Three Nails

Jesus, the carpenter by vocation before His river and Spirit baptism, was crucified on a Cross [Paul in Galatians called it a tree, maybe because at one time it had been a tree], is believed to have been secured on that tree by three nails!

The nails did not secure Jesus any more than Pilate had authority on his own to have Him killed.

So Pilate said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?'”

Jesus shot back, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above [My Father]; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.

So what kept Jesus on the Cross [tree]? Of course, it was not the nails that kept Jesus on that tree. For if He decided He was done with that plan He could have disintegrated the nails and the tree.

“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

What kept Jesus on that tree was His willingness to surrender to His [the] Father’s will – to the bitter [sweet] and bloody end!

“1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Letting His example of surrender to His Father’s will encourages us in our will to stay steady and strong throughout our entire race!

In the Garden, Jesus was feeling the pressure of what He had agreed to in eternity past. “All who dwell on the earth will worship Him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.”

The KJV says it this way, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The pressure in the olive or wine press became so great He experienced what is known as hematidrosis. Some say hematidrosis, or hematohidrosis, is caused when a person’s fight or flight response kicks into high gear. Others say when a person is in great duress, or distress, it can happen.

Whatever triggered it in Jesus He was in a real war for the salvation of the world!

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” Jesus is man’s only Savior but not all men will do the Father’s will to be saved by Him. Those who will, will be saved by Him.

“Father, is there another way to do what we agreed to?” Jesus was willing to die for the sins of all mankind but at that moment He was looking for a different process of pain than the Cross.

Finally, after three sessions of anguished prayer, He surrendered. “[Father] Not My will but Your will be done!”

Jesus had told His disciples, “I will build My church!” “I will!”

No one could fully understand what the Carpenter meant when He said that. Many still do not understand to this day.

“I will” must be understood in the context of “Your will!”

Even today, as the resurrected Jesus continues to build His church, He is operating out of His Father’s will functioning through His surrendered will. Jesus’ full surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane [oil press, or where olives or grapes are crushed so oil or juice for making wine is extracted] was not a momentary blip on histories radar screen. No, it is an eternal commitment to do His Father’s will.

His church is securely and ultimately built on the Father’s will being executed by Jesus, and everyone else who surrenders to the Father’s will.

“10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of [the will of] God.”

God is NOT every person’s Father. God is ONLY the Father to those who do His will!

So, God’s church is being built by Jesus, the Head, doing His Father’s will and as people surrender to that same will.

Have you said, “Not my will but Yours Father be done?”

If not, you are not part of His church His will is building!

Selah

Let’s look at some verses that talk about the Father’s will. These are not exclusive!

“Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

  • This is being said about those who overemphasize their relationship with Christ, “Who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord.'”
  • This is being said about those who bragged to Jesus what they had done “in My name” but did not have an authentic relationship with Him – “I never knew you.”

“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

  • This was in response to His natural family showing up to one of His meetings wanting to see Him. He asked the assembled crowd, “Who is my mother and my brothers?” Before they could answer He answered His own question with the above text.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
  • This was in response to the grumbling of the Jews who could not accept His testimony of who He is.
  • “31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

When we take these and the many other texts together we get the whole picture of what it means to be His people, His church!

Attending Christian services does make a person a part of His church!

Giving money or time to a Christian church or ministry does make a person a part of His church!

Amending your ways does not make you a part of His church!

What makes a person part of His church? Doing His and the Father’s will is the only way to be part of His church.

Take the time to read all of John 6 where Jesus really hammers the religious people and His own disciples with what His Father’s will is. In fact, take the time to read all four gospels, and read them slowly as if you have never read them or heard any teachings on them before. You will be shocked at what you will see, find, and learn.

I promise!

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity, and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A radical spiritual revolutionary
Revolution Movement Co-Founder
http://www.revolutionmovement.org
kdrury@revolutionmovement.org

You say you want a revolution! Join our movement and turn your world upside down so God can turn His world right side up!

Fear Who?

Fear who?

“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him.

Jesus taught that His Father could kill people and then throw them into a hellish eternity. Do you believe Jesus? If you don’t, you should!

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”

Do you really fear God?

Do you REALLY want to avoid the snares of death?

Do you fear WHO, the CDC, The NIH, the NIAID, COVID-19 or a zombie apocalypse? If you do, you should not!

According to the CDC:

79,400 Americans died in the 2017 – 2018 flu season

* CDC estimates 49 million illnesses, 959,000 hospitalizations

61,200 Americans died in the 2018 – 2019 flu season

* CDC estimates 43 million illnesses, 647,000 hospitalizations

Up to 60,000 Americans will die in the 2019 – 2020 flu season [non-COVID 19]

* CDC estimates up to 54 million [non_COVID 19] illnesses, up to 730,000 hospitalizations

Three-year flu totals 2017 – 2020:

Deaths: 200,600

Illnesses: 146 million

Hospitalizations: 1,377,959

For all of the “go beyond social distancing to self quarantining” for themselves and other believers, where was your concern and self quarantining passion for those who got the flu and for those who died, between 2017 and now?

For all of the “go beyond social distancing to self quarantining” for themselves and other believers, will you have the same concern and self quarantining passion next flu season when, if the last 3 flu seasons are a barometer, we could see deaths in the 60,000+ range, and over 40 million illnesses and between 600,000 and 1,000,000 hospitalizations? And I am not including COVID-19.

Are you planning to live the rest of your life in isolation because of what might happen that is bad, to you or through you? Dr. Tony Fauci is now saying COVID-19 could re-emerge in the 2020-2021 flu season, and beyond.

Have you ever read this verse, “He who separates [isolates, sequesters, or severs from others] himself seeks his own desire, [and] he quarrels against all sound wisdom.

So, according to Scripture, the selfish ones are the isolationists, not the interventionists!

Fear God! Are you feeling it, yet?

We live in a feel-good society where any gesture that appears to be keeping people safe is rewarded like a participation trophy.

“Are you self-quarantining?” “Why yes I am!” “Yea, great job! Me too!”

On the other hand, “Are you self-quarantining?” “Why no I am not. I am believing God to protect me and to use me to bring peace and healing to those who are afraid and or are sick.”

“You are so self-centered! Don’t you know you could be infecting, or killing people?”

And who really is the selfish person? Who really fears God?

I totally get not everyone is on the same growth path. But it really seems those who have little to no faith want those who have more, or great faith, to show some respect and stop being so darn courageous.

People who have a history with God of being led into fiery trials are not at the mercy of those who have never been exposed to a fiery trial.

