Friday, September 15, 2017

Rise Up - Woe to the Shepherds

For the full message and to have complete understanding of what I am speaking of, it would be best if the reader begins at the beginning of this series.




She Said What?

Regarding the topic of prosperity teaching, there are a couple of things that require clarification. It is mind-boggling how many believe and follow the prosperity doctrine.  It is so cleverly presented that I too accepted it as valid when I attended the first church since the orphanage for a couple of months.

It is true that I was not saved; I had gone to church more out of curiosity and loneliness, and perhaps to make some friends. It was not to find out about Jesus, or a Saviour, or because of the weight (guilt, shame, conviction, remorse) of my sins.

There I first heard the prosperity doctrine.  In my ignorance, I thought that it sounded like a way to perhaps know God, as well as to help me get a boost, or at least a head start in life.  Yes, I believed in one God and even in Jesus, but little did I know then that even the devils believe and tremble. [Jam 2:19]

After hearing a sermon about seed-faith and prosperity, I understood that I merely had to follow the instructions of the preacher. I was to take my money (the bigger the need, the more generous the giving), and plant the ‘seed’ (money) into good soil (giving the money to the preacher teaching about seed-faith, for example).

When I saw a sign for a caretaking job that offered an apartment and a small salary, I understood that by “faith”, I had to believe and just “claim” the job (along with the apartment and salary). I did not ask God if it was His will for me. In fact, I knew nothing about God’s will versus my will.

God only became involved when I “planted” my seed, and “named the harvest”, expecting God to produce the “fruit” (blessings/gift) of the harvest and thanking Him in advance. It was guaranteed to work, according to the preacher, but as I wrote earlier, it did not. 

I did not get the job, hence no apartment. Since I had given notice (in faith) to vacate the premises I lived in, fully expecting to get the job, I was without a place to live.  I believe that God, in His mercy, taught me a hard lesson with my first attempt with the seed-faith principle (God is the source; give to receive, expect a miracle).  In His mercy, God provided me an emergency place to stay through a female acquaintance (from the church), who had compassion on me.

The intention here is most assuredly not to mock or ridicule those who have been convinced by certain teachers that the doctrine is sound and fool-proof, but rather to place responsibility on those who instruct the sheep erroneously.  Preachers have a responsibility to shepherd the sheep wisely, and to keep them out of harm’s way, away from dangerous precipices and unsafe ground.

Whether those who teach the prosperity (health and wealth) doctrine are false teachers or wolves in sheep’s clothing, or whether such preachers are those who have themselves been deceived, is something only God knows for certain. Many of these preachers are “prosperous” because they have convinced the congregation to plant into their ministry, with reminders not to forget tithes or offerings.
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves’ of God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  [2Tim 2:25, 26]

Expounding on it further here is to clear up any misunderstanding, not to unpack the doctrine and lay the entire teaching out before the reader again.  Many true brothers and sisters in Christ have preached sermons and/or have written thorough articles and books on the topic, as I have previously stated. Yet, it’s important to know where I stand on the matter, especially after reading that I literally planted a tooney ($2 Canadian coin) into the soil of one of my plants.

That being said, I would like share my knowledge, understanding and experience on the matter, as well as to remind the reader about a few of the evil ways and intents of the adversary known as Satan.  Then, as with all things, it is up to the reader to take the matter to God for themselves. 

The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. It is written that we are to give generously and cheerfully, that is truth. Yet, the seed-faith principle is a distorted, corrupted version of God’s truth. 

Those who postulate the seed-faith doctrine use the parable spoken by Jesus (Yeshua) about the sower and seed.  The words of the Messiah are recorded in Matthew 3:3-9.

Matthew records Jesus the Messiah, to which at the end of the parable, Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.  Christ’s words are further recorded in Mark 4:3-9 and Luke 8:5-8.  His final statement indicated that the hearer should meditate upon the parable and understand the meaning.

The seed Jesus was speaking about is the Word of God, and the ground that the seed falls upon is the heart. The soil (heart) must be good soil, humble enough to take the Word of God (seed) down deep into the heart and allow it to take root (meditate upon it, pray).

