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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Open Our Heart's Eyes, Lord!

      I can't help not to shed a tear on this as I read... this made me to look closer into my life as a Christian... sometimes we need an eye opener or reminder on our walk with the Lord... let me share this to you a sharing from my spiritual brother where he posted on my article Loser  (Sunday October 23, 2005)


   Posted by Manong @ 10/23/2005 09:45 PM PDT 
   You may have read this already, but it's worth it to "survey the wondrous Cross" once again.

   Manong

      Opening Prayer:

      I ask you precious God in Jesus name for a perfect evening tonight, not that the grammar be impeccable but that it has had its full source found in You, that You are totally the giver, that this is Your will performed. Be the Lord of my mood, my speaking in the spirit, that it is very God speaking. We thank you and praise You for such a night, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

      I had the strangest impression when I was watching you on your feet singing about the holiness of God. I heard the phrase, "You are all as an unclean thing."

      I thought I was looking into the faces of masturbators, fornicators, a people who contemplate such things. It's just an uncanny impression that I had, that I should hear a lyric about holiness and have a total impression of faces that contradict that.

      I thought to myself. “God, didn't we have an outreach on Saturday? What's the message? I don't understand, and I was careful to pray. I have been looking to the Lord throughout the day for this meeting, and I'm not even sure what the message is.”

      But I was sympathetic to the first prayer that came forth tonight from this brother here, something about the necessity for the Lord to raise up the Cross for us, as though he was talking about Christ and Him crucified. And indeed, I looked over the scriptures that give the actual descriptions and I can't think of anything clever myself to add to them. And I get the idea that you all know all of this anyway. What kind of message is that? But I just can't get away from it, that sometimes we need to review these things, and see them again in the scriptures...Christ Crucified.

      Maybe we need to see it by a light from heaven. Maybe we've seen it, but we've not seen it. Maybe we need to see it by a light from heaven, which is another kind of seeing.

      Maybe we've been able to accept it much too readily and easily.

      It's just not offended us as much as it ought. We really have not been stabbed by the repulsiveness of it, nor been stunned by its horror.

      Our faith has become domesticated.

      The sting is out but it needs to be retained.

      I was having an interesting conversation with my brother Mark before we came tonight. It's something that traveling evangelists don't confess to each other, but its explains why their sleep is so frequently disrupted. All the more as their message is earnest and touches heaven.

      They (evangelists) are roasted in the night hours. Sexual provocation, the enemy playing on any slight wisp of vulnerability, this stubborn thing that will not let go, this thing that polite Christianity will not discuss, this thing that we cover up and look the other way and will not bring to the light, for which reason we suffer terrible harassment, was the subject of our conversation.

      I don't know if you are aware of the growing and impressive statistics of the number of formidable leaders in Christianity and Charismatic circles, impressive figures who have run off with the organist or the woman whom they were counseling. The causalities are increasing.

      It's interesting that at that final end of the ages, sex really becomes the dominant issue. It is brought to an ultimate conclusion, one way or the other. There's going to be a Marriage Supper of the Lamb, a wedding, a joining between the Bride and the Bridegroom. A holy event for which all eternity has waited and rejoiced. And there is the other alternative. There is no middle ground: a whole world drinking from the cup of fornication. We ought to begin to consider these things now, lest the casualties increase and our witness be compromised, and Satan have nothing to fear in us because he sees us in our private moments when we have condescended to such lust. He knows the weakness that has compromised us. And we have not overcome!

      I'm just speaking as the fool tonight.
      
      Somehow the Cross of Jesus Christ figures into all of this. My brain is not yet clever enough to figure it out, but my spirit is going off like an alarm. We shall be the victims of such compromise as the intensity of the temptations increase enormously as we come deeper into the end of the age, and increasing to the degree to which we have not really appropriated the Cross of Jesus Christ!

      There is a very famous ministry in the United States, but I won't tell you its name. It is very famous in the United States because it so celebrates the Cross. It's theology is shot through with references to the Cross. When I went there as a speaker, the Lord gave me the most peculiar message. You really have to be American to appreciate this. Because you guys know the kind of franchises we have in America: Long John Silvers, McDonalds, and what else?...Burger King. Every one of the franchise buildings is just like the others. These buildings go up overnight, serving the identical commodity. Americans have a flair to create a certain kind of architectural atmosphere. We can make something look very rustic and homey and make it look country but we do it with PLASTIC BEAMS. They look like great hand-hewn oak beams.

      But who can afford the real thing today? And where is the man with the skill to hew it?

      So we make a similitude of it, out of plastic, making it like it has the appearance of the real thing. That way it is ok because it is up on the ceiling. No one can reach it and it isn't required to sustain any weight. But should a person have the occasion to rap it with their knuckles, it will be found to sound absolutely hollow! If by chance it should be stepped on, it will smash right through.

