Pointing to Christ

“I am soon separating the chaff from the wheat. I am calling all those who have sold out to me, those who have a hunger for me and those who love me with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. I have already chosen a one who will lead my children in this hour. Therefore, get close to me, seek my face, lean on me, search me out, trust me, and believe in me. Point others to me. This, I have commanded you to do through my Word.

“I have given each of you gifts, gifts specific to how I have wonderfully made you. Each of you is important to my plan. I have given all of you free will to either choose me or to choose a different path. When you choose me, I will also remove the chaff of your life, and I will bless you. Come to me my children for I am not willing that any of you should perish in your sin.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me. My peace I leave with you. My joy is your strength.”

Over the course of a couple of days, I studied the Lord’s words to me. As I read them, I began to see spiritual images. If you see another, please feel free to share with us. Remember that revelation is not for personal entertainment but to share with the body. The same goes for progressive revelation.

Separating the chaff

Normally, when someone begins talking to you, what is most important to them will be their lead sentence. Matthew 3 and verse 12 was God’s lead sentence to me, “I am soon separating the chaff from the wheat.

[Matthew 3:12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire [KJV].

          Removing the wicked

The first spiritual image I saw was the removal of wicked men and all of his false doctrines and fruitless endeavors. Jeremiah 17:9 says that man’s heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. In our scriptural text, Matthew 3:12, John is talking about Jesus Christ, who had not yet come on the scene, but when He does come, He will come with the fan in His hand and will purge His floor.

Here, the floor is the land of Israel [1] and “fan in His hand” always speaks of judgment. In other words, Christ will separate and gather the elect from among the wicked into the garner, meaning a safe place.

The chaff is a spiritual image of the destruction and removal of the wicked men who are without the grace of God and are powerless to resist His judgments [2]. Scripturally, chaff is also false doctrines, fruitlessness, hypocrites, and ungodly men [3]. The Lord was telling me (us) that that time is just about upon us. . .the removal of wicked men and the separation of all the elect to a safe place. God is warning us at this hour that “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth [4].”

          A personal message from God

Before the Lord gave me a corporate word, He gave me a personal word for my own edification, and it is Spiritual image #2. A couple of nights ago, the Lord gave me an invitation to go away with Him. He is separating me to Him for fellowship and for a refreshing of my mind and soul.

With all the garbage that has been in my life of late, I became overwhelmed and I began to drift away from God. Lord, please forgive me for not including you in my life. He assured me in my spirit that He wasn’t unaware of my plight and knocked on the door of my spirit to get my attention. It’s like He was saying, “Is anybody home?”

God is not only drawing me away for fellowship and a refreshing, but He is in the process of drawing all of us to Himself, and separating us from the world. Listen to God and heed His Spirit. Do NOT be like me and neglect to include Him my life. Because of the serpent and Adam, each of us has chaff that covers up who God made us to be.

I exhort you brothers and sisters to have a hunger for the Lord, not just to love Him. Love is not a bad thing but it is only a start. Like the Psalms, we have to pant after Him as the hart [5] panteth after the water brooks [6]. Times are getting serious brothers and sisters.

          A warning and an encouragment

Spiritual image #3 is both a warning and an encouragement. The Lord covered this in some of His first words to me: “. . .get close to me [7], seek my face [8], lean on me [9], search me out [10], trust me [11], and believe in me [12].” We are His and belong to Him [13]. He created man for Himself [14] and then He died for us [15].

When the time comes that Ecclesiastes 12:7 talks about, we surely do not want the Holy Spirit to find us among the chaff. In other words, let Jesus not find us among evil men when He comes for our spirit. When the Lord comes to collect our spirits and we are not His, the Lord’s Spirit will pass by us like He did when the Israelite’s spread blood on their doorjambs [16]. We need to spread the Blood of the Lamb on the doorjambs of our heart [17]. Doing so assures us that we will be with Him forever [18].

