“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. 

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? 

Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day.

I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Original post from 2016

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I raised thee up(awakened) under the apple tree:…”  Song of Solomon 7:5

The wilderness the daughters of God have been very acquainted with since the dawn of time.
Since the fall of man, the enemy has ensured that we would be considered no more than property and every day countless of us are raped, abused, forced into prostitution and in many countries we are still property at the complete mercy of often unmerciful husbands.

While in other corners of the world, unable to carry lineage names daughters are aborted and others sold into slavery.
Christianity of old.

Tainted by MEN also seemed to teach that women are inferior but the truth is far from that.
My biggest struggle in coming to Christ was this very topic, I was like, Why are women always the bad ones? Misguided teaching of confused or intentionally biased doctrine has kept many away and who could blame them?
Many modern women who have been left to support their children completely alone, who have struggled to pay their bills, put food on their tables, educate themselves and their children, just barely surviving through the world.

And if they happen into the wrong church they will hear that they are of a lesser value to God than their male counterparts. To “fit in” they will need to change everything about themselves and sit down and above all shut up.
Even after God had enlightened me to the truth and helped me understand his word, I still had trouble wrapping my head around a few things.
I did most of intense studying before my child was school aged, after everyone was asleep and my house cleaned, I would stay up and read until I could not function any longer.

One night I happened upon Judges 19 which in my opinion contains the most disturbing and gruesome story in the entire Bible.
It mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, ironically found in Genesis 19, when Lot had offered his virgin daughters to the deviant, demon possessed pagans, who were demanding he turn over his male visitors to them, “that they may know them” translated, so they could gang rape them.  

The Bible clear to point out that Lot offered these girls with a “do whatever you want to them” agreement to try to get them to take them instead of the male visitors.

To break Judges 19 down, a Levite had a concubine, it says she “played the harlot”.
I’m not sure how that worked since she was “kept” for that purpose, double standards of the day, which still equate in our culture as the difference between a guy being a “player” and a woman being a “slut”.

Another problem Jesus addressed when he came to earth, he wants two people married, period.
Enlightening them to their double standards when they wanted judgment against the adulterous woman, of course it takes two, but they seemed to have forgotten to bring her partner in this sin before the Lord, His answer to them translating to this, if they themselves had no sin, go ahead hit her.

Standing in front of a Holy God they couldn’t do it.

But at the time of Judges, men could have as many women as they wanted but it was never God’s plan.
To get on with the story, she went back to her father’s house, so he comes after her to talk her into coming back, finally she agreed, and after being detained several days they went on their way.

He refused to stay anywhere other than lands belonging to the tribes of Israel and insisted on traveling to a city of the tribe of Benjamin, they had nowhere to stay, so an old man invited them to stay with him, pleading that they not stay outside, soon just as with Sodom, there were men at his door demanding he turn over this man to them that they “may know him”.

Picture perfect to Sodom, only lacking the presence of the angels that saved Lot’s daughters. So the old guy offers his daughter and the concubine, again with the agreement to whatever they wanted to them, just do not touch the man.

They refused, they still wanted the man, so the guy just takes the concubine and throws her out to them and they repeatedly gang rape her until the morning and then they let her go.

She makes it to the door of the house where she collapses, she just lies there helplessly until he gets up, opens the door and finds her and he actually tells her quite simply, to get up they have to get going, needless to say she is dead.
He dismembers her body into twelve parts and sends a part to each of the tribes and war is waged.
It wasn’t that they raped her or that she was dead that bothered him, it was because they destroyed his property.

I read this and I was alone with my shock and absolute horror and knowing the Lord, I just asked “Why, Why are we of so little value?”
These “men” would not even try to fend off these monsters, not even try to muster up an ounce of anything remotely resembling courage to fight for themselves.

Forget chivalry, or protection, an ounce of some sort of compassion, but to just offer these women as less than nothing and to do it to save themselves. I just could not understand it.