      I would have you note the message which the Lord gave me for that ministry, this so-called cross-centered ministry. "Your Cross is not a wooden beam. It's a plastic similitude.”

      I wonder for how many of us is that also true. We have only the plastic similitude.

      But we have not the bloody Cross, and it shows in compromise and deceit, in lying and fornication, in masturbation and giving ourselves over to our own indulgences, and our minds being occupied with such things because we have not come to the real Cross in Truth.

      Then in this cheap and easy and glib age, in which we can franchise hamburgers and fish, we have also franchised a kind of gospel. It gives the appearance of being the real thing. But don't rap it too hard. It will not take any weight. And there is a God that is brooding over you this night who knows all too well the weight of that which shall come.

      There's a lot of cheap things going on. There's a whole Jesus culture. You know already that I am sick of it. If I see one more Jesus T shirt I will vomit. I don't even want to see portraits and pictures and paintings to assure me of how masculine He was. I don't even want to see Him by the flesh. I don't care how ingenious the artist is. He can never do justice to the Lord of Glory, and any attempt humanly to depict him will be less than what He is!

      I'll wait for the revelation that comes from the Light of Heaven, thank you. You can keep your cheap pictures. The same thing has happened, also, with the Cross. I understand that there are men who are making absolute fortunes today in the Christian junk jewelry business. Oh, how many bosoms have I seen a Cross dangling from....more to attract our attention to the bosom than to the Cross!

      Using the Word Holy Too Casually

      We don't dare take this word holy in our mouths too casually. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect: (Matt:5:48), and "Be ye Holy; for I am Holy" (1 Peter 1:16). He is VERY holy. Because this is an age of extremity and we are rushing toward it's radical conclusion, either we are going to be very holy or not at all.

      Are you remembering that one of the evidences of the end of the age is a great falling away when the love of many will grow cold? Many! Where are they going to come from? When iniquity shall abound some will come out of this audience, out of the whole inflated Christendom that exists today. Iniquity is abounding more and more daily. Very seductive and powerful. And if it is only a plastic Cross to which we've come, a piece of cheap junk jewelry, we're almost assuring ourselves that we will be among the victims. So we need to have the Cross raised up for us in truth and something branded in our hearts and spirits.

      God Crucified

     Someone prayed this morning about loving righteousness and hating iniquity. Such a thing for us will be a saving grace. But you will only hate iniquity to this degree, that you really understand what it cost God!

      So I want to talk to you about GOD CRUCIFIED.

      I'm actually quoting the title of a book by a German theologian. Isn't it amazing when God quickens something by His Spirit that you have all along have known, and when you see a title of a book, all of a sudden you are stabbed.

      It's GOD crucified -- GOD crucified!

      Yet I can say it a hundred times and yell it at the top of my lungs, but there's no guarantee that it will penetrate your heart. The Son of God has to stab you.

      G-O-D crucified!

      Maybe some of you know the painting that is so celebrated by the Sisters of Mary at Darmstadt. Its called The Isenheim Altar, painted by a 16th Century artist by the name of Gruenwald. It's one of those things that they used to put over the altar, that folds up with leaves and has painting on it of the crucifixion. If you haven't ever seen it, I would recommend it. It's the only depiction of Christ Crucified that I will ever endorse. So many of them look like a ballet dancer on his toes. Some of them almost look sensual...a man with rippling muscles and an extended torso! Not bad!

      But this one is a HORROR! It is so grotesque that you can barely bear to look at it. Therefore, I suspect it was painted by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. You've never seen a more gruesome figure. You can hardly discern whether it is a man or some kind of mangled beast. Even the technology of this painting is remarkable. It is four centuries old and it looks like it was painted yesterday. The freshness and the abounding power and vitality of that painting!

      The fingers are all gnarled up in death, and the face bears the imprint of the final paroxysm of suffering. The lips are white and the eyes are sunken deep in the skull and he hath "no form or comeliness ...that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:3), marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52: 14) , and flecked over with blood that has coagulated and hardened. The artist has even indicated the spit.There are pieces of metal and wood actually in the flesh from the flagellation, and the whole power of the hue of the body, is like a gangrenous green color.

      Unbelievably ugly!

      It's a statement of such suffering. A pitiable wretch of a figure! And I've seen it 3 or 4 times now. It's in Collmar, France near Alsace Lorraine on the French - German border.If you ever get a chance, don't miss it! It maybe more important than three months of instructions and lectures.

