SEPTEMBER 1, 2008
Jesus always spoke through the fire! His Father did the same. Scripture says that God even looked through the fire to view the encroaching Egyptians.
God also gave His commandments by speaking through the fire.Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud.
(Moses was already accustomed to being addressed through the fire. The unconsumed burning bush gave him prior experience.)'Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments.'
The statement, "for you were afraid because of the fire" is still being bandied about. Fearful unbelief, along with a fleshly unclean vessel, never wants to hear the voice that comes through the fire. That is why a whole generation of "church ones" has developed a flameless society on Sunday. They are comfortable without fire and the voice of the living God!'The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain.'
When Jesus spoke, whether in synagogue, Temple or open field, He spoke through the authority of the fire. (Matt 7:29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.)For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Immediately, whenever Jesus spoke, a separation of the audience would take place. Fire separates, and this is the flame Jesus spoke about being kindled, Holy Ghost Fire.
When the Holy Spirit entered Jesus at His baptism, He became the Temple of the Holy Ghost. He was baptized into the fire of holiness. Inside Him resided the Holy Spirit. He could in all truth say, "Destroy this Temple and in three days it will be raised." Christ ministered through the fire. (Love through fire is purified love. Compassion through fire is holy compassion.)
Jesus spoke through the fire of the Holy Ghost, and the early saints were to speak through that fire as well. They experienced the same baptism He did.
Jesus lived the fire baptized life. Within Him burned the same flame that burns in the heart of His Father. The Holy Spirit fire manifested itself in Jesus' every action, deed and word. (The Holy Spirit energized every particle of His Being. He was energized by the prospect of the cross, energized by the drawing of the people upon His spirit. He was energized by the flowing of healing from His person; it thrilled Him to see the multitudes ministered to. He was energized in His communion with the Father, for His constant ministry was one of relating what the Father had given Him. Fresh news from the front constantly was being spoken into existence. Within Him dwelled the full measure of the Spirit and the fullness of the baptism of fire.)'Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' So Jesus said to them, 'You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized.'
Rees Howells was correct when he testified about the deep investment required by the Spirit in order for man to live the fire-life.
Howells further understood the type of surrender required to live as the Temple of the Spirit.But He showed us, 'There is all the difference in the world between Your surrendered life in My hands, and I living My life in your body.'*
As summarily as possible, within these quotes, is a glimpse of the vastness of the operation of the Spirit and His baptism of fire in man. The Holy Spirit ministers at the High Altar inside the Heart-Temple and whatever is worthwhile is spoken, done or ministered comes through His manifested Fire. (The cloven tongues of Fire went into those of the upper room; the manifestation was now inside them. The book of Acts was the manifestation of the work of the Spirit through the early church. When Peter spoke, it was through the fire. When Stephen preached, the fire in him made him irresistible. When deacon Phillip testified, it was through the flame!)'As those days of visitation went on, we were just prostrate at His feet. We had thought that there was some virtue in our surrender, that we, with thousands of others, would be the people to evangelize the world in this generation. But now HE had come, and we were out of it-except in so far as our bodies would become the temples in which He would dwell and through which He would work.'
Every prophetic word, every gospel account, every epistle written was accomplished through the Fire. Each early church participant experienced what Jesus experienced both individually and in greater dimension collectively.
John Lake pronounced that Jesus tested (through the fire) every scripture, as opportunity afforded itself, in the natural flow of His ministry (and so must the saint).
Again, Lake pronounced,Jesus took the promises of God in the Scriptures, and permitted them to work out in His own soul. Therefore His promises to us are not made on His own speculation, but because of His soul's discovery of the Mind of God. But He did not let it rest there. He took each discovered promise and worked it out. He discovered the "promise of supply" and fed the multitude. He discovered "healing power" and made the blind to see and the deaf to hear, the lame to walk. He discovered the promise of "man the master," when anointed of God, and He stilled the waves, and turned the water into wine, of life ever present and He raised Lazarus and the widow's son, of life everlasting and He rose from the dead. He gave His promises as discovered and demonstrated truth and tells us these things shall be ours, as we are lifted by the Spirit into the God realm, the Christ- conscious realm. But it is the one real thing among the myriads of life's illusions, and contains in itself man's future hope, and his transcendent glory. Herein is the true dominion of man...Christianity is wholly super- natural. Christianity comes down from heaven from the innermost heart of the glorified Christ...Christianity is the spotless descent of God into man, and the sinless ascent of man into God. The Holy Spirit is the agent by Whom it is accomplished. *
The fire that burned in the pioneer saints was Holy Ghost fire! Herein is the missing element in the pulpits of the world. Herein is the missing link between the early church and the modern church. Herein is the ingredient that must again be possessed by the saints. It has never been different with God throughout history. Abraham was spoken to by faith through the flaming covenant. Moses, fresh from the fire, spoke the commandments of God to the people. Every prophet spoke through the fire within, take Jeremiah for instance.We are filled with God. All that He did we shall do. His ministry is now perpetual. He hath reproduced Himself in us. We have divine assurance. We speak with authority. He now lives in us. This is the soul secret of Christianity.
