Overcoming Produces Christ Character

Greetings,

Today I feel it necessary to post a blog I presented a couple of years ago. It is relevant to the topic of overcoming as sons and daughters of God. God’s grace empowers us to become who we are meant to be in Christ.

The Body of Christ wears the reflections of the Father’s heart, because she knows how to endure the pressures that oppose His character within her. When we face pressures in life, it is not a sign that the devil is having victory over us. The pressures of life are the very things that reveal the hidden truth within us. Christ in us is the hope of glory! If Christ is in us, then the pressures of life should manifest the testimony of Christ in us to the world around us.

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Tribulations are the pressures of life. At the writing of this Scripture by the apostle Paul, that tribulation was a matter of life and death. In some parts of the world this is true today. For those of us in the west it is not the tribulation of life and death, but the tribulation of life that challenges our faith in God. It is hardly a comparison, but it is true for most in the western church culture. In any case, the pressures of life lead to the perseverance of our faith. The Greek word used hear, implies two ingredients. It contains the ingredient of endurance and it also contains an ingredient of cheerfulness. It is cheerful endurance. Cheerful endurance is the key to activating the character of Christ within us. If we decide to be miserable while in the midst of our circumstances we appeal to the old nature of the flesh, but if we stand with cheerful endurance we draw on the life of Christ within us. This manifests the character attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 23). These are the substance of the fruit of the Spirit within us. When this happens, we manifest the testimony of Christ in a measure of His glory. This is the testimony of hope. Christ in us is the hope of glory.

We are members of the Body of Christ. Corporately we are the Bride of Christ. It is Christ within us and in our midst that makes us who we are. Like our husband, we display the family name. The Bride of Christ is a testimony of the City of God. The foundations of the wall of the City are adorned with all kinds of precious stones (Rev. 21:19, 20). Whatever is in the foundation is also meant to be revealed in its rising walls of testimony.

The Grace of God has empowered the Church to become the testimony of His passion and glory in the midst of every pressure and tribulation. The city of God reflects and refracts the many attributes of the nature and the likeness of God. It is filled with the many testimonies of the light of Christ’s glory. What is in the foundation of the Church is becoming the very substance that is revealed within the community of the City. If you do some research you will find that the stones in the foundation of the City likely represent the tribes of Naphtali, Simeon, Manasseh, Rueben, Asher, Judah, Zebulun, Gad, Issachar, Levi, Ephraim (the born-again of Joseph), and Benjamin. When presented in their order they imply that in the foundation of this city is the following testimony: Has wrestled to wrestle no more, hears God and responds, knows His forgiveness and the past is forgotten, is seen as a son, is fortunate and happy, has become a testimony of praise, dwells with God, is joined to others in God, is rewarded by God by seeing what God sees, is one with God, is fruitful in God, and is a testimony of His inheritance through His hand of resurrection life. This is a great foundation for the walls of an awesome community of life!

When we stand on the foundation of truth we stand in the place of life. We no longer wrestle in the flesh, but overcome by the power of His grace. We hear God in the midst of every situation of our lives and that hearing is enough to inspire our faith. The power of God’s mercy each day frees us from the strongholds of our past. We are children of God and in that we find the fortune of being His son or daughter and we know the happiness of being a part of His family. Our weaknesses are being transformed to testimonies of His strength. Our flaws are being redeemed by the reigning power of His grace. God lives with us and we live with Him. We are not alone. Being a part of God’s family is a daily reality in our world. God’s rewards outweigh the losses in our lives. Our perspectives are continually changing. We no longer see the world as we used to see it. We are increasingly looking at things through the eyes of God. He is forever with us in all we are and do. The fruitfulness of life is our portion even out of the ashes of death itself. Resurrection life is our portion, thus life can never be taken from us. God’s hand is upon us!

In the same way that God can take the irritations of the flesh and turn them into testimonies of His love, the pressures of life can prove to reveal the character of Christ within our lives. Even as God can take the things that could be most ugly and turn them into something beautiful when we allow His grace to work in our hearts, He can also reveal the brightness of His glory in the midst of the pressures of our lives. God doesn’t want us to escape the wounds of our past, nor does He want us to escape the pressures of our lives. He wants us to realize that the wounds of our lives are part of us, but they don’t define us; even so the pressures of life don’t destroy us, but prove to reveal the power of Christ’s character within us. Just as the wounds of our flesh can become a pearl of great price revealing God’s love, the pressures that appear to be against us can prove the power of the One within us who is greater than the things of the world.

The formation of precious stones involves a transformation of one substance to a more refined, purified, and hardened material. The dissolving of a certain substance, great pressure, and transformation by intense heat produces a translucent material of brilliant beauty. Gemstones of great value are formed deep within the earth and then found in higher-level rock formations as magma or other internal movements of the earth carry them towards the surface. There are various ingredients that make up the material of different precious gems, but the process is similar. It is the same in our lives. The dissolving of our old nature reveals the refining grace of God as Christ is formed in us through a baptism of fire in the midst of the pressures of our lives. The work of Christ within us causes a transformation through a metamorphosis in our thinking and the behavior patterns of our lives become changed through God’s conversion process within us.

In the Revelation given to John the street of the City was of gold and looked like clear glass. Streets signify destiny! There is a purpose to the City of God; it is God’s means of getting the earth to the place He wants it to be. Like the testimony of the City, the destiny (street) of the City of God is to bring the testimony of the likeness and the image of God into the earth (Gen. 1:26). God’s divine character, nature, way, power, and authority are to be revealed in the earth through the testimony of the City of God (street as gold). The living word is seen as an expression of the purpose of Christ’s City in the earth (street as glass). That living word is the testimony of Christ in the very fabric of those who make up the community of God. Every revelation from God is an invitation for each one to have an encounter with God, whereby they become a testimony of that revelation of God.

The community of God is filled with the testimony of the power of Christ’s life-changing character made manifest from within. It is a community that stands in the midst of the pressures of the world and reveals the nature, character, way, power, and authority of Christ to the communities of the world. Christ in us is the hope of glory!

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #leadershipinthechurch, #newcovenantleaders, Leadership Development | 1 Comment

The Miracle of Grace

Greetings,

Grace is the overcoming power of Christ’s life within us. Grace changes us and it affects our spirit, soul, and body. It is the grace of God that causes us to be born again. Without being born again one cannot even comprehend the truth of the kingdom of God within the heart of a man or woman. It is a miracle. It is as miraculous as the Virgin Mary conceiving the Christ child. Christ in humanity is not just some form of religion used to manipulate the thoughts of our minds. Christ in humanity is a revolution and it is a revolution of grace. Christ ‘in us’ is the true testimony of ‘us in’ Christ. It is different than any humanly inspired religion. It is different than any religion inspired by any spirit, human or from the dimensions of heaven. Christ in the human spirit of man is the ultimate miracle of heaven implanted in the human heart. It is the salvation of the human soul. It is the inspiration of change to the thoughts, reasoning, desires, emotions, and imaginations of men.

