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KINGDOM GROWTH GUIDES
OpenHeaven.com Forum : KINGDOM GROWTH GUIDES
Subject Topic: Kingdom Growth Guides PART 2 (#012) thru (#023) Post Reply Post New Topic
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Kingdom Growth Guides PART 2 (#012) thru(#023)

 
Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


THE OVERCOMING LIFE (#012)


Before the kingdom can come forth in the world, it must come forth in a people. Many of us are yet dealing with spiritual infirmities and weaknesses related to sin and human frailty. In Part 2 of Kingdom Growth Guides we will deal with overcoming hindrances to walking in the kingdom of God lifestyle.

For many of us the reality of the kingdom of God coming forth in our lives and in our world may seem an impossible dream. We may feel that there is too much to overcome in our own lives and far too much to be overcome in the world. However, there is a source of overcoming power in the spiritual realm that far exceeds our natural strength. The following are a few stories of people who have tapped into that spiritual overcoming power.

The crowd at the finish line leans forward and intently peers down the track to see which one of the well-trained cyclists is leading as they all come into view over the last hill of the race. The young men who have trained diligently are now pushing their bodies to the very limit. Their lungs work to the fullest capacity to gather oxygen for pounding hearts to rush it to their powerful, muscular, sinewy legs -- legs pumping like engine pistons in an effort to push their bicycles ahead of the others.

The burst of applause and cheers from the crowd is delayed for an instant. The crowd is shocked into silence for a split second while their minds try to accept what their wide-opened eyes are seeing. Gaping mouths begin to burst forth cheers and shouts of jubilation as the momentary disbelief of their own eyes is dispelled. Many eyes fill with tears as the crowd wildly applauds the young man with only one leg and one arm as he crosses the finish line first.

At another time and place in a high school auditorium, hundreds of teens gasp and draw back a little as they get their first look at a man walking out on stage. After only a few minutes, the man behind the disfigured face seems like one of their best friends. They are hardly aware of the massive scars or the knurled, maimed hands. They are mostly aware of the gentle love and real, caring attitude they feel coming from their new friend. Soon they are laughing hilariously with him as he humorously relates true stories of being burned almost to death in a military ordeal. All are moved and must consider the God he tells them about. His joyous love proclaims overcoming victory over the years of intense pain and great loss, and testifies of the powerful grace of the love of Jesus.

Many such true stories of people overcoming tremendous obstacles could be told. Our hearts would probably be touched by each of them. Something inside us seems to be excited. In some way we begin to feel encouragement in our own soul. Is it possible our own problems may seem to be a little less of a mountain when we consider their victories? Is there perhaps a new ray of hope released in us? Perhaps something like this thought crosses our minds, “If God helped them to overcome, possibly He can also help me.” Perhaps our doubt that God will do anything about our world is challenged a little. If He works in these individuals’ lives to overcome, isn’t it possible that He might work in many lives across the world? What might be the result of multitudes, one at a time, overcoming? Is there perhaps hope birthed in our hearts for our own lives and for the world by these examples of overcoming?

How did they do it? How can I do it? Many books are written in an attempt to answer these questions. We surely do not have all the answers, but one common denominator is always present. In a word, it is faith. What the individual believes, how he views God, himself, and the problem is the key. Most overcomers will say something like, “I never thought of myself as handicapped only challenged.” Or, “It never entered my mind that it could not be done”. A challenge seems to be there for the purpose of our overcoming it.Therefore, it is temporary, and if temporary, then temporal and not eternal. The temporal must yield to the eternal. The power for overcoming is the eternal God. “Handicap” implies a forever, negative condition we cannot overcome, but must succumb to. In faith, overcomers see God as greater than the problem and believe He is working with them. When God is working on the problem, it does not matter that it is too big for us. We know we could never do it alone.
How we see God, ourselves, and our problems makes the difference!
 
Many lives have been damaged or crippled by bad things that have happened. Sin is always at the root of every bad thing. We each have been harmed to some degree by the results of someone’s sin. If we view our problem as a challenge that Jesus came to help us with, we can overcome. Our worldview can change if we see that the world’s crippling sin problem is no greater than the individual’s sin problem. There is just more of it. A bricklayer can lay one brick in a few seconds. It takes longer to lay an entire brick wall; however it is still the same problem and can be done only one brick at a time. If many bricklayers are working on the wall simultaneously, the wall is built much faster.
If it is possible for one person to overcome, then it is possible for the world to overcome through faith in God.

“Overcoming”
is one of the major teachings of the New Testament. Yet it has not been well understood or applied in past generations. Overcoming has been seen, for the most part, as pertaining only to the area of personal sin. Once we receive revelation of the “at-hand” kingdom, our overcoming begins to take on a much broader scope. Jesus has not only provided the potential for His children to overcome personal sin; but He has also provided a way for our overcoming to have an effect on the Church, the community, the nation, and eventually the planet.

Surely, the lack of overcoming in God’s people is heavy on God’s heart. Those who do not overcome are overcome. Overcome by negative emotions of depression, hopelessness, pride, anger, rage, violence, fear, worry, insecurity, jealousy, etc. These negative emotions lead to being overcome by lust of all kinds, bondages of immorality, drugs, alcohol, sexual perversions, selfishness, greed, etc.

This is not the lifestyle for which Jesus gave His life. He did not die to purchase failure for His people. If we are to ever see the overcoming of poverty, racial hatred, injustice, political aggression, child abuse, family violence, abortion, gang violence, and every other social sickness and evil, we must begin to understand the overcoming power of Christ. We must in reality grasp the ability to appropriate the great mystery of the overcoming work of Jesus.

The enemy wants you to believe the earth is his and the fullness thereof. He wants you to hide out and just try to hang on until you die and go to heaven. The enemy sure doesn’t want you to know that in appropriating the work (the ministry) of Christ Jesus you have the power to overcome him and all his dirty work. The truth is that the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.

Psalm 24:1: The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

The only right the devil has to this world and its people is the right that we give him. His only power is the power of deception. If he can make people believe his lies, then he can carry out the lies. The Word is clear. Jesus has overcome the enemy and all of his work. We do not belong to the devil. We do not need to believe or obey him in any area. Neither the earth nor anything in it belongs to the enemy, and we do not have to give up anything to him. He has no right to cause the earth to be burned in judgment. He has no right to the governments of the world. The world system does not belong to him. It is God’s. God gave His only Son to repurchase it. He is waiting for His people to overcome and possess His world. Is there any mission on earth more important than overcoming?

Perhaps there is no more vital word in the Bible relative to overcoming than the following verse. If we can receive revelation light regarding the meaning of this verse, we will be on the way toward overcoming.

KEY VERSE

Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

The Greek work translated“overcame”is “nikao” (nik-ah’-o) meaning “to subdue,” or “to get the victory.” It comes from the word “nike” (nee’-kay), a prime root meaning “conquest”, or “means of success.”

The Greek word translated “testimony” is “marturia” (mar-too-ree’-ah) meaning evidence.” It comes from “martus” (mar’-toos) meaning “witness” and implies “a martyr.”

Our overcoming begins with the blood of the Lamb. It is only by the cross that the enemy’s power was and is broken. When the perfect, sinless Son of God gave up His pure life on the cross to die for all sin, the penalty for all sin was and is forever paid. From that point forward, the enemy has no further hold, no further right to impose evil on any person on earth except as we allow it. In our ignorance of the work that Jesus has done and because of our doubt and unbelief, mankind continues to suffer needlessly. As the blood flowed from Jesus’ body on the cross and was absorbed by the soil of the earth, the earth was forever changed. God’s economy relative to man, the earth, and the devil was, for all time and eternity, changed.

God’s full acceptance and acknowledgment of the completed work of the cross as payment for the penalty of all sin is proved in the resurrection of His Son. Had the work of redemption not been perfect, had the law not been totally satisfied, there would have been no resurrection. It is forever settled. The enemy has no further right to impose evil without our (mankind’s) approval. That’s why the Scripture says,
“the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

Jesus then ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us. The finished work of the cross, the blood of Jesus the Lamb, is ever before God to plead our case. The enemy has no rights. The case is always decided by the blood of Jesus, if we so plead. The matter is in our hands. We can deny the blood. We can plead our own case. We can, if we choose, deny our sin. We can choose to do it our way. We can walk in unbelief toward the blood of Jesus. This is disobedience to God and our invitation to the devil to impose evil upon us. We then become one he may devour.

Not only is Jesus interceding for us at the right hand of the Father, He has also returned to earth in the Holy Spirit to personally indwell each of His children. The Word says He became a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians15:46, 2 Corinthians 8:17). Living in us, He is our source of power and righteousness for daily living. He is always with us, always available to communicate with us regarding every situation we encounter. His love in us causes us to desire to walk in obedience to God. It also grants us the power of His life enabling us to walk in the practical reality of being and doing exactly as He is and does. And, He always obeys the Father.

There are many things that can affect our ability to walk in the Spirit of Christ, but our walk must begin with our desire to lay aside any and every thing that hinders.

One major hindrance might involve our need to do things our way. Our will must take second place to His will. Eventually His will must become our’s. Daily we can attempt to live righteously on our own. We can strive to do things right. We can seek religious orders, systems, and practices to cause us to live righteously. In doing so, we deny the Lord. We deny His Holy Spirit living in us.

The evidence or “word of our testimony”comes forth from Jesus living in us. As we“do not love our own life to the death,” we give up our own way and allow Christ Jesus to live in us by the Holy Spirit instead of allowing our own life to live in us. As He lives in us and we listen to and obey Him, we overcome.

Revelation 2:7b:  “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

Eating from the tree of life means hearing and receiving living revelation of God, as opposed to reasoning things out from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It means experiencing eternal (abundant) life now.

John 10:10:The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Eternal life is a quality of life, not just a quantity. The Greek word translated “abundantly” is“perissos” (per-is-sos’) which means “beyond,” “super abundant (in quantity),” “ superior (in quality),” or “preeminence.”

Revelation 22:14: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city.

Western culture has taught us to depend on our intellect. Education is seen as the answer to mankind’s social ills. The basic theory seems to be that, if we have enough knowledge, we will become smart enough to rule our own lives successfully. Independence is very important to our way of thinking. We feel, if we are intellectually sharp enough and have enough money, we can do what we want and have all we want. We think surely this will produce peace and happiness. This is partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yes, education and mental skills are important aspects of life; but they alone cannot bring us the abundant, overcoming life of the kingdom of God.

A number of years ago a man in his fifties came to me for personal ministry. We will call him Dr. Smart. I chose this name because he was one of the most intelligent men I had ever met. He held several doctors’ degrees, including a theological degree. Dr. Smart came looking for help with great emotional problems. I don’t believe I have ever seen a more miserable person. He was dealing with great inner pain and strife. Personal and professional relationships would not function properly in his life. He was intensely frustrated, lonely, and angry.

As we talked, I mentioned a scripture. He quickly told me where it was found, who wrote it to whom, the intent of the writer, and the cultural conditions at the time and place it was written. Yet, this poor man had no spiritual revelation of the Word. He did not have the first revelation of Jesus as Savior and Lord, and would hear nothing of spiritual revelation at all. He would debate and even become angry with any suggestion of spiritual revelation. His whole understanding came from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, He had no part with the tree of life.
Jesus is the only source of abundant life, the kingdom of God lifestyle.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 03/25/2007 at 5:54pm
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Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


JESUS THE OVERCOMER
(#013)


The Bible teaches us that Christ Jesus has overcome the enemy and the world. The gospel of the kingdom, which Jesus taught in the Bible, deals primarily with experiencing overcoming life now. Man has the awesome responsibility of finishing the job of making all God’s enemies His footstool. Certainly, Satan and his demonic hosts are totally defeated in the finished work of the cross and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Yet because man has not fully appropriated the work of Jesus, the enemy is still killing, stealing, and destroying. Many Christians are severely wounded and at least have had their lives partially destroyed by the enemy.

Psalm 110:1-3:Jehovah (self existing, eternal One) said to Adonai (sovereign, ruling, controlling One), “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Jehovah shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be willing (volunteers) in the day of Your power. In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning...

This and other scriptures are very clear that the final responsibility for overcoming power comes from Jehovah. The people of Christ are to be willing volunteers to “flow” the rod of Jesus’ strength out of Zion (the purified, holy, bride-Church) in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning.

There is no other method for overcoming apart from the blood of the Lamb and the expression of His strength through His people. There is no enemy or power on earth, which cannot be overcome by the Spirit of the Lord working through His willing and obedient people.

You are greatly blessed to be a part of the awakening generation of believers who are throwing off the old garment of a defeated life, which only hopes to escape. We are putting on the new garment of praise and power of the overcoming life in the beauty of holiness. The morning is birthed. Let it be birthed in your heart. Pray for the Morning Star to arise in your heart. The freedom of the kingdom of God is available. Let’s get in on it. Let’s go on to all the fullness of the kingdom of God lifestyle, the overcoming life.

All the relics of religious rules, traditions of man, and our striving to keep them will never overcome. The law has no power to fulfill itself. Christ Jesus is the One who fulfills the law. The power of the law is to make us aware of our sin. The law that is set into nature brings forth the natural penalty of our sin. The law kills; the Spirit brings life (Romans 3:20, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 3:13-14). Trying hard with all our strength can make us very tired, but it will not enable us to keep the rules and overcome.

Only as we are willing to die to our self-life and our own strength, take up our cross, and trust in His life can the Morning Star (His own law-fulfilling life) be birthed in us. Then, we can begin to live righteously by His strength. Overcoming is a natural result of the Spirit of Christ Jesus living in our mortal bodies.

Our method is not to try to know rules and keep them. It is not to strive to know about God and about His Word. Our method is to know God Himself in intense, personal intimacy. We must know Jesus, the Word from God. We seek the God of the Word, not just the words about God. The overcoming life is intimacy with Christ Jesus and Father God by the Holy Spirit in a personal, intimate, real, penetrating, covenant relationship as the bride of Christ.
 
By His death we are forgiven. We overcome by His life in us.

The penalty of our sin was paid by His death on the cross, which reconciled us to Holy God. Our life is being saved, healed, made whole and we are now being delivered by the indwelling resurrection life of Christ Jesus through the Spirit.

Romans 5:10:For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Two aspects of our redemption are referred to in this and other verses. One is through the death of Jesus; the other is by the life of Jesus. The cross of Jesus provides reconciliation. His resurrection life saves (heals, makes whole, delivers, protects, and preserves) us as He lives in us.

The Greek word translated“saved” is “sozo” (sode’zo) which means “to save, deliver or protect.” It is also translated “heal, preserve, do well, to be whole, or to make whole.”

Romans 7:23-25a: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 8:9-11, 14,16-17: But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Speaking of those who are not entering into the overcoming kingdom of heaven lifestyle, the Lord said in Matthew 7:23, “And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!”

We may know Him to some degree, but does He intimately know us? Unless we are related to Him as His bride and his life is actually within us, He does not know us in the sense of this verse.

Paul in Philippians 3:7-16, speaks of suffering the loss of all things, and that he counts them only as rubbish that “I may gain Christ,” and “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”.

As we are conformed to His death now in this life, we may attain His resurrection life now in this life. Verse 16 says, “to the degree that we have already attained let us walk.” Suffering plays a part in being conformed to His death and attaining His resurrection life. The important thing for us is to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. Intimately knowing Him and being known by Him is the power for the overcoming life.

ENDURE TO THE END

Overcoming means we must finish the course. We have not totally overcome until we have overcome to the end. Overcoming is the victory of finishing.

Years ago, I heard a story that supposedly took place some time in the early 1900s. Several schools had come together for a track meet and field day. The grand finale was a mile footrace four times around a quarter-mile cinder track. The runners all got a good start and were still running as a pack together after the first lap. A careful look at the runners revealed that one boy was having a harder time keeping up with the pack. His face was showing signs of stress more than the others. In the second lap the boy began to fall behind the pack. The third lap saw the pack spread out as the strongest runners begin to pull away. This one boy was now almost half a lap behind the last runner.

When the crowd cheered the winners across the finish line, this boy was far behind on the backside of the track. It was obvious to everyone that he was badly fatigued and could hardly keep going. Suddenly, the crowd moaned a little as the young man stumbled and fell on the track. Every one watched as he struggled, got up on wobbly legs, and with bleeding knees and hands, continued to try to make it around the track. All the other runners had finished. Only the one wobbly runner remained on the track. He was finally rounding the last curve and headed toward the finish line when, apparently,he got a second wind and began to run a little better.

