The Church is Who We Are

    Greetings,

Isaiah 2:1-2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 

What would make a church a part of the mountain of God? It would be a place where God is higher than anything else in our hearts. It would be for the expression of God to be higher than anything else in our lives. The truth is, every mountain is made of a lot of stones. For a congregation to be a mountain, it would mean that every member needs to be a rock. Jesus said the church is built upon the rock of revelation of Christ that empowers each of us to become a testimony of Christ. It is the testimony of our lives being empowered by the huge rock of relationship that God builds His church. He is building the church and the gates of the realm of the dead cannot prevail against it.  Another metaphor for the church is the mountain of God. It is the place where the little rocks like Peter become a part of the big rock – the testimony of Christ. When that happens, the nations flow into it. They are drawn to the life of each stone in the mountain.

What happens in the mountain? If a congregation is an expression of the mountain of God that is higher than all the other hills in the community, its members prove to be more dependable than anything else that can be seen in the city. When members of the city look at the testimony of a stone in the mountain, they begin to stream into the mountain. What happens in the mountain?

Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

The mountain of the Lord has to be the place that God lives. We need God’s presence more than anything. We want Jesus to be famous in our midst and in the city. The manifest presence of God transforms our lives and our cities. For this to happen, each little rock in the mountain must see God as more than anything in their lives. As leaders, we must be examples of rocks in the mountain of God. We lead by allowing God to manifest in our lives in a way that others can be touched and inspired by His testimony in our lives. In the mountain of God, each little rock manifests God in their life. When all the stones come together, the most notable and recognized thing is the presence of God. God lives here! We don’t walk out of our gatherings together to say we are walking out of the house of God. We are saying the stones of the house of God are going into the city. No matter where we find ourselves in the city, we are still us. No matter where we find ourselves, we are part of the mountain of God. We are the church! It is not some place we go. It is a place that others can come to, because they are drawn to the testimony of our lives.

The church is not a place we go, it is who we are. We go into the community with the presence of God. It is not the responsibility of leadership or the worship team to give us the presence of God, they lead us by helping us experience the presence of God, but we each vessels of His glory. We don’t gather together as a church to get the presence of God. We come and we are reminded of the presence we always carry. So, we become the presence of God in the coffee shop, the presence of God on the construction site, the classroom, the taxi cab, and in our homes. We are part of the mountain of God in the earth. In the mountain of God, we have the presence of God and then what happens in this mountain? He teaches us His ways. In the setting of coming together in a meeting, or being in relationship in everyday life as the community of God in the local community, we are being taught God’s ways. What are God’s ways? In the justice systems of the world it is right to demand your rights. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right to give up your rights for the sake of others. In the justice system of the world, when someone hates you it is right to hate them. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven, when someone hates you it is right to love them. In the justice system of the world, when someone does something to you that is unforgivable it is right to not forgive them. In the justice system of the kingdom of God, it is right to forgive them. In the justice systems of the world, it is right for the guilty to die, but in the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right for the innocent to die for the guilty. These are God’s ways. They are ways of radical, extravagant love. Each stone in the mountain of God is different than the stones in the mountains of the world.

As leaders, we are examples of stones in the mountain of God. Being an example of a stone in the mountain is more important and any program we can offer. It is the power of inspiration to the other stones in the mountain of God. We must lead by being an example in the ways of God to those we lead.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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The Mountain of the Lord

     Greetings,

The place of greatness, is a place of testing. The place of greatness is a place of presence, purpose, and inheritance. It is the church, it is Zion. It is there we can become like Christ and we can walk the path of destiny made for us in Christ. It is not merely a place of finding the blessings of God, it is the place of being the blessing of God.

I write to you pastors, leaders, and other expressions of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We are called to lead others in knowing the greatness of being joined together for the glory of His name. We are one with Him and with one another in Him. We are the testimony of His praise in this world.

