Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Unio Mystica

Some revelations I have had lately regarding "Christ in me, the hope of Glory" ...

The main part of what God has been revealing to me lately is centered around our union with Christ or 'Unio Mystica' that the blood of Christ bought for us. 
We were once separate from him, separate entities entirely, but have now been made one with our savior through the power of his death and resurrection. This not only means that the presence of Jesus is around us, but rather the fullness of God dwells within us. He is no longer someone we have the privilege of being "with" but rather we are now "in" him and he "in" us. 
An example to illustrate this coming together of two separate entities was the mixing of colours. When yellow and blue are mixed, the make an entirely new colour, green. When we look at the colour green, our eyes see no distinction in it's substance. We are not able to say where yellow ends and blue begins. So it is with us and Christ. In Galatians 2:20 it says "I have been co-crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Not even the Father can tell where Christ begins and you end, for when he looks at you, he sees an entirely new creation full with all his fullness and holiness (2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!")

This was the plan of the father before the world began, that his people should be mystically untied to him, without the capability of ever being separate. When Jesus came to the earth, he came to fulfill this plan of the Father. Of course he too came to forgive the sins of mankind, but the forgiveness of sins was only one element of that plan, and the first step towards purchasing union. With human beings still possessing a sinful nature, union was impossible. He thus came to earth, bled, died and eradicated the sinful nature from those who would confess him as Lord, and then ushered these 'born again' (born from heaven, in the likeness of God, possessing no sinful nature whatsoever) believers into union with him. When Jesus prayed for us, the future believers in John 17, he didn't pray that we would be a moral people, but he prayed that we would be in union with him "that they may be one; even as you Father are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us." Jesus knew that morality would flow as a result of union and he knew that morality could not pull us into union, if it had power to do so, there would have been no need for his death.

So, as he climbed inside of us, he raised us up and seated us in the heavenly places (which are within him), and now as believers, we live from heaven towards earth, for that is where we are seated and our dwelling place is, within Christ. 
Before we came to Christ, we were under the Law, and our only hope of finding favor in the Father's eyes was through "doing" all kinds of good deeds prescribed in the Law, and climbing up each rung of the moral ladder in hope of escaping hell and making it into heaven.
The Father in his wisdom, knowing that the Law only aroused sin and did not empower a person to overcome it, sent his Son in the likeness of sinful man to condemn sin in the flesh and live the perfect human life on our behalf. Jesus did not come to show us how to live and he did not come so that we could try in our own might to imitate him. He came to give us a new nature, his nature, and to empower us to be just like Him through union. We "do" because we are. Good works are fruits of imtimacy and in themselves have no power to bring us into intimacy. The only way in which we could come to the Father was drenched in the blood of the Lamb. 
The bible speaks of the blood of bulls and goats being of no value. This is symbolic of human effort. No amount of human effort that we could muster up in our own strength could ever bring us into union. The blood of the Lamb is symbolic of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and only when we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are powerless to fulfill the Law but need a savior to bring us into union, and accept the sacrifice of Jesus, do we enter into this uninterrupted union with the creator of heaven and earth. Our union is by grace through faith 100% and does not depend one iota on anything we ourselves could do.

I have found in my own life, that it is the supreme art of the devil to make a "Law" out of good works that are intended to be fruits of union and not prerequisites to it. In my life in the past, as well as in the lives of so many charismatic Christians, the enemy has warped these good works and turned them on us like fiery darts aimed at making us self-focused and introverted. Introversion is not a fruit of the spirit.
He will often take things like prayer, reading the word, healing the sick, bringing people to Christ etc, and try to make these into works of the Law. He will then get you to convert these practices into some form of moral ruler with which you daily measure yourself with. In turn, your security is no longer based on what Christ has accomplished, but what YOU are daily "doing for Christ." This takes the focus off him and his finished work and onto ourselves. The very reason Jesus came to this earth was to be the lifter of our heads so that we would ever gaze on him and no longer on ourselves as we once did when under the Law. Measuring yourself with any kind of moral ruler and failing to attain the perfection of Christ through your own efforts, gives you the illusion that your union with God and the favor that you have with him can be turned on and off at the flick of a switch, should you go one day without reading your bible (for example.) This is the Galatian bewitchment that Paul spoke of in his letter to the Galatian church, and is the largest known form of witchcraft infiltrating charismatic circles today. 