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Outside of Christ the human soul is susceptible to the influence of selfish desires, natural thinking, and even demonic forces. Every soul is motivated by spirit and when the human spirit is not empowered by the Holy Spirit of God from within, it is weak and vulnerable to the influence of other spiritual forces. Even with Christ in us we can become vulnerable to the foolishness of a soul disconnected from the Spirit of Christ within us. Christ in us is the hope of glory! It is not a knowledge about God that empowers us, but a knowing of Him each day in our hearts. This is the testimony of grace.

James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The governing of the human soul apart from Christ in us is the knowledge of good and evil. The Tree of Life can only be discovered through the power of God’s grace in our hearts. Mercy ends the old system of being informed with what is good and evil and gives us access to the place of transformation unto life. It is the power of grace in the human heart that transforms us from within.

As leaders we must set an example of walking in the grace of God and we must set an example as to the miracle testimony of Christ within us. We are not leading people in a form of religion based upon what is right and what is wrong. We are not the same as the religions of the world. Good and bad people are stuck in the governing systems of the world, but only in Christ can they be transformed to become testimonies of God’s grace. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are ambassadors of a kingdom inspired by grace. We are only resident aliens in this world, but we are citizens of heaven by the transforming power of Christ within us. It is a miracle! We must show mercy to those who are in the world and live as children of God empowered by His life-giving grace. Grace is the testimony of God dwelling in our hearts and we must choose to embrace Him. The blood of Jesus enables all people to receive mercy that ends the old system of information, but the Holy Spirit in the human heart empowers each one to find God’s grace that empowers God’s life-transformation power from within.

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

We cannot measure people in the world by the standard of grace. We can only allow God’s grace to measure us in our hearts. We can then show mercy to those who are in the world and demonstrate what it looks like to be sons and daughters of God empowered by God’s grace. It is foolish to think that people outside of Christ cannot do good things, but it is also foolish to think that outside of Christ is the same as in Him. We must never measure good or bad people outside of Christ by the character of Christ. It is not in them. Even with one another the character of Christ is a work in progress by the power of Christ within us. We are new creations, but we are finding God’s grace to walk in the character, nature, way, power, and authority of who we are in Him.

To all who are leaders I say, “Lead as a leader of grace.” To every citizen of heaven I say, “Live as a person of grace.” To the family of God I say, “Don’t compare the miracle of New Birth in Christ with any religion of the world or any government of men. It is a thing of God’s doing and must be found by each one.”

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Overcoming Armor

Greetings;

I have been writing concerning being a community of children, fathers, and sons. As the family of God we must always be childlike in our expectations, faith, teachability, and understanding of God’s love. We must also desire to grow up into mature sons and daughters who are like our heavenly Father in character, nature, way, power, and authority. To do this we must find God’s grace to overcome in all things. In light of this, I felt to repost a segment of a blog I posted in the past. It involves being clothed in grace.

We are not standing in the earth defending ourselves from the enemy. The enemy is defending himself against us because we are dispossessing every power of death by the power of God’s grace. We are storming the gates of hell with the gate of heaven as the body of Christ in the earth. The influences of the realm of the dead are being eradicated by an invasion of the gate of heaven’s life. We must walk in God’s grace and be the people of God. The people of God bring the fruitfulness of God’s new covenant life and grace to the world. This involves standing, so that we will possess the inheritance of the earth beneath our feet.

The apostle Paul addressed the subject of standing in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The full armor of God is the full clothing of His grace. The purpose of that armor is to empower us to invade the earth with life! We are transforming darkness to light, sickness to healing, bondage to freedom, and death to life in every form it is found. That armor of God’s grace is revealed throughout Scripture in many ways. The apostle Paul revealed it in the fourth chapter of Ephesians as 1) one Lord, 2) one Faith, 3) one Submersion, 4) one God and Father, 5) one God above all, 6) one God through all, and 7) one God in all (Eph. 4:4-6).  The apostle Peter revealed these same things through the attributes of a spiritual house with a testimony of being:  1) a chosen generation; 2) a royal priesthood; 3) a holy nation; 4) God’s own special people; 5) God’s people of praise – once darkness, but now light; 6) the people of God; and 7) the people who have obtained mercy and now reign in life (1 Pet. 2:9,10).

Being clothed in the grace of God empowers us to dispossess the enemy in the land of our inheritance. It is the power of the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowing, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:1,2). This is the power of the grace of God at work in our lives. It is the clothing of the manifest presence of God that dispossesses the enemy. The armor of God is the testimony that reveals God rests in our lives. Our standing is not a standing of defense, it is a standing of occupation and inheritance. As is written in the synthesis of Scripture, standing is a position of inheritance. The whole armor of God is a testimony of the fullness of God in bodily form (Eph. 1:22, 23). It is the empowerment of the sevenfold Holy Spirit of God in our lives.

Ephesians 6:14-18 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 

The armor of grace is the testimony of God’s love in our lives. We know one Lord, one desire of heart that empowers us to be the generations of His testimony. He picked us! He loves us! Our future testimony and posterity is made known by the truth of His love. A revelation of His love is giving us a new ‘want to’ for the empowerment of our commitment to God in Christ. We can boldly come and say, ‘here I am’. We are the little ‘i ams’ in the big ‘I AM’ of Christ. We have been granted repentance unto life that frees us from every dead work of the flesh. We are alive in Christ!

We live from our hearts with works that speak of our faith toward God. Our wisdom is not found in the strength of our own works, but in the empowerment of works that testify of our love for God and witness to our faith toward God in all things. It is through a right relationship with and a dependency upon God that we live from our hearts with faith toward God. It is the grace of the Spirit of Wisdom that reveals our royal and priestly roles in life.

Something is dripping off of our feet that reveals our heavenly position in Christ. We were once submerged in the bitterness of life, but now there is a response to God from our hearts that overflows with a testimony of His Holy Spirit. We are submerged in the grace of His Understanding. We were once of the ungodly nations of the world, but now we are a holy nation before our God. We stand under His submersions with a grace of the Spirit of Understanding to bring His life to the world. The testimony of His house in heaven is the reality of peace that we bring to the world in which we live.

