Lesson 2: The Creation of Man

January 9, 2017

We have seen in our last lesson that man is the reason for creation. In light of this tremendous fact, we turn to study the man whom God created to meet the cry of God’s being for fellowship.

Genesis 1 gives the account of the preparation God made for man before He created him. First, He planned a universe for man and in the heart of that universe He purposed a home for His man.

Genesis 1:25-26 NKJV
[25] And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. [26] Then God said, “Let Us make man** in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

At the completion, God put His stamp of approval upon it. It will meet man’s every need. The home is now ready for man. God now makes the solemn declaration that He wishes to make man in His own image.

Knowing that fellowship is the reason for man, we can easily understand that man could not meet the reason for his very existence unless he were created in God’s image. In order to partake of God’s life, he must be in God’s class, in God’s realm. He must be made in the image and likeness of his Creator. He must be created as near like Deity as possible, in order to be God’s child and heir.

Man, a Triune Being

Genesis 1:27 NKJV
[27] So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

This verse records the creation of man in the image of God. Adam was the first man.

Genesis 2:7 NKJV
[7] And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Through his sin came the fall of man. Man after the fall, in his condition of spiritual death, could not know what the image of God was, without a revelation from Him.

John 4:24 NKJV
[24] God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus Christ, the Incarnate One, revealed that the Father was a Spirit Being.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV
[23] Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT
[23] Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

Paul in his revelation disclosed the fact that man is a triune being, consisting of a spirit, soul and body. The spirit of man is the real man, created in the image of God. The soul includes the reasoning faculties. God created man in His own image, a spirit being with a soul and body. Man’s soul and body fit him for his life upon this material universe which has been created for him.

The real man is spirit. Man was to walk in fellowship with God in His realm, which is the realm of the spirt. Your body is not you. Your mind is not you. You have a mind which you use. You possess a body which you use. Your mind and body are merely the instruments of your spirit, the real YOU.

The man who is spiritually dead does not realize the fact that he was created in God’s image to walk with Him. This is due to the fact that all the natural man is able to know about reality, he gains through the five senses belonging to his physical body. These physical sense organs of the human body can only receive a stimulus from like substance, matter. Therefore, man’s senses can perceive only for him a physical or material realm. There exists, according to the Scriptures, a spiritual realm as well as a physical.

The Father, the Holy Spirit, the Angels, Satan and demons are all spirit beings. Our physical senses do not contact this spiritual realm.

Ephesians 6:1-20 NKJV
[1] Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. [2] “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: [3] “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” [4] And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. [5] Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; [6] not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, [7] with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, [8] knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. [9] And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. [10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; [18] praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints- [19] and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:1-20 NLT
[1] Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. [2] “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: [3] If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” [4] Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. [5] Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. [6] Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. [7] Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. [8] Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. [9] Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites. [10] A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. [12] For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. [14] Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. [15] For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. [16] In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. [17] Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. [19] And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. [20] I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Ephesians 6:1-20 reveals the spiritual warfare surrounding us, from which our sense organs receive no stimuli. We are not aware, through any physical contact of the presence of the Holy Spirit or angels.

Read references: John 16:7-15; Hebrews 1:14; John 14:23; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Peter 5:8; Mark 16:17; 1 John 4:6; and James 4:7.

Because the doctor, with the point of his knife, has not been able to locate the spirit of man, the materialists and atheists have said that the body is the whole man.

Romans 1:18-25,28 NLT
[18] But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness (who, by their wickedness, prevent the truth from being known). [19] They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. [20] For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. [21] Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. [22] Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. [23] And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. [24] So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. [25] They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. [28] Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.

Man has refused to have God in his knowledge because he has not been able to see Him with his physical eye, hear Him with his physical ear or touch Him. A fish might just as well say there is nothing outside of water, as for a man, limited to sense knowledge, to say there exists nothing but matter.

We conclude that man is primarily a spirit being, created to walk with the Father on His level. We realize that when He created man, God had no body, yet man’s fellowship was perfect and complete with Him. This reveals that man’s body was subordinate to his spirit and that his spirit was to dominate. Man’s spirit was to rule his mind and his body. The body exists only for the spirit and soul of a body. The spirit operates through the soul or intellect, and these in turn operate through the physical body. At death, the man and his soul leave the body. When man has left his body, the body has no reason for existing.

The Will of Man

Another feature God gave was man’s will. The will has the power of choice, the ability to choose, to determine one’s actions. God assumed a great responsibility in creating a being with a will. Yet, no other type of being could have answered the reason for creation. Without this will, God created one would have been a machine, not a man, a puppet or robot instead of a person. The desire of the Father is for fellowship. This fellowship must come from man, not as the response to an instinct, but as a result of his deep love, his own choice. There could be no fellowship with a puppet.

Luke 9:23 NKJV
[23] Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Luke 9:23 NLT
[23] Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.

Obedience to Him is a result of love.

John 14:21-24 NKJV
[21] He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” [22] Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” [23] Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. [24] He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

John 14:21-24 NLT
[21] Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” [22] Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?” [23] Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. [24] Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

The Mind of Man

The Scriptures declare that when man was created, he had a mind, intellectually of such character that he was able to name the entire animal creation.

Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV
[19] Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. [20] So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

When we realize that there is 500,000 bugs, birds, worms, animals, fish and reptiles that Adam named, we can understand that he possessed intellectual capacities that enable him to rule creation. We know that the reason for man’s existence is God’s craving for fellowship. Therefore, man’s mental capacities were such that his mind could fellowship the mind of his Creator.

Man’s Physical Condition

When man was created, he was planned a perfect human being with an endless human life. His body was not mortal nor immortal. The word “mortal” means “Death-doomed” or “satan-ruled”. Man was an eternal spirit being in God’s class, with an eternal human body. Adam’s body was perfect and fit to be the temple of God’s under-ruler

Man’s Dominion, Authority, and Responsibility

Genesis 1:28 NKJV
[28] Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Reading the Scripture through the mind ruled by the senses, we have overlooked the tremendous place man held in the heart of God. He was the object of God’s love and affection. It was the joy of the Father to give His man, dominion over the works He had created. This man had, by creation, the ability to rule the universe.

Psalm 8:3-9 NKJV
[3] When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, [4] What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? [5] For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. [6] You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, [7] All sheep and oxen- Even the beasts of the field, [8] The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. [9] O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

These verses are the revelation of the creation of the first man as God desired him to be and to live.

The KJV reads “Angels” but the correct translation is “God”. The Hebrew word is “Elohim.” It is the same word that is used in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning “God” (or “Elohim”). The thought of the Hebrew is “Just a shade lower than God.” Man was created as nearly like God as was possible. Man was to be God’s companion and under-ruler. His dominion was as far-reaching as Christ’s rule shall be when He shall take over the dominion of the universe.

Hebrews 2:5-9 NKJV
[5] For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. [6] But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? [7] You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. [8] You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. [9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

These verses are a revelation of Adam’s dominion. They reveal that man no longer holds that dominion. They show that the lost dominion of Adam has been given to Christ, by virtue of His sacrifice on man’s behalf.

Hebrews 1:3 NKJV
[3] who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Hebrews 1:3 NLT
[3] The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

This verse give us a suggestion as to the way Adam ruled God’s creation. Jesus now upholds all things by the Word of His power. Adam ruled creation by his word. His voice was like the voice of his Creator in its dominion over creation. Adam possessed such complete authority over creation that he had in his hands the legal relight to confer that dominion to another being. In our next lesson we shall see that he did this very thing.

Man’s Responsibility

It is impossible to over-estimate the responsibility of Adam. He was responsible for the heart-joy of God for the human family yet unborn. God could have spoken the entire human race into existence all at once, but He did not choose that way.

Genesis 1:28 NKJV
[28] Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

He made Adam and Eve fellow-workers with Him in bringing the human family into the world. God gave to man the ability to reproduce himself or beget children. These children were primarily for the joy and glory of God. Instead of creating the human race by one single word, God created on e man and woman. He said to them, “I permit you to give birth to My children to rear, educate, and care for them, teaching them to love Me and to respond to My yearning.” So man’s real business was to give birth to God’s children.

This gives a responsibility to man that can only be measured by eternity. Man gives birth to eternal personalities, to children who will live as long as God lives. Man, then is the custodian of God’s joy. We have dwelt in detail on the creation of the human race in Adam for a very definite reason, the renewing of your mind. Until the time that we were born into and lived in the realm of spiritual death. We had known of no condition for humanity outside the bondage of that realm. During that period, we all became familiar with the creation of man as given to us in Genesis 1 and 2, but we know it only through the world mind, which is enmity toward God.

In the story of Creation, we did not see that man was the reason for the existence of the universe. To us, man played a minor role. Our spirits, alienated from God, did not grasp God’s longing for children and His joy in creating a man in His own image, with dominion over creation. We saw instead a God for whom we felt no love or nearness, a policeman type of God.

We saw the creation of man as a pitiful failure, the creation of a poor, weak worm of the dust. We saw it as Satan would have us see it.

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 NKJV
[45] And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [46] However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. [47] The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. [48] As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. [49] And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 NLT
[45] The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam-that is, Christ-is a life-giving Spirit. [46] What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. [47] Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. [48] Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. [49] Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.

These verses tell us of two creations: the creation of Adam and the new spiritual creation in Christ. In Adam, we see man marred by the entrance of spiritual death, losing his fellowship with God and his authority over creation. In Christ, we see spiritual death destroyed and man made a new creature, as free from the dominion of spiritual death as though Adam had never sinned. As you know the place and reason for the first creation, you will know what you mean to the Father-heart of God. A low conception of the creation in Adam has given to us a low conception of the new creation in Christ.

Author: E.W. Kenyon

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Lesson 1: The Reason for Creation

December 7, 2016

In my quest to grow closer to God, I found a study that took me back to the roots of the Word of God.  I had to admit to myself that my knowledge was limited and humble myself to return back to the beginning, to the place where it all began and start again.

Too many people believe they have a knowledge of God, but if that were the truth, would not this world and the body of Christ be walking more powerfully than ever?  I asked myself that same question and found that I, too, needed to take a new journey with God.  That journey would bring me into a closer relationship to Him.

As with any relationship, we must invest time and we must give of ourselves to the point of sacrifice.  So in my attempt to do that, I find myself sharing that same study.  Did I write these words?  No!  I found this study taught by one of the great men of God and now I share it with any and all who have an ear to hear it.

Ask yourself, “Is this life all you expected it to be? Has it filled the void you feel inside?  Does it give you meaning and purpose or is there something missing?”  I am tired of walking this life caught up in the routine of day-to-day living.  I want more, but more of what?  I have tried filling my life with successes, but found no matter what I achieve or gained, these things never fully satisfied me.  The more I had, the more I wanted because the things I obrained never seemed to fill the void I felt inside.  So if you too want closure to your life, if you seek something more fulfilling, if you are tired of being sick and tired, then accompany me on this journey.  We will learn together as I share the great words spoken by one of the great men of God, E.W. Kenyon.  I hope as we learn together, that you too will deepen your relationship with God in such a way that your life takes on a new purpose.

Look around you.  Everything you set your eyes to has come about somehow.  Creation and the laws that govern it, reveal to us that someone greater is involved.  Nothing created was made without a purpose.  So have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is the purpose in creation?”

If we dig to the root of this questions, it would appear that the purpose of creation seems to be to provide a suitable environment for man.  In fact, if we take man out of creation, creation and its resources has no reason for existing.  So if God created the heavens as a home for man, He must have had a reason for creating man.

Mankind has searched untiringly for the answer to that very question.  Out of his quest for the answer, skepticism was born.  Yet, despite the vast points of view, we all to some degree have become God-conscious.  We sense that somewhere behind creation, there is an intelligent Creator.  The problem for many though is we have not been able to find Him or His purpose in creation with just Sense Knowledge, that is, knowledge derived from our five senses.

Man’s inability to know God is due to the fact that God is a spirit and that man has no contact with Him.  In his own spirit man, man is alienated from God and every contact that he has with the universe or reality, he has through his central nervous system and his five senses.  Through these five senses, man has not been able to contact God. He has learned a great deal about physical nature which is indifferent and many times cruel toward human life, but he has not been able to find God personally or His reason for creating man.  God must reveal Himself to man.

The great news is, He has done just that.  He has given us a revelation of Himself to man so that man would be able to contact it.  We call this “revelation knowledge” and it is obtained through our recreated spirits from the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV
[11] For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Man is limited to his sense knowledge. He is unable to know the inner thoughts of a man.  There is a veil of flesh that he cannot penetrate with his sense of sight, hearing or touch. That means that man is unable to read the thoughts of another person without that person giving voice to what they are thinking. In the same way, we cannot come to know God without Him giving voice to His thoughts.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 NKJV
[12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. [13] These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

God provides a revelation of Himself through His Word, that is, He gives voice to His thoughts through His Word. Through it, we can come to know Him intimately. We can learn what He has told us of His reason for creating us. That journey begins in the book of Genesis where God’s plan begins to unfold.

Genesis 1:14-19 declares that the earth is the reason for all the heavenly bodies that swing in their orbits through dark, illimitable space.

Genesis 1:14-19 NKJV
[14] Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; [15] and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. [16] Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. [17] God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, [18] and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. [19] So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

There is not a planet, moon, sun, or star in all the universe that does not have its influence upon our earth.  Our sun influences our climatic conditions such as heat, light, rain, and winds which make this planet capable of sustaining  life.  The tides of the oceans and seas are also influenced by the heavenly bodies.  Heat, cold, drought, and storms are also the direct results of planetary influences.  Each part of creation  plays a role in sustaining life as we know it.

If the earth is the reason for the heavens, what is the reason for the earth? That’s easy! Man. Only when God placed upon this earth a man created in His image, was there a reason for the vast universe which He had created.

Genesis 1 gives the account of creation which culminate of creation.   When man was created, God’s creative activity came to a rest.  He was the last and the highest of God’s work. The earth has no reason for existing outside of man.  Only when God placed upon this earth a man created in His image, was there a reason for the vast universe which had been created.  God had endowed man with the capacities to enjoy the beauty of His workmanship and to utilize its resources.

Isaiah 45:18 NKJV
[18] For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.

God created the earth to be inhabited by man.  In His creative acts, He provided for man’s every need, placing upon the earth everything man would need to survive.  He wrought in storing up treasures of all kinds of wealth for His man.  He covered the face of the earth with mountains, valleys, ravines, plateaus and prairies, streams and rivers, fruits and plants of every color.

Ask yourself, if the earth is the reason for the heavens and the man is the reason for the earth, then what is the reason for man?  Until we know the reason why God created man, we do not know the reason for creation.

Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV
[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

God – Heb. “Elohim” – the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, created the heavens and the earth.

John 1:1-3 NKJV
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Colossians 1:16 NKJV
[16] For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Psalm 104:30 NKJV
[30] You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.

Christ has a major role in the great acts of creation.  The Trinity lies hidden throughout the entire Old Testament.  In His ministry of teaching, Jesus revealed the Father-God.  In the beginning, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth. From the very beginning, God had a Father-nature, that is, a desire and love for children.

Ephesians 3:14-15 NKJV
[14] For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, [15] from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

These verses reveal that the Father-heart of God longs for sons and daughters to love, so He created man to walk with Him as His children. We are the answer to the Father’s hunger for children.

Ephesians 1:4-5 NKJV
[4] just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, [5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Before God created the world in His dream plan, man was marked out for Sonship.  He was to hold the place of a son in God’s love. He was to be the answer to God’s hunger for children.

Romans 16:25 NKJV
[25] Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began

1 Corinthians 2:7 NKJV
[7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,

Man was chosen for the place of a son first, then God created this universe to be a home for him.  The reason for creation is the Father-heart of God.

References: Matthew 7:11; 6:8; 6:25-32; John 16:27; 17:23; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7, 19 and John 14:23.

Satan has been very subtle in blinding our minds to the Father-nature of God.  The average Christian has had no real consciousness of God as being his Father. This ignorance has been due to the fact that our minds have not been renewed by the Word of God.  Sense knowledge has taken the place of the Word of God in our lives.  Jesus Christ has been manifested to man’s physical senses.

1 John 1:1-2 NKJV
[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life- [2] the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-

Jesus took upon Himself a human body through which He was manifested to man.  Man’s mind derives its knowledge through the senses of the physical body.  The Father has never been manifested to these senses, as He is a Spirit being.  Therefore man’s mind can form no mental picture of Him. When a man has been born again, past sense knowledge of the life of Jesus Christ has taken the place that the Father should have had in his life.  The renewing of the man’s mind by the Word of God brings a consciousness of the Father to him.

The Father nature of God has been revealed to us at creation.  There are two other laws of His being revealed here: One is that He is a faith God and the other is He is love. Love caused Him to create a universe and He created it by faith. He works by faith in His Word.  It was through His spoken Word that creation came into being.

(Author: E.W. Kenyon)

A Challenge to Your Faith – A Prayer that Will Move Your Mountains!!!!

October 23, 2015

I am challenging all those who are seeking change in their life to do something different.  The Bible says, that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  It is easy to talk about the circumstances of life when they hit you.  You can feel them. You can connect to them because they are affecting you on every level of your life.  We all desire change that will bring about a transformation of our life.  So here’s the challenge.  I am so sure that your life will change.  I stake my life on these words.  If you will pray these words over yourself for the next 6 months, not missing even a day, I promise that you will see things begin to change in you and in the circumstances of your life.  What do you have to lose?  I am sure, like myself, you have tried everything else, so why not try this.  Speak these words.  It is a prayer of faith and speaks nothing but God’s Word over your life.  Speak these things that be not as though they were and watch God’s hand move in your life.  Then write back and tell me of your testimony and believe me, you will have a testimony.  I know these words will be fruitful.

PRAY:

Lord, without faith, it is impossible to please You and anything other than faith is sin. I recognize that my faith is not as it should be and needs to increase that I may move to levels in You greater than this. The Bible says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So that tells me that faith is anchored in Scripture and is equivalent to the revelation I have of Your Word. So teach me Your Word Holy Spirit. Give me revelation of that Word so that my faith will grow. I do not want to be a person who has zeal without knowledge because that person will always produce negative results. Revelation and faith are God given. I choose to believe Your Word. I will receive what I believe because all Your promises are ‘yea’ and ‘amen’ to those who believe. It is by faith that I am able to overcome the world, so help me Lord to keep building upon that foundation of faith. I have learned that there is life and death in the power of the tongue. I choose therefore to always speak light into my life. I choose to live victoriously because I choose to allow that God-given faith to come into my life. I will base my thought life, my activities and my conduct in ministry and life upon the foundation of faith that You have laid in my life. Therefore, I will never fail. I will never be shaken, and I will never faint or falter. I will not be dependent upon the situation or the natural realm as my source. My faith is cultivated by You and by Your Spirit to the point that whatever you put into my heart for me to do, I will be able to accomplish.

I choose to not live according to the righteousness which is of the law for the man who does them shall live by them. I choose to live according to the righteousness which is of faith, the righteousness which says, the Word is near me, in my mouth and in my heart. That is the word of faith that I preach. I will not rely on my convictions or previous knowledge, but will go and sit at Your feet, Holy Spirit to be taught and inspired for there You will impart the righteousness which is of faith which speaks that which it has not yet apprehended for I having the same spirit of faith according as it is written, I believe and that is why I speak. My safeguard is believing Your Word, having faith in Your Word and speaking forth Your Word. Inject me with Your Word and help me to surrender myself in order that through that Word, faith may grow and never fail. Your Word is a firm and solid foundation to a life with and in You, so teach me Your Word that I may build on it for through it, I will always succeed in whatever I set my hands to do. Write Your law upon my heart and mind that I may shine out of darkness for what is in my heart will also be in my mouth, and what is in my mouth will become a divine manifestation in my life that will shine in the midst of adversity and breakthrough. For the Bible says that out of the abundance of my heart, my mouth will speak.

I don’t care who says what, if You put something in my spirit, I will through Your counsel and divine wisdom cause it to take place because the Bible says that You have given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. You’ll never call me to do what I cannot do. I have been chosen by You to perform a call. I surrender to You in order that You may build me up in a faith that will enable me to perform that call. I will not do anything that will disqualify me by trying to perform that call in a soulish or natural way. I will not have a counterfeit faith or a natural confidence. I recognize that everything that I claim to believe will be tested through opportunities that come through my situations in life. These situations were placed there by the enemy to contradict the Word, but I will not amplify them in my mind. I will live Godly by walking in faith for though many are my afflictions, You will deliver me out of them all for You have given me faith on the inside, You have given me the confession in my mouth, and You have given me the confession of Your mouth and the faith in Your heart. That means during affliction and persecution, I am on top because I believe exactly what I claim I believe and that belief will come out in that moment of testing.

I will not worry about what I will eat and drink because You, God, will supply all of my needs according to Your riches in glory. I will not worry about what is going on in the world because I know that by building a steady foundation in Your Word, I will not go through what others go through. I will have an increase in finances every year, I will have complete healing throughout my entire body because I know that Christ impaled my sin, sickness, and infirmities upon the cross and through that sacrifice I was made whole. Your Word is truth and that word is the ultimate authority in my life. My faith in Your Word makes it so that I won’t waiver in any area of my life. I am redeemed by Your Word which is available to me by the living Spirit who has impacted my heart with a faith that can overcome the world. That faith which is living on the inside of me has transformed and changed me forever. That faith gives me the God given ability to overcome anything the world can throw at me. Your Word is truth and that truth will outlast any situation that I will ever go through.

I am a Warrior in Your Army. I will rock the cities and nations of the world under the power of the Holy Ghost. Every demon will know me by name and know that there is nothing they can do to stop me. I will not magnify my situations and allow them to become mountains. You, God, are bigger than any difficulty that I can go through. Through my faith in Christ, I have overcome sin, temptation, demonic strategies, peer pressures, and any other thing that comes against me to nullify my edge for the Word of God is alive and will deposit and impact my spirit. I will act on the Word when I am challenged. I will not be moved or become double-minded when trials come. I will not be mindful of the spirits moving in my life, but will instead receive Your blessings. I will live by faith in the Son of God. I will not focus on the challenges of my life, but will focus on the promises You have given to me. I will remember Your faithfulness by meditating on Your Word and keeping that Word in my mouth and in my heart.

I am saved by grace through faith for Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law being made a curse for me. He became sin who knew no sin that I might become or be made the righteousness of God in Him. That faith is a God-kind of righteousness that was given to me before I ever resembled Christ-likeness. I will guard my heart in order that I might overcome the world, for out of the heart are the issues of life. I will not allow my heart to be troubled by allowing the devil to work on my thought life to bring anxiety, to steal my prayer time, or to elicit strife. I will not allow worries, cares, fears and unbelief to hit me for out of the heart my mouth will speak. I pray redemptive revelation that I might not cast off restraint. I will not allow my mind to become slack. I will not allow my spiritual ears to hear double reports. I will not allow my heart to start sensing and experiencing the challenges of faith. I will not anticipate any result except those that are in line with Your Word. I will tune my ear to hear Your thoughts, Lord, because I have the mind of Christ, the Messiah, and I do hold His thoughts, feelings and purpose of His heart. Therefore, by grace, I will put a watch on my mouth by guarding my heart and mind.

I will fight the good fight of faith. I will trust You and Your Word. I shall never be put to shame for You are the Author and Finisher of my Faith. Consume every part of my being with Your Word. Set me afire by actively living in me.

Lord, this is the victory that overcomes the world, even my faith. That tells me if I am going to overcome the world, I must have faith. The way faith comes is by hearing the Word of God so I will meditate on the Word. I will hear the good report of the Lord to the point to where it becomes my wholehearted conviction.

So search my heart Lord. Show me the areas in which I have not achieved victory. Bring to my remembrance truth that will elevate my faith to a level that will achieve the victory in that area. Give me an experiential revelation of You that I will see Your nature and Your character in each area of my life that I need to achieve victory in and benefit from those promises.

By faith, I will recognize Your promises. By faith, I know You will keep those promises. I will receive the faith that comes by hearing the promise and act upon that promise by consulting You and calling upon You when I need a manifestation of that promise. Father, unless I hear the truth, I can’t believe the truth and unless I believe the truth, I will not call on the truth when I need it in my life. Now Lord, when the faith message in Your Word challenges me to rise up to contend against things that come against me, I will relax knowing that You have already performed what you need to perform in order to purchase for me a position in You that I can utilize my God given authority to see Your results done in my life. For without faith, it’s impossible to please you and anything not of faith is sin. For that reason, I will embrace the good news or the gospel and please You through faith.

Father, launch Your Word inside me that I may have a revelation that will transform and impact my life. Through the empowerment of Your Word I will go fully prepared. I will not be ashamed or embarrassed. I will not start and fail. In faith, I will finish my course for you are the Author and Finisher of my faith. Your Word is always before me. It is in my heart and it is in my mouth. Through Your Spirit, I will speak what I believe. I will employ faith that is victorious. To ensure that, I will guard my mind. When I get a thought that is out of line with what Your Word says, I will recognize that it is not part of me. I won’t claim that thought and by doing so I will deny access to the old nature which is trying to resurrect and gain hold of my thoughts, and I will deny access to any demonic spirit trying to gain access into my life by gaining access to my heart and to my mouth. I know what I believe and I keep my thoughts in check.

I will renew my mind. I will keep the territory of my mind under Your influence. I will grow in the Lord by letting the mind of Christ have it’s way in my life. I will put into motion Your power because I am fully convinced of, persuaded by and unashamed of the good news. In my heart, I believe You are my Protector and with my mouth I will confess and experience You as such. With my heart, I believe You are my Provider and with my mouth, I will confess and experience You as such. With my heart, I believe You are my Healer and with my mouth, I will confess and experience You as such. With my heart, I believe You will rescue me and with my mouth, I will confess and experience You as such. I am not timid or ashamed of Your good news because it is Your power that causes me to cash in on everything that You have promised for my life. Your Word has power to deliver, to provide, to protect and to rescue. In it Your righteousness is revealed. It is revealed to me when Your will is recognized, accepted and believed in my life. Therefore I will recognize Your will. I will accept Your will and I will believe Your will.

Lord, to do that, I need a revelation of who Christ is and who I am in Christ. Show me in Your Word who I am that I might apprehend my provision, my new nature and my Christ-likeness through faith. As I grow in my revelation of Your righteousness, help me to grow in my identification of who I am and who my new self in Christ is.

New Creation Realities – Part 5

May 10, 2013

 

The Bible says,

“By grace have you been saved completely in past time (Ephesians 2:5)”

When were we saved?  2000 years ago, He took away the sins of the whole world, but now the whole world was saved positionally with Christ.  It was done in the past, but individually it never becomes a reality unless they receive that grace through faith.  Now if they do not put any faith in what He did, His grace won’t do them any good to save them. Grace is there to provide salvation when faith is appropriated. Grace is there to provide healing. Grace is there to provide prosperity.  Grace is there to provide security and protection and rescue and all the provisions of God’s Word when faith is appropriated to the promise.   When you believe in what God said and act in faith, that grace will see to it that your faith is linked up to what God has promised.  So you were saved where? In past time, but you were also saved by making a decision to appropriate what He did to your life.  Regardless of when we were saved, it was in time past and you got saved because you realized that 2000 years ago He did something about your identity.  So watch what happens.

“…With the present result that you are in a state of salvation…”

What state do you live in?  Now how many are sure you live in that state?  You mean you don’t live in two states at the same time?  Can you live in two states at the same time?  You can, but you can’t occupy them both at the same time, can you?  Well by the same token, you cannot occupy a state of salvation and a state of damnation, or a state of divine health and a state of sickness, or state of abundance and a state of poverty at the same time.  You just can’t do it.   You got to choose a state to live in and occupy.   The Bible says,

 “with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through present time.”

We are in a state of salvation that persists.

“…and raised us up with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6)” 

We are not only in a state of salvation that persists, but He raised us up and caused us to sit with Him in heavenly places.  So listen – you are not only the righteousness of God in Christ, but your new identity is an identification with a state of salvation that persists and also it is a new creation reality that should supersede natural reality.

“you are seated  far above principalities, powers and might and dominion (Eph 1:21)” 

That means you can seek the things which are above (Col 3:1-2). You can set your affections on things which are above.  You can think along the lines with those things which are available to you.  Someone will say, “Why don’t I do it?”  Because you don’t operate once and once and for all.  You have to be constantly changing in the spirit of your mind in order to cause them to take place.  There has to be an anticipation and reception of divine change and growth in God in order for it to continue to flow.  You have to keep having an attitude in God saying, “Yes more Lord.”  Now He won’t give you more if you are not doing something with what He has already given you.  You see what happens to us is we take this information and we file it away. We want to learn so we say, “my God, look at all this information.” We are filing it away because one day we are going to put it to work, but that is not the way to do it.  You cannot file away information about change and transformation in God and one day say, “I’ll put all this to work” because it is change.  It is not immediate change.  It is constant change.

So

“He raised us up, caused us to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Listen why…  (Wuest)

 “…In order that he might exhibit for His own glory in the ages that will pile themselves one upon another in continuous succession.  (Eph 2:7)” 

Now He is going to exhibit something in the ages to come, the King James version says, but the way the original language talks about it is that after all the ages have piled themselves one upon another.” He is talking about the future.  You were saved in the past but that salvation persists until now. Why? Because God is going to exhibit something for His own glory after the ages pile themselves on top of one another.   How many of you want to know what He is going to exhibit?

 “…the surpassing wealth of His grace in kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Now God can only exhibit the surpassing wisdom of His grace when He has a finished product. It is then, He will say, “Look what My grace has accomplished, a people who were helpless and hopeless and incapable of perceiving themselves in light of a new identity manage to receive not only a new identity, but a constant transformation that bought them from that dimension and that sphere of sin and despair to the place of Christ-likeness and cohabitation with God.  After the ages pile themselves on top of one another, your salvation will endure.  A trillion years from today, what God did in you in this life by the Word of God will still live as a testimony and never become old.  Your salvation will never become dreary. I mean ten million years from now, you will have the joy of the Lord living on the inside of you and still be marveling and thanking God for the grace that was appropriated to you from the hand of God.  He is going to exhibit something in you. Do you know what you are going to be?

You are going to be like a trophy and a pillar in the house of God.  You are going to walk around, but you won’t be special in the sense that you will be one of a kind, though you will be unique.  You will look around, but you won’t marvel at you, you will marvel at others.  The first shock will be when we all get to heaven. We are going to get shocked at who is there.  We are going to say, “How did you get here?” It is the grace of God.  You are going to walk around marveling and saying, “My God, look what the grace of God has done in you. It had to be the blood.” How many of you know that in some people, it had to be the blood?  And they feel the same way about you.  So that is going to be a powerful reality even after the ages have piled themselves atop of one another.

Now look at Ephesians 2:8,

“for by grace have you been saved in time past completely through faith,” 

How many of you believe you are saved completely?  How many of you know some people who show it more than others? Another words, some people are more kind, some more forgiving, some more loving. They have grown in their salvation. Now they are not more saved. You are never more saved then when you first got saved, but guess what! You are never less saved then when you first got saved.  That means you never have to lose the joy of your salvation. Somebody will say, “Why don’t I feel the way I felt when I got saved?” Because you don’t think about your salvation as much as you did when you first got saved.

If you just sit down and think where He has brought you from, what you used to be, where you are now, it won’t take long before you start getting excited about what God did, but if it is done once for all, you were completely saved in time past.  You are not going to get more saved.  You were saved by grace through faith with a result that your salvation persists through the present time.  How many are glad that it does?  How many want to grow in that? Although salvation is complete in you, change is conditional, isn’t it?  How many of you know people that live as baby Christians all their life? They die and go to heaven.  So you have a decision to make.   Some people live as struggling Christians.  They struggle with sin all their life, die and go to heaven.  You have a decision to make.  Some people live in a constant state of double-mindedness about everything being saved.  They die and go to heaven, but they live life without receiving anything from the Lord, but the Bible shows us that salvation is completely done. It persists through present time, but change is conditional.

We are going to change from glory to glory, and listen to this what Ephesians 2:9-10 says,

8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (NKJV)”

“and this {salvation} is not from you as a source; of God it is the gift, not from a source of works, in order that no one might boast, 10for we are His handiwork created in Christ Jesus with a view to good works which God prepared beforehand in order that within their sphere we may order our behavior” (Wuest)

Salvation is complete already.  You are just as saved as you will ever be in God. It persists until present time, but watch the key.  It says,

 “you are handiwork created in Christ Jesus with a view to good works which God prepared beforehand in order that within the sphere we may order our behavior.” 

What in the world does it mean? This is what it means… You did not offer salvation, so you cannot brag about salvation in the sense that you are boasting about it. You can brag about God providing it or about the salvation itself being provided by God, but you can’t say that anything you did helped it come about.  How many are glad for that?  But that gives you a security.  As long as your heart intends to serve God, then nothing you may fall into by mistake can undo the salvation God did. Now don’t misunderstand me, we do not believe in eternal security. We believe if someone wants to go to hell and they work hard at it, they will get there, but we do not believe that it is something that happens in a moment and a twinkling of an eye.  We believe you have to cross many barriers and safeguards that God placed there for your sake.  You have to be willing to walk away from what God has provided and go to the extreme in order to lose what God has given you in Christ.

This is what we are saying…  You did not earn it.  You did not provide it.  You did not do anything to make it happen but believe that it was finished and provided through Jesus.  Now that salvation persists until today. So it says, “You received it by grace through faith” and it says, “You are God’s handiwork.  You are God’s workmanship.”  Now you are His workmanship created (past tense) in Christ Jesus. What does that mean? That means that now you are the son of God, but it does not appear what you shall be (1 John 3:2).  Now although God knows exactly who you are because He has pre-created and predestined you in Christ, He has to bring what He knows about who you really are to you through the Word of God so that you can believe it and allow it to change you in the “Now” constantly to the image He has foreordained for you to be. So in other words, you are His workmanship created in Christ, so all you have to do is find out what Christ is like and attribute to your new self, in light of what He did, His likeness and His character. So that means if God created you in Christ, then Christ is God’s will for you.

“He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His dear Son. (Rom 8:29)” 

Now Jesus is the finished work and you are the work being worked upon now, but finished in Jesus before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:20).  When God looks at you, He says, “this is how you are, but then you look and say, “but that’s not how I am now”. God said, “but that is how you are before you ever became this way and after I am through with you, this is how you are going to be again because when I created Adam, I made him in My likeness and in My image and in his loins I created you perfect, righteous, and holy.  He was the first man, the head of a human race that was to resemble me and be like me, and he fell but I knew he was going to fall so I prepared a last Adam and in Him, I created you again with the same glory, I have put in you and the same identification I put in you when you were in the first Adam.  Then I sent the last Adam to undo what the first Adam did so that through an act of faith in what the last Adam did, you can take the new nature that is finished work in Christ and cause it to be changing, transforming work in you until the finished work becomes a reality in you and you see him like he is and you changed into His likeness.

That’s where you are headed and it doesn’t have to wait until after the rapture because the fun is gone then. It is celebration time then, but if it happens before the rapture, devils are going to face Jesus again in you. He will be living in you. His miracle working power lives in you. His mind lives in you.  His spirit lives in you. His fruit will live in you. Every part of Him will live in you and the world itself will face another Christ.  It will be Christ in you because when the body of Christ and it won’t be another Christ.  It will be Christ in you because when God said you are His handiwork, He said, “He created in Christ”.  You were foreknown.  You were predestined to conform to the image of his dear Son.  You are the body of Christ. Now it is a finished salvation persisting until now, but the transformation has to come by the renewing of your mind and as you constantly allow what God has already planned you to be and predestined you to be and list to this, He has created you in Christ to be before He ever came. Now when you allow that to come into your life, it changes you.

Now what happens when you change? Listen to what happens… You are changed to walk the sphere of good works, the same good works you were foreordained to walk in and you start walking in the sphere of good works and what happens is – the blind see and the deaf hear and the lost get saved and the down brother gets uplifted and you do not get offended, you forgive and people do not understand what it is. You say, “How can you walk like that?” Well I have embraced a new identity, therefore I can walk in a different sphere.  What kind of sphere is it?  It is the sphere of good works because I was foreordained to walk in them. Now how do you walk there?  By faith.  That means through unbelief and doubt and associating yourself with the old man, you walk in the sphere of bad works.  You can read the Bible and get nothing out of it because you are in another dimension. So God said, “You are a finished work in Christ, but you are a progressive work through Christ.” The Word of God is progressively changing you, redeeming you back to the foreknown image that God had for you.  Beloved, now we are the sons of God, but it does not yet appear what we shall be, but what little revelation we are constantly allowing to come into our life and we are receiving, that which we are receiving is bringing constant change and it is causing us to order our behavior in the sphere of good works because we are God’s handiwork.

 

New Creation Realities – Part 4

May 9, 2013

 

Ephesians 4:22 says,

“that you put off concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” 

We are going to talk about your heavenly identity new creation realities. You are not who you used to be. There is new life living in you, different in quality and that life is going to express itself through you if you will yield over to it.  Ephesians 4:23-24 says,

23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind 24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.” 

Now in the Kenneth Wuest translation, it reads,

22that you have put off once for all  reference to your former manner of life the old self who is being corrupted according to the passionate desires of deceit, 23moreover that you are constantly renewed with reference to the spirit of your mind; 24 and that you have put on once for all the new self who after God was created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” 

I want you to see that these things never transpire on their own.  That is an important thing to know.  You are the one who puts off the old man and its reference to the way you used to be.  Now notice that it is the things you used to believe and the things you used to do that are inconsistent with your new nature.  They are attributes that are the byproducts of the old man’s dominion in your life.  The Bible says,

 “you have put him off once for all in reference to your former manner of life.”

He is antiquated.  He is outdated.  Why? Because the manner of life you experienced when he was dominating you is not the manner of life you are called to live and so you put him off.  It takes an act of faith to do that. That means you have to disassociate yourself with the identity you possessed before you were born again.  Now that is an act of faith isn’t it? It is saying that “I am dead to and separated from both the old man and his influence, as well as, the manner of life I used to live which was the result of his influence over my life.” So once for all you do that through an act of faith.  Now how many of you know that you need to remember that you did that in order to enforce what you did?   You can set a certain thing and you could put it on and you can say, “this is the way it is”, but if you forget that you did that, then it can later on creep up and become a problem. It doesn’t mean you didn’t do it, it means you forgot you did it and you forgot to enforce and stand by the decision you made.   So here, in reference to the old manner of life, in reference to the old ways, the old man, the power of the devil, you have once for all put it off.

How many want to do that – be disassociated from the old nature?  Then it says, “That old man is being corrupted.” Now you put him off, haven’t you? So guess what – he is being corrupted, but he is not part of you. If you put him off, he is not part of you. Now if you make him a part of you, you have to fight against him.  This is where people go wrong.  They say, “Well, you got to control your appetites.” No, you have to disclaim your appetites. You have to use your faith to experience deliverance from your previous appetites because they are outdated.  They are antiquated.  They are not part of who you are now, so throw them away, however, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem with temptations.  That means you know what to do about it. You say, “No that is not me and it is not me now.”  That’s right, you say “no” to it. Then what happens is – using your faith you are separating yourself from the influence of that thing and aligning yourself with a new thing.  We have to once for all put off the old man in reference to the old ways and say, “You are outdated. You lived in my life before I received a new nature.”

Now the Bible says, this old man is being corrupted with passionate desires, but he is not part of you.

Now if you claim him, then you will have to fight against him. You will have to continue to try to win.

Now you would be amazed at how many Christians are running around having a hard time resisting sin, but then again, how can you claim a certain nature and then have authority over it? You can’t. That is why it is important that you understand your heavenly identity and know your new creation realities. You have to know who you are and you have to know it is a reality.  What Jesus did on the cross is a reality. It isn’t fantasy and it isn’t a fad. The problem is – that which is natural, you have been exposed to a lot longer.  We have to train ourselves to embrace what is Word-based and what is spiritual, and release and let go of what has been natural although we have had experience in it. So watch what else you have to do. It says that you are constantly being renewed with reference to the spirit of your mind.  It is not enough to hear one good sermon. You cannot put one foot in the Word of God and one foot in the traditions of men, and manage to come out on top.  The problem is not your problems.  The problem is that you are not being constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind.

Now what would stop someone from being constantly renewed? Let me tell you what – not being constantly fed the Word of God.   You cannot slip into a dead church one day and get a good dose and go right back to business as usual. You are going to have problems because you don’t put the old man off once for all with reference to the previous lifestyle and then be casually renewed or partially renewed or part-time renewed in the spirit of your mind.  No, because one day you will live for God, the next day you will live for satan.  One day you will pray the prayer of faith, the next day you will forget that you did.  The Bible is clear – you make the decision once for all that the old man will not live and cohabit with the new man but then you have to remember that decision in order to enforce that decision.  Now that decision is enforced by thoughts.  Every time something creeps up, you must say “wait a minute, who am I?  I am so and so.” How many of you remember when you got saved? Now how many of you know that you sinned after you got saved? But most of us talk about the sins you committed before you got saved.  Why is that? Because those sins were there until the day your conscience was renewed to the fact that you were a saint and from then on, you knew what to do with sin when it came and you knew how to repent of it when it came.  You have to say, “yeah, I did that but I am not a sinner. I am free from that.” 

So now that you remember that you put off the old man with his ways, you say, “Just because I did that way back when, doesn’t mean I will not do that now.  I will not sin now.  I will not doubt now. I will not fail now.  I will not fear now.”  But in order to do that, you have to be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, but what happens to you when you get away from the Word of God? Listen, when you get away from the Word of God, you get away from feeding on the Word.  It doesn’t take long before you begin thinking about what God says and you find out that you have a hard time remembering Scripture.  Have you ever been in an anointed atmosphere and the preacher wasn’t even talking about what you started to think about?  He said one Scripture and the Spirit of God and your spirit started just bringing out hundreds of Scriptures that have nothing to do with what he said.  Now how did you remember that?  Well, what happens is, the anointing of God released in you that new mind which had become dormant in you when you stopped being renewed by it.  This is why you need to maintain a constant flow of transformation in your life and put off the old man once for all, enforcing the fact that he has no dominion. How?  By being

“…constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind”

That means you feed on the Word of God until it is no longer a struggle to believe that you are what the Word says you are.  You know, because the spirit of your mind has been renewed and is being renewed. Remember, it is not enough that we have been changing, it is important that we continue to be changed, but notice where the change is – in the spirit of the mind.  If you are going to change the way you walk and the way you live, you have got to allow God to change the way you think.  Now some of it has been because of what we thought about God, but not most of it. A very small part of it has been our thoughts about God because any sensible Christian knows God is able. Any sensible Christian knows that God is good. Any sensible Christian knows God is holy. Any sensible Christian knows God is right, so it is not necessarily what we thought about God that has caused us problems, it is what we thought about ourselves. Somebody said, “Well, that’s Jesus”, but when we disassociate ourselves from the nature of Jesus, we disassociate ourselves from the life of Jesus, the character of Jesus, the fruit of Jesus and the results He had.   The problem is not what we thought about God, but what we have thought about ourselves when we were outside the provision of Calvary.  Now we have to look at ourselves in Christ. 

Now you will always find somebody who will say, “but you don’t understand what I have been through. I have been hurt.”  Yes, but in Christ, “no weapon formed against you will prosper (Isa 54:17).  In Christ, you can forgive.  In Christ, you can cast your cares upon Him (1 Pet 5:7).  In Christ, you can be free.  The moment we find out who we are by virtue of our new nature, the more we can be changed and when we change the way we think, we will change the way we walk, the way we talk and the way we act because that nature will become strong in us.

 I want you to say this, WHEN I THINK ON THE WORD OF GOD AND BELIEVE ITS PROMISES, THEN THE LIVING WORD MOVES IN TO ENFORCE AND MANIFEST WHAT IT SAYS.

