Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tithing

     This is going to be hopefully short because the concept, that Jesus himself even tried to share, is that it is all without exception knowing who you are, your true identity, as a son of God through the finished works of Jesus. Tithing in any form denies this status of sonship and demotes one to a servant mindset. A son does not earn from our Father but a servant tries to. In general many look at all the scriptures in the books of the Old Testament, and much like the Pharisees of Jesus day, they pour over them trying to make a principal work instead of seeing Jesus in them.

     During the days of Jesus’ ministry, training the disciples, he never spoke to them about finances in the form of tithing. Why? Because he considered them to be sons of God as himself with himself. Interestingly you never see Jesus, who we are all predestined to conform to be in the image of, tithe himself. It was just not an issue that he was at all concerned with. Again one may ask why, and the reason simply was he knew that our Father would supply all his needs. Another way of looking at this is there is only one reason that anyone ever needs money and that is so they can buy something that is of this natural world from another person. So what did Jesus actually teach about our physical needs. Matthew 6:19-31. Jesus is pretty clear here in stating that treasure comes in more than one form. If your treasure is in finances, such as verse 19, then you will lose it at some point in some way. As the old adage goes, “You can’t take it with you.” But your treasure can be in the things of God, which has absolutely nothing to do with finances but people. And as Jesus noted if your treasure is money then your heart, your life, will always be influenced by money. If your treasure is in the things of God, then your heart will always be influenced by God.

     By the way in the verses above it talks about someone having a good eye and a bad eye. Many misinterpret this thinking that is has something to do with beliefs or teaching or any other thing outside of finances, but there is a good reason why this is in the middle of this discussion. Having a good eye is an idiom for being generous, so if you have a good eye you give to help others out. On the contrary if you have a dark or evil eye then you are stingy and a hoarder and do not freely give. I can just imagine what some of these individuals would think of the idiom it was raining cats and dogs? Quite possibly some new plague was coming out of the heavens falling on the earth. This is not an idiom that one needs to learn of outside of scriptures as some may think because there are many proverbs that share it. Proverbs 22:9 KJV, Proverbs 23:6 KJV, Proverbs 28:22 KJV

     So money is a way to acquire things that we either need or may want to have, but it is not to be our god. In the same versus then mentioned above, Jesus states that it is the pagans, those who are outside the covenant, that seek these things, but our Father already knows we need them, meaning we do not even need to ask or pray for them, but we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. What does that mean? Simply put we need to know who we truly our in the big picture which is a son of God equal in the Father’s eye to Jesus. There’s a zinger, how many times have you thought of yourself equal to Jesus himself? If you can’t accept this truth then there lies a big issue with an identity crisis. How can one be like Jesus and conform to his image, which is the desire of our Father not for His sake but so that we can walk in the reality of our identities, if we do not even believe that we are equal to him? I am not getting off topic because the point is the mentality that most believers have is that they feel the need to give money or something in order to receive more or be blessed. Meaning they as believers do not recognize that we give because there is a need, not in our lives but in others, and never to receive. God has already given us all things. How much more than all can He give?

     There is no doubt that people gave to Jesus to aid in his ministry but that point had no value in it, and we know this because it is never brought up in any of the gospels. Judas, who was the thief (John 12:6) and the same one who betrayed Jesus, was in charge of their financial affairs in that he would buy whatever was not already provided and then give to the poor as well. Ironically Paul, who never walked with Jesus as a believer during this time, lived the same way. He rejoiced when his needs were met by people, but he would never take anything if he felt it would compromise the very message he was sharing. We see examples of him working at times to have his needs met so that he could then spend the rest of his time sharing the gospel. This does not mean that I think pastors need to have multiple jobs in order to operate in ministry. On the contrary a pastor is most effective by spending the majority of their time with our Father, being taught by Holy Spirit, so he can pour into the lives of those he shepherds.

     When we look at giving to a specific group of believers and their pastor, we need to look at it from the correct perspective. That group can do what they do to the degree that they can because of financial contributions just like any other organization. We should support those who we believe are sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. Not necessarily everything that we hear is that gospel, but that is a different subject all together. The reality is though as with almost all organizations, they can function to meet their purpose only if funding is not an issue. So as we give, what we can when we can we should know that we are giving because we believe in the message and want to be a part of enabling that message to carry on.

     There is an identity crisis in one’s belief system when they feel compelled to give in order to receive. Jesus expressly taught giving and then expecting nothing in return because he taught out of love. True love is a giver and it exists only for giving. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Our Father gave us Jesus because He loved us and wanted what was best for us. He did not do it for Himself, nor even with the expectation that this would cause everyone to return to Him. He gave all for us, I hope this is really sinking in, not so that He could have sons but so that we could have a Father. It has never been about our Father’s need but just about expressing His love for His sons, including his only begotten Jesus.

     In our true identity then of being a son of God we do not want to incorporate scripture out of context to molding our identity into something else. For instance Jesus said that the birds neither sow nor reap yet our Father provides for them. And when Jesus talked about sowing it was the Word itself and only that. Why? Because only the Word can give life by producing fruit. Even Paul talked about sowing and reaping in 2Cor 9:6 but the context was giving to the poor in Jerusalem to reap treasures in heaven. If sowing and reaping worked the way that many try to make it work then it would have been more prudent for the poor in Jerusalem to sow what they had to Corinth in order to receive more. Again the Corinthians, who were already wealthy, were sowing into the lives of those who had need, none of this money even went towards Paul or the ministry itself but totally to those in need, so those who were in need could experience the love of God in action.

    Jesus said that if we could not grasp the small concept, the least, which was money then how would we understand the greater things which are unseen. Based on who we truly believe we are we either walk in the truth or we can receive the truth. As an example lets look at health in the life of a believer. As believers we are to never be in need of healing but walk everyday in perfect health because Jesus already provided that for everyone, not just believers. Now if a believer does not walk in perfect health does this mean that the sacrifice of Jesus was not good enough?  Absolutely not, so then why doesn’t one walk in perfect health. Simply because there is something that they believe about themself that will not allow them to walk in their true identity and therefore they do not experience the benefits. Even in thisbelief though this same person could easily be around another believer who releases healing into them and they would be healed. This is because the person receiving healing from a believer does not even need to believe in God or healing and could even hate you for breathing their air but yet as a believer you can still totally heal them because Jesus’ sacrifice already paid for it. Jesus told us to heal the sick and raise the dead because he gave us the ability to do it. It is part of our identity now as believers. Something to think about was did Jesus heal people in his earthly ministry because of a sacrifice that had been made or because of another reason. I am not belittling the great suffering he went through for all of us but I am trying to open up your heart to recognize who you really are according to our Father.

So what does health have to do with finances? Because both are influenced by who you have accepted to be in relationship to your true identity with our Father. If I accept, believe and walk in my true identity as a son of God, then prosperity is a part of my being not something to attain. Just like walking in divine or perfect health is something a believer walks in not something to attain. If we are in lack of any promise from God then it is only related to who we see ourselves as, and not something to obtain. Everyone needs health and provision in general to function in this world, but they are not the things that need to be obtained in life if they are lacking, because the only reality is one needs to attain the truth in their identity so that are health and provision, which is from God, is a part of their being. Another way of putting it is if I need healing as a believer, then what I am missing is not health or healing but something in my idenity as a son of God, because as a son of God I am always to be in perfect health as a gift through the sacrifice of Jesus. Once I believe the truth about my identity then I will walk in the gift that has already been provided as part of being a son.

     In any physical or natural provision then since Jesus aready sacrificed himself for all of humanity, including financially (2Co 8:9), then the truth is if we simply be who we are in Jesus we should never experience lack but abundance to share with those in need. I absolutely do not mean that once anyone believes to receive eternal life that they will not need to work in order to have money. On the contrary even Paul taught that we are to work so that we can even help out those who are in need, but even when we go to work, who we are should flow from us and that enviroment should just be a part of sharing thelove of God. As we receive the love of God and it just flows through us, part of just being who you are is the love you experience for every single person, just as our Father does, which means being a light to those around you. If your are employed then your employer should be blessed just because you are there and as a son you should be one of the best, if not the best, employee they have. As well if you are an owner your employees should be blessed working for you well beyond just financially.

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Fasting

Fasting

Mat 17:21, Mar 9:29

     The real purpose for fasting is to aid in humbling ourselves by purging pride out of ones life. The context of this section of the scriptures Mat 17:21 and Mar 9:29 is about doubt or unbelief. Pride is the hinderance in one’s life that causes doubt and unbelief because instead of resting on the Lord and his finished works, one starts looking to their self in their own ability. Many times we are told to humble ourselves and this is not something that God does but we willfully have to do on our own. The disciples here could not heal this child because they  were influenced by the manifestation which persuaded their hearts to look on their own abilities and not God working through them. The disciples had been persuaded in their heart by seeing this boy having a seizure that it was greater than Jesus. The thought of something like “I cannot heal this child” instantly sends up a red flag telling us weve have gotten out of humility and into pride by looking at our own abilities. When the boy was brought to Jesus and the seizures continued Jesus was not moved and in fact healed the boy.

