Archive | October, 2012

Go, Your Faith Has Made You Well!

28 Oct

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 22 After Pentecost 28 October 2012

Go, Your Faith Has Made You Well!

Mark 10:52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

It’s in the “going” where our faith makes us well.  Even if we can’t physically move, our living faith propels us forward to God.  Living faith moves us forward to remember, like Job, that God can do all things and that no purpose of God’s can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)  Living faith moves us forward in the knowing, that even when Satan tries to hide counsel without our knowledge and we utter what we do not understand, still we will move forward to discover wonderful things later on which we did not know in the moment. (v 3)  Where Satan tries to hide counsel, God reveals counsel:

Rev 3: 18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

We move forward in faith in our “blindness” like Bartimaeus the blind beggar. (Mk 10:46)  We move forward in faith as we pray for our friends (Job 42:10) and receive encouragement from others who say, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” (Mk 10:49)  We move forward as we throw off our “cloaks,” our baggage, our preconceptions, our assumptions, our judgments, our worries, our doubts, and our confusion.  We move forward as we cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

This forward movement is in the Word.  The Word is uttered.  The Word has a life of its own, just as secrets do.  The “word of the oath” (Heb 7:28) came later than the law because we swear by what we have already experienced.  Man’s experience is subject to weakness, but God is IN (Within) His very own Word.  (Is that not the definition of integrity?  To be a living being not separated from one’s word but in, of, and within one’s word so there is no hypocrisy?)  We human beings take an oath based on what we have already experienced.  God, on the other hand, IS the experience, the whole enchilada, so therefore He is the Word, the law to protect the Word, the oath that swears by the Word, the Son Who brought and kept God’s Word in the Flesh, and the Redeemer of the Word as it lives in all its forms.  

Heb 7:28 For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

God still creates with a Word.  He gives promises with a Word.  He reveals Himself with a word (1 Sam 3:21).  He keeps His word.  We humans seem to be in a constant war over words.  Prayer storms heaven with words.  There are constant battles with words and over words.  Charles Shamp spoke into this, this week:

“The prophet simply conveys to the people what the Lord has shown him will come to pass. The timetable of the word’s fulfillment is often left open because it was not shown to the prophetic voice, or like in the case of Daniel, was held up for twenty-one days as the angels fought in the heavens to make a way for Gabriel to deliver the word to Daniel. I believe that this is what takes place more often than not: a war on words. A war over God’s prophetic word being established and made reality on earth.”[1]

Faith is intricately and intimately wrapped up in the words.  And so is integrity.  It takes courage to live an integral life.  It takes courage to live a faith-breathing life.  It takes courage in submission to Christ to be in a partnership relationship with God; a union, a marriage with God.  People, creation, spirit (and spirits) are all subject to His Word and are used to fulfill His Word.  We are not puppets.  We can ignore Him and God will honor that.  He is a Gentleman.  His genteel and courtly Nature does not negate or discount His Personhood but simply magnifies it.  Faith in God requires active participation with Him and trusting His good will within His Word.  It also requires trusting the spiritual gifts He has given us to further engage with Him for His kingdom purposes.

God spoke first and then the law was written down.  Genuine relationships are not legalistic.  Each relationship is a breathing entity.  There is energy within each relationship for both sweet potential and for agonizing pain, for tender nurturing and for vile suffering.  When we overprotect, we can stifle energy.  And we can rob an opportunity from the other to find his own internal strength of character.  If we are constantly banking on insurance to receive assurance that our faith is real, then we are still holding on to Barty’s “cloak” (Mk 10:50) rather than throwing it off in order to run to Jesus unencumbered.  Going in faith to Him in our “blindness” puts faith in God’s Personhood, trusting in His integrity, and not just putting trust in the laws that came after He said it.  When we come to Jesus, He will still ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mk 10:51)  It is Jesus Who holds His Priesthood permanently, because He continues forever (Heb 7:24); it is not the human priests who can attain that stature.  It is up to us to run to Him and to ask to “see” again (and again!) (Mk 10:51) 

In the Book of Revelation the Rider on the white horse comes; the Rider is called Faithful and True. (Rev 19:11-16)  I “saw” this vision this week.  Truth and Faithfulness go hand in hand.  Integrity is a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  (Rev 19:12)  This is as it is.  Another cannot write your integrity on you.  Integrity can be witnessed, but it is individual and personal going from within to with-out.  There is no cloaking.  There is no delusion.  When Truth in faithfulness rides forth, there is nothing to hide.  And nothing can remain hidden.

Prayer: May we all “see” God’s Truth in faithfulness and not just our little truths from our own perspectives inside our own orbits in our own micro-kingdoms.  Lord, please expand our vision to match Yours.  May our faith be strengthened and encouraged as we drop the ego-baggage.  May our faith in Christ make us well!  As we go, may we regain our “sight” and follow Him on the way.  Amen.

 

22 After Pentecost                  28 October 2012                                 Gospel: Mark 10:46-52

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
42:1 Then Job answered the LORD:

42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

42:3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

42:4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’

42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;

42:6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

42:10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

42:11 Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.

42:12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys.

42:13 He also had seven sons and three daughters.

42:14 He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.

42:15 In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.

42:16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations.

42:17 And Job died, old and full of days.

Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)
34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

34:5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.

34:6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble.

34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.

34:20 He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.

34:21 Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

34:22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Jeremiah 31:7-9
31:7 For thus says the LORD: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O LORD, your people, the remnant of Israel.”

31:8 See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

31:9 With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Psalm 126
126:1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”

126:3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

126:4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb.

