DIMINISHING GOD

I have been reading the book of Deuteronomy and it has brought some new insight that I would like to share. First the book of Deuteronomy was a re-giving of the divine law of God and the reason for this is that the previous generation that had first received the law had all but passed away and an entirely new generation was getting ready to step into the promise land. It was high on the priority list of God to remind this generation of His Word and to give them stern commandment regarding the dangers of diminishing His Word. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “…neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Why such a stern command? God operates and works according to His Word. What God speaks and what God promises God obligates Himself to fulfill. Although the Hebrew nation never knew Abraham they were about to be blessed according to the prophecy (promise) that God had given their father Abraham hundreds of years earlier. What this means is that God can fulfill what He has promised if we obey His Word. It’s like I told the church on Sunday, “He will get you there, wherever there is, if you can obey.”

What does this have to do with diminishing the Word? It’s was not only God’s intention to get Israel to the promise land but it was His intention to ensure that they were blessed and succeeded while they possessed the land, therefore the Word of God had to have preeminence in the nation of Israel to ensure they had great success.

The bible teaches us that the Word of God is prophecy (1 Peter 1:19-21). God works according to what He has spoken. Here is the point in all this, God knew that when Israel entered into the promise land they would face knew challenges and new influences, things that could diminish the Word of God in their lives. That is how the enemy operates; he understands that he cannot change prophecy but if he can diminish the Word of God and if he can diminish the Word of God he can hinder the prophecy or promise over your life.

The enemy will create a diminishing pattern in your life to try to stop the power of God from being manifested in you. He begins by diminishing (making less significant) the Word of God, which in turns diminishes God’s authority in your life, which in turns diminishes God’s power in your life, which in turns diminishes the prophecy over your life,

What we must understand is that to diminish the Word of God is to literally diminish the voice of God in your life. If the enemy can do this he can completely rob you of your potential to become everything God has intended you to be. The truth is the Apostolic child of God must live his/her life according to the promise/prophecy which God has spoken over them. Paul told Timothy, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; (1 Timothy 1:18 KJV)”. Wow! What a revelation, Timothy was commanded to war in the kingdom of God according to the prophecies which were given unto him.

When we live in obedience to the Word of God we live according to prophecy, according to the Spirit. Because we live in the Spirit the flesh is diminished and the Spirit of God begins to increase in us. We begin to grow in grace, in wisdom, in knowledge and in revelation. Is this not the Spirit of prophecy…living in the power of revelation. The nation of Israel was birthed out of prophetic utterance, the churched was birthed out of prophetic utterance, and the Holy Ghost was birthed out of prophetic utterance.

It maybe that the reason the church is not giving birth to revival is because it has lost its ability to discern and to live in the power of prophecy. Maybe many of us as individuals are not giving birth to spiritual promises because we are not operating in the power of prophecy. Martin Luther said, “your thought of God are to human.”

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3 Dimensions of the Spirit (Part One)

“…becuause thou knewest not the time of thy visititatioin” Luke 19:44

 

The bible teaches us that there are three ways in which God revals himself to man. He visits man, he manifest himself to man and he inhabits man and in each varying degree there is a deeper revelation, understanding and commitment to God. I have often wondered why God would chose to reveal himself to man in varying degrees of revelation. I beleive that the reason God does this is to test the faith, commitment and desire that we have to really know him. We can see throughout scripture that many different men and women  were given the opportunitty to know God but many of them becuase of the degree of their commitment fell short of what God had truly intended and purposed for their lives. If we truly want to become everything God has intended us to be we cannot neglect our time of visitation.

