CHRISTIANS: TIME TO BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS

Like never before, Christians are being challenged by God to honour Him by standing up for their belief in Him.

Jennie Finch and Jelene Hinkle are to be commended for their stand which invariably costs from a worldly perspective. I am sure it was not there motivation, but they have built up treasure in heaven which is eternal (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jennie Finch on 'Dancing With The Stars'

Olympic athlete and Dancing With the Stars contestant Jennie Finch refused to perform to a popular new Janelle Monae track, citing her Christian faith and desire to honour God. The song, “Make Me Feel,” is sexually suggestive and was deemed to be a “little too risque” for the athlete.

According to the Kansas City Star, Finch was struggling with the song all through rehearsals until she finally made a phone call to producers saying she was not prepared to dance to such a sexually charged track.

“It’s not what I’m about. I need to follow who I am and stand up for what I believe in,” Finch explained on the hit show.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle (19) and midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and defender Kelley O'Hara (5) celebrate.

Last year, a Christian soccer star, Jaelene Hinkle, withdrew from the United States Women’s National Team after the team decided to swap out their normal jerseys for LGBT Pride jerseys in international matches.

Hinkle withdrew from the United States soccer roster in June citing “personal reasons.” This came at a time where she was called to play in international games versus Sweden and Norway.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle 19 and midfielder Carli Lloyd 10 and defender Kelley O’Hara 5.

Hinkle’s resignation from the team came two weeks after the U.S. men and women’s national teams announced that they would be wearing LGBT pride jerseys in support of the June pride month.

UNLEASH SUPERNATURAL POWER

Unleash Supernatural, Holy Spirit Power

It is important to remember what Paul told the Corinthian church:

“I was with you in weakness, in fear and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-4

BAKB book pic

Every believer has within them the potential to release kingdom power in their sphere of influence. The keys:

1) Believe you have the right to His power

2) Understand how to use His power

3) Be willing to release it when He directs you to.

Millions of Christians have been taught that salvation is enough, simply a get-out-of-hell-free promise. Do kind works and pray for the rapture.

Some do recognise the existence of Holy Spirit power and are willing to release it at His direction, exactly as Jesus taught in John 14:12, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these because I am going to My Father.”

Jesus gave His disciples training in how to properly release Heaven’s supernatural power on earth.

Holy Spirit will guide you, ask Him. (Matt. 7:7, Luke 11:9).

Holy Spirit will teach you. (John 14:26).

Fortunately, in these last days, we are seeing a return to church as described in the Book of Acts. Check out Torben Sondergaards website Last Reformation and Francis Chan YouTube videos. Also my website http://www.powerpointsermons.net for videso and sermons.

 

EXTREMES OF CHRISTIANITY: WHICH TRULY EXPRESSES JESUS EXAMPLE?

Simple missional forms of church were normal in the first century – and are proving relevant for today. Here are some insights on the early church taken from the New Testament. 1. All NT churches met in homes, 2. There were multiple churches in each community that loved on its people, 3. All members of the church participated, 4. Church was not a building Christians went to or a denomination they belonged to. Christians were church in their community. 5. Households provided natural leadership for home churches, 6. Paul did appoint ‘overseers’ to foster these networks. These were mature believers, not given to power seeking – but encouragers, able to facilitate disciple making and the planting of new churches, 7. They were relational communities – eating, serving, sharing. Christians shared in Sabbath fellowship, Communion, Scripture reading and prayers. There is no tension over culture or ethnicity. 8. They were ‘zero dollar’ – but high cost church plants. First century believers shared faith with family, friends and neighbours, inviting them to their homes. High cost because it is a sacrifice of time and energy to share faith with family and social networks. Offerings help with rent, food for someone who has lost their job or a struggling family. Maybe to assist school expenses for a single mum or support another church start up. 9. Church structures are simple and Holy Spirit directed. No hierarchical structures, 10. Churches easily reproducible. Disciples made disciples and baptised them and in turn they made disciples. 11. They are the best environment to hand on faith.

Developed from article by Peter Rosenfeldt. Check out his website http://www.newlifechurch.com

PASTOR IN INDIA

A pastor in India who was known for long five- to six-hour prayer sessions was found beaten, tortured and hung to death from the rafters of his church, parishioners said. The murder has deeply shocked the congregation.

Morning Star News reported on Sunday that the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in southern India was found early Saturday morning. His death comes after he had complained about Hindu extremists.

Pastor Azariah Reuben, a close friend of the 43-year-old victim, said that Periyaswamy converted from Hinduism 25 years ago, and has served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, becoming known as a “prayer warrior.”

“The local Hindus were not happy with growing Christianity,” Reuben said. “They had several times tried to stop the ministry.”

PASTOR IN THE U.S.A

Kenneth Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but A V Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulfstream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me.

And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.

“And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

 

FEAR OF THE LORD LEADS TO OBEDIENCE

This message is for ministers/pastors/leaders:

To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.

In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.

Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?

I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV

He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3

If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.

Paul’s Great Desire

One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.

Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.

Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.

Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?

If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).

Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!

extracted from message by Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries

LAST REFORMATION – TORBEN IN AUSTRALIA

Torben in Australia in November, baptising them in the name of the FATHER, THE SON and the HOLY SPIRIT.

I believe we are seeing an emergence of the church as it was in the Book of Acts, with the POWER Jesus said, would be evident when the Holy Spirit came UPON the disciples at Pentecost.

The disciples had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them as recorded in John 20;22. The word Jesus used here for breathed is the same word God used when he breathed life INTO Adam. This is when the disciples were born again of the Holy Spirit but after this event Jesus tells them to do nothing until the Holy Spirit comes UPON them at Pentecost in POWER. We all know that when the Holy Spirit came UPON them in power what happened 3,000 were added to the church day one. There are two events here, and God wants you to experience both: 1. Are you born again? and 2. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

THE MARTYR’S OATH

 Would you be prepared to declare the following creed. During the coming Tribulation, it may cost you your earthly life to do so.
The Martyr’s Oath – I AM A FOLLOWER OF JESUS.

Click here to download the manuscript – TheMartyrsOath-1

I believe he lived and walked among us, was crucified for our sins, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scriptures. I believe he is the King of the earth, who will come back for his church.
As he has given his life for me, so I am willing to give my life for him. I will use every breath I possess to boldly proclaim his gospel.
Whether in abundance or need, in safety or peril, in peace or distress, I will not—I cannot—keep quiet. His unfailing love is better than life, and his grace compels me to speak his name even if his name costs me everything. Even in the face of death, I will not deny him. And should shadow and darkness encroach upon me, I will not fear, for I know he is always with me. Though persecution may come, I know my battle is not against flesh but against the forces of evil. I will not hate those whom God has called me to love. Therefore, I will forgive when ridiculed, show mercy when struck, and love when hated. I will clothe myself with meekness and kindness so those around me may see the face of Jesus reflected in me, especially if they abuse me.
I have taken up my cross; I have laid everything else down. I know my faith could cost me my life, but I will follow and love Jesus until the end, whenever and however that end may come. Should I die for Jesus, I confess that my death is not to achieve salvation but in gratitude for the grace I’ve already received. I will not die to earn my reward in heaven, but because Jesus has already given me the ultimate reward in the forgiveness of my sins and the salvation of my soul.
For me to live is Christ; for me to die is gain.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

 

ONLY RADICAL HOLY LIVING WILL DO

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth—proving what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things are exposed when they are revealed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.  Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:8-14).

Spirit-filled Christians are not immune to overwhelming assaults of the enemy, but we should be victorious at the end of the battle. Sadly, in today’s dark world, even some of the most passionate Believers are experiencing defeat after defeat. Many would admit that they have been unable to break free from strategic, continual, tormenting and demonic oppression. They force a smile on their face for Sunday morning and let it fade away as they walk out the doors at the end of the service. For some depression and despair digs into their soul and refuses to let go. They pray in tongues and stand in faith with no effect at all. It seems that God has abandoned them. The truth about their situation, however, is quite different.

Do not be deceived. None of us is strong enough to resist the onslaught of a very evil, demented and deadly spirit if we entertain that spirit. Not only must it be cast out, but it must be rejected in every form, in every area of our lives.

As I stated above, innumerable Spirit-filled Christians find themselves bound up, oppressed and without strength for a permanent deliverance in their lives. Yes, they are spiritually minded. They understand the power of prayer. They believe in the authority granted to them by Christ. They do their best to function as spiritual warriors, but at the end of the battle, they are beaten, desperate and hopeless. The enemy wins time and time again.

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that evil is less threatening just because it takes the form of something familiar.

Many are in a cycle of warfare with the enemy, attempting to function spiritually, appearing to be bold and fearless as they engage him. However, they can never win unless they completely cancel their agreement with evil.

Both the enemy and whatever vehicle it uses to entice us must be eradicated from our lives. Now.

You have heard that it was said by the ancients, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. For it is profitable that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew. 5:27-30).

I have heard pastors, leaders and seemingly solid Christians tell me that cursing and violence in movies doesn’t bother them. Occasional nudity doesn’t either. However, they refuse to watch sexual situations, that’s where they draw the line.

They wonder why they can’t live free from lust. They can’t imagine living a life with no unrighteous sexual images (which would be anybody real or imagined other than their spouse) dancing through their minds.

The enemy is manifesting through all unrighteous forms of media, something that seems so common, so familiar, so innocent, playful, something that’s now a part of Western culture.

Others continually wrestle with anger and hatred while playing violent video games. The spirit of hatred is nicely packaged: the video game, a familiar part of most people’s lives.

