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Friday, July 31, 2015

Thou Shalt NOT Commit Adultery


 
 

Our Bible Study continued with the 10 Commandments and we are addressing number seven, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, Exodus 20:14

Our teacher, Linda asked us to compare and contrast the scripture found in Leviticus 20: 10-15.  This scripture includes all types of sexual relations with family members, and ends by saying; “They have committed perversion.”  The writing continues to include homosexuality and bestiality; saying all who are guilty of such should be put to death. 

Genesis 1:26-28 In the beginning when God created male and female, His intention for the marriage relationship, was one man and one woman until death do them part.

Genesis 2:22-25, The man shall cleave to his wife and they two shall become one flesh.

This is the Biblical view while our government has seen fit to say otherwise using the opinions and dishonest ideas of man.

It was not God’s intent that the marriage relationship should break down, but because of the hardness of men’s hearts divorce was granted.  Deuteronomy 24:1.

Divorce is especially difficult for the children, as they often feel that it was their fault and many carry that innocent burden of guilt for years. 

What did Jesus say: Matthew 19:2-6  Have you not read God made them male and female Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” However because of the hard headedness of mans hearts, divorce was granted.

Jesus went on to say:  Matthew 5:27-28. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus was speaking about guarding our eyes, thoughts and mind to abstain from lust and sinful desire. 
 
Jesus was warning about twisted thinking to decide to sin, and then ask forgiveness.  What a deceitful heart.  

Paul condemned certain lifestyles; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 (NKJV)  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.


Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.


It impossible to live in a vacuum, and we are not the judge when some dissolve their marriage and unite with another mate. 
 
Our father is a God of Love and we must not question his grace and Mercy. 

So much heart ache is brought about from separation and divorce.  No one is left unhurt while others resume a Christian Life Style and are blessed by God.

The destruction of Marriage relationships is often the consequence of decisions.  The old adage is true that we often “reap what we sow.” 

Can God forgive an adulterous affair?  Of course He can and will if there is a repentant heart. 

We are reminded of the woman caught in adultery.  We ask where was the man?

The pious men brought her to Jesus and told him that she must be stoned.  Jesus stooped down and began to write in the dust.  (What was He writing?)  We can only surmise that Jesus was listing the names of those present who had committed the very sin they were accusing of the woman. 
 
Jesus answer was plain, “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Naturally all the men left.   John 8: 10-11 Jesus asked the woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

 
Notice the kicker – forgiven with a stipulation – not to repeat the sin what ever it was.

Understand that you can’t go back and undo the past –
but the thing to do - - is to pick up your bed and walk.
 
 
 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Prepare, Contend and Pursue.


Prepare, Contend and Pursue. 
 
Pastor Allan was speaking as I took notes on his message.  On Sunday, we invite the Holy Spirit to show up – however, let us walk in the Spirit daily. .  Keep in prayer and worship all week long.

During the week our heart condition is often busy and it is hard to hear God’s voice.  We start to study and prepare our hearts, but our mind set is distracted and we need to slow down and let God be God.  There is no time for foolishness. 
 
I trust Sister Linda to teach the Sunday school class and she is doing a superb job.   She shared today about marriage and how families are falling apart.  We don’t know the pain our neighbor carries, but we must pray for one another.  Pray for families for their mouths to speak gentle words that will bind together instead of splitting.  The devil wants to separate and destroy marriage because it is a picture of relationship with our bridegroom Jesus.
 
We must seek God instead of trying to go in our own power.  The reason we are under attack is because we are going forward.  There is no time for relapse. 
We are praying for our city and when you pray, include our leaders, our police and fire fighters.

 
Pastor told how On Saturday, he went with a group to the State Capital to pray over California.  Those praying were including the Indian Tribes, Politicians, and marriage according to God.


I am tired of our country slipping and separating themselves away from  the intent of our founding fathers.

2 Chronicles 7:13-16 (NKJV)  When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
 
What do you need?  Call on my daddy, because He knows your name.  He knew you before you were born.  We are a people called by His name.

To receive an answer, activation is needed.  We are required to come in true humility and to have a teachable spirit.