We are not alone, but each stand as lights and the fire of life to create a shield of faith empowered by the Counsel of His light. The Father of lights is revealing us to be His children of light. We are light to the darkness, healing to all sickness, and life to death in this world. The Spirit of Counsel reveals that we are ministers of fire (Ps. 104:4) and the little fiery darts of the enemy pale week in the flame of His presence upon us. We are His special people, each carrying the grace of His life-giving hands of blessing as we walk in submission to Him and one another as the body of Christ.

We wear the helmet of His salvation. There is no god above us for He is the God above all in our lives. He is our salvation in every situation for we are fully awake in Him. The apathy of flesh has been overwhelmed by the passion of His Might. The grace of the Spirit of Might is making us alive to Him in all things and we contribute to the cause of Christ as His people of praise in the earth. We wear the grace of the Spirit of Might to reveal that He is the God above all gods and that we have fellowship with Him and one another in the power of His resurrection life!

Something is flowing through us that is a weapon of life. The life-giving words of God flow as a piercing weapon of love to the hearts of men. We release the sharp quickening edges of sacrificial love as our lives confess a love for God and for men. The judgments we make are not judgments of the flesh. They are judgments for the poor from the equity of our lives. We make decisions for others based upon who we are in Christ, not what they deserve in the flesh. We are the people of God who walk as the community of God to bring the communion of God to all men. The word in our mouths is a word of His love, a judgment of eternal life for all who believe in Him. We are the people of God and we wear the grace of the Spirit of Knowing, intimacy with God and men through Christ’s eternal judgment of love for all people.

Our decrees are those of the life of the Spirit and not those of defeat. Our destiny is not Nirvana, dust, or the grave. We reign on a throne in Christ and we manifest the glory that He sups and dines with us and we with Him. There is one God in us and our children and our children’s children will reign with Him in life. We wear the grace of the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, praying always in the Spirit with an awe of His presence and glory in all things. We are the essence of the prayer of God to bring forth the full harvest of His destiny in the earth. We have obtained mercy and now we reign in Christ!

God’s grace is not His favor without change. God’s grace is His change made known in our lives that testifies of His favor. We are clothed in the power of God’s grace and we are dispossessing the enemy of Christ’s inheritance in the earth. Where the soles of our feet walk it is becoming the inheritance of God in the earth. His enemies are being made His footstool because His presence rests in and upon our lives as the children of God.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Special Prophetic Posting

Greetings;

Today I am taking the opportunity to post a special blog edition. I have no desire to be political or to invite any political debate in today’s posting. I am posting what I believe to be my responsibility before God for the sake of peace, embracing thoughts of a future and hope, and moving forward as the community of God in the midst of the communities of the world.

Yesterday the United States elected a new president, Donald J. Trump. I know that there are many mixed feelings in the world and many mixed feelings in the body of Christ. I want to first remind you as God’s children that you are a part of the community of Christ and that the kingdoms of the world are not the same as the kingdom of God. The kingdoms of the world are being increasingly filled with those who are embracing the kingdom of God within their hearts. By this the kingdoms of the world are becoming the kingdoms of Christ, but God’s kingdom is not an administration of external force. It is an internal place of transformation in the human heart. The kingdom of God is an intimate place of the human heart that knows that God is God, we are God’s people, and we and God live together in all things. It is God who gives us life, breath, and all things, thus we live, move, and have our being in Him. It is marked in our thinking and imprinted in our ability to be blessings in this world. It is a mark on our foreheads (thinking) and a mark on the back of our hands (doing) that reveals we are the people of God. We live for God our Father and for the future generations of God’s children in this world. My hope for America or for any nation of the world is not in an external administration, but I will always hope for natural administrations in the earth that will serve as instruments in God’s hand for His purposes in the earth.

I received several encounters with the Holy Spirit since last December that led me to strongly believe that the election of Donald Trump to the office of president in the United States would take place. I have been reserved in my opinion and have held my voice for the sake of various opinions of friends in the community of God. I have indicated my thoughts, but I have not been overtly public with my opinions. I have refused to debate or to condemn anyone for a different opinion then my own and I have sought to be careful in my own heart to make my own voting decision based upon what I sensed God was saying. I will say that I have consistently experienced some very tangible moments of God’s presence while praying for Donald Trump. I will continue to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance upon him in the appointment of individuals to various roles of responsibility in the administration of the United States. I received a prophetic word at the end of October in regard to the election and I am posting it now. Upon receiving it, I sent it to a few privately as a record of declaration and I have declared it from a place of heaven’s gate. I am posting this primarily for those of you who are citizens of United States and citizens of the body of Christ in the sphere of my influence. Today I am posting it for you to see, to pray, and to consider what God may be saying to you as a believer in regard to being a member of the community of God in the midst of the communities of the world.

October 31, 2016

The Spirit of God says, I am playing my Trump card in the present elections. I will bring a unity in the parties of men. He will be able to draw the cards together of any suit and he will be the difference in turning a losing hand to a winning hand. The winning hand will turn things towards the hand of My favor IN America. What was established by the strength of men will be overturned by the foolish things of the world. There will be an uncovering, an unveiling of things to come, and a recovering of the things that are meant to be. That which I am doing is only a sign of my true desire. For I will cause there to be a turning of things that were opposed to one another to turn towards Me and I will reveal a new reality in the dependence of men upon My name for the glory of My inheritance in the earth.

The true turning will be in the hearts of My people, for it is not in agreement that unity is found, but in the power of love that goes beyond the disagreements of men. The Cyrus of this nation will continue to upset those who are bound to the law of their own hearts and minds. For some that law is the legalism of religious right, for others it is the law of human entitlements and the choice of their own needs. Those who call themselves My people must show mercy to those who are bound to the left or the right. Those who call themselves My people must become My people of grace so the path may become clear that leads to life. My people shall be known by their love.  – Ted J. Hanson

This is a word I gave four years ago before the last U.S. election. I believe that it is also relevant to the present season in America.

October 31, 2012

Two storms have hit America, but they are not the natural storm of the east coast. There is a storm of promiscuity and a storm of legalism, but the true test will be when these storms collide. With the victory of either will come the test of dependency upon God. These are but storms, but God is the hope! Will America depend upon God at the crest of the storm? It is the aftermath of the storm that reveals the hearts of men. God is calling for a people who will turn their hearts to Him in the midst of the storm so they will turn to Him in the easiest days of mercy. If you don’t give God everything in your toughest moments, you won’t give God anything on your easiest day! It is time for the community of God to touch the earth with the power of God’s judgment of mercy and His reign of grace – Ted J. Hanson

This is a word I gave January 5, 2016:

2016 is a year of partnerships, not partnerships as you would suppose. It’s not partnerships to see what you can get. It’s partnerships to see what you can give because the partnerships of 2016 are not partnerships of contract. They’re partnerships of covenant.

