Monthly Archives: September 2015

JOHN HAGEE WAS WRONG

JHJohn Hagee: False Prophet (and the antidote)

John Hagee made predictions (oh yes he did!—see below). John Hagee set dates. John Hagee’s predictions and dates have failed. He is now to be regarded as a false prophet on the same order as Harold Camping.

[NOTE: If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness.]

I have previously written about this here and here. I have demonstrated first that Hagee did indeed make predictions and set dates, even though he tried to cover himself with disclaimers. Second, I have demonstrated from Scripture how his interpretation of Joel 2 and Acts 2 cannot possibly be true. (Hint: Peter makes it clear that Acts 2 was the fulfillment then of Joel 2. There is nothing about it left to be fulfilled.)

Let’s rehearse from the previous article just exactly how Hagee set dates and exactly what he predicted:

Once the Russian alliance invades, however, as Hagee interprets, “God loses His cool. His anger and His wrath explode.” He jumps over to Ezekiel 39:2 to proclaim that God will destroy these armies Himself, leaving only one sixth of them alive. God is saying, “I am going to kill 84 percent of the Russian and Islamic military force that invades the nation of Israel.”

God will accomplish this via 1) a great earthquake that swallows “a significant part of that army,” 2) friendly fire between the armies of these nine nations, and 3) fifty-pound hailstones.

Not since God destroyed pharaoh and his army has God ever wiped an army out likes he’s going to wipe out Russia and Iran. It will take Israel seven months to bury the dead, and seven years to burn the weapons of war.

Again, he is saying this will occur sometime between April 2014 and September 2015. You think I’m stretching the truth? Just recall Hagee’s outstretched hand, pointing to that chart of four blood moons, saying:

When is this going to happen? . . . Jewish scholars say Joel 2:30–31, the text, is where the four blood moons appear with the sun, is the Gog-Magog War. NASA says sometime between April 2014 and September 2015 . . .

Now that is a specific as anyone needs to be. Joel 2:30–31 does not refer to just some obscure eclipse some day in the future, but to “the four blood moons” that “appear with the sun.” This is nonsense of course—Joel 2:30–31 says nothing about four blood moons—but Hagee’s point is that it does indeed, and that the four blood moons are the ones coming beginning year. He has tied the prophecy of Joel 2, and thus the Gog-Magog War, to the four blood moons, specifically, between April 2014 and September 2015.

This means, inescapably, that Israel must attack Iran, and that Russian and Company must invade Israel, and that Russian and Iran must be, per Hagee, “wiped off the map” sometime between 2014 and September 2015.

What do I think of that? I think Harold Camping was a lightweight.

But, Hagee will dissent, “I am not setting dates!”

Disclaimers and Waffles

In a couple places, Hagee stops to put in a very stern disclaimer. He wants to preempt guys like me. But pay close attention to what he says. His disclaimers are very craftily worded so as not really to be disclaimers.

The strongest disavowal he makes is this: “This is God’s prediction and NASA’s prediction. John Hagee is making no predictions. Are we clear?”

This is only to cover his rear, and will only persuade the most dedicated of his followers who uncritically accept his words without examining the substance of what he says. Such people are already raptured—intellectually.

What is he really saying? He is only trying to leave a trapdoor to evade responsibility for the clear predictions he made above. But you can’t have your bombs and explode them, too. And Hagee is actually exploding them. Yes, the dates are NASA’s, and yes,Ezekiel 38 is God’s Word. But Hagee is the one who has tied NASA’a dates together with God’s Word, interpreted the concoction to be an attack by modern day Russia and Iran, etc., and then published it. These are in fact Hagee’s predictions, and he cannot evade responsibility for them.

Elsewhere, he is just as clever: “This does not mean the rapture is going to happen between here [pointing to April 2014] and here [September 2015]. Why?”

Why? Because Hagee doesn’t set dates? Nope. “Because the rapture could happen before we get out of this building. This does say, ‘You’re running out of time.’”

Ahh, cute. But then he’s right back to bold predictions:

Here’s what we know for sure. . . . When it’s only happened three times in over 500 years, this is a massive demonstration from the heavens. All of the dates given by NASA—1492, 1948, 1967—deal with the Jewish people and Israel. We are about to receive a sign from God. . . . I am telling you this. Based on all I know about this book, and I have studied it every day for 54 years, there’s not one thing that has to happen before [the rapture] . . . we’re out of here. When you see these signs [pointing once again to the four blood moons] lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draweth night!”

And so we’re back to the four blood moons being Mark 13 again, as well as Matthew 24 and Luke 21—Jesus’ Olivet prophecies of a return.

Hagee is not done. We are, he says, already seeing the unfolding of what he argues is about to take place between April of 2014 and September 2015:

Consider the scenario for the future. Iran is going to become nuclear sooner or later. When Israel hits Iran’s nuclear centers, this action is going to unite Russia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc., to retaliate and to invade the land of Israel according to Ezekiel. You see that happening right now on the television each night. . . . We are seeing the first stages of the Gog-Magog War in the media.

Need more?

The nations of Gog and Magog are uniting right now. The message of the four blood moons is this: God is going to defend Israel in His time. He is going to destroy the nations that invade Israel, and Jesus Christ the Son of God could come at any second, right now.

This is getting a little squishier. But then come the waffles:

I want to ask you just a simple question, because the Bible says, “No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus Christ could come.”

That’s right. No man knows. We’re not date setting here! But. . . .

When you have very credible science agreeing with a very credible prophet Joel, and Saint Peter in the book of Acts—I don’t think that in my lifetime I’ve seen a more obvious demonstration of the unity of those two ingredients—something big is about to happen. We may not be here to see that. The church may be gone. The church may see this and be taken after. But it’s for sure, the best scientific minds in the world are saying this is going to happen, and the best prophetic voices in the Word have said this is what it looks like when it happens.

If these are not predictions, I don’t know what is. Yet he says he’s making no predictions! Nonsense. Barack Obama could not prevaricate and tell bald-faced lies any better than this. “If you like your country, you can keep your country (if it’s still there after we blow it up).” At least conservative Christians don’t believe what Obama says. They shouldn’t believe Hagee, either.