Isaiah 2:1-3 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

In these verses, the prophet Isaiah was prophesying about what would happen in the earth in the future. An ability for all people to come to know God’s ways and to walk in His paths would be revealed. A change of character and a change of purpose would come to the hearts of those joined together in Him for God’s glory. Isaiah was speaking of Jerusalem and Judah, but his words were beyond the natural Jerusalem and Judah of his day. In the Old Covenant, the nation of Israel and its center hub of Jerusalem was a prophetic proclamation of something that would one day fill the nations of the world. When the nation of Israel was divided to the ten tribes of the north and the two tribes of the South, God still had a testimony of His presence and purpose in the southern kingdom of Judah. Something of the praise of God could be found, even in the divided kingdom. God’s plan was never a Jewish nation only. They were merely a shadow of what God had in mind. God’s way was never a nation. It was a kingdom, but the kingdom of God is an internal kingdom in our hearts and not a natural kingdom of external rule and control. It is an internal kingdom that affects the external working of each and every kingdom that receives the mystery within them. It consumes our lives so the kingdoms of our lives become kingdoms of our Lord and Christ. Ultimately of all the nations are to become an expression of our Lord and Christ. When the prophet was prophesying concerning Judah and Jerusalem, he was not prophesying only about a natural nation known as Judah with an earthly center of worship known as Jerusalem. He was prophesying to the spiritual reality of what was represented in the natural shadow of those things. To understand it we have to translate the words into our languages. Judah means praise. To be people of praise, or to become the praise of God in the earth, is the testimony of Judah. If we translate Jerusalem it means vision of peace. A vision of peace is seeing there is no separation between us and God. The spiritual reality of these two things is for all people to become the praise of God and for all people to become the community of God that is not separate from Him. The prophet was speaking to humanity in eternity concerning being the praise of God.

Praise is something we are, not just something we do. When we become fully alive for God’s glory, that is praise. Being an imitation, a fake, or an actor doesn’t praise Him. But when we become the excellence of what we are supposed to be for His glory, that is praise. When we live for ourselves it is not praise. When we live for Him we find life more abundant, because we become like Him in His nature and way. God doesn’t need anything from us. He gives us life, breath and all things. When we give Him our life, our breath and our things we discover there is no end to the increase of the life, breath, and things He gives to us. We enter into the joy of having a relationship with God who is a giver. We manifest as sons and daughters of God; givers of life to the world. When we are together as the people of God, the church, the gate of heaven, Zion; we become the community of God. We become a testimony of being one with Him. We become a testimony of Jerusalem.

The words of Isaiah chapter 2 are words of expressive literature. These prophetic words are expressed language. They are expressing an experience. These words are not merely giving us information filled with literal facts. They are giving us facts in an experiential way. Is the Lord’s house a mountain? No, it is like that. It is a high place, a strong hold. Something you can trust in and depend upon. It can’t be moved. I live where there are high mountains. I can see them. They have snow on them. I recognize they are the high thing in the area. At any time of the year there is snow on the top. It is most recognized thing in my world. The mountain of the Lord’s house is to be established above all mountains. It is to become more visible than other mountains and hills in our world. It is higher and more real, and we can depend upon it. It is a marker, a monument, and a stronghold. The mountain of the Lord’s house, where God lives, becomes the most visible thing in our world. It becomes the most trusted thing in our lives. It becomes the most established thing. When that happens, nations flow into it.

As leaders in the church, and as the church, we must not believe the lies of the enemy that seek to divide the church. We must lead for the corporate purpose of Zion and we must be unmovable and unshakable in our resolve to see the goodness of God break out in the land of the living!

It is happening in the earth. In times of instability the mountain of the Lord is revealed as stable. Right now, there are millions of Muslims coming to Christ. They are the largest people group coming to Christ right now. Islamic religion in its extremity is terrible. I believe that all religion apart from the life of God is terrible. Christ in humanity is the hope of glory, but a form of religion, even Christianity, without the giving attributes of Christ in humanity is terrible. It takes. I don’t like a form of godliness without God in it. If Christ is in it, it can be wonderful. But if not, it is not real. God wants humanity to become a testimony of the mountain of the Lord.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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The Spirit Filled, Life-Giving Church

       Greetings,

We are children of light and we do not walk in darkness anymore. We are awake and not dead anymore. We are awake to who we are and we are awake to redeeming the time. We are not just individuals filled with the life of God. We are a community for His purpose and destiny of being the community of God. We are the family of God called to bring His glory into the world in which we live.