Success breeds success and makes one responsible for the standard of faith they have attained. “Let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

Fear breeds fear and faith and fear cannot coexist with each other. One of them will have to go, and will eventually go.

Socialism and Communism lower everyone’s [well, the common people’s] standard to the lowest common denominator. Uniformity is the prized possession of a socialist, communist worldview.

We are seeing these “social” core values rise and thrive in the midst of the saints. It is a sad season we have been in and are still, in Christianity.

Fear is a worse virus than the virus you are currently afraid of! And please do not insult my intelligence with the whole, “I’m not afraid, I’m being cautiously smart.”

Hmmm! Caution – care taken to avoid danger or mistakes.

If you are a Christian you are called by God into danger! “I send you out as sheep among wolves.” Does it get any more dangerous than that?

I am shocked at how many people, and supposedly Christian people, have fallen into the fear trap of, “What IF someone gives it to me or someone I care about?” Or, “What IF I give it to someone else?”

Read these verses slowly.

“The fear of man brings [permits, grants, produces, assigns] a snare [bait, lure, noose]. But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted [inaccessably high, safely set on high, to be secure].”

Dear one, do you realize what you are doing to yourself when you allow fear to dictate to you what you will or will not do?

“Job said, ‘The thing I greatly feared [revered, respected, was in awe of] has come [arrived because I agreed with it] upon me.'”

Remember the verse at the top that said, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain [wellspring, source, flow] of life, that one may avoid [be kept from] the snares of death.” Are all your fountains in Him? Or are your fountains in your being cautiously smart?

Dear one, there is debate as to whether all that happened to Job was the result of his fearing it all would come upon him, or not. It really does not matter because Job confessed he had great fear of calamity and that calamity found him and his family.

For him to say “greatly feared’ means he must also have struggled with some “minor fears.” Here is a great question, what if Job’s lack of success in conquering minor fears fed into the greater fear’s faith that it could attack him and prevail against him?

Do you claim Psalms 91?

If you do then why do sit in your home fearful of catching something that percentage-wise is minuscule, and are afraid to venture beyond your yard? Do you actually need God’s protection from this in your own home?

Do you quote, “God has not given us [me] the spirit of fear.”?

If you do why is fear controlling your life? What if you refuse to go and the one you were to go to dies because you did not go?

Take courage, I have some better what IF’s!

What IF God actually protects you and “yours?”

What IF God uses you to bring peace to someone who is afraid?

What IF God uses you, yes you, to bring healing to someone who is fearful and sick?

What about THOSE what IF’s?

Are you teleworshiping with your church family? It takes zero faith to sanctuary in your home all the while singing, “I am not a slave to fear.”

Are you telehealing with someone who is sick – with ANY sickness? Why teleworship and not teleheal?

Why is there no area in your life where you are exercising even a mustard seed size faith?

Jesus said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and cast into the sea.’”

I hear Jesus saying with a thunderous voice [Like a lion He is roaring out of Zion], “HOW COME YOU HAVE NO FAITH?”

Jesus mentions 3 levels of faith. They are, 1] No faith, 2] Little faith, and, 3] Great faith.

We all operate at different times in different levels of faith. We should never be in ‘No faith’ because Jesus has given to every person the “measure of faith.” Is it really possible to reach and live in Great Faith. The Centurion reached that level and Jesus lived in that level. And He said, “The things that I do you shall do, and greater things than these shall you do. Because I am going to the Father.”

Do you believe Jesus?

There is so much negativity and most, if not all of it, is based on a premise that is false.

People are now wanting the head of the man who is head of WHO.

Why? Because he is corrupt and in bed with communist China, and he used the P-word, which triggered a lot of people’s greatest fear – which is the zombie apocalypse.

There is compassionate courage, and then there is sympathy that is not courageous!

Sympathy consoles and even joins in with the worry ward. Compassion intervenes!

Jesus was never moved with sympathy.

Jesus was always moved with compassion! That is why He was not afraid to touch the leprous man on the head. That is why Jesus stepped into danger and defeated it at its source.

If you are a Christian, and most especially a born again and Spirit-filled Christian and have not heard God say to you, “Hunker down in your house”, then to hunker in your bunker is sin. He said, “Go into all of the world.” He did not say “all of the safe spots.” And He did not say, “Get permission from you governmental leaders.” He said to you, “Go,” you have to go!

If you are having trouble ‘going’ you probably need to drink more of His joy from the wells of salvation. Or maybe you have not drunk enough from the water that He gives that keeps you filled so you can spill. Or maybe, just maybe, you are drinking too much worldly “wine” and not enough of His new wine.

Whatever you are partaking of that is keeping you bottled up inside of you and inside of your house, stop drinking it.

This should be God’s people’s finest hour, but instead, they are holed up in their house where they hope and pray the big bad wolf doesn’t come and blow their house down!

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity, and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A radical spiritual revolutionary
Revolution Movement Co-Founder
http://www.revolutionmovement.org
kdrury@revolutionmovement.org

You say you want a revolution! Join our movement and turn your world upside down so God can turn His world right side up!

Fast Food Christianity

There is great value in investing time and money to travel to conferences where anointed ministers can impart some spiritual gift to us through their teaching and or hands on ministry.

I know from personal experience how impactful, and transformational those events, and the God encounters I have experienced in them have been in my life. God has even used me in miraculous ministry when I have preached and ministered in large and small public meetings.

So, if you can get to a conference or special service where there is an authentic, anointed minister who moves in kingdom power and authority then by all means go, get all that God has for you, and then take what you receive and go to work on deepening your relationship with God.

Even Paul said he wanted to impart some spiritual gift to the saints residing in Rome. He then went on to warn them about immaturity and irresponsibility with the gift of salvation God gave them, and the spiritual gift he would deposit in them.

Certain behaviors attract God’s wrath!

Paul also wrote this to the saints in Ephesus.

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4 KJV]

Take a look at what the gifts of Christ do and what the response of the saints must be!

While there is great value in attending conferences and anointed services there is a much greater value in investing time and money in paying whatever price is required to travel into the written Word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to impart revelation and spiritual gifts directly to us.

Now:

Are you immature in spiritual matters?

Do you have a specific mature person who is discipling you to the fullness of the stature of Jesus Christ?

If not, you need to ask God to send you to that person, or send that person to you, and then employ them to help you grow up.

We live in an ever changing, speeding up, fast paced fast food Christian conference culture, and I am concerned the Body of Christ, and the world at large, is suffering because of it.

