Saturday, June 11, 2016

The glory of restoration and the glory of healing

While praying recently, I saw a vision of many leaves of a tree branch being eaten up by worms, insects and locusts, and became disfigured, out-of-shape (with holes), and jagged (rough, uneven edges). After that, the glory of the Lord came in the form of a river that looks like a hand that touches the leaves. The leaves then became fresh and new again, looking whole and complete again.

That's when I heard the Lord saying, "This is a month of My glory! The glory of restoration and the glory of healing!"

There are many aspects of God's glory in the heavenly realm, but the glory that is now is the glory of His restoration and the glory of His healing! By faith, tap into this 'river' and drink from it! The river of God always bring with it the glory of GodRevelation 22:1-2 (NIV) says, 'Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations'.

In cross-reference, Ezekiel 47:12 (NKJV) says, 'Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine'.
Note: The word 'medicine' here is 'teruwphah' in Hebrew, which means 'a remedy'; from the word 'rapha' meaning 'to heal, to cure, to repair, to mend'.

And Joel 2:25-26 (NKJV) says, 'So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust... You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame'.
Note: The word 'restore' here is 'shaw-lam' in Hebrew, meaning 'to be safe (in spirit, soul, body, estate), to be made completed, to give back what one has lost'; from the same root word as 'shalom' (i.e. peace, complete, full, perfect, whole, well; nothing broken, nothing missing).

I was asking the Lord the meaning of those 'leaves' being restored and healed in the vision. And interestingly, 'leaves' in Greek is from the word 'phule', meaning 'an offshoot, a race, a clan, a tribe'. Indeed, you and I (irrespective of race) are all 'offshoots' from the man Adam! And symbolically therefore, you and I are those leaves! You see, not only does God want you to be restored and healed, but He also wants you to in turn be used to bring healing to the nations!

People of God, never underestimate what the Lord can do through you when He has put a nation (or nations) in your heart to preach the good news, or to proclaim what He has asked you to proclaim in prayer! The truth is God wants to restore and heal every tribe and tongue, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (Revelation 14:6, 2 Peter 3:9).

And the good news is in the glory of the Lord, the leaves stay fresh and young! That's what God's people (you and I) should be on earth! Psalm 1:3 says, 'He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper'. And Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, 'Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear (or see) when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit'.

This brings us to the question people often ask: "What is the glory of the Lord on earth?"
And the next question: "Can the glory of the Lord manifest on earth?"

Revelation 21:2-5 says, 'Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."'

Revelation 21:10-11 then says, 'And he (the angel) carried me (John) away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal'.

The word 'glory' here is 'doxa' in Greek, meaning 'magnificence (or splendor) of heaven that is apparent (obvious, tangible, clearly seen, a reality)'. And see the words 'coming down out of heaven' here? And the words 'descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God'?

Therefore, here are the answers according to the Scriptures above: The glory of the Lord on earth is a foretaste of heaven (where there is no pain or shame), and can manifest here and now on earth!
Note: The meaning of 'foretaste' (according to Oxford Dictionary) is 'a sample, an experience of something before it actually happens'.

So, people of God, let this glory of the Lord be seen upon you, here and now on earth! You don't have to wait till you reach heaven one day! Your time is NOW, here on earth! As it is written in Isaiah 60:1-3 that says, 'Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people (of the world). But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising'. Let it be so! In Jesus' wonderful name.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A time to clear what needs to clear!

I heard and released these words from the Lord the other day:
"A time to clear what needs to clear! Allow Me to clear away every form of 'smoke' that blurs your spiritual eyes! There's a release of water from My well-spring to wash away the 'smoke' that the enemy has put against you! There's a free flow of forgiveness today! Allow Me to wash you clean, so I can begin to lead you into greater victories!"

In view of the above words for this time and season, I would like to bring your attention to Mark 8:22-26. Here, the Scripture says, 'Then He (Jesus) came to Bethsaida, and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town."

There are two questions one may ask about this passage:
1. Why did it take two times for Jesus to heal this blind man?
2. Why did Jesus lead this blind man out of the town, and then told him not to go back to that town?

