all the crap will be resolved. Yes, changing your mind is difficult. But if you couldn’t do Jesus would never have come; in like the tide to take you out with Him.

I can remember the first time I threw myself face down on my bed, terrified that I couldn’t change and follow Jesus because I knew my wickedness. No way was I going to be a phony.  I just talked to Him. I reflected on how He dealt in Scripture with the very worst individuals with such Personal mercy and compassion.  I just believed He would show me, teach me and empower me, the same way, despite my fears and weakness.

Right this very moment, brother, you know whether you are resisting God or not. Go a deeper contrite.  It may be way down there and seemingly so tiny. Almost indistinguishable. Don’t deny it. He sees it and loves you and wants to deal with it. Resistance is not usually some dominating feeling or outward rebellion. Pride rises up in tiny packages of little rationalizations,  almost unnoticeable; “You’ve done enough”…”Nobody knows how hard you tried”…”That’s good enough” are common little lies and fears of pride. It won’t let you change. Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. You can’t come up with any new fear that hasn’t stopped billions or been used by those  who almost made it. Don’t fight the tide. Let go.

 God IS speaking to you my dear brother or sister. No doubt. Right this moment. He clearly says so (Psalm 19:1/Rom. 10: 18). The conscience, the skies, clouds, the air, trees and leaves and branches are His actual voice speaking to you of so many thing  in the  silence of. your concentration. Paul says we interpret  through the medium of faith (Romans 10:9-18).

HEARING depends  on your choice to trust the living Father and interpret them as His love for you.  The main reason people are not blown away by the love of God in creation is solely because of entitlement. So consumed with self they don’t realize they are on the edge of hell fire.  If you realized how wicked you are in God’s sight   and yet God gives you breath in your lungs to inhale and the scent of millions of flowers, the song of a million birds, etc. then you would see His revelation as men of old.

The “old man”, of Adam, does not disappear because we feel bad for our sin (2 Cor.4:16). The “old man” is in our blood bro. We need a “blood transfusion” in every single decision to BELIEVE JESUS instead of ourselves. When we believe His blood it overshadows our bad blood and everything that goes with it. All sin, past, present and future.

Bad blood loses its life influence.  It must be identified and crucified constantly. Paul says “I die daily” and “We are sheep to be slaughtered” and “constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus” (1 Cor.15:31/Rm. 8:36/2 Cor. 4:11).

I was so thrilled to get off the sea and on to dry land I literally laid down and kissed the ground when we sold that ship. It was so humiliating to admit how wrong I was. I had to reach into a deeper contrite.  It was funny how the High Tide instantly caught me and took me into His precious Presence.

On the “sea trial” of selling the boat a huge storm hit at the very moment and the steering ran out of hydraulic fluid. It could have been a disaster but the guy was so impressed with “how I handled the boat in such horrible seas” it finalized the deal. It wasn’t me. It was the outcome of stopping my lingering ways and being carried in the High Tide of the redemptive currents of the Most High.

I once converted a 40 foot GMC old bus into an RV to take to Europe to provide for us to live in on the other side of the ocean. But it had one “little” problem. The emergency air brake did not completely stop. It would almost stop, but then roll forwards a tiny bit. I had more than one accident of it rolling into something. I had to always chock the tires until I got it fixed (caused many a nightmare to this day). Many people tell me how they have “accepted Christ” while anxiety exudes out of them like a gushing fountain.

There was a very definitive moment on the ship that I had to STOP and admit I made a mistake. I was being driven by my own self-pity and a lot of confusing currents.

It is no little thing to completely STOP. To admit the truth before God. Stop your mind. Stop your anxiety. Stop your thoughts. Listen. Can you be still? How long? Because if you can, and when you do, is the time that you can examine your conscience. Don’t be afraid. What words are turning in your head?  Grief or blessing?  Paul says  we must realize any little “encumbrance of sin” that interferes in this effort. Whatever bugs you butterflies are waiting. It is an outcome of one or all of the Big Three: Guilt, shame, remorse, are like the three “friends” of Job always speaking words that carry some morsel of truth but not the full truth. They trip you up.

The cleansing of the conscience by the interpersonal work of the Lamb is not some theoretical mental gymnastics (Hebrews 10:19-22). His impact is as real as a car wash. Before and after. If your conscience is not washed, the flesh will constantly leak into the engine of your mind, and take you against the tide of God’s Spirit. Don’t play games bro, or sis, time is short. It’s all that matters and your eternity is all that matters to Him. “Fixing your eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:1). Focus. For one time in your life.

We are immersed in a vile culture and its influence is inescapable. This is the generation where Christian truths are twisted and delusion has become mainstream.
We will soon face the final judgement and eternity in heaven or hell. Yield to the High Tide my friend. He comes in Jesus to take you out  to heaven. Soon He will go out never to return. I love you man. You matter so much to God He gave His Son. “All day long I stretch out My arms to a people who walk in their own ways” (Isaiah 65:2-3,,66:2).

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Adventure, Teaching, TravelsMay 11, 2022

Tacumbu

The Tacumbu prison in Paraguay is in the top five of worst prisons in the world. Created for 800, now holding 4,000. Appoximately 18 people die there every year.

 

THIS CONCLUDES THE COMPLETION TO THE FIRST PART OF THE PRIOR “TACUMBO” BLOG.
We had spent several days sharing Jesus throughout the third world city of Asuncian, Paraguay. We contacted the main prison there and were immediately welcomed in. Warden Luis opened the door for us to enter this huge prison yard. The sight of thousands of shattered men, openly crying, begging for help, or just talking into the air, hit me like the wave of a catastrophe. A few guys were actually climbing the walls on drain pipes. It was almost unbearable. I walked over and sat next to one brother, after another, trying to diffuse the internal anguish that ignites panic into such human frenzy.  

Five years of graduate studies never prepared me. It shook me to my core and haunts me to this day. This tragic scene was NOT due to it being an isolated jungle-prison in a 3rd world culture. These brothers were not from Mars. No antenna. No space ships. It is actually a similar scene in scores of places throughout America and the entire world.  The torture of feeling you are a reject or unfit for society is a lie and contradicts our God imparted conscience and reason. The fears, tears, and desperation of those brothers in Tacumbu arose out of the exact same stupidity we are all taught: happiness is determined by our individual ability to achieve it. Brother, this is a lie and a vicious scheme of Satan.  

 

Brother, we have been lied to all our lives. Since childhood we are told humanity is just wonderful. Really? Why then does evil dominate the world? It is a fact: God created Adam and Eve as perfect and wonderful. However,  they corrupted themselves, and through procreation, all mankind with SIN (Genesis 3/Romans 5). The greatest tragedy of human existence is not even considered, and no where mentioned in this world . You’ll never hear on the NEWS about sin as the reason for crime, suicide, drugs, homelessness, prison, war, even though it is the essence of all hell on earth every human being is tormented by 24/7. 

Despair makes us not only vulnerable, but also gullible to the debilitating lies and defiance of religion and society.  I know you’ve been bombarded with “answers” and are tired of being let down. Disillusionment takes a mighty toll on our soul. When you feel cold and angry being open can seem like a mountain range away. But it’s not. It’s right here. One choice away. 

Behind closed doors is the reality of inexplicable dark and fearful thoughts that we hide inside. Dark stuff  has no definition  in a Websters Dictionary or psycho babel. Yet it eats guys like you and I for lunch. It ain’t nice. No “diagnosis” for darkness. 

Like you, I was raised thinking there are good and bad people. I was a ‘bad people’. Feeling shame, guilt and condemnation hits us at an early age and never stops. It picks up momentum as we get older. Little bad things blow up in our face. We feel like a unique… monster. Dark streams of mental anguish trickle into our subconscious. Then, one day, you go to prison and are condemned by society. Like a steel ball bounced around, in one of those old pin ball machines, all you wonder is “What’s my next hit?Am I a pawn relegated to a destiny of chaos and hell, both mental and literal, by a Puppet Master in the sky?”  Brother, I know this feeling. 

Hopelessness is no little thing.  What purpose is there to live if you are locked into a destiny to do evil, because you are evil, and are evil because you do evil? Where can the mind go from there but down?

Brother, enough already with Mr. Macho. We’re at the bottom of life here, bro. A false sense of “Everything’s going to be okay” don’t help. It’s not going to be ok, if you don’t get a hold of TRUTH. This is not one of many options to have a nice day. 

I don’t mean to insult you bro, I love you, man to man, eye to eye. But no matter how old you may be, it’s time to open your eyes. Truth is kick ass. It automatically creates mental clarity. It’s like fire. Truth burns away lies and half truths and supplies the beauty of warm glow. The brain is wired to process truth not lies. If you force your mind to accept a lie as truth YOU WILL SUFFER A MENTAL WARP. Indeed, all men are created by God with the inner  “wiring”, in the conscience, to bring us into forgiveness and the interpersonal saving love of Jesus. This is provided a person comes into walk in THE LIGHT OF TRUTH. 

 If a person deals with God in transparency everything will flow as God intends; i.e. abundant life, joy, the fruits of the Spirit; Mental clarity.  But look, all men live in sin, all of us. Thus everyone deals with the mental conflict of the conscience as a self-warning, inbuilt mechanism, that troubles us with the mental condition of being out of fellowship with God,  separated from the Father. So, if you live, not in repentance, but according to the lying nature of man, innumerable ways will push you into mental anguish. Until we recognize, and learn to deal with our sinful state, according to the Word,  a “hypocrite” imposes the lie, of being “fine”, or a ‘good person’, upon his mind.He becomes diluted.  When a person insists he is following Jesus, but is not, he walks a mental tight rope and risks varying degrees of mental imbalance. There is an enormous amount of information that requires supreme accuracy of Spirit-tested motives so as to align and adhere to the living revelation of Jesus. It demands sharp, clear mental acuity. Imagine a baseball coach coming into a football team and using and imposing baseball terminology and strategy to define everything. Total chaos evolves in the mind when a person “comes to the Lord” while living according to the world.

 It is no little thing to discern between condemnation and conviction of the Holy Spirit. It can sometimes seem like walking a tight rope. A depth of spirit and truth  is required (John 4:24.

Condemnation is a raging monster wielding a club and beating a personal into despair and razing havoc due to a lack of  secure personal identity in Christ. When a man thinks of himself as a mere target for punishment, depression  discharges unbearable internal devastation. In low-tone mutterings of distress the mind whispers:  “Breakdown.”   Yet, there it is, front and center, for all to see: our mask.

We all face a twisted bondage to self-pride: “I’m ok. I’m fine. I’m together”. NO. You’re not. I’m not. Nobody is ok. And God cares and I care. A contrite heart learns to filter reality and welcomes the conviction of the Spirit because He leads one into actual security in the living Jesus. When you ‘bottom out’ in grief and anger; “If You exist God where are You, darn it all?” That’s ok. It’s real. It’s then when you are actually at your closest point to God (This is what Jesus is refereeing to in John 4:24). When we make a vertical drop, out of image,  into recognizing WE ARE IN our animal nature of basic human instinct: rage, it is called the transparency of repentance. 

Sometimes, way down deep, where even we won’t admit it, we curse God and ourselves. It is Adam in us. We feel the same sense of loneliness, isolation and sorrow that Adam incurred and it fills our mind with silent screams. Absolute darkness. Separated from our Creator. It doesn’t disappear but resides in our blood. We feel torn apart inside by an unseen “IT”.  Do you want to know the truth? Really? “What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. Not a concept… Jesus says “I am truth” (Jn.14:6). 

The living Jesus brings the truth of our individual sin to us by His Spirit.  He knows our agony, in our moments of the dark winds of sin,  as if a physical thing. Cancer ate  my mom alive  like a monster from the inside out. A perfect description of  “IT” within each of us. If we play games with IT, it will play games with you. You will fall off the wire of conscience into the abyss of darkness. Jesus says if His light becomes darkness “how great is that darkness” (Mt. 6:23). We think God can’t see this pain, or He is against us for it. That is a religious lie.  

Truth be told, all men are cut from the same cloth of a humanity… BORN into misery. The actual composition of our very body is explained in Scripture; nobody “better” than another due to “IT” (Rm.3:9-18). It is denounced by all societies yet obliterates us all. Why?  What is “IT?” 3 letters: S I N.

My friend, just like we need a doctor to diagnose our vast array of bodily functions, so too we must humble ourselves to resolve our darkness. God is not angry. God is love. He yearns to heal this very illness that killed Jesus: sin. This is the source that condemns us: sin.  It does not go away through warm fuzzies but is disabled by gut-wrenching truth.

When our humanity breaks down we see through our own frailty and have the golden opportunity to understand a hidden “mystery” that changes our lives completely (2 Thes.2:7). God enters our sinful flesh.  

Over 80,000 are currently in solitary. It is considered severe punishment because it forces a man to sit alone and ponder the darkness of his own nature. 

When you sit alone, you are forced to look within; what you see is not “wonderful humanity” but a dark enigma. “IT” is a hidden “mystery” that devours our life then prances off never to be caught or prosecuted for its crimes against humanity (2 Thes.2:7).  It is neither an animal or a monster.  Somehow it is intertwined with our very identity. 

I had no idea my inner torment was a direct result of a human phenomenon in my soul of the collision between sin and conscience. Not Michael, but human mechanics. I had nothing to do with “IT”. And my “pious” feelings of feeling “Sorry” wasn’t enough. Growing up Catholic, I went to confession. But after a million times, ya kinda figure “I can’t keep up. I’m going to hell anyways.”

The downside of this “upside” is the real side of ego. It is a revolving door into the abyss.  It’s where you wonder “Who the hell am I?”  It leaves you  spinning in dark space. Mental anguish festers mental distress and little bad thoughts explode into huge storm clouds. At any moment, in any place, you can float into “Tacumbu.”  

I had figured my life was awash,  didn’t count for crap, destined for No-wheres-ville. I had sat in isolation, wasting hours, days and months licking my wounds.  No one knows my pain. Left alone on the dance floor of life with the last ugly dame… Miss Selfpity pacified my mind but gave me no love. I think you might know her. She gets around.

I’d walk home, after my public appearances, to quite a different scenario than the flamboyant dude in public. There, all alone,  I’d  enter the ring of my 12 round bout with conscience. The spin-cycle of confusion and gut-wrenching truth: “THIS AIN’T ME” vs. “YES IT IS. NO IT AIN’T! WHAT AM I THEN? NOTHING?!” It was a mental Armageddon destined for the final act that occurred, not in a church prayer-service but Notre Dame football stadium.

My desperate heart  found precise articulation in a “violent” act of will. A final resolute choice that Jesus was worth me, if He would have me. I ran from,  laughed at, and betrayed Him for years. I said, ‘Don’t believe that stuff’. No more. Finally, I stood on the precipice of destiny. Defiant to defiance.  I chose to follow the One each of us hears calling and sees reflected in all creation:  “Come to Me… I love you” says the Lord Most High (Mt.11:28, Is.43:4). If you can silence the big-mouth ego long enough to ignite intelligence the heart  kicks in with  calculation of solemn purpose to tap into the love of the Father. 

Righteous Defiance (Ez.3:8/Matt. 11:12).

I’ve always felt sorry for the word Defiant. It’s a phenomenal word but always gets a bad rap cuz it was born on the wrong side of the tracks. It’s the only word with backbone.It’s what a man needs to be free; not to do dark but understand light.

Defiance to condemnation for forgiveness. Ever see anyone defiant for Jesus? Let me rephrase that. Ever see a real normal person? I don’t think so. They aren’t out there. 

It’s either be a religious-do gooder or hard cold pagan. From youth, we were NEVER schooled in sin. So it had full reign to build its castle of lies in our head. A  little more important than geography? But we were distracted, caught up in umpteen diversions; career; parties, booze, drugs, etc. It’s like soldiers sent to fight in a war only to learn it was all a diversion from the real battle. We never sat alone to ponder life and look within. So when all that  “fun stuff” faded, well, we were  forced to sit alone,  and what we see is not “wonderful” humanity. 

Some guys concede to the “bad boy” image cuz they just can’t put a finger on that hidden evil.  This pride blinds and takes a man into an out of control nightmare. It runs you wild but you never realize that this “IT” that is down there, is the  hostile source planted in us by Satan to kill us. No “Sinners Anonymous.” No buddies to help figure this. On your own.

I’ll never forget the face of the guy who killed his wife and family. In a world of hurt and tears he said “Darkness took control. I can never again make things right.”  Most “experts” would agree but Gods plan is specifically designed to redeem us from the conundrum of the secret world in us called SIN. I told him the following.

Check it out bro. Don’t lose me. Our outward display of evil can cause a 4-alarm fire in the eyes of society, in any number of ways. But its origin and potential is exactly the same in every man. It does not indicate, whatsoever, who YOU are as a person.  I thought this way for 30 yrs.

I watch so many brothers concede to a tag put on them because they just don’t understand that evil is strangely intertwined with our own desire. Stay with me. How can something we don’t want to do, be something we want to do? Lack of knowledge breeds confusion and makes us vulnerable to accept labels of being ‘abnormal’ and compelled to admit to some quirky “criminal” personality or DNA; as if you are a lower class of being. 

The “experts” affirm this cosmic lie in which “the bad” (us) are divided from “the good”(them). Such “therapy” magnifies already present despair. A ‘Tacumbu’ begins from over pressuring the mind to accept this lie as fact. It contradicts the witness in man’s God-created conscience of being loved by God and having beautiful potential.

Guilt, shame, and condemnation do not result from outward actions but an inward “principle” of sin (Read Rm.7:17ff). HOWEVER, THE SOURCE OF EVIL IS NOT INDIVIDUAL (Rm.5:12). Get that?! It means YOU didn’t come up with it. The source is a completely foreign entity within you. Ya, I know. It sounds like the ultimate ‘cop out’. But truth is truth. The reason Jesus comes to us in such profound unconditional love is because He knows this absolute reality: “I did not come to condemn but to save the world… not counting their evil against them” (John 3:19/2 Cor.5:19). 

This means, Jesus comes to you completely based on seeing you in His love for you, not on whatever you may have done.

Sin flows like a stream from the abyss into our conscious life (2 Pt.2:19 ). And we just sit there like a dummy letting it destroy us. It leads multitudes to question the significance of their own existence. What we think of, as some unexplainable evil coming upon us ‘out of nowhere’, in a certain time, or crime, has actually always been within us.  We don’t understand it and can’t get rid of it so we feel ashamed, guilty, and condemned. 

It is not YOU any more than a poison in blood. Man does not create darkness. It comes out of the ABYSS; the “bottomless pit” of hell. It is NOT a “mental issue”,  “personality flaw” or faulty DNA. (Eph.2:2/Rom. 10:7,3:10/Lk.8:31/Rev.20:3,17:8,11:7,9:11/Jn.12:31,14:30). Sin is a generational consequence of Adam’s rebellion. It is in the human nature he passed to us through procreation. It is 10,000 years old. We merely recycle its very predictable behavior. We see it demonstrated in every facet of life throughout past generations (hatred -murder-bitterness-pride-lust-rage). Paul understood this. He killed many people, yet, in the turn of his will says “I forget what lies behind” (Phil. 3:13/Lk.9:62). Sin is the same in us all, in its quantity and end “the wages of sin is death” (Rm.6:23).  

 

Where The Law Comes In:

God gave the 10 commandments to expose sin. So when we try to do them we see sin in us, that is, we see ourselves. Sin = pride, image, ego, self. It must die for us to be free in Christ (Rm.6:6). Sin renders us totally inadequate of “good behavior”. It may seem good on the outside but the motives of pride render it “filthy rags” (Is.64:6). “Through the law comes the knowledge of sin…” (Rm.3:20). We don’t see that we are good. We see that we are evil. Paul explains that “through the works of the law, no flesh is justified” (Gal.2:16-21, Rom.3:20).

Every Bible verse that defines sin: 2 Cor. 10:3-5/ James 4:17/ Rom.14:23, 3:10-18/1 Jn.3:4, 5:16/ Prov.21:4,9/Ps.14:1-3/ Jer.17:9/ Isaiah 59/ 2 Thes.2:7 

The Answer

So brother, here we go. Let’s take the horizontal road into the vertical climb. It is the road of the living Jesus, Who as God on High, became man, like us to meet us on our road and LIFT us beyond ourselves. Jesus is the answer to all this. So don’t jump this Bridge. Walk it.  God says He gives everyone a chance in life to “HEAR” the truth. This is your chance. It is your golden moment to “see” Him,  so He can help  you understand what the hell is going on inside you, that the majority reject. How does He come into you as you yet remain a wicked sinner (Col.1:27)?

The truth is: more evil thoughts don’t make you more evil bro. Thoughts are thoughts. Evil is evil. Sin is sin. No matter what level you experience,Jesus died for all.

It’s not Christian-lingo-sville, USA. It is not magical sinners prayers. You can’t pluck reality  like an apple off a tree. It’s about the grind of true grit, all about your individual  fight for sincerity. You are the master of a ship that can be lost at sea or come into an awesome understanding of a master helmsman. This is a personal journey, brother. It’s going to take time. But it’s more sure than night and day. 

Since we had nothing to do with Adam’s sin, we couldn’t stop it then, or now. So God created an easy way out. It is a mere ATTITUDE change. Repentance is called faith. Instant. No other requirements. Can you imagine if all the darkness you have accepted about yourself is a lie? Could you possibly deal with all the negativity as having nothing to do with YOU? Years of lies done away in a second. Sounds almost funny, hey bro? Certainly sounds crazy. 

It is a very sound, Biblical “craziness”, based on the death of One Who chose to give up His Godhood to become a fellow Brother and demonstrate unfathomable personal love to get you to heaven (Phil.2:7). Better than drugs or medical terminology wouldn’t you say, bro? Now how about that WILL of yours? It is closer to you than your hand. 

West Virgina has a massive cave system for mining coal. A guy starts ‘above ground’ then goes down into darker interconnecting tunnels. No matter how deep, the danger is the same, but the imagination causes panic. Like sin: The deeper you go, the more you start to panic. What if I can’t escape?  You have all these extremely dark and bizarre feelings. You think you are becoming far worse. Your mind starts to fry… but it’s all a LIE. 

We are God-created beings. Our brain functions at a mechanical level designed to process truth.

Truth is not a vague theory but the answer to all pain. Jesus says “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free…” (Jn.8:32). Understanding disseminates freedom. The cure to “Tacumbu” is understanding how our Creator designed REDEMPTION. 

It is a substantial, documented, proven intelligent love of the living Jesus for YOU. Life-changing reality begins not with a “prayer service” but with sincere individual transparency. 

I got no problem admitting I AM wicked (1 Tim.1:15). Do you? It’s logical. We see our sin constantly. To deny it, is to force our mind to swallow insanity (Ecc.9:3). I’m thrilled God loves me, knowing I’m a scumbag. Not “WAS” but AM (1 Tim.1:15 ).This little morsel of reality highlights how to defy sin with the mental clarity of reality (Mt.11:27ff). 

If we force our brain to accept lies (that we are good), as being truth, we subject our mind to suffer subconscious stress. It’s illogical to think deception will not have substantial consequences in our mental state. 

JESUS DEFINES SIN as immaterial substance of darkness (John 15:25,1:3ff,3:20). Far beyond deeds. It is a dark wind that permeates all of life. Inescapable. It has no edges to grab and say, “Here, this is it.”  You can “see” it in the world but not in a microscope. It is hostile to us each day, as we battle emotional, mental, and physical conflict. 

No snap of a prayer or “good” behavior makes it disappear in a poof. Some religious guys brought a woman in the act of adultery to Jesus for Him to stone but He said they were more guilty of sin than her because of their pride (Jn.8:44). Sin is a conduit of demonic intelligence (Ecc.9:3/Eph.2:2). Satan “prowls about” our mind with his darkness of the Abyss. He comes like a lion to devour you in the night (1 Pt.5:8). 

Brother, it wasn’t a few wacko dudes, but all of us, in our “wonderful humanity”, that united in our depravity, through proxy of our human ancestors, who crucified Jesus. Anything evil we might do today could never equal what we did in those 3 hours (John 15:25). Our human family despises His light upon our darkness (Jn.3:19-21,15:25).  

Check out this Biblical definition of faith: 

Abraham was a warlord. Awesome dude. Pagan at heart. Yet he was “made righteous” WHILE he was a pagan. He merely looked at the stars and believed: “God, I see You there and believe You must be awesome. I trust You”. Don’t just think about Him… TALK TO HIM. God yearns to make you righteous. He will do it in a blink, as soon as you believe Him. Abraham became the father of this righteousness by faith because he was the first guy to believe (study Romans 4/Heb.11). God called him “My friend” (Is.41:8/Jm.2:23). 

Society defines what is “right” by cultural norms, but God doesn’t listen to a world that killed His Son to tell Him what’s right. All men are criminals in His sight: “Not one is righteous” (Rm.3:10). The ONLY thing God sees as RIGHT-EOUS is faith in the work of His Son. Redemption trumps rehabilitation. 

For God does not require good behavior over bad behavior but faith in the “finished” perfect behavior of Jesus. He didn’t die for a limited number of outward sinS but for the “whole 9 yards”; all ramifications. “He who knew no sin became sin… so we can become right-eous” (2 Cor.5:20). My brother, this gospel brings mental clarity. 

I am not a good man. I am a pagan believer like Abraham. Faith alone “credits” me the righteousness of Jesus. Like a hillbilly “reckoned” right, I cannot fulfill laws, so I believe in the living Jesus (Phil.3:9/Gal.2:16,20/Rm.1:17). Faith puts me in His Light which is the only thing darkness can not permeate. I live in eternal forgiveness (John 1:3-4/1 Jn. 1:5-10) . This is what it means to be “born from above” (Jn.3:3).

 “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” whether murder, rape, crimes against humanity, cannibalism etc. (Rm.8:1). 

 I have seen many rescued from a “Tacumbu”. Sometimes ‘authorities’ tell me I don’t grasp the magnitude of crimes by prisoners. I tell them they don’t grasp the magnitude of forgiveness credited by He Who became the greatest Prisoner of all time.  “Get behind me Satan” is what Jesus said to the “Accuser of the Brethren” who uses people to lie to us (Mt.16:23/Jam.4:7/Rev.12:10). 

Resistance works bro! All negative feelings and thoughts may seem very intense but the truth is;just ignore them.

Sound too simple? Righteous defiance requires not a period of time but a lifetime opposing lies of Satan. God promises Satan will flee (1 Pt.5:8-9/Eph.6:12). Since that June morning in the stadium of Notre Dame, I have seen victory despite ongoing failure. As a man of iron will I have learned to defy his lies and live in the joy of my sin dead with Christ (Ez.3:8/2 Cor.10-3/Rm.6:6). I threw all my ugliness upon His Ugliness on the cross. His love reigned down (“wounded more than any man”-Is.53). 

My friend, “How could I do, or think that?” is a man that lacks the heart to believe. Salvation is not an “experience” but a cold, resolute decision. I believe in what You did Jesus. Done (Rm.8:5-13). Give up and give in. Long after Jesus was crucified, Paul says “I have been crucified” (Gal.2:20) . To “take up your cross” is not some morbid self-flagellation but a joy of being rid of your greatest foe: the old self (Mt.16:24). Jesus gives His Word to bear all our ‘baggage’; past, present and future (Heb. 10:22,9:14). The Word of God is the ultimate weapon of truth (Lk.4:1/Heb.4:12). Some spurn this answer as too simplistic for their “complex” problems. They “work” hard trying to better themselves to appear “good” (Jn.8:5,9:44/Rom4:4/Jn.6:29/ 2 Pt.2:19 ). But you can’t hide the darkness in the eyes.

The answer is not fixing your past but faith in Jesus for a future.  Mental anguish starts early and ends either in dying with Christ, or facing death when it will be too late.  I love you my precious friend. 

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
Teaching, UncategorizedMarch 15, 2022

Behold the Man

“Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to the people

 ‘Behold the Man'” (John 19:5).

Imagine Jesus. Common. Poor. Low key. All alone. Isaiah 53 says He was “like one from whom men hide their face” (v.3). Imagine that. He would never be the one picked out of a crowd as God in human form. Behold this, blood drenched, God-Man barely standing, only by the power of love for you and I. Behold the Man, Jesus, walking down a road coming to you, with the work of agony He accomplish . Hopefully, for you, to follow Him. Whatever your situation and conditions, wherever you are at, regardless of your state of body, mind and life He comes to you, for you, offering a living redemption He was building while standing in front of Pilate and that hostile mob. A mob He was dying for. Not sentimental religion, brother, but hell-saving substance.

Within the agonizing period of standing before Pilate, to hanging on a cross, every single person to ever walk the earth, would flash through the mind of Christ by the divine plan of our compassionate, merciful Father. Jesus was walking towards you even as you were walking away from Him.

Like one of those alien movies of a creature landing on earth, His first steps were towards YOU. Not a generic “sinner”, but your face, your mind, your personality, YOU. Boom. He landed. His feet ‘hit the ground running’. Took a bit for His little baby feet to grow into big boy feet, big enough enough to be a man’s feet and begin to walk our earth, towards you. But, in His heart of hearts, even though you were not yet even born, He was thinking of YOU alone (Romans 5:6-8).  You see, by walking towards the cross, Jesus was walking towards loving YOU with all that was within Him.

Jesus came to earth for you, even if you were the only person on earth. He started walking towards you 2000 yrs. ago. Jesus was coming to you.

Behold the Man?! What in the world was that supposed to mean? Pilate said “the Man” not “a man” (‘Ecce Homo’ in Roman Latin, emphasizing THEE). Not just another of the thousands who died by the torture of a scourging and crucifixion. This One was extraordinary. What was it about Jesus? Bleeding from head to toe, standing silent in utter humiliation and rejection. Absolutely devastated, weak and vulnerable. Jesus didn’t flinch. Unintimidated, even by Pilate’s power to kill. Why? YOU! He loved you. He loves you.