Along with that much “church” growth is in the seeker sensitive genre of Christianity where very few if any are maturing and one reason is the “teaching” lasts maybe 20 minutes, and is primarily superficial story telling. And when they do have Bible study they stay away from “the controversial aspects” of Christianity.

What? Jesus the Christ is still the most controversial Person to have ever lived and churches are “staying away from” controversial core teachings about the Christ.

Everyone has a path and a process that is inherit in their divine purpose. Shortcuts are not advantageous to our ultimate purpose. Ministry is work and we must work to be prepared for ministry as ministers of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Every believer is supposed to be a minister regardless of vocation.

It has been said that it takes God at least 20 years to develop a mature minister, and that is when they are under the tutelage of a mature person who disciples them to Christ. Even Jesus was not released to minister until He was 30 years old.

He had 3.5 years of nearly 24 hours a day to invest in His disciples. That may not equate to 20 years in a contemporary discipleship relationship but we are talking about Jesus. He said, “It is to your advantage that I go away.” The purpose was the arrival of the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit is our Advantage.

Are you taking full advantage of the Advantage?

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A radical spiritual revolutionary
Revolution Movement Co-Founder
http://www.revolutionmovement.org
kdrury@revolutionmovement.org

#RM #RevolutionMovement #DisciplinedDiscipleship

Supply Lines

“My God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19, Paul to the Philippian saints

This is a favorite verse people quote hoping to convince God to provide for what they need and or perceive they need. Most of those people have absolutely no idea the context from which Paul released that statement.

Do you know the context? I am purposefully not going to copy and paste it here for you in this short blog. What I am going to do is tell you what I see in the context that establishes God’s eternal truth in that one verse.

Paul said “My [His]” God would supply all the Philippians needs.

That is an interesting way to say what he said. Why didn’t Paul say, “‘Your’ God will supply all of your needs . . . ” Ahh, I am so glad you asked that question because that is where the context comes in and frames the text in its eternal purpose.

The church at Philippi was founded by Paul and Silas as they worshiped God at midnight while they were in pain in the Philippian prison for preaching the gospel, and causing a hell destroying and heaven rejoicing revival.

These grateful believers in Christ Jesus began finanically supporting Paul in his kingdom advancing world mission and ministry. But something, the contextual text does not reveal what, happened and they ended their financial support of Paul and his apostolic endeavors.

Something changed however and they re-engaged in sending finances to Paul so that his mission would be provided for. Paul tells them that he is grateful for their past and renewed support and he reveals to them that he has learned to be content no matter if they, or any other church [Christians] sent him financial support. He has arrived at the place where people are not his provider, his God is! And that is why he does not stress over having nothing, or way more than he needs.

You do realize if you do not learn to be content in whatever your financial situation is you will never be content in whatever your financial situation is, don’t you? If not, you best get on with learning that lesson well so you can pass every financial test God will use to reveal to you where you are not content – in Him and His provision for you.

Wherever you abandon God in the valley [low place] you will more than likely abandon him on the mountain [higher place]! Selah!

Paul goes on to say that he was not looking for their support to supply his account. He was looking for their account [resources] to increase. And that my dear reader is when he says, “And my God will supply all of your needs according to [not out of] His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

People who abuse those who find, prepare, and serve spiritual food to them by not “paying” for the time it takes to provide substantive spiritual food or the food they are served, disqualify themselves from receiving God’s supply at the “according to” level of provision.

Jesus taught this principle in several places, one being – “Give, and gifts shall be bestowed on you. Full measure, pressed, shaken down, and running over, shall they pour into your laps; for with the same measure that you use they shall measure to you in return.” Luke 6:38 Weymouth Translation

Paul would later write to the saints in the Galatian churches, “6 And those who are taught the Word must share all good things with their teacher; a sharing of wealth takes place between them.

7 Make no mistake about it, God will never be mocked! For what you plant will always be the very thing you harvest. 8 The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted. If you plant the corrupt seeds of self – life into this natural realm, you can expect to experience a harvest of corruption. If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit.” Galatians 6 The Passion Translation

By the way, these verses are often taken out of context too. Most teachers do not include verse 6 in their teaching on “God is not mocked.” Most teachings I have heard through the years lay the mocking at the feet of the devil or his kids.

God, through Paul, lays it at the feet of His kids who feed for free! Selah!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Spiritual Revolutionary

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Scourging!

Scourging could be thought of as that which removes the scourge from our lives, which it does in fact mean. But what about Jesus and His scourging at the hands of His Roman captors, antagonizers and murderers?

Jesus was scourged, not because He was a scourge, except in the hearts and minds of the Jews who betrayed Him and the Romans who abused Him, but because He was the solution to every scourge of every person on the planet, past, present and future!

Isaiah said this about Jesus and His heavenly Father –

Isaiah 52 / 53

“52:13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.

53:1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for thetransgressors.

One of the first revelations Isaiah gets and gives is Jesus would be crucified. Jesus used the phrase “lifted up” in John three and John twelve, when He described how He would die.

Next Isaiah saw how Jesus would not look human after His brutal treatment at the hands of His Roman tormentors. Whatever image you have of Jesus after He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, His beating and scourging at the hands of the Romans, and His eventual crucifiction and demonic assault during the whole process, if He still looks human you have not seen what He really looked like.

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This print of a painting by Mike Parks which Mike gave to me in the early 1980’s is the closest I have ever seen to what Jesus must have looked like, and even it does not come close to what Isaiah saw, and what Jesus literally looked like.

And Jesus willingly allowed that to happen to him because He loved us that much!

And it pleased the Father for Him to go through that!

And Isaiah said He was “smitten by God!”

And Isaiah said “It pleased God to crush Him and put Him to grief!”

Now what about you and me? The writer of Hebrews says this about our heavenly Father and His love for His sons [mature children] in chapter twelve.

“4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives’ [Proverbs 3:11,12]. 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”

The Book of Hebrews is written to Jewish believers in Jesus Christ who were being tempted to abandon Christ and return to the dead religious system of Judaism. When Christ was crucified God tore the veil separating the holy place from the Most Holy Place. What was discovered was there was no Ark of the Covenant which means the High Priest, and all the priests had been carrying on as if nothing had happened. God was not behind that veil! And God had not been there when the High Priest entered on the Day of Atonement since the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity hundreds of years before.

The writer of Hebrews says there is a new and living way to enter into God’s presence, and that way was through The Way, Jesus’ crucified Body [Hebrews 10:19,20]. And God will never reinstitute the old way that is dead and gone.

