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Holy Spirit – The Gift and Promise

Holy Spirit has an unchanging mission throughout human history—to bear testimony to the revealed truth of God by open demonstration of supernatural power.

He is central to the working out of the plan and provision of God for all men. He worked mightily in the prophets of old, and even more mightily in New Testament ministries such as Peter’s and Paul’s. Jesus spoke of this coming work of the Holy Spirit to be given after His resurrection.

John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 

The gift could not be given while Jesus was still on the earth. He would first have to be received in heaven and enter into His glory. Certainly the Holy Spirit was already present, but Jesus was pointing to an obvious distinction between the then current ministry presence of the Holy Spirit and what Jesus would send as The Gift and The Promise.

It should be noted that Holy Spirit has a dual presence in believers. Scripture teaches that He is within every believer and He is “upon” those who are “baptized in the Holy Spirit”. The distinction is that He is in every born again child of God to mature the character of Christ and also will come upon those who seek and receive by faith His empowerment to mature the ministry of Christ through us.

Calling on God to save us and accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord brings Holy Spirit into our “hearts”, our innermost being. Asking Jesus to baptize (immerse) us in the Holy Spirit is what releases power or ability from heaven to do the work assigned to us by God.

Thus, it is possible to be a church-going believer but not be baptized in the Holy Spirit. In Acts chapter 8 we see that those believers who had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit were prayed over and the Holy Spirit who was already in them also came upon them. 

There are three features to be aware of in the vast difference of Holy Spirit’s presence and ministry before Jesus ascended and after He ascended. When He returned to heaven, He birthed the church and a new day of grace was opened. Thereafter:

  1. The gift of the Holy Spirit is personal. He is not an influence on your life; not a manifestation in your life. He is a distinct Person of the Godhead who seeks to come to each individual in a personal way. The new birth is the reception of the distinct Second Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is distinctly the reception of the Third Person. (Since Jesus is the baptizer here, one needs Him first.) These are each specific transactions between a person and God.
  2. The gift of the Holy Spirit is indwelling. Before Jesus returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit would sometimes come ‘upon’ them and ‘move’ them but He was always a visitor. Since Jesus ascended, Holy Spirit comes to dwell within and to exercise control of the entire personality from that position which is described in Scripture as the heart.
  3. The gift is permanent. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would abide with them forever. Therefore, the Holy Spirit couldn’t be given for two reasons. First, while Christ was here He was the personal representative of the Godhead. Only when Jesus left earth, would Holy Spirit replace Him as the personal representative of the Godhead. Second, the gift, and therefore the claim to the Holy Spirit, rests upon Christ’s death and resurrection. It is not a gift given on merit, but solely on the basis of the atonement, the saving work of Jesus finished on earth and consummated in heaven.

Gal. 3:13-14 Christ has 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”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

Christ’s redemptive purpose was so that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us, that blessing being that we might receive “the promise of the spirit through faith.” Take note of the three facts brought out in this passage:

  1. It is only by redemption. Jesus purchased us, having secured the legal right to bestow the Spirit. It is by faith and therefore of grace and not by works or personal merit. We simply believe in what He has done.
  2. It is by promise. The promise is to you!

Lk. 24:49  “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” 

Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 

3. The promise and the blessing of Abraham are linked in Galatians as one. Recall in Gen. 15, God made a covenant with Abraham. That covenant was sealed by the blood of animals and its follow-up was Ishmael, son of Abraham’s flesh. But in Gen. 17, God speaks of an everlasting covenant and seals it with the blood of a man by circumcision. Its follow-up was Isaac, son of God’s promise. 

The original covenant was not identified by any particular time period, while the second was everlasting. The first covenant was to Abram while the second was to Abraham, a name change God made by inserting the Hebrew letter ‘heh’ (the breath) into the center of Abram’s being.

The promise was to the seed of Abraham. Paul explained that this was specifically Christ who died on a cross. The cross alone, however, did not, in and of itself, consummate God’s redemptive act. It is true that the Lord had provided Himself, a lamb for the sacrifice. It is true that the Lamb of God was enough. It is true that in the shedding of blood there is remission of sins, complete forgiveness… but the blood has to be applied.

Heb. 9:11-12 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 

Heb. 12:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 

This is the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus’ blood must be sprinkled. Abel’s blood was left on earth. Christ’s entered into heaven. Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance; Christ’s for pardon. The Holy Spirit could not be given until this blood was sprinkled. He does not come due to your merit. He is given on the basis of Christ’s perfect redemption. Thereafter, the Holy Spirit is given as God’s personal testimony that court is out and man is freed by the blood. The giving of the Holy Spirit is the joint testimony of Father and Son that you are clean forever.

Christ purchased your redemption, your salvation, on earth through His death and resurrection. He then ascended to heaven, presented His blood, received the promise of the Spirit and as Peter says, Acts 2:33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”

Thus, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all instrumental in this greatest of all gifts starting on the Day of Pentecost. From God’s point of view, “It is finished.” Every man who will ask can receive this gift. That is called grace.

Let’s remember Gal. 3:14, ‘through faith’ we receive the promise of the Spirit.

Gal. 3:2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 

Gal. 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 

These verses underscore that it is never our works of human effort that receives from God; it is always simply believing by faith. That’s the reception of grace. However, faith can never be seen apart from obedience. This applies to receiving the Holy Spirit and to all that is of grace. In other words, if it is tied to redemption, it is automatically by grace through faith. 

Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” 

There are six things scripture introduces as needed for reception of the Holy Spirit. From Acts 2:38, first of all, repent; second, be baptized.

The third is from John 7:37-39, already quoted, “If any man thirst, let him drink.” (Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”) The point is, if you don’t thirst for the Holy Spirit you won’t drink. Drinking is voluntarily internalizing a thing. In other words, the ‘good’ person who is sound in all his doings but who doesn’t drink won’t receive this gift. On the other hand, the unsound person who does thirst for this gift can receive it. You may think that isn’t fair but grace can only come through faith.

Fourth, from Luke 11:13, ask. It is an obligation to do so. The attitude, ‘God knows where I live; if He wants to save me, He is bigger than I am’ is wrong.

In John. 7:37 we saw drinking. Now, fifth is receiving. To drink is to satisfy thirst. I am satisfied when I drink but I get thirsty again and therefore drink again. The verb tense of Ephesians 5:18, “be filled with the Spirit,” is continuous present tense, which equates to ‘be being filled’ at all times. Thus, we are to be receiving regularly.

Sixth, according to Romans 6:13, is yielding. Surrender yourselves and your bodily members. This is total and unconditional. It is one thing to submit the will and another to give over the body. It is one thing to submit to God in rational service and another to offer one’s body. This surrender is progressive, starting as an act of will in fully yielded to the service of God, and then growing in that attitude of surrender until our body and its members is a testimony to the good, more acceptable, and perfect will of God. Thus, we must ‘be being filled with the Holy Spirit.’

Some, indeed, receive the gift without following these six steps. They are under the sovereign hand of God. However, if the sovereignty of God has not done this in your life, the obedience of faith will. Romans 4:16 says the promise is guaranteed through faith. I urge you then, to submit today to the desire of the Lord to pour out this gift. Repent, be baptized, drink, ask, receive, and yield.

Things to Remember on New Year's Day - January 2021

Things to Remember On New Year’s Day 

Each year major news outlets put out pictorial sections recalling people and events that made news during the previous year. Many also include articles predicting what they expect to see in the years ahead. In the past, a few of these have been amazingly accurate. Others couldn’t have been more wrong.

For example, in 1967, experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours, and that we would work only 27 weeks a year. One of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time…

That certainly missed the mark! Most of us are overly busy! We’re always in a hurry: walk fast, talk fast, eat fast and say, "Excuse me. I’ve got to run."

We’ve come to 2021. I wonder how we’ll do this year. Will we be as busy? Will we make any better use of our time? In 365 days, when the year is over, will we be looking back with joy or regret? Will we look at the future with anticipation or with dread?

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Some important lessons to consider:

First of all, be very careful how you live because your time on earth is limited. 

Psalm 39:4 4 “Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.

