Friday, October 26, 2018

Jesus Christ: As Seen Through the Eyes of Angels

 
The following post is based on a sermon I listened to years ago by Colin Smith. In this piece, I take a look at instances where the lives of angels intersect with Jesus Christ and His people.  I tell it from the point of view of these angelic beings who the Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:16 (concerning Jesus) was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Included in this post are the original messages from whence these writings were adapted from.

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In Heaven

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

That's your story. But I can assure you that our first experience of conscience existence was looking into the face of Jesus our Creator and beholding the glory of the One who was, is, and is to come. Worshiping Him and tending to His call is all we know.

You can get a glimpse of our activity in Heaven by reading the prophet Isaiah where he writes of our company praising Him continuously, proclaiming His holiness. His majesty and glory are far above anything any finite mind could ever begin to comprehend.

On Earth

And then in a period of time that we all knew was coming one day; Jesus Christ stood from His throne and disappeared from our entire view. Before this remarkable event occurred, however, one from our company, named Gabriel, was sent from God to a virgin named Mary. During this time of visitation, the young girl was told that she would give birth to a boy and that He would be the Savior of the world. And so He came. In a moment in the fullness of times (as your Bible says) He took upon Himself a body. The Word became flesh and dwelt among you. And as some of us recall the memory of when Heaven most met Earth, we bring to your reminder the time when as the Son of God lay in a manger in a town called Bethlehem: Multitudes of us gathered on a hillside and appeared to shepherds tending their flocks and said:

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

In a Wilderness

And then as you read your scripture and mark the places where angels and the life of Jesus intersected, you will find that the next place we saw Him was in a desert. The person of Jesus Christ grew and lived into manhood, and the question on some peoples minds was would the Son of God live His life on earth as a man or would He resort to using His powers as Lord to make His life easier. Those answers came when out in the middle of the Judean wilderness, the tempter came to Him. This creature was none other than the one who was the instigator of the rebellion at the beginning. Lucifer was His name. And we all had seen his fall from Heaven when he tried to exalt himself above God and in turn, was exiled to Earth. Now was His chance. By the time the devil came to Him, Christ had fasted forty days and forty nights and as your Bible says was very hungry. So as it went, the first temptation the devil came against Jesus with was questioning His divinity and suggesting that He turn stones into bread. To this, we sat by and listened inquisitively.

The second temptation was suggesting that the Christ throw Himself off a pinnacle of the temple and in turn, would cause us to catch Him up with our wings and land Him safely to the ground. By now, we saw the toll that these temptations were having on Jesus. So we sat and waited.

Finally, the tempter had Jesus walk up to a very high mountain and once He was atop, showed Him all the glory of the world and said, "All these things I will give you if you fall down and worship me."

But in a moment that we knew was His final temptation and our release to minister, He replied, "Get away from me Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only!"

Then as soon as the devil left, we were permitted to come and attend to Christ there.

In a Garden

Then we saw Him in a garden. It was a place where He often resorted to praying and spending time with His disciples. But on this night, the Son of God arrived, and we knew something was different about this occasion. It started when He entered the garden and told His disciples to keep watch and pray. But as He withdrew to a place by Himself, we could tell He was severely affected by what was about to happen to Him in the space of several hours. Your Bible recounts the words He spoke to the Father in John 17 during this time. During one period of intercession before the Father, He uttered those words now recorded and repeated by His followers throughout history: "If it be possible let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will but as You will."

It was at this time that great drops of blood began to draw upon His forehead, and He (as well as us) knew this was just a foretaste of the blood He was to shed for humankind a little later on a tree on a hill called Golgotha. Nevertheless, it was at this time that one from our company was called down to Gethsemane to strengthen the One who was to give His life a ransom for all.

On the Cross

They nailed Him to the tree and crucified Him there. But it was at that time that I want to recall to you one of the things that the Christ said while all this was going on:

"Do you not think that I can call upon 12 legions of angels to rescue me from this?"

And as we heard Him say those words, we sat at the edge of Heaven, ready at one instant to save Him, but permission was not given. The call never came. Because as many who already know; no one was able to take His life from Him. He gave Himself freely. Because it was He, who said that no man could take His life. He laid it down willingly. And He had the power to take it up again.

