From Believing to Knowing: The Testimony of A Drug Addict who Finds Deliverance in Christ

Walking out of darkness into the Light free from addictionI would like to use my personal testimony to explain a (3) phase process that all true believers must go through.  First of all, it is because of the fall of man recorded in Genesis that all mankind is born into unbelief. Only the power of God’s Word can lift us up out of unbelief:

Romans 10:17 (NASB)

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

I went through 3 phases in my life that led me into the supernatural experience of being born again, here they are:

(1)     Unbelief – born into this

(2)     Unbelief to Believing

(3)     Believing to Knowing

As you read this please, do not misunderstand my conversion experience; I was converted in the twinkling of an eye. I am in no way trying to say that my conversion happened over a long period of time. Once I crossed that line from believing to knowing it was an instantaneous conversion from death to life. Below I have endeavored to describe the details of this process:

As I think about my own salvation experience and the period of my life leading up to that, there are many numerous biblical principals that I can relate to. First of all I was as Paul described “without God in the world”, or “atheos” in the Greek. This is actually where we get the English, “atheist”. Both words mean the same thing, without God, that was definitely me, godless. I was a spoiled, rebellious child with no respect for authority at school or my parents. At the age of 13 a manifestation of this rebellion surfaced in the form of drug use. From the age of 13 until the age of 21 my life consisted of sin and addiction that progressively became intensified. I became a binge addict, to the point that I would go on binges until all of my money and drugs were depleted. In fact, it got to the point where I would binge for days, weeks and a few times even months. When the latter would happen I found myself waking up in a rehab center not knowing what I had done for the last weeks and months. I would remember some of the details, but for the most part it was like coming out of a total blackout. I would be very sick and it would take days for me to detox and get all of the drugs out of my system. You would think that an experience like that would deter you from every touching a drug again, however for me it was a never ending and vicious cycle. I would always go back to the thing that was destroying me, no matter how bad the consequences became. I ended up going through many “rehabs”, the first starting at the age of 17. In total, I lived in 5 impatient treatment facilities and 2 halfway houses, not including numerous group and outpatient counseling. Also, I literally attended hundreds of A.A. meetings. All of this happened before the age of 21. You know it would be easy for me to criticize the many “secular” programs that I went through, as I have done in the past. The thing is, I do not believe that any of these programs cure addicts, however they were stepping stones that led me to the cure.

You see the first thing they tell you when you arrive at these facilities, is that you have a serious and life threatening disease that is comparable to cancer, it is called addiction. Then they proceed to tell you that some folks can go into remission, just like with cancer. However, they inform you that only those who have had a spiritual experience go into remission, therefore the bulk of time in rehab is trying to use 12 steps that help you to enter into a spiritual experience. The reason that I call these treatment centers that I went to stepping-stones is because prior to entering them, I was in total unbelief. I did not even believe that there was a God. The bible says in Psalms, the fool has said in his heart, “there is no God”. You know what I was a fool because not only did I believe that in my heart, but the way I lived my life was as if there were no God. Coincidently, perhaps “prophetically”, I was born on April 1st, the fools’ day. You can say, I was born a fool. So, I go into these programs in total unbelief and along the way something spiritual does indeed happen to me, I began to acknowledge that there was a possibility that God did exist. I began to believe in God, but not the God of the Bible, just a God.

I did not realize it at the time, but I actually crossed a line, spiritually speaking. I crossed the line from unbelief to belief. For someone who was “without God”, this was a huge step. It didn’t take long after that, just a few years and I would cross another line, a line which once crossed, there is no turning back. The line that I crossed this time was life transforming; I crossed over from death into life, from hell into heaven, from sin and wrath into grace. This transformation took me from believing to knowing. That is correct, it was not good enough for me just to believe, scripture tells us “demons believe in God and shudder.”

Knowing is totally different from believing because you come to a place that you know that you know that you know that God is real and furthermore that Jesus is real! And no one, I mean NO ONE! can convince you otherwise! It is in this place of knowing that the transformation occurs, it is at this place that one becomes genuinely “born again”, that is to say “born from above”.  This occurs when the Light of Christ shines on our dark heart and reveals sin, once sin is revealed we have ability to “repent” and lay down all of our known sin at the cross of Jesus and in exchange receive His divine nature, which gives us the power to live a righteous life.

