On Whose Side Is God?
[Ed. Note: This article follows in the train of those articles at this ministry exposing the inadequacy of the knowledge of good and evil for establishing righteous conduct. The featured term in this article for such knowledge is moral discernment. Because of the ever present misunderstanding and/or intentional warping of teaching relating to the inadequacy of moral knowledge toward advocacy of lawlessness, it is once again urged on the reader that advocacy for the grace of transcending moral discernment is based on the prior necessity of such discernment, and not on the abdication and abandonment of it.]
February 14, 1991
With the "last days" seeming to be activated into full gear, the hidden works of God and of satan are coming "out of the closet"—out from behind the mask of ordinary events and into the manifest area of extraordinary and supernatural events. As the fight between them breaks out of the "saloon" and tumbles into the "streets," more and more unusual things are happening leading believers to pass evaluation on who is behind what, then lining up on sides behind their evaluations.
Never before has it been more critical for believers to know how to "judge righteous judgment" (or perhaps in reality, to become free from judging righteous judgment!)
If you have followed my writing carefully over the last 2+ years, you are aware that the core theme God has imparted to me for exposition is our salvation and liberation from the knowledge of good and evil, and that this is the ultimate meaning of "grace." (This message was first germinated in my article "Labour Not For the Meat That Perishes" and in my letter of June 29, 1988; after which it took real shape in my letter of Aug. 23, 1988 when I first described our deliverance from having to choose between good and evil.)
Because of my persuasion in this, it will continue to be my theme, becoming ever more applied and clarified as God opens it to me. The key to understanding world events and changes pertaining to the church can only be had as we come out from under the power of legal moral discernment based in our perception of right vs. wrong (ie., “God vs. Devil.”)
The foundational human fallacy is attributing of work to either God or satan based in perception of apparent good or evil, right or wrong. This fallacy is the basis for faulty theology and for misunderstanding between believers of upright intentions. In keeping with my unction for expounding this mystery, I feel it is time to take an overview of this problem by examining scripture, then applying it to current phenomena in the church and in the world.
I. Moral Discernment vs. Truth
Moral discernment is the discernment of right and wrong. Moral discernment presents an image to man that God exists and satan exists, and that each has a work, a purpose to manifest. But moral discernment is powerless to establish truth in verifying the nature of spiritual operation behind any event, or spiritual motive behind any act.
Moral discernment cannot tell whether God or satan is behind a particular event or manifestation. It can only ascertain general associations that image the nature of one or the other (Perceived evil speaks of satan, perceived good speaks of God. But that is all.) Actual verification of forces behind events requires another type of knowing. It is a Knowing of God in the heart that comes as a result of dying to the power of legal moral evaluation.
As believers, we all have a certain heart Knowledge of God. On that basis we are able to verify the truth of many things. But we all still retain a mixture and filter of moral discernment. By this filter, we continue to make many false evaluations concerning what is of God and what is of satan behind events and manifestations.
This is especially true in areas that are new to us in the spirit. Such false discernment is the epitome of "pharisaism." Pharisaism is the attempt to verify truth through moral discernment. It depends on analysis of image-association through perceived patterns, traits, and in the extreme, signs.
Pharisaism leads us to reject truth that doesn't line up on the imaged "moral grid." "The carnal mind cannot verify the things of the Spirit-Truth" (I Cor. 2:15 rephrased.) Now more than ever, it is imperative that we come out from under all power of moral discernment if we want to keep pace with God's unfolding of last day truth and manifestation.
To the degree we remain bound to moral discernment, we will fail to enter into moves of God and make false evaluations of forces behind events through their violation of our moral grid. (Pharisees of yesterday and today attribute God's work to the devil.)
The temptation we must perpetually refuse is to allow moral discernment to close in on our experiences in the Knowledge of God, preventing us from breaking into still fuller experience in that Knowledge. Once we have experienced the Knowledge of God at some point, our moral grid goes into operation to explain it. This is helpful for relating the experience to others, but deadly when used to define its limits.
