Education for Ministry

The Ongoing War Against Christian Education

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Ongoing War Against Christian Education

Note:  This article was published by Raiders News Network, a leading source of information for believers worldwide.  View article on Raiders News.

 

The Ongoing War Against Christian Education

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

In a recent article, Michael Zigarelli (of the Christian Post) sounded an alarm that was heard around the Christian world.  The headline read, “The End of Christian Education.”  In this article, Michael shared:

 President Obama recently signed an executive order making it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Sounds innocuous enough, but an unintended consequence may be the closing of Christian colleges and schools.

The order doesn’t directly affect private education, but its unprecedented refusal to exempt religious organizations surely will. Without this exemption the President has signaled to regulators that it’s open season on faith-based institutions.

Here’s one possible future: The order says if you want federal money you must hire gays. The US Department of Education decides that this applies to federal financial aid as well. Students are then prohibited from using their aid at colleges that do not hire gays. Christian colleges go out of business.

Here’s another future: With the exemption gone, accrediting bodies take the cue and insist that all colleges include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their non-discrimination policies, revoking accreditation for those faith-based schools that won’t genuflect. Students are prohibited from using their aid at non-accredited colleges. Christian colleges go out of business.  [i]

What Mr. Zigarelli may not realize is that his revelation identifies one facet of the Elite’s stratagem to end most Christian education in this nation.  The tacit war of the Elite has been going on since the 1940’s.

 My Own Background and Perspective on This Tacit War

Early on in my ministerial preparation, I was fortunate to have a mentor named, Dr. Thomas McLachlan (or Dr. Mac, as we all affectionately called him).  Dr. Mac had completed both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and he was a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain.  During his long career, he had served on a committee with a regional accrediting association.  Those days on the committee were eye-opening for him.   He discovered that there were many anti-Christian agendas at play within the government and the regional accrediting association system.

Dr. Mac saw the gifting of God on my life for education.  While others were being trained for the pastorate in seminary, I was being trained to become an educator.  It was during our many discussions that he revealed to me that Department of Education approved accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program would eventually become instruments in the hands of the ungodly to first contaminate Christian education, and then to eventually close it down.

His influence on my life and the concepts he taught me about Christian education would forever alter how I developed the educational ministry that God was placing in my heart.  I created an educational system that was not embedded in the Elite’s system of educational control – no governmental accreditation and no participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.   With the choke hold that the Elite maintain on education in America, it seemed like an impossible vision.  Yet, I was determined not to compromise in the vision and its execution for the Kingdom of God.

The Accreditation Pitfalls

Accreditation in America was originally nongovernmental by design.  Educational expert, Dr. H.R. Kells (from Rutgers University) wrote in his book, Self-Study Processes:  A Guide for Postsecondary and Similar Service-Oriented Institutions and Programs, a definition of accreditation:

Accreditation is a voluntary process conducted by peers via nongovernmental agencies to accomplish at least two things – to attempt on a periodic basis to hold one another accountable to achieve stated, appropriate institutional or program goals; and to access the extent to which the institution or program meets established standards.[ii]

At one time, Dr. Kells’ book was required for any postsecondary school seeking accreditation.  It is unfortunate that the American Council on Education did not continue his work after the 3rd edition.

Originally, the institutions themselves established accrediting associations and sought to keep the long arm of the government out of the process.  Political agendas spread like the tentacles of a cancer into anything that is connected to government.   The Department of Education (USDOE) was established in1867 to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems. [iii]  By 1958, its role had dramatically changed.  After World War II, the USDOE began overseeing the GI Bill.  Then came Title IV funding or the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.  With the millions of dollars that came with these programs, the influence of the USDOE and its approved accrediting system (regional accreditation) began to hold a powerful sway over all educational institutions in the United States.  A system that was perfect for the Elite to begin controlling and using for their own agenda.