He crossed the finish line and immediately collapsed face down on the track. Those nearby ran to him and rolled him over. A doctor arrived and began to do what he could. The doctor called for a stretcher and moved the boy from the track to a shady spot on the grassy infield. As the young man began to recover, the doctor working over him asked the question that the crowd had been asking each other. “Son, why didn’t you just step off the track? There was no chance for you to win the race. No one would have paid much attention if you had stepped off the track on the back side.”

The boy replied, “You see, Sir, it was this way. A bad sickness hit my school, and all of our best runners that had trained for this race were too sick and weak to come. I was the best my school had to send. Sir, I couldn’t let it be said that my school could not even finish the race.”

You are the best God had to send to accomplish the purpose of your life. Only you can do and be what God has sent you to this race of life to do and be.

God is not so interested in our being first across the finish line. His primary concern is not that we run the race of life with perfect form. He does not count us out if we fall down on the track. The only way we can lose is to step off the track. No matter how far behind we are or how many times we fall, we can, we must, get up and keep moving toward the finish line. God has a significant purpose for our lives that may not be fully known to us now. Who knows what future multiplied results may come in the generations ahead from your overcoming and finishing the course God has set for you? Who knows what eternal matters may be affected?

We are not in competition with our brothers and sisters to be as good as or better than they. The race is not against others. God just wants us to be all we are meant to be. We are not here to please the crowd; we are here to finish the course and to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

In the following verses, the Greek word translated “endure” is “hupomeno” (hoop-om-en’-o), which means,“to stay under or behind, remain, undergo, bear trials, have fortitude, persevere.”

The Greek word translated“end”is “telos” (tel’-os), which means “to set out for a definite point or goal,” “the point aimed at as a limit,” by implication “conclusion or termination,” literally or figuratively “result or purpose”.

Matthew 24:12-14:  “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Matthew 10:22: “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

1 Corinthians 13:7-8a:(Love)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

In contrast, a different Greek word is used in the following verse, which simply means “is or are.”

Mark 4:17: “And they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”

Overcoming (subduing, having victory) means being delivered from some things and being delivered through some things. To strive to be delivered from all tribulation and persecution may be an unfruitful endeavor. Also, who can explain why some are delivered from having a divorce and some are delivered from the devastation through and after a divorce? Both the one delivered from getting sick and the one delivered through a disease are overcomers if they endure. Perhaps it would be best to seek to know God’s plan and purpose in each situation.

Overcoming may mean having victory in and during the fire. It means living in Him, in His peace and joy, for example, even in the midst of divorce, slanderous attacks, defaming accusations, and vile insinuations regarding our moral character and inner motives, even by those we may have loved the most.

Paul and many other men of God have been overcomers while in prison, being stoned, mocked, and falsely accused. Many have been free in prison while many others have been in bondage walking the streets. Overcoming has to do with peace that passes understanding. It does not always mean a change in our external circumstances.

Overcoming and enduring to the end often eludes Christians. Though we strive hard to learn and obey the apostles’ doctrine, we may experience a breakdown in our fortitude. “Many are called but few are chosen.” Only the finishers are chosen to receive the promises to the overcomers.

We will overcome only by our covenant relationship with the Overcomer. Only as we are braided into one with Jesus, will His strength become ours. We trade our strength (weakness) for His strength to overcome and endure. We must intimately relate to Him
continuously if we are to overcome consistently.

The impact and results of overcoming in an individual’s life can be tremendous. For many it is difficult to even imagine the beauty of walking in daily peace, joy, and prosperity of spirit, soul, and body. The end of financial stress, marital stress, and other forms of stress seems an unattainable dream to many people who have come to accept stress as normal life.

The frustrations of life endured by mankind are generated by man’s lack of walking in God’s ways (kingdom living). The mountains of frustrating problems and insurmountable obstacles will melt away as the power of Christ by the grace of God flows in and through the individual’s life. The corporate effect of many individuals overcoming and living God’s way will impact everyone and everything on the planet.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/13/2007 at 8:27pm
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Posted: 08/09/2006 at 11:11am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


CORPORATE KINGDOM (#014)
 

One of the results of personal, individual, kingdom righteousness is that corporate patterns of life will begin to be ordered by the ways and will of God. Men begin to rule everything over which they have authority according to the ways of God instead of the ways of fallen man.

Some people are beginning to realize the degree of dominion and potency delegated to mankind for ruling the world systems and the planet. Mankind is not at the mercy of “mother nature” or any other aspect of the world. On the contrary, the world systems and planet Earth are at the mercy of mankind. The collective effect of multitudes of people living their lives according to the ways of the Babylonian kingdom of darkness is great disorder and stress on all the systems of man and earth. Left unchanged this could eventually lead to total destruction. In contrast, the collective effect of multitudes of people living their lives according to the ways of the New Jerusalem kingdom of God is great peace, order, and prosperity for mankind and the planet.

All systems of life on earth will be positively affected by the kingdom of God lifestyle in men.  Social, economic, political, and ecological systems will prosper and eventually come into peaceful order. The negative trends of destruction and disorder brought about by selfishness will reverse and the earth can become renewed. Even the weather will improve as delicate ecological balances damaged by man’s selfishness and greed are repaired. Storms will decrease in number and intensity as global warming is reversed and stabilized causing tropical temperatures to moderate slightly.

Romans 8:19, 21-22: For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God...because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

With natural understanding, we cannot see nor understand the link between man’s beliefs and actions and the natural systems of the planet. Even with all the knowledge we have acquired, natural man cannot see very far into the spiritual realm. Therefore, we have little understanding regarding the impact of what we believe, say, and do upon the natural occurrences of the planet. We can, however, with the application of some wisdom, begin to realize the cost of the negative ways of man upon the ecological, social, economic, and political systems of our world.

It may be impossible for us to imagine all the ramifications of mankind living in obedience to God. There is more than plenty of everything on this planet that mankind could ever need. Consider what good could be done with the vast amounts of money, resources, and manpower that mankind would not spend on war, if nations no longer went to war. What about the many billions of dollars and man-hours spent on sin-related diseases like AIDS or property loss due to violence and negligence. Consider the tremendous cost of crime. Unbelievable efforts and resources currently go toward providing law enforcement agencies, costly prisons, and an expensive judicial system. And what about the therapy and counseling needed to try to put back together the confused psyche of masses of people damaged by stress and fear? Who can even imagine the total cost of productive lives lost due to drugs and alcohol? The list of costs for disobedience goes on and on. If all this cost could be saved and applied to doing good and loving one another, there would be plenty of everything for everyone. 

“Oh!” you say, “This is an impossible dream and can never really happen.” Tell that to Jesus! This is why He came to earth and taught the kingdom of God way of life. This is why He died on the cross, was resurrected, ascended into heaven, and returned to earth in the Holy Spirit to live in man and produce His kingdom lifestyle! You tell Him it can’t be done! Personally, I know by the authority of His Word, it is being done one heart, one life at a time; he is establishing His rule, His kingdom. God is looking for and finding people who will give up their ways, their greed, their needs and wants, to obey Him and walk in intimacy with Him.

Yes, the wicked are becoming more vile. Yes, the numbers of greedy men who despise the way of God are increasing. Yes, the enemy is having a blast stealing, killing, and destroying men, women and innocent children while much of the church seems powerless to do anything about it and, often, even becomes a part of the problem. Yes, we see governments faltering and unable to even slow down the degradation of society. Yes, we see mankind on the verge of destruction by his sinful ways. No doubt the fires of judgment are kindled on earth and the wrath of God is stored up against this evil. Yes, it may get worse before it gets better;
but as Christ Jesus lives in godly people it will get better.
 
What part of this worldly wickedness is greater than God?  Even during this rampant evil, there are many extremely godly men and women that God is raising up in the world. These are men and women with levels of commitment toward God and a sense of destiny that compels them to live godly in Christ Jesus. These are not just churchy, religious, baby Christians. They are a mighty army of mighty men and women of God, people of valor that God is raising up in business, in the military, in government, in the family, etc., as educators, scientists, apostolic ministers, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and kingdom teachers. Their primary purpose in life is to intimately know the Lord and totally serve Him.

People of God, it is not time to draw back nor to be downcast. We are entering the most victorious season of earth the season in which the wrath of God’s love will cleanse the earth and the season when the mercy and grace of God’s love will cause the righteous, mature sons to shine forth as the sun (Matthew 13:40-43).
  
The focus of Christians has been so greatly diverted by theological teachings toward events in the future, that many have missed and are yet missing the awesome potential of God’s provision for today. We are now living in the “end of the age.” This is the time looked forward to by the writers of the New Testament. God is ready and everything is in place to restore His ways to our world. Many individuals are bringing forth the kingdom of God on earth in their own lives and families. Some are doing it without realizing what they are actually doing. Enlightenment and understanding of the kingdom will move our focus from “future end-time theology” to overcoming the kingdom of darkness and bringing forth the kingdom of God now on our planet.

THE END TIMES 


End-time theology is an area I have not received great revelation on or that I greatly enjoy looking into. By no means do I think I have all the answers. Bible school and years of being taught different teachers’ views gave me traditional knowledge through other men. Please do not think the things we present are because of ignorance of the traditional views as taught on the “pre’s and post’s” of eschatology. Though I know the views and at different times have held different ones, I cannot rest in any of the many camps of theological traditions. The revelation of the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and taught replaces our many end-time theological views.  

We must begin with the firm realization that the kingdom of God is now, always was, and forever shall be.

We must also fully recognize that Jesus has completely and forever defeated the devil and given authority to believers in His name over all the power of the enemy.

There is no more for Jesus to do apart from mankind to establish His kingdom over the kingdom of darkness on earth. He does not need to return bodily to defeat the enemy and set His people free from the devil’s bondage. Neither has He surrendered this planet or His people to the devil. He does not need to plan another rescue attempt for His children. Jesus has already gained the victory and now lives in His people as the Victor. He waits only for us to stop listening to the deception of the devil and begin to hear and believe the good news of the sovereign “ruler/dominion” (kingdom) of God in us. 

Before getting deeply involved in what happens next, we need to fully grasp what is happening now. The urgent matter is not when or exactly how the next theological event will occur. The most important thing by far is that we get a real revelation of who we are in Christ now according to the Word and the Spirit of God. 

We would think it very strange if some people were seated at a table of wonderful, tasty food, which included all their favorite dishes prepared just the way they like them. Yet, all they could think or talk about was what they were going to have for supper later. We would think it a real shame and loss for them to miss the wonderful meal prepared for them. The one who prepared the delicious meal would probably be very disappointed as the bountiful gift was ignored in favor of what might come later.  

If I was an enemy and desired to steal a bountiful meal from you, one of the things I might do is try to divert your attention elsewhere. Diversion is a trick used by pickpockets and sleight-of-hand artists. 
God, help me not to be tricked out of Your wonderful provisions. Open my eyes to see who I really am and what I really have in Christ Jesus NOW.

THE NOW TIME

I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS!
2 Corinthians 5:21: For He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

I’M BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN HEAVENLY PLACES!
Ephesians 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 

AS JESUS CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD SO AM I!
I John 4:17b: as He is so are we in the world. 

I’M BORN AGAIN BY THE WORD OF GOD!
1 Peter 1:23: ...having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 

I’M REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD!
Ephesians 1:7: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. 

I AM COMPLETE IN JESUS!
Colossians 2:9-10: For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the head of all principality and power.

MY SINS ARE NAILED TO THE CROSS
!
Colossians 2:14b: And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 

I’M SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE!
Ephesians 1:13b:  in Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. 

I RULE AND REIGN IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
Romans 5:17b:  those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ. 

I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!
Romans 8:37:  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loves us.

I TAKE DOMINION!
Genesis 1:28:  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion”
 
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. 

I AM STRENGTHENED IN ALL MIGHT BY HIS GLORIOUS POWER!
Colossians 1:9b-10a:   being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to His glorious power...

ALL THINGS ARE UNDER THE FEET OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! HE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO BE THE HEAD OF ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH!
Ephesians 1:22-23: And He put all things under His feet, and  gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.        

MY WEAPONS ARE MIGHTY IN GOD, TO THE TEARING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS, CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, SPECULATIONS, EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD! I BRING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST!
2 Corinthians 10:4-5: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY APPEARED FOR THIS REASON, TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE ENEMY!
 1John 3:8b: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 

HE DISARMED HIM, MADE A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HIM!
Colossians 2:15: Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them in it. 

HE HAS GIVEN ME AUTHORITY, WITH THE WORD AND IN HIS NAME TO HAVE POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY!
Ephesians 1:19, 3:20b, 6:10:  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, according to the power that works in us, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord  and in the power of His might.

Philippians 2:10: ... that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...

Colossians 2:9-10:   For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the
head of all principality and power.”

Hebrews 4:12a: For the word of God is living and powerful...

Luke 10:19a: Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy... 

I ALWAYS TRIUMPH IN JESUS’ NAME!
2 Corinthians 2:14a:  Now thanks be to God  Who always leads us in triumph in Christ... 

HIS WORD NEVER RETURNS VOID!
Isaiah 55:11: So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 

I COME BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE! I RECEIVE MERCY AND GRACE!
Hebrews 4:16:  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

IN THE NAME OF JESUS I COMMAND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS!
Mark 16:17a:  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons...

What I bind on earth is bound from heaven, and what I loose on earth is loosed from heaven (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). If any two agree on earth, they will have what they ask (Matthew 18:19). If I believe in my heart when I pray and doubt not, I shall have what I say (Mark 11:24). All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23). If I abide in Him, I ask what I will, and it shall be done (John 15:7). I receive the finished work of the cross, proclaim liberty and freedom, and speak peace.  God, help me to realize my potential and to be who I am in Christ NOW.

These attributes are promised in the Word of God. If you are not experiencing them in your life pray in faith and ask God to make them real in your life. Believe you receive them when you pray and you will have them (Mark 11:24). If you have difficulty believing them in your heart, begin speaking them out loud repeatedly. You will find that your heart will begin to believe the truth that you are speaking and eventually you will have what you say (Mark 11:23).

With the heart we believe unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). It will greatly benefit our life to plant these truths of the Word in our heart. A good way to do that is to stand and speak them out loud with strength until they become planted in our spirit.



NOW

I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS!

I’M BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES!

AS JESUS CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD SO AM I!

I’M BORN AGAIN BY THE WORD OF GOD! 

I’M REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD! 

I AM COMPLETE IN JESUS! 

MY SINS ARE NAILED TO THE CROSS! 

I’M SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE! 

I RULE AND REIGN IN THE NAME OF JESUS! 

I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!  I TAKE DOMINION! 

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME! 

I AM STRENGTHENED IN ALL MIGHT BY HIS GLORIOUS POWER!


ALL THINGS ARE UNDER THE FEET OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! HE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO BE THE HEAD OF ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH!


MY WEAPONS ARE MIGHTY IN GOD, TO THE TEARING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS, CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, SPECULATIONS, EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD! I BRING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST! 


THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY APPEARED FOR THIS REASON, TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE ENEMY!


HE DISARMED HIM, MADE A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HIM! 


HE HAS GIVEN ME AUTHORITY, WITH THE WORD AND IN HIS NAME TO HAVE POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY!


I ALWAYS TRIUMPH IN JESUS’ NAME! HIS WORD NEVER RETURNS VOID! I COME BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE! I RECEIVE MERCY AND GRACE! 


IN THE NAME OF JESUS I COMMAND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS!

We must recognize our potential and become the purified, powerful Bride. Now is the time to lay aside our powerless religious traditions and be prepared as the Bride of Christ, the Body in which Christ dwells. There is a need for healing in the church. The concepts of Babylon have become unhealthy traditions within the church. The faith and practices of individuals have been perverted by relentless attacks from the enemy. God has provided and is providing all that is needed to heal and prepare His Bride.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/13/2007 at 8:33pm
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Posted: 08/09/2006 at 1:50pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


PREPARING THE BRIDE (#015)
 

The mature church must become the body of Christ, a living organism, a network of spiritually-connected cells and parts, individuals emptied of self, filled with Christ. It must be without man’s leadership or man’s structure. There will be no human hierarchy in the Bride. One individual will not rule over another, but all will serve one another. Christ Jesus will spiritually rule within each individual and serve as overall Head of the church thereby establishing spiritual structure, not human. In the natural, the head rules a healthy body, life from the head sends signals to each individual part and every cell responds in obedience to the head. So it is in the Body of Christ.

Much of the church is sick; much like a person would be if any part failed to obey the head. The great apostasy of the past continues to affect the health of the body today. Men establish themselves as heads and develop hierarchical systems of church rule. This defection from the true Head is fostered by the enemy and is carried out by a spirit of antichrist, which opposes or replaces Christ as Head. Religious spirits in the church sustain spirits of spiritual blindness, darkness, deception, and delusion.