“I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). It was Pilate who was intimidated by Love, personified. His cynical mind defied his own conscience. He was a ruined man. No one could care that much.  “What is truth?” Pilate snickered, then did everything he could to get Jesus off the hook, proving he knew that he knew Jesus was “the Man”. How can brotherhood love exist for an obvious evil humanity?

Surely there was an extreme unparalleled tension in the air that rang louder than any siren. God’s love had landed on earth. Satan was vexed. He thought mankind no longer had any hope since he corrupted Adam and Eve.

 “Two worlds collide….Lamb found dead” read the headline in hell.  God and Satan collided in One: Behold the Man. But Satan thought he won. Imagine his shock when Jesus lifted up in the tomb.

Who, how and why would, or could, anyone, in this modern-day era, capsulize and minimize the scope of such a magnificent and eternal One by repeating the common mentality of this perverted culture:  “Oh, ya, I got IT in my heart. Been there, done that. Prayed that sinner’s prayer. Been saved. You don’t need to tell me.”? Really? That’s what you’re going to say to the Lion of Judah? You would say that to a cheap car salesman. It is the same cynicism of Pilate. It is the delusion of religious redundancy because you lack the truth of God-reality. Token will get you through a Toll Booth, but not the Gates of Heaven.

Come on, my man. Before it is too late. Wake up. Nobody is going to chase you down. Not one person is going to confront you. The end is so near. You will answer for your decision. Hell is not for a minority but the majority. What proves your life? Words? Time to utilize the days you have left to follow “the Man”; the God-Man; the living Jesus.

Jesus travels the roads, through us, to your house to draw you to the narrow road that leads to His house.

Jesus didn’t float. He was driven by the love of the Father to rescue any man from the lies of Satan. At time He would just stand up and start preaching (Jn.7:37). He studied the “map” from the Father, in His living Scriptures, with the plan; where to go, how to go, what to do and how to be with Him and others.

Divine Love: personal and individual fellowship directly with God, redemption, forgiveness, healing, grace, etc. No building needed. No other person needed. The cross is made for us to unite our sinful flesh with Him. To now live His new life by faith. No flight by plane to fly to Israel. Fly only by the Spirit in Him.

I’ve never met one man say he wants to preach Jesus but I’ve heard scores of “christians” tell me “Oh that’s not my calling or ministry”. And even laugh at my suggestion that raising our voice for Jesus is not a “ministry”. It is obedience. It is love. It is compassion. You raise for voice for a job, in anger, over a football game. You don’t even have to raise your voice just your mouth. Talk. Of course it’s awkward. What isn’t in life?

“I WILL SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON YOU”

The Book of Acts is all about how we can be moved by a greater power than our own flesh (Acts 1:8-9). The Holy Spirit led Jesus and He will lead you. This is the Spirit of “the Man”.  He comes through the same means, as in that exact moment, in the still night air, when Abraham found FAITH. It is the only means we can be “credited” righteous to receive the blessing of God of His actual Spirit within us (Rm. 4:3,9,22/Gal.3:14). Moral righteousness can never attain God’s favor. Men shy away from the Spirit in unbelief.

Jesus walked our common steps to know our weakness, fear and vain efforts to be “right”, “good” and “better” by human effort (Romans 3:9-19). He does not condemn you for this fear but prompts you to trust Him and step out into His footsteps. He will meet you and bless you. He washed our “feet” to make us qualified by His blood (Col.1:12). So don’t walk away. Walk towards. Be drawn into His walkway of unlimited forgiveness, compassion, brotherhood and intimate care.

The Father and the Son designed this plan by the Spirit for a redemption to Adam’s sin that would touch every  evil act aspect of our evil and painful experiences. Jesus “landed” to spread the news, to bring us back home, where we belong. Return. Repent. Rejoice.

All the obstacles to this fulfillment, all the negativity, failures, rejection, hurt and pain that He knew would be involved and that you would have to deal with, all that you fear, all that you have done, or not done with regret, was taken into consideration in making the plan perfect and bringing it to perfect execution. Two thousand years ago, my friend, way before you were born, He knew, all the way back then to now, here, today, that He would come to you with His plan. Behold the Man. Behold the love. Behold such a Warrior. Behold the salvation. Paul warns of the fierce battle we face with Satan and how to fight (Eph.6:12). Pa

THE PLEA

Paul said “I BEG YOU….” (2 Cor. 5:20). My friend, my plea to you , PLEASE,  listen to me!  In order to see beyond the veil, you HAVE to learn to “bind and loose” effectively. You do not realize it now, or stop to consider, but Jesus warns that we live in this world just outside the “gates of hell” (Mt.16:18-19/2 Cor.3:16).

Jesus actually walked into the very interior of hell. He faced down “the Dragon of old”, Apollyon. So He alone must give you the real power of “the testimony” that “binds” Satans power over your life (Rev. 20:2,12:11, 9:11). If your testimony is not real neither is your power or your life. Don’t be lax over such eternal consequences. 

God toils, 24/7, to reach us. But He can’t violate your will. You hassle needlessly, because Satan uses natural pride as his incentive. But the Father fights back “I will never forget you….can a mother forget her nursing child….even so I will NEVER forget you”. Never forgotten. Always forgiven.  Life does not give life. Quite the opposite. It burdens our time.

Meaning and purpose are the center of our heart beat. Satan tell us we are worthless.  So we think “Why do I live? Who am I? We live Satan’s lies. What is my life and what about my death? No one knows me. No one cares. I make little, if any, impact or difference in this world.” But one moment of testimony to the Name of the living Jesus to anyone is the power of the Holy Spirit.

We were created to engage in the constant activity of the joy of divine  love. Period. Satan is real. He OWNS  the world which is all men and every aspect of life around you. He will win if you don’t lose, your life, to Jesus (Lk.4:6/Mt.4:8-16:24-26/Jn.8:44,12:311 Jn. 2:15). Every day offers us another chance to change. But then it is gone forever. Can you imagine if you go to hell and realize the torment of all the days you had to change? We cannot get back yesterday no matter how much we wish and pray. We had a chance yesterday. Now we only have now. Obviously, through my writing, you can see that I realize Jesus no longer walks in His once body of flesh. We connect with His past to bring us into His Presence. But He “walked out” of His body of flesh, through the resurrection, beyond the tomb and in the Holy Spirit, to us today to bring us such divine revelation which is true salvation.

I always wish I could give others my experience of “double-session hell week” ( 7 AM and 3 PM)  at college football camp. It burned a gut wrenching of sweating buckets to work forth my full potential. Today people are fluff-buckets and whine over any mention of “fighting” to work for Jesus. Cheap “grace”. Check out Paul (Col.1:29/1 Cor. 9:27). I  have been a fighter my whole life against lies, hypocrisy, wickedness and my own sin. It took me over five years of concentrated fight to understand that the truth (lit. Althea = Reality) is worth fighting for. I know that when death comes I shall NO LONGER fight because all my fight has been for the reward death shall render: eternal life. The life we live each day offers two options. One that forever fades, natural life. The other found forever, the life of the living Jesus.

The sign of Abrahamic faith is not a somber religiosity but an infectious sense of humor. The freedom to laugh over eternal life and at your own human ways comes from the promise of doing the impossible in Isaac meaning “laughter”. Can you truly laugh at yourself? I am a regular “stand up comic” in seeing my stupidity and phony ways. Think about it. We actually HIDE our worst stuff, thinking that God only sees what we present to Him in our image. Like He can’t really see inside us. God doesn’t hate you. He is not anger. God is love. The very ways of thinking we try to hide,  in reality, is exactly what God demands we give Him ; the truth of a broken and contrite heart (Ps.51:17). Truth comes only by revelation.  It is the only power to set us “free indeed” from ourselves  (Jn. 17:17, 8:32,34).

CONCLUSION- that others might “Behold” the only Risen-Man, no longer wearing that purple robe of Pilate, but one “dipped in blood” (Jn. 6:40/Rev. 19:13).

There is much talk by men “trying to find God’s will”.  They think it is a set occupation, goal or marrying a certain person.  But Jesus clearly says the will of the Father is to “behold” Him (John 6:40). The way we do this is simple. We “go” against our selfish nature to stand for the living Jesus. We behold the Man so others can behold Him in us. How else can others hear unless we obey (Romans 10:14)? When we flew out of the States headed here to Brazil, we had a day layover in Panama. In the hotel lobby there was a large Christmas tree with a gigantic box-like “present” under it. In the spur of a moment I said “God has a present to give us this big in Brazil”. I had no idea what I was saying. Just hope. A month later on my very birthday my son Abraham bought me a large cooking pot. In one instant I knew. Feeding the poor in mass numbers was the Christmas tree gift to us.

Since then we have developed a strategy and means of feeding the homeless with a large bowl of “Abraham’s Stew”, with the discounts from local merchants, we got down to thirty cents a person. If you’d like to help us we greatly appreciate, and so would those who will get fed.  When Jesus said “I was hungry” He means just that. It is not something we do FOR Him but TO Him. We behold the Man and the hunger that His life touched, in them.

Feeding the poor is not just giving ‘hand-outs’. It is obedience to the love Jesus has for the multitudes all over the world who, like Him, knows what it is to go hungry each day. When we show up gigantic lines automatically form and it creates the perfect opportunity to preach open air of the living Jesus.

We are now praying for His leading and provision to go to from here in Brazil to South Africa and surrounding countries.

IfAnyoneIsThirsty@gmail.com

 

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingJanuary 21, 2022

JUST A WORD AWAY

Can you relate to the prophet Jeremiah who said “My soul has been deprived of peace: I have forgotten what happiness is.” (Lam.3:17-18).

Some folks have told me their  formula for “peace” is a cup of hot coffee, a snack, and maybe some mellow music. Well, I enjoy that too. Sometimes people say peace is going on a vacation or (not) being with their family. Some say just plopping on a bed. Right on! Gotcha. Others talk about some meditation process or alone in silence. Yup. Got it. But all this is common peace of this world and can not resolve the complex unexplainable hostilities we feel inside us.  

THE CURSE OF TIME AND SPACE

God asked Adam, after the tragedy of his sin: “WHERE are you?” (Gen.3:9). Instantly, Adam was aware  that he had fallen out of his eternal fellowship with God into a tragic space of self-obsession, cursed by the time: “from dust to dust” (v.19). His body degenerated from eternal bliss into a wretched 930 years of pain and sorrow (Gen. 5:5). Imagine his experience!

Today the life span for us human critters  is a measly 70 to 80 years. It may sound long but life is like a car flashing by on the expressway or a set of waves crashing on the shoreline. Time and space are full of deception.  They are the curse of sin on Adam’s race, thats us. (All my fellow old codgers out there know these pains we feel ain’t what we expected in younger years).

I remember looking through a photo album in my parents attic. At the beginning was a photo of a little boy. The next page was of him with friends at a job. There were pictures of him with his family. Then in JUST A FEW PAGES, there was my grandpa, very old, wrinkled and sitting in a wheel chair. The last photo was of his funeral and grave site. Life is JUST A FEW PAGES in a photo album. And most people won’t even be remembered in a photo album. The Bible is full of men who mourn the vanity of life.

The impact of our immediate surroundings, the things and people we see, touch, and are touched by, define our little space and time on earth. The majority wrongly think our immediate space determines our level of peace.  But nothing in this world, offers the peace we seek. This world has nothing but the curse of sin and all its deception, distractions and illusions: “The present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire” (2 Pt.3:10/1 Jn.2:15-17,5:19).

We wake up every day yearning for peace. We hope for something, or some one, to confirm the relevance of our existence. Our minutes, hours, days, months and years lie deceive us. They make us think our purpose is found in them. When you are all alone, you are forced to look within your inner space. And what you see is a nothing. God says Adam put “hostility” in us (Gen. 3:15). Neither time, knowledge or experience gives you peace. What if God offers you something you don’t know?

What is divine peace? 

No matter how define it, peace of mind is usually something you hope for, or search for, to be found in the future. It is dependent a better time and place. What I mean is that procrastination is a monster born time. It says “Later….someday. At this time you’re fine”.  Inlaid in our “Adam” nature, is a pride that insists “I’m fine”. But anxiety contradicts this lie. The “spirit in the air” says just roll on along, let time and space determine your future (Eph.2:2)

My brother, or sister,  I’m not writing this for my ego or health. I love you man. I want to see you on the other side. The reality of your state does not occur on a surface level but at the subconscious level.  The faint echo of “subconscious” fear leads into human frenzy.  God alone sees our grief and offers His peace. You don’t know when your life will end. Today, you can grasp something you put off.  JUST A WORD AWAY. Jesus loves you so much. He is waiting to reward your humility.

THE WORD OF THE CROSS (1 Cor.1:18/read Eph.2:13-16 )

Jesus says “My peace I leave with you (Jn.14:27). The very peace in Jesus is what He left. But where did He leave it?  In the Sea of Galilee? Hidden in a cave? On the Mount of Olives? Where do we go?  Seriously. This is a matter of life or death, brother. In this insane dying world, afflicted with sin from within, and from around us, it is not a luxury. Peace is the only way to rescue your mind. We don’t have to fly to Israel and start a massive search.  There is no record of Jesus leaving anything behind. So, where  is His “peace”?

Jesus said,  Look guys, it’s better that I go to heaven so I can send you the Holy Spirit, cuz when He comes, He will give you MY ETERNAL LIFE, here and now  (John  16:7).

Finding peace starts with recognizing that there is no “IT” factor. Peace is not something you GET by getting “better”. It’s not a formula or prayer package. It doesn’t come from a warm fuzzy “good work”.  It comes by dealing with the truth of your REAL condition. By facing your lack. By admitting that the “peace” you now have is defined by circumstances you manipulate. By admitting “I don’t understand”. Jesus says reality is where He will meet you (John 4:24). Being transparent and sincere is His only requirement. The cross is understood by all men, as here in the villages of Brazil.

You see, my precious brother or sister, something very real happened in Jesus on that cross. In His heart, Jesus bore the hostility in every one of us on earth, every lie, every fake pretense and ego, the deepest evil, against each other, and against God. Sin is not an act. It is the deep, unexplainable hostility in our nature. In His body He took on this nature and killed it dead. In that time and space, between the death and resurrection, the Father gave Jesus eternity as a reward for His sacrifice to give to us. Thus Jesus created a “new man”, freed of the hostility of sin. And freed from striving to attain goodness by obeying the law (read Eph.2:14-16/Rm.5:1). It is a gift.

This offer is no little thing. It cost Jesus His blood. It is not a fairy tale. Tortured for three hours, Jesus actually bore the pain of all time. In that time and space, He created the specific provision to our every need. He created the detailed means by which we can be fulfilled by love in Him. He was confined to the dimensions of a wooden cross. Every space in His body reeled with pain.  He bore the agony of the most wicked ways in every man, in every moment of his time on earth.

Jesus entered every vile space in this world, including a jail cell, a street corner, every decrepit room in a ghetto, every place where vile sin was committed.  Out of the nothing the Father exploded eternal life  in His Son (Rm.4:17). There is no place or time He did not bear. He broke through the agony of all  limitations put on every man.

Now the Father could  finish His plan of redemption, because Jesus gave Him access to us through His own body. Jesus conquered the entire natural realm of man, so that in His resurrection body, full of eternal life,  we can be freed of all hostility in our time and space on earth.  He yearns to bring His space of victory into your space of defeat. Imagine being totally forgiven and never fearing death or hell. No matter what your burden on earth may be, this is the peace He offers us, here and now.

The living Jesus is the very substance of eternal life.  He alone can regulate, negotiate and mediate our sin to His cross and by it reconcile us to the Father. No church, preacher or group can do this.

A soldier told Jesus, ‘just say the word and my servant will be healed’. You don’t have to climb a mountain. We don’t have to change our space or time. His space will fill your space. JUST A WORD AWAY (Rm.10:9-10).

Jesus says “IN ME” you will have peace (Jn.16:33). Peace is not a virtue He gives apart from Himself. Paul says “He Himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). His peace is the sign of real salvation. Be anxious for nothing.  Peace is not an absence of conflict. It is not faith. It is the end of faith; the living Jesus.

ETERNAL LIFE; eternal “space and time”

Read Romans 1:20/Psalm 19:1- We are falsely told we can’t see things that are eternal. Every single thing created by God has a reflection of eternity.  And all it takes is one real, eternal glimpse to look for more. The clouds,  wind, rain, storms, trees, leaves, oceans, etc. reflect His Eternal Character. When we breath His air or feel the breeze, HIs eternal hands touch our heart with His love for us. Every day, all day creation “speaks” of His eternal glory (Romans 10:17-18).

When you ponder the achievements of man, they reflect the ways of a man. When you contemplate the creation of God Almighty, you contemplate His eternal character. You see a plan and a majesty. You see spectacular intelligence and creativity; love, kindness, purpose and meaning. You and I are His handiwork.

You are seeing eternal things when you look in a mirror and consider thousands of working parts and blood running through thousands of miles of veins and arteries, laid in microscopic places throughout your body. Your muscles move, protect and grow. You can’t hear even one valve open and close, yet there are hundreds. Your eyes blink and ears hear with no deliberate effort. My brother, all this and millions more reflect eternity. When we read the Word of God about Jesus, we touch eternal logic and divine sacrificial love.

All the stress and anxiety can be traced back to our grief of sin. It alone keeps us in lock down to the time and space fixed in our carnal mind.  It blinds us with a kind of pouting self-pity. So, think about it, if we can open our heart we can find the wisdom leading us to eternal things f (1 Cor. 2).”This is the will of Him who sent Me….that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 6:40). When you “SEE” the Son, you crystalize eternal things (John 3:3).

Can you remember a time when you were a kid having so much fun you told your mom “I lost track of time and where I was”? I do it all the time when I go fishing or I’m sitting on a mountain. I get ‘caught up’.  Well, this is an earthly example that you can escape time and space. How much more by something spiritual?  Paul says THIS peace “passes all our human understanding”  because the unseen defies the pressures of the things of this earth (Phil. 4:7).

“THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE: THAT THEY MAY KNOW YOU” (Jn.17:3).

My brother, or sister, eternity is not an illusion of the smart or elite but a gift for the downtrodden and the poor of heart.

Do you realize the entire Old Testament, of a complex system of sacrifices and laws, was written solely for God’s purpose to give back to men His peace, which Adam lost by sin? The Hebrew word for peace is SHALOM. The ancient  Jeru (city) shalom (peace-healing-alvation) was a “type” of city where God reflected His ultimate purpose of an eternal peace in “New Jerusalem” (Jn.2:19/Mt.12:6/Rev.3:12, 21:1ff).

Jesus says that the peace, or rest,  He offers us, here and now, “is not as the world gives” (Jn.14:27).

It is not in a brief personal experience or in the space of a “Sunday service”. The “sabbath” (rest), is fixed in the living Jesus, because His sacrifice resolved the obstacle of sin and created for us a new man in His Spirit.  Shalom is the disposition of Christ; i.e. New Jersusalem. He is eternal life (Jn.17:3). Everything you have tried, in this domain of time and space, and everything you may yet try, can never give you the One Who comes down from heaven (Jn.6:33,50/Rev.3:12/ Heb.4:1ff ). 

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and our government (the ruling of our lives) will be on His shoulders (on the cross). He will be named…PRINCE OF PEACE” (Is. 9:6).

Jesus promises all men His peace will cleanse you of all sin and remove the weight of guilt and shame. Imagine unlimited forgiveness. (Jn.3:3,4:24/1 Cor.15:45/Heb.10:22). Time and space need no longer have jurisdiction over your life (Col.3:15)  Hope is the courage to believe God Who will take you BEYOND yourself. His Word is waiting to release eternal rivers of living water (John 7:37-38/Hebrews 4:12). Just A Word Away, in spirit and truth (Jn.4:24/Rom.10:6-10).

 

 

 

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingDecember 03, 2021

PUT UP YOUR DUKES!

“PUT UP YOUR ‘DUKES’!”

“Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead and the Messiah will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14)

When a building stands for 50 years the foundation is solid. I am almost 70, but 50 years ago, I chose to obey John 12:32, despite fierce persecution: If I, Jesus, am lifted up (consumed), I will draw you to Me.

People fight for a thousand things in this life: health, healing, work, success, recreation, entertainment, family. But when it comes to Jesus, eternal life, heaven or hell? Well, a gesture of presumption is about it: “No need to tell ME. I already know all about that”. Now, how will that statement sit with you… in hell? Please, I say this solely out of love for you my friend.

Presumption is a fatal blinding to the reality in your own life. Tormented inside, yet men insist, “Oh I’m fine”. This attitude  is “boxing the air”. You never engage the very thing destroying your life. How does such a conundrum exist?

Please, I beg you, listen to me. Multitudes fall victim to a fraudulent teaching of “grace” ignorant to the effective fight with sin. Satan is real. He has “designed” this “speculation” to  justify self-comfort and keep men from truth. So Christians wrongly presume salvation doesn’t require an all out  fight. The Scriptures clearly warn otherwise: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling….His grace was in vain…I worked more than any…yet not I  but God’s grace..striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.” (Phil.2:12/1 Cor.15:10/Col.1:28).

It is understandable, when facing this world, to be afraid to get in “the boxing ring” and fight for Jesus.  But the reward is boundless joy, both now, and for eternity. A man named Jacob received the immediate reward of finding God’s destiny. In his fight to know God, he changed into a new man: “Israel” (Gen.32:24). Individual fulfillment is not a sentimental pipe dream. It is the effectual experience of fighting to engage Jesus in the accomplishment of His salvation (Rm.6:6/ Phil.3:8/ Gal.2:20/2 Tim.2:11).

When a man decides to “fight” for Jesus he goes beyond himself; beyond obligation to heart desire. He is not looking for excuses but eternal identity in the living Christ (Eph.3:18-20). So, as your loving brother, I exhort you to put up your fists in a fighting position. Catch the vision of a life yet waiting to discover.  There is something you don’t yet know. Fight for it. Can you say within yourself “I know nothing Lord. Help me.”? My precious brother or sister, you are under siege by a fierce unseen enemy ‘out for blood’. Humble yourself and He will exalt you (Mt.11:25/1 Pt.5:6). Satan can push you around, punish you, bust you in the mouth, break your jaw and knock out your teeth. This description is allegorical for some, but for many it is literal. It could be by an accident, situation or person. If you don’t fight, Satan will destroy you (Jnn.10:10).

It begins with mere thoughts, ignorant to the ways of sin. One thought leads to another and suddenly you do something, or find yourself in circumstances, out of your control. If you think I’m nuts, you may already be “down for the ten count’.  Cuz like how often do you wake up in the morning with a deep sense of wanting to just give up? How often do you think “No one cares about ME.  No one knows MY burden. I’m all alone. Does anything matter?” Do these thoughts come to you while by aliens while on some distant planet? No. They come in the ebb and flow of every day earthly life. They are common.  Every human being on earth is tormented by these feelings of self-pity and deep alienation. Of course, they won’t admit it.  I feel it every day. It is not weird. It is not our fault or personality. I would say it is not about losing your mind, but in reality, this is precisely about reclaiming your mind.

I know this sounds strange, but our body is reeling, every moment of every day, from the “hit” Adam took 10,000 years ago. He was “punch drunk” by sin. Man was created perfect but sin defiled every pore of our humanity, because, through procreation, Adam’s sin renders all mankind depraved. At any moment we become vexed in inexplicable sadness. We are lonely and afraid. Selfishness saturates every cell of our composition. It permeates our mind with crazy and bizarre thinking.  We blame bad circumstances but the truth is all problems derive from our body of human nature being separated from our Creator. This world says it is a ‘personality disorder’ and turn to prescription or illegal drugs, booze, ‘therapy’ and, of course, religion. No one identifies sin because no one understands it.

Ego was born when Eve ate from the tree. The “I am” in man defied the great “I AM THAT I AM”. We went from living in eternity to a 70 yr. span. Bam. Our inner core is frazzled. Adam’s sin diminished our composition from being God-consciousness to self-consciousness. We suppress and deny the inner despair and misery sin  implanted in the center of our human existence.  No surgery can remove it. No medicine can treat it. No prayer or ritual can stop our vulnerability to the lying voices Satan channels in our mind through sin.

Problems are not resolved by changing outward stuff, but changing the way we deal with our inner state.  The debilitating effects of sin can shake you to your core, ruin and  linger in your life, until you deal with it. As I’ve said a  thousand times, sin is not a mere act. It is what WE ARE in our human nature; sin…ners. It never goes away. I am more aware of sin today, than I ever was 50 yrs. ago before I received the light of Jesus. It requires an attitude of humility not a sinners prayer or confessional.

I will spend my life fighting to explain, to anyone who will listen, how to effectively win the fight with this enemy within, inherited  from our forefather Adam. Pride leads every man’s ship into the fierce storms of our own darkness. Christians, today, think that Bible knowledge somehow spiritualizes their body into a Christian state. As if a “sinners prayer”  zaps their wicked flesh into a “better” state than other human beings. So they are perplexed when the complexities of sin invade their lives.

“SPECULATIONS” – THE DEEP SPACE OF DARKNESS-(2 Cor.10:3-5)

Jesus says “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt. 6:22-23).

Just think about.  If what you identify as “light” is actually the presumption of light, then everything you identify as truth, is deception. The seriousness of such reality demands the fight for repentance. True repentance results in accurate discernment between light and darkness and eliminates the conundrum of presumption. The Bible defines sin as foolishness, lawlessness, unbelief and unrighteousness (Rm.14:23/1 Jn.5:17.Pr.24:9/Jn.16:9). But how is it that God gives us a specific and detailed picture of sin and darkness? The witness and discernment of the Holy Spirit defines sin. Jesus says “I will give you…the Spirit of truth…and He will convict (expose) us…concerning sin” (Read: John 14:17,26,16:8,13).

Repentance is metanoia- change of mind. When the Holy Spirit “cuts and divides” our heart we must change our attitude and motives (Heb.4:12/Ps.51:17). Repentance involves the fight to “cast down speculations (imaginations) raised up against” the knowledge of God Who reveals Himself to us in 3 ways to which we are accountable: 1) creation(John 14:9/Rom.1:20/2 Cor.10:3-5), 2 )Scriptures and 3) and the revelation of the living Jesus.  Speculations and imaginations are packages of lies. They are our opponent in “the boxing ring” of our mind. We must directly identify, engage and counter the “punches” of lies with truths in God’s Word.

Our mental capacity was designed to process and establish perfect peace. So it will do its part, if we do ours. It is a  mechanism divinely created into “hemispheres” designed to regulate, filter and define the light from the darkness. Sin is imbedded in our mind and draws us into darkness, evil, self-obsession, self-pity and rebellion. Repentance is the conscious fight to receive Light and gain control. This is the process by which we recover our mind from darkness (Rm.12:2).

LOVE IS THE FIGHT TO ENTER THE SPACE WHERE MEN DWELL IN DARKNESS TO HELP THEM SEE LIGHT. WE WILL BE IN THE WORLDS LARGEST New Years GATHERING:  BRAZIL 2022.

The idea of “space” (i.e.open unoccupied area or room)  helps us understand that sin is not merely a one time action but a conscious existence in our daily perception that emanates from within. Our eye sees life out of whatever occupies our deep space. Is it darkness or is it light?  This space determines the standard of our intelligence, creativity, will power, love, humor, depth of experience, memory recall and all related operations of our human capacity. Into what is our mind immersed? The scope of our individual choice is an outcome of our desire. The source of our space, sin or Jesus,  determines how we function as a person. Simply put, a self-centered obsession exposes the dominance of sin and consciousness of darkness. To destroy the stronghold of sin is dependent on your desire for Jesus.

The term “Deep Space” is a speculation by scientists of an hypothesis that unknown galaxies exist beyond our skies. They speak of it as an eerie darkness, void of time and oxygen. It is freezing cold.  It is an utter vacuum. Yet so heavy it will crush you. Sin is like this darkness. It is a realm of the unknown and undefined space so deep it can swallow us into a warp of misery so that we lose track of all time. Suddenly years have gone by and such dread can be a “knockout”.

Self-pity can consume your consciousness to the extent that you have no other awareness but “Poor me”. It is the reverberation of Adam so long ago vexed in his “new” state of sin. Sin is dark “space” where despair, regret, loneliness and unexplainable sadness pull us into unknown corridors of darkness.  Scientists say a “black hole” pulls everything around it into a vortex with a power and speed beyond measure. Fear, anger and pain can be like this. We feel we can do nothing to stop it. But this is just another lie.  Sin causes insurmountable damage to each person on earth yet remains hidden and undefined by this world. Never hear about it on the news or in a government report.  It hides as the culprit of massive destruction. It gets away with murder.

Satan channels lie-formulas of speculations, proven effective throughout generations; thought patterns, that subtly permeate the human mind with dark space.  There is no physical or practical way to identify sin. It can not be caught like an animal. It can not be shown on a screen or subject to scientific observation. The 10 Commandments expose it but do not supply the power over it. The law merely defines our lack, so if it is eliminated, so too is the obligation to fulfill it (Romans 4:15). The Holy Spirit offers the space of freedom (2 Cor.4:17). It is like the wind (Jn.3:8). He provides the sight in which to “see” sin  and understand what happened on the cross so as to live free in the access to His power (Rm.8:1-4, 3:20/Gal.2:16,21). This is sacred space (Ps.91:2/2 Cor.19:13-15).

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REPLACING DARK SPACE

WITH SACRED SPACE

loneliness into solitude (Jn.14:23).

