|Posted on May 23, 2019 at 5:50 PM|
From the beginning of time God has established His truths, standards, and laws for creation, the world--its culture and people with a clear distinction between good and evil, light and darkness, and sweetness and bitterness. Without these clear distinctions being rooted and established in the foundation of creation, the world--its culture and people, there will be perversion, distortion, and confusion of God’s truths, standards and laws. For God’s people there is a stern warning about good, light, and sweet. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20 NAS).
Those who fail to distinguish between good and evil; who excuse the actions of one and reproaches the other; who mock righteousness and embrace unrighteousness; who call evil men good and good men evil; who speak in praise of drunkenness, gluttony, all carnal pleasures, and fleshly lusts; and who has contempt for godly worship and service have little relationship with God. Failure to recognize the difference between good and evil will give way to adversity, affliction, calamity, displeasure, sorrow, trouble, wickedness, and chaos instead of joyfulness, gladness, righteousness, truthfulness, peacefulness and pleasure before the Lord God. Judgement will be upon those who blur, obscure, and diminish the clear lines of good and evil established by God. It is always good to remember that “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35 NKJV).
Those who fail to distinguish the light from darkness and substitutes darkness for light diminishes their ability to be enlightened and receive God’s revelation and wisdom giving way to ignorance, error, false doctrine, destruction, oppression, and crime. Scripture declares “that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19 NKJV). It is crucial that every believer in Jesus Christ understand that they have the light (John 12:35), are the sons of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5), and are to walk in His light [Ephesians 5:8]. To walk in the light signifies a life in Spirit, bringing forth the glory of God, being a beacon of light for the kingdom of God, and allowing the Word of God to be a lamp to one’s feet and a light to their path (Psalms 119:105).
Those who fail to distinguish between sweet and bitter reveal the true condition of their inner man and are guilty of reversing standards of morality, causing depravity of character, weakening a sense of righteousness resulting in a hard heart and unstable soul.
Warning. In the last days the forces of culture under the direction of the god of this age will seek to blur the lines between good and evil, light and darkness, bitter and sweet thus creating a gray zone where relativity of truth is questioned; morality, ethics, and righteousness are ignored; and political correctness governs the vocabulary which influences the atmosphere. A gray zone is an intermediate state which comes and exists between two realities and truths that has not substance, principles or standards. Believers in Jesus Christ must not reside in the gray zone of life for they will become lukewarm (Revelations 3:16), be like salt with no flavor (Matthew 5:13), be the light covered by a basket (Matthew 5:15) or have a form of godliness yet deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5).
|Posted on May 16, 2019 at 4:55 PM|
Many seek to know, experience, and be blessed by God without knowing and understanding the process of inner transformation. True spiritual transformation can only take place when there is a God encounter which changes and renews man's heart and spirit. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV).
The word 'encounter' is dynamic, sudden, and abrupt causing a shift or change. Encounter means to meet unexpectedly, contend with, and enter into a sudden contest or conflict between forces in opposition to determine a particular outcome. Encounter causes a breakthrough which removes or surpasses obstructions, restrictions, and barriers and which is essential for a person to have growth, advancement, and progress in the kingdom of God.
Every believer should on a continual basis seek to encounter God in every area, aspect, and situation in their lives whether good, bad or indifferent. God encounters can be found in victories or defeats, bright light or deep darkness, times of refreshing or dry times, and in the promise land or wilderness. No matter what state one finds themselves in, the believer is admonished to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 NKJV). Through encounters, the Lord continues to move, change, and mold one's life into the image of Jesus Christ. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV).
Every encounter with God is assimilated into one's life experience which enhances maturity and growth into God’s purposes.
(This blog post was previously posted in May 2017.)
|Posted on May 9, 2019 at 5:10 PM|
Through one’s journey in life there will be occasions and opportunities to encounter something larger, greater, and more powerful than oneself which will require going beyond the status quo, conventional thinking, standard methods, and cultural norms and to be challenged to go beyond. For the believer of Jesus Christ, one would be entering a realm of Spirit which will enlarge their capacity to believe and embrace the beyond factor. What is the beyond factor, why is it important, and how does it effect a believer’s life and their relationship with God?
The beyond factor is an exercise of faith based on the premise that each believer has God’s perspective and views life from a heavenly viewpoint where they are seated (Ephesians 2:6). The beyond factor provides a way and enables one to transcend and go beyond the worldly lifestyles, cultural edicts, imposed limits, bondages, and spiritual forces and enter into the liberty, freedom, and authority of God’s kingdom. The beyond factor encourages believers to look beyond situations, life issues, mental capacities, man’s manipulation and control and lay hold of God’s principles, purposes, promises, provision, and destiny. The importance of the beyond factor is that it builds, strengthens, enhances, matures, and energizes one’s belief system, level of faith, and ability to trust God in all things.
