“Done Deal”

When Jesus chose to come to earth through the womb of a humble virgin and chose a stable as the destination for his arrival and He chose a poor carpenter as His earthly step-father, it would be to the confusion and confounding of those who awaited the Messiah to be born in splendor, in the finest of palaces with the proverbial golden spoon in His mouth.

And it worked quite nicely, He wanted those who came to Him to come to Him because HE IS not because of who thought THOUGHT Him to be. Only a true King could have such a test to reveal His true servants from those who just wanted His prestige. As we know even after hearing His very words spoken in their own ears, the Pharisees and Jews could still not grasp the thought that the loving, gentle, ORDINARY man could possibly be the Son of the one true God.

Although He did come as ordinary and unpretentious, No matter how it may have appeared we know that HE IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY! I am not so sure that we have moved quite far enough away from those thoughts that also easily sway our minds.

We often ignore that still. small voice because our ears are striving to hear a loud proclamation. Sometimes we are so enamored with the thought of having our worlds rocked that we completely miss the fact that the ground IS already shaking.

We can completely miss what is right in front of us, simply because it does not look like we had pictured it to look. It does not sound exactly as we thought it would and by holding onto to OUR thoughts we can miss out on a lot. Just as He said, His ways ARE higher than our ways and His thoughts ARE higher than are thoughts, it rests on forgetting what we ever thought in the first place and acknowledging His will.

I used this particular passage in a former now non-existent post, but I would like to revisit that SAME thought here, again. This is the amazing story of Peter being arrested, imprisoned, supernaturally  freed and those who WERE praying for his freedom, NOT BELIEVING when he literally showed up on their doorstep! We’ll pick up here:

ACTS 12:4-16: “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (squads of four) of soldiers, to keep him: intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

 Peter was therefore kept in prison: but PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING OF THE CHURCH UNTO GOD FOR HIM. And when Herod would have (was about to) bring him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping BETWEEN two soldiers, BOUND WITH TWO CHAINS and the keepers before the door kept the prison (guards were also at the door).

And, behold, the ANGEL of the Lord came upon him (stood by him), and  A LIGHT SHINED  IN THE PRISON: and he smote Peter on the side, and RAISED HIM UP, saying, Arise up quickly. and HIS CHAINS FEEL OFF FROM HIS HANDS.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put shoes on).  And so he did. And he saith unto him cast thy garment about thee, and FOLLOW ME. And he went out, and followed him: and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel (did not know for sure if it was real) but THOUGHT he saw a vision. 

When they were passed the first and the second ward (guard posts) they came unto the IRON GATE that leadeth into the city; which OPENED TO THEM of his own accord (opened WITHOUT ANY HUMAN HELP): and they went out, and passed through one street; and the angel departed from him.

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod,  and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

And when he had considered the thing, he CAME to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER PRAYING.

And as Peter KNOCKED AT THE DOOR OF THE GATE, a damsel came to hearken (answer the door) named Rhoda. And  when she KNEW Peter’s voice, she opened NOT the gate for gladness (she was so happy that she actually FORGOT to open the door) but RAN IN, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

And THEY SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART MAD (OUT OF YOUR MIND). BUT she CONSTANTLY affirmed that it was even so (true). Then they said it is his angel.  But Peter CONTINUED KNOCKING: and WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THE DOOR, AND SAW HIM, THEY WERE ASTONISHED.”

So much there, here they are praying and praying, seeking and seeking and Rhoda knew that it was Peter, she recognized his voice but she is so happy and overjoyed that she just forgets to open it. When she tells the others they just simply DO NOT BELIEVE it. 

Now again, maybe if God has sent an old dude leaning on a staff, with a long gray flowing beard, shouting terms such as”Hearken, grand prayer warriors…” or sent thunder and lighting to flash as Peter approached, well maybe that was WHAT they thought they should receive as acknowledgment that their prayers had been heard.

But no, they got Rhoda, and what they told her, actually translates to, “YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND” so they are like, ” Well, that is just that crazy Rhoda,, making up stuff, just ignore her….you know she isn’t quite right in the head anyway.”

Cute side note, Rhoda must have not been too crazy, she did, after-all get an honorable mention in the book :)!

But even after all that praying they STILL REFUSED TO BELIEVE, and decided that it was his angel. If it does not make sense to our human minds, we must FIND an explanation for it, right?

