Are my images making Him unrecognizable?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Matthew 21:9 and Mark 15:8-13 tells the reader about the multitude in Jerusalem that, on one hand, blessed the LORD by singing "Hosanna", and on the other hand, cursed the LORD by shouting, "crucify Him". Hosanna means "save us now". They strawed their clothes in the way, picturing their livelihood and covering, asking Him to walk on the garments and be a King over them. The crowd was excited about Jesus' coming. They blessed Him which is defined as an increase, to multiply, grow. To receive a blessing is to become a blessing. Blessing the Name of the LORD will become a blessing to those who are blessing. The multitude was blessing the Son of God, so that blessing, in turn, came over the multitude and Jerusalem. Jesus demonstrated this by going into Jerusalem and cleansing the temple. Their blessing was having Him go to the root of their problem and cleasnse the temple. The corrupt temple affected the entire nation. He did not go into Jerusalem to cleanse it from the influence of the corrupt Roman Empire; which is what they wanted. Sometimes we bless the LORD, looking for a particular blessing in return; I want to decide what my blessing should be. He wants to go to the root of my problem, after I bless Him, and cleanse me from the influence of sin and the old man. He wants to provide an inward blessing of liberation and freedom first, then my outward situations will change. After He cleansed the temple, He opened blind eyes. If I bless the LORD, my temple will be cleansed and my blindness will be healed!
In Luke 24 we read about Jesus' Resurrection. In verse 10 Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women ran to tell the apostles that Jesus had risen. Verse 11 says they believed them not and their words were as idle tales. Jesus had just conquered death and it seemed an idle tale to the apostles. In verse 12, Peter finally went to go have a look, wondering in himself about what had happened. He could not make the connection between Jesus' death and His subsequent resurrection. He had an image of what it was supposed to be like and the resurrection did not fit into his image. In verse 13, Peter starts out on the road to Emmaus with a companion. The Resurrected Christ, walking with them, was unrecognizable because their image did not include Him. In verse 18, they accuse Him of being the very thing they, at that time, were: a stranger. Peter was a stranger to the Resurrected Christ! In verse 21 we read what his image was: "that He should have redeemed Israel and he lied about rising on the third day". It does not pay to have an image of what He should do. He can be standing right next to us and we won't recognize Him.
Victory is not the absence of an enemy and no pain. Bless Him in every thing and he will unlock the secret doors in our heart. Out will come spilling sin in its most gruesome forms for the purpose of the Resurrected Christ and the Crucified Christ to set us free. He wants His Authority and Headship to be established in every secret dungeon in the old heart. He has come to set the captive free and liberate from sin! He will open locked doors and clean out the garbage! Images of how He should work obstruct our vision, to the point where He can be walking beside us and we don't see Him for Who He is: the Resurrected Christ!
How many "dead bodies" are in my heart?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Pls read Philippians 4:13. The word "strengtheneth" in the Hebrew language is ko-ahk. This strength is begetting, growing, enabling. It will grow and give us the strength to complete a task while we are performing the task. It has the power to work through us to fulfill all things. Sometimes we don't want to perform a task because we want the strength to do it first. Maybe we feel too carnal or uncomfortable doing something new. The flesh will shy away from doing something new, stealing our opportunity to experience ko-ahk strength. Ko-ahk strength begets and grows as we humbly submit to the LORD, through obedience,while engaged in a task He has asked us to perform. Why are we asked to do something when we feel carnal and unannointed? So we can experience ko-ahk strength as we submit to the LORD Who will give us what we need to fulfill all things. Ko-ahk strength is not of this world; it is invisible, divine, eternal strength that empowers us do what He has asked us to do.