The power of individual choice can not be overstated. What do you see when you stand in a field? There are the trees, grass, sky and maybe a hill. Can you be there? What is your consciousness? Do you see depression, grief, regret and a dim future that occupies your presence?

 To defeat an adversary it is up to you to drive the fight.  Can you, will you, identify what you see and engage any unseen obstacles that block your line of sight? The power of the fight is determined by your desire to engage reality and win.

When I ran Cross-Country in High School I had absolutely no desire to do so because I had no hope of ever winning. I ran “aimlessly”. The only reason I ran cross-country was because I had been shot in the eye with a B-B gun the previous year and could have gone blind if I continued to play football. I had to wait a year to see if my eye healed. So I ran only as an athletic outlet.

I loved football so much that the next year I defied my eye doctor and went back to playing football. I was driven by desire. Desire comes when you see that your fight has reward. When you engage reality, all cylinders fire. When you do what you thought you couldn’t do, you want to do more. You want to be what God shows you you can be. For this reason Pauls said;

“I discipline (Greek- bruise-buffet-beat black and blue) my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor.9:26-27).

When I first read this, I saw the pride in my disdain; “Oh Paul, don’t say that! You are a man of God”.  But the greatness of Paul was not seen in his travels or miracles but in the profound humility of his transparency over sin. Paul feared presumption.  He did not fight based on his accomplishments but the accomplishments of Jesus.

“I have been crucified” Paul said, and I “buffet” my sinful body to make it my slave. Obviously, he wasn’t speaking in physical terms but explaining the depth of his fight against sin. He was fighting himself, not the air. Who admits such stuff? One who is intimately aware that sin and hell are real.  He was not stupid and presumptious.

After he said “I do the very thing I hate” he defies human logic by concluding it with  “yet it is not I but sin which dwells in me” (Rm.7:19ff).  In other words, Paul was “crucified with Christ” and could “see”, by the Spirit, that sin no longer was his essential identity (Gal.2:20). The cross is not feel-good notion. It literally kills the subjectivity of sin (ego) and renders it an objective non-issue (1 Cor.1:18).

Jesus didn’t die for ten trillion individual acts of evil because, when He died in the very flesh of man, as a Substitute for man, he bore God’s “hit” of wrath upon the nature of Adam. By death, Jesus KILLED sin, for all time. One perfect Man for all sinful men. The 2nd Adam of the resurrection race replaced the 1st Adam of the sinful race (Rm.5:10). When you are born again into His new world, the domain of light floods the dark space with the sacred space of His Presence. Light will open your eyes to sin (Jn.3:3-8, 8:23-24,32-26/1 Jn.3:9).

LIGHT AND DARKNESS MEET IN THE PERSON OF JESUS. The cross was the ultimate depiction of reality. The darkness killed Him but the light raised Him from the dead. So we can go to Him in any moment of stillness and find compassion. He can expose and bare any darkness and release the power of His light (Luke 22:53). As the Lion of Judah, Jesus devoured darkness as the nothingness it is to such great Light.

I inhabit a body of sin but but when light invaded my world, I could “SEE” the kingdom (Jn.3:6,18:36). Beyond darkness. The grass and Notre Dame stadium was the same but I became a spirit-man into the domain of eternal light (1 Cor.15:45). The Holy Spirit is like the oxygen of God. He clears up our “brain fog”. He inhabits our void. He is the escape from the darkness within us. The darkness doesn’t disappear but the Light  makes all things clear. One problem. One answer.

I can not cage the monster of sin. I had to die to “see” it. The reward is my destiny as a son in the fellowship in His divine love. I escape the vortex of dark space, not by striving, but by my “seeing” the light of Jesus. I desire to fight in the light. I love my plight. My desire is love from Him to give to you.  It is the love God manifested 2000 yrs ago (Rm.5:8).

My friend, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. If you don’t change your mind, nothing will happen. The fight of repentance is always the gateway to new revelation. At first thought, these things may sound complicated. They are not. You are fully aware that the basic step to truth starts in your innermost being. It is “where” Jesus promises to meet you (inner space)(Ps.51:6-10). It is the step of opening your mouth to Jesus, not in a passive lame “prayer”, but in the fight of your heart. Jesus said His power to face the cross came out of His desire to please the Father (Heb. 10:7). He promises to put this heart in us (Heb.10:15-22).

Faith working through love is the voyage that takes you beyond the limitations of selfish-obsession. My bald head will never again grow its once blonde hair. Rats! But my born again spirit is growing  in His multi-dimensional eternal expanding love.Jesus says to tell everyone the answer is “Repentance (change of mind) for forgiveness” (Lk.24:47/Acts 3:19). There was an adulterous lady who met Jesus and her consciousness was altered by simply being in the Presence of His light. Her space became His (John 8:14)

When you fight for heartfelt repentance, you will discover His sacred place of solitude is always LEARNING (Jn.14:23). Jesus says “learn from Me” (Mt.11:27ff/Eph.5:10). The greatness of Paul was not all the letters he wrote but the letter of his character for all to read displayed in the treasures of a humility so as to write:

“I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:26).

Jesus came to earth, conquered every tendency of Adam-nature, and promises to enlighten us with HIS DIVINE FIGHT. No, it is not easy, but it is within our mental capacity to become more than we are. No one is exempt from the barrage of sin. Everyone suffers. Everyone, at some time, wants to hide. We all know the human curl of the fetal position. But the Spirit of truth neutralizes all speculations with truth; that we are NOT all alone; that we are NOT destined for misery and gloom, etc.

My friend, you ARE in “the ring” whether you want to be or not. Defeat is not a mere possibility. It is inevitable if you box “like one beating the air”. You must fight.

Paul feared the tragic consequences of hypocrisy so much he developed this visual description; “boxing the air”.  It is making the motions of boxing without hitting the enemy. It is appearing to do something while doing nothing. It is pretending to be a Christian in the pride of sinful flesh. It is christian words and smile with no heart for Jesus. It is self-righteousness. You can see it if you want to. You can change if you desire to. Boxing the air has no value. No correlation to reality. No triumph over the enemy. It is religion.

The proof of “boxing the air” is the dark space of aimlessness. It is the consistency of hypocrisy. It is floating in deep space with no tether to reality. It is the lack of fellowship with the living Jesus. It is the lack of fulfillment promised in the living waters of Jesus (John 7:37). Salvation is the outcome of our FIGHT FOR THE LIGHT to be in Jesus.  Paul says “I have fought the good fight of faith” (2 Tim . 4:7).

Paul says “…everyone exercises control in everything…but we do it to win a crown that will never fade…” (1 Cor. 9:26).

Please my friend. You made it all the way to the end of this, so you have more than a little fight. Receive God’s “light”. Increase the personal fight. Understand Scriptures such as John 9:39-41 and Romans 4 (esp. v15,17-18). Learn how to learn. Counter the speculations he puts in your mind (Eph. 6:12). Be a warrior. You can plant seeds of light into the dark space of a desperate man.

Over a hundred thousand people overdosed on drugs last year. Suicide became a viable alternative to existence. Do you care? 17 veterans kill themselves each day. Why? Will you fight for someone else?  Venture out of your comfort zone to plant a garden in dark space? They are blinded by the darkness.

My family and I have fought our way through the darkness in countless cities throughout the world. We have joyfully beheld the Endeavor of our salvation. He is the living Jesus. If I can help you it would be my privilege. If you’d like to help us we sure would appreciate it. We work with all our heart to reach countless lost men and women in the love of the living Jesus. We have PayPal account with the Email address of: whatwouldyoufightfor@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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TeachingNovember 05, 2021

The Portal of Pain

 BEYOND THE PORTAL

Jesus explains that anyone who wants to know God’s ways  must do so “in spirit and in truth” (Jn.4:24). This is not something that can be plucked out of the sky by a wishful prayer. We are born into a desolate wicked world. The sooner we face truth the sooner we can cultivate the spirit to overcome it.

Greetings my friend. I’m not trying to write here some kind of exclusive super-spiritual far out thinking. I am a very simple guy but the gospel I live is not a flippant or trite “good news”. It requires, and then produces, a depth of heart, to understand, in order to withstand, the brutal difficulties of life in this world.

As my family and I deal with thousands and thousands of people we touch their meaningless sad loneliness.  It kills me to see how everyone assumes there is no real answer, other than to mimic Bible talk. Multitudes claim to “be saved” yet dwell in the cellar of heartache and misery. This is a contradiction to the answer of God to provide a “live-feed” into the living  Spirit of Jesus. 

The feelings of hurt,  pain and sorrow is like a “land” within  us that determines our thinking each day. we must find the noble courage to escape our “castle” of fake IMAGE which is the source of our portal of pain.

What is “hurt”? Where is it? How do we measure it? With a bushel or a yard stick? Is it made of steel or tin? How does it come to us? Can a person, a fear or experience fire rockets of pain? Is it like a sun ray that can burn our skin without us even knowing it? What is the place within us that registers pain? My dear friend, we must learn to access our intelligence and will power to determine the impact and influence of pain. If we believe the work of Jesus we can control, determine and harness our pain to help eliminate our pride and build a warehouse of wisdom. 

 As a consequence of ignorance we can become bewildered by our struggles. 

We are actually born into pain. David says “in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). We live with the agony Adam incurred from the sin of mans defiance to God. He passed on to us  his exact same human nature  with all its shattered feelings of absolute devastation. Image how you would feel if you caused the fall of mankind from fellowship with your Creator. You don’t have to imagine.  Sin hurts. It drives us into dark thoughts and hopeless despair. Satan exploits our ignorance of this plight. Paul says Satan attacks us out of the very air we breath each day ( eph2:2). His demonic thoughts are closer to us than our nose. So effective is Satans power that we automatically assume our sad feelings are a personal unique problem. No one else has it. So we suppress and deny this existence of inexplainable sorrow. We lie. “We have no portal of pain” (2 Cor10:3-5).

Oh my friend, is it not crazy to deny and hide this very real struggle that operates deep within us? Do you not yearn for relief? It is a relief that comes by simple accurate understanding.

“He Himself bore our sin in His body on the cross SO THAT we might die to sin and LIVE to righteousness; for by His wounds YOU WERE HEALED” (1 Pt.2:24).

It is sheer madness, this craziness of hiding what is really going on within us. It is playing into Satans hand. We pause, ponder, grieve, hesitate ALL ALONE in this place of ‘Go-Between’, of who we pretend to be and the real pain going on within us. The masses  spend heir entire lives, waisting precious years of energy trying to negotiate with themselves which life is more real. Afraid to face their pain, afraid there are no answers and afraid that telling someone else who might not hear or care about our highly sensitive expression. We have seen, firsthand, how no one really listens or cares.

Jesus cares so deeply He alone actually, already, bore your exact pain and in His shadow we find shelter (Ps.91).

“I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP” (John 10).

Right now, at this moment, you don’t realize the impact of your hidden pain upon your daily existence. It determines your attitude, perspective on hope, relationships and words. The majority LIVE and  DIE in the portal of pain never getting to other side to find Gods answer. They never realize God is waiting to be “found” in the very pain we hide. To participate with Jesus to answer the “Why?” that torments your consciousness. Jesus says “Come to Me….I am the way”.

It is in fellowship with Jesus where we learn how to build a “spirit in truth” (Jn.4:24).  The Door awaits  anyone brave enough to be truthful and thus understand how to face and deal with the portal of pain.  Then fight to get through the cross to the tomb. Most people spend hours,  days, weeks, months and years, trying to construct a better image, a castle,  of defense to their self-pity.

The Portal of Pain is not some pyscho-religious babel. It is the place of decision to choose or walk away from the cross. It is the Door into participation with the living Christ in His overcoming battle with the world. It is the choice to believe. Jesus fought every single pain you fight. It is this understanding that contextualizes all pain of sin and sorrow. To relinquish the “right” to complain and take on our accountability for sin results in true salvation. It is the beginning and end of dealing with the complexity of suffering.

Paul explains”We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that Jesus’ life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:8-11). This passage presupposes one thing: PARTICIPATION. This is word never heard amongst christian circles. It is reiterated in Philippians 3:9.

How do we “participate” in the gospel? Choice. Humility is like turning the lens on a camera to find sharp focus of reality. Self-pity is not humility. Humility is backing down from everything we insist we already know so that we can know that we don’t know. Self-pity is self-pride and holds us in the gallows of pain.  To participate in the cross of Jesus is to relinquish ALL pride. The power of the cross is transferred by the Holy Spirit into a humble man when he releases the natural tendencies of self-pity into the light of His Spirit. This is participation, involvement, engagement and joining in redemption.

All the practical benefits of the big words: redemption, atonement, sanctification, forgiveness, reconciliation happen through our participation in the cross. It’s like moving furniture around in a house. Repentance is a definitive change.

For you see my friend, regardless of all the things we think and say about our own identity, the sum total of how we live is traced to how we are responding to the suffering of Jesus on the cross. Can it still our sinful ways? Do we fully yield or persist in our own ways?  We are either melted by His love or hardened by our own isolation. Do you have compassion on what Jesus actually went through for you? What does it do to you?  Pain has no meaning in an of itself. It only takes on purpose when we stand and gaze up at the cross. It is not meant to isolate us but break us into His loving Presence. This is the answer to the “Why?’ of pain. Jesus said “Father….WHY have You forsaken ME”? In that very moment He Himself was answering this cray of all mankind as He BECAME SIN (2 Cor.5:20-21). The answer? SIN IS.No reason. No logic. No excuse (Jon.15:25).

If you want to see your pain actually become a good thing it is by the sole act of faith. God says “the word of the cross is the power of God” (1 Cor.1:18). To believe that eternal life can come out of the other side of your situation can start right now. God is with you in this solitude. Speak to Him. Jesus injected His entire self into His suffering on the cross. He “designed” His work  to transform the will of every single man ever to walk this earth. “I’ll meet you  and change you here, in my cross” says the Lord. Become “united” with Him (Rm.6:6).

He brings His suffering into our suffering like well-fitted clothes to take on and wear.”Ahh. This is the humility to extinguish my pride” I’ve said so many times.  In every situation when I have dealt with physical, emotional or mental pain God has met me with a maturity and love. Another word for love is “compassion” that comes from “passion” which means suffering. All of life only makes sense through the portal of our pain into His ultimate act of love on the cross.

This is why Paul defines his essential credential, not as knowing doctrines, “accepting christ as savior” or theology, but as being “crucified with Christ” (Gal.2:20). He entered The Portal of Pain and learned how to negotiate life according to the very heartbeat of Jesus. God’s will. When we enter the portal of pain contemplating the sufferings of Jesus; we come out the other end and find His eternal destiny. It is explicitly laid out in Ephesians 1. The finished product is not a better you but a love far beyond you. Jesus says “I AM LIFE” (Jn.14:6). His life was death so that His death could be our gateway to His life.

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to

His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection…being united with His death” (Phil.3:10-11/Rm.6:6).

There is no other way. The answer to our pain is to understand His pain. To have compassion ON Jesus is to learn FROM Jesus. To understand His pain is to contexualize our pain. The Word of God is not my interpretation or view. Paul explicitly explains that sharing in the suffering of the cross is that with which he finds “fellowship”. It has to be because IT IS. There is no other grounds to touchJesus other than to be touched by Him. It is where you become “spirit and truth” as the only means out of which to know God. It has to be personal suffering because every relationship with God is personal, individual, unique, your name, you, you, you.

In order for God to ‘touch’ you and ultimately for you to touch someone, in order to establish divine connection,  in a real way, we must learn how to speak out of our fear and pain, like a caterpillar struggling to become a butterfly.  In order to relate and communicate with anyone in spirit and truth,  we must learn the fellowship in suffering, pain and hurt.

My friend, how are YOU? I have dealt with tons of brothers and sisters all over the world. No matter your background, I meet you on your grounds of sorrow and hurt. Not in superficial words of shallow greeting and token exchange. Please believe that I am just like you. Open your hand and let me grasp it with a firm hold as we walk together through the barrage of dark feelings and thoughts. What I write is not some far out thing. It is the real of our lives. It is true access to God’s answers.I love you and I mean it.

It is my profound privilege to bring true hope and joy to you, maybe  as we have performed, possibly at some time for you, as we do for people all over the world who suffer terribly all alone. The most endearing experience is not dancing, singing, doing magic, comedy, or hearing applause. It is the time before and after the show meeting individuals, hearing their personal stories. Most of all, it is engaging someone, one on one, in the look we all share, of longing to be loved; longing to be understood. A thousand words are written in the expression of one face. It is eternal  joy to share real answers of the gospel and not sentimental hype.

The gospel is “magic”. It is the magic to disarm the tragic. It is marvelous to transform pain into power. The greatest power in the world; love. It is the culmination of the cross. The death of self is the seedbed of Jesus.  It can be your magic. Instead of being irrelevant and forgotten in the dark shadows of a heartless world, you can take this magic on the road of the Majesty on High.

I can show you how to switch your mind from the grievous burdens of self-autonomy into the freedom of marvelous discovery. People often ask me to do a magic trick. I love to accommodate anyone. Let me share the most powerful move I have learned.
You can do it too. In fact, it’s right at your fingertips. My fellow magician, we can pull a switch on our life from grief into a phenomenal privilege. The secret to this trick is to make life NOT all about us. We get so obsessed with talking about ourselves that, to make this switch, midcourse, defies imagination. So the secret requires we “see” into the eyes of another, to reach into their suffering, and touch them and draw out the LOVE that makes magic happen.

It’s really not magic. It’s God. “God is love” (1Jn.4:8). Everything about God is love.  Love is bigger than us all. It magically shrinks big problems. We replace hostility with maturity and shock the world. It is the power to trick our own minds with change. A miracle takes place right before our eyes. It makes us do things we can’t and think things we never would.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a face is worth a million. So I want to tell you, my precious friend, I hear YOU, I see YOU, I care about YOU. You matter so much to God that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you to live forever (Jn.3:16). You matter; to me; to others and most of all to God. Your words are not lost in the sea of humanity. Your life is not a blade of grass in a sprawling meadow. God sees your face and can pick out your voice from the chatter of an overflowing cafeteria or downtown crowd.

So many times, when talking to people, I spot one individual in the crowd. Our eyes lock onto each other. Suddenly, in one instant, we “speak” to each other, while uttering no words. That look of longing in our eyes is louder than any sound. Two kindred spirits who have never seen each other suddenly engage in that one so special moment.
I describe God’s love as magic, not in heathen irreverence or foolish ignorance but in allegorical license because it contains a dazzling but lasting aspect undefined by religious jargon (1Cor.2:9). We may not know each other but we are the same in the common nature of our humanity and can come to the same love offered in the Presence of a merciful Savior.
The shambles of sadness, the loneliness of isolation, the crumbling rubble in a broken life, and so much more, are transmitted by waves and frequencies of a music called pain. We understand it is the language of HURT. It is the essence of why God became Man. It is the essence of the love demonstrated in Jesus as He died and rose again (Rom.5:8).
The Spirit of Jesus is called “the Comforter” because He synthesizes the agony of the cross with the power of the resurrection and brings us divine life (Jn.14:26/1Pt.2:24). I remember one time after a prison performance holding a fellow brother. He was sharing the injustice of his sentence. Suddenly I saw water dripping on my tennis shoes. I looked up for a leaking pipe only to realize it was his tears pouring onto my feet. One hug of two strangers speaking in the language of HURT: an overflow of pain. God so loved the world.
It’s called catharsis. It’s called healing. It’s called love and it’s in high demand. But there is no factory that can supply the huge demand. No, my brother. The Father is asking you to make your heart a “factory” of His love. As long as there is one or two or three who will pay the price of their life to be a supply-chain of His love there is hope; there is BROTOCOL. It can occur any time anywhere. It’s yours to give as a performer on your stage of life.
But how do we find this magic when we are so caught up in our own pain and sorrow? Ahhhh. Pain. No other way. Dying to self is a tough adventure (Rm.6:6, Jn.12:24-25). But the question is; do we wish to only watch the magic or learn how to do it? I have performed on hundreds of city streets, ghettos, campuses, prisons, and military bases not to entertain but appeal to the Deep Heart within each man. Because each man has a deep heart which needs to be released; born again into the manifestation of God’s love in the living Jesus. Anyone who is willing to believe will “see” this kingdom. Jesus says “Come to Me… learn from Me… anyone who comes I will certainly not cast out.” He offers “…rivers of living waters…” to bring us His divine healing (Jn.3:3, 6:37, 7:37/Mt.11:28).
Some say, “How is it that I feel so void of God even though I do believe in Him?” My friend, the Son of God cried, “My God…why have You forsaken ME?!” (Mt.27:46). The Father’s answer to Jesus is the same to us: Deafening Silence. But no ordinary silence. A silence so full of answers so loud it demands you listen, you think, you understand, and realize.
God cannot make sin disappear. This world is not neutral. It is hostile  against us, ruled by Satan (Lk.4:6/Jn.12:31/1Jn.5:19/2Cor.4:4).  Look and hear a world gone mad. Listen to the cries all around you. What do they sound like? SIN. The catastrophic outcome of Adam setting His heart to defy His loving Creator. The echo of his cry transferring into the chambers of the nature we inherited in procreation. Sin has ruined us all (Rm.3:10, 5:12).
Jesus actually bore all the “Why?” issues of a thousand generations. Now we can find the answer through one substance an old pagan guy named Abraham gave us: FAITH in His resurrection and redemption (Rm.4:1). God won’t violate our will, but He will turn us around to see His love in using bad things to cause good things (Rm.8:28).
Imagine the eyes of the Savior locking eyes with you, saying He feels your pain while knowing His plan, but allowing you to choose. Imagine the eyes of an ultimate Brother, Who has literally been through hell for you. My man, this love is not religious feelings. It is factual history. Discovering His divine love hinges on your decision to believe. It will be released to you when you come directly to the living Jesus. Faith is a “conviction of things not seen” (Heb.11:1+6).
Jesus really did walk in our shoes and feel all our pain in His body on the cross. He became the sacrificial Lamb to atone and cover our sin. One Brother for another. The Substitute. He bore the wrath we deserve so we could live forever.
Jesus rose to live to send His Spirit to you. My precious brother or sister, don’t give up. You are meant to fly. Faith is real, to rise up, to mount up, to be lifted up. By faith in His resurrection, we can sprout wings out of our valley of morbid self-pity (Is.40:31/Ps.23).

ESCAPE THE INNER NOISE

After being in the midst of the chaos of war and death Elijah escaped to a mountain. Each of us bears within us the chaos of our sinful torment. To hear God, beyond issues  of stress, anxiety, past memories, regret, that today constitute PTSD, requires a will to discern God’s Presence. 

Elijah did not hear God in the realm of experiential sensation of  rushing wind or fire but rather it was in his own cherished suspended silence “where” Elijah heard God in a still whispering breeze. 

This “place” is the outcome of thoroughly relegating ones self to the cross to pass THROUGH his own portal of pain into the victory of Jesus. It is a silent space that one must create inside oneself before one can fellowship with God and express pure love for others.

God wants to speak to you and teach you how to master your sin like a horse champion.  The cross is contoured  to suit your individual pain. All you need do is yield to His wisdom and work. Learn to be still and actually hear God speak to you in through His living Word.

I know the byline of Try, try, try but never attain the desired goal of happiness. Multitudes give up on God because they simply can not attain the standards set by self- righteous. Jesus nullified all our human righteousness in one sentence; “He who is without sin… let him cast the first stone” (Jn.8:7). God’s plan is not to make you “better”, but to draw you to Himself so He can make you new (2Cor.5:17). Salvation is not some THING you must DO but Someone Who has done everything for you.

We all feel ugly, damaged, useless, or forgotten because we have all failed in many ways. But God “CREDITS” the very righteousness of Jesus to any sinner on the basis of faith – unlimited, unmerited, automatic, forgiveness and redemption (Rm.4:1-9).
The Scriptures are not flowery words of an untouchable religious man. Jesus demonstrated the greatest “macho” power in history. He went to the lowest regions of depravity to eliminate any excuse not to be lifted beyond our darkest abyss and discover the heights of His Spirit. In His DNA was written every thread of mental anguish, personality type, sociological stigma, and label known to mankind. He walked away from that tomb to free all who believe and speak His Name: JESUS.

If you’d like to help us we would greatly appreciate it. Anything helps. We have no organization or group that support us. Our expenses to reach the lost for Jesus comes down to our savings from working various jobs as we travel on the road.  We have a PayPal account with the Email address:

whatwouldyoufightfor@yahoo.com

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingAugust 30, 2021

BEYOND THE INNER WAR

When I played college football, at Central Mich. University, we won the National Championship but I lost everything (Jn.12:25). Little did I comprehend what was going on in and around me. I could lift 405 lbs., but I could not budge the weight of pain-filled loneliness. I could halt a linebacker by a crushing block but could not stop the oncoming devastation of personal rejection.  I could run a 40 yd. dash in 4.4 seconds but could not outrun depression.

I was just saved. I had just met Jesus but I was torn up inside and felt like my entire life was crumbling before my eyes. I did not understand The Inner War and how gut-wrenching truth would get beyond it.

Within a matter of hours and days I was confronted by the enormous clash of two opposing realities within my mind. I did not understand then but what what happened to Him happens to all who follow Him: Two Worlds Collide – Lamb Found Dead. Up until the first day of football camp I was welcomed as a fellow comrade and teammate.  But in that one afternoon arriving on campus for double-sessions I faced dimensions of hostility from teammates, that simply baffled my thinking.

Hey man, I was just a dumb, beer-guzling,  polish kid, from the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I cheated my way through school and Mass on Sundays, after the bars on Saturdays, was about it for my duty to God. I had no clue to the divine ramifications of what it would mean to actually get personal with a living God and experience the switch from darkness to light.

How could such contrast and hatred arise due solely to one decision? I left college in the Spring as one man and returned in the Fall as another.  I was seen and despised as a traitor because I made an uncompromising  stand for “the Other side”; Jesus.

When my teammates looked to my mouth to spew wicked words of dark inspiration they were shocked to watch my lips formulate light;  “It’s all about the living Jesus fellas”.  I took two pieces of medical tape and made a cross on the back of my helmet and used a magic marker to put one on my wristband. I went from a “Badass” to a ‘weirdo’. Smash stuff and mock others and I was “cool”. Love people and help others and you’re a “nut”.  It would be a long time before I could begin to normalize this abnormal reality.

Mockery is no little thing. I did it to others but never had it done to me. It shattered my entire mind-set of people, the world and my own identity. I felt like a building collapsing from being detonated by an inward implosion. I was left in the rubble of wounded isolation not knowing this destruction of my old man was God’s answer to a ‘deal’ in which I came directly to Jesus to build me a new man. Now He was fulfilling His end by bringing me to Himself.

God was becoming my Father and was  leading me into the place, where a boy becomes a man,  and a man becomes a son. It is the place designed to render every son the lesson of turning loneliness into the solitude of contemplation, to discover awesome stuff, that every human craves, whether they admit it or not,  like meaning, and feeling intimately loved, having a purpose and a joy of “streams of living water”. Not mickey mouse poetry but deep piercing supernatural reality. I had entered what is known in the animal world as a “cocoon” (i.e. the cross-Rm.6:6/Jn.7:37). Butterfly… yet to fly.

One year earlier things were totally different. I was treated like dark royalty because I did the things that caused “the guys” to revere me. Like one night, I got drunk and started a barroom brawl. Things were broken. Police were called and sirens filled the night air.  I fled down a back alley and up a chain-link fence. A cop threw me in jail. My football reputation kept me out of prison, but the inner war was spiraling out of control.

Over the next year I learned how to switch the force of my will from being subject to the lies of darkness  to grasp the truth.  And when we do this life changes for the good. It involves turmoil. I don’t mean to sound corny, my friend, but I love you and can help you find happiness. It is crucial to face and identify subconscious fallibility.

My friend, there exists today, a twisted thinking that combines cynicism with Christianity. It involves the confession that Christ is the answer; “No need to tell me. I already know and have IT” BUT the underlying thinking is “Hey, ya I know I got loads of “issues” in my real life, but there’s no real answers. Nobody is perfect”. So go to the extreme. As if anybody is saying this.

Being honest and understanding the inner war is essential to avoid the tragedy of being blindly driven by subconscious fallibility.  So please, pause a second and don’t say “Oh, no need to tell me about Christ. I already know”. When the reality of day to day life is full of denial of sad contradictions it only increases the misery and depression. Jesus says “The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). To replace this bad stuff with blessing merely requires simple humble honesty. So let’s go beyond this crumbling paradox of abysmal cynicism. 

Look man, I get it. I thought it. I did it. But please, give me a chance. There is a purity of reality that has been so defiled, and set aside as UNATTAINABLE, that it is accepted as normal Christian thinking but is straight from the pit of hell. You don’t have to go on with the inner war that you are dealing with. I am not lying, exaggerating or trying to sound ‘better than thou’. A life in the Holy Spirit is beyond the inner war and only requires truth.

The force of your will can bring you out of any darkness if you do what is necessary. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t know it all, hey? Maybe you haven’t “Been there, done THIS”. Let me help talk you through the most serious deception that most people accept as truth. After I met the living Jesus, I couldn’t figure out how to deal with ongoing depression and “issues” that I was told by “Christians” would disappear by a ‘sinner’s prayer’. 

So let me go back, for a second, to cite a microcosm of today’s cultural dilemna. My dad was a very angry selfish dude, but man, he was obsessed with church. So one day, out of nowhere, my mom comes home and says “I met the living Jesus. My dad got furious. I was shocked. Why would a “christian” rage against a wife who talks about Jesus? I began to probe their conflict and came to understand the absolute tragedy of christian hypocrisy.