God has given each believer a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) which enables one to live and walk by Spirit (Galatians 5:25) and to believe that all things are possible (Mark 9:23). The activation of faith is crucial in one’s life because without faith you cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). The effect of the beyond factor is that it causes a major and radical shift in one’s perspective. This shift will be the impetus and stimulus to move beyond self-centered, flesh dominated, cultural induced, worldly indoctrinated, and satanic driven perspectives and mindsets and traverse into a godly perspective. This godly perspective will position each believer to enter into a kingdom viewpoint and mindset thus viewing life through the eyes of Spirit and rooted in the Word of God.
A great example of the beyond factor is found in Deuteronomy chapter 3 where God had granted His people land and their inheritance; however, they were required to go beyond the Jordan River to take possession of what God had promised. The Lord instructed His people [vs. 18] to gather and arm all the fighting men and to cross over (go beyond) the Jordan River to battle, take possession, occupy, and secure the land God had given and promised to them and to lay hold of their inheritance. The key to this story is that the land and inheritance given and promised by God required His people to believe, exercise their faith, be obedient to His instructions, and prepare to fight or do whatever it took to lay hold of the promise. The instructions and requirement for God’s people to go beyond the Jordan to possess the land still applies today.
A good question for each believer is--what is your river ‘Jordan’ that exists between you and God’s promises? Is it your belief system, your self-centered lifestyle, your career, your family or your perspective of life in Spirit and God’s kingdom? Each believer must have the determination to go beyond anything that stands in the way or hinders from taking possession, laying hold of, and securing the promises of God.
|Posted on May 2, 2019 at 5:10 PM|
There is a call for God’s people to gather in unity as one before the Father to pray, believe, and declare the awakening, healing, and restoration of America. Because this nation was founded on the fundamental truths and principles of God’s Word, there is a responsibility placed on the believers of Jesus Christ to petition God the Father to have mercy on a people who no longer adhere or believe in these truths and principles. The answer and hope for America will require the body of Christ (the ekklesia) to repent, become unified, be in one accord, have one voice, and stand in the gap between heaven and earth to seek the Lord, pray, and intercede for the nation.
The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Love can change America” based on the Scripture found in John 13:34 which declares “love one another, as I have loved you.” The premise of this theme is that love can change this nation, be a healing force, bridge the divide, curb the evil, and create oneness and unity amongst the people. However, the love for one another will be very difficult without returning to God the Father who is the principle source of love. Scripture declares that there are two commandments of love, the first being necessary to fulfill the second. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV). In order for love to be a force that changes the nation, people of this nation must return to God as their first love (Revelation 2:4). By returning to God, who is love [1 John 4:8], a fresh release of love will immerse the body of Christ (the ekklesia) which will flow through believers touching people and changing the nation.
On this National Day of Prayer there will be many praying for our nation, government, leaders, congress, and the judiciary that truth and righteousness will reign supreme and once again there will be a recognition and acknowledgement of the sovereign God as LORD. I am reminded of E. M. Bound’s writing on prayer is essential. He writes “It must never be forgotten that Almighty God rules this world. He is not an absentee God. His hand is ever on the throttle of human affairs. He is everywhere present in the concerns of time. His eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men. He rules the world just as He rules the church by prayer." An equally important and crucial component on this day of prayer is that intercession and supplication be made for the body of Christ (the ekklesia) to be awakened, empowered, revived, and restored to the full glory of God.
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. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
|Posted on April 18, 2019 at 5:30 PM|
The season is upon us of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look beyond the normal trappings of man-made rituals and materialism to capture a life giving truth -- that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Receiving revelation of this truth enables each believer to live and walk each day in the Spirit and newness of life.
Resurrection is the central doctrine of being a Christian affirming that God raised Jesus from the dead on third day (Mark 10:33-34). Without the resurrection, the entire belief system is faulty and preaching of the Word and faith are in vain (I Corinthians 15:14). So important and significant is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that without it there would not be the remission of sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
As the body of Christ celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ annually, every believer should celebrate it daily. "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23b NKJV) Every day as we yield to the power of the cross there is a perpetual flow and release of the power of the resurrection.
Remember that "the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11 NJKV) Through the cross, resurrection and renewing life of Holy Spirit we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. Romans 6:4-5 NKJV
(This blog post was previously posted in March 2016.)
|Posted on April 11, 2019 at 5:00 PM|
God’s original intent and design for mankind was to have a sustaining and strengthening force of joy at the very core of their being. Because of the fall of man, the supernatural gift of joy was depowered, encased in flesh, and relegated to an emotion which is subject to external conditions and events. The restoration of supernatural joy transpires when an individual accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. After becoming a believer, one is filled with Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) and receives the kingdom of God within their being (Luke 17:21). Scripture declares that the disciples (believers) were continually being filled with joy and with Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52). This is possible because joy is a fruit of the Spirit and an intricate part of Holy Spirit’s nature (Galatians 5:22).
Joy is a powerful force in one’s life which is firmly fixed and deeply rooted in the Spirit and demonstrated through His presence resulting in a life full of gladness, contentment, cheerfulness, and pleasure. The joy of the Lord will cause one to rejoice exceedingly, be a light to the world, have a festive heart, and delight themselves in the Lord regardless of external forces, issues or situations. The eternal joy of the Lord refreshes and strengthens one’s soul and brings rest and hope enabling one to go above and beyond life circumstances and focus on the very nature and character of God.
