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  • When God Sings: The Relation of Pure Worship to Pure Giving

    posted by Eric Warren on October 22, 2015

     

    The foundation of any structure is its most critical feature. No building, regardless of how beautiful or how seemingly well-engineered, is any stronger than its foundation. A primary or “foundational” aim of restorative, apostolic ministry, then, is resetting scripture in its proper context so that doctrine can, once again, be rightly discerned and divided. In establishing or restoring doctrinal foundations (which is the purpose of apostles and prophets according to Ephesians 2:20), we often discover that there are “missing stones;” poorly understood or inappropriately appropriated scriptures that unsettle our faith every bit as much as a missing stone in a foundation. As a consequence, the contemporary church sometimes suffers from a shaky stance or unreliable footing, as if walking on an uneven foundation. We see this most prominently in two areas of Christian practice—worship and giving.

     

     

    When we examine New Testament passages on giving considering Old Testament passages on worship, there can be little doubt that God relates the two closely.In fact, it would be fair to say that the two are hardly distinguishable from one another. Take, for example, the familiar passage on giving:

    Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

     

     

    We often cite this passage to encourage generosity during times of giving with the understanding that when we give liberally to God, he will give liberally to us. And while that’s absolutely appropriate, this scripture is getting at much more than the principle of reciprocity. God outlines that principle in the first few words of that section of scripture: give and it shall be given to you. It is as if he’s saying “Of course I will bless you. Why would I not?” It is not until the closing words of that section, however, that he illuminates the far more significant matter of the relation of giving to our motives and, ultimately, to our worship.

     

     

    The words “for with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” take us straight to the heart of God—the desire for pure worship. The “measure” of giving has less to do with how much we give, as it does with the quality of our giving. Make no mistake, God clearly explains his expectation of the tithe and of offerings, but these are elementary matters. In this passage, he is urging us to consider the manner in which we give, and that is most intimately related to our motivation.

    The Old Testament account of Solomon building the temple provides a clear example of this foundational truth.

     

    II Chronicles 29: 15 – 16 and 27 says: And they gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the LORD to the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron…. Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD also began.

     

     

    The song of the Lord, the purest worship possible, begins when the burnt offering is offered. But neither the song of the Lord nor pure giving occur before the temple is purified and all the “debris” that is found there is left at Kidron. Kidron separates the Temple Mount, the place of Old Testament worship, from the Mount of Olives, the place most famous for Jesus’ first teaching on life in the Kingdom. There, he teaches his disciples the true meaning of pure worship and pure giving—repentance, or turning from established mindsets about either worship or giving and turning toward entirely new mindsets about both.

     

     

    Change is a decision or an act of the will to literally turn the mind away from falsehood and toward truth. And so Kidron, the place where “all the debris that they found in the temple of the LORD” is deposited literally reminds us of the shift that Kingdom thinking requires. You receive nothing in return for the burnt offering, for everything is left on the altar. Offerings are places of altars. In demonstrating the heart of the giver, they reflect the degree to which the giver acknowledges and honors God. In foundational matters, we cannot skip steps or carelessly place stones. Worship has the capacity to change the atmosphere, and the Word of God corrects our understanding so that we are willing to change our attitudes in giving. But, only a disciplined, sacrificial application of both results in applying the truth which results in true repentance.

    The Seven Spirits of God

    posted by Eric Warren on September 25, 2014

    We have heard so often that “God equips those whom He calls.”  Well, He does indeed, and the life and ministry of Jesus Christ were the first fruit demonstration of this principle. The fundamental equipping graces in the life of Jesus Christ are described in Isaiah 11:2: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him and the spirit of wisdom, and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.”

     

    Representing the fullness of God, these seven spirits equipped the Lord Jesus Christ to walk in heavenly authority in an earthly realm. We can fully document that each one of these spiritual dimensions were critical in his practical walk and earthly ministry. God’s intent was that Jesus would demonstrate all seven of these spirits of God resting upon one man with the express intent that He would be completely equipped to do the work of the Father. John 1:16 declares that we also are equipped with the fullness of Jesus: “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

     

    The Father demonstrates His love for each of us by administering grace to us, and then by enabling that grace to work through us. One dimension of this grace is His use of spiritual “tools.” We need to understand the tools God uses to accomplish His purposes in the earth. God has put many of these tools on display in the lives and ministries of His men and women in the Old and New Testaments. God is able to do all things and anything Himself, but He chooses to utilize different tools (spiritual graces) in order to accomplish His perfect will. Because we were made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) we are uniquely designed from the beginning to embody the character and nature of God in the earth realm and have been given access to many of His tools and technology in order to accomplish His will.

