This is from the blog My Dreams and Visions:
Isaiah 42:8: “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
In my prayer time this morning the above verse was dropped into my heart. As I continued to pray in tongues I saw the following vision:
In the vision I could see a church service going on. I saw the platform that a preacher and worship team would stand on as well as the congregation. What I saw next was a cross and the people on the stage strategically placing themselves in front of the cross so that those in the congregation would not see the cross, only them.
Next I saw those same people begin to adorn the cross with colorful scarfs and such to make it less offensive, i.e. tone down its true meaning. Then I saw them begin to dance around the cross celebrating what they had made it out to be.
I have posted this quote from A.W. Tozer before, but it bears posting again:
“From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique–a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.
“The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.
“The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.
“The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, ‘Come and assert yourself for Christ.’ To the egotist it says, ‘Come and do your boasting in the Lord.’ To the thrill seeker it says, ‘Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.’ The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.
“The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.
“The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.
“The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.
“That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.
“God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him.
“What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.
Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.
“To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval.
“Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.”
–A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966
I am reminded of the words of the verse from the hymn I have decided to follow Jesus where it says, “the cross before me, the world behind me no turning back.”
The Cross is a Radical Thing
By Tim Shey
Genesis 19: 28: “And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”
Harlot of the Tetons
The stench of your sin
Rose up to highest Heaven
You were fashionably dressed
Like ancient Sodom
Till the day the Lord
Scorched your streets with fire.
Jacksonites, Yours is a Bloody City
A Parable About Lukewarm, American Christianity
Jeremiah 19: 1-13
This is from the blog Sheepstrong:
The following notes have been adapted from an audio clip by Graham Cooke. They are a perfect and truthful response to the modern day apostolic movement. Nowadays, church leaders are quick to upgrade their titles to “apostles” because it’s trendy, higher up there, and it sounds more powerful.
If you are writing “apostle” on your business card, you have not been humbled and brought to a place of servanthood, stewardship, and slavery. You are trusting in self-promotion to advance yourself. You have not let God fully develop you. In Ephesians 4:11, “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist”, “Pastor”, “Teacher” are not titles, they are job descriptions. You cannot put them before your name. That is not what they are there for. The real ministry titles are those of servant, steward, and slave.
In the Bible, preceding the part where Paul calls himself an apostle, he says:
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” Romans 1:1
Apostle was his job description, but servant was his real spiritual designation and title.
Even Jesus called himself a servant and a slave.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Jesus said there were 3 things not to let anyone call you by: Rabbi, Father, or Teacher.
“[the scribes and pharisees love] greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:7-11
In Acts 16:17, the slave girl with a spirit of divination follows after Paul and Silas and she calls them servants and not apostles.
“She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
Notice that she did not say they were apostles of the most High God. She called them servants because that is their real title in the spiritual realm. Why is it that the demonic realm can understand something that the Church is slow to understand?
We must die to titles. Nowadays, there are more false apostles than real ones right now. They are not all false in the sense of being demonic, but they are ignorant of what real humble biblical ministry really is about.
We don’t need a title because we serve an audience of one and what God thinks about us is the most important thing in the world.
The Vision of Prophets
This is from the blog Real Christianity:
THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY
Isn’t America supposed to be a Christian nation? If so, whoever wants to blame the government, lobbyists, political parties, and the great money powers as the cause of our current state is barking up the wrong trees. These entities merely stepped into a void that was created when American Christians vacated their place of responsibility. I’ve been saying this for decades and have been getting slammed by Christians for decades for saying it. I have now noticed that others are saying it. It’s about time.
The facts are clear. There is only one responsible party for America’s decline: Christians and the ministers they choose. Which Christians are most guilty? The Lord said this:
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48]
There is no doubt there is an evil elite in this world that possesses great power. Its members are in the process of finalizing the one-world globalist government of the Last Days as prophesied in Holy Writ. This structure is enveloped with a false and deceptive surface light but contains an inner core of pure darkness.
Real Christians are the only ones who can possibly possess the spiritual power to overcome this powerful darkness. There are very popular and powerful ministers in this country with GIANT platforms but they almost never use them for the right reasons, such as revealing the devil and defining sin. Could it be they never would have achieved their great success had they used their platforms properly?
THIS COULD WORK!
Here’s a suggestion:
Make a list of the top 50 influential Christian leaders in America—those who are extremely influential, wealthy, and well-connected—including mega pastors, Christian television personalities, and ministers of any denomination. Suggest strongly that they start DEFINING SIN specifically and speaking out very powerfully against sin, including the very worst sins such as abortion. Suggest they do this every single time they speak in public ministry, at churches, at conferences, on television, on radio, on the internet, and out in public. Suggest they begin using their tremendous wealth, influence, advantage, and giant platforms to teach other Christians to do the same.
