“Coming out of the fire”

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved (slip). For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us;  thou hast tried (REFINED) us, as silver is tried. 

Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water: but thou broughtest us into a wealthy (an abundant) place.” Psalm 66:8-12 

When I wrote my last post, a little something else “jumped out” at me. Remember our story of Apostle Paul,  To refresh the point:

Acts 28:3,5: “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper OUT OF THE HEAT, and fastened onto his hand. And he shook OFF the beast INTO THE FIRE, and FELT (suffered) NO HARM.” 

This is one of those double mirrored meanings, there is an old saying “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” but for us, as Christians and desiring anything of the Kingdom, you better learn to love the heat.

I have always thought and taught that the biggest hindrance to the much-anticipated end time outpouring of the Spirit and the signs, wonders, and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is US!

We can be saved, we are saved, but we also have a choice, we can simply sit passively and enjoy that salvation OR we can desire and reach for something so much greater.

As Jesus said, ‘Greater works than these…” but those greater works come by a greater understanding and a greater submission into His Spirit and His will. As He also said when explaining WHY the disciples could NOT cast out the demon, “Howbeit this KIND goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.”  and part of that submission is surrendering to purification by His Holy Fire.

So lets check out the mirror side of the story of Paul.

Once we start to seek the Lord as he leads us gently into the conviction process and we do take stock of all the dreadful sins and worthless, unfruitful parts of us and we do TRY to gather all those dead, withered, useless “twigs” that the Lord reveals must be removed as we are  being grafted into the true vine. 

We CAN lay those things on the altar and PROMISE to “give” to God all those old ways that we are to forsake and never pick up again, only to find some that we aren’t so ready to surrender.

But what happens as that heat starts to get a little hotter and more of our carnality is being spiritually burned away, as we go through that process we often find ourselves suddenly presented with situations or circumstances that “bring out” those venomous beasts, often in the form of our own attitudes.

Bringing out nasty, rebellious beasts who ARE full of deadly spiritual poison and that clamp down on us spiritually, clinging to us in hope of avoiding that heat that will destroy them and purify us.

Change hurts and our “flesh” and carnal minds are never willing to go without a fight.

And how easy is for those “beasts” to want to flee form that purification. Just as Jesus also told the disciples, as He asked them to stand with Him during His time of sorrow and they could not.  

Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit INDEED IS WILLING, but the flesh IS weak.” Which only confirms other verses throughout the Bible that teach us that we do have a very real war of the spirit versus the flesh being fought INSIDE of us.

So what happened?

Paul shook of that “beast”off, just as the Holy Spirit will shake off the shackles and chains of sin and bondage from off of us.

He will shake off every speck of dirt and dust from this world that clings to us.

IF WE WILL LET HIM.

And we also have to be willing to not only be shaken but also shake off those things within ourselves, fear, dread, anger, resentment all those things which MUST be surrendered to that purifying fire.

Doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, sometimes we have to let people go from our lives, we have to let jobs go, we have to let go of things we so desperately want to cling to, but spiritually they are “beasts” who are actually clinging to us.

It was VERY painful for Paul to have that creatures fangs, teeth whatever latched onto his hand and of course, it WILL hurt us, for a moment, but just as Paul SUFFERED no injury, that pain was TEMPORARY and God will NEVER allow us to be “injured” by anything we have “shaken off” in obedience to Him.

And by this SAME process those who feel the “heat”,of conviction and the need to surrender parts of themselves to that purification and YET REFUSE and allow those carnal “beasts” to stay attached preventing their “hands” from working in the Kingdom, and care more about keeping those things that God has commanded to be surrendered, they fall into the condemnation of “having their conscience SEARED with an hot iron”.

There is NO escaping the fire, just as the sacrifices of the Old Testament were consumed by fire as an answer that they had been ACCEPTED of the Lord.

That same fire STILL decides what IS accepted today.

Romans 12:1: ” I beseech (urge) ye therefore, brethrenthat ye PRESENT your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, which IS your reasonable service.”

The presence of God which was once held only in the Temple of God and allowed access to only by the High Priest has now through the death of Jesus on the cross been made manifest in the Temple of God which IS now inside of US!

1 Corinthians 3:16,17:”Know ye not that YE ARE the temple of God, and the Spirit of God DWELLETH IN YOU? 

If any man defile (destroys) the temple of God, him shall God destroy: FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.

And WHO is our God, WHO dwells within us?

Deuteronomy 4:24: For the Lord thy God IS a consuming fireeven a jealous God.” 

Jealous meaning that he does not play second to anything or anyone in our lives. His Holiness is a purifying fire that burns away all that CAN NOT stand in His presence nor inherit His kingdom.

As John gave us description.

Matthew 3:11:”I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me IS mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND WITH FIRE.”

Which was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled ALL the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire (divided flames), and IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM.

And they were FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit GAVE them utterance  (spoke unto them).”   

The bridging between the books and the Temple of Stone becoming the Temple of the Heart.

