The Anointing Brings Life!

the-risen-christ“And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” – Exodus‬ ‭30:30‬ ‭

Through out scripture, when God chose someone to be set apart for His service (such as a King or priest), He would signify this importation of power and authority by anointing them with oil. This, of course, was only an outward showing for a stirring of faith of the Spiritual importation taking place that men could not physically see. You see, the oil represented the Holy Spirit, and the anointing of it expressed God’s choice to lay His Holy Spirit upon a particular person that they might be empowered to do His work through the power of the Holy Spirit. We know this because when David sinned against God, he cried in repentance and begged God saying, “take not thy Holy Spirit from me“. For he had seen God remove the power of the Holy Spirit from Saul’s life, stripping him of the anointing.

Old Testament or New, no man or woman in the true service of God ever walked in their own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the anointing. When God calls someone, and they humble themselves to His call, He then equips them to do the work that He has called them to do. This “equipping” is “the anointing“. It is the power of the Holy Spirit backing up God’s will and words through His chosen vessel. Man may (for pride or envy) try to steal other men’s callings, but no man can steal the anointing. For the anointing is the power of God that breaks yokes, brings life, and bares fruit.

We see an undeniable example of this in Numbers chapter 17 in the account of Aaron’s rod. You see God had chosen Moses a prophet to lead the people to promise. He also chose his brother Aaron to become the people’s high priest and the son’s of Aaron to be priest of the tabernacle. As stated in our opening passage, He signified this with “the anointing” of these individuals.

Yet the people (overtaken with envy, rebellion, and pride) murmured against them. “What makes you so holy? We are just as worthy to lead as you?” They complained, though they were not, for God knows and judges the heart and chooses those who esteem His will above their own. These people wanted their way and Moses was simply relaying God’s way, therefor their hatred of Moses’s way actually reflected a hatred of God’s way. So God reacted to put a stop to this great sin before it brought more death into the camp. After all, if we have learned anything from the garden of Eden through out all of scripture, it’s that following mans will/intellect always leads to death. While seeking and obeying God’s leads to life. Hence the two trees in the garden of Eden, the tree of life (faith or trusting what God says) and the tree of knowledge (self or trusting what one thinks). One leads to life and the other to death.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭

So while God had given His plan, the people wanted to institute their own which would have brought a curse upon them as it did for Adam and Eve, and for all who do the same. So God instructed Moses to take a rod (wooden staff) from the head of each family, write their family name on it and lay it in the tabernacle so that God Himself could show who He had chosen by His own power. The next morning they return to find that Aaron’s rod, once dead, had come back to life! It had budded, produced blossoms, and even bare almonds! While all the others remained dead sticks.

Therefore, God Himself proved His approval of Aaron through the life giving, fruit baring power of His anointing, which is the power of the Holy Spirit. Many may claim to be worthy, many may even carry a rod or title (even the magicians of Egypt did so), and can talk the talk and put on a show but only the anointed of God are backed up by the power of God which is the anointing and only the anointing breaks the yoke.

You see, a rod represents power and authority. However, power from any other source then from the Holy Spirit is a dead stick. You can beat something with it but it can only bring more death. It will never produce life or bring forth fruit. So as we look at God’s perfect plan verses those men’s plan encompassed in that wooden staff of life and those dead sticks, we come back to the garden and those two old trees. One of life and one of death. Choose ye this day. Choose Christ, the very embodiment of obedience to God, so much so that He was called “the Word made flesh“. Obedience to the Word, Aaron’s dead rod brought back to life, the very tree of life, it is all encompassed in that one word that is, “Christ“. Which means: “The Anointed One“.  The Anointing Brings Life.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.” – Numbers‬ ‭17:10‬ ‭

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation‬ ‭12:10-11‬ ‭

The Gift Of God

bowing-down“Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?” – John‬ ‭4:9-11‬

‭ When Jesus came to the woman of Samaria and asked for a drink, she was surprised for two reasons. For one she was a gentile and also she was a woman. This was a double portion of lowliness, so to speak. Therefor, she was baffled that He would even choose to speak with her at all. Yet, Jesus’s reply reveals something very interesting about what was about to come.

Jesus tells the woman that if she knew about the gift that God was going to give to the world through Him, then she would ask Him for it and He would give it to her. This is important in several ways. First of all, this “gift of God” that Jesus referred to which would come as a river of living water from within, was the Holy Spirit.