Ephesians 5:17-21 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…

We must understand what the will of the Lord is for us in this life. Being filled with the Spirit is the truth. Being a getter is the opposite of being a giver. Why do people get drunk with wine? So they can get everything they want to get. Why are they in bars getting drunk? So they can give to one another? No, they have one thing on their mind. To get a good time. To get something. The primary focus of their time is their time. What am I going to get? That is the way of the world. In the church, we should be just as drunk, but it is a different kind of drunkenness. It is not measured by what we get but by how much we give to others. Being filled with the Holy Spirit with the right spirit, the right focus, and the right anointing is going to cause us to give life to one another. The presence of Holy Spirit in our lives together will cause us become unashamedly bolder than usual. We won’t be afraid to sing, but we won’t sing to get attention. We will simply sing to give life to others. This is a metaphor that challenges each of us to be filled with the Spirit giving life to one another. We are to be filled with psalms. This is a joyful and thankful sound. It is the testimony of filled with God’s word, not religious singing to one another, not religiously reciting Scripture. It is giving life because something of life is coming off us. I believe in you. He is in you! I saw that! Yes, that is Christ in you. Wow. I appreciate you. I am so glad you are here. You are a child of God. I believe in you! He loves you! We have the same Father. Hymns are happy songs. Hymns are joyful songs. Something coming off of us to one another that fills others with joy not complaint, not murmuring, but joyful life.  We should be like poetry. We should be life-giving words to one another. Something of life should be coming off us.

Ephesians 5:20 …giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

This is not to be religious in our thankfulness. It is an attitude of our hearts. It is to be real and to be really thankful. It is to remain in Christ. To remain in the place of the Spirit. How often are we to do this? Always! The more we are thankful the more life will be in our lives. It is a matter of being givers of life.

Ephesians 5:21 …submitting to one another in the fear of God.

This is not control. It is relationship. The parts of my body are in submission with the other parts of my body. It is not a matter of one part being greater or controlling another part. It is a matter of relationship and the ability to give life and to receive life from one another for the sake of being a healthy living body.

As the body of Christ, it is about the life of Christ in us and through us to others. We must see ourselves not just in the setting of Sunday service, but wherever we are in life. We don’t do anything in life as independent individuals. We do all for the purpose of being the gate of heaven. We need to understand the hope of God’s calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the working of His power in and through our lives for the glory of His name. It is not our calling, our inheritance, or our power. It is us for His glory, but it is always each of us in connection with others for the sake of who we are together in Christ.

As leaders we must lead others to the way of being the church that is filled with the Spirit, life-giving in character and action, and life-receiving and life-giving in submission one to another.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

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A Supernatural Community Expression

    Greetings,

The letters of the New Testament address the purpose of the Body of Christ and not individual rights. Peter wrote to the Jews about being a living temple. Paul wrote about being a body. In both cases, it was about being a community together. Being a community must be important. Church expression must be important. I am not talking about church expression for you to experience Jesus. I am talking about the church expression to be Christ with the diversity of the uniqueness and ability of Christ. I am talking about being part of the community of Christ for the purpose and destiny of Christ in the earth. If it is important, do you think it is a target for the enemy? Is family important? Do you think it is a target for the enemy? Modern societies are being swayed to destroy the value, importance, and destiny of family. Family is being redefined. Family in societies of the world is becoming defined as the place that meets our needs. Family is not the place that meets our needs. Family is the place that fulfills our destiny. The enemy wants us to redefine family. It is not a relationship that produces life beyond our lives anymore. It is a relationship that meets our needs so we can have happy lives. I understand the world thinks this way. I can’t condemn the world for thinking that way. They are the world. They think that living for themselves is going to satisfy them. Living for yourself is not going to satisfy you. The true purpose of life can only be discovered when we become life-givers. That is true life. It requires supernatural intervention. In our carnal nature, we are self-seekers. We need a supernatural intervention to make us seekers of God and a seeker of others. In our natural nature, we are afraid by what we see or perceive to see in life. So, we need a supernatural intervention so we are not afraid anymore. We live by faith and not by sight. We need a supernatural revelation to become who we were meant to be, not who we were naturally born as. We were naturally born with problems. We inherited problems. Our problems include things like anger, jealousy, insecurity, or some other form of selfishness. We can inherit these, we don’t just learn them. Some of these things are spiritual inheritance we receive in our families. We can inherit an inability to be covenant keepers or a desire for our needs to be fulfilled in some illegitimate way. Some things have come to us through experiences we have gone through, but other things we inherited because of experiences of our parents and others in the generations before us. We inherited things that are common to the sons of men, but not to the sons of God. God has made a way for us to become who we were meant to be. Being born again is supernatural! It is as miraculous as the virgin Mary becoming pregnant. It is the same. It is not less than. It is miraculous. We even have a better covenant than the covenant that Mary had. Mary has a better covenant now than she did when she was the natural mother of Jesus. She is very much alive as is Abraham, Jacob and others. They all have a greater revelation now than they did while alive in the Old Covenant.