      In Psalm 35:13 it states, “…I humbled my soul with fasting …”, giving us great insight on how to aid in humbling ourselves as well as the purpose for fasting. This is a debated issue in some areas as many say they never fast or do not need to, which is true that you do not have to in that it does cause God to move in any way. Paul and the other early believers fasted when seeking guidance or revelation. Acts 13:2-3, Acts 14:23, Acts 27:9 Now this is my opinion in that I think part of the reason that fasting may help us is because every time hunger comes to mind we instantly set our focus on why we are fasting.

     In Matthew we have what is commonly called the beatitudes. Many tend to think that Jesus was speaking to a large crowd but it states that he was talking to his disciples. At this time though there were only 11 because even though this is in the book of Matthew, Matthew was not part of the 12 yet. Mat :16-18 Jesus tells the disciples that when they fast they are not to look as though they are like the hypocrites do. Why? Because the hypocrites are looking for praise from men on their sacrifice but the purpose of fasting is to humble ones self and remove pride. Again many say we do not need to fast under this new covenant but there is nothing that clearly states this to be a fact but there are scriptures that show believers still practicing this. Something to also think about is Jesus had told his disciples how to fast and yet we learn later that as long as Jesus was with his disciples they were not fasting. Mat 9:14-15 There is just some simple logic in that if Jesus’ disciples were not fasting while with him and there was no need afterwards under the new covenant, then why would Jesus have even brought up the how too? Again I am not saying anyone has to fast to gain anything from God because that is works righteousness and that is not the purpose for fasting. Fasting is to humble ones self and if you are already as humble as Jesus then you may not want to. And if you think that fasting is going to cause God to move in your behalf in any way then do not fast because that is what we call a hunger strike and not fasting.

     For us to think that fasting is not a part of a believer’s life is to think that we are completely humble and pride free. Do we have to? No, but thankfully we can knowing that as we humble ourselves we are opening ourselves up to experience what God has already provided for us through Jesus.

Pro 13:10, Psalm 35:13


Complete in Christ

Complete in Christ

     I was listening to a teaching that was supposed to be based on the grace of God and his unconditional love. For the most part it was then they were asked if they believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. They tip toed around the subject and then used this scripture to say they were complete in Jesus.  How sad that they had such revelation in so many ways but for whatever reason they deny the separate reality of the gift of the Holy Spirit through receiving his baptism. In context this scripture states:

     Colossians 2:1-6 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.  5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.  6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

     This is the key to this whole chapter right here in verse 6 in that you received Christ Jesus as your Lord not by any acts of works righteousness but purely by faith in his finished works. Therefore just as you received Jesus continue in him. You cannot add anything to this completed action of salvation nor can you take away anything once you received.

     7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

     See Paul was speaking to the Colossian church about people coming in and adding works righteousness, obedience to the Mosaic Law, or any other belief as part of their salvation which is something that is not to be done in the least bit. He was warning them and stated that as far as their salvation was concerned they were complete in Christ Jesus and did not need to do anything to add or sustain that, it is a finished work. Then for the next several verses Paul clarifies what was being presented to these individuals and not to let it influence their walk with God.

     Colossians 2:11-23  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.  20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  21  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  22  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

     All of these things that Paul listed here were based on rules and regulations of what one needed to do to be righteous before God and maintain that righteousness. There are two issues with that. The first and least is that it is impossible to maintain a self-righteous relationship with God. I can’t imagine anyone going a couple of hours without violating some sort of ordinance let alone a life time. The other though and most important is why would you even want to when God through Jesus has freely given you all things in Jesus for salvation. Remember salvation is not just getting your ticket punched so you can go to heaven, but it is the opportunity from the very moment of beliving on Jesus to live the quality of life that God has desired for all of humanity to live. Free from lack in any way, shape or form. No sickness and disease or poverty, great joy and peace among other qualities of life are supposed to be the part of every believer’s life.

     Think about it this way there are some who may go through personal persecution as a believer just out of their own will power, but back in the early Roman days of Christianity, Christians were getting slaughtered left and right for not renouncing their faith. There had to be a real manifestation, an experience, in the life of the believers for so many to endure so much. Just look at societies today in that there are many countries where people endure oppression to decrease persecution in their lives as a body, instead of standing up against the wrongs.  The believers in these days though endured persecution rather than give into the oppression of Roman rule or any other for that matter. Folks by nature tend to take the easiest way out, the path of least resistance and they may get behind an idea in larger masses but as soon as the persecution starts they usually give way to their hopes and allow the oppression to take over. It takes something experiential to change ones whole belief system to the core, to fight for that belief even at the cost of their lives and especially when you are talking about a large body of people.

     Too many times, and for way too many Christians as a whole, people have accepted Jesus as a philosophy instead of as a savior. Believing to some degree in the finished works of Jesus, but not coming to full terms in their everyday life experience just what Jesus has given us. We place God in a box, so we think, and bring him out when it is convenient but we very seldom experience the moment by moment, day by day, quality of life that results from true fellowship with our Father which he desires for us to walk in. I very deeply believe in experiences because you form your beliefs in life very easily and quickly based on them. Not every experience is from God I know, but it is his desire that our experiences line up with his Word, and that we just do not know the Word only as an intellectual stimulus but we live the Word.


Is It Really That Hard?

     As I started getting out of legalistic religion and receiving revelation about God’s grace and unconditional love I started pondering about how hard people try to make their Christian walk. I guess partly because we never truly see it solely as a relationship. In general we put in a whole lot of effort to make sure that no one is at peace and can never be satisfied. I started thinking then about the early church and specifically Paul. Paul was sent to share the gospel specifically with the gentiles. We have taken this way too much for granted today by not focusing on how he revealed the gospel compared to the other apostles who were sharing with Jews. Back in his day Paul was not able to whip out his iPad and show the people who he was talking to the scriptures, in fact it would not have even been practical to carry around all the scrolls that comprised what we know as the Old Testament. And take into consideration most gentiles could not speak Hebrew let alone read Hebrew.

     Anyhow the point I am trying to get to is if Paul was able to walk up to someone it would not be too practical to tell them that God loves them and is their Father, but sin entered into the world so the Law was created which no one could keep then Jesus came along to freely give us what the Law could not do. These people would have probably looked at him like he was nuts thinking this guy, Paul, wants me to believe that there is something wrong with me and that God is my Father but yet gave us the Law which actually separated us from him instead of bringing us closer just so he could send my brother, who I never knew of, to die for me. Now if you were not raised around the gospel you got to admit that sounds a little strange.

     So what did Paul do? Well he did things like demonstrate the gospel instead declaring it. You can talk about God, going from the very beginning of time to the present to try to convince someone enough that God loves them enough to heal them, after you persuade them who God is, or you can just heal them so they need no persuasion just the facts of what happened. God’s way is a whole lot easier and more effective.

     I think for the most part preaching the gospel to those who never heard is trying to add too much self into it. I am not saying it cannot be done because obviously millions believe on Jesus every year. But out of those how many were influenced by miracles instead of just going with the crowd or doing so to shut someone up. When I say self in this matter I mean that it is us, not God, who is trying to intellectually persuade someone to believe. And  if we are trying to systematically go through scriptures to do so it just does not seem practical.

     With that being said you know there is no reason why anyone would have to go to the Old Testament. I am not telling you not to, I read it regularly and I am well aware of Paul’s lecture on all scripture is profitable, but we are in a family now and in a family how do we learn who we are. How much did you have to read about your personal family growing up to experience it? I did not read a book about mine, but I sure know about it and lived as a part of it every day of my life. I know you should read the scriptures because in them they help reveal God’s grace all throughout history. I mean look at some of the main people in our family tree in the scriptures. Thieves, prostitutes, liars, adulterers, murderers, you know the typical family tree. If you don’t think God’s love is unconditional and his grace is overflowing then just read about these individuals whom God remained faithful to even when they did not.

     When I was talking about not going straight to the Old Testament I meant that when one shares the love of God through miracles, signs and wonders, like Jesus has told every believer to do so, then you don’t need a whole lot of history for someone to believe that there is a God and that he loves them. I think it has something to do with that whole “actions speak louder than words” thing. Now some will say there were people who saw miracles in the bible and they did not believe. That is true and that is the minority. Peter did one miracle of healing and 5,000 believed. I would rather share the love of God and have 5,000 lives restored into fellowship with our Father then to lose 5,000 because one person did not want to believe.

      So getting back to my point or question is it really that hard? Specifically I am talking about living and sharing the gospel. I think back to the 30 plus years I spent off and on trying to achieve something that I only now  realize was totally impossible because God had already freely given it to me. Talk about feeling like “You have got to be kidding me!!!”. I just thank God that part of what he has freely promised is the restoration of all that was lost. Whew, I don’t know how and I don’t really care I just know that I am looking forward to the next 30 plus years receiving abundantly. So the biggest thing is the reality that it is not hard at all. It fact it is has simple has living out of who we are, our true identity as our Father sees us, and just resting in him.

     Now I know it does not sound hard and that is because it isn’t and it is not suppose to be, but when you believed for most of your life that you need to take care of yourself because no one else will help you, well it is a little hard to persuade your heart overnight to just totally trust in Jesus in all things. The reason it is not hard is because it is not about you, or better yet your abilities. It is solely about being in Jesus and what Jesus has done.