That’s right! When you think on God and His Word, you will say, “that’s who I am and that’s what I believe.”  All of a sudden, the power of that Word becomes a reality.  Now most people are waiting until it becomes a reality to believe it.  I bet you are thinking, “You are just saying that because you have that kind of faith. “ No, I am saying that because I have that kind of faith because I say that.  How many of you have heard someone say, “When things go right and I clean up my act, I will be able to say that.”  No, but if you can believe that now, think that now, say that now, then every part of your life will line up with it.  Remember, it is not what you do, it is what He did.  If what you did mattered, you could have saved yourself without Him.  That means you can’t save yourself, nor can you change yourself either.  So what do you do? You put off once for all the old man. You remember you put him off and constantly be renewed by the spirit of your mind.

Now as we grow in God, we are going to find out more and more about it until we are free from everything that the old nature brought into our life until the last thing left is the aging process of the physical body and the need to be glorified.  We are going to walk in the strength where the early church walked and the apostles walked and Jesus walked.  There has never been a time when Jesus claimed a relationship with God that you cannot have.  There has never been a time that Jesus claimed results in God that you cannot have.  You never hear Jesus saying, “This is for Me. You cannot have it”, but we have done it.  Well somebody said, “You know we have to be humble.” No, humiliation is not a violation of Jesus’ message to the church. Somebody said, “We have to be realistic.”  When reality is a violation of a new creation reality, we need to discard reality and embrace this new creation because it will change us.  Reality will never change us.  So once for all you put off the old man.  You remember you did and then you are changed constantly with reference to the spirit of your mind and as Kenneth Wuest said, “you have put on once for all the new self who after God was created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”

Now notice that you do not only put the old man off once and once for all, but you put the new man immediately on once and once for all.  Now you would think that is enough, but it isn’t because it didn’t say, “and be ye changed once and once for all in the spirit of your mind.” Do you know what that means? That means that there is no magic formula that says, “be ye free from problems once and once for all.” Now your identity changes by virtue of a faith decision that you make in the now.  “I am no longer sick, I am healed.”  What about the pain? Well that will be dealt with when I continue to be changed in the spirit of my mind because sometimes we will have an instantaneous miracle and sometimes we will have a constant change.  Have you ever experienced a time in your life when things were going right for while and then all hell broke loose?  Let me tell you what happened.  You stopped being constantly changed.  When things were going well, your mind changed, but then the old crept back up again.   Now you have to let go of your old once and once for all, and then you have to remember you did.  You put on the new nature once and once for all, and then you have to remember you did. What happens if you forget that you put on the new nature? You will stop being constantly changed.  Why is that?  You forgot.  Now if you remember you are a new creature, you will remember “that’s who I am in Christ”.  

Now somebody might say, “but you are not there yet.” Yeah, but the decision to be there was based upon a finished work Jesus did, and the gift and the ability to get there was imparted to me by Jesus who already made me the righteousness of God before I ever performed a good act.  Now whether or not I get there is determined by two things – remembering my new identity and choosing to be constantly changed.   When I choose to be constantly changed, then I am growing closer to obtaining that reality.  Now it is a reality in the spirit but it’s got to become a manifested reality. Now if we keep constantly allowing change, we will see constant growth in the manifestation of that reality.  Now why do people not see that? Because they go – get a little result and then stop changing.  Then go back and relate to the old nature and then they start all over again.  Then get over here, get a little results, and say, “I wonder why the Lord won’t do more.  So the faith decision is – I am no longer who I was.  It is outdated. This is who I am once and once for all in Christ and now this is the decision I make now and I will continue to make.  I am going to be changed in the spirit of my mind. How? By allowing the Word of God to bring my conviction and persuasions to believe from now on what God says about me.  So what happens is that becomes a reality in your life. What are you being changed into? You are being changed into the new self who was created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

I want you to lay hands on who was created in righteousness and holiness in truth.  I want you to lay hands on yourself right now and say, “I AM A NEW CREATION, CREATED IN GOD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND IN TRUTH. I AM DISASSOCIATED WITH, I AM DEAD TO AND I AM FREE FROM THE OLD MAN WITH HIS CRAVINGS AND HIS DESIRES AND HIS CORRUPTIONS.  I AM NOW THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST.  I  BELIEVE THAT NOW. I HAVE CLAIMED IT NOW ONCE AND ONCE FOR ALL, BUT I WILL REMEMBER WHO I AM AND I WILL CONTINUE TO BE CHANGED IN THE SPIRIT OF MY MIND FROM GLORY TO GLORY.  I WILL CHANGE INTO THE IMAGE OF THE SON OF GOD.”

Now let’s look at Ephesians 2:5-10, Kenneth Wuest.

“and we being dead with respect to our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ; by grace have you been saved completely in past times, with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through present time, 

Listen to this – “Somebody said, “you got to die to self” and most Christians are running around confused because how can you die to self when you are self?  Who makes the decision to die to self?  Self.  Well, what happens after self dies?  Who makes the decision after that?  I think you get the point. That very line of reasoning is why we are so confused.  You don’t die to self, you die to the identification of who self is and you live to the new identification with who you believe Christ has made you.  Now the Bible says,

“and we being dead with respect to our trespasses…” 

What are we dead to?  …with respect to our sins.  Somebody will say, “But you are a sinner.”  No, where is sin?  You are dead to it.  You are separated from it.  That means you and sin do not operate on the same wavelength.  You and sin do not coexist.  You and sin cannot co-mingle.  You are dead to sin and it is dead to you.  How shall they who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Rom 6:2)  As you can see, it can’t happen because you are dead to it.  If you are dead to someone, you are separated from that someone.  There is no communication with that individual.  So the Bible says

 “He made us alive together with Christ”

How many are glad that when Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God, it was the faith act that reaches right here to this century.  Through the eyes of faith, you see the resurrection of Jesus as the resurrection of you.  Your resurrection is the newness of life in Him.  You see a new nature rising up in Him.  You can take that new nature by faith from the resurrection 2000 years ago and attribute it to you now.  How did Jesus rise from the dead?  He rose victoriously.  He rose triumphantly.  He rose with glory. So how do you rise from spiritual death and from spiritual bondage to sin? You rose the same way.  You attribute it to you now by faith.   You claim it now by saying, “That’s it! That’s who I am.” How many of you know that when the government tries to hide you from someone who is trying to kill you because you have been a witness against them in a case, they give you a new identity?  You are no longer who you used to be.  You cannot go back to associating with or talking to or relating with anyone that knew you in your previous identity.  When they call you by name, you say, “who?  You got me mistaken with someone else.” Why is that? Because now you have chosen a new identity.  Well, the parallel is similar here, but it is greater in value because it is not as if you are a new person.  Your faith in what Christ did literally will take the nature of Christ and cause it to become and live in you and will literally cast out the old nature which really wasn’t your nature to begin with.  It was handed over to you by Adam.  Because of failure, you became the participant of sin and the partaker of it.  Because of Jesus’ victory, you became a partaker of and participant in His righteousness and His resurrection from the dead.

 

New Creation Realities – Part 3

May 8, 2013

 

Let’s look at 2 Peter 1:3-4

3as His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 

Now the word “Knowledge” is the word “experiential knowledge”.  So it is saying, “Through the experiential knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue.” How many of you believe you are called to glory and virtue?  Now how many of you know you are not called to glory and virtue when we all get to heaven only? You are called to glory and virtue right here and now, and that glory and virtue can be claimed by faith right here and now.  Now the Bible said that it was according to God’s divine power that He gave to us everything that we need regarding life and godliness. The Bible said, “Jesus said, ‘I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10).’” How many believe that life is for here?  Now what is that life?  Let me tell you what it isn’t.  A man’s life consists not of the abundance of things which he possesses. How many of you know that you can have things and you can be sad?  How many of you know that you can have possessions and be sad? But somebody will say, ‘that’s why I don’t want anything.” Well, you can be sad and not have anything too.  So it is not the possessions or lack of possessions that have made a person sad.  No, it is that they need the things that pertains to life, that pertain to abundant life in the spirit man. Now how do you get salvation? You got salvation by grace through faith (Eph 2:8).  It injected in your spirit a new nature that is different in quality. Now how will you receive things that pertain to life and godliness and how will you receive abundant life?  You will receive it by taking God’s Word and hiding it in your heart and then when it is in your spirit, it will fill your spirit with the experiential knowledge of Jesus that will provide you with abundant life.

So when people say, “I know why you are happy. It is because things are working out for you and you are prospering”, you can say, “No, I am prospering because I am blessed. My prosperity is just a blessing. My joy is not based upon my prosperity. My joy is based upon my identity. I have a new identity. I am born again.  I have a new quality and that is a quality capable of having 24 hours a day contact with everything that I need for life and godliness.”  Now once your prosperity is there, it is automatic for the natural realm to yield to you because you are going to begin to think not only as a child of God, but as an ambassador of God, as a king and priest, as a ruler, as someone  who reigns in life.  You are going to begin to think like that and when you think like that, the power of God that is in you to enforce that thing will be able to flow through you.

The Bible said, that “as a man thinks, so is he (Pro 23:7).” How many of you know that it doesn’t matter how powerful an athlete is, how capable an athlete is, or how physically in shape an athlete is, if mentally they don’t believe in themselves, if they don’t have what it takes to go the extra mile, they are never going to make it?  We have seen people with smaller frames and weaker bodies accomplish feats in athletics that were greater and of greater value and of greater magnitude than someone who had a bigger body.  I want you to just lay hands on yourself. I want you to say this: “I AM A NEW CREATION, NEW IN QUALITY, FREE FROM THE OLD, AND READY TO RECEIVE EVERYTHING RELATED TO THE NEW. SO I WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF THE REVELATION KNOWLEDGE THAT I WILL RECEIVE FROM THIS MOMENT ON.  IT WILL SHAKE MY LIFE AND TRANSFORM ME IN ORDER THAT I MIGHT MEET MY APPOINTMENT WITH DESTINY.”

So He gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the experiential knowledge of Him who called us to glory and to virtue.” Now notice verse 4, “whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Now the Kenneth Wuest says,

“Having escaped by flight the corruption which is in the world in the sphere of passionate cravings.” 

Now what does that mean? That means you are living in a world that has a dimension that is ruled by passionate cravings.  They hurl themselves upon the human soul.  They are nothing but satanic desires. How many of you know that sin is alive, just like righteousness is alive? And that sin was given right to enter planet earth by a man and that sin was broken and defeated by another man. Now God did not annihilate sin in the sense that it does not exist or it does not have influence. It still will influence whoever will yield to it and give it a bit of place.  You can just begin to think the wrong way and before you know it, wrong thoughts will be infused by supernatural power to bring about bondage in your life.

There is this sphere of passionate cravings, a dimension where demonic spirits operate in order that they might bring people under subjection to them.  The Bible calls it “the flesh”.  It is not the meat on your body. It is not your physical body.  It is a flesh dimension that attacks people who are walking susceptible to, who are walking in agreement with error and doctrines of devils.  When you are walking in the realm of unbelief, you are open to that sphere of passionate cravings.  Now the only reasons why a Christian can walk there is because they don’t know any better, because they think they belong there, because they think they are a sinner and as a result, they immediately placed themselves in that realm where sin can begin to attack their life.  They say, “Well, we don’t have any power.” Immediately they have placed themselves in a place where symptoms of sickness and disease can begin to come and try to convince them that they are going to catch something.

So this is what the Bible said, “having escaped the corruption”.  We have escaped the corruption “which is in the world in the sphere of passionate cravings.” How many of you believe you have escaped? You are not going to escape.  The Bible says, “you have escaped by flight the corruption that is in that sphere of passionate cravings.” Now I will tell you something. If you walk in the Spirit, the Bible said “you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5:17)”. Now what does that mean to walk in the Spirit? It doesn’t mean that it is just your spirit man and that you are walking according to your spirit man therefore you are denying your body. No, what it means is, you are walking in the Spirit dimension of the Word of God, in agreement with your new identity or who you are in Christ.  You are looking at things from God’s perspective because He has given you everything that pertains to life and godliness. Because you are in that realm, the sphere of passionate cravings of the dimension that you only go into when you step out of faith, when you depart from the faith, when you get out of the agreement with God, that dimension cannot touch you.

Jesus said, “He keepeth himself and the wicked one does not touch him (1 Jn 5:18). Now how can the wicked one touch you not if the wicked one has already claimed your physical body as territory? No, your physical body is the holy temple of God (1 Cor 6:19) and we are going to look into that later in our studies, but the key is that you have to understand there are two realms.  Both can be journeyed into by thought. Now why would Jesus say, “take no anxious thought of what you will eat and of what you will put on (Mt 6:25)”?  Why is He saying that?  Because the moment you begin to take anxious thought about survival, you will begin to do something ungodly to try to make it happen. Have you seen people who are so nervous about, “well I got to take care of #1”? Do you know what they are saying? They are saying,  “I will kill you in order to survive.”  Now what got them over there? They took thought and by taking thought, they stepped into the dimension where passionate cravings and demon spirits have said there’s an invitation by an earthling and we can come in and we can capitalize off that invitation.  Now in your life, when you are thinking along the lines of the word of God, you are not in the passionate cravings realm. You have escaped by flight through the word of God and you are in the dimension of the Spirit. The Bible calls it the “kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13)”. The Bible calls it the “kingdom of light”. The Bible calls it ‘you’re planted in the garden of the Lord.” It is a different territory.

How many of you know that God’s kingdom and the devil’s kingdom do not occupy the same territory? It is not the same realm. God and the devil do not share the throne. So when you think along the lines of the Word, you are immediately free from every bit of those things. Now if someone is having trouble with that, it is someone who teeters.  They waiver. The Bible said, “a double-minded man (Jms 1:8): What is that? A double-minded man thinks himself over here and they are in the kingdom of God.  Then they think themselves over here and they are back at the passionate craving realm.  Now what did God say? “He gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that by these promises we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Pet 1:3-4).” So that means your new heavenly identity, your new creation reality is association with and a participation with an experiential knowledge of God’s divine nature.  Now how do you claim that?  You take thought about it. You find out He was made sin.  You meditate on “that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” You say, “Man, I am the righteousness of God through Jesus”.   All of a sudden, you are in another realm.  John G. Lake used to walk up to a mirror and talk to the guy in the mirror as if he was somebody else. He would say, “that guy over there wearing that suit, that guy is God’s man. Wherever that man goes, God goes.” So when you claim those things for your life, you become a partaker of those things.

 

New Creation Realities – Part 2

May 7, 2013

 

As we continue our studies on New Creation Realities, I want you to turn in your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 and read,

18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

Now in the previous lesson, we learned that we are a new creation and have a heavenly identity, but how did this take place?  The Bible tells us that we are in the world, but we are not of the world (Jn 17:16).  We are aliens, but how did we become aliens?  The Word of God says that when you became in Christ, “all things became new, all things became of God”.  It told us that the same God who has made up with us, reconciled things with mankind so as to put things in order with mankind. Now how did He do that?  The Bible says it is by Jesus Christ that He has taken the world and brought them to Himself.  Then He told us to know that God was in Christ Jesus.  That’s right, God’s deity dwelt within the physical existence of Jesus Christ in order that God might make things right with mankind and bring mankind once again into a co-friendship and camaraderie and companionship with Him.  So literally, God strategically foreordained the divine plan to send His Son down to earth in order that He might undo the things the devil has done and bring mankind once again on a spiritual plane where God and man can walk together and collaborate together and be able to function together on a spiritual dimension.

Now Jesus was incarnated so that the deity within Jesus would preach the Word and perform a sacrificial work.  He was incarnated so that through His conquest, we would overcome our enemy.  He was incarnated so that we would be taken from a fallen position in Adam and be moved to a victorious position in Christ.  Through Him, we are reconciled to God.  Through Him, we have become one with God.  How many think that is good news? When you got born again, all of the realm never available to you before opened up to you.  You were given a brand new identity. You became privy to a different calendar and a different time-table. From that moment on, everything previously that you may have trusted in, if it was not of Christ and it probably wasn’t, was antiquated and out-of-date.  Now you do not know much about this realm and I have come to prove just that.  Most of us still get shocked when a miracle happens because to us that is still abnormal, but the abnormal is to still be acquainted with the past and the person we used to be.  Now we are shocked when we see this miracle-working power occur, but notice what Jesus was shocked about.  He said, “How is it that you have no faith (Mk 4:40)?” How is it that you do not understand (Mk 8:21)?”  He is always shocked at the things that are normal to us.  We would argue about those things, but to Him, He was completely at the other end.

What is important though is we can go there too if we become the recipients of an experience that has made us new in quality.  That is our new identity.  So God took the initiative and stepped out of heaven and came to earth and did what He did in order to reconcile you to Him. How many of you know that when people fall out and get in an argument, there are certain things that they need to do to make things right?  You know husbands and wives get in a fight and they don’t talk for a while.  Then somebody sends someone some flowers and the person receiving them says, “Look, what he sent me. Look, what he did.” Then all of a sudden, it reconciles them.  Now God did more than just send flowers. He sent the Rose of Sharon in order to make things right again.  Now why is that? It is so that He might bring us into agreement with Him.

“How can two walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3)?

God want His children to be able to see eye to eye with Him. See, this is what we do not understand in Christianity. We think that God is happy for us to be able to not know what He is thinking or what He is planning, but God wants us to see eye to eye. The Bible says,

“with an open face, we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and are changed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).”

So that means if we are going to see eye to eye with God, we have got to hear His side of the story and we have got to believe His side of the story.   What is His side of the story?  God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ.  When did this happen?  While we were yet sinners… The Bible says,

“God commended His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).”

Now what did God think when He sent Jesus? He knew He is the God that quickens the dead.  He is the God who calls things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17).  He knew that He was not only going to give Jesus for you, but He was going to be able to reach you through Jesus.  He knew that He was going to be able to change you through Jesus and that through Him, you both would see eye to eye and walk together in agreement.  God wants a spiritual race of men and women that know how to walk in the Spirit and that know how to bring about the will of God into planet earth.   That is why He gave Jesus. What we are doing here is not abnormal. What we are doing here is mandatory.  What we are doing here is God’s perfect will for everyone who will name the name of Christ. For this reason, it is important for us to explore the things Jesus has provided so that we can put them to work now within the ranks of our new nature and allow our faith in these things to drive out everything that was out-of-date in our lives. So since what we used to be becomes irrelevant and out-of-date, we can say not only was Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, but He was not imputing the trespasses against them (Rom 5:13).

The Bible adds that God committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. Now in order for God to commit to you the same ministry that He gave Jesus, He has to fill you with the same divine nature that was in Jesus. “To wit” (KJV) means to know “that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto Himself.” God’s ambassadors are like a magnet. It is the God in them that draws the world to Himself.  Now they don’t draw the world to them, they draw the world beyond them. They do not deny what God is manifesting through them. They just say, “I am not the source of it”.  They draw people not only to them, they draw people pass them because the same divine nature that was reconciling and drawing the world unto itself when it was in Jesus, that same nature will reconcile and draw the world through you, and now it will be Christ in you who is drawing people. He will not only draw people to Himself, but He will draw people through Himself to the Father.  Now can you see what I am talking about?

It is important for you and I not only to have the new quality and the new nature living in us, but to allow that new nature to become everything we believe and everything we breathe, we think and we live so that we can know exactly how to utilize that spiritual force to draw people. Do you know that if we really grew in our perception of our new creation reality, we wouldn’t have to say much before people knew we had something? Now I am not saying we wouldn’t have to witness. What I am saying is that we wouldn’t have to run around trying to get someone to witness to.  People would be able to recognize that there is something on the inside of us, there is something we have that they do not have and that, in itself, will open a door and open an avenue for ministry.

The Apostle Paul says, “That we are ambassadors for Christ’s sake, as though God is begging you by us, we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (KJV)” Now how many of you know that if the apostle said that, then we are called to say the same thing? How many believe that you are God’s ambassador? Now what does that mean? That means the word in your mouth is God’s Word.  The ambassador of the U.S. to another nation is a representative of this country with the word of this country, the policy of this country, and the views of this country in his mouth.  So when somebody asks him, “What do you think about that?” He will say, I am not allowed to discuss what I think. As a matter of fact, I only think and I only believe what the nation says and what the views of the nations are.  By the same token, you are not going to live your life as an ambassador, unless you get rid of views, concepts, ideas and words that you’ve allowed to run through your mind. You have to get rid of those.  Discard them.  The only way to do it is to get a revelation of your new nature and your new job.

Say this, “I AM AN AMBASSADOR, NOT ONCE IN A WHILE, BUT MY LIFE IS A LIFE OF AMBASSADORSHIP FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

From the time we received Jesus, He came to entrust us.  He doesn’t force us or load us down with it, but He begins to entrust and cause us to learn about it so that eventually in spiritual maturity, we would come to the point where we rid ourselves of views, ideas, concepts and doctrines that we used to allow in our life.  Now we come into a place where only the Word of God, the thoughts of God, the views of heaven become what we have burning in us and what we have expressed through us. So when people meet us, we pray them in Christ’s stead “be ye reconciled to God, as if God in us was begging them or pleading with them to get things right so that He doesn’t have to condemn them to a hell or an eternity in hell. Now that is important because not only does that mean we are ambassadors, but in our spiritual nature, it means that there is a divinity that is reaching out and that deity is the personal, literal presence of God, the person of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost that lives in us.  That deity is reaching out continually to draw people to itself.  It says, “Now don’t look at them, look beyond them because the thing you are sensing, the words you are hearing, the power you are experiencing did not come from them being the source, but it came from Me, and that life is shining for you to evangelize the world.  How many of you think that is a good way for you to evangelize the world?

Now look at first 21.

“For He has made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 

Now you have a new identity and that is this – You’re not a sinner.  Now if you’re walking around in sin and you’re walking around living a double life, then you’re an abnormal creation.  You have got to put one of the two beings that are expressing themselves through you to death.  Now how many of you would rather kill the old man?  Now why is that?  Because you are no longer a sinner.  Someone was made sin for you in order that He might make you the righteousness of God and that someone is Jesus. 

Now the Wuest translation reads it like this,

“He who did not know sin in an experiential way, on behalf of us and instead of us, was named (the representative of) sin, in order that, we might become a righteousness of God in Him.”

How many here knew sin in an experiential way?  I want you to say this,”I am the righteousness of God.”  Now you are a righteousness of God.  What does that mean?  That means you’re not a righteousness of man.  You’re not a righteousness of religion.  You’re not a righteousness of public opinion.  Now, public opinion has certain things that it accepts as righteous.  They look at the person who is a humanitarian and they may accept that.  Then they look at a person who is given to charity and they might accept that, but you’re not a man-made righteousness.  You are a righteousness of God.  Now what does that mean?  You are a living righteousness.  You are a breathing righteousness.  You are a thinking righteousness.  You are a righteousness on your way somewhere to manifest righteousness.

Now sometimes humanity does not understand that you are a righteousness, but you have to meet the criteria of being a righteousness that is given by God and you have to continually reject the pressures of man and society to conform you to the type of righteousness that is acceptable to them.  This is why many people are coming out of traditional dead churches because these churches have loaded down believers with the righteousness that was religiously made.  It was thought out.  It was planned out.  It was believed and it was received by people and that is the standard of it.  Some of them, if you don’t look a certain way, then you couldn’t be a righteousness of God.  So what happens is God begins to do a work of deliverance and liberation.  He has to take people out of places of imprisonment and bring them to a place of liberty so that they can begin to once again identify with their new identity.

 I want you to say this,” I am an alien.  I was born twice.  I was born from above.  I am new in quality.  The old is antiquated.  It is out of date in my life.  I am divine.  I have godly and I have good qualities living in me.  I am the righteousness of and I am a righteousness of God, Himself.”

Well, somebody might say,” we don’t like you.” But if you are Word-based, if the work that is done in your life has been done by the Word of God, then you should not care about who receives you as a righteousness because you are not a man righteousness; if you were, man would receive you.  You are a God righteousness.  Now this is why we would run into persecution, because a man righteousness would walk in and say, “Well, you know, I know they are on their sick-bed, but whether they live or die, we are trusting the Lord.”  The family may say, “Oh, we love you. Everything is OK”, but when God righteousness comes, it walks in and says, “You do not have to die, you can live.” Jesus paid the price for you to live.  No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isa 54:17).  A God righteousness is not one that necessarily operates in sympathy.  It is one that operates in compassion and there is a difference between sympathy and compassion.  It is not one that operates in weakness.  It is one that operates in meekness.  There is a difference between meekness and weakness. Meekness will rebuke you sharply in love.  It will say, “Do not misunderstand me, but you’re being stupid right now.”  Now somebody else will say, “You could not be of God.” You say, “You could not be further from the truth because meekness will rebuke you sharply!” Why?  Because it is a righteousness that is from God.

Now notice what the Bible says.”Do not be afraid to entertain strangers (Heb 13:2)” because some people have entertained angels doing that.  Now how many of you know that we believe in angels?  We believe in angels being created beings that are created before man was being created in the heavenly realm with God, but there are certain portions of the Word of God that talks about his ambassadors of angels, His ministers as angels.  So why would he say, “someone had entertained angels without knowing they are angels”?  Let me tell you why.  Two things –one is that the angel of the Lord might come to you in the form of a man.  You will not be able to tell his source is divine.  By the same token, the messenger of the Lord may come to you in the form of a God–given righteousness and you will not be able to discern that it’s a God-given righteousness because it is not parallel with what man has taught you all those years.  This is why I am telling you the very things sometimes that we are standing upon and we are building upon and what we are preaching are the things that a religiously blinded person will fight us about and accuse us of because to them, it is so far-fetched from the truth that it is worthy of attack.  They just believe that it is always God’s will to heal.  They believe that if they pray, God will do what they say.  They think they can manipulate God.  It is because you can entertain a messenger of God unaware if you are not acquainted with the kind of righteousness God has come to produce.

Now, how many of you know that your new identity will be unraveled if you will begin to look for it in the pages of the word of God?  You will say, “My God, you mean that is who I am?”  Remember, the more you partake of your new nature, the more you are putting off the out of date things.  Every day tell yourself, “No, no, that is out-of-date!  That is antiquated!  That is old!  You know, I have worn that one too many times.”  Everyday separate yourself from the old man you used to be.  Do not send the old man to the cleaners.  Throw him away.

So a righteousness made of God is what He gave us.  How?  Jesus, “who did not know sin in an experiential way became for our sake a representative of sinful flesh, so that He through that action would cause us to trade places with Him through faith.   Now we look at the crucified Jesus.  We see a representative of all who are guilty of sin and we see Him carrying our sin and the power of that sin to rule over our life to the cross and nailing it there.  Then all of a sudden, we do not see him only dead, we see him buried and we see him resurrected again.  In that resurrection, we see ourselves rise with Him to be seated with Him in the heavenly places, but we rose in a different nature.  We rose in a different condition.  In essence, we can say we were sown in weakness, but we were raised in power or in strength. What is happening? Jesus took away our sins in His body on that tree and when He nailed it there, through this act, He rid us and delivered us from the power of that old nature to rule over our lives and gave us an opportunity through faith to identify with a new nature and appropriate that new nature to our lives.

 I want you say this.  [NO MAN CAN CLAIM MY NEW NATURE FOR ME].  

See, that new nature, although it is yours freely through being born again, you are the only one that can claim it by faith and get portions of it to become a reality and an experiential thing in your life daily.  So the more you learn about it, the more faith you receive, the more ability you have to take of that new nature and allow it to live in you because it is now once and once for all paid for, and it is now once and once for all alive in Jesus Christ who is the head of a brand new race of believers who are going to be like Him, walk like Him and talk like Him. So  I want you see this.  He took our sins in His body on the tree that we being dead to sin, notice, should live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24).” So that means a different identity isn’t it?  What are we dead to?  We are dead to sin.  Now how many of you know that means sin is dead to us also? Now how are you dead to something?  Now Biblically, death is sometimes very misunderstood by people because we have a concept of death as the cessation of existence.  We think if he’s dead, then that means he’s through, but in reality if we look at the Bible, we find out he is not through, he is somewhere else at the moment. His body gave out and he is either up top or down bottom.  One of the two, but he is somewhere else.  So death is never a cessation of existence.

Death to a certain person is separation from that person.  God said, “that in the day you eat thereof, you will surely die (Gen 2:17)”.  The devil said, “You shall not surely die (Gen 3:4)”.  Now what happened?  The second he ate of it, he spiritually died.  He was separated from God.  There was no fellowship with God anymore.  Now the Bible says, “we being dead to sin…” What does that mean? It means we are separated from. We have no fellowship with.  He who is born of God does not sin (1 Jn 3:9). Now you are probably thinking, now what happens if he does sin? He doesn’t do it because of the association with or an identification with sin.  He does it because maybe he is living in the realm where he either does not know enough about his new identity or where he was led astray by distractions.  Whatever the reason, he fell into a certain situation and the Bible says, “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father (1 Jn 2:1) and that means if we walk in the light we will recognize that we have failed God in a certain area, we will ask for forgiveness and the blood of Jesus will immediately and instantly cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:7).

So if we are dead to sin, then we are dead to the old nature of sin.  That means we are separated from and ought to continue to allow our faith to claim separation from the old nature.  Now the old nature will always try to attach itself to you. It will say, “but you are only human.  It is natural for you to think like that.  It is just sin. It is your sinful nature. It is your flesh”, but you have to remember you are dead to sin.  You are dead to the source of sin, being the devil.  You are separated from him.  He and you operate on two different wavelengths and there should be nothing in you that he can claim. So what do we do?  We let the Word of God free us from the things that the devil has been using as common ground.  So the more we find out about what’s ours and what our new identity is, the more we can appropriate faith. We can say, “No, that is antiquated. Get out of my life. You do not belong.”

When you are growing in the Lord, you are shocked at some of the things that you used to allow.  It is almost like –“Wait a minute where did that come from?” Well, it is a residue of, it is the remainder of certain things that have infiltrated your life through your previous fallen nature and it is time to get rid of him and throw him away and say, “You don’t belong here anymore.” So you begin to face life unapologetically because you know who you are in Christ Jesus.  I want you to say this: “I AM DEAD TO, SEPARATED FROM, WITH NO AGREEMENT WITH UNBELIEF, THE POWER OF SIN, THE POWER OF SICKNESS, DEMON SPIRITS, MY OLD NATURE, FEAR, DOUBT, UNBELIEF, DEATH, ANGER AND ALL OF THE SUBSTANDARD EMOTIONS THAT COME AS A RESULT OF THE FALLEN NATURE. I AM A NEW CREATION. I AM NEW IN QUALITY. MY FAITH CLAIMS AN ANTIQUATION, AN OUT-OF-DATE STAMP TO BE PLACED ON EVERYTHING THAT TRIES TO COME INTO MY LIFE FROM MY PREVIOUS CONDITION.  I AM NOW NEW. MY FAITH CLAIMS THE ATTRIBUTES OF JESUS CHRIST, HIS NATURE, HIS FRUIT, HIS WORDS, HIS DESIRES, AND HIS WANTS.  THAT’S WHAT I CLAIM BECAUSE THAT IS WHO I AM IN CHRIST”.

 

New Creation Realities – Part 1

May 6, 2013

Now much of what we have learned so far in our studies has been geared toward us learning about our heavenly identity.  Now we will begin to build upon that foundation, turning our focus on our new creation realities.

So let’s look together at 2 Corinthians 5:17 and unfold these realities.

Jesus said that He is building His church.  He said, “Upon this rock, the rock of the Word of God, I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Mt 16:18).” That means that you are going to be built up on the Word of God. The powers of darkness will not be able to overpower you.  So what we are going to do through these studies is begin building you on the Word of God.

Now when you build a house or a building, you start with a foundation.  How many of you think that is a good idea?  You do not go to the roof and start there.  You start with the foundation.  What we do not want to do here is get into the deep things of God before we begin with the basic things which are necessary.   We do not want to put the cart before the horse.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)” 

This verse tells us “All things have become new.”  Now why is that?  You are not the person you used to be.  When you became a child of God, instantaneously the Spirit of God birthed in you a new nature. Now that new nature grows by and lives by the Word of God, but in all things there is a growing process.  Let me explain.  Just like when you were born in the natural, you were a child.  But as that child, you did not get up and run around playing football the moment you were born. No, you couldn’t do it because although you were a person and you were born, it took time to grow and it took you time to learn how to orient yourself with the natural world. Although you were breathing and your heart was beating and you had feeling, and you had the ability to sense and to smell, you did not have the developed qualities that you needed to conduct yourself in an intelligent way. You had to grow into that.  By the same token, when you were born again spiritually, your spirit instantly became a new creation in God, but the new person you have become must also grow. But I want you to know, that as you are maturing in the spirit, your enemy, the devil, goes to work and he begins to tell you, “if you are a child of God, then why are you not like this?” Now if you listen and consider those words, you will become discouraged and even frustrated along the way when your progress seems slow or unapparent.  I want you to know, it would be abnormal for you to be born again and instantly become different then you are.  You are different in quality.  You are different in nature, but you still have to grow into an awareness of how to conduct yourself in the spirit realm you were born into.

I want you to say this, “I AM A SPIRIT BEING, BORN OF GOD TO CONDUCT MYSELF SPIRITUALLY IN THE SPIRIT REALM”. Now that means we have to grow into it.  Here the Bible is saying, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation or creature.  Now why is that?  Jesus said it happens like this, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (Jn 3:6).” Nicodemus said, “How are we going to enter back into our mother’s womb and be born again? (Jn 3:4)” Jesus said, “No, that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. Ye must be born again. (Jn 3:3)” The Bible begins to shed some light on the parallels between your spiritual birth and your natural birth when it says,

“Desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye might grow thereby. (1 Pet 2:2)”

That means just as you would in the natural take care of a child and provide for them the necessary things to cause it to grow, in the spirit you have to provide the necessary things to cause your spirit man to grow.  So that means that we cannot be discouraged when we find our mind trying to dominate or our physical nature trying to dominate. Why is that?  It had a long time to practice.  You have had many, many years to practice on how to be natural person.   Your parents, your relations, your friends, everyone in your life have applied taught you to think and act in a way that is acceptable to the world.  Now why is that?  It is because the supernatural is unacceptable in a lot of circles. To most, the supernatural way of doing things fits right in the category of weird or off the deep end, so society puts pressure on you to conduct yourself naturally.  It is for this reason, that we have to work together to encourage one another to grow in the Word of God and in the spirit, so that we can begin to again see that it is not abnormal to walk in the Spirit, it is abnormal to be a Christian and walk in the flesh.

Now it is the enemy’s plan to keep you in a realm acceptable to mortal people.  Before you met Christ, you walked according to the world, setting your mind on the things of the world.  Then one day, God comes into your life and through His wooing you, you receive Him and are born again.  As that very moment of conversion, God begins to work on you in order that He might unravel and undo the yokes that society has put on you and that your personal experiences have caused you to allow.  Through the moving of His Spirit, He begins to cultivate in you the things the Holy Ghost will bring you into and teach you about.

Do you remember the story of Lazarus?  Jesus said, “Lazarus come forth (Jn 11:43)” First thing He did was say, “Roll away the stone (Jn 11:39)” from the tomb.  The tomb was the type of spiritual death. The stone was a type of the fact that it was sealed and set, and there was no change.  After Jesus said to take away the stone, He commanded Lazarus to come forth and Lazarus came forth alive.  The Bible says that, “God has raised us up with Christ (Eph 2:6).  He’s delivered us from spiritual death, but notice what Jesus said – “Loose him and let him go. (Jn 11:44)” Now the problem is if the Word of God does not reprogram our thought life and change our perceptions, we will be like Christian mummies walking around alive, but still bound up by the old natural world that keeps us walking that way. Do you want to be free?

In the Wuest translation, 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads like this:

“So that, assuming that anyone is in Christ, he is a creation new in quality. The antiquated, out-of-date things [which do not belong to the new life in Christ Jesus] have passed away. Behold all things have become new in quality.” 

Now listen to me. It said, “if anyone be in Christ, then that person is a new creation and new in quality.” I want you to say “I AM NEW IN QUALITY”.  So your new creation reality is that

you are a person made of a different substance or a Different quality.  You were born of God.

That means the substance of your makeup is already something that is divine in nature. You are born of the Spirit. Did you know that the Spirit will only produce after His kind? Now how many of you know that you can take a finished work of engraved gold and put it right next to an untouched raw metal called gold, and they will both be the same substance and quality, but one is finished and worked on, and the other is still raw and unfinished?  Well, if you put the believer next to Jesus, you see one that is the finished product, Jesus Christ, and you see one that being worked on, that’s you.  Both are the same kind of quality because Jesus became the first fruit (Eph 2:8).  Jesus became the big brother.  The Spirit of God that gave birth to Jesus through the body of Mary, that same Spirit of God, gave birth to you through the miracle of salvation.

 So if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, new in quality.  I want you to say, “I AM NEW IN QUALITY”.  Now this is the good part.  It says, “the antiquated, out-of-date things which do not belong to the new life in Christ Jesus has passed away.” Now what are the out-of-date things?  How many of you know that you do not drink milk after the expiration date expires and you do not sell certain things in the store after they have passed the time of their duration. Why?  They are no good anymore.  What is the antiquated, out-of-date- thing that is in your life?  It is everything that the natural man enjoyed and enforced over you before you experienced Jesus Christ.  So when it talks about the old man being dead, what is it talking about?  It is talking about the power of Satan according to Acts 26:18.  It is talking about the lust of the flesh according to Ephesians 2:3.  It is talking about the lust of the eyes, according to 1 John 2:5-17, the pride of life according to the same verses of Scripture.  It is talking about the lust of the mind according to Ephesians 2:3 and it is talking about the carnal mind according to Romans 8:1-13.

 So that means the antiquated, out-of-date things in your life are the power of Satan. It is out of date. That means when Satan’s power begins to tug on you, you have to remember, “Wait, there is something out-of-date in my life, irrelevant to me at this time.  It is history.  It does not apply.  I am a new creation.  I am new in quality.”  Then you say, ‘no’ to the power of Satan.  What does the power of Satan include?  It includes temptation that comes through the solicitation of sin. It includes sickness and disease, and the symptoms that come through the natural realm. It includes the power of the enemy to enforce lack and poverty over your life.  Spiritually speaking, in a moment, those antiquated, out-of-date things did not apply anymore.  But how many of you know the enemy will still and he may allow these things to continue, unless you know your new creation reality.

 See this is what we want to begin with. We want to make sure every one of us knows the same thing and believes the same thing so that we will have a springboard into divine miracles.  We do not want to minister in the spirit realm and catch the disease we are commanding to leave people. We want to know that it is an antiquated out-of-date thing.  It doesn’t apply anymore.  Now somebody will say, “What if it happens?” Well, it’s out of date.  It doesn’t happen to us. So the power of Satan is irrelevant.  The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, the lust of the mind, and the old nature that used to work in our members are antiquated and out-of-date.  The old man is nothing more or less than the spirit and power of the devil working in men of disobedience (Eph 2:3).  So that means that when you were born again, the spirit that used to work in children of disobedience and worked in you as a child of disobedience became antiquated, became out-of-date and became irrelevant. So you have to put his influence out of your mind and out your thoughts in order that you might begin to resemble less a natural man and resemble more a spiritual man.  You have to unravel, unlearn, untrain, and retrain yourself in the things of the Spirit of God.

 So then, you are a new creation. You are new in quality and those antiquated things, those things which do not belong in the new in Christ Jesus have passed away. Now I want you to say to yourself, “ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW IN QUALITY”.  Lay hands on your spirit right now and say “THERE IS A NEW NATURE WITH A NEW QUALITY LIVING INSIDE OF ME. THAT IS WHERE GOD WILL PLACE HIS DEPOSIT WITH HIS WORD AND HIS SPIRIT WILL MAKE A DEPOSIT IN THIS NEW NATURE.  THAT DEPOSIT IS NEVER LOST. IT IS NEVER INEFFECTIVE. IT WILL ALWAYS MANAGE TO PRODUCE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN. AMEN”

Heavenly Perspective – Part 7

May 5, 2013

In the last lesson, we talked about directing your thoughts in the right direction.  We will conclude this series, in this lesson.  Let’s turn to Ephesians 4:22,

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts

 I want you to say this to yourself – I am going to put off the old man. 

 Now I’ve found in earlier Scriptures that paralleled with this one that you put off the old man once and once and for all.  But how many of you know that you have to keep remembering that you put him off and that he is not you?  So that means you put him off daily.  That is what Paul meant when he said, “I die daily (1 Cor 15:31).”  It meant that every time the old man tried to attach himself to Paul, he had to say, “No! I am not that old nature.  I put you off.  Now get off!” Paul, again through an act of faith, had to put the old nature to death. 

 Ephesians 4:22 is saying to put off the old man which is corrupt, but do you know that this old man is not only corrupt, he is worn out, decrepit and useless?  Now, don’t you know that if God keeps stressing this fact throughout Scripture, that it must be important?  Now Paul was talking to the church and telling them to put off this old man.  How were they to put him off?  They were to put him off in their former conduct and conversation.  What were they to put off?  They were to put off the corruption caused by the deceitful lusts that abides in its unregenerate nature.  I want you to hear this – God did not take the old man and save him.  God took the old man and killed him, judged him in Christ, and buried him in Christ.  What rose out of the grave with Christ was our newly born again nature.  Yes, that nature was brand new.  It had new desires.  This newly nature was not the same nature we had before we met Christ.  It was a nature with a new identity, having new desires.  Now if God tells us to put off that old guy who is decrepit, useless and worn out, put him off.  It is a decision of your mind.  That decision rests on you and no one else. It is a rational decision that has to be followed by your diligent pursuit to put him off once and for all, and must be followed daily. 

 Why is that? Because if you don’t put him off, sooner or later you are going to either have to completely be free from him or you will come completely be under the influence of him. Remember, sin opens people up to the onslaught of the enemy’s attacks, so when God tells you to put off the old man, put him off! You are safer without him.  You don’t need him anymore.  He is useless to you.  Where he is going, you cannot go.  He cannot comprehend where you are going either.  He is always arguing with your new nature.  He is always leaning unto his own understanding.  He does not have the nature or desire to go where you are going.  I don’t care how religious he gets, or how you dress him up, he doesn’t want to go where you are going in the realm of the Spirit. 

 Now the Bible talks about the corrupt conduct and deceitful lusts that this old nature has.  But have you ever noticed during your reading the Bible that God never refers to this old man as you.  Now why does God talk like that?  Because God wants you to believe what He says in His Word.  It is not you that has the problem. It is the guy that He killed over 2000 years ago on the cross.  This old man may look like you, but it is not you. 

 Now let’s read Ephesians 4:23, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

 Now that word “renewed” means that there is a demolition and complete annihilation that took place and there is a complete rebuilding. So now watch what it said, “Put off the old man and be rejuvenated, be recreated, be rebuilt.”  Where?  In the spirit of your mind.  I want you to say to yourself – I CAN ONLY CHANGE WHEN GOD’S WORDS CHANGE MY THOUGHTS!  See you can only become what you believe you are.  So if the Bible tells us to “put off the old man”, then know you can put off the old man.  If it says to “be renewed”, then that means you are the one who has to do something about.  Now notice, both these commands are byproducts of “exousia”.  If you remember from previous lessons, “exousia” was the delegated authority God gave you to become sons of God.  Now, what does that authority give you the right to do?  It gives you the right to say, “I am going to change now by changing my thought life and bringing it in line with what the Word of God says.”  Now look at what it says after that.

And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

 Ok, so what have we learned so far? 

                Put off the old man.