126:5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

126:6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

Hebrews 7:23-28
7:23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office;

7:24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.

7:25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

7:26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself.

7:28 For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Mark 10:46-52
10:46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.

10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

10:48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

10:49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

10:50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

10:51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”

10:52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.


[1] Charles Shamp, “With God All Things Are Possible;” Word posted on Elijah List 10/25/2012: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=11505

Melchizedek

21 Oct

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 21 After Pentecost 21 October 2012

Melchizedek

The author of Hebrews in today’s lectionary passage twice makes reference to the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 5:6, 10)  Twice, Christ tells the Seven Churches to remember (to Ephesus (Rev 2:5) and to Sardis (Rev 3:3).)  Twice in today’s lectionary lessons Jesus lays it on the (prepared) Table (ref Mk 10:40) and says to James and John that the “cup” that He drinks and the “baptism” He is baptized with, they will also share.  Jesus lays out the Truth that they will follow in His footsteps. (ref Mk 10:38)  He asks the boys, “Are you able?” (v 38)  They say, “We are able.” (v 39)  [O, the fine mess of love!  The things we do for love!  We have No Clue what we are getting ourselves into!  The priestly role has got to be one of the most challenging of all love affairs.  No one in their right mind would do this!  But then again, who is ever in their right mind when they are in love?]  

Melchizedek was a priest and a king.  He remembered his high calling.  He is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18.  He was a priestly king (dual role) over Salem (a shortened form of Jerusalem.) [NIV Notes p 27]  “Melchizedek” means “My king is righteousness.”  

The Church has had her own priestly “kings.”  They are “kings” in the sense that they have power.  They have the choice to reverently lay that power at Christ’s feet.  Their priestly role means that they bless and sanctify the holy in the ordinary.  Jesus was of the “order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 5:6, 10)  He told the disciples:

Mark 10:45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

A Table is prepared.  From my log:

Monday, October 15, 2012     7:55 am I posted this on Facebook:

“I learned Saturday night that the global epidemic of selling children into sexual slavery is rooted in poverty.  This made me think of the archetypal Church at Pergamum.  Q: Is abject poverty, like wealth, an excuse for not trusting God?  The Church-as-Institution knows we are saved by grace.  When the Gospel is lived in integrity, then others can see it is Christ Who delivers us from ourselves and out of our own poverty of spirit.  When the heart is transformed, behavior is changed through the Holy Spirit.  Relating to this issue, if poverty is the idol and our children are sacrificed on the altar of Perversion and sold into sexual slavery to be “eaten” by sexual carnivores, then Revelation 2:14 is being fulfilled in our hearing. (Luke 4:21)  As a Church we must live the grace-filled faith we believe so the poor (and rich) look to God to fill them up.  The Church must be equipping the believers in how to grow, teaching them how to apply what they know, and how to rely on their spiritual gifts (and thereby decreasing dependency upon the Institution.)”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012    I took back my power.  I am so sick of people assuming that I have some victim mentality!  Just because I can “see” the Potential of how things could work together in reconciliation of the Churches, doesn’t mean the Church wants to go the direct route.  Why would they?  The Israelites wandered for forty years in the Wilderness because they couldn’t handle the direct route.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (Morning)      While reading about Melchizedek in Genesis 14, I noticed that Melchi was not asked to bless Abram, but he brought out bread and wine to Abram and company. (Gen 14:18-19)  O, silly me!  I’ve been asking the Church to read my story/testimony. What was I thinking?  I bless the Church in the Name of Jesus Christ!  [Really I do; I’m not being sarcastic at all.]

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (Afternoon)   My study on Melchizedek and the order of the high priest continues.  My research led me to the Levites.  In the Old Testament the Tribe of Levi was NOT counted among the Twelve Tribes of Israel, because they were in charge of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. (Nu 1:50)  However, in the Book of Revelation the Tribe of Levi IS counted among the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Rev 7:7).  Go figure!  That threw me for a loop for awhile.  Then I realized that the Church falls into this category with the Levites since we are counted as priests, even high priests (Heb 8).  We are to obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 12:17)  AND the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev 19:10) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (Evening)  Since the Tribe of Levi IS now counted among the Twelve Tribes of Israel and are sealed in Revelation, and there are Twelve Tribes listed in both the Old and New Testaments, then there must be a change that happened in who was counted between then and now.  When I got the Divine Download of “Anchorites” in 2010 I did not refer to Bible commentaries to supply input.  All my resources came directly from The Source when God expanded my revelation on the Book of Revelation.  Now, I am looking at the NIV Notes on p 1933 which talk about the Tribe of Dan being omitted.  The Notes say, “This omission is due perhaps to Dan’s early connection with idolatry (Jdg 18:30), or to a tradition that the antichrist was to come from that tribe.”  I breathe peace into this from the Holy Spirit.  The antichrist is a lesser spirit, a mean spirit (emphasis on spirit, not man.  Spirits come and go.  The antichrist is not an object, but a subjective spirit: 1 Jn 2:18, 22; 1 Jn 4:3; 2 Jn 1:7)

[The Church’s Gethsemane of religiosity] Thursday, October 18, 2012        The clergy of the Churches could not comply to what Jesus was asking of them; not one.  They said in their hearts, “Take this cup from me” even though they thought they were able.  And which one of us hasn’t done the same?  We always think we can before we know better.  From this week’s Lectionary Lessons:

Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

10:39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;

[The Church’s religious Golgotha] Friday, October 19, 2012  The Church has been so determined to be on a “Salem” [word ties into Gen 14:18] witch hunt for “false prophets” that she turned the hunt an idol.  O God, please forgive us!  Did You have to lead me to this passage in Genesis 18 today?!  Lord, when You came and saw how sin had completely corrupted Sodom and Gomorrah, You promised Abraham that if You found ten righteous men, you would spare the cities.