     The best thing I can do is compare what the life of a believer should be like is what is was for Adam and Eve prior to being deceived. They fellowshipped with one another and God daily and the interaction with God was very intimate and very real, probably in ways that most of us have yet to experience. They tended a garden that God planted and ate of the fruit that God grew. Man I am getting tired just thinking about all that work. I know a bit too sarcastic but why do we think it has to be more difficult than that. Didn’t Jesus come for just such a reason to reconcile the world unto God? Let’s face it if God fully provided for Adam and Eve then through Jesus he has done the same for us and we are the only one standing in our own ways.

     Why do we think we have to do anything to help God? That can only come from being under a Law mentality because if you go to someone who has never heard of God and miraculously minister to them the love of God but never teach them Law but grace then they have no problems believing and receiving.  I think the biggest issue simply lies in the fact that as a part of our identity we just have not been fully persuaded in our hearts that God truly loves us to such an extreme that he would be so gracious to us with not wanting something in return. Why? Probably because most people are comparing God to themselves and others just have never experienced such a love. Yes we all should experience the love of God. Love that is not experienced is useless.

 


Anointing

This is an excerpt from my second book focusing on one of the most important issues for every person and that is knowing their identity.

Have you ever heard this song by Ron Kenoly?

 Anointing fall on me

Anointing fall on me

Let the power Of the Holy Ghost Fall on me

Anointing fall on me

      It is a beautiful sounding song and can really make you feel super spiritual but it is contrary to scripture and the cross. In the previous chapter we extensively studied about our true identity and just how important it is. Well understanding what we have now enables us to better understand sometimes who we are and gives us the boldness to believe God, putting our trust solely on him and not at all on ourselves. I will show you here what the anointing is as well as understanding your walk in the anointing.

     First of all just what or who is this anointing? One of the first people I thought of on this matter was king Saul.

1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

     Now most people read this and say that Samuel anointed Saul with oil but that is because that is what they have been taught and not what it says. It literally says “…IS IT NOT BECAUSE the LORD hath anointed the…” See God had already anointed Saul and Samuel just confirmed this by pouring oil over him.

     The next person then is king David. Now just prior to David’s official declaration his bothers were lined up. 1 Samuel 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.” Note this is before anyone had ceremonially been drenched in oil and they thought they were looking at the one the Lord had already anointed. So it appears then that this anointing is from God and really has nothing to do with any person.

     I found it interesting that the word anoint is mentioned 163 times in the bible but only used 7 times after the cross. This sounds to me more of like a fulfillment of something in light of the cross. The first mention is in Acts 4:27 and was in a general prayer acknowledging what God had done in anointing Jesus.

Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

     So now we pick up another clue here. Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit. Almost any bible scholar will tell you the oil is representative of the Holy Spirit. All throughout the old testament when they talk about anointing something or someone oil is almost always mentioned. So is this possibly why then after the cross, after Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Spirit becomes part of every true believers walk, does the anointing get referred to less?

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

     Wow we are anointed by God in Christ Jesus. So this means we as believers do not need to seek anointing from anyone, or have it fall on us, we are anointed. So we to stop seeking and start walking in the anointing. But we still have not fully discovered what or who this anointing is.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

     The anointing abides in us as believers and teaches us, now I heard something about that before. And we abide in him. Him who? The anointing. Wait a minute the anointing is a person! O.k. I am sure you have put 2 and 2 together but just in case let’s confirm this. Who or what was John referring to about this?

Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

     Hmm words in red means Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. And John also notes in his gospel account another reference as well.

John 14:26 But the Comforter,which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    More words in red means Jesus said again that the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit is our teacher. So the anointing is the person of the Holy Spirit and not some magical force, but real honest to goodness power. Looking back though to what Luke referenced Peter saying about Jesus in the book of Acts that because Jesus was anointed, filled with the Holy Spirit, he went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed of the devil.

     Again this is just another thing that religion has turned into a stumbling block by having us seek that which we already have, thus making what we already have of no effect. Now I know some are going to say that they do not feel anointed. Don’t worry because as far as I can tell we feel exactly what everyone else feels in the bible. A great example of this is Samson. Samson was just an average guy but because of a covenant with God he had supernatural strength. Then one day he finally gave away his secret.

Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

     Samson went out to protect himself as always but this time nothing happened. He never felt tangibly the anointing on him, he just knew it was there because God had said so. So the anointing is not a feeling but Spirit and we know that we cannot feel but we can discern spiritually with our natural senses through the heart. I am not saying you cannot physically experience the presence of God, I am just trying to convey the understanding that you are anointed as a believer whether you feel like it or not.

     Maybe Ron Kenoly wouldn’t mind a little adaptation:

 Anointing flow out of me

Anointing flow out of me

Let the power Of the Holy Ghost Flow out of me

Anointing flow out of me

      Now that’s a song I would love to sing.

 

 


Out of His Love

You know I have discovered a great revelation that we can each individually receive in that God totally operates out of love. I know your probably thinking you knew that already and quite possibly most do, but I wonder if they truly understand it and believe it. Everything he has done and will do is all out of love. He is only motivated by love, the gifts he gives, not just the gifts of the Spirit but health, prosperity, etc., work out of love. We were saved by love and by receiving his love everything that comes against us can be overcome. Honestly when I was younger because of the way religion presented the gospel it was difficult for me to understand this concept because every church that I had gone to was based on works righteousness and not love. I do not blame these churches because I had the same opportunity as everyone else to receive the love of God and learn by the Spirit the Word, the truth of God’s love.

Love is the greatest force in existence.  Have you ever notice how when a group of people get together motivated out of love they can do great things in a short time. My prayer and hope is that everyone would just surrender to the love of God. The love of God is righteously motivated love, a love of restoration and a love of abundance. The Word tells us that love’s characteristics are:

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.  (5)  It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

But love is defined by God in:

1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

      God first loved us, every single person, and as a result of his love he did the greatest demonstration of his love by giving up his life for all of us. There is an astounding reality in this that our Father loves us at least as much as he loves Jesus. Some people think well God knew what would happen. This is sort of true in that before the foundation of the earth scripture tells us that Jesus would come and die for us, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” But see once Jesus became the son of Man he walked by faith from that point forward just like we do. He did not have any special ability or knowledge that we are not capable of but he fully trusted and believed that once he laid his life down that through the power of the Holy Spirit he would be able to take it back up again. Wow this just blows my mind. See some think that Jesus just knew the beginning from the end in whole as he walked as man on the earth, but this is not so. There was always that possibility, though not practicality, that Jesus’ heart could have been moved to doubt, because after all he is the son of Man as well as the son of God. If he would have doubted then he would still be in the grave and all hope of the resurrection would have ceased to exist.

I truly am fully persuaded to believe that Jesus is love personified. To the best of man’s ability to believe, receive and walk in the love of God was fully demonstrated by Jesus. It was nothing but love that motivated Jesus throughout his ministry on earth and nothing but love which continues to flow from God today and forever.

Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

             God will never ever see you in any other way than out of love. It was out of love Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law so that there is nothing that stands between you and God other than you believing that God loves you. Just receive the love of God through the finished works of Jesus in his atonement. Believe that out of love he died on the cross and was raised again so that you now and forever can experience the love of God every moment of all eternity.

 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

Love is a way of life, a way of interacting one with another. Love is a quality in us that comes from God and it is an attribute that makes us like God. When we walk in love one for another we are walking like God and experiencing God. Remember God is love.

1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

             Do you want to know how much you are experiencing the love of God? Look at how you love others. Not just people you are really close to who are fulfilling a need in your life but towards all of humanity. Every single person walking this earth today is your brother and sister and how does that make you feel. Does your heart go out to everyone and do you see them as your family?

             Jesus said to love others and we should and we can, but I will tell you this that you first need to receive the love of God to be able to do so. Love is like everything else in that you need to receive it first to give it away. If you attempt to try to love out of your own effort, well then the obvious first issue is it is not effortless. In fact many times love out of our own effort really is not even love because it comes with whatever price we attach to it. Some may want respect, an attitude of gratitude, recognition of some sorts of what they just did by giving their “love”. If love given has any strings attached, demanding some sort of response, then you first have to question if it was really love or pride and was it of God or man. Love is constantly flowing out of God towards us and we at any point can freely receive and share with others that love.

Now I will share with you a secret that many of the things we seek, which Jesus was punished and died for us to have and which our Father desires for us to have constantly, can only be received by love.

Matthew 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Unless you receive Jesus and become like a little child cannot enter into the Kingdom. A little child receives only and has nothing to offer. The child is loved simply because they exist. Hopefully you have had the joy of receiving an infant into your arms. This infant brings great joy into your life not because of anything they can do but because they are your love manifested. You do not love a baby because they worship you; you love a child because they are a part of you. You provide for them not because they repent, fast and give offerings but you provide for them because you love them. This is what Jesus what trying to get across to all the religious leaders, that it was not out of sacrifice that they would receive anything from God, they could only receive because God loves them. We cannot enter into his Kingdom which is now here with us and in us unless we enter by his love through Jesus.

