You!

You shall have no other gods before Me.”

“‘One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and [you] come, follow Me.’ But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.”

The rich young ruler was not as pious as he presented himself to be.

What makes a person rich in God’s eyes?

What does piousness look like to God?

While it is true that this is the only occassion in Scripture reveals Jesus said this to anyone that does not mean that we cannot, and should not learn the lesson of our possessions and the Person who blessed us with them.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus did not start with the 1st commandment, ‘You shall have no gods before Me?’

What is a god to God?

Now that you have been presented with that question what do you believe is the reason why Jesus started elsewhere within the Commandments in engaging this rich young ruler?

Unfortunately, there are still so many who serve possessions, positions, promotions and paychecks more than the God who calls them to abandon everything with, “[You] Come, follow Me!”

You say, “I do follow Jesus.”

Do you now?

What are you dragging along with you as you follow’ Jesus that He believes is not beneficial to you really following Him?

In the NASB the word ‘immediately’ is used 80x in the gospels. 40 of those times, or 50% of the usages, are found in Mark’s gospel.

When Jesus speaks to you how long does it take before you obey?

When Jesus speaks to you do you determine when you will obey?

When Jesus speaks to you do you determine what you will obey?

What or who do you have in your life that you hold onto that is more important to you than following Jesus the way Jesus demands you follow Him?

You should really think about your answers!

You really should, now!

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 and Follower of Christ Jesus
http://www.revolutionmovement.org

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2859.jpg

You say you want a revolution? Join our Movement and turn your world upside down so God can sow you into the world to turn the world right side up!

Sinner’s Prayer

I am not sure when the sinner’s prayer became the focus of a person receiving God’s free gift of eternal life that exists only in the Person of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, but I think I may know where the “If you believe with all your heart” derived from.

That statement is found in an encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch as the eunuch traveled from Jerusalem where he had come to worship. We find the story in Acts 8:25-40.

Philip had just seen the city of Samaria transformed by his ministry and instead of being allowed to rest on the success of his ministry and enjoy the harvest of souls there he was directed by the Holy Spirit to go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza. As he traveled on that road he saw the eunuch and the Spirit said to him, “Go up and join this chariot,” so Philip ran until he caught up with the chariot where he heard the eunuch reading in the Book of Isaiah what we know to be chapter fifty-three, verses seven and eight. The original texts of the Bible do not have chapters, verses, or even punctuation marks.

Philip asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading.

You do not have to ask complicated questions to lead someone to Jesus. Sometimes a simple question opens the door to leading someone to and through the One who said He was the door. The eunuch replied, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” He then invited Philip up into the chariot to sit with him where he asked Philip who was Isaiah referring to, himself or someone else. This whole story is filled with extraordinary insights.

Philip began to expound on the text the eunuch was reading and obviously perplexed by, and beginning from that text Philip preached Jesus to him.

It was at this point the enuch saw water and askd Philip if anything prevented him from being baptized, which leads me to believe Philip included in his “sermon” the necessity of baptism in the salvation experience of the eunuch. This is where Philip makes the famous statement, “If you believe with all your heart, you may [be baptized].

It is interesting the text does not say the eunuch prayed asking Jesus to come into his heart. It says he declared, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” In essence he declared he believed God raised Jesus from the dead and confessed to Philip Jesus was Lord, meaning he was surrendering his life to Jesus’ lordship.

The chariot was ordered to stop and Philip baptized the eunuch right then.

Here are two questions I would like you to consider as it pertains to the “If you believe with all of your heart” statement.

1. Is your whole heart in this or are you holding out a part of your heart?

2. Are there portions of your heart you are keeping for yourself, or someone else?

If you are hanging on to something or someone that is more important to you than Jesus then that which you hang onto will hang you.

Ask Judas!

Judas believed in Jesus! Judas followed Jesus! Judas even walked in miraculous ministry with Jesus! But what he refused to surrender to Jesus eventually hung him.

Friend, did you say the sinner’s prayer meaning it with all your heart or did you mouth the words while hiding something or someone in your heart?

If you did then it is time you surrendered all of your heart to the Lordship of Jesus. If you don’t then Jesus is not the Lord of all of you, and if He is not Lord of all He is not Lord at all, to you!

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

 

 

God IS Really Good @ Being Really Good

Not that Donna and I do not know God is really good but He constantly shows us in mysteriously good ways just to nudge us back into realizing just how good He really IS!

