Guest Writers Month

Today’s guest post comes from my good friend Steve Hackman who also lives here in Honkers. He blogs over at www.stevehackman.net and his musings are well worth subscribing too!

Cornel

——–

Free!Last night I had an interesting conversation with friends around my dining room table.  In John 14:6 Jesus gives the familiar quote, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”   I suggested that the verse had lost some of its original life giving intent and had, instead, been reduced to the final arbiter in apologetics; the last argument to be used when debating people of other faiths.

As the discussion progressed there was a consensus that began to develop that in the church today the “way” of Jesus had taken a back seat to the “truth” of Jesus.  Christians, by and large, feel more compelled to be “defenders of the Truth” rather than “people of the way”.  Which is ironic as the early church was referred to as The Way.  (Makes me wonder if Christians today would prefer to be referred to as, The Truth)

The 21st century church is going through a massive identity crisis and the reason for it is we have put a desire to be “true” before imitating Jesus and following his ways.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the John 14:6 verse Jesus mentions “Way” before “Truth”.  Nothing will lead to dead, “works based” religion faster than pursuing God’s truth at the expense of His ways.

If we are not following in Jesus “way” our Jesus “truth” becomes distorted and subsequently we are no longer bringing forth Jesus “life”.

The Woman Caught in Adultery

The Pharisees were a perfect example what happens when people attempt to implement God’s “truth” without doing so through the lens of his “way”.

In John 8, a group of religious leaders bring a woman caught in adultery and interrupt Jesus right in the middle of his teaching.  They wanted to test him by asking what his verdict about her would be and whether it would conflict with what the scriptures (Bible) said should be done.

The Bible was very clear; she should be killed.  Her life should be ended and every person in that crowd would have been quite familiar with that judgment…including the woman on whom the judgment would ultimately fall.

That was “the truth”!

And why were the religious leaders testing Jesus on this?  Well, Jesus had been developing a bit of a reputation.  Word was getting around of his bringing too much love, mercy, and forgiveness to people…and not just to pious folk, but to sinners.  (Nothing makes religious people angrier than too much love and mercy)

The “Way” of Jesus was cutting across what the Pharisees believe to be God’s “Truth”

(Jesus was getting to be known in the region as being one of those crazy “grace” preachers!)

So they round up a “sinner” who the Bible says should receive death and they say,

“In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

The Bible says this Jesus…what do you say?  What does your “Way” say?

Jesus, after stooping down and writing some undefined words on the ground, counters with, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Dejected, one by one the group leaves until Jesus is left alone with the woman.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you, “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The religious “truth” said one thing… the Jesus “way” said another!

The religious “truth” said she should be killed, the Jesus “way” says she should be forgiven.

The religious “truth” treated her as a convict, the Jesus “way” treated her as a daughter.

Jesus refuses to condemn her, and as any loving father would do, encourages her to leave a life that is already bringing misery and death to her.

Jesus demonstrates to the religious leaders what real truth looks like.

And what is the result of the Jesus “truth” shaped by the Jesus “way”?

It’s Life!  A living breathing woman who has been given a new lease on life after an encounter with the living God.  She’s had her feet replanted on solid ground through “the way” of mercy and forgiveness.

The religious “truth” of the Pharisees would have just left a bloody, dead corpse!

In Christianity today we have left to many people battered, bruised, and bloody with stones of “religious truth”.  It’s time to put away our stones and embrace “the Way” again!

Jesus does bring truth!  He promises it!  Follow in his footsteps and it will lead to life both for you and those you love.

Steve

http://www.stevehackman.net

Here is Part 2 of Joel Marius’ post on the Simplicity of Jesus. Read Part 1 here first.

Cornel

———

walking-with-jesusINHERITANCE & MATURITY

His divine power has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” -  2 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” – Ephesians 1:3

Eagerly pursue love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” – 1 Corinthians 13

Okay, so let’s break this down.

What did God’s divine power give us?

EVERYTHING.

How many spiritual blessings did the Father bless us with?

ALL.

Okay, so you don’t NEED an impartation of someone’s anointing (whatever that is) before you receive the gifts of healing or a gift of prophecy or deliverance.

They’re Holy Spirit’s gifts and as we saw earlier, Holy Spirit poured Himself out in you in fullness.

He didn’t come in quarts or portions.

He.

Gave.

It.

All.

Okay, so if  we have the fullness, then how do we see more of it manifest?

I’m glad you asked.

Go back to 1 Corinthians 14:1 for a sec.