Genesis 18:32 Then he [Abraham] said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten [righteous], I will not destroy it.”

Father, there are ten kingly priests to the Seven Churches (and two prophets.)  Not one can live up to Your righteousness.  Forgive us, God.

2 Peter 3: 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by “fire,” and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Lord, where is the Church’s compassion in passion?  Her “fire”?

When Melchizedek brought Abram bread and wine at the Valley of the King (Gen 14:17) and blessed him, he was making the ordinary sacred, which is what priests are called to do.  He brought out the elements in blessing and hospitality. (v 18-20)  Lord Jesus, You are our High Priest Who meets every “king” in their “valley,” purifying their faith down to the elements.

When the “kings” gather it doesn’t have to mean a political Armageddon. (Rev 16:16)  Christ, You offered the Seven Churches Your “cup” and “baptism” by “fire.”  And You did it for those whom it has been prepared (Mk 10:40) just as You said You would.  Every single one of us on this journey (me included!) started out thinking, “I am able.”  I could get away with thinking I was able because I was infatuated with You, Lord, and when one is in love, one thinks love is enough to make one able to leap tall buildings in a single bounce.  And sometimes one can!  Such is the power of love.  Jesus, You blessed and showed hospitality to us, just as Melchizedek blessed and showed hospitality to Abram and company.  What’s not to love?

[Prophetic, holy] Saturday, October 20, 2012 a pastor posted on Facebook at 9:47 am:

“The world needs a new definition of Christianity.

And Christians need a purpose that isn’t all about them.

Christianity is about bringing God to wherever people are at. John 1”

Melchizedek came out to Abram to meet him where he was at.  The kingly priest follows in Christ’s footsteps.  God, You have called the priests/pastors today to do likewise and follow Christ by laying down their crowns at His feet.

[Holy] Saturday, October 20, 2012 It is drizzling this morning and this little dove of a bride of the Son of Man still has no sanctuary (Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58) and only my car in the elements as my prayer cell, as I have done since summer 2007.

[Deliverance] Sunday, 21 October 2012        Our bodies, minds, spirits, and souls are delivered from lies and distortions when we face the Truth that the sacred is in the holy ordinary and that holiness is within us when we turn everything over to God.  The Truth really is within us.  It is not just the priests who have this calling but everyone does, when we remember, just as Christ told Ephesus (Rev 2:5) and Sardis (Rev 3:3) to Remember,

… Remember.

Church:  Believe.  Remember.  Receive.  Share.

Revelation 22:16-17

 16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

 

21 After Pentecost                  21 Oct 2012                                        Gospel: Mark 10:35-45

Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:

38:2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

38:3 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.

38:5 Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

38:6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone

38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

38:34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you?

38:35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’?

38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind?

38:37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,

38:38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?

38:39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

38:40 when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert?

38:41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty,

104:2 wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent,

104:3 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind,

104:4 you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers.

104:5 You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.

104:6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

104:7 At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.

104:8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.

104:9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

104:35c Praise the LORD!

Isaiah 53:4-12
53:4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

53:8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

53:9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.

53:11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

53:12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 91:9-16
91:9 Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,

91:10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

91:12 On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.

91:13 You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

91:14 Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

91:15 When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.

91:16 With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

Hebrews 5:1-10
5:1 Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

5:2 He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness;

5:3 and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.

5:4 And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5:5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;

5:6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

5:8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;

5:9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

5:10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Mark 10:35-45
10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

10:36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

10:37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

10:39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;

10:40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

10:41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.

10:42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.

10:43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,

10:44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.

10:45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Breaking the Curse

14 Oct

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 20 After Pentecost 14 October 2012

Breaking the Curse

This week played out biblically.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mom, I miss you.  The greatest legacy you left me was your gift of always seeing the potential in others.  You invariably saw it well before the other person did.  I think that gift was both a blessing and a curse. 

I think Job had this gift of seeing potential, too.  And after he was cursed (evil cast upon him) he did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:10)  He was honest.  A curse seeks to control another.  That’s its purpose.  I know how Job felt.  This week’s Old Testament lectionary lesson describes what it feels like to live under a curse, (and a curse one didn’t solicit, I might add.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Breaking Christian Curses: Finding Freedom From Destructive Prayers, Dennis Cramer said:

“Godly intent, words, and actions will attract the power of God and release the same.  Ungodly intent, words, and actions will attract just the opposite—the power of hell.  …Both kingdoms practice this principle with successful results.”[1]

This is exactly what has played out between the Seven Churches and me.  I “saw” their potential and the Christians tried to control me.  Those control issues morphed into a curse.  Both Christians and non-Christians curse each other often through their very prayers.  The worst is trying to control another’s character; this is the most deadly type of curse.

Q: To whom are they praying? 

Q: Who is answering their prayers? 

[Gethsemane-like] Thursday, October 11, 2012

It would seem that last week’s Reflection, “Fleshy Innocence,” sent spirits flying through the airwaves.  These were not nice spirits.  We are told to test the spirits (not the people.)

1 John 4:1 [On Denying the Incarnation] Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

I know that it is not due to my own lack of faith that the curse came upon me in the first place.  Spirit is a heart issue.  I had asked for the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, so it makes sense that lesser spirits would go to attack my heart.  Dennis Cramer shared two examples in Chapter 5 “Leadership: A Matter of the Heart” to show when and how prayer can become a curse.  He cited the taunting and arrogance of Jezebel when she cursed Elijah and Goliath when he cursed David on the battlefront.  Thyatira got a snootfull of Jezebel.

