The review is below, this is the context to my reading of the book…
Recently I was reading about the Lakeland, Toronto, IHOP, Revival Alliance, apostolic aligment, apostolic protocol and the many other developments out there. I even dipped back into morass of currently prophecy being poured out on the internet.
Overall, I was shocked at the control, the new age philosophies, the focus on “neutral energies” and various angelic-delivered information which I found in my reading. One person even apparently has a golden sword that only she can give to only the holiest of people. But none of us are holy – except if we receive His holiness, but her movement is not focussed on that.
So, I struggled. I was confused by the very big and well known names that have attached themselves to aspects of this weirdness. I became confused. So many “prophets” got the election wrong and I wonder if it occured to them to print a retraction and to renew themselves to seek Him for clarity in their error?! I didn’t see even one person do that – although I am sure many of us did, but I didn’t see that online.
The problem of control
What should I do? Is it ok to disagree with these enormous names in the church? What about these new things called “apostolic protocol”? What about “apostolic alignment”? Did Todd fall because he was out of alignement? Uh-oh. And if I disagree, is my “covering” at risk? (The bible doesn’t speak of a covering other than the covering from the Holy Spirit… but these writers are pretty convincingly scary!)
I seem doomed if I don’t agree with them. I seem safe if I do agree with them. And here is my problem… they are in the wrong, so how can I come into alignment with error? How can believing error make me safe?
What should I do? According to their teaching, I don’t have any options that don’t result in me losing my covering and becoming doomed! Apparently I’m helpless and defenseless without them. I wish I hadn’t read their teaching now, but it’s too late, what should I do?
In this situation I think we need to go back to an understanding of Jesus Christ as our foundation and as the Cornerstone. Let’s remember that love is an action, and by choosing to seek Him, that is an act of love – to Him. And when we enter into love, He He reveals more of Himself to us – which can result in a growth of faith.
This problem I faced is an example of that.
Seek first the Kingdom of God
So… to resolve the problem… within myself I decided to continue to seek first the Kingdom of God so that all these things may be added to me – rather than go around trying to collect it all myself through angelic visitations, or whatever else.
But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. – Matt 6:33
So it was added to me
As so often happens, when I am faced with confusion and distraction and I then decide to focus exclusively on Him. God graciously gives me a new opportunity to deepen my faith in Him.
I happened on a book. 🙂
I was blessed by receiving this amazing book “Jesus through middle eastern eyes” and it’s absolutely astounding at how the gospels come alive when you find out what Jesus’ behaviours mean in that cultural context.
Here are just a few of His counter-cultural actions:
- When He walked into a room and sat down first.
- When He walked beyond a town that had come out to meet Him, refusing their celebration, but He returned into the town with the tax collector.
- When He walked through ritually unclean Samaria.
- When He sat on the edge of the well, refusing to move 20 feet away from the Samaritan woman as she came to the well.
Until I read this book, I honestly had little understanding of how much Jesus did the right thing, as opposed to doing what the culture demanded He do. As the Pharisee said
They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. – Mark 12:14
And also now I understand more fully what Paul meant when he said to be in this world, but NOT of it! Do not conform ourselves to this world.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Rom 12:2
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15:19
for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world – John 17:14
I simply cannot explain how this book has impacted me, by showing me what Jesus was ACTUALLY saying when He taught His parables, what He had in mind – culturally – when He taught how to pray… and so on. It’s impossible to give this book high enough ratings, for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the tremendously counter-cultural walk that Jesus Christ took.
So when this confusion occured again on Friday, after reading what some high profile Christians are dabbling in, I chose once again to exclusively focus on Jesus Christ (as He is described in the NT and also as He was promised to come in the OT) and the God was wonderful in once again rewarding my seeking, by showing me another deep resource.
I immediately happened on information which matches the idea that had been placed within me… to compare the promises of the Messiah to come, with the events in Christ’s life! The job has been partly done and I can now begin to modify this information and remove confusing/distracting parts and add more parts which are missing.
And that list – which I will continue to work on and turn into a book – is the topic of the next post. 🙂
Hi Mark. Please consider these scriptures in light of your post I hope they build you up and God continues to speaks to you through them.It is good as you say to focus on Jesus Christ. God’s word is the deepest resource!
Hebrews 13:8-9 says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
2 Timothy 2:15-19
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Thanks Paul, it is scriptures like these that will set many other readers free from bondage to authority figures. God bless you! Mark.