Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Wedding Day Approaches





On December 27, 2011 I had the following dream:

There was a wedding approaching. I had two things to do as the wedding day drew near. One was to help the bride prepare; the other was to announce the wedding and invite guests. This was a very important event. I felt a sense of urgency as I worked. I did all that I could to encourage people to clear their calendars for the wedding and be sure to come to it prepared. The days went by quickly, but finally the wedding day arrived. I was excited, but busy as there was still much to be done before the bride would be made perfect for her king. Just before the wedding ceremony began, the dream ended.

As I thought about the dream the following day, I saw messages to three different groups of people. There is one for those who consider themselves to be the bride; one for those are preparing the bride and one for those who don't yet know about the wedding.

The wedding itself speaks of the consummation of our betrothal to the groom, who is Jesus. While the heavenly man tarries, His bride awaits His return to rule with us in righteousness. The dream is a reminder that there is a day, fast approaching when He will return as promised. No one knows that day but the Father, but we are still to be about the business of making preparations for the wedding.

If you haven't accepted the invitation to the wedding, it is important that you do so. Don't put this off. The day is approaching quickly.

There is a message for those who consider themselves to be the bride of Christ - prepare yourself to meet your king. As I look at the bride today, I see a shadowy form of the beautiful bride the Lord would have us to be. There is indeed much work to be done.

The bride has been assaulted, molested, beaten and abused at the hands of too many people. Church leaders have used her as a punching bag. Politicians use her as a target for the shooting range. And many of us suffer gossip, slander and every kind of treachery at the hands of our brothers and sisters. Much of the abuse the bride receives is self-inflicted.

We've received these words of condemnation into our hearts. As a result we've developed a shattered and distorted identity. Seeking revenge, we've become militant warriors bent on destroying those who have abused and accused us. We wage war against secular institutions, the liberal media, Islam and anyone who dares to disagree with our world views. We've become combatants against the world that our king came to save. We've truly lost our focus.

The bride makes herself ready.

We need to be about the business of making ourselves beautiful for our king. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you've become lovely for the king who purchased you with His own blood. In your character, do you see the love, faith and compassion our King would look for? Or do you have an angry, doubtful or mistrusting heart? These are the things we should focus on. It's easy to become focused on politics, economic worries, rumors of war and the like. These things are distractions. Let the bride be focused and filled with the love, being made beautiful for her king.

There is a message for those whose task it is to prepare the bride - do not grow weary in well-doing. It's the duty of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists to train and equip the saints, who are the bride. Part of that training and equipping involves developing Godly character in the body of Christ. It is this character that makes the bride beautiful.

We must assist the bride in growing into maturity. We must help her to be healed of the wounds she's received. We must re-shape her identity. The bride is not at war with the world, but rather through acts of mercy, love and compassion she is to defeat the powers of darkness. The bride was meant to be the envy of the world, not the scourge of it.

The king is coming. Let the bride make herself ready.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

How To Stay Out of Deception




Kris Valloton discusses the problem of deception with an example from his own life.





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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Mountain and the City

This prophetic revelation began as a literal verbal interaction with Father, and then this article flowed as a "parabolic understanding”. 


Dangling from the edge of the cliff, I struggled once again to pull myself up unto the level plain before me which capped the top of the mountain. At least one hundred times in the last 10 years I had come to this same place in my climb only to lose my grip and fall back down with bumps and bruises to a ledge far below the cloud line. Many times I had passed above the clouds in my journey into a place of clear vision only to slip and fall back down again confused.

This time, as I inevitably began to slip again, a voice rang out to me, "Do you trust me?" It was Him! He appeared in brightness before me with an outstretched arm. I knew in my heart now why I fell so often. I felt fear! Fear of losing my own life. The same fear the Israelites in the desert felt when the clouds and smoke covered the holy mountain and they ran because they feared to die. This fear was really unbelief in Father’s ability to take care of me if I let go of everything; even my own life!

I then realized that letting go of my own life was His goal all along, and the struggle to save my life must end now. Fear did not leave, but I made the choice, like a little child I reached out to His outstretched hand and surrendered to the unknown, Trembling I reached out and said, "Yes, I trust you..."

I wept as His presence surrounded me and I was swept up in His arms of love. Fear vanished and what overtook me was peace. I no longer had any need to worry, I was standing in a broad place with His love and peace overshadowing me and I was safe, but more importantly, He was my God. He had told me years ago theta He would be my God, and now I knew He was. He said, "It's not that you tried, it's that you died! Your trying and finding only failure led you to the end of yourself, trying was never going to get you unto this level plain.”

A WITNESS

It was my Father who held me dear and spoke tenderly to me. I was wrapped in His continual presence that drove out all my fears and blanketed me with peace. I had been here before, but only as a revelatory experience to help me press on to seek out this place with Him. I began to realize that what I had seen and experienced as divine revelation in the Spirit had now become a reality.

“You have been a witness to the truth”, He said. “Up till now you have been given revelation as a witness to others of the truth I have been speaking to them. By the mouth of two or three is something established; My Spirit and the revelation given to my many witnesses have helped establish my kingdom in the hearts of my children who have been seeking me. But, the day of simply being a witness of revelation alone is coming to an end, and the day of the manifestation of that revelation is beginning. 