Rev 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

I confess, every time I read that verse I do a panicky self-check.  Am I “Jezebel”?  We are told to test spiritual imposters.  I call myself a prophet.  But certainly I have NOT misled God’s servants to sexual immorality!  Quite the contrary, I’ve been preaching repentance and turning away from lust and turning away from following after the Babylonian spirit of the flesh.  I have been preaching the message of returning to God and feasting on Him as the Bread of Life as we offer Him our lives in humble daily sacrifice/offering. I preached not allowing ourselves to be selfishly consumed by our own idols.  I have gone face to face on the battlefront with this Jezebel spirit. 

The proof is in the lack of love I have encountered.  Cramer said there is no love in a curse.  The Churches did not love me.  I gave each of the Seven Churches what they asked for and still it was not enough for them.  They didn’t know that they did not love because they were being deceived, and that is sad, but the Truth is that they did not love me.  Not one out of the Seven Churches.

Ouch.

Ok, God.  Now what do I do? 

God said, “Take back your power.”

Me: “How?”

God: “Show the journey.”

Me: “You mean share the journey.”

God: “No, right now I mean show the journey.”

“Ok, Lord.”  [Gulp.]  

Therefore, dear reader, I will show you my journey from my journal:

…As for me and my soul and spirit?  I’m feeling amazingly strong and solid!

I picked up Cramer’s book and I am reading Chapter 9: “Battling a “Christian” Curse.”  Dennis Cramer described His own experience and my feelings are the same as his.  I was tooling along at a comfortable clip and then something clicked when I read the following and it DID NOT ring true for me AT ALL and I got a type of healthy angry-righteous-deep-empowerment through a lightning bolt of “I AM” Truth:

“Ultimately, the curse has you where it wants you.  In other words you become a sterile, impotent, unproductive shell of a Christian with no real spiritual value to yourself or to others.  God will love you, but your contribution to the kingdom of God will be lost forever.  Finally, using the ultimate form of attrition to defeat you, its enemy, a personal curse will simply wait for you to die physically.” (p 163)

Well, you Serpent Curse, eat dust and die!  I, too, have had to live, eat, and drink on the spiritual battlefield; to survive on the front lines of tremendous, incomprehensible spiritual warfare.  And I have had to do it alone because of human judgments. God took me under His wing with protection and allowed the evil river torrent to go over me as He took me deeper.  The earth swallowed the river that the dragon spewed out. (Rev 12:16)  I didn’t get to escape the effects of the Curse and its indescribable pain, sorrow, and suffering that resulted.  And I did not succumb to the lie (although there were threatening, teeter-tottering moments when I almost did!)  Within my whole being I absolutely know that I have NOT been “a sterile, impotent, unproductive shell of a Christian with no real spiritual value to [my]self or to others.“  God’s edict to me was to “share the journey” and no matter how bad the Curse got I “shared the journey.”  I stuck with God and lived the integrity of my faith right out of the very pages of the Bible!  Incarnate: the words made Flesh!  I WAS BORN TO DEFEAT THE CURSE!  Of that Truth I must stand.  I must – MUST! – believe that someone out there is ready to read my story so this damned Curse can ultimately and finally be broken forever.  There must be someone out there whom God has readied to receive the exposé of the “Beast” and his lies, and then he will be banished to hell forever.

Oh, look at the date.  It is another “Gethsemane” Thursday.

Ok.

Eat cake and die, Potential.  You must, for the old spirit of Potential is no longer pure.  God has a different picture of our Potential.  This current one is warped and distorted and no longer recognizable.

[Golgotha-like] Friday, October 12, 2012

O Church-as-Bride, wherever you are, the silence of the tomb is killing me.  There is no one to help.  There is NO ONE who WANTS to read my journey.  I am not a “lone ranger ministry” and yet I have been cast into spiritual solitary confinement because of writing and living the Truth I believe in accordance with the scriptures.  Even from this “cell” I pray that God will bless you.  From my whole heart and being I bless you!  I bless the Seven Churches, (eight actually, since Thyatira is a double case.) 

I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you!  I bless you! 

That pest of Potential won’t go away.  But really, it must die, or at least the variety that lurks around me must die.  It is merely blocking the view of the blatantly glaring Truth that none of them can unconditionally love me; not on this well-worn path we have trodden.  I lay Potential at Your feet, Jesus.  I trust You will resurrect Potential in a new way.

[Holy] Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Church-as-Institution is rich.  She has wealth, and many possessions and went away grieving. (cf Mk 10:22-23, cf also as described to the Church of Laodicea in Rev 3:14-22)

The Seven Churches were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” (Mk 10: 26)

The Church-as-Bride said what Peter said, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” (v 28)  And Jesus’ response still applies to our age as it did to the first century that whoever leaves all for the sake of the good news will receive a hundredfold with persecutions.  He said the same thing to the Church in Smyrna.  (Rev 2:8-11)  And what did He tell them to do?  Be faithful. (Rev 2:10)

The archetypal Seven Churches have been faithful.  None are good, because only God is good. (Mk 10:18)  Only God can see our full potential.  We can’t see it.  We can’t live up to it.  We can’t “save” ourselves to reach it.  I, too, have left everything for the sake of the good news and received a hundredfold persecutions (v 30) from the Churches themselves.  Some Churches “got” it immediately (that the news was good) and others not. 