Psalm 90:10-12 10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

70 or 80 years sounds like a long time to the young… but not to the senior population! It is all rather relative. Example: for teenagers in love, talking together in the car an hour or two seems like a blink of an eye; for Mom and Dad worrying about what’s going on in that car, it seems like an eternity.

The Psalmist tells us to number our days so that we will develop a heart of wisdom. So if we average life to be 75 years and you are 60 now, you have about 5,479 days left… But you don’t have a guarantee of even one! The Bible tells us not to count on tomorrow because it may not come. All we have is right now. 

So, our time on this earth is valuable because it is very limited. Secondly, Paul tells us that we must make "the most of every opportunity." and he gives a reason, "because the days are evil."

Colossians 4:5 5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

Satan is a robber and a thief. One of the things he tries to rob is our time because it is so precious. Just think of the time wasted in sinning: in bars; in gambling casinos; or in shallow affairs. Think of the time wasted in gossiping or spreading rumors. Think about all the time wasted worrying about and attempting to dodge the consequences of our sins. 

But it is not just sin that makes demands on our time. Sometimes even good things can make demands. Jesus went to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and started to teach. Mary was sitting at His feet soaking in every word. Meanwhile, Martha was busy preparing dinner. She complained and… 

Luke 10:41-42 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

She was so preoccupied with what she was doing she didn’t realize that God was in her living room. That’s the same mistake you and I easily make. We get so caught up in the here and now that we fail to deal with eternal things. (Tyranny of the Urgent) 

1. We’re overloaded with commitments: to go here and there; to take part in this activity and that social function…

2. We’re overloaded with possessions: our closets are full; our garages are overflowing. We’ve gone into debt to pay for all of these things that we "simply must have." Then we’re so afraid that someone will steal them. 

3. We have an overload in the area of work: get up early, fight traffic, and tolerate miserable working conditions because we have to pay for all those possessions… 

4. There is also an information overload… we can’t possibly absorb it all. 

There are so many demands on our time - so many good things that need to be done. But there are just so many hours in this year. We want to make the most of every opportunity, so what are we to do? Paul tells us, " not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."

What do you think God’s will is for you in this New Year? Do you think He wants your mind so saturated with worries and anxieties that you can’t think spiritual thoughts? Do you think He wants your calendar so crowded that you don’t have time for the important things? What do you think God’s will is for you this year? 

Let me make a couple of suggestions: 

1. First, establish your priorities.  I’m assuming you believe God should be a part of your life. However, you have to decide just what part He holds in your life. So ask yourself, "Who or what is most important in my life?" 

I’m hoping your answer will be, "My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is most important to me." If so, then put that at the top of your priorities and say:

"This will affect my decisions, my scheduling, my relationship with others, and my whole outlook on life. Therefore, when Sunday rolls around, neither rain nor shine nor football kickoffs will interfere with my being in church because He comes first in my life. I will worship the Lord and nothing will interfere with that."

2. You also need to schedule some definite time each day to pray and to read His Word. Pray for yourself, your family and for people around you. Pray for the church, and for our missionaries. Sometimes they are so alone and so far away. You’ll never know how much your prayers will mean to them. 

3. You must also spend time with your family. Every husband ought to have a special time with his wife to get away and have nothing else to do. No beepers, no telephones, and no interruptions so you can just be together. 

Spend time with your children, too. They grow up fast. Precious moments don’t last. Don’t let them get away. Make sure your family is very high on your priority list.

4. Most of you have to work. Christians ought to be good workers. When someone hires a Christian, they ought to know they’re getting someone who will give them an honest day’s work. We have a responsibility to honor Jesus even in the marketplace.

First of all, establish your priorities; then, learn how to live in today. Two barriers to this are regrets for things we did in the past and anxiety about what will happen to us in the future. Too many are living either in the past or in the future and can’t enjoy the present. 

Matthew 6:25 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:32-34 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Another year has come and gone. A new year stretches before us. Help us Lord, to redeem the time. 

What to Remember On New Year’s Day.

Exodus 12:2 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

At the time of the Exodus, the people of God were about to experience a New Year’s Day like no other, so significant that it would begin their new calendar. Every time a new year would come, they would be reminded of what had happened when God delivered them from bondage.

We can compare this to our Christian experience: 

1. We need to remember who we are:

We are God’s redeemed people - delivered from bondage. Theirs was physical slavery; ours was spiritual enslavement to Satan. God came down and delivered us… did not leave us in suffering and despair. Moses was sent to Israel as their Deliverer; God sent Christ to deliver us from darkness so that we could walk in His marvelous light.

They had no power to deliver themselves; neither do we. God had to send a savior to lead us out of bondage into the marvelous liberty of the children of God.

Each family was told to take a lamb without blemish and slaughter it. They were to take the blood of the lamb and sprinkle it upon the two side posts and upper door post where they would eat it. It was to be roasted with fire. They were to eat it with their loins girded, with shoes on their feet and a staff in their hand…in haste… leaving Egypt behind! 

2. God wants us to remember what he has done for us:

He promised that when He saw the blood, He would PASS OVER them and deliver them from death. By the blood of Jesus, we are redeemed. Apart from that blood we would perish with the rest of the world when judgment falls.

Our redemption is in the blood of Christ. The perfect Lamb of God gave Himself for us that we might be saved. Nothing but the blood can cleanse us and rescue us from the wrath of Almighty God against sin and unbelief.

Remembering was to be a perpetual ordinance for them. That New Year’s Eve was a night like no other! There would not be one house where there was not dead among the unredeemed… yet not one death in any house covered by the blood! 

3. The Lord wanted them to share what he had done for them with their children. 

They were to engrave it into their lives. God was their God and they were His redeemed people set free to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

4. God wanted them to live a new life in a new land.

After that awe-filled night they would go out, with God’s Presence, from the land of darkness and death toward a new land flowing with milk and honey. Only doubt and disobedience would delay their entrance. 

God wants us to live a full life this year… and receive His promises. We can ask forgiveness for mistakes of the past and walk with Him, trusting in going where He leads.


During the New Year may you have enough happiness to keep you sweet… 

…enough trials to keep you strong… and enough hope to keep you happy… 

…enough success to keep you eager and enough failure to keep you humble… 

…enough friends to give you comfort… 

…enough wealth to meet your needs and to help others… 

...enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow… 

…and enough determination to make each day better than the day before…

What do you think God’s will is for you this year? 

How to Know You Are in God's Will – December 2020

How to Know You Are in God’s Will

Psalm 37:1-5 1 "A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” {Commit is once; trust is ongoing; delight is the launchpad}

Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his


Nothing is more important in life than finding and doing the will of God. Success is: finding His will, following it, and finishing it with “well done, good and faithful servant”. God’s will for your life is you, walking in the steps that God has ordered for your life:

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Doing God’s will brings joy, contentment, and fulfillment. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of God” and “Man does not live by bread alone…”. We live in dark days, but God wants us to walk in the light; it stands to reason that He wants to reveal His will.

Proverbs 3:5-6 5” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

We get ourselves out of His way in submission.

Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you continually. {Trust is ongoing; This is the way; walk ye therein}”

Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. {He can see further ahead; a Father’s look exchanged with his child…}”

Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

There are pre-requisites to being in God’s will; you don’t wander into it. You have to want it and seek it diligently (Heb. 11:6; “When you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me.”) 

It’s not the world’s way of “Follow your heart” or “Let your conscience be your guide”. The Bible says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked and your conscience may be seared with a hot iron.

Pre-requisites to finding God’s will include key things by which you can know you are walking in God’s will.

A Godly, pure lifestyle: the steps of a “good” man (Psalm 37:23) are ordered by the Lord is a principle throughout this psalm (vv. 3, 8-9, 16-18, 27, 29-31, 34, 37-40). “A Good Man” does not mean perfect, but nowhere does the Bible promise guidance to a believer with known sin in their life. (If I regard iniquity in my heart…)

Who we are is more important than what we do…and where we are (physical location). We divide God’s personal will for me (my direction) from His moral will (His general directions). It’s impossible to find His personal will for you if you’re rebelling to His moral will for you.

Standing with God is based on Who we are not what we do: “I never knew you…depart.” 

His moral will is spelled out in: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” which means being set apart by God for God.” 

His personal will for you will elude you until you get holiness nailed down. Some will go to the grave, never having let God do spiritual surgery on their life after salvation. 

