Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THE EVERLASTING ETERNAL GOODNESS OF GOD


--Kriston Couchey
GOD IS GOOD
God is good! This is a definition of who He is. More than that, God has ALWAYS been good. There never was a time that He has not dealt with man based upon His goodness. It is false belief that somehow God was not good before Jesus came to earth, and after His death and resurrection somehow God decided to be nice. Scripture records God saying of Himself, "I change not. Before the very founding of the earth out of the eternal goodness of God Jesus was slain to reconcile men to God. It was not that God needed a heart change toward us; we needed change of heart to be able to relate to a Father in whom there is no darkness and only goodness.

JESUS REVEALED THE GOODNESS OF GOD
Jesus came to bring the light of God to the world.  In truth, He is the expression of God’s goodness to men that revealed the Father to men. Jesus is the embodiment of God the Father; revealing the good nature of Father, and in the process revealing and confronting the state of men’s hearts.  

Father God is so good that evil (that which is not good) cannot remain in His presence. It is by the cross that we are cleansed of sin and made holy in the sight of God the Father, and by means of that cleansing we are given Grace to walk Holy by the gift of the indwelling Spirit of God. Grace truly is ability to walk holy as Jesus did. It is the influence of God upon man that makes him like God in character and able to stand in the light of truth without hiding.   

HARD TRUTH IN LIGHT OF GOD’S GOODNESS
As the revelation of Christ continues to unfold in this hour we must have a confidence in the goodness of God. Many who have limited Him by their own definition of goodness will be unable to move forward in this day until they come to grips with the truth of the goodness of God that is unlike what they have defined Him as.

I want to take a walk through scripture and bring to light the actions initiated by a good God that some think are “bad” and declare to you that even these actions were rooted in the goodness of God. We have had enough people defining the box of goodness God must stay in. Now it’s time to let His truth give us a reality check of a goodness of God that is outside the box of our comfort.  

God was good when He...
God was good when He destroyed the earth and all of its inhabitants with a flood. Ge 6:17 And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die.

God was good even when He (God) slew the son of Judah. I Chr 2:3b And Er, Judah’s first-born, was wicked in the sight of Jehovah; and he slew him.

God was good when He (God) rained fire and brimstone out of heaven. Ge 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven…

It was the out of the goodness of God that He (God) smote the land of Egypt with plagues and killed the firstborn. Ex 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

God was good when fire came from Him (God) and killed Korah and his men. Num. 16:35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.

God was good when fire came from Him (God) and killed Aaron’s sons.  Lev. 10:1  And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not .2  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

God was good when He (God) smote Uzzah who tried to steady the cart holding the Ark. 2Sa 6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

God was good when He told the Israelites to kill every man women and child when going into the Promised Land, when he rose up Jehu to kill Ahab’s son and wife, when He sent Satan to test Job, when He used Assyria as a razor to judge Israel, when He sent Babylon in judgment against Judah., and on and on…

How is it that God was good and did these things? He did them because He did it for love. He loved people too much to let sin overtake them. He loved people too much to allow evil to remain and plant its cruel seed and put people in bondage and abuse them. God is good and has good intent in all He does.  But what about the New Testament?  Did God change? Is He better than He was then?  No, He is still the same. Salvation is secure from before time. And His goodness is set from eternity.

NEW TESTAMENT GOODNESS
God was good when by the Holy Spirit Peter pronounced judgment upon Ananias and Sapphira and they died. God was good when a messenger from God smote Herod and he died eaten by worms. God was good when Paul “…full of the Holy Spirit…” pronounced blindness upon Elymas the sorcerer and he was led away blind. God IS good even with the MANY New testament scriptures that speak of eternal and temporal judgment that is STILL coming upon all who live ungodly and do not believe on the son of God.

If God has always been good throughout the history of mankind, then we need to face some hard facts about what God’s goodness looks like. We can all accept that every good gift comes from our Father, but can we accept that those who choose evil and refuse to walk in the light by believing in and embracing God’s goodness are condemned or judged?

Scripture says that “… light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”Jesus came to bring a sword that would divide those who hear and believe in the goodness and love of God, and those who chose to hide from the light of God’s goodness to continue to in self-serving wickedness. Scripture then goes on to say, that those who do not believe are “…condemned already”.