Being Zion, the city of God, is impossible with men, but with God nothing is impossible. All things are possible. To be the body of Christ is impossible for the flesh. God has called us to be impossible, but for God all things are possible. We inherited things that need transformation. Without the supernatural intervention of God we are depressed, oppressed, gossips, haters of one another, covenant breakers, unable to make covenant, fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, or some other alteration to true life. Without God, we are these things. Not one is more than another, but all are less than what we are supposed to be. God has called us to be part of something supernatural. God has called us into the Selah of God. It is too much for us to understand. It is getting into the presence of God and being transformed by God’s grace, Selah. Selah is a, God do it! It means woe! Impossible! Make it so God! Make it so! Transform me. Saturate me. Grace is the saturating place of change. This is the church. It is not just a place to walk out Biblical principles. If it doesn’t look like walking out biblical principles, we must question what we are being soaked in, but it is more than seeking to adhere to some Biblical truth. It is a place of being transformed in our character, nature, way, power, and authority. We need spiritual mentors and parents, brothers and sisters, only to inspire us in our relationship with God concerning us. We are the body of Christ. The hope of glory is Christ in each of us, but the glory is the body of Christ. The glory is the fulfillment of His calling, the calling of Christ. The glory is His inheritance coming forth in the earth. The glory is the unsurpassing work of His power in us. We are the body Christ.

As leaders in the body of Christ we must set an example in pursuing the community of Christ above our own interests or needs. We must lead others into this same testimony. We must lead people to become what they can only be by the supernatural grace of Christ. We cannot just teach biblical principles, we must lead to see them become transformed in Christ for the testimony of the body of Christ.

Food For Thought

Ted J. Hanson

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Consider One Another

    Greetings,

Hebrews 10:21-25 and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are to consider one another to stir up love and good works. This is not considering one another to see what we can get from them or how they can meet our needs in some way. It is considering one another to give life to them in some way. We are not to forsake coming together, especially as the Day approaches. Our coming together is not to get what another has, but to give what we have for the sake of who we are together. Our commitment in these things should increase and not decrease even to the Day of the Lord.

What is the Day? Some define it as the second coming of Jesus. I find very little evidence of that being the main point of my relationship with God in Scripture. Chances are, I am going to see the fullness of the Day of the Lord for me before He comes back, if that is what we are talking about. We are not the smart people that He has been waiting for. That is how a segment of every generation has thought. There was a fullness of His presence in the first century church as He came in the fulfillment of Old Covenant Passover on the cross, the fulfillment of Old Covenant Pentecost at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Day of Pentecost, and the fulfillment of Old Covenant Tabernacles in the harvest of the Old Covenant and the end of the Torah / Temple system in A.D. 70. The first fruit presence of the Lord in the first century church demanded the full harvest of the Old Covenant Torah / Temple system as only the shadow of the good thing that has finally come (Heb. 10:1). Surely there was a Day of the Lord for those at the writing of the book of Hebrews. There is a constant returning of His presence. Our attitude should be that the closer we get to the Day the more we pursue being one together. The closer the fullness of His coming is in our Day, the more we should purse the holy of holies. The holy of holies is being part of His body, the place that was formerly behind the veil. It is the place of God’s manifest presence in bodily form. The longer we live the more we should pursue living for the sake of others. We are to draw near with a true heart. We are to hold fast to our confession. We are to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works in one another.

What is it that keeps us from coming together and holding fast to our covenant connections as the church? The enemy seeks to divide us from the fellowship, purpose, and destiny of being the church. He wants us to see ourselves as separate from those God has called us to. We would do well to be reminded that for every finger we point at someone else, there are three pointing back at us. For every accusation we make towards someone else, God wants us to examine ourselves. We should probably pay attention to the three fingers pointing in our direction when we point one finger in the direction of someone else. Sometimes we break our covenant connections because we feel that others are failing us. When we accuse someone of not fulfilling a need, we may do well to ask how we can fulfill the need. When we see that a need is not being met in the church, why don’t we examine ourselves to see how we might be able to fulfill that need as a part of that same church body? Why don’t we meet these needs? Why don’t I? We often look at what we perceive to be deficiencies and we live to get rather than living to give. We can only experience the holy of holies when we live to give. It is only when we live for the sake of the wellbeing of others that we can experience the full joy of being one with others. God wants us to be the body of Christ. I am part of the body of Christ, but the body of Christ is a body. It is not me, it is us. In the body of Christ there are many members. All the members submit one to another for their corporate purpose together. We need leaders and we need to lead. We need to follow and we need others following us. We need to receive and we need to give. We need to be alive, and to express that life to others. Sometimes we get our identity out of what we express instead of who we are. That becomes a problem. When we get our identity out of what we do, we can get offended when we are no longer doing what we have done before. Life is filled with constant changes. Life is always filled with changes in responsibility and changes in our function some way. This is the way of life. When we find ourselves not doing what we did before, we should ask what can we do now? Our being will always inspire us to do in some way and our doing is meant to bring life to another. When we are not doing what we used to do, we should find ourselves doing new things in new ways for the sake of who we are, instead of complaining about not doing what we used to do. We are not what we used to be, we are what we are becoming together each new day.

