Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Come, the New Jerusalem! (Pt. II)

First of all…BLOGINTHENOW is four months old today! Thanks to all of you who have helped to create this very loving and prophetic cyber-community! I hope that it means as much to you as it does to me…

Secondly, I had a really great day yesterday…my time with Pastor Ben (and Kettly) was very enjoyable…they went with me to the TV interview (which went extremely well…watch for it if you get Daystar or Word…and it will also be aired on Streaming Faith) and to the King Center. Then Pastor Lee took me to an amazing dinner at the High Museum of Art in honor of two new exhibits that you should check out. The first one is called The Road to Freedom (on view through October 05), in which you can witness the Civil Rights Movement in pictures…a ground-breaking exhibition of powerful and compelling photographs. The second one is called After 1968 (also through October 05), in which you can examine seven contemporary artists' ideas of the Civil Rights Movement's legacy. It’s a companion exhibition to Road to Freedom. Then I ended the evening with a phone conversation with a blogger (who may or may not want to comment about it) that was all about restoring broken fellowship and healing old wounds…good day, all day long…

I loved everything that you wrote yesterday in response to my article about the New Jerusalem, and I want to say a little more on the subject of its’ coming here on today’s article (I don’t want to say too much more about it because I want to save the good stuff for my sermon Sunday). But I feel the same way as Peacemaker, who commented yesterday that “there is so much going on both inside and outside my head”…

Let me try to address some of what is going on in me today...

When we were with Israelis in Jerusalem a few days ago, hearing their viewpoints and seeing the world through their paradigm, I could completely understand their position on things pertaining to their nation, and on what they believe to be the will of God concerning it. Then, when we crossed over into Palestine and met with the Muslim Palestinians, my heart so went out to them, and I could feel their pain and frustration…and I completely understood their viewpoints, as well. I even understood their view of the will of Allah. In fact, I was so flooded with the Spirit of Understanding all week long that I could see the points of every group, including the Evangelicals and Dispensationalists! I mean, if you’re spiritually sensitive and aware, Israel, especially Jerusalem, can really mess with your mind!

But because I could see everyone’s point…and because I believe that each point is valid…I became more convinced than ever before that the “Israel of God” that Paul talked about has to be a SPIRITUAL ISRAEL, that can only be interpreted and understood IN THE SPIRIT! The most profound moment of our trip, for me, was standing with Muslims and Jews and people of other belief systems on the very spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and hearing an Israeli man (who is not a Christian) read these words from the Apocalypse (the Revelation) … “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Then he cried out “Come, the New Jerusalem!”

When it was my turn to speak, I ended my part with singing these lines… “Let the river run…let all the dreamers wake the nations…come, the New Jerusalem!”

That’s all I want to say about that here…I’ll talk about it more on Sunday. By the way, and just so you’re aware, this weekend at CITN will manifest one of the most amazing outpourings of the Holy Spirit that we have ever seen. Just thought you’d like to know…

One thing I do want to leave with you, however, is this Scripture, and all I can say about it is, “let he who has ears, hear…”

Those who want to make a good impression and a fine show in the flesh would try to compel you to receive circumcision, simply so that they may escape being persecuted for allegiance to the cross of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For even the circumcised [Jews] themselves do not [really] keep the Law, but they want to have you circumcised in order that they may glory in your flesh (your subjection to external rites). But far be it from me to glory [in anything or anyone] except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world! For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah]. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and regulate their lives by this principle], even upon the [true] Israel of God!
(Galatians 6:12 – 16, AMP)

These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ's suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. They themselves don't keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible! For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
(Galatians 6:12 – 16, The Message)

Whoever are wanting to put on a fair face in the flesh, these are compelling you to circumcise only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ Jesus. For not even they who are circumcising are maintaining law, but they want you to be circumcised that they should be boasting in that flesh of yours. Now may it not be mine to be boasting, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation. And whoever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, also on the Israel of God.
(Galatians 6:12 – 16 , CLNT)

Selah!

17 comments:

mayam said...

LOL to all of the beautiful bloggers who contributed to the first four months of BITH. Celebration Time, come on! Yet another source fueling the fires of anticipation tonight, this weekend, and beyond...something definitely simmers...

BITN is a portion of my daily bread. I am not hooked, I am grafted - part of a prophetic, caring, God-First family, and I love my kinfolk.

Looking forward to seeing the interview knowing that you kept it real with a NOW touch.

Until next time,
Rest easy,
mayam

Anonymous said...

Water,walker thank you so much for your prayers and love. I received your prophetic words and some one had told me exactly what you said about 'seed of mercy and harvest of mercy'. what a confirmation. lhollow27. thank you so much for your concern. You are blessed and highly favored. Love, Mercy.

Anonymous said...

Last night a seventeen month diconnection in my life got reconnected. The reconnection reminds me of when a piece of steel is ripped in two and then welded back together. There will always be the scar where the weld is, but when a Master welder (the Holy Spirit) does the welding, the weld is stronger than what it's holding together! How thankful I am for unconditional love, which is the coolest thing I have ever heard of.