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  [Jn 8:31, 32]

The Adversary’s Handiwork
Firstly, every teaching must contain elements of truth in it.  Otherwise, it would not be believed or received by anyone, or very few at the least.  Secondly, Satan is not only subtle, clever and crafty [Gen 3:1], but he is persistent.  He has his human agents. It is the twisting and turning, the manipulation of God’s Word by seducing spirits that blindsides people, masterfully leading them astray and into deception.

Those who are attending church out of curiosity or for friendship (such as I was at that time), or those who are new converts, or those who have not studied the Bible and compared scripture to scripture, or read each chapter thoroughly to gain understanding, or those who are moved by every doctrine that tickles the ears, these are the ones who are in danger of being seduced and thus deceived.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teacher, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  [2Tim4:2-4]
The prosperity teaching represents but a sliver of Satan’s handiwork. He will do all he can to divide Christians, destroy relationships through lusts, pride, covetousness, envy, adultery, fornication, betrayal, gossip, slander, defamation, strife, and other diverse pressures, temptations and sins. 

The intent of Satan, the accuser of the brethren [Rev 12:10], to cause division(s) and schisms within the Body of Christ is a well-known, but oft forgotten fact. Schisms are typically the result of discord, most often about doctrine or leadership, and at times heresy. 

However, Satan tempts members of the Body in various ways to manipulate and deceive them into turning on each other like a cancer, which then begins to wreak havoc on the Body.  Since Satan cannot ultimately destroy the Body of Christ, he devises ways to cause division within it, splits, so that it does not operate at full capacity.

However, God is Sovereign. We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. [Phil 1:6] The Lord God knew beforehand what Satan would attempt to do; therefore, He gave us fair warnings in His written word. 

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  
[1Cor 1:10:11]

For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?  [1Cor 3:3]

The temptations mentioned above are only part of the adversary’s handiwork.  The fiery darts of the devil (thoughts injected into one’s mind) are intended to stir up condemnation, pride, strife, contention, mockery, jealousy, envy, hatred, hostility etc to weaken and hinder the Body of Christ. 

However, ultimately the goal is to destroy a believer’s faith and trust in God, and bring them into fear and unbelief which then leads to disobedience and rebellion. Satan will use our pride to keep us on the throne of our heart, instead of Jesus, which is idolatry.  That is a whole other topic. 

Quite often, the enemy of souls puts people and obstacles in a believer’s path to trip them up, and it may be someone that we least expect (such as a married person, a relative, or someone in a position of trust) and provokes them via seducing spirits to sin sexually.  However, one does not have to be a believer to fall into sexual sin.  It is rampant all over the world today, in every nation and country.
Infidelity is but one of Satan’s primary, yet highly successful temptations.  Pride will lift itself up and lead to destruction, if left unchecked. [Prov 16:18] One thing that Christians can forget at times, myself included (such a busy world, so many distractions) is that Satan works WITH the flesh (our carnal nature) because he cannot touch the spirit of the born-again believer.

Satan is not the Creator; he is a created being.  Anything that has been created can never be greater than its Creator.  However, he will surely take out our body if allowed by the Lord. It is a hard fact that the adversary cannot overstep the Sovereign God’s boundaries, authority or power.  

Two examples are taken from the Bible, the first being found in the book of Job.  Satan had already brought utter destruction to Job, with all his belongings either destroyed or stolen. The devil saw to it that each time he brought ruination to Job that all Job’s faithful servants were killed, with the exception of only one left alive from every catastrophe, in order to run to the godly man with the devastating news of what took place.

The final blow to Job was when Satan sent a mighty wind (possibly a tornado) which destroyed the house where Job’s children were gathered, thus killing all ten.  The godly man was completely undone when the last tragedy occurred.  But the adversary was not yet satisfied. He wanted Job to beg for his life with some incurable disease that would affect both his skin and his bones [Job 2:4], but secretly he desired to kill Job and God knew that.