It is because of the way that I became born again that I have been able to recognize many maladies that plague the church. This is one, because the gospel message is defective and adulterated, the outcome is we have defective converts. It is because people aren’t taught how to properly be “born again” that we have a large number of so-called Christians who are not saved. The have not come full circle in the process I have described, many have left the place of unbelief and entered into the place of belief, however they have not been able to cross the line from believing to knowing. This is the reason that sin is rampant in the church, this is the reason that worldliness is prevalent it is because we have only enough truth to make believers and not enough to transform them into knower’s.

John 17:3 (NASB)

3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Hebrews 8:10-11 (NASB)

10 “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

11 “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.

You may be thinking now: “All of this sounds great, but how do I know that Jesus was not just a prophet, how do I know that His teaching came from heaven, could it not be possible that he was just a man that created his own philosophy and religion. Who is to say that you didn’t just think that you had some kind of experience, after all the mind is a very perplexing subject and it is capable of convincing us of all kinds of things that aren’t necessarily based in reality.” I know that there are people who think like this, because I use to think like this. I thought that conversion was just possible because of weak-minded people who basically needed some type of crutch. To answer this question I will close with the words of Jesus. He spoke these words when the religious leaders of his day were confronting Him and basically asking, how are we supposed to know if your teaching is from heaven or if it is from man? This was Jesus’ reply:

John 7:16-17 (NASB)

16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.

Until, the believer becomes willing to do His will, he will remain just a believer. It is once we genuinely become willing to do the will of the Father, that we cross the line from believing to knowing. This is the cure for addiction, it originates in heaven and it can only be discovered by those who are sick and tired of living out their selfish will and have become willing to abandon that and do His will. It applies to the addict and ever believer who is not a knower!

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Aleister Crowley – The Father of the New Age, Modern Occultism and Satanism

Here are a couple of informative videos that expose Aleister Crowley, his relation to rock n roll music and his influence on our current culture.

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Thoughts on the 1960’s Woodstock Generation from a Biblical Worldview

woodstock generation bible perspectiveToday I watched a documentary on Woodstock, I began to think about that time. It was such a convergence, a pinnacle of so  many different things. First and foremost it was the beginnings of mass media, probably had not even been two decades since TV’s showed up in the majority of American homes. Then you had the race issue, slavery had been abolished for almost 100 years, yet civil rights in America still remained a much neglected issue. Then of course you had the Vietnam war, the injustices, the politics of it, the many deaths of our young men. Probably one of the heaviest influences of this period and arguably the most destructive, was the rock n roll music that became widely prevalent. The music started off in the 50’s with the likes of Elvis Priestly and by the late 60’s the genre had exponentially exploded throughout the youth culture. Could anything have been more instrumental in drastically changing the values of the country in such a short time span? If so you tell me what it is, perhaps it was this combined with communist, left wing ideology shoved down the throats of college students all across the country. Perhaps it was in the 1960’s that we as a nation received our first taste of the results of mass media, the results of what happens when bad ideas spread rapidly throughout a culture. The music promoted and encouraged drug use, particularly psychedelics. Talk about an escape from reality, entering into a “trip”, is the fastest way to open yourself up to deception. As much as these people thought that they were freeing their mind, they were actually bringing it further away from freedom and into the prison of a false reality. In one generation Satan managed to widen the generation gap and steal the youth of a nation from the authority of their parents. Perhaps his philosophy was destroy the family unit, destroy the nation, well if it was his strategy, it was successful. It was successful in the sense that the actions of our parents then and the choices made then are evident in the reality of what we have now. God’s Word says that we reap what we sow and if they sowed the wind then they are reaping the whirlwind. The level of rebelliousness of kids today, would have been off the charts in their time. Thank God for the many who were saved out of that culture through such means as the “Jesus People” movement. Thank God that while many perished, many also had the gospel preached to them.

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What is Apostolic? The Legacy of Art Katz

Art KatzIf we are going to have a revolution in the church, then we are going to have to get a hold of the understanding of Apostolic. When it comes to apprehending the genius of this word, no man that I know of has put forth a better presentation then Art Katz. Who is Art Katz you say? Well he was a prophet. I believe that, sadly, he falls into the category of prophet that Leonard Ravehnhill spoke of:

He is the villain of today and the hero of tomorrow.

He is excommunicated while alive and exalted when dead!

He is friendless while living and famous when dead.

He is against the establishment in ministry; then he is established as a saint  by posterity.