To explain how God has worked in your life is one thing. To codify it, legalize it, and limit the possibilities beyond your experience is another thing. I'm writing this letter now so that, now more than ever, you may learn to "shut your mouth" of moral discernment so as not to short-circuit your potential for entering the fullness of God's unfolding operations at this hour.
II. Wheat and Tares: The Superimposing of Spiritual Forces on Human Events
The parable of the wheat and tares establishes for us that there are not two parallel strands of human events, one empowered by God and the other by satan. Rather, human events operate as a single strand through which are intertwined the operations of God and satan in a double helix. The works of God and satan are superimposed on each other over the single perceivable course of human events.
Behind every single perceivable course of events, there is a divine plan and a satanic plan. These plans are hidden to the naked eye and indistinguishable by moral discernment, though the events may present an image associated more with one or the other. Nevertheless, it is as impossible for moral discernment to verify which force is behind a visible event as it is for the naked eye to discern the blue molecules from the red ones in a purple glass of water.
Because of this, it is a mistake to make absolute statements about the cause of world events or spiritual phenomena in the Church based on the image associations of moral discernment. It is a mistake to say "God is behind this..." or "satan is behind that..." In truth, there is a dimension in which both God and satan are operating in, through, and around all events, each with his own purpose at war with the other.
If we want the truth about events, we have to come into the Knowledge of God where we can perceive this dual strand behind all events. And until we gain that Knowledge, we need to keep our mouths shut and issue evaluations guardedly.
Now we turn to study the scriptures that teach us about dual operation:
"The Lord said to satan,'Very well then, everything [Job] has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.'" Job 1:12
The book of Job does more than any other book to demonstrate the dual nature of operations behind human events and to expose the faulty capability of moral discernment. The question is posed: "Who was behind Job's afflictions? God or satan?" Moralistic discernment led Job's friends to conclude Job had done evil for which he was punished by God. It led Job to protest against God for unfair punishment.
As readers, however, we are given the behind the scene truth. In actuality, both God and satan were behind Job's affliction—God ordained it for Job's perfection, and satan executed it for Job's destruction. Each had purpose to manifest through the same event.
But because of subjection to moral discernment, both Job and his friends erred. Job's friends falsely judged Job, and Job falsely judged God (even though he passed the test in not cursing God.) As a result, both Job and his friends were humbled before God. God rebuked Job's friends. And Job was not healed til he prayed for his friends.
In the end, everyone came into a fuller revelation of the Knowledge of God above moral discernment. The purpose of God prevailed. So it is with all events.
"But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive." Gen 50:20
The question is posed, "Who was behind the selling of Joseph into Egypt? God or satan?" Superficial moral discernment based on good-evil image associations says "Satan did this." But the truth is, both God and satan were behind the event, God to the purpose of saving a nation, satan to the purpose of destroying a man.
Joseph's personal salvation through maturing-under-stress came through his subjection to apparent evil. Without satan's purpose at work, God's purpose could not be accomplished. So it is there is never an event behind which only one or the other can be judged to work.
C. The Crucifixion
"Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and killed." Ac. 2:23
Again the question is posed, "Who was behind the death of Jesus? God or satan?" Again the answer is, "Both." God ordained the crucifixion from the "foundation of the world." His purpose was to save the world. Satan also planned the killing from the fall of man. His intent was to destroy the Messiah wherever He should appear in history.
Moralistic discernment is powerless to discern this. Those who favored Jesus said satan alone was behind it. But those who opposed Jesus said God was punishing Jesus for His "blasphemy."
What is the truth, then? The truth is that both God and satan are behind all things—satan to the purpose of destroying, and God to the superior purpose of saving out of destruction. The reverse is true also. God is behind the superior purpose of blessing, and satan is behind blessing to the purpose of destruction through ensnarement.
Satan is behind apparently good works unto the further blinding of hard-hearted souls leading to their damnation. God is behind apparently evil works to judge men and perfect His loved ones. Neither has an exclusive "corner" on either seemingly "good" or "evil" events as agents for use in their ultimate purposes. Either can bless or curse unto their purpose, or use the blessing and cursing of the other unto their purpose!
