The Torch and the Sword

•March 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

Chapter 1: The Torch

“It is sunset and sunrise. A sunset in one place is a sunset in another. You live in the sunset of one age, and the dawning of another.”

“This torch is the light of My presence, and it is also what you call ‘a movement.’ I am the Living Truth, and truth which is living is always moving. In the beginning the Holy Spirit moved, and He has not stopped moving. Life moves… This torch will give its bearers great influence. Those who have carried it, and then laid it down, often did so because they began to esteem the influence of the torch more than His presence. As they drifted from Him, the torch because too heavy for them and they laid it aside, and began to substitute their own words for His Words. This is how the doctrines and traditions of men began to eclipse the influence of His Spirit over men.”

Chapter 2: The Messenger

“[Enoch] prophesied the coming of the mighty ones who are soon to be released on the earth. From the time he was allowed to see them he has waited for this time. You are called to help awaken these mighty ones to their destiny. When they are awakened, they will have the heart of Enoch… from among those coming, there will arise many like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and John. There as many as a thousand like each of the great messengers in the age that is now ending.”

“You must walk with Me. Only by this will you be wise and humble enough to be trusted on earth with the authority and power [of heaven]. Wisdom and humility are more important than the power. Without them the power will corrupt you, and you will be used for evil.”

“Many are called but few are chosen. You must now go and find those who have persevered to become My chosen ones. They will keep the fire and ignite in all men the fire that man was created to have. You will know these chosen ones by the fire that already burns in them. They will never be content with religious practice, for they yearn for Me and the reality of this realm… I will also give them greater authority than I have yet entrusted to men on the earth. They will receive this because they will have the wisdom and humility to use it. When the Day of Judgment comes, their testimony will be that they walked with Me and their fire did not dim. These are My messengers that the whole of creation has been waiting and travailing for. It is time for them to awaken.”

“I give My power to those who are wise and mature enough to use it. The evil one gives his power to those who are foolish and immature enough to be used by it. The time is coming upon the earth when all must choose to walk with Me, or be taken by the power of a greater evil than has yet to be known on the earth.”

Chapter 3: The Horse and the Girl

“Demons hate each other as much as they hate us. They can’t march together for very long before they start to fight each other. They only thing that can keep them unified is a battle with us. Their fear of us is stronger than their jealousy of each other. That is why we must be ready to defeat them when we fight. When we fight we must destroy them completely… I have already watched well-meaning but foolish people try to the fight the evil ones before they were strong enough to defeat them. This only made the enemy stronger and more unified. Battles that are not fought through until there is complete victory always results in our losing more ground to the enemy.”

“Retreat is not an option. We have no where left to go!”

“The only hope for [the ones that we love ever getting free] and able to drink from this stream is by me not stopping until I have fulfilled my destiny… we are here to defeat that evil horde and set its prisoners free.”

Chapter 4: The Plan

” ‘Are there enough faithful ones to build an army?’ … ‘No, there are not…Your victory over this evil horde is to convert its soldiers.. and you must do more than set them free from their bondage. You must train them, equip, and release them to go and recover the wells the enemy has stopped up, and heal the streams of the river which have been polluted and buried.”

“You cannot lose if you don’t retreat.”

“Every captive who is freed from that horde can heal and restore more than they once destroyed. Life is stronger than death.”

“Many who love His presence still remain weak and immature because they only want to experience the joy of the Lord. Such are seldom willing to face the conflict of the times..You need worshipers who are also warriors. All who are not trained and equipped for the battle will be overcome by it. Even if they do love His presence, they must also be taught to love truth, and to love it enough to resist the evil one.”

“The great messengers of the church age were all only seeds of the mighty ones of valor who about to be released on the earth, the enemy has been sowing his seeds too. You will have to fight every evil that has been released on the earth, and fight it in its maturity.”

Chapter 5: The Sword

“Then I felt a strong compulsion to use it on myself–to plunge it deep into my heart. ‘Do it,’ the Lord said. I pointed its blade at my heart and thrust it into my chest. As I did, it disappeared as if it had been absorbed into me. There was just a slight tinge of pain, but when I looked there was no woun. Then the sense of strength that I had felt it imparting to me grew much faster.”

“You must receive My Word into your heart first, then it will open your mind. If you only receive it into your mind, it will not live. My living Word must be received into the heart first, and then your mind will open.”

