Friday, February 28, 2014

New Foundations

Three years after the Christchurch earthquake good progress is being made, but thousands of houses still need to be repaired or rebuilt. I took this photo recently while out for a walk at lunch time.

This house needs new foundations. It has been jacked up so they can be rebuilt. The bobcat was working under the house clearing out the old foundations.

Must be a parable here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Red Horse in Ukraine

The newsreader last night introduced her story about Ukraine as a “a triumph for people power”. The Neocons are describing the situation as the collapse of socialism. Both are missing the point. The latest events in the Ukraine represent another advance of the Red Horse of Revelation. This horse represents military struggles between ethnic groups that will destroy government and tear apart nations that were established during the age of nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ukraine came together in its current form at the end of World War 2.

Eastern Ukraine is the cradle of the Russian Orthodox Church and the place where the Russian empire began. Most of the people speak Russian and have links to the Russian Orthodox Church. They suffered terribly during the German invasion, so they look to Russia for protection from the West.

Crimea in the south of Ukraine has been part of Russia for a long time. It was joined to the Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954.

Eastern Ukraine was part of the Lithuanian and Polish empires for several centuries. The people speak Ukrainian and are mostly Roman Catholic. They are much more open to the West.

These religious, ethnic and language tensions are now tearing the nation apart. The intensity of the divisions is compounded by serious economic problems. The Ukrainian government is broke. Debts of more than thirteen billion dollars are outstanding and need to be rolled over. Most of these debts are owed to western banks. The European Union is talking sweetly, but all they have to offer Ukraine is austerity.

The Ukrainian economy is controlled by a few powerful oligarchs. The economy is dependent on Russian gas for fuel and needs Russian markets for the sale of its products. While people in Eastern Ukraine would like stronger links with the EU, its businesses could not compete with other European countries.

Ukraine has many groups who are not afraid to use force and violence to gain political and economic power. These conditions are perfect for the Red Horse.

Up until now the Red Horse has mostly worked in the Middle East and Africa, often in Moslem countries (Lebanon, Bosnian Syria, Iraq). Ukraine is the first Christian country to be stuck by the Red Horse. We will see more of this. Zechariah indicated the direction that would be taken by three of the horsemen of Revelation (north south and west). He gives no direction for the Red Horse. John says that the Red Horse is given a large sword to take peace from the world so that people would kill each other (Rev 6:4). This indicates that the Red Horse will show up all over the world, not just in the East.

Events in Europe are a warning of what could happen in the rest of Europe.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spiritual Perceiving (6) Testing

Some Christians are getting intense revelation of the spiritual realms. However, powerful revelations are not a sign of spiritual maturity. Often really intense spiritual encounters are experienced by quite new Christians. Amazing spiritual experiences can be false. We should not assess the maturity of ourselves or other Christians by the intensity of their seeing.

The means by which a revelation is received does not determine its truth. We should be careful about assuming that a revelation is received by an intense spiritual experience is true. We should not trust what a leader says just because they received in an open-eyed vision or other heavenly encounter. All humans are capable of being deceived. The enemy masquerades as an angel of light.

The rules of testing apply to all revelations, no matter how they are received. Some visions will be fake, just as some spiritual internal impressions are false. Intensity of revelation does not make spiritual discernment and testing redundant. It actually makes them more important.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spiritual Perceiving (5) Faith or Sight

We are called to live by faith, rather than relying on what we can see.

We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)
So Christians should aim to see in the spirit by faith, rather than needing to see the spiritual realms with our physical eyes.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words (1 Cor 2:10-13).
In most situations, seeing in the Spirit by faith should be sufficient. It requires faith, but that it is good because God wants us to grow in faith.

We are to walk by faith and not by sight, so in principle seeing and hearing in the Spirit should be enough. However, God is not stingy, so he gives us more when we need it, or just when he wants to bless us. There are several reasons why a person might get more intense perception revelation of the spiritual realms.
  1. A common reason is corrective. Our world has become so secular and materialistic that we are almost ignorant of the spiritual realms, and most Christians lack the ability to discern them. God is allowing some Christians to see the spiritual realms physically, so they can communicate clearly what is happening to make his people hungry and open their minds to what they are missing. This seems to be the case with Brad Healy. He sees amazing details. It took quite a while, but he eventually came to understand that his purpose was to help other Christians see and understand the spiritual realms. He seems to be committed to helping Christians see in the Spirit more clearly.

    Our understanding of the spiritual realms is so limited that we need descriptions by people who seen their working clearly to open our minds. Christians should be taught about the operation of the spiritual realms as soon as they come to faith. Most have not had this teaching. We need this understanding to become normal again. People who have seen vividly can help with this restoration.