The brightness of His glory kept me from seeing His form clearly, but I could now see His eyes; eyes of love that were swirls of fire. I then asked the question, “But, what about those witnesses who have not made it here yet? What will become of them?” He replied, ‘There are still more that will overcome and meet me here. But, at this time many of my witnesses have themselves been overcome.

BABYLON
He then stretched out his hand and pointed to the plains below the mountain. “Behold Babylon!” He said.

As far as my eyes could see on the plain below, there was a mass of humanity as the sea, churning, moving, and crashing together in confusion. In the midst of this sea of humanity was a large city set upon seven hills. I realized that much of the churning and motion was from the movement of people and beasts bearing burdens in and out of the city. They were bearing these burdens to and from the four corners of the plain which seemed to have no end. 

The city itself was sprawling, and it was hard to see where it began and ended. It was built as a mass of confusion with no regular pattern to its towers and buildings. Yet all of its structures were made out of worthless material; shards of broken wood, hay, and stubble. 

And as I looked more closely I saw that the burdens borne by beasts of burden and men were the same worthless materials, yet men were hoarding and trading these “treasures” as if they were precious treasure. 

My eyes then followed a trail of traders to the base of the mountain upon which I stood. To my shock I saw that much of the mountainside was covered with small enclaves of buildings made out of the same worthless materials. Most of these people milling about the structures below the level of the clouds, yet I could see through these clouds without difficulty. A few who had traveled above the clouds were busy climbing. The numbers of people on the mountain were not as numerous as those on the plain, but the trading of the goods of Babylon back and forth among the separate enclaves had the same effect of confusion that dominated the masses on the plain. 

“Who are those people?” I asked, pointing to those on the mountain. He replied,“Some of these are journeying their way to the top of the mountain as you have already done. Others who have built and settled on the mountainside have been overcome by the lure of Babylon.” 

In horror I began to recognize some of the people and places that on my journey that I had once tried to become part of and left in dissatisfaction. At the time of my travels, these places had seemed so elegant and alluring. But from the top of the mountain their appearance was that of disheveled and appalling shanty towns, fashioned together with wood, hay, and stubble.

“These places were built by those given my revelation and gifts to help men come to the top of my mountain,” He said. “Many of these like you also had revelation of the top of the mountain, and gathered men unto themselves to share that revelation. They have built their shanty towns of wood, hay, and stubble around the very revelation and gifts they were given to bring people here.” 

I then noticed some of the enclaves had signs that read “The New Jerusalem” He continued speaking, “Many of these have had a revelatory vision of the New Jerusalem, but have settled for the praise of men, and have believed the delusion that they are building the Holy City.”

I noticed that some dissatisfied people were leaving the larger enclaves and beginning to make the trek up the mountain. Others, who had also recognized the bankrupt state of the shanty towns, began to gather themselves in smaller groups and began building their own disheveled shanties apart from everyone else. To my amazement they began building again what they had just left, only smaller. Everything built by man on the mountainside was simply an extension of the nature of Babylon; in fact every structure on the plain and on the side of the mountain looked like Babylon.

Then He spoke, “When Satan offered the nations of the world to the Son he offered the Babylon you see. Satan thought these manmade glories were a treasure the Son could not refuse. But, the Son saw the works of men’s flesh for what is was; wood hay and stubble, and so has everyone who has made it to the top of My Mountain. These shanties are the works of men, built by the wisdom of men, in order to make a name for themselves.”

I queried again, “If this is your mountain, how is it that these are building upon your mountain with wood, hay, and stubble?” 

He answered, “They remain because I am merciful and patient. I have sent prophets to warn these of the dangers of their mixture. These places also serve the purpose of causing those truly seeking me to recognize Babylon for what it is and move up higher in their journey. ” 

The Day will reveal all men’s works for what they are, and that which is not of me will be burned up, and that Day is now come upon men. In the days to come, these places will then serve as gathering places for the tares to be gathered and burned. 

I had one more question, “So what is this mountain?” He replied, “This is the place where heaven meets earth, where the divine becomes one with creation. This is the mountain spoken of in the book of Daniel which dashes to pieces the nations of the earth and covers the whole earth. It is My Unshakable Kingdom!” 

THE HOLY CITY

He continued, “You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.” I dared to ask, “If this is mount Zion, then where is the heavenly Jerusalem? I don’t see any city.” It was then that I began to see His form clearly, and to my surprise Jesus Himself stood before me, I looked to His eyes and saw they had not changed; it was the same eyes of love swirling with fire. To add to my recognition He said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father. I AM one with my Father.” 

It was then I saw others gathered in robes of white on top of the mountain singing praise to God. Companies of angels surrounded these worshippers unified in worship to God. He said, “You can only see the New Jerusalem clearly when you see me clearly. These gathered here ARE the New Jerusalem. These are the city prepared as a bride for her groom! This is my bride, the one whom I have chosen to become one with! I will dwell in and with her forever and my glory shall be seen in her and upon her.” The contrast of what I had seen of the nature of the city below and the nature of the city above made me speechless as it sank into my being the meaning of what I just heard.

He said, “These are my witnesses who have overcome by the blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony, and have not loved their lives unto death. These are my brothers, the sons of God who have chosen the narrow way and made the same journey of death to self you have made. The number of overcoming witnesses is reaching completion. Just as at Pentecost 120 persevered until my coming, so I have a remnant that have persevered and overcome to bear witness with My coming Glory. I have been gathering unto my self the firstfruits that shall bear witness that the King has come and the Day of the Lord is here.” 

