August 19, 2002
There was a cheerless Christian teacher on TV the other night that told a caller that signs and wonders and people who get hands laid on them are of the devil. Now that struck me as an incredibly stupid thing to say considering what Jesus taught about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The real shame is that there are so many Christians that would agree and be led astray simply because they have never experienced spiritual power in the way others have. It is impossible for us to fit into that system.
We are the rejects and misfits of this world's system. We get hurt, picked on and cursed at, we are called heretics, pretenders, idiots, tools of satan, false prophets and all kinds of absurdities. We are talked down to, disrespected, reviled, passed over and persecuted for righteousness' sake. The more like Jesus we become, the more that nominal Christians and the heathen scourge us. We are discriminated against, oppressed, walked on, condemned and cursed to the pits of hell. Our covering is but Jesus alone, we want to submit to each other in the Lord while they want us to submit to their false authority. But hear this, people; we have a home in heaven that was prepared for us before the foundation of the world. Many in the present religious system will never see it, called but not chosen. We misfits have the power to bring down these strongholds. How many of you already see it in the spirit? We will endure to the end. We are part of a kingdom that will never pass away; we shall shine on as the sun, no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow. Can you shout glory?
The responses about the power of the Holy Spirit were real slow in coming until a series of powerful and beautiful testimonies were shared on the new yahoo fellowship that was put together for us, you will need to go there at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Latter_rain_lightship/ to see them all. These testimonies are from those that have received the power so are able to give accurate descriptions of the experience. What is common to us all is not only the experience but the hunger that we have for more of Jesus, the desire to lift Him up with all the glory and honor to Christ, not ourselves, and the rejection that we receive from other Christians. ^_^
First of all Paul gives a comment of what happens when the "anointing" is sought rather than the actual surrender to the Holy Spirit and Timothy speaks of the power to do right in the strength of Christ's might and later on the conditions of the Spirit's fullness. Eric and I relate our stand with the Holy Spirit becoming unacceptable in our denominations and we had to leave. We discussed the Elijah calling and that even mentioning it could lead to pride. There is a caring dialogue beginning with prayer, encouragement and love among the "unlovely and unlovable" as touchingly illustrated between Dave and Vicki.
Mary speaks of "being bathed and soaked in the Holy Spirit" and this is significant in that she was rejected by a few in the church that had told her that she had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit because she had not yet spoken in tongues. This is of course a false doctrine that exalts the gift over the giver whereby alienating many in the church from desiring spiritual gifts. Deborah speaks of the sad truth in the church about conformity and accepting religion instead of Spirit and Sharolyn speaks of the higher ground. Marilyn's touching testimony includes an experience with people that think that speaking in tongues is the "devil's language" and amply drives home the polarization that satan has inflicted on the church by dividing it into extremist camps. While one extreme thinks that you can't be baptized in the Holy Spirit without it, the other extreme thinks that you can't be baptized with it. The worst of them make the gift or non-gift a test of fellowship. Eric opens another "can-o-worms" on the prophetic and healing powers and Tina, Karen, Lois and Michael share of their experiences.
Of course, there is much more in the responses and even more on the forum from those not mentioned here. Read on of deliverance, salvation, miracles, struggles, encouragement, repentance, being filled, divine appointments, open doors, surrender, faith, prayer, the fullness of rapture, overcoming the flesh, a powerless church, joy, the need for revival and more grace.
You know what happens when all of we misfits finally get together and pray and encourage each other in the name of Jesus under the power of the Holy Spirit? We fit right into God's perfect plan and He comes for us so that we can be glorified with Him.
Well that was nice, I am open to suggestions for our next discussion. In the meantime, we may have more comments and testimonies on Holy Ghost Power.
Re: Holy Ghost Power
I only have one short comment this time. It is about the current trend to de-personalize the Holy Spirit by calling His power "the anointing". The anointing is really an Old Testament concept which pre-dates the arrival of the Holy Spirit on earth in the current capacity. It is the Holy Spirit on earth that does the work of God and any example of His work is to be attributed to Him. When we attribute God's power to some unknown commodity called "the anointing" the power of God becomes superstitious, mystical and elitist. It is common to hear the phrase, "he has the anointing" meaning a person. The implication is that it is something that he/she possesses and controls. By doing this we move away from giving the honour and credit to the Holy Spirit. We depersonalize His role in the power of God, and by doing so, we give it to a person.
The power of God is not given to an individual so that they can do whatever they so desire. This is an Old Testament concept demonstrated by Elijah, Elisha and others. This is the implication of the use of the term "anointing" for the power of the Holy Spirit. But in the New Covenant, it is in surrender to the Holy Spirit that we can be used by Him to manifest HIS will. The key here is, surrender to the Lordship of Christ. It is in surrender He is made manifest and with that, there is the manifestation of power, among other things (fruits of the Spirit). When we are baptised in the power of the Holy Spirit we are ALL anointed to do the works of Jesus and equipped by grace to do all God has called us to do. The manifestations (power) of the Holy Spirit are given as the Holy Spirit wills. He is in control in every situation.
The power of God is intrinsic to the Holy Spirit. You can't separate salvation from Jesus. You must take Him, and IN Him there is salvation. Neither can you separate the power of God from the person of the Holy Spirit. They are one, and it is HE who is the manifest power of God. As we receive the Holy Spirit and surrender to His will, we are fully equipped with all the power of God, to do what He determines to do, through each one of us.
Paul Weigel email@example.com
Good insight. So many Christians are living in their own power rather than in God's power. I believe that this is a good illustration of Christians following signs and wonders instead of the other way around. I know people that seek the anointing when they should be seeking Jesus and get it as a direct result. A truly anointed person radiates Jesus as a reflection of God's glory and power. I really don't know if the power is ever truly ours to have and use but rather used through us.
The Strength of Christ's Might
Eph. 6:10.---' Be strong in the Lord, and in the power [RV 'the strength'] of his might.'
WHETHER we can or cannot demonstrate metaphysically the antecedent possibility of miracles, whether we can or cannot prove historically the fact of the Resurrection, whether it be true or not that Christianity contains no new moral precept, this one fact remains---incontrovertible, and on any other hypothesis inexplicable---that Christianity has been and is a moral power, that it has changed and is changing the moral tone of the human race, and that, in spite of the apathy and inconsistency of many of those who bear the Christian name, it gives a new motive to the doing of our duty, and supplies the lacking energy to our weak and struggling souls.
Strength is the common want of every one of us; we want not the knowledge of our duty but the power to do it. We all know more or less the bitter struggle between impulse and conviction; we have all been tempted---we are tempted every day---to give up what we know to be right for what we feel to be pleasant; we struggle, some of us, to resist, and we find our struggles in vain; we set out in the morning with the full intention of doing what is right, and we find before the day is half over that we have preferred the interest of the moment to known and undoubted duty. We would be compelled fear God and keep His commandments, but we find it so hard as to be virtually impossible to disentangle ourselves from the intricate ties which bind us to common modes of action, or to resist the accumulating influences which lead us to accept current maxims of morality. But the remedy lies within our reach. The Apostle, writing as one who had felt all this as strongly as we can feel it, bids us 'be strong in the Lord.'
What is this strength? It is the power to do right when we know it; to give up what will be of most immediate advantage for the sake of the inner voice which speaks to us of duty. It is the power to avoid tampering with evil suggestions; to be able to resist the ever-recurring tendency of the old Adam to angry, selfish, cowardly, indolent, uncharitable actions. it is the power to do all this in the faith and by the promised power of Him who lived and died and is present with us still---the highest type of human excellence and the highest source of moral power.
It is not merely strength on the grand scale, strength for some great act of moral heroism. That which we want, and that which our Master gives us, is strength for our common life---strength to do our ordinary duties---strength not only for the pitched battles which some of us have, now and again, to fight, but strength also, and most especially, for the daily conflicts with evil, the skirmishes, so to speak, between the advanced outposts of evil and good, where they meet so closely as to seem not so much enemies as friends.