  2. When we have a big costly decision to make, God can give a more intense revelation, so that we can be certain of what he has asked us to do. Joseph is an example. God sent an angel to him in a dream. Through the dream, he knew exactly what God wanted him to do, even though he was not skilled in hearing and obeying the Spirit. He could not have this skill, because the Spirit has not yet been poured out.

  3. People called to a task that is really critical for God’s plan may get very clear perception and direction. Mary spoke with an angel face-to-face. A young woman caring for a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit would need tremendous faith. Receiving such a vivid and real communication would have built her faith. Mary was wise and fed her spirit by treasuring her experience in her heart.

    Abraham saw three angels. This dramatic encounter would have contributed to his faith and enabled him to trust God’s promise and move to a new land where he did not belong.

  4. Many prophets were given an open vision at the beginning of their ministry as part of their calling. Elisha saw Elijah go up to heaven (2 Kings 2). Jeremiah saw a vision of an almond tree (Jer 1). Isaiah received a vision of angels (Is 6).

  5. When prophets receive vision for way in the future, God sometimes give clear physical vision. The prophet is often called to prophesy about things so far in the future that they cannot even imagine the situation. God has to use powerful physical revelation to break that barrier. The Revelation of John is an example. John probably thought that he understood some of what he saw. But he could not even imagine the world in which some of it will be fulfilled. God gave the vision to him in a way that his mind could see and record, without needing the background understanding.

  6. God will sometimes send intense revelation to sustain people who are being persecuted for their faith. We do not know when it occurred, but Paul had an experience where he went in the third heaven (also known as paradise). He saw things he could not speak about. This event would have sustained him through his frustration and loneliness during this may years of persecution in Roman jails.

    Stephen was given an open vision of Jesus seated at the right hand of God when he needed the faith to face martyrdom (Acts 7:55-57).

  7. When people are afraid, God sometimes gives a powerful and clear vision of the spiritual reams to increase their confidence. Elisha’s servant is an example, he was afraid of the enemy army, so God gave him and open vision of the spiritual forces arrayed against it (2 Kings 6:15-17).

  8. When people have been hurt by traumatic experiences, they can find it hard to accept that God loves. Sometimes a powerful vision of Jesus, where they can see his love is needed to open their hearts.

  9. Spiritual visions are a quick way of understanding the cause of the problems carried by people who come to us for ministry, especially if we do not know them. God can expose the root of the problem in a spiritual revelation.

  10. Children sometime see into the spiritual realms very clearly, because they have not yet learnt to ignore them. John the Baptist had a physical experience of Jesus when has still in the womb. Children growing up in Christian families should learn about the spiritual realms from their parents, as they are growing up. I suspect that many would get insight quickly. I presume that many children experience things that parents think are quaint, such as invisible friends, which are really experiences of the spiritual realms. Parents should help their children to get a broader understanding of the spiritual realms in which they live, rather than just laughing.

Seeing by faith is probably better than seeing by sight. However pretending to see by faith, when you are really walking in darkness is foolish. We need a lot more of both seeing by sigh and seeing by faith. We will need a lot more seeing by sight before God’s people are proficient at seeing the spiritual realms in the spirit by faith.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spiritual Perceiving (4) How

God wants us to understand the links between events in the spiritual realms and events on earth, so he will reveal the spiritual realms in the way this is appropriate for us at the time. We should not demand particular types of revelation, but rather we should seek a better understanding of the spiritual realms, and leave him to decide how we will receive it.

On the other hand, we should be open to all types of seeing that he offers to us, and not set boundaries on what he can do. It would be sad, if we missed out on a revelation, because we had decided that a particular type of seeing was not for us, or not for this time.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would teach us all that he sees the Father doing. We must allow the Holy Spirit to speak and reveal in whatever way he chooses. Those who hungry to understand God’s purpose will be ready to accept whatever revelation the Holy Spirit gives.

We cannot decide how we will see. God determines how he will show us the things the he wants us to perceive. If he decides to speak with an still small voice, we cannot demand an open vision. We don’t have the right to demand and particular type of revelation.

We can decide whether we will see or not. God wants us to see and understand the spiritual realms.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor 5:18).
Since he has commanded us to be aware of the spiritual realms, every follower of Jesus must be able to see in some way. If we are not seeing, it could be because we have chosen not to see, or are ignoring what he is showing us. Therefore, if we are not seeing, we should make the decision to seek to see more clearly.

If we ask him to show us what we need to know about events in the spiritual realms, he will do so. However, we cannot determine how we will see. He can show us however he chooses, and because he is God, he will show us in the way that is right for us.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

VVV (5) Types of Revelation

In her book called Visions, Visitations and the Voice of God, Lyn Packer lists the range of types of revelation that Christians can experience.