VISITATION

Sadly like in the days of Jesus there are many who never knew that God had visitied them and that God what was willing and ready to pour out his mercy, love and blessings upon them. So many people  and more specifically so many Christians are so caught up with this world, with success and with their  finances that often time they fail to see that God is in the midst of their dilema, that God is willing, ready and able to do a great work in them. I would like to say that I have learned in my time walking with God that he is not as concerned about some of things we concern ourselves with but what God is truly concerned about is his ultimate purpose for our lives. The reality is that God often times is waiting for us to recognize him in our dilemna, to recognize him in our everyday lives, to recognize that he is truly in the midst of us if we would only open our eyes. I am reminded of the Apostle Pauls conversation with the Athenians in Acts chapter 17, in speaking to them about their religion and superstitions he reveals to them that God was there all along despite their blindness, “His purpose in all of this was that  the nations should seek after God and feel their way toward him and find him, though he is not far from anyone of us” (NLT). Recognizing that God is in your midst and that he is worthy of your attention is the first step in moving deeper into what God has truly intended for your life. This is where many fall short, they recognize that God was in their midst, they recognize that God had visited them but they failed to embrace and give attention to this visitation of God. They fail to realize that this visitation from God was meant to be a launching pad for the rest of their lives, this visitation was meant to reveal the power of God in your life and in your dilemnas, this visitation was intended to take you from the ordinary to the extadordinary. How sad it will be when you come to the end of your life and you realize that God had visited you and you did not fully embrace this opportunity of supernatural change, direction and provisison for your life. So many will never go to the next level with God because they fall into one of these two categories, they have had a visitation and did not embrace this visitiationor the failed to ever recognize that God was visiting them. There have been many who have had a visistation of the divine but that will be the extent of their experience with God. If we fail to embrace and commit to the moment of divine visitation we will never see the supernatural manifestation of  God in our lives. Living for God should be a expereince of glory to glory, in other words one experience with God should lead to a deeper experience with God or in this case divine visitation should lead to supernatural manifestation.

God Bless,

© 2011 Apostolic Messenger

 

 

Personal Private Suffering II

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“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” James 1:12

I just read a blog I posted some time back. Man it hit me so hard. I have been going through one of the hardest trials in my life and have forgotten how to practice enduring until God has done what He needs to do to get His glory out of the trial.

BLESSED

Consider the very fact that you are in a trial is the very evidence that you are divinely positioned in the will of God. Often times we look for signs and prophetic words to give us evidence that we are in the will of God. I believe that God does give signs and uses men and women in a prophetic manner but often times the most powerful evidence we have  that we are divinely positioned in the perfect will of God is that all hell is breaking loose against us. The very evidence of trial and affliction is the evidence that God is divinely at work in our lives. The apostle James considered the man who was in the midst of affliction and trials as a man that is blessed and loved by God. I guess at this point in my life I am extremely blessed and loved by God.

ENDURETH

The dictionary defines the word endure as, “To undergo (as hardship) especially without giving in: to suffer without giving in.” It is one thing to understand the definition of endure and another thing to understand God’s spiritual purpose for allowing affliction and hardship in our lives. The revelation is this, “God allows us to endure things that are often to hard to bear so that He would bring glory out of our tribulation”. God will literally strip us and chastise us to prove to us that He is the one in control, that He is the one that blesses, that He is the provision, that He is the source of our joy, our peace, our strength and if anything ever gets in the way of that and begins to take credit for who He is and what He does He will strip us of it.

ENDURING

Enduring isn’t a pleasant thing to undergo in our christian lives but it is God’s divine tool for forming us and chastising us. It is the very evidence that God is at work in us. The funny thing about enduring is that you cannot run from it and the reality is that if you do try to run from it you can often times extend the timeframe for which you must endure. It is hard to endure, it is hard to undergo God’s chastening, ” No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT). Enduring is painful, it hurts, it often times is confusing because we have so many questions which go unanswered by God during the time of affliction. But regardless it is the divine evidence that you are in the perfect will of God. We must all stubbornly or peaceably learn to endure while God is at work in our lives.

HE SHALL RECEIVE

What a promise! James says that the man that endureth shall receive. We might not receive what what we want but we shall recieve what God had intended. There is not a man or woman alive who can stop the perfect will of God in your life when you come into a place of complete surrender and trust to God. Someone told me recently, ” You cant reason with God” that is so true. We often times in the affliction try to reason, to bargain or deal with God. We give Him the big “IF” if I endure this will you give me what I desire, if I stick around will you bless me with what I want, that is not trusting God during your time of affliction. To trust God is to say, God I hope yet I dont hope, I want yet I dont want, I wish yet I dont wish. In other words whatever the outcome of this enduring my heart will be content with your perfect provision in my life. To trust God is to honestly say, “God I leave it all in your hands whether it seems to work in my favor or not, I will trust that your provision is perfect and far better than what I could have planned or desired for myself. The promise is clear that once you have endured you shall receive Gods intended provision for your life.

