Christ for the Rockies Magazine
 Articles from previous issues for your reading enjoyment.


They Were Among the Mighty
Men,
Helpers in the War

All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats

by Larry Lee Coats
 
    Nothing is as sweet as the victory of success.  Yet success eludes many because they have not been trained for spiritual war.  Victory does not just happen.  It must be planned for, worked for, and it includes hours and sometimes years of preparation.
    Victories often start in small, and sometimes seemingly insignificant steps.  They are
like brick walls.  One brick must be laid upon another in the proper way.  I once watched
a brick layer build a wall.  He placed concrete down first, then he placed a brick upon the concrete.  He used a level to make sure the brick was placed right and evenly.  He tapped  the brick into place until it was level and then smoothed the remaining concrete until the mortar was neat.  Both spiritual and natural successes are the result of deliberate steps, building each step correctly upon another.  If the builder had not used a level, the lines of brick would have become uneven, and the future brick rows would have been in danger of collapsing.
    Mighty men are not simply the result of genetics or favorable circumstances.  They have deliberately trained themselves and often worked out for hours at a time.  The men and women of God who want to be ready for the Lord’s use must likewise undergo rigorous training and discipline.  Each brick in their spiritual growth, so to speak, must be laid correctly so their future steps will be successful.
    Mighty men who were skillful, trained, and disciplined came to King David while he
was in Ziklag.  The scripture says, “. . . they were among the mighty men, helpers in the
war” (1 Chronicles 12:1).  Most believers are called of God to be helpers.  Like a natural army, the church has some leaders, with different ranks of responsibility.  But the majority of fighting is done by the soldiers in the army.  This is true in the advance of the church.
    Obviously, not everyone is called of God to lead a ministry.  Rather, most Christians are called of God to be helpers.
     Somehow, in the presentation of the Gospel, the leaders have been thought of as the only ones in the ministry.  Yet, what army could advance if everyone was a Captain?  God calls a few leaders and many helpers.  Ministries rise or fall based upon the helpers, not necessarily the leaders.  (However, we do recognize that leaders can cause ministries to fall.)  You are probably called of God to be a helper.  Be a good one.  Find out how to serve and hold up the ministry you are called to.  What a privilege it is to be, ". . . mighty men, helpers in the war" (1 Chronicles 12:1).  The men who came to David were "armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows with the bow . . ." (1 Chronicles 12:2).  These mighty men had excelled in their accomplished abilities.  They had overcome their natural limitations and were able to use both left and right hands equally well.  Let us apply this to the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.  Some believers only want the fruit of the Spirit, no gifts.  Others don't want to develop integrity or the fruit of the Spirit but simply want to share the gifts of the Spirit.  Mighty men that God can use have developed equally in the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.  They have undergone rigorous training and discipline in their character and walk of faith.  Character change is necessary to walk in the fruit of the Spirit.  Likewise, the gifts of the Spirit are released by faith that grows by use.  (Exercise it, and it will grow.)
    Some Gadites joined David as well.  They were ". . . mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains" (1 Chronicles 12:8).  These brave men knew how to use their defensive and offensive weapons.
    Their defense was their shield.  Today, Christians use their shield of faith to quench the fiery arrows of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16).  The devil desires to poison believers with fiery darts of bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, selfish ambition, etc.  However, trust in God and reliance upon His word stops these tactics before they do damage.
    The Gadites were ready to use their offensive weapon, too.  They were trained and ready not only to defend themselves, but to attack.  God has not left Christians simply to defend themselves.  He wants them to assault the works of darkness with the ". . . sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).  Speak the word of God.  Tell it to the lost.  In every area where there is darkness, speak the truth in love!
    This scripture records that the faces of these Gadites ". . . were like the faces of lions . . ." (1 Chronicles 12:8).  Their countenance reflected their boldness, courage, and bravery in battle.  They were fearless like lions.  God wants the church to become fearless since we serve the absolute victor, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Lord doesn't want Christians to cower down to any works of darkness, but He rather wants believers courageously to overcome them.
    The story continues to say that some children of Benjamin went to David.  "And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, "If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment" (1 Chronicles 12:17).  With the wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit and restoration of the Church, the spirit of judgment will be restored also.  The people that enter ministries with the purpose of controlling, or causing trouble, will receive God's judgment.  It will not be a small thing for someone to defame church leaders and spread slander.  God will judge based upon the integrity of the leadership that has been wronged.  David said, ". .      There is no wrong in my hands . . ." (1 Chronicles 12:17).  Amasai expressed the dedication of the Benjaminites to David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! It says, "Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said: 'We are yours, O David; we are on your side, O son of Jesse!  Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers!  For your God helps you.' So David received them, and made them captains of the troop" (1 Chronicles 12:18).  These men were led of the Lord to join David and war with him.  "And they helped David against the bands of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and they were captains in the army" (1 Chronicles 12:21).  David's army
continued to grow until it was a great army, ". . . like the army of God" (1 Chronicles 12:22).
    Those who helped David were ". . . expert in war with all weapons of war, stouthearted men who could keep ranks" (1 Chronicles 12:33).  God has been strengthening the church to do spiritual warfare and be strong.  He wants the church to use every weapon of spiritual warfare that He has provided.  These men also kept ranks.  That means that they walked in the position that was given to them.  They walked in harmony and knew how to fight with the others who were in their battle formation.  They were not lone angers, and would not leave their post unattended.  They had been trained to work as a unit and fight together.  It is time for the church to become the army of God.  Each Christian needs to walk in step with their brothers and sisters in Christ.  In this way, the church will enter the Spirit of victory and experience success.
 