Here are the answers. 

From 'seeing nothing' (i.e. blindness) to 'seeing shadows' and finally 'seeing clearly', this speaks of one's spiritual eyes being enlightened to see more and more from one stage to another. As you can see here, this passage in Mark 8:22-26 is more than just about physical healing. It speaks of one's spiritual blindness, and how one's spiritual eyes can be enlightened more and more to see what God wants His people to see! Check the few verses just before Mark 8:22-26, and you'd know Jesus was indeed talking about spiritual blindness.

The word 'Bethsaida' in Hebrew means 'house of huntsmen (or hunters)'. It speaks of those who 'keep hunting after your past darkness (or past sins)', or those who 'keep trying to dig your past darkness (or past sins)'. When Jesus told the man (who had been healed from his blindness) 'not to go back to the town', it speaks of 'God's people are to keep looking ahead, and not look back'! In cross-reference, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new'. 

Interestingly, the word 'blind' here is 'tuphlos' in Greek, which means 'smoke (in and around the eyes)', from the word 'tuphoo' meaning 'to envelop with smoke'. In other words, a spiritual blindness is likened to the smoke that envelops one's sight! Have you experienced 'smoke getting in your eyes' before? For example, smoke that comes from the burning of rubbish? Not only your vision becomes blurred, but it also causes sore eyes or irritation to your eyes!

How do you clear the smoke? You pour water on it! And that's exactly what Jesus did to that blind man! The act of 'spitting' on the man's eyes here is symbolic of 'water from the mouth of Jesus (i.e. the Word of God) that washes and cleanses every form of smoke in His people'! In cross-reference, Ephesians 5:26-27 says, '...that He might sanctify and cleanse her (i.e. the church) with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her (i.e. the church) to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish'.

People of God, this is a time to let Him wash you afresh and anew, and let every 'smoke' that the enemy had put against you be cleared in Jesus' name! Remember this is 'a time to clear what needs to clear', so that the Lord can begin to lead you into even greater victories in the coming months! 

If you read Joshua chapters 7 and 8, you'd know that was also a time when God's people needed to 'clear what needs to clear'. At that time, Joshua and the people of God had already crossed the River Jordan, and they had even conquered the city of Jericho by then. In other words, they should be walking in great victories after victories from then on! But the next thing they knew, they were defeated by the people of Ai (who were lesser than them), simply because someone by the name of Achan (meaning 'trouble') kept an accursed thing in their midst. But once cleared, Israel began to walk in victory again!

It is the same with all of us, the people of God today. Clear what needs to clear! Because the Lord is getting you ready to walk into greater victories from now on. Mark my words. As a matter of fact, sin blocks victory, as you can see in Joshua chapter 7. This is a crucial time to return to Him and His ways. Allow Him to wash you clean today by the water of His Word. Allow Him to renew your mind from any form of impurities. He will help you and He will heal you. With men, it may be impossible; but with God all things are possible. He can set you free (even from any deep-seated sin, addiction, etc) today!

Heaven is open now, and the Lord is releasing water from His well-spring to wash you and clear you of any 'smoke' that the enemy has put against you. No matter what had happened in your past (or whatever mistake you've made in your past), there is a free flow of forgiveness for you today. Keep receiving and keep drinking from it. Just do not allow anyone (or the devil) to keep 'hunting after your past' any further! Because you have already been forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), and He remembers your sins no more (Hebrews 10:17).

Knowing that you are already forgiven, flee from those past darkness (or past sins), as the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:22, and look to Jesus instead! He is your righteousness, faith, love, and shalom peace! You can be so full of Jesus that there's no more desire to sin in that area ever again!