The adversary was convinced that Job would then deny God and turn from Him.  Satan asked God for permission to harm Job’s body by putting sickness upon him. He was indeed permitted to do so, but he was forbidden to take Job’s life. Undoubtedly, Satan would have killed Job as he did his children, if God had allowed it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life. 
[vs 6]

The second example is about a man in Corinth, who was fornicating with his father’s wife (mother or step-mother).  Paul accused the brethren of pride (puffed up), further stating that the group had turned a blind eye to what the man was doing. They did not even grieve over the man’s soul, or rebuke him, or even warn him of the danger he was in of the second death when he stood before Jesus on judgment day.

It is reported commonly that there is fornication amongst you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wire. And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  [1Cor 5:1, 2, 5]

Temptations of Satan
Material wealth and gain (love of money, greed, covetousness), status (secular as well as religious) and power are three other temptations that seducing spirits bring to lure mankind into sin and keep them far from God, particularly Christians. 

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. [Is 59:2]

The Holy Spirit showed me a few years back that sin (and thus temptation) falls into one or more of three categories. It is the way of the world and flesh, which is precisely what Satan works with. When the serpent seduced Eve with his craftiness, she became deceived and ate of the forbidden fruit.  

Then later, she convinced Adam to taste of the fruit also, and he did eat.  The three categories that sin and temptation fall into began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve fell from God’s grace.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  [Gen 3:6]

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  [1Jn 2:16]

Satan’s temptations are aimed to lead us astray through our own lusts and pride.  We must work with God and fight against our carnal nature (flesh) and against Satan and his armies.  Repetition is a very persuasive technique to convince people that a lie is a truth. The devil has his strategies and devices. Persistence is yet another tool the devil uses; he is relentless in his war against mankind, as well as against God.

Seducing Spirits
Although Paul wrote to Timothy about those who forbade marriage and condemned people who ate meat, he did make it clear that there were Christians who were adhering to doctrines brought in by false teachers under the influence of seducing spirits and were running amuck amongst the brethren. 

Now the Spirit speaks expressly (distinctly) that in the latter times (last days) some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [1Tim 4:1]

Some may think that by calling the “prosperity doctrine” a doctrine of devils, I am being heavy-handed (coming down hard on it) and they would be right.  You see, I write in love, love for Jesus Christ (Yeshua), love for the truth, the lost or backslidden, and love for those who are caught up in the spirit of error, under deception from seducing spirits. [1Jn 4:6]

It is Christ’s love in me, so I cannot boast, nor will I touch His glory. My (human) love can fail and be mercurial (fickle, changeable; unpredictable). God’s love never fails.  

His love is all-encompassing; perfect because He is perfect and God is love. [1Jn 4:8] There is no fear in love. [His] perfect love casts out all fear: because fear has torment.  [Those] that fear are not made perfect in love. [1Jn4:18]
Over the years I have said innumerable times that we are in a bloody (spiritual) war; it is no game.  However, Satan sees this war as a deadly and destructive game. Why do I say it is a game to him? He plays for keeps. Some say he takes no prisoners, but he surely does.

It is true that he drives many to commit suicide, to murder, to torture, maim and abuse others. Many are lost to natural disasters and calamities, sudden accidents, casualties of war, drug overdoses, alcoholism, abortions, diseases, including those from substance abuse and sexual sins – destruction is Satan’s joy and goal.

He ensnares people, taking them captive and holding them fast in heavy chains that bind (bondage) and which are hard to escape.  The prosperity teaching takes the truth of God’s word and turns it into a clever lie, but it is a trap to seduce people. 

The seduction is as crafty and clever as it was in the Garden when the serpent deceived Eve.  It is still the same M.O. (modus operandi), which is ultimately to seduce God’s people into believing lies by distorting the gospel via false doctrines, thus bring them into deception and bondage.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (scheming); but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,  [Eph 4:14, 15]

The serpent twisted God’s word and caused doubt as to what God meant. He distorted God’s words to such a degree that the original meaning was lost. This is how the enemy seduces and deceives, by manipulating God’s word to mean an entirely different thing that intended.