Food for Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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The Holy of Holies – The Body of Christ

        Greetings,

The church is the place of Zion, but Zion is also a place of the heart. The community of God is the place where our hearts are joined together. The church is a called out assembly, made one by the Spirit of Christ. It is the gate of heaven. It is where governmental decisions are made; where heaven comes to the earth. It is a mystery. It is not just a place where we physically come together. It is not just a place that we come together for fellowship and meetings. It is a mystery, where we come together in our hearts as us. I don’t think that anyone on planet earth has discovered the fullness of this truth yet. It is like marriage. I am not sure we have discovered the fullness of what marriage is. Few discover it in its fullness. Some experience a little, while others live in it, but never experience its true life at all. It is the mystery of parts brought together to be us, to be one. We are on a journey of discovery in these things. I believe that things grow in the generations. We are better off than we used to be. I believe that my children know more than I did at their age. Not because they are smarter, but because I have contributed to their foundation. If they live with the increase, their children should be greater than them. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the maturity of the church should increase in the generations? By this, the kingdom of heaven causes things to become better, more life-giving in the generations of those who believe.

Jesus was the sacrifice for us that we might have a new covenant. A covenant where He writes the character and nature of God on our hearts and minds. He changes us from the inside out. We should expect to become more loving, more merciful, to grow in our ability to be faithful. We should expect to become like our heavenly Father. We should expect to love Him more and more each year and to increasingly love one another. I can say that these things have been true in my life in my more than 44 years of knowing Christ. I am growing by the grace of God. In natural thinking I have been mistreated, but in spiritual thinking I have never been treated wrong. The difficult things were only intended to manifest the grace of God in my life. In natural thinking it is wrong for us to be misunderstood, but in spiritual thinking it is meant to be part of the process of bringing about the testimony of God’s grace in my life.

I have people who believe in me and I have people who oppose me in this world. In natural thinking, I should not have people that oppose me, but in spiritual thinking it is right. How can we say we are what we are if everything always goes for us? Do you think that God is a good Father? I think He is. Did you know that most of His children are in rebellion? Most of His children have either rejected Him or backslid in some way. According to natural understanding we might say He is a bad Father. He is a bad Father if we judge Him by what we can see outwardly. I know this is not true. Everything going well in our lives does not measure who we are. Everything going bad in our lives doesn’t measure who we are. The only thing that measures us, is us. What we are becoming.

Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…

Do you want to go into the holy of holies? What is the holy of holies? The veil is His flesh. The flesh of the body of Christ is the veil. What is beyond the veil? Beyond the veil is what is inside the body. Where is the holy of holies? Being inside the body of Christ. We cannot discover the holy of holies without one another. It is not on the outside of the veil in my flesh, but inside His flesh. Living in and from the holy of holies is to in and as the body of Christ.

Hebrews 10:21-25 and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Bethel is the house of God. The place where angels ascend and descend. It is Zion, the city of God the house of God. We are to consider one another to stir up love and good works. Our being one together in Christ is more important than merely being one with Christ. This must be our aim, our focus, and the objective of our destiny as the body of Christ.

As leaders, let us lead for the manifest presence of Christ in the community of life. We are the place of heaven’s gate. We are Zion.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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The Reformation of Today

