21. Is God Contending with You?
Although I am a teacher, I teach no theoretical gospel. My only interest is to engage my reader as an individual together with the Mighty and Passionate Persons who live inside of you and desire with a desire greater than you can even consider to love you and to walk in full Covenant Union together with you. Yet as a teacher, I love to design curriculum, and thus I would like to set before you a course to run.
21. Is God Contending with You?
I received a response from a sister to my recent letter titled “An Account of My Writings.” The Spirit of God so stirred my spirit towards her words that I felt to write an extended response, one which I could share with all.
Thank you so much for this post. I love all of them but this one particularly touched me deeply. As I read through this a burning began in my heart which I still have. For the past two years I have been profoundly touched in the spirit by books that A___ keeps sharing with me. I am a voracious reader and have always been, but I wish I could read faster! I am such a seeker and I want to know everything to do with Christ.
Why the burning—need? I grew up in the world until age 33 when I met Jesus. Life has been full of challenges and very painful at times. Religious people don’t quite get me because of what my journey looks like. They know that I love the Lord; however, they can’t quite get past how God has dealt with me. But I have learned not to judge others by what their journey appears to be because we don’t know what is going on in a person’s heart. That was me; I badly wanted more—more—and still more of God—never satisfied that I have all that I need. I hunger and thirst for more and can never stop seeking—just cannot ever be satisfied that I know enough!
I was anointed to write a book after only being saved for a couple of years but it has never been time yet. I tried a couple of times and in fact had about 80 pages written but I knew that it was not right—didn’t have the right perspective on some things yet. It will come when it is time.
God bless you, S___
Sister, I know it is not a “correction” for me to say that we have all of God filling us full already; what we desire is to know this God who is both present in us and bound to us by full Covenant Bond. Because God is infinite and eternal, that desire will be matched by His revelation in us forever.
I was touched in my spirit by what you share here and heard the Lord speaking in me concerning things to share in response.
You say that you have had a desire to write over many years (that is, a desire to minister Christ in the form God created you to be), but that you have not written because you did not have the “right perspective” on what to write. For me, over many years I held the picture of two young men wanting to run from the scene of the battle to give the news to David. One ran the hardest and arrived first, but he had left before he actually had any idea of what to say. The second had taken the time to know the truth first, before he ran. Even though he arrived much later than the first, when he spoke, he knew the truth of the victory.
We will call the first runner the one who is quick to speak without really knowing God and the second runner the one who has waited on God first so that when he or she does speak, he conveys only the heart and purpose of the Father. I want to talk about the difference for the second runner, and what that difference might mean for you.
BUT – although I am a teacher, I teach no theoretical gospel. My only interest is to engage my reader as an individual together with the Mighty and Passionate Persons who live inside of you and desire with a desire greater than you can even consider to love you and to walk in full Covenant Union together with you.
Yet as a teacher, I love to design curriculum, and thus I would like to set before you a course to run.
First, however, let me define again ministry in the body of Christ.
There are three kinds of ministry in the Church. First there is the joy of fellowship, Christ sharing Christ with Christ out from hearts of joy and love. Second there is the ministry of shepherding, of guiding, of counseling, of teaching. The word “pastor” (think of the best examples of that word) is actually the best term to describe that second ministry.
But then there is a third ministry to the Church. That ministry is that which seeks to lead God's people into a deeper knowledge of God and His Salvation. And here is much of the problem in the church; here is where we find so many, many runners, all eager to “carry the message,” and so few, so very few, who have any idea of the God for whom they pretend to speak.
Paul stated that desiring to be a pastor was a good thing, but wanting to teach, that is, wanting to lead God's people into the full truth of God, such a thing we should be slow to embrace.
It is a terrible thing to speak “for God” with words God does not speak and in opposition to Christ, the All-Speaking of God.
Joel Osteen is one of the best examples I know of a pastor who sees his role as the simple task of encouraging God's people inside the love of Jesus. He never steps out of the boundaries God has given him, nor does he ever seek to control people. He knows that God has not given him the knowledge to lead God's people into all the revelation of Christ. For that reason he limits himself to two things, to encouraging God's people and to pointing them in the right direction, as John the Baptist pointed two teenage boys named John and Andrew.