You can’t find God’s personal will for you if you harbor sin or live in rebellion. We must acknowledge His Lordship over every area of life. This is not sinless perfection or that we never stumble and fall…but that we have no sin we’ve grown comfortable with – nurturing it or harboring it - no habitual sin we are not struggling against. 

Are we doing the basics: tithing – morality – purity – faithfulness – forgiveness? Are my priorities mine or His: pride – dedication – service – attitude – bitterness –

gossip – prejudice - study - daily devotions – lust - bad friends and wrong associations? Is the direction of my life more loving of God and neighbor?

God does not reveal His will to us for us to just consider but when He knows we are willing to obey. Why would He if you are already violating His moral will? Why if you’ve purposefully avoided doing what He’s told you to do already? Cross the first bridge and He’ll show you the next. Go back to the point of departure to rediscover His path for your life.

The “steps of a good man” being ordered by the Lord assumes you are obeying in the moral will of God. Then He will show you His personal will. To be in God’s will 15 years from now, be sure to be in His will 15 minutes from now.  

Romans 12 teaches that if we are to prove (experientially show forth) the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, we must: 1) Be not conformed to this world; and 2) Be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

1st pre-requisite is a godly, pure life. The 2nd is a yielded heart. Ps 37:5 To yield means to surrender; submit to the control of another; hand over possession. The Bible clearly teaches we are not our own; God is the owner. We can’t insist on our way without bringing sorrow upon ourselves – the rich young ruler went away sad.

Are you willing to hand over control of your life to God and do whatever He wants? Have you handed God a blank check of your life for Him to fill in? Do you trust Him enough to do that? Ps. 37:3, 5 = trust is the issue. Any trouble giving Him control is because you don’t trust Him enough which is because you don’t know Him enough.  

Trust takes time and experience. If a stranger asks you to give them $20 saying, “Just trust me” do you have good reason to trust him...but if your best friend asks for $20…?

As we know Him, we come to love Him; as we love Him, we come to trust Him; as we trust Him, we come to obey Him; and as we obey Him, we are blessed by Him.

Ps. 37:4 When we delight ourselves in the Lord, our will is conformed to His…He merges His will and our desires…transforms our desires… and then gives us our desires. Paul went places “because he had a mind to go” just as Jesus knew He “must needs go by way of Samaria” because God had a woman there waiting to save a town! 

There are three spiritual habits that Christians have built into their lives if they are delighting in the Lord. These are essential to knowing the will of God:

1.   God leads through His Word.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

A big part of knowing God’s will is discerning whether the “peace” you feel is from what you want or what God wants. Only His Word can divide soul from spirit, so, delight yourself in the Lord and the Word. The Word is spirit and is life.

Appreciate the Word - recognize it as the love letter it is / inspired / infallible / powerful. 

Appropriate the Word - truths do you no good if not received. Some appreciate the Bible as literature but not with willingness to be changed/touched/operated on.

Apply the Word - it does the Work of God only in those who apply it. Faith without corresponding works is dead.

  • Jesus told Peter to walk on the water but Peter had to get out of boat.
  • The lame man was told to take up his bed and walk – had he not obeyed…
  • Joshua could have gone around the walls of Jericho one time…
  • Israel could have skipped the blood on the doorposts but then the death angel… 

You’ll never know God’s will until you appreciate, appropriate, and apply His Word.  

2. God leads through prayer: If we will be still, we will hear His still small voice in our hearts. It is not just talking at God but talking with God.

Acts 8:29 “Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

Nehemiah 7:5 5 “Then my God put it into my heart…” 

3. God leads through preaching: Never underestimate the eternal value of any particular church service. Many times, folks allow themselves to be diverted from a life-change God had planned for them. Take advantage of recordings or the web ministry. 

Preaching is supernatural. God speaks through a man despite the man. God always makes His Word relevant and never has it return void; He works it in every listening heart as it gets delivered by the Spirit.

Psalm 37:4-5 4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” {Commit is once; trust is ongoing}

Don’t be found saying, “I’m guilty of making major decisions without really taking God’s will into serious consideration…seeking the face of God.” Rather, let it be, “There’s a major decision looming and I want to find and do God’s will, whatever it is”.

Colossians 1:9-11 9 “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.”

That is success!

Household Salvation – November 2020

Household Salvation 

Luke 19:1-9 1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him,

Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.

There was no Hebrew or Greek word for family. By metonymy, “oikos” or house stands for family in the most comprehensive manner. We might say, “The White House said…” 1 Tim 3 says elders must rule their house well; Lk. speaks of a house divided; Mt. teaches that demons seek to return to their house. All refer to a family.

“Today, salvation has come to this house” as a Principle of Faith:

1 Corinthians 7:14 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified {hag-ee-ad-zo} by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified {hag-ee-ad-zo} by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy {hag-ee-os}.

One is enough for God to consecrate all (set apart to Him). The OT example:

Genesis 7:1 1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Hebrews 11:7 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

God “consecrates” our family but we prepare for their saving and escape. We are moved by reverence for God, not by sight: Noah never saw rain; Joshua never heard a trumpet blast demolish a city wall. God gives the “pattern”. We hear and obey.

Genesis 9:8-10 8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.

The Lord wants to save all that you gather. NT examples:

Peter recounts the saving of the Gentiles:

Acts 11:13-15 13 And he (Cornelius) told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

Acts 10:2 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

Acts 10:24 24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.

Oikos: family, friends, neighbors (as in Exo 12, “a lamb for a house…including our neighbors).

Acts 10:44 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

Acts 16:14-15 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Acts 18:7-8 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

Acts 16:24-25 24 Having received such a charge, he (the jailer) put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

God inhabits (is enthroned on) the praises of His people. That is, His governance or throne is brought to bear.

Acts 16:26-31 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

God will spare no expense to save. Get your entire family saved. Then (v.32):

Acts 16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. {Promote the word of the Lord.}

Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. {Then, bring them into the waters of new birth.}

Acts 16:34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. {Then, bring them into fellowship with the assembly of the brethren.} 

By faith Noah brought all his oikos into covenant with God who makes covenant with a household and with their “Seed”. So did all these others… and Abraham:

Genesis 17:1-2 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

Genesis 17:7 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

Genesis 17:9-14 9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

God “consecrates” our family but we are to prepare for their saving and escape.

Exodus 4:20, 24-25 20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand… 24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 

God makes covenant with a household and their “Seed”. Like Moses and these others, however, we must do our part in preparing them for God’s salvation and covenant.

Prayer foundation:

Joshua 24:15 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Jonathan Edwards’ Righteous Legacy (versus Max Jukes from the same years)

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. ~Deuteronomy 30:19

An investigation was made of 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, of which 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States Senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one Vice-President of the United States, 80 public officials in other capacities, 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries. Jonathan Edwards' descendants did not cost the state a penny. 

Max Jukes: Born 1700 — An atheist, who married an immoral woman that dabbled in the occult. Of their 1200 descendants, 310 were professional vagrants and died paupers; 440 wrecked their lives through debauchery; 130 went to jail, 7 for murder, average sentence, 13 years; more than 600 became alcoholics; 60 were habitual thieves; 190 became public prostitutes; and only 20 became tradesmen, 10 of whom learned their trade in prison. The Jukes descendancy cost NY State $1,250,000.

A Season of Fasting - for 40 Days of Hearing from God (October 2020)


America is at a point of great risk and has no real hope apart from the mercy of God. The amount of prayer reaching heaven today is higher than I have ever seen it because the future of our nation is bleaker than ever. Thus, recognition in the church has turned to 2 Chronicles 7:14 like never before.

This is understanding that it is God’s people who must repent before God will move to heal the land. To assist in prayer, Scripture teaches us to fast in order to accelerate our drawing nearer to God and having Him draw near to us. That is why we are entering into a corporate fast at this season.

Fasting is simply a physical expression of our spiritual hunger and our longing for God. Before we can fast though, it is essential to get a vision for it. Why do we fast? What is our pursuit? What do we gain by fasting? 

Without a vision, fasting will become something to be done only occasionally. Instead, we want to institute it as a normal part of our weekly routine. Fasting is more than a suggestion; it is a discipline to become intricately woven into our lifestyle of prayer. 