          Greetings,

As we look at the ages of the past we can see the fruit and the seed of harvest of God’s kingdom. In the early 1500’s there was a Reformation in the Church. The grace of the Spirit of the Lord and a revelation of justification by faith was released into the earth. Yesterday, some remembered to honor the stand that Martin Luther took on October 31, 1517. I believe that the revolution laid hold of in 1517 was not merely a reformation of that day. I believe that it opened the door to the increasing revolution in the church. The church is the gate of heaven in the earth and it is through the church that the influencing power of true revolution and reformation is released into the earth. “The just live by faith” is still a resounding testimony in the nations. We can all experience the increasing fruit and testimony of the desire of the nations. We have been granted the power of repentance unto life and a testimony of repentance from dead works in Christ. This Reformation opened in the 1500’s continued to sweep the nations as we came into the 1600’s and 1700’s. In the last half of the 1700’s to the first half of the 1800’s there was a great Holiness Movement. Over 150 denominations were birthed based upon the testimony of sanctification. I believe that the diversity of denominations reveals a truth of individual revelation in works that speak of our faith. Our faith cannot be a sanctification unto God based upon unified conformity. It must be based upon a personal revelation of faith towards God and our own works that speak of that faith. A grace of the Spirit of Wisdom and faith toward God was released as fruit and seed to the progressing generations. At the close of the 1800’s and the beginning of the 1900’s there was a Pentecostal Movement. A grace of the Spirit of Understanding with the testimony of Holy Spirit submersion was released as fruit and seed to the generations. The testimony that comes by submersion in God has become an increasing unstoppable reality in the earth. We are submerged in His presence and there is a supernatural testimony of His presence available for us all. At the middle of the 1900’s there was a Later Reign Movement and a Charismatic Renewal that brought a grace of the Spirit of Understanding and the testimony of the authority of body membership and ministry. The authority of the laying on of hands with the testimony of Christ’s healing life was released as fruit and seed to the coming generations. The testimony of authority that gives life to others was ushered in through the gate of heaven and it continues to grow, to thrive, and to mature in the generations. At the close of the 1900’s there was Faith that comes by hearing God, Prophetic ministry as a testimony of His voice, and a testimony of Renewal given to the Church as a response to His manifest presence in our lives. A grace of the Spirit of Might with the testimony of the resurrection life of Christ was given the progressing ages of men. The fruit and seed of hearing God, speaking God’s words, and knowing God’s manifest presence was given to the generations. As we have entered this 21st Century we are seeing an increasing testimony of Communion and a reaching of the communities of the world with the community of Christ. Unity through diversity is the call of the day and a demand for a justice system of love overshadows the need for a justice system of mere right and wrong. A grace of the Spirit of Knowing with Christ’s eternal judgment of love is being given to the generation. A dependency upon God and His heavenly communion is becoming the available testimony for those hungry for life. God wants to empower a generation of people who seek to live to be a blessing, not merely to be blessed. An Esau generation is being transformed to a Jacob generation that desires the blessing of God to be God’s blessing in the nations. A Jacob generation is being transformed into a culture of inheritance and a testimony of the true Israel of God is being called for among the peoples. The earth will see the people of God revealed in a greater way. The kingdom of God is continuing to increase with the testimony of food and seed to the ages to come.

I propose that we embrace the reformation of today and not merely call for a repeat of something in the past. Does God do something every 500 years or has He been doing something amazing for the past 500 years that is available for those who have eyes to see it? The coming of the Lord is not a fearful thing for those in Christ. The end of every age is harvest and there is a coming of the Lord in all the generations of men. The Spirit and the Bride still cry out come Lord Jesus, come. He is riding on the clouds of His manifest presence in the earth. The church is the gate of heaven and angels are ascending and descending to bring about the influence of the Kingdom of the Lord and the will of the Father is being made known by the presence of Christ in the church. As leaders, let us lead others into the present manifestation of grace in the earth. It is time for another measure of life.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Becoming Unshakeable

    Greetings,

God loves each of us and each of us are inspired in our hearts to be seekers of God. We are seekers of God to become the blessing of God in the earth. We are the blessing of God to bring about the multiplication of His purpose and blessing in the generational families of mankind. Our descendants are destined to possess the gates of their enemies and the earth is to be changed by the destiny of our family name. We are more than ourselves, we are the corporate expression of God’s purpose and glory. We are the place of God’s kingdom administration in the earth. We are the place of Zion. Zion is a house of grace. Grace gives, grace never takes. God’s grace is God’s power to change our lives and to change the world we live in.

God wants us to understand grace. Grace is given to us, but it is not something that we take. It is something we must each find. It is found when we discover He is a giver. We know we have found grace when we become givers. When we are not givers, we haven’t discovered God’s grace. Zion is a culture of grace. It is not a less than covenant than the covenant of law, it is a greater covenant. It is not a covenant of a soft God, it is a covenant of a great God! Zion is a testimony to finally being able to be transformed. It is a testimony of a place where we do not just hear that God is speaking, but we hear what He is saying.

When we stand fast for our own opinions, when we stand fast to get what we need from others, we may have heard that God is speaking, but we have not yet heard His voice. The testimony of hearing Him is the receiving of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Where do we receive this kingdom? We receive this kingdom in Zion.

