A Little Known Fact
“Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.” (2 Corinthians 12:15-16 – NKJB)
This passage is usually overlooked. It is in the dialogue Paul is having with the Corinthians in regard to the vast amount of revelations he had received and his thorn in his flesh. We concentrate on the “thorn question” and miss this part.
Paul was working with an attitude that is troublesome to Christians who live and walk in and by the Spirit. He was explaining that even though he could brag on himself and all the Lord had done through him, he would purpose to brag about nothing except what was wrong with him. This definitely is not “putting ones best foot forward.” Even in our testimonies, there is the “spirit” of self-elevation — “Look what the Lord has done for me.” Now there are sincere folk who genuinely are very humble in this and it is refreshing when that occurs. However, most of the time we think that our self-elevation is good and the way to get noticed in the Body of Christ.
We might be noticed by folk in the Body that way, however, it will not do the work of the Kingdom that the Spirit desires. Paul was not trying to be noticed, even in his defense of his apostleship. He was trying to get these folk to see that self-promotion does not do the work of the Lord. There were those in Corinth who were not only promoting themselves, but also were putting Paul down in their eyes. It really does go together. It is almost impossible for me to elevate myself without putting someone else down. That is why it would be altogether inappropriate to give you an example of this truth.
I am challenged by this. I think most of us are. Our normal understandings of humility may in fact be just a veneer covering for self-elevation. So what is our guard against self-elevation? Well the first line of defense is a genuine prayer life that is constantly open before the Father. The second defense that I see right now is to know this caution and to recognize its validity. The third defense is to never put another person down.
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May 30, 2009
Thursday Night – Elim – May 28, 2009
Thursday Night – May 28, 2009 – Elim Conference – Bill Johnson
Thursday night I just wrote my notes. As a result I do not have as many of them. I was able to type so much faster than I wrote, but at least I was able to capture some of the material.
Anytime any pressure on me is heavier or larger than the pressure of the Holy Spirit, I need to shift. I must learn to always respond to the Holy Spirit. There are three leavens we are capable of responding to:
1. The leaven of Herod = political spirit
2. The leaven of the Pharisees = religious spirit
3. The leaven of the Kingdom = the Holy Spirit
The political spirit will put distance between me and the message as I weigh and work out compromises.
The religious spirit will want to bring judgment (John 8 – woman caught in adultery). The law that would have brought judgment, was overcome by the law of grace. Faith is consistent in grace; grace = the enabling presence of the Lord.
What do we do with the righteous fallen? How we handle them will determine much in our ability to live in Kingdom principles instead of those of earth. How many of you know that it is really a bad day when even the devil rejects you?! (He spent some time working with the grace of restoration. I listened intently but did not write much here).
When the impossible looks reasonable and logical then your mind has been renewed. With the Holy Spirit in us there is an expectation from God according to our increased capacity in the Holy Spirit for work in His Kingdom. The Pharisees and Sadducees of Matthew 16:1-4 were hypocrites because even though they had the capacity to read the “signs of the times,” they only read the “signs of the natural world.” He considered them “two-faced,” because even though the capacity to read was there they chose ignorance. We can be the same way. We must choose to begin to “see” the Kingdom and the spiritual “signs,” that are there.
He did a quick survey all through the gospel of John showing us that Jesus was countering religion at every turn. Leaning on anything other than Him is religion. The U.S. and most of the western world leans on its intellect. Jesus is wanting us to be people of encounters with Him (He never says anything that is not in harmony with what He has already said and written). We must be people of presence – not people of “religion.” Much of what the Lord speaks to us is not to our minds but to and in our hearts and we often do not understand. It is not for our understanding. It is for our hearts. The Lord will offend the mind to reach the heart. Mystery is as important to you as what you know.
In the life-style of the Spirit Kingdom we are in the position to increase the revelation; words become spirit. It is a new-wine way of living – an elastic way of life. If we become rigid in the old (things done in past by revelation) He will let us, and bless us there. But the flow of revelation will not be ours. Faith must be hearing Him in-the-moment. Always be listening for a shift; a change of season to do and hear differently.