                Be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man

That means before you can put on the new man, you have got to be changed in the spirit of your mind.  This is where most Christians have a problem. Why is that?  Because, first of all, they cannot receive it with the mind that is living in them right now.  It is the old man living.  The old man is not the mind God is calling anyway.  That is the one you ought to put away from you in the first place. When you put him away, then you can be renewed in the spirit of your mind.  So what does that mean?  It means that you have to change your thought life.  Change about what?  About who you are in Christ, your identity in Him, and your position in Him.  Change ALL your thoughts and bring them in line with the Word of God.  Then what happens?  You believe what the Word says.  You will begin to say to yourself, “that is who I am”.  What do you do after you are renewed in the spirit of your mind?  You put on the new man so that everyone can see the new man on the inside of you. I want you to say this – THE NEW MAN AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ARE ONE IN THE SAME IN NATURE, IN CHARACTER AND IN POSITION.  Do you know what this is saying?  He is saying that what you receive is the life, nature, the position, the victory, and the character of the Lord inside of you. 

 Now how many of you have had children?  How many of you know that when you got married your spouse, you become one with them? Now when you had a child, that child came forth out of you and it is your life living in that child. Now that child is not you, but that child will grow up to act like you both. Now they have not become you, but the very life you have is flowing through them.  Now the Bible says, “we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (Ephesians 5:30).  We do not become Him.  He lets us have our personality, but He takes the stain, sin, inferiority, decrepitness, uselessness and the worn out element completely away from us.  He administers a brand new life that He gained for us in that resurrection from dead. Now His nature begins to live in us. It would be out of place to run up to a little kid and say, “your dad is just like you.” You do not do that. What you say is “you are just like your dad.”

 Well, Jesus became just like you so that you can become just like Him (2 Cor 5:21).  He became sin so that you may become the righteousness of God. Now who is the righteousness of God?  We are.  Now I want you to notice something.  The verse did not say, “a” righteousness of God”, but “THE” righteousness of God because there is only one element of righteousness pleasing to God and that is the righteousness, the nature of Jesus Christ, Himself.  So Jesus became sin. Yet we all know He never sinned, but became that way so that you can become the very substance and life, and the very righteousness in nature. So guess what He did?  He took you and made you part with Him. So when He said “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”, He was telling you to “put on the new man”. 

 Now let’s say you have perfected the task of putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, which we will never do, but let’s just say you get to a place of maturity in God, acting in righteousness.  At this point of maturity, you know that the character you are expressing through you is not on account of you.  You are not the source of it, but were born by it.   Now this is a problem for some, as many feel apprehensive about talking boldly about what has taken place, trying to make sure it is not “I”.  Well, who are you talking about?  Who is the “I”?  In this case, the “I” you are trying to talk about is the old man and that man is dead.  The new “I” has been born by the very thing that is empowering him.  So when the Bible says, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” – you come to maturity.  You put the new man on.  Who is that new man?  The real you. The you of faith. The old man is the you of doubt and unbelief, but he is dead. How? Through an act of faith that reckons him dead, that peals him off, that puts him away and refuses to give him access again.  When you do this, the new man of faith is living inside of you.

 The Bible calls the new man, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now when you put Him on, you are walking in maturity. But understand this, when people run into you and they see you healing the sick, casting out devils, and speaking the very word of God, they will accuse and attack you.  Now you will forgive and love them.  Now these people I described will not say, “I just ran into the Lord Jesus Christ. There He is over there.” Why is that?  Because you do not become the Lord Jesus Christ.  When you put on the Lord Jesus Christ, His nature will begin to live through you in your brand new identity in Him.  His goodness, His power, and His pre-existent force will shine through you.  So guess what they say?  They say, “I met a person today. They are different than anyone else.”  Then what happens is – a door of opportunity is made available to you to tell them where this brand new identity came from. 

Now the Bible says, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ created in righteousness and true holiness”.  Now when was this new man created? The Bible said, “those He foreknown, He has predestined to be conformed into the image of His dear Son (Rom 8:29)” Before God ever made Adam, God knew Adam was going to fall. He knew Adam was going to sell everybody into slavery.  So the God head got together and said, “We’re going to create man in Our image, but Lucifer the fallen being is going to tempt man and cause Him to sin.  And man is going to have a nature that keeps Him out of fellowship with us.”  And the Son of God, Jesus said, “Well, if they fall, I will become the Redeemer and I will become human, and and go buy them back.”  And the Holy Spirit said, “If You go down and become the Redeemer, then I will go down and be the One who anoints them and empowers them to live a brand new life.”

 So the Bible says, “you were created in Christ. You were prepared in Christ. Your salvation was prepared in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). ” He was the Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the world (Rev 13:8).  That’s right, before you ever came around, before you were ever created in Adam as a righteous man, you were in Christ.  Before you ever fell in Adam and became a sinner, you were in Christ.  So He prepared for you an identity that is consistent with the vision for you. That’s why it is called “redemption”.  Do you what that means?  It means buying back something that belonged to another.  So Christ is our life.  So when you put on the new man, that man is created after God in righteousness and true holiness.  That man was prepared. Your new identity has been prepared in Christ.  It pre-existed.

 I want you to say, “PUT ON THE LORD JESUS. PUT ON THE NEW MAN”

 Now that doesn’t mean much to us in English, but in the original Greek language. It is a phrase that means (“to be clothed with a person”), taking upon one the interests of another, to enter into His view and to be wholly on His side imitating Him in all things.  Remember what Jesus said, “He that saves his life will lose it (Mt 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24), but he that lose his life shall gain it.”  He is saying, “You keep running around trying to salvage the life, the existence and the identity of an old man that was judged. What else is He saying?  He is saying, “Let go of the low life.   Get a hold of the new life.”  How do you get a hold of the new life?  Now that same phrase on the interest of another, putting on another person is something that you do not just do mentally, you do it spiritually.

 

Heavenly Perspective – Lesson 6

February 12, 2012

Whether you know it or not, you are working hard to remain where you are. It is effort, but it is effort in the wrong direction.  Why do people focus their efforts in the wrong direction?  Because they do not understand that things such as doubt, unbelief, fear, worry, concern and indifference are harmless and have no long term effects on our life.  During our life, we are duped to believe that God is going to do everything for us, when in reality, He isn’t.  Why is that?  Because God gave us the delegated right, a mastery, a competency, and a jurisdictional right to grow up to be a son of God (John 1:12).  Yet people, just like you, live and die not putting forth their efforts in the right direction all because their thought life is dominated by the wrong thoughts. So what am I saying?  I am saying, if we put the right thoughts in our mind and put for the right effort toward going in the right direction, then we are going to grow up to be sons of God.

So why is that important?  What is the difference between being a child of God and a son of God?  Better yet, did you even know that there was a difference when you read those words while studying the Bible?  Now a child may have a problem getting some prayers answered, but a son will always get a prayer answered.  A child may doubt and waiver here and there, but he is still a child, but a son of God will always walk in victory and always walk in the light.  Now you can grow up into that. Do you believe that? Now in order to grow up into that, we have to do two things? First, we have to know our heavenly identity and second, we have to maintain a heavenly perspective.  When we change the way we look at things, we will change the kind of message we receive from the things we are looking at. Let me give you an example.

Ten spies looked at the giants and the message they got was – “IMPOSSIBLE”, but two spies looked at the promise land and they saw the giants as a stepping stone or bread for them to eat.  Now do you understand?  It is how you look at things.  So what was the difference here in this example?  Two saw it from a heavenly perspective and said, “If God delights in us, He will give us this land (Nbrs 14:8)” The other ten saw it from a worldly or earthly perspective and gave place to the flesh.  When you see it from an earthly perspective, that thing you are looking at becomes so big that you cannot move on what Jesus did.  To them Jesus’ victory on the cross and His resurrection afterwards had become irrelevant to them.

People who see things from an earthly perspective will say, “I know that the joy of the Lord is my strength, but you don’t understand what I am going through.  I am battling with depression, lack, sickness and the like.”  What are they saying?  They are saying that the Word of God is irrelevant to them in their situations. Now what would make someone get to that place?  The way they are looking at things.  Through their thoughts they are putting forth effort, but it is effort focused in the wrong direction.

It is just like your car.  You can put it in reverse and floor it, but when you run into that building, you cannot just get out and kick the car.  Why?  You were the driver of the car.  You were the one who drove the car into the building.  So what am I saying?  I am saying that if you want your life to head in the right direction, you have to drive it in the right direction in your thoughts.  Do not make Calvary’s victory and Jesus’ resurrection irrelevant to you. He rose victorious over death, hell and the grave, and as a result you rose with Him 2000 years ago.  You are seated with Him today (Eph 2:6).  You can look from a heavenly perspective and you can see every enemy under your feet and every situation handled by that which He accomplished for you.  Never allow the Word of God to become irrelevant to you.

So what is the difference between these two groups of believers?  The difference is there are people who keep eating the word of God and as they do, they draw strength out of the Word.  Now other people have not learned that and as a result, they have not developed the ability to detect the symptoms of spiritual hunger, so when they come under the pressure of life, they do not detect that their spirit needs the Word.  Let me explain.  How many of you have gotten so busy during the day that you forgot to eat?  How many of you have gotten sick and lost your appetite?  As a result of these kinds of things, you didn’t eat.  The longer you went without food, the sicker you became.  Well the same is true regarding spiritual things.  You get sick spiritually and as a result you lose your appetite for the Word of God.  As you come around the Word of God, you let it fall on your ears, but it barely touches you.  As a result, you make no effort to eat.  Sometimes you have to make an effort to eat, especially little kids. How many of know with little kids, you have to sit them down and say, “Eat”.  How many of you have heard them say, “But I am not hungry!”  They in the business of their play do not realize that the activity in their life has got them totally distracted from the need that they have in their physical body.  In reality, they are running on pure adrenaline.  Now do you know Christians do that?  Activity in life has them forgetting.  They run, run, run and wear themselves down and when they are on their sickbed, they take a deep breath and say, “The Lord got my attention. He put me on my back to get my attention.”  No! You put you on your back and when you could not avoid it anymore, you realized you were starving and ate.

Now understand this, God has given you authority, but that authority doesn’t work unless you put it into motion.  Jesus will not make you a son of God unless you take the authority He gave you and use it to feed on the Word and cause the Word to bring growth in you.  That is how you are transformed.  That is how you are changed.  He received you.  He gives you the experience of the new birth, but then it is your responsibility and the responsibility of your spiritual leaders.  Let me explain using an example we can all relate to – the care of a baby.  It is your job as a parent to give the baby a bottle, but do you know that there are a lot of parents who neglect their child. In the same way, we have a lot of pastors who do the same either through their lack of knowledge, their ignorance of the Word of God or the things they feed them are irrelevant to their spiritual growth.  Whatever the reason, there is neglect going on towards the children.  So as you can see, it is not only your responsibility, but it is the responsibility of your spiritual parents, but there comes a time when as a baby, you must be weaned off the bottle and the only thing the parents do is provide the meal.  Then, it is your responsibility to pick up the fork and eat. Now would you pass your steak to someone else and say, “Here, chew this for me”?  Certainly not, that is for you to do.  In the same way, you have got to feed on the Word of God for yourself.  Now what will that do?  It will cause you to grow.

Have you ever gone to a dead church where a group of people have religion, but there is no life in them.  Yes, they love God, but there is something missing.  Why is there no life?  Because they are not eating the word of God.  Now why are they not eating?  There are a number of reasons. Either the person behind the pulpit is not cooking or they are trying to get him to chew it or just inject it down their veins. But do you know that when the ministry of the Word is going forth, there is a way to receive from the Word, just like when the ministry of the Spirit is going forth, there is a way to receive and when there is an act worship going on, there is a way to get involved.  Each one of these is different in the sense that it operates differently. Let me give you an example.  Some feel uncomfortable with the ministry of the Word. As the Word is going forth, their spirit man is chewing on that thing, getting a hold of it and getting fed.  Their spirit man is jumping. They are getting food, but suddenly the man of God starts flowing in the gift of prophecy and they do not know how to deal with it.  They begin to try to figure out what is going on.  Listen, during these times, just relax and flow with God. You do not have to know what is going on. You just have to know the Spirit and flow with the Spirit of God.  So as you can see, there is a way to flow with God where you contribute and enhance what God is doing at that specific time.

Now let’s go back to our example above.  As I was saying, some people do not eat because the person is not cooking or because people do not know how to chew or simply said, they don’t know how to receive from the teaching of the Word.  It is irrelevant to them and doesn’t apply.  So what happens as a result is people go to church out of religious obligation.  So when you shout glory because the fire of God is all over you, they look at you funny.  That is because what is being said or what is taking place around them is irrelevant to them.  These people need an experience with God again.

So what does it mean to grow up as a child of God?  It means learning how to find food in the Word.  When I am studying the Word of God, my spirit is speaking in tongues.  It is scanning the Word so that one thing will leap out.  A thought will leap out that comes by the Holy Spirit.  All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit will take me all over the Bible, flowing in that thought.  Do you know what God is doing?  He is saying, “Let me give you a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”  Before you know it, your spirit is just jumping on the inside of you.  You have just been fed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit put it together, but what happened?  Your spirit went seeking after the thing.  That’s right, your spirit has got to look and search for the thing. Then God, the Holy Spirit, will put it together for you. What will it do?  It will cause your new nature and your new identity to live in you.  But be careful, yesterday’s strength cannot do you any good today.  You have got to pursue strength in God daily.  You have to feed your faith.  By doing so, your spirit man will continue to grow and be strong.  This is where we miss it.

What happens is – we hear a sermon and believe it.  We even understand it.  We know the points about it and think that just because we heard it, that that is all.  Now we try to walk in the strength of that thing for days, but a time will come when you will only have a memory of that spiritual meal.  So what do you need to do?  Listen to it again.  Read that same book.  Somebody will say, “But I read it already”.  Well ok, but you ate yesterday also, didn’t you?  Yet you will eat again today although you may have had lunch hours prior.  Though you ate a meal, your body must still be fed continuously to stay alive and remain strong.  The same process applies to your spirit man.

A lot of times Christians do not understand symptoms.  They say, “I don’t understand what is wrong with me, pray for me.  I am just feeling this.  I am just feeling that” but in reality, they are just spiritually hungry.  Somebody else may answer them, saying “Are you reading your Bible and praying?”  They may answer “yes” to both, but the question is how are you praying and how are you looking into the Word?  You see, you can read and not eat.  Just like you can go to a restaurant and you can leave hungry.  You can pray and it won’t do any good because you are not praying in the Spirit according to God’s Word.  Also you can go to church and hear sermons, and it not feed you spiritually. So as you can see, many people want prayer for something that is nothing more than spiritual hunger.  Once again, they need only to re-evaluate, research, rethink, rehearse, and rehash their new identity in Christ.  That’s right – bring it up again, relive it again.  Then that strength will flow in you again.

 Now look at Philippians 2:13,

“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

God is working in me. Now the Bible says, “both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”  That means it is not you, but it is God working on the inside of you to give you the will to do His good pleasure.  Now God doesn’t force you to do it.  He just gives you the will to do it.  Do you have the desire to be like Jesus?  Where did that will come from?  That’s right!  It came from God in you. Now how many know that you can become lukewarm or cold?  Now why would that happen?  It would happen because the Lord is not working in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.  Now why would God stop working in you?   God works through the Word He’s commanded you to partake of and through the anointing of the Spirit that He has challenged you to walk in.  That’s how He works in you.  So when people walk away from the things of the Spirit and get into the things of the natural, the will to do of His good pleasure is no longer there and their priorities become all mixed up. They will begin to miss church and pretty soon, if they are not careful, they will stop going to church altogether.  What happens?  They begin to backslide.

Let me ask you this… How does water get lukewarm?  That’s right! It gets away from the flame it was sitting on.  How does it get cold? It doesn’t go back to the flame.  Well, God said He wants you hot.  Now what does that mean?  It means don’t leave the flame.  Stay in it.  God wants you spiritually fed.  It is not the Word that you hear physically, it is the Word that you partake of and ear spiritually that keeps you hot in the Spirit.  When you eat of the Word of God, you become a doer of the Word because you have the will to do of His good pleasure.  As long as you do not have the will to do it, you haven’t eaten and God hasn’t had the ability to work in you because you are avoiding eating spiritual food.  Have you ever heard someone say, “Why don’t I have the desires I used to have for God anymore?” The answer is simple, their old nature is being fed and the new nature is being starved.  They have forgotten their heavenly perspective and how to look/evaluate things from that heavenly viewpoint.  They have forgotten their heavenly identity and because of that, the desire that God was working in them is no longer active in that way.

 Now let’s look at the Amplified Bible to see what it says,

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire] both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

I want you to say this to yourself – IF ANYTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN MY LIFE, IT MUST BEGIN IN ME.  How many of you know that is truth?  That strength is not your power.  It is not your strength.  It is God working effectually on the inside of you, energizing and creating in you a desire and a power inside you so that you would desire to work for the good pleasure, satisfaction, and delight of the Lord.

Now the Wuest translation says it like this,

For God is the One who is constantly putting forth His energy in you, both in the form of you being desirous of and of your doing His good pleasure.

How many of you know that if He is constantly doing it, you should not run out of energy?  How do you know that the energy of God is finding its way into your heart?  You can know it simply. You have a desire and you have a willingness to do.  The moment you find that the things that used to stir you are not stirring you anymore; you can know that God didn’t initiate that thing you are doing.  How did you initiate it?  You took your eyes off of the goal, a new identity in Christ, and a new position in God.  You got your eye on the natural and immediately it short-circuited the energy that God is constantly pouring forth in you and two things came as a result of it.  First, you have no desire to do and second, you have no ability to do His good pleasure.  That is how you begin to see it.  How do you recognize when you are hungry?  You start getting faint. You start getting weak.  You start angry.  People start getting headaches.  Do you know what I mean?

 God said, “I am going to constantly put forth my energy in you”.  But how is it going to come?  It is going to come by the Word of God.  The Bible says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4).”  Notice it didn’t say, “preceding”.   That means if I get my spirit next to God and allow Him to talk to my spirit, my spirit will live and never forget who he is.  As my spirit keeps getting around God and the things of God, the reality of who he is will begin to flow and to live on the inside of my spirit man.

 I want you to say this to yourself, IT IS GOD, NOT MY OWN STRENGTH. GOD IS THE ONE WHO IS CONSTANTLY CAUSING ENERGY TO FLOW IN MY LIFE SO I CAN DESIRE TO DO HIS GOOD PLEASURE

Heavenly Perspective – Part 5

January 25, 2012

Now we will continue where we left off the last lesson. Remember Colossians 3:14-17 says,

“14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful. 16Let the Word of Christ, dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts, to the Lord. 17And whatsoever you do in word and deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Now we have talked about putting on love and singing with grace in our heart. We talked about being beautified with salvation and now Romans 13:14 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” We discussed this in length in the last lesson, but did you know that when you are put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are wearing Jesus? And when people see you, they see Jesus in you, on you and through you. Now whether or not they know it is Him or not is irrelevant. How many of you that if the Lord Jesus came and started walking in this city today and dressed normal, that most people would not know it is Jesus? So don’t expect them to recognize the Jesus in you when they see you. They are not going to say, “Wow! I see Jesus in you.” No, they are going to say, “I can see something different about you” and that something is going to draw them to ask you about what it is they see. What you have done is – you have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and He is shining through you. You have chosen to identify with the Lord Jesus by walking out His Word in your life. So what happens? When people see you, they see Jesus. It’s important though that you remember that you and Jesus are not separate entities anymore. You have been made one with Him. Through His death, He has killed the old nature in you so that He can raise the new nature in you. Now when you put Him on, you are causing His life to live through you, and your life and His has now become energized by the victory of Calvary.

Romans 13:14 says, “Make no provision for the flesh.” Why is that? If the devil can get you to associate yourself with who you used to be, you will begin to operate under the curse of the fall and reap the benefits of that curse. The devil wants equal time in your life. He will try to convince you that it is “balance”. No! You cannot mix the Word of God and the report of the Lord with man’s report and come out with balance. If you do, you will come out with error. True accuracy is believing God. The issues of life do not come from God. God has got Himself it together? No, we are the problem, and He is going to straighten us out and so we “make no provision for the flesh” or the old nature. That is why the Bible tells us to “Give no place to the devil.” (Eph 4:27) I don’t know about you, but that tells me that there is something I must do to ensure the devil gets no foothold in my life? So what do I do when I am tempted to go back to my old way of doing things? I tell the devil with boldness, “No, that’s the old man. That is not me!” Now people will say, “Wait a minute! That is too you!” You answer, “No, it isn’t, that is the old man. That person is dead in Jesus!” What are you telling this person? You are saying, “Look, I have completely annihilated satan’s foothold any place in my life because I believe that Jesus through His death on the cross, killed the old nature I used to have.” That’s right! Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus annihilated the devil’s foothold over every area of the life of the every believer. That’s why the devil works overtime to try to convince you that you are not who God said you are because if you believe you are who God says you are, he has no place in you and no ability to influence your life.

John 14:30 says, “The devil comes and has nothing in me!” Why is this important to know? If you can say this with conviction, the devil is in trouble because He will have no place in you. He cannot touch you. That is why the Bible tells you to not give equal time to the flesh. Do not give the new man some time and the old man some time. Do not be to the many viewpoints of the world. Just be open to the Word of God only. GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL! GIVE NO PLACE TO THE FLESH! PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Do not get caught up the traditions of man and religion. Do not put walk one foot in the Word of God and the other in the world, and call it balance. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and His extremely zealous, Godly Word-based conduct. You let Jesus live on the inside of you. Remember, do not let yourself see you and He as separate entities. You are both joined as one, therefore His victories are yours now through faith. Your failures in the past were already judged in Him on the cross. You are one in nature. Through His death, He has broken the old man in Him so that He could raise a new man in Him.

“So put on the Lord Jesus Christ in your mind, in your thought life, in your awareness, and in your meditations. Realize your identity is eternally linked in Him.”

Now when God created Adam, the Genesis 1:26-27 said,

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Here the Bible calls mankind “man” and if you read closely, you will see that man is distinguished apart from the rest of creation. By doing so, the earth and the children of men are recognized as a breed, a species, all to itself. Now every species of living things has a certain way of acting and there are those who will tell try to convince us through so called science, which is nothing in the world but religion of evolution, that man evolved, but you can look at breeds such as the cat and dog, and see that there is nothing evolving. A cat is a cat and a dog is a dog. Two different species each acting like the species it belongs to. Well by the same token, a human belongs to the human family and will have common ground with those within the human family. So when God said mankind, He was talking about a species of creation that He made after His image and His likeness. When Jesus became a new man, He became the last Adam. Through Him, a new species, a new breed, a new race of men and women created in the image of holiness now live. This new breed godly men/women will bear the characteristics of the Head or the Procreator, Jesus, but it is enough to just know that fact. You have to be changed, but to be changed and owe nothing to the flesh, and give no place to the flesh, you have got to allow the new Procreator, Jesus, to change your mind and your confidence, and transform or lead you far away from the old man, so as to bring you closer to the new man you were intended to be.

So we are not only going to find out who we are in Him, we are going to put that knowledge to work. As we do, we will begin to see the result of what we believe. See the problem is many of us fall into a trap. As we are studying and learning faith, we try to put faith to work in the natural by seeing if it will produce a tangible something outside of us, and in so doing, we miss God. Then we will say, “It doesn’t work. I tried to believe God for a car and it didn’t happen.” That is kind of backwards isn’t it? You should first believe God for a change in your spirit and a change in your mind because faith is there to primarily make you a different person. Now when you get that revelation of that different person and you find out that he is already blessed, everything in the natural realm will comply with that. Faith begins with change, a change that takes us out of the old and takes us into the new. So a man’s life does not measured by the abundance of the things he possesses. Faith is measured by who the man has become. Now once he has become and is becoming what God has made him to be, he will have possessions. He will have victory and success in life, but it will not be because God did something for him, it will be because God did something in Him. That means that in order for God to create in you a change that produces faith, you have to hear the Word. You have to explore the Word. You have to meditate on and draw strength out of the Word itself.

Now let’s turn to John 1:12-13. It reads,

“12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

The Bible tells us how the Word became flesh (John 1:14). The invisible, nontangible, spiritual Word of God became a physical, tangible, flesh, bone and blood person. The Word, Himself, became incarnated and became human. When you saw Him, He was thinking, but it was the Word. He was living, but it was the Word. He was speaking, but it was the living Word. When He sat down, it was the Word sitting with you. When He walked around, it was the Word walking around with you. That Word took not only a human form, not only a human identity, but that Word through an act of faith took your old identity in Him, and when He broke His body, He literally was breaking the natural manifestation in the earth realm that God had pre-ordained to be your substitute in order to deliver you from eternal hell.

The Bible says He took the bread and broke it, saying, “This is my body which is broken for you. Take, Eat …” (1 Corinthians 11:24-30) So it is not enough to know the Bible, you got to eat the Bible. How many of you said, “No thank you! I ate about a month ago. I know how that tastes.” No one right! Yet people come to church all the time and they sit there and say, “I don’t hear anything new. I ate that before.” Isn’t that interesting because it is not what you know. Are you eating the thing because when you eat, life flows in you? You feel good. How many of you know you get grouchy when you are hungry? Then somebody says, “What is wrong with you? Did you eat today?” You see the Bible is not just something you know, it is something you continue to partake of because it does not matter how many times you have eaten that Word before, if you are hungry, it will taste each time you hear it. As a matter of fact, partaking of the Word is God’s way to allow His power to continue to flow in you. Now when you are partaking of that Word, what is it doing? It is giving you new life that can only reach you and benefit you if you can relate to it. That means you have to have something in common between you and the Word of God, otherwise it is irrelevant to you. The Bible said, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship (koinonia) or communion with one another, that is, we have things in common. (1 John 1:7) What do you think you have in common with Jesus?

Let me tell you some things.

• You are human. He became human.
• You used to be a sinner. He was made sin for you although He didn’t know any (2 Cor 5:21)
• You are tempted. He was tempted in all points like you are yet without sin. (Heb 4:12)
• You were worthy of death. He died for you
• You should have went to hell. He went down to hell for you.

As you can see, you have a lot in common with Jesus. As you walk in the light the Word becomes relevant to you. What does that mean? It means you have something in common with the Word. The Word connects to you in a personal way. Have you ever sat with people and they said, “No, I don’t eat that! Do you have anything else?” What are they doing? They are refusing to eat. They are refusing to be partakers of the meal because they have nothing in common it. What is the meal spiritually speaking? It is the Word. Now that is a bad place to be for when the Lord begins to talk to you about something, if you cannot partake of it or relate to it, it will not benefit you.

Have you ever heard someone say, “But I know that already, preach to me something I haven’t heard. I heard that before”? I hear it all the time, but what you must realize is the Word doesn’t do you any good if you just know it, you have to have something in common with it. Now let me tell you how common ground comes. You see somebody that failed God in the Bible will and you say, “If it was not for the grace of salvation, I would be there.” You see somebody please God in the Bible and you say, “That’s me through the power of the Holy Ghost.” You see Jesus winning and overcoming and you say, “Through Him I have that same authority.” You are finding common ground. Do you know what you are doing? You are eating or partaking of the Word. What does that do? It allows the life of the Word to become your life. How? You are assimilating that thing.

Let me ask you something. How many of you lie awake at night worrying how you are going to digest the food you ate in order to cause it to give your body strength? No! Your job is to just eat the thing. As a matter of fact, you do not even give it a second thought. We walk around as if it is normal. Now the Word of God is like that. Your spirit man will detect the good news and go out after it. Listen, the rational mind will talk him out of that – It will say, “Don’t eat that! Make sure…” But your spirit man will know the good news. You spirit man will go after it. Your job is to just eat the Word. Once you eat the Word, it is the job of the Holy Ghost to cause that Word to live and give strength to portions of your being causing the new man to live and to be strong. As you begin to eat the Word, you are partaking of revelation knowledge through the power of the Spirit because of the common ground and things with which Jesus has made available to you. So what happens is – what is His, becomes yours. His nature is given to you. How are we given this nature? The Bible tells us that His divine power has given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these we become a partaker or an associate with God and His divine nature. (2 Pet 1:4) Now how come many people know the promises, but don’t have the divine nature? It is not enough to know it the promises, you got to eat it. You have to anchor your faith to these promises.

Now it is a sad day when food sits before you and you refuse to eat. I tell you, you can be starving to death and roll around in plates full of food and still die of starvation. You know how it feels. You know how it smells and yet you die anyway. Don’t roll in it, eat it! There are people who have perfected the art of just analytically evaluating the Word of God and not allowing it to feed their spirit. If the Word is irrelevant to you, if you haven’t identified that it is food, if you don’t know you are hungry, then you are not going to eat and go about with little change in your life. You have got to recognize two things –

1) Recognize your hunger
2) Recognize food and begin to assimilate it or eat it, that you might receive the strength you
need from it.

Now the Word became flesh for a reason. He became flesh so that He could provide the food of heaven so that our spirit can continue to live and to be strong.

Let’s look at Elijah, the prophet, during the time he was running away from Jezebel because she said, “I’m going to kill you.” He sits down under the Juniper tree. He had been anointed. He had outran a chariot for over twenty miles, but when the anointing lifted, all of a sudden his life was in danger. He said, “God kill me”. Suddenly, an angel shows up and makes him some food and feeds him. The Bible said, “He was able to walk in the strength of that for many days.” That is what the Bible is saying, “Get around the Word of God and get heavenly food in your spirit so that your spirit man can once again relate to who he is”. Now you can be an athlete who has never been defeated, but if you haven’t eaten for a month, guess what happens? It doesn’t matter who you are. By the same token, it doesn’t matter if you have a new nature, you have to feed that new nature. You have to let that new nature live on a new heavenly diet. You have to let that Word go on the inside of you and fill you. Some people say, “I just don’t have that time to spend to study in the Bible”. Jesus is coming soon. You are going to live by what you eat.

The Word of God is food. It is life to those who find it (Prov 4:20). It is health to all their flesh (Pro 4:21-22). You got to feed the spirit man so that the spirit man can live. Do you know what happens in him? He rises up and he becomes strong. The Word helps your spirit man live out his identity. So in light of that, the Bibles said, “As many as received Him, to them gave the power”. The Word “power” here is the word “Exousia”. This is not like dunamis, a power that generates himself like the one He gave us on the day of Pentacost. This is a different word for “power”. It means a sense of ability. He gave them the ability, privilege, force, capacity, competency, a freedom, a mastery, a delegated influence, a jurisdiction, a liberty, a power, a right and a strength to become sons of God. Now that Word “become” is the word “ginomai” in the Greek. It means “came into being”. Webster’s Dictionary said, “To grow up to be” or “change” or “develop into by growth.

Are you sincere about changing into or developing? If you, then it is not enough to know how to change, you have to make a decision to diligently pursue that change. Now watch what he said, “To as many as received, to them gave He an ability, a delegated authority, a competence, a privilege, a force to be able to grow up to be and become a son of God.” He said, “that delegated authority secures and ensures your ability to become a son of God” and yet there are still people living their life as a child spiritually. As a result, they die as a child, and go to heaven saying, “How come you didn’t do this Lord?” And God will say, “Listen, I gave you the job, the job description, the privilege, the delegated authority to grow up and become a son.” That means you won’t be able to blame God for not raising the dead through you. You are not going to be able to blame Him for not healing the sick through you. You are not going to be able to blame Him for not prospering your life or causing it to radiate with the glory of Calvary. The only blame is going to be on you for not putting to work the “Exousia” or power given to you. If however, you do, then something will happen. Whether you know it or not, you are working hard to remain where you are.

Heavenly Perspective – Part 4

December 19, 2011

Now we will continue where we left off the last lesson.

Remember Colossians 3:14-17 says, “14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful. 16Let the Word of Christ, dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts, to the Lord. 17And whatsoever you do in word and deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Now we have talked about putting on love and singing with grace in our heart. We talked about being beautified with salvation and now Romans 13:14 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” We discussed this in length in the last lesson, but did you know that when you are put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are wearing Jesus? And when people see you, they see Jesus in you, on you and through you. Now whether or not they know it is Him or not is irrelevant. How many of you that if the Lord Jesus came and started walking in this city today and dressed normal, that most people would not know it is Jesus? So don’t expect them to recognize the Jesus in you when they see you. They are not going to say, “Wow! I see Jesus in you.” No, they are going to say, “I can see something different about you” and that something is going to draw them to ask you about what it is they see. What you have done is – you have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and He is shining through you. You have chosen to identify with the Lord Jesus by walking out His Word in your life. So what happens? When people see you, they see Jesus. It’s important though that you remember that you and Jesus are not separate entities anymore. You have not been made one with Him. Through His death, He has killed the old nature in you so that He can raise the new nature in you. Now when you put Him on, you are causing His life to live through you, and your life and His has now become energized by the victory of Calvary.

Romans 13:14 says, “Make no provision for the flesh.” Why is that? If the devil can get you to associate yourself with who you used to be, you will begin to operate under the curse of the fall and reap the benefits of that curse. The devil wants equal time in your life. He will try to convince you that it is “balance”. No! You cannot mix the Word of God and the report of the Lord with man’s report and come out with balance. If you do, you will come out with error. True accuracy is believing God. The issues of life do not come from God. God has got Himself it together? No, we are the problem, and He is going to straighten us out and so we “make no provision for the flesh” or the old nature. That is why the Bible tells us to “Give no place to the devil.” (Eph 4:27) I don’t know about you, but that tells me that there is something I must do to ensure the devil gets no foothold in my life? So what do I do when I am tempted to go back to my old way of doing things? I tell the devil with boldness, “No, that’s the old man. That is not me!” Now people will say, “Wait a minute! That is too you!” You answer, “No, it isn’t, that is the old man. That person is dead in Jesus!” What are you telling this person? You are saying, “Look, I have completely annihilated satan’s foothold any place in my life because I believe that Jesus through His death on the cross, killed the old nature I used to have.” That’s right! Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus annihilated the devil’s foothold over every area of the life of the every believer. That’s why the devil works overtime to try to convince you that you are not who God said you are because if you believe you are who God says you are, he has no place in you and no ability to influence your life.

John 14:30 says, “The devil comes and has nothing in me!” Why is this important to know? If you can say this with conviction, the devil is in trouble because He will have no place in you. He cannot touch you. That is why the Bible tells you to not give equal time to the flesh. Do not give the new man some time and the old man some time. Do not be to the many viewpoints of the world. Just be open to the Word of God only. GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL! GIVE NO PLACE TO THE FLESH! PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Do not get caught up the traditions of man and religion. Do not put walk one foot in the Word of God and the other in the world, and call it balance. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and His extremely zealous, Godly Word-based conduct. You let Jesus live on the inside of you. Remember, do not let yourself see you and He as separate entities. You are both joined as one, therefore His victories are yours now through faith. Your failures in the past were already judged in Him on the cross. You are one in nature. Through His death, He has broken the old man in Him so that He could raise a new man in Him. “So put on the Lord Jesus Christ in your mind, in your thought life, in your awareness, and in your meditations. Realize your identity is eternally linked in Him.”

Now when God created Adam, the Genesis 1:26-27 said, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Here the Bible calls mankind “man” and if you read closely, you will see that man is distinguished apart from the rest of creation. By doing so, the earth and the children of men are recognized as a breed, a species, all to itself. Now every species of living things has a certain way of acting and there are those who will tell try to convince us through so called science, which is nothing in the world but religion of evolution, that man evolved, but you can look at breeds such as the cat and dog, and see that there is nothing evolving. A cat is a cat and a dog is a dog. Two different species each acting like the species it belongs to. Well by the same token, a human belongs to the human family and will have common ground with those within the human family. So when God said mankind, He was talking about a species of creation that He made after His image and His likeness. When Jesus became a new man, He became the last Adam. Through Him, a new species, a new breed, a new race of men and women created in the image of holiness now live. This new breed godly men/women will bear the characteristics of the Head or the Procreator, Jesus, but it is enough to just know that fact. You have to be changed, but to be changed and owe nothing to the flesh, and give no place to the flesh, you have got to allow the new Procreator, Jesus, to change your mind and your confidence, and transform or lead you far away from the old man, so as to bring you closer to the new man you were intended to be.

So we are not only going to find out who we are in Him, we are going to put that knowledge to work. As we do, we will begin to see the result of what we believe. See the problem is many of us fall into a trap. As we are studying and learning faith, we try to put faith to work in the natural by seeing if it will produce a tangible something outside of us, and in so doing, we miss God. Then we will say, “It doesn’t work. I tried to believe God for a car and it didn’t happen.” That is kind of backwards isn’t it? You should first believe God for a change in your spirit and a change in your mind because faith is there to primarily make you a different person. Now when you get that revelation of that different person and you find out that he is already blessed, everything in the natural realm will comply with that. Faith begins with change, a change that takes us out of the old and takes us into the new. So a man’s life does not measured by the abundance of the things he possesses. Faith is measured by who the man has become. Now once he has become and is becoming what God has made him to be, he will have possessions. He will have victory and success in life, but it will not be because God did something for him, it will be because God did something in Him. That means that in order for God to create in you a change that produces faith, you have to hear the Word. You have to explore the Word. You have to meditate on and draw strength out of the Word itself.

Now let’s turn to John 1:12-13. It reads, “12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

The Bible tells us how the Word became flesh (John 1:14). The invisible, nontangible, spiritual Word of God became a physical, tangible, flesh, bone and blood person. The Word, Himself, became incarnated and became human. When you saw Him, He was thinking, but it was the Word. He was living, but it was the Word. He was speaking, but it was the living Word. When He sat down, it was the Word sitting with you. When He walked around, it was the Word walking around with you. That Word took not only a human form, not only a human identity, but that Word through an act of faith took your old identity in Him, and when He broke His body, He literally was breaking the natural manifestation in the earth realm that God had pre-ordained to be your substitute in order to deliver you from eternal hell.

The Bible says He took the bread and broke it, saying, “This is my body which is broken for you. Take, Eat …” (1 Corinthians 11:24-30) So it is not enough to know the Bible, you got to eat the Bible. How many of you said, “No thank you! I ate about a month ago. I know how that tastes.” No one right! Yet people come to church all the time and they sit there and say, “I don’t hear anything new. I ate that before.” Isn’t that interesting because it is not what you know. Are you eating the thing because when you eat, life flows in you? You feel good. How many of you know you get grouchy when you are hungry? Then somebody says, “What is wrong with you? Did you eat today?” You see the Bible is not just something you know, it is something you continue to partake of because it does not matter how many times you have eaten that Word before, if you are hungry, it will taste each time you hear it. As a matter of fact, partaking of the Word is God’s way to allow His power to continue to flow in you. Now when you are partaking of that Word, what is it doing? It is giving you new life that can only reach you and benefit you if you can relate to it. That means you have to have something in common between you and the Word of God, otherwise it is irrelevant to you. The Bible said, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship (koinonia) or communion with one another, that is, we have things in common. (1 John 1:7) What do you think you have in common with Jesus?

Let me tell you some things.

• You are human. He became human.

• You used to be a sinner. He was made sin for you although He didn’t know any (2 Cor 5:21)

• You are tempted. He was tempted in all points like you are yet without sin. (Heb 4:12)

• You were worthy of death. He died for you

• You should have went to hell. He went down to hell for you.

As you can see, you have a lot in common with Jesus. As you walk in the light the Word becomes relevant to you. What does that mean? It means you have something in common with the Word. The Word connects to you in a personal way. Have you ever sat with people and they said, “No, I don’t eat that! Do you have anything else?” What are they doing? They are refusing to eat. They are refusing to be partakers of the meal because they have nothing in common it. What is the meal spiritually speaking? It is the Word. Now that is a bad place to be for when the Lord begins to talk to you about something, if you cannot partake of it or relate to it, it will not benefit you.

Have you ever heard someone say, “But I know that already, preach to me something I haven’t heard. I heard that before”? I hear it all the time, but what you must realize is the Word doesn’t do you any good if you just know it, you have to have something in common with it. Now let me tell you how common ground comes. You see somebody that failed God in the Bible will and you say, “If it was not for the grace of salvation, I would be there.” You see somebody please God in the Bible and you say, “That’s me through the power of the Holy Ghost.” You see Jesus winning and overcoming and you say, “Through Him I have that same authority.” You are finding common ground. Do you know what you are doing? You are eating or partaking of the Word. What does that do? It allows the life of the Word to become your life. How? You are assimilating that thing.

Let me ask you something. How many of you lie awake at night worrying how you are going to digest the food you ate in order to cause it to give your body strength? No! Your job is to just eat the thing. As a matter of fact, you do not even give it a second thought. We walk around as if it is normal. Now the Word of God is like that. Your spirit man will detect the good news and go out after it. Listen, the rational mind will talk him out of that – It will say, “Don’t eat that! Make sure…” But your spirit man will know the good news. You spirit man will go after it. Your job is to just eat the Word. Once you eat the Word, it is the job of the Holy Ghost to cause that Word to live and give strength to portions of your being causing the new man to live and to be strong. As you begin to eat the Word, you are partaking of revelation knowledge through the power of the Spirit because of the common ground and things with which Jesus has made available to you. So what happens is – what is His, becomes yours. His nature is given to you. How are we given this nature? The Bible tells us that His divine power has given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these we become a partaker or an associate with God and His divine nature. (2 Pet 1:4) Now how come many people know the promises, but don’t have the divine nature? It is not enough to know it the promises, you got to eat it. You have to anchor your faith to these promises.

Now it is a sad day when food sits before you and you refuse to eat. I tell you, you can be starving to death and roll around in plates full of food and still die of starvation. You know how it feels. You know how it smells and yet you die anyway. Don’t roll in it, eat it! There are people who have perfected the art of just analytically evaluating the Word of God and not allowing it to feed their spirit. If the Word is irrelevant to you, if you haven’t identified that it is food, if you don’t know you are hungry, then you are not going to eat and go about with little change in your life.

You have got to recognize two things –

1) Recognize your hunger

2) Recognize food and begin to assimilate it or eat it, that you might receive the strength you need from it.

Now the Word became flesh for a reason. He became flesh so that He could provide the food of heaven so that our spirit can continue to live and to be strong.

Let’s look at Elijah, the prophet, during the time he was running away from Jezebel because she said, “I’m going to kill you.” He sits down under the Juniper tree. He had been anointed. He had outran a chariot for over twenty miles, but when the anointing lifted, all of a sudden his life was in danger. He said, “God kill me”. Suddenly, an angel shows up and makes him some food and feeds him. The Bible said, “He was able to walk in the strength of that for many days.” That is what the Bible is saying, “Get around the Word of God and get heavenly food in your spirit so that your spirit man can once again relate to who he is”. Now you can be an athlete who has never been defeated, but if you haven’t eaten for a month, guess what happens? It doesn’t matter who you are. By the same token, it doesn’t matter if you have a new nature, you have to feed that new nature. You have to let that new nature live on a new heavenly diet. You have to let that Word go on the inside of you and fill you. Some people say, “I just don’t have that time to spend to study in the Bible”. Jesus is coming soon. You are going to live by what you eat.

The Word of God is food. It is life to those who find it (Prov 4:20). It is health to all their flesh (Pro 4:21-22). You got to feed the spirit man so that the spirit man can live. Do you know what happens in him? He rises up and he becomes strong. The Word helps your spirit man live out his identity. So in light of that, the Bibles said, “As many as received Him, to them gave the power”. The Word “power” here is the word “Exousia”. This is not like dunamis, a power that generates himself like the one He gave us on the day of Pentacost. This is a different word for “power”. It means a sense of ability. He gave them the ability, privilege, force, capacity, competency, a freedom, a mastery, a delegated influence, a jurisdiction, a liberty, a power, a right and a strength to become sons of God. Now that Word “become” is the word “ginomai” in the Greek. It means “came into being”. Webster’s Dictionary said, “To grow up to be” or “change” or “develop into by growth.

