The Oil Press of Gethsemane
30” x 40” canvas
#34 - CCOOP October 28, 2001
After Jesus offered his blood and body during Passover, he took his disciples to the Mount of Olives and to a place called Gethsemane, the “oil press.” As he went further, he chose Peter, James, and John. Walking closer to Gethsemane, Jesus expressed the grief and “pressure” from the weight of his destiny. He was saddened unto death, he told them. He asked only that they watch and pray so that he would not be taken before his time.
Jesus fell upon his face and cried out to his Father under the heaviness of the “oil press.” Though he felt the pressure, he submitted to the Father, “Nevertheless, not my will but your destiny [cup] for me.” He went down twice to inquire of his disciples and each time found them sleeping. Three times he went back to pray to his Father the same prayer. For the third time, he repeated, “Nevertheless.” Ironically, the 10 spies to Canaan lost their destiny with “nevertheless.” Surrender assured Jesus` Kingdom.
The third time Jesus found his disciples sleeping, he said, “Sleep on and take your rest, for my hour has come to be betrayed by sinners.” The disciples did not know what to answer but followed their teacher.
The pressure to which his Father had subjected Jesus transformed his sweat into blood. Out of his being, the oil [yellow] and wine [purple] flowed to bring healing and Light [yellow] to the sore afflicted and dark world. Because of the pressure brought to bear upon Jesus, he emptied himself like the olives so that we could be healed, nourished, and enlightened. More importantly, be filled with his glory.
He is still asking us to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation and not be led astray by the flesh. He has filled us and anointed us so that we can practice the presence of his glory-that glory of the only begotten son who loved us and gave himself for us.
Our hour has come; nevertheless, not our will but his be done. When we are pressed, may we sweat only the oil and wine of the Kingdom that is at hand. (Matt 26; Mark 14; Lu 22).
Please see the slideshow of my other paintings on the home page. You may also find my photos and paintings @ www.artwanted.com/dell.
ENJOY and HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
The Great Last Harvest
24" x 36"
#9 - CCOP June 15, 2001
The Glory of the Son rains down upon the emerging tree, as the energy of heaven reverberates and resonates with the praises of his people. Deep into the soil, the Glory shines upon the seed planted long ago by the Creator.
The seedlings worship and the Glory reaches down through the praise and touches the germinating seed. Once buried deeply in the mineral-rich soil of the redeemed heart, the seed gladly receives the warmth of the Son and the nourishment of the New Wine.
The enveloping Son and Spirit shape the seed and lift it gently from its clay bed. Leaves, like tentacles, push their way forcefully up through the soil and beyond in praise of the Creator, Son, and Spirit for their transforming power. The trumpet crimson petals wait for the signal to proclaim the coming fruit that is still being formed within the soil. The worship continues in the sanctuary, and harvest time waits for the ripening fruit.
The pure Light of heaven forms the seasons to coincide with the intimacy of the Son and his servants. He informs Nature to make all creation available to the Saints for maximum growth and for replanting of the next harvest coming in the same season.
Harvest will be abundant all summer long because of the great need to feed the hungry from the fruit of heaven. In the midst of the world's worst drought will come forth great showers and food in plentiful supply. The Glory is closer and more intense in order to supply the Saints, who will feed the nations.
The Saints cannot depend on future harvests as in the past if the harvest fails. Now is the time. Plant, nourish, grow, and harvest, beginning with your own spirit's garden. Let his Light shine on you and in you for this shall be the last harvest. You will NOT have another opportunity next year. Now is the time to reap what the Lord has sown in your hearts. Next season will be too late.
#6 - CCOP May 29, 2001
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. . . . And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear” (Rev 12.3; 13.8).
On the Isle of Patmos, St. John beheld a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed in the sun. He stood amazed as he watched heaven open. Through the opening, John saw the ark of God`s testament; he saw and heard the lightnings, thunderings, and voices; he felt the earthquake and great hail shaking the heavens and earth. To John was given the awesome privilege of seeing the birth that had taken place before time.
Encircling the baby`s head was a crown of thorns that pierced the infant`s flesh. The blood that streamed down his bowed head mingled with the life-giving fluid encased in the mother`s womb. His body was already beaten and bruised from his Father`s chastisement for our sins.
John's eyes focused on the dramatic scene as the first begotten son of God, formerly wrapped in the womb of his sun-clad mother, came forth. Surrounding the womb was Life Eternal [green, gold]. His Father raptured him to His throne in order to save him from the Dragon.
Another John, standing by the river, saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world.” Then the heavens opened and out of the opening came the Holy Spirit in the likeness of a dove and confirmed what John had said. The voice out of heaven spoke to Jesus, “Thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased.”
Thirty years before, Jesus` earthly mother cradled him in her arms and beheld things in his small frame that echoed Gabriel`s words. What she saw with her spirit was too painful, so she hid the vision in her heart. The tiny infant had been born in a stable to symbolize his sacrificial death as the Lamb of God.
He was born in Bethlehem, the “house of bread,” to symbolize his provision as the bread of life. It was for his mother`s sins, he was born, but not for his mother`s only but for all humanity, for everyone who believed on her son, slain before the foundation of the world.
He came forth from his heavenly mother`s womb slain, but he came forth from the earth`s tomb-womb alive forevermore. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, the Father has lifted up his only begotten Son so that all who look upon him shall also live forevermore.
--Dell Belew .
The Tree of Life in the Garden was my very first mandala painted in Gatlinburg, TN when I had gone there for Spring Break hoping to find the Smoky Mountains in bloom; but, oh, woe, alas, the trees were behind in spring foliage. Lo and behold, I discovered when I arrived back home and looked it over again, I saw that my soul's need was satisfied in this circle drawing. The trip was not lost.
