Good News

The below words aren’t mine. I listened to an online prayer meeting last night and heard the message I could listen to everyday for the rest of my life. I have heard this all over the world and spoken it to others myself. I get absolutely emotionally lost in this good news. My spirit becomes so satisfied and rich with the presence of God basking in this truth. I couldn’t help but go back to the recording, transcribe it, and share it here. May it bless you.May it touch you. May you feel God’s spirit, his presence, his life in the room with you as you read this.

In last January and February I did a deep dive into Romans.

I want to meditate together on what’s been purchased for us, on what Christ has done in us. How many of us ever look at yourself, or you make a mistake, you do something stupid, and you feel bad. Right thinking produces right living. Often times in religious cultures we try to do right living first  before right thinking, right believing. But repentance is to change the way we think. It means to go up to the next place. And so let’s just meditate.  I’m not going to preach at you.

Romans Chapter 4,5,6,7 and 8. I’m convinced you can’t actually know your identity in Christ outside of these passages. When I begin to read these, Romans 4 really shows how faith works. 

Abraham is the father of faith.  He believed God before he had the sign of circumcision. Before you feel the breakthrough, before your family is saved, before your healing is manifest. Before you feel saved, before your prayer language. Before he saw all those things, he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. That’s how faith works and he’s the Father of faith.

Romans Chapter 5 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace of mind starts with God. Peace of mind starts with Faith in Christ.

Faith in what he’s done.  And you can’t add to the blood of Jesus.

How many of you have felt the unrest and the anxiety and the fear of America and all that’s going on in the world.  How many of you guys have felt that? I have to continually go to the heavenly places, Ephesians 2.  I’m present with Christ in the heavenly places and just dwell above the storm.

We’ve been justified by faith. Just as if we’d never sinned. Thank you Jesus for Peace.  Jesus thank you for peace. Somethings you have to cast out. Other things you crowd out. We’re going to crowd out anxiety right now. Holy Spirit come. Peace rush in like a river. If you have been battling anxiety and fear, lift up your hand. We just release the peace of God over you right now.

We have access by faith into this grace by which we now stand. We stand. We’re standing and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Thank you Lord. Peace is not the absence of chaos, its the presence of a person. Thank you for your peace Lord.  Come Holy Spirit, thank you Lord.

You know it says in Romans 5:17, If by the one man’s offense, death reigned through the one man, much more those receive the abundance of grace, ABUNDANCE of grace and GIFT of righteousness. How much grace do you need? It’s never going to run out. No, you don’t understand Tom, I’ve had a tough week, tough day. I know me too but its an abundance tho that is never going to run out. It’s a gift of righteousness that we reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.  How do we reign in life? Through receiving the abundance of grace, the gift of righteousness. Put your hand on your heart and say, “Thank you God that you have made me righteous. I am righteous in your sight. Thank you Lord.

How many of you need grace today? God is my source of everything. I have nothing without him.  How much do I need? An abundance of grace. Romans 5:20 says where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Grace abounded much more. I feel like some of you guys we’ve been listening to accusation. We’ve allowed the enemy to make ourselves the worst enemy and we’re accusing ourselves. How many people need to let that go right now? Yes, let that go right now.

Speak to yourself, “Heather, time to receive some grace. Time to give yourself some grace. Time to give yourself some grace. God has more than enough grace for us but sometimes we’re the hardest on ourselves, right? Say this over yourself, “Say Heather, You’re not the judge. You’re not God. Jesus Christ is Lord. 

Chapter 6 So What are we going to say, that continue in sin so grace may abound? Certainly not! How should we who died to sin live in it any longer? Don’t you know that those of you who were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? There we were buried with him through baptism into his death, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. If we have been UNITED together in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection.  We have been made one with Christ. He is Lord. We’re made ONE with Christ. We are united, co-crucified, co-buried and co-raised in Jesus. 

Oftentimes we get a religious mindset and we say I am going to go and I’m gonna pray to God, and that’s okay, but more than that God wants us to commune with him, commune together. The blending of two pitchers of water. They no longer cease to be separate entities, they become one. Impossible to separate. This is a perfect picture of our relationship with God, because we have become one with him. One with Christ. Isn’t that a good word? You are one with the superpower. You’re one with somebody who is gracious and kind, he is constantly true, it’s who he is. 

Put your hand on your heart, we’re going to receive this. This is an encounter time, say “I’ve been united with Christ through his death, burial, and resurrection. I am crucified with Christ. The old me is dead. DEAD DEAD. Dead dead dead. Dead to offense, dead to lust, dead to lying. Dead to everything else that ’s not Jesus, so I let it go.  Thank you for the blood of Jesus. That we’ve been made one with you Lord. One with you Lord. Knowing that our old man was crucified that our body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

We died to the husband of sin as the authority over our lives. I died to my overshadowing husband of sin over my life and my perspective of my life, and now the wife has been set free to marry another. And this other that she just married wasn’t another man but the spirit of God, Christ. So she has been united with Christ. There is a marriage union that has happened. There has been a death, I have died to the law, I am no longer married to that, instead I am united in one spirit with Christ. I am one, united with him. Forever.

