in strategic warfare
Our gifts must bear the 9 fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Neither one nor more than two but nine: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control ( Gal:5:22 ).
The nine gifts are harmless. In fact, they are beneficial as power tools for building the Church. But it is the wicked response of people that falsely accuse the gifts and the gifted as harmful and diabolic. Prophets were persecuted for using their gifts. It is written that persecution will be with us through all generations until the old heaven and old earth will pass away. And the worse kind of resistance also come from Christians ( Mat 24:9-12 ). Those who believe that they are doing a great service to God for killing you ( John 16:2 ).
Gifts must be used to put everything under Jesus' feet
As Christians, whether you are in God’s military service or in the civilian affairs of God’s kingdom, your general goal is to put everything under Jesus’ feet.
At the frontlines, God provided the complete combat suit, weapon & ammunition for global warfare. In his palace, God has prescribed and provided the proper attire for his people to grace his appointed assembly at his throne.
The 9 spiritual gifts are our power tools on earth in serving God, doing his will. The 9 fruit is for our character, a translation of the rhema character of Jesus to a logos application. The spiritual fruit must administer the gifts. Both gifts and fruit must work together. The greater must pull up the lesser not the lesser pulling down the greater. Unfortunately, due to fear of man and lack of wisdom, the opposite is happening in the Body of Christ.
Scenario in the Body of Christ
The violent reactions or indifference of some brethren to the present manifestation of gifts is chronically afflicting the Body of Christ. This indicates existence of hidden pain. Perhaps a gifted person is the cause of pain; but, It is also possible that that gifted person is in pain so that when he uses his gifts, his pain, the unseen rider, is being imparted. That unresolved pain or bitterness defiles many ( Heb.12: 14 NIV ). Unresolved or bitter pains are communicable. Pain is an ancient reality that every person must be able to handle and overcome. The unresolved pain lingering in one's spirit, though conveniently tucked away, would always find its way in formulating conclusions and judgments which are usually foolish and unwise. The hurting person indeed benefits from Jesus' command to forgive anyone who sins against us or else our sin will not be forgiven by His Father in heaven ( Matt.6:14, 15 ). There is a natural tendency of anyone wounded by a gifted or fruitful person to reject or sneer at the gifts or fruit of the offender. The wounded one tends to punish the offender by subconsciously stripping off these valuable possessions, spiritual gifts and fruit.
In a situation where there is no offense, the person who lacks gifts may opt to desire the gifts. This leads him to a path of humility seeking to learn from others who are gifted. Remember this principle: One who receives a prophet because he is prophet will receive a prophet's reward ( Matt.10:40-42 ). But the undesiring person opting to be contented with his spiritual condition tends to build walls of hostility, securing his comfort zone and ignorance hostile to others. This is pride.
Contentment with our spiritual condition is classified as vomittable ( Rev 3:15-18NIV).
The gifted and fruitful must move on. History shows that the new moves of God were met with resistance by the present generation. Today, great men of God who are aware of this hostile attitude fall into the same trap. Their self evaluation according to their level of knowledge and experience might have lifted them up to the pedestal of clapping ears so that when a new move of God does not start with them, they somehow put up a form of resistance in different but revealing colors. Are we not aware of the Pharisees and Sadducees who did not accept an unschooled carpenter's son to minister in the new move of God? The new things we discovered in the Lord on discernment by feelings were met with violent reactions and guarded resistance by great men of God of our present time. We forgive them.
The disciplines learned in times of affliction and the standard of righteousness we have developed in our lives are sometimes shocking to the unprepared Christian. The pain of those who misunderstood and refused our teachings and level of discipline has dragged us into the seat of judgment. Stones were thrown at us. It hurts. But it was a perfect avenue to bear fruit. I have learned to see it as God's appointment, a training season for us to strengthen our skin, feelings and emotions with love, forgiveness, and healing. Also, a perfect opportunity to experience the anesthetic wonders of God's grace.
Rhema & Logos
Our faith must be rhema and logos. Hearing is rhema while doing is logos. Jesus is both rhema and logos. He is the Word of God, the revealed and written Word. I saw in the Spirit, the understanding of these 2 words standing as one and inseparable. The rhema cannot do without the logos and the logos cannot do without the rhema.
The gifts of the Spirit is rhema. As time goes by with the vision and mission of harnessing one's hearing and obedience in the Lord, the constant rhema experience is embedded on the spirit, soul and body. That embedded rhema becomes logos. For example: You must receive that rhema faith to believe that you must pay your tithe. God spoke audibly to you and you obeyed. Then you also found out that tithing is written in the scriptures. The following week, you ask the Lord again if he wants you to tithe. He says yes and you obey. This kind of relationship with God may go on and on for a long time as a form of intimacy but it won’t last long. Our rhema intimacy must also progress to maturity. The rhema truths and principles must become logos in us. The rhema on tithing must become logos. It must be written on your heart so that even when there is no rhema, you must pay your tithe on every harvest or income you receive.
