Category: Spirituality



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The Messages of Jesus are Understood by the Spiritual Interpretation of His Parables

Today we look at the parables of Jesus for insight into how we can better understand the messages He has provided us in the Gospels. This understanding is critical in answering a number of questions I have received from readers seeking validation of some of the messages we have delivered.

Questions About the Tabernacle and the Claims of Jesus

For example, a number of readers have asked for authoritative scriptural support that Jesus is claiming to be the fulfillment of the Tabernacle when He stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14: 6.) They have also asked me to provide scriptural verification that the entryways into the Tabernacle are called the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I plan to present answers by way of a number of postings. The strategy is to build a foundation of principles, in a line upon line manner, that lead the reader to the verification that they desire.

Jesus and Parables

The disciples often had difficulty understanding Jesus, just as many of us do today. Often, the reason for this is because Jesus came to deliver spiritual messages about the Father and the Kingdom of Heaven, while we on the other hand, are prone to relate everything to the physical world around us.

Jesus And The Multitude

Jesus And The Multitude

As a result, Jesus would often speak to us by way of parables that paint His spiritual messages in the colors of our real world experiences. The Gospels contains numerous examples of the parables of Jesus. However, it should be noted that parables did not always help in our understanding. In at least one example, Jesus had to explain a parable to His disciples.

Here is a section of  Matthew’s Gospel about Jesus and His parables:

Matthew 13

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Sower

1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Disciples are Sent out

The Disciples are Sent out

The Purpose of Parables

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should[a] heal them.’[b] 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

The Parable of the Leaven

33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures[c] of meal till it was all leavened.”

Prophecy and the Parables

34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

“I will open My mouth in parables;

I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”[d]

The Parable of the Tares Explained

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

This scripture is very revealing in that it presents a number of the parables of Jesus, and then goes on and gives us the translation of some of them so that we can see how His parables work. It shows how He presents a seemingly real life story like the parable of the Tares, and uses it to deliver His spiritual message. In this example He uses the parable to describe the reality of the spiritual forces in our lives and spiritual destination that all mankind is moving toward. The parable presents a case for the purpose of Jesus coming to Earth, which is to sow the good seeds of the Father. It substantiates the reality of the devil and his evil deeds, the work of the angels at the time of the harvest, and most importantly, it presents the fire in hell as the destination for all who follow the works of the devil, and the glory of life forever in the kingdom of heaven with the Father who follow Jesus in the pathways of righteousness.

So, the foundational principle of the posting is that Jesus delivered His spiritual messages via parables. This is true because the scripture states: 34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.

The founding principle is that these messages should not be taken literally, but rather viewed as spiritual messages. This principle is a key foundation to understanding Jesus, and properly understanding His message: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

The things that are revealed in the parables of Jesus are critical to understanding things that have been mysteries to all mankind. This is true because the scripture states: 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”[d]

All of this insight into parables and the words of Jesus is critical in helping us understand what Jesus was saying when He stated:, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6.) This in turn will lead to an understanding of why the entryways of the Tabernacle are called the Way, the Truth and the Life.

In our next posting we will provide additional scriptural support that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tabernacle.  After this, we will take an in-depth look at the Way, the Truth and the Life in subsequent postings. See you all next time. God bless you all.


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

In our last posting we took a look at the covenant God made with Abraham, a covenant that became the foundation of the three most prolific religions in the world. This covenant promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations and that the land of Canaan would be their possession.

However, all the men of Abraham’s family would have to be circumcised as a visible sign of the covenant. I have included the scriptures of Genesis 17 that communicate the essence of this message here for your review:

for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan (the Promised Land where there are many mansions) where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. ” 9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant (the new covenant is a covenant of selfless love), you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised (symbolic of casting away one’s own flesh). 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (as our love for one another is a sign to others that we follow Jesus.) 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. ”

Now, one of the things we spoke of last time was that this covenant of circumcision was prophetic of Jesus in many ways. So today we are going to drill down a bit on this idea so that we can see the scriptural foundation for this statement.

Lets start with the act of circumcision itself. Circumcision is the act of cutting away the foreskin of the part of a man that defines him to be a man. God asks Abraham to do this to all the men in his family as a sign that he was in covenant with God. This seems peculiar to say the least and one has to wonder why this would be the case. We hope to address this as we tie the covenant of circumcision to the ministry of Jesus Christ.

As we alluded to in our prior posting, the very idea of circumcision seems outrageous on the surface and yet it contains a powerful message for all the generations that followed. The message is that we were not created as physical creatures but rather as spiritual creatures who were created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:27
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Since God is spirit,

John 4:24
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

then we are also spiritual creatures, otherwise we could not have been created in Gods image. We took on our physical bodies when Adam and Eve chose to know evil. It was then that they discovered for the first time that they were naked and sought to cover themselves. This means that they took on the flesh of their physical bodies.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

It was at this time that God also told the woman that her childbearing would come with pain,

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Gen 3:16

and so, what we see here is that mankind took on a major transformation because of our desire to know both good and evil. From that point on we were all born as spiritual creatures encapsulated in physical bodies.

Prior to the fall from the Garden there was never a report of Eve giving birth to children, only afterwards did she give birth to children. The point of all of this is that we are not our bodies!

Interestingly, science proves that we are not our bodies as well. Scientists have proven that each cell in our bodies is replaced every seven years. Therefore, we are not physically the same being that we were just seven years ago. We are not the baby that we were when we were born, nor are we the teenager that we were in our youth. Yet, there is a consistency that continues to be us despite the physical change in the bodies we inhabit, and that consistency is our spirit. This is the message of the covenant of circumcision: our flesh is irrelevant in seeking eternal life with God. This message is verified by the words of Jesus as reported by John the disciple:

John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Therefore, it is our spiritual nature that is important to God as we are to seek God in spirit.

Jesus came to us teaching us by way of parables and therefore one way to view covenant with Abraham is as a parable. This parable tells us that to be in covenant with God we must cast away our own flesh as worthless. In addition, it tells us that the people who we come in contact with must be able to determine that we are in covenant with God as a result of our interaction with them. They must be able to see a visible sign that we have turned our back on our own physical life in favor of a spiritual relationship with God.

Jesus spoke the following words:

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

So how do we do this? The casting away of our own flesh is the giving of our life toward loving one another. This love is not self centered but rather others centered.

John 15:12
 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

It is a love that is enacted by following the lead of the Holy Spirit of God. When we walk in the Spirit of God we will be led into spiritual warfare where the dominions of power and evil are brought down. It is then that we truly enter into the ministry of Jesus Christ. The reason for this is because at this point we begin to do the things that Jesus did.

John 14:11-13
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

The Holy Spirit

In this regard Jesus confirms the covenant of circumcision by giving up His own body so that He would receive the punishment that we otherwise would justly deserve. He took on the wiping, the spitting, the beating, the thorns in His head, the nails in His hands and feet, the taunting and humiliation of being hung on the cross so that all of us could achieve forgiveness of our sins and live under the new and better covenant that He earned for us.

This is the degree of love that He showed us as He suffered on the Cross, giving up his flesh willingly for us. This is the example that Jesus gave us. It is proof that the flesh profits us nothing as Jesus was resurrected from the dead and then ascended into heaven to be with the Father once again. This is the example that he left us. This is how He wants us to love one another. To love others like He loved us!

Jesus at the Tomb

Jesus also said that we should do the works that He did in His ministry. That means that we should see answers to our prayers. We should see people healed, demons cast out and people raised from the dead. These things come from the Spirit of God. They are acts of love. To tap into this our spirit must become one with the Holy Spirit of God.

John 17:20-23
 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This is what is required. We must become one with God in spirit and this in turn means that we have to turn our backs on our own flesh. This is exactly what Abraham and Jesus did. It is what the apostles of Jesus did as they all died marters for the Gospel of Jesus. Truly, it is the narrow path that leads to God.

The Power of Prayer


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

​This posting is the third in a series of communications that look at God’s deliberate actions to reunite with His people. In our first posting we established that it is God’s desire to once again dwell with His people as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden. Our second posting provided a generalized outline that demonstrated God’s repeated efforts to reunite with us. Today, we will look at one of God’s most influential covenants, one that became the foundation for the three most prevalent religions of the world today.