Are you sincere about changing into or developing? If you, then it is not enough to know how to change, you have to make a decision to diligently pursue that change. Now watch what he said, “To as many as received, to them gave He an ability, a delegated authority, a competence, a privilege, a force to be able to grow up to be and become a son of God.” He said, “that delegated authority secures and ensures your ability to become a son of God” and yet there are still people living their life as a child spiritually. As a result, they die as a child, and go to heaven saying, “How come you didn’t do this Lord?” And God will say, “Listen, I gave you the job, the job description, the privilege, the delegated authority to grow up and become a son.” That means you won’t be able to blame God for not raising the dead through you. You are not going to be able to blame Him for not healing the sick through you. You are not going to be able to blame Him for not prospering your life or causing it to radiate with the glory of Calvary. The only blame is going to be on you for not putting to work the “Exousia” or power given to you. If however, you do, then something will happen. Whether you know it or not, you are working hard to remain where you are.

Heavenly Perspective – Part 3

December 16, 2011

Let’s look at Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

How do you put on something? How many of you know that you don’t just get up without thinking and get dressed? If you do, you will be embarrassed when you go out.  You’ll say, “What a mess!”  When you look at yourself may find you got buttons buttoned wrong, you got two different colored shoes and two different colored socks.  When people meet you they will say, “What’s wrong with you? Did the lights go out at your house?”  See, you don’t just get up and put on anything without thinking about it. By the same token, you do not just become something without thinking about it.  To become something different than you are, you are going to have to think about it. Now with that being said, that means if you are acting in fear, doubt and unbelief, you have given it thought.

Let’s stop for a moment and think about what we just said, “If you are acting in fear, doubt, and unbelief, you have given it thought.” No one can fear unless they are thinking about something that provokes you to be afraid.  No one doubts unless you happen to be presented with something that sound far-fetched and hokey.   When situations present themselves in your life, it causes every person to think and analyze what they are experiencing which creates an emotional response deep inside you.  You have consciously or subconsciously gotten up, walked to your closet, got out the helmet of damnation and started putting on doubt, fear and unbelief. So the Bible says, “Above all put on love”.  Spiritually speaking, you walk to your spiritual closet and look around.  Seeing what you are looking for, you say, “Oh, love, there it is. I’m going to put that on.”  That is a decision you make.  That means you have to meditate on the Word of God and find out what the love of God in the Word is, and as you do, that love will live on the inside of you.

Now Paul is talking to Christians telling that the Bible says, “the love of God has been shed in their hearts by the Holy Ghost (Rom 5:5).”  If God has shed His love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost and we receive the Holy Ghost upon receiving salvation, that means the love Paul is referring to has always been in our hearts, but it is not enough for love to be in our hearts, we have to put it on.  The Bible says that “the Lord will beautify the meek with salvation. (Ps 149:4)”, yet all of can attest that we have seen some really mean Christians.  Yes, they are saved, but they just haven’t made the decision to put on God’s love.   Now what does it mean when it says the Lord will beautify the meek with salvation?  It means that the things you have experienced through God will become the predominant influence in your life.  Why? Because you have been thinking about them, meditating on them until you know that you know that you are saved. Your words will show it.  Your actions will show it. Everything about you will show it because you have been beautified by it.  Everyone who meets you will say, “There is something different about you” and they will ask what it is. Tell them, “I put on the love of God.”

Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.”

Now how many of you know that in order for the peace of God  to rule in your heart, the thoughts of God have to be in your mind.  You cannot have anxiety while you are meditating on God’s Word and God’s goodness.  You only have anxiety, lack of peace and turmoil in your heart when you have been thinking the wrong way.  Now what did you do? You stopped mortifying the deeds of the old man on the earth.  You stepped out of who your heavenly identity/position in your thought life and came right down to the earth realm by allowing your old nature to rise. You became double-minded and unstable in all your ways (Jms 1:8).

Colossians 3:16-17, “Let the Word of Christ, dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts, to the Lord. 17And whatsoever you do in word and deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

 Isn’t this awesome!!! He said, “put on love”, “let peace rule in your heart and be thankful”, and then “let the Word of God dwell in you richly” and this can go beyond that.  When there is peace in your heart and love is being worn by you, people will see it over you both inside and outside, and you will have thanksgiving in your heart.  Now what do you thank God for?  You thank God for what He has promised.  If you wait to thank God for it when it happens, you will see very little results happen in your life.  Thanksgiving looses the hand of God to perform what you already believe.  Remember, you cannot thank God effectively unless you remember you were seated with Him in Christ spiritually.  You have to know where you are and when you know where you are, you will know that what you have been promised is done. Now that is reason to be thankful to God.

Have you ever had something happen in your life that was so good you couldn’t contain yourself?  Well, in those times you were so full of joy that you shouted and hollered.  You may have been so overjoyed that psalms, hymns and spiritual songs rose up inside you.  Next thing you know, you are talking and admonishing one another, and people say, “there’s grace in your heart.”  See, it all came about by a decision to meditate, think upon, dwell amidst, and make the things of the Spirit of reality.  You are so consumed by them that they become the very thoughts you think, but the very feelings you feel.  Now there is not only grace in your heart, but hymns, psalms and spiritual songs in your life.  But the Bible doesn’t stop there.  It says, “whatsoever you do in word and deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”  Do you know what that means?  It means do all on behalf of Jesus.

Have you ever listened to someone pray?  You hear them asking God to do things on their behalf, but God is saying, “I gave you power, you do it?”  They will say, “Lord heal them, because I can’t” and God will say, “You heal them, I gave you the power.”  Why do they think they can’t?  Because they still see themselves as the old man they used to be.  That old person they were before Christ didn’t have the power to do, but you are not that old man.  That old man died with Christ and you are now a new man seated in Christ.  You are a new man that has Christ’s name, Christ’s power and has been sent by Christ to do on His behalf and what can that man do?  He can do all things (Phil 4:13). You are risen, you are not going to rise in the rapture, you are risen already.  In the rapture, you are just going to catch up to what Jesus did for you already.  Your identity in Christ is right now.  It is in Christ.  When you get into that holy place in prayer, you walk right into the Holy Place of God and “with boldness, you obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16).  Wait! Did you catch that?  That means you don’t even pray in an earthly realm, you pray in the spiritual realm, in a dimension that gives you immediate access into the presence of God where you get out of God the strength you need to minister in the power of the Spirit.

So Paul tells us, “whatever you do, do on behalf of Christ, do in the name of Jesus, do with an absolute knowledge that you have been made a recipient of the full power of attorney.”  What is a power of attorney?  It is a legal and binding contract or agreement that permits the holder to do all things on behalf of the person giving the agreement.  With that, we can now read Colossians 3:16, “whatever you do, do knowing that Jesus gave you a letter, His will, His living testament, His authority/permission to do all things on His behalf.”  Simply said, Jesus is telling you, “Go, you can sign on my behalf.  You got all my power behind you. Go out and conduct biblical business as if I was there doing the work myself. Whatever you do, do it as a representative of Me, so everybody will know that you are doing it in My name.  Whatever you do, do it in My name!”  Now when Christians and the body of Christ gets a hold of that revelation, they are going to see changes happen before their eyes.  Remember, we are not talking about getting this revelation in our minds, we are talking about getting this revelation into our very spirit, so that we diligently pursue this thing.  Things just don’t happen, we have to diligently pursue them. We have to go after them and get a hold of it.  Whenever you get a hold it, your life will begin to resemble Christ’s life.  You will begin to see people prospering.  You will begin to see people ruling over circumstances.  You are going to see people that nothing can defeat because they got a revelation of this very fact.

“And whatsoever you do, do in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him”.  How do you give thanks to God by Jesus?  How do I give thanks to God?  You first identify who you are in Jesus and then you identify Christ is your life.  When you do that, you identify you have the Spirit of Christ and you identify that “as He is so are you in this present world (1 John 4:17).” So when you identify that, you lift your heart and hands to God without doubt and fear, and say, “Abba, Father. It is by Jesus…” Guess what happens at that moment?  Your praise goes right out of your heart into Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of God and right out of Jesus’ heart to the throne of God.  That power of praise hits God.  So how do you give praise by Jesus.  You give God total praise by giving the old man absolutely no access to your thought life whatsoever.  You do not identify with the old man you used to be, remembering that man is dead.  You remember, you owe nothing to the flesh.  You are free and you choose to follow God and do what He says. Now when you give praise like that, what happens? When you give the Lord total praise, the praise goes right through the spiritual realm into your life that is hidden with Christ in God.  Only your new life in Christ can gain access to God.

When we pray through the new nature, life goes right into the life that is in Jesus Christ and praise is made unto God by Jesus.  When God turns around, He is excited because praise is emanating right out of Jesus to the throne of God.  Remember God is omniscient (all knowing).  He can identify every individual’s praise in the body of Jesus.  He is not going to mistake my praise for your praise. It is all coming out of Jesus, hitting the throne and God knows whose praise is whose.  Did you know that every praise that has made its way to the throne, has already qualified for an answer?  Once the thanksgiving says “it’s done”, it is put into motion and all things begin to work for your good (Rom 8:28).  So the only way to give Him praise, is to make the throne and the only way to make the throne is to sever yourself from the old person and identify yourself with the new person.  Now once you allow this new nature to operate in you, that new person is living.  He is linked in good with Jesus.  He’s tied to Jesus.  He’s hooked up to Jesus and has the boldness and access to God.  As a result, God hears him, identifying both his petition and his praise.

Romans 13:11-12, 14; “And do this, knowing that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Now the Wuest translation of the Bible says,

“and this, knowing the strategic season, that it is an hour now for you to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night has been on its way, and the day has arrived. Therefore, let us at once and once for all put off the works of darkness and let us once and once for all clothe ourselves with the weapons of the light. 14But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and stop making provision for the sinful nature with a view to a passionate craving.”

You are in a strategic time! Now the Bible is clear about your heavenly identity. So clear that we have to really misappropriate biblical warfare to step out of the authority that He paid for us. Here it tells us that the time we are living in is a strategic time.  There is an opportunity to rise out of sleep.  How many of you know that sleep and slumber spiritually speaking is a byproduct of a lack of knowledge of the Word of God or a lack of willingness to act upon what we know is in the Word.  So when it is talking high time to awake, it is saying, “it is time to get a revelation of the Word of God and do the Word.”  And then it says, “to put on the armor of light”.  How many of you know what the armor of light is?

The Bible talks about putting on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:10-19).  It talks about the helmet of salvation.  How do you put on the helmet?  You put it on by thinking and meditating on the salvation He gave you, Scripture relating to that salvation and what that salvation provides.  All of a sudden, your mind is guarded by a weaponry or piece of armor that God provided for you.  Now how many of you know that the devil attacks the mind?  That is why you need the helmet of salvation.  You put on the helmet of salvation by making a conscious decision to wear it.  So the armor of light is the armor of God and every piece of that armor you put on is put on by consciously deciding it is available and wearing it.  When you put it on, you are protected.  When you know the Word and you have it in your mind, your mind is protected by the Word so that when lies and doubt come, you will say, “No!” to them because you know the Word.  When you got the belt of truth on, then you are prepared to run, you are prepared to fight, you are prepared to move, you are prepared for every activity in life because you know the truth.  When you are prepared to spread the gospel, it is like you have shoes on that can lead you to the battlefield. When you know the Word of God, it is like you got the sword of the Spirit.  The point I am trying to make is that you can consciously meditate on who you are in Christ, your heavenly position through Him and by getting that revelation out of the Word of God, you can be dressed for and be protected in the middle of any battle.

So it is high time to wake up and you wake up through revelation of the Word of God.  It is high time to put on the armor of light, but it also high time to put away from you once for all the works of darkness.    God said, “Make a decision to peel off, to take away, to put away from you the old nature.” That tells me that God is telling born again Christians to remember that they were born again and to make a decision to once and for all say “I will no longer struggle with my old nature.  I will never again doubt whether or not I am what the Bible says I am.” How many of you know that it doesn’t mean you will not be tempted?  You can never just make a decision to put away the works of darkness and never have to deal with them again.  No, you can make a decision to put them away from you, by disassociating them and disclaiming them.  You say, “No!, that ‘s not me!” Now they will keep trying to come around but because you made a decision that they are not you, you can have authority over them every time they try to come around by saying, “that’s not me! I put that away from me.  I am a new person.  I am wearing the armor of light.”

Now watch what it said here and this is the key verse, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”  The Wuest translation says, “clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and stop making provision for the sinful nature.”  Simply said, Wear the Word. The Word is alive (Heb 4:12).  Put it on. Put it in your heart.  Put it in your mouth.  Put it in your mind and put it on your body.  Put on the Lord Jesus.  That means when you put the Word on, you remember that you are everything that the Word says you are in Christ.

A Christmas Message from Peshitta

December 15, 2011

I’d like to welcome you to this special time of the year, a time of celebration and meditation, for it a time that marks the birth of a Savior.  It is a time of strategic significance to the body of Christ.  It is a time that began long before the birth of our Savior that started with creation of man.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, but during this period of creation God created the most precious of all things – man.  The Bible tells us that God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into Him and they became a living soul.  The man was created perfect in every way, sinless as our Savior.  This man was made into the image and likeness of our Creator.  He had intelligence.  He had purity.  He had health without sickness and disease.  He had resources without lack.  He was rich and cared for by our Creator.  He was given stewardship over all the earth to rule and reign, and to subdue the earth and all that crept upon it.  This same man who walked in the coolness of the day with our Heavenly Father, with free will bowed his knee to God’s arch enemy, Satan.  That day marked the fall of man and the change of life as we know it. From this time forward, the world would feel the effects of sin brought about by the rebellion of this first couple.  Through this couple all creation was cursed.

 Yet, no matter how bleak life may have appeared, God in His love, prepared the way to restore man back to Himself.  Through millenniums of rebellion and sin, the day had finally arrived and God sent an angelic messenger to proclaim the coming of a Savior.  A special child was to be born, anointed by God to be the Savior of the World.

 So let’s journey together through time to the day of the birth of this great King.

 26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee name Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 

 Thousands of years after the fall of man, God sends His angel Gabriel, to Nazareth.  There he appears to a young woman named Mary, who was promised in marriage to a man named Joseph.  In these times, to be promised in marriage was a serious event as it was as binding as the marriage itself. How so? Among the Hebrews, the betrothal was the only legal part of marriage which could not be broken off except by a bill of divorce.  During the time between the betrothal and marriage day, the woman was to remain pure and untouched, yet on this very night, Gabriel comes to Mary to tell her she is to conceive a child.

 28And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

 There standing before her was this most magnificent angel.  Her eyes could hardly believe what she saw, much less grasp the words that came out of his mouth.  What did he call her? Highly favored one!!  Did she hear right?  Yet in her ears rang the words, “the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  How could that be?  What did she do that deserved such a great honor?  She was no different than any other woman, so she thought.  Enraptured by the angel before her, she continues to listen, yet feeling trouble in her heart about all she had heard.

 29But when she saw him, “she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God.

As Mary listened to this angelic messenger, a peace began to overtake her.  Though her mind had not yet fully grasped the seriousness of his words, she received great peace in her heart as these words rang in her heart “you have found favor with God.”  That seemed to calm her a bit, but a curiosity also began to rumble around inside her too.  Why was this angel here?  What did he want with her?  Why was she receiving such a greeting?  As she tossed around her thoughts, she heard Gabriel say,

 31”And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

 Hold up!  What did he just say?  Conceive???  How could that be?  She wasn’t even married yet and to this moment, still a virgin.  Wait a minute?  Conceive!!!

 34Then Mary said to the angel, “How can that be, since I do not know a man?”

 Better yet, when would this happen?  How was she going to explain this to her soon to be husband, Joseph, not to mention the rest of the family and neighbors?  To be found with child now would be a sure death sentence.  How long could she hide she was with child?  Sooner or later she would begin to show and everything that would follow would be set in motion.  Lost in the moment, Gabriel’s Words gain her attention once again and again she listened as he continued to convey this message from God,

 32”He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

 “Oh, my”, she thought.  She wasn’t conceiving an ordinary child.  This child was to be great.  In amazement, she realized that who she was to conceive was not just human, but he was divine in nature.  He was the Child of the Almighty God, but how could that be?  How could she, a human woman, conceive this great Son the angel described?  She was all ears now, she just had to know.

 35And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

 As the shock of his words began to settle, she knew that she was chosen for this time. Resolved in her heart and with solid resolution, Mary answered,

 38… “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

 But hold up, what about Joseph?  God wasn’t going to let Joseph figure this whole thing out on his own was he?  How would Mary explain it to him?  Who in their right mind would believe her?  Yet, she knew in her heart that God had a plan. Settled, she need only prepare for the days that lay ahead, and so she did.  Meanwhile, God in His love paves the way for Mary and sends His messenger to Joseph.

 18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 

 What!!  Mary, pregnant?  How could that be?  He had not lain with her.  So how then could she be pregnant?  Could he have been wrong about her?  He loved her, but could he still love her?  Could he look into the eyes of this woman, he was betrothed to and see her the same?  Yet as much as he wanted to be angry, his love for her raged inside him and yet, he couldn’t bring himself to be with her.  He could not keep to his agreement of marriage.  She had broken the covenant.  She had lain with another, shattering the trust he held in his heart for her.  Still yet, his love for her still raged and that was enough for him to divorce her quietly.  She would have to deal with her deceit alone, but at least she would be alive to do it.

 His love for Mary, his wife, was deep.  In those days, an unfaithful woman was stoned to death.  Even though he could not bear to be with her, he could bear less the guilt of her death.

 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

 Wrestling with what he felt in his heart, he goes to bed only to be visited by the angel of the Lord, who revealed to him what had happened.  In this dream, Joseph was told that the child his wife conceived was of the Holy Spirit and divine in nature.

 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 

 Relieved, that his trust had not been broken, Joseph continues to listen and so hears,

 21And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. 22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23”Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God be with us.”

 What!!! He was to be the human father of the Son of God.  With his mind racing, he is aroused from sleep ready and willing to do all that had been revealed to him in this dream.  Oh, how relieved he felt.  This woman that he loved was true to him and yet honored among women to have been chosen to carry such an anointed child.  His heart felt no regret.  He loved her and he knew that.  Freely yielding to the message, he prepares to take her hand in marriage and prepare for the coming of the King.

 24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to his wife, 25and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)

 That day was a joyous one.  This woman he loved with all his heart, was now his and already, in excitement, the thought of being a father, not just any father, but the father of the Son of God, was raging around inside.  He could hardly contain himself.  He was so honored and proud.  He had heard the stories told of this coming child, but who would have thought that he would be the one this child would be born to?

 As the days and months came and went, Mary began to show.  Her time was drawing near and now to add to all that needed to be done, Caesar, calls all to a census.  It couldn’t be the worse time.  She was due to deliver the child soon, and travel was not easy.  Many would be heading for their home towns to register their families, but what could he do?  Relenting to the arduous task, he packs what he can carry on a donkey, and prepares Mary for the journey.

 4Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

 The journey is long and the road is rough and bumpy, but Mary was holding doing well.  As they travel, he can only stare at the beauty of his wife.  Oh how he loved her.  Every day with her was a memory he would treasure.  Traveling with her made the trip seem to pass by with a quickness.  Before he knew it, they had reached Bethlehem.  He knew he had to find shelter quickly, as the child was soon to be born, but sadly, all the places were full.  What was he to do?  After a long day, he finally finds a place, but it was not what he had expected.  No matter, though, it was warm and there was plenty of straw to make their stay a comfortable one.  All that mattered was they were together.   As they settled in for the stay, Mary goes into labor and after a time, she brings forth the long awaited child,

 7And she brought forth her first born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 It’s finally over, and there the child lies, quiet and full of innocence.  As the peace rushes through every fiber of your body, you begin to take inventory of this little bundle of joy.  Two eyes and a button nose, ten fingers and ten toes, yes! They are all there.  You grab for a swaddling cloth and carefully wrap this new life in it.  Picking up the bundle, you cuddle him in your bosom, smiling at the thought of the days, months and even the many years that lie ahead.  Your mind rushes to the frequent feedings and the supplying of his every need.  You smile at the thought of watching him grow before your eyes and imagine as you see the newness of things peak his curiosity.  As you glance down at the beauty in his eyes, you begin to wonder what he will be like, but you don’t hesitate to worry because you are prepared to take each day as it comes. For now, let’s just enjoy the feel of this tiny nugget of life that rests in your arms. Meanwhile as you enjoy this nugget of joy in your arms, the Bible says, that the angels were at work.

 8Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 15So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord made known to us.”

 Oh, how you wanted to shout from the mountaintops the joy you felt.  Oh, how you wanted to proclaim this joyous occasion.  People just had to know, but how?  Suddenly you look up and there before you stood the shepherds with smiles on their face.  They could hardly believe their eyes.  You could see by their faces that they knew who the child was and that thought brought joy to your heart.  As they marveled at the tiny bundle that laid in your arms, the thought of heavenly rejoicing filled the air, as these words flooded the atmosphere,

 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14”Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward all men!”

 Christmas is a time of celebration for it is the birthday of our Savior.  It was a time that God came in the flesh to earth to dwell among us.  It was a time of fulfillment of promise that what lay ahead was now a reality, and through this child, man would be reconciled back to God.  It is a time to celebrate and rejoice for through the promises of this child, heaven had come to earth to set everything right.  We now had the promise of an eternal future and what lay ahead as we wait for His second coming is so much greater than we can ever imagine.  As you meditate on this special time of year, rejoice, for the King was born and through His sacrifice, man was restored to fellowship with the Father.  Through Him, we were given access to God and to a chance of eternal life.  Choose today life…  Choose today the King….

 Choose this day who you will serve…

Heavenly Perspective – Part 2

December 14, 2011

Now we are going to take what I taught you from the first half of lesson 1 and build upon what you have learned so far.  If you recall, we are told, “Constantly set you mind on things which are above”. What does that do? That causes you to become the recipient of everything you are thinking about.  Simply said, you are the byproduct of your thoughts.   So let’s talk about your thoughts. Did you know that your thoughts come by a spiritual influence?   That’s right. Every thought you have comes from one of two spiritual sources – those from God and those from the devil.  Those that are contrary to the word of God, come from the devil, the spiritual influence of evil. That means there has never been an evil thought until the devil thought it and projected it to man.  Through that thought, he caused man to fall.  When man fell from God’s grace, the devil caused man embrace his fallen nature.  Now I bet you have never thought about it much, but did you know your thoughts are not your own?  Did you know that every thought you have comes from either God or the devil.  That’s right; no one is thinking their own thoughts.  Every evil person is just thinking the thoughts of the devil. How do we know? Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father, you will do (John 8:44)”. Where did those thoughts come from? The spirit being that is influencing that person. Well by the same token, good thoughts are not generated by man either, they only come to and flow through man, but they are generated by God.

 So that is why God wants you to set your mind on good thoughts.  Good thoughts are those that are according to the will of God.  As you think according to the Word of God, the Spirit of God will cause you to be transformed and changed into the very thing you are thinking on – for as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  It is for this reason, you must set your affections, set everything about you toward your new nature.  As you give way to your new nature, as you meditate on it, you will begin to be exactly what that nature says you are.  Now Colossians 3:3, tells us we “died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God.”  Our old nature died with Christ and our new person we have become has risen up with Christ.  Now most of us know very little about this new person we have become.  That is a good thing from the enemy’s viewpoint, for the more ignorant we are of who we become, the less chance we will operate in the power this new person possesses in the Spirit.  It is for this reason, that we now learn and it is for this reason, we now take the time to find out what the Word of God says about him.

 Now, I bet you think you know all about him, but do you really?  If you knew what you needed to know, you would be what the Bible says you are.  Now I won’t dispute you may have a rational awareness of them, you may even have an informative knowledge of him, but until you have an experiential revelation, you will not know how to yield to this new nature.  Before you can rule and reign in life by Christ, your mind has to be transformed though the Word of God.  The Bible says, “You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” That means that when Jesus was buried, your old life was hid in that burial. When Jesus rose, your new life was hid in His resurrection. So when you set your affection on that fact, you begin to see that and your spirit begins to be illuminated to that.  How to you receive illumination?  You meditate and think about your new nature.  The more you do, the more you find out. The more you find out, the more you are changed from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18).  The Bible says, that you are changed because you are beholding as in the mirror the glory of the Lord. Now why is that important?

 The glory of the Lord will change you.  As you begin to get revelation of your new identity in Christ, you will realize that the God’s glory is your glory.  As change takes place you will begin to associate yourself with Christ in such a way, that you will look at Him with an open face, boldly declaring that very fact.  You will see yourself joined with Christ, one in nature with Him, knowing that when He rose from the dead, you rose with Him. When He ascended into heaven, you ascended with Him.  When He sat down at the right hand of God, you sat down with Him.  Now somebody with a closed veil will not see this revelation clearly.  They will not see themselves one with Christ.  They will say to themselves, “Yes, I believe that is Christ, but this is me down here.”  They are not going to be changed by His glory because they do not believe that what He did for them provided them with the privilege of receiving the very provisions He paid for.  For those who get the revelation and come with an open face, they will say, “Wow! That’s me in Christ.  I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Did you get that? You are not “a” righteousness of God; you are “THE” righteousness of God.

Now meditating should be an easy thing, if all we had was God’s influence in our life, but there lurking in the invisible realm is an enemy.  While you are trying to focus your affections on the things which are above, he is injecting thoughts in your mind, saying, “but you are a sinner!”  Yes, that’s right; he will speak into your thought life lies that will get your mind to lose focus on the things of God.  To prevent that from happening, you must monitor your thoughts. When thoughts contrary to the Word of God enter your mind, you must tell the devil, “No! No! That sinner is dead in Christ. That is not me. I am a new creation, with a new way of thinking.” Then you have to meditate on that fact.  You have to see in your mind’s eye that old nature dying with Christ.  You have to see him dead in your mind’s eye.  You have to see that old nature buried.  Then as you do, you find out a new person rose with a new identity and with a new authority.  When you see yourself in Christ, when you realize that He is in you, you will always look at the adversary from your heavenly perspective and see yourself seated with Christ.  You will see Christ’s glory as your glory.  Now if you will be diligent in the things of God, if you will study the Word of God, if you will do what you ought to do and pray in the Spirit, you will graduate from one level of glory to another.  Remember, God does not put limits on your spiritual growth.

So how do you find out who you are in Christ? You get in Christ with your thought life.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation.” The moment you make Jesus the Lord of your life, your spirit man will experience a new birth, become a new creation and now abides in Christ.  The moment you make Jesus the Lord of your life your new identity, your heavenly perspective, your heavenly authority, the glory He gave you, and everything He gave you pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) are hidden in God.  So how do you get in Christ in your thought life? You meditate on the Word of God continually.  Now in order for you to claim the benefits of that new nature, you have to find out about him.  Let me explain.  From the time your mother gave birth to you until this very moment in life, you grew and matured into the person you are now.  Your life is a continuous cycle of learning through your past experiences, failures, successes and personal relationships.  Every day of your life, you have been on a venture to find yourself and with each day, you learned more about who you are – your likes/dislikes, your strengths/weaknesses, your desires and more.  In the same way, you now have to invest time in learning who you are as a new creation in Christ and how to live in the realm of the supernatural.  How do we find out about our new nature? We study the manual of life – the Bible.  Within the pages of this book, you will find everything you need to know about your new nature in Christ, and through diligent study and meditation, you will be transformed into the image of Him.

 Now let’s look at Colossians 3:4, “When Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with Him in glory.”  You are going to appear with Him in glory because He is your life, so that means if you want the new life of Christ to be active, visible, effective and flowing through you, you have to go to Christ in your thought life.  You have to go to Christ in your meditations.  You have to receive from Christ through an act of faith everything He already gave you in your new identity.  Now how do you do that?  How do you go into Christ? You go into the Word of God.  You go beyond the ink.  You have to pray in your heavenly language, meditate on the Word of God until the living Spirit takes your spirit into a revelation and dimension in God where the Word lives.  As a result, you will receive from Christ that portion of yourself that He resurrected when He rose from the grave 2000 years ago.  When you get a revelation of that fact you will say, “I am a person who never quits.  I am a person who never fails.  I am a person who never falters. That’s me! I am consistent. I am abounding.  I am unmovable.”  Before you know it, the joy of the Lord begins to rise inside you.  What has happened?  You looked to Christ and began to change from glory to glory.

 Let me give you an example.  Have you ever known a person who was diagnosed with a disease?  As he continues to see doctors, they tell him he is going to die, that the disease is incurable.  That person comes home and every day they pray to God for a healing.  He reads the Word of God looking for food to feed his spirit.  As he begins to continually feed upon the promises of God, the Word of God begins to live in him.  The Scriptures he has read a thousand times in the past begin to take on a life in him. Suddenly, a supernatural injection of revelatory knowledge goes right out of the Spirit of Christ into his being and he shouts, “I going to live.  I am not going to die.”  What has he done?  He has begun to cash in on something that was available to him all the time.  Now you don’t get that through thinking with your intellectual mind.  You have to go beyond the rational mind and get into a realm where the rational is not your authority.  You have to get into the realm of the Spirit, where the Spirit of God causes the Word of God to live inside you because faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  It is at the moment of revelation, that the Word becomes rhema and your spirit man says, “I got it, that’s it!”

Suddenly the Spirit of the Lord begins to show you His healing power.  This Word that you had read so many times and didn’t do anything, all of a sudden rises out of your spirit and becomes God’s method, God’s living ability to get the power of that revelatory Word into your spirit.  Now why is God trying to do that?  Because He wants you to become what He has paid the price for you to be.  Christ died not just so you can go to heaven, but so you can be changed internally in order that you might live a changed person in heaven.  Did you know that if Jesus died for it – a new identity, a new perspective, and then we ought to invest in the thing and pursue it.  God loves you too much to keep you where you are.  You need to change.

 Let’s look at Colossians 3:5, “Mortify your members which are upon the earth…”

 Look at the key word “members”.  Members where?  That’s right. On the earth.  Some people think that means the body, but it is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the old nature that will continually come back to your remembrance not because it is not dead, but because the devil knows that if he can only get you to think on it, the old nature will experience a resurrection in your life.  That means that those members that used to walk around in doubt and unbelief are not you.  No, that’s the dead man who died when you believed in Jesus Christ, but the devil is the accuser (Revelation 12:10).  He will come back and try to remind you in order to get you to meditate upon it, for as long as you think, you will be.  When you meditate on it, then the resurrection of the old nature will rise up and dominate your life.  Now the Bible says, “Mortify those members which are where?”  Upon the earth.  Now where is the man writing from?  He is writing from the earth, but you can be on the earth and not talk of the earth realm, not write out of the earth realm.  You can be on the earth and live from heaven.  You can be on the earth and see from heaven.  Why?  Because you are not relating yourself with the person who you used to be on the earth.  You are relating yourself with the person you are in Christ in heaven.

 So you tell the enemy, “that’s not me! This is who I am” and although you re here, subject to the laws of the natural realm, you are actually in the spirit realm.  You are above the circumstance.  You are above the principalities and powers.  That is why you must seek those things which are above because you are risen, because your old man is dead, because your life is hid with Christ in God.  You got a new life.  You are not on the earth in your position.  You are not on the earth in your identity.  You are not on the earth in your viewpoint.  You are not on the earth in your ministry level.  You are not on the earth in your conduct.  You are a heavenly creature born again in the Spirit of the Lord to live miraculously and to think supernaturally.  So every time an old thing tries to creep up, you have to look at it from a heavenly perspective.

 This is where the enemy gets people.  This is the key point of failure in many people’s faith walk. It is when they begin to think their hands are tied because they are subject to something they cannot overcome.  Look at problems people face – unhappiness, financial problems.  What are they doing?  They are coming down from the position and identity, and they are operating on such a low level realm that the thing Jesus died for, the curse of the law of poverty is now dominating their thought life.  Why is that?  They have been meditating on it from the wrong perspective.  See you can look at finances, but if you look at them from the heavenly viewpoint, they look small.  The key is to look at these things from a heavenly perspective and position of authority in God.  You are not subject to the circumstance.  You must know that you have the authority through Jesus and that authority will exemplify and manifest itself strong in your life if it is a byproduct of an experiential revelation of where you are in God.  When you spend time in a heavenly place, you will deal with life from a heavenly perspective.

 The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:9-10, that the deeds of the old man belong to the old man.  Why is that important?  The devil will try to get you to claim the deeds of the old man, the one who died and say they are yours.  The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so we must remember that the deeds of the old man belong to the old man.  That old man is dead. By nature, the old man is the child of the devil.  He acts like the devil. He talks like the devil and he receives retribution of being like the devil.  He lives under the curse.  He can’t be blessed.  That’s why the devil knows all he has to do is get you to identify with him and he’s got you operating under the curse.  You can’t be blessed if the old man is living.  You cannot put the old man to death unless you take him out of your thought life.  Every time he tries to rise up in you, say, “that is not me! The deeds of the old man belong to the old man.  He fails. He doubts. He gets sick. He’s the one that lies! I am a new man. He thinks right. He acts right. He is blessed in his going and in his coming.  He is blessed in his thought life.”  When you do that, you put off the old man.  Now this doesn’t happen automatically.  It is a process and happens over time.

Remember, you must strip him off. You must put him away from yourself.  As you do, you will gain things.  Colossians 3:10 tells us to put on the new man, the person you are after you are saved, the person who is constantly renewed with an advanced and perfect experiential knowledge and which is in the image of the One who created him.  You put him on.  You remember you got him at the resurrection.  You remember you are changing into the image of God.

Heavenly Perspective – Part 1

December 12, 2011

We are going to talk about a heavenly perspective because of our heavenly identity.  To do this, we must know what heavenly perspective and heavenly identity is.  A heavenly perspective is seeing things through the eyes of God.  This is how God would perceive and see particular persons, places and things.  Heavenly Identity is who you are in Christ.

We must understand that when we got saved, we experienced a new birth and became a new person.  This new person is different than the person we used to be before we got saved.  This person has a different way of looking at things and thinks differently than the person we used to be.  If you begin to allow that new person to dominate your life, you will begin to see the results that God intends for you to have and you will begin to experience them as you live for the Lord.

Because we believe in the gifts of the Spirit, the anointing of the Holy Ghost, healings, miracles, deliverance, authority over devils, it is important that we build a foundation and teach every believer their identity, position, and God given rights so that they are not engaged in a battle that they find themselves struggling to win.

But did you know that when you fight, you have to learn both the offensive methods and the defensive methods of fighting.  You have to know how to defend when the enemy attacks.  A good biblical foundation regarding your heavenly identity and being able to look at things from a heavenly perspective gives you the ability to defend when the enemy attacks you because you know your rights and you don’t allow him to get away with something that he has no right to get away with.

When someone is going to do warfare, they got to know first of all, that they cannot be defeated in warfare.  They have to know that the enemy has no ability to overcome them and the only way to know that is to find out your identity according to the Word of God. That way you know how to live consistently and be instant in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  That way you realize that everything you face on the battlefield of life has been answered and has been provided for in the Word of God.

Let’s turn to Colossians 3:1-5 (Memory Verses) 1 If then you are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

I want to draw your attention to some things here. The Bible says, “we ought to seek the things which are above.” Another tranlation of the Bible says, “the things above be constantly seeking”. That means in order for you to seek the things which are above constantly and set your mind on them, we have to first of all, know what the things above are.  The Bible said, “if then you are raised with Christ…” Do you believe that when Jesus rose from the dead, you rose with Him?  That’s right! When you rose, you rose a different person then when you died.  Now most people look to the cross as the end, but the cross is not the end, it is the beginning.  Thank God for the cross, for without it, there is no beginning.  Praise God for the burial because without it, there is no death to your old nature.  Glory be to God for the resurrection because without it there is no new identity that can live on the inside of you.  Most of us are so mindful of the death of Christ that we fail to cash in on the resurrection of Christ.  Now Colossians says, “if then you were raised with Christ…”

That means you rose again victorious over death, hell, grave, sickness, sin and disease.  So that means that God expects you to do something with with the information.  He said “this is what you ought to do, constantly be seeking the things which are above.” Now Jesus said, “Seek ye first” what?  that’s right! The Kingdom (Matthew 6:33)

There is no better place to depict or project a revelation of the kingdom of God then heaven itself.  Heaven is the perfect place to see the kingdom in action.  Why? because heaven is a place where God’s Word is settled. There’s absolutely no turbulence, turmoil, contradiction or doubt regarding the rulership or the kingship or the dominion of the Lord.  Jesus Christ in heaven is Lord of all. There’s no one arguing, no one trying to overthrow His authority in the third heaven. He is King of Kings. Now the Bible says, “we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), so if we want to bring the kingdom of God and the power of God into the earth realm, we have got to have a heavenly perspective.  We have got to come at warfare, at the enemy, the world and life from a superior position of authority.  We dont fight to overcome, we fight because we have already overcome.  We dont fight to get the victory, we fight because we already have the victory.  We are already risen with Vhrist. We are already seated with Christ and the Bible says “if then you are raised with Christ, then constantly be seeking the things which are above and constantly set your mind on things which are above.

Christians seem to think that spirituality has nothing to do with what they believe, what they meditate upon or what they invest in. They want God to just show up and do it, but it is not like that.  “If then you are raised with Christ, set your mind on those things which are above.”  That means you have to meditate upon your position, your identity and your new nature in God. Remember, man did nto invent creativity. Man did not impart to himself the power to imagine.  It was God who made man.  All men, regardless of their salvation have God-given abilities to go places in their mind.  If you think, you will find out you are thinking in pictures.  You will find out that you are relating to something.  Man has the ability to follow his thoughts.  Try it one day.  Just think about someone in anger and think about them in disappointment and think about them in resentment, and then run into that person.  You will have a very hard time being nice to that person.  You will have a very hard time communicating with that person.  What they have set their mind upon has set them up to become a slave to the thing that they have chosen to meditate upon.

Well by the same token, you cannot think good about God, His Word or your position in Christ before you begin to draw near to Him and you being to actively experience the reality of the thing that He has provided for you. So the Bible says, “if you meditate upon the Word of God day and night and let not the Book of the Law depart out of your heart and mouth, but learn to do everything that is written in it, you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success (Joshua 1:8)

Most of us know that, but you see knowing it is not enough.  Knowing it does not ensure a short cut to receiving that thing.  When you get a revelation of the finished work, it’s going to take meditation, thinking upon, analyzing, evaluating, studying, digging into the Word of God until you receive the reality and the power of those things.  Until the experiential power is flowing through you, you haven’t arrived and even when the power is flowing, you still haven’t arrived.  So what do you do?

You seek those things. We constantly set our minds on those things which are above.  Now the things I am talking about are related to your position in Christ, your authority through Christ and your identity through Christ.  You are not who you used to be so in order for you to really experience that, you have got to start thinking on who you are.  You have got to start speaking in relationship to who you are.  In order to operate as a person of authority you have to see yourself from a biblical perspective, find out where you are seated in God and find out what Jesus has paid for you to have.

People go around for many years and then the power of the thing they are seeking begins to flow through them. Understand this! Every man will eventually yield to one power or the other. He will either yield to demonic spirits or the Spirit of God. He will either have demonic supernatural power or Godly supernatural power.

The Bible said we have been given the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 4:8).  The Holy Spirit of God gives us the ability to open every dimension of ourselves to the supernatural embodiment, incarnation, residence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now He’s inside us, but the more you pray in your heavenly language, the more you will get out of the natural, rational realm. The more you let the power of the Spirit live in you, the greater the sphere of influence that God gives you will be in your life.  So He said, “Constantly be setting your mind on the things which are above.” So what happens is – those things which are above are the real provisions that jesus has for you – your identity in Christ, your new nature through Christ, your authority through Christ, your victory through Him, and your heavenly perspective through His Word are realities that will never become real to you unless you constantly set your mind upon them. That means both conscious and unconscious effort.

Christ’s Prayer Mandate – Learning to Pray – Part 4

August 29, 2011

Seems like all hell is breaking loose around us.  The world seems to be at its worse state since the beginning of time.  There is no place in the world where evil, war and disaster doesn’t run rampant.  There is no place in the world where we can feel safe.  No nation has been left untouched, no government unaffected, no school left unturned.  Our streets are full of crime and the hand of evil has reached into our homes.  The world is in total turmoil.

Remember the marks of a true intercessor: a sense of human need, a Christlike love in the heart, a consciousness of personal impotence, faith in the power of prayer, courage to persevere in spite of refusal and the assurance of an abundant reward (A. Murray)

God sees what is happening in the world and His heart grieves.  Why? Because He sent Jesus upon the cross to beat the hand of evil down in order to bless His people with the best.  He has and always will be willing to release all His Word says He has provided. Christ destroyed the power of sin in our life.  He destroyed the power of sickness and disease.  Through His death we were given delegated authority to spiritually rule this earth, yet we fail to take control over the power of Satan.  We have been given UNLIMITED divine access to the Father, but through ignorance we fail to use it.  God is calling for His people to return to Him in prayer and intercession, the channel by which His power is released into the lives of His people in the world. Prayer changes things, but it is the most misunderstood and underused weapon in the Christian arsenal.  God is calling and looking for those who are willing to learn how to pray in SPIRIT and TRUTH.  He is looking for those who will lay aside what they thought they knew in terms of prayer and learn true, unadulterated, pure and powerful prayer.  Are you one of those people?  Are you ready to change the world, the cities, your life and more?

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer. (J. Wesley)”

“God has limited His work on earth and made it dependent upon the prayers of His people.  The measure of His power and blessing on earth is determined by the measure of intercession arising before the Throne Room.  Through intercession, we pray into being God’s will on earth as it is in heaven (Cerullo)”.  Listen all people of God, listen to the cry and urging of God’s Spirit to return to Him in prayer.  The Bible is firm when it says,

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you. (John 15:16)”

Intercession is the most powerful form of prayer in that it is the prayer that Christ prays on His throne.  Through His prayers, He is waging war in the heavenlies, tearing down and destroying strongholds of the enemy that hold the world’s people bound.  He has given you His power and authority.  All of heaven is at our disposal.  He has PROMISED to give us whatever we ask in His name.  The Bible tells us His will for us.  It outlines His promises clearly, but to access these answers we must pray prayers emanating from the throne room of God into the world.  We cannot pray powerless prayers from our soulish man and expect God to answer.

How many know what intercession is?  Intercession is standing in the gap on behalf of people, cities, and nations; It is exercising our delegated authority, pleading the promises of God in faith.  It is bringing God’s kingdom down upon the earth so that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Intercession goes beyond prayer petitioning God to meet your own needs.  It is praying on behalf of others.  It is not a five-minute prayer listing names of people that need to be saved and delivered.  It is getting into the face of God mourning, weeping, travailing and waiting before Him to answer, not letting go until the work is complete.  It involves willingness to stand in the gap for someone other than ourselves.   An intercessor is important because they are able to effectively plead on behalf of another because they are willing to give their life for another.  They are wiling to lay aside their own interests and as much as possible take their place.  It is not substitution for sin.  That was Christs stand.  To intercede on behalf of another, we must be willing to sit where those we intercede for are sitting.  We must identify with their needs adn feel their infirmities so that we can gain a position of prayer to effectively intercede.

“He Who did not withhold or spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all things? Who is there to condemn us? Will Christ Jesus, Who died or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? (Romans 8:32, 34)

Christ is giving unceasing intercession for us, so to understand the depths of intercession, we must look to Him.  He is calling us to join Him in this work where our intercession will also flow from the Throne to the world. Christ gave us the responsibility to continue on the work He started.  He equipped us with His power through the Spirit who is a spirit of supplication, to release His intercession through them.  He gave us the authority to do so in His name.  Too many of us pray ineffective prayer using our natural minds.  Your natural mind cannot know the mind and will of God.  In the natural mind, you are limited in ability and do not know how to pray.  You must recognize that fact and develop total dependence on the Holy Spirit to help.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27)”

Do not worry.  God knows your natural mind does not know how to pray.  That is why He sent His Spirit for you to rely on.  Through His Spirit you will receive a divine capability to pray.