 
 



 
How to be Mighty in Spirit
 
All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats

by Larry Lee Coats
 
        In the mornings my office is flooded with light as the sun comes up.  Brilliant light
chases away the shadows of night and makes everything clear.  Things that were hard to
perceive at night become clearly visible in the bright light of morning.  In a similar way,
the Lord wants to flood our souls with the light of His Spirit and word.  He wants us to
walk in the light of His presence.  He wants to chase away all darkness and the confusion
of the enemy, filling our hearts with light.  “But you are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of
him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).  Christians
have not only been called out of darkness, but they have been called into the marvelous
light of the Lord Jesus Christ!
     The Greek word that describes the church is ’ekklhsia, (ekklesia) and means: a calling
out of.  The church is a group of people that have been called out of the darkness.  What
darkness is the Apostle Peter referring to?   It is the darkness of Satan’s influence.  “Whose
minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the
glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Jesus
called the devil a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).  The darkness is the lies which Satan
has propounded.
     Those who are mighty in spirit have received, and walk in, a knowledge of the truth.
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Those who are united with God through faith in Christ should become like Him.  They
should be filled with the light and love that God is.
 The many attributes of God’s nature and the dimensions in which He lives are
astounding.  Let’s consider His might and power.  He has tremendous power, strength,
force, and influence.  With these incredible abilities He can do everything He purposes.
The Bible starts using the word, mighty, showing God's might in a prophecy that Jacob
prophesied to Joseph.  He said, ". . . his hands were made strong by the hands of the
Mighty God of Jacob . . ." (Genesis 49:24).  The root Hebrew words are 'abiyr and 'abar
which mean: mighty, and to soar or fly.  Joseph was strengthened by the hands of God.
With the Lord's help, Joseph was able to rise above his confining circumstances into God's
perfect will.  Although his brothers had sold him into slavery, and he was put in an
Egyptian prison being falsely accused, God brought him out.  He was strengthened by the
Lord to rise above the circumstances that would have crushed some.
 Jacob said of Joseph, "The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated
him.  But his bow remained in strength . . ." (Genesis 49:23-24).  If you will remain
united with Christ, and trust Him, every fiery arrow of the devil will fall to the
ground.  The Lord will cause you to walk beyond the limits of your circumstances
and overcome them through His might.
     Moses said, ". . . He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty
power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to
bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day"
(Deuteronomy 4:37).  There is no substitute for fellowship with God, since He is the
source of our strength.  His Presence and mighty power are the only real source
of lasting victory.  A person who is mighty in spirit must draw his strength from
Christ moment by moment.  Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless
you abide in Me" (John 15:4).   Have confidence in the Lord, and believe that He is
able to do great things.  Many do not see the wonders of the Lord, because they
haven't sought to know Him.  God is motivated to release His power when we
express our faith in Him and seek Him.  "But without faith it is impossible to please
Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of
those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).  Believers become mighty in spirit
when they seek God and know Him.  The obstacles are not their focus, but Christ
is.
     Those who are mighty in spirit have left their own selfish pursuits to follow
Christ and do His will.  They have received His mission and commission.  Christ
wants to confront the world with His glory so unbelievers will be saved.  "That
all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty,
that you may fear the LORD your God forever" (Joshua 4:24).  He must have an
army of troops that walk in His Spirit, might, and strength.
 The church is realizing that praise and worship is a mighty tool in defeating
the devil.  Men and women of spiritual war can challenge demonic principalities
in praise and worship and overcome them.  As believers voice their triumph in the
blood of Jesus, demons flee!  David was a leader of distinction and also a
skillful musician.  ". . . Look, I have seen a son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, who is
skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man or war . . ." (1 Samuel 9:1).  When
he played the harp, demons fled (1 Samuel 16:23)!   Praise and worship God with
all of your might, and you will see demonic circumstances crumble before you!  If
you play an instrument, play it unto the Lord.  In this way, God's Spirit of might
and power can reside upon you.  When the enemy fought David, he ". . . struck them
with a mighty blow, and they fled from him" (1 Samuel 19:8).
     Mighty men and women of God fear the Lord.  They reverence and revere Him
and His word.  In an age when many are scoffing God, and have no fear or
reverence for Him, God is raising up another standard.  It is His army, those who
dread disobedience and consider it a terrible thing to transgress the Lord's
commandments.  "Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who
delights greatly in His commandments.  His descendants will be mighty on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blessed" (Psalms 112:2).
 Ephesians 6:16 says, "Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will
be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."  What are the flaming
arrows of the devil?  They are attitudes inspired by the devil and ideas from
those who are not in harmony with God.  They are arguments and godless
concepts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.  Doctrines of
devils (1 Timothy 4:1) lead people away from Christ and are rooted in lies and
hypocrisy.  These things are the focus of spiritual warfare.  Paul the Apostle
said, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for
pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
     The devil is a mastermind at argument.  Look at his argument with Eve in
Genesis three.  His arguments have been assaulting the minds of people ever
since that day.  Interestingly enough, his lies haven't changed much.  Those who
are mighty in spirit are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).  They
maintain their freedom from bondage by a knowledge of the truth.  Jesus said,
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
The measure of the truth that you receive is the measure of your freedom.  If you
allow Christ to fill every part of your heart, you will have no part dark.   "If
then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be
full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light" (Luke 11:36).
 



