April 7, 2007
By Kriston Couchey
Then the Pharisees had a counsel about how they might trap Jesus with His words. They sent out their disciples along with the Herodians and they said to Jesus, “Master, we know that you love truth and teach the way of God in truth, and you are no respecter of persons”. “So please tell us, is it lawful to pay taxes unto Caesar?”
Jesus said, “Show me a Denarius!” He then held it up and cried aloud for all to hear, “No Taxation without Representation!” Pharisees and Herodians were astounded by this brave defiance of the Roman Oppressors.
Then Jesus stood and cried with a loud voice, “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” Someone from the crowd cried out, “Hail Jesus the Messiah!” the chant grew until the whole crowd was shouting through the streets of Jerusalem, “Hail Jesus the Messiah!”
The Pharisees thrilled to see that Jesus was finally concerned about their condition of political and economic oppression bowed before Jesus and pledged their allegiance to Him. The council of Sanhedrin led by Jesus Drew up a declaration and sent it the governors and the Emperor declaring Independence and freedom from Roman dictatorship. This Declaration defended each mans right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The rest is all history. After the Passover, on the day of Pentecost Jesus poured out the Spirit of Independence on his followers and the Kingdom was born in power and majesty. It covered the whole earth with Jerusalem as its capital. Jesus set up a democratic government giving the people the right to vote and choose their leaders. Of course Jesus has won every election for World Ruler of the Kingdom, because after all, He is God! And all the lesser seats of power have gone to those who pattern their rulership after His pattern of Kingdom advancement. That’s why the USA is called “One Nation under God”.
Bedtime Story Part II
By Kriston Couchey
The tax collectors were considered scum of the earth. It was unjust! In order to finance the Empire’s endeavors, tax burdens that truly caused hardship to the people were laid on the backs of those who did not benefit from them.
Territorial governors ruled over the people, making laws and decisions that affected the people’s lives without their consent. It seemed that any time something prospered, the dictatorial hand of the Empire found a way to profit off of it. Any form of standing up to the Empire was brutally repressed, and repaid with more taxes. This caused the people to despise the tax collectors.
Worse yet was the way in which the military took advantage of the people. They could demand food and lodging from anyone they desired, taking advantage of people’s resources.
And so, the American colonies were in dire straits with few options. So a conference of civil and religious leaders got together and decided to pray and seek God for 30 days. Through their time of prayer they became broken and experienced times of repentance and weeping over their sins.
The place they met was Boston, a stronghold of Humanism and Unitarian thinking. Years later this time of repentance and forgiveness became known as the Boston Massacre because at that place God massacred their pride, independent spirit, and rebellion; and replaced it with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
This repentance spread all over the colonies. With an explosion like that of the Hebrides revival, bars closed, people fell down in the streets crying out to God for repentance, and the atmosphere of the colonies was changed to one of holiness to God.
If a British soldier demanded a colonist to feed them they would not only feed them but also give them a cup of water and the shirt off their back. They would carry their pack for two miles instead of one. The soldiers also repented and began to love like the colonist and live in harmony with them.
The governors and tax collectors repented as well, and many resigned. The few left began to ease the burden on the people, listening to them and serving them.
But the King of England was angry. Soldiers were leaving the service, governors and tax collectors resigning; and when a new one took their place they also became too spiritually minded to be of earthly good for the king.
Also, France and Spain both declared war on him. It was as if God had turned against the Empire. He sent ships of soldiers to the colonies to put down the uprising, but when they got within 50 miles of land, the Spirit of repentance was so strong they would weep and repent. When they stepped on land they would embrace the colonist with a love and tenderness that belied their soldier garb.
For those who would not repent, a great fear would overtake them and they were unable to function in their capacity as a soldier because their psychotic fears overwhelmed them. These often left straightway for England or some other port so as not to be tried as traitors to the king.
The king lost the war with France and Spain. With no way to attack or take over the colonies, He made a truce with them to not war with them or to infringe any sort of control over the colonies. His one demand was that they send teachers to the empire to teach them this new way of love and forgiveness. For love overcomes all things.
Yes these are just STORIES, they are not true....