The writer of Hebrews uses the word ‘scourges’ to express God the Father’s discipline of every son God He loves, and without that level of discipline a person proves they are not legitimately God’s offspring.

The word ‘scourge’ is the same word that is used of Jesus’ brutalization! Just as it pleased the Father to have Jesus scourged it also pleases Him to scourge every son He loves! How can that be you may be wondering? What is the purpose of scourging? I know one reason for it is to inflict maximum pain. The greatest reason and revelation is to remove the flesh from the person being scourged.

Ahh, so when the Father scourges His sons it is for the purpose of removing stubborn flesh that keeps us from living life like the Son who modeled what a Christian’s life was supposed to look like? Yes! Exactly! That is why to resist being scourged disqaulifies a person from being a legitimate son who longs to be like God’s only begotten Son, Jesus!

The writer of Hebrews then uses the connective word ‘Therefore.’ In view of what was just written we must see what was written after the word ‘therefore.’

  • Strenghten the hands that are weak
  • Strengthen the knees that are feeble
  • Make stratight paths for your feet
  • So that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but be healed
  • Pursue peace with all men
  • Pursue sanctification [being set apart to God and His purpose for your life]
  • Without this separation no one will see the Lord
  • See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God
  • Which would result in a root of bitterness springing up causing trouble, and defilement
  • So no one would be like Esau who sold his birthright for a temporary perceived problem
  • Which resulted in his not being able to find repentance which leads to God’s blessing, even though he sought for it with tears

Can you imagine how carrying, not just the physical cross Jesus bore, but the full weight of His Father authorizing the agony He found Himself in, and that willingly He chose to go through, would force Jesus to rely on the only Higher Power that could help Him. The very One who gave permission for this to happen to Him.

Jesus answered [Pilate], “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” [John 19:11]

“21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” [1 Peter 2]

How is that for loyalty?

In our twenty first century version of Christianity we call scourging abuse! Abuse is such a misused word in modern Christianity. Any attempt to bring discipline or to hold a ‘Christian’ accountable falls under the abuse category. It pains me to say that but that is the brutal truth!

And yet, those who submit to it discover their lives will produce the peaceable fruit of authentic righteousness.

Scourging?

Anyone?

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A spiritual revolutionary!

 

Called, Chosen and Our Choices

Many people do not realize that being called is just the first step in a long process of being chosen, and remaining in why they are called and have been chosen.

People settle into their calling because they discover their identity in it, but many fail to realize their identity is only partially in what they are called.

Our full identity is only found in the One who calls us and then chooses us in His calling us. Losing sight of Him reduces us down to someone who performs for Him to feel His love, instead of resting in our love relationship with Him. Adam and Eve discovered that early in their own walking down their path to purpose!

Any person who places their identity in what God calls them to do instead on God who chose them to do it runs a great risk of becoming a person they never dreamed they would digress into.

Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” That is an interesting statement that should lead enquirers to dig deeper and farther into what Jesus meant when He said that to the very ones He said it to.

The “them” Jesus was speaking to were the scribes and Pharisees who opposed the move of God and the Messiah who was the Facilitator of His movement.

In other words, they had no problem believing they could usurp God and His delegated authority figure.

Scribes were entrusted with the word of God and Pharisees were entrusted with maintaining purity within the community. Both failed miserably in their calling and and in their being chosen. Jesus said to His disciples, “If your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Those are heavy words! They are not as heavy as these, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it [Matthew 21:43].”

Let us all take note that being faithful to the end of what God has entrusted to us is more important than thinking we are so important we cannot disqualify ourselves from stewarding what He gifted us with in the beginning.

I want us to think about the original men Jesus called to be His disciples. There were more than the twelve that He ended up choosing to be His original, handpicked closest disciples.

In fact, out of those twelve there were three [Peter, James and John] who became even closer to Him than the other nine, but even Peter and James did not reach the level of intimacy that John attained.

John was so full of Jesus boiling oil couldn’t burn him and Patmos could not blind him! Now that is what I call a real revelation of Jesus, the Christ.

Choices! How far are you willing to go for a real relationship with Jesus based on intimacy with Him, not your working for Him?

At the end of His life Jesus had to say this to Philip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?” How long has Jesus been with you and yet you still have not moved close enough to really know Him?

Distance and disconnect from Jesus are detrimental to our mental state, and potentially to our eternal state!

I learned many years ago: Jesus chose twelve out of possibly a hundred or more disciples He called to follow Him, the “three” chose to get closer than the other nine and John the beloved got closer than James and Peter. So when Jesus calls and chooses us it is for the purpose of our discovering what choices we will make to make sure we have a close relationship to Him, not to what He calls and chooses us to do for Him.

We read, “12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; 15 and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [Luke 6].”

Many were called disciples but He chose twelve out of the many He originally called. We are not told why He chose only those twelve or why He chose those specific men, except that He spent all night fellowshipping with His Father and we know He only did what He saw His Father do and He only said what He heard His Father say. We can deduce the Father directed Him to the twelve He wanted chosen.

There is an interesting choice in the group of twelve. His name is Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

How would you like to be known throughout eternity as _______ ________ who became a traitor? Yikes!

“Became a traitor” is an interesting phrase to me, especially in light of what John reveals in chapter six of His gospel.

64 But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'”

Luke said Judas “became a traitor” and John said Jesus “knew who it was who would betray Him,”

Jesus knew the moment He selected Judas as one of the twelve it was he who would eventually betray Him.

We must remember all His disciples believed in Jesus when they followed Him. Apparently Judas chose not to believe Jesus. Do you really believe the Jesus you tell people you believe in? And in John chapter eight we learn Jesus told the “Jews who believed Him” they were His disciples if “they continued in His word.”

Continuing in and ending with believing Jesus is much more important that beginning a belief in and believing Jesus!

Think rope! Think pull up and out! Think hang down! Now think choices! Now think about all the crap Judas had inside of him that everyone got to see once his bowels blew out!

Jesus made choices and so did Judas, but their reasons for choosing were totally different.

My purpose in bringing it up in this blog is the context of being called and chosen does not guarantee we will end up where we thought we would when God calls and chooses us. Jesus knew where Judas would end up but Judas had no idea what his choices would do to his being called and chosen.

Jesus also said this about choices, “ 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another [John 15].”

When Jesus chooses us He expects good fruit to be produced. Many see that fruit as being what they do and not who they become. In other words, they place their future in their performace for Jesus instead on a real relationship with Jesus.

Is the fruit Jesus expects the supernatural manifestations of His presence? Not if they are done for the wrong reasons.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [Matthew 7].'”

