PROTECTION & HEALING FROM GOD IS CONDITIONAL

‘If you diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I have afflicted the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you'” (Ex. 15:26).

There is a condition attached to healing and health. It is obedience. In Deuteronomy we find the same condition.

“Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:1-2).

Although the blessings of God encompasses the totality of our lives, two of the main areas it covers are divine health and financial/material provision and prosperity. And this chapter also outlines the curses that will come upon God’s people if they do not hearken to the Lord’s voice and obey Him.

“But it will happen, if you will not listen to the voice of the Lord your God, by being careful to do all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut. 28:15).

This is what I wanted you to see. There is a condition attached to the blessings of God that is not only seen throughout the old covenant but carries over into the new covenant as well. This is where many modern day Charismatics and word of faith people have missed it. The Lord showed me that it’s a mindset. To them, it sounds like works. In other words, if we do everything just right, we will be healed. No, that’s not it. The issue is walking in the light that you possess. The issue is obedience to what you know to do or not to do—obedience to both His written word and what He says to you by His Spirit.

“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence before God. And whatever we ask, we will receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He commanded us” (1 John 3:20-23).

Here’s the bottom line: If your heart condemns you you cannot have confidence toward God (1 John 3:21). You cannot come boldly before the throne of God. You cannot believe and receive what you ask for. You cannot resist the devil and take hold of the promises of God. You cannot exercise your God given authority unless you have confidence toward God. Condemnation kills that confidence.

Disobedience results in condemnation and condemnation causes your faith to shrivel. Confess and quote the Word all you want. Without obedience your faith won’t work.

Obey the written Word of God, especially concerning your love walk. Obey what His Spirit is saying to your heart. Walk in the light of what He’s revealed to you, and the blessings of God shall be fully manifest in your life.

Great article by Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries

DEATH IN ADAM, ALIVE IN CHRIST

“Sin came into the world, through one man (Adam) and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

God’s love conquers all: “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.Romans 5:17

We may not like this crucial truth about God and sin, but we live in a universe that has been corrupted by the effects of the curse placed upon creation by God the Creator, due to the disobedience of the first man, Adam. Death is an intrusion upon God’s creation due to sin. 

Satan, the Prince of this world, has blinded the world to the reality of this truth with the lie of EVOLUTION and there is no God. The truth of Noah’s worldwide flood and God’s judgement of mankind has also been removed from history with the lie of EVOLUTION.

In Genesis 1:31 God’s word tells us, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” In the Genesis creation narrative, we see the Hebrew word for good used six times, and then the author summarises the entirety of creation by using a term for “very good”, to drive home the point that no evil or death is found anywhere in all of creation! Here, we find a major theological truth; you cannot have death before the fall of Adam!

What amazing love, God the Father sent His son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of our sin so that we can be restored into a right relationship with our Him, but only if we are prepared to acknowledge and repent of our sin and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. If we do, God the Father then sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to be comforter, counsellor and teacher so we are capable of living the Christian life.

Jesus reversed the curse by his perfect obedience, taking upon himself the due penalty of sin, which is death, for all who believe in him. Jesus faced the ultimate fiery trial of death, and he was the only man who didn’t deserve it, as he was perfectly obedient to the Father and totally righteous, without sin. This is grace in fullness, and amazing love!

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. Christianity is the only basis for true love, trust and compassion. The Bible tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Once believers are saved by grace from sin, the process of sanctification occurs, the Holy Spirit takes control of our hearts, and we die to the flesh and are reborn by the Spirit of God. We are now able to fully understand what love is. We are able, though not perfectly, to have compassion, and serve others out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. This is why we can heed the command of Christ in Matthew 5:44–45 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

People who claim to be atheists, to be consistent with their beliefs, would have a nihilistic worldview. They could never truly know the love or compassion imparted by the Spirit of God. What took place recently at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas , when a church family gathered in a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was massacred by Devin Patrick Kelley, is a horrible tragedy performed by someone who was living out his worldview.

A NEW CHURCH REFORMATION NEEDED SAYS JOHN LEE GRADY

The following article by John Lee Grady for Charisma Magazine outlines great reforms needed in the church. What it does not address is what Francis Chan is heralding; we need to get back to church as it is outlined in the Book of Acts. Francis discovered that you can’t train up disciples who will be committed to the great commission in a church of thousands, even hundreds. Moreover, the cost of buildings and paid staff is better off being spent on outreach to our communities.

Image result for picture of Martin Luther nailing Theses to door in Wittenberg

In honour of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I’m (John Lee Grady) offering my own list of needed reforms in the modern charismatic/Pentecostal movement. And since I can’t hammer these on the Wittenberg door, I’ll post them online. Feel free to nail them everywhere.