These last paintings were created during October and November at Harvest Festival at Covenant Church of Pittsburgh and at The Potter's House in Farmington, CT. Others were done during the CCOP worship services on Sunday mornings and during "Times of Refreshing."
God continues to bless me as I move into this prophet arts ministry. I am available to come to your church to paint and give workshops on starting visual arts ministries. God has used these paintings to speak and to work in the lives of those who take part and open their hearts to the Lord for healing, encouragement, and conviction.
Won't you take a moment and let Him speak to you. Your interpretation is often more important than mine. Yours are personal and mine are for the collective body of Christ. Thank you for taking the time to visit.
Note: These photos are only representations of the paintings. Due to the nature of computer images, they will look different on individual monitors. The sizes range from 20" x 30" to 36" x 48" (and larger). You may want to adjust the contrast settings on your monitor for best results.
Straight to the Heart of Harvest
#35 - The Potter`s House November 4, 2001 a.m.
The beautiful fall palette of colors draws thousands of tourists to the mountains each year. Like all beauty in nature, it is a two-edged sword. We long to find ways to make it last; yet we know spring growth will depend on the cold winter for incubation. The death of leaves in the fall brings lush foliage in the spring.
We also forget that the beautiful colors signal death. This year as we behold the golden leaves, the Lord reminds us that harvest time requires active participation for the in-gathering. While the enemy has pierced our lives in destruction this year, the Lord has pierced our harvest with the Glory of Life and the Redemptive Passion of Christ Jesus to produce the last harvest of souls for the Kingdom.
Unless we allow Him to spear us with Life and Blood, we will miss the whole purpose of irrigation of the river`s flow around us.
He sent His only begotten precious son to insure the harvest of the last days for those who will believe. Winter is coming so we must turn the two-edged sword into cutting shears and bring in the last harvest.
Painting in Circles Class
An inspirational mandala is a painting within a circle. The circle can actually be filled in with almost any medium or design, including, as you will see here on my website www.dellbelew.com , photography. The most important technical aspect of painting or filling in the circle is that it should most likely be spontaneous in order to be inspirational, although there is no hard and fast rule.
I use this concept in classes for self-discovery, recovery, spirituality, creative writing, spiritual centering, and painting. It is an excellent means of free expression and makes artists of everyone. The results are always beautiful and surprising.
The Color of Worship
#12 - CCOP June 24, 2001
“The hour comes and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship him” (John 4:23).
The sanctuary held closely its reverence and awe in the night hours and awaited the return of the saints for worship, cleansing, and refreshing. One by one, they gathered, some humbly bowing, some reverently prostrate on the floor, and some integrating with others already assembled.
The first chord of music broke the silence as the chorus of saints opened their hearts and mouths to breathe out their praise in sweet incense to the Lord. In the Holy of Holies, the Lord heard their faint song and arose to put his ear to the Universe. He could sense the construction of his throne with their praise, so he sent his Spirit to swell among them in the sanctuary.
The Spirit entered (yellow) and hovered over the congregation and waited for the invitation of each saint. As each entered into the presence of the brooding Spirit, their true colors emerged in the brilliant Light. The Spirit settled like a blanket of Light upon each worshiper who invited his reflection.
Just as the atmospheric light reflects the color resident in objects, so the Spirit reflects the essence of each person assembled in the Holy Place. Some reflected the intense quality of the morning light; some reflected the intense quality of the King`s royal blood and authority; some were aglow with the life-giving substance; and some reflected a pure spirituality that they brought with them and carried out into the world.
But all of those who reflected the Light of Heaven moved in beautiful harmony, engulfed by the force of Light that reflected the power and energy of the Son, who continued to hover over the congregation, weaving the color of his glory into the designs of their spirits.
The glow of heaven`s Light filled the sanctuary as the light waves were condensed into rays and then bent into bows of yellow, blue, green, purple, and white. He changed the color of their worship from dismal gray to the rich spectrum reflective of the Holy City to remind them that someday soon the star gate will open.
Out of the gate a flood of Light will flash on a lightning bolt of every color of the Divine Palette; and earth will once again be a reflection of the rainbow that emanates from the Throne. Those colors that once reflected eternal life and abundance will be restored and Paradise will dwell with God`s Chosen forevermore.
Your Light Has Come
#16 - CCOP July 29, 2001
“Arise, shine, for your Light has come and the Glory of the Lord
is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).
Kingdom colors swirled about the sanctuary while the King emerged from the sides of the north [yellow]. The Lord of Glory wrapped his mighty power around the Saints preparing for Africa. The place glowed with His presence while the people gathered for their usual service.
Each sojourner in the sanctuary sensed His nearness in varying degrees. When they were invited to ascend the platform for prayer, a young girl joined them. Though her voice was tender, the words that emanated from her spirit riveted through the heavenlies and touched the very hem [glory] of His power already resident there.
The riveting prayer caused the Light to be pulled into a slender ray and to be disbursed into the rainbow colors inherent in the Light. The entire sanctuary glowed as the colors of His presence skipped and danced upon the sojourners` heads. The Saints entered in.
The “sending forth” of the team foretold of the past and future purpose of the Church. The Saints come daily for reconciliation, restoration, and rejuvenation so they can go forth to electrify the world with the reality of the nearness of the Lord`s return.
When He comes, will He find faith in the world? Will He find us still glowing from the colors of the covenant Light that He has shown in our hearts; or will He find our candles dim and our spirits running over the sides like candle wax spent in the former lighting of the sanctuary?
The Life is in the Blood
#2 - CCOP May 22, 2001
At its very best, walking in the Spirit is a wonderful adventure. At its most disturbing, it is refinement, life, energy, and passion through the constant intervention of the Blood of Jesus. He keeps us in a state of flux so that we might develop into His likeness.