Finally, I summarized the events Hagee predicted:

Conclusion

There is no way this man can deny he is making clear predictions. The whole blood moon hype would be little more than a curiosity were it left a generality. But someone of tremendous profile has gotten specific—very specific. Hagee has connected the four blood moons, April 2014–September 2015, by both clearly spoken claims and multiple, clear hand gestures to a chart bearing these dates, with the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel 2 and Mark 13, the Battle of Gog-Magog (Ezek. 38–39), the return of Christ (Luke 21Matthew 24Revelation 19), and onset of the one-world government of “The Antichrist.”

In doing so, let’s be clear, he has interpreted those events within that time frame to include:

1. Israel attacking the nuclear sites in Iran
2. Russia leading an alliance of Arab springs states and others to invade Israel
3. America standing by watching, due to weakness
4. God destroying these invaders by divine power
5. Russia and Iran being “wiped off the map”
[6. I now see I should have added also the redemption of God’s people mentioned in Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21.]

This is to happen, according to NASA, the Bible, and John Hagee’s concatenation of the two, sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.

And he has repeatedly said that when we see the four blood moons, we should look up because our redemption draweth nigh. Again, this must take place between April 2014 and September 2015.

Folks, this is a false teacher. Period. Worse. He is a false teacher whose false teachings could help provoke warfare and the deaths of millions of people unnecessarily—and will persuade millions of Christians to sit by gleefully, consenting to those deaths.

Hagee should retract his statements and repent now. If he turns out wrong, he is under absolute moral obligation at least to confess his sin. He should also apologize publicly and then resign his pulpit. I hope he at least rethinks the seriousness of what he has actually claimed here, and that his claims clearly amount to very serious and dire predictions—even while denying making predictions.

If Hagee does none of this, his congregation should push to hold him accountable. If he persists, they should abandon him as a false and unrepentant teacher. All of his followers should.

Those were my comments made originally December 18, 2013, almost two years ago—before even the first blood moon had occurred.

Just to be sure, Hagee did not budge an inch even on the eve of his failure, September 27, 2015. In fact, he got even more candid. Calling the blood moon tetrad God’s “final, celestial, evangelistic effort” that Jesus is about to return for the Rapture, he admitted that he was setting dates:

Generally prophetic texts deal with something that might happen or could happen, but this was a situation where we could say “On this date, you can go out on your back porch, look up, and see a blood moon.” And when that happened, and people found it in the Bible, and saw it in the sky, and knew that it had been predicted by NASA, word spread across the earth like lightning, that this was a revelation from God.

It is now official. Hagee made predictions. Hagee set dates. Hagee’s predictions and dates did not come to pass. They failed. All of them. Not a single word of his prediction came to pass. Not one single word.

What will it take to break the bondage premillennial angst holds over so many American Christians? How many hypes have to fail? How many predictions have to fail? How many overt, outright, date-setting predictions like Hagee’s have to fail in absolutely every detail before Christians abandon these shysters and con men?

As I don’t see streams of disgruntled former members quitting Hagee’s church, or even asking questions, the outlook for this does not look good. To modify the pseudo-P.T. Barnum quotation, “There’s a prophecy book buyer born every minute.” There have been hundreds of dates set and predictions made throughout church history—literally hundreds. They all have one thing in common: they have all been wrong. And yet Christians, especially American Christians these days, keep giving them their full faith and credit, and their money.

If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness. The vast majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the year AD 70. What lies ahead of us is not a rapture or a great cataclysm. What lies ahead of us is a lot of Kingdom work to do by God’s Spirit. It’s time to leave the false prophets behind. Make the paradigm shift and get to it.

 

http://americanvision.org/12510/john-hagee-false-prophet-and-the-antidote

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MADE WHOLE

A1

THE LORD IS ABLE AND MOST WILLING

Matthew 8:3 – Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

When you see someone receiving a miraculous healing or financial breakthrough, do you ask, “What about me, Lord?” I believe that the leper who came to Jesus must have asked the same question.

He must have heard or seen from a distance, since he was not permitted to be in public places by the law, how Jesus had healed the sick. So he had no doubt that Jesus could heal him, but he was not sure if Jesus would. He said to Jesus, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2) He was confident of the power of God, but not the love of God for him.

Like the leper, maybe you don’t have a problem believing that God can give you your miracle, since He is Almighty God. But you are wondering if He will do it for you. My friend, let Jesus’ actions and answer to the leper settle this question once and for all. He stretched forth His hand, touched the leper and said, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, the leper was healed.

I want you to notice that Jesus touched the leper. He could have healed him from a distance with just a spoken word. He had healed others this way as in the case of the centurion’s servant and the Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter. So why did He touch the leper?

Jesus knew that for so many years, the leper had been cut off from his family and society, so he must have been feeling dehumanized. I believe that Jesus touched him to make him feel human again, to make him feel loved and accepted again. His touch was His love language to the leper.

Can you see God’s heart of love here? Can you see how much He loved the leper? That is how much He loves you! The day that you come to know God’s heart of love and believe that He wants you blessed more than you want to be blessed is the day that you receive your miracle!

Beloved, catch a glimpse of God’s heart of love, and you will believe that He is not only able, but also willing to make you whole!

MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD

‘…if we could control our tongues…’ James 3:2 NLT

When you’re upset, it’s tempting to ‘hand out other people’s dirty laundry’. But making yourself look good at somebody else’s expense always backfires. One Christian author observes: ‘That righteous feeling turns to shame faster than you can walk away, hang up the phone, or hit “send”…I can’t emphasise enough how crucial it is to get control over your tongue. I wish someone had warned me to stop talking and start praying.’ A lady named Michelle learned her lesson the hard way. She was having lunch with a co–worker at a restaurant and they visited the ladies’ toilet. While they were fixing their hair they started to talk about people at work who drove them crazy. Immediately Michelle launched into a diatribe about Beth, a co–worker who had no idea how much trouble she created for the rest of the team. As Michelle prepared to launch into more specifics, a cubicle door opened and out walked Beth, flushed and upset. In a split second what felt like a pressure–relief session turned into an embarrassing mess… Beth ran out in tears, and Michelle couldn’t take back the words she’d said. Beth never returned to work, and the next day she resigned. While her co–workers openly cheered what they considered to be good news, Michelle was miserable… She tried to call Beth, and even wrote a letter of apology, but there was no response. And what’s worse, Michelle is a Christian and Beth made no such profession. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). What goes around comes around, and idle chatter will surely come back to haunt you.


GOD’S MERCY IS A GIFT

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. – Matthew 23:23

One of the ways that God’s goodness is revealed is by His mercy. We may describe mercy as the readiness of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures. Many times, mercy is called compassion or lovingkindness. It is expressed toward the sinner because of the misery that sin has brought upon him.