Mk 10:31 “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

I grieve in holy faith.  I face the Truth and rebuke the lies.  I forgive the wrongs and lay them on Mercy’s seat.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to heal all our wounds by the sacrifice of Jesus and the blood He already shed for us. By authority in the Name of Jesus Christ and my mystical marriage in Him I declare this spiritual blood bath among the Churches to cease!  I call in Heaven’s reign!  Now!  God, remove the Curse!  I stand and You deliver!

[Deliverance] Sunday, October 14. 2012

In my journey, the date of the 14th of some months has turned out to be highly significant.  During the flow of my many years in this journey I often didn’t know the significance of specific days while they were actually occurring.  Today I know.  Today is one of those both/and days.  Today is both prophetically symbolic and a powerful “Now Day;” we are ready Now for the release of God’s understanding of His Potential for us, where He realigns us with Himself and us humans to each other in right relationship.

 

20 After Pentecost                  14 October 2012                                 Gospel: Mark 10:17-31

Job 23:1-9, 16-17
23:1 Then Job answered:

23:2 “Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning.

23:3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling!

23:4 I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

23:5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.

23:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me.

23:7 There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.

23:8 “If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him;

23:9 on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.

23:16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me;

23:17 If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!

Psalm 22:1-15
22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

22:2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

22:4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

22:5 To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

22:6 But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.

22:7 All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

22:8 “Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver– let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

22:9 Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

22:10 On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

22:11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

22:12 Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

22:13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;

22:15 my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
5:6 Seek the LORD and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.

5:7 Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!

5:10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

5:11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.

5:12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins– you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.

5:13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.

5:14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.

5:15 Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Psalm 90:12-17
90:12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

90:13 Turn, O LORD! How long? Have compassion on your servants!

90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

90:15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.

90:16 Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.

90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands– O prosper the work of our hands!

Hebrews 4:12-16
4:12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

4:13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

4:14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.

4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.

4:16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Mark 10:17-31
10:17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

10:18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

10:19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'”

10:20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.”

10:21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

10:22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

10:23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

10:24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

10:26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”

10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

10:28 Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

10:29 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,

10:30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age–houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.

10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”


[1] Dennis Cramer’s Breaking Christian Curses: Finding Freedom From Destructive Prayers; Cedar Rapids, IA: Arrow Publications, 1997, (p 98) 

Fleshy Innocence

7 Oct

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 19 After Pentecost 07 October 2012 [Late afternoon, unusual]

Fleshy Innocence

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in deep conversations with God and He’s given me the pretty picture, and I’ve been so enthralled that all I could do was tell Him, “Have Your way, Lord!  Do as You will!  This is so wonderful and beautiful!”  Then immediately following those words my world comes crashing down on me.  I lay in the spiritual dust, choking, stunned, winded, and wondering what hit me.  Suddenly the human, fleshy part of me wants to renegotiate the contract, but it’s too late.  I’ve blessed God’s words and His pretty picture.  I have to take the good with the bad so He can create empathy in me, and He can change/exchange things for good.  I think children have an advantage over us in understanding this spiritual realm.  Their souls are pure.  They can say with ease (and mean it,) “It’s all good.”  Their innocence hasn’t been corrupted by guile and been exchanged for the sorrows of betrayals and heart-wrenching disappointments yet.  When the trials come, they’ll have a choice, but before then, they have an innate grace that trusts the Father through the minor manipulations of ups and downs.  And what about those children born into corrupted environments (spiritual and moral)?  God has mercy on those children.  God has control and invites us to partner up with Him to bring His heart to them.  This makes prayer from others from an outside environment all the more important, because prayer from the outside has not been corrupted, as the soul can be threatened with spiritual infections by being on the inside environment. 

Hear All, Now, Today:

Revelation 12:

 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
   “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
      and the authority of his Christ.
   For the accuser of our brothers,
      who accuses them before our God day and night,
      has been hurled down.
 11They overcame him
      by the blood of the Lamb
      and by the word of their testimony;
   they did not love their lives so much
      as to shrink from death.
 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens
      and you who dwell in them!
   But woe to the earth and the sea,
      because the devil has gone down to you!
   He is filled with fury,
      because he knows that his time is short.”

The Holy Spirit has anointed us with extra grace and with Kingdom power and authority under Christ for this bumpy ride we are all in.  Satan is our accuser.  It’s the Accuser who has been making and orchestrating a fine mess of things so far.  Nail him.  Rebuke him.  The Lectionary Barons pre-published selected passages from Job for this week, and they merely accentuate where God is leading; (I don’t pick the scripture passages which I meditate and write on each week; they are from the Revised Common Lectionary.)  The Accuser has walked on to the earthly divine stage today yet one more time.  And?

Job 2:2 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

And God is still asking if he has considered his servants who are blameless, upright, who fear Him, and who turn away from evil. (Job 2:2)

Job 2:4 Then Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.

And it’s true.  It’s probably the only true thing Satan ever said. 

So?  Is this a surprise to anyone?  He lost his place in heaven and was thrown out of heaven to the earth, (hurled actually,) and his angels with him. (Rev 12:7-9) 

Lord Jesus?

“I’m here.”

Where are You leading us from here?  Are we not supposed to anchor in You?

The Lamb and the 144,000

Revelation 14

 1Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

Lord, as I understand this, You are the Lamb and the 144,000 are Your “brides,” like choir members leading the planet in a new song.  I do not see this as meaning there are only 144,000 of “getting into heaven,” as many denominations and cults have assumed over the centuries.  I am convinced that the anchorites, those whom You asked to be Your “brides,” Lord, are the anchors in faith leading the way with completed faith in body, mind, and spirit.  Pulling the mature in faith into Your throne would open the power of the divine Vortex to release more of Your energy, clarity, and understanding, and would finally break Satan’s curse.  But just because this is my understanding doesn’t mean I can do anything.  It’s Your power and You are the One Who brings opportunities and connections, Lord.