In the Book of Joel – Chapters 1 and 2 – the Lord is directing a fast.  turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart …” (vs. 12) – “Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil …” (vs. 13) – “Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast – a day of restraint and humility; call a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation…” (Vs.15-16).

Fasting is a time to set aside where we do without “something”, which is generally difficult for us.  The “something” can be food or anything that comes between us and God like an idol or that takes up unnecessary time from our relationship with Him. It is a time for arresting the desires of the flesh and for taking on a spirit of humility.

Typically, fasting is about the giving up of food. If it is a food-fast – it might be to take liquids only; it can be to fast one or two meals per day with liquids in between or it might be that just specific foods are eliminated for the period of fasting. 

In this day and age there are many things that can place a wedge between us and our God. If not food, fasting can be about putting down hobbies, games, TV, Internet, or any other thing that demands more attention of us than spending time with the Lord. Only the Holy Spirit knows what the best fast is for each of us. Ask Him, recognizing that whatever He might call you to fast, the grace to carry us through comes from Him. 

Fasting is not only about putting down something; it is also about picking up. It is a time to replace the time that was usually filled by eating, surfing the net, etc. with reading of the Word, praying, quiet time with the Lord, or perhaps serving Him in a new capacity.

oel 2 goes on to tell us that when the people fasted, repented, and prayed in sincerity of heart “Then was the Lord jealous for His land and had pity on His people.”(vs.18) The Lord speaks to the land and says, “Fear not …” to the beasts of the field, “Be not afraid …” to the people He says, “Be glad … I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten – And you shall know that I the Lord am your God and there is none else.”(Vs. 18-27)

The Three Most Common Food Fasts Are: 

  • Water – this fast is often supplemented with tea  
  • Juice – A juice fast is 100% juice of fruits and vegetables. V8 heated up, with a few spices is a good change of pace in this fast. Remember to not choose only acidic juices, such as orange and tomato. The lining of your stomach will appreciate the apple juice as well.  
  • Daniel fast – The Daniel fast is often done as ‘no meats, no sweets’. But, in reading Daniel 1, many people will choose to do this fast as only fruits and vegetables and water, i.e. no breads, pastas, milk, meats or sweets. For those with heavy workloads or those who can’t afford to lose any weight, a protein shake fast is recommended. Having a protein shake and occasional vegetables can create a good fast that is easy to sustain for a long period of time. Go ahead and be creative! It all counts in God’s economy.  

Practical Tips on Fasting

Ease into and out of a fast. Many people will try to fast by eating normally, taking one day to fast and then breaking it. It is fine to do this but if you want to establish a lifestyle of fasting, habits have to change in this area. Depending on the length of the fast you choose, ease into a fast by eating only fruits and vegetables for a meal or two before starting and ease out of a fast the same way. 

Exercise. This may seem odd to emphasize, but to truly establish a lifestyle of fasting, a habit of aerobic exercise on the non-fasting days is needed. You will also appreciate exercise because long fasts and a lifestyle of fasting will cause your metabolism to drop. Therefore, exercise is great, because it boosts metabolism. 

Choose healthy foods. If you are doing a water fast, add a bit of lemon or honey to the water for a little healthy boost of energy. Juice fasts: only drink 100% juice; V8 can also be warmed up and drunk like a tomato soup. A green tea is wonderful for your body as you fast, because it helps with the detoxification process. It is also helpful for those who are addicted to caffeine, as green tea is caffeinated. However, it is best to try and break caffeine addictions before fasting. 

Your body will detoxify. Depending on the intensity and length of your fast, your body will switch into detoxification mode, eliminating many poisons and waste products. Because of bad breath, gum and extra teeth brushing sessions are a good idea for the sake of friends. Because of this process, it is essential to drink a lot of water and fluids. You want to flush out your system.

Consult your body. Remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Sustain your body with frequent small ‘meals’. That is, continually sip juice, eat several small meals of vegetables, and so on. Drink a lot of water! Set goals for yourself with how much water you want to drink in a day and carry around a water bottle with you. Getting dehydrated is not a goal with fasting. 

Set Goals. Why are you fasting? What are you going to specifically pray for? Who are you going to pray for? Set Goals for bible reading and study. Maybe you want to read through the New Testament. Challenge yourself and give yourself something to pursue on this fast. Fill up your extra time by spending time with the Lord.  

Get some vision! Search out the scripture, meditate on Matthew 9:14-17, listen to teaching on fasting. Don’t let the lack of vision be an excuse for not fasting. Throw yourself into this lifestyle, create a habit, choose a day of the week and fast.  

If You Faint in the Day of Adversity, Your Strength is Small (Proverbs 24:10) – October 2020

If You Faint In The Day Of Adversity, Your Strength Is Small (Proverbs 24:10)

Adversity comes as hostile or unfavorable conditions. When circumstances loom as mountains or when threat opposes our interest or desires, it feels as if the rug is pulled from under us, or the tide has turned against us. We see the enemy coming in like a flood. At these times, we can’t escape emotional agitation and must see beyond the foreboding and distress, looking to God for strength. 

It helps to know there are four reasons for adversity. Job 5:7 tells us, “Man is born to trouble.” This is general adversity that is inescapable, as with war in the land, cold and heat, recession, etc. These events are neither caused by one’s personal wickedness nor stopped by one’s righteousness. Our fallen world is full of uncertainty and provokes all without respect to age, gender, status, etc.

Secondly, there is adversity God employs for His disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5–8). This is divine training. If we ignore the leading of the Spirit or the more direct word of Scripture, God immediately sends a correcting word (Isaiah 30:21). The wise correct their ways and it is finished. The unwise do not, and we then find that “God troubled them with every adversity” (2 Chronicles 15:6). Jonah, and Abram when he went to Egypt, are examples. God always acts for our good and wants us headed in the right direction: “When we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).


Thirdly, there is adversity for the obedient children of God: “tribulation or persecution arises because of the word” (Matthew 13:21). Satan plots to cut off your fruit. He wants you offended, resentful, angry at God or church, or worn out. Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (KJV says, “if we faint not”).

Lastly, there is adversity for fruitful, faithful servants of God. “A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me” (Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7). Extra-ordinary pressure can follow extraordinary fruitfulness. Paul was constantly attacked, John the Baptist and James were beheaded, Peter was imprisoned, and John was exiled. Satan’s purpose is to compromise you or cause you to quit. To these threats, our response should be as in Nehemiah 6:9 “For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, ‘Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.’ Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.” Peter tells us to resist the devil, “steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:9).

It is imperative that we discern the actual source of adversity. If God is correcting us and we are rebuking Satan, we prolong and compound the difficulty. If Satan is buffeting us and we blame God, or if we repent for “nothing,” we will draw back. If we mistake a “thorn” for divine disapproval, we won’t fully engage the devil in war. Failing to discern the actual reason for the adversity, we can easily get discouraged, back off, and stop running the race. We faint in the day of adversity. 

Habakkuk was about to do that (Chapter 1) when God corrected him (Chapter 2). Then the prophet got it and said, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

There is a future and a hope if we know God is pleased with our intent and actions. We can see beyond circumstances of adversity knowing, as Peter tells us, that these trials are quite normal. No single battle is the war. Unfortunately, we don’t win every battle but we can win the war even before the next battle comes. This is what Jesus was doing in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46), as He fought His war alone and found His victory within. 

We all face struggles; fear and trepidation come to each one, albeit differently: divorce, medical test, financial ruin, or aggression from the ungodly. These things produce uncertainty and discomfort and, like Jesus, we want the disciples around us to be alert and responsive to our deep sorrow and distress. We can feel “exceedingly sorrowful even to death,” but reaching out to the disciples doesn’t always help. In this case, Jesus had to fight alone. In your spiritual battle before the temporal battle you can almost bank on this: Peter will not draw his sword until after the mob forms. 

Jesus won alone; He found God in His decision to obey. We know God will not forsake us and will be there when the bombs begin to fall – but do we remember that in the battle before the battle? Gethsemane was the real war of the inner man, far more important to success with God than Jesus’ war of the outer man at the cross.