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” – John‬ ‭7:37-39‬

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

‭ Now that we understand that Jesus was talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the next important thing we can glean from this is that you have to ask for it. Jesus told this woman and many others, “if you ask Me“.

However, one of the most astonishing things that Jesus reveals through this exchange is the very thing that caught this woman by surprise (as it would catch the world by surprise and still does today) is this: The fact that she was both a Samarian and a woman, the lowest of the low, yet Jesus Himself says that if she ask, He would give this great gift of God to her.

In Acts 1:8 we read that the power of the Holy Spirit is given to make us witnesses for Jesus. To empower us to spread the gospel and testify of Jesus. So for this gift to be offered by Jesus to a woman of Samaria was very surprising. Yet after her conversation with Him she did just that. She ran to town and told all the people about this Jesus and brought them to His feet!

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” – Acts‬ ‭2:14-18‬

‭ Through this great Gift of God, given for all generations to whomsoever would humble themselves, repent, believe, and ask for it, all the week, meek, and lowly are filled and empowered by the Spirit of God to do His work and will. Therefore, their limitations no longer matter because it is God’s limitless power working through them. Male, female, young, old, weak, strong, feeble, whole, it doesn’t matter anymore because it is the power of this gift of God, His own Spirit, working through us that does it, and not we ourselves, (though we must submit to it).

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” – Luke‬ ‭24:49

‬ ‭ “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” – Acts‬ ‭1:7-9

‬ ‭ Lastly, the woman ask Jesus a question. She says that this well is deep, how then will He draw this water up. Well, for Jesus the water flowed from His side when he humbled Himself unto the obedience of the cross and was pierced for our transgressions. However, for us it flows when we humble ourselves before God in prayer, fasting, worship, adoration, and obedience.

“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” – Acts‬ ‭1:13-14‬

‭ “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭

Spiritual Wartime vs Peacetime : Avoiding The Complacency Trap

CoveredbyCloudMany times it may feel like we are at peace in our walk with very light afflictions, burdens, sufferings etc. During this time we may as well receive a multitude of physical and spiritual blessings, prosperity, loved ones doing well, no one in your circle is in some major sin or in need of a dire healing or miracle, economy isn’t all that bad, your local church is doing well and you or your loved ones aren’t experiencing any major attack of the enemy. This is where everybody is OK. This is known as a ” Peacetime” season. This may be the reality for you. Or even worse (as many Christians do and I for one am one of them) MANY times we trick our minds (mostly in American culture) into believing this; “I’m OK, so you’re OK.” Which can lead to spiritual complacency.

God showed me this while explaining what a (US) military personnel does in a Peacetime scenario. “They hone both their combat and MOS skills, they train for war so they are still prepared for war. The military must be able to leap into action immediately, so their training focuses around this fact.” 

The truth is, we must treat our walk as if we are “ALWAYS” in Wartime scenario because truthfully, we ALWAYS are! If we are stuck for too long in our carefree complacency and then the storms of life suddenly come we can find ourselves standing in sinking sand headed for catastrophic peril. Jesus warns us in Matthew 24:43 “If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

It is also important to note prior to Jesus being arrested in the garden he found his disciples sleeping several times and the moment he was arrested Peter wrongfully cuts off a soldier’s ear. Many times we tend to REACT like this when a crisis happens rather than having a PROACTIVE consistent readiness in our walk with Christ.

Some key scriptures about spiritual warfare:

“He teaches my hands to war” -Psalm 144

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” – 2 Cor 10:4

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.Ephesians 6:10-12

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” – 2nd Tim 4:2

And my favorite!… “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” – Matthew 11:12

Submitted by @ Jason Kennedy

Legalism vs Obedience

img_5061There is (and always has been) from its founding, a conundrum within the church. The disobedient call obedience legalistic, while the obedient call disobedience the same. At first glance it can be hard to decipher one from the other and even harder to decipher which one is true. So allow me, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, to clarify this issue with a simple definition. If you hold this truth in your heart and mind you will always know the difference between obedience and legalism, and that is this:

Legalism is actions taken to please men

Obedience is actions taken to please God

The same action can for one be legalism and for an other obedience. For example, fasting. If a person, church, or denomination mandates a fast and people fast to please that person, church, or denomination knowing they will be looked poorly upon if they do not, then it is legalism. However, if God tells someone, or even a group of someones, to fast then they are simply being obedient. In fact they are actually expressing their faith through their obedience and faith is the opposite of legalism.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬

So let’s break it down even further. If dead works are works preformed without faith, then dead works are simply works preformed that one never heard directly from God on. After all, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). They might have heard from themselves, or from a doctrine or tradition of men, or from a pastor, or a friend but if they didn’t personally hear from God then it is a dead work. However, if you hear from God, either through His written word or personal revelation in the secret place of the most high (prayer), then you’d better obey, no matter what men say. For the word says that those who know what they should do and do not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts‬ ‭5:27-29‬

‭In summery, faith is rooted in obedience to what God says, despite what men say. While legalism is rooted in obedience to what men say, despite what God says.

“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” – Mark‬ ‭7:6-9‬ ‭

Again, the simple truth on this matter is this: legalism is when your heart is concerned with pleasing men. Obedience is when your heart is concerned with pleasing God. Please God, not men. Seek, pray, listen, and obey; no matter what the traditions of men say.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge (submit to) him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-7‬ ‭

When God Chooses You

esther“And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.” – Haggai‬ ‭2:22-23‬ ‭

All through scripture we see examples of God doing great things for those He has “chosen“. We see these individuals that are “chosen by God”, we see the close personal relationship He has with them, all the ways He defends them, and the many miracles He performs, seemingly on their behalf.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭

To the “average joe” or new Christian, this may seem unfair. Why has God chosen this person and not me? Why do I see God manifesting on their behalf and not for me? Why does He always defend them and not me? Well, I’ll tell you a secret. It’s not that they are chosen and you are not, it’s simply that they are walking in obedience to the plan that God has chosen for them and perhaps, as of yet, you are not.

The truth is that we are all chosen for something. God has a plan for every life laid out before they were even formed. This is the essence of what the bible refers to as “predestination”. It is the destiny that God has prepared for your life. However, it is up to you rather you choose to walk in that destiny or not.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:19‬

‭The bible is full of examples of people who chose not to walk in the destiny (or plan) God had for them. Esau was one such man, who for a bowl of stew gave up his birth right, his destiny. He chose to indulge the desires of the flesh whether then trust in God, and therefor forfeited all that God had planned for him.

An other great example of this is Saul. At the beginning of his kingship we see God telling Saul His great plans for him, coupled with His great provision, protection, and favor, for God had chosen him. Yet by the end of his reign, we see him rejected by God and stripped of everything, his kingdom, his favor, his blessings, and even his protection as he is killed while trying to commit suicide. All because he detoured from God’s perfect plan and trusted his own plans more then God’s.

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” – Psalms‬ ‭18:30‬ ‭

You see, we look at those whom we can see the favor of God shining in their lives and think, “I wish I was chosen of God like them“. I’m here to tell you that, of a truth, you are! God chose them to walk out a certain destiny (or plan) laid out from the foundations of the world, that’s true. However, He has chosen you to walk out a certain destiny (or plan) as well! You cannot walk in their plan and they can not walk in yours, for we are many members of the same body, jointly fit together, acting as a whole to accomplish the will of God!

Stop pursuing someone else’s destiny, stop trying to create your own, and start walking in the one that God has created you for from the foundations of the world! Then and only then will you see Him move in your life to defend that plan, to empower that plan, and to favor that plan. You see it’s not that person that God is preforming miracles for, it’s His plan which they are walking out. It’s not that person (par say) that He is defending, it’s His plan that He is defending. It’s really not even that person He is favoring over you, it’s His plan that He is favoring over yours. So in short, God chooses the people that choose His plan!

When you choose to put your trust in God’s plan, God Himself will show up in impossible ways to help you walk out the destiny that He has planned for your life, but will not for the one you imagine for yourself. The good news is that the one He planned for you is far better then the one you imagine yourself. The sad news is that so very few choose to lay down their own plans and trust God’s enough to ever come to see that. So they that don’t, envy those that do, while blaming God and destiny for what is really up to you.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (God), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬

‭ “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” – Isaiah‬ ‭43:3-4‬ ‭

Strangers & Pilgrims [part 2]

enlight15

“[7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” -Philippians 3:7-8 (KJV)

(Today is the second edition of a “part one” written previously. If you haven’t read that one, I would encourage you to start with that one first. Click here to read that one.)

I find it blatantly interesting & theologically appropriate that the apostle Paul chose the word “dung” to describe “all things” compared to winning Christ.