I do understand that at the time the thought of this being done to men was so unthinkable that they were desperate to prevent it. But they could have tried to prevent it for happening to any of them.

The God I know would never sanction this stuff or ever condone it and I was in tears, and it just hit me to keep reading, the bottom line is this, at the very end of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

This was never God!

He never put these things in men’s hearts and for years it was falsely taught and still is in many places.

Men still do what is right in their own eyes and only God can make them see the truth.
But it is time for the awakening of his daughters.

No matter what false beliefs that women have been brainwashed by, we have to let them know that this is not what Jesus is about.
He does not hate women and did not create us to be objects of amusement to fulfill the twisted lusts of men nor to be their gender indentured servants.

If we are ever to see those that are oppressed be saved and free, they have to know the truth about him and who he is and most of all who they are in him.

A forgotten child, much like David, when no one would even waste their time to call him to be presented before Samuel the Prophet, because in their eyes why would a prophet possibly want to speak with someone so unimportant and simple?

A forgotten child from the greatest of tribes, who just happened to be a woman, a sister to the twelve tribes of Israel, a forgotten child that no one bothers to mention because she was not as important as her brothers, or so they thought.

Dinah, the seventh child Leah bore to Jacob, a woman who also a thing or two about pain and substandard treatment, who had been raped and used as a bargaining chip which led to a mass slaughter.

Her bloodline STILL offering an inheritance. because she was one of the tribe.

The most prophetic beauty with Dinah is the meaning of her name, “JUDGEMENT.”

It is awakening time for the sisters, the beautiful, forgotten army who have a straight shot to the heart of the Father.

You are so strong, so powerful, and yet, you do not even know WHO YOU ARE in HIM, and so unaware of your predestined place in this end time end game.

You are the spiritual virgins and maidens forever following to proclaim the majesty, beauty, and holiness of the Kings of Kings.

It is the love and proclamations that Hannah, and Mary, and never forget Mary Magdalene, He came to her first because she needed him the most.

Take your place in the kingdom, it is not going to be accomplished with half an army.
The adoration and praises from hearts that have known sorrows and pain that men can never begin to understand.

A relationship to God who will bring justice for others on behalf of the cries of the souls of his daughters.
Unlike the time of Judges, unlike the women who are your sisters the world over, who are oppressed and in bondage. 

You have access to a King, the King, and The King over heaven, and earth, and the entire universe, He will plead their cause if you bring them before his throne in that secret prayer closet.
He will bring justice for those your tears flood the altar for, when you allow your soul to be awakened under that tree, awakened by a love so strong, so powerful, so consuming that you wear that love as a covering for the whole world to see.

I AM the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns so is my love among the daughters. as the apple tree among the trees of wood so it my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He brought me into the banqueting house and his banner of me was LOVE”  Song of Solomon 2:1-4

Translated: KNOW HIM for who HE IS, allow his love to bloom in you, in spite of the valleys and thorns, breathe in his sweetness and lift you up out of those ashes and hide in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of his wings, taste the goodness of his salvation and let him bring you into his house of feasting and the love of Jehovah Nissi is his war flag over his daughters and the love is the secret to it all.

Φλογίζω / 02/05/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

For later posts in the realm of all things feminine, check these out:

Resurgence of Ruth

 “Misplaced pearls”

“Something needs to break”

“Grinding the ax” 1 “acknowledgement”

“Grinding the ax” 2… “Real Love?”

“Grinding the ax” #3 “Anger Danger”

“Grinding the ax” #4 “STRANGLE HOLD”

REVISTED:08/01/2019  I like to revisit these older posts, because sometimes we just need to be reminded of who Jesus REALLY is and who he has called us to be in him.

 

 

 

 

When in Rome…

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According as his DIVINE POWER hath GIVEN unto us ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness, THROUGH the knowledge of him that HATH CALLED US TO GLORY AND VIRTUE.

