Monday, September 18, 2017

Known by God

There are three essential aspects of our walk with Jesus Christ - knowing Him, making Him known, and being known by Him. Today I'd like to focus for a moment on the last one.

The apostle Paul said to the Galatians, "But now that you know God or rather are known by God —how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?" (Gal 4:9, NIV). He thought it was more appropriate to say they were known by God than that they knew God. Perhaps that's because right now we only know God in part (1 Cor 13:9). Even the apostle Paul admitted that he himself only knew God in part.

He said, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor 13:12, NIV)

Those who truly belong to the Lord are fully known by Him. David described in Psalm 139 just how completely God knew Him, when he wrote:

"You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you." (Ps 139:1-18, NIV).

That's how intimately God knows those who belong to Him. At this time, we cannot say we know God that same way, but we will when we see Him face to face. Then we shall know Him fully, even as we are fully known.

Yet not everyone who says to Jesus, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father in heaven. (Mt 7:21). There are people who operate in the supernatural, prophesying and driving out demons in the name of Jesus, and who call Him "Lord," but He does not know them. And on judgment day He will tell them so. He said, "Then I will tell him plainly, I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!" (Mt 7:23, NIV)

None of us would ever want to hear the Lord say those words to us, yet He does have to say that to many people, who then go away into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). That is the eternal punishment that awaits those false disciples who do not do the will of the Father in heaven. The Lord will deny that He ever knew them.

Therefore it behooves us to know for sure that Christ knows us. How can we know that He does? He said to do the will of the Father in heaven, and then Christ will acknowledge us as one of His own whom He knows. Paul also said in his letter to Timothy: "'The Lord knows those who are His,' and 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.'" (2 Tim 2:19, NIV)

This is a key aspect that is not preached about much these days. The Lord surely knows those who are His. But if you confess Jesus as your Lord, you must turn away from wickedness. If you do not depart from all iniquity, then don't expect the Lord to know you as His own.

That's why it's best to pray sincerely as David did at the end of Psalm 139 for the Lord to search you and reveal any wicked way in you:

"Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting."
(Ps 139:23-24, NIV)

It reminds me of the words of the famous hymn, Search Me, O God, by J. Edwin Orr that goes:

"Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free."

This is a wonderful way to express your love for God, by asking Him to search you, cleanse you from every sin, and set you free. If you truly love God, then you will be known by Him. Paul said, "The man who loves God is known by God." (1 Co 8:3, NIV). Yet many people say they love God, and not everyone who claims to love Him truly loves Him. Here is the standard by which it will be determined whether you love God.

Jesus said, "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and show Myself to him." (Joh 14:21, NIV). He also said, ""If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him." (Joh 14:23, NIV). Therefore, if you want to be known by God, then you must love Him, and if you truly love Him, you will obey the commands of Jesus. You will obey His teaching.

That is the straight and narrow path that only few people are willing to take, and it's the only one that leads to eternal life. Many would rather take the wide road to destruction. If you want to be known by God, then find out what pleases the Lord. Take the commands of Jesus and obey them. Follow His teachings and do what He said. That will affect every area of your life. Let me encourage you to do that today, if you are not already doing so. Then you will have no regrets on judgment day. If you depart from sin and serve the Lord with love, then you will not have to hear Him say, "Depart from me, you evildoer, I never knew you," but will instead hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," and you will know Him fully even as you are known.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible NIV.

Author's note: If you would like to become a disciple, consider enrolling in our Doulos Training School. You are invited to read Knowing the LordThe Difference Between Being a Disciple and a Believer, The Cost of Discipleship, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Separation from the WorldMichael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, Strive to Enter the Kingdom of God, Straight and Narrow Path, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, A Warning for Married Christian Couples, What's Wrong with the Prosperity GospelGodly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, God's View of Public Bathing, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols Only the Holy -- Three Shocking TestimoniesAngelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven
Baptized by Blazing FireTaken to HellAngelica Zambrano Second Visit to Hell
Australian Pastor Raised from the DeadNigerian Pastor Raised from the DeadRevelation of Hell to Seven Colombian Youths

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping

Friday, September 15, 2017

Songs of the Holy Fire


It amazes me sometimes how opposed to the holy fire people can be, especially Christians. It proves just how much the devil hates the holy fire, which I wrote about in my previous article, Holy Fire Baptism.