The following are terms that can be used to describe the way that we receive revelation.
  • Still small voice of God - This is an internal hearing. God speaks spontaneous words or thoughts into our mind and heart from our spirit.

  • Internal visual impression– A thought picture impression or vision that is seen with the eyes of our understanding.

  • Open eyed vision – Physical reality fades and the spirit realm is opened before us while our eyes are open.

  • Open-eye spiritual vision – Our eyes are open, but a strong impression, sensing or perceiving is overlaid onto the physical realm – we usually still see the physical realm.

  • Closed-eye vision – We receive a strong impression, or pictures like a TV screen on the backs of our eyelids.

  • Trance vision – Our body usually goes very still and can even be frozen in place. Our eyes can be open or shut. Often we are in the vision, operating within it.

  • Perceiving – A strong knowing within, that a particular reality is there.

  • Dreams/daydreams – Dreams are often used by God to reveal kingdom mysteries and his heart. They are often symbolic in nature and will often apply to our personal life.

  • Night visions – These happen while we sleep but are different from a dream.

  • Angelic visitation – Where we receive revelation from one of God’s angelic messengers.

  • Inner audible voice – When the voice of God is so loud in our mind, it might well have been audible.

  • Audible voice of God – God’s voice is heard with our natural hearing.

  • Words of knowledge – One of the gifts of the Sprit.

  • Bodily impressions – Through physical sensation. For example, heat in the hands often means a healing anointing.

  • Spiritual discernment – The ability to ascertain the presence, identify and activities of both good and evil spirits.

  • Inner witness – God confirms something to you by an inner knowing that “This is a God thing”

  • Prophecy – God speaks to us through other believers.

  • Visitation – An extended period of time when God speaks through vision or speech to an individual or group.

Remember revelation is revelation however it comes, and all revelation is an invitation to intimacy and co-operation with the Lord.
The last part of Lyn's book contais a series of Activations. These exercises will help Christians to experience a greater experiences of the spiritual realms and grow their relationship with Jesus.

This is a very good book.

Friday, February 21, 2014

VVVV (4) Describe Clearly

In her book called Visions, Visitations and the Voice of God, Lyn Packer advises Christians to be careful how they describe what they see in the spiritual realms.

People need to know exactly what we are saying. There are three extremes we can go to when describing visions and experiences. One can lead to pride, another to a false sense of humility, and the last can lead to deception.

The first extreme is when we love to use the correct term but do so in a way that is designed to impress those we are talking to. We need to be careful that we don’t allow spiritual pride to creep in Pride can defile not only our ability to see and hear, but also our delivery.

The next extreme is to down play everything. We often do this out of a false sense of humility. Don’t be afraid to use the word “vision” if you have had a vision.

The last extreme is to exaggerate or stretch the truth. Most of don’t do that deliberately, but we may say things like, “I saw a vision” when we mean that we sensed, perceived, or had an impression.

Be careful to make sure you are accurate in how you describe things. Otherwise you will end up misleading people and in the end you could damage you credibility as well.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

VVV(3) Subjectivity

In her book called Visions, Visitations and the Voice of God, Lyn Packer warns of the dangers of subjectivity.

All revelation is prone to subjectivity. Each of us have lenses we look through that distort or color our vision. Our very humanness causes everything we see and experience to be subjective, to one degree or another.

Faint impressions, the still, small voice of God, and some of the other ways of receiving revelation are received through the eyes of our heart (our imagination). As a result they can be influenced by our thoughts, emotions, doctrinal beliefs, point of view, and eve our woundedness.

Open-eyed visions, trances and encounters in the heavens are also prone to subjectivity. We filter what we see through personal paradigms, woundedness, values, and our understanding of God’s word, heart and character.
We tend to assume that if we have seen something with our own eyes it is true. That does not work in the spiritual realms.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

VVV (2)

In her book called Visions, Visitations and the Voice of God, Lyn Packer warns against ranking different types of revelation.

I don’t believe that any particular way of hearing or seeing is necessarily superior to another. Revelation is revelation and no one way of receiving is more spiritual than any other. For example, a thought picture/impression inspired by God can be as weighty and profound as a trance vision.

Likewise, you don’t need a higher level of spiritually to hear in particular ways from God; you simply have to be open to receive.

Some ways of receiving may be more impressive or dramatic to our natural mind, but that doesn’t make them better. All the ways we receive are equally valid.

While opened-eyed visions are definitely more dramatic to receive, I have sometimes been more deeply impacted by some of the faint impression I have received from the Lord.

In fact, the God-given subtle impression and thoughts sometimes require greater faith to walk in than the more dramatic God encounters. Lean into those impressions, chase them down – they often contain deep riches and mysteries.
She refers to research about the way that well-known prophets and prophetic people hear God.
The most common way they receive those weighty revelations is through the still small voice of God, or the internal visual impression.