You are living in a time and a season where Isaiah 61 and 62 are going to accelerate and the partnerships that are going to take place in 2016 are going to come from the foundation of Isaiah 61 that leads to Isaiah 62, and then Isaiah 60 is finally going to become real. Because you can’t ‘Rise and Shine and your light come’ because you don’t know who you are.

Faith, Hope, and Love is a partnership for 2016!

God’s going to release such a grace of His love in this season, unsurpassed by any previous season. He’s going to reveal His love. He’s already showing up in the most unlikely places. And He’s showing that He wants to move into every neighborhood on planet earth because He wants every neighborhood of planet earth to move into heaven’s reality. He wants every neighborhood to move into His reality, but if you move into His reality then you’re going to be a different kind of people. Because if you move into His reality, then you’re going to be a people who will build, raise up, and make things new. You’ll be a people of blessing, a people of multiplication, a people of possessing. You’ll be a people of partnership, a partnership with God, a partnership with one another, a partnership of faith, hope, and love, realities of community and community only, because faith is towards a person, love comes from a person and hope is in a person.

In 2004 I prophesied a word concerning a grassroots revolution in America that would remove the headships of promiscuity and legalism (http://tedjhanson.houseofbreadministry.org/2011/10/17/a-grassroots-revolution/).

The following are blogs I posted this year in regard to our attitude towards worldly kings:

Worldly Kings

http://ted4you.com/2016/05/30/worldly-kings/

Worldly Kings For God’s Purpose

http://ted4you.com/2016/06/06/worldly-kings-for-gods-purpose/

God Uses Worldly Leaders

http://ted4you.com/2016/06/13/god-uses-worldly-leaders/

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Overcoming To Reign

Greetings,

The people of the Church of Laodicea were reprimanded for their lukewarm condition. They were neither cold as the world, nor were they hot as the living in Christ. They had adopted a form of godliness without the power or presence of God. The city of Laodicea was physically located between hot springs and cold springs, thus even the natural experience of ‘spitting something’ from your mouth brought to mind a real experience understood by those who heard the letter. The physical surroundings of the city of Laodicea prophetically exemplified the condition of the atrophy of religious Pharisaism. It was common to find a drink of water in Laodicea that naturally induced one to spewing it out. Exegetically this was like the period of the ‘last days’ of the Old Covenant nation of Israel, which was concluded in A.D. 30 – 70. This was the generation that Jesus said would not pass until the prophetic words of His mouth were fulfilled (Mt. 16:28; 24:34; Mk. 9:1; 13:30; Lk. 9:27; 21:32). This was the generation that had confessed they had no king but Caesar, yet professed to be servants of the Most High God (Jn. 19:15). They were neither fit for God or Caesar. They were an exegetical testimony to all forms of godliness that lack God’s presence and power in the generations of the past and in all generations to come.

Because of their lukewarm condition, Jesus said He would spew them out of His mouth. This is a Hebrew phrase that was part of the curse for breaking covenant with God (Lev. 18:24-28; Lk. 21:24). Israel was told that if they became like the nations of the world, the Promised Land would vomit them out. The people of Laodicea had become conditioned by the world to no longer be seekers of God, but simply lovers of themselves. They thought themselves to be rich and in need of nothing, but God saw them to be “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”. This is the description of the Pharisaic Judaism of the first century (Lk. 18:9-14; Rev.18:7). A fallen condition was disqualifying them from ministry (Lev. 21:18-21; Deut. 29:4; Mt. 13:13-15; Mt. 16:3; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4; 1 Jn. 2:11).

They were counseled by the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord to “buy gold refined in the fire”. This was a signification of their need to become faithful to God (1 Pet. 1:5-7; 1 Cor. 3:12-15). They were instructed to put on “white garments”. They needed to pay the price of putting on wedding attire, or be replaced (Mt. 22:11-14; Gen. 3:21; Rev. 19:8). They were instructed to put salve upon their eyes that they might see. That salve was not a salve of natural sight, but a salve symbolizing the receiving of the healing grace of God in Christ (Lk. 4:18; Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:14, 15). That salve would grant them the ability to see by the Spirit of God and not the veil of the flesh. The Old Covenant veil was still present upon their eyes (2 Cor. 3:14). God wanted to deal with them as their Father. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord would grant them the grace of honoring their Father in heaven. God had come to treat them as sons. He was ready to rebuke and chasten them that they might come to know the Father of spirits and live (Heb. 12:5-11; Mal. 4:1-6).

The key to the zeal of the Lord was being offered to them. Jesus was standing at the door and knocking. This was the entrance into the New Covenant and dominion with Christ (Eph. 1:20-23; 2:6; Rev. 1:6). The invitation was being given to them to come to the throne of Christ. This is the throne whereby Jesus rules, and will continue to rule, until His kingdom becomes a great mountain and fills the earth (Dan. 2:35, 45). Christ is the King in His kingdom already (Col.1:13).  We are already kings and priests in this world because of Him (Rev.1:6). He has defeated the enemy already (Col. 2:15). He reigns now (Acts 2:29-36; Eph.1:20-22; Mt. 28:18-20). He is presently engaged in putting His enemy under His feet (1 Cor. 15:25). All New Covenant Believers have the ability to manifest the glory of God (2 Cor. 3:2-18).

Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.’ 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Laodicea was lukewarm. They thought of themselves as being rich, but were found wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; a description of an impotent, fallen condition. They were told to become full of faith and do works of righteousness or be spewed out of God’s mouth. Those who repented would receive the presence of Jesus in their lives. All who enter the New Covenant are given the ability to manifest the presence of Jesus in their lives as His glory is revealed. They will sit with Him on His throne from glory to glory. The seventh aspect of the curse of the fall is that of returning to dust (Gen. 3:19). Jesus promises a promotion to glory! The corruptible can put on the incorruptible in Christ (1 Cor. 15:52-55). We can know one God “in all” (Eph. 4:6).

