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  • Rand Swift


Spiritual Warfare: Seven Deep Examinations Of The Heart

Test #4 Thyatira – The Test of Source (Holy Spirit)

The successful spiritual warrior understands something deeply and it is all wrapped up in who it is they are associated with, for all the fulness of all things, whether they are things that are in the heavenly realm of influence or they are things that exist within the material realm of the earth, no matter what that thing might be, all things are wrapped in a name that exceeds in place and power above and beyond all things.

The spirit world and consequently the material world (for the world we see is formed by causes and animating influences invisible to us) operate by its own creation with clear rules of order and this order is subject entirely to what we know to be 'names'.

In the order, names carry meaning beyond just identifying monikers to tell one entity apart from another, but names go far higher, identifying the actual power of the one named within the order.

Whenever a greater name appears within any measure of influence, the lesser name must yield, for the lesser name no longer holds any power at all in the presence of a greater name.

In the name resides the spirit of the person, and this has far reaching power for all of us including how we speak about others even when those others are not physically present when we speak their name, but this will get us off track if we pursue that too far right now.

Within the name of Jesus Christ is the full essence of who it is that he is, and we learn that the Father of all existence has given Jesus a name that is above every other name relevant to all time and all place and every situation anywhere in heaven, earth or anywhere in all creation.

So, as we open The Book of Revelation which deals with spiritual warfare at the highest levels, we find Jesus doing a 'review of the troops' to assess their condition and determine what adjustments must be made within their hearts if the mission of global exorcism of evil is to move forward towards its final conclusion, which by the way, we are still waiting to see.

Through the name of Jesus Christ we learn in the scriptures, the power of the Holy Spirit of God flows.

We come to the 'ekklesia' overseeing the city of Thyatira and the test of heart among them.

Thyatira The Test of Source (Holy Spirit)

Thyatira had a serious problem. Jesus comes to them not just as the searching eyes of the heart, but as he views what is in the heart of Thyatira, his eyes are aflame which indicates the ardency of the impassioned zeal.

Also we read that his feet toward the condition he sees are like brass which has to do with judgment and the closing off of the heavens (see Deuteronomy 28:23).

Not often does the Lord Jesus get angry, but when he does it is usually against the same thing, which are the the masks of false spirituality.

I call it motion addiction, as if the motions of religion and worship have anything to do with the power of the Holy Spirit. Or, we could get fancy and call it spiritual actualization disassociation syndrome.

When I came to Jesus in the summer of 1970 we had a term for this disease of the heart.

We called it dead religion and applied it to all those in so many places that kept going through the motions of relationship with Jesus, investing in the same rituals week after week and month and year after year as if the rituals and routines of religion in themselves were where the power resided, following the same liturgy, the same traditional enactments, but without the governing effusive power of the living breathing Holy Spirit being the initiator and power of every intent.

It was purely by the grace of God that we, being just a rag tag bunch of now saved Hippies, were experiencing such an amazing union with Jesus. But we could do so in part because we were outside of the mainstream channels of churchianity and the ritualistic forms of spirituality.

We had nothing to unlearn about walking with the Spirit of Christ.

I suppose we could call the motion addiction syndrome motion sickness. It usually doesn't occur to people that during the on earth days of Jesus, the temple in earthly Jerusalem did not contain the Ark of the Covenant which was the key component of the entire Temple system.

The Ark had been taken from the earthly temple when Israel was overcome by their enemies when the people called to the purpose were taken into captivity because they turned away in heart from God, and the Ark of God, which was the causative power among them under the Old Covenant, never, ever, returned.

And so as Jesus appears, who is the very embodiment of the voice of God, the spiritual leaders and shepherds of Israel and all of the people following them were merely going through all of the motions of spirituality but without the Spirit.

When Christ appeared, the power of God walking among them caused an incredible backlash while it exposed their complete emptiness for everything it truly was.

Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You are the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you. How often I would have gathered your children together like a hen gathers her chickens under her wings but you would have nothing to do with it! Look carefully and you will see, your house is deserted and desolate, having been left empty (Matthew 23:37-38).

But nothing is ever static. Jesus also told us nothing emptied remains a vacuum (see Matthew 12:38-45).

If a house is cleaned out but then left empty it will be filled again seven fold by that which is spiritually foul and unclean and its last state will be worse than the first.

Except for those whose hearts were seeking out the kingdom of God, the empty and heartless Holy Spirit void traditions practiced in Jerusalem during the visitation of Jesus Christ, stirred together to oppress and strike out at what truly was of God, leading both to his crucifixion and the persecution of his Holy Spirit anointed followers.