The human spirit [blue] continually evolves from the intervention of His Lifeblood. As it enters into our sphere, it brings life [green] through the refining fire [red, yellow] that is sparked by the interaction of our humanity and His blood. When the blood, life, and refining fire converge and coalesce, purity [white], peace [pink], and spirituality [blue] flow together. The continuity of the process gives us hope.
Then, as we are refined and sanctified, we reach out of our own inner circle to others in the Kingdom [colors leading out of the circle]. Throughout the process, Jesus keeps us covered by His Blood, Life, and the Holy Spirit [colors surrounding the blue circle].
Jesus enters, refines, and reveals the path so that we may walk with Him. The process of refinement and purification creates a rainbow of beautiful, swirling colors that reminds us of the promises of our Father to “complete or perfect that which concerns” us. And He promises never to forsake the work of His hands.
Let It Be
#19 - CCOP August 7, 2001
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).
In the first century, John the Revelator saw what happened before time and what would happen after time and space would lose their hold on the universe. He saw the wonder woman in heaven, the woman clothed in the sun, and the woman who gave birth to the Alpha and Omega before the foundations of the earth.
He saw the great red dragon and the dragon`s harlot, the pretender and contender for the womb of heaven. He saw the mystery of God hidden through the ages.
John saw the “mother of us all” before the Alpha and Omega became the Son of his Father; and then he saw her coming down out of heaven in the future as the Holy City, the enclosure [womb] for the great Light.
In between, John received the power from the mother of us all to become a son of God. Brooding now over the Saints as the Life-giving principle, the mother washes us with the water of regeneration. Her seed, harassed for generations because of the birth of the man-child before time, is being washed with the water of life and empowered to bring forth.
The time for the opening of the womb of heaven is upon us, the time for the Son of the living God to pass through heavens` birth canal for the last time so that he can take over the earth for his Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit broods over the Saints to make them ready. Like the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and the power of the Highest overshadowed her and the holy child was born of her, the Spirit broods over us to give birth to the plan that has been hidden until now.
The Saints are in travail and in preparation for the birth. The angels stand ready to go forth and gather the Saints together unto the Lord of Glory.
The Days of Purification
#23 - CCOP August 21, 2001
In the days of the purification, the heart sloughs off the layers of dead tissue from the old life and prepares for the Lord's anointing. The dead, dry layers had ceased to be absorbent, so each Saint stands at the altar awaiting the entrance of the Spirit.
The Spirit of the Lord broods first and then travels through one heart chamber and then the other until all four are filled with his repristinating energy. Meanwhile, the Power of the Almighty encircles and massages the hearts of the Saints while they continue to worship on their faces in humility and submission.
Hearts that remain hidden in the cleft of the Rock for cleansing received of all that they could stand of the Power and cleansing of the Blood. The Most High carries the purifying blood to every vessel, from the smallest capillary to the largest artery; to the tips of the fingers and the soles of the feet; and to each hair follicle and the epidermal layer of the skin. Not one part of the body is left out of the cleansing.
As the worshipers stand, lie, sit, or kneel, they feel the flow of the Spirit throughout the whole body. To say that the Life is in the blood is to say that everywhere the blood goes, the Life is there, pumped rhythmically by the heart.
God, who created the heart, exercises his creative power to purge, purify, and prepare the Saints for the work of the Kingdom--to all who will submit to his purging, that is.
#42 - CCOP November 18, 2001 P. M.
In beauty and rhythm, the universe spins and carries the planets on their chosen paths, the regular paths set by our Creator; yet the philosophers tell us that the world is in a constant state of change. Many things change in individual lives, but the natural world does seem to continue in its predetermined laws. To our naked eyes, and sometimes-narrow minds, the movement of the world appears to be circular. When we observe the seasons, we see a circular pattern. Even in our human lives, we see the recurring pattern of birth and death.
Scientists have explored nature from the tiniest cell to the distant stars; they search the mysterious time and space continuum. They can explain how a multitude of things work and evolve, but most scientist-along with many Christians-do not know “why” those things exist.
Except for our individual uniqueness in outward appearance and cultural habits, humanity seems to be continuing as it began from the creation of Adam. We look, think, and act very much like all of humanity. The part the scientists do not often understand, and we often forget as believers, is that God`s plan is linear and not circular. Within the linear movement, God allows for free will. It is free will that turns around and around the Plan yet moves steadily forward as we submit to his will. So, then, his Plan also spirals. Imagine something akin to a spring with a steel rod running through it.
The space between great movements and spiritual high-level markers is transition. Pure linear movement would not prepare us for the other end of the Plan; therefore, change and transition are necessary for what is to come in the linear movement toward the Plan of God.
We can map the transitions of nations and people throughout the scriptures and see how they work; but often the prophetic words spoken through the revelation of His Word are the only markers for us today. We have to learn sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
How do we know how to move from point A to point B? When we reach one pinnacle, we think we are headed upward; then later we find that we are descending instead. In a matter of time, we have another ascent and we are happy again. Regardless of whether believers are on the upward movement or the downward movement of the spiral, they are always moving forward.
Transition for believers has two overwhelming constants when we surrender; they are the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and continual change. The Spirit takes us to higher and lower levels, at the same time holding us with centrifugal force to the Plan around which we turn.
We must hold fast to His unchanging hand and walk, even in circles, as He leads us forward through transitions to arrive at the blessed hope of the Kingdom. Amen.
The Divine Dance of the Spheres
#11 - CCOP June 22, 2001
They entered the sanctuary that morning, each wearing a different design, size, and shape. All of them came out of obedience to the call of the music of the spheres, but some came with great expectation.
They had gathered there over a long season, hoping each service would be THE service. Many left either disappointed or physically weary from the journey. As each settled into his or her familiar place, their spirits started to turn slowly, some feeling the weightlessness of the Spirit and others the heaviness of their burdens.
