Category Archives: Bible Teaching

Gideon vs. Baal – The Restoration of True Worship

A few random thoughts inspired by the Biblical account of Gideon

It is interesting that baal the false canaanite god is often symbolized as a bull. There is also a prominent part of our society that is also symbolized by a bull:

A bull market tends to be associated with increasing investor confidence, motivating investors to buy in anticipation of future price increases and future capital gains.

It is known to us through Scripture that in the last days man will be totally corrupt. So much so that it is actually compared to the days of Noah. It was in the days of Noah that God become grieved that He had created man because the thoughts of man’s heart had become evil continually. Also Scripture tell us in that day that they would begin to call that which is evil, good and that which is good they will call evil.

It is interesting that in the Scripture God gives us types of this phenomenon happening. For example Gideon was told by an angel to destroy the altar of baal that was worshiped by the people.

The altar of baal represents a false god and a false spirituality that was worshiped and held in high regard by the people. Just as Gideon who was a prophet of God was commanded to destroy this false worship, in the same way God is raising up prophetic voices to bring restoration and reformation in the Body of Christ. The prophet is so powerfully anointed and equipped with God’s Word in His mouth that His delivery of that Word is the embodiment and manifestation of the true and living God to the hearers. The man indeed becomes his message.

As soon as the news traveled throughout the community of what Gideon had done, the townspeople whom consisted of mostly Israelites wanted to stone Gideon. Isn’t interesting that in their own law, which they professed to adhere to, it says that idolaters must be stoned to death. Therefore we have the scenario of the Israelites wanting to stone the one who exposed their idolatry, which in fact was the very punishment that they deserved for such a sin. Surely we can hardly find a better example of calling evil good and good evil.

The life call and mission of the prophet is to restore true and genuine worship of God as He in fact is.
-Often the false has to be destroyed first
-Then the genuine can be rebuilt

Gideon had such favor from God for the task he was called to that even the Midian armies whom God was sending him against, knew his name. So it is with God’s favor today, that we do not need to promote ourselves, but only allow the Lord to promote us to where He wants us to be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Teaching, Prophetic

Vision and the Death of a Vision

sunbeam of vision in sky out of clouds Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

I have some insight on the word vision. What exactly is a vision? A vision is simply insight or revelation into the spiritual realm. The Scripture could almost read, “Where there is no insight into the spiritual realm, the people perish. It is through the cross that we have been given access into that realm of “spirit”, where God dwells. It was at the cross that the veil of the temple was torn in two signifying that through Jesus all men could come into the Holy of Holies. The natural realm is the realm that we must live and function in and like I said the Spiritual realm is where God exist. Now that we have this access into the realm of the spirit, we go and get spiritual insight and spiritual data (if you will) in that realm and then we use what information we have gained in our every day living. The result is IT WORKS!!! IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! When we follow God’s way and get spiritual vision from Him we find that we have power to live the Christian life in this natural realm. We constantly have to create of a flow of drawing near to the Spirit and receiving and then implementing that in the “natural”, to have a vibrant “Christ life” and to keep the anointing strong. As soon as we lose that flow the natural realm overwhelms us and God can become distant. Natural thinking can quickly take over and get us into destructive patterns of sin. When natural thinking takes over we can lose the “mind of Christ” and substitute and authentic encounter with the spiritual realm with any wind or wave of doctrine that comes along.

I think one thing that happens often is the phenomenon of “the death of a vision”. One reason for this phenomenon is that a vision dies when that vision is not from the spiritual realm. In other words what was perceived as a vision from God, was in reality, NOT! For example when Jesus asked the disciples “Who do men say that I am?” There were several answers given some say Elijah, some say John the Baptist, etc…. then Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” Immediately before anyone else can speak Peter makes that great confession “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God”. Then Jesus responds “blessed are you Simon Barjona because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” You see Peter was commended because he had some insight into who Jesus was, but he did not receive it from the natural realm. He had not received this because man told him “hey this guy Jesus you have been walking with, He is God”. No, it was not received that way it was because the Father gave him spiritual vision of who Jesus really was. The same thing applies to me I was told for 21 years that Jesus was God, however I didn’t get saved until I had the revelation for myself. I received “vision” of who Jesus was and it was information that flowed from the heavenly realm.

In conclusion I will name two things that can cause the death of a vision:

(1) The vision was from “flesh and blood” and not from the Father – Meaning it never had its origins from the spiritual realm but was birthed in the mind of a man and like all things that come strictly from man’s natural mind, it was destined to fail

(2) “What began in the spirit is now being carried out by the flesh?”(Galatians 3:3) Many believers and many ministries have fallen by the wayside because of this very powerful insight from God’s Word. We can start off with a genuine revelation from God, but because of various reasons, the vision is lost and God’s power is no longer moving the vision, but our own fleshly efforts are the only thing that keeps it alive.

