The Harp . . .
While Sharon and I were visiting
the Harrari Harp factory in Jerusalem a number of years ago, we learned
one of the most interesting stories concerning David and his first harp.
It is held by tradition that Israel’s
Psalmist, King David, taught himself to play the harp as he watched the
flocks of his father. This was long before he was called to be the King
of Israel. The harp he played made no audible sound but was held close
to the breast and nestled against the temple and cheek bone. The “sound”
resonated in the bones of the musician and, thus, turned his entire body
into a sound board.
I was reminded of that story just
recently. The Lord impressed me that the instrument was personal,
meant only for the private enjoyment and intimate worship of the individual
musician. Only the worshiper and God could hear the “new song” that was
played on the strings by fingers guided by the issues of the heart.
This intimacy of worship, learned
by the shepherd boy David, is what qualified him to be King of Israel and
caused God to say, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine
own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22 KJV)
It was there, in the cold dark of
night, when the bear and lion, went about seeking whom, or what, they might
devour, that this worshiping shepherd boy learned to draw the strength
and courage that would allow him to save the sheep of his charge from the
It was out of these hours of intimate
of worship that David eventually came to the place where he would bring
down the giant champion of the Philistine army. It would be done with nothing
but a sling, his love of the Ancient of Days, and a stone guided by the
God of the whole earth.
The Heart . . .
As this, what to me was a revelation,
gently and sweetly settled into my being, I came to ponder a verse of scripture
that I had read. This verse is found in the sacred text of the Bible in
the book of John. This one verse began to speak volumes to my heart :
turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved . . .; which also leaned
on his breast at supper, . . . (John 21:20 KJV).
The Apostle John was so aware of
the love of God that he called himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
In another version it reads, “the disciple that Jesus dearly loved and
highly esteemed.” This young man understood grace and was not ashamed to
lean on the breast of his Savior and Lord.
Jesus, the exact image and likeness
of the invisible God, the Word, or Sound, of God:
He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation
of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15 Amp)
This verse in John 21 shows us the
disciple with his head leaning on the Harp of God.
As he laid his head upon this holy
chest of the Incarnate, he came to hear the very heart beat of God.
That he heard with his natural ear
goes without saying, but it can be seen that he heard with his “inner ear,”
His spirit heard the pulse of God who is Love. He heard what no one else
hear and worshiped.
It was out of this time of intimate
worship that John came to the place where he had no fear of being associated
with the Master. He was willing to be at the Cross, commit to caring for
Jesus’ mother, endure banishment to Patmos, and come out of a cauldron
of boiling oil with worship in his heart.
How Shall We Escape . .
The first quarter of this year ended
with the Resurrection promise of the Easter celebrations. We have once
again been faced with the Cross of Calvary and must decide what we will
do with so great a salvation:
we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention
to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past
us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it
was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally
heard [Him speak]. Hebrews 2:3 (Amp)
If we neglect it’s implication and
refuse to pay attention to it, we will most certainly find our lives shipwrecked
upon the Rock that will grind us to powder:
who falls on that Stone will be broken [in pieces]; but upon whomever It
falls, It will crush him [winnow him and scatter him as dust]. Luke
The decision to cast their lives upon
the Stone (Christ Jesus) has been left entirely up to each individual.
The wrong decision inevitably leads to utter destruction as surely as the
right decision leads to a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy
Ghost and the promise of everlasting life.
Grace has been extended in such
a lavish display of the love of God that we, too often, consider that it
must have had no cost. This we do much in the same way we take the universe
with all of its galaxies for granted, smugly suggesting that all of the
harmonic symphony of mass, motion and light were a happenstance explosion
of extremely heavy, albeit infinitesimal matter, without explaining where
this matter might have originated.
It Cost God Everything . . .
The simple truth is, it cost God
everything. Grace is free to receive by faith, but not cheap by any stretch
of the imagination.
it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered
from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your]
faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it
came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not
because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any man
should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so
no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] Ephes. 2:8-9
Grace carries the love of God that
never fails, and, therefore, the power of God.
God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up
His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in,
clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost)
but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16 (Amp)
It carries His wealth, in that “He
became poor that we might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9), and His healing provision
because, “by His wounds you were healed” 1 Pet. 2:24 (Amp), as well as
every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).
Love never fails [never
fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end] . . . 1 Cor. 13:8 (Amp)
What more do we want? How can we
neglect what cost God everything? How can we but give our all to Him who
gave His all for us? Let us fall on “that Stone” and allow our “self “
to “be broken [in pieces]” so that we, following after, “may apprehend
that for which also [we were] apprehended of Christ Jesus. Philip. 3:12
is the Children’s Bread . . .
“And, behold, a woman of Canaan
came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on
me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him,
saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said,
I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came
she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said,
It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And
she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their
masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is
thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made
whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15:22-28 KJV).
All who were not of the house of
Israel were considered gentile dogs. This precious woman of great faith
understood the grace of God Almighty. She recognized that even the dogs
eat the same fare as is set on their masters table. This great truth is
proven out again and again in Scripture and in modern day experience.