So, lets find out more about this covenant by looking at the 17th chapter of the Book of Genesis. As many portions of this scripture are prophetic of Jesus, I have inserted notes to identify them. I hope to be drilling down into them in future postings.

A Meeting Of Abraham And Melchizedek

The Covenant of Circumcision

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless (as Jesus walked before the Father and was blameless). 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers (as Jesus made a new covenant with us and greatly increased the numbers of those who walk before the Father and are blameless because of the shed blood of Jesus).”

3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations (as Jesus is the Father of all Christianity). 5 No longer will you be called Abram (Jesus); your name will be Abraham (the Christ), for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan (the Promised Land where there are many mansions) where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. ”

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant (the new covenant is a covenant of selfless love), you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised (symbolic of casting away ones own flesh). 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (as our love for one another is a sign to others that we follow Jesus.) 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. ” 15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.

I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.

27 And every male in Abraham’s household , including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

What does the Covenant of Circumcision Mean to us?

Now while this seems like a nice story on the surface, it is very profound when you start to think about what happened here. God communicates with a 100-year-old man whose wife is barren and tells him that he is going to be the father of many generations. How many 100-year-old men do you know that have fathered a child? Most people would say that such a thing is highly improbable. Then God tells Him that His barren 90-year-old wife is to be the one who is going to give birth to his male child. I believe that this is an even more unlikely possibility. So we have a situation here that is doubly improbable, and even impossible to most people I know. Certainly, it would take an act of God to make these promises a reality and we find that Abraham has so much faith that he immediately follow His direction.

From my point of view the act of circumcision that Abraham performed is so contrary to the basic nature of man that I would also believe them impossible. Most men would most likely say something like, “What, are you kidding?” To cut the flesh off the tip of the organ that represents manhood, and throw it away as worthless is counter intuitive from my point of view. To start with, just think of the pain associated with this procedure. I might be able to believe that Abraham would be willing to circumcise himself, but then how did he convince the other members of his family to do so as well? Let’s internalize this for a moment. Visualize in your mind a situation where a member of your family comes to you and proclaims that they have heard from God and that all the men in their family were required to have a portion of their sexual organ cut off as a result. What would you say? Most likely you would say, “you are as crazy as a loon.” So once again we see a circumstance that appears quite impossible, but despite this Abraham does not even question the point with God, but rather simply complies and get’s his family to do so as well. How great a faith is that? For this reason, several of the New Testament scriptures proclaim that Abraham was deemed righteous based of his faith alone.

So when we look at this from a standpoint of God’s promise being the basis of our relationship, what we see is just another example of God directing His people in a way that leads them back into a relationship with Him. God trying to lead us back into a relationship like He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

In this scripture we find God leading Abraham toward the promised land (Canna), where He planned to dwell with his people from inside the Tabernacle that would be built later by Moses. As we have reported several times, the actions reported in these stories are physical in their nature. They are in fact parables or stories that are told to communicate a spiritual message (one that we can not easily understand), by using analogies taken from the physical world that we understand very well. So for example, God’s directing Abraham to the promised land is simply a parable to communicate that there is a spiritual promised land (heaven or the Garden), that we can aspire toward inhabiting. Jesus reaffirmed this concept on several occasions when he spoke about the kingdom of heaven. Just prior to the ascension of Jesus into heaven He told the apostles that he was leaving to prepare a place for them, one that had many mansions.

The Ascension of Jesus

The bottom line here is that the actions of Abraham to God’s message are prophetic of the life, word and actions of Jesus Christ in every way.

So for example, the act of circumcision, or the cutting away of a man’s flesh serves several points. First, it points to our spiritual nature and tells us that the flesh profits us nothing (like Jesus told us). It also tells us that a sacrifice of the flesh is necessary to live in covenant with God, and this makes it easier for us to understand why Jesus had to sacrifice His life on the cross so that we could live under the new covenant, a spiritual covenant.

It tells us that there is nothing that is impossible for God and that it is in times like these, when things seem hopeless that God comes through. It teaches us that no matter how crazy the things of God may seem to the rest of the world, we must keep our faith and follow His direction. It also communicates that we must display a visible sign so that the world will know that we belong to God. In Abaraham’s day the sign was circumcision and today it is our love for one another. Therefore it is critical that people can tell that we are followers of Jesus by simply being with them.

But all of this is contingent upon us being able to hear from God directly and being sure that we can recognise His voice. So let’s take a look at this and all the other items identified here in greater detail. We will start this communication in our next postings.

Untill then, may all of God’s blessing be upon you.

Papa Joe Gordon


 

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

God Wants to Dwell with us!

This posting is the first of a series of communications that look at the actions of God that have repeatedly resulted in the creation of opportunities for Him to dwell with His people. In this regard we see that He created the Garden of Eden expressly for this purpose.

The Garden Of Eden

Later, He instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle to bring His people into closer relationship with Him.

The Glory Cloud Covers the Tabernacle

God then sent His Son who lived with us on earth. He established a new covenant that included a promise that we all have the opportunity to dwell with Him forever in paradise.

Jesus Arises to Heaven

Jesus Arises to Heaven – Mansions in the Background

We initiate this new section because we believe that the actions of God reveal His love for us. The actions of God’s people to His direction are prophetic of the walk of the Christian nation today. We believe that the prior actions of God and His people are often predictors of what is to come. Therefore, we believe that they are prophetic messages are applicable to every church, ministry and individual seeking to carry on the ministry of Jesus. We hope to be able to demonstrate this as we move forward.

Today we start at the beginning in the book of Genesis with the creation of the Garden of Eden, (a place where God could dwell with His people.) I have attached Genesis: 2 (from biblegateway.com) to allow the reader to see what God created for man:

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created [a] and made.

4 [b] This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. 5  Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to [c]cultivate the ground. 6 But a [d]mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole[e]surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living [f]being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river [g]flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four[h]rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it [i]flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it [j]flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is [k] Tigris; it [l]flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the [m] Euphrates.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper[o]suitable for him.” 19  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the [p]sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the [q]sky, and to every beast of the field, but for [r]Adam there was not found a helper[s] suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God [t]fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“ This is now bone of my bones,

And flesh of my flesh;

[u]She shall be called [v]Woman,

Because [w]she was taken out of [x]Man.”

24  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

 
From all of this we can say that it was God’s desire to have a place for us to live that was filled with all the good things that man needed. A place where God the Father could dwell with us and develop a relationship with us. God gave us a purpose and gave us dominion over everything in the garden. It is obvious from all of this that God loves us and wants to dwell with us forever in this paradise. This scripture tells us that this paradise is the end result that God wants for all of us. Even now, He is leading us to choose the Tree of Life (His Son Jesus) so that we can obtain this destiny.

The Ascension of Jesus

Further proof of God’s desire to restore the the Garden of Eden for us is found in the 21st chapter of the book of The Revelations of Jesus Christ:

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a] dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them[b], 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Therefore, this current environment that we live in pass away and God will once again create a new place for us to dwell with Him, exactly like it was in the beginning. People who take up their cross for Jesus can become a part of the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven as a bride. Jesus is the Tabernacle of God (see the-tabernacle-is-prophetic-of-jesus) who then dwells among men.

So, as we stated in the beginning, the scriptures taken from Genesis are prophetic of the actions predicted in the book of Revelations. We can believe that this is true because of the other  attempts to do this are recorded in the Bible. Certainly, the Tabernacle was built to be a place where God could dwell on earth with man (the-tabernacle-is-prophetic-of-jesus.) Ultimately, Jesus came and dwelt with us on Earth. Therefore, the prophetic value of the scriptures pertaining to God’s desire to be with us is confirmed. As a result, we can have confidence that the promises of God’s continued efforts will be in our future.


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

I have decided to publish significant sections of my book entitled; “Possess the Vision” here on my web site. They are stories of how God protected me and guided me on a course to possess the vision. I believe that these stories, taken from my life, will bless you. Enjoy, and God bless!