Donna and I are in a major transition again. During a February fast the Lord confronted us with two questions posed to us by a very good friend:

  1. What is Kevin and Donna doing they do not need to be doing?
  2. What is Kevin and Donna not doing they need to be doing?

Those two questions took us into a deep dive into our hearts where we continue to discover God has never been One in our lives to let us live in a place, no matter how good and fruitful that place is, to remain in that place if it is not the place He wants us to live.

Yesterday, Sunday April 28, 2019, while looking through a LOT of stuff purging our lives of all things not current or productive in moving us forward into our new assignments from God, Donna found a prophetic word given to me by Robin S on May 11, 2009. This word from heaven is 4 pages long so I will only reveal the last two pages.

What I have called you to and chosen you for I will make complete and will give you good success in, if you will allow me to complete it in you.

Just as the house is built in vain except that I build it [Psalms 127], so is the work I have called you to. I have called you to accept the assignment – not to carry it or complete it. That is impossible for you to do but nothing is impossible for Me and I will do it.

Be ready! Be ready! Be ready!

When I want you to move I will tell you. If I do not tell you then do not move. By the same words:

Be patient! Be patient! Be patient!

When I am ready for you to move then I will tell you. When I do not want you to move you will hear nothing.

That burden you are trying to carry is too heavy. It sits on your shoulders like a mantle that engulfs your head – you cannot see over it or hear over it.

Shrug it off and lef it fall. I did not place it on you and it is not from Me.

It is a hindrance and I do not want you hindered. I want you free and ready to run when I say run!

What we were doing that we were not assigned to do was sustaining a work God commissioned us to establish. And what were were not doing that we needed to be doing was going to people and places to impart some spiritual gift [ourselves and what we carry] to people in other places God wants to connect us to.

Donna and I have known for a very long time, but most assuredly in the last 10 years, that there are many people sitting in churches, or maybe no longer in a church, that need us to invest in them because what they are being served is insufficient for them to fully mature and manifest the mature Man, Christ Jesus.

“Here we are send us Lord,” and “You say you want a revolution? Join our Movement and turn your world upside down so God can turn the world right side up!”  are our new mantras for our new assignments.

There is so much to say but for the sake of your time I will leave you with this truth – God is really good at being really good.

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

#TRM

Join the Movement!

Revolution Movement has a Twitter Page.

You can follow us on:

Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/hisstorymakers/?modal=admin_todo_tour],

Twitter [https://twitter.com/RevolutionMove3],

and hopefully in the not so distant future on YouTube.

Our website http://www.revolutionmovement.org is nearly ready to launch. It is a simple one but we “Do not despise small beginnings.”

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

Ways to join:

1. Prayer support – It has come to that and “It” is so important to Donna and me and what we are called to do moving forward.

2. Financial support – Donna nor I will solicit financial “aid”. Jesus said we were to trust Him so trust Him we do.

We do have strong beliefs about sowing financially into the lives of those who work to obtain, prepare and serve spiritual food. It absolutely dishonors God and those God sows into our lives not to support them generously financially – and that includes feasting on what is posted on social media.

When we pastored we gave 100% of all the money that was given during our conferences, as well as paid for the travel, hotel, and meals of our guests.

Jesus told us, “Do not invite someone to your “house” then make them pay for coming by withholding money that comes in the offerings.”

We would always round the offering total up to the next $1000 amount and some of our guests were speechless when they saw the “love” offerings. They FELT our love!

3. Mentor Movement – We offer help at the request of the person wanting us to mentor them. This Movement is for the occasional need for counsel, advice or ministry. If this turns into more than once a month the person will need to transition to the Discipleship Movement.

4. Discipleship Movement – This Movement involves more advanced training on a regular basis using the Bible and materials written and or published by me and other TRM affiliated and approved authors.

5. Fathering Movement – This Movement takes the relationship to a whole new level of interaction. The training will be similar to the Discipleship Movement but one main thing that separates this Movement from the others is the person expresses to Donna and me they believe God has called us to be their Spiritual Parents. Access to us increases and accountability to us, and us to them increases too.

You say you want a revolution? Join our Movement and watch God turn your world upside down so that He can turn the world right side up!