Satan did that when he appeared as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and again when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. The enemies of the cross come in amongst the sheep, as false brethren, false prophets and teachers that deny the truth of God’s word.

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  [2Cor4:2]

They introduce heresies in pernicious ways, whilst they rob the people of their money.  They are greedy shepherds who care only for themselves, and most certainly, not the sheep (except to “fleece” them of their money).

And many shall follow their pernicious ways (having a harmful effect, in a gradual or subtle way); by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned (insincere) words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.  [2Pet 2:1-3]

Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.  [Is 56:11]

Tithes and Offerings – Perfect Health and Abundant Life Teaching
Some Christians who have limited incomes (the working poor), or fixed incomes (U.I., disability, welfare, pensions) or are very poor (no income), and who believe the prosperity teaching, become frustrated or guilt-ridden when they cannot give the 10% tithe that is taught, PLUS (as well as) sacrificial offerings or gifts. Many have blamed their continued poverty on their inability to tithe, or at times, their inconsistency in giving the ten percent when they receive their meager cheques.

Others may be tempted to spend what they do have foolishly, in efforts to gain money in order to give generously. Gambling, daily, weekly or monthly lottery playing, embezzlement and theft come to mind.

 Also, if one is born with a debilitating disease or deformity, or suffers from such things later in life, the lies that suggest that “God heals everyone” and “faith does not need doctors”, “if you aren’t healed, you lack faith”, “if you are poor, you are out of God’s will”, are not only misleading statements, but are demonic lies.

Such beliefs indirectly command God to serve our purposes, or mock and question God’s Sovereignty and love, as well as question the importance of faith and trust in God, both of which lead to our obedience to Him. It is directly opposite to the truth, which is that we serve His purposes, not vice versa.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.  [2Cor 2:11]

Freedom in Christ

In the Old Testament, tithing was of the first fruits of the harvest, and the firstlings of herds and flocks. [Deut 14:21-22; Mat 23:23] It was part of the law given to Moses, but it was not about money. Even when Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees and mentioned tithing in part of the rebuke, it pertained to the first fruits of the harvest.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint (herb) and anise (seeds of a plant; herb) and cumin (found in curry powder), and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 
[Mat 23:23]

But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.  [2Cor 9: 6, 7]

God’s promises in His word are true. We are to give, and gladly.  When we give freely from a willing heart, God notices.  He does indeed bless the cheerful giver. There are times that we may give well beyond 10% of that which we have been given. We are led by the Holy Spirit; we obey. If we see a need and satisfy it, again, God takes notice.  We can never out-give God, but woe to them who teach for the sake of filthy lucre, and who teach doctrines that are not of God.

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.  [Titus 1:10, 11]

Healing
It is a truth that Jesus does still heal today. Why some are healed and some are not, I cannot pretend to understand. Only God holds all the answers. But I do not believe that those saints of God who are not healed lacked faith. There are many mighty men and women of God who passed away, not healed. Keep in mind that all of us will face death and our bodies will give up the ghost (our spirit), and the ‘day of judgment’ will come. [Heb 9:27]

That being said, we still go to those who are elders (those who want to serve the body of Christ to see them blessed and for the glory of God, through Jesus Christ), who will anoint us with oil in Jesus’ name, and pray for us to be healed.
Is anyone among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. [Jam 5:23-15]

Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through suffering, hardships, illnesses and such so that we may learn things that we would never have learned otherwise. It is written that though He was a Son, Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered. [Heb 5:8]

Stand on God’s Word
When God gives us a personal promise, which aligns with His written Word and His character, then yes, we can stand on that promise and wait for it to come to fruition.  We are to speak God’s word because it is our sword, and we must keep our sword sharp (by reading the Word) for it to be effective in the spiritual battles that we all will face.

Expect a bloody battle to come as a result of your faith and trust in God for His promises.  Satan wants us to deny God’s word by not speaking it forth, or he will try to hinder us from speaking forth God’s promises to us by fervently working in the planting of the seeds of doubt.