As a born again Christian that I’ve been most of my life (childhood, teen, young adult, etc.), I’ve found that this is one of the hardest focuses to maintain. Don’t misunderstand me, you know this truth if you have been radically saved by faith in Jesus; I’m referring to an unwavering, continual path of consistent mental dedication living every single day as though EVERYTHING else outside of Jesus is truly, “dung.” Let’s look at what the original text of the New Testament defined it as:

Dung: Original Greek Word “σκύβαλον” | Transliterated Word: “skubalon” | Phonetic Spelling (pronunciation): “skoo’-bal-on” which means, “any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs of things worthless and even detestable.”

I want you to see what I’m seeing this morning.  Two parts: Not just worthless, but even detestable, meaning even undesirable!  That’s a tough one there! Many things I know I have put “sweat, blood, and tears” into, I realize I don’t need to. If anything, I shouldn’t, especially if those things become idolatrous. (putting anything above the Lord). It’s ok to work to provide meals and shelter for you and your family, of course. What the issue can be is pursuit of no satisfaction putting everything monetary above our spiritual needs of maturity in the Lord, and personal growth.

Remember: The Lord has never seen the righteous forsaken (Psalm 37:25) We all have the same amount of time in every day; just 24 hours. We need to examine our daily time investment portfolio. In it’s assessment, what percentage of that time is invested into eternity?

When we put so much stress and anxiety over the littlest things on this life, I want us to start seeing our lives here on earth the same way Paul did: Nothing is of real value compared to Jesus. Our parking spots my get taken, our plans might be rescheduled or even canceled, we might not get that promotion at work, we might even have tragic loss of monetary things, but we have to be encouraged and remember that none of this will even be a glimmer of thought 100 years from now. (See Romans 8:28)The fist part to this message I described us born-again believers as “renters” temporarily living in this earth knowing the Bible tells us this is not our home.

John 15:19 – “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

John 17:16 – “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

1 John 2:15 – Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Today, ask the Lord to help you see our lives here for what it really is.  If we know the Word says that we will all be judged by our works, (Romans 2:6, Matthew 16:27, Ecclesiastes 35:19) then we really should have a re-shift of priorities. In eternity, it will not be whether we got that two-story house, or the in-ground pool, sports car, etc., but what will be known about you is whether you put Jesus FIRST IN ALL things or not.

As Christians, we truly are strangers here, so let us stop worrying about “fitting in”

As Christians, we truly are pilgrims here, so let us remember we are just “passing though”

Lord I pray for all who are reading this that know in their heart that if they put half as much effort in their walk with you as they do other goals or obligations, they’d have a much stronger walk with you. Teach us all daily this important truth. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!!!!  [Watch this video, and listen to the powerful message in it]

Come To The River

Are-You-Really-Born-Again-400x300“And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” – Isaiah‬ ‭12:1-3‬

What beautifully prophetic words spoken by the prophet Isaiah that were echoed many times by Jesus Christ. For example, to the woman at the well when He told her, “but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John‬ ‭4:14‬)

Later Jesus would speak this forth again, only with much greater clarification as His death and resurrection neared. In these passages in John chapter 7 we see with all clarity that He was speaking of the promise of the Holy Spirit which was to come after His return to the Father.

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” – John‬ ‭7:37-39‬

Acts chapter 1 verse 8 tells us that the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to make us witnesses to all the world, while before this great gift was given, all the world had to come to the temple in Jerusalem to be cleansed. This is because of the law of transference. You see, in the Old Testament when something clean touched something unclean, the clean thing became unclean. Like a priest touching a dead body, or a clean person touching a leper. Often if a sinful thing touched a holy thing, the sinful thing died. For example, if a sinful or unclean priest interred the Holy of Holies, he died like the man who touched the Holy Ark of the Covenant when it began to fall from the cart.

However, when Jesus came and the Holy Spirit rested upon Him, He being Holy began touching unclean things like lepers, and sinners, and instead of Him, being clean, becoming unclean, the unclean being touched by the clean became clean. This same amazing thing began happening through the disciples and apostles after they received power from on High through the in filling of the Holy Spirit of God after Jesus’s resurrection on the day of Pentecost, as promised. This was a new thing that allowed the followers of Christ to become witnesses to all the world because it allowed the cleansing power of God’s Holiness to leave the physical temple in Jerusalem, and go into all the world!