Then what is the key to meaningful understanding of my own relationship to perceived good or evil since I can't assign responsibility through my own moral discernment? The answer is in my relationship to the Knowledge of God and God's purpose for my life. If I know God and am ordained unto relationship with the Father through His planting in my life, then it doesn't matter whether I experience blessing or cursing, or whether the more prominent agent in that blessing or cursing is satan or God.
Because I am ultimately called unto God's purpose in the love and Knowledge of God, God's purpose unto my complete salvation will prevail (Rom. 8:28). This salvation includes my deliverance from my own faulty legal power of power of moral evaluation.
The reverse is true. If I do not love God, am not called unto His supreme purpose in salvation, do not have the planting of the Father in me toward eventual permanent conversion, then all things are for my ultimate destruction through the hardness of my native satanic nature, including all blessings of God or satan which only lead me to greater idolatry.
This leads us into the doctrine called "election," another realm in itself which greatly offends moral-based sense of fairness and justice. We will not pursue the scope of this at this time. My point in coming this far is only to abundantly clarify that moral discernment is useless to evaluate human events for verifying their spiritual intent.
It is only as we are called unto God, love Him, and are developing in our Knowledge of Him at the expense of our legal power of discernment that we can verify the forces behind world events and Church phenomena—beginning with the understanding no event is solely attributable to God or satan at face value, and ending with the understanding the ultimate attribution to God or satan depends on our ordained relationship to God.
III. Verifying the Will of God and the Prophetic Word
No greater faultiness of moral discernment is seen than in its attempt to verify the will of God through the prophetic word, and to verify the prophetic word's accuracy through perceived results.
A. Verifying the Will of God
Moral discernment assumes that if God is quoted as having said something, what He has spoken must therefore be an expression of His true mind and intent toward a person, and a complete revelation pertaining to that matter.
But from scripture we see otherwise. We learn that true verification of the meaning of God's word and the nature of His will in a situation is not by face value appraisal of natural discernment. The fact that God has spoken does not guarantee that He has spoken His true mind toward someone or that He has given a complete, unalterable, unconditional revelation of a situation. This is because God does not speak to satisfy the requirements of moral discernment.
Instead, God speaks in accord with a man's predisposal to the heart Knowledge of God. The psalmist says, "With the pure you will show yourself pure; and with the perverse you will show yourself perverse." (Ps. 18:26.) This means that, toward pure lovers of God, God will speak purely toward their upbuilding and growth in the Knowledge of God. Even if God speaks a hard word, it is to their benefit.
But toward those who are perverse and liars, out of His nature as Truth, God will show himself to be as a liar. God is capable of speaking words to such people that to face value moral discernment are not only incomplete, but may be half-truth or even downright false! God will tell people good things and flatteries according to their heart's desire, leading to their destruction. Now let's look at some of these "hairy" places in scripture.
1. Balaam and the Donkey
"And God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, "If the men come to call you, rise up and go with them: but yet the word which I will say to you, that you shall do." And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went... And the angel of the Lord said unto him... "Behold, I went out to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me." Num. 24:20-22,34
At face value this story makes no sense. Why should God be angry with someone for doing something He gave him permission to do? God permitted Balaam to go to Balak, but then is about to kill him for doing so.
This is because God's word of permission was not an expression of His true mind, but an accommodation made to a perverse heart. It was a positive word that hardened further an already hard heart. Balaam was so intent on going that God told him what he wanted to hear — then in righteousness threatened punishment for his acting on it.
2. Israel's King
"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you... and you say, 'Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,' be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses." Dt. 17:14-15
"But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel, so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.'" I Sam. 8:7
Here is the same situation. Why should God be upset with Israel for desiring a king when He made provision for a king in their law? And the answer is the same. God speaks according to heart pre-disposition, and in this case, foreknowledge of such pre-disposition.