Everyone whom I have read or heard speaking evil against Joel Osteen do so because they have run to speak without the knowledge of God, without the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they imagine that because the false little bit they have tacked together as “the truth” is not being pushed by Joel, then Joel must be false.
But the Lord Jesus Christ, in His incredible wisdom, has made Joel Osteen the most influential pastor in the entire history of His church. Jesus has a most wonderful reason for doing that.
So – what I am saying is that, if your desire to write is for the sole purpose of encouraging God's people, then you would be writing devotional pieces that do just that. And in doing so, you would be a blessing to many and be blessed as well. That is a wonderful and blessed ministry of Christ.
Yet I perceive from your words that your desire is to speak and to write the very revelation of Jesus Christ out from the Heart and Throne of God. At the same time, God has His hand on you in two ways. First, He has made your life a confusing and discombobulated mess, as you say: “Life has been full of challenges and very painful at times. Religious people don’t quite get me because of what my journey looks like.” And second, He has restrained you to keep you from joining all the many, many runners who run with all human strength, but when they speak, they do not speak Christ alone, but rather ideas they have formulated and packaged, ideas that sound good to them.
I read such a runner recently who, by his packaged ideas, was attempting to drive so many things God says right out of the knowledge of his readers.
It is far better not to run and not to speak until God has fulfilled four things inside of you. Yet I share with you the desire you have that God would fulfill those things in you quickly, for the time is short.
Four things you must have directly from God Himself before you could contribute your little bit in leading God's people into the revelation of Father walking this earth. The What. The How. And the Who. Except the who is two things. Let me say it this way. (1) You must know what the gospel is; (2) you must know how God fulfills that gospel in people's lives, (3) you must be taken all to pieces yourself, and then, (4) you must be put back together again entirely and only inside of Jesus.
Let me give a current example.
A recent letter I sent out, “Rest and Father,” proved to be very popular with many. Some might even think it the most important letter in my present series, but that's not quite correct. (Of course, anything I write that the Lord Jesus makes particularly real and alive, showing Himself as He is in the reader, is the “most important” for any individual person.)
“Rest and Father” is the third, the result, the Expression, flowing out from two prior letters. If I had not written those two prior letters, then “Rest and Father” could never have been written. The most important letter in Musings on Union, is “The God of Union,” for here the knowledge of the Father arising in us is taken to a higher and deeper level than I had known before. The knowledge of God is always the cause of everything, the “What” that we must know.
But here's the thing. I could never have written “The God of Union,” if I had not written, in tears before God, in the hand of God going all through the pain of my innermost being, the letter, “Double or One.” “Double or One” was the pre-requisite for knowing “The God of Union.” Yet my letter, “Double or One,” was not one thing, but two. For in it I recounted the most enduringly painful experience of my life, just one of the many times when God took me all apart and left me hanging out to dry, seemingly without hope. Yet in writing that letter, the Lord Jesus passed through all the broken pieces of my heart and bound them all together inside Himself as Christ alone. You see, in writing that letter, the final pain that I have carried from a very confusing life filled with the hand of God upon me, contending with me, was swallowed up in Jesus, and I know it no more.
That's the How, Jesus Sent, and the Who, you and me utterly in His hand, out of which came the What, “The God of Union,” and then the joy of expression in Father coming through.
And so, for you and for anyone who would seek to be a part of that company of firstfruits who would lead God's precious Church into the full knowledge of God upon this earth, the question I would ask is this.
Is God contending with you? – I know by what you share that He is and has always done so from the moment you were conceived in your mother's womb.
The key that unlocks all that God is doing in the earth, that unlocks His expression through us, is the How, that is, our precious union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Get that right, and you have something to say. Get that wrong, and all that one says must be not-Christ. Yet there is a terrible vanity in knowing the How only, without also knowing the What. Too many who teach “union with Christ” know the How, but they remain ignorant of the What and the Who, and thus do not lead God's people into the revelation of Jesus Christ, but rather, into one more little sidetrack.