Yet those same people who say it is unbiblical have probably been singing songs about the holy fire for years, and they never had a problem with the lyrics. But now that it is being emphasized as an important baptism to receive, they have rejected it. Let me share some of these wonderful lyrics about the holy fire that have been put to music over the years.

The Old Hymns
We'll first start with the hymns, since they were the oldest and came first.

Search Me, O God
In Search Me O God, James E. Orr wrote in 1936:

"I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name."

See lyrics to the song here.

I Surrender All
In I Surrender All , written by Judson W. Van DeVenter in 1896, it says,

"All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His name!"

Come, Jesus, Lord, with Holy Fire
Charles Wesley (1707-1788), the brother of John Wesley, wrote in his song Come, Jesus, Lord, with Holy Fire:

"Come, Jesus, Lord, with holy fire,
Come, and my quickened heart inspire,
My conscience purged by blood;
Now to my soul Thyself reveal,
Thy mighty working let me feel,
Since I am born of God."

Faith, Hope, and Love
The last verse of a hymn called Faith, Hope, and Love, written by Neal A. McAulay (1854-1928), and composed by Charles H. Gabriel, says:

"O God of grace, inspire my love!
Fill my cold heart with holy fire,
That I may live each passing day
As my Redeemer doth desire."

My Faith Looks Up to Thee
I especially like this song, My Faith Looks Up to Thee, written by Ray Palmer in 1830, because my wife chose this one as her bridal procession song at our wedding, to which she walked down the aisle. It goes like this:

"May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire!"

The Fire is Burning
There is an old hymn called The Fire is Burning, written by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898, and composed by George C. Hugg, which says:

"I’ve been on Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
And I’ve satisfied my longing heart’s desire;
For I caught a glimpse of glory bright,
And my soul is burning with the fire.

O the fire is burning, yes, ’tis brightly burning,
O ’tis burning, burning in my soul;
O the fire is burning, yes, ’tis brightly burning,
O ’tis burning, burning in my soul.

I will walk with Jesus, bless His name,
And to be like Him I every day aspire;
For His love is like a heav’nly flame,
And my soul is burning with the fire.

I my all upon the altar lay,
As I to my closet lovingly retire;
And the flame consumes while there I pray,
And my soul is burning with the fire.

By faith’s eye I scan the ocean’s foam,
And beyond I see the haven I desire;
There I view the beacon lights of home,
And my soul is burning with the fire."

God's love is like a heavenly flame. Is the fire brightly burning in your soul? Does the flame consume you while you pray?

O God of Burning Altar Fire
The first stanza of an old hymn called O God of Burning Altar Fire, written by Amy Carmichael
and arranged by Robert A. Schumann, says:

"O God of burning altar fire,
O God of love’s consuming flame,
Make pure the flame of our desire
To win the lost to seek Thy Name."

Revive Us Again
The last line of the hymn Revive Us Again, written by William Mackay in 1863 says,

"Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above."

I Will Praise Him
One of the lines in the hymn I Will Praise Him, written by Margaret Harris in 1898 says:

"Then God’s fire upon the altar
Of my heart was set aflame;
I shall never cease to praise Him
Glory, glory to His name!"

O For That Flame of Living Fire
An old hymn called O For That Flame of Living Fire, written by William H. Bathurst in 1831, says:

"O for that flame of living fire,
Which shone so bright in saints of old!
Which bade their souls to Heav’n aspire,
Calm in distress, in danger bold."

God Sent His Mighty Pow’r
A hymn called God sent His mighty pow’r, written by Delia T. White and musically composed by William James Kirkpatrick (1838-1921), says:

God sent His mighty pow’r
To this poor, sinful heart,
To keep me every hour,
And needful grace impart;
And since His Spirit came,
To take supreme control,
The love-enkindled flame
Is burning in my soul.