We must be willing to change our theology as God changes our heart.  I am not trying to convince you, but allow God to change your heart. 
 
I make mistakes, and I try to be transparent, but when all is done, I want to hear those words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.

The Lord has shown me three words for our future:  Prepare, Contend and Pursue. 

Prepare:  Be humble and prepare our hearts, then get our building ready.

Contend:  Keep at it.  Don't give up.  You may need to intercede for your neighbor until they become strong enough to STAND.  Learn to feed yourself God’s Word during the week.  Also learn to pray for yourself and also to pray for your enemies.  Yes, Amen!

Pursue  Follow hard after God and His Righteousness in order to be bold to face oncoming Spiritual Battles.  Pursue the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Yes, pray in tongues, but realize there are nine gifts and any of them may be used at the moment of need.

People in our city are starving for reality.  If you have Jesus - - then you have the answer to share with them.  It’s all about Jesus who is alive. 

Seek His Face, Prepare, Contend and Pursue. 
 
 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Entering into the Presence of God



 
Entering into the Presence of God

Psalms 100:4  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 
While it is possible for a non-believer to enter a room (or church service) where the presence of the Lord is; they will not be able to have His presence inside them.

You might say, “Give us some suggestions how God can manifest Himself to me.”

First and foremost a person must be qualified with a Born Again Experience. 

That means they must accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, Believe that He died on the cross for their sins, and confess with their mouth that they will serve Jesus all the days of their life.

To fully walk with Jesus, there must be another occurrence, an encounter with the Holy Spirit. 

To seek for “More of God,” a believer must enter boldly into the Throne Room with clean hands.  Search your heart and ask God to remove all attitudes that are displeasing to Him.  Come before a Holy God in Holiness requesting that He Baptize you with His Holy Spirit.

The evidence will be speaking in other tongues.  You may simply open your mouth and allow words of praise to come forth not fearing how the words sound. 

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 

Begin to use your gift of tongues as a new prayer and praise language, by setting aside 15 minutes a day to use your new gift of other tongues in private.  Naturally in a crowd, pray under your breath, not making a spectacle of yourself.

When you find yourself driving, walking, shopping, resting, use these moments to pray in tongues.  In your spirit you will begin to know and understand what you are praying about.  Praise and worship might be coming forth, or it is possible that it will be interceding for a loved one.

Be aware of what is happening in your spirit as you pray.  Are you finding that there is a new Godly presence inside you that was not there before?

We go now to a different setting. 
 
It is time for Church and when your feet hit the floor, begin to pray in tongues.  On the way to church keep praying in the Spirit, and when you arrive, allow the presence of God to permeate your very existence. 

Be concerned for persons around you.  Pray for those you sense need a touch from God.

What new joy and delight you will begin to experience at church, take the presence of God with you out into your world.

Allow your daily activities to be infused with His Presence. 

After you have grown in God, you will realize that 15 minutes is not enough time to spend praying in the Spirit. 
 
Allow God to speak freely to you, and be open to listen to what is His will for your life.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Feed My Sheep Good Food


Give My Sheep Good Food for their Health !!
 
Luke 16:15  And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

We look around at our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and there are occasions when we get a gut punch because one of those we thought so highly of; fell into sin. 

I have seen many a preacher, deacon, song leader, teacher, or pew member go off the deep end and land smack dap in the middle of the mud. Thankfully, some do repent and are washed in the blood and restored to fellowship.

Hear me out for this next part is very important:

Who is to blame when a fellow Christian turns and makes decisions that WE question?

Are we to blame?  Did we fail to demonstrate a good example before them?  Did we fail to encourage them when we noticed a change in their attitude?  Did we fail to pray for them?  Was it our fault?

We asked Jesus this question and were reminded of Peter who cursed and denied Jesus three times.  Jesus who is at fault?  Was not Peter one of your chosen few who stayed by your side through thick and thin?

Jesus answer amazed us all.  No one is to blame.  I know the heart of man that his heart is selfish, prideful, lustful, and deceitful.  That is why I died to give mankind a new heart and to forgive their sins.  It is the repentant heart that receives forgiveness and is restored.