God's provision for a king was not an expression of his true mind or desire. It was an expression of accommodation in Israel's perverseness. He gave them what he knew they would eventually insist on in disobedience. In giving them their request, they came into great bondage and eventual dissolution as a nation.
Yet on top of this God accomplished yet more hidden purposes through the raising up of kings like David who, though occupying a position of which God fundamentally disapproved, was able to fulfil another line of typology in anticipation of the coming true King of Israel, Jesus Christ.
Here again we see the multi-tiered operation of God's purposes through a single situation — purposes which one-track moral consciousness can't verify for final absolute rightness or wrongness.God works differently toward people according to their hearts through the same situation. To Israel, kingship was an overall curse in their perverseness. To David, it was a personal calling of blessing signifying a better reality to come.
3. Ahab and the Prophets
a) First Battle with Ben-Hadad the Syrian
"Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, 'This is what the Lord says, "Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.'"" I Ki. 20:13 (also v. 28)
Natural moral discernment would assume from this prophecy that God must be quite pleased with Ahab seeing that God is promising him a victory in this war! Positive prophecy means divine sanction and pleasure.
But this is false. Ahab was a wicked king. By this point in his reign, he had already sought to kill Elijah for declaring the 3-year drought, had married the pagan "witch" Jezebel, and was a confirmed Baal worshipper. He was the most wicked king in Israel to that time (I Ki. 16:30-33.)
This puts moral discernment at a total loss of function. How can a true God (or true prophetic word) promise victory to a wicked king? "Surely then the prophecy is false."But no. We learn rather that a positive prophetic word does not reveal the complete mind of God concerning a man nor does it imply total sanction of that person. Such a word may even serve to purposely harden further an evil heart.
Vice versa, a hard word from God does not prove displeasure with a man. In love God rebukes his most prized servants. The point here is that face-value moral discernment of prophecy to ascertain the complete mind of God toward a man is worthless.
b) Ahab and Micaiah (Last Battle with Ben-Hadad the Syrian)
"When [Micaiah] arrived, the king asked him, 'Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth-Gilead, or shall I refrain?'
"'Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand.'
"The king said to him, 'How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?"
"Then Micaiah answered, 'I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said,"These have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'" .... Micaiah continued, 'Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around Him on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, "Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth-Gilead and going to his death there?" One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, "I will entice him." "By what means?" the Lord asked. "I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets," he said. "You will succeed in enticing him," said the Lord. "Go and do it." So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.'" I Ki. 22:15-17,19-23
Here we see from a heavenly perspective how God will send forth a lying spirit to one who is perverse in his ways. In fact, we see God function according to both modes of His truth in the same prophecy, first His "perverse truth", then His actual mind concerning Ahab. Micaiah's first answer to Ahab is according to God's "lying spirit." He says, "Attack and be victorious." Then Micaiah answers Ahab according to God's actual mind, telling him he will be destroyed.
Once again we see that God will answer people according to their heart's bent toward or away from truth. The truth of the prophetic word is established with respect to the Knowledge of God, not face value moral evaluation.
4. Elisha, Joram, and Hazael
a) Elisha and Joram
"The man of God [Elisha] sent word to the king of Israel [Joram]:
"Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there." So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on guard in such places." II Ki. 6:9-10
"[Joram] said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!" Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, "Don't you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head?'" II Ki. 6:31-32
Like his father Ahab, king Joram was an evil man (II Ki. 3:1-3.) Yet that didn't stop the prophet Elisha from speaking positive words to help this king in his wars with Ben-Hadad.
Objective moral discernment can't accept this. If it has knowledge that God has spoken positively to the king, it must be because the king is a good man and God is on his side. On the other hand, if it knows the king is evil, it must be that the positive words are not from God and the prophet must be false. Again we see however that words from God do not reveal His complete assessment of people or situations. Therefore moral discernment cannot tell if God has spoken or not.
b) Elisha and Hazael
"So Hazael went to meet Elisha... and said, 'Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, "Will I recover from this illness?'" Elisha answered and said, 'Go and say to him, "You will certainly recover," but the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die.'... The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram."
"Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, 'What did Elisha say to you?' Hazael replied, 'He told me that you would certainly recover.' But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king's face so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king." II Ki. 8:9-10,13-15
Both Ben-Hadad and Hazael were wicked people. In this enigmatic scene, we see two tracks of God's mind operating through the same word. In God's true mind, we are told Ben-Hadad will die. But in His mind that answers perverseness according to its nature. He says, "Tell Ben-Hadad he will live." So in his own perverseness, Hazael tells the perverse Ben-Hadad, "You will live," then kills him. Yet it was the word of the Lord.
Again we see that one-track moral discernment cannot verify the truth behind the source of the prophetic word nor ascertain the true will of God. The power of moral discernment can't even touch this story!
B. Verifying the Accuracy of the Prophetic Word
Moral discernment of factuality assumes that if God is quoted as predicting something, what He has spoken is both unconditional and unalterable, and must come to pass on terms that satisfy its demands of evidence (ie, "proof.")
But again from scripture we see otherwise. Verification for accuracy of the prophetic word cannot possibly be had through natural perception of factuality. God speaks to the fulfilment of realities beyond factual perception. Moreover, under conditions known to Himself, He may alter or mitigate the outcome of His words, without notifying the original vessel through whom He has spoken.
— Jonah and Haggai: False Prophets?
"Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 'Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.'... He proclaimed, 'Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.'... When God saw — how [the Ninevites] turned from their evil ways. He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened. But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He... went out and sat down at a place east of the city... to see what would happen to the city." Jonah 3:1-2,4,10-4:1,5
"The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai... ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?... This is what the Lord Almighty says...”I will fill this house with glory... The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty.'" Hag. 2:1,3,7,9
Face value moral evaluation of these prophecies for their factuality would force us to conclude that these prophecies were false, and that Jonah and Haggai must be stoned under Old Testament law as false prophets. Neither of these prophecies came to pass as stated.
Jonah's prophecy never happened at all. The word is stated in unconditional terms, "Nineveh will fall in 40 days." But this book teaches us that God does not necessarily reveal all conditional factors when He issues a declaration— not even to the vessel through whom He has spoken. We either accept this, or must say Jonah was a false prophet. If we accept it here, then we must accept it now concerning the present prophetic word.
Again, Haggai’s prophecy was, at face-value, false. The restoration temple never got near to equaling Solomon's temple in glory, never mind surpassing it. Had you lived then, you would have had to conclude that Haggai "missed it." In truth, however, we accept that in God's mind, there is a far greater meaning to the word "present temple" than anyone then could conceive.
We acknowledge that God speaks to realities beyond factual perception. Jesus clarified that "temple" can refer to a personal body (Jn. 2:19-22) [something, by the way, that led to Jesus being called a "false prophet" (Mt. 26:61)]. And Paul said a temple can be a "body of people" (Eph. 2:19-22).
Yet no one in Haggai’s day could have perceived this, and we still await the fulfilment of His word. Today, any present-day commentary takes these things for granted. Nobody suggests that Haggai should be thrown out for his false prophecy.
The point is: as then, so now. Moral evaluation of factual perception cannot be used to verify accuracy of the prophetic word. Verification of the mind of God behind a prophecy and the accuracy of that prophecy can only be had through the Knowledge of God. Prophecy is not spoken by God to the ear of legal moral perception but to the inner man.
The purpose of prophecy is not to satisfy the demands of moral discernment where other forms of the word fail to satisfy it. The purpose of prophecy is to increase the Knowledge of God in the inner man through the failure of the natural mind to verify it and failure of the soul-life to be satisfied by it. Prophecy can never be used as a substitute for the inner faith required beyond knowledge for the entering into the Knowledge of God.
IV. Israel: A Multi-Track National Overview from the Mind of
In Numbers 20-24, we gain a spectral view of Israel that exposes the utter inability of human moral discernment to tell just what God thinks toward this people in an absolute sense.