PRAISE HIM IN THE PAIN

Praise Him in the pain, because one day the pain will end but the praise will have been stored up in heaven as treasure. Praise Him in the confusion because one day the confusion will end. Praise Him when you have no answer because one day He will give you an answer. Praise Him in the discipline because one day the discipline will end. Praise Him because you shall receive. Praise Him because the prophet said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

MY FAVORITE QUOTE

“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through” Wintley Phipps

© 2009 Apostolic Messenger

Asking God to Redefine

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“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

 

This is an article that was written by a young lady in our church (Tanya Chavez) for the church Newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

Definitions vary across the world. Poverty in America is defined by a family income of $15,000 or less. In Haities we can see poverty portrayed as people who are in desperate need of resources “eating mud cakes.” This entire month I have been bombarded with different ideologies (definitions so to speak) when seeking conversation among friends. I feel as if I am getting so wrapped up in the minds and comments of men, that I am loosing sight of Jesus. There are times I literally feel like I need to escape and just ask God, “What do you define success as?” I want to live to please God and the bible says I ought to do this. Therefore my definitions that have been influenced by men, need to be redefined by God. Continuously He reminds us that “My ways are not your ways” (Isaiah 55:8). We can continue to measure success around the definitions our family and peers provide, or we can be encouraged and look to God’s word. Think of the word, “Restore.” This word can be found in the bible supporting our definition. But what about Psalm 69:4 where the Psalmist is crying out to God, “Though I have stolen nothing, I must restore it.” What was he trying to restore? Under mans definition, this cry doesn’t make sense. He had done nothing and there was no need of “restoration”; and yet he had the ability to acknowledge that Gods understanding outweighs ours. To understand there’s some things I may not be aware of in my life that need to be restored; But He knows! Join in with the Psalmist and ask God to “Restore” you under His “definition.”

By Tanya Chavez

Holiness in the Tongue

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“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1 15-16 KJV 

What is holiness? The bible teaches us that God is Holy and He requires His people to live holy lives. But what does He mean by holy? Does He mean to live like a monk in a monastery completely separate from modern society? No, that would not be practical for any of us and that is not the realistic calling of the Bible. God’s commandment to His people was given to them within the context of society that was expected to work, have families and normal relationships. Practical Holiness is a call to live in this world without letting the world live in us. The root meaning of Holy is to separated or sanctified – this means to live in a modern world in a way that is pleasing to God. When it comes to holiness God always begins in the heart for this reason I would like to discuss this question. Where does practicing true God pleasing holiness begin?

THE GOD OF YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:13 that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. What does this mean? This means that who God was in the Old Testament remains the same in the New Testament and what God expects of His people does not change. In the Old Testament God gave a command to His people He said in Leviticus 11:45, “…ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” and in the New Testament the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy.” He is the God of yesterday, today and forever; many modern Christians have forgotten that God still absolutely requires us to live a holy, pleasing life before Him. Peter goes as far as to call us a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, a peculiar people. Wow what an amazing and glorious privilege to be considered in the eyes of God royalty, chosen and peculiar.

TRUE HOLINESS BEGINS IN THE TONGUE

The Apostle Peter states in his writings that we ought to be holy in all manner of conversation, some versions of the bible say conduct but for the sake of this study will stay with King James Version of conversation. Peter declares to us be holy in your conversation, I think all of us can understand that conversation begins in the tongue. And so it is that practicing holiness begins with us beginning to bridle our tongue. We must understand that the tongue is directly connected to our hearts (spiritually speaking). Our tongues will always give evidence of what the condition of our hearts is. Jesus said this concerning the heart and the mouth, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” whether we realize or not it is our tongue that defiles us. We cannot truly practice holiness when our tongues are out of control, when they are unbridled and quench the Spirit that God has poured in us. It does us no good to practice holiness in other areas of our lives and our tongues continually are out of control.

HE WHO CONTROLS THE TONGUE CAN CONTROL THE BODY

Did you know that the bible teaches us that whoever can control their tongue can also control their entire body? Holiness that is practiced often ends in failure because we have not brought our tongues under the power of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the Apostle James says about controlling the body, “…If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The man that can control his speech, his conversation can bridle; bring into subjection the whole body. It is at this point that I declare to you again that holiness begins by controlling the tongue. Likewise James also reminds that the man that cannot control the tongue will defile his whole body (James 3:8).