The payment for sin is done, but the seed of evil sown still reaps a harvest, and the harvest of evil is destruction. Jesus is clear in speaking about the time of harvest at the end of the age. There are those counted as sons of the evil one, and those who are sons of the Father. All who do wickedly (sons of the devil) will be removed and burned, not as a punishment or smiting for sin, but out of love that does not allow evil to persist and plant it’s cruel seed that defiles, puts men in bondage, and abuse those God loves.

God is TOO GOOD to allow evil to persist in His kingdom as it unfolds. He is removing for love that which destroys the people He loves. For that reason, the goodness of God is seen in judgment, judgment that discerns what is born of Him and what is not, and removes that which is not so that His people may be preserved. That is a true aspect of the goodness of God.

In His Love and Goodness
Kriston Couchey

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Correcting Prophetic Inaccuracies

I was asked the other day, "When a well known prophet gives a national prophetic word and it ends up being completely wrong, how should the prophet address it?" Excellent question.

This strikes me as another way to ask the question, “Who is responsible for inaccurate prophetic words?”

If there was such a thing as an ideal world, everybody would take responsibility for their own stuff. But that doesn’t happen, and there are at least two ways that it doesn’t happen that make this a complicated question:

First, it has appeared that prophets with big public ministries don’t often take responsibility for their prophetic words. There are a few that DO take responsibility when they find out something was predicted correctly, but most don’t slow down enough to even recognize either when a word is fulfilled or when it’s proven inaccurate.

The other side is that I can’t really affect whether the national prophet will, in fact, acknowledge and respond to an errant prophecy. National prophets generally haven’t made themselves accountable to me, so my expectations have no real effect on their actions.

Second issue: so many prophetic declarations are worded in such a way (I make no statement about intent here: this is just the way it is) that it’s hard to clearly interpret and apply portions of the word, and therefore, it’s hard to judge the word (1 Corinthians 14:29). For example: the word is about an earthquake: but is it a literal, physical quake, or a metaphor for God shaking things up? And does a 3.4 quake that knocked a pencil off of a teacher’s desk somewhere qualify as fulfillment when we were all clearly expecting the earth to open swallow a region whole?

But let’s face it, the people receiving a prophetic word are more likely to be invested in the word than a prophet that’s travelling through, heading towards their next meeting. That’s not a criticism, it’s just recognizing how the “real world” interjects itself into the ideal.

This leads me to a third issue. I’ve long been an advocate of the concept that when a prophet gives me a word, it’s now MY word; it isn’t theirs anymore. And therefore I am the one who needs to take responsibility for that word: I need to nurture it, feed it, cherish it, and help it grow to fruition.

And I need to discern it. It certainly saves time and energy if I can successfully discern a word BEFORE I encounter the conditions stated in the word. I’d much rather recognize beforehand if a prophet was adding something of himself into the revelation, rather than wait till afterwards.

Note that it may not be the prophet that’s adding something to the word: it may be my own expectations. I met a woman who was praying for the death of her pastor’s wife. “But God said I could have anything I want! I want him, and she’s in his way!” And I’ve run into lots of prophecies that have been taken way beyond the original word that was spoken.

So yeah: if the prophet is aware of having given a word that turned out to be inaccurate, it would be appropriate for that prophet to take responsibility for the mistake, acknowledge it, and (how does one do this?) apologize to those who were misled by it.

But whether or not they take responsibility for a word that they’ve given to me (or to a group of which I’m a part), still I have responsibility for the word, which is now mine. I need to discern it (“judge it”) even if I’m late in doing that, and if it’s bogus, I need to toss it out.

I’ve done that with a lot of words recently. I find myself frustrated with a number of national and regional prophets who drop a prophetic bomb and move on, or who prophesy so vaguely that they are essentially mumbling gibberish in God’s name.

More than once, I’ve stood with a group of people on behalf of my region and renounced a prophetic declaration that we’ve judged to be inaccurate, false, mistaken. Sure, it would be better if it came from the prophet that spoke the word, but if they don’t, then somebody needs to. I often find myself following these sessions up with prayers for the prophets whose work we were just correcting.