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

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
Spiritual Revolutionary

#TRM #NewTweetSpot #Courage #Confidence #Passion #BurningOnes #OnFire #NeverGoingBack #Mentor #Discipleship #Fathering

New Day, Season, and Reason

Donna and I are ready to begin revealing where we are and what we believe the Lord is doing in our lives right now. We ended the dying to all things a little over a week ago and have been emerging into our new day, season and reason for being alive since then.

For those who have been wondering what on earth Donna and I have been doing since we broke the news on March 31st that Jesus, the Head of His Body, the church, in 2 very powerful encounters on Wednesday, March 27th and then on Thursday, March 28th told us to close the church we established in 2003, we have continued to revisit prophetic words and the relevant places those words are connected to – with the exception of Redding where we had dozens of powerful encounters with the Lord beginning in June 2001 – we have spent time at Jax Beach, FL, Overlook Park and SSI here in Glynn County, as well as much time in His Presence, in prayer and worship and studying His Word.

We even baptized ourselves at sunrise in the Atlantic Ocean on Palm Sunday at Jax Beach and Resurrection Sunday in front of the King and Prince on SSI.

What seemed so sudden was not so sudden. Like all of God’s suddenlies they are all preceded by some measure of time where He gives enough information to prepare those who want to be prepared to be prepared. In the case of closing Bethel Brunswick, He gave us at least 5 years to prepare.

So, without going into all of that information Donna and I want to share briefly what we are now emerging into.

On April 2nd we formed a 501c3 ministry called The Revolution Movement, Inc. [TRM] aka Revolution Movement. We are now in the process of obtaining IRS approval for anyone wanting to give financially to TRM and wanting the option of a tax deduction. If you give prior to approval you need to know approval is PENDING and it may be the end of the year before we know if we will be approved!

Our current board of directors are: Donna and me, Jane Brunegraff, Dan Duke and Randall Worley. Donna and I can vote on any matter with the exception of our remuneration. I am the CEO/Board Chair, Donna is the COO and Jane is the CFO. Jane will be handling the financial aspects of the ministry, and other duties as we move forward into what this ministry will emerge into.

The Lord, at least for this season of our transition, has said, “I am your Source for all the resources you need. Trust Me!” Our sense is that He does not want us focused on soliciting financial support, or going back into the market place to work. He wants and needs us focused on Him and the assignments He will send us to, or send to us.

Some of you know that we have been mentoring a young mother of 4 in Lansing, MI since the end of January. Now her husband, who is a student at FLETC until early August, made contact this past week. In fact, he joined our family and some friends for lunch this past Sunday. In our ongoing conversations with the young mom she let us know she has been praying we would be able to come to Lansing and help them grow in their relationship with the Lord, with each other and in the ministry they feel they are being called into. Neither of them feel called into “full time” ministry at this time.

Donna and I have sensed since we began mentoring her that what lies ahead for us is that we may go to Lansing for a season of time, as well as to other assignments to people and places that need what we carry.

Our job moving forward will be to invest our time in His Presence, in prayer and worship and in the study of His Word, as well as to invest in the people and places He sends us to, or the people He sends to us.

We believe Jesus wants to employ us by deploying us to influence the influencers in families, businesses, churches, cities and nations to strengthen the Body of Christ in every place we are sent, or in those He sends to us.

Acts 6 is one template Jesus has shown us!

“1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.

3 Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’

7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”

We are working on a logo which we hope to have by the end of May, a website, as well as social media platforms for TRM.

More information will be forthcoming on our website and social media, as we know it and are free to release it. We felt we needed to communicate to you first, well our family was the first to be notified, and those we approached to be on our board of directors.

Thank you for praying for us as we emerge into our New Day, Season and Reason for being on the planet during this time of human history.

You say you want a revolution? Join our movement and turn your world upside down so that He can turn the world right side up!

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

Kevin and Donna
Spiritual Revolutionaries Leading a Revolution Movement

Know Who You Trust

Who do you trust, really trust?

Do you trust man more than you trust God?

Do you trust God, really trust God?

Jesus did not trust man because He knew what was in man!

Do you believe Jesus lived His life on earth that way because He was both fully God and fully man, or because as man who was tempted in every way you and I are tempted yet without surrendering to the temptations and commiting any sin, He knew by His experiences as a man what man was capable of doing that would not be acceptible to God the Father?

Jesus as God never lived as God while He lived on earth as a man!

Paul said Jesus did not think being equal to God was something to be grasped and that He emptied Himself and humbled Himself! Jesus became totally vunerable and in His vunerability relied on God’s trustworthiness to help Him navigate the life God sent Him to live.