Stay with me. First, can we agree our pride can be a tricky beast? It blinds us and drives us to say or do stuff that we later regret. We yearn for true understanding, forgiveness, meaning, identity, and love but pride insists “Oh I’m fine.” God promises to heal and fulfill us but how do we really get to God? Can you possibly put aside any self-righteousness presumption?

Deception does not wave giant red flags. Truth demands humble character. We face a need for a bandwidth of discernment. There are  67k denominations, 300k churches, and a glut of TV “preachers” mimicking gospel terminology with ersatz “compassion”. Like sheep, the multitudes do not question, but quickly accept, a lethal counterfeit of prosperity-tithing that exploits desperate men like pawns. Do you dare be an individual and seek the Word of truth of a living Jesus   (2 Cor.11:3-4)?

I grew up seeing my parents and many others destroyed by religion and refused to be a naive hypocrite or forlorn and cynical. I decided to make a straightforward deal with God. I asked for, and received, an “All-City” fullback award that I needed it to be recruited. But I “chickened out” of my part.  I even got worse into booze and drugs. Recruited by Central Mich. Univ. the team called me “The War”: badass image, but inside, terrified of hell. Why was I running from God?

Injuries threatened my football world. I couldn’t afford to stay in college so I made another deal with God. This time I contemplated the Scriptures and found out that our part of the deal is to come directly to Him and surrender our self; “lose your life to find it” the very answer to the inner war with self (Jn.12:25/6:37/Mt.7:7/Malachi 3:10). So, in my mind, faith was squarely on the line, dependent on whether a living Jesus would come to me.  I had also been reading a book about a caterpillar, a process of a dark cocoon, and a butterfly. Very relevant.

One spring day, my coach calls me in to his office and awards me a full-ride scholarship. I exploded with a “butterfly” dream. I was “playing with fire.” JESUS IS ALIVE! This was about not about football but my future life.  I walked outside and dove into a pond (I was later told it was filled with insecticides. Whoops). A few months later, I visited Notre Dame. While sitting in the stadium, I gave my self to the living Jesus. I didn’t know it then but I  was “born from above” on June 14th, 1974 (Jn.3:3-8).

I share all that, to say this: Jesus says “Come to ME… Learn from ME… MY ways are easy…” (Mt.11:28). He knew, back then, that He wouldn’t be in Israel when we read this. And He sure wasn’t calling us to a religous system, that ended up killing Him.  His Word is relevant today because He is here.  Give your self to Him. He will give Himself to you; a “life-giving spirit”; an inner man to conquer the inner war (1 Cor.15:45/Eph.3:16).

We look inside ourself for answers, but the need is to just be still, reflect, contemplate His promises, and look upward, call on His Spirit. The inner war is not some unique “personality flaw”: “Oh nobody knows what I’m dealing with”. It is in all of us like a poison in our blood. Satan tricked Adam to defy God (Rom.5:12). Sin  corrupted our entire flesh with a blotch of pure evil. 

I was thrilled to finally understand the evil in me as objective sin. God knows this yet loves me.  Ignorance to sin tricks us, ruins our lives, works death, and leads to hell (Rom.7:19 Rom.6:23/Rev.21:8). Paul speaks at length, contrasting a man of the Spirit to a man of the flesh. The ultimate purpose is to live beyond your problems so that other lost men can know the true gospel of Jesus. Jesus says forget about trying to make yourself perfect. It’s just more self-obsession. Love will take your mind off yourself.

Anyone who tells you that you can “better” your self is as ignorant as the phonies who dragged a sinner to the feet of Jesus. In one sentence, God, in Christ, nullified all human “righteousness”: ‘he who is without sin, stone her’ (Jn.8:7). There is no one righteous.. our heart is desperately sick… Pride must be “excluded” (Rm.3:10,27/Jer.17:9). We can never “better” our self because there is nothing in self better than self. We must look outside of ourselves. Run to, not away, from God. Today “Christians” want no part of suffering. Yet this is the true gospel. When Paul said he was “crucified” with Christ he meant it. 

We all crave to be, do or say what is right. But sinful flesh cancels out this possibility. We are tormented by failure. In Love, God designed a plan to rescue us from self; sin, ego, pride. It is not striving to be a Christian by applying Bible verses to our sinful flesh. It is coming to Jesus Who alone can mediate His plan to reconcile us to His Father. The plan demands our faith. It “reckons” to us the perfect righteousness acquired by the Risen Jesus.

This faith is the ultimate force of the universe. It instantly and automatically cancels all failure and sin and makes you right in God’s eyes (Rm.1:17, 10:9-10). This is the healing to your scars. It takes you beyond the inner war, onto the road of purpose and destiny. Joy proves and reflects this faith. God can finally look on us with the same favor as He does upon His Son (Rm.4:9/Phil.3:7-11). 

If we do not have clear discernment between the flesh and the Spirit, we will mistakingly identify the operations of the conscience as the Spirit, which will only result in legalism. Once a man comes into the Spirit the conscience must be cleansed because it fights against the Spirit. It must be “washed clean” from driving us to do good works to justify ourselves (Heb.9:14,10:22). 

The term living Jesus is not a novel cliche.  It is Biblical revelation and the only legitimate identity of the  living One waiting to come to our side right now.  He took on all your sinful ways, in His flesh, on the cross (Rm.6:6,8). Imagine replacing guilt with untouchable triumph; Free as a “butterfly”; a son of the Father (Jn.8:32,36/Gal.2:16-21/ 2 Cor. 5:17,6:17-18). A “deal”  for a material blessing does not compare to the exuberance of unlimited forgiveness, meaning, and things you never imagined from His Holy Spirit. To learn discernment of the Spirit requires the breaking of the “old man” and the witness of the Spirit to the inner man.

Upon graduation, I went to three seminaries;  MST, the priesthood and later Fuller Seminary but saw further into how Christianity is a counterfeit institution of with no answers but theology and social-political values. A system about Jesus is not the living Person of Jesus. You can learn tons of Bible knowledge, but none of it means that you have come to Him (Read Jn.5:39).

The true church is seen in the live in the Book of Acts 4:32. The ways of the Spirit are not some deep, hidden mystical formula. That kind of stuff is rooted in self-pride. The Spirit honors only childlike humility of faith. Having your guts ripped apart for Jesus and dealing with emotional struggle is part and parcel of the gospel (2 Cor.4:8-11).  It is turmoil beyond time, with an eternal purpose and reward. Glory to God!

A systematic approach to God of “Do’s” and “Dont’s” and striving to BE RIGHT dulls the instinctive impulse of our conscience to find the Personal love of our Creator (Rm.2:14/2 Cor.3:6). It exposes a clear void of the Holy Spirit. The downfall here is to instantly feel defensive and try to distance yourself from this reality. Rather, choose transparency before God. Be grateful to see the problem and identify your ignorance to the ways of the Spirit. There are scores of  “christians” strewn across the battlefield of life.  You don’t have to physically go to a church on Sunday to confirm the influence of our culture.

Everyone builds their own inner “church” of self- isolation. The question is whether  it is built on your “righteousness” or His? The snare of group think is man-think. So you don’t have to attend a building to be part of the system. You give up to man-thinking because you do not give in to Jesus thinking. A 1 hour system of 5, 10, or 20-minute segments, that you or others orchestrate,  cannot heal the inner war or give you “rivers of living water” (Jn.7:37-38).

We must come to understand that the edge between being in the Spirit and walking in the flesh is a mere decision of transparency away. It is the choice between humility or to remain proud and confident of carnal ways you choose to identify as God. I remember when I was riding in the hearse with my Dad, after my mothers funeral, he turned and said to me “I cannot recall even one of the reasons that I constantly fought with your mother”. It took him his whole life to reach this moment of subtle and partial humility. Full humility is no little thing.

I can not imagine how anyone lives their whole life in this lost world never knowing the individual touch of the love of Jesus. Stupid pride  leads men to hell.  Please, my friend,  dig deep into humility. Get real. Learn the power of contemplation (Rm. 4:19). Don’t let the scars win. Talk to God.  In a moment, you can choose childlike faith (Mt.18:3). The Spirit of Jesus has led me over decades to 50 countries to walk the city streets, campuses, prisons, ghettos, etc., and bring the living Bread to all who hunger. He is calling you by name to fulfill your destiny. Game?

If you’d like to help us reach people with the living Jesus, everything helps. We have no group that supports us. Thank you. More than anything we’d love to touch base with you if you’d like. We love you my friend!

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Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingJune 12, 2021

The Rugged Paths to “Accidental” Destiny

Have you ever heard people interpret the rugged misery of their broken lives as God’s will? As if using positive claims, Bible cliches and spiritual terminology magically hides grief and transposes sadness into happiness. As if a desired reality is created by interpreting things with ‘happy words’.  My friend, random circumstances, occur from self-centered living, not God’s will. It is heart-breaking to deal with this.

If only a little humility was used the outcome would be to UNDERSTAND God’s will.  Then, the happiness that people pretend to be real, could actually become real.

The common death-trap is to claim “I already know what is necessary to be saved”. It is poison. I have never met a musician or artist who says anything like this. They express a natural humility in light of the vast sum knowledge of their field. Yet, todays “Christian” conveys presumption as the apt tendency of spiritual pride. What person, in their right mind, would equate 10 words (I accept you Christ as my personal lord and Savior) to a fixed end of  knowing the omniscient eternal will of God?

The truth is that we all, as sin infected human beings, wander into the rugged scenes of this lost world. God does not display Himself like an image on a TV.  There are no defined paths on this earth. Every choice renders unknown consequences. No signs posted: THIS WAY TO GOD’S PERFECT WILL. We define reality by our senses. We want a feeling like a sugar-high from coffee and donuts. But God is Spirit and says we must become spirit to find His will (John 4:24,3:3/1 Corinthians 15:45).

In fact, be honest, everything seems a guess, so vague, both in, and around us, that natural human instinct ultimately predetermines the outcome of our choices to be whatever is most safe, comfortable and familiar. Right?

But let’s consider the supernatural.  How do we get THERE? Let’s consider what truth might bring us.  What if one day, we see a wrinkle, or two, or three  in the mirror, and realize time is on a fast track rushing us to death. We get scared. We choose to challenge the rugged appearance of things.  We slap fear in the face. We demean comfort for not being all it claims. What if we replace compliance with defiance to our natural instincts?

A professional photographer ventures into the wilderness with just a hope and a camera. His goal: capture that one picture when all the fascinating elements of nature converge to display the absolute glory of one pristine happening.  What if you could venture into the rugged challenges of life and learn how to acquire the capacity to capture moments of divine destiny? To “see” the Son in you is His promise (Col.1:27)?

The Wasted Grief over “Accidents”

People expend so much human energy on grief rather than discernment. Accidents and failures can become the means to become spiritual, rather than remain natural. You see my friend the truth is that ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, all of life, in this world, is an accident. But long ago the Father designed a plan to turn everything around THROUGH FELLOWSHIP in His Son.

Everything in life is a result of Adams sin. Everything in us and everything we touch and see is corrupt. Nothing we will ever experience from this world is perfect. Everything is held in the grip of Satan. It holds the potential for tragedy because sin is the essence of this world all around us. Sin is the curse upon this world and every man (Galations 3:10-16).

All our encounters with this world, with people, places and things, are in the rugged setting of the “accident” called sin. Our senses are inaccurate. But we can find destiny in every accident by a simple choice of faith. To bring faith to determine, rather than allowing things to determine. Jesus appeared in order to transform our every encounter with this world. When we are IN HIM He does this by bearing the grief in every situation, through the cross. He takes on the bad stuff of every encounter, then uses all the struggle to bring us into His Spirit, to see how everything it geared to glorify “the ONE seed”.

Instead of an accident we can enter His destiny; the Presence of the Father.

Everywhere we turn, everywhere we look, everything we touch in life is abounding in sin. Nothing is right. No one is right. Everything is an accident from what it could have been if Adam did not sin. Everything is rugged. But being IN CHRIST we can enter beyond the veil of outward circumstances to inward promises of God.

To consign ourselves to the safety and comfort “promised” by this world we settle into a future in a canoe headed over a waterfall.

Please my friend, let me explain something very beautiful. It scares away some but it offers the the thrill like walking a high wire. It is walking on the edge of divine reality. No other way to describe what the Father offers us.

The secret of “IN”

The Word of God is exactly this. He speaks and reveals His will but who “hear”. Who obey? Paul writes “Now the promises (words to find His will, here and now, His blessing in our inner experience; the actual eternal Character of Jesus) were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ” (Galations 3:16). In other words ALL activity of God is towards, in and with Jesus. Nothing He does is towards us; i.e. our body of flesh.

To claim that God is blessing YOU and YOUR life, when indeed, all men are under the curse of sin is just plain ignorant of truth and stupid. God does not bless any man. His blessing is to His Son; “not referring to many, but rather TO ONE”.  Period. So unless we are IN Christ, what we claim to be a “blessing” is nothing more than good feelings of the flesh. The only way out of the flesh  is IN Christ.

Paul uses the term “in Christ” over 220 times.

Faith is the only means to be in Christ. There is no ritual required. Remember any specific times when you were playing as a kid? Go back to those moments. Go back before the age when the world began to poison your mind with all it’s complicated pressures. That’s where you find faith. Remember when you first laid under the stars or realized the magnificence of creation? That was the “place” of innocence that God built His image for you to identify Him in all of His creation. That’s where faith is born. Abraham was the father of faith and it was conceived when he simply looked up at the stars and believed in God.

Abraham (Isaac, Jacob) became….IN CHRIST. David became…IN CHRIST. Job became…IN CHRIST. Every prophet became…IN CHRIST. Christ came upon men in the Old Testament but could not yet come within man due to sin. So Paul explains that the promise of Abraham, which was long before the giving of the law, actually supersedes the moral behavior demanded by the law.

Paul goes on to explain how ‘obeying the law’  (“trying to be a good better Christian”) can not “impart life”, but indeed, only results in further sin; self-righteousness (v. 21-22). In other words, the presumption of becoming a good Christian, is nothing but proud flesh. To relinquish this is to still the flesh and allow the spirit to believe God and receive His Son within you.

Scores of people claim God’s will is this or that: a job, marriage, car, circumstance, etc. They claim something that is not. God’s blessing is found in one simple way; to be IN CHRIST. Jesus fulfilled all things concerning the demands of the law for perfect moral behavior.

Paul explains that everything God does, is never an isolated focus on “seeds” (men), but always solely focused on Jesus. As wicked sinners we are unworthy of His holy eyes. Unless we are IN JESUS we can never receive His promises. Never. Our fallen flesh is despicable to Him.

My precious brother or sister let me help you figure out how to break through this rugged world and travel the terrain of our disgruntled human nature. You can yet capture and live in the Spirit of the Son. You can yet enter the destiny of God’s plan of redemption IN THE LIVING JESUS.

 

God brought all His “high and lofty” ways down to earth in Christ. He brought the very destiny of Jesus within our grasp. Don’t let this world win. Don’t let the picture of the rugged scene cause you to settle. God is waiting to lead you within His Son that you might be His love here to men. There is no greater joy than to be in the actual compassion of Jesus to men.

P.S. Over the last month we have been to over 20 prisons throughout the South. It has drained us beyond anything we’ve ever faced. Performing in 90 degree prison yards. We have touched such brutal suffering of so many individuals damaged by a system that breeds mental illness. Just imagine, every day behind barbed wire, secluded to one room,  facing 30 years as a 20 year old living in a room full of thirty guys. Every night hearing screams, crying, coughing, sickness etc. Please, I beg you, do not turn a deaf ear. I am not lying or exaggerating. In our nothingness we have clearly seen the magnificent workings of the Spirit bringing the gospel of Jesus to wounded men.

If anyone is in a position to help us we need a Cargo trailer. We almost bought one before we went to Brazil and when Covid hit all the prices soared so when we got back things were double the price. It’s been quite rugged. Now what used to be three thousand is twice the price. We just don’t have the room in our RV for all the stuff to work in the prisons. Surely the Lord can provide and I hope that mentioning it here might be a way. Thank you very much! We love you.

 

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TeachingJune 04, 2021

The Design of “By Accident”

Fascinating is the word I use to describe the intimate activity of the Father in the life of His Son, and, by consequence,  in me living the life of a son. I base this on the revelation of Galations 3:16. Paul explains that everything God does, is in, through and towards Jesus. He does nothing, in a sense, in isolated focus on us.  We are not worthy of His eyes.

So therefore it is to our utmost expediency to figure out what it really means to be In Jesus (THE seed). Only then can a man discover the design of God’s plan and eternal destiny.

This may sound a bit lofty, but actually anything about a Supreme Eternal Being is lofty. But God brought all His loftiness down and dirty in Christ to earth. So it simply means that everything about salvation depends on being IN the living Jesus.  Cuz we can’t get what He offers by prayers, church attendance or moral behavior. Only Jesus. Repeating 9 words in a “sinners prayer” does not quite fit the bill.

So our focus must become what does it practically mean to be IN CHRIST. What does it mean to be “anointed with Christ”; i.e. a Christian.

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TeachingMarch 24, 2021

SEE INSIDE

What do you “see” inside Jesus?

When John the Baptist saw this “guy”, walk up to him at the river, Jesus outwardly looked like any fellow human man. But John said “Behold, the Lamb of God….” (Matt.3:13/John 29,36). Why? John saw the unseen.  Pilate saw Jesus and said “Behold the man….”(Jn.19:5). Why? He chose not to see the unseen. When the Jews saw Jesus they said “He has a demon….” while others said they saw someone who was insane. (John 10:20).

What do you “see” inside Jesus?

Are you left with your self-pity and feelings of inadequacy or His majesty and living power? Do you engage or rationalize? Some people think, they not only deserve God’s favor, but that John 3:16 implies God could not resist loving them because they are so ‘lovable’.

The truth is that your life will reflect exactly what you see? If you force yourself to “see” the unseen, then this work will give  slowly but ultimately give birth to heart.

My friend, it surely is my utter privilege if I can be used in any way to help anyone come to know the living Jesus. This is my life focus. But it’s not up to me to save you. It’s up to you. It’s up to you to bring forth a heart to Jesus that shows you see inside of Jesus and realize His salvation is the most serious thing in the universe.

Have you ever read Proverbs 17:16? “Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no heart?”

It’s a like someone who thinks he is a marathon runner  because he watches, observes and expresses interest in a marathon. He’s run a bit and knows the feelings of sweat and exhaustion. But his deliberate choice to “jump the line” and see inside himself the capacity to run a marathon can be described as nothing other than stupid pride.  This absurd presumption is what Paul describes as the result of spiritual blindness and the curse and consequence of hubris.

Salvation occurs only if a person fully engages his will and consciousness to calculate and conclude that he must break with self and turn away from pride, once and for all (2 Cor.4:3-4 and 2 Cor. 3:16).

IT IS NO LONGER “I”

When Paul met the living Jesus he instantly explained “it is no longer I (ego, pride, self) who live” (Galations 2:20). This may be the most insightful verse of the Bible into the gospel because it defines the absolute necessity of replacing self life with the life of Jesus. It can only happen through the cross; “I (self, pride, ego) have been crucified with Christ”.

Sometimes people write me some token words on a page in an obvious sense of expecting me to feel giddy and privileged that they did so.  As if “Here I am. Now honor me by responding as I expect”. Like they are doing me a favor. Like they already know it all, but want me to see them as a peer and  give them some “spiritual stuff”. If you are side by side, with me, then show it by seeing Whom I see Jesus to be, and doing what I’m doing and living WHOM I’m living. See inside me with heart to “see” the living Jesus, not me.

My dear precious friend, do you not see that He sees inside you?

Your salvation is not up to you to define. The Scriptures reveal that, like Paul, we must receive, and obey, the REVELATION from God, not the culture or traditions of American Christianity (Galations 1:12).

It is not up to God to do something “special” for you. You don’t need some personal “vision” or “experience”. Salvation is finished. It is up to you to now believe, repent and receive the Spirit of the living Jesus. God did everything and Jesus completed salvation. It is a work so phenomenal that nothing needs to be done for you or anyone ever again. For you to realize this is totally dependent on the depths of your repentance.

God doesn’t need you. You desperately need God. Jesus says “If I be lifted up I will draw all men…” (John 3:14, 8:32,34). This term “lifted up” refers to the cross and is as impactful as when Israel obeyed God and physically riveted on the staff of Moses to be spared being bitten by snakes. When I focused on the Jesus my only question was such a One alive today Whom I could come to? It is the only “drug” from despair, guilt and depression. Paul says “But we SEE Jesus…” (Hebrews 2:9,12:2).

What are you going to see? It’s up to you. How serious are you about eternal life?

To go to heaven requires the full engagement of your will. It’s not a part time hobby. I seek the living Jesus with a panting heart, like a deer craving water;  like a runner dashing towards the finish line. Everything in my life is consumed with Him.  This ‘race’ it is not, like the story of the turtle and the rabbit, where “slow and easy wins the prize”. No turtles. Just rabbits. Paul says “I beat my own body and make it my slave” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

It’s about snapping your mind into subjection and changing your ways. It’s about exerting heart. Replace a lazy slothful disposition with a ‘heads up’ awareness. Changing the words you say and the way you say them. Replace defensiveness with quick-twitch humility and sorrow. Find HEART. Force yourself to “see” the unseen (John3:3ff). To comprehend and contemplate into the deep heart of Jesus.

You got to get out of the quick sand of self-pity. It will kill you a slow death.  Then you got to see it as poison. Self-pity is NOT entitlement due to God’s neglect but the wall of separation from God. The very first commandment of Jesus is to love the Lord with all your heart.

Everything, and I mean everything, in the words of Jesus in the Scriptures is a command to ACT. It is a summons and a call to CHANGE. Not to sit back and “wait” (The Hebrew word for “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 is “expect”) by listening to lazy lies and excuses.  Expect the living God to bless obedience not to bathe you with compliments over an appearance of religiosity because of occasional good works.

God is no beggar. He needs nothing from you.  He is King.  He only desires heart. To see Him for Who He is. The great “I AM THAT I AM”. It is not for us to be in control and He to be our Butler so as to serve us whatever we think we need. Anything and everything we can do is only what we should do out of heart (Luke 17:10).

The cross is not a past historical event but a living power (Phil.3:10/1 Cor.15:31/Rom.6:6). It is the only “place” for a wicked filthy wretch. It is the only “experience” where the essence of salvation can take place. It means one thing: death. It stands front and center for us to see. Without it there is no reality of Jesus. The cross is the only  living active “power of God” (1 Cor.1:18).

Whenever I mention the cross people instantly become ‘deaf’ because they do not understand its practical positive implications.

The cross is the only place to start; to learn. The very first command of Jesus is “If anyone wishes to follow Me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” (Luke 9:23/Matt. 10:38).

The cross results, not in morbid misery, but in unspeakable joy of freedom from self. Jesus then fills this void with love and creative intelligence to care for others. To have compassion  and make others laugh instead of cry, to lift prisoners and the homeless, drug addicts and the suicidal out of the dungeons of darkness.

There is a fascinating Scripture in Matthew 11:7-19. Jesus asks the crowds what the exact motives were that drove them to go out to see in John, in responding to the rumors of a man in the wilderness baptizing people. He first refutes the typical expectations for self-comfort or appearance. Jesus cuts through all the games and ignites dynamite with the declaration that what they were SEEING INSIDE John was greater than anything seen in any man before him.

Right there, in a common shabby, weak,  human being resided the ultimate manifestation of the Most High. It is what happens in someone who chooses to engage God in Jesus. Jesus gave great esteem to John because what it required from him to “seize” this revelation was an attitude of “violence” (v. 12). John was not exactly sitting around waiting for God to “lead” him or “bless” him. Obedience starts with true faith to act.

It’s almost as if Jesus is ‘tongue in cheek’ when He asks “What did you go out to see? A reed blown by the wind?”. As if what was in John resulted from him being a religious wimp. In fact Jesus doubles down on the power of will in John by saying “no one has ARISEN amongst men” like him. It was Johns choice to “arise” from living amongst the ways of a lazy human race to LIVE for what he saw inside Jesus. Does you will blow in the wind like a reed? Seize control my brother or sister. It will blow your mind.

It was John who exerted the engagement of his will to such an extent that it literally made Jesus pause and marvel. It was kind of the same response when Jesus watched King David deploy his heart on earth.

This was a similar situation with a woman whom Jesus called a dog and she responded “YES….but even dogs will eat crumbs from your table” (Matthew 15:27/Mk.7:28). In a very mundane common day experience for Jesus in the house of lowly woman one of the most profound things was revealed: our nothingness is our only gateway to His love.

Then in the following parable of Matthew 11:16-19 Jesus lets us have it. He basically says that people expect God to do a song and dance for them if they wiggle a little ‘bait’ in front of him by a feigned twitch of religiosity. As if acting christian just blesses the socks off of God. Like “WOW! You actually might consider MEEEEE!”.

Jesus didn’t tell this parable because it is a rare attitude. People, in general, act like God owes them answers and should be at their feet if they clap their hands to Him. No, my brother, this ain’t it. You got a loooong ways to go before you have a clue. The darkness and evil of our wicked nature has only one vortex upon it and that is from the winds of the fires of hell. For God to actually have done what He has done in Jesus is so far beyond anything we will ever deserve, the only appropriate response is absolute worship.

So what I am saying my dear friend, is that all that attitude of thinking that you deserve answers is very… ready for this… “sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). We ‘deserve’ nothing but hell. Entitlement is sin. It is self. It is pride. It is the world of “ME” first. No matter what you ‘think’ you deserve, in the eyes of the Master of the Universe you are nothing. Any sense of “Hey, I’m here for you to love me” means you are totally missing the gospel.

The Father has provided, not only the way, but all the means necessary, grace, wisdom, forgiveness, etc., for you to SEE INSIDE and enter into the heart of the living Jesus. And this is the judgement “Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light…but he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deed may be manifested…” (John 3:19ff). Jesus is soon to return. This is no game. Please, wake up.

Someone who comes to the Light shows Jesus to the world so they can SEE INSIDE.

 

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingMarch 07, 2021

High-ways

His ways… are High-ways. They are the roads upon which the lowly travel. 

“As high as the heavens are above the earth so are My ways above your ways”

Isaiah 55:9

Imagine the journey of learning hand in Hand with Jesus of His comfort and compassion. (Com-”with” /Passion- “suffering”)How can such a word express the ultimate love of God? Because it IS the greatest love another man both needs and wants; a suffering love. This is the kind of love He offers you right now through His Spirit.

So many times in dealing with people, I can see by their lack of response they don’t get what I’m saying. I see a “blank look”.  So I realize how far away they are because they just don’t understand my terminology when speaking of God’s ways. It’s not that I am speaking in a sophisticated manner with big words and lofty ideas. Quite the opposite. My tone and words are in the realm of “nothingness” and this language is simply and deliberately not understood by those who do not want to walk this road.

I walk a highway. On this highway, I have walked for over 45 years. It is the highway of the cross. I know even this very word “cross” is not understood as a way in which to walk unless you walk it. But it has brought me to the lowlands where there is absolutely NOTHING. 

This “highway” is humility. Not false piety. It is the seeing of myself as dust and ashes. It is here on this road of nothingness that a man can choose to believe and thus begin to  “see” the Kingdom of the living Jesus(Jn.3:3). It is out of the ruins of our sinful ways that we realize the utter futility of all earthly striving. The only stimulus is pride and when that pride collapses we are left to see the nothingness. And when you truly see that you are nothing then there is nothing to be proud of. 

 

When I speak to people about this kind of humility I see instantly that the natural man is offended. He has no idea how to find this highway because all he travels on is the highway of mankind which is pride. This is quite a remarkable reality. 

 

How can a man  NOT find humility?!  It’s right there, in front of his nose. Duh! But it’s true.  The “highways” of humility are those that automatically lead to the revelation of God’s wisdom, truth, grace and ultimately His Son, the living Jesus. 

 

It’s not a way that is at all common to men. It’s not like just one description away. Like, if I can spend the time and vocabulary and articulation then, ahhh, finally, you will understand what I’m saying. No. You will never understand if you travel the highways of man.

Jesus says “I praise You, Father,….You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants…this is WELL PLEASING in your sight” (Matthew 11:25-26).

 

The highways of the Father are an entirely hidden way. You have to go down broken roads and evaluate “pot holes” of the past obstacles  in your mind and heart. Transparency is the map which  leads beyond all obstacles to the High-ways of the Spirit.  Most people who start out just refuse to travel in such a way. They don’t want to “lose face”. They hold on to what they have, afraid to let go of it. Unbelief. 

 

Truth is another highway of thinking that is just so far beyond the roads of men. Lies and pretense are so built into the psyche of men that they accept it as their truth. So the real truth is defined as non-truth. Truth is a painful road because it shows us the reality of who we are and who we are not. But truth, apart from the Spirit of truth, results in cynicism. Truth in the shadow of the Most High results in light and ultimately rebirth. 

 

I realized how blessed I am to have chosen to travel the roads of humility and truth, so long ago,  that today, these days, I instantly know “where“ they are. I know how to find them. I watch the majority of men travel the low roads of nothingness that lead to the low ways of constant failure, grief, blame, accusation, unbelief, pride, equating material wealth with spiritual blessing, and the selfishness and rebellion which all of it breeds. 

 

They are going nowhere. My friend, please listen to me,  one little choice can make a world of difference. The High-ways of the Almighty lead to high hopes and high times of wisdom and joy and the blessing that only comes from His hand in a lowliness of spirit. He makes them appear out of the ‘wilderness’ of our brokenness (Is.43:19). It is absolutely beautiful that God has chosen that a man does not have to be “somebody” but rather nobody.

It always amazes me that He chooses to reveal His High- ways to the rejected, the weak, the contrite, the crushed (Is.57:15/1Cor.1:27-28).

