Category Archives: Truth Pressure

The Pruning of the Lord

If it isn’t producing Life it needs to be pruned, and pruning hurts! God prunes us as we incline our hearts toward Him, but HOW does He prune us?

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

        God is the great Vinedresser and His Word is used to help prune us and shape us into His image.

His Word is sharp, cutting clean and deep when we incline our heart to it. It is a discerner of our thoughts and intentions, separating light from darkness, exposing things in us that need change. The Word challenges what we think and believe as it exposes us to God’s will for our lives.

The carnal man’s response is to run from the Vine Dresser and try to heal himself from the cutting…. Because pruning hurts! The New Man’s response is to run to the Father and hide under His wings. We can’t consummate our marriage to Christ while our “old man” is still alive.

 In Exodus 33:20 God said to Moses, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

        Our carnal, fallen nature (“old man”) cannot look into the face of God and live.

          Spending time with our Father and His Word is our Old Man’s face to face encounter with Him. It is the surest way for dead things to get pruned out of our life. 

          If we are constantly in His Word and don’t practice intimacy, we will try to DO the Word in our own strength instead of becoming the Word by His grace.

           Embracing intimacy will always lead to a healthy dose of the Word, and develop a Father consciousness. The more we see Him as a Father, the more we see ourselves as sons. When we have intimacy, coupled with the Word, our perspective changes about everything and everyone, including ourselves. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will never bear the fruit of who He is.

          Our perspective of the Word will change as we pursue intimacy with God. We will find ourselves “reading” the Word less but digesting it more. The Word will become so alive it will be as if one phrase is speaking volumes and we will naturally, purposely slow down to thoroughly digest it, letting it cut us deep and clean, knowing that His embrace causes it to be less painful. The cutting is for our good, the pruning is needed for growth and health.

          Long-term exposure to only the Word without an intimate relationship will produce self-consciousness and self-righteousness. Exposure to only the Word cuts us and cuts us and cuts us, with no relief in sight. The cutting exposes darkness, weakness, and sin. Intimacy is one way God becomes strong in our weakness.

           Cutting off those things in our life that aren’t producing good fruit is HIS responsibility in this relationship, not ours. He is the Vinedresser, we are the vine. Vines NEVER prune themselves. He is the great potter and we are the clay. Clay NEVER shaped itself into anything, but that is exactly what we will gravitate to if we have only God’s Word in our life with little or no intimacy.

           Knowledge of the Father without intimacy will puff us up and make us think we know what to do and try to please Him with our own human efforts to “do better.” Without intimacy we become legalistic, frustrated, and sin conscious.

Sin consciousness is the fruit of being exposed to the Word of God and not pursuing intimacy with God. Sin consciousness is easy to identify. If we are constantly seeing sin in others and judging them, thinking about what they need to change, what they should do, and how they should behave, this indicates knowledge of God’s Word but ignorance of who we are. We must not try to do what we learn without learning who He is. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will gravitate toward Old Testament law and never fully understand or embrace New Testament grace.

We are in the last days and we we all need to aspire to become everything Jesus paid for. We must embrace the pruning and the correction of the Lord in this season.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Keep your Finger in the Sand.

John 8:6-8

This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 

          Two key phrases in this verse; “they said to test Him,” and “He bent down and wrote on the ground.” How are they related? What was Jesus doing when He bent down to write on the ground? What is the Lord saying to us through this encounter?

          Testing will always come because that is the way God has chosen to strengthen our faith in Him. The closer we get to Him, the greater our testing will be. Our true heart is revealed through testing. What comes forth from us during testing and trials indicates what we believe and who we trust. Testing is an essential part of the gospel. When we get squeezed by life, what is inside us comes out.

          They were testing Jesus, putting pressure on Him. They were trying to squeeze Him until something came out of Him that they could use against Him. Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons to learn here.

James 1:19-20

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

          When Jesus got squeezed, what did He do? He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. Giving us a living example of how to deal with tests and pressure, and how to find the answers we need when our feet are being held to the fire.

          I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant in the dirt. I believe He was checking on the inside with the Father to see how He should answer, how He should respond, and what He should do.

          We know that in Jesus’s mind, He could do nothing of Himself.

John 5:30

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

          So, instead of answering out of His own understanding, He bent down, focusing on what the Spirit has to say about this. They continued to ask and pressure Him. We don’t know how long, but when He stood up the Spirit gave Him the words to say. Then once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction.

Luke 12:11-12

 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

          Jesus consistently modeled the gospel that He preached. If we can’t find what we are practicing in our churches in the life of Jesus, it doesn’t belong.

          May times throughout the gospels Jesus separated Himself in between times of ministry to connect and fellowship with the Father. Without this component in our lives, we will not be strong enough to keep our finger in the sand when difficult situations are thrust upon us.

Nothing is reproduced without intimacy. If we are not intimate with the Father, we will not produce the fruit of who He is.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Your Unsearchable Heart

            I am completely blown away by the things the Lord is showing me in this season. While reading Proverbs 25 the Lord began to confirm some things that He was showing me about how He thinks and how He loves. This is the passage He unvealed to me.

Proverbs 25:2-3 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.
As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

            While meditating on this I thought to myself, “We are kings and priests unto our God.” (Rev. 1:6) I began to meditate on the fact that God has made our hearts unsearchable by men. Then I said out loud, “Our hearts are unsearchable by everyone but you Lord.”