As one observes the current condition of people in general and their cultural atmosphere, there is very little expression of joy in their continence, demeanor, and attitude. Even more revealing and disturbing in today’s culture is that there appears to be little difference between believers and non-believers in the demonstration of true joy in their lives. For this reason, many are growing weak, have become downcast, are being consumed by the cares of the world, are absorbed by negativities, and have lost their zeal for the things of God and His church. Scripture instructs the believer to “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3 NAS). How one approaches the issues and trials of life reveals the condition of the heart and determines the measure of victory.
In Nehemiah’s time instruction was given to God’s people, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b NAS). Why is this important? Because the joy of the Lord is supernatural and works within each believer to strengthen their resolve, bring gladness and hope to their heart, enable them to handle life’s issues, and give them a godly perspective which brings praise and honor to God.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:11 NAS
|Posted on April 4, 2019 at 5:10 PM|
One of the majestic wonders of God’s creation is the establishment of rivers which flow throughout the earth affecting the lives of people in their paths and creating life experiences for everyone touched by their waters. Rivers are magnificent living forms of art, wellsprings of life, bastions of refreshment, and beauty to the eyes but at times violent and deadly. Every river is different in its characteristics, flow, degree of current, depth, and width carving out its own unique identity and purpose. Oftentimes God uses the natural things to reveal, instruct, and demonstrate what is to take place in the spiritual realm (1 Corinthians 15:46). The same characteristics, elements, reactions, and experiences one would have with a natural river can be applied to the river of God which is symbolic of the presence of God flowing upon, in, and through His people.
There are several ways for one to experience the river of God which provides fresh new life, spiritual liberty, deliverance from captivity, healing of one’s being, and release of all bondages. Each person needs to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and abide in Him in order to be positioned to receive from and be touched by the river of God. One can experience the river of God by being in the flow and movement of its waters which happens when there is an understanding of the true source and power of God’s river. One can experience the river of God in faith by jumping in and committing oneself to the waters no matter how deep--as shown is the vision to Ezekiel, the waters come to his ankles, then to his knees, then to his waist, and then the river was measured so deep that one would have to swim (Ezekiel 47:3-5). One can experience the river of God by having rivers of living water flow out of their heart (John 7:38) which are the workings and flow of Holy Spirit from within.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there. They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5 NKJV
|Posted on March 28, 2019 at 5:25 PM|
When God releases a fresh fire upon His people, there is a powerful transformation of the body of Christ (the ekklesia) which causes a dramatic and major shift in the world and its culture. This transformation is consummated when the body of Christ (the ekklesia) forgets about themselves and concentrates on the one true God and embraces a heavenly perspective aligning themselves with God’s truth and Word.
Scripture declares that Jesus will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). Much emphasis has been and is placed on being baptized with Holy Spirit and what takes place once Holy Spirit is released in one’s life with the fullness of giftings, fruit, and power. The baptism of fire is divinely connected to experiencing the fullness of God and Holy Spirit baptism. To be baptized whether in water, Holy Spirit or fire means one is immersed, submerged, and saturated by the penetrating purifying presence of God exchanging one life or lifestyle for another. To be baptized with fresh fire means one is immersed, submerged, and saturated in God’s power and presence causing an awakening within one’s heart and activating their spirit enabling one to become a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1).
One of the most captivating, powerful, and intriguing subjects in Scripture is fire which represents God’s presence, glory, power, Spirit, love, wrath, and judgement. Fire is an agent of purification, sanctification, and testing which creates a pathway to intimacy and relationship with God. Fire also is identified as God’s nature as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24). On the day of Pentecost, fire appeared as tongues as of fire which rested on each of the disciples (Acts 2:3). Pentecost was a prime example of how God uses fresh fire to prepare and empower His people for the work in the kingdom of God.
The fire of God is demonstrated in many ways: the burning bush from which God spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:2-6) - by God’s manifest presence as it was in the pillar of fire at night giving His people light (Exodus 13:21) - God’s descent upon Mount Sinai in fire (Exodus 19:18) - God makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire (Psalm 104:4) - Paul describes the second coming of Christ with His mighty angels in flaming fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7) - an angel of God coming down from heaven with his face like the sun and feet like pillars of fire (Revelation 10:1) - Christ’s eyes are described like a flame of fire (Revelation 19:12).
Nothing can be more absolute, liberating, and certain in God’s kingdom, His body (the ekklesia), and individual believers than God’s fire, presence, anointing, and power. Fresh fire is essential for each believer to be prepared as an instrument of God through the refiner’s fire as they are purified and purged as gold and silver unto righteousness (Malachi 3:2-4), each believer to live and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), one’s work to be revealed and tested by fire (1 Corinthians 3:13), and one’s faith to be tested by fire (1 Peter 1:7).