Dr. Kells warns about the misuse of accreditation:

 Some of the uses of accreditation at times may not correspond well with the basic nature of the process.  An example, as explained earlier, is its use to transfer credit.  Some uses have made the realization of accreditation’s basic purposes more difficult.  Some people believe that the requirement that institutions be accredited in order to apply for federal funds, and furthermore the use of accrediting to enforce social policy, are examples of this misuse.  At times the uses may be expressions of raw political leverage unrelated to program quality or reasonable needs in light of circumstances.  That is, accreditation can be erroneously cited to promote or discourage change in a given setting.  [iv]

This governmental or political leverage is a reality in many postsecondary Christian institutions today.   Many of our leading Christian universities, Bible colleges and seminaries have annual budgets that range from five to one hundred million dollars or more a year.  Meeting those budgets is dependent upon governmental accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.  Compromise with the ever-increasing, anti-Christian agenda has become a game of survival for most Christian schools of higher learning.

Over the years, I have received reports from both educators at regionally accredited Christian schools and their students.  Here is a brief list of some of the complaints I have received:

  •  Schools under constant pressure to modify their curriculum or statement of faith from the Word of God to a more politically correct position.
  •  Schools pressured to hire professors solely based on their academic pedigree, rather than biblical orthodoxy.
  •  Students having their theses or dissertations rejected because the Bible was referenced too many times, and there were not enough secular citations.
  •  Tenured professors slowly began to leave orthodox theologies and began teaching subjects more within the secularization movement within Christianity.

Many educators do not share the severity of this situation in public, because of fear of retaliation from the accrediting associations.  In the early 90’s, I was attending a conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Dallas, Texas.  During those days at the conference, I was in a meeting for Christian educators and was seated next to the Vice Chancellor of one of the largest Baptist universities in our nation.  While we sat together, we discussed issues facing Christian institutions.  This man of God looked me straight in the eyes and said, “One day our university will need to relinquish our regional accreditation to maintain our biblical stance.”  His face was set like flint, and his eyes were like fire as he said those words to me.  Our open discussion left me with the impression that he was under a constant battle to maintain orthodoxy at his university.

If we could have an open and honest discussion with educators across this nation, in which they had no fear of retaliation from their accreditors, their stories would convey just how powerful this tacit war against Christian education has been for decades.  Our prayers and appreciation go out to all the Christian educators that have refused to compromise!

The War May Be Coming to a Close

As Christian schools continue to fight for their biblical soundness, the Elite are preparing the possible last two salvos to destroy traditional Christian education as we know it:

1.  The Guaranteed Student Loan Program (Title IV Funds) is Now Implemented Through the Federal Government.

When the Federal Government took over the lending of the funds for the Guaranteed Student Loan Program, it was presented as a good thing for education.  There are a few points of interest that most people do not know about the program:

  • The program perpetuates the continual increase of tuition at most universities.  The degrees in certain fields now cost more than a lifetime of work in the field can pay back.  The average student debt from an undergraduate degree at a state university is now over $30,000. [v]  The average tuition at an Ivy League school is between $38,000 to $50,000 per year (as of 2012).  [vi]
  •  You cannot claim bankruptcy on your educational debt.  It is with you for life and can be taken out of your social security during retirement.
  •  The minimum payments on the Guaranteed Student Loan Program usually do not even cover the interest on the loan.  You could literally be paying on it after retirement.  There is a loan forgiveness program in place that requires 120 timely payments in a row, plus a number of years in public service (i.e., indoctrination into political correctness).

As the federal budget becomes more restrictive, I believe we will see a day in which only government approved programs at secular institutions will be eligible for participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.   Christian institutions that refuse to succumb to the political agendas will lose their Title IV status.  This will bankrupt traditional Christian institutions overnight.

  1. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Agenda Threat

As Michael Zigarelli has already shared, Christian institutions refusing to include classes promoting alternate sexual lifestyles and/or refusing to hire LGBT professors will lose either their accreditation or ability to receive Title IV funds.  Again, this would bankrupt traditional Christian institutions overnight.