Here is a quick list of things to look out for:

1.Worries and cares of this world distract us from the vision

2.The love of money corrupts us and hardens us from the things of God -(This happens more than you would think)

3.Pride: wanting recognition that you are God’s man and not humbling oneself so that He can be exulted

4.Lack of prayer and devotion to God

5.General Worldliness, including exclusiveness within the body of Christ

6.Taking “another word” over “God’s Word” – perhaps some self proclaimed prophet or apostle comes into your life and gives a word that takes you off of the path of the vision that God showed you (see I Kings 13)

7.Spiritual Deception !!! THIS CAN HAPPEN TO THE MOST SEASONED SAINT IF HE DOESN’T STAY CONNECTED TO THE SOURCE

8.Lack of diligence

9. Sin & Lack of Faith in general for whatever reason….the list can go on and on can you think of more?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Teaching, Spiritual Growth

Seminar on the Book of Revelation by David Pawson

david pawson teaches the book of revelationI have found this to be some of the most insightful teaching on the book of Revelation, quite possibly the best ever in audio format. David Pawson has a unique teaching style, he is gifted to de-mystify the book and make it very palatable in just 11 sessions. I am going to offer them for listening here on the blog, please do not attempt to download onto your computer as this would be a violation of copyright:

Seminar 1

Seminar 2a

Seminar 2b

Seminar 3

Seminar 4

Seminar 5a

Seminar 5b

Seminar 6

Seminar 7

Seminar 8

Seminar 9

Seminar 10

Seminar 11

7 Comments

Filed under Bible Teaching, End Times, Prophecy, Resources

The Fragrance of the Knowledge of God

Fragrance of Knowledge, smellIt is through the gospel that the knowledge of God is made manifest to the ignorant, unbelieving mind. The hearing of the gospel is a divine appointment, it is a crossroad where the ignorant mind intersects with an understanding of its origin and a manifestation of its creator. At this crossroads the ignorant are no longer ignorant for God is revealed in His Son Jesus the Messiah. Here at this crossroads where the ignorant, darkened, natural mind encounters the knowledge of God, a choice must be made. A yielding to the Lordship & Deity of Christ occurs or the contrary, a hardening of the heart and a stiffening of the neck takes place. Either way the hearer will never be the same again. Perhaps it is for this reason that Paul states:

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NASB)

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

Paul said every place they went the knowledge of God penetrated through the ministry and he compares this phenomenon to a “fragrance”. He explains in the simplest of metaphor to those who hear and yield an aroma of life to life and to those who remained hardened and hostile to God an aroma of death to death exudes. What language is he using, from life to life and from death to death? In other words the picture here is one group goes higher and higher into the riches and blessing of Heaven. However, the other group goes lower and lower further away from the “True” life and power of the creator. One starts on his journey to grow closer and closer in intimacy with God. Unfortunately, the other “hearer” continues on the broad and wide path of destruction that he was previously on. The difference is that before, he was on this path in ignorance and now he continues on willfully and knowingly. Why, would someone do that? Why would anyone smell the fragrance of the knowledge of God and reject it. The reason is because to truly yield to God, it cost everything. Consider the parable Jesus spoke concerning the Pearl of Great Price:

Matthew 13:45-46 (NASB)

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,
46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

To receive this treasure we must sell all that we have, we must crucify our old lives including all of our ambitions. We must trade in the plans we have made for ourselves an accept the plan of God. We must no longer set our will above His will. Have we heard this simple message so much that we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we have fulfilled the call. Why do you think Jesus said we must daily pick up our cross, what does that mean.? Paul said “I die daily”. Notice what the merchant in the parable does he beheld a pearl of great value and in seeing it, he sees that it is worth him getting rid of all else in order to obtain it. We must not do this once in a lifetime but we must behold Jesus daily. Here in lies the Christian life, in beholding Jesus on a continual basis and letting the consuming fire of God purge anything of the old life that we would hold on to. After the purging of the bad comes the filling with the good. We can not be filled with the treasures of heaven until we are emptied of the worthless things of this world. We say that we are a “Spirit” filled church, however that means we are filled with heaven. To be filled with heaven means being consumed continually with the things above. Why then is it if we are Spirit Filled are we clinging so tightly to thing of this world. Why is it that we spend more time on the internet in front of a computer than we spend beholding Jesus. Why is it that we no longer filter the entertainment that we ingest on a regular basis. Why are we more concerned with the mortgage and our earthly bank accounts and totally unconcerned about our heavenly bank accounts. We are spending vasts amounts of our time storing up treasures on the earth where moth and rust destroy, but how much time are we spending storing up our eternal treasures in heaven where nothing can destroy it and no thief can break in and steal it. We are so worried about our earthly goods that we haven’t realized that Satan has come in like a thief and has stolen our heavenly goods! Could it be said of us that in every place we go the fragrance of God is manifest to the world or have we come dangerously close to becoming a stench of religion in the nostrils of those we could have reached if only we stopped compromising…. Paul said:

“And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.”