CHAPTER 1 – FROM THE BEGINNING

I thought it appropriate to initiate the publication of my spiritual experiences in chronological order, therein providing a strong understanding of God’s guidance and protection throughout my lifetime. These experiences started when I was a toddler and continued even today. Some of them are inconspicuous, and I would not have included them here but for my research for this work. Others are spiritual and, therefore, often defy scientific explanation. Still, others were out of body experiences, where I walked in the spiritual realm. A final category would be outright divine interventions, incidents that changed my life course. It was these experiences that lead me to the vision, a vision that I’m going to share with you. I hope that you will join me in “Possessing the Vision.”  

I initiated this work only intending to document my spiritual experiences as I believed that they were both fascinating and profound. In doing so, however, I discovered that they all focused on guiding me to possess the vision. It was this discovery that got me to look into several previous unexplainable experiences and realize that God had been working in my life from the beginning. Until that point, I was blind to the fact that God was at the heart of these experiences. Things were happening to me that I did not understand. I knew that these types of experiences were not happening to others. I tried to rationalize these mysteries away. When that failed, I filed my memory of them into a faraway place in my brain and made them appear small and insignificant. I also discovered that telling people about them was a terrible idea, so I kept my mouth shut, not wanting the whole world to know that I was entirely out of my mind. 

As I lived these experiences, I often asked myself one question: why were these things happening to me? Of all people in the world, why me? I discovered the answer when I was documenting them. My revelation was that God was protecting me because He created me for a purpose. God created me to Possess the Vision.

I hope that in reading my story that you will join me in Possessing the Vision. 

DAD COMES HOME

I’m not sure how old I was when my dad came home from World War II. I know that my sister was born in March of 1947, so my dad likely returned in the summer of 1946, making me less than two years old. 

But the experience of his return was so magical that I can still view it in my mind’s eye, even today. My mother and I were waiting expectantly, standing behind the screen door of my grandfather’s house. Mom had been telling me for quite some time that my dad was coming home, and I was expectantly looking out the screen door for his arrival. 

I remember the peacefulness and pleasantness of that summer day, as I peered over a wood board that I used for stability. Mom was holding onto the door handle, ensuring that I would not jar it open.  

Then I heard my mom’s voice, “There’s your daddy; there’s your daddy.” I looked down the sidewalk, and sure enough, I saw this tall thin man walking toward us, wearing a Marine dress blue uniform. I saw stripes on his sleeves, and combat ribbons on his chest, and he had tilted his white hat off to one side, conveying to me, “I’m special.” His face was tan, and it accentuated his white smile. His steps had a spring in them as he moved confidently toward us. He started running as he turned up our walkway and then sprang up the steps onto the porch. Mom opened the door, and the two wrapped their arms around one another in a long embrace, kissed, and swayed back and forth.

 

I remember standing between them, looking straight up at them, for what seemed like a very long time. I started contemplating tugging on my dad’s trousers when suddenly, he looked down at me, bent over, and picked me up. I then became a part of the hugging party. My dad was home!

A LEAP OF FAITH

One day not long after my father’s arrival home, a very unusual event occurred. My dad was taking care of me while I ate lunch in my high chair. I did not like sitting still. My dad was all the way on the other side of the kitchen when I squeezed out of my seat and stood up on the high chair tray. I was very excited about my ability to achieve this feat and started jumping up and down. When my dad saw me, he froze. I grinned and jumped once more just for fun. He said, “Don’t you dare.” For some reason, I thought it would be great amusement to jump and have my dad catch me. There was no doubt in my mind that he would catch me. So, I jumped from the tray as if it were a game. After taking a few quick steps, my dad dove for me, slid on the floor and caught me just in time to keep me from being seriously injured. It would seem that I had a natural trust in my father’s ability from the very beginning.

A CRUEL TRICK

One of the important traditions our family kept was our frequent visits to my grandmother’s house. I remember one such occasion when I was older. My uncle was testing my intelligence. To accomplish this, he held a new shiny dime in one hand and a new 1943 penny in the other. The unique characteristic of the 1943 penny was that it was made of steel, not copper like other pennies. It was apparently due to the shortage of copper during the war. These pennies when new were just as shiny and bright as a new dime. He held the dime between his right thumb and forefinger and the penny between his left thumb and forefinger. He carefully explained that the dime was much more valuable than the penny. He then placed them both directly in front of my face and asked me to choose the one I wanted.

 

Initially, I reached for the dime based on what he told me. But when my hand moved toward it, he moved the penny closer to me and then jiggled it back and forth in front of my face. The penny flashed streams of light before my eyes when he did this. My thoughts were that the penny seemed to be much more fun than the dime. I picked it out of his hand. He rushed to proclaim my stupidity to everyone else in room, stating that I would never amount to anything. I felt duped and betrayed. I became extremely angry at my uncle. In fact, I wanted to punch my uncle right in the nose and teach him a lesson about playing such a cruel trick on me. But then, somehow I knew that it would do me no good, so I held back.

 

In retrospect, this event was just a precursor to the truth that life would always present me with choices. Some bad choices would look good and some good choices would look undesirable. It would be up to me to discern the truth and make the right choice and receive the best possible reward. I was beginning to find out that poor choices would result in paying the consequences. As you read on you will find that much of this book is dedicated to communicating the horrible consequences of my poor choices as well as the wonderful rewards for the wise choices I made in my life. These stories communicate the spiritual truth of the world around us.

A TERRIFYING MEMORY

This next event occurred prior to the time that I started grade school. My sister, Kathy, and I were playing in our front yard. Not far away, a number of older neighborhood boys were just hanging out on our next door neighbor’s lawn. I guess the boys became bored and decided to have some fun with us by taking advantage of our youth and inexperience. They achieved this by telling us scary stories about the bogeyman. I did not buy into any of their stories and defiantly told them that there was no such thing as a bogeyman.

 

They countered with personal assurances that they were witnesses to each of the stories they told. When that proved to be unconvincing, they provided more stories that were even scarier than the first ones. I continued my defiance by simply restating my assertion that there was no such thing as a bogeyman. Seemingly unimpressed, these boys called my bluff. They told me that the bogeyman was hiding between two of the houses near the end of the block. They assured me that if I had the courage to go down and take a look for myself, I would find the bogeyman waiting there for me. I was very scared; after all, perhaps they were right. I resisted their challenge at first, but after they taunted me with words like, chicken and fraidy cat, and used a few other words I did not understand at the time, I decided to go and look for myself.

 

Being quite frightened, I took precautionary tactics. I thought that if there was a bogeyman between the houses that he must be hiding so that he could capture me if I got close enough. So, I formulated a plan in my head where I would run across the street on a diagonal in order to get a view from a safe distance on the other side of the street. I knew that I had to start immediately so that the bogeyman, if it existed, would not have any time to prepare for my arrival and capture me. So, without any hesitation I bolted out into the street running with my head down as fast as I could. Much to my surprise, I could hear my sister running right behind me. When I got to the targeted position where I could see between the houses from across the street, I stopped and quickly turned for a look. To my horror there it was, right where the neighbor boys said. It was hiding between the houses, hunched over because it was taller than the peaks of the roofs. It was waiting for unsuspecting kids like my sister and I to come by so that it could pounce and devour them. Its general shape was very much like the dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex. It just stood there stooped over between the building looking at me in obvious anger and disgust. It was apparently unwilling to come out from between the houses to get us.

 

I lost all control and started screaming in horror. I was flailing my arms in the air and running back across the street as fast as my legs would carry me. I could hear my sister screaming as she followed behind me. Since I ran with reckless abandon, keeping my head down, I was shocked at what I found when we finally arrived back to our starting point. The boys who induced us into this adventure were literally lying on their backs on the ground. They were laughing so hard that they could no longer stand. There they lay, holding their aching stomachs in pain due to the extended laughter.

 

My first reaction was that they believed their deception had worked. But, I also thought that they did not know what I knew—that there was a devil just down the block and that it was waiting for innocent kids like me. What they had projected in apparent jest, turned out to be the truth.

 

I did not tell this story to anyone for almost fifty years. How could I? People would think that I was nuts. In fact, it never would have been told if it was an isolated event. It was definitely not an isolated event, as you will soon find out. Rather, it was a warning of the truth that the devil is real and is out to destroy us and the purpose for which God created us. I should have heeded this warning of truth about the devil. Unfortunately I did not and had to suffer the consequences that are described later. Please do not make the same mistake I did. Be careful of what you believe, and be cautious about the choices that you make because your life hangs in the balance.