The seven letters of Revelation, chapters 2 & 3, were written to real churches of the first century with prophetic implications for the Church of all time. These seven letters revealed the syntactical testimony of God’s dealings with men in the past. These seven accounts also revealed the increasing grace of God released to the earth in the generations to come. The repeated term, “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” implies an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit whereby the content of these seven letters is true for all generations. It must mean we can hear! These letters testified of the overcoming promise of knowing one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, one God above all, one God through all, and one God in all (Eph. 4:5, 6). These letters are a testament to the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Maturing Sons of His Presence

Greetings,

As the family of God we must always be childlike in expectations, faith, teachability, and understanding of God’s love. This is not the same as being childish in our attitudes. We are childlike in a way that inspires us to grow up into mature sons and daughters who are like our heavenly Father in character, nature, way, power, and authority. To do this we must find God’s grace to overcome in all things. We must overcome everything that resists a revelation of God’s love in our lives. We must embrace an overcoming grace of faith empowered by God’s love that eradicates all of our fears of death. We must respond to God with the transforming testimony of God’s Spirit that changes us inside and out. We must find God’s grace for life-giving connections of authority, so we too can be expressions of God’s life to the world. We must grow in an overcoming testimony of Christ’s resurrection life to be contributors to His fellowship of resurrection life in this world. We must grow in the grace of overcoming human logic and reasoning that resist covenant relationships and the testimony of being the people of God in the earth. We are to be a life-giving, light-shining, community of God’s love to the communities of the world around us.  We must also grow in overcoming through an awareness of God’s manifest presence and purpose in our lives. We were born to be loved by God, but because we are loved we also grow to become expressions of God to the world around us and by this the world is changed.

The final letter of Revelation was to the Church of Laodicea. The letter to the Church of Laodicea correlates to the completion of the Old Covenant with the judgment of the Pharisaic system and the sending forth of the Church to subdue Christ’s enemies in the earth. It is the beginning of the return of the Glory of God to the earth through Jesus Christ. It correlates to the power of prayer and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2), thus the angel of the Church of Laodicea is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (Zech. 4:10). This is the grace that brings about the full perfection of the Church (Heb. 6:1). It ultimately eradicates the seventh aspect of the curse of the fall. That aspect is the loss of dominion and the loss of the ability to put on the incorruptible (Gen. 3:19). Instead of a testimony of returning to dust, we become the increasing testimony of God’s glory in heaven and upon the earth. The Fear of the Lord comes from a face-to-face relationship with God in Christ. A face-to-face relationship with God will transform our lives and thereby change the world in which we live. The corruptible cannot contend with a face-to-face encounter with the incorruptible One. This seventh letter testifies to that end. We are destined to fully see Him, and to become like Him. This is that we might know one God “in all” (Eph. 4:6).

The name Laodicea means “just people”. This is a term that speaks of the Pharisaic day when Jesus was upon the earth. His own people had become absent of the glory of God and thus Jesus pronounced them desolate (Mt. 23:37, 38). That generation was self-righteous and thought themselves to be just without the power of God. We could look at this two ways: 1) they thought themselves to be “just” or; 2) without God they were “just people” (People without the power of God are just that – people). Either of these views will illustrate the point of a Pharisaic people.

The Laodicean letter correlates to the judgment of the Pharisaic system and the return of the glory of God to the earth through Jesus Christ. In this letter Jesus is seen as the “Amen”. This is a covenant term to a covenant breaking people and a term of blessing to those who have accepted the conditions of the New Covenant. To adhere to the Old Covenant in the day of the New Covenant was an act calling down all the curses of the Old Covenant upon their lives. The Old Covenant had been fulfilled in Christ, thus there was no more Old Covenant to hold on to. To adhere to the Old Covenant in the day of the New Covenant meant they would have to be as Christ was in order to endure its requirements. Law in the day of GRACE is nothing less than death according to the LAW.

Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.’

In this letter Jesus is seen as the one who is “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”. “Amen” is a covenant term. To say “Amen” means to call down upon oneself the blessings and/or the curses of the covenant (Num. 5:12-21, 22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:12, 13). It literally means “so be it”. For keeping covenant there is blessing, but for breaking covenant there is a curse. The “Amen” is a covenant term that invokes either action, depending upon obedience or disobedience to the covenant terms. To verify the covenant context of this letter, Jesus is called the “Faithful” and “True Witness”. These are terms revealing that Jesus is the source and enforcer of the covenant (Deut. 7:9-11). He is also called the “Beginning of creation of God” (Col. 1:15-18). This is the final establishment of Jesus as the preeminent one. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord is the testimony of His perfections. Without accepting Him as the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord there can only be judgment according to the perfections of the Law. In truth, the curse is a consequence for not accepting what is now being given in Christ. It is the result of a human decision, not an act of God to destroy people. The blessing is the fruit of receiving all that is being given by grace in Christ. The blessing or the curse is a result of human decision, but the blessing is also a life-giving force now available to all who find Christ in them. He gives the ability to overcome and reign in life with Christ in the throne of our hearts!

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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The Administration of Life

Greetings,

The government of the kingdoms of the word are based upon the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil. That Old Covenant government still exists in the kingdoms outside of Christ. Those kingdoms are made of individual lives as well as corporate or national entities. Those kingdoms have an administration of human lives based upon a knowledge of good and a knowledge of evil. It is based upon information and it can only control or restrain human lives, it cannot transform their hearts and minds from within. It only reveals the human need for the Spirit of God in their hearts. The administrations of conscience and/or law only serve to reveal that there is a God and humanity is in desperate need of Him. The only way out of the Old Covenant government of the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil is to embrace the love of God only found in Christ. This is where one find’s the justice system of the New Covenant. The government of the New Covenant is based upon life. True life is the testimony of true love. When we know the love of God we know the life of God! God’s love creates a different justice system than that of the Old Covenant. The justice system of those administrated by a knowledge of good and a knowledge of evil is one based upon good and evil, right and wrong, or some perceived reality of such. Those bound to the family tree of this administration are bound to a justice system of vengeance, retribution, and forms of vindication for what is seen to be right or wrong in the eyes of those administrated by such systems. It can be a knowledge of what is actually right or wrong or a perceived knowledge of what is right or wrong. In either case, it is an administration of natural understanding and it is absent the supernatural transformation of God’s love.