Could this happen in America?  Michael tells us later on in his article:

Absurd? Alarmist? It’s already happening to Gordon College in Massachusetts.  Gordon’s president merely co-signed a letter requesting that this executive order exempt religious institutions. Enter the Secret Police. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges is now reconsidering Gordon’s accreditation. As their decision goes, so goes Gordon. And as Gordon goes, so may go Christian higher Ed. [vii]

The Solution – Leave Babylon

When we developed Biblical Life College and Seminary back in 1982, the vision was simple:  provide the same level of excellence in Christian education that is offered in traditional Christian institutions of higher learning, offer it nontraditionally (through home study), make it affordable, and keep it away from the influence of the Elite.  Those have been our guiding principles over the years, and we have refused to compromise, even at our own expense.

Over the past three decades, we have been training aspirants of the Gospel ministry through biblically and academically sound curriculum.  Our professors are involved in full-time ministry within the fields they teach – this keeps our tuition low and our curriculum practical.  We offer affordable monthly payment plans on tuition – when our students graduate, they are debt-free (and not burdened down with student loans).   Today, we have thousands of graduates that are accomplished pastors, bishops, heads of international ministries, and published authors.

Every semester, we hear from new students coming out of the “traditional system” that are relieved to be free of the secular influence.  Through their studies at Biblical Life, they see the Word of God and their Christian faith come alive with untold clarity.  We have received many testimonies that one module will get them deeper into the Word and Christian living than an entire semester in their former schools.

Eventually, we may have to reexamine degrees in the Body of Christ.  The option to issue any degree may eventually be taken away from us altogether.  Years ago, God was leading us to make many changes to our ministry; God spoke these words to my wife, “One day, a diploma from Biblical Life will have more weight in the Body of Christ than a degree from traditional schools.”  I have pondered those words in my heart for years.  It was not until recently, as I examined the proverbial handwriting on the wall, that her prophetic word became clear.  There is a paradigm shift coming to education in the Body of Christ, as the Elite labor to disarm Christian education in America.  It will become paramount for those preparing for ministry to seek out a school that has not entangled itself in the Elite’s stronghold on education and has remained true to the Word and Kingdom of God.


 

About the AuDr. Michael K. Lakethor

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Dr. Michael Lake is the Chancellor and Founder of Biblical Life College and Seminary.  He has served as an educational consultant for many Christian organizations worldwide.  Dr. Lake has authored many seminary courses and served as a mentor for thousands of students throughout the world.   Dr. Lake is a contributing author for the best-selling book, “Blood on the Altar:  The Coming Christian vs. Christian War.”

 

 

Endnotes:

[i] Zigarelli, Michael.  The End of Christian Education.  The Christian Post.  http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-end-of-christian-education-124351/

[ii] Kells, H.R.  Self-Study Processes – Third Edition: A Guide for Postsecondary and Similar Service-Oriented Institutions and Programs.  American Council on Education, MacMillan Series on Higher Education, New York.  Copyright 1988.  Page 9.

[iii] The Federal Role in Education.  http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html

[iv] Ibid.  Page 12.

[v] http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/17/pf/college/student-debt/

[vi] http://blog.collegetuitioncompare.com/2012/09/2012-ivy-league-tuition-comparison.html

[vii] Ibid.

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The Cult of the Willfully Ignorant & the Dumbing Down of America

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Education has been a driving force in the Protestant Movement since its conception.  Yet today, we have believers that completely ignore 2 Timothy 2:15 in an age where information has never been more accessible!  At the same time, secular education in America is being dumbed down.  Theological sound bites do not replace sound doctrine!  It is time to take authority over our education: both sacred and secular.

 

Today’s Church prefers Sound Bites Over Sound Doctrine

Dynamics of Spiritual Gateways–Part 1

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open-doorThe Body of Messiah has been disenfranchised from its Hebraic Heritage and has been thoroughly Hellenized by Western civilization.  We do not understand the power of spiritual gateways, how they can be used for the Kingdom, and how the enemy can use them against us.  This new series by Dr. Lake will teach you what the early church knew about these gates and how it allowed them to flow in power.

http://www.biblicallifeassembly.org/library/mp3/gates/DWG-Lesson-01.mp3

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s "Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans," Sterling’s "Who’s Who Executive Edition," and the "Who’s Who Among American Teachers" for his accomplishments in ministry.

Is More Than the Bible Needed for Bible College and Seminary?

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book-glasses2 Timothy 4:13 (NKJV)

"[13] Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments."