Satan will challenge the authority of God’s word. He will impugn it and then try to cloak us with a spirit of fear, so that we will question and doubt God’s promises to us (those written in His word and those promised to us personally).

But we know that God did not give us the “spirit” of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  [2Tim1:7]

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  
[Heb 4:12]

It is crucial to stand on God’s word and speak it forth, in our thoughts, yes, but also audibly in our prayers and in the reading of the Bible. Satan and all enemies of the cross cower when the word of God is properly used. They know the power and authority in His words. He speaks and it is done. Believe it.
These are the things that I have learned since that day that I first heard about the prosperity gospel. That is why when the man of God told me to plant the tooney in soil and expect God to prosper me a few months ago (June 27, 2017), I knew that it did not necessarily mean financially. 

The prophet did not know me well and did not know what I believed or knew regarding the word of God.  Therefore, he made sure that I understood that the ‘prosperity’ come to me in ‘other ways’ (spiritually, healing or however God so chose).  

I realize I am repeating myself here, but it is very important to understand that the prosperity gospel distorts the TRUTH of God’s word, and the intent originally was/is to line the pockets of the greedy shepherds, the false teachers.
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.  [1Pet 5:2-4]

In faith, I did according to all the man of God instructed, not knowing what to expect, but was pleased even at the thought of prospering spiritually because the desire of all God’s children is to be purged, learn to die to self daily and to become more like Christ Jesus (Yeshua). 

Four days later, I was given the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, filled with gas. The all-season tires still under warranty, plus winter tires, fresh oil change, good brakes and only 91,399 km.  What an unexpected blessing indeed! It is the newest vehicle I ever owned (even if it is 11 years old, it’s in immaculate condition), and it is also the lowest kilometers I’ve ever had on a vehicle I’ve owned. May God bless mightily His faithful, loving children! All glory to God alone! 

Woe to the Shepherds

The prophet Ezekiel was told to give a strong rebuke to the shepherds of Israel who were negligent in their duties. They were feeding themselves, taking from the sheep, rather than feeding them (which would be to lead them away from their sinfulness, and into repentance and holiness before God).

They “fleeced the flock” (again taking from the sheep), to clothe themselves and again, making sure they are well fed and looked after, but are not caring for those God gave them to look after (in Ezekiel’s day, the ‘flock’ was the people of Israel).

They did not care for the sick or diseased, or seek to heal them. The sheep became as prey (as a flock without a shepherd) for the beasts of the field (satanic influences and attacks). The shepherds feed themselves and deceive the sheep.

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! (The exclamation mark is in the original writing; which mans God is angered and very serious.) Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

You eat the fat, and you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock. The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them.

And they were scattered because there was no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.  [Ezek 34:2-5]

Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

For thus says the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep and seek them out. [vs 10, 11]

God promises that he will feed the flock himself. He will search for those who are lost and gather those that are scattered, and deliver them in order to feed them. He will strengthen those who are broken and sick, as a Good Shepherd (Jesus/Yeshua) does. 

But He also warns that He will judge those (shepherds) who became fat and strong by deceiving the sheep and taking from them. How many have the greedy shepherds driven away because they could not abide by their negligence, or live up to their standards and deceptive ways?

How many have these preachers broken because they felt like they were failing God by being unable to give money, due to their poverty? How many of these shepherds actually pray for the sick or seek to strengthen them when they are hurting and broken?

What will He do with those who made idols of themselves, or who are greedy and corrupt? They have been a stumbling block to many. Indeed, be assured, in His timing, God will judge all. The Lord is raising up shepherds after His own heart, who will lead the people to repentance, to fear God, and to walk in the ways of Jesus Christ. 

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.  [Ezek 34:16, 17]

Yes, the faithful and Sovereign Lord taught me a hard lesson even before I was saved (so great is His love in how He teaches each of us individually, for He alone sees the heart). Is it not amazing how He makes each one of us feel like an “only” child, even though the number of us is countless?