You can find God in the decision to obey and walk confidently and courageously into every battle, knowing He will be with you: Psalms 23:4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Even as death looms up and blocks the light, know “You are with me.” 

Win the war first and then face evil with the sure knowledge that God will never leave you or forsake you. Finding God before the battle rages is the key. Find Him in the prelude and win before you start. Meet with and agree with Him; then say in faith, “Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus.” 

Don’t withdraw from the war! In Gethsemane it took three times before Jesus’ obedience was complete (Heb.5:8-9). Don’t be paralyzed into inactivity to witness, minister, or face the next battle. Don’t wait for the doctor’s report, the court summons, the bank notice, or the surprises of the ungodly. Don’t be paralyzed with fear, sorrow or distress. Win now! Fear not, “I Am” is with you on the way to do battle. Make a decision: “I’m going to win now over (name your fear and trepidation, sorrow and distress, or other issue) so that when the temporal battle comes I will already be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. I will do right and trust God with the results.” 

Jesus Came to Build and Destroy - September 2020

Jesus would need to destroy some things if He was going to build something new.

1 John 3:8 8 “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

This word for “destroy” means to loose; dissolve; sever; break; or unravel. It would be like undoing knots in something tied up. As a reference to undoing the devil’s work, this would lay the foundation for the great work of bringing forth a new wineskin to hold new wine.

Matthew 16:18 18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

“Prevail” is the term “kataischuo” which means “strength-against”: Hell is powerless against the church (Heb. 2).

To pursue this theme of destroying and building, let us look at Jeremiah, Chapter 1. There, we find the Call (vv. 4-8), the Consecration and Commission (vv. 9-10), and the Confirmation (vv. 11-12):

Jeremiah 1:4-5 4 “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

This is similar to what Paul says concerning himself and other believers including you.

Galatians 1:15 15 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace…”

Ephesians 1:4-5 4 ”just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…”

Romans 8:29-30 29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

From the womb to now there has been a growth toward what we will be and accomplish. You are a deliberate plan and purpose of God…a chosen instrument of Divine activity!

Jeremiah 1:6 6 “Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

He was terrified by the call, as was seen also in the life of Moses. This is actually typical of all believers at the call of God. But God has a consistent response, whether to Jeremiah or to us.

Jeremiah 1:7 7 “But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak.’

God’s response to our hesitation is always to point out that it isn’t about what we can or cannot do. Let the weak say, “I am strong!” Don’t focus on self saying, “I can’t.” Just do what I say; it is My revelation, My thoughts, not yours! If I send you, I provide the means. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

2 Corinthians 12:10 10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Timothy 1:6-7 6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Jeremiah 1:8 8 ”Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.”

I am with you to deliver you…out of the consequences of My calling. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 

2 Timothy 3:11 11 ”persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.”

Paul said, “With much persecution shall we enter the Kingdom of God”, and “All who would live godly…shall suffer persecution”. Jesus Himself said, “In the world you have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Being an obedient follower of Christ will cause pressure to arise; just do right and trust God!

Jeremiah 1:9 9 “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”

{Consecration for Commission}

“My word in your mouth…” That is, we are to speak the word of God over life. Relating to faith, Paul said, “The word is near you, in your heart and in your mouth” (Rom 10:6-9). When we come to faith in Christ, God touches our mouth. His hand equips, arms, and readies us. Thereafter, we have the authority to bind and loose (MT 16:19).

We become preachers of righteousness.

2 Timothy 4:2 2 "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

Jeremiah 1:10 10 “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

Destroy and build with His words (See Isa 55:10 ff.). God Commissions to be over heathen:

Matthew 28:18-20 18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” {To Destroy}

Jeremiah 1:11-12 11 “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

The almond tree begins to blossom in January when all other trees are still asleep; it is first to awaken to new life. God is saying, “I will bring speedy manifestation to My word in your mouth. I am wakeful and watchful over My word to perform it.

Jesus came to build and destroy. As you have seen with Jeremiah, God calls, consecrates and commissions, and confirms His people, sending them to build and destroy.

Mark 16:15-20 15 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 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.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.“ 

Jesus called them, consecrated and commissioned them and confirmed them as they preached everywhere. Let us go forth in this same way to receive this same confirmation! Amen! 

Keys to Social Transformation - August 2020


Luke 19:10 10 “…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Genesis 1:28 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion…”

We must marry the evangelism mandate (Luke) to the cultural mandate (Genesis). Billy Graham crusades highlight the pastoral dimension of the atonement. The kingdom view recognizes that Jesus did not die to simply get us to heaven but to get us to God who would use us to establish His Kingdom on earth as we exercise the authority He has given us to reconcile the world back to Him. (2 Cor 5:18-20a)

Reconciling the world means we have to take authority in the 7 power centers of culture: Church; Business; Government; Arts and Entertainment; Media; Family; and Education.

The three things that can change society are: violence; knowledge; and wealth. We need to war for the territory, equip the saints for the work, and break the spirit of poverty in the church. It is imperative you understand the nature of the battle is over two dominions.

Matthew 11:12 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

God’s Kingdom advances through violent spiritual conflict. Jesus’ reference to John equates to the confrontation of Elijah, a violent opposition to human status quo. The context of Mt. 11:12 is, entry transcends the “softness” of religious formalism and exceeds the pretension of child’s play. It refuses to “dance to the music” of society’s expectation that we provide either entertainment or dead traditionalism.

Jesus defined the “violence” of His kingdom’s expansion by: “sword” and “fire.”

Matthew 10:34 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

Luke 12:49-52 49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided…”

Kingdom is a violent tearing / division… It is not physical (John 18:36), that is, it is not political provocation or armed advance. The upheaval is the result of God’s order as He shakes relationships, households, cities, and nations by entrance of Holy Spirit’s power.

Jesus launched this kingdom when he proclaimed it was “at hand!”

Luke 16:16 16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”

Word note: Biazo means, “to press violently or force one’s way.” Mt. 11 uses passive voice but here, middle voice means men force their way past all antagonistic efforts to prevent entrance. (Middle voice means you do it for yourself or it doesn’t get done.)


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

This is true of all local expressions of Christ: individuals, churches or organizations. Prophetic Alignment: times will be increasingly difficult; we can join forces proactively now to advance the kingdom and overcome or we can wait to react by joining together – but it will then be for survival rather than advancement.

Paul said, “For we are laborers together with God” 4903 [sunergeo /soon·erg·eh·o/] verb. 5 occurrences: “work with,” “help with,” “workers together” and “work together.” = partner in labor; to put forth power together with and thereby assist. 4904 [sunergos /soon·er·gos/] adj; 13 occurrences: “fellowlaborer,” “helper,” “fellow-helper,” “fellow-workers,” “workfellow,” “laborer together with,” “companion in labor.”

Compare “synergist” and “synergism.” From sun, “together,” ergeo, “to work”; hence, to cooperate, help, collaborate, co-labor. One person cannot be all things to all people. One church cannot be all things to any community. We often overly focus on individual victories rather than corporate challenges.

Networking, partnering and cooperating are not natural activities for the American Church. Collaboration requires initiative, resolve, and commitment. It also requires much humility in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and of mutual submission to one another. 

Nine Challenges to Synergistic Work:

1. The Challenge of the Failure to Practice Spiritual Unity: Paul urged believers to make every effort to "maintain the unity of the Spirit." His basic assumption was that spiritual unity in the Church should be the norm. He assumed that we who follow Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit should be inclined to it: he stated, there is ONE Body and ONE Spirit and ONE Lord and ONE faith and ONE baptism and ONE GOD and Father "who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV)

2. The Challenge of a Spirit of Independence/Individualism: One manifestation of sin is separation from God and from one another. One of the provisions of our covenant is to bring us back in close fellowship with God and with one another as brothers and sisters. The concept of the Body communicates the importance of every member living in vital dependence on the Head and in vital interdependence with one another.

The independent church movement is an expression of this challenge. In the Biblical sense, the term "independent church" is an oxymoron. 

3. The Challenge of Turf/Control: This is both internal and external. The internal question of who is in control in a local church is an area of major conflict and division. Externally, leaders often see their communities as the turf they control and look at others as competitors, inferior or irrelevant.

