28. God's Heart in a Man
If the desire of your being is not to share Heart with God, to have the Father's very Heart beating in your own chest, to have the Father's Heart as the fountain and source of all that you are and all that you do, then you are not reading this letter or hearing this Word. Since you are reading this letter and hearing this Word, I know exactly what it is that you want. You want God's Heart to BE your only heart
28. God's Heart in a Man
Allow me to speculate.
What if God anointed me as the second witness of Christ?
[Please, when I say “me,” I do not consider myself, but rather the “me” of this word I share of Christ revealed, fully together with you. I speak of myself only to place faith, the faith of the Son of God, in front of my own eyes and to place the word “me” or “I” into your mouth as you speaking of yourself. The “I” is always the “I” in “nevertheless I live, yet it is Christ.”)
What if God anointed me together with you as the second witness of Christ because of the testimony of Christ which we speak?
First, why would God do such a thing? – Simple. It's how He gets people to turn and hear the voice that is speaking to them so that they also might enter into all the Joy of Salvation.
People have every right and most certainly ought to be highly suspicious of any “claims” by anyone.
The claims Jesus made were off-the-wall ridiculous. If the Spirit of God had not performed wonderful things for people as Jesus spoke, then His testimony would not have been regarded or recorded.
Fred Pruitt wondered recently why so few line up to hear the joyful reality of Christ living as them. There is a simple reason: God has not yet anointed that word in that way. For the same reason, fewer than 100 people regard in any real way the word that I share.
God will anoint His Word and those who share that Word in its time. We must understand what that means.
The Word that I share is simply Romans 8:29 expanded to all of its meaning by the entire rest of the Bible; that the whole purpose of God is that we are just like the Lord Jesus Christ in all possible ways except honor. He is always pre-eminent, the first among many of His same kind.
We are the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His Person. We are normal human beings, the first to walk upon this earth since Jesus; we are God revealed.
Now, that is the full testimony of the gospel and you well know the vast number of verses I am able to line up, verses at the heart and core of Paul and John's gospel, to back up that claim.
Here's the problem. In spite of the testimony of God in the Bible, no one believes such a thing, not even those who are close. For that reason, when God does anoint with manifest display those of us who believe and speak this Word, the clash of discord reverberating throughout the entire Christian world will be like nothing ever known before upon this earth.
This word that I share can be received only by those who humble themselves all the way down to the bottom of the Jordan. (You know that John baptised Jesus right close to the very place that Salmon led the people of Israel across the bottom of that same Jordan!) This word that I share, if it be true, if it be the counsel of God, must shatter most everything most Christians cling to as “the truth of the gospel.”
Consider a good Christian of many years, anointed by God in gifts and service, who has sought the Lord and walked with God all of his or her life. Consider what must be shattered inside such a one in order to grapple with the startling reality of God anointing a Word that seems to oppose everything this one has ever considered to be truth, yet also glorifies God and what He actually says beyond anything they have ever heard.
Here is a list of shattered things, just for starters: heaven, hell, damnation, salvation, the kingdoms of this world starting with Israel and America, the belief in a “gravity-only” universe, the “Christian” definition of man and human flesh, the “Christian” definition of Christ, the entire world's definition of God.
In fact, almost everything this dear believer in Jesus holds to be “the truth of God” must be shattered, everything except one: Jesus lives in your heart. Those who will humble themselves to the loss of all things will find the one thing remaining, the only thing they really want: Jesus Alive in MY Heart!
And everything else must go, for that is the only thing true, living entirely and only in John 14:20.
David walked with God from the time he was a little boy, but God did not anoint him as king until he was thirty years old. Jesus walked with God from the time He was a little boy, but God did not anoint Him as the Messiah until he was thirty years old.
Why did both David and Jesus walk for many years as God's chosen without anyone paying attention or regarding them as being anything? – Because God will anoint only one thing. God will anoint His own Heart.
Heart comes first. Then, God is known second.
Let me tell you what! If the desire of your being is not to share Heart with God, to have the Father's very Heart beating in your own chest, to have the Father's Heart as the fountain and source of all that you are and all that you do, then you are not reading this letter or hearing this Word. Since you are reading this letter and hearing this Word, I know exactly what it is that you want.
You want God's Heart to BE your only heart, as have I, unconsciously from the time I was seven, consciously from the time I was nineteen, and with purpose from the time I was twenty one. I write for one reason. I will not go into senility and death without knowing the fulfillment of my dream, the fulfillment of the New Covenant in my life; therefore I speak and speak and speak though I do not yet fully see.
I will see God in my flesh upon this earth!