The enemy has effective tools for stirring men and causing them to have strong desires to rule. The enemy must work in and through the individual parts of the Body because he cannot affect the true Head.

Our purpose in this part of Kingdom Growth Guides is to expose the enemy’s schemes and plans to rule, and to help us recognize true patterns of God’s rule, which can produce the overcoming life, the kingdom of God lifestyle.

People are the church.

The church is sick because individuals are sick. The enemy’s plan is to cause strong needs or desires within the individuals. To accomplish this, he must prevent them from being in contact with the reality of the love of God.He uses negative life-experiences and deceiving spirits to blind individuals to God’s love and power. This causes each individual to become keenly aware of his own needs and to look only to himself to supply them. This self-focus becomes self-centeredness. Selfish thoughts and actions lead to fear, pride, greed, lust, and disobedience to the true Head.

Once a disobedient lifestyle is established, the enemy can bring much inner turmoil and outer conflict thereby causing increasing emotional wounds and spiritual deception. Spiritual darkness, deception, and delusion open the door for occult and other demonic influences. The inner turmoil will eventually produce negative behavior such as aggressiveness, defensiveness, or withdrawal, which can produce conflict, marital strife, racial strife, religious strife, and power struggles in the church as well as in the world.

The strife, turmoil, and conflict cause stress and deterioration of mental, emotional, and physical health. Often the individual will seek escape from the inner turmoil and stress. Many avenues are available that seem to offer some temporary escape, but often lead to more stress and turmoil. Drugs, alcohol, immorality, some kinds of music, sports, gaining wealth, entertainment, withdrawal, overworking, overeating, violence, and religion are some of the common escapes used. The buildup of stress often leads to increased conflict, strife, and more intense power struggles resulting in violence, beatings, murders, and suicides. Sickness and premature deaths then become normal in such a violent society.

Remember, the enemy’s purpose in all this is to cut us off from the knowledge and experience of the love of God. It is easy to see how difficult it will be for a child growing up in this violent culture to even imagine the love of God. Power and strength are seen as synonymous with “mean and violent.” God is often seen as only judgmental, and except the individual be healed in their heart, he cannot begin to know the love of God. The person is, therefore, locked into the bondage of the enemy, doomed to live and die in the torment of inner turmoil and stress. There is truly no rest for the wicked.

Most churchgoers feel that, if they can control their stress and in some way contain it; they are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. As someone once asked, “Why are you under the circumstances?”--Implying that there is potential life in Jesus that is over the circumstances. And it is really true. Jesus can totally remove our turmoil and stress not merely help us to live with distress until we die and are relieved of it in heaven someday. We are not talking about perfect circumstances, although they may improve in time. We are talking about living above them now in the real peace of God. As we live in real peace, we become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem. As our lifestyle changes, we stop affecting those around us for bad and start affecting them for good.

Until we can see Jesus the King as He really is, we do not have the power or motivation to move toward ultimate closeness with Him. When we see the true abundant love and magnificent glory of the King, we will decide to move toward Him.Once we experience the reality of the glorious peace and eternal joy found in the King’s presence, we will repent in order to enter intimately into His glorious presence.

Preaching the Cross, personal salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Spirit of Christ are foundational building blocks of the overcoming life. Preaching the kingdom of God now establishes the goal or objective. Teaching God’s kingdom patterns and exposing the enemy’s schemes allow us to see where we are and what changes need to be made. Jesus the Anointed One is our source of power for change.

THE RESTORATION MINISTRY OF JESUS

Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The restoration ministry of Jesus is the cleansing process that we must go through before we can walk into the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, purified Bride-of-Christ, kingdom-of-God lifestyle. It is the work of Jesus by His grace and power through the Holy Spirit. It is not of man “that any should boast.” Our part in helping one another is to bring forth the Word and the anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Christ Jesus destroys all the work of the enemy--the work the devil has done, and the work he is doing. Jesus repairs, renews, and rebuilds all the damage inflicted by the enemy. Jesus will establish righteousness, peace, and joy in those who seek Him with their whole heart. He will set free those in bondages created by the enemy. He will bring an end to mourning and a beginning to joy and praise.

1 John 3: 8b: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Isaiah 61: 1-4: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable (favorable) year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified, and they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”

The enemy has inflicted much damage on individuals and, subsequently on the entire planet since Adam released him thousands of years ago in the garden. Primarily, he uses his powers of darkness to affect people and cause them to negatively affect others. If he can prevent someone from knowing and experiencing the love of God, he can devastate their life and cause them to wound many others.

Since Jesus defeated him, the only real power the enemy has is deception. He seeks to prevent us from knowing and believing the power we have over him in Christ. One of his favorite tricks is to make Christians believe he and his demons are not really around any more. He likes to disguise himself as an angel of light and works under cover as a “religious spirit.” This way he can influence Christians away from truth that will expose him. Undetected, he can move them toward a false doctrine that protects him. He can then fan the flames of natural differences to cause painful rejections among the people. Through this pain he can excite the flesh to anger, bitterness, and many negative works.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15:And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

1 Timothy 4:1b: … some will depart from the faith, giving heed to
deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.

The enemy does not use a vast number of schemes. He doesn’t need very many. The ones he uses have been highly perfected over thousands of years of practice and work very effectively on unbelievers and uninformed Christians. His schemes are always designed to pervert the truth of God in order to divert man from the plan of God.

God’s kingdom patterns for life always lead to an abundant life of love, righteousness, peace, and joy. The enemy’s perversion of these patterns always produces unlove, evil, pain, affliction, and despair. Christians may be easily deceived and diverted to an alternate plan if they do not have a clear foundational understanding of God’s kingdom patterns. The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to thoroughly know the real thing. If the enemy cannot totally pervert, he will attempt to divert by drawing attention to some other less important matter.

The restoration ministry of Jesus always involves two processes. One is the tearing down of the old life-structure, and the other is the building of the new. In order to help us recognize and tear down the work of the enemy, and to help us avoid his schemes, it is important to uncover and expose his work and methods.

To begin rebuilding, we must renew our minds to God’s kingdom patterns of abundant life. The world system currently is highly affected by the enemy’s deception. Therefore, it is very easy to be trained in the devil’s perversions and diversions. One need only grow up in a modern, secular family, watch TV and movies, attend public schools and attend an institutional-type church to be grounded in the perversions and diversions of the enemy.

We must be retrained to recognize what is kingdom of God living and what is not kingdom of God living. Our understanding must be renewed to the Word of God. Kingdom-life patterns must be revealed to us. Also, we need to learn to recognize the enemy’s patterns for our lives and the schemes he uses to press us into his perverted ways.

Unfortunately, the institutional church does not often have the power to effectively answer the situation and sometimes fosters the deception by joining with the world system. Churchgoers often respond with hypocritical, legalistic attacks against people while allowing the same or other perversions to operate in their own lives. A Christian under conviction for their own hidden problem may attack others in whom they see the same problem. Such legalistic attacks further wound people and often drive them out for the enemy to further afflict.

Some of my readers at this point are agreeing, “Yeah! I’ve sure seen that over there or in that particular person.” One scheme of the enemy is to divert attention from our need to the problem of others. As the Spirit of God reveals God’s kingdom patterns, the enemy’s workings to pervert them will be uncovered.We must unmask ourselves as the Spirit of Jesus uncovers and exposes the enemy. We must agree with God about our own needs and be willing to allow our old life-structures to be cut down and uprooted in order that the new may grow and flourish in its place.

Matthew 3:10: “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Matthew 15:13:
“Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.”

Isaiah 61: 3b-4a: ...that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified, and they shall rebuild the old ruins.


Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net




Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/13/2007 at 8:17pm
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Posted: 08/09/2006 at 2:51pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom-of-God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


THE HEART-TREE (#016)

THE LIFE-STRUCTURE OF MAN

Trees are often used in Scripture to symbolize men or the life-structure of a man. In the figurative language of Scripture, the tree, the root, the soil it grows in, and the seed that the tree grew from are all important in understanding God's plan (kingdom pattern) for the individual and exposing the enemy's scheme for causing affliction.

Isaiah 55:12: For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 61:3: To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

In the parable of the sower and other scriptures, the heart of man is referred to as soil.

Our heart is our spirit and soul.

Our spirit is who we are and relates to the spiritual realm.

Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions and relates to the natural realm through the bodies in which we live.

The heart of man, like soil, will grow whatever is planted in it.
The soil does not determine the type of tree that will grow. The seed does. The same soil, that will grow a pecan tree when a pecan is planted in it, will grow a peach tree if a peach seed is planted in it. A thorn tree will grow if the soil is planted with the seed of a thorn tree. Our heart-soil does not in itself determine our tree or life-structure. Rather, the seed that is planted will determine the nature of our tree or life-structure. The fruit of the tree (our actions or deeds) will be determined by the nature of tree (life-structure) that grew from the type of seed planted.

Matthew 7:16-20: "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

Matthew 12:33-35: "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good things, and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil things."

In the above passages, the Lord speaks of the tree (life-structure) and its fruit (deeds) coming forth from the soil of the heart of man.

The "Heart-Tree" of our life is either good or bad and will bear either good or bad fruit according to the tree.
The seed planted determined the type of tree.

As we see in Matthew 13:19, the seed is a word. A word is more than just letters arranged on a page; it is a pattern that is alive and able to grow into a structure of life that bears fruit. It can be a vision, picture, image, an action or a combination or series of these things.
A communication in any form is a word or seed.

Since there are two kinds of trees and two kinds of fruit, obviously there are two kinds of seeds, good and bad.
Good seeds are good words or living patterns Bad seeds are bad words or living patterns.

All words or seeds ultimately have their origin from either the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which produces death. Every word, seed, action, or communication of any form has its source in either God or the devil.

A child planted with inordinate premature, sexual activity will grow a life-structure of sexual confusion and disorder. A child planted with legalistic rigid harshness will grow a life-structure of frustrated perfectionism. A child planted with violent acts will grow a life-structure of fear and aggression. A child planted with unconditional love and peaceful security will grow a healthy, happy life-structure.

The seed of the kingdom of God is a special, good seed that will grow the life and rule of God.


THE ENEMY'S SCHEME


UNGODLY HERITAGE
(OPEN TO BAD SEED)

Our ungodly heritage causes our heart-soil to be born with an openness to
bad seed.

The ungodly heritage of Adam has passed down through the generations. We were each conceived and born with a heritage that goes back to Adam. Sin and the curse of death entered through Adam and spread to all men. Through our forefathers, the sin of Adam reaches to each of us.

Romans 5:19: Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Psalm 51:5: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Though we bear no personal accountability for the sins of our parents and forefathers, each of us are born under the curse of sin and must at some time become personally accountable for our own sin. However, we are directly affected by the inheritance of the iniquity (tendency to sin) of our forefathers.

Exodus 20: 5-6: ".... visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."

Leviticus 26: 39: "And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemie's lands; also in their father's iniquities; which are with them, they shall waste away."

Exodus 34: 7b: "... visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."

The sin of Adam, working through our heritage (the iniquity or perversions of our forefathers), serves as a big hammer to drive the wedge of sin into our own heart-soil, causing an opening for bad seed to be planted. Then, in our own experience, the seeds are planted and our life-structure (Heart-Tree) begins to grow. Eventually our lives will bear the fruit of it.

UNGODLY LIFE EXPERIENCE
(CLOSED TO GOOD SEED)

Our ungodly experience causes our heart-soil to be unable to grow the kingdom
of God seed  (the good seed).

Matthew 13:3-9: Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying; "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

THE WAYSIDE SOIL

Matthew 13:19: "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside."

Notice that this scripture refers specifically to the word of the kingdom. It does not say the word of "being born again" or some other word from God cannot be received.

The word of the kingdom cannot be received or understood in the hard-pressed soil of our heart. The heavy, wounding footsteps of man and his ox cart's wheels may have pressed down the soil of our heart and made it hard. These wounding experiences and the hard-press of life have damaged our soil and our ability to receive the good seed that could have produced a kingdom life-structure. Because it cannot penetrate the hardened soil, the enemy easily and quickly steals the word of the kingdom from us. The wayside heart must be plowed to break up the hardened soil, and then healed by the gentle rain of the Holy Spirit before it can receive the good seed.

THE STONY SOIL

Matthew 13:20-21: "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles."

The word of the kingdom of God cannot be brought to fruition in a stony heart.  The stones represent hardened, firm, previous convictions. If we are so convinced that we already know how things are (what the Bible says, what life is like, what people are like, what we ourselves are like, etc.), then we will not grow the new life-structure to maturity. We will let it go when challenged, because negative, hardened, previous beliefs or convictions will prohibit the word of the kingdom of God from taking deep root in our heart. Rocks of earlier, hardened beliefs or convictions must be either thrown out or smashed before the kingdom life comes to fruition

THE THORNY SOIL

Matthew 13:22: "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful."

The word of the kingdom cannot be brought to fruition in a heart growing thorn bushes of the cares of this life. If feel we must have anything of this life in addition to, or apart from what God desires for us, we have thorn bushes. We must love God above all else and be fully content with Him and his desired provision for us. The thorn bushes must be uprooted and thrown out before the kingdom life can come to fruition.


GOD'S KINGDOM PATTERN


THE GOOD SOIL

Matthew 13:23: "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

The word of the kingdom of God will be received and grow to fruition in the good heart-soil. The good soil is the heart that is healed of wounds, has had its stones of hardened, previous convictions thrown out, and the thorn bushes of cares of this life pulled up and discarded. This heart can produce the kingdom of God lifestyle. It will be fruitful in producing the kingdom of God on earth. It will not receive the bad seed but is ready to grow the good seed.

We are told in Scripture to be careful what we hear--what we plant in our soil. It is God's plan for us to receive good seed. If we are filled with the peace of God, our hearts will receive only good seed, which will grow a good tree (life-structure). This will produce good fruit (deeds or actions).

The peace of God guards our hearts from bad seed.

Philippians 4: 7b-9: ... and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Proverbs 23: 7a:  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

We will be formed by the thoughts we think--by the words in any form that we receive into our hearts. Our heart-soil grows whatever we allow to be planted in it, whether good or bad. Whether it is a spoken word or some action carried out against us, if we allow it to be planted in our heart-soil, it will determine our life-structure thereby, determining our feelings, self-image, attitude and eventually, our actions, whether good or bad. We will live in peace or in turmoil and stress, according to what we decide to allow to be planted in our heart-soil.

What are you allowing to be planted in your soil?  What are you watching, listening to, and thinking about?
 
What did you plant in your heart-soil from the time you were born until you were about six years old?  Obviously you had no choice at that young age. Someone else decided what would be planted in your heart-soil at that time. It is a known fact that most of our life-structure was formed in us as small children. Before we developed the ability to choose, the seeds that would determine the majority of our life-structure were already planted. What kind of seed was planted in our soil from the time we were in our mother's womb until five or six years old?

Unfortunately, not all of us grew up surrounded by the peace of God. Many of us did not have our heart-soil planted with seeds of unconditional love and acceptance. On the contrary, we may have received seeds of a conditional, performance-based kind of love and grew up feeling unaccepted. Or, we may have felt little or no love at all. Anything short of unconditional, affirming love and acceptance becomes a bad seed. If so, then the seeds of unlove and rejection sown into our heart-soil began to grow into our life-structure.

God's kingdom pattern is that we be planted with good seed and grow a good life-structure (a Good Heart-Tree). If, however, this was not so, then Jesus came to uproot our bad life-structure (the Bad Heart-Tree), heal our heart-soil, and replant it with His good seed to grow His good life-structure (the Good Heart-Tree).

God has given us the ability to take the cover off and see the methods or schemes the enemy has used and is using to afflict individuals and cause them to afflict others. We know his plan is to kill, steal, and destroy. Once we see his plot to kill us, steal all we have including our faith and joy, and to destroy the plan and work of God, we can make the necessary adjustments to appropriate the ministry of Jesus to destroy all the schemes of the enemy and establish God's kingdom patterns.

Understanding God's kingdom patterns for individuals, families, businesses, and all aspects of life and planting them in our heart will produce abundant life. Learning to personally appropriate the ministry of Christ will bring about the uprooting of the old and the planting of the new tree.
Jesus has provided and is providing everything we need to completely destroy the old work of the enemy and establish the new work of God in our life.

We are absolutely without excuse.
The enemy would like to cause us to believe that because it was planted in us, we can do nothing about it. To say, "I can't help it; someone did it to me," is to say, "Jesus is not sufficient to meet my need. His blood, resurrection life, and omnipotent power are not enough to fix me."