You know I often wondered how Jesus being the son of Man was able to maintain and do what he did. I know he was empowered by the Holy Spirit like many of us who believe have received, but empowerment by itself is just potential. There had to be something else that was a driving force. That driving force was the love of God that Jesus was experiencing, the love that he received from our Father for himself as well as experiencing the love that the Father has for every one of us. I tell you that walking in that love as an experience shields you from anything that can come against you. In his presence there is love just oozing through you like warm oil and nothing can penetrate that presence.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Many don’t experience this because they just do not see how great God’s love for them really is. If they would only receive and experience God’s love it would be easy to understand that his love for us is much greater than the ability of anything that could come against us. The only weapons of warfare that the adversary comes against us with are those which are of the mind. He tries to have us believe there is a lack in our life then try to fill it out of our own efforts, but when you experientially know how great God’s love for you is then you can’t believe that there is nothing He would not provide for you.

To read God loves us is an intellectual knowledge but to understand God loves us requires fellowship. I can tell you that I love you and you may accept that fact and if you do then you will attach what you perceive love is to that thought. But if we start fellowshipping together and experiencing my love for you then you begin to know what my perception of love is and seeing it modeled in the relationship. We can read all the scriptures and start learning about God and his love but it is not until we experience his love that true repentance in our understanding of love comes about. EVERYONE without exception can experience the love of God and it is his desire that everyone do so.

 Jesus told the Pharisees that they searched the scriptures day and night to learn about him, the Messiah, yet he was standing in front of them and they knew him not. We can read about God’s love in the scriptures, and we should read the Word, but unless we experience the Word in our lives, the love of God, then anything we produce on our own is self-righteousness. We are righteous and loved by the Lord, not by our own efforts.

 I have believed and taught that you must believe to receive, especially when concerning the area of receiving healing. Well I still agree with that but have had that expounded upon to me. First as a believer we must believe to receive from God for ourselves. We can’t earn or do anything other than believe and receive from God through the finished works of Jesus. We were healed and actually walk in divine health but sometimes walk contrary to that. With this being said though I had always thought that anyone being ministered to must have faith in God to receive as in if you as a believer are releasing healing into someone they had to believe as well in order for healing to manifest in their life. Then God started using his logic on me once again thankfully breaking through my ability to limit God. The first question he asked me was, “Did my son pay for healing with his body for everyone through his sacrifice?” Of course I said yes. Then he said, “what about Elymas the sorcerer, was Paul able to command blindness on him?”  At this point I took the hook because I am thinking what in the world does this have to do with healing so I said, “yes.” Now this I know, blindness is a curse and that no believer can be under a curse because Jesus became our curse, so obvious because of Elymas trying to prevent Paul from preaching the good news he was not a believer. Next he said, “So if I can move upon someone who does not believe through someone who does to do this why can’t healing come that same way?” I gave the usual intelligent answer, “I don’t know”, which usually means I was wrong about that.

 Then he brought to my remembrance that Paul himself had gone blind when Jesus appeared to him when he was still Saul on the road to Damascus. I am not saying that every non-believer in Jesus needs to be struck down with physical blindness before they repent, it is just that these events did occur. Then he said, “What about the father of Publius, did he believe so he could be healed?” Looking at the scripture it does not say that they did believe first but says that Paul saw him ill and healed him, then once that occurred others came who were ill and Paul healed them. The point being it was the healing that was witnessing to the people the love of God and not that they believed upon God first.

 Let us take this out of the context of healing into finances. Say you see someone, and believe it or not they do not need to be destitute, and God moves upon your heart to give them a specific sum of money. You just say, “God loves you and wanted me to give you this.” You then hand it to them and they look at it and you can see a complete change in their demeanor. In this case we will say it was enough money so they could make the balance of their rent payment to the penny and not get evicted. They may not have even realized that God existed, but I bet you they now do to some degree. It may even be what causes them to repent, you know that whole, and “it is the goodness of God that leads one to repentance.” If God can and does do this in a financial way why do we think he can’t or won’t do it in any other way like healing, deliverance from addictions or anything else that causes one to have a quality of life lower than God had originally intended for us to live at. God’s whole motivation is love and when we limit not being able to release the power of God to others who do not know him, then we are saying that God can’t love them.


What Are You Working For?

Everything we do to better ourselves in this world is really of no value. What I mean is that the life that we live now is temporal and nothing that we gain physically will we be able to take with us eternally. All the effort we place in receiving that which will pass away is in vain. I know we have needs in order to survive, but God himself promised that if we seek first his kingdom he would supply our needs. Just where the boundary is for us to work, not out of the law, but for provision versus receiving from God I am still on a journey to discover. Trying to believing and receiving everything God has promised, and Jesus has provided by giving of himself, is honoring God and that is what we are to do. So why do we dishonor him by trying to provide for ourselves that which he has promised to?

Has I started receiving this revelation the first scripture that popped into my mind was that of Paul. He made a very harsh comment on his accomplishments, the works that he had done up to that point to make him the man who he was, Saul.

     Philippians 3:6-9 KJV Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Paul had said that in all of his own effort to earn righteousness everything he had worked so hard for to accomplish was dung. Yes manure or whatever you want to call it. I know that he specifically was relating to his own efforts in attaining life eternal by works righteousness of the law versus the only way, which is by receiving Jesus as Lord and savior. My question though is we know that there is no greater reward or miracle than salvation yet God has not only promised and has given us salvation though Jesus but health, prosperity, provision all to be free from lack in our lives. If we receive the greatest then why would we earn the lesser. I will say one other thing on this in that it is more of a Western mindset, that is influencing much of the world to separate these issues. In the traditional Jewish way of thinking salvation, health,peace, prosperity all the good qualities of life are coequals. We tend to qualify them to greater or lesser degrees but they are meant to all be part of one synergetic relationship.

I know Paul had great revelation about the relationship we have between us and God. About God’s promises and faithfulness. I know that there are instances where he worked himself so as to not be a burden but a blessing. But in these instances he worked to be able to be a benefit to others, not trying to get from them anything so that people would stay focused on God and not think of him as prosperity preacher. You know those who prosper by receiving but not rightly teaching so those who give suffer. I know for a fact we are all to be prosperous, but just as with all things of God there is his way, which is the right way, and then the perverted way, which many teach at the expense of others.

What I am getting at is we know we all need to work, and I truly believe we are designed to do so. Even Adam and Eve in the idea situation tended the garden. Here is where I think though there are differences, and that is the motive in which we work for. If we are working so that we can have wonderful things and nice vacations then our motives are wrong. Why? Not because there is anything wrong with that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a nice house, car, furnishings, clothing, vacations etc. but if that is the only reason you are working then that is wrong. We are then being only selfish, focusing on having the best temporary experience possible but not being conscious of what is eternal.

The way I am looking at this now is that there is nothing wrong with living a life having a nice house, car, possessions etc. But was it all out of our own efforts or was it as a result of receiving the blessing of God? When you look at the life you live and the possessions you have were they all out of your own hard work or do you see the hand of God thinking to yourself that there is no way you could of attained all of this without God? This is only part of the coin though. The other side is our main focus should not be working to provide for only our families, but to minister to others.

Here is a reality check folks in that God does not print money. He works through those who will so that he can. There are several people who have great financial wealth and they know that it was only by the grace of God that they have received it. They also understand it’s purpose and that is to help share the gospel. Whether to give to those in need, so that that person in need can physically experience the love of God, or to give to those who minister to teach the word, they have learned to look at their provision in life from the correct perspective.

To me the bottom line is God said, not Tom, the following:

     Matthew 6:19-34 KJV Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man 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. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Before I expound upon this I want to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with having things. What I am wanting to help you think about though is what is truly important. Jesus said that our focus should not be acquiring the treasures of this world but treasure in heaven. There are a couple of good points to come out of this. The first is that you cannot ever find true happiness by acquiring things. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy them. There is a difference though. Happiness comes about as a fulfillment of a need being met. It is a mental state of well-being. If your desire is to just keep getting bigger, better or more than you cannot be happy because you are not a peace. Enjoyment comes though from the use or possession of something beneficial or pleasurable. Interestingly though we can store treasures in heaven though and find both happiness and enjoyment in doing so. When you give to others, not only those in need, but to everyone and anyone, expecting absolutely nothing in return from them this is when you are storing up treasures in heaven. It can become almost like a game. One of the neat ways of doing it is giving your gift in secret with a simple note saying something like, “Just because your heavenly Father loves you he has given this to you.” Then sign it Jesus. This is not blasphemous either. Everything we do we are to do unto the Lord and give him the glory.

Verse 21 said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I have no doubt for at face value this is talking about your assets, and most likely specifically our money. But one day I was thinking about this and I honestly told God that I really could care less about money anymore. That the most important thing to me was understanding who I was as a child of God and developing that relationship. The response I got was, “Wherever your treasure is, is where your heart is at.” See God at that moment was my treasure and God had my heart. Just something to think about. I am not saying that it is wrong to teach that where ever we give our money to or what we spend it on is what is most important to us because there is truth to that, but there is just another way of looking at it.

Verses 22 and 23 about the light of body are the eyes, is not about what you allow to influence your life. Although I have heard this taught umpteen times as such the focus here in context is money or assets. There is a truth that what you see and expose yourself to you can allow to influence your heart but that does not make any since in the teaching of Jesus. Have you ever heard the term idiom? Every culture uses them and they may change over time. We have one that use to be real common in that when it was raining real hard out we would say, “it is raining cats and dogs”. Could you imagine someone a thousand years from now reading something written by us who had never heard of such a phrase? They might think that God was raining some sort of plague upon the people. Well to have a good eye or an eye full of light is to be a generous person. One who gives to whoever is in need. It is an older Jewish idiom. On the contrary to have and evil eye or and eye not full of light but darkness is to be greedy or stingy. This may help you out when you read some of the gospels.