I am 100% for the reading of the word, the healing of the sick, prayer, fasting, bringing people to Christ and every other kind of good work that Jesus expressed when he walked the earth. However, I am 100% against the notion that these things can increase the father's approval of you and the favor you have in his eyes. The blood of bulls and goats (good works apart from Christ) are of no value, only the precious blood of the lamb that was slain (The acceptance Jesus' sacfrice on the cross).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Yesterday I had the honor of preaching at my home church (Real Life Church) as it was my second last Sunday before I migrate north and start a new life in Redding, California.
The theme of my message was the Luke 6:45 text that says "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." I felt in the spirit not to prepare a hectic 5-point preach, but to rather allow my heart to spill out and it's contents encourage my spiritual 'family.' 

I shared some personal testimonies of the season that I have been through over the past few months, and although one of the toughest in my life thus far, definitely one of the most spiritually enriched. 
I also shared with my church some prophetic visions I have had for them as a corporate body.
It was such a beautiful morning, and having a heart-to-heart 'conversation' with all those wonderful people was such a blessing to me.
There is nothing that I would rather do than rave about the unending goodness of God in my life. As I was standing up there, I felt as though this is something I was created to do. 
I believe that this is just the first of many opportunities that I will get to preach and proclaim the good news, and I want nothing more than to allow what is in my heart to daily overflow into the heart's of others. 

After I spoke, my pastor felt to call up everone that is under 20 (due to the fact that I am under 20 myself) and stand proxy for the coming generation. I was able to release the Kingdom of God over many of the young ones in our church, and impart to them what I have been carrying in my heart, and what the Lord has placed within me. The yound children and teenagers were incredibly touched as the Holy Spirit came upon them. I love the fact that there is no junior Holy Spirit, but children get to experience the fullness of God just as we do. I am excited beyond words to see this radical generation of lovers rise up. I feel they will be a generation that know the voice of God above every other voice and every move they make will be a prophetic statement of the Kindgom. We live in exciting times, and being a part of what God is doing across the planet is the highest honor. 

As I will be leaving for the USA soon, many of the members of the church came and laid hands on me and we had a bit of a prophecy-a-thon at the front of the church. Everyone shared visions and words that they had for me, as well as just loved and honored me. The presence of the Kingdom was at hand and hung thick in the room. I have never felt such genuine love and honor anywhere outside of the church, and to me, this is what church is all about. It is far beyond schedules, meetings and programmes, and the core of what church should be founded upon is love, honor, encouragement and edification, and the genuine representation of these things do not originate in the earth's atmosphere but are substances of the eternal realm that collide with this realm. 

So I am off to Bethel in T-minus 10 days where I'll be enrolling in the School of Supernatural Ministry. If you are interested in Bethel and would like to know more of what goes on within the Supernatural School, I will be blogging regularly from Redding and keeping friends and family in the loop via this blog. I have added a sidebar link on the right-hand side of my blog called 'Bethel Notes,' and if you click this link it will take you through to all the Bethel related posts. 

Exciting times. Exciting seasons. 

Bliss and blessings,

Thought for the day

If we believe that God only speaks to us when we are feeling spiritual or doing spirutual activities, then that's the only time we will hear his voice.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Heaven Is In His Eyes

The other day I had the most beautiful encounter with Jesus, and I really wanted to share it.

I was lying on my couch after a long day at work and was not feeling particularly 'spiritual' at that moment, but felt more exhausted than anything.
I was reading John Crowder's "7 Spirits Burning" {which is an excellent book that takes a Christ-centered approach to Holy Spirit. A definite must-read}, and as I lay there I became so aware of Holy Spirit, and it felt as though he was hovering over me. He likes to hover {Genesis 1:2}.
Often, before I have had certain spiritual encounters in the past, preceeding them I have felt a hightened awareness of the Spirit, as well as an excitement and stirring within me. That is exactly what I felt this time. So, as I recognised Holy Spirit's presence and became aware that he wanted to do something, I closed my eyes and just began to rest and allow him to sweep me away.

