May 2, 2014
One quick note before we get started today: For those who have tried the last two weeks to access our Sunday fellowship conference calls, we were offline for a couple of reasons, and this past Sunday, Rich Warren and I were away, leading worship for a men's retreat at Fort Flagler. Our Sunday conference calls will resume this Sunday at or around 12:30 PM PST (3:30 PM EST): (559) 726-1300, Access Code: 308640#.
Leading worship at the Fort Flagler retreat (for the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship) this past weekend was an adventure all its own! With roughly 120 men in attendance, we became both participants and observers in the workings of Holy Spirit. Sunday morning when Rich and I began (and we had Craig Manley's help on the drums), I began to sing a prophetic song from the Bridegroom to the Bride. It was styled musically like a piece of very upbeat jazz. Some of the men began dancing in the aisles, some clapped their hands and stomped their feet, but others stood in the aisles literally bawling their eyes out. It was a real contrast in seeing how Holy Spirit ministered to the men. One man received a new heart and a new liver.
Well, let's see if we can wrap up the portion of this discussion I was aiming at last week in addressing the healing of the mind, the memories, the thought processes and the traumas that have been left over in our inner beings as a result of mental or emotional injury in time past.
As the title of this series -- Aphiémi Healing -- clearly indicates, what Jesus has done for us is to eradicate all of the past for us from a legal and judicial standpoint. Aphiémi, which comes from aphesis, literally means to eradicate from existence -- not only blotting out sin, sickness, disease and death, but implementing a time shift (if I can use a sci-fi term) for us such that the sin, the sickness, the disease and death never existed!
OK, now! Don't look at me in that tone of voice. I didn't make this up. Every time you see the word or the term, "forgive", or "forgiveness" of sin, or "remission" of sin used throughout the New Testament, the original Greek word is aphiémi. That word means to erase, to separate, to cease completely, to reverse (in the sense of going back to a time before it took place), to send away. I know that we've covered this definition before, several times, in this series of Coffee Breaks, but just wanted to refresh you on its significance.
We've talked about this before as well, but here's how Paul puts it in his letter to the Philippians (and in order to amplify it in such a way as to draw a complete picture, let me expand upon the Greek text more fully): [See Philippians 3:10-15]
"That I may know and have full revelation of Him, and the dynamic, explosive power of His resurrection, with the full understanding and communion of the passion, the emotional and mental suffering he endured, being joined with and conformed to His physical death [*see note]; if somehow I might arrive at and experience resurrection from physical death.
"It's not as though I had already arrived at or accomplished that state of completion or perfection, but I am in full pursuit and pressing forward [with every particle of my being] in order to come to and possess that place, that goal, that standard [of completion] Jesus Christ eagerly awaits and has sought after in me;
"My brethren, after taking inventory of myself, I do not consider that I have achieved or seized hold of that goal, that objective set before me, but with one singular goal and purpose, I set aside, I forget, I lose completely [any awareness] of all that I have gone through, experienced or known, and -- stretching beyond my past or present for those objectives, goals and purposes [Christ has set before me],
"I pursue after [with every ounce of my being], seeking eagerly that visible and tangible mark which indicates with certainty that I have won and obtained the prize, the reward -- that place of unity and intimacy with the Lord -- that ultimate invitation to be joined to Christ Jesus as a part of His Bride.
"Accordingly, let all those of us who have the certainty of that high calling of God in Christ Jesus, having achieved whatever level of completion [He has accomplished in us by His Spirit], condition and discipline our minds and thought processes [to never settle for less than the ultimate goal and destiny in Him]; and, should there be any area of thinking or mindset which would cause you to settle for less in your pursuit of Him, God will remove the fog or smokescreen which contaminates your thinking and reveal His goal, HIs objective and His destiny to you."
That's a mouthful, I know, but I trust it comes across with clarity for you.
*Let me take a minute to address a phrase that occurs in verse 10: That I may know and have ...... the full understanding and communion of the passion, the emotional and mental suffering he endured... The KJV translates this phrase, "that I may know ... the fellowship of His sufferings." There are a couple of Greek words here that are really important to understand. The first word, koinonia, while it can, I suppose, be translated "fellowship," really describes something that the word "fellowship" really fails to grasp. I'll come back to this momentarily. The second Greek word of note is pathema. This word, which describes hardship and pain -- mostly within the framework of mental and emotional anguish -- makes much more sense here once we see the full picture of the word, koinonia.
Koinonia, is one of those words best framed within the context of another horribly mistranslated Greek word, ekklesia. Ekklesia, as I have noted in previous Coffee Breaks, is the word which is almost exclusively translated "church" throughout the New Testament. Because of what we picture "church" as today, and because of what it has become, AND because of the origins of the word, nothing could be further from the truth of what ekklesia actually represents.
In the book titled: A Tale of Two Brides, published by Destiny Image, and available at Amazon.com, I noted that this word, ekklesia, was coined by the Alexandrian translators as an approximate way to translate the Hebrew ya.ad, and its counterpart, mowadah. These Hebrew words are often translated as "the tent of meeting," or "the tabernacle of the congregation" in our English texts of the Old Testament. In fact, the real meaning of these terms is "the calling and assembling together of the betrothed by the bridegroom."
Ekklesia is coined from two Greek words, ek, meaning: "out of," and, kaleo, meaning: "called" or "the calling." The picture of ekklesia, therefore, is the calling and assembling together [by the Paraklete, Holy Spirit] for the purpose and preparation to become the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to the structure and concept of "church," Ekklesia is NOT something a person can join, or become a member of. No one can decide to become a part of an ekklesia.
