Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Balance of the Spirit & the Word

I can recall during my teenage years my Father having an expression that he used quite frequently: “Stay balanced and have fun.” When I got to Rhema Bible Training Center, Kenneth E. Hagin used to say: “Most Christians get in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, when the truth is right down the middle." We need to be balanced in our Christian lives and must avoid the ditches.

I have noticed two extremes in the Body of Christ over the last several years that have me quite concerned. One extreme is the group of people I will call “Word” people. These are people who only want to hear the teaching of the Word of God. They make no allowance for the move of the Spirit of God at all. The other extreme is the group of people I will call "Spirit” people. These are people who only want to have manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They don’t think that the teaching and preaching of the Word of God is important. There is an element of truth in each, however, neither one can stand alone without the other. We need to have balance. We need to have both. It’s not one or the other that we need, but both working together.

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 NASB

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because the Gospel was and is the power of God. That word power in the Greek is the word dunamis, which is a self-energizing explosive power. We get our English word dynamite from this word. Not only is the Gospel the power of God, but it is the power of God unto salvation. That word salvation in the Greek is the word soteria, which means total deliverance in every area of your life, spirit, soul, and body. The importance of the preaching of the Word of God is paramount in Scripture. According to Romans chapter 10, faith cannot come without hearing the Word of God preached. According to 1 Corinthians 1:18 the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but it is the power (dunamis) of God to those who are being saved. According to 1 Corinthians 1:21 God was pleased to use the foolishness of preaching for man to be saved.

If the Word of God was not important, and all we needed was the move of the Spirit, why would God choose to have men saved by the foolishness of preaching? Without hearing the Word of God preached and taught, faith would not come and nobody would get saved. We need to realize the power that is in the Word of God! We also need to realize that God chose preaching! Man did not choose preaching, God chose preaching. While I’m at it, let me also say that we need both the preaching of the Word as well as the teaching of the Word. Teaching is for education, preaching is for motivation. If all we have is teaching, we have people that know what to do, with no motivation to do it. If all we have is preaching, we have people that are motivated to do something, but don’t know what to do. Both are equally as bad as the other is. We can’t have one without the other. Let us bring the dunamis of God to His church by both preaching and teaching the full counsel of God.

“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 NASB

In this verse we see the use of the same Greek word for power (dunamis) describing the demonstration of the Spirit as we saw in Romans 1:16 describing the Word of God. Paul learned not to just rely on the power of the Gospel when he ministered, but he also used the power of the Holy Spirit. He wanted to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit. Is it wrong to have demonstrations and manifestations of the Holy Spirit? No! A thousand times no! However, the demonstration without the preaching of the Word goes against the Biblical pattern.

Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that we would receive dunamis when the Holy Spirit would come upon us. According to Peter’s message at Cornelius’s house in Acts chapter 10, God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with dunamis. We would have the same power made available to us that was made available to Jesus. Is it no wonder that Jesus said: “The works that I do he shall do also.” (John 14:12)

We can do what Jesus did because we have access to the same power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus did. That is why Paul said it was not his preaching alone but also the demonstration of the Spirit and power. In Romans chapter 15 Paul said that he fully preached the Gospel…by word and deed…in the power of signs and wonders…in the power (dunamis) of the Spirit. We must not neglect the deed part. Our preaching the Word is not enough. Paul said word and deed. Let us bring the power of the Spirit to the church of God as we allow Him to move and do as He sees fit!

When we bring the power of the Gospel and the power of the Spirit together we have an explosive force for God. We don’t want them working apart from each other but working in conjunction with each other.

“God also bearing witness with them both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Hebrews 2:4 NASB

This verse of Scripture is talking about the ministry of the apostles. God bore witness to what they preached by signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This sounds exactly like Mark chapter 16. In verses 15 to 18 we see the command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel as well as the promise of the signs that will follow them as they go. In verse 20 we find: “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” How would you like to have God work with you? To confirm the word that you speak? To bear witness with you by signs, wonders, and miracles? All you have to do is preach the Word and expect God to do it. If we don’t preach it he can’t confirm it. God can only confirm what we preach.

We must have balance! We must have the power of the Word of God! We must both teach and preach the Word! We can’t just have manifestation meetings without the preaching of the Word! We must also have the Power of the Holy Spirit to confirm the Word that we preach! If we do not have the signs to confirm the Word we are nothing more than a form of godliness denying the power there of! If all we have is the “Word” it leads to legalism and dry Christianity! If all we have is the “Spirit” it leads to emotionalism and flaky Christianity! If we preach the Word, and demonstrate the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, together they make an explosive force as God works with us to confirm His Word!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Identification is a subject that many in the church don’t understand. It is a big part of what I call New Creation Realities; which is a study of who we are in Christ. When we learn to identify with what Christ did for us so that we see what He has provided for us our understanding of our rights, privileges and authority will increase to the same degree that our understanding of identification increased.


The following quote is taken from E.W. Kenyon's book Identification from his chapter The Law of Identification (with Christ):


The teaching of identification is the legal side of our redemption. It reveals to us what God did in Christ for us, from the time He went to the Cross until He sat down at the right hand of the Father. The vital side of redemption is what the Holy Spirit, through the Word, is doing in us now.


Several times Paul uses the preposition "with" in connection with His Substitutionary teaching.