     

    The seven spirits of God are literally tools and technology that God uses to accomplish His will in heaven and earth. The first example of Jesus’ demonstrating the Spirit of the Lord is prophetically declared in Isaiah 61:1 and practically declared in Luke 4:18,19.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

     

    This first dimension of the seven spirits of God was foundational in launching the ministry of Jesus, just as it remains vital in the launching of our ministries today. Through the grace of the spirit of the Lord, Jesus received identity, direction, assignment and authority. The Spirit of the Lord was the fundamental launching pad for supernatural efficacy in the ministry of Christ.

     

    Today, we have many gifted writers who have attempted to articulate any number of spiritual best-practices. None, however, can explain it any better than God Himself. Every expression of the ministry of the Lord must begin with the spirit of the Lord. May we lay hold of this revelation so that we can establish ministry that is an expression of the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of man.

    P.S. – copies of my book, “The Seven Spirits of God” are available for $16.99 with free shipping HERE.

     

    The Jeremiah Anointing

    posted by Eric Warren on

    Our habits are telling indications of what we really believe.  Often enough, we think one small action or the other can’t possibly make a significant impact.  But if you’ve ever watched a grassy area become a worn path, a community gradually fall into disregard and disrepair until most of its houses are boarded up, or what seemed like minor social ill become a major national crisis, you can understand the frustration of the prophet Isaiah.  You might even share it as you consider the times in which we are living.

     

    One of my favorite segments of scripture is Isaiah 58:12.  There, the prophet speaks of a path forsaken and, with it, a people who succumb to enslavement.  “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in.” If ever we needed repairers of the breach, it is today. If ever we needed restorers of paths to dwell in, it is today. The spiritual breaches are wide and deep. The paths to dwell in have become overgrown and unkempt. Breaches occur while someone is not watching, while one small change after another continues until, at last, major damage is recognized.  I intentionally say “recognized” not “done,” because the damage was being done all along.  Paths do not become overgrown and unkempt all at once; they become impassable when people stop walking them. We must now rediscover the ancient paths upon which life itself is based. People—even some of those who are sitting in the pews of our churches—have lost their way.

     

    It’s time for the Jeremiah anointing to reappear in our day. We need to root some things out, tear some things down, destroy some things, throw down some things, and then build and (re) plant some things. We need a restoration movement to replace a contented following.  For those who “see” the reality of these truths, I salute you and petition you to join with me in a restorative quest in the days ahead. We will not bow the knee to Babylon!

     

    Let’s Get Radical!

    posted by Eric Warren on

    We sometimes use words without fully recognizing their import.  Radical is one of those words.  To be radical, especially as it relates to spiritual change, is to thoroughly affect the fundamental nature of an entity—in this case, our relationship as the church with the culture in which we live.  Radical doesn’t simply refer to superficial adjustment or adaptation, but to elemental, comprehensive change of the sort that leaves an eternal impact.

     

    Today, on every spiritual and sociological front, we are faced with ideas that are endeavoring to radically shift what we have come to know as normative Christian values and behavior.  We are literally in the midst of a spiritual tug of war. In tug of war, the key to victory is utilizing the strength of the entire team.  While everyone’s weight counts, if you want to win, you’ve got to get some of the strongest members of the team in the right position.  In these times, when it can seem as if the “home team” is faltering while the visitors, those newly arrived on the scene, are getting stronger, we need some spiritual heavyweights to go to the back of the line and serve as anchors! 

     

    While much of the church of Jesus Christ has been affirming itself and enjoying increasing doses of self-glorification, the enemy has snuck into the positions where we most need strength—our families and houses of worship. It’s time for the radical saints to rise up and grab the rope and give a big heave ho tug to recover lost ground. Generations are at stake!

    Jeremiah 1:10 declares that the Prophet Jeremiah was “Set over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” This is a radical assignment to a radical prophet who would be used as an agent of confrontation and transformation at a strategic time very much like the one in which we are living.

     

    This was also a time for repentance for the nation of Israel.  God needed a radical mouthpiece who would be resolute in his loyalty and faithfulness to do His will. Clearly, we are in similar times today. “Repent” means to change one’s mind and turn 180 degrees, to go in the opposite direction. Nothing could be more radical!  Israel was heading in the wrong direction spiritually, and so are we. “What is the wrong direction?” you might ask “And who’s to judge?” Well friends, never forget this: the wrong direction is the opposite direction from the direction that God is going.

    I’ve won at tug of war before.  It’s not easy.  But when the entire team bears down and collectively lends its weight to winning, it happens.  Jeremiah’s times called for it and so do ours. 