“The life of Christ flowing through us and the words of Christ living in us, these give power to prayer. They breathe the spirit of prayer, and make the body, blood and bones of prayer (Bounds)”

There are over six billion people in the world and only one half of those have heard the Name of Jesus. There is something definitely wrong with that.  The problems of the world go beyond the surface of issues such as homosexuality, pornography, drugs, abortion and others plaguing our society.  The root of the issues goes well beneath the symptoms.  It is time for us all to rise up in powerful prayer and go to the root to eliminate the strongholds that exist below the surface.  Treating the symptoms does not destroy the issue, it only covers the problem temporarily.  It’s time to destroy these strongholds permanently and to do that we must rise above the ordinary prayer and intercede with power.

To do that, it starts with you.  You must change, becoming so spiritually dissatisfied that you refuse to stay where you are.  You must enter into an experience where you know that you have  the power through prayer that Christ promised.  God didn’t not intend for the church to be what it is today. Evil Spirits recognize the power and authority of God operating through us, that is, if we are walking the life of Christ in faith.  The only way we will see entire nations and cities transformed and a great harvest of souls is for something supernatural to occur in the church.  We need God to breath His Spirit upon us once again and raise up intercessors who have the power, who know what it means to pray and intercede before God with delegated authority (Cerullo).  We have this same delegated authority that Jesus had 2000 years ago in us.  It is greater than any power and authority known to man and Christ wants to activate it through your prayers.

There are three major phases of intercession: Identification, self-sacrifice, power and authority.

Phase 1: Identification:  To understand this phase of intercession, we have to take a look at Christ, our High Priest-Intercessor.  How so?  Christ identified with us by taking upon Himself the form of flesh and blood. He left the glories of heaven and became one of us so that He would feel our infirmities and be qualified to intercede on our behalf.  In the same way, we must also be will to identify with those for whom we are interceding, at the point of their need.  We must so identify with them that we take their burdens upon ourselves, feel their pain and sorrow and present their needs before the Father as if they were our own.  As an intercessor, you are able to plead effectively because you give your life for another, you have laid aside your own self-interest and as much as possible, you have taken their place.  This is true intercession.  True intercessors must be willing to sit where those they pray are sitting.

Phase 2: Self-Sacrifice:  Christ paid the ultimate price by laying His life down for us.  In the same way, we must come to the place where we are willing to lay down our own lives sacrificially on behalf of those for whom we are praying.  Self must be crucified!  We must be willing to lay aside our own desires and give ourselves sacrificially through prayer and fasting on behalf of the needs of others.  Remember, it is the Holy Spirit who lays a burden upon our hearts for others and calls us to intercede.  During intercession,  as we fully yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, He will pray through us.  As we begin to pray in the Spirit in unknown tongues, the Spirit begins to travail and make intercession “with groanings which cannot be uttered”.  When we pray in the Spirit, we build  ourselves up in the most holy faith. When we face circumstances that seem overwhelming or impossible in the natural realm, and we begin to pray in the Holy Spirit in tongues, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He comes to our aid and releases His power within us to overcome every obstacle and trial we face.

Phase 3: Power and Authority:  As self begins to die and we allow the Holy Spirit to have full control to pray through us with groanings and gushing of the Spirit, we then enter into that realm of power and authority that is ours in Jesus’ name.  We have gained a powerful spiritual position through intercession where we are about to speak a word of “deliverance”.  We are clothed with authority by the Holy Spirit and it is from this position of strength the “greater works” of Jesus are done in His name.  This is true intercession.  The place of power and authority is not something we can obtain in our own strength.  It is a place that the Holy Spirit will bring us into as we yield ourselves to Him.

The role of an intercessor is a high and holy calling.  God wants you to become an intercessor, but it involves consecrating and setting yourself apart for fasting and prayer, waiting before Him and not letting go until the work has been done.  Christ has given His body a prayer mandate.  He has given us the awesome privilege and responsibility of joining Him in intercession and fulfilling His will in the nations through our prayers.  He has also given us the delegated power and authority, through the Holy Spirit to demolish Satan’s strongholds, heal the sick, cast out demons and do even greater works than He did, in His name.

He has chosen you and ordained you to bring forth fruit that will remain. Allow the Spirit to have full control to pray through you. Through prayer we can move the hand of God, break through  all natural limitations and tap into His unlimited power.

Pray this prayer:

Father, thank You for the awesome privilege and responsibility  you have given us to come before Your throne and intercede on behalf of lost souls in our cities and nations.  Give us Your heartbeat for souls!  Open our eyes to see the lost through Your eyes of compassion.  Bring us to a new level of strategic intercession where the Holy Spirit is praying through us, travailing and interceding for souls to be won into Your Kingdom.  Anoint us by Your Spirit to pray with the delegated authority You have given us.  Remove every limitation and hindrance that will prevent us from fulfilling our Holy calling of intercession before Your throne.  Lord Jesus we accept Your prayer mandate and the call to pray prayers from Your Throne in the power and authority of Your Name, to heal the sick, cast out demons and minister to the desperate needs around us with signs, wonders and miracles following.

Break Open Your Alabaster Box – Learning to Pray – Part 3

August 27, 2011

“Praise is the Christian’s heavy artillery; praise is more effective in spiritual warfare than is an atom bomb in military battle (Duewel)”

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on His head as He was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman?  She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.  When she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare me for burial.  (Matthew 26:6-13)”

[This story perfectly illustrates the meaning of true worship.  Can you see it in your mind’s eye.  This woman rushes to her room and runs to her chest of drawers.  Ruffling through its contents, she finds a carefully wrapped alabaster bottle filled with the most precious of perfumes.  As she looks down at it, she remembers it worth, but inside her heart she bursts to share it with the Master.  What would He say? What would He think if she poured it upon Him out of the love she felt in her heart?  Would He be angry or would He see into the depths of her soul and see how deep her love was for Him?  As her thoughts imagine that moment, she can hardly contain herself and rushes to the object of her adoration.  This woman gave her most valuable possession to show her heart felt love for the Master. Now that is some kind of worship!

Yet, worship is a important key to answered prayers.  In fact, most fail to realise that worship is a powerful form of prayer that brings Gods glory down and puts the enemy to flight. Sadly, most Christians are ignorant to this fact.  Yet still, God is looking for true worshippers.

Worshipping God is critical and vital for true worship in the Spirit as it ushers you into the Holy of Holies, that is, into the very presence of the Father.  It is a divine encounter with God.  For this reason, it is important to understand what worship is, so lets begin by looking at its meaning.  The Greek word for worship is “proskyneo” meaning to prostrate oneself, give reverence to.  Did you catch that?  It is an act of adoration and reverence, a rendering of divine honor, esteem and love towards God and Christ.  That’s right, it is an outward display that brings us in direct contact with God. Through worship we give value and worth to the object of our worship. While worshipping the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we are pouring out our love for Who They are rather than what They have done for us because worship centers on Who God is, while praise and thanksgiving involves giving to God and thanking Him for what He has done. The Bible tells us,

“He who brings as offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me” (Ps 50:23)

Thanksgiving is an aspect of prayer whereby we recognize and give thanks to God for all His blessings. Like praise, it is a type of prayer that draws the heart away from self and centers it upon God.  This is why when we come before God we need to begin by worshipping, thanking and praising Him before we present our needs.  Jesus said that true worshippers would worship in spirit and in truth.  In a world of idolatry, man has turned his back on God to worship power, money, sex and the world’s pleasures.  God is searching for true worshippers.  He desires those who will build a living memorial to Him through worship, like Mary, who poured out lavish worship on the Lord Jesus.

Many Christians in the church are holding onto idols in their hearts.  Many have placed their families, careers and pursuit of worldly pleasures first place in their lives instead of the Lord and their worship for Him.  These things have become their idols.  There are others who have put the work of the Lord and ministry, above the Lord.  Ministry has become their god.  They have exalted the work of the Lord above the Lord Himself. They have become so busy in their work for the Lord that they neglect to spend time in His Presence worshipping Him.  This is spiritual idolatry.  The Father is looking and yearning for those who will worship Him wholeheartedly, who will not just honor Him with their lips and say they love Him, but will truly worship Him.

To gain a clearer understanding of what true worship really is, lets look at the life and example of Abraham.  God wanted to know Abraham’s heart and whether or not he loved Him above everything else.  He directed Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac.  Abraham obeyed God. When he reached the place of sacrifice, where God had directed him to go, he left his servants saying, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back (Gen 22:5)”.  Abraham, in obedience to God, was on the way to offer Isaac on the altar as a sacrifice to God. Yet, he said, “we will worship”.  He believed God, who had given him the promise that through Isaac and his seed he would become a father of many nations.  He was willing to offer his son in worship on the altar knowing that God would be able to raise him from the dead.  Abraham’s worship involved his willingness to give God the thing of greatest value and that was dearest to his heart – his son, Isaac, for whom he had prayed and believed God for.  It involved more than just words.  He didn’t just tell God how much he loved Him.  He worshipped God and poured out love through his act of obedience and faith.

True worship involves our verbal expression of adoration and praise as well as our actions.  As you give yourself as a living sacrifice to God and come before Him, pouring out your love and worshipping Him for Who He is, He receives your worship and in turn, gives Himself to you.  His glory comes down and His Presence is manifested.  The Father is not withholding Himself from us.  He is just waiting for us to break through all man-made traditions and formalities and come into His Presence and worship.

Ignite the powerful weapons of worship, praise and thanksgiving to defeat the enemy.  We are to face our circumstances and things coming upon the earth before the Lord’s return, not with fear, but with the “High Praise” of God in our mouths and the two-edged sword of His Word in our hands.  This is an hour when God’s people must declare His praises among the nations.  God has made us to be a “royal priesthood” to proclaim His praises to the end of the earth.  Something happens in the spirit realm when God’s people begin to truly praise, sing and worship Him.  There is a release of new freedom that comes forth.

Begin your time alone with the Father by first worshipping Him for Who He is: The Great I AM; Jehovah Jireh, Abba Father; Jehovah Shalom; Jehovah Nissi; Jehovah Rapha; All powerful; Ancient of Days; King of Kings; Lord of Lords; Savior; Redeemer; Deliverer; Lamb of God; Lion of Judah and soon coming King.  One of the first things to do during worship is to recognize the awesome glory, majesty and holiness of God.  He alone is holy.  As you come into His Presence, honor and praise Him for His holiness.  He is perfect in all His ways. Praise Him for His mercy, His loving kindness and His faithfulness.  Begin to thank Him for what He has done for you. Throughout your day, wherever you go, praise Him and tell Him how much you love Him.  During your worship time, shut away with Him, God wants you to abandon yourself in worshipping Him.  Worship and praise God with a passion, forgetting everything, losing sight of what anyone will say and totally losing yourself in Him.   The key to experiencing God in His fullness is to humble ourselves before Him, lay aside all pre-conceived ideas and cry out to Him with all our hearts.  Cast off your robe of pride and self-sufficiency and begin to sing, shout, and dance before Him.

Pray this prayer:

Father, my heart rejoices to know that You love me with an everlasting love and that You desire my worship and praise. You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, glory and blessing! I am hungry for You! My spirit cry out to know You in a greater capacity. My love you and desire You above everything else.  You are the only true and living God.  You are high and holy and I lift You up and exalt Your holy name. I praise and worship you because You are full of mercy, grace and truth. I desire to know You in Your fullness. With all my heart I want to worship You in Spirit and in Truth.  Teach me to open my alabaster box of true worship and worship You in Spirit and truth. (Cerullo)]

A Holy Summons – Learning to Pray – Part 2

August 27, 2011

“What is prayer?  Prayer is a spiritual force through which God releases His immeasurable, supernatural power to meet the needs of His people and establish His will and Kingdom upon the earth.

For all those out there crying out to God – Know, there is absolutely no limitation or circumstance that can hinder God’s power from being released in answer to your cry.  How do we know?

“Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which you know not (Jer 33:3)”

If you are reading this, God is calling you to a life of prayer and intimacy with Him.  Shake yourself from complacency.  Commit yourself to God in prayer.  Every relationship requires time spent alone with your partner getting to know them.  During that time with them, dialog takes place and through that dialog, you gain insight into the inner most part of your partner.  God is your partner.  Ask yourself, do you spend enough time with Him to truly know who He is?  Do you listen to His heart as much as He listens to yours?  Is your attention fully on Him during those times or is your mind divided on other things, giving Him what is left over after a busy day?  Do you reach out to Him before your day starts and seek His advice before beginning anything major?  Do you trust His advice by acting upon it or does it toss around in your mind and get shelved?  Do you come to Him to tell Him how much you love and adore Him, or is most of your time vetting your needs?  Do you pray for others as much as you pray for yourself?  Do you see Him as your partner or your place of supply and demand?  Where are you with respect to your partner, God?  Do you reverence Him and fight for time with Him as you would a human mate?  Where does He fit into your daily life?  What’s the first and last thing you think about each day?

These questions will gauge where your heart is in God.  It’s time to wake up for the day is coming where people will be so consumed with the world and its pleasures, that His coming will come upon them unaware.  Are you so preoccupied with making a living, taking care of family and enjoying life that God gets the leftovers?  Are you spiritually disabled as a result, too busy to pray? Have your spiritual eyes and ears grown dim to his call.  God is specific in saying, “Watch and pray always”.  This is not an option, it is a command, a command that will save our lives as the enemy searches for whom he may devour.

Shake yourselves! Rise up out of your sleep! The hour is late and there is no time to sleep or to become careless. This is a time to become vigilant in prayer.  It is time to seek God’s face, to receive His direction, His anointing,  and His power to equip and prepare you for this hour! Rise up! Come and wait before Him. As you remain in His Presence He will reveal Himself to you.  He will speak to you.  He will release all that you need to walk in His power and might to accomplish His will.  Now is not the time to get spiritually lazy.  It not the time to get consumed with life’s circumstances and activities, giving God what remains of your day, if you give God anything at all.  It is time to go beyond the “bless me” state in your prayers where you focus only on yourself and your needs and pray for the needs of others.

Prayer is a powerful force in the earth and most Christians have no idea how to tap into that power.  Jesus said,

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13-14)”

Jesus pulls no punches when He makes this statement.  He will do whatever you ask in His name, but there is a condition attached to this promise concerning how we ask.  Christ’s intention is that through prayer we would reach up into heaven and bring down His Kingdom on earth.  He intended that we would use this power and authority in His name to reach the very throne room of God and to bring heaven’s resources on earth so as to fulfill His will.  So what’s the problem?   Christians either fail to pray or lack prevailing prayer.  The church has become so spiritually impotent that when Christians face challenges, they are powerless to overcome, powerless to manifest the power of the Spirit that is in them.  They lack the faith to produce the results that the Word so strongly promises for them.

The needs of the world are ever-increasing and the only hope is for the church to learn to prevail in prayer at the feet of Jesus.  Ask yourself, are you willing to dedicate yourself to rising up to a new level of prayer?  Do you want a fresh revelation and experience in prayer that demolishes the strongholds of Satan?  The world needs answers to prayers.  People need their lives and situations changed.  They need to see the Spirit demonstrate His power in their life, so they can see that God is concerned.  God is true to His Word and His desires are to be involved in the activities of this world.  We are the tools by which He uses, but what if that tool places itself upon a shelf only to collect dust or only uses itself when convenient?  What if the tasks it sets itself to do are only focused around its own needs?  What if the tool is dull or broken?  It is time to shake the people of God out of their slumber so that the Spirit can empower them through the anointing to pray energized prayers that will shake the gates of Hell, loose those bound in chains of darkness and bring God’s Kingdom on earth.  Heaven is not only for the future, when we die.  Heaven is here and now.

Prayer is a life style.  The Bible tells us, “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”  Do you see it?   God commands us to pray always, at all times, on all occasions using all kinds of prayers and supplications, but did you catch the second part?  PRAY IN THE SPIRIT.  WATCH IN PRAYER.  PERSEVERE IN PRAYER.  Prayer is no joke, it is a must, a life saving devotion to God. The call to prayer is first and foremost a call to a living, vibrant relationship with God and Christ.  It is a call to know His heart, to come into His Presence and to commune/fellowship with Him continually.  It isn’t a 15 minute, microwaveable hurry up and give God thanks prayer.  It isn’t a fit me in before I go to sleep or work prayer.  It isn’t a venting session.  God created us to fellowship with Him, but how many of us pass up that opportunity?  Our very success in life depends upon our relationship with the Father, yet we have time to do everything but that, fitting God in the openings or when convenient.  Yet, if it is really something we want to do, we will find time.  Is prayer something you really want to do?

When we pray, we are standing in the King’s reception room (Spurgeon).  There we are at a vantage point because there  we are in the Almighty’s Presence.  What a beautiful place to be!  In His presence we can commune or talk, but how many of us give God a chance to talk back?  Do you listen to see what He has to say?  Prayer is a dialog, that is, it is a two-way conversation, yet most of us pray a one-sided prayer, never really sitting still long enough to hear God’s answers and thoughts on the matter.  During prayer, we are to minister to God, showering Him with our love and then wait silently in worship and adoration for Who He is.  God longs for our love and ministry to Him, yet our prayers are normally filled with requests for things or favors that need to be granted.  Our Father is interested in a love relationship.  He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.  This relationship involves more than a 5 minute devotional or a short prayer before you fall asleep.  It involves communing with God through the entire day.  Wherever you are, God is there so there is always opportunity for conversation, though God is looking for those quiet moments together also.    God wants a relationship with us that is not only us giving ourselves to Him, but Him giving Himself to us.

The number one priority in prayer is getting into God’s Presence, that is, establishing a personal relationship with Him.  Are you hungry for God’s Presence?  Are you crying out to know Him more intimately?  Communion with God involves passionate desire from your innermost being.  There must arise in you an insatiable desire to know Him and to live in continual communion with Him.  That process takes time alone with Him waiting on Him, getting to know Him, and allowing His words to take root in your heart.  When you do, your prayers will rise to a new level.  Become consumed with a passionate desire for God.  Set your priority in prayer to first and foremost spend time communing with the Father and Christ.  Set aside time in prayer to seek His face and not just His hand in blessing.  As you come into His presence, acknowledge Him for who He is.  Take time to be silent before Him listening to hear His voice.  In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. (Bunyan).  Communion is a dialog.  True communion is listening for God’s voice to know His will and direction.  The more you develop intimacy with Him, the more you will be able to hear and discern His voice.  There in His Presence, you will receive a divine life flow of His anointing and He will pour out His love upon you.    Draw from His strength.  Allow Him to reveal Himself to you.  The call of the Spirit is your call to return to a personal, intimate relationship with our Creator.

Pray this prayer:
Holy Spirit, teach me to pray.  Father, Thank you for paying the ultimate price giving me divine access into the Holy of Holies, into your Presence.  I have heard the wooing of Your Spirit to draw near to You in a  more intimate relationship and am hungry for Your Presence.  I long to hear Your voice, to know Your heart, to fellowship with You.  Jesus, Thank you for the blood You shed making it possible for me to come boldly into our Father’s Presence.  I desire You more than life itself.  You are everything I need and all that I desire.  Draw me to Yourself in a deeper dimension of intimacy, greater than anything I have ever known.  Reveal Yourself to me. Open my eyes to see and know You in all Your power and glory.  I give myself wholly to You.

Beyond Ordinary Prayer – Learning to Pray – Part 1

August 26, 2011

     There are many of us out there aggressively seeking a more intimate relationship with God, but where do we begin that pursuit? How do we get there?  I am so hungry for God, hungry to know him experientially, hungry to get beyond just Him being words on a page of a Bible. I bet there are many who are looking for their burning bush or their “on the Road to Damascus” experience, but I must ask you a question. Would you open your heart’s secrets and desires to just anyone? What would it take for you to open yourself up and share those most cherished dreams and heartfelt desires?
Yet, many of us enter into God presence whether that be in a sanctuary or in the privacy of our own home carelessly. We come to Him with our minds preoccupied with our daily activities, our circumstances and while we sit, God fights for our attention in the midst of the tangled ball of thoughts. Let’s take this point home, have you ever sat in church and while the pastor speaks, your mind wonders to what you will do when church lets out or what you will eat because you are hungry or even looked at your watch to see how much longer before church is over? The answer to these questions will give you an indication of the true spirit of your worship.  How do you approach God?  Do you see Him for Who He is are for what He can do for you?  Do you reverence and awe Him or treat Him like one of your best buds?  Your attitude toward Him determines your level of intimacy as no one in their right mind will open up their heart to someone who really truly doesnt care.  Just as you guard your heart from hurt and disappointment, sharing it with only those who earn your trust, so too, does our Father in heaven.

      God has always desired for us to draw close to Him, as evidenced by His creating Adam at the very beginning of time. This is the only time that any man walked with God as He truly intended and though Adam fell, God never stopped yearning for our intimacy with Him. How do we know? He sent Jesus so that we would be restored. Through Jesus’ sacrifice we were given access to God’s throne room where we can present our prayers and petitions before Him. God cries out from the depths of His being for us to come to Him in true worship and praise.  Prayer is one vehicle in which God made available to do that, but so many who pray really do not pray as they should so we are going to take a journey to learn how to pray in the same powerful, unlimited dimension as Jesus, that place where nothing is impossible to us. Now whether you get there is determined by you and the attitude you take. Ask yourself, are you satisfied with living as you are or are you ready to experience the full potential of the true power of prayer that Christ intended for His people?

      Now it doesn’t matter where your prayer life is now. Christ is calling you to rise above your current state and join Him at His side where your prayers will change cities, nations and groups by His power. To do that you must set aside all traditions and preconceived ideas of what you thought prayer is and be willing to move into a new realm and experience in prayer. True prayer is more than reading prefabricated prayers from a book or repeating eloquent words to impress those who are listening around you. Prayer is a means to move God’s hands to produce His will here on earth. Our natural minds can not get us there. We must move from the natural into the realm of the supernatural where there exist no limits and where all things are made possible. To get there, we need the power of the Holy Spirit for prayer is born of the Spirit.

      It is only through God’s Spirit we can truly learn to pray for He is the giver of all prayer. Though there are many books that can teach us the prayer, there is no better teacher then Jesus, our Great Intercessor. Through His Spirit we will be enabled to pray prayers that are motivated, directed and divinely energized by Him. Remember, we are not alone in our quest to learn. Even Jesus’ disciples (Luke 11:1) sought out Jesus, asking, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” I am sure these disciples were much like us, praying traditional prayers learned from their worship in their synagogues through the priests. One of the greatest experiences of the disciples was witnessing the prayer life of Jesus who lived in unbroken communion and fellowship with the Father. Any Bible reader knows that He would rise early in the morning long before others and slip away to pray. Before every major event in His life, He would spend time alone with the Father.

“The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son
likewise.” (John 5:19)

     The great victories Jesus experienced during his ministry on earth all began in prayer. Prayer is the key that unlocks the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power (R.A. Torrey). Jesus was no different from us. He could not win these victories by His own strength no more than we could. He came to earth as a man stripped of His divine abilities. He walked as we did and toiled as we toil, but through it all, He never depended upon Himself. He did absolutely nothing independent of the Father. Everything was a result of what the Father revealed to Him while He was in His presence during prayer. Jesus sacrificed time to be in the presence of God. It was there that God would reveal His will to Him. It was there that He penetrated enemy lines. It was there He fought the battle and won. Can you imagine what was running through the minds of His disciples as they listened to Him pray? I am sure they hungered to pray just like Him. In answer to their heart’s cry, Jesus began to teach them the Lord’s prayer. This prayer set forth a pattern for us to follow, breaking the traditions set forth by the religious leaders of that time and even today.

True prayer must come from our hearts, not our heads.  It is not just words and phrases we repeat as a routine or formality.  It involves us coming before the Father with our hearts, in total admiration and submission.  God does not desire for us to give Him only a portion of our heart, He wants it all.  That’s right! God wants our whole heart.  How do we know?

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your hearts” (Jeremiah 29:13)

It is said to say that many Christians pray what they learn, their words empty and hollow because they are spoken through the ability of their mind and do not pour out of the depths of their hearts.  To go beyond ordinary prayer, we must get beyond the head knowledge and traditions and cry out from the midst of our heart “Lord, break through the dead, dry traditions and teach us to pray!”  God is not a God removed some where in heaven, far from our reach.  He is not a God that is unapproachable or inaccessible.  He is a loving God who desires to be intimate with us.  There is no place in the Bible where He did not reveal Himself to His people looking for intimacy and fellowship.  How do we know?  Before we were ever even created, God already had a plan to redeem man.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be restore to Him in intimacy and communion.  Through Jesus, we were given another chance to have a new intimate relationship with God.

     To get beyond an ordinary prayer, we must have a fresh revelation of God.  We must know Him, not just talk about Him.  We must know that He desires to p0ur out good things in our life.  We must know that He has provided everything we need and is just waiting for us to ask.  We must know that He is looking for opportunities to manifest His power on our behalf.

 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

When we live in the place of intimacy with our Father, the prayer of faith and its answers will be the natural result..  To go beyond ordinary prayer, we must know that we must come before the Father with our whole heart, knowing Him intimately as our Father. True prayer is much more than asking our God for things.  It is a vital, living relationship with a childlike simplicity, in faith, trusting and knowing He desires to pour out into our lives.

Now we must understand that it is through Christ that we have divine access to the Father by the Spirit.

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18)

 True prayer begins in our spirit.  We are commanded to pray in the Spirit.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20)

God is a Spirit and is not bound by time and space.  The only way we can know Him is by the Spirit dwelling inside us.  It is our Spirit who ushers us into God’s presence.  It is our Spirit that prompts us to pray.  It is our Spirit who teaches us to pray.  It is our Spirit who guides us in our prayers, giving us a faith and strength.  To become a great prayer warrior, we must be willing to go beyond ordinary prayer to a place beyond the natural mind. We must develop a total dependence on the Holy Spirit because only He can enable you to know the heartbeat of God, only He knows God’s priorities and will.

“True prayer is the Holy Spirit releasing the mind and will of the Father in us, and then giving the divine unction and utterance to speak the word of faith to accomplish it. (Cerullo)”

To go beyond an ordinary prayer, we must break through the natural barrier so that the Spirit inside us can pray, that is, we must stop trying to pray according to our natural understanding.  When the Spirit prays, the will of God goes forth.  His prayers never go unanswered. We must seek to be filled and under the full control of the Holy Spirit. The more we surrender our life to Christ and die to self, the more we allow the Holy Spirit room to work in us to release His power through us.   True prayer is a way of life.  It is the highest and holiest work to which man can do.  The extent of the abiding is the exact measure of the power of prayer.

Pray this prayer:

Father, thank you for placing Your Spirit within us giving us divine access to Your throne room.  We submit ourselves fully into Your hands.  Holy Spirit, have full control in our lives! Teach us to pray! Reveal to us the Father’s heart, His will, and His vision for our lives, families, cities and nations.  Father, impart to us divine ability to pray prayers that will release Your power and anointing to bring salvation, healing and deliverance.  Anoint us to pray prayers that will result in Satan’s strongholds being destroyed and Your Kingdom and will being established in every nation.

The Road Not Taken (John 18-19)

October 30, 2010

Jesus entered the world in controversy and lived much of His life under the shadow of doubt. His mother received an angelic visit informing her that she would be the mother of the Messiah and that His birth would be in literal fulfillment of an ancient prophecy: “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isa :14). In other words, her baby would be conceived without a human father. Unfortunately, her wonderful secret would soon become a neighborhood scandal. Her betrothed was prevented from filing a quiet divorce by another angelic vision, but we have no indication the Lord supernaturally revealed the truth regarding the conception to anyone other than Joseph. No one else in Nazareth received an angelic visit telling them the truth.

From the very beginning and throughout His public ministry, belief in the Christ would be a matter of choice. Which evidence would people trust? Scripture or their own prejudices and presuppositions? Which authority would people accept? The Word of God or their own desires?

As Jesus proclaimed divine truth, His critics relished every opportunity to question His origins, taking great care to avoid the overwhelming prophetic evidence of His divine identity. As we have observed, most people miraculously performed, ironically while demanding He prove Himself by performing miraculous signs. Nevertheless, many others were attracted to His obvious divine power. Ultimately, “His own” moved beyond the need for miraculous signs to accept the MAN as the Word of God, their Messiah, the Son of God.

By the end of His public ministry, Jesus had polarized the nation. On one side stood the unbelieving temple authorities in all their religious finery, on the other, a ragtag collection of a few hundred committed believers. Between them stood a vast multitude, whose souls hung in the balance and each side, the minions of evil and the followers of Jesus, had been tasked to claim them.

As the sunset one evening before Passover, each side retreated to prepare for the first real battle of an invisible war, a cosmic campaign for the souls of humanity. Both claimed to be the sole guardian of divine truth, but the religious leaders hoped to settle the matter quickly. Before the end of the passover festival, they intended to prove their case by killing Jesus. They would put Him on trial for openly opposing the temple authorities, and God by extension, and then crucify Him as a blasphemer. By sundown on “the day of preparation”, they hoped to bury His body and with it, any notion that He was the promised Messiah, the Son of God, the Word incarnate, the Savior of humanity. With the good news, salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, lying cold in a tomb, their proud religion of works could again reign supreme, with the temple authorities back in control.

Our journey through life brings us to forks in the road. The choice we face is not between convention and curiosity as much as between truth and power, riches on earth or treasure in heaven, earthly success or spiritual purity, short-term comfort or eternal reward. The urge to preserve our comfort in the here and now can powerfully override our decision to obey God. Let’s face it – His rewards are often intangible and almost always delayed, which makes obedience a matter of trust.

Pontius Pilate stood at a critical juncture – for Him, a choice having eternal impact. He had to decide which kingdom he would serve. To render a “not guilty” verdict and release Jesus would certainly have destroyed his political career and might have invited severe punishment by Rome. So, instead of submitting to the kingdom of God, Pilate set truth aside for the sake of power, earthly success and short term comfort.

Before we pass judgment and count ourselves righteous, let me challenge your ethics with a test. What if you were a clerk in a German army, busily typing out orders and the command to round up Jews and dissenters crossed your desk? In a totalitarian regime, disobedience will almost certainly result in severe punishment, if not death. And what for? You will not likely be remembered for your stand. Another nameless, faceless clerk will be pressed into service after your removal, anyway. What would be gained? Certainly the satisfaction that you did what was right, but that will likely come at the expense of great suffering.

How about a situation not so clear-cut? The highest ranking member of your employer’s office – the person with the most power and least accountability asks you to do something your conscious clearly tells you is wrong. What do you do? No lives are at stake. It’s unlikely anything tragic will result. Besides, what would be gained? When you are fired, would the satisfaction of doing what is right taste as sweet? Or, as you tell the story to your coworkers and share their outrage, will you shrug off your responsibility with the words, “A command is a command; I’m only following orders”?

The road we travel forks more than once. Our initial decision to trust in Jesus is the most crucial choice we will make, but it is the first of many. Each day, we must choose which kingdom we will serve. Will you submit to truth or succumb to power?

Meditate on the Word of God

October 30, 2010

There is a four part formula to help develop your spirit lives but with anything spiritual, we must first based everything on God’s Word. Jesus said, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). God’s Word is spirit food and will build up your spirits.

God is Spirit. Man, who is made in the likeness of God also is a spirit creature, in the same class of being as God. Note, I did not say man is divine, however man is able to commune with God because He is a spirit being. Man is a spirit who possesses a soul and lives in a body.

At the creation of man, God placed within him a yearning, a heart hunger, for fellowship with Him, but Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and his spirit became estranged from God. Because of this yearning and heart hunger for fellowship with his Creator, man’s spirit never is satisfied apart from God. This is what drives him out into the world seeking pleasure and material things. Man is trying to find satisfaction for the heart hunger inside him.

This hunger has driven many in ignorance into false religions and cults, but the hunger can never be satisfied until we become acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. When we become born again, we become a child of God and we are restored to fellowship with Him.

The spirit is the part of man which contacts God. In the new birth, the spirit of man is made a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are not the same old self we used to be; there is a new self. This new man we have become in Christ Jesus should dominate our thinking process and our body, yet many who are born again and even filled with the Holy Spirit still are baby Christians who have not developed spiritually. The Corinthian church was like that. They had received the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Paul said, “…ye come behind in no gift” (1 Corinthians 1:7) yet reproved them for being baby Christians. Believers are baby Christians as long as their salvation experience and their experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit have not yet affected their bodies and their souls. The Bible tells us that we ourselves must do something with our bodies and our minds, “…PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:12).

When we are born of God and have the life of God in us, the Holy Spirit comes in to fill us and to help us. He is our helper and will help us present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. The Word of God was given to us by the Holy Spirit to develop our spirit nature, the new man on the inside. If we want to educate and train our spirit, the first step in our four part formula is to “meditate in the Word of God”.

To make clear what we mean by “meditate”, lets look in the Book of Joshua. When God appointed Joshua to be Moses’ successor to lead the children of Israel, He told Joshua, “this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but THOU SHALT MEDITATE THEREIN day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

Do you want to be prosperous? God tells us how in this verse. He say if His Word fills our hearts to the extent that we “meditate therein day and night”, we will find prosperity. It goes without saying that a man filled with God’s Word will prosper spiritually. Often we pray, “God, prosper us”, but praying this prayer without following God’s formula won’t work. God’s formula is through His Word. God promised success in this life.

Another translation of this verse reads, “…For then you shall be able to deal wisely in the affairs of this life.” Most of us have made some mistakes in our life. We have erred in business matters, perhaps losing money, or we have spent beyond our means. We haven’t dealt wisely in the affairs of this life, however, if we follow God’s plan, His instructions for a successful life, we needn’t make these mistakes. We can deal wisely in the affairs of life and become successful and prosperous. If we don’t, we have no one to blame but ourselves, for God provided the way by which we can succeed.

God does it, but we have our part to play. Too often we think we can ignore God’s Word and accomplish the job by simply praying. We think if we can pray loud enough or long enough or get enough people praying, it will work, but it won’t. Prayer has a place, but if we are not doing what God’s Word says to do, we can pray forever for God to prosper us, and we all are finished praying, we will be no better off than we were when we started.

Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). He also said, “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The Bible tells us that God has magnified His Word above His Name (Psalms 138:2). Therefore the first step in developing our spirit is to take time to meditate on God’s Word. The New Testament contains outstanding teaching regarding development of the spirit life.

Living in this dispensation of grace, we are at an advantage because we have a better covenant based upon better promises. If believers living in the Old Testament times could make their way prosperous and have good success, what can we expect with a better covenant based on better promises. We should have super prosperity and super success!

Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17)

What is the Holy Spirit going to do when He dwells in you? John wrote, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:13-14)

Most spirit filled people don’t realize what they have and thus are not walking in the light of their rights and privileges in Christ. Why has the spiritual development they should have had as a result of the indwelling Holy Spirit slipped by them? The devil will keep us from getting the truth if he can. He will try to sidetrack us and get us into some other realm.

I have heard people testify that they are filled with the Holy Spirit, then five minutes later they are down at the altar praying, “Lord, give me power”. If you have the Holy Spirit, you have the Powerhouse within you! Just learn to cooperate with Him, know what He is going to do in you, and learn to listen to Him, He is in there and He will guide you into all truth.

You also need to realize that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He will not come in if we don’t want or ask Him to. He will not take over. He can help us only as we respond to Him. The power of God is passive until faith is exercised.

So let us take time to meditate in the Word; especially in the New Covenant, or New Testament. It will help develop our Spirit nature.

Enduring Injustice with Grace

October 30, 2010

I can think of a few situations more personally challenging than enduring injustice alone and unnoticed. Because we bear the image of God, justice satisfies a deep seated, God given need because we are polluted with sin, however, or desire for justice becomes a supremely selfish pursuit. Outrage demands satisfaction. Bitterness demands revenge. A self-centered hopelessness begs heaven for relief. Desperate isolation longs for an advocate, while an uncertain world idly watches our suffering. In that lonely crucible of unfairness, the silence of heaven can be deafening.

Perhaps you are currently suffering in obscurity. Slander has sullied your reputation. Gossip has isolated you from those you respect. A false accusation has turned the course of your life. Persecution has fallen on you instead of those who are genuinely guilty, perhaps even perpetrated by evil people. Let me assure you, the Lord does hear your cries for help and hope, and He has not ignored you. Justice will be served, although not as you might want or when you want.

Jesus promised neither to take us out of the world nor to prevent the world’s oppression. Instead, He prayed that we would be preserved through trials and persecutions. Therefore, He will not preserve us from injustice, rather, He has promised to preserve us through injustice. Moreover, He promised glory on the other side of our suffering. The agony you suffer though it feels overwhelming, will not go to waste. If you allow it, this experience can be the means by which God brings you His greatest blessings.

How do we know? As the great ones of the past what has been the spot of their prosperity, they will say, “It was the cold ground on which I once was lying”. As Abraham, he will point you to the sacrifice on Moriah. Ask Joseph, he will direct you to his dungeon. Ask Moses, he will date his fortune from his danger in the Nile. Ask Ruth, she will bid you build her monument in the field of her toil. Ask David, he will tell yo that his songs came from the night. Ask Job, and he will remind you that God answered him in the whirlwind. Ask Peter, he will extol his submersion in the sea. Ask John, he will give the palm to Patmos. Ask Paul, he will attribute his inspiration to the light which struck him blind. Ask one more – the Son of Man. Ask Him where has His rule over the world. He will answer, “From the cold ground on which I was lying, the Gethsemane ground; I received My scepter there. The hour of loneliness will crown you. It is your desert that will break forth your praise.

Shortly after His prayer on our behalf, Jesus endured the worst injustice any human can experience. No one was ever more innocent than He. Few were ever more hypocritical and corrupt than Annas, Caiaphas, the temple elite, or Herod. Perhaps reflecting on how Jesus conducted Himself during that awful time, Peter wrote to persecuted Christians, “What credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it, yo patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”

One day, the Lord will return and He will restore justice. In the last day, truth will reign supreme and all who have suffered injustice will be vindicated, just as Jesus was vindicated by His resurrection. In the meantime, submit your need to be heard to the sovereign plan of God. Stop striving for vindication. Speak the truth in love and without apology to the appropriate parties. Take comfort in the fact that your Savior understands your struggle.

How to Develop Your Spirit

October 15, 2010

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that after you are saved it still appears that there is no change to your behavior? Have you ever wondered what you are doing wrong or what steps you need to take to get to the place in God you want to be? Are your struggles in life controlling and overwhelming you? Have you ever asked yourself or said to yourself – “Show me Lord what I need to do to walk more intimately with you?”

You are not alone. In my quest to have a closer walk with God, I found that my flesh was so in control of my actions and thoughts that I couldn’t hear the voice of God, much less recognize even if He was talking to me. Are you there? Would you like to know the voice of God? Do you seek a change that will move you into a new realm spiritually? Well, take a trip with me in this study and I unfold all I have learned. As you read, you will see the “HOW TO” steps before you. Then it is just a matter of putting the steps into action and watching the process of change unfold before you.

Millions have been spent worldwide to develop the physical body and intellectual (soul) processes of man. Have you noticed though little has been to develop the spirit of man? Just as one’s body and mind can be educated, developed and improved, a man’s spirit can be educated and improved. How you might wonder? Through the study of God’s Word.

Without the Spirit of God’s Word within us, we cannot understand spiritual things with our natural minds. Our minds have to be changed, that is, renewed through God’s power, in order that we might fully understand the Word of God. The Apostle Paul said, “But the natural man receiveth not [does not understand] the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [understood]” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

We are blessed for the Word of God was given by the Spirit of God because “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). This is the main reason why the natural mind cannot understand God’s Word. It is only with the heart, the place where our spirit resided that the Bible can be understood. It is there that we must receive revelation. Keep in mind, once a man is born again and becomes a child of God, he can understand the Bible and can learn spiritual things. As Paul said, he has become a new creature in Christ Jesus: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The process of training and transformation is not an overnight or instantaneous thing. It is a process that is a daily task: “…though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). The “inward man” is the real man, the real you for when the body dies, the inward man still lives. Paul, writing to the Philippians said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This does away with the theory that when a man is dead that is the end of him. There certainly wouldn’t be any gain to dying if man perishes and death is the end of everything.

Why did Paul say that to die is gain? It surely is no gain to those of us who have lost loved ones, but it is gain for them. Paul went on to say, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:23-24). The reason Paul said it was gain to die was because he would be with Christ.

It is interesting to listen to the people around us. Have you ever just sat somewhere as people passed by and just listened to them talk? Do you believe that some people actually think that eternal life comes when they go to heaven? There are so many blinded to this falsity, for eternal life is something we have right now! It is a God kind of life. It is the nature of God within us which comes into our spirit to recreate us and make us a new creature; changing our very nature. When we have been born again and have the nature of God abiding within us, we can develop our spirit to higher levels of worship and service to God.

Man’s threefold nature is (1) spirit – the part of man that deals with the spiritual realm; (2) soul – the part of man which deals with the mental realm: his reasoning and intellectual powers; (3) body – the part of man which deals with the physical realm.

In order to understand the process of development, we must differentiate between these three parts. What better place to look then in the very Word of God. Turning to the Book of Thessalonians, we find that Paul makes a distinction between them. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “…I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no mistake, man’s spirit and soul are not the same thing for the Bible says, “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of SOUL and SPIRIT…” (Hebrews 4:12). If the spirit and the soul were the same, they could not be divided. Man is a spirit. He possesses a soul and he lives in a body. Death is not the end for man because he is an eternal spirit.

The Epistle of James gives some more insight into this differentiation. Here, James discusses the soul of the believer.

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

In his discussion, he tells believers that if they want to get their soul (mind) saved, they must be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer only. Paul, also writing to believers said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING of your MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). Both of these men said the same thing. Paul said to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and James said to “receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” Both apostles were talking about renewing, restoring, and saving the mind or soul.

But it doesn’t stop there. Psalm 23:3 also says, “He restoreth my soul…”. It doesn’t say, “He restores my spirit”. What is restoration? Restoration is taking what we already have and redoing it. Now don’t get confused. Restoring and renewing mean the same. That’s right, the Hebrew word translated “restore” means identically the same thing as the Greek word for “renew”. As believers who have become new creatures in Christ Jesus, we are spiritually saved, thereby receiving eternal life. As we receive the engrafted Word, our spirits will renew, restore, and save our mind or soul. This is not something God does for us, but something believers must do for themselves. How? Through the Word.

Why is it so essential that the mind be renewed? If our spirits are not renewed, than it does not possess the power to transform the part of us that does the thinking and ultimately the acting or bringing about of a think because we have allowed the mind to be educated through the body and the physical senses, instead of through the influence of God’s Holy Spirit. By doing so, our mind will side with the body against the spirit thereby keeping us a baby Christian. What does it mean to be a baby Christian? Baby or Immature Christians are carnal or body ruled. Paul told the Corinthians, “for ye are yet carnal…” (1 Corinthians 3:3). Another word, their bodies through their unrenewed minds were ruling their spirits, even though they were saved and became new creatures in Christ. They never allowed themselves to be developed spiritually.

The worse part of this whole thing is many Christians live and die as spiritual babies. The faith life is always obscure to them. They never understand faith and therefore cannot fully walk in the promises and blessings of God. Have you ever seen a Christian who lives in the flesh? Have you watched them ride the roller coaster of life, living in unbelief and always engaging in warfare. Everyday is a battle for them because their minds never have been renewed with the Word of God. Though they understand the Words they read, they never truly experience the victory of Jesus, they never fully understand to know they have won the battle. They really don’t know the devil is a defeated foe. They still are trying to fight him in their own power, fighting until they are totally exhausted and depleted.

When your mind has been renewed with the Word of God, the spirit through the renewed mind can control the body. The soul (mind) will then take sides with the spirit because it knows the Word. Through that knowledge, man’s mind (soul) is renewed. Renewing our minds allows God’s Spirit to influence our spirit, we are forever changed spiritually.