THE ESP EXPERIENCES

After I entered elementary school, I started to encounter things that could not be explained by the laws of physics. Some would call these strange experiences extrasensory perception (ESP). For example, I would dream things that would come true and know things that were to happen before they occurred. Here are a couple of examples.

I DREAM THAT I WAS LIKE A SUPERMAN

One night I had a dream that I was standing in the middle of the street. An oncoming car was heading toward me at a high rate of speed. Rather than run out of the way to escape, I braced myself and extended my arms toward the car to absorb the impact. The car ran directly into my outstretched hands and it stopped in its tracks. In my dream, the car was a gray 1940’s model. The hood was v-shaped and formed a rounded point where my hands met the car. I could see my hands against the gray automobile, and I was in awe of what had happened. I remember having the feeling of extreme physical strength. I imagined that this is what Superman must feel like—knowing that you can muster unmatchable power and that there is nothing that can defeat you. In this dream, I truly felt invincible.

 

A few days later, I was playing with one of my friends who lived down the block. We were flying a saucer toy that he had just received. The saucer sat on top of a handle. This toy could actually fly when a string was pulled. The spinning motion would create lift that launched the saucer up into the sky. We were having a great time chasing it and trying to catch it. On the last launch, my friend pulled very hard and the saucer soared high into the air. As it rose above the houses, a strong breeze kicked up and carried it out into the street. Being totally focused on catching the saucer, I started running after it as fast as I could. I was not paying much attention to where I was going.

 

My friend’s mother was there. She shouts to me, “Joe, don’t go into the street. Joe, stop!” I remember hearing her words but they seemed faint and very far away. I was in the middle of the street by the time I caught the saucer. It was then that I could hear my friend’s mom screaming for me to come back. I turned and looked up the street. You won’t believe it, but there was the gray car of my dream speeding toward me. There was no time to get out of the way, so I held my arms out in front just like I did in my dream. I could hear the tires squealing in response to the locked brakes. The car hit my hands as it slid to a stop. Unlike the dream, it was evident that it was not my power that stopped the car. I realized that I was not all-powerful. The car had knocked me backward even though it just barely touched me. I watched the front of the car rock back and forth in reaction to the sudden stop. I saw my own hands against the hood of the gray car just like in my dream. I stood there trembling as I realized that I had just looked death square in the eye.

 

My friend’s mother came over screaming at me to listen to her. Somehow her voice grew faint again as I wondered about the dream that had become a reality. How it could be? Why were the real life events so accurate but lacked the feelings of power and strength that I had in the dream? Something stopped that car, but it was not me. I did not know what to think about this when it happened. As fast as the car was moving, I was very surprised that it stopped so quickly.

 

Was it possible that something stopped the car that I did not understand? Was it possible that this something also tried to protect me from the situation in the first place? Or was it a notice to me that something was here to protect me and nothing could harm or hurt me? Well, being like many young boys, I spent about five minutes thinking about it before I filed it in the back of my mind where it was not thought about again for quite a long time.

PREMONITION OF AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT

My mom and dad would take us to visit my aunt’s family from time to time. We looked forward to these trips because we got to play with cousins our age. Their house was about an hour’s drive across town. We were driving home late at night after one of our visits. I was quite tired and trying to get some sleep in the back seat.

I had my head propped up against the interior on the driver’s side.

 

Just as I started to doze off, I awoke with a start. I sensed that a car was about to crash into us at the precise point where my head was resting. Thinking that I was being silly, I ignored the sensation and tried to go back to sleep. I experienced the same thing several times before I told my mother about it. She reaffirmed that I was in fact being silly and recommended that I dismiss it from my mind and try to go back to sleep. So, I made another attempt to suppress my fear and get some sleep.

 

However, I could not stop the urge to pull my head away from the car. Just as I foretold, an auto came crashing into the side of us. The point of impact was exactly where my head had been resting just a second before. The accident was minor, and no one was hurt. I had to wonder about the outcome if I had not pulled my head away at the last second. The jolt of the collision was substantial. So, who knows what had been avoided. I suppose I could have sustained major injury to my head or neck. In this case, I heeded the warning and made the right choice. Still, I wondered about where these warnings were coming from and why.

A BRICK WALL

When I was about ten years old, I had a dream where I came to a red brick wall that blocked my path. In the dream, I was very frustrated. I searched for a way through or around the wall but could find none. I searched along the base of the wall in one direction and found only a dead end. Then, I searched for a way around the other side only to find another blind alley. I contemplated how I might be able to go over the wall. But, I could not find a way over it either. In my dream, I just kept searching and searching, over and over again for a way past the wall, but I found none. I had the dream multiple times over the course of several months. I had no idea about the reason for the dream. Often, the dream would last most of the night. It ended when I awoke, still trying to find a way to the other side.

 

One evening I joined up with some of the kids in the neighborhood who were just hanging out down the street. Interestingly, some of these kids were the ones who had the great laugh on me in the bogeyman story. An exception was that one of the boys had an older brother who was present. We were just standing around and talking about various things when the older brother suggested that we all go down to Hastings Street.

 

I was the youngest one there and had no idea what Hastings Street was all about or why anyone might want to go there. Much later in life I found out that it was one of the worst areas in Detroit. Lawlessness and crime were commonplace on Hastings Street. You could say that I had no idea what was in store. The other boys all wanted to go. So, I jumped in the older brother’s car for what I thought would be a nice ride. As we drove along, the older brother started to take big gulps from a bottle of vodka that he had stashed under the driver’s seat. It seemed that in no time at all he was quite drunk. In fact, by the time we got to Hastings Street he was a sloppy, goofy drunk.

 

I was in the back seat between two of the other boys. As we cruised very slowly down Hastings Street, I was looking out through the car windows. I saw large groups of people walking and hanging out on the street. There were women in fancy clothes standing on the street corners and under streetlights. There were bars with their doors propped open and loud music spewed out. I remember that we passed a police car that had four officers in it. One of the kids said it was the big four. They had a reputation for toughness. Suddenly, the totally sauced driver started to sing in a very loud voice, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.” Being very amused with himself, he let go with a loud belly laugh. Then he rolled down his window, hung his head out and sang again, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes” with another belly laugh. I remember being embarrassed at first. But after a while, I started to become quite fearful. This activity seemed to be very stupid since this was the wrong part of town for a white boy to be saying such things. There seemed to be no way to stop him either. He just kept repeating his homemade song and laughing over and over again. The other boys were shouting at him and telling him to shut up but he continued. The next thing I knew, the boys threatened him with violence and promised that they would all jump on him and beat him if he didn’t stop. All of this took place while the car was at a red light. We were nervously waiting for it to change to green so that we could move again. It was after the light changed and we had started across the intersection that I saw it through the windshield.

 

A chill went down my spine as the car started to slow down. Before us was a red brick wall that blocked the entire roadway. It was the red brick wall of my dream, the one that I could not find a way around. In reality, there was obviously no way out either. We made a u-turn in the road. The car had a manual transmission, and the driver was having difficulty in making the turn. As we were about halfway through the turning process, I could see men coming out of the buildings and out of the alleys in front of the wall. More than that, they had baseball bats, lumber, and tire irons in their hands. They seemed to be coming at us from several directions.

 

In the meantime, our drunk driver stalled the car just after he had turned it around in the direction back to the light. He quickly attempted the starter. Although the engine turned over and over again, it did not start. The car groaned, and the starter began to slow down, indicating the battery was losing power. All the while, the groups of angry men were getting closer. Then a horrible thought came to me—it was possible we could all die here and no one would ever know what happened. Just when everyone was about to give up hope, the engine started, seemingly on its last turn. Our driver, now very sober, dropped the shifter down into first gear and we peeled away.

 

The angry men were now running alongside and behind the car. Several of them were slamming the car with their weapons. The sounds of the attack were quite horrific. The car finally started pulling away from the mob. I am sure that if we had been there just a few more seconds, our fate would have met an unpleasant end. In looking back at this incident, I know that the dream of the brick wall was another warning from God. We must always be careful of the decisions and choices we make, even when we make them out of innocence.