Yes, I never forgot the lesson, but a gentle reminder is always welcome. It was good to hear that the godly brother was not one who promoted the seed-faith false doctrine.  

I must repeat myself, in that God truly does see the heart, and obedience means much more to him than is any sacrifice we make in our giving, and listening to the God through His precious Spirit is better than the fat of rams. [1Sam 15:22]  Thank You Jesus for providing the way back to the Father for us sinners!

The Holy Spirit is calling out to these wayward, greedy shepherds, who are blind and rebellious. He calls out to them to repent of their covetousness, repent for leading so many astray, repent for compromising the true meaning of God’s written Word.

The love and compassion of God is beyond understanding. Should we gloat over those who are teaching and prophesying lies, rubbing our hands together in delight that they will be judged?  Or will we grieve for their souls, praying that God will bring them to repentance before it is too late?  As long as we have breath, there is time to repent.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  [2Pet 3:9]

Indeed, the greatest sacrifice ever made, and the one that pleased God the most was that of His Son Jesus Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who laid down His life, knowing that He would be crucified on the cross. There His precious blood was poured out, as the perfect Lamb of God, without spot or blemish (no sin). Through Jesus, our sins can be forgiven and we can be reconciled back to God, our Creator.

To be forgiven, our sins covered by the blood of Christ Jesus, and to be filled with the precious Spirit of God, is the beginning of our walk with our Saviour.  It is the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth, as we surrender all to Jesus.  Christ accomplished all upon the cross, when He poured out His blood for mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound[Is 61:1; Lk 4:18]

Money Tree

One of the women from church, who heard me give a brief testimony about the coin in the soil and the gift of a vehicle, presented me with clippings from what is called a “Money Tree” or a “Silver Dollar Bush”, the following Sunday.  It’s rather humourous actually, as the man of God had specifically told me not to expect a money tree when he had instructed me to plant the coin into soil. 

The dear sister in Christ decided to give me a money tree (smiles).  Below are the pictures.  The seeds inside the protective outer portion of the leaves look like small coins. With a gentle sliding, the transparent outer leaf and the seeds become separated from the remaining leaf, leaving behind a whitish-silvery leaf.

What a beautiful family in Christ Jesus we have!  May we pray one for another, and be grateful to God for His infinite wisdom and in the ways He accomplishes His will.  Great is His love toward us all, and His faithfulness and mercy endures forever. 

God is good, and everlasting love, and His truth endures through all generations.  [Ps 117:2; Ps 100:5]

To Those Who Have Cried Out (a word from the Lord given)

Many have cried out to be purged, to be made clean. Many have wondered what is wrong with them, and why they have not been able to trust, why they struggle in their mind.  They thought they had let go of the past, but they have struggled with their moods, their emotions and feelings. 

They have questioned their very sanity, battling constantly, not knowing if they fight Satan or their flesh. In desperation, they have cried out to Me, seeking truth and desiring to be free. 
To those who have sincerely cried out, I have now opened the eyes to see, and broadened the understanding. This I have done by opening ears so that hearing is no longer distorted.

When My people do not fully trust Me, they cannot truly trust others, especially those who have suffered various forms of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, mental, spiritual).  There are times that I must allow the rug to be pulled out from under the feet of My people.  When there is nowhere else to turn for help or answers, multitudes will indeed cry out to Me.

Did I not foretell that I would be shaking all that could be shaken, and the things that cannot be shaken will remain?  [Heb 12:27]  This pertains not only to the physical realm, but the spiritual realm as well. This is not something to fear, for I have also said that all things work together for good, to those who love [Me] and are the called according to My purpose. [Rom 8:28]

Many have repented, but there remains still more to repent of.  Lo! I am doing a quick work for the times that are at hand are dangerous times, though many make excuses and explain away all that is happening globally.

Others laugh at the warnings, often because of the false prophecies that have been told down through the course of history.  People will continue on eating, drinking and carrying out business as usual, uninterested in what I would say to them. They have no time for Me in their busy schedules; others do not even believe I exist.