We, as disciples, are required to be able to discern the spirit of the one speaking – not just weigh the content of what is spoken. This is higher. The content must be good and accurate, but must also be from one of His – not just anyone. The way I receive a person determines what I can receive from them. (Matthew 10:40)
Stop focusing on what a person is not, but celebrate who people are. Let grace flow.
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Elim Notes – Wednesday – May 27
Remember these are just my “jot down notes.” He said much. It seemed there were nuggets in every sentence, and even though I am a very trained typist, there was no way I could capture it all. So I think after reading these you will be able to be blessed. Enjoy!
May 27, 2009 – Elim Fellowship Leadership Conference — Bill Johnson
God’s still in a good mood! We give God an opportunity to show up. He loves to show up. We are bored with prayer because we continue to ask for what He has already done. Those who pray in true faith are filled with joy — they have no problem with joy — it is always in them. Answered prayer is supposed to create that in us. Those who have no answers in their prayer, because they are asking for what is already accomplished, have a tendency to substitute the joy of the discipline of prayer instead of the joy of encounter. Lives are transformed through the release of the kingdom. When we believe, then we already have (in our spirits) the reality, therefore we are full of joy. Those who have to see do not have such joy.
We have got to be the generation that truly believe that God is truly good and does all for the good. We have been put on the planet to make a difference — this co-laboring with Him produces the change. We pray “rend the heavens and come down.” At Jesus’ baptism the Father tore open the heavens. Now the heavens are open – they were closed when Isaiah prayed that prayer. Jesus was given all authority and received it as our older brother. He becomes empowered through agreement. It is possible to empower the enemy through the prayers we pray. We are not working for the victory of Christ, we are working out of it — it is finished. Jesus Christ is perfect theology. What about Job? I am not Job’s disciple. I am a disciple of Jesus. The entire OT is to reveal the severity of sin. You touch the leper and you become unclean. In the NT you touch the leper — the leper becomes healed.
We were not empowered by grace, so we could live the law better. Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John, since that time the gospel of the Kingdom has been preached and everyone is pressing into it.” (recalled the incident of the sons of thunder). They were wanting to pattern their ministry after Elijah. The Law and the prophets served us well, but they were anointing and mantels of a previous covenant. They were all to reveal the messiah. The destructive kind of anointing is not a part of the Spirit of Jesus~! All that was preparatory for the real message. Once you have what it was pointing to you never go back to the type.
We need to know what needs to happen in our lifetime. We do not know the future and are not told about the future for that kind of knowledge. But what is given is given so that when it happens that we would know He had spoken it before.
God is waiting for the dream of His people. Will we read and ask permission to activate?. Every family on earth will bow before me (Psalm 42?) Putting all these promises in the future is putting them in a place we have no way to effect — no edge. Those who think their intellect is keeping them from deception are already deceived. It is a relationship based on an encounter that makes the difference.
Is it possible the size of the message determines the size of the harvest? It is possible to co-exist with the true spiritual reality and never know it exists. Jesus has all answers. You and I have been raised up for such a time as this so we could draw from there to here so the “draw of God” could get to the people.
He is so extremely good! If I did what most of the church accuses Him of, I’d be arrested for child abuse. He did not do the miraculous out of His God-hood. He did only what He saw the Father doing – it was impossible for Him otherwise. Heal the sick, raise the dead, all this is God’s will. Once the Spirit of God took residence in us, He immediately had things for us to accomplish. He is in us but He wants to be released out.
If there is no sin and you are completely empowered by the Holy Spirit then we can do as He did. He took care of our sin problem and He gave us the Holy Spirit, so we could do as He did.. Jesus did what He did as a model. Not everyone I pray with gets healed. How come? I am not there yet. I will not change the words of scripture to match my experience. He told us to heal the sick. Welcome to the life of the impossible. Our high point must not be what we can do, but the doing of the impossible.