Things are different for those who find the administration of the kingdom of heaven in their hearts. I believe that love is the testimony of the Tree of Life. Jesus lived as a human being empowered by love. The administration of His life was the Tree of Life, not the Tree of the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil. One is a tree of grace, while the other is a tree that constantly requires mercy. Humankind is stuck in the system of law until they find a way out. In order to be free from the justice system of law, mercy must triumph! Mercy is the end of the law and the invitation to grace. Wherever grace abides, love reigns. The justice system of grace is scandalous. It is not a system of fairness, but one of love. Those who find the justice system of grace can show mercy to those who are bound to the system of conscience or law, but they cannot empower them with grace. Each and every one must come boldly to the throne of grace in order to get mercy for themselves and then be empowered by finding the grace that comes at a revelation of Jesus Christ in their lives. You cannot empower a kingdom that is still bound to the knowledge of good and evil with grace. You can only demonstrate grace by showing them mercy. You then invite them to find the source of grace for themselves, for grace is a changed life in Christ. It is testified by a changed heart and mind that then becomes empowered to be merciful to others. This is the testimony of becoming a changed community in Christ.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens’: 8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

When we live for the Father’s will, for the Father’s children, and for His life to the world – we are growing as expressions of true community. This was established by Jesus and in the firstfruit church of the first century Church. The seven letters of the book of Revelation pertain to the foundation of this New Covenant life set in the Church. The Greek word for ‘world’ in the sixth letter of Revelation is the word oikoumenē meaning occupied land. From the word oikeō meaning to occupy a house. That which is covenant would be described as “earth” (land), and that which is not covenant would be described as “sea”. The word ‘world’ would be better translated as the occupied earth or occupied land in this case. It was not the ‘cosmos’ (global world), but rather the world that professed a knowledge of God (occupied land). This hour of trial was to come to those who professed to be of God in order that those of the true temple of God might prevail. It was not a trial for the unsaved, but a trial for those who made a confession of being the house of God. I believe that the firstfruits fulfillment of this was in the first century persecution of the Church and the judgment of the apostates in A.D. 70. Jesus said He was “coming quickly”.  Those who were still bound to the knowledge of good and evil would be removed, but those who had embraced the Tree of life in Christ would remain.

The Church of Philadelphia (brotherly love) was told to hold fast to that which they had and they would be pillars in the temple of God. The firstfruits Church of the first century became the foundation for the Church throughout the generations to come. As pillars in the temple of God they were given the testimony of a love for God and a love for His people. The life of the Spirit was to overcome the life of the flesh and the City of God was beginning its established testimony in the earth. This was true exegetically for the Church of Philadelphia, syntactically true in the history of Ezra and Nehemiah, and true by principle of application in the generations to come. All who enter the New Covenant are given the life of community with God and one another. The provision, safety, government, strength, and community of God’s City will be given to them in increasing measures.

He who overcomes is granted to be made a “pillar in the temple of God”. This was syntactic language of the rebuilding of the temple. The pillars in the Old Testament temple were called platforms or shoulders (1 Kin.7:21 – HSRN 5982). They were the pillars of Jachin (he that strengthens and makes steadfast) and Boaz (in strength). This would be the testimony of the New Covenant foundation of the Church established for all time. The source of that strength would be “brotherly love” (Philadelphia). It would be the strength of loving God and loving the family of God. They will know the testimony of one God “through all” (Eph. 4:6).

God said a testimony would be “to write on him My new name”. Through communion with the Spirit of Knowing the Church would become the expression of the image of Christ (Ex. 34:29-35; Num. 6:25; 12:6-8; 2 Chr. 3:7-18; 4:6; Ps. 80:3, 7, 19; 2 Cor. 3:2-18; 1 Jn. 3:2). This is a full restoration of God’s people to His image (Ex 34:6, 7).

The testimony of those who overcome is that of being ‘left behind’. It is said that, “he shall go out no more”.  These are those who are made strong by the Spirit of Knowing (Jer. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:15); as opposed to those who are cast out (Mt. 8:11, 12).

Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The testimony of the Church of Philadelphia is that of being in intimate communion with God as the community of God. The name of God and the name of the city of God would be written upon them. This is the New Jerusalem. The Church is to be the true city of God (Gal. 4:26). The apostate counterfeit was to be destroyed and thus apostasy will be perpetually destroyed in every generation to come (Mt. 24:1, 2; Lk. 21:24). All New Covenant believers have the ability to enter into the full covenant and communion with God and one another (Gal. 4:23-29; 1 Pet. 2:4, 5). The bread of the sweat of the brow has been replaced with the life of God’s Spirit in the human heart (Gen. 3:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). We know one God “through all” (Eph. 4:6).

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

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Overcoming Law With Love

Greetings;

As a father in the faith to an emerging generation knowing the life-giving presence of Christ, let me say again today: It is time to arise and be a part of a maturing generation of overcomers for the glory of God. As I have stated, we must always be childlike in our expectations, faith, teach ability, and understanding of God’s love, but we must also desire to grow in maturity by finding God’s grace to overcome all things. We must overcome everything that resists a revelation of God’s love in our lives. We must embrace an overcoming grace of faith empowered by God’s love that eradicates all of our fears of death. We must respond to God with the transforming testimony of God’s Spirit that changes us inside and out. We must find God’s grace for life-giving connections of authority, so we too can be expressions of God’s life to the world. We must grow in an overcoming testimony of Christ’s resurrection life to be contributors to His fellowship of resurrection life in this world. We must also overcome in being a testimony of the community of God in Christ. The community of God is a place of knowing the tree of life and the justice system of His love in all things. It is a place of living to be life for others based upon a covenant of love. It is filled with mercy towards those who do not understand and a sharing of a grace of intimacy with those who do. Living in the testimony of brotherly love is part of being a member of the community of Christ.

The sixth letter of Revelation was written to the Church of Philadelphia. The letter to the Church of Philadelphia syntactically correlates to the return of Israel from exile under Ezra and Nehemiah in the church that was, Philadelphia of the first century, and the present day reality of becoming a testimony of the people of God in the earth. The word Philadelphia means brotherly love. It relates to communion and the testimony of the Spirit of Knowing (Isa. 11:2), thus the angel (sent one) of Philadelphia is the Spirit of Knowing (Zech. 4:10). This is the true witness of eternal life given as an “eternal judgment” in Christ (Heb. 6:2). That eternal judgment is eternal life for all who find themselves in Christ. It is judgment of love not for the deserving, but for everyone who boldly comes to the throne of God’s grace. It is a judgment based upon the mercy shown to all of humanity through the sacrificial death of Jesus upon our cross, and the life-transforming grace granted to each and every one of us by embracing the Spirit of God at work in our lives.

The overcoming promise of this letter is the antidote to the sixth aspect of the curse of the fall of man. The sign of eating bread by the sweat of the brow (Gen. 3:17) is taken away by a love for the Father and His family. Natural-mindedness is replaced with spiritual intimacy in Christ. Resistance to communion and community is replaced by a love that embraces transparency and vulnerability. A justice system of right and wrong is overcome by a justice system of mercy and grace in Christ. This is a living reality of those who have come to a revelation of being the people of God.