Do you trust God like that?

If not why not?

Who have you placed your trust in that is more reliable and trustworthy than the God you say you believe [trust] in?

John 2

“23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

1 Peter 2

“13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

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. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

So many church leaders fall into the trap of thinking they are leading God’s people correctly when they themselves have stopped following the Chief Shephered! Following the Shepherd creates suffering and too many leaders stop following Christ the moment the price of suffering becomes too high for them to pay.

These ‘church” leaders are not really leaders because they have compromised their leadership by entrusting themselves to the people God supposedly called them to lead, for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining their position, paycheck and potential promotion.

Never knowing or possibly forgetting it is God who promotes those in His kingdom who remain trustworthy through continuously proving they genuinely trust God at all costs, they demote themselves in His eyes in order to appear promoted to the people who are in truth leading them where they want to go, not where God calls them to go.

“6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Psalms 76 KJV

Did you notice the psalmist did not include “north” in his assestment of where promotion never comes from? Or did he reveal real promotion comes from the north?

God sits enthroned in the “north!”

Isaiah 14:13

But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.”

The pride of lucifer was that he would ascend above the heights of God and His position in the north. There are many functioning in the spirit of lucifer standing before God’s people leading them, some unknowingly, in rebellion against the God they say they love and serve.

How?

By not surrendering to the Lordship and Leadership of Jesus the Sent Son!

Self promotion may look good to some but in the halls of heaven and in the heart of God it is a stench that has eternally disastrous results. Are you willing to risk the eternity God placed in your heart?

The prophet Jeremiah said this of these carnal, corrupt, and compromised “shepherds.”

Jeremiah 50

“6 My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place. 7 All who came upon them have devoured them; And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty, inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.'”

What was their sin?

It was following leaders into what they perceived was a place of stability, security and safety – “From mountain [harder place to live] to a hill [apparent easier place to live].”

Jesus Himself warned about these politically minded shepherds in Matthew 9 – “35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'”

His next statement to them was, “5 ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.'” [Matthew 10]

In other words, “My compassion compels true kingdom shephereds [leaders] to intervene with My compassion, ministry and message, not with the ministry and message of the compromised religious [church] leaders who do not carry My compassion.”

Jesus revealed His kingdom leaders do not stay and pray. Rather they pray as they go intervene!

Dear leader, if your message and ministry is not what Jesus sent His original messengers to say and do your ministry is yours, not His!

Paul spoke of these compromised shepherds in Acts 20 – “ 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [ekklesia] of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

These “savage wolves” are self-promoters and their goal is to dethrone God the Chief Shepherd from His position and power to promote those He qualifies as ready for the promotion!

They would never “advertise” their goal to you but that is their goal nonetheless!

Jesus Himself warned of these demonically inspired “servants” when He said, “Beware of [Be aware of not afraid of] false prophets who come to you [leaders] in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Do not trust anyone – leader or otherwise – who is drawing you to them and away from the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, rule, will and ways. The moment they become more important in their own mind than Jesus is – RUN!

They speak “pervese things” which means they:

  • abandon the proper path of holiness
  • pervert purity for their own pleasures
  • plot against God’s purposes
  • reverse course against what and who they once said they valued
  • serve their own selfish needs
  • twist [distort] truth by misinterpreting it

Who do you really trust?

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 Revolutionary

#TRM

 

 

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!

 

Prophets, Prophecy, Accuracy, and Accountability

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_207f.jpgThere is not one Godly prophet in the Old or New Testaments, including Jesus, who prophesied something that did not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, much less that never came to pass.

In the Old Testament when someone spoke in the name of the Lord and what they said was not true, or what they predicted did not come to pass, they died at the hands of God’s people.

This tells me that Isaiah, who prophesied a virgin would be with child eight centuries before Mary conceived Jesus in the Immaculate Conception, either had a special grace and favor with God and man, or in some fashion his predictive word came to pass in his lifetime.

In the New Testament, those who speak in the name of the Lord something that is not true, or that does not come to pass is not killed by God’s people, but their ministry can die because God’s people have the right and responsibility to judge what is said to be from God.

Paul and Silas found out that although the people in Berea were extremely excited for them to come teach them, they did not take what Paul and Silas taught as truth as being true until they searched the Scriptures themselves – daily.