 

 Jesus says, “…I am lowly of heart” Matt.11:25-28. This is the ‘down to earth’ disposition in which He reaches out to introduce and teach of the manifold roads that unfold within us to the Father’s character.

 

When you step out beyond your weakness to draw your strength from His…

 this is when you find the “highways to Zion” are paved from within

(Ps.84:5).

His High-ways are inviting saying… “Come follow me”…

calling out to the lowliest of the lowly.

For to all who are contrite, 

He lifts upon the highest heights,

raising up the bowed down to lead them

 on the solid ground of His delight.

For in Jesus, God showed us His lowly,

His condescension pulls us closely,

and upon His High-ways…

our heart is filled to overflowing!

– (poem by Elizabeth)

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Adventure, Teaching, TravelsAugust 30, 2020

You can reach your Pinnacle

Create feathers out of failures and turn your wounds into wings.

A “pinnacle” is the highest peak of individual fulfillment. Ever since childhood we each hope for such fulfillment.  But bad things can happen that make us feel like our dreams are lost. But I am living proof that all things are possible for him who believes.

Pin·na·cle / pinək(ə)l/ Latin- pinna: wing

1. A towering peak, as of a mountain, or rock high above the ground.
2. The word used to define greatness, to be the best. The highest point or the culmination of one’s potential.

I know an inmate from a 3rd world prison. He was falsely convicted of a capital crime and headed for Death Row. Imagine: His hands and feet were shackled as he shuffled past cages with a stench like a zoo and sounds of shouting, crying and screaming. So I’d like to start here, at the bottom of life. 

The word “Truth” comes from a Greek word: alethea. It means REALITY. It is an illusion that happiness rules this world. The truth is that suffering rules this world. Injustice, corruption, greed, lust, rage, divorce, drugs, homelessness, orphans, financial ruin, sickness, physical and mental scars are reality. Every single on of us deals with our own level of unique pain. But the abyss of hopeless despair is the same.

THE ORIGIN OF WINGS

Imagine a carpenter in his workshop. One day, Jesus is working on a table for a neighbor. He strikes a nail with His hammer into the wood from a tree he cut down. Suddenly, His mind launches into anguish of thoughts over the pain of nails piercing His own very hands and feet as He is soon to be sprawled out upon a cross. He can’t escape the living nightmare because He knows it’s real. It’s going to happen. He is no longer “there” as Josephs’ son, but transfers into the contemplation as the Father’s Son. He ponders His purpose, His mission, His agony.

“Can I endure it?” He wonders. “I must… I will.” Jesus knows He is our only hope. He knew He would carry heavy wood, step by step, up the hill, that would become the very altar upon which He would sacrifice Himself for us. So right then, right there, in those moments, in his carpenter’s workshop, Jesus forged THE ATTITUDE He needed to make it through the life He chose to live. This is how you make wings. You forge them in His “workshop” of anointed heart and mind contemplation in His Holy Spirit (Jn.14:23).

It is not up to God to equip you to serve Him. You see, my friend, this is what it means to make wings. It’s about you. Your will. Your choice. Jesus was able to ‘fly above’ death itself because He forged such will. You must learn to use your faith to draw upon this same attitude of His Spirit: WINGS.

Isn’t it wonderful that God designed the heart not as a pre-molded mechanism. It can grow and expand in its capacity as large and even enormous as we so choose the right decisions for redemption. God doesn’t create our wings. We do. Jesus says faith is like a tree that starts small but can become huge (Mark 4:31).

I sometimes recall the night I was face down in a jail sewer hole. I saw into the abyss of my nothingness. It scared me. I felt as a slain soldier looking for a place to crawl off the battlefield of life. A few weeks later my college football buddies and I were downing beers and eating cookies that my mom sent in a huge box.

All of sudden “BOOM!” My buddies fled like a hand grenade landed at our feet. A little book appeared in that box that scared them silly. But I refused to let the refusal of others, to be real, keep me from finding reality. I began to read that little book and it began to lead me down the path to my pinnacle.

You must fight, like your life depends on it, because it does. 

When God came to earth, He didn’t come in a circus act as a ‘fat cat’ in fame and fortune. That would have given us false happiness. You see, my friend, Jesus is that prisoner I mentioned above on Death Row, in my opening. He chose the bottom of life, so He could show us that He can lift anyone to their pinnacle, no what their circumstances are on earth, no matter what our past has done to us.

Wings are portrayed as a Hollywood gimmick or fantasy. But I’m here as your brother who loves you, like an archer with a loaded bow, to pierce through the lies with a straight arrow of absolute truth: WINGS ARE REAL!

Let your light shine before men (Matthew 5:14-16). Above my family and I are taking a creative photo in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Our goal is to be as those who search out and rescue anyone lost in the vast wilderness of this dark world.

Everyone knows that the labels men put on other men make them feel “better”, while degrading the victims with twisted facts and accusations. The truth is we are all offenders, all the same, potential “drug addicts”, “murderers”, “perverts”, “drunks”, etc. and God loves each one of us. No one is “better” than anyone. God does not see lust, booze or drugs as hereditary, personal, “addictions” but as the result of isolated pain and our desperate need for salvation by the revelation of His love.

Depression is not a unique “personality disorder”. It is a common struggle resolved by understanding and “seeing” human nature as God does9. All thoughts can and must be deactivated by truths (2 Cor.10:3-5).  

God is not a Monster spewing wrath but a compassionate Father waiting to help you find your greatest gift. Wings are the unparalleled capacity to see divine reality and by this “seeing” to be empowered to act accordingly. And by this personal dynamic, we learn how to transform our own wounds to rise above everything we face. You don’t need a doctor, church, pastor, drugs, therapy, etc. You need to change.

If you cannot LEARN you will not fly. If you will not LEARN you can not fly.

Ignite your will. Wake up my friend before it is too late. If you think “Oh no problem. I can be truthful” then you ain’t got a clue to the truth. It is in fear and trembling that I must fight to reckon myself to the cross so that the Spirit of Truth might have His way. Doing what you know you should do is what you must DO (Hosea 4:1). It starts with one step. Step by step, results in getting to your pinnacle! Let the wind of the Spirit kiss your face with the vision of eternal life.

Wings begin as you begin to turn away from phony pretense to gut-wrenching truth of who you are. My friend, your life can become INCREDIBLE. I hear thousands of people tell me the same exact line of regret over the time waisted and the wish that they could go back and do it over. God says you must not think like this ( Ecc. 7:10,8:12 / Rm.8:28/ Eph.1:11).

If you can read this…You can yet reach your pinnacle.

You can turn your failures into feathers by allowing your suffering to crush your pride and release your faith.

What is your “True Grit”? If you are willing to switch natural instincts for trained responses, you can elevate your 5 senses to see, hear, touch, sense and taste divine reality. You must take divine promises and put them into your daily thought process. In order to make a delicious meal a chef must take ingredients off the shelf. He uses his own ingenuity to put together a meal to eat. Spiritual ideals do no good sitting ‘out there’. You must take them from being “out there” and put them into practice.

My story is not born from an “altar call” or “sinner’s prayer”. It is born from above, where eagles glide in the freedom of open skies. Jesus says “Unless a man is born from above he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”24. I was in the football stadium of Notre Dame when I RESOLVED to follow Jesus. I didn’t demand or expect any “experience”. I just conceded to what my conscience had long craved. What is there to lose if you know you are nothing?117 Jesus says “the truth shall set you free”(Jn.8:32). I ‘died’ to take a chance. Now

I see… therefore I’m free.

Faith is not fairy dust or wishful thinking. It is calculated resolution of individual heart. It is intimate engagement between you and God alone. It is acting according to God’s Word. Faith is like an instrument that God created. But He leaves it to us to compose our music.

Dealing with both sides of crime, both criminals and military, is an amazing place to understand the ways of human nature and God’s unconditional love. All of us are bound by the same INSTINCT of pride but each of us can choose to RESPOND different.

It has been 45 years that I have been making decisions of how to turn my failures and wounds into feathers and wings. I have spent day after day, night after night, in deep fellowship with Jesus, exchanging attitudes of failure and wounds for feathers and wings. David says he learned to fly “under the shadow of His wings”.

People ask “How can ancient Scriptures impart wings?” They don’t. It is by our faith that we “see”, beyond the black letters on white pages in the heart of the living Jesus Who and are thus compelled by His Spirit to act.  Feathers are offered in the “I see” moments of Biblical revelation. Jesus says “My burden is LIGHT…”. 80 You can replace a heavy heart with this “feather” of God’s Word. The impact of your life depends on the degree you expend of your will power (Mt.11:12).

We can heal our own sorrows, regret and pain by a simple choice of individual faith. We can choose to touch, taste, feel, sense, and see; to BELIEVE in the reality of the living Jesus, more than what our physical or emotional senses dictate our situation should be. 

When you hurt someone or are hurt by them, humility is reconciliation. 9 You have hurt God, and been hurt by Him. The wounds that break you can also provide the wisdom to learn to “see” your failures and His redemption; wings (Read Jeremiah 30:12-17).

“He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge” said David. What specifically was David thinking in his language of wings? It was not mere poetry. David knew something profound to which he had access (Psalms 91:4,17:8,36:7,57:1,63:7).

The strategy of hell is to take advantage of self-pity and ignorance, and thus cripple our mind with confusion and subtle accusations against God. Slowly this can harden our heart. Our will falls limp, and we give up. This is the strategy of the devil by which he wins countless souls. No one else knows it or sees it but God, and you. But we can turn off the dripping faucet of negativity by engaging our will, intelligence, and shut down thoughts from the abyss.

Jesus conquered The Abyss and every hellhole on earth (Rev.9:11). So He can cover every aspect of every struggle. There are not 10 abysses. There is only one. We see into it through the hole in our heart. Jesus can reach into this “hell hole” because He overcame the human wound of sin with His new divine wings of a resurrection heart.

This is exactly WHY I dare to fly. I know how to transform my failures into feathers. My wings grow bigger because His love has no measured limit.

Someone is waiting for you to tell them that God loves them. Anyone around you, like even those “rioters” on the streets, who are suffering from no purpose or love. Can you reach deep and expand the capacity of your heart? They may be about to fall off the edge and God’s love moving you to love them, can not only spare them, but lift you closer to your pinnacle.

There is something terrible “in the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The bothersome depression “I just can’t ‘put my finger on it” is designed precisely to keep you from doing so. We are subject to a fierce unseen battle of hostility and hatred. The Scriptures warn “in the last days lawlessness will increase… ” and “Satan prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (Mt.24:12/1 Pt.5:8).

The pinnacle of your will is required to triumph in these last days. Please, listen to me.

You can’t change or eliminate evil. It’s not going to go away or get better. But you can learn to cover, compensate and rise above it. This is the endeavor to build-out WINGS. God does not drop His power out of the sky. We must each learn how to receive and express His love out of which comes the desire and investment of will to build our wings.

We each choose our level of response to Jesus. Thus, I create my individual manner of tone, vocabulary, sensitivity, creativity, investment of my own belongings and personality to express my love for God and each person I meet. I choose the level of my energy in how, or what, will be most effective. His love comes under me and I choose to sprout my wings. We choose every aspect of who we are. What I’m saying is that God does not give us wings. We must learn how to create them.

If wings can lift someone out of the worst situation how much more anyone in a lesser situation?

No greater love than a man lay down his life…. Antwon is ecstatic about just being released from prison. David was able to help him get a place to live.

Reach for your pinnacle, and find something you never imagined. If you won’t try to find wings, you can’t deny that they exist. “Oh, but you don’t understand how bad I got it”. You’re right. No one can, but the Father does. His love can redeem even the worst situation (Rm.8:28) 

In conclusion, my friend, I ask you to ponder that facial look of unflinching courage on the face of an eagle. This is the attitude we must build within our will, to build our wings here and now. God cannot lie. He “swears” to “bless” (total package of help, grace, strength etc.) to create your wings in The Pinnacle of His Son (Hebrews 6:13-19).

 God told Ezekiel ‘I have made your face harder than your enemies…like a rock’ (Ez.3:9). This is godly defiance. To defy yourself and this world for the sake of faith in the living Father; Abba! Daddy! It is the very first thing a man receives, and proof of, the Holy Spirit (Galations 4:6).

In the cold shivering of this brutal world, the Father calls you by name. He yearns for you to understand the language of “Abba! Father!”15 It is the Eagles screech that God teaches us as we learn to build our wings. This prayer is the language of desperation. Begging is the norm. Like a majestic eagle on high, His silent voice screeches across the blue skies…

‘Why do you say that the justice due you escapes My notice’…Lift up your eyes and see Who created the stars…because of the greatness of My power not one is missing…Behold, the Lord God will come to you with might…His reward is with Him…Like a shepherd He will gather you under His arms…though you grow weary and tired and stumble badly yet those who EXPECT the Lord to come will mount up and ascend on high with wings like eagles’ (Isaiah 40) .

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
Adventure, TravelsMarch 22, 2020

THE SECRET ANTIDOTE

The abandoned streets, from Las Vegas to Barcelona, from New York to Madrid reflect our entire world is in a dark “lockdown”, at a loss and in desperation. It is only natural to question, if God exists, why would He allow so much suffering and death? Isn’t God supposed to be loving?

As this deadly virus obliterates the world around us, you, of course, are not shaken in the slightest. You are confident that you know everything relevant to your present existence on earth. You know exactly what’s going on and what to do. Right?

Of course not. Everyone is at a loss for answers. The truth is, no one on earth has ever faced such calamity. Who does not feel utterly inadequate in such a time as this? As a friend, I ask you to take this attitude of humility and go far deeper. Let it trigger in you a place you’ve never gone; a deep calculation of individual accountability; “What am I going to do?”. Humility is the road that will offer you real answers.

We have preached the living Jesus on the streets of New York, Tokyo, Chicago, Rio, Paris, Madrid etc. We have touched the suffering of multitudes but never the shock of something that can only be answered by the living God. But the gut reaction of many is to accuse God of enjoying the terrible suffering of mankind: “He must be some kind of monster”. But this thinking is not objective consideration of sound reasoning of Biblical revelation and the human conscience. It is rooted in an emotional knee-jerk grudge against God as a result of some prior ill-effect from the world upon one’s life experience. An intelligent analysis of even the most basic facts eliminates such distorted accusations.

Instead of remaining in the dark, the Father beckons YOU to come into His light and discover a new place of secret things occurring behind the frightening scenes on TV. He is using this disaster to draw a human heart into the life-transformation of the death of His Son. This is no little thing. People are conditioned by Hollywood movies of zombies and apocalyptic scenarios where men conquer “end time” conflict in a sensational world setting. “Lights, camera, monsters, lightning, action…”. The reality is Jesus shall return in the most mundane and common setting; like a “Thief in the Night” (Rev.15:16, Mt.24:43, 1Thess.5:2).

This is about a real battle for human souls. And you are the ONE He is looking at right now. God is offering you, this “acceptable time”, to get alone and learn His secret antidote (2 Cor. 6:2/Heb.3:7,-11,4:7). The spread of this virus is not instigated by the wrath of God. One “little” fact. God was not behind all the wars, crimes, disease, etc. throughout time. The Scriptures reveal that the devil, not God, rules this world. He has all power to use all evil to destroy mankind (Mat.4:6, 2Cor.4:4, Rev.12:9, Jn.12:13, 1Jn.5:19). It is God, the Father, Who initiated merciful redemption, despite man’s rebellion to Him, to send His Son to earth to rescue us from this world (John 10:10).

Please, I beg you, to stop and ask yourself; “Do I really know God? Do I really understand what it means to know the living Jesus?”. You are at risk of hell, and have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by deep humility. Even as you read this, most will gloss over what I write, driven so deeply by a “virus” far more deadly than this. For generations Satan has long been spreading another kind of “virus” called presumption. I would beg you to: S.T.O.P:

  1. Stop in everything you DO or SAY and…
  2. Think. Reevaluate the quick response by your instincts.
  3. Open your heart to God. What is your actual state of mind and heart.
  4. Pray like never before. Just shoot from the hip. Beg God to protect you from presumption. Talk to Him from your depths.
In our weakness, fear and lazy nature we “seize” His grace, power and revelation. We are a family that has fought for years to stand for the living Jesus. God can not save our shattered hearts with “Christian” formulas and platitudes. We have worked in prisons and seen how the Father brings lasting salvation to a person who reaches his reaches beyond token Christianity.

No one likes violent ways. No one listens to radical voices. I am not a religious zealot on a wrath-of-God rampage. I am a son. I am your brother, fighting with you, and for you, to help you understand that God is a very holy Creator and Father. He is not bum on a park bench or a passing stranger with an opinion. I love you man. But Jesus warns that a “violence” of will is essential to get beyond our lazy and selfish ways, escape the perils of this world and break into the reality of a fearful God (Mt. 11:12,4:1-11/Rev.12:9/John 12:31/ 1Jn.5:19).

You are not a scarecrow dangling from a post in a corn field. You have a power to awaken what God has put in you, the free will. It has the capacity, when united with faith, to touch the supernatural. It is God created and God imparted and if you will reject the claims and excuses of a victim and exert the attrition of a fighter you will receive great reward (Heb.11:6).

THE “VIRUS”

Do you understand how “presumption” is like a deadly “virus”? It entered our human bloodstream 10,000 years ago when Adam sinned. Satan designed presumption as the thinking to separate all mankind, from God (Gen.3:4/2 Cor.10:3). We think exactly what Adam and Eve thought; “I already know God. Therefore I can presume He is with me in what I choose to do”. It is the arrogance that God is subject to YOU rather than you are subject to Him. Presumption is deference to SELF, instead of a bended knee and bowed head of obedience. Don’t let this be a platitude. Stop… Open… Pray… A unique response is “What more can I do to know You oh God?”. To admit your void of God is not to deny a prior “commitment” but to dare upon the mercy of God at the price of your humiliation. How much more does God need to shake you to wake up? There comes a time when He sees the casual indifference and self-righteous response and says “Fine. Your choice”.

Jesus says; “I warn you whom to fear: fear the One, Who after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5).

Stay with me. This is crucial. If you think this does not pertain to you, presumption is working perfectly. It is the reason for all your problems. You see, presumption is what gives you a feeling that everything is fine with God, when it is not. We are all born with a phenomenal knowledge of God already in our conscience. This knowledge is tragically equated with a relationship with Jesus (Rm.1:20).

in South American prison
Prisoners are hated by society but loved and honored by God because the injustice they suffer makes them a special class of people whose presumption is broken, making them open to the gospel. This is very rare in the outside world.

We live in a “Christian” world where the knowledge of Christ is common. It streams to us in multitudes of venues. Millions of preachers and “churches” flood the cities and airwaves. This glut of Christian knowledge has greatly increased presumption (1 Cor.8:1-3). Jesus says even knowledge of the Scriptures results in presumption, without directly coming to Him (Jn.5:39-40)

Our con science (with knowledge) reflects the image of God. It also resounds to us of His Character, regardless of whether men deny it (Read Romans 1:20,2:14). So presumption says “I already have all this knowledge about God. I don’t need to go to the cross and lose my life in Jesus”.

David begs God to protect him from this foul attitude because presumption of God is defiance to God (Ps.19:13). It exposes ignorance to the intimacy of Jesus. Consider Job. Initially he exalted in his wisdom of God. But when he finally came into His presence he shut his mouth and put his face to the ground (Job chapter 42). An eternal God can not be known by a finite brain. Can you imagine standing before God and saying “Hi God. I already know You so I’m fine”? Absolute stupidity.

This is a prison where we shared at length with a man who had been involved in war crimes in Europe, but you would never imagine from his gentle spirit and repentant heart. The men were so grateful the second day the men put up “thank you” signs and gave each of us a hand made gifts.

God tests each of us for the “virus” of presumption. Then, on the spot, He presents the results to our conscience. When you insist that you already know God, but deep inside, you are fully aware that you are not in fellowship with Him, your conscience is tormented because you are living a lie. It reverberates with the symptoms of deep anxiety, the false sense “I’m fine”, frustration over lack of change, spiritual laziness, blame, and self-pity. All these expose the void of the living Jesus. It is a foundation in presumption. Obligation and guilt replace a sincere love for God.

Tragically, this “virus” of presumption does exactly the opposite of what you think. It does not give you a relationship with God. It takes away all the time and hope of you building one. If you are not “violent” against presumption it will kill you, like it does to billions. No matter how much you may know “God RESISTS the proud” (Jm.4:6/1 Pt.5:5). The secret antidote?

“Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose…The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His promises to them…How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You…You hide them in the protection of Your presence” (Psalms 25:12-14,31:19).

So I ask you. Would you like, once and for all, to extinguish the flames of presumption? To not leave one ember of pride burning. To look at its face in the mirror and say “I shall defy that defiance. I shall fear God. I shall learn to love God”. (Rm.3:18, 5:12)? If Jesus humbled Himself how much more should we (Phil.2:5). If He became a bondservant, and washed His brothers filthy feet, how low will we go to behold the Father as He did?

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov.9:10).

God has done His part to literally ‘scare the hell out of us’. Now it is our part to put our face in the dust and realize we deserve hell fire. People throw around the word “sinner” like it means a social misfit. When in reality it is the most offensive word in the human language. God says we are not basically good, but essentially wicked (Rom.3:10-12 Is.59:4-11). Where are you sitting? Find the tiniest particle of dirt closest to you. Put it on the tip of your finger. It has more value than our life. “…We are but dust.” (Ps.103:14). This realization is the attitude that Paul used to fight presumption (1 Cor.4:13/1Tim.1:15, see also Job 25:6). It was not a complication but a qualification for God’s grace.

Now how does that strike you? Can you get “there”? This honesty puts us in the perfect position for mercy. On the ‘heart-monitor of meaning’ our lives read out as a flatline. In fact, our life is worse than nothing, because our wicked ways are an assault on the nature of a holy God. When I first realized this, it did not offend me, it freed me from striving to be what I knew I wasn’t; a good person. I then learned to live by faith in Jesus.

Answer this: Why is it we want others to think we are something that we are not? Why do we hide our little stupid stuff from everyone? Because we know that what we really are is wicked, while at the same time project to others our presumptuous ways. The only way to break this stronghold is to set our will on being transparent about our sin (John 3:14).

Let me help you find His road for you to journey. God is the road to God. It is marvelous because He is marvelous. Paul said “I have learned the secret…” (Phil.4:12). Paul traveled this “secret” road with others who understood that the secret of God.. IS.. God.

The secret antidote to presumption requires a depth of transparency. It is here where the fear of God goes from being an ambiguous term to a reality in your life. Paul said he was the worst sinner and ‘the scum of the earth’ (1 Tim.1:15/1 Cor. 4:13). He saw humiliation, not as demeaning, but as a means to learn transparency. For when you know that you deserve eternal torment in hell this changes everything. Whatever it takes to brake your pride then becomes a blessing (Ps.84:10).

Lesson 101 in the fear of God; nothing should be based on the measly in’s and out’s of whether this or that happens in your life. God is not a means to an end, but the means and the end. “Oh the depths and riches of God…” said this man who was beaten, homeless and shipwrecked (Rom.11:33).

On the grounds of our last prison there was a gorgeous rose bush. The rose was packed with aroma exactly like the ones in my mothers garden when I was a child. God says that His creation radiates His glory so that His Character is “clearly seen” (Rm.1:20,2:14). My conscience was saturated by the sound of bugs, movement of wings, intricacy of leaves, vines and branches. So at the proper time I just followed the lead of my conscience to Jesus.

No mind can fathom His beauty. His glance gives birth to galaxies. Ocean waves explode at His nod. The sun sits still while gigantic planets zoom about it in perfect rotation. He hears every sound, frequency and whisper. He knows how many times every animal blinks. His compassions for mankind moved Him to sacrifice His only Son and attack us with mercy like an army sent to rescue. He is the “Watcher of mankind” (Job 7:20). His majesty reigns forever. My heart grieves for all those suffering at this time. If anyone will hear what their conscience tells them, they will recognize God calling them to escape the fear of the virus by the fear of His Holy Word.

We must learn, like Job, that regardless of any suffering, God is worthy to bow in silent tongue and worship Him. If we are in touch with God we realize it is not “What about ME?”. The outcome of true repentance is not self-happiness but to walk in awe of God. This is to give Him His due. This is contentment and peace of mind. It is what everyone is seeking at this time of consternation. It is the blessing of knowing the secret (Phil. 4:12,6-7). No more contending with God that He must be, or do, what we want.

We declare “YOU ALONE ARE GOD. AND THERE IS NO ONE LIKE YOU”. And for this holy decision He renders reward (Heb.11:6).

One of the many online photos taken of us preaching Jesus in a swarming downtown in Brazil Mardi Gras. A few days later the streets are completely empty because of the virus.

The living Jesus knows the secrets of God and the secrets of our sin. He knows the lingering effects of presumption (2 Cor.4:4). On the cross, Jesus produced the ultimate antidote, to mediate the secret sin in our heart with the secret of a holy God. So He designed a humility not found in the common market. It remains presumption to “the wise and intelligent” and is revealed in the spirit of truth to a little “child” (Mt.11:25).

The word “secret” in Hebrew is “sod” and means friendship. (see Ps.25:14 ASV/ Amplified/ KJV “the sweet friendship and companionship of the Lord is with those who fear Him”). Imagine replacing presumption with a depth of God. Jesus says “No longer do I call you servants…but friends” (Jn.15:15). He doesn’t want self-righteousness (Rm.10:6-10). He requires we come to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Lam.3/Rm. 6:6). He returns like a thief in the night.

The Scriptures warn; EVERY MOUTH WILL BE SHUT AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BECOME SUBJECT TO GOD’S JUDGMENT (Rm.3:19).

RIGHT THERE

I wasted a lot of time “waiting on God”. My prayers went “unanswered” day, after day, year after year due to my presumption. I expected God to do a song and dance for me when I prayed. Guess what happened? Nothing. So then I began to think “Could He be waiting for me to get up and do the song and dance for Him?”. Could my “growing up” open up God? I faced my presumption. I became accountable for my life. I taught myself to fear Him, obey His Word and implement a plan.

Of course, we don’t want to think this, because laziness is the root of presumption. We want to throw everything on God because……well…because He is God. He can do anything, right? No, He can’t. God can not violate His own creation. He has given us a power of the free will. He cannot lie. It would contradict His holy Character to then violate our free will to impose His will. It is not that God refuses to answer your prayers. It is that you refuse to “hear” His answer.

Have you ever had something right there at your fingertips but you let it slip away? Everything you need from God is right there at the fingertips of your heart. All you need do is act.

The decision to truly seek the Lord is like a touch-screen. It will open up for you what is necessary to live in these last days. If you squander this time it will torment you for eternity.

Things can change on a dime, now, tonight on your bed, in the morning, turn right instead of left, change your mind, slide to your knees, feel bad instead of self-righteous, take back that word. What if all you have to do is ask Him for help? Maybe you just need to hear words come out of your mouth that you never heard before. Like “I’m sorry” or “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I changed my mind” or “Can you give me another chance?” or “Can you help me I have no idea?”.

This kind of change is an outcome of the fear of God. If you don’t stretch you will never touch. Reach always requires a stretch. If you would just be willing to realign your demeanor with one tiny mustard seed (Mark 11:22-26). Can’t be any closer. God is giving the whole world the time to think and say what we need to think and say.

“And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence” (1 Peter.1:17).

If you want to “Go for it” it doesn’t make any sense to do so in ways that do not guarantee the “with an oath” to give you the desired outcome (Jn.12:25/Heb.6:16,7:20). The cross does not mean 10 things. It means one thing; death, resulting in eternal life. God does not make us a “better” person, by fixing our problems. The cross is God’s power for us to die (1 Cor.1:18).

We are like sheep led to slaughter that so we become a ‘new creation’ by the power of His resurrection (Rm.8:36ff/Phil.3:3-11). Every fear can be traced back to our fear of death. So the fear of God, to obey Him, eliminates all fear, because His “perfect love casts out all fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). If you are willing to die with Christ you are promised that you shall live with Him (Rm.6:6).

 Apply the branding iron of the cross. It’s not ‘out there’, my brother or sister. It’s RIGHT THERE, in front of you. Here, take it. Die. Pick up it up. Right now. No, you don’t have to go someplace or wait one more second. Stop it. Seal His cross upon your “old man”. This one second can determine your eternal destiny. It’s just faith man. Love the burn.

“Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Hosts as holy. Only He should be feared, only He should cause your dread” (Isaiah 8:12-13).

We were in a women’s prison and ministered to some 300 precious ladies suffering so bad. It was remarkable to watch this one young woman completely change her heart right in front of our eyes. We told her not to listen to the lies of those “counselors” who tell her things that drive her with fear. We were so blown away. Probably like what Jesus felt with the Syrophonecian woman. She experienced the fear of God. She showed the marks on her neck from where she had already tried to commit suicide and said Elizabeth’s love and sharing saved her life.

This is the moment to brush aside whatever holds you back. What others say or think, including family and friends, will mean nothing in heaven or in hell. Some people are set on drugs, some on religion, some on guns. I advise you to set your heart to find the words like the prodigal son. It wasn’t enough to come to his senses. He had to find the heart and the words (Lk.15:18). It starts with a cherished whisper “Save me Jesus”.

Moses was the “humblest man on earth” (Num.12:3). He was told to remove his shoes and did so without question. His fear of God rewarded Him with the presence of Yahweh “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious…” (Ex.34:6ff). God says we must test ourselves; 24/7 “Am I being moved to do this by my presumption or by Your Spirit Oh Father” (2 Cor.13:5/ Phil.2:5).