The strength is that of a new motive, and it is given to us by One who is not only a perfect Example, but and ever-present Guide. For He who in those far-off ages trod the Judaean hills is with us still. He is with us not only as a memory of the past, but as a living influence. He who helped men in their common life long ago helps us still. The mere memory of Him would have done much for us. The bare record of His life, the story of His unflinching devotion to duty, of His boundless charity, of His unsullied purity, would of itself have suggested high and new motives. The fact that the ideal of humanity had been realized would of itself have been an encouragement and a support to us in our efforts to do better. But the strength which we have is something far higher. It is the strength of One who is ever present by His Spirit---who being very God is not far from every one of us, who being very Man can penetrate the deep recesses of our hearts and know at once their aspirations and their needs.
In Christ, timothy.
Grace & Peace to all of you in the Precious Name of Jesus!
I'm Eric; I live in central Mn I'm married with two daughters out of the house and one going into the 8th grade. I've been raised in the faith by Holy Spirit who has faithfully kept me these many years in the Word and on my face before Father whose awesome love toward us is more glorious than words can express.
I'm an ordained minister, but have been out of that denomination for nearly 8 years now. My stand with the Holy Spirit became unacceptable and eventually I had to move forward. Father's call is without repentance however and I'm seeking ways to answer Him again. I'm active in my local AOG church which is going through a transition in pastors right now. Active in the area jail ministry and see the wondrous, mighty hand of God moving every time I'm able to "go in to the jail." We need to pray for the Body of Christ that exists inside the many prison walls in our country and around the world. It offers our brother and sisters on the inside a peculiar opportunity and challenge as you might imagine. Father also has me in the midst of a season of intercession (several hours per day; I'm self-employed; my schedule flexible!)
My purpose tonight is to introduce myself and to ask your prayers. I seek direction, wisdom, and guidance to answer this burning all consuming need to preach the Word! I can't imagine myself taking a "normal" (IC) pulpit and yet I desire to go where ever Father leads. In the meantime, I'm in the process to "upgrade my credentials" to try to make myself "acceptable to the brethren" in the hopes that a door might be open for me to preach the truly Good News and the awesome truth of His Finished Work! Truly "Now are we the sons of God...!"
Pray for me if you will - that I might find my place in the Body Of Christ and in doing so that I might bring glory and honor to the Name of Jesus!
In His Service, By His Grace... To His Glory!
Nice to hear from you. The topic that I have on the latter rain list is Holy Ghost power and this fits right in with that. There has not been too much response to it for some reason, maybe mostly they are waiting for me on something.
Holy Spirit ordination is of course the way that it should always be done. Too often people in the church without real spiritual credentials get ordained in order to be qualified but it should be that we are ordained because we are already qualified. This is a real problem in the church and one of the reasons that the spirit gets quenched. You know as well as I that many pastors are hired for the wrong reasons, usually because they preach what they want to hear.
Fortunately, the Lord taught me outside of the church, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit through repentance and then my stand with the Holy Spirit disqualified me in the denomination that I was raised in just like you. It is a move forward, like you say, but only people that have been through it may be able to fully agree with that. At the surface it looks like we become unfit for the ministry when so many of us are in the wilderness but be encouraged. We are actually part of the temple made without hands in restoring it just like they did out of Babylon. The Lord is building it and using us as the stones, that is exciting.
You have the calling of Elijah on you, so do I. So does Michael and many others that have prayed with us and shared and who knows how many that sit back and keep quiet. We need to all pray for each other. I have had to face a lot of hate-mongers in the church who think they have it all together. I have stepped ahead too many times in the past, learned patience through others like you going through the same things. We will all be revealed at the fullness of time.
I just realized that your response to me initiated the thread about the Elijah anointing and I wanted to comment and ask for clarification also.
I don't get here every day and it's easy to lose the thread. I think it could be helpful if folks felt so inclined to offer up our individual testimonies as we go on here.
I think this could help us see several things. First we'll get to know one another better, making it easier to understand where we're all coming from and secondly Father called us to bear witness of the Gospel and it's effect in our life. Truly we're called to be witnesses first and everything else comes after that.
I'll keep it brief. I'm hopeful that instigating this will encourage others in the group to bear their testimony.. Surely God will be glorified in this - erf
My name is Eric, I'm 45, married with three beautiful daughters. Two are now in college, our third is 13.
I was rescued from drug addiction, the occult (extreme occult involvement) comparative studies in eastern religions and soon after I accepted the Lord He rescued me from involvement in two separate cults; one had me walking in a sheet across Texas with my hair down to the middle of my back in the early '80s' (only God could pull that off!) The second cult tried to sell me the Holy Spirit for $295 which is a bargain of course!
I accepted the Lord in a borrowed tent in a city park in Eugene Or. I had hitchhiked for 5 years in search of "Truth" (in quotes!). I was led to the Lord by "John the Baptist" or his direct descendant! Wild hair, no shirt ever, consistent preaching daily for weeks until finally he issued me a Bible and told me to read the book of John.
I had enough time with the Word so that when the first cult got me, I was suspicious of their insistence to take it away from me because it had a leather cover. At the same time I was desirous to "follow after the Lord" and so I went with them - having been abandoned as a babe in Christ by the one who led me to the Lord.
Lots of stories later - led by the Spirit I found the passage in 1Tim. 4:1-5 which could have put the name of the cult in had it not been needed for many such cults throughout time. I took off my robe in response to that scripture and returned home to Ne. where I had come from.
I got a part time job and began my daily searching of the scriptures. A few months passed and our town was invaded by four very charismatic young people who offered the gift of the Holy Spirit for the $295 price of a 12 week Bible course.
The price seemed too low to me, but I was willing to pay it to grow closer to Father and receive all He had for me... Half way through the class the young man taught the passage in Luke 11:13. Naturally I went home and immediately asked Father why if He offered the Holy Spirit for free was I paying for the gift?
While still praying and seeking the Lord - Father baptized me in the Holy Spirit and I ended the prayer time in tongues - which was to be the final outcome of the 12 week course. I went back to the "Twig meeting" and began to tell the other "students" that they could receive the Holy Spirit for free and was promptly "thrown out of my first church."
Filled with the Holy Spirit in a fresh and powerful way, I returned to my studies and began to preach the Gospel as Father led. I began attending a church who denied the Spirit's work in our time.. and began to seek a way to attend Bible college. I completed one semester before Father called me out to begin filling pulpits across the state.. after nearly 10 years of that I was ordained in a denomination that refused to acknowledge the Spirit and eventually left that denomination and moved on to "find brethren of like mind."
Turns out, that "pressing in to the Father's presence" and preaching the truth that "Now are we the Children of God.." and that the awesome finished work of Christ is more than we have entered into... is offensive to many in the Body of Christ and I now find myself.. here - seeking my place and preaching in season and out of season... seeking to answer Father's calling on my life...
I'm deeply involved in a jail ministry... teaching in our local church when allowed, interceding for the lost and those whose vision and walk is still entwined in the freight train that has become the IC. Much more is of course going on and many more stories of God's awesome Grace and mercy make up my 27 years in Christ...
The end of the matter is this.... Father is sovereign in all things! His grace and mercy and the finished work of Jesus is sufficient for all our need... Our worship, our service and our quest for holiness ought to be motivated by our gratitude for His awesome salvation! The Joy of His salvation is our strength...
Thanks for allowing me this outrageous amount of space to bear testimony albeit brief.. (lol) I pray Father is glorified in it...
Please share your witness... or if this is an inappropriate venue for this - Please forgive me the space.. and send your testimony to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow Eric. Again, this is exactly what I was asking for on the latter rain list. I don't know why so few people responded to it but it may be that we need to deal with it right here.
This is my own testimony of the Holy Spirit experience. I can just cut and paste it, the bigger part is at my testimony page.
"My police and military training landed me a job in industrial security as a document control clerk. A lady there had a copy of "Good News For Modern Man," Today's English Version of the New Testament and I asked her if I could read it, she gave it to me to keep. I learned a lot about the Bible when I was young, memorized a lot but never actually read it, once started I could not put it down. I cried when reading the Sermon on the Mount; the words spoke truth and convicted me. While driving the company van to the Post Office with a load of classified documents, I was grooving (it was the sixties after all) on the words and really started getting convicted and I cried out to God - "I'm sorry." That was all I said, suddenly a spiritual power came over me in a way that I never knew existed. Every fiber of my body, every molecule and nerve cell was suddenly alive to this new experience. In a matter of moments, I received visions of a great end time ministry and that I had just been given the keys to the kingdom and the wisdom of the ages. Tears of joy came like a flood, I was shouting and praising the lord for the first time. I could hardly contain myself when I got to the P.O. Even weeks later, I was so high on the Lord, I couldn't feel my feet touch the ground.