            He then spoke to me, “No Jack, I have purposely made your heart unsearchable by everyone, even Me.” I could hear joy in His voice when He said this. So much, that joy got on me! I said, “Lord show me what you mean by this, I do not understand. I remember scripture that says you search the hearts and minds of men.” (Jer.17:10)

            The Lord began to elaborate, “I have made you a sovereign being with a free will. When you choose Me and accept the sacrifice of My Son, I lay aside My foreknowledge in favor of unravelling the mystery of who you are in relationship. The moment you make Christ your Lord, you become this mysterious new creature. My offspring, born of My Spirit.

            I have given you my written Word, My spoken Word, and My living Word to help you pursue the mystery of who I Am. I would never ask you to do anything that I have not done or am willing to do. Your heart is revealed to Me as you pursue Me. The only way I can know your heart is if you reveal it to me. This is why faith pleases me. I love a mystery and it is My glory to conceal man’s heart and my glory to search it out.”

            God does not always use His foreknowledge, at least not all the time. He will choose relationship over His foreknowledge every time. He loves the spontaneity, the anticipation, the surprises of growing in intimacy with His children. I see His heart toward us so much clearer now. My understanding of His love has multiplied because of this simple truth.

            Our heart is a mystery even to God Himself. He made it this way for His good pleasure. This may be the most profound thing I have discovered about His nature and His love. While thinking about the implications of this I realized that we have the ability to surprise God! That is nuts! While thinking about this He spoke to me again, and this blew me away even more!

“I gave you creativity so I could be surprised at how you love Me and serve Me with it.”

            His people are so glorious and so precious in His sight that we have not even begun to understand. I am so humbled and so excited about this I can hardly contain myself!

            It is our journey but it is His work, and it is a marvelous mystery!

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Truth about the Rapture

         As far as I can tell there are only four passages in the bible that teach us plainly, openly, and directly about the rapture so I am only going to use those four.

        The first of these passages is found in Mathew 24.

This is Jesus talking. Red letters in my Bible. I think He is the highest authority qualified to teach about the rapture. Pay attention to the text.

Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

          Look at the opening phrase of verse 29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…”  Jesus is speaking to His disciples, and the Church, about what we will experience and go through before we (the Elect) are gathered from the four winds, or as we like to call it, “raptured.”

          Just to make sure we understand what Jesus is referring to when He said, “the tribulation of those days,” we will read everything in chapter 24 leading up to verse 29 so we are clear on what tribulation Jesus is talking about.

Matthew 24:3-28

As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

          I am not sure that I could help by elaborating on the stark clarity of the above text. However, I will make a few comments. In verse 15. The abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel standing in the holy place. This I believe is an obvious reference to the antichrist and his actions after his rise to power. After his rise to power, vs, 21 says there will be great tribulation, and those days being shortened for the elect’s sake. False prophets trying to lead astray the Elect. This sounds like tribulation to me. I know some pre trib doctrine say that the “elect” are the 144 thousand, and that is true but it is also the church He is talking about the ones chosen for the high honor of living in this extraordinary time.

Lets look at the other verses.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (Note: We are going to see this great falling away and the Anti-Christ and his abomination of desolation with our eyes!) Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (Note: according to Paul, the “the coming of our Lord, our being gathered to Him, and the day of the Lord” are the same day.)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

          These last two passages speak about a trumpet blast but 1 Corinthians makes it clear WHAT trumpet. Is it the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11? Or is the trump of God different than the seven trumpets in Revelation like many of the pre-trib doctrines try to explain away? It is The LAST trumpet! Meaning there will be NO OTHER TRUMPETS AFTER THIS ONE. PERIOD! So, this is CLEARLY the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11. If it is not, then the trumpet would have to come after the seventh trumpet or it would not be THE LAST.

         To even start believing in this foolishness we first had to learn it from another man. Maybe a pastor, or some teacher we trust, we just didn’t learn it from the bible. No matter what theological gymnastics we use we can’t get around this being the Last Trumpet. We can use other passages of the Bible to imply or infer a pre-trib rapture, we can even try and project or convey our interpretation of prophecy onto these text, BUT WE WILL NOT FIND IT IN ANY TEXT.

We must strengthen ourselves for what is coming. We will not escape tribulation.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

God’s Promise to Change You

process4

          Have you ever heard this old saying?

“God loves you too much to leave you the way you are.”

  Praise God there is scripture to back up that statement!

1Thessallonians 5:23-24

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

          We tend to assume that since He was so gracious to save us we now have the responsibility to “tow the line, shape up, do what is right, separating ourselves from carnal tendencies and worldly lusts.” While this is certainly what needs to happen, God never intended us to shoulder all the responsibility of sanctification and transformation. The truth is, we are no more capable of doing this on our own than we were before Christ.

          “Salvation is not an event as much as it is a process.”

Philippians 2:12-13

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

          Christianity is a glorious journey of salvation and transformation. Saving us from death and eternal damnation and transforming us more and more into His image. Paul exhorted Timothy to work this out in His own life with “fear and trembling.” Why? Because God is doing the heavy lifting here. HE is the Great Potter, and WE are the clay. Clay does not have the power to change itself, it can only be changed by another influence.

potter1

So, what is our part?

          Lay our lives down on the Potter’s wheel, let the washing of water by God’s Word clean us and make us soft and pliable allowing the hand of God’s grace to shape us into His image.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC