Tuesday, December 31, 2013
It is always important to understand where we are in God’s time and season. We don’t want to be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day that could not discern the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:3) Instead we want to be like the sons of Issachar, who were men who understood the times. (1 Chronicles 12:32) So, where are we right now in God’s timetable? If we look to the Scriptures, we can find the answer.
“He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” Hosea 6:2 & 3 NASB
These two verses give us a clear picture of where we are in God’s timing and what we should be experiencing. I think most people in the Body of Christ understand Peter’s explanation of God’s timing in 2 Peter 3:8: 1000 years = 1 day, 1 day = 1000 years. It has been 2000 years since Jesus’ earthly ministry, or 2 days since Jesus walked the earth, so what happens now? I see four things: He Will Revive Us, He Will Raise Us, He Will Reveal To Us and He Will Refresh Us. Let us consider them briefly one at a time.
First, HE WILL REVIVE US. Notice in our text that He will revive us, not the world, us (His people). Notice also that this will take place after two days, or 2000 years. The people of God are about to walk into the greatest revival that they have ever experienced! Most folks in the church don’t understand revival; they seem to think that revival is when people get saved, however that is evangelism and conversion, which are off-shoots of a true revival. Let us look to the definitions of the word revival for a better understanding. Revival means: To come or bring back to LIFE or consciousness, resuscitate. Its second definition is: To come or bring back to a healthy, vigorous, or flourishing condition after A DECLINE. Isn’t that a picture of the church today? God is about to bring us back to a healthy, vigorous and flourishing condition! We are no longer going to be sleep walking, going through the motions of our Christian lives! It is time to sing with the great hymn writer: “Revive Us Again”!
Second, HE WILL RAISE US. Notice in our text that on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him. I want to focus on the two words, raise and live in this verse. At first glance, you would think that God will elevate us on the third day (or the beginning of the 3000th year according to Peter’s equation), which would be good, but a deeper look at the original Hebrew reveals quite a bit more. This word raise carries with it the added meanings of: CONFIRMING, ORDAINING & ESTABLISHING.
Notice also that the text says that the reason that He will raise us is so that we may live before Him. There is an intended purpose to this raising. A deeper look at the meaning of this Hebrew word for live carries the added meaning of: NOURISHING, SAVING & BEING WHOLE. Therefore we could say that on the third day (which is the day we are living in), that God will CONFIRM, ORDAIN & ESTABLISH us that we may be NOURISHED, SAVED & WHOLE before Him!
Third, HE WILL REVEAL TO US. Notice the words of our text, so let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. This speaks of revelation. A closer look at this word know in the Hebrew carries with it the meanings of: PERCIVING, HAVING REVELATION & BEING SHOWN. We are living today in the day that the people of God are going to walk in the greatest revelation that any people of God have ever walked in throughout all of human history simply because of where we are in God’s timetable! God wants us to know: WHO HE IS, HOW HE THINKS, WHAT HE FEELS & HOW HE WORKS. This revelation will come to us one of three primary ways: The Spirit of God will open the eyes of our understanding as we spend time in His Word, The Spirit of God will speak to, give images to, or make impressions on our hearts during prayer, praise and worship, and finally the Spirit of God will manifest His gifts in our midst and speak to us prophetically as we are open to His moving amongst us.
Finally, HE WILL REFRESH US. Notice in our text He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain. Rain in Scripture is a symbol for the refreshing that comes from the manifest presence of the Lord (see Acts 3:19). The prophet stresses that on the third day God will come to us not just as the rain, but as the SPRING RAIN. This is a key phrase in Scripture. In studying the rain of the Holy Spirit in Joel chapter 2, the footnotes of my New American Standard Bible make mention of the fact that the Early Rain = the Autumn Rain, while the Later Rain = the Spring Rain. The early rain came at planting time, the spring rain comes at harvest time to get the crop to a place of maturity, and ready to be harvested.
There are going to be two great coming harvests. The first is the last day great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God. The second is the harvest of God’s people being caught away (The Rapture Of The Church). Jesus is coming for a spotless bride that is mature and ready to meet Him when He comes. It will take the last day outpouring of the Spring Rain to get this crop of the church to come to a place of maturity ready to be harvested. I can remember all the books written about the Second Coming (like 88 reasons Jesus was coming in 1988). Obviously the church was not ready, because the third day outpouring of the Spring Rain had not yet come to bring her to that place of maturity, ready to meet Him. We are living in the day of that outpouring! Get ready for it!