I found out that this was the Baptism With the Holy Ghost. They never taught me that in Baptist Sunday School! I went back to the New Testament and finished it in three weeks, coffee breaks, lunchtime, in the evenings, soaking in every word. Started going back to church. I then got a little King James Version of the Bible and started reading it from the beginning. When I read about Solomon, I trusted the words to not lean upon my own understanding, when I read to ask for wisdom if you lacked it, I prayed and expected Godly wisdom. Right from the start, end time prophecies interested me the most and I started reading books on the subject. When I read the words of Paul that said desire to prophesy, I prayed for the gift, not knowing what to expect. I was witnessing to a friend one evening soon after and suddenly felt the spirit of God touch my lips as I taught the man things that I had never learned before and according to what he needed to hear. I understood immediately that this was the gift that I had asked for."
You asked for clarification on the Elijah anointing, Eric. George Warnock's Feast of Tabernacles is a good source for that as well as my own page at http://latter-rain.com/eschae/elijah.htm
Testimonies on the Holy Spirit are good, maybe there are others?
HI JAY AND ALL IN THE GROUP.
EVERY BORN AGAIN BELIEVER HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT, -- ROM. 8:9 BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL OF EVERY BORN AGAIN BELIEVER.-- EVERY ONE SHOULD CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE PAIN IN THE CHURCH MAY BE ONE'S SELF!! THIS IS ALWAYS THE CASE UNTIL ONE IS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. -- MORE LATER IF YOU WANT IT -- ON HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. BECAUSE OF HIM,
Hi everyone, I'm a newcomer to this group and have been reading through your messages for a couple of days. I'm relieved to notice that many of you are seeking the Lord's face as I am, but are unsure of the direction He is leading. So this just isn't a gathering of "intellectuals" but real seekers. Seems like everyday my life is at a crossroads and I feel so lost and lonely. Since embarking on this journey to follow only Him, I have not really been able to "connect" with church people so I have concluded that something is really wrong with me. I go to a great church but just can't connect even though I'm "plugged in" as they like to say. I don't get it. From what I've read of your messages some of us are in the same boat. I can suck up the pain and rejection if I have to, the feeling of being invisible, if I only really could hear His voice again in a clear way, if only I knew I were on the right track.
Good blessings to you all,
Hi there Vicki!
I was saddened to hear from you in your letter that you are lonely for companionship with believers. That even though you go to a great church something is amiss when you actively seek fellowship and there is none to be had. The "church" can be a cold and lonely place but "the body of Christ" should never be. I believe that by the time this day is over you will have received so many e-mails from those in this group that your faith will begin to be restored and you will gain a new and exciting perspective concerning the sheep fold versus the "goat pen".
Yes this is harsh but the reality is that so many people are just concerned about getting to church, singing a few songs, hearing a good inspirational message and then they walk out of there and don't give the place or the people another thought until Saturday nite. Here as I'm sure you will see there will be so much mail coming your way you will have to get a bigger mail box to hold it all!! Vicki, one thing I might add though and please don't be offended.... some people always say 'pastor, nobody greeted me again this week" to which my pastor replys " how many people did you greet today"? That old adage about having to be a friend to have friends sometimes rings true and I am by no means saying that this is you. Just ponder that there are so many people that have been hurt by the body of Christ that they are "gun shy" about having to try to make new relationships and would rather stay at a distance than take a chance that they would get hurt again. Then there are those who seem to be lacking in the love and compassion that Jesus had and requires of us and who really could care less about you and me and listen sister, it is their loss. We have to be accountable for our actions and let the lord deal with those who seem to have it all together and don't really have time for us.
My advice, don't hold it against them. Pray for them, reach out to those who you feel the lord is telling you to reach out to and love the "unlovely and unlovable". Give to those who cannot pay you back, go to the hedges and highways and invite those who need a meal to dine with you. Be a friend to the friendless and you will have the friendship of God and you will never be lonely again!!!
Hi Jay and all,
It is surely not a secret that the church today is somewhat powerless, even though the Holy Ghost baptism is known about, spoken about, preached upon and experienced. Why else would we still need revival?
I do think there is a tendency to formularize the baptism and say "this happens, followed by this, and then this", which makes us all wary of saying how it was for us in case someone declares our experience invalid. We are after all talking about living people experiencing the Living God, and so there are bound to be some variations in what happens. Also quite a bit defies description except to say the difference it made to our walk.
It happened to me alone with the Lord in my bedroom about ten years ago. I felt Him draw close, and then had a sensation like being bathed and soaked in the Holy Spirit, on the inside and on the outside of me. All of my fears and worries departed, they were unable to remain there, and for a good while I just lay soaking in Him. It was very intimate in that I knew Him all through me everywhere, I knew there was no place where He wasn't.
Trying to describe this later in church I was told this wasn't the baptism because I didn't speak in tongues. There followed a frustrating time seeking what in fact I already had. The enemy sure had me running around in circles on that one.
The tongues came later when someone laid hands on me and gave me a Word from the Lord who told me I already had the gift, but just needed to speak it out. So that is what happened. The tongue made no initial difference to my walk except that I was at last confident that none could cast doubt on my experience any more. Subsequently I learned that deliberate, frequent use of the gift would build me up Spiritually and keep me "on the same frequency" as God. But it was that initial powerful experience that I refer to as the baptism because of the profound effect on me.
First, I had been all the time coming to God with a list of things I needed to have put right. After I "knew" Him like that it was more like "how can I serve you Lord?" like it went around the other way. I found that doubting He was there was not possible any more. I began to notice new things happening, ministry began and opportunities came without effort. It seemed this was happening without the help or the awareness of the church I belonged to.
It seems to me that all our experiences of God, from the initial awareness of the Holy Spirit, through baptism and on to subsequent infillings, are all part of the whole authorship of God over the beginning and ending of our faith. With each experience the heart is more captivated, the desire for the Holy Spirit to have His way becomes more obvious. But God has not perfected us yet in faith. The power is not ours, it is His, and so the essential requirement in order to have Him use us in greater measure is not power, but faith. We don't ask for more power in the church, but more of the Holy Spirit, then His power comes with Him. That we may be given more of the Holy Spirit if we ask is not up for argument, as in Luke 11, 11-13.
We need to recognize corporately and individually the unbelief that still blackens our hearts before God can do something about us. It helps to get alone with the Lord and tell Him how it plainly is, not how we would like it to be. And then to keep going, trusting Him to supply what He has clearly promised in His Word.
It helps also to count blessings, at the risk of sounding trite. It is boggling to look back and see where God has brought us from, and know where He is taking us, recognising all those significant times in our walk when we have seen and known His hand. It ought not to be hard to encourage ourselves, and have a thankful heart, given God's abundant provision and willingness to supply.
And then finally to get alone with God and worship Him. If the church environment is not conducive to worshipping the Lord how we want to worship Him, change it, do it at home, or if neither is possible, get out. Worship is essential and powerful.
Hope this helps,
Love from Mary
On Higher Ground
No longer do you run with the enemy chasing after you
I have now raised you up and put you on Higher Ground
The victim has now become the Victor
The enemy now runs but he can not hide
My Fire shall go before you and the enemy of your soul shall be destroyed
So Saith~ The Lord God
Isaiah 58: 6-14
Given by: The Holy Spirit
Hi, Can you imagine what would happen to Peter, John, Matthew and the rest of the guys if they were here now?? Can you imagine how rejected and ridiculed they would be because they wouldn't float along with the status quo? Or John the Baptist for goodness sake! These wonderful, flawed men of God had something of the Holy Spirit that you really don't see a whole lot of now adays. They would suffer much to walk the Truth that Jesus taught them. They did not exchange His truth for man's. Sure Peter messed up when he started sitting with the Jews and acting differently to the Gentiles, but God straightened that out. But all in all they walked the Life of Jesus on this earth. That is amazing to me! Now it is all about conformity and accepting religion instead of Spirit.