Next thing I knew, I went into a vision as my eyes were closed, and I saw the Lord's eyes.
It seems as though every time I have visions of his eyes, they appear different. Often times I have seen them as firey and ablaze with love and passion, but this time, they were so different.
The iris part of the eye was multicoloured, in fact, it looked like a rainbow that was encircling his pupils. It was spectacular. I felt in my spirit, that when we look into his eyes, there lies our promise, our life and our hope. As rainbows are symbolic of God's promise and his covenants in the scriptures, so the rainbows that are in his eyes remind us of his promises over us whenever we gaze into them.
There will sometime come times in my life when I will begin to doubt the promises that God has spoken over me because they have not yet been made manifest in my life, but looking into his eyes gives hope to the soul as you realise that he has not forgotten, and he is faithful to his word.
God made a covenant with his people in the book of Isaiah 54:10, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed." When we look into his eyes and are reminded of his promise, we are also reminded of his covenant that his unfailing love for us will never be removed. His love is not contingent on our performance or even our 'sin' but his love for us is based on a promise he made, that will never be broken and the reminder of this is reflected in his very eyes.

I then began to gaze deep into his eyes, and just as the saying "the eyes are the window unto the soul" states, so I began to look into the depths of him. What I saw 'within' him was a sort of Promised Land which I now know to be Heaven.
Heaven is not somewhere off in the distance, but is the very substance of who God is. He is not merely in Heaven, for it alone cannot contain him, rather Heaven is within him.
There I saw life and vibrance. Colour and beauty. The Tree of Life and the River of Life that flows from within the Father. In him there is abundance. In him there is no lack. He is the source of all pleasure, for every so-called 'pleasure' that we experience upon this earth originated from him. Apart from him, there is no such thing as joy or pleasure or life.
In Ephesians 2:6 it says "We are seated in the Heavenly places IN Christ Jesus." Heaven is in him and we are in him, seated in the heavenlies.

All this time I had been so preoccupied with the eyes of Jesus that I did not even 'see' the enormous smile that was plastered across his face. When I say enormous, I mean enormous! I have never seen a bigger, happier smile anywhere on earth. He was literally grinning from ear to ear, his happiness and joy became so contagious that I started laughing with him, and could not stop.
I personally think that Jesus had been desperate to reveal to me this aspect of his character. Although I have never viewed  him as being angry or upset,  I can't say I've ever seen his face in this way before. He doesn't like being stereotyped as a troubled, solemn man. I'm sure he may have looked this way as he was led to the mount of crucifixion, but now, he is alive and has not an ounce of sadness whatsoever. The Lord Jesus is a laughing, smiling, happy God and although  he is 'all knowing,' this knowledge doesn't bother or burden him, because he knows that on Calvary his work was finished and all things have been placed beneath his feet and under his control. 

As I stood before the Lord, he was exuding light from every pore, and the whole area {within my vision} filled with light. I felt almost weightless as if gravity did not exist. The light of his countenance incinerates every worry and concern, and every burden of the world melts in his presence. Darkness flees and all that is left is love, light, joy and unspeakable peace.
His presence is so pure, so refined and is of a different substance than the Earth's atmosphere. I am battling to describe it or find a comparison in which to contrast it with. There is none.
There is such a purity about him. Purity in it's purest form, and although he possesses all knowledge and nothing is hidden from him, this knowledge does not defile his holiness but rather stands to compliment it. There is a childlikeness about him yet he is not naive. There is a rest in him, yet he still has everything under control. He is magnificent beyond what words could ever hope to articulate, and how anybody could crucify this Lord of Beauty is something my human mind cannot understand.

In ending off, I would like to encourage anyone who reads this by saying that if you feel weak, burdened or perplexed by life and it's happenings, do not allow your back to bend with the weight of these things, but rest in the fact that he bore those burdens 2000 years ago, and now you get to enter straight into his presence wherein no burden, fear or worry can exist.
The shoulders of human beings were not created to carry burdens of sin, worry, fear, condemnation, anxiety, and that is why God came to earth in the form of a man so that he could carry these things on our behalf. Rest in what he has done. 
Matthew 11:28-29  "Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." {ISV}

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the words of Jesus

I died on the cross so that I could hold you. Do you think I'd ever let you go?
I gave up my life just to be near you. Do you think I'd ever leave you?
I suffered so that you could receive my love. Do you think I would ever hold it back from you?