 
The
   Love
       of
         Jesus . . .
 
All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats

by Larry Lee Coats
 
         . . . is wonderful, and surpasses our ability to comprehend it. “But God
demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for
us” (Romans 5:8).  The glory of God is revealed not only in the death of Jesus Christ,
which paid for our sins, but also in His resurrection. “. . . That Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we too
can walk in a new life. He took our sins upon Himself, and now wants to release the power
of the Holy Spirit in us. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,
that just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
         Christ loved us enough to buy our salvation in His own blood. His boundless love
also provided the power of the Holy Spirit that we might overcome sin’s power and walk
with God. What a great miracle this is!  He gives us a new nature, empowered with
Himself.
         How can we praise and thank Him enough for what He has done?  No wonder King
David said, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds
among the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:8)  The God who formed the world with His loving
hands, has purposed to care for us. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the
everlasting arms . . .” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
         Ponder and think upon His love. Ask God the Father to reveal His love to you. It is
the anchor to keep you from drifting in the turbulent times in which we live. The world is
becoming more and more secular—without Christ and without God. But, God’s church,
establish upon the Rock Christ Jesus, will flourish and continue to grow. Paul the Apostle
said, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and
grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and
length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you
may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
         It is so important to know the love of Christ. Let it melt your heart. Consider how
deeply God loves you. Remember that He wants to be your Father, and friend. He wants to
live with you. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My
word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with
him’” (John 14:23).
 