People of ethnic nationalities have suffered much at the hands of missionaries who demanded they forsake their culture and become anglo-Christians in their behaviors. God created each race with it's own beautiful expression of worshiping Him, and many Sure religion wants you to get this degree or this documentation, and if that is SO important then why did the Lord not deal with this issue??? The Way of Jesus is a beautiful way and it does not beat one into submission or demand you get the proper credentials. For whoever God calls, He anoints, and He appoints and no man can do a thing about it. They can only do what we allow them to when we somehow inside ourselves give in and start believing the lie. We are free men but we live the lie that satan has started along time ago.
We have forgotten who we are in Christ. When He said, "It is finished, He meant just that." We yield and He lives the life through us. Our mission fields are everywhere and no one can stop you from ministering. It happens at the grocery store, the bank, the water or light dept, at the park etc. God gives DIVINE appointments that He makes, and then He keeps them. We must not take on the bondage again when Jesus died and rose so we could go free. If you train a bird to stay in a cage, even when you open the cage door and leave it, it will stay in there for it does not believe it can fly free. That is what has happened to alot of us. Elephants when they are being broken are tied to a tree that has tremendously deep roots that an elephant can't pull up, they try and try and don't succeed. Finally they are accepting in their minds that they can't pull free. After they learn this behavior, the trainer can then tie them to something they could with just some effort pull up, but when the elephant feels that first resistance, he stops trying. That is what has happened to alot of us. We have accepted the lie.
So whatever doors God opens for anyone to minister to another person, they are open and we are the only ones who can choose not to go through them. The choice is ours. What do we choose to believe?? You are all sacred vessels of an awesome God!!!
Bless you all,
I perhaps like most of you was born of Godly parents who attended Church regularly. We attended every time the doors were opened. The only times that I didn't go, was when I was seemingly dying of some illness. [just a kid getting sick once and a while]
At the age of eleven I professed Christ as my Savior and was baptized. I am thankful that the Pastor at the time was a Godly man and wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. Besides my parents, that, probably more than anything stuck in my mind and kept me out of a lot of heartaches.
Not that I did not stray, but having Christ in me gave Him access to the back of my mind. I grew up in what is termed the "Love Generation," taking what I knew to be good and right and applying them in a lifestyle, I thought it was right up my alley. But that is not all that I tried; then came the experimentation with drugs. If one got high we all got high.
I remember the first time I took acid. I seen Jesus and the devil fighting over my soul. If ever there was fervent prayer, it was then. I asked that if I could just get back I would never do it again. I didn't truly repent though, because I tried it four more times after that.
Then I had a stint in the U. S. Army. If you ever watched Kelly's Heroes, that was what it was like for me, just a bunch of misfits. I was a tank driver in the Sheridan, an amphibious tank. We would open up the hatches and smoke of suspicious nature would come rolling out.
About that time I tried shooting up, and when a mighty man of valor, my Sergeant, found out he proceeded to whup me all over the country side. Again a clear sign that the hand of God was with me. I never done that again.
I can see just scratching the surface that this will be too long. I have been married three times that totals of only four years of my life trying to do the domestic thing. Been Homeless. Grace has always been there in my life.
Been straight since the 90's, and grown in His light.
I would like you to know I appreciate you putting up with me. What I write is things He has lead me to.
In Christ, timothy.
Eph. 5:18.---'Be filled with the Spirit.'
St. Paul, who preached to the nations the gospel of Christ, proclaimed also the gospel of the Holy Spirit. The tow are one. They may be distinguished, but they should never be separated; they supplement and illuminate one another. Through Christ we know God, through the Spirit we know Christ. The gospel of Christ brings the message which alone can save the world, but the only through the Spirit do we understand it and make it our own. A doctrine of God without Christ is a face without an eye; a doctrine of Christ without the Holy Spirit is a body without hand, or a body possessing hands and arms complete, but without life to quicken them and energy to move them. The Apostle who cries out in holy passion, 'Though an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel than this, let him be anathema!' declares also that 'none can say that Jesus is Lord but in the Holy Spirit,' and 'If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.'
In the Epistle to the Ephesians there are many references to the Spirit. Two of them are direct commands, and in these commands all our duty to the Spirit is included. The one is, 'Grieve not the holy Spirit of God' [4:30]. The other is our text: 'Be filled with the Spirit.' The one is negative, forbidding everything of the flesh or self that would lead to unbelief or disobedience to Christ Jesus. The other is positive, calling us to yield our whole being in undivided surrender to Him who reveals and maintains the life of Christ within us.
To understand the command, 'Be filled with the Spirit,' we need only turn to the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were all 'filled with the Holy Spirit.' We know what that meant to them. For three years they had lived day and night in closest fellowship with their Lord. His presence had been everything to them. When He spoke of His departure their hearts were sad. He promised that the Spirit would come, not to take His place, but to reveal Himself as their Lord, present with them as much as when He was upon earth, only far more intimately and more gloriously. He would henceforth not be near them and beside them, without the power of enabling them to do what he had taught them, but would live and work in them, even as the Father had lived and worked in Him as man. To be filled with the Spirit would mean to them that Christ on the throne would be to them an ever-present living reality, filling their hearts and life with all His heavenly love and joy. Their fellowship with Him on earth would prove t
What are the conditions of the Spirit's fullness?
SURRENDER.---In all filling we know that two things are needed. The one, that the vessel be clean and empty and ready, even in its posture, to receive the water that is waiting for it; the other, that the water be near and ready to give itself away in full measure to the waiting vessel. In the great transaction between God and man for the filling of the Spirit, man needs first of all to know how complete is the surrender that is needed, and how, even to the death to self and the world, the yielding up of the whole being is indispensable. Then how willing, ready, and able the Holy God is to take possession of our being, and to fill it with Himself.
FAITH.---It is through faith in Christ and in the Father that the Divine fullness will flow into us. Of the same Ephesians to whom the command is given, 'Be filled with the Spirit,' Paul had said, 'In Christ . . . having . . . believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.' The command refers to what they had already received: the fountain was within them; it had only to be opened up and way made for it; it would then spring up and fill their being. And yet not as if this were in their own power. Jesus had said, 'He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' The fullness of the Spirit is so truly in Jesus, the receiving out of Him must so really be in the unbroken continuity of a real life-fellowship, the cease-less inflow of the sap from Him, the living Vine, must so distinctly be met by the cease-less recipiency of a simple faith, that the upspringing of the fountain within can only be in the dependence on Jesus above.
PRAYER.---For faith in Jesus and hourly and ever-growing upspringing of the Spirit will not dispense with faith in the Father's gift and prayer for the renewed fulfillment of His promise. For these same Ephesians, who had thus the Spirit within them as the earnest of their inheritance, Paul prays to the Father 'that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.' The verbs both denote not a work, but an act, something done at once. The expression 'according to the riches of his glory' indicates something which is to be a great exhibition of the Divine love and power, something very special and Divine. They had the Spirit indwelling. He prayed for them that the direct interposition of the Father might give them such mighty workings of the Spirit, such a fullness of the Spirit, that the indwelling of Christ, and a life in the love that passeth knowledge, and a being filled with the fullness of God, might be their blessed personal exp
The saint enjoys the fullness of rapture. History records that Alexander the Great offered a prize to the man who could drink most wine, and that thirty candidates died in the process of the competition. No matter how we may drain the cup of earthly indulgence, we still expire unsatisfied. No snatch of sensual ecstasy, no throb of worldly joy, no dream of power or glow of success can fill the spaciousness of the soul. 'Be ye filled with the Spirit.' As the heaven is filled with light, as ocean's rocky cup is brimmed with the shining tides, so does the Spirit of God pervade the infinity of the soul, and every true believer expresses the sparkle of the sky, the music of the sea. We want life in its fullness. Precisely that is what the faith of Christ gives.
In Christ. timothy.