WE WORSHIP GOD WITH OUT HEARTS AND TONGUES

We must consider the fact that it is our tongues that we use to worship God, to pray to God, to encourage one another and to share His holy word with one another. And yet many times we use this same tongue to hurt one another, to curse one another, to gossip about one another and to argue with one another. James ask us a simple question, “…can a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?’ The answer is no, either a fountain gives off good water or bad water not both. He uses this question to ask whether our tongues should be in this condition where they are giving praise to God on one hand and the other being used in a carnal unholy way. He says this should not be so. James says, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” Our tongues should have the liberty to praise God and open our hearts before Him and likewise be under the control of the Spirit and used to build up and edify.

THE TONGUE SHOULD GIVE LIFE AND SAVE FROM TROUBLES

The Bible says in Proverbs that, “in the tongues is the power of life and death.” We can give life to people and ourselves through the use of the tongue or we can destroy others and ourselves through the power of the tongue. Consider these scriptures in regards to the power of the tongue:

Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit”

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles”

Many people cannot practice holiness in their hearts because they have a breech in their spirit. What this means is that their spirit is like a wall that has been broken in a certain place and that wall no longer has the power to keep good things or bad things out it has been breached. So anytime God pours in His blessing the enemy can easily come through the breach and rob the person of what God has given him. How can we practice holiness when our spirits have been breached because out tongues are out of control. Many of the troubles that we suffer are caused be our very own tongues.

BEGIN HOLINESS WITH YOUR TONGUE AND THE BODY WILL FOLLOW

If what James is teaching us in his writings is true, then controlling the tongue is the key to practicing holiness before God. He teaches us that if we get a hold of our tongue and are able to control its speech then naturally the power to control our entire bodies will follow in line. A holy tongue means a holy heart and this is the holiness that God is after, holiness and purity in the depth of our inner man.

God Bless,

© 2008 Apostolic Messenger

A SPIRITUAL STRATEGY

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“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it” Luke 14:28 NLT

Jesus Christ teaches us that before you begin a great work you must first sit down and consider whether you have the means and the abilities to accomplish the task that is before you. Once you have consider the cost, what it will cost you personally; whether it is your time, money or personal change you must then sit down and form a strategy or a plan to ensure that you are successful. This principal applies to both the material world and the spiritual world. In either endeavor you must have a plan a strategy that will guide you in accomplishing your task. To many times we fail in our walk with God because we do not follow the strategy, the plan He has given us, we have not taken the time to stop and consider what it is that we really need to do to bring about effective change in our lives. So often times we are excited and motivated but because we did not have a strategy our plans often end in failure. What is it that you want to do for the Lord? What changes would you like to see in your own personal life, whether it be spiritual, financial or relational? Do you have a plan? Have you counted the cost? Before you embark on your next task or great change take time to consider the personal cost and challenge that it will require. Consider taking these intentional steps before embarking on your task:

1. A SPIRITUAL STRATEGY: Nothing changes by accident; you have to work at it. And this is where some Christians have a problem; we are taught to pray but we are not prepared to suffer, to go through hard times, to stick with the plan the strategy that God has given us. We need to look hard into His Word, ask the Spirit for guidance, evaluate where were at spiritually and form a spiritual plan according to His Word.
An example may be: Your not growing in the Word of God, you understand this is detremental to your spiritual growth. You may first consider some scriptures that command us to study God’s Word, such as Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved…” then you sit down and consider what it will take for you to have a positive time of biblical study daily. What personal sacrifices will you have to make? What materials such as a study bible or concordance will you need to purchase? What areas of your life will you need to change to ensure proper devotion to God’s Word? This is what it means to sit down and consider and to form a strategy.