      Every time I see it I have a strange impression. Of course, these artists usually depict Christ with a loin cloth. It was a tradition of medieval and Renaissance artists. But there is not a shred of evidence in the scriptures to support that it was there. Part of the torture of the the pain of the Cross, or the shame of the Cross was the shame of the nakedness the victim, stripped of his clothing, his arms nailed to the Cross and unable to cover himself.

      How shall I say it? Jesus bore this unspeakable humiliation, this exposure of the privacy of his sexual parts that we, because of that, may not be compromised in that area.

      I am speaking like a fool. I have never before ever said this anywhere, at any time. But I think we need to hear it. What else is there about human nature that takes the sting out and learns to make horror a mere theology, principles of the faith, that somehow we can speak as its proponents, and somehow we can sing He was wounded for our transgressions and then go home that night and masturbate? If we ever needed light from heaven, it is here.

      A revelation from God of His suffering, of this suffering, of GOD CRUCIFIED!

      I don't think anything else will keep us. Nothing else will give us a horror of sin. Nothing else will keep us from crucifying the Son of God afresh than to understand, to REALLY understand what God suffered in humiliation and unspeakable pain and the degradation at the hands of men, in the sense of even being forsaken by God, the Father.

      Cursed is every man that hangeth on a tree. (Gal. 3:13)

      To hear the taunts of Jewish religious men saying: "Save thyself, and come down from the cross" and we will believe you.; "He saved others: himself he cannot save." (Mark 15: 30, 31)

      Have you understood this much? There's something about it unlike anything else; nothing else like the nature of suffering that brings us to the revelation of truth.

      Suffering REVEALS as nothing else can. Have you experienced that about your own sufferings? Somehow you're on a feverish sickbed, and your nigh unto death or at least you feel that way.

      Things that would have occupied yourselves while you were healthy, to which you could have given your time and attention and over which you would have had long and serious discussions, become terribly irrelevant at that moment.

      Suffering is a lot like the hot knife through butter. It simplifies everything. It gets right to the heart of the issue and makes thing bare and reveals them like nothing else can do. That's why the great schools of the theater have always elevated suffering even more so than the people of God. We haven't majored much in this. But we need to because we're being called to the same end.

      Someone once said that if any talks a talk as Christ talks, and walks a walk as Christ walks, he will suffer the same conclusion.

      "They shall hate us and claim they are doing God a favor." ...“ye shall be hated of all nations for my name sake.” (Matt: 24:9)

      At the same time, "the love of many shall grow cold because iniquity abounds: (Matt: 24:12), especially this kind of iniquity (sexual), Why shall they hate us? Because they cannot stand the contradiction between our faces and our spirits and their practices. The Spirit of the World will increasingly say "Come,Lie with me"(Gen. 39:7). "If you will not you will drive them to fury. Ever heard the saying, “There's no fury like a woman spurned?”You spurn the whore from Babylon and you reject her cup of fornications and you will experience a fury unlike anything you've known.

      I've never forgotten one of the earliest experiences in my Christian faith. I was only a few months old in the faith. I was saved by a Lord I was not seeking. He brought me to Himself in Jerusalem and I came back to the teaching profession in California, and lost all my friends the first night back in the giving of my testimony. But there was a Jewish teacher who was on the same faculty with me. We used to eat together at the faculty cafeteria.

      I was a young and zealous believer and I was always witnessing to her as much as I knew how in my ignorance. I maybe had 2 or 3 scriptures. But I remember an occasion when I was strangely silent. This was a woman who was in a continuous state of adultery. Because she didn't believed in sin and guilt she had to run to a psychiatrist twice a week for the relief of this pressure. It took pills to put her to sleep and pills to wake her up. A pathetic wretch, full of intellectual presumption, pride, arrogance and alienated from God. A picture of the world. Here I was, not saying a word to her, minding my own business. Yet I was conscious that she was growing restless and even irritated, finally vexed. I looked up at her with wide eyes of innocence and she couldn't restrain herself any longer, exploding with these words, "Even when you are silent you are a living accusation!"

      I've never forgotten that statement!

      There's a reason why the Lord has had me remember it. That shall be the world's statement to us. We must follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth (Ruth 1:16) if we decide to go on to the end of the age that is coming to a radical conclusion, forces of light and dark in ultimate collision. If we are going to be holy we will be very holy, or we will not be holy at all.

      That's how polarized the world will become. Those who can casually sing about the holiness of God tonight will not be able to sing it then. The only exception is that one who has come to such a deep place in Him that one knows His perfection and holiness that he is an overcomer in Him. One must know that the ax has been laid to the root of his own life, and he can rejoice in his overcoming, and that he has come to that true freedom in Christ, one of those who has appropriated the Cross in truth and not merely acknowledged it as correct doctrine, or who wears it around his neck as jewelry or who has it as a plastic beam.