I have shared before what was a simple encounter with God for me at the time, but has grown in my understanding as the moment when God first planted in me the knowledge of His heart as mine, though I did not know what He had done. The time was Thanksgiving weekend in November of 1994; I was 38 years old.
Yes, I was but 21 when I first read Annie Schissler's vision of God planting His own Heart out from His being into those of His elect who would receive it on this earth (shared in “Trumpets”). That vision confirmed the word of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the church that I had been hearing preached across the pulpit and from the throne of God, but made it personal and vividly real for me. Reading that vision was the first real planting of that dream inside of me, yet I could not possibly believe such a thing could be for such a little boy as myself, that I would possess in my own breast the very Heart of God beating as my own. Yet I hoped for it and wept for it before God from then until the last few years. I no longer hope or weep; I simply believe that God speaks the truth and account His Truth as full and complete.
Thanksgiving weekend, 1994, my family and I attended a Christian retreat in the Cascade mountains of Oregon. It was like a community setting, about 100 people gathered together, eating meals together, sharing services together, fellowshipping together. The camp was a series of lodges and cabins on a wooded slope. Just below the main lodge was a rose garden, and at the edge of the rose garden was a little prayer hut overlooking the valley bottom below.
There on my knees in that prayer hut, I met with God and He with me. It was nothing extraordinary, just quiet and real. (I don't like it when people flash their “experiences with God” as credentials; my “experiences with God” have been nothing more than simple sorts of things. They are real only because I believe in Jesus.)
Having lived for many years in the move fellowships, I knew and carried in my heart a vision of the fulfillment of the Third Feast. I knew that I carried a Word that these precious people needed to hear. As I looked across these regular Christians gathered there, I saw the Bride of Jesus, a beautiful woman, trusting and good. But I also saw that she would not follow just anyone. If the Word I carried was for her, than I must be broken in His hand.
There in that prayer hut, I saw the kind of ministry to whom alone God would grant the joy of leading His woman into marriage with Him. It was nothing more than a simple knowing, a seed planted in my heart. I knew that I must have God's heart in mine before He would ever speak through me. That was twenty years ago.
I picked up The Covenant last night to see what a brother who reads these letters has been reading. I read the chapters from “The Second Place of Knowing God” through “God of the Cup.” Wow, what a progression, from gentle entreaty to wham – on your face and silent before an implacable God.
So I thought back. I wrote “God of the Cup” during the summer just two years ago. It seems far longer. In the next chapter after, I mention that I had gone through the most difficult time yet with God seeming far away and everything seeming stupid and pointless. In the middle of that I wrote “God of the Cup,” not thinking I would send it out. But God has always been with me in the middle of my agony, though I knew it not.
You see, I don't go through such things any more. God places such hoops before us, but as we pass through them, continuing in the conviction that He is with us, carrying us utterly, regardless of what we feel or see, then, on the other side, they lessen.
But it's been a year now since I've experienced any of that kind of dis-connection from God. Just last week I went through a couple of days of autistic fear after which I humbled myself to the lady I am working for only to discover that my fears were completely unfounded, silly me. But God was never anything but close and with me and I with Him BECAUSE I see no other way. This is now just His way of keeping me meek in His hand. I certainly can't get airs about myself, yet what is most important to me is His closeness, and that always remains.
I thought through what really made the change and realized that it was last summer, when I recorded "Sealed in the Midst of the Storm" into audio, speaking it out loud. That's in Through Eyes of Fire. Speaking the words of that prayer and that confession of faith, built on what came before, sealed something in me. So now, I can hardly remember what it was like, what I went through when I wrote “God of the Cup.”
Writing and speaking “The Day of Atonement” has also made a big impact on me. I won't know the full meaning of that until I have some hind sight, but I know it's real.
You know, I put myself out as nothing more than a path finder and a map maker. The key for me is speaking these things out loud, the confessions of faith and the prayers of faith that show up in my letters. When you come across them in the letters you read, you should do that, even together with others. I've been around the power and demonstrations of the Spirit for many years, but I've never known the impact that comes from these simple out-loud declarations of faith. Here is the real honor of Jesus; the other is just to get our attention.
You see, I am a highly educated professional man of many accomplishments. Yet to keep going in this job, I had to humble myself, feeling like a little boy coming to the lady I work for, smarter than me, as to mommy to get a bandaid for my silly and unnecessary hurts. This is how God keeps me in His hand, and I am so incredibly grateful.
In other words, you can follow Jesus by the path I have mapped, without worrying about ever coming under some sort of religious control. I have no such ability. But on the other hand, as that same little boy, the encouragement I receive from knowing that other precious brothers and sisters are connecting with the Father through my rambling words is the most valuable and important thing to me, almost as valuable as knowing the Father Himself filling me full.