I went to a "Holiness" Church ever since I remember. I loved the old-time preaching, singing, shouting, and the Altar Calls. Every time there was a "revival", which was around two times a year, there was an Evangelist, song evangelist and special piano player. I knew I had done wrong things, like sassing my parents, getting mad, etc. So I loved going up to the mourner's bench. Afterwards, we'd stand up in front and "testify". I just loved it, I'll tell you. We had family worship every evening. All five of us Kids, along with my parents, would pray and sing.
When I turned 15, I became what you'd over the State line to Okla., and my parents had a Kidnap charge against Him. They didn't catch up with us for about 2 months. By then we were extremely hungry, out in the streets of Oklahoma City, and I weighed 103 lbs. (I was 5 ft. 8 1/2 inches tall). When my parents found us, we were married, but sick and dirty. We all 4 got on a train and came back to Kansas. My parents didn't know Charley call "boy crazy". Well, sort of, because I wasn't allowed to go to movies or most of the school activities, I started dating "older boys".
When I was 16, I decided I was grown up, and persuaded "Charley" to run away with me. He was 25. He took me very well, but he was morally a clean, nice young man; he didn't smoke or drink and he gave his heart to the Lord shortly after we got back, in the Nazarene Church. We had 5 children. Charlie followed the "oil patch" and we moved to different towns, and then moved to Mo. While there, I took Nurse' training and got a BA. Then we moved to Indiana. Somehow, we got in with a Fanatic group, who believed like the old time Nazarenes, but they didn't cut their hair, wear jewelry, makeup or short sleeves, The women weren't allowed to wear slacks. I thought this was the right thing to do, as my parents and about half the Church left and followed this new group. But I was very unhappy. I just rebelled on the inside, while "lining up" on the outside. We sent our children to a Christian Day School, and they all rebelled, one after another, and 4 of them were expelled for not obeying all the codes. (My daughter Susan slid down the banister with her dress on, and she was expelled.) It's sort of humorous now, but not then. I visited the Nazarene Church one night, and the pastor preached that if you have long hair and wore it up in a bun, it wasn't any longer than his wife's hair (which was short). I looked around, and I was the only one with long hair. It really made me bitter, and I realized that trying to live up to a set of dress code rules couldn't Sanctify my heart. "The old man" was still very much alive.
I attended God's Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio and then we were asked to go to So. Dak. and start a work there with the Sioux on the Rosebud Reservation. The former missionaries abandoned the work and left. That is a story in itself! My husband helped the Federal Gov't build 2 bedroom homes for the Native Americans. When we got to Soldier Creek, many of the Sioux were living in cars, and most all of them were alcoholics. It was nothing unusual to hear the "whooping" of a Grandma in the middle of the night, so drunk she didn't know where she was. We were there for several years, and then my daughter Susan brought home a little dirty Indian baby that she had found in a wheel barrow of ashes. He was covered with sores. I cleaned him up and fed him (he was 7 months old), and found where his Grandmother lived. She asked us if we would keep him because his mother was "too busy" and didn't want him, and the Grandmother couldn't take care of him. I hesitated, but finally agreed, and we kept him for about 6 or 7 days. Then his mother came and wanted to trade him for a tent. Well, that went over like a lead balloon! Finally, she said she'd go with us to the Tribal Council and sign papers, giving him to us. We did, and it cost us $5. His name was Tyrone Gabriel Spotted Elk, (although that wasn't his father's name. Mr spotted Elk was in the Federal Prison at Lansing for all that time!) Anyway, we changed his name to Tyrone Charles Lyons.
After a couple of more years of almost starving, and I got the Dysentery from drinking River water, My husband came back to Kansas to the "oil fields" to make money for us to live on. (we weren't living on a salary, just free will offerings. I couldn't survive there with the 6 children and him gone, so we soon followed him back to Kansas. One day I asked Charlie if I could cut my hair and wear shorter sleeves. He told me to go ahead, because he knew I was 38 years old and felt and looked like 60! Anyway, I did, and everyone of my family thought I was "backslid". Not long after that, I sent my Ordination Credentials back to that group, and I guess they disowned me...I never heard from them again. Then I was asked to go to a home Prayer Service, and they started praying in tongues. I was always told that was "demon's language". But it was so beautiful, and I kept going. In the mean time, my husband was sitting at the Supper table and just "fell over dead", landing on my foot!
Didn't grieve, because Tyrone was 13 at the time, and I spent all my emotions on him. Later, he became an alcoholic...He went to a "Dry out" place, but soon got worse. I found out that I needed more of the Holy Spirit to survive. I began to pray at home, and one night, "the Fire fell!" I can't even explain what happened, but I've never been the same since then. I've got to bring this to a close. I just want to say that Tyrone has been sober for 13 years and is a counselor at a half-way house. I re-married (purely platonic) a patient of mine, who had a bad brain disease and had seizures at night. He died not too long after that, and is now at rest. That's why my name is Williams instead of Lyons. I now live alone and LOVE it! I worship at home. I was having ladies prayer group on Wed. afternoons, but 2 of them moved away. That just left myself and my best friend ever, "Sandra". Praise the Lord. I just live one day at a time, I'm so grateful I found Jay's on-line ministry, and now this group. You are my Church. Bless you.
Praising God - weeping with Joy!
There are a few things that are sure to make me weep with joy...
I can't get through a baptism, watching or doing the dunking, without weeping nearly out of control... While baptising folks I often "see" the rebirth in the Spirit in such a way that makes me so completely "undone" before the Lord that I find myself speechless and overcome with great wracking sobs of joy...
And listening to the testimony of how others came to Jesus, were wooed by His Spirit, recued from bondage, set free! - set free not just from sin, but finally set free to become Children of the Most High God! It's hard to type through these tears of joy!
Thank you all who have shared your testimony... all praise and Glory to Father, whose love has made the way straight before us to climb up on His lap and rest in His grace and mercy! .....
Reading these replys I finally understand the term "like minded." what a joy it is to be led to others who can understand this awesome walk we have in Christ Jesus and His finished work... He's alive! Living in us and through us! All Praise be to God! eric
When I was young, my parents wouldn't let me go to church other than occasionally when I stayed overnight with a friend - they told me that when I was old enough, I could make up my mind for myself who God was. I thank them for this decision today.
My first memory of God was when I was around 9 years old. I found a picture of Him in a dresser of a house we moved into. It must have been a picture of Him on the cross, because I remember that it made me cry. My mom took it away. Yet from that day forward, He was a part of my life that no one could take away.
When I got in High School, my folks let me go to church. It was a small church and one of the most "real" I've ever attended. I was very involved in the youth group and sang in the choir and a small traveling chorus group. After about a year and a half, I went to a service at another church with a friend where I heard the salvation message for the first time - can you believe that one - and got saved. It was glorious!
I married at 19 and had a child at 20. My husband and I got very involved in a small church in the town we moved to. They were wonderful people and we were all very close to each other. That was, however, until my husband & I separated. Suddenly, I was shunned - people even crossed the street to keep from talking to me - it was very strange and hurt me really bad. They knew he had a drinking problem, but they didn't know the why behind it - they had no idea how much they hurt me by rejecting me at this time.
They didn't know that my husband had been raped repeatedly by a man when he was young - that this left him really messed up in his head - and that it also left him unsure that perhaps he was gay. He was a good man, but really messed up - I had to save myself and our daughter. After I left, he began drinking all the time and entered a gay lifestyle.
Several years later, my husband ended up being the first man to die from aids in Portland, Oregon.
I didn't set foot in another church for over 20 years.
This, however, wasn't the end to my relationship with the Lord. He and I were friends and we continued to have a wonderful relationship. I've always been prophetic, but for the first 42 years of my life, I had no idea there was a name for it or that other people had things happen to them that continued to happen to me.
When I was around 32, I realized that there was something wrong with my neurological system. No one was sure just what it was. At first it acted like MS - my legs didn't work right and I tended to trip a lot. It affected my work and I started working for myself so I could rest when I needed to. It wasn't too bad for almost 10 years - just affecting me occasionally. Then it got really bad. For about 6 months, I could hardly stand long enough to earn enough $ to buy food - then it got better again. A year and a half later, it hit again. This time it affected my heart and I started into heart failure, which caused water to collect in all my joints as well as excessive tiredness. I had a fever every day and if I took any type of pill, smelled mildew, or got stressed - I would break out in a rash all over my body. My legs were really bad and I had a hard time walking. It was all I could do to work 4 hours a day for 3-4 days a week. They thought it might be lupus or something like it. I was getting worse - FAST! I had no food and was about to loose my house.