The truth is clear. We can’t watch nudity in media and stay free from lust. We can’t watch violence and expect it to have no effect on us. It’s more than cause and effect. The enemy chooses certain vehicles and methods to anoint as he works to facilitate his plan of destruction in our lives.

We need to cast the spirit completely out of our lives and never allow ourselves to be deceived into enjoying what they have to offer again.

“For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts” (Romans 13:14).

Keep an eternal focus, Jesus is coming back soon, be prepared, be the temple of the Holy Spirit, then discernment will increase, holiness will increase, only then will you find true freedom.

Extract from Hounds of Hell Aren’t Family Pets: A Prophetic Dream About Radical Freedom by John Burton

TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE’S NO OTHER WAY

Deuteronomy should make us conscious of our responsibility for obedience.

Deuteronomy is a record of the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel just prior to their entering the Promised Land. In fact, the first line of the books states, “These are the words,” giving Deuteronomy its Hebrew title Devarim – “Words.” The original adults who fled Egypt have all passed away, and a new generation has risen up. God is going to give them great victory against their enemies in Canaan, but many temptations are also going to face them. Moses gives the Israelite’s one last sermon to reiterate God’s instructions for them.

The children were not held responsible for the cowardice of their parents. They were assured possession of the land while the parents were sent back to the desert. The author of Hebrews later points to the wilderness strewn with the corpses of that faithless generation as a grim reminder.

There are consequences for lacking confidence in God’s power.

God provided for the Israelites. He did huge miracles on their behalf. He wanted to bring them into the Land, but He had to let the faithless parents die in the desert. He could not pollute the land with unbelievers right from the beginning.

When we fail to appreciate the power and love of God, it’s like we’re poking a finger in His eye.

That’s disturbing stuff. We get enamoured with grace, but we fail to realise some of these implications. God loves us completely, and He has tremendous patience with us. That’s why it is such an incredible insult to suggest He doesn’t love us. He gave us everything. He gave us His Son. All eternity is ours because of God’s self-sacrifice. How can we be so cruel and foolish to think for a moment He doesn’t love us or that He can’t be trusted?

Trusting God is loving God. If we trust Him, though, that also means we trust Him enough to obey Him. Real trust says, “I know Your way is best.” 

We are saved through the blood of Jesus, not by our works. However, in His seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Jesus repeatedly offers rewards to the “overcomer.” Overcoming is incredibly important. The fruit of our lives is at stake. The lives of other people are at stake. Our rewards in Heaven are at stake. Moses was saved, but he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land he’d worked so hard to reach.

Let’s get to the end of our lives and be able to say, “I fought the good fight. I finished the race.”

HOW DO YOU INTEND TO LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

Obviously the decision is yours to make, but as we are living in the “last days”, ETERNITY and where you spend it hangs in the balance. This article by Fulton Sheen, which I received at the end of 2014, should challenge you, as it did me then and NOW.

The Decision is Yours (12/24/2014) Fulton Sheen

Like the rain washes away the dust and the dirt and replenishes and purifies the rivers, the streams and waters in the earth for all living things to continue to live and flourish, so My Spirit waits for those to enter, that I may do the same to the hearts and spirits which have freely yielded to Me. It is a decision and act and every decision and act has consequences. What will you do today, how will you live the moments which have been given to you? Will you yield; will you live the day I have set aside for you? Will you follow the path I have laid for you to walk or will you find your own way? This choice, this decision is yours to make every day and every morning, for every day is a new beginning. The consequences of that choice and decision will determine whether you go deeper into My plans and purposes, you stop short or you regress.

For those that regress and choose another path, they will drink of the consequences of that decision. They will step out of the walled city which they had previously chosen to inhabit and are now on their own. They have made themselves subject to the world and have rejected My will and replaced it with their own and they rejected My plans, My purposes and My protection. They have chosen their own path. In these days and the days to come, retracing ones steps and taking back ground will become more difficult and the consequences greater.

For those who stop short, you will continue to walk in the revelation and grace you had been given up to that point, but the former revelation and grace will not be sufficient. It will be harder and harder to stand your ground without fresh revelation and grace. You will be like a stagnant pond, no longer connected to the river which once replenished, purified and allowed it to expand. In time you will become polluted with things which can only grow in water deprived of cleansing and eventually dries up and disappears.

But for those who daily choose the path I have laid out for them, for those who have chosen My will, My plans and purposes over their own, they will not be disappointed. They will receive fresh revelation, fresh grace for the day and they will move forward and the enemy will not have his way with them. I will renew their strength, I will give them wisdom, insight and direction they need for the day and for the days to come. The consequences of this choice will be peace, joy and rest in the midst of the battle. They will have eyes to see, their ears will hear and their mind will understand what My Spirit is saying. Like the sons of Issachar they will understand the times and they will know what to do.

THE DECISION IS YOURS?