In contrast, God planted me into an environment over many years designed by Him to give me the What of the gospel and the taking-all-apart side of the Who. (I think you have gathered that the Who is ourselves, whereas Christ Jesus is the How.) Yet that environment did not contain the How, but rather replaced union with Christ, the only How of God, with the terrible How of the tree of knowledge, of “hear and obey,” of facing sin to defeat it, and thus knowing only sin in-between us and God, a bond based entirely on sin.
When I left that fellowship in 1998, I did have the What of God, and I had the being-taken-all-apart side of the Who. What a path it was, as God put me back together again and gave me the How! He released me then to run with the revelation of Jesus Christ only when all four things were complete inside of me.
When I speak now, I know of Whom I speak, and I give all the testimony of God.
I know where I am going (the What – Father), and I know How (Jesus Sent) to get there.
Yet at the same time, I am taken all apart, and I am all put back together again inside of Jesus. The evidence for that assertion is all through what I share.
I received the What through the ministry of Sam Fife, and those who taught the same What he taught. But the last time I listened to a tape of Sam Fife preaching, I saw so clearly that all through the message, the What of God Sam Fife had completely right, but the How such a What could be fulfilled in our lives he had 100% wrong. I am convinced that God was beginning to show Sam Fife the true How of the Tree of Life in the months before his death, but afterwards, the entire fellowship took a huge turn towards the How of the tree of knowledge, twisted into something that sort of looked like the cross, but rather was sin in the flesh, and not Christ.
There is a path that no fowl knoweth,
The vulture's eye hath never seen,
Where no thorn tree or thistle groweth,
No hedge to hinder, completely clean. – Sam Fife
Sam Fife wrote this song not long before his death. If you would run this race, here is the path for you.
I want you to start with my series Home As It Really Is, also titled Journey's End in the book, Our Path Home.
Some prefer to read, others prefer to listen to the audio, others prefer to do both at the same time. Some even prefer to read out loud themselves to someone else. Our learning styles are all different. A brother stated on Facebook that he downloaded the audios for this series and listened to them over and over as God swept across his heart in revelation and in putting him back together again.
This series, Home As It Really Is, contains the What, intermixed with the beginnings for me of the How. You will notice that most who run with “the gospel” have neither one. Most speak things God does not say.
The What is the four most important verses in the Bible. The What is God manifest in the flesh. The What is Father revealed on this planet. The What is the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And the How is the intimate, personal, and very real knowledge of our precious union with the Lord Jesus Christ. But the How is more than just a knowledge of that union; it is a full and permanent knowledge of the foundations of Sacrifice and Redemption and speaking Christ upon which that union is known.
Listen, read, speak this series, Home As It Really Is, found in Our Path Home, from beginning to end.
You can find these articles at www.ourpathhome.com
But as you do, as you run this race, as you follow this curriculum, two things must be shattered out of your mind and heart. First must go the Christian fantasy definitions of “heaven,” and second must go the Christian fantasy definitions of “hell.” No one who defines God as one who creates billions of beings and then consigns them to be tortured forever without hope can ever know Father arising within them. And all those who define heaven as “Salvation” will choose not to know Salvation, Father revealed, here and now.
Yes, the heavens are a very real realm of existence all around us and Hades is a very real state of existence for multitudes of created beings right now. But Hades is NOT the imaginative “lake of fire,” and it is NOT forever, but only for an age, a very specific period of time, and therefore for great purpose, that is, for the glory of the Salvation of Christ. And Salvation is knowing God and Jesus Sent inside of us, nothing else. Those believers who are in heaven only right now know God inside of them not one bit more than they knew Him when they walked this earth. – They are waiting on us.
Back to the curriculum. Going through Home As It Really Is will give you a beginning understanding of the What and the How. We will come back to those two things again in a bit, but first, we must venture into the Who after the Lord has finished speaking to you throughHome As It Really Is.