At the Empty Tomb

Moreover, they took down Christ's body and laid it in a grave. Then He was seen by angels. Your Bible describes a violent earthquake and an angel of the Lord coming down from Heaven and rolling back the stone of the tomb and sitting on it. It was at that time that death lost and eternal life won the victory. Jesus Christ has risen, and it's for this reason we now proclaim the message of the resurrection to you. He's alive.

At His Ascension

It was after 40 days that the Christ spent time with His disciples and showing many infallible proofs of His resurrection that it was time for Him to ascend back up to Heaven with the Father. So as He led them as far as Bethany and lifted His hands and blessed them there, He gave them the great commission of spreading and teaching these things I'm sharing with you.

It was at this time as the Christ disappeared from their sight in the clouds, that two from our company (dressed in white) said to those men standing there gazing into the skies, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the heavens. Do you not know that this same Christ will return just as you have seen Him go?"

And it was then that they departed and told the good news of this to everyone they met.

At His Second Coming
(Parenthetic)

That's the story of the past and the present. But there is coming a future where we will play a role yet again. The apostle Paul also recorded a future time where Christ would descend from Heaven with the sound of a trumpet. When Christ was on the earth, He told His followers of those times when we would go throughout the entire earth dividing His believers from the wicked and separating them from one another The time is soon. For no one knows the day or hour of His coming. So be ready! 



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Friday, July 27, 2018

Vision for the mission (Funding ministry)

In another post, I wrote about the vision God has given me to plant a church and run other subsidiaries within that ministry. In this update, I want to talk about an idea God gave me to generate income to turn and operate these ideas. I release this post publicly, knowing full well that God can protect the idea and get it into the hands of children of the kingdom who will steward it faithfully.



United Sharpshooters Championship (USC)

This idea is for a new entertainment/sports league that features current and ex-military personnel from all branches of the U.S. services. The program will be divided into two separate sections:
The first half of the show will feature vignettes of each contestant appearing on the show, including military background, training, and personal life (family, children, etc.)

The second half will feature the actual game...
The structure of the game will consist of an arena containing brick walls throughout the field. Each contestant will start at opposite sides of the course, armed with military-grade rifles loaded with real ammo that has had the metal tips of the bullets removed and replaced with paintball heads. Out of three timed rounds, each player will have a certain amount of time to shoot his/her opponent as best as they can.

Each contestant will wear a white jumpsuit with different parts of their body lined off to distinguish different “hit points.” Each part of their body will be sectioned off and will be appointed a number of points for each successful shot that lands there. Moreover, certain areas of the body will be designated “kill zones” so that if any shot hits either of these places, the one who inflicts the shot automatically wins as they have hit their opponent in a critical location. Such places on the body will include headshots and chest/heart shots.

This is an original idea that takes sports to an entirely new level. Military sports entertainment is an endeavor that has yet to be tapped into yet. With the rise of hostility between rivaling nations in the world, this idea ramps up the interest in U.S. military. I believe this idea is a winner not only for viewers who will tune in to watch this, but it will also prove to be a massive success in advertising. I believe as ratings increase as people watch this, the government will take action and purchase advertising space to entice prospective new enlistees in the armed forces too. The bottom line is that this idea is a money maker. However, it will take considerable amounts of funding to get off the ground. First, ammo makers in the states would have to be willing to engineer bullets that have paintball heads that can be fired out of real rifles. Anything less than the real thing would not be authentic, and interest will wane. This idea is built upon real soldiers with real guns competing against one another.

The system of play could be a bracket system, pitting players against each other until a final head to head to determine a champion. The windfall of the ultimate winner could be determined by however many investors decide to invest in this idea. My guess of an approximate windfall amount would be 1 million dollars to the final victor.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

And He will show you things to come (Part 2)


 In the previous installment of this title (part 1), I discussed being before the Lord and just praying and praising Him for who He is and what He had already done in my life. I had no other agenda besides that. So I was particularly surprised when after I spent my devotion on Him during this time (years ago) that He started prophesying things to come in my future. As I wrote about before, one of those things was a future wife with specific traits to her. The second and third thing he told me He wanted to accomplish in my life was to use me to plant a church and get formal Bible training at Lee University. As for the Bible training, this surprised me too seeing as how I really didn't like school growing up. I questioned it as well, seeing as how I don't even have a high school education. However, upon calling the college, I learned that there are no such requirements for previous education to study under their adult education program. This was good news to me since I saw no point in studying core subjects if all I wanted to do was preach the gospel.