First Jesus addressed those who overemphazied their relationship to Him, “Lord, Lord.” So much for all who say Jesus is Lord do so through the Holy Spirit. Now that is another matter to deal with at another time. Second, beginning in the kingdom does not guarantee ending in the kingdom. Just ask the scribes and Pharisees. We need to make sure we remain in the kingdom God is in. Third, these deceived people were eager to brag about THEIR exploits – TO JESUS. Fourth, they never realized knowing Jesus is no where near as important as Him knowing them.

Do you know Him? So do demons and people deceived enough to prostitute His name for their glory!

Paul said, “24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1 Corinthians 9].”

God never disqualifies those He calls and chooses because His “gifts and calls are irrevocable.” Do we notice the word ‘anointing’ is not mentioned as irrevocable? How about the word ‘revelation?’ Are these intentional exclusions? I believe that they are intentional and a clue to the clueless.

For those who think that would never happen to them or any other New Testament minister read these words and weep, unless you are so enamored with yourself they cannot bring you to tears.

4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent [Revelation 2].”

To have your lampstand removed means you are no longer getting revelation from the One who provided you with the illumination in the first place. Without His illumination there can be no Holy Spirit anointing becasue He is the One who gives illumination to us through the written Word of God.

Paul placed the responsibility of his remaining in his race squarely where it must be, on his shoulders.

Paul mentions running and prizes in his other epistles. The context of studying Paul and the race he ran is this: Paul never went where he was not sent. In other words, Paul had connections to a community of believers and those who led those believers. Paul was not a went one.  He was a sent one!

Secondly, Paul was never sent alone. When he began his ministry he was sent with another five fold minister and then he led a team of future five fold ministers and believers. Paul was a team player not a lone ranger! God does not have lone rangers representing Him. In His earthly ministry Jesus sent teams of at least two to represent Him and His mission.

That is another very important truth. No one has a kingdom ministry, message, mandate or mission apart from Jesus.

  • Philippians 3 – “12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
    • Paul said many things in this text but think about the following as you consider your calling and being chosen
      • He pressed on inspite of his imperfections!
      • He laid hold of that which Christ has laid hold of him.
      • He continuously pursued his purpose in life not settling in a status quo.
      • He looked ahead not behind!
      • He reiterated a core value of pressing onward toward a goal.
      • His goal and prize was Christ, and the upward call that is found only in Christ, the One who called and chose him.
      • He would not compromise what he learned, experienced and obtained and attained, in Christ.
  • Hebrews 12 – “1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
    • Look at the similar language in this text to the Philippians 3 text. This is why I believe Paul wrote Hebrews!
      • He knew he was connected to believers who had finished their race as well as to those he was running with and for in his own generation.
      • He recognized the necessity to not become entangled in life’s challenges and hell’s temptations.
      • He kept his eyes on the prize, Christ Jesus.
      • He knew Christ was heaven’s model and his [our] role model for all life and ministry.
      • He did not follow Jesus in His earthly ministry but Jesus had burned the Cross into his consciousness deep enough it was the central theme of his life and ministry.
      • He realized weariness and heart failure was a present tense potential problem if he took his eyes off of his Prize.
  • 2 Timothy 4 – “6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
    • Once again Paul references a race and he ties it to expending his life as a sacrificial drink offering to God and for the people he ran with and for
      • His Prize was in full view!
      • He was confident in his effort and he would be rewarded for it.
      • He knew he had been in a fight but it was a good fight because he never got knocked out. Even when he was stoned to death he got up and went right back in the city among those who tried to take him out.
      • He finished the course [race that Jesus set before him]!
      • He kept THE faith which means he remained faithful to his mission, message and his mandate to preach where no man had preached before.

Listen dear reader, don’t get cocky because you have a call from God that you have answered. Don’t become arrogant because Jesus chose you and you responded to His choice.

Remember God chose Israel out of all the nations on earth to be His people, and He chose Judas, a Jewish man to be one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

According to Peter [Acts 2] “the whole house of Israel” was guilty of innocent blood, the “men of Israel” chose to betray God and His sent Son, and Judas was the key player in that conspiracy to crucify the “Man.” Luke records Peter’s words with this, “[Who was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.”

God chose the very ones who would betray the Christ, and they chose to be the ones to betray Him. Being called, and being chosen is meaningless if we make wrong choices that end up placing us in opposition to God and His purposes in the earth.

The fact we believe we started for the right reasons is no guarantee we will end up in the right place. Our choices throughout our lives are just as important as God’s choice to call and choose us!

Receive and steward God’s Passion, Power, Presence, Priority, Process, Provision, Pruning, Purging, Purity, and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Spiritual Revolutionary

God, His People, Purity and the Profane

God is passionate about His people and He is passionate about His people becoming pure and maintaining a pure lifestyle. Purity is paramount because Jesus said without it we cannot see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for THEY shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

Impurity, or profanity in all of its forms, cannot be tolerated in the life of God’s people, especially if you are a leader who goes before God on behalf of people, and then goes before people on behalf of God.

“1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.. . . 8 The Lord then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations— 10 and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”” Leviticus 10

The One who is described as an all consuming fire set on fire the two eldest sons of the High Priest Aaron. Their death, and the reason God struck them down with Holy fire is a matter of much debate.

Some speculate they did not use fire from the brazen altar. Some speculate they attempted to enter the tent of meeting at the wrong time. And others point to verse 9 in our selected text. ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die — it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations.”

The phrase, “it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations” is an interesting one. Most of the statements of this nature made in the Old Covenant expired with the arrival of Jesus on the planet and the inauguration of His earthly ministry. Some of those have to do with circumcision, the slaughter of animals, the Levitical priesthood, temple worship and Jerusalem as THE place of the worship of God, and others.

But this one carries forth into the New Covenant. While we find verses in the New Covenant that speak on the subject of drinking alcohol I believe the New Testament broadens the scope of what being drunk entails. One such reference we will look at later in this Blog.

Whatever these two priests did to cause God to act so severely should cause every ‘priest’ of God to never attempt to enter God’s presence flippantly and irreverently. This should make every minister of the gospel take inventory every time they enter their prayer closet and especially before they speak on behalf of the God they say they represent.

As we examine the words ‘holy’, ‘profane’, ‘clean’, and ‘unclean’ in verse 10 we find some interesting information.

Holy ~~~

Sanctified and set apart to God and His purposes. It means to show oneself, and to keep oneself sacred and separate unto God. In other words, do not involve yourself in any activity or with any person that is not holy.

Clean ~~~

Pure! To purify oneself. Again, the responsibility is on the person to keep them free from all pollution.