Pls read Genesis 4:1-12. This is the account of Cain slaying his brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. Abel brought a blood offering to the LORD which was accepted as the fire fell. Cain, on the other hand, offered the works of his hands which was not accepted. He offered to God his strength and He withheld the fire. Cain was angry with his brother. The LORD graciously advised and counselled Cain which he rejected and slew his brother. Cain wanted to serve God with his own strength. He buried Abel in the ground which was the source of Cain's strength. The LORD cursed the ground so he could no longer be a successful farmer. Abel's body in the ground caused growth to stop. The power of God ceased. The same will happen when I kill my brother and bury him in my heart in unforgiveness. Cain chose to have the power of God in his life stop because he buried Abel in the ground. How many dead bodies are in my heart? How many brothers have I killed and buried in unforgiveness? Do I feel the power of God like it used to be? Cain rejected God's advise to bring a blood offering. Have I rejected bringing my own blood offering to the foot of the cross and confessing my sin? Would I rather accept the loss of God's strength and power and be a fugitive and a vagabond, wandering aimlessly in my spiritual journey? The LORD wants us to unbury the dead bodies in our hearts and bring a blood offering. This will cause the curse in our ground (heart) to cease and unleash the flow and power of ko-ahk strength. Do the task and the strength comes; it begets and grows, giving me power to perform the task. The curse must be lifted first.
High praises preceed the two-edged sword of the Word
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Psalm 149:6-7. Note that verse six speaks of high praises and a two-edged sword (which pictures to us the Word of God). Sometimes in our spiritual walk toward the New City, we suppose that the Word just isn't performing; the Word isn't working as it should in every situation. If you follow the order explained in verse six, the high praises come before the two-edged sword. The high praises usher in the Word. If we lift up our praises to the Name of the LORD, His Son, and His Immutable Headship, the Word will perform what it was sent to do. Concisely, praise preceeds the Word.
Please read 2Chronicles chapter 20. This is the story of Jehoshaphat and his battle against Moab, Ammon (offspring of Lot), and Mt. Seir (Esau). Jehoshaphat, in verses 3&4, had all Judah seek the LORD. They humbled themselves and prayed. Before going out to battle, he sought leadership and guidance from God. This is an example to us to do the same. Got a battle coming? Time to seek God! In verse 14, the direction they sought was revealed to Jahaziel who spoke that the battle was not Judah's---it was God's. In verse 16, the LORD says, "go YE down against them". Even though the battle was the LORD's, he required some active participation on the part of Judah in order to vanquish these 3 nations. In verse 19, Judah stood up and gave reverence to the LORD and His Word while they shouted with a loud voice of high praises. We see in verse 22 that Moab, Ammon, and Mr. Seir were smitten because Judah employed the principle given in Psalm 149:6-7: high praises usher in and allow the Word to perform as it is intended by God!
We hold the key. The sword of God will come alive and slay the enemy! The Father is noisy! Shout and praise about what He's already done, what He's doing, and what He will do in our lives. Victory is non-existent if God's people will not lift up high praises to His Great Name and His Eternal Word.
Increase your capacity for the Word and Spirit!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Pls read Colossians 2:9-11. In the beginning of our spiritual journey, it is sufficient to have Christ IN us. As we progress, mature, and grow we develop into a state of us being IN Christ. Spiritual maturity and growth need a fertile field to expand and develop in; that fertile field is the Old Nature or the Old Man. Sometimes we may complain about the lack of spiritual growth by claiming that the Word of God does not work; that it works for everybody else except me. We lament, "I try and try to be a good person, I do everything I'm big enough to do but I just don't see any change!" Our conclusion is: the Word of God does not work; I'm no different than I was 20 years ago. Well, dear friend, we can try and try, and then try again, but the end result will always be the same: FAILURE! It is the LORD's "job" to produce a change in our behavior by increasing our capacity for the Word and Spirit through the renewing of the Old Man. We encroach into His position as "god", fail, then accuse Him for not working when we are doing His job! The Old Man is to be crucified and put off; it is His work to circumcise and renew the old heart when we are IN Christ.
We have the capacity to be the Bride of Jesus Christ. The reservoir containing the substance from which this miracle happens is the Old Heart. The reservoir is the Old Heart, the substance is sin. By allowing the Old Heart to be exposed, so we can see it, we have the potential to expand in our capacity for the Word and Spirit. The Word and Spirit is present in the church to maintain the New Heart. Enjoying the Word and feeling the Spirit is not necessarily an indication of spiritual growth. It is possible to go to church and enjoy both of these and NOT grow. Growing is having the Old Heart exposed, cooperating with God by giving thanks, allowing Him to renew that abused energy (sin) and increasing our capacity for more Word and Spirit. We should go to church to have our capacity expanded after we've faithfully allowed Him to expose and renew throughout the past week. Church is not for "maintenance", it is for "expansion".
