I have neglected writing articles for the Jesus Wept Ministries website for some time. However, I have recently felt the Lord prompting me to start up, once again, with timely articles and blogs. One of the reasons that I discontinued writing was a “faulty” perception that there is just too much information out there and people are over saturated and unlikely to take the time to read yet another blog. However, reality is that there is not an overload of truth or discernment in these times. So, with the help and unction of the Holy Ghost, I am going to start writing once again. This week is my editorial from the Spring Issue of the Jesus Wept newsletter that went into prisons throughout the United States. More and more I see parallels with those incarcerated and those of us out here living under a governmental system that feels tyrannical at times.
I recently went to Costa Rica for a short 10 days trip. Every time I visit Costa Rica I have a difficult time coming back. The natural habitat is lush beyond belief. There is no army in Costa Rica so they live in an environment of peace. It is very different from USA because people are not suspicious there and constantly looking over their shoulder. The Costa Ricans are gracious and hospitable. Even the poorest people usually have access to fruit trees on their properties or know someone who does. They share willingly from their abundance.
While I was there I pondered on what it must be like to be confined to prison, sometimes for years. When Jesus Wept Ministries first became involved in missions in 1990 we started an orphanage in India. It was a direct response to a scripture the Lord had given me from Isaiah 58:10. “If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day.”
Truly this scripture has been fulfilled in the lives of many of you who have given your soul to praying for this ministry. There is nothing more powerful than prayer and the Church in Costa Rica and I can feel the strength of the prayers of many prisoners. Thank you!
It is not an easy thing to be confined. And to find a “sacrifice of praise” in the midst of such a trial is even more precious to God. And yet over the 30 plus years in prison ministry I have seen victory after victory in the lives of so many of you. You may be bound by barbed wire fences and constant surveillance, but in the “secret place” of the Most High you are as free as a bird.
The Apostle Paul never felt himself handicapped the months that he spent in prison bound by two soldiers who I understand eventually became converted. He was bound but he was free. John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” I have heard this scripture misquoted many times. It is usually stated that the truth will set you free. But that is not what it says. You may still be physically bound but by acknowledging the truth in your heart Jesus will make you progressively free.
Beloved, do you see how important truth is? Truth, like love, is a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted word. It means different things to different people. Since the Holy Ghost was given to lead repentant souls into all truth then we can assume that truth is a progressive reality in our life as we learn to embrace and obey revealed truth in our life.
I was filled with the Holy Ghost when I was seven years old. Listening to a tent revival on the radio I felt something I had never felt before. When the preacher began to talk about the Holy Ghost he said it was a gift that was free. Life had been very difficult for me up to that point as I was adopted when I was 4-1/2 and prior to that lived in many foster homes. The idea of something free appealed to me and I remember praying that I would like to receive this free gift. I knew nothing about speaking in tongues, but the moment I prayed that prayer it felt like warm honey went through my body and I began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. I was so filled with the beautiful Spirit of God that it could only overflow in words I had never learned.
It is hard for me to understand why anyone would not want to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. However, the Holy Ghost is only given to those who obey Him. Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses of these things; and is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
Some of you have written that you have not spoken in tongues and it troubles you. No one said it was easy to yield to God but yield we must. The tongue is the most potentially destructive member in our body. James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” God knows that if He has control of a person’s tongue He can truly be Lord and Savior of that soul. It is the foolishness of God that confounds the wisdom of man. People have argued over this Holy Ghost doctrine for 2,000 years but the Lord continues to pour out His Spirit throughout the world and in prisons today.
“Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh shall rest in hope.” Acts 2:26
We are living in a time of unparalleled deception. Lies dressed up like truth is like a pig with lipstick. You just can’t twist a lie into a partial truth without perversion and distortion. Jesus was the pure Truth of God and they crucified Him. He only did good and yet was hated by most towards the end. Since His nature is love He could only forgive “for they know not what they do” and so must we if we are to continue in the rest that only the Holy Ghost brings.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
Why would the enemy spend so much time attacking doctrine? The biggest lie is that “doctrine divides and disrupts unity”. That is not what the Word says. It is “sound doctrine that will save us”. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9
I looked up the word gainsayers in the Concordance and I didn’t realize it’s meaning before. It means to “dispute, answer again, contradict, deny, speak against.” How many of you have dealt with that spirit when trying to tell someone the full plan of salvation, repentance, baptism in the Holy Ghost, and baptism in water in the name of Jesus Christ? I know I have. Until someone has yielded to the Truth they will resist the Holy Ghost and move forward in deception.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Cor. 4:4
If I were to title this editorial message it would be “Bound but Free”. How are we bound? We are bound to the Word of God by choice not by coercion. We freely give the Lord control over our lives and yet it is not a tyrannical control. He said in Isaiah, “Come let us reason together.” Knowing all things and with thoughts and ways far higher than ours, He was willing to humble Himself to His creation. No greater evidence of this was Jesus taking off the towel that He was girded with at the Last Supper and washing the feet of His disciples. He laid down His life for us and we must lay down our life for the brethren.
Boundaries comes from the word “bound”. The world knows nothing of boundaries and as the world continues to unravel there are fewer and fewer boundaries regarding personal or spiritual matters. “Anything goes”. “If it feels good do it.” Soon the only boundaries will be those imposed by the government and elected officials. This is a lawless generation having cast off all restraint. But Beloved, we must hold on to the traditions that have been laid down to us by the saints of old who paved the way for us. Some say those traditions are legalism but they are safety nets- boundaries to protect the precious jewel of the Holy Ghost the Lord has placed within us.
A rose is a beautiful flower – some call it the flower of perfection. And yet every rose has thorns on its stem. If we remove the thorns the rose could be easily bruised. Holiness may not be a popular subject but it is one of the most needed subjects in this hour. Beloved, let us do those things that are pleasing inHis sight, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. He is holy and separating from all that is unholy is what we should strive for every day.
Prison can be a great blessing. It is where one learns to come under authority and has the time to really seek the Lord and study His Word. I am amazed and grateful for the revelations the Lord has given many of you who have written. You have strengthened me. –Sister Vicki