Prophet Rick Joyner talked this week about turning back to You, Lord, and how repentance brings hope.  He said,

“…The world will come to the light as we see in Isaiah 60:3. However, right now it would be great to see the church coming to His light. Have the dark times already been enough to have us repent of our rebellion and return to Him so that we do not have to experience anything worse? Obviously it has not. We are told that judgment begins with the household of God because He must set His own people free before we can be used to set the nations free. The Lord prefers mercy over judgment, and even His judgment is discipline for those whom He loves so that we will learn to not keep doing the things that are hurting us.” [1] 

Lord, You told Prophet Glynda Lomax, “Now is the Time of My Great Plan.” (01 Oct 12)  You said, “Now it is time for My people to rise up and walk as I have called you to walk, talk as I have called you to talk, for I have much to accomplish through you, My people.”  Lord, I can sense within my being-wisdom-knowing place that those were Your own words.  This sense of “knowing” clashes up against things like when I read in a blog discussion where attention was drawn to an article by Ross Perot,[2] who worried about an unnamed foreign country taking over America.  The blogger then wondered (on behalf of all our population, I’m sure, and I am so glad this person brought it up!) if this unnamed-unknown foreign country would/could take us over.  This is a valid concern and it should be voiced.  The blogger said:

“My feeling is that that country may demand allegiance to them and their ways and beliefs, which may be in opposition to the Lord’s. They may also change our currency to theirs and require allegiance to their beliefs in order to be able to buy or spend with their currency. Will they also require some kind of “mark” or identification tag?”

This blogger is not the only one asking: “The Mark?!” Lord Jesus, are You just setting the stage?  In Rev 16:13 “three evil spirits that looked like frogs” hopped onto the world stage.  And they have been doing their thing.  The spirits are described in that passage, but not actually named.  Honey, may I have the honors of naming them and thereby disarming them of their power? 

1)    Arrogance

2)    Deception

3)    Jealousy

Rev 16:13Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

Lord, You did say the nations would gather, and they have been gathering:

Isaiah 43:9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

However You did also say,

Rev 13:16-17 “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

Now Lord, when You told us this, I thought You were talking about credit card debt (number repetitions), and the spiritual “zombies” people have become as they “wear” the “watermark” dead zone on their foreheads from obsessive TV watching, and our right hands suffer from Carpal Tunnel due to slavery to obsessive workaholism.  Are You really planning on allowing the world to go down a literal path with us being branded like cattle beyond the spiritual branding which we ALL have suffered under these last years of spiritual oppression?  Lord, this all smacks of fear and deception fueled by arrogance and jealousy.  The nations would be spared as soon as the sins of the Churches were exposed.  This IS how You work!  You shed Light on darkness.  And, in the Flow of the Seven Bowls, we have seen Your mighty arm fulfill these prophecies in sequence:

  • Angel #1 – (Rev 16:2) Poured out the bowl on the land and we suffered from ugly, painful sores.

[Lord, since we’ve seen this already, are the people assuming You’re planning another round only worse?]

  • Angel #2 – (Rev 16:3) Poured out the bowl on the sea and it turned to blood and killed every living thing in the sea. 

[Lord, our seas are already “dead.”  We’ve seen pictures of bloody waters from mass slaughter of our oceans.  Are the people expecting more?]

  • Angel #3 – (Rev 16:4-6) The rivers and springs of fresh water become “blood” representing the blood of the saints and prophets, and the people get what they dished out. 

[Are the people expecting more, Lord?]

  • Angel #4 – (Rev 16:8-9) The sun scorched the people and even in the intense heat they didn’t repent.

[Our grueling heat wave of a summer has only just passed!  I have not yet seen clear acts of repentance in my little orbit of influence where a turnaround to realign with You, Lord, in body, mind, and spirit is visible.  Maybe it’s been happening, but I just can’t see it yet.] 

  • Angel #5 – (Rev 16:10-11) We have been plunged into spiritual darkness and we’ve all seen the throne where the beast lives within ourselves. 

[I have not met anyone unscathed and who wasn’t gnawing their tongues in agony and bringing You, God, into the conversation in the process.  But I still have not seen acts of repentance.]

  • Angel #6 – (Rev 16:12-16) Three evil spirits that look like frogs wreak havoc in the Middle East. 

[Doesn’t this read like our headlines? It says the kings gather together. (v 16)  That’s it.  They gather.  And the people are expecting more?  This smacks of evil and deception and things being blown out of proportion, just as is the nature of evil.]

  • Angel #7 – (Rev 16:17) The angel pours out his bowl and out of the temple comes a loud voice from the throne saying, “It is done!” 

[Lord, how can there be more when You said it is done?]

This all just floors me, Lord.  The people seem to be still acting through their old prayers of “What’s in it for me?”  And there’s the Church-as-Institution standing like Job’s wife with her hands on her hips,

Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.”

Well, thankfully not everyone holds to this pathetic conviction!  God bless the former butler to Pope Benedict who is taking the heroic stance to air Vatican “dirty laundry” as we have never seen before in history.[3]  The former butler is standing by his convictions “to bring the church back on the right track,” he said.  God bless you!  Someone with courage!  Lord, this is one Witness to the top portion of the archetypal Church of Thyatira. (Rev 2:18-23)  While the kings are gathering in the Middle East, the Church is being gathered as well.