Whereby ARE GIVEN unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption THAT IS IN THE WORLD through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4 

Lovin’ the old saying…”When in Rome… you know… “do as the Romans.” But I want to give you a slightly different take on it as we go into a new year.

We all know that when the clock strikes midnight, December 31st, no magic star-dust will be falling from the sky, we also know that Cinderella’s dress really doesn’t mystically transform back into soot covered, tattered rags.

But most do hold it as time is called on the stop watch of old and a new countdown is set for the future.

Which is why I always just go with it. I believe in HOPE and my HOPE is in the Lord but I will take a little extra encouragement wherever I can find it!

So here we go.. “When in Rome REMEMBER that while everyone was doing as everyone else.. Rome FELL!

Let’s check out our scriptures. Our starter verse greets us with the blessing of praying that grace and peace be multiplied to us! But we are quickly REMINDED that the multiplication of THAT grace and THAT peace comes IN the knowledge of God.

What is the knowledge of God? I personally believe that it would be keeping Him first and foremost in our hearts and our minds and most of all our EVERYDAY lives. Now that is NOT always easy!

But we know that he also PROMISED that he would “keep in PERFECT peace” those who keep their minds on Him. Making time every day to read at least one scripture or devotional. If you do not have morning time to read for yourself, sign up for daily verse emails (my husband reads his aloud for our family) and even social medias have many pages that offer this.

Another great way to stay spiritually fed while multi-tasking is to consider CD’s or electronic devices that you can listen to while driving, cleaning, or while doing almost anything.

It is also great to listen to good, Bible based preaching BUT it is so important to get the actual WRITTEN WORD of God in your Spirit. When we get the Word of God on the “tables of our heart” God uses that to reveal to us what He is saying to us PERSONALLY, not just as it had been revealed to one of His ministers.

I am in no way kicking that, that is His intention by having those who are called to preach the Gospel. But sometimes He will reveal a certain take on a scripture just for you for a certain season or particular battle.

Think about His statement from John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

We  have to have His word in us so that it can be brought back to our remembrance because we have can no memory of that which we have not learned. this is one of those when in Rome areas, we can not rest our knowledge of Christ solely upon what is being taught to us.

We know that currently the world is full of false teaching concerning God and especially concerning holiness and acceptable behaviors.  This gets us into our verse dealing with the fact that we have BEEN CALLED OUT of this world.

We are no longer partakers of the world and the sins and snares thereof. A life that we could not free ourselves from BUT a life in which we are called into.

A life that has been GIVEN by absolute DIVINE power that allows to overcome those snares and traps to live inside that realm of virtue and the blessed state of His glory shining on our lives, in the midst of even the darkness of this world.

And these are those promises, that we are called out and called into Him and that through him and His promises that we will escape the lusts of this world that corrupts us.

Think about the word lust.. not the just the sexual sense. The sexual sense is actually the LEAST of the lusts we have to battle. it simply means DESIRE and think of all the desires our flesh has to battle… daily.

The desire of life, the desire of work, the desire to excel in whatever we have chosen. The desire for monetary gains, the desire for popularity, the desire to be liked, loved, needed, or even the desire to be pretty, articulate, even the desire to be “desirable” NOT in the lustful sense but in the attractive sense.

Even the desire to be competitive, the desire to get even, the desire to be “one up” on a foe.  ANYTHING, any emotion, any thought, ANYTHING has the potential to BECOME lustful if not carefully checked against the word of God. 

That was the trouble with the  ancient Romans. They actually took their ideas for their society from the Greeks. They just made everything BIGGER and BETTER than what the Greeks had. The Greeks worshipped twelve “gods’ so the Romans added two and worshipped fourteen.

They built their society based on the thoughts and ideas stolen from the Greeks and as we all know became the world power of the day.

But we also know when it fell.. “great was the fall” and will never again rise to its former stature. We, as a society, take our cues from the media and entertainment, and most horrifically the voice that cries the loudest.