A DAY OF TRAGEDY

Then something really extraordinary happened to me just after I was out of high school. I was still living at home with my mom and dad and was delivering pizzas at night for a living. I did not have a car, so I walked to work every day at about four o’clock in the afternoon and back home around midnight on weeknights and two in the morning on the weekends. One November night while I was walking home alone, I felt a big emptiness inside. It is difficult for me to explain. But, there was a guilty feeling down in my gut. I had experienced these feelings before but I only got them when I did something very wrong to someone. That was not the case here. This was a much larger emptiness than I had ever felt. It was like an enormous injustice had been done.

 

When I got home from work that night, I remember being exhausted. I went straight upstairs to my room and went to bed. It was then that a phenomenal thing began to happen. As I was dozing off to sleep, I suddenly awoke with a sensation that my legs were floating off the bed and into the air. I was quite startled, and I sat up in bed and touched my hands to my legs to ensure that, yes, they were still there. I rationalized that this must have been part of a dream. I decided to ignore the floating sensation and go back to sleep. So, I bedded down a second time, intent on getting some desperately needed sleep. I dozed off again, only to wake up with another strange sensation. My entire body had been lifted two feet above my bed. I sat up immediately, found myself in bed and thought, this is crazy. You are extremely tired, and you are probably catching a cold or flu. You need to ignore these weird sensations and get some badly needed sleep. So, I made a third attempt to sleep. This time when I started floating up off my bed, I just ignored it hoping that it would go away. I was very determined not to be deprived of any more sleep.

 

But, the sensations did not go away. My body not only floated up off my bed, it passed effortlessly through the roof of the house as well. My ascent continued rapidly into the sky and passed through a cloud layer. Eventually, I stopped traveling straight up and started moving in a direction parallel to the earth. I continued on this course for quite some time. As I traveled through the night sky, I felt the air getting warmer. This meant to me that I must have been traveling south. I started descending, and I saw a city full of lights ahead of me. I continued a gradual descent until I arrived at the side of a tall brick building. It had no windows that I could see from my perspective. In addition, I saw streetlights arrayed in a straight line in front of the building and parallel to the curb. Each streetlight was made of metal and curled over at the top. They were similar in shape to a candy cane.

 

Then, I saw a woman standing beneath one of the street lights. Her head was down, and she was sobbing uncontrollably. As I hovered above her I watched her. I felt great compassion for this grieving person. I started to wonder what was wrong and if I might be able to help her in some way. I also wondered if she could hear me if I spoke. Then, I wondered if I could even speak. I finally decided that I had nothing to lose and gave it a try but nothing came out. It was as if there was not enough air for my voice to speak. I contemplated abandoning my effort to speak but decided instead to try in a louder voice. This time it worked and I said to her, “What is wrong lady?” and watched. She did not respond but kept sobbing as if she did not hear me. Then, I thought perhaps I was right; she will not be able to hear me. I tried again anyway, this time speaking in an even louder voice, “Why are you crying1?”

 

To my surprise she answered without looking up, “Why, don’t you know? Don’t you know that today they killed the president?”

 

At that instant, I was transported back to my bed. I was sitting straight up and was thoroughly soaked in sweat. My heart was pounding so hard that I thought it might explode. I was breathing like I had just run a four-minute mile. I looked around my room only to find that I was alone in the dark. I sat there for several minutes waiting for my body to wind back down to normal. I did not know what to think about this encounter. The thought of the president being killed seemed to me a very improbable thing. I admired President Kennedy, and I believed that he was doing good things for our country. So, I guess that this was something that I did not want to accept. Once again, I rationalized that although this outof-body experience seemed very realistic it, nevertheless, must have been a bad dream so I went back to sleep.

 

When I got up the next morning, I still felt weird even though I had slept in because of the hard night. I found myself at home alone. Dad was more than likely working, and mom was probably out shopping. I went to the kitchen for some food to eat. Eventually, I started my walk to work. I felt displaced, like I was somewhere I was not supposed to be. Things just did not seem normal. For one thing, it was an overcast and gloomy day. The typically busy street that I walked along had almost no traffic. Where were all of the cars and people? There were no sounds along the way; no birds chirping, no horns blowing. There was nothing. I wondered if everything had died. Then I had that empty, hollow feeling inside of me again.

 

When I arrived at the pizza place I entered through the back door, which led to the kitchen. The owner was there watching television as I entered the room. He seemed extremely angry as he shouted at me, “Do you know what those crazy people did today?” I thought to myself, oh no. For it dawned on me that I certainly did know. Being horror stricken, I muttered, “They killed the president.” His mood turned quizzical. He asked me how I knew because it had just been announced on television. I just shook my head and did not answer him. I was thinking that I could never explain what had happened to me. I do not know why or how this happened to me. Was there something that I could have done to change things? I don’t think so. Perhaps just telling the story is sufficient. Or, perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye. After all, the woman under the street light said, “They killed the president.”

To this day I believe that the American people have been deceived by our government about many things that went on during this time. I should also state that I have many other concerns about our government, and that many of them are addressed in the vision statement that will be presented to you later in the book.

TWILIGHT ZONE EXPERIENCES

While growing up I enjoyed watching a television program called The Twilight Zone. It often presented stories of supposedly real life experiences that could not be explained by the laws of physics. Certainly, some of the stories I have shared would qualify. Here are others that occurred as I entered adulthood.

A LIGHT IN THE NIGHT SKY AT FORT ORD

I was drafted into the army in July 1965 and went through basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After this I was assigned to an infantry training unit at Fort Ord, California where I entered the Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) program. The events that I will now describe took place near the end of my training program, around November 1965.

 

While in the AIT program, I learned that everything was done in a pre-specified order and plan. Typically, we would get up between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m., exercise and have breakfast prior to commuting to our daily training facility. This training took place at a different location each day depending on what we had to learn. Some days we would march twenty miles to the training site, and other days we would be transported by truck. If we marched out, we were trucked back—if we were driven out, we marched back. Most training days contained both technical and applied aspects. The training component taught us what we would have to do. This was followed by practical hands-on exercises to gain experience. For example, we may get a lecture and demonstration on how to throw hand grenades. This would be followed by real life exercises on a range. After the training and exercises, we would return to our home base. We had physical exercise again prior to having dinner in the mess hall. By this time, it would be getting dark outside and night would engulf us.

 

This particular day was Wednesday, our laundry day. So, after dinner all of us would go down to the quartermaster to drop off our laundry and pick up what we had turned in the previous week. I had returned to the billet, stored my clean clothes in my locker, and hung my dirty clothes bag on the end of my bunk. Almost everyone in our unit was going through this same process.

 

Just then, I looked through the window and noticed that the street outside of our building was lit up as if a high-powered spotlight was shining on it. As I watched from inside, the light became continuously brighter—like it was the middle of the day. It was then that I noticed beams of light streaming through the window. They were so bright that I could see dust particles floating in the air. I looked out through the window again and saw other soldiers on the street pointing their fingers toward the sky. Since I was not able to see anything, I decided to go outside and take a look for myself. I walked to an exit door at the other end of the building. There were a number of GI’s standing around the doorway, socializing. I said, “Excuse me guys, I would like to go outside and see what is going on.” But, they just kept talking and no one moved. It was as if they didn’t hear me. I decided that they were just reoccupied in conversation. I started to push my way through. When I moved forward and pressed my weight directly into the first guy, I was shocked that I could not get him to budge an inch. I would have had better luck pressing against the building we occupied.

 

I was so overwhelmed with this person’s strength that I took a step back to see if I could recognize him. When I looked at him all I noticed was that he was not moving. It was as if he was frozen stiff2 like a mannequin. This shocked me. I looked at his face. His eyes did not blink, but stared in one fixed direction. Then, I noticed that everything was quiet. I turned my head and took a look around the room. I looked at the other guys who were standing around the door and talking just a few seconds ago. They were frozen as well. I looked back down to the far end of the billet. Everyone was motionless. It was as if time had stopped. It was like the freeze frame feature of a DVD that allows the viewer to see a single frame of a movie as if it were a picture, capturing people in mid-stride.