He then disappeared, but the sense of His presence and peace within me and around me was palpable and I knew He had not left me, I turned to behold the wonderful scene of complete unity of worship and adoration to God with the accompanying angels and my heart wept in praise to God! His Spirit spoke from within me, “Go and join them, you have a place among them!” 

I stepped forward led by the Spirit to an open space between two worshippers, and for a brief moment looked around and noticed a few I knew and loved, but fewer then I expected. It seemed people from every race of men were joined together in a song of praise that rose higher and higher. I wept with joy and love toward my Father at the sound of it. I began to sing the deep crying in my heart and it began to form into a song that fit in perfect harmony with those around me. Joy and peace like a river flowed from our hearts as the song continued. 

Suddenly the Spirit spoke within and said, “Look around you!” I looked around me at the others worshipping and saw a resemblance to Jesus in each one that I had not noticed before. I then looked into the eyes of these and saw the same eyes of love swirling with fire that I saw in both Father and Son.

Suddenly from within me the Son began to speak, “The top of this mountain is the heavenly place where heaven has already come to earth, where My will is done on earth as it is in heaven; it is the merging place of these two realms. These who have overcome and abide on this mountain ARE in heaven and on earth at the same time; and are even now ONE with heaven and with each other, even as I am one with my Father. But their oneness is founded upon a greater truth; they have become ONE with Me and my Father. It is in this oneness with My Father and I that the people below will know that I have been sent of My Father.”

Then Father himself began to speak within me, “The day of My Son’s coming is here, but it is beyond the scope of men’s understanding or ability to grasp as to how He is coming to men. The Holy City descending out of heaven comes as ONE with the Son and one with Heaven, He is coming in and among the Holy City, the Bride, My sons, My witnesses, as they descend to the valley below bearing witness WITH the Presence of My Glory in and upon them. They will bear witness first to those who are on the mountain, and then to all the earth. All that is wood, hay, and stubble will be burned as Babylon falls in the face of My Glory. Even those who have seen by revelation what is about to transpire cannot fathom what is happening, it is beyond the ability of men to comprehend.”

“As my sons go forth, this mountain will cover all the earth, for it is my kingdom, and all the earth shall be covered with My Glory as the waters cover the sea. The earth itself will be renewed as heaven and earth merge and become ONE as a result of My coming in and among my sons, and all that is not of me will be removed.”

Suddenly, as if by silent command, the sounds of worship ceased as the host of those in white stood side by side in perfect alignment prepared in silence ready to move out. An angel put a trumpet to his lips and prepared for a blast. The Spirit within me cried, “Behold He Comes!!” 

Revelation 3:11-12 (JB 2000)Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.12 He that overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out no more, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God which is the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from and with my God, and I will write upon him my new name.

Kriston Couchey 
Christ in Me Chronicles


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How Do You Measure Success






A cloud is on the horizon! Winds of change are gathering strength! A storm is coming…it is a storm of change!

All over the world the Spirit of God is causing sincere believers to re-examine how we “DO CHURCH.” It is no longer about size…small groups…spiritual gifts…or seeker sensitivity. It’s about making a significant and sustainable difference in the lives and families of our communities and cities! There is a growing awareness that we cannot continue to do the “same old things” and get different results! If we want to be “Salt and Light” as God meant us to be, we must do something different and be something different!

Community transformation will not be accomplished alone by spiritual services, powerful preaching, musical masterpieces, or choir cantatas—as good as these are. The church today needs a “Churchquake” of seismic proportions if it is going to be all and do all that the third Millennium requires!

I define “Churchquake” as a paradigm shift! A “paradigm” is a model consisting of shared assumptions of what is true or what works! A “paradigm shift” is “a moment of ‘AHA!’ when one sees things in a new light and can never go back to the old ways again!”

The first paradigm shift we need is a shift from building walls to building bridges! Matthew 5:13-14 states, “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” The root of this first paradigm shift is to ask ourselves this question: How do we as the church see ourselves in relation to our community? Most churches see themselves as outside the community inviting people to “come into the church and out of the ‘world’ and be separate.” As the Church, we must begin to see ourselves as inside the community as an agent of change and transformation! Being “separate” in values and lifestyle is not the same as being “isolated” from those God has called us to love and reach.

Here is a real example from a church in a mid-western state. One day a pastor became “fed up” with the marginalization of his church within his city. He knew that his people had what thousands needed and desired but did not know how to find. So he made an appointment with the mayor and asked one question, “How can we help you?”

The mayor gave him a list of “Challenges Facing the City.” He went back to his church and asked them one question, “What can we do that will cause people of this city to say that God is here and at work in this city for no one could do these things if God were not with him?” This simple leadership act made that Church no longer a “walled-in clique,” but a “bridge-building church” to the community God called it to love and influence!

Since then, in just four years, one hundred other churches joined that one! Five thousand volunteers built bridges into their city by building parks and playgrounds, refurbishing fifty schools, setting records for Red Cross Blood donations, enlisting thousands of new organ donors, offering scores of “Life Skill Classes” on finance, marriage, aging, parenting with over 5,000 attending, and donating nearly $1,000.000 to human service organizations for at risk youth.

All of this leads to one conclusion: once a church makes the mental shift from “set apart” to “Salt and Light,” it is limited only by its imagination and creativity in how it can serve and transform its community and city!