Jesus reminded us that Peter was quick to repent and wept bitterly and was not only forgiven but was reinstated. 

Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?  When Peter affirmed that he did indeed love Jesus, it was then he was given a declaration to feed Jesus’ sheep. 

Was Peter told to be a friend or an example to the sheep?  Was he told to whip and beat the sheep into compliance? 

The answer is clear; NO.  Peter was told to build up the sheep with good Spiritual food so that they would become strong and learn whose they were and to whom they belonged. 

Give the sheep water, milk and meat from the Word, and to lead them to the fresh water of the Holy Spirit so that their lives would become powerful with courage to witness.

Jesus was about to return to His Father and His final instructions were to seek for the Holy Spirit.  Jesus knew these timid, weak, frightened disciples would fail to stand and might indeed return to “fishing,” unless they were dramatically changed into a different person. 

Not only did they need to be converted, but they must also be endowed with, power, valor and supernatural boldness; wearing the robe of His righteousness.

So Jesus, “What should we do?”  His answer is plain.  “FEED MY SHEEP.”


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Never Give Up




Never Give Up

Pastor Allen was speaking as I took notes on the service.

“After a lively worship time, it often takes awhile to settle down, but now there is a need to be quiet before the Lord, and to be open to what the Holy Spirit desires to say to you.  Don’t miss out by being distracted with your neighbor chatting.

Father God, we take authority over the spirit of distraction, and welcome the Holy Spirit and are anxious to hear Him speak to us.

God desires to take us to another level in the Spirit.  We often think we are doing everything right, but God stops and says take a new direction.  We need open ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.  God is telling us there is something greater.  The water is flowing from the temple and that we are the temple. The water flowing out from us, must be clean and pure.  This means we must be Godly and Holy.   God desires to use each of us as individuals, outside these walls.

Pastor shared that he has a nice Bible given to him as a gift.  He put it in a safe place to only use for special occasions.  His regular study Bible has notes and he writes in it.  He decided to get his gift Bible, but it was no where to be found.  He searched all the closets, cupboards, almost tearing his house apart, but could not find it.  He has NOT given up his search, and is diligent to find his gift even to the point of being obsessed to find it. 

God is the same way over those who are lost or backslidden.  He will NOT give up searching and seeking until they are found and brought back.  Souls are precious in His sight and are important to Him.

May we also not only pray but seek out those who need God.  Ask for a heart of compassion for souls.

In the Book of Luke, the Pharisees said of Jesus, “This man receives sinners!”  They indicated the sinners were not worth it, were unfit, and not to bother with them.

Then Jesus told the story of the lost sheep and how the shepherd would leave the 99 and search for the lost lamb until it was found.

Many of you in the congregation are miracles; you are now a believer because of an answer to someone’s prayers.  God did not give up on you.

Our spirits are in pain when we hear of someone dear to us, falling back into sin.  They were on fire, doing so well, and became deceived and they fell.  Now the enemy is telling them they are too sinful to be restored.  The enemy is a liar, and God is playing hard ball.  He will not give up.

Each time we attend church, we need to walk out of here just a bit different, and carry the light with us out into our world.  Every day we must experience God’s presence and not just on Sunday.

There are some things, I can tell my wife and she understands.  I just can’t tell you, but I can also tell Jesus my deepest secrets.

The Prophets wept and cried over the sins of God’s people, praying that they would repent.

The scriptures tell us that we need to become teachers when we are still on milk.  Instead of being immature babies, we need to grow up.

Relationship with Jesus is the answer.  May God forgive our self righteousness attitudes, when we meet those who do not look right, or smell right. 

Peter was weak and cursed as he denied knowing Jesus, but he repented, weeping bitter tears. 

Jesus did not give up on Peter, and He will not give up on you. 
 