God will soon anoint us as His witnesses, and when I say "us," I mean many. But when He does, He will not be concerned that we will become foolish and take that anointing to ourselves, as almost all before us have done. That's why He has chosen the weak and foolish of this world. I am convinced that it is better to be little in His hand in knowing Him than mighty in the "things of God."
How does God plant His heart into the breast of a man or a woman walking on this earth? How does God place His heart into you and me?
One of the key ways by which we know the Lord Jesus Christ is by knowing David, for they were more alike than one might think. The story of David is the most detailed human story in the Bible, occupying more pages than the four gospels and placed right at the middle of the human experience and of the Bible.
I have found Me a man after My own heart.
I now understand why God said this about David; I never really understood before.
Think about what I said in the last letter about the perfect and continual match between God's geography and our geography, between God's anatomy and our anatomy. This is how David knew God from the time he was a boy. – David was different from almost all others.
I would suggest that you obtain for yourself and read A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards, if you have not already done so. I can share little more about David than Edwards has already captured.
Please don't mistake the truth I shared in the last letter, “Thinking Like Jesus,” that David was cavalier and careless about sin. When David saw his sin, it broke his heart. Yet, in both mind and heart he stayed utterly with God regardless of his sin. David ran into the Holy of Holies WITH his sin because he KNEW that there was the ONLY place where it must go, into the annihilation of God found only upon the Mercy Seat.
David would not be anywhere except in God's House, in God's presence, sin or no sin.
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in God's House than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
I have just come to see that the laboring of the Spirit of God through me over these letters in-between “The Day of Atonement” and “The Feast of Tabernacles” is centered on judgment, the judgment given to the Son by the Father, the judgment now fulfilled through us by the Son who reveals Himself by us.
I did not think to turn this letter towards the issue of judgment. Yet I have already brought judgment into the picture – the Word that we carry must judge all things. Thus all things held by our dear brethren must be shattered, everything except Jesus alive in our hearts.
– The Order of Melchizedek IS the beating Heart of a Man. –
I want to bring in a picture God placed before us, a picture that has been governing my thoughts, a picture towards which I am writing: the breastplate of the High Priest, which Aaron bore.
Upon Aaron's breastplate were mounted twelve jewels, precious stones, each one representing one of the tribes of Israel. Aaron carried all Israel upon his heart before God in all of his priestly duties. I will give just a few lines concerning the breastplate here, but I want to place this image in your mind as well. Read the chapter.
You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen . . . And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones . . . And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name . . .
So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually. And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim (Lights and Perfections), and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually. Exodus 28:15-30
The breastplate of the New Covenant does not “replace” the picture of Aaron's breastplate, rather the two are merged together as one, the Heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, this heart now beating in our chests, that which binds it and girds it, that which it bears.
And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. Revelation 1:13
The judgment of the Son through us is right now focused on one thing alone.
Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
There is no greater honor given to any friend of the Bridegroom than to join the hand of His bride to His hand, and then to step back again into the shadows, rejoicing in the Joy of our Friend.
Here alone is the Heart of the Bridegroom. Here is the burning Passion, the all-consuming Desire that fills the Heart of this Glorious One who fills our hearts full with Himself.
Do you want to be able to identify God's ministry in these last days? Simple. Their hearts embrace and reach out over the entire Bride of Christ, all who belong to Jesus in earth and heaven. By the intercession of their laid down lives, they see her in perfect marriage union with the Lord Jesus Christ and nowhere else.
They bear upon their hearts the judgment of all Israel, all who belong to Jesus. They bear upon their hearts the fullness and the completion of the Atonement.
They are little in their own sight; John 14:20 is where they live, their every breath.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. David, in Psalm 27:4
The house of the Lord, where His beauty is always known, is John 14:20.
KNOW that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
Judge all you hear or read by the presence or absence of the full knowledge of living inside of John 14:20 found in the speaker and in his or her words.
I travailed in spirit and in heart over the words of the Bible from beginning to end for thirty-two years, groaning with groanings I could not utter. I held pen in hand many times, longing to write the voice of God reverberating in my soul, longing to speak. No word ever came, in spite of the deep angst of the Spirit upon me. Then, once I KNEW that I lived only in John 14:20, in late fall, 2008, having passed through nine months of being tested in that knowledge by all the wails of the accuser, God opened the writing of this word to me. It started as a stream and quickly grew into a flood.
I must write. Some may think that I am “coming up with” what I share. No. Thirty-eight years, now, of travail over the Word God speaks in tears and on my knees before God is simply being released.