And the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead now lives inside of me.  This is why God has taken away our ability to enjoy sin. Which is why sometimes stuff starts kicking up and can come to God and there is a fountain that has sprung up, it’s never going to dry out.  That’s a fountain called the blood of Jesus. There is ONE hope for a life burdened down with guilt and shame and that’s the blood of Jesus that the cross of Christ has purchased.  Can I say it’s not your enneagram number? It’s not your personality profile, its the blood of Jesus, one blood. Amen. Makes us new.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death, for what the law was powerless to do, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh that we might be united with Christ.

This is the gospel.  There is only way to the father, one way to hope and that’s through faith in Jesus, that’s through trusting in him and what he’s done in our lives. We have been set free from the spirit of this air.

An untrained, unschooled, unqualified woman meets the son of God, goes home and becomes the first missionary evangelist the world has ever seen, possessed with conviction of the Son of God she has seen face to face.  When you see the Lord as who he is, you don’t have to have all the qualifications, you’ve seen something and you’ve come alive.

Quit managing an image for everybody else to think that your something and step into freedom! Do not let pride keep you from getting right with God. I’m going to lose my life to get right with him, washed clean in the blood of Jesus.  You’re going to get free tonight and leave here so full of HOPE.

Thank him for righteousness, peace, and joy in his holy spirit, the free gift of righteousness. I feel like there’s about to be a blast of supernatural risk. The currency of faith of heaven touching earth. Taking risk, going for it, its messy sometimes, terrifying, ABIDE IN HIS GRACE, ONE WITH CHRIST.  When I realize I’m united with Christ, that puts me on a foundation, to look at all the thoughts that come across my screen and to sift those things that are not him, and drink the things that are him. When condemnation comes across my screen, keep going, when accusation comes across my screen, nope that’s not it, keep going, and I just worship. Just stay seated with Christ in heavenly places.

Jesus thank you that we are united with Christ, one with you, we worship you God. Come holy spirit, fill us up. For the rest of this meeting I want us to come with authority.  John 1:12 says as many as who have received him he has given the right to be called sons of God, a badge to cop, its the authority to come as sons and daughters, with risk and faith, we are going to pull down heaven, peace, salvation. We have the authority of heaven as ambassadors in Christ to declare things that are not as though they were and see heaven come!”

Tom Crandall, Bethel Church Sunday Night Prayer Meeting, June 13, 2021

WATCH HERE

What Has Happened the Last Four Years in the Body of Christ in the U.S.??

Okay, this piece may not resonate with everyone but it hopeful resonates with someone.  So you’re a person who loves God with all your heart.  If that has been the overwhelming cry of your heart for the past few decades some of us have been taken on a wild ride.  Let me review in a tiny synopsis a general progression one could observe in the body of Christ before I make my point.  Early 1500’s reformation of the concept of earned placement in heaven through the church – Martin Luther.  1700’s evangelism had the wind of heaven behind it on a number of people abroad and in America – Johnathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley, etc.  Mid-nineteen hundreds we have healing and miraculous through Billy Graham, Smith Wigglesworth, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts, etc.  1980’s Kansas City Prophets with a new normal being establish in hearing from God. 1990’s we have Toronto Outpouring that really redirected the lives of Apostles like Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, etc.  In late 2000’s we have Lakeland and IHOP in glory and presence and miracles and grace with Todd Bentley and Mike Bickle and others.  Then in the early 2010’s it was the seven mountains, going out, taking position, reigning and influencing.

We’re now in the late 2010’s.  WHAT NOW?!?  What is God doing?!?  How are we growing??  What are we learning??

I know for the last four years in particular there are SO MANY people surrounding me that were the crazy-on-fire-for God type a decade ago that now look drastically different.  But I don’t want there to be misunderstanding and so I write.  Let me start off by saying I don’t see the devil.  What I mean by this is that God is not in some cataclysmic warfare against an almost equal opponent in the sky.  God has no enemy that provides any sort of threat and is writing a love story and an expression of himself that we get to be gloriously wrapped up in.  Moving on.

I don’t see the drying up (on a corporate level) of the last jumping-around-in-the-river-season as human failure, performance blunder, and now the body of Christ is supposed to get back on the work-up-the-glory-treadmill to try and conjure up some past experience so that we can roll around and go back to where we were.  I think that those crazy corporate times ended large-scale because they were meant to.  There was purpose accomplished in them and now we are moving on with new experience and fuller understanding.  There was no mistake, no failure, or “drying up.”  When I say moving on, I’m not saying abandoning anything or that anything was wrong.  On the contrary, we’re learning, we are moving on to the greater.

Let me summarize some things for you.  The last for years has brought so much tumult to so many people riding the top of the waves of the last season and has left some people not recognizing the glory saturating their lives now but I see and want to share.  I know a number of people who have been shaken to the core.  Literally the thing that is most important to them was destroyed, has ended, was taken away, or has changed to the point where even we ourselves at our core are hardly recognizable to ourselves.  I too am included in this group.