Revelation 11

1 “I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.” 

Forty-two months is 3 ½ years.  Pope Benedict ascended to the papacy in 2005.  It’s now seven years later.  Half of seven is 3 ½.  This is not rocket science.  Even I, she who is number challenged, can do the math on this one.  It takes a good three-plus years to really make a fine mess and another three-plus years to solidify the mess.  It takes a few minutes to confess, a solid decision to repent, and awhile to reconcile and make good on wrongs in the healing process so that all parties can heal from the fine mess.  Now, I can vouch for this fine mess process with my own bankruptcy proceedings.  It is right that my credit should be off the blocks for seven years (or even ten.)  The Holy Spirit is not doing an arbitrary looping just because…  Nor is the pope an evil man.  He’s just a biblical representative.  Sometimes God uses people as road markers to point the way.  That doesn’t mean they are marks of the beast.  “Watermarks” do glow when light is held up to them.

All of the Churches-as-Institution (and not just the Catholic Church) have been divorced from their relationship with God and each other.  They effectively “wrote” a spiritual certificate of dismissal to divorce themselves (Mk 10:4) for their own benefit because of their hardness of heart. (v 5)  But God has given the Church both masculine and feminine balance in the heart (even though He snatched up the “male child” to His throne.) (Rev 12:5)  The Church compartmentalized worship from body, from mind, from spirit.  The Church left his Father and Mother [Spirit] but was not joined to his “wife.” (Mk 10:7)  The Church really is one flesh with each other. (v 8)  When one suffers, all suffer.  When one rejoices, all rejoice.  The Church-as-Institution is still “dead” and has not “arisen” yet to take her place in dignity and Truth.  She is still hiding in the Great Oops of not putting God first in body, mind, and spirit. (Dt 4:29-31)  She did not practice integral faith, and then tried to cover it up.  In her heart she prayed prayers of “What’s in it for me?” and she got the answers to her prayers.  May she be enlightened with the Truth.

Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven!
      Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
   God has judged her for the way she treated you.’ ”

We humans are not able to do enough good deeds to reverse the tides by our own efforts and intentions.  It requires divine intervention.  And it is fleshy and real—here and now—not raptured off in the future by some divine escape.

1 Thes 4:15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

I see “alive” as meaning those who are spiritually “awake.”  But this says the alive will NOT precede those who have fallen asleep. 

 1 Thes 4:17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

While we are still on this side of eternity, we can be encouraging each other by showing how God has been fulfilling prophecy and doing what He said He would do and has already been doing.  Part of this new tide may be found with our Muslim neighbors.  For instance, you may not know that Jesus is in the Quran by name, and it calls Him “Messiah Jesus.”  In the same chapter (now, dear reader, breathe out and relax before igniting your knickers on fire and just read what is there without suspicion, guile, fear, judgment, attachment, demonizing, or screaming “false gods!”) and just “see” the following passage through eyes of peace and fulfillment of prophecy:

“…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)…” (Quran, 4:157)

[Are you ok?  Breathe again.  You can do this.]

Muhammad (570 AD to 632 AD) was born five hundred years after Christ lived, died, and rose again.  Now, please allow me to take this one verse in small sections to lay it out in a more holistic perspective before laying out the larger portion of text (below.)  When this (above) passage says, “…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus,”” would this “they” not be referring to the Jews?  “…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus,”” sounds very much like a confession. [cf Ro 11:9]  There is no denial in this statement.  The Jews of Muhammad’s day, five to six hundred years after Christ, knew and understood what God had done for them, and Whom God had sent to them.  And enough people knew it and expressed this understanding to impact the people in that region and to make it into their neighbor’s sacred texts.  The Quran is simply bearing witness to what they said.  When the Quran says, “They did not kill him,” is this not what God said would happen when the chief priests paid off the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb?

Matthew 28: 11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The above verse from the Quran simply made sure the story continued to be circulated among the Jews (and beyond) to this very day.  Also in a spiritual sense, we, too, allowed Jesus to be “stolen away” while we all were “asleep.” [cf Rev 12:5]  Technically we did not kill Him either, nor did we technically crucify Him on Calvary.  Christ gave Himself up as a perfect sacrifice. (Ro 3:25; Heb 10:14)  Is there any difference between today’s rhetoric of salvation by “we’ll believe it [God] when we see It” and the chief priests who mocked Him among themselves?

Mark 15: 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

It is human nature to punish, victimize, and insult the meek, especially in our most vulnerable moments. In those most vulnerable moments on both sides of the fence—the victim and the perpetrator—we can dissociate, disconnecting from our authentic core Selves and our real relationship in God.  We don’t even look like ourselves, just as Jesus was no longer recognizable as His disfigured form hung on the cross.  It seemed like the likeness of another man, and anyone who has suffered deep brokenness knows what this is like.

but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)…”

Our Bible says a similar thing:

Isaiah 52: 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
    his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness—

It is the spiritual force called Denial that puts its fortress up to block out the Truth.  It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to eradicate Denial.  It’s our job to rebuke it (the spirit, not the people.)  As enlightened humans we can also look at the Scriptures to brag on God to reveal how God has already fulfilled prophecy like He said He would, allowing no room for Denial to wiggle.  I suspect that is one of the major ways the Gospel spread so quickly in the first century.  The Gospel and letter writers incorporated into their writings how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.  They bragged on God.  Even today we don’t have to abuse others and their religions to convince them of what God had said all along.  On the other hand, the Churches have been abusing people with the authority of the Bible for a long time.  The Muslims have been insisting on the correctness of their holy word and the Jews have had the Word all along.  Who’s right?  God!  It’s the Holy Spirit speaking through the Word to reveal Himself.  The Word corroborates from grace-filled perspectives when we step out of the way and listen to each other in love rather than always immediately going for the jugular.