2. BIBLICAL POSITIONING: If you study spiritually successful people, you may notice they don’t just work hard in a focused way, they position themselves. They position themselves in the will of God? Are you lined up in the will of God? Are you confident that it is God calling you to this task, calling you to make this change? When reading Ephesians chapter one you will notice that one of the words that Paul uses frequently in the chapter is the word ACCORDING. He is simply trying to express to the church that if we are going to be spiritually productive and successful in God’s Kingdom we must do everything according to His will. We must pray in the Spirit and be sure that we are living and positioning ourselves according to the biblical principals that God has ordained for us.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: This is best exemplified in a marriage. In a successful marriage partners hold each other accountable to a spiritual, financial, relational strategy that they have formed. Being faithful to their plan in both the good and bad times will help ensure that their marriage is a success but often times one may want to do something that is not part of the strategy and that is where the partner help the other be accountable to what they have promised. Likewise their are also other partners that can help you be successful, partners that will counsel, will advise you and will look over your shoulder and consider what is best for you. Such partners are your Pastor’s, parents, professional counselors people who wil have your best interest in mind. Consider having a partner whether it’s a pastor, a friend or a professional counselor who can give you sound, unbiased advice and keep you accountable to your plan.

4. SPIRITUAL PLANTING: Whether you are planting a garden, trying to start a business or beginning a ministry you have to believe that what you are planting is going to be productive. Planting takes faith, a belief that it is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. You don’t plant seeds in stony hard ground. You must consider whether the place you are about to invenst your time, energy and resources are going to bring a spiritual harvest into the Kingdom of God. This is not in reference to God’s Word (because the Word of God must be sown everywhere) this is in reference to where we choose to exercise our time and energy into the work of God’s Kingdom.

5. CULTIVATING SPIRITUALLY: We must continue to work the ground where we have planted the seed, continue to water it with the word, with faith,with worship. Invest time and effort into what you have set out to accomplish. Faithful cultivation is the key to ensuring that whatever you have planted has the greatest chance to grow and be fruitful Many ministries die not because it was not God’s will but because they did not continue to cultivate the ministry, the calling with the Word of God, with Worship with personal consecration and discipline. These are key to allowing the Spirit of God to water the ground you are working on. We must understand that we are doing a spiritual work and this spiritual work must be watered by the Spirit. Cultivating the spiritual ground allows the water of the Spirit to find its way into the ground and cause spiritual growth. The only biblical way to cultivate of break the ground is through prayer, the Word and consecration. The reality is that this is where most people fall short.

6. DISCIPLINED PATIENCE: Remember your job is to plant the seed and to cultivate it but only God gives the increase. We must be disciplined and patient as we wait for God to bring the increase. A grapefruit tree has a certain time that it brings forth its fruit. Until then it is up to us to be patient, to continue to work, to be disciplined in our spiritual lives. If we are patient in our work for the Lord, whether it be winning souls, building relationships or trying to bring about personal change in our lives; God will give the increase.

God Bless,

PRAYER THAT STIRS

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Satan does not care how many people read about prayer if he can only keep them from praying. – Paul E. Billheimer

I ran into an article today about a prayer that was ministered by Pastor Joe Wright in the Kansas House in Topeka, Kansas. The prayer was so stirring and powerful that it caused some people to walk out of the session. How could a simple prayer offend so many and how could a simple prayer stir the hearts of so many. Prayer is the single most effective tool that God has given us in His kingdom as a matter of fact Paul’s exhortation to the church was to “Pray always” to “Pray without ceasing”. It is awesome to understand what God does through the power of prayer most of you probably have heard the old saying, “Even when weakest of saints gets on their knees to pray, satan begins to tremble”. Do you want to stir up the kingdom of God, do you want to make your enemy feel uncomfortable (satan), do you want to see God really move in your life then the answer is simple, the act is simple and maybe even the words you may say are simple, the answer is pray.

THE ARTICLE

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:Heavenly Father,We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism; We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it political savvy; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on “The Rest of the Story” on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

PRAYER THAT STIRS

This is the kind of prayer that we as Christians should practice. Prayer that moves the hand of God and prayer that angers our enemies. We should have such faith that when we pray we are sure that God will move on our behalf in regards to the prayer we have prayed in His will. If their is one thing that our enemy wants to keep us from doing it is praying. He understands that in prayer our mind is sanctified, our spirits are uplifted, our faith increases and our boldness for God is magnified. Prayer simply put begins to shatter the power of the enemy – prayer that is truly prayer will always bring supernatural spiritual results in God’s kingdom.