If we attempt to avert our responsibility by placing the blame on others ("the ones that did it to me"), then we are deceived. It really does not matter who did it; ultimately, it was the enemy who did it. And the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has been and is manifest to destroy the work of the enemy. He is no respecter of persons. His freedom-giving ministry is available to all. His ministry begins with our real repentance, not our phony excuses. Our escape and defense mechanisms are designed by the enemy and brought forth in our soul to prevent true repentance.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net
 
 


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 09/02/2013 at 1:47pm
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Posted: 08/09/2006 at 5:02pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom-of-God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


THE HEART-TREE (Continued) (#017)


GOD'S KINGDOM PATTERN


THE GOOD SEED


The seed that will produce the good heart-tree when planted in good heart-soil is LOVE. The unconditional God-kind of real love flowing through an affirming attitude is received in the heart as pleasure or comfort. 

The heart perceives love primarily as ACCEPTANCE along with mercy, grace, and forgiveness for our shortcomings. We find love, acceptance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness in God through Jesus Christ.  

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

Ephesians 2:4-5: But God, Who is rich in  mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved). 

Ephesians 1:6-7: …to the praise of the glory of His grace; by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace...               

Our hearts must experience the love of Jesus filling our spirits by the Holy Spirit. Our hearts also need to experience the love of Jesus in our souls through the manifest love of Jesus coming through other people. To grow a good life-structure we need to receive the seed of the love and acceptance of Jesus flowing through an affirming attitude from the people in authority over us and from those around us. We never outgrow our need for love. 

God’s pattern is for the individual to be formed in a godly environment of love and acceptance; not just a Christian home with clean morals and firm discipline, but a family characterized by unconditional godly love. The seed-pattern of the kingdom of God is the real love from God flowing through godly parents, extended family, and community always affirming the worth of the child while tenderly nurturing and training from conception to maturity.  

Ephesians 6:4b: Amp. “... but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.”
 
 

THE GOOD ROOT

The seed of love sown in the soil of our heart will begin to grow the foundational ROOT system of our life-structure. The taproot is the reality of the LOVE OF JESUS in our heart. The tip of the taproot is abundant life. The main root of the love of Jesus, along with its beautiful secondary roots, will fill our heart-soil with the fullness of God. The secondary roots that branch from the main taproot are both in-working and out-working characteristics, such as
peace, approval, devotion, kindness, calmness, blessing, joy, gladness, goodness, satisfaction, hope, cheerfulness, and delight.   

Ephesians 3:17-19: ...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.


THE ENEMY'S SCHEME


THE BAD SEED
 
The bad seed is UNLOVE.  Unlove is perceived in our hearts primarily as REJECTION, and is felt in the heart as PAIN. Seeds of rejection, accusation, condemnation, and unforgiveness flowing through a judgmental or critical attitude are the seeds the enemy uses to plant a bad life-structure. Unlove is the absence of the unconditional God-kind of love. 

Rejection may come in many forms and from many sources. Usually the rejection that produces the most severe pain comes from those closest to us--from those who should love us. Rejection is often communicated in subtle ways. The child that is severely abused, abandoned, or that suffered the trauma of parental divorce may not be the only child who feels the pain of rejection. If our parents were just too busy with their own situations to really be there for us when we needed them, we experienced rejection, too. Apathy can be the worst kind of unlove.  

Psalm 109: 2-4a, 22-23: For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers.  I am poor and needy and  my heart is wounded  within me. I am gone like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken like a locust. 

Romans 2:1a, Amp.: Therefore you have no excuse of defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. 

Ephesians 6:4a, Amp.: Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger; do not exasperate them to resentment...
 

There is no more painful seed which can be planted in our heart than being judged and condemned by someone we love, especially those who have some measure of authority in our lives. We are particularly open to parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, mates, older siblings, and close friends. The enemy knows this and will seek to cause unforgiveness, condemnation and accusations from those who should love us. He wants us to feel the devastating pain of rejection and react to it with
resentment.

  
THE BAD ROOT

The pain in our heart begins to grow the foundational ROOT structure of our life.
The painful seed of rejection begins to produce anger, resentment, and bitterness. Left to its natural course, the seed of rejection will always produce a root of BITTERNESS. The tip of the taproot of bitterness is death. The secondary roots are both out-working and in-working characteristics. The out-working characteristics are things like anger, resentment, hatred, wrath, retaliation, rage, and an attitude of murder. The in-working characteristics are things like grief, sorrow, guilt, remorse, hopelessness, depression, despair, and an attitude of
suicide.  

Remember, the heart did not want these things. They are the natural result of the seed of unlove planted in the heart soil. The soil will grow whatever is planted.
  

Hebrews 12:14-17: Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any ROOT OF BITTERNESS springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.

The Greek word translated “bitterness” also carries the meanings of “piercing, sharp, pungent, and poison.” The life-structure becomes poisoned with bitterness, as the taproot of bitterness with all of its ugly subsidiary or secondary roots grows and entwines to permeate the entire heart-soil.

Acts 8:21-23: You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right  in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.
                                      

THE BAD TRUNK

The root of bitterness will spring up, cause trouble, and defile many. The trunk of our life-tree that springs forth from the root of bitterness is always, without exception—REBELLION. Rebellion (a disobedient attitude) is the natural outworking of bitterness, which is the natural result of inner pain from rejection. Rebellion is not usually something we plan or even desire for our lives. We didn’t want it. It was planted in our heart-soil, often before we were old enough to choose. Feelings of being rejected by parents, teachers, siblings, relatives, and peers plant the seeds that will produce the structure of our life, a trunk of rebellion.

FEAR and PRIDE characterize the trunk of rebellion. The rebellion turns into fear as we feel unloved and subconsciously reasons something like this: “The authorities over me, or those around me, do not love me as much as they love themselves. Therefore, they are going to take care of themselves first and not me. And I don’t feel God loves me because I’m in rebellion against Him. Therefore, He’s not going to take care of me either. No one is going to take care of me, so I must take care of myself.” We are now self-focused, self-centered and have a poor self-image. 

Then, we take a look at ourselves and a look at the big mean world and reason something like this, “Wow! I’m not very big and the world is so big. I don’t think I can do it. I can’t take care of myself.”  FEAR, insecurity, inferiority, and anxiety enter at this point. 

Eventually, we may look around and see others successfully taking care of themselves. We reason something like this, “If they can do it, I can too. So I’ll take hold of my boot straps, double up my fist, set my jaw and start getting tough.”
When we begin to succeed at taking care of ourselves, get that good job, new car, etc., we are PROUD. Why not? I did it all myself. God didn’t do it. The authority over me or those around me didn’t do it. I did it.” Now we are filled with PRIDE, and we become stubborn, haughty, arrogant, self-willed, and unthankful. 

When we are winning, pride reigns, but when things don’t go so well, fear rules.
We will flip back and forth between fear and pride depending upon our evaluation of our performance. We have become performance-oriented. We find our self-worth only in our performance. Only perfection, which we never seem to achieve, will satisfy us. 

The central characteristic of our entire life-structure has become NEED. It does not matter how much we have; it is not enough. There is always a sense of lack, not being good enough, not doing enough or having enough. This continuous feeling of 
need or lack becomes the primary motivational force in our life-structure.
  

THE BAD LIMBS

The limbs of the bad heart-tree do not grow from a trunk of well-being and abundance, but rather from a driving sense of intense need--a feeling that “I will not make it if I don’t have more.” From this strong sense of need, the limbs or branches of the life-structure come forth. The natural product of great need is a strong desire to have in order to attempt to satisfy the strong sense of need. This powerful desire to have is LUST. We are not talking about a spurious want type of desire. We’re talking about what seems to some people to be a life-or-death situation. 

We subconsciously reason something like, “I must provide for myself or I might not make it. If I’m going to provide for myself, I must have money--money that is mine, that I control.”  Lust for money and greed come forth in the life-structure. “If I’m going to get and keep money, I must have power and position.” A lust for power, control, position and fame develops into the life-structure. 

The greatest need we all have, what we are really searching for, is love—to be able to receive and give real love. But, the person with this life-structure does not even know what real love is. The bad heart-tree has never fully experienced real love, the unconditional God-kind of love. However, this type of individual does know the good feelings of romance and sex. So, lust for romance or sex comes forth and promises to meet their deep, inner need. 

Remember, we did not decide to be this way. It got planted in us a long time ago as painful rejection—unlove. 

The major limbs of the bad heart-tree life-structure are lust for money, lust for power, lust for position, and lust for romance or sex. On these limbs the fruit of the life is borne.
  

THE BAD FRUIT AND SEED

The fruit that will always come forth on these limbs is BAD DEEDS. The attitudes and actions will be selfish and involve taking rather than giving. This type of individual may really wish in his heart that he actually cared about others. He may even convince himself he does care some. But, deep in his inner being, when he really gets honest, he does not care about others like he cares for himself. Some of the attitudes causing his actions and words to offend and wound others are aggression, competition, striving, high achievement, defensiveness, inconsideration, and hostility. Wounding others sets up his own rejection from those he offends. When he offends and wounds others, he causes them to reject him. This plants more pain in his heart and starts the cycle all over again. 

These offensive and wounding bad deeds are the fruit. Most fruit has a seed inside. Inside this fruit is the SEED of unlove—rejection. The seeds produced by this person’s life are exactly the same as the seeds that were planted in his own heart-soil. The individual is helplessly unable to control his judgmental and critical attitude toward those he should love.  Rejection, accusation, condemnation, and unforgiveness are sown from the person into the heart-soil of others, especially the wife or husband and children. And thereby the kingdom of darkness is reproduced in the hearts of others, producing the same life-structure all over again. In a real and practical way, the sins of the fathers are passed on to the next generation. The situation tends to grow worse to the third and fourth generations. (Exodus 34:7).



THE BAD BIRDS

Certain kinds of birds are attracted to the bad fruit of the Bad Heart-Tree. The birds are BAD SPIRITS.
The Bible calls these bad spirits demons. Demon spirits of darkness, blindness, deception, and delusion will come with all their filthiness and torment to lodge in the limbs of the bad-heart tree.
These spirits will shut out the light. The truth of God cannot get through to the heart, but lies, deceptions, and delusion will flow readily into it.  

2 Corinthians 4:3-4a: But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded...

1 John 2:11: But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the
darkness has blinded his eyes. 

2 Thessalonians 1:9b-11: ...according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.  

This type of individual is now ready to receive occult interest and involvement. He seems powerless against the enticing drawing of the lying promises of the occult to meet the needs of the life-structure. Promises of excitement, power, control, peace of mind, and riches turn into hopeless bondages and addictions that imprison him and steal all hope and, eventually, his very life. 

Anyone deeply involved in occult, witchcraft, or other demonic activities has the bad heart-tree as his life-structure. It is the only way to great deception. Occult activities can range from overt satanic worship and witchcraft to church members who are deceived into practices of spirit-power that look like God. Some have called this Christian witchcraft. The bad heart-tree, mixed with religion, produces false prophets.

Remember, this individual did not plan it this way. He did not want this at all. It was planted in him as rejection, which caused pain that grew into bitterness, and then into rebellion, with fear and pride. Then his need became lust, which produced bad deeds and bad seeds, which invited evil spirits to lock him into bondage and torment, unable to hear God or His truth. In addition, if the enemy can cause the heart to be closed off to godly people as well, this individual is locked into bondage.
  

THE WALL

This bad tree an its fruit is not pretty. The individual soon learns his behavior is not acceptable and it causes him to be rejected and to suffer more pain again and again. He observes that every person who gets close to him eventually hurts him.
He also recognizes that every person that gets close to him is hurt as well. As a result of this, he begins to build a WALL OF DEFENSE. This wall is designed to hide what actually is in the heart-tree. It is created to prevent closeness with people and stop the wounds caused by painful rejection. The wall is constructed of things used by the individual to attempt to make him feel better by venting on others.  

Proverbs 18:19: A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.
 
The person with a wall of defense is saying,  “No one is ever going to get close enough to me to hurt me again.” He builds a wall as strong and as tall as necessary to keep anyone from seeing what is really in his heart and to keep anyone from ever really getting close enough to hurt him. He usually begins building his wall with contention and contrariness. Next are unaffection, withdrawal, and so on. If these characteristics fail to keep everyone away, the wall is built higher with more serious resistance. 

Recall that the wall is supposed to hide the pain, bitterness, rebellion, fear, pride, lust, bad fruit, and spiritual darkness of the heart-tree that has grown from the seed of unlove planted in the heart-soil. One problem the person runs into is that the wall itself becomes very ugly. In order to cover its ugliness, one might whitewash the outside of the wall. However, this mask is only temporary, It may last long enough for a person to make it in the presence of others, such as at work or church, etc. Another problem is that the limbs keep growing over the wall. The person will continue adding more bricks to make the wall higher and stronger.  

Acts 23:3: Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”

In the upper portion of the wall of defense, blame and slander are used to create separation. A major tool for creating emotional and eventually physical distance is the abuse of alcohol and drugs. If these big tools don’t create enough distance to keep others away, the individual becomes abusive, immoral and violent. In painful desperation and frustration, if he is unable to keep others out any other way, he will murder them.

 

Now that the wall is strong enough and high enough to keep people out from the side, and the spirits of darkness are keeping the light of God out from above, the helpless individual has become an island. He cannot give or receive love. The person is now isolated from other people and from God. Feelings of loneliness and hopelessness overwhelm him. The angry, hostile attitudes that had been focused outwardly on others begin to be focused inwardly on himself. Self-rejection now plants its painful seeds in his own heart-soil producing a deadly cycle of depression and self-hate.

The person now must attempt to build a wall to separate himself from himself.  He becomes as two people in one body--one rejecting the other. He is actually dying for love and is unable to receive it or give it. Finally, he realizes it won’t do any good to just murder the one who rejects him; he’s must kill the one that is hurting him from the inside. So, he stacks the last brick on the wall. Suicide makes this statement, “You will never touch me now; you will never hurt me again; and I will never hurt me again.” 

Remember again, this person did not want it to be this way. It just happened. It was planted in him. The work of Satan is complete when he can cause people to reject each other long enough to grow the seed of unlove to its final maturity—death and separation from God and His kind of life.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/23/2007 at 1:31pm
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Posted: 08/09/2006 at 6:03pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom-of-God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


THE HEART-TREE (Continued) (#018)


DEALING WITH THE BAD TREE

Most people in the world today are at some stage of this life-structure. It is the only life-structure available to those without God; and many Christians are, to some degree, in bondage to the bad heart-tree life-structure. We have not known fully the ministry of Jesus to set the captives free, give sight to the blind, proclaim the opening of the prison, set at liberty the bruised, and heal the brokenhearted. 

We have tried to deal with bad actions by demanding that individuals simply stop doing the bad deeds. That is like getting a baseball bat and knocking the fruit off the tree. It may help for a while, but not for long. The tree is still there and will soon produce the same fruit again. 

Then we became a bit wiser and decided we had to deal with the lust. Getting rid of the lust is like getting out a pruning saw and cutting off the limbs of the tree. It will help a little longer; but, eventually, the limbs will grow back because the “trunk of need and rebellion” is still standing. 

Now, we get out our chain saw and cut down the trunk of the tree. We tell people to stop their rebellion and to control their fear and pride. It takes a little longer this time; but you guessed it. The tree will grow back from the root.  Even when we tell them to dig out the root of bitterness by forgiving everyone from the heart, we are leaving them with a damaged heart. The gaping hole and torn soil left after extracting the root is open and fertile for the next seed of rejection that comes along. The seed of rejection will be planted in their heart-soil and will begin the process all over again. Until the soil of the heart is healed, the ministry is not finished. That is why Jesus said,
“ I am come to heal the brokenhearted.”  

Luke 4:18-22  “‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable (favorable) year of the Lord” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Matthew 3:10: “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Matthew 15:13: But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be
uprooted.”

Isaiah 61:1b: “He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound ...”  

The ministry of Jesus to heal the broken heart is brought forth today by the Holy Spirit to heal the inner wounds in our spirits and souls. The soul includes the mind, will, and emotions. Jesus will heal the hurting memories in our mind, our shattered emotions, crushed will, and wounded spirit.

We appropriate the ministry of Jesus through prayer. In sincere prayer we begin to turn from the old life-structure and speak forth its cutting down, rooting out and healing of the heart-soil.

 

The first work of appropriating the ministry of Jesus by the Holy Spirit is recognition of our bad lifestyle and truly repenting. No longer blaming someone else, we must truly repent and turn from our actions.

Ask Jesus to help you remove the entire heart-tree from the roots to the fruit. In faith, speak the end of the life-structure in the name of Jesus.