But a legitimate question arises. “Is this what the church is – a social service organization?” Of course not! The Church is the visible expression of the Kingdom of God in the earth! Well, then, is it not enough to stand there separate and “over against” the community (the world) and “throw the Gospel like a rock” at it? No! It is not enough. Jesus’ command was to “go into the world-system and make disciples…” We must do everything in our power to earn the right to shine our light (the Word of God) and sprinkle our salt (the Spirit of God) in our city!

When we have “made His praise glorious” by our good deeds and people see them and begin to “glorify our Father who is heaven,” the door will be open to plant the seed of Christ’s love that will heal hurting hears, mind shattered, restore broken families, and transform our city from within! This is our mission! This is why God has placed us in our city!

Let’s stop just providing ministry programs and worship services for our community and earn the right topenetrate our community as “Salt and Light” to offer help, healing, and perhaps even transformation!

From the Coalition of Apostles.

Ronald E. Cottle, Ph. D., Ed. D. Christian Life Educators Network

http://www.clenetwork.org/



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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Larry Randolph Prophesies to Our Times



First, this is a good example of a mature prophet prophesying wisely: he's speaking of very serious topics, but he's speaking with hope and purpose.
Second, there's good wisdom here for responding prophetically to the challenges of our day.







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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Strategy and Tactics in the Kingdom




I was asked by a friend to develop an outline for strategic and tactical operations that could be used for the kingdom of God. The best way I could find to approach the subject was to draw on my experiences as a firefighter - paramedic. I’d like to explain the concepts we use in the fire service regarding strategies and tactics and then draw some analogies on how they apply to the kingdom.

Without going into great detail about the history of fire ground operations, let me briefly explain why formal protocols were developed to deal with fire ground operations.

Fire agencies did an exhaustive review of line of duty deaths and disabilities. In looking at them, they saw some dangerous patterns emerge. A major one was the fact that firefighters who operated on their own or became involved in tasks not assigned to them became victims of the incidents they responded to.

Firefighters are passionate people who respond when they see a need. It gives us the ability to do the crazy things others won’t. But our passionate nature can drive us to do things impulsively. And some of those impulsive behaviors get us in trouble.

Fire ground operations generally fall into two categories. They are:
1) Things we want to accomplish. These are referred to as strategies.
2) Actions we can take. These are referred to as tactics.

The things we want to accomplish are usually stated as strategic goals and objectives. If we want to put out a structure fire within 15 minutes, without the loss of life or property, we can state that as our main goal. Once the main goal is stated, everything that follows must support that goal. Anything proposed which doesn’t support the goal is rejected. Defining goals helps focus the efforts on what is most effective and prevents us from doing things that are distractions. Once the goal is established, the next step is to define the objectives we’ll use to achieve the goal.

Objectives are strategies we can employ which support and help accomplish the goal. If our goal is to put out a structure fire without the loss of life or property, our objectives might look something like this:


1) Establish a water supply
2) Perform a search of the property and remove occupants
3) Extinguish the fire
4) Verify that the fire hasn’t spread to other locations
5) Protect, remove and secure personal property

Once our objectives have been defined, we can assign teams to do certain tasks. If the teams perform the tasks correctly, they will accomplish the objectives. When all the objectives are met, we will have achieved the goal.


Teams perform tasks >> Tasks accomplish objectives>> Objectives accomplish the goal

Firefighters involved in fire ground activities almost never work alone. In recent years, firefighter safety has been taken more seriously, resulting in the development of a system requiring a team of at least two people for most of the things we do. Two firefighters assigned the same task are called a team or task force.

A team may be assigned to take pike poles into a room and pull down the ceiling after the hose teams have put out the fire in that room. (This is a common practice, which enables us to inspect the void spaces between floors to make sure the fire hasn’t spread to hidden areas)

Once assigned to this task, the team is authorized to engage only in this activity until it is completed or they are assigned a different task by the incident commander. While it may be tempting to do other things as they see needs that appear to require immediate attention, firefighters must focus on their task and avoid being distracted. Allow me to illustrate:

A team assigned to pull ceiling hears what sounds like a trapped firefighter nearby. Perceiving an immediate need, they drop their pike poles and begin searching for the trapped firefighter. Not being able to see well, they follow the sounds which become faint and then disappear completely. The firefighters are not aware that the trapped firefighter was rescued by the RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) that was sent to find him. But now, the team of would-be rescuers are themselves, lost somewhere in the building. Not only that, but the fire has now spread through the ceiling, because they abandoned their assignment of pulling ceiling. As the fire spreads, hose teams are sent back in to try to put out the fire and the RIT is sent in again to locate them, putting more people at risk.

This example is an all too common reality. The safety of those involved and the success of the mission can be completely compromised by the actions of just one or two members who can’t resist the urge to step outside of their assigned tasks. When we engage in activities outside our assigned task, it's called freelancing.

Freelancing causes death and disability because the individuals doing it are involved in dangerous activities, often without a partner and usually, without anyone knowing where they are or what they’re doing. Once the freelancer finds trouble, getting them help is a huge problem. If they run out of air or become trapped, they can die before a rescue team finds them.

