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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

No more winters for us

Ezekiel 47:1-12  In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet[a] and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. 5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. 7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. 8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea.[b] The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. 9 There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows.[c] Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean.[d] 11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”

Scripture in the era of Grace must be discerned spiritually. But to discern spiritually, we must be in HIS Will and always be led by the Holy Spirit who is the one that leads us to all truth.

The temple here represents the throne of God and the water is grace. The water is coming out from under the altar. The stream is flowing passing to the right of the altar on its south side. The stream (water) is passing to the right which represents the flowing of Grace and Mercy from Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father.

The measurement represents God examining, testing, and proving our hearts within HIS Grace. We are in HIS Grace no matter what circumstances of life we are in. The water was up to his ankles. Grace is at first within our ankle level. When water is flowing at our ankle level, we can sense the flow of direction but we are still strong enough with our own free will to go in our own direction. However, the flow of stream is going in east toward God's Will. At this level, grace is still sufficient. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us IF we go in HIS direction. But we still have our own free will and when the flow is only at our ankle level, we can still freely move and go in our own direction rather than God's. We have a choice as God test us. We can flow with HIM as we can go in His direction or we can go in our own direction as HE leaves our ability of free will.

When we surrender our choices and decisions to HIM and as HE continues to test our hearts and as we PASS, we are measured or examined another 1000 cubits (1750 ft). We have passed our first level of testing and we are now at the second level. The second level is when Grace, power, anointing, and blessings are increased and the flow of stream is now at our waist. When we try to walk in waist high water, we are still able to walk but it is more difficult to go against the flow or stream. When the water is at waist level, the Will of God is much stronger in our lives as HE directs us through the stream of Grace. But still, we have the free will and ability to go in our own direction as our feet is still able to touch the ground.

As we come to complete surrender and full obedience, now we reach the third level as God measures us again which is to prove our faith as we endure and pass the trials, tests, and tribulations. The water or stream is now too deep to walk on. We are now at the full flow of the Holy Spirit in HIS full Will. Our lives are completely surrendered to HIM as HE directs our paths. Our personal will is completely surrendered to HIM as our feet can no longer touch the ground. We have no choice but to swim in HIS direction with HIM.  We are now fully empowered by HIS mercy and grace.

Ezekiel 47:11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”

But for those who continue to resist the Holy Spirit, as they are offended with bitterness, resentment, and such, they are the marshes and swamps that have not been purified by the stream. As the stream or grace continues to flow and as the water level continues to rise, we are purified and all areas of our lives are healed. The dead sea represents us. We are, in most cases, too salty to have living things live peacefully and in harmony around us. The too saltiness represents anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, coveting, etc. Too much salt kills as the dead sea cannot hold life. We in our sin spiritually kill others and ourselves.

But once we are overflowing in the stream of grace and mercy, there is abundant life along the banks. Our obedience to the Lord brings life around us. We will constantly produce fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The trees that represents us will never turn brown or fall. This means we are now at a level where there are no more winters. We have finished and passed our wilderness (trails, tests, tribulations). It is always spring constantly producing fruit for spiritual food and healing for others. This is the promise land. This is the resurrected life with JESUS. This is where we all must come too. We must come to the fullness of our God.

Many in their distress are waiting for rapture as they are so focused on world events. Yes, HE is coming but many miss the point that HE can and desires to come for you on a personal level. We can experience HIM now as we spend time, repenting, dying to ourselves, fully obeying, surrendering to encounter the Lord so that we may live a life of victory. We must come to the fullness of our KING so that we may live a resurrected life NOW for HIS Glory in our spiritual promise land.

Glory to HIM
Pastor Steve Yong Kim

Friday, May 15, 2015

The fruit of obedience

King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the LORD his God. (2 Chronicles 27:1, 6 NLT)
When we fully obey, the power of the Lord is manifested and evident in our lives which includes blessings and favor, spiritually and physically. To properly obey is to submit to all of God's governing authorities.
When we think of obedience to the Lord, we think we need to be told something directly by the Lord to obey. Yet, since many Christians are full of sin or are babies, they cannot properly discern the voice of God nor are they able to hear HIS direct voice. Therefore, we must start at the basics. The first basic is to read and reading the bible praying without ceasing as God is speaking to us through the Word. We learn HIS ways through the Word.
We show God we are obeying HIM by first obeying HIS Word. His Word says that all authority comes from HIM. As we read HIS Word we come to realize that there are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Scripture commands us to obey all those who rule over us.
Romans 13:1-2 (NIRV) All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. 2 So whoever opposes the authorities opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged.
Who are those who rule over us? They are our selcular leaders. They are our governments. Scriptures states they serve God. HE has appointed them whether our opinion of them is good or bad. God carries HIS anger through the rulers of the world.
Romans 13:3-5 If you do what is right, you won’t need to be afraid of your rulers. But watch out if you do what is wrong! You don’t want to be afraid of those in authority, do you? Then do what is right, and you will be praised. 4 The one in authority serves God for your good. But if you do wrong, watch out! Rulers don’t carry a sword for no reason at all. They serve God. And God is carrying out his anger through them. The ruler punishes anyone who does wrong. 5 You must obey the authorities. Then you will not be punished. You must also obey them because you know it is right.6 That’s also why you pay taxes. The authorities serve God.
Therefore, when citizens of a nation continue to bash and slander their leaders for policy they do not agree, they are slandering against God's appointed. Many, without realizing, are upsurping God's authority. They have no fear of God.
Ephesians 6:5(NIRV) Slaves, obey your masters here on earth. Respect them and honor them with a heart that is true. Obey them just as you would obey Christ.
In today's term, slaves would be considered employees and masters here on earth are the bosses and employers. God commands us to respect our bosses and employers honoring them with a true heart. We are to work as though we are working for Christ. But sadly, too many Christians disrespect and dishonor their bossess slandering them.
When we slander our secular leaders, employers, or bosses, we are slandering against God. How can such people respect spiritual authority when they cannot respect natural authority?
This is why many are still the tail and the borrowers when we are to be the head and the lenders. It is because many Christians have yet to learn simple obedience and honor to the Lord. What is manifested in your life is the harvest of your sowing. If we sow obedience to the Lord, just as King Jotham, we will harvest blessings, power, and anointing for our kingdoms.
Rather than slandering and getting mad at our government, employers, pastors, and rulers, we should pray for them. For their welfare is our welfare.
Jeremiah 29:7 (NLT) And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
Glory to HIM
Pastor Steve Yong Kim