Eagerly pursue love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” – 1 Corinthians 13

Notice how it says to eagerly PURSUE love and to earnestly DESIRE spiritual gifts.

The Charismatic church’s approach to the gifts has mostly been seen at two extremes.

They happen but keep all your attention on God or these things will distract you from Him!!!

OR

Shiny Things?!? Let me collect the shiny things!?!” >:D

O.O Um, yeah….

These are both wrong.

“Seek His face, not His hand”/”Seek the Giver not the gifts” and “Gimme da Gold, I want to know where the Gold’s at” (Look up Leprechaun Sighting In Mobile Alamba on YouTube to get the second reference :P ) are both incorrect reflections of the Father’s heart towards the gifts.

I believe the correct way to view the gifts in the context of relationship.

Pursue Love – spend time with Jesus and get to know what Love is like, receive Love, and manifest Love as you behold His beauty.

Earnestly Desire Gifts – you are free to be a little kid in your Dad’s candy shop.

If you want to see the dead raised, go try it out.

If you want to learn to walk in signs and wonders, go on dates with Holy Spirit and be aware that He might want to love on people.

What I don’t suggest you do, is allow your desire for these gifts to blind you to the fact that your Father wants to meet your desire to flow in them.

I know a lot of people (most of them well-meaning) who have gotten mad at other believers because they weren’t out praying for the sick or prophesying over people. If we are hanging out with Jesus, eventually He will bring us to a point where we want to do these things.

The worst thing you can do is to give in to the pressure of performance or rigid obedience.

Learn to enjoy life with God outside of a ministry context and then watch as He begins to flow through you to touch others.

Desire these gifts because they are manifestations of your Lover’s power, because you want to experience all of Him.

Check out this cool quote that I think really brings this home.

“One day, the Lord asked me: “Son, why do you want to fly?” I told Him that I wanted it because it will bring in the harvest. ‘If I levitate on the streets, people will get saved by the droves,’ I said. I also told Him that I wanted it because it would give Him glory. Then I paused for a moment and answered again… “I want it because it would be fun.” At this, the Lord told me, “That was your purest answer. - John Crowder

JESUS – THE SECRET WISDOM OF GOD

I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” – Colossians 1:26-29

For my concern is that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, which is Christ the Anointed One. In Him (Jesus Christ) all the treasures of divine wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and all the riches of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.” – Colossians 2:2-3 [AMP]

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the POWER of God and the WISDOM of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” – 1 Corinthians 1:20-25

Dang.

Say wuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?

Every secret of God’s wisdom, is wrapped up in the Person of Jesus!

If we really want to understand the secrets of the Universe, we shouldn’t be trying to ascend to portals  or build galaxies apart from hanging out with Him.

If we want our minds renewed, then we have to be hanging out with the Man who is Truth.

Jesus IS WISDOM. Jesus IS POWER.

Knowing Him in relational intimacy and receiving revelation on who He is IN you, opens the door to the things the Father has laid hidden in Creation.

It is given to the Son to reveal the deep things of God to His brothers.

Let me give you an example.

A while back, I decided that since Jesus is the One to whom the Scriptures point (See Jn 5:39) and He opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures (Lk 24:45) after His resurrection, that I didn’t want to read the Bible until He led me to it.

Honestly, the Bible is just a paperweight without Holy Spirit.

So, after I made the decision to just chill with Jesus and get to know Him as a Person and only read the Bible when He led to me to do so, I found that I read the Bible ALOT more than I did when I would try to read it out of striving.

My day goes like this, I could be chilling and hanging out with Him, and all of a sudden He says something to me that blows my mind, then brings some verses to remembrance, and before I know it I’ve spent 2 or 3 hours in the Scriptures.

Hang out with the Author and He’ll teach you about His book.

Hang out with the Creator and He’ll teach you to work creative miracles.

Let Him lead you from glory to glory, from victory to victory.

Which leads me to my next point…

LETTING THE KING OF GLORY TAKE YOU INTO ENCOUNTERS

 “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake,they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him. And it came to pass, as they departed from Him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him.”

36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.” – Luke 9:28-36

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”  - 1 John 1:1

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:4

The entire New Testament is about the early Christians’ experience of this man called Jesus.

They were an infant church that was seeing angelic encounters, miraculous healing, signs and wonders, and extreme breakthrough in evangelism, yet the majority of their writing was about this Jesus of Nazareth.

2,000 years later, things have reversed.

In many Charismatic circles, Jesus has become a footnote to ‘ the glory’ or ‘power’ or ‘encounters’.

Who He is and what He did has been relegated into an ‘elementary teaching’ that we need to get in under our belt until we get the good stuff.