It is clear from these two verses of Scripture that God has some specific things in mind for His people of the THIRD DAY CHURCH. It is up to us to recognize what His purpose is and place a demand on the purpose of God. It is up to us whether we walk in the fullness of what His purpose is or not. As for me, I will experience HIS REVIVING, HIS RAISING, HIS REVEALING & HIS REFRESHING! How about you?
Monday, November 11, 2013
I don’t know how many of you pay attention to or are students of Prophetic Words. But being a Prophet it is something I pay very close attention to. Not just my own but also those of other national and local Prophets that I respect or am in relationship with. This does a couple of things:
· It gives you a sense of what God is speaking all over as you compare prophetic words.
o I liken this to some of the principles of Hermeneutics.
§ One Principle is called the complete mention principle – where you take all the Scriptures that deal with a particular subject as a whole to get the full implication of what the Bible says on that subject.
§ Another Principle is called the comparative mention principle – where you compare and contrast two Scriptures that deal with the same subject to see how they are the same and/or different.
o We can and should do the same thing with Prophetic Words that come from various sources that deal with the same subject matter. Look at them as a whole and compare and contrast them against one another.
· Secondly as you compare what others are speaking with what you are speaking it lets you know that you are in the flow with what the Spirit of God is saying through other vessels.
We always need to remember that none of us has complete prophetic revelation or gets it all. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” 1 Corinthians 13:9 NASB We all get a piece of what God is revealing…and when we put all the pieces together…we know what God is saying in total.
Having studied Prophetic Words over the last several years, they were full of verbiage like: “We are on the verge of a new move of God” or “We are on the precipice of the next wave that God is about to release”. But over the last several months that Prophetic Language has changed. Now God has been declaring that: “We have crossed over into the new move of God” or “The new move of God is no longer coming…it is here”.
That right there should make you shout! But of course one of the ways we judge the Prophetic, besides does it line up with Scripture, or does it bring edification, exhortation and/or comfort, or does it bear witness with your spirit is…does it come to pass.
Let me recount for you some things that I have experienced over the last few months that let me know that indeed we have crossed over and we are in it now!
The first Sunday of March of this year the Lord gave me a prophetic word that: “We had crossed into a season of seeing, hearing and knowing”. Now for background sake I must make you aware that I have always been predominantly a Nabi Prophet, meaning the prophetic word just bubbled up out of my spirit. I had little if any Seer gifting or anointing.
That afternoon while at a ministry board meeting for a dear friend, while in prayer I stared up at the ceiling of her living room and was watching a full color movie. I explained to her everything that I was seeing and she said the fire of God was on her from head to toe as I explained what I saw. Up until that time…I had never operated this way, but that morning I prophesied a new season of seeing, hearing and knowing, and it manifested in my life immediately…and has been growing since.
She has confirmed to me that the things which saw and declared to her she is now beginning to walk in. Fast forward to about six weeks ago, I was again at a board meeting for this same ministry. Part of this lady’s calling is clinical Christian counseling and deliverance. At this second board meeting I prophesied to her that in the very near future she was going to have to choose between her education and training and the river that was flowing in her spirit. Exactly two weekends later she had to make that choice and thank God she followed the river in her spirit and not her education and training and God wrought mighty deliverance.
The end of September a lady came into the service that had never been in our local church before. Unbeknown to me or anyone else she could not hear out of one of her ears…she only had ringing in the ear. While I was preaching…her ear popped open! I didn’t pray for her, I didn’t touch her, but God did and she could now hear out of that ear. That same service I laid hands on almost everyone in the church during ministry time and a lady who had been having severe back and leg pain for months had all the pain instantly vanish. So much so that she was able to move furniture pain free.
The end of October at a recent Apostolic & Prophetic Summit that my Mom and I were privileged to minister at, I ministered to a man by the laying on of hands as my Mom declared a suddenly in his life for healing in his back. He came up to me later to tell me he had been in excruciating pain for years because of two disintegrated discs in his back…but he was now pain free.
Folks this is just a sample of what is taking place. I want to encourage you that the new move of God is not coming…It Is Here!
