It was called a Buffalo. It was a machine used to cut metal. Being newly assigned as a non-rated Fireman in the U.S. Navy I was determined to work with metal in the Hull Technician rating. My first assignment for this type of work onboard the Naval Ship, USS Holland AS-32, was in shop 11A, the ship-fitter shop. The place? Charleston, South Carolina, which was one of the first states of the Union with quite a history.
Being a young sailor just starting out in the Navy, naturally I wanted to learn. A fellow ship-mate taught me concerning one of the most important machines in our shop: the Buffalo. It could cut angle iron, flat bar and even different kinds of channel metal for fit-up purposes in preparation for welding or whatever would be needed for various fabrications or shipboard hull alterations. There were many dangers to this Buffalo outfit. If you get something caught in between the works by stepping on the foot petal by accident then you could lose a digit or something terrible.
One day he shared with me how he stepped on the petal by accident at a time when he did not mean to and that part of the finger material of his glove which was on his hand at the time got cut off and he actually panicked thinking his finger may have been cut off. His body short-circuited! Next reaction? He passed out cold on the deck. When he came to he looked at his holed glove finger tip and removed his glove to find out that his finger was just fine! It was all just in his head. But could you blame the guy? His was just a normal human reaction.
A few weeks before this I had visited a chapel on base property and being that I had a knack for music I often would get the itch to play the piano as it is an expression of my personality. On this particular occasion I played and sang for hours. Maybe it was two or three.
Some few months later I had a dream one night about the Buffalo. In the dream I cut off my right hand in the Buffalo and was left with a stub. But I did not so much notice the stub but rather it was lack of the hand or the fact of being without it that bothered me. Of course it was not a reaction such as my shipmate had when he had been awake and it being so sudden and all. Mine was the reaction of someone who had been asleep. It was not the effect of shock from gore of blood or pain or panic that I felt because I had no pain and saw no blood. So what did I feel? Mostly emptiness. There was also somewhat frustration. Why? Because the main way I express "me" was cut away from me. I felt ripped off. (Hello, I guess that would be a literal rip off, huh!?)
. I felt uselessness.
Like there was less meaning in my life. It was isolation under a pallor of confusion and depression. Why? Because the right hand is the main hand for playing the piano as it usually does the most work and usually holds the melody line. There were so many emotions I have that are expressed seemingly no other way. So I guess the emptiness and pain I felt was the secondary kind a person would feel not the primary reaction. Of course what I'm speaking of is the more long lasting type. Truly our bodies are for expressing ourselves as to what is within to come forth in life.
Then I awoke. My senses? They were not dull, but they were down as to the emotions. As I awoke I even more fully realized the pain and the depression of such a loss. I mean the permanent type pain, not just the temporary, first reaction. It was then I sat up in bed and sadly looked down at my hand but was glad to find it was there in real life but I still felt the sadness from the dream. It was then I felt even sadder at the prospect of being without that hand than in the dream and was really sinking into my depressing feelings of emptiness and lack of fulfillment. THEN
the Lord spoke to me: "Now, .. how do you think I feel?" Suddenly I was in horror as I tried to recoil as much as possible from the emotions I was feeling at the time! I realized just Who it was Who was speaking with me and the fact that His Body is much more divided even though in another sense it never can be. It seemed I was being brought into a great Heart of pain that was just endlessly beyond my comprehension of what pain even is!! I answered Him: "Lord, I can not even begin to conceive of how You feel."
You say you love the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you really? Do you really even know what that means? The Scriptures tell us in Ephesians 1:23 that the ecclesia (which is a better word than the archaic traditional word "church," which was coined in the King James age from man's political cultural mindset of those times. Also it is of Roman pagan sources) is His Body which is the fullness of Him that fills all in all. If you really care about another person you will care about whether or not they are really happy or pleased. In other words are they fulfilled? Do you think the Lord could be fulfilled when His very Body which is His fullness (the Greek meaning of this word is overflow or expression! Same as what my dream conveyed or rather conveyed the opposite thereof) is divided so much that the Head cannot even send forth a normal signal and be able to reach out to the dying? Much less express what kind of wonderful loving and living is resident within Him? His expression and His channel to shine forth and reveal Himself to mankind is negated, divided, thwarted and maimed. It's frustrated.