Well, let me just say something.

Jesus. Is. God’s Glory.

Revelation doesn’t get much deeper than the Son of God.

He wants to reveal the Kingdom to the child-like whose eyes are fixed on Him.

We can try to climb into it on our own, but trust me, what we will experience won’t even make a dent on what He wants to show us for free.

In the Miracle of the Transfiguration, the disciples were just hanging out with Jesus and He led them into an intense encounter.

 Here are some things that happened.

-          They saw His glory

-          Two members of the Cloud of Witnesses showed up

-          The Glory Cloud/Manifest Presence of God appeared

-          The disciples were gripped in terror of God’s goodness and glory (Experiencing the Fear of the Lord)

How did this happen?

Were Peter, James, and John fasting and praying to see these things?

Were they reading a book on how to step into Third Heaven encounters?

Did they attend a seminar on becoming mature sons of God?

Did they battle the principality guarding the Spirit Realm?

Did they receive an impartation from the 11.76th Living Creature (The 11th Living Creature’s cousin from a parallel glory portal)?

No.

No.

No.

The answer to all these questions is no.

So how did they tap into these experiences?

They hung out with Jesus.

Simple as that.

So what does that look like for us?

Here are some box-breaking examples.

My little bro Tom has Jesus, angels, and members of the Cloud of Witnesses show up to him on a regular basis, but he doesn’t talk about most of his experiences and when he does, it’s simply a to point to the fact that all he does is spend time with Daddy God and Jesus leads him into encounters.

- I gave my life to Jesus after encountering Him in a vision.

- I have encountered members of the Cloud of Witnesses in my own life – I got jacked up in the Spirit after the Virgin Mary showed up to me in a vision and kissed me on the cheek.

- A woman in Africa who didn’t know I was the first black baby born in Padre Pio’s hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy saw a ‘white skinned friar with a long beard and a brown robe’ following me around.

- I was at a Catholic youth retreat and a woman I didn’t even know saw Martin de Porres walking besides me and laying hands on the people I was praying for (I looked him up after and was shocked to find out who he was).

I definitely believe all of this stuff is supposed to be normal, but it all comes from hanging out with Jesus.

I’ll leave you with this quote from my big bro Omar.

“Some things DON’T look like Christ. I’m personally DONE with all the stories… I need to see the manifestation of God’s Power, not man’s imagination.

When I would do meetings and angels would show up… Things happened.. People were cured of stage 4 cancer etc…

It wasn’t HYPE! When the birthday angel showed up… I knew EVERYONE’S Birthday in the room… Over 200-500 people.

But you know what?

Little dude, let me tell you this. When you take one look at His face, when you take one look into His eyes, you realize that no miracle matters as much as you thought it did. You realize how played out and how hyped up this whole ‘revival’ thing is.

The greatest sign and wonder, in my opinion, was the Transfiguration, when the disciples saw Jesus for who He was, in all His glory and all His beauty. That’s what I live for. That’s what gets me jacked up. That’s what keeps me going.”

Joel Marius

Today’s guest post is by my good friend Joel Marius. (Aka Joel CoResurrected Adifon). Due to the length of the post I have decided to divide it into two posts. So here is Part 1. You will want to read both parts, a couple of times!!!

Cornel

———-

simplicity-is-the-ultimate-sophisticationHoly Spirit has been blowing my mind these past couple months.

I have been in a place of hanging out with Jesus, enjoying Holy Trinity’s company, and watching as Heaven comes out to play all around me.

Revelation has been piling up as I sit on Dad’s lap and let Him teach me who and Whose I am.

I have been learning that I don’t have to strive to be spiritual or pump myself up to be supernatural – by what Jesus did on the Cross, my very EXISTENCE HAS BECOME SUPERNATURAL.

As I learn to rest in the reality that an Open Heaven is where I’m seated, as I soak in the fact that I will forever be enjoying what He’s accomplished, I watch as prophetic encounters and creative miracles have been increasing.

Due to some of the testimonies I have posted, I have had more than a few people contact me, asking me how they too can begin to see healings and prophetic encounters in their own lives.

Every time, this question has come my way, I have felt like Holy Spirit has been really insisting that I not give them formulas and methods but point them towards the simple practice of His presence, the understanding that there is no longer any separation between them and the Father of Creation.

I am seeing others begin to step into power and freedom by simply spending time with the Man who is Truth.

As I see the fruit Holy Spirit is producing in my life, my ears are being ruined to anything contrary of the Gospel.

I have been finding that I can’t listen to sermons that I used to listen to.

