SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND:

Identifying_Spiritual_Strongholds
(A Continuation of the Message --- He Restores My Soul)
By Keith Davis



Introduction

There are a number of scriptures quoted very often in our noble pursuit to be anointed for ministry.  Likewise, throughout the Church there are many much needed equipping ministries dedicated to teaching Christians how to walk in the anointing of God’s power for ministry.  These vital ministries teach Christians how to know God’s grace for the gifts of the Spirit...for prophesy... for healing...for ministering salvation and deliverance to hurting and needy people.  The scriptures clearly mandate, we should earnestly and zealously desire spiritual gifts.  Nonetheless, as someone once said, “the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”

There is an imperative spiritual reality we must not allow ourselves to divert from if we truly are to become the royal Priesthood and Holy nation promised in scripture.  The prophet Daniel foretold a period of great hardship and spiritual darkness that would permeate a generation known as “the time of the end.”   Yet, in the midst of the darkness that would cover the earth and deep darkness the people, there would be a people who “KNOW THEIR GOD AND shall be strong and carry out great exploits.  (Dan. 11:32)   Very often we emphasize the latter portion of this verse concerning the manifestation of  mighty exploits and power.   Residing within many is the yearning desire to do mighty exploits and witness great demonstrations of the Spirit and power.   However, the most important aspect of this notable prophetic promise is to KNOW HIM.  To know our God intimately and affectionately and through that relationship do mighty exploits to His Glory.

Exodus 33 describes the directive of God to occupy the land of Promise following the deliverance of Israel at the hand of Moses from the bondage and oppression of Egypt.  The covenant people of God were imminently facing the inheritance of their promises thus providing a perfect typical scenario for this present generation of the Church.  Many within the church are presently positioned to inherit countless wonderful promises.  Some have been called to a ministry of healing and that promise for the healing anointing is at the door.  Others perhaps have been called to a prophetic ministry and the revelatory gifting’s are in view... the promises of God are on the horizon.   Even so, Moses identified the greater purpose in Exodus 33:15-16.

Then he said to Him, "If your presence does not go with us  do not lead us up from here.  For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?" 
 
Although Moses delivered Israel to that place upon which they were approaching the threshold of inheriting their wonderful and great promises, he nonetheless pleaded with God not to lead them up from that place if His Presence did not accompany them.  Otherwise, how were they to be distinguished from the other nations in the earth.  Other nations such as Moab, under the hired leadership of Balaam were evidently offering sacrifices and serving God in the same manner as Israel.  However, one notable difference separated the two nations.  There was a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night that accompanied Israel representing the manifest Presence of God distinguishing Israel.
 
Doing The Will Of The Father

Matthew 7 contains one of the most dismal and unsettling passages in all of scripture.  In it, we are told of many who will know great power performing mighty exploits in the name of the Lord.  They will prophesy in the Lord’s name... they will heal the sick, cast out demons and do tremendous miracles.  Still, the Lord  will declare to them “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”...perhaps the saddest words in scripture. 

"Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven {will enter} "Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles’  "And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'   (Matt 7:21-23)

This passage clearly dictates— although a person can have an anointing for ministry, they can do so without even knowing the Lord or tasting His salvation.  Therefore, what is the most important matter we must keep ourselves focused on this hour?  To know Him AND the power of His resurrection;  Even if it means the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death as described Philippians 3:10.  The highest object of endeavor in the mind of the Christian should yearn to be fully acquainted with Him and His nature, character and desires as we learn to love what He loves and hate that which He hates.  This will allow Him to live out His life through us as we walk in union with the Lord Jesus.
  
Restoration Of All Things

That He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until {the} period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.   (Acts 3:20-21)

Peter, prophesying following the day of Pentecost, foretells a great redemptive promise that some generation will come to know in it’s fullness and reality.  He emphatically declared, Heaven must retain the Lord Jesus until the period of restoration of all things.  The Holy Spirit, speaking through this apostle is not simply describing the restoration of God’s chosen people to a place of prominence and power.  More importantly, He was announcing the awesome power of redemption being so great and complete that a generation of God’s people will come to know and experience the intimate fellowship with God formerly lost by Adam in the Garden of Eden.  In fact, heaven must retain Him until there is a remnant of people who walk with that kind of fellowship and oneness with God. 