Not sure why we do these things. Do we doubt that our prayers will be answered? Do we really believe that it just COULD NOT be THAT simple? When actually, IT IS that simple. Do we feel that we need more grandeur? And do we feel we need that for the glory of God… or is it for us?

Do we just dislike the messenger and feel that we are worthy of a higher, more “spiritual” messenger?

You know, like waiting on a group of herald angels to break down the door and proclaim the answer you have been seeking when actually all that is needed is FOR SOMEONE JUST ANSWER THE DOOR! And acknowledge WHO is standing there! 

We can miss many wonderful events by our own refusal to let God be God and answer AS HE calls and not get so caught up in the delivery or manifestation of these events. Just as His humble arrival to this earth heralded the greatest event of all time.

What if the wise men had decided that the place the star led just didn’t look the part? The humble shepherds NEVER expected to hear an angelic chorus praising the birth of the Saviour… which IS EXACTLY WHY they were allowed to hear it!

Don’t lose out on a done deal just because you refuse to open the door.

From my archives. Original post date 2016.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Playin’ favorites”

And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he (male) goats.

Seemeth it a small thing unto you (you seem to think it is a trivial thing) TO HAVE EATEN UP THE GOOD PASTURE, but ye must TREAD DOWN (trample) WITH YOUR FEET the residue (remainder) OF YOUR PASTURES? and to have DRUNK OF THE DEEP WATERS, but ye must FOUL THE RESIDUE WITH YOUR FEET?            EZEKIEL 34:17,18

What He is saying is this, He will decide and do justice between “sheep”, His people.

It seems that to these that it is no concern of theirs and nothing to them, if the other sheep have no food, because they greedily gobble it all up and then crush and trample the little that remains.

They have no care or concern as they guzzle down all the available water, as they stand in it with their  dirty feet with no regard that others who are dying of thirst will only have this to drink. 

And they ARE the favorites of the shepherds of those fields, so no one dares to question. Playing favorites, man, I could actually write a book, maybe two just on the subject alone. But I don’t need to write anything since it has already been written and wonderfully fit for a time such as this.

The favorites of the shepherds, the chosen few, the “pets”, the family, the friends, the social status cliques, the biggest tithe givers, and I am sure some that fall into the category of, “Oh, I just like you, you remind me of a younger me” and of course they do like ones that are like-minded and share agendas.  

This is the separation: EZEKIEL 34:19-22: “And as for MY FLOCK, they EAT THAT WHICH YE HAVE TRODDEN WITH YOUR FEET; and THEY DRINK THAT WHICH YE HAVE FOULED WITH YOUR FEET.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, WILL JUDGE BETWEEN THE FAT (FED)  SHEEP AND THE LEAN (STARVING) SHEEP.

Because YE HAVE THRUST (pushed)  WITH SIDE AND WITH SHOULDER, and PUSHED (BUTTED) ALL THE DISEASED (WEAK) WITH YOUR HORNS, TILL YE HAVE SCATTERED THEM ABROAD.

Therefore WILL I SAVE MY FLOCK, and they will be no more a prey; and I WILL JUDGE BETWEEN CATTLE (SHEEP) AND CATTLE (SHEEP).” 

Notice the pushing and shoving, those who, when they see one stumble, rather than help them up they will merely use the fallen back as a bridge to snatch a morsel out of the mouth of a another. The ones who shamelessly take credit for the work of others. The ones who mistakenly believe that they are of a greater importance to the flock and to the kingdom. They push and they shove the weak, notice the horns, adding to the wounds of those who are  injured, and hurt. They never feel one ounce of regret or remorse because getting all they can grab is what they are all about.

I love how  the Lord had these passages go hand in hand in the book of Ezekiel, He first speaks to the Shepherds, who are in for a world of hurt and then He goes on to the “fat cattle, the difference that are made by the shepherds who have their own agendas which are “ME, MYSELF, AND I” and if you can’t expand my pasture   ( help bring sheep and FURTHER THEIR ministry) well, just go on down the road, someone will take you in.

It is so funny, I have heard a thousand times by many different mouths, words such as “So and so will be here, come on out and make him welcome” “I‘ll be at ….. come bring friends” “ I am starting a new teaching series, come on out ” and of course the “great new” books that you just can’t live without, of course you have to pay for it but they really want to get this “must have” into your hands and teach you secrets of the kingdom! So funny, there is ONLY ONE book that you must have and that is the Bible and they want you to have it so bad, and you “need” it so bad, but they sure aren’t going to give it away now are they????? But you NEVER hear “Come check out my sheep” “Look at this fine flock” never, never because IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT THE FLOCK.