Verse 24 is pretty straight up. You can only have one god and who is it going to be? If it is money then it is not the creator of the universe, the one true God. But if it is our God, our Father, then don’t be concerned about gaining vast fortunes on your own.

In the rest of this scripture, verses 25 thru 34, Jesus really breaks it down to a simple fact. He declares that the other life forms on this earth such as birds and plants, do not sow and reap or are concerned with what they wear, so then why do we? The focus being that outside of man nothing invests in its own efforts to gain but relies on God’s provision to sustain. I was watching a great example of this with some bears out in the wild. They were eating berries that they had not grown, and catching fish that they did not farm. They were playing and wrestling as cubs. But the bottom line is they solely relied on God’s provision. Now they did not just sit around and do nothing. They had to receive God’s provision by harvesting the berries and catching the fish. But this reminds me of Adam and Eve. They did not plant the garden of Eden but they tended to it and ate of it’s provision.

I know the scripture is very clear that we are to work and not be lazy. In fact it says let him who steals steal no more so that he may have to give to those in need. I really take this to heart meaning that he who does not work is a thief. My hope though is this will aid in helping you to start focusing your heart as to why you are working and what for.

As a different example on provision versus personal gain. I personally know a family who occasionally voluntarily ministered. The husband worked at least two jobs all the time, and they were good jobs. The wife also worked full time. I honestly have no idea of what kind of offerings they gave and that is not the point. These people did have a nice home, family, cars and vacations. Sort of the American dream type of life. But I fail to see how this is God’s provision and this is why. They obtained everything by what they did through a lot of work. In appearance they were no better of than some of their neighbors, where only one spouse worked or maybe both but not multiple jobs. The area they lived was nice but not some super high end area, just nice. Looking at scripture when I see God’s provision it is like getting gifts, or if you want to legal about it reward for no real investment. There are millions of non-believers who are millionaires. They have worked hard, invested or cheated but they have acquired great fortunes. And yes regardless of the drama you hear on the news there is no shortage money. There literally are millions of millionaires and over 1,200 billionaires. There has not yet been the first trillionaire in the world but if Bill Gates had continued as he was progressing years ago it was projected he would have been. I am laughing because my spellchecker did not even recognize the word trillionaire.

When you look at the lives at several of these individuals they are smart, hard working and good investors. Most of them are great philanthropists and this is why many think they are “blessed” to have such wealth. But I beg to differ. There is no doubt that they are doing many good works. That they are helping out many individuals who are in dire need. But they are not giving God the credit. Now in various cases God may be working through them to answer the prayers of others and fulfill his promises. But they are not wealthy because of God’s provision but by their own efforts. Face it it really is not that impressive to someone if another individual works hard and attains wealth because that it what we would expect, but if you see someone enjoying life and not killing themselves working to be prosperous and they give God the glory who would you want to be more like? Do you want to be stressed out working long hours making sure every penny is accounted for or would you want to have God just bless and multiply everything you put your hands to and speak over so that you have an abundance and can give to others?

At the end of the verses we mentioned earlier Jesus said that non-believers, Gentiles at that time, sought after the things of this world that they needed and or desired to have. But as believers we are not to do so, we are to have them, but we are to receive them from God as part of his provision for us. Meanwhile we are to stay focus on the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Not us being righteous but his righteousness, which is his faithfulness to his covenant.

I know many many many Christians who are prosperous, but in reality I wonder how many have just earned everything they have and labeled it has being blessed by God. I think of Peter and when Jesus showed his the prosperity of God versus man.

     Luke 5:1-9 KJV And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

Seasoned fisherman who had fished the way that in the natural was the best way they could and yet out of all their labor for the whole evening they had caught nothing. But by acting on the Word of God they had prospered, with almost no effort, more than they ever had in their entire lives. There used to be a little joke that this hauled allowed them to pay off the boats, sell the business and finance he ministry. What really happened God only knows but we way under estimate God’s ability, his willingness and desire to work in such magnificent ways in our own lives. I think we just feel like Peter, so unworthy of such things. The truth is we are not worthy and thank God we do not get what we deserve. Instead we get his grace, mercy and unconditional love. We get the opportunity to receive of his goodness and kindness. Not only so we have all we could need but so we can boast of our Father and share his abundance with others.

Paul has taught me something very important. We are to give, but never to give out of our own need or begrudgingly. Paul, nor anyone else, commanded anyone to keep the tithe after the cross because that was of the law. But as we do give out of our abundance with a joyful heart, a willingness to share God’s love in a special way I believe we learn to become better receivers. If we give out of our lack then we can open to door to becoming bitter towards God without even desiring to become so. If you give expecting God to be an ATM and just give it back to you then you are giving out of the wrong motive. I know that is not what is commonly taught, but I have studied and experienced this. Every time I have had God personally do something for me it was never out of giving but just believing God is faithful and he loves me. I have listened to his leading, because sometimes you have to go to your provision. When I have missed it, I can honestly say it is because I have missed it. I got my eyes focused off of God and onto my need or want.

Looking back in scripture though don’t think that prosperity is literally just about money. Look at the children of Israel when Moses led them out of Egypt. For 40 years there was no lack. Everyone was healthy, their clothes never wore out and God provided their food. I am just as guilty as others, but I find it funny that God provided for these people for 40 years all of their needs and they were wealthy to boot, yet we hope god can provide a meal, or a car or a house for us. God if you could just please help me out with this, as if God was in some sort of shortage. No one knows definitively how many people he led out of Egypt. It is fair to say that up to 2 million is not unreasonable since we now based on scripture there were 600,000 men able to fight alone. Ironically these people complained when they thought they weren’t being provided for and many of us are afraid to ask God for provision. Getting back to the main point though, these people were wealthy, but all that wealth was not going to do them a bit of good in the middle of the desert. They needed God’s divine provision in materialistic things and they received it.

Getting back to the title of this little sermon, “What are you working for?” Are you seeing what has been motivating you as we have been going over this? You know from God’s perspective he loves you regardless of your motives, but he also wants what is best for you. You should never feel condemned about what you are doing, even if you are just focused on you or your family. But you should find comfort in knowing that you do not have to go at it alone. You can choose to help meet the needs of others and also receive of God to meet your needs. Again this does not always have to be monetarily. You can give of your time and abilities in doing things possibly that you like to do anyhow. The real point is are you going to totally trust in yourself, which you have a right to do, or are you going to trust in God?


The Glory In Us

     It appears that in many circles there is still an expectation of God to come down. Even today there are songs teaching us to call out to God to let His glory fall down. This is not scriptural though for the church, as believers in Jesus. It was for those who were Jews under the previous covenant because God did not live in man, but in the covenant between Jesus and God which we partake in by receiving Jesus His glory is in us because He is in us.

Romans 8:17-18 KJV And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

     Paul understood that the glory of God resided in us through Jesus. The glory of God manifests from within us as we praise God and minister one to another through loving one another, teaching or prayer and even when we are just enjoying the life God desires for us to experience. We need to have the correct mindset so our hearts and minds and spirit are in alignment or agreement with God. If we keep waiting for God to come when He has already declared He would never leave us or forsake us then we are sending mixed messages of unbelief to our hearts.

     It kind of reminds me of when people sing about being desperate for Him. My response is receive eternal life by believing on Jesus as Lord and you’ll never be desperate again. To claim to be desperate for God is an insult because to be desperate means to be without any hope. I realize many do sing such songs not even understanding truly what they sing, and it is true that without God there is no hope, but these songs are sung by those who claim to be believers. How many times have you ever heard an unbeliever singing a worship song to God? The  mere fact that they are singing to God means they believe. I really think people just worship in these songs of death because they sound so spiritual and emotional but are speaking disbelief through what they say sending mixed messages to their hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18 GW 12 Since we have confidence in the new promise, we speak very boldly. 13 We are not like Moses. He kept covering his face with a veil. He didn’t want the people of Israel to see the glory fading away. 14 However, their minds became closed. In fact, to this day the same veil is still there when they read the Old Testament. It isn’t removed, because only Christ can remove it. 15 Yet, even today, when they read the books of Moses, a veil covers their minds. 16 But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 This Lord is the Spirit. Wherever the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. 18 As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

     We increasingly reflect the glory of God as we conform into his image. This means the more we become like Jesus, not through what we do but by believing who we truly are in Christ, the more His glory manifests in us. Moses had God’s glory come upon him but it would fade away so he had to wear a veil so that the Israelites would not see the glory fade away from his countenance. But when we receive Jesus we receive his glory and the more we conform to his image, which is to change from our ways to his and become like him in the very same way he is like our Father, the more his glory is revealed in us and through us and influences those around us.

John 7:38-39 KJV He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

     God is flowing out of you, not coming down. Jesus is SEATED at the right hand of our Father, who is also seated in his throne. Jesus will remain there until he returns for the church so it is up to each one of us to release his glory from within us. Paul stated that no matter what experience we go through in life there is nothing that could ever happen to us that can compare to the glory to be reveled in us. IN US is where God’s glory resides on earth and if we do not share his glory and reveal it to others by becoming like him then it is our fault why His glory does not flow or fill the room. So remember the next time you pray or sing for “God to fill this place” that He is wanting to more than you and let Him flow from within you.

     But getting back to the glory of God, just what is it and how do we experience it? God himself tells us exactly what his glory is when he revealed it to Moses. Now Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and seen many miracles, signs and wonders. He spoke with God regularly and very openly yet Moses after all of this asked God to show Moses his glory. God responded that he would reveal his glory to Moses passing by him by declaring his name. In going past Moses it the glory of God was declared as: Exodus 34:5-7  And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  6  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  7  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…

     So all the things that Moses saw were not the glory of God but his glory is in who He is; merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in good and truth etc. It is kind of like when you think of American football you might think of Brett Favre or Tebow now, meaning that they are what you think of when you think of football. Whatever it is that you like; there is someone whose name you can usually associate with it. Such characteristics or traits are the very embodiment of God and that is what makes us his glory when these traits are what manifest in our lives. God’s glory is his nature and we experience his glory when we let his nature become prevalent in our lives. When you are in his presence these are the traits that you experience or can feel. Like love in that one can feel loved or can display love one to another in action.

     So how do we experience the glory of God? Well for starters receiving his glory would be a good place to go. Now that you know that God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering and so forth have you believed and received that unconditionally in your heart? Take mercy for instance, have you received God’s mercy in knowing that you are totally 100% forgiven of all sin and free from any punishment through Jesus or do you still think God holds any sin against you. You cannot experience the freedom of mercy until you are willing to receive mercy. This means then as our hearts and our minds our fully persuaded to believe that what God declares as his glory are true in our lives, and to the degree we believe, we can experience his glory.

     Some have asked if God’s glory is tangible. I can only go based on my experience, which even that is limited in comparison to what one can experience in the presence of God’s glory, in which I would say yes. Going back to love, one can feel and experience love. Now some may say that love is just emotions but I would say love can produce emotions and let us look at a similar example based on feeling. Have you ever been in a room alone when all of a sudden you felt someone else’s presence? Now this is a real feeling yet some would debate that because of the lack of tangibility. In other words they did not physically touch the other person, but let me ask you this, does it mean the other person was not there if you can feel their presence though they are standing behind you and you cannot perceive them through any of the natural five senses? This goes on a spiritual level where there is spiritual interaction and then based on how in tune we are with our spirit we get that gut feeling that many may call a sixth sense.

     Now some will say that they did not see a cloud or some other manifestation so there was no glory present. Umm I must have missed that in the scriptures when God described his glory to Moses. Can physical manifestations exist, I would say why not. Even though to the best of my knowledge I have not experienced what others have I would not want to begin to say that God’s glory cannot manifest in different ways in the physical realm. It may be his goodness that can manifest as light, I do not know.

     But in getting back on subject to the title of this section, God’s glory is in us as believers, just as it is in Jesus. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. See to the degree that we walk in the grace of God and his truth is to the degree we manifest God’s glory in our lives. Our day to day experiences in life are greatly influenced by what we truly believe, which influences the decisions we make. The more we believe in our hearts and mind about God’s grace and truth the more our decisions will be based on God’s glory and the more of his glory we experience and express to others.


Making The Cross Of No Effect

It may be surprising to many that it is up to us just how effective God operates in this world. Some have given God a title that he never claimed to have over us and is not correctly used according to it’s definition. Many believe that God is sovereign. Now I do not agree with the general church definition of sovereignty which means that God is in total control of everything and absolutely nothing happens without him allowing it. This is a doctrine of devils as Paul puts it. The true definition of sovereign is, “One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit” or “self-governing; independent.” Both of these definitions are applicable because they truly describe God’s position and yet acknowledge that things happen which he does not desire. Since God’s sovereignty is not the point of this message I will only make one example. The word clearly states that it is the will of God that all would experience eternal life and no one perish yet it also clearly stated that not all will.

I started this message off this way because many who begin to understand the grace of God through Christ Jesus, and see that it is not all about what we can do but what Jesus has done for us, sometimes get a little too relaxed in their lives thinking that they can just sit back and God will take care of everything. Beloved we are not in heaven yet. What has happened though does enable us as believers to live a life that is blessed and divinely empowered. We need to think of it this way. If we went about our lives doing whatever it is we do: work, play, education, relax etc. then we are limited to just what we can do in our own abilities. But when we understand who we are in Jesus and what we has accomplished then this enables us to do so much more than we could on our own. In fact some things that may be appealing without God may not still be so with him at the center of our lives, which could also cause a change in lifestyle. The main point here though is that without God there are a lot of things we can’t do, but without us there is a lot of things God won’t do.

Authority. Who has it?

You might be thinking, “So if God won’t do anything without us how do I understand what is going on? Empower me to be able to do what I need to do so God can do what he wants to do through me.” Let’s start off with a quick briefing of authority. To shorten things up let’s accept a couple of facts quickly. First God had all authority in the beginning of all things. When he created man he gave man authority by letting him have dominion over all the earth. This is how the adversary was able to bring corruption into this world, by man submitting his authority to the devil. Once Jesus came though he never subjected himself to Satan but remained true always to our Father. Then when he went to the cross and rose again he made this statement prior to ascending to heaven.

Matthew 28:18 KJV And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

The word for power is the same as for authority in this verse (exousia in Greek). So Jesus not only has all of the authority that man had, which was just that of over the earth, but he also has all authority in heaven. Note though that these were some of Jesus’ last words prior to his ascension into heaven to be seated by the Father until his return. At no point did he say I give all authority to you. This is why Jesus stated that whatever you do or say do it in his name. He has the authority and the power (dunamis in Greek) to make it come to pass. Since as believers Jesus dwells in us and we in him this is how we are given authority because we partake of his.

This is also why when some things happen in our lives that are good, which are above our means to make happen, we know it has to be of God. By ourselves we are limited in many ways but God is limitless in comparison. It is always his desire for everyone to have a life free from lack and full of peace and joy.

What should we expect?

If that is the case then what should we expect in our lives? The best way to answer this is to find out what Jesus accomplished here on earth in order for the restoration of who we are to take place.
1.
Righteousness: There is no doubt that Jesus giving up his life for all of mankind was one of the most important events that ever occurred. His blood was shed to cleanse us and all of mankind from every sin. What really needs to be understood is that there is no sin that one can commit that Jesus did not cover. This means now that sin which stood between man and God has been done away with. Since the death of Jesus there is only one new sin that can be committed against God, which is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What this means, and only what this means, is not heading to the witness of the Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus as your redeemer for eternal life. I do not know why religion tries to make you guilty of something that is not possible. We can still commit sinful acts against one another, which some of those are punishable by the governing laws we live in, but against God Jesus has paid the price once and for all. This is why Paul declared that we are the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus. We cannot make ourselves righteous nor can we make ourselves unrighteous. Jesus has already taken care of that and we just need to accept it as so. This is also why there is no condemnation Jesus. Only a guilty man is condemned, so if you feel like God’s opinion of you varies depending on what you do then STOP thinking that way. To think in such a way is to deny Jesus of what he did on your behalf.

2.
Eternal life: Being made right with God is great, but if it were not for eternal life that we have in Jesus, then it would be almost pointless. Paul put it this way, 1 Corinthians 15:19 KJV19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. When Jesus rose again on the third day he was the first born of the eternal sons of God. See by accepting that Jesus is our savior means that we accept by faith that we have died with him and are made alive with him. I won’t go into detail in this message on it but it helps to know that were are made of three parts: Spirit, soul and body. Upon accepting Jesus as Lord our spirit is instantly made regenerated and sealed by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Folks it just doesn’t get any better than that. Your spirit as a believer will never need a tune up for all of eternity. Hallelujah. Your soul, which is mainly your mind will and emotions all of which influence your heart, is constantly being renewed. This is why Paul again said, Romans 12:2 KJV And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind… We renew our minds constantly by spending time reading the word, praying, meditating on God and his word, listening to others teach and even in the music we listen to. Everything that causes some sort of mental stimulation which influences the way we think is renewing our mind. This is why what you listen to is just as important to how much you take in. There is a truth to the saying, “Garbage in garbage out.” Not every doctrine we hear or song we listen to truly glorifies what Jesus accomplished on the cross, so you need to pay attention and compare everything in respect to the finished works of Jesus. If it does not line up with scripture in light of the grace of God then stop listening or letting it into your life if at all possible.