This past week, I had an interesting conversation with a young man that was investigating the possibilities of completing his undergraduate degree through Biblical Life. As we discussed the programs, he asked if we used more than the Bible in our studies. When I replied "of course," he began to chastise me as if I had committed some sin for using materials beside the Word of God in our degree programs.

The attitude of this young man surprised me. When I first surrendered to ministry as a young Baptist boy, my training (even before attending Bible College) was that a minister’s library was essential and, over the years, would become a trusted resource in ministering to the people of God. Great ministers of the past were known for two things: their prayer lives and their diligence in study. All of them had substantial personal libraries. I still remember standing in awe of one great pastor’s office in St. Louis. All four walls of his spacious office were shelves filled with books from floor to ceiling. When he opened his mouth behind the pulpit, the wealth of his knowledge of the Word would fill the hearts and minds of his listeners.

What Made the Apostle Paul so Qualified to Minister to the Gentiles?

The Apostle Paul was a graduate of the School of Hillel. In fact, the wise Gameliel (found in the Book of Acts and highly respected by the Sanhedrin) was Paul’s teacher. Under Gameliel’s instruction, Rabbi Saul (Paul’s Hebrew name) was thoroughly trained in the Torah, the writings, and the prophets. With a solid foundation in the Torah, he was then trained in understanding Greek/Roman mythology and philosophy. He was well versed in showing the superiority of God’s Word over the pagan concepts of these gentile cultures. Without the extensive training he received under Gameliel’s watchful eye, he would have been ill equipped to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.

We should note in 2 Timothy that Paul asked young Timothy to bring his books to him. Most commentators believe that the parchments refer to his scrolls of the Torah, writings, and prophets. As far as the other books, we can only speculate as to what they were. We do know that by his differentiating the books from the parchments, they were not Scriptures.

It was also at the feet of Gameliel that Paul learned the art of writing epistles. It was the leadership style of Gameliel, as a leading member of the Sanhedrin, that Paul used as he was presented with problems throughout the Jewish community and, subsequently, addressed them with biblically based solutions through the writing of epistles. This may be the reason that we have so many writings by the Apostle Paul. His school years trained him to address issues in the communities of faith through the written response.

Foundations for the Hermeneutical Process:

Hermeneutics is the science of biblical interpretation. There are many levels to examine in the proper application of this science.

1. The first step is to look at the context of the sentence, then examine it within the chapter, and then the entire book. Finally look at the concept throughout the Scriptures. It is like dropping a pebble in a pond – all the ripples must be examined. Scripture always interprets Scripture.

2. The next step is to look at the historical and cultural settings of the Scriptures that you are examining. The New Testament has an abundance of Hebraic colloquialisms that are full of meaning. Many ministers completely misinterpret things that Jesus and the Apostles said because they do not understand what was culturally behind what was being said. Such understanding comes from additional books outside of the Word of God.

3. Understanding the basics of Hebrew and Greek is essential for any serious minister. Even if this understanding only comes from knowing your way around Strong’s Concordance, a good Bible dictionary, and lexicons such as Thayer’s for Greek and Brown, Drivers, Biggs for the Hebrew. Digging a little deeper into the original meanings will cause the Word to explode with deeper understanding that can be life-changing. All of these are books beyond just using the Bible.

4. What has God shared with the saints before us? It is right here that some will chide in "See, I do not want manmade doctrines." First, not everything written is manmade doctrines. Many of the saints of old had devotional lives that would put most of today’s ministers to shame. Second, many of their books were what they preached. Like Spurgeon, all those volumes are their sermons written down to inspire those that followed. God even instructed the Prophet Habakkuk to write down what was given to him.

Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
2 Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

If you do not want to expose yourself to the sermons of these men, then what makes you think others should be exposed to yours? They just need to read the Bible, right?

Finally, after the conversation, I looked up his previous school. Their claim to fame was using only the Word of God. Following this model, they were hard pressed to come up with the curriculum to fulfill the proper requirements for degree programs. They were offering Associate Degrees by completing only 36 semester credit hours and the Bachelor Degree for completing 64! In fact, their Associate, Bachelor, and Master programs combined fall a good number of credits short of a true Bachelor Degree (120). Taking such a strong stance on studying the Word only, and then utilizing such poor standards academically, can bring reproach to the name of Christ. As believers, a commitment to excellence should exist in biblical interpretation, academic standards, and lifestyle.

