2014 – BREAKING THE CURSE OF JUDGEMENT

As we enter into the year 2014 (as we interpret time) – I understand that some may disagree or have reservations with this offering. I only ask that the content be prayerfully considered before immediately “judged” as it seems modern prophecy has a propensity for.

Although we do not live in the past, I believe that the “past” lives in us individually and culturally in varying degrees. Warfare, conquest and revenge is a major part of that past and has been a major developer of the cultures of world history of which we experience the offspring in our generations today. Wars or battles of conquest have changed the languages, the economies, the moral and social fabrics of entire people groups which continues to mutate and manifest today. These manifestations can be attributed via many mediums such as military, media propaganda, sociopolitical, and even economic (the corporate marketplace).

As a result of man’s propensity for conquest, the western American hemisphere (where I live) is today a much larger natural and spiritual geography of a European civilization than Europe itself. Even those today in the western hemisphere who hate European civilization express that form of hatred in European languages and denounce it as immoral by European standards of morality. Ironic? Have we ever really or truly thought about these actions and choices within a prophetic context? The truth is that America “had” to rescue Europe many times such as World War 1 and World War 2 for very specific reasons. This statement is akin to children who still unconditionally love and oddly protect parents whom may abuse them.

The history of conquest and man’s propensity to embrace secular, religious, and spiritual “armies” and references to weaponry is not just about the past (although it has shaped the world’s cultures as I earlier stated) – it is also very much about the present and the future as it unfolds. Warfare and conquest ultimately speaks to why we have arrived at where we are economically, intellectually, and socially. Likewise, it will define our future as laid out in scripture as the ultimate revelation.

Humanity in its unregenerate (fallen) state is the offspring or first born of warfare/violence and its spirit has continued to grip many hearts (even those who are saved and especially of the prophetic persuasion). It continually desires to conquer for both selfish agenda and even perceived goodness. We need to look no further than much of today’s damning prophecies directed toward mankind within the dispensation of grace.

The true picture comes into view that after thousands and thousands of years, mankind is still juvenile or delinquent in our treatment of one another. Greed for earthly treasure which is surely to pass in our short life rules the day as it did in generations past. Humanity’s legacy is stained by the blood of religious zealots, political greed, and the lust for temporary economic cargo which is forever tied to what is earthly.

Many have wondered where and how America will be positioned or its relevance in the future as the Revelation unfolds and the seals are opened. Why is “America” or the western hemisphere not specifically mentioned? The answer in my opinion is that America is still Europe extended and the soul-ties have never been broken due to the “conquest spirit” which was inflicted upon native cultures and the soon enslavement of other peoples thereafter. The Revelation of days will unfold for America as it will Europe who birthed her. Essentially, the umbilical cord that nourished the hostile takeover was never severed through true and genuine repentance. America is still drinking the mother’s milk.

We must ask ourselves why are the predominate parts or verbiage of prophetic offerings laced with such militaristic or conquest laded wording such as “army”, “swords”, “battle” etc. continue in the age of grace lest any of us boast? I believe that these messages reveal spiritual importance and are significant as I sought the Lord concerning our culture, impact, and heart condition as the Body of Christ and how prophecy is meant to reveal the Spirit of Christ. In other words, who are we culturally in regard to identity as a prophetic church? Do we accurately reflect the culture and mandates of the kingdom? What is our true agenda and genuine spirit for this generation and hour? Could we be missing something when we look back at the lack of impact we have had upon humanity? Why has the church lacked impact with such catastrophic results? Are “Christians” really ready to have their paradigms, dogmas, and spiritual cultures turned in-side-out? We continually cry out and seek a paradigm shift from the Lord and desire change. But do we really? The answer is not yet…But we will.

