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“And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’” – Luke 2:49
The Lord spoke to me about three orders of business we must be about so that we can receive the fullness of what He has prepared for each of us in 2017. Let us be obedient to our Holy Father by preparing ourselves decently and in order with this Divine charge throughout the upcoming season.
2017, among other things, will be a year of separation: either separation from the world, fully consecrated and consummated unto Jesus; or separation from Jesus, fully consecrated and consummated unto the world. There will be no in between.
This is evidenced in Romans 8:35-39, where the Apostle Paul specifies seventeen factors of separation unto or apart from God. It is interesting to note that the first seven are identified in a question; with the last ten identified as emphatic statements (7+10):
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The Father said to me “there are three orders of business that you need to prepare yourself to release to My people: the first order is that of relationship, the second order is that of identity, and the third is a revelation of what it means to be Blood-bought.
The first order is the release of relationship, as one represents “in the beginning, I created…” (Genesis 1:1). I AM that I AM. I am the God of relationship. I created relationship on the first day that I created the heavens and the earth. Relationship with Me must be first in rank and importance; for from it every other relationship must be tested for the purposes of rejecting, or accepting. And those relationships that are accepted by My Word and My Spirit must be established and grounded in and centered on Me.
The second order of business, is identity. Two represents a division and a witness. Before I formed each person, I knew them (Jeremiah 1:5). My Word (Jesus Christ) and my Holy Spirit bore witness to the identity I spoke into each one of my creation. And it is my Spirit of Truth Who testifies and bears witness with each one that which I spoke into them before I laid the foundation of the world (John 16:13, Romans 8:16, Jeremiah 1:5).
And by My Spirit, the third order will testify of what it means to be Blood-bought. A great and powerful price was paid, a ransom through the shedding of My Son’s Blood, for each human being—past, present, and future. Most of My children plead the Blood, but do not fully understand what it means to be Blood-bought. Three represents conformity and likeness. For whom I did foreknow, I also predestinated to be conformed to the Image of My Son (Romans 8:29). It is the Blood that transforms and conforms one into this Holy and Divine Image.”
I inquired back “Father, why doesn’t identity come first?” To which the Ancient of Days, The Great I AM, replied “People are first drawn to relationships. Before they fully get to know someone, they are drawn to the relationship that the person offers or represents to them. People come to Me, by way of My Son, because they are attracted to the relationship out of need, curiosity, desire, or a combination of each. Once they come into relationship with Me, and spend time with Me, I begin to show them their identity. Walking out salvation is about walking out one’s identity in My Son Jesus. The walk unfolds the identity. And as they begin to see who I created them to be, their true identity, it is then that they come to a heart understanding of what it means to be Blood-bought.
And to confirm that it is I who gave you this revelation, you only have to look at the acronym derived from these words in the order that I gave them to you: Relationship, Identity, Blood-bought. The acronym is RIB. A rib represents the heart, spiritual birth, and wife (Genesis 2:21-23, John 19:34). All who come to Me receive a new heart, a spiritual rebirth, and become My Son’s bride. And the great treasures that I have in store for My people will be treasures of the heart, which will cause miracles, signs, and wonders to come forth because of the Greater One Who lives within every one of my children (born-again believers). Great Grace is what I have in store for My people for 2017! Great Grace, Great Deliverance, and a Great rest in Me!” So think it not strange for what I am about to do for you in this next season! My Son shall be high and lifted up, and draw all people unto Him for My Glory! (John 12:32).”
The first order: Relationship
“I [Jesus] am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
This verse should serve as both instructional, and as a form of worship unto the Lord. This statement of truth, correction, and direction will be a guiding right-now Living Word for 2017 more than ever for God’s sons and daughters.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ must take priority in rank and importance, and serve as the basis by which all other relationship are tested, and either accepted or rejected. Any relationships we retain should be established in and centered on Jesus Christ for the advancement of the Kingdom.
Webster defines a “relationship” as “the way in which two or more people or things are connected.” As we prepare to enter into the New Year, it is time to evaluate all of your relationships to determine those connected through Jesus Christ, the Vine, and those that are not. The fruit of each relationship should be inspected. Good fruit is evidence of a spirit-born and Godly relationship; while bad, under-developed, tasteless, tart, or bitter fruit bears witness of a relationship which must be severed. The number ten signifies “measure, for the purpose of accepting or rejecting that which is being measured” (© 2010 Milligan. Understanding the Dreams You Dream). Ten is part of the New Year number (10+7).