There are two other things, however, that you MUST have in your heart and mouth every moment: first is the most important words ever uttered by a human being on this earth and second is the most important foundation for faith.
I don't have to point you anywhere for the words you must speak out from a bold heart of absolute faith in the immediate presence of God in Person in you, for you will find them repeated over and over through every series that I write, the words of Mary through which Christ became God made visible.
Look at me, God. I belong to You. Let every Word that You speak be fulfilled in my life in all that it means.
And then two articles that will set your action together with the word God is always speaking that will cause that word to be the only thing you think and know.
I have a very intense purpose, then, for taking you through the next part of the curriculum. I will give you the four letters I want you to read, first. Then I will explain what I expect the Lord Jesus would do inside of you as you spend time with these four letters. I give these four letters in a very specific order with great purpose.
1. Altar of Incense – The Covenant.
2. The God of the Cup – The Covenant.
3. Face – The Two Gospels.
4. Sealed in the Midst of the Storm – Through Eyes of Fire.
Begin this part of the journey with Altar of Incense. Everything begins with Gethsemane. Whenever I look at anyone running with “the word,” I look for Gethsemane. You know how seldom I find it. In fact the only individual speaking the word that I have read/listened to over the last while who demonstrated full evidence of Gethsemane inside his heart, out from which his words flowed, was Francois du Toit, of South Africa.
But in “Altar of Incense,” there is a confession of faith that I ask the reader to speak. That confession of faith is the statement that “I (speak your full name) will be just like Jesus right here on this earth, right now in this age, in this present body of flesh.” The statement of faith is longer and is couched entirely inside of Gethsemane.
Those who would lead God's people into the knowledge of Salvation, of God revealed, must be absolutely bold towards God. God requires a ruthless entrance into Himself, hearts that will not be denied, hearts that stride right past the mighty cherubim and the flaming sword keeping the way to the tree of life, hearts as bold as David's, hearts that say, “I will be, I am, all that Christ is.” (The 6th and 7th most important verses in the Bible.)
It's fine to be timid towards men; it's no good at all to be timid before God.
But know this. Such a heart, David's heart, comes only out from the valley of affliction, out from years of God taking you all apart, out from singing His praises in the lonely night watches far from home, out from refusing to lift your hand against God's anointed, out from dodging spears and hiding and playing the madman.
Would you speak for God?
Then I take you to God of the Cup. God will never ever be finished with Gethsemane.
Here is the contention of God with you in “God of the Cup.”
“God is not under my control. I do not have Him figured out. I cannot define Him; I cannot explain Him. All I can possibly ever do is bow my head upon the ground in silence before Him. To one He says, "Speak," to another He says, "Shut up." To one He says "Go here and go there," to another He says, "Sit down, you aren't going anywhere." And He WILL do the very opposite of what you want, and He will ask you to bow in silence before His right to order His creation as He sees fit.”
I find so few among all the many runners who will justify God and find Him right and true in all things.
Do not be in a hurry to leave either “Altar of Incense” or “God of the Cup” (and feel free to read/listen to the letters in-between and just after, that is, “Gethsemane,” and “The Way of the Cross,” and even the first letter of The Covenant, titled, “The Covenant.”) Yet come back to and spend time with these two until, in great probing sobs, God has placed His finger upon all the broken pieces of your life and brought you back together again utterly inside of Jesus.
Then, you will be ready for “Face.” Do not read/listen to “Face” as a “reader” on a journey of discovery, read it as God contending with you, with His sharp and bony finger pointing straight between your eyeballs.
You see, it is one thing to run with the “gospel,” without knowing at all either the What or the How of that gospel, filling your mouth with words God does not speak, but it is something else entirely for such runners to put their hands upon the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ for the purposes of their own lusts to manipulate and control, to be the “man” or “woman of God.”
Those who lift up the skirts of Jesus' Bride and call for the world to come and look at her uncleanness, listen, I don't want to be anywhere near when it comes down. And neither do you. Neither do you.