The funny thing about this time was that I was still extremely close to the Lord and firmly believed I would be healed. I just felt my work on this earth wasn't done & thus I would have to get well to do it.
It was at this point that I met a man. I told him I was sick, but he didn't care. He made sure I had food - he even held me as I cried (which I hadn't done for years). One day, he asked me to go to church with him. To both of our surprises, I said yes. They asked if they could pray for me - I said okay, but prayed the Lord to "give me the strength to believe when this didn't work". I didn't know the Lord healed people in churches - remember, I hadn't been in one in over 20 years. I left still sick.
That night, however, I ran down some steps. I stopped, looked at my new friend, and told him my legs were working. The next day, I had to pee (the Lord does have a sense of humor) all day and all the water that had collected in my body went away - I actually watched my arms and knees get smaller. The third day I worked 9 hours and I have been well ever since.
I married the man who got me to go to church & it's been 4 years (still healed).
I could write a book about all of the things the Lord had done in our lives since the day I was healed. I will write more later, because some of it is amazing. I just felt that this was the part of my "testimony" that I needed to send to the group.
When I got healed, it changed EVERYTHING ! I was a different person. God was real before - but now He was MORE REAL.
My life today is not my own - it is a moment by moment journey with HIM!
Not everyone shares this viewpoint and there have been way too many times that I have been hurt by others because of my faith and the "experiences" that my relationship with the Lord had taken me through…
I am glad this group had formed. I believe we need each other - both for support and for encouragement.
Bless you all,
I'm praising God for all the awesome testimonies you all are sharing! Typing through the tears is becoming a habit and a new found skill! I pray each of us will in time offer up our testimony for all to enjoy- which I know will bring Glory to God!
I have another "can-o-worms" to open (someday I'll tell you all about the worm farm in my basement and the 10,000 worms in there!)
You all know I'm a preacher, preaching where ever anyone will stay put long enough.. I'm also called to intercessory prayer. Because I'm self-employed I can arrange my time to pray for several hours every day.
I'd like to ask everyone who knows what I'm talking about to "raise your hand" and share what you "see in the Spirit" and how Father talks to you and shows you things? How has confirmation come to you regarding "the things you "see"" (sometimes confirmation - is that we got it wrong too).
I saw our pastor leaving 2 months before it became common knowledge and sealed it up in an envelope with the date and time that I saw this in prayer... It was of course confirmed (the dates that he would preach his first sermon in his new pastorate were confirmed as well) and he is gone now... our church is under "district supervision..." while they sort out the mess on the board...
When I pray for people's healing.. it's like opening a "Grey's Anatomy Book" When interceding in this way... I "see" bone, muscle, nerves, ligaments etc. and at times the "dis-ease" itself...
Do others of you "see" in these ways or in other ways? Do you have anyone in your life that you can talk about it to? Do you fight Spiritual warfare in prayer, travail? Have you been trained-either by Holy Spirit or ina conference or seminar of some sort?
Ephesians 6:10-18; 2Cor. 10:3-5
P.S. I enjoy asking the hard questions and believe Father is big enough to take it....
Okay, I'll bite again...
I love worms - I open fresh cans of them regularly!
After I was healed - the only gift I wanted was the gift of healing. God, in His wisdom, decided that I should take the long way in my journey towards this gift. He decided that I should first develop my gifts in the prophetic and intercession. He was not at all concerned that I was not interested in either of these callings...
The very first time I had intense travail come upon me was in the middle of an visiting evangelist's message, in the middle aisle of a church that was not used to seeing someone doing something like this. I couldn't make it stop - It was like I was having a baby and it really, really hurt. No one could even tell me what had happened to me - I had to ask the Holy Spirit to explain it. He led me through the Bible the next morning and explained it to me. This type of thing continues to happen to me - in misc. variations.
Jay, I enjoyed your question about "receiving the power" and will write my thoughts on it in the next few days also...
The same type of thing happened to me the first time I prophesied over someone. The lady came to hear a word from the Lord and the Lord decided that I was the one who would give it to her. I was just sitting next to her and the Lord started showing me pictures that made no sense to me. I asked her if they meant anything to her. She burst into tears and said that it was the answer to the question she had come there to seek. It literally changed her life and profession. She's now a practicing psychologist for survivors of abuse and went on to also become a licensed minister.
Today, I seem to function more like a "seer" than anything else. I have been called a forerunner by many. Most don't really know what to make of me - but the Lord continues to confirm the things He shows me to myself and to others. The Pastor cringes when I show up at church - I think he's afraid of how I might "manifest" and who I might offend.
The Lord had allowed me to see healings occasionally. Usually, He just shows me what is wrong and we pray and it's gone. Sometimes, I can feel the same symptoms that the person with the problem feels - and also feel it as it leaves. On a couple of occasions, I have had electricity literally flow through me - into them - and they were healed. Once I was healed of a lung infection that had been bothering me at the same time - instantly.
With me, the Lord seems to do it all sorts of way - depending on what He's up to on any particular day.
He knows me - I'm a very logical person. He goes out of His way to send me confirmation. In fact, I don't usually act on words without a confirmation first. He does it in the most ingenious ways - sometimes even more than once. I can almost see Him looking at me and laughing - saying, "Are you satisfied now?"
I think that He and I have a good relationship...
Hi Eric, I'm raising my hand too, but am very much aware that I am a diamond-in-the-rough, a novice, and have received some confusing teaching in the area of the prophetic and intercession, even though the Lord has called me to these areas. Believe me, I wanted nothing to do with the prophetic! I was terrified of becoming a false prophet and speaking from my flesh, still am. What I read from everyone's testimony and experiences here is that God works the way He wants to and not according to the way people think He should. My church has taught that emotions and crying have nothing to do with intercession, that it's a matter of faith. In reality, just about the only time I do cry is when I am in the Lord's presence. It seems like I am overcome with the majesty of who He is.
I have also experienced the feeling in the "pit of my gut" at times, but have been told that this feeling is not scriptural. I also knew that wasn't right - that the Lord was "birthing" something in the spiritual realm through intercessory prayer. I am so thankful to "discover" (ha, the Lord led me to you all) a group of people from whom I can learn and share. Especially because, due to the confusion, I have stepped back and just waited on the Lord. I also receive pictures from the Lord, but usually they are not quite as elaborate as some of the others'. Thanks for listening.
Amen to that! And praise Your lovely Name!! Thank you Lord for loving us like you do, each one so precious to you, Father thank you for not leaving anyone out, place and develop in us the same heart that you have for your people wherever they are. Turn us into a people who worship you with our whole lives, that you would be satisfied with what you see. Lord thank you for Donna, may her sweet request become the prayer of all who need healing on here, and in the answering of the prayers for her, may all who need a touch from you know that their silent prayers have been heard. Father you are so good to us. Please make Lightship a place of healing, a good place to come to hear your voice, an oasis in the desert, and a place of peace. In Jesus' Mighty Name, AMEN
My family did not go to church very often; however, my Mother had a nice picture Bible, and I loved to look at the pictures of Daniel in the Lions' Den, the Angels, Jesus teaching the children, and pictures of the Disciples. Although we never prayed in our home, my Grandfather would often cry as he read his Bible, and I would wonder why someone would read a book that made them cry! I was a healthy child in a secure world of love from two parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, an environment of acceptance and many blessings, even being told that Jesus was God.
By the time I was 14 years old, my Mother had had a nervous breakdown and my world began to crumble. By age 18, my Father had died. I married shortly afterward. By age 24, my 15-year-old sister had become pregnant by a boyfriend who forgot her name, and by 27 years old, my Mother had died. One year later, my husband left me and our two young 3-year-old babies for another woman. With only a high school education, no relatives to help, two young babies, no personal knowledge of Jesus, and no husband, I was desperate. Not knowing Jesus personally, but knowing about Him, I cried out to God (?) for wisdom to raise these two children and I remember saying, "I'm not smart enough to figure all of this out!" Almost immediately my husband returned home and then his parents gave him a liquor store. How wonderful! (sarcastic). Two years later my husband and I were both born again and spirit filled, and by the time our two children were 5 years old, they were born again and spirit filled - a God worshipping family!! We loved church, the church family, the church songs, the church activities, etc. etc. etc.