God’s mercy to the believer is revealed by God taking away the misery of sin’s consequences through the New Covenant of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mercy is not something merited or earned, but a gift, as the apostle Paul states, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He saved us” (Ti. 3:5).

Paul speaks of the heavenly Father as “The Father of mercies.” The word father is used many times in scripture as an originator or as a source of something. For example, the devil is called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), i.e. he is the author and originator of lying. Likewise, our heavenly Father is the author, originator, and source of all mercy. Each time that mankind cried out in faith, God’s mercy reached out and met their need.

God is said to be rich in mercy because of His great love wherewith he loved us (Eph. 2:4), and to have a throne called grace whereby we may come and obtain mercy. God wasn’t motivated to save us through pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He was motivated solely by love. God loves us.
BE A PEOPLE BUILDER …

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up… – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

God designed us to live in relationship with others. He wants us to help each other grow. None of us will reach our highest potential by ourselves. We need people in our lives to encourage us, and we need to encourage the people in our lives and help them reach their potential. The word “encourage” means to “urge forward.” Many times, you can see things in other people that they don’t see themselves. You can see their strengths and talents. You can see that God has a special plan for them even though they may be going through a difficult time. Don’t assume that people see what you see in them.

Take a moment and encourage them either with a kind word or a simple note. There might be a special gift you can give that will remind them of their goal or dream. In whatever way you can, urge the people in your life to keep moving forward. If you’ll be a people builder and help others fulfill their dreams, God will help you fulfill your dreams also, and you’ll live in blessing all the days of your life.

WRITTEN ON YOUR HEART …

They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts… – Romans 2:15, NLT

In the Old Testament, God’s commands were written on stone tablets and kept in the tabernacle. Now, we have the New Testament, or new covenant. When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we become His temple. He lives in us, and He engraves His promises and commands right on our hearts!

How can you be sure of this? This verse goes on to say that your spirit, your inner man, has a strong knowledge of what is right and wrong; what you should and shouldn’t do. When His law is written on your heart, you are drawn to follow His Word. That’s the Spirit of God on the inside of you, guiding and directing your steps. As you follow His leading, your ability to hear and know Him is strengthened. But if you choose to bypass that prompting on the inside, your heart can become hard which will affect your ability to hear Him in the future.

Make the decision today to demonstrate that God’s law is written on your heart by quickly obeying His leading. Remember, His law is written on your heart! Trust that He is leading you in the path of blessing all the days of your life!

MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD (2)

‘…lay your hand upon your mouth.’ Proverbs 30:32 AMP

Your tongue is just centimetres from your brain, but the way some of us rattle on, you’d think our mouths and minds were kilometres apart! James says, ‘…The tongue…corrupts the whole body…’ (James 3:5–6 NIV) Ramona Cramer Tucker writes: ‘I admit I’m a talker …I don’t set out to break a confidence, but somehow my mouth kicks into gear before my brain… But God takes a clear stand on gossip. He knows loose lips can ruin another person’s reputation, introduce mistrust into a relationship, encourage the gossiper to embellish their tale, and cause them to sin by being tempted to lie when confronted… I love to share news, to be “in the know”, and because I’m wired this way it’s easy for me to spread gossip under the guise of being well–meaning, even prefacing my news with “I wish you’d pray for”… But just because my sharing is well–meant doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.’ The most common reason for making someone else look bad—is to make ourselves look good! We are like the proud Pharisee in the temple who stood alone and prayed, ‘…God, I thank you that I am not like other people…’ (Luke 18:11 NCV) The writer of Proverbs says, ‘If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or…thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth.’ (Proverbs 30:32 AMP) It’s one thing to think bad thoughts—it’s another to voice them. The saying goes: ‘You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!’ So do yourself and everybody around you a favour—practise putting your brain in gear before engaging your mouth.

OUR HELP IN TIME OF NEED

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

If you are facing a challenge right now, I want you to know that you have a standing invitation from your heavenly Father to come boldly to the throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

The phrase “help in time of need” means that you get healing when you are sick, provisions when you are in lack, restoration when your relationship with a loved one breaks down, and favor when news of job cuts or bad prospects are rife.

“Pastor, how can I come boldly when I have been a lousy Christian?”

You can come boldly because you come to God by the blood of Jesus Christ and not by how you have lived your life. So whenever you come into God’s presence, you don’t have to be afraid that your sins will be exposed because the blood of Jesus has removed every one of them. God does not see even one speck of sin in you because He sees only the blood of His Son, which has been shed for your total forgiveness and acceptance.

My friend, when you have failed and need mercy, God’s Word assures you that you will find mercy when you come boldly to God. Mercy means that you don’t get the bad things you deserve, such as condemnation, poverty, failure, loss and even death.

And mercy is not the only thing that you will obtain when you come boldly to God. You will also find grace. Grace means that you get the good things that you don’t deserve, such as health, protection, anointing, favor, good success and life more abundant.

So come boldly to the One who loves you passionately, unconditionally and with an undying love. Come boldly to Him who knows everything about your situation and has the solution. He has wisdom far beyond that doctor you highly respect, that lawyer you greatly honor and the best experts you can consult. Beloved, come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in your time of need!

http://billyburke.org/PrayerMinistryRoom/JourneyofYourPrayerRequest/tabid/142/Default.aspx

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THE POWER

A1With His Mighty Power

“Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.  “And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, “driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Deuteronomy 4:36-39

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matthew 6:6-8

The Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. And He not the devil or any one else owns and rules over all things. Riches and honor come from Him, and He reigns over all. In His  hand is power and might; In His hand it is to make great and to give strength to all (1 Chronicles 29:12). He  endues His trusting ones with power for an salvation, abundant life, an effective life, for increase, for success, for prosperity, for fecundity and for longevity. Hence Jesus told us not to be of little faith concerning all the things that the Gentiles seek for our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. He told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to us (Matthew 6:33).