The message of the Gospel is that,
healing is in the atonement and is available to all who will reach out
to Jesus, the Healer.
In the Second Chapter of Mark we
see Jesus healing a man in order to verify His ability to forgive sins:
“Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven
thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may
know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith
to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed,
and go thy way into thine house” (Mark 2:9-11 KJV).
The man was instantly healed!
Jesus Christ, the same ... Today!
I have just returned from a very
fruitful ten days in Nigeria, where not only the children were healed but
the lost as well. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for
ever (Hebrews 13:8 KJV).
Two young deaf boys now hear clearly
because our God is still Jehovah Rapha [The God that heals] and His Word
is still true: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with
his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5 KJV). “Who his own self bare our
sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live
unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:24 KJV).
The stripes of Jesus not only gave
them the ability to hear, but one of them was also dumb [unable to speak]
and now is able to talk. His future is brighter than ever because Jesus
passed his way. Many others were healed and delivered from demonic torments.
The result was, that close to a hundred people came to know Jesus as their
Lord and Savior during the nightly evangelism crusade.
Each of them has been followed up
and will be discipled by the sponsoring church. The Rev. Dr. Boma Lawson
and his Calvary Temple International Church congregation put on the “Prophetic
Signal 2004” conference that included the nightly crusade meetings. The
church was filled and over flowing, with people standing outside the windows
and over sixty children in a tent next to the church building.
He said that morning, “The church
has not been full since we built it. This is very exciting!”
Calvary Temple and two other Nigerian
churches will be starting the G-12 vision as soon as we can send them the
training materials. One church in Benin is also going to join the G-12
vision with us.
Thank you for your support
Over and over again, the Lord admonishes
us to Hear what the Spirit of God is saying. Each time we press in and
pay attention with a hearing ear we are given a charge and a promise of
that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is
in the midst of the paradise of God.
Could it be that a person living
in the 21st Century can hear the Voice of the Lord? We confidently and
boldly answer, YES!
that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
We must also learn to hear that
still, small voice speaking Spirit to spirit. It will never alter nor contradict
the written Word but will bring specific insight, direction and encouragement
to each individual that will dare learn to listen.
that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will
give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man
knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Prayer and fasting can, and will,
help to tune one's ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. God is speaking.
But, are we listening?
26 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto
the churches. ...And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto
the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Several years ago the Lord spoke
to me that the scheduled Conference in Legaspi, Philippines should be canceled.
Pastor Sharon and others had a similar leading. Had they not listened to
the Voice of the Lord they could have been among those evacuated from the
villages surrounding the Legaspi area as the Mayon Volcano erupted.
6 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will
confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
As we learn to listen to the Voice
of God we need the balanced help and instruction of others more experienced.
12,13 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which
cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new
name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
Be a student of the art of communication. Conversing with another human
being or with God Himself is a skill that takes a life time to perfect.
Enjoy the process!
Rev. 3:21, 22 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with
me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my
Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches.
The Lord has desired to have a
people of His planting since before the Garden of Eden. In this dispensation
He desires to plant His children in the House of His choosing. He wants
them firmly established in the House of God, the local church of His calling.
Exodus 15:17 Thou shalt
bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in
the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary,
O Lord, which thy hands have established.
Many precious children of God are missing
the blessing of belonging to a local church (Sanctuary) which God has established
because of their own unwillingness to yield to His way of nurturing, developing,
strengthening and maturing those who belong to His family.
E ven full time ministers need a
place that they can call home; a place where God has planted them for their
nurturing and care. Traveling ministers need a home more than any other
saint, if that be possible. It is for mutual protection and carries a promise
of fruitfulness and prosperity.
In The House ...
His promise to those in the house is
that their ministries will spring up, fly out, break forth and flourish.
Many go it alone simply because they have been hurt or disappointed by
someone or something and so never really learn to enjoy the strength, comfort,
joy and comradery that is available to every dedicated member of a local
church. Fear that someone will control or restrict their ministry is nothing
more than a root of bitterness that has taken hold because of
someones immaturity or a misunderstanding that was not worked through to
resolution and has given place to a spirit of fear. Being held accountable
is not legalistic control and should hold no fear. If accountability is
a problem so is integrity.
G od wants each of us to be accountable
to someone. First, to Him and His Word. Secondly, to the leadership that
He has called to come along side us.
Last month I dealt with the danger
of soul peace and being lead by the impressions of the soul that allows
the flesh to protect the soul (redefining terms and concepts to satisfy
the context of our desire, thereby satisfying the soulish nature and achieving
soul peace rather than the peace that agreeing with the Spirit brings).
We must train ourselves to apply the Word of God to our situations and
circumstances rather than letting the soul be comfortable.
Beloved, let God plant you so that
you can be one who gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that every sheep
of Gods pasture might be called a tree of righteousness, the plantingof
the Lord, that He might be glorified. Let's build the old wastes,
raise up the former desolations, repair the waste cities, and the desolations
of many generations as we return home.