      Have we entered into this?

      Have we been reminded that Jesus died naked?

      He suffered unspeakable shame that we might be shameless before Him and not bring reproach to His name, nor blaspheme it by our own infidelity.

      He died naked.

      He left the world naked and he came into the world in the same condition, naked.

      Isn't it interesting that it is the saints of the Sisters of Mary that celebrate both Christ's birth and death in nakedness?

      It is the only fellowship I've ever visited in the whole world where I have been overwhelmingly aware of the holiness of God the moment of setting foot on their property.

      I didn't experience that here! Only with family (the Sisters of Mary) who have experienced the deepest sense of the suffering of Christ. I don't know how I can explain this to you.

      In one of my visits to them I brought back home a terra cotta figurine of the Baby Jesus. It's an embarrassment for a Brooklyn Jew. What would you do with sentimental little things like that. I have nothing to do with sentimental things. Merely because it was an infant does not make it sentimental, although you can sentimentalize both the Baby Jesus and the Cross.   

      When you go to where I've just come from, in the meeting room there is a big Cross on the wall behind where I stood. It is very unique. I've never seen anything like it. It was all roses, panels of flowers set up in the form of a Cross.. Very pretty. Very impressive. But a lie!

      Satan would love to see it all sentimentalized, but we need to see it in all its horror! We have to understand that it was GOD who came down from heaven to earth and who was born into the earth naked as a helpless dependent infant. That's what impressed me with the little figurine, an infant with arms stretched out with a beautific expression of complete trust. It's a sublime thing.

      But He was NAKED!

      It's a humiliation for God to come in the form of a man. You say, Art, what's wrong with the form of a man? It's the highest form of life on earth?

      For us it might be something positive, but for God it's a humiliation. To be imprisoned in the form of a man and to come down from heaven and lay aside His glory to live the life as a dependent little infant?

      To live a life of obscurity and of hiddenness?

      To suffer the rejection of His people?

      To conclude his life in an unspeakable torture that words cannot describe of which the scriptures said, "And they crucified him?" (Matt.27:35)

      Even God did not attempt to describe it, and He left the world as an impotent infant, naked.

      Is that your King?

      I want to tell you as a Jew, that this doesn't touch Jewish taste. They don't have much stomach for for kings that come on the back of an ass "whereon never man sat" (Mark 11:2) , a picture of utter foolishness, weakness and humiliation, jerking its way down the Mount of Olives.

      Not very kingly by human standards!

      Dying in the place of shame - the garbage heap!

      And his disciples couldn't stand the sight of it and fled.

      The gangrenous piece of flesh - That's G-O-D!

      You say, ""Art, why was it necessary?"" I can't answer you. But in the book The Crucified God...do you know what the German theologian Moltmann said?

      He said, "Do you know where true faith begins?"

      Not plastic faith, TRUE FAITH, the kind that will keep you from masturbating, from fornication, from the indulgence of flesh? Do you know where true overcoming faith begins?

      "The place where an atheist says it should end.".

      That confounds any kind of logic and reason! There's not a religion on earth that has such an event at its center and its meaning but Christianity. It's an offense of offenses. Who can understand these things?

      The Prophet Isaiah says,""He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities... All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. ..Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him." " Isaiah 53:5,6,10.

      He suffered for the transgressor.

      Do you want to know how horrible sin is in God's sight? Do you want to see as God sees? That alone is truth! Anything else is error or deception.

      See God Crucified!

      See God nakedly hanging.

      See this excruciating suffering and you'll understand His horror of sin.

      Has it been a horror for you so much so that you could never consider to crucify the Son of Glory afresh or trample upon His blood by singing choruses that celebrate something of which we have little actual knowledge and experience, and of which many of us are contradicting in actual practice or thought or imagination?

      "He was wounded for our transgressions."

      Have you read Psalm 22 lately? What a picture of Crucifixion!

      Maybe 1000 years in advance of the event.

      "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd ; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me unto the dust of death...they pierced my hand and my feet. I may tell all my bones.:they look and stare upon me." (Ps.22:14-17)

      Do you know the wonderful hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts?

      When have you surveyed it last?

      Do you know what Charles Finney was writing which I read today? He said that he would not dream of traveling in ministry with a colleague who was not himself broken down before God at least once every 2 or 3 weeks.

      This encouraged me to speak on the subject tonight, though I am sure you know it already. But I don't think I would miss God to suggest that a frequent survey of the Cross is a good thing.

      We need to see the Lord high and lifted up. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." (John 12: 32)

      We need to remember what the heart of the faith is that staggers the minds of antichrists and unbelieving Jews!