Let God contend with you Face to face, until His Face, the face of a Man, bloody, bruised, and unashamed, is all the face you ever need to carry.
In my letter “Face,” I also mention a companion letter written for the same purposes, “Two Women or One?” in Through Eyes of Fire. Feel free to read it as well in the same spirit of God contending with you as when reading “Face.” And please understand, God contending with us is simply the best and highest gift granted to anyone ever on this planet.
Then go on to “Sealed in the Midst of the Storm” also found in Through Eyes of Fire.
Do you weep over the limitation of Christ? I know that you do, for your words convey such a reality.
But in this letter, “Sealed in the Midst of the Storm,” you will find a prayer and confession of faith to speak, to shout out loud, to go out upon the hillside and to shout them to the Lord with all the faith of the Son of God who is your only life.
The Word is in your mouth; speak Christ your only life.
Speaking this prayer and confession of faith into audio changed the experience of my life. I am convinced that by the Hand of the Lord Jesus, He will change yours as well.
Now, I don't mean to make knowing the Father sound awful, for it surely is the most wonderful thing in the universe. All the resistance I ever held against Father was meaningless and stupid, resistance that came out of IGNORANCE only. Knowing Father is just the easiest and the most wonderful thing there is.
The problem is found only in attempting to speak and to know not-Christ alongside of pretending to know Father. The problem is found for those who would speak, not Christ as their only life, but “of” Christ in order to win place in the sight of God's people.
God has already accomplished the first part of the Who in your life, having taken you all apart over many years. He has already begun the process of putting you back together again. My purpose and desire is to see Him complete that process in you inside of Jesus, inside of knowing fully the What and the How, that is, inside of knowing Father and Jesus Sent.
For that reason, let's go back, in our course, to the merging of the What and the How in your understanding.
Read/listen to all of The Ten Most Important Verses in the Bible. This link is taking you to another website of mine, www.ChristRevealed.com, where I have the final version of the text of this little book. Print out the PDF versions and put them in a notebook so you have the text. I have YouTube videos of my reading of this booklet on the webpages, but not an audio, yet, of my final version. I am thinking of abandoning the video idea and making just audios of the final version, but I haven't got to that yet.
Get this book inside of you. Let these ten “verses” rule over and govern all that you think and do and say, but especially over how you read the Bible and how you know God. These ten “verses” merge together the What and the How. (The Who, that is, you, can be found only in the immediate experience of Jesus and you together.)
Speak out loud the prayer found in this little book. Shout it upon the hillsides. Speak the confessions of faith, knowing that it is Jesus Himself speaking in your mouth, including you entirely in His words, inside Himself.
And please understand, I do not attach you to myself or to any kind of formation of “my little group.” All who belong to Jesus are the care of my heart, and I will not put my hand on Jesus' Bride. My entire intention and desire is to take your hand and to place it in Jesus' hand, and then to disappear into the shadows as I rejoice in all the Joy of my very best Friend.
The path, however, is not yet complete. You see, I did not gain the What in one sitting. God shared the What with me over many thousands of hours of sitting under His Word. More than that, you cannot know Father and you cannot know Jesus Sent, not as they ARE, unless your definition of God changes. All Nicene thinking, all Augustinian definitions, all images of a heavenly form, all “deification,” which is nothing more than defining God by the image of the serpent, must go and must be replaced by God as He is, All Here Now and Personal in you, arising in you as springs of living water, conforming Himself to you, limiting Himself by your weakness, carrying you in His arms, stumbling along the way out of death and into life.
You must know God as your very Heart. You must look upon your Heart as the fountain of Father.
And you must know that the only representation of God, the only appearance of God, the only way any created being will ever see and touch and know God is as a man or a woman, as a very human human.
We are just like Him. We are His image. He has no other appearance.
And so I would take you all the way through The Kingdom Rising. Read the whole book. Allow the entire picture God gives to inform your knowledge of who and what He is. Begin with “Greater Love Hath No Man,” the discovery that knowing God and laying down our lives for the brethren are the same thing, all the way to the wonder and glory of being “Filled with God.” Know God's purpose for the world and embrace victory over death. It's all part of the same package, the What of the gospel.