 
The Dry Bones
Become an
Army
 
All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats

by Larry Lee Coats

        Although Ezekiel 37 is a prophecy about the coming resurrection of the dead,  the
principles shown can apply to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days.  Ezekiel
37:1-2, “The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the
LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.  Then He
caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open
valley; and indeed they were very dry.”
         From verse ten of Ezekiel 37, a person can see that the dry bones become an army.
Ezekiel 37:2 said the bones were, “. . . very dry.”  This represents the magnitude of the
impossibility.  The bones were not just dry, but very dry.  When believers look upon the
impossibility of God changing people and circumstances around them, they may feel it
looks hopeless.  For someone to announce that God is going to do something wondrous
would seem ridiculous.  However, that is just what God will be doing in these last days
before the return of Christ.  He is going to raise up a people out of the dry bones that will
become His army to prepare the way of the return of Christ.  Impossible circumstances and
people will be changing.  There is simply nothing too difficult for the Lord.  As the
Scripture says, “Is anything to hard for the LORD? . . .” (Genesis 18:14).
         Those who are caught in the despair of the “dry bones” syndrome, will soon find
that God is giving them the opportunity to change.  If they change, He will bring a miracle
into their lives.  God asked Ezekiel if the bones could live (Ezekiel 37:3).   God often wants
to know if we will believe that the circumstances can change.  Those who doubt, or choose
not to believe, will not receive God’s dynamic miracle.  However, those who answer with,
“Yes, Lord, I believe,” will discover their lives, circumstances, and impossibilities being
transformed by His grace.  Isaiah 51:3 says, “For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will
comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the
garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of
melody.”
         What areas of your life seem like the dry bones and impossible?  Some areas may
be like the waste places--lifeless and dry.  These impossibilities are God’s opportunity.
His grace can overcome anything.  The Lord told Paul the Apostle, “. . . My grace is
sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness . . .” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
 Ezekiel 37:4 is the pivotal verse that the miracle rests upon.  God told Ezekiel to
prophesy to the dry bones saying, “. . . O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”  God
will release His transforming power in the lives of those who will HEAR the word of the
Lord and believe it.  Revelation 2:7 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches . . .”   God is still speaking to the churches, and individual believers.
However, He needs their attention, and a listening heart.  The Lord said, “. . . let him
hear.”
         It is the word of the Lord that will transform the impossibilities around your life.
It is His Word that will transform each situation, and, it is the basis for walking in faith.
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith comes from hearing what God is saying.  The word, “word” in this text; in Greek, is
rhema.  It means the word that God is speaking, and making it alive to believers.  So, it is
not a verse alone that a person knows.  It is that which God is currently saying.  The
rhema word is the word that will grow and produce fruit in the heart of those who
believe.  “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and
understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundred fold, some sixty,
some thirty” (Matthew 13:23).
         God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones.  It is significant that God
used a prophecy as the vehicle for His word.  Most of God’s will and counsel are
contained in the Bible.  However, God still speaks through the gift of prophecy.  When
the Holy Spirit makes a verse alive, it is a rhema word from the Lord.  When the Lord
speaks through a prophecy, it too, is a rhema word from the Lord.  This is why God is
increasing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians
12.   God wants to bring change to the hopeless and difficult circumstances surrounding
His people today.
         Ezekiel 37:5 says, “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause
breath to enter into you, and you shall live.’” The New Testament Greek word for spirit is
pneuma and means a wind, or breath.  God wants to transform the impossibilities with the
power of His Spirit.  He wants His Spirit to, “. . . enter into you . . .” and make the dead
come to life.   It is the release of His Spirit that makes the change and performs the
miracle.
         Ezekiel prophesied as the Lord commanded him (Ezekiel 37:7).  The Lord wants
to speak through many.  He wants His voice released through hundreds and thousands of
those who believe.  God’s purpose in speaking is to bring forth a miracle.  When Ezekiel
prophesied, suddenly God’s word shook the bones, they rattled, and came together.  It is
no wonder that a prophecy shakes some who hear it.  Yet others, find their purpose
revealed, and join the army of the Lord.
         These bones came together.  God cannot accomplish His purposes through
believers when they will not be joined to their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Those who
are staying at home instead of going to church are not obeying the directive of  the Spirit
in this hour.  God wants to join believer to believer.  The army cannot march when each
soldier is walking in his own way.  God is now revealing where he is placing each
individual in the body of Christ.  So each part can do what God created them to do.  Paul
the Apostle said, “in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy
temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in
the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21-22).
         God wants to display His power in the earth today through those whom He has
built together.  If you don’t know where God wants you, seek Him for guidance.  He
wants you to know where He wants to place you.  The phrase in Ephesians 2:21, “. . .
joined together . . .” means to be fit together and bound closely.  You will fit in the
church that God calls you to.  You will feel God binding you in His purposes with them.
Ephesians 4:16 says, “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every
joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does it share,
causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
         This joining in Ezekiel 37:7-8 came before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Those whom God joins, like the bones coming together, will become a vehicle to release
His power.  God is not going to use spiritual lone rangers.  Rather, He is going to
empower a huge army that has obeyed the Holy Spirit to be joined, and bound in the
purposes of God.
         After the joining took place, God again commanded Ezekiel to prophesy.  “. . .
breathe on these slain, that they may live” (Ezekiel 37:9).   This is the hour that God will
be sending the breath of His Spirit upon those who are hungering for Him.  God is
declaring that the impossible will become possible.  In John 20:22, the Bible records that
Jesus breathed upon His disciples.  The scripture says, “And when He had said this, He
breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  The final breath of the
Lord is about to blow upon the church.  He is ready to cause those who believe to stand
upon their feet in His power.
         Though the enemy has buried many with impossibilities, God is going to raise
them out of their graves.  He will restore them to their lands, and bring them into His
purposes.  “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the lord GOD: “Behold, O
My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and
bring you into the land of Israel.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have
opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.  I will put My
Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.  Then you shall
know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD’” (Ezekiel
37:12-14).
 