I guarantee you things would start turning around. It wouldn’t take long. Though there would be a tremendous backlash from the forces of evil in the beginning and some of these people would get powerfully slammed, people in this country would start getting convicted. They would start repenting of their sin. They would start receiving what their souls have been crying out for:
(1) Discovering what sin is
(2) Discovering the sins they are guilty of and have on their account
(3) Discovering the great power sin has over them
(4) Discovering the way to be released from the power of sin and be free
The real Gospel would then start doing the work it was designed to do. Light would shine. Darkness would flee. America would change. The Great Awakening would begin coming forth in great mighty waves. This is exactly what happened when the Lord Jesus came. A Great Powerful Awakening took place in the land of darkness and the shadow of death! But what also happened?
He got crucified.
So now you know why the suggested Big 50 will never take our suggestion, even though a few of them have already been unjustifiably maligned by anti-Christian enemies. The simple fact is that there is not a Stephen among them. They are nothing more than members of a Christian elite with their own personal agendas. The American Great Awakening, therefore, is dependent on the kind of people Paul defined in the following passage.
It is dependent upon YOU.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church
Here is the comment I left on R.J. Dawson’s blog:
“Absolutely positively Amen.
“I have a couple of Christian friends in Jackson, Wyoming. I met them while I was hitchhiking through Jackson back in 2003. I have asked them and I have asked the Lord why the Lord has had me hitchhike through Jackson so much.
“Jackson, Wyoming is a very wealthy, liberal town in western Wyoming. It has around 9,000 people and has an abortion clinic. My friends have protested outside of that abortion clinic many times in the past few years. My friends just got kicked out of the First Baptist Church in Jackson because the people in that church didn’t like them protesting outside of that abortion clinic. My friends have also been rejected or harassed by a few other Christian churches in Jackson because of their stance against abortion.
“As far as I know, most of the churches in Jackson are fairly worthless. I believe that there are some very powerful principalities in Jackson. Before the Lord can judge the town of Jackson, He has to judge the worthless Christians that live in Jackson.
“I believe the Lord has had me hitchhike through Jackson to intercede against the principalities in that town and to warn Jackson of its wickedness.
“The wickedness of Jackson, Wyoming is the United States in microcosm.”
Cliff Creek Fire–InciWeb
Third Fire Confirmed Near Jackson
Jacksonites, Yours is a Bloody City
Wildfires in Wyoming Marching Towards the Town of Jackson
Jackson, Wyoming Fire, 2012
The Eruption of Mount Pelee, St. Pierre, Martinique, 1902
A Place Utterly Decadent by Reputation
Are There Ten Righteous Men in Jackson, Wyoming?
Psalm 83: 1-5:
“Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.”
Psalm 83: 14-18:
“As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
This morning I got a ride from Ashton, Idaho to West Yellowstone, Montana with a couple of guys. I don’t remember the driver’s name, but he was originally from China. He has lived in LA for the past ten years. He was with his son. He spoke some English, but sometimes it was hard to understand him at times.
He was a Christian. I asked him who were the first Christian missionaries to China. He said the Portuguese were; I thought the British were.
They were from southern China. He said something very interesting: he said that someone from Shang-hai would not be able to understand someone from Hong Kong. The national language is Mandarin and there is also a Cantonese language that is spoken in China.
I told him about Watchman Nee and that Nee was a well-known Chinese Christian writer who died in prison in 1972. He had never heard of Watchman Nee. Maybe Nee is better known in North America; maybe the Communists tried to suppress Nee’s writings. I told him that The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee was a classic.
They dropped me off in West Yellowstone and we took some photos. He said that his son would stay with him for a month and then go back to China. It was a very edifying trip to West Yellowstone.
This is from the blog Kirjath Sepher:
From: Sophereth at Kirjath Sepher
To: the intercessors
. Intercession is not prayer.
. Yeshua was NOT praying a habitual, rote, vainly repetitious, charismatic, self oriented, christian prayer as He hung there on the cross. i.e. Now Father, I thank you in the name of Jesus that you deliver me and bless me and prosper me. I thank you Father that I am healthy, that I am wealthy and I am wise. I thank you Father that my ministry prospers. I thank you that I pretty much get everything that I say…I need…I want…I think…my understanding about this is…I know that you will want to…bless my endeavors Lord…you know that I am doing all of these things, all of this busy work, for you Lord, in your name Lord…that’s why I don’t have much time left over for….Lord? are you there Lord?…
. NO! NOT SO! HE WAS LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE!
. what does that mean? for us? to lay down your life?
. this is what that means: “nevertheless, not my will, but thy will…”
. after you have laid down your life, the prayer will sound different.
. enough said.
[Kirjath Sepher means “city of books”]
Two Emails (Intercession)
This is from the blog Oceans Never Fill:
George Orwell wrote the poignant essay Shooting an Elephant in 1936 and effectively criticized Imperialism and its inevitable destruction of both the oppressed and the oppressor. The tyranny of one party is a destructive force to those whom he rules over by forcefully taking their freedom, and it is a destructive force to the tyrant himself by passively taking his freedom as he fits himself into the expectations of being a despot.