4. The Challenge of Personal Kingdom Building: Some leaders are highly gifted, visionary, entrepreneurs who are focused and literally consumed with what they are doing. They have ignored or not understood how the Lord has designed His Body to function… I believe most are not aware of the sin they are committing.

5. The Challenge of Cultural/Racial Divisions: Our nation and communities have been deeply divided. Many ethnic denominations or churches have been so deeply wounded, they have turned inward and become self-sufficient. Others are angry and want no part of a "white man's" coalition. In contrast, many Caucasian and traditional churches haven’t taken necessary steps towards repentance of racial sins and forgiveness and reconciliation.

Class-consciousness can also be a problem. Example, those involved in "high church" (Presbyterianism as an example) often look down at those of non-liturgical churches (Pentecostals) as the "lower class."

6. The Challenge of Denominational/Theological Divisions: Key to authentic spiritual unity is the presence and ministry of Holy Spirit. Yet, no doctrine seems to separate the Church more. There are still great divides between traditional evangelicals, classic Pentecostals, Charismatics and, most recently, the "New Apostolic Movement."

Another major area of division in many church and denominational circles is that of the role of women in the Church. This can constitute a major barrier to collaborative efforts.

7. The Challenge of Reconciliation Issues/Right Relationships: Without exception, the most common, consistent obstacle to unity is that of broken and/or fractured relationships that require reconciliation and the restoration of right relationships before any kind of collaboration in ministry can take place.

8. The Challenge of the Immediate vs. Long Term: Most so-called unity takes place around a short-term program or a special event (e.g., Billy Graham Crusade). This is good but insufficient because, when special events/programs end, “unity” quickly fades. Evangelicalism has too often failed to think long term synergism.

9. The Challenge of Separationalism: A segment of the church does not believe in cooperative works. They separate from any and all Christians and churches that do not agree with their minutest detail of doctrine. These churches overemphasize secondary issues and judge those who have not separated from liberals even though this includes some committed Evangelicals who have sensed the calling of God to remain. 

Holy Spirit must be central. We must stop quenching the Spirit of God. Pray that post Covid-19 will bring forth a transformed regional church that will work together for a transformed society.

God Wants Men to Restore Families – July 2020

Because Father’s Day comes this month, I am moved to exhort men to rise up as the champion of the family and savior (small “s”) of the home.

The city of God had walls broken down and the gates burned, but God raised up Nehemiah to restore things. In chapter 1, he trusted God; 2, acted on his faith; 3, loved God through obedience; 4, committed to family; 5, restored justice in financial matters; 6, shows authoritative prayer leads to the walls being fully restored; 7, registration of people is established; 8, the law of God is remembered by “True sons” who repent. 

Then, in chapter 9 he brought a second remembrance of God’s intervention on behalf of His people despite their sin. This concludes with…

Neh. 9:36-10:1 36 “Here we are, servants today! And the land that You gave to our fathers, To eat its fruit and its bounty, Here we are, servants in it! 37 And it yields much increase to the kings You have set over us, Because of our sins; Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle At their pleasure; And we are in great distress. 38 “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.”

10:1 Now those who placed their seal on the document were: Nehemiah the governor…and the priests, the Levites, all their brethren, the leaders, and…

Neh. 10:28-29 28Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding—29these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law…

Note that whole families were involved but that it started with the FATHERS! Men are the domestic head of the household, starting with the marriage.

1 Cor. 11:3 3But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

This is not a position of superiority, but of leading - as with a runner who needs both legs equally, yet has a leading step. The Lord gives this role of head of the home to men and extends it throughout the household to the children. In church leadership, this is the proving ground for an elder:

1 Tim. 3:4-5 4one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)

Fathers keep the home from wrong and direct it to right. The role cannot be reduced to provider and disciplinarian. Fatherhood is the centrality of God’s design for family. The question is, “If your wife is not fruitful and flourishing under your headship, who else would want to be discipled by you?”

More than half of U.S. children suffer from Father absence. Thirty-four percent have no Father in the house and at least 25% have a present but non-functioning Father. 

Divorce and out-of-wedlock births are the main contributors to fatherless families. One-third of all U.S. births occur without Fathers and 90% of teen births are Moms only. 

More than 1/5 of the age group from 20-35 are currently co-habiting. Three-fourths of their children will see a split before their 16th birthday.

There is no substitute for Fathers. Without them, poverty is 5x more likely, teen pregnancy skyrockets, child abuse and neglect rise, school achievement plummets and drop-out soars. Seventy-two percent of NJ criminal offenders come from homes without an intact marriage. 

To affect solution to these huge problems, Big Government steps in with social agencies and pushes hard for control of the family from the womb to the tomb! We don’t need more government provision… we need more headship (Fatherhood)! These are perilous times… but God will intervene.

Mal. 4:6 6 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.”

We need more divinely instituted Headship…and it starts with your wife.

Eph. 5:23 23For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

God has given you men the ultimate responsibility to see that the family is strong. All fatherhood and family originates in Him and derives from Him.

Eph. 3:15 15from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…

God is a Tower, a Shield, a Buckler, a Strong City, a Wall of Defense…and what the Word says about God is a calling to every Father and Husband. 

American men are trained NOT TO BE nurturing but to be earners and productive. They are taught to build the body while ignoring the soul and spirit. They are conformed to the image of Hollywood, Schwarzenegger, and Rambo rather than to the Image of Christ. The result is that America has the most violent homes on earth…a reflection of its headship. 

Ephesians 5 is about laying one’s life down! We choose that or it is a curse in the land (Mal. 4:6). 

It’s time to build on the solid foundation of Christ in obedience to the Word (1 Cor 3:11; Mt 7:24).

Ezek. 13:4-5 4O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord.

Ezek. 13:10-15 10“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar11say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. 12Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’” 13Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. 14So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

15“Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it…”

Untempered mortar is a white paste or plaster giving the appearance of beauty and stability. But God wants a real wall of defense against the enemy’s siege. He doesn’t want foxes who make their home in the ruins…but repairers of the breach! It is time for Heads of households to get to the battle!

Isa. 58:12 12 Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

Isa. 60:18 18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

It is time to build those walls and hang those gates: trust, activate your faith, obey the call, commit to family wholeness and use the authority of headship God has given you.

Raise your level of commitment to family and to your headship and you will have cause to rejoice!

Neh. 12:31a So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs…

Neh. 12:40-43 40So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; 41and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director. 43Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

May there be great joy in your home as you and God, together, restore the walls and gates!

Hope Draws Near – June 2020

Abraham believed that God who promised (was willing) would perform what He had promised (was able). The verb tenses of faith and hope are often ignored to the frustration of the power of the gospel. Ignorance of them is like pulling on an endless rope that is not sure and steadfast – not anchored on the other end. 

God, Himself is the object of faith. His promises are the object of hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. So, find the promise of God (Hope) and trust Him to perform it (Faith). Look at Abraham as the prototype for your “Walk by faith”:

Romans 4:17-18 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Past tense is faith (“I have made you…”) stated as fully accomplished. Future tense is hope (“So shall your descendants…”). Hope sees what cannot yet be seen by natural senses. It is a firm expectation. It and faith are both in God (His Person and His word). 

Abraham’s position was, “contrary to hope, in hope, believed.” Natural hope won’t work but we need hope as the starting point for change. Thus, we require a change agent – who is God. Hope is what you are looking for but faith is who you are looking to. God’s promises (your Hope) are all Yes and Amen in Jesus (your Faith).

Hebrews 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Hope draws us near to God – faith enters in… (in hope we believe)

Romans 5:1-2 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

So, faith won’t go into the Presence (Throne Zone) until we draw near. Therefore:

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

He is willing and able. Keep the thermostat high to keep the furnace burning… You need substance given to your hope so keep the hope without wavering. Hold it fast!

Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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.

Jesus is High Priest and reason for our hope and our entrance before the throne.

Hebrews 3:1-6 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Moses was faithful in God’s house but the Son is faithful over the house (us) if we hold fast our confession of hope. Jesus as Apostle is “Sent” by our confession:

John 14:12-14 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Let us go back to Abraham as the example to imitate:

Hebrews 6:11-12 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Remember, “…whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” Don’t let the devil trick you into thinking your faith failed. Imitate Abraham who “in hope, believed.” He held on with patience to his hope, all the while putting his faith in God. Patience is just one more minute…

Hebrews 6:13-18 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Notice that it is in fleeing for refuge that we must seize the hope. Notice also:

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

That is, you can’t see where your hope is anchored (veil) but you can feel it is sure and steadfast. You need that hope as an anchor until:

1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

This is all tied to Jesus (Author and Finisher - who fills all in all). “The Forerunner.”