Often thoughts and ideas of a very small group of people become force-fed into mainstream population by the media and soon EVERYONE is EXPECTED to conform to that thought or image, when it is not actually even the popular thought.

It is time to relinquish the societal control that we allow to dictate our lives, thoughts, and desires BACK to God so that we can TRULY be conformed to His will, HIS purpose and most of all HIS divine nature.

So “destroy” that influence over your life in the coming new year. basically, if it does not honor God, do not give it honor by allowing whatever that force is to influence your life. If you are doing or seeing anything that you could not see or do with Jesus beside you.. then simply do not allow that to have any place in your thoughts, life, or family.

Check out what He told the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 7:2-6: “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they WILL turn away thy son FROM FOLLOWING ME, that they may serve other gods, so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

But thus (here’s how) ye shall deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

For thou ART (you are) AN HOLY (set apart) PEOPLE UNTO GOD; THE LORD THY GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE TO BE A SPECIAL PEOPLE (treasure) UNTO HIMSELF, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”

As you see THIS is the word of God. HE IS telling us through it that just as the Hebrews were to NOT to have any dealings whatsoever ever with those who were their enemies that we are to NOT have any dealings whatsoever with those things today that ARE our SPIRITUAL enemies.

And notice that He did INCLUDE our children and what we allow to influence them and HE told us in no uncertain terms that exposure to these enemies would lead to REBELLION against Him. That we are to DESTROY those things out of our lives BECAUSE He has called us as His. And fortunately for us, it is much easier NOW to remove those spiritual enemies by making our choices based on His teachings.

So don’t let this world influence your life, you influence the world by living your life for Him!

Finally a couple of quick notes… WHY did Cinderella’s shoes NOT change when everything else did in that fairy-tale? Anyone else ever wonder about that 🙂 ?

Also if you are reading internationally, please know that this title and reference to the old saying and ancient Rome in NO WAY reflects my feelings toward Rome… or Romans, this has been completely symbolic.

Rome is a beautiful place that I would love to visit one day!

And I also wanted to thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for reading this past year and it is my sincerest prayer that you be blessed with new revelations, new joy, and the happiness and peace that can only be found in a true personal relationship with our Lord and Creator Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Amen!

Original post date: 12/28/2017 But sometimes it is good to be reminded.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

AND YOU ARE?

Don’t you just love it when you voice an opinion in mixed company only to have the person with the opposing view look at you and say in that smug tone laced with sarcasm and disgust at the mere thought that you could possibly question their obviously superior intelligence, and they say “And you are???
I for one love it! Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of exactly who we are in God.
Elijah the prophet of God, who was allowed to pray that it not rain, pray the rain would return and pray that fire would come down from heaven in the presence of his enemies.
Elijah started those prayers with this statement “If I be a man of God..”

Paul, in his writings dubbed himself “The prisoner of the Lord”.

James refers to himself as “Servant of Jesus Christ”.

John the “Beloved”. 

And Mary who never gave herself a title but at his feet she knew exactly who she was and she fell absolutely, helplessly in love with him, a love born from being touched by love itself in it’s purest form, a love so gentle, humble so powerful that it had restored her soul.

She knew to be separated from Him would be a fate far worse than hell.
They and so many more throughout the Bible have a very common denominator, they knew who they were in God and never let anyone convince them otherwise.

Today we hear so many voices telling us what to think what to eat, what to buy, what we should wear, and who would should be, our minds can become so clouded that we don’t even know who were are and we become too quick to forget who were are in Him.
To achieve our purpose in these blessed last days God has chosen us to be born into, please give up a little you time, or TV time, just make a little time to get in that prayer closet, your personal secret place that is just and God, pray and fast, and remember this does not have to be food, you can fast anything.

Salvation and grace are completely free gifts, but to get in position for the last day outpouring of the spirit and great harvest of souls, and to allow him to stir the gifts and the calling he has placed in you, well it requires diligence on your part.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, tells of the great falling away of the church, we’ve been seeing that come to pass over the last few years.
It is a time to weed out those who serve one day a week or for some reason other than a relationship with Christ and they will fall away.