In other words although he did make an impact while he was with us, he was largely unappreciated and disregarded by the religious system of his day. However, he had a message for his contemporaries that was far ahead of its time and although the religious climate in which he ministered was largely not ready to receive his message, I predict that the new spiritual climate is being primed and made ready to run with this Apostolic message! I really believe that as this mentality ignites, very soon the number of copies of Art’s books that are available will not be able to keep up with the demand for those who begin to seek out this message, a message that was truly ahead of its time. Anyhow, wether my predictions come to pass or not, one thing I will say is that the messages of this man have deeply impacted my walk and the words he spoke continue to take me higher and higher in God! Therefore, to answer the question of what is Apostolic I will quote directly out Art’s book “Apostolic Foundations”:

Like every great biblical word, we will not find the definition in a dictionary. We need rather to be apprehended by the genius of what that word represents. It is a seeking out and restoring of all that was once authentic, all that was held dear, all that was believed, all that was understood, and all that was vital in the first church. There is something pungent about the word apostolic that brings to mind the heart, the spirit and the sense of the church when it was at its glory. The church was apostolic at its inception and needs to be so at its conclusion…

I truly believe that until we grab hold of this in the spirit, we will not see the Glory of God return to the church! This is vital

For your consideration, I am including in this post a message by Art Katz that has the ability to ruin you for the normal church experience:

To God Be the Glory in the Church

Here are a few statements from the Art Katz ministries website, that I think are appropriate:

Art portrayed a knowledge of God that few in contemporary times have fathomed or understood.  Whether the subject was the future, necessary death and resurrection of the nation Israel, or Paul’s teaching on widows and slaves in the congregation, Art strived to represent “God as He in fact is, and not as we think Him to be.”

Art was a prophetic voice insofar as he called his listeners to purposes in God that would affect both time and eternity, purposes that had to do with the glory of God in the Church.   Frequently, his messages called the Church to an awareness of the Last Days [End-times] in such a way that made that time seem imminent and at the door.  Some called him a forerunner in the sense of a man who cleared the way for others, and who could therefore call back and encourage them onward to the high call of God in Christ Jesus.  Though a man of flesh and blood, like us all, Art walked that ‘high road,’ and one frequently caught a whiff of the fragrance of God, that can only emanate out of that place in God.

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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?

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Does Noah’s Ark Exist Today? Historical Accounts Reveal it Did Exist in the First Century

Noah's Ark Exist Today and in the 1st CenturyMany people have wondered if Noah’s Ark is real what happened to it and where is it now? As I was doing a little bit of studying, I came across the following information recorded by a 1st century historian by the name of Josephus:

But when Monobazus was grown old, and saw that he had but a little time to live, he had a mind to come to the sight of his son before he died. So he sent for him, and embraced him after the most affectionate manner, and bestowed on him the country called Carra; it was a soil that bare amomum in great plenty: there are also in it the remains of that ark, wherein it is related that Noah escaped the deluge, and where they are still shown to such as are desirous to see them.

However, the Armenians call this place, (Apobaterion)  The Place of Descent; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day.

—Complete Works of Josephus

There you have it, not only was the ark around in the 1st century, but people were also allowed to view it and I have even heard that 1st century Christians took pilgrimages to view the Ark. I have posted this for no other reason than the hopes that someone out there will find this as interesting as I did.

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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

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The Gospel is Power

atomic blast, powerful explosion 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 (NASB)
19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.


1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NASB)

5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (NASB)
5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The gospel is not the presentation of an idea, it is a demonstration of power. It seems like there is a lot of presentation going on in the church, yet no demonstration. If we are to return to an apostolic model for the church, then there must be a return to a demonstration of power. I am not speaking of our flakey charismatic services, I am speaking of the wind of the Spirit sweeping through our lives bringing it’s fire and producing, not a pseudo-spiritual experience, but bringing a lasting and eternal change. The one thing that contrasts idolatry with true worship is that people cling to idolatry because it demands no changed life. True Worship of God demands a changed heart! The worship of a false Jesus has prevailed in our land because it is a Jesus that demands no change, cost us nothing to serve and therefore people can temporarily relive the soulish burden and guilt of sin and religious obligation until the following Sunday or Wednesday night. People go to church and receive a bible “presentation” although everything they hear may be doctrinal, factual etc.., however as correct as the presentation might be, if the Spirit does not breath on those words and give them life, then the presentation actually dulls the hearer instead of enriching them. We need foundational ministers, vessels filled with the very life of God, to be restored into the body to bring back the demonstration of the Gospel and shame those who have clung to the dead presentations. Only then will God be glorified in the church, because currently with our dead presentations, we have only succeeded in bringing reproach to His name.

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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?

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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

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