Hebrews 6:20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The picture is we’re in a storm (life) and seek refuge (God and His salvation). He lays a hope out to us to lay hold of (energetically seize) to anchor our soul so that we are not wavering, tossed to and fro, or shipwrecked.  

This hope is anchored in the Presence of God behind the veil (the part we cannot see) where Jesus has already entered as the Forerunner.

Hebrews 10:19-23 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

It is this hope by which we draw near, because Jesus has consecrated or set apart this way into Father’s Presence. Remember, we read that in 7:19

Heb 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Jesus is the surety just as the rope is:

Heb 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

“Forerunner” is a nautical term. It refers to one who would voluntarily lay out their life on behalf of their shipmates when the fog (VEIL) was too dense to allow for safe passage into a harbor (REFUGE). He would swim between the rocks and perils while carrying a rope to shore where he would make it sure and steadfast (anchor).

The Forerunner is gone but the rope (Hope) offers you connection to Him and His work. He has made it to refuge and anchored the rope to a great weight. As you pull on the rope, you draw near to the safe harbor. Even though you can’t see the end, you can feel it IF you pull! This is the strong encouragement if you hold fast… 

Amen! As long as you believe the Forerunner is out there on the other side of your need, you know how to find grace and help. Keep the rope taut or you get tossed to and fro by every wind. Pull or you have no substance or evidence of your hope.

Jesus has gone on our behalf and we are secured to the very throne of God, immovable. If you pull and keep on pulling, you draw nearer and nearer…

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

That is, your hope and faith are in God. Pulling on an unanchored rope won’t help – having an anchored rope without you pulling is no help!

1) Have you fled for refuge? If you can see what you’re anchored to, it isn’t taking you into the Presence (Holy of Holies).

2) Have you seized the hope (Rope) that is set before you? It is your escape and refuge.

2 Peter 1:2-4 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The Militancy of Prayer – May 2020

Mat 16:18-19 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus pledged to build His church and authorize it to operate above hell’s ability to impede its growth or the establishment of His ever-expanding Kingdom.

AMP Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros--a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].

This is an awesome authority (as opposed to power…). That is, church members are not more powerful than Satan but they hold the authority to negate his power. We can’t match his power but we can nullify it. This is necessary because:

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It was prophesied that there would be those who would take up this fight of faith:

Isa 28:5-6 In that day {v.16 when Messiah comes} the LORD of hosts will be For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty To the remnant of His people, {6} For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

This is literal, applicative, and prophetic. The Lord of Hosts works with a remnant to give strength in battle. Gates = seats of power… Be strengthened = be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might… The Greek word for power here is “kratos” meaning ruling power. The Great commission authorizes you to speak and act in His name, out of His position as Lord.

Satan has armies but not once does the NT say call on God. “Resist him”… Give the devil no ground… Cast out demons in my name… Be sober, be vigilant, your adversary the devil prowls… seeking whom he may devour… We wrestle… Fight the good fight…

You are privileged to “turn back the battle at the gate” and receive that crown of glory and beauty but it doesn’t simply happen. You need to pursue it earnestly.

Mat 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

AMP Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

Being zealous with the authority you have been granted will get huge results. Jesus said:

John 14:14 “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

The word “ask” here is not a polite request as in John 16 where we are told to beseech the Father. This Greek word means to demand. Obviously, we cannot demand anything from heaven – but we can use the authority we have been given and make demands on the kingdom of darkness.

This is God’s people living out, “Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.”

1 John 3:8 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Destroy is “unravel” which equates to undoing the works of the devil over time. Each generation works with the Lord in their time to see His kingdom reach more and more people. That authority He gave us is mentioned in His Great Commission: 

Mat 28:18-19 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {19} Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

You have the authority and keys to bind and loose:

1) Prayer Key

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

2) Fasting Key

Isa 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

One example of this kind of authority is seen in the pagan King Cyrus. And, if God can do this with a pagan, how much more can He do this with His church!

Isa 45:1-8 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held; To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: {2} ‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. {3} I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. {4} For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. {5} I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, {6} That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; {7} I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ {8} Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.”

See:  v.1 Subdue, loose armor (i.e., strip), throw open double doors so gates won’t be shut.

v.2 Jesus did it (went first to open the bronze and iron obstacles)

v.3 Treasures of darkness = SOULS

v.8 Heaven’s outpouring of righteousness bringing forth salvation

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” {Behold = be held by}

AMP Luke 10:17- 24 17The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name! 18And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. 19Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.

   21In that same hour He rejoiced and gloried in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught). Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will and choice and good pleasure.

   22All things have been given over into My power by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is except the Father, or Who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son may choose to reveal and make Him known. 23Then turning to His disciples, He said privately, Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those whose eyes see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see and they did not see it, and to hear what you hear and they did not hear it.

This is a war I cannot lose! A spiritual war I fight for the souls of men, commissioned by God, Himself! Fight for your family and friends, your neighbors and your nation!

It’s time to subdue nations, loose the armor of kings and turn back the battle at the gates. It’s time to harvest treasures out of darkness and see Heaven’s outpouring of righteousness bringing forth salvation!

A Response To The Call – April 2020

It is helpful to observe the responses of some of those whom God called to spiritual leadership in both the Old and New Testaments. The following verses will reveal some responses. Read each passage and record each individual’s response to God’s call.

Abraham’s response:

Genesis 12:1–5 1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 

Isaiah’s response:

Isaiah 6:8–9 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” 9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 

Moses’ response:

Exodus 3:1–11 1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 

Exodus 3:1313 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 

Exodus 4:1 1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ” 

Exodus 4:13 13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” 

Exodus 4:18 18 So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 

Saul of Tarsus’s response: 

Acts 9:1–20 1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. 20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. 

Having observed the responses of Abraham, Isaiah, Moses, and Saul of Tarsus to the call of God, write down the following: 

Ways in which their responses differ. 

Ways in which their responses were similar. 

If willingness and obedience are requisite traits for spiritual leadership, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the greatest response) how would you rate Abraham__, Moses__, Isaiah __, and Saul of Tarsus__?

Overcoming Reluctance

As you have discovered, Isaiah and Saul of Tarsus seemed to have no problem in immediately 

obeying God’s call. But that was not the case with Moses. His first responses to the call to spiritual leadership were ones of reluctance and excuses. In the following verses list the excuses Moses gave and the ways God responded to them.

Exodus 3

Moses’ Excuses

God’s Responses

vv. 11, 12

vv. 13, 14

Exodus 4

vv. 1–9

vv. 10–12

vv. 13, 14

The Hebrew words translated “I will certainly be with you” in Exodus 3:12 are identical to those translated “I AM” in verse 14. When God promised Moses that He would be with him, the inference was that He would be a protector and sustainer of His people.

God preferred to be known by the name “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14) among His people Israel. The name is an expression of His character. He is the dependable and faithful God who is worthy of the full trust of His people. 

God patiently dealt with Moses until his fifth and final expression of reluctance, and then He became angry, “So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses” (Ex. 4:14). Although the Lord is slow to anger (Ex. 34:6), He does not withhold His anger from His disobedient children forever. However, God’s grace toward Moses (Ex. 33:12–16) was greater than His anger toward him, for it was by His grace that God dealt with Moses’ reluctance to obey. He assured Moses that He would be with him to enable him to succeed in the great task to which he was called. With that assurance Moses set out, with staff in hand, to do what God had commanded him to do. At last he was obedient to the call.

Write down any reluctances you may be struggling with that would hinder you from answering the call of God upon your life for spiritual leadership. Next, list steps you plan to take in dealing with your reluctances.

My Reluctances

Steps I Plan to Take to

Resolve My Reluctances

If you wish, share these reluctances and ways of dealing with them with a friend. Ask for his or her prayers that you may be freed from those reluctances to stand firmly and respond faithfully to God’s call.