As for the church He wants me to plant, the only other detail He gave me that morning regarding it was the name He wanted it called. The Church of the Upper Room was what He told me to name it. Over a period of time, He's given me other specific details of what the ministry will look like. At its core, it will be "a ministry unto an audience of One." There will be peculiar differences between it and how a lot of other churches operate. For one, worship will look different. Instead of a team of people standing on a stage and looking out over a congregation; whoever worships by playing instruments and singing, will do so with the congregation on the floor, with everybody facing the same direction. The architecture of the building will be so that there will be a slight descent on the floor starting from the entrance of the sanctuary to the front. This will be accomplished to take more emphasis off worship watching to truly ministering before an audience of One.
 

I've yet to write out a mission statement for this church, but it will be fundamentally set to reach the 7 different spheres of influence in society:
 

 Family
 Religion / Church
 Education
 Government
 Media (Communication)
 Celebration (Arts, Entertainment, and Sports)
 Economics (Business, Science, and Technology

 

The church will do this by:

 1. Supporting missions and organizations dedicated to advancing God's kingdom in each of these realms.

 2. Installing, equipping, and sending individuals called to minister in each of these spheres.


On a grassroots level, The Church of the Upper Room will also be dedicated to serving the needy and homeless of Chattanooga by giving out food once a week on the church's property.


Needless to say, these are huge endeavors. However, one of the largest visions God has given me associated with The Church of the Upper Room is starting a ministry which will physically touch all of Chattanooga and the Tri-State area. It's going to be a 24/6 ministry which will involve Spirit-filled teams working around the clock. It will consist of one phone and a van. Ministering will take place as needed. People may call the number and ask for a visit or whatever is required. These teams will be specifically trained for evangelism and will operate in all the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

 


Eventually, the vision is to equip the teams with body cams and cams in the vehicles and record every time someone is ministered to. I'm thinking of something like the show COPS, but completely ministry related instead. Later, all footage can be sent off to a production company for edit and to make ready for broadcasting and a later date.



So as you can tell, this vision will cost a ton of money to launch and sustain. I even have an idea for building a few apartments on the property of the church to house a few team members. I have my eye on one particular piece of real estate right down the road from the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. What's strange is that half the building itself currently isn't even being used. I expect it to go for sale one day eventually. And when it does, I believe God has designated it to be to the home of The Church of the Upper Room and its associated auspices.


So that's it. Those are the bare bones of what I believe God is calling not only myself to but many others as well. What's beautiful is that there are already ministries and churches already on the scene. And many, I believe, will come and flow with what God wants to do here. Whether that's preachers, worship leaders, urban missionaries, or whoever else. It's the perfect time for God to send out laborers because what Jesus said about the fields being ripe already for harvest is true. To Him be the glory!


In another article, I will write a new post on how I believe God wants to partly fund the ministry I've spoken about here and others who are about the Father's business. Please keep reading and stay tuned for more on Abba's heart. Stay blessed!

 
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Friday, July 13, 2018

A Dream With Mama Heidi




I was lying in bed and edging away from the leftovers of sleep when I was sucked into the Spirit with Heidi Baker. When I got to wherever God wanted me to be, I was in the midst of a pool of water and anointing oil. And Heidi was submerging a kind of base that's used in the game of baseball underneath all the oil and water. She was jumping on top of it and completely bringing it under the surface of the Presence of God. When I saw this I instinctively joined her; declaring things like healing, joy, peace, and a myriad of other things over the plate as I helped her cover it with the Presence.


At this point, (as we were behaving like children in this pool) our foreheads met together as we were splashing about and she said something about Jesus. What she said was something explicit about His body. The moment was holy and pure, but I still could understand what she was saying because the Lord had given the same type of revelation to me earlier in life. What happened next was another person's view came into my periphery vision next to me, and I was hesitant to say what I was going to say. But at the nudging of Heidi to be free and say what I wanted, I spoke. I told her that in Heaven God made us one with Himself and one with all believers. And John 17 made this clear. I went on to say to her that whatever God does in Spirit he also carries out in the physical. At that, Heidi stood back and asked, "Am I supposed to believe that?"