Keep Climbing

All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats

by Larry Lee Coats

        Taking the morning off, I began driving toward the mountains to seek the Lord.
His presence flooded the car with peace, and I was excited about spending time alone with
Him.  The morning sunshine was radiantly gleaming from the majestic mountain ranges in
the distance.  Cool air surrounded me with the scent of pine trees.
         Ouray, Colorado was the place that I wanted to spend time with the Lord.  A
winding trail leads upward to a beautiful waterfall.  Finding a place to park the car, I
eagerly got out, and began climbing toward the waterfall.  Nearing the waterfall, I noticed
that several visitors were also enjoying the magnificent falls that were plummeting down
the rugged mountain cliffs.  I sat for a moment to catch my breath and thought that the
visitors would distract me from the special time that I needed with the Lord.
         I felt the Lord say, “You must climb higher.”  Knowing that the Lord meant more
than climbing the mountain before me, I realized that He also had a spiritual lesson for me.
Thinking upon this impression, I began realizing that the world distracts everyone.  “You
must climb higher,” also meant that I must climb higher in him, leaving the cares of the
world behind.
         Leaving the easy trail for a harder one, I began climbing higher.  I felt the Lord say,
“When you leave the distractions of the world behind, you will gain the perspective in Me
that you need.” The mountain grade was steep, and I stopped to rest.  It wasn’t the place
that I needed to be, because I could still hear the noise of the people below.  I climbed
higher, and higher.
         After exerting more effort, and climbing a higher trail, I came to a majestic place.
It was quiet and tranquil.  The distractions below were far away, and it was beautiful and
quiet.  A huge pine tree was before me, and the falls to the right of the tree were plunging
over the cliffs.  A mist came from the falls and followed the breeze to the place where I was
setting.  It was refreshing and invigorating.
         I began thinking of the living water that God wants to give us to drink.  His
presence is refreshing, life-giving, and liberating.  He is pure, holy, and uncommon to the
world as we know it.  He is pure love.
         Taking my Bible out of my pack, I looked up Ephesians 2:6.  It says, “and raised
us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  God
enables us to fellowship with Christ as we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  The heavenly
places in Christ are not beyond the most distant galaxy.  We are in fellowship with Christ
in our hearts.  Jesus said, “ . . . For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke
17:21).  He wants us to experience the kingdom of God, not simply have religious
knowledge about it.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to gain new perspective, too.
         Clouds had eclipsed the radiance of the sun for several minutes.  And, I continued
thinking about the heavenly places where Christ has seated us.  The Lord refreshed me as
I let the burden of everything go.  I began listening for the voice of the Lord.  Glancing
again at the waterfall, I noticed that the sun was beginning to shine upon the water as it
gushed out and fell from cliff to cliff.  The sparkling rays of the sun upon the water
reminded me of the light of God’s glory.  I remembered Moses saying to the Lord, “ . . .
Please, show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
         I prayed too, that I might see the Lord’s glory.  While in intercession upon the
mountain side, I felt that new insight would be coming to me shortly.  I returned from the
beautiful mountain's side with my spirit keenly wanting more of the Lord, and knowing
that He would be speaking to me soon.
         The Friday evening service following my mountain climb was in Paonia, Colorado.
It was during this service that I saw a vision which I believe applies to the body of Christ.
It was a man seated upon a horse.  The man was riding at his leisure, and the reins were
loose from his hands to the bit in the horse's mouth.  I felt the Lord say, “It is time for my
servants to get ready.  If they don’t prepare for the battle that is coming, they cannot stay
mounted.  Tell My people that they must get ready for a faster pace.  They must tighten the
reins and lean forward, preparing for the battle.”
         From this vision, I felt the Lord prodding me to say that He wants to use many in
the end-time harvest of the earth.  However, those who want a life of leisure will be unable
to fight or make a significant difference in the end-time battle.  He will only use those who
discipline themselves, and get ready for the race.
 A few days after this vision, I had a dream that confirmed what the Lord was saying
to me.  In the dream, some pastors who are friends of mine, and I were building a dam.  The
dam looked like a beaver dam.  We were building with timber, sticks, mud and rocks.  I
began sensing in my spirit that a massive amount of water was going to be coming.  In the
dream, I began telling my friends that what we were building would not stop the
destructive effects of the water that was coming.  They didn’t want to believe me, and kept
on building the dam.  We continued to build our feeble attempt to ward off the destruction
that was coming.  The ground began to shake.  In the distance we could hear the water
coming.  Its roar got louder and louder.
         I ran for a tree and climbed up high in it.  Soon the water hit the dam with the force
of a tidal wave.  The water quickly destroyed the dam, and people were being swept away.
The force of the water coming destroyed some.  The tree that I was on began to be
uprooted.  However, when I fell into the water, it had become calm.  It was a blue green,
clear and phosphorescent in color.  The water was warm, and many were swimming in it.
So was I.  The destructive force of the water was gone and the water which remained was
blessing everyone.
         The interpretation of the dream was that God’s Spirit is coming with great
magnitude upon the earth.  It will be much larger, and forceful, than anyone is thinking it
will be.  Like the book of Acts records, judgment will come with the release of God’s
Spirit.  In Acts chapter five, Ananias and Sapphira died after lying to the Holy Spirit.  This
final wave of God’s Spirit will release the revival that the church has been praying for.
However, it will also bring judgment over the sin people have been living in.   1 Peter 4:17
says that judgment must begin at the house of God.  The tribulation will be the greatest
judgment the world has ever known.  Preceding it will be the judgment of the church, and
revival and power and glory for the church, too.
         In the dream, the dam represents our feeble attempt to warn those who are in direct
rebellion and sin.  Some, who claim to be saved, are living in serious sin and don’t even
get embarrassed to say so.  These, and others like them, are the ones who will not escape
the judgment that is coming.  In the dream, the people who perished were small in number
compared to those who did not.  Nevertheless, the destructive force of the water came.
Those with understanding escaped the destructive force.  So, those who are seeking the
Lord, and asking Him to cleanse them of sin, will be spared the coming destruction.  “For
God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1
Thessalonians 5:9).  They, who do not repent of their sin, will find themselves destroyed
in the force of what God will be doing.
         The water covered the earth with such blessing.  The Lord will soon release His life
to every hungry heart.  God will fill those longing to know him with the wonder of His
presence.  Everyone wanting to be saved will be.  “For whoever calls upon the name of the
LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  Those, who stubbornly want their own way, will
either die in judgment like Ananias and Sapphira or head into the tribulation period.  They
will then have to decide if they will take the mark of the beast.
         God desires so much more to give men His mercy and forgiveness.  He doesn’t
want a single person to be lost and go to hell.  That is why He gave Jesus Christ to die in
our place.  He wants to extend mercy to everyone.  However, He is also holy.  His holy
nature requires that men repent of their sin and turn from it.  They must personally ask Him
to forgive them, and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
 