As the scriptures begin to thunder, the Bible states in Revelation 22: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Much of modern prophecy and its culture is interwoven with words of condemnation, judgement, natural disasters, weaponry, rapture for the “righteous” or elect, self-righteous “set apart ones” and the list goes on and on in declaring the impending doom and wrath for the “sinner.” We should consider if these types of proclamations are essentially “adding to the book” since the Revelation has been declared, determined, and sealed. As a prophetic person or generation, we can only justify our declarations of “judgement” by stating that we have not added to the “words” of the Revelation as it has been sealed. To clarify: First, does it really matter? Yes! Doesn’t the words we speak or pen reflect our heart and culture in usurping the position of God in rendering judgement upon another as a supplement to “this prophecy” as stated in scripture? This is interesting since we are likewise sinners saved by grace. To have received grace ourselves as filthy rags and then to turn and cast judgment upon another(s) via prophecy is questionable and should at least be prayerfully considered. Secondly, the Bible states this directive: “To everyone who hears the words of this prophecy.” It would seem that adding to prophecy through the actual letter or Word was and is not the intent or meaning since the far majority of folks (especially the saved) were not skilled in writing or literate at the time of this inspiration anyway. The warning was clearly directed to “everyone who heard” the prophecy and understood its meaning. In other words, it was not only adding to the canon of scripture that instituted the warning – but adding to it’s intent and purpose in our hearts as well.

Most prophetic utterances of judgement regarding family, people groups, countries, political leaders etc., generate from frustration. This is understandable and hinges upon the wickedness and debauchery of the world today. Although there are certainly many areas which are tragic in the “culture of humanity” as a whole, we have actually come a long way in regard to civilization and how we interact with one another (especially across ethnic, social and cultural boundaries). Just a generation ago, the United States was still exhibiting strong elements of racism and prejudice under a warped guise of “Christianity.” Native Americans were annihilated under the banner of manifest destiny. Private properties were confiscated under abusive immanent domain and the judicial government under Hoover was much more intrusive in spirit.

If we look back from the time of Christ’s burial and resurrection which ushered in the dispensation of grace; we can easily see a trend toward global behavioral and cultural improvement. Slavery and forced labor was common and accepted in all cultures and societies around the world. Human brutality, chronic rape, serfdom, child sacrifice, superstition or mythology, fears mongering, no rights for women, blood revenge, manhood rituals, taxation without representation, despotism, and continual warfare were the norm and expected rather than unexpected on every square mile of dirt on the planet.

How can we as a prophetic generation declare with a clear conscience that the world is so much more evil and wicked than any other time previous in history? This is simply not true and negates the authenticity of the prophecy at its very inception and should be rebuked. Sin still ravages the world, but this is to be expected as long as flesh walks upon it! However, we have a choice to make going forward in how the prophetic voice (the Spirit of Christ) views the world, its people, and the purpose and power of the cross.

The sacrifice and power of the cross must not be declared as having “no effect.” It is still active, powerful and cuts to the core of soul and spirit. As Ambassadors of Christ, the same mighty power to affect others resides in us as Spirit filled believers. But yet, many prophesy and declare judgement and disaster upon humanity and geographies because we fail to see results in our frustration. The core problem is that we have created a vicious cycle of judgement and plagues upon ourselves because we have not heeded the warning in Revelation 22 and have “added to these prophecies” in casting retribution upon others no different than ourselves – except that we have been saved and transformed by grace and not of our own merit. Many easily declare that the hearts and intentions of others will be revealed…But do we want ours revealed for all to see as well? Self-righteousness is the seed-bed which easily grows full bloom into pride and spiritual arrogance.

Man’s seeking for judgement rather than mercy and justice always develops into a cycle of retribution. We can clearly see through history to the present day that if a wrong is committed against a certain individual – that individual will usually desire equal or oftentimes a more severe punishment than the crime committed against them. We know this as a punitive nature which is ingrained in the flesh of man. This spirals out of control not only at the personal level, but at societal and national levels as well. These are the punitive retributions that most wars are made of. Humanity’s impulse and propensity for others to pay dearly for their crimes is an overwhelming one which we must take note of and wonder if it has affected our persona and culture (spiritually as much as naturally).

The good news is that we can rest in Christ because we know that we serve a Lord and God who will make all things right at the end. This has been the overarching power that has held mankind back from destroying itself generations ago. The judgement and justice of God is awesome in both power and intense love. We see this attribute exhibited in the redeemed man in that we can possess wrath and anger not in spite, but because we love so deeply. Anger is not the opposite of love. Hate is. The final form of hate is indifference which many prophetic offerings sadly possess.