Orwell was called the conscience of his generation. I think, perhaps, if we look carefully at his words we can see that he may speak as a conscience for our generation as well.
Consider his quote,
The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly[…] I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys […] He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things.
Now, let’s modernize his words, let us see how they may prophetically speak today,
The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their millions of wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. I perceived in this moment that when the woman turns tyrant it is her own freedom that she destroys. She wears a mask, and her face grows to fit it. I had to abort my child. I had committed myself to doing it when I read the pregnancy test. A woman has got to act like a woman; she has to appear strong, to know her mind and do definite things.
The Pro-choice narrative purports that it is a woman’s right, her power, her freedom to choose life or death for the baby within her, to choose motherhood after her child has come into being. It is an embodiment of all that Feminism has sought for as it culminates in a woman’s right over motherhood. A woman’s reproductive rights are about allowing her the same borderless freedom afforded a man who can decide not to sire the child he has brought into being, a man can run from an unwanted pregnancy, and through abortion a woman can too. Equality of the sexes it seems, must be achieved through irresponsibility and murder.
But is that the kind of equality we want? Does it really free a man when he runs away from the woman he impregnates and ignores the existence of his flesh and blood? And will women be free if they are given the same opportunity to shirk responsibility? Is that freedom?
If we follow along Orwell’s line of reasoning, the answer is a resounding, no, it is not freedom, it is enslavement to impulse and a loss of humanity. It is an enslavement of the mind where one is so entrenched with the expectations of feminism and the pushing and mob cry for sexuality without consequence that urges a woman to kill the life within her, to make her the mother of death.
Dear sisters, you have been lied to. The narrative surrounding abortion is trying to sell you death, that you will find freedom from whatever desperation may strike if you see those twin pink lines. But the reality of tyranny is, and always has been, destruction. And the action of abortion makes you the despot. You become the tyrant, as though your greatest desires can only be achieved through the death of a child. You will find no freedom there, you will find only pain, and you will strip yourself of your own humanity as you hold your own power over the one who is weaker than you.
Because abortion is about power, the power of the woman over her own body, and ultimately about her power over the child within her. She has the power to end life. She has the power to choose the fate of another person. Abortion makes women tyrants over their own children and it leaves a path of bitter destruction, with seared consciences, broken hearts, and severed hands. But even as abortion asserts empowering a woman to choose her own fate, it simultaneously victimizes her. A woman is weak and a slave to her impulses, she is a victim of biology and unplanned circumstances, and so she can only be powerful if she takes control and undoes biology, a woman must murder to have power.
But power isn’t the same thing as strength. Power abuses, and asserts self over others. Power manipulates. But strength? Strength is courage in the face of the unknown or unplanned, strength is choosing justice regardless of personal outcome, strength is having integrity regardless of circumstance. Despots wield power and destroy. But people of strength are freed by conviction of moral obligation to justice.
The Pro-Choice narrative speaks nothing of strength and has instead echoed the ethic of Svidrigaylov–the pitiful nihilist of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment who excuses his immoral behavior and apathy toward suffering because of his own victimization at the hands of fate –“am I a monster or am I myself the victim? What if I am the victim?” Somehow, we have deflected the responsibility away from ourselves like Svidrigaylov, claiming our own victimization as we assert our power over the fate of another. We women are supposedly strong, intelligent, and equally human, but we have made our crimes into the necessary result of our victimization, as though we have no strength to face the unplanned with justice from our own hands. As though we are the ons being oppressed as we pay to have someone rip the child from our womb piecemeal. The Pro-Choice ethic subtly suggests that we are too weak to have moral obligation and incapable of the strength to pursue justice.
But sisters, if we choose to be victims who must rescue ourselves through despotic power over another, we are monsters.
But we don’t have to be.
There is one who came to rescue the oppressed, and he also came to rescue the tyrants. Jesus deals a deathblow to power, he tells us not to pursue it, but instead to embrace the weak, and to find strength in him. Unplanned pregnancies are terrifying, but, they don’t have to create tyranny within us. We can choose instead to find strength in the one who promises rest despite circumstances, who pleads that we pursue justice, who demands that we defend the weak, and who died to make it possible.
The Pro-Choice narrative is tyranny, and tyranny is enslavement, but Jesus offers us freedom. Orwell (whether fictionally or not) saw no escape from shooting the elephant without being made a fool, he was trapped by his own pride and fear and violated his own conscience, he was a slave to the impulses of the crowd and his own pride and power. Jesus came and confirmed that alone, we are indeed fools who are nothing but slaves to the very impulses that harm us, but he offers us a nail-pierced hand as a means of escape, he offers us a way that leads to life and strength, instead of the inevitable death that comes with pride and power.
Jacksonites, Yours is a Bloody City
Flip Benham at a City Council Meeting