ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE PSALM 23 ADVENTURE, Part 32
Isaiah made a couple of specific promises concerning children and the inheritance of God in them. Take a look.
Isaiah 54:13: And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Isaiah 59:21: As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and forever.
Last week, I opened up the Coffee Break, sharing the visitation that our son, Joshua, had in jail just a couple of weeks ago. One thing that I left out was the fact that for a brief moment, he saw an image of his wife, Michelle, appear just behind one of the angels. He asked me if perhaps Michelle was having the same experience at that same time. I told him that I would find out.
It didn’t take long. Michelle called us about an hour after we talked with Josh. I shared with her what Josh had just shared with us and asked if she had experienced a similar visitation. She broke and it took a few minutes for her to regain any semblance of composure. She responded that she’d had a vision of her and Joshua walking with the Lord Jesus, holding his hands and having that same indescribable peace that Josh had shared with us.
Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 59:21 includes “thy seed’s seed.” You already know that we have custody of their four children. I believe that I shared with you what their daughter, Jasmine, experienced a few weeks back. She was singing a song about her love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was something I’d never heard her sing before. When asked where she heard that song, her response was that Jesus had come to her during the night, that He sat on her bed and they sang together.
Yesterday, I heard her singing another new song so I asked her if she’d had another visit with Jesus. She nodded her head and said, “Yes, last night. He has come to see me lots of times, and we sing together.”
You don’t need any great imagination to know what it does for Della and me to see what God is doing in our grandchildren.
Let’s pick up where we left off last week. We are talking about being led into and through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and why this is such an important principle for us to understand in God’s economy in our lives.
We left off last week with Paul’s description of what takes place in our beings depending on where our minds, our thoughts and our focus is oriented, and why this bears directly on the need for us to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. We stopped with Romans 8:5.
For those whose minds and thoughts are oriented towards, and dwell
on, the desires and cravings of the flesh (along with the lusts that originate
in the mind) are continually in pursuit of that which pleases one’s rational
thinking and satisfies fleshly desires; but those whose thoughts, whose
desires, and whose purposes are to measure up to the mandate of the Spirit,
will be in constant pursuit of that which creates and generates the fulfillment
of the inner man. (Romans
Pretty clear isn’t it? But Paul takes it another step.
Because when one’s thoughts, purpose, intent, and focus is on the
things that gratify the lusts of the flesh, it results in both spiritual and
physical death, but when a person allows the breath of Holy Spirit to blow upon
and infuse their minds, their thoughts, and the intents of their heart, they
are filled with the very life and light of Father God; and their beings are
permeated with (and radiate) His peace, which passes all unredeemed and
natural, human understanding. (Romans 8:6,
Hence we are being led into and through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in order to see for ourselves the kind of authority we have over death and the Spirit-developed ability to be in perfect and complete peace when surrounded by death and the threats thereof.
And Paul continues:
Thus, when one purposes in his thoughts and focus to do only those things that gratify and please the lusts and desires of the flesh, they set themselves in opposition to God; and, indeed, that way of thinking and reasoning is insubordinate and disobedient to the laws and principles of God. It is impossible for that kind of mindset to be anything but insubordinate and disobedient.
Hence, those whose mindsets, thinking and purposed intents are
focused on pleasing and gratifying fleshly lusts cannot at any time, and will
not under any circumstances please and satisfy the Lord God. (Romans 8:7-8,
We skip down a few verses to see the kicker in what Paul is writing to the Romans:
So then, if the Holy Spirit — the Spirit of Father God — that
awakened and raised up Jesus from the dead has taken up permanent residence in
you, occupies, cohabits (and exercises ruling authority), He that awakened,
raised up and re-infused the Anointed One (with His anointing) from physical
death shall revitalize, restore and endue your physical and spiritual being by
that same indwelling and residing and authoritative Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:11,
This is what our walk in the Pathos of Righteousness has been all about. Through the lessons, the instruction, the experiences and the spiritual adventures we have as we have followed Jesus Christ, the authority and power, the very personality of the Lord have been being developed in us. That same authority and power — and personality — have been overtaking us, transforming us into His image and likeness.