E.W. Kenyon goes on to say that Paul then tells us that he died "with" Christ, and was buried "with" Christ" and that:


·         He became as we were, so that we might become as He is.

·         He died to make us live.

·         He was made sin to make us Righteous.

·         He became weak to make us strong.

·         He suffered shame to give us glory.

·         He went to Hell in order to take us to Heaven.

·         He was condemned in order to justify us.

·         He was made sick in order that healing might be ours.

·         He was cast out from the presence of God in order to make us welcome there.


We have been identified with Jesus Christ in all He has accomplished for us in life and death and have become the beneficiaries of all of His victories. Jesus took what I deserved so I could get what He deserved. His triumph is my triumph. His defeat of the devil is my defeat of the devil. His absolute authority over the demonic is also my authority. Most importantly, His freedom to come before the Father is my freedom as well. This divine reality has been freely given to us to experience now, but it must be stepped into by faith.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Responding To The Prophetic Word

It is a widely accepted fact that God speaks prophetically to His people. Scripture clearly states: “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 NASB In fact in the day and age in which we live, that I like to call the time period known as “The Restoration Of All Things” (see Acts 3:21), God seems to be speaking prophetically much more than He has in years gone by as He is restoring the Office of the Prophet to His Church. However, we must understand that as in Scripture, there are two types of prophetic words: absolute and conditional. Absolute prophecies come to pass because God does them all by Himself. Conditional prophecies require our cooperation in meeting the conditions laid forth. Hence how we respond to the prophetic word is extremely important.

In the Apostle John’s prophetic encounter recorded in Revelation chapters two and three, Jesus spoke plainly to seven churches. To each one He ended his message with the phrase: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The first response that we must make to the prophetic word is to hear it. We must have spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Jesus also said: “Take heed therefore how ye hear…” Luke 8:18 KJV Not only must we hear what the Spirit is saying and accept it as being a word from God but we must also hear it accurately. We must be open to God’s prophetic word and accept it as such.

Our second response to the prophetic word should be to write it down. God told the prophet Habakkuk: “And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.’” Habakkuk 2:2 KJV God told the prophet Jeremiah: “Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.” Jeremiah 2:2 NASB God told the prophet Isaiah: “Now go, write it on a tablet before them and inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve thee in time to come…” Isaiah 30:8 NASB Do you see a pattern here? Do you see a common theme to what God told each of these prophets? It is clear that we must write down our prophetic words so that we do not loose sight of them.

The same way that we refer back to the written Logos (Scripture Word) of God to remember what He has promised us, we must refer back to the written Rhema (Prophetic Word) of God to remember what He has promised us. Too many in the Body of Christ today are missing it because they forget what God promised them prophetically. This brings us to our next response to the prophetic word. The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son, the apostle in training, Timothy: “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight.” 1 Timothy 1:18 NASB We must learn to war or fight with our prophetic words. The same way we remind God, the devil and ourselves of what is written in Scripture, we must also remind God, the devil and ourselves of what God has prophetically declared.

There is always a moral imperative with the prophetic word of God. Even if it seems that there are no conditions listed in the prophetic word, we must still live right, pursue God and His kingdom, and above all fight with our prophetic words by declaring them in our prayer life. This is another area where many in the church err. Just because God spoke it, doesn’t mean that we can just sit back and do nothing and expect it to come to pass, no more than we can expect to get saved by just sitting back and doing nothing. There is an act of faith that appropriates God’s promise of salvation in our getting saved, and there is an act of faith that appropriates God’s prophetic promise that causes us to walk in it. This idea that God said thus and so, so I can just sit back and watch God do it is a subtle lie of the enemy that is keeping many from inheriting their prophetic promises.

The final area that I want to touch on in this brief overview is a critical one that I learned from the hard way. We must always be careful to NOT put our own meaning on God’s prophetic word. When God gives us a prophetic word He never gives us all the details. Even though He knows the end from the beginning, He never tells us the end from the beginning. If He did, we most likely wouldn’t pursue it, and it wouldn’t require us to walk by faith. (Which we know it is impossible to please God without walking by faith, see Hebrews 11:6) The Apostle Paul tells us: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” 1 Corinthians 13:9 NASB No prophetic word is total revelation it is always partial revelation.

The danger that comes in is when we take the partial revelation that is given along with our own pre-conceived ideas and mix them together getting an interpretation of what that word from God means, but it is really not what God means at all. Our own mindset can cause us to run off prematurely and miss God’s purpose and plan for our lives. We must learn to bathe our prophetic words in prayer, and wait for God to add further revelation to the partial revelation that was initially given. Waiting for the proper timing of God for the prophetic word is also extremely important. Just because you received a prophetic word, don’t always assume that it is for right now. There is always a period of time between the prophetic promise and the actual full manifestation of that promise being walked in called preparation. Don’t try to short cut the process; you must go through the preparation to walk in the promise.

I trust that these simple thoughts will help you in your walk with the Lord. This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive teaching on this subject, but merely a few general pointers to help us all to respond to the prophetic word of the Lord more accurately.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ye Which Are Spiritual

I remember when I was a student in my 2nd year at Rhema in 1987. It was the year that Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart both fell. Kenneth E. Hagin spoke to us as the graduating class about those public issues with this verse: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 KJV Brother Hagin said that all those who were not restoring in a spirit of meekness were showing just how spiritual they weren’t! #Selah