Being Led by the Spirit of God in Prayer

October 15, 2010

While searching for a way to get closer to God, I read this piece on being led by the Spirit of God in Prayer, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication

In the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all

Perseverance and supplication for all saints…

Ephesians 6:18

“In teaching on the subject of prayer, I always use two texts: John 5:17 and Ephesians 6:18. There are no better texts than these for teaching on the subject of prayer because they are all inclusive. Anything you want to know about prayer is found in these two verses.

Notice what Jesus said in John 5:17, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”. That’s a marvelous text, isn’t it? It tells you how to get your prayers answered every time: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you…” You see, if you pray according to the Word, your prayers will work. So many times, we’re not praying according to the Word. We’re in the dark if we don’t know what the Word says. But the entrance of God’s Word gives light (Psalm 119:30), so take time to meditate on the Word until it gets in you. Then, you’ll ask what you will, and it shall be done for you.

The other verse I like to use when I teach on prayer is Ephesians 6:18. Paul wrote this letter to Spirit-filled Christians at the church of Ephesus.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication

In the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all

Perseverance and supplication for all saints…

Ephesians 6:18

The Amplified Bible translates the first part of the verse this way:

“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.” What does it mean to pray in the Spirit?

In 1 Corinthians 14, we have instructions on this subject.

1 Corinthians 4:2

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh

Not unto men, but unto God: for no man

Understandeth Him; howbeit in the Spirit He speaketh

Mysteries.

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue” is talking to God. Well, that’s prayer, isn’t it? One definition of prayer is fellowshipping with the Father. Therefore, Paul is talking about prayer here. The second part of the verse says, “For no man understandeth Him; howbeit in the Spirit He speaketh mysteries.” Paul is talking about praying in tongues.

The last part of the verse tells us that a person prays in the Spirit “speaketh mysteries”. What does that mean? Well, the mystery isn’t with God because God knows everything. The mystery is with us. We don’t know everything. Often we don’t know how to pray for a situation unless the Lord shows us or gives us revelation. We don’t know what to pray for as we ought, but thanks to God, the Holy Ghost knows. He will help us pray if we allow Him.

Many of us haven’t taken advantage of being led by the Spirit in prayer. Sometimes we run out of things to pray in English. After a while, we’ve said everything we know to say. If we stop at that point, our prayer life will be limited by what we know. But remember, God knows everything. He knows what we don’t know. He wants to help us pray and praying in the Spirit will get the job done when nothing else will. Let’s look at what 1 Corinthians 14 tells us about praying in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:14

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my

My understanding is unfruitful.

In this verse Paul says that if we pray in an unknown tongue, our spirit prays. The Amplified Bible says, “My spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays.] In other words, it’s the Holy Ghost who gives utterance to my spirit, but it’s my spirit that actually does the praying.

You see, it isn’t all my spirit and it isn’t all the Holy Spirit. It’s both of them working together. The Holy Spirit gives our spirit utterance, so we can pray out of our spirit, not out of our head. That’s what it means to be led by the Spirit in prayer.

We need to learn to be led by the Spirit and praying in other tongues provides a way for you to pray for things that you wouldn’t otherwise know needed prayer. Look again at Ephesians 6:18.

PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER AND

SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT, and watching

Thereunto with all perseverance and supplications for all saints…

Greek scholars tell us that according to the original Greek manuscripts, the first part of this verse literally says, “praying, being led by the spirit.” Of course, that phrase includes the idea of praying in tongues, but it also means the Holy Ghost will lead you in how to pray. He may lead you differently at different times. Although two situations may look the same, the Holy Spirit may lead you to pray one way one time and another way another time. We may not always know why He’s leading us to pray a certain way. The important thing is to follow the leading of the Spirit. He’ll show you the best way to pray concerning your situation. Look to Him to lead you in how to pray in every instance. He’ll lead you in the right direction.

Some people ask why we need to pray. They may be thinking, “God already knows everything. Doesn’t God already know what we need?” Yes, He does know, but you still need to pray. Let me explain why.

At the time of creation, God made the world and the fullness thereof, the silver, the gold, the cattle on a thousand hills, and everything that’s here on earth. Then He made Adam and God said, “Adam, I give you dominion over all the work of My hands.” Adam had dominion over the whole world (Genesis 1:26-28), but Adam committed high treason. He sold out to Satan and the Word of God tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the god of this world. How did he get to be the god of this world?

When Adam committed high treason, he gave his dominion to Satan. Satan is dominating in this world because Adam sold out. Thank God, Jesus came and restored us to dominion. Why, then, do we need to pray? I’ll give you three references that at least imply our need to pray.

In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus is teaching on the subject of prayer. Look at what He said in verse 8, “…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him”. Well, if your Heavenly Father knows what you need, why doesn’t He just send it? Why would you have to ask? Verse 8 makes it clear that Jesus expects us to ask the Father for what we need. This Scripture implies that God will send what you need unless you do ask Him. Now look at Matthew 9. Here, again, Jesus is giving instructions on the subject of prayer.

Matthew 9:25-28

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching

In their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,

And healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion

On them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep

Having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples,

The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth

Laborers into His harvest.

I want to ask you a question. Who does the harvest belong to? Is it God’s harvest? Yes! Is He the Lord of harvest? Yes! Does He want laborers? Yes! If He wants laborers, why doesn’t He send them? What need would there be for us to ask Him if He wants to send them anyway? Yet Jesus clearly tells us that we are to pray to the Father to send laborers. This Scripture implies that God will not send them unless we ask Him. Now, look at these verses from Matthew 10:18-19.

Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind ON EARTH

Shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose ON EARTH

Shall be loosed in heaven.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree ON EARTH as

Touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done

For them of my Father which is in heaven.

Notice that Jesus is telling us to do something here on earth. He is telling us to pray. You see, something has to happen on earth before Heaven moves. Verse 19 tells us what has to happen on earth: “if two of you on earth shall agree as touching anything they ASK”. They have to ask! They have to pray!

There must be action on the earth before Heaven moves. So you can see that the Holy Ghost is looking for people who have dedicated themselves to prayer. We sometimes call these people “prayer warriors”. People who give themselves to prayer often sense the Spirit of God moving throughout the earth as He tries to find somebody He can use to pray things out! Why? Because someone has got to pray about it. Someone has to pray it out! Do you know what I mean by “praying something out”?

The old time Pentecostals called this practice “praying through.” When you have what some people call a leading – when you have an urge or burden to pray – what do you do? You pray! And when you don’t know what you are praying for, you pray in tongues, speaking mysteries, speaking divine secrets as 1 Corinthians 14 tells us.

“Praying through” simply means that you keep praying until you have a note of victory. What do I mean by a note of victory? Well, after you’ve prayed for a while, you’ll begin to laugh or sing to yourself in tongues. You see, a while ago, you had this burden. You felt this heaviness. Then you prayed and suddenly, you feel as though the burden is gone. You have a sense of gladness. Those signs tell you that you have prayed the situation through and have the victory!

When you have a burden or leading to pray, it’s important to yield to that leading and pray until you’ve prayed through. When you do, you’ll experience victory. During my studies, I read a testimony of a missionary named Brother Boley in a full gospel magazine. Brother Boley and his wife went out as missionaries to Africa in the early 1920’s. They went inland into the heart of Africa and built a mission there for a native tribe. One day, a neighboring tribe kidnapped a six year old girl from the tribe he was ministering to. Brother Boley knew the customs of the local tribes.

He said, “We knew that if we didn’t get the little girl back before sundown, we would never recover her. I got a native man who was saved and could speak the dialect of that tribe and went over there. Before we got there, we could smell this awful smell. They had a custom of taking an animal and killing it. Four or five women of the tribe had to prepare it. Then, they’d hang this animal on a pole at the entrance to the tribe’s land. Everyone who came in had to take a knife, cut a piece off that meat and eat it. If you didn’t eat, the women who had prepare the meat would be killed.”

In that hot, humid climate the meat putrefied. Brother Boley told the interpreter,“We’ll have to eat a bite of that. We don’t want those women to be killed. Jesus said, ‘One of the signs that’ll follow believers is that if they drink any deadly thing, it’ll not hurt them’. I suppose that we could also eat any deadly thing, and it would not hurt us. So we said, ‘In the name of Jesus. Then cut a chunk off that rotten, putrefied meat. We ate a bite, and it never affected us in any way. We made a deal with the chief of that tribe,” Brother Boley said. We traded him a bunch of trinkets and beads and things for the girl, but then night overtook us.” Because it was dangerous to travel the jungle at night, Brother Boley and his interpreter stayed overnight in the tribe’s guest hut. At midnight, they were awakened by the sound of drums. The interpreter told Brother Boley, ‘that means we’re dead. That’s the death knell. It has dawned on the chief that they don’t have to give up the girl. They can just kill us and take her back?

The two men heard the tribe members moving around outside the hut. Knowing they were about to die, they committed themselves into God’s hands and then stepped outside. Brother Boley said, “I shut my eyes and waited. I know it was just a few seconds, but it seemed like a long time. Nothing happened. “I heard strange sounds, and when I opened my eyes and looked, the warriors were on the ground and they were bowing up and down, their knives laying on the ground! Brother Boley asked his interpreter what the warriors were saying, “They’re worshipping you. They think you’re a god. They say that when you stepped out of the hut, two giant men in white apparel with a giant sword in either hand stepped out right beside you.”

Thank God for His deliverance, but that’s not the end of the story. There’s more to it. Soon after his miraculous deliverance, Brother Boley went to check on the lady who was manning a missions station for another local tribe. When he arrived, the woman asked him, “Brother Boley, did something happen to you last Monday night about midnight?” He said, “Why do you ask?” “Well,” she said, “I always work 14 to 16 hours a day and I was very tired that Monday, so I got to bed and went to sleep. I was awakened with a burden to pray. I lay there in bed and began to pray, but I was so sleepy, I fell back to sleep. I was awakened again and I had the same burden to pray! So I prayed, but I was so weary that I fell back to sleep. I was awakened the third time about 10:30 that night and I decided to get up because I knew if I lay there, I’d go back to sleep”.

The woman got out of the bed, got on her knees and said, “Lord, I don’t know what it is you’ve awakened me to pray for. I don’t know who it is who needs prayer. I just trust the Holy Ghost to give me utterance.” And she began to pray in other tongues. She prayed for an hour and a half in other tongues.

“While I was praying,” she told Brother Boley, “your face kept flashing before me. I don’t know whether I was praying for you or not. At midnight, I knew I had prayed through. I began to laugh. I began to laugh in the Spirit and sing! The burden lifted. Instead of a spirit of heaviness, I felt a spirit of lightness.”

The night she prayed was the same night Brother Boley was delivered from death. It was a mystery to her why she was awakened to pray, but it wasn’t a mystery to God! What if she hadn’t prayed? Thank God, she did!

You can see the necessity of following that leading to pray, even though we don’t know what it is we’re praying for. Afterward, we sometimes find out what we were praying for. Sometimes, we’ll never know until we get to heaven, but how important is it that we respond to the Holy Spirit when He leads us to pray. Learning to pray when the Holy Spirit leads us would avert many dangers. If Spirit-filled believers would follow His promptings and become conscious, man problems wouldn’t happen. Many terrible things would never happen if folks were really led by the Spirit.

Being led by the Spirit does more than avert trouble in our lives, it also helps us usher in wonderful moves of God. Great and mighty things have happened in the past as God’s people have prayed and great and mighty things are going to happen more and more, but they are not going to come just because God decides. No, they will come as a result of praying! If we would just stay in prayer until we have a victory.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication

In the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all

Perseverance and supplication for all saints…

Ephesians 6:18

What is perseverance? I heard one fellow call it “stickability”. Just stay with it. Stay with praying until you’ve prayed through. I think that many times, if something doesn’t happen fast enough, we give up too soon and if we give up, we won’t see the results God intends for us to have. Pray with a little more perseverance, pray with a bit more determination and watch the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit! Watch great and mighty things happen!”

Know the Truth about Being Debt Free – Part 1

February 20, 2010

Like you, I have had my battles with overcoming my debt.  It is frustrating to want to go and do something, and you can’t because your finances prevent you from doing so.  It seems that no matter how hard you try, you never seem to get ahead, so you find yourself walking a life not fully satisfied where you are.  That’s where my testimony begins.  I heard this teaching that has already began to change my circumstances of debt in only a few short months.  I was so inspired that I decided to share what I learned in hopes that you would be doers of God’s principles, and too would enjoy the fruits of financial freedom.  Now it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.  So if you are gamed, come back over the weeks to come and read more, as I take you step by step through the principles of receiving your debt free guarantee.

We will begin in the Book of 1 Samuel 17:25.  It is here that our journey begins.  We are all familiar with this story, though most of us have not heard it from the direction I am about to go.  So buckle your seat belt as we take a ride down the path to being debt free.  

1 Samuel 17:25 reads, “All the men of Israel said, “Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel”  

In this verse we are told that the person who killed the giant would receive three rewards.  First, the king would give the overcomer great financial riches.  Secondly, he would allow him to marry his daughter and lastly, he would make his father’s house free in Israel.  Can you imagine it?  This person would live like a king, connected to the king’s family in such a way that it would change even the very condition of his father’s house.  That’s right, the entire family of the giant slayer would live the rest of their lives totally free from the bondage of debt.  Did you hear that?

This is the part of the promise that I am going to focus our attention on today and over the next number of weeks show you step by step how to lay hold on God’s debt free guarantee so that you can put it to work in your life.  Most of us have never heard this before as it is seldom taught from this perspective.  It is important to know that God has given you a debt free guarantee.  It is your lack of knowledge of knowing what God wants you to have that stops you from having it.  Are you with me?

Let me draw your attention to another piece of information that this portion of Scripture gives us and that is, the literal meaning of the name “Goliath”. There is much more to this name than meets the eye because upon very close examination, you will find that Goliath is not a Philistine name. Instead, it is a name that the Hebrews gave to the giant.  Goliath comes from the root word which in the Hebrew dictionary means “denude” or “to make it plain”, that is,  “to make nude or naked”.  That definition is very significant because Goliath is descriptive of the way that the Hebrew’ people saw him.  They saw him as one that takes the people captive and strips them naked.  It explains how the Hebrews found themselves after they had come under his control.  He had taken them captive.  He had stripped them naked and if you will just stop and think about that for a moment, you will have to agree with me and come to the conclusion that the name Goliath perfectly describes how the spirit of debt affects its victims.  I mean, here you are working very hard for your money only to find that the federal government takes withholding taxes, stripping away somewhere between 25-35% of your hard earned pay.  How does that make you feel? Anyone feel like you are a little stripped? The feeling doesn’t get any better when you realize the taxes you pay are a direct result of free spending of a debt hungry legislature that has overspent and borrowed.  Now if your taxes aren’t enough to make you feel stripped, then comes the added discouragement of seeing your house payment, your car payment, your credit card debt, your second mortgages and your other bills which systematically strip away the remainder of your pay check, so when it comes to any given month most of us have very little ,if any excess left over for anything else.

And if any of you have been in debt long enough, you know how it feels.  It’ i as though you have been taken captive and stripped, and the pressure is unbearable.  The feeling is one that never stops tearing away at your hopes, at your dreams, and at your goals.  So if you are in debt, you better pay very close attention to what I am going to say to you. What I am going to teach you is simple , but most christians don’t know it from the Word of God.  Because of this, they are unable to totally defeat their Goliath of debt that comes to feed on their dreams, their hopes, and their goals in life. 

The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.  If you don’t know the truth, then you cannot be set free by it.  Let’s start by saying that debt is a spirit.  It is kin to the spirit “Mammon”.  It is a ruling spirit whose only purpose is to turn you into his servant.  That is a truth that comes straight from the Word of God because the Word of God says, “if you are a borrower you become a servant” (Prov 27:7) as the borrower is servant to the lender. Now I can tell you, most everyone is a servant. How do I know?  If you borrowed to buy anything and are making payments to a creditor, then you are a servant, a slave to your debt. 

The Word of God tells us that when David stepped on the battlefield to face Goliath, he did something very special to defeat Goliath.  His actions were not just to get rich. In facing this Goliath, David is going to get himself into being totally debt free for the remainder of his life.  And so when he faces Goliath, David brings something with him that he is going to use as ammunition against Goliath – five smooth stones taken out of the brook. Let’s read.

1 Samuel 17:40 says “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand; and he drew near to the Philistine.” 

How many understand that water in the Scripture is often a type of the Word of God and is a type of Holy Scripture? Ephesians 5:26 says “that He might sanctify and cleanse it with a washing of the water of the Word.” So you don’t have to use a lot of imagination to easily picture this brook as representing the Word of God. I want you to notice something important about the stones David took from the brook. The stones were smooth indicating that they had been in the brook for a very long time.  The continuous flow of water over them had worn away all the rough edges, much the same way the truth of God’s Word does with us. God’s Word has been tried and proven, and it rings truth throughout.  It has withstood the test of time.  

Now I want to take from this illustration because illustrations many times work very well to inspire people throughout the ages to understand biblical truths so that it can begin to work for them.  Through David’s story, the Bible tells us how to win the battle over our Goliath of debt.  One of the stones alone  has enough power by itself to kill your debt forever, but if you don’t know what that stone is, you don’t have that stone in your arsenal to use.  Now if one stone can kill Goliath by itself, how much more impact all five of the stones have when put them in your arsenal? 

Over the next few weeks, I will introduce to you five powerful concepts that have to do with the biblical account of David’s victory over this giant called Goliath.  In it we will receive special insight and truth that will cause us to lay a hold of the Word of God and see that God has a debt free guarantee.  As I discuss and unfold the significance of each stone, I pray that it will bring you that much closer to receiving your debt free guarantee and living a live of debt free. 

If you will apply these truths, you will get out of debt.  You need to get these principles in your heart.  You need to hear it, rehearse it, preach it to someone, teach it to someone until you get it in your brain. I am not going to say it is going to happen in one day or a one week, but it will take you out as you see the Word of God work in your life.  Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you are faithfully making payments on your bills each month from the money that you make means you are going to get out of debt.  It doesn’t work like that.  If it worked that way, then we would constantly hear about people getting out of debt and who become debt free.  I say that because the vast majority of people who are in debt faithfully pay their bills each month, however, very few of them ever get out of debt and the reason is very simple – there is a spirit to debt that keeps dragging them deeper and deeper into their indebtedness. Debt is a spirit. Its purpose is to control you, to make you a servant, to take you captive and to strip you. If you ever hope to overcome the spirit of debt, you must have a plan and it better be a very powerful plan, one that just doesn’t use your wisdom, but one that actually uses the very force of God to guarantee you the victory.  Your plan is not strong enough.  You’ve got to use God’s plan with God’s forces and God’s power to drag you out because when it comes down to power, there’s no one stronger than God.  Scripture itself acknowledges that the god of Mammon is a stong spirit.  After you study the Word of God on debt, I can honestly tell you from my own studies, that the truth that I am going to give you is powerful enough that they can set you free as you implement them in your plan.

How many know that truth in and of itself does not set you free? It is only truth of God’s Word that you know that you can walk in.  It is only truth that you know that can set you free.  

John 8:22 says, “You shall know the truth and the truth you know shall set you free.” 

The very fact that you don’t know that the Word of God gives you a debt free guarantee means that you can’t walk in it. I don’t care how powerful the Goliath of debt is in your life, you can defeat that Goliath through the Word of God  that gives you a guarantee. Through the Word, God tells us how to overcome anything and everything the devil can possible throw at us. Remember, “Greater is He who is in us, then he who is in the world.”  We must be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. I dont care how long debt has beat you up and has taken you captive, you can win this battle.

Allowing Faith to Work in Your Life

January 4, 2009

What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen”. Simply said, faith is the substance in the now of the things you do not have as of yet. Faith is a living force that without, we can not please God, but with it, all things are possible. So how do we get this kind of faith?

First, you must recognize and believe God’s promises. Then we must receive the faith He promises and act upon them, “for faith without works is dead”. Romans 12:3 says, “that God gave all of us a measure of faith”. Why? God wanted to ensure that each of us was given the ability to say ‘yes’ to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. For those of us who accept, a new nature becomes active in our life, giving us the ability to believe everything God promises in His Word. These promises are the very foundation and strength of our faith. Romans 12:2 says “be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. The foundation of our walk is the Word of God. It is the ultimate authority in our life, and the anchor or rock that keeps us living within the privileges and rights given us by God.

In Romans 1:17, we find out that God does not only reveal Jesus through the Word, but He reveals us, the believer, to ourselves. It is only through this faith that we can comprehend what the Word has said about us. It is only through this faith that we are transformed into a new nature that is in line with the righteousness of God. The Bible says that if we behold the glory of the Lord with eyes of faith and appreciation for what He did on Calvary, then we are going to be changed from glory to glory, that is, not only is our identity going to change, but the level of our faith will also change.

This faith will not work however, unless we have a revelation of it. That means that as we grow in the Word, we grow in the faith of the Son of God, thus allowing a greater measure of faith to be applied in our life. As we invest in our spirit man, putting into motion the divine truths of God, feeding on the Word and partaking of its divine substance, our minds will be transformed. As He lives in us, it will be us living by His faith. Our identity will be His life. Our labor will be His power.

Romans 10:17 says that “…faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.” Hearing the Word does not just come by studying, for when you study you are only sowing the seed. Faith is also imparted to us through prayer, for it is when you pray you water the seed of your studies. Romans 10:8 says that “the Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming”. Paul tells us that the Word dwells in our heart and mouth. It is the Spirit of faith, the very power of God calling us to speak what we believe. The Bible tells us that “with the heart, men believe unto righteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation”. In order to overcome the world and have the faith that prevails, we must guard the dwelling place of this God given faith – the heart. Remember that in the heart of a man, the mind, will and emotions are found.

Our enemy, the devil, knows these very things. He knows when you do not have confidence in God. He attempts to trouble our hearts because if he can trouble the heart, he can affect our thoughts. Have you ever heard that an idle mind is the devil’s playground? Ever wonder why that is? It is our thoughts that directly affect our heart and whatever fills the heart, will ultimately affect the very words of our mouth. What does the mouth have to do with faith? The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. When you speak against God’s Word, you are putting limits on God and stopping His ability to work in your life. The Bible tells us that we know a tree by its fruit. Proverb 13:3-4 says we should guard our mouth in order to keep our life. Why is that? When we allow our mouth to produce the fruits of our heart, we break the hedge of protection God gave us, providing the enemy access to us.

So how do we deal with the devil? Don’t give the devil a place. Only talk of the things of God. Stand upon the foundation of God’s promises. Confess them with your mouth. As you walk in harmony and unity with God, your faith will grow. When that kind of divine faith is in motion, things happen, allowing faith to work in your life.

The Importance of Renewing Your Mind

December 26, 2008

One of the greatest challenges for Christians today is knowing who they are in Christ. We are told how to become saved, but more often than not, we seldom are given the tools needed to become who God truly called us to be. As a result, we walk through life never reaching our fullest potential in Christ. Hope is not lost though, as we possess the key to walking a life with Christ in the renewing of our minds. So why is renewing our mind vital to our walk?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. On the sixth day, God created mankind in his image and after His likeness. Made in all perfection, the first man, Adam, was given dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the wild beasts that move upon the earth. Mankind and God enjoyed perfect communion together. So what happened? Man fell from God’s grace as a result of rebellion against God’s command and there life as we know it truly begins.

God made Adam as a triune being consisting of a Spirit, a soul and a body. When Adam sinned against God, he died in the spiritual sense. The Spirit, the soul and the body were no longer aligned with God’s Word. That’s important as the three parts must be in agreement with each other in order to walk in the fullness of God’s power and authority. The Bible says that a house divided against itself will never stand (Matthew 12:25). Adam’s choice to sin against God divided the triune against itself. No longer was Adam alive in God, as His spirit died. No longer was his soul (mind, will and emotions) pure in thought. The god of this world had blinded him and in so doing contaminated the whole human race that was to come. The good news however, is God had a plan. So what was God’s plan?

The Bible tells us that God sent His Son, Jesus to earth. How do we know? John 1:14 says that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. That’s right! Jesus, the Living Word, was among us shedding “the true light which lighted every man who came into the world” (John 1:9). So why was His presence a key to our future? Jesus walked the earth for a time spreading the good news. As He did so, he drew many to him through His teachings, signs and wonders, but His message was not received by all, in fact, many rejected Him and all He came to offer them. No matter what ran through the minds of the people however, God had a plan and Jesus would be the key to the very future that lay ahead for all mankind. Knowing no sin Himself, Jesus was sacrificed upon the cross, taking upon Himself the very sins of the world.

Let’s not stop here, for it is real easy to underplay the tone that His death served. The shedding of Jesus’ blood played a significant role in our salvation. Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Jesus’ blood became the key to our life. In what way? When Jesus was nailed to the cross, He took upon Himself our sins. Immediately, His spirit was separated from God. Jesus sacrificed His Spirit and soul for our spirit and soul, but His sacrifice didn’t stop there. Jesus also died a physical death, thus sacrificing His body for our body. As He hung upon the cross and died, we hung upon the cross with Him dying to our old nature. When He was buried, our old nature was buried with Him and when He rose to the right hand of God, we were raised along with Him. That’s right! We are no longer slaves to our old nature, but have now donned upon us the new nature – His nature, His mind and His life.

It’s important to understand that when we accept Christ, the Spirit part of our being is instantaneously born again. What’s so important about our spirit man? It is the part of us that communicates with the spiritual realm of God and is instantly changed. Keep in mind that though our spirit instantly changes, our soul does not. Our souls must grow to spiritual maturity. So how do we get to that place of spiritual maturity? God’s Word must reach beyond our spirit. It must go beyond the initial hearing that comes when we receive Christ. Spiritual maturity is a gradual process of growth that comes about through the receiving and adhering to, the obeying of and the agreeing with the Word of God. In order for understanding to benefit us rationally, the Word must make it out of the Spirit and be welcomed into our mind, will and emotions which is contained within the confines of our soul.

Remember, our soul is a living person (Ephesians 4:23) and belongs to God (Ezekiel 18:4). In order to renew ourselves, the Holy Spirit must shine conviction upon our unsaved spirit so that the unsaved soul, where the thoughts, words, light, nature, and fruit of the Spirit abide, can be convicted and renewed. The Bible tells us that the natural man (Romans 12:2) must die daily. By making a willful choice to remember that he has to be changed, he chooses to change of his thoughts and bring them in line with the Word of God. By doing so, he allows the power of the Spirit and the Word of God to reach his mind. It is God’s desire that our soul yield to His Word so that it can go into man’s spirit and soul and fill it with rational, spiritual, godly reasoning. The Word is living and possesses power to change. God wants His Word to enter into our spirit so that it will move into our mind, senses and understanding to cause the divine wisdom to become rational understanding.

If our mind is not renewed, we can’t walk in the authority (2 Corinthians 4:3-7) as we will lack the power required to uproot the presumptuous thoughts that enter into it. It is important that what runs through our soul is pure and in line with God’s Word (Matthew 12:33-37) as each soul God created was created with a sovereignty and with an ability to determine its destiny (Ezekiel 18:4). I choose to walk in my destiny, serving God to the fullest and the first step to that path is renewing my mind. Will you walk with me? The choice is yours.

Walk Your Way Out of Your Wilderness

December 18, 2008

Deuteronomy is a book written to instruct the new generation of Israelites emerging from the wilderness.   In Deuteronomy 1:6, God tells His people, “you have dwelt long enough on this mountain:.  The children of Israel had wandered around for almost 38 years searching for the promised land. Now encamped on Mount Horeb, they receive this message.  What does it mean?  Why is it significant?  For 38 years, the blessing of the promised land never manifested.  Day after day, month after month, year after year, nothing but endless wandering came about. Each day ended like the one before it.  Have you ever felt that all your efforts in life were in vain? Have you ever felt like you were spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast?  Though the Bible never actually describes what the children of Israel were thinking and experiencing during this 38 year journey, we can probably guess with accuracy as we could imagine ourselves in their shoes.  It’s not too hard to reenact what was going through their mind.  What we need to do though is look at the “why” of this whole thing.  Why were they experiencing all this?  To answer that question, we would have to turn back the hands of time, to the place this whole story began.

Close your eyes and paint a picture on the canvas of your mind.  The place is Egypt. The circumstance is slavery.  At this time, the children of Israel are slaves.   They are treated inhumanely and cruelty.  Life is hard.  Each day, life is more miserable than the day before.  Like a child screaming for the attention of their mother.  God’s children cry out to Him. Their  cries reach His ears.  His heart feels the pain and agony of His children.  Unbeknownst to His children, God already had a plan and it was about to unfold.  On the scene comes His man, Moses.  With God’s guidance and care, Moses leads the children out of bondage.  God show His power and mighty hand at work, and His children are eyewitnesses as the plot and plan unfolds before their very eyes.  The children are released into the able hand of their leader, Moses.  This is where the plight begins.

As the children make their way out of Egypt, they find that life has dealt them a number of challenges.  They that held them in bondage are now in hot pursuit for their return.  Without hesitation, the children forget all that happen and fear.  God moves, parts the sea, ensures their safe crossing, ensures their enemies’ death and provides for their needs.  They rejoice, but even that is short lived.  Every challenge that arose only brought about fear, doubt, unbelief, discontent and more.  Where was their faith in the God who brought them through the impossible?  Where were the memories?  Had they forgotten already?  Over and over God made a way. Over and over the children responded the same.  But when is enough, enough?  How many times did God have to prove Himself before the children believed, trusted, and had confidence in Him? God draws the ine and their journey begins.

By the time Moses delivers God message to the second generation, the unbelievers have all died off, that is all but Caleb and Joshua.  Moses must teach this new generation God’s commands.  He must show these people how the previous generation erred in their behavior and thinking.  How does He do that?  Moses reenacts the journey; he plays the movie in their minds and as they watch he points out where they went wrong.  Ok, what that have to do with us?

Have you ever felt that you have been stuck at a point in your life for too long?  Do you feel that life is racing by you and still your situation hasn’t changed much?  Well, that’s where the children of Israel were.  They encamped on a mountain waiting for God to take them to the next place, just as we are.  Our mountain is our challenges we face. Just as God led them from the mountain to the promised land, He has to lead us from our situations into our solutions.  Just as the children of Israel had to travel through the great and terrible wilderness, so we have to travel through some very trying times, tests and trials.  How long we stay depends on us. for the children of Israel, their attitudes determined the outcome.  Ten times trials came.  Ten times, they forgot. Ten times they complained, mumbled, grumbled, moaned, groaned, and provoked God to anger.  Finally God drew the line and withheld the promised land from the unbelieving generation.  God in His mercy, allowed the new generation, Joshua and Caleb to receive the covenant promise.  We are no different than the children of Israel.  How many times has God brought us through trying times? How many times has God made a way out of no way?  How many times has God provided, healed, taught, protected, guided, comforted, loved and forgiven us?  Yet at the first sign of trouble we panic, worry, lose faith and more.  We mumble, grumble, complain, moan and groan.  We question and even at times refuse to see past what our human minds can control and rationalize through.  Where is our faith?  Where is our trust?

We control our minds – what enters and what stays.  As long as we rest upon our human side, we have no hope of seeing anything but despair and failure.  We stay in our wilderness place, roaming from place to place in search of the promised land.  We allow the enemy to feed our mind with lies and deception, and we believe.  We allow these lies to take root and ultimately we choose to remain where we are instead of allowing ourselves to walk through the storm to the promise.  Are you wandering in the wilderness of life bogged down with fear, doubt, and unbelief?  Has your way of thinking kept you from being led into the promised land?  Every man has a choice of what to feed their mind. Will your choice be to walk out of your wilderness? Take the chance.  Allow God to lead you into all He promised, that is, your promised land.

What You See Isn’t What You Get (Nbrs 14:5-24)

December 16, 2008

How many times have we let our eyes gauge our situations?  How many times have we allowed our human mind to reason through our trials?  When we walked in the world without the knowledge of God, we often face challenges in our lives too overwhelming for us to handle.  As a result, we’d worry and stress over the possible outcomes and how we would fair.  We never knew what would happen from one moment to the next.  Our lives would be overcome with fear, doubt, negative thoughts and the like.  Then one day, God reveals Himself to us. We accept His invitation to be Lord over our life.  Over time, He proves Himself to us, bringing us out of our trials, providing four our every need, performing miracles and more. Things seem to be going well in the early stages our our relationship, but how many of you know that as we grow and mature in God, He expects us to exercise our faith more?  The trials increase. From our perspective, our life takes a turn for the worse.  Here is where we should look back upon our past and remember all God has done.  Here is where we should trust and believe.  Her is where we should stand confidently and firmly in the midst of our storms, yet, for most, here is where life falls apart.  We allow our human nature to take over our reasoning of our human hearts and minds.  Trust and faith take a leap out the proverbial window.  Struggles take hold.  We forget all we experience, all we witnessed, and all we learned and reach back into our nature and react accordingly.  Many of us give up long before the trials end, forgetting the truth of God’s promises and losing sight of the important fact of Who’s in control.

This is where our studies begin.  In Numbers 14, the children of Israel are right in this exact spot.  They had experienced miracle after miracle, received promise after promise, and lived with God like no other people, yet after all this, they still reverted back to unbelief and every situation arose.  Though God had brought them out of bondage, saved them from death and destruction, and provided for their every need, they still weren’t satisfied.  In Chapter 14, the people of Israel are responding to the news reports they had just received from the scouts.  It is said, that the initial response of a person is usually the most accurate indication of that person’s heart.

All but the last two of the scouts returned with a negative report.  As the people listened intent, they began to fear all that lay ahead.  Instinctively and immediately, they respond with complaints and accusations of their leaders.  Their reaction indicated that they had no memory of their freedom from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the events of the Egyptian pursuit, the provisions of water, manna and meat or anything else God had done for them.  Seeing their response and knowing God’s mind, Moses and Aaron fall on their faces on their behalf, interceding before God for  their lives.  While they are doing this, Caleb and Joshua stand to be recognized.  They top participated in scouting this land, but their report differed drastically from that of the scouting party.  They see the land through their eyes of faith and trust in God’s promises and past performances.  They remind the people of that very thing, though their report was disregarded.  Displeased, God’s wrath is about to be loosed upon this unbelieving race.  Fortunately, Moses comes to the rescue.  With humility and reverence, He intercedes before the Creator on behalf of the people, pointing out how God’s plan of destruction would be perceived to the surrounding nations who had already heard of His might.  As a result, God spares the people, but rescinds His promise to those in unbelief.  Only Joshua and Caleb would inherit the land.

What you see isn’t what you get! When we look through our human eyes we can only see failure, defeat, death, hopelessness and the like.  Without the Spirit of faith, without the provision of God, we can only reap the fruit of despair and all it brings.  What you see isn’t what you get when God is involved.  With God, we are given spiritual eyes to see our situations in a different light.  What was once impossible now becomes possible.  Our spiritual eyes accept that we are nothing apart from God.  The worst situations with no solutions, now become situations with possibles.  What you see isn’t what you get!

Instead of complaining, begin praying.  Humbling yourself, cast your problems upon the Lord, then look at the situation through your spiritual eyes as the result come about.  Had the people looked at the land through their spiritual eyes, they would have seen a land without the obstacles.  God would have done as before and opened up the door of opportunities and rained down blessings and provisions.

Pregnant with a Purpose

December 15, 2008

As I read and reread these verses, I notice that not much was said about Abraham prior to God telling him to go from the land, yet verse one says, “the Lord said to Abram”. That one statement started speaking to me almost immediately. Why? Well, as I look back at my life with God, I realized that I didn’t recognize God’s voice, much less understand what He was telling me, yet Abraham was spoken to and obeyed, that is, he recognized and understood God’s voice. This alone tells me that though he came from a pagan land, he had a relationship with God. Abraham had to have reached a deeper and fuller level of maturity and knowledge with God than most. He was no longer a baby in God. To receive a blessing of this magnitude, to be initially mentioned at this point in his life indicates that self sacrifice, obedience, submission, spiritual transformation had to take place some time over the previous 75 years of his life. Though God doesn’t reveal to us the life of Abraham prior to now, it isn’t too hard to see that a process had taken place and Abraham was now ready to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. This point was the start of that purpose and a test of his training.

There is alot said in these seven verses. God commanded, Abraham exercised in faith and chose. God promised, Abraham exercised faith and believed. God waited, Abraham exercised faith and obedience, and went. God appeared and promised, Abraham in faith responded with heart felt worship. As you can see, at no time did God reveal the entire plan to Abraham. It was a step-by-step revelation, with each step being the trigger point for the next, each step serving as the mechanism for growth in faith.

These verses also show me something about God. God told Abraham to move away from his relatives, yet he took his nephew, Lot, with him. Though Scripture tells us of all the challenges that arise as a result of this disobedience, God still speaks blessings upon Abraham. This shows the deep love God has for us. Even though God is a just and righteous God, He blessed Abraham in the midst of disobedience. He did not take away the repercussions or events that resulted from that disobedience. The seed that was sown in disobedience was the seed that was reaped in the challenges arising from his wrong choice. Abraham received the blessing God promised. Unselfishly and out of love, the first response showed Abraham’s true character and heart’s condition. Abraham humbled himself by recognizing God first and foremost in all he received. He put God first before anything and anyone. A true disciple recognizes his master before himself.

Let’s go back to Genesis 6:1-7 and see a similar trend by looking at the Lord’s call to Noah.

Again we another of God’s chosen brought to the forefront.  Before Noah is approached to build the ark, nothing is mentioned about him except his brief genealogy.  We don’t know anything about him prior to that time, however, the same thing can be said about Noah as was said about Abraham previously.  For God to have commissioned Noah to accomplish the great task of building an ark, he would have had to reach some level in the maturity in faith and intimacy in God.  Every Christian must be prepared for the task he has been called for.  Preparation takes time.  Over time, trials come to make us spiritually strong.  As we grow spiritually, we eventually reach a point where we are deemed ready to assume our position.  This is where Noah is.

From the time of the fall of Adam, the human race continued its downward spiral.  Every heart had reached the very pit of depravity, except that of Noah.  Evil has a tendency to contaminate and spread rapidly.  Spreading in epidemic proportions, all mankind became infected except one, Noah.  To be identified as righteous at this point was a feat that Noah reached.  From the Scriptures, I can see that life began with distinction.  This is shown by the Words, “the Sons of God” and “the daughters of man”.  This distinction is important in gaining insight to the condition of man’s heart and motives, and the condition of the world at that particular point in time.  It also shows us the effects that people can have upon one another.  The use of “the sons of God” and “the daughters of man” tells us that there were two kinds of hearts – those serving God and those serving Satan.  Alone, one group brought hope, that is, in its purest form they focused on One.  Like a deadly infectious disease, the complacent minds of the holy one subtly allowed themselves to be infected by the things of the world.  Like a lion on the prowl, their minds became prey and the purity of heart they had once possessed became polluted with the evil tendency of satan’s servants, attitudes and ways.  What once distinguished these groups from each other, now became the thing that identified them as one entity.  Evil had now taken root in the hearts of all except one, Noah.  Hope for the future lay in the heart of this man and through that one man, life was preserved.

As a christian, we must keep guard over our hearts. Our environment has a way of polluting all it touches, hence, your warning – keep guard, be alert.  As we grow in God, God will ask us to go away from this land, that is, go away from those of evil influence. Now I can see why God removed us like He did, only exposing us to what He knew we could handle without becoming contaminated, without becoming infected.

Abraham and Noah were pregnant with a purpose.  Just as a fetus grows in the womb of a woman, developing into a distinct unique individual, so also does a Christian.  The fetus begins with a single egg merging with a sperm.  The joining of the two bring about creation.  With each minute of time that passes, development and growth take place.  The organism begins to take on a life of its own.  The essential elements of development form.  The organism now becomes an individual.  Development continues up to the point where the fetus can survive outside the protected environment.  All the vital elements required to survive have basically developed.  At this point, the mother gives birth and the process of maturity begins.

We Christians develop much the same way.  We are the egg, God is the sperm. We were released into society and through the unction of the spirit, we were joined or united with God.  As God merges His DNA with ours, spiritual development occurs.  God’s DNA determines or sets our purpose.  As development takes place, our vital organs are brought to maturity – our hearts and minds accept in faith, our eyes spiritually see, our ears spiritually hear, the Spirit of God within us begins to beat harmoniously with ours.  We begin to take on a life, that is, we begin to walk in the image of our Creator.  When we have reached full term, we are birthed into our purpose, that is, the purpose we were predestined to by God.

Heavenly Identity

December 8, 2008

It has always been God’s intent for man to have an intimate relationship with Him. This relationship began with Adam and Eve. Though the Bible does not tell us how long Adam communed with God before Satan slithered his way into the lives of God’s first man and woman, we know that they spiritually died to God resulting in all men sharing that same separation. Hope wasn’t lost however. God sent, Jesus, the second Adam who knew no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:18, says that through Him we were given the opportunity to be reconciled to God, who knew that He was not only going to give Jesus for us, but knew He was going to be able to reach and change us through this reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells is that if we be risen in Christ Jesus, we rose as a different person then when we died, that is, different in quality. We are not who we use to be. Through an act of faith, we were saved by grace, putting to death the old nature in order that we might allow Jesus to live within us. To reap the full benefits of our salvation however, we must put on our new nature, allowing our minds to be transformed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2). How do we do that? We find out who we are in Christ by studying and meditating on God’s Word and then changing the way we think and speak in relationship to who we are. The more we allow the Spirit of the Word to manifest in our lives, the more we become the byproduct of our thoughts, words and actions. This however, is not a one time process, it is a daily commitment. By transforming our minds daily, we are enabled to walk in our heavenly authority. As our hearts are illuminated by God’s Word, we will learn what kind of access we have to Him.

When we died and were raised with Jesus, we became a new man. That new man took on the image of Jesus in every way. The old person we were died to Him. That means we have the same power and authority Jesus has, but most of us fail to realize that because the enemy has made it his mission to ensure we never fully understand or receive that point. He blinds us with thoughts of inadequacy, fills our minds with lies, condemnation, fear and doubt, tells us what we can’t do. In this state, our faith is weakened. In this weakened state of faith, we struggle to keep the enemy at bay. We must learn to silence the enemy the minute the onslaught of negative thoughts arise in our mind. Speak the promises of God out loud. As we do, we become what we speak, “for our mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart”.

2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors”. For this reason, it is important for us to have the new qualities and nature living in us so as to bring us to spiritual maturity, the place where only the Word of God exists in us. To do this, we must rid ourselves of views contrary to God’s Word. In taking on the new nature, we must recognize that we are no longer sinners. 2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. It adds that God gives us the precious promise to pardon our sin. Sin is alive and was given right to enter the world by Adam, but the same sin was broken and defeated by Jesus. Jesus is the Word. By always walking in agreement with God’s Word, in faith, we open our heart up to Jesus (Ephesians 3:17), allowing the power of God to flow through us while giving us the ability to enforce his every Word.

It is this faith that gives us confidence that we are the righteous and holy ones of God. As we earnestly seek Him, He promises to reward us as we walk into the purpose to which He has called us. As we grow in mind and soul with Jesus, we will begin to see the awesome power of God manifest right before our eyes and the eyes of the world. God has called each of us to go into all the world and preach the good new to all creation (Mark 16:15). As we serve and grow, God will entrust us with more, taking us to new dimensions.

Knowing Your Enemy

December 8, 2008

Any soldier knows that to be successful in any battle, they must know their enemy in and out. What we as Christians fail to see, is that we are all soldiers for God. It is important to know who our enemy is, for without that knowledge how can we fight against him? The Bible tells us that the devil is prowling like a lion seeking who he may devour. I don’t know about you, but everyday is a challenge and those challenges take on many forms. For this reason, I decided it’s high time to get to know our enemy and his fallen angels. 

Let’s turn to 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit says expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, following after misleading spirits and doctrines of devils.”

