Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gay Pride ... will the earth open up and destroy them?

It's Gay Pride day in Chicago. Parade. It will be on TV. Most politicians will participate. There will be abomination. The boy scouts and girl scouts will march in the parade. Simulated sex (and maybe some actual) will be everywhere.

I was grieved by this. Thought of God's attitude towards all this. THEN the word of the Lord hit me...

He said, "Many believe I will open the earth and swallow up evil, send them to hell, put on a demonstration of my disgust for this celebration of sin. I will not.. they are already swallowed up by their hopelessness and delusion. They are already in a hell of their own making. They know it. IF MY people will do more than pray, if they will rescue them from the degradation the enemy has imposed, killing and destroying who I created them to be, that is My desire for them. Be there when their foot is slipping.. and I will give you power to tread on the serpents and scorpions all around them. It's not just for your protection but to trample underfoot the camp of satan in their lives."

Save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:23

I'm not sure I'm ready .. Father is hard on me sometimes. Yet... His heart toward the lost is never changing. I know, I was once lost and someone snatched me from the fire.

BEING a Witness for JESUS does not Necessarily involve Preaching or Tracts

In order to be a witness you have to be able to effectively and with grace do the things people will respond to thru the love of Jesus.

I keep saying, don't witness to people (overtly go to them and tell them all about Jesus), be a witness, do the work of the ministry.  It MIGHT involve telling someone about Jesus.  It MIGHT involve sharing some bible verses and it could even involve leading someone  to Jesus where they give their heart to him.

That is possible, but it is a minor way it happens.  It certainly isn't how the church was formed.  Not the one I read about in the book of Acts.

Here is the "STUFF" we are called to do and that which builds the Kingdom:

  • Laying hands on the sick, they recover and give glory to GOD.
  • Speaking a word of encouragement to one who is discouraged.
  • Being a friend to the friendless.
  • Speaking truth to a person who is lost or confused.
  • Casting the demons out of a person's life.
  • Showing God's knowledge of a person's life by supernatural revelation.
  • Speaking faith rather than fear in hard situations.
  • Expressing Joy in the midst of the Struggle.
  • Loving someone who doesn't feel loveable.
  • Making others feel important.
  • Providing wisdom when confusion is in charge
  • Instructing those who will hear in the order of God.
  • Gathering and loving one another such that people are attracted to the community... the is hard.
  • Taking care of those IN the community when crisis hits.
  • Being present as people are dying and offering them hope.
  • Believing in someone when others will not.
  • Not giving up when someone stumbles - write no one off
  • Looking past the externals and into the heart of the matter when there is conflict.
  • Finding peace and rest for yourself and others when times are scary
  • Being victorious in spite of defeats
  • Standing strong as an overcomer when it all hits the fan
In other words, becoming a mature christian is the best witness of all.  The final christian witness is facing death with courage and fearlessness.  It is a witness that will bring people into the kingdom.

People WANT to believe that Jesus is the way, truth and the life, they really do, but we try to ply them with words when what the want is a demonstration of his effect in our lives.  To put it another way, when we DON'T live like this, we are seen for what we are.. fake.  No one wants to be pulled into another fake philosophy.

I am reminded of Rodney Howard-Browne's admonition long ago to me.. "you can LIVE like this"..and when you do.. others will find life... the life you demonstrate.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

When Seasons Change -- things fall off

It has been an unusual year in our part of the country.  Very cold winter.  We lost a lot of trees and shrubs.  Many things died.  Fell to the ground.  Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust.

Then spring came.  It was magnificent.  Flowers, leaves, bloom, glory.  It was wonderful.. but short and now most of those flowers have fallen.  They no longer provide the glory they once did. The leaves are still there, but the rose has lost it's petals.

Summer is here.  It's hot.  Dry.  Testing. Sometimes tormenting.  Almost more than one can bear sometimes.  OH, we air condition our places (when it works) but we suffer thru.

Soon will come Autumn.  Fall.  It's called fall because things fall off.  I'm not sure about that.. but it makes sense.

Life in the Spirit is like that.  There are cold times, then spring, then the heat and dry of summer and the fall. 

Things that motivated us once, things that were part of our desire to be part of sometimes fall away off our radar.  It's not that we are unwilling.. but we have seen the bloom depart from the rose.  It's not disillusionment.  It's seasonal change.

You can't perpetuate spring.  Even in the tropics.. there are seasons.

Don't be obsessed with the change, the loss, the new, the old.  It's part of a cycle that has been going on forever.  Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.  

When certain things, people, assignments, ministries, placements, relationships fall off.. it's preparation for the next season.  A too soon autumn is called an early frost and kills.

Everything in it's season

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I know this posture

I have been there, I know what it is like to lie on my back, stare at the stars in the absolute darkness of night and talk to Father on an intimate level. If you wonder why Jesus arose early in the day to pray.. I get it.

All Believers, All Churches, All Assemblies are to one level or another Charismatic

The idea that we have churches that are Charismatic and some that are not is specious.  All are.  To one extent or another.  The more a fellowship walks in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the more Charismatic you will be...  IF you walk in disobedience.. the opposite is true

Even apostate fellowships possess some level of charismata.  It may not be much.  It might be hidden.  But there is a small part of any fellowship that carries a smidgen of faith, hope, preaching that sometimes might even be prophetic and certainly some Koinonia love.  Even if it's fragmented and dead.. there must be some or people would abandon any semblance of the faith.  But the more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12) must be there before you can truly flow in the MORE EXCELLENT WAY (1 Corinthians 13)

This is not a defense for cold dead churches, it is an offense against the idea that one church is Charismatic and another is not.  Even in the cold dead Presbyterian, Anglican and nominal denominational churches of today... there is an ember of coals.  Fire of the Holy Ghost.  Waiting.  Stirring. God has a way of invading.  I was there when I watched the Holy Spirit invade the Catholic Church.  That doesn't happen unless there is a faithful remnant.

The truth is, we cannot and should not sanction anything less than full obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit..   that will and must look different from what we see today.

My prophetic word for you today is, God will not long allow churches to remain in rebellion against his leading.  He will either call them in or kill them off.  There can be no mixture.  See cloth and wineskins for more in Leviticus.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

IS the Bible Really Alive?

People without the fullness of the Spirit make a huge mistake.  They think the Bible is a Book.  A library of books actually.  History.  Prophecy.  Wisdom.  Poetry.  All good but nearly every atheist, pagan and nominal "christian" I know has during their lifetime read the Bible in whole or part.  Yet unconverted.

When a person of the BOOK tries to encounter someone using the BOOK as evidence for why they need to come to Jesus... it fails.  Not all the time, sometimes if they are lucky if the Holy Spirit has prepared them.. it can happen.

You must be fully intimate with the God who is alive in the Book for your life to be a Witness.

If you have been a christian for a while and then have an encounter with the Holy that results in the fullness of the Spirit with all the Biblical manifestations one thing almost everyone who does will say is, "The Bible Came Alive For Me".   Suddenly that dusty old book became a living thing in your hands.  

I can testify to that, and I'll bet a lot of my readers can as well.  Something happens when the Spirit of the Living God takes up residence in you. 

Without that it's simply a good book.  The good book.  Revered and ignored.

We are designed to be HIS witnesses. We cannot do that with information alone, but by the manifested life in the Spirit we demonstrate to the world.   Once people see and hear.. (not our preaching) they will ask.."What does this mean?",  

The word of God is LIVING.  Organic.  Real.  When we treat is simply as something to study (I'm not a big fan of thru the Bible in a year) we shortchange ourselves.  Consider what the intimacy in relationship to the Living God in revelation of Himself by the word of God, Written, Spoken, Prophesied, Preached means we hunger for more.  When I first met Peggy..  I couldn't get enough (still can't).  Want to be with her all the time.  Want to know her. When I find something about her new.. I dig deep.  Love does that.  Intimacy demands it. 

The same is true in the Word of God.  Knowing the book doesn't mean you know the author. Unbelievers around the world can teach the nuance of the book better than you can.  Show forth the Glory of GOD in your life.  But only if it alive for you.. it will expose you to the world for who you are and your desire will be fulfilled.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.  Hebrews 4:12

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Be ready... but expect a tough time

I agree fully with Dutch Sheets.. it will be amazing... yet it will be profoundly disruptive. There will be huge opposition. Churches will collapse because they were unable to deal with what will happen. People will be hungry for reality and Churches aren't able to provide. Everything will change, families, governments, order, economic conditions, everything. It will be seen as loss by those who have lived off the old system. Yet the new will be fresh, alive, vibrant, breathing, vital and whole. The bad part is, it won't look even a tiny bit like what you used to know as Christianity. Get Ready.. for the Kingdom Comes
What did you think of this week's episode with guest Dutch Sheets?
Haven't seen it? Catch it here:
— with Carmen V Galati.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Lord Says, "I would that all men be Saved".... yet all are not

We know what the will of the Lord is Regarding you, your family, your friends and all people of the world.

He wants all men saved.  Jesus died a sinless death to make that possible.  But all are NOT saved.  People die by the millions every day and end up in a Godless Hell.  Some to eternal torment and some to nothing at all... Just absent the presence of God.

That's not all the Lord wants for you.  He wants you to be in health. To have a sound mind.  Delivered of demonic influence. To know wisdom.  To have and manifest all the Gifts of the Spirit of God in abundance.  An Abundant Life.  In harmony with brothers and sisters in Christ.  In accord with the reveled word of God.  To be fruitful. To willful the God Given Destiny you possess.  To have more than enough.  To be the head and not the tail. Lender and not a borrower.  This is the will of God concerning YOU.  And if you dig just a tiny bit, you will find a whole list more of desires the Father has for you. Love, joy, peace, capacity to overlook injury and insult (forebearance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

It is NOT God's will for you to live the opposit of any of these.  Sickness (as I write this I have a summer cold).   I'm standing against it.  

The salvation of the whole earth was for all those who would recieve HIM.  Our salvation is free, and unfettered, our willingness to enter into that salvation is an invitation we respond to, not by any preacher, but by the Power of the Holy Ghost wooing us into that place where the Revelation becomes ours.

Universalists will say Jesus died for the whole of Humanity.  It's true.  BUT.. that's a tiny part of it all.

He died so that you might be SOZO.. saved.  Rescued.  Redeemeed.  

You can claw your way to hell, but you are stepping on the shed blood of Jesus as you go.

Yet millions do.  Just like millions are not healed, made whole, abundant, joyful, loved or full of peace.

Jesus died for that TOO.  It's yours for the asking... AND walking out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Robin McMillan: Mighty Works: A Key To Saving Our Nation

Robin McMillanPursuit for Mercy
Toward the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus issued a strong judgment against Capernaum, but within it I find an overlooked and hopeful promise for us, our cities, and our nation.

"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to Heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you" (Matthew 11:23-24).

In Genesis 18 the Lord and two angels visited Abraham and Sarah for dual purposes: They came to affirm God's promise to give them a child of their own, and to visit Sodom and Gomorrah to investigate firsthand the grave nature of the sin of its inhabitants. First, the Lord affirmed His promise to the couple, then discussed with Abraham His plan concerning the land of Sodom.

Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him." 

And the Lord said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know." Genesis 18:16-21
God revealed his heart by involving Abraham as He considered what must be done in Sodom and Gomorrah. It is obvious the Lord didn't want to destroy it, and so engaged Abraham in a conversation that could possibly change the outcome. Abraham appealed to God based on His goodness and righteousness (Photo via Wikimedia Commons):

"Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:24-25).

Abraham appealed to the Lord, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Surely He would not slay the righteous with the wicked, Abraham must have thought. Would God do such a thing if fifty righteous people lived there? 

God agreed to spare the city if but fifty righteous lived there. We know the rest of the story. Abraham continued to intercede, reducing the number of righteous people until he stopped at just ten righteous ones living there. Each time the Lord adjusted His decision to destroy them.

Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten." Genesis 18:32

Of note to me is Abraham's persistent pursuit for mercy. Some in our generation are calling for God to judge and destroy people, cities, and nations – but Abraham looked for reasons for God to extend mercy. God seemed to like that attitude, too.

Perhaps those who call for judgment do not believe that God can and will raise up those who walk in the kind of power that Jesus referred to in His denouncement of Capernaum. I believe the righteous response in our generation is for many to pursue the Lord for a fresh and extraordinary anointing for healing and miracles.
We should ask the Lord, "How can we partner with You to see our cities restored?" Might that be the higher road?

Our Example To Follow: The Father Of Our Faith
"Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him." For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Isaiah 51:1-3 (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Abraham is called our Father of Faith and is an example for the kind of attitudes and actions we should demonstrate toward the wicked and rebellious. Such were some of us...actually, all of deserving of God's judgment and destruction. Yet the Lord Himself delighted in Abraham's appeal and wanted to involve him in the outcome.

Intercession Alone – Not Enough To Save Sodom
Some have concluded, and rightly so, that intercession like Abraham's plays a significant role in saving cities. What would have happened if Abraham had not stopped at ten but appealed to the mercy of God if but one righteous person lived within that wicked place? We don't know, but perhaps just one person, one righteous person living there, could have made the difference. We see that Lot and his family did not qualify as ones who were able to turn the tide, but should there have been enough righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, people who moved in power, Jesus said it would have existed another 2,000 years!

But, intercession alone would not have saved Sodom and Gomorrah. It would have taken someone who operated in "mighty works," for Jesus said..."if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day" (Matthew 11:23b).
Think of it. Jesus said that Sodom and Gomorrah would have continued at least 2,000 more years if someone could have done there the mighty works Jesus did when He lived in Capernaum. They would have repented in light of that kind of demonstration, and the region would have averted its horrible fate. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

What then constitutes a righteous man? Is it intercession alone? No, it is an intercessor who also moves in the power of signs and wonders. Both of those characteristics contain the ability to produce repentance and restoration. Is it absolute? No. It wasn't enough for Capernaum, but Jesus said it would have been enough to have saved a place as evil as Sodom!

I Was Startled By Unexpected Enlightenment: New Year's Eve Revelation
One recent New Year's Eve my wife and I stayed at home, the only time in decades when we didn't attend a time of corporate worship ushering in the New Year. We both retired around 10:00 PM. Beside our beds we each have lamps that I inherited from my parents, who had them for years before we did, and we now have had them for over 15 years. At 10:38 PM my wife's lamp suddenly turned on of its own accord. It had never done that before and has not done it since. Although she was sound asleep, I wasn't. I awoke her, saying, "Donna, your light just turned itself!" She sat up in bed a little confused by it all, turned it off, and went right back to sleep.

I was greatly startled by the unexpected "enlightenment." How does your bedside lamp turn itself on? I believed an angel did it. I know that can be debated, but at least I knew God was speaking to me through it. When I reviewed the facts with her the next morning, she told me that she thought it was just a fluke, because the lamp was old and had become increasingly more difficult to turn on! I thought, "Well, that further confirms to me that the Lord is speaking through the occurrence, because if it is harder than normal to turn it on, someone invisible was 'strong enough' to do it without our help!" (Photo via Freeimages)

When it happened, I noticed the exact time: 10:38 PM, and felt that time represented a Bible verse that immediately came to mind –  

Acts 10:38:
" God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

God Is Able To Save Whole Families, Whole Cities, Even Whole Nations

I got my New Year's message that night. God turned the light on Acts 10:38. It is time for an anointing from Jesus where everyone gets healed! In reading the Wuest Expanded Translation, I am amazed at how many times Jesus healed every one of every sickness and disease.

And He was going around in the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and making a public proclamation of the good news regarding the Kingdom, and healing all chronic and serious disease and all occasional illness among the people. And the report concerning Him went off into the whole of Syria. And they brought to Him all those who were in a miserable condition physically, suffering with various kinds of chronic and serious ailments and acute pains, and those who were demonized and epileptic and paralytic, and He healed them...Matthew 4:23-25, Wuest Expanded Translation
And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues and making a public proclamation of the good news concerning the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. Matthew 9:35, Wuest Expanded Translation (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Now, when Jesus came to know it, He withdrew from there, and many people followed with Him. And He healed them all. Matthew 12:15, Wuest Expanded Translation

And there came to Him large crowds having with them those who were lame, maimed, blind, dumb, and many others having illnesses of a different nature, and they flung them to the ground at His feet. And He healed them, so that the crowd marvelled, seeing those who had been dumb speaking, and those who had been maimed whole, and those who had been lame walking about, and those who had been blind, seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:30-31, Wuest Expanded Translation

It was normal for Jesus to heal every one of every thing. He healed those who had "chronic and serious disease and all occasional illness," and "all those who were in a miserable condition physically, suffering with various kinds of chronic and serious ailments and acute pains...epileptic and paralytic"...and those who "were lame, maimed, blind, dumb, and many others having illnesses of a different nature."

In the Gospel of Matthew alone the Bible records at least SIX times that Jesus healed everyone of everything! I only quoted Matthew's Gospel to show the frequency of Jesus healing all. Will He do the same today? Yes, for Jesus does today what He did yesterday and that He will do forever, just as the writer of the Book of Hebrews affirms:

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
What would happen if Jesus anointed people at that level today? It would be amazing. Once again people from all levels and strata of society would flock to get healed. We must not settle for less than that. God is able to save whole families, whole cities, even whole nations with that level of mighty works. It may mean the difference in wholesale destruction or the restoration of our nation. If it could have saved Sodom and Gomorrah and preserved that city for an additional 2,000 years, what could it do for our beloved nation today?

Robin McMillan
Senior Pastor, Queen City Church


From Elijah List

Sunday, June 15, 2014

There are none so blind as those who will not see

 I was struck by this Matthew Henry Commentary.  On Jeremiah 5:21-23

 ‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see;
Who have ears but do not hear.
22 ‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
23 ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.

 From Matthew Henry:
Their understandings were darkened and inapt to admit the rays of the divine light: They are a foolish people and without understanding; they apprehend not the mind of God, though ever so plainly declared to them by the written word, by his prophets, and by his providence (Jer. 5:21): They have eyes, but they see not, ears, but they hear not, like the idols which they made and worshiped, Ps. 115:5, 6, 8.

One would have thought that they took notice of things, but really they did not; they had intellectual faculties and capacities, but they did not employ and improve them as they ought. Herein they disappointed the expectations of all their neighbors, who, observing what excellent means of knowledge they had, concluded, Surely they are a wise and an understanding people (Deut. 4:6), and yet really they are a foolish people and without understanding. Note, We cannot judge of men by the advantages and opportunities they enjoy: there are those that sit in darkness in a land of light, that live in sin even in a holy land, that are bad in the best places.

2. Their wills were stubborn and unapt to submit to the rules of the divine law (Jer. 5:23): This people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; and no wonder when they were foolish and without understanding, Ps. 82:5. Nay, it is the corrupt bias of the will that bribes and besots the understanding: none so blind as those that will not see.

The character of this people is the true character of all people by nature, till the grace of God has wrought a change. We are foolish, slow of understanding, and apt to mistake and forget; yet that is not the worst. We have a revolting and a rebellious heart, a carnal mind, that is enmity against God, and is not in subjection to his law, not only revolting from him by a rooted aversion to that which is good, but rebellious against him by a strong inclination to that which is evil.

Observe, The revolting heart is a rebellious one: those that withdraw from their allegiance to God do not stop there, but by siding in with sin and Satan take up arms against him. They have revolted and gone. The revolting heart will produce a revolting life. They are gone, and they will go (so it may be read); now nothing will be restrained from them, Gen. 11:6.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sandie Freed: You Can Be Fearless About The Possibility Of Lack

Sandie FreedBankruptcy. Foreclosure. Inflation. How about fiscal cliffs? Let's take this a little further – something that's daily on the news – the national deficit that is completely out of control! We can all relate to the potential to fear our future concerning financial security during these times. However, as Believers, we are not wired to depend upon the global economy. And, actually, there is no grace to do so! How is that? Well, allow me to explain our spiritual DNA a bit and point you to keys that release the increase that God promises. And, yes, you can prosper during drought, famine, and lack – if you position your faith properly as a child of God.
Being Fruitful, Increasing, And Multiplying
Dear Believer, God's mandate to mankind has not changed. We know from Genesis 1:26-27 (NIV) that when God created mankind in His own image that He gave them dominion and authority. We read in the next verse (verse 28) that He also blessed them and instructed them to increase: "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Since He created mankind in His own image and breathed life into them, we know that mankind was created with God's DNA! And according to His direction to them (to know they were blessed, to be fruitful, and take dominion and increase), I believe it is safe to conclude that we are not wired to accept lack. Lack should be considered an invasion from the enemy or an invasion of circumstances that attempt to seduce us into unbelief. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
If you recall, satan tempted Eve with lack – and she believed the lie! Satan lied to Eve and caused her to doubt what God had spoken to her. Genesis 3:1 (KJV) gives us an important clue concerning the evil seductions of our enemy: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, 'Yea, hath God said, "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden"?'" (my emphasis added). The word subtle is the Hebrew word 'aruwm (pronounced aw-room'), and it means "cunning (usually in a bad sense)." It is further translated as "crafty" and "prudent." Prudent? Now that word deserves attention! Let's delve into this a bit. Keep reading; breakthrough for increase awaits!
Satan's being prudent means that he carefully, skillfully, and, yes, shrewdly, plans his evil seductions. At the time in the Garden (and his seductions still haven't changed today), he decisively mapped out schemes to target Eve's faith in what God had said – concerning His directives as well as His desire to provide and protect. Adam and Eve were given dominion – even over this cunning serpent. Yes, they were in the Garden of Increase, and yet it was never fully accessed due to the prudence of satan and their believing him!
Take a moment and focus on the passage in Scripture which describes the craftiness of satan to lie and seduce mankind which is recorded in Genesis 3:1-6 (NIV). As you read, please note and carefully consider the words in bold:
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?' (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
"The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die."'
"'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'" (my emphasis added).
Satan's Seduction In The Garden Targeted Eve's Identity And Sense Of Lack
Notice specifically these three areas of satan's craftiness and how he twisted Eve's perception of God:
• Satan said, "Did God really say..." How often has God given us directives, or a promise of breakthrough and increase, and almost immediately satan comes with words of doubt? He cunningly finds a way to erect a death structure of unbelief by saying words like, "Did God really say that He was Jehovah Jireh, your Provider?"
• Satan said, "You shall not surely die." How often are we tempted to not believe God's Word? Adam and Eve did not immediately die when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, rather than only from the Tree of Life. No! But, it did cause a death structure to be erected over their lives. From the time they ate from the wrong tree, death had dominion! For us today, satan continues to lie to us concerning how "unimportant" it is for us to believe God!
Believers, when we do not heed God's principles, it opens the door for drought, famine, and lack. How is that? Well, since I want to target a false sense of lack, let's focus on the law of sowing and reaping.
Sowing and reaping are godly principles that will open the doors to your increase and harvest. Our spiritual DNA has wired us to be givers. After all, God is a giver. He gives, and gives, and gives out of love. Our foundation for this principle of love and giving is based upon John 3:16 (ASV): "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (my emphasis added). Yes, God "loved" and "gave." (Photo via Freeimages)
Again, we are not wired to be stingy, withhold, and hoard. Even during an economic crisis, we are to continue to focus on God's Word, which encourages us to "...give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38 ASV). Yes, we are instructed to "give," and then it is "given."
Increase and multiplication await you! Don't allow a fear of lack to keep you from crossing your threshold of abundance! Unbelief causes a death structure to block your breakthrough.
• Satan said, "...when you eat of will be like God." Satan was targeting Eve's identity! Yes! How is that? Well, she was already like God, as she had been created in His image. Satan tried this same seduction with Jesus during His time in the wilderness. Satan told the Bread of Life "...If you really are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread" (Matthew 4:3, paraphrased). Jesus had just previously been baptized by John the Baptist and the Father declared, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Notice that almost immediately satan targeted Jesus' identity! Precious saint – he does the same with us! (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
When God has declared to you that you will prosper and be in health, the enemy will come immediately to cause you to doubt all that God has promised. We need not fear concerning our finances or lack. If we are His child, He promises to take care of us. Remember, the Word of God is still true as it says, "...For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
We need not be fearful concerning our financial situations, either present or future! Having faith in God's Word, even during times of financial crisis, will defeat fear and unbelief structures. Yes, it's possible to remain fearless even during difficult times. God promises to give us grace – and it is that exact grace that will empower you to remain fearless!

Will You Attack Every Area Of Lack?
In my recent book, Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty: Discerning and Defeating the Ancient Powers of Mammon and Babylon, I discuss how a poverty mentality and greed hinder us from experiencing the blessings of God. This particular book is a war manual for us, as we are presently in a spiritual battle of contending with one of the greatest spirits that holds us in captivity: poverty.
When we agree with a poverty mentality, we are refusing to become what God has created and destined us to be. This includes an ungodly mindset of not believing (structures of unbelief!) that the Lord can cycle us into the fullness of His divine plans for us. Poverty includes lack; but, added with poverty is a fear of experiencing lack. Poverty has a voice – a voice that says, "God is not able!"
Fear of lack results in greed, covetousness, and even gluttony (see Proverbs 23:21). We experience poverty when we resist the leading of the Holy Spirit or resist His instructions (as Eve did when she believed satan's lies and ate from the forbidden tree).
The Midianite Spirit That Steals The Harvest
If you have noticed that you remain in cycles where your harvest is continually stolen, then you need to begin to war against the Midianite spirit. Gideon was familiar with the Midianites, as they were the ones who stole harvest from the Israelites. Each year, right at harvest, the Midianites had already devised a plan to steal the harvest from the Israelites. If you have noticed that right before your job promotion, just when you are expecting checks in the mail, or maybe every year at Christmas – the enemy comes and steals the blessings and breakthroughs – then it's time to go to war!
You must first begin to renew your mind concerning God's promises concerning your being blessed and anointed for increase. I have always said that the biggest battle is in our minds. It's time to repent (change our minds) for believing falsely about God, His provision, and His love for us. Dear Believer – we don't have to twist God's arm to bless us! He has already promised to bless us, and even made covenant as a guarantee! (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Not Agree With Mammon!
In my book which I previously mentioned, I write much on the spirit of Mammon. Mammon was the name of an actual false Syrian god that was worshipped – even by some of the Israelites! Mammon is more than mere money. Mammon seduces us into "loving" money – often much more than God. Mammon attempts to rule over us through ungodly lust for wealth, fame, and fortune. Mammon creates an atmosphere for a fear of lack. Trusting fully in God and His divine provision is what negates the power of Mammon over our lives.
Matthew 6:24 explains that no one can serve both God and Mammon. Money, in and of itself, is neutral. Money is neither good nor bad. It is the love of money that becomes dangerous to us as Believers – whether we have any or not! We must continually examine our relationship with money and our dedication to the power which is behind money. That's right – money represents power, and it can be every seductive. Again, we must guard ourselves against the love of money (see 1 Timothy 6:10).
I want to help you understand how Mammon enslaves and imprisons us if we trust in worldly riches rather than God and His Word. The bottom line is: It is about whom or what we trust. Is it any wonder that an idol, named Mammon, was created so that men would worship it above the One true God? Yes, satan planned this evil scheme ever since he seduced mankind in the Garden. Whenever we put our trust in money, rather than God, we fall prey to the enemy over and over again.
Disasters may strike. But, did you realize that God is our Master in every time of disaster? Maybe you've made bad decisions concerning money and now you are facing difficulties. I have good news for you: God cares and He still wants to bless you! Sure, you may need to seek wisdom in the future before making major financial moves – but God does not desire to punish you with poverty! (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
If you have believed that, it is time to repent for a false belief system, and then realize this: To repent means that we need to change the way we think. Yes, Believer, we must change the way we think about ourselves and about God. If you feel ashamed for your past failures, remember that God has clothed you with a robe of righteousness.
God has made a covenant to bless you when you become His child. He will resolve your financial messes, even if they are self-inflicted. Yes! Read that last sentence again! He is the only One to get us out of our messes. He will give you His wisdom! Getting more money is not the cure-all. Being submitted to God and trusting in Him and His provision is the only way to break out of lack.
You Qualify For God's Abundant Blessings
God told Abraham that He was going to bless him in order that he would then be a blessing to the nations. Believer, listen up! Prosperity was never meant to only bless us – it is about being a blessing to others! The prosperity message has been very misunderstood. It is not about believing God to bless us so that we keep it all for our own sakes. God has a much bigger plan whenever we get breakthroughs; His blessings are purposeful, and it's all about becoming a blessing to others.
Jesus taught thirty-eight parables concerning money and money management. I believe it would be safe to say this: Being good stewards is on the top of God's list! In Scripture, there are over five hundred verses concerning prayer and fasting – and yet there are two thousand on money and possessions from Jesus' teachings. So, again, it appears also very safe to conclude that Jesus taught five times more on money than prayer. Why is that? Because, dear friends, I truly believe He knew that if we do not learn to master money, then money will master us! (See Matthew 6:24.) (Photo via Freeimages)
Saint of God, know this important fact concerning being fearless against lack. You qualify for God's abundance because you are His child. He loves to provide for His kids! Once you decided to become a child of God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, then all the promises of God become yours!
He wants you to know Him as the Father who loves to provide for His children and bless them. Make a decision today to trust Him and position yourself to receive all that He desires to give you. It's time to change our poverty mentality, believe for His promises, and confess that it is His will for us to prosper! Yes, it's time to understand and know more fully the generous heart of God!
Open your heart to the Holy Spirit today and pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, I want to give You every fear that I am challenged with – especially the fear of lack. I want to turn my entire life over to You. I trust You with my life, my family, my ministry, my business, and my finances. Forgive me for believing that You did not desire to bless me. I know that I am Your child and that it is Your desire to lavish me with abundant love and blessings. I decree BREAKTHROUGH over my life! I decree that PROSPERITY and BLESSINGS are being released on my behalf. Thank You, Lord, that because of the shed Blood of Jesus and what He accomplished at the Cross that I can expect to be blessed!
In Jesus' name. Amen!
Dr. Sandie Freed
Zion Ministries
Co-pastor, Lifegate Church, Hurst, Texas

Dr. Sandie Freed co-labors with her husband, Mickey Freed, doing the work of the Lord as a ministry team. In addition, they are the founders of Zion Ministries Training Center in Bedford, Texas, and Lifegate Church International.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Make him a minister of the Word! by Floyd Shafer

A little harsh.. but true. Too many "Ministers" are milquetoast... and meaningless 

Fling him into his office, tear the office sign from the door and nail on the sign: Study.

Take him off the mailing list, lock him up with his books and his typewriter and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts, broken hearts, the flippant lives of a superficial flock, and the Holy God.

Force him to be the one man in our surfeited communities who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing.

Set a time clock on him that will imprison him with thought and writing about God for 40 hours a week. Shut his garrulous mouth forever spouting "remarks" and stop his tongue always tripping lightly over everything nonessential.

Require him to have something to say before he dare break silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley, fire him from the PTA and cancel his country club membership; burn his eyes with weary study, wreck his emotional poise with worry for God, and make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk before God and man.

Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone, burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets, refuse his glad hand, and put water in the gas tank of his community buggy. Give him a Bible and tie him in his pulpit and make him preach the Word of the living God.

Test him, quiz him and examine him; humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine, and shame him for his glib comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist, scorn his insipid morality, refuse his supine intelligence, and compel him to be a minister of the Word.

If he dotes on being pleasing, demand that he please God and not man. Form a choir and raise a chant and haunt him with it night and day: "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." When at long last, he dares assay the pulpit, ask him if he has a Word from God; if he does not, then dismiss him and tell him you can read the morning paper, digest the television commentaries, think through the day's superficial problems, manage the community's myriad drives, and bless assorted baked potatoes and green beans ad infinitum better than he can.

Command him not to come back until he has read and re-read, written and re-written, until he can stand up, worn and forlorn, and say, "Thus saith the Lord." And when he is burned out by the flaming Word that coursed through him, when he is consumed at last by the fiery Grace blazing through him, and when he who was privileged to translate the truth of God to man is finally translated from earth to heaven, then bear him away gently, blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly, place a two-edged sword on his coffin and raise a tune triumphant, for he was a brave soldier of the Word and e'er he died he had become a spokesman for his God.

Floyd Shafer

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Dinar Delusion

Too many of my friends are taken with this delusion.

I have spoken against it.. but

Other prophets have... like Kim Clement

I know nothing about the dinar, really, except that it’s Iraqi, and I do have a sense this morning when I took the money into my hands (somebody had sent some to me, which we kept in a safe) – but I took the money and I didn’t have a good feeling.  I just want you to know that; I didn’t have a good feeling about it.  When I say that, I say there’s a lot of corruption, there are a lot of lies. There are a lot of brokers that are trying to milk you, as he said, and I felt to pray against that for you that are under my care as a pastor and as a prophetic voice.  So I’ve done that today and I’ll do that tomorrow morning.  But here you have some very beautiful signs, so hold on – don’t let go, don’t give in, and don’t be fooled, ok?  I pray for God’s protection on you in that area.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pixie Dust Faith when God told us to have Faith as a MUSTARD SEED

Too many of us have faith in faith.  Faith in something without substance.  Faith in the spiritual equivalent of Pixie Dust and ground Unicorn Horns. 

It's not faith. It's presumption.

And it's a sin...

James 4:13-16 says, "Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil." I was once at a church where they made available their 5, 10, and 15 year plans. They had them professionally designed, laminated, and very, very detailed with budget numbers, specific ministries, exact parking places, and so on. Part of me was impressed at the thoroughness of preparation, the depth of planning, and the incredible drive and vision for the future. Yet most of me was amused/appalled. Now, I don’t know how rigidly they were planning to hold to these plans; in fact, they were probably being open to God’s leading. But I admit that I did chuckle to myself simply because I know how God tends not to work exactly according to our plans, particularly 15 years out. I know that my tomorrow will unfold very differently than I would envision it. Such keeps us humble.

Now let me state outright that planning is good, normal, and healthy. But I can and must say that when planning becomes presumption, we have crossed the line into sin. When things don’t unfold as we had assumed they would or as we had planned, it is easy to get angry or bitter against God or other people. But if we recognize that God is in control and we are not, it is much easier to be flexible and pliable to the plans of God as they unfold. I am not against long term thinking, mid-term planning, or short-term projections. Such are a necessary part of business and life in general. But any accomplished and honest businessman can tell you that one of the most important things about management is being willing to seize opportunities as they come which can and does result in deviating from the specifics of the plan at times. The same is true in the Christian life. We know the general direction we are to go. For example, we should read God’s Word, pray, train our children to obey the Lord, fellowship with other believers, love our spouses, etc. But I know I would drive myself crazy if I was trying to decide where my kids were going to go to college today. I don’t even know where they are going to go to kindergarten. When we start thinking that we have our future all lined up and figured out, we risk the sin of presumption. God doesn’t mind us planning and being wise stewards of time, energy, and resources. But what He doesn’t take glory in is us imposing our will upon Him such that we don’t remain pliable to His plans as they unfold tomorrow.

We are not allowed to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34), and here in James we are told not to presume upon tomorrow. Frankly, as James alludes, we don’t even know if we will be alive tomorrow. We might go to bed tonight and never wake up. That is not meant to be a morbid thought, but it is meant to be a sobering thought. Christians are called to walk soberly because we have a sober calling (e.g. 1 Peter 4:7, 5:8, 2 Timothy 4:5). Life is short, our mission is clear, and our calling is serious. God wants us to daily take up our crosses, deny ourselves, and follow Him (Luke 9:23), regardless of what He ordains to come our way. He gives us daily bread for our daily needs (Matthew 6:11). Daily we need to seek our Lord for daily provision. Then tomorrow, we should do the same. Again, this does not negate planning, for choices we make today are often in light of consequences of the future. But the key is that we cannot presume upon certain future events unfolding in our lives on earth when we make our decisions today. We are not God, and such thinking is pure arrogance. It will only lead to stress and worry as we struggle and strive to make things fit exactly as we had envisioned them. God doesn’t want us to boast about anything, including our own power to control our own destinies. The key is that we must retain an attitude in our hearts which says, "If the Lord wills" (c.f. Paul in Acts 18:21). This is a humble, proper attitude before a Sovereign Lord which acknowledges that our days and times are in His hands, not ours.

The call isn’t necessarily to say "if the Lord wills" after everything we say or plan to do. It is not some magical charm as if there is power in the words. What God is after is a heart attitude that does not presume which would otherwise cause us to boast in our own power and self-sufficiency. He wants hearts that acknowledge that He is over all things, including our lives and including our tomorrows. If God wills, we will get married, have kids, get that job, sell that house, seal that deal, get that contract, etc. We might be good at what we do, but we are not God. We might be skilled or visionary, but we are not sovereign. We might be good as making things happen, but we are not all-powerful. God’s plans cannot be thwarted, but ours can be and regularly are. God doesn’t want us to presume upon our ability to carry out our vision and plans, but He does want us yield to His plans and purposes for our lives, whether at home, at work, at school, or anywhere and anytime. This is one of the predominant ways in which we fulfill God’s command in Proverbs 3:6 to acknowledge God in all of our ways. The result is that God will direct our paths, making our way straight. He will take us where He knows we ought to go if we let Him. Arrogance opposes God, and God opposes the arrogant (James 4:6). But He gives grace to the humble, to those who seek His will and yield to His leading.

Let us not grow arrogant and fall for the sin of presumption, but let us rather willingly and humbly follow God as He leads. Let us say with David, "My times are in Your hand" (Psalm 31:15). 
We are to walk in Faith Believing... but with substance... not presumption.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Truths from Jonathan Welton

 The devil is not a creative being; he operates his kingdom by masquerading as light.

  It will take a generation of brave pastors to reestablish the supernatural as natural for Christians.

 If the Church was walking in the supernatural like Jesus did (and like He told us to), there would be no New Age movement.

 The existence of counterfeit spiritual power is not reason to shun all spiritual power altogether. Rather, the best response is to pursue the authentic while being aware of the deceptive counterfeit.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kim Clement on the Big E

For a decade I have been hearing about the Big E. 

Kim has an update. 

You be the judge... but I'm open to hear.

THE BIG E! Things are happening and unfolding regarding this revelation that was given to me years ago. Einstein.  Something new is coming forth!  On Codebreakers, you will hear prophetic secrets given in advance in 2005, 2006, and 2007, insight connected to the Big E, something that Einstein saw in his day, and a new source of energy that will profoundly bless your nation, your economy, and your generation.  These prophetic clues will help you unlock the mystery of the Big E, and enable you to recognize its emergence when it begins to appear.   This nation will tell the Middle East “you can take your oil and shove it”, because God has something new to reveal.  This is the time when the Kingdom is not only received, but is possessed. 

Wearying God

I get email greetings from Africa, Pakistan and India all the time from people who never participate in online discussions, from people I don't know at any level, from people who are needy. They don't want a relationship, they want other things: Financial Support, A word (which I am always happy to give if they ask without the appended money plea), impossible requests (send us all your shoes) or the ubiquitous come and be part of our crusade (or reports about their crusades they are having). I am in favor of having these relationships if they are NOT one sided.

From these communications I begin to understand how we can weary God with our one sided prayer. When we simply say every day. Hi God. Bless me. We are not in relationship with Him. We are still an outlier. Time to come into the inner court, tell Him how much He means to you, tell Him of His Greatness and His Glory. Thank Him again and again for all HE IS and all you have in HIM.. Pour your heart out to Him in revelation of your love for Him. That's relationship.

Everything else just wears ... 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Devil's Doctrine.. Powerless Pentecost

Sunday is Pentecost Sunday.  It will be preached on, celebrated, taught about and explained but not demonstrated.  Most will preach a powerless Pentecost. People do not grasp what really happened at Pentecost.

Yet, the real evidence of Pentecost is with us today.  It has always been.  It is just suppressed.  It is the one thing the devil fights against with all the demons under his command (the worst is traditional religion) .

Think about it.  Demons don't much fight doctrines about:
  • The birth of Christ
  • That He was a great teacher.
  • That He was crucified.

There is some battle over his Resurrection.  The enemy would rather have an indeterminately dead Christ.  So even in the day, they lied about the resurrection. It still is an open question among some so called believers.

The real religious demonic assault is the most intense about Pentecost.  Pentecost is the greatest danger to the devil so he does all he can to decisive people about the event and what it means.  The real problem is, if Christians understood the truth.. the devil's domain is in real trouble.  Keeping people powerless is the best he can hope to do.  To do this he needs help.  Help from people who don't KNOW they are helping him.   Good people. Honest (deceived) people.  People who love others and lead them to a knowledge of Jesus.. just a powerless knowledge. 

In the powerless church Pentecost is recognized as a great day, birth of the church, Holy Spirit coming (sorta) and a preached motivation to evangelize like Peter did.  The hard questions are never answered about the day of Pentecost.. like why did they appear drunk to the crowd?  What were they doing to appear so?  What changed for the Disciples from hiding out in an upper room to boldly declaring to the crowd who weeks before cried "Crucify Him" and saying YOU KILLED HIM.  REPENT!!

Something changed.  Something happened.  Pentecost.  It's the " shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost shall come upon you" thing Jesus promised those who waited.

Yet.. it's not just that which should be celebrated. It was the initial empowering and demonstration of the empowering.  It's just not the full story.

Why tongues as foolish evidence at Pentecost? God is in the habit of using weak and foolish things to accomplish His purposes so He uses our tongues.  The most foolish member in our whole body.

He could have had a feather grow from the top of their heads of those filled with the Spirit.  He might have had a mark show up.. hand and forehead or some such.  He could have had a third arm manifest.  He has that power.  But no, He must have thought, "I confused them at Babel to divide them, now I will unify them with a supernatural tongue.  One they cannot criticize one another over. One only I and the angels will understand.  One where I can use it to reach people who will supernaturally hear people speak in their own language sometimes and other times will see it as a sign".

He used the tongue because it is the most difficult member of our whole body to tame. James 3:1-9

He used the tongue because once it comes under dominion, then all the other gifts of God can be released in the believer.  It is the gateway to the full manifestation of all the Gifts of the Spirit.  IF the whole Tongues thing can be stopped, the believer is left without power.

The religious demons have had some success blinding those who insist that Tongues are passed away.  That no one speaks in tongues as they did at Pentecost.  Their total proof text is ONE VERSE in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. one.  ONE!!!  Nothing else in the whole of scripture supports those who deny this manifestation of the Holy Ghost... particularly this initial manifestation.

There is a problem with that Proof Verse.  It was talking about the day in Heaven when we will not speak in Tongues.. they will not be needed because we will simply think a thought and it will be heard.  Preaching and Prophesying won't be needed either. That will be hard on some who think they are going to have a TV program on HBN (Heaven Bible Network) up there.  Preaching will have passed away.

Let's look at a little Historicity.  Passed away tongues (and all the other manifestations mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12) are gone as well when you take away the initial.  I have never known anyone who  operates in any of the others with power if they reject the initial evidence.  No faith. No miracles.  No healing manifesting.  No Prophecy. No Words of Knowledge or Wisdom.  Not much.  Just preaching and teaching.  It would be like a sick and dying person coming to the man of God saying,"I'm sick, Please Preach to me".  No at that moment they want and need the power of God.

So if Pentecost was a one time event.. what about other occurrences.. exactly like Pentecost years later?

15 years after the Great Day of Pentecost it happens again: 1 Corinthians 19:1-7.   Paul is on the Road. Traveling.  He comes across about a dozen sincere believers who had been baptized by John the Baptist.  "Johnabaptists" we'll call them. They were following in all that they knew.  They knew some truth and were being loyal to the truth to the best of their knowledge. 

Paul asks them.  “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” v2.

They were honest and open and answered: “We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

He gave them a some instruction, helped them understand the Power of the Baptism of Jesus (in the Holy Spirit..)
So Paul baptized them (so much for the one baptism formula) and he laid hands on them.  POW BANG ZOWIE:  They started Prophesying the Glory of God and Speaking in other Tongues.

There were no "foreigners" there to hear them speak in their own language.  Paul spoke to them in their native tongue.  If this was about language there would have been no need for tongues.  They simply were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in Tongues and Prophesied.   JUST LIKE ON THE FIRST DAY OF PENTECOST.  What did they Prophesy?  The Glory of GOD.  Just like on the day of Pentecost.

So when did it all end? Project ahead 75 years.  It's the year about 125 AD.  Had Tongues faded away then as the cesessionists insist?  When did the last tongue talking grandpa say to his grandchild; "you know sonny, back in my day when we all got together we spoke in an unknown tongue.  Just like the Bible says we should in when Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14."  The grandchild chides his Grandpa; "OH GRANDPA..  You know that all went away. Nobody speaks in lounges anymore.  They have ceased.  That's what my Bible Teacher told me anyway".  When was that last time anyone spoke in tongues and it all just stopped?   Obviously it did.. or seemed to.  Why. When?  Without much argument tounges did stop for some reason.  If scripture is telling us the truth,  for DECADES after Pentecost, a free flow of all the gifts of the Spirit were in effect.  This church that caused so much uproar in Ephesus (read all of chapter 19) was the one Paul long afterwards wrote to and to his spiritual Son Timothy who watched over it later.

The devil has an answer for this too. The day (The First Corinthians 13 day) became perfect when the BIBLE was canonized.  So tongues aren't for today. Isn't that convenient?  Nothing else is either.  The devil has succeeded for centuries to keep the Power out of the Church.  In the last 100 years or there has been a renewal of Pentecost. The devil really hates this and is doing all he can to defame it.  The good news is he has lots of help from badly taught religious people.  Even the religious Bible translators contest Mark 16:15-18.  It's so inconvenient to talk of people speaking in tongues by Jesus. 
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

They would love to cut out this too:  1 Corinthians 14:39
So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

I need to have a date when it all ended.  There was a day.. the devils day.  Here's what I know for sure.  The Devil wanted it to stop and stop now.  He couldn't stand it. The gift of tongues is the gateway for power and manifestations of the Spirit in the church.  Stop that.. you spiritually cut the heart out of the church.  De-power it.

There are lots of post day of Pentecost things to say about tongues and the gifts of the spirit that it opens the door to:

Cornelius and his family when ministered to by Peter spoke in Tongues and Glorified GOD.  PENTECOST.  If it was another language to be understood, who were they talking to? Everyone present spoke the same language..why tongues? This was well after the first Day of Pentecost.

Tongues are a language that only God understands.  There are men's and angels tongues.   
1 Corinthians 14:1-40 
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

Tongues are no substitute for Prophecy.. but sometimes they are needed to get someone's attention:
1 Corinthians 14:19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

The praying in the Spirit is for OUR benefit:
Jude 1:20
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
1 Corinthians 14:4
The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

The Spirit himself helps us in our lack of words when we do.   Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

When Simon SAW people being filled with the Holy Spirit.. it was such a big deal to him, the manifestations he saw, he offered to PAY the disciples to learn how to do this.  WHY?  What happened?  Something attracted him.

Some unbelievers will be stunned what they hear.. they will react by repentance.  God will have been manifested.  That will stun them.   
1 Corinthians 14:22
Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.

WE are ALL supposed to come into a more excellent way. A way of Love. A way of full manifestation of all the Gifts God gives to his people to give to others.  

There is one more heresy the devil has imposed on the religious church.. that when we are born again or when we are baptized we receive the Holy Spirit.  This is a half truth. We all have the capacity to receive a bit of the Holy Spirit's touch by the grace of God. The thief on the cross that cried out to Jesus did so not out of knowledge but out by the power of Holy Spirit's revelation.  He was not baptized in the Holy Ghost.  Just saved.  Yet he got some.

That's not Pentecost.  That's a nominal Spirit receiving.  A born again believer gets a measure of the Holy Ghost when he comes in.  Good but not the Baptism of the Spirit Jesus promised.  Jesus comes to the disciples and breathes on them saying "Receive ye the Holy Spirit".  John 20:22  This was after the resurrection but before Pentecost. If that was all they needed then that would have been it.  INSTEAD he instructed 500 people to go to Jerusalem (including the 11 remaining disciples, the Marys and the mother of Jesus) to go to Jerusalem and WAIT.  In the end only 120 remained.  The waiting was a weeding out process.  Those 120 were hungry for God.  Hunger allowed the wind to blow.  We still have believers who are unwilling to wait and believe for more but are operating without the Power of the Holy Ghost.  Not hungry.

If that initial infilling was enough.. Jesus would never have instructed the disciples as he did.

If you are preaching Pentecost this Sunday.. don't preach the devil's doctrine of a powerless Pentecost.  Do not tell your people to go out and do the work of the evangelist if they are walking in simple salvation without the power promised by Jesus.  Jesus left so we would do greater works... and He sent the equipment.  Let's start to do the stuff Jesus told us to do in Mark 16 but let's do it in full power.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Better is not Perfect

We are pretty hard on imperfection in our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus warned us about this:

 Luke 6:42
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

The speck is a problem.  It messes the vision up.  It can be uncomfortable.  It is distracting.  It is less than perfect.  Yet... with that speck if you have plank vision, a log in your eye, you are MUCH worse off.  You are in trouble.  

Here's the inversion of this verse.  The speck guy who can clearly see the plank will think himself better than his brother.  He will make a big deal out of speck removal really thinking about the other guy's plank.

All of us sin, have sin, will sin, are sinful.  We don't want it. It's a speck.  Be careful not to look plank people and think yourself better because you are a speck guy.

Only one was speck free... only one.   And HE doesn't judge you for your speck... or your plank. He will remove it from you... and bring you in PERFECT...   Clear Vision