      God Crucified!

      For our transgressions and our iniquities.

      Isaac Watts was inspired by the Holy Ghost to compose this hymn.

      "When I survey the wondrous Cross On which the Prince of Glory died, My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride."

      Only when you survey the wondrous Cross.

      Anything else is play acting, a gamesmanship, a mere phraseology, a subscribing to correct doctrine, a plastic substitute.

      We need to survey the wondrous Cross on which the Prince of Glory died.

      Forbid it Lord that I should boast, except in the Cross of Christ my Lord.

      Any of us boasting? If not in words, in countenance and appearance?

      Do you know how Finney said that he knew conviction was coming into a people to whom he spoke, that God was breaking them down by His Spirit?

      They couldn't hold their heads up.

      They couldn't look at him.

      They had to turn their faces away.

      They looked down. They were bowed over.

      He said so long as he saw an audience that still looked at him as the speaker, he knew that God had not yet done his work of convicting power.

      Forbid it Lord that I should boast except in the Cross of Christ my God. All the vain things that charm me most I sacrifice to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love mingled down...

      If he was naked in his private parts and humiliated there to save us from humiliation, what shall we say of the significant wounds in the hand and head?

      He was wounded in the hands for our practices, for which reason many of us cannot yet lay hands upon others and send them out with holy hands.

      Wounded in the feet because we've have carried our bodies to places that ought not to have been.

      Do you know about the Shroud of Turin, that famous linen thing that has been kept for centuries in which there is considerable evidence that it was actually the shroud that covered the body of Jesus?

      Interesting that it should be coming out of hiding, now in our generation. It was recently examined by a panel of experts and anatomists who know the body and its structures. They counted over 200 lash marks on that body. You say, "How could they have that kind of evidence?"

      It is because a strange thing happened in a certain explosive moment that took the coagulated blood that clung to this linen cloth and made of it a photographic negative in a blinding moment of light, so that every wound was registered on that sheet.

      200 lash marks, profuse bleeding on the scalp from some kind of thing that was pressed on the skin and skull, and other ugly evidence of torture I can't describe.

      See from His head, His hand His feet sorrow and love come mingled down.

      See it by the Spirit of God. See it!

      I'm just being so much the fool tonight. I wouldn't even call this a sermon or a message. I'm just simply trusting that somehow God wanted God Crucified preached. He wanted Himself raised upon the Cross before His people,

      that we might see it....

      really see it

      really celebrate it

      really acknowledge it.

      For it alone can keep us. When we see the horror of what sin caused Him, we shall love righteous and hate iniquity and keep ourselves from crucifying the Son of God afresh.

      Do you see it?

      (the person translating is so overcome with emotion at this point she can hardly go on.)

      It says in Isaiah 53: 8, He was cut off and out from the land of the living. For the transgression of my people was he stricken.

      There's something so surgical about that expression, something so total!

      Talk about total God calling to total man, cut off and out from off and out of the land of the living!

      I'll tell you that is about more than the issue of sin.

      It is a profound salvation for us if we have been joined with that one in that crucifixion.....to be cut off and out...

      Such a radical separation from the world, the flesh and from the devil, from those who had had the same ax laid to their root.

      In closing:

      Do you remember the Eunuch that Phillip led to the Lord in Acts 8. God thought so much of that man that he took him from the field of successful ministry and joined him to one black man on his way to Ethiopia.

      According to Christian legend, this one man brought Christianity to Africa, that Ethiopian Eunuch..a man who has had the ax laid to the root....as a man of great authority who had the charge of all the queen's treasure. (Acts 8:27-40)

      Jesus spoke at one time about the eunuchs. He said that some were born eunuchs, those who are biological freaks. They will never have the physical enablements that are the rights of all men.

      Then there are some men that are made eunuchs by men. Talk about a horrible scene...the shrieks and cries as a man is pinned down by an army of men held him down as another man did the filthy thing!

      But Jesus also said"there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." (Matt.19:12)

      This Ethiopian Eunuch was a man of great authority and was in charge of all the Queen's treasure. (Acts 8:27-40) Only a eunuch can be so implicitly trusted. He is not going to appropriate anything for himself over which he has been given charge(women).The ax has been laid. He's been cut off and out. God offers us the same protection. The Cross of Christ Jesus laid to the root of life that you might be cut off and out of the land of the living.

      I think, in my opinion, the only men who will be safe at the end of an age abounding with iniquity are believers to whom the ax has been laid!

      Iniquity shall abound, full of filth and lust, seductions of such power that you will stagger; such subtlety, and such sensuality that its taking victims already among Christians.