I know this is a hard one for a lot of people to swallow, but — if we believe it, and it becomes the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus within us — we are literally impervious to death. We were never designed to die in the first place. Death was part of the curse that came upon the human race because Adam chose to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge and Good and Evil, despite the warning that death would result as a consequence.
Remember when Jesus was sent for after Lazarus died, and Martha said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”
Jesus answered Martha like this (and He makes this statement (or the essence of it not less than three times):
John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Do you see it?
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
In the Greek text, the word translated “die” is, apothnesko. This word is like another Greek word for death, but in this case, it literally means to have died (by whatever means — natural or unnatural) and gone into the grave. A person is not just dead. They are not revivable by any normal means. They’ve gone through the funeral process and have been buried.
Thus, Jesus is saying that even death — whether by natural or unnatural means — is reversible. More than that, He is saying that we’ve been given power over death. We’ve been given the same authority of Father God, who raised up Jesus from the grave.
There are multitudes of examples of people who have died and been raised up from the dead.
think of the example of a man in
The crowds were so great that they couldn’t bring him into the auditorium. Instead, they laid his sheet-covered body on a table in the basement, right under where Reinhard Bonnke was preaching.
As the meeting progressed, the man suddenly sat up and the sheet fell off. He was totally restored, and is a living testimony today of our authority over death through Jesus Christ.
You all know my own story of dropping dead from a massive heart attack at age 41 while taking a shower. Della and I had not been married long, and she wasn’t about to accept my death. She dragged my body out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, where she heaved me up onto the bed. That, in itself, was a miracle! At the time, I weighed roughly 250 pounds. Della weighed maybe 105 – 110 pounds.
She commenced to speaking life back into me in the name of Jesus. It didn’t happen instantly, but she wouldn’t let go. After about 20 minutes or so, I awoke to see her fist raised in the air and shouting, “You will come back in the name of Jesus.” I reached up and grabbed her hand thinking she was going to hit me.
That I had been restored was evident when I saw a medical doctor for a complete checkup, and he said, “If I didn’t know you, and you weren’t in front of me, the test results tell me that you are about 20 years old.” Some 20 years of aging had been taken off my life, and I was restored to my youth.
Paul expressed himself in numerous ways regarding the authority we have over death but in his letter to the Philippians, we see a heartfelt prayer coming out of the depths of his being.
Philippians 3:10-11: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Despite all that Paul had experienced in his walk with the Lord, despite the revelations he’d received, and despite the fact that — by this time — he had raised numerous individuals from the dead, he still wanted and desired that depth of revelation which would allow Him to know the very nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. He desired to know by revelation — so that it was implanted in his being and infused into his spirit — just exactly what it was that Father God had in His makeup, His character and personality that enabled Him to have that kind of authority over death.
When Paul prays, “ ….. being made conformable unto His death,” he is asking to be so changed in his being that he would be summorphos — “jointly formed” — into that same nature of Jesus so that facing death would not be the least bit intimidating or threatening.
That, folks, is an authority that brings real boldness! Thus, the dynamic power of Jesus’ resurrection is synonymous with “the fellowship of His sufferings, being jointly formed with Him” in such a way that death was no threat. The curse that came upon the human race by virtue of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil incorporated permanent physical death — not to mention separation from a relationship with the Lord God.
Consider how John puts it in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
And they subdued, conquered and overcame Satan – the accuser of
our brothers and sisters – by the legal authority enacted by and through Jesus’
death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead, and by the convictions
of their minds and thoughts and purposes, and subsequent evidence in their
lives, along with their spoken testimony; and they considered not the
consequences of their testimony, its effect on their lives and/or livelihoods, and
possibility or even probability of suffering death as a result
did not intimidate them. (Revelation 12:11,
The Greek text in this verse makes it abundantly clear that their testimony was prefaced by a mindset and a focus on the Word of the Lord. The issue was not what they faced, but what Jesus had said – and was saying!
I want to take this discussion a bit further, and dig into knowing the “power of His resurrection,” so let’s stop for now and we will pick this up again next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing
Prayer Call normally takes place on the first Monday of each month at Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number is
the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment
of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call –
usually at about
Pacific. That conference number is
Blessings on you!
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