Let us all have excellence of life, ministry, and education through due diligence in our examination of the greatest book on earth – the Written Word of God!

2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)

[15] Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

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© Copyright 2010 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. In 2009, Dr. Lake also established Biblical Life Publishing to make the same materials that thousands have enjoyed at BLCS available to everyone. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s "Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans," Sterling’s "Who’s Who Executive Edition," and the "Who’s Who Among American Teachers" for his accomplishments in ministry.

The Power of Paper

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Over the years, I have tried about everything available for planning, goal-setting, and project management. In my earlier years, I tended to be a gadget freak. I used PDAs, which predated the PalmPilot. I have used the Psion 3a, the Casio, various versions of the PalmPilot, various versions of the PocketPC, smartphones and enough software for my personal computers that I could have run NASA. I have settled in on Outlook, PlanPlus for Outlook by Franklin-Covey, MindManager Pro by MindJet and Microsoft Project for my basic recording (once it is developed) and keeping up to date with plans and projects. Now don’t run out and purchase all of these because you may be surprised to find that I use an extremely low tech method of brainstorming and planning: pen and paper! With more years experience than I care to count, I have found pen and paper to be the most powerful medium ever developed.

In Habakkuk, we find God telling the prophet to write down his visions:

KJV Habakkuk 2:2

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Although this is used in the context of sharing a vision from God to others, there is a principle here. When we write something down and make it plain to understand, there is an anointing for those that read it to accomplish it.

In the Success Mastery Academy taught by Brian Tracy, he shared powerful information in this area with the attendees (which included many executives from Fortune 500 companies). I am going to share a summary of what he presented. (To be able to get an exact quote, I would have to listen to all twelve hours of the seminar again.) Here is my summary:

In having these men and women prepare their goals for the next year, he had them brainstorm on paper. He shared that there is a “hand to brain connection” discovered by success psychology experts that they cannot yet explain. By writing down the goals, an individual increases his chances of completing them by about 300%. To illustrate this, some in attendance made their lists, only to tuck them away in the folios they use for such conferences, and never looked at them again until the following year. To the surprise of many, when they pulled the paperwork out the next year, they had completed over 70% of the goals that they had written down!

Now imagine what would have happened if they had looked at them each week or rewrote them and expanded them each week. The power of paper is amazing. How many powerful business plans started on the back of a napkin written down during dinner at a neighborhood restaurant? How many world-changing ideas were quickly jotted down on paper when the Holy Spirit first breathed it into the heart of someone!

I personally have found that technology can be a hindrance to establishing goals, brainstorming, and jotting down inspiration or the initial phases of project planning. Paper and pen provide a permanent record of not only the ideas, but the process. It is readily available. You never have to wait for it to boot up. You never will have a pen or paper hang up on you (i.e. the MS blue screen of death). You just grab, write, scribble, draw, sketch and develop!

Here are some tips to keep you moving forward:

Always keep something with you to write with. I keep a notepad in my briefcase and on my desks at the office and home at all times. I also carry 3 x 5 cards in my pocket to jot down ideas, tasks, etc. This is paramount to you moving forward in life and ministry. You have no clue how many sermon ideas, inspirational truths and powerful teachings I have lost over the years because I did not write them down the moment they came to me. When the Holy Spirit breathes something into your spirit, there is an anointing for understanding and accomplishment in it. When you write it down, the anointing will stay with what you have  written!

Once you write it down and hash it out on paper, you then can move it to some electronic format. This is really helpful if you are like me; when I write in English, everyone thinks it is in some ancient biblical language. So typing everything out is important for not only yourself, but others as well. Remember to create a file system and ALWAYS keep those papers of hand written inspiration. The anointing to understand and accomplish will always be there for you  to refresh yourself when you need it.

It’s time to pick up your pen – inspiration is about to be loosed in your life!