Hebrews 12:22-29 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

It is among the innumerable company of believers in heaven and upon the earth that we receive the increasing testimony of God’s grace. The increasing eternal grace of God causes us to experience the fire of God that purifies us. We tend to like the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but grace includes a submersion in fire. When things get hot we tend to think we are in hell, but only the things of the devil can be destroyed in hell. The things of God cannot be destroyed. Many people break covenant and forsake the assembling of one another because it gets too hot in the place of eternal relationships. It is supposed to be hot. Our God is a consuming fire. Why? So we will become the unburnable bush of God’s presence and character as the family of His purpose and destiny. It is so the why we do something becomes more valuable than what we do. If we measure the substance of a local congregation, a local expression of the kingdom of heaven, by whether it is easy or not, we will fall short of the glory that God intends for us to have. If we measure it by what we think is expected of us, or what we think we must do, we will be shakable. But if we get a revelation of why we are here, we will become unshakeable. This is true in a marriage. If we measure our marriages by what we must do as a husband or as a wife, we will fall short of the revelation that can only come by the power of God’s grace. The same is true in a family as a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a father, or a mother. If we do not have a revelation of being a family and if we don’t embrace the grace it takes to be a family, we will be shakable in the time of shaking. God wants us to hear His voice so we get a revelation of why we are who we are together and why we are here. The why is more powerful than the what. Why are we part of the community? Why are we in covenant? Why do we tithe? Why do we make sacrifices? Why do we give offerings? Why do we live for us? Because it is us! It is Zion. It is the city of God. It is the place of God’s purpose. It is the place of God’s presence! It is the place of heaven’s gate! When we know this, we can expect an awesome God. We can expect goose bumps and laughter and we can also expect a consuming fire. We can expect our attitudes to be challenged. We can expect our vision to be challenged. We can expect to have to overcome the devil and even satan, false accusers. Most false accusations come from those we thought were our friends. That is what proves whether we are friends or not. That is the testing fire of a marriage, a family, or any community.

I think that sometimes in the body of Christ we need to shut our eyes and remember who we really are. The shakable things are things that need to be removed. The moments of shaking do not define us, God does. He does it by the power of His grace. He does it by the testimony of Christ in us. Grace is the manifest presence of God in our lives and shaking should not be able to change that. God, the unshakeable One, defines us! Upon this rock He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, but it will prove to destroy the gates of hell.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you again for your prayers and your financial support. Good things are happening!

House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

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Grace is Given in Zion

   Greetings,

We live in a New Covenant and we have been given access to God’s mercy and God’s grace. Mercy frees us from the judgments of the law and grace empowers us to reign in life with the transforming power of life. God’s grace invites us into a place of being part of the corporate community of Christ that brings the blessings of heaven into this world. We saw in Psalms 87 that God loves Zion more than the tents of Jacob. Zion is the city of God, the community of God. Jacob is a testimony to us as seekers of God, but Zion is a testimony to being the community of God. Jacob is a testimony to our love for God, but Zion is a testimony to God’s love for the community of God and the testimony of the inheritance of God made known in the earth. Zion is a mountain of God’s presence. It is the place of God speaking in the earth.

 Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

The law was given at Mount Sinai, but grace is given at Mount Zion. Only one man was able to come and receive the Torah/Temple plan and that was Moses. He experienced an encounter with God that gave him a testimony of the law, a shadow of the good thing to come, which is the power of Christ in us and the transforming testimony of God’s grace. The design of the tabernacle was given with an outer court, a holy place, and the holy of holies with all its furnishings. Everything was given to Moses was just a shadow of what God has always wanted in the earth as a reality among men. Zion is a place where God lives, not a place we go. It is a place we are. It is a place where God lives. It is a place where we hear God, we experience Him, and we experience the freedom of the life of Christ in all things. True revelation comes by God’s manifest presence. It is the place of eating the food of the Spirit and a place of experiencing the sustaining power of life that comes only from God. Zion is a place of receiving the boldness to be in God’s presence and the boldness that comes from being in His presence. Zion contains the fragrance and atmosphere of things that speak of spontaneity, depth, brokenness, and passion. It is the place of the presence of God that transforms us to become a tabernacle for God’s glory. These things were given on Mount Sinai in shadow form to Moses and Sinai was a place flesh could not touch or it would die. It was a terrifying sight. The writer of Hebrews says we have not come to that mountain. The Old Covenant Mountain was terrifying, in that it was a destroyer of flesh, but the New Covenant Mountain of Zion is even more awesome. It is not just a freedom from the Law, but a transformation of flesh. The church is not an easy place, but it is a place of greatness and destiny. Sometimes I hear people say or imply: Thank God it is not like it used to be. Thank you Jesus for getting saved. Thank you God for not being the Old Covenant God anymore. I am so glad you finally came to your senses God. We may not say these precise words, but the implication is often there. This is a misconception concerning the truth of God and the testimony of Zion. What can we expect in Zion?