Free Bird !!!

Anonymous said...

I FEEL IN MY SPIRIT THAT GOD HAS GREAT THINGS IN STORE FOR US THIS WEEKEND. IT IS LOADED WITH GREAT EVENTS FOR ME WHICH ARE FATHER'S DAY, PROPHET KIM VISIT AND MY BIRTHDAY. I AM MAKING ARRANGEMENT WITH SOME ONE TO SWITCH THIS WEEKEND WITH ME AT WORK. EVEN THOUGH IT WILL BE A WEEKEND OF CELEBRATION FOR ME, I FEEL LIKE LAYING LOW AND BEING STILL. I FEEL LIKE SPENDING IT WITH GOD AND ABOVE ALL TO HEAR HIS VOICE TO ME, TO CITN AND TO THE NATIONS. IT IS NECESSARY FOR US ALL TO BE IN AGREEMENT IN PRAYER. PRAYER WILL LAY THE RIGHT FOUNDATION FOR THE 2 DAYS PROPHETIC NIGHTS. JERE 33;3 SAYS,'CALL UNTO ME AND I WILL ANSWER THEE, AND SHEW THEE GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS WHICH THOU KNOWEST NOT'. SO LET US PRAY TOWARDS THE PROPHETIC NIGHT. I HAVE SOME PRAYER GUIDE LISTED IN THE CHURCH BLOG SITE IN CASE IF YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO PRAY ABOUT. THE NEW JERUSALEM IS ALREADY WITHIN US, LET US MAKE WAY FOR HER MANIFESTATIONS. JESUS HAD TO DIE A PHYSICAL DEATH TO BRING TO US SOMETHING GLORIOUS. THE MORE WE DIE TO SELF, THE CLOSER WE ARE TO THE NEW JERUSALEM. PRAYER IS AN ARMOUR AGAINST EVERY WORKS OF THE FLESH AS IT CAUSES OUR SPIRIT MAN TO RISE ABOVE FLESH. MAY THE LORD CONTINUE TO STRENGTEN OUR PRAYER LIFE. LOVE, MERCY.

vaughn said...

It is our pleasure, Bishop. Thank you for giving us a prophetic forum to be ourselves and to get to feel your heart and connect with your spirit. I prophesy that BITN is really just going to get better and better with the prophetic, insight, revelation and the love.

Someone sent me an email on yesterday requesting pray for the troops in Iraq. The high temperature during the day is 122 degrees, so this can be a point for intercession today as we are blessed to have our air conditioning homes and cars. Let us please be mindful of the troops. In Jesus mighty name we pray!

vaughevan

Anonymous said...

Our collective connection is the essence of progress toward the common unity that God most high desires for the Children to understand and it is the illuminated path that will lead to the accomplishment of attaining the prize we all seek.

There is a painting called “connectivity” on exhibit at CITN that primed this thought. The various shaped objects had different contents but they appeared to be capable of being joined together like a jigsaw puzzle. Then I saw the medium flowing between the pieces as both the adhesive and the lubricant holding them all together.

This thought is not complete yet. There is more. My spirit is speaking in terms of mite and mighty. There are many mites that comprise the One Mighty. Although the mites are insignificant in appearance, The Mighty One is inspiring them to attain greater significance in both their own eyes and the eyes of each other mite to the degree that they know their importance to the existence of the Mighty.

I don know how this may translate to the reader but am interested in an interpretation from other paradigms and especially Donald’s. Donald you crack me up all the time. As I said to Erik, you are good medicine. I could both relate and picture your dance with the ants. I am conflicted like Dennis though in my love hate feelings toward pests.

Avatar said...

What mayam said!
Later.

Nancy said...

Mayam, I love what you said..."BITN is a portion of my daily bread"
A few years ago I had a dream that a train track was right next to Bishop's house. It made it's stop at his kitchen window. Bishop and Debye handed out loaves of bread to everyone on the train.
BITN is for all those on the train and to many more who are coming...Miracles!!
ALL ABOARD!

Nancy

Larry Usher said...

Yes Bishop, this blog is a better extension of yours/God's/our creativity, much more expressive.
I love all the various colors you bring to the canvas- very eclectic!

Bishop-on a side note, I know Kettly isn't blogging for a couple of days so I just wanted to say that whatever you did with her & Ben spilled over into our Bible study last night- God absolutely showed up in a mighty way, such peace, such love, such a confirmation of His Word- His Living Word. Emmanuel- God with us, revealed in us, what more is there, what need do we have other than this. Fritz gave such a right-on word from the Father's perspective, of His love, of His correction, of His purpose. Pastor Ben then came in and gave a strong word about seeking God without the clutter of sin/other things restraining us/restricting us.
What a glorious extension of the word Pastor Debye gave on Sunday, it's like a lot of little fires were lit & now they are fanning into open flames!
As to "the mite and mighty" by anonymous, the really cool thing about God is that in the reality of being a small piece of the puzzle our part is not lost in the overview. God gives us such a sense of belonging, purpose and importance that, yes WE DO MATTER, our contributions are priceless and monumental even if on the surface they seem insignificant.
Jesus always seemed to go out of His way to recognize such things as the widow's mite to show how it's not always the "stars" that get the spiritual job done, it is a team effort, a body, a family.
I love the story of the 1980 Olympic hockey team that ended up, against all odds, winning the gold medal after beating the high-powered Soviet team. The coach had molded the team as a unit, recognizing that the best chance they had was using their skills & talents within a team concept. The Body of Christ is very similar where it is not bigness that makes the difference, but obedience to the call of God on each of our lives- everybody actively contributing and helping!!