You tell me you're on fire and you want to go all the way with Jesus Christ!
You tell me you've surrendered all and laid it all on the altar at the Master's feet!
You tell me you would go anywhere, do anything and suffer anything to be in the center of His will!
You tell me you want to go all the way with the Lord no matter what!
You tell me you want everything God has for you and you don't want to miss out on anything!
Well, good for you!! Poor God!!!!!!! Does anyone even care what it is that fulfills Him? Do you even know? But if you're following Him just for what you can get out of it or just to get your needs met, guess what? You've joined the wrong army! I have no intention of gaining anything by writing this book except maybe to please the Lord's heart maybe just a little! I'm not writing this to please man and I don't care whether or not some Pharisaical hypocrites' opinions get offended as a result of my crossing against the grain of today's self centered, man centered gospel mindset which only has one concern: to meet the needs of flesh and blood forgetting the needs of the Lord Himself!!! You say with your mouth "not my will but Yours, Lord" and you say you love Him and want to be with Him but does that include making Him happy or frustrated and miserable???? Maybe He would appreciate someone just taking the time to sympathize with Him and listen to Him and really love Him. So many of us are like the wife who bustles around the house doing doing doing things for her husband (?? herself maybe?) and then some of us are even more foolish and bow down to the ground. Now what if this woman after wearying her poor husband by doing ten million tasks then came to him and threw herself at his feet on the ground and said "you are so wonderful, my big big husband, how I adore you!" He would say "Silly woman! Get up off the ground and just give me a kiss!" Do you really love the Lord Jesus Christ? Then give Him what He wants, what He really wants!! He wants HIS HER!! And she is real. She is going to marry the Eternal Lamb. And She is a real person!!!! And you are NOT that person! BUT you are part of her! Or should I say that that within you which is of the born again new creation DNA life of God is part of her and only that. There is nothing in her, which has or ever had anything to with the old creation.
Well, my friend, now if you made it this far through my prologue and preview of things to come and are still reading this without being offended and stumbled by the offense of the cross, then do not stop! If you really love Him and really want to know the truth of what will bring fulfillment to HIS HEART and tender blessedness to HIM and not just you then know this: God has an eternal purpose. And He planned this plan to fulfill this purpose because He has a strong deep and very passionate heart's desire. There is no one alive (unless they've already gone insane) who does not have a dream that they want to be fulfilled, even if they think it could never happen. Now why should God be any different? Were you not made in His image? Then if you want to know and even feel things from HIS heart and His perspective and His insight then read on. Why? Because this concerns His purpose not mere man's purposes being accomplished and are direct revelations of how that can be carried out and how the tracks can really be laid for it to happen. Why not be a part of His dream?
What is the goal of this book? To help the reader to get positioned or at least travel towards that destination where God can more easily bring you to the place where He can give you a revelation of His heart's desire by bringing you into His very heart. It is that you might actually experience the deep longings He has to the point where you feel what HE feels because you see what He sees: ..... through His eyes! Now I doubt if this book will DO much of that for you but certainly it will head you in the right direction. To be brought into actually drinking deep into the heart of your Lord concerning His heart's desires and to be involved with what HE is going after (not what some denominational district supervisor is going after!) I would recommend "The Divine Romance" by Gene Edwards. I will not lie to you: that is a far greater book than this one and deals with the very heart of the matter of God's heart. On what HE wants! I recommend that book to you no matter what.
I have called this book the most important revelation ever given to a man in the 20th century. Not the highest! Not the greatest! Not the deepest. Not the best. Now that sounds like quite a boast but read on and you'll have to agree its true unless the enemy of your soul has pulled the wool over your eyes and you still remain veiled in the outer court. Notice I didn't say "the greatest revelation" Now that would be ludicrous when I've lived in the same century as such men as T. Austin Sparks, Watchman Nee, Bahkt Singh, especially Witness Lee, Prem Pradham and Gene Edwards! Also notice I did not say I am the most important or greatest man because of this. No, I was just a guy who was at the right place, space and time for the Lord to be able to reveal something of such grave, serious importance to His heart and it is His Spirit that bids me to write. Now I will admit that I'm acquainted enough with some of their ministry to be able to stand on their shoulders and see more somewhat (with foggier vision). But I think that the reason I had this experience, and not someone else, was just that it was a circumstantial experience: the circumstances were right at the right place and the right time.