 

FAITH'S CONFESSIONS CREATE REALITIES


Say With Your Mouth and Create Realities in Your Life
 
 
FAITH'S CONFESSIONS CREATE REALITIES
(Courtesy Jim Kaseman Ministries)

WHAT I AM IN CHRIST (CONFESS DAILY)

 
I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. My spirit is created in the image and likeness of God. 2 Cor. 5:17, Gen 1:26

I am complete in Christ Jesus. Col. 2:9-10

I am righteous in Christ Jesus. I have right-standing with God just like I'd never done anything wrong. 2 Cor. 5:21

I am redeemed from the curse of the law (poverty, sickness, and spiritual death). Gal. 3:13 and chapter Deut. 28

I am God's child and a joint-heir with Christ. Rom. 8:16-17



WHERE I AM IN CHRIST (CONFESS DAILY)
I have been taken from Satan's kingdom and I am now in God's kingdom. Col. 1:13-14


I am part of the Body of Christ and Satan has no power over me. 1 Cor. 12:14-27, Luke 9:1 and Luke 10:9

I am seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus far above all power of darkness and all things are under my feet. Eph. 1:20-23 and Eph. 4:6



WHAT I POSSESS IN CHRIST (CONFESS DAILY)
ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places are mine in Christ Jesus. Eph. 1:3


ALL my needs are supplied by my Heavenly Father, in every area of life, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

I don't have to worry about anything, for God has commanded me to cast all of my cares on Him. I Peter 5:7



WHAT I CAN DO IN CHRIST (CONFESS DAILY)
In the power of the Holy Ghost I am a witness for Jesus. Acts 1:8


I can and do tell others about Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:18-20

As a believer and in the name of Jesus Christ I cast out devils, I speak with new tongues, and when I lay my hands on the sick they do recover. Mark 16:17-18

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13



FOR COMFORT AND STRENGTH (CONFESS DAILY)
The joy of the Lord is my strength. Neh. 8:10


The Lord is the strength of my life. Psalms 27:1

Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I John 4:4

I will not let God's Word depart from before my eyes, for it is life and health. Prov. 4:21-22

I do not let foul words come out of my mouth, but only what helps, encourages, and is beneficial to the spiritual progress of others. Eph. 4:29


I refuse to give place to the devil. Eph. 4:27

I speak the truth in love and grow up into Him in all things. Eph. 4:15

No man shall take me out of His hand. For I have eternal life. John 10:28

I let the peace of God rule in my heart. I refuse to worry about anything. Col. 3:15 and 1 Peter 5:7

Whatever I refuse to allow here, God also refuses to allow, and that which I do allow, God also allows to come to pass here on earth. Matt. 16:19

I am a believer and these signs do follow me. I speak with new tongues, I take authority over the devil, I lay hands on the sick and they recover. Mark 16:17-18

I am complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power. Col. 2:10


FOR FINANCIAL AND MATERIAL NEEDS (CONFESS DAILY)
Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law. (Poverty, sickness, and death)
For poverty He has given me wealth, for sickness He has given me health, for death He has given me eternal life. II Cor. 8:9 and John 10:10

I delight myself in the Lord and He gives me the desires of my heart. Psalm 37:4
I have given and it is being given to me good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. Luke 6:38


I have paid my tithes and offerings and God has opened the windows of heaven and is pouring such blessings on me that I hardly have enough room to receive them. Malachi 3:10

God makes all grace come to me in abundance, so that I always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others 2 Cor. 9:8

There is no lack for my God supplies all my needs, in every area of life, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

The Lord is my Shepherd I DO NOT WANT. Psalm 23:1



FOR GUIDANCE AND WISDOM (CONFESS DAILY)
The Spirit of truth abides in me and teaches me all things. He guides me into all truth. I have perfect knowledge of every circumstance and opportunity that comes before me. John 14:26 and John 16:13


I trust in the Lord with all my heart and do not rely on my own understanding. Prov. 3:5
In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my path. Prov. 3:6

God's Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105

I let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly in all wisdom. Col. 3:16

I follow the Good Shepherd because I know His voice.  I will not follow a stranger. John 10:3-4

I am not conformed to this world but I am transformed by renewing my mind with the Word of God. Romans 12:2



FOR FEAR AND WORRY (CONFESS DAILY)

I am part of the body of Christ and Satan has no power over me. 1 Cor. 12:14-27
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I John 4:4
I am not afraid because you are with me, Your Word and your Spirit comfort me. Psalms 23:4