When you have victory, you have authority to bring someone else into that victory. Jesus is longing to be seen for who He really is. He set the bar pretty high for us. He put us in such an awesome position. I pray differently when I am overwhelmed. The Lord is not intimated by that at all. There is a Christian-type culture that surrounds us that gives us a false impression but is not real in the heavenly. We must allow transformation (a changed mind) so we can take from heaven and bring it here. “Arise and shine, for your light has come.” He does not say “Arise and reflect“ We come to the light and then we become light — and then we are to give that to others. We are to arise and shine!
The Lord has given us an assignment. Matthew 28 — Go and disciple nations. The power to cast out demons won‘t do you any good in heaven, unless God takes you on a field trip. The inheritance is as big as the assignment. Bring nations to the king. He is the only one with the right to expect a harvest out of season. The time has come to use what God has given us. Shift the seasons, now the Kingdom of God is being preached and everyone is running to it. The Lord establishes the foundation of truth – the nature of sin, so He can build upon it the truth of righteousness.
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May 26, 2009
Tuesday Night Session – Elim Conference
I am just pasting in a copy of my notes. I just typed as I heard Bill Johnson speak. Some of the statements may sound a bit disjointed. That is because he was saying so much, one statement on top of another that it was impossible for me to keep up with him as I typed, and I type really fast. So read and you will at least get some of the message. I enjoyed it very much.
Leadership Conference: May 26 – PM – Bill Johnson
If you don’t run into the devil every now and then, you may be going the same direction.
God let me preach so anyone would know they could do it. “I love to be where the people burn in Jesus.” He wants someone to believe in Him extraordinary — a testimony of what He has done. He assigned us to disciple nations — access to everything we need to embrace the assignment. When the high point in Christian accomplishment is what it can do in the natural, we are no longer the church of Jesus.; We are called to do the impossible.
At the end of the day, only His will –will satisfy.
John 3:2-12 We will always reflect the world we are most aware of. We are people who have been assigned to broker Heaven into this world. Jesus did not draw a line between the two worlds. Stop trying the build the church and start releasing the Kingdom we are told to release.
The truths of the kingdom are dimensional. There are things that are true and things that are more true. Sowing and reaping is truth, but elementary – Law of blessing is you get, not what you sow, but what He has sown. But you can’t go there first. Advancing in revelation we discover the law of blessing and we choose not to stay in the elementary. We have a great need to understand how His world works in order to implement it in this world.
The transformation of the mind is far more than memorizing scripture. Apart from the presence, it is impossible to experience transformation. We are getting a greater anointing until we encounter the one who is the anointed one.
Teachers are supposed to teach the word in a way that presents opportunities for the miraculous. “We speak what we know. And testify to what we have seen and you do not receive our witness.” Jesus wanted to tell them the “family” story. “If I tell you earthly and you do not understand, how can I tell you about the heavenly? He trying to draw us away from the earthly illustration so we can hear the family stories.
We can not bind what is bound here if we do not have heavenly revelation about what is bound there. We are accustomed to doctrines without experience. Doctrine is supposed to be an invitation to relationship. Revelation is not to fill our head, but to fill our heart with experiences to help those around me. It is imperative that we put demands on what we believe. Do not sit and await. He said “Arise and shine.” The secret place is where we have secret encounters so we can have the public ones. Without the private ones, we can have no public ones.
John 4:35 “lift up your eyes.” The question is never about the harvest, but the laborers — are they ready? All of heaven waits to back up the encounter. The whole field is harvestable now. The greater the revelation that God gives us as individuals, we must in secret seek the greater anointing to accomplish the revelation, so it is not a matter of theory, but of experience.
The most difficult (sinful) people can’t outdo this woman at the well — yet He worked with her experience and brought her through her many questions and “insights” to His heart. She then brough her town.
Deviled ham — the pigs than rena into the sea.
If 2,000 demons can’t keep one man from worshipping Jesus, what excuse can the church. So Jesus brings Him into His one — The anointing we carry is the anointing we actually live by. (Jesus one step program — out of darkness into light). It really bad when the Spirit has been gone from the church so long, when He finally shows up folks think it is the devil.