A. Inside the Camp
It's fairly safe to bank on the righteousness of God's chosen leader, Moses. Or is it? In chapter 20, we see the chief oracle of God striking a rock in disobedience. Yet the water still comes out! Yet God sentences Moses to death outside the Promised Land. Moral discernment is confounded by these questions (Put yourself on the scene):
a) If Moses was a disobedient man, how could he be an oracle for God?
b) If Moses was disobedient, how could a just God back up his word by letting the water flow out of the rock?
c) If Moses was God's chosen man and God backed up his word proving his pleasure and support of the man, how could God sentence him to death outside the Promised Land?
2. The People
The people of Israel repeatedly show themselves to be a lot full of murmerers, complainers, idolaters, and disobedient. Moses speaks harshly to them in the name of the Lord. The Lord sends snakes to destroy the people. Moral discernment asks:
a) How can God do such terrible things to His People whom He has chosen? How can Moses possibly justify talking down in judgment on these poor people whom God has chosen?
b) How can these people be the chosen people of God? Look at their evils? Why hasn't God destroyed them all by now?
B. Outside the Camp
1. View of the People through Balaam's Prophecy
The prophet Balaam is repeatedly asked to curse Israel for Balak, king of Moab. But every time Balaam prophesies absolutely glowing prophecy about the beauty of Israel and God's favor on them, even prophesying the coming of the Messiah. Moral discernment says:
a) If Israel is as evil as we saw from inside the camp, how could God paint such a glowing prophecy of them? How could this possibly be a true prophecy?
b) If this prophecy is true and God is as delighted with these people as the prophecy says, how can God justify treating them inside the camp like He does, repeatedly judging, killing, threatening to extinguish them?
Here is a man that talks with the true God like very few ever have. Yet the man contacts God through means of divination and sorcery (Num. 22:7; 24:1). He is also a lover of money, making his living through contacting God for people. Finally, he is responsible for the seduction of Israel into idolatry (Num. 31:16.) The questions for moral discernment are ones of incredulity:
a) How could a money-loving sorcerer hear a true word from God?
b) How could God justify speaking to and through a vessel who loved money and contacted Him through sorcery as a way to make a living?
When you put the whole picture together, it becomes clear that verification of the truth concerning God and His dealings with mankind cannot be had through moral discernment. The Knowledge of God and the understanding of His Ways can only be had through the surrender of moral discernment. The ultimate effects of His ways and the purposes of His words can only be ascertained based on the state of our inner heart before Him.
If we really get into scripture, we come face to face with myriads of situations that challenge and offend our face-value sense of moral discernment; our sense of right and wrong, good and evil, true and false, possible and impossible. (Appreciation of these situations often depends on putting yourself in the immediate shoes of the people who experienced the situations.)
The amazing thing is that we accept these situations casually and without thought because of our religious trust in scripture. (Many of the moral inconsistencies we are able to solve because of our present place in history with our overview of the many scriptures spoken at different times and places.)
Even so, there are still multitudes of apparent injustices and inaccuracies that cannot pass the test of our moral sense after all these centuries. And if you strip away 20th century theology and put yourself on the scene with the characters knowing only what they knew, you would have terrifying questions to ask about the righteousness of God and the true word of God.
That brings us to today. God hasn't changed, nor has man. God's work and satan's work are still intertwined behind all human events. And man is still observing this work through the limitations of one-track moral discernment.
After so many centuries and so much opportunity to learn, we continue making the same judgment errors as our forefathers. We are saying categorically "God is behind this... satan is behind that... this word is from God because... that word is not from God because... God would never do this... God will always do that... God is against this person because... God is for that nation because..." etc, as if we had the final perspective on the matter. Let's consider present situations challenging us now.
A. The Gulf War
The Gulf War is a good place for us to start breaking out of our constriction here. Let's not get caught up in the question "Is satan or God behind the war? Whose side is God on?" The truth is that both God and satan have purpose at stake behind the war. From the satanic perspective, the war is designed to further World Government. From the Divine perspective, it is designed to release end-time revival.