I am far from oppression and fear does not come near me. Isaiah 54:14

No weapon formed against me will prosper for my righteousness is of the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

I produce much fruit and whatever I do will prosper because I am like a tree planted by the water. Psalm 1:3

I have been delivered from the evils of this world according to God's will. Gal. 1:4

God is my refuge. I trust in Him and I am safe! Psalm 91:2

Evil can't get close to me. No harm will come to my home. God has commanded His angels to protect me wherever I go. Psalm 91:10-11

In my pathway is life and there is no death. Prov. 12:28

I obey God's Word and I am blessed in what I do. James 1:25

I use the shield of faith to stop everything the enemy brings against me. Eph. 6:16

Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law. I forbid any sickness or poverty to come on me. Gal. 3:13 and Deut. 28 chapter

I overcome by the blood of Christ and the Word of my testimony. Rev. 12:11

I am submitted to God and the devil flees from me because I resist him in Jesus' name. James 4:7

God's Word is forever settled in heaven and in my heart. Psalms 119:89

My peace is great, because I'm God's child and I am taught of the Lord. Isaiah 54:13



FOR HEALING AND HEALTH (CONFESS DAILY)
Jesus carried my sicknesses and diseases in His body on the cross and by His stripes I am healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 10


Jesus took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses. Matthew 8:17

I am a believer and these signs do follow me: I speak with new tongues, I take authority over the devil, I lay hands on the sick and they recover. Mark 16:17-18

When I am sick, I will call for the elders of the church to pray over me, anointing me with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save me and the Lord will raise me up. James 5:14-15

Jesus bore my sins in his body on the tree, so that I might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His stripes I am healed. I Peter 2:24

Courtesy Jim Kaseman Ministries
http://afcminternational.org/resources.php?page=faithaid 


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thou Shalt Not Kill



The First Murder - Cain kills Abel
Our Bible study at Open Door Church, had arrived at the sixth commandment given by God to Moses. 

The King James Version simply states “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” but the New American Standard Version (possibly the closest to the original scriptures) says it this way - - - You shall not murder.

The first murder occurred shortly after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden.  Cain in a fit of jealousy killed his brother Abel.  His punishment was to leave the area and to become a vagabond and fugitive all of his life.  God placed a mark on Cane as a warning that no one should revenge Abel’s murder by killing Cain.

As we read about the travels of the Children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land, it is evident that GOD is NOT against killing.   God is against planned murder.

As the Israelites approached to possess the Land, they were told to utterly destroy and kill the entire abominable enemy Nations, including women and children. 
 
God’s reason was these nations were wicked and depraved in their perverted worship of other gods and lifestyles.

What did Jesus say about killing?  Jesus taught that we must control anger and uncontrolled anger against a brother was the same as holding murder in our hearts.  Jesus was speaking to the Religious Leaders who were in fact plotting to KILL Him.

Can Murder be forgiven?  God does not categorize sin and all sins are guilty of death.  This is the reason that Jesus paid for all the sins of the world by “His death” on the Cross.  He took our punishment for not just our sins but the sins of the entire world.

As Jesus was hanging on the cross, He forgave those who were killing Him.

This sixth commandment is the least understood and it does not forbid all killing.

Some lives are lost accidently, while others are premeditated. Some deaths are justified in the case of Capital Punishment.  We cannot justify pacifism.

It is interesting to note that King David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he manipulated the killing of another man, so that he could take the man’s wife.

Saul in the New Testament was guilty of killing Christians because he thought he was pleasing the God.  When Jesus appeared to him, and told Saul he was actually persecuting Him, a life change occurred, and Saul became know as Paul the Apostle.

Today I was reading in Charisma News, about the witchdoctors in Uganda who are kidnapping children, killing them to mix their blood, organs and limbs with herbs to make potions, charms, amulets or talismans for their clients - - all for money.  There are over 900 suspected cases Child sacrifices in recent years.  The Uganda Government seemingly is unwilling to intervene.

Lest we point fingers and say how terrible, we must look at what is happening to the killing of babies here in our USA. 