Jesus sent his out to tell his story. (Disciples probably thought he needed a few years of mentoring). How many sermons does this guy have? One. The next time Jesus went into that area every one came out to visit and to see Him.
Jesus didn’t do what He did so we could have church. Powerlessness is inexcusable. The Holy Spirit is in you and He wants out — in us as a river — not a lake. We are indebted to Him to release what He has so graciously given. It is not the end of the world is near, it is instead the kingdom of God is here! The gospel of the kingdom is to bring the values of the kingdom here. Top bring the reality of His rule and His reign here. The gospel is my home, the gospel of the Kingdom is my assignment.
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May 25, 2009
My daughter and I will be traveling tomorrow to Lima, NY where we are to attend the Elim Fellowship’s annual Leadership Conference. I am planning to blog though-out the conference, so those of you who would love to have gone can receive some of the richness that I know will flow from the Throne of our God to those of us attending. I do not know how this will all work, but I read several bloggers who do this type of thing, so I thought I would try it too. Stay tuned – – – .
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May 19, 2009
Prayer: The Always Open Invitation
Our Gracious Lord Jesus always hears our prayers! He always urges us to dialogue with Him and to listen as well as to “pour out our hearts.” (Psalm 62:8b) So as we study our Word, we learn that He always hears all people and that our sin or our lack of relationship with Him does not get in the way of Him hearing our prayers.
I realize this flies in the face of some programs and teachings that tell us otherwise, but the Scripture is clear. Our Lord dialogued with Cain when he was an unrepentant murder. He always heard you when you called to Him – otherwise you could not have received Him in salvation. He called out to Samuel, even though Samuel did not know Him personally at first. Over and over again – our Lord has heard the prayers of sinners and saints – He always wants to visit with us.
“We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” (John 9:31 TNIV) Many have quoted this passage as a premise for denying the fact that the Lord hears us all. Actually, this is spoken by a man that Jesus healed and it is spoken to the leaders of the synagogue who were questioning him about Jesus. The man used their own teaching back at them. This was not a teaching of the Law, nor of Jesus.
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:18-19 TNIV) The first verse, when used by itself, seems to say that God does not hear if we have sin. Yet the remaining part and verse 19 is a praise to God for hearing. Now it goes without saying that as we draw near to God and He draws near to us, which is His promise to us (James 4:8), that if we are cherishing sin in our hearts, He will address that. But the fact remains, if we do not have His love and His power, we can do nothing except have sin and cherish it – for it will be what we know. With His love and His power, then we learn to live by the Holy Spirit and therefore we do not satisfy the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
So, join me in a celebration of His love, forgiveness and grace, as we always turn to Him, knowing He always hears and chooses to dialogue with us. What great confidence this knowledge of grace gives us!
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May 04, 2009
Choosing A Local Church
I hear many people talk about choosing a local body as their own and hear others speak of why they are changing local bodies. Comments like, “I do not get fed here (or there) any more,” are very common among us. What we need to see is that such comments identify us as infants in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 20-21, “But you, dear friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.” (HCSB) Even though the Pastor and church leadership have a responsibility to teach and lead the flock under their care, none of them can possibly do what the Holy Spirit through the Word is to do personally in our lives. Our primary “feeding” must come directly from the Lord and not through another human. I am responsible for my own feeding and for getting enough of the spiritual food of the word to become strong and grow into maturity.
This does not take the responsibility off the Pastoral staff and leadership to supply good food (and not junk food passing itself off as something of value) from the Word to the congregation, but it does make it clear that it is the individual’s personal responsibility to primarily feed themselves. Then what each one receives in the corporal setting is of added benefit.
Choosing a church for us is the Lord’s responsibility. There are many who choose on the basis of what they like. This can be very dangerous. Also trying to find the “right one” is wrought with pot holes right and left. There simply is no “right one.” The Lord in His gracious knowing will place us where we can be of the greatest service, where we can receive and become a part. Our background, our family culture, our family status (children or no), all these make a difference in where the Lord would have us go. However, the choice must be His and not ours.