The music rose like a cool mountain mist and then settled on every surface and curled into every crevice. The worshippers joined their hearts and voices as their bodies swayed with the slow rhythm. In the words of the song, they invited the Spirit to romance and dance with them to the “song of all songs.” They swayed to the Spirit`s song; they waltzed with him in the Holy Ballroom like newlyweds on their wedding day. They felt the oneness with their Beloved as he embraced them and led them in the Dance.
Then a voice emanated from the dance floor to thank the Spirit for the Divine Dance. Some people`s toes were, perhaps, bruised; and many were weary from dancing, so the dance ended. That is, the dance among humans with tired limbs, but not among the Spheres who continued to make melody and hold lovingly to their Divine Partner.
If the saints won`t dance, the Spheres will, for they are not bound by time or physical restraints. They have eternal clocks and eye glasses to see that we are all about to witness the first dance at the wedding feast by the Bridegroom and his Bride, who has not become weary in waiting. The Bride busies herself in preparation while she waits.
She dances as if with a shadow, swirling the train of her wedding gown about the floor and kicking up stardust with each turn. She loses herself in the moments of her imaginary romance. One day the vision will take on immortal flesh and the Bridegroom will come and the Divine Dance will never end.
“And the Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come`” (Rev 22:17).
And the Father and the Bridegroom say, “Surely I come quickly. Stay on the dance floor."
Painting in the Spirit
In the year 2000, when I was attending Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, I felt impressed to "paint the worship service." I wasn't sure what that meant at the time, but the Bishop felt that the sanctuary was the most creative place and had set up a corner of the platform for artists to create. I asked if I could participate by painting on large canvases. Once he agreed for me to take part, I decided to paint "mandalas," which are circle paintings used by Carl Jung for dream interpretation and by Buddhists monks as a prayer exercise. I had none of those things in mind but the only prerequisite was that the paintings needed to have circles. I chose random colors and I truly believe they were prophetic paintings. I would take each of them home and meditate upon them until the Lord gave me the interpretations. I painted around 100 of them during the worship services, prayer services, Bible studies both in church and other venues. Please enjoy the slideshow with many of the paintings. The interpretations are below.
I also teach classes in mandala painting for art therapy and as prompts for creative writing. These paintings are or can be a part of a workshop for The Fine Art of Worship involving creative worship experiences.
Dell Belew, Artist & Photographer
Preparation for Coronation
#26 - CCOP August 31, 2001
The nesting that the Saints had done would not be in vain, and the insecurity had no merit beyond that of the fear of the unknown. But the Father would have us know that all is well, and everything is going according to his timetable. Though we can only estimate the “due date,” he knew from before the foundation of the earth the exact moment of conception and of the birth that is to come.
He did not tell us because he knew we would put it all off until the last minute, and some of us would procrastinate to the point of missing the birth all together. Our inner turmoil drives us to nest when the time seems near.
He`s preparing the banquet hall with the fatted calf for his Son`s coronation. The streamers are beginning to fall down upon the room and the music has been chosen. Soon the hall will be filled with gaiety and all who have persevered will share in the festivities.
As we await the birth and coronation, we find our focal point in Him until the urge to push overpowers our ability to hold the Baby back. Then, with the force greater than a freight train, the Baby will take control and disrupt all of heaven to come forth.
Beauty Spoken Here!
I was approaching a public restroom this morning that had a nice wreath of shades of purple flowers. My instant response was, "Purple makes me happy." It has become my favorite color, perhaps, for that reason.
Nonetheless, capturing beauty that happens instantly is one of the many advantages of photography. More than any other medium, photography has the capacity to capture a moment's monument--monuments that live and thrive in our lives and then outlive us.
I post here some of my favorites. Some were taken with the first form of digital camera with the capacity to save images to a floppy disk. The technology set me free and made taking photos an amazingly beautiful hobby, if not art form. A couple of photos have been Photoshopped.
Some are grainy for reasons of technologically challenged equipment; some are photos I took from slides that I projected on the wall. Those are mostly the macro photos, which is pretty amazing given the twice removed focus.
Collection, Bishop Joseph L. Garlington, Sr.
#7 - CCOP June 5, 2001
Most of the city slept as usual, ignoring the cries of the young, the old, and the infirmed. The violent continued their crimes in the secret chambers of the night and held the city hostage.
But God neither slept nor ignored the cries of his saints. The undergound felt the rumbles of unrest caused by heaven and sensed the impending doom. From the foundation of the very earth that lay beneath Pittsburgh, God prophesied the day of the Great Flood of Glory. He heard the cries of the righteous long before he heard their groanings uttered in the sanctuaries.
Showers and drizzles of Glory had rained down upon the saints as they pleaded for a refreshing from the scorching heat of sin. They actively awaited the wave of Glory to sweep over Pittsburgh and the areas she embraced.
On the eve of the appointed day, the whole city felt unusually restless. All the demons of hell that had been assigned to hold back the flood trembled and scattered about the city in haste to prevent the flood. Like the Red Dragon had encircled the sun-clad woman to devour her man-child, the demons turned up the heat of the flames. Anger and violence perched on their low estates awaiting orders for the seize.
As the dawn of the New Day moved steadily forward, all heaven and earth began to rumble. The heavens shook from the roar of many waters rushing toward the city. Once the sound of the waters began, the star gate of heaven opened quickly and out of it erupted a virtual tidal wave of Glory.
The Glorious Presence and Power of God Almighty rode upon the many waters on a golden streak of lightning. When the Glory reached the city, it pierced through the Red Dragon`s line of defense and pounded against the shore of sin and every evil work that held the city in its clutches. The mighty wave and the Glory riding its waves pressed the evil forces against the wall and put out the fires of rebellion.
Beaten and dumbfounded by the sudden rush of Glory, the princes of darkness assigned to Pittsburgh lay scattered about on the ground and awaited the command to pick up their weapons. O, woe, alas! The troop`s commander, overwhelmed by the force, had suffered a fatal blow and could not issue the command. The evil forces, powerless without a leader, had to retreat and watch the Heavenly Host erect a golden dome over the city to usher in the greatest revival the northeastern United States had seen since the former Great Awakening.