          A call to salvation

Spiritual image #4 is a call to salvation. God made us in His image [19], but because of Adam’s sin, chaff covers us. We have that image of God within us, but the sin nature covers the real us. That chaff is the sin nature. Believers have the real Spirit of God in them [20] and not just the duplicate. However, we still all have the sin nature (chaff) [21].

God’s recent word to me (us) said to point others to Him. It is a commandment of God to Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature [22]. There are no suggestions in God’s Word. As believers in Christ, it is our duty and job to point others to Jesus Christ. Either we believe in Him and the Gospel, or we don’t.

Knowing what we know, we should all be screaming 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 from the rooftops. We should be telling all people about the hope that lies within us [23].

My dad had a three foot rule. . .everybody within three feet heard about Jesus. (Trust me this is NO exaggeration.) What an evangelist he would have made. He is the most radically saved person I have ever personally witnessed in my life, but alas, his wheel chair hindered him. However, that didn’t stop him. I would be very happy and content to be half the man that he was, and that’s just my admiration for the man. He was my earthly hero.

Especially in this hour, we have to be on fire for God. We have to literally hunger for him, and like the hart, we have to pant after Him. All of history has come down to this final hour, and all of us have a decision to make. There are only two options or choices: Christ or the serpent, period. Do we take the bite out of the apple [24], or do we partake of the bread [25]. I choose the bread of life. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord [26].

The choice is ours.
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[1] This does not only mean Israel but for gentiles as well through adoption. Ephesians 1:4, 5
[2] Psalms 1:4; Isaiah 17:13; Hosea 13:3; Zephaniah 2:2
[3] Psalms 1:4; Jeremiah 23:28; Isaiah 33:11; Matthew 3:12
[4] Luke 11:23
[5] The hart is a deer.
[6] Psalms 42:1
[7] James 4:8
[8] 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 55:6
[9] Philippians 3:3
[10] see that I taste good- Jeremiah 29:13
[11] Proverbs 3:5
[12] John 3:16; John 14:1
[13] Romans 6:4, 5
[14] Genesis 1:26, 27; Psalms 100:3; Isaiah 43:7; John 3:16; Colossians 1:16;
[15] Romans 5:8
[16] Exodus 12:1-14
[17] Revelation 12:11
[18] 1 Thessalonians 4:17
[19] Genesis 1:26, 27
[20] 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Romans 8:9; Acts 2:38; 5:32; James 4:5; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 5:18
[21] Romans 3:23
[22] Mark 16:15
[23] 1 Peter 3:15
[24] Genesis 3:1-6
[25] John 6:48
[26] Joshua 24:15 I love this verse, especially the part about the flood. A little sarcasm never killed anyone and it sure makes a great point. Those who drowned outside (on the other side) of the Ark did not serve the Lord.

Enough is enough

Insight and revelation is not for personal entertainment but for the edification of the body. Today I received a rhema word from the Lord and although it is of a personal nature, I feel obliged to share it with you anyway in hopes that you may be blessed. It was a timely message for the tumultuous times I have been going through for the last couple of weeks. The enemy was working overtime in my life and as a result, I was experiencing some symptoms of, and finally, depression.

Consequently I’ve struggled in these last couple of weeks in a depressive state and my emotions straight-lined. I had begun to question whether I was hearing from the Lord, or was I hearing from the enemy. News flash! When we cannot distinguish between the two voices, it is time for some serious reflection into our focus and our thought pattern(s). It’s time to get alone with God.

Because of the overwhelming attacks of the enemy, I felt condemned and totally beat up. Normally, I’d know the origin of condemnation and depression, but because of the number of attacks, there was literally no time for warfare. Seriously!

I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms because it cost me my marriage. It looked like I was in for the ride again. It seemed that the enemy was throwing everything at me all at once. Because of my condition, I finally shut down. (It is not a fun place to be.) You want to do what’s right or even do something, period, but you just can’t. The enemy had stolen my joy, which is my strength.