      Only a dead man can be safe, to whom the ax has been laid to the root of his life, who has been cut off and out of the land of the living, who recognizes the horrible propensity of his flesh. Self-conscious discipleship is not the answer. Saying, "I'll never do it again," is not the answer. Neither are whistling in the dark and singing choruses, the answer.

      Only ONE answer.

      It's the Cross of Christ Jesus!

      Not the plastic counterfeit but the BLOOD of the Cross, the place of suffering and shame, where God bids us come.

      If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up His Cross...(Luke 9:23)

      When Christ bids a man come, He bids a man come and die.

   Conclusion

      I had the strangest impression tonight as I came into the room, as I surveyed the faces as you sang of the holiness of God, the words came into my heart/spirit, “Unclean.”   

      Holy, Holy, a contradiction of the words being seen in the darkness of the faces, the furtive shadows suggesting something other than Holy, Holy.

      So I just wanted to stand with Paul tonight and preach again Christ and Him crucified - the power of God unto salvation, not just in the here after, but the HERE and NOW, for those who are cut off and out, who have joined with Him in that place, who have been made eunuchs for Christ, who welcomed the ax laid to the root.

      It is the power of God unto Salvation.

      I commend it to you, that we see it, that we come to it, and that we cleave to it until the end of the age...

      Shall we pray for that?

     Closing Prayer:

      I ask you Precious God ,in Jesus Name, to honor the obedience of your servant who has spoken the words that You have put in his heart ,and I have trusted the consequences to You.

      If there is power in this Cross, if suffering reveals, I ask you to demonstrate it now.

      I ask for the spirit of revelation that we might see Christ and Him crucified.

      GOD CRUCIFIED for our sins and transgressions.

      I ask you to show us if we've played with the wrong Cross, preferring the plastic kind which is lighter to carry but cannot sustain much weight.

      You said that if you were raised up on the Cross that you will draw all men to yourself.(John 12:32)

      I ask You to do it.

      I ask You to find eunuchs in this audience tonight who were certainly not born eunuchs, nor were they compellingly made eunuchs, but have chosen to be eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake, who will welcome the work of the Cross laid to the root of their lives, and not to be distracted about the questions of marriage, girls or not girls, but as dead men who have no life in themselves, brought back from the dead that they might live unto God totally to his glory.

      Someone had to be compelled to carry Your Cross 2000 years ago , and tonight You are asking for those who will voluntarily come to it.

      And so just as your minister of the gospel, I invite as many as will to come to this Cross, not in some sentimental and shabby way, not in some plastic way, but in actuality.

      It's a place for the despairing who know that they cannot in themselves, that they can't overcome. And self will will not do it , and keeping up appearances will not do it.

      Only a true identification with Your death that they might be cut off and out with You, also to be raised up to a newness of life that is free of shame, that overcomes in the Overcomer who is perfect in His perfection and is holy in His holiness.

      So bid us come join You in that place in Spirit and in truth, once and for  all, for Jesus' sake, Amen.

Posted at Tuesday, October 25, 2005 by Star-Tariray
LoVe ThEy HaVe GiVeN (1)  

 
Monday, October 24, 2005
The Afflictions of the Gospel
   I got a letter from my Manong on the 18th of the 10th and he shared me his letter that he will give to a friend concerning suffering and afflictions, this is in connection on the post that I made on that same day Hold me it Hurts! ... let me share to you excerpt from his letter...

   ....I just wrote because I wanted to give a letter from a friend that speaks of suffering and afflictions. Please if you don't mind post it on your site also since I believe it will open other's peoples eyes. Thanks.
 
   Andrew


The Afflictions of the Gospel 



   In 2nd Timothy 1-8&9, Paul admonished Timothy to be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.....

   I was recntly viewing some DVD's of the growth and development of the underground church in China. This house flourished greatly under the harshest of conditions. They were outlawed, killed and imprisoned for just proclaiming the gospel, yet continued to do so. The curhc grew from few to over 80 million believers during these difficult times. In light of this it is understandable why Paul's admonition to Timothy. Paul understood the working of God's power and that which it produced. Let's further examine some more of the directives in 2nd Timothy regarding this matter.....

   2nd chapter verse 3, Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

   2nd chapter verse 4, No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

   2nd chapter verses 9&10, Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
 
   2nd chapter verse 12, If we suffer, we shall also reign with him......
 