God because of His mighty power is able to give His trusting ones such and such things and much, much more if they  will put Him first in all things! He who has made and owns billions and billions of stars and galaxies is faithful and true and keeps His word. Hence we must have faith just like Jesus told His disciples “where is you faith?” God’s word is unchanging:

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out.  But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.  And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.  But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” Luke 8:22-25

Yes, our faith gives God pleasure: Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Faith is defined: An assurance placed in your spirit by God’s indwelling Spirit as God speaks to you (Heb. 11:1; Rom. 10:17). Faith is a manifestation and a fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God (I Cor. 12:9; Gal. 5:22). The priority of faith: It is impossible to please God if one does not have faith (Heb. 11:6). Anything not done in faith is sin (Rom. 14:14, 22, and 23). Faith furthers the administration of God (I Tim. 1:4). Faith is one of the six foundation doctrines (Heb. 6:1). Faith is one of four things required to enter the presence of God (Heb. 10:22). The work of God is to believe (Jn. 6:29). All things are possible to those who believe (Mk. 9:23-25). Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world (I Jn. 5:4). Jesus called faith a weightier matter (Matt. 23:23). Paul called faith one of three abiding realities (I Cor. 13:13). Faith can purify the heart (Acts 15:9). The just must walk and live by faith (II Cor. 5:7; Rom. 1:16,17; Gal. 2:20; 3:11,12; Heb. 10:38). Faith gives us peace with God and access to His grace (Rom. 5:1,2). Faith makes us children of Abraham (Gal. 3:7-9).

Belief in the heart and confession with the mouth result in salvation (Rom. 10:8-11). Unbelief cuts one off from God (Rom. 11:20). Each person is to minister according to the measure of faith they have (Rom. 12:3,6). We are to accept people at the level of faith they have (Rom. 14:1-8). The Law is a schoolmaster which leads us to faith (Gal. 3:22-26). Faith (and love) is a breastplate which shields us from the darts of Satan (Eph. 6:16; I Thess. 5:8). Holding faith and a good conscience keeps one from suffering shipwreck (I Tim. 1:19). We are to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12). The gospel must be mixed with faith in order to profit (Heb. 4:2).

What great faith (i.e. not mingled with doubt) provides: The Spirit (Jn. 7:39; Gal. 3:2,14); all things you ask in prayer believing; ability to cast mountains into the sea (Matt. 21:19-22); miracles (Gal. 3:5); wisdom from God (Jas. 1:2-8); healing of the sick (Jas. 5:14-16); and authority to cast out demons and speak in new tongues (Mk. 16:17).

Faith is the currency of life, because faith is the currency of the spirit world, and the spirit world provides the foundation and structure of life. According to your faith, be it unto you (Matt. 9:29). Faith and trust release God’s power, protection, guidance, and anointing into one’s life. Hence ll our  teaching and all our learning must be focused on building faith and trust in our God. All of our  life, hope, joy, love, and provision come from His responses to the faith we  release toward Him.  Mark Virkler in his book  “Wading Deeper Into the River of God” bring out three principles concerning faith and trust  that are very important to be real in our lives.

1. The Principle of Faith

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

2. The Principle of Flow

“He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive…(Jn. 7:38-39).

3. The “Faith in Flow” Principle

The gifts of the Holy Spirit operate through the one who, in faith, yields his outer faculties to the control of the river of God within him:

·        The mind yielded to flow = anointed reasoning, word of wisdom, word of knowledge
·        The mouth yielded to flow = tongues, interpretation, prophecy, persuasiveness of speech
·        The heart yielded to flow = God’s voice, distinguishing of spirits, faith, peace, unrest
·        The hands yielded to flow = miracles, healing
·        The eyes yielded to flow = dream and vision, divine perspective

God gave His people not only Jesus Christ His only begotten Son but His mighty River of the Holy Spirit. There is a river which flows from the throne room of God, through the streets of heaven, and out through our hearts. And where ever this river flows it brings healing and changes and life. We by our faith release this river and turn  on the power of God in our  life and open the door for the flow of God’s anointing, gifts, and grace into our life and around us.  In flow, we connect to the river of God and the indwelling Spirit takes over the activity, and it is God doing the work through us rather than us doing it on our own. It is now a living work (i.e. inaugurated and sustained by the Holy Spirit) rather than a dead work (i.e. inaugurated and sustained by self-effort – Heb. 6:1,2). We  live  out of the river of God, out of the anointing of God, out of the gifts of the Holy Spirit Who is within us. We live in supernatural Christianity, rather than rational Christianity. We will live, not out of reason, analysis, and cognition, but, instead, out of flow, spontaneity, and eternal life that originates in the throne room of God. God’s word is unchanging:

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he meditates day and night.He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelations 22:1-2

The river begins in God, in the heavens, and it flows through our hearts, transforming our lives. We alone allow it to flow effectively and continuously out through the capacities of our souls, transforming us into living expressions of the Body of Christ, and empowering, anointing, and equipping us with God’s magnificent grace.  We were grafted into Jesus, the Holy Spirit was joined to our spirits, and we have become one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). Now this river which comes from the throne of God  flows, even as sap flows from the vine to the branch, through the Holy Spirit who is joined to our spirits. And as we allow the river to flow out through the capacities of our souls, transforming our beings, we become like trees planted by this river of life, and the fruit that is born in our lives does not wither, and whatever we do, prospers, for they are no longer our fruit, but instead are borne by the river of God within us. We become deepened individuals, not confined to rationalism, cognition, or outer sense knowledge, but living out of the flow of our spirits which can now guide any outer faculty which we yield to it.

What each of us needs is to receive God’s knowledge, God’s wisdom, God’s understanding, and God’s strength. This is done through drawing from the river of God deep within us. That surely is the message of Christianity. God has come to live with man. He has placed His Spirit within man, and now God flows out through man. Man is to quiet himself in the presence of God and receive from His Spirit within him. We sense the Holy Spirit as a river which flows within.  We fix our eyes on Jesus, quiet ourselves, tune to spontaneity, and live.

We were created to continuously live and move in the river of God walking and living in the Spirit and not waling in the wilderness of our own choosing. The river of God carries all of God’s graces, His gifts, His anointings, and His blessings for us.  Just like Jesus did we depend upon God for everything and allow the flow of the river to bring us everything. Jesus was led by the Spirit: Jesus did not act on His own. He even said He could do nothing on His own! Hence true life is not about what we can do. It is about what we can let God do through us. It is about God in action, not about us in action. We are just a vessel of God, a temple which contains a god. We contain the God Who created the universe. We have not only become a partaker of God’s divine nature as  He has joined Himself to us, and we are one spirit with Him but we are an extension of Himself. God in Christ Jesus lives His life through us. His word is true:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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ALL I NEED

AL

A BILLION VOLTS OF GOD’S POWER

John 14: 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Matthew 4:24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.