You've probably guessed by now that I'm not much of a friend to today's Christianity. Wow! You've got some insight into my personality! You probably think I'm just a little too hot. Actually not hot enough! I'm burning (don't worry its under the spirit's control!) and that's not enough! You ask why are you not the friend of today's brand of Americanized Christianity? Why should I be? What kind of world do we live in? Leonard Ravenhill once said "As the church goes so goes the world." Oops! The Christians today must be doing something wrong. Well maybe you've guessed I'm just an enraged person having been hurt in the past. Actually that is not so. Anger based on seeing reality is never merely based on past experiences, but rather it is based on seeing that Christians today are missing out on SO MUCH of the wealth of our Lord which the world does not even have a clue that these spiritual things exist. Hey! You're under arrest! Christians today don't even know they exist! You probably don't even have the foggiest idea of what I'm talking about when I mention the unsearchable riches of Christ! Maybe some have tasted a few crumbs from the Lord's table by accident. (By the way if any of my Pentecostal friends and brothers out there are reading this: you are probably thinking "Oh yes I have! I know what those things are." Well you Pentecostals are probably THE most deceived into thinking you have got a corner on Jesus Christ and much of experience of Him and are the most proud [yes, I said PROUD!] among today's believers! Believe me, you have hardly even scratched the surface of the things of God !!! Hey, it's not your fault! You've never even been told how to enter in!) So what are some of the major culprits besides vast ignorance (what do you mean? In such an enlightened age as this?? Yep! You heard what I said.) You'll probably say aren't YOU so proud to set yourself up to say such things? Do not mistake pride for mere anger. Paul wrote "be ye angry and sin not." If I held the truth within and did not cry out when bidden to do so by the Head of the House, I would not be merely sinning, I would be a brat! But brother Kevin, should you not be more kind and loving in the way you speak? Do you mean I should be a man pleaser like the politicians to win votes? TO BE POLITE IS POLITICAL BUT I WOULD RATHER SHOW THE LOVE AND REAL KINDNESS IN THE WAY JOHN THE BAPTIST DID TO HIS LISTENERS! He shouted at them to wake them from death by burying their hopeless carcasses in the water in order to cause them to realize that the only hope is in the resurrection life which is Christ through the new birth and continuing on in that realm and that realm alone!! Thank God He is not as unintelligent as at least half of ministers today who think there is hope for that which comes from the old birth and old creation and who try to fix that ugly dead thing!!! Or do some of them merely try to use methods, traditions and programs from that old origin to benefit the new origin? How ridiculous! And here I will start to address our real problem: Jesus said "full well you make the Word of God of none effect by your traditions. Today's so-called "church" practices make probably more than 85% (who really knows??) of the riches and experiences recorded as having belonged to and being real to the first century Christians of none effect to us because we are clogging the channel of God's blessings to us and a lost world by our "so called Biblical" (really un-Biblical) practices and so make the promises and overflowing of the Spirit to us a non-reality or else a leaking reality. Fact is: we are not being classified for the most part as the first century Christians could be as those who turned the world upside down!! And for the few times and persons who did fall into that category in times since then the revivals and outpourings did not last because the new wine cannot contain for long in the old dead traditional pagan religious Babylonian wineskins that come from the source of man instead of God! (See ADDENDUM 1
)How can one withhold the most scathing rebuke from this situation and be at peace within his own conscience? It must be that something has blinded our eyes and dulled our senses so that we cannot see. What kind of an age do we live in that creates such a stupor in the minds of men that we cannot even sense the need and the cry of God's heart?
Of course you think I am being a little too harsh. If you will read and understand the rest of this book you will know I am probably being too mild! The wounded, bleeding, weeping searching HEART at the center of this universe and beyond our universe and all realms bids me to cry out !!
Let the courageous heart read on.