Monday, November 4, 2013
I have been forever ruined for just the same old, same old of normal Christianity. I have fed on the books of Tommy Tenney and Ruth Ward Heflin. Both authors’ theme is along the same line, stressing a message I believe the Spirit of God is stressing to the body of Christ today. I highly recommend these authors. Reading these books has done two things for me: First, they have given me a greater desire to experience more of God, and, Second, they have given me HOLY DISDAIN for status quo Christianity.
The dictionary defines status quo as: the existing condition or state of affairs. I believe that is what we have in the Church today. The same existing condition just exists. We seem to be satisfied with the status quo. Everyone believes that there is going to be a great last day move of God’s Spirit in the earth before the Lord can return. Most believers even want to see it and pray for it to come. Yet what puzzles me is we expect to do the same things we have always done and somehow expect to get different results. The truth is if we only do what we have always done we will continue in status quo Christianity. God deliver us from the status quo!
Don’t misunderstand me; I am a firm believer in the timing of God as well as the SOVRIENTY OF GOD, (a doctrine many in the Body of Christ seem to have forgotten.) However I also believe we have a part to play. I still believe that God responds to the hunger in the hearts of His people. I believe if we want to experience more than we are experiencing right now we must do something beyond the status quo that we have been doing. A friend of mine once put it this way: “We have too much safe Christianity today; we need to get Radical in our Christianity.” I wholeheartedly agree.
The admonition of the Word is very clear: “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new…” Isaiah 43:18 & 19a NASB I can’t help but think if God is going to do something NEW, perhaps maybe we should too. He told us to forget about the way we have always done it. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say, FORGET ABOUT STATUS QUO CHRISTIANITY BECAUSE I WANT TO DO SOMETHING NEW! I believe it is time for us to adopt the philosophy of the Apostle Paul: “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 4:13 NLT Paul said he focused all his energy on forgetting the past. It is time for us to forget the past and the way we used to do things. As long as we keep doing what we have always done, I doubt that we will see the new thing that God desires to do.
In one of my favorite parts of Tommy Tenney’s book, “God’s Favorite House” he described a scenario that unfortunately I am all too familiar with. “Frankly, I think we have lost our ability to honor God in our churches. We sing our praise songs with enthusiasm for a little while, but as soon as some of the more radical people in the congregation begin to press into genuine worship, we start glancing at our watches. We might as well say what is in our hearts, ‘Okay, God, we sure would like it if you would come, but if you don’t do it pretty soon, we know how to go on without you. We have a schedule to keep, you know.’” (Page 50, bottom of page) How sad you must be thinking. However, I have come across this mentality all too many times in the last several years.
We have been doing the status quo and going on without God. We have had His omnipresence, but not His manifest presence. There is a price to pay for His manifest presence and the status quo isn’t it! I don’t want to go on without God (His manifest presence) anymore. Jesus said: “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. Matthew 5:6 The Message Have you worked up a good appetite for God? In the New American Standard Bible, it goes on to say that those who do will be satisfied. How satisfied are you? I am not satisfied with the status quo anymore! I want more! Jesus said I could be satisfied, and I intend on doing just that. It is time our appetites for God increase.
A phrase that I have adopted of late is “Divine Dissatisfaction”. I believe that is what God wants and expects from us. I believe by His Spirit He is releasing something in the hearts of His people that is crying: “There must be something more! I am not satisfied with just this! There has to be more!” One of my favorite modern worship songs by Jonathan Stockstill called: “Chasing After You” carries this thought:
There must be more now Father
There must be more now Spirit
There must be more now Jesus
Rain down Rain down
There must be more now Spirit
There must be more now Jesus
Rain down Rain down
Not that we are ungrateful for what He has done and is doing, but rather thankful for what He has done and is doing, all the while realizing that there is still so much more that He has for us and not being satisfied until we see it. When we want more of God as bad as the man in the dessert wants the next drink of water then we are ready for more.
Change never comes until people believe there is a need for change. An alcoholic never seeks to get clean until he realizes that he has a problem. I know that the Church in general has had a problem; we have been stuck in status quo Christianity. I hope this blog helps you realize the paralyzing effects of status quo Christianity and gives you enough of a righteous indignation to do something about it. Let’s put status quo Christianity on the cross, develop a greater appetite for God, and walk in His manifest presence.
Monday, October 21, 2013
One of the most encouraging things that I have witnessed to come out of the Apostolic & Prophetic movement in the church over the last ten to fifteen years is the answer to the problem that the Apostle Paul spoke of in First Corinthians Chapter Four.