Profane ~~~

Exposed! To make common. To wound or be wounded. To break one’s word. To become diseased. To be exposed means to have what you are hiding come to the surface because you did not deal with it. It means to treat what God calls holy as common, or unimportant. To wound or be wounded really has to do with victimizing others for your profane benefit and then playing the victim card when you get confronted. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not honor your word. This kind of profane behavior is like a disease that will destroy you.

Unclean ~~~

Impure. Defiled. Foul. To be regarded as unclean. People who do not bathe spiritually become as offensive to those around them as a person that rarely if ever takes a physical bath. They stink!

Drunkenness can be more than ingesting alcohol of any strength to the point of losing some or all of your faculties. Drunkenness can be being influenced by the ways of the world that causes us to lose focus on what is important to God. Being intoxicated diminishes our ability to walk right, think right or act right.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, “15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,”

Being “filled with the Spirit” is an intoxicating experience as revealed in Acts 2. “1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues , as the Spirit was giving them utterance. . . 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; 18 Even on my bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. 19 And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

We see how the powerful experience with the Holy Spirit had such an intoxicating effect on the disciples that the people in Jerusalem thought they had been drinking alcohol.

Paul, in the Ephesians 5 text leads up to this admonition of paying attention to how we walk with a very strong exhortation on how to maintain our position of purity with God.

“1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints ; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.'”

There is so much meat in these texts it would take many blogs to extract all of the nutrients out of them. Let me summarize what I believe to be the most important aspects of what God wants His people to understand.

Paul mentions many character flaws in this text but I want to touch on greed. Greed is the desire to have what belongs to someone else which can lead to actions not holy or healthy where the greedy person seizes what does not belong to them. The person is not willing to pay the price paid by the person possessing what they want so they set out on a path to possess it through manipulation and control. Revealing how dishonorable they are in their core they corrupt the gift God has not given to them. And it rarely if ever ends well for them.

We all have an enormous responsibility to maintain and communicate a lifestyle that is free from the pollution of this world as well as to remain free from every activity that could impugn the character of the very God who has purified us with the blood of Jesus Christ, and freely given to us all we need in the Person of Jesus Christ.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8]

When Christians involve themselves in behavior that is unbecoming to one of God’s holy ‘helpers’ He must take drastic action to bring correction to the corrupted.”6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5

If the person does not deal with themselves God will authorize His delegated authority to deal with it and them. God has mature and healthy people positioned in places of power who will bring a correcting influence to those living in impurity. As stated above, it IS the responsibility of those who have been corrupted to correct their own behavior. The only responsibility the one, or ones, bringing correction have is to confront them with the truth in love and then enforce the will of God so that the greater community of the faithful ones will be kept safe.

The Greek word for ‘saved’ is sozo [sode’-zo]. Sozo means: forgiven, healed, delivered. It also means to be whole and to make whole. But one definition that seems to rarely be talked or written about is to be safe or to keep safe and sound.

To be saved means to be a safe person that does not bring harm to the community you are connected to. It also means when people who claim to be ‘saved’ are not safe to be around then the community and its leaders must take whatever safety measures they believe are commensurate with the “crime.”

” 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5

Paul, as the founding spiritual father of the church in Corinth had absolute authority on behalf of Christ Jesus to adjudicate righteousness within the community he gave birth to. No one has the legal spiritual right to adjudicate something in an area they have no personal investment in. We only have authority where we are under authority and have holy and healthy relationship with the people we are intervening on behalf of. To assume that right opens the assuming person up to the corruption being dealt with by the God-given spiritual authorities who do have a vested interest in the safety of the people being harmed.

So, God who is purity personified, ordains His delegated authorities to adjudicate righteousness within the community they live and serve in. People can choose to come clean, stay clean or they can choose to go somewhere else where they will feel accepted because the new place will not investigate why they left where they used to worship.

And that keeps the Body of Christ impure!

Keep His Passion, Power, Presence and Purity!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Hisstorymaker

Apostles & Fathers

There is much misinformation that misleads people in the area of apostles and fathers in the faith! I hope the misinformed will not continue misleading people, no matter how well intended they may be.

Just because someone is an apostle does not make them a father in the faith. There are a lot of apostles leading ministries and movements who are still children in the faith, and manifest childishness in their daily lives. If you are a genuine apostle you will genuinely grow up.

Even Paul, who was called an apostle from his mother’s womb, said he had to grow up spiritually. In fact, he said after he grew up he still had to make a decision to act grown up!

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

Paul did not say when he became an apostle he put away childish things! He said when he became as man he put away childish things. One manifestation of childishness is the need to be needed. Needing attention is a core value of someone who is immature, insecure, and suffering identity and image issues. There are an abundance of leaders who serve for what they need which proves they are still in the childish, carnal, self-centered, self-absorbed level of maturity.

Just because someone is not an apostle does not eliminate them from being a father in the faith. There are a lot of believers with no 5 fold office call on their life who have matured to fatherhood. Some have had a great impact on my life as I developed as a disciple of Christ.

Maturing into fatherhood is the call to every believer in Christ, regardless of their call, mission, office or lack there of! And at the father level of maturity the person is not interested in their personal needs. Their need is to pour their life out for and into a person who needs mature leadership and direction to help them become a mature adult.

“You are to become perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” applies to all the disciples of Jesus of all ages! Perfect means perfect, not just mature and complete!

Fathering requires running with the person needing fathering in close enough proximity to monitor their progress, without impeding their personal creative expression. This allows the person being fathered to keep their eye on the father but not be encumbered as they run the race set before them.

The person needing fathering must be willing to enter into and embrace the process fathers put them in to develop them into a mature believer. The acceptance of that process verifies the person voluntarily accepts the person fathering them. If the person needing and or wanting fathering in their life constantly complains or resists the person and their process, they prove they are not ready for, or interested in genuine development as a disciple of Christ.

Every believer should look for and find someone who can father them without them needing to call them “father,” or the father being called their “father.”

Jesus said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9

If a “father” needs to be called father to feel adequate, or accepted by the ones they are fathering, then that father has some serious father issues.

I think some who call themselves apostles need to quit worrying about who is, and where are the apostles. If God calls someone to the office of an apostle then God is handling that apostle’s progress into Their purpose! And if God wants one apostle to align with others He is perfectly willing and able to arrange that connection.

I believe there are apostles who take out of context Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 4, “14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” Paul would reiterate the “imitate me” instruction later in chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians.