Tis burning in my soul,
’Tis burning in my soul;
The fire of heav’nly love is
burning in my soul;
The Holy Spirit came,
All glory to His name!
The fire of heav’nly love is
burning in my soul.

Before the cross I bow,
Upon the altar lay
A willing off’ring now,
My all from day to day.
My Savior paid the price,
My name He sweetly calls;
Upon the sacrifice
The fire from heaven falls.

No good that I have done,
His promise I embrace;
Accepted in the Son,
He saves me by His grace.
All glory be to God!
Let hallelujahs roll;
His love is shed abroad,
The fire is in my soul.

My spirit, soul, and body
Another hymn called My spirit, soul, and body, written by Mary Dagworthy James (1810-1883)
and musically composed by Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908), says:

"I’m Thine, O dear Lord Jesus,
Washed in Thy precious blood,
Sealed by Thy Holy Spirit,
A sacrifice to God. My all is on the altar;
I’m waiting for the fire;
I’m waiting, waiting, waiting;
I’m waiting for the fire."

Revive Thy work, O Lord
A hymn called Revive Thy work, O Lord!, written by Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) and musically composed by William Howard Doane (1832-1915), says:

"Revive Thy work, O Lord!
And every soul inspire;
Oh, kindle in each heart, we pray,
The Pentecostal fire!

Revive Thy work, O Lord!
Exalt Thy precious name!
And may Thy love in every heart
Be kindled to a flame!"

​Keep the Incense Burning
A hymn called Keep the Incense Burning, written by Margaret E. Barber (1869-1930) and musically composed by Edgar Walser, says:

"'Keep the incense burning'
On the altar fire;
Let thy heart’s petition,
Let thy deep desire,
Be a cloud of incense
Wreathing God’s own throne,
Till His will among us
Shall be fully done.

'Keep the incense burning'
On the altar fire;
Feed the flame, Lord Jesus,
Till Thy whole desire
Shall in us, Thy children,
Find free course, and be
Breathed through lips anointed
For this ministry.

'Keep the incense burning'
Though thy faith be weak;
Though in words thou canst not
All thy longing speak;
Silent heart-petitions,
Spirit-taught, will be
Gloriously answered;
Wrought by God for thee.

'Keep the incense burning,'
Hourly let it rise,
Till from opened heavens,
Till from flame-swept skies,
Fire shall fall and kindle
All hearts to a flame;
Making us a glory
To our Savior’s name."

Contemporary Worship
Now that I have shown you some of the old hymns that sang about the holy fire, let's look at the contemporary worship songs next.

Oh Lord, You're Beautiful
One of my favorites is the song by Keith Green, Oh Lord, You're Beautiful, in which he sings:

"Oh Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clean
Replace the lamp of my first love
That burns with holy fear"

What a beautiful prayer that you can pray to God, as you seek the fire of God. It's bright and clean, the lamp of your first love for Jesus, which burns with holy fear.

Fire of God
Then there is the Vineyard song called Fire of God written by Craig Musseau. In this song, Eddie Espinosa sings:

"Fire of God, burn away what is not holy
Jesus, take our hearts and make them new."

That's what the holy fire does inside of us, it burns away what is not holy.

Refiner's Fire
One of Brian Doerksen's songs called Refiner's Fire says:

"Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within"

Brian Doerksen, the writer of this song, said: "This song was both a gift, because the inspiration came so strong, as well as a challenge to me over and over again. It’s really about the bride getting herself ready and desiring purity for the wedding day ... and when I struggle with temptation I find this song is on my lips and helps bring me back to my deepest desire ... to be set apart for God."

I also encourage you to listen to this brief excerpt with Brian about how the Lord inspired him to write this song.

Holy Fire
Another Vineyard song is called Holy Fire. It says:

"Holy fire from heaven
Descend to us we pray
Let us burn again
Holy fire from heaven
Consume our hearts today
Let us burn again, let us burn again."