Command all the powers of darkness to be gone from you in the name of Jesus.

Forgive everyone who may have had a part in planting the old life-structure.

Ask Jesus by the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with His love. Believe when you pray and you shall have it.

Isaiah 61:3-4:   “... to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.” 

We must then replant our heart-soil with the seeds that will produce a kingdom of God life-structure. The good heart-tree will grow as naturally as the bad one and will produce beautiful fruit in your life. All the love and affirmation needed is in the intimate presence of God. Come to Him with empty heart-soil and ask Him to plant His life-structure in your heart-soil. 

The seeds of unconditional love, acceptance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness flowing through affirming attitude of God will plant the root system of the love of Jesus with all its beautiful tributary roots filling your heart.


GOD'S KINGDOM PATTERN


THE GOOD TRUNK

Always, without exception, the trunk of the tree that grows upon the root of the love of Jesus is SUBMISSION. A walk of obedience and submission to God and to authorities that He has set in place will naturally flow from hearts filled with the love of Jesus. 

Remember that this is not something we can work up by striving within ourselves. It is planted in us and naturally grows from the seed of love. It is an easy yoke of freedom.

The trunk of our life-structure of submission and obedience is characterized by FAITH and HUMILITY. We know that we are loved. We know God loves us and that He is able to control those over us and around us so that His love will eventually flow through them as well. Therefore, “since God loves me and those over me and around me love me, all my needs will be met. I don’t have to worry about taking care of myself by myself. It is easy for me to have faith, to trust and believe. So, I feel secure, confident, safe, self-assured, and considerate of others.

I also know that God has supplied my needs, not myself. So, I feel HUMBLE, thankful, and meek. This leads to a gentle, caring, and yielding attitude toward others. The central characteristic of the good heart-tree life-structure is a sense of ABUNDANCE, a feeling of having all we need and more. It doesn’t matter how much or how little we have, we feel no sense of lack, no driving wants or frustrating needs in our heart.  

Psalm 23:1: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires (or wants) of your heart.

Philippians 4:19: And my God shall supply all your need (or lack) according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


THE GOOD LIMBS

The limbs of our life-structure grow out of the overflowing abundance of our life. Our desire is no longer to take from others, but to give to others from the overflowing rivers of living water from within. The limbs of our tree on which our life-fruit is to be borne are Desire to Give, Desire to Serve, Desire to Minister, and 
Desire to Build Others.
 

THE GOOD FRUIT AND THE SEED


The attitudes, words and actions of our life-structure are GOOD DEEDS and GOOD SEEDS. We are free to do what we want to do according to the desire of our hearts. All we do and say is giving in nature and brings blessing to those around us. Our work becomes fun as we let the love of God flow to others through the things we do. 

The seeds we sow in the heart-soil of others around us are exactly the same that were sown into our own heart-soil. Love, acceptance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness are sown through an affirming attitude. The kingdom of God is reproduced in the hearts of our wives, husbands, children, and others.

Remember again that the wonderful life-structure of the good heart-tree is not something we can fake. And it is not something we can make happen by trying to do it. No amount of human effort or sacrifice can enable us to have faith, humility, a sense of abundance, desire to serve and give, intimacy with God, or good actions and deeds.  

We must receive the seed of the resurrected life of Jesus the Christ. A tree grows from a seed. Natural growth will occur in our heart-soil when the seed is planted and maintained. There must be cleared, quality soil available in which to plant the seed. If another tree occupies the soil, there is no room for the new tree to grow. The new tree must be watered by the Spirit and fed by the Word.
 

THE GOOD BIRDS

Certain kinds of birds are attracted to the good fruit of the Good Heart-Tree. They are SPIRITS of enlightenment. Truth, wisdom, understanding and revelation come to dwell in the limbs of our Good Heart-tree. We are open to receive the light of God, which flows readily into our lives. We can hear and obey the direction of God for our lives. We are able to have intimate communication with God. His truth is revealed to us from His Word by His Spirit. We can hear and understand spiritual truth with clarity. Deeper reality from heaven is revealed to our open hearts. We have enlightened ability to discern truth from error.

Isaiah 11:2:  “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

Ephesians 1:17-18a: ... that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened ... 

1 John 5:6b, 4:6b: And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
                                   

NO WALLS

Not only are we open to the heavens and able to intimately relate to God, we also are able to intimately relate to others. We are open and transparent. There is no need for a wall of defense. We are able to give and receive love from others. Since we are giving and receiving love from others from the side, and relating to God openly from above, our lives are filled with life. There is no opportunity for loneliness, boredom, or depression to overpower and defeat us.
 
Ephesians 2:14:  For He Himself is our peace, Who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division ...

1 Corinthians 13:13: 
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.   

We may suffer persecution and enter into difficult times of darkness. Tests and trials may come, and we may again battle with the enemies of our soul.  But, love will never fail. Hope, though it may grow dim, will never go out. And we will emerge from the battle with stronger faith, more filled with the light and life of God, more solidly convinced of His love, more prepared to manifest His glory and rule and reign with Him.

THE DOUBLE HEART TREE

James 1:8  ...he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 

Have you ever felt that your life, since becoming a Christian, was much like a roller-coaster ride? If you haven’t, perhaps you have known someone that was on fire for God for a season and then was lower than dirt for a season. Then, they would get back up to the mountaintop for a while, just to slide back down again into the same old trash—only sometimes worse than before. Unfortunately this is a much too common scenario among Christians. It certainly was a picture of my early years as a Christian. 

There is a tendency among some Christians to accept this as normal, It is reality for us to meet challenges and sometimes feel less than living on the mountaintop. But it is not needful for Christians to fall back into the pit or the ways of the pit from which Jesus redeemed them. The enemy loves to use our backsliding to beat us with guilt and to punch holes in our faith. He tells us, “See, your not saved; you’re a rotten, stinking sinner, a hypocrite; you can’t serve God.” 

We must be missing something somewhere. The “roller-coaster Christians” may have received Jesus as savior, committed their life to Him as much as they knew how, and followed the instructions from their church as best they could. In other words, they have planted the good seed in their heart and cared for it as best they could. And their good tree has experienced a good measure of growth. So, what is wrong? Why are they so double-minded and unstable? 

The double-minded heart-tree is one in which the good heart-tree has found enough soil to begin to grow, but the bad heart-tree has not been cut down and uprooted. 

These Christians may function in one tree for a period of time and then suddenly switch over to the other lifestyle. They may switch to the good tree on Sunday and back to the bad tree on Monday. Or they may live in the good tree Sunday through Friday and switch to the other on Saturday night. They will live all the way, one way or the other depending on which tree they are functioning in. This is not a blended mental condition. It is a sudden change from one set of life patterns to the other, much like changing channels on a TV set.

Sometimes they may be in the good tree for six months, a year, or longer and then suddenly shift back to the old structure and surprising everyone around them, including themselves. Some event or situation may trigger a seemingly automatic shift. The individual may not have made a conscious decision to change. It just happened before they realized what was going on. When they are in one tree, it is like the other one never existed. They may wonder, “How in the world could I have thought that way?”  How could I have ever thought all that wild stuff was fun?” Or “How could I have thought all that church stuff was so great?” They are unstable in all their ways and tossed about.  

The answer is to get the bad heart-tree forever cut down, rooted out, and the soil healed in order that the good tree can take over the whole heart and flourish.  When the old life-structure is gone, there is great freedom to walk continuously in the good heart-tree life-structure.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,


Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/23/2007 at 1:25pm
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Living The Kingdom-of-God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


HEAVENLY FAMILY PATTERN (#019)


FROM REPLICA TO REALITY

Christ Jesus came to restore the reality of the kingdom of heaven on earth. Since the fall of Adam there had only been a facsimile or picture of the kingdom of God in an institutional structure of patterns in the Jewish religion to picture a type or shadow of the future kingdom. In the fullness of time, Jesus came bringing with Him the potential restoration of the kingdom from heaven to replace the Old Testament order that had foreshadowed it.

A great tragedy occurred shortly after the first few centuries. The work of Jesus and the disciples to restore the reality of the kingdom of God to the world was perverted. The church was deceived into returning to a form of the religious institutional shadow of the past and mixing it with the work of Jesus and the disciples. The original, pure heavenly pattern Jesus brought was perverted and the reality of the heavenly kingdom on earth was altered.

In more recent times, kingdom minded people understood that the governance of the world was to be patterned after the government of Heaven. During the last several centuries since reformation began, there has been an effort to pattern the church after Heaven's government. This attempt to replicate the heavenly government on earth has been a step in the process but is not the final design of God.

God does not desire to only replicate the government of heaven on earth. He fully intends that the earth be governed with the government from heaven. This is to be direct governance of the church and the world from heaven on earth by the Spirit of Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit in the sons of God. The kingdoms of this world will not become like the kingdom of our God. They shall become the kingdom of our God.

Holy Spirit led reformation leading to God's original patterns of governance on earth has begun. It is yet in the early stages. However, this is a major step toward the reality of the kingdom of God from heaven ruling and reigning on earth.

THE HEAVENLY GOVERNMENT

The government in heaven is entwined with the kingdom government of earth. In God’s pattern, the government of earth cannot be separated from the government of heaven.

The government of heaven is a FAMILY RELATIONAL structure. God chose to define Himself to man in terms of family relationships. The great SPIRIT GOD who is beyond description and "omni-everything" chose to be FATHER. In Scripture, heavenly relationships are spoken of in terms of family. FATHER has one first-born SON, who was with the Father from the beginning. The FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT are all ONE GOD in heaven. If it were possible for you to spiritually stand in the fire of the heart of God, the three would be there as one. There would be no distinction; the three are truly ONE GOD. The holy angels relate in the heavenly household as God's holy servants or messengers.

What is missing in this picture? The WIFE of God and many more Sons! Wow! This is getting huge! Are we about to discover why God spoke the earth into being, made mankind in HIS OWN IMAGE, and breathed HIS BREATH into man? Is it not God
s purpose that the earth be an extension of heaven filled with many Sons among whom FATHER DWELLS and from whom His beautiful BRIDE comes forth and becomes the WIFE of God?

The government of God on earth is the government of heaven and earth. In this sense, the heaven on earth is a direct intimate part of the government in heaven. Likewise, the government in heaven is directly and intimately connected with the government on earth. The Bride or Wife/Mother and Sons on earth are an intricate and intimate part of the family of God. (There is no gender distinction here; all can be Bride and all can be Sons.)

S
ince most all church and world institutions are currently NOT functioning in real kingdom government, coming into kingdom living is a great change. The secular fallen world governments have no direct connection with God. At best the church and Christian influenced world governments function as replicas as men seek to represent God on earth. In the kingdom reality we do not represent God but become a part of the family of God. We intimately relate in the family and flow the actual work and ways of God into the world by the Holy Spirit.

This is a major shift from the replica or foreshadowing of the government of God that God’s people have attempted to live in to this day. This is a major breakthrough in becoming what God desires us to become, ruling and reigning with Him on earth now. It is God ruling through His heavenly family pattern of government in the world.

With only a facsimile of the kingdom of God, we have not been able to bring down the government of the enemy. He continues to have a great influence on the governments of religion, business, education, entertainment, and nations of the world. However, the enemy kingdom is not a facsimile but the direct work of evil spirits. This has led to the church
’s failure to reclaim the world for God. As the transition from replica to reality takes place, the kingdoms ruled by the enemy will begin to fall under the superior strength and power of the true kingdom of heaven.

HEAVEN'S FAMILY PATTERNS

As we continue to move into actually living the kingdom lifestyle, the patterns that govern our lives must become those that govern heaven. This means major adjustments in how believers live in the world. We are not just talking about the adjustment from the worldly, evil patterns of society; we are talking about adjustments regarding believers seeing, understanding and walking in the principles of heaven-style living on earth by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The first principle is that there is only one God and one Head of all. God is Head of all things. There is one authority in heaven, the authority of the Father. The throne of God is the absolute rule of all. The kingdom of God on earth is not separate from the kingdom in heaven. The throne of God is the seat of all government at all levels in the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. There is no replicated authority.

Secondly, there is no distance and therefore no need for any form of delegated authority. God does not delegate His authority as King of all. Our heavenly Father, through Christ by the Holy Spirit, is potentially available directly to every person on earth at all times. God's authority flows through His people but it always remains His authority. All authority in heaven and on earth is given to the Son Christ Jesus.
 
Through the Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father can indwell mature Sons in the many member Body of Christ on earth. Great authority flows through the Body; but it always remains God
’s authority. The holy angels are sent with specific authority for specific tasks; however, it is always the authority of God. It is not delegated or given over to them but flows through them.

The sent servants on earth flow in gifts and authority. The gifts are like tools and may remain as part of the person or may come and go as God wills. However, the authority is never part of the person. It only flows through the person. No one is given delegated authority from God. The gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher are tools for service--not "offices of authority." God's authority can flow through all human beings including those who carry these gifts; but again, it remains only God's authority.

In the beginning, man was given dominion on earth and the ability to choose to obey or to disobey. But God did not give man the authority to disobey. Disobedience is rebellion to God and obedience to the enemy. Man
’s disobedience to God (sin) submits to the enemy as an authority and releases the enemy to have a measure of authority in the world. In disobeying God, man seizes authority he was not given. He makes himself an authority apart from God. Functioning as an authority apart from God is the original sin of Adam.

Thirdly, God and everything in Heaven is completely holy. The kingdom of God in heaven and on earth is altogether holy. Nothing that defiles is allowed to enter the kingdom of God. Every member of the family of God must be completely holy just as He is holy (Rev 21:27).

This is very different from the cheap version of what we have called the "kingdom of God". Yet this is the reality of God and His kingdom. Most who think they have entered the kingdom of God have only begun a journey of complete cleansing and total death to sin as they become fully alive unto God (Rom 6:11). The kingdom of God cannot rule on earth without a holy people who flow the authority of God to govern the earth.

Fourthly, God is love and His kingdom is established and sustained by love. The love of God is the power that changes the hearts of men and cleanses the earth. Love is the predominant principle and law of the kingdom of God in heaven and on earth. Love permeates heaven and the kingdom on earth. Nothing in the kingdom works without love. Without love there would be no faith, no hope, no redemption, no mercy, no grace, and no life. Love is the glue that holds the kingdom together and is the pure source of obedience.

The heavenly family is connected by love. The Father loves the Son and the Father's love reaches toward all mankind. The Son loves us and gave Himself for us at the cross. The Father so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

We are probably more accustomed to thinking of the love relationship with God in the sense of "agapao" love. Scripture speaks of the "agapao" love in the family (social, moral, ready-to-serve kind of love). It also speaks of "phileo" love in the family (deep, tender affection, cherishing above all else, characterized by consistency).

1 Cor 16:22: If anyone does not love
(phileo) the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed....

The heavenly family pattern includes social love and a deep, tender affection flowing from the Heavenly Father and the Son Who becomes the Bridegroom and Husband of the Bride/Wife. The same love also flows to the children. The heavenly family pattern is relationship through love including tender affection. Apparently, according to the above verse there is a curse attached to not having the "phileo" kind of love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of heaven pattern is the Bride/Wife (Bride of Christ) loving her Husband (Jesus) with deep, tender affection to the point of complete submission with worship and adoration. The Husband (Jesus) loves His Wife (Bride of Christ) to the point of giving Himself for her and caring for her with deep and tender affection. The work of the Husband (Jesus) is not complete without the Wife (Bride of Christ).

THE KINGDOM ORDERS AND PROVIDES

The spiritual government from heaven is the absolute, supreme, above all else, authority that provides all life and establishes all order in heaven and on earth. Earthly institutions of life and order or supposed to flow the design and substance of the heavenly spiritual government into all natural life. The heavenly family pattern should be visible in the earthly family institution, business institutions and all governmental institutions.
 
All aspects of spiritual and practical needs of mankind and the planet are provided for through the heavenly family patterns of government both in heaven and on earth. The Wife of God does the business of the kingdom on earth and brings great honor to her Husband. Proverbs 31:10-31 paints a picture of the government of God carried out by the pure and holy Wife of God. The Lord safely trusts His heart to her and there is no lack of the work of the Lord being done. She never does harm or brings reproach to the Lord. She is industrious in business. She is strong and powerful in the Lord. She provides for the poor and needy of the world. The Lord is known through her and governs the affairs of the world. She is honored and will rejoice in times to come. She speaks wisdom and kindness into the world. She is diligent and not idle. She is blessed and praised by her children. There will be much fruit of her labor, which will not be lost. God's Wife's works will praise her and bring glory to God.

Proverbs 31:10-31
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her, So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates."