Wisdom, knowledge and understanding concerning all of creation were readily available to Adam through his close encounters with God as they walked in the Garden.  There is shortly coming a time when Christians will need to know the deep mysteries of the kingdom that will ultimately prepare her without spot or wrinkle for the Bridegroom.  It will be through the full restoration of relationship that heavenly wisdom shall be imparted to the Bride allowing us, on this side of Heaven to, “taste the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.”  (Heb 6:5)

Deep within the hearts of many Christians is the burning desire to enter that place of relationship, even if the cost is great.   Hopefully, this brief outline will touch on important truth’s that will help us to that end.  It is not simply a matter of ministry; it is an issue of “relationship” with ministry as an overflow of the relationship we have with the Lord.  After all, though we are able to raise the dead, if the people are unable to see the Lord in us and His abiding love through us, what lasting good has it done?  It is not merely having the Spirit move through us but resting IN us in His fullness.

I believe the Lord is determined in this generation to have a people who truly KNOW HIM and share in His Divine Nature and Holy Character, having escaped the corruption of this world and it’s lusts. (2 Pet 1:4).  According to His Grace, we are living in a season of continued refinement and purification as the Holy Spirit continues dealing with us as individuals first before He releases the anointing of power corporately.  There is coming a time when He is going to release His Spirit and it will be like the rain falling on the just and the unjust alike.  At that time, according to Matthew 7:21-23, there will be some doing the work of ministry whose destiny in not the kingdom of Heaven but outer darkness.  God forbid that should be any of us.  Let us walk in that place of priceless communion. 
 
Dominions Of Our Soul

During the early part of 1999, we entered a season of prayer and intercession concerning the upcoming year and the teachings we were to deliver to God’s people as fresh manna.  As we were entreating the Lord is this manner, a new arena of prophetic teachings were released to help the Church enter that place of habitation and intimacy we all desire.  Some of these revelations were given through prophetic experiences highlighting certain portions of scripture essential in this quest.  The following is one such experience.

In this experience, an angel standing at my right took me into the Spirit realm.  In this place I was shown a circle or ring of thrones approximately 18 in number.  I was then taken to the first throne occupied by the Angel of the Lord.  The Angel occupied this throne with authority and dominion standing majestically as a soldier would inhabit his post of duty.  I was then taken to the next throne and it was occupied by the Angel of the Lord like the first.  However, when I was taken to the next, a most disappointing and disturbing sight awaited me.  Instead of the Angel of the Lord, the throne was occupied by a  hideous creature usurping a position rightfully belonging to the Lord.
 
The Angel standing to my right then handed me an implement that I used to begin pouring water on this creature.  The moment I did, the evil spirit lashed out at me with his paw as a lion would strike its prey.  Startled, I looked at my chest expecting it to be torn to shreds.  Instead, I was un-injured by the assault.  Encouraged, I began to pour the water freely until the creature began to diminish and eventually vanish from the throne.  When this occurred, the Angel of the Lord emerged taking up His residence on this throne.

As I contemplated the remaining thrones I noticed that many were occupied by the Angel of the Lord and many by hideous creatures.  In each case where the throne was occupied by one of these creatures, I would simply begin pouring water on the spirit until it disappeared from the throne and the Angel of the Lord appeared.

I was later instructed this ring of thrones constituted the soul of man.  Each throne represented a department of life that was to be subjected to the Lordship of Christ.  However, because of the curse of the fallen nature these thrones are given over to the spirit of the world.   In each of those areas we had totally subjected ourselves to the dominion and rulership of God, the Angel of the Lord occupied the throne.  Likewise, in each realm we had not fully subjected ourselves, the  carnal nature ruled and had domain, thus  represented by the creature that was given opportunity to occupy the throne.  He usurped a position that rightfully belonged to God.

It is through the redemptive process and the impartation of grace that these thrones are sanctified and brought under the Lord's rulership.  For there to be complete union with Christ, each of these thrones must be occupied by the Lord.  Unfortunately, we oftentimes do not recognize that the spirit of the world occupies some of the thrones within our soul thus placing a veil over our soul prohibiting complete fellowship.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.   (Galatians 5:19-21)

The Scriptures declare that the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom through the sacrificial offering of the Lord’s body.  Therefore, if we are not seeing the Lord clearly it is because the veils remain over OUR soul.  It is through the "water of the Word" that the issues of our soul are exposed and sanctified.  For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.  (Ps 18:28)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.   (Heb. 4:12)
           
 
The Refinement Of Abraham

The great patriarch Abraham even experienced this purging process of his soul for complete union with his God.  After the promise had been fulfilled and Isaac was born, the Scriptures make it clear that Abraham loved his son with a great love.  So great was this love for Isaac that it actually became an idol usurping a position in Abraham rightfully belonging to God.