 I kind of was taking aback myself, and though I didn't start to try to defend my point, I replied that she was free to believe what she wanted and that was just my personal belief. All in all, I would say that the moment didn't lose its glory even in all this.

 What followed after was a sort of
desolvation or parenthetic with my time with Heidi and me talking to God about a lot of things before finally getting out of bed and started the day's tasks.

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I don't really know why I'm posting this. But I do feel like Holy Spirit has given me the prompting to post and make it public. Later, with my time with the Lord, it came to me why Heidi might have been taken aback at what I said. Of course, she's married and what I said had strong implications. And of course, I understand that. I respect her husband, Roland. I think the both of them are incredible people. Listening to Roland reminds me of Jesus. It's rare that a theologian can sit down and talk and not come across as someone who states his opinions in a "my way or no way" sort of attitude. He engages people in a way that makes them think. And the questions he poses aren't rhetorical. I've only sat and watched one extended talk he's done on the IRIS podcast. And the things he brings up in discussion really probe the heart and soul. I do plan on watching more. As for the Heidi dream, what's ironic, is that the night before, I had watched a video of her ministering on YouTube.

 I'm just excited that the Lord saw fit to give me a dream, experience, or whatever it can be called to go with what I have already attained. And for those reading, "then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." (The apostle Paul - Philippians 3:15)
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Greybeard & The Dying Man




Take a stroll with me and get a look at some of God's people.
In this video, you'll see the living conditions of some of the homeless in Chattanooga. And you will meet two friends I had the privilege to talk and pray with. 

Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. Video briefly shows a man urinating in the middle of the sidewalk. And it has not been edited. 



 
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Monday, July 2, 2018

The time is coming for an end to legalized abortion!



Several days ago I paid a visit to the National Memorial For The Unborn to weep over my sins and the sins of the nation. At one point while I was praying in intercession for the children and adults who’ve been effected by these atrocities, I looked out into the courtyard of this place and it was entirely engulfed with the consuming fire of God. And angels were dancing and worshiping in the midst of Him. It was an awesome site. But fast-forward to a few days ago, the Lord gave me a follow-up Word to what was prophesied during a church meeting I attended. Not only there was it announced that a future generation in America would see the end of legalized abortion, but what I received was not only would thousands be saved from being murdered in the womb, but there will be a generation coming that will give birth to multitudes of babies. This will make the “baby-boom” generation seem miniscule in comparison. Not only will hospitals be over-run with women giving birth, but babies will be delivered in very crazy places. The time is coming for this to happen. But in the meantime, the battle is on for not only the souls of little babies, but also men and women who are caught up in lies. If you ever get a chance, take a visit to the National Memorial For The Unborn and see the wonderful work of redemption and healing that is taking place there. You won’t be disappointed.


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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Roughing it in New Orleans For 2 and a Half Days

This testimony is a recollection of a time that I took a bus trip to New Orleans, LA and roughed it on foot for 2 1/2 days.











It started in Chattanooga with a growing unease of itchy feet and wanting to have an adventure. So I set out. It took a little over 9 hours to get there (including several Greyhound bus stops) Once arriving at the terminal in downtown New Orleans, I asked which way to the public library. Upon getting closer to the library, I found a public park that had lush grass and trees to camp in. So I laid down and rested until it was the hour for the library to open.

Once inside the library, I filled my jug up with water and used one of the computers there. After a couple of hours, I used the available Wifi connection to pull up the route I wanted to walk and set off. I decided to use a central point of downtown as a base for which I would coordinate my moves.
I would use the Greyhound Bus station, and the New Orleans Mission as points to stay within so I wouldn't get sidetracked. (Both were a few blocks away from each other)

Once I got back to this area, I started walking down a long stretch of road not knowing where I was going. The only thing I remember during this time was walking past an absolute wretch. He was human for sure, but his demeanor and manner and the way he carried himself spoke of a vicious animal. At the time he reminded me of what Peter spoke of when he said that they are unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals, they too will perish. (2 Peter 2:12)

At the time I knew enough not to try to talk to him because he would have no doubt lashed out and given me problems. So I carefully watched him pass and took in the spectacle.