Hebrews 12:18-29: “For ye are NOT come unto the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, NOR unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which the voice they that heard intreated (begged) that the word should NOT be spoken to them any more:

For they could NOT endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast  touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with  a dart: And so terrible WAS the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

But YE are COME UNTO mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that YE REFUSE NOT HIM that speaketh, For if they escaped NOT who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall NOT we escape, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKETH FROM HEAVEN: WHOSE VOICE SHOOK THE EARTH;

But now he hath promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE I SHAKE NOT THE EARTH ONLY, BUT ALSO HEAVEN.

And THIS word, YET once more signifieth the REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of things that are made, THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN.

Wherefore we RECEIVING a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, WHEREBY WE SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.

God was so terrifying on Mount Sion that even Moses SHOOK with terror and at the sound of His voice the Hebrews trembled and BEGGED that He only talk to Moses and NOT to them.

This IS the same God that gently calls us today to allow Him to shake all those things until all that remains are the good things of Him that will remain and He calls us to not only ALLOW but to EMBRACE His Holy purification process.

And as that process unfolds, it is not uncommon for many “beasts” to rise up in resistance to that heat.

1 Peter 1:6,7: “Wherefore ye greatly rejoice though now for a SEASON, if need be, YE ARE IN HEAVINESS THROUGH MANIFOLD TEMPTATIONS (in distress due to many trails) that the TRIAL (genuineness) of your faith BEING MUCH MORE PRECIOUS THAN OF GOLD THAT PERISHETH, THOUGH IT BE TRIED (tested) WITH FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

God reveals the process this way:

Isaiah 48:10:”Behold, I have REFINED thee, but not with  (as) silver; I HAVE CHOSEN (tested) THEE IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION.” 

So whatever those “beasts”may be today, no matter how hot that fire is getting or just how uncomfortable that “heat” is starting to feel, know that it is a process and EMBRACE it!

Revelation 3: 18(a): “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”  

So don’t be afraid and whatever starts coming out of that fire.. LET IT COME, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! 

As those are his words, and THAT IS HOW GOLD IS REFINED AND YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS TO HIM THAN GOLD! 

Love till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Nb 2018

 

“Taking up serpents…”

First off, I must admit that I have about three posts I need to write to explain my six-week hiatus and my name change ‘Splaining the name thing…. But I really have to do this today because I think it may be “on time” for some and I definitely don’t want to wait until it is too late to give maybe a little different prospective on a probably quite taboo and deadly subject ( in more ways than one) but nevertheless  a very real subject  inside some denominations of the Christian faith.

“Snake handling” or “taking up serpents” mainly associated with Pentecostal and Holiness churches, but I do want to STRESS the majority of churches in these groups do NOT practice this.

I have glimpsed television shows dealing with this and I stay far away from those shows and now there is a new video on social media that was filmed during just such a service in a neighboring state.

It worries me, it worries me for several reasons.

The clip I watched showed multiple people filming this so it is really hard to know just how broad an audience it will hit. I truly do not understand the need to film this because the subject is so hard for many to understand and I personally believe it would be far more beneficial filming and sharing a service of healing and miracles.

And seriously if one has the kind of faith to lift up a Copperhead or rattlesnake and not be bitten and die, they should have the kind of faith to believe the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, because the miraculous and the signs and wonders are for those who DO NOT BELIEVE, so that they will see and know that no power other than the power of a sovereign God could have brought forth these truly supernatural occurrences.

I fear most the door which is opened for those who do not understand to mock and ridicule and unknowingly endanger their souls in doing so, usually others will be dancing in the Spirit, or speaking in tongues and contrary to denominational arguments as to whether these manifestation are still active in our present day, the real danger lies in the fact that if those who have never read the book of Acts or know anything at all of the Bible or Jesus, and are not even laughing about the snakes, decides to mock the dancing, or some other aspect of a service, it endangers their souls, through something that they should have never viewed unless the were present.

Because we can be forgiven for ANYTHING EXCEPT mocking the Holy Spirit.

When we do not understand we have no way to gauge exactly what we are seeing other than our OWN human mind and for those who do not know Christ, this can be even more dangerous.

I for one believe in the sanctity of ALL life, and do not believe in hitting or killing and I know Jesus to be a beautiful GENTLE creator and I really feel sorry for the snakes which have to be terrified but I also know better than to bash their beliefs because they are worshiping God they way they understand it to be and they do this as an exercise in faith.

Just as a boxer might push themselves to new limits everyday while preparing for an upcoming match.

This is how they build their faith that God will protect them.

So for those who may not know, we’ll look at the verses and origins of this and I’ll give you my take on my personal thoughts,again those are mine, EVERYONE has their own relationship with the Lord, and that IS what we MUST be mindful of. Okay, where does this practice come from?

Have to get back to the garden for that one, most know the story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent that seduced her through her own desires for supposed “knowledge” right into absolute disobedience to God. And as God gave divine judgments against ALL three of them.

Genesis 3:14,15: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because THOU hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beats of the field; upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shall be thou eat all the days of thy life.

And I WILL PUT ENMITY (hostility) BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; AND IT (he) SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL.”  