Then I began to fight illness, even unto death, but each time Jesus would heal me. Then from 1980, after my husband and I started a church, I became ill and remained so (one thing after another) until 1989, when my husband left me and the children again. One time, after much illness, I told Jesus that I was coming home and there wasn't anything He could do to stop me, because He had given me free will. I was weary with all the pain. But I added, "Don't tell me I don't have enough faith!" You see, I had been healed many times, each time being different, and I knew the power of His Healing Touch running through my body. Fighting to be healed was almost as tiresome as being painfully ill; I was sick of being sick. The Lord so sweetly said to me, "Karen, your children will not make it without you!" I changed my mind about going to heaven immediately, got up and decided I could walk sick! Ha. As selfish as that prayer seems today, pain can torment our minds and bodies into making poor decisions, plus I had already been to heaven and knew of that lovely place. So, in 1989, my 26-year covenant marriage was over, and when I asked the Lord, "How could he (husband) be unfaithful to me?" The Lord replied, "He was unfaithful to Me first." Then He added, "Give him (husband) to Me, for he is My child, not yours." During this turmoil was when I realized how the Lord preaches One Gospel, His, and often it does not coincide with the gospel being preached in our churches. When I called upon the local church for support, they gave me "condemnation" and "rejection." When I asked family and friends for support, they chose sides and most of them disappeared. I lost everything (home, church, friends, many family members, status, finances) and the Jesus I thought I knew - the Jesus according to Karen's Scriptures. I had memorized many Scriptures according to ALL MY DESIRES and WANTS! All the feel-good Scriptures!! The Cold Uncompassionate Word!
Now I was to begin my journey of "who wants to kick me next" while I am looking for the Real Jesus, homeless, broke, friendless, heartsick, and rejected!!My children commented that they not only lost their father, but they also lost their mother, for I had changed from a confident, extroverted, Mother-Woman, to a lost and bewildered, ground-level "nobody," who couldn't seem to please anyone. The only thing I seemed to be able to do well was pray and cry, then pray and cry some more.
I travailed in prayer (definition: physical or mental toil or exertion; suffering or painful effort) for the next year and one-half before I filed for divorce. Although I was a quite capable person, no doors would open for me, except to move in with my children and the three of us pool our monies and complete our college education. I learned to walk with Jesus in the midst of our ungodly educational system and ungodly professors, and hearing the voice of my Lord became my way of survival in the midst of lions, bears, and wolves in sheep's clothing. Just as the love of money can reside in the heart of the rich or in the heart of the poor, the ego can flourish among academia or the unschooled. Jesus taught me to hear His Voice, war in the Spirit among the heathen, and win many victories in their midst. Smiles.
In 1996, I almost died on the operating table, and the Lord spoke to me, "I have resurrected you, just as I was resurrected, to see the Salvation of the Lord." What a Wonderful Lord in the midst of hell and high water. In the year 2000, still having trouble in the body, but walking in much revelation and Presence of the Lord, I visited heaven my second and last time to date. A doctor gave me a mineral bag to help my immune system and the minerals had preservatives in it, sending me to heaven within a few seconds. I visited with a few people who were very glad to see me, when I arrived in heaven, as we joyed in conversation and laughter. In heaven I knew who these people were that I was conversing with, but when I came back to Earth, many of the details left me. When I arrived back in the doctor's office, several faces were glaring at me and calling my name. I said, "I left." The doctor said, "I know you did." Then I added, "It was better there than here." The doctor made no more comments, but I could hear "lawsuit" screaming in her ears, so she pretended nothing happened.
Now, I am 56 years old; not so strong in my body; but full of God and Bold!! I have had many dreams, visions, and revelations from the Lord, since I was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit almost thirty years ago. I have preached, witnessed on the streets and in the ghettos, cast out devils, run off spirits, operated in the Gifts of the Spirit, Interceded as the Holy Spirit directed, and written many prophesies and articles given to me by the Lord, through the years. I am bold and loud at times, yet very quiet and meek at other times - totally contingent upon how the Lord is working through me at the moment. I have learned a few things in the past thirty years, i.e. I don't have to speak, nor do I have to justify myself in any given situation. In the Presence of the Lord, I might cry, laugh, dance, or get drunk, I never know ahead of time. At a Tommy Tenney meeting in St. Louis recently, my arms were held up in the air in praise to the Lord during the whole service, while I WEPT! Yes, God is an Awesome God, even in our Present-Day dilemmas, and in the midst of so much ungodliness and perversion.
As others have stated in their testimonies, and as the Bible states, when referring to all that Jesus did, " . . . the world itself could not contain the books* that should be written." Ditto here - it would take too many books to record these last thirty-years of following Jesus, but it has been far from boring. One day's events could fill a book it seems. Thank God, these events are being recorded for us!** Ha.
In closing, I would like to say that the written medium is very easily misunderstood, so I would encourage this group of believers to read all writings in the Spirit of Truth and Understanding, giving "Grace" wherever needed. I often speak too quickly or write too quickly, not meaning to offend anyone, so I definitely need Grace. The narrow path, the Lord has chosen for me, has been very rough at times, but He has also chosen to reward me openly with tremendous Blessings and Joy Unspeakable numerous times. My present-day ministry is spending time in the Presence of the Lord, letting Him cleanse me, yielding to Him, as I am being changed into His Image from Glory to Glory (II Cor. 3:16-18), and being obedient to His Will in All things and to all people. I walk in much freedom in the Spirit of the Lord, and I have a case of "Spill Overs," which affects anyone who gets near me. I do not know what my tomorrows entail in service to My Lord, but I am very Thankful I KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM, and that I will spend eternity WITH HIM. Somehow, I believe that all my past walk has only been in "Preparation" for what is to come, building a strong foundation for how I will be used of the Lord to serve His Body in the future. Hopefully, this is just the beginning, because the Lord has promised me to open doors that no man can close and close doors that no man can open. I await the Lord's doors opening in my future. Pray that I will remain Faithful to Him Always in the Spirit of Truth, Jesus Christ.
* John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
**Malachi 3:16-17 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
I am reading this Sunday before going to church and know how you feel. I am learning to lean on Him. I attended a spirit filled church all of my adult life and then god led us here. I attend a denominational church but have many others in the church who feel led to be there. Right now we are going through some very deep waters and do not know where God is leading us and I miss those with discerning spirits in the church. However, I KNOW HE LEADS ME EACH MINUTE and I MUST STAY IN HIS WILL. I am so enjoying all the "chat" and would love to discuss any subject that is given. Just to chat with other believers is so great.
A true testimony will lift up Jesus and not the person giving it. I remember my days in the Jesus Movement as a "full time" minister among these kids. So often the testimony of one of them would elevate what a bad sinner they were for 95% of it and then mention their encounter with Jesus for the other five percent. We started calling them "testaphonies." Now that we are more refined, we tend to tell of our religious exploits and just how God used US to do His work... "Yea team!" I pray that what I share will not be one of these stories.
I was filled with the Spirit at a Jesus People gathering in 1970 after I first poured out my guts to God and acknowledged to Him all my sin. I had said a sinner's prayer, as it is called, a couple of years earlier, but I found that I had no power to walk out the Christian life. I was quickly becoming a church hypocrite as I modeled myself after the elders in this little fundamental church my wife and I were attending. This time I was holding nothing back.
The difference between this event in 1970 and the earlier one was that this time I made an unconditional surrender I gave Him everything I had been, was and ever hoped to be, all that I owned, my family, my whole life and I expected to loose it all. Jesus let me keep my wife and children and our house. Everything else went. In exchange I got the most wonderful love relationship with my Lord and with others who loved Him as well. This was the beginning of the most wonderful two years of my life. The only "gift" that I received at this time was speaking in tongues and a ministry of helps that I share as a servant of the Lord and His saints with joy.