A recent Inter-Net expose stated that Planned Parenthood is systematically positing the baby before it is killed, so that they can harvest body parts for sale. 
 
CEO Cecile Richards apologized for the tone of her abortionist but did NOT express regret for selling baby body parts. 

“It is stomach-churning to hear a top doctor for the national Planned Parenthood organization admit, on videotape, that Planned Parenthood abortionists can and will alter late abortion procedures to facilitate the harvesting of intact baby body parts - she specifically mentioned hearts, lungs, livers, in order to fill specific pre-orders,"


Does this fit – Thou Shalt Not Kill - - or You Shall Not Murder?
 
 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gideon’s Three Hundred


Gideon's Band of Three Hundred
 
The evening service at Open Door Church was blessed with a special speaker, Pastor Roger from the Bridge Church of Yuba City, CA.

He shared that the wisest thing we can do is to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.  Learn to love the “Presence of God.”  We need leaders who enter into the fullness of what God has to give.  We must have open ears, not lip service or “Religion,” but listening ears to hear the voice of God and following His direction.

God gave Moses a plan.  Here were a million people with no food and too many people for one man to council.  His father-in-law told Moses to delegate chosen leaders over groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens to judge the people.  These trusted men were filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom.

Don’t say four months until the harvest, but look up because the fields are white.

An angel appeared to a shy and timid man named Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Gideon argued with the angel and finally after testing, Gideon agreed to go into battle.  He knew he was weak and helpless and unless God went with him all would fail. 
 
God said the army is too large, tell all who are afraid to go home, and 22,000 went leaving 10,000.  God said there are still too many.  After the final test only 300 men were left in the army.  God said, “I will save Israel with these 300. 
 
Oh what unbelief was in Gideon, so he asked for a sign. God is not discouraged even if we ask for a sign. 

God knew if Gideon went to battle with a large army, they would take all the glory.  Now they must depend on God and go with His plan. 

In life at times it seems like all have deserted the army and gone home.  Only a few faithful workers are left.  Our hearts begin to fill with fear because it seems we have no team.  God says, start with little and allow God to show up.

We say, “Where are the miracles?”  God says “Go and I will deliver.”  He will perform that which He has said.

Be a people who love the preaching of the Gospel and put God to the test.  Fill me with your presence and power.

Please understand that you are Gideon’s 300, and because the angel of the Lord showed up with the declaration, “Go in the Might of God.

Your assignment:  Do not cease to give thanks for each other.  Pray for your Pastor for his health, strength, and for his sweet sleep and rest.

Encourage one another and decide not be become comfortable with status quo. 

Pastor Roger shared that he was at the dam on Wednesday morning, and counted those who showed up to pray over the city of Oroville.  There was only a small band willing to pray and decree over their city.

Now this small army is going into the streets to walk and pray.  Let us shake our world.

May the Father of Glory give to you eyes and ears to understand the Glory of God.  There is a well that we must tap into it; to open the flow of the Word of God. 

Go forth and Expect the Supernatural.


 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Revival and Outpouring: Guest Larry Sparks


"Revival and Outpouring: Your Simple Prayer to Experiencing More of the Holy Spirit!"
By Guest - Larry Sparks, West Palm Beach, FL
 

There is a principle in the Book of Zechariah that applies to the present outpouring of the Holy Spirit: "Ask for rain in the time of rain" (Zechariah 10:1). What does this mean?
How Should We Respond to the Rain of Outpouring?

More than a prophecy of outpouring, it is a principle of outpouring. More than an Old Testament prophecy to be decoded within a New Testament framework, this statement in Zechariah 10 reveals something about how we are to respond to the rain of revival and outpouring: We are to ask for more!  Ask for increase!

Throughout Scripture, rain has had a prophetic significance. There is something about water that speaks of the Spirit of God, and rain signifies an outpouring of living water.

The fact is, it's been raining since the Book of Acts. It's been raining since Peter got up on the Day of Pentecost and declared, "You are seeing what was written in Joel. Your eyes are beholding what was prophesied." Peter announced that Pentecost marked the inauguration of a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would begin at that moment and continue and increase until the consummation of the age – until Jesus literally returned to the Earth. From that point onward, there was no reversal. There was no going backward. There was no option of the New Testament Church returning to an Old Testament paradigm. The Spirit was raining. (Photo via Pixabay)

Where Are We on Heaven's Divine Timetable?