   3rd chapter verses 1-7, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

   3rd chapter verse 12, Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

   4th chapter verse 5, But watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

   I believe many in the body of Christ do not understand the value of suffering. Suffering and joy are opponents in the natural, but inextricably connected in the spirit for they become united in a very holy way. The developing church in China embraced this, even looked forward to it, understanding the blessing that would come forth from it. The value in suffering as a Christian immeasurable. It cleanses, purges, matures, enlightens, and establishes us in the faith. The affliction of the gospel is not just suffering for sufferings sakes. It is suffering for the gospel, the truth, for and in Christ Jesus. All things work together for good for believers as the scripture teaches. What is it that "all" excludes in this promise? The answer is nothing. Is everything good that works for good; probably not, it depends on ones perspective. I realize thatwe are perislously close, if not there, to creating an oxymoron, and these things may only be understood from a spiritual perspective. Like Jesus, we learn obedience through the things we suffer and often that suffering is generated as a result of that obedience. The servant is not greater than the mster. We need to learn to embrace suffering, understanding that it is sustenance to righteosness.


Entering into Christ's Sufferings


   It seems there are so many hurting people in the world. It is even more strange that many of these people proclaim to be Christians. It isnot that Christians are not supposed to hurt, however, neither should we be constantly and continuously beat down. Scripture teaches our strength is our joy in the Lord. Could it be our joy in the Lord is dependent upon our physical state of affairs in this world? Could it be we measure blessing with a material yardstick? Coult it be we conclude that trial and tribulation is looked upon as some kind of punishment from God. Many Christians are seeking God for solutions, not realizing He is the solution. 1st Peter 1:6-7 tells us, "Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." Peter says again in chapter 4 verse 12, "We ought not to think it strange the fiery trial which is to try us, as though some strange thing were happening." He goes on to say, "We ought to be rejoicing in these trials, in as much as wew are partaking of Christ's suffering, that when His glory shall be revealed we may be glad with exceeding joy."

   Is it possible we have been deluded into interpreting suffering from a carnal perspective? We often are driven to distractioin in the pursuit of maintaininga life style, or accommplishing some worldly goal, apart from the Lord's leading. Suffering for a Christian is the substance which sustains spiritual growth and maturity. In 1st Cor. 1, Paul speaks of the trouble and suffering the disciples encountered in Asia. He says, "We were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead." Most modern day Christians shun this type of suffering. We have been led to believe this kind of suffering is the result of disobedience. Surely that possibility exists, however Paul again addressed the subject in 2 Cor. 12:10, "I take pleasure in infirmities, in distresses, in necessities, in persecutions, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." Paul did not fight as one that beateth the air. He understood the necessity of suffering and the spiritual benefit it produced.
   
   Refining is never a pleasant process. Many professing Christians have been willing to enter into agreement with the truth, by giving mental assent to its validity, while at the same time distancing themselves from it in experience and reality. Was it not God, who said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil?" Could it be that God in His infinite wisdom considered physical suffering and His blessing to be synonymous? Paul was able to take pleasure in suffering knowing that gret spiritual strength was being processed. Jus as Job's friends reasoned, there were also those who questioned Paul's calling as an apostle. He writes to the Thessalonian church and says in 2nd Thes.1:4-5, "...so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God for that ye may be called worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer." If we spend our life on earth trying to insulate ourselves from God's appointed suffering in order to insure our physical comfort and security, our growth in Christ will be stunted at best.

   Hebrews 5:8 tells us Jesus learned obedience through the things which He suffered. The servant is not greater than the mster. suffering in Christ is a vital part of our walk. If we will embrace it and learn of its eternal value, wew will mature in the truth of God.

   One of the more obvious weaknesses in the body of Christ today is our unwillingness to suffer. It is costly. In Watchman Nee's book, Spiritual Authority he says, "It is not how much we suffer, but how much we learn from suffering." Political and economic expediency in the church has demanded compromise. Spiritual power and authority are born out of the furnace of affliction. God, knowing the flesh will always take the path of least resistance, has provided in His mercy, this process of perfection. We must learn to rejoice in the Lord when trial and suffering comes calling. Though it is distasteful and often painful to the flesh, it is wonderfully liberating in the spirit, when we learn to be content in whatsoever state we find ourselves. The love of God can be seen, but is seldom fully understood by men. His ways are not our ways. We must not be driven to distraction through fear of suffering.

   We are directed in scripture to seek after the Lord, His nature, His character, Him. If our focus is only on solutions, He is not in it. Externals will always embrace injustice. Paul says in Phil. 4:11, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." He later says in verse 13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." This scripture speaks of our ability, in Christ, to be abased and to suffer need while experiencing affliction without seeking carnal solutions, but seeking Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. In that pursuit is the solution that comes from God. This growth of the inner man. This is heavenly manna. This is the bread of life. The endless pursuit of solutions that only give relief to temporal, external circumstances will capture our focus and chain it to the carnal.

   Jesus is the solution. Everything is yea, yea. The old is passed away, all things become new. Col 3:2-3, "Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth, for you are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." This is the solution.