There is a REASON why God tells us to shut up, to be silent before Him. If we are not living utterly and only inside of John 14:20, then our words cannot be the truth, but only one more rendition of the lie. It is impossible for us to speak the truth except we walk KNOWING that God fills us full, that we are one with the Father.
We know Christ only by first speaking Christ; after that, we have something true to say.
There are three ungodly definitions of “judgment” that are in vogue throughout Christian and religious realms. The first is that judgment is to punish, that God judges by punishing people. The second is that judgment is to embarrass, that hitting people with their mistakes, failures, and sins will somehow shock them into “doing what is right.” The third is no judgment at all; everything is cool; God just loves everybody.
God certainly loves everyone, but no-judgment is not in anyone's picture.
Aaron bore upon his breast the judgment of all Israel.
Jesus bore upon His breast the judgment of all mankind. To see that judgment, however, we do not look at the afflicted body upon the cross. Rather, we look upon the Mercy Seat, the throne of God.
That Mercy Seat is now our hearts.
Understand, we do not “repeat” the Atonement of Jesus, one sacrifice for sins forever. Rather, that Atonement, Jesus, living now in our hearts, is revealed to all by us.
The four non-feast days in between the Day of Atonement and the first Day of Tabernacles have taken on a deeper meaning for me. Think of four as north, south, east, and west. Think of four as the height, width, depth, and length in Ephesians 3. Think of four as the rivers of Eden watering the whole earth.
The Day of Atonement is fulfilled in all fulness now in our lives. The four days from the Atonement to Tabernacles are the extending of that Atonement, the Mercy Seat, our hearts, over all the Bride of Christ.
Understand, our concern is not for the world right now. When I say, “all who belong to Jesus,” I am fully including those who belong to Jesus, but who are not yet born again. When I say that our concern is not for the world right now, I am speaking of all those who do NOT belong to Jesus in this present age.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37 – But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:26-27
Let me describe again the Mercy Seat of God that is our hearts, the place of God's choosing, the judgment that we bear. I repeat myself. I have described it many times and I will describe it many times again. I will say it over and over because I don't know if anyone else on this planet is saying it. I will say it again because you don't get it. I will speak it and speak it because I don't get it.
My heart IS the Mercy Seat of God. My heart is sprinkled with Blood, sprinkled seven times by the finger of our High Priest. Cherubim overshadow my heart, bearing in themselves the lights and the perfections, for they are light and perfection. I draw into my heart, into the Love of God shed abroad within it, all the offences of my brothers and sisters, all they do and say that is offensive to me. There all that is unholy is judged.
The empty tomb IS the judgment of God. Placing sin into the empty tomb, there between the cherubs is no little thing. It is mercy, and mercy is terrible. The judgment of God upon all sin is absolute, and it is finished.
Then, bearing in my heart, bearing in the Mercy Seat of God, this one whom Jesus loves, I place this person into the ascending life of Christ, carrying them out of death and into life.
Did Jesus “make people do what is right” when He bore their sins in His body upon the cross?
Making people do what is right is not the judgment of God. Affirming people in their iniquity is not the judgment of God.
God's judgment takes away the sin, but sin that is not released cannot be judged.
David took his sin right into the Holy of Holies, giving all of it immediately to God.
We also have done the same. Yet having taken all our sin into the Holiest Place in the Universe, there we leave it all in the empty grave, and, turning around, now we bear in our breasts that same Mercy Seat.
We do not repeat the Atonement. Jesus reveals His finished Atonement through us.
Picture the clerk, you and me, as I shared in “Sacrifice: Redemption.” There is only one thing more wicked than sin. That one thing more wicked than sin is holding onto the sin that Jesus already purchased from us.
There are two reasons why Christians hold onto their sins. The first is that they want to keep sin for themselves, that they might live in it, just like Adam did. The second is that they want to blame God for their sinful condition, that they might be righteous themselves, just like Adam did. The first become fleshy; the second become religious.
We stand absolutely and only in the judgment of God; we walk only in the light.
Here am I! I and the children whom You have given Me.
And by living inside the judgment of God, bearing in our bodies the very Heart of God, the Mercy Seat, the judgment of Christ flows out from us. Life comes first; judgment follows after and then liberty for all.
The four days between the Day of Atonement and the first Day of Tabernacles are the days of judgment.
Here is where David fits. The next letter I have titled “The Wasted Years.” I want to bring us into the broken heart of David, the sorrow of Jesus, the worst days of our lives. There I will plant a flag of testimony.