The government of God comes from the spiritual but is practical and real. Every aspect of life in the world is dealt with through the provision and work of the Father, the Son, and the Bride/Wife by the Holy Spirit. The heavenly kingdom family pattern governs the natural family, business, and political governments. It is God's only plan for governing of all matters spiritual and natural, in the kingdom of God.

PATTERNS OF LIFE

New Jerusalem is the great pattern-city of God.
The patterns of life are coming down from God to form and shape the Bride of Christ. The other great pattern-city, Babylon, has imposed its patterns of rule upon the earth. As God's people fall in love with Him and become one with the Lord, the kingdoms of this earth will become the kingdoms of our God. New Jerusalem patterns of life will be planted into the hearts of men and then brought forth into the world.

The book of Genesis (the book of beginnings) is filled with patterns of New Jerusalem life. The Garden of Eden with its God-given patterns of life and ruling are New Jerusalem patterns of kingdom order.

God's rule on earth is governed as a Heavenly family.

Notice the divine image of the heavenly family in God’s natural creation.

God made man in the image of God and breathed the life of God into man.
Jesus is the image of God and the Spirit of life is within Him.

Genesis 1:26,28, Amp: God said, "Let Us (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the (tame) beasts, and over all of the earth, and over every thing that creeps upon the earth." And God blessed them, and said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it (with all its vast resources); and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth."

Adam was given dominion on earth. (Notice that Adam was not given dominion over other people.)
All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Christ Jesus.
 
Mat 28:18: And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
 
Adam was created and communed with God before having a wife.
Jesus was with the Father from the beginning and also had no wife.
 
God formed a wife for Adam from Adam's body.
God is forming a wife for Christ Jesus from His Body.

God instructed man to leave his original state and be joined to and cleave to his wife.
Christ Jesus left His original state in heaven to be joined to and cleave to His Bride/Wife.

The man and his wife are to be open, transparent and intimate with one another.
Christ Jesus and His Bride/Wife are to be open, transparent and intimate with one another.

The man and his wife are to become one flesh (one with one another).
Christ Jesus and His Bride/Wife are to become one.

Genesis 2:18-25, Amp:  Now the Lord God said, "It is not good (sufficient,
satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, completing)  for him." And out of the ground the Lord God formed every (wild) beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every (wild) beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, completing) for him.  

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept He took one of his ribs - a part of his side - and closed up the (place with) flesh instead of it; and the rib or part of his side which the Lord had taken from the man, He built up and made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then Adam said, "This (creature) is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man."   

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other's presence.    

The husband is to deeply and tenderly love his wife.
Jesus loves the church (Bride/Wife) and gave himself for her.

The wife is to be subject, submit, and adapt to her husband.
The Bride/Wife of Christ is to be subject to, submit to and adapt to Christ Jesus.

The husband is the head of the wife.
Christ Jesus is the head of the church (Bride/Wife).

Ephesians 5:22-24, Amp: Wives, be subject - be submissive and adapt yourselves to your own husbands as a service to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of (His) body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

The wife is instructed to see that she greatly respects and admires her husband.
The Bride/Wife of Christ has this same respect, reverence and worship for her Husband.

Ephesians 5:33: However, let each man of you (without exception) love his wife as (being in a sense) his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband - that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.

God's patterns always work. Nothing else will produce the kingdom life we all desire. Our only choices are to adjust to God's pattern or try to adjust God's pattern to us. I think we know which choice will work and which one will not. We can always find the love and grace in God to fulfill our part.

Please note there is a distinction between "man and woman" and "husband and wife." Man and woman are the same being with no distinction in the spiritual realm. Husband and wife are places of service and are without gender in the heavenly family pattern. Marriage of man and woman is an earthly replica made from the heavenly family pattern. It is only a type or shadow of the Heavenly Family.

In the spiritual realm there is no male or female, Jew or Gentile, bond or free.

Gal 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

The heavenly family patterns take precedence over all earthly replicas or types. It is the real from which all life is to be patterned. Earthly replicas are not extended into heaven.
 
Because people have such great involvement in marriage in this life, it is mistakenly assumed by many that marriage continues in the spiritual realms of heaven. Jesus made this clear to the Sadducees when they brought Him a challenging question regarding whose wife a woman would be in heaven when she had had more than one husband in this life. Please do not be greatly concerned about missing "being married" in heaven. Experiencing the fullness of your heavenly marriage to your husband, Jesus, for one moment will wipe away all of your concern.  

Mark 12:24-25: Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?  For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."

In spiritual matters there is no male and female. The more completely we live in the Spirit, the more we experience no male/female difference. The more we live in the earthly realm, the greater we envision male/female differences. There are differences in our earthly experience but not in our spiritual position or functions.

When God took a part of Adam to build up Eve, it seems obvious that He removed much of the emotion from Adam and placed it into Eve and left most of the ego in Adam. This makes male or female more suitable for certain functions in life. This is particularly evident in the rearing of children.

CHILDREN IN THE HEAVENLY FAMILY PATTERN

Natural
children possess all the potential of adults. They have gifts, personal qualities and attributes, but they are immature and undeveloped. Years will be required for them to develop natural maturity in order to use their innate abilities. Though some may mature more rapidly in an area than others, to some degree they are all tied to time to produce maturity.

Spiritually, maturity is not as directly tied to time. A child may possess powerful gifts and reach maturity to use them in a short period of time. On the other hand, some fully mature adults may not have developed spiritually at all.

The parents have a major part in the development of children.

In the heavenly family pattern for natural children, the husband/father (like Jesus) and the wife/mother are both corporately involved in the development of their children.
The mother is equipped with all the tenderness and attributes needed to nurture the babies and help them develop to maturity. The father/husband has strength and all the power of heaven to provide protection and security for the fledgling child. He also has wisdom and knowledge to train the children.

The children feel extremely secure under the care and protection of their strong, loving father and tender, loving mother. The father's strength instills feelings of safety in a child. His loving firmness gives them great assurance that firm boundaries exist for their protection. Only the special strength and love of their father can provide the security of discipline and protection they need. Small children are very sensitive to their mother's feelings and attitudes. Because she feels safe with her Husband, the children feel safe.

Boundaries, rules, discipline and laws are part of the training and development of the immature. The children's primary response is to obey their parents.

Ephesians 6: 1-3: Children, obey your parents in the Lord (as His representatives), for this is just and right. Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother; this is the first commandment with a promise:  that all may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

God's pattern is for the children to be obedient and honor their parents. Children growing up in the heavenly family pattern easily come to know God. They see Him in their parents. They have a clear view of God
s love in the love their father has for their mother. They are trained to reflect God's love as they see their mother respect and praise her Husband, their father. They understand God's love and know how to respond to it with loving respect and submission.

I think we can all see that the godly natural family mirrors the heavenly family. The heavenly family pattern translates into the earthly reality of lives and families. We are moving toward the reality of the rule of God through Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit in His people on earth as it is in heaven.

The Heavenly Family Pattern is the same for all types of corporate relationships including all kingdom business and governance.

BUSINESS IN THE HEAVENLY FAMILY PATTERN

God, through Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit is to be the HEAD of all businesses and governments. Some of us have begun to accept the reality that Jesus is the head of the church; but it might be a big step to realize that, in the kingdom of God, Jesus is also the head of each person and all businesses, schools, governments at all levels, and any other corporate work or structure in the world. In the kingdom of God there is nothing that is not under the headship of Christ.

God will flow His authority through mature Sons to carry out management functions. However, He will not delegate His authority. The King is the rightful owner of all the assets of the kingdom. God's empowerment and direction comes with the call and opportunity to serve in managing a portion of the kingdom. All things are for Him and through Him and nothing in the kingdom is done without Him. Our love relationship and intimate oneness with God provides the happiest, most productive life possible. As the Bride/Wife of God we are overjoyed beyond measure in the glory of our Husband/Father/King.

We saw earlier in the discussion on Proverbs 31 how the Wife serves her husband by meeting the needs of people and the world around her. The purpose of business and all other activity in the kingdom is to glorify God by providing for the needs of people and the world around us. All this is done according to His direction and from a motivation of pure love.

Every part of the heavenly family pattern rules in all forms of business. Employment is as permanent as marriage. Children (newcomers or immature) are loved and trained the same as in the heavenly pattern. Everyone looks to Jesus as Head and follows His leadership flowing through the Holy Spirit in those serving as father/husband, wife/mother and children. Everyone submits to one another and to the other person's place of service in the kingdom order (family). The focus is always serving by meeting needs and never is the focus on gaining personal wealth to consume upon our lusts or to meet only our needs.

God never intended that business or any other activities become competitive means of personal fulfillment of greedy motives. Competition, greed and other such things are patterned from Babylon and cannot exist in the kingdom of God.
 
Secular and godly are not opposites. In the past, there has been an inaccurate assumption that there was a division between secular and godly. The kingdom of God encompasses all life. The proper distinction or division is between godly and profane. The world is not inherently evil and is being redeemed and returned to the kingdom of God.

The heavenly family patterns of God's government for families, businesses, churches, and every aspect of human life are New Jerusalem patterns coming down now from God to form and shape the Bride of Christ. The enemy's patterns that have ruled in the world are harlot patterns from "Mystery Babylon."

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Moderator on 10/24/2011 at 11:00am
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Posted: 08/28/2006 at 9:34am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
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Growing in the gospel of the kingdom
 
 
HARLOTRY OF BABYLON (#020)

 
There are two great, ruling cities from which mankind can receive patterns for life. We have previously written regarding the great ruling city of God, New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ City. The other great ruling city is Babylon, the Harlot of the devil, which has planted its harlot patterns throughout the current world system. Babylon's patterns have produced great riches for some. She is extremely enticing and beautifully clothed in wealth. Yet, inside, she is full of filth and abominations, a habitation of demons. 
 
Babylon must fall. This great religious and political system with all its patterns of life is judged of God and is coming down. Before the patterns of New Jerusalem can rule, the patterns of Babylon must be dissolved. The people seeking to enter the city-of-God lifestyle must have the Babylonian patterns and ways broken, removed from their lives, and replaced with New Jerusalem patterns. The Babylonian system has been deadly to the saints of God. Many have fallen and many are in captivity to Babylonian ways. God's people are warned to come out of Babylon lest they share in her sin and receive of her plagues.
 
Revelation 17:1-6: Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: "MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. 
 
Revelation 17:15,18: And he said to me,
"The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." And the woman whom you saw is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.
 
Revelation 18:2-4: And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."        
 
What a great contrast between the harlot city of Babylon described in the book of Revelation (chapters seventeen to nineteen) and the beautiful Bride-City of God, New Jerusalem, described in Revelation (chapters twenty-one and twenty-two). The beautiful Bride of Christ lifestyle is filled with the glory of God abiding with man and man living in God's very presence partaking of a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb. Tears are wiped away and curses broken. Men and women are thankfully serving God and joyfully praising Him.
 
Just as there is a natural Jerusalem and now a spiritual New Jerusalem coming forth, there was a natural Babylon that was destroyed and now a Mystery Babylon that is being destroyed. Many patterns that began thousands of years ago in old Babylon are traceable throughout ancient history and up to the present time. Ancient Babylon was the first great-walled city after the flood. Noah's great grandson, Nimrod, built it. Noah begot Ham; Ham begot Cush; and Cush begot Nimrod. 
 
Babylon became the birthplace of idolatry that spread throughout the ancient world and was passed to empires and civilizations throughout history.  Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, were the first people to be worshipped as gods. Although different names were used in various cultures, they were similarly worshipped in much of the world, and can still be easily recognized in many religions today. These patterns were subversively planted into the Christian religion. Churches today are still affected by them. This nation (the good old U.S.A.) and much of the world are primarily ruled by the patterns of ancient Babylon. The patterns found in Nimrod and Semiramis of ancient Babylon are very similar to the dynamics of worldly families, businesses, churches, and political governments of today.  
 
Genesis 10:8-12a: Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord." And the beginning of his kingdom was  Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen. 
 
The word  "before" in the statement "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord" could be translated "against". Nimrod was a mighty man "against" the Lord. By some means, he and Semiramis tapped into the darkness of mystical and occult powers. A departure from the patriarchal faith had occurred. It is represented by some profane history that Cush had become a ringleader of apostasy. Nimrod added mystical, demonic powers and knowledge to his natural strength and became a powerful force on the earth, conquering all those around him. 
 
Nimrod was the first to wage war upon his neighbors, the first to train troops with exercise and hardship, and the first to build towers and walled cities for battle. Nimrod exercised strong control over men. They were enticed with unbridled self-gratification. Everywhere Nimrod went there were extravagant parties with orgies, dancing girls, music, games, and anything that brought self-gratification. Nimrod also controlled others by locking up the mysteries of science and sorcery that he had discovered and releasing them to men only when they were under his control. He used confession of sins and faults to control. When he had enough information on others and they were awestruck by his great display of magic, he could easily control them.
 
Nimrod was suddenly cut off in the midst of his glorious career. Mystery surrounds his disappearance, but it is believed he met with a violent death while on one of his expeditions. Semiramis, whose feminine beauty hid her immoral, manipulative, deceitful self, had usurped her husband's attributes before his death. At his death, she fully took over her husband's place.  
 
Semiramis, in her licentious ways, gave birth to a son after Nimrod was gone. She told people that Nimrod had reappeared in the person of a posthumous son. She held the son up as God and the people worshipped him. They worshipped her as the mother of God. Eventually, she became the predominant goddess overshadowing the son. Thus, through deception and manipulation she took over the assets and attributes of Nimrod and continued her lavish lifestyle. 
 
Semiramis was seen as both the mother and wife of her husband. Nimrod was seen as the husband and the son of his wife. She was revered as the "Mother of God".The image of the "Mother of God" with the child in her arms spread throughout the idolatrous world. Semiramis is said to have finished the wall of Babylon and thus became the goddess of fortresses and towers. The "Diana of the Ephesians" mentioned in the New Testament with her crown of towers is identified with Semiramis. 
 
Babylon became known as a great center of extravagant wealth and revelry, a monument of glamour to the accomplishments of man, a place of harlotry and sorcery, a place of great wizardry, great human knowledge and discovery, and a place of competition and contention. However, its primary characteristic was spiritual harlotry.  
 
Spiritual harlotry is seeking to fulfill our own needs and desires apart from God. God is our provider and desires to meet our needs in every area of life. If we look to anything or anyone else to meet our needs, we are looking to another god and are involved in spiritual harlotry. Harlotry and idolatry are very closely related. Harlotry is looking to an idol (another god) for what our Heavenly Father should provide for us.  Spiritual harlotry is selling our purity to meet our needs. It is self-seeking and self-serving.  
 
It is easy to see how the bad heart-tree is a harlot tree. Spiritual harlotry is seeking to meet the needs of our life-structure on our own, instead of trusting God to take care of us. The good heart-tree is a bride tree, in which we are able to trust God to meet all of our needs and satisfy our wants.
 
Babylon is a harlot system, a means of meeting human needs and selfish wants apart from God. Babylon is ruled by a spirit of harlotry and is characterized by
competition, immorality, and sorcery.    
 
HARLOTRY IS SELF-SEEKING AND SELF-SERVING:
It is seeking to meet my own needs and desires apart from God.  
 
COMPETITION IS SEEKING POSITION OR CONTROL:
Some characteristics are:
Contention, Strife, Thieving (taking), Lying, Deceit, Manipulation, Seduction, Control, Dominance, War (fighting), Overlord, Tyrant, Backbiting, Murder, Greed, and Covetousness.  
 
IMMORALITY IS SEEKING PLEASURE OR ENTERTAINMENT:
Some characteristics are:
Lust, Fantasy Lust, Fornication, Sexual Perversion, Unclean, Overeating, Overplaying, Overworking, Over-resting, and Reveling (partying).  
 
SORCERY IS SEEKING POWER OR DIRECTION:
Some characteristics are:
Occult, Witchcraft, Hypnosis, Mind Control, Mind Power, Humanism, Intellectualism, Astrology, Psychics, and New-Age Junk. 
 
Much of the world has taken giant steps into Babylonian harlotry in recent decades. Games and "playing" have become a major part of the western world. Gambling lotteries and casinos have spread widely across the land. Sexual perversion and recreational immorality are accepted as normal behavior. Psychics are now openly viewed by many as a valid source of direction for their lives. Competition has intensified as people struggle for control in families, businesses, governments, tribes, and nations. Computer and video games, gambling, spectator sports, recreational drugs and alcohol, entertainment, and other recreational industries probably already represent the largest segment of production in the western world. Are we seeking from another god what our true God desires to supply? 
 