PRAY IN FAITH

Pray believing that it is God’s will for you to pray. Pray believing that it is God calling you to pray. Pray believing that God hears your very voice and thoughts when you pray and pray believing that God will answer your prayer.

Prayer is asking for rain; faith is carrying the umbrella. – John Mason

The great work of the church, the saint is to pray and find God’s will. How can we know God’s will if we don’t pray? How can we practice our faith if we don’t pray? If the Apostles and the early church relied on prayer as their source, their connection to God and His ordained power then how can you and I neglect the need to pray?

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers

DEDICATION TO PRAYER

Maybe your prayer life has not been as strong as you know it could be. Maybe life and the holidays have kept you real busy and it has affected your devotion time to God. Maybe its just been a spiritual struggle that you cant explain or it could be the enemy has been working against you in your prayer life. I would like to just encourage you to know that you can rededicate your prayer life to God today. You can come into His presence ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him to restore your prayer life and through His Spirit He will reknew the strength and the passion you need to continue in your desire to pray. Maybe you have a strong devotional life, pray that God would encourage and empower those who are struggling in their walk with God. Pray that God would use you to remind and encourage the saints on the supreme necessity of prayer. Remember a church that prays together is church that stay together. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” this is true if you pray but if you don’t pray Christ can not strengthen you. We are in the last days and the hour is near and now more than ever my brothers and sisters we must pray fervently in the Kingdom of God.

God Bless,

 

What Prophets and Angels Desire

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 “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”

1 Peter 1:10-12 NASB

THE PROPHETS

What a wonderful thought the scripture gives us. Imagine the prophets inquiring of God what they were prophesying about? They did not understand the words that the Spirit of God was putting in their hearts concerning the times of the gentiles. They only new that their would come a suffering messiah to redeem the gentiles but they did not know who or in what time or dispensation this would come to pass. The only revelation they were given concerning this glorious Gospel is that they were ministering to a people who had not yet come into existence. The bible teaches us that these prophets preached unto us the Gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost before the appointed time. The awesome revelatiion about this is that you and I are the aforementioned people living in the aforementioned time which the prophets were inquiring about. We are the gentile people of biblical prophecy, we have our proper place in God’s word it is you and I that have been born into the season of biblical fulfilment. The blessing that you and I possess is the full revelation of God’s plan and mystery concerning His perfect will. What a blessing it is to understand this.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever really stopped and considered how blessed we are to have the understanding that we have. To have access to the fullness of God’s counsel, to be able to diligently look into the fullness of His word and come away from it with a perfect understanding of His plan, purpose and work. Have you ever considered that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos and Daniel to a name a few who did not have the privilege to know the things that you now know, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Many great and righteous men have wanted to know and understand what we now have free access to the complete revelation of God’s word. Look what Jesus said to his disciples concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Wow! That is the only thing I can think of when I consider that I have an understanding that great men and prophets of God desired to have.

EVEN THE ANGELS

Even the angels desire to look into the things we understand. This is an amazing thought because the angels have been there with God since the beginning. They were there when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, they were there when God created Adam, they were there when Jesus Christ was born, they were there when He was crucified, they were there when He rose from the dead and they were there when He resurrected. Yet they do not have a full, complete understanding of why? Why did He die, why does He love them so much, why did He choose this way? Yet you and I understand, “…thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

CREATED FOR GLORY

How wonderful to know that man was created in the likeness and image of God. Adam created to reflect the perfect virtues of God. Hence when God fellow-shipped with Adam His son, He would always see Himself in Adam. That was the pinnacle of man’s glory the moment that God was able to see Himself in His creation. That is the glory of God in man, when man reflects the perfect virtue and love of Christ. When relationship with God is so profound that words are not needed to tell people how much I love Christ they need only to look at my life and see God reflected. This is the glory of God in man, the fulness of His Spirit radiating through the life of men and women who have been redeemed by His precious blood.