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© Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All Rights Reserved

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Lessons from the Day of Atonement

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Most of the Body of Christ has gone about their daily business without a clue of the biblical significance of the past few weeks. The centuries of manmade traditions have disenfranchised us from our rich Hebraic heritage and the biblical feasts that belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These biblical feasts serve many purposes:

  • They remind us of what God has done for us.
  • They teach us more about what Jesus has done and will do in the future.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of sanctification in the life of the believer.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of positioning believers for greater blessing.
  • They are God’s way of bringing us back into step with the Kingdom of God. (This one is especially needed in this day since everyone is in step with the current Babylonian system of the world!)

This Wednesday, we will begin filming a new series on “The Feasts of the LORD and Their Spiritual Significance in the Life of the Believer.” This new DVD series is designed to reintroduce believers in Messiah to His Feasts. As we prepare for His coming, we need to get back into the rhythm of His Kingdom; the Feasts play a vital role in our realignment.

Since we are in the middle of the Fall Feasts, I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach on several aspects of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipper) and how it can apply to becoming more effective in your spiritual walk and ministry. This month’s Mentor Tip is about divine accountability and realignment.

There are many aspects to the Fall Feasts (the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles) that we could cover. The Fall Feasts are all about the second coming of Messiah and become a template to lie over the top of the Book of Revelation to see fully what God is showing us. Without the Fall Feasts’ template, the Book of Revelation is constantly being misinterpreted by believers. We will not be examining the Fall Feasts from an Eschatological view point, but one for daily living.

The Feast of Trumpets signifies a time of announcements from Heaven. It is a time designated by Almighty God when He speaks with greater clarity for the sake of His people. It also begins the countdown to the Day of Atonement called “The Ten Days of Awe.” During the Ten Days of Awe, God’s people spend a great amount of time examining their lives and hearts. They make sure that all relational accounts are settled between them and God as well as between them and their fellow man. There is also intense examination of what they have done with their lives since the last Day of Atonement.

The Fall Feasts teach us the importance of ownership. In fact, the Torah has a great deal to say about ownership of land and property. The concept of ownership is important because it reminds us that this world, our bodies and all other things are owned by a divine Creator, the God of Heaven and Earth. Since He owns this planet and all the people that dwell upon it, we must live our lives with the understanding that one day we will stand before Him to give an account of how we lived our lives and what we accomplished.

This year I have personally done that very thing. I have examined my past year, to include my accomplishments and my failings. During the Ten Days of Awe, I have been repenting, making plans, and making many adjustments. I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to this past year. There were places where I stumbled, dropped the ball or allowed other things to crowd out what was really important.

The Fall Feasts and the Day of Atonement were a type of “wake up” call to me. I have examined every weight that so easily besets me (Heb 12:1), examined what is most needful in my walk and ministry, and have determined to completely devote myself to those things alone.

Devote and devotion are very powerful words. Devote means “to commit to a particular purpose.” Devotion means to have “fervent dedication and loyalty” to something. This not only involves placing a great amount of time and energy into its accomplishment, but to remain loyal to it when distractions present themselves.

Here is what I am going to be devoted to this next year:

  • Writing new courses, articles and books.
  • Researching to ensure accuracy and integrity in all that I teach.
  • Re-teaching every major course I have taught in the past for DVD.

To accomplish this, many things in my life that took the focus away from my pursuits of God are being set aside. The things of the flesh (to include most entertainment) are there to distract us from our purpose, to steal our time, and to steal our focus. I am sure Satan will also bring many opportunities that sound wonderful but are simply distractions. Everything must be weighed concerning what I must give an account to God for and what He has called me to devote myself to. I must then purpose in my heart to remain loyal to those things.

Bringing It Home for You

This time next year the Day of Atonement will roll around again. Will you be prepared to present your life before the judgment bar of God to give an answer for what you have done with those twelve months? Can you give an account for what God has called you to be devoted to so you can work in His fields of service?

It is time for you to take inventory. What has God instructed you to do? Categorize them to include: personal relationships, education, ministry direction, etc. Once you have the categories, examine this past year to see what distracted you or held you back. Make plans to remove those weights!