“10 The brethren [in Thessalonica] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” [Acts 17]

This examining of the Old Testament Scriptures [here Greek / graphe – written word] is a different word Paul used when he commanded the Thessalonicans to examine prophecy and those who prophesy. This word ‘examine’ means to investigate, sift, interrogate, question. It comes from a root word meaning to repeatedly and intensively forensically test. When teaching people how to study the Bible I encourage them to be like a detective walking into a crime scene with no preconceived ideas on what happened. There are six questions the inquisitive inquisitor should ask every text they read. They are: who, what, when, where, why and how.

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As you ask those questions gazing into the text you will begin to see the truths that are contained within it. Like looking at a hologram, it may take some time to see what is in there but when the time is taken to see the student will quickly begin to  learn.

This examination will be encouraged by Paul in his great instruction on judging prophets and prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:29. We will “examine” that text later!

Apparently Paul and Silas were fine with being examined, as well as their teaching being examined by the Thessalonican people. Every legitimate minister is okay with being examined!

In many places nobility is lacking both in those who minister and those they minister to.

Credibility is such a rare commodity in our world today and I am greatly concerned a lack of credibility and accountability has crept into the church Jesus is building as well. Fact checking God’s ministers has been around since the beginning of when people started saying they came [to speak, to teach] in the name of the Lord. Too many “hear from God” and leave when the examination commences.

Even Jesus submitted His ministry to those He ministered to – “37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” [John 10]

Jesus’ words and His works matched the works of His Father which should have convinced the Jews He was legitimate. What we say is as important as what we do and when they are not congruent people have a right to reject what we say and do, which means they reject us as worthy to minister to them. unless we become vulnerable and accountable to them.

You cannot disconnect what a person says and does from that person! “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” so what we say reveals what is really in our heart.

Nicodemus who was a teacher of the Jews recognized this connection when he said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” [John 3:2].

In the Old Testament the punishment was so severe for speaking in God’s name something untrue, or that did not come to pass because God’s people did not have the Holy Spirit inside of them and could easily be led astray. Prophets were accepted as God’s delegated spokesmen.

In the New Testament every true born again believer has the Holy Spirit inside of them and it is their responsibility to test everything to ensure what they are told is true. Also, every born again believer has the right and responsibility to speak for the God that saved them, even moving in the gift of prophecy.

John wrote this in 1 John 2: “18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. . . . 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

When people run away from the very people they have said they love and are connected to because what they say and do come under scrutiny by those they say they love and are connected, it reveals a heart of corruption that John identifies as the spirit of the antichrist. John said many antichrists were on the scene in his day and those antichrists came from within the church. Keep in mind there was one church per region so it was unlikely those who left a church could become part of another one easily and inconspicuously.

Today, accountability is very difficult because there are multitudes of churches in search of gifted and anointed people. Most church growth is simply people shifting to different churches. Some simple fact checking could go a long way to rooting out the rebellious!

Two thousand years ago John referred to the time he lived in as “the last hour” twice in verse 18. John goes on to exhort the people to trust the anointing [Spirit of truth] that was in them would keep them safe from error. This means God’s people best be in God’s written Word [graphe in the Old and New Testaments] so they have God’s plumb line to line up what is being said or done in the name of the Lord with God’s eternal and established Word.

The anointing inside each believer is there to ensure they are not duped by the anointing of someone presenting themselves a representing God. When the one ministering insists their anointing is so good that those they minister to do not need to verify what they say and do is genuine, they misrepresent the God they claim to represent.

For all those concerned that we are living in the last days take a deep breath and relax, John lived in the last hour.

In fact, John wrote that Jesus spoke of this hour in the fourth chapter of his gospel.

“19 The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'”

In this text Jesus revealed an hour was coming twice and the second time He referred to it He said, “and now is,” two thousand years ago. John and Jesus were speaking of a contemporary reality that was imminent to that generation. The last hour, which was the hour that was “now is [here]” was the total destruction of Judaism as a life giving system. In fact, by the time John wrote his “last hour” prediction the destruction of Jerusalem and the sacred Jewish temple was fast approaching.

The “hour” was not understood to be a literal sixty minute time span but an imminent time change that was about to take place. I believe that “hour” started ticking down when Jesus died on the Cross and God ripped the veil in the temple from the top to the bottom exposing the Holy of Holies as being void of the Ark of the Covenant.

Now I know that what I just said is considered ridiculous in our pop-culture Christian world but I believe every Book of the New Testament, including The Revelation of Jesus Christ, was completed prior to 70AD.