This intertwine takes place through the lives of world leaders like US President George Bush. Here is a man who on one hand, through subjection to deception, is a key player in the attempt to establish world government. Yet at the same time, as a man subject to prayers of saints and certain graces of God in his life, is able to receive a positive word from God concerning his place in this war, and is able to respond with some interest to the thought of American spiritual revival. His subjection to deception does not mean that he is ineligible for a positive word from God, or that such a positive word reveals everything God knows about George Bush in his evil, or that God is on the unconditional side of George Bush.
As for "sides," God is ultimately only on the side of all who love Him and are called according to His purpose — whether in America or in Iraq. (Likewise for satan.) There happen to be more who love God in America than Iraq. George Bush shows a greater interest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ than does Saddam Hussein. But that doesn’t make God “pro-America” as a fleshly nation.
Flesh is flesh. America keeps its sins hidden better than does Iraq. This doesn't mean God is more for America. Neither does it make America ineligible for a positive prophetic word concerning the outcome of the war. We must resist the urge to get caught up in moralizing the righteousness of anyone or any nation on the basis of a prophecy, pro or con. We have seen where Israelites can be destroyed where God has prophesied blessings over them. And we have seen where Ninevehs (alias "Baghdads") can be spared where God has prophesied destruction over them.
(There are tremendous parallels between the role of today's prophets in their counsels of American leaders against Iraq, and the role of Old Testament prophets in their counsels of Israelite kings against Syria. The wide spectrum between true prophets, false prophets, disobedient kings favored by God, and evil heathen kings is in force today as it was then.)
If we want to rightly divide the prophetic word then, we must refuse to evaluate it based on our limited one-track power of moral discernment. Rather we must allow the word to prove itself against our inward heart-Knowledge of God, then let it work itself out either in harmony with or against that knowledge.
It is not incumbent upon us to make immediate declarative evaluations about the accuracy of prophecies. Such declarations are usually pre-mature, revealing our moral-based approach to them. They later prove out faulty and incomplete. The mind of God through prophecy is too vast to be evaluated by the human mind.
B. The Church’s Role in the End-Times
"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy 1,260 days., Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them." Rev. 11:3,7
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death." Rev. 12:11
There are currently two major prophetic views concerning the role of the Church in the end-times. These correspond to the positive prophetic consciousness and the negative prophetic consciousness (see chart on soul-oscillation last letter.) To those with positive prophetic consciousness is imparted the vision for the triumphant victorious Church in the end-time, displaying Her great power of miraculous ministry and the dethronement of satan.
To those with negative prophetic consciousness is imparted the awareness of the coming of the last evil world empire, the great apostasy of the mainline church, and the overall persecution and tribulation of the faithful church under the crushing foot of the man of sin.
Because of the limitations of the moral grid that each party has over their prophetic awareness, neither is able to accept the validity of the other. Those with the positive vision decry the negative vision as divisive and defeatist. Those of the negative awareness decry the positive vision as deceived and self-inflating, contributing to the apostasy they dread.
The testimony of scripture however in a single verse is that both are true. The end-time Church overcomes the beast and is given great power for the destruction of her enemies. But the end-time Church overcomes at the price of death, being temporarily overcome by the beast before rising again in final victory.
Now more than ever it is important to overcome the limitations of our moral discernment over our personal prophetic awareness, whether negative or positive. Negative people need to start learning how to flow out of the positive spirit of present victory, and positive people need to learn how to accept death and suffering as their route to victory, preparing the Church for the cost lying ahead.
The prophetic word of God is greater than any of our natures through which it is shaped. Our inherent negativeness or positiveness is not an inherency in the word of God. It is an implantation in our nature corresponding to the differential between masculine and feminine that mirrors only one aspect of the Divine Nature.
I have already prophesied to you that God is now calling us to transcend this most basal inherency in our nature by which the word of God is delimited through us. We must transcend the moral limitations of our negative masculine "desert" nature or our positive feminine "body" nature if we hope to break through into that final perfection and maturity of which Paul speaks in Eph. 4:13. The reality for that is appearing now. It is perhaps the deepest root of moral discernment we will have to transcend prior to translation.