Now what? Where are we in God's divine timetable at this moment in history? Could it be that we are living in a dispensation – an era – sovereignly marked by God for unique outpouring and revival? Possibly. More accurately, though, we are doing what Jesus Himself made reference to: We are pressing into the present reality of the Kingdom of God (see Luke 16:16). The violent are taking it by force. The power and the provisions of the Kingdom of God have been made available to us and belong to the children of God; there is no begging for what has already been bought, paid for, and placed in your account.

For us to beg God for outpouring reveals a few issues that need addressing: 1) We are behaving like orphans (beggars), so we need to get a fresh glimpse of our identity in Christ; and 2) We are asking for what has already been poured out, which means we need a fresh glimpse of what Jesus already made available. We are not begging God. We are not trying to twist His arm. We are not praying under the impression that the length, volume, or intensity of our prayer efforts have something to do with God relenting and opening His clenched fists, releasing a "blessing."

Our prayers are intense, yes. They are fervent, of course. But it is a fervency resulting from the revelation of abundance, not lack. Our fervency is the result of a divine confrontation: We see the lifestyle that Jesus modeled for us and the early Church demonstrated. We desire that. Miracles were normative. The Church was a force of Kingdom effectiveness and power in the Earth. Entire regions and cities were transformed by the power of God. We see these examples in Scriptures and something begins to burn within us: "Do it again, Lord!" There is NO reason why we shouldn't be seeing such demonstrations of power...and GREATER! There is no reason why we should not be crying out for the sick to be healed, the oppressed to be delivered, and even the dead to be RAISED. (Photo via Freeimages)

The only reason I can give for why these things are NOT happening as normatively as they USED to is this: hundreds and hundreds of years of forgotten spiritual inheritance. Lost inheritance. The religious darkness of the middle ages. The seasons where the power of God and miracles were relegated to only a few saintly individuals, then to corrupt royalty, and then to shrines and statues made of stone.

The supernatural was not only forgotten, but it was preached against because of its association with idolatry and false doctrine. And yet, there have always been men and women throughout the ages who pressed in to experience the reality of the Kingdom. They were few and far between, yes, but they existed. Even Church fathers who are believed to have taught against the supernatural witnessed God's miraculous power in action.

Is it Possible for Cities, Regions, and Nations to be Transformed by God's Power?

Now, we are standing at the dawn of a new day – entire communities of people are pressing in to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit! It's no longer a scattered few, here and there. Churches are believing God for entire cities and regions to be transformed by His supernatural power. It's coming! The day of "greater than Jonah" is at hand.

We look to the preaching of Jonah at Nineveh as a benchmark for the supernatural, transformative power of God impacting cities. And yet, Jonah was a prophet under the Old Testament. Jonah did NOT walk and live under an open Heaven like Spirit-filled saints do today. Jonah was not filled with presence and power of the Kingdom of God. Jonah was a vehicle that God used to release a message of repentance to a sinful city...and he was a broken vehicle at that!

And yet, city-wide transformation took place in one of the most ruthless and sin-laden communities on the planet! If God could do it for Nineveh in the days of Jonah, I say, "Lord, do it today! Save cities and regions! Bring entire communities of people to repentance! Perform the miraculous in the open streets and marketplace!"

I believe it's coming. Do you know how I know this? Because a collective voice on Earth is finally saying "Amen" to everything Heaven has said "Yes" to. (Photo via Pixabay)

The Spirit of God is awakening the Church across the Earth to what she possesses in her spiritual account. He is awakening us to our full inheritance. Some mistakenly teach that because of this inheritance we need to do nothing. This is false. Yes, our account is full. Yes, we are sons and daughters and have received legal right to boldly enter in. Yes, Holy Spirit outpouring has been released since the Day of Pentecost...and is available NOW.

The question: Who will receive it? Who will say "Amen" to everything God has said "Yes" to? Heaven is looking for a "Yes" from the Earth.