[Nehemiah 8:10b,c] . . .This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength [NIV].

Like I said earlier, depression cost me my marriage and everything dear to me. Because of that, I know the symptoms and I know how to pull myself up by my boot-straps. If you go through depression just once, you become a quick study. I was doing my best to work my way out of this condition. However, that was my problem. I was relying on my self-sufficiency. Real joy is a benefit of living in the presence of God [1] and He reminded me of just that fact today when He gave me a special and personal rhema word to help me through this time. Thank you my Jesus. Here is how it went down.

I was tired and I didn’t feel like going to church this morning but the unction in me said to get out of bed and come to my house for a visit. (I am glad that I went.) I forced myself up and into the bathroom to shower, get dressed, and head out. I made it just in time for the worship to start and I was lucky enough to get a seat toward the front. . .where I like to sit. (Again, thank you Jesus.)

The worship team broke out in song and so did I. . .and so did everybody else around me. It felt great to be worshipping God in song. I felt the overwhelming joy beginning to come back into my psyche as I lifted my voice to Him (and I am sure, a voice with which only He could appreciate). My frown began its upward slant and into a huge smile. As I stood singing in the pew, there were no more problems, no more worries, and no more depression. Hallelujah, I’m ba-a-a-ck. Praise the Lord God. When the pastor told us to turn and greet someone, a brother even told me that I looked very happy. I told him that I was, because I was in the Lord.

If that were all that the Lord had done for me today, my heart would be overflowing with thankfulness. It would have been OK. However, the Lord was not done yet. My next blessing was yet to come. After church, the Lord began His personal time with me in my car. The Lord spoke, not audibly but in my spirit. I knew in my knower that it was God. I distinguished His unction immediately. I felt my strength coming back. He said, “Understand this, ‘I am with you always [2], and I will never leave or forsake you [3].’” Then the Lord dropped a Scripture into my spirit, “The joy of the Lord is (my) strength. . .

These last couple of weeks I had a couple of solutions to the same specific problem. This is where the confusion came in for me as to who was telling me what, and to whom I was hearing, because both solutions were positive and plausible. One was from God and the other one wasn’t, but which one was which?

Then the Lord continued:

You are cumbered with many out of focus thoughts and you have drifted away from me. I am grieved when you drift away. I miss you. I miss us. I am easy to find in your thoughts. Sift through what you are hearing and find me calling out to you alone, to return to me Jim. When your joy returns, and our hearts are beating as one once again, then let us work on the other solutions together. Do not listen to any other thoughts. Forget them and seek my face.

God was saying that I was a priority to Him. God went on.

I love you Jim and I have a purpose and a destiny for you. You know the mandate that I gave you. Focus on me first and I’ll add all those other things to you [4]. Point others to me, not only with your tongue, but with your written word.

This is what I sensed the Lord speaking to me. I told Satan, “Enough is enough! I was tired of felling like this.” I know that there are those who are praying for me and that the Lord wanted me back with Him. That was the take away for me. . .focus on Christ FIRST. Although some of the other thoughts that vied for my attention were important, there is nothing more important that my (our) relationship with Christ.

I had lost sight of who I was in Christ and who Christ was in me. I felt that the enemy had stolen my joy and had taken my joy, my strength. Worse yet, my relationship with God had waned and I had drifted away from Him. My destiny was also in jeopardy if I didn’t come around.

All of this should have been a flag for me but I was so overwhelmed with garbage and attacks and warfare that I couldn’t function. The enemy had me on the ropes and I was only one more attack away from taking the count. However, greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world [5]. Christ will always answer that prayer, “Help me.” Satan is an idiot; the more he persecutes us, the closer we get to God (eventually).