A Parallel to Ponder
March 23, 2007
By Kriston Couchey
Men of Integrity
These men had had enough. Lifestyles and laws that were opposed to the commandments of God were threatening to change the very culture of their nation forever. Something must be done. So this group of concerned men fought against the tide of wickedness until they had once again made the establishing of the commandments of God honored rather then ignored or looked down upon.
The people looked to these men for direction and leadership concerning spiritual issues. They fasted and prayed. They stressed purity and strove to obey all the commandments of God and did not associate with anyone who promoted sinful behaviors, or pagan religions that did not honor God. They wanted the nation to turn back to God, as it was when God first established it.
The Oppression of the Colonial Empire
There was a nation across the sea that was taxing them heavily. These taxes were used for war campaigns, and building projects in others regions of the empire. But there was no representation of the people being taxed in the use of these funds. And those collecting taxes could not be trusted.
There were regional rulers appointed by the empire that the people had no say about. They lived opulent lifestyles that were an affront to the rest of the people in the nation.
The armed troops could just about do anything they wanted and would demand things of the people and they had to obey.
Men of Liberty And Independence
These men of integrity wanted to throw off the oppressors. They wanted a nation that was free to worship God as He demanded and was built upon the foundation of the commandments. They were waiting for the right moment to once again restore their nation to its former glory and right standing as a nation chosen by God. They wanted to break free of the oppression and rise up again as righteous people who would lead the world in the light of truth, God’s truth.
Then Came a Carpenter
These men were waiting for the promised Messiah to come and restore Israel to its former Glory. But something happened they did not expect. A carpenter came along preaching,” Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” He did not preach about the need for Roman oppression to end. He did not join with the Pharisees (our men of integrity) in opposition to unfair taxation. He did not talk about restoring the nation (Israel) established by God to its former glory. His only interest was the kingdom of God, which was established in the hearts of men.
This man did not go to their schools. He was not of their sect. He didn’t fast like them, pray like them, and he was not impressed with their abilities to keep the commandments. He spent his time and efforts with the hated tax collectors and with the people the Pharisees tried so hard to not associate with.
He talked of love and the kingdom of heaven that was to start as a mustard seed and then grow to overshadow everything else. These men wanted no part of that kingdom, they wanted their kingdom back and he was leading all the people away from them and their dreams to restore Israel.
The people talked about how unlike the Pharisees he was. Yet the Pharisees would have to lay down their ideas and dreams to follow this man, and that was out of the question. They loved their nation. God had established it and made a covenant with its people. This man was fighting God by not joining with them.
Claims of the Son
The worst of it was he claimed God as His father, making himself out to be equal with God. If God were his father then he would have the interests of the nation on his agenda. The last straw was when he came to Jerusalem and the people hailed him as the king. He offended the business community that was making money in the temple by calling them thieves. Then he had to audacity to tell the people to “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” He may as well promote the empire fully with that heretical statement.
From men of Integrity to men of Fleshly means
“He must die so the nation will be preserved”, was the determination of the chief priest. The scribes, Pharisees and elders decided to go down a path that was dark indeed. The rest is History.
Do you really want to try to turn back the clock in your nation to what it used to be? Or do you want to go forward to the establishing of God’s kingdom? The “Stone not made by hands” in Daniel 2:44, is the Kingdom of God which will crush ALL nations of the earth to dust and will be established over all.
Restoration Before Revival
By Kriston Couchey
Matt.17: 10 Then his disciples asked him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall come first and restore all things.
ANALOGY OF RESTORATION
The Lord has placed on my heart an analogy I believe reflects His plan for the restoration and revival of His church. The analogy is one of a Hotel built in the old west during the age of the horse and carriage.
Initially the character and structure of the building reflect the age in which the hotel is placed in service. Over time, the original character and structure are barely recognizable as fads and styles from different eras are added on to the point of making the hotel obsolete for modern use, as well as unrecognizable from the age for which it was built. Finally, the hotel is unprofitable and is ready to be torn down in order to make room for a business that can sustain financially on the property.