The Hour of His Manifest Presence

This is not the hour of men or ministries; it is the hour of God's manifest presence. Miracles will become commonplace, not because people seek out the miraculous, but because they seek God. His presence is not some formula that, when inserted into your equation of prayer, produces your breakthrough. He is your breakthrough. He is your life. He is your breath. And He is becoming the essential need and deep desire of His people once again.

His presence is everything to us, and it is Holy Spirit's great delight to dwell in us, and with us. He dwells in every Christ-follower because of Jesus' Blood, but there is an increasing measure of His dwelling with us – among us – manifest in our communities because there is an increasing hunger to see the fullness of His power and presence released.

"More, Lord!"

So posture your heart. Back in the 1990s, the common cry in revival was "More, Lord!" This is the simple prayer and posture of the heart we need to assume to experience everything the Holy Spirit wants to release in our lives. More, Lord! This is not a statement of spiritual greed; rather, it is birthed from hearts that recognize one of the key characteristics of the Kingdom: It is ever-advancing and increasing in nature: "Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:7 ESV). Heaven's travel plan is from glory to glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). (Photo via Pixabay)

Until Jesus physically and visibly returns to the Earth and brings this age to a close, it is legal for us to pray prayers and live lives that press in for more.

Recently, at the Brownsville Revival 20th Anniversary Reunion, I was deeply moved by the Holy Spirit as He spoke to my heart: "Don't be easily satisfied. My people are so easily satisfied when I have made so much available to them!"

Even if we perceive that we are thriving in "one level of glory" or one level of dynamic encounter with God, it is certainly cause to celebrate, but no reason to stagnate. Why? There is more. This is a key reality that we must present to an emerging generation if we expect them to give their lives wholly to God.

Praying a one-time prayer, going to church on Sunday, and trying their best to live moral lives won't cut it. A generation must be told that the life yielded to God and filled with the Holy Spirit is a life of continuous Kingdom increase. No, this doesn't mean life is without hardship or struggle. It is an increase of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us and desires to rest upon us in an increasing measure.

The Holy Spirit Upon You!

I am forever grateful that God deposited His Holy Spirit into my heart. I am endlessly thankful that I am sealed for Heaven and set up for eternity because of the regenerative power of God's Spirit. While I live with gratitude for these realities, there is also another fact that we must consider: The Spirit who lives in us wants to demonstrate through us. He doesn't come ONLY to get us to Heaven; He dwells within us to produce the fruit and power of Jesus Christ in our lives. (Photo by Lillis Boyer "The Comforter" via elijahshopper.com)

Well, I want everything that Holy Spirit has made available to me! How about you? I want to see the Church operating in the fullness of His presence, exhibiting the purity of Jesus, and manifesting the power of Jesus! I want gifts and fruit. I want character and power. It is absolute deception to believe it's "one or the other." Jesus never proposed such a theological framework: gifts or fruit. The Spirit of God deposits it ALL!

The challenge: Are we satisfied too easily? Are we settling for too little? I know I am. Remedy? Lift up your eyes. Look around. It's raining. Can you see it? Can you feel it?

The Holy Spirit is being poured out in powerfully dramatic ways. How do we respond? Zechariah 10:1 – "More, Lord!" More in my life! More in my family! More in my school! More in my business! More in my thought life! More in my words! More in my ministry! More in my church! More in my region! More what? More of everything that looks and sounds like Jesus.

After all, such is the ultimate fruit of outpouring: Jesus Christ being more clearly revealed and glorified throughout the Earth!

Blessings,

Larry Sparks, MDiv
Website: lawrencesparks.com

Larry Sparks is co-author of the new book The Fire That Never Sleeps with Dr. Michael Brown and John Kilpatrick. He is a conference speaker, Charisma columnist, revivalist, and vice president of publishing for Destiny Image. Larry travels and speaks, presenting a seminar on Igniting a Revival Lifestyle. In these sessions, he helps the Church unlock dynamic keys from revival history that equip people today to walk in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit as promised in Scripture and demonstrated throughout history. Larry holds a Master of Divinity from Regent University in Church History.