Zechariah’s Revelation of
Restoration
 
All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats
 
by Larry Lee Coats

        This is an exciting era of God’s restoration.  God is mending, healing, and restoring
the lives of those who have been broken.  He also is empowering the church again with the
glory of what the Bible records in the book of Acts.  It is the exciting time of the fulfillment
of many prophecies contained in the Bible concerning the end times.
        Zechariah lived in a day of God’s restoration, too.  He prophesied to a nation that
had lost so much, because of sin, and was imprisoned in Babylon.  The Lord wanted him
to speak to the generation that was going to experience God’s restoration and deliverance.
Today, the stage is similarity set.  Christ’s return is eminent among the events that will
soon be happening upon the earth.  However, the Lord is preparing the bride of Christ,
restoring her, cleansing her, and equipping her with power before His return.  Revelation
19:7 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb
has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
         Zechariah was the son of a prophet, Iddo.  The prophetic mantle upon Zechariah
flowed through his family and came upon his life (Zechariah 1:1).  Today, fathers who
serve the Lord, can pass their mantle to their sons.  God’s calling and purposes can follow
families for generations. This was the case with Zechariah.
         In a time of God’s restoration, His word is always, “ “ . . . Return to Me,” says the
LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 1:2).  Jesus
will cast no one away who comes to Him (John 6:37).  His blood can wash away the
deepest rebellion, sin, and depravity.  Whatever the need is, His grace can cover it, and
bring restoration.  The issue isn’t how great the sin is, but will you come to Jesus?  Will
you return to Him?
         This hour will see a fulfillment of what Zechariah prophesied.  The Lord said, “Yet
surely My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, did they
not overtake your fathers?” (Zechariah 1:6).  Deuteronomy 28:2 says that the blessings of
the Lord will overtake those who obey Him.  Similarly, the curses follow and overtake
those who walk in disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15).
         The promises of God’s mercy, which Zechariah prophesied, will be upon those
who return to the Lord with all of their hearts.  It is going to be a joyous time of God’s
restoration.  This final hour will see the completion of God’s purposes in the church.  The
Lord has been visiting His church with mercy and a plan to finish the building He started.
Zechariah 1:16-17 says, “‘Therefore thus says the LORD: “I am returning to Jerusalem
with mercy; My house shall be built in it,” says the LORD of hosts, “And a surveyor’s line
shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.’” “Again proclaim, saying ‘Thus says the LORD of
hosts: “My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; the LORD will again comfort
Zion, and again choose Jerusalem.” ’ ”
         Instead of the church scarcely enduring unto the coming of Christ, these principles
show the opposite.  The church will continue to gain power, authority, and prosperity until
Jesus returns.  It will be a serious threat to the devil and his scheme to rule the world.  It
won’t be until the removal of the church in the rapture that the enemy will gain sufficient
power to establish his new world order.   Multitudes of men and women will be coming to
the Lord Jesus Christ (Zechariah 2:4).  However, the church isn’t naive to think that the
end times will be without persecution.  Jesus said that believers, who give up houses and
lands, would receive a one hundred fold return with persecutions.   During this time, the
Lord will be “. . . a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst”
(Zechariah 2:5).
         “ “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell
in your midst,” says the LORD” (Zechariah 2:10).  Although those who believe are
individually temples of the Lord (1 Corinthians  6:19), God is preparing the church to
corporately be His dwelling place.  Ephesians 2:21-22 makes this clear, “in whom the
whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you
also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.”  The phrase, being joined
together, from the original Greek, means to fit together and be closely bound with others.
God is calling people together whom He has fitted.  The Holy Spirit makes clear who you
are fitted to.  God is knitting hearts together in His purposes by closely binding hearts
together.  The Army of the Lord will stand in strength being joined by the Holy Spirit.