WORLD WAR
 
Many skirmishes and wars continue to be fought within the Babylonian world system. Men and nations compete for the assets of the world to gratify themselves. There is no end to the struggles for positions of control and possessions in the Babylonian jungles of social structure.
 
However, the greatest war of all time is the all out win or die worldwide war between Babylon and New Jerusalem (the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light). The war is between the harlot and the Bride way of life ruling the world. Christ Jesus has already won this war and has provided victory over the evil Babylonian kingdom of darkness. The full manifestation of this victory waits for the hearts of mankind to align with Christ Jesus. This involves human beings turning from their harlot lifestyles and becoming the righteousness of God in Christ. The pure, holy, glorious Bride of Christ is the fulfillment of the victory Christ Jesus purchased with His own blood.
 
Therefore, the war is now within the minds and hearts of mankind, especially those who are called by His name. The god of Babylon strives with much success to limit the faith of the people of God. His greatest tool is spiritual blindness to kingdom of God reality. When God's people cannot see and cannot hear Him clearly, false concepts can be planted that prevent true faith from developing. What man believes in his heart determines the release of the rule of the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light.
 
The war is about faith to believe that the kingdom of God is now available on the earth. The enemy has destroyed the faith of most religious people. They simply do not believe that the kingdom of God that Christ came to purchase can manifest now. The enemy has perverted the word of God and caused most people to believe the planet is to be destroyed and not redeemed. The enemy wants you to have no faith for the kingdom of God now and no hope for the planet to become restored.
 
This blindness and loss of faith in the kingdom of God is not new. Works of Babylon were firmly implanted in the church before the fourth century. By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the English Bible was translated, there was almost no revelation of the kingdom of God on earth. This present life and world were seen as hopelessly evil and lost. The planet would have to be destroyed, a new planet created, and Jesus bodily returned for there to be any of God's kingdom on earth.
 
This led to what I consider to be the most grievous of translation errors in our English Bible. In 2nd Peter the translators deviated from their own translation rules to cause the word to say the "elements" of the earth will be burned up in judgment. Going back to the original language, it is absolutely obvious that without any doubt Peter was speaking of the rudimental elements of evil that would be completely destroyed.
 
The word translated "elements" is "stoicheion" (stoy-khi'-on), which means something orderly in arrangement, a basal, fundamental, initial serial, and constituent. In other words, "stoicheion" means the basic, foundational, principles of an order.
In this passage it specifically refers to the foundations of the evil order affecting earth, not the physical elements of the planet.
 
This is the only time this word is interpreted to mean physical elements in the Bible.
 
"Stoicheion" is used seven times in the New Testament; in every case it refers to basic principles or rudiments, either of the doctrines and oracles of God or of the evil world order. In no other place is it interpreted as referring to the physical elements.
 
(For a detailed study of this passage see Chapter 7 of the book The Seventh Millennium.)
 
God is looking for a kingdom people.
 
God is calling forth a people that will break through the Babylonian darkness, and renounce their harlot lifestyles, and renew their minds to the mind of Christ by the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God waits for God's people to change their mind-set from seeking life and pleasure from other gods to a pure love relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord and King.
 
Will we become the Bride or continue in our harlot ways? The world waits to see the reality of the New Jerusalem lifestyle and the love and power of the real kingdom of God. Multitudes will come to the real thing; however, multitudes will continue to seek other gods until they see something more real than what the church has produced in past centuries.
 
In prayer renounce the Babylonian ways in your own life and rebuke the enemy in the name of Jesus. Ask Father to fill your heart with the life and concepts of the New Jerusalem lifestyle.
 
Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,
 
Ron McGatlin
 
http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net  
 
 
 


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 09/02/2013 at 1:51pm
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Posted: 08/29/2006 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom-of-God Lifestyle

Journey From Religion to Relationship

 

 

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom

 

 

THE DIVIDED-HEART TREE (#021)

 

 

The enemy first must capture the hearts and minds of people; then, he can attack and pervert the heavenly family pattern of governance at all levels and replace it with Babylonian patterns.

 

Through the methods described in the Bad-Heart Tree, the ability to function in the heavenly family pattern is stolen from natural families. Social order and all levels of governance in much of the world have become patterned after Babylon. The need and greed of the self-centered individual perverts the love of the husband for the wife and creates an abusive relationship. The respect for the husband from the wife is turned into competition and disrespect. The honor and obedience of the children becomes rebellious dishonor and disobedience. Babylonian chaos replaces kingdom of God order.

 

Jesus came to restore the hearts and minds of man to the heavenly family pattern. In Christ, man becomes a new creation and old things pass away. In Christ, the potential is there for husbands to love their wives, wives to respect their husbands, and children to honor and obey their parents. Remember, this pattern is for the family, business, and all forms of governance in the kingdom of God. When God’s people seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first and above all else, the heavenly family pattern rules all areas of their lives.

 

The Divided-Heart Tree

 

There is another heart tree that is different from those we have previously considered. It is not the Good-Heart Tree, the purified-bride heart tree. Nor is it the Bad-Heart Tree, the impure-harlot heart tree. It is not the double-minded heart tree, which operates all the way, one way or the other at any given time.

 

The Divided-Heart Tree is a hybrid, impure-wife heart tree. It is the adulteress heart-tree. This person is married to Jesus. One side of his heart is producing good fruit to Jesus. But, because he is not completely healed, one side of his heart is still affected by the harlotry of Babylon. It is like two streams coming together, one muddy and one pure. It is like a wife riding in the front seat of the car with her husband while reaching back in the back seat to hold hands with her old lover.

 

Spiritual adultery is both GOD-SEEKING and SELF-SEEKING at the same time.  It is a mixture of both GOD-SERVING and SELF-SERVING at the same time.

 

Psalm 12:2:  They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double (divided) heart they speak.

 

Hosea 10:2:  Their heart is divided; now they are held guilty. He will break down their altars; He will ruin their sacred pillars.

 

2 Chronicles 25:2: And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.

 

James 3:10-14: Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring can yield both salt water and fresh.

 

Adultery, both spiritual and natural, is one of the most hideous sins of man.  Perhaps no other sin brings as much loss and destruction in life. Adultery in the natural realm can cost a person the intimacy of a pure marriage relationship. Adultery in the spiritual realm will cost the intimacy of a pure relationship with God. Adultery in the natural can cost all a man possesses--all his wealth, every good thing he has accomplished in his life, and perhaps even his very life. Spiritual adultery can wreck a person’s spiritual life in the same way.

 

Spiritual adultery in God’s called out people is a horrible thing and never goes unnoticed by God. The adulteress, unlike the harlot, sincerely loves, respects, and honors her husband (Jesus) with part of her heart. She really knows Him and obeys Him with part of her heart. But, she only pretends obedience with the rest of her heart. She is still in bondage to some Babylonian harlot ways. While genuinely seeking to serve God, at the same time she is seeking to serve herself and get the position, money, security, fame, or whatever she needs or wants.

 

The man of God with an adulterated heart will often be among the most highly esteemed within the church. He has double motivation - both a sincere desire to serve God and a desire to accomplish something for himself at the same time. Consequently, he will be among the most zealous, the first to arrive, the last to leave, eager to volunteer, the best at keeping the rules, always willing to help, and is generally very busy. This makes him the most likely to be promoted or ordained in the institutional church or business. Whatever he does will usually grow rapidly; and, suddenly, at some point, it comes crashing down. Spiritual wisdom and discernment are necessary to distinguish between the truly dedicated, totally sold out, dynamic servant of God filled with vision and compassion of the Spirit, from the double motivated, divided heart adulteress.

 

Some Christians may become very confused when they see only one side of the divided heart person. They observe the godly side and are rightly convinced that this is a man that sincerely desires to serve God. He truly loves God with one side of his heart and life and some good fruit is evident. However, if and when they are exposed to the other side of this person, they may be quite shocked, disappointed, and confused. Much failure may result, and much damage may occur to the Christians. Adulterated men of God bring a curse on the people.

 

Jeremiah 23:14: “Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

 

Jeremiah 23:10:  For the land is full of adulterers; for because of a curse, the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, and their might is not right.

 

We all have been greatly affected by and trained in Babylonian ways. Studying old Babylon and old Jerusalem in the Old Testament provides clear insight into Mystery Babylon and New Jerusalem of today. Most of the world, the church, and each of us individually have been or are now ruled by the patterns of Babylon. In a very real sense, the church and world have been taken captive to Babylon. We've all been held captive in Babylon for a long season. We have had to be trained in the ways of Babylon in order to survive while there. We had to learn to live and prosper in Babylon while we were captive there. Now, God is saying, “Your captivity is over; come out of Babylon, my people; come into New Jerusalem.” It is time now for God’s people to fully lay aside the ways of life in Babylon and walk in God’s kingdom ways only.

 

Jeremiah 29: 4-l5, 28: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters - that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace, you will have peace.”

 

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:  “Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,” says the Lord.

 

For thus says the Lord: “After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” says the Lord,  “and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” says the Lord, “and I will bring you to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.”

 

“Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon. For He has sent to us in Babylon, saying, “This captivity is long; build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit”’.”

 

Jeremiah 51:44-45, 49-5:  “I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed; and the nations shall not stream to him anymore. Yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall. My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord. As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall. You who have escaped the sword, get away! Do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come to your mind.”

 

It is time for us to be set free from Babylonian ways that have become ingrained in our lives. Much of the Babylonian thinking has become so much a part of us that it may be difficult to realize we need to be changed. In Babylon, it was commendable to strive to get fame and fortune. Striving to get more and be better than others was normal, good behavior. Getting the most you could get for the least you could get by with giving, was considered good business. If the other guy got the short end of the deal, so what? That was “good horse trading”. After all, if you did not outsmart him and “get him first,” he would get you. We have been infiltrated with this kind of thinking.

 

But in New Jerusalem, competition has no place in the church or in business.  In New Jerusalem, we serve God by serving mankind. A job or business is something we do to serve, not something we do to get. A ministry is no different. It is something we do to serve. Not what we do to get something we need, such as money or position or a sense of well being.

 

If we stop to really consider why we do what we do, we might find that our motives are mixed with self-seeking, along with our desires to be God-serving. If we examine our methods of relating within our family, business, or church, we may find some practices of Babylon.

 

God said we would find Him and be delivered from our captivity of Babylonian ways when we seek Him with our whole hearts. We have paid a very great price for our adulterated ways. Our divided hearts have caused us broken lives and broken families. They have split up churches, wrecked relationships, and turned many against the church. Babylonian ways are destroying our nations. The sick and needy are left to suffer and die for lack of power to effectively minister to their needs. The lost wander on in darkness because we are too busy seeking to meet our own needs to effectively minister to their needs.

 

Proverbs 5:14: I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

 

Proverbs 6:26, 32-33:  For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so, destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away.

 

Proverbs 7:23, l7-l8: I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love. Till an arrow struck his liver, as a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would take his life.

 

We must give up seeking our own profit (self-seeking).   

 

Only as the Bride is completely faithful to her Husband can the kingdom of God lifestyle rule our lives, our local churches, our businesses, our nation, and eventually the planet. Our mixture of self-serving and God-serving will never bring forth the kingdom in our lives. We will continue to strive and fail after a season of apparent success. People will continue to needlessly suffer for lack of purified, powerful ministry. Only a pure hearted motivation to serve God, no matter what happens to us will do. Whether we are personally blessed, accepted to a place of leadership, or rejected and stoned by those we serve, we must give our whole heart, our whole life to our Husband Jesus. We must stop trying to defend and profit ourselves while at the same time endeavoring to serve God. First, above all else, we must seek the kingdom of God with our whole heart.

 

It is time for all of us to come out of Babylon. It is time for us to be released from the spirit of harlotry and all that works with it that has caused us to be spiritual adulterers (self-seeking and God-seeking). The price we are paying for of our adultery is too great.

 

1 Corinthians 10:33: ...just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 

 

Luke 12:29-33: “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.  Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.” 

 

Hebrews 13:4-5: Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

We must serve only God--no longer serving God mostly and ourselves a little, no longer living according to the old ways. God is our source. He will provide all we need as we seek to serve Him only and follow His guidance.

 

Matthew 4:10: Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan!   For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”     

 

We are an adulterous generation.  We are trying to serve Almighty God with our self-seeking, Babylonian, harlot ways mingled with the purity and power of Holy God. And then we wonder why so little is accomplished. Why so many are wounded and destroyed within their church and family, the very places where they should be built up and protected. The God-seeking side of our heart begins a good work and draws people to trust us; then, our self-seeking side causes painful devastation and mistrust. Eventually, failure will occur and whatever has been gained will be lost. 

 

Then, we seek miracles from God to bail us out of the corruption we have created with our adultery. We pray for miracles to get us out of debt. God did not get us into debt and He probably isn’t going to bail us out if we do not change our self-serving ways. We do not clearly hear the voice of God because we do not want to change. So we search for a miraculous sign to help us.

  

Matthew 12:39a Amp: “... An evil and adulterous generation [that is, a generation morally unfaithful to God] seeks or demands a sign...”

 

Matthew 16:3-4,6:  “... Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”  Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”  

 

We become like the Pharisee who makes a great show of “being a Christian.” Yet our own hearts are mixed with uncleanness. This always causes us, like the Pharisee, to become legally minded as we attempt to justify our self-seeking sin with legal loopholes and focus on the lawbreaking of others. Or, since we are not now experiencing the abundant, spiritual resurrection life of Christ ourselves, we deny that others are experiencing it. Thus, we are like the Sadducees denying resurrection life now as we deny spiritual gifts and experiences. Because we are not experiencing them, we believe others are not as well. 

 

We tend to look at those experiencing the resurrection life of God and judge them from our own heart. They are outspoken and dynamic as they boldly bring forth the Word of God, and we assume they have the same mixed motivations we have and that they are intent on making a name or place for themselves. Consequently, we resist and come against God’s purified people thinking they are extreme self-seekers. Our rejecting those that are experiencing God leads to our dismissing the Word coming through them, which robs us of God’s provision.

 

We must stop looking at others and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what is really in our own hearts. Friends, it is not them we must be concerned about.  It is us. Am I a minister in part because I need and like the attention and applause of others? Is a position of authority something I need to make me feel better? Am I a Christian to some degree because it is acceptable in the circles I move in? Am I a Christian businessman in part because I desire to meet the wants and needs of my family and those in my own heart? Am I doing what I do for a paycheck? Am I concerned about the amount of the paycheck? Or am I concerned about what the work I am doing does to serve God by serving mankind? 

 

Am I more drawn to minister to the pretty girls, (or handsome guys for the ladies) than to those unattractive needy folks? Is it easier for me to hear the call to minister in Hawaii than Africa? Am I willing to go out of my way to see that the wealthy man is taken care of and minister to him ahead of the poor man? Do I get up and go to work in the morning to get a paycheck to take care of my family and myself? Or do I go to work to serve God with what I do and trust Him to provide for me and my family? Will I leave a field because there is little acceptance but great need, to go to one where they believe like I do and like me better? 

 

Hypocrites! Do we think the preacher should not serve for money but think that we should serve (work) for money? The truth is, when we serve or work for money, we are in harlotry. When we truly serve God with a pure heart, no matter what the pay, we will be abundantly supplied. But, if we serve (do what we do) for money or anything else, we have another god and are serving it. God is not just concerned with what we do, but why we do it. Two men might work side-by-side one working to get money and the other working to serve God by what the job does for mankind. One has pure motivation. The other is a harlot selling him or her self for money. The one serving God will continue to serve as long as he can, even if the paychecks stop. The harlot will usually stop the moment the paychecks stop. 

 

2 Chronicles 25:2: And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.  

 

As we each begin to search our own heart as to why I really do what I do, we all need to recognize that we usually have two reasons for doing anything--one that sounds good to us and to others and one that is true. We must look deeper into our hearts beyond our reasons that sound good and get to the real truth of our heart motivations.  

 

Jesus will forgive our adultery. We are not stuck in bondage to Babylonian ways. Repentance is the key. It is agreeing with God about our sin and turning from it. Jesus has also provided for our deliverance from the spirit of harlotry, which attacks our life. We must repent and allow Jesus to set us free. Then, we must work toward renewing our mind to the New-Jerusalem ways of life.  

 

John 8; 3-4, 10-12: Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 

 

When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 

John 1:12-17,29b: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said,  ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but  grace and truth came through Jesus Christ ...

 

Behold!  The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! 

 

Matthew 18:9: “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire (Gehenna).”  Luke 13:3: ...but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

 

Luke 12:31: But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

We must not continue to deceive ourselves about the reality of our mixed inner motives. The cost for our mixed inner motives is the lack of the kingdom of God lifestyle and its attributes. The benefits and blessings we desire will only be added to us when we no longer desire anything above the kingdom of God. When we turn from our mixed inner motives and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, the other things, which we will no longer need to be satisfied, will be added to us.