In an effort to reduce death and disability and to maximize efficiency, fire training agencies developed a system of controlling what happens on the fire ground. This system is called the Incident Command System (ICS). Knowing the importance of assigning tasks and limiting freelancing, the ICS system assigns a position and task to everyone on scene, which (if followed) provides a safe, consistent flow of operation. A position describes who you are, like a commander, support officer, or firefighter. A task is what you do while occupying that position. Here are just a few of the positions and tasks you might find in the ICS system:

1) An individual assigned to the task of coordinating the overall operation and communicating clearly the goals and objectives to all team members. This person's position is the incident commander (IC).
2) An individual assigned the task of seeing to the safety of all team members. Their only task is to observe the teams in operation and correct any unsafe activity. This person's position is the incident safety officer (ISO)
3) An individual assigned to oversee the medical needs of all team members. They also coordinate the actions of the medical team. This person's position is the medical officer.
4) An individual who communicates with the press about the incident. This person is the public information officer (PIO)
5) Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) this team is on stand by for the purpose of rescuing any team members who get in trouble.

This isn’t a complete list, but it illustrates a few of the different functions (tasks) and positions that team members might be assigned to. Depending on the type of operation, other positions can be added and if the team is small, one person might fill several roles. The beauty of the ICS system is that it can be expanded almost infinitely or adapted to a small operation.

Application In The Kingdom
In conducting kingdom operations, we might consider using some of these concepts to operate with greater safety and success in the things we do.

Let’s address one objection first; many of us have no interest in anything pertaining to the kingdom that appears structured or has levels of authority among believers. We’ve been burned already by people on power trips and something like this would be hard to swallow.

Unlike the formal structure of the fire service, which has the threat of disciplinary action for those who don’t follow orders, the application in the kingdom carries no such threat. We don’t appoint chiefs and promote people to captain or lieutenant in the kingdom. Newbies don’t wear yellow helmets signifying their inexperience. Although the denominational church has a love affair with hierarchies of power, in the kingdom, we are equals. No one Lords themselves over another if they are in obedience to the instruction of Christ.

When we come together on a mission, we must have one thing in common. We must agree on who our King is and know that we take orders only from Him. We should also seek to be with men and women of the same heart and mind concerning the kingdom and the missions we accept. That common bond of love for the king and trust in His leadership of the team allows us to rest in His guidance and protection of us. If we’re confident in Him and in the team He has assembled, we have nothing to fear in carrying out our tasks or allowing others to carry out theirs.

Let’s consider some of the benefits of working on a mission that uses an approach to accomplishing goals, strategically.

Consider whether you’ve ever gone on a mission where the goals and objectives became clouded and it wasn’t clear to some members why they were there in the first place or what their task was. These situations lead to confusion, mistrust and ultimately a breakdown of the team and a failed mission. If we were to have a member whose task was to communicate these things clearly then fear, doubt, confusion and disagreement would be minimized.

Consider whether you’ve ever had an assignment go poorly or fail because team members became severely sick and all the efforts turned toward keeping them alive, instead of accomplishing the goal. If a team trained and equipped in divine healing were assigned to every mission, you’d know in advance how that problem would be handled if it were to come up, which would increase the confidence of all team members in their ability to handle the enemy’s harassment and complete the mission.

Consider whether you’ve ever been blindsided by an enemy presence that no one saw in advance and the mission was cancelled because you didn’t have the resources to handle the opposition. Now consider what might happen if a team were employed whose task was to spy out the enemy and report back to the team before the mission began and to continually assess and report on what the enemy is doing during the mission. How much more confidence would you have if this team were a part of every mission?

Adapting this model for the kingdom is really just a mater of deciding on a goal (What has God asked you to do?) Define the objectives (What things must be accomplished to achieve the goal?) And once the team is gathered, discuss the particulars of who does what and when. Once a plan is agreed upon, it becomes the blueprint for the mission.

If we were to use some of the elements and safeguards used by the fire service, which have been proven to reduce loss of life, we might create an environment where we’d succeed more than we fail and where no one’s safety would be jeopardized.



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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firefighters: the Connection Between an Apostolic/Prophetic Warfare Team and Intercessors.



I heard an excellent illustration recently, of the relationship between warriors and intercessors that a friend Bruce Turnbull shared with me. He was a firefighter in the navy and they had a drill where a room was filled with JP5 fuel and set on flames. The firefighters worked in two different teams consisting of 4 men each. They stood in two rows as close together as possible. They were staggered kind of like a honeycomb or bricks in a wall. The hose and applicator are held only by the front man in each team.

The job of the #1 hose team was, as soon as they opened the door to sweep back and forth from one side to the other, pushing the flames back from off of the fuel. A person from #2 team stood right behind the #1 team front person and had an applicator that sprayed a mist of water, that basically created a "wall" of water to keep them cool and protected. If the front person wasn't diligent and didn't go all the way to one of the sides, the fire would get through the space and set the fuel behind them on flames again and engulf them both.

If the person from team #2 didn't keep the front person protected with spray, then the insurmountable heat from the fire would be too much for him to stand. Because of the great heat he would lose control of his mind and cause him to be unable to do his job correctly. The reason there are 4 men in a team is because they require more than one man on a hose because the power of the hose is too much for one man to handle. If the front man tires then the second man takes over and #1 goes to the back.

In this illustration, the front team are the front line soldiers and the team in the back are the intercessors and together they form a combined warfare team. The clearest scriptural example of this is in the Old Testament, where Moses, Aaron and Hur are the intercessors on the mountain and Joshua and his men are the front line soldiers down in the valley. Together they formed a combined warfare team and both were vitally important. We discover from this passage that when Moses lowered His arms the warriors would begin to lose and when he raised his arms they began to win. So the key to the victory was in the intercession, but on the other hand, if there are no soldiers down in the valley, there is no battle.