All these matters point to a need for us to be walking with Him very closely on a daily basis. Hearing His voice in the Word, then hearing that same voice relating moment by moment are both essential if we are to mature in the nature of the matters of Word and Spirit.
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April 11, 2009
Last evening in at Psalm 19 we had our annual Good Friday service. It was a modified Tenebrae with a lesson and worship included. Our facility was packed with over 80 dear ones present to remember the awesome price of our Lord’s sacrifice so we could be in relationship with our God. It was a powerful time in His presence and ended with warm and precious fellowship in that presence together. There were people from many, many different denominations — such a rich blend of His people. I was (am) deeply blessed by Him and by His body.
Now we head for Sunday and the richness of the celebration of the Resurrection! I always love this Sunday’s celebrations.
I have just finished reading through the blogs that I frequent, and want to recommend a post to you. El Shaddai Edwards at heissufficient.com has an excellent book review of Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book. I have read the book and amen all El Shaddai says about it. I highly recommend you read this post and if you have not read the book — get it for your library — it s well worth its cost.
Now to my work toward Sunday – church – fellowship with family at my brother’s home – and rest before the busy week. Grace, grace to you and peace from our Lord Jesus Chist!
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April 08, 2009
I have put my most recent video cast here: http://www.unfoldedword.podcastpeople.com I am having trouble trying to add it to my sidebar. Sometimes these things work for me — sometimes not. This is one of those not times. Anyway — this video cast has been on my web site (and you can access it on the home page) for some time, but I have now put it back at this site. It runs much nicer here. If you haven’t listened, give it a go and let me know what you think. I like doing them — just takes a bit of time. I will do a new one before long.
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April 03, 2009
The Inheritance of Royalty – #3
Hearts Blazing with the Supernatural
(This is a summary of the third lesson taught in this series).
The church of our Lord Jesus Christ longs to live in the dimension of the supernatural. We identify times of supernatural activity with the early church, with the revivals of the past and with the rare individual who has managed to tap into the reality of spiritual matters and works in spiritual gifts with freedom.
This is so foreign to what is displayed for us in the New Covenant! It seems it was the expectation that we as the body of Christ would grow in our ability to not just “perform” in the supernatural, but to live there — to view all that comes our way through the eyes of the supernatural — always expecting the intersection of the Lord in our lives in healing, hope, freedom and joy. Yet what we find are sincere people, begging God to do something He has already done. I call such “beggar prayers.” We ask for revival, for a move of the Holy Sprit, for Him to save sinners, etc…. on and on the list goes.
Beloved in God, the Lord loves everyone so much He sent His precious Son to die so all could come to Him. What more can He do? He poured out His Holy Spirit with gifts and the entire package of a victorious Christianity, so what more can He do? He lives in power inside each individual who receives Him. What more can He do? I am really not a heretic — but we are such Biblically illiterate people when it comes to what He has done for us and how to live in its glory. When we trust in what He has given, we walk in it, not beg for it.
God does move supernaturally, but He does so by faith. He does give revival — by a move in faith. He does give an individual or a group a move of His Holy Spirit, by faith. He does save people (He loves them more than we can every know), by faith. Other words for faith are: trust, confidence, rest, reliance, etc… This trust or rest comes out of the Word. It comes from learning what the Word says about what has been done for us and trusting that indeed He has done that very thing. When we begin to live in trust (a struggle in all periods of time), then we begin to realize the Lord has given us a heart that blazes with the supernatural. The supernatural is our expectation in our day, our night, and every moment. We find we do not live in the news or the financial good news or lack of it. Instead, we as informed, in the Word, people relate to our circumstances in trust in Him.
When we begin to know what He has done and rest in it, we find the fire and love of God blazing in our hearts to accomplish whatever our day has for us. What an awesome gift — a Heard blazing with the Supernatural!
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