God’s wrath is not a mean explosion, but His intense opposition to the spiritual cancer which is eating out the insides of the human race which He loves with his whole being. If I don’t believe that there is a God who will eventually put all things right and in order, my flesh will take up the sword and will be sucked into the endless vortex of retaliation. Only if I am sure that there is a God who will right all wrongs and settle all accounts perfectly do I have the power to refrain. This not only includes physical violence, but the violence we declare from our words that so easily roll off our tongues.

A single individual is a reflection or microcosm of humanity as a whole in its growth and maturity. A new born baby is reflective of man’s creation at the time of Adam and Eve. They were born into reliance upon their parent (God) for their survival “lest they die.” However, it did not take long before mankind fell into self serving behaviors as a baby will as it approaches being a toddler. Toddlers assume that the entire world revolves around them and can easily throw a fit when things do not go their way. We see this cultural behavior maturing quickly from the time of Cain, to Babel, and ultimately to the time of the flood. As toddlers become children, they possess days of goodness and days of cruelty in their treatment of one other. History, in mankind’s progression is dotted with humanity’s successes and imagination, but also its abrupt cruelty with little emotion or regret.

Adolescence brings forth hormonal upheavals and emotional swings which easily facilitate irrational and immature behaviors. It also starts the bindings of like-mindedness and cultural homogeneity (grouping). This pattern or development mirrors cultural civilization, which brought forth food cultivation, which provided population and most importantly, elements of “idle time” from the labors of hunter gathering to foster the wonders of inventiveness. However, this development also fanned the flames of slavery, despotism, and a spirit of conquest since armies could now be raised from the increased population and fed from food surpluses due to inventive farming practices.

Young adulthood promotes cultural experiments, consumption, and competitiveness for available resources and opportunity. Sadly, much of the time, this is reflected in wanton disrespect for others in the march toward personal and economic success. Cultural and religious ideologies are also formulated at this stage of development and the majority of times throughout history these ideologies have been violently forced upon others via conquest.

I believe that humanity is developing as the majority of the world’s peoples are no longer hunter gathers and nomadic in nature, nor is the world remotely as wantonly brutal on a large scale. Please note that I am not dispelling today’s atrocities and propensity for sin which are many. But, these atrocities and hardships pale in comparison to yesteryear. Media and technology has also brought much more to our attention and must be woven into this reasoning. All hunter gatherer or nomadic societies without exception from around the world had a societal chief, maybe a secondary war chief, and a medicine or spiritual man for religious practices. Needless to say, the net value to be gained in life was condensed to 2 or 3 individuals and the rest or majority of the male populace could only find value in being a warrior. The self achievement, value, and reward for a warrior was relegated to conquest. This pattern of cultural behavior is consistent regardless of nationality, geography, and time.

I sincerely believe that mankind is very slowly maturing to be more and more civilized, tolerant, and caring as time goes by. This is rigidly proven throughout history – not just by what has been penned, but what can be experienced within the generations that are alive upon the earth today. Again, this does not excuse the horrors that man can commit today. It does, however, warrant prayer and whether the Body of Christ should self-righteously condemn and judge the world through questionable prophetic utterances that may be bringing a curse upon us and the land we live in. Maybe, just maybe, the fields are white and we are missing a golden opportunity to extend the nature, culture, and love of Christ to a lonely and needy world.

This message is not for the timid and weak minded. It’s for the strong and those who are willing to follow Him and the mandates He spoke. Jesus is the Savior of the world and His persona is easily understood through scripture. He, and He alone, should be our example of both word, prophecy, and conduct.

God was as gentle with Adam and Eve as a newborn babe considering the eternal ramifications of their actions. As humanity developed and grew older, to spare the rod would have been to spoil the child. This is clearly exhibited in the scriptures. Second, third, and forth chances were given to mankind, but consequences for actions are always necessary for both parent and child. However, there comes a time when a child grows to the point to where brute spanking is not practical and tough love comes into play. The parent will allow us to simply reap what we sow. Although it hurts the parent deeply, the goal is that the child will repent and learn a sustained lesson.

I believe that humanity is now culturally moving toward adulthood. As we clearly see today, many adults are wonderful, and yet some adults still carry the residue of self-serving interests, greed, and even horrific behavior patterns. Nonetheless, adults come to a place in their development where they are responsible for their own actions, already knowing what the difference between what right and wrong is. The Bible states that we now know in our hearts of His reality, goodness, and grace, and we are without excuse.

