The Fear of the Lord and the Establishment of the Kingdom Plan - David Mitts
Click here to listen to "Fear of the Lord and the Establishment of the Kingdom Plan"
As we have been exploring the Fear of the Lord, we really have been laying the foundation for true faith. True faith is more than learning to believe. True faith is more about seeing and hearing with the eyes of the Lord. This increases in us as we increase in the Fear of the Lord. It may seem like an oxymoron, to increase faith by increasing the Fear of the Lord but, this is exactly what happens. You see God shows up, opens our reality, and then we have faith. It’s difficult to trust in an absentee God. No! We want a real and tangible God who transforms our reality!
The challenge is that God is holy. His grace doesn’t diminish His holiness, it establishes it. When God comes into the picture, sin departs in a hurry. Ministers often use the fear of hell and the possibility of eternal separation to entice people to become Christians, but the true power is and always has been the manifest Presence of the Lord.
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (Joh 6:44)
Like a tractor beam, the Father’s manifest Presence is what draws us. As the Source of true beauty and love, He is truly irresistible. Once we surrender to the drawing, we receive our salvation and that positions us to be raised “on the last day”. Most people think of the raising as a day in the future when the Lord returns and the dead in Christ are raised.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:16-17)
It sounds like an event, right? The problem is where do the dead believers go until the event? Are they in graves decomposing? What if they are cremated? I think the problem is that we are trying to attach a time centered perspective to an eternal experience. I personally believe that the resurrection for each believer occurs immediately at their last breath. The “last day” Yeshua is referring to is each of our last days. I think the “first” of the dead in Christ is the resurrection that occurs immediately after our last breath. It is an eternal “first”. Think of it like a boarding group on a plane. The first group is “those needing special assistance”. These are the dead in Christ. When we die, we need special assistance. I believe that a shofar announces the arrival of the Lord and the voice of the archangel announces us to Him and we resurrect into our resurrection body, the eternal immortal body that we receive forever.
This process occurs because we are “in Christ” when our perishable body finishes its breathing time. “In Christ” is a covenant term. It is a term of oneness. We are “in Christ” when we receive Yeshua as our Lord. At this point, He increases, and we decrease. Look with me at John 3:27-36:
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. "You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent ahead of Him.' "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. "He must increase, but I must decrease. "He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. "What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. "He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."(Joh 3:27-36)
This is a prophet delivering a prophetic reality. Prophets take that which is out of time and of eternity and try to make it fit into time. There is a lot here, but I want to focus on one term, the term “He must increase but I must decrease”. The term increase and decrease has been used by people as kind of a false humility, all of Jesus, none of me. My feelings about it though are covenant relational distinctions. When a woman marries a man, she of her own volition aligns herself as his bride, his covenant partner. In the covenant, the wife is considered the lesser by position, NOT by authority or true power.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1Pe 3:7)
Just to give a practical example: men are stronger physically and women are stronger emotionally and more responsive emotionally. Our prayers should take those basic distinctions into consideration to be effective. James tells us that free-flowing confession or just open trusting communication transforms our prayers through the “rightness” of things. Decreasing just means assuming our correct position with the Lord as the bride. From the amplified bible:
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (Jas 5:16)
Can you see how scriptures can be manipulated to give an impression that fosters a religious spirit? So, if I have been taught to believe that “less of me” is a statement of humility, and the goal is to disappear then any expression of my uniqueness becomes a sin. BUT if I see become lesser as a description of covenant, then I am free to be myself and trust that God knows what bride He wants for His Son. Instead of trying to vanish my uniqueness in favor of becoming like Jesus, I explore my gifts and talents recognizing, that like Esther I was brought to the kingdom for such a time as this. Then, I have a unique equipping and purpose that should shine forth with glory.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. (Pro 12:4)
The word translated excellent is “chayil” which is the word for warrior. This is not a description of a doormat who needs to “submit” but a glorious co-laborer who is as committed to the inheritance and the husband, in this case, Yeshua.
All of this comes from the awe or fear of the Lord. We gloriously step into the position of lesser as our awe of Him increases.
Much of the focus in ministry has been on sin and sinners who need to repent and be forgiven for their sins. This sin has become a behavioral issue. Yet sin is truly an identity issue. Or a better way to say it is that sin is a false identity issue. Yeshua declared this when He said:
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Our perception of our parents determines much about who we are. When we derive our worth, our identity from the world, we are deriving it from the devil. I know that sounds harsh and it truly is! All of the world’s values and “parenting of us is based on lies”. The world and its value system corrupt our true value as the bride of Christ. The world is like the matrix. It is a system designed to corrupt the sons and daughters of God and turn us into bankrupt souls.
Today I want to focus on the other side of the equation, The manifestation of the true sons and daughters of God, the bride of Messiah. In opposition to the world and the kingdom of darkness, the Kingdom of God is based on truth.
Truth is NOT relative to the believer! Truth is concrete. It is absolute. True does not vary based on who is speaking. Truth just is. Whenever truth is subjected to the belief of anyone it by definition is no longer truth but becomes a lie.
The best way to hide and destroy the effectiveness of truth is to make truth subject to the authority of anyone. When someone determines what is the truth, the truth becomes a lie. There is only one who can determine truth, the One who is truth. There is only One voice of truth.
Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (Joh 14:6)
This is the ultimate affront to the world. By declaring Himself to be the truth, Yeshua dismantled the world who had up to that time determined truth through power, manipulation and mind control. He calls this overcoming the world.
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world."(Joh 16:33)
Tribulation is not just a time period of suffering. Tribulation is what living by the world’s truth produces. Ultimately it does lead to the devastation bearing that name, the great tribulation, which is just what the world’s truth looks like without God’s truth to hold it in check.
So, the truth is Yeshua. When we receive Him we decrease, come into the place of the bride, aligned and powerful. In that place, we have intimacy with the truth, intimacy with Him by His eternal spirit which leads us into our destiny, what he calls all truth.
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.(Joh 16:13)
This place comes from His manifest Presence which arises out of our fear of the Lord, our being in awe and wonder of His greatness. Our destiny is unlocked as we come into true salvation through correct alignment and our warrior-bride identity.
Activation: Let’s ask Him for some truth of our place as His bride. Ask Him, “who am I to you?”. What is my Esther place in the kingdom? This is true wisdom and understanding, true counsel and strength. Let’s listen one more time:
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. (Isa 11:1-4)