The owner makes a decision to “restore” the hotel to the original character and structure of the old west. He begins by determining what is “age” appropriate and removes all portions of the building that do not express the “character” of that “age”. Some foundations were added to the original structure and were laid for later additions. These additions are torn down, and the foundations are broken up and removed. The original foundation is once again the sole support for this structure.
There were walls and rooms added within the structure that make the original openness of the lobby shrunk to a small entryway. These walls are removed and the openness is returned. The original hotel rooms were later divided into two or three smaller rooms. The purpose for the division was for selfish gain. These dividing walls are removed and the large rooms are once again opened.
Each individual room had added on its own shower and sink. These are removed and the centrally located washroom is rebuilt. All customers must now use the communal toilet and cleaning facilities. The windows, doors, handles, lights, trim, window treatments, and decorative designs must all be replaced with pieces that reflect only the age for which the building was built.
Once the restoration is complete, the hotel is now reopened for business, and a revival of hotel life and traffic flourishes because of the beauty of the restored edifice.
The Kingdom Age
There is an “age” to which the temple of God is being restored. The “Kingdom Age” appropriate “character” traits that reflect the kingdom of God will again be seen in the structure of His house. Restoring this character and structure is the first priority of the Lord. He has brought refreshing to strengthen us for the task of restoring His temple (people). But true revival awaits the restoration of the habitation God desires to indwell.
What is it within our character and the way we structure ourselves that keeps “revival” from happening? Do we assume that what we are building is “age” appropriate? Or do we just keep adding on to the original building preaching and prophesying revival and not seeing it because we ourselves are it’s biggest hindrance. Could this be why the “Hotel” is obsolete and people no longer want to come and find rest? And the ones who were coming are now leaving?
Much could be said about what must be torn down and removed. Much could be said about what must replace what is to be removed. Be aware that most "remodeling” is “modeling” something currently popular but different then the original design.
Restoration is the key that opens the door to revival
MONEYCHANGERS IN THE TEMPLE
A House of Merchandise
John 2:15-16 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
I once heard of an apostle named Paul
My Name is Lydia. I live in Philippi, Macedonia. I once heard of an apostle named Paul. He was so anointed. We were a small synagogue that was struggling you see. We had lost our building and were meeting to pray down by a river. One night my husband had a dream and in it he saw Paul. He begged him in the dream to come and help us. He woke up and realized that it was a dream from God and that God was going to let Paul know we needed help. He didn’t come, and didn’t come. We finally sent off letter to him and waited.
A letter from Paul
Years later we at the small synagogue were excited; a letter out of the blue came from Paul saying he was willing now to come to our city. But our excitement waned as we read on. He said he would have come earlier but he had a minimum requirement of 1000 denarius per meeting. He knew we were small and couldn’t afford him at the time, so he didn’t bother. But he was sure by now we had saved enough money, and could advertise his arrival to all the synagogues in the surrounding areas. We had no money. We were crushed.
But not to worry, he had now written some books! Well, we couldn’t afford those either, the two volume Corinthian series was 35 denarius a book, but on special 55 denarius for both.
He wrote he could come and pray for us for a donation! But the cost of breaking off generational curses was a donation minimum of 100 denarius per session, per person. We would have to live with our curses.
But wait, we had hope! If we want to be in relationship with Him, we only have to sign a covenant agreement with him to be part of his network. But the only way we can have relationship with him is to agree to pay a monthly fee or give a percentage of all money we are supposed to collect from our poverty stricken congregation. We didn't have enough money to be his friend either.
It said in the letter we can get his worship leader to come! But we have to rent a coliseum and charge 15 denarius a head. We can’t afford the coliseum, so we can’t afford to worship God.
We then read he’s holding a conference on how to prosper in the 1rst century apostolic movement, but it will cost 75 denarius for pre-registration, or 100 at the door.
We decided to sign up for his newsletter. This newsletter would give us the latest revelations and insights into what God is doing in the 1rst century. But when we received the newsletter it was a three paragraph teaser ad for buying the latest book, and the rest was full of ads for books he was selling by apostles and prophets. Once again, we could not afford to hear from God and get the help we needed. We were crestfallen.
Well anyway, I once heard of an apostle named Paul.