Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Mountains of Refreshing Part 5
Climbing up the path of one of the Mountains of Refreshing, I looking back down to give a last wave of good-bye to John, but as I do I see he has already returned to position sitting on the edge of the Foundation of Signs and wonders. I also see some else lying on the ground, glowing with the power of the Holy Spirit. My own curiosity wants to go back down the mountain and see who it is but the Spirit is urging me to move upwards.
As I turn and start up the mountain, I hear a roar off in the distance and roaring is getting louder and louder, then suddenly I see a great cloud of God’s Glory racing towards me. It’s height and width is infinite (as far as I can tell). I am quickly engulfed by the cloud and find that the Cloud of Glory is more like the ocean than a cloud. I am soon picked up off my feet and I am carried along by the powerful currents flowing in the Glory of God. I have the freedom to move this way and then back another way, it is like swimming and skydiving at the same time. The love and power I feel flowing all around me is amazing. I this point I feel like the currents are moving me downward and I soon see the ground coming from below. I touch down like superman in the movies and start calmly walking up the mountain again.
The path winds upward and comes to a place around on the side of the mountain where I can see the view. The beauty of the panorama before me is breath taking. I see off in the distance, great mountains, going far higher than the one I am standing on.
Some of the mountains look like they are made out of pure gold, others out of silver still others look giant diamonds, others like rubies and still others like sapphires all glistening in the sun and seemly giving off wave after wave of the Glory of God. Then, I look down to valley below and realize that it is the Valley of the Foundations of God stretched out before me. Forgive me for being a little slow it is then it dawns on me that the Glory had sweep me up and me perhaps hundreds maybe even a thousand or so miles up the mountain. As I stand there trying to take it all in I hear a familiar voice saying, “Having you been waiting for me?” I turn around and standing there is Katherine Kuhlman with a beautiful warm smile and the Glory of God surrounding her. I am speechless. She says to me, “You are right, the Glory of God and the Spirit have carried you up the mountain, but they will carry you only as far as you are willing to go. I learned this long ago before I came here to be with the Father, in His house. Then, I say, “But, we are outside not in house.” Then Katherine says, (in a lovingly beautiful way) “Stop thinking in earthly terms of a house, Father’s house encompasses all that there is, in both the physical and spiritual realms and beyond. And before you ask, Yes Father’s house even encompasses those places, the evil one thinks are his and yes there are realms beyond the physical and spiritual that you cannot even begin to understand, now.
Learn as much as you can about the Father’s Love, learn how to express your love for him in all you do, let him teach you who truly are and are called to be. Then mediate on what you learn and spend time with God. Get to know Him; that is the secret to all. Teach others to do the same.”
Then Katherine gave me a loving hug, turned walked away and was gone. I hear the roar once again and see the Glory coming down the mountain towards me. I am again, caught up in the cloud or the tidal wave of the Glory of God. This time is different, I not only feel and see the glory all around but I feel it flowing inside me as well. I feel myself racing up the mountain, to next encounter. Before I can realize it, I am set down once again. Waiting for me there is a woman, sense I that I somehow know but I do not recognize her. She has a great authority around her.
She begins to speak, I am Aimee Semple McPherson, and there is not much time before the next wave, so just listen. I preached, living a holy life before God and God blessed me with many signs and wonders in my day. Learn that holiness does not the outward things you say or do. Holiness has been imparted to you, into your spirit by the Father, release the Holiness of God from within you, and it let flow out like a mighty river. Many have learned that the Love of God flows out of you and yet they try to impose Holiness from the outside in. It is the same for God’s Holiness just as it is with God’s Love. God’s Holiness is within you, given to you at salvation and it must released from within you, out to the world that so desperately needs it. Anything else is dirty self-righteous that does no good and only causes harm and destruction. Release God’s Holiness from within you. Now Go.”
With that I am Swept up again by the Glory of God, this time I feel myself becoming one with the Glory and Spirit of God, somehow flowing together as one, yet separate. Which I can no more describe than I can trinity; the three being one yet separate, flowing together as one, yet flowing separately. I come to rest on the peak of the Mountain of Refreshing, I look around and all I see is mountain tops and other mountains reaching up skyward and out of sight, I look down, and cannot even see the valley below. I have learned much and there is much to mediate on yet I feel totally and completely refreshed. I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit within me saying, “It’s time to go”
©COPYRIGHT 2011 RICHARD SPANGLER
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Friday, July 15, 2011
We’ve all heard stories of missionaries of the past who traveled to the most remote areas of the earth searching for lost souls, people who have never heard the name of Jesus. Once I met a man who originally came out from one of those remote areas, searching for Jesus. His name is Yume, and he is a Pygmy from a remote village in the rain forests of South America. I had the privilege of interviewing him on Christian TV in Nashville, Tennessee.
Yume appeared the way you would imagine a Pygmy would look, less than five feet tall, slight of build, with facial features of someone from the remote regions of a South American Jungle. Yume had so much love of Jesus in his heart that it sparkled out of his eyes. His firm handshake and broad smile was infectious. His story is incredible.
