October 1 is the 30th anniversary of a visitation from the Lord that changed my life forever, and I want to share about the teaching part of that visitation over the next 2 weeks. Additionally, we've discounted some cd's and MP3's, and 1 DVD (US format) related to what He taught me if someone wants more detailed teaching. See the header above for details for those and the new series this month as well.
Laguna de Sanchez, a small mountain village in north-east Mexico
Carl, the missionary, Dora the interpreter who had only known the Lord for 2 months, and I were in the village because I was to minister at the little Assembly of God church that evening.
As the 3 of us walked the rocky streets while dinner with our host family was being prepared, I lagged behind, focused on what the Father would have me teach that evening. Suddenly in my spirit I felt an excitement of an intensity I'd not felt before. I'd had times when I wake up and my spirit is rejoicing, and I've learned that is often due to some yet unseen provision or spiritual victory that will become known in the natural in the next day or week, but this was different.
I was looking down at the rocks so I wouldn't twist an ankle and focused on why my spirit was so excited, when I heard myself say, literally coming up out of my spirit as I lifted up my head: 'It's Jesus!' And at that moment I saw the Lord. He was standing in a bend of the street not more than 15' away (4.5m) as Carl and Dora continued up the hill into the main part of the village.
Flash forward a few minutes...
For lack of space I will jump over the next few minutes of the visitations and get right to the teaching, which came after it occurred to me that Carl and Dora would want to know the Lord was there. I was about to turn my head and yell to them when suddenly Jesus was transformed before me from wearing 'normal' 1st century clothes to becoming pure light, and that light streamed from Him slowly outward, obscuring everything around us. As the sky, ground, village and Carl and Dora disappeared, it was just Jesus and me in the light: "I want to teach you how to hear the Father's voice."
"You'll remember the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus*" He began, and then started quoting it as within me those words I had read before at some point in my life, became as fresh as if I'd just memorized them for a class report. *Luke 16:19-31
The story (not a parable, but a story of 2 real men) is about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, the latter being laid at the gate of the rich man hoping to be fed scraps from his table, and dogs even came and licked his sores. Over the course of time the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom, while the rich man also died at some point and found himself in hell.
The rich man called out, seeing Abraham and Lazarus 'far off', asking for Lazarus to be sent with water to quench his thirst. But Abraham responded there was a wide chasm between hell and Paradise and those from there who would go over to help could not, and those over there who wanted out, could not.
I already had the proper understanding of the places depicted so the Lord didn't correct my understanding as we talked, which is important to understanding what He said later. There used to be 2 holding places in the earth; Hell, and Abraham's bosom, or Paradise as it was also known. Hell is where the unrighteous people went, and Paradise was for the righteous people. It was said to be a park-like place with lots of grass, trees, water, and the ability to fellowship with all the righteous ones.
The righteous dead were held captive in Abraham's bosom/Paradise as they waited for their redemption. After the resurrection, Paradise, or Captivity, was carried by the Lord up to heaven, and has become part of what we today call heaven.
Paul taught in Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus first descended into the lower parts of the earth, and then ascended on high leading Captivity captive to Himself. It was for this reason the Lord told Mary at His resurrection to stop clinging to Him* for He had not yet ascended to the Father - He wasn't talking about His ascension 40 days later, rather He was ascending at His resurrection to bring Abraham's bosom and the Paradise saints to heaven and to present Himself before the Father as the last sacrifice for the sins of mankind.*John 20:17-19, **Hebrews 9:23-24
There remains 1 holding place in the earth, hell, where the unrighteous dead continue to go. Since the resurrection, believers now go directly to heaven as Paul said,*"to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord", and he was caught up to Paradise* or the 3rd heaven. (The 1st heaven being the air/sky, the 2nd being space.) *II Corinthians 5:8, 12:1-4
We have judged ourselves, taking the Father's remedy for our sin, Jesus, and will only be judged according to what we've done since being saved. The unrighteous have to wait in hell until they are judged at the end of the age*. *Revelation 20:11-15
That was my understanding that day in 1986 and remains so to this day. After reciting this passage in Luke and by the Spirit making it fresh in me as if I was staring at the text, He continued: "Notice how they were dead, yet they retained their memory of this life, saw one another, spoke back and forth, heard each other, the rich man even felt the heat of hell and experienced great thirst. They continued to have what you call your 5 physical senses though physically they were dead."
He told me our 5 physical senses have their root in our spirit man and those senses actually flow out to the physical body, and are connected, and for those who want to be sensitive to how they function, they can learn. He said this is how people smelled a heavenly aroma, or even the stench of death and/or demons, and how others heard angels singing - He said that isn't with physical senses because physical senses only relate to the physical realm.
I need chapter and verse on this!
I told Him, "Peter said though He saw you transfigured before him on the Mount, he said 'we have a more sure word of prophecy'*, meaning as great as that experience was, the scripture must always agree with any spiritual experience, vision, or dream or that experience has to be set aside as unscriptural - so I need chapter and verse on this Lord!" *II Peter 1:16-21
He smiled and then referred to examples from His own life: "I'll give you a couple of examples; You remember when I was in the house and the man was let down through the roof." Instantly by the Spirit I saw the passage in Mark 2:1-12 as fresh as if I'd just read it a minute before. I pictured in my mind what that scene must have looked like and He interrupted my thoughts: "The house was smaller than what you're thinking." So I shrunk it down in my mind, scanning in my mind's eye around the room from left to right, it all happening so naturally and so fast I didn't have time to analyze the conversation with the Lord. "That's about right, and there were people at the windows. That's close enough." as I adjusted my thinking to what it must have looked like.
"It says the scribes were reasoning in their hearts when I told the man his sins were forgiven, and that I perceived in my spirit that is what they were thinking. I didn't read their minds, I perceived it in my spirit. The Word uses several words to describe the process by which the mind picks up on the senses in the spirit: Perceive, discern, witness, among them."
At this point I'll interrupt due to the fact I'm running out of room. Several times in the teaching He said, "You must train yourself in this." He likened the soul/mind as the middle point of a teeter totter, first looking one way to the flesh on one end, and looking the other way to the spirit. He talked of the power of agreement, that if the mind and spirit agreed the body would follow, and when the body and mind were in agreement the spirit would follow - sometimes being grieved by the decisions we make. He spoke of living spirit outward to soul outward to body, and to continually switch my attention between physical senses and spiritual senses.
He used examples from my own life, one of them being when I was in a store and noticed an older woman who by her body language just seemed depressed. When I paused to sense in my spirit her condition, I got exactly that - depression and poverty. I helped her get something off a high shelf, but she wasn't open to conversation. The Lord reminded me of that event and walked me through how I noticed her body language which caught my attention, then I paused to check spiritually what was going on.
I'll continue next week. The last thing I'll say is that praying in the spirit/Spirit is the #1 best way I've found for being sensitive to the things of the Father. I do so under my breath all the time, sometimes reminding myself if I get lax that I need to pick it up again - when you pray in tongues as Paul said, your spirit is active, and that life flows outward to your mind - if you let it - if your mind is thinking in that direction...more next week, until then, blessings,