March 1, 2013
It was just 21 years ago this month that Holy Spirit downloaded into us a vivid prophetic picture of the calling of the Bride into the secret place (see Song of Solomon 2:13-14). In the midst of a time of spontaneous prophetic worship we heard and played (and recorded) music which we later compiled into a recording titled The Secret Place.
This past Sunday, in the midst of our worship gathering, as we were experiencing a very intimate time of worship, I heard the Lord speak the following Word to me as clearly as I've ever heard Him:
"In this past season, I've been calling the Bride to come away with Me, to spend intimate time with Me in our secret place, to get to know Me, My character, My makeup, My way of thinking and acting. It has been a productive period for the Bride. The time of trial and testing, the pressures, the weeding-out of all performance-based thinking and the fires of purification have accomplished exactly what I've purposed and intended.
"Now the time has come for Me to reveal My Glory in My Bride, and to show the world what I've accomplished in this company of chosen, called-out and responsive people. It's time for the so-called "church" to see the difference between religion and relationship. It's time for the world to see the reality of Who I AM in my people, and who they are in Me!
"The harvest begins!"
This really is what I've been focusing on in this series on The New Onoma. My objective in sharing these pictures is to show you exactly what the Bride of Christ has been being transformed into -- metamorphosed, if you please -- so that the very character, the nature, the personality, the true authority and power of the Lord Jesus Christ -- AS HE HAS WORKED HIMSELF IN US -- can be put on display in sharp contrast to the spirit of antichrist.
I've said this in the past, but I'll repeat it again. The spirit of antichrist is not simply some individual (or individuals) setting up in direct opposition and rebellion to the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit of antichrist is a false, deceptive, counterfeit which presents itself as truth.
This spirit invaded the body of Christ during the first century, and has been alive and well in many forms, just as John testified in his first general epistle (see I John 2:18). It preaches a watered-down "gospel" which denies the very character and personality of the Lord Jesus Christ and subverts the Bridegroom's purpose to have a Bride in His image and likeness alive and well in the earth.
That said, let's get right back into our discussion as we resume our look at the Seven Spirits of God -- those same Seven Spirits which are part and parcel of His character and makeup.
We finished up our last Coffee Break by stating that, in the realm of the Soul, there is a fear which attacks relationships, and it is described in Scripture as The Fear of Man. This fear is the greatest hindrance to genuine fellowship, and it -- perhaps more than any other spirit of fear -- impedes the growth of believers by interfering with the development of trust. The greatly needed capacity to expose our weaknesses without fear or intimidation is one of the primary purposes of the Paraklete during the preparation and processing which occurs within Ekklesia.
The Fear of Man attempts to subvert this work of the Holy Spirit. The Fear of Man is also responsible for manipulation, for witchcraft, for pride and arrogance, for rebellion, and for a host of activities designed to keep "man in control." All of the extremes (and I emphasize this aspect) of the various so-called "rights" movements (e.g., Women’s Rights, Racial Equality, the Labor Movement, etc., etc., etc.) are born out of this fear.
Where the Spirit is concerned, agape is the only love which can function. It is important to note that it is impossible to love with agape by an act of one's will or determination. It is a supernatural love empowered through an intimate and extremely personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as worship can only occur at the level of the spirit ("God is a Spirit, and they that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth") in the place of communion with the Lord, so also does agape become functional in that place of communion.
By contrast, phileo cannot function within the realm of the spirit because it is not a spirit-based love. As you will shortly see -- if in fact you do not already see it -- Jesus' statement that, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have agape one for another," signifies a demonstrable and visible proof of that intimate love-relationship with Him. Because agape is the very substance of His onoma, our living and operating in agape becomes the most living and tangible witness that we are One with Him.
The Fear of Evil is a master spirit which functions at the level of our spirit-existence. It is the dominant force behind religion, and the spirit which works hand in glove with The Fear of Man to keep the structured church system with its organizations, titles and offices intact. It was and is the power of Babylon.
The Fear of Evil is the father of the Spirit of Rejection. It is the spirit which turns men and women into cowards. It is the spirit which -- more than any other -- intimidates God's people and keeps them from asserting the authority given through the onoma of Jesus Christ to dethrone the "rulers of the darkness of this world."
Consider again, therefore, John's statement that, "Perfect agape casts out all fear."
Agape is THE authority over The Fear of Death, The Fear of Man, and The Fear of Evil. When agape truly functions as the essence of our onoma, there is no fear which can remain and/or stand before it. This being the case, you can easily understand why the Bride -- when free from fear -- becomes such a deadly threat to the dominions of Satan.
Because agape was and is the makeup and character of Jesus Christ, He could without hesitation say, "The prince of this world cometh, and he hath nothing in me." (John 14:30 KJV) It wasn't a boast! It was a simple testimony of His existence -- His onoma.
So far, we've covered the first four of the Seven Spirits of God. (In the last Coffee Break, I mistakenly referred to the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord as the third of the seven spirits instead of being the fourth, a common mistake made by many because of viewing just those Spirits of God mentioned in Isaiah 11.)