Teachers that I once received a lot from, don’t seem to be ministering to me in the same way anymore.

I have found that Holy Spirit has not been allowing me to listen to anything (even things on topics that are close to my heart like healing) that is not rooted in the simplicity of relationship with Him.

The more I stay in this place, the more grieved I am about things that I am seeing going on in the Charismatic church.

Many teachings on the Spirit Realm/Glory Realm, the Prophetic, or Heaven encounters are steeped in hyperspiritualism and spookiness.

I have no doubt that some of these experiences are genuine, but I have seen many of the teachers who have them provide crazy formulas and methods to others who want to step into these experiences.

It breaks my heart when I see people whose deepest longing is to have a face to face encounter with Jesus reading book after book, and attending seminar after seminar, receiving impartation after impartation, trying to meet with the One they love.

I have begun to notice some scary patterns in the lives of these believers.

Whenever you challenge what they’re doing to try to earn what God has freely given them, the replies typically go like this.

Brother, your mind hasn’t been renewed yet. The carnal mind can’t understand the things of the Spirit.

Brother, yes we’re Sons, but we need to mature and fight for our inheritance, by casting down the Giants in the way of the Promised Land.’

Yes, brother, we have the fullness of God, but we need to press into it.

The Cross and the Father’s love are wonderful, but now we need to move from the milk to the meat, from the elementary to the deeper revelation.” (No joke, I’ve heard people say this)

Okay, let me make something clear, there is definitely truth to the first three statements.

I would agree that there is a process of growth and renewing the mind to grow up into the Person of Christ.

I would agree that there may be some challenges we face along the way to maturing in Sonship.

However, what I don’t agree with – More accurately, what I reject – is the belief that this process is meant to be a grueling war where we pop a hernia to access our inheritance.

I’m pretty sure Jesus finished the job.

I’m pretty convinced we don’t need to help Him.

We don’t need to add to what He’s done.

I will agree that there is a growing into what He’s accomplished and a realization accompanied by an active and fruitful faith – no doubt about that.

But, I am seeing too many people trading the revelation of what Jesus has done for revelation that sounds ‘spiritual’.

This is Gnosticism at its core, the ancient system of belief that says secret knowledge saves you.

JESUS SAVED YOU.

Encounter Him.

Get to know Him in everyday life.

If you can’t have a face to face encounter with Jesus while looking into the eyes of your spouse, is it really a good idea to go after an encounter with the physical Jesus?

How much will it profit you to spend nine days in Heaven drinking nectar and ambrosia from the udder of the 11th living creature if you can’t even love your neighbor across the street?”

Let me take you through some Scripture to show you what I’m getting at.

DECEPTION AWAY FROM SIMPLICITY

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

Let’s take a quick look at the Genesis passage.

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” – Genesis 3:4-6

Woah.

So check this out, Eve was ALREADY like God, having been made in His image, but when she fell under the lie that God was holding out on her, she stopped trusting in Him (lost faith) and did something in her own power to try to get what God had.

…whatever is not of faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23

Okay, let’s move on…

HYPERSPIRITUALISM

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.”  – Colossians 2:18

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.”  – Colossians 2:18

Okay, so in the Body today, there are quite a few teachers (I won’t mention any names) who are constantly sharing dreams and visions that they’ve had or emphasizing their encounters in the Glory Realm/Seer Realm/Heaven.

Now, do I believe in encounters?

Absolutely.

Do I believe they should be a normal, regular occurrence in a believer’s life?

Yep. Yeppity. Yepperson. (You can laugh! :D )

Are we free to share them?

Affirmative.

Do I think they should be the focus of our ministry?

NO.

For one thing, sharing these things without a solid revelation of the pure Gospel can lead people to begin to build an idol around your ministry.

People can begin to think they’re not spiritual if they’re not having them.

Now, I want to pause here for a second.

My friend Omar walks with Jesus and has face to face encounters with Him all the time.

One time I asked Him if I could have one and Omar laughed.

“It’s all about your mindset, little dude. Of course you can! Do you believe it?”

When He proceeded to tell me how these encounters happened for him, I was shocked at how simple it was.

He didn’t do anything special.

He just believed he could see Jesus in the flesh whenever he wanted, that it was part of his inheritance as a Son, started expecting it to happen from a place of rest, and after a while of him renewing his mind, Omar began to encounter Jesus face to face all the time.

No steps.

No formulas.

Just relationship with the revelation of a veil having been completely torn.

Put that in your glory goblet and drink it!

To be continued…

Joel Marius

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