Nor’west Prophetic
nwp@northwestprophetic.com


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Organic Apostolic Networks

 - By Ron McGatlin

Can there be a truly spiritual organic church with Christ Jesus as Head in the framework of Apostolic Networks?

To answer this we will need a cohesive understanding of the definition of the terms. Words mean different things to different people, and in this time of major shifting in the worldwide church many terms being used are not clearly defined in the minds of believers.

Human or natural thinking will never fully grasp the spiritual reality behind spoken words of spiritual concepts. The Spirit is always involved in communicating spiritual truth. Therefore, we are reaching for spiritual definition words regarding the renewed formation of the works of God on Planet Earth.

Apostles and Apostolic Networks are major terms to be considered in the current reformation. The restoring of apostles and apostolic works are serious areas of concern that are in process of being defined and understood. The natural minds of most people immediately consider networks to imply structure and organization. The term apostolic is generally construed as office of authority within the network. Very soon the chief apostle concept comes into view as a headship position in the network. And not long after that the structure of additional offices of “spiritual” authority of pastor, prophet, evangelist, and teacher become considerations.

Conflicts arise in our understanding as the Holy Spirit intervenes in our process of logical natural thinking with God’s revealed spiritual concepts such as:

· The practical reality of Christ Jesus as the Head of His church

· The clergy/laity order exposed as ungodly

· The brotherhood of all believers at one level revealed

· The exposure of the business-corporation style of church as ungodly

· The religious order of the institutionalized church exposed as ungodly

· The hideous hidden mixture of sin and godliness in Christians

· The revelation that the division of godly faith practices from practical life activities such as business, home, recreation, education, and governments is inordinate.

The list goes on as greater truth continues to be revealed and one after another of our time honored beliefs and practices are seen as faulty and in need of either being dissolved or greatly altered and purified.

Our traditional concepts of leadership and networking are challenged by the biblical and spiritual revelation of these things. Therefore, we may have begun to adjust our leadership and networking ideas to some degree but may not yet be free from the old patterns of traditional natural thinking. Giving things new names and calling it spiritual is not enough.

God is not bringing us to traditional leadership and natural networks with spiritual overtones. He is not even taking us to networks based primarily on relationships with one another. If we network based on relating to one another it is very easy to begin to esteem one above another and establish invisible hierarchical order and arrangements. Yes, relating to one another is a very important secondary part of spiritual networking. But it is secondary to the individual intimately relating to King Jesus by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual relationship with one another begins with being fully connected to God through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. There is a significant difference between networking in the HOLY SPIRIT and natural networking around spiritual things.

God is seeking a Spirit network without man’s government or man’s intervention but with man’s cooperation in the Holy Spirit.

One cannot join a true spiritual network. No one can appoint someone into a spiritual network. Human recommendations will not get you into a spiritual network. A spiritual network is a spiritual thing. One is added to the network by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual networking is a connecting of spirits of just men made perfect coming together with God, Jesus, and many angels. Jesus is the mediator, and the registration desk is in heaven.

Heb 12:22-24: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

If this seems too ethereal for us we may need to adjust and become just men made perfect (mature). We need to grow up spiritually and be fully baptized in the Holy Spirit that our spirits may assemble with the Spirit of Christ in the new covenant reality of walking IN THE SPIRIT.

The apostolic spiritual network that God is sending down from heaven under the headship of our Great Apostle is called the New Jerusalem. It is the ruling city of the worldwide kingdom of God. The patterns of all life in the kingdom emanate from the city whose builder and maker is God. Nothing enters the network that defiles. God does not visit His people there; He dwells among them. All love, all power, all wisdom dwells with His people and is imparted to us as He wills. This is the grace imparted for the purpose of ordering the world to the kingdom of God. This is Christ in us by the Holy Spirit to rule and reign with Him now on this earth.

God is not sending a replica of heaven on earth. He is sending the reality of heaven to earth in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit in His people. God is not delegating His authority on earth. He is authority on earth dwelling in His people - His network of pure, holy, humble people who have died to the old and are alive only as Christ lives in them. In reality Christ is alive on earth living in His people who are dead and yet alive by the Spirit and abide in the Spirit of Christ.