The Glory wave wrapped its loving arms around the city and cleansed it from the toxic smog of oppression. Under the Glory covering, evangelism, healing, and miraculous and creative power arose like steam from a hot pavement cooled suddenly from an afternoon summer rain. Everyone who hungered and thirsted for the Glory ran through it like children, arms and voices lifted in praise and thanksgiving.
The city basked in the glow of the Bright and Morning Star who had arisen with salvation and healing in His golden wings. A New Day had dawned and repristination had begun.
In His Image
#1 - CCOP May 15, 2001
In the atmosphere of worship, Jesus cradles us in peace [pink]. Each worshiper brings some inner turmoil [red, yellow] into the service. It may be due to some disturbing memory of a past hurt, a recent anxiety, or some aspect of our spiritual life that the Holy Spirit is refining.
In our times of refreshing, we go back into the womb of heaven and the Spirit nourishes us like newborn babies. Outside of the womb, the depth of the Spirit [dark blue] and our royal inheritance [purple] through Christ`s sacrifice [to the lower right] under girds us.
Above all, we take joy in the thought that God smiles when we enter into praise and worship [yellow upper left]. The image in the center of the circle represents our being changed into His likeness. God shows us His face through our own as we are in worship. “As he is, so are we in the world” (1 Jo 4:17b).
Our eyes are closed in peace [pink] while the work is going on at the very center of our being. Though our lips may seem to snarl, we rest in the assurance that the stirring of the Spirit will work for our good because we know that His thoughts toward us are thoughts of peace and not evil so that we might have our expected end (Jer 29.11).
The Apple in God's Eye
# 39 - Antioch International Ministries, November 13, 2001
"O, taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Ps 34:8a)
The first shape to appear on the canvas was that of the crooked shepherd's staff until it circled and overlapped itself. The colors of purple and green signify the embracing of life and royalty, and eternal inheritance. Then from the inward parts, the life-giving and life-sustaining energy force of Jehovah electrifies and fuses the parts together.
What emerged was the restored fruit that was once the instrument of deception in the Garden of God. The Lord is announcing the restoration of the "apple" and, therefore, the Promised Seed has replaced the seed of offense. The eaten parts of the apple had kept us from the Garden in order to prevent our eating of the Tree of Life and living forever in a state of disconnection from our God.
Although the original apple came from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the restored missing parts transform the apple into the fruit of the Tree of Discernment. Whereas the knowledge of good and evil symbolized man's overwhelming desire to make his own decisions and suffer the consequences, the new fruit is fragrant with the wine of communion. Those who partake in the communion will taste the goodness of God and be welcomed back into the Garden of God on earth and discern good and bad spirits through the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.
God desires that we taste of this fruit and the one and only Seed promised to restore us back to Him. The prophetic apple, so-called, is neither red in color nor does it have blood in this painting but the authority and power of the Holy Spirit. No flesh and blood can create the communion and restoration like that one Seed. When we eat the restored apple, we receive Eternal Life, for the fruit comes from the Tree of LIfe. In the millennial reign of Christ Jesus, we shall become fat from the meat and wine of that glorious fruit. God is preparing the Garden and us for that day, the Day of the Lord.
Sweet Communion in the Secret Place
32" x 40"
#8 - CCOP June 12, 2001
The Bridegroom encircles the Beloved in the spirit of the day and awaits the invitation. The secret place, prepared for the intimate meal, glows with the candle of the Lord. When the cooing of the Beloved begins, the holy hush is broken and the scene of sweet communion unfolds.
As the Groom hastens to the call of his Beloved, he gathers the fragrance of eternal life [green], peace [pink], redemption [crimson], and love [red] to make his ethereal bouquet. He approaches the slightly open door and enters gently and sweetly, still drawn by her cooing. The Groom embraces his Beloved in the secret chamber of her heart.
“It will not be long, Beloved, before I can make this secret place my final abode. For now, let us dine upon the sweet bread and the new wine. Let us be drunk with ambrosia and lost in the Divine Dance.
“For this, my Beloved, is but a mere taste of my abiding presence, a mere shadow of things to come. We are one in my Spirit now, but the day will come when we will not know where I begin and you end or where you begin and I end. We will be seamless and infinitely joined. You will be me and I will be you, never to be disconnected again.
“Look forward with great expectation, yea, confident expectation, to the day of our wedding feast. You will not be disappointed, Beloved.
“I love the sweet melody of your voice when you sing to me and when your love opens the secret place to me, the secret place where we become more intimately bonded and eternity blossoms in your spirit.
“And now, Beloved, eat the Bread and drink the Wine. Every time you do, remember me until I come again to dine with you. I am broken and poured out for you all the day long. There is never a moment when I do not think of you, never a moment your prayers do not rise up to me like sweet incense.”
The Prophetic Spin
#31 - CCOP, Harvest Festival, October 17, 2001
The praises of the Saints had already prepared the sanctuary for the Lord to come and dwell. High praises resounded from the continual worship, prayer, and teaching during the Harvest Festival.
The people had longed for his presence and power with a passion. They had not been disappointed for the Lord had charged the sanctuary with his power [yellow], his redemptive covering [red], and his royal inheritance [purple]. The peace [pink] of his grace hovered over the congregation.
In the midst, there arose many prophets that evening: some in music, some in song, some in prayer, and some in paint. The walls and furnishings were drenched with the Spirit of the Kingdom [blue] that heralded his presence and his sending forth.