In this letter Jesus is seen as “He who is holy”, a term for God in His Temple. “He opens and no one shuts” and “shuts and no one opens”. All of this is “imagery of the synagogue and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple”. Those in Philadelphia had “little strength” but had “kept His word and have not denied His name”. In Philadelphia there were those of the Synagogue of Satan, who said they were Jews just as there were conflicts in the day of Ezra and Nehemiah with false Jews (Ezra 4; Neh. 4; 6; 13). The testing of the faith of the Church was really the proving of a communion of the Spirit. Surely there are those who resist the building of the community of Christ today because of their own strongholds of thinking, seeking a justice system of judgment over one of mercy, forgiveness, empowerment, and love.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens’: 8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

The community of God is made of people who have come to know God’s mercy and grace. These are people who embrace a justice system of love above a justice system of right and wrong. True community happens when people live for the will of a heavenly Father, receive His mercy that comes by His presence, and become transformed by the grace of intimacy with Him to show His mercy to those beyond themselves. These are maturing children of God who willingly embrace the presence of His Holy Spirit and lose their own lives for the sake the generations of the family of God. When this happens, the testimony of God’s love for His people subdues their oppressors beneath their feet. The true Zion of God is then seen as Christ’s Church (Isa. 60:14; Heb. 12:22). The Spirit of Knowing proves to establish the foundation of the Church in love. Those who know the communion of the Spirit are kept from every hour of trial that would come upon the world. Their measurement of justice is one that knows God’s loves them and they too are a measurement of that love, no matter what circumstances might arise in life. Maturing sons and daughters in Christ must grow in the grace of love and become innocent to the judgmental laws outside of intimacy in Christ.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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Overcoming Distracting Things

Greetings,

As someone who has been a believer for over 43 years and a leader in the body of Christ for over 30 years, I want to write once again to you as believers to come boldly to the throne of God’s grace where you can receive mercy to end everything of your past and find the grace to overcome in all things to the future (Heb. 4:16). We must always be childlike in our expectations, faith, teachability, and understanding of God’s love, but we must also desire to grow in maturity by finding God’s grace to overcome all things. We must overcome everything that resists our intimacy with God in Christ. We must overcome every fear of death with a demonstration of faith towards God in all things. We must overcome every stronghold of the flesh with a testimony of God working in our lives. We must overcome in our ability to walk in submission to life that we might bring the life-giving authority of our heavenly Father to the world. We must also overcome in our ability to be sent to contribute a testimony of Christ in His resurrection life to the fellowship of His name. This is the testimony of the Spirit of Might, an attribute of the Holy Spirit, working in our lives.

Many times the cares and desires of the world become great distractions to the presence and the purpose of God in our lives. We must all remain awake to the presence and purpose of God and we must not be drawn away by circumstances and situations in the world that thwart the destiny of God in our lives. The fifth letter of Revelation was given to the Church of Sardis. The name Sardis means prince of joy. I believe that Sardis represents a testimony of the manifest presence and purpose of Christ in our lives. In the presence of the Lord there is the fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). It is from the manifest presence of Christ in us that we become empowered to be sent for His purpose to the world. This letter to Sardis syntactically relates to Israel’s monarchy and captivity. It also relates to the Spirit of Might (Isa. 11:2) and the basic foundation of the “resurrection of the dead” (Heb. 6:2). It is from that foundation in Christ that we can each become a testimony of His presence and purpose to the world in live in. This letter also depicts the redemption of the fifth aspect of the curse of the fall in that man was given a sign of having to deal with the thorns and thistles of a dead earth (Gen. 3:17). Man was bound to a temptation of distraction from the things of God because of the prickly things of life. The distractions of the world tend to make mankind dead to the things of God. Natural distractions outweigh the heavenly attractions of life in Christ. Those things prove to suck the life from our hearts until we are dead to the things of God. Those distractions become exalted in our lives to replace the God who is “above all” (Eph. 4:6).

As revealed in the name of Sardis (prince of joy), the overcoming grace of the Spirit of Might gives a testimony of being awake to God. This is the opposite of apathy and death. It is the opposite of the testimony of the apostate death of Israel in her captivity in Assyria and Babylon. I believe that the angel of the Church of Sardis is the Spirit of Might (Isa. 11:2; Zech 4:10). In this letter Jesus is seen as the one who “has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars”. He is the author of life. He is the one who holds the power of His perfecting grace and He holds the perfected destiny of the Church. These terms testify of the prophetic witness given to Israel by the prophets during her time of apathy, scattering, and captivity. The prophets were given the word of life to awaken Israel from her sleep. The Church of Sardis was told to “be watchful”. This is a term used for being awake to God, for the Spirit is willing (Mt. 24:42-44; Mt. 25:13; 26:41; Mk. 13:33-37; 14:38; Lk. 21:36; Acts 20:29-31). The Spirit of Might empowers us to be alive to the things of God in Christ. Those in Sardus were told that they were “alive”, but they were “dead”. This is syntactic language of Israel’s time of apostasy (Isa. 1:5-23; 6:9-13; Isa. 65:8-16; Jer. 7:1-7; 8:11, 12; Ezek. 37:1-4). This letter depicts the need for us all to be awake to God’s presence and purpose in our lives. The Spirit of Might testifies that we are ‘made alive’ in Christ (Eph. 2:1, 5).

Jesus said if they did not wake up He would come upon them “as a thief”. This was a warning of imminent judgment (Isa. 1:24-31; 2:12-21; Isa. 26:20, 21; Jer.4:5-31; 7:12-15; 11:9-13; Mic. 1:2-7; Zeph. 1). This was not a term for a second coming of Christ alone, but His coming in history (Mt. 24:43; 1 Thes. 5:2-5; 2 Pet. 3:10). The Lord came in the Spirit of Might for the apostates and those of faith in the first century. Those of apostasy were consumed in the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, while those of faith were the firstfruits of the living of God as the Body of Christ in the earth. The overcoming grace of the Spirit of Might in the lives of those who believed was a firstfruit guaranteeing the victory of each and every part and member of the body of Christ in the successive generations of the growing glory of God in the earth.

He who overcomes is promised to be “given white garments”. White is a symbol of cleanliness, purity, and righteousness. White garments speak of being clothed in the New Man. We are to put on Christ now (Col. 3:5-17) and to be fully clothed in Christ in the “last day” (Col. 3:4; Jude 24). The overcoming Church has been clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). This is a heavenly truth that is progressively revealed in the life of every believer.