Lord, Light the Fire Again
Here is another Vineyard song about the fire of God:

"Don't let our love grow cold
I'm calling out
Light the fire again

Don't let our vision die
I'm calling out
Light the fire again

You know our hearts, my deeds
I'm calling out
Light the fire again

I need Your discipline
I'm calling out
Light the fire again

I am here to buy gold
Refined in the fire
Naked and poor
Wretched and blind I come
Clothe me in white
So I won't be ashamed
Lord, light the fire again"

Light the Fire in My Heart Again
Another Vineyard song called Light the Fire in My Heart Again says:

"So light the fire in my soul
Fan the flame
Make me whole
Lord, you know where I've been
So light the fire in my heart once again"

Holy Spirit Come With Your Fire
An English Christian devotional song says:

"Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, come with Your fire
Holy Spirit come with your fire
Holy Spirit come with your fire
Come, Holy Spirit, let Your fire fall
Come, Holy Spirit, let Your fire fall
Let Your fire fall
Let Your fire fall
Let Your fire fall."

All Consuming Fire
A Hosanna Integrity song written by Randy Wright and sung by Kent Henry called All Consuming Fire says:

"All consuming fire
You're my heart's desire
And I love You dearly, dearly Lord
You're my meditation
And my consolation
And I love You dearly, dearly Lord."

O Lord, Tell Us What You Need
A song by John David Coupland called O Lord, Tell Us What You Need says:

"Oh Lord, tell us what You need.
Oh Lord, we’ll follow where You lead.
You own the Sun, the Moon, the sky, the rain,
The hills and valleys call Your name,Yet still there is one thing that You desire.

Till every heart that beats is truly Yours,
And every tongue that speaks is truly pure,
There burns within Your breast this holy fire.
We are Your desire.
Alleluia, alleluia."

Refiner's Fire
There is another song called Refiner's Fire written by Randall Dennis and Jon Mohr, and sung by Steve Green, which goes like this:

"There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will

Chorus:
The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my souls desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire

I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive"

Putting it All Together
As you can see, the holy fire is not a new idea that someone recently came up with, nor is it a false teaching from some strange heretic preaching doctrines of demons. It is a wonderful gift of God that is promised for all the saints who truly love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and follow Him. The saints have been singing about this for centuries, as well as praying for it and receiving it. If you are a disciple of Christ who has never received it before, I encourage you to ask and receive today. If you have already received the holy fire, then let me encourage you to keep crying out for more until Jesus comes back for His Bride. As you do so, I hope these song lyrics will help you.

Author's note If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my other post called Holy Fire Baptism, as well as The Burning OnesThe Happy Hunters on Fire, The Refiner's Fire, and The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer. You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Attribution Notice: All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. All lyrics provided for educational and commentary purposes only. 1) Oh Lord, You're Beautiful, written by Keith Green, Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group; 2) Fire of God written by Craig Musseau, Copyright © 1990 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing. All rights reserved. International copyright secured., 3) Holy Fire, written by Steve Mitchinson and Brian Doerksen, Copyright © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire), International copyright secured. All rights reserved. To reproduce this music setting for church usage, both a Church Copyright Licencse and a Music Reproduction License are required. To obtain a license or for further information visit www.ccli.com; 4) My Faith Looks Up to Thee is in the public domain; 5) Search Me O God is in the public domain; 6) All Consuming Fire copyright© 1987 Integrity's Hosanna! Music; 7) Refiner's Fire written by Brian Doerksen, copyright © 1997 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing. All rights reserved. International copyright secured; 8) O For That Flame of Living Fire is in the public domain; 9) Refiner's Fire written by Randall Dennis and Jon Mohr, 1989 © Jonathan Mark Music; 10) The Fire is Burning is in the public domain; 11) O God of Burning Altar Fire, is in the public domain; 11) Faith, Hope, and Love is in the public domain. See The Sale of Christian Music and Art -- A Robbers' Den?

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.