Paul did not say the Corinthians did not have many “apostolic” fathers. He just said they had an abundance of people teaching them, not fathering them. This tells me there is a difference in those who teach and those who father. All fathers teach but not all teachers are fathers, even to those they teach. Fatherhood is a maturity level and function, not an office or title. There is no office or title called fatherhood, except in the Catholic Church, which connects apostolic succession to fatherhood! This is, and should be rejected by all believers everywhere.

In addition, Paul, who operated both as an apostle and father to the Corinthians believers, demonstrated apostolic and fathering discipline when needed to those who chose to follow [imitate] his discipleship core value of following [emulating] the lifestyle of Christ Jesus. Purity is paramount in the development of a maturing disciple [son or daughter] of Christ. Discipling a person to Christ is the same as discipling a person to Father God. “The Father and I are one.”  Biblical fathering has everything to do with modeling Father God to the person being fathered so they will become like the Father who is perfect.

“Follow [imitate] me as [in the same way that] I follow [imitate] Christ [the ultimate leader]” should be the standard every kingdom leader lives by. Paul is saying he was following Christ so that he could lead people to Christ. All kingdom discipleship has that core value or it is not kingdom discipleship. Christ is the

Good gracious, Paul said he received, accepted, embraced, and developed his apostolic call, mission and revelatory message apart from the apostles in Jerusalem. He said it was developed on his sabbatical in Arabia.

Galatians 1

“11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.” 

If Paul were alive today he would not be accepted into some apostolic brotherhoods by some of those who see themselves as the brotherhood’s gatekeepers. Paul went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and James, not to surrender his apostolic credentials to them.

I think some modern ministers who consider themselves apostles, see themselves erroneously in that select group of original leaders who were called to the closed, select community of the apostles of the Lamb!

All the apostles, even the original 12 called personally by Jesus, volunteered their ministry connections! And the 12 did not require obedience to them as a qualification into the post apostle of the Lamb apostolic office. The nonsensical heresy called “the shepherdship movement” was debunked in the 1970’s. I am concerned some of its tenets still exist and its tentacles are still reaching out trying to entrap unsuspecting saints.

Honor and respect does not require connection or obedience! It is given and received voluntarily! And for that matter, submission is voluntary too. If someone demands submission run as fast as you can. That is called slavery!

Everyone should focus on their personal relationship, call, mission, mandate and message with the Apostle and High Priest of our confession who died, was raised, ascended, and called us into our respective relationships, call, mission, mandate and message for Him.

“Do not think more highly of yourselves than you ought” is a really good verse right now! Especially for apostolic fathers!

In conclusion, if you need a father figure in your life look for one who will look for your loyalty, not require your loyalty. Again, loyalty cannot be demanded. A father who looks for loyalty more than likely will demonstrate loyalty to you. Loyalty is discovered in disagreement just like faithfulness is discovered when there are other options to choose from. If you want and need someone to father you, you must accept the responsibility of being a child [son or daughter]. That responsibility includes but is not limited to recognizing and admitting you do not have all the answers and you volunteer to be parented.

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker

Within! With Out?

Whatever your interior reality is will determine what you release into the reality that is your life! Whatever is closed to you will only be opened to you as you open up to the possibility that its reality is not yours!

Joshua 6

“1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.'”

Have you ever noticed that the very thing that God says is yours becomes ‘tightly shut’ when you show up to possess it?

Jericho was closed! Jericho was not going to open up simply because those who were given it showed up to receive it!

Jericho was a city that was the initial city the children of Israel were to conquer in order for them to conquer the land God promised Abram and his Seed.

The physical land of promise was not the entire land that was promised. We learn this from Paul in Romans 4:13. “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

So, just like Jericho was not the extent of Abraham’s physical seed’s inheritance, neither was Canaan land the extent of what God promised and showed Abraham He was giving to him.

Seeing is believing!

The faith teachers teach that faith believes before you see.

Yet, when God was promising Abram and Joshua what was theirs by a gift He showed them limited natural things to reveal the scope of His promises to them.

Genesis 13

“14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.'”

God then instructed Abram to put feet to his faith. “‘Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.'” [Verse 17]

In my upcoming Book, Who Is The Israel of God, And What Does That Have To Do With Me, I talk about how Abram had an encounter with the Lord on the Cross.

God told Abram to look north, south, east and west for all the land that he could “see” would be given to him and to his Seed forever. He then told Abram to “Arise and walk across the land, or carry the cross he saw on the land of promise.”

That gifted land represented the entire planet. But Abram had to obey God’s command to see it and walk across what he could see in the natural.

God will give a glimpse of what He is giving and commands us to see to the farthest regions of what He calls us to reach and realize.

Seeing is believing!

Joshua saw a walled city tightly secured and impenetrable in the natural!

What has God shown you that looks impossible from your vantage point?

What has God given you that you know there is no way in the natural you can take [receive] what God has promised you?

What do you see when you look at the very place, thing, or people that God says is yours?

Seeing is believing!

I believe this is one reason Jesus would later say, “According to your faith will it be done to [for] you.”

Faith does not deny what is naturally confronting you. Faith sees beyond any impossibility to what God says is true, and then it motivates you to move forward with confidence that every challenge will be overcome.

Faith comes [is revealed and received] by hearing what God says is the truth. Faith is  activated when we move out from where we are to where God says we are supposed to be, and into what we are supposed to be doing.

Jericho was tightly shut! Its walls were so huge they could not be penetrated naturally!

How was Joshua and the children of Israel supposed to take it? First they had to face the obvious which was what they saw in the natural. Second, they had to believe God by believing that God knew how to overcome the challenges posed in the natural. Third, they had to hear what God commanded them to do. Fourth, they had to obey all that God said for them to do. And lastly, they had to begin walking!

That last step is usually the hardest step. I know I listed it last but the first step forward is always the hardest step you will take. Talking yourself into starting begins with changing your self talk!

“I can’t!” “I’m not!” “It won’t!” “It can’t!” These are not the motivating messages that inspire an invasion into the impossible!

Now to the title Within! With Out?

Jesus said, “The kingdom is within you.” He also said, “You must be born again in order to see the kingdom.” He also said, You must be born of the Spirit and water to enter the kingdom.” [Luke 17:21; John 3:3, 5]

You will never enter what you cannot, or will not see!

If you do not win the war within you will never win the war around you!

You will do without until you overcome what is within you that contradicts what God says to you!

If you can not see the possibilities arise within you ,you will never see the impossibilities fall around you!

The kingdom of God within you is given to you to see what God has given to you that does not yet have His kingdom within it!