This was foreseen by the prophet Ezekiel and is recorded in chapter 47 of the book that bares his name. He describes a vision of water flowing out of the temple that grows into a mighty river which cleanses and heals all that it touches. This takes us back to Jesus’s promise of a river of living water that is the Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus’s atoning Blood, we ourselves can be cleansed and our very bodies can become the temple of the Holy Spirit that God’s Holiness could flow out from, starting in Jerusalem and go forth, bringing healing to all the world.

“Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭47:8-9‬

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew‬ ‭4:19

Do you remember how in The old testament when a sinful thing touched a holy thing the sinful thing died? That still happens. When our sinful man truly believes on Christ and cries out to be touched by His Holy Blood, we die. Our flesh, our sin nature, our old self dies, but the Holy Spirit of God lives on forever through us and we become a new creature in Christ. Dead to who we were, buried with Christ through baptism, and resurrected with Christ in newness of life through the power of the Holy Ghost! Not only are we made clean, given a new Spirit unto eternal life, and granted sonship, but we are also empowered to then go out and be a witness that others who are now unclean might be made clean through the flowing of that mighty river of living water that is the Holy Spirit of God, made available to us through faith by the atoning power of the Blood of Jesus Christ! Now that is something to praise God about!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭36:25-27

“And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” – Isaiah‬ ‭12:4-6‬

God Sends Miracles To Validate The Message

0bcdc23f205742664f5166df15eb8ee4“And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” – Luke‬ ‭5:19-25‬

Scripture is clear that faith is required for salvation. We must believe that God is God, that He loves us and wants to save us, and that He is able to save us, in order for Him to save us. Jesus is the miracle that validates the message of God’s love and desire to see us saved. While the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead are miracles sent to validate the message that He is powerful enough to save you.

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.” – Acts‬ ‭8:5-6‬

‭ The power to do miracles comes only by way of the Holy Spirit and scripture is clear that the Holy Spirit speaks not of it’s self but glorifies Jesus. Jesus Himself tells us in Acts chapter 1 verse 8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Therefor, we see the purpose and the function by which this power is received.

So how to we receive this power? First we must repent of our sins, believe on Jesus and be saved (Acts 2:38). Then we must ask Jesus to send us the Holy Spirit (John 4:10), Jesus then petitions God for us (John 14:16), God sends the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2), we then receive power for one purpose only, to be a witness of Jesus Christ. This is why the man with palsy was healed, as well those Philip preached Christ to.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” – John‬ ‭16:13-14

‬“He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” – John‬ ‭7:18‬

Though there are many counterfeits in the world seeking self glory, the Holy Spirit manifest to validate the deity and message of Christ alone, and to Glorify the love and saving power of Jesus only. Anything else will grieve the Holy Spirit and he will depart.

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (or hate), and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” – James‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭

“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:19-22‬

‭“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:30‬

‭The reason so few see the true power of the Holy Spirit is because: 1) they are not fully persuaded that God is able to do what He has promised to do even if He has to raise someone from the dead to do it, 2) the Holy Spirit only glorifies God and will not operate with power through those who’s heart’s desire to steal God’s glory for themselves, and 3) they are not preaching Christ, but an other Jesus.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Galatians‬ ‭1:6-12

‬The Holy Spirit of God only performs miracles to validate the message, the message is Jesus, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. Therefore if you don’t believe the entirety of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations for exactly what it says, then you don’t believe Jesus, and if you’re not preaching it then you’re not preaching Jesus, which grieves the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to explain away the words of the bible and start preaching and believing them and God will move in miraculous ways to prove and validate them. Forget what you’ve been told, forget what you think you know, read what God says, and choose to believe.

“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” – Romans‬ ‭4:19-25‬ ‭

The Ministry Of Helps, A Ministry Of Legacy

3-ways-to-determine-if-you-are-a-giver-or-a-taker-in-ministry012714“And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.” – Philippians‬ ‭4:3‬

‭ Jesus tells us that the least in the kingdoms of this world will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps of all the offices laid out in scripture, the one we might consider “the least” is the Office of the Ministry of Helps.

“Yet I believe that God sees it as one of the greatest. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:28‬

‭The Prophet may be the mouth piece of God, the evangelist His feet, the pastor His heart, and the teacher His mind, but the ministry of helps are His hands and without the hands the mouth, feet, heart, and mind can get little to nothing accomplished. For this cause, great are the rewards in heaven for those willing to faithfully and humbly answer this unsung calling.