So the long-held hatred between humans and snakes can be easily explained and symbolically many older demonstrations hold this to a more drastic level than many of us do today, because as we understand it, all females suffer terribly during childbirth and I personally believe the serpent had legs at this time, but nevertheless we know snakes now can only move on their bellies, and are absolutely the most dreaded and hated among all creation.

This gives us the reason behind the symbolism of power to subdue them. Many other scriptures deal with the subject, but we’ll try to stick with the subject at hand.

So further proof of this, can be found in the fact that power over the serpent was one of the signs God gave Moses to show that his commission was truly divine.

 Exodus 4:1-5: “And Moses answered and said, But behold, they will NOT believe me, NOR hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath NOT appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he (the Lord) said, Cast (throw) it down on the ground, and he cast it down it on the ground, AND IT BECAME A SERPENT: and Moses fled from before it. 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail ( reach down and pick it up by the tail) And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and IT BECAME A ROD IN HIS HAND:

THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD GOD OF OUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB, HATH APPEARED UNTO THEE..” 

Exodus chapter seven also tells us of this same rod being turned again to the serpent which consumed the serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians. God sent mighty wonders through Moses that the Egyptians AND the Hebrews would know, see, and BELIEVE in the power of Jehovah God.

Again, Numbers chapter twenty-one tells us of people speaking AGAINST God and His servant, prompting God’s anger which he displayed by sending fiery serpents upon the people, when the people repented and came to Moses, God instructed to make a brass serpent and those bitten who be healed when the gazed upon it. 

We understand that to be the forerunner verse to John 3:14,15:“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Now to bring it New Testament, when Jesus gave the great commission, he spoke also of the signs and wonders, those unexplained events that could only be explained by a very real belief in the power and glory of Almighty God.

Mark 16:15-18: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).

And THESE SIGNS shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall thy cast out devils (demons) ; they shall speak with new tongues;

THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS: AND IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

I personally believe in miracles, I have seen miracles and there have been times I could not understand why something didn’t end with a miracle and then I remembered something, miracles ARE for a sign and only God dictates when that is required, as believers we are already told to “walk by faith” and that is His requirement.

The miracles, He sends as He wishes, not necessarily as we desire. although I believe in asking and asking!

So this is how I interrupt this, not saying I am right, not saying you have to agree, but saying PLEASE do not encourage others in something they do not understand because Paul also told us that we are babes we must have milk, not solid food.

Of course I paraphrased that, but it translates to this, we grow little by little in the things of God and trying to chew meat when we haven’t teeth will only choke us to death.  so taking up serpents, we are told we will tread upon them, in the sense of the demonic forces we deal with that are constantly  striking at our heels in hopes of making us stumble. Jesus gave us power through His name over those.

Now what if the enemy tries to kill you BEFORE your time and others are just knowing that you have done something to “deserve” it?

Acts 28:3-6: “And when Paul had gathered  a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, THERE CAME A VIPER OUT OF THE HEAT, AND FASTENED ON (sunk in his fangs and held onto) HIS HAND. 

And when the barbarians SAW the VENOMOUS BEAST HANG ONTO HIS HAND, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth him not to live. 

And HE SHOOK OFF THE BEAST (creature) INTO THE FIRE, AND FELT NO HARM.

Howbeit, thy looked (expected) WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SWOLLEN, OR FALLEN DEAD SUDDENLY: but  AFTER THEY HAD LOOKED A GREAT WHILE, AND SAW NO HARM COME TO HIM, THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS…..”  

Deadly “poison” by accident, or by the devils assault, or by simple basic necessity:

Exodus 15:23-25: ” And when they came to Marah, they COULD NOT DRINK of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed (showed) him a tree, which he was to cast into the waters, AND THE WATERS WERE MADE SWEET…”   

2 Kings 2:19-22: “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth ( it is a nice place as you see) but THE WATER IS NAUGHT (bad), and the ground is barren.

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt therein, and said, THUS SAITH THE LORD, I HAVE HEALED THESE WATERS; THERE SHALL NOT BE FROM THENCE ANY MORE DEATH OR BARREN LAND.

SO THE WATERS WERE HEALED UNTO THIS DAY, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”

2 Kings 4:38-41: “And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth (famine) in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, set on a great pot, and seethe pottage (soup) for the sons of the prophets.

And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered wild gourds, his lap full, ( as many as he could carry), and came and shred them INTO the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. So they poured out for the men to eat.

And it came to pass, AS THEY WERE EATING OF THE POTTAGE, THAT THEY CRIED OUT, AND SAID, O THOU MAN OF GOD, THERE IS DEATH IN THIS POT. And they could NOT eat thereof. 

But he (Elisha) said, THEN BRING MEAL. And he cats it into the pot: and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. AND THERE WAS NO HARM (nothing harmful) IN THE POT.”

I hope this may have helped understand these traditions and the importance of whether we ourselves embrace them or not, we should be truly careful of what we say about them.

Thanks for reading!

Love & Peace, GOOD TO BE BACK!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018