Abraham was then required to demonstrate the complete dedication of his soul to God by willingly submitting the life of Isaac to the Lord.  Upon the successful completion of this test, Abraham was able to worship God on an elevated level that he would not have known otherwise. Very often, Isaac is symbolic of our ministry that we sometimes allow to occupy a place of preeminence belonging only to God.  Though this purging process is painful, it is necessary to become One Spirit with Christ.  It is the literal fulfillment of Galatians 2:20.

Church history is filled with many honorable men and women of the past who had ministries that were powerfully anointed but ultimately ended in failure and humiliation because there was some corruption or self-serving motive that emerged right at the pinnacle of their ministry.  For the most part, these were good and Godly people that paid a great price in their service to God and began their ministry with pure motives.  Unfortunately, seeds of corruption remained hidden in their souls into which Satan was able to sink his hooks causing great confusion and collapse.   Important spiritual lessons can be derived by examining the successes and failures of our church fathers.

One of our great obligations is to honor God’s men and women of the past as we study the lives of great Church leaders.  There is a man who in my estimation was one of the greatest of this century, Alexander Dowie.  Brother Dowie was a powerfully anointed leader during the years preceding and following the turn of the century.  He was wonderfully used of the Lord in the ministry of healing and was a prolific writer of Scriptural Truth.  His periodical, "Leaves of Healing" went to an international audience introducing the power of God to the universal church.  Unfortunately, Brother Dowie is remembered more for the "Elijah proclamation" than for the awesome ways in which he was used by the Holy Spirit in his generation.

Brother Dowie records in his journal that two men requested an audience with him to share the word they reportedly had received from the Lord.  During the meeting, these Christian men prophesied to brother Dowie they had received a revelation disclosing that he was the prophesied Elijah.  Clearly,  these men were deceived.  Alexander Dowie was so upset with their words that he expelled them from his office immediately.  However, Dowie further records that their words were like a hook embedded in his heart.  No matter how earnestly he tried, brother Dowie was unable to free himself from the weight of this proclamation.  In the years that followed, the demonically inspired lie grew within his soul until Dowie proclaimed himself the prophesied Elijah.

How could such a tragic thing happen to a precious man of God wonderfully used by the Holy Spirit?  I recently posed that question to a prophetic friend.  She informed me the Lord had specifically spoken to her on this very subject in a powerful prophetic experience.  In the vision, the Lord instructed her that great men of God with powerful anointings of the Spirit fell prey to the traps of the enemy because their souls were not fully purged of the carnal nature.  Even in brother Dowie's case, there were issues within his soul that the Lord desired to deal with that He was unable to extract for reasons known only to God.  There were thrones within his soul that had not been subjected to the Lord’s dominion.  This left opportunity to the enemy to exploit those seeds of corruption resulting in spiritual error and the collapse of his ministry.

It is the seeds of corruption that were imparted into the soul of man at the fall in the Garden of Eden.  Explicitly, the Bible says that all things will be restored.  Heaven must retain the Lord until there is the restoration of all things promised through the prophets.  That is, a people for His own possession with whom He can have intimate relationship and through whom He can express His Divine attributes.  WE are living in the time now where there can be the restoration of our soul to the place we can experience the fellowship with God that was lost in the Garden of Eden.  The only thing that is keeping us from that relationship is ourselves.  It is the dominion of the carnal nature residing in us.

The Lord is now giving us the divine opportunity to allow His Spirit to purge and extract from us every tendency toward corruption;  becoming partakers of the divine nature free from the corruption of this world and its lusts.  As long as we walk in this world in this tabernacle of flesh we will continually need to “have our feet washed.”  However, that does not mean we must allow Satan to have a place of dominion and control over any department of our lives.