 

Suddenly, everything started moving again, just like someone pressed the play button. Talking resumed in mid-sentence. Everyone picked up where they had left off. I eventually worked my way to the door and outside. The bright light had retreated back into the sky and the light of day had turned back to darkness. Only a faint glow remained in the sky and it quickly vanished. I watched until it eventually faded away. It appeared to me that the bright light was moving straight up until it got so far away that it disappeared completely.

 

I asked one of the guys standing on the porch what he had seen. He said that a glaring light had appeared in the sky and that it had come straight down toward earth, getting brighter as it drew closer. Then it had stopped moving and stayed suspended in motion for a while. When it began moving again it went straight up into the sky the way it came down.

 

I am perplexed that this happened without my knowing the reason. Why was I not frozen like the others? Or, was I? What could this have been and why? One thing that I do know is that a life-changing event occurred just a day or so later.

 

I was called into the company commander’s office. This was very unusual because for someone of my low rank it usually meant that you were in serious trouble. When I went into his office, he asked me if I knew that I had a Type 2 profile on my eyes. “Sir, I do not even know what a Type 2 profile means,” I responded. He explained that it meant that I was legally blind without glasses. As a result, I was unsuitable for combat and could not serve in an infantry unit. When he told me this I remember thinking to myself, after eight weeks of this training they somehow just figured this out? After all, my eyes were tested when I first entered the service.

But this is how the army seemed to operate. At the time, it never dawned on me that I had just received a huge break. After all, the rest of my unit would most likely to be assigned to an infantry battalion in a few days and then be sent directly to Vietnam. But, I never got to find out. We parted ways that very day, and I never heard from any of them again. So, certainly my fate could have been quite different.

 

I would never have thought any more about this event if it had not been for its inclusion into this book. In fact, I had never before made the potential connection between the events of that night and my removal from the infantry unit. Both events were very unusual and occurred within just a few days of each other. The first seemed like an angel must have come down from heaven, but for what purpose? The second event was the unexpected discovery that I could not serve in an infantry unit—one has to wonder why it occurred when it did. It is the time proximity that leads me to wonder if the two events could have been connected. In most cases this type of association would be classified as a coincidence. It is only after reviewing all the other pieces of this book that I began to see the big picture. By connecting all the circumstantial evidence, it appears that God had been intervening and protecting me all along. So why not in this case as well?

 

For example, remember the prior section that covered my dreams of being like a Superman, the premonition of the automobile accident, and the warning of the brick wall? These were all warnings but they were also followed by interventions. In one case the speeding car stopped, in another I pulled my head away, and in the third, the stalled car started on the last turn of the starter. You will learn of more events of this type as you continue through the book.

A GUARDIAN ANGEL

I was progressing very well in a computer programming career in the mid 1970’s. I had a good job working for a large Fortune 500 company. It was headquartered in New York City, but I was working at its technology office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Because many of the departments that I supported were in the headquarters building, I had to travel to Manhattan quite frequently to meet with business associates. On one of these trips, I had arrived at La Guardia Airport, deplaned, and was walking down the concourse toward the baggage claim area. As I walked along, I could not help but notice that there was quite an argument going on between a couple behind me. They were shouting at each other. I turned to look back. One was a very attractive young woman and the other was either her boyfriend or husband. They were shouting so loud that everyone was turning around to look. Eventually, the woman broke off the argument. She said, “That’s it, we are through.” She stormed away from the man, walking off at an extremely fast pace, leaving him behind.

 

I turned around and started walking toward the exit but was slowed by the heavy bag that I had carried on the plane. I could hear her heels clicking on the airport floor as she was catching up with me from behind. As she passed me, she gave me a look with an inviting smile and motioned with her head in a gesture that said, in effect, follow me. She walked past me at a rapid pace and made a right turn at the concourse intersection, toward the baggage claim area. I had no checked luggage and had planned to go straight to the taxi stand.

 

But, I stopped for a moment at the intersection of the concourses and watched her walk very energetically toward the baggage claim area. Just then, I noticed there was a man standing right in front of me, directly in the path I had planned to take toward the taxi stand. He surprised me because I did not see him coming in my direction. He said, “Hello, Joe.” He surprised me again because even though I looked at him closely, I did not recognize him. He was moderately tall and thin, wore a trench coat over a suit with a vest and tie. He held a leather briefcase in his right hand. Being puzzled I asked, “Do I know you?” His response was not what I expected either. He simply said, “You don’t know me?” in a questioning voice. Well, I became a bit irritated because this guy had put me on the spot. He could have just said I am Fred or whatever and we met… Feeling I had been had in a game of cat and mouse I curtly blurted out, “Who are you?” There was no immediate reply.

 

While I was waiting for an answer, I turned toward the baggage claim to see the woman pick up her bag, and the man rejoin her and reengage in the argument as they headed for the exit. I had only turned away from the man in front of me for a brief moment. But, when I turned back he was gone. I looked down the corridor in each direction but he had simply disappeared. The corridor was so big that it did not seem possible that he could have walked to any location without my seeing him. It was not like I could have lost him in a crowd, because there were just not that many people around at the time. In addition, there were no places to quickly turn into where I could have missed him. He had just vanished into thin air. Who was this person who knew my name? Why would he have fled after having taken the time to stop and talk to me? Was someone trying to protect me from making a very stupid decision again? It did not dawn on me then that this might be the case. Only after putting all of these incidents together in this book did I realize that someone had been protecting me all the time.

SIGNIFICANCE TO THE VISION

This chapter presents a clear communication that God was warning me of danger and protecting me from harm. What started out as a nice way for the author to introduce himself to the reader became very much more. As strange as it may seem, this chapter uncovers a solid foundational base for the vision. The following affirmations support this foundation.

 

We have a heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us.

If we put all of our trust in Him, He will protect us from all harm.

He is an all powerful and all knowing God who will use His capabilities to the benefit of His children.

There are misguided people in the world that will attempt to deceive us and destroy our creditability.

Our spiritual discernment and choices in life are critical to our overall welfare and our relationship with God.

The devil is real and that he hates us and seeks to destroy our potential in this life.

 

But I was not paying attention to any of this. I made a choice to disbelieve what God had shown me, and God was going to let me experience the truth for myself.

 

1. John 20:13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

2. Matthew 28:2 – 4 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

 

 


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

Should Christians Worry About Blindness? 

In our last posting we addressed the following words of Jesus: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This in turn led us to look at the definition of Judgment for a better understanding. In doing so we found that there are two distinct components of the term. In the first a decision of guilt or innocence made. In the second, a decision is made about the punishment appropriate for the offences committed. 

In examining the statement of Jesus presented above, we determined that it was the delivery of punishment that Jesus was warning us about. Therefore, the statement of Jesus could be stated as: “Do not punish so that you will not be punished.”

Jesu and the Adulterous Woman

However, as we will soon see, it is often the first component of Judgment that gets us into trouble. The following example will demonstrate this very well and sheds light upon our own frailties.

The example comes from the 9th chapter of John. It tells us about a man who was born blind but then receives his sight through the miraculous actions of Jesus.

Jesus "The light of the World," Heals a Blind Man

This chapter also infers that the scribes and Pharisees must have believed that Jesus was a fraud as they repeatedly interrogated the once blind man and his family, obviously believing that they were less than honest. When the Pharisees discovered that this healing work was done on the Sabbath day, they concluded that Jesus was a sinner and as a result the healing could not have come from God.

In the end, Jesus makes the following statements that communicate their blindness to them:

And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

In this passage, Jesus is once again using the word “Judgment,” stating that He came for Judgment. He came so that we could make a judgment about the love of God for His people. Since we were once blind God gave us the opportunity to see His Son the Truth for ourselves. So, now that we have seen the Truth what is our judgment? Do we embrace God and seek Him or do we ignore or deny what happened? 

Jesus is the Light of the Wordl

Therefore, people who knew little about God could to see the nature of God in the works and miracles that Jesus performed. They are the blind who lived in a total darkness and then saw a great light. They are the blind who can now see the Truth and believed in that Truth. Their sins have been forgiven.  