Before we take up the fifth of the Seven Spirits, let's review the overall picture once again:
1. The Spirit of Judgment and Burning (Isaiah 4:4)
2. The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding (Isaiah 11:2)
3. The Spirit of Counsel and Might (Isaiah 11:2) -- referred to by the apostle Paul as: The Spirit of Power
4. The Spirit of Knowledge and of The Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2) also referred to by Paul as: The Spirit of a Sound Mind
5. The Spirit of Grace and Supplications (Zechariah 12:10)
6. The Spirit of Truth (see John 15:26)
7. The Spirit of Glory (see I Peter 4:14)
As noted, the fifth of the Seven Spirits is that of which Zechariah prophesies: the Spirit of Grace and Supplications.
When Zechariah prophesied concerning the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, he said, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of Grace and Supplications: and they shall look upon me......." (Zechariah 12:10 KJV)
The Hebrew word, chen, (pronounced, khane) which is derived from chanan, is both "grace," and "supplications." It represents: grace, graciousness, to have mercy upon, to make entreaty or supplication on behalf of.
It is easy to see this facet of the onoma of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 7:25 we read, "Wherefore He is able to save, heal, deliver, and make whole all those who approach unto God through and by Him, always living to intercede for them."
To this we add Paul's statement (Ephesians 2:8), "For by grace you are saved, healed, delivered and made whole through faith; and this is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (my translations)
This is perhaps the best known aspect of agape. It is also one of the most preached aspects of Jesus' character and makeup. Were it not for His grace, none of us would be having this discussion. We generally think of grace as "unmerited favor." To some extent this is true, although grace goes far beyond the simple extension of His favor to an unworthy people.
The Spirit of Grace and Supplications was at work even before the foundations of the earth were set in place. The Bridegroom well knew that the large majority of the human race, though given the opportunity to choose and enter into an intimate relationship with Him, would for the most part reject His wooing and beckoning.
Yet He prepared a plan which would execute His grace to provide an opportunity for their deliverance from the Serpent. The Spirit of Grace and Supplications was at work even before Adam and Eve exited the Garden, preparing the path, and setting in place the necessary foundations for the redemption of their seed.
Grace is something which is not integral to unregenerate human nature. In fact, as you look at the human race today, grace is an absolute rarity. It is the polar opposite of the “me-first” mentality that pervades society. In the work-a-day business world of this generation, grace is stomped under foot as a sign of weakness, and a mark of timidity, and viewed as a plague to those who consider “the bottom line” as the epitome of success.
With the ups and downs of the world’s — and particularly our nation’s — economies, grace is the supposed antithesis of prosperity. Corporations rise and fall at the whim of officers who fear the loss of their positions and credibility in the business world should they fail to act decisively in firing hundreds or thousands (and even tens of thousands) of employees at the first sign of downturn. Often, with scarcely a moment’s notice, families find themselves ruthlessly cast adrift financially. Decisions are made by deal-makers lacking in ethics, consumed by their own self-importance and greed.
The presence of grace, therefore, in the character and makeup of God’s people is one of the marks that sets them apart from a people and society under the domination of the Beast.
Supplication is the “flip side” to the Spirit of Grace. It is putting feet to grace. Grace, in and of itself, is passive. Supplication makes it a force to be reckoned with. Supplication makes grace a functioning reality.
Let me explain.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 7:25 (we assume him to be the writer), “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Ezekiel uttered the cry of the Lord when he said, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
Intercession is integral to supplication. Grace impels the Lord to intercede on behalf of those who come before the Father. Sin causes people to be unworthy to stand before the Father or to bring their requests. Grace bridges the gap. Grace takes the unworthy individual and makes them righteous before the Lord. Jesus Christ, therefore, substitutes His righteousness by grace for the unrighteousness of the unworthy individual.
Originally intended to be God’s people in the earth, representative of Him, His nature, and personal relationship, Israel was supposed to demonstrate the righteousness and mercy of the Lord God to the world, as well as His intention to redeem mankind. When the nation fell into adultery by chasing after false gods, and was contaminated with and compromised by the spirits of the seven nations they were commanded to drive out of the land of promise, during a period of some nine centuries the Lord raised up leaders and intercessors who cried out on Israel’s behalf. That supplication and intercession resulted in bondage being broken and some modicum of relationship restored between Israel and God.
Ezekiel prophesied during Israel’s final captivity. As he saw and heard the heart of a weeping Bridegroom seeking after his wayward Bride, he cried out “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
Even in the days of the Mosaic Law, with all of its rigidity and penalties, the heart of the Lord was inclined towards grace on behalf of a people worthy of death under the Law. Though Israel was suffering the consequences of her sin, her adultery, her compromise, the Lord still sought for someone who would intercede with Him so that He could once again in grace, take away the penalty. Hence, Ezekiel’s heart-cry, “I found none.”
That said, it is important that we remember The Spirit of Grace and Supplications works toward the fulfillment of the Plan of the Godhead, ordained, orchestrated, and set in motion before time began. There is nothing sloppy about the mercy of His grace. It is precise, and yet encompassing. Everything which unfolds in the development of our lives and our relationship with Jesus Christ has been planned and ordained so that He can receive His purchased inheritance -- a Bride who in every respect fulfills His onoma. The Spirit of Grace and Supplications MUST, therefore, be a unified part of our onoma.
Once again, we're running long, and I'm not quite finished with this discussion. We'll resume next week.
Blessings on you!
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