The modern generation has never witnessed such fire in their bones. When end-time darkness seeks to encompasses the two witnesses of Revelation, their retort will be fire! Yet, this must be the manner of reply for every witness!From above He has sent fire into my bones,
Emmaus was the norm, not the exception. Whoever speaks must speak in the power of the flame in order for men's hearts to burn. Herein is the problem with modern preachment, no fire, and no burning hearts! Herein is the dismal purveyance of pulpit pulchritude, no flame, no message from God, no flaming missile birthed through fire to ignite the spirits of men.
Where is the fire today? Information has sought to replace exhortation; Apostleship has sought to abolish the Evangelist. Christian circles are now a crazed mixture of scripture and witchcraft!
One look into the cleansing of the Temple will tell the tale. Jesus declared, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." His use of zeal meant fire! Where is that kind of "zeal" today? Within whom burns a flame so bright as to nail the thesis once again? Within whom burns a flame so high that governments and religious establishments melt in his/her presence? Jealousy for purity and holiness must once again burst into the flame defined by Scripture.
Isaiah's oft quoted Christmas passage about "and the government shall be upon His shoulder" attributed the success and glory of Jesus to one element, "The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:7)." God's zeal accomplished His work in Jesus, and His zeal will accomplish His purpose in His saints. Yeah, this is the God kind of zeal.(ZEAL: NT:2205 zelos (dzay'-los); from NT:2204; properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) "zeal" (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively, of God], or an enemy, malice): KJV - emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal, Akin to :NT:2204 zeo (dzeh'-o); a primary verb; to be hot (boil, of liquids; or glow, of solids), i.e. (figuratively) be fervid (earnest): KJV - be fervent.)
The church must wear His zeal like a cloak of fire. The minutest study of God's zeal establishes the necessity of the flame. Futurists need only know one aspect of latter day judgment and that earth will be introduced to the zeal fire of God, one way or the other.For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
Misunderstanding of the zeal of God has caused a dereliction to take place in modern churchdom. Jewish condemnation verbalized in Paul's day has most recently fallen upon the church because of this misunderstanding!For My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy (zeal).
Zeal for God is not zeal from God! Zeal for God produced Saul of Tarsus. Zeal from God produced Paul. God knows there is a vast difference between the two. Gone are the likes of William Branham, where men gathered to hear words spoken through the flaming zeal of the Most High. Gone are the likes of Whitfield, Finney and Wesley under whom men and women were mentored through the fire!For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Nothing depicts the true glory of God more than consuming fire. To be in that glory is to be in the fire. To have the glory of God in one and on one is to exude that same fire. For the glorious church to be glorious, it must be characterized in the same way.
It has always been the plan of God for the church to be just such an awesome sight. Lit by the fire of God, it is to present itself in holy splendor, incorporating a body of those who know their way to the throne and are well known in the halls of heaven. Fire interacting with fire!Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Paul excoriated the dead methods of his fellow Scribes and Pharisees, hating the very fiber of their exercises in exegetical futility, so much so, that he penned his anathema in the opening paragraphs of his letter to the Corinthians.
Foundational to Paul's theology was his reliance on the "demonstration of the Spirit and power." Body theology and body ministry are pinioned on this same axis. There is no such thing as a New Testament church without these. For fire to be present, the "demonstration of the Spirit and power" must occupy the front line. Holy men of God, moved by the Spirit, will always function in demonstration and power, therefore the fire. These three elements, demonstration, power and fire, are inseparable.And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The question remains, "Can there be a Word Church without the Fire?"'Is not My word like a fire?' says the LORD,
Until next month,
Dr. C. R. Oliver
I've Been Reading
I highly recommend these volumes, which are all 2008 materials for your general understanding.
1. A Thousand Hills : Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It (A key book to understanding Africa, past and current).
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, c2008.
Harper Collins, N.Y., 2008
(Marvelous book on Golda Mier and the rise of Israel...a must read for all interested in secular political structure of the nation.)
3. Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia
Random House, 2008
(A horrifying expose of Russia from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present.)
FROM THE MAILBAG:
David J. W. , writes:
Dear Brother Oliver,
I think you misidentified the chaff. In the wheat fields the chaff is what is left of the wheat stalks when the grain is harvested. This represents the flesh-man (old man) in each of us as believers that can't inherit the Kingdom. "All that is flesh shall be burned away and only that which is of God shall remain."
Daniel H. writes:
Dr. Oliver, I am on your newsletter list; wonderful, wonderful, Words...however, I noticed you do not use the King James...all the great men you mention and reference such as Tozer used God's Only Word…I used to be a NAS user…then God had me read it along with a KJV...I started to notice verses missing, changed!...also, you can go to swrc southwest radio church...they are pretrib (which is wrong), but, they have many sources on the King James...God Bless.
Report from Kim Freeborn, Bath, England: check it out at www.pfsi-ministry.org The article is entitled: "Trincomalee Revived."
A Report from Rev. Ruth Finley with photos from Peru showing Sons of Zadok in Spanish being distributed. A larger focus on this trip will appear in the October 1, newsletter.
Missionaries Jim and Evangelina Courier, Mexico, receive a check for $8500 from the JoAnn Fund. The monies will be used for materials and volunteers are doing the work. The church will be built in January.
Perry and Carmen Geeck receive check for $8000 from the JoAnn Fund for a church in the Philippines. Carmen is currently in the Philippines arranging for the building.
All these missionary enterprises will be reported on as progress continues. Thank the Lord and JoAnn for these wonderful funds that will mean people around the world will be blessed.
MINISTRY FOCUS FOR SEPTEMBER, 2008
This month's newsletter will focus on a "helps" ministry located in Wisconsin. Having begun as an outreach for those traumatized by abuse or other aberrant relationships, SET APART MINISTRIES enlarged its vision beyond counseling and "coaching" its seekers to a community of helpers using Messianic Judaism with its blend of Old and New Testament principles of deliverance. In addition to the clinical work of Still Waters, Inc., of Green Bay, a mental health outpatient clinic (where Barbara Klika professionally practices), a hedge of satellite support operations flourish.
It is to this "hedge" our focus narrows and for which today's newsletter's interest lies. Following a rather strict Hebrew format based on various "input" processes, Set Apart Ministries is a unique labor in a desperate world. Some of the "inputs" they impart to their constituents are as follows. First, they are a "Torah pursuant" community, believing the Torah has the answer to the personal crises faced by a modern urban population. Their belief is that through Jesus, the living Torah, all mankind can find answers to their needs. Because the Torah is universal, S.A.M. works overseas as well as locally through email, mail and educational resources (they also contribute material for foreign countries through a network of Messianic programs).
In the U.S., Set Apart Ministries, reaches out to several societal groups. Initially, ministry to women occupied the majority of their efforts. Soon, however, working within a new county wide group, programs for those released from prison will be included for both male and female recipients. Inmates soon began to respond to the materials made available to them and the idea of a community of believers "there for them," held great appeal. Now, there are some "Messianic prisoners," who are soon to be released, planning to join this household of faith. Set Apart Ministries, Inc. offers consultation and training for Messianic leadership as they struggle to deal with the personal and relational difficulties so many face within their communities. Their calling is to build up the Body of Believers to maturity in Messiah our Head.
To S.A.M., community is the central repository of energy for those who are "undone." It is in this unity or in Hebrew "Echad" with Messiah that is the basis for trust and restoration with God, within groups and also personally. In the groups, food, holy lifestyles, spiritual toning and education principles are used to restore those who participate. Although the groups maintain simple predetermined guidelines, these "rules" are subordinated to "communal caring." A quick read of their 10-page syllabus immerses the reader into a "covenant of caring" which translates into dynamics for living.
Worship also is a key aspect with Set Apart Ministries and a perusal of their website will produce plenty of evidence for that premise. Messianic songs and Jewish traditional music are enjoined with praise and worship to re-establish biblical worship through its Hebrew roots.
In finality, it is a pleasure to note the trove of materials made available through SAM. Not only are there "online" resources available with a "click," but a bookstore that features Zadok Publications' Materials. (It is wonderful to know that our books enhance their ministry as well as many others worldwide.)
See more of S.A.M. activities at: www.setapartmingb.org
Below are some random photos of participants (one shot is a group preparing a tent for the feast of Tabernacles).
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