In John 14:30 the Lord announced Satan was coming to him, yet he {satan} had no place in the  Lord.  In other words, there were no seeds of corruption to exploit in the Lord's nature.  Satan had no dominion or doors of opportunity through which he could enter to cause corruption or collapse of the Father’s purposes.  There was in the Lord no principle or feeling that agreed with satan’s, and nothing, therefore, by which he could prevail.  Impurity only has power when there are some principles residing in us which are in agreement with the designs of the tempter, and which may be stimulated by presenting corresponding objects until our virtue be overcome. Where there is no such propensity, corruption has no power.

The Lord’s spirit, soul and body were under the complete Lordship of the Father thus allowing the perfect fellowship with the Father the Lord Jesus so earnestly cherished.  The scriptures promise we can likewise live is such a blessed place through the awesome power of redemption and sanctification if we will willingly yield all the departments of our lives to His dominion.

MOST ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU, UNLESS A GRAIN OF WHEAT FALLS INTO THE GROUND AND DIES, IT REMAINS ALONE; BUT IF IT DIES IT PRODUCES MUCH GRAIN - JOHN 12:24.

When the time came for the Lord to be glorified through the sacrificial offering of His life, He made it clear that His life was likened unto a grain of wheat.  When this grain of wheat dies it is for the purpose of bringing forth multiplied grains of wheat LIKE THE ORIGINAL GRAIN.

The Bible teaches, when the Lord returns we are to be like Him.  The Holy Spirit residing in us will reveal the same attributes through us that He did in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He had perfect fellowship with the Father and He is bringing forth “multiplied grains of wheat” like Himself who will know that level of intimacy with Him that He had with the Father.   In fact, that is what we are commissioned to do.  We are the vessels through which the light of God will shine into the midst of a dying earth.
 
Vessels Of Life

 All of us enjoy the convenience of having water supplied to our home through modern plumbing systems.  The water is provided to our home through pipes.  The pipes themselves do not furnish the water but are merely the vessel through which the water flows.   As the water continually flows through the pipes they are constantly kept clean by the circulation of water.  Likewise, we are the vessels through which the River of Life flows and we are perpetually made clean through union with the Source of Life.   As we abide in Him and He in us, the River of Life not only flows through us to those around us but also perpetually cleanses us.

The admonition to us in this hour is to so thoroughly allow the purging and purification of our soul that there would be no veils between Him and us.  There would be no hindrances nor restraints on the relationship we can have.  The Triune salvation described in I Thessalonians 5:23 relates the full redemption of the spirit, soul and body of the believer.  The mind, will and emotions of man made complete through His great redemption allowing us to become one Spirit with Him in perfect fellowship.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.     (1Thes 5:23)

The church is not yet ready for the promised visitation of the Lord as He comes to His people before He comes for them.  In His grace, a continued season of preparation is being allowed.  Certainly, one of the key messages for this season is this mandate concerning the soul of man... allowing the Lord to deal with thrones and dominions within us that remain subjected to the authority of the carnal nature and worldly conformity.  It is the seeds of corruption that were imparted into the soul of man at the fall in the Garden of Eden. 

The spotlight of the Holy Spirit is presently highlighting the areas in us that have not yet been subjected to His Lordship.  There is a light being shown upon those issues in us that are not in conformity to God and it is sometimes a difficult and painful experience.  However, it is of great value to know what it is we are experiencing and it’s lofty design.  Armed with this understanding allows the release of peace and strength needed for the battle.

Once we attain that sacred place, the powerful anointed ministry we all desire arises on its own.   Like Peter, who merely walked the streets of Jerusalem and the people positioned themselves so that the Glory emanating from Him might touch them, providing transforming Life.  In such a place, we do not have to pursue ministry, rather, we will convey Life every place we go.  We will be Light that will shine in the midst of a dark place through His abiding Presence. 
    
Many things can be allowed to occupy the thrones of our soul and will vary with each individual.  However, each can be traced to the carnal nature of man and the elevation of "self".  A glorious opportunity is being offered to those willing to pay the price and experience this purging process for the joy of perfect fellowship after its completion.  We should each pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us areas of our soul remaining subject to the carnal nature.  Through repentance and the yielding our will, He will then extract worldly passions and impart the Divine Nature.  We are given the magnificent opportunity to come to the Lord and take His yoke upon us– AND FIND REST FOR OUR SOULS.   
 

Many thanks to Bob Jones and Keith Davis for permission to post this article.


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