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rahab's surrender saved all of her family

Joshua 2:4-7 Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5 They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.” 6 (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) 7 So the king’s men went looking for the spies along the road leading to the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. And as soon as the king’s men had left, the gate of Jericho was shut.

The two spies that Joshua had sent out to Jericho represented God's people. They represented God, the Word, His sovereignty, His Grace, and Life. The two spies represent the Light of God going into the world or into darkness. The king of Jericho represented the world and the kingdom of the world. Rahab, a prositute, by receiving the two spies received God and His Word and thus forsook her old world. Rahab is a prositute. She represents many of God's people who are also cheating on God. Many Christians are harlots. They are sinning against God. Rahab will be in the line where the Messiah will be born. She is a chosen one of God. She forsook her old way of life. By forsaking her old way of life, she was risking her life. If she was to be caught for hiding the two spies, it would mean death for her and her family.

By faith, Rahab had heard that God had parted the Red Sea and destroyed the previous kings of Sihon, Og, and the Amorites. She said she knows that God has given HIS people their land. She had heard the Word of God and by faith she accepted the Lord as the Supreme God. In a sense, she was accepting her Savior and becoming a believer.  She was now submitting to the real true God. 

Joshua 2:10-11 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. 11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

She had told the king of Jericho that the two spies had left when in fact she had hidden them. On the surface of this story, it can appears she was lying but she was not. In the New Testament, she is counted as righteous for hiding the two spies. There is a deeper revelation that she was not actually lying but speaking life. This deeper revelation is for another time. 

James 2:25 NIV In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

By accepting and hiding the two spies, Rahab was accepting the Word of God and hiding it in her heart. When she told them the two spies were gone, it showed that she would not compromise the Word of God which the two spies represented. God was now her ticket to life. She would not compromise the life of the two spies. She protected them. They represented the Word of God. She would not compromise them as she had risked her life and as she had gavin up everything of her old life. This was her complete surrender. The Red Scarlet hanging from her window along the wall represented the Blood of Jesus covering her household. 

Joshua 2:12 “Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that 13 when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.”

"When Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families." When the world and all the idols within the world is now conquered in you and we come to complete surrender, there will be life and salvation for our families. Those who are reading this article, you are the key to your families. You must come to complete surrender. You must become the prayer warrior who is devoted to prayer. You must come to full obedience. You must completely die to yourself and come to the resurrected life of Christ. This is not a theory. Christianity is a living walk with Christ in HIS Glory.

Joshua 2:17-20 Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. 18 When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house. 19 If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. 20 If you betray us, however, we are not bound by this oath in any way.” 21 “I accept your terms,” she replied. And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window. 22 The spies went up into the hill country and stayed there three days. The men who were chasing them searched everywhere along the road, but they finally returned without success.

God can save our families when we come to full surrender but there are still conditions. In verse 18, all the family members must be under the covering of Rahab. She is a kingdom and her family are under her kingdom. They cannot go into the streets which represents going back into the world. 
If Rahab or any of her family members go back into the streets, it would be a compromise in fear of her own worldly people of Jericho thus forsaking God. The two spies made an oath. This oath represents God's covenant between HIM and us. But it is conditional as they said they are bound only if she follow precise instructions. We must follow the instructions of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. In verse 21, she accepted the terms. It was as though she was accepting Jesus and the terms of surrender for life. As the two spies left, she left the scarlet rope hanging from her window. This was the Blood of Christ. Then the two spies went up the hill and stayed three days. When Christ died, HE died for three days. This story is a type of Christ representing salvation. 

There is a promise in the bible that if we believe, our whole household will be saved. But this word to believe is not just a state of mind. It is a word in action to come to complete surrender and obedience to God's Kingdom in a resurrected life. It may require you to risk your life and all that you have including your families and your old way of life. But if you trust HIM, then HE will never forsake you.
Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

May you come to resurrected life to experience the abundant life that HE has promised for HIS people. 

Glory to God

Pastor Steve Yong Kim
Fire of God Church
Fremont, CA USA