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

God did speak from the earth, but now He speaks to each of us from heaven to our hearts. He did shake the earth, but now He shakes the earth and heaven. He shakes the outside and the inside. He changes the outside and the inside. He removes those things that are being shaken. Things that are made are shaken so that we receive the things that cannot be shaken. We are receiving an unshakeable kingdom. That unshakeable kingdom is accessed by mercy and it is an administration of grace in a corporate body for His great glory.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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The Devil is in The Church

        Greetings,

We were born to be children of God and as children of God we were destined to grow in maturity in Christ to become mature sons and daughters of God for His purpose and will. For this to happen, we must embrace the difficulties of life. It is through chastisement that we can manifest the true character, nature, way, power, and authority of princes and princesses of the King. It is through difficulties that we manifest the greatness of who we really are.

Most often the greatest difficulties are in the church. Metaphorically speaking, the devil is in the church and God let Him in. God put the devil in your territory so you can destroy him. Sometimes the devil is our own attitude or way of thinking. If we can be offended, we will be offended. If we can make judgments according to the flesh, we will make judgments according to the flesh. If we can be defiled, we will be defiled. If we can be insubordinate, we will be insubordinate. If we can become apathetic, we will become apathetic. If we can embrace natural knowledge above love giving, we will embrace natural logic. If we can run from destiny, we will run from destiny. God allows obstacles to come into the church that resist our overcoming of these things so we will manifest the true testimony of Christ in our lives. If it wasn’t for the devil we would not manifest as a son or a daughter of the King. The mystery is, the hardest place is the greatest place.

Hebrews 12: 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

It is easy to say I love you, when there is no devil in the mix. In a metaphoric sense, God wants the devil in the church. He let him in the door! Why? Because the gates of hell cannot prevail against the gate of heaven. There is a bit of a devil in each of us. I want that devil destroyed! If I can be offended I will be offended. If I can be disconnected. I will be disconnected. If I can be discontent, I will be discontent. If I can run, I will run. But when I get a revelation of who I am, I can never be offended, I can never be discontent, I can never be disconnected, I can never break covenant, and I can never run away, because I am a son of God and I am part of the family of God. I live for the purpose of Zion; the corporate place of God’s purpose in the earth. God loves me as a God-seeker, like He loved Jacob, but God loves the corporate place of Zion more than Jacob.

Jesus did not live for being the only begotten Son of God. He lived for the purpose of all the sons and daughters of God. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. When you battle something inside of yourself for the sake of yourself, when you battle with an attitude towards yourself, or you battle with an attitude towards others for the sake of yourself, that is not your cross. Your cross is to get over your attitude for the sake of others. Battling against your personal addictions is not your cross. Forsaking everything for the sake of US, for Zion, is your cross. Jesus was the Son of God and He did not suffer for His own sake, He suffered for our sake. Being a son or a daughter of God means being willing to do whatever it takes for our sake, the sake of others and the sake of what we are becoming as one together. Take this into your marriage and your marriage will flourish. Bring this truth into your family and your family will be richly blessed. Embrace this reality in your church and your church will become an overcoming place of God’s grace. Put this in your city and your city will prosper. We are supposed to be sons and daughters of God for the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the working of His power to bring the influence of His kingdom to the kingdoms of the world. We are not called to do something good, we are called to be part of something great. We finally have reason for the devil. The devil is only in our lives so we will know we are sons and daughters of God. It is so we will know, greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world. This kind of discipline is training us and forming us to become something of the greatness of God in the earth.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

Esau was called a fornicator, a profane person. Why? He saw preserving his own life as more valuable than living for the sake of others. Living for his own needs was more important than living for the calling of God, the inheritance of God and the power of God. He sought his own desires above the desire of God and the destiny entrusted to him. The church is the place of the calling of God, His inheritance and His power. Though Esau wanted the blessing he could not find it, because there was no place of repentance for him. He sought it even with tears, but he had forsaken the destiny. His motive was not to be a blessing, but to be blessed. His heart was still in it for him and not for the purpose and will of God in the earth.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you again for your prayers and your financial support. Good things are happening!

House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

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