 Those who are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to see His Kingdom come will be those left standing, the approved of God .
The ones before us who held on, no matter what suffering, ridicule and persecution they had to endure. and when they fell they sought God to lift them up again.
David was human just as human as we are, yet he made tragic mistakes but he sought forgiveness.
God said David was a man after his own heart, I know the common thought on it, but I really take it as David sought the very heart of God, to know Him and be part of the very heart of God.
His praise was constant and he continually sought to have his heart searched, cleansed, restored and anything that may stand between them to be removed.
God wants to help us and there is nothing inside of us that He doesn’t already know.

He is a supreme gentlemen, he will never embarrass you, or tell the whole world all of your secrets. 

He wants us to bring everything to Him and  admit that we have problems so he can help us.
Everyone needs trusted prayer partners but you also need that one on one with God, seek purification, seek out the calling and gifts and seek confirmation of them at church.
We can feel led in certain areas, but I tell you ,whatever area of ministry that stirs your heart is usually where your calling will be found BUT always study God’s word and if seems like a foreign language in the King James, get the New King James, it’s more easily understood, there several of versions of the Bible out there but I personally stop here, but no matter what you are called to do, you must have a good foundation of the word of God. It protects you from false doctrine especially when you are seeking.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which is given thee by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

I feel this is another shortcoming of modern churches today, we are to seek these gifts because they are not for us, they are needed to accomplish the work in the Kingdom.

“Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly unto them; thy   profiting may appear to all. TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF, AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE; CONTINUE IN THEM: FOR IN DOING THIS THOU SHALT SAVE THYSELF AND ALL THAT HEAR THEE.” 1 Timothy 4:14,15

The time has come to seek and stir up those gifts of God, as he said if you will do these things you will see the lost saved.
And while seeking, the enemy will rear his head to attempt to discourage you, and he will ask “And you are?” 

Take your answer from Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:10 (a)”But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain:..”

We are the generation chosen to seek His face, now it is up to us to believe that!


Original Post Date: 02/15/14  Φλογίζω/  All Rights Reserved.  Nina BrownJohnson/ 2015 Revisited 06/19/2019  

 

 

“Unbinding the Feet”

“How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

So much is said in scripture about the “feet” and we know that this means not only the feet of the Body of Christ, as we are taught through these verses:

1st Corinthians 12:14-27: “For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is is not therefore of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing (how could it hear)? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling (how would it smell)?

But now, God hath set the members, every of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body (where would the body be)?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head unto the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak) are necessary.

And those members of the body, which we think are to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely (unpresentable) parts have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered(composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

That there should be no schism (division) in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether (if) one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually). ”

There are many other mentions of the “feet” and so many beautiful scriptures concerning those, like Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Jesus washing the disciples feet, much to the horror of Peter, he was viewing it carnally, his feet covered with dust and I am sure showing the years of wear of much walking and hard work, and he was embarrassed and downright horrified for Jesus to touch his feet.

Because again we try to “beautify” those things we consider “ugly” and try to twist those features into what is more “attractive” and more appealing. And this also happens spiritually. 

Broken, crippled feet are not going to be capable carrying the Gospel anywhere.

I am reminded of the stories of the now pretty much non-existent practice of foot binding.

So truly gruesome and disturbing, and yet somehow so perfect an explanation, such a mirror to exactly what many face spiritually.

First, this begins at a very early age, you could compare that to being a new convert, or you could compare it to be new in ministry, learning your calling.

But the feet are oiled and made as comfortable as possible, (some symbolism to be found there also) and once this has been accomplished, the toes one by one are literally broken and pushed sideways toward the middle of the foot, then the foot is also broken leaving only the big toe and the heel unbroken.

The feet are then bandaged tightly, ensuring all the broken bones are in their “correct” place to be reshaped.