“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers…” 1 Corinthians 4:15a NKJV
As a bit of background let me state that I have been in the church for a long time. In fact I grew up in the church. I was Born Again at 5 years of age as a Baptist boy and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was a freshman in High School. I started teaching and preaching when I was 17 years old and am now 51…so I have been around for quite a while.
I have been blessed to grow up in a Christian home the son of two ministers of the Gospel. Even back when my Father was a Baptist Pastor I watched him mentor, train and raise up the next generation. He and my Mom have always been a Mother and Father to many spiritual kids. They have operated that way my whole life…even before we knew or understood that it was part of the calling of the Apostolic office that they both stand in today.
But they were the exception…not the rule! Most in the church had no interest in raising up the next generation. They just wanted to be teachers or preachers, but not Mothers and Fathers. To be perfectly honest…most that were coming up had little or no interest of honoring or submitting to a Mother or Father either.
We have had an older generation that did not want to be entangled with the younger generation, and a younger generation that thought their elders were not relevant and did not honor them. Meanwhile what we had was not God’s plan.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5&6 NKJV
The Prophet tells us of a day that is coming when the Prophetic anointing of Elijah will be released before the coming of the day of the Lord. Most people believe that this is speaking of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah before Jesus’ first coming. May I submit to you that there will be a second fulfillment of this prophecy as well, just as the prophetic voice in the spirit of Elijah was released before so it will be released as well before Jesus second coming.
The interesting phrase in this text is: “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” We find this same thought in Peter’s sermon in Acts Chapter 2.
“I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Acts 2:19 & 20 NKJV
Other references that speak to this thought are: Zephaniah 1:14-18, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 & 2 Peter 3:10.
The thought is this…the Prophetic voice will be released again before the second coming of Jesus just as it was released before His first coming. We have been walking in that prophetic release now for around twenty years now. The Prophetic, Prophecy and the Office of the Prophet are more accepted now than during any time in my Christian existence.
And with the release of that Prophetic anointing before Jesus comes again is the release of the Apostolic Fathering anointing. The hearts of the Fathers turned towards the Children, and the hearts of the Children turned towards the Fathers (and Mothers).
Today it is quite common to hear terms like Sonship, Mentor & Protégé to name a few. What are these pointing to? Leaders are interested in being more than just a teacher…but they want to actually impart into sons and daughters, speak into their lives, train them up, raise them up and mentor them. Also it seems that spiritual sons and daughters are learning to Honor the previous generation; seek their advice, wisdom counsel and even submit to their correction.
You see it takes two sides to make this work. One side that is willing to be a Mother or Father, and one side that is willing to have somebody speak into their life. Over the last ten to fifteen years I have observed steady growth in this area that is unlike any other time in my Christian experience. This lets me know that we are walking in the fulfillment of Malachi four and God’s Apostolic & Prophetic move in the earth.
Many are even like me at this time, walking in being both a Father and a Son at the same time. Because I am 51, there are many who are younger than me who I can mentor and speak into their lives. But I still have a generation that I honor, and receive from that speaks into my life. Thank God we are living in Days of Restoration…Restoration of the Hearts of Fathers to Children…and Children to Fathers…A sign of the Apostolic & Prophetic.
Monday, October 14, 2013
In our last blog we were discussing some of the benefits that we have because of the Blood of Jesus. We want to continue that thought in this blog with some more benefits we have as Believers because of the Blood.
The next benefit we want to discuss is RATIFICATION (of the New Covenant). This sounds like a mouthful, but it could be defined as: The act of confirming, approving or formally sanctioning the New Covenant. The New Testament is full of verses that deal with this benefit.
“And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’” Luke 22:20 NASB
“In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’" 1 Corinthians 11:25 NASB
“So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever… That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. Then he said, ‘This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.’ And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship… That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:11 & 12, 18-21, 23 & 24 NLT
The new covenant that we have, which is better than the old covenant, because Jesus Himself is the mediator of it (Hebrews 8:6). In fact we are told that Jesus is the guarantee of it (Hebrews 7:22). And it has been Ratified or Sanctioned by His Blood.
The next benefit of the Blood of Jesus is JUSTIFICATION. Justification means to be declared righteous. A good way to remember what Justified means is to think of it this way…Just as if I never sinned. This is the way God looks at us and thinks about us when He looks at us through the Blood of Jesus.