     

    The Importance of the Seven Spirits of God in Ministry Expression (Part 1)

    posted by Eric Warren on August 29, 2013

     

    We have heard so often that “God equips those whom He calls”. Well, He does indeed, and the life and ministry of Jesus Christ was the first fruits of this principle for this season of kingdom administration. The fundamental equipping graces in the Life of Jesus were described in Isaiah 11:2: “And the sprit of the Lord shall rest upon Him and the spirit of wisdom, and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.”

     

    Representing the fullness of God, these seven spirits equipped the Lord Jesus to walk in heavenly authority in an earthly realm. We can fully document that each one of these dimensions were dynamically active and critical in the practical walk of Jesus while he was fulfilling His earthly ministry. God’s intent in this was that Jesus would be first fruit of all seven of these spirits of God resting upon one man with the express intent that He would be completely equipped to do the work of the Father. John 1:16 declares that we also are equipped with the fullness of Jesus:  “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

     

    The Father demonstrates His love for each of us by administering grace to us, and enabling grace to work through us. One dimension of this grace is the aspect of His spiritual “tools” or technology. We need to know what tools God uses to accomplish His purposes in the earth. God has put many of these tools on display in the lives and ministries of His men and women in the Old and New Testaments. God is able to do all things and anything but He utilizes different tools (spiritual graces) in order to accomplish His perfect will. Because we were made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) we are uniquely designed from the beginning to embody the character and nature of God in the earth realm and have been given access to many of His tools and technology.

     

    The Seven spirits of God are literally tools and technology that God uses to accomplish His will in heaven and earth. The first example of Jesus walking in the first mentioned dimension of the seven spirits of God, i.e., The Spirit of the Lord is prophetically declared in Isaiah 61:1 and practically declared in Luke 4:18,19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

     

    This first dimension of the seven spirits of God was foundational to launch the ministry of Jesus. It is also fundamental in the launch of our ministries presently. Through The grace of The Spirit of the Lord, Jesus received: Identity, Direction, Assignment and Authority. The Spirit of the Lord was the fundamental launching pad for supernatural efficacy in the ministry of Christ.

     

    Today we have many gifted writers that have attempted to articulate the best-case practices of ministry expression. None, however, can explain it any better than God Himself. Every expression of the ministry of the Lord must begin with The Spirit of the Lord. May we lay hold of this revelation so that we can establish ministry that is an expression of the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of man.

     

    The lion’s share IS your portion!

    Apostle Eric L. Warren

     

    P.S. Copies of my book, “The Seven Spirits of God” are available for $12 with free shipping from my web site @ www.ericwarrenministries.com.

    A Radical Season for Radical Saints

    posted by Eric Warren on August 1, 2013

    Jeremiah 1:10 declares that the Prophet Jeremiah was “Set over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” This is a radical assignment to a radical prophet who would be used as an agent of confrontation and transformation at a strategic time.

     

    This was a time for repentance for the nation of Israel and God needed a man of God who would be resolute in his loyalty and faithfulness to do His will. We are in similar times today. The biblical word, repent, means to change ones mind and turn 180 degrees to go in the opposite direction. Israel was heading in  the wrong direction spiritually, and so are we. What is the wrong direction, you might ask. And who’s to judge? Well friends, never forget this: the wrong direction is the opposite direction from the direction that  God is going in.

     

    Today on every spiritual and sociological front we are faced with radical ideas that are endeavoring to shift what we have come to know as normative behavior and values to something that is radically different. We are literally in the midst of a spiritual tug of war. The home team seems to be fading while the visitors (the newly arrived on the scene) seem to be getting stronger. We need some heavy weights to go to the back of the line and serve as anchors!

     

    While the church of Jesus Christ has been affirming itself and enjoying increasing doses of self glorification, the enemy has snuck in the back door. It’s time for the radical saints to rise up and grab the rope and give a big heave ho tug to recover lost ground. Generations are at stake!

     

    One of my favorite segments of scripture is Isaiah 58:12 – “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in.” If ever we needed repairers of the breach it is today. If ever we needed restorers of paths to dwell in, it is today. The spiritual breach is wide and deep. The paths to dwell in have become overgrown and unkempt. Breaches occur while someone is not watching, paths become overgrown and unkempt when people stop walking them. We must now rediscover the ancient paths upon which life itself is based. People have lost their way, even some of those who are sitting in the pews of our churches.

     

    It’s time for the Jeremiah anointing to reappear in our day. We need to root some things out, tear some things down, destroy some things, throw down some things, and then build and (re) plant some things. We need a restoration movement to replace a contented following.

     

    For those who “see” the reality of these things I salute you and petition you to join with me in a Jeremiah quest in the days ahead. We will not bow the knee to Babylon!!

     

    On guard!

    Apostle Eric L. Warren

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