1 Chronicles 29:
12  Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.

28 So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor; and Solomon his son reigned in his place.

It is a fact that it’s only our ideas, concepts and judgments that impose a limitation to what is possible….once those are removed and we put our faith in God, all things are possible. It is also a fact that through Christ Jesus all of heaven’s riches and resources are available to us as believers! It is we alone who determine what we get or don’t get in life! We alone restrict what God’s miracle working power can do in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.  Yes we can have a billions volts of God’s power in our lives and ministry! God’s word is true:

I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelation, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

Nowhere did Jesus Christ tell us that Apostle Paul was to be our role model for the Christian life or that his suffering were to be the pattern for our lives? Now we can profit and learn from everything that is written in the scriptures and we are not to make the same mistakes that others did? But all of this doesn’t change the fact that our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God or that our speech and our preaching are not to be with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power!

Unfortunately what we see in most of Christian live and ministry is not the power of God but the power of the flesh!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 5:14-19

In order for us to do the works of Jesus we must do what Jesus did? Nothing! Jesus told us clearly “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. If Jesus said, ‘I do nothing,’ then in doing nothing, we do the works Jesus did.

Yes we need the wind of the Holy Spirit to touch and revive us and help us to rely on the Holy Spirit to do the work of God through us. We need to have a walk of the Spirit and not a self-walk where we do all the pushing and shoving to get something done and are constantly stressed out. The Holy Spirit needs to be the Chairman of the Board in our lives to tell us what to do and we just obey Him just like Jesus did. God’s word is unchanging:

“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 5:30

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” John 8:28-29

In order for us to do the works of Jesus we must do what Jesus did? Nothing! Jesus told us clearly “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. If Jesus said, ‘I do nothing,’ then in doing nothing, we do the works Jesus did.  Yes we need the wind of the Holy Spirit to touch and revive us and help us to rely on the Holy Spirit to do the work of God through us. We need to have a walk of the Spirit and not a self-walk where we do all the pushing and shoving to get something done and are constantly stressed out. The Holy Spirit needs to be the Chairman of the Board in our lives to tell us what to do and we just obey Him just like Jesus did. God’s word is unchanging:

“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 5:30

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” John 8:28-29

If we will really be like Jesus, we will live a life of crucifixion and humility. Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but we cannot do it, and if we attempt it, we will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make us sorely penitent.  Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow us to do any such thing. Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but God wants us to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying our needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.  Others may be honored and put forward, but  we will be kept hidden in obscurity, because God  wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. Others may do a work for God and get the credit for it, but we work and toil on and make our reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

Yes, we have settled in our hearts to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He has the right to tie our tongue, or chain our hand, or close our eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. We have chosen to be so possessed with the living God that we are, in our secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over our life in that we have found the vestibule of Heaven. We have chosen to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. The flesh is not a friend of ours but our enemy.

Dr.  Basil Frasure  in his article Training The Flesh wrote an excellent thesis on “The Impossible Mission!”  [i]

God did not create us to live the spiritual life with physical strength or soul power. When we try to do so, the result is death, opposed to life and peace. The carnal mind stands against God. It is not under the authority of the law of God. It can never be trained to perform.  Many people want to train their flesh, trying to break various habits. They want to train their bodies not to overeat. They want to train their minds to think the right thoughts, their wills to make strong positive decisions, and their emotions to feel good at the right time. Those in authority teach us some method of training the flesh. We are taught to train the flesh at home, school, work, and sometimes even at church.  The problem is that we can not train the flesh to live the Christian life. Why? The Flesh can not please God. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8).

The flesh not only stands against the Spirit, it enters into conflict with the Spirit. The Flesh wars against the Spirit. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11). The flesh is in contention with and even is an enemy of the Spirit. Furthermore, it brings hurt to the soul. The world says, “Have a few drinks. It will do you good.” However, in reality, it destroys our ability to think clearly. The world says, “Get even. Someone needs to put him in his place.” The problem is that bitterness is like cancer destroying our emotions.

God did not mean for us to complete in spiritual battles in the flesh. Our flesh can not fight the spiritual war. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4-5). Do you remember what happened to the sons of Sceva (Acts 19:15)? The went into a house to cast out a demon from a man. The demon said, “Jesus, I know and Paul, I know, but who are you?” The men ran out of the house naked! It does no good to try to counsel with a demon.

They are twelve spiritual weapons that to deal with demons: (1) The Word of God (Ephesians 6:17), (2) mediation (Isaiah 26:3), (3) revelation knowledge (Daniel 11:32), (4) the prayer of faith (Ephesians 6:16), (5) praise (Psalm 149:6-9), (6) the name of Jesus (Mark 16:17-18), (7) the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11), (8) a submitted life to God (James 4:7), (9) obedience to God (Deuteronomy 28:1, 7), (10) a pure conscience (I Timothy 1:18), (11) unity of Believers (I Timothy 1:18), and (12) the fullness of the Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). These are all spiritual in nature.

There are always consequences for trying to live the spiritual life in the flesh. There will be both outward (social) and inward (within the soul) struggles that will often lead to fatigue and ultimate spiritual failure, followed by moral failures and addictions. Some people become spiritual dropouts, while others become floaters, moving from one church to another. Still other people get into a fringe spiritual group that emphasizes fanatical thinking with some opening the door for demonic control. Some people become anger, bitter, depressed, and even suicidal. These will often exhibit antisocial behavior. Other people move into deep self-deception. Some pick up drug, sex, or work addictions to cover their feelings of failure and rejection. Some people even withdraw from society because of the fear of failure. Many will wrestle with anxiety.

Since we can not train the flesh, what are to do? First, we are to make no provision for the flesh. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14). When we stop to think about it, we plan for most sin. We plan to buy the extra food that we should not eat. We plan to watch the movie that causes us to think lustful thoughts. We plan to say things to hurt others. We plan ways to hurt others who have hurt us. You may ask a friend to come to church. His response may be, “Well, I will have to see about it.” What is he saying? He is trying, most likely, to plan a way that he does not have to be in church. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14 12). We set ourselves on one road or another. Then we start walking down that road. We may go farther down the road than we thought that we would, but we set ourselves on whichever road we are walking. We must remember the words of Paul to Timothy, the young minister, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (I Timothy 4:8).

Second, we are to bring the flesh under subjection. This means that we are to make the flesh a slave to God. Paul wrote to the carnal church of Corinth, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:27). We should see that we are either serving God or we are serving the flesh (self). Jesus therefore said, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). We can’t walk down two roads at the same time.

Furthermore, we, as Believers, don’t have to be a slave to sin. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:12-16). The question is, “To whom have I made myself a slave?” We are either a slave to self, the devil, or to God.

It is as if there is an executive board meeting. At that meeting is the flesh that says, “I desire such and such.” The mind (intellect) says, “I think such and such.” The will says, “I will do it, I can do it, I will not do it, or I just can’t do it.” The emotions say, “I feel such and such.” The Spirit is also there. The Spirit says, “You should do such and such.” Now the will is the chairman of the board and can take charge itself (I will) or it can yield to any other party that is there (the flesh, mind, emotions or the Spirit). The will should do this! It should yield to the Spirit. We should say, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We should make our will the servant of the will of God and do His work by His power.

Third, we are to take off the old man and put on the new. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Have you ever tried to put two coats, the same size, on at the same time? It doesn’t work very well. Jesus illustrated the point when he said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:28-30). We must take off the coat of the old man before we put on the coat of the new man in Christ. “A” must come before “B”.

Fourth, we are to deny the flesh. Listen to the words of Jesus. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26). We all know people that have lost control of their mind, will, and emotions. However, if we hold on to self, we lose self. The reason secular psychologists have such a booming business is that they try to help people find themselves. “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:34-37). We are not to go about trying to find ourselves! First, we are to put self on the shelf. We are to lay it aside. We are to put self behind us. Then, second, we are to take up our cross. This is a picture of dying to self. Then, third, we are free to follow Jesus and should follow him. Steps one and two must come before step three. Otherwise, there will be World War III between self and following after Jesus.

Fifth, we are to mortify the members of the flesh. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:1-5). We are to focus our attention on what God would have us do, and we are to put to death those things that lead to death. We are not to allow fornication (sex outside of marriage) live in us. We are not to allow burning lust to live within us. We are not to allow our minds to be turned over to evil thoughts. We are not to allow covetousness to remain alive within us. Paul again says, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13). One way that we put to death the members of the flesh is to focus our attention on what God would have us to do.

Sixth, we are to reckon the flesh crucified. Paul wrote to the performance oriented, Corinthian church, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). We are to consider it a past experience. When we, as Believers, committed our lives to Jesus, we were spiritually united with Jesus. Therefore, when Jesus died, we died. When Jesus was raised from the dead, we were also raised from the dead. Paul explains, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:6-11). We should know that we have been crucified! We should understand this, acknowledge this, believe this, and confess this truth. We can see a two sided coin. On one side is our death with Christ, but on the other side is a resurrection to a righteous new life in Him.

Seventh, we are to live an exchanged life. We are not to prop up the old man and try to fix the flesh, but we are to exchange our old life for the new life in Christ. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The new life is to replace the old life. Paul further said, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Again, we can’t be doing two things at the same time. You have see the picture of a little angel sitting on one shoulder and a little demon sitting on the other. When one obeys the one (either the angel or the devil), he will be disobey the other. We are to obey the Spirit so that we will not obey the flesh.

Finally, we need to understand that we must give up everything to follow Jesus. This is the condition for discipleship. Look at the words of Jesus, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). We should understand that one can be a born again Believer without being a disciple. The word “disciple” means a “disciplined one”. Jesus makes his point clear when he said, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33). Being a disciple is more than just being a Christian. There may be many Christians, but few disciples. There may be many carnal Believers, but few Believers walk in the Spirit. To be a disciple, we must lay down everything that pertains to our lives. Furthermore, we must be willing to do this every day. Are you willing to do that right now?

Yes, we are to purpose to make no provision for the flesh, to bring the flesh under subjection,  to take off the old man and put on the new,  to deny the flesh,  to mortify the members of the flesh,  to reckon the flesh crucified,  and to live an exchanged life. God’s word is unchanging:

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

Circumcision of the heart becomes a reality as we allow the Holy Spirit do a deeper work by the cross. “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:1). Confidence in the flesh destroys the victorious life in Jesus. If we allow the Holy Spirit to humble the flesh He will glorify Jesus through us.

We have to discern between flesh and spirit so that we can worship in the spirit. We must patiently seek the truth (impatience is fleshly). We must pray and trust the Lord to lead us into truth. Not lose perseverance and try different “methods” of obtaining spirituality. The only method is death and resurrection. We have to distrust the flesh completely. Assigning the flesh to the curse of death and humbly co-operating with the Holy Spirit will strip it from all its power.

We have to watch for the unconscious stirring of the flesh that will try to make us believe that the victory brought about by the Holy Spirit is of our own doing. Following victory over the flesh, we must be on guard against over confidence. After we’ve learnt how to and experienced sustained victory we must never forget its malignant nature. The flesh will never give up in its quest to rule the being. Independence from the Holy Spirit will quickly afford the flesh an opportunity to regain power. This is not instantaneous, but left unchecked it can accumulate enough power to take complete control, even to the point of committing the most defiling sins.

We must learn to cultivate an attitude of complete dependency on the Holy Spirit. We have to learn to recognize any form of carnal thinking. Carnal thoughts lead to carnal deeds. We must learn to guard our conversation. Any plans, however commendable, not initiated by the Holy Spirit should be thrown out. The best that the flesh has to offer should immediately be put to death. The basic fact that it comes from the flesh makes it unacceptable. Sin and the righteousness of the flesh should be treated in the same way. We need to repent from the “good” works as much as sin.

When we fail, we examine ourselves, confess the sin and request the cleansing power of the blood. We seek not only to be cleansed from sin but from every deed of the flesh. [ii] God’s word is unchanging:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors-not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. John 8:5-14

Yes the world desperately needs for Spirit filled Christians to do today what Jesus did and demonstrate a billion volts of God’s power!

Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

Matthew 15:29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

[i] Training The Flesh, Basil Frasure, Ph.D., http://www.wholeperson-counseling.org/doc/train-f.html

[ii]  The Believer’s Ultimate Attitude toward the Flesh,Watchman Nee

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SIGNET RING

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SEALED BY GOD …

…I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the LORD Almighty – Haggai 2:23

We don’t often hear about signet rings anymore; but in Bible times, they were very significant. The signet ring was used to identify the message or messenger and the authority they had. In other words, you knew something was from the king because it was marked by his signet ring. It was representative of power and authority. This verse is saying that you are the mark of authority of Almighty God. You have been chosen and set apart to be identified with Him.