  1. Let’s reform our theology. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God and He is holy. He is not an “it.” He is not a blob, a force or an innate power. We must stop manipulating Him, commanding Him and throwing Him around. (And we should also stop ignoring Him, as if He is an optional “add-on” to our scripted agendas.)
  1. Let’s return to the Bible. The Word of God is the foundation for the Christian experience. Any exotic experience must be tested by the Word and the Holy Spirit’s discernment. Visions, dreams, prophecies and encounters with angels must be in line with Scripture. If we don’t measure them against Scripture, we could end up spreading deception.
  1. It’s time for personal responsibility. We charismatics must stop blaming everything on demons. People are usually the problem.
  1. Stop playing charismatic games. Spiritual warfare is a reality, but we are not going to win the world to Jesus just by shouting at demonic principalities. We must pray, preach and persevere to see ultimate victory.
  1. Stop the foolishness. People who hit, slap or push others during prayer should be asked to sit down until they learn that gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  1. End all spiritual extortion now. Christian television ministries must cease and desist from all manipulative fundraising tactics. We must stop giving platforms to prosperity preachers who make outlandish claims of supernatural financial returns, especially when Scripture is twisted, deadlines are imposed and the poor are exploited.
  1. No more Lone Rangers. Those who claim to be ministers of God—whether they are traveling evangelists, local pastors or heads of ministries—must be accountable to other leaders. Any who refuse to submit their lives to godly discipline should be corrected.
  1. Expose the creeps. Preachers who have been hiding criminal records, lying about their past marriages, preying on women or refusing to pay child support should be exposed as charlatans and shunned if they do not repent.
  1. Stop faking the anointing. God is God, and He does not need our “help” to manifest Himself. That means we don’t sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest God’s glory is with us, hide fake jewels on the floor to prove we are anointed or pull feathers out of our sleeves to pretend angels are in the room. This is lying to the Holy Spirit.
  1. Let’s return to purity. We’ve had enough scandals. The charismatic church must develop a system for the restoration of fallen ministers. Those who fall morally can be restored, but they must be willing to submit to a process of healing rather than rushing immediately back into the pulpit to cause more damage.
  1. We need humility. Ministers who demand celebrity treatment, require lavish salaries, insist on titles or exhibit aloofness from others are guilty of spiritual pride. Christians should avoid prideful leaders instead of rewarding them with applause.
  1. No more big shots. Apostles are the bondslaves of Christ and should be the most impeccable models of humility. True apostles do not wield top-down, hierarchical authority over the church. They serve the church from the bottom up as true servants.
  1. Never promote gifts at the expense of character. Those who operate in prophecy, healing and miracles must also exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And while we continue to encourage the gift of tongues, let’s make sure we don’t treat it like some kind of badge of superiority. The world needs to see our love, not our glossolalia.
  1. Hold the prophets accountable. Those who refuse to take responsibility for inaccurate statements should not be given platforms. And “prophets” who live immoral lives don’t deserve a public voice.
  1. Stop the politics. Our deadly mixing of nationalism and party politics with the gospel has diluted our message and ruined our credibility. We are not Democrats or Republicans first—we are followers of the Lamb. Our allegiance is to Jesus, not Trump or Obama. Christ’s kingdom transcends presidents.
  1. Quit trying to be so cool. Our desire to be popular has ruined our witness. Today we care more about our giant LED screens, our coffee bars and our stage lighting than whether people have an experience with the Holy Spirit.
  1. No more racial division. Let’s get rid of the idea of a “black church” or a “white church.” There is only one body of Christ, yet we pretend we are integrated if one person of color serves on our greeter team. True Pentecost is multicultural. The Holy Spirit builds bridges, not walls.
  1. Let’s make the main thing the main thing. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is to empower us to reach others. We are at a crossroads today: Either we continue entertaining people with our charismatic sideshows or we throw ourselves into evangelism, church planting, missions, discipleship, and compassionate ministry that helps the poor and fights injustice. Churches that embrace this New Reformation will stop trying to please the crowd so they can focus on God’s priorities.

J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organisation that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression.

REJECTION: HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT?

JESUS IS OF COURSE OUR PRIME EXAMPLE OF HOW TO HANDLE IT. HE WAS REJECTED BY THE NATION HE CAME TO SAVE.

Jesus faced it in the early phases of His ministry, in His own town of Nazareth, when people challenged Him with questions: Are you truly the Son of God?  Aren’t you the son of Joseph the carpenter?  Why do you think you are so special?  Can you truly do the things you say you can do?  Are you out of your mind?  To that, Jesus proclaimed, “No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24

Moses defended one of the Hebrews, because of his compassion for his own people, by killing an Egyptian who was beating on a Hebrew.  Soon after that, he attempted to mediate between two Hebrews and was rejected with this statement: “Who made you prince and a judge over us?Exodus 2:14

Joseph was rejected by his family after sharing his dreams, his father responded, ”What is this dream that you have dreamed?  Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?Genesis 10. We know the end of the story; Joseph persevered, believing in God, despite the circumstances, knowing God was working out His purposes in Joseph’s life.

David – Who can forget the ridicule the future king of Israel received from one of his brothers for believing that he could bring down Goliath? “Now Eliab his older brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ’Why did you come down here?  And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?  I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’”  I Samuel 17:28

Martin Luther, after taking a stand for the truth of God’s word (sole authority) was rejected/persecuted by the church. He was willing to die to get the truth of God’s word out to the world – the Protestant Reformation – 500 year anniversary being celebrated this year.