I came to the conclusion readers that the enemy did not steal my joy. In fact, it was I who had abrogated my own joy, all by my lonesome. Therefore, I exhort you brothers and sisters to refuse to listen or entertain anything that distracts you from your destiny, your relationship with God, or your calling and/or gifting in your life, especially in this hour. Maintain your focus or you could end up living my story and being on the ropes.
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[1] 1 Chronicles 16:27
[2] Matthew 28:20
[3] Hebrews 13:5
[4] Matthew 6:33
[5] 1 John 4:4

The Great Physician

Part Two: 38 Years?

Last week we left the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda where he had waited 38 years for a healing and the stirring of the water [1]. It is the same place where Jesus had healed the man in seconds. All it took for the man’s healing was his trust and obedience to Christ’s command to, “. . .Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

Many people today metaphorically sit at the Pool of Bethesda waiting for their healing and the stirring of the water. Why are so many people quick to believe a doctor, yet not the spoken words of Christ [2]? We eluded somewhat to this answer in part one of The Great Physician by saying that more times than not, we think in terms of the physical realm – or the flesh, as did the invalid in John chapter five.

[John 5:7] The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me [KJV].

Man is still not accustomed to responding spiritually. The Bible contains many accounts of physical and power manifestations in the natural. This is how God gets our attention like He did for Moses with the burning bush [3], for the Apostles at Pentecost with the cloven tongues of fire [4]. He got the attention of the invalid at the pool by healing him [5], and Jesus definitely got the attention of Mary Magdalene, Mary, Cleopas and his companion, the Apostles (minus Judas Iscariot), Simon, and others when He returned after His death just before His ascention [6].

So then, what did Jesus actually mean when he asked the man at the pool, “. . .Wilt thou be made whole?” The NIV says, “. . .Do you want to get well?” For the reader today, let’s ask Jesus’s question in a different way, “Do you want to get rid of your guilt, shame, regret, strife, anger, jealousy, or a myriad of other burdens and sins? Do you want a new life, spiritually clean and restored to God? Do you want me to heal you not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well?

The man at the pool was not only a picture of sinful man, but of Christ’s undying grace, for without Christ, man is lost and separated from God [7]. Like John 14:6 declares, “. . .no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” What Jesus was offering the man at the Pool of Bethesda was salvation, a new life in Christ [8]. The man had waited for 38 years for a healing and Jesus healed him in seconds.

Question? “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things [9]!

Well brothers and sisters, Christ has sent us all. One of the last things that the Lord commanded before He ascended to heaven was this: “. . .Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature [10]. And as the Lord said in verse 15, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! The Good news is not for personal entertainment, but commanded and mandated to share with every living creature.

So,

GO YE!
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[1] All new translations omit v4 of JOHN 5 citing that it was a superstition of the times and that the Bible didn’t really teach this. However, since all new translations are translations of the Alexandria Bible, I find that they should not have omitted this verse. This is my reason: The Alexandria Bible is a dynamic equivalency interpretation which means we need to trust the interpreter. Whereas the translators interpreted the Geneva and the KJV Bibles with formal equivalency, which is a word for word translation from the Antioch Bible. I find that this is a more accurate way of translation. “Word for word” means just that, “word for word.” They could have made a note stating the belief of stirring water as superstitous. (However, I do not have any vegetable soup after my name. 🙂 )
[2] This could very well be friends, family, or pastors. Although there is nothing wrong with seeking these folks, our first focus should be on Christ. The Bible says to seek ye first the kingdom of God and He add all other things unto you. Seek Christ first in all that we do and think. If we don’t seek Him for the little things, we will not seek Him for the big things. Why seek the man of God? Instead, seek the God of man.
[3] Exodus 3:2-4
[4] Acts 2:1-4
[5] John 5:2-9 verse 8
[6] He appeared to Mary Magdalene; Mary, mother of James and Joses; 11 of the Apostles. (He did not appear to Judas Iscariot); Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:18, just to name a few.
[7] John 14:6
[8] 2 Corinthian 5:17
[9] Romans 10:14, 15
[10] Mark 16:15 (Mark 16:15-19 full mandate.)