“Now is the time,” says the Lord, “to spin out in many directions to carry the gospel to the lost. Embrace and bring them into my house of prayer, to my house of salvation, and to the house of my presence. You have been basking in my presence for some time. Now is the time to go out to the streets, the businesses, the neighborhoods, the states, and the nations. You will go in my peace and safety. Do not hoard my power and inheritance. I gave gifts that you might share them with those who have not opened their packages, the packages that sit even at their doors.
“Spin out in every direction, Children, spin.”
Crossing Global Jordan
#18 - CCOP August 3, 2001
“Behold, I send you forth to possess the land beyond Jordan. Prepare yourselves with the meat of my Word, and go armed for battle for I, the Lord of the earth, will go before you.
“Prepare your priests to carry the covenant and to step into global Jordan. When the soles of their feet step into the waters of the globe, I will part the waters and the people will go in to possess the land that I have promised.
“Fear not, for you are armed with My power and authority [yellow]. I have made the way for you to push back the waters of global adversity and to carry the message of my reconciliation. I, the Lord, send you forth and will do as I have said, but you must prepare, you must equip the Saints on this side of Jordan. You must be reconciled in order to take my reconciliation through global Jordan to the land that I have given you to possess.
“I have given you rest; now you go. Step into Jordan. As you pass through Jordan, gather weighty stones where the priests have stood as a sign and a memorial that I, the Lord, have dried up the Jordan so that you could pass over-even during the harvest flood waters.
“When you have passed over, hold a feast day with the provisions from the other side; but from that day forward you shall eat the abundant fruit of the land I have given you to possess.”
“Your Love Covers Me”
#3 - CCOP May 27, 2001
The cloudy morning mist [blue] dissipates slowly and rests like manna upon the worshippers [white figureheads] who begin their ascent in the spirit. As Love [red] settles upon the service, the praise and honor rise up to meet the Father of Lights.
The worshippers lift up their voices, hands, and hearts to touch the Divine Love that encircles the sanctuary. From out of the midst of the eternal circle, worshippers touch the flow and the circle opens to integrate with each believer [blue circle]. The morning Light burns off the dew and replaces the cool mist with renewing and refreshing energy [yellow]. The integration of the Love of God and the Redeemed spirit ignites the inner Light. Thus the spirit is strengthened and renewed as the daybreak [yellow] burns off the dew and the process of a spiritual photosynthesis [green] begins.
Arching over the throne, the bow of emerald green casts a glow upon the circle of Love as the throne of God inhabits the praises of His people. Like the chlorophyll in plants interacts with light to produce simple sugars and converts toxic gases into pure oxygen, God`s Love and Light inspire us in the sweetness of worship to exhale the refreshing breezes of his Spirit into our atmosphere.
His Divine flow of Love surrounds and infiltrates our spirits. With the “sugars” we do not use for our own growth, we store them in our leaves and roots to produce fruit and seeds for making disciples.
“[T]hey should seek the Lord . . . and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring`” (Acts 17:27, 28 KJV).
Parting the Waters
#24 - CCOP August 24, 2001
She stood upon the watery canopy, suspended above the earth and poised to deliver her Son, the King. The water, flowing blue and purple, tinged with the blood of the Lamb, began to separate and swirl about her feet.
Through the scattered openings in the floodwaters that separated the people from the Glory, the “Mother of us all” [Gal. 4:26] gazed upon the land below. As in the days of Noah, Jesus had said, the people will live out their days eating and drinking and marrying, unable to discern the seasons or the times.
Sadly, many of the people of the earth did not seem to be looking up for the signs so abundant in the heavens. Even so, the floodgates had opened and the flow from the river of Life poured forth with greater intensity each day.
The Mother stood upon the clouds watching and waiting for the entrance of her Son for the third and last time to claim his Kingdom. He would soon burst forth with all of the glory and majesty of his Father, clothed with the royal robe of righteousness that neither soldier nor man of might could tear from his back.
The Hovering Whirlwind and Dust Clouds
#15 CCOP June 27, 2001
“The Lord has a way in the whirlwind and the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Na 1.3b)
All afternoon the clouds gathered, but no one noticed because they were not yet visible to the naked eye. As the people gathered for the evening service, their spirits buzzed with anticipation.
The invocation resounded over the sanctuary as the musicians, singers, and leaders assembled in readiness. The artist picked up her brush. The stage was set for the Almighty to make His presence known.
The atmosphere was charged with the glorious presence, evidenced in the voices, on the faces, and on the canvas. Though the artist had little knowledge of what she painted, she continued to dance with the Divine flow created by the praise and worship. She swirled and swayed on the top of her brush, still unaware of the Master`s holding to the other end of the brush.
When the Bishop sang, “Something`s turning in the heavenlies. . . ,” she thought she could see a glimpse of His hand. Suddenly, out of the congregation came a loud voice like one crying in the wilderness, “I am hovering in the whirlwind. . . . What do you want? Just ask me.” (paraphrased)
Stunned by the prophetic word, the artist looked back at the hovering whirlwind that the Master had painted on the canvas. He was announcing His presence and His willingness for the people to reach up and bring it on down. The call is to reach aggressively into the whirlwind and bring His glory on down as it hovers there.
That very afternoon, He had laid out the plan for the artists to paint the “dust of His feet,” the very dust from the whirlwind. Like He engraved the commandments on stone for Moses to show to the Israelites, He has painted the clouds to announce His nearness. He came in a whirlwind with His chariot just as He did to take Elijah. His hovering in the whirlwind is to transform and translate us so that He can transfer His Glory to us. We in turn must take Him to the people beyond the sanctuary.
All we need do is bring it down. He`s ready when we are! “If you are waiting on me,” says the Lord, “you are backing up!”
A Time of Refreshing
#14 CCOP - June 26, 2001
“Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform they vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through the; he is utterly cut off” (Na 1.15).
The sun beat ferociously upon the already parched land. As the steam arose and the scorching stench reached the nostrils of God, he remembered his promise for refreshing to the saints gathered in the sanctuary. He reached forth his hand and anointed the earth with the healing balm. Massaging the oil into the earth, he caused friction to energize and create life [green]. Through the life balm, he poured water freely until the earth was drenched with the refreshing spring.