Unfortunately, (but it was not unfortunate because there was purpose in the experience), I spent so much time thinking I was broken.  After way too many attempts to fix myself with old tools without success the unknown and unrecognizability continued.  I met with a group of people I know intimately this past weekend and asked so many inquisitive questions.  I almost universally have found people in the same position as I: the way we used to operate in certain gifts operate that way no longer, the certain relationships I grew up in operate that way no longer, health or body do not operate how they used to any longer, that person I loved is alive no longer, how I viewed reality before didn’t cut it and I had to change, the entire life I’ve known up until this point looks so different.

So if you in the body of Christ are out there wondering why this growing hurts so much, or why those relationships ended, or why you were allowed to be disappointed or fail there, or why you feel like you aren’t really experiencing Christianity as you once knew it, IT’S BECAUSE CHRISTIANITY IS CHANGING.  Let me clarify; CHRIST ISNT CHANGING, WE ARE.  Especially in the lives who literally would abandon everything for God’s will in any moment of their lives.

I used to say that the latest thing God was doing was family— strong, firm, and free— which is partially true, and a glorious expression of God himself, but incomplete as far as an explanation of what I see going on around me.  So many people are in marriages, raising babies, working hard for them, but there were always those that are not, and how does that fit I used to ask.

Yes we are in a season where we are operating with the creator inside us all and living our dreams but there is more.  Things that the body of Christ are learning in any season have already been true in every season, we’re just learning through experience now more fully.

So many people I know and love are going through their days entirely unobservable as “Christians” to their own eyes, hearts, or to others in outward culture or ritual.  BUT.  But I am wholly excited for God in the NOW.  Productivity has stopped on so many other levels so that that which has always been important to God is what remains.  There really is no separation of heaven from earth.  They are one and the same place.  God is not in some ethereal distance place, or movement, or teaching, HE IS YOU.  God is not in some sign or doctrine or CHURCH.  GOD IS YOU.  There is taking place a complete melding of holy and secular.  YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS HOLY.

God wants each of us to see that the only thing that matters to him is our connection with him, not our PERFORMANCE FOR HIM.  He really doesn’t need us in the way we think he does.  Us being ourselves is the most powerful and clearest expression of himself.  Even though you don’t see all those Christian practices, even if you don’t feel all those holy spirit power feelings, even though you don’t influence people the way you used to, even though you don’t have those relationships you used to, YOU ARE NO LESS POWERFUL.  YOU ARE NO LESS HOLY.  Your communion with God is no less complete.

God gave us rivers and signs and glory and then transitioned out corporately on a wide scale because he wants us to look in another direction with him.  Quit looking for him in the past signs, experiences, and external stuff.  One of the leaders I’ve worked with that I respect the most listened to people when they came up to him about healings and deliverances that happened in his meetings but never gave them a further mention or time or attention.  He remained entirely unimpressed with SIGNS because everything is about Christ, the person they’re pointing to here, now, inside of us.

So many have moved away from religious people, structures, places, or experiences because it was exposed that their foundation was something other than love and we can’t tolerate that anymore.

Family is included in this concept because LOVE is the only binding force between any family unit.  It is the purpose of shared life.  There’s no ulterior motives and so family as a structure remains and thrives, even through the messes that happen within them.

God is in the moment, this moment, the conversation, this conversation, in the now, and here.  So much of the glory of Christian culture is fading away.  Christ is in no way fading away, the culture we’ve created around him that does fade is NOT HIM.  Language, doctrines, titles, hierarchies, separation, exclusion, condescension, none of them have been missed by me now that they’re gone.  DO YOU REALIZE SOME CHRISTAINS NOW LOOK LIKE SECULAR PEOPLE BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT WAS RELIGIOUSLY DEAD IS NOW GONE FROM THEIR LIVES?

What if ONLY LOVE REMAINS??  What if all those glory experiences, all those hours in prayer, all those encounters of love, all those hard times, our identity being shaken to the core, all those structures, all that revelation, were meant to build this one thing in us; our ability and capacity to love one another.  To love our families.  To Love ourselves.  And everything else was a circumstancial tool to that end of being unconditional love.  And not in the fluffy performance sense but the gritty steadfast kind that people are changed by, including ourselves.

I believe God is reducing the glory of everything that is not love.  If something, anything in life, religious or not, is rooted in anything other than love it has lost its taste in our lives.  And ANYTHING, whether religious or not, that is ROOTED AND GROUNDED in LOVE is breathes fresh air into our spirits in this season.

Love isn’t some vague idea, it is practical connection between ANY two human beings or any human being and God.  This is the boiled down essence of everything that is the person of God and his kingdom.  Everything God does is in the purpose of building or preserving that.  If anything remains in our life for any reason–religious or not (especially religious ideas and concepts fostering any amount of rejection)-that actually threatens connection, it is moving counter to the kingdom of God and the living expression of love itself; heaven on earth.

This is just a view from my slice of the pie.  Hope this encourages someone.  Peace.