         For God’s church to be effective, believers must join others where they fit.  Each
person must do their part (Ephesians 4:16).  It is when Christians answer this call that
God will move into the church and dwell in power in it.  Do you know where you fit?
Has your heart been bound with a church in the purposes of God?  If not, expect that God
will be drawing you into this relationship soon!  It is what the Holy Spirit is doing right
now.
         Zechariah chapter three, is a text concerning Joshua the son of Jehozadak.  In
application to our day, it represents the unsaved coming to Christ.  Jesus lives to intercede
for everyone including unbelievers.  Their presence is upon His heart though they have
not made Him Lord yet.  Zechariah 3:1, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest
standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose
him.”  The Angel of the Lord is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Joshua represents those who do
not yet know the Lord.  Satan stood to oppose Joshua, trying to keep him from finding
forgiveness of sin.
         The Lord rebuked Satan, and said of Joshua, “. . . Is this not a brand plucked from
the fire?” (Zechariah 3:2).  Though Joshua was in the fire of destruction, and
experiencing its fire, God plucked him from it.  The Lord wants to draw may out of the
fire of destruction, and Satan’s influence.  The Lord did this work before He cleansed
Joshua.  God doesn’t expect those trapped in sin to set themselves free.  They cannot.  If
those who are unsaved are willing, God will draw them out of the fire, like the brand
plucked from the fire in this text.
         Undoubtedly you know those without a saving relationship with Christ.  If they
are willing, God will set them free and help them find Jesus Christ as their Lord and
Savior.
         At a Christ for the Rockies meeting recently, the Lord showed me in a vision a
stable with many horses in it.  God was tearing down the fences so that the horses could
go free.  The interpretation of the vision was that God is breaking down the barriers of the
enemy.  He is making a way for those who were bound.  He is now calling people to see
that they can be free.  Stop believing that you are bound.  Believe that the Son has set you
free.  Leave the bondage of the enemy for life in Christ Jesus.
         The Lord said to Joshua, “. . . See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I
will clothe you with rich robes” (Zechariah 3:4).  When a person receives Christ as their
Lord and Savior, God forgives their sins.  He places a rich robe upon them.  The robe
represents the blessings that Christ died to buy.  “For you know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you
through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).  Christ places God’s favor,
mercy, provision, and power upon those who believe and receive.  What a rich robe it is!
         God is now calling those who have received the forgiveness of their sins to walk
in His way.  Zechariah 3:7 says, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My
ways, and if you will keep My command, then you shall also judge My house, and
likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand
here.”  The Lord wants all of His children to walk in His ways and keep His commands.
He wants those who believe to overcome the enemy by obeying Him.  Jesus said, “To
him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat
down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).  Even your place in heaven will
be determined by what you are doing now.  It is vitally important that you overcome the
enemy, and obey Christ.
         Zechariah 3:8 says, “. . . For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the
BRANCH.”  This  is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants to express His glory
in the church.  He wants the earth to see His power and His glory.  In a New Testament
sense, Christ wants to express Himself through those who believe.  He wants His life to
flow through them.  He said, “I 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).  God
wants to make the church fruitful now before the return of Christ.  God wants the world,
when they see a believer, to see God’s love, life, and light in them.
         A confrontation is coming.  It is between the living God and the works of the
devil.  God will be revealing Christ to the world in greater magnitude in these end times.
The works of the Holy Spirit will ever be increasing.  The influence of the church will be
felt even more.  Politicians without Christ will feel threatened.  But, know that all of this
is setting the stage for Christ’s soon coming.
 