The saints, waiting for the time of refreshing, were swept away by the currents. So relieved by the flow, they fell back, releasing arms and legs to float and be carried weightlessly by the water. Their bodies floated in the cool stream as it carried them in and out of the coves and around the little islands.
Still the sun beat down upon them. Around the next bend in the stream, a grove of trees hung over the water. The saints paused temporarily to enjoy the shade. Lingering together in sweet harmony, they gathered water from the stream to honor two of their missionaries who had special need of refreshing.
The women gathered around Jeanette and the men around Bernard to serve them. Like an oasis in a desert, the water brought new life to the couple`s weary feet as the saints washed them. One by one, they came and washed the feet of the faithful sojourners with the cool water and baptized them with their tears.
There was much humility and rejoicing in the shady grove that day. To send the missionaries forth with a fresh holy unction, the saints poured healing and anointing oil over their feet and a blessing for unprecedented favor in Indonesia.
(based on a sermon preached by Rev. Vinnie Manzo)
#5 - CCOP May 27, 2001 (P.M.)
The family had come to a crossroads. The father [purple] decided that it would be better to give his son an inheritance prematurely than to keep him against his will. So the youngest son [red circle] took his money and went to a far away country only to find himself feeling too much at home with the pigs. When his money was gone, only the pigs could stand to smell him.
When he tired of smelling the garbage thrown away by other finer folks, the son made a quality decision. Though he had wrecked his life and his relationship with his family, he had a longing for the land he left and the sweet-smelling savor of a family life, a connection, and a higher calling.
As he made his way home, the old familiar feeling of belonging came over him; he could almost smell the fatted calf. He hung his head and continued on the path home. Meanwhile, the father got wind of his son`s return and gave the order to kill the fatted calf. Then he stood on the portico until he could see his son in the distance. When the bare speck at the end of the pathway appeared, the father took off running to meet his long lost son. He fell upon his neck and kissed him passionately. He put a robe upon his back, a ring upon his hand, and shoes upon his feet.
That evening there was great rejoicing around the mansion. Everyone celebrated the younger son`s return. The young man especially rejoiced that even though he had made a mess of things and had not regarded the redemption of his father, he came to understand that the redemptive thread of family blood [red] continued to flow in his veins. He had strayed from the father, but the father had never strayed from him. The father had taken a risk, but now his son was home again.
The rejoicing continued for all but the elder brother. He lingered in the shadows, green with envy, when he returned from the field. He had not been called away from his work and invited to the party. He dared to scold his father for making such a fuss over the wayward son, while he had remained loyal and stayed behind to do all the work. When he approached his father, expecting some consolation, he received a reprimand instead, “Aren`t you happy to see your brother? He once was lost but now is alive again, safe and sound. Why should you fret? You are with me always and everything I have is and always has been yours. You still have your inheritance.”
The elder brother walked away sorrowfully without realizing that eternal life [green] had always been his because he was loyal and obedient. He was eternally connected to his father because he had made that choice and his younger brother did not interfere with anything that was coming to him. The elder brother's inheritance was sure.
The Time of First-ripe Grapes
#21 - CCOP August 14, 2001
“ Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare:
before they spring forth, I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9).
“I have set before you that which I have promised. I have promised to return and to gather you unto myself; so that where I am, you shall be also. I have promised to be your King if you would be my people, and I have done my part to make that happen.
“My desire is that you rule and reign with me. Be prepared to go over Jordan to inherit my Kingdom, for my Kingdom shall come quickly. These are like the days before the flood in Noah`s day when I told him that he had a specified time to get himself and his entire household into the ark before the rain came.
“For all who will reign with me, preparation must be accomplished. You must go and tell so that others will come and see and be prepared also. I have called you with a holy calling so that you will be separate from the world because all who cleave unto the world will likewise perish with the world.
“The world will be destroyed along with Satan by the brightness of my coming. I have prepared an ark of safety in my Holy Spirit for all who will enter in. Look beyond the world as it is now, inhabited by the very giants that drove the Israelites to cry 'nevertheless.`
"Look beyond global Jordan to the giant clusters of grapes that the weary sojourners could see but never taste and to the land that flows with milk and honey that they could never possess. It is yours if you prepare your hearts; if you have entered into the Ark of my Spirit; and if you have carried the shield of faith to withstand the Enemy`s fearful tactics.
“How long will it be [before you] believe me, for all the signs that I have shown among [you]? (Nu 14:11) Be of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Do not allow the 'neverthelesses` to cause you to fear. I will be with you just as I promised.
“Now the time [is] the time of the firstripe grapes,” says the Lord (Nu 13:20).
"The Baby is Crowning"
#20 - CCOP August 10, 2001
The sky became flooded with what appeared to be sunlight. The temple of God opened in heaven and out of the doorway came a figure, a wonder clothed in the sun. In her travail, the sun-clad woman groaned with all of the universe. There were thunderings, lightnings, and great hail. All of heaven shook and the earth quaked, when out of the universe came the voice crying, “The Baby is crowning. Prepare the way of the King for his coronation.”
The Saints continued their praise and worship in the sweet solace of the sanctuary. Though it rang out, some of the Saints failed to understand the message, but they sensed it all the same. Those who did have some sense of what was happening were awestruck and asked, “Can this be the Baby? What does this mean?”
As the minister came forth for the morning message, he spoke of the precious anointing of the feet of Jesus and other references to feet in the scriptures. Soon the reverence of the crowning moment reached the sanctuary and the holy hush feel upon them.
The Saints were invited to remove their shoes as they were standing on holy ground. After some time, the pastor went about the sanctuary anointing the feet of the Saints to signify the holiness.