From now until New Year’s Eve should be a time for you to measure every relationship you currently hold (or which holds you, and maybe holds you hostage) for the purpose of accepting or rejecting. And even those relationships you hold should be held by and through God, and not you. If there is any “you” in the relationship, then the “you” or the relationship must go; as again, God should be at the center. Personal and family relationships should be born of the Spirit and not of the flesh.
Flesh and faith cannot co-exist. Ishmael had to leave when Isaac was born because the former represented flesh, and the latter, faith (Genesis 21). There should be no “casual” relationships creeping in to your new season. Employer-employee relationships should be carefully evaluated and prayerfully considered. Is this where God placed you to earn an income? Is this the supervisor that the Lord God Almighty has placed in your life? And is it for a season? Is there a release date for you, or has this season long since passed with dead fruit as the overlooked testimony of staying stuck?
Not only must relationships with people be measured; but also relationships to things. Anything, though seemingly good, if it distracts, or takes the place of God; thus occupying the throne of your heart and becoming an idol, this thing must go. 1 Corinthians 10:23 testifies “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
Every relationship must be looked at from the position of the Cross, which points to the advancement of the Kingdom through winning souls and/or drawing self and others closer and more intimately with our Abba Father through His precious, beloved, and only begotten Son, Jesus.
Your relationships that you bring into 2017 will either cause you to be even more captivated with Christ, thus moving you to a place of greater grace, deliverance, freedom, and liberty; or hold you captive to the world’s ways. 2017 should not be about pleasing people; but rather about bringing people into a saving relationship with a loving God, made possible by a selfless Savior. The business of relationship is a key for you for this coming New Year. How will you unlock Christ in your next season?
Father, thank You for Your gift of relationship! I repent for not elevating my relationship with You as the highest and most important relationship I have, as the relationship by which all other relationships are measured. Grant me wisdom, Oh God, to measure each relationship and to know which I am to accept and which I am to reject. And give me the courage and the fortitude, Mighty Savior, to graciously, but expediently and cleanly severe those relationships which must go. In Jesus Name, I thank You that I will enter into our New Year with only those relationships grounded in You, which propel me deeper into Your Freedom and Liberty of Great Grace. Amen and Amen.
The second order: Identity
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27
God created us in His image. So what does this image look like? His Holy Word tells us that “God is love,” and more deeply testifies “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 1:48, 3:16-17).
The Father Himself paints this picture for us: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago, [and] as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Ephesians 2:10, John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:4-6, Romans 8:15, Colossians 2:13-14).
We are so incredibly, indescribably, inconceivably, and amazingly valuable to God that it is beyond human words and mindset to fully grasp His great love for us, and in His great and immeasurable love from which He created us. Jesus is the manifestation of God’s great love; and we, through His Firstborn Son, are also this living expression.
We are that one lost coin that the Father searches frantically, forsaking all else, until He joyfully finds us. We are that one sheep, who the Great Shepherd will go to great and matchless lengths to bring back, because He is heartbroken and inconsolable until He has us safely back in His fold. And we are the one, standing alone at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, willingly took what was meant for us, and hung there—fully standing in the gap for each and every person until it was finished (Luke 15, John 19:30).
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 John 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).
When God said “Let us make man in our Image,” the Image of the Triune God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Genesis 1:26), He was saying “Let us create an expression of Our great love.”
And when the Creator, the Embodiment of Love, said He knew us before He formed us, His Holy Spirit was there to bear witness of this identity that the Father spoke into us before He laid the foundation of the world (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4).
We lack because we live less than who God made us to be. And we live less than who God made us to be, because we lack understanding of our identity in Christ. We lack not just an understanding, but a knowing, of how wide, long, high and deep, God’s love is for us—this Image that we were created in (Ephesians 3:18), because we don’t fully believe and rest in the assurance that “God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And we stand on unsure footing, because we are not entirely convinced and settled in the truth that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
But we can get there! How? Howbeit, that’s how! Howbeit, howbeit, “howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
God will never leave us as orphans. The Great Promise-keeper assures us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (John 14:18, Deuteronomy 31:6). So call to Him, my brother. Run into His arms, my sister. And ask Him to tell you a love story: the story of “In the beginning” when a magnificent God formed you out of His great love, which He also poured into you when He died just for you and for me on the Cross of Calvary.