Jezebel in the days of the kings could not stand the genuine prophets of God and went about a murderous campaign to silence them and the voice with which they spoke.

It was these prophets that exposed in her the flaws and called the people of God to a higher standard of relationship.

The voices of prophets that she instituted were prophets of Baal and the people were encouraged in the worship of idols, in spiritual idolatry instead of a clarification of their life in union with the One true God and single Source purpose for living.

All of these things have one thing in common. They have the show of worship in their external form but are empty of the singular unfolding power that is the causative dynamo of the apprentices of Jesus;

"You should know this too, that in the culmination of days a troubling, fierce and difficult season it is said will appear.

In those times men will be dedicated in love only to their own selves, they will be covetous (looking to possess the things of others), self promoters, proud (self idolized), blasphemers, disobedient (diminishing, disrespecting) to parents, ungrateful for what's given them and separating from dedications to God.

They will dispose themselves of even natural and nature given affections, they will blatantly break their word sworn in treaties, covenants and agreements, they will purposely and knowingly accuse others falsely, they will be un-streamlined and unfocused in reference to their own life’s purpose, fierce like untamed animals and opposed to good hearted things,

They will betray the trust of others – exposing them to tragedies, they will be recklessly driven by rash emotion, what is true they will conceal behind a smokescreen of subterfuge, they will love earthly and temporal stimulus more than loving God, and having an external form of what appears to be of God but denying, contradicting and casting away the very power of the same, and will withdraw themselves far away from it” (2nd Timothy 3).

Are you going through the motions?

Is your heart far away from the very essence of a life separated to Jesus Christ and the voice of God?

You may say in your heart, “I let the priests do that”, but Jesus says you are my priest and you are my prophet.

You might say, “I go to church”, but Jesus says you are my church, my ‘ekklesia’.

You might say, “I give to missionaries”, but Jesus says you are my warrior and my missionary.

Do you seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is considered to be the anointing or the smearing of God (see 1st John 2:27) upon your life.

It is this anointing that is at the heart of the word Christ and the word Christian.

It is the anointing that is the single Source pulsating at the heart of this life. Are you seeking it?

Are you seeking to be filled with it to overflowing so everywhere you are the living power of the living Christ fills every space into which you are sent, all you touch and saturating every word?

Or, like Jezebel do you mock, hate and seek to hinder things of the Holy Spirit of God. This is dangerous territory my friend. If you don't understand it, then I beg you not to speak against it, war against it, mock or belittle what is of the Holy Spirit (see Mark 3:28-29).

Don’t find yourself resisting God.

The consequences to you could be devastating as the Spirit is the life of Christ. The triumph that awaits the Jesus apprentices is not rooted in themselves, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is men and women of the Spirit, the same Spirit that was poured out on the 120 apprentices in the Book of Acts that clothes the warriors too.

The scriptures record both positive and negative apparel clothings;

(+) I will rejoice in the LORD exuberantly, my soul will tremble in happiness in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation (Yasha), He has covered me over in the robe of righteousness just like the bridegroom decked himself with his ornaments and the bride adorned herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).

(-) And it will happen in the day of the LORD's sacrifice, that I will review the princes, and the king's children, and all such of them that come clothed in strange (whore's) apparel” (Zephaniah 1:8).

(+) And look carefully so you can see, I will send the promise of My Father to be upon you, but you must wait until you are clothed with the power that only comes from on high” (Luke 24:49).

(+) But you will receive to yourselves your power (wealth of supply, strength of armament) only after the Holy Spirit has overwhelmed (covered) you. Then you will become the convincing, undeniable proof of Me in Jerusalem, and also to Samaria, and then to the ever farthest reaches of the whole earth” (Acts 1:8).

(+) Finally my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Be clothed upon with the entire armor and armament of God, that you may have the power to firmly stand in superior advantage directed against the craftily formed lies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Among the soldiers, the pretend ends. There is no lip service here and mere empty religious ritual.

The only clothing and armament they will accept are what is real and coming in continual flow from the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit is an ever flowing stream constantly renewing all things in fresh living waters coming out from the throne of God and of the Lamb (see Ezekiel 47:1-12, Revelation 22:1-2).

There is so much more to say about Jezebel and the comparison between male and female spirit and the effect of one over against the other and what happens in transferred reversals of the two powers, and the high cost of what happens when men are weak, but what we have here is sufficient.

It is enough to get us pointed in the right direction as far as our hearts are concerned.

Who is your Source? Where does everything regarding you emerge from?

What name have you been baptized into?

Into what have you been immersed?

What presence and power leads and guides your every move?

Do you care?

Next Topic: Test #5 Sardis – The Test of Finishing Well

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