However their rewards are not only in the life to come. Very often they are seen in a very real way here. We see this exemplified in the widow woman that God called to help the prophet Elijah. God had a plan that had been set in motion for generations and He had called Elijah to walk part of that plan into reality, yet in order for that to happen, he needed help. Therefor, God called the widow to help. How do we know that this was her God ordained calling? Because God told Elijah that she was meant to help him before she even knew herself that she would. In her mind she was just a starving widow, but in God’s mind she was an integral part of God’s story and plan. She was invaluable to it all because the whole of the story could not have been without her part in it.

She was faithful to help the prophet, she was faithful to feed the prophet, and she was faithful to bring the prophet comfort. Therefore, God was faithful to feed her by miraculously multiplying the food in her storage jars through the time of drought. He was faithful to help her in all her times of need, and He was faithful to bring her comfort when her son died by bringing him back to life.

When I look back over my families 50 years of ministry, it’s those faithful servants, those unwavering hands of help that stand out to me the most. Many came and went seeking stages, titles, and positions; few of whom’s names are even remembered. However, those who did the greatest and most lasting work in the hearts of the generations that followed them had no title, just humble faithfulness, yet their names and faces are forever engraved on my heart. Always willing to help, to serve, to be an example of humility, faithfulness, steadfastness, and always willing to help advance the will of God in whatever big or little way they could. Hardly seen in their own lives and mind, yet rejoiced over in eternity. These are they that will be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven in my opinion.

“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” – Mark‬ ‭10:44‬

‭ You see, God rewards those who serve Him with specific crowns for specific works of obedience. The Prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. The pastor will receive a pastor’s reward. The teacher will receive a teacher’s reward. The evangelist will receive an evangelist’s reward. The apostle will receive an apostles reward. But the one that helped the apostle, the prophet, the pastor, the evangelist, and the teacher, will receive the rewards of all. Therefore, he who is least among men will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and he that is a servant of all will be the greatest of all. Choose to serve.

“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:40-42‬ ‭

Strangers & Pilgrims

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” – 1 Peter 2:11

This morning in my prayer time, I wept bitterly like a baby. If you’ve been saved by His grace, regenerated by His Holy Spirit, set established on the Rock of Jesus Christ, delivered from your sin, … You know it. You remember when His power and love hit you like a ton of bricks. Even the most hardened, stubborn, non-emotional person will weep in the presence of the Lord. The problem with us good-intending Christians is we get caught up in the cares of the world (education, better job, bigger house, nicer yard, newer cars, etc.) that we miss sight of what is truly important: Jesus. That’s it. Of course there’s nothing wrong with these ambitions; the issue I’m referring to is having these ambitions far above our ambition for the Lord, time with Him, our prayer closet, etc.

I’m hitting home the simple reality of what the Bible refers to us as “strangers & pilgrims.” If we tightly grasp this revelation, many things we place our focus on will no longer be seen so important anymore. Simply put, “This is not our home.” I’ve never seen anyone who rented a residence put a ton of finances or efforts into its improvement. Some yes, of course, but I’m talking a “full overhaul.” They don’t own it; it’s not theirs. The same is to be said of this world: We don’t own it, we are not of it; the only thing we look forward to, and invest our efforts into is the “end of our lease” here on earth.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

In another way to say the last embolden portion of that verse: Our investments are a direct reflection of what’s important to us. Whether the currency of time & energy, or monetary currency, we put energies toward our desires and focuses.

As Christians, we have to ask ourselves, “Do we ‘invest’ an adequate amount of our ‘currencies’ in our spiritual ‘portfolio?’ ” I know I haven’t been the “investor” I’d like to be. But the Lord is showing me day by day just how depraved I am without the time I need with Him.

So many things in our life we invest into that aren’t necessarily bad, are the biggest distractions because we have a sense of justification toward them more than we atually should, especially if it falls in the “need” category.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

I would sincerely ask that if you are reading this right now, though this devotion is short and simple, play this song at the bottom of this message while spending some much-needed resources of time in intercession with Jesus. If you do this with all your heart, (and if need be repent of loosing sight of the priority of Him over other cares of this life), I would be shocked if it won’t bring tears to your eyes. If He is or was your first love, make Him just that today. He is the ONLY one who can bring you true peace.