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:9 NASB
“Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (appeasement my insertion) in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 NASB
The truth of the matter is, even though we have all sinned, (Romans 3:23), Because of Jesus shedding His Blood and it being applied to our lives…He is both Just and the Justifier…making us Just-as-if-I-never-sinned!
The last benefit of the Blood of Jesus we will consider is RECONCILIATION. Reconciliation can be defined as restoring to friendship or harmony. Before we were Born Again we were not in Harmony with God, but by the Blood of Jesus we are restored to harmony with God.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ… and might reconcile them both (Jews & Gentiles my insertion) in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:13 &16 NASB
“And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Colossians 1:20-22 NASB
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10 NASB
Because of the Blood of Jesus we have been Reconciled or brought into Harmony with God.
We don’t talk about the Blood of Jesus much anymore in the church…but we need to. There are benefits for us in the Blood of Jesus. There is an old Hymn of that church that I sang as a boy growing up that said: “There is Power in the Blood”! There is Power in the Blood…the Power of PURIFICATION, the Power of REDEMPTION, the Power of RECONCILIATION, the Power of JUSTIFICATION and the Power of RECONCILIATION!
Perhaps the words to the song Andre Crouch wrote sum it up best:
“The blood that Jesus shed for me, way back on Calvary; the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power…
It reaches to the highest mountain, it flows to the lowest valley; the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power…
It soothes my doubts and it calms my fears, and it dries all my tears; the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power.”
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
In our last blog we started talking about getting back to good balanced teaching and preaching on the blood of Jesus. We want to continue that with this blog by looking at some of the benefits we receive because of the blood of Jesus.
The first benefit of the blood of Jesus we want to consider is PURIFICATION. The dictionary defines purification as: the act of making pure, to clear of defilement or imperfection, to free from moral guilt, to cleanse. There several Scriptures in the New Testament that deal with this aspect of what the blood does for us.
“But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB
“And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:12-14 NASB
“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 NASB
All of these Scriptures deal with the fact that we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The old Hymn had it right:
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
I also want you to notice that part of the definition of purification deals with freeing from moral guilt. So many allow the enemy to put them under guilt over what they have done in their past. The truth is once something is under the blood…it is forgiven and forgotten. The Word says:
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NASB
If you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb…don’t let the enemy put you under guilt anymore!
Another great old hymn of the faith comes to mind here:
“There is a fountain filled with blood. Drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood; lose all their guilty stains…Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains, And sinners plunged beneath that flood; lose all their guilty stains…The dying thief rejoiced to see. That fountain in his day. And there may I, as vile as he, wash all my sins away…Away, Away, Wash all my sins away.”
The second benefit of the blood of Jesus that we want to consider is REDEMPTION. The dictionary defines redemption as: The act of buying back or repurchasing. To free from captivity by the payment of a ransom. To release from blame or debt. Repair, Rescue or Restore. The New Testament also has many verses that deal with the fact that we are redeemed or purchased back by the blood of Jesus.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18 & 19 NASB
“And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12 NASB
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7 NASB
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” Revelation 5:9 NASB
It is quite clear from these Scriptures that we were redeemed or purchased by the blood of Jesus. What were we redeemed or purchased from?
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE.’” Galatians 3:13 NASB
We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (see Deuteronomy 28 starting around verse 15). Thank God for the plan of Redemption. The Bible declares that it was a hidden mystery (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). In fact if the princes of this world had known it they would have never crucified the Lord of Glory the Word says. What the devil thought was his greatest victory became his ultimate defeat!
I am thinking of another old hymn of the faith:
“Redeemed how I love to proclaim it. Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite mercy. His child, and forever, I am. Redeemed, redeemed. Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Redeemed, redeemed. His child, and forever, I am.”
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This past weekend my Mom, Dad & I had the privilege of conducting a two day seminar on the Blood of Jesus. This was designed to be an in-depth study of the blood. Both what it doesn’t do as well as what it does do. It is unfortunate that we don’t hear many sermons on the blood of Jesus anymore, and some of what we do hear isn’t always Biblically accurate.
There was a song by a Christian artist named Pam Thum that came out in the mid 90’s called “Back To The Blood”: “We’ve got to get back to the blood of the Lamb, Back to the blood where the power began. It’s time to stand beneath the crimson flood once again. We’ve got to get back to the blood, the blood of the Lamb.”