They are joined together by Holy Spirit with others who have the same call. They are joined together in a relationship which Holy Spirit designs as an intimate bonding together -- a place where the fellowship becomes so strong, that one would literally give himself or herself for the others. A level of trust is established between those who are joined together in ekklesia so that they can chip and grind away and rub up against each other to bring change, correction, admonishment and encouragement to one another until -- as Paul puts it in Ephesians 4 -- "we all come to the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
THAT's what ekklesia is all about! It most assuredly is NOT church or anything remotely resembling what we know today as contemporary church life. Contrary to a lot of terminology used today among Christians, we are NOT "The Church"! We are the body of Christ. We are not a bunch of organizations or denominations; those are man-made structures which absolutely violate the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we are is a living organism -- the organic, intimately-connected, life-breathing and Jesus-manifesting collection of individual ekklesias forming the larger Ekklesia.
And that brings us back to the word, koinonia. Koinonia is something which indicates intimacy. This word describes community, communion, sharing, becoming one with, having joint participation and interchange on a level of complete trust and confidence -- and here's the key -- in a bond of love!
I can see some of you looking at me like I just fell off the turnip truck. (smile!) You're thinking, how in the world did we get here? What does this have to do with Paul's statement in Philippians? OK. Ready?
We come back to the way it is phrased in the KJV: "that I may know ... the fellowship of His sufferings," as well as my amplified translation from the Greek: That I may know and have ...... the full understanding and communion of the passion, the emotional and mental suffering he endured...
Here's where we encounter the word, pathema. Pathema doesn't work in a casual, social setting. You're never going to see that kind of passion and emotion where you are not vested in a relationship with someone or "some ones." This word only describes intense pain, emotional or mental agony that comes out of a very personal and intimate relationship with others.
Jesus became so vested in us and so loved us even before we ever came out of the womb into this world that when He took our pain, our suffering, our diseases and sicknesses, AND -- most of all -- the curse which was upon us, He experienced an emotion and a mental anguish that far transcends anything we comprehend.
Luke describes the agony Jesus went through on our behalf in the Garden of Gethsemane like this (see Luke 22:44) : "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
What we are seeing here is precisely what Jesus came to do, to accomplish and to fulfill on our behalf. You remember where we were a couple of weeks ago in talking about Isaiah's prophecy of Jesus in Isaiah 61? Jesus quoted Isaiah's prophecy as being fulfilled in Himself when He began his ministry by saying, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD..."
Without going through all of the definitions again from the Hebrew text, what we have is a perfect picture of this realm we've been discussing about healing for memories, emotional wounds, traumas, broken hearts, as well as deliverance from evil spirits. For many weeks now, we have been talking about the ending of the curse that came upon the human race with Adam and Eve's partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jesus eradicated that curse! He remitted -- He forgave completely all of the sin that came of that curse for all those who enter into the covenant He has provided. That's aphiémi!
But folks, there is a requirement on our part. The divine Covenant Jesus has provided is not passive. We don't get to push an aphiémi button and get instant deliverance, instant healing, instant freedom from the captivity of the Enemy without participation in this process.
NO, we don't put Jesus back on the Cross and crucify Him all over again just because we fail! When we first enter into this Covenant, there is a recognition that Jesus paid the entire price for our salvation -- our sozo -- and everything that is a part of that package. One thing we seem to forget, however, is that we are triune beings just like Jesus. We are first and foremost spirit. Secondly, we have a soul which consists of our identity, our mind, our thoughts, our emotions, our character and makeup. Third and last, we have a physical body to house soul and spirit.
When we first come to Jesus and enter into His covenant, our spirits are immediately saved, delivered and set free. To use the common vernacular, we are "saved," Now comes the process as Paul describes in Romans where we "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Now we participate in the process. We are completely legally, judicially free of sin, sickness, disease, infirmity, evil spirits, poverty, etc. But that's not the same as being experientially free, and that's where our participation comes in.
I don't have the time in this Coffee Break to go into all of the aspects of that participation, but following up on the mental and emotional healing, and healing of the traumas of the past, let's simply take on the confessional aspect of our participation.
Here's how Paul puts it in writing to the Corinthians: (See II Corinthians 10:3-6)
For though we live, deport and comport ourselves by that which we see, hear, taste, smell and touch, we do not contend with, war after and execute military strategies [against Satan] by that which we see and hear, know intellectually, or have opinions of:
For the weapons and instruments of our war and executed actions [against Satan] do not have their origins and [weak, impotent] operation in natural flesh and human abilities, but they are skillful, potent and powerful – like dynamite – through God to the demolition and extinction of all fortified and guarded places of opinions in opposition,
Bringing down violently and demolishing (to total extinction) all mental reasonings and thought processes, and every mental barrier or arrogant and self-elevated attitude that justifies itself in opposition to the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity and making a prisoner every perception of the intellect and every mental purpose or determination to the compliance and submission of Christ and His anointing [in the same way that He complied with the will and desire of the Father];
And holding in readiness and preparedness the [spiritual] fitness to vindicate and punish all refusal to hear what the Spirit is saying when your attentive and obedient submission has been satisfied fully and executed.
Understand? What Paul is addressing here is the warfare that goes on in our minds and our emotions. We are at war spiritually, folks. Non-stop! Our deliverance from the Enemy comes by the casting down of imaginations -- EVERY imagination which sets itself up against anything and everything that God says and does, and everything that Jesus has made available to us. Casting down those imaginations, however, is not simply a mental process. It requires our speaking to the imaginations -- OUT LOUD!
Let me wrap up today's Coffee Break with something I've come to say often to folks throughout the years: Thoughts do not chase away thoughts: words chase away thoughts. What we speak is what makes a difference in our lives.
See you next week.
Again, if you are in need of healing -- especially if you have some terminal disease or prognosis of a very short time to live from the doctors -- please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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