There was a blotting out of some, but an assurance of increasing eternal life for others. Some were taken, but the righteous were ‘left behind’ to fill the earth with the testimony of the righteousness of Christ. By principle of application in our own lives, the Old Adam is blotted out in Christ and the Last Adam forever lives as the new man of Christ. God blotted out the violators of His covenant in the harvest of the law, but this New Man in a living relationship with God in Christ would not be blotted out (Deut. 29:10-29; Ps. 69:1-28).

Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

All New Covenant believers have the ability to do works of righteousness (Eph. 2:10). A confession of the Father before angels (sent ones) speaks of a sending forth by the power of His might for works of righteousness (destiny). The things of this world do not distract us, but rather we are empowered by the Spirit of Might. We know one God “above all” by the power of His resurrection life (Eph. 4:6)! We each bring a contribution of the power of His resurrection life to the mystery of His fellowship. We must all grow in our maturity to overcome the distractions of the world by embracing of Christ’s resurrection life while in this world. We must be awake to Christ, His presence, and His purpose in our lives. We are all meant to be sent as testimonies of His resurrection life as those clothed in Him.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Overcoming to Give Life

Greetings;

The family of God is a community of children, sons and daughters, and fathers and mothers. The dynamic of the family of God is one of innocence, empowerment, and maturity. We must all maintain the innocence of children while finding the grace of God to overcome in all things that we might also become examples of maturity and stability in the family of God that inspires others. We must overcome everything that resists our intimacy with God in Christ. We must overcome every fear of death with a demonstration of faith towards God in all things. We must also overcome every stronghold of the flesh with a testimony of God working in our lives. A fourth area of overcoming is seen in our ability to walk in submission to life that we might bring the authority of life that comes by the Spirit of Counsel in Christ. This aspect of overcoming can be seen in the letter to the church of Thyatira.

Revelation 2:18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. 24 Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The Church of Thyatira corresponds to the church throughout history and it is filled with language foreshadowed in the Israelite monarchy and the Davidic Covenant. Jesus is referred to as “the Son of God” – the greater David (Ps.2:7; 89:19-37; Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23, 24; 37:24-28; Hos.3:5; Acts 2:24-36; 13:22, 23). This is a testimony of God’s authority in the earth. Authority gives life, while a grasping for power alone will always produce death or some measure of dysfunction. I believe that the aspect of Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Counsel empowers us to become expressions of God’s life-giving authority with a ministry of laying on of hands to give life to the world, thus destroying the power of darkness in the world by Christ’s ministry of light. We must all grow in the of living for the sake of others. This is a testimony of true authority.

The name Thyatira means “sacrifice” or “labor of love”. It also means “a perfume”, or “sacrifice of labor”. These are terms revealing attributes of serving with authority. These are attributes of a counseling ministry under the administration of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Counsel in our lives. The implication here is that of the Spirit of Counsel and the ministry of God as light and love. Jesus, as the “Son of God”, has “eyes like a flame of fire, and feet like fine brass”. Because we have been judged in Christ, we can now do the life-giving works of Christ that bring life to others. All life comes from authority. God wants us to all know one Father in heaven through His life giving Spirit of Council. He is the source of all authority in heaven and earth. His Spirit of Council restores our ability to rule in life. Our inheritance from our heavenly Father grants us authority in the earth to bring Christ’s healing through the “laying on of our hands” with the testimony of His light (Heb. 6:2).

We will be tempted to bow to the darkness of the world in a quest for power. We do this when we seek to live for ourselves rather than the wellbeing of others. In this letter the woman Jezebel is mentioned in reference to the apostasy of God’s people in the past (1 Kin. 16:29-34; 21:25, 26).”  Jezebel is an uncovered woman who seeks her own desires and rejects the life-giving authority of Christ. It is said that she will, “beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality”. The exegetical, syntactical, and principle of application seen in this letter depicts a temptation to compromise in grasping for power and reject authority as is the power of darkness in this world. It is a temptation to live for our own agendas rather than living to give life to others.

Exegetically the term ‘sexual immorality’ refers to the fornication of apostate Israel (Rev. 17:5, 16; 19:2). This was prophetically foreseen in the days of Israel’s compromise, after the death of King David and the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Israel became depicted as the unfaithful seed of the queen mother Jezebel. This letter reveals “great tribulation was for those who commit adultery with Jezebel”. When we disconnect from the authority of life we find ourselves in a place of great dysfunction.

He who overcomes is given “power to rule over the nations”. This was the testimony of King David. Jesus as the greater David has been given “authority over the nations” (2 Sam. 7:19-29; 8:1-14; Ps. 18:37-50; Ps. 89:27-29; Jer. 33:17; Dan. 7:14). Christ’s grace of the Spirit of Counsel and of knowing one Father of all was syntactically proclaimed in David’s Psalms of Christ’s dominion (Ps. 2:8, 9; 22:27-31; 46:4, 10; 47:1-3; 65:2; Ps. 66:4; 68:31, 32; 72; 86:9; 102:15-22; 138:4, 5; 145:10, 11).

In Christ we are to find the overcoming grace of the Spirit of Counsel that empowers us to overcome our selfish ways with the life-giving character of God’s true authority. He who overcomes is given the morning star. The government that rules in that day is by the Spirit of Counsel in Christ (Isa. 9:6, 7). This is the kingdom prevail of Christ under the authority of God the Father in heaven (Isa. 60:12). Every New Covenant believer has the ability to bring light into the darkness (Isa. 9:6, 7; Acts 26:15-18; Ps. 2:8, 9; Ps. 22:27-31; Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thes. 5:5; Mt. 5:14). We do this when we live for the wellbeing of others and for the generations beyond our own lives. We have been empowered by the Spirit of Council to do works prepared for us in Christ (Eph. 2:10). We are in submission one to another that we might lay the hands of Christ upon a needy world (Heb. 6:2). The curse of human dominance is replaced with the dominion of life in Christ. Christ Jesus in His headship is joined with Christ’s body to bring His kingdom rule of life to the nations of the world! We must all find God’s grace to overcome every temptation to go our own way in insubordination to God’s authority. Embracing a self-gratifying power will cause us to fall short of living to give life to others in this world. Maturing sons and daughters in Christ seek to overcome by living under authority as people who labor to give life to others in this world.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #leadershipinthechurch, #newcovenantleaders, Leadership Development | 1 Comment