We don’t need to judge and condemn the world, our countries, our societies, political leaders and others. They are already judging themselves in knowingly rejecting His grace and love. Our position is to proclaim truth in the spirit of faith, hope, and love. Our culture is to extend love and hope to the lost and needy in bringing them to faith in Christ in 2014.

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CLARION OF THE ARTISANS

A clarion call to a new generation of artists who desire to fulfill their unique purpose in the Kingdom of God is resonating to those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking to the churches. Unlocking the anointing of kingdom artisans is a divine invitation by Christ to begin a journey of healing and wholeness that will produce deeper Spirit-led creativity and personal fulfillment that will affect the lives of many others. Kingdom artisans are now aggressively engaging the Holy Spirit in their creative gifts of prophetic expression. Relationship and collaboration with God is now on the mark, on purpose, and on time – not only to define artistic mediums – but the art, expression, and beauty of life itself.

Over several generations, multitudes of artists, musicians, writers, illustrators, craftsmen and many other creative forerunners have, for one reason or another, become “spiritually locked” in place via a lack of visionary church leadership or have simply hit the proverbial wall due to a lack of confidence and encouragement. These “failures” to complete your artistic commission originates from many different spiritual places such as wounded hearts, fear of failure and acceptance, religious control, and unbelief in yourselves which always creates an economy of frustration. Many frustrated artisans are unable to understand what’s really at stake in the kingdom and presumptively move into ‘creativity for creativity’s sake’ or turn to unhealthy alternatives in order to numb or overcome the pain they are experiencing on a daily basis. Many more simply give up and bury their divine gifting by stuffing it into yesteryear and buying into the lie and bait of the enemy that it is too late in life. Whatever your choice of excuse may be – the Father has called you before the foundations of the earth and has now (today) commissioned His artisans to be fully released to worship Him through their creative expression and destiny. Nothing will no longer hold you back from your creative destiny – for it will not only change your life, but the lives of multitudes. Christ has been waiting, calling, and now commissioning for this moment your entire life!

SWINGING IN THE BALANCE

Is it possible that monkeys can help us receive prophetic revelation? Maybe! If you squirt apple juice in the mouth of monkeys, you will observe a little surge in the dopamine neurons in their brains. After a few squirts, you will also notice that the dopamine begins to fire just before the juice arrives. We can continue the experiment by sounding a tone before delivering the juice. After just a few rounds, the monkeys will soon figure out that the tone precedes the juice. Their neurons begin to fire at the sound of the tone – not with the delivery of the juice. This is interesting and we must ask ourselves, why didn’t the neurons fire and respond to the actual reward – the juice?

The answer is that our minds are geared more toward predicting rewards than in the rewards themselves. This is astounding and presents a biblical truth that we all possess predictive aptitudes in our DNA and can prophesy with power. This gifting is fully empowered, exponential, and accurate when filled with the Spirit of God. Actually, our minds create predictive models all day long – (e.g. that the predictive tone will lead to the juice). When one of our mental models accurately anticipates reality, then the mind experiences a little surge of reward, or at least a reassuring feeling of peace or contentment. When our mental model contradicts reality, then there’s natural and even spiritual tension and stress. Prophecy addresses reality at its core and predicts the reward or certain consequences based upon human actions.

I have stated in other articles that the primary business of the brain is modeling. This is essential for our survival and ability to function through life. These models encompass everything from predictive abilities as earlier stated to habit loops which reflect daily functions that we perform almost involuntary. Humans are continually constructing anticipatory patterns in our brain to help us predict the future. For instance, if I put my hand here, then this will happen. If I smile, then he or she will smile back. If our predictive model harmonizes with what actually happens, we experience a sweet drop of affirmation. If it doesn’t, then there’s an issue and the brain has to learn what the disconnect is and adjust the model. This predictive function of our mind is one of the fundamental structures of desire. (Intent and desire are completely different in that we often fall short of what we intend to do. However, we will usually always do what we desire to do. Intent resides in the head whereas desire moves from the head into a residence of the heart). As we move through life, the mind generates anticipatory patterns based on the active models stored inside it. Oftentimes, there is tension between the inner models and the outer world. Naturally, we try to come up with concepts that will help us understand the world or changes in behavior that will help us live in harmony with it – even in its fallen condition. When we grasp a particular situation, or master some task, there’s a naturally occurring surge of pleasure. However, it’s not living in perpetual harmony that causes the surge. If that were so, we would be happy living on a beach everyday of our lives which would soon get old. It’s the moment when some tension is erased. In other words, a happy and content life has its recurring set of rhythms: difficulty to harmony, difficulty to harmony…The natural rhythms of trials and victories are propelled toward us for the desire of order and producing maturity which expresses itself as the fruit of the Spirit.