Another fine example of what He is getting at:

JAMES 2: 1-10 ” My brethren, have ye not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, (do you not profess to be of Christ) with respect (partiality) of persons?

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel (expensive clothing), AND there came in ALSO a poor man in vile raiment (filthy clothes); and YE HAVE RESPECT (PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION) TO HIM IN GAY (FINE) CLOTHING, and say unto him, SIT THOU HERE IN GOOD PLACE, and SAY TO THE POOR, STAND THOU THERE, OR SIT HERE UNDER (AT) MY FOOTSTOOL.

Are ye NOT then partial in YOURSELVES, (Have you not DISCRIMINATED) and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath God not chosen the POOR of this world rich in faith, and HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?

But YE HAVE DESPISED (dishourned) the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (drag) you before the judgement seats? Do not they blaspheme the worthy (noble) name by which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, ye do well.

But IF YE HAVE RESPECT (PARTIALITY) TO PERSONS, YE COMMIT SIN, AND ARE CONVINCED (CONVICTED) OF THE LAW AS TRANSGRESSORS. For whosoever shall keep the law, and yet offend (stumble) in one point, he is guilty of all.”

I often wonder what it would be like now if Jesus or the disciples were to walk into a modern church. Would it be like it was when he came to earth?

You know when the Jews and Pharisees just didn’t think He fit the bill for being the Son of God, He didn’t look like royalty, He sure didn’t act the part, He refused to share their religious snobbery and woman hating misogyny.

And Oh, my goodness…. Can you believe that HE ACTUALLY LET MARY TOUCH HIM?????? He actually healed the sick without giving them a speech about how they should have taken better care of themselves. He actually cast out the demons that troubled them (without asking a fee) he raised their dead not to make Him a mega minister but actually OUT OF COMPASSION for their pain. He dined with “sinners” hung out with fishermen. He even let His disciples eat with unwashed hands. And all those that pointed fingers at Him questioning His authority to do these things were met with the finger of God pointing back at their own wicked hearts, sure, cast the first stone, oppress the widows, sell the orphans, slaughter his lame sheep. 

I really don’t think they would recognize Him here, do you???? Wonder if they have ever pondered the fact that the least of these will be the greatest in heaven? That does not mean high and lofty, that means Jesus came to serve not to be served and this is what He expects from His followers. So if they do not want to do it on this earth and they want a “higher” position then they can expect to have a reversal of that position in the kingdom of heaven.

And THAT is gonna be a lot of fun! I am quite excited about it, as my own struggles dealing with shepherds and pushy- shovy sheep, in the forms of Alpha Male Ministers and Cattle Prodding Pastors, Church House Divas and my favorites the “Is she wearing PANTS” crowd. I have to ALWAYS keep the tongue in check and know that HE IS MY SHEPHERD and know that no matter how scruffy, malnourished, or thirsty I may get and contrary to who likes me or who doesn’t that HE will always feed me, water me, and love me because I am HIS, and I know if I don’t learn to just deal with them, look over them, and see it for what it is, that hate will grow and I will lose my relationship with the Lord and no one is worth that, no one is worth becoming a child that will bring heartache to the Father and His is the only opinion that should matter.

Right?…. Wrong, the problem with the shepherds and fat cattle is that it looks so good to the weak, diseased, hurting, hungry, and thirsty sheep and they flock to it, hoping the “grass is greener” hoping they will get healed, delivered, fed, and watered, only to arrive and be met with those horns as the “home” sheep  continue in their own self survival. Then the little lambs are in even worse shape because now they are in a foreign pasture left to the side to die and wondering what they did wrong. They didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. God explains it all for exactly what it is.

This is why the accountability will also be for all those who had been driven away by cruel shepherds, and no one has looked for or cared for these wounded sheep. They have been left, lost in the wilderness, to be prey for wolves and devoured by the beasts. 