What they did not know in the sanctuary was the awesome revelation of his nearness to earth as the crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They did not know how close his coronation was to that very hour in which they were assembled. They sensed his nearness and gave him praise.
36” x 48”
#33 - CCOP October 28, 2001 a.m.
Who will be taken and who will be lost when the days are as Noah`s day? God`s ark will shelter His chosen and consecrated as the calamity of His wrath destroys nations and peoples invading the Saints.
Though calamity comes upon the earth beyond measure so that there is no food, neither fruit nor meat, we will rejoice in the Lord; and he will make our feet like that of a deer watching from a high place. Even now, the angels are on high alert, awaiting the trumpet call to go forth.
The twigs are tender and the leaves are in bloom in the Kingdom, so we can discern that the time is near, even at our door. “Though heaven and earth may pass away,” says the Lord,” these words I have spoken will surely come to pass. From the foundations of the earth, I have already seen the destruction and the calamity that is to come on earth.
“Fear not, Brethren, for they shall not come near you. Before the final destruction, I will send forth my angels to gather you to the high place on earth where I will reign. You shall be my priests, and you will govern the nations of those who will follow you. Peace and prosperity will reign in all the earth.
"The tribulation of these days is not to be compared to the glory that is to come. Occupy till I come with one eye on the sky and one on the souls I came to seek and to save. Noah`s ark would have held many more, but the people would not enter in. The people closed out of the ark were determined to do business as usual, ignoring the faith of Noah, until the flood came. By then, I had shut the door, and it was too late. Noah knew only seven days before I shut the door, but he was obedient to gather in all those who would follow him.
“So you also must be ready, because I will come at an hour when you do not expect me. Keep watch. The day of the sound of the trumpet and the ingathering is very near” (Habakkuk 3; Matthew 24).
Genesis One Designs
#27 - CCOP (at Cornerstone TV) September 4, 2001
He had seen the horrific sight before in the heavens in ancient times, in time out of mind. She had come through the star gate of heaven to deliver the greatest threat to him. From that day until this season, the Red Dragon (Satan) has tortured women and their seeds to prevent the birth of another Seed.
In ancient time, he had waited around to destroy the man-child once he was delivered. When the Father whisked His child away and gave the mother eagle`s wings, the Red Dragon spewed a flood out of his mouth to destroy her and the earth. (Rev 12)
Today he recognizes the woman in travail and ready again to deliver the King of Kings. The Dragon resolves to come back with a vengeance and with another flood of destruction greater than the first. He declares, “This King must not be born!”
Just as he failed in the first flood to destroy all living things, he will fail again. God will and has raised another sign and standard against the Red Dragon.
Satan looses again.
NOTE: Seven days after this painting, the Red Dragon spewed out his venom against the United States and pierced the lives of all Americans. The standard that the Lord God raised against him was revival to pave the way for the second coming of Jesus the Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Forever and ever, amen.
32” x 40”
#10 - CCOP June 19, 2001
The winepress received the extracted Wine from the Lamb on the altar and filled the lower vat with the effervescent liquid. The vats, hewn out of the solid rock, received the New Wine in the Holy Place, consecrated and stored for the world thirsty for its redeeming and refreshing properties.
When the Vinedresser heard the sweet melody of praise coming from the sanctuary, He opened the vats and the Divine Liquid flowed freely. Downward it rushed with force of the gravitational pull from the New Wineskins poised to receive it.
The New Wineskins had arrived with a sense of expectancy. They opened their hearts and brushed out the dust and debris in their humility to prepare for the New Wine. Ears turned toward Heaven, they heard the Wine rushing down the pipes like the sound of many waters.
The voice grew stronger as the refreshing fountain neared the openings of the new skins. With one last burst of power, the Divine Effervescence poured into each waiting vessel. The necks of the bottles opened wide to receive the New Wine as it gushed into the coronary chambers, each overflowing into each until all four chambers were filled.
The supple tissue that lined each bottle joyfully shaped itself to the weight of the precious liquid. Each cell in the new skin`s membrane absorbed the life-giving substance and the intoxicating worship reached a higher level of exhilaration. The wine skins would hold the Divine Liquid until they are required to pour it out upon the dry, thirsty land. As they pour out, the empty spaces are filled again from the overflowing fountain.
“Beloved, sing to me hymns and songs and spiritual songs so that I may continue to fill you to overflowing. Take every opportunity to cleanse your vessels and keep yourself pure as I cannot dwell in unholy vessels. Keep the New Wine flowing out to others. Do not hoard it; there is plenty in my vats for those who bring their hungry hearts and thirsty souls.
“Come, let us celebrate!!” says the Lord of the Vineyard.
#22 - CCOP August 17, 2001
“To every thing there is a season-
He has made every thing beautiful in His time.”
(Eccl. 3:1a, 11a)
In every season, there is a reason.
In every reason, there is a motive.
Seasons turn and turn.
Motives change as the seasons.
Though your life is circular, seasonal,
My Plan is linear, eternal.
You turn and turn;
You plant; you harvest; you die;
But I live forever-ever turning
Your life into mine.
In every beautiful thing, there is a death.
In every death, there is a life.
Beauty turns and fades.
Death destroys and decays.
Life changes with the season;
But the beauty of my holiness endures.
You turn and fade;
You live; you grow; you die;
I live forever-ever turning
My beauty into yours.
There is no new thing under the sun;
But, under the Son, all things shall become new.
“He Sits on the Circle of the Earth”
#17 - CCOP July 31, 2001
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and meted out heaven with the span and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure? Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?
“It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth that stretches out the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.
“`To whom, then, will you liken me or shall I be equal?` says the Holy One.
“Lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created these things. Have you not known that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might, he increases strength.
“So, they that seek diligently, give cheerfully, and wait patiently upon the LORD shall renew their strength.”
--adapted from Isaiah 40 by Dell Belew