“The joy of My presence can alone sustain you through what is coming upon the earth. You will know My joy, and it will increase in you, but to do My work on the earth you must also know My sorrow.” Then he turned around and I saw His back. He was still wounded [terribly]…I began to see darkness, disease, despair, and death. I felt grief and mourning that was worse than anything I had every felt before. The grief grew to be as strong as the joy had been. I felt that I was gazing into hell itself… When I felt I could not live much longer in the terror and despair that I was feeling, I cried out for the Lord to save me, or kill me. The Lord turned around. My strength had left me. I collapsed to the ground, and I still wanted to die. “That was a taste of the power that you facing in your times [he said]. If you had not first tasted of My glory, you would not have lived. I have overcome all evil, and you will come to know the power of My glory over all evil, but you must know the power of the evil that men on earth are about to face. You must learn to walk in my presence in the midst of evil and prevail. If you do not abide in me, you will be overcome.”

“The earth itself will not be able to bear the evil of man much longer. The earth itself will rebel against man, and terror will increase as the earth begins to rage and travail. Man is about to fear such as has not been known since the beginning. Those who abide in Me will likewise rise in faith as has never been demonstrated on the earth before. Because of the fear which is now being released, I have reserved the greatest demonstrations of faith for this time.”

“The time is approaching when no man can survive that they have released upon themselves, and they would all perish if I did not put an end to it.”

“The sword [of Redemption] that is being given to My messengers in the last days can break any yoke, and cut through any chain. My light is stronger than any darkness.”

“I knew that I could not forget the power of the Word of redemption to cleanse my soul, and restore my vision and strength.”

Chapter 6: The Power

“I’m glad to hear that you do not know too much. You’re safer that way.”

“You will fail in your purposes if you care what men think of your work. You must only care what the Lord thinks of it. You are not here to build monunments, but a movement that will not stop moving. The River of Life never stops moving. The Spirit never stops moving. If you stop, you will have departed from the way of the Spirit and the way of life.”

“You have great blessing and great destruction in your hands. You must only build what the Lord wants built, and tear down that which the Lord wants you to tear down. You have been given both tools and weapons. The more powerful they become in your hands, the more careful you must be.”

“It is not our place to be concerned with results. The Lord gives everyone a chance, even when He knows they will reject it.”

Chapter 7: The Queen

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling? Will you give my daughters swords and torches? They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely. My daughters will stop the death and bring back the life!”

“If you honor the fathers and mothers, you will give swords to the sons and daughters.”

“You must remember this. It takes the light from both the fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, to reveal me as I am [the Church]… No one can see me as I am if tyhey do not see the glory of spiritual motherhood as well as fatherhood. It is because many honored only the fathers, but not the mothers too, they they and their fruit did not remain long on the earth. You must honor the fathers and mothers to bring forth the sons and daughters. ”

“The new creation woman is highter that the former… You are concerned that the daughters are easily decieved. All may be deceived, but the wisdom of the women could keep you from much folly!”

“The ‘Jerusalem above’ [is] worth searching for like no other treasure on earth. This is what the church is called to be. There is no question that if she is seen as she really is, the nations will come to her light! Who would not come to her?”

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The Church Fathers on the Song of Songs

•March 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment
“Let no earthbound and materially minded person, however, be abashed at the mention of  “kisses.” Let them, on the contrary, consider that also at the moment of holy communion we receive the bridegroom’s limbs, caress, and embrace them, press them to our heart with our eye, imagine a kind of embrace, believe ourselves to be with him, embrace him, caress him, love driving out fear.”
Theodoret of Cyr
“For it is with the kiss that lovers cleave to each other and gain possession of the sweetness of grace that is within, so to speak. Through such a kiss the soul cleaves to God the Word, and through the kiss the spirit of him who kisses is poured into the soul, just as those who kiss are not satisfied to touch lightly with their lips but appear to be pouring their spirit into each other…She sought the kiss, God the Word poured himself into her wholly and laid bare his breasts to her, that is, his teachings and the laws of the wisdom that is within, and was fragrant with the sweet fragrance of his ointments. Captive to these, the soul is saying that the enjoyment of the knowledge of God is richer than the joy of any bodily pleasure.” Ambrose
“Having embraced the Word of God, the soul desires him above every beauty; she loves him above every joy; she is delighted with him above every perfume; she wishes often to see, often to gaze, often to be drawn to him that she may follow.”
Ambrose
“She is dark by nature, beautiful by grace.” Caesarius of Arles
“She said, ‘I was dark’ because she had not yet seen herself as the sun.”  Gregory of Elvira
“‘Do not marvel’ she says, ‘That righteousness has loved me.’ Although I have become dark through sin and have dwelt in gloom by my deeds, the bridegroom made me beautiful through his love, having exchanged his very own beauty for my disgrace. After taking the filth of my sins upon himself, he allowed me to share his own purity, and filled me with beauty.”
Gregory of Nyssa
“Our eyes are not such as the eyes of Christ’s beautiful bride must be, of which eyes the bridegroom says, ‘Your eyes are doves.’ He is hinting, perhaps, at the perceptive power of spiritual people, because the Holy Spirit came upon the Lord as a dove, and the Lord is in each one.”
Origen

Death is a persistent, jealous man

•September 20, 2008 • 2 Comments

He’s got his eyes fixed on the whole lot of us. It’s a steady gaze, a sure gaze.