When you feel shaken, as if life’s foundations are taken down around you,
looking for a substance strong enough to ground you,
and when the streets of paved routines seem desolate, 
reaching are His eyes that found you. 
For when common freedoms are defeated and uncertainty yields to grief and weakness,  
there remains yet the deepest and most obscured secret. 
It is undisclosed to those who suppose this hidden mystery is already well known.
But yet to the humble who would dare to draw near, 
so as to tremble and to hear Him,
The secret of the Lord is revealed to those who choose to fear Him.
resolute reverence,  as the antidote well tested, 
created in wisdom with which God long ago invested, 
giving His perfect Son Who bore our infection to heal us with His love through fellowship,
showing all things will be done just He has made known to the one with whom His secret has been disclosed.

-Elizabeth


Things are terrible here in Brazil. But we are learning the secret and cast ourselves before His throne. We pray for His mercies upon those of you we know and upon this world, especially Christians. We hope for one more chance to witness Jesus in greater fervor than ever before. If anyone would like to help us we would greatly appreciate it. Despite what anyone might think, we’ve only had like two responses. Everything helps us. Especially in these difficult times. Thank you for reading this.

Pay pal account at: whatwouldyoufightfor@yahoo.com

“Fear God and give Him glory for the hour of judgment has come” (Rev.14:7).

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingJanuary 08, 2020

BORN (AGAIN)

Born (Again)

Not a ‘prayer formula’ of passing sentiment but God’s ultimate provision for real answers.

Could it really be possible for a man living in oblivion to comprehend what it means to be born into God’s Spirit? Could Jesus really make a profound difference in enabling someone cope with the hell hole in which he lives? The answer is “YES!” We see it…Him!

Sometimes I just want to cry out “Is there anyone out there who will care about the gospel being preached ?! Anyone? Will anyone think about what it must be like to be homeless, an orphan or a prisoner?”. I offer you a direct channel. My dear brother or sister, Jesus says YOU AND I are accountable to help them. Will you turn your head away from these uncomfortable words? We are not a group or system, just a simple family.

I believe there are people, who know me, and read this, but find their hearts cold to my words for whatever reasons. What do I have to do? I would beg you to reevaluate your response, for your sake, for my sake, but most of all for His glory. Because Jesus is worthy of whatever change we must make, to forget what others think, and conform to His Spirit. Despite what others may say about me, I am a true brother and friend. My works bear witness, because Jesus is my Lord and His redemptive love is obvious in my labors. No place or time for cynicism. Time is flying by. Jesus is coming soon. This is the fierce urgency of NOW.

So please, don’t let your only response be excuses and rationalizations. Make this a moment to reach deeper than ever before. It is to your advantage and well being of heart, mind and conscience. I am not the issue. Sin is the issue. Though you may not want to admit it, hardness of heart, from the cold world that surrounds, is the issue. Jesus warned of it (Mt. 24:12). I am not the man I was years or even months ago. A man, sensitive to the Spirit, changes and matures. And the twisted false accusations made by outsiders is real persecution.

Ultimately, Paul says he doesn’t even care about the motives of the one who preaches but just that the gospel is being preached (Phil.1: 18). So there is no excuse for one who claims Christ to ignore opportunity to reach the lost. Can I get a break, for the scores of desperate men whom I reach in the prisons of the world?! Please, my friend, listen to me. We MUST do something NOW. I am not being melodramatic or “radical”. I am being a normal Christian.


I was in a prison recently (the largest prison in Paraguay) where a huge courtyard was swarming with men whom I actually watched losing their minds. No exaggeration. In fact it was far worse than I have space to describe. You may ask “What does that look like?”. It was so terrifying I will never forget. Hundreds of men were screaming and crying. One here, one there, would just break down and lose it, overwhelmed by tears. They would sob uncontrollably in the arms of anyone who would hold them. Many were just walking around yelling out. Such conditions are why many prisoners fear they will commit suicide. This is REAL, my brother.

In another prison we realized something was wrong as we performed. The men seemed very disconnected. When I asked why, they explained they were starving. They had not eaten in days. We begged the guards to let us out to take a drive for food to bring back and they allowed us. The men appeared like the Jews in Concentration camps. They were starving and so grateful. This was JUST ONE of many.

Another prison the security warden refused to let us in. After much of persistence he relinquished but with a “Ok. You’ll see how horrible these guys are”. He angrily led us through the multiple gates into “Deep Lock”. Opened the door but kept back any guards from going in with us. It was like “There. Now you’ll see what you get”. He didn’t want to think these men were redeemable . Two hours later, as we left in tears, the guys were chanting “PLEASE COME BACK> PLEASE COME BACK”.

A deep heart is required to sincerely put yourself walking in another man’s shoes. This is a practice of compassion and the way to approach men without being afraid.

Imagine being forced to live in horrendous conditions, day in and day out, being treated as animals and knowing you will never escape. I am not lying or exaggerating. This is why I am willing to feel awkward by sharing our needs. Please, help me. God promises, it is in giving that you will receive. My family and I have given ourselves to Jesus that we might bring His gospel to these totally forgotten and despised men. Get beyond me, and beyond your excuses, to them. DO SOMETHING. However small. God holds you accountable for them, and right now, I am a direct access to them. (We are praying about the prisons in Africa, if possible, this spring.)


So I ask for any help, not as a fat-cat preacher hoarding riches upon myself, but in sincerity to reach as many as we can. I can document every penny for you if you want. God knows this is very difficult and dangerous. Living in a third world is not easy. No one is doing this. Please, don’t be mad at me for bringing the truth of the gospel into your world.

Ruth Speaking in a prison in Manila
It is forbidden to take pictures so the ones we have are few and taken where the warden permits. My daughter Ruth touching men in a prison in the Phillipines after working in Japan.

When I long ago began to seek Jesus I was in college. Many “nice” campus groups and denominations offered to pray a “sinner’s prayer” with me. I had a reputation as a tough guy so I just couldn’t relate to the nice guy ‘package’. I grew up with little Biblical exposure but still felt a little prayer formula seemed trite and token. When I “met” the living Jesus I was instantly struck by an accountability to go and tell the world of this discovery. I could never tell a prisoner that the answer is to just pray a little prayer and everything will be fine. Most of them have already done it many times. We bring them to the living Jesus.

Many would have you believe that people should not think about “meeting” Jesus. We are just supposed to be content with praying a prayer and doing the best we can. Maybe not. The idea of challenging American Christianity made me think “Who am I to think that I know better?”. Well, it’s about eternity, in either heaven or hell. A religious system did not walk the shores of Galilee. Jesus was not an untouchable. He says “Ask. And you shall receive…Come to Me…and we will come to you” (Mt.7:7,11:28/Jn.14:23).

There is nothing more awesome a man can discover than to be born again. No wonder this world has so diminished its definition. Listen. The voice of a loving Father is calling you to the truth.

How about you, my friend? How are you really doing? When everything, and everybody, is put to sleep, and you are wide-eyed before a careless world, what thoughts are ticking away in your heart? My conscience was slain with guilt. I knew I surely didn’t know God. I knew I was all alone in the world. And, when you truly comprehend this, it can shake you to your core. I was left facing my wicked ways. Could God offer me a real way out? Could I experience forgiveness and know that I am saved from eternal hell? Today people talk about salvation like it’s an added item to a grocery list. “Oh ya, I got that”. Will you dare to confront the “living Word” all alone, with a heart of resolution (Heb.4:12)?

Jesus makes it very clear. He declares;

“Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-8).

Listen to me. I am not your enemy. The command to be born again is not some lofty demand to become ‘super-religious’. Actually, it is quite the opposite. It is child based. It is a wonderful process (conversion) whereby Jesus recreates us to be fitting to enter the Presence of a holy God. He makes us “new” (2 Cor.5:17).

If you will be honest this term “born again” scares you. You fear that you can’t ‘get it’. I understand. None of us wants to approach an unknown. And sometimes our brain just seems “VACANT”. Where do we start? What do we do? Being born again seems so huge but it starts with a mustard seed of personal heart. “Ok God. Let’s go. Show me”. It has nothing to do with meeting legalistic demands for moral perfection. It has everything to do with talking to God as a friend. It is the love of SOMEONE for you; a Father; a yearning to give you help from SOMEONE; the Holy Spirit; and the specific manifestation in the Character of SOMEONE; the living Jesus.

When Jesus says “the kingdom of God” He means that He will intersect your daily life with an entirely new perspective related to knowing Him. Every detail of your work will be drawn under His rule. Every fear and failure will be met in His fellowship and redemption. Every thought is slowly subject to His thoughts. Daily routine now takes on a second look. When you step on an escalator you know it will take you to the end. No worries. It’s not up to you. Just surrender.

Before you judge me consider: Human love is not effective in reaching a “badass” image, or the homeless or mentally ill. There is great risk and danger. To go to bikers, gangsters, murderers, drug lords with a self-righteous disposition is ludicrous. I never chose this ministry. I wanted to gain recognition for my high education. But the cross has made me into a son with a mind-set to become all things to all men, no matter what others think, so that by any means I might win even one (1 Cor.9:22). This is the living Jesus. It is His love. It is being born.

TOUCHSTONE

There is one thing the Father requires. It is the “place” where His Son gave His blood for us. The cross happened long ago but in some marvelous way it continues today to be the power of God (1 Cor.1:18). It is able to work in us. Paul confirms “I….have been crucified”. God requires that we pass through this world, as through a dream, via the cross. Our goal is to come out the other end; the resurrection. To enter His kingdom (way of thinking) of sacrificial love. “Lord, how can I show my love for You?”.

Total surrender is the touchstone. It involves our suffering and pain because we are brute beasts of selfishness and pride and we resist letting go. So we struggle. But Paul says that beyond all the phenomenal accomplishments of his life he boasts in only one thing (Gal.6:14). He boasted that he was dead (Gal.2:20). Ahhh. Finally. Because dying to yourself provides a garden in which we can plant new seeds.

This opportunity, here and now, far out weighs the loss (Phil. 3: 7-8). Of all things that I would say made me different from the carnal minded was how they spoke of “having gotten IT”, and I spoke of “knowing HIM”. I instantly reaped from the seeds I planted. They spoke of what they could do and I spoke of what He was doing. The switch from life to death is the only way to touch new birth. And for this reason I suffer enormous suffering. I joyfully say “No” to hypocrisy and “Yes” to the cross of the living Jesus. No to striving-flesh and yes to broken flesh.

Never did I imagine this would result in being painted with terrible false accusations of hatred and jealousy for serving the living Jesus. Why would people twist my efforts to help the lost? Because all men despise the cross. It strikes at the god called EGO. Jesus says “They hated Me without a cause” (Jn.15:25). He says “They will hate you for My sake”. There are those who hide away, in self-made castles of comfort, and malign those who challenge their false conclusions on what it means to be born again (John 3:19-20). We pray for forgiveness and mercy on them.

Today, some forty-five years later, the effects of seeing eternity, while bearing, and fighting, against time, sin and persecution, have written many lines of pain in my face. But each one contains a story of joy. The groaning for Him, for Whom I long, causes me to both die and rise. To die on this side of the grave, and to rise in Him on His side of the kingdom. To understand my sin and know His redemption. But most of all to be consumed with a compassion that I know is not mine that drives me with a burden for others for them to see Whom I see. This is the purpose of why we are to live.

A practical way to think of “born again” is to leave off “again”. You must be born. Period. It is that extreme. There is no life in existence. Existence is a kind of limbo where death rules. Your heart yearns to be born into our Creator. We are like a “Mr. Magoo” without his glasses; “Where am I going? What am I doing?” You really don’t know because you really aren’t born. Jesus did not approach men by looking for what they could offer Him of theirselves. Rather He asks how much are you ready to receive from Him. God says “we grope along a wall, like a blind man,” in search of a breakthrough (Isaiah 59:10).

God says “Bring out a people who are blind, yet have eyes…Look, I am about to do something new; Do you not see it…I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind” (Isaiah 43:8,19/John 9:39).

Jesus repeatedly warned men that to walk in this world is a walk in darkness. Our conscience flashes upon our moments with a light of accountability. It tells us we must get beyond this world to God. How many times have you heard the expression “Oh, I see”. Someone suddenly “sees” some truth. “Hmmm. Wow. That’s something” is the response. You see what you never did before. All in one moment a convergence your heart, mind and life experience bears upon your will to understand and SEE.

Satan actually has the power to “blind” the human will “so we cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” ( 2 Cor.4:3). There is no wand to wave. Dealing with spiritual darkness is no little thing. Our minds are blinded by a thousand things; motives, fears, lust, desires or past hurt and resentment. We don’t realize that as a loving Father God does not oppose us in our sin but appeals to us to let Him free us by His kindness, love and sympathy (Rom.2:4). It is easy to SAY we want to follow Christ but Jesus says when we are truly WILLING to follow Him then we will see (John 7:17).

“PURITY?!… Ha.”

I used to shy away from Matthew 5:8 where Jesus says “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. No way. Me? Pure in heart? I refused to be a phony and say I am pure. Then I researched this word “purity” and, as with all invested study, received profound understanding. I could finally say “Yes. If this is what You mean I will follow You”.

The word “pure” is from the Greek word katharos – “cathartic”. It is not a finalized absolute moral state but an outcome of a deep purge. Another way of understanding this verse is “Blessed are those who have been intimately dealt with by God, for they will “see” and know His ways and love Him because of it”. To be pure is to know heart to Heart breakage over your sinful ways. To not skip over your sin with the false sense of “the blood covering”. But to be broken before a Father’s Heart.

Over the last four months, we have given some 50 “demonstrations” (our family using theatre, dance, hip hop, trance, music, comedy, Tae Kwon Do, to bring men to repentance (catharsis) in Jesus) (1 Cor.2:4). We now go to another city in Brazil where we have so many doors open to us. We are in on-going relationships with many hundreds of men by mail, leading them to Christ. Like Jesus says the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. We so desperately need prayer. And if anyone would like to support us we sure need and would appreciate it because our total obscurity means lack of exposure and support.

Jesus says “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He purges, (cleans, purifies) so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). This is why the sinner’s prayer is so detrimental. It convey God saves you and that’s it. Consequently, people go on in life with serious grief, scars and unbroken sin. They think that they’re already saved so they don’t know what to do. True salvation in the living Father, Son and Holy Spirit involves a purging and maturing glory into His child. So that all those inner hang-ups are healed and now become a gift to help others.

We’ve all heard the expression “complex”. Most of the time we think of High School when others mocked us for having any kind of peculiar thing that made you different. It can cause deep hurt, fear and insecurity. These things are also true in adulthood. It can be little things or big things. We need to be “purified”. A “catharsis” is a moment when a “complex” is eliminated by surrender to the cross of Jesus and with a depth of expression in prayer.

Can you feel the sense of wearing these gloves? Some “Christians” freak out over any suggestion that they must fight to be a Christian. But Satan prowls like a lion and if we don’t fight he will win. We must hunt down our “enemy” of pride, fear and lazy motives with the will of a “violent” warrior (Mt.11:12). Paul compares his attitude to a champion boxer (1 Cor. 9:26). The greater the fighter the greater the joy.

Prayer is a fight. It doesn’t come easy. Talking to Someone unseen requires that we see the unseen (Heb.11:27,6). Doctrinal gymnastics may prove your Bible knowledge but it does not bring God into your daily life. Prayer is the only way to establish RELATIONSHIP. Short and long, detailed or general, prayer is everything. Paul said it is “groaning too deep for words” (Rm.8:26). The complexities of sin can rip your soul to shreds. You can feel like you just can’t get things “right”. Like no matter how hard you try you fail. In the stillness of solitude is His Presence is waiting to show you. In the meditation of His Word waits the understanding of the gospel.

One prisoner, with eyes full of tears, in reflection of a murder, said “I can never get things right”. So many people think this because they do not understand the gospel. They are slaves to feelings and inclinations. Their mind is not exposed to the Scripture. The essence of salvation is solid understanding of what it means to be “right” with God. In God’s eyes no man can make their life ‘right’. We can never “get it right”. So God offers His “righteousness” (get it right) by faith. In God’s eyes, there is only one right thing. It is being “reckoned” right by faith (Rom.4). It is not what must do but that you must believe.

We correspond with about 800 guys. (And each letter costs us 25 cents, most letters costing several stamps, which mounts up to a lot.) We work to bring them to the purging (repentance) of Jesus. Many are released from ignorance into understanding the gospel. It takes hard labor of mind and heart. It is a great joy to hear men express their relief of complex issues by by faith. It is a common principal of Scripture that suffering is meant to lead us to search for His deeper ways so we MUST be a fighter.

The gift of being able to “see”, beyond ourselves, into the pain of others is accompanied by the mercy to bring them into the Christ-catharsis so as to relieve their burden and heal their pain.

“But we do see Jesus…crowned with glory and honor…” (Hebrews.2:9).

We teach men to fight like men of old. Like David and Paul. No one initially understands what Jesus was saying. But slowly or suddenly, those who have heart ‘got it’ (Matt. 16:7-12). It is worth being a “laborer” of the harvest. Because to “see” the truth of Jesus is like seeing music. It’s not just in your ears. It’s in your eyes. It’s in your heart. It turns your mind. Suddenly you realize “Wow. There really is another kingdom on earth, other than the world I see with my eyes”. Jesus is the Perfect Song Who permeates our sorrows and makes us whole.

But it is crucial to realize that it is not the Scriptures, the blood, faith, grace, love, truth, etc. that causes you to be born….again. These are all doctrines that Jesus regulates with a believer. Jesus is Jesus. He alone is the One Who has the power to birth you. If you have no fellowship with Him you have no salvation from Him. Jesus made this very clear (Mt.7:21/John 5:39/Phil. 3:8/2 Tim.1:12). He is the filter; the Purifier.

I often tell people that His Name is not “church”, Christ or Lord. His Name is Jesus. If you do not articulate His exact Name, amongst men, with your mouth, He is not in your heart. Not my word, His (Matt. 12:33-37/Rm.10:9-10). When you ‘see’ Jesus you get His living rhythm (Heb.4:12). You receive His “witness”. You start to walk a path and see stones on which to step across every raging river. The blur of life comes into focus. We dare to leap upon His commands. We experience His crescendo of resurrection.

Making ‘the leap’ of faith can start with little things. Gradually your spirit yearns to fly. Divine life is like seeing colors rather than the mundane dictates of a world etched in black and white. Jesus says “He who loses his life shall find it...”(Jn.12:25/Matt.10:37/Lk.14:27,9:60-62).

Every time my wife sings a certain song when we perform I anticipate the crescendo where she reaches a beautiful high tone. There are times when so many “badass” guys are brought to tears because we “see” the Spirit of Jesus reach through her words, singing about the Father’s love for them, and bring men into a purging of their deepest pride and fears.

The journey into which Jesus calls us involves a loneliness but not like the world knows loneliness. It is the joyful solitude of relationship with a loving and intimate Father. It is the beginning of eternity. It is finding thoughts you’ve never had and a love that expands who you are.

The Father is playing His song “JESUS” throughout the universe. Who will hear and respond? The crescendo is the resurrection. The only cemetery that ever failed in keeping men in their grave is the one in which Jesus escaped. His power lives today working to bring men into His kingdom. Jesus says “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see and the ears that hear what you hear” (Matt. 13:26). Some people say “I’ll believe it when I see it”… God says, “believe and you will see” (Mt.11:40).

Imagine listening to the most beautiful composition you’ve ever heard. It touches and purges your innermost being with frequencies that lift you into the kingdom. This is seeing sound. It is seeing something that no one else can see the way you see it because God’s love is so individual it’s what makes you YOU.
We are working in so many places here in Brazil; on the streets, schools and prisons. Be a part of His work by supporting us in even the smallest way. The day of judgment is near. Jesus is coming soon!

Paypal account: whatwouldyoufightfor@yahoo.com

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TeachingOctober 19, 2019

How to “reach” High Places

(AAA)-Mountaineers describe the wind that is on high peaks as “rarefied air”. It is invigorating, pristine and inspiring. I have been in many places where the mountain views and lakes are astounding. But the most exhilarating thing is the air. It literally takes me into the sweetest sensation of a wakeful dream.

One day, 45 years ago, a twenty year old dude named Michael (Oh, hey. That’s me.) became riveted on the words “the wind blows where it wills so is everyone born of the Spirit (Jn.3:8/Jn. 4:24/1 Cor.15:45/Heb.4:12). In a world where every image of a man of God is a self-righteous fat-cat, a religious monk, weirdo nutcase, or just down right boring, the image of being caught up in the WIND captivated me with wonder; What does this mean? What does this look like?

Wind was the perfect description used by the only Man Who rose from the dead to describe what it would mean to follow Him. I was fascinated to the bone. I heard instant authorization to break with status quo Christianity and become a “Mountaineer”. Not through a “sinner’s prayer” or weekly sermons. Wind.

My dear friend, Jesus does not exaggerate. This “wind” is not a moral life style. The Spirit is waiting to baptize your “senses” with “rarified air”. God’s heaven scent can take you beyond the grief of living in this world (Heb.5:14/2 Cor. 2:14-15/Jn.18:36). It is not my promise. It is His; the Spirit of the living Jesus (Matthew 3:11/Mark 1:8/Lk.3:16/Jn.1:33/Acts 1:4-8). The air of this world is the stench of dark depression, hypocrisy, apathy and agonizing routine (Eph.2:1/1 Jn.2:15).

As a young man I saw how churches like Assembly of God, Pentecostal, etc. falsely exemplified the “Holy Ghost”. It didn’t require much discernment to realize it was a fake and emotionalism. Such nonsense as being “slain in the Spirit” causes immense disillusionment and delusion. The ways of the Spirit do not violate but employ a man’s free. Today deception fills the land in regards to the activity of the Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts reveals the true church of those who stand in Deep Heart.

We use a Hip-Hip dance to explain the healing of “frozen moments” in broken lives. God can actually transform the human mind if we cooperate (Rm.12:2).

Jesus said, It is better that I leave… so the Helper (the Holy Spirit) can come to you…He will guide you into all truth…and explain sin, righteousness and judgment. Most of all He will not leave you as an orphan, without identity, ALONE, to the crippling sadness of loneliness (Jn.14:27,16:7ff & v.13& v.32). His Presence is life altering. He is the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Defender (against accusations), the One Who comes alongside. The Holy Spirit can reach into our every problem out of His high places if we will simply humble ourselves.

When I carried the football in college, there was a breakaway play in which I felt so alive. The opportunity for a full expenditure of all my individual ability was exhilirating. It is a greater thrill to sense and live in His wind. It is to be freed, from bondage to men, through suffering, into the “air” of the Father. It is the release into His anointing of divine intelligence and perspective (1 Cor.2:7-16/Romans 8, 11:33). It is to be carried by a power unmistakably beyond yourself.

We only live once, my brother. Will you settle for man’s ways? The systems of men have proven, over generations of time, to offer nothing other than typical phony ways. The “revival” invention of the “sinner’s prayer” (“to process the multitudes”), in the 17th century, by John Wesley and Charles Finney, established the institutional tradition for salvation and no one has since challenged it as the unbiblical formula that it is today.

Nothing today even remotely demonstrates divine reality of the Spirit. This is why multitudes of “church people” contradict their “testimony” by a life of misery consumed with self-pity no different than unbelievers. It’s like members of Salvation Army processing used clothes. Nothing new. And a great deal of it reeks with hypocrisy. The truth is that the Father yearns for interpersonal involvement by His Spirit in the redemption of all phases of our failures to Personally touch our pain and lift us into the beautiful ways of His High Places.

God promises to make us “higher” than our situation (Jn.10:10). The Holy Spirit promises to anoint our behavior mechanisms, like intelligence, logic, reason, experience, common sense; so that we are not subject to the impulsive emotional reactions of our sinful human nature. The composition of faith is calculated resolution, as seen in Abraham, to believe God will provide everything we need, when we bow our inner knee before Him.

Rachel sings a song, that we changed a bit for our prison ministry. It is by Roy Orbison from the series “Prison Break”. It is called “Crying”. It is the Father’s answer to our every problem; “What more can I do than give My Son?” When faced with problems, the natural tendency of pride is to insist “I can do it”. As if God expects us to handle what He knows we can’t do. The Father yearns to provide us with the living Jesus in Whom we concede to His rest. Give up. Give in. Many wrongly identify God’s grace as self-striving and thus actually nullify God’s will to bring them to a place of humility.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt youI dwell on a HIGH PLACE…and also with the lowly of spirit (1 Pt.5:6/Is.57:15).

If you have no answers it is because you have not yet humbled yourself as you ought to humble yourself. Paul warns not to stop short of the “rest” waiting in true faith (Hebrews 4:1-12). It’s at that final, last step, when lingering pride can spook you away from total surrender. The Father is crying out for the one who will ‘go the distance’ and truly die with His Son (2 Chron.16:9/Is.65:2/Rm.6:6). He promises, to anyone who will invite Him, to walk through all things and intervene in every detail as the “Helper”.

Satan plays our pride in so many ways when we refuse to see it. The “I’m trying harder than ever before” is not the answer. Neither is the “Oh, heck. I give up.” The third answer is called persistence. It proves desire. Going somewhere, we never went before, is the answer. Finding that “place” and time, to be alone, think alone and talk alone to the Father is the difference-maker. When we just can’t do something we want to do, the one and only answer is to enter the massive grounds of transparency escorted by faith.

I remember when I was a little guy I was terrified to go into the damp and spooky basement of my parents huge house. It was scary. I just knew someone lived under those creepy stairs. At any moment I imagined being slain by a monster. I could never tell my friends. I couldn’t even admit it to myself.

It may sound funny, but it took me until I was a teenager to stand alone in the pitch black. I remember it like yesterday. I had to humble myself and recognize that these ways were stupid. I had to seize the courage to take control. That experience was of extreme significance for me to become a man. I had to realize the destructive power of imaginations (2 Cor.10:3).

The only way to get out of our basement and approach the high places of divine reality is to face our total inadequacy. So many things, known or subconscious, can determine a behavior we don’t even realize. The Father is waiting to do in you what you cannot do, to take you to places you cannot go. To do something beyond our imagination. The Father’s mercy is greater than anything our crazy little brain can muster up to keep us from Him.

The humor of a “Dr. Bogus” is a powerful and effective tool to break through apprehension and pretense.
“We are fools for Christ sake…For if we are beside ourselves it is for God…for the love of Christ controls us…I have made myself a slave to all that I may win more” (1 Cor.4:10,5:13/1 Cor.9:19-27).

One time in Bogota, Colombia, we were performing on the streets. My children had just finished such an amazing dance choregraphy that an old dude like me could only sit back and think of younger days. But without even realizing it, I started sharing these thoughts with the crowd and, by the Spirit, finished by saying “But I can offer you these moves that can take you to the top of those mountains (pointing to the peaks in the distance)”. Then I got on my knees and then on my face.

The floor, or ground, beneath our feet, is waiting for us like an elevator at the bottom floor. “Going up?” asks The Attendant. Indeed, it need not be a physical floor but simply a placemat for our “face”. I admit: “I am nothing. And the more I try, the more I fail. I really am “worthless”. I deserve hell-fire. I am a maggot”.

Repentance requires accurate contemplation of our deprivation. Where are you in life? What is your experience? How old are you? How many times have you “tried?” How bad have been your failures? Such thinking touches reality. “Come, Holy Spirit, scan my life, see any presumption and convict me” (Ps. 139:23). Such thinking will not only destroy the slightest glimmer of false natural hope that “We can do it”, but it will leave us bare and open-minded to His voice.

It is here that we can implement the Abrahamic “hope against hope” (Rm.4:18). You see, my friend, natural hope is actually a hostile hope because it promotes procrastination. It’s like a fairy tale Alice-in-Wonderland. It is mere wishful thinking. We dream about this, or that, but when we realize it is not happening we give up. Satan wins. The hope of Abraham, was not for some THING, but in Someone; the Character of God. He has clearly proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, His love for us (Rm.5:8). He will never fail because He cannot fail. God IS love (2 Tim.2:12-13/Heb.6:19). We can hope in His redemptive outcome IF we come to Him.

It is written “Thus says the Lord, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool…But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word‘” (Is.66:1-3). “God is opposed to the proud….but gives grace to the humble”…” (1 Pt.5:5/Jm.4:10).

Such is the very attitude that God displayed in His redemptive holy ways of dealing with our wicked ways. He “came down” (lit. condescended) from His high place to walk this earth in the utter humiliation of Jesus becoming a man. Jesus stooped low to wash our feet, to cleanse our heart, and by so doing reflected both the low and the high places as the One Mediator. He has proven His Character. Therefore our hope in Him is sure and steadfast. He can and will redeem us if we obey His plan.

We are to love others more than ourselves because humility is a high place.

If you want to enter higher ways of living life the only way is to go low.

I have been a fighter all my life. I won awards in wrestling and football and learned to transition this “violent” grit to stand in Him. Never did I realize back in college, that all the while God was using injuries to bring me lower, He was actually bringing me higher.

I learned to accept that God does not necessarily redeem events, relationships or things. He redeems my mind so that I can rightly process my thinking in regards to them. I have learned ‘the only way’ to enter His redemptive process is to instantly identify the inevitable downward spiral of self-pity as sin and choose faith. Jesus confirmed such an attitude is God’s will when He said “I am lowly of spirit” (Jn.14:6/Mt.11:29). It is THEE way because it was His way.

I too could have easily become deceived by my own hurt and bitterness, but all it would have done is expose that I really never believed that His ways are higher than mine, and that His redemptive love will bring me into His destiny. I can’t emphasize enough how I constantly was brought to my end by my numerous injuries, only to, much later in life, realize God was protecting me, not only from my ego, but from serious head trauma.