C. Response to the Prophetic Movement
This section is a continuation of the last. We are now at a point in church history where, in our closeness to the return of Jesus, the mind of God's people is moving into a distinctly prophetic mode never seen before, evidence of the transcendance of our deepest moral discernment already mentioned. A pervasive consciousness of the Presence of God is overtaking us like never before, leading people of different mindsets into a new unity that transcends our original tracks of moral awareness.
These tracks of moral discernment are like frameworks on which our Knowledge of God has been woven to this point. But now the pieces are being taken off the loom so they can be directly woven together into one garment.
Personally, as one whose knowledge of God has developed on the loom of masculine disciple-focused learning, I'm being lifted into a higher awareness of the Lord that allows me to unite with others with whom I could not unite before. The key of course is that they too are moving into that same higher awareness. It is an awareness that, for lack of any other word can only be called "prophetic."
Unfortunately, not everyone is ready for moving into that same awareness. Instead, many people are approaching the prophetic movement to find reaffirmation of their own moral discernment. Then, when the prophetic fails to re-affirm their discernment, they leave.
If they come from a negative background, they don't know how to accept positive prophecies, especially if they know bad things about an individual receiving such a prophecy. If they come from a positive background, they don't know how to handle it when God speaks a negative prophetic word of judgment to an individual or a body.
People also approach the prophetic as a means to finding an ultimate word that will once-and-for-all provide fail-safe fulfilment of their natural expectations concerning God's promises, commands, and the future. They believe the prophetic will satisfy their moral demand for factuality on its terms— to be able to "know for sure" that such-and-such will happen just so.
But because the purpose of the prophetic flow is to refine their deliverance from moral perception, not satisfy it, people leave. As soon as a word fails to come to pass on their terms, they judge the prophecy as false, eventually rejecting all prophecy.
So there is a separating out going on as well as a new uniting. Those who are separating are judging the new awareness as "wrong" and "not of God." They have not developed enough in their knowledge of God to come off their moral-based framework for verifying truth. Thus, they have no alternative but to judge the new awareness by that framework. Since the flow doesn't fit the framework, it must be "wrong."
This situation is happening to both disciple-focused people and body-focused people. We have seen body-people here leave over the changes. And we also have reports of disciple-people leaving. This letter is going out to you of my previous acquaintance who are basically disciple-focused.
I'm writing if by any means to encourage you into the prophetic awareness God is developing crossing all mindsets of moral discernment. And if you are not ready, I write to encourage you to hold your judgments lightly. Be skeptical if you must (like Nathaniel – Jn. 1:45-51) but be loosely skeptical in integrity, not stubbornly skeptical in hardness of heart.
Give God a chance to prove all things to your heart in the Knowledge of Him. This is something I've had to live by all my journey in Christ. It is what has gotten me this far. It took me out of fundamentalism, through bretherenism, through charismatic faithism, and through desert discipleship. And I'm still moving. If you can, share my pursuit of God into this new dimension. Let Him deliver you into the next stage of liberation from the power of discernment.
We're getting there people. Slowly but surely we are approaching translation. Don't give up now. The gospel of the cross is still central to the changes we're experiencing. So don't short circuit your progress by judging the prophetic movement by the limitation of your moral discernment. You will find fault there, of course—just like you have fault. You will find flesh mixed in— just like you are mixed with flesh.
Instead, accept the challenge to let God bring you above your power for moral discernment into the deeper Knowledge of Him. Remember, God's work and His word operate only with respect to that Knowledge, even for the sake of the development of that Knowledge in the lives of those who love Him and are called to His Purpose.
It does not work with respect to morally-perceivable perfection in the lives of those to whom or through whom it comes, nor with respect to factually-perceivable results. That is grace at its most exquisite. And that is all I'm asking you to flow with.
Meditate on these things.
written from Merrimack, New Hampshire
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 17, 2016