In verse 11, the Scripture says, "In whom also ye ARE circumcised...". There are two parts to this. The Old Heart is circumcised by theory and it is circumcised by experience. On the theory side it is given, on the experience side it is received. A transaction is not complete unless something is given and something is received. The work has already been completed; the Old Heart has been circumcised and renewed but it is our time, now, to experience the second half of the transaction by receiving through our own experience. Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day. All the blood we need to experience the circumcision the the Old Heart has been provided. It is a complete work, all we need to do is receive it.
The Father commanded and Jesus created. Now, the Father has commanded and Jesus is redeeming. He is the Head over creation and redemption! It is the specialty of the Son, in these last days, to redeem. We cannot play "god" and redeem ourselves---the Son redeems. The Bride is the firstfruits of mankind who has drawn from her reservoir of sin, the Old Heart, and allowed the Son to redeem and renew her; increasing her capacity for the Word and Spirit by receiving the experience of circumcision. Cooperate with the LORD, give thanks for the exposure of the Old Man, take your sin to the Cross, be circumcised, increase your capacity for the Word and Spirit and be the BRIDE!
Cut off or be cut off!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
To "cut off" in the Hebrew language, is "kaw-far". It means to pardon, forgive, cut off, and disannul. Both the LORD and Leviathan can cut off. Eli's sons, the priests, thought it would be a good idea to send the ark of God in to the midst of the battle with the Philistines. The priests and all Israel learned a hard lesson: the Headship of God won't work for you if you are not walking by His Headship. The Philistines captured the ark of God and placed it in the house of Dagon, their idolatrous fish image ( pls read I Samuel 5:1-4 ). Poor Dagon lost his hands and his head because the Headship of God cut them off. The LORD will cut off the hands (service) and head (headship and authority) of our idols when we dare to exalt them above Him. The LORD, with the intent of liberating and leading us back to the image and likeness of His Son, will cut off our opinions and headship, so we can be set free from the control and manipulation of our idolatrous images. When set free, it awakens us to Him and His Sovereign Headship and the presence of our idols.
Pls read Leviticus 22: 1-3. The priests were commanded to be clean and not disrespect or defile holy things. The punishment for this was to be cut off. The priests were expected to be clean and respectful to hallowed and holy things. We must remember, as priests, not to defile God's Word, His Son, and what the LORD has declared holy.
I Kings 18 gives us the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal. In verse 1 the LORD tells Elijah to go and show himself unto Ahab. This was no small thing; Ahab was convinced that it was Elijah who was the cause of a long, terrible drought. Nevertheless, Elijah sets out to meet Ahab. In verse 4 we read that Jezebel had cut off the prophets of God. We know how many prophets she killed because for every one she replaced him with a prophet of Baal. It was wicked Jezebel who slowly turned Ahab's heart away from the LORD and caused gross idolatry in Israel. In her idolatry, she was compelled to kill the true prophets of God who represented the Word and the Spirit. She replaced the true Word and Spirit with her own prophets who spoke to her whatever she wanted to hear. She was totally justified in her idolatry because her "prophets" gave her their approval. We can't go off into idolatry and expect not to cut off the Word and the Spirit. In verse 28 the prophets of Baal cut themselve and the blood gushed out upon them. When they jumped on the altar they were guilty of exalting the creative blood above the redemptive blood. When this happens, disunity is the speedy result. When we exalt race, creed, and ethnicity above the Redemptive Blood of the LORD Jesus Christ we enter into confusion and disunity. The Blood of Jesus is One Blood which redeems mankind and makes us one in Him! The Blood of Jesus must be exalted above creation. We can all be one is Him through His redemption!
Cut off the world, the flesh and the devil---not God's prophets. Work with the LORD as He is trying to set you free and liberate you from the power and control of the old nature. It is a continual process of cutting off as we make our way back to Him and His Precious Son. He wants to cut off, liberate, and set free!
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