Truly, no one can escape this spectre’s cravings, and not a one can evade this alloted end. What is it but the grave that spirits away our darlings, only to leave ashes in its wake? Is life nothing but a fool’s campaign? Be it nothing but a dance into the flames? And do we not in vain flee his wrath? Ha! What an ambition marked by idiocy. We refuse to even call death what it is because we’re afraid to make eye contact with our destiny. Oh, we can joke,  maybe even watch a film, but we’re all damned liars caught in our charade. Look at us! We look like some old hag attempting to cover reality with cheap makeup and strong perfume. Is there any denial more frivilous? Sometimes our bastardly minds even flirt with the possibility of death, but we are never really willing to give him a run for his money–because that is one race we know we’ll lose.

If we’ll but open up our eyes and unstop our ears we will connect to reality! Most assuredly, there is One who is yet more jealous than the grave by far! It is the Man Christ Jesus.

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
   Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter;
            Up vistaed hopes I sped;
            And shot, precipitated,
   Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
            But with unhurrying chase,
            And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
            They beat — and a Voice beat
            More instant than the Feet—
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

-Francis Thompson

He has fire in His eyes, but it is not a fire of death, no, it’s a fire of love! And He will destroy all that hinders love. He is a Lover, but not like the cheap ones they sell at the cinemas. Hear His voice. Hear the call of eternity! He has set the eternal upon out hearts, but we must have eyes to see and ears to hear!

He calls out, to any who will listen. “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy demanding as the grave. It’s flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” Song of Songs 8:6-7

“I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:50-54

BEHOLD, IT IS JESUS IN HIS GLORY. KING OF HEAVEN SPLAYED UPON A TREE FOR WRETCHES WHOLLY UNDESERVING.

BUT HIS LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH.

A Mere Glance Shared by Strangers

•September 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

A young man is walking down the street and he notices another person walking up in the other direction. Both individuals purposefully don’t look at one another until they pass, and then, if ever so briefly, they lock eyes. It is but a mere glance shared by strangers, but it still makes the hearts of both race as though there was more to be shared than passing glances.

What were they reaching for? What were they afraid of? What holds them back? Aren’t people just looking for someone who will actually listen? Aren’t these ones just searching for something to fill them? Though few sincerely claim the sexual experience as life’s apex, most act like it is.

Clearly we’re searching for intimacy that transcends eroticism. We want to be close in more ways than the contact of our skin.  We are afraid to verbalize the truth of our need, and when we do, more often than not, it feels more like stripping than revelation of the heart. 

I recently heard a man speaking about his childhood at an extremely strict Catholic school. The children weren’t allowed to speak with one another in the halls or in their rooms. Discipline for breaking the rules was costly. As a result of his treatment, he became disenchanted with the idea of a deity, yet daily he attended optional Mass conducted in a language he didn’t know at 5 AM. Why? Because when the instructor entered the room he shook the boy from sleep. His instructor’s morning shove was the sole contact he received during the length of the day, but it was enough to do endure something he disliked so strongly. What lengths we will go to be close to another! 

Could it be that our need for community is derived from our Maker? That the Uncreated One, yes, even the Holy Three–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who have enjoyed perpetual Oneness and distinct person-hood from everlasting to everlasting, could it be that they have made us like unto themselves? Aren’t we longing for such glory? 

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.’ ” John 17:22-24

We who follow after Yeshua the Messiah will be brought to complete unity, so much deeper than can be comprehended. He is the perfect Prophet and what he has declared will be come to fruition.

Oh, My Heart Longs for Him Alone

•July 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

At first glance, this whole scene is absurd. A bunch of college students running through the proverbial meat grinder. Choosing to go without food. Asking God to “bring on the sanctification,” if you will. Ha. The lot of us in love the almighty, falling out really hard in the place of the skin, but surely what is sown in tears will be reaped in joy.

I have been reeling for two days. I have never felt so raw, so exposed. I don’t have a gauge for the last few days nor will I for the days to come. There are few things that I feel like I know to any degree right now. I do know that I am desperate, but am I desperate enough? I do know that I’m lovesick, but am I lovesick enough to walk the way of the cross, or will I remain satisfied with my current experience? Will I but enjoy a taste of the banqueting table He has put before me? 

It may seem graphic, but I feel like I’m being forced out of the birth canal a trimester too early. I’m being born prematurely. In this temporal plane, I’ve not experienced this deep weight of the eternal, the glorious.