3.
Health: It really truly would be enough if the only reason that Jesus had come was to give the gift of righteousness and eternal life in him. When you think about eternity, what comparison is there really in the amount of time we have in this life? I know that God has promised us 70 years as a minimum, and that we can allow circumstances to influence our lives so that we can even make that of no effect. But thank God, thank Jesus, that he sacrificed himself on our behalf so that in his sufferings we do not have to nor are we suppose to accept poor health. What I say here is not meant to condemn and absolutely should not be taken in that way. I am going to discuss here, and in the next section, what is only to be received as hope and a goal. Touching briefly on what we had mentioned in the very beginning about God and what some of the church has defined as his sovereignty. The notion that God is in control of all things and that nothing happens without him approving of it has made God out to be worse than any demon in Hell. Saying that he makes one sick to teach or so that he can get glory from it is perverse. Fortunately God is not 100% in control of every single aspect of our lives. He put laws into effect like gravity, and they just exist. Because God is not in total control as a tyrant then sometimes sickness, disease or some other circumstance can attack which impedes against our quality of life. The bottom line is if you think that it is something from God, or God allowed it happen, then you will not allow God to truly do what he wants to and that is make you whole. God will not curse anyone with anything or a circumstance because he is good all the time. Jesus became our curse so that we are no longer cursed. He was broken and beaten so that we would be made whole. By his stripes we were healed. Healing comes by revelation. You must not only know in your mind that Jesus has healed you but you need a revelation in your heart that you have been healed by Jesus. Please note that I am saying have been healed, not that you are going to be. Your circumstance might be new but your provision was made 2,000 years ago. I am really just briefly touching on this but to get everything in we will continue on to the next section.

4.
Prosperity. If there is one issue that can cause such a commotion in church and in families greater than any other I would say it has to be in finances. Because so many have taken advantage of a truth for their own personal gain, and many have suffered from it, the truth about finances and in any provision in general is usually not well received. God does want you to live a blessed life, to that there is no doubt, but I will say there is no blessing you can buy from God. Churches continue to erroneously adopt Jewish laws and customs from the Old Testament to make them feel special or appear more holy. No where after the cross will you find anything on tithing. This does not mean that you do not give, but there is a major difference between tithing and giving. Jesus was made poor that we may be rich so that we are able to give cheerfully to every good work. Reality is it takes provision to spread the message of God’s grace and unconditional love. Under the Mosaic covenant, Jews tithed and God prospered them. Unfortunately some Jews thought that because one was prosperous they were blessed by God and started becoming self righteous based on their wealth. The church as a whole in many cases is just as guilty of this. Some preach a false type of prosperity message based on only some truth and since they as a few individuals become wealthy they believe it to be true. God does want us to prosper and as with all things in God it is by faith we receive our inheritance. Paul really made it quite clear, and I am going to sum it up as we should give to spread the gospel. That pastors and teachers of the word should receive double honor so they can devout their time to the message. But that we should give as we can and as we have purposed in our hearts. Remember God loves a joyful giver and if you are giving out of lack in order to receive then you have not understood the gospel and you may starve which it is hard to rejoice in. God’s provision to you is not contingent on what you do but what you believe. Now with that being said there are more than likely going to be physical actions taken in order for your provision to manifest. The first thing is God’s favor may come in the way of a job, a new job or increase in the job you have. But with that you have to give him something to work with. For instance if you are always late and first to leave only doing what you need to to get by then you are not going to let God’s favor shine too brightly on you. Remember in everything you do, do it as unto the Lord. But in reality finances do not only come from the work that you do but through other people as well. Is some cases funding may come from someone directly where God has placed it upon their heart to meet someone else’s need. This is not to be the norm because living from miracle to miracle to just get by is not living a blessed life. Living a blessed life also includes having what you need when you need it, or the ability to obtain it like buying groceries, while also still being able to meet the needs of others without being concerned about your financial circumstances. One way of looking at it is you should have to give. Just like healing, prosperity can influence the lives of world to believe on God. Unfortunately the church has gone from one extreme to another in portraying Jesus as some whimpy passivist too poor to pay attention to a Las Vegas slot machine, insert coin and pull the handle. God wants you to prosper in everything you do so that the sacrifice that Jesus made on your behalf will glorify the Father and it as with all things of God a free gift. He is your Father and your bridegroom who wants to provide the very best for you.

How do we make the cross of no effect?

So with all this being said so far you might ask, “Well then how do we make the cross of no effect?” After all if Jesus did everything already then why don’t it just happen. The biggest issue in the church body as a whole is religion. I know how can you have a church without religion? It is called a relationship. Adam and Eve did not have a religion, they had a relationship with God. God wants a relationship with us. Religion in general is a list of do’s and dont’s so that God is happy with you. I know that is really simplifying it, but at it’s core that is what it boils down to. Think of someone whom you are really good friends with, that you would trust above all others. If there is someone in your life like that then more than likely you just like being around them. Did you notice that the more you are around them the more your are like them. Even though you retain your individuality there are certain things that you do or say that are influenced out of that relationship. This is what God desires with us on a very intimate scale. The more we talk to him the more we learn the truth about ourselves and who we are in Jesus. What learn what God has done for us, his immeasurable love for us, and after a while we start acting and talking and walking just like him. Religion tries to force behavior modification. God wants to love you so you love yourself and others. Religion also then being a matter of regulations relies on the law of Moses, or works by your own efforts to either maintain or retain righteousness. This is the literal example of self righteousness, which won’t get you anything but condemnation. In Revelations God talks about the church of Laodicea saying, “Revelation 3:15-16 KJVI know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” What God is referring to is a church that does not rely 100% on the Mosaic law nor 100% on the gospel, which is the grace of God in Jesus and his finished works. Unfortunately this represents the majority of the body of churches today. They are quick to say come as you are to receive Jesus and be saved, but then just as quick to tell you everything you are doing wrong and what you must do to make God happy or he’ll strike you down. When you try to do something so that God will move in your life or change his opinion of you this is self righteousness. It is literally saying, “God I know you want what is best for me but you can’t possibly want me to have it until I have…..” fill in the blank. Everything from God is a gift. So you cannot earn it, you cannot buy it, but you can reject it or you can receive it. It is by faith that we receive, believe and give voice to what God has declared and Jesus has made available to us. When we speak by faith in the name of Jesus, using his authority, then God will empower it to come to pass so that his word does not return void but accomplishes that which it was sent to do.

This brings up another scenario in that we do not have to receive anything. I have been in many different denominations over the years trying to find one that actually believed the whole bible. I really believe that some of these denominations came about because of doubt and unbelief. In ignorance saying that because something never happened to someone it must not be true and because they were just so holy that they could call God a liar and that is what they believed going forward. I do not see how someone can be so selfish to not only limit their own lives but possibly the live of millions of others so their ego would not be bruised. I am glad that people receive their salvation regardless of the denomination, because as I said this time we are in now is nothing compared to eternity. But it is sad to see so many people reject what Jesus accomplished, every beating, every curse, every shock of pain suffered in vain just because someone has chosen to believe doctrines of men over the word of God.

I pray that if a promise of God for some reason does not come to pass in your life that you would not be as selfish and call God a liar so that you can justify yourself. Hmmm that sounds kind of like Job. Through most of the book of Job, Job himself and three of his buddies start declaring all sorts of things contrary to the truth of God, which ironically enough I have heard taught as truths in some churches. None the less Job repents in the end, realizes nothing that he went through was from God. God did not give anything and take it away. God then ends up prospering him by doubling everything he lost. It amazes me how quick one is, when trials come their way, that they fall apart. It is like they do not see the big picture and no matter what in the end we win. Life should not be a continual series of ups and downs, but peace and consistency getting better overall all the time with God. When something comes against you to shake your world up and you know that it is in no way something that you have caused then hold fast to the truths of God and he will get you through it. Now sometimes we create our own issues, which I am too guilty of and you just have to make peace with that. I know that even in my errors God has blessed us and enabled us to more readily rectify circumstances. Other times we just hung in there until everything worked out. The thing is as we learn who we are in Jesus, as we get revelation about this wonderful relationship and how God views us and what God has done for us we can avoid these pitfalls by listening to him and trusting him.

To put it as simple as I can. If we believe in Jesus and everything he did and receive all of his promises then we make his effort on the cross effective. But to the degree that we deny these sacrifices that Jesus made for us is to the degree we make the cross of no effect.


Except You See Signs and Wonders

John 4:48 KJV Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

      Many think of this verse in a negative context. That because of the desire to see miracles, signs and wonders that they were weak in their faith. I tend to think of this as Jesus just pointing out a fact especially when looking at the context of this nobleman that Jesus was speaking to had only asked Jesus to heal his son who was dying. At this point chronologically in the four gospels, Jesus had turned water into wine and that had been the only miracle he had done up to this point. He did teach about the kingdom of God but most of the miracles did not take place until after this event. In either case though, it is a fact that Jesus stated a truth that when some see signs and wonders manifested in the name of Jesus they believe in God. Jesus went about doing good. Healing the sick, casting out devils and raising the dead. It was because of these acts of compassion that people were drawn to him to hear what he had to say.

      On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell on the 120, a sign from God was present in that those who were in the upper room received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When those around the believers heard the people speaking miraculously in their own native tongues they believed on the word preached to them by Peter and 3,000 were added to the faith. Later when Peter commanded healing in a man 5,000 more were added after witnessing what had happened and hearing the gospel preached.

 Luke 9:1-2 KJV Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

 Luke 10:1-9 KJV After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. 5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. 7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

       Here are a couple of different instances where Jesus sent out those who were his disciples, first the twelve then an additional seventy (72 some say because Jewish tradition say there were 72 nations with 72 different languages), to minister. In all cases teaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand, healing the sick and casting out devils were to go hand in hand. It was by the not hearing the message only that many believed also by seeing the miracles that some were persuaded. Yet we also know that even with all that was done there were towns whose hearts remained hard after seeing and hearing.