When you have someone’s power and authority, you have access to everything they have. It’s like having power of attorney; you have the authority to act on behalf of that individual. As a believer in Jesus, you are marked with His seal. Think of all you have access to today! Think about the authority you have. Everything He has is available to you—healing, provision, strength, peace, joy. You have been given authority to “sign His name” in order to receive His blessings. You are God’s seal, and you are marked to live the abundant life He has in store for you!

GIVE AGAPE LOVE

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.- Matthew 23:10-12

In Romans 12:10 we are admonished to desire the welfare of others more than our own; to like others better than ourselves. That is an awesome command that is only obtainable through God’s supernatural love. If this very simple, yet very profound truth could be understood and applied, then strife would cease (Prov. 13:10). The world would see Christianity as never before, and we would discover the true joy that comes from serving someone besides ourselves.

There is much confusion today on the subject of love because we have only one English word (love) to describe a broad aspect of meanings. For example, if I said, “I love my wife, I love apple pie, and I love my dog,” obviously I am not talking about love in the same degree or definition.

God’s type of love; the highest kind of love, is AGAPE. This is when we seek the welfare or betterment of others even when we don’t feel affection. AGAPE love does not come from one’s feelings. Jesus displayed this AGAPE kind of love by going to the cross and dying for us even though He didn’t feel like dying. Jesus sought the betterment of you and me, regardless of His feelings.

We, too, can AGAPE love our enemies even though we don’t have a warm feeling of affection for them. If they are hungry we can feed them; if they are thirsty we can give them a drink. We can choose to seek the betterment and welfare of others regardless of how we feel.

If anyone becomes a servant and humbles himself with the motive of being exalted, then he is not truly fulfilling Jesus’ command. Jesus is teaching about a true, servant’s heart, that loves others more than itself and will joyfully go without so that someone else may prosper.

WHAT ARE YOU CALLED TO DO?

‘…Jesus…went around doing good…’ Acts 10:38 NIV

Your value in God’s eyes was established at the Cross. The Bible says, ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32 NIV) Notice the words ‘all things’. We are all equal in Christ. But when it comes to your career, your value is determined by the problem you solve. That’s why we pay a cardiologist more money than a chef in a fast–food restaurant. Jesus was a problem solver. People were spiritually hungry so He said, ‘…I am the bread of life…’ (John 6:35 NIV) They were sick so He ‘went about doing good…healing all.’ He discerned what He had, that others needed, and provided it for them. What do you have to offer? What would you attempt to do if you knew it was impossible to fail? You are not here by accident. God told Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ (Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV) Everything God makes is to meet a need and solve a problem. So what are you called and gifted to do? That’s where you’ll find your highest level of joy! Think of your contribution to others as an assignment from God. Paul made tents to support his ministry. So your ministry may be supported by your job. But whether you are in a full–time ministry or a part–time ministry, don’t leave this earth until you have found and fulfilled what God called you to do.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GODLY LEADERSHIP

‘…If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously…’ Romans 12:8 NLT

Leadership in business, politics and public service doesn’t automatically qualify you for leadership in church. J Oswald Sanders says, ‘The overriding need of the church… is for a leadership that’s authoritative, spiritual and sacrificial.’ Let’s look at each of those qualities:

(1) Authoritative leadership. People respect leaders who are certain about where they’re going, and inspire confidence in those who choose to follow them. Tentative leaders don’t motivate others to get on board and stay on board. Uncertainty confuses and disheartens followers. People follow, almost without question, someone who’s wise, strong and faithful to what he or she believes.

(2) Spiritual leadership. We’re attracted to leaders who are gifted and charismatic. But these natural characteristics alone aren’t enough. Followers can be captivated by human traits—often to their own cost. Don’t settle for being a popular ‘Pied Piper’. Godly leaders are committed to connecting their followers with Jesus, not with themselves! Do your people know, love and serve God more because of your leadership? If so, you’re a godly leader.

(3) Sacrificial leadership. Would you still lead if, like Paul, you were betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, half–drowned, starved, stoned and left for dead? Godly leaders lead when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, unrewarding and costly. They’re dedicated to the sheep they’re responsible for, and the ‘Chief Shepherd’ they’re responsible to! They recognise that Jesus drafted and modelled the prototype of godly leadership at the cost of His own life: ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.’ (1 Peter 2:21 NIV)

LET THE LORD BE YOUR DEFENSE

Psalm 94:22 – But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.

Imagine being a poor widow, a stranger in the land and holding one of the lowliest jobs in society. That was Ruth’s situation, so it would have been easy for her to feel vulnerable and defenseless. But because she trusted the Lord (Ruth 1:16), He placed her under Boaz’s protection.

Boaz, the owner of the field she worked in, commanded his young men saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.” (Ruth 2:15) What he was saying to his men was this: “She might be a gleaner, but because I care for her, treat her with respect and make sure she is not put to shame.”

Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. If you are feeling vulnerable and defenseless right now, imagine Jesus commanding His angels, “Watch over this one who belongs to Me. Make sure he is treated with respect and not put to shame because he is someone I love and someone whom I died for.”

God’s Word tells us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) No one who has set himself against us can prevail because when God is for us, His protection is upon us. That is why I have never answered any of the poison email messages which I have received in the course of my ministry.

My attitude is this: Jesus is my defense. If He does not defend me, it means that there are things in my life that are not to be defended, and I would be glad to find out about them now rather than later. On the other hand, because I take the Lord as my defense, and He defends me, what can those who are against me do to me?

When you defend yourself, you have only your two hands and your own human resources. But when you let Jesus take up your defense, He defends you with His nail-pierced hands and His legions of angels! The results will be amazing.

Beloved, the Lord is your defense and refuge. Trust Him to defend and protect you!

Thought For The Day :
If the Lord is your defense, what can those who are against you do to you?

HYPOCRISY IS AN ATTITUDE

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. – Matthew 23:12

He who thinks that he will be exalted by acting as a servant, pretending to be humble so that he will receive the promise of God’s Word, is sadly mistaken. Hypocrisy is an attitude or motive.

There are two main types of hypocrisy: 1) People don’t practice what they preach. 2) People’s motives are wrong even though their actions are right.

The second type of hypocrisy is why Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees.