We live in the latter times where devils and demons are battling for control of our souls.  What most of fail to realize is what position we have in Christ, making it easier for us to be misled by the enemy. 

We all know the story of Adam, but there is so much to his story that we overlook.  God created Adam in his image, after His own likeness.  The Bible says, that God is Spirit and we must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.  So that means we are Spirit also.  Deep within us we have a spirit man that Christ occupies when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  Have you ever wondered why it is that we have so many struggles to walk like Him?    The Bible tells us that upon man’s creation, God gave him dominion over the earth, the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the cattle, and the wild beasts that move upon it.  That means that God gave a man made of flesh to have dominion.  When Adam sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, he became spiritually separated from God, impacting mankind forever.  That, however, wasn’t the only impact Adam’s sin had upon man.  When the enemy lured God’s first creation to sin, he wrested man dominion over all that God had ordained.  Through one man’s sin, all mankind was condemned and through one man’s obedience, all were made righteous.  This is important to our study, as this one point is the key to fighting the devil and his fallen angels.

When man was created by God, he was created in a physical body.  Man is made up of three parts: the body, the soul and the spirit.  That physical body contains the spirit man and soul.  The Spirit and the Soul are housed within our hearts.  When we accept Christ, God’s Spirit immediately inhabits the Spirit of our bodies.  There we are the image of Christ.  So what’s the problem?  We are made up of more than a Spirit, we are also made up of a soul which possesses the mind, will and emotions.  This soul is the rational thinking man within us, the part the devil seeks to destroy.  This part is not instantly holy and righteous, as it has to be allowed to be influenced by the Spirit man inside us. 

Most of us don’t fully relinquish our minds to the Spirit of the Word of God.  We hold on to its every thought, not knowing or being aware that many of the thoughts we hold on to are implanted there by the enemy.  If the enemy can get us to dwell upon those thoughts, he is able to direct our word and actions.  If we dwell upon those thoughts long enough, we become what we think as evidenced by the words that come from our mouth.  Now the mouth has power to create, so what we speak out, is what we reap in our life.  When we speak out our negative thoughts, we unknowingly invite the enemy into our lives to wreak havoc.  The key to our overcoming the enemy is allow the spirit man within us to align our thoughts up with the Word of God.  Our thoughts will then carry over to our words.  When we speak the words of God, they will affect our soul and reach through us to the outside and affect our surroundings.  Let me say this one more time – the spirit and the soul must be aligned for us to reap the benefits of our Salvation to the fullest and to be empowered to overcome the enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy.

So what significance did Jesus have for us?  When Jesus died upon the cross, we died with him.  Just as Adam experience a spiritual separation from God, so Jesus experienced the same separation as God turned his face from Him.  When Jesus was buried in the grave, we also were buried in the grave.  Just as Adam experienced a physical death, Jesus also experienced the same kind of death.  When Jesus went to hell for three days, He took upon  Himself the penalty we would pay in the day of judgment.  The good news though, is Jesus didn’t stay down for long.  In three days, He was raised to the right hand of the throne, where the Bible says we also were raised and now sit.

So what does that mean to us?  When we died and were raised with Jesus, we became a new man.  That new man took on the image of Jesus in every way.  The old person we were died to Him.  That means we have the same power and authority Jesus has, but most of us fail to realize that because the enemy has made it his mission to ensure we never fully understand or receive that point.  He blinds us with thoughts of inadequacy, fills our minds with lies, tells us what we can’t do, fills our minds with condemnation, fear, doubt and more. In this state, our faith is weakened.  In the weakened state, we struggle to keep the enemy at bay.  We must learn to silence the enemy the minute the onslaught of negative thoughts arise in our mind.  Speak the promises of God out loud.  As we do, we become what we speak, “for the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart”.   Remember the heart is where the spirit and soul dwell.

This means that we are going to come into a confrontation; we are going to run into opposition of the devil when we live for God. The Bible tells us to fight the good fight of faith. We are living in the last days and the devil has intensified his power. As a result of seducing spirits, men are departing from the faith. God gave the faith of the gospel to be kept by us. He gave the doctrines of the gospel to be guarded by us. It’s easy to identify evil when it’s coming from a mosque, but it’s not so easy to identify the doctrine of devils when it is taught from a pulpit in the church.

The key point to remember is that the enemy has no power, except that which we give Him.  He doesn’t want us to know that and as long as we stay blinded, he is empowered to bring havoc upon our lives. We are duped to believe that he has a god given right to operate the way he is operating. 

So who is this enemy, where did he come from?

Let’s read Ezekial 28:13-19 and find out who it is we are fighting against and  what the devil gains by lying?  To get to the root of the answers to these questions, we must build our doctrines and thoughts upon the Word of God.  So let’s see what God’s Word has to say…

“You have been in Eden, the garden of God; you were decked with every precious stone, the sardius, the topaz, and the emerald, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire and the pearls; and you have filled your treasuries with gold and your chests with precious stones; you had all of these things from the day you were created.  You were with the anointed cherub that shelters; and I have set you on the holy mountain of God; and you were safe in the midst of the stones of fire.  You were perfect in your ways, from the day that you were created till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise you have filled the land with iniquity and you have sinned; therefore I will cast you from this mountain of God; and I will destroy you, O sheltering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  Since your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, now your wisdom and your beauty are corrupted; I will cast you to the ground before kings, that you may be a spectacle before them.  By the multitude of your frauds, by the iniquity of your traffic, you have defiled your sanctuary; therfore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of you, and it shall devour you, and I will reduce you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all those who see you.”

Though the opinions of man vary as to who created the devil, the Bible is quite clear.  GOD DID NOT CREATE SATAN!!  God creates only that which is good.  These verses tell us that God created a high, beautiful, brilliant, powerful, angelic being full of holiness, full of the nature that belongs to the people of God.  The book of Job tells us that when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came.  It is pretty clear that Satan was not classified as a “son of God”, indicating that he had fallen from God’s grace.  It is also clear in these verses, that God is putting the blame on the devil for being what the devil has become and done.  God is exempt from and takes no responsibility for what His enemy has become.

Ezekial 28:14 tells us this cherub was perfect in all his ways.  John 8:44 says that the devil did not continue to dwell in the truth.  In the beginning, Lucifer was an angel of truth, but he did not continue in truth; he fell from the truth.  That is why he so good at lying.  He was perfect until iniquity was found in him.  The  next verse tells us that the devil was filled with violence and sinned.  God has nothing to do with sin! In this holy place and in the holy angels, something happened to Lucifer to cause him to be filled with violence and to sin, for iniquity to be found in him.  This verse tells us that it was because of the multitude of his merchandise.  Evidently the enemy before he was the enemy had a high ranking place in the heavenly realm and was involved in some kind of trade/order giving.  He was one of the three archangels of God.  He had angelic hosts under his rulership and dominion (Rev 12:4).  He’s an orator.  Because of the abundance that he had, the Bible says he was filled with violence.  He plotted to take spiritual, violent action against God and his angels for this reason.  Obviously he was not satisfied with what he had and felt that what God had belonged to Him (Isaiah 14).

When Lucifer lifted his heart up and corrupted his wisdom, many things happened.  Iniquity was found in him.  He was filled with violence,  and his heart was corrupted.  The Bible further tells us that Lucifer defiled his own sanctuaries indicating there were many sanctuaries.  For this to be, had had to be high ranking.  How did he defile it?  “By the multitudes of his iniquities of thy traffic”.  Obviously, angels were going in and out of his sanctuaries, meetings were being held, sermons were probably being preached to get these angels to get involved with him and follow him to overthrow God.  Up to now, God is not involved, but believe me judgment is justified.  The fall of Lucifer did not come when God cast him out of heaven, it came when Satan’s heart went astray and became rebellious.  When he fell, he fell from the purpose God created him for.

Knowing your enemy is a key to your successful walk with God.  Changing your thought patterns by saturating your mind with the Word of God is your weapon.  Be a doer and a hearer of the Word, and faithfully stand upon the promises of God, knowing you have the power and authority to overcome the wiles of the devil when your spirit, body and soul are aligned in the Word of God.

David and the Dwarf – A Study of David – Part 4

November 28, 2008

The most famous battle in the Old Testament was not fought between two armies, but between two people.  It was the battle in the Valley of Elah between David and Goliath.  Before however, we look at this battle, let’s look at something that occurred prior to that battle (1 Samuel 16:7) when the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as a man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

We are just like Samuel, looking at the surface appearance of a person when making judgment to what kind of person one is.  If God’s statement ever applied, it applied in the story of this battle, as Goliath had all the things that would normally impress and intimidate.  But don’t underestimate David.  In this instance, David had been given the ability to see as God always sees, and was neither impressed or intimidated by the mountain of a man standing before him.

Now let’s take a look at the battleground (1 Samuel 17:1-3). The valley of Elah was not a narrow ravine, but more like a vast canyon.  The area was probably about a mile wide, opening wider toward the mouth of the canyon.  At the bottom of the ravine between the slopes, was the streambed where David found the stones for his sling.  To one side there was a great slope a half mile or more in size,  Opposite was another vast slope of another half mile, stretching a full mile across.  Camped on one slope was the army of Israel and on the other, the army of the Philistines.

Now let’s consider the major players of this story.  First, there was Goliath, whose size and appearance were so impressive that the Bible describes him in detail as (1 Samuel 17:4), “then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.” Goliath was somewhere near 9′ 9″ tall…an enormous man.  But is wasn’t just his size.

1 Samuel 17:5-7 says that Goliath was wearing a coat of mail.  Underneath was a heavy canvaslike undergarment interlaced with overlapping ringlets of bronze.  This coat of mail went from shoulder to kneww, covering and protecting against the enemy’s weapons.  Body armor of such material and size weighed five thousand shekels of bronze or between 175-200 pounds.  That was the armor alone, but Goliath also wore a bronze helmet and leggings (greaves) to protect his shins, not to mention, he carrieda bronze javelin slung between his shoulders.  The head of his spear alone weighed six hundred shekels of iron or about 20-25 pounds.  The written account also says that he had a “shield carrier” who walked before him.  This shield carrier was designed to protect his body from the enemy’s arrows and was the size of a full grown man.  So in addition to the body armor, Goliath had a man running in front of him, carrying a man-size shield as double protection.  Pause a moment and allow your mind to picture such an imposing sight.  Imagine how frightening it would be to take on a giant of this size protected by this amount of armor.  Clearly, the odds are stacked against anyone foolish enough to face him in battle.

Notice what this mountain of a giant did.  1 Samuel 17:8-9, “He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array?  Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me.  If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” What Goliath did was common in those days, that is, a representative battle, one-on-one fight.  He would represent the Philistines and whoever Israel chose would represent the Israelite army.  Whoever won, his army won.  Goliath didnt issue the challenge one time, his challenge went on for forty days, both morning and evening.  Each time, he flaunted his size and strength, spewing challenges to anyone who would take him on. Isn’t that how the giants of our circumstances and emotions attack us.  They don’t just come once, they attack repeatedly and consistently day after day, relentlessly trying to intimidate.  They come in all forms – people, pressures, worry, fear and more.   Some hammer on your heart, some yelling across the ravine in your own personal valley.  What are you to do?  The story of David will set a pattern for us to follow, so let’s go back to where we left off and see what happened as the battle unfolds before our very eyes.

About 10-15 miles away, David is out keeping sheep.  He’s too young to fight in the army.  What did he know?  David’s father, concerned about his three oldest sons who now fought in Saul’s army.  Unable to make the trip for himself, Jesse sends David to check on them (1 Samuel 17:17-18).  David arises early and sets out to do as his father had asked.  Try to imagine what must have been going through David’s mind as he came over the top of the last rise and saw the enemy spread out below him.  Then as he gets to the edge of the Israelite camp, he sees the troops heading out for battle and hears the war cry. You can tell he is excited and wants to watch, wouldn’t anyone?

(1 Samuel 17:22-23) Picture this for a moment… David is standing there talking to his three brothers, when all of a sudden he hears this loud cry from across the ravine.  Suddenly everyone around him is rushing to the rear and climbing into their tents (1 Samuel 17:24)”.  As he looks across the ravine, he sees Goliath fully girded in armor, cursing the God of Israel.  He must have been livid.  Can you imagine the thoughts running through his mind?

Unlike any other, David saw the present through seeing the hindsight and he wasn’t impressed or intimidated.  1 Samuel 17:26-27 tells us that David asks the men standing by him, what will be done for the man who kills Goliath and takes away the reproach of Israel?  Remember, Saul had given the men an incentive for killing Goliath, but the problem was no one, but himself, was qualified to fight.  Can you see Saul now?  Standing head and shoulder above everybody else, he, their leader, cowers away, but not without a plan for someone else to do his dirty work.

The incentives were more than any one man could imagine, but I want you to notice something – Goliath’s position on this particular day. The Bible tells us that he stood shouting to the ranks of Israel, but look at what is said on the day David arrives, (1 Samuel 17:25), “have you seen this man who is coming up?” That’s right, Goliath has now crossed the ravine at the base of the vally and is coming up Israel’s side.  You see, if you tolerate a Goliath, he’ll take over your territory.  He’ll move into your camp.  He’ll take over your thoughts that normally ought to be on God.  That’s why you can’t affort to tolerate giants, you kill them.

Now let’s look at what happens next.  It’s what Christians often go through during a time of standing by faith, they get flak and it often comes from members of their own family, in this case, David’s brother, Eliab (1 Samuel 27:28).  Don’t forget who Eliab is – he is the son of Jesse who first walked into the house and Samuel thought was king.  Eliab couldn’t have been too happy to see his younger brother chosen to be king, much less be blessed above him, the oldest.  Taken that, he attacks David’s motives and proceeds to humiliate David. Now an average person probably would have punched his brother’s lights out, but instead David ignores him and continues his line of questioning. David knew who to fight and who to leave alone.  Like David we need to choose our battles wisely.  Know who your real enemy is.

When Saul hears about the questions David is asking and the comments he is making, he sends for David (1 Samuel 17:32-33).  Now remember, King Saul is the guy who doesn’t want to fight, but he won’t admit it.  Looking at this small puny child standing before him, he proceeds to tell David that he had bit off more than he could chew, but how many of you know that when God is on your side, size and experience play no role in successfully bringing down any giant.

David is not phased by Saul’s doubt.  Before him, he sees no situation to huge for the Lord to deliver him from.  David didn’t focus on the defeats and failures of his life, he looked at the successes that God had brought him through.  Saul finally accepts David’s request and proceeds to prepare him for battle.  Must have been a funny site to see Saul dressing little David in his armor.  David, however is unable to handle the weapons made for Saul.  What may have worked for Saul, in this case, wouldn’t have worked for David.  Have you ever noticed how we always try to put our armor on someone else or put someone else’s armor on ourselves?  That’s not the way to do battle. God provides each of us our own unique armor to overcome the battles of life.

So here’s David, stripped down to his own simple garments and armed with his own simple shepherd weapons – his sling and his staff – ready to do battle. The beautiful thing about this story is that it’s a perfect example of how God operates.  He magnifies His name when we are weak.  We don’t have to be eloquent, strong or handsome.  We don’t have to be brilliant or have all the answers to be blessed of God.  He honors our faith.  All He asks is that we trust Him, stand before Him in integrity and faith, and He’ll win the battles.  God is just waiting for his moment.

The odds were against David. After picking up the stones, he approaches the giant Philistine warrior with a smile (1 Samuel 17:41-46).  Just imagine it – David stood before this mountain size rock of a man, unintimidated!

Intimidation is one of our major battles in life when we face the giants before us.  We get tongue tied, confused and even forget to pray.  We focus on the odds against us, forgetting who we represent, standing there with our knees knocking.  David’s eyes weren’t on the giant.  Intimidation played no part in his life,  His eyes were on God.  With invincible confidence, he turns the battle over to God.  David lived by a very simple rule – “nothing to prove, nothing to lose”.  He didn’t try to impress anyone, he just ran to meet Goliath.  In the final moments, he readies his sling and with a whoosh, it’s all over.  The stone flies through the air and lodges in the skull of the giant, and there he falls to his death.  The Philistines didn’t wait around after that, their champion was dead.   Out of this battle, the real truth emerged, evident to the troops on both sides of the valley – Goliath was the dwarf and David was the giant.

Winning victories is extremely significant.  Remember them! God doesn’t waste victories.  When He pulls something off that only He can do, He tells us to not forget them.  Four lessons emerge from this battle between David and Goliath.

1) Facing giants is an intimidating experience.  We can look at David’s bravery and victory with perfect hindsight, knowing that God is greater than any giant we face.

2) Doing battle is a lonely experience.  No one can fight for you.  It is on the lonely battlefield that you learn to trust God.

3) Trusting God is a stabilizing experience.  David brought down Goliath with the first stone.  His aim was true and didn’t miss the mark.  He was stabilized by his trust in God.  If you try to tackle your giants in the flesh, you cannot get it done; you’ll lose.

4) Winning victories is a memorable experience.

I dont know what your intimidating giant is today, but God is saying to you right now, “All I ask of you is five small stones and a sling of faith.  I’ll take it from there.  You don’t have to wear somebody else’s armor.  You just trust Me and I’ll strip you down to nothing but faith, accomplishing a victory where I’ll get the glory.  But as for you…trust Me.”  It is God’s love for us that causes Him to bring us to an end of our own strength.  He sees our need to trust Him and His love is so great that He will not let us live another day without turning over our arms to Him, our fears, our worries, even our confusion, so that nothing becomes more significant to us than our Father.  Never, ever forget it: THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS!!!

Soft Music for a Hard Heart – A Study of David – Part 3

November 26, 2008

Regardless of who we are, music seems to be the very thing that soothes the soul.  Music dates back to the times of Jubal (Genesis 4:21) and is spoken of throughout the book of Psalms.

The Bible says that “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him (1 Samuel 16:14-15)”.  The Bible doesn’t tell us why God allowed the evil spirit to terrorize Saul, but we can assume that God wasn’t too pleased that he had walked against His will.  Can you imagine Saul’s struggle?  Saul only struggled with an inward feeling of depression at the rejection announced to him, but he felt melancholy, insane and without peace.  The evil spirit stirred up feelings, ideas, imaginations, and thoughts within his soul that drove him to the point of madness.  No one around Saul knew what was happening within Saul’s soul, but they realized he needed help and boldly suggested that to him (1 Samuel 16:16-17).

In Biblical times, music was thought to soothe passions, heal mental diseases and even hold riots in check.  It is interesting how God used these beliefs to set the stage for David.  Someone happens to hear that Saul is looking for a musician and the door now opens for David to come on scene (1 Samuel 16:18).  Wow! what a resume! This verse describes David as a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, prudent at speech, handsome and the Lord was with him.

David didn’t know it, but he was getting ready to enter boot camp on the road to becoming a king.  David had to be all God said he was as he never once pulled rank on Saul, never one became jealous or envious of the king’s position, he was truly anointed to let the Lord open all the doors to his future.  David was a man after God’s own heart.  When David walked into the king’s presence, Saul had no idea that he would someday replace him on the throne.  David did what God had called him to do.  With a servant’s heart, he tended to Saul, becoming his armor bearer.  The Bible tells us that Saul came to love David because “it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hands; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him (1 Samuel 16:23)”. Can you picture Saul lying on his bed or pacing like a caged animal, writhing from the madness raging within him and there in the corner David sits playing his harp, maybe even singing?

God was definitely with David whose music would not only soothe the soul of a king, but would someday fill the pages of Scripture in the written Word.  The king not  only found relief from his torment, but he found love in his heart for the young shepherd boy whose music touched his soul.

Like David, a spirit filled saint is a song-filled saint.  God’s antenna is always attuned to the praises of his saints.  Never mind how beautiful or pitiful you may sound. Sing out! Sing Loud!, making melodies with your heart to the King of Kings, the Lord your God. If you listen closely, you may even hear the angelic hosts answering back.

Soft music for a hard heart is what David provided Saul.  That’s the soul music that Christ provides and that’s the place we must begin.  He died, was buried, rose from the dead and was resurrected that we may have life and a desire to live a positive, fulfilling life free from depression and despair.  He is our Shepherd and we are his sheep, needing the music of His Voice.  We can rejoice and exult in God together.

A Nobody, Nobody Noticed – A Study of David – Part 2

November 25, 2008

Who was this man Saul?  What did the people see in him?  This Saul was a real piece of work.  Shortly after becoming king, the people would see the real person Saul was inside.  His actions and decisions soon revealed that he was a selfish, angry, hateful, mean-spirited man.  Later in his rule, something snapped in his mind.  He lost touch with reality, proving himself unqualified for the throne.  So what happened?

Not long after Saul began his reign, Samuel caught him in three serious acts of disobedience: first Saul made a terrible decision (1 Samuel 13); then he made a rash vow against his own son (1 Samuel 14); and finally, he openly disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15).   Samuel confronts Saul and much to his dismay, Saul tries to rationalize his actions, later pleading his guilt.  Saul in attempts to maintain his image before the people, begs Samuel to return with him to worship the Lord.  Samuel not buying it for a minute, delivers a straight-from-the-shoulder jab that Saul would never forget (1 Samuel 15:26-30). Though Samuel finally agreed to return with Saul, he never saw him again after this (1 Samuel 15:35).  The tragedy is Saul never, ever fully repented of his sin.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.  Samuel is beginning to feel the pressure.  The people have elected Saul, but he is no longer qualified for the throne.  What were the people to do?  Israel was surrounded by enemies, so they needed someone to lead the nation, but who?  No one knew but God.  How many of you know that long before the problem arises, God is already behind the scenes working it out.  Just because man fails, changes, or dies, does not mean that God fails, changes or dies.  Isaiah 65:24 tells us that before we call, He will answer, and while we are speaking, He will hear.  Nothing is a surprise to God.  He knows exactly what He’s going to do and nothing we do can restrain His bringing it to pass.

In 1 Samuel 16:1, God tells Samuel to go to Bethlehem to find the man He had chosen to replace Saul.  Unfortunately, Samuel in his shaken state, had taken his eyes off God and now appears to be panic-stricken as he realizes he is to return to the very place where the murderous Saul lived. Without answering Samuel’s question, God tells Samuel what to do (1 Samuel 16:2-3).  What of David? David knows nothing of God’s plan.  For him, it was just like any other morning.  Little did he know that his life would never be the same again, but the beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him never to lead us astray.  God knows exactly where He is taking us.  Our only job is to obey, to live in close fellowship with God as we walk our earthly path.  In the process of that simple arrangement, God engages us in His eternal plan. So what happens next?

1 Samuel 16:4 tells us Samuel did what the Lord said.   Samuel takes the sacrifice to the house of Jesse.  The elders of the city see the prophet approaching and go to greet him in fear, their minds wondering why he has come.   In preparation of what was to come, Jesse and his sons are instructed to consecrate themselves in preparation of the sacrifice. Unaware of why Samuel was there, Jesse and his sons gather together before the prophet, each of them looking at him and he looking at them.  As he looked upon them, he must have wondered which of the sons would be chosen, as each looked fit for the throne.  The Lord tells Samuel to not judge the appearance of these men from the outside as mere mortal do, for all these before him were rejected. God tells him that it is the heart of the man that He uses to judge each man’s worthiness.  Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to see into a man’s heart and know what is there, so we have to look to Him to give us, with our limited focus, that kind of discernment.

Isn’t it ironic that Jesse didn’t even have his youngest son in the room.  Why not?  Like most parents, Jesse reveals two very common mistakes parents make. First, Jesse didn’t have an equal appreciation for all his children and second, he failed to cultivate a mutual self respect among them.  Jesse saw his youngest as nothing more than the one who tended the sheep.  Man forgets…God remembers.  You see, Samuel, with God’s help, now has the proper perspective and instructs Jesse to bring his youngest son to him.  Oh, how important it is to see beyond the obvious.  That’s the kind of vision that Samuel, with God’s help, finally demonstrates at this point. Now, remember David is out tending his father’s sheep when he is called to come before the prophet.  Can you imagine how he looked and smelled as the prophet hobbles to him and pours the oil upon his head?  What did David do afterwards? Humbly, David returns to his flock.

When you have a heart like David’s, that’s what you do. It made no difference that Samuel had anointed his head with oil.  He made no big to do about it.  He expected no special treatment.  He had a job and he was going to faithfully do it, always keeping his ear sensitive to the whisper of God’s voice.

There are three lessons to learn from this study.

First, God’s solutions are often strange and simple, so be open.  God is not complexed or complicated.  Stay open to His strange yet simple solutions.

Second, God’s promotions are usually sudden and surprising, so be ready.  When you least expect it, it will come.  God watches you as you faithfully carry out your tasks and will call you at a moment to carry out a job.

Third, God’s selections are always sovereign and sure, so be sensitive.

If you and I had been Jews living in the year 1020 BC, the same could have happened.  All of our attention would have been focused upon a man named Saul, the first king of Israel.  He was the focal point of the Jewish world at that time.  He was taking the country by storm.  Meanwhile, a “nobody” was keeping the sheep for his father on the Judean hillsides near the hamlet of Bethlehem.  A little boy named David whom nobody noticed..except God.

God’s Heart, God’s Man, God’s Ways – The Study of David – Part 1

November 24, 2008

David is the only one in all of Scripture to be called “a man after God’s own heart”.  His name is mentioned more than any other Old Testament character in the pages of the New Testament. As a poet, musician, courageous warrior, and national statesment, David distinguished himself as one of God’s greatest men. In battle, he modeled invincible confidence. In decisions, he judged with wisdom and equity. In loneliness, he wrote with transparent vulnerability and quiet trust.  In friendship, he was loyal to the end. Whether a humble shepherd boy or an obscure musician before King Saul, he remained faithful and trustworthy. Even in his promotion to the highest position in the land, David modeled integrity and humility.  What a man of God! But, as we shall see, David (like us) was anything but perfect.  Having earned the public’s trust and respect, he forfeits it all a brief season of sensual pleasure.  Then, as the consequences kick in, we discover another side of the man’s makeup – lustfulness as a husband, weakness as a father, and partiality as a leader.  It’s all there, written for all to learn, preserved for all to remember.  A great man, though far from perfect, nevertheless lived a life with strength worth emulating.  Since our world is desperately in need of models worth following, here is one deserving of our time and attention: David, a man of passion and destiny.

Over the next few weeks, we will study David’s life within the pages of God’s Word.  There the true man will be revealed.  Let’s begin.

On the surface there seemed to be nothing about David that would have impressed.  David looked like any other Jewish boy. Though the Bible describes David in 1 Samuel 16:12 as ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features, nothing about his outward appearance seemed to set him apart in any way.  How many of you know that the Lord did not look at the things men looked at, when choosing His man, David? To man, David was but a mere shepherd and young at that.  Not even his Father, Jesse, thought of David as the Bible tells us that even after seven of Jesse’s sons had passed before Samuel, he still asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” Can you picture this scene, as Jesse stood scratching his head when he suddenly remembers that there is still one sons remaining?  With that being said, Samuel requests David’s presence and suddenly a young nobody becomes a somebody, but before we get to David the king of Israel, we need to go back about forty years and get a sense of history and background, so we can appreciate the world he which he lived.

David lived during a time when the people’s hearts had drifted far from God.  Eli and his wicked were gone. Eli’s chosen successor, Samuel, the last of God’s judges, old in years, appoints his sons as judges over Israel.  What a mistake!  The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 8:1-3 that his sons did not walk as their father, turning aside after dishonest gain, taking bribes and perversing justice. Disillusioned, desperate and wanting to be like their neighbors, the people demand a king (1 Samuel 8:5-8).  How many of your know that wanting to be like everyone else isn’t always the best thing.

Grieved by the people’s demand, Samuel takes it God in prayer and He gives them exactly what they wanted, but not without a warning.  Stubbornly they listen and against God’s desires they select a king.  The man they chose was Saul.  The Bible describes him as tall, dark, and handsome man.  He comes on the scene mightily, sweeping the people off their feet.  In the beginning stages of his reign, Saul was a humble man, with the ability to rally the people around any cause.  But guess what happened?  Before long, Saul became thin skinned, hot tempered and given to seasons of depression.  So much for the man who was suppose to be the people’s choice.

David was born ten years after Saul became king. Wow, what a time to be born! The people’s hearts had drifted away from God and to make matters worse, they were now disillusioned with the leader they had chosen.  What were they to do with the king they had chosen now that he wasn’t walking with God?  Can you imagine what they were feeling?  Yet, God in love, doesn’t abandon them.  Through Samuel, He intervenes. The Bible tells us (1 Samuel 13:13-14) that Samuel confronts Saul about it and tells him that God has appointed a new king who is a man after His own heart.

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of people does God choose to use?  To determine that we need to look first at 1 Corinthians 1.  This passage tells us that God also has chosen the world’s insignificant and despised people and nobodies in order to bring to nothing those who amount to something, so that nobody may boast in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 1:28-29).  That’s a principle we tend to forget.  When we look for people to admire, we usually choose them because of the they do to dazzle us.  We want the best and the brightest, but that’s not the way God makes His choices.  When God scans the earth for potential leaders, He is searching for men and women like you and me, and like David.  So what did He see in David, what qualities did this mere man have that caught God’s eye?

The first quality God saw in David was spirituality.  The Bible says that the sought our a man after His own heart.  What does that mean?  It seems to me that this is telling us that God wanted someone whose life was in harmony with God.  When you are deeply spiritual, your heart is sensitive to the things of God (2 Chronicles 16:9).  What is God looking for?  He is looking for a person whose heart is completely His, meaning there are no lock doors, nothing swept under the rug.

The second quality God saw in David was humility.  God saw David’s heart and knew that it completely belonged to Him.  David had a servant’s heart, the very thing God was looking for.  God didn’t want a person with a slick public image.  He wanted a man with character, humble and willing enough to assume His divine character. He didn’t need a man with charisma, size or even an impressive track record.  He wanted a person whose heart was spiritually walking with him in humility.  When you have a servant’s heart, you’re humble.  You do what you are told.  You don’t rebel, respecting those appointed over you.  A servant doesn’t care who gets the glory.  Their goal is to make the person he serves look better, ensuring they don’t fail.  Isnt that exactly how David was?

The third quality David had was integrity (Psalm 78:71-72).  God is not looking for magnificent specimens of humanity.  He is looking for deeply spiritual, genuinely humble and honest to the core servants who have integrity.   Integrity is what you are when nobody’s looking. It means bone deep honest.

How did God train David for the leadership role?  His training ground was lonely, obscure, monotonous, and real.  First God trained David in solitude.  He needed to learn life’s major lessons alone before he could be trusted with responsibilities and rewards before the public.  Solitude has nurturing qualities all its own.  Second, David grew up in obscurity.  Men and women of God, servant leaders in the making are first unknown, unseen, unappreciated and unapplauded.  In the relentless demands of obscurity, character is built.  Those who first accept the silence of obscurity are best qualified to handle the applause of popularity.  The third training ground is monotony.  That’s being faithful in the menial, insignificant, routine, regular, unexciting, uneventful, daily tasks of life.  Life without a break…without the wine and roses, just dull and plain. The fourth training ground is reality. Up until now you might have the feeling that despite the solitude, obscurity and monotony, David was just sitting out on some hilltop in a mystical haze, composing a great piece of music or relaxing in the pastures.  That is the farthest thing from the truth.  In 1 Samuel 17:34-35, David is standing by Saul, as the great giant Goliath spews his challenges to the Israel Army.  Remember Saul, that great big, tall guy?  Here he stands shaking in his boots and hiding from Goliath.  Without a moment of hesitation, David responds to Goliath’s threat.   Where did he get the courage?  He learned it during the times he was all alone with God. From David’s perspective, if he overcame the strength of a bear and lion, Goliath would be of no greater challenge as long as God was with Him.

There are so many things we can learn from David’s life.  First, it’s in the little things and in the lonely places that we prove ourselves capable of the big things.  To become a person with a large vision, you must cultivate the habit of doing the small things well.   The test of your life is how well you do when there’s nobody to check on you, when nobody is looking.  Second, when God develops our inner qualities, He’s never in a hurry.  The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.  When God develops character, He works on it throughout a life time.  He’s never in a hurry.

6 Ways to Pray

November 23, 2008

1. Aspirations.  A strong aspiration and desire to pray will create the proper climate for effective intercession. (2 Corithians 7:7, Matthew 5:6)

2.  Fervency.  Fervency changed Elijah’s situation, suspended natural laws, and brought about supernatural miracles through prayer. (James 5:16-18)

3. Perseverance. On some items, there will be instant results as we pray, while answers for other requests might take time. However, Scripture talks about persevering and enduring until the answer comes, learning to add patience to our faith. (Ephesians 6:18, Hebrews 6:12)

4. Intercession.  Addresses the pray-er needs, assists in intercession for other.  True pray-ers know the importance of standing in the gap between God and others until the result comes.

5. Praying in tongues. (Jude 20 Amp, Ephesians 6:18)

6. Choose a comfortable posture: Kneeling, sitting, standing, prostrating

Six Kinds of Prayer

November 22, 2008

1) Intercession is standing in the gap to reconcile a supplier with the needy.  It is learning to bear up people, places, or situations in prayer.  (Isaiah 59:16)

2) Faith.  The prayer of faith is asking God to intervene in a situation. It is urgent and therefore comes up when an immediate result is desired (James 5:15)

3) Consecration. The prayer of consecration is offered when the believer needs to know or do the will of God. At such times, the expressions “if it be thy will” or “let they will be done” become appropriate (Matthew 26:39)

4) Petition. The prayer of petition is often called supplication in Scripture.  It gives the believer the opportunity to petition God until the answer comes.  While the prayer of faith is prayed once and requires immediate response, the prayer of petition may be presented several times, either an oral or written request (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

5) Praise. Praise if a form of prayer.  It is praising the supplier without focusing on the need (Jeremiah 32:17)

6) Agreement. When at least two or three people band together in the name of Jesus to request a thing from God, God promises to grant it. The power of this prayer is in the quality of agreement and the strength of unity among those who are praying (Matthew 18:19-20)

Eternal Communion – The Ark of the Covenant – Prayer – Conclusion

November 21, 2008

Let’s look more closely at the ark.  Instead of focusing on its construction, I would like to talk about what it symbolizes in being a third dimension intercessor.  I believe, the ark represents the human heart – the deepest, most intimate part of who you are, and the place where the glory of God can take up residence and transform everything around you. 

As with all the other elements in the tabernacle and its furniture, God gave specific instructions to Moses for the construction of the ark of the covenant. Exodus 25:10-16 says, “They shall make an ark of acacia wood: two and half cubits long, a cubit and a half  wide, and a cubit and a half high.  You shall overlay the ark with pure gold, inside and out, and make a gold crown, a rim or border, around its top.  You shall cast four golden rings and attach them to the four corners of it, two rings on either side.  You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. And put the poles through the rings on the ark’s sides, by which to carry it.  The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it [that the ark be not touched]. And you shall put inside the ark the Testimony [the Ten Commandments] which I will give you”

Foreknowing that a believer’s body would ultimately house the Holy Spirit, God demonstrated that He didn’t need to create something to house an enormous seat of power.  Remember, the human heart is so powerful that it forms, develops, and starts beating in a fetus before the brain develops.  It’s the organ in your body that doesn’t have to obey the brain.  In fact, the heart keeps beating long after the brain is dead.  Interesting thing, the measurements of the cherubim on the mercy seat are similar to the measurements of the human chest cavity.  Your heart – the head of your temple – can hold tremendous power, which is imparted directly from heaven in third dimensional, threshing floor prayer.

The ark was overlaid with solid gold on the inside and outside, which represents the perfected union of God and man.  Let’s look quickly at the three elements that were placed within the ark:

1) The testimonial tablets (Exodus 24:12) which represents the perfected Word of God manifested in your life.

2) Aaron’s rod which budded as a symbol against rebellion to God-given authority (Numbers 17:8-10)

3) An omer of manna which represents supernatural provision and freedom from bondage (Exodus 16:32-34)

When these three elements were maintained inside the ark, it housed the glory of God.  Without them present, the ark became just another empty gold box.  When the testimonial tablets were missing, the “empty” ark could not be kept in the tabernacle.  Do you see what God is telling you? We must also come to understand that in order for us to walk in the perfected power of God, these same elements must be present and remain:

1. There must be a manifestation of the Word, not just sitting in my heart, but operative in my everyday lifestyle.  My life must come to a place where I am no longer failing every test and being defeated on every hand.  I must have testimonies. 

2.  Just like Aaron’s rod budding, I must be able to not just stand against that which rebels against God, but in everything I am, I must come to a place that whatever decision God makes for me, my answer is, “Yes, Lord, Thy will be done”.  I must be willing and obedient to His every command, and Aarons budding rod is there to remind me that if I choose at any given time to walk in rebellion, I will end up walking out a penalty.

3.  My omer of manna represents the fact that I have come to trust the Lord, not the man, for everything I need…therefore freeing me from the bondage of worry and fear.  My experience during my time in the wilderness brought me to a place where I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God will supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory, therefore freeing me from leaning on the arms of flesh.

If your heart is not perfected through the process of these elements, you will not be able to come into the most holy place of His glory! An empty heart can not dwell in the secret place. Let’s review.  The work of the sacrifices is done in the outer court, and the holy place contains the workings of the sanctuary.  But when  you pass through the veil into the most holy place, the work of the flesh ceases and the work of the heart of God begins. It is there that you will begin to see what God is doing, over and above hearing His voice.  Every time God is preparing to do something that is going to change the course of your life and surroundings, He will show it to you before hand.  This is why some things cannot be spoken, because the devil would try to take them. Satan will come along and give you another “word” to confuse your sense of direction – but on this level it becomes a little more difficult for him to confuse your vision.  He can’t tell you what you didn’t see in the depths of your spirit man.

One of the best ways to recognize a true vision from God is that it should not make any sense to your natural mind.  It should look like something you couldn’t possibly do. It’s too big for your mind to handle. It costs too much… it would be impossible to accomplish.  It’s not your level or grade in the Spirit.  If a vision doesn’t scare your flesh to death, then it most likely didn’t come from God.  It should be so awesome that it should look as if you don’t have what it takes to walk out this vision, nevertheless, your spirit says, “I’m going to do it anyway.”

Have you ever seen people praising God and then just fall to the floor without anyone touching them?  When you tap into the third realm, your body automatically yields into a prostrate position under the weight of His glory.  Something inside is helping you to understand that you are in the presence of the Spirit whom  you are not worthy to see.  When you encounter the glory of this realm, the flesh profits nothing.  Your spirit can only commune with the Spirit of the Lord as you lie prostrate at His feet. The more you come to God with a pure heart, the more He will take you to new levels and fresh, exciting experiences through your walk of prayer.  If you are ready to find God beyond religion, denominationalism or anything you have ever experienced – He is calling for you.  Let God lead you through His patter of prayer all the way into His presence behind the veil…because that’s where the impossible is not only the possible – it becomes reality.

The Power of Intercession – Entering the Most Holy Place – Prayer – Part 14

November 17, 2008

You are about to enter into the most sacred part of the tabernacle. Before God will allow you to operate in the faith that brings results through effectual prayer and intercession, there are foundational requirements for every intercessor that you must satisfy in your life.  Now let’s look straight ahead at the divine entrance through the veil. There you will see the golden altar of incense.  Because the golden altar of incense was centered in the tabernacle structure, it was the nearest piece of furniture to the divine presence of God behind the veil.  It represented the heart of the tabernacle service.  Anyone could come into the outer court and wash at the brazen laver before sacrificing at the brazen altar, but only the lower priests and the high priest were allowed to serve in the holy place amidst the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick and the golden altar.  And only the high priest could enter into the most holy place.

God administers a tremendous warning in Scripture to those who are not spiritually qualified to minister in intercession and prayer. We must carefully guard against mixing the wrong ingredients into worship.  The sacred ingredients of the holy incense were carefully measured in the right quantity and blended together according to the instruction of the Lord before they were beaten into the fine powder.  When this holy mixture was sprinkled onto the hot coals in the golden altar, it released a sweet fragrance into the atmosphere that permeated the entire holy place.

When you are a true intercessor – a believer who prays, intercedes, and worships at home, at work, in church or wherever you may be, anyone who comes into your presence should be able to feel the presence of God upon you.  There should be a sweet odor of prayer and worship wherever you go.

In 2 Chronicles 26, we find the story of King Uzziah.  As an intercessor, it is important that you understand the nature of this king, for he defied the law of God concerning the altar of incense.  In the early years of his reign, King Uzziah had a relationship with God.  He began his reign correctly under the spiritual covering of the prophet Zechariah. In his early years, King Uzziah yearned for and sought after the Lord, and God prospered him.  Then his situation started to turn.  Uzziah was able to defeat many of the cities of Israel’s enemy the Philistines.  God helped him to be successful and his fame spread abroad.  He developed an extremely strong and capable combat army of more than three hundred thousand men.  He became famous throughout the land, but King Uzziah went from being classified as a person who sought after and yearned for the Lord to becoming a famous man known for his great success.  As his fame became widespread, he began to trust in the strength of his own abilities.  This attitude is extremely dangerous. When pride and arrogance takes over, a haughty spirit follows close behind – which means this person won’t receive correction.  King Uzziah stormed by the brazen laver, ignored the brazen altar and went straight to the holy place. He ignored the table of shewbread and the golden candlestick, which means that he gave no recognition to the Word of God or to the Holy Spirit.  His life was no longer beaten and pressed out.  Pride entered in, and the workings of the flesh were fully manifested in him. Disregarding his degraded spiritual condition, he went inside the holy place straight to the golden altar of incense.  Look what started to play out in verses 17-20. You will not get any credit in heaven for entering into the presence of God illegally.  The true sign of a person who has ignored the prerequisites God established for a true intercessor is this: when correction comes, that person becomes angry and that’s a dangerous place to be with God.

An intercessor starts out seeking God and going forth in Him. That happens long before anyone recognizes the anointing on that person’s life.  Before anyone recognizes your talents or giftings, you begin on your face seeking after God. You yearn after God, panting after Him, but something happens when the fame of becoming an intercessor gets out, and people see the anointing of God on your life. They begin to seek you out.  When that happens, you must be careful not to step over into pride and lose credit with God.

As an intercessor, it is essential that you understand the power of the golden altar of incense.  It must not be disregarded or mishandled.  We must spend quality time at the golden altar to achieve the right mixture of prayers, intercession and worship before God.  We cannot rush into the holy place and expect instant anointing to be given to us on our terms! Each ingredient in the holy incense undergoes a specific process before it is ready to be added to the incense mixture in a specific amount.  For the anointing to be authentic, it must be God’s mixture.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

The Golden Altar of Incense – Prayer – Part 13

November 16, 2008

This third and central piece of furniture in the holy place is the only element capable of ushering you into the divine presence of God. Now you are ready to experience the power of intercession.

Let’s study the definition of the word intercession.  The prefix inter- means, “between, among, mutually, reciprocally”.  The word cession is defined as “the act of ceding”. To cede means “to yield or formally surrender to another, to grant or transfer as by will [meaning the will of God].”  When you become an intercessor, you “stand between and among, you intermarry, you interweave on behalf of another person”. You actually stand between what a person needs and his/her answer from God.  While you are standing there, you act as the point of contact that causes Satan to yield or surrender to the will of God.  You act as one who grants or transfers according to God;s will.  When you become an intercessor, you stand in the gap for somebody else, and you don’t come out of that place until the enemy has fully surrendered that ground and given up that territory to you.

The word intercession is defined as, “an act or instance of interceding, an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person, a prayer to God on behalf of another”.  Another meaning for intercession is to impinge, which means, “to encroach, infringe, to impinge on another’s rights, to strike, to collide, to light; have an effect, ideas that impinge upon or affect the imagination”.  Your prayers infringe upon the enemy; they strike and begin to collide with the enemy.  This makes an eternal impression and a powerful effect against the workings of Satan.