As you can see, even the best of the best have been rejected: deliverers, kings, governors, and even our Saviour.

However, they did not allow their rejection to hinder their destiny. Instead, they managed to persevere in spite of the rejection, believing in their God and His purpose for their lives.  They fully embraced their destiny and allowed their conviction to shield them from the negativity. Not only did these people succeed, God also used them to help and save the very people that rejected them.

What can you do to ensure that the rejections you face do not hinder your destiny? 1. Accept rejection as a part of your journey. 2. Pray for those who reject you. 3. Daily study God’s word. 4. Embrace your comforter, the Holy Spirit and engage him as your counsellor and teacher – pray in the Spirit. 5. Resist the devil and he will flee. 5. Above all keep an eternal focus.

Rejection yields an opportunity to experience great mercy and favour from the Lord.

AOG CHURCH MUST EMBRACE BIBLE AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH

It will be interesting to see what impact Dr Doug Clay will have in getting the AOG church to reaffirm the Bible as the absolute inerrant word of God – the truth about the cosmos from Genesis to Revelation.

During his recent consecration as the new general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Dr. Doug Clay had two things in mind: First, he wanted to reaffirm the identity of his denomination, and second, to look to the future by keeping four AG core values at the forefront.

Drawing an analogy between Martin Luther and his 95 Theses and today’s Assemblies of God church, Clay, 54, said he recently had a dream about what it would look like to start a Pentecostal Reformation through the denomination. It would begin, he said, with the reaffirmation of these tenets:

  • The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.”
  • The Bible is the absolute truth.
  • Character, regardless of your title or position, matters.
  • The purpose of the Assemblies of God is evangelism, and the denomination must avoid getting sidetracked from that purpose.

A third-generation pastor’s kid, Clay spoke passionately about each of these values as applied to the AG church. The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the Assemblies of God has grown to more than 67 million members worldwide.

“I really want to see the Holy Spirit do what He does best: magnify Jesus,” Clay said. “We just need to let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. … With the Bible, we really do believe it is the foundation for all of life transformation and community transformation. Biblical literacy is one of the major initiatives I want to take on during my administration.

“We also need to place a high value on character. Paul says that if you don’t have the fruit of the spirit, then you are not a tuned instrument. … And finally, I’m committed to say that, in the DNA of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal organisation, evangelism is going to have a high priority, as it has for the last 103 years.”

 

A MESSAGE FOR CHRISTIAN SENIORS.

Fruitful Seniors

“And now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.”
Joshua 14:10-11

Like Joshua, Caleb was such a senior. The Bible says in his 85th year he was as strong as he was 45 years earlier when Moses sent him, along with Joshua and 10 other men, to spy out the land of Canaan (Numbers 13). All the men were likely fit at age 40—after all, they had just walked from Egypt through the wilderness to Kadesh. But how many were just as fit 45 years later?

Joshua and Caleb

Perhaps Caleb was inspired by Moses who died at 120 years: “His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigour diminished” (Deuteronomy 34:7).

Our senior years should be as fruitful and productive as our younger years.

Be a good steward of your health. Plan on being able to serve God faithfully, until He calls you home. Retirement is not Biblical.

God will empower you to do the work, He calls you to do. Christians; you already have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit received when you were born again. Jesus paid the price to redeem you, so your Heavenly Father could send the Holy Spirit to produce the “fruit of the Spirit” in your life, and to give you the gifts of the Holy Spirit as needed for ministry. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Is He directing your path, your steps? Notice all three persons of the Trinity were involved in your redemption.

At 81, I know in my own strength I can do nothing of eternal value. You need to come to that place of total dependence on Him then God can use you. I guess it is easier at 81, to not be concerned with worldly agendas, but it is amazing how easy it is for the enemy to get you side tracked with things that look good, even ministry focused, but not God’s call. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

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?

 

GOOD ADVICE FOR 2017

While timely Rhema revelation is uplifting, the church must return to confidence in the logos. The infallible written truth of God’s Word – The Holy Bible.

Looking for Answers pic

When timely prophetic words are given, we should value them highly. However, don’t seek after them. Don’t crave for them. God knows when you need them. What we can’t do without, even for a day, is the Word of God, the Bible. We need for the Holy Spirit to reveal new truths in fresh new ways. Keep a Holy Spirit journal to record these new revelations.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Is. 40:8)
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is established in heaven” (Ps. 119:89)
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35)
I exhort you to open the Word of God daily. The wealth it contains will transform your new year much more powerfully than a low level prophetic word ever will.

Consider some of the following verses and begin your quest to encounter God through his Word. Take note of the promises and also of the conditions associated with them. May the fear of the Lord delight you. May your new year be marked by fresh revelation and trust in God’s mighty Word.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways” (Deut. 28:7).

“Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me” (Ps. 50:14-15).

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain in the house forever, but a son remains forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed'” (John 8:34-36).

“Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

I have listed just a few verses.  Now go ahead and receive the remaining promises in the Bible that are waiting for you in the New Year. There are thousands.