Few are searching their hearts to see what is hidden there.  Fewer still cry out to Me to help them see all that is not of Me, hidden away in the deep crevices of their heart – crevices that are covered over, hidden from sight.
I, the Lord, will uncover that which covers the deep crevices. An opening shall be made. There are hidden things unseen in the crevices, due to the depth and darkness. Many have built strong and high walls, even placing a covering over the walls, to ensure nothing disturbs the hidden things.

It is as a vault of steel, protected and impenetrable.  Yea, but I have come to destroy the covering and to tear down the walls, to crumble every carefully placed brick to dust.  Then I shall burn up even the dust (chaff), so that when one looks for evidence of the walls that once stood so strong and bold, none will be found.

I will shake the very foundation in order to bring to the surface that which was hidden in darkness and secrecy.  I will break up the hard ground of the heart, and pull up the mighty root with all its taproots. I shall reveal that which was hidden so that it may be seen and acknowledged.

I have opened the blind eyes to see and unstopped the ears that the enemy has hindered and halted. Humble yourself and pray, seek My face (and not My hand).  Turn from all that is not of Me. Do not be surprised at that which is revealed, for the building of the walls and the covering took many years to build.
When you humble yourself and pray, and seek My face, and turn away from that which is revealed (repentance), then I shall hear your prayer and forgive your sins, and heal your land.  [2Chron 7:14, 15] 

For I sent locusts into the land devouring, until in your desperation, you would humble yourself and cry out to Me.  So many are into idolatry and they are completely unaware, totally blind to it.  Yea, but when you come to see, you discover that you must turn away (repent) from the idolatry of “self”.

Smash the idol of self, then I the Lord will destroy the debris left behind; burning it up, so that not even the ashes remain.  I am close to a broken and contrite spirit and I hear the plea for help when you cried out in distress, not understanding, completely oblivious to the core problem.

Hear the prophecy spoken: You are as one trapped in a cage, not realizing that the door is wide open. But when you humble yourself, pray and repent, your eyes shall be opened to see that I, Jesus (Yeshua), provided a way out. The door is open eagle; it is time to fly and be made free.

I have not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. [2 Tim 1:7

Overcome fear with faith; let go of unbelief and replace it with trust.  Move to the open door. When you repent, I strengthen you as you look to Me, for I have risen from the grave to set the captives free.  My blood was not spilled in vain (for nothing), for there lies the victory!
Your (spiritual) armour is covered in My blood and the glory of the Father is upon My blood. The Father’s glory blinds the eyes of the enemies of the cross and sends confusion into their camps.

Now rise up!  Leave the past behind; leave Egypt; leave Babylon.  Forgive yourself, yes, truly forgive yourself. Are you greater than Me? You say, “Lord, I have forgiven myself…long ago.”  Yet, I say to you, if you had truly forgiven yourself, you would not have had hidden things deep within.

Satan is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning [Jn 8:44], who will shoot forth fiery darts at such speed that one feels they are losing their mind.  When one has not forgiven themselves in fullness, the result will end up idolatry, constantly thinking about self, and circumstances, and others.

Receive My love and fear, which has torment, will leave.  Much has been purged, yet just a little more, for I shall have a holy people.  Trust Me and you will find that you can offer trust to others.  Receive My love and you will find that you will see others through My eyes, and love with My love.

Rise up with wings as eagles, for I am indeed the wind beneath your wings. Rise above the world, for it is not your home.

And I will restore the years the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, My great army that I sent among you.  And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that has dealt wonderously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed. [Joel 2: 25-27]

Some things are hard to admit to, but those who desire to be fully purged will humbly acknowledge all sin and allow themselves to be completely cleansed and set free.  Behold, great is My love. The time is now; rise up My people.  Eagles, as you wait upon Me, you shall see the open door. It is time to fly, for dangerous are the days.  I am making My people ready.

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.  [Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:17]

for His glory alone

Bonita

Countries to pray for:

Africa, America (east coast), Argentina, Australia, Connecticut, Croatia, France,Germany, Italy, Maine, Maryland, Mexico, Norway, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Russia