Another root word, encroach, means “to advance beyond established or proper limits, making gradual inroads to trespass upon the property, domain or rights of another, especially gradually or stealthily.” This means that when I begin to intercede and pray on someone’s behalf, I advance beyond the established proper limits. The enemy thinks that it is proper (perfectly understandable and something he expects us to do) for believers to pray from the outer court.  To do so simply tells him that we accept what he is trying to do.  When we go beyond the outer court into the holy place and then behind the veil to our final position in the presence of the Lord, Satan’s works are no longer acceptable to us.

Another root word is importunity, which means “an importunate solicitation or demand”. To be importune means “to urge or press with excessive persistence, to trouble, to annoy, to make urgent or persistent solicitations”.  When you are a true intercessor, you pray without ceasing – at all times.

Now you are ready to pray in the third realm. As you stand at the golden altar of incense, you are just one step away from a threshing floor experience.  In Exodus 30:1-11, God gave Moses instructions concerning the altar of incense.  There was a significant difference between the construction of the golden altar of incense and the brazen altar.  The brazen altar was made from bronze and wood, but the golden altar was made from shittim wood and overlaid with gold. One of the most notable qualities about the golden altar was that that it was positioned in the center, so it sat in the heart of the holy place.  This correlates to intercession being the heart of God.  Whatever comes from the golden altar must come from you heart.  The condition of your heart can also hinder you from having an intimate relationship with God.

The purpose of the golden altar was threefold: prayer, intercession and worship.  The fire on the golden altar was never suppose to go out. After both altars were lit supernaturally, the priests kept the fires burning continually, taking coals off the brazen altar daily and using them to keep the fire kindled at the golden altar, representing that the fire in our worship, intercession and prayer – though it is rekindled by our ongoing sacrifice –  must come directly from God. It also represents who Jesus Christ is for us – and who we must become for others.

Like the table of shewbread, the golden altar was also made of shittim wood overlaid with gold.  Here again we see a blending of humanity with the deity of God.  The brazen altar, which was structured of shittim wood overlaid with bronze, had limitations because the covering wasn’t pure gold.  If you spiritually embrace only the brazen altar, you will be limited to that level of an experience with God, one based on the limitations of humanity.  But if you embrace the golden altar which was constructed of wood overlaid with gold (symbolizing the deity of God), your prayers, intercession and worship will be strengthened by the supernatural deity of God.

The golden altar was constructed to be three fee in height which corresponded to the height of the ark of the covenant.  In practice, this means that when you worship at the golden altar, that piece of furniture brings you to the level where you can commune with God according to His divine pattern.

The holy incense that burned continually upon the coals of the golden altar was made up of several ingredients.  This divine mixture of “pure and holy” ingredients symbolized our prayers, intercession and worship – ignited by our sacrifice – giving us entrance into the third realm, the divine presence and revelation of God, behind the veil from the mercy seat.

There were four ingredients used to create the holy incense (Exodus 30:34-35).

The first spice in the holy incense was stacte, a resin that would ooze spontaneously out of the storax tree.  By revelation, I believe this means that our prayers, worship, and intercession must not be programmed.  They must emerge spontaneously at the direction of the Spirit of God.   Stacte must be a part of your prayers, intercession and worship because God needs for you to be instantly obedient to His voice and promptings.

The second spice that was part of the holy incense was onycha which was extracted from the shellfish that lived in the depths of the Red Sea.  The revelation of this means you must have depth in your worship.  Your level of prayers, intercession, and worship unto God must come from a depth in the Spirit. You must be able to leave the surface of what has already been done to tap into a realm of new experiences that flow from the heartbeat of God. The onycha anointing also means that God will require you to think more deeply about prayers you pray than to constantly repeat Jesus’ model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).  When you are in front of the golden altar of incense, the deep things of the Spirit of God will call forth the deep that is within you (Psalm 42:7).

The third spice was galbanum, a pungent resin that could only be acquired by breaking or splitting the branch of a tree.  The word pungent means, “affecting the organs of taste or smell with a sharp acrid sensation”.  In other words, it was a bitter ingredient, not all pleasant to the senses. As an intercessor, there will be times when you go through galbanum experiences.  Yet during difficult seasons and manifestations, you must come to a place where you can declare, “though I am having a bitter experience, I’m still going to stay in position of prayer, intercession and worship.” As you serve at the golden altar of incense, God will begin to train you in order to help you understand that everything in your life is not always going to run smoothly.  But in the midst of these galbanum experiences, you must learn how to keep offering up prayers, intercession, and worship unto God from a deep place in your spirit.

The fourth and final spice that was added to the holy incense was frankincense, a resin that was collected early in the morning from the Boswellia tree (Psalm 63:1-2).  When you seek the Lord from the ingredient of frankincense, you are seeking Him early – which doesn’t necessarily mean a time of day.  This precious resin is collected early in the morning because it readily flows out at that time.  You must seek God early in the morning.  In the holy place, it becomes your way of life to seek Him early.  When you do this, there will always be a ready flow of His Spirit.  You will have a consistent flow of His anointing.

After blending the four elements together, one final element was used to temper them all (Exodus 30:35), salt.  The Bible says we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).  You are the key element that brings it all together at the golden altar.  You have to make prayer, intercession and worship a personal priority.  You have to invest yourself into this divine process completely.

At this point you are just a heartbeat away from a threshing floor experience behind the veil.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

The Golden Candlestick (The Holy Place) – Prayer – Part 13

November 16, 2008

The golden candlestick or menorah (Exodus 25:31-40) represents light and illumination, so it symbolizes divine understanding of the Word, the next level of insight and revelation where Word and Spirit are one.  At this point, you are becoming able to see and apply the Word whenever and wherever it is needed.

The menorah was made of solid gold.  There was no wood in this piece of furniture and there were no measurements given.  Since there was no wood, humanity wasn’t represented in the candlestick.  The function of the candlestick and what it symbolized has nothing to do with humanity.

In studying Jewish culture, it is said that when God instructed Moses to make the menorah, Moses lamented because the dimensions, details, and curves of the candlestick were impossible for him to envision.  So God showed him a menorah of fire and eventually instructed him to throw the stem into the fire from which the completed menorah emerged.  Moses didn’t have the tools to create the menorah according to God’s specification, so God formed it supernaturally.  This leaves us with the understanding that when you embrace the menorah, you have come to the place where God begins to perform everything He reveals to you in prayer.  You receive the illumination and God does the work.  This means there are no limitations as you embrace the element.  You have access to the mind of the Spirit and are able to discern the deep things of God.

The menorah had a stem (representing God) and six branches (representing the number of man, the church, which was born out of Him) (John 15:5).  The golden candlestick helps us to see that Jesus is the vine (stem) and we are the branches (six candles) coming out of Him (John 15:6). An intercessor who disconnects from the vine goes back to the outer court.  By illumination of the candlestick, the only thing you are going to ask for in intercession is the will of God because in this realm, His will is the only thing you desire.

The branches of the candlestick have the same decorations as the stem, a design that was beaten and shaped by fire.  This design represents the attributes that Jesus gave the church when we were birthed out from Him.

Jesus gave us His glory (Matthew 5:14). Part of being this light to the world is reflecting His image, symbolized by the fine gold that was beaten for the candlestick until it was smooth and reflective.  The design on the candlestick was comprised of almonds and flowers which again was beaten and burned into the menorah by fire.  The almond on Aaron’s rod was the first branch to bud and blossom, bring forth fruit to the nations of Israel (Num 17:8). This speaks of the everlasting resurrection.  As you embrace the work of the menorah, God will make sure to burn the image of the almond into your life. When the image of the almond is in your spirit, it doesn’t matter how many tests you endure or how many trials you go through, you have eternal “getting up power”.  You have life and can speak life into any situation.

The flower represents everlasting beauty.  If people cannot see the beauty of Christ when they look at you, if they cannot experience the sweet anointing of the Holy Spirit, if there’s nothing about your person that others desire, then the image of the flower isnt apparent in your life.

One final aspect of the golden candlestick is the fact that it was lit by the coals from the brazen altar.  The fire of God that lit the altar originally came from glory in the third realm, lighting the golden altar of incense and then the brazen altar.  By revelation this means that if there has never been any sacrifice in your life, and if you fail to willingly put yourself on the altar of sacrifice daily, then there will be no fire to light the golden candlestick in your life.  There will be no reflection of God’s character for others to see.

The fire on the brazen altar will go out unless you continue to sacrifice to put your flesh and your will on the altar of sacrifice.  If this sacrificial fire goes out, the fires of illumination on the golden candlestick will subsequently be extinguished.  Even worse, the coals of the golden altar of incense will smolder and die.

Sacrifice is a vital element. Saying yes to God in your mind and in your spirit continually adds wood to the brazen altar and makes it possible to receive illumination in the holy place, making it easy to worship Him at the altar of incense.  Personal sacrifice safeguards your understanding of what God desires to do in the lives of the people for whom you are praying.  Sacrifice lights the way to prayer.

The golden menorah was crafted of the finest solid gold.  The almond shape represented the resurrected power and the image of the flower represented everlasting beauty.  This means when we go into intercession and the enemy starts shooting fiery darts at you, your love does not change, your joy isn’t hindered, your peace keeps flowing like a river, and your long suffering/temperance kick in as you carry the burden of the Lord. When you reach the golden lamp stand you will have a solid gold encounter with God.

You may wonder what kept the menorah lit.  God instructed Aaron and his sons to keep the lamp stand filled with pure olive oil (Exodus 27:20-21).  The pure oil of crushed olives symbolizes the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When you look into the process they used to make this olive oil, it speaks strongly of the threshing process.  Basically, as the olive grows to maturity, the early fruit falls to the ground.  Then at harvest time, they beat the trees with long sticks to yield the rest of the crop, and then gather all the olives off the ground.  Then the oil was pressed out by crushing the olives in the hollow of a stone or by treading on them by foot.  When the olives were first pressed, two different lots of oil would come forth.  The first press was called extra virgin olive oil, meaning in its purest state.  This was the oil that was used to keep the golden candlestick burning.

When you go to the point of wanting to be used by God, we must receive the anointing of the pure olive oil that illuminates.  This goes beyond just having fire or intensity because the menorah will stay lit continually only if it is filled with the oil of the anointing.

One final aspect is related to the golden candlestick (Acts 2:1-4). As an intercessor, you need the oil of the spirit on a daily basis.  This means that it is an absolute necessity for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit as the disciples were on the Day of Pentecost. Without that infilling, there will be no supernatural utterances from heaven in your prayer closet. Since oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit and oil had to be refilled in the candlestick twice daily to keep the holy place illuminated, there is a strong emphasis on the vital role this experience hold in an intercessor’s life.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

The Table of ShewBread (the Holy Place) – Prayer – Part 12

November 15, 2008

Now let’s look at the contents of the holy place.

When you enter the holy place, to the right you will find the table of shewbread. This table was constructed of shittim (Acacia) wood and overlaid with gold. Shittim wood was incorruptible.  It was the same wood they used to construct the ark of the covenant.  It would stand up against storms, heat or severe conditions. The fact that it was overlaid with gold means that it represents humanity (wood) covered by the deity of Jesus (gold).  The table of shewbread also represents the Word of God.  It was inlaid with a crown which symbolized the crown of kingship.  Twelve loaves of specially baked bread were on the table at all times. These loaves were baked on Friday and replaced every Sabbath – and they miraculously remained as hot and fresh on the Sabbath day as when they were first baked.  At the end of seven days, when the loaves were replaced, they were still fresh enough to be divided among the priests. The crown spoke of a king’s responsibility to provide for the safety and prosperity of the nation.  As an intercessor, the shewbread represents that you can receive a fresh word from God daily.  The people for whom you intercede will prosper as the King of the universe sends heavenly provision through you by way of prayer, making it vital for you to read His Word daily.

As an intercessor, you must have an unlimited resource of the Bread of Life from heaven present within you as you perform the service of the Lord at the table of shewbread.  (Matthew 26:26-28) The brazen laver gives you new life as it washes you through the power of the Word.  Then when you enter the holy place, the shewbread becomes the bread of maintenance as you begin to eat the Word of God (John 6:53-57). As an intercessor you must eat of Christ to become like Him and be prepared to battle in the heavenly realm.  You have to digest the Word regularly to maintain a transformed lifestyle.  THe shewbread is your strength.   It is the table of shewbread where the intercessor must embrace and partake of the Word of God because this is where the Word becomes your sword.  Not only do you gain strength at this table, but you also forge (sharpen) your supernatural weapon.  This is the place where the Word turns into power as the Lord gives you permission to use the Word on behalf of someone else.  Now that you are in the holy place, you have entered the realm of divine illumination – the place where you are justified and qualified to pray on behalf of others.

The Holy Place – Prayer – Part 11

November 14, 2008

As you prepare to enter the holy place, having been washed, dressed, anointed, and consecrated, you must remember that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him”.  You must remember that you came into the outer court through the gate of His finished work.  He became the way for you to see your true reflection in the brazen laver and to sacrifice your will on the brazen altar.  Now at the door of the tabernacle, you are about to enter the realm of intercession.  You have come into a deeper walk with the Lord under the new anointing He has poured upon your life.

But as I said earlier, at this new level you must approach the Father by way of Jesus Christ.  The door has the same four colors that were in the gate: white, blue, purple and scarlet. But now, they have taken on a deeper meaning.  Let’s see how this applies in your daily walk.  According to 1 Corinthians 1:30 and Revelation 19:7-8, the white, fine-twined linen speaks of the Lord, who has become your righteousness.  His righteousness can now be clearly seen in you by others.  It is the foundation and assurance of victory for every burden you receive from God in Prayer.  Blue (turquoise), the color of heaven, speaks of Jesus as the second man, the Lord from Heaven.  He was revealed to you at the gate, and now He’s being manifested in you daily as the living Word.  When people see you standing at the door of the tabernacle, they will begin to see the kingdom and will of God being validated in the earth through you.

Purple is the color of kingship which means you can be clearly identified as an ambassador of the royal family of Jesus Christ.  When people see you in the natural, they see you beyond your title, gender or nationality, all the way to your biblical roots.  Principalities and powers in the Spirit realm will also begin to recognize your heritage and bow to your royal lineage.

The last color is scarlet which speaks of a sacrificial blood that Jesus shed for you to be saved and come into a deeper relationship with Him.  It also signifies that the battle has already been fought and won for you in the Spirit realm.  Now as you begin to make intercession, fully clothed in your priestly garments, you will be able to experience the blood of Jesus going before you and setting the captives free.

In the Holy place, the realm of total truth, God requires that the grace of His Son be made manifest in you. Why? This door, the first veil of the tabernacle was not merely an entrance to an enclosed space.  This door shut out common (natural) men.  Most importantly, it was the only passageway that led to the manifest presence of God on the threshing floor.

Are you ready to enter His marvelous light? Eternal light is your final destination.  Now you must walk knowing that you have come out of the outer court where the light is only temporary.  As an intercessor, the works of Christ must progressively be revealed in and through you.  You can never go back.  As you prepare to enter the holy place, know that you will begin to operate in the supernatural light as you learn to pick up the burden of the Lord.  Remember, God hasn’t called you into the marvelous light just for you to sit there and gaze or to be afraid on this new level and run back to the comfort zone of the outer court.  There is a divine purpose for you and grace to meet every need just beyond that door.

There are two reasons why priests entered the holy place.  The first was to perform the service of the Lord. In performing the temple service, they made sure to replace the shewbread regularly which represented the Word of God.  They kept the menorah filled with olive oil which represented the light of the Lord and the oil of the anointing.  They also kept a constant fire burning on the altar of incense representing the place of worship and total surrender, ensuring that the glory of the Lord was maintained in that whole area.

The second reason they entered was to lay prostrate before God in prayer.  Both purposes speak of a higher degree of separation and devotion to God.  The golden altar represents a place, time, and position in prayer where you are separated from everybody else. Once you have gone through all the stages of altar – you will be able to experience the oil of the anointing.  The Word of the Lord will become alive to you at the golden altar and true worship will begin to rise out of your spirit.

This is your place of separation.  This is also why prayer can be practiced anywhere.  This is how we know that we are on our way to the threshing floor because separation is the heart of the threshing process. To thresh means “to separate grain or seeds from straw by beating the stems and husks”.  The divine threshing process actually begins when you enter the gate to the outer court in prayer.  Then the process of personal repentance in the outer court separates you from a life of sin into a life of obedience to God.  Now that you have moved into the holy place, the separation continues as you begin to live within His purpose.  Each piece of the tabernacle furniture deepens your intercessory experience.

The furniture inside the holy place was positioned with the table of shewbread to the north, the golden candlestick to the south, and the golden altar of incense to the west of the outer elements.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

The Tabernacle Coverings – Prayer – Part 10

November 12, 2008

As God brings you into the holy place, you must become aware of the tabernacle furniture and how each element relates to you in prayer.  This will be the next part of your learning process, but there is a very important thing you must understand – God will never call you to intercede on behalf of the saints and into battle against the hands of the enemy without protecting and covering  you.

The outer court is open to the winds, storms, and other weather conditions that may blow your way as you learn to submit your life to God.  However, once you walk into the holy place, you are covered.  As we study about each covering, you will see a definite connection to the priestly garments.  God makes a strong point about the garments and the coverings.

Let’s start by looking more closely at the tabernacle.  It has two sections, the holy place and the most holy place.  God originally established the tabernacle through Moses so there would be a place for His presence to rest among His people (Exodus 25:8).  Do you think the enemy could remain anywhere that God has chosen to rest? Absolutely not! The presence of God will cover you as you make intercession – as long as you remain properly clothed, so don’t fall back into the outer court living!

If you were to stand back just before entering into the holy place, and then look up and around, you would see that the holy place and the most holy place were parts of the tabernacle structure that required covering.  Exodus 26:1-14 lists the four layered tabernacle coverings.

The first tabernacle curtain was woven of white “fine twined linen” and three different colors of wool: turquoise, purple and scarlet. This layer of covering was classified as “the tabernacle” and was made from the same basic material that was used to weave the priestly ephod in Exodus 28:6.  The difference between the two can be seen in the fact that the ephod had a gold strand of thread woven in with each of the other four threads, and the tabernacle curtains did not.  The curtains had four, not five, threads that were woven together into an ornate pattern of cherubim, as well as figures of the lion, eagle, and ox, which could be seen on either side of the fabric.

Here in the design of the curtains we once again see the colors of the finished work of Christ, which laid the foundation for the tabernacle coverings.  The first fabric mentioned is the white linen which speaks of the garments of righteousness and salvation that have been given to the saints (Isaiah 61:1-3, 10).

The first covering of the tabernacle in Exodus 26:1 displays not only the four workings of Christ through its colors, but also the images of the cherubim, the lion, the eagle and the ox (Ezekial 1:4-10, Revelation 4:7).  The images of the lion, eagle, and bull correspond to one of the colors in the workings of Christ, and e4ach of these images has significance in prayer.  The is why they were intricately woven into the design of this first (foundational) covering.

Cherubim are very different from angels.  God commanded that cherubim be woven into the fabric because they are a manifestation of everything He is.  Angels work on behalf of God in the service of humanity. Cherubim live around the throne of God, exalting Him continually and reflecting His glory.  The cherubim embroidered on the tabernacle curtains represent the inwrought work of cherubim who cover you in intercessory prayer and manifest the intricate workings and operation of the Holy Spirit on behalf of the Father and the Son.  As you pray, the cherubim remind you of the life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

The image of the lion corresponds to purple in the workings of Christ.  It speaks of the righteousness that has been imputed to you as part of the royal priesthood.  The lion reminds you of your royal lineage and lets you know that you are now operating in authority that transformed you in the outer court.  Because of this you can come boldly to the throne of grace.

The eagle corresponds with blue.  It reminds you that God enables your spirit to touch Him in the heavenly realm.  Blue speaks of operating in the supernatural. When you see the eagle, you are assured that God will mount you up on His wings and show you the mysteries of heaven so that you can bring His kingdom to the earthly realm.

The image of the ox (bull) corresponds to red.  Bullocks were sacrificed for the sins of the high priest or the nation.  This image represents that you are to remain broken before the Lord so that you can receive and carry His intercessory burdens for the church.  A bull charges toward death, so as the Holy Spirit leads you to your final position in prayer at the threshing floor, your spirit will charge toward God knowing that no flesh can see His face and live.

When you walk into the holy place clothed in your priestly garments, a powerful divine match takes place in the heavenlies.  Identifying with the colors and images in the first tabernacle covering identifies you with all the workings of Jesus Christ.

The second layer of covering over the tabernacle was made from black goat’s hair (Exodus 26:7). This layer of the curtains, classified as the “tent” was placed on top of the first covering.  Goats were used to atone for the sins of individuals, from rulers to common people.  This means as a intercessor, you will receive the grace to carry the burden of the Lord for anyone, anywhere, at any time – without becoming offended or affected by the person’s sin. Since the black goat’s hair was laid directly on top of the first tabernacle curtain, it assures you that your sins have been covered; for this reason you should not allow the enemy to remind you constantly of what you used to be.

The third tabernacle covering (Exodus 26:14) is made from ram’s skin dyed red and it was one of the final two layers, which were referred to as “covers”.  The ram was used in guilt offerings.  In addition, two rams were part of the sacrifices presented to Aaron and his sons when they were inaugurated (Exodus 29:15-28).  After sacrificing the first ram as an elevation offering to God, the second sacrificial ram was called “the ram of perfection”.  Every aspect of the ram is powerful. The ram is a sacrifice, a substitute, provision for our table, and a symbol of consecration for divine service.  It confirms and completes the divine pattern.  This represents that you can have perfect victory in prayer as you depend upon the Lord and upon those things that He already established in heaven and in the earth.  Finally through this ram skin covering, God speaks to you from Isaiah 1:18. Remember this when you are entering into intercession.

The fourth and final tabernacle covering was made of badger’s skin (dolphin or porpoise in the Amplified – Exodus 26:14).  This layer was the final cover that provided overall protection for each of the other layers.  The badger skins were considered strong enough to protect every other layer of the tabernacle against heat, storms and dirt.  Nothing could penetrate that skin.  When the badger skin was laid over the tabernacle, it didn’t matter what the weather was like outside – the glory still remained on the inside.  This is a final confirmation that as you guard your garments and make intercession, you will be protected from any outside onslaught of the devil.  The badger’s skin was actually a transitional covering, used not only when the tabernacle was resting in one place, but also while it was being move to a new location.  While you are learning how to move in the things of God and discovering the realm of the supernatural, you must trust that the badger’s skin is there to protect you against the wiles of the enemy – because supernatural experiences can be difficult to comprehend.

There is one final aspect about the tabernacle coverings that really minister to me.  Specific measurements are given for the first two coverings, the linen embroidered curtain and the black goat’s skin.  However, when we read about the skins of the ram and the badger, there are no measurements.  There are no measurements because Christ’s sacrifice cannot be measured.  His divine substitution on your behalf cannot be measured.  His ability to consecrate you in His presence can not be measure.  And finally, His divine protection against the wiles of the enemy cannot be measured.

The price has already been paid for you.  The work has already been done. You have come through the gate, which made the way for you in the outer court.  You are fully clothed.  Now that you have walked through the door of the tabernacle, which is the truth – you are fully covered to become an effectual intercessor.

Now it is time to go deeper into the tabernacle.  It’s time to go one step closer to your final position in prayer on the threshing floor.  So stay tune for Part 11 – The Holy Place.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

The Holy Anointing Oil – Prayer – Part 9

November 11, 2008

Now that you are completely dressed for battle, you understand the requirements of how you are to be dressed so that you can be guaranteed of consistent victories in your times of prayer.  You now understand that the Lord not only desires for you to know who He is, but He also wants you to understand every level and every position that you are in when you are entering into His presence.

God desires that you not be confused about your posture in prayer, your place in prayer, and your garments of prayer.  Knowing this, we will move on to one of the most vital elements in the tabernacle – the holy anointing oil.  Since God is a God of detail, He specifically had Moses institute men into the office of becoming Apothecaries who were required by the Lord to become the oil makers for the tabernacle.  He also required that olive oil was used to anoint the tabernacle elements and priests (Exodus 30:24)

The olive oil used to keep the menorah lit continually was made by crushing the olive branch in order to squeeze out the oil.  Other components and ingredients were added to this oil to create a holy anointing oil to anoint the tabernacle and its elements, as well as, to anoint Aaron and his sons.  Each ingredient of this fragrant oil represents a different characteristic of the release of God’s power.

This oil represents the illumination of the Lord from His tabernacle in you – His intercessor.  This oil is necessary wherever the Lord requires you to call on His divine presence – whether He sends you to a hospital to pray for a sick person, to pray for someone who has been incarcerated, to go to a mental institution to pray for someone in need, or if He leads you to have a one-on-one counseling session with an individual who is disturbed.  Whenever you feel the unction to pray and bring someone into the holy place, you will need the holy anointing oil.

As you read you will understand why the Lord requires that we use the anointing oil.  You will learn why these ingredients are important if you are going to be an effectual intercessor and experience quality times of prayer in the divine presence.  As we look back to Moses’ inauguration of Aaron and his sons, it is important to understand that after Aaron and his sons were washed and received their new priestly garments, Moses anointed them with the holy anointing oil.  Then after their seventh day of consecration, fire came down from heaven as they participated in their first priestly service.

As you submit yourself daily to being a living tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, every element in your tabernacle is anointed.  You have passed through the Beautiful Gate by accepting Christ as your personal Savior.  You consistently come to receive the Word by washing at the brazen laver.  You now have the brazen altar within you where you have submitted your will to the Lord.  Now…you are ready to move into the next step of the pattern.

As you prepare to enter into the holy place, you can take that fragrant oil and anoint yourself.  Now you can go in and complete the pattern of the Lord in prayer on behalf of somebody else – and that’s when according to scripture the fire will come down from heaven upon your sacrifice.

In Exodus 28:41, God tells Moses to clothe them, anoint them, ordain them and sanctify them and afterwards, “they would be able to serve Me as priests”.  Leviticus 8:1-30  tells us that after washing and dressing Aaron for service, Moses anointed the tabernacle and then poured oil over Aaron’s head.  After this, he clothed Aaron’s sons in their garments, sacrificed a bull and a ram, and sprinkled the blood and anointing oil upon them.

The oil used for anointing Aaron and his sons is very important.  There is a significance in every ingredient that went into the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-30).  God instructed that the best spices were necessary because an impure mixture would hinder the anointing.

The first ingredient listed in the anointing oil was 500 shekels of liquid myrrh.  For women in Bible days, myrrh was a purifier and an embalming fluid.  God was saying, “Not only do I have to purify your anointing, but I also have to embalm what I put to death so that when you see it again in the realm of the Spirit it wont affect you”.  Myrrh represents our need to be purified for service to God.

The second ingredient was 250 shekels of sweet cinnamon.  This speaks of our attitude and how we treat others.  Have you ever known people who were filled with the Holy Spirit yet were as mean as snakes? They are missing an essential ingredient of the anointing.  Let me ask, “How do you handle yourself when people do not treat you right? Would the ingredient of sweet cinnamon still be apparent in your life?  Ministry is for mature believers, those who have been blood washed, purified, sanctified, and broken under the anointing! Otherwise, your ministry would never survive. Be honest with yourself, there are people in your surroundings right now whom you do not care to speak to. You have to realize that the only way you can be anointed with the sacred oil is to be lied about, talked about, and mistreated.  The very person to whom you are not speaking is your anointing! Sweet cinnamon is an essential part of the anointing…because it represents your attitude and response to others.

The third ingredient was 250 shekels of sweet calamus.  Calamus is also known as “reed grass”.  It thrives on the banks of rivers, growing consistently regardless of age.  It represents the maturity you must develop to be prepared to be an intercessor.  This is another ingredient that sweetens the anointing oil because when we come through the outer court and are about to enter the purpose of God in the holy place, the enemy tries to target us like never before.  So to help us guard our garments, God gives us a double portion anointing of sweetness and maturity – far beyond the normal measure that we see and experience in the natural realm.  Unless you have been anointed with the sweet calamus of spiritual maturity, God will be unable to plant you in the midst of a mess that needs your intercession.  If the sweet calamus of maturity is not a piece of your anointing, you will be unable to grow as you encounter each piece of furniture inside the holy place.  In fact, you won’t be able to get into the door!  If you don’t have sweet calamus as part of your intercessory anointing, you will become stagnant in prayer and won’t be able to go to deeper realms in the spirit.

The final ingredient in the holy anointing oil was 500 shekels of cassia which they added to the mixture in equal proportions to the amount of myrrh.  Cassia is likely to have come from a plant that’s related to cinnamon.  Cassia had to be ground into a powder before being blended into the liquid myrrh along with the other ingredients. This spice symbolized the completion of your anointing.  It shows that everything you have received from the river of the Holy Spirit in prayer has formed the foundation for you anointing.  Cassia represents the fact that people don’t see you anymore, your form, your style of ministry, your personality, and your emotions have all been crushed to be blended into the sweet smelling savor of the divine presence within you.  When you are anointed with cassia, you have learned to walk in the Spirit – to live, move and have your being in God.

When God anoints you with the holy anointing oil, it confirms that He has brought you through the necessary channels so the enemy cannot hinder the assignment God has ordained for you to fulfill in the holy place.  Finally you are preparing to enter the holy place and approach the altar of incense where true intercession is made.  Soon you will enter into the divine presence of God.  You are being anointed to approach the altar of incense – representing power, authority, and kingship – with the right spirit and the right ingredients.  You’ve walked through salvation, strength, and power into a deeper level of the anointing.  You are no longer in the place where you need salvation. You are now in the place where you are getting ready to fight on someone else’s behalf.  You are taking the power and authority in the Spirit realm where you will be in a position to rule and govern what happens in another person’s life – and all of this happen at the golden altar.

Remember, if you fail to guard your garments, you can give place to the devil.  When you have holes in your armor, you become vulnerable to the enemy’s devices. So stay properly dressed and the oil of the anointing will equip you to serve faithfully in the holy place of prayer.  (www.oilofthespirit.com)

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

Adopting A New Heavenly Perspective

November 7, 2008

Ask yourself what is it you want out of life.  Take a look at where you stand.  Is your life where you desire it to be?  Are you headed in a direction that you truly want to go or are you settling for things as they come?  Have you ever said to yourself, “Lord, why me?” or “How long Lord?”

I know exactly how you feel; as I have asked myself the same things so many times that I have lost count.  My life had in no way turned out how I thought it would. It wasn’t until God started speaking to me that I began to see that I was the solution to my circumstances.  So what was I doing so wrong?  I read my Word, I went to church, I even tried conducting myself more Christianly, yet, I saw nothing changing or happening.  Life for the most part was exactly as it always had been.

This inspired me to write to those out there who may be feeling like me, who are looking for answers, who are looking for direction, and who are looking for God.  Do you want more out of life than possessions and money?  Are you looking for a spiritual intimacy with our Lord and Savior?  Are you hungry to know and grow close to Him?  Are you searching for answers that are nowhere to be found? Have you prayed and prayed only to find that the prayers seemed to land on God’s deaf ears?  Have you ever wondered if God was even listening to your cries?

Everyday the enemy bombards our minds with thoughts and our lives with circumstances.  Where does it all end?  One day we are up, the next we are down.  One day life seems peaceful, the next it is in total chaos.  Do you ever feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster, never knowing what the next minute will bring?  I found that in times like these, we are the product of our thoughts.  What we think, usually is what we speak, feel, hear, act and more.   Don’t you feel sometimes that to think right thoughts is as difficult to do as counting the grains of sand on a beach?  Soon as you think you are under control, something else just seems to take you over the edge, making things only worse?

The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:1 that we are to seek or set our minds on the things above.  You might ask yourself, how do I do that when it seems the events of life come at you fast and furiously.  Who has time to think, when reacting is all you can do?  Have you ever thought that this is the very place the enemy wants you to be?  The enemy has studied you your entire life, knowing your every fear, your every insecurity, your every doubt, and more. Taking all he has learned about you, he uses your mind as his battlefield.  To overcome his fiery darts, we must train our minds to think differently.  How do we do that, with all that is happening?

The Bible tells us that we have been raised in Christ, so we must trust that when we rose as a different person that old self died.  This is the key to our walk with Christ because if we want to bring the kingdom and power of God into our lives, we have to have a heavenly perspective, that is, we have to come at the enemy and world from a superior position of authority.  To do that we must seek the things of God, set our minds on them, meditate upon our position, identity and nature in God.  The more we do this, the closer we become to Him, the greater His power and authority manifests in us.  God intends for us to do something because we have been raised.  Remember, we are not who we used to be.  In order to experience the victory Jesus died for, we have to start thinking, meditating and speaking in relationship to who we are.  We have to operate like a person of authority, seeing ourselves from the Biblical perspective as one seated with Christ at the right hand of God.  It is not enough for us to read God’s Word; we must be God’s Word.

Now most people look to the cross as the end, but really the cross is not the end, it is the beginning.  I thank God for the cross, but I also thank God for the burial for without the burial there would be no death to the old self.  Even better yet, I thank God for the resurrection, for without the resurrection there is not a new identity that can live on the inside of us.  We have been given the Holy Spirit and it is through His power that we have the ability to open every dimension of our lives to the supernatural embodiment of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The more we allow the Spirit to manifest in our lives, the more the influence of God will have on our thoughts and circumstances, causing us to become a recipient of whatever we are thinking on.

It is only through knowing God’s Word that we learn about the new man we have become.  The more we know, the more we grow.  If we are diligent in our studies, we will continue to rise above the place we are, reaping the benefits of that new person.  We must go to Christ in our thoughts and in our meditations. Then and only then can we receive from Christ all He has already given us in our new identity. Change the way you think and you change the way you live.  Adopt a new heavenly perspective and exercise the authority given to you by Christ to defeat the enemy and the influence he has on your circumstances.  You are what you think…. You become what you think….  You do what you think….  So what are you thinking?????

The Garments of Completion – Prayer – Part 8

October 27, 2008

God is a God of great details, helping us to understand that in the midst of all that’s happening in our lives today, we can still come into His divine presence. To do this, we will study the priestly wardrobe and discover why God saw fit to have the priests dress a certain way.  When we understand this, we will also understand that it is not enough for the believer simply to attend church.  As God’s people, we must begin to become the church, especially if we are intercessors.

1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that we are temples of the Holy Spirit because we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior.  If there is no priesthood functioning within us, we become people who attend church but have no righteousness.  As a result, we have no power or authority in our Christian experience.  When the priesthood is present in you, then your temple becomes operational. 

Let’s review.  We have already come through the gate and accepted the works of Christ.  We have repented of our sins and been washed at the brazen laver by God’s Word.  We have presented our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord at the brazen altar.  We are clothed with the robe of righteousness – the first garment we receive when we are adopted into the royal priesthood.  We will now take a look more closely at the additional priestly garments.

After clothing Aaron with the tunic of righteousness, Moses girded him with the sash (Leviticus 8:7).  It’s interesting to read that there were two belts in the garments of the high priest.  The first was worn over the tunic and second was part of the ephod.  Just as we are commanded to don our spiritual armor, we must also don the garments of intercession understanding that every part must be worn.  Omitting any piece of the garments would only weaken our spiritual defenses during intercessory.  The belt of truth was worn atop of the tunic of righteousness.  Unlike the belt of the ephod, it is invisible to the naked eye as it serves to girds your loins by holding the tunic together underneath the robe of blue.  Walking in righteousness plays a critical role in our walk with God as it forces us to embrace the truth as we wear the belt of truth. The belt symbolizes our readiness, to go to the world. When you gird up the loins of your mind with the truth of God’s word, you are able to stand in difficult situations for long periods of time because you have the ability to become creative and productive for God, receiving what the Word tells your mind that you can have. 

The next piece of clothing that Moses placed on Aaron was the blue robe, representing your position and authority in God.  This robe is very important to us.  Its colors are extremely significant to God in prayer because they were one of the ways that God chose to bring knowledge of Himself and the heavenly realm to the human race.  Blue represents God’s covering authority, as well as His divinity and grace.  Why are all these things important?  As you go into prayer with a firm hold on your walk of salvation, Satan can’t penetrate your robe of authority and stop what God is doing in your life, praying through instead of praying about.  Not only does the priestly robe give you God’s authority in prayer, but also it covers you while you pray, protecting you against the the devil getting a foothold in your spirit. 

Let’s move on.  Exodus 28:29-32 tells us that the neckband of the priestly robe Moses gave to Aaron was reinforced.  An extra band was woven around the neck opening to keep it from fraying or tearing. The neckband was so strong that if someone had tried to tear this robe off the high priest, it would have broken his neck.  Symbolically, your robe of authority has been so designed that it can never be torn from you.  Because it symbolizes the office of authority and divinity, the robe becomes the strength of your relationship with God in prayer.  Righteousness is your pathway and the belt of truth is what enables you to stand, but when you get into the presence of the Lord, the enemy can never shake the authority of God.  He cannot tear it away from you!

After receiving the robe of blue, the next garment Aaron received was the ephod representing the mediator Jesus Christ and His power to become a servant (Lev 8:7). According to Exodus 28:8, the ephod consisted of gold (deity), blue/turquoise (divinity), purple (the royal One), scarlet (servant and humanity) and white fine-twined linen.  The ephod had an attached belt to provide a second level of girding for intercessory prayer; this belt was able to be seen by others.  Before it was woven with the other colors, the gold cord had to be beaten out symbolizing the trials and tests you have overcome in order to get to this level.  When the Spirit of the Lord finds us girded, He responds by girding Himself to us – so that we can relax at His table.  We have a part to play in the process of prayer.  Our first step in the process is to surrender to God, walking in prayer until the Spirit of the Lord comes and takes over.  God girds Himself to us and begins to serve us, answering our prayers and ministering to us about what we have brought to Him.   Christ’s ephod helps you to serve others, especially those who are weak and of a lesser status – by His grace- to help the immature come to maturity. On the shoulders of the ephod are two onyx stones inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel placed in the order of their birthright.

The breastplate was the next piece of clothing Aaron receives in Leviticus 8:8.  This garment is vital to becoming an intercessor as inside the breastplate was a slip of parchment containing the divine name of God, represented by the Urim and Thummim (exodus 28:28-30).  Urim means “light” and Thummim means “completeness”.  The breastplate also represents people that you carry to God in prayer symbolized by the twelve precious stones.  This breastplate was worn upon the chest of the high priest indicating that he carried the people’s burden close to his heart as he served in the tabernacle. 

Now we are at the final piece of the garment, the miter, the headpiece.  The miter was like a hat, with one distinguishing feature – the holy crown. This was actually a golden plate that was tied to the front of the Miter (Exodus 28:36-38).  Its inscription read, “HOLY TO THE LORD”.  This symbolized that the nation of Israel was completely devoted to God and His service.  It also reminded the priest never to take holiness for granted as they carried out their duties.  At all times they were to conduct their lives worthy of His name. The miter helps you to watch and pray.  God fastens it to your head after He has put everything else in place, so that you will never forget to pray and live in a manner worthy of your call to be an intercessor.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)

 

 

Foundational Garment – Prayer – Part 7

October 24, 2008

In the Book of Exodus, God gave instructions to Moses regarding the constructions of the tabernacle, as well as, for the garments that Aaron and his sons were wearing when serving as priests.  Just as there is a spiritual significance to every detail of the tabernacle’s construction, there is also a spiritual significance in the making of the priestly garments, demonstrating that God never contradicts Himself as each harmonized with the materials and colors that God instructed Moses to use in the holy place and in the East Gate. Like the tabernacle, these garments represented a spirit of excellence that God desires to manifest in the lives of every believer, especially those who had been called to prayer.  You will see that by the time we are preparing to go into the holy place, the garments, structure and furniture in the holy place must all work together in order to bring about the successful results in prayer.

It is our responsibility, however, to maintain our righteousness after we have been washed in the Word and have willingly offered ourselves to God as a living sacrifice.  Understand, the Spirit and the Word always works together; they complement and complete each other. 

The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:18-19, “Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.  Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven”.

Simply said, whatever we do as a kingdom of priests must originate from heaven.  We can’t live according to the world’s standards and expect to hear from God in prayer, and we definitely shouldn’t expect our prayer requests to be answered when we aren’t in agreement with God!

Here is where you must ask yourself, “Are you in harmony with God?  Are you walking according to the patterns God set in His Word?”  If you answer “no”, don’t expect to experience the glory of God.  By breaking or ignoring the patterns of conduct God has outlined in His Word, you are rejecting the works of Christ and ignoring His sacrifice on the cross.  Just as a tailor custom makes our garments according to a pattern, God has tailor made our spiritual prayer according to His measures and pattern.  You must properly clothe yourself spiritually if you ever expect to come into the presence of the most holy God.

The tabernacle in the Old Testament was built to God’s specification.  Since we are God’s tabernacle, we also are built to His specifications.  Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the Lord builds a house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchmen wakes but in vain”.

Let’s start by reading God’s instructions to Moses with regards to the priesthood and the priestly garments.

Exodus 28:1-3 says, “From among the Israelites take your brother Aaron and his sons with him, that he may minister to Me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.  And you shall make for Aaron your brother sacred garments [appointed official dress set apart for special holy services] for honor and for beauty. Tell all who are expert, whom I have endowed with skill and good judgment, that they shall make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him for My priesthood.”

In telling Moses to “take Aaron and his sons with him“, God indicated that the chosen priests had to be sons of God before serving in the office of the priests.  Aaron symbolized the office of the high priests and his sons represent the lower priestly office.  Matthew 22:14 says, “Many were called…but few were chosen“. The path of obedience requires us to enter through the gate, wash at the laver and sacrifice at the altar according to God’s pattern of prayer.   This path prepares us to be clothed for victory in intercessory prayer.

John 5:23-24 tells us that “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him.  I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life”

The priestly garments represent everything we do after we enter the holy place.

The foundational garment, the tunic of righteousness, represents the righteousness of God.  It is the reason every other piece of priestly clothing can fulfill its purpose.  Let’s look at how this garment was made:

Exodus 28:39-43 says, “And you shall weave the long and sleeved tunic of checkerwork of fine linen or silk and make a turban of fine linen or silk; and you shall make a girdle, the work of the embroiderer.  For Aaron’s sons you shall make long and sleeved tunics and belts or sashes and caps, for glory and honor and beauty.  And you shall put them on Aaron your brother and his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain and sanctify them [set them apart for God], that they may serve Me as priests.  You shall make for them [white] linen trunks to cover their naked flesh, reaching from the waist to the thighs.  And they shall be on Aaron and his sons when they go into the Tent of Meeting or when they come near to the altar to minister in the Holy Place, lest they bring iniquity upon themselves and die; it shall be a statute forever to Aaron and to his descendants after him.”

All priests wore white tunics, but only the high priest wore additional garments over his tunic.  Notice that the tunic is what allowed the priests to minister in the holy place; it allowed them to come before the presence of the Lord and not die.  The tunic was the first piece of clothing Moses placed upon Aaron.  This garment matched the wall that surrounded the outer court, as well as, the white linen thread that was part of the first tabernacle covering.

I believe God is saying that you must put on this tunic as the foundation of everything you do in prayer.  For you to be prepared to take up the burden of the Lord, your nakedness must be covered, just as the tunic and trousers covered Aaron and his sons.  It is vital that you learn to reject your human senses and to embrace the righteousness of God.  Your spiritual underclothing – the white linen trunks and tunic – helps you do this by keeping your nakedness covered, that is, your human nature without God.  When you come into the presence of the Lord, these white garments remind you that God doesn’t need anything sensual from you.  It is the tunic of righteousness that will help you to walk the path of obedience after you have washed at the laver and sacrificed at the altar.  Maintaining the righteousness of God in your life will initially be your biggest struggle in prayer. As you are clothed in your white linen tunic and trunks, it creates a match in the Spirit realm and an entrance into the second and third dimensions of prayer.

(Teachings from Juanita Bynum)