 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

      Paul said that he came not in eloquent speech but in power so that the people would not be convinced by wisdom of man but by the practical demonstration of God’s power. When people are persuaded by man’s wisdom to believe one thing they can be persuaded to believe another. I have heard it said more than a few times that Paul was more than likely just not good at speaking. That is extremely hard to believe considering his status as a Pharisee. Pharisees were hand-picked and tutored because of their intelligence and eagerness. They commonly knew several languages, as Paul demonstrates throughout the book of Acts.

    Anyone can promise people what they want and possibly attract a few followers for various periods of time. But it is those who produce fruit and keep promises that retain their followers. Unfortunately I have also witnessed what we have been warned of in the bible speaking of false miracles. I have seen healers and others do things not as children of God through Jesus Christ, but using other forms of faith. This makes me believe all the more in God in that if those who do not believe in God through Jesus are doing these things, then we as the sons of God are to experiencing miracles, signs and wonders as a daily part of our lives. Not for our personal benefit only, but to encourage others and show God’s love to everyone around us that we can. Matthew 24:24 KJV For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

     Jesus promised through himself health, because by his stripes we were healed. He promised prosperity in that he become poor, that through his poverty we might be rich. He promised eternal life, Mark 10:30 KJV But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. Also we have the promises of the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 KJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: As well as Ephesians 5:9 KJV (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) These are not characteristics or qualities we are to try to produce out of our own efforts, but they are fruit which is produced when the seed, the word of God, is planted in fertile soil, our hearts. We don’t grow or produce the fruit, God does.

     So why aren’t these events and characteristics more prevalent in the life of believers today. Partially because most really haven’t gotten the revelation that they are the righteousness of God in Jesus. Because of being righteous there is also no condemnation. But by not fully believing they are righteous condemnation can creep in negating the truth of who we are in Jesus and receiving his benefits. It is like mixing the Mosaic covenant, which is the Law, with the grace of God in Jesus. It just does not work when the two are blended as neither of them fully function unless they are embraced independently. The Law cannot do what it was intended to do, which is to lead one to Jesus because of the realization of needing a savior since it is impossible to fulfill the Law for righteous requirements, and the grace of God through the cross of Jesus becomes of no effect as well when mixed with Law. Another reason though is we are told to make disciples. The real issue here is discipleship is usually limited by many to believing in Jesus is your savior. Jesus demonstrated his authority and showed others how to by hands on teaching. His disciples, basically starting with the core 12, less Judas, and then a few others, demonstrated to others upon receiving the Holy Spirit after the cross as Peter led the field off in demonstration. And so the progression was to continue to go forth as generation after generation called upon the Lord and believed.

      I want to touch on one statement that I just made about the law of Moses, which includes the ten commandments. In Psalms 1:1-3 KJV Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Though this psalm was written in the time when the law of Moses was in place as the dominate law, which if one could keep it the verses are true, this also applies for us today. We do not live now though by the law of Moses, but by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:2 KJV For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

        So what is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? One attribute is that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. See if anyone feels condemned then they separate themselves from God and do not allow themselves to receive from God. But because of Jesus taking away sin it is truly impossible to be condemned by God because of anything someone does. Jesus’ sacrifice of His blood made that possible and if you feel in any way that God’s view of you changes depending on what you do then you have not fully gotten a revelation of what Jesus accomplished on the cross yet.

      One other note about the Law of the Spirit of Life. Dr. John G. Lake went as a missionary to Africa in 1908. The deadly bubonic plague broke out in his area. Hundreds died. He cared for the sick and buried the dead. Finally the British sent a relief ship with medical supplies and a corps of doctors. The doctors sent for Lake to come aboard. They asked him, “What have you been using to protect yourself?” “Sirs,” Lake replied, “I believe the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. And as long as I walk in the light of that law of life, no germ will attach itself to me.” “You had better use our preventives.” the doctors urged. “No,” Lake said, “But I think you would like to experiment with me. Take some of the foam that comes from the victims’ lungs after death, and examine it under the microscope. You will find the masses of living germs remain alive for a while after the man is dead. Fill my hand with the foam and examine it under the microscope. Instead of remaining alive, the germs will die instantly.” The doctors made the experiment and what Lake said proved true. When the doctors expressed wonder at what caused it, Lake told them, “That is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”  Simply put where there is the life of God death cannot exist.

      Something to be mindful of is when Jesus proclaimed that, “except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe” this is something that really should be a part of the everyday life of a believer. Because of religious view points over the centuries, though some are aligning more and more with the word of God, many think that signs and wonders are extremely rare occurrences or something that only happen to a select few. This should not be the case because it is part of the lifestyle as a believer in Jesus, that Jesus has made available to every one of us. He has already paid the price in one form or another to rectify everything that has deprived every single person of the quality of life that God himself desires for us to have. As an example from a natural perspective. Let’s say we went to a showroom and I gave you a car. I even gave you an unlimited gas card, and a lifetime insurance program all prepaid. This is about as free as I can imagine. If you have this car and just let it set in the garage and never use it, that does not mean that you can’t. It is yours, but you have just chosen not to. In relation to the things of God that we have in Jesus this is the same thing. Jesus has given us all things pertaining to life and Godliness but most of the time they just sit in the garage waiting to be used. The biggest issue is we may have this nice new car with all its perks but we may not know how to drive. Many believers have never been taught how to release the gifts they have.

      You may have heard many messages that tell us what we have or what we can do in Jesus, but without demonstration or help in knowing how to use anything we have been authorized to, these gifts often lie dormant. Let’s take a basic look at one of the many gifts that Jesus has enabled us to receive. Healing is probably one of the most helpful gifts we can use. Not only for ourselves but in scripture this was one of the ways to draw in the masses to hear about the grace of God in Jesus. More and more people are coming to the understanding that it is the will of God that everyone is healthy and whole. This is fact because Jesus bore everyone’s infirmities, sickness, disease whatever name you wish to give it, before he went to the cross through the brutal beating he received prior to hanging on the cross. Yet simple head knowledge doesn’t seem to be effective as there needs to be a revelation of Jesus in our heart for who we are in him. We are the voice but he is the power. We can do nothing without him and he will do nothing without us.

       One of the best ways to let go and allow healing to be released through you is to practice. A small group situation can work very well so you can rotate around and be the one administering healing then alternate receiving. The big question is how. Well let’s start off with the most common errors. Though many mean well it is usually through a lack of knowledge, training or insecurity that they do not take the responsibility approach to healing. What I mean is this, more often then not you will hear prayers like, “Thank you God for healing us, we know that you can heal” or “we know that by your stripes we were healed.” All of these and many many others our biblical facts but they will let you die. Why? Because we are the ones who are to take authority in a situation. There are many examples of this, which we will look at a couple, but you will notice that they are commands not petitions and usually less than 10 words.

 Matthew 9:6 KJV But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Matthew 8:32 KJV And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Mark 1:25 KJV And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

Mark 5:8 KJV For he said unto him, Come out of the man,thou unclean spirit.

Mark 5:41 KJV And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. (Maid, arise)

Mark 9:25 KJV When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

Luke 6:10 KJV And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Luke 7:14 KJV And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

John 5:8 KJV Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

Acts 3:6 KJV Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 9:34 KJV And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.

Acts 16:18 KJV And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

I know that these examples are a mix of healing and casting out demons but I did this to illustrate an example in that with God once you learn how to allow something to happen, let the gifts flow, they are the same across the board. In all these examples you see there is no petitioning to God. You see commands in words of action. To the sick usually for that person to do something to act on their faith. To the possessed for the demons to leave. Quick, simple, powerful and authoritative. Basically it is God fulfilling your command over a circumstance to be faithful to his Word spoken through you.

     A quick note here on authority. We have it and the devil does not. Also it has been given away by God and that is why asking Him to do something is not effective. Let me explain quickly. You probably have heard Adam was given authority over the earth, to rule and have dominion, and that at the fall he submitted this authority to the devil. Jesus though had lost his authority in being without sin. Please note and this is the hardest thing for most people to grasp is, God did not have this authority because he had given it unto man. Though man had authority he did not have the power so that is why things were really limited in running a muck. Jesus said Matthew 28:18 KJV And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Jesus has the unique distinction of not only having the authority as a man but also the authority in heaven because of his deity. Simply put Jesus has total authority to do anything anywhere and this is awesome for us because we have access through Jesus to all authority. Jesus said John 14:13-14 KJV And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. This is how simple it is and we can see that from the examples, the we just simply in faith in Jesus declare something to be so in his name and he sees it come to pass. With that being said I am not talking the lottery but whatever is not contrary to God so the original intentions of God for mankind can be experienced as in healing, wholeness, provision, peace, comfort, joy etc.

      Many believe in God but not many believe God. Religion has nullified the cross. No doubt millions get saved yearly but because of religion nullifying the works of Jesus many more millions die never accepting the free gift of eternal life. Jesus said that to those who believe these signs will follow. Is your faith in Jesus or in what some church proclaims contrary to Jesus. Paul put it best. Galatians 1:8-9 GNB But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell! 9 We have said it before, and now I say it again: if anyone preaches to you a gospel that is different from the one you accepted, may he be condemned to hell! Paul was not speaking to those outside of the church body but to those who were believers in Jesus but trying to change the gospel message. This accounts for a big majority of the church body today.