 

Beautiful, by Phil Whickham

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say 
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who you are
You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring 
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful 

I see Your face, I see Your face, I see Your face
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful

A Rushing, Flaming River

•July 6, 2008 • 1 Comment

I feel as though I am being surged into a rushing, flaming river. Indeed, I am being baptized into fire, and no one dares to resist the jealous fury.

Rush over me, river of God. Sanctify this vessel for your use. Don’t relent. Do whatever it takes. This is my prayer. Within and without. Without and within. Wrap me tightly from the inside out. Inflict me with your wild, furious love.

I have been at International House of Prayer for a matter of hours and His reality is hitting me like arrows. He is jealous for all of my heart and He’s taking it.  I feel Him wanting me. The desire of my heart is to be stripped of myself completely, this is the hope of my glory, Christ in me. 

Open up, open up my soul.

 

 

I Will Speak Before Kings

•June 3, 2008 • 3 Comments

I am convinced that if I speak the truth I will offend many people. The very nature of truth is offensive to the natural mind. It has been said, “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree,” but I tell you that we’ve fallen very far from the tree—and not just any tree, the very tree of life!

I got accused of picking controversial topics as my trademark issues for the fun of it the other day—but I decry that assumption! It just so happens that the issues I am most passionate about happen to affect large portions of the population (that is, everyone) because of my passion for a thing called truth. The reader may ask what exactly I like to talk about. Well, let me tell you! I like to talk about homosexuality (but it’s only because God has freed me from it’s demonic stranglehold and has given me freedom). And now you’re probably assuming that I am asking for a place in the annals of medieval closed-minded bigotry, but again, that is incorrect because I am going into politics.

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day, albeit a curt one, and she said, “You know that a lot of people hate you, right?” “I could care less what people think of me,” I replied immediately. Afterward I went back to my room (yes, I have a have nasty habit of talking to myself, more than likely because I’m the only one who will listen), and I said in jest, “What would it be like to care what people thought about me?” That’s when I laughed. I laughed pretty hard.

I used to care about what people thought of me. I really did. In fact it used to consume a large portion of my thoughts and time, and I try to tell people that I haven’t been like this my whole life and for some reason they don’t believe me. I also tell people in all honesty that I am one of the happiest people I have ever met, because for heavens sake, it’s true. And most people that are reading this will now start to turn off everything I say because I’m just trying to hard too set trends or something. I was also posed with another interesting question just yesterday, “Has anyone ever told you that you’re weird?” Yes, my friends, it’s true. It only takes so many questions like this before I realize that I might be a little bit different, peculiar, or even, (gasp) freakish. I do understand why she stated this so bluntly. I happened to be singing and whistling and dancing in circles with a golf putter (I was singing to Jesus and I had a golf club because I we were at a mini-golf course and the way I described it is weirder that it actually was…I was just full of joy). In any case I’ve realized that I have fallen off the edge of sanity. God has called be to start declaring the Scriptures in open places as well. I would have died to do such a thing, but His love compels me to declare the glories of Christ!

And this is when the facetious tone ends.

I suppose that one of the things that has troubled me recently is the stark difference between the early Christians and everything that I have come to know as Christianity. I was reading in Acts the other day and when Paul wasn’t being beaten, stoned, or raising people from the dead, he got accused of being an Egyptian terrorist (21:38), of throwing a whole city into uproar (16:20), and even of causing trouble “all over the world” (17:6)—and that’s when he wasn’t casting out demons and saying things like, “God will strike you, you white washed wall!” to the leader of the Sanhedrin. I would say, unequivocally, that Paul was a prophetic voice in his generation.

I used to care. I used to care what people thought, but I don’t care any more. To be Christian is to be countercultural. I believe that following God isn’t mainstream. I do not advocate being a jerk in the name of Jesus. Christians are exhorted in Hebrews 12:14 to “Make every effort to live in peace with all men…” because we’re not meant to be those who stir up trouble, but the end of that verse says, “…be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We are to be a people living at peace, but one that is living in visible distinction. Responses to our faith shouldn’t be, “Oh you’re normal, you just believe in Jesus.” It should be, “You aren’t normal!” But not because we dress like we’re culturally sheltered or because we make unreal efforts to remain in technological ignorance. People should be able to see the countenance of the Almighty shining. They should hear the voice of the Ageless in our songs of hope. They should feel our one great Love as we compel them into His house.

Oh, that God would give me a prophetic voice like that of John the Immerser! A heart that knows His imminent coming! “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.’”

Blessed are those who are not offended at His coming! “Behold, I am coming soon bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.” Revelation 22:12