I believe we do need to get back to both teaching and preaching about the blood of Jesus, but we need some good teaching. Sometimes poor or wrong teaching about a subject can be just as detrimental to us as having no teaching on a subject…and the blood of Jesus would certainly be included in that.
You might be asking or thinking to yourself what could possibly be considered poor teaching on the blood? One of the most religious, well-meaning, good sounding practices of the church over the last forty years or so that I am aware of and perhaps longer than that…Pleading The Blood!
If you have been around the church for any length of time I am sure that you have heard well-meaning Believers ‘plead the blood’. Normally this is done for one of two reasons, for protection or as a means of spiritual warfare. I don’t really know where or how this started but folks have been doing it for years. Did you know that ‘pleading the blood’ is not found anywhere in Scripture?
The protection slant is normally derived from Exodus when the death angel would pass over the houses in Goshen that had the blood on the sides of and over the door of the house…so when he saw the blood he would pass over. People take this and then say well we can plead the blood and be protected from evil. Folks this thinking is so hermeneutically (the art& science of proper Bible interpretation) poor it is astounding!
Number one, the death angel was either the Lord Himself or an angel who was assigned this task, but still directed by the Lord. Number two, this was an isolated incident and Scripture clearly teaches that things must be in the mouth of two or three witnesses to be established. Number three, the protection the blood here provided was from the judgment of God, not the evil of the enemy. The picture symbolically is that as we enter through the shed blood we are now free from God’s judgment! It was true for them in Goshen and it is true for us as New Testament Believers.
So how is ‘pleading the blood’ going to protect us from evil? The truth is…it isn’t! It is a religious practice that sounds good but really serves no purpose whatsoever.
The second slant of why folks ‘plead the blood’ we said was as a part of spiritual warfare. Can you tell me anywhere in the New Testament where we are told to cast out devils by the blood of Jesus? How about laying hands on the sick in the blood of Jesus? No, the New Testament is quite clear that God has highly exalted the Name of Jesus, and given Him a name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the glory of God.
The New Testament is full of talk about casting out devils in Jesus Name. It speaks of laying hands on the sick in Jesus Name.
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’” Acts 3:6 NKJV
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17&18 NKJV
“…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” Acts 4:10 NKJV
Notice that in none of these texts does it say that by the blood of Jesus…rather in every one of these instances it says in the NAME OF JESUS! The weapon of our warfare is not the blood…it is the Name! I believe the enemy has deceived many into doing something that has no spiritual value at all. All the while folks are ‘pleading the blood’ the devil is laughing at us and we are wondering why we are not seeing the victory that we should be seeing.
Why do we sing songs like: “Satan the blood of Jesus is against you?” We should be singing: “Satan the Name of Jesus is against you!” I am not minimizing the blood by any stretch. I am just saying that in many cases we have been sold a religious bill of goods that is useless and powerless to help where we are trying to apply it.
The blood does have tremendous power in the life of the Believer. The old hymn of the church: “There Is Power In The Blood” is in fact a great song full of truth, but let’s not go beyond sound doctrine in anything, especially, misapplying the blood.
In our next Blog we will delve into what the blood of Jesus actually does do for us.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Two of my favorite texts in the entire Bible are Acts 1:8 and Isaiah 43:10.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NASB (emphasis mine)
“’You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.’” Isaiah 43:10 NASB (emphasis mine)
There is no doubt that God wants His people to be His witnesses. We see it here in the Old Covenant and in the New Covenant so it is a consistent Biblical truth. Webster’s Dictionary defines a witness as: attestation of a fact or event, one that gives evidence; specifically: one who testifies in a cause or before a judicial tribunal, one who has personal knowledge of something.
A good witness in a trial or court case is one that is credible, and has first-hand intimate knowledge. There are some witnesses in court cases that are referred to as false witnesses, which would be those that are not credible and have no first-hand knowledge, but can only testify to hearsay. In these two verses we see four things that will help us be credible witnesses…beside the obvious of only giving witness to what we have first-hand knowledge of. (This means you can’t be a witness of Grandma’s or Mamma’s faith…only your own)
Number 1, in Acts 1:8, the first thing that enables us to be a witness is the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice Jesus did not say, ‘you will go witnessing’, He said, ‘you shall be My witnesses.’ There is a difference between going witnessing and being a witness that I really don’t have time to get into here, but we are told that we would receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon us, and because of that power, we would be witnesses.