On the other hand we have groups like the Pharisees who have often times devoted their entire lives to the study and understanding of God. They believed that they knew the truth. They believe that their interpretation of Gods commandments was an absolute truth. They would have never even considered that their viewpoint of the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy was flawed. But it was! They proclaimed that they could see because of their work, but in fact they were blind. As a result they were blind to the light of Jesus that stood right before them. Since they did not believe in Him, their sin remained.

The point is that this lesson applies to all of us today. One can support this premise by simply looking at all of the differing doctrines of Christianity today.  The fact is that across the various churches of Christianity we find diametrically opposed views of what the truth. So, lets look at some examples: some believe that the use of modern technology is sinful, others belive that drinking is a sin, others believe that you can not eat meat on Fridays, and still others believe that healing is not for today (not an all-inclusive list.) No, I am not going to pick sides here. The point to be made is that when we have inconsistent doctrines of the faith, then someone has to be wrong about what they belive. 

This means that our understanding of the truth can also be flawed, just like it was for the scribes and the Pharisees who incorrectly judged Jesus to be a sinner. For the Pharisees, this incorrect belief led to the fatal determination of punishment for Jesus.

If we think about this a bit then one has to ask; “Who are we to say that our belief system is the only one that is in line with what God wants?” Quite frankly, I believe that it is quite possible that none of us has it 100% correct. Gods ways are much higher than ours. Suffice it to say that it is because of these potential blind spots of beliefs that it is critical that be abstain for handing out punishment to others.


 

 

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

 

Developing A Relationship of Grace

To initiate a discussion about a Relationship of Grace, one must differentiate it from a definition of the State ofGracethat is found in certain Christian communities. As I understand this definition, a State ofGraceis demonstrated in the gifts that all people, good and otherwise, receive from God. Therefore, this Grace is demonstrated in that we are all alive and have the blessings of God’s provisions all around us. We have life, and air to breath, food to eat, and so on. So, in looking at the State of Grace in this way we give God the credit for all of the good things that we have here on Earth. In this regard, I agree that we should give God the credit for everything that we have as it is a reflection of God’s love that He has bestowed upon all of us.

Jesus is the Light of the Wordl

In extending this definition of a State of Grace we can say that our ability to establish a Relationship of Grace falls under its definition. However, this Relationship of Grace requires our participation as we must choose to initiate it and we must work to develop it. I suppose that this is not much different from initiating action to acquire food and then process it, cook it and serve it to our families. The big difference between the two is that a Relationship of Grace is derived exclusively from the work that Jesus did while He was on the earth, especially the work that He did on the cross. It was this work that is the foundation of the forgiveness of our sins. It is this work that opens the doors to the establishment of an intimate relationship with God that in turn leads us to be empowered warriors for Christ Jesus.

 

Jesus Sheds His Blood on the Cross

This relationship starts with our belief in Jesus and His works and then matures as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Typically this leading starts with desire to learn everything that we can about the perfect model of God that is His Son Jesus. This is accomplished by reading and meditating on the Gospels that communicate the words and actions of Jesus on this Earth. In doing so the Holy Spirit calls us to examine our own nature in the pure light of these words and actions. He leads us to conform to the nature of Jesus such that we are not the person that we once were, but rather have metamorphosed into children of the living God.

The Holy Spirit

 So, when we step back and look at it, it is our desire to come closer to God and our willingness to do the work required to achieve it that activates the Holy Spirit to lead us toward our goal. Achieving a relationship with God that is led by the Holy Spirit is called a Relationship of Grace. Our ability to enter into such a relationship has been earned by the works of Jesus Christ on this earth.

 

The gifts of entering into this relationship are more than our metamorphosis however. Our reward is that upon the completion of our changed nature the Holy Spirit will lead us toward preparing ourselves for the ministry of Jesus Christ. When this occurs we will enter into an even deeper, more intimate relationship with God, one that empowers us to enter into the spiritual warfare of Jesus. This higher level of relationship is called a Relationship of Empowerment. In this Relationship of Empowerment our pathway will be illuminated and our prayers and actions will bring down the strongholds of the evil one. 

This is the level of relationship that enabled the church to grow and prosper through all the times of adversity. It is the level of relationship that empowered the actions of the apostles and saints of our history. It is the type of relationship that sponsors miracles in response to our actions and words, just like it did thousands of years ago. But is it your path? Are you ready to invest your time into developing a closer relationship with God?

 


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

A few weeks ago I had a reader question the validity of water baptism, claiming that the only true baptism came through the washing of the word. Here is what he said.

The brazen laver exists no more as it’s function is over, nor does the baptism of John. Those who believe in it are clinging to the old covenant of rituals. We are now washed by the water of the word Ephesians 5:26 (KJV) ”That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”. The brazen laver and the water it contained was a symbol of that which was to come -’The Word’. and the washing has to be by the word not by any water, even if it is in theJordan River.

I agree that baptism comes by way of integrating the word of God into ourselves by way of the Holy Spirit. Through this process our basic nature is conformed to God. However, I also believe that our physical actions can initiate the involvement of the Holy Spirit in support of our ministry. In this regard our action of being baptized in water is the outward demonstration that initiates the leading of the Holy Spirit in support of the ministry God has given us.   My studies have revealed that each component of the Tabernacle (which was the place where God dwelt with His people) is prophetic of the ministry of Jesus. So, when the vale that separated man from the Holy of Holies (the place where the High Priest could talk directly with God) was torn in two, it effectively prophesied that all men now have the opportunity to change their nature to that of the High Priest, such that everyone is now capable of preparing themselves to entering into the most intimate relationship possible with God.

High Priest in the Most Holy Place before the Ark of the Covenant

In a similar way, the Brazen Laver (that was used exclusively by the priest for washing in preparation for ministry) was fulfilled by Jesus in His Baptism by John in theJordan. This cornerstone of Christianity called baptism was given so that we could all partake of the ministry of Jesus. Now, to be perfectly clear, the ministry of Jesus is spiritual warfare, which is bringing down the evil spiritual powers that are often the source of the evil actions of men.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

The Gospels give us many specific examples of the spiritual warfare of Jesus. When we look at these examples it becomes evident that this warfare, all-though spiritual, required some form of physical action. It is as if the physical actions of Jesus triggered miraculous actions by the Holy Spirit. So for example, healing and other miracles were preceded by a touch or by spoken words.

Jesus "The light of the World," Heals a Blind Man

So when Jesus declared, “I am the bread of Life” for example, His words were followed by the multiplication of the loaves for the multitudes that followed Him. Even the greatest spiritual warfare victory of all time involved the willing surrender of His body to torture and crucifixion. The miracles followed came in the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of His Holy Spirit that empowers our actions.

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10: 18-19).

The reason I bring these subjects up is because water baptism can be the physical action necessary to initiate the action of the Holy Spirit to launch us into ministry. I might add that I have seen the baptisms and heard the testimonies of adults who have been baptized in water and they bare witness that the physical act of water baptism brought the power of the Holy Spirit upon them. Their baptism of the word was sealed by their physical act of water baptism. When I have questions of this nature I often look to the early church and the actions of Jesus and His immediate followers. Certainly, one can not go wrong by following their example. So, in regard to these questions I can state that disciples of Jesus baptized more people than John did, which indicates that Jesus encouraged them to do so.

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again toGalilee(John 4:1-3).

In addition, the grand commission Jesus gave us, tells us to go into the world baptizing all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The question has to be; was this a call to simply pour water over people or to teach them about God and conforming to Him. I think the later. This is the washing in the word. Jesus gave us His life as a model for us to emulate. The words that we cleanse ourselves in are the Gospels. They tell us about the life and words of Jesus. Therefore, they are a reflection of the actions and words of Jesus, which are the waters that give us a perfect self reflection such that we see ourselves as God sees us.

Jesus had already washed in the word of God as is evident in the Gospels. He was also without sin and therefore did not require cleansing. So why did He do it?

The Baptism of Jesus

He knew that those who followed Him would seek to do the things that He did and greater things as well. He also did it to fulfill the prophesy of the Tabernacle that required all priests to cleans themselves prior to ministry. This physical action is required for our ministries to be truly empowered from on high.  These things are confirmed when we look to the early church we see Peter preaching and converting thousands with a message of a baptism that leads to receiving the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Peter spoke under the power of the Holy Spirit and they were cut to the heart and sought the change Peter offered by way of water baptism. These actions launched a massive growth in Christianity. Why should we do differently?