At the same time, we should desire and ask for all the different ways of receiving revelation to be opened up to us.

Why does God speak in a still, small voice? One reason is that it sharpens our listening skills and causes us to draw closer to the Lord to hear him. It brings us to a place of stillness, so we can listen for Him to speak, and it stretches and grows our faith.

I believe that with faith, practice and persistence, we can all see and hear with great clarity, and frequency than we do at present.

Monday, February 17, 2014

VVV (1)

I have been reading Visions, Visitations and the Voice of God by Lyn Packer. It is a good book. Here are some quotes.

Our physical senses are not always a true indicator, or interpreter, of what is happening in the spiritual realm.

Sometimes people tell me that they don’t hear God speak to them. However, the issue is not whether we can hear God’s voice (because scripture tells us that we can). The real issue is learning to recognise God’s voice when he speaks to us.

I used to believe that spiritual experiences, like visions, were sovereign acts of God. I thought I had to wait until God felt like give me an experience before I would have one. But I have since discovered that experience with God and revelation can be accessed by faith, just I access everything else in my Christian walk by faith. Of course, Gold still can and does give me revelation sovereignly.

Often, revelation will be received through multiple senses simultaneously. Some people will find certain senses are better developed than others, but they can all be developed with time and practice.

All experiences in the Kingdom of God are available to us, because of what Jesus has done on the cross. Experience is not dependant on our feeling or how mature we are, but wisdom tells us that we need to be growing in maturity to rightly discern and interpret what we see and hear.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spiritual Perceiving (3) Angels

Angels do not have physical bodies. They are not three dimensional beings like us. They live and move in a multi-dimensional spiritual world. This is why we usually do not see them. Our three dimensional eyes and minds cannot cope with the multiple dimensional spiritual realm.

Angels can sometimes appear in a three dimension formal, as if they have physical body. That was the situation when three angels appeared to Abraham.

Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby (Gen 18:2).
He offered them food and drink and offered to was their feet. Angels do not need to eat physical food, and do not need their food washed, but Abraham made the offer because they appeared to him like other men. He only realised they were angels once they had spoken to him on behalf of God. These angels had changed their appearance to a physical form, so that they were visible to human eyes.

Joseph seems to have been less spiritually aware, because the angels had to appear to him in a dream.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream (Matt 1:20).
This happened three times for Joseph (Matt 2:13, 2:19). In contrast, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in a way that enabled her it see him physically (Luke 1:28-29).

When humans see angels in the spirit, we are not really seeing them as they are. We actually see a three dimensional representation of the angels, which are multi-dimensional spiritual beings. They Holy Spirit shows them to us in this way, because that is all our minds and imagination can handle.

When an object is translated to a reduced set of dimensions, it loses some of its glory and splendour. A sphere becomes a disc when it is painted onto a piece of paper. In the same way and angel loses some of its glory when it is represented to us in three dimensions. Gabriel reminded Zechariah that he stood in the presence of God (Luke 1:19). His natural home was the spiritual realms where God dwells. What Zechariah saw was a representation of that glorious existence.

Isaiah saw angels with six sets of wings. He saw them flying around the throne. This vision amazed Isaiah, but it was a reduction of true reality. Angels do not really fly through the air with physical wings. They can move instantly to any place in the physical world at any time, because they are spiritual beings and are not constrained by physical boundaries. Humans see them flying, because that is the only way that our human minds can cope with what they do.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Perceiving the Spiritual (2)

The spiritual realms are not three dimensions plus time like our physical world.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9).
The spiritual realms are a multi dimension reality which is totally different from the physical world with which we are familiar. Our minds can only cope with three dimensions, so to see in see into the spiritual realms, we have to see things there as if they were three dimensions (except brighter and more beautiful).

The fact that the spiritual dimensions are hard for us to comprehend, does not mean that we should give up trying to see them. Paul tells us to fix our eyes on the things that cannot be seen.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor 4:18).
We are to focus on the thing things that cannot be seen, because they are eternal, whereas the physical world that we see with our limited vision is temporary.

Paul’s command seems slightly illogical. How can we fix our eyes on things that we cannot see? The good news is that the Holy Spirit. He is able to show us the physical realms in a way that our three dimensional eyes can see and our three dimensional minds can understand. Jesus promised,
The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things (John 14:26).
He is able to show us what is happening in the spiritual realms.
These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:10).
The Holy Spirit translates the things that are happening in the spiritual realms into three dimensions, so that we are able to see them. Given the limitations of our minds, that is probably the best that we can do, but we must remember that we are just seeing a representation of something different and much greater.

When receive our spiritual bodies and the spiritual brains that go with them, we will be able to see the spiritual realms as they really are.

Money in Hungarian

Some of articles on money and economics are available in Hungarian here.