God's best to all, can't wait to be ITB tonight!

Larry

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Mayam…“portion of my daily bread”…love it!

Glad you were blessed here, Anonymous…

Free Bird, thanks for acknowledging our phone conversation last night…good stuff…

Awesome admonition to prayer, Mercy…

We’re in agreement, Vaughn…

Beautifully expressed, Anonymous…thanks for the review of my “Connectivity” painting…

We’ll wait to hear from you, Avatar…

Nancy, there actually is a train track behind our house, just a few steps away from our kitchen window…

Great observation, Larry…

G8TRGRL said...

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES AT 4 MONTHS: BABIES VS. BITN

BABIES:May sleep about six hours at night before waking (total sleep typically 14 to 17 hours)
Rolls over (usually stomach to back is first)
Sits with support
Lifts head up 90 degrees
Can follow a moving object for a 180-degree arc
Babbles and amuses self with new noises
Responds to all colors and shades
Explores objects with his mouth
Recognizes a bottle or breast
Communicates pain, fear, loneliness and discomfort through crying
Responds to a rattle or bell

BITN:
-May also sleep 6 hours a night... by the posting times of some of the blogs, maybe not.
-Rolls over... religion.
-Sits with support... from all those that come here!
-Lifts head up 90 degrees...along with our hands in praise!
-Can follow an object ...or thought process and accept the viewpoint, even if it is 180 from what you know.
-Babbles and amuses self with new noises...with the gift of the Holy Spirit!!!
-Responds to all colors and shades... HELLLLOOOOO, we are CITN, after all!!
-Explores objects with mouth... exploring through our hands, typing what our mouths and minds are saying.
-Recognizes a bottle or breast... we recognize the father/mother in Him embracing the masculinity/femininity of God!
-Communicates pain, fear, loneliness and discomfort through crying... we reach out to each other in our Blog Family for comfort.
-Responds to rattle or bell... we as sheep to our shepherd, respond to the voice and teaching we receive here and @ CITN.

TTFN

Nancy said...

Bishop,
I looked up train stations today on the web and it says under an image of the most beautiful in the world:
"There is probably no greater diversity or activity over a given time period than at your city's train station."
Are you seeing what I am seeing?
NO GREATER DIVERSITY

Here's a high five!
N~

"elle" said...

Love it, g8trgrl!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

The passage on those wanting to impose circumcision on others made me think of a movie my husbad and I are currently watching. It's called "The Two of US" and is about a young Jewish boy during WW II who had to leave Paris and live in the countryside with a non Jewish family to escape harm. He was 8 years old and the family he lived with did not know he was Jewish. In his narration, he said something I thought was profound, "I was 8 years old and already a Jew!"

The implication was that he was being discriminated against and had to hide his identity. He had to take a bath alone and try not to let them see him naked because of his circumcision which would be a dead give away. He had to listen to harsh comments about Jews and sit quietly.

I thought about how religion and their rules and laws put us in bondage and in conflict with one another. Children don't understand it, but soon they become subject to it, when passed on from parents and family members who impose it upon them.

If only we could all embrace the message of Galatians 6 which states that neither circumcision or uncircummcision profits anything, but being a new creation in Christ! Religion in its simplest forms is painful, and separates people for no real reason. Wars are being fought because of it.

God grant us mercy and help us to seek peace in Your name.

May flower

Friend4Life said...

Oh what a day!! (smile) Happy "4th" month BITN!!

Very empressive--g8trgrl

Fixing to watch DVD of tonight's service. (after being in AdventureLand; by the way the kids were so into the praise and worship and story lesson..so much fun!!)

Everyone have a good night sleep.
Cya later.

Much love to all,
L.W.

Avatar said...

Hmm. I'm much later than I expected. Can't seem to get thoughts to connect even enough to make sense BEFORE I type, much less after.

And then "endeavoring" gets added to the mix. I feel questions but even those won't form.

sigh.
But it's a good sigh.
Happy 4th, BlogInTheNow!

Avatar said...

okay, here's a full question.

Why didn't God accept older brother Cain's offering?

Gen.4:6--God seeks out Cain. Why the long face? [I'll resist the horse in the bar joke--sort of]

verse 7: If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right...sin desires to have you...but you must rule over it.

Yikes. "Endeavor" -- right there in verse 7.

GPF--one million good deeds.
Bishop--"here's a thought. Be nice to each other."