Another practical guide is to clear away anything (or any materials) that may remind you (or tempt you) to fall right back into that past (or sin) again. Delete them all! Remember this is a time to 'clear what needs to clear'! Out of sight, out of mind! Just as the prophet Elisha told Joash the king of Israel in 2 Kings 13:15-19 those days, it is the same for God's people today, i.e. to utterly destroy any residue of the enemy's work in your life, leaving no room for the enemy to make a comeback. And you'll be well on your way to greater and greater victories in the months to come. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The gift of discerning of spirits

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NKJV): But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

We shall look at this gift of discerning of spirits today. The word 'discern' here is 'diakrisis' in Greek, from the word 'diakrino' meaning 'to separate thoroughly', or in other words, 'to differentiate (between 'what is' and 'what is not')'. Just as some have, for example, the gift of faith, but all can exercise faith in their lives, or some have a specific gift of healing, but all can pray for healing when the need arises, it is the same with this gift of discerning of spirits. Some have this gift of discerning of spirits, but all can discern (i.e. to differentiate between 'what is' and 'what is not') with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I am writing on this topic because the Lord recently spoke that 'many are going to make key decisions and crucial decisions in life, ministry, career, or business in the weeks to come'. We all need the Holy Spirit to know and discern 'what is of God and what is not', or 'what is God's will and what is not', and even discerning if it is 'a lie or not' (as in Acts 5:1-5 when Peter discerned a lie). As a matter of fact, there is a very thin line between what is a 'truth' (from God) and what is a 'lie' (being conjured up by the enemy) in the world we are living in today. That's why all the more we cannot rely merely on our own wisdom and intelligence, but on the Holy Spirit who is all-wise and all-knowing.

Indeed, this is a time to involve the Holy Spirit to lead you, prompt you, teach you, guide you, and correct you in all your decision-makings in life. Proverbs 9:7-9 says, 'He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning'. May we be like the wise man Proverbs 9:7-9 talks about.

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus says, 'Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless (gentle) as doves'. It means no matter how 'cunning' the 'serpents' (i.e. the enemy) are, you can be even wiser (Proverbs 9:7-9) and not be deceived by them!
By the way, 'being wise' = 'knowing what to do and how to go about doing it'.

People of God, it is also important to choose friends, associates, or partner (in life, ministry, business) who fear the Lord (i.e. having reverential fear of the Lord). You know why? Because Proverbs 9:10-11 says, 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me (i.e. wisdom) your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you'. In other words, those who fear the Lord in all that they are (and do) will have wisdom of God following them, and they will not easily be deceived into walking out of the will of God! They are humble enough to be 'bended' and 'corrected' by the Lord when they start to go 'off-track', hence prevented from stepping into 'pitfalls' or 'landmines' in life!

And why is wisdom of God so important in life? The answer is found in Ecclesiastes 8:1 that says, 'Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine...' See? Wisdom makes your face shine! Not only that, wisdom clears the path for you, and causes your path to shine brighter and brighter till the day Jesus comes! (see Proverbs 4:18)

Ecclesiastes 8:5 then says, 'He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man's heart discerns both time (timing) and judgment (i.e. the ability to make the right judgment in life)'. The word 'discern' here is 'yada' in Hebrew, meaning 'to have understanding (of what is and what is not), and to recognize the difference'.

As the saying goes, 'Practice makes perfect'. This is true even in training (and exercising) your spirit man and spiritual senses to discern. Pray in the spirit much! That is the key. Every time you pray in the spirit, you are activating (and strengthening) your spirit man (1 Corinthians 14:4, 1 Corinthians 14:14, Jude 1:20) and exercising your spiritual senses to discern! Hebrews 5:13-14 says, 'For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age (spiritually mature), that is, those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (i.e. 'what is of God and what is not')'.

Another important key in making the right decisions in life is that whatever decision you make must 'pass through' the Word of God. Why? Because Hebrews 4:12-13 says, 'For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account'. See the word 'discerner' here? This word is 'kritikos' in Greek, from the word 'krino' meaning 'to differentiate, to distinguish, to decide (mentally or judicially) like a judge'. In other words, the Word of God discovers the condition and the intents of the heart, and it is a foolproof way (i.e. simple, plain and clear, leaving no opportunity for error) to help you make the right decisions in life.

People of God, as you enter a season of the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this is also a time to desire the Holy Spirit to teach you to discern in everything you do and in every area of your life (1 Corinthians 14:1). The Word of God says the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17). Ask of Him, and you will receive! Amen!