Thanks to Sandor Abonyi for doing the translation.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Perceiving the Spiritual (1)

We are all different and have different giftings. Blake Healy's seeing is very visual and seems very physical. The way he describes it in The Veil indicates that he often sees things with his physical sight. However, he understands that he is seeing a visual representation of a spiritual reality that human eyes cannot see.

When you see in the spirit, it is a visual representation of spiritual reality. That thing isn’t really there, but represents something that is.

An angel is a spirit, not limited by physical form. When I see an angel, I am seeing a visual representation of what and who they are… I am seeing a visual metaphor of who this angel is.
When I receive something from the spiritual realms, it seems like an idea or a picture just arrives in mind. This is often described as seeing in the Spirit.

To explain how this works, I need to compare it with ordinary perceiving. When I am struck by an idea I have read in a book, it is retained by my memory. I can pull it out of my memory into my mind and think about it any time. If I have an experience that strikes me, it is retained in my memory. I can rehearse in my imagination any time. For example, if I saw someone that I had not seen for a long time getting off a train yesterday, I can pull that scene out of my memory into my imagination and see the scene again. These memories come through my physical senses. I see the scene and hear the conversation. I read the book with my physical eyes.

With spiritual stuff, it is very similar, except that I did not have the initial experience of seeing the scene of hearing the idea with my physical senses. The spiritual thought or picture is just there in my mind and I do not know how it got there (I presume by the Holy Spirit). It drops from mind into my memory, so I can recall the idea t and think about it, even though I have not come across it before. Likewise, I can bring the picture to my imagination and see it, and describe what I see, even though have not seen it with my physical eyes. The difference is that the idea or picture is put into my mind by the Holy Spirit, via my spirit, rather than passing through my physical senses.

I realise that we are all different, but reading The Veil made me realise that there are many other ways of seeing available to Christians that I need to press into.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Veil (4) Wounds

A few weeks ago, I read a book called The Veil by Blake Healy. Blake Healy sees the wounds that many people carry. As I understand it, these do not exist in the spiritual realms. We carry them on our souls, in our mind and our memory.

When I looked at Chuck in the spirit I saw cuts and scars along his face. They came in different lengths and depths each time I saw him.

Not all wounds are the same of course. Some fade away within hours, others heal into scars that never fully leave, and still others are not allowed to heal, festering into rotten gashes that corrupt muscle and bone. How these wounds affect you is, fortunately and unfortunately, entirely up to you. I’ve met people who have let one idle word pull them into a dark pit of forgiveness, bitterness, and self-pity. While others turn a past full of abuse and shame into a crown into a crown of glory by giving it over to the one who died to heal every hurt.

Wounds that go untended skew our view those around us and ourselves. While part of the strategy of the demonic is to deceive us into believing lies about ourselves, the other part is trying to get us to believe those lies about others.
Demons have no authority over you unless you give it to them. A demonic entity has no right to act in your life without expressed agreement from you.

It is our fears, grudges, and wounds that let demons in; and it is our fears, grudges, and wounds that make it impossible for them to level.

Lies are the only power that demons have, and lies are only powerful if you believe them.

When demonic lies start mixing with worries or fear. It reinforces the enemy’s access.

Fear is the expectation of attack or pain, meaning you believe whatever you are afraid of has the capacity to do you harm. That belief is faith that darkness has power over you. It is a disservice the authority God has given to you to be afraid of anything demonic.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Veil (3) Evil

A few weeks ago, I read a book called The Veil by Blake Healy. One thing that I like about the book is his laid back approach. Unlike many writers on these things, Blake does not get all stirred up about evil and demons.

The truth is that demons are more attracted by what you think than what you do. The deeper truth is that know who you are in Christ determines how you think. The only way to know who you are in Christ is to know what he things about you. That is to say, if you know what God has to say about you then the lies of the enemy seem silly. This is the majority of what you need to know about dealing with demons.

If you can’t view the demonic from the perspective of heaven you will only confuse yourself and what your time.

Demons don’t like you. Any demon that finds you in its sights is going to do everything in its power to steal, kill and destroy everything good about your life. The nice thing is that, for the most part, this isn’t really a big deal.

For the most part, you spirit is quite adept at repelling attacks without your notice.

If your are living a life connected to God and making decisions that protect that connection, the demonic should rarely factor into your life.

The interesting about demonic influence, it feels so real when you’re in the middle of it, but the moment you see it clearly it’s no more threatening than a paper-mache bunny.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Veil (2) Spiritual

A few weeks ago, I read a book called The Veil by Blake Healy. In the last chapter of the book, Blake gives some guidance to Christians who want to see the spiritual realms more clearly. This chapter is very good. He explains why we should all expect to see more clearly.