Spiritual harmonization and balance in our lives will manifest in even small and seemingly mundane ways. People experience a small surge of pleasure when they solve a puzzle or sit down to a dinner table setting that is “just so” or pot a plant “just right.” Our desire for harmonized balance moves us to seek perfection in our crafts and skill-sets. When we are fully engaged in our divine purpose or gifting and led by the spirit, we become almost absorbed and the mental barriers of the “skull” begin to disappear. Harmonized balance also propels us intellectually. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all like to be acknowledged or recognized that we were right. (We have no farther to look than the demand for television and radio pundits who make millions off our desire to reinforce our inner-models) We feel a surge of pleasure and satisfaction when a thought, theory or belief clicks into place. Likewise, we all like to feel in harmonized balance with our natural surroundings as we spend the first halves of our lives trying to build internal models that fit the world and much of the last halves trying to adjust the world so it fits our inner models. The bottom line is that much conversation and energy is spent on trying to get other people to see the world as we do. Nations don’t clash only for land, wealth and interests; they fight to compel others to see the world as they do. Genuine prophecy and prophetic anointing cuts through the agenda of self and past natural experiences to reveal the mind of Christ – The Spirit of Prophecy. We are no longer bound in the bondage of man’s approval or conforming others to our agenda. We are content to express the love of Christ on one hand as we declare hard truth on the other.

I find it interesting that most of us are moved in some form or fashion when we return to our childhood homes or neighborhoods. This is the place where our mental models were first forged. When we return to the place where we grew up, it is the details that matter most – such as noticing that the corner store is in the same place as it was when we were young. It’s the same fence around the ballpark or the same swing hanging from a tree that catches our attention. We don’t love these things for their merits and we know that the fence is not the best of all fences. But our mind coats these early places with a special layer of affection because these are the patterns we know. C.S. Lewis once observed: “The child will love the crusty old gardener who has hardly ever taken any notice of it and shrink from the visitor who is making every attempt to win its regard. But it must be an ‘old’ gardener, one who has ‘always’ been there – the short but seemingly immemorial ‘always’ of childhood.” The moral of this observation is that prophecy has its strongest impact when it is focused and when the details matter most. Far too much of modern prophecy is vague, overarching, and irrelevant to people’s everyday life.

The desire for harmonized balance is at its most profound during those transcendent moments when people feel themselves fused with God and nature. It is these times when our soul and spirit commune in oneness with our Creator and Lord. It is relationship with God that also produces harmonized balance with each other. The greatest prophetic utterance spoken or penned is the call for oneness and relationship with God. The world has failed miserably due to humanity rejecting this call. Then again, is the prophetic voice even sounding this call?

Within two weeks of being born, babies will cry if they hear another baby in distress, but not if they hear a recording of their own crying. In 1945 the Austrian physician Rene Spitz investigated an American orphanage. The orphanage itself was meticulously clean. There was a nurse for every eight babies. The babies were well fed, but they were left alone all day, in theory to reduce their exposure to germs. Sheets were hung between cribs for the same reason. Despite all the sanitary precautions, 37 percent of the babies died before reaching 20 months old. They were missing one essential requirement to live – empathetic contact. The cause and affect of this message is to declare spiritual harmony for our spirit and soul in building the kingdom. We need a healthy balance of prophecy declaring relevant and hard truth along with sacrificial love. We need a surge of reward that reflects eternal significance if we are to experience genuine fulfillment (Abundant life). Spiritual babes are dying back into world before the abundant life is realized due to a lack of empathetic contact by the church. I would wager that most of us do not even “truly” know the majority of folks in our own congregations and neighborhoods. Maybe, like the monkeys – it’s time we start hearing the tone and anticipating the predicated reward? Maybe, it’s time to hear the tone of Christ’s voice and recognize that our predictive reward is relationships forged with eternity in the “balance”?