 

Often people are astonished at the peace and joy they find in the presence of God as they give up their lives to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness with their whole heart. Whatever loss they feel, as a result of laying down their life is dissolved in the beautiful presence of God. Things they had striven so hard for in the past are of little significance. Only intimately experiencing God’s presence really matters.

 

Understanding the Good-Heart Tree and the New Jerusalem Family Pattern begins to enable us to see normal kingdom of God living. As we contrast kingdom of God living with our current lifestyle, we can recognize that the life we have been living is, at best, a mixture. Knowing we are missing the mark of the kingdom of God lifestyle leads us first to true repentance, which is a decision to stop going the way we have been going and to turn around to pursue another way. 

 

It may be disturbing, even traumatic to realize that much of our life has been far off the mark. In my own experience, it was like a death to realize that most of my life, even as a Christian, was far from the kingdom-of-God life. My motives, though acceptable in the church, were mixed with Babylonian desires. Turning from much of what I believed and stood for was like dying. The thing that made it worthwhile is knowing there really is a wonderful, totally fulfilling, kingdom of God life now that is worth dying for. There is resurrection life now after the pain of death.

 

We may have until now been convinced that our motives were pure when, in reality, they may yet be mingled with self-seeking desires. We may be like the young man who really thought his reason for choosing a certain Bible college was to prepare for a certain ministry in order to serve God. The fact that the young lady of his dreams had previously chosen the same school and type of ministry was only a bonus and perhaps a confirmation from God.

 

However, when the young lady fell in love with and married someone else, the young man no longer wanted to go to school, nor to serve God. His secret, self-seeking desire was painfully revealed to him.

 

If we will now ask God to reveal our secret, self-seeking desires that may be hidden from us, and give them up now, we will avoid the future disappointments and heartaches they will eventually cause.

 

It is now time to step off the treadmill of our busy life, quiet our self, and be still before God. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the mixture of our motives. We will not know or experience the wonderful, at hand kingdom of God lifestyle until after we identify the self-seeking desires mixed with our God-seeking motives, repent of them, and put them to death.

 

 

Before reading on, please stop and search your heart.  Ask God to reveal all self-seeking desires mixed with your God-seeking desires and repent.

 

“REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND.”

 

 

Keep on Pursuing Love

It Will Never Fail,

 

Ron McGatlin

 

http://www.openheaven.com

basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/25/2007 at 5:53pm
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BEYOND REPENTANCE (#022)

 

beauty for ashes. One thing is certain; if you have ashes, you have had a fire. We cannot build anything back from ashes. If the structure had been blown down by a storm, we might have been able to have gathered up some fragments and rebuilt something of the ruins. But when a fire has totally destroyed the building, man cannot rebuild from the pieces. If your life seems to be ablaze and is being destroyed, take hope. God will truly give you beauty for the ashes, if you continue to move toward the kingdom of God life.

Before we turned and started moving, we were not meeting the enemy head on. We unknowingly were going the same way. Now that the turn around is made, we will meet the enemy head on and overcome him in the strength of our Lord, the Victorious One.

now, he can be successful in preventing them from standing up and fighting. If he can keep Christians focusing all their hopes in heaven someday, he will keep them from fighting now. 

 

God gives the victory, but we must fight the war.

 

  The kingdom of heaven does suffer violence and the violent do take it by force. 

Spiritual warfare is fought with faith in God and His Word, hearing and believing the Word of God by the Spirit of God, praying the fulfillment of the Word of God, speaking the Word of God by the Spirit of God, proclaiming what God has said by the power of the indwelling Spirit of Christ Jesus, walking in the Spirit and not in the lust of the flesh, believing what God says above any other word, standing in the Spirit and Word of God, speaking the truth of the Word in love at all times, using the authority of Christ flowing through love by the Holy Spirit within us to rule and reign with Christ, and doing the will of God by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God.  

Ephesians 6:12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:17b-18a: ...and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...

APPROPRIATING GOD’S PROVISION
(THE MINISTRY OF JESUS)

  Our battle is for faith--knowing and believing the words of God. The ministry of Jesus, the Anointed One, provides complete salvation including redemption of our spirit, soul and body. The ministry of Jesus is for the healing of our broken spirit, mind, will, and emotions; deliverance from spiritual captivity; recovery of spiritual sight to the spiritually blind; liberty from downtrodden bondage of wounding oppression; and the favor or spiritual prosperity of God, if we have faith. The provisions of God are activated in our own life when we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth.  

Luke 4:18-19: (And Jesus said), The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (bruised), to preach the acceptable (favorable) year of the Lord.”

Romans 10:8-10: But what does it say? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.”

believe in their heart and confess with their mouth are saved. He has provided kingdom of God freedom for all believers to walk in now. However, not all believers are walking in kingdom freedom now. The provision of Christ must be appropriated into the individual’s life by believing in the heart and speaking with the mouth.  

 

Jesus is the “life-changer”. The ministry of Jesus, the Anointed One, by the Holy Spirit can make deep, permanent, inner changes in the person’s life-structure. Jesus will, without discrimination, change anyone who will meet the necessary conditions of believing in the heart and confessing with the mouth the resurrected Christ.

James 5:16: Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  

"Pray for one another"

Intercessory prayer may be required to release the anointing of Christ to break through the canopy of spiritual blindness, deception, and delusion of the enemy before the light of God can enter to expose sin. Once the enemy is pushed back and the light enters by the hearing of the Word by the Spirit, the person can and must decide to repent of exposed sin and not continue to justify or defend it. He must agree with God that sin is sin and be willing to turn from it toward Jesus as Lord.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”

appropriated by faith and executed by prayer, can tear down the old life-structure and create a new heart. The work of enemy spirits and negative character qualities can be eliminated and the true victory of overcoming can be established in the life. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

The story in Mark chapter two, of a man carried by others to Jesus can help to kindle or renew hope in the person who feels hopeless because he does not yet have faith to make it to Jesus for his freedom on his own. Jesus did not just look at the faith of the man on the cot. He was perhaps too weak, too far gone to have much faith. But Jesus saw the faith of those letting him down through the roof, as well as the lame man’s faith.  

Mark 2:5-12: When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”  But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  And immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven you, or to say, arise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”— He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.” And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

say in faith, in accordance with the Word of God, particularly with two in agreement, has great impact in the spiritual realm to bring forth the will of God into the natural realm. Principalities and powers of darkness in the spiritual realm must respond to what we believe and say when we speak in the name of Jesus. The conditions and character qualities of our own heart will also respond to the Word of God as we speak to ourselves in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One.   

Mark 11:23-24: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” 

Matthew 17:20: So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  

Matthew 18:16b: “... by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”  

Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Matthew 8:8: The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” 

Matthew 8:16: When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. 

Matthew 18:18-20: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” 

  How do we bind or loose according to the word of God? Binding and loosing might be compared respectively to either tying up a subject with ropes or cutting the ropes and letting that subject go free. We bind or loose with our words. As we ask (speak) in agreement on earth, the power of God in the spiritual realm is activated to restrain or to set free. What we say and pray has a restraining or a releasing effect in the spiritual realm. It is as if our words are the ropes that go out from our mouth and wrap around something to bind it and stop its activity. Conversely, our words are the power that cuts the ropes off the subject and allows it to become active. 

When we pray for a person in severe need, we may need to bind the powers of darkness that are keeping the light out. Until their power and work is stopped, the person’s spiritual sight is impaired. Binding is the releasing of spiritual power by prayer that can temporarily stop the enemy’s activity. We may also need to loose spiritual enlightenment, so the Word can flow into the person’s heart leading to repentance, cleansing, and strengthening. When the works of the spirits are bound, the Word of God can and must then be built into the life. Then, Jesus can and must truly become Lord of the life. It is always important to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in effective prayer ministry. The Holy Spirit can lead an individual or a group in this prayer ministry.

Once the works of the spirits of spiritual blindness, darkness, deception, and delusion are temporarily bound, the person will be able to hear the truth without hindrance. Then the individual must make a decision to receive the word of truth or to reject it. Until the spirits of darkness have been stopped the person may not be able to hear the word of kingdom truth in his heart; and, therefore is not free to make a decision.

(Matthew 6:10-15), He showed us how to pray and taught us to forgive others. According to these Scriptures, forgiving is an important factor in seeking the kingdom of God. Unforgiveness can be a serious hindrance to the kingdom of God coming on earth in our lives. One of the most important aspects of being restored by Christ to the kingdom of God lifestyle is forgiving.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/25/2007 at 6:12pm
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FORGIVENESS & BEYOND (#023)


Our source of forgiveness is Jesus. If He had not forgiven us, we would not have the potential to forgive. We have the potential to forgive any and all wrongs no matter how severe or how terrible. We must, for our own good, choose from the heart to forgive. It is a choice, an act of the will, which we can choose over our feelings. Forgiving is a decision. We make the decision to forgive or not to forgive. Making no decision is actually a decision to remain in unforgiveness.

Not only must we forgive every person, but we must also forgive ourselves for anything that we have done to hurt others or ourselves. We must also forgive God for anytime that we feel that He let us down. We also may need to forgive organizations or institutions, as we would a person. The tormentors do not care who or what the unforgiveness is against because any unforgiveness gives them the license to do their deadly, painful work.

Matthew 18: 21-35: Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

“Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'  And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Matthew 6: 9-15: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Mark 11:22-26: So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

We may not feel like forgiving. On the contrary, our flesh may be screaming for vengeance. In the heat of the situation, everything in us may desire to do great harm to the offender. Our natural, fleshly drive to destroy the offending person is there for our protection in the natural world. If an offender is attempting to rape or murder my child, I will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening. The fatherly rage that would cause me to do great harm to the offender to stop or prevent the attack is natural. The problem develops after the offense is committed and my rage can do nothing to stop or prevent it. That natural desire now becomes a desire to become like God and do His work by taking vengeance on the offender.

Hebrews 10: 30-31: For we know Him Who said, “Vengeance is Mine: I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

God wants to convert the pain of the offense into love--that wonderful, peaceful “love-flow” of God Himself moving upon our heart. The more painful the offense, the sweeter the love will be that results from the act of forgiveness. Personally, I am not sure we can ever really know the overwhelming, pure, sweet love of God apart from experiencing deep pain and the beautiful love that forgiving produces.

The choice is ours. Because Jesus forgave us while we were yet sinners, we have the potential, by His power, to forgive. Are you ready to be set free from the torment of unforgiveness and forgive no matter what? Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him”. When you are ready to make the decision to forgive, pray something like the following prayer from your heart.

I repent of all unforgiveness in my life. In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as an act of my will, I choose to forgive from my heart anyone and everyone who has ever hurt me or harmed me in any way, in my entire life. I specifically choose to forgive _____________, __________, and _________.

 I release them in Jesus' name. I say it is all right if they never make it right. I hold nothing against them, and, in the name of Jesus, I ask You, Father, to bless them, to meet their needs in all areas of their lives.

Father, I forgive myself for all I have done to hurt or harm myself and others; and, Father, I forgive You for any time I felt that You let me down. I say that You are good, God, and I trust You with my life. Father, I thank You that I am forgiven and that I have forgiven.

In the name of Jesus, I command all powers of darkness, you may never again use any of this unforgiveness to bring torment or stress of any form into my life.

Father, I thank You that I have forgiven and that I am forgiven. Thank You Father, in the name of Jesus.

HEALING THE HEART BEYOND FORGIVING

Painful experiences of our lives are locked into the permanent memory section of our minds. Painful memories, whether conscious or subconscious, have affected our spirit and may have wounded it. These painful memories may also have crushed our will and shattered our emotions. These negative, painful experiences stored in our heart cause us to see and understand life according to our experiences. They serve to control us by affecting our behavior. We are bound into negative patterns by the stored pains of the past. These detrimental patterns must be changed for us to walk in kingdom freedom.

The ministry of Christ Jesus includes healing the brokenhearted. God has provided all that we need in Jesus to heal our wounded spirit and soul. We need only to appropriate the ministry of Jesus to heal our broken heart and to be set free from the bondage of our wounds. When negative experiences stored in our memory are healed, they will no longer cause bitterness to return.

Psalm 25: 17-19: The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Oh, bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Psalm 147: 9-3: The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 6l: 1-4: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.  And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”

Luke 4:18-1 9a: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (bruised), to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Next, the heavy hammer smashes the windshield and windows. The car windows are like our emotions; the blows of stressful experiences shatter them. Finally, the big hammer begins to repeatedly smash into the motor, until that which makes the car go is destroyed; just like the repeated blows of negative wounding experiences crush our will. Our inner man becomes a battered and shattered wreck with no power or motivation to drive down the road of life.

cover our dents and broken parts. We must also defend ourselves against any more painful blows; therefore, we often defend ourselves by attacking others.

Not only can our past wounds cause us to have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and lack of motivation, they can also cause unreasonable fear that cripples us. This irrational fear causes us to avoid relationships and life situations that God desires for us. Fear can cause us to act and react in such a way that we may miss entering into some of the good things God desires for us.

We may often think we are reacting to circumstances, but we may actually be reacting from an attitude created by our past hurting memories.

The man screamed out in pain and fear. He began running limping and screaming toward his house. In his haste, he tripped and fell headlong onto the rough driveway, injuring his knees and hands. The mail was scattered and left as the man scrambled to his feet again and continued his hysterical run to his house limping and bleeding.

Well, after many months of not going to the mailbox, there came a time when he really needed to go. He was quite sure the check that he was waiting for was in the box, and he needed to get it in the bank. He had gained confidence as he had observed others safely getting their mail; so, he decided to try it. He carried a gun, a big stick and a mace protection device. And, just in case all else might fail, he wore heavy, tall leather boots and two pairs of heavy pants. (Do some of us ever walk around emotionally “armed and ready” to defend ourselves like this man?)

One day, several months later, as the man was getting his mail, a very friendly, little black puppy came toward the man. The puppy was happily bouncing along, wagging his tail, hoping to make a new friend and maybe get a few loving pats.

This man was not reacting to the reality of the situation, but was reacting from past wounds stored in his memory. Hurting memories caused him to be unable to receive affection from the puppy or to be able to give affection. He hurt the little puppy, and may have planted seeds in the puppy that someday could cause it to bite him, just as he feared. 

THE PROCESS OF HEALING

The ministry of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, flowing through other people, can bring

unconditional love, acceptance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness are supplied. However, if something other than these attitudes exist within the people involved, more wounding can occur as we begin to let down our defenses and open ourselves to others.

Only healed people can help heal people. Hurting people always hurt people.

For some of us with severe experiences in our past it may be helpful to pray specifically for healing of our wounded hearts. It may also be very helpful to pray with another godly person.

James 5:16: Confess your trespasses (faults) to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed ... 

release the memories to God for healing. Holding on to a negative past can hinder a godly future. Attaining the resurrection life of Christ involves forgetting those things, which are behind and reaching forward to those things, which are ahead (Philippians 3:11-14). By an act of our will, we must choose to stop relating to stress from past memories. Although it is our decision, it is Christ who does the work.

James 4:2 KJV, says, “Ye have not because ye ask not”. Asking specifically is an important principle of prayer. If we ask God to heal our hurting memories now, and believe in our heart that we have what we ask, it is done. We must confess with our mouth it is done and thank Him for healing the memory now (Mark 11:23). We must not continue to meditate the memory and pray for God to heal us someday. We are not asking for Jesus to provide healing for us. It is already fully provided. We are coming into agreement with what Jesus has provided and appropriating it into our lives.

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I release to You for healing all the wounded, hurting, or negative memories of my entire life, whether conscious or subconscious, from my conception through my birth, the first few years of my life, my childhood, all my adult life, and to this present moment. I specifically release to You for healing the memory of______________, _____________, _____________, and______________----

I release all these memories to You. Heal me now. Give me release of all the stress. I choose by an act of my will never again to receive stress from these memories. Thank You for healing me. I say that I am healed of all these memories, in Jesus’ name. Thank You, Father, for healing me.

I command all powers of darkness, in the name of Jesus, you may never again use any of these memories to bring stress into my life or affect my life in any negative way, in Jesus’ name.

We must daily walk in the process of repentance, forgiveness, and healing--repentance for every adulterated motive, as we recognize them, forgiveness for every offense as they occur, and healing for every painful experience. If we are wounded during the course of the day, we can be completely healed before bedtime.

peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

(Ephesians 1:17-19).

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/25/2007 at 6:25pm
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Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/12/2008 at 11:28am
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