– Here is the birthing of the Heart of God in the breast of a man or a woman. –
I arose from that prayer hut, there on that Oregon hillside in November of 1994, and entered into the worst years of my life, the sorrow of which I did not fully pass from until I sat down in Lakewood Church in the summer of 2006 and heard Pastor Joel Osteen say, “Speak what God says you are.”
Let me make something clear. Sorrow and loss, difficulty and travail, are nothing more than one big waste of time IF they do not result in the birthing of the Heart of God inside of us. Those who present the Day of Atonement as everyone crying over sin and sinfulness do not know God and are not preparing anyone for the Day of Tabernacles.
More than that, sorrow and loss, difficulty and travail, by themselves, cannot do one thing for anyone.
Speaking Christ our only life is the only thing real. Yet those who have not passed through the worst years of their lives cannot really connect with speaking Christ in perseverance until the only thing they know is the Father filling them full. It may sound interesting to them at first, but they soon find something else to pursue.
Why must we pass through difficulty to know God? – Because God is Heart. God is not first mind or power or absoluteness. God is Love, and God is a Person. Personal Love is called Heart.
God can create minds and bodies; He can create powers and lights and perfections.
What God cannot create is Heart.
Heart is formed only, in a vale of affliction and in a valley of tears.
And God can be known as He is only by Heart.
Angels cannot reveal God as He is, for God is Heart. Man alone can share heart with God.
Our relationship with God is a Blood Covenant because Blood is the issue of Heart.
We know almost nothing about the eighteen years of Jesus' life between twelve and thirty. We know that “He grew in favor with God and man.” We surmise that He worked with His step-father in the wood shop. We surmise that He tended sheep and harvested grapes. Undoubtedly, Jesus had many wonderful memories of those years. Undoubtedly, He knew great sorrow, some that was known by others and some that was known only by Himself in the agony of His own soul before God.
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:6-8
The false theology that a Christian possesses a “human nature” that is inherently sinful, a “self” separate from God, forced us to assume that any normal human feeling was sinful. Thus we have imagined that if Jesus was “without sin,” He must have been just happy and peaceful without any difficulties all of His life.
For this reason, regular human emotion was suppressed in both Catholicism and Protestantism as “contrary to God.” Yet there is no human emotion, even taken to extremes from jealous wrath to supreme pleasure, that one cannot find somewhere in the Bible ascribed to God – big time.
Modern psychologists have analysed the God of the Bible and found Him to be utterly psychotic, worse off than most humans. It does no good to say, “Well, God's not really like that.” Listen, this Guy is weird. He offends most everyone. Do we love Him? Do we want to KNOW Him. Do we want Him to reveal Himself freely through us?
God chose not to unveil to us the difficulties of heart through which Jesus walked. But that statement is not really true. God did unveil to us the difficulties of heart through which Jesus walked. God revealed those things to us by David. That's why David's words in the Psalms are so often the very thoughts of Jesus in His agony.
It's easy to tell David's Psalms from Solomon's, which include the more intellectual Psalms 1 and 2. David's Psalms are passionate, ranging from deep agony to ebullient praise. I typed the word “soul” into a word search of Psalms. Here is the link: Soul in the Psalms. Here is some of what I found.
The first is the proof that David's thoughts are Jesus' thoughts, ascribed by Peter to Jesus.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. Psalm 16:10
Read Psalm 31; read it, not as David's thoughts, but as Jesus' thoughts. Notice the wide range, back and forth, between agony and jubilation. Psalm 42 is not David, but the sons of Korah who were chief singers with David in David's big tent, making Psalm 42 of David, though written by others. Psalm 42 is Jesus.
Read Psalm 57 as the thoughts of Jesus – although this is David fleeing from Saul. Read Psalm 116 as the thoughts of Jesus – many of the lines in this Psalm are ascribed directly to Jesus in the New Testament including the passage from Hebrews 5:6-8. – Psalm 143 is David; Psalm 143 is Jesus.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; in You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. In Your mercy cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.
Why is it that suffering with Christ is linked directly to reigning with Christ?
Because only the Heart of God planted in us will ever rule: the Mercy Seat.
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God . . . 1 Peter 4:1-2 & 17
In our ignorance, we once thought that judgment beginning with us meant weeping over sin, weeping over our poor lostness. What a ridicule of Christ we once engaged in!
The judgment of God is the Mercy Seat. There all sin is judged; there all are set free.
That Mercy Seat is our heart, planted out from God into us as we bear in our flesh the travail of Christ, speaking Christ alone our only life.
Judgment is the proof of God in creation.
Judgment is the going forth of the Atonement to fling open the doors of Tabernacles.