It wasn't long after I kept walking along that a young man (approximately 18 or 19 years old) walked out of a side house and started on the path a few yards in front of me.

I called out to him and said something about him and Jesus. I don't recall the exact things I asked or told  him. But for the point of this testimony and an explanation of why I did what I did, I will say it was about Jesus and reaching this guy for His glory's sake.

So there he and I went. I spent about 5 minutes walking side by side with him. However, eventually, he said that he had to go on and started walking faster and left me. Naturally, I spooked the poor kid. But Holy Spirit told me to keep following him.  I didn't let him move  out of my line of sight. And by this time he knew I was following him. It seemed like we crossed areas of the city four or five times. Eventually, he turned into an alleyway, but I kept pursuing him. He went into a house on the block. So I crossed the street and went further down and waited on him. About half an hour later he came back out and started off again. I kept a considerable distance but kept following him. This was when he stopped and hollered at me and asked me what I wanted. I don't remember what I told him. But I'm sure it was something about Jesus. At this point, I could tell that he was getting freaked. And I had the choice to make. Was I going to keep following him like this or leave him alone and let him go his own way? Again, Holy Spirit told me to keep following him.
Now at this point, I had to examine my own sanity in this because even to me it was getting crazy. To make a long story short, this kid ended up going all over the city of New Orleans trying to escape me. We first meet each other at approximately 9 in the morning, and our adventure wouldn't end until around 10 PM that night.

Some highlights of the pursuit were when he got lucky and lost me. He had weaved in and out of stores and streets until I lost track of him. So I remember sitting under a tree, utterly exhausted, and getting a fill of water. At that point, I thought the mission was over. So I got on my phone to call family back in Chattanooga to let them know I was returning. And the second I was about to say that I was coming back, guess who rounded the corner of the road? It was him!  So I told my party nevermind and that I had to go. So I continued my pursuit. It was moments like that when I knew God was in this. A large percentage of the time it made no sense what I was doing; especially when I would sit in the middle part of the highways and watch him while traffic flowed every direction. He called or had people call the police more than once. These times happened when he was either working at a gas station or spending time idle there as his friend worked there. Yeah, the cops came to me at least two times asking me who I was and what I wanted with the boy. I don't recall what I told them. I either told them I didn't have any interest in the boy or told them something else. But either way, they couldn't do anything to me. Because technically I wasn't breaking the law. So this went on until night time. Finally, he walked off from the gas station property and went to a Costco. Apparently, he had friends that worked there too. A couple of them told me to kick rocks and get off the property. To which I obliged (knowing the law) but I never let him get out of sight. Finally, he kept moving to different areas, and we ended up in a huge parking lot.

That's when someone in a car pulled up beside me and identified himself at this kid's older brother. He asked me what I wanted with his younger sibling. And again, I don't recall all that I said, but I just remember the boldness of how I said things. I mentioned that I was on a mission and that Holy Spirit had commanded me to follow his brother from the start of the day. I didn't elaborate why but insisted that the mission was now over. So this guy and I end up talking more, and at first, he was very suspect and kept asking me questions about who I was and why I was there. I kept reiterating that I was on a mission from God. And that's when this man ended up opening up. I suppose he got reassured that I wasn't dangerous or as crazy as it seemed and let me get in his car. Before that, I told him that I had to continue my mission on Bourbon Street and asked him if he would give me a ride there. During the drive, he confided in me that his younger brother and to some extent himself weren't living for God as they should. Before I got out of his car, he handed me a wad of money and thanked me. He prayed for me and then I got out and left, walking the dirty and dark streets of New Orleans some more.

What transpired after was open-air preaching under a corner streetlight (outside a bar), an encounter with two of the friendliest cops I've ever met, a courtesy ride back to the downtown district per New Orleans finest, one of the best church services I've ever been to (at the New Orleans mission's night chapel service, an elegant dinner at the same mission (served up to us like we were kings), a chance meeting with a young woman and her autistic son, (and the time we spent riding on the greyhound together and sharing life)

As you can read, a lot went into this short trip to New Orleans. Much I didn't write about. But it is a primer to me that such trips can be very fruitful and rewarding. I do plan on taking another soon.
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