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

This is what the angels and the prophets did not understand. They did not understand in the plan of redemption, His creation that had fallen into a sinful nature would be restored back into a position where they could reflect and radiate the glory of God. They did not understand that to accomplish this it would take the perfect blood of Jesus Christ. They did not understand that this perfect blood without spot or blemish would not only cover man’s sin but completely wash them out, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

CONSIDER THE WORD

Consider this. God has chosen you. He has chosen you to understand, He has chosen you because you were born in the time of prophetic fulfilment. Consider that God has blessed to understand His plan, His purpose, His work and His love for you. Consider that God has given you a place in His word and in His divine plan. Consider the fact that you were born for a specific time, reason and place. When the prophets were moving under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they were speaking about the time in which you would be living, they were prophesying about events that would take place within the contextual timeframe of your lifespan. They spoke of things they did not completely understand but were positive would come to pass. Consider that you and I are living the prophetic time-line of God and are blessed to have an understanding of these things. Remember Jesus words, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte

What to Thank God for

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“Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.”

~George Herbert

 

I thank God for my Salvation. I thank Him for His blood on Calvary and the great sacrifice He made to redeem me from my sins. I thank Him for transforming me in to a son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for His daily provision and I thank God for His word which I love with all my heart.

I thank God for my family and friends. Thank God for a mother that prays fervently for me, a father who is an example to me, a sister who always supports me and a brother who looks beyond my faults. I thank God for family for my Grandmas love, my aunts encouragement and the fellowship of my cousins.

 I thank God for friends who are like brothers and sisters to me. Friends I can share with and friends that can correct me. Thank God for friends who stand by your side in the midst of suffering and encourage you to give God glory. Thank God for friends who share your faith and passion for the God of the heavens.

I thank God for the true saints. Saints who know how to suffer for God and still be content. Saints who worship and live for God with power and passion. I thank God for the whole body of Christ.

I thank God for his daily provision. I thank Him for food on the table, a roof over my head and the soft pillow He gave me to sleep on. I thank Him for everything He has lent me, money to pay the bills, a car for transportation and health so that I can live for Him.

And last but not least I thank God for all those that I have had the privledge to share this blog with. Brothers and Sister of a like spirit. I thank God for all the edifying post I have read on some of your sites. I thank God that even though I don’t know you personally and you may be 1000 miles away that I have fellowship with you in this spiritual blogging community. I thank God for your prayers, teachings and encouragement. May the Lord of all the heavens and earth Jesus Christ bless you and your families in all you do for His Kingdom. He is the reason we give thanks with a grateful heart.

 God Bless,

Biblical Illiteracy

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ARTICLE BY  DOUG MORRELL

 Crisis In The Church: Biblical Illiteracy

Remember the frog that landed in a pan of water and stayed until it boiled? Had the pan been hot, the frog would have noticed and hopped out. But the water felt cool at first, and the frog sensed no danger. It simply relaxed and conformed to the gradual change. Subdued by the rising heat, it grew too sluggish to act. By the time the water boiled, the frog was dead.

I want to share the burden of my heart with you concerning the alarming trend of Biblical illiteracy and state of discipleship in today’s church. I want to encourage you by saying that with every problem there is an opportunity and to envision the church as the Lord sees it. The following statistics reveal a crisis in the church.

Regarding Biblical illiteracy and discipleship, Christian researcher and author George Barna reports:
* Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
* Many professing Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples.
* 60 percent of Americans cannot name even five of the Ten Commandments.
* 82 percent of Americans believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
* 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
* A survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
* A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that Billy Graham preached the Sermon on the Mount.
* Six out of ten Americans reject the existence of Satan.
* Four out of ten Americans believe that when Jesus Christ was on earth He committed sins.
* Five out of ten believe that anyone who is generally good or does enough good things for others during their life will earn a place in Heaven.
* Four out of ten believe that the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths.
* Seven out of ten born again Christians said they do not believe in moral absolutes.
* Only one out of ten Christians base their moral decision-making on the principles taught in the Bible.
* 54 percent believe truth can be discovered only through logic, human reasoning and personal experience.

These statistics indicate a gradual change of temperature over time. In general, Biblical illiteracy is a growing trend and church discipleship is ineffective.

John Stott wrote, “The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict half-built towers. The ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow Him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called nominal Christianity. In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent but thin veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism.”