Paul said this in Hebrews chapter eight verse thirteen, “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” It is understood that Hebrews was written in or about 67AD meaning within three years or so Judaism died and was burned with fire along with Jerusalem and the temple.

Jesus had predicted prior to His Olivet Discourse and in that Discourse that the generation who heard what He said would see the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Jesus even referred to His disciples multiple times in His discourse. [See Matthew 23, 24; Mark 13]

The pre-incarnate Christ appeared to Abraham and Sarah revealing, “At this time next year you will have a son.” Here is the text found in Genesis 18 – “9 Then they said to him, ‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ 10 He said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’ 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh.'”

Now we could take this predictive prophecy two ways. First, we could say that the Lord was saying Sarah would have an immaculate conception. But we know that is not what was meant because there could only be one immaculate conception and that would not happen for approximately 2,021 years. Second, Abraham and Sarah, although past the age of childbearing and quite possibly the age of engaging in sexual intercourse, went into their tent and had marital relations needed to conceive a child.

The second option seems more likely to me based on what Paul said in Hebrews chapter eleven and Romans chapter four.

Hebrews 11 – “11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”

Sarah’s faith energized her reproductive organs and quite possibly activated her sexual desire. They had tried for twenty five years to have a child without success. In addition to being too old to have children in the natural [Sarah was ninety and Abraham was one hundred] we can safely assume the desire to try waned over the years too.

Romans 4 – “16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 [as it is written, ‘A father of many nations have I made you’] in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore It was also credited to him as righteousness.”

‘Perform’ here means he was able to do the necessary work required to produce what the Lord promised them. Abraham took inventory of his natural condition and weighed that against the weight of God’s promise of a son with Sarah. Abraham faced the facts of Sarah’s and his condition but chose to focus on the truth of God’s word. As he considered what he was facing his respect for God far outweighed his history of losing expectation of becoming a father of the son of promise. Abraham’s faith grew stronger as he glorified God. As he became fully assured that what God promised was going to come to pass he was given the ability and desire to perform. His performance was credited to him as righteousness.

Agabus was a recognized prophet in the church in Jerusalem. His prophetic ministry is revealed in Acts 11 and Acts 21. What we find in those texts is Agabus was a predictive prophet because both times he is mentioned he is predicting future events.

It is interesting to me God used a prophet whose name means locust to prophesy a famine, but He did. Maybe Agabus himself was the message to the saints about a future problem in Judea!

“27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate [signify] by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.” [Acts 11]

Luke writes that a plurality of prophets arrived in Antioch from the Jerusalem church. We do not know how many prophets were with Agabus and what the additional prophets did in Antioch. All we are told is Agabus prophesied a famine that would affect the whole world. Now, “whole world” can be interpreted as the whole world, the whole world Rome was ruling over, or the whole land of Judea. My guess is he was predicting a famine throughout Judea because that is where the relief supplies were directed and delivered to the elders – in Jerusalem!

We do not even know if Agabus and his team of prophets were a part of the eldership team in Jerusalem, just the provisions were delivered to them by Barnabas and Saul [Paul].

Did you notice his predictive prophesy came to pass during the reign of Claudius. Luke does not record Agabus placing a time frame on his word from God. Historians put this famine in 45AD. If Agabus prophesied in or about 40AD then his prophecy came to pass within five years.

The next time we find Agabus prophesying is in Acts 21 where he prophesied in Caesarea that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem. Luke writes that Paul was arrested in the temple during that trip to Jerusalem.

Do you see that predictive prophets cannot claim they speak for God when what they predict does not come to pass in a reasonable amount of time? Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem within a generation [forty years – 30AD – 70AD] so the people had every right to expect that within forty years His prediction would come true. And it did!

Agabus did not put a time frame on either one of his predictive prophesies although it could have been, and very well may have been, understood Paul would be arrested on that trip into Jerusalem. And he was indeed arrested on that trip to Jerusalem.

There is no evidence that God ever releases a prophetic word that does not have a shelf life of a reasonable amount of time. And when a prophet gives a specific time frame, just as Jesus did in His Olivet Discourse, that prophet is on the hook for what they predicted to come to pass.

How else could God’s people “examine [test] everything carefully” and “hold onto that which is good” as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5, if they must continue to hang on forever waiting on the word to come true?