It is more subtle than the first type and is very prevalent today in religion. They were seeking self-glory instead of seeking to glorify God.

Their priorities are wrong, and their focus is on outward displays instead of on the inner condition of their heart. Furthermore, they always persecute the true worshipers of God.

Universally, people dislike blatant hypocrisy; although this subtle type of hypocrisy has been encouraged and even promoted by religion. Religion teaches tithing and giving for selfish motives while 1 Corinthians 13:3 and 2 Corinthians 9:7, make it clear that giving will profit us nothing unless we have the proper motive. The same thing happens when people try to achieve holiness by performing many other religious acts. It is not always the acts that are wrong, but the motives behind the acts. These wrong motives can also make you a hypocrite.

Anyone who rejects salvation because he doesn’t like religious hypocrites, should remember that if he doesn’t receive Jesus as his Lord, then he will spend eternity with these hypocrites in Hell.

LIFT SONGS OF PRAISE TO THE LORD

Ephesians 5:17 – Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

God wants us to walk as wise men and women, and not as fools. (Ephesians 5:15) Now, He will not tell us to walk in wisdom without showing us how. That is why His Word goes on to say, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

So what is the will of God? The next two verses tell us how to identify it: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:18–19)

As you allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit by lifting songs of praise to the Lord, singing or speaking (God knows some of us can’t sing!) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and making melody in your heart to the Lord, God promises that you will know what His will is for your situation. You will then have the wisdom to decide wisely what to do next.

I have found this to be true in my own life. Whenever I face a difficult situation, the more I think about it, the more confused I get. The more I try my best to come up with a smart solution, the further the answer seems to get from me. But when I turn away from my problem and turn to God, singing in the Spirit and praising Him, I get a clearer perspective of the problem when I come back to it later. I also find an inner prompting to make certain decisions which in the end, turn out to be better than anything I could have come up with on my own.

So my friend, lift up songs of praise to the Lord, whether times are good or bad. For when you fill your mouth with praises to God, He will lead you and guide you in all the affairs of your life. Even if you are stuck with a problem, He will show you the way to go or make a way out for you. Either way, you will get the wisdom and help that you need!

A NEW CREATION

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. —2 Corinthians 5:17

Early in my work life I had a coworker who seemed to delight in using God’s name as a profanity. He mercilessly taunted Christians who were new to their faith or who tried to talk with him about Jesus. On the day I left that job to move to another community and a new place of employment, I remember thinking that this man would never become a follower of Jesus.

Two years later I visited my old workplace. He was still there, but never have I witnessed such a dramatic change in a person! This man, so antagonistic to faith, was now a walking, talking example of what it means to be a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). And now, more than 30 years later, he’s still telling others how Jesus “met him where he was—sin and all.”

It occurs to me that the early Christians must have seen something similar in Paul, their fiery persecutor—a riveting example of what it means to become a new creation (Acts 9:1-22). What great hope both of these lives are to those who think themselves beyond redemption!

Jesus sought Paul and my former coworker—and me. And He continues today to reach the “unreachable” and model for us just how we can reach people too.

No one is beyond the reach of God.

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THE SPIRIT

BB

 Ruled By The Spirit

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:11-14

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians  5:18-21

Unlike others God doesn’t force things upon people. He is a Gentlemen who respects their choices and wishes. However He has given them not only His Son Jesus Christ and His wonderful Holy Spirit but His word which details His will for them including not to let sin reign in their mortal body, that they should obey it’s lusts!

We are to be filled with Spirit of God and not with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness and are not to be backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful! (Romans 1:29-30). We are to be doers of the Word not hearers only and to walk in the Spirit! God’s word is unchanging:

The 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.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:12-14

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25

Yes we are to make choices even on a daily basis to put to death our members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience! We  are to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of our mouth (Colossians 3:5-8) and are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and are to demonstrate His character, His love, His kindness and His patience. God’s word is unchanging:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  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.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.   Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:12-18

“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.  “Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.”And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.  “The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  “And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. Deuteronomy 28:8-13

When our character, deeds, works and actions correspond with the word of God, then we have the right to expect the blessings of God upon our lives and land! Then we will know the truth of what David said:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. Philippians 4:6-8

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.  These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

The carnal mind is enmity with God for it cannot please God. The mind is a battlefield which the enemy tries in infiltrate with many things including negative thoughts and dreams. But God’s people can put on the mind of Christ and think and meditate on whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report.  Nature abhors vacuum. Our mind is never on break; it is either charged with concerns of things of this life or overtaken with affection for the kingdom. Rather than being anxious and concerned with the things of this world, it is be concerned with the things of God and of His kingdom, so every other thing can be “added to you.” God’s word is unchanging:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew  6:33

“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Luke 12:21

Blessed is the man  Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;  But his delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season,  Whose leaf also shall not wither;  And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.  Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:15

The brain is always engaged, either positively or negatively. All we need to do is to make our choice on what occupies our mind and it should be the word of God. Prosperity is promised to those who delight in the word of God and meditate on it day and night.  When we mediate on something it goes from the realm of the mind which is just usually intellect ascent to the realm of our heart where it becomes faith and moves the mountains out in our lives when it is authoritatively spoken out. Yes, when the word of God is mixed with faith and acted on God’s miracle working power is released to bring about great change. The power in the Word is only released through the process of meditation. Until we ponder on the truth contained in the Word, get an understanding of that Word, and act on it, we cannot display miracles, signs and wonders. God’s word is unchanging:

Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16

The word meditate means “to consider deeply, to reflect upon, to revolve in the mind.” It is akin to the physical process of food digestion. Food when eaten undergoes three major processes before the nutrients in it can benefit the body. They are: digestion, absorption and assimilation. Often we think that the taste of food in the mouth and its weight in the stomach is all that there is to food. But until these three processes take place, food taken in offers no value to the body.

Similarly, until the Word of God we hear or read is broken down to assimilable forms and we contact the gems in it, our life can not be bettered by it. The meditation process is what breaks down the Word into assimilable forms, equipping us to walk on the highways of the miraculous. It’s the word of God that breaks into pieces the different rocks in our lifes. God’s word is true:

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;  And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew,  As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:4

Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:1-4

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-24

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YOUR HEALING

DD

CLAIM YOUR HEALING FROM ALL YOUR DISEASES

Psalms 103:1    Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2    Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3    Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4    Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5    Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6    The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.

Exodus 15:26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

Acts 28:9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.

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