The spirit realm may seem like some distant ethereal plane that only affects our side of things in the form of a warm tingling sensation during worship, but the truth is it never leaves you and you never leave it. You may not be aware of it, but you exist in the spirit realm just as much as you exist in the physical. You are one hundred percent there and one hundred percent here. Since the circumstance in our physical lives are usual more apparent than those in our spiritual life, we are often distracted from our spiritual existence. That does not mean we are there any less. In fact, we are constantly affecting the spiritual atmosphere around us with our thoughts, actions, and mindsets. Human beings, more so than any other creature on the planet, have an immense capacity for affecting their environment. This is also true of the spiritual environment.

You recognise whatever you see in the spirit. Though you may not fully understand it, there is a familiarity that comes when you see. Perhaps this is because, though we spend most of our attention on the physical realm, we exist in the spirit realm every minute of every day.

Since our spiritual senses are capable of being much more finely tuned than our physical ones, it stood to reason that anyone should be able to get a decent ideal of their spiritual surroundings.
His most useful piece of advice is too talk to God about everything.
Understanding what everything was usually came with seeing it, understanding why it was there required dialogue with God.

Everything we think and see should be done while in conversation with God.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Veil (1)

Last year I wrote a series of posts on the interaction between the physical and spiritual realms. This is really important for Christians seeking to operate in the fullness of the Spirit. So I was really encouraged when I read a book called The Veil by Blake Healy. God has given him an amazing gift to see into the spiritual realms. His book tells the story of his life and describes some of what he has seen. Blake started experiencing this gift when he was very young.

I’ve seen angels, demons and other spiritual things for as long as I can remember. I see them whenever I have the mind to look and I see them with my eyes, much as I would see you if you were here sitting in front of me.

Seeing into the spirit is not all that different. You can focus on what’s happening in the physical world or you can focus on what’s going on in the spirit world.

I did not know I was seeing in the spirit when I was young. I remember seeing lights and colour swirl through the air when we went to church on Sunday.

I had no control over what I saw when I was young, streams of light and smoky shadows flitted in and out of my vision unbidden. No I can see in the spirit whenever I have the mind to look and, usually, I do not see anything unless I do so intentionally.
We may not all see into the spiritual realms as vividly as Blake Healy, but this book shows what is possible. We should al aspire to a fuller understanding of the multi-dimensional universe in which we live.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col 3:1-2).

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Seeing Jesus - Third Way

The third way that people can see Jesus is more rare, but it should be more common. The church is the body of Christ. Jesus took that seriously. When he appeared to Paul on the Damascus road, he did not ask why Paul was persecuting the church. He said,

Why are you persecuting me?
Hurting the church is hurting Jesus, because the church is now his body. The Holy Spirit works in the church to make Jesus’ new body come to life. People should be able to look at the church and see Jesus. Unfortunately, that does not happen much now. People who see the church see a body with huge head, a neck, and a heart, but with limbs that are withered or disconnected from the body.

In this book, I describe how the church can be more like the body of Jesus. If that happens, more people will see him, and choose to believe in him.

The indroductory price is available for another five days.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Seeing Jesus

I am intrigued when I hear people saying that they have seen Jesus here on earth. I understand what they mean, but in a purely technical sense that is not possible.

When Jesus was born as a baby, he took on a human body. That significantly limited his abilities. He could only be in one place at a time. When he was in Galilee, the people in Jerusalem could not see him.

When Jesus was raised from the dead, he was given a new spiritual body. This givens him greater freedom to move in the spiritual realms, but he can still only be in one place at a time. Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended into the spiritual realms to be at the right hand of God. That is where he is now. He cannot be here on earth at the same time.

In light of this reality, when Christians say that they have seen Jesus, there are three possibilities.

  1. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to represent him in the physical world. The Holy Spirit is a person, but he did not become a man, so he is not constrained in the same way as Jesus was, and still is. He can be at any place in the world at the same time. He is the Spirit of Jesus, who gives glory to Jesus, not to himself. So many people who believe they are having an encounter with Jesus are really having an encounter with the Holy Spirit.

  2. Christians can see by faith into the spiritual realms. I have described how this works in the Spiritual Realms. When Christians see into the spiritual realms, they see Jesus. This is not surprising, because spiritually we are seated beside him at the right hand of God in the spiritual realms. When we see him in the spiritual realms, it can seem like he is beside us here on earth, because that is the way we see, but Jesus has not returned to earth. The truth is the other way round. In the spirit, we have moved into the realms and see him there.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Central Banks and Inequality

Inequality of Incomes is becoming a significant political issue.

In an interview with Jennifer Cordingly, Frank Hollenbeck discusses the contribution of central banks to income inequality.

Central bank inflation is a major cause of inequality, but this problem is usually missing from the discussion. A fuller discussion of the problem is in this article called How Central Banks Cause Income Inequality.