“19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

Paul first said, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Many have interpreted that to mean “do not despise prophesies” but that is not what the Holy Spirit meant when He had Paul write it before “do not despise prophecies.” Quenching the Holy Spirit first and foremost means to not allow Him to function in His primary calling to comfort and convict, as well as to lead people into all the truth [God’s written Word].

Jesus first reveals the Holy Spirit as ‘Helper.” Then as the “Spirit of truth.” Then as the One who “will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14]

Helper means One called to come alongside for the purpose of providing aid, to advocate, assist, counsel, console, and intercede for.

.Then he said, “Do not despise prophesies” which means it is possible for God’s people to despise prophecy. We know that many church cultures refuse to allow prophets and the gift of prophecy to operate in their environments. Apparently prophecy is despised in some places today and I believe the reason is because of all the “words from God” that never come to pass.

Then he said, “Hold onto that which is good” meaning not to hold onto anything or anyone that is not good.

Lastly he said, “abstain from every form of evil.” ‘Abstain’ literally means: To prevent, to keep your distance from, and to not receive [have] anything evil [harmful, perverted, diseased, impoverished, and not productive].

What did Paul mean when he wrote, “examine everything carefully”? Paul uses language that those who tested metals and currency for purity and authenticity understood. Paul wanted the saints at Thessalonica to test by fire and by pressure what was offered to them, and those who offered it. Paul had written something similar to the saints in Corinth. “each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work [and words]” [1 Corinthians 3:13].

Paul was instructing the Thessalonican saints not to be credulous but to examine everything and everyone with great care. Where Luke wrote these same people poured through the Scriptures [Old Testament] carefully to compare what they were being taught as truth with the Truth, Paul wrote they were to examine everything and everyone with heated discourse, applying pressure in private, just like a smelter of silver and gold and the person tasked with ensuring the currency was not counterfeit, to discover what was in the heart of the people presenting themselves as legitimate ministers.

One great tool for the initial examination is the gift of the Spirit known as discerning of spirits. This gift is given by the Holy Spirit to alert us to what kind of spirit is operating in any given situation, individual or group setting. This gift discerns [distinguishes and identifies] whether it is the Holy Spirit, human spirit, angel or demonic spirit operating in our midst. The Holy Spirit is the first line of defense when we are hearing anyone speak for God. Being sensitive to the Spirit is vitally important and we must learn to recognize what He is saying inside of us. Then we must allow the Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth as found in the Scripture [graphe].

I believe this gift was used by Paul when he confronted the slave girl operating in divination [false prophecy] in Philippi [Ats 16]. “16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, ‘These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.’ 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!’ And it came out at that very moment.”

Here we see it is possible to have an accurate word come from a person with a demonic spirit. Divination is obtaining unknown knowledge through a spiritual source other than God, thus the slave girl had a spirit of divination. She had given herself over to it because it gave her the ability to profit monetarily.

This spirit is a counterfeit to the gifts of the Holy Spirit called words of knowledge and words of wisdom, which often work in tandem with prophecy. The Greek word used is Pýthōn. Isn’t it interesting how that serpent is always looking for an opportunity to slip into our midst to deceive us? How did Paul know she was not a legitimate prophetic person? The Holy Spirit’s gift of the discerning of spirits is what I believe he used to recognize she was a fortune teller.

Paul cast that spirit out of her and that caused a riot and eventually a revival church to be birthed! In between there was pain, prison and then greater manifest Presence! That is usually God’s process to revival in an individual or a region!

In Philippi Paul and his team met a lady from Thyatira named Lydia. Lydia was an entrepreneur who sold purple fabrics. Lydia means travail and Thyatira means the odor of affliction. Lydia was a worshiper of God whose heart God opened to receive Paul, his team and their ministry. Lydia provided a temporary base of operations in Philippi for the advancement of the gospel of the kingdom to proceed into Europe.

I encourage you to read the resurrected Jesus’ words to the church at Thyatira found in Revelation 2:18-29. He begins with [verse 18] – “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:” In the middle of His word to Thyatira Jesus says in verse 23, “and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Do you notice a pattern?

We saw above what John wrote in 1 John 2 about the Holy Spirit [anointing] protecting us from being deceived in. He also wrote this in 1 John 5 [KJV] – “6 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

Jesus, before he came as a human was known in eternity past as the Word [John 1:1]. John wrote the Word became flesh [1:14]. Now, since He ascended to the throne next to His Father He is known as the only Mediator between God and man, “the Man Christ Jesus,” Now in eternity present and future He is known as the Man who Mediates.