Elizabeth uses a Flamingo dance and a secular myth of the “Phoenix” to reach into the hearts of some very dark men and slowly to walk them into God’s light of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is calculated and proven wisdom.

I chose then to surrender, despite my lack of any understanding; “Maybe I don’t understand God as I think I do”. I chose to ‘wrestle’ with God Who might actually answer my question: “Why?”. Among others, I learned from a man named Jacob who did exactly the same (Gen.32:22). God is much closer and willing to respond to us, if we humble ourselves, than we can possibly imagine. 

The question is how does His Spirit work in our life? Good old-fashioned honesty is a rare commodity, especially with “Christians”. Not little “white lies” or subtle exaggerations. Just cold blunt force reality. It’s like an ancient art form. Today’s Christians are afraid of truth when their security in Christ is in question. Consequently, the Spirit of Truth restrains His blessing. The vex of the law remains. Blessing only comes with truth (2Cor.3:17). The only reason to fear truth is if you don’t believe His grand plan of mercy.

I am not afraid of my wicked ways and thoughts because I am grafted into His ways and thoughts. My teensy little brain and body cannot possibly create or process a wickedness greater than His mercy. This is the Cornerstone of the building in which I live. All things start with nitty-gritty heart alignment to the witness of conscience. Here is where the Spirit will meet you. Truth is the stairway to heaven.

How much do you really want to breath “rarified air”? Ultimate, Spirit-led humility is our concession to the cross where we are brought to the death of our pride. Our final give-up. His reward is to elevate our inner man into the ultimate perspective of His Spirit (Col.3:1ff/Heb.11:6). We see Jesus (Heb.2:9,12:2). Can’t go any lower. Can’t go any higher. He is all in all.

When you open all the doors to every nook and cranny of your character, His wind will drive out the stench and odors of the outhouse called self. True conversion is to go beyond the “falling short” token ways of a carnal Christian; a prayer, a passing sense of remorse, trying to talk or act more Christian. Humiliation is a step beyond humility. It is staring shame in the face and welcoming it’s full say. No more excuses. No more “Ya, buts….” “Maybe tomorrow, next month, some day”. Today is the day of salvation.

The Holy Spirit does not start making you better. Rather, He starts showing you the truth of your wickedness and you become more aware of how evil you really are. At the END of his ministry Paul said “I am the worst of all sinners”(1Tim.1:15).

We do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age; we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory (1 Cor.2:6-7).

When I began to breathe the rarified air from the Scriptures, I slowly began to “see” and “touch” the spiritual realities of the intimate love the Father Hand-delivered to me… unworthy Michael (Jn.3:3-8/1 Cor.2:1-16/Rm.8:1-17/2 Cor.5:19/Rm.5:6). If any of this sounds “out there”, it is because you do not understand the “there” of there; the Spirit. It is because the system of Christianity has long established an institutional “salvation” identified by shallow answers to deep problems, and men accept them as the only alternative to their predicament. It is actually rooted in a dead Jesus because their “answers” always come down to trying to emulate His past teachings. There is nothing real of God. This is the curse of the “works of the law” rather than the work of the Holy Spirit (Rm.8:3/2 Cor.11:4/Gal.2:16,21).

When I was a lost dude, I never imagined that some of my greatest pain would come from the rejection and accusations of carnal Christians who defy my testimony because it is not to a “preacher”, church or prayer. My spirit bears witness in truth to the living Jesus alone. The Father cries for anyone to come, taste and see these High Places of His Spirit (Psalms18:33/Hab.3:19/Phil.3:9ff).

A natural man cannot understand how Jesus can live in a man (1 Cor.2/Acts 17:24/Jn.4:24). How can a man no longer be vexed by things of this world? A spiritual man is able to “more than overcome” because spiritual discernment is a phenomenal provision (Jn.14, 16/1 Cor.2:11/Rm.8:37/1 Cor.9:20). It is the ability to decipher deception and regulate the thoughts and feelings of the old man and new man (Heb.4:12/2 Cor. 10:3/Lk.17:21/Mk.7:15/Mt.12:34,5:18).

Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on my vines or produce for food and no cattle or sheep. Yet I will exult in the Lord…the Lord Is my strength..He has made my feet like deer to walk on my high places (Hab. 3:17-19). If this is possible without the resurrection, surely how much more we can do this with the Spirit.

We are dead people. Kind of like zombies only we made it all the way through death into new resurrection life so we don’t stumble around making weird sounds. Although I do occasionally drool on myself.

You can actually perform a Self Test on your heart right here and now. No piece of paper or pencil required. Simply evaluate the focus, content, quality, and tone of the words you speak each day (Mt.12:34). Are the words proud or humble? Instead of pride “I already know”, we say “I don’t know anything. Please Lord, help me. Fill me. Teach me the ways of your Holy Spirit.” Such prayer is the essential ‘groan’ of the Spirit (Read Rm.8:26/ 2 Cor.5:4/1 Cor.2:6). The inner flow of “living water” produces an outer flow to “lift up” Jesus (Jn. 7:37,15:26,3:14,8:28,12:32).

When He changes us inwardly, we reflect Him outwardly.

Think of all the struggles people have in life with alcohol, drugs, divorce, a job, etc. Compare these struggles, of death and misery, to one that produces eternal light. Paul says we “carry about the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor.4:10-11). Imagine the Risen Jesus living within your conscious life, despite your sinful humanity. This is a marvelous struggle(2Cor.4:16-18). We can tap into how Jesus thinks, see as Jesus sees, love as He loves, plan as He plans, touch men with His Spirit and know His eternal glory (Col.3:1-4, 1:27/1 Cor. 2:16). 

I surely don’t mean to sound “super-spiritual”, because I am a scum bag. But I know Whom I know and His Spirit compels me to write of His love for you. Don’t be tricked by the one-and-done “sinner’s prayer”. It is the sales pitch for a “tithe”. Salvation is not found in a prayer but in the Person of Jesus. He is the only One Who can give of His Spirit to you. He is the beginning into a grasp of the height, depth, length, and width of the Father (John 17/ Eph.3:20). Jesus says “Come to ME… learn from Me… My words are spirit and life” (Mt.11:27/Jn.6:63,7:37). Discover Him as a Brother, Shepherd, Savior, Warrior, King and living Bread. 

Jesus was not promising an emotional experience but the quality of an inner life that flows out of the eternal life of His Spirit when He says “If anyone believes in Me out of their inner most being shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn.7:37-38).

Passive acquisition of Bible knowledge may be helpful, but to breathe His air requires you fight with all you are. Jesus says “The kingdom of God suffers violence and violent men seize it by force” (Mt.11:12). Within the black letters on white pages of Scripture is “the living and active Word of God” (Heb.4:12).

My friend, agreeing with what I write does nothing for you. At any time, out of nowhere, anything can come upon anyone, who is outside His Lordship. (Col. 1:21/Mt.28:18, 3:11/Lk.3:16/Acts 2:3). So don’t play games. You must go low. You are vulnerable to the random chaos of this world as long as you stand in your high places of ego. God’s redemptive destiny is designated only for those of the cross who fight that “violent” fight “in such a way so as to win this prize” (1 Cor.9:24/Mt.11:12/Col.1:11/2 Cor.10:3/Phil.4:7).

If you find yourself asking yourself the question “Why?”, over your situation in life, it is an absence of His revelation. It was answered by the Son; Satan rules this world through the random chaos of sin (Jn.10:10,15:25/1 Jn.5:19). Come into His Spirit and uncover His redemption. God’s voice is not audible. It is “heard” by understanding His Word and learning to love someone else as He loves you (Jn.10:27/Rm.12:2). 

Don’t sell yourself short. Cultivate a solitary inner life in Christ. Reaching into the high places of God’s Spirit in Christ is the sole means to champion all obstacles on earth (Ps.51:17). 

I am a soldier. I am a branch. I am a sheep. I am a son. I am a brother of the living Jesus. Join me.

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingSeptember 12, 2019

The Beautiful Pour

“…a woman came to Jesus with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant (incensed, full of rage) when they saw this and said, ‘Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold…and money given to the poor …this woman has done a beautiful thing” (Mt. 26:6ff)

I sure would have loved to meet this amazing woman. What it must have been like in that room, while she poured her perfume upon His head. Her disposition of depth and love, totally contrasted a room full of angry and jealous disciples. A single “weak” woman, doing a unique utterly profound act, amongst “strong” men, acting in an utterly disgusting manner. She proposed an entirely new paradigm of relating to the Messiah.

What were the moments in her life that made her who she was? What caused her to think in such a way? Oh, how wonderful are the ways of God seeing individuals and responding to them according to how they respond to His Son.

When I was a little boy, I built a tree house in a cherry tree in our backyard. I used to just go up there and sit and think. Personal faith sees how in predestination God can shape our future even in the seemingly insignificant moments of childhood.

How much is it worth to you to spend time alone playing on a swing and talking to Jesus? How many times has He called to you be alone but you did not respond? How many times have you considered something, or someone, to be a waste of time, when, in truth, it would have turned your life into an experience of something special?

How do you determine what is important and what is a waste? We are hard pressed, from so many angles, of anxiety and stress in this world. What are the levers and buttons within you, that you pull and push, to put you on the narrow path to still waters (Mt.7:14/Ps.23) ?

What some may determine to be a waste of time or money may be the most important decision to your future. It could involve the investment in, or the separation from, a relationship, an event, etc. It is directly linked to your state of life tomorrow. Will you miss God because you do not “see” that Jesus is worth everything in life?

The dead have no second chances. They take their excuses with them.

As we travel and minster, at an extremely rapid and intense pace, reaching multitudes, we constantly encounter the tragedy of those who choose to devalue the treasure of salvation (Mt.13:46). What value do you put on Jesus and the matters of His gospel and kingdom? From the words you speak, and how you speak them, to what you do, and why you do it, to where you go, and for how long, you are the captain of your own ship. Jesus says you show what you treasure by where you invest your time, energy and heart (Mt.6:21).

Think about it. There was no person on earth as poor as Jesus. But yet the disciples never considered this. Jesus had nothing; “taking the form of a slave…He emptied himself” (Phil. 2:7). There was no one more deserving of “very costly perfume” than Him. Yet His closest brothers totally missed it because they improperly determined the value of Jesus. It took a little woman to bestow on Jesus the glory He deserves.

In retrospect, it is easy to be self- righteous and think you and I would never think this way, or say what they did. But what if the very same thing in them, at that time, could be within us right now, at this very moment? In the ebb and flow of boring routine life the majority devalue the worth of all things Named JESUS.

The high value that men put on pride assures them that they are more than adequate to accurately appraise the value of Jesus. But all men are wrong. The error is shown when they walk by a homeless man. What other reason would there be not to invest the humility and time necessary? Mundane life causes a man to devalue the currency of faith and the commands in the Word of God.

Men use “common sense” in their appraisals but God works in uncommon ways of humility and brokenness (Is.55:8ff). So only the uncommon man discerns the accurate value of God’s things (1 Cor.2:11f).

It is amazing to see how hard it is for some men to forgive themselves. Yet in one way it is far better than one who makes nothing of his sin.

Surely the disciples did not consciously offend Jesus. They did not realize what they were saying. But the thing about Jesus is that He has total security in knowing that the Father has placed within us everything necessary to accurately discern His Spirit. We are accountable for our choices.

Presumption is poison. It permeates the entire being with stress, anxiety and strife. Humility is the only defense. Instead of thinking “Nothing escapes ME. I’m already a disciple of Jesus”, we should think, “I know nothing. At every turn I fear my own selfishness”. God does not defer to our thinking. Paul says “Do not conform to this world but be transformed by the will of God” (Rm.12:2).

Jesus esteemed two pennies as of more value than “all the other contributors to the treasury” (Mk.12:42). That little ‘no nothing’ woman, that poured the perfume on Jesus’ head, did such a supreme act of worship before God, that Jesus gave her more honor than anyone could imagine. She did not scale some spiritual mountain or preach to a gigantic crowd of heathens. She simply happened by the place where, she beheld a common man, saying uncommon things, Whom she discerned to be worthy of everything she had.

If you knew you had a terminal sickness would you not rivet your mind upon someone who had the cure? But what if there was a mysterious phenomenon that every time a certain word was spoken you were distracted so as not to hear His specific application process?
This Word is the living Jesus.

Our knowledge of God is NEVER exclusive. We have nothing to brag about as if it substantiates our standing with Him. He can snap it away in a heaven’s breath. Unless we treat His gift as everything, we are in danger of losing it all.

The carnal nature of the disciples kept them from treating Jesus appropriately. The crowds insisted that Jesus was no different than they were (Matt.13:55). You can see it everywhere today. Men deem that Jesus deserves no higher respect or consideration than a football game, a soccer game, a big time event, or anything else in this world. A job is more important. A broken door is more important. A shoestring is more important.

“Blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ!”

Men are lulled into the delusion that all moments in life are the same. Where is a living God? Common is the norm. There is nothing new. Nothing special, unless so determined by the world. What was yesterday will be today. Thus, they miss the Son of God in His glorious Presence Who is right in front of them. He is sitting, waiting, hoping for that special recognition of “perfume”.

Various Christians were furious at Paul because his walk in Christ shamed their carnal life style. Being in his presence compelled those around to stand fast and take heed. Paul expressed a sensitivity to the constant activity of the Holy Spirit. God isn’t boring. He doesn’t hem and haw and waste precious moments of life. His eternal love reaches out all day long with His profound provisions to save men from this miserable world.

Jesus says the way we treat His brothers is the way we treat Him. So you prove your appraisal of Him by how you treat His brothers. Instead of recognizing Jesus in Paul many devalued his life (Phil. 1:15). They treated him in a very ordinary manner because this is how they saw themselves. “Why should we revere him? He’s no different than us”.

Anyone who claims to speak things, that demand more for Jesus than common ordinary attention, becomes a threat to those who walk in lazy pride. God warns “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy” (Pr.27:4). Jealousy drives away the very thing a man claims to desire. If a man truly wants the Spirit then he is willing to pay the same price of humility and the brokenness of the cross.

So many companies, politicians, athletes, movie stars etc. boldly proclaim their “brand”.
Soon all men will stand before the Holy of Holies and give an account for the “brand” put upon Him with a crown of thorns and two pieces of wood.

The only thing that transforms a common perspective into the reality of His glory is the individual choice to ignite a fire of faith in the living Jesus. A “Ho hum” perspective on life will result in missing God. Jesus expects a believer to honor Him as God if we claim to be His disciple.

It is no wonder Paul severely warned that “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:10). It pacifies a man with a false security in this world.

Worldly comfort neutralizes a need for faith, and thus eliminates a real participation in the gospel. A beggar must beg to live. A child of God lives desperate before the cross. I have watched men squander ideal opportunity to participate in moments of eternal destiny in serving God’s kingdom because they are held in the grip of monetary comfort. Of course, they will never admit it.

The glory of God in all creation beckons us to awaken our spiritual senses to His voice. It is not a waste to get alone, to be still, to spend quality time before God on your knees. On your face… that you might see His.

These are evil days my friend. My family and I rejoice in our nothingness because His Spirit bears witness to unfailing love. Our suffering and obscurity reflect the living Messiah. His Presence is only seen by those lowly folks who have the inner constitution to pour very expensive perfume upon the head of the Lamb of God.

Totally exhausted but totally one. God has had us on an amazing path of ministry over the last few months. We believe it is a fulfillment of the last days (Acts 2:17/Joel 2:28/Amos 8:11,9:11 ).

We stand and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of every nickel and dime, of every day and month, of every ache and pain, of every effort and breath. The truth is that we are living what we preach. So we are seeing Whom we preach.

One day of seeing is worth far more than 30 days of hearing.

Hallelujah! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

We have seen God use us for a profound impact to hundreds of people in many kinds of venues; including college campuses, city streets, prisoners both men and women and youth centers. The response to the gospel has been “desire realized”. So many open hearts hidden behind the “bad dude” or together image. We are full of awe and praise to Jesus. Every day we continue to receive signicant letters, emails and phone calls from those we have touched.


I would ask anyone who realistically does not see themselves doing such things to consider helping us who have worked very hard to put ourselves in this situation to help them. Which has not been easy, but extremely difficult and time consuming.

It is no easy thing to attain the logistics, administration authorizations, transportation and security clearances that are required to navigate at this level of ministry. It is easy to imagine yourself doing such things but it is quite another thing to accomplish all that is required. You can do so immediately by helping us. We are somewhere on the road, in this country, at this precise moment dealing with many needs to minister at numerous venues. Even a small amount would be extremely helpful.

If you not in a position to be able to help us, we ask you to please pray for us. And not just us, but for the men and women that we minister to as well. Prayer has a tremendous effect. Makes all the difference.

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingSeptember 04, 2019

A Brother’s Love

Over the time of working in prisons, both here and abroad, I have found myself face to face with countless individuals in the despair of impossible circumstances.

Instinct and impulse got the worst of them. Anger, greed or lust drove them to rage. They killed someone. They did the unthinkable. God explains that the nature of such guilt carries enormous torment (Gen.4:9-15). Now they face 20, 40 or 60 years in one acre of hell. Some have several life sentences.

God has opened the doors to so many prisons it is hard to keep pace. We are moving every other day. No matter how many we visit it is always a gripping image to drive up to hundreds of yards of barbed wire. We carry our hundreds of pounds of equipment down long hallways of a cold institution amidst a deep sadness of shattered lives. We do we all we can to connect with each individual. They laugh, they cry, they grasp the gospel of Christ, and we take with us the stories of the men God has given us to pray for.

Recently we went into one of the largest prisons in the U.S. It has “lethal” barbed wire. Some prisons have 3 to 5 layers of barbed fences. Every fence of layer indicates the level from minimal to maximum security. So you can imagine the implications of a “lethal” barbed wire that instantly kills.

You can read the look on a brother’s face like words on a page of a book. Whatever the specifics, you know the story-line is one of sorrow and suffering. So many men released from prison have nowhere to go. Family an society rejects them so they live on the street.

I feel at a loss of words. I’ve seen how token words, doctrines and prayer formulas offer nothing substantial. So I have sought God, for how to help such men. It is no little thing. It is profound compassion provided only in the brotherhood of the living Jesus.

The key is not getting to them, but getting to Him, while amongst them, to give Him to them. So I am learning to “wait” upon Him (Is.40:31). His deep heart is expressed in the heart of the gospel. It demands our brokenness and sincere identification with the cross, which is the power of God (1 Cor.1:18/Phil.3:7-11).

It is only in being able to see and refer to another man in as a natural brother that we have any hope of drawing him into the spiritual brotherhood of Jesus (Mt.25:40). All men die… but not all men LIVE. And a man can only live when he discovers “a brother’s love”.

One of the first thoughts Jesus had, after rising from the dead, was what He had created with His brothers so He wanted to get to them to explain exactly how He actually rose from the dead. Imagine. I sure would have loved to be there. He wanted to see their faces as He blew their minds (Mt.28:10).

This was, and is, the goal of the living Jesus, to explain to us the power of His resurrection. He says “My sheep hear My voice” (Jn.10:27). This is happening in me. It can happen in you, wherever you are, whatever your circumstance. 

The only people on earth who find God’s intended worth, in their time on earth, are those who give their time on earth to walk with Jesus in the giving of His LIFE to create resurrection brothers on earth. It is LIFE beyond your life.

Both ways to describe Jesus, as a brother, or the Brother, offer unique insight. As a the most humble brother, Jesus lacks any imposing ego or intimidation. He is the ultimate Sympathizer. He is willing to be just a brother to get down and dirty with us in the trenches of human warfare.

Yet His words and Presence is so wonderful He instantly draws us into the awe of THE Brother. There’s not a lot of people who can offer forgiveness and resurrection life, at any moment, in any place. Come to think of it, He’s the only One. So He is THE BROTHER.

I “run the way” of His way and watch His love “enlarge” my heart (Ps.119:32/Jn.3:8). Someone Who is so Big is willing to come to someone so small. He welcomes us into a family where His brotherhood replaces our alienation and deprivation.

“A friend loves at all times,

And a brother is born for adversity” (Pr.17:17).

Few people think of Jesus as a brother. Savior, Messiah, Lord, King, etc., yes, but how do we think of Him as a Brother? It is beautiful how the Scriptures detail His work as a brother to resolve our every adversity.
One of the most grieving things to see in prison is old men serving out the end of their sentence. So many have been in prison for thirty or forty years. So many are sick. The world has no mercy. Satan steals everything. Jesus promises, not a second chance at life, but a life of second chances.

“For both He (Jesus) who sanctifies and those who are sanctified (us) are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying” I will proclaim your Name (the Father) to My brethren (us)…for those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” (Hebrews 2:9-18,12:1/Rm.8:29).

In other words, Jesus yearns to meet us in the moments of our frailty because He sees how the Father Himself is willing to recognize us as a fellow brother. The enormous ramifications of the death and resurrection breaks every obstacle tiny and huge obstacle we face.

The term a brother, connotes someone who understands the common and ordinary struggles of life. It is as of a family member who has a lock-down, side-by-side, loyalty of help, in the worst of situations. A brother shares with you in things that mom and dad, a wife, or a stranger, would never understand, or that you would not want them to know. So He is faithful to harbor your deepest secrets. Yet as THE brother is able to mediate and resolve all issues.

If we are willing to ‘put ourselves out there’ to try to help others in their impossible circumstances Jesus promises to meet us because this is His the heart of His will for our lives. We can naturally think that in order to do such a thing we must try our hardest. In fact, this can only happen when we realize “I can’t do it”. This is bigger than me. Instead of striving in self-righteousness we recognize there must be another side to our constant failures.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAW

Multitudes wrongly think God wants them to try, as hard as they can, to do as much as they can, to feel as Christian as they can. Sorry to say, all this creates is a phony. Such a lifestyle keeps one on THIS side of the law. We must get to the other side of legalistic thinking. If we are occupied with trying to do things “right” we are not being still before God. If love is not the center of our life then we have no life. A life of striving to be right is not a brother’s love. It is not the mind of Christ.

Jesus is waiting to bring you the details of how to apply His resurrection and draw you into another “place” (Jn.14:23). To make you His brother. This place is the other side of the Law. It is the cross. It is the only place to find The Brother’s love of the living Jesus. Those who settle for a moral system live in the cold and fearful shadow of Mt. Sinai (always thinking about what is “right”). They live under it’s “curse” (Gal.3:10-13). Things just never ‘click’. Something always going wrong. The hole in the heart remains unfilled.

I once saw a photo of the lines of people attempting to climb Mt. Everest. It looked like the lines at Disneyland, trying to get to the top, with dead bodies frozen along the path. Likewise, multitudes seek that personal feeling of self-accomplishment; “I can do it”. But yet all we see is our failures. Why not go low, so He can take you high? Don’t stand in line at Mt. Sinai.

Jesus dissolves the thinking “I already know that”. His ways require a broken disposition; “I know nothing”. In order to enter into the deepest chambers of another man’s darkness, with the light of Jesus, you must realize how all the things you think you know, have no weight. You must bring this brother the other side of the law; the living Jesus.

Touching raw pain and impossible situations, requires a broken vessel willing to be shaped into the Character of Jesus. Thus the cross of Jesus is mandatory. You’d think that the center of the gospel is a church, a sinner’s prayer or a preacher. People wear a cross. It is seen on top of buildings and worn as jewelry. The reality is the cross is the everlasting covenant of the New Testament. Death to self is not an option. It is the essence of salvation.

So many focus on so many things other than the living Person of Jesus. He is the only One Who died on the cross. He is the only One who can mediate salvation. His living Spirit is the only One Who can teach us to be a “First Responder” to a brother living in pain. We can actually be the very first one to get to someone, who has never been loved before. We can bring the ‘first aid kit’ of forgiveness and kindness of the Brother’s love.

This is one of the many scenes that Joshua designed to serve as a backdrop to our
“demonstration” (1 Cor. 2:4).

I want to learn as much and as fast as I can. I want nothing in me to stand in His way. How about you? Jesus promises to put in us, here, now, today, the same exact love and divine revelation He shares with the Father (Jn. 17:22-26). The word “Name” means “character” in Greek (onami). The “Name of Jesus” is not a pentecostal or magical incantation that zaps stuff. We’ve all seen this hocus pocus religious nonsense.

Rather, His Name is a matter of learning how to specifically express His divine Character (Name) of love, kindness, truth, and understanding to others. His Character in us IS the power of God upon us and others, in any and every “adversity”; circumstance and situation (1 Cor.1:18/Acts.4:12). Paul says “For me to live IS Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

“I have made Your name known  to them, and will make it known, so that the  love which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn.17:26). Amazing!

Two brothers above. My sons, Joshua and Abraham and David (our DJ of music-not pictured), work to the bone, to connect at levels of humor and comedy, using card tricks, and wisdom, as well as theatre, Tae Kwon Do and teaching, to draw men into their brotherhood of Jesus, learned from their years of experience proclaiming Jesus throughout the world.

Knowing Jesus as a Brother is the personal journey of being quick to se our selfish pride and repent. To learn how to meld our rough edges in order to weld the broken parts in the hearts of our brothers.

As I watch the clock tick away, I am compelled to “seize the day”. How about you? The aches and pains of my dying body “Broadcast live!”, “Every moment of every day, your time is slipping away”.  

Every man on the face of the earth is in desperate search for love. Every man hates the awkward feelings of alienation and striving to be accepted. Becoming a brother of Jesus eliminates these human inclinations. So I offer you here, in this blog, as your brother, the witness of my family; my wife and six adult children; to the truth of what it means to be His family. I join with Paul who prayed; 

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name”… that God would show you the profound riches of His Character so that you can find the true power of His Spirit in the “inner man” (Ephesians 3:14ff). 

“I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Cor.9:22).

Please, my friend, no matter what you may think of some things I write, hear my heart. I may seem rough and tough, and at times, ‘in your face’, but there is a strategy behind my ways that is from a Brother’s heart. Some call it ‘tough love’. Hell is no scare tactic.

My friend, there is a horrendous storm, far worse than the most recent hurricane devastated the Bahamas. It is not composed of rain and wind but fire and demons. This is not hyperbole or Bible scare tactics. It is going to happen. There will be no place to flee. It is prophesied in Revelation 16, of a just and holy God. This is no time to coddle delicate feelings of your flesh being offended. This is the end of time. Please, do not procrastinate. Read this until you understand.

This is another one of the nine boxes, all of the same size, that all fit together, that Joshua created to serve as the optional back stage.

THE TEST

“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. TEST YOURSELVES TO SEE IF YOU ARE IN THE FAITH: examine yourselves!…” (2 Cor. 13:4-5).

Are you willing to become weak that He might become strong in you? Are you willing to sacrifice your ego so Jesus could manifest a brothers love to you and through you.

The Father chose Abraham to show us how we can get beyond ourselves (Rm.4:19). We can get beyond every obstacle. Abraham was a very old and feeble dude. This is why God chose him to become the father of faith. He exemplified a “type” of the resurrection of Jesus by contemplating his own body “as good as dead”. He was able to imagine an attitude of “hope against hope” (Rm.4:16-21/Jn.6:29).

Abraham generated the same faith Jesus was to demonstrate beyond the dictates of His dire circumstances. Abraham created the only weapon in the war against reality; faith. He “contemplated” his own body, yet, in regards to God’s Word, He yet imagined life beyond his limitations. Without using our imagination of faith, we have no wings to fly.

IMAGINE-a perfect Father, and a perfect Brother

PICTURES IN YOUR MIND-(supplant 2 Cor.10:3-5 w/ Eph.3:20)

Satan feeds our mind with little invisible thoughts as long as we allow him to, but we can change our mind (2 Cor.10:3/Rm.12:2). It can help us begin to replace the cycle of failure. If you seriously want to know the brotherhood of Jesus it requires you learn how to utilize your mind to learn true repentance.

God has created our mind with the profound capacity to form a positive imagination. Imagination is the Launch Pad of faith. IMAGINE a plane taking off from a runway. The plane is faith. Imagine a NASA rocket being propelled by the booster rocket of fuel. The fuel is our capacity to imagine and the rocket is our faith  headed into the divine realm of God’s promises. If we are willing to initiate new ways of stepping out in faith it shows our ability to imagine a new life remains in the grip of Satan’s lies.

Imagination is the means to, not improve, but to break loose and replace our routine imaginations with God anointed thoughts. The ability to imagine a new life feeds our hope. It is the process of true repentance.  To utilize our mind and not allow it to become lazy. Mental atrophy results in mental anguish. We are created to create. 

We are reborn to alter the cycle of your past mental routine. Transform is very exciting to imagine (Rm.12:2). Jesus specifically chose the word “calculate” to speak of salvation because it requires doing real stuff (Lk.14:26ff). This is not emotion. It is the word used for calculus, which is one of the deepest levels of mathematics. It requires the exercise of our will and reaches into the deep heart of our Brother Jesus. 

Imagine yourself laying on a beautiful grass field looking up at a night filled sky of stars. Imagine sitting on a pier and smelling the ocean as giant waves roll in from the sea. Imagine sitting by the aroma of a fire surrounded by friends laughing and singing. Imagine sitting on a mountain peak looking for miles and knowing all things are beautiful. So many things you can imagine.

So now imagine a perfect Father. He is not in some distant fairyland. But right here next to you. Contemplate all His magnificent ways revealed in the Word of God. He wants to bring all His glory to bear upon you here and now. Imagine Jesus as the Brother of the resurrection. Imagine giving yourself fully to His death and resurrection.

This is the start of faith. Talk to Him. Fill your imagination with truth. Replace the lies with promises of God.

Would a perfect Father not make total perfect provision for the mistakes and failures of those He knows have a sinful human nature? He is well acquainted with our frame, that we are but dust.  Jesus showed us the Father’s response (Lk.15:12ff).