Yume was born and raised in a Pygmy tribe deep in the rain forest of South America. Back in the 1960’s Yume came of age, which meant he had to submit to secret rituals and initiations, like every boy did, in order to be recognized as a man. In the final portion of the initiation, the elders of the tribe took him to a secret place in the deepest, most foreboding part of the Jungle. Wild beasts thrived there, and danger lurked behind every tree.
Young Yume’s challenge was to survive the night alone, armed only with his fear. They believed that sometime during the night, the spirit of the forest, a mystical being of terror, would find Yume. With his touch, the boy would die. Then the spirit of the forest would bring him back to life… as a man. Every boy feared this transformation from death, to life as a man, as much as the wild beasts from the unknown jungle.
So they left Yume there…alone. His thoughts soon turned to the boys who never returned. Did they get lost and die? Did wild beasts devour them? Did the spirit of the jungle find them unworthy to be brought back as men? What would happen to him? These were his thoughts as he waited in the night, naked, cold, defenseless and alone, curled up on the ground under a large tree between two protruding roots.
Then the miracle happened. A man of light appeared. His skin was lighter than Yume’s and he had long brown hair and a beard. Clothed in a white garment from neck to toe, he shined like the sun. Yume thought, “This must be the spirit of the forest. I am going to die.” With that, he curled up even tighter as fear gripped him.
The man spoke and introduced himself as Jesus. He told Yume that he had come to save him and give him eternal life. Yume loosened up some. Jesus comforted him, protected him, and stayed with him through the night. At daybreak, Yume looked around and Jesus was gone!
After a harrowing run through the forest to his village, Yume told his family and the elders what had happened. How this man Jesus came to save and protect him. Nobody believed him. Yume told me that neither he nor anyone from his village had ever seen a white man before. He was ridiculed and abused, so he left.
He set out through the rain forest to find Jesus. He traveled through dangerous forests and jungles, climbed unknown mountains and swam across rivers. He searched from villages to settlements asking the same question of those he met. “Where’s Jesus?”
Every place he went, he would tell his story and ask the same question, “Where’s Jesus?” Weeks turned into years, and Yume grew up, but he never gave up. Eventually Yume found his answer and discovered where and whom Jesus is, but not before walking through South America, Central America, Mexico, and into the United States!
“He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). Yume became an evangelist and a missionary. Not one who went to the jungle, but one who Jesus brought out of the jungle. Now everywhere he goes, he shares the answer to where’s Jesus, “He’s in my heart!”
“And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him” (Deuteronomy 4:29 NLT).
Monday, July 4, 2011
Reading today’s headlines, we learn of constant challenges to our liberty. Terrorist’s threats against our nation, economic turmoil, and political struggles are on our minds. But hasn’t that been a constant in the history of our country?
From the very outset of our nation’s birth, our forefathers passed the test of liberty in places like Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. But there has come a steady stream of trials and tests to our nation that we have had to pass in order to remain free. We mustn’t forget the Alamo, the battle of New Orleans, or Gettysburg, and our current herooes who fight a war against global terror.
There has been a test that each generation has had to pass for liberty. And these tests are always given to the individual. A woman, who we’ll call Maria, had always wanted to become a United States citizen, but could not pass the test. Well, after praying with a CBN prayer counselor, Maria passed the test of liberty and became a United States citizen!
There once was a young boy named Tommy who was brilliant at an early age. Born and raised in a rural area, he read all of his father’s books by the age of six, and had a hunger for knowledge that was unquenchable. He was tested many times in his life but at the age of 14, his father passed away, leaving him to assume the role of head of house.
In spite of life’s circumstances, he entered college at the age of 17. Maintaining his home with his mother and siblings, at the age of 24, Tommy passed the bar exam and became a lawyer. When he was 27 and away working in another city, his home burned down and he lost all his prized possessions, including his extensive library. In time, he rebuilt his library, had an illustrious career, and passed the test of liberty.
Harriet Powers, a woman freed from slavery after the civil war, suffered hardships and struggled to pass the test of liberty. She was an expert seamstress who made quilts to help support her family of nine children. Few black women could write in those days, but Harriet told the stories of the Bible with the figures she sewed into the panels of her quilts. To see Harriet’s quilts was to get a visual of the great stories of the Bible. She passed the test of liberty and led her family into the free world.
The greatest test of liberty, however, came in a garden in Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus passed the test of liberty for all mankind when He submitted Himself to His Father and said,
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42).
He sacrificed His liberty for ours, even to His death on a cross. Now we have liberty in Christ, eternal life that no man or devil in hell can take from us. When we accept Christ Jesus as our savior, we are free!
The test of liberty is an individual test, which we must pass daily. Our struggle, whether spiritual, physical, or financial, is not in vain. Just as we reap the rewards of those who have passed the test before us, we pass the rewards of our tests on to those who come after us.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good”
(II Thessalonians 3:13).
So pass the test of liberty, and be an over-comer like Harriet Powers, the freed slave whose Bible quilt hangs in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC today. Or Maria, who passed the test of liberty and became a United States citizen at 96 years of age! And finally, let’s not forget Tommy, who at the age of 33 passed the test of liberty when he penned these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1776).