You really can’t be an effective witness for Him apart from receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in your life first. To try and do so in your own power or ability is ludicrous. In fact Scripture clearly states: “Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel’ saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6 NASB
Number 2, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should KNOW HIM. Until you know God…you can’t be a witness for God. Now I am not talking about getting Born Again when I speak of knowing God. Being Born Again is just getting introduced to God, all that means is that you met Him; it does not mean that you know Him. You could be introduced to the President of the United States, but that would not mean that you know him, it would merely mean that you met him.
The only way you get to really KNOW somebody is to spend time with them, and God is no different. We spend time with Him in His Word, in Prayer and in Praise & Worship. As we do these things we get to KNOW Him. We learn what He likes and what He dislikes. We learn how He thinks and we learn what moves His heart. I have a great relationship with my earthly Father. We have invested all 51 years of my life developing it. But because we have spent so much time together…I Know him…that is the way it needs to be with our Heavenly Father. This enables us to be a witness.
Number 3, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should BELIEVE HIM. Let me submit to you that these things in Isaiah 43:10 are progressive. You have a hard time Believing God when you don’t Know God. But when you KNOW God, you have NO ISSUE BELIEVING GOD! Once you have the spent the time with Him so that you know what He thinks, what He likes and what He feels, it makes it very easy for you to Believe what He says.
Let me go back to my relationship with my earthly Father. Because I know him, if he tells me Mike next Tuesday I am going to give you $500.00 for your birthday…I might just as well take it to the bank. Why? Because I know him and I know his word is good. Well when we get to the same place with God that we know Him so well that we know His Word, we will believe Him. This enables us to be a witness.
Number 4, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should UNDERSTAND HIM. Notice the progression…Know Him…Believe Him…Understand Him. Until you know Him you can’t believe Him, and until you believe Him you can’t understand Him But when you know Him you can believe Him, and when you believe Him you can understand Him.
I go back again to my relationship with my earthly Father. Because I know him so well, I understand why he does what he does, why he thinks the way he thinks and why he acts the way he acts. I know what makes him tick…I get it when it comes to him. So it is with our heavenly Father, because we know Him and believe Him, it makes it easy for us to understand Him. We should understand why God thinks the way He thinks…what makes Him tick. This enables us to be a witness.
If we want to be His effective Witnesses…we must realize these simple truths. God wants us to be His witnesses. He has provided the Power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be His witnesses. He has made it available to us that through spending time with him through His Word, Prayer and Praise & Worship we could Know Him, Believe Him and Understand Him, enabling us to be His witness.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I remember when I was student at Rhema Bible Training Center back in the 80’s; I took a course called “Submission & Authority”. I learned some principles in that class that have become a part of my spiritual DNA and I have never forgotten them. They have served me in good stead all these years since. How I wish folks in the Body of Christ would grasp some of these things today.
It seems most folks want to exercise authority or be the one in charge. However, in the Kingdom the rules are different than in the world. I was struck by a statement that my instructor made back at Rhema: “The way up is down.” I know that sounds a little strange to us because it goes against our natural human inclinations, but it is the way of the Kingdom.
In the world we do whatever we have to do to get ahead. We will step over whoever we have to get what we want. As long as we get what we want…all is fair and okay is how the worldly sentiment goes. I will exalt myself is worldly devilish thinking. I seem to recall someone who thought that same way:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” Isaiah 14: 12-15 NKJV
It would serve us well to remember that Lucifer got expelled from Heaven for thinking the way he did, so we really shouldn’t think we will get very far in the Kingdom with that kind of thinking. In the New Testament in the Epistles we are given some instructions about our attitudes and our conduct that is a total contrast to the way that Lucifer acted and thought.
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:10 NASB
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” 1 Peter 5:6 NASB
Both of these Scriptures are diametrically opposed to the attitude portrayed by Lucifer. In the Kingdom we voluntarily humble ourselves that God may exalt us. This is what my Instructor meant by: “The way up is down.” If you want to be exalted in the Kingdom, you must first humble yourself. The even scary verse from James’ Epistle is this:
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” James 4:6 NASB
It clearly states that God gives grace to the humble, but is opposed to the proud. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find myself in a position where God is opposed to me…do you?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead and being exalted in the Kingdom. We just need to learn Kingdom Laws and Protocols…and they are not like worldly laws and protocols. In the Kingdom…”The Way Up Is Down!”