God Has A Business – March 2020

 Father is in the business of changed lives:

Luke 2:49 49And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

John 9:4 4I must work the works of Him who sent Me...

Jesus was busy with His Father’s purposes and plan and, before leaving, He said:

John 20:21 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

During His teaching, Jesus often touched on the subject of our service to God:

Luke 19:12- 26 12Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

15“And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

20“Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

24“And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25(But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

Be assured, you are called into the family business to produce for God.

2 Cor. 3:5-6 5Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Rom. 12:3 3For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Eph. 4:7 7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

2 Cor. 5:18 18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

2 Cor. 5:20 20Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Eph. 2:10 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Acts 1:8 8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1 John 2:27 27But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you,...

1 Pet. 4:10 10As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Cor. 12:7 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

1 Cor. 12:18 18But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.)

The family business has too many consumers and not enough producers:

1 Cor. 4:2 2Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Cor. 15:58 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

What profit can we bring to God? Since it is God who makes us sufficient for the work, supplies both the grace and the faith, gives us the ministry, anoints, empowers, and gifts us for it, we must discover what those works are for which He created us (Eph. 2:10). He expects us to walk in them.

For that reason, ponder on the following scriptures and seek the Lord about your calling and God-ordained path of ministry:

Isaiah 48:17 17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 6 In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

Proverbs 16:3 3 Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

Finally, ask Father what He expects you to do…

James 1:5 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Proverbs 15:22 22 Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.

…and just do it! You can ask your pastors or mentors for guidance.

Excuses Must Leave – February 2020


When things don’t go our way, our subconscious minds offer up excuses. We try to pin our failures and bad habits on factors outside our control - our genes... our upbringing… our busy schedules...our bad luck. We never really accept personal blame.

Escaping blame might make us feel better for a moment, but soon we start to accept our excuses as truths about who we are, what we are capable of and how the world works. Once this happens, excuses become mental viruses, limiting what we can accomplish.

Seven Ways To Eliminate Excuses

1)Remove all labels. When we define ourselves with a word or two, we place limits on what we can achieve. Labeling ourselves “fat” gives us an excuse for not losing weight... labeling ourselves “big spenders” gives us an excuse for not saving.

Stop accepting labels that you place on yourself and that are placed on you by others - even if you have lived with these labels your whole life.

Strategy: When a label is placed on you - by yourself or someone else - repeat the affirmation “I am capable of accomplishing anything I place my attention upon.”

Example: A daughter labeled herself “unathletic” when she was a child and used this as an excuse to avoid physical activities. Years later, she made a conscious decision to remove this label and now enjoys exercise.

2)Converse with your subconscious mind. Excuses such as “That’s just the way I am” or “That’s how I was raised” are rooted in the assumption that we cannot alter subconscious behaviors. But we can change subconscious behaviors - if we become more conscious of them.

Strategy: Treat the part of you that encourages the behavior that you would like to change as if it were a separate entity. Imagine that it has a physical form. Have conversations with it. Explain to it that you know it’s accustomed to being in control, but now you have taken charge.

Example: When the little creature inside you that loves sugar encourages you to drink soda or eat dessert, tell it that you’re now in charge and that you’ve decided to reduce your sugar intake.

3) Practice mindfulness. Do you think you have a poor memory and forget everything from appointments to where you left your car keys?Forgetfulness is really just an excuse to justify not keeping track of our schedule and our possessions.

Strategy: Keep your conscious mind focused on where you are and what you’re doing at this moment, and your forgetfulness will disappear.

Example: When you enter your house, remind yourself to notice your car keys in your hand. Feel the keys’ shape in your palm and listen to the jingling sound they make. Pay attention as you place the keys in the spot that you have selected for them.

4)Commit to overcoming inertia.Our excuses tell us that it’s okay if we fail to achieve what we set out to do today. We’ll do it tomorrow... maybe.Our excuses tell us it’s okay to stay with what’s safe; trying something different could be difficult and risky. Left unchecked, these excuses will prevent us from ever reaching our goals.

Strategy: Have conversations with yourself about the person you intend to become and what you’re willing to do to bring this about. Next, write out a contract with yourself summarizing what you’ve agreed to do.and the schedule on which you’ve agreed to do

it. Review this contract every day.

Example: Before you start a new project, write a contract with yourself detailing how much work you’re going to do each day and when you’re going to do it. The written agreement helps you recollect that you are in the process of redefining yourself.

5)Harness the power of affirmations. What we think helps shape what we become. When we think in excuses, we believe our excuses and stop believing that we can succeed. Use your thoughts to shape your life in more useful ways instead.

Strategy: When you catch yourself making an excuse, replace it with an affirmation - a positive statement about what you are. . .what is available to you... or what you will become.

Affirmations include “Whatever I need is already here”, and “It is all for my highest good” and “I deserve health, happiness and success”.

Example; If you want more love in your life, cut yourself off when you start to think of excuses such as, “I’m not attractive enough to find a partner” and replace them with affirmations such as, “I deserve to find love”.

6)Live in a supportive universe.If you see the world as an unfriendly place, you will have a handy excuse for any failure - something will always seem to stand in your way. Instead, see the universe as helpful.

Strategy: Remind yourself frequently that the universe is trying to help you achieve your goals. Soon people and events will stop conspiring against you and start conspiring to assist you.

Example: In an unfriendly universe, if your car breaks down, the 100 motorists who don’t stop to help are proof that the world is out to get you. If your car breaks down in a supportive universe, the 101st driver who does stop is evidence that the universe is on your side.This attitude will keep you in a state of contentment and peace instead of anxiety. It also enables you to attract the right people into your life.

7)Don’t complain, and don’t explain.Complaints and explanations are key allies of excuse makers.When we complain, we place blame on someone or something else for our problems.When we explain ourselves, we get drawn into arguments about our actions and beliefs, and then use excuses to defend our positions.

Strategy: Explain your decisions only when they directly affect other people. Decisions about your own life are not anyone else’s business.They need to be explained only to yourself.

Example: Some of your goals will sound strange to others and you can find yourself making excuses when trying to explain them - and those excuses affect how you view your goals. Share your goals with only a few people you trust deeply. 

Accessing the Grace God Offers – January 2020

Accessing the Grace God Offers

Either you stand for something or you fall for anything. You must take a stand! How do we do that?

Ephesians 6:10-14 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

1 Corinthians 15:1 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

1 Corinthians 16:13 13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

Galatians 5:1 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Philippians 1:27 27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

You take a stand by taking up God’s armaments, not yours. You stand “in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

Where do I take this stand and how?

Romans 5:1-2 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

“Access” is ability or permission to approach or enter (e.g., Come boldly to the throne of grace”). Access is the way or means of approach (e.g., “I am the Way”, “I am the Door… he who enters will be saved, go in and out and find pasture”; “No one comes to the Father except by Me”).

Chapters 1-4 of Romans led up to this statement of access to grace by faith: Ch. 1 showed men are under condemnation; Ch. 2 showed both Jew and Gentile; Ch. 3 showed there is no escape through personal merit but there is pardon by grace made known by the gospel of Christ; Ch. 4 showed that you receive this grace by believing, which is no new method but the same way David and Abraham were accepted by God.

David and Abraham were accepted by God as righteous, not by deeds, but by faith. Let us follow this line of thought through Romans 4 and 5.

Romans 4:25 25 who {Jesus} was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

The verse speaks of two separate issues of cause and effect: our sin caused His death; His resurrection caused our righteousness.

Romans 5:3-11 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Romans 5:18-21 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:17 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Neither David nor Abraham would have reigned in the natural. Neither can you.

The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit.

The natural man (Jn. 8) is a child of the devil (has his nature).

The natural man is at enmity with God and under wrath.

But the spiritual man reigns…has been made royalty. He receives the things of the Spirit, is now a child of God and has access by faith to unfathomable grace and, therefore, rejoices in God.

David and Abraham believed and it was accounted as righteousness. They received the free gift! That’s how we pass from the natural man through the door to Grace

Romans 4:13-21 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

The word “sure” above means guaranteed; God has promised and performs His promise!

Be fully convinced!

Receive the free gift of righteousness!

Receive the abundance of grace - Death no longer reigns. Grace does!

Take a stand by faith and step into unlimited Grace!