SON OF MAN, CAN THESE BONES LIVE?
“Life from the dead could be describing a time nearly upon us, when the body of Messiah will be utterly captivated by the beauty and holiness of Yeshua; when the church will be given a revived spirit to love God with all her heart, soul and strength; when intimacy with God will be the believer’s crown, and purity and power will be the jewels; when compassion and kindness, healing and humility will characterize Messianic believers. Will this end-time revival be catalyzed by a mighty army of on-fire Jewish prophets and evangelists, spiritual shock-troops preaching the holiness and compassion of God to men and women across this planet?”
Avner Boskey : Israel – The Key to World Revival
YouTube soaking playlist. A collection of restful, reflective pieces that draws me closer into God’s presence. Includes some Vineyard, Jesus Culture, Rivera, Delirious, etc and some spoken word accompanied by soothing instrumentals. The songs are different from what you hear in the Soaking.Net playlist. This YouTube playlist was compiled and put together by Katherine Walden of I Lift My Eyes Ministries.
DISCLAIMER: I believe the Canon of Scriptures as we have them today is necessary and inspired. I’m basically exploring how the early disciples lived their faith and what texts they used as basis to teach and make disciples. And what we can learn from it.
How many times have we heard the longing expressed for a return to the power and simplicity of the Early Church? What gave them this experience and reputation we so envy? Is it possible we are missing something as to where they drew their “doctrine” from? I am becoming more and more convinced that it is the case.
Even Paul in his writings was basically unpacking the massive prophetic legacy contained in the Law and the Prophets, the Torah and the Tanakh. Just as Jesus did for the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Just as the Bereans did after hearing the Gospel preached to them – they went back to the Hebrew Scriptures of their day. Just as Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. Just as Steven did before being martyred. And so on.
Now, tradition tells us that the first book of the New Testament was written “around” 50 AD. That would be close to 20 years after Jesus’ ascension. Yet, merely 50 days after his ascension the first revival broke in Jerusalem. The Church was born then. Not in 325 AD. Under the power of the Spirit, not under the authority of Constantine. Their Scriptures? Torah and Tanakh. And these are the ones of whom it is said they loved one another so much they shared their wealth, and acted like Christ so much that they were called “Christians.”
So what happened? Have we seen over the centuries the rise of a doctrine born of the New Testament rather than the Old? Indeed we have. There has been a clear Hellenization of Yeshua, the stripping of the Jewish roots of our Messiah, and therefore we ended up with a religious mixture called Christianity, based almost solely on the Canon of the New Testament. History recorded the extreme abominations the Church drew the world into. So completely different from the teachings of Yeshua and the Apostles. Continue reading →
A couple weeks ago I talked about Reader’s Digest Christianity, and how it reduced the Christian faith to pithy, easily-achievable goals that ensure our personal improvement. Here, I have a different (though depressingly similar) target: “LiveStrong”Christianity. LiveStrong bracelets are today even more popular than the infamous WWJD bracelets were 10 years ago, despite the public fall from grace of their namesake, Lance Armstrong.
In the minds of many people inside the church, “Livestrong” is the essence and goal of Christianity. You hear this obsession in our lingo: We talk about someone having “strong faith,” about someone being a “strong Christian,” a “prayer warrior,” or a “mighty man/woman of God.” We want to believe that we can do it all, handle it all. We desperately want to think that we are competent and capable— we’ve concluded that our life and our witness depend on our strength. No one wants to declare deficiency. We even turn the commands that seem to have nothing to do with strength (“Blessed are the meek” or “Turn the other cheek”) into opportunities to showcase our spiritual might. I saw a church billboard the other day that said, “Think being meek is weak? Try being meek for a week!”
We like our Christianity to be muscular, triumphant. We’ve come to believe that the Christian life is a progression from weakness to strength—“Started from the bottom, now we’re here” (Drake) seems to be the victory chant of modern Christianity. We are all by nature, in the terminology of Martin Luther, theologians of glory—not God’s glory, but our own.
But is the progression from weakness to strength the pattern we see throughout the Bible? Continue reading →
THESE ARE THE TIMES that try men’s souls. The Spirit has spoken expressly that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Those days are upon us and we cannot escape them; we must triumph in the midst of them, for such is the will of God concerning us.
Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness. Continue reading →
Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths) begins tonight at sundown. Also called “Festival of the Ingathering” (harvest), it is the 7th feast and is celebrated for 8 days; men make huts or tents and dwell in these during the festival, memorializing the Israelites freedom from the Egyptians when they dwelled in tents in the wilderness with their God, YHVH. (Tabernacle means “mishkan” – “to dwell” or “reside” in Hebrew).
In the New Testament we find John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh (Jesus Christ) & dwelt (tabernacled) among us, and we have seen His Glory, Glory as of the only Son from the Father (YHVH), full of grace and truth.” We also know from the gospels that Jesus celebrated Feast of Tabernacles.
Our Lord will once again tabernacle or dwell among men when, after the Great Tribulation (soon to hit the earth according to all the signs), Jesus Christ will descend on clouds of Glory and reign for 1000 years (during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ (Yeshua) ~ Praise God! Let’s celebrate the good news that our Living God wants to not only associate with us, His Children, but DWELL among us, and IN us! Hallelujah!
Pondering about the matchless beauty and empowering love of God’s Father Heart, and the splendor and weight of His glorious Holiness – where is the convergence of attitude and posture in our approach to Him, something about “childlike reverence…” how does it come about, how can we be so sure that we’re not having to wonder about it anymore…
There is a wonderful song by Brian and Jenn Johnson that was released about three years ago and it is entitled, “Where You Go I’ll Go.” The majority of this song is directed to God the Father, and the chorus has the following words:
Where You go I go
What You say I say,
And what You pray I pray
As worship leaders we have led others in this song many times, and as powerful as it is, there is one additional phrase that we would have liked to have seen included . . . that being “What You feel I feel.” Although we know that we are all called to do what Jesus did—that being to pray what the Father prays, say what the Father says, and go where He directs us to go—we believe unless we are able to connect with His heart . . . and His feelings . . . it will be very difficult to fulfill this calling.
OVERLOOKING WHAT GOD FEELS AND ITS IMPACT ON OUR HEALING As we continue to work with many people who come to find deeper healing and a greater level of intimacy with God and others, we frequently observe reoccurring themes. One of these themes is the lack of awareness of and connection with how God feels . . . not about our sins or our failures or our successes . . . but about US . . . you and me! Some of the people with whom we work may share that they ”know” how God sees them, but yet when we ask the question, “What do you think the Father feels about you?” or “How did the Father feel when that happened to you?”, they don’t even know what to say. This demonstrates a great disconnect between “head knowledge” and “heart experience.”
UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONS OF GOD . . . DOES HE HAVE THEM?
Before we go further, it is important to decide if the concept of God having emotions or feelings is biblical. Though there are some who may argue that God does not have feelings, Scripture has many references to the contrary. Continue reading →