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us…” (Eph.3:20).

There’s nothing more Jesus desires than for you to share in His brotherhood and behold the Father as He knows Him. So Jesus uses the word “calculate” to help us understand how to press in and press down into the attitude necessary to appropriate His salvation into our lives (Lk.14:28ff). The root of this word is calculus, which is a deep level of mathematics. Mathmatics is not based on feelings or fluff. It requires serious concentration, exercise of the mind and free will. Salvation is not an emotional whim of good feelings. It requires brunt force trauma against our own lazy, wicked and selfish ways.

My beautiful daughters are as fellow brothers. Sarah, Ruth, and Elizabeth marvel over God’s wisdom to use both the “magic” of their lives and magic they learn to draw men. Prisoners are fascinated by it and so appreciate such a high-class show. In the above trick they “actually” make their mom appear out of a cardboard box.
Ruth sharing her the X-ray of her wound of the titanium rod and screws in her leg to identify with those in wheelchairs and other physical trauma. She then dances “Riverdance”. The response here was so good we stayed late into the night. Cool green lights for her shoes she ordered online.

People love to “fist bump” themselves as they see themselves attain their own standards of what they think God wants. Paul did this and said it was “crap” (Phil. 3;4-8). My flesh is no more righteous today then I was when I was smoking my joints, and listening to Moody Blues and Santana.  As we grow in Christ our flesh does not assimilate angelic molecules.

I was not, at that time, nor at this time, a good man (Rm.3:10). I knew, and I know, I was, and I am a hopeless cause.  But, as Abraham revealed, I find a brother’s love in a “hope against hope”. Jesus says his brothers are those who obey God, not their fleshly inclinations (Lk.8:21). Jesus faced the hopelessness of the cross yet His obedience of faith in the Father drew Him beyond the hopeless situation of death. So He now propels me into this faith (Rm.4:18). 

HEALING THE WOUND

When I gave my life to Jesus, in the football stadium of Notre Dame, I focused on one Scripture; “learn from Me” (Mt.11:29). As a young brother, I didn’t have a clue. I was troubled by my ongoing guilt and failure. I found myself standing in line at Mt. Sinai along with multitudes. But I was intent in my faith that my Brother promises a real power and I had to find out.

It took years and it came from serious application to fully understand that to get to the other side of the law required passing by way of the cross. Paul says it is the “power of God” (1 Cor.1:18). Long after Jesus died, Paul says “I have been crucified” (Gal.2:20). Here then I discovered how to become united with His death (Gal.2:20/Rm.6:6). Whew. The end of guilt. Where there is no law neither can there be any violation (Rm. 4:7,15/1 Jn.3:9/John 8:11). The law began to tutor me how to rest solely on faith in Jesus (Gal. 3:24). 

Abraham sewed this beautiful costume from scratch to exemplify “the wound” of 1 Peter 2:24. He and I both wear it. He does so with stilts. We have put together a play to offer a healing perspective to replace the raw pain of regret these men face every moment of every day. Jesus is the only One to have conquered our wound of sin and suffering (Jer. 30:12ff/Lam.3).

The other side of the law is not the common claim by so many of “I don’t need to do anything. I am saved by grace.”: i.e. lawlessness. Rather, grace is the power from the actual fusion of new ways brought into our lives by the healing of the blood of Jesus. He covers our sin and replaces our heart with His.

Always pondering our next move. The wind blows where it wills (Jn.3:8). How can this vessel facilitate a brothers love?

Jesus is the perfect Brother offering you fellowship with a perfect Father (Heb.1:3 /Jn.13:1). Paul says “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!…” (Rm.11:33). This was the first verse I taught my wife, Rachel, when I led her to Jesus, back in college. It is the path we now walk together as one family. 

Those who know me understand my ‘tough guy’ appearance is to win the Harley bikers, Semi-truckers, and gangs. Paul learned from Jesus, to become like another brother is an effort to win that brother into the brotherhood of Jesus (1 Cor.9:19ff). Hey, it ain’t gonna last too much longer. Soon I’ll only be able to appear as an old fuddy duddy dude.

michael woroniecki 2019
I put a self-portrait on my shirt. In the prisons here in the states we are not allowed to show pictures of the inmates.

It is a joyful relief to see yourself loving someone more than yourself. Such is the privilege of having gotten to the other side of the law.  

Elizabeth brings a dance from Spain that displays a love for so many Spanish speaking inmates. They appreciate it so much.

 My friends, God teaches us through His Word, through prayer, meditation, contemplation, ordinary events in everyday life, the marvelous ways of His Father. 

When I was in seminary I became quite grieved hearing the constant chatter of men trying to “find a ministry”. There was even classes specifically designed to help students determine whether they were to be a teacher, evangelist, missionary, prophet, etc. 

Few of them listened to my claim, that I had no other identity, or desire, than to become a son and a brother. I don’t care about a title or a ministry. We live on the road in total obscurity. We care about pleasing our Father and communicating our Brother’s love to the lost. And as that storm, of all storms, rapidly approaches, we rejoice to be in the safety of His will. Join us. 

Whatever we do, or don’t do, to the least of His brothers, we do or don’t do, unto Him (Mt.25:40). No one of us can meet this call, unless we go to the other side of the law, to immerse our mind in a Brother’s love. It is not in our nature to care for anyone other than ourselves. We are no better than the mankind of 2000 years ago. The “we” of then, is the “we” of now, UNLESS….we learn the care of the Brother’s Love; the living Jesus.

“Come to Me, I will give you rest…” (Mt.11:28). 

My hope is that in whatever time you have left on this earth you will apply your heart to comprehend a Brothers love and the Brother’s love. Above all, I ask you for your prayers. Not for us, but for those brothers suffering so much whom we are working so hard to bring the resurrection of the living Jesus (Mt.25:40). Thank you.

The end of the world is near. I do not intend for this to sound like hyperbole because it is the truth. 

Imagine…

God being fashioned in atoms, captured in stature, compatible with the tangible, and grafted into the actual; This disguise of mankind,He wore willingly though not befitting, the fully divine, His hand living and touching everything that touches us, the full circumference of suffering every injustice. Tasting death in a broken vessel, our decaying flesh and bones as His earthly temple. He endured every level of hurt to unearth the worth of needed new birth, Jesus silenced the violent cries in His mind as He heard the Father’s every word. He transferred our shame then took the blame, He did not evade being well acquainted with our physical abasement or to be named amongst the disdained and complacent. Called a glutton called a drunkard, with the criminals He was numbered, too much to suffer? So that in all things He could call us His …………..brothers.

Elizabeth

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
TeachingAugust 25, 2019

How To Not Give UP

“Fight the good fight… run in such a way, as not without aim; box in such a way as not beating the air” (1 Tim. 6:10/1 Cor.9:26).

I was face down on the floor of a Michigan Jail cell.
My CMU football coach and I were arrested in a barroom brawl. This incident set my image amongst my teammates. I’m an old dog now, but back then, I benched 400 lbs. and welcomed anyone to “bring it!”. So I get the whole ‘badass’ thing. It is building an intimidating image to back people off so you can hide from reality. Images come in many costumes.


Why ‘give a damn’? No one else does. Why waste good energy on caring about others when hurt and self-pity come so easy? Even parents, a spouse or children can, without regard, drop unbearable grief upon our soul. Mental anguish can swirl in our minds like a tornado. My darkness was so dark, even my shadow left. But giving up was not in my blood. Is it in yours?


Life is just too short. I remember thinking that I was not going to let this weird unseen feeling of pride lead me to the monumental consequence of hell. Playing games with pride is like one of those “expert” animal trainers who end up being killed by the animal they think they know so well. Accepting reality can be very tough. I could easily end up in prison if I didn’t “come to my senses” (literally “came to himself”) (Lk.15:17). The word ‘beautiful’ had no place in my world… until then.


My mind was an empty warehouse, but I realized then, that it was up to ignite my intelligence. No more excuses. No one was going to change my life for me. If we don’t deal with the truth we will never know the truth. We have to face the hard issues. Like many, I asked “Where was God when I was broken by false accusations and terrible circumstances? Why did He not see my needless pain and invisible tears?” Please, my friend, give me a shot here. I won’t let you down.


Fighters Fight

When a man faces his nothingness, it can be his end or the beginning. It can be the very catalyst that kindles the level of fight necessary to become a champion. There is one thing better than fighting for what you imagine. It is fighting to obtain the promise to become what you can not imagine.

“God has chosen the foolish things…the weak things…the base things…the despised…the things that are NOT… to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works with us” (1 Cor.27ff /Eph.3:20).

It is saying nothing to say that we must fight for our life. Reaching beyond ourselves requires a Degree in Resolve. If you want something you’ve never had you must do something you’ve never done. For every famous boxer or athlete, there are tens of thousands of fighters defeated in the ring. Words like bravery, defiance, audacity, and intensity are words of the conquerer. This is the experience of being an individual in Christ. Not bound to the ways or opinions of any man. David rejected the armor of fear for the assurance of his own sling and stones.

A prison in Brazil asked us to come back as often as possible. Men living in deplorable conditions desperate for the authentic love the Father offers to those who believe. We have seen God use us with a profound impact on multitudes of prisoners and we are full of awe and praise.

Sincerity is not enough. Tons of people are sincerely deceived. In any field of life, there are men of heart and men of pretense. I have known a lot of guys who talk good B.S. They know a lot. It’s great stuff. They go on and on about how to do things, the “right” way. But they get their butt kicked in the ring of reality because they refuse to lay down their pride for Jesus. Armchair quarterbacks don’t have a clue to the vision for victory.

When we are punched in the face, “something” rises up within to punch back. It does not mean we are a fighter. This ‘something’ can lead to further heartache, anger bitterness, etc. and, at times, tragedy. The question is whether we will distinguish between the fight of hostile impulse, the flesh, and the fight of individually calculated, and anointed, grit.

There was a Saul and there was a David. Two kings of Israel. One who had a heart. There was a Jacob (“supplanter” -wrestled with God/ and an Esau who was a great hunter (macho). Jesus spoke of two sons. One focused on talking and the other applied himself to learn what really mattered (Mt.21:28/ Lk.15:11ff).


When I first considered God, I resolved, that I was not going to be a phony. No one in the world cares about your image. All I wanted to know is whether Jesus lives. Reckless abandon is the fast-track to the truth. You can get beyond all the B.S. of self-made excuses and religious “experts” in the snap of a finger.


It was in solitude that I contemplated how there is absolutely NO VALUE to pretense. None. Who cares? It’s about eternal life or eternal hell.
I once saw a documentary on the very moment U.S. soldiers apprehended the German guards in a concentration camp. The most astounding scene was the expression on their faces. It was not, as one would expect, a look of shame. Rather, it was a look of being stunned and bewildered. They couldn’t believe what they had done.


Paul was a very “righteous” man but yet he killed men, women, children, and even Stephen; who was the 1st martyr. One day, he was bucked off his horse. While laying face down, God showed him the hole in his soul. How could he be so blind as to identify his own bitterness as the love of God? He fled into the Arabian desert all alone, for fourteen years, to try to understand himself (Gal.1:12, 2:1).


What he uncovered was nothing less than unfathomable. He said it generated a “waging war” within him like no other fight on earth. (Rm.7:23). Albert Einstein (E=Mc2) was a brilliant German scientist who said: “Education is not the learning of facts, it is training the mind to think”.
These days, faith is identified by the nonsense religious sentiment. It is not. It always makes me laugh how people quickly identify an emotional hoot-n-holler frenzy as “anointing”. When I was in seminary I watched guys take on these ways as if they were learning the secret code to a secret society. There is nothing “anointed” about these common and generic intonations. It does not reflect an ounce of Holy Spirit anointed individual. It is always exactly the same because these blind leaders of the blind know that the blind can’t see.


Jesus calls us to His salvation based on a personal decision to “calculate” His reality using intelligence (Lk.14:28). The word calculate is a mathematical word (study synonyms). It is faith. It is the power to withstand Satan. No warm fuzzies. No room temperature feelings and experiences. Faith is proven by the power to conquer all aspects of selfishness. The things God showed Paul about himself broke him. All self-righteousness went out the window (Phil. 3:9).

Truth generates a level of fight to comprehend everything about self is “hostile” to God. This humiliation of self does not manifest itself in a forlorn melancholy, but in a newfound audacity to grasp and participate in a real process of transformation. It isn’t striving to be a “good person”. Quite the contrary. It is the ultimate payoff of freedom. Abraham calculated and defied the feelings of his aging body for FAITH (Rm.4:19/Heb.11:1).


This “good fight” is between two warring natures. Paul explains “I do the very things I hate… it is not me doing it but sin which indwells me… I find the principle that evil is present in me… waging war against my mind and making me a PRISONER OF SIN…wicked man that I am!” (Rm.7:21ff/Is.59/Job17:14, 25:6). This conflict makes most people give up on God because the bottom line is they love themselves. But it wasn’t in Pauls blood to give in to self (Phil.3:14).


Paul saw in himself what those German guards saw, and what I have seen. The monster of sin hides in the basement of our ego. We can never be a “good person” because God says “There is no one good… not one… all have become ‘nothing’…” (Rm.3:10).


I constantly tried to blame God for the consequence of my own wicked ways. It set my conscience on fire. Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent. Blame is in our nature of sin. It impacts every moment of our existence and makes our life hell on earth. We wrongly blame a person, a crime, an event or our personality. Exactly what Satan wants, because then we never deal with the root of our problem. The cross is not waiting for them but for YOU.


Ignorance leaves us in a bitter winter storm, deep inside, that freezes our heart in cold isolation, pain, bitterness, and depression. Our mind drops to 50 degrees below. We become like a zombie existing in conscious torment. God says we are “desperately sick” (Jer.17:9).


This is not a religious issue, my brother. It is life or death.

Understanding sin answers thousands of questions to why we feel and act the way do. It is not by using a fist, muscle, and strength that we can conquer our greatest enemy of self It is by the fierce battle of faith, using intelligent comprehension of the work of Jesus to strip the rights of our future from the hands of Satan (Ps. 51:17/ Jn.12:25/Rm.6/ 1Tim.6:12).


The Ultimate Fighter


Bearing a thousand tears, and a face full of blood, Jesus bore every punch of man and Satan. He cared so much about our predicament that He bled in prayer. Imagine the FIGHT of such a Lion. “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood…” (Heb.12:3-4).

Old red boxing gloves on wooden background.


Jesus descended into our every ‘hell hole’ of filth and disgust and became the ‘Ladder’ for our escape. Do not gloss over this. You must stop and imagine.

This was not so you could feel all gooey and “righteous” about yourself, as a “better” Christian. It was so you could become a hero, of reality and truth, standing for Jesus in an insane world. Jesus offers the greatest power in the universe to ACTUALLY free you from every single thing that bothers you. No exaggeration.


When a ruthless soldier thrust a crown of thorns into His skull, and His body was hung from nails, Jesus revealed His heart to you, about you; “Abba”, meaning “Father… forgive him” (Mk.14:36). You and I are not “nice guys”, dude. We deserve hellfire. Jesus chose to come in the likeness of our wicked nature so He could bear the wrath we will receive for our sin. By “out of nothing” I mean… out of sin (Rm.5:20/1 Cor.1:28).


When Jesus was killed, our human body, corrupted by sin, died (1Pet.2:24). It was brilliant. God’s holy wrath for our sin was appeased. Jesus became our Substitute. He offered atonement to cleanse our conscience from all guilt once and for all time to cover all our failures on earth with unlimited forgiveness and redemption. Jesus can now “reckon” to us, by faith, everything He accomplished (Rom4/Heb.9:12).


Jesus rose with a new body. He offers us the resurrection life now, and a new body, when we die. Many of today’s “Christians” act “ho-hum” about all this because it is mere theory. They have never come personally to the living Jesus, Who alone imparts this revelation (Jn.11:25).
The contrast between the Father’s offer of love, forgiveness, and compassion, and our persistent despicable ways is a reality that ignites a life-changing depth of gratitude and breaking of every self-centered claim of pride.


Multitudes have a troubled conscience because they wrongly think the gospel is to make them a “better man” by works of good behavior (Read: Rom.3:20/ Gal.2:16-21).


Don’t let “preachers” or “professionals” undermine the future that God promises to give you. Satan wants to neutralize and minimize the supernatural provision of the living Jesus.

The Right Fight

It is easy to expend your energy fighting to defend the very enemy that destroys you, self. You are “boxing the air”. Few things really matter. Really, only one (Lk.10:42). The right fight is to sit at the feet of Jesus, not just physically, so as to become the ultimate sensitive person to receive and give Love. Jesus was so loving that at the very time when He bore the sins of the world, He listened to the thief next to Him. Imagine that conversation. This thief was the first person in heaven (Lk.23:43). Imagine what kind of heart this thief had to admit he deserved to be crucified and watched, face to face, the Messiah die just like himself.

His same love is in me here and now so that I can now touch you with Him. Selfless love is the ultimate fulfillment. His call to you is not about you, but using you to express His love to rescue others (2 Cor. 5:15).


God does not just offer us a 2nd chance at life. He offers a life of 2nd chances.

Your future is not subject to anything you did in the past. It is based on what Jesus did in the past for your future. We can’t go back into the past but the living Jesus can redeem all things in proper perspective and heal any wound. Your future depends on the level of your fight. “God looks on the heart” (1Sam.16:7).


Time to get smart, my friend. Laziness and self-pity rendered me one level lower than a rock. Scale the mountain of excuses to get to the summit of your intelligence. Be an individual. You are the artwork of God. Deal with sin and repentance in a logical, calculated faith to become beautiful through Christ (Lk. 14:28/2 Cor. 5:17).

What we become on the inside automatically determines how we deal with things on the outside.


The true “sinner’s prayer” does not resolve sin by a one time feeling of sorrow. It is a 24/7 “prayer formula” of seeing your wicked self, yet living in grace. Jesus can stop the bleeding of any wound (Is.53). He promises “I have come for the sick” (Mk.2:16/ Heb.11:6/ Rm.1:17/ Jm.2:23).

I could never have imagined that such a scumbag like me could ever be given such a revelation. I am a “wretched man” who lives in a body of sin, but my heart loves God (Rm.7:24). I sought Him and asked Him to be born again (Jn.3:3/1Cor.15:45). What else matters but eternal life?


I was in the football stadium of Notre Dame. Jesus says “Ask, seek, find and receive” (Mt.7:7). I did. He did. No man can ever say of this “Criminal”… He doesn’t care about me. The hell we face is due to a world owned by Satan (1 Jn.5:19). Jesus came into our “hell” with everything we need. He pleads with you, “Come to Me… nothing is impossible… I am the bread of life; the Good Shepherd; the Way, the Truth, the Life,…Living Waters” (Mt.11:28/Jn.10,14,7:38).


Things can get much worse than they are right now. The Father can, not only prevent this but like a Potter and clay, form new life “out of nothing (sin)”.


Bitterness can poison your soul. Forgive yourself. Then, forgive everyone who has ever harmed you (Mt. 6:14).


Don’t be afraid to be alone and think alone. It is crucial because you will stand alone. Appreciate solitude. Talk to God about everything. Change is a simple choice of faith. The thief on the cross never went to a “service” or became a better person Luke 23:43). He could only offer a broken heart. He was the first one to go to heaven. My friend, I beg you. STOP! Quit being so passive and presumptive about something that demands you be desperate and become an intense fighter: ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL HELL.

Don’t fight the wrong fight. Humble yourself and fight for a purpose beyond what you can IMAGINE (Jn.12:25). Paul says “Forget what lies behind and press on” (Phil.3:13). Don’t base your future on anything you may have done or accomplished in the past. Go deep (Study 2 Cor.10:3/Eph.6:12/Jn.8:44,10:10). Study God’s Word. I pray to see you on the other side of death. Remember, it is not by self-strength (2Co.12:9). He works in us out of nothing, IN WEAKNESS.

Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.
Teaching, TravelsJune 15, 2019

How To Know God: the compass of conscience

In our most recent work in a prison here in Brazil, we saw the marvelous love of the Father. The conditions are horrendous. It is only God Who bring the comfort they need. Little did we expect, the town was also hosting a massive convention on alcohol with people from all over the world. We were so privileged to touch these men with Jesus, in the mornings, while also distributing some 14,000 tracts at the conference, in the evenings. Sorry to say, our precious Rachel paid the high price of now coming down with pneumonia as a result of our close contact with the prisoners. Such is the price of compassion.

We all suffer from sickness and pain; physical, mental and emotional. No man can bear the stress of life. So sad how so many choose to merely talk about their problems, rather than humbly learn how to find real answers. Jesus promises to “bind up” (Hebrew literal “stop the bleeding”) anyone who comes to Him (Is.61:1). But we must come in truth. So many suppress and deny the pain of past and present bleeding wounds. “Oh, I’m fine. I know all about God”. But the REALITY of their lives exposes a sad truth.

Reality is not what we SAY it is, but what we SEE it is in our daily life.

Many accept the thinking; ‘Just hold on to what I got, because I have already done all that I am going to do in life to ‘get to God’. So whatever I have right now is what I am going to end up with when I die’. Oh, please, my friend, no. Why not seize answers, if they really exist? God doesn’t require exclusive knowledge of physics or celestial navigation.

It took me many years to translate spiritual terminology of the Scriptures into practical understanding for application to personal struggles. Christianity, as an impersonal system, that functions in a realm of theory and emotion. Multitudes are disillusioned.

Death is not something coming someday. It is happening right now within us. Every day, every month and every year our faculties of mind and body are aging and becoming inoculated to truth meant for immediate response. Our mental posture of childhood innocence is seduced by cynicism and bitterness. It is the curse of sin (Rm.6:23/Gal.3:10). What does it hurt to stop and check the compass of life?

Our watch is broken. It is much later than we think. A clock is a distraction from the accurate measure of life. God has placed His mechanism within us to do so. It is the device called the conscience.

The will of God for us is to know Him, not via a system built by men, but through the very thing called conscience He created within us (Rm.2:14). So many say “I’ve wasted my life. Can I still find God’s will for me?”. The answer is yes. The value of our life is not known by how much we accomplish in the eyes of this world but in the eyes of God. Before you spend one more thought on what you wish you did or did not do, should you not rather learn the wisdom to do what you yet can do? 

THE EASE OF DISTRACTIONS AND PERILOUS CONSEQUENCES

A stunning view suddenly became a sight of terrible fear.

My family and I used to live in Colorado. We often visited Yellowstone National Park as we traveled to bring the living Jesus to the campuses in the Northwest. On one visit, I took a hike by myself up into the backcountry. It was spectacular. I pondered many amazing mountain views.

I watched a black bear walk across an Alpine Meadow and was startled by an adolescent grizzlie that ran ten feet in front of me. It was the hike of a lifetime. I came over a ridge and was descending into a huge gorge, encompassed by a vast forestland range. I soon realized that I had gotten so distracted, I lost focus of my bearings. Suddenly I was gripped with fear.

As I peered out over this spectacular view, I realized I was surrounded by a circle of mountains all looking the same. Not a path in sight. I knew I could not take even one more step until I figured it all out. My amazing hike was about to turn into a nightmare of being lost in the wilderness. My heart sank.

 We’ve all heard terrible stories of people being lost. The reason is usually due to walking the wrong radius. Imagine the letter V laid out over miles. I am at the bottom of it with the choice of going one way or another. Once I start walking the wrong way I would, increasingly, be walking away from the line to my campsite and farther into the wilderness.

The majority of well-intended people lose their bearings in life, not necessarily because of some vicious drive to do evil, but simply because they do not heed the serious need to maintain the God-given bearings of conscience. It is what we have been given by God to lead us in this world. If we lose it’s bearings, we become lost in the wilderness.

The conscience is every man’s God-given compass in life (con-with/science-knowledge). It is the measure of the choices of our freewill. Its composition is a profound impartation of God’s very image created within us at conception. It is not vague. It is upfront in our daily consciousness. It weighs all our decisions and delivers an instant “print-out” of its evaluation.

Our teachers and parents never taught us, alongside math, geography, and science, how to use this “compass”. But it is a moral mechanism more accurate than any man-made instrument. It measures truth, as our eyes and ears measure sights and sounds.

It is a myth, disseminated by Satan in the garden of Eden, that man does not know God.  The conscience is our ‘common sense’ indicator to the truth of God. It holds the power to lead any seeker of truth to the saving knowledge in Jesus.

 
Joshua does not exactly wear a suit and tie to reach prisoners. Paul says “I am all things to all men”. His only desire is touch guys using a “rap” song he wrote about how Jesus will come to them in the midst of sorrow, fear, pain, murder and death.

When I started out on my hike, I made a choice not to follow the typical path. So I knew I had to maintain serious focus so as not to lose my bearings. I never expected that distractions could be so consequential. I immediately sat down and asked Jesus to help me. Slowly, I began to realize how and where I went the wrong way.

The men love to participate in a cultural dance. We believe in a living Christ Who would actually dance with them in such a way.

SUPPRESSION OF THE TRUTH

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against… men who suppress the truth…because that which is known about God is evident within men; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly see, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but became futile (stupid) in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…” (Rm.1:18-22).

There is no “Beep. Beep. Beep” alarm when the conscience is ignored. Rather, it dispenses varying degrees of guilt, anxiety, and stress which are warning signs of going off a radius. Here then, is where another inborn mechanism works to distract you off course. The sin in our human nature is bent on the “wilderness”. The wilderness is not some obvious red light district of drugs and punk heavy metal music. It is any subtle appeal to move outside the compass of conscience. The choice to NOT sit down in silence before God is a choice to walk on into “the wilderness”.

It is always so edifying to watch men touched by Rachel’s song of the Father crying for their love. She sings it in Portugues,acapella, no backup music whatsoever.

What we refuse to understand can ultimately kill us. Slowly, but suddenly, life can become occupied by a “reality” inconsistent with the truth. We build a subculture of self-delusion. Denying reality becomes your reality. This is exactly why God put a conscience within us, to specifically “bear witness” to His absolute truth (Rm.2:14ff). When we deny it, we deny Him and incur perilous consequences.

Distractions can be any number of things, whether Christian or secular, whether “nice” or evil. Sin is hostile to our very existence (Rm.8:7). Its constant mode is sabotage. Selfish pride and ego are not fun and games. Sin does not leave us the luxury of “I’ll get to it if I get to it”. Things happen. They can cause serious emotional and mental harm. Ever met someone absolutely devasted after a fifteen-year marriage now facing a divorce? How about someone who has perpetrated a serious crime and just can’t get over it? Maybe a soldier back from Afghanistan (PTSD)?

We were created to function in harmony with conscience, soul, and spirit. When our mind contradicts our soul (conscience) we alter our equilibrium. Our mind fights towards peace but is tormented by conscience in conflict. Paul says we can become as a ship caught in the tide, pulling it into the rocks of destruction. The question is how serious are you about knowing God. Can you dare to take control of yourself to the extent of becoming silent before God? Can you detect and discern your inner disposition? The outcome is a breakthrough in REALITY.

Jesus told a fisherman named Peter “I will MAKE YOU…a fisher of men”. It wasn’t up to Peter to become something he was not. True salvation is the work of the Spirit of Jesus. Multitudes cry alone each day because they are brutalized by a world gone mad. Salvation is manifested by our love for others. The Father is waiting for you to learn how to be a fisher of men.

God created Adam and Eve (mankind), to reflect His Character by using the conscience as the perfect guide. However, sin corrupted this divine capability. So it is no longer a perfect guide. It must be cleansed of sins effects (pride). The conscience tells you this very thing. When a man chooses to disregard this inward compulsion, he alone bears all the consequences of independent autonomy; EGO.

The Father asks you the very same question He asked Adam “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). It’s not about geographics. It’s about your heart. The heart is not buried behind the rib cage. It is displayed in your face, your words, your actions, investments, etc.

Ruth demonstrates her outcome of the wound recorded on her x-ray and shares how the twelve screws drilled into her leg drove her to be able to dance despite them. She constantly deals with pain. She relates it to everyone’s pain in life which they too can learn to conquer and dance beyond.

Taking your bearings requires two or three turns on the combination into the vault of your heart. For King David, it was “cake” because he was a heart-master (1 Sam.24:11). Such a character reflects a sincere desire to steer clear of all presumption. Because presumption is the undercurrent that causes a “shipwreck of your faith” (1 Tim.1:19).

I remember the exact moment on that mountain when I dared to sit in silence and closely evaluate when, how and where I went wrong. I am so thankful for the courage to do so. It could have saved my life.

Abraham is a leaders leader. He could design a FORTUNE 500 company. Not a father’s pride. Just a fact he has designed, welded, engineered and sewn things; just blown away by his creativity. We don’t go alot. But we got is from our own blood, sweat and tears. His motivation is not based on “works” of obligation but to serve the Father and our family so Jesus is exalted (Eph.2:8-10). In various settings, both outside and inside, within schools, delinquent centers, on the streets, and in prisons, we use the different modes of communicating the gospel. The torches obviously represent the fire of God’s Holy Spirit.

God said, Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Gen.1:26). Few realize that the 150 songs David wrote, and how Solomon’s wisdom circulated throughout the world, were a direct result of the image of God. They demonstrated the profound capacity for the knowledge of God in every man. Every poet, philosopher, musician, teacher, and ruler throughout history has, in most cases unknowingly, drawn from the knowledge of God to rise in the society of their generation.

Jesus left no excuse for not expanding our life into the fullness of His love.

Our humanity is of no little composition. As our potential for depravity lies within our sin, the potential for glory is the beckoning of our divine image. An image by Rembrandt or Picasso sells for millions of dollars. It reflects a brilliant reality. How much more so is the brilliance of His mercy, ingenuity, humor, creativity, intell