Now make a list of the things you must devote yourself to. Be specific, and write it with great clarity. This list becomes your litmus test for everything that comes into your life and even how you plan your day. Is it part of your devotion to the accomplishment of something that God has called you to, or is it a distraction to test your loyalty? You are the gatekeeper to your life. The Fall Feasts teach us that it is time to wake up and redeem the time. In fact, the Day of Trumpets is also called “The Awakening Blast.” Consider this your wake up call to enter into Kingdom living with devotion and purpose!

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Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Redream to Redeem

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The past several months have been a very powerful time at Biblical Life, both with the Seminary and with our local fellowship. Little did I know when I started the “No More Compromise Series” at our fellowship what God had in store for us. The past several months have been a time for divine realigning with Heaven. In these few short months, we have seen:

  • The birth of the mentoring program, to include the Mentor’s Tips.
  • A breakthrough for writing that I have never experienced before (a real answer to prayer).
  • The prophetic increasing in our meetings with a new level of anointing to bring to pass what was spoken quickly (sometimes instantaneously).
  • God is beginning to realign the lives of both members of our congregation and students as they enter into what God is doing.
  • Financial Breakthroughs: One family even experienced a miracle with being released from the mortgage of their home. We have also seen many other financial turnarounds.
  • Many students have seen breakthroughs in their studies, families and ministries.

This past week as I was preparing my message for our congregation, the Lord was so gracious in giving me a missing piece as I was watching TBN. Bishop Mark Huskins was on the short segment that I was watching. He said one statement that exploded in my spirit and was the missing piece for my message: “You have to redream before you can redeem.” Locally, we have been dealing with Ephesians 5:11-16. In Mentor’s Tip # 5 (Living Life Awake), we also dealt with part of that scripture. In the midst of coming back awake spiritually and realigning ourselves with Heaven, the next question is: “How do I redeem the time?” The answer is in redreaming.

Before I go any further, there are several things that I want to touch on:

a.         The Difference Between a Fleshly Dream and a Spiritual Dream

When I speak of a “dream” I am speaking of the vision, purpose and destiny of your life. Satan has one for you that speaks through your flesh, and God has one for you that was released in your spirit when you were born again. The closer we get to the LORD, the more we move away from sin and the spirit of the world and the more the old fleshly dream dies and a new spiritual dream begins to come alive. The dream or destiny that God has for you is very important. It is part of what will shape you and empower you for the days ahead. A dream or vision can give you strength to go through hard times. Lack of a dream will cause you to stumble even when times are good.

As we realign ourselves with Heaven in this move of God, He is going to begin bringing to life His dream for your life. You have several things that you need to do to guard the dream. First, do not let it be tainted by the flesh or worldliness. Don’t let the devil contaminate what God wants to do through you. You need to realize that Satan will fight you getting a hold of your dream.

He will either bring things of this world into your life or bring discouragement against the dream! You need to get ready to fight his advances. God’s dream for you is worth fighting for. Second, you need to feed the dream. As you meditate on the Word of God and His promises for you, the dream will grow and become stronger. Worshippers always empower their spiritual dream from God. The very presence of God in our lives speaks forth the dream and empowers it. The more time we spend in His Word and in His presence, the clearer the dream will become.

b.         The Conundrum of Dreaming

In the natural, you have to be asleep to dream. The opposite is true in the realm of the spirit. You have to be spiritually awake to dream. This is why everything about the flesh and the spirit of this world tries to put you to sleep. A man or woman with a dream from God can change the world. I remember a powerful man of God that was facing racial hatred and prejudice. What was Dr. King’s response? He said “I have a dream!” A dream from God can change your life, your family, your community, your ministry and even a nation! Wake up and dare to dream with God!

C.            A Dream Brings Change

You will never dream where you are. If you did, it would not be a dream; it would be a reality. In the dream God gives, He will show you new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking, new ways of building and new ways of living. You have to be willing to change yourself to match the dream. That is the purpose of the dream. It is there to show you what you can do if you became what God calls you to be. When you yield to it, you are transformed, and it begins to come to pass. If you refuse to change, it becomes nothing more than a pipe dream — something that will never be because you would not yield to the call.