Getting you to heaven is not God’s goal! Getting heaven in you so you can reveal and release heaven here on earth is God’s goal! That is why Jesus said to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done IN earth as it IS IN heaven.” [Matthew 6:10 KJVB]

Why do you think God commanded Joshua and the children of Israel to walk around Jericho one time for six straight days?

Why do you think God commanded Joshua and the children of Israel to walk around Jericho seven times on the seventh day?

Remember, God told Moses no work was to be done on the seventh day as it was a day of rest. Yet, on this seventh day they were to work [walk] more than on the first six days of work. To me this proves once and for all and beyond any shadow of a doubt that Sabbath rest has nothing to do with a specific day. Sabbath rest has always been about obeying God. The writer of Hebrews makes this abundantly clear to those who have the ability to see what God had revealed.

Hebrew’s says to labor to enter God’s rest! What does labor and rest have in common? Do you see the conundrum?

God commanded Joshua and the children of Israel to walk around Jericho a total of 13 times before the miracle would happen. Why thirteen? Well six is the number of fallen man and seven is the number of God’s perfection. So we could say God one upped fallen man!

Thirteen is also a number that represents rebellion! For instance:

  • Nimrod was the 13th in Ham’s lineage. Nimrod tried to replace God!
  • The valley of Hinnom or its variation occurs 13 times in Scripture! Hinnom is the place rebellious Jews burned their children to the false god Molech!
  • In the first century Gehenna, the Greek equivalent of Hinnom, represented the place of future punishment for rebelliousness!
  • In Romans chapter 1 Paul lists 23 characteristics of sinful people. Hater’s of God is number 13!
  • The dragon of Revelation is mentioned 13 times!

You should get the picture [pun intended]! So God commanded the war against rebellion to begin with extreme obedience. Everything to be overcome must be overtaken by the opposite spirit the spiritual war involves!

Joshua:

  • Don’t look at those walls!
  • Don’t look at those gates!
  • Don’t look at those warriors!
  • Don’t look at that king!

Joshua:

  • See the city that I have given to you!

If you pass this test then every test after that will not seem so terrible!

See, I believe that each time Joshua and the children of Israel walked around that city they saw something they did not see the previous times they walked it.

I believe each time they walked around that city they began to see what God was saying they were receiving.

I believe as they saw less of what was in their way they began to believe that what was beyond what they were seeing was within their reach!

What is within your reach that you still don’t see because what you are focusing on is keeping you from seeing what God has given you?

Seeing is believing!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker

 

 

Moochers Who Mooch

There are a lot of moochers who mooch off ministers and their ministries!

Mooch

To obtain something without paying for it.

Moocher

A person who lives off others without giving anything in return.

These moochers literally suck the life out of the very person who is serving them life giving spiritual food!

Paul the apostle, who supported his ministry by making tents so that he would not financially burden the churches he founded and ministered in, taught the importance of not mooching off ministers and their ministries. In other words, Paul chose not to practice what he preached!

He said, “Do not muzzle an ox while he is threshing.”¹ This was a direct quote from Deuteronomy 25:4. Immediately following that Old Testament quote Paul clarified what Moses meant when he said not to muzzle an ox. “9 God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?”

Paul is clearly revealing that what God said through Moses in the Old Testament was an analogy for Christian ministers and their ministry. In other words, the ‘ox’ represents those called to carry the burden of feeding the people of God spiritual food. God’s burden bearers should never be muzzled while they are working. To muzzle means so much more than to silence. It means to silence through starvation. What Paul is saying is that it is not God’s will for those feeding us not to be fed by us through their material support.

Paul also said this about being a burden bearer. “17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”² Again, Paul equates feeding and financially supporting the person laboring at preaching and teaching God’s Word to God’s people.

Look at what Paul says about bearing burdens in the context of his personal ministry. “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.”³ This statement followed an extensive listing of his spiritual resume of suffering extreme opposition to his ministry.

There is extreme pressure on everyone whether they are in market place ministry or preaching and teaching ministry. But the added pressure that is placed upon those who accept the call of God to feed the people of God life giving food is extremely difficult to bear, especially if those carrying the weight of that responsibility have to scrounge for food and finances to pay their personal bills.

I discovered the following verses many years ago and was, and continue to be convicted by them. They are found in 3 John 1 – “5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.”

John is writing to express his pleasure in the saints who worshiped in Gaius’s home. These saints had the reputation of radical generosity toward those ‘strangers’ who came in the Name [of Jesus] bringing life giving words on behalf of the Name. He is speaking of Christian ministers who itinerated among the various local churches in the various regions that had been evangelized.

And he says, “You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.” In essence John is saying the way we treat God’s messengers should be no different than the way we would treat Jesus if He was personally teaching us. They came in His Name, as His representatives, and God’s people should honor God by honoring them. That is a lofty responsibility! At least that is how I view that statement.

John continues by saying these burden bearers of the Good News do not look to the unsaved population [Gentiles] for their support. They are depending totally on the radical generosity of the present recipients of God’s goodness to send them to their next assignment fully fed and funded so they will be strong and able to fully deliver fresh food to the people they are ministering to when they leave.

John concludes by stating that when God’s people fund God’s ministry through His burden bearers those who generously financially support them are fellow workers, or co-laboers, in the truth with them. This is a vitally important truth. The funders get the same credit in heaven as the feeders! If they do not muzzle them by withholding food and finances.

With the explosion of social media and other ways to communicate God’s truth [His Word], there are a lot of people feeding from the food of God’s ministers without paying for that food. They read posts, blogs, watch or listen to live streamed messages, archived teachings on YouTube, Facebook and other places where kingdom food is prepared and presented. And they never financially support those who work hard at preaching and teaching. This is the reason we at Bethel Church in Brunswick, GA never invite a minister to our ‘house’ and charge them for coming by deducting lodging, meals and travel expenses from the love offerings received. In fact, we have always given the Sunday tithes to our guests too. When you sow into the lives of the guest ministers who minster to us, every penny goes directly to them. We take, “send them on their way in a manner worthy of God seriously.

Bethel Church, Brunswick, GA is no moocher!

Maybe you are one of those people who mooch off God and His ministers. If you are not then you are to be celebrated.

Are you a moocher who is muzzling the very ‘ox’ that is feeding you? From heaven’s perspective you would do well if you unmuzzled the minister and ministry that is feeding you spiritual food.

Keep His Faith! Keep His Passion! Keep HIS Purposes!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

A Hisstorymaker

¹ 1 Corinthians 9:9

² 1 Timothy 5

³ 2 Corinthians 11:28