Natural organizational gathering and networking of the church began around the third century when the Holy Spirit pulled away from the church religious systems that man had developed. Although reformation began around five centuries ago we are yet seeking to fully realign with the Holy Spirit and be cleansed of the man-made systems that have prevented the fullness of corporate life in the Holy Spirit.

All of the Christian religion group divisions of history from Catholicism’s variations to protestant religion with its many denominations and divisions such as orthodox, liturgical, evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic, prophetic, various streams, and more recently apostolic networks have all functioned tied to natural networking. Most if not all of the historical religious groups and networks operated in something far less than the true spiritual networking of the Holy Spirit as presented in the heavenly New Jerusalem.

Most of the diverse groups of history remain today in some form, each stuck in their past experience. However, the revelation from God of restored truth has continued to advance in generation after generation toward the truth of Holy Spirit led living in the spiritual city of the living God. We are yet struggling today to return to the preeminence of Christ in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been made out to be less significant when in reality the Spirit of God is God, and without the Holy Spirit we have nothing of Jesus and the Father in our lives today. It is the season to be transformed to live in the Spirit in the New Jerusalem lifestyle.

The Vision is for all spiritually mature believers to - Pray – Hear – Obey , and for all spiritually immature believers to be trained by the more mature (elders).

Vision of possible spiritual city-wide gatherings
Imagine the scenario of no more Sunday morning weekly church gatherings with the people divided into many different congregations. Instead think about citywide or area-wide gatherings. Now, imagine that instead of traveling from church to church the apostles or visiting sent ones move from Kingdom Revival Center to Kingdom Revival Center. OK, what is a Kingdom Revival Center? A Kingdom Revival Center (KRC) is citywide or area-wide gathering of many groups. The KRCs hold meetings as led by the Spirit, perhaps monthly, but normally not weekly. Also as the Spirit leads the KRCs may hold a series of special meetings several nights in a row. Warehouses, store fronts, and other rented or donated facilities will do for the KRC gatherings.

The many groups that gather monthly at the KRC meet individually in homes or other facilities such as businesses, barns, basements, or whatever every week or more often as led, on whatever days or evenings as led, in groups called The Groups or Jesus Groups or something generic. The Jesus Groups or The Groups are not called prayer groups or fellowship groups or Bible studies or home groups because all those names point toward and emphasis for the meetings.

This is not an organization but a pattern and, of course, there are many variations as Holy Spirit leads. Probably the most central structure to this is businesses and homes. Men who may be business people or professional people or ex-ministers can help deal with administration issues in the different areas once they grasp the general pattern which will have many variations as the Spirit shapes them for each different area or city.

Okay, this is all from the vision or dreaming process, but it will check out with God and is a start to losing our old mind sets.

Where is the starting point?
· Getting the vision from God,

· Getting excited about the vision,

· Praying the vision back to God,

· Preaching the vision everywhere you preach,

· Sharing the vision with individuals,

· Write the vision and publish it,

· Move with the vision when the opportunity presents itself, · Stay on track with no other diversionary visions.

Where are the resources for all this?
The people and the money are locked up in church buildings, operating expenses, and leadership salaries. Traditional church leaders will cooperate as they catch the vision see the work of God becoming a real organic spiritual network led by the Holy Spirit with many men and women arising from the pews and fulfilling the call on their lives in the groups. The elders would lead the immature in the groups to intimate relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Head of the church (ekklesia). These ones are trained but sitting in pews in traditional churches. These are powerful assets to be released to the Body of Christ.

The facilities already exist in homes for the group meetings and businesses or rented halls and stadiums for the citywide or area-wide gatherings of the groups.

Pray – Hear – Obey Ask God for a vision and pray for the vision He gives you. Listen and move in obedience in the next step He reveals to you. Wait upon Him, and watch for the next step to open before you.

As the declining economic conditions erode the lifestyles and available funds of families, all these things will move in the direction of the vision of God for an organic spiritual network of believers to bring in and train the harvest of souls in the gospel of the kingdom.

Keep on pursuing love.
It never fails.

Ron McGatlin

www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net
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