I am touching this subject because it has something to do with our gifts and fruit. Gifts must be used with grace. One who is fruitful is gracious. But fruit must be used also with gifts or else using the fruit without gifts hurts. Grace bears fruit and fruit gives grace; they are one and also inseparable. In times of errors and wrongdoings, this favor from God, though most of the time abused, springs up before the accusers of the brethren in the first and second heavens. One under grace is untouchable while in sin because God's hedge of protection keeps the rulers of darkness and demons away. They cannot afflict this sinner. However, the understanding on grace is tainted with inaccurate parameters. The unlimitless-span concept of God's grace is misleading Christians into mediocrity. The common false concept that humans are imperfect forever until the Lord Jesus comes is a lie of the enemy that we should get rid of. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mat 5:48 NIV)
Everyone is under grace but the measures we receive from God vary. The Lord pictured this understanding to me as I pondered on the birth and growth of our child. Faith, our eldest child, grew with me. She came into our care symbolic of many things I have to learn in the Lord as many of my situations were object lessons where God spoke audibly. As the child grows, measure of discipline increases. This is also true to our relationship with God our Father. As we grow and mature in godliness and holiness, God's external ( rhema ) grace becomes lesser. I call that grace we are receiving when in sin, the RHEMA GRACE; the grace we internalize and give to others, the LOGOS GRACE. ( see fig. G1 ).
Gifts & fruit are necessary for global warfare
I wondered why the belief that one can receive only one or few gifts got stuck in our minds. This concept may be contrary to what Jesus told us about doing greater works. Yes Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 12:7-12 but this verses do not tell or imply that we cannot have the 9 gifts which Jesus used in his ministry. The 9 gifts may be activated in certain measures in a person in accordance with his calling in the Lord. Gifts operate in accordance with God and man's will.
Fruit without gifts hurt. I saw this when I was being patient without knowledge and wisdom. Patience is the fruit while knowledge and wisdom are the gifts. I patiently waited on the rhema word of God on provision to be made manifest but what I was doing was not according to God's knowledge and wisdom. My patience was hurting my wife.
The ungracious gifted person cannot be a legitimate reason to turn off the gifts. The faction wary of gifts are stuck with their observations of imperfect humans. Unknowingly, resistance stepped in, in some instances, into the borders of blasphemy. The lack of vision and discipline of a hurting person to overcome bad feelings may put him/her in danger of the vicious attack of demons. Though demons can only overcome us when we give in to their temptations, they set traps and taunt us into choosing to protect ourselves and retaliate. One who nurses bad feelings is standing at the edge of a cliff, in danger of falling into the depths of bitterness and slander.
The fruit and gifts of the Spirit must be perfected in us not because we are in warfare but because of our love of God. I see that we must pass through the Job experience in various levels where we are stripped off of any props or crutches which hinder our walk with God on water.
When darkness storms the heavens, there will be great infestation of rulers and demons; making it hard for us to connect with heaven which God lovingly allows. This storm falls under the season of Famine of Words. In God's economy, this spiritual crisis would expose the heart of many believers and it will be an awesome opportunity to activate and exercise our logos fruit and Word to keep us faithful to the Lord and to one another. But the love of many will grow cold. Insecure and fearful of their welfare, they will opt for solutions peddled by this world rather than develop their faith, the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. Thus betrayal will take place as written in the Bible.
Those who dream dreams and see visions will hate their dreams and visions. What they see is wickedness and they will be oppressed and become oppressive. Those who will believe in them will be like them--- oppressing others, thinking that they are dreams coming from the Lord. For lack of logos knowledge and wisdom from above which is pure and peace-loving, their resentments and bitterness stain interpretations. There will be conflicts, betrayal and divisions in the name of conscience and service to God. Father vs. son; son vs. father. Brother vs. brother, pastor vs. elders/deacons/members. Pastors vs. pastors. Church vs. church, etc. This is the picture of what is written in Matt. 24. Discernment by vision will be inaccurate as demons appear like angels. Discernment by hearing messages that speak to our minds will be unreliable as demons even use scriptures to deceive us. Such is the picture when God lovingly allows the dragon and his angels to afflict us. If you are one of the firstfruits, this scenario calls for perfection in extreme urgency for quick victory. There are no short cuts. Instead of whining and griping, warriors groomed for endtime battle must go through the fire and not shrink back in their fiercest battles. A warrior does not pray that God removes his distress. The firstfruits are those who overcome the accusers of the brethren ( Rev.12:10-12 ).
Going back in the emergence of the prophetic gifts and office, a segment of the Body of Christ who caught the fire soared high in revival and manifestations of the vocal and revelation gifts. Then came the season of pruning where one who prophesies is under judgment. The immaturity of the prophetic person inflicted pain to recipients and the immaturity of the recipients inflicted pain to the prophetic.
The demonic infestation defiles our spirits and inflicts erratic perception and interpretations of dreams, visions, hearing of God's voice, and feelings. The spiritual manifestations and miracles will be unreliable as they are the works of deceiving demons and rulers of the age. The prolific manifestations of lying spirits will easily capture those who are more impressed with signs and wonders. This is why Jesus warned us: For false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect---if that were possible. Now I see that it is best that God led me to a bed of pain to be chastised to bear fruit when my heart was strongly yearning for great miracles. My ways and means of ministering gifts and fruit took a radical change where I decrease, Jesus increase. -----Leo Calderon.