How does this apply to the church today? The intercession part of this equation is already happening in many churches. How many churches do you know, that don’t already have an intercession group? On the other hand, how many churches do you know that has a front line soldier's warfare team? Many have equated intercession to be like a destroyer bombing the shore before the marines go in and hit the beach. In most churches then, we have the shore being bombed over and over, but no one is going in to take the beach. The church, therefore, is in a desperate need for front line soldiers to be raised up

As in the example of Moses and Joshua, the teams can be both men or both women or a mixture. We see that both men and women are involved in the intercession teams that are already in place, however in many cases there is a much greater number of women. Perhaps, the “front-line soldiers” team is the ministry for many of the men who presently haven’t found a place to plug into in the church.

Bruce also shared with me a revelation that God had given him, that men were created to be warriors and when they don’t have a foe outside to fight, then they begin to fight their own families and their aggressiveness is focused inward. This seems to be confirmed in the scriptures, for instance Numbers 1:2&3 - "Take a census of all the congregation … every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever {is able to} go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies”. This indicates that all men who were 20 years old and over, were expected to be soldiers and were numbered by their armies

Doesn't there need to be “call to arms,” to mobilize men into front line spiritual warfare? Think about it: wouldn’t this be the logical progression as the next step after the Promise Keepers movement. This movement helped men to get things straightened away at home, to be the kind of fathers and husbands that God had called them to be. Now that things at home are in better shape, shouldn’t the focus be for them to rise up as warriors and to battle the enemies of their family and church and community.

May I suggest the formation of front-line warfare teams in each church, with the purpose of seeking the Lord as to His strategy for their church and region.


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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do We Have The Answers?


I had two dreams; in the first dream I saw a computer screen. People were scared and looking for answers on the internet. They were frustrated, but their frustration was borne out of fear. I knew that we must be the ones with the answers to calm their fears. In the second dream, I was in a dark house with my brothers; Peter and Paul. We were lighting explosives and throwing them at each other, trying to blow one another up.

As economic instability, civil unrest and natural disaster grab the headlines, fear is increasing in the world. And the world is already looking for answers.

Do we have the answers they need?

The body of Christ believes it does. Facing foreclosure, we tell our friends that God is able to make them prosper. After spending our paycheck on medications, we insist Jesus will set them free. And we marvel at their unbelief.

We argue over doctrine and slander our brothers and sisters over their ‘unbiblical’ behavior then try to convince the unsaved of how loving the body of Christ is. How dark indeed is the house in which the apostles dwell.

The church leans heavily on salvation as its main message and rightly so. But the reality of the kingdom of God is more than just salvation. To a nation on the verge of starvation, a church that can’t put bread on the table may not have a relevant message. To a village crippled with thousands of sick and injured people, a Jesus who can’t heal is of little use. To a state in bankruptcy, living under martial law, Jehova Jireh is the God who must be demonstrated.

The gospel of salvation must be demonstrated with signs of power, even more so in times of crisis. The power of God reveals his goodness toward man. Is it not the goodness of God that brings men to repentance?

For a season, the children of the kingdom have been learning to walk in the authority given to them at the cross. We’re seeing greater healing miracles, multiplication of food, financial miracles and more people are venturing into spiritual transportation. These things are supposed to be the normal kingdom lifestyle. The problem is consistency. Except in a few places like Zimbabwe and Redding, these things aren’t widely or consistently being demonstrated. That has to change and it needs to happen quickly.

The kingdoms of the world are crumbling before our eyes. But we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Our response to the destruction of the kingdoms of the world is to demonstrate the reality and superiority of God’s kingdom. As the world grows darker, the intensity of our light must increase.

What does that look like?

If our health care system fails and the sick and injured plead for their lives, we must be able to heal them.

As mobs empty store shelves, we must be able to take the few loaves of bread left and feed a multitude.

As gas stations close because gas is no longer being delivered, we must be able to fill gas tanks by faith.

As volcanic ash clouds shut down air travel for months, we must be able to transport supernaturally to conduct kingdom business.

All the miraculous things that are being done sporadically today must become normal, daily activities for every believer in the future. We must be trained and ready to function in whatever way needed when the day of calamity arrives.

Time is short. Prophetic information is revealing difficult days ahead. It’s imperative that we resist the spirit of fear. If we are prepared, there is nothing for us to fear. Our greatest opportunities to advance God’s kingdom may lie before us, if we take advantage of them.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kingdom Commando Squad

This is a tactical post: specific tactics for carrying out a larger mission. 


Some of us have occasionally formed teams - temporarily or more long-term - and gone into harm's way. We've taken trips for the purpose of equipping people for war, or we've gone to do battle on behalf of a region or a people. Sometimes that battle has been in the paradigm of intercession; sometimes as evangelism; sometimes as equipping.


One of the dangers of such a team is not understanding how the team works together. Generally, everyone has a different role, and when we don't understand those differences, trouble is a result. One way - and it is only one model; there are others - to understand different members' roles in such a sortie is to consider the metaphor of a military commando squad. In such a unit, we can see how each team member relates to the others. 