I would suggest that many Christian churches have abandoned serious Bible exposition and theological teaching. Historical exegesis is becoming a lost art in the pulpit. The church should be intentional about teaching the background of the being and attributes of God, His sovereignty, His majesty and holiness. Preachers should stress the fact that the righteousness of God has been outraged by human sin and that apart from Divine, unmerited grace, man’s deadly guilt (Romans 3:19) will bring upon him the wrath of God (Romans 1:18), the deserved judgment of the Lord (Romans 2:2), and ensuing death (Romans 6:23).

However, as Gary Burge writes, “Rather than explaining the historical setting of a passage, texts become springboards for devotional reflection,” he notes. “Biblical passages are taken out of context as the preacher searches for those stories that evoke the responses or attitudes desired.” As a result, “The heart of a ‘good’ sermon is fast becoming the ‘emotional work’ that can be done in 20 minutes preaching time.”

Perhaps we are where we are because there is an overemphasis on personal experience to the exclusion of serious Christian education or that spirituality is being built on private emotional attachments or because of the tremendous influence unbiblical philosophies and worldviews are having on churchgoers. Albert Mohler writes, “Christians who lack biblical knowledge are the products of churches that marginalize biblical knowledge. Bible teaching now often accounts for only a diminishing fraction of the local congregation’s time and attention. The move to small group ministry has certainly increased opportunities for fellowship, but many of these groups never get beyond superficial Bible study. Youth ministries are asked to fix problems, provide entertainment, and keep kids busy. How many local-church youth programs actually produce substantial Bible knowledge in young people? Even the pulpit has been sidelined in many congregations. Preaching has taken a back seat to other concerns in corporate worship. The centrality of biblical preaching to the formation of disciples is lost, and Christian ignorance leads to Christian indolence and worse.”

As Barna reports, “Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Islam, Wicca, secular humanism, the eastern religions and other sources. Because we remain a largely Bible-illiterate society, few are alarmed or even aware of the slide toward syncretism – a belief system that blindly combines beliefs from many different faith perspectives.”

SYNCRETISM

This is a growing trend in what many consider mainstream Christianity. We can see it everywhere. We are living in a time where the church is doing its best to be relevant to everyone. I read an article about a baptist pastor who was using new age techniques to help drug addicts and alcoholics he was qouted as saying, “they don’t have to know what technique I am using the only thing they need to be concerned about is the results and if it works then that’s all that matters to me”. I believe any honest God fearing Christian could see the inherit danger in using new age occult practices in a church that proclaims to be the truth. Here is a great analogy I once heard a great preacher use. What if one day I came into the church and I addressed the congregation and I told the congregation that we are still going to believe like we have always believed, we are still going to preach Jesus, we are still going to preach the divine birth, the sinless life, the death and the glory of His resurrection. Only now we are going to remove all the pews from the church, we will now sit on the ground with our legs crossed, we will all shave our heads, we will now wear orange robes and use little tambourines between our fingers. What do you think would happen to this church? There still preaching Jesus, there still believing the same, they are just changing the way they go about it. I tell what would happen you would have the spirit of hare-krishna you would have a church that has allowed itself to be infiltrated by a demonic doctrine. This is what is happening in the church today and when I say the church I am speaking about the body of Christ. They have allowed doctrines, teachings and false prophets to infiltrate the minds of the believers and in doing so they cripple the church, they cripple the believers and they make the doctrine of Christ to have no affect. I believe Paul said, “Come ye out from among them and touch not the unclean thing…” be ye separate that has been the cry of the prophets, be ye separate that has been the cry of the New Testament writings and teachings. The Apostle John said it perfectly, “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world” how can we even consider allowing devilish doctrines and pagan philosophies to be part of the foundation on which we stand? The answer is we cannot!

SAINTS BE CAREFUL

And so here it is again the spirit of the world active in the church, active in the teachings of God’s ministers, active in life of the saints. We are so spiritually blind and biblically illiterate that we cannot discern the spirit that is working to derail our most holy faith. The spirit of the world is the unseen powers, principalities, teaching and doctrines that govern and operate in the world that we see today, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” We must be more careful than ever as to what we accept as being part of our Christian faith. We must stand guard at the door of our hearts as to not let any ungodly belief or teaching infiltrate our hearts.

BIBLICAL WARNING

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” 1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV

“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3,4 NLT

Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 2 John 1:8-11 NASB

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

God Bless,