Are we peddlers of a dead word or have we allowed ourselves to be a vessel, molded and crafted in the wilderness by the hand of the Living God and sent forth from Him. Are we sincere about the message that we have within us….who indeed is adequate for these things?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Teaching

Laboring in the Kingdom of God

hard work laboring in God's Kingdom
In 1 Peter 2:4f, Peter said that Christ was a living stone, He indeed is the foundation. Peter then says that we also are living stones, we are the building blocks of God’s spiritual house. This type metaphor is found throughout Scripture. We are the building blocks and we are being built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. God’s Word says that He does not dwell in buildings made with hands any longer, but rather He now dwells in us.

With this type of metaphor in mind, look at the book of 1 Kings 5. This is the description of Solomon building the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon’s desire was to build a house for God. As I began to read this in light of the New Testament revelation that God no longer dwells in buildings made with hands, but rather now dwells inside the “temple of man’s heart”. I said to myself Lord, why did you allow Solomon to build this temple if it wasn’t your desire to dwell in this type of a sanctuary made with hands. This thought perplexed me, along with the fact that in Kings there are continual references to the great wisdom that God had given to Solomon:

1 Kings 3:12 (NASB)

12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.

1 Kings 4:29-30 (NASB)

29 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore.

30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.

1 Kings 5:12 (NASB)

12 The LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.

I said to myself, “If the wisdom that God gave Solomon was so divine, why didn’t he just fast forward him a thousand or so years so that he could realize that this wasn’t were God wanted to dwell. After all doesn’t God know the end from the beginning.” Then it hit me, the building of the temple was typology, it was parable. God is using a natural presentation to reveal spiritual truth. Let’s just look at one example of this:

1 Kings 5:15-18 (NASB)

15 Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains,

16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work.

17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones.

18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house.

Just as Solomon sent out laborers into the mountains or into the place where mountains are, the wilderness. So also God sends out laborers for the Kingdom of God. The picture we have is hewers of stone, WOW! what a picture that is. Just picture thousands of men using sharp instruments and chiseling away at a huge mountain to extract what would we become great and costly stones. These stones are valuable and are precious to the owner or the buyer of them. In the same way we are chiseled out of the mountain of this world by laborers in the kingdom and the invisible cloud of witnesses. The salvation that we enjoy today is the fruit of the labors of those not only laboring in our lifetime, but all who have labored in the past, so that Christ may be formed in us.

Unfortunately, in modern times we have a watered down presentation of the Kingdom of God, which is really just a pseudo version of the real thing. It is so easy now to become a Christian, just buy a Bible and go to church and say the name Jesus and you are in. However, the real thing is much different Jesus said that if we were to follow Him we must pick up our cross daily. Paul, said that he dies daily and furthermore he thanked God that through the cross not only did he die to this world, but the world had died to him. The things of this world had become strangely dim to him, in the presence of the light revealed through the Cross of Jesus. So in the real Christian life, in the real building of God’s temple if someone becomes a living stone for him, it is through the laboring and the chipping and chiseling away of the old life until something precious is formed. I think of preachers who hammer and hammer away the gospel message to a rebellious, lost and dying generation. Men like John Wesley who use to preach in the streets and anywhere he could find. It was John Wesley who famously quoted: “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” Men trying desperately to bring light to those who are completely caught up in the deep darkness and the powers of this present age. I picture saints on their knees weeping day and night, night and day, laboring before God on behalf of those who are on the broad and wide path to destruction. There is far to little of that kind of laboring in these modern times.

Notice that is says that these costly stones would be the foundation of God’s temple. Isn’t it interesting that the Bible tells us that there are foundational ministries:

Ephesians 2:20-21 (NASB)

20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,

21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord

Everyone has different scenarios and circumstances on how they came to know the Lord and become “born again”, even our experiences after conversion can vary depending on the particular call of God on our lives. One thing is for certain, no one who is called into the office of an apostle or prophet does so without being hewn, chiseled, scraped, molded and fashioned out of this corrupt world. To understand exactly what I am trying to say, consider the labors of Paul in God’s Kingdom. Would you want to give up your cozy little position in the church choir to endure what Paul endured:

2 Corinthians 11:23-29 (NASB)

23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.

24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.

25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;

27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.

29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?

In times past, the gospel has progressed only when there have been laborers, vessels prepared by God who are willing to do the work of the kingdom. We need once again, hewers of the rock, laborers who will go out into the wilderness and chisel out of the mountain of this world, precious stones for God. It is interesting that in Scripture the mountain was always a place where God gave revelation of Himself to man. It was at Mt. Sinai, where God wanted to meet with Israel. It was at that mountain where God spoke with Moses. It was at the Mt. of Olives where Jesus ascended into heaven in view of His disciples. It will be this same mountain where Jesus will return and reveal Himself to man once more, this time as Judge instead of Savior. In the same way no one can become a living stone for God unless they have an encounter with Him as He in fact is in Himself. It is through this revelation of God that man is hewn, it is through this and only this that we can be transformed from something dead into something living.

…..to be continued

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Teaching