Now with a kind and spiritually open eye, I invite you to read the following:

“What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?[4]

“Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him).  They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind.  The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary).  The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:

 (Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God).  He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be).  God creates what He wills.  If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.”  (Quran, 3:45-47)

Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother.  God has said:

 The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam.  He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being.  (Quran, 3:59)

During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles.  God tells us that Jesus said:

 “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord.  I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission.  I heal the blind from birth and the leper.  And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission.  And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses….”  (Quran, 3:49)

Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified.  It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him.  And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man.  Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus.  God has said:

 …They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)…  (Quran, 4:157)

Neither Muhammad  nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.1

“Footnotes [This footnote was part of their article:]

(1) Muslims also believe that God revealed a holy book to Jesus called the Injeel, some parts of which may be still available in the teachings of God to Jesus in the New Testament.  But this does not mean that Muslims believe in the Bible we have today because it is not the original scriptures that were revealed by God.  They underwent alterations, additions, and omissions.  This was also said by the Committee charged with revising The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version).  This Committee consisted of thirty-two scholars who served as members of the Committee.  They secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations.  The Committee said in the Preface to The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version), p. iv, “Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration.  Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text.” The Committee also said in the Preface, p. vii, “Notes are added which indicate significant variations, additions, or omissions in the ancient authorities (Mt 9.34; Mk 3.16; 7.4; Lk 24.32, 51, etc.).”
For more in-depth articles regarding this subject, please visit the following external web pages: Confessions of the New American Bible and Bible Contradictions

Now, dear reader, before reacting to our Muslim friend’s words please consider that they do have a point.  God did tell us not to mess with His Word. (Rev 22:18-19)  And we did anyway.  We almost had to.  We translated it to get it into the hands of the people [Vulgate] and something may have gotten lost in translation.  More likely it was caused by dismissing the gifts of discernment and wisdom as we read our evolving translations.  That doesn’t make the Scriptures any less holy; no less holy than the Quran.  It is the Spirit Who does the inspiring of the Word when we offer our intentions.  And it is the Holy Spirit who changes worldviews through the fulfillment of His Word.  Israel already knows Who her King is.  She and the other nations simply fulfilled scriptures in revealing it and bearing witness to it.  We can continue to expand as a community on the topic of scriptural prophecy fulfillment and move forward kindly and respectfully.

This Muslim commentator said Jesus was respected and revered, and he put a blessing of peace upon Him.  Jesus is not called “Lord” but He is called Messiah.  And reverence is the start of a blessing.  Are we blessing peace in return?  The commentator said about Jesus, “God saved him and raised him up to Him.”  That sounds like resurrection language.  Resurrection is about New Life.  Did we not receive grace and peace from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne? (Rev 1:4)  What if the seven spirits are the Seven Virtues?  

1)    Humility

2)    Kindness

3)    Abstinence (setting limits)

4)    Chastity (harnessing lust)

5)    Patience

6)    Generosity

7)    Diligence

If we were practicing the Seven Virtues would we not be closer to being living examples of Christ’s Lordship to the very world we want to witness to?  Aren’t we representing Messiah Jesus as His ambassadors? [2 Cor 5:20]  Didn’t Christ tell us, “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son”?  So, what if the Dance of the Seven Veils is the unveiling of the Seven Virtues, and the Seven Virtues are held also by their ‘Seven Virgins’ in the Islam culture, then why can’t we live and dance together?  God has been working to lift the other veil of the curse that separates us and still keeps us “divorced” in spirit and in Truth from each other.  Christ already paid the price on the cross and God tore the veil in two [Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45].  The first “unveiling” was regarding man’s relationship with God so that we could be close to Him in divine “marriage” again.  And what about 2 Cor 3:14 where the veil is removed in Christ

Prayer: We must return to our right relationship with You, trusting You like children to enter Your kingdom. (Mk 10:15)  Lord, once again, please take us children up in Your loving, holy, gentle arms.  Please lay Your hands upon us, and bless us. (v 16)  May we receive Your hug and accept Your forgiveness and grace.  May Your great love for all of us break the curse and remove the veils once and for all.  Amen.

19 After Pentecost                  07 October 2012                                 Gospel: Mark 10: 2-16

Job 1:1, 2:1-10
1:1 There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

2:1 One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.

2:2 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

2:3 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.”

2:4 Then Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.

2:5 But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”

2:6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

2:8 Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.”

2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Psalm 26
26:1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

26:2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and mind.

26:3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.

26:4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;

26:5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.

26:6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O LORD,

26:7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.

26:8 O LORD, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.

26:9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

26:10 those in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.

26:11 But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.

26:12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.

Genesis 2:18-24
2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”

2:19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

2:20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.

2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

2:23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”

2:24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Psalm 8
8:1 O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

8:2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

8:3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;

8:4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

8:5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.

8:6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,

8:7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,

8:8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

8:9 O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
1:1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets,

1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.

1:3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

2:5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels.

2:6 But someone has testified somewhere, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?

2:7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor,

2:8 subjecting all things under their feet.” Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them,

2:9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

2:10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2:11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,

2:12 saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

Mark 10:2-16
10:2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

10:3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

10:4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.”

10:5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.

10:6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’

10:7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

10:8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

10:9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10:10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.

10:11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;

10:12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

10:13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.

10:14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

10:15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”

10:16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.