 

 


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

Moving Toward a Closer Relationship with God

There are three distinct levels of relationship that man can achieve with God, and each has its own set of unique benefits and rewards. Interestingly, they are not well understood by many Christians and this often leads to disappointment as some enter into ministry unprepared. One of the fundamentals to entering into ministry is to have an established relationship with God. The reason for this is that the ministry of Jesus is spiritual warfare and as such, one confronts the evil principalities and powers of the spiritual world. As in all warfare, the fighters are in danger of being attacked and possibly loosing their lives. Running into a battlefield unprepared is foolish. Winning battles requires soldiers that have been well trained, well equipped and well directed. This is why Paul made the following proclamation in his letter to the Ephesians:

 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The body of Christ - On Earth as it is Heaven

But all of this requires preparation. Going out and buying a helmet, a flack jacket and a rifle will not make you a soldier. Intense training is required as is proper leadership. It this regard we look to Jesus and His Holy Spirit. The life of Jesus, His words and actions as recorded in the Bible are all examples of spiritual warfare. In His words and actions we can clearly see how they differ from ours. The journey toward God requires a transformation from our nature to His. When we are adequately prepared the Holy Spirit will lead us into the battle just as He led Jesus. The Holy Spirit will lead us to become like Him. This is confirmed in the following scriptures:

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matt 5:14).

Jesus the Light of the World is Transfigured before His Disciples

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14:11-13).

Since everyone is created with a purpose, our relationship with God substantially affects our ability to complete our mission and destiny with God. As we uncover the basic principles of relationship with God, what we find is that in order to move closer to God we must go through a metamorphous in which we change our nature from what we were to an entirely new creature whose has conformed to God. In essence, the pupa becomes the butterfly in the eyes of God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).

The transformation often requires a true heart, a burning desire to develop a relationship with God and in some cases a substantial effort that in some cases can take years. In essence, there is a calling to complete the baptismal promise of our childhood by conforming our mind, heart and spirit to God, so that we become effective in achieving our purpose in life.   

The bottom line here is that understanding the types of relationships possible with God means that if you are sincerely seeking Jesus you will then find the pathway that leads to a closer relationship with Him and you will find the breakthroughs and receive the protection you may be praying for.

Jesus is the Light of the Wordl

With that said, lets start by looking at what these levels are, what they mean and then identify the path to moving toward a closer relationship with God.  

The three levels of relationship possible with God are; A relationship of grace, a relationship of empowerment and a relationship of covenant. At a very basic level, the Relationship of Grace has been established as we proclaim that Jesus is God’s Son, who gave up His life for us as redemption for our sins. So, in effect, establishment of this relationship only requires our sincere proclamation of our belief in Jesus. Once this relationship has been established, the serious work of moving toward our baptism is conducted and this work is the preparatory work required to establish a relationship of empowerment, which is the next level of relationship. Once this level has been achieved, our relationship with the Father become personal, our pathway becomes illuminated and our prayers and actions become effective in bringing down the powers of evil. The final level is the establishment of a relationship of Covenant. At this level our relationship with God is as a precious friend that has the confidence of God. People like Moses and Elijah would fall into this category. Peter, John and Andrew would also qualify as Jesus had twelve disciples but only three saw the transfiguration on the mountain. At this level we talk to God face to face and we have the support of God’s angels in our ministry.

As we move forward in subsequent postings I will drill down on these levels and how one can work toward achieving a closer relationship with God. By the way, it should be noted that all of this work has been derived from a study of the Tabernacle that was built to the specifications of God to become the place where God would dwell with His people. The discovery of this study was that every component and object found in the Tabernacle is prophetic of Jesus and His words and actions on earth. Most of the blog posting contained in this web site have been devoted to this subject.

Jesus, Moses Discuss the Fulfilment of Tabernacle Prophesy

So please feel to go to our home page to find an indexed into the components of this study that you may be interested in. Alternatively, use the search box on this page.

God bless you.

Papa Joe Gordon


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

The Three Levels of Relationship Possible with God

There are three distinct levels of relationship that man can have with God. An understanding of these levels and what it takes to achieve them is critical to everyone entering ministry. Since everyone who believes in Jesus has been called into a ministry of one sort or another, this means that all Christians would benefit from understanding these relationship principals. Understanding them means that if you are sincerely seeking Jesus you will then find the pathway that leads to a closer relationship with Him and you will find the breakthroughs you have been praying for. With that said, lets start by looking at what these levels are, what they mean and then identify the path to moving toward a closer relationship with God and a more effective ministry.

 

The three levels of relationship possible with God are:

 

  1. A Relationship of Grace. At this level a person obtains forgiveness of their sins in return for their belief in Jesus and the contrition of their heart. This grace has been provided as a part of the new covenant that Jesus gave us at the last supper and then shortly afterward, sealed by giving up His body and blood on the cross as payment for our sins. This grace is enacted by our free will choice to believe that Jesus was God’s Son who lowered Himself to human form so that the bondage of the devil over us would be broken. This relationship of grace provides the assistance of the Holy Spirit in understanding nature and attributes of God that were demonstrated here on earth by Jesus. This is often accomplished with the reading or knowledge of scripture that is illuminated by the Holy Spirit that we may understand the truth. Often we read, meditate and pray for understanding as we continuously seek for the truth of God. It is in this searching that the Spirit reveals the truth about God that enables us to see ourselves in the eyes of God. This reflection of light from the perfect example that Jesus provided us enables us to contemplate our readiness for a higher ministry. It leads us to seek to be like Him. Over time and with the help of the Spirit we change from being conformed to the world, to being conformed to the will of God.  This is not typically an instantaneous process but more often a journey of cycles of illumination and transformation. When it is completed, the person taking the journey is now prepared to enter into a closer relationship with God. This closer relationship with God will empower them to enter into successful ministry, which is the spiritual warfare of Jesus.
  2. A Relationship of Empowerment. At this level a person obtains the tools necessary for successful ministry from God in return for their devotion and dedication in seeking Him and changing their life to become more like Him. At this level a person becomes a part of God’s immediate family. His pathway and purpose in life are made known to him. He therefore receives protection and guidance from God by way of the Holy Spirit. The empowerment of the spiritual warrior is essential in entering into the spiritual army of Jesus. The spiritual warfare of prayer and action brings down principalities of evil. It includes doing the things that Jesus did in His ministry and often much more. The Holy Spirit enlightens our pathway as He did for the disciples after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Becoming a spiritual warrior is a prerequisite to moving to the next level which is the most intimate relationship man can have with God.  
  3. A Relationship of Covenant. At this level a person enters through the vale that was torn in two at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross. He enters into the place were God the Father dwells. A place of the highest priest. A person at this level stands with the angels that surround God and they talk to God face to face like Moses did. They are God’s spokesmen and the leaders of God’s people. They are intimately knowledgeable of God’s covenant and they work toward its propagation to the world.

 

What I have laid out here is a map that you use to see where you are on your journey toward God. Many of us simply have difficulty hanging on to our Relationship of Grace as we fallback into sin and then return back for forgiveness over and over again. If this is the case for you then I suggest that you initiate a daily program to develop and closer relationship with God. Follow the outline above and seek God and pray that your nature is conformed to Gods will. This is the way to ensure your salvation, as one never knows when our final breath on this earth may come.

 

If you are in a ministry that is struggling then perhaps you have not received sufficient empowerment to accomplish the mission. If this is the case then initiating an effort to move toward a Relationship of Empowerment will prove to be the cure you need. In fact, one would have to wonder how any true ministry can be pleasing to God without the guiding path of the Holy Spirit and His power to overcome the fiery darts of the devil. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in ministry how will the world come to know the truth? Will it be by our words and actions alone? I don’t think so, as this was not even enough in the ministry of Jesus where even miracles did not convince everyone. We find that in the ministry of Jesus that He proclaimed, took action and then the miracles came.   

 

In regard to the Relationship of Covenant I do not have much to say because achieving this level is fairly rare.

 

A valid question about all of this is; “Is this a scriptural doctrine”? The answer is YES! We will talk about the foundation for all of the above in our next posting.

 

God bless,

 

Papa Joe