The ministry that formed out of this 1970 outpouring of the Spirit in Spokane, Washington, was powerful at first. In the first year we saw over 1000 young people come to Christ in our coffee house prayer room alone, and we saw many more come to Him in meetings that we held elsewhere in the US and Canada.
Gradually the ministry was taken over by a heavy handed brother who knew the Bible well and could really teach. He also knew how to use the power of his soul to take us all captive and under his control. The more he arose, the less of the Holy Spirit we saw moving in our midst. By 1976 my wife and I were very miserable and finally got a sign from the Lord that we had been praying for. It was time to leave.
We moved away to get out of that man's clutches and healed up for the next year in Bellingham, Washington, where my wife's family was from. A year later the Lord sent us back to Spokane where I had to face some old sin issues in my life. One was that He required me to go out to the Jesus People's communal ranch and apologize to the leader for judging him and harboring unforgiveness toward him in my heart. This started a release in me of the Spirit which brought me in touch with even deeper heart issues.
We had started going to a church in north Spokane where the Spirit was welcome and there I met a brother named John Sanford. John wrote a book titled, "The Elijah Task" and many more on "inner healing." Through counseling with John and his staff, I came to a place where I could forgive my father and with this came a release that brought forth my first prophesy. It was just a short one of about three sentences in a weekly Bible study that John was giving. Afterwards he came up and really blessed me when he said, "That was right on."
This is where my story takes a different coarse than that of many who are in ministry today. In 1980 while still attending at the same church that we started attending in '77 when we moved back to Spokane, the Lord started to deal even deeper with my heart. I had been moving in the prophetic and also leading a home group gathering for that church. I guess you could say that I was on my way to becoming something "great for God." I knew down in my heart that the more the Lord used me in my gifting, the more I wanted to be acknowledged by men. I knew I needed a heart change.
At this time the church was about to go through a big ugly split in which I would be grievously wounded. One day I was praying for the Spirit's leading on what he might have me share at the following home meeting I was to lead. As I was praying I had a vision of myself dressed in a white robe and standing on a marble pedestal. All around the pedestal on their knees and facing me were the people in my group. They were lifting hands and praising God for the ministry they had received through me and as the praises would ascend to the Lord I would reach out and grab them one at a time and tuck them in my robe next to my heart. I said, "God! Is this what I am doing to you? Taking your praises to myself? If it is Lord, kill this thing in me that does it." He heard my prayer.
The following week I was again praying for the group and I heard the Father say, "Michael, if I cease to move in your gatherings with my Spirit, will you try to fake it?" I said, "No Lord, You quit, I quit." I thought I heard Him reply, "Okay, just checking." In the next two days I received two phone calls from folks who were elders in the group and they both said that the Lord told them to quit coming to my meetings. I took this as a sign that God was shutting it down, told them what the Lord had been telling me and gave them my blessing. The following meeting I announced that it would be the last one and that those who remained were welcome to continue on their own.
About now the church split was well underway and I was trying to be a voice of reason between the two factions and all I succeeded in doing was getting "shot at" by both sides. I felt like I did when my parents got a divorce. I was heart sick that the very people whom I loved were attacking one another and going their separate ways. Well, I had had it! I went to the leaders of the new faction who were trying to get us to join them and had one final meeting with them. They made it clear that my wife and I had to submit to their heavy hand of control. This was all a rerun for us. We saw this spirit in the former leader of our Jesus People ministry in the early 70's. I told the leader of this new group, "You know I have seen this all before! I am not going to come under your control. I have had all this 'fun' with you Christians I can stand. So I am going to take a little trip to the back side of Median and I will see you in about 40 years!" With that we sold our house in Spokane and moved onto a piece of rural land in western Washington and had little to do with organized religion for the next few years.
By 1982 we were about to go bankrupt and lose everything. I had been unemployed for about six months and could not find work. This was a time of the Lord's humbling. Some call it a baptism of fire. Since I had left Spokane after that church split, the gifts had ceased to function in me. My prayers were falling off the bottom of my lip and hitting the floor. The Bible ceased to be that intimate word to my heart that it had been. And I felt as if I was entombed in solid brass Finally, I got a phone call from my Mormon uncle, telling me of a job opportunity in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The only trouble was that I would have to go alone, leaving my wife and family behind. I took the job and it became the bottom of my pit, complete with miry clay. God gave me the desires of my heart, but sent leanness to my soul. I worked up there for six months and was surrounded by alcoholics and drug abusers. I was so lonely for my wife and my home, but most of all for my Lord. I could not get Him to answer me. Now, I was not only in a spiritual wilderness, but a literal one!
At one point while I was up there, I was even cut off from the joy of the work of my hands by a union dispute. I felt unwanted by everyone. I had called my wife to tell her that I wanted to quit and come home and she told me to stay there, that there was no work down below in that area. So one afternoon in deep depression, I walked back to the bunkhouse and sat down on my bed and watched my consciousness get up out of my body and head for the door! I knew that I was about to go catatonic. I had seen it before. I cried out to Jesus to please hold me together long enough to get me back to my family again. He heard my cry.
That was the bottom of my pit. From that time on, coming up out of that pit was like walking up a long slow ramp. The rise was hardly perceivable, but things did start to get better. I found work back home in western Washington and things started to improve. My "dark night of the soul" continued through the rest of the '80's, but in the early '90's I had an event that seemed to break the hold of this death on me. By this time we had moved to northern Idaho and we had been attending a Vineyard church that was being pastored by the son of a friend of ours. He invited me to go to a men's retreat and while there the first evening, he had an other brother and I stand up and asked the other men to gather around us and pray for us. He told them that we had been called into the prophetic and were going through a wilderness time in our lives. I was touched by his compassion for us.
That night I got down on my knees and asked God to forgive me for judging Him for letting those Christians do all they had done to me. The next morning we got up and after breakfast when the morning meeting was about to start, I ask the pastor if I could share something. He told me to go ahead and I said, "I don't expect that any of you will understand what I have to say, but I want to tell you that God is good and all His ways are perfect and I accept everything He has done in my life." That was the beginning of my release from the wilderness. It took me eleven years to get to the point where I could acknowledge that God is God and I am not! I can see now that was what the whole book of Job was about. God was saying, "Job! Me Boss, you not!"
So where am I now, twenty-two years since my wilderness journey began? In the last eight years the Lord has been giving me the gift of writing. With it I correspond with many saints and write prophetic teachings the Spirit gives me which can be found on our web site (http://www.awildernessvoice.com). We have had opportunity to see folks get healed of cancer as we prayed, believing. I still don't find myself part of institutional Christianity, but love to meet with the saints in the simplicity of small gatherings where the Holy Spirit is welcome. I long for that sense of family that is the very essence of what the church is with God as our Father, Jesus as our Big Brother and the rest of us in a simple relationship of brothers and sisters in Christ.
I also feel that the whole Church is about to be reborn, if you will, into a totally different paradigm. For the last 2000 years we have been in the Church age. I feel that we are about to leave that all behind enter what I call "the Bride's age." I believe that all this purging that many of us have been going through has been a time of cleansing that is meant to make us true "friends of the Bridegroom." We are being prepared to bring forth the bride from her chambers and present her as to Jesus, beautiful and spotless. For us to operate in this ministry, we must be true eunuchs for Jesus. Like Abraham's faithful servant of old, our whole desire must be to see the joy of the Bridegroom fulfilled as He beholds His bride (See Gen. 24). For this to happen the Church can not be settled on its old lees as Moab was. We must be poured out into His new container, being poured from vessel to vessel (See Jer. 48:11-12). I believe that in this being "poured out," the bride will be made ready for the coming of the Lord.
I feel that we are on that threshold in time between the "second and the third day" spoken of in Hosea chapter six (a day being as a thousand years). I believe that we are about to be raised up to dwell in His sight, but only AFTERWARDS. After He has torn us and then healed us (See also Joel 2). I know many of you reading this know what I am speaking of on a personal level. I would love to hear from you.
1 Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:1-3, NKJV).
(Note the timing; AFTER two days and ON the third day.)
So this is where I am, being poured out from one vessel to another, seeking that pure understanding and relationship with Him that my mind can not begin to comprehend. I am willing to pay any price to get there. I am nothing! He is everything, yet all things are mine in Christ. Amen.
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