Something to ponder as we continue to look for the day of the Lord, pray and weep in humility and correct those things that we can, never turn away His sheep, love and nurture them. Jesus IS THE SHEPHERD and we will all give account to Him.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016

“HOLY, HOLIER, HOLINESS”

Holy: Leviticus 19:2 “Speak ye unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.”               Leviticus 20:7 ” Sanctify (consecrate) yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.”               Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.” HOLIER: Isaiah 65:5 …”which say, stand by thyself, come not near unto me; FOR I AM HOLIER THAN THOU. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” The condition some are stricken by, and through their self-righteous attitudes have made others dread the word HOLINESS and the type of worship it involves. HOLIER is a religious superiority rivaling the Pharisees’ attitude toward Jesus. Obviously above ever having committed a sin or any wrong doing, they sit perched atop the pedestals of self-proclaimed righteousness, as they stare down their noses at the sinner peasants, quite comfortable spewing out a barrage of judgments against those they look down upon. “He’s just an old drunk” “She’s a slut” “Druggie will never amount to anything.” and my personal all time favorite, and yes, I have heard this and I have heard it in a church, “Well, you know, not all of them are going to be saved.” Really funny because when one of THEIR family members fall into a snare then suddenly it becomes “Pray, pray, pray” And when a minister of God falls into temptation, they are ever ready to spread the juicy details to every ear that will hear, NEVER considering that we are warned in the Bible that they who do this will one day find  that they ARE SNARED by the same net that caught their brother or sister. I also remember reading that Paul said, in times past we were all some of these things! The Lord said he had no pleasure in the death of the wicked, he doesn’t, he doesn’t want to see anyone lost to hell. It “is not his will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” HOLINESS: The relationship of the heart, mind and soul of the believer to the heart mind and soul of God. Perfection, not in human form but perfection of our heart and will perfectly submitted unto his. The setting apart of  us as vessels exclusively for his indwelling and use. So why should we want it and why do we need it? Isaiah 58 details God’s ideas and thoughts on holiness, fasting, how we should show charity to others, keeping the Sabbath and the rewards thereof. Of course, I can only highlight it but please read it for yourself, you will be glad you did! Isaiah 58:6-10 “Is not THIS the fast that I HAVE CHOSEN? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?(The things that Jesus said ONLY GO by fasting and prayer) Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that is cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh” (“such as we have, we give unto thee”) we are to fast not only for our spiritual breakthrough but so that others may get their breakthrough also. And when we see another with a need we are to do everything we can to take care of that need. And all we do for others, every act of charity we are to do secretly as possible, as the saying goes “Discretion is the finer part of valor” I may not have quoted that to a T, but you dig what I’m getting at. Often when people need help the most they are most unwilling to ask. No one wants to feel embarrassed, so if you do something to help out someone, give them something or loan them something, don’t tell about it. Keep it as much as possible between you and them. So now if you do all these things, here is His promise to you: Picking back up at verse eight, “Then shall thy LIGHT BREAK FORTH AS THE MORNING, and thine health spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness ( right standing with God ) shall go BEFORE THEE; and the glory of the Lord will be thy rereward (rear guard) Then shalt thou call and I WILL ANSWER; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am, IF thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity; ( the judging and belittling others becomes a yoke of bondage on US ) and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then shall THY LIGHT RISE IN OBSCURITY, AND THY DARKNESS SHALL BE AS NOON DAY:” Could it get any better than that?  He will go before you, he will have your back, he will answer you when you call and the darkest spot in you will be as bright as noon! Now that is about as good as it can get! Finally, James 4:8(a) “Draw nigh to God, and HE WILL draw nigh to you…” So as we press toward that mark, please let me suggest a couple of things, get in your secret prayer closet, God sees in secret but he will reward you openly, anoint yourself, you can use olive oil or any oil really, just pray and ask him to consecrate it holy for you. If you choose to purchase it retail, be very cautious read the label, there is one out there that prides itself on being created from the original Mosaic formula given from God to Moses in the Old Testament, BUT it is absolutely FORBIDDEN of God to recreate that oil. A good place to purchase on-line is abbaoil.com they have an excellent selection and reasonable prices ( And no, they are not paying me, nor do they know I am recommending them) And above all, take communion, most never realize the power in it, I hope to do a little something soon on the subject, but if you will notice when bread was broken and meals taken THAT was when Jesus revealed himself! You do not need anything fancy as some would try to have you believe ( because they like selling their wares and making money from the Kingdom )  Read Luke 22:17-20 for more about it. Just remember to have a pure heart before him ( having repented ) and ask him to bless what you have and I do believe you will be amazed! Φλογιζω/ original post date: 06/13/2014.

All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015