Father, thank You for Your great, immeasurable, and matchless love for me in while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8). Forgive me, Merciful and Loving Father, for living below my means, which is my true meaning found in Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Help me to not only understand, but to know and experience Your great love for me, which is my identity in You. In Jesus Name, thank You that I was created in Your Image, which is an Image of the most provoking and selfless love which is beyond comprehension. Amen and Amen.
The third order: Blood-bought
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” – 1 Peter 1:18-19
There is power in the Blood of Jesus! The Word of God testifies of this truth from the Cross of Calvary: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. And He [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. Do not think that I [Jesus] came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. [And] if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 10:4, 1 John 2:2, Matthew 5:17, Matthew 26:28, 1 John 1:7, Hebrews 10:19-22).
Matthew 26:28 establishes the Blood covenant, available to every person, as the only way out, though, and over the curse of the law of sin and death; of which (the curse), demands a price that no sinful human being could ever pay. Jesus, by the shedding of His spotless and sinless Blood, was the only One credible enough to satisfy this sin debt; thus silencing the devil from speaking against us, and nullifying his claim of ownership over us. Jesus paid the price of our sin, freeing us from the devil’s debt. “And who the Son sets free is free indeed!” (John 8:36).
The “covenant” that God establishes with every believer is beriyth (pr. ber-eeth), and is “a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). In the Old Testament days, when a weaker person, tribe, or nation was to cut covenant with a more powerful party, they would sacrifice a large animal by cutting it into two or more pieces (depending on how many parties were involved); the blood of the animal was spilled out, and the individuals would pass between the pieces of flesh; thus signifying that they were now one.
The covenant was meant to be immovable and irrevocable, and passed down to generations to come. Anyone who decided to break the covenant would be killed (like the dead flesh cut for the covenant). The weaker party immediately inherited all of the possessions and power of the stronger.
When Jesus Christ shed His Blood on the Cross for all humanity, which became the atonement for our sins, The Savior of the world opened up the invitation for all to cut covenant with the Father through Him, by the tearing of His flesh and the spilling of His Blood, which also tore the veil that separated us from coming into the Holy of Holies and communing directly with the Father. Through Jesus, the infinitely more powerful party, we now have power over the devil and his claims.
It is this covenant that speaks. The covenant of “God Who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
You see, Lucifer (before he was cast out of Heaven and became Satan), put God on trial by accusing this Perfect and Righteous Creator of being a dictator, and lodged the allegation that God’s ways were not only unattainable, but also not the best ways. Satan, whose name means “accuser,” rebelled by waging a war in heaven. This despicable, deceptive, and dastardly devil convinced a third of the angels to come with him as he was cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14, Revelation 12).
Adam failed when he yielded to temptation; thus, the entire human race was lost because none could live up to the law, whose penalty for sin was death. God had to send Himself in the person of His Son to satisfy (fulfill) the law, by disproving Satan’s charge, and vindicating God the Father. This is why Jesus walks in the positions as both the Son of God and the Son of Man. This Perfect Sacrifice is 100% God and 100% man, and He stands in our place—the place of every Blood-bought believer, having transferred our sin onto Himself so that we can be seated with our Lord, Savior, and Big Brother in heavenly places (1 John 2:2, Ephesians 2:6).
The Savior made a way out of no way for us when He fulfilled the law through Himself. The Greek word for “fulfill” as used in Matthew 5:17 is pleroo (pr. play-ro-o), which is to “imbue, diffuse, influence.” Webster defines “imbue” as to “to permeate or influence as if by dyeing,” and further defines “dyeing” as “to impart a new and often permanent color to especially by impregnating with a dye.” The Son of God and Son of Man fulfilled the law by soaking it in His Blood, which was shed on the Cross of Calvary; thereby changing its color from a debt owed to a debt paid in full. Our Redeemer did what no person could do—He satisfied the debt of the law, and credited our account by the spilling of His spotless and atoning Blood.
It is this Blood of Jesus Christ that speaks on our behalf, silencing the accuser, rescuing us from our affliction, and has already given us the power to overcome the darkness. Let the Blood speak on your behalf.
Father, thank You for the Blood of Jesus! How I love the Blood! There is power in the Blood! Everything I need in You has been made available through the shedding of Jesus’ Blood! I am so grateful to You for giving Yourself in the Person of Your Son so that I could be redeemed and set free from the curse, and spend eternity with You! In Jesus Name, thank You, Savior, Son of God and Son of Man, for dying for me, so that I could love forever in and with You. Amen and Amen!
Wishing you a newfound and more fortified place and position in Christ and in God’s Kingdom for 2017.
With warmest regards,
And in service of the Most High King,