Here is an explanation of the commando squad illustration from an apostle who leads these kind of teams regularly in cooperation with a member of a Special Forces squad in the Army. I'd like to suggest that you consider this staffing list next time you're on a ministry team or trip: what role is God assigning you to on this trip? Do others recognize that assignment? What is their assignment for the trip? How can you support others in their roles?





What is a Commando Squad?
A member of a military assault unit or team trained to operate quickly and aggressively in especially urgent, threatening situations, as against terrorists holding hostages.

The commando concept in modern warfare is one of small forces (2 - 12 men), that are highly trained in specialized missions that require them to go into or behind enemy lines. The missions are Search & Rescue, Strategic Recon, Hostage Rescue, Direct Action, and Guerrilla Warfare (organize, train, support and lead the local fighters to fight their own battles).

My team's missions have fit into 4 of these: 


Search & Rescue - These would be trips when we do prophetic prayer with many individuals in a group, we search for their calling and in many cases rescue them from the enemies lies.
Strategic Recon - we call these, "scout out the land" trips.
Direct Action - These are ones where he has given us a specific stronghold to take down
Guerrilla Warfare (organizes, train, support and lead the local fighters to fight their own battles). This has been primarily in training groups to do deliverance ministry, etc.


Secular Special Ops team
Apostolic Special Ops Team
Spiritual Gift
Team Leader
Apostolic leader
Apostle, Wisdom, Leadership

Team XO (2nd in command)
Leader and logistics person
Administration, Leadership, Service

Team Sergeant
The person who is most seasoned in spiritual warfare, specific to each trip

Spiritual warfare
Intelligence specialist
Spiritual mapping and intercession
Discernment of spirits, Word of Knowledge

Medical specialist (1)
Healing - Spiritual (deliverance)  Emotional (Inner Healing)
Gifts of Healing, Faith, Mercy

Medical specialist (2)
Physical healing
Gifts of Healing, Faith

Communications specialist (1)

Prophetic, words of knowledge, direction from home base

Prophecy, Intercession

Communications specialist (2)

Prophetic Intercessor
(ie. call in the air strikes)

Prophecy, Intercession

Combat engineer (1) (demolitions)

Tearing down strongholds
(Spirit Led Worship)

Service (Musician), Miracles

Combat engineer (2) (demolitions)

Tearing down strongholds
(Spirit Led Worship)
Service (Musician), Miracles

Light Weapons – Sniper rifle, knife, Silenced small arms.
Specifically directed Prophetic prayer warfare
Teacher, Evangelism, Exhortation

Heavy Weapons – Bazooka, Mortar, Land to Air missiles
Specifically directed Prophetic prayer warfare
Prophetic Proclamation, Preaching


from Trevor Macpherson's Firefall Zine.


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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Clarifying Apostleship, Etc.

by Steve Crosby, Greg Austin and Don Atkin
early_art There is considerable fussing and fuming over apostles and apostleship these days. When a topic like apostleship becomes trendy, some who are not really called or graced as apostles—for a variety of unsanctified reasons—try to be apostles. Others, who are genuinely graced and called, prematurely attempt to make their own place within an old religious system rather than waiting upon the Lord to reveal His divine intention for them and their servanthood.[1]


Excesses continue to hinder the purpose of God.  The two most popular extremes are (1) to dismiss apostles as not having a place in today’s church, or (2) to exaggerate the role of apostles, placing a greater importance upon their role than that of others in the body. In balance, the church can never come to the fullness of God’s intention without functioning apostles. The same is true for every individual in the body.  We are all horizontally placed under the headship of Christ, who will be revealed in glory through His body as we honor and yield to one another.


A bird that continually has to call attention to itself or describe itself, is not much of a bird. If a bird simply gets on with what it is created to do, everyone will know it is a bird by reason of its flying. While we need not apologize for our calling (e.g.: Paul, an apostle, etc.[2]) none of us needs to emphasize our calling. Our identity in Christ is the source of our ministry, not our calling or “anointing.” Kingdom ministry proceeds from healed, transformed, new creation identity, not our “gift”—apostolic or otherwise. If we preach Christ and Him crucified, live the same, and just get on with being who God has made us to be, everyone born of the Spirit will know who, or what we are, without the need for ourselves to it point out for their presumed enlightenment and benefit.


God’s eternal purpose and ultimate objective is to fill the earth with His governance and glory by multiplying fruitful sons through whom He subdues all of creation under His mighty hand.  His highest form of creation is humankind, originally made in His image and likeness, and subsequently restored through Jesus Christ.


A new creation, seeing and operating in the kingdom of God—heaven on earth—filled with, empowered by, and led by the Holy Spirit, will eventually mature in holiness and wholeness, to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.


God’s creation mandate will finally be fulfilled as He brings many sons to glory, through the spirit of sonship and the maturing process of discipleship. To consider the specific roles of fivefold servanthood in any other context will miss the mark. We must grasp temporal assignments and anointing in the light and context of eternal purpose and ultimate objective.


Equipping graces should be subservient to the priesthood of believers when developing or expressing value systems. Equippers exist to exemplify cohesive servanthood together, not to function in executive administration.  We have allowed that vital order to be reversed at the expense of God’s purpose for a developing people.


God will not fill the earth with apostles. He will not fill the earth with prophets. Neither will He fill the earth with evangelists, shepherds or teachers.  He will fill the earth with saints, known together to be ecclesia—called out and set apart to experience, be immersed in, and to glorify—reveal and show forth--Christ, the Anointed One.


jesus_apostleEquipping servants are hands of God to—in obedient collaboration and concise action in the Holy Spirit—mold the saints for works of service UNTIL we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  Understanding our limitations and not extending ourselves into perpetuity will release us to new levels of usefulness in the Master’s hands.