Imagine the level of excruciating pain, even one toe, just being “stumped” or the pain of stepping on something sharp, imagine nine toes broken and both feet broken in the middle.

Also reminiscent of the verse that they “hurt his feet in fetters” referring to the enslavement of Joseph and the nails that were drove through the feet of Jesus. Spiritual feet are quite the same.

And this process, like the binding of spiritual feet is a long process, the feet being unwrapped, the bones re-broken, and wrapped again, even tighter and some trying to alleviate the pain would sneak and loosen the binding at the toes and when caught doing this, those performing the binding would quickly sew up the binding so that they had no way to loosen any part of these bindings.

And the entire “process” was for the purpose of making the “feet” more beautiful, more “acceptable” and to “conform” to the ideas of the time.

The shape of the foot was desired to resemble a lotus blossom, not ironically dedicated to pagan Buddhism.

What I can derive is that it started with concubines to the King and his twisted desire for a certain dance and suddenly, without these misshapen feet women were considered “less desirable” for marriage and so basically, if you wanted to fit in, be treated well, you allowed yourself to be subjected to this.

Sounds like ashes and thorns to me.  Each time the feet were unbound, re-broken, re-bandaged, while fluid and blood leaked out.

This was done in the name of “beauty”, sound beautiful to you? Ever feel like that in your Christian walk? 

You will be oiled, you will be comforted, you will be given beyond and above all you need providing that you keep those big ol’ feet  bound and conforming to the image of those that are acceptable.

And sure you eventually get past some of the pain and learn to walk, very slowly, not making any real strides, only the desired limited movement, but hey, you are still accepted.

“Feet” that were created to “run swiftly” bearing messages. “Feet” that were meant to “leap” as hinds feet converging on impossible mountains, “carrying” to those in the deep trenches the Gospel of freedom and deliverance.

And “feet” that were meant to “dance” for joy along side those that rejoice and as so many of the ladies whose natural feet were bound, those whose spiritual feet have been bound, find later that not only are they unable to leap, dance, much less run, they have now became absolutely crippled.

Good news/bad news, “Feet” can be unbound, but as with bringing back blood flow to anything that has been starved, it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt bad.

First you have to accept that they are your “feet” (take spiritually) and use this as a comfort verse, knowing that your calling, and your gift is what God wants you to have, whether that looks unattractive or unacceptable to anyone else, should be of no matter because we answer to God.

1st Corinthians 12;11,13 : “But ALL these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) AS HE WILL

For by ONE SPIRIT we are ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

Understanding that gives us the courage and boldness to undertake that painful unbinding, and if someone only accepts part of you, or makes you feel that you belong… if you forfeit the very part of you that identifies you in Christ, then it is time to rethink those relationships and the price of those bound feet, they make look pretty fitting in to their delicate little shoes but underneath those wrappings is rot and decay and decay and infection that could one day end up in the blood.

Sometimes the feet will heal, they will always be scarred and much more will be involved as the undergo the “restoration” process but once you realized that you are being crippled, you can either continue to allow that process or you can take off those bandages, deal with patching up the wounds and maybe in time learn to walk again. In the physical binding reversal can takes years and as far as spiritually, we know Jesus heals all of our spiritual wounds, as in our armor. 

Ephesians 6:15: And your feet shod with the preparation of Gospel of peace.

We are Jesus’ children, daughters, and we make up the Bride of the Lamb.

And Jesus has some shoes of His choosing that He’d like His children to wear.

Song of Solomon 7:1a: “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Princes daughter!…”

Psalm 45:13-15: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold (symbolic of the Word of God).

She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework (robes of many colors): the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

With gladness and rejoicing  SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: they shall be brought into the king’s palace.

Jesus Christ, our King, our King who does not hurt us and only binds our wounds, not our “feet”.

Our “feet”that He has freed from snares, traps, and pits from the enemy. And we are taught that where His Spirit is there is freedom, so don’t let anyone or anything bind you and the calling He has placed on your life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019