  

Posted at Monday, October 24, 2005 by Star-Tariray
LeT mE kNoW UR tHoUgHtS.......  

 
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Loser


      Yesterday was indeed a very very embarassing day for me... school... wheezz... I was the slowest on the practical exam relay... oh how I really, really really... hated it... I know I can never be the best as always but trying to be one would not be that bad... c")
   
      I don't know if the teacher doesn't like me at all since I was so talkative and have alot of comments and questions during class... I don't think it did took me 4 minutes in the service relay... i know I am indeed very very fast on it... though I committed mistakes but it is indeed so little... I never even broke a bottle or even a mug.. at least I didn't just almost and close to it... LOL... It is indeed a "Freaking" Saturday... I did enjoyed though yet very embarassed and so ashamed on what I did... I am indeed such a Loser!... well, I have to be better next time... and have to do what I can for it.... LOL! 
   
      Table setting, flower arrangements, waiter service relay..... oh la..la..la.. very busy and tiring Saturday huh... and also annoying classmate at my back... what made him think to say all of those words right in front of me?.... it is really awful and indeed I do not feel comfortable sitting beside him... It just made me wonder what does he meant by those? I do not believed him actually and all were nothing but a non-sense flowery, sugar coated words... I am not a stupid girl... i fully understand the game he is playing into me... I am not playing dumb in front of him.. I know I already changed as I became a Christian because way back then when people like him hitting on me I EMBARASS them right in-front of their faces so that they know where to place themselves and not to take advantage of me... but right now... hmmmp.. things changes... as he says those words into me I looked straight into his eyes trying to find sincerity on what he is saying... what I discerned is different... i feel compassion for him and how I wish this person knew the Lord like I do...
   
      Lord, would you please use other person to touch him so that he won't give any colour on my action towards him... 
      
      Afternoon session started and here he goes again... I cannot tolerate this anymore so i asked him if we could talk.. he was so silent and gave a very naive smile, told him that I don't like the way he is doing to me.. I find it rude and really so unfriendly, I don't want to embarass him infront of the class that's is why I kept my mouth shut all along the many words and bullying and instead replied his every comment, praises and words with smile... told him that he should not be like that.. My goodness! were not kids anymore I'm 24 and he is 27... he should not be acting like that... [deep sigh]... indeed really annoying... told him that I am not actually angry but he must know how to stopped it... I'm not offended actually but I cannot tolerate it... LOL... he seems like crying where in fact I am telling all of these in a very friendly manner because I don't want to offend him but I want him to know that I am not happy at all... I told him that there is always time for everything, time where he could play a joke, be goofy, wacky and funny but there is also a time that we should be serious in things and doing our projects and practical exams... He said I'm sorry in a very soft almost whisper, slowly yet clear words... I felt sincerity on it and accepted it..  I told him that i could be his very good friend and I smiled as a sign that I am indeed a friend for him... we shook hands and go back in the group.. at least everything is all clear now...
   
      After the practical exam, I really felt so tired and have a headache attack... lecture followed and discussion... I cannot focused since i was so bothered by the thought of me being the slowest.. I know it is not fair enough for making me the slowest.. i know I have done all the best that I could but then I do not know why she is giving me a grade that is very low... well, I'll be bring my own timer next meeting and proved to her that she was so wrong... oh.. school! 
   
      I walked all the way home thinking on what happened... took a nap then went to Yani's home to visit his mom and his younger sibling.. they were of course so happy to see me again...

      At last Tita Connie is settling down... she's getting married by next year... all the plans was laid down in front of me, which they actually adopted most of the concept of the wedding on our (me & Yani's plan) plan .. the white princess cut, beaded, v-cut gown (just like mine) will be the bride's gown... it's so lovely... the motiff is old rose... the idea of a garden, solem wedding which is for a very close family & friends only... I know those were all my ideas of my wedding and I am giving it to her... perhaps it wasn't mine at all... the songs were already prepared from the bridal march, saying of the weding bows up to the end of the ceremony... I remember, I'm supposed to sing my wedding vow ... [deep sigh]... i can't help crying that very moment... I'm crying not because of anything, I'm crying because I'm so happy for my Aunt Connie... of course I can't help thinking if I will still have that wedding day that I am wishing and ever wanted? will I still be married someday? I know the Lord knows, how I wish to get married by next year but to whom?.... LOL... crazy me!!.... I am indeed such a loser today... Lord, is there still a someone you intended for me? I'm praying nothing but your will Lord... help me to wait Patiently and be still for whatever plans YOU have for me....

             

                   
Posted at Sunday, October 23, 2005 by Star-Tariray
LoVe ThEy HaVe GiVeN (1)  

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