As you read The Kingdom Rising, I also want you to pick up on the premise of that book, that God has chosen, not the successful, but the failures, not the leaders, but the stumblers, not the wise in character and performance, but the foolish, those who make mistakes all the time. I will speak more of this in a bit.
You see, the How and the Who are still not complete for you. Yes, the How you already know as you cast down the voice of the accuser by holding to “Christ is my life; I have no other life.” But the How and the Who must be learned by eating, eating, eating of Christ. Only by that means do we partake of the What of knowing Father revealed through us.
And so, for the completion of this curriculum, I would take you, then, all the way through The Feast of Tabernacles. Because you are on this “course” with me, don't bounce around in these chapters, but read/listen all the way through from beginning to end. I really think that listening while reading is the best way to go.
We cannot know the gospel, no runner has any idea what actually to say, unless we know how the gospel fits itself upon the structures of the Feasts of Israel and the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness. The entire New Testament is written, and all the actions of the New Testament are shaped upon the structure of Feasts and Tabernacle. There is no other way to have any idea what the gospel is about. The ignorance of the Feasts and Tabernacle among those who would “run with the message,” is simply appalling and without excuse.
The Feast of Tabernacles is not so much about the What, although it reinforces the What all the way through, but it is primarily about the How and the Who, about How God transforms you into the image of Christ and who you are as you walk as one who leads God's people into the revelation of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the church right here on this earth.
The first two chapters are the What, but then God took me straight into the agony of the Who in chapters 3 & 4. Then chapters 5 & 6 are back to the What, while chapters 7 & 8 are back to the Who. Then, from chapter 9 on, the Who and the How are merged completely together all the way through. Inside of that run is “The Form of God,” the most incredible revelation of Father in me I have known, that is, the What. (I do not link to these individual letters because I think you should start with the first and progress all the way through, as Israel walked this journey, and as God walked it through my knowing of Him by writing these things.)
The most important letter in the book is “The Day of Atonement,” for here the How comes front and center. But then we must immediately continue with the Who, taking you and me with David into the worst years of our lives, for there only can the final What, Father walking this earth, be known.
And so, in “Melchizedek Order,” I ask this question.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE WHO WILL OPEN THE DOORS OF TABERNACLES TO MANY?
This is the central question burning in the Heart of the Lord Jesus Christ right now.
When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith in the earth?
Here am I, Lord, send me.
Why you and I? Why would I think that either one of us would be candidates for such a wondrous task, the task of winning the hearts of God's Church for Christ alone?
Three things are required for such a calling. These three are not a progression, starting with the first and ending with the last; rather, they are always together, circling around each other as the ongoing reality of our lives, each of equal importance.
Failure – Heart – Faith
It's no good having just one of these qualities, nor even any two. All three must be present in full measure.
Sister, I see all three in you; I see Christ.
God is not looking for leaders or people who are wise. He is not looking for strong men and women of God of impeccable character. He is not looking for track records of successful ministry. Every single one of these people will place themselves as examples of Christ to the flock, and by so doing will teach all to pretend, pretend, pretend for the man, with their backs turned on the Christ who conforms Himself to each one of them.
According to Paul, here are the ones whom God has chosen.
Foolish people, who make mistakes all the time, who try their best and fail. Weak people who stumble at every step, who hardly know how to go forward, who fall flat on their faces in the mud without warning. People of low account who do not fit in either church world or world world, who are passed by so easily, who are hardly ever noticed.
God has chosen those who are NOT. And He has done so to bring to nothing all that are wise and capable.
Heart is that which runs after God regardless of all failure and ruin, heart stretched wide to know Father.
Faith is that which believes all that God speaks with the audacity and presumption to claim with all certainty that “As God speaks Christ, so God speaks me!”
As the Kingdom of God arises to swallow up all creation, it will come from a place no one is expecting. God is beneath your feet, arising with you in His arms, revealing Himself to you and through you to all.
Life laid down and love poured out.