This is in and of itself a huge subject but suffice it to say the Father, the Word that still remains in heaven now that Jesus came to earth and returned as a resurrected Man, and the Spirit all bear witness in earth to that which is accepted in heaven for use in the earth.

Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 – “29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Paul did not allow for prophecy to go without being judged and neither did he allow for prophets to escape judgment. Lets examine carefully Paul’s instructions on how to steward prophets and prophetic ministry.

  • In a particular service only two to three prophets should speak
    • I believe this is because every matter is to be established out of the mouths of two to three witnesses which means the two to three prophets prophesying should prophesy things that are in harmony with each other and God’s eternal Word
    • 2 Peter 1 – “19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
      • Scripture, all of it, is to be how we judge any prophet or prophetic ministry
      • If someone prophesies anything contrary to Scripture it is to be rejected and if the person prophesying refuses to admit what they have prophesied is not in line with Scripture they are to be rejected because they are self interpreting and judging their own prophecies and prophetic ministry
  • As each prophet speaks “the others” pass judgment
    • Is Paul referring to the other prophets or the others in the hearing of the prophets
      • I believe the answer is yes, both the other prophets and the others in the hearing of the prophecies are to judge what is prophesied and those who prophesy
      • What does “pass judgment” mean
        • Pick it apart
        • To separate by straining through a strainer
        • To render a judicial decision based on every aspect of what is said and or done
  • The purpose of judging prophets and their prophecies is so:
    • All may learn
    • All may be encouraged
      • Who are the “all” who may learn and be encouraged
      • I believe all is all inclusive meaning all the prophets and all those exposed to their prophetic ministry
        • Prophets, just like apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, so their primary function is training everyone in prophetic ministry
    • Each prophet is to steward his own spirit by keeping it clean and pure and submitted to the other prophets and prophetic people who have learned and are being encouraged in their prophetic ministry
    • A prophet who refuses to pass through the judgment is to be judged as false
    • Encouragement is one of the three legs the gift of prophecy stands on [v3]
  • God is not confused and He does not spread or allow the spread of confusion in any of the churches of the saints

Again, to judge prophecy is to judge the person prophesying, whether that person is a prophet or not.

The New Testament warns about these false people and ministers:

  • False apostles [2 Corinthians 11:13; Revelation 2:2]
  • False prophets [Matthew 24:11,24; Mark 13:22; Acts 13:6; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10]
  • False Christs [saviors] [Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22]
  • False teachers [2 Peter 2:1]
  • False brethren [2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4]
  • False witness [Matthew 15:19; 19:18]
  • False circumcision [Philippians 3:2]

A cursory reading of church history reveals within the generation that was alive when Jesus was walking the planet all of the above were contemporary concerns for the genuine Christian, Christian leader and church community. And in the two thousand years since they are still a concern for leaders of the churches of the saints.

James tells us in chapter 3 verse 1 – “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

“Stricter judgment” means a greater, larger, louder and stronger condemnation of wrong. This means the decisions made carry more weight and will travel farther than the judgments [decisions] of those who do not teach God’s people. This phrase comes from a Greek word that means: To separate for the purpose of approving or disapproving, determining what is right or wrong, and what is safe or unsafe. What is intended is to determine whether the one teaching is worthy of being trusted as a teacher.

That is why James uses the word “become” a teacher. Teachers are gifts of Christ who He calls to be[come] teachers. This means anyone called better know that it is a holy calling and not to be taken lightly. ‘Become’ means: To arise into the position, and onto the public stage you were called to take.

Paul reveals that teachers are third in line of importance in the church Jesus is building [the churches of the saints]. “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers.” [1 Corinthians 12:28]

So, if teachers who are third in line come under a “stricter judgment” what kind of judgment do apostles and prophets come under?

This is where accuracy and accountability intersect. If a person who teaches or prophesies speaks something that is not true or does not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, then that person must be willing to give an account of what they said to those they said it to. Not only that, but they must root out the root problem[s] that caused them to speak in the name of the Lord something the Lord was not saying. It is not enough to say, “I’m sorry!” The person must understand and articulate why they said what they said.

If they refuse to make themselves and their ministry accountable then they are to be judged as false ministers because their heart is not holy.

The only way for a person judged as false can be reinstated in good standing is by repenting and submitting to the delegated authorities in the church of the saints they worship in.

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