Your Dream and Your Placement in the Body

To understand what I want to touch on, we will need to look at 1 Peter 2:4-5:

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Those of you that are unfamiliar with your Hebraic roots will read right over this and not understand what is in the heart of the Apostle Peter. The Torah teaches that when you build an altar for the Lord, you must use stones that have not been cut. God chooses their shape, not you. You should also never use brick; brick is connected to Babylon and Egypt. In fact, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, in his audio teaching entitled “Genesis Journeys: The Tower of Power,[1]” shares in detail from the Hebrew how God was upset with Nimrod for building the tower from brick. It is also interesting that while the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, their task was making bricks.

What is so troublesome about brick? The spiritual emphasis is this: Like natural stones, God has made you an original. There is a uniqueness in you that was created by the hand of God, and the Body of Christ (and the world) need you to move with the way God made you. This is why both the spirit of this world and a religious spirit try to mold everyone into a mold of conformity. This brick-type mold is something God did not create for you to be. It is a mold of sinfulness and uselessness in the Kingdom. We also need to realize that the wounds of the past and circumstances Satan has created around you are there to conform you to his mold and to kill the dream! It is time to break the mold of sin and be free in the ultimate truth of God. This truth is so powerful that when you are born again, God says you become a new creature. (2 Cor 5:17) The old brick mold is now supposed to be dead to you, and you are being transformed into a new original as your mind is renewed to the Word of God (Rom 12:2).

God’s dream for you is crucial! It will bring you back into what you were destined to be. It will take you from being a brick shaped by religion, adversity and pain to a living stone shaped by the hand of God. In a moment you will understand why that is so important.

Have you ever seen a rock fireplace? We have one in our home. Finding the right rocks to make up the face of the fireplace is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The rocks that are there fit together and will not work anywhere else. You cannot move them around like bricks. Each rock will only function and fit in one specific place. This is what the Apostle Peter was trying to get across to us. You have only one unique place where you will fit in your place in time, space and the Body of Christ. Only in that one place can you plug in, fit in, find fulfillment and be empowered to reach your potential. Only there will you find contentment and will your gifts be fully developed and fully released. Only there will you make the maximum impact upon the world! Can you see why the enemy has worked so hard in destroying your spiritual dream and vision? Can you see why he has hit you so hard with circumstances and pain to mold you into a shape that would not fit?

We are in a time that God is giving us all a grace to realign with Heaven. It is as if He is hitting a “reset” button within the Body of Christ to bring us where we should have been before the devil forced us to detour. (This is only for those that have ears to hear.) Now is not only a time to realign, it is a time to awaken and to dream again! Dare to dream what the Holy Spirit is giving you! Regardless of past hurts, failures and frustrations, dare to be bold in God and to dream. As you dream, the Holy Spirit will remold you back into what He had in mind when He gave you life in your mother’s womb.

The Gold Principle

Remember when Jesus prophesied over the Temple that not one stone would be left upon another? The Romans wanted the gold that was used as mortar between the stones. In the Bible, gold represents holiness. As we leave worldliness and sinfulness of our old nature behind, our nature is covered in a new holiness that is based on God’s Kingdom and the completed work of Messiah. We see this in some of the furniture of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Wood was overlaid with gold. This represents the natural man being overlaid with true holiness unto the LORD. God’s dream for your life does not bring you into sin; it takes you away from it and can only function properly in true biblical holiness.

Another interesting thing about gold is that it is a powerful conductor. There is less resistance to the moving of power through it. That is why the expensive cables for electronics will have gold plug-ins. Here is the lesson we learn: as we move in true holiness and in our dream, the power that can move through all of us is increased! As each one of us in the Body finds our place and begins to move in it, we all increase in God.

This is why God is realigning us all with Heaven. We can either hold each other back or we can add to each other’s destiny in Christ. God is positioning all of us to move forward. We have been held back for too long!

It is time for you to dream again, redeem the time the enemy has stolen and to become what God has called you to be!

Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All rights reserved.


Footnote:

[1] You can purchase this 2 CD series at: http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com . Every believer can benefit from the teaching of this good rabbi.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.