Inflation assists asset holders, because they get a capital gain. Often it is tax free. The people in the financial sector who manage financial assets do extremely well too.

People on fixed incomes, such as wages and pensions are hurt by inflation.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Being Church

Economic Motivation (7) Sectors

A modern economy consists of five institutional sectors. Each one is motivated by a different love.

1. Household Sector
This sector consists of family activities. In the western world, the household sector focuses on consumption, but in other parts of the world households engage in production. The household sectors owns assets and supplies labour to the market sector. The motivation in the household sector is love of family.

2. Market Sector
Most people can improve their situation by supplying what they are most efficient at producing to the market and buying what they need from the most efficient producers. In a modern economy, the market sector is the largest sector in the economy. The motivation for the market sector is love of self and doing to others what you want others to do to you. The market sector functions better if there is more of the latter than the former.

3. Shared Services Sector
Some of the services that people need are not available from the market, so groups will get together to provide them for themselves. The services are provided by a subscription or membership fee. Sports clubs and horticultural societies are examples. The motivation for this sector is love of neighbour and love of self. The sector is more effective if there is not too much love of self. Churchs fit into this sector, and the next.

4. Philanthropic Sector
Charities and other philanthropic groups provide goods and services to people in need. Income in this sector comes from donations. In a strong society, this sector will be effective. The motivation in this sector is love of neighbour and love of others.

5. Government Sector
This sector uses coercion to change people’s behaviour. It provides shared services like defence and justice. Love of self is a strong motivator in this sector, because those with government power assume that they no better than others what is good for them. They are willing to take other people’s money to do what they think is good.

Modern economics analysis focusses on the market and government sectors. The other three sectors are equally important in a strong society.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Economic Motivation (6) Economics

Economists like to simplify the world to make their models easier to manipulate. Optimising one variable is much easier than optimising five variables with variable weighting between them. Therefore, they have chosen to ignore love of family, love of neighbour and responsibilities to others. They focus exclusively on love of self, and their models concentrate on optimising self-love. That makes their models easier to estimate, but it means they no longer reflect reality. For some purposes, this might not matter, but in many situations it will make their conclusions unrealistic.

This simplification of reality means that economists tend to attribute all economic growth to people pursing self-interest. The emphasis on self-interest has caused Christians to worry that their morality is inconsistent with economic development. Their worries are unjustified. The emphasis on self-interest is a distortion of reality, so we do not need to change our morality to fit with economics. Christians values deal with economic reality. Economics needs to adjust its theory to fit with economic reality. Not the other way round.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Economic Motivation (5) Balance

The balance between different types of activities will be different for different people. The balance for each person will vary from season to season.

  • A woman with a young family may spend most of her time serving her children, and a bit of time serving her neighbours.

  • A man called to be a pastor will spend most of his time serving people who are his neighbour.

  • A young woman studying to be a doctor will have to devote most of her time to serving self.

  • A man called to be in business will spend most of his time serving Others. The common view that a person has to be selfish to succeed in business is wrong. Success in business means serving others. Totally selfish people usually fail in business, because they are incapable of doing to others what they want done to themselves. They want others to do for them what they will not do for others.

Each person must balance their life between loving self, loving family, loving neighbours and doing to Others what they want others to do to them, under and overall love for God. Loving God will manifest in a different mix of loving self, loving family, loving neighbours and serving others for each person. The most important thing is that we are all accountable to God and live our lives in obedience to him.

We should be careful about judging others. It is easy to look at a successful business person like Bill Gates and say that he spent to much times serving himself and not enough to time serving others, but we do not know what God required of him. We do not know what God put him on this off for. We cannot look into his heart and understand know his motivation. What looks likes loving self may often be doing to others what we want others to do for us.

Christian faith does not contradict business activity. It actually requires it from most of us. God requires different things from different people. Some people will fulfil their calling by engaging full-time in business activity.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Good News for Dry Bones

Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones contains a message that we often miss (Ezek 37). Only when the bones were joined together bone to bone did the spirit come upon the body and raise it to life. The order is important. The bones joined together first. When the bones were joined together, Ezekiel prophesied again, and the Holy Spirit came on the body and it rose to become a might army.

Many prophets are prophesying an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many Christians are praying for it. Few are prophesying to the dry bones of the body and calling them to join together bone to bone, so God can attach theme together with tendons and flesh. This books describes how dry bones can join together in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to move in fulness.

Economic Motivation (4) Surplus

People use their surplus production in different ways.

  • If a person fulfilling their calling produces more goods and services than they need for themselves and to support their family, they have three options. They can:

    • keep it for themselves (love yourself).
    • give it to their neighbours (love your neighbour)
    • sell it on the market (do to others what you would want them to do to you).
    We make choices between these options, whenever we engage in economic activity. Everything we do must be done for someone. We have the ability and responsibility for deciding whom we will do things for.