Equipping servants are individually brief in form, and collectively comprehensive in scope. There is a significant, supernatural and exponential affect when properly functioning together, each one succinct in his/her grace.  In like manner, failure to stay within the boundaries of our specific graces and spheres, and attempting to function in roles intended for others, will result in exponential error.


When a shepherd (pastor) tries to be an apostle, the result is control.
  • By divine design, the shepherd's  primary focus is the immediate community. A pastor tends to gather and hold, rather than develop and release. When a pastor tries to be an apostle, it usually results in methodologies that build the local group, but there is very little broad expression of kingdom life.
When an evangelist tries to be an apostle, the results are shallowness and insecurity.
  • The evangelist tends to come up with new projects, outreaches, missions, etc. for a single purpose: to win souls. He/she is normally not graced to build and disciple lives. The evangelist finds satisfaction in "activity." If a community of believers is viewed as not active enough, an evangelist will usually go elsewhere to find expression or keep the community "a-buzz" with activities and projects that provide breadth, but little depth.
When a prophet tries to be an apostle, the expression becomes coercive and spiritually neurotic.
  • A prophet generally lacks the supernatural gathering grace that normally accompanies an apostle. Everything from Christ within the prophet is at odds with what the prophet tries to do to be an apostle. The prophet's focus on truth that separates and scatters, means that when a prophet thinks he/she is an apostle, heavy-handed methods will have to be used to try to counteract the "scattering" effect that true prophets tend to have. Insecure prophets with unhealed identities who try to build like an apostle, cause great damage to the casue of Christ in and through the saints.
When a teacher tries to be an apostle, it results in legalism and division.
  • Teachers emphasize principles and conformity to principle, but are
    prone to squabble and divide over non-essential doctrinal differences. They
    also tend to reduce the expression of kingdom life to "teaching sessions" ad
    nauseum. Possessing the critical capacity for essential narrow focus on
    individual truths, their gift precludes the breadth of scope of a true
    apostle. When teachers try to be apostles, the "doctrine" may be correct,
    but because they lack the integrating grace of an apostle, they will produce
    relationally sterile communities that are prone to fragmentation and
    division.
When apostles act like apostles, teachers like teachers, shepherds as shepherds, evangelists as evangelists, and prophets as prophets, in personal security, love and genuine interdependency the Head is exalted, the Body is "out-fitted" (built), and the kingdom expanded.


Oh, how we need one another, healed, whole and  . . .  functioning. 


In closing, let us consider the most prolific error that continues to hinder the developing of the priesthood of believers.  Hierarchy, using Gentile authority models in the church, was condemned by Jesus—both in as many words[3] and also by what He modeled.[4]


There are two specific “titles” that have emerged in ecclesial governance with no New Covenant precedence or foundation for the way they function—Pastors and Bishops.[5] We must retreat to Old Covenant temple worship, when there was a clear divide between priests and the people, in order to find these titles in divine operation.   Many traditions cleave to two classes of believers—the clergy and the laity. Pastors exercise headship over local congregations; Bishops exercise headship over more than one Pastor and congregation.  Individually, they represent singular rule over their flock(s).


Another Bible term[6] that has taken on Babylonian baggage is leadership.  Once again, we need to turn to Jesus and study His leadership style[7] so that we may know how the leadership of the Holy Spirit[8] manifests in our lives.


We realize that many honest men and women with great integrity and with sincere desire to serve God and His people are yet giving themselves within the context of such traditions.  It is not our desire or intention to be critical or accusatory of such brethren.  We are prayerfully hoping to inspire and instruct those with open hearts and minds.


We are persuaded that the testimony and patterns of New Covenant church order present Jesus as the only Head of His church, and plural elders overseeing the flock of God in each city or region.[9] Jesus, Himself, gave us the example of leading those who follow Him,[10] not corralling, controlling or driving them like cattle.  Believers are on a par level with one another, loving and serving one another in grace.[11]


Apostolic grace[12] encompasses the global vision and kingdom values to the end that every grace gift for equipping servitude is functioning in tandem, that every believer finds his/her identity within the body of Christ, and we all become equipped for works of service according to the divine will of God.  May His Spirit continue to instruct us in His higher thoughts and ways.  May His kingdom (governance) come on the earth as it is in heaven.[13]


Governance is the normal outworking of kingdom life.  Governance does not produce spiritual life.  Spiritual life produces heaven’s governance.

From Apostolic Servants.



[1] We are using servanthood and shepherd rather than ministry and pastor.  We are hopeful that these choices of words will more clearly define God’s intention for these roles.
[2] Paul refers to himself and his calling when either defending his apostleship from attack, or when refuting heretical doctrine in the epistles. He did not make a routine practice of preaching about himself and his ministry.
[3] Matthew 20:25-28
[4] John 13:14-15
[5] Pastors and bishops are synonymous with elders, but have been given different meanings within the context of hierarchical religious structures.  We suggest that shepherd more closely defines the actual function intended by God.
[6] Romans 12:8
[7] John 10
[8] Romans 8:14
[9] Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5
[10] John 6:65-69
[11] Ephesians 5:21
[12] 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; 15:10
[13] Matthew 6:10

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