How to Sharpen
Your Spiritual Edge

All Scripture quotes are NKJV unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 1997 by Larry Lee Coats
 
by Larry Lee Coats

        This message began with a prophetic dream that I had on Sunday morning of November 19, 1995.  In the dream, God gave me a beautiful, high quality knife.  The knife had an inscription that made me know how expensive it was.  However, as I took it, I noticed that it was dull and had never been sharpened.  Yet, I knew that it had great potential to be sharp, and serve well.  I took the knife, and began laying one side upon a grinding wheel to sharpen it.  It sharpened well, but took some time to move from the front of it to the end.  Then, I began to sharpen the other side until the entire blade was sharp.  And it was very sharp.
        I believe that the Lord was revealing how we come to Christ.  Believers have the potential to serve Him well, with high quality that was bought with the blood of Jesus.  However, all believers begin their Christian walks with a dull blade.  Christians need their spiritual edge sharpened so they can be useful in the kingdom of God.  Also, churches, ministries, and individuals begin in the same place.  God invests much in all of us.  He gave us His Son to redeem us, the Word of God to guide us, and the Holy Spirit to empower us.  With His deposit in our lives, we can be all that He wants us to be.  However, we must be sharpened and made ready for His use.
    Several things cause our spiritual knives to be dull.  One is human desires and perspective.  In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus rebuked Peter because He did not want Christ to go to the cross.  Peter had a human desire for Christ to reign right then as the King and Messiah.  He did not want Christ to have to go to the cross.  He said, "...Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You" (Matthew 16:22).  This is a good example of how people can miss God's plan because of their human perspective.
        Another dulling factor is that of self-seeking.  Romans 2:8 says, "but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath."  Selfishness is a root that dulls many believers and keeps them from being sharp in God's purposes.  Until a person gives their life to Christ, they will be dull and useless.
        Another dulling root is carnal thinking.  One evidence of carnal thinking is judging people from their appearance rather than from discerning their hearts.  Paul the Apostle wrote of this saying, "For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to glory on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who glory in appearance and not in the heart" (2 Corinthians 5:12).  People who are carnal concern themselves about how things look.  They want the outside polished well.  Such were the Pharisees in the New Testament who Jesus rebuked calling them white washed tombs, full of dead men's boans and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27).
        Carnal thinking also produces envy, strife, and divisions (1 Corinthians 3:3).
        God wants to sharpen our spiritual edge with the revelation of the Holy Spirit.  "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12).  As the Lord makes His presence, and word alive within us, we can choose against the fleshly mind.  We overcome the flesh through the power and presence of the Lord within us (Romans 8:13).
        Christ will judge men's motives, and what they did, on the day of judgment (1 Corinthians 4:5).  A person can do the right thing with the wrong motive, and it is wrong.
        Some believers are working for their own recognition, rather than the glory of Christ.  This is very dulling, and makes people useless in the kingdom of God.  However, those who work only for Christ's glory and exaltation will be on the cutting edge (John 7:18).  The more that believers seek to glorify Christ alone, the sharper their spiritual edge becomes, and they are then useful to the Lord.
        Here are several things that will help you sharpen your spiritual edge:
                  Sharpen your edge with action (Matthew 7:24).
                  Sharpen your edge with flexibility (Matthew 9:17).
                  Sharpen your edge with identification (Matthew 10:39).
                  Sharpen your edge with rest in Christ (Matthew 12:28).
                  Sharpen your edge with faith (Matthew 21:22).
                  Sharpen your edge with faithfulness (Matthew 25:21).
                  Sharpen your edge with the Holy Spirit (John 4:14).
                  Sharpen your edge with obedience (John 14:23).
                  Sharpen your edge with a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).
                  Sharpen your edge with spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7).
                  Sharpen your edge with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
                  Sharpen your edge with the Word of God (Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 4:12).