  • The selfish option of keeping all we produce for ourselves and our family will often be wrong. There will be situations where it makes sense to save our resources, so we can make or buy capital equipment that will make us more fruitful in the future. However, keeping everything for ourselves, so that we take life easy is usually wrong. This is confirmed by the parable of the “barn man”. Jesus said that he was a fool.

  • Sometimes we will give some of what we have produced to our neighbours. This is what God requires. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves. We must do this wisely, because none of us will have sufficient to give every neighbour all that they need. If we tried to do this, we would end up with nothing left for ourselves and our families. Loving our neighbour does not take priority over loving ourselves. We are not required to give everything that we have produced to our neighbours. Everyone in the world is not our neighbour. Some will be “others” who need some of the goods and services that we have produced, even though we are not required to love them.

  • Most of what we produce beyond the needs of our family will be sold on the market. This is legitimate, because it is doing to others what we would have them do to us. We all need goods and services from other people. We want them to exchange what we need from them for what we have that they need.

  • I do not know how to cut my hair, so I need the skill of a hairdresser. There are no hairdressers in my family or among my neighbours, so I am happy to pay someone to cut my hair. I want a person I do not know to cut my hair in exchange for a reasonable payment. That is what I want this person who is an Other to do for me. That means that I must be prepared to do the same for Others, because God says I should do for Others, what I expect them to do for me. I must be prepared to provide my skills to others, in exchange for payment from them. If I am not prepared to do this for Others, I cannot expect others to do things for me.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Being Church

Over the last few months, I have been preparing an American edition of my book called Being Church Where We Live for release. This book gives a new vision for the church for the next season. When darkness spreads, old ways of doing church will fail, and the Body of Christ will need a more resilient way of being church. I sense that the times are getting close when Americans will really need this book. I want it to be available in a format that American’s can afford when times get really tough. It is available on Amazon now for an introductory price of $8.00 until 15 February, so grab one while you can.

Economic Motivation (3)

Applying the various love commands to economic behaviour has the following implications.

  • Our first priority is to serve God. He has a purpose of each one of us. Every person should find their calling and pursue it to God glory. If our calling is to business, then we should take it just as seriously as if we were called to be an evangelist.

  • Self-interest requires that we produce food, clothing and shelter to sustain our lives. This is legitimate activity for everyone as we will not be in a state to make economic decisions, if we do not sustain our body and soul.

  • Self-interest is dangerous if it gets out of control and dominates our lives. We must not live just for ourselves. The man who built barns to hold his surplus crops is an example of someone who did this.

    Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself’ (Luke 12:18-20)?
    Taking things easy is not the goal of human life. Eating, drinking and being merry is not a meaningful calling. The person who ignores their calling and lives for themselves is a fool.

  • We are all required to care for our families. Each person needs to produce enough to provide food and shelter to sustain them.

  • Most of us will not be capable of producing everything that our family needs. It will usually be more effective for us to focus on something we are skilled at, and sell some of what we have produced to buy what our family needs. This is sensible.

  • Some people will sell their labour to someone else to earn enough to provide for their families. This is legitimate too, but less ideal, because anyone who is employed by another, loses some freedom. This makes it difficult for them to serve God with all their heart, soul and strength, because their employer wants some of our soul and strength for his purposes.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Economic Motivation (2) Choices

Augustine of Hippo explained that our behaviour ranks people according to their significance to us. We do more for those that we love the most. We give the most to those who have the greatest significance to us.

In all our activities, we must constantly make decisions about whom our actions will benefit. Sometimes we will do things for ourselves. Sometimes we will do things for our neighbour. In other situations, we will decide to do things for others. In other words, we must constantly decide between loving ourselves, loving our families, loving our neighbours, or doing to others what we want done to us.

We have limited resources and limited time, so we cannot do all of these all of the time. If I give help to my neighbour, I will have less for myself. If keep more of what I own for my family, I have will less for my neighbour, and for others. If I spend more time serving others, I will have less time for myself. Economists call this scarcity. Scarcity means that I do not have the resources to do everything that I might want to do. I have to make choices, between keeping things for myself, giving things to my family, giving things to my neighbours, and supplying things to others in exchange for what I need.

Although it might be simpler, we cannot choose one category of person, and ignore all the others. God has given us a duty to them all.
The Bible does not give rules for deciding how to prioritise between loving ourselves, loving our family, loving our neighbour, and supplying others. We learn how to make these choices by listening